New Year, Same Struggle Against Tyranny

And so yet another year ends, and a new one begins. And at the instant when we exchange the old, crumpled calendar, crammed with activities once planned and now completed, for the freshly printed one, a map of a land yet to be discovered, we clink champagne glasses to toast the relentless, one-directional movement of time.

And even as we do so, somehow the momentousness of it all can remain impossible for us to grasp –  except,  perhaps, fleetingly. In an instant 2012 ends forever, and is succeeded by 2013, and for a few days or weeks the main thing is to remember to get the date right when you fill out a check. In the same way, once upon a time, 1776 ended. And 1492.

Somehow, dates seem more profound when they’re dates from long ago, before we were born. Strangely, moreover, while the years we’ve actually lived through can often blend together in our minds, to become something of a mishmash, the years of History, with a capital H, seem fixed, sharp, crystalline. All of which can help blind us to the fact that the years we’ve lived through will also one day be history (provided, of course, we manage not to destroy ourselves as a species). We’re living in history; we’re making history – or, at least, history is being made around us, by our fellow human beings, whether or not we choose to take part.

We’re living in history: it should be an obvious point. Yet in an age when so many people in the free, prosperous, and (supposedly) almost fully literate Western world are shockingly historyless – having little or no sense of what the world was like before they were born, and little or no understanding of how the world they live in came to be what it is, and, therefore, of how very much they owe to the past, and, thus, to the future – the point isn’t necessarily obvious at all. Today, so many of us live in an eternal present, in which ancient history can mean nothing more or less than last week’s Facebook postings.

A new year can bring unimagined, colossal changes. As 1914 dawned, how many people in the Western world imagined that a catastrophic World War would begin before the year was out, and would transform the Western mind in ways so profound that we’re still struggling to understand them? Or, to move into our own times: as the year 2001 began, who could have imagined that it would become an infinitely more important turning point than 2000 itself, that long-anticipated, much-ballyhooed year when the digits on time’s odometer (to borrow an image from John Updike) all changed at once?

Surely many Americans have far more of a sense of living in history than they would’ve had if 9/11 had never taken place. Some things that happen just burn a year into your mind forever, and that’s that – and you can’t do anything about it once it’s happened. But what could have been done, and by whom, to keep 2001 from become what it became in the first place? No year’s history is written in stone until it’s over. As midnight crosses the International Date Line, the year 2012 will be history. But 2013 is a book yet to be written. The question is: who will write it?

In his poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” first published in 1915, T.S. Eliot wrote: “Do I dare / Disturb the universe?” Prufrock, the speaker of the poem, is aware – hyperaware, intensely and neurotically aware – that even his slightest action does indeed “disturb the universe,” and that every year, indeed every moment, he’s lived through has, to some degree, however minuscule, been shaped by him. Some people never think this way about their lives, and, on the contrary, are eager to put their stamp on the world; a larger percentage, I suspect, are, like Prufrock, so fiercely conscious of the potential consequences of their every move that they can barely bring themselves to step out of their long-established comfort zones for fear of doing or saying the wrong thing – and of having to take responsibility for it. They prefer to keep their heads down, to keep their mouths shut, and to mind their business. In most premodern societies, and in many modern ones, such caution was certainly understandable – it was a survival mechanism, pure and simple.

In the twenty-first century, however, in a free country in peril of losing its freedom, such a posture, such a policy, is pusillanimous and unconscionable – unworthy of responsible adults, citizens, and parents. For the fact is that we face enemies who are determined not just to disturb but to destroy our Western world, our free societies, our way of life. Enemies who are intensely conscious of their own history, and of the violent history they share with us – a history that saw them turned back, but just barely, at the gates of Vienna in 1683, a victory without which I would not be sitting here writing this and you would not be reading it. Enemies who have no other goal than to write the history of the years to come, and to make the future their own. While too many of us slip passively into yet another year, waiting to see what it will bring us, those enemies are doing everything they can to usher us into a time in which all our calendars will count back not to A.D. 1 but to A.D. 622.

They’re not shy. They’re not timid. They’re not Prufrocks. Yet so many people in the West hesitate to speak up, to act, to make even a small difference, in some cases for no better reason than that they’re scared of being called bigots, racists, Islamophobes. (As if that, at this point, were anything more than a badge of honor.)

Given the present circumstances, turn the question around: “Do I dare / Not disturb the universe?” Observing the refusal of so many people in the West, especially those in positions of authority (and this includes many people from whom some of us would have expected much more) to take seriously the clear and present danger to our future, and to our children’s and grandchildren’s future, one can’t help recalling a line from another great modern poet: “The best lack all conviction, while the worst / Are full of passionate intensity.”

