Belle of Liberty

Letting Freedom Ring

Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Barbarians at the Gate

In 793 A.D., the Vikings raided the Priory at Lindisfarne, a little island off the northeast English coast in Northumbria.  The monastery was founded by Saint Aiden who was sent there in 635 A.D. to create a base for a Christian mission.  The monastery was famous for its library, particularly a handsomely illustrated version of the Bible called the Lindisfarne Gospel.

The Lindisfarne Gospel was rescued during the raid, but many other books were destroyed.  The Great Library at Alexandria was either destroyed or closed (mainly destroyed) at least four times, the last by raiding Muslims.  After that, the library was never rebuilt.

Alfred the Great saw that the native people of England were being overrun by the Vikings.  He united the clans in the South to fend off the Vikings.  He also recognized that the common people, uneducated in the Latin language, were being ministered and controlled by clerics they didn’t even understand.  He taught himself English and opened schools to educate his subjects.

About a century earlier, Charles the Great – Charlemagne – had done the same thing.  In the Dark Ages, kings didn’t know how to read.  They paid scribes to write down the history and the laws and read to them what they needed to know.  Charles didn’t want his children growing up illiterate.  He paid tutors to teach them and taught himself Latin, even though he was in his middle ages.

The Gutenberg Press was the great education equalizer.  Publications could be mass produced, rather than being written out by hand by scribes and monks.  Information was available to the common man.  In spite of what anyone might say about the American colonists, they were not ignorant peasants; just as in England, every town had a public school and a schoolmaster.

Then along came Benjamin Franklin and his kite.  Along with other scientists, he discovered the conductivity of electricity.  While the knowledge of electricity had been around since ancient times, no one knew how to harness it.  By the late 19th century, the mechanical inventions men had devised for communications such as the typewriter, could be run by electricity, making them faster and more productive.

The inventions of Alexander Graham Bell and Thomas Edison – the telephone, the phonograph, and the motion picture camera, would eventually be melded into one invention called the television.

The television propelled us into the future, but also sent us back to the Dark Ages.  The written word was bypassed, as one would toss aside a manual for a Model T Ford.  The men of ancient times searched hard for ways to make the written word more accessible and ultimately permanent for a reason.  For an civilization to survive, its laws had to be codified (Hammurabi), written down and acknowledged by the people (Draco), made just (Solon – he repealed Draco’s all-purpose penalty for breaking the law - death), acknowledged by its rulers (the Magna Carta), and guaranteeing the rights of the people to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (declared in the Declaration of Independence, forged into reality by the U.S. Constitution).

These laws and our form of government were given to us precisely to counter such specious arguments as the one made by the looter girls in England, who had been drinking wine looted from a local store:  “We just showing the rich that we can do what we want".
The Democrats made similar assertions when they passed Obamacare:  “You can read the bill after we’ve passed it.”

Our society has become too dependent upon electronic gadgets for communications and even driving.  The Progressives have tossed aside our country’s owner’s manual, The U.S. Constitution, as obsoleted and replaced it with thousands of pages of bureaucratic regulations and unconstitutional Supreme Court decisions.  We sit before our television sets, nodding before our television priests as they babble on incoherently.  The communication is decidedly one-sided; all we can is sit in dumb silence.

Calling our representatives depends on what affiliation they hold, Liberal/Progressive or Conservative.  The party doesn’t matter much, except to the extent that Democrats are pretty much all Liberals.  To the last of them, they are lawyers, more highly-educated and better read than we are.  It’s no wonder that Sen. McCain and the Wall Street Journal could tilt their elite noses up at us, sniff, and dismiss us as “hobbits.”

Frodo, the hobbit, though, was a well-educated, literate hobbit, taught by his Uncle Bilbo to read, write, study, and think.  Even Sam learned to read and write from Bilbo.

I held a meeting last night, to which no one came but a friend, on these very matters.  I don’t like discussing plans on my blog because this is a party line – and I don’t mean tea party, either – and the enemy is listening.  There’s nothing to fear, though, for all they’ll really do is laugh in derision, thinking the plan I have in mind will never work.  Let’s hope they keep on laughing and underestimating.

No matter how sincere our efforts, we can’t take these people on if we’re not on the same intellectual level as these people.  These are people who attended private schools, received a classical education, and went on to top universities.  If you want to debate them eye to eye, you’re going to have to start reading.

And not just any one of you individuals, but all of you.  You have to as well-versed in the classics, the philosophers who influenced the Founding Fathers, the biographies of the great figures in history, the general history of the world as well as the United States, economics, and the great battles of history, right up to the War on Terror.

This requires a brave step on your part, and especially your children.  Turn off your televisions and read.  E-books are fine for the kids if that’s what they want.  But be aware that anything electronic, that you can access on the Internet, can disappear in the blink of an eye.  Just look at the Kennedys, the miniseries.  Except that you can’t, because Caroline Kennedy bribed, and probably threatened, anyone who would dare to broadcast this excellent series.

Among the buildings that were burnt in England, was one of the branches of the Salford Public Library.  Salford is a town of about 73,000, or maybe more, within the precincts of Greater Manchester.  A manufacturing town, it once had a mainly white population, but that has obviously changed.  Salford has become one of the most economically depressed and violent communities in all of England.

An interesting note about Salford:  theirs was the first completely free public library in England.  But with the austerity measures, three of its five branches closed their buildings, with the collections moved to a hospital, an office building, and a sports arena.  The remaining branches have reduced hours and services.  The barbarians burned down one of the closed library buildings.

The same thing could happen here.  My charge to the Book Keepers would have been to visit garage and library sales to collect up a list of books that I’ve created (and am still adding to and categorizing).  A man in California is doing that very thing.  But the intention here is not merely to keep the books safe, but to read, study, discuss, and circulate these books among family and friends and widen the circle to those independents and undecided.

I would have charged any members to encourage courage among their own followers.  A big problem with the moderate voters is that they’re afraid to offend their Liberal friends.  That’s nonsense.  My mother is friends with a couple who turned one of their unused bedrooms into a shrine to the Clintons.  From time to time, Mom and my brothers would argue politics.  The couple would get mad and stomp away when we didn’t agree.  But Mom held her ground.  If that’s the way they felt, fine, go away.  “Who needs them?!” Mom would thunder.  But they always came back.  My Liberal friends were the same way and I treated them the same way.  We can be friends, but I’m not backing down on my politics.

We need to get that message out to the young Conservatives, to dithering Moderates, and to the general public.  That’s why the rallies were important.  But so is this.  We’re the Common People.  We must become the Uncommon People.  The Progressives would nail us into an economic and intellectual coffin, with themselves sitting on top of it, holding us down.

I’m willing to make the list available to anyone who wishes to have a copy of it (once I’m finished with it, which should be the beginning of September).  You must not be daunted by its length.  There are various subject matters which will interest you more than others.  Gather yourselves into small groups, with each member become an expert on a specific topic (i.e., economics, the Media, certain periods in history).  Then go out among the moderate sheep and herd them in the direction that will save our country.  Turn the sheep back into intelligent, literate, patriotic Americans.

Books are a great conversation-starter.  Even with kids.  You can make the comparison between Draco of the Harry Potter series and Draco the Greek law-giver.  Begin today, for you can be sure the barbarians are even now organizing themselves into violent mobs and will start beating at our gates and burning our libraries down, literally or figuratively.

Tempis fugit.

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