Saturday, June 11, 2005

More about Africa...and us.

Why am I so numb about events there? I guess it's because I understand that the developed world isn't going to get involved - because it doesn't want to. The world says, "Oh, it's a shame, certainly...but what're you gonna do?"

The most damning thing about all this is that in order to really really do something to stop the carnage, the first world would have to admit that effete gestures like:

1. Giving more aid (which inevitably goes to the dictators)

2. Inserting "peace keepers" (who refuse to defend the helpless - and who frequently cannot even defend themselves)

3. Promoting vacuous programs of "multi-lateral" diplomacy...and

4. Insisting on failed socialist nostrums like gun control (as citizens - unable to defend themselves - are murdered by their own governments) not work. Rather than make this admission and be forced thereby to examine itself, the first world will just let Africa implode and shrug at the millions of deaths that ensue.

Scratch a U.N. official and you'll find a socialist. And as a famous socialist, Josef Stalin, once said, "A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths is a statistic."

"The West" is not interested in saving a million human lives in Africa. It's interested in keeping abortion safe and legal. It's interested in stopping globalization and fighting the scourge of Capitalism. It's interested in a maximum 35 hour work week...with 6 weeks of vacation per year. It's interested in which movie star is sleeping with which member of congress/parliament. It's interested in animal rights. It's interested in what's on TV tonight.

At moments like this I realize that our society is ill... perhaps terminally. And when I realize this, I clearly understand why so many people hate us and think the West is doomed.

We in the West are afflicted by a dread disease: Humanism.

When the individual human life becomes the "highest good", then nothing is worth dying for. When nothing is worth dying for, nothing is worth fighting for. When nothing is worth fighting for, we wring our hands and we declare our outrage. In our craven cowardice, we avert our eyes and congratulate ourselves for being enlightened - even as that same "highest good" that we so fervently claim to cherish is rendered worthless.

Going through the motions of our existence each trembles in private terror - hoping that knock we hear is upon our neighbor's door and not our own.

John Donne's thoughts on the matter remain unsurpassed:

No man is an island,
Entire of itself.
Each is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.
If a clod be washed away by the sea,
Europe is the less.
As well as if a promontory were.
As well as if a manner of thine own
Or of thine friend’s were.
Each man’s death diminishes me,
For I am involved in mankind.
Therefore, send not to know
For whom the bell tolls,
It tolls for thee.


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