Friday, December 10, 2004

Rob Roy?...or Don Quixote???

Claire Wolfe posts a reply from a reader to an earlier post of hers, lamenting a possible lack of courage in the patriots of today.

"I HAD TO EXPLAIN TO SOMEBODY YESTERDAY WHY I DON'T FLY. "Because I refuse to run the TSA Gestapo gauntlet," I said.

"But why?" the person asked.

My first flash of impulse was to answer sarcastically. "Because I might kill the goons."

Then I realized the much sadder truth -- that I don't fly because I wouldn't kill the goons. Which might say something about my (and most everyone else's) basic good sense and humanity. But says something terrible about any pretentions we have to real courage or determination to be free."

I know how she feels. Almost everyday I think about what I have to do to keep spreading the Philosophy of Liberty and yet try to provide for myself and my family. Sometimes it seems like "The Impossible Dream". And yet, should I die while still in the fight, is that such a bad way to go? Her responder, known only as Pagan, had this to say:

On 12/6 you said, “Which might say something about my (and most everyone else's) basic good sense and humanity. But says something terrible about any pretentions we have to real courage or determination to be free.”

Don’t worry about ‘pretentions’... ‘real courage’ is not contradictory to ‘good sense and humanity’. Real courage is putting your good sense into gear, knowing what you can get away with or not, and biding your time till you can act.

I recently re-watched two movies (each with its own theme -- and each correct in its own way, I think) which left me wondering who was the true Idealist. Because I saw them one day after the other, they both challenged my mind at the same time.

One was “Rob Roy” who remained true to his honor by ultimately killing his antagonist on his own terms. Taking his chances with life, he girded himself with sufficient expertise, as well as attitude, to be sure of his success.

The other was “Man of La Mancha” who won by default, so to speak, dying with his principles still intact. We must believe in ourselves first before we can claim the right to fight for anything. ("Cyrano de Bergerac" was another.)

Don Quixote and Cyrano are NECESSARY to prepare for battle. But Rob Roy will be more sure of winning the war (as is Mal Reynolds [of Firefly]) -- and will stay alive to fight again!

‘Basic good sense and humanity’ are the actions one takes to set up the enemy on one’s own terms. It is a part of us, as Idealism is; and are just as relevant to Realism as courage and determination must be in order to get the job done.

There is no ‘pretension’ about it, in either case. There is a right time for both.

I like that. Thanks Claire and Pagan. Lets keep trying to spread the word and stay low, like Mal Reynolds and know that, if it comes down to it, we can go out like Don Quixote and still win.

It reminds me again of the words of Joel Simon, written shortly after 9/11:

I wish I could believe that the original intent of our republic can be restored. I really do. Not long ago I re-read El Neil's and Aaron Zelman's book Hope. I leaned back in my chair and tried to retreat into a fantasy of what it would be like to have someone like Alexander Hope as president, providing a way for us to restore our liberty while punishing those guilty of stealing it from us. I just couldn't do it.

No president like that will arise. Americans won't rise up, either, even when it's too late. In the unlikely event we do organize for revolt, we'll lose. Since I can't imagine living in the future America I envision, I expect to die. And when I die, I don't expect to be surrounded by friends. So enemies will have to do. I just don't want to die alone.

"You don't stand for that! Someone tries and kill you, you kill them right back." Mal Reynolds - Firefly Episode: Our Mrs. Reynolds


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