Wednesday, September 10, 2014

The Coming of the Morlock

Earlier this morning I got a PM from a valued and respected friend living in Europe that included the comment "I see the flag flying from your wood pile and it disturbs me."  He equated my flying the US flag on my home with "nationalism" which, in his eyes, along with religion, is the source and cause of much of the world's sorrow.

After several back and forths I shared this thought: If things 'go south' with ISIS and their breed you and your more 'advanced thinking' European friends will likely be looking to 'backward-thinking' American southerners bearing the US flag to (once again) come and save you.

Why might this be?  The answer can be found in history, both ancient and modern, but also in works of thoughtful fiction.

H.G. Wells is known, today, mostly as a writer of "science fiction."  And indeed that he was. But underlying most of his works is the voice of a concerned student of history.  One who saw the ideas trending in the Europe of his day, and who, via his "fiction," tried to warn us of the future he saw coming our way.

In one of his most famous, interesting and thoughtful books, "The Time Machine," he spoke of a future where mankind had come to be split into two separate races. An effete group, living lives focused on daily pleasures, totally dependent on others for their food, shelter and the literal cloths on their back, and a barbaric offshoot of humanity -- violent and depraved, living off the flesh of others

The effete group -- called the Eloi -- lived in total acceptance of whatever came their way, hoping, simply, to be allowed their days of simple pleasure and taking as little note as possible of the quickly encroaching ugliness. And as they did, the Morlocks -- their barbaric 'cousins' -- daily expanded both the scope of their barbarity and the depth of their depravity -- that until it came to completely threaten the Eloi's seemingly paradisaic world.

In the end it was the Time Traveler -- the hero of the book -- who had to save the day. He did that (with what success Wells left unanswered) by attempting to reawaken within the Eloi any old-fashioned  manly virtues that might remain -- the (even in his day -- and far more so today) seemingly archaic values of Victorian England.

Wells book was amazingly prescient. But as even he realized, its message was possibly coming too late.

Today, if we are saved from the all too present "Morlock" -- they who comprise ISIS and their ilk, that salvation will come I think, not from England, nor from New England, but, from the old-school thinkers and doers that (Thank God!) still exist in such places as the American rural south.

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