“We’ve got them on the run!”

“Just then they came in sight of thirty or forty windmills that rise from that plain. And no sooner did Don Quixote see them that he said to his squire, “Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished. Do you see over yonder, friend Sancho, thirty or forty hulking giants? I intend to do battle with them and slay them. With their spoils we shall begin to be rich for this is a righteous war and the removal of so foul a brood from off the face of the earth is a service God will bless.”

“What giants?” asked Sancho Panza.

“Those you see over there,” replied his master, “with their long arms. Some of them have arms well nigh two leagues in length.”

“Take care, sir,” cried Sancho. “Those over there are not giants but windmills. Those things that seem to be their arms are sails which, when they are whirled around by the wind, turn the millstone.”

As I sit at my computer daydreaming, and reading reassuring tales of the crumbling decrepitude of leftism, and the coming conservative/libertarian renaissance, it almost seems believable. In my dream I and thousands of others are advancing to high ground. As I reach the summit and turn to shout encouragement to those who follow, instead of people I see windmills. As far as the eye can see, Post-modern windmills.

Via Gerard, Mencius Moldbug from 2008.

“As for conservatives and mainstream libertarians: forget it. You’ve lost. You’re in roughly the same position as a Southern segregationist in 1968. History may or may not vindicate your cause, but it has determined your chance of victory, which is zero. If you have a life, go live it. If not, now is probably a good time to get one…

The entire proposition of post-1945 American democratic conservatism, including its runt cousin libertarianism, was predicated on the lingering cultural memory of a pre-New Deal America. Americans actually did vote to do away with the New Deal, once, sort of, in 1980. But somehow it didn’t quite happen. And that was a generation ago.”

My impulse is simply to live and let live. I honestly don’t know how a fight can be won against those whose nature relentlessly demand they rule. But I will fight, in word for now. In deed if need be. Although every instinct I possess tells me that I am hopelessly outnumbered, to go underground, to go live life.

I hope to be viewed by those close to me as merely a romantic fool, battling for noble lost causes, although I fear our age has become too course for such philosophical nuance. The family right-wing crank? Probably the best I can hope for.

 

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7 responses to ““We’ve got them on the run!”

  1. I feel your pain. Our founders gave us an immense gift and we have squandered it. “A republic, if you can keep it, madam” indeed. On the other hand, too many have died for the ideas this country was built on to give up now.

    “A hero is no braver than an ordinary man, but he is brave five minutes longer.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

    There are signs that people are at least waking to the danger.

    On a lighter note, there is a 9/13/2010 EconTalk podcast episode (an excellent series, by the way) with Alaine de Botton. One of the anecdotes Botton relates is the fact that, in Holland, windmills were initially considered a blight on the landscape.

  2. prochazka_the_insane

    Absolutely right ! I get defeatist feelings (i’ve noticed) from too much media; when I talk to people out here in corn-and-bean country I get a lot more optimistic about our future.

    The “windmill” link caught my eye, I noticed that comment too.
    He pegged it spot-on.

    “… one election away from serfdom …”
    if we’re lucky, and we all vote in 2012.

  3. ““Pessimism leads to weakness, optimism to power”

    You need to relax. Smell the roses. All is not lost. I think it was Eisenhower who said that a pessimist never won a battle. But hey, even if you’re right, and your pessimism proves correct, it is we optimists who will have more fun along the way.

  4. My response. My place.

  5. George H. W. Bush killed Reaganism — the attempt to abolish the New Deal alluded to above. I will never forgive him for that.

  6. Liberty. A form of light. An aspect of the Good. I don’t think the light has yet gone out. I think we are winning. You have to unless you believe that evil ultimately triumphs over good. Creation surely doesn’t purpose darkness. Have faith. Never give up the fight. Didn’t someone calculate there are only a few tens of millions of self proclaimed liberals in the U.S.?

    Those windmills are a blight. I’d much rather have a nuclear power plant tucked into a corner of a valley than have to drive through miles and miles of what was once pristine desert, e.g., West Texas and along I-10 as one approaches LosAngeles, past thousands of them. We saw a headline this week that some enviro group has changed their mind about wind power having determined they are negatively impacting wildlife, which I doubt is really the case.

  7. Is the victory of conservatism or libertarianism certain? Yes and no.

    No, because “The Enemy” is never truly defeated– the urge to control others will always well up in the hearts of certain twisted people.

    Yes, because Americans are practical enough to go with “what works”. For a century, it was the collectivist, Taylorist vision of the mass State, to go along with a mass-production economy, that “worked”. But the “good old days” of the ’40s, ’50s, ’60s, and ’70s are long gone, days when you could put in 30 or 40 years at the steel mill and get a nice pension. Nowadays, people are more aware that one has to look out for oneself, and to be more entrepreneurial. That works strongly against the siren-song of the collectivists, who are trying mightily to revive the mass State of old.

    Mostly, what we have to do is to teach those who come after us to think for themselves, and to live up to the ideals of the Founders. How exactly their ideals will be put into practice by our successors is something we can’t forecast, nor should we try– the world changes too fast these days.

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