“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.
“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.