It is said “Only music can soothe a savage beast”. This is actually a bastardization of a line from a play by the English playwright William Congreve, but I think there is some truth in it regardless. Music can indeed placate a stormy soul, but it can also rouse one to great and terrible deeds. As with music, so too can the great currents of history that pass over us influence our temperaments, our actions, and maybe even our fates.
Perhaps there is some truth to the mythical notion of time as a song. Upon this reflection, we might ask ourselves what sort of song our current society is playing. When I listen to the notes rising from our collective actions though, I hear something disturbing. The great song of our age is starting to lose its harmony, as many are either beginning to play a different tune altogether, or to stop producing notes entirely.
In one melody, the march of progressivism rolls on, finding ever new victim groups and seeking ever new causes to crusade for. Gay marriage? Not enough! We have to stop drinking Russian vodka! Never mind that we’re attacking the wrong people!
In another other, the rumblings of discontent are growing more forceful. Recently, many news websites have been shutting down their comment sections, most famously Popular Science, which blamed “trolls” for the closure. The fact that (on basis of anecdotal evidence, admittedly) comment sections seem to be growing more right-wing (or at least, more vocal about certain conservative beliefs) allows for interesting connections to be made if one wishes to connect the dots…
In the cacophony of the great liberal echo chamber, the university system, it may seem as though the world is becoming more liberal. Drug laws are being relaxed, and the quest for gay marriage marches on. How few know that the most popular political party in France right now happens to be Le Front National! How few know that in Poland they burn down memorials to Gay Rights. Anything that challenges their hedonism and their “feels” must be bad, anything that enables drinking and carousing must be good!
I exaggerate. It’s not quite like that. Yet, I am not off-base in pointing out that in the environment that is the collegiate experience, things like gay rights are essentially sacrosanct and not to be critiqued. The more conservative (or even reactionary) your views, the more circumspect you are…at least in public. In private, it is not too hard to find individuals who at least sympathize with ideas like rigid eugenics and lessened immigration, are open to criticisms of democracy (to say nothing of feminism), and would be willing to fairly assess other systems of government (Hong Kong and Singapore are good examples to bring up in this sort of case). Among those youth who are not devotedly liberal, many are growing increasingly weary of the prevailing ideology.
I am told this is similar to what things were like in the waning years of the Soviet Union.
As I have stated before, I suspect we are moving into a minor cycle of history that will include a swing back toward more conservative/reactionary ideas (as a response to societal strife, instability, and possibly violence), and that we should anticipate this swing of the pendulum and prepare accordingly. It probably won’t be anything but a minor perturbation on society’s unceasing march away from tradition, stability, and low-time preference, but it will probably be sufficient to at least have the capability to serve our interests. It will be up to us to prepare, to set aside financial resources that can be relied upon, to cultivate the capability for self-defense and all that entails. The burden is on us to anticipate a society that will creep ever more leftward and to understand the effects that this will have on spheres of life ranging from economic, demographic, and cultural, among others. The responsibility lies on us to shape ourselves into people who can handle what the future has to throw at us.
Am I happy that this is what lies in store? Somewhat. Part of me would be happy for a simpler time, when society was stable, jobs were plentiful, and it was the most natural thing in the world to have a good job, an attractive wife, and a budding family at a young age.
But that part of me is small. Here at The Legionnaire, the highest ideal is the pursuit of excellence. Excellence comes from struggling through hard times, overcoming difficult challenges, and ascending to new heights. In times of instability, all manner of opportunities for these things are handed to you on a silver platter. I cannot truly want the past, because that would be a violation of my highest belief.
The future that lies ahead is just as much a blessing as it is a curse.
Nostalgia does nothing but distract us from the time at hand, doubly so when we feel nostalgia for something we never experienced. There is danger is wishing for the utopian illusion of a romantic fantasy, especially if we are ill-prepared for the reality in front of us. The future will not allow us the luxury of fond memories, and my generation especially will bear the brunt of what is to come. It will be a long time before we can finally have grounds to say that the worst is behind us.
All this I hear when I listen to the silence in the sound, the foreboding silence that speaks to trouble lying ahead.
DUCENT VOLENTUM FATA, NOLENTEM TRAHUNT