18. Progress in Civilization

18.7 The Capital of the Free Man

Countries ashamed of their past transubstantiate it, occult it and attempt to forget it. “Du passé faisons table rase” (From the past, let us make a clean table) chanted the French revolutionaries. This stand is illusory: there is no oblivion nor forgiveness for the wrongdoing now committed: just as a human being is nothing without his past, a country leans on yesterday to go toward tomorrow. The US faces obscurantist and merciless murderous regimes, which it must combat because no one else will do it in its stead 4, but it must be kept in mind that the end justifies the means only in so far that the means justify the end. Political deviancies as those implemented by E. Hoover, McCarthy, Nixon and Bush are corrected in time by an adult, mature American population but should be avoided altogether. The warning of Caesar must be given heed:

Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a nationalist fervor, for nationalism is indeed a double-edged sword. It emboldens the blood, just as it narrows the mind. And when the drums of war have reached a fever pitch and the blood boils with hate and the mind has closed, the leader will have no need in seizing the rights of the citizenry. Rather, the citizenry, infused with fear and blinded with nationalism, will offer up all of their rights unto the leader and gladly so. How do I know? For this is what I have done. And I am Caesar.”

The sole capital of the Free Man is now Washington. The US was founded by a nation that had a claimed tradition of decency. After WW II, the United States of America made a revolution that led to the improvement of the living conditions of its former slaves and to a restatement of Christian values of civilization. The contemporary US leadership’s inclination toward greed and haughtiness is combated fiercely from within. In the US, elections still have a meaning. Voters may curb an evil policy of greed, hatred and war but the outcome of this battle is by no means certain. With an enforcement of moral concerns, the cultural exception developed in the Anglo-Saxon world may flourish in America into a genuine civilization. The leadership of free men rests on consensus and harmonious economic development. It can be achieved by a method of government where mind and emotion are united in humane thought.

References

4. Oriana Fallaci adequately describes the challenge in her sermon “rage and the pride”, written originally in Italian “La rabbia e l’orgoglio“. 2001 RCS Libri SpA Milano. The French philosoph Bernard-Henri Levi attempted to prevent its publication in French, indicating again that stupidity knows no frontiers.

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