Culture War
Many from both the right and the left bemoan the state of the American culture today. Whether it is the lack of positive images in TV, movies, music, politicians, sports figures, police in schools and more, freedom and morality are discussed as being in conflict with each other. Benjamin Franklin once wrote on the subject: "Only a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need for masters." This should ring true to you today as we debate not only our eroding culture, but the role of government in our lives. Are culture and the need for more government control more connected than we realize?

Read the Solzhenitzyn speech at Harvard 1978

from The Gray Area:
For a chilling look at today, from the viewpoint of famed Russian dissident Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn, read his speech on the condition of the west (USA) to Harvard graduates in 1978. It will show you how we got here and why. And frustrate you as no one actually listened. For example, here are a few quotes from his very long speech:
  • “a decline in civil courage.”
  • "from ancient times decline in courage has been considered the beginning of the end"
  • "a legalistic life ...almost never sees voluntary self-restraint.
  • "Legal frames (especially in the United States) are broad enough to encourage not only individual freedom but also certain individual crimes" .. like terrorist and rioter’s human rights.
  • "Because instant and credible information has to be given [by the media], it becomes necessary to resort to guesswork, rumors and suppositions to fill in the voids, and none of them will ever be rectified, they will stay on in the readers' memory."
  • "There is a dangerous tendency to form a herd, ... This gives birth to strong mass prejudices, blindness, which is most dangerous…It will only be broken by the pitiless crowbar of events."
  • " It is almost universally recognized that the West shows all the world a way to successful economic development, ... but you are no role model ... A number of [the west's] critics turn to socialism, which is a false and dangerous current.… a profound analysis showing that socialism of any type and shade leads to a total destruction of the human spirit and to a leveling of mankind into death."
  • "A fact which cannot be disputed is the weakening of human beings in the West ... There are meaningful warnings that history gives a threatened or perishing society. ... left without electric power for a few hours only, and all of a sudden crowds of American citizens start looting and creating havoc."
  • "...the West has difficulties in understanding reality such as it is. ...only moral criteria can help the West against communism's well planned world strategy.
  • "the U.S. anti-war movement wound up being involved in the betrayal of Far Eastern nations, in a genocide and in the suffering today imposed on 30 million people there. Do those convinced pacifists hear the moans coming from there?"
  • " weapons, no matter how powerful, can help the West until it overcomes its loss of willpower..."
  • "… we turned our backs upon the Spirit and embraced all that is material with excessive and unwarranted zeal."
  • "Liberalism was inevitably displaced by radicalism, radicalism had to surrender to socialism and socialism can never resist communism."
1978 folks! It is long and intellectual, but worth the read.
from TPPF,
... to rejuvenate our shared love for this great republic ... I’d recommend re-reading the Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, or the Bill of Rights. You might also read some of the stirring speeches of recent American history. One of my favorites, which is very timely, is Aleksandr Solzhenitzyn’s “A World Split Apart,” delivered at Harvard University in 1978. In it, the oft-persecuted critic of the Soviet Union highlighted a problem that is poignant for us today—“a decline in civil courage.” We wrestle with this today, as marauding revisionists tear down our history and literally tear down our monuments. The solution, according to Solzhenitsyn? Remember that “governments are meant to serve man, and man lives to be free to pursue happiness.” May this inspiration from a non-American who loved America fuel our passion to rejuvenate American patriotism. If our Founders could pledge their “lives, their fortunes, and their sacred honor” to the promise of the American ideal, then we—beneficiaries of their sacrifices—also owe it to posterity to do the same. God bless you, and God bless America! Kevin Roberts Executive Director, Texas Public Policy Foundation

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