Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, 1944:
Your task is not an easy one. Your enemy is well trained, well equipped and battle-hardened. He will fight savagely.…I have full confidence in your courage, devotion to duty and skill in battle.Let us beseech the blessing of Almighty God upon this great and noble undertaking.
Right.Left.Up.Down. Most people today have an opinion.
If only we were to only look over our shoulder. Not too far back & not for too long mind you, but if we do, perhaps we might remember the cost. Not only the cost, but also the place where fanaticism, paranoia, hysteria, misinformation, manipulation and propaganda lands a society. Lands the world.
Context determines meaning, we were told, in every class during my university studies. Finding context requires effort, but we live in perilous times. These days form defines the content, or at best, form determines interest in the content.
For example: opinions are moulded solely on the basis of memes, rumour, sensationalism and a tendency to read a news headline or watch a thirty-second video and decide that its content is all there is to know. However, acknowledgement does not always lead to knowledge. This is because all of the above involve, in one way or another, not just an exchange of information, but a surrender and realignment of the heart and mind, with the swaying utilitarian consensus of social media.
Often resulting in a large portion of the public who have become mindless and misinformed. For instance: the growing confusion between what it means to be a free citizen or an indentured subject. Or the growing transaction of faith in God with an absolute faith in an ideology. Blurred distinctions arise when an ideology no longer serves, but is served.
In order to defeat an ideological war machine, the ‘United Nations’ had to become one. The very real questions we face today are how much of that legacy thrives, unseen, in the Western parts of our world today, and what kind of a counter-response does it demand?
‘The defeat of Hitler and the Axis powers in World War II meant the military defeat of fascism, but an ideology cannot be defeated by military power alone. Ideas linger. The intellectual heritage of fascism has never been repudiated.’
– Gene E. Veith, 1993 ‘Modern Fascism’ Kindle ed. Loc. 181, 2695-2696
Lest we forget.