From the White House twitter feed:
“People like this fail…because the future is always won by those who build, not destroy.” — President Obama on ISIL #Iraq 12:55 PM – 20 Aug 2014
Excerpt from the response from Mollie Hemmingway:
See, there are conflicting ways of looking at man’s nature — the distinguishing characteristics we all have. The Founding Fathers of this country were part of a long line of people who acknowledged that, well, evil exists and that men are tempted toward it. This is an important part of understanding why they set up a government of checks and balances. Progressives, as their self-given label suggests, believe that human nature can change, if we can speak of nature at all. And not just change but be perfected. They frequently see government as the means to such transformation into a perfect society.
That’s why they say 3) unbelievably inane things such as, “you’re on the wrong side of history.” Or “The future is always won by those who build, not destroy.” That is literally Mickey Mouse philosophy. And I don’t mean that in a good way.
President Obama’s utopian fantasy of “the future” “always” being “won by those who build, not destroy” is just obviously and resoundingly false, for better or worse. I mean, define “future.” And define “winning” and “building vs. destroying.” Tamerlane had tremendous success destroying and slaughtering his enemies — for most of a century. And World War II didn’t end by building up Nagasaki. There are good winners and bad winners littered throughout history.
What’s more, this “wrong side of history” nonsense is nothing more than a religious belief in supernatural causality. It implies that history isn’t shaped by men but, instead, by outside inevitable forces that can always be counted on. If this were so, we wouldn’t need to work so hