The Failure Of Defense

Men are seldom inspired by a defensive fight. This is especially true of a prolonged or continuous defensive fight, drawn out over the course of the long term. And this notion holds true in the context of war, battle, politics, business, culture, sports, and more. It even holds true in the more figurative sense of the word “fight”, like in an intellectual debate for example. No man desires to be, or is inspired by, constantly being on the defensive.

Now this is not to say that men can’t, at times, be inspired or motivated to mount a heroic or courageous defense—whether its holding the line in battle, resisting an occupation, or even a heroic last stand. And it is also not to say that men won’t aggressively defend themselves or their loved ones when personally threatened or under extreme duress. And finally, it is not to say that men won’t tenaciously defend their characters, reputations, or honor if such things are attacked or demeaned. So yes, there certainly are instances when a man can be inspired by defense.

In war and battle there are untold historic examples of valiant and inspired defenses: Thermopylae, Agincourt, Malta, The Alamo, Little Round Top, Rorke’s Drift, The Battle of Britain, Stalingrad, Bastogne, and Okinawa—far too many to list. Such examples illustrate that men can indeed be inspired to mount a stiff resistance when their homes, families, nation, or way of life are directly threatened. Or when they are under siege but believe that help is on the way, and so they must try to hold out as long as possible. Or when the consequences of surrender are worse than death itself, and so a bitter last stand is clearly the best option. Or when they are motivated and inspired by a sheer fanaticism to fight until the death. Or even when they are driven by nothing more than pure bravery and courage, on both an individual and unit level.

And examples of inspired defenses can also be found in contexts other than war. A sports team will be inspired to play aggressive defense when they believe they can still win the game. A business or company will often mount a strong defensive strategy in order to maintain its market shares or to protect its edge against the competition. And a man will often passionately stand up to defend his own personal ideas, views, or character against those who may challenge or berate them.

But what most of these examples of inspired defenses have in common—aside from the extreme examples of an “El Sordo” like last stand—is that they are either extremely rare situations, are only temporary situations, or they are defensive situations that coincide with the possibility of a counter-strike or some other offensive strategy. In other words, they are defensive fights that somehow otherwise offer the potential for retaliation or victory. They are not defensive fights alone. Granted, the ebb and flow of conflict usually requires the playing of both offense and defense at times—no matter what the nature of the conflict may be—but men are far more likely to be inspired by a fight they believe they can ultimately win.

So perhaps I should clarify my original statement. Men are seldom inspired by a prolonged defensive fight, but especially such a fight where the potential for a counter offensive, retaliation, or ultimate victory is slim or non-existent. No want wants to enter into a fight he knows he cannot possibly win. And no man wants to be pummeled relentlessly into submission without even the slightest chance to strike back or retaliate against his aggressor—no matter how small or effective that chance may be. Even a symbolic or moral retaliation is better than no retaliation at all—like in the case of the Doolittle Raid for example.

But given the choice, men would most assuredly prefer to be on the offensive during a conflict. And they are far more likely to be inspired and motivated by a fight or movement that is aggressively on offense, as opposed to one that is solely on defense. The aura of aggressive invincibility and victory is far more inspiring than that of stalwart passivity. Hail the conquering hero, to the victor goes the spoils.

Yet even the slightest possibility of a counter offensive or a decisive defensive victory can often times be enough for a man engaged in a defensive fight to cling to inspiration and hope. But if a man is stuck in a prolonged defensive battle without even the slightest possibility of such a counter attack or victory, no matter how inspired or courageous he may be, eventually he will begin to lose hope and his morale and resolve will begin to falter. Futility will set in. And thus a prolonged defense alone will almost always lead to defeatism, as men eventually become resigned to their fate. Therefore, except in very rare or extreme cases, defense alone, or the defense of a hopeless situation, will inevitably break the resolve of even the strongest and most inspired man. Which can then very quickly lead to a hopeless death spiral.

