Saturday, July 09, 2005

For Every Delta There Is An Epsilon

In the aftermath of the London bombings, conservative commentator, math geek, and British expatriot John Derbyshire lamented that the western civilization has become so debased and corrupt that appeasement of the terrorists is inevitable.

I have a friend who's a couple years older than me who is an old-fashioned John Bircher and a paleocon. She is equally pessimistic.

I think that laments of our culture's death are premature. I am no fool who says that international terrorism is a nuisance that should be treated with therapy and indictments. Islamis assassins are merely pursuing statecraft in the same way that they did during the caliphate. Though Europeans have responded with tribute and appeasement, Americans since Thomas Jefferson have sent the Marines.

I am optimistic that despite some reversals, we'll ultimately win the day. Look at where we were just a few years ago:
  1. "Conservative" president Nixon was instituting wage and price controls.
  2. President Jimmy Carter was flailing away at killer rabbits and responding to Soviet aggression by cancelling a sporting event.
  3. The guys in black ski masks had state sponsors and safe havens in Moscow, Tripoli, Damascus, Baghdad, and Tehran.
  4. Thousands of Russian tanks sat poised at the Fulda Gap in Germany.
Today we have seen improvement in all of these areas. The threats to the West are greatly reduced. We've moved to asynchronous low-level conflict because our adversaries know that to directly confront American arms is to die.

But, but, but, the problem is corruption from within. Think back to the days of Whittaker Chambers and Alger Hiss. Treason was kept secret and denied whereas today fellows like Ward Churchill speak treason openly. Frankly, I think it is better that the traitors speak openly where they can be publicly rebutted.

Indeed the threat is from within. Western culture is the aggregate of all our contributions to culture. The voices of our enemies are as loud and as articulate as when they cost us the Vietnam war. And their victory then has emboldened them today. The punks who earned their chops betraying the US in the '60s are now running one of the two major political parties. Their fellow-travellers who chronicled their activism in college newspapers are now running media corporations that serve as an echo chamber, amplifying their propaganda.

But today we can hear other voices. Last Thursday a caller to Rush Limbaugh mentioned the Vietnam war and said, "If there'd have been a Rush Limbaugh we'd have won that war." The silent majority has a voice and the watchful dragons are commonly bypassed. What's going on in Iraq? Ask one of the guys in uniform who are in the field each day, and ignore the guys with microphones who never leave the hotel. There are thousands of bloggers scribbling away at the samizdat that routinely outperforms the Exempt Media.

Each of us can contribute to our culture. In mathematics a small change is termed a delta. And in calculus, the metaphorically smallest of numbers is termed an epsilon.

"Great men" from Dan Rather to Jason Blair have demonstrated their gullibility and been shown to be frauds. But there are lot more epsilons with a much smaller circle of influence and it's up to us to engage culture, speak up, write novels, etc. Each of us who carry the Conservative torch have a contribution to make. Instead of darkly muttering and slinking away, we must join the scrum and push the ball a little bit in the right direction.

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