I never speak it out loud, but recently I’m constantly repeating a movie our daughter used to watch when she was little. Over the Hedge I believe it was called. I constantly hear the little squirrel straining to see the end of the newly constructed impediment, in his little voice, “it never ends! It never ends THAT way too.”
That’s my current state of mind regarding our virally motivated political theater. I have discovered a couple new stouts though that are truly fantastic. Always have to find the hidden positives I suppose.
This line of thinking led me to “The Parasite Stress Theory of Values and Sociality: Infectious Disease, History and Human Values Worldwide” by Corey Fincher and Randy Thornhill
Fascinating book. Although it certainly wasn’t the intent of the book, it beneficially informed my understanding of World War II.
For many years I squarely placed the blame for WWII on the Treaty of Versailles, the unnecessary adoption of total blame for WWI on Germany and bankrupting the German economy. I have not downgraded my belief in those accelerants. All still true and all still relevant.
However, I now see this additional kindling. Perhaps just as flammable as the economic factors driven by Versailles.
Hitler and Mussolini both were well known germaphobes. I mentioned this fact in the same writing I referenced above. Most of Hitler’s policies that led to unforgivable acts of Democide began with endeavors that most anyone would applaud. Statewide efforts to clean up factory waste and working environments. Statewide coordinated efforts to stave off deadly bouts of Tuberculosis.
Hitler bathed 4 times per day. He was obsessed with hygiene. So was Mussolini, who even attempted to outlaw handshaking in Italy.
Thinking through all this I wondered how it was that these guys came to be this way?
Then something hit me I hadn’t considered before.
The Spanish Flu
Germany and Italy both were struck hard by the Flu in 1918. Everyone was. Living through this sort of epidemic obviously had severe implications on the culture and personalities of those who survived.
Hitler was 29. He had just survived WWI as a young officer. Watching many of his brothers and sisters fall to both disease and warfare. Mussolini was 35.
Now, watching our currency implode from the inside out, even while we’re assured the economy is somehow healthier than ever and seeing our culture being shaped through our perception of COVID19, I just can’t help but wonder how many Hitlers we’re grooming and how ready we might be to adopt the sort of control measures required for totalitarian policies?
Certainly, we’re far more evolved now than just a couple generations past, right? Certainly, we’ve learned from those events and would never tolerate or allow people to speak in such ways any longer.
Well, that’s not promising.
At least Americans can count on civilized rationality from their political class within the most ordered society in history, right?
Joe Biden: “Our patience is wearing thin with unvaccinated Americans”
Look. There’s a fundamental divide manifesting itself into kinetic conflict. This happens from time to time and it’s really nothing new. There are always varying surface level catalysts that make these events appear much different and even get taught much differently in school rooms for generations.
Bottom line though, core principles are being challenged. This conflict drives right at the very heart of what it is to exist and how people interpret the world around them and what it means to facilitate a life experience within this construct of reality.
I’m seeing battle lines drawn in the sand. Calls for secession (good). The issue driving our Covid hysteria is precisely the same issue that led to the first Civil War.
Crazy statement? You think so? Off my rocker?
I’ve argued for years that slavery itself was little more than an excuse to fight, not the driving reason the conflict erupted.
- Read the Corwin Amendment. The North offered permanent, constitutionally protected slavery rights to the South if they would remain in the Union
- Read collections of letters sent home from soldiers (North and South alike) and read their firsthand words about what they felt, experienced and what compelled them to be there risking their lives. None of them mentioned slavery
- Every nation on Earth other than the USA (exemption for Haiti) ended slavery without violence. It ended because facilitating labor within a free society turns out to be much more profitable and productive.
So. What drove us to conflict? Core principles.
The North was predominantly settled by English. Crown loving loyalists. The revolution itself was deeply unpopular. These folks believed in the righteousness and need of a strong central authority. The Crown or otherwise. They had lived under such constructs for many, many generations.
The South was predominantly settled by the Celts. The source of these awesome accents. They largely fled central authority to escape the Crown, pursue religious freedom and individual liberty. Research the history between England and the Celtic countries in the many generations preceding North American settlement. It’s pretty ugly. They had pushed back against abusive authority for many, many generations. You can imagine the sorts of skepticism of authority being passed along across generations, dinner table to dinner table.
It’s no mistake then that the founding politicians from the South such as Jefferson and Washington were enormous advocates of individual liberty and the founding politicians from the North such as Madison and Hamilton, were enormous advocates of the creation of a strong central authority.
This was the driving factor that led to conflict in 1861. Northern politicians moving to control economic outcomes in the agricultural South.
Individual liberty vs Central planning and authority.
While today’s conflict might be dressed up in epidemiology and lab coats, it’s the same central core principle that comes to bear and drives people to resist.
Even to violence if pushed hard enough.
And our current federal government has, as yet, shown no signs of letting up on the efforts to control.
Newton’s Third Law observes that for every action (force) in nature there is an equal and opposite reaction. If object A exerts a force on object B, object B also exerts an equal and opposing force on object A.
Don’t mistake this rule as applicable only in material interactions.