Furthermore, if the most stalwart and passionate defense is left without an effective means or ability to counter strike or push back, no matter how righteous the cause and no matter how stubbornly the defenders hold the line, it will still ultimately cede ground over the long run if it is repeatedly and relentlessly battered into submission by an aggressive offense. A battering ram or trebuchet, if not destroyed, will eventually bring down even the strongest of castle walls. Again, this is not to say that men can’t at times be inspired to rally and vigorously defend the fortress, or that a defensive strategy or mindset isn’t at times strategically prudent. It is merely to say that an aggressive, relentless opposing offense, despite how many lines are drawn in the sand by the defenders, will eventually take its toll on the morale and physical ground of even the strongest defense—if the defenders lack the ability or will to push back. For a flowing river will ultimately carve a canyon through the mighty rock, because the rock is unable to push back. Defense alone will ultimately fail.

And so it is with culture, politics, and the philosophy of traditional conservatism.

For in a social, cultural, and political sense, this keen understanding about the failures of defense has been the long-game strategy and intention of the left all along—both openly and subversively. The left, always on the offensive, has been constantly and relentlessly battering the social, cultural, and political values of traditional society, tirelessly pushing for “change” while driving the sociocultural narratives and agendas, for well over the last hundred years. The left has simultaneously been actively and aggressively fighting to destroy their conservative enemies on right—the defenders of traditional society—and all they stand for.

Conversely, this gross misunderstanding of defense has also been the astounding failure of the traditional right and modern conservative movement. For in the political, social, and culture wars of the last century and beyond, the right and conservative movement has found itself almost entirely on defense, unable or unwilling to aggressively confront, oppose, and destroy the advances of the left. They sought compromise, reconciliation, and placation, while the left fought tirelessly for unconditional victory and their ultimate destruction. And even worse still, many on the “establishment” or “neo-con” right were often happily complicit in many ways with the leftist deconstruction of society and culture—but that is a separate topic. Simply put, the conservative right continuously failed to recognize the left as the mortal enemies worthy of destruction that they were, while the left did not repay such a favor.

But this misunderstanding of defense by those on the right for so long is not really surprising. Because conservatism, by its very nature and definition, is a defensive position. And perhaps at one time that was okay. For at one time, true-conservatism stood for the conservation and defense of a healthy, traditional, moral, and stable natural society against the subversive and toxic elements and ideologies of the left which sought to destroy or replace it. Conservatism was once the conservation and defense of society as it was naturally established and intended. Once.

Without getting bogged down in specifics, there once was a time when conservatives and traditionalists were strategically correct and justified in their efforts to mount an inspired defense of the social and cultural values for which they represented and were defending. There was also a time when such a defense offered the possibility of actually holding the line and successfully maintaining a healthy, traditional society. In fact, there were even times when conservatives and traditionalists mounted successful defenses combined with successful political, social, and cultural counter-offensives, pushing the left back and even reversing some of the damage.

But such victories and routs of the left have always been short lived. And defense alone was never ultimately going to be successful, and was a very short sighted strategy by conservatives. For while they foolishly believed that they had successfully held the line, the left was simply rallying and regrouping for their next push. The right mistook their temporary defensive victories over the left as somehow defeating them. They were wrong.

Because defense, coupled with the occasional, limited counter-strike, is an overall ineffective strategy to defeat a fanatical enemy that is driven by an aggressive and unrelenting ideological offense. Thereby proving, unfortunately, that conservatives, traditionalists, and the right in general were always ill prepared and uninspired to effectively counter and destroy the left—an enemy who unabashedly seeks to destroy everything they stand for. So really, any sporadic defensive victories by the right are actually quite shallow, Pyrrhic, and fleeting in the grand scheme of things—in a “one step forward, two steps back” kind of way. Furthermore, any temporary victory or pushback by the right is usually just a reaction to the left and an attempt to undo the damage they have done.

For as I stated, the left is always on the offensive. They are always looking ahead to the next political, social, or cultural fight, no matter the outcome of the last and even before the current fight has been decided, while the right is content to rest upon its laurels. The left is, and always has been, relentless. They never give up and will never admit defeat—even after they suffer a loss or setback. And they will never quit. They have been tirelessly and systematically executing an aggressive, multi-front offensive strategy—politically, economically, systemically, socially, culturally, etc—for over a hundred years. They are always the ones setting the agenda and driving the narratives, and are the ones always forcing a reaction from the right. The left is driven and inspired by an utterly totalitarian ideology, and they are completely unconcerned about whether or not the rest of society wants or accepts what they are aggressively pushing for. Quite frankly, this is a large reason why they have been so successful. They are aggressive and provide no mercy or quarter to their enemies.

This then leaves conservatism always on the defensive and forced to react to the left’s every move. Which, over time, has utterly weakened the effectiveness and resolve of the right, and has also forced the mainstream conservative movement to drift further and further to the left in an attempt to stay relevant in an increasingly leftist society and culture. Truth be told, the unrelenting offense and success of the left has all but left conservatism trying to “conserve” and defend something that is no longer even recognizable or worth defending.

For as I stated above, a solely defensive strategy, no matter how inspired, righteous, or courageous it may be, or even if it is occasionally successful, will still ultimately cede ground over the long run if the opposition refuses to relent. And the left refuses to do just that. They are undeterred by their defeats or even by the will of the public. And they will relentlessly keep battering and pushing, inch by inch, mile by mile. Until inevitably, over time and despite the occasional repulsion or pushback, the result of the left’s relentless offense is the steady leftward creep of society, culture, and politics. Little by little, they have been successful in shifting the Overton Window steadily to the left, driving the agenda and narratives.

Occasionally, the left may bite off more than they can chew or push a little too far too fast. And then there may be a successful political or cultural backlash resulting in a slight course correction to the right. But this deters them not. And inevitably, as sure as the sun will rise, their offense will resume, and society, culture, and politics will once again continue their generally leftward trends.

Until one day the defenders of the once great city look out from their towers and battlements and see that, although the city still stands, it has been ransacked and destroyed beyond recognition, beyond the essence of what they once knew and loved and were nobly fighting to defend. They then begin to lose hope and question if what they are currently fighting for is even worth defending anymore, because it no longer comes close to resembling what they had originally set out to defend. Thus their morale begins to fade. And any new defenders who now decide to join the fight are forced to defend the city in its current state from any further destruction, tragically unaware of what it once used to be.

And this is the tragedy and futility of “defensive” modern conservatism. For even if conservatism today is occasionally successful in holding the social and cultural line, what they are currently defending no longer even comes close to resembling the greatness of what it once was. The constant and relentless offense of the left has rendered the current status quo “fucked up beyond all recognition“. And when the sad realization hits that all has been lost and what remains is hardly worth defending anymore, the toll is excruciating. It certainly was for me.

Quite simply, a defensive strategy alone against a fanatically relentless enemy is ultimately a losing proposition. There is no such thing as victory over the left by standing firm and holding the line, for the left will only regroup and try again. And this perpetual defensive strategy by the right only leads to defeatism and the incremental loss of political, social, and cultural ground. All of which then make an inspired defense all the more impossible and futile—what remains is hardly worth defending.

And real men don’t want to defend a world they no longer recognize, a meaningless world that doesn’t reflect their virtues and values. This inspires no man. And real men want to be inspired, they need to be inspired.

Real men want to be a part of something great, to identify with something great. They want to create and build something great. They want a purpose and to be inspired. They do not want to be dependents, babysitters, and token defenders of a corrupt status quo. They want a fight to inspire them. And inspired men can build empires and conquer the world.

So the left must not be defended against. The left must be destroyed, it must be crushed and the world rebuilt. Leftism can only be destroyed by inspired men aggressively fighting to build a better world. The left will never be destroyed by defense, and defense can never rebuild this desecrated land. The new right must therefore inspire men to do what they have always done—to fight, conquer, and build.

Conservatism should not demand that men defend the indefensible, it should inspire men to rebuild the world.

© 2016 By AB Frank, All Rights Reserved

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