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Bill Whittle Essay: RAFTS
EjectEjectEject ^ | 17 June 2006 | Bill Whittle

Posted on 06/19/2006 7:02:10 AM PDT by Lando Lincoln

<--------snip

Humans are animals. I do not mean that in a negative way. But that is what we are: creatures capable of great good and great harm, susceptible to animal fears and passions, lower than angels but not without grace. Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn – a man who has seen a fair amount of both good and evil – wrote of that fault line, “that line separating good and evil, passing not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties, but right through every human heart. “

As animals, we are wired to live in a state of nature. In the long marathon of our history, our civilizations are only the last two or three halting steps. It took millions of years to design and build the human animal. It will likely take that long again to design out all of the passions and furies that brought us here.

Until then, we live with a choice: to live in a state of nature, or a state of law. The state of nature is the default condition that the huge majority of human lives has lived under, and continue to live under to this very day – lives solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short in Hobbes’ memorable phrase. Or, we can chose to impose upon our internal fault line a series of laws and customs, a Civilization, that imperfectly attempts to keep as many of us as possible on the side of the angels.

---------> More

(Excerpt) Read more at ejectejecteject.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: americancivilization; billwhittle; civilization
Another Bill Whittle essay after a long wait. My thanks to our good FRiend alfa6 for giving me the "heads-up" that it is available.

As most of you know, Bill asks that we excerpt his essays. If you are unfamiliar with his work, I suggest you make a pot of coffee and enjoy - he has a lot of his work available on his website. Definitely a "Lando" recommendation! Start with Courage and you'll be hooked.

Meanwhile, since I have been somewhat offline in recent months, I will try to fully recreate my Bill Whittle ping list.

Lando

1 posted on 06/19/2006 7:02:10 AM PDT by Lando Lincoln
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To: alfa6; lainde; FairOpinion; gatorbait; Tolik; MeekOneGOP; kabar; mgist; BlueLancer; gljones; ...
I know this is incomplete....new computer, "lost" files, etc.

Lando

2 posted on 06/19/2006 7:12:38 AM PDT by Lando Lincoln (God bless Jared Linskens and his family.)
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To: Lando Lincoln

Hi, Lando! I used to be on your Bill Whittle ping list. Please add me to the new one. Thanks!


3 posted on 06/19/2006 7:17:04 AM PDT by Miss Marple (Lord, please look after Mozart Lover's and Jemian's sons and keep them strong.)
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To: Lando Lincoln
I would kindly ask - if at all possible - that this thread stay away from design/creation. Please.


4 posted on 06/19/2006 7:21:14 AM PDT by Lando Lincoln (God bless Jared Linskens and his family.)
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To: Miss Marple
Hey Miss Marple.....it's my pleasure to add you.

Lando

5 posted on 06/19/2006 7:22:05 AM PDT by Lando Lincoln (God bless Jared Linskens and his family.)
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To: Lando Lincoln

Sure have missed Bill...

Put me on the list:)


6 posted on 06/19/2006 7:57:17 AM PDT by SE Mom (Proud mom of an Iraq war combat vet)
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To: Lando Lincoln

Thanks for posting this and please add me to your ping list.


7 posted on 06/19/2006 8:09:10 AM PDT by oxcart (Journalism [Sic])
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To: Lando Lincoln
His writing style is very interesting. He leads you down a path with a lot of interesting background, and then boils it all down to one clear nugget at the end: "Which way are the rafts headed?"

Excellent, excellent essay. Do you know if his book is out yet, or if not, when it will be published?

8 posted on 06/19/2006 8:18:27 AM PDT by Miss Marple (Lord, please look after Mozart Lover's and Jemian's sons and keep them strong.)
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To: Miss Marple
His writing style is very interesting. He leads you down a path with a lot of interesting background, and then boils it all down to one clear nugget at the end: "Which way are the rafts headed?"

