Friday, February 12, 2021

Draw The Wrong Lines Now, Pay For It Later

      I still believe and maintain that any mob that breaks into, trashes and burns out a police station, any mob that bursts en masse into a government building and puts elected officials and employees to flight, or commits similar acts in a modern free country is an enemy of civilization.  They're my enemies; I don't care about their politics or whose name (if anyone's) is on their banners.  Do it in the name of Marx or Rand, do it for Jefferson, Jesus or Allah or just because you hate everything or don't like Mondays; I don't care what the excuse is, I care about actions and results.

      Unhappy with how things are?  This is a free country.  We have soap boxes and the Internet.  We have elections and we have political party organizations that are crying for workers.  We have people running unopposed for School Boards and City Councils.  You can march, wave signs and chant all you like.  (Yes, in many cities you will have to get a parade permit first.  Don't like that?  Yasgur's farm is just down the road, or one enough like it.)

      But breaking and burning and putting people in fear for their lives?  That's barbarism.  That's warfare.  And when all sides do it, cheered on by their supporters, what you get is what France got, where still-uninhabitable scars from WW I snake through the lovely countryside, where farmers are lucky to plow up century-buried bombs rather than setting them off.  You get what the former Yugoslavia got: wreckage, poverty and tragedy.  If you don't like the way things are now, you'll like them a lot less after that.

      You can help maintain civilization or you can help tear it down.  That's the real dividing line.  On one side of it, there's freedom of expression, free elections, soap, water and plentiful food; there's a diversity of media and all manner of ongoing arguments; there are problems but lots of people are working to make things better.  On the other side, the ultimate end is squalor, destruction, starvation and death, and arguments are quite definitively settled with brute force; things only get worse. 

      Which way do you want to go?  Rah-rah nonsense and blood, or civilization?  Those are the real choices.

      Civilizations prosper when we make elected officeholders worry about keeping their jobs.  Civilizations falter and fall when we make the fools, statesmen, flakes and philosophers we elect fear for their lives.

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