T Nation

How Can I Help?

I love my country. Despite the many things I don’t like about America, I still love it here. I love the ideals, and I love the constitution (or at least its a thousand times better than the other couple I’ve read). I want to help my nation during this supposed “time of need”.

I’m not one for war. I’m willing to sacrifice a lot, but my life and my future are not among those. I don’t have the bravery, nor do I have the fortitude to make it in the military.

So I’m asking, oh wise and experienced American T-Posters, what can I do, what can I sacrifice? What can I convince other to do or sacrifice? How can I help our nation most during this period of economic unrest, energy crisis and overseas war?

I know we all talk a lot about being “patriotic”, but compared to my grand parents, I find myself incredibly lacking. My grandfather was a bombardier during WWII. My Grandmother has memories of eating small rations of food, and giving up many different things so the troops could have resources.

They were called the US’s “greatest generation”. What can MY generation do to best emulate them?

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
I love my country. Despite the many things I don’t like about America, I still love it here. I love the ideals, and I love the constitution (or at least its a thousand times better than the other couple I’ve read). I want to help my nation during this supposed “time of need”.

I’m not one for war. I’m willing to sacrifice a lot, but my life and my future are not among those. I don’t have the bravery, nor do I have the fortitude to make it in the military.

So I’m asking, oh wise and experienced American T-posters, what can I do, what can I sacrifice? What can I convince other to do or sacrifice? How can I help our nation most during this period of economic unrest, energy crisis and overseas war?

I know we all talk a lot about being “patriotic”, but compared to my grand parents, I find myself incredibly lacking. My grandfather was a bombardier during WWII. My Grandmother has memories of eating small rations of food, and giving up many different things so the troops could have resources.

They were called the US’s “greatest generation”. What can MY generation do to best emulate them? [/quote]

Go shopping! That’s what the president said.

Seriously, go into public service if you can’t stomach the military. Don’t be another asshole peon on Capitol Hill, but go to work for the CIA, or even better, the State Department. After getting a college degree. We have far more of an uphill climb in fixing those two compared to the military, as dysfunctional as it can be.

  1. Work hard, live under your means, and be able to take care of yourself - value your independence

  2. Spend some time helping those who can’t help themselves - volunteer

  3. Get out of your head the all-too-predictable mistake of making perfect the enemy of the good

  4. Recognize that being born in/living in the US is a fantastic privilege, and there is more to life than “getting yours” - appreciate the blessing and contribute

“Public service” doesn’t mean “public program”. How many people out there complain how they are furious about how the government won’t help people who need it, but they do nothing personally in their spare time to improve any of the things they claim to be so bent about?

Don’t be that guy. Don’t call for money to be spent on improving literacy - go volunteer at a literacy program 4 hours a week instead.

At some point, we got away from “public service” as the price of all the things we enjoy. You are young and you have nothing but time - work hard, get a good education, treasure your independence, and help those who need a hand to get their opportunity.

[quote]thunderbolt23 wrote:

[/quote]

Hats off, master.

I’d echo T-bolt. But I’d add a few other options:

-Join the JPFO or GOA. They might be gun-rights organizations, but gun rights people serve as some of the best defenders of civil liberties across the board. Non-gun supporters are free riders in our society.

-Educate yourself and others. Our republic can only stand with a virtuous and knowledgeable citizenry. Then spread the word. Democrats aren’t the problem with our country. The problem lies with Republicans and Libertarians who lack intellectual and physical courage.

I’ve never taken you for a man lacking in dedication. I think you know what you need to do. These are just some ideas.

I know this is blasphemy, but I can’t accept those that fought WW2 as our greatest generation. They fought a war a hundred times harder than the ones I was in, and they deserve credit. But they really dropped the ball when they came home. Consider too that these are the men that gave us King Roosevelt, our worst president to date.

mike

Our greatest generation comprised the gentlemen who were alive during our first war, in my estimation. Franklin, Washington, Jackson, Jefferson, Adams… we won’t see their like again.

Oh, and Franklin D. Roosevelt was pretty bad, having confiscated our gold and plunging us into socialism, but was he our worst?

I’m still going with my original choice for biggest dipshit in the White House: Woodrow Fucking Wilson.

Without Wilson, we would have no Fourteen Points and Treaty of Versailles, which means no League of Nations and no humiliated Germany. By extension, this means no United Nations, no rise of Hitler, no World War Two.

In fact, if Wilson had kept us out of WWI altogether, it probably would have petered out all by itself, with the borders of all countries and empires largely unchanged.

So no Soviet Union, no Saudi Arabia, no Afghanistan, no Iraq. No Israel. That’s 75 per cent of our troubles in the last 50 years eliminated.

No Viet Nam, either (another debacle that Wilson was ultimately partially responsible for: he snubbed Ho Chi Minh in Paris when Ho was asking Wilson for support and recognition of an independent Indochina. Ho never forgave Wilson, or the United States, for the insult.

