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A movie I didn’t think of in response to the recent Guilty Pleasures thread, but wish I had, is Serenity. It’s a pretty decent little science fiction flick based on the short-lived television series Firefly, which I also enjoyed.
There’s an iconic scene in Serenity in which the spaceship captain, Malcolm Reynolds, resolves to expose a crime despite a deep conspiracy to keep it silent. I won’t spoil the movie for anyone who hasn’t seen it, but the gist of it is that Reynolds is about to defy the government, and he’s telling his crew that he wants them to join him in the effort. He delivers a little speech which culminates in this:
Y’all got on this boat for different reasons, but y’all come to the same place. So now I’m askin’ more of you than I have before. Maybe all.
As sure as I know anything, I know this: they will try again. Maybe on another world. Maybe on this very ground swept clean. A year from now, ten, they’ll swing back to the belief that they can make… people… better. And I do not hold to that.
So no more runnin’.
I aim to misbehave.
I was thinking today of what’s wrong with so much of progressivism, with its casual disregard for the Constitution and its misplaced faith in collectivism and central planning. The left seems to believe that people not only can be made better but that, in some deep and fundamental way, we’ve already been made better.
That’s the idea behind collectivism, after all: that we the people will become essentially altruistic (we won’t); that those who rule us will embrace a noble selflessness (they won’t). It’s also the idea held by those who favor a “living” Constitution and think the actual Constitution outdated and obsolete. They believe that we’ve changed, and that we aren’t the people the original Constitution was designed to protect us from. But of course we are.
We are in the grips of something embarrassingly close to martial law. I say “embarrassing” because too many of us practically begged our leaders to impose this on us, and now seem perfectly willing to tolerate its indefinite extension by every petty tinpot bureaucrat. Why are we in this situation? We’re in it because people haven’t changed. The same power-hungry busybodies the Founders feared are calling the shots today; the men who wrote the Constitution would recognize Cuomo and Newsom and the rest of these grasping scoundrels. They designed a nation specifically to keep people like them in check.
Those who know nothing of history are free to believe that people were different back then and that we’re better, more enlightened, now. That isn’t true. Sure, many of our laws have improved. Our culture is in many ways better. We’ve jettisoned some toxic baggage over which people have always been divided. Many things are better today than they were two hundred years ago than they were even sixty years ago.
But we aren’t better. We’re the same as we’ve always been, and we need the same protections – the same Constitutional protections, the same free press, the same suspicion of those who wish to tell us what to do – as we’ve always needed. Because men who seek power and revel in its application have always been with us and always will be with us, and we protect ourselves from them by keeping the seats of power limited and under our ultimate control.
Progressives don’t understand that. How could they: they know nothing of history and nothing of human nature.
The good news is that it’s easy to misbehave today. We can misbehave by observing that people come in only two fundamental varieties, male and female. We can misbehave by pointing out that by far the biggest problem faced by black Americans is crime in black American communities – not racism, not the police, but rather disintegrating families and bad behavior. We can misbehave by pointing out that public schools are failing America’s children, teaching them every manner of nonsense but not, alas, fundamental and valuable skills like reading and writing and basic math.
We can misbehave by being unapologetic in the face of criticism, by ignoring the harpies and the scolds, and by asserting our right to be unmolested in our own homes by the heavy hand of the nanny state and its “experts.”
We can misbehave simply by saying unapproved things, by not taking nonsense seriously, and by not surrendering to the mob.
Our republic is at stake.Published in