Saturday, January 27, 2007

The Good Earth

If you were not afflicted with a postmodern education, you may have read Pearl S. Buck's book, The Good Earth.

Let me paraphrase the line, consistent throughout the book: "first generation coolie, second generation rich, third generation spends, fourth generation coolies."

Mrs. Buck (not wild) describes the rise and fall of peasant family in pre-collectivist China.

The Good Earth, in her book, refers to a peoples connection to the land, to the solidity of something real.

People straying far from the good earth, fail. For me, that good earth has always meant ideas. Stray far from them, and you are the fourth generation...coolies.

Reminds me of Europe.

I like reading the Brussels Journal. I like checking in on a place I lived so long. BJ, along with a couple of other sites, let's me keep tabs. In addition, they are prone to those longish post which leave me wanting to respond: "yeah, what they said."


I was able to live in Europe without picking up any bad ideas (multiculturalism, arrogance or a second language), and I still do love the old girl.

The Good Earth.

So the Brussels Journal post On Fascism and Islamophobia.

See, here's my thing. People go on and on about intentions and good ideas. "Shave the Whales", "Tofu in every pot, and iPod in every hand", "Low Carbon emissions for the people", and a "Grand Caliph and Theme Park for the Masses." O.K. Got it. So?

There are good ideas and there are bad ideas.

People tend to adopt good ideas without much prodding. "Come inside out of the rain," for example. Bad ideas, however, tend to require a champion.

That gets us to methodologies.

Tyrants, to paraphrase Hayek, eat from the same bowl. Fascism, Nazism, Communism, Collectivism, crude Nationalism, nihilistic Internationalism, political Islamism?

Lame ideas, same methodologies.

We do ourselves a disservice by focusing on the minutiae of the tyrant's particular grievance, and forgetting that he's employing tried and true methodologies.

Which brings us, in a way, to our current crisis.

The Jihad would be a joke, if we didn't act like such fools, and recognize them for what they are.


Maybe next time around, we'll know better, and rather than a wringing of hands and a gnashing of teeth, our (freemen) response will be simple, succinct, and on point:

Sic Semper, Bitches.

Alas. That's for the future.

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