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Doctor Zero: The Challenge of Freedom

Morgen on December 30, 2009 at 6:12 pm

If you haven’t been reading anonymous blogger Doctor Zero at Hot Air during the latter part of this year then you’ve been missing out on one of the real revelations in the rebirth of the conservative movement. His latest piece is one of the best things I have read all year:

The melancholy truth is that tyranny is extremely difficult to overcome. Every successful revolution has been a desperate struggle, conducted in the defiance of inevitable defeat. As a religious and spiritual people, we have a tendency to regard the triumph of the righteous as assured, and see victory as the destiny of virtue. The evidence of history says otherwise. No one would have given the American patriots winning odds at the outset of the Revolutionary War, fought against the most disciplined and well-equipped military force of the era, by men who marched through the snow in the tatters of disintegrating boots.

Even patriotic Americans of today don’t always appreciate how special our achievement is not just in its success, but its endurance. Most victorious “revolutions” end with a new class of slaves cleaning up the victory celebrations, beneath the whips of a new set of tyrants. As [Michael] Binyon points out in his Times Online article, grisly regimes like North Korea remain in power, despite decades of poverty and manifest failure. The image of a lone, unarmed man standing against a line of tanks in Tienanmen Square hangs proudly in the gallery of Western memory, but it is virtually unknown to the people of China, its rightful owners. Brutal oppression works. That’s why humanity is still sick with it, after thousands of years.

Freedom is not a gift, or even a prize to be taken in battle. It is a challenge, and it is frightening. Modern Americans are born with the greatest inheritance of freedom enjoyed by any children of mankind, but they don’t guard it jealously. Too many of them view it as a currency to be exchanged for benefits. Freedom implies responsibility, and choice is meaningless without the risk of failure. We’ve come to define “fairness” as “everybody wins.” To build that rickety and doomed variety of “fairness,” freedom must be melted down into nails.

Truly awesome. Read the whole thing.

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Category: Foreign Affairs |

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