John Ringo, the ANTI-PC Author
John Ringo, of “Oh John Ringo, No!” infamy has authored another book, The Last Centurion which is, as far as I am able to ascertain, intended to cause the Patchouli crowd to suffer massive brain aneurysims. In fact, as long as she has not seen the “Ghost” series of novels referred to in that first link, I’m relatively confident that this book would cause Rachel Lucas to spontaneously ovulate.
I’m only about a third of the way through it, and I won’t give you any spoilers if you intend to read it, but it’s about the simultaneous occurrence of a killer flu pandemic and global cooling worldwide in 2019-2020. It’s written “blog-style” by the author – essentially (so far) running posts of explanation of “how we got to where we are now” for the uninformed. The main character is writing in first-person of his experiences and observations of what happened, when and why. A précis is here.
And he is VERY anti-PC.
(T)he beginning of The Last Centurion is about as interesting (to me, at any rate) as reading one of the zillion blog posts by people who cannot stand the junior senator from New York and go on for paragraphs about how HRC is the second coming of Eleanor Roosevelt, only uglier and more thuggish. Still, since this was John Ringo, I skimmed through the polemic because I knew there was some quality combat SF in there somewhere.
Which there is; only problem is that there’s only about 3-4 short chapters worth, and then we’re back in CONUSstan where the Army does the best it can to save the country from mass starvation, economic collapse, and the kind of political coup both Reagan and W were accused of preparing. Needless to say, they do this in spite of the increasingly deranged President and apparently without much help from the Air Force, Navy or Marines. It reads like the bastard child of Atlas Shrugged and Gust Front, only without John Galt or the Posleen . . . .
I haven’t gotten to the “quality combat SF” yet. I am, however, enjoying the polemic.
Here’s an excerpt that I found particularly fascinating – John Ringo on American Exceptionalism:
The U.S. is a strange country. Growing up in it I never realized that, but spending those tours overseas really brought it home. We’re just fucking weird.
Alex de Touqueville(sic) spoke of this weirdness in his book Democracy in America way back in the 1800s. “Americans, contrary to every other society I have studied, form voluntary random social alliances.”
Look, let’s drill that down a bit and look at that most American of activities: The Barn Raising.
I know that virtually none of you have ever participated in a barn raising. But everyone knows what I mean. A family in an established community has gotten to the point they can build a barn or need a new one or maybe a new pioneer family that needs a barn puts out the word. There’s going to be a barn raising on x day, usually Saturday or Sunday.
People from miles around walk over to the family’s farm and work all day raising the barn. Mostly the guys do the heavy work while women work on food. That evening everybody gets together for a party. They sleep out or in the new barn, then walk home the next day to their usual routine.
ONLY HAPPENS IN AMERICA.
Only ever happened in America. It is a purely American invention and is from inconceivable to repugnant to other cultures.
A group of very near strangers in that they are not family or some extended tribe gather together in a “voluntary random social alliance” to aid another family for no direct benefit to themselves. The family that is getting the barn would normally supply some major food and if culturally acceptable and available some form of alcohol. But the people gathering to aid them have access to the same or better. There is a bit of a party afterwards but a social gathering does not pay for a hard day’s work. (And raising a barn is a hard day’s work.)
The benefit rests solely in the trust that when another family needs aid, the aided family will do their best to provide such aid.
Americans form “voluntary random social social alliances.” Other societies do not. Low trust societies do not. (Example omitted)
In other countries an extended family might gather together to raise the barn or some other major endeavor. But this is not a voluntary random alliance. They turn up because the matriarch or patriarch has ordered it. And family is anything but random societally. (However random it may seem from the inside.)
You know, I’d never considered that.
The entire chapter is pretty fascinating, and I’m enjoying the book very much. In fact, I think as soon as I hit “Publish” I’m going to go to bed and read some more!