The View From 1776

§ American Traditions

§ People and Ideas

§ Decline of Western Civilization: a Snapshot

§ Books to Read


Liberal_Jihad_Cover.jpg Forward USA

Friday, October 15, 2004

More on Kristalnacht: Liberals’ Suppression of Free Speech

On October 14, a reader wrote in response to Kristalnacht: Episode Two :

Who started terrorism in the middle east? Why is there never a mention of the Stern Gang or that Begin had a warrent out on him by the Brits for murder???

Who in 1953 overthrew the American-leaning,  democratic head of Iran and put in the Shah? 3 billion a year plus all the military hardware they can carry goes to Isreal. Sharon was the instructor of the people who in the 80’s went into refugee camps in Lebanon and killed men, women, and children.

Iraq has turned into the promised insurgency. You justify any action by the present rulers. And now we have to pick between that or the socialists. A choice between those who believe the rich should rule and the poor serve, or the I know what is good for you crowd. 

What scares me is that these people believe patriotism can be legislated.  9/11 is their Reichstag fire. That will lead to a true Kristalnacht. 

My response was:

You raise some good points.  Terrorism as an instrument of official government policy, of course, started in the French Revolution with the Reign of Terror.  It continued in a big way in the USSR under Lenin and Stalin, then in National Socialist Germany in the 1930s.

But I agree with you.  The Stern Gang was very publicly on view as a reviver of terrorism in the pandemonium following World War II relocations of displaced Jews from Europe.  Their practices were no more defensible than present-day Islamic terrorism.  I’ve never researched it (if you know the answer, please let me know), but conceivably the Palestinians took their cue directly from the Israeli terrorists.

At more or less the same time, Egyptian nationalists were stringing piano wire at night across roads to decapitate British troops on motorcycle patrols.

I suppose the lesson is that, once the idea of terrorism is abroad, imitators will follow everywhere.  For example, until the first instance (in the mid-1960s as I recall), no one had thought of high-jacking passenger airplanes.  Within weeks, everyone seemed to be doing it around the globe.

With regard to your assessment of the present-day situation, here and in Iraq, you already know that I don’t agree with you.  But that’s OK.  I appreciate your taking the time to respond.

It may be as you say, that anti-liberals believe that the “rich should rule and the poor should serve.”  That’s definitely not my belief.

Having grown up in a very poor part of the country during the Depression, I’m all for the little guy.  Where I part company with the liberals is in the methodology for helping the little guy.

Liberals, it seems to me, tend to see conditions as fixed into social and economic classes that can be maneuvered on a chess board.  In my experience, conditions are much more fluid in real life.  Very few people in the Forbes 400 remain there very long.  Most of them made big bucks by taking big risks or by cashing in on a fleeting cyclical phenomenon like the boom.  I know from direct experience how many of the the great fortunes made in real estate vanished almost overnight via foreclosures when economic conditions abruptly deteriorated.  Even THE DONALD is not so high and mighty as his facade suggests.  He has at least twice over the last few real estate cycles lost control to lenders of major properties in Atlantic City and NYC.

In similar fashion, most of the people classified as living in poverty are kids straight out of high school or college and getting their first jobs.  They don’t remain below the poverty level very long.

The one group that has remained mired at low levels are the unfortunate inner-city blacks and Hispanics who were pushed by the Great Society into permanent careers on welfare.  Before the Great Society, black and Hispanic men had always participated in the work force at almost the exact level (78 percent) as white men.  After 1965, black youth under the age of thirty simply didn’t look for jobs, because they could live on welfare almost as well as on first-time -job income, without working at all.  They chose to take the easy, though short-sighted, path. 

It is in looking at such results that I’m led to conclude that teaching kids in school to do their best as individuals, by studying hard and living moral lives, will serve society better than stuffing people en masse, by economic and social class, into bureaucratically determined pigeon holes.  I saw it myself in the 1940s and 50s.  Kids who studied and stayed out of trouble have since then done rather well in life.

Every political arrangement has faults, because humans aren’t perfect.  But I believe individualism, as opposed to liberal-socialist collectivism, offers more people greater potential for genuine self-esteem and productive life.