Times Change

8 February 2005

On January 24, 2005, Mark Helprin wrote another piece for OpinionJournal.com. Mark is one of the great minds of this generation. His essay was titled Our Blindness. His point was easily made and easy to see:

Our own absorbing passions, which are remarkably similar, have blinded us in the same way. We have yet to find a serviceable framework for the application of our military power in the war on terrorism; in view of potential catastrophes of which we have a great deal of forewarning, we have yet to provide adequately for what used to be called civil defense; and we have no policy in regard to China’s steady cultivation of power that soon will vie with our own. Though any one of these things is capable of dominating the coming century, not one has been properly addressed.

The power of the closing paragraph should lead you to read the entire essay:

Uneven and ineffective application of military power, vulnerability to mass terrorism and natural epidemics, blindness to the rise of a great competitor: matters like these, that may seem remote and abstract, are seldom as remote and abstract as they seem. A hundred years ago, our predecessors, unable to sense what had already begun, did not know the price they would pay as the century wore on. But, as the century wore on, that price was exacted without mercy.

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