“Restoring the Constitution” and “resisting collectivist tyranny” is not an ideology. If that is your starting point you’re doomed, and if that is you’re end point (i.e., your final cause) you’ve accomplished nothing.” –SFC Steven M Barry USA RET
On my bookshelves there sits a section that would be more at home in Hillary Clinton’s library than the person that authors this blog. Among others, Richard Posner, Dawkins, Marx and Mein Kampf sit in that section. People seem to be intimidated by books that challenge the echo chamber they grow up, and live in. With the advent of the internet, rather than promoting discussion and the ultimate free market of ideas, we have self-segregated into tiny little groups where others like us are the majority and we can sagely nod at each other over our collective navel-gazing. It has created a sort of incestuous breed of ideas, simply because the premises on which many of them rest are never challenged. The statists should rejoice, for their cancer thrives only where ignorance reigns supreme. Ideologies prompt people to act against their immediate self-interest to accomplish something greater. The statists have an ideology, and remain committed to it. The state is their god and by right should and must control every facet of an individual’s life. The hue and cry of ‘progress!’ is a means to an end. The god-state they claim is a land of milk and honey, everyone having everything they need and a benevolent group of man-deities ruling it all. As flawed and infantile as it is, at least the statists remain steadfastly committed to it through its various iterations and adaptations through the years. Whatever one thinks of Mr. Barry, he hit the nail on the head with his remark and it troubled me the more I considered it. On the field of ideas, much of the right and many patriots seem to insist on firing blanks.
The internet is full of ideologues spouting about a return to the Constitution and other reactive nonsense. Reaction is a position of weakness, another entity is dictating the circumstances and frequency of action. I have been unable to fathom why those on the right continue to insist on simply reacting to the statists. I have come to the conclusion that it is a lack of coherent ideology. Imagine Thomas Paine or Jefferson idolizing the the 1530’s and declaring how the colonies should return to the glory days of Henry VIII. I dare say the colonists would have been less than willing to rally to that cause. The Founding Fathers won an insurrection because they offered an alternative, a divergent path to travel to a brighter end. It was not a return to some bygone day, idolized by men who weren’t there and imagining some Arthurian fantasy about good kings who don’t tax tea and paper. For decades the right, and patriots alike have been trying to claw back time to a different era, a different population and a much different zeitgeist. The U.S. of today looks nothing like the lily-white, culturally and religiously homogenous colonies of 250 years ago. While there were obvious social and religious differences between the colonies, they pale in comparison to those found in the U.S. today.
Rather than simply yearn for an era that was and will never be again, we would be better served on building a new one. Craft a new vision for our country, our people, however that looks. While the balkanization continues in the American Empire, the only vision for the future being presented is the one crafted by statists. Ideology is timeless, capable of application to circumstances as different as 1500 or today. We have lost our way and created icons and deities out of mere men. Good men…but men nonetheless. The trappings of liberty is what we are attempting to hold on to, dusty documents and mere words. Words did not make us free men. A dusty parchment does not grant me the right to defend myself or or own property. Those words we worship communicated ideas, and a savage loyalty to them. It’s time we stop with the worship of the past and apply that same ideology to the present and the future. The circumstances today are drastically different that 240 years ago. The demographics differ, social norms and the technology we and those who mean to rule us posses differ as well. Adapt or die a relic. I don’t claim to have all the answers, but yearning for what once was is not one of them. A compelling case needs to be made for the future, whether that is a tiny piece of CONUS somewhere or your own county. Reacting is not a plan and some guy in a tricorne didn’t convince people to fight an empire for the better part of a decade through regressive thinking and reactive actions.