Brilliance a Century Past

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One of my great pleasures each weekday is reading David Stockman’s Contra Corner, to which I am a cheerfully paying subscriber. In reading this evening’s edition, I was mightily impressed at a quote written by a man about whom I was unacquainted: Randolph Bourne. At the tender age of 30, Mr. Bourne was writing some extraordinary prose with respect to war and the nation-state. As the article declares:

He felt that with this great mix of cultures and people, America would be able to grow into a trans-national nation, which would have interconnecting cultural fibers with other countries. Bourne felt America would grow more as a country by broadening people’s views to include immigrants’ ways instead of conforming everyone to the melting-pot ideal. This broadening of people’s views would eventually lead to a nation where all who live in it are united, which would inevitably pull the country towards greatness. 

He had a hard life, right from birth. The doctor helping with the labor screwed up the forceps, and Bourne’s face was badly misshapen. He had other severe medical ailments, but his untimely death at age 32 was actually due to the Spanish Flu pandemic (which seems oddly eerie, given these crazy times we’re in). He has been dead 102 years.

In any event, the quote is below. I found it to be remarkably insightful, and even though he wrote it with respect to World War I, I believe it equally applies to just anything the government has dragged the citizenry into, including the nationwide lockdown as well as the Federal Reserve insanity. Read, absorb, and enjoy:

The moment war is declared, however, the mass of the people, through some spiritual alchemy, become convinced that they have willed and executed the deed themselves.

They then, with the exception of a few malcontents, proceed to allow themselves to be regimented, coerced, deranged in all the environments of their lives, and turned into a solid manufactory of destruction toward whatever other people may have, in the appointed scheme of things, come within the range of the Government’s disapprobation.

The citizen throws off his contempt and indifference to Government, identifies himself with its purposes, revives all his military memories and symbols, and the State once more walks, an august presence, through the imaginations of men.

I’ve got a funny feeling our dear departed Dutch would stand on his chair and cheer these sentiments.