Friday, January 13, 2012

Suppose it were Friday li: we might share a more beautiful picture

Had I never been struck before,
by the aberrancy of following
the Great Men of our nation,
chasing each other across our
land for preferments that they
crave, by spreading terror in
their wake, I would be drawn 
into any schoolroom where I've
sat to gain respect and under- 
standing of the human being.

Sometimes I get caught up in
a kind of puzzled wonder at
things and think of all the
work and effort and unlimited
money that is used today to
'destroy' and not so long ago
there was no money or work and
it seems so wrong somehow ..
that money and effort could al-
ways be found to pull down and
destroy rather than build up.

This could have been written by any American at the expiration of the Cold War, so endlessly quiescent under end-less spending for war, so docile as towns and bridges and roads and manu-factures collapsed, capital turning from production to scavenging, from expanding society to shrinking it, from creation to consolidation.

That letter was written by a middle-aged house-wife in Lancashire, England, in the summer of 1940. Max Hastings cited it to illustrate the point that Churchill's wartime leadership of Great Britain had its very deep limitations in the aspirations of his people. I happen to think these limitations to Republican panics will decide this election.

So where do they go, but to 
South Carolina to scare the 
faithful about a war on the 
church, to shout the closest 
allusion they can dare to a 
Nat Turner in the White House, 
and to discuss marriage as a 
nourishment of grudges. They 
are doing this to control the 
people's wealth, to turn the 
Treasury of the United States 
into a protection racketeer's 
dream come true.

But there comes a question in
in the schoolroom, and again,
the beautiful picture.

Max Hastings
All hell let loose
  Britain Alone
op. cit.

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