Skip to comments.On vandalism; the writing on the walls...
Posted on 08/07/2005 12:03:36 PM PDT by pickrell
"Do you have anything to say for yourself, young man, before I pass sentence? On advice of your attorney, you agreed to a plea. What you haven't explained is why you repeatedly show up in my courtroom for breaking windows."
The young man shrugged, "Why not? I don't like windows..."
Out of all of the turmoil that reduces the quality, and in an increasing number of cases the duration, of life around the world, nearly all can be directly traced to one recurrent root cause, which is again becoming increasingly unmanageable by the world.
A common frustration of life and politics today is that, despite the hopes of the electorate, the persons installed in the mayor's office, the governor's mansion, or the lofty environs of Washington, never seem to be quite able to "end" any given problem. In fact, suspicion continues to arise that perhaps some advantage accrues to both parties if problems are merely contained, and thereby eternally useful to the dragon slayers, as they levy ever-increasing monies to fight the hosts of wyrms.
The dismay occurs, however, when the paper dragons are suddenly enveloped in flames by the emergence of a real dragon.
When the real dragon shows up, the politicians, if they have any sense of survival, must immediately adapt to the new realities of the situation. Any politico who continues to harrump, "...My programs have been scored by the GAO as reducing the consumption of virgins chained to rocks, by a projected 20% over the next 3 years- wait, where are you all going..?", will find himself looking for actual work as quickly as you can say "...the king's daughter's hand in marriage..."
You see, the dragon is here.
To understand it, and to effectively combat the Islamic extremism symbolized by our dragon, we need to go back in time to examine the genesis of liberalism, feminism, balkanism, crime, and a host of the other ills, which are all really just smaller heads of the original hydra, which dates back millenia.
That spawn of these modern problems... is vandalism. And the means of defeating it may perhaps be the most painfully learned, and then most often forgotten lesson, in the history of mankind. And those who forget, or ignore, history, to steal the phrase, are fated to repeat it.
Virtually every accomplishment of mankind, on every continent, in every culture, and in every epoch of time, has depended upon the cooperation of all of the members of the particular society, and their self-disciplined conformance to a set of rules of conduct.
As villages first began to form in small and isolated clusters, and codes of conduct had to be agreed to in order that mutual safety and community wealth could be built, stragglers would begin to wander in with tales of the village next over which the mongol hordes had overrun, and killed everyone who was "different" from them. These barbarians could not be reasoned with, and they had no interest in accomodation or negotiation- they merely considered it their "cause" to kill others and destroy anything they couldn't understand.
Most worrisome were the first huddled meetings of the villagers to address the problem.
"We'll only make them angry if we fight them. Maybe if we give them whatever they want, they'll leave us alone-"
"You people in that village over there must have provoked them-"
"Let's get alliances together and draw up an memorandum of understanding, maybe form a committee-"
"It's our fault, we let those rich villagers on the east side get most of the food-"
"EXCUSE ME, which WE planted..."
"Doesn't matter, it should be re-distributed-"
"Folks," the burnt and bruised refugee interrupted quietly, "...we already tried all of that. We argued and many ended up nearly praising the efforts of the barbarians, and decrying the resistance of the village next to us...until the hordes descended upon us. Now, I'm the only one alive, and I would strongly urge you to set your differences aside, and prepare for war. If not, then the one of you who escapes alive...should warn the next village, until someone finally understands..."
He choked back emotion before continuing, "We found out too late that a number of the vandals who set fire to our armory that night, and the next dawn opened the gates to the rest of their horde... were folks we had welcomed the previous year, rather than see them starve that winter." He teeth clenched, "The young ones of us, who heard the refugees cheering as news came of villages being razed in the East over the spring, warned that these 'unfortunates' did not accept and share the duties of all citizens to protect each other. We were ignored. We were told that we had to be 'tolerant' of people with 'different ways'. Now you do what you want with this eulogy...and this warning..."
