Wednesday, February 24, 2021
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Know thy place – the message of Capitol Hill

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ON September 18, 1793, President George Washington, surrounded by the founders of the new city of Washington, laid the cornerstone of the US Capitol Building. He was assisted by Joseph Clark, the Freemasonic Grand Master of Maryland, and every Masonic ritual was carefully observed.

In the House of The Temple, the Washington headquarters of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, hangs an oil painting of the ceremony.  All the dignitaries are visibly stoical, with a grandeur and dignity that is both timeless and patriotic. This is in correlation to the symbolism mentioned in the following explanation of Masonic rituals: ‘The cornerstone also symbolises sturdiness, morality, and truth. At his first initiation, the Mason is tasked with erecting a spiritual temple in his heart, drawing symbolic parallels to the strong, trusty cornerstone; without which, a building (symbolically, the Mason’s mind and heart) cannot stand.’

On January 6, 2021, this Masonic symbolism of ‘sturdiness, morality and truth’ was (at first glance) nowhere to be found in the day’s happenings. From the tragic death of Capitol Officer and veteran of the Air National Guard Brian Sicknick and the equally tragic, point-blank shooting of Ashli Babbit, a veteran of the US Air Force, to the deaths of three others owing to medical emergencies (one may have been trampled to death in a stampede), we behold a tragic loss of life that should have been avoidable.

We have seen violence and the rule of mobs sweep across the US and indeed the UK at times during 2020 in a manner that can be only described as unsettling. Perhaps more unsettling is the incongruous levels of response to these events.

Antifa, now designated as a domestic terrorist threat in the United States, kicked off 2020 in style by holding the New York transport system to ransom in a move that, while supposedly targeting price hikes and increased security, was to all intents and purposes a precursor to the ‘Defund the Police’ movement that we would see in centre focus later in the year.

May 26, 2020 was the fateful date when this atmosphere of partly orchestrated and partly organic civil unrest would finally spill into the mainstream with protests following the police-antagonised death of George Floyd, a serial criminal from Minneapolis.

Further deaths and subsequent riots in Kenosha, more riots due to a continued breakdown in race relations in Minneapolis and other separate incidents led to a continued heating of tension through August in a seething ‘Summer of Hate’.

Despite frequent calls in government and independent media across the world to look into what the ‘Black Lives Matter’ organisation actually stood for – the destruction of policing, capitalism and the family unit among other things – its groundswell grew and grew, quietly funded by Soros’s billionaire boys’ club of ‘philanthropic’, intensely liberal do-gooders.

While reports of the Metropolitan police force ‘taking the knee’ to BLM protesters were rife in the UK, high-ranking officials in the US were welcoming such protests with open arms, to the point of participation. This surge in not-quite-defined desperation for a swift solution to perceived racial inequality, spearheaded in principle by the Black Lives Matter movement which came as far as Europe and beyond, led several reporters in the UK to observe what could only be described as two-tier policing during a period that saw the enforcement of mass lockdowns and restrictions as part of a global response to the Covid-19 crisis. In the US the bias of political action and media reflection on the riots continued to grow.

Following the first wave of George Floyd protests, all the way to the end of August and beyond, there were no police shootings. All deaths were caused either by defenders or mob-driven attackers, during a period when looting and chaos reigned in American streets. That is staggering in the light of inordinate violence against police and abhorrent attacks against private individuals on both sides of the political spectrum. Perhaps law enforcement was too afraid of escalation, a perfectly reasonable consideration at the time. The mainstream commentary delighted in the fractured nature of the White House’s approach to the crisis. Trump sent the National Guard infrequently to dissolve riots, but not in immediate response and generally after days of looting and rioting had already occurred.

Even after the chaotic failure of ‘self-policing’ in Chop, cops went in peacefully, with only normal measures of riot prevention engaged to break up the self-styled ‘autonomous’ zone.

Perhaps Ashli Babbit lies dead today because there was no danger of a return of gunfire from the crowd at the Capitol. While terrible damage had been done in the death of Brian Sicknick, the violence of the shooting was not in retaliation to that. The timelines do not add up. He was not reported injured immediately and died a day later. Nor was it a proportionate response to the scuffles and disorderly conduct that had been bubbling up to that moment.

Finally, after a year of deliberation, Authority moved decisively in reaction to an anarchic situation, by shooting dead a woman who walked unarmed at the head of a misguided crowd. Strangely enough the same authority allowed unarmed protesters into a normally well-guarded, key political building at an optically precise moment, before taking that course of action.

The protesters, whether incited or not, had ascended to challenge (metaphorically speaking) that very cornerstone of the Capitol. They challenged not just the base level of democracy but the very top of the pyramid.

Regardless of whom members of the American Republic support in their political aspirations, regardless of happenings in the subcurrent of the general population, one must remember that any challenge to the most elite level of power, whether by optical assault or by physical approach will surely be met with the severest penalties, carried out in the broadest of daylight.

The Eye that resides on every dollar bill saw the subordinate march of a crowd upon the Capitol and struck with a heavy warning. From the perspective of the Eye, such punishment was justly meted out to restore a semblance of ‘sturdiness, morality and truth’.

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Joseph Robertson
Joseph Robertson is a research lead for the Orthodox Conservatives.

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