As we pop the cork and count down to 2013, then, let’s be aware that in the new year we’ll continue to be engaged in a struggle – on a variety of fronts – against tenacious and unflinching jihadist adversaries who are already transforming the way we live and who look forward to a day when every aspect of our existence will be governed by their despotic laws. As we step into a year whose history has yet to be written, let’s resolve that they won’t be the ones to write it.

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  • WildJew

    For me the more immediate threat, even before the global jihad, is Barack H. Obama.The on-going jihad and Obama, what is the difference? Both want our liberty, our means of defense and our property.

    • Arlie

      0 is the current "front man" that is giving the despotic the "passionate intensity" to further their goals. Behind this corrupted individual are legions of evil forces enticing him further in their globalist goals. He gets his marching orders from the very gates of he11. There is no doubt in my reasoning or study of history of the CFR, Trilateral Commission, The UN, Russia and Islam as to what force they do bow. There are very few willing to speak up and "disturb the universe" and risk fear of be named "racist, bigot, homophone, islamophobe". They are speaking out but the LEFT control the MEDIA and so the brave ones are being drowned out. I will not name them, those connected with the freedom center know who they are. All I can do is pray that God's Will is being done in some unimaginable fashion that our small minds and hearts do not comprehend. All that are righteous PLEASE PRAY FOR A MIRACLE from the One True G-d to turn this ship of fools around. Thank you for this greatly written article Mr. Bruce Bawer and Happy New Year to you and yours and all people of faith, on whatever date your new year begins. I have changed calendars away from this Babylonian one to a correct Biblical one that can direct me to celebrate the Feasts of the Lord….if only that would change the hearts and minds of men one and all.

  • AdinaK

    Guess what? This Israeli blogger places the onus (for historical revisionism) upon the crappy heads of western academia, the so called 'gold standard' of higher education. Not exactly.

    Let's count the ways they have spectacularly failed –… western civilization's destruction runs straight through the academy –

    Alas, Israel's loony academic leftists add to the collective angst. They are the bane of every nationalist's existence. No kidding.

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel –

    • Choi

      Adina is as correct as correct can be re: Academia.
      These America-Hating/Israel-Hating/Jew-Hating/Freedom-Hating bastards are POISONING the minds of tommorrow's leaders and are being PAID to do it by parents ,taxpayers(at state Schools) and 'Grants".
      Furthermore these CRETINS are PROTECTED by the Tenure System.
      On the surface,as the College-Football Bowl games are being played,it's undetectable to most, and in fact the $$$$$$$ generated by College Football and Basketball ,as ALL-AMERICAN as it seems to get ,are the fuel that the TRAITOROUS Academia RUN ON

      • Arlie

        May I just say I detest football past high school age and the MANY problems this "sport" brings with it.
        You, Choi, are so correct in this evaluation of the infiltration and the spread of filthy lies and who are paying for it's base and it's consumption. The globalist, leftist elite will use ANY means to maintain their corrupt power. (although they do not care if it is corrupt or not).

      • Jim_C

        Yes, people who study things…the bane of society.

  • Gylippus

    Happy New Year Bruce. Thanks for your ongoing efforts, they mean a lot.

  • JacksonPearson

    If Barack Obama wants to support a New World Order to subversively supersede the Constitution with his radical agenda, one that favors barbaric tenets of Islam over the ideals of sanity, our Judeo-Christian values, then he should not object to being called a Muslim, or at the very least, a Muslim sympathizer. Any so-called leader who fails to secure our borders in a post 9/11 world, who fails to unconditionally condemn the murder of its own citizens at the hands of terrorists – let alone to prepare for it – and who fails to denounce Sharia Law as a grave threat to the Bill of Rights and American sovereignty, is fatally compromised and an enemy of the state himself.

    • Jim_C

      "If Barack Obama wants to support a New World Order to subversively supersede the Constitution with his radical agenda, one that favors barbaric tenets of Islam over the ideals of sanity, our Judeo-Christian values"

      But he doesn't–so we're off the hook.

      • JacksonPearson

        BS…Barack Hussein Obama is a wannabe, socialist, dictator a la Hugo Chavez, and one of his obstacles is the U.S. Constitution. With his agenda, we're never going to be off his redistribution hook.

      • JacksonPearson

        Unconvinced. How do you consider a redistribution of one's productivity being off the hook?.

    • Dawn Street

      Our national government has been subversively superseding and circumventing the Constitution since the mid-1800s, about 1861 to be exact. That is when it started.

  • Winston

    The Democrates did not "win" because they never entered the game, but the Republicant leadership did give away the bank (the taxpayer's income) because they have lost the will to fight. New strength of leadership is needed in the GOP, in the Senate and in the House.

