The Individual or The Collective
“This is a duel between two very formidable adversaries: an extremely powerful, formidable and ruthless state and an insignificant, unknown private individual. The duel does not take place in what is commonly known as the sphere of politics; the individual is by no means a politician, still less a conspirator or an enemy of the state. Throughout, he finds himself very much on the defensive. He only wishes to preserve what he considers his integrity, his private life, and his personal honor. These are under constant attack by the government of the country he lives in.
With fearful menace the state demands that the individual give up his friends, abandon his lovers, renounce his beliefs and assume new prescribed ones. He must use a new form of greeting, eat and drink in ways he does not fancy, employ his leisure in occupations he abhors, make himself available for activities he despises, and deny his past and his individuality. For all this he must express extreme enthusiasm and gratitude.
The individual is opposed to all of that, but he is ill prepared for the onslaught.
…He is nevertheless stubbornly antagonistic. So he enters into the duel—without enthusiasm, shrugging his shoulders, but with a quiet determination not to yield.
He is, of course, much weaker than his opponent, but rather more agile. You will see him duck and weave, dodge his foe and dart back, evading crushing blows by a whisker. You will have to admit that, for someone who is neither a hero nor a martyr, he manages to put up a good fight. Finally, however, you will see him compelled to abandon the struggle or, if you will, transfer it to another plane.”
Does this sound as if the individual might be a conservative thinker, a tea party person or someone who would prefer to keep his government smaller? Does it seem like this person does not want to lose liberties and freedoms?
I am reading a book called Defying Hitler by Sebastian Haffner. It was written in the 1930’s.
I have not gotten very far. I was simply astounded at the first pages and what was obviously coming for Germany. Haffner makes a statement that Germany might not have been so hopeless if the outside world had intervened and knew that a war would not be avoided. Even more gut wrenching is he notes that the Germans who fight to defend their private peace and their private liberty were fighting not just for themselves but for the peace and liberty of the world.
Those of us standing and fighting this Presidency and his congress for accountability must continue to educate those who have no clue, because we are, in effect, fighting for the rest of the world and it’s continued survival as we know it. We are the shining city on a hill, the beacon of light and we should continue our fight to hand the future generations something to be proud of.
Lead, do not follow. Remember who we are, and what we stand for.