November 6th, 2012

storming the castle

Election Day thoughts

I've never been a Mitt Romney fan, but he's growing on me. I have been impressed with his steadiness, his focus during this campaign. He means to succeed. That's a good thing. However, when all is said and done, all I asked of the opposition was that they would choose somebody who didn't utterly embarrass me to vote for; I decided to vote against Barack Obama a long time ago.

why? Well, debt and deficits and general incompetence for one thing. Amateurism and arrogance in foreign policy for another. The corruption and high-handedness, number three. Even without an ideological axe to grind, I find Obama to be the worst President of my lifetime, passing Jimmy Carter and heading for depths we haven't seen since James Buchanan.

But I also have to be honest about my ideological allegiances. I find the political philosophy now called Progressivism to be morally objectionable. I would call it so, even when it accomplishes things I would consider good; hey, they used to say of Mussolini that at least he made the trains run on time.

Progressivism is a utopian ideology that in the end considers ideas more important than people. It has a set of slogans that it is determined to make true at the cost of however much suffering it has to inflict on its citizens, and when it has been proven false it just doubles down and ruins some more lives in order to prove that it was right all along. Progressivism is what Gandalf or Galadriel would have turned into if either had taken the Ruling Ring to oneself: each would have started out using one's vast new powers to improve people's lives, but would have ended forcing people to be happy on their overlord's terms.

Progressivism knows no fixed limits, it twists words to mean whatever it needs them to mean to get what it wants. Humpty-Dumpty is the ultimate Progressive Supreme Court Justice: a word means whatever he wants it to mean; the only question is which is to be master. And Progressivism is all about mastery, not freedom.

So, whether we turn Obama out for his incompetence or his successes, it makes no odds to me. You can call him a failure and get somebody who knows what he's doing, or admit that he's succeeded in his desire to entrap us in slavery to the State and get rid of him to free the nation, but it amounts to the same thing. O must go.

Another point of view

Lines During a General Election

Their threats are terrible enough, but we could bear
All that; it is their promises that bring despair.
If beauty, that anomaly, is left us still,
The cause lies in their poverty, not in their will.
If they had power ('amenities are bunk'), conceive
How their insatiate gadgetry by this would leave
No green, nor growth, nor quietude, no sap at all
In England from The Land's-End to the Roman Wall.
Think of their roads -- broad as the road to hell -- by now
Murdering a million acres that demand the plough,
The thick-voiced Tannoy blaring over Arthur's grave,
And all our coasts one Camp till not the tiniest wave
Stole from the beach unburdened with its festal scum
of cigarette-ends, orange-peel, and chewing-gum.
Nor would one island's rape suffice. Their visions are
Global; they mean the desecration of a Star;
Their happiest fancies dwell upon a time when Earth,
Flickering with sky-signs, gibbering with mechanic mirth,
One huge celestial charabanc, will stink and roll
Through patient heaven, subtopianized from pole to pole.

-- C.S. Lewis
welsh dragon

There's no comfort like an old book

Reading The Hollow Hills, the second of Mary Stewart's Merlin novels. This one is about the fostering of Arthur as a child. Ector's castle is Galava. When Merlin's servant Ralf takes the boy Arthur there, they land at Glannaventa on the coast, then up through mountain passes to Galava at the head of a long lake. It sounded very familiar.

It is. Glannaventa is Ravenglass, on the shore of Cumbria (The Lake District). The pass they would have gone up is Hardknott Pass. The narrow valley they followed thence is Langdale. Galava is the old Roman fort at Ambleside at the northern end of Lake Windermere. I've been to all these places. This adds immensely to my experience of reading The Hollow Hills.