Book Review: Victoria: A Novel of 4th Generation Warfare, by Thomas Hobbes

VICTORIA_900– 6 December 2014 –

Janus:

Janus-smallWilliam S. Lind’s Victoria, recently published by Vox Day’s Castalia House and under Lind’s pseudonym Thomas Hobbes, is a fun and refreshing semi-satirical novel about the fall of the United States and the rise of a traditionalist society from the ashes of New England.

A traditionalist movement in New England? It’s not really so far-fetched. Currently the liberal bastion of Vermont has the least restrictive gun laws of any other state. New Hampshire is still one of the least restrictive states for personal and economic freedom (though it is threatened by migrating hordes from Massachusetts). 80% of Connecticut’s gun owners have refused to register their firearms in accordance with their new law. Outside of the cities, the Yankees of the northeast seem, like most rural people, to work relatively hard and want to be left alone. As the victims of the most tyrannical laws in the country outside of California, these rural folk could conceivably rebel with more vigor than other areas of the country, although it might take these stoic New Englanders longer to come to a boil. Personally, I don’t see a rise in traditionalism there, as the New England states have the lowest church attendance and some of the lowest birthrates in the country. But then look at the Christianizing Russia of today. In any case this aspect of the storyline is plausible enough that it doesn’t detract from the story.

The book starts with the public burning of the heretical female former Episcopal archbishop of Maine. I was hooked at that point and had high hopes for the rest of the book. Visions of smoldering skeletons in every town danced in my head. While events didn’t proceed quite as I expected from this point, I tremendously enjoyed Victoria and recommend it to anyone who hates the liberal establishment and everything it stands for.

Politically_Incorrect_with_Bill_Maher_title_card

“Politically Incorrect”? Ha! Victoria is a true work of political incorrectness!

Many works call themselves “politically incorrect” to show that they buck the system, but if they even defy our cultural overlords at all—I’m thinking of Bill Maher’s very politically correct show—these works handle taboo subjects such as race and gender so delicately and even apologetically that there is little that is politically incorrect about them. What one really wants to see in a politically incorrect work is the destruction and mortification of the denizens of cultural Marxism.  Something that would offend them for once.

While never claiming to be politically incorrect, early on in Victoria Lind showed some of that kid-glove tendency when it came to blacks.  It looked as though Lind would magically transform the blacks into good conservatives. This tendency can be seen in some of the silly and unrealistic dialogue from black characters. For example, I had a difficult time accepting that a black reverend in Newark, New Jersey might deliver the following speech to his congregation:

We Chris­t­ian blacks are more op­pressed today than we have ever been in our his­tory. Our lives are worse than they were in the deep South under seg­re­ga­tion. They are prob­a­bly worse than they were when we were slaves, be­cause then we were at least a valu­able piece of prop­erty. The black toughs with guns who ter­ror­ize this city and every black city in this coun­try do not value us at all. They shoot us down for any rea­son, or for no rea­son at all!

But later in the book Lind deals with race relations more realistically and manages to resolve the problem in a satisfying and conceivable way. While black people were not expelled or destroyed in the post-USA northeast, they were not handled delicately either, and I was satisfied with the humane resolution of America’s current troubles with blacks.

All of the enemies of traditional America are depicted and dealt with in Victoria: blacks, immigrants, feminists, cultural Marxists, greenies, homosexuals, Muslims, and even establishment Republicans and neo-Nazis. Typically Lind devotes one or two chapters to each one of these scourges. The problematic situation is identified, a plan is conceived of how to handle it, the plan is enacted and executed with scarcely a hitch.  Then on to the next problem in a new chapter or two.

Like old TV Westerns, Victoria runs counter to the insert-homo-here garbage produced by the mass media today.

Like old TV Westerns, Victoria refreshingly runs counter to the insert-token-homo-here garbage produced by the mass media today.

The process follows the simple and straightforward formula of just about every episode of Gunsmoke or Wagon Train, with the forces of good led by one man (John Rumford) triumphing over the evil enemies of society in creative and enjoyable ways.  It is a very entertaining formula that keeps the reader interested and manages to cover much of the territory of the former United States.  I particularly enjoyed the way that the traditionalists resolved their problems with their cultural-Marxist university professors.

