That Reminds Me….

Dr. Sanity recently penned a piece The Cost of Freedom that reminded me of something I wrote last year, The United Federation of Planets. The two pieces are not really parallel, but much of what she says echoes the theme of my piece. For example:

If we continue on the path of appeasement we will be defeated by the enemy’s unrepentant ruthlessness and their endless love of death. Thomas Sowell once remarked that, “If the battle for civilization comes down to the wimps versus the barbarians, the barbarians are going to win”, and he is most certainly correct.

The cost of this war will ultimately be more than all the lives lost; it will also be for the humanity and civilization we must temporarily abandon to win.

When we are finally cornered and must allow our own barbarism to surface to combat theirs head to head, then we must be prepared to live with the consequences, including the agonizing guilt that will ensue–or everything we hold dear, everything we aspire to become, will forever perish from this earth. – (Dr. Sanity)

(My emphasis.) An excerpt from United Federation, (much, much longer, naturally):

We like to pride ourselves that American society is different, superior, more “true” than all other preceding societies. After all, what other polity has accomplished what we’ve accomplished in the mere two centuries we’ve existed on the planet? We enjoy an unprecedented standard of living (even our poor people are fat!) Americans invented powered flight. We broke the sound barrier. We went to the moon! And who has a higher moral hill to stand atop? Twice in the last century we’ve ended Europe’s bloody wars. We stopped the expansion of fascist, imperialist, and communist forces, defeated their sponsor governments utterly, and have more than once reconstructed former enemy nations into peaceful, productive democracies. As then-Secretary of State Colin Powell stated so eloquently:

We have gone forth from our shores repeatedly over the last hundred years and we’ve done this as recently as the last year in Afghanistan and put wonderful young men and women at risk, many of whom have lost their lives, and we have asked for nothing except enough ground to bury them in, and otherwise we have returned home… to live our own lives in peace.

But to do that, we’ve sometimes put aside some of our beliefs in the face of hard reality, only to take them up again once the crisis was over.

All societies change, and what changes first is their commonly held beliefs. Robert Heinlein wrote once:

Roman matrons used to say to their sons: “Come back with your shield, or on it.” Later on this custom declined. So did Rome.

Ours is not immune. In 2004 I wrote “While Evils are Sufferable” wherein I said:

The “Right,” in the overwhelming majority, believes that America, the United States of, is the Land of the Free and Home of the Brave. We’re the Sword of Justice, defenders of the oppressed from the Halls of Montezuma to the Shores of Tripoli, from sea to shining sea (so long as it’s in our National Interest to be.) As long as this belief represents the dominant paradigm, that is the way our nation will act, in the main. We are human, of course. We’re not perfect. We will make mistakes, but as I wrote in That Sumbitch Ain’t Been BORN!, those mistakes are just that. They are not evidence of our evil Imperialist nature, just mistakes. The “Left,” quite simply, thinks we’ve left the tracks if we were ever on them to begin with. To them, we’re oppressive, racist, imperialistic warmongers out to take what isn’t ours and distribute it unfairly among the white males. After all, they have centuries of European exploitive colonization to point to, don’t they? The Greens think we need to give up industry so that we can “save the planet.” They don’t hate America, they hate humanity. Of course, the Anarchists see both sides as delusional and dangerous. They believe that the Free Market is the answer to it all, and that we need to give up this nationalistic fantasy crap and start dealing with objective reality.

As if objective reality would appeal to people who voluntarily share common delusions.

Appealing or not, objective reality is again raising its ugly head, and we must wake up to it if we wish to survive.

Anyway, I found the parallels interesting. YMMV.

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