So while we’ve had some stinkers as presidents, my money’s still on Wilson for the most pungent of them all.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
I love my country. Despite the many things I don’t like about America, I still love it here. I love the ideals, and I love the constitution (or at least its a thousand times better than the other couple I’ve read). I want to help my nation during this supposed “time of need”.

I’m not one for war. I’m willing to sacrifice a lot, but my life and my future are not among those. I don’t have the bravery, nor do I have the fortitude to make it in the military.

So I’m asking, oh wise and experienced American T-Posters, what can I do, what can I sacrifice? What can I convince other to do or sacrifice? [/quote]

First of all, ‘nephew’, learn the meaning of ‘sacrifice’. To sacrifice means to give up something of higher value in exchange for something of lower value. To truly sacrifice is to lose.

Secondly, live for yourself, do not live for others. To be rationally selfish is the most moral thing you can do. Anyone can give up their life or their values — it takes real courage to keep them. Your integrity is priceless; treat it that way.

Last, there is really nothing to be done. Society is dying from a huge dose of altruism. In the name of benevolence, a robber-government was created. It slowly grows more powerful and more evil. Soon, it will become absolute in its tyranny, as soon as the economy collapses.

So, work as little as possible, leaving nothing for the murderers/bureaucrats to exploit. When the day comes, when society dissolves into robber gangs trying to kill each other, we will all march on Washington, with sword (or an M-16) in hand.

“We happy few, we band of brothers…for he who sheds his blood with me this day is my brother…”

[quote]Headhunter wrote:

Last, there is really nothing to be done. Society is dying from a huge dose of altruism. In the name of benevolence, a robber-government was created. It slowly grows more powerful and more evil. Soon, it will become absolute in its tyranny, as soon as the economy collapses.

So, work as little as possible, leaving nothing for the murderers/bureaucrats to exploit. When the day comes, when society dissolves into robber gangs trying to kill each other, we will all march on Washington, with sword (or an M-16) in hand.

[/quote]

If it came to that, I’d rather push for secession of the Western non-coastal states, and leave Washington to its destiny. Like I said on the “So You Call Yourself An American” thread, if all the Red States west of the Missouri River were to secede, along with British Columbia, the Yukon and Alberta, there would be an unbroken swath of land stretching from the Bering Strait to the Gulf of Mexico, about the same area as the current 48 contiguous US states, but with only a third the population. Most of these people, moreover, are gun-packin’, cattle raisin’, oil-drillin’, coal minin’, gold-ownin’, timber-haulin’, nuke havin’ conservatives.

Fuck Washington. Let it rule the wretched refuse of its teeming shores, for as long as it is able.

And fuck the M16. Gimme an M14 any day.


Tell me, Headhunter: what good would it have done the American colonists to march on London, with sword and musket?

Here’s the flag of the Western Confederation of America. If you look carefully you can see the rough borders of the new country. You’ll notice it does not include Ohio. Looks like you need to move.

Hmmm…such a nation looks rather hard to defend, sort of like Israel. You also have a low population density (which is a big reason why the people living there have a particular philosophy of life) — this augurs an immigration and the country would turn into a version of…Ohio.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:
Hmmm…such a nation looks rather hard to defend, sort of like Israel. [/quote]

We have the Rocky Mountains and guns in every house. That makes us more like Switzerland, with nuclear weapons and access to seaports.

One must ask oneself why such an immigration hasn’t already occurred.

You say that low population density instills a particular philosophy. I submit that the converse is also true: that people with this particular philosophy of life are by nature rare, much in the same way that wolves are rarer than sheep.

The sheep tend to congregate in the cities and along the coasts, where they feel safety in numbers (and may benefit from the care of their shepherds). The wolves, on the other hand, require physical space and relative isolation for their activities and comfort zone, and seek out landscapes where space is available. Changing the borders of the country isn’t going to change the basic life philosophies of wolves and sheep, nor their respective ratios.

Anyway, I really doubt that many homeless crack addicts are going to be flooding into Missoula, Montana and Casper, Wyoming as soon as independence is declared, lured by the attractions of a tough life, cold winters and no welfare money.

Don’t worry, Headhunter. Rainjack had the same concerns, but we finally settled the matter by deciding that candidates for immigration to the Confederacy would have to prove their fitness by surviving in the wilderness for thirty days with nothing but a compass, map, rifle and ammunition. The unfit ones that didn’t freeze, starve, or get eaten by bears would scurry back to the flock in short order.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:

Don’t worry, Headhunter. Rainjack had the same concerns, but we finally settled the matter by deciding that candidates for immigration to the Confederacy would have to prove their fitness by surviving in the wilderness for thirty days with nothing but a compass, map, rifle and ammunition. The unfit ones that didn’t freeze, starve, or get eaten by bears would scurry back to the flock in short order.[/quote]

Wow, nothing but those things! Do you have to skin a bear for clothing? ;D

A philosophic question: would Beowolf be invited? He seems sincere and is quite intelligent. He has altruistic tendencies, so you have to decide if this qualifies or disqualifies him for admittance.

