Gradually Then Suddenly

Life is always fleeting for those prone to function error. This term–as I choose to conceive it–being reserved for those individuals or organizations who inaccurately perceive their purpose. This cataracted vision consistently leads to a nearly always fatal preoccupation with tactics over strategy. I’ll give an example. You know of the Ford Motor Company. But how familiar are you with the Abbot Downing Company (ADC)? The latter being a concern founded 77 years before the former, and one that enjoyed broad commercial success before before William Ford ever planted the seed that became Henry.

Both companies produced revolutionary forms of transportation, with the flagship ADC vehicle being legendary for its quality and innovation. That vehicle was called the Concord. It was lavishly appointed for the time and came in three chassis capable of conveying up to twelve passengers. Though the most renowned feature of the Concord was its suspension called a “thorough brace.” This was an intricate series of leather straps arranged somewhat in form and function to the interlocking fingers of two hands. This enabled the passenger compartment to rock back and forth, absorbing shocks in the process. Mark Twain described it as a cradle on wheels. It was coveted by travelers across the country.

Abbot Downing was piloted by serious and intelligent men. Men who engineered elegant design solutions and brought value and cachet to their customers. So why did the last ADC vehicle roll desultorily from production nearly a century ago, while Fords still role desultorily today? Because ADC was in the transportation business. But management mistakenly viewed themselves as in the stage coach market. Their confusion proved fatal.

Function Error

Function Error

I think of ADC when contemplating our formidable technologically advanced western militaries. And I reflect on what remarkable stage coaches they are. Look upon our works, ye mighty.

Stealth Destroyers

Stealth Destroyers

imagePhoton Canons

imageLaser Weapons

imageRail Guns

imagePrecision Guided Rifles

imageDrone Helicopters

Those are some impressive thorough braces. Almost like death cradles on wheels. Unfortunately it’s all a multi-trillion dollar manifestation of function error. And one that will terminate quite similarly to ADC’s version eventually. Because western militaries believe they are in the market of object detonation. But their actual business is to defend the nations that raise and sponsor them. And in this endeavor, they are of proximate potency to this guy.


The best military stagecoach ever conceived is impotent before massed divisions on rails.

Troops relaxing before border assault Troops relaxing before border assault

Bearing in mind the army’s actual rather than perceived mission, it’s difficult to imagine hostilities commencing in any fashion other than present. Why would foreign nationals ever take up futile arms, when they can instead be welcomed with them open? Wombs and votes will assure the control that bombs and bullets could never wrest. And no enlisted man ever received an EBT card from the enemy for his heroism in battle.

I have to imagine Abdul Rahman Al Ghafiqi is now kicking himself in the grave for being absent the foresight to simply march his unarmed force before Martel at Tours. To subsequently demand refugee status along with access to food, housing, women, and preferences in the Frankish court. Had he known of this trojan vulnerability in the western psyche, he may have even chided his hosts for their unconscionable ill-will in previous skirmishes. It would be something he would certainly want European children demeaned about for generations at the least. With merely the motion of time and fecundity, his posterity could own the realm without the firing of a single trebuchet. And in his defense, he and his men would be just trying to make a better life for themselves. Perhaps at the expense of others, though this is a rationale modernity has come to find compelling. Regardless, if our own modern militaries don’t achieve clarity of purpose, their future weapons systems will look very much like this.


There’s a famous line from Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises in which one character asks of another:

“How did you go bankrupt?”

To which is responded…

“Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.”

As we survey scenes across the West from Calais to California, there are only two ways society will go bankrupt: gradually, then suddenly. And the finest thorough braces in the world aren’t going to cradle the impact.


18 thoughts on “Gradually Then Suddenly

  1. OK, I’m sick of this. Porter, can you create a directory where I can sift through your header images? I want to find the “Never Again” and “We’ll always have Paris” ones, and I can’t take wading through any more twinks as I hit refresh on your block.

    • Porter perhpas you could create permanent tab or something where the images on rotation are archived, and where readers can upload addt’l suggested photos.

  2. Ah, the frustration of the Reactionary blogger. A voice crying in the wilderness, “Gradually, then suddenly!”

    How did the Western Empire, a legal, social, culture and martial edifice the likes of which has never been seen since, fall? Gradually, then suddenly. How did its Eastern Empire and capital Constantinople, the cultured, cosmopolitan jewel of the Earth, fall? Gradually, then suddenly.

    The Austro-Hungarian empire and the glorious, classical liberal era? Gradually, then suddenly.

    The Soviet Union? Gradually, then suddenly.

    Assad’s Syria? Gradually, then suddenly.

    How did the only State in human history to explicitly found itself on Anglo-Saxon ideals of inalienable rights and lex rex fall? It uprooted Tradition. It enacted universal suffrage. It worshipped Mammon. It imported millions of people hostile to its ideals and its ethnic founding stock. Gradually, then suddenly.

    It’s all over but the weeping.

  3. There is one country that is permitted to call an invasion by its proper name and do something about it. It’s the only country those mighty weapons in the pictures will ever be used to protect.

  4. Paetorian: the free hosted WordPress blog is pretty scant with custom functionality like that. Let me know if you still haven’t hit the images yet, and I’ll post them in a comment sometime.

    AG: yes, the “suddenly” stage of population replacement is upon us. Persuasion finds little purchase in logic, though if otherwise it might seem reasonable to pause and reflect on the human tsunami that has broke upon the West. But of course it is only the opposite that occurs. Since millions have swarmed our countries, it is now imperative that some geometric figure greater come behind them.

    Rob: Britain incarcerates its innocent enfeebled seniors, while providing room and board to African squatters. The country isn’t merely depraved, it’s infernal.

  5. Another suggested banner image: this month’s Cosmopolitan cover featuring Sarah Jessica Parker. It simply must be seen to grasp the socio-political implications.

  6. “But their actual business is to defend the nations that raise and sponsor them.”

    I don’t think this has been true for the United States sometime in the nineteenth century. In our era, the military just exists as a flimsy excuse to make investors richer and further Israeli imperial ends. And I believe that the latter, at the highest levels of influence, is largely a pretext for the former. Zionism is big business for the military-industrial-intelligence-infotainment complex because the Israelis are constantly picking fights. I wonder if a guy like BlackRock’s Larry Fink, for instance, really gives a damn about Israel in any personal sense.

  7. Pingback: This Week in Reaction (2015/08/09) | The Reactivity Place

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s