Articles: Dissolving America

It’s utterly impossible for me to build my life on a foundation of chaos, suffering and death. I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness; I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too. I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better; that this cruelty too will end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. In the meantime, I must hold on to my ideals. Perhaps the day will come when I’ll be able to realize them!

–Anne Frank, Saturday, July, 15th 1944
Less than three weeks later, on August 4, 1944, they would be discovered and arrested by German and Dutch security police.

lbrWhat is involved in sustaining a civil society? What are the conditions that enhance civility within a community? There are several factors that are particularly important. There is solidarity—some degree of shared identity among the individuals who make up the society as groups with interests in common. There is a sense of justice—confidence that the basic institutions are fair to all. There is confidence in the future, that one’s children will have reasonable (and improved) life prospects. There is a sense of dignity—of being treated with human dignity, of being assigned equal human worth. And there is a need for stable, fair, and predictable institutions that give citizens the confidence that they can pursue activities, form associations, and engage in civil discourse without fear. When these conditions are satisfied we can have the greatest confidence in the stability and flourishing of a civil society.

–Sovereign Debt: The Death of Nations vs. the Wealth of Nations, Damon Vrabel Wednesday, July 7, 2010

o-AMERICAN-FLAG-facebookThe instant media consensus is in: the Confederate flag atop the South Carolina statehouse has got to go.  The battle flag of the Army of Northern Virginia, we are told, just doesn’t represent who we are as a nation anymore.But if we are going to take the Confederate flag down because it no longer represents us, then there is no reason why we shouldn’t take the American flag down, too.  Not just from the government buildings in South Carolina, but from every home, ship, office, and church throughout the entire American territory.  Because neither flag has anything to do with who we are anymore.  Old Glory is now just as much a meaningless relic as the republic that created it — as obsolete as the Stars and Bars became in April of 1865.

Cohesion based on any form of natural community — the sine qua non for a political grouping of any size — is rendered impossible by our radical rootlessness.  We move so easily from one identity to the next that the past, whether our own or our nation’s, can have no possible meaning.  Who or what we might have been yesterday has no bearing on our self of today.  If a flag represents some form of shared memory, some kind of conscious decision to belong to and remain in a particular place, then all the flags throughout the continent — with the exception of the rainbow flag that once stood for God’s merciful covenant but now mocks the idea of ordered creation itself — should be cast down into the dust.

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