In the future, unless someone invents the equivalent of gunpowder (in a revoultionary sense of new weaponry), to return the advantages to the offense, I CAN envision the United States breaking up in this manner. The central government would have a far more difficult task compared to the Civil War, when offense was clearly superior to defense.

[quote]Headhunter wrote:

A philosophic question: would Beowolf be invited? He seems sincere and is quite intelligent. He has altruistic tendencies, so you have to decide if this qualifies or disqualifies him for admittance.[/quote]

A bigger philosophic question would be, would Beowolf, or any New Yorker, want to live there? Nothing against New Yorkers in particular, but it seems to me that the great majority of Metropolites are Metropolites by choice. In other words, Alkibiades was the notable exception: most Athenians don’t want to become Spartans.

[quote]In the future, unless someone invents the equivalent of gunpowder (in a revoultionary sense of new weaponry), to return the advantages to the offense, I CAN envision the United States breaking up in this manner. The central government would have a far more difficult task compared to the Civil War, when offense was clearly superior to defense.

[/quote]
I think Raytheon has this covered with their next generation of microwave weapons. All a defender can do to defend against these is run away… or put on tinfoil armor.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
Headhunter wrote:

A philosophic question: would Beowolf be invited? He seems sincere and is quite intelligent. He has altruistic tendencies, so you have to decide if this qualifies or disqualifies him for admittance.

A bigger philosophic question would be, would Beowolf, or any New Yorker, want to live there? Nothing against New Yorkers in particular, but it seems to me that the great majority of Metropolites are Metropolites by choice. In other words, Alkibiades was the notable exception: most Athenians don’t want to become Spartans.
[/quote]

First: Thanks for all the advice everyone. Obviously, this stuff isn’t just for me, but for my lazy ass whining generation as a whole. Specific thanks to TB, your words are, as always, quite poignant. I liked my Uncles schpiel as well.

Second: Would I want to live in such a place? Thats a very difficult question. Parts of me craves that kind of lifestyle. Where people live by their own means, and where things like brotherhood and honor really mean something. I’m a sucker for tales of brotherhood and adventure. On the other hand, I can’t stand being isolated from people. Even though I may not always want to seek them out, knowing that I can go find a group of people to hang out with at any time is very comforting. I have friends who live in upstate NY… it’s probably the most boring place I’ve ever been. I don’t like the idea of having to travel miles and miles to gather a group of friends to play pickup football or see a movie.

The New Yorker stereotype is about as true as the Southerner stereotype. Its extremely visible in some people, and almost invisible or non existent in others (just like most stereotypes). The New Yorkers are not the “Athenians” while the west is filled with “Spartans”. Think about how many immigrants found their fortunes in New York City alone.

What your talking about is a place where manhood is valued. A place where people are not only REQUIRED, but genuinely WANT to contribute more to than they cost, the mark of a man (to provide).

I think if it came down between a socialist “paradise” and a capitalist “paradise”, I would choose the capitalist nation. But nothing is that simple or clear cut. Too make such a decision, I’d need to see how each place would realistically pan out.

PS@HH - Do you actually watch the show, or do you have kids that do? Just curious.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
The New Yorkers are not the “Athenians” while the west is filled with “Spartans”. [/quote]

My point was that most people who are accustomed to the creature comforts and conveniences of city living will not voluntarily give them up for a harsh life of discipline and privation. The ones who do are the great exceptions, and even Alkibiades had an ulterior agenda.

I suppose so. I figure that’s basically what America was supposed to be all about.

All socialist paradises generally go bankrupt in the end.

[quote]Varqanir wrote:
My point was that most people who are accustomed to the creature comforts and conveniences of city living will not voluntarily give them up for a harsh life of discipline and privation. The ones who do are the great exceptions, and even Alkibiades had an ulterior agenda.

I suppose so. I figure that’s basically what America was supposed to be all about.

All socialist paradises generally go bankrupt in the end.[/quote]

A) I agree. I’m just saying it is only a very small percentage of New Yorkers who qualify under your “Athenian” definition. The only “convenience” all city-folk share is the ability to get anywhere on the Island quickly, and thats a trade off (they give up, usually, the convenience of being able to afford to have a convenient means of long distance travel).

B) I agree. Thats what most cultures are supposed to be about. That’s the way evolution built man.

