War and the “Peaceful Majority”

by | Apr 30, 2009

Here’s a fascinating quote attributed to online writer Paul E. Marek: “The hard quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians  who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible  for the murder of about 20 million people. The […]

Here’s a fascinating quote attributed to online writer Paul E. Marek:

“The hard quantifiable fact is that the peaceful majority, the ‘silent majority,’ is cowed and extraneous. Communist Russia was comprised of Russians  who just wanted to live in peace, yet the Russian Communists were responsible  for the murder of about 20 million people. The peaceful majority were  irrelevant. China’s huge population was peaceful as well, but Chinese  Communists managed to kill a staggering 70 million people.

The average Japanese  individual prior to World War II was not  a war mongering sadist.  Yet, Japan murdered and slaughtered its way across South East  Asia in an orgy of killing that included the systematic murder of 12  million Chinese civilians; most killed by sword, shovel, and bayonet. And who  can forget Rwanda which collapsed into butchery. Could it not be said  that the majority of Rwandans were ‘peace loving’?”

Marek went on to criticize the danger of Islamic fanaticism, particularly at a time when the new American President states that terrorism is the fault of Americans for hurting the feelings of Islamic leaders.

I’m really struck by the idea that “the peaceful majority were irrelevant” in Soviet Russia, and elsewhere. This drives home the point that a majority of Americans wanting peace is not enough to stop terrorism. Our fate will be determined by the course our government takes. Maybe most people don’t want dictatorship. It doesn’t matter. If we allow our own government to impose it on us, in stages–then we’ll get it. Once we get it, it will become harder (if not impossible) to get rid of it.

The same applies to fighting terrorism. It’s fine to want peace. That’s what all rational people want. But if we allow our leaders to apologize for our actions, thereby implying that we deserved 9/11, or any other instance of terrorism, then we’re setting ourselves up to be attacked again. Nothing stirs up a terrorist like weakness–particularly moral weakness, or moral cowardice. Our last President mishandled many aspects of the war against terrorism and at times was appalling in his own apologies for our nation. But he also sent contradictory (and better) messages, in words and action, that the U.S. has every moral right to stand up for itself. The new President is showing no indication of any willingness to do this and, in fact, seems to blame America for terrorism waged against it.

We won’t survive if we continuously allow our government to do the wrong things. In a democratic society with freedom of expression, there is always hope that the people can push the government in the right direction. Wrong policies can be reversed every few years. The most disturbing thing about our present situation is not that the majority are merely indifferent, but that they have actually pushed our government to go in precisely the wrong direction. The majority of us are telling our government to nationalize most of the private economy; to nationalize all of health care, rather than control a portion of it, as it has up to now; to restrict freedom of speech on politically incorrect broadcasters, such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity; and, more generally: To do whatever it takes to bring “security” back.

Security will never exist in a state of existence where the government enjoys unfettered power. Statist and totalitarian societies are the least secure of all. Nevertheless, a majority have now given the American government a “green light” to take steps, and go places, it has never gone before in our history.

 

A free society requires much, much more than free elections and democracy.

These are necessary tools, but they are not absolutes. There’s only one absolute in a free society: The right of the individual–each and every individual–to be free from the initiation of physical force. This right makes the necessity of a strong limited government–with a police force, military and civil/criminal court system–quite obvious. Less obvious to most, but no less crucial, is the need to prevent the government from initiating force against its own citizens. Too many compromises have been made in this regard, from the founding of the American republic to the present day. Those compromises are escalating at an alarming rate. How far will we let our government go?

 

Marek continues:

“We are  told again and again by ‘experts’ and ‘talking heads’ that Islam is the religion  of peace, and that the vast majority of Muslims just want to live in peace.  Although this unqualified assertion may be true, it is entirely irrelevant. It  is meaningless fluff, meant to make us feel better, and meant to somehow  diminish the spectra of fanatics rampaging across the globe in the name of  Islam. The fact is that the fanatics rule Islam at this moment in  history…”

Once again, the point is the same. It’s what people permit their governments to do that defines their fate–and the fate of others, when tho se governments are aggressors. It doesn’t matter if most Iranians want peace. Maybe they do, or maybe they don’t. But if they are either unable or unwilling to prevent their government from, for example, dropping a nuclear bomb on Israel, or exploding a dirty bomb in New York or Boston harbors–what does the will of the majority matter? If one of these tragedies occurs, will we say, “Well, the Iranian people don’t condone this. Their government does, but the people don’t. So we won’t retaliate.”

And, if we’d never take that position at that point–then why is no position taken to stop them now?

 

There are more important things than the will of the majority. The most important thing is the right of the individual. Governments that place the rights of the individual above the “rights” of the mob are governments worth having, protecting and defending. That was the whole point of the United States, originally.

 

Governments that ignore or outright sacrifice the individual for any other purpose are the most dangerous ones of all. Don’t be na

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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