Dropping heavy footnotes with I S E and “Breaker” Morant

I S E dropped some heavy footnotes:


A serious Catholic could reject the ideology of non-interventionism, even without reference to official Church teaching on the basis that non-interventionism is an ideology ultimately rooted in a false metaphysics derived from the Enlightenment. Just to make the non-interventionists cringe, I shall cite as my major inspiration for this insight as the German jurist Carl Schmitt, in particular his work on the Spanish reactionary Donso Cortes. Early liberalism’s view of a universe comprising of mechanistic laws of nature fundamentally distorted liberalism’s view of sovereignty. This seemingly a-prior rejection of state intervention only makes sense if one assumes the metaphysics of the liberal-Enlightenment. Right-liberals are seemingly incapable of resolving their muddled views of sovereignty and this is probably why the “classical liberal age” of governance really only lasted, if one wishes to be charitable, for roughly half a century

By “Donso Cortes” I think he means this guy:


That article links to:


Ideas have consequences. If one believes in a clockwork universe, one is apt to have an excessively optimistic view of how much good can be accomplished by rationalistic social engineering. I tend to blame British do-gooders such as Cecil Rhodes for the prevalence of this kind of misguided social engineering in today’s world.

I tend to push for the smallest possible state – that is, I am a minarchist. I push for small government only because I think total anarchy is excessively utopian.

However, I don’t find it easy to argue for small government until I have given many examples of how governments go awry and cause problems.

Those who have been reading Duffer’s Drift with Isegoria will recall that this training manual encourages British soldiers to conceal their uniforms and pose as the enemy:

I and my orderly walked off some half-mile to the north of the river. As we were going some distance, we doffed our helmets and wrapped ourselves in two beautiful orange and magenta striped blankets, borrowed from our Kaffir lady guests, in case any stray Boer should be lurking around, as he might be interested to see two “khakis” wandering about on the veld. It was awkward trying to walk with our rifles hidden under our blankets, and, moreover, every two minutes we had to look round to see if the sentry at the camp had signalled any enemy in sight,

But it seems that the British government wanted a double standard; it seems that they wanted their men to have the right to disguise themselves, while denying that tactic to the Boers who wore British khaki.

Consider, for example, “Breaker” Morant (so called because he was skilled at taming horses):

When Morant’s best friend in the unit was tortured and mutilated by Boer guerrillas, the poet went on a rampage, ordering a number of prisoners’ summary executions over a period of weeks. It was for this that he and his confederate were shot this day. The fact of his confinement was not communicated to the Australian government; Peter Handcock’s wife only learned of his execution weeks later, from press reports.
The defendants maintained that there was a standing order from the top to kill any Boer caught wearing British khaki, a tactic the Boers were known to employ, and that the order was frequently enforced. Though the prosecution strenuously maintained otherwise at trial, the existence of that (unwritten) directive has become accepted to posterity.

Hard-living to his dying breath, Morant stayed up the night before he was shot scribbling his last poem — piquantly titled “Butchered to Make a Dutchman’s Holiday”.

In prison cell I sadly sit,
A d__d crest-fallen chappie!
And own to you I feel a bit-
A little bit – unhappy!
It really ain’t the place nor time
To reel off rhyming diction –
But yet we’ll write a final rhyme
Whilst waiting cru-ci-fixion!
No matter what “end” they decide –
Quick-lime or “b’iling ile,” sir?
We’ll do our best when crucified
To finish off in style, sir!
But we bequeath a parting tip
For sound advice of such men,
Who come across in transport ship
To polish off the Dutchmen!
If you encounter any Boers
You really must not loot ‘em!
And if you wish to leave these shores,
For pity’s sake, DON’T SHOOT ‘EM!!
And if you’d earn a D.S.O.,
Why every British sinner
Should know the proper way to go
Let’s toss a bumper down our throat, –
Before we pass to Heaven,
And toast: “The trim-set petticoat
We leave behind in Devon.”

His last words were hurled at his firing squad: “Shoot straight, you bastards! Don’t make a mess of it!”


The case of “Breaker” Morant convinces me that the state causes a multitude of evils, and many of those evils spring from standing armies.

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