George Jonas died on January 10. In case you are not aware, Mr. Jonas has been a long time writer for the National Post, and, for a great variety of other newspapers around the world. He wrote numerous books, one of which, Beethoven’s Mask which is a collection of his essays, remains one of my all-time favourites.
A Hungarian/Canadian Jew who as a child survived Nazi totalitarianism, and who as a youth had fled Marxist/Communist totalitarianism, Mr. Jonas was a tireless champion of human rights and freedoms, and an erudite observer of the human condition.
In Beethoven’s Mask, Jonas has an essay entitled “Why Germany?” in which he examines why Germany in particular harboured the conditions or mindset that led to the Holocaust. He concludes that while nations may be different in tradition and culture, those differences define us less than our “fatal similarities.” He goes on: “It is the human race that is genocidal, not the Germans. … In one vital sense we are all Jews and we are all Germans, potentially, depending on the conditions in which we find ourselves.” I doubt the Pope could better define the doctrine of original sin.
In another essay, talking about the importance of maintaining your personal freedom from state or institutional intervention, regardless how intimidating the responsibility of personal freedom is to some people, he says the following: “Your freedom may need managing, but run a mile from anyone who offers to manage it for you.” Amen to that!
I’ve linked my comments to an article Mr. Jonas wrote in 2012 called: “These are not the government’s kids.” You might want to forward the article – especially to those with school-aged children – and suggest that they carry the article in their heads to their next meeting with their kid’s teachers and school board members.
As someone who was raised in and had escaped the extremes of nanny state-ism and totalitarianism, Mr. Jonas’ insights were relevant in the 1970s; remain so in 2016, and unfortunately – human nature being exactly what he understood it to be – will still be necessary generations from now.
I do hope your 2016 is off to a great start! But with left-wing ideologues running Alberta, and a Justin Trudeau government –whatever that is– in Ottawa; and, our American cousins and friends enduring another year of Obama – and who knows who beyond that – we have some work to do!
As many of you have heard me say before, some of you dozens of times and Meritha, hundreds of times, I don’t believe we will make significant progress against the nanny-state unless small C, common sense conservative/libertarians, (Conservatarians) do three things.
Cooperate. Conservatarian organizations and individuals need to more formally promote each other’s research and activities, and actively share resources.
Cash. Small C conservative organizations need more reliable financing. I believe we must gradually move to a membership model rather than a donation model, to finance Conservatarian outreach.
Communicate. We must move quickly to exploit the power of video delivered via social media. If we don’t, we’ll just continue preaching to the choir. And how’s that working?
Those three things are the focus of the Let’sDo It Ourselves online community. If you want to try a new approach, I invite you to, become a member.