Monday, July 06, 2015

Do Not Welcome Your New Overlords

The Naval War College's Tom Nichols has a powerhouse of an article over at The Federalist that you need to take time to read in full.

... and yes, this is exactly the kind of subject a professor at a war college in a representative republic of free people should be writing about.

If there is no liberty, free conscience, or obnoxiously open dialog without a threat to one's life, liberty, or property - then what is the ultimate purpose of the military? What is it defending?

If the Constitution that we all swore an oath to no longer functions, what use is it all? Who are you serving? Why? To what end?

The Unites States is not a nation of a people, of an ethnicity, or even geography - it is a republic of ideas; and experiment in self-governance.

Those driven by power, ideology, or ego are always going to push back the border of individual liberty. If we are not always on guard against the creeping forces of oppression, they will advance. In our nation, when they advance far enough, the experiment fails. Something else is born - but not something this nation as constituted "is."

So yes - more important than SLOCs and pivots. Liberty is neither of the left nor right - it is not political in that sense. It is worth defending and is, to use a phrase, a hill worth dying on.

We need to not just understand who are the enemies - yes I use that work intentionally - of liberty, but to know their different flavors and as a result, be able to call them what they are when we see them.
Totalitarians are a different breed. These are the people who have a plan, who think they see the future more clearly than you or who are convinced they grasp reality in a way that you do not. They don’t serve themselves—or, they don’t serve themselves exclusively—they serve History, or The People, or The Idea, or some other ideological totem that justifies their actions.

They want obedience, of course. But even more, they want their rule, and their belief system, to be accepted and self-sustaining. And the only way to achieve that is to create a new society of people who share those beliefs, even if it means bludgeoning every last citizen into enlightenment.
It is not enough for these Americans to say: “I have had my day in court and prevailed.” In effect, they now add: “You do not have the right to hold a different opinion, even if you lose in the public arena. You may not hold on to your belief as a minority view, or even as a private thought. And if you persist and still disagree, I will attack you without quarter and set others on you to deprive you of your status in your profession, of your standing in your community, and even of your livelihood.”

This attitude promises social warfare without end, because there is no peace to be had until the opposing side offers a sincere and unconditional surrender. It means that the people on the Left taking bakers to court, de-Africanizing Justice Thomas, and making Young an accomplice to rape will not be satisfied with winning. For the new totalitarians, prevailing in the courts or at the ballot boxes isn’t enough if there’s still a suspicion that anyone, anywhere, might still be committing thoughtcrime.

Most of all, they do not want you, Present Reader, to even think about agreeing with people like Thomas or Young. By attacking everyone in the public sphere from judges to writers, they’re sending a clear warning that there’s plenty of room in the bonfire. It is a vow that you will be held to account for your personal thoughts, even if you’ve already been defeated in a democratic or judicial contest.

No, even after losing, you will be forced to admit the error of your ways. You must accept that you’ve sinned. You must discard your own values and accept the ideas of your betters. You must denounce yourself for undermining the construction of a better world.

You, too, must love Big Brother.

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