I can imagine many of you, gentle readers, wondering "what on Earth does a film involving an imaginary white rabbit have to do with the Enlightenment, the present war of ideas, our loss of liberty, or combating the present march of tyranny?" At one point in the film, Elwood P. Dowd commented that in life one could be smart, or one could be pleasant, and that he had tried being smart, but now preferred to be pleasant. As an intelligent teenager who prized his intellect that particular remark struck me as an exceptionally curious thing to say. It has stuck in my head since that first time I saw the film, and I have contemplated that remark from time to time ever since. The implication was that Stewart's character preferred not to try to take advantage of others by using his intellect. In essence, Elwood P. Dowd wanted to be decent, to deal fairly with those around him, and to be treated fairly, about which more anon. Now, gentle reader, we start to get to my point.
I have been reflecting upon the present war of ideas and cultures, and I grow increasingly convinced that decency is an important weapon in the arsenal of freedom. But what is decency? What is the definition of "decent"? As is common with English, there are several definitions, but here is the one that I think applies here: "marked by moral integrity, kindness, and goodwill." Moral integrity, kindness and goodwill. Those are some of the values that the FreeFor defends, together with our rights and freedoms, but decency itself is a powerful weapon against tyranny. Some may say that decency implies weakness, that decent people get screwed and taken advantage of, and that we must be skilled, tough and merciless to survive and prevail in the coming unpleasantness. I agree that skills, mental and physical toughness, and impartial justice may all be required, but I do not agree that these are inconsistent with decency.
Going back to "Harvey," if you watch the film carefully, you will see that the tiddly, pleasant, eccentric and decent Mr. Dowd manages to cleverly arrange matters so that he is able to continue his daily visits to his favorite bar unmolested by mental health professionals or his family. Now obviously, this is fiction, viewed through the rose-tinted lenses of 1950, but even so, there is a lesson to be drawn. Even those whose putative duty was to have Mr. Dowd committed and locked up DID NOT WANT TO DO IT, they wanted to leave Mr. Dowd alone, because he was pleasant and decent. So too with all the people Elwood and Harvey interacted with; because he and they were decent, they wanted to help him.
Moving to the real world, one of the reasons that the police personnel backed off during the October 13th demonstration against illegitimate authority in Mordor-on-the-Potomac was that they knew that their actions were wrong, and that the veterans had a right to assemble and petition for a redress of grievances and to visit the public memorials. The hateful actions of the Spite House were exposed as indecent; the moral outrage of the veterans, in defense of decency, was one reason for this success.
It has been said that only 3% of the colonists in 1776 were willing to take up arms against a tyrannical British government, and that about a third of the remainder supported the King, a third supported the rebels, and a third sat on the fence and watched to see which way the wind was blowing. By the end of the war, the rebels had a plurality if not a majority of the population on their side, in no small part because of the barbarity, arrogance and cruelty of the British. There is a powerful lesson to be learned there. The perceptions of the productive middle class regarding those presently exercising illegitimate authority are going to be crucial. Decency and legitimacy are going to be powerful arguments in favor of supporting the FreeFor only if the FreeFor is not only a force for liberty, justice and truth, but a force that supports essential decency.
Kindness to the innocent.
Those are values reserved for patriots, not tyrants. We who stand heir to the Founders must always remember that. The forces of tyranny are almost entirely lacking in these things and that is a huge weakness. Regardless of their control of the main stream media, their monitoring of the internet, their billions of rounds of ammunition, their armored vehicles and all the other material and logistics advantages they possess, when their own personnel come to comprehend the essential indecency of those that they presently serve, then they are lost. Weapons only work when people are willing to use them; this applies to both sides in this war of ideas, and one of our most powerful weapons is decency. They lie; we speak the truth. They cheat; we give value for value. They steal; we protect property rights. They dishonor our protectors; we stand to defend them. We uphold the banner of decency, and the mass of the undecided are beginning to notice that. We need to remind them, early and often, that our oppressors are not honest, are not caring, and are not respectful.
When we keep the banner of decency clean and without stain, then we hold the moral high ground, and the enemy will always be attacking uphill. This does not mean that we can avoid conflict by any means, but with decency on our side we have a powerful ally. "In war, the moral is the physical as ten is to one." War does not determine who is right, but being *right*, being *decent* will help determine who is left.
With regard to all who serve the Light,