Sunday, February 04, 2007 8:53:12 PM
Even in a full-blown riot, according to my sources, only one in ten will actively participate in the action itself. Riots are not a big concern to us at this time. Not yet, but what about when they are? Then what are you going to do? It'll be too late when one in ten people is out on the streets rioting and destroying and killing. Your finer feelings might well be offended, and so what? What are you going to do now to make sure the innocent are left in peace tomorrow? Those who do nothing now are creating a vacuum for the demagogues some of us complain of now, and they aren't even ready yet to do their damage. They will be. They will come, and they will kill. Friend, you can take partial credit for that when it comes if you do nothing now to prevent it. People are angry, and if no one acts now to guide the wrath of the people constructively in the future, the future is murder. Don't bother washing your hands.
The simple question we all ask is "What is to be done?"
And the worst question, as simple perhaps, is "Who is to do?"
Our Rational law makes our civil societies civilized. If we lose our civility because we refused to be rational, then we will suffer and the innocent around us too will suffer. Try fixing it after the fact.
We can, and we must, if we are moral, rational and decent people, prevent the murderous from taking our right place as leaders of Modernity. Our Modernity is participatory and egaitarian, democratic. If you throw that away, others will take your place and throw bombs instead. You won't come away unharmed, if only because you will forever live in shame.
What great thing must we do to prevent maniacs from going postal in our democracies? We must sit in libraries and talk to each other openly in public. We must do as our French friends do: We must meet to show our public animousity toward dhimitude and jihad and sharia.
For some it's partly a matter of machismo that brings a man to the public table, he being willing to risk the danger of possible attack from jihadis and Left fascists, perhaps more likely the simple scorn of ones neighbours who conform to the dhimmitude of our time. For most of us it's simpler, the doing of the right. And for at least some it must be a matter of prudence: thaat to do nothing will give rein to the crazies who will destroy randomly in an orgy of unrestrained nihilism when they get they chance. And some refuse to move because they are cowards. They will die.
Cowards die many times before their deaths;
The valiant never taste of death but once.
My friends are dying of heart attaks in offices. They're as dead as heroes.
Of all the wonders that I yet have heard,
It seems to me most strange that men should fear;
Seeing that death, a necessary end,
Will come when it will come.--
Too many fear they'll die of embarrassment if they show up at our library meetings, preferring instead to live in fear at home in the dark to die in offices in the morning later.
The gods do this in shame of cowardice:
Caesar should be a beast without a heart,
If he should stay at home today for fear.
No, Caesar shall not: danger knows full well
That Caesar is more dangerous than he:
We are two lions litter'd in one day,
And I the elder and more terrible;
And Caesar shall go forth.
—William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar (II, ii,)
Caesar will come, and he won't be the nice guys we are if we don't take his place and make our democracies strong enough to resist his calls to madness. Stand up and sit down. Even the French so many despise know that much-- and they act. It's amny yeaars since I studied Camus, but I do recall this:
"It is better to die on one's feet than to live on one's knees."
We will let our democracies go to the demagogues if we sit in the dark doing nothing but nothing at all. If we lose our laws wed will be no better than the Muslims and the left dhimi fascists we fight. go to your library and sit with your friennds and show yourselves to the world. Stand up and sit down before there is nothing left but hate and smoke.
Nothing discourages thought so much as this perpetual blue sky. Here any exertion is impossible, so closely does pleasure follow desire. Surrounded by splendour and death, I feel happiness too constant. I lie down in the middle of the day to deceive the dreary prospect of time and its intolerable leisure. I keep here, look! some white pebbles that I leave in the shade to steep, then I hold them a long time in the palm of my hand, till the soothing coolness they've borrowed is ... used up. Then I begin again, alterenating stones, putting them back in the shade the ones whose coolness has been exhausted. That's how the time passes, and evening comes....
Andre Gide, The Immoralist. Trans. Richard Howard. New York: Vintage; 1970, p. 170.
Gide is French too.
Local library, Thursday evening, 7-9 p.m. Be there-- or lie in the shade.