Take my Freedom, Please

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Weekly Standard for Nov. 5, David Brooks observes that “the next few years will be defined by conflict. . . . We will destroy innocent villages by accident, shrug our shoulders, and continue fighting. In an age of conflict, bourgeois virtues like compassion, tolerance, and industriousness are valued less than the classical virtues of courage, steadfastness, and a ruthless desire for victory.”

I am left wondering when “a ruthless desire for victory” became one of the classical virtues. Such bloodthirstiness strikes me as merely barbarous.

Brooks goes on to observe that “the greatest political effect of this period of conflict will probably be to relegiti- mize central institutions,” such as the military, the FBI, and the CIA. “We are now only beginning to surrender some freedoms,” he avers, “but we will trade in more, and willingly.”

Speak for yourself, Mr. Brooks. Speak for yourself.

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