C) If it was truly a socialist paradise, it would not go bankrupt. I was speaking about the two hypothetical. I don’t believe a purely capitalist society would work out either (Read: Jennifer Government) as it would be anarchistic. I was postulating that I’d need to see to what extent each society brought their extreme, and what middle grounds were taken.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
A) I agree. I’m just saying it is only a very small percentage of New Yorkers who qualify under your “Athenian” definition. The only “convenience” all city-folk share is the ability to get anywhere on the Island quickly, and thats a trade off (they give up, usually, the convenience of being able to afford to have a convenient means of long distance travel).
…[/quote]

Spoken like someone who has never lived outside a large city.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
The only “convenience” all city-folk share is the ability to get anywhere on the Island quickly, and thats a trade off (they give up, usually, the convenience of being able to afford to have a convenient means of long distance travel).[/quote]

Ohhhh, I can think of a few conveniences a city boy might take for granted, that might not be available to someone in the country.

By way of a f’rinstance, last summer I was inconvenienced by the necessity to take a shovel and wheelbarrow and clear the one road leading to my house, on five different occasions, because the wild boars, digging for grubs on the cliff face abutting the road, had created a rockslide large enough to block traffic.

This sort of thing doesn’t happen much in Manhattan, I’ll wager.

It’s also a bit inconvenient to have to fire up a chainsaw and cut down huge yew and oak trees near your house (because the typhoon blows the dead branches down on your roof) and then buck the logs, split the wood and haul it around to all your friends who heat with woodstoves. About three cords, all told. Know how much three cords is? It’s a stack of wood about as big as a Ford Excursion, and damn near as heavy.

It’s a bit inconvenient to have to haul all of your garbage (at least, whatever can’t be composted, recycled, or incinerated) to the dump yourself, every other week.

But you know what? The inconvenience is worth it.

And now I’ll answer your original question. How can you and your generation help?

Live more inconveniently. Do more for yourself. Be as self-reliant as you can. You don’t have to leave the city and raise goats in Arkansas or anything, but certainly you can live more independently.

And turn off the goddamned TV.

Best of luck.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:
Varqanir wrote:
Headhunter wrote:

A philosophic question: would Beowolf be invited? He seems sincere and is quite intelligent. He has altruistic tendencies, so you have to decide if this qualifies or disqualifies him for admittance.

A bigger philosophic question would be, would Beowolf, or any New Yorker, want to live there? Nothing against New Yorkers in particular, but it seems to me that the great majority of Metropolites are Metropolites by choice. In other words, Alkibiades was the notable exception: most Athenians don’t want to become Spartans.

First: Thanks for all the advice everyone. Obviously, this stuff isn’t just for me, but for my lazy ass whining generation as a whole. Specific thanks to TB, your words are, as always, quite poignant. I liked my Uncles schpiel as well.

Second: Would I want to live in such a place? Thats a very difficult question. Parts of me craves that kind of lifestyle. Where people live by their own means, and where things like brotherhood and honor really mean something. I’m a sucker for tales of brotherhood and adventure. On the other hand, I can’t stand being isolated from people. Even though I may not always want to seek them out, knowing that I can go find a group of people to hang out with at any time is very comforting. I have friends who live in upstate NY… it’s probably the most boring place I’ve ever been. I don’t like the idea of having to travel miles and miles to gather a group of friends to play pickup football or see a movie.

The New Yorker stereotype is about as true as the Southerner stereotype. Its extremely visible in some people, and almost invisible or non existent in others (just like most stereotypes). The New Yorkers are not the “Athenians” while the west is filled with “Spartans”. Think about how many immigrants found their fortunes in New York City alone.

What your talking about is a place where manhood is valued. A place where people are not only REQUIRED, but genuinely WANT to contribute more to than they cost, the mark of a man (to provide).

I think if it came down between a socialist “paradise” and a capitalist “paradise”, I would choose the capitalist nation. But nothing is that simple or clear cut. Too make such a decision, I’d need to see how each place would realistically pan out.

PS@HH - Do you actually watch the show, or do you have kids that do? Just curious.

[/quote]

Avatar is very cool — all my kids (6,12,17) enjoy the show.

Much of what Varg is describing is in ‘Atlas Shrugged’ btw.

I think we should all realize, with Marx, is how important economics is with determining social structure. As wealth increases, people can be less and less dependent on others. If work became obsolete, for example, we’d have no need of hierarchy or war, and so on. This is the conflict between countries that vote for their leaders and those who don’t — leaders mostly want power, but elected leaders are at the mercy of the populace. The dynamic is between the people and the leadership. If wealth becomes universal, then Communism becomes the ideal society. Only war is destructive enough of wealth to prevent communism.

So, people in cities are there not because they are sheep or less manly. They are there because of wealth. Of course, our leaders began making us poorer so wealth centers, cities, are in decay.

[quote]Beowolf wrote:

They were called the US’s “greatest generation”. What can MY generation do to best emulate them? [/quote]

Get a good career, get married, and raise children in a traditional and moral household.