And like those old TV Westerns, Victoria refreshingly runs counter to the current insert-token-homo-here garbage produced by the American media today. In fact, Victoria arguably upholds Christian values better than those old TV westerns did.  TV Westerns often winked at fornication, if not depicting it outright, and even in the 1950’s and early 60’s these programs sometimes showed the beginnings of PC propaganda when it came to race, gender, and religion.

dukes-of-hazzard-cast

If the plotlines in Victoria seem overly simple, there is good reason for it. Victoria is about ideas more than it’s about complicated plotlines. Fortunately the ideas don’t detract from the story.

There were times when I scoffed at the easy victories of the protagonists.  Like Boss Hogg and Rosco P. Coltrain in the Dukes of Hazzard, the enemies in Victoria conveniently did everything wrong while the Duke Boy protagonists conveniently faced little trouble from their own side. While it was fun to see the enemies of traditional America push their agendas too far and then destroy themselves in their blindness (with some help from the hero John Rumford), the book depicts events too simply to be plausible.

But then I realized that the intent of the book is not to depict events as they are likely to happen. Instead, Victoria is demonstrating an ideal and a process of putting thought to action.  Simple plots help to demonstrate the ideas, whereas a tangled and subtle plot might have obscured them.

The book highlights some intriguing concepts. If some of them are old concepts, many of them were new to me anyway.

Before reading Victoria, I only vaguely understood the concept of Fourth Generation warfare, and the book helped to clear up some of my confusion. The hero John Rumford demonstrates again and again how decentralized, extra-state warfare can be used to defeat a much stronger force. (I also see the limitations of Fourth Generation warfare, but that is a subject for another day.)

Along with the methods of Fourth Generation war, Rumford demonstrates the use of the moral element of warfare as theorized by Colonel John Boyd. The theory states that in order to truly win a war, an armed force must retain the moral high ground. If an armed force wins on a tactical level but loses on the moral level, the win is only temporary.  This is partly why we in the United States have lost so many of our recent wars.  Victoria demonstrates the usefulness of the moral element of warfare very well.

The book also covers a social movement called retroculture, seemingly an invention of Lind’s in which individual people or families adopt the culture of a time period before the 1960’s and reject the culture of anything after this time. In Victoria, the followers of retroculture managed to gradually transform the culture of New England to that of Victorian England.  I don’t see such a movement as likely in the real world, at least not as described, but I know that a small segment of relatively younger people, myself included, are adopting some of the old ways of life and even the mores of traditional Christianity that their parents rejected. This return to traditional Christianity and culture could lay the foundation for a societal recovery in parts of the post-USA, much like Lind depicts in Victoria.

YouCantGoHomeAgain

It’s a lie!

Stemming from this idea of retroculture, Lind deals with the concept that one can never “go home again“. The popular culture has accepted the belief that once someone has left their old ways of life, particularly simple small-town ways, there is no way to recapture them. Lind contends that this maxim is a fallacy and proves it with the example of the Renaissance. The people of that Medieval time deliberately sought to restore the culture of classical Greece and Rome where it did not contradict Christian principles.  And they were very successful, creating the most advanced and powerful civilization that the world has ever seen. If the conscious restoration of the past worked in the 14th century, it could work again now or in the future.

While Victoria is by no means a comedy, Lind sprinkles odd little jokes or puns, usually in a dry kind of way, throughout the book, and I very much enjoyed them.  For instance, when the radical liberals took over Minnesota, they changed the name of St. Paul to “Saul” in unexplained reference to Saint Paul’s name before he converted to Christianity, which I thought was pretty funny.  This humor is often so subtle or obscure that no doubt I missed some of the references.

In summation, Victoria is a fun and entertaining book for those who hate the forces of cultural Marxism. As a work of politically incorrect fiction Victoria does not disappoint.  The denizens of cultural Marxism are delightfully mortified and deliciously destroyed.  Those who love our egalitarian utopia will not enjoy this book. They will either deride it as a hateful conservative fantasy or despise it as a subversive threat to their precious new order.  So liberals stay away!

To better enjoy Victoria, traditionalist readers should remember that the purpose of the book is not to depict future events as they are likely to happen but to serve as a sort of instruction manual for how to survive the decay and collapse of the United States.  If it is read like that, the traditionalist reader will enjoy Victoria even more.

For those who are interested, the first thirty-five chapters of Victoria are available here.

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1 Comment

  1. We could use a good dose of “retroculture”! Thanks for the link to the first 35 chapters, sounds like a good read.

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