As he left he was heard to mumble, "I'll try to warn the next village..."
The first and pivotal invention of civilization was not "the wheel"...but rather "the wall". And it was brought about by "the will" of fathers unable to contemplate "the wail" of destroyed communities.
The problem was, and is, that a society cannot derive protection from the walls of the wooden fort if one of the clan sets fire to a section of the wall in order to keep warm, or to assist those outside the walls to gain entry. A society cannot communicate across distances by telegraph if several of the countryfolk pull down sections of the wire in order to fence in the chickens. In fact, there is not a utility, a means of conveyance, a method of defense or any other public work whatsoever that does not rely on the group of persons it serves to police their own number and enforce an agreed upon behavior among all. In short- no one can be allowed to damage the lives, property, or security, of all.
As any society becomes more complex, those systems of the community, i.e. roads, electricity, telephones, water works, etc., become larger, more complex, and invariably more exponentially expensive to render impervious to the majority of vandalism which could occur. In fact, a determined vandal or vandals, left free for long enough, and able to experiment with ways to harm the systems that serve society, can almost always inflict tremendous damage simply by methodically probing for every weak spot, and striking when one is found. As technology increases, the amount of damage and death that determined vandals can inflict will only grow.
Mankind discovered, and repeatedly rediscovered, the hard way, over thousands of years, that no possibility existed of reasoning with, or reaching an accomodation with, occasional groups of madmen who sneered that no rules applied to them by reason of their religion, nationality, disadvantaged childhood, etc.
Only two choices availed: either kill them all...or exclude them utterly from the environs of civilized men. Any other alternative meant unending tragedy and recurrent loss, and sapped the morale of those who labored so mightily to provide a secure environment for their loved ones and their community. A society that proved unable to summon the moral courage and clarity to insist on it's own security, at whatever price was required, inevitably collapsed and was brushed aside by history. No points were awarded either for those communities which started to do the necessary and tragic work, but then lost heart, or grew tired. Those who quit after the slow, endlessly repeated body counts finally wore them down...soon found out to their horror the real meaning of body counts.
Yet most men will only undertake the absolute extermination of their enemies with the greatest reluctance. Even in our unenlightened past, every alternative was often explored by good men before reluctantly embarking on a war of extermination. Obviously, exceptions occurred. Fortunately, they were usually exceptions. Even in such cases where total war was conducted, most western nations would recognize the flag of truce, and negotiate an end to hostilities once the issue had eventually been decided by force of arms. Such restraint thereby prevented putting the very last enemy child to the sword, no matter how badly the mind of the child had been twisted by instilled hatred.
In each such case, however, in order for the killing to stop, a clear cut and unambiguous acknowledgement and acceptance by the vanquished of their loss was mandatory. The victors knew that the war would have to be fought all over again unless those of the vanquished left alive abandoned all hopes of resumption of the war later, and either accepted the tenets of civilized behavior or were forever banished from the village/state/nation.
This lesson was learned at great cost, and yet, astonishingly, considering that cost, repeatedly forgotten over time. After the last vandals were imprisoned, expelled or killed, the graves of the fallen, who with their lives bought a chance for the village to survive, were marked with honor. In modern times parades are held to honor them on agreed dates, but the lessons so painfully paid for...slowly and simply forgotten.
So...... how did it begin to again go wrong?
For a few, the responsibility was clear to all who kept watch atop the walls, that vigilance would forever be necessary in the future to remove from the community those who would vandalize. Only by a ruthless and unflagging determination to protect their society, could the watchers at the wall protect and enable the beginnings of civilization, and development.
Within the various communities, laws were then agreed to which kept a similar peace between neighborhoods and finally, between neighbors. Behavior had been limited, in order to expand the freedoms for all. That crucial agreement that all must respect each other's rights, eventually allowed the walls to be removed between those who agreed, and commerce to begin. Soon the memory of the walls faded along with the memory of the reason for the walls.
