To an immigrant such as myself (not the undocumented kind, but documented up to the hilt, alas), one of the most striking features of election-night analysis was the lightly worn racial obsession. On Fox News, Democrat Kirsten Powers argued that Republicans needed to deal with the reality that America is becoming what she called a “brown country.” Her fellow Democrat Bob Beckel observed on several occasions that if the share of the “white vote” was held down below 73 percent Romney would lose. In the end, it was 72 percent and he did. Beckel’s assertion — that if you knew the ethnic composition of the electorate you also knew the result — turned out to be correct.
Religion. Sports. War. Biologist E.O. Wilson says our drive to join a group—and to fight for it—is what makes us human.
Have you ever wondered why, in the ongoing presidential campaign, we so strongly hear the pipes calling us to arms? Why the religious among us bristle at any challenge to the creation story they believe? Or even why team sports evoke such intense loyalty, joy, and despair?
The answer is that everyone, no exception, must have a tribe, an alliance with which to jockey for power and territory, to demonize the enemy, to organize rallies and raise flags.
Those that are concerned with TEOTWAWKI scenarios, as we are, can find great benefit in looking to history for meaningful lessons on what to expect and how to plan and prepare. In many of these circles we often here of and reference the heroic exploits of bands of citizen warriors throughout history.
Rogers Rangers, the Minute Men of New England, The Green Mountain Boys of Vermont and other Revolutionary War militia, The guerilla fighting Comanche and Cheyenne warriors of North America, and of course the various books, movies and television shows that constitute our survivalist-militia paradigm. I wish to add another relevant and realistic event and militia group to our lexicon and highlight a bit of recent history that took place just about 3,000 miles from North America. This true and well-documented period of time and events can be mined by our communities for numerous insights into preparedness.
Mark Twain penned a famous line more than a century ago neatly distilling the distinct cultures of the three largest cities in the American Northeast. “In Boston,” he wrote, “they ask, ‘How much does he know?’ In New York, ‘How much is he worth?’ In Philadelphia, ‘Who were his parents?’”
Boston has been, since its earliest days, a city of higher education, New York a city of financial might, and Philadelphia a city of historical lineage. To this day – Twain wrote this in 1899 – much about his assessment still holds. We often joke about what these cultural legacies mean for ourselves (Chicagoans are so sensible, Angelenos so flaky, people in Salt Lake City so self-reliant). But it turns out there is in fact plenty of truth to the notion that the places where we live influence how we view the world and our role in it.