Wednesday, January 6, 2021


"A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within."
--Historian Will Durant

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."  --Aldous Huxley

The problem is always this:  Dangerous societal trends typically start small.  When problems are small, most people either don't see them, or don't view them as any kind of threat.  Of course, part of wisdom is seeing things not merely in terms of what they are today, but in terms of what they will become in the future -- seeing them as seeds that can grow into something larger.  Yet conveying this to others can be challenging, because:

  1. "It's just a tiny problem!  You're making a mountain out of a molehill." -or-
  2. "That's not a problem at all!  That's a GOOD THING."

This is how it will always be.  Yet once the trend has grown so large that everyone can see it, it's already massive and powerful, and thus too late to stop it.  

By the time everyone sees, the crisis is already upon us.

Our best chance of stopping a trend is, obviously, when it's still small and weak and lacks momentum.  But ironically, that's also when we're least likely to be able to rally any support for stopping it.  The problem is weak; but the probability of rallying a coordinated defense against it is even weaker.

This amazes me, because almost everything in life works this same way.  For example:  If we find termites in our home early and call the exterminator, we can stop them from doing too much damage -- but if we ignore them until they're "obvious" and can no longer be ignored, that means much damage has already been done.  Exterminating them and restoring the house to sound condition will be a much more difficult endeavor.

Almost everything that is now large had to start small.  Yet we, as a society, seem to repeat this mistake endlessly.  We can't seem to identify the enemy -- not because it's invisible (it's quite plain) -- but because it is small.

That's going to change.

Not overnight.  But as a parent whose children have not yet made their ways in the world, far too soon for my liking.  

We'll talk more about all this later.  

The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.

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