From Under The Rubble…Outrage, Discontent, and Boredom

The most searing image that perseveres after Boston is the picture of eight-year-old Martin Richard, who died in the blast. He is wearing a white suit and tie, having just received his First Communion. He is standing on the church steps with a banner that he made himself – picturing the Host, the Dove, a loaf of bread, a bunch of grapes, a red heart of Love, and the Greek letters Alpha and an Omega. Martin’s last act on earth was an act of love, running out to hug his dad at the marathon’s finish line.

Martin loved peace. May he rest in peace.

“Without truth, there is no peace,” says Pope Francis. With that, my mind turns to war – and falsehood. I remember the seething anger of a friend just returned from Afghanistan some years back. An artillery officer in his unit was too lazy to get up early and review his coordinates, so he blew up a house containing a family of 13, instead of the house containing terrorists a quarter-mile away.

Apparently, the allegedly negligent officer was a “minority” (but aren’t we all minorities now?), so he was merely pulled from the line, rather quickly, and assigned to a desk job stateside.

Meanwhile, this week will mark the twentieth anniversary of the U.S. Government’s assault on David Koresh’s Mount Carmel compound at Waco, Texas.  Seventy-six men, women, and children (more children than died at Newtown) were burned to death or buried alive inside the compound.

Where’s the outrage? Well, ideology trumps righteous anger, don’t you know? And isn’t the government always right?

Anyway, War is Hell, and the endless war goes on endlessly. (So does Hell, but that’s another column).

The Ministry of Drones

The Rubble Irregulars know that this column has a high regard for George Orwell. Casting our collective memory back to Oceania after the Great War, we recall that, even after the English had handed over all their liberties to Big Brother, the random terrorist bombings continued in the Prole neighborhoods of London. Big Brother didn’t agree with Pope Francis. “War is Peace,” his banner read.

Of course, these acts of terror were committed by none other than Big Brother – to keep the people afraid, and obedient under his tyranny. Naturally, the torture chambers of the Ministry of Love had to work overtime to make sure no one went astray. And the Thought Police were everywhere. For them, obedience was not enough. You had to love Big Brother to survive.

There are undoubtedly many budding tyrants today who would welcome that fear, dependence, and ultimate servitude (“Freedom is Slavery!” proclaimed another billboard on the Ministry of Truth). Consider the lengths George W. Bush and Dick Cheney went to in 2004, in order to perpetuate fear, win the election, keep the wars going – and destroy the GOP and hand the country over to Pelosi and Obama.

You have heard it said that America is “exceptional.” “We” (that is, the government, at least since Lincoln’s “government of the people, by the people, and for the people”) are supremely good. We have the right to do anything and everything to “end evil in the world.” We (again: the government) are exceptional because we are superior.

Alas, Dear Reader, that is a lie. It is a lie much older than America, a lie as old as Satan.

“Ye shall be as gods.”

Back to Big Brother. Remember how he kept us guessing? “We are at war with Eurasia; Eastasia is our ally.” And then, without missing a beat, “We are at war with Eastasia. Eurasia is our ally.”

The dialectic rejects all truth and replaces it with power. The dialectic serves power, period. And the dialectic is hard at work in real time right here at home. Is Iraq our “liberated, democratic” ally, or are we at war with Shiite Iran’s new Shiite ally Iraq? Is HHS here to serve the common good, or to crush our religious liberties? Is Homeland Security here to protect us, or to subject us? Are Obama’s Drones of Love instruments of fraternal peace, or insidious weapons of eternal, domestic war?

Who Really Is Exceptional?

These questions arise out of the rubble of history – not the idle fancies of ideological indulgence. Robert Musil calls that phantasm a “Second Reality” – a dream which rejects both reality and the possibility of truth itself.

That is, a nightmare.

Of course Publius (in Federalist One) and Tocqueville saw America as unique. But it was unique because of the facts on the ground, not the indolent self-congratulation of a crew of pseudo-intellectual power-vipers. The Declaration of Independence relies on certain axioms, to be sure – that our fundamental rights come from God; that the natural law governs alongside the laws of God, harmonious with it. And that governments and governors are subject to those laws.

These axioms are not abstractions, but realities. So too are the specific rights that were the product of hundreds of years of tumultuous English history. The Bill of Particulars that constitutes the majority of the Declaration’s prose recounts the breaches by the king of the Rights of Englishmen. Those rights had been cultivated as far back as Roman law, pre-Norman Saxon law, and Magna Carta, not to mention the Revolution of 1688.

The Declaration is a document based on metaphysics and history. Its principles are not abstractions that allow the pretense to prevail that the Declaration somehow introduced a “new order of the ages” that alters human nature. It is that false claim that allows our rulers to lay claim to an abstract “exceptionalism” that places them above history, and us, thus conferring upon themselves the unlimited right and power to rule the world.

“To rule the world.” Dear Reader, that “world” includes us.

Unlimited rule, unrestrained by the Declaration’s “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God.” Indifferent to the Constitution’s limits. Contemptuous of the common good.

If anyone is truly exceptional in this picture, it is not the government, but the people. In the seconds after the blasts in Boston, onlookers rushed towards the carnage to help, undoubtedly saving many lives. Thousands more volunteered their homes, apartments, and all the food they could muster to help those stranded by the turmoil. When the Yankees play the Red Sox at home next time, they’ll actually be friendly.

When seeking solutions for our nation’s ills, don’t look for the government and its assertions of American Exceptionalism. Look for the exceptional Americans. In them lies freedom’s hope – and ours.


This article, From Under The Rubble…Outrage, Discontent, and Boredom is a post from The Bellarmine Forum.
Do not repost the entire article without written permission. Reasonable excerpts may be reposted so long as it is linked to this page.

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Christopher Manion

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