"But war, in a good cause, is not the greatest evil which a nation can suffer. War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things: the decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks nothing worth a war, is worse. When a people are used as mere human instruments for firing cannon or thrusting bayonets, in the service and for the selfish purposes of a master, such war degrades a people. A war to protect other human beings against tyrannical injustice – a war to give victory to their own ideas of right and good, and which is their own war, carried on for an honest purpose by their free choice – is often the means of their regeneration. A man who has nothing which he is willing to fight for, nothing which he cares more about than he does about his personal safety, is a miserable creature who has no chance of being free, unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. As long as justice and injustice have not terminated their ever-renewing fight for ascendancy in the affairs of mankind, human beings must be willing, when need is, to do battle for the one against the other."

Monday, November 09, 2009

Postcard from Berlin

Dear America,

We're having a blast today. Today, we celebrate 20 years since the downfall of the most oppressive system of governance the world has ever known. We celebrate the triumph of the free market over central control, of individual rights over collectivist suffering, of unbridled prosperity over the chains of poverty, of democracy over dictatorship, of free speech and thought over the gulag, of free will over diktats, of every truly Western, liberal, and enlightened value that thinkers, fighters, leaders, and citizens have treasured and defended for hundreds of years.

Wish you were here.

3 comments:

The Accidental Blogger said...

Just to throw some information out there. Germany has a completely nationalized health care system, run by the government, and the major union negotiates for approximately 90% of the workers. It's a highly structured economy. It's not formally Communist anymore, but per the definitions of the modern American Right, it might as well be. By comparison, the health bills passing the House and the likely bill in the Senate will maintain a mostly private system (unless you're over 65, who are the existing Medicare program) with only a small fraction of people ending up in a government run program. The fall of the Berlin Wall was a tremendously momentous day, but if you're going to talk about free markets and prosperity, it's worth realizing that either a. they're not a free market or b. there are various other paths to those ends that we haven't pursued in the past thirty years.

Cincinnatus said...

To clear up any confusion, I was not singing a paean to the blessings of the modern German social state. Berlin just happened to be where the wall fell. My anonymous author could be from any state that fought against communism or any individual who suffered under it. That said, Germany, nanny state that it is, still enjoys many of the liberties that communism sought to destroy and I'm sure few can understand the contrast between the two systems better than Chancellor Merkel. Bottom line: yesterday was the anniversary of one of America's greatest triumphs, which generations sought to bring about and in which we can take unapologetic pride. We should have been there in full force.

The Accidental Blogger said...

Oh, I wasn't criticizing Germany...