An old man’s observation
by Donald K. Sanders
Only a remnant of Americans cling to old restraints and ways of the past. This country is caught in a relaxing interval between one moral code and the next. An upcoming generation surrenders itself to luxury, corruption and a restless disorder of family and morals. Now, only a few souls feel any longer that, “it is beautiful and honorable to die for one’s country.”
All it would take is a failure of leadership to allow this country to weaken itself with internal strife and protest. This country could end in one final blow from a decisive defeat in war resulting in invasion from without and barbarism welling up from within.
Government and religion are one and the same, growing and becoming more and more complex. When an economy expands, so does inequality. Society finds itself divided between a cultured minority and a majority of men and women too unfortunate by nature of circumstance to develop excellence and taste. The majority will become a drag on the minority. That is the price the minority must pay when it controls all economic and educational opportunities.
The idea of progress finds itself in uncertain shape when nations and religions rise and fall. There has been no substantial change in the nature of man throughout all of history. All of our technological advances are simply new means of achieving the old ends, the acquisition of food and shelter, the seeking of the opposite sex, or the same sex, the overcoming of competition, and the fighting of wars.
We have found that science is neutral because it will kill us just as fast as it will heal us. The comfort that we enjoy has weakened our physical stamina and moral codes. Our nerves are shattered by the speed in which we travel and communicate. We are the same trousered monkeys at a thousand miles an hour as we were when we used our legs.
The concentration of wealth, responsibility, and political power advances in complexity along with the advances of the economy. Education has spread but we forgot to make ourselves intelligent when we made ourselves a nation. Intelligence is retarded by the fertility of the simple. We complicate everything we do.
Racial strife arises when wealth is not distributed equally. Race or class wars can destroy advances in culture overnight when it turns political debate to hate and the rule of the sword. The causes of war are the same as the causes of individual competition, the desire for food, land, material wealth, fuel and mastery. War results because the government has the same interest as we do but it has none of the restraints.
The state guarantees us protection, property, and legal rights in exchange for the restraints of laws and morals and our ability to combat enemies of the state. Now, a single day of war can destroy centuries of peace. The nation must be ready to defend itself at all times and if the right interests are involved, the nation must be able to use any means called for to survive. Even the Ten Commandments must move over for self-preservation.
The point of all of this is that we must break the rule that history repeats itself. We have to be willing to try a new approach. We must try to understand the feelings of other nations and understand they’re desire to develop without fear of attack. We must not allow our mutual fears to lead us to war in this day and age. The development of our weapons for destruction is more murderous and evil than ever before, far beyond anything in the history of mankind.
Our potential for destruction is unparalleled. If history repeats itself, nations only unite when there is a threat from without. Should this be the case, only an invasion from outer space can unite the human race. Then and only then will we of this Earth be one. Until that time, as long as I am able, I’ll be down at the creek watering plants.