Thoughts from a man who grasps the basic concept one hell of a lot better than a toxic gnome like Herr Doktor Fauci ever will.
This Western idea was the founding concept and intellectual motive of America, and no matter how badly it was ever treated since it first dawned, it is nonetheless the finest and most productive way of life ever abstracted in human history. It should be the aim of everyone who loves human life, “the people,” “the American People,” or any other presumptive grouping beloved by the advocate.
The plainly-grasped idea of freedom is well-enough understood by tens of millions of Americans who also understand that government is its opposite. It’s no mere “conversation” to people who know that the root element of government is force. More and more, they take the principle to heart and mind: if they cannot reason their way to freedom, and if force is the ruling principle of dealing with each-other, then, in the ringing admonition of Nancy Pelosi, “People are going to do what they’re going to do.”
So, the real question isn’t so much whether people will fight, but whether anyone should, and why. It wouldn’t occur to me to compare American politics with “the modern Middle East” (a crashing non sequitur) for the reasons outlined above. The vast cultural differences in basic philosophy make it a pointless diversion. An honest concern with America must take up the irreconcilable conflict of individualism (the basic American idea) vs. collectivism.
Individualism is politically manifest as freedom. Without a great deal of honest and effective philosophical guidance (certainly not as much as it requires or deserves), the very idea of freedom yet survives as a sort of gut-level apprehension in enough Americans that it frightens people who are not opposed to violence in principle. It’s just that their own offensive violence (by the state) is rationalized by presuming other people’s values (e.g.; “the common good”).
They don’t mind using force for what they want, and it outrages them when they’re threatened with opposition on that principle. (They don’t consider whether it would come to any of this if only they would leave people to their own lives on their own powers.)
Americans, being convinced that freedom is the best way for all humans to live, must necessarily by basic nature and their ethics deny all socialist authority over anyone’s life. In a politics more evidently resorting to force at every turn, all serious discussions of violence must account for the essential values at stake that would even bring the matter to such attention.
It’s Billy Beck’s latest, so you’re going to want to read it all. Because, I mean, of course you will.