This is the exact analogy I would use with liberals in the the seventies after the demonicrat congress sold South Vietnam down the river. I would ask them, "are the boat people fleeing from Vietnam or fleeing to Vietnam. "

9 posted on 06/19/2006 9:27:57 AM PDT by cpdiii (Socialism is popular with the ruling class. It gives legitimacy to tyranny and despotism.)
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To: Lando Lincoln

Thanks Lando and a bump for the Afternoon folks

Regards

alfa6 ;>}


10 posted on 06/19/2006 9:46:29 AM PDT by alfa6 (Taxes are seldom levied for the benefit of the taxed.)
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To: Lando Lincoln

Thank you.....

Been waiting for new work by Whittle! Always time well spent.


11 posted on 06/19/2006 11:01:13 AM PDT by HairOfTheDog
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To: Lando Lincoln

Thanks for the ping!


12 posted on 06/19/2006 11:17:45 AM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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To: Lando Lincoln
Looks to me that he will have a book out.

I'm really looking forward to it.

Bill is a superb essayist.
13 posted on 06/19/2006 11:37:17 AM PDT by TASMANIANRED (The Internet is the samizdat of liberty..)
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To: Lando Lincoln; alfa6; quidnunc; .cnI redruM; Valin; King Prout; SJackson; dennisw; monkeyshine; ...
Bill Whittle:

This is the introduction to a new book entitled AN AMERICAN CIVILIZATION. Regular readers -- and thank you for your support and patience these past long months -- may notice that there is in this chapter some recycled material, although none from the SILENT AMERICA essays. In this one case, I could not think of a better way to express an idea I had played with back in 2004.

...... That Civilization is not a natural state. It is highly artificial and daily runs into our proclivities for murder, greed, pride and mayhem. And because of that artifice, it is a structure that not only must be built, but one which must be maintained, only once, and that is constantly. Victor Davis Hanson -- whom I deeply admire -- described this as rust build-up on an iron structure, rust that must be regularly removed if the structure is to remain standing. That seems exactly right to me. And so here is my poor attempt at providing us with something no more or less important than a small wire brush.

The maintenance of that Civilization requires many prerequisite tools, and in the following pages I hope we can examine some of them. But the elbow grease, the one indispensable element, is that belief: belief that this work is worth doing. It is the belief that we can drain the open sewers of our most base impulses, and in their place build lives of decency and civility. It is, in the long run, the belief that we can make Tinkerbell fly.

Now there are people who do not much admire this iron bridge we have built, this bridge from the terror and anarchy of the jungle to the distant shores of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There was a time when these forces were strong enough to tear down that bridge. That time may again come. But for now, they lack the power to pull down this Civilization. But they do have the power to get us to forgo the wire brush.

In the pages that follow, I will do my flat-out level best to try not to generalize, to confine my anger specifically to those who daily unscrew the bolts and drill out the rivets of this magnificent Civilization. We are past the point of name-calling now. The hour is late. This is too important for arguments between Republicans and Democrats, Conservatives and Liberals, or Hawks and Doves. There are villains and heroes aplenty on all sides, and we are going to need every hand that we can get ......

...... It doesn’t seem to take much arguing to conclude that Western Civilization, if not on the path to utter destruction, is at the very least somewhat frayed around the edges. ...Everywhere I’ve looked – and I’ve been looking around a lot – I get the sense of powerless frustration, of standing on the beach as the Thousand Foot Wave rises up to block out the sun and take everything we have built and fought for with it.

The forces of ignorance and barbarism – bearers of ruin and despair wherever they make camp – are growing in confidence. But beside their will to destroy and die they have nothing. These Death Cult barbarians think this is all they will need – that, and an initial alliance with the forces they most despise. I still hold out hope that they will crack open a second book – a history book, say – that might at the eleventh hour give them some insight into the avocado nature of the Civilization they seem determined now to assault: soft and pulpy on the outside, impenetrably tough and hard within. They are going to do more than chip a tooth on us, these raving, bloodthirsty lunatics: they are about to make, I think, the same mistake that others have made before them – to see the Cindy Sheehans and Michael Moores as representative of a corrupt and dying culture, rather than what they really are: somewhat entertaining animal acts we Westerners use to pass the time while waiting for the next opportunity to pull the gloves off, and kick some new inhuman, barbaric horde onto the ash heap of history, where reside Aristocracy, Slavery, Fascism and Communism, holding in common only the mark of our boots on their asses ......

