Thursday, December 4, 2008

The Misanthropic Temptation

If you or others warn a people of an impending danger, and the people choose to ignore you and instead listen to the lying words of propagandists, then that people deserves the result – at least it is tempting to think so. It is tempting to cry like Habakkuk, “Why then do you tolerate the treacherous? Why are you silent while the wicked swallow up those more righteous than themselves?” And after we have made our complaint, to climb our watchtower and declare, “I will stand at my watch and station myself on the ramparts; I will look to see what he will say to me, and what answer I am to give to this complaint.”

Unfortunately for Habakkuk, the Lord’s answer was much more than he wanted. He wanted just the wicked punished, but the Lord punished the whole people, and so it would be with us. Here in the West some of us – I balk at calling them “wicked” but don’t hesitate to call them “wrong” – have an ongoing love-affair with Socialism. They heard the call of Marx and have thrown off their chains and embraced the loving arms of a protective state. Yes, yes, take care of me. Take care of me and I will give you my adulation and my love.

We, who cry, “How long, O Lord, must I call for help,” have seen the media propagandists neglect stories that detracted from Obama’s reputation but emphasize every story that would detract from the reputation of Palin – stories that turned out to be untrue. The Media to the best of their ability, which was considerable, persuaded and propagandized for Obama and he has been elected. The people, not just the “Wrong” who voted for Obama, must now suffer the result, whether good or ill. I have posted notes indicating that I hope my fears are wrong. I have taken heart that my biggest concerns, foreign affairs, seem to be addressed reasonably by Obama. He cannot turn the whole country around, should a turning be his desire, in just 4 or 8 years; so we shall very likely go on as we were, but we have lessons in the West’s recent history that we may not be looking at. A tendency could be created in the Obama administration that would move us in the direction of the Europeans of the 1920s, 30s & 40s.

To be more specific, what I am worried about is the Socialistic inclination to trust in “tweeks.” If we tweek society just so, if we find the proper tweeks, then we shall have paradise on earth, and an end to war. Rousseau seems to have been the originator of this idea, and it has been popular ever since. We, the Socialistic Tweekers know what to do. Trust us, and we will move you along the path toward paradise.

On the other side are those of us who don’t trust the Socialist Tweekers. We want to be left alone. We don’t think human nature can be overcome in such a way as to create paradise on earth. I know the Socialists would say that Europeans hadn’t been tweeking properly in the 20s, 30s and 40s, but they did try. They desired peace and so engaged in unilateral pacifism to a large extent. They were wrong. There were those who ascended their watchtowers and warned them, but they wouldn’t listen. World War One was too horrible to repeat. No More War, they declared and disarmed themselves. I doubt that many of these Socialist Tweekers are interested in history, but if they were, they could see that pacifism, or even weakness, is a temptation to the aggressive. It has always been so, and all of Rousseau’s wishful thinking and planned tweeking has never changed that. We are human and we have both timid and aggressive elements. If the timid band together and declare “No More War.” The aggressive wolves of the world, will lick their chops.

And so Europe engaged in World War Two. How nobly did the Socialistic Tweekers accept the results of their decisions? Listen to Tony Judt from page 39 of Postwar, A History of Europe Since 1945: The local administrations in France, Norway and the Benelux countries had not covered themselves in glory. On the contrary, they had on the whole performed with alacrity the occupiers’ bidding. In 1941 the Germans were able to run occupied Norway with just 806 administrative personnel. The Nazis administered France with just 1,500 of their own people. So confident were they of the reliability of the French police and militias that they assigned (in addition to their administrative staff) a mere 6,000 German civil and military police to ensure the compliance of a nation of 35 million. The same was true in the Netherlands. In postwar testimony the head of German security in Amsterdam averred that ‘the main support of the German forces in the police sector and beyond was the Dutch police. Without it, not 10 percent of the German occupation tasks would have been fulfilled.’ Contrast Yugoslavia, which required the unflagging attention of entire German military divisions just to contain the armed partisans.”

Earlier, on page 38, Judt had written, “. . . returning concentration camp survivors in Paris or Prague in 1945 often found their homes occupied by wartime ‘squatters’ who angrily asserted their own claim and refused to leave. In this way hundreds of thousands of ordinary Hungarians, Poles, Czechs, Dutch, French and others became complicit in the Nazi genocide, if only as it beneficiaries.”

Are we a species that ought to survive? Tweek us however you want, Oh Socialist Tweekers, and we will be the same. Some will be noble and willing to give their lives for their family and nations, but a majority will be ignoble and squat in the homes of those who have been taken off to concentration camps and Gulags. There is no way to punish the ignoble and save the noble, cry on our watchtowers however we will. Our crying is done. We must now wait down here on the ground and subject ourselves to the Socialist Tweekers and wait to see what the Lord will do. And if it is something bad, some of us will have difficulty faulting the Lord, even if we too are caught up in the conflagration.

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