Tuesday, October 26, 2004

The New Revolutionary Soldier

When I was young, I knew not what I did not know.

Is that confusing? In short, I thought I knew everything and no one could persuade me from it. Of course, if you ask some folks today, they will tell you that I never got over that.

Truthfully, I did as all people do: grow up, realize that your parents were right about somethings and wrong about others; that everything you learned in school applies in the real world, but only in pieces, not in the grand scheme of connectivity that they appear to you in a class room.

For instance, 1 + 1 = 2, but, in the real world, somebody is always out to get one of your ones or both of them if they could and you might be left with zero, zip, nada. That's what they don't teach you when you're young. Or maybe we're just too cocky at 18 or 22 to pay attention to the warnings?

Either way, I'm always impressed by someone who is willing to look around at more things than I did when I was young, particularly in politics.

I have a young friend who does some occassional blogging over at Onein. Marc has been newly bitten by politics and I think, from my perspective and based on the dwindling number of voter percentages this last half of the century, it is important to encourage the young to become involved in politics.

In this case, looking at some of Marc's posts, I can't help but be impressed by some of the insights you wouldn't necessarily find from the young. Go on to the inner sanctum to review some of these insights and why I call Marc "The New Revolutionary Soldier"

I know when I was in my early 20's politics were anathema to me. Couldn't have articulated a position on foreign policy, budgets, etc. The most I could talk about was "social injustice" whatever that means.

Looking at some of Marc's posts today, I noticed some very good points:

Originally, the U.S. was founded by settlers who couldn't take it in Europe any more. Today, many in this country think we need to be more like Europe. And Europeans want to paint the U.S. as an imperialist, largely so that people forget about the reckless imperialist globe trotting they did for hundreds of years.

When I read that, I thought, "wow". I hadn't even thought about it in that context. Pretty good point. Or this one:

France and Germany hope that with John Kerry and the U.N. they can continue to expand their entitlement societies at the expense of the world. They don't want to recognize the realities of a new global competitive environment. And they don't want to compete.

The words seem very insightful. In essence, when you review the actions of France and Germany over the past decade and a half, whatever they have supported or not supported have been largely in regards to their desires to expand or hold on to the economic planning of the EU. A point in fact, that is exactly the purpose of the EU. To create an economic powerhouse on the continent that would compete by population and economic demand with countries like the US, China, Russia, etc.

The problem, as pointed out by Marc, is that the EU has forsaken it's capitalist background and replaced it with a socialist dogma that is insuring, even today, that they provide benefits to their citizens that we do not dream of providing for ours while at the same time, limiting the funds from which it could pay for these programs. And when you give away so many things, somebody has to pay for them. The EU is overburdened with taxes and social benefits and has a smaller working class than most industrial countries. In otherwords, 60% of the people are working to support about 30% of the population. And this divide is estimated to become even larger in the next few decades as the population grows older.

We have that same dilemna here, but a different mindset. And that is that it is not the government's job to insure that we are taken care of when we get old. That is the old revolution's idea of the "Great Society". People who have depended on Social Security as their only means of retirement funds in the future are finding out that Social Security does not provide enough to live on without additional savings. And the young are finding this out today as they realize that their only hope to be protected in the future is to save some of their own money in addition to Social Security or not to rely on it's existence at all.

In this regard, the US is different than their European counterparts because we recognize that, while we are bound to take care of the elderly and ill by the social contract that we hold with each other, we, in general, do not believe that it should be a burden on our children. Call it the streak of independence we are renowned for or call it "selfish" if you will. But it's not my parents I'm worried about supporting. It's who will support me when I'm old that concerns me.

So, when Marc talks about the "entitlement society" of the EU, he is pointing out one of the significant differences in our policies that will most likely force the EU to change tracks or become defunct before it has really even started. And it's a warning to us and others who will look at the EU and become starry eyed at their "Great Society". When you turn over a shiny rock, it's likely you'll find some bugs under it.

Why do I call Marc the "new revolutionary soldier"? Because we are in a time of revolution today, where we come to the cross roads with the old revolution and the best hope for the new revolution is the young. We need to shake off or shake up some of our old ideas. The new revolutionary should recognize that We are responsible for ourselves. Nobody is responsible for me but me. The government of France nor Germany, not even the Unites States is responsible for making us safe or economically sound. It's an old idea. The idea our founding fathers believed in. The pioneers who risked everything to travel in a hostile and undeveloped land understood this well. It is our own responsibility and no one else's. If we don't do it, who will?

In some respects, it's not really a revolutionary idea. It's an old idea that our ancestors understood and lived by. The new revolutionary should be on the look out and see what has become of the old revolution. It's stagnating on the European continent. The new revolutionary should recognize it and insure that we turn on to a different path, lest we go the way of those dinosaurs. The old idea of self reliance is now the new revolution.

The new revolutionary looks around at the doom and gloom and the lambasting of the American dream and looks for a brighter future. He has some recent history to look at to help him realize where the old revolution has taken us:

What to make of all the short-term claims of doom and gloom to win an election?

You don't say its going bad. You don't say there is no reason to be there. You definitely don't say soldiers are dying for no reason.

George W. Bush is optimistic about the future. If we played through every possible bad scenario as a basis for our decisions--- none of us would ever get out of bed.

I could trip and fall down the stairs. I could get run over by a car. I could spill chocolate syrup on my pants. So why ever try anything?

What kind of person runs a campaign on hatred and pessimism?

Believe in a better future.

It's time for a new revolution. And we need to develop the new soldiers. They don't come fully equipped out of a can, although they already understand some of the score. They run a gauntlet of the old revolutionaries in order to get here. We need to embrace them and insure they have the tools to face the future.

Those tools are education, resilience, self reliance, self respect and hope.

It's time for a new revolution and the new revolutionary soldier is here

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