...... There was a time, an age ago, where the differences between what we call the Left and the Right seemed more or less academic; maybe the distance from one high-rise tower to its twin – close enough to see the coffee mugs and family photos on the other side’s desk.

Then something happened.

Now we peer across a divide so wide that we can no longer see the other side; where the residents of the opposing camps as not viewed as having a difference of opinion so much as being considered insane.

Two worldviews this opposed cannot both be right (although they could both be wrong). I was about to write that one of them must be closer to the truth, but I stopped myself, for often people will define truth as conforming to their ideology, rather than the reverse. But surely one of these positions must conform better to reality, to the evidence, for anyone with an open mind to see?

Which one? And how do we tell?

People of good will on both sides value peace and freedom, yet we have diverging choices to make, and we have to make them now. We have to chart our course, a course for our country, and ultimately, a course for the entire world.

We need a map. Several are for sale. How do we choose? ......

 

 


Nailed It!
Moral Clarity BUMP !

This ping list is not author-specific for articles I'd like to share. Some for the perfect moral clarity, some for provocative thoughts; or simply interesting articles I'd hate to miss myself. (I don't have to agree with the author all 100% to feel the need to share an article.) I will try not to abuse the ping list and not to annoy you too much, but on some days there is more of the good stuff that is worthy of attention. You can see the list of articles I pinged to lately  on  my page.
You are welcome in or out, just freepmail me (and note which PING list you are talking about). Besides this one, I keep 2 separate PING lists for my favorite authors Victor Davis Hanson and Orson Scott Card.  

14 posted on 06/19/2006 11:55:44 AM PDT by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln
If you like what he writes, you can reward him by purchasing his book!

Silent America

15 posted on 06/19/2006 12:07:03 PM PDT by FreedomCalls (It's the "Statue of Liberty," not the "Statue of Security.")
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To: FreedomCalls

I read all the essays on-line, but I just ordered the book as well. Good call. Thanks


16 posted on 06/19/2006 12:21:22 PM PDT by Tolik
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To: Lando Lincoln

Please add me to your new list... thanks.


17 posted on 06/19/2006 1:29:28 PM PDT by GOPJ (Only real pornography in America-so far as liberals are concerned-is political speech-Reactionary)
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To: Lando Lincoln

Could you be so kind as to add me to your Bill Whittle ping list? Thanks.


18 posted on 06/19/2006 2:01:52 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow (We are but Seekers of Truth, not the Source.)
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To: Miss Marple
His new book AN AMERICAN CIVILIZATION, for which this is the introduction, is not out yet. It is not written yet. In the June 16, 2006 "LINER NOTES" entry on his web page, he states that he will be writing the book chapter by chapter, and posting it online as he goes.

I am smiling at the possibility of some good reading coming up soon.

19 posted on 06/19/2006 2:07:03 PM PDT by ThePythonicCow (We are but Seekers of Truth, not the Source.)
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To: Lando Lincoln; Tolik; FreedomCalls

Thank you.

Remember, Rust Never Sleeps


20 posted on 06/19/2006 4:13:59 PM PDT by Valin (http://www.irey.com/)
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To: Valin
Hi Ya Valin

Regards

Alfa6 ;>}

21 posted on 06/19/2006 4:17:54 PM PDT by alfa6 (Taxes are seldom levied for the benefit of the taxed.)
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To: FreedomCalls
Amazon anomaly: Only 1% of people who buy something after viewing the Web page for Silent America actually buy it, but 49% buy something called "King Dork". How strange is this world?

From Amazon:

What do customers ultimately buy after viewing items like this?

49% buy King Dork by Frank Portman $11.53
46% buy Unhinged : Exposing Liberals Gone Wild by Michelle Malkin $17.61
3% buy American Conservatism : An Encyclopedia by Bruce Frohnen $34.65
1% buy the item featured on this page: Silent America: Essays from a Democracy at War by William Alfred Whittle $29.95
1% buy Liberal Fascism : The Totalitarian Temptation from Mussolini to Hillary Clinton by Jonah Goldberg $16.38
22 posted on 06/19/2006 7:55:16 PM PDT by AZLiberty (America is the hope of all men who believe in the principle of freedom and justice. - A. Einstein)
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