    • Arlie

      Most American have not "discovered" what has happened since 1973. The Democrats became Progressives and pulled the Republicans to compromise so many times that then the Republicans became Progressive and the Democrats became Communist. Now the 2 have merged, in leadership that is, the only "true" what you call Republicans are the Conservatives, which are few in number in each the Senate and the House. The ONLY way to fix this is with a THIRD PARTY. I suggest that every true conservative denounce the Republican leadership to the point of supporting the Constitution Party and instead of a hostile takeover of an entrenched corrupted elite, such as the Republicans have become, the Constitution Party WILL WELCOME ALL TRUE CONSERVATIVES and Restore our America. AMEN

      • Dawn Street

        The Whig Party imploded in the early 1850s. Abraham Lincoln assured folks there were very few differences between the old Whig and the new Republican Party he joined. The new Republican Party picked up the Whig Party platform – government interventions, protectionist tariffs, corporate welfare for road, canal, and railroad building corporations and a federal bank to help finance all these schemes. The Democrats were against this at that time. Now, of course, who can tell the difference between the two.

  • Choi

    Adina is as correct as correct can be re: Academia.
    These America-Hating/Israel-Hating/Jew-Hating/Freedom-Hating *******s are POISONING the minds of tommorrow's leaders and are being PAID to do it by parents ,taxpayers(at state Schools) and 'Grants".
    Furthermore these CRETINS are PROTECTED by the Tenure System.
    On the surface,as the College-Football Bowl games are being played,it's undetectable to most, and in fact the $$$$$$$ generated by College Football and Basketball ,as ALL-AMERICAN as it seems to get ,are the fuel that the TRAITOROUS Academia RUN ON

  • Ghostwriter

    I don't know what will happen in 2013. It could be good. It could not. It's all up in the air from here.

  • Thomas Wells

    So:,to borrow from W.B. Yeats and David Halberstam: "The best( and the brightest )lack all conviction, while the worst are full of passionate intensity"?

  • jewdog

    Thanks for the great post, Bruce. You have great intensity, but are the best. Happy New Year!

  • WilliamJamesWard

    Shopping at a local market and looking at a package of Salmon I saw that it was farmed.
    How much I thought that our American population is now farmed and mixbred to produce
    worker bees for the political elites who have taken over the government of the people for
    thier own ends. Maybe time to get wild…………………………….William

    • Dawn Street

      Our food is being genetically altered. Makes me wonder what exactly we are putting into our bodies and how is this genetic junk going to affect my body and yours. Is that why cancer is running rampant? Could this be messing up our neurological systems and causing Parkinson's, Alzheimers, and other problems??

      • WilliamJamesWard

        Disease is caused by the wrong things going through the body, sometimes it is a virus,
        bacteria, chemicals, preservatives, antibiotics, herbicides, pestacides and impurities
        from the insect world. When engineered foods hit the market avoid it. The best way
        to guard your health is to make your own food, start from scratch. If you read the labels
        of prepackaged foods, it is amazing how many additives that no one knows what they
        are have been put into the mix. For better health I have read extensively that avoiding
        white flour, white rice and white sugar is the best start, avoid omega 6 oils, they feed
        cancer with the white denatured items. For better health I have found that combining
        Ubiquinol (CO Q10) with DMG (dimethylglycine) Vit E with tocopherols and if fibrosis
        in any form is present add Serrazymes (serrapeptase), better health and less illness
        has been my experience. Family members and friends have overcome some of the
        most dreadful diseases with these items…………Good luck…………..William

  • slowhand

    take a look at:

    "Toast To Freedom” is dedicated to human rights activism around the world. Nearly 50 artists contributed to celebrate Amnesty International's 50th Anniversary. Toast To Freedom was written by music veterans Carl Carlton and Larry Campbell. “Amnesty should have their very own song to sing in happy times and in struggling times. To celebrate both small and monumental victories, to comfort loss and overcome pain”

  • pierce

    Yes, but the tyranny is here in the good old USA, rather in Washington, D.C., and we can't do anything about it.

  • PAthena

    How did the Democratic Party come to nominate Barack Hussein Obama for president? Is it one of the consequences of the takeover of the Democratic Party by George McGovern in 1972 by the Tom Hadyn communists, who disrupted the Democratic Convention in 1968 (so that Hubert Humphrey, party leader, called for bringing them "into the system," and appointed George McGovern to rewrite the rules to do it?
    Obama's credentials were being a member of the church of the Reverend Jeremiah Wright – anti-American, antisemitic, black racist (Black Liberation communist) and being sponsored by his buddy, Weatherman terrorist Bill Ayers.

  • tanstaafl

    Term limits, voter ID (birth certificate), a third party and Civics back in high school cirriculumn. It's a start.

  • Best Travel Destinations

    WOW!!! Nice Post!Kind Regards