Yesterday's fall of the Berlin Wall, today's celebration of the birth of the Marine Corps and tomorrow is Veteran's Day set the theme for today's post. So, the theme should be about Liberty, shouldn't it?
Liberty is fragile because of people. People have goals, agendas, visions, worldviews, and opinions that conflict. And when conflict happens, then liberty is at stake. One side cannot make demands on the other without subverting liberty.
In the book I have been reading, Democracy and Dictatorship, Bartu, suggests that there must remain tension between two distinctive ideals, for liberty to survive. Man's very psychological make-up is made betwee two type of consciousness; rational consciousness, and unconsciousness or feeling. When one or the other rules the society, without acknowledging its tension with the "other" ideal, then liberty and justice will be denied us all,. The individual must be affirmed in society for liberty to be maintained. Society is formed of individuals.
Governments are protected by holding tensions between the immanent and the transcendent realms. Fascism suppresses the transcendental dimension of life by the secular myths of leadership and race, while the Communists call the trascendental dimension empircal and immanent and work accordingly.(pg.66).
The critical mind must affirm both the ideal and the real.
Democracy survives only as Christian ethics and the individualistic ethics of competition survive. How do these two co-exist in one society? America has done a good job.
All of these (and there are many others) provide a climate where tolerance can flourish and becomes a value. This is an American "ideal"; tolerance for diversity.
Today, Americans celebrate our liberty because of others who sacrificed for our liberty from those that would only affirm "one side of the coin". America's ideal is our diversity and holding to public debate and discourse about differences of opinion, conviction and values. Let Liberty Ride On.