Some anarchists, proto-vandals who respect nothing while puffing themselves as protectors of everything, cried that any limits to freedoms were unacceptable, and in the wiser communities, such persons were firmly escorted outside the protections of the walls into no man's land, where they could exercise whatever behaviors they insisted on...and plead for the tender mercies of the hordes, who had their own ideas of "rights". In such cases, the problem of the anarchist unwilling to follow the laws of the community was rather permanently solved.
Over the course of time, honorable men tried to at least limit the collateral damage of war, and protect non-combatants, by agreeing to a set of rules of engagement whereby war would be conducted. Agreements were reached with neighboring communities which allowed the fortress walls to come down between communities which agreed to respect each other's rights, leaving only the walls against the barbarians.
Unfortunately, as society was able to accumulate wealth, and increase the amount of resources society could devote to the "liberal arts", new manifestations of the vandal evolved. Covert legal vandals "morphed" the meaning of "combatant" and "soldier" to include mass murderer and "anyone useful against the opposition, that we can plausibly deny active support for...", and worked to blur the hard-won agreements of civilization.
*** The leftists resented the wealth accumulated by those who arose well before noon and worked at an actual job. They manuevered to tax away large portions of the wealth created, and redistribute it to those who thereby became the new leisure class- the voluntarily unemployed. Their machinations were aimed at disrupting the economic growth of society, through the vandalization of capital and investment.
*** The feminists resented the desparity between the wages of the full-time male workers, as compared to the earnings of the part time female frequently on hiatus for childbirth, and in their ever-expanding anti-male extremism, vandalized the concept of the heterosexual family.
*** The balkanists resented the inequitable earnings of differently educated and skilled groups, and rather than work to bring all children up to their full individual maximum educational potential, decided instead to vandalize the entire educational structure itself, in order to cleanse from that educational system as much education as possible, so as to equalize all educational outcomes at a lowest common denominator. They further vandalized the entire community itself by dangling the bait that abandonment of identity with the whole, in favor of identity within a political group, would lead to personal enrichment. It did. For the Balkanists, at least. The dupes, of course, were on their own, afterwards.
*** The common criminals resented the belongings of those families who worked hard and spent carefully, and decided to vandalize anything they could in order to glean enough to resell for beer and cigarette money... or later for drugs. They found delightful support among the useful idiots who gave them legal skirts to hide behind.
Each of the vandal groups worked it's own particular damage upon the system, while carefully hiding in plain sight, within the accepted reality that "image is everything", "appearance trumps fact", and the "players" stay on top only by playing the dupes for fools.
Yet the economic productivity was so strong in the case of many of the developed nations, that the damage came to be regarded by the workers of those countries, especially in the United States, as merely an insanity tax that had to be paid until enough was saved to move the kids into a decent school system, deprogram them from the constant proganda of the media, insulate them from the street predators, and create their own "walls" in their fenced, neighborhood enclaves. Some in the European theatre actually prided themselves on the "progressiveness" of their tolerance, and regarded the advance of vandalism as "avante garde", a kind of chic trendiness, a delightful anti-Americanism they could afford. After all, if things got bad enough again, the Americans would always come back to rescue the bacon, in spite of the sticks they poked in our eyes. Wanna bet?
We learned to tolerate the vandalism...because we only had so much time in our days. As each new head of the vandalism hydra emerged, we figured that the conservative leaders would somehow stop the worst of the abuses, whatever the political cost to them personally and anyway- we had been reliably promised more chickens in our pot, by the Party of the Vandals, who "...loathed the military, and showed those travel office people what's what...". The stock market was good, and "...you've got to vote your self- interest, eh?"
And yes, the conservatives, fewer in their number at first, fought back as hard as possible against the vandals by internet, talk radio, the ballot box and any tools at their disposal. A zero tolerance policy was advanced- in that if the child is allowed to break the school windows to avoid that painful learning stuff.... he is still thereby learning. Except what is learned is precisely the wrong lesson. That as he grows up biologically, he learns that vandalism has no cost to him, and soon expands his willingness to vandalize society in order to get what he wants.
