August 20, 2006

Honor and Blood

Having read the speech, I would just like to say that the author would have really liked the Marine Corps and their value systems. The US military exemplifies how someone can live in the 21st century with advances of technology, yet be a person endlessly improving himself.

The technology does not weaken a soldier character wise, it does not make things easy for him in training. It was not designed to.

Ask yourselves this, Neo, how does people like blackfive conduct a career in the profession of soldiering and yet also be the grand support for democracy and institutions?

But it's my contention that the difference between what he is advocating and what the jihadists are advocating is profound, although there is a superficial resemblance in that they both rely on religion to save us. This difference goes back to a fundamental (pardon the pun) difference between Islam and Christianity, as I understand it.

It's much like the difference between Islamic Jihad and US Marines. Both are willing to die and to kill for what they believe in, but US Marines are not equivalent to Islamic Jihad in most terms of behavior.

They are not alike, even though some things imply that they should be alike.

But religion can be another trap, and the jihadis are perhaps the best example of where that can lead.

Solz isn't talking about religion, Neo. He takes great pains to mention mostly about spirituality. Religion is only the means by which spiritualism can be achieved. The US Marine Corps and the SEALs, Delta,and Marine Recon have achieved the ultimate in spiritualism, and their goal isn't religion at all.

This is where Solzhenitzyn appears to circle round to a position that resembles that of our current enemies. Because isn't that exactly what they're saying? Counter the flaws of the Western Enlightenment with a return to the hegemony of religion in human life?

There are many methods to solve a problem, most of them are sub-optimal.

Islam does offer a path to heavenly rewards by imposing discipline in mortal life. With the prayers, submission to Allah, and Islamic Jihad jazz.

However, there are other package deals that can offer the same thing via different means and different price ranges.

Get rid of religion, it's a tool. If you want to talk about solutions, then dilineate the clear difference between what we want and how we get there. What we want is a better state in human affairs than just worship of money and materialism. We do not want to throw off the shackles of God only to be chained by the prison of our emotions, instincts, and whims.

So in a way, a person has to choose which duty he will follow. Duty to pursue money, vices, and material goods. Duty to pursue virgins and the smitting of the infidel perhaps. Or duty to something greater and purer than themselves, something longer lasting like God or the United States Constitution.

Solz doesn't mention the military option, because the military in Russia is not the US Marines. It will never be. He didn't see that option because the last war he saw was Vietnam that the Marines fought in.

About the denial of individual freedom. It is a human paradox that sometimes you must give up what you seek in order to obtain it. In this case, the military gives up certain freedoms in order to secure freedoms for other people. Since human affairs isn't a zero sum game, both civilian and military gain through this exchange. That's how it should work.

When duty requires that a certain thing be, no amount of individual freedom will do anything to change that duty or requirement. As the Japanese said, death is lighter than a feather, duty heavier than mountains. In some respects, duty is more important than life because without duty, life is meaningless.

Honor is acquired through accomplishing one's duty, and one's duty is accomplished through blood. Honor and blood so to speak are the requirements of maintaining a certain level of spiritual health. Eternal vigilance and the blood of patriots and all that for freedom.

Like any internal combustion engine, you cannot drive it on nothing. In the physical world of science, you must input energy to get out energy. You cannot get something for nothing. In life, without sacrifice and duty, all you get are the dregs of other people's work and experiences. Nothing for yourself, because you have not given anything to earn anything back.

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