Monday, September 20, 2010

What the GOP can learn from Dune

"Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
-- John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton (usually known simply as "Lord Acton") in a letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton in 1887.

The above quotation, in one of its incarnations, was a truism even before the Internet. It is, however only partly right.

It is not the power per se that corrupts but the immunity from consequences. No man would abuse his power if he knew he would be shot for it. So even the mightiest of rulers can be controlled if he can also be killed. Unfortunately those who have power usually surround themeselve with elaborate protections from consequences. Untimately this isolation also insulates them from reality and then destroys them.

I find that an encouraging thought.

"He who can destroy a thing has the real control of it"
-- Paul-Muad'Dib Atreides in Dune by Frank Herbert

The above quote is more often heard in the format from the 1984 movie, "He who can destroy a thing, controls a thing", but the lesson is the same: If I can deny you something you want, you must either negotiate with me or kill me. That is power of the Tea Parties.

Mike Vanderboegh has an insightful summary of this in
"Long live the fighters!" The Lesson of the Fremen applied to the GOP.
The lesson of the Fremen, the spice and the Empire from Dune quoted above is absolutely true. The GOP is squealing so loud at this point precisely because they understand this. Even if their candidates lose the general elections, they will have at least removed the professional politicians of the GOP establishment from the board, and it is the GOP and its epochal failures which actually spawned the Tea Party. The Democrats are howling as well because they perceive their food trough is also about to be upended.

And, although I would not have said it on the radio, to the opponents of the Founders' Republic whose appetites compel them to try to take more and more of our property and our liberty -- even our lives if we get in their way -- I would also echo the warning of Paul Muad'Dib: "He who can destroy a thing, controls a thing."

Whatever rapacious tyrannical collectivist slugs value can also be destroyed.

"Long live the fighters!"
One of the lessons of history is that those who desire power do so for different reasons but the tool is the same. If the Tea Partiers can deny a politician the power he desires then that politician must either negotiate with the Tea Party or somehow negate them. The politician can retaliate with destruction of his own but that will hurt him more than his opponents. No one except the truly insane or the faith-based fruitcake wants to rule over the blasted lifeless remnant of civilization. The Tea Partiers understand, at some level, that the politicians need the Tea Party more than the Tea Party needs the politicians.

This fight ain't over 'til we say it't over.

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