Everyone Knows Everything: Burnham’s 1st Law

“Everyone knows everything,” is the first of James Burnham’s ten maxims. During the mid-twentieth century he was a significant American intellectual who began his adulthood as a committed Communist before becoming a devout capitalist and co-founder of The National Review with William F. Buckley. His first rule implies that nobody can forever succeed in hiding their true feelings and nature. Eventually, everything will come out, and probably already has. Our great secret is not really secret. Others perceive more about us than we realize.

In terms of Civil War history many of those who ridicule the Southern viewpoint and tear down Confederate statues really just want to signal their own imagined moral superiority and dislike of those who refuse to agree with their interpretations.

Late last year, for example, The Washington Post interviewed a 62-year-old member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans named Frank Earnest and transformed it into a lengthy article ridiculing Frank and Confederate heritage. Here are some of the 3,200 remarks from readers in the “comments” section:

Does this yahoo not know that his “rebel ancestors” are what is known as traitors?

“I kept hoping Frank would croak before I skim-read to the last paragraph . . .

I feel bad for thinking the same thing . . .

Frank is a moronic fossil who’s dying of COPD.  No great loss. . .

Frank Earnest is an individual of adult age engaged in one of the oldest games played by stubborn, willful, adolescent boys –– “Bet You Can’t Change My Mind.” He lacks “Good Faith,” a fundamental quality required for what we call “Honesty.”

Manacle Frank and make him walk all the way to southern Mississippi while chained to a gang of others.

Make Frank pick cotton from daybreak to dark under a broiling sun.*

To quote Forrest Gump:  “Stupid is as stupid does.”

Enough said from the Deep South.

He wants to keep living in his fantasy identity because he’s afraid that if he didn’t have it he wouldn’t be anything.

There’s WAY too many of these clowns to ignore. We have to face these jerks head-on.

Thus, Burnham’s first law reveals that such critics don’t just dislike slavery and the Confederacy: They actually despise those present Southerners who refuse to accept their one-sided interpretations of the War Between the States and Reconstruction.

Learn about the six month period when the Confederacy came closest to winning its independence in:

The Confederacy at Flood Tide by Philip Leigh

1 thought on “Everyone Knows Everything: Burnham’s 1st Law

  1. Pingback: Understanding Burnham’s First Law | Civil War Chat

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