We have so far been able as a society to pay the ever increasing bill for tolerance of vandalism in all it's forms. Because we realized that the ones who eventually suffer the most are the vandals themselves, and they can bloody well suffer, as far as anyone cares. The price was still manangeable until recently.
But the ranks of conservatives, unwilling any longer to overlook the cost of the growing vandalism, began to swell mightily. Yet the damage they had to undo would take years, perhaps decades. Meanwhile other new damage was piling up.
We all wondered whether as a society we could focus our attention away from the celebrity murders for that long, and actually undo all of the vandalism.
But a new species of vandal has now arisen; far more violent and hazardous to civilization than has been witnessed by most now alive- that of the pseudo-religious extremist. Violent enough now, to capture the attention of the ones who slow down at the traffic accidents, hoping to see some blood, and who rush home afterwards in time to see what celebrity has murdered his/her wife/husband/same-sex/altered-sex spouse, and follow the hourly updates.
The watchers at the walls had so long looked outwards, that the purveyors of hatred and violence within our communities had a chance to work their vandalism at such cost in lives and property. Their dupes paid with their lives during each attack, while they sat back, munched on figs and enjoyed the notoriety, much like the arsonist gains sexual gratification from watching the dismay caused by his fires. The smell of the accellerant fluid was on the hands of the Imams, and so many others, and yet they all walked with impunity.
These vandals rely on the long forgotten lesson that our forefathers had to re-learn the hard way, and we haven't yet re-re-learned. They accept the beliefs that they can kill and rob their infidel neighbors, while protected and assured that such behavior is the way to heaven. The hatemongers point to written passages which not only allow, but glorify, the art of lying to the infidel about the peaceful nature of their religion. And in the final departure of responsibility for their actions, declaim that they don't participate in each murder, but only sympathize, and perhaps only support morally, the freedom fighters within the infidel territory. They announce how tired they are of the infidels waited for them to publicly condemn the vandals. They bide their time waiting to pull down the community's flags, and hoist their own banner of blood.
This is a conundrum that the American was ill prepared for. After all, the only warnings... were in every dusty history book that had ever been removed from the schools to make way for Heather's two mommies.
Some of the highest aspirations of the Americans consist of fulfilling the responsibility of duty to family, neighbor, and country. It defined the best about us. Integrity and tolerance had contributed to elevating this country into an unprecidented level of freedom, wealth, and opportunity, despite the depredations of the lesser vandals. We deluded ourselves into thinking everyone thought like we did.
The lesser vandals are currently being dealt with by educating the public, who then slowly cut the tendrils wound around the entrails of society. A vandal publically identified and then voted out of office, is a threat effectively dealt with. The vandals are then relegated to simply gathering together over latte, to read "The Nation", while awaiting the next check from their trust funds. Harmless and forgotten. Supposedly.
How unexpected can it be then, that the Republicans- the only political party committed publicly by word and deed to fighting these newest and most dangerous of vandals- should find itself opposed openly by the party of the vandals, the Democrats, who astoundingly fail to realize the threat posed by the new, "untamed" vandals. Fixed into history for all to see are the statements of Democratic opposition to the policies of this nation, in a time of the most dangerous war we have been forced into in many decades.
The astonished rage that many conservatives feel at a Democratic party that this time has simply gone too far, has so far subsumed their discontent with the seemingly delinquent manning of the "walls" on our borders.
But the Democrats should understand what they have signed up for.
If an increasing number of Americans may be becoming unsatisfied with the prosecution of the entire war effort on the part of this administration, ( and many have begun voicing serious concerns on this forum....)
...that the Democrats could somehow delude themselves that this discontent in some bizarre way implies an acceptance of the near-treason of the party of the vandals themselves... surely that is the most stupendous misreading of any political climate in all of history!
