Saturday, October 07, 2023

The Seeds of Destruction

There's expression which seems to aptly apply to the current state of America like no other which goes like this,  "every revolution contains within it the seed to its own destruction". The expression originates from author Frank Herbert's magnum opus, "Dune", first serialized in the sci-fi magazine "Analog" from 1963 through 1965 and finally published as a book in 1965.

The expression was given voice by the character "Princess Irulan", the emperor's daughter, as she said "...if history teaches us anything, it's simply this: every revolution carries within it the seeds of its own destruction. And empires that rise will one day fall". Have truer words ever been spoken (even if only by a fictional character)?

The United States was founded based on the concept of freedom of the individual, no matter what that entailed. We had the right to live where we wanted. To believe---or not---what we wanted. To lives our lives with as little government interference as possible. This was to be the land where the individual was sovereign. 

We welcomed everyone with a dream and who longed for freedom. It was here that a "seed" of the revolution which was planted by our Founding Fathers. In time it would be called The Tree of Liberty. It would bear fruit and shade for all Mankind or so hope our nation's Founders.

 That seed has struggled to survive. It's been watered with the sweat and blood of countless Americans. Some have sought to dig it up while others wanted to cage it and change it. Now that seed has grown into something not wholly expected.

We allowed ourselves to become distracted. We turned over its care to those for whom care was their own interests. They watered it too freely with our blood and sweat. They pruned too deeply, cutting away the lives of our young men and women for their temporal benefit like placing a rose in a vase. They deprived it of nourishment by cutting off its sources of knowledge as others poisoned its roots with lies and distortions.

The Republic created on that hot July day in Philadelphia in 1776 has passed as all empires do in their Autumns, yet those who destroyed haven't allowed it to fully take its place in history. They sought to hide what they've done by showing us reflections.   

Perhaps we were willing to be deceived. Unable to face what we had allowed.  But if we're to save it, we must let it go and salvage what we can. It's decay didn't result from the idea itself. The seed itself was good. Perhaps it placed too much faith on the individual. It's slow decay the result of our lack of attention. In the end, it shows that freedom is never free or safe, even in soil where it was planted.


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