15 thoughts on “Gone, not forgotten

  1. Orwell’s brief apocalyptic summary reminds me of one of my favorite Whittaker Chambers lines — from a letter he wrote to Bill Buckley: “It is idle to talk about preventing the wreck of Western civilization. It is already a wreck from within. That is why we can hope to do little more now than snatch a fingernail of a saint from the rack or a handful of ashes from the faggots, and bury them secretly in a flowerpot against the day, ages hence, when a few men begin again to dare to believe that there was once something else, that something else is thinkable, and need some evidence of what it was, and the fortifying knowledge that there were those who, at the great nightfall, took loving thought to preserve the tokens of hope and truth.”

    It has now been about 70 years since Chambers wrote those words, and Western civilization has been stumbling along in its own way without collapsing. During that time, there were great victories for the West and for freedom. Putting down Soviet-led insurrections in Latin America and Africa. Creating a solid market-oriented economy in Europe. Raising more people out of poverty through capitalist wealth-creation than had ever before happened in history. And, biggest of all, the collapse of the most evil ideology to plague the world with the fall of the Soviet Union and the liberation of its captive nations. There were also a line of disasters — most of which eventually turned out to be victories in disguise. Vietnam being the perfect example.

    The difference is that whenever everything seemed to be unraveling, the American people (and sometimes the Europeans) would rally and score another goal. I am not certain I am optimistic that long-term rallies are foreseeable. They are certainly possible, but not inevitable.

    It is up to the American people to decide if they want to remain a shining city on the hill for the rest of the world — or to be consigned to the trash heap of history along with the Soviet Union as James Burnham predicted would eventually happen. Unlike Chambers, I remain the constant optimist.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Señor Cotton: You are far more optimistic than I am. But then, my father was convinced we’d lose World War II, and he and I are very, very much alike. He was wrong. I hope I am too. But I do not think so.


  2. Every great nation eventually stumbles to be overtaken by another, I just didn’t think it would happen so soon. Looking like the Chinese will be the next, not much of a shining light though.


  3. Silicon Valley really needs to ask itself how the seat of free-market innovation, “disruption,” begging forgiveness instead of asking permission, free-wheeling capitalism became the staunch defender of an increasingly authoritarian, and definitely stale status quo.

    In the ’80s and ’90s, all those computer/tech folks were highly libertarian. Now they’re woke-scolds. It’s really quite an amazing transformation, one that was entirely unpredictable.



    Kim G
    Boston, MA
    Which despite being very left-leaning, is not too crazy.


  4. We are in for a very difficult four and maybe eight years. The government caters to those who do not work and produce, but seem to think they have a right to enjoy the good things in life.

    Half of our nation does not pay income taxes. They say they do, but then they file and get it all back. Some even get the earned income credit.

    They are social parasites.

    God help us when the US government cannot or will not fund those EBT cards. The food stampers will not be denied. It will get really ugly!

    The only way the government can keep this Kabuki theater going is through even more aggressive taxation and massive inflation. It is not a good time to be working for a living and an even worse time to be living off of retirement checks, savings and investments.

    The Democrats want to send us who shared Mr. Trump’s dream of making this a better country to some sort of re education camps. Sad, but true.


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