If anything, the American public are reacting to the floundering of the British, who are only now realizing to their horror, that neither manning the walls, nor expelling the vandals, but rather priding themselves in years past that the mark of a truly progressive nation was to see just how many vandals could be welcomed within the walls... was a sure invitation to disaster.
We are loathe to go down that European road.
Quite the contrary.
The American public, if they are to preserve those freedoms and the wealth bequeathed to them by a generation which understood worldwide vandalism, and stood up to it, will certainly not be moving left of President Bush, but rather to his right!
Seemingly alone among the Democrats, Senator Lieberman and Senator Clinton have firmly detached themselves from the sinking ship of Commodore Dean, Captain Schumer, and... Rear Admiral Barney Frank.
Senator Lieberman apparently because he contains enough of Zell Miller to remember what the responsibility of being an American means, and Senator Clinton because it is necessary, if distasteful, in order to seize the prize in 2008- the only thing that matters to the monomaniacal- the intoxicant of raw power.
This stance on the part of the rest of the Democratic party is possible only because a strong and vocal majority of the American electorate has apparently not yet worked out in their minds the relationship between history, walls, vandalism... and their personal future and survival. We can only hope that vast amounts of blood need not be spilled to fix their attention on what the conservatives have labored so mightily so far to point out. It has apparently, unfortunately, been necessary in order to gain the undivided attention of the British.
Once again, we will count on good men to "move to the breach", to again stand the walls, and cleanse the community of every vandal who would use our misguided "tolerance" to sow technologically amplified death and destruction among us. They have a long way to go to make America safe again. And, like the Switft Boat Veterans, will be heroes all.
For there is a great difference between ethnic cleansing... and escorting to the borders those who embrace mass murder as a religious tool, and a method of property acquisition.
Those who can't see the difference, and who champion the freedom of action for the vandals, will soon understand:
"You're either with us...or you're with the terrorists."
What the next President must enforce, will be, "...In the latter case- you forfeit your place among us forever..."
To understand what will happen if the current President doesn't soon come to see the light-...shining through the gaping holes in our southern, northern and sea walls...-, we need only watch Europe for the next few years.
And heed the burnt and bleeding refugee who stumbles in with the warning...
I once did a paper in a college course on vandalism in state parks. One thing I found fascinating was that vandalism was almost unkonwn in parks before WWII. I wonder what happened about that time to change society?
Great article. Everyone should read the entire thing. The village analogy is particularly apt.
As bad as physical vandalism is, however, it is overshadowed by the examples of legal and social vandalism given in this article.
Maybe he just liked breaking windows. There was a lady in the 1800's in America who became famous for it. Evidently a psychological problem but very rare so I'm really not being serious about the case above.
Deut: 7:1* ¶ When the LORD thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it, and hath cast out many nations before thee, the Hittites, and the Girgashites, and the Amorites, and the Canaanites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, seven nations greater and mightier than thou;
Deut: 7:2* And when the LORD thy God shall deliver them before thee; thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:
Deut: 7:3* Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.
Women were forced into the workforce.
Before WW II one man worked to support a family, after WW II one man and one woman worked to provide that same support.
I acknowledge that the chapter you quote would seem to encourage a little smiting. I have no problem with smiting when unavoidable... but recommend that well before we are forced to that point, we instead do a little bit of politically-incorrect profiling first.
Any neighbor, of whatever race, creed or color is welcome to live beside me, smite free... up until the point where that neighbor begins to counsel children to reject the community we all live in, regard any who believe differently from them as appropriate targets for murder, or issue moral support by tacit, quiet acceptance of crimes against others.
At that I will spare no efforts to facilitate his exodus into the land of the Hittites. Or to California. Into the land of the smugbastardites.
Just trying to point out that God really tried to keep the gene pool clean.
The whole flood thing was an effort to do the same thing. Noah was found to be perfect in his generations, was the reason God gave for his selection to build the Ark.