I made a big mistake…

…early this morning. Went out, bought The New York Times, and instead of sticking to the travel section and the book reviews, I read some of the other pieces. How stupid I was!

The New York Times has its point of view; I appreciate that. Viva la diferencia! as my old pal Charlie used to say. Trouble is, through the various articles I read, there was nothing short of a vapid, pathetic, ignorance bandied about like so much high-minded civic righteousness. These sundry writings of today’s issue degenerated into a pablum of calls for allegiance to the state. That’s right, swearing fealty to the all-knowing, all-providing greatness of government, which is the only entity capable of solving perceived problems. Woodrow Wilson is invoked. Harvard scholars are quoted. Damn fools expound at length on the supposed merits of the premise that the citizen needs a higher purpose than his own goals. No, there are no instructions for making the official oath or public salute. They veil the essence in sweeter sounding platitudes than overt devotion.

Perhaps I awoke in another reality this morning. Or maybe not. Maybe America is no longer the land of the free to pursue their happiness, nor the home of the brave enough to deal with the failure if they don’t find it. America might have waned into a sort of half-life isotope of a society, only strong enough to kill itself while doing minor damage to others.

Consider the facts: A congress that wants to seize control of an industry to doll out benefits to less than 10% of the population. The same congress wants command of every tickle of energy produced. A President who strategizes politically to further his personal influence while soldiers die in the field. State governments littered with debt, most of which was incurred to pay-off (in one form or another) various reliable constituencies. Cities that harbor criminals from the law.

And this is the group to which the citizen is to prostrate himself before in the name of a higher purpose. What would that purpose be? King and country? Like it or not, the American who was once free now lives in the yoke of royalty put in place by his own hand. The citizen is fastening the chains about his neck, volunteering for servitude. Where there is service, there are the served. No greater a messenger than The New York Times is calling for more of this. Get your collar fitted while the really snazzy ones last.

And if you want to know where it ends, I can reliably say that it does not end. Tyranny is forever. When you turn your back, deny its existence, or placate it with tribute, tyranny will dominate you. Tyranny will start by taking your dignity, continue by destroying your achievement, and not stop until you are its slave.

Sound dramatic? Well, ask those who survived Soviet Russia or Mao’s China. They were told to find a higher purpose. They were told to make sacrifices. They were told there would be more for everyone if they only gave all they had. Stalin had his dachas as did the rest of the apparachniks while too many others starved. Mao had his dojo by the lake while bullets landed in the backs of the heads of less conforming people. Unfortunately, The New York Times doesn’t talk much about these kind of consequences. Maybe their writers and those Harvard dons have no knowledge of the reality of the uber-state. Maybe they live in a state of denial that doesn’t reach their lofty offices or leafy campuses. Sadly, the rest of us don’t have that option.

Or, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe the average citizen is quite happy with bread and circuses (low interest loans and World Series Baseball as it is called today.) As George Orwell wrote at the end of 1984, “Winston loved Big Brother.”

Published in: on November 1, 2009 at 2:24 pm  Leave a Comment  
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