Friday, June 12, 2009

He Is Not Coming

This occurred to me today and has occurred to me before, but today it occurred to me with greater force and, for the first time, it truly took hold.

He is not coming.

Who will be the next Reagan? Who will be our Thatcher? Who will show encroaching statism for the tyranny it is and turn the tide against it? Nevermind that Reagan and Thatcher, while they did make great gains, did not turn that tide permanently. We expect some even greater personage. The minute a promising face appears we ask, "Could it be? Is this the one?"

I tell you it isn't.

He is not coming.

We don't even bother to ask who our next Jefferson or Washington or Adams or Lincoln will be. We seem to have accepted that we have not produced one of these. Yet, that is what it would take, isn't it? At the very least anyway. Even then, who knows? Even that might not be enough.

He is not coming. And he is not coming because we have not produced him. From whence would he come? We are an ignorant people. Our best and brightest, outside of the hard sciences, are a sorry lot by historical standards. Intelligence, we have. Wit, we have in surplus. But knowledge? Real, discriminating knowledge, where is it? Our standards for knowledge are now so low. Now we are only required to sound as if we know. We are masters of rhetorical style, but of wisdom there is a dearth.

He is not coming. How many of us know Latin? How many Greek? How many are familiar with the great works of our civilization? Some will laugh at the suggestion that students should be troubled with Latin and Greek, but the fact is that it is impossible to be educated in our great works without these languages. When our nation was founded it was assumed that an educated person would be familiar with classical languages. Now they have been discarded.

He is not coming. What do we do with our brightest minds? How do we educate them? We polish them up, teach them to write prettily, and indoctrinate them into the idea that the highest form of wisdom is total ignorance. What I mean by that is that we teach them to value non-discrimination above all else. Total refusal to discriminate between ideas on their merits is now the mark of the sage. Any civilization is just one of many. Any idea is just one of many. Any religion is just one of many. Any philosophy is just one of many. Everything is relative and everything is deserving of respect. (Unless, of course, it is successful like Christianity or capitalism.)

He is not coming, and he is not coming because he can never come from that lie. The heart of relativism is a void of tyrannical ignorance. What is worth knowing if everything is, at heart, the same? Liberty is tyranny. Freedom is statism. We throw our greatest minds into that abyss.

He is not coming because, though they are total aberrations historically, we believe liberty and comfort inevitable. They are not. We are comfortable because by liberty success is found by merit. As ideas and things and people succeed by merit, we become more comfortable. But when you replace merit as the means of success, you will, by and by, find yourself less comfortable. When statism encroaches on liberty and planning and pull replace merit, tyranny and misery are not far behind. There will always be men who love power and seek to consolidate it, and mostly, they are not benevolent. To think that a state can have great power and yet be free of malice is to be naive at best and willfully foolish at worst. To believe that mere men, no matter how great, are capable of knowing all means and seeing all ends and can, therefore, plan for all is the very same folly.

He is not coming because we are lazy. We desire virtue, but we are too distracted to practice it, and so we outsource it to the state. Help him who needs it!... But not by me; let the bureaucrats handle that. We are like children depending on our parents to take care of the hard realities of life. He can never come out of that because he cannot be a child.

He is not coming. He will not speak for us. He does not exist, and nothing will be set aright until we produce him.

It remains to be seen whether or not we will.