Monday, July 14, 2014

‘ . . . the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.’ -- John 10:11 KJV

But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.  The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep’ (John 10:12-13 KJV).

Truly these latter described by our Lord are the type leaders we have in the South today: selfish, caring only for their people insomuch as they are a means to obtaining political or economic power.  Would Gov Perry or Haslam or Sen Rubio personally lead a force to defend the people of their States against a horde of deadly enemies?  That is doubtful.  And yet that is the heavy burðen those in authority must bear: to be willing to lay down their lives to protect their people.  That is the kind of leadership we used to have in the South, illustrated most clearly during the War, when those entrusted with power in Southern society rode forth to the defense of the Southern people, many perishing in the struggle - Ashby, Lee, Jackson, Johnson, Stuart, and the rest.

If the South is to have any chance of surviving and flourishing in an evil world, she must cultivate these kinds of leaders once more.  The South’s kindred spirit, the Russian Ivan Ilyin, in his 1928 essay ‘On Power and Death’ (trans. Mark Hackard), shows us what we need to sow in the souls of our men to accomplish this, and why.  It begins with these words:

“For supreme power doth not tolerate a weak hand…”
Alexander Pushkin

To doubt whether Russia shall draw forth from her depths a religious, vigorous and state-cultivating intelligentsia would mean to doubt Russia herself and her future. She can and she shall. And Russia herself will be reborn, will strengthen and grow. But the sooner this is done, the better; the quicker shall come her restoration; the less blood, suffering, hazards and dishonor there shall be. And the first thing the new Russian intelligentsia must understand and ponder is this: the volitional nature of the state and sovereign authority.

State power, in its most essential idea, should belong to the strongest and the most noble. For he who takes it accepts and exercises it with will and namely with noble will; he stands at the helm and on guard – at the head of the people and guarding the sacred. And therefore he should prepare his will not only for leadership and coercion, but for the honorable death of a guardian and a leader.

Living in the state and building it, men are united not simply by territory or common subordination; they are united in a concerted, willed effort and willed action; they unite to set forth and recognize those most noble leaders and those strong and loyal guardians, who are called to create for them, for their sake and through them, the cause of popular unity and flourishing – those who are called to support and defend this unity and uphold what is sacred to the nation even at the cost of their death. Therefore state power by its essence presents us this drama: the struggle and death of the best men for the existence and holiness of their people. And this drama, most clearly expressed in the face of the warrior or the soldier, makes each citizen participating in authority a warrior standing his post, a guardian ready for death.

We must understand and ponder this once and for all: he who assumes power takes on not only authority and not so much authority as he does the duty to rule. He thereby accepts not only higher rank and honor, but higher responsibility and danger. And he who seeks status and desires honor – but does not want responsibility and fears danger – such a man is ambitious without the capability for authority. His reign can only lead to general destruction.

To be near power is to be near death. And how many of the best men in history – Tsars, leaders, great captains and heroes – have proven witness to this by their own ends! I said that sovereign authority should belong to the strongest and the most noble.

 . . .

Source:, posted 11 July 2014, accessed 12 July 2014

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