What’s the rallying point?
November 17, 2012 § 11 Comments
In the opening scene of the movie Saving Private Ryan, Captain Miller (played by Tom Hanks) and his troops are landing on Omaha Beach at Normandy, in the midst of horrific machine gun fire from German bunkers. The movie is such an unprecedentedly realistic portrayal that actual veterans of World War II who saw it often ended up in counseling, having seen the horror again for the first time since they were young men.
There are plenty of memorable moments in the film. One that sticks in mind is when, under terrible gunfire and with men getting cut to pieces around them, a subordinate yells to Miller “What’s the rallying point!?”
Captain Miller yells back, “Anywhere but here!”
There are similar casualties around us, right now. Because of the peculiarities of the modern condition they hide in plain sight. But as I’ve observed before, the Nazis have nothing on us, objectively, in terms of raw horror and numerical body count.
People get frustrated at my writing, or misunderstand it, because I am mostly just diagnosing and observing facts. I don’t have a big plan or a big answer for how the levers of the big machine ought to be moved to technologically craft some idealized society. I am not recommending that we reverse women’s suffrage, for example: I see no particular reason why that in itself would do any good. In itself the action taken as some tyrannical imposition would have at best highly unpredictable effects. Even to say that a society where it becomes a thinkable action would be capable of reversing course on abortion oversteps the bounds of reasonable claims: such a society as a point B from today’s point A could easily be a horror show. The most I would suggest – as a matter of prescription not diagnosis – is that a society which pervasively views women’s suffrage as a basic requirement of justice will be incapable of opposing a “right to abortion”. So we ought to at least do what we can to call into question that basic error, and take what opportunities may present themselves to correct that attitude, if we care about the unborn.
I don’t have an answer to the question “What’s the rallying point?”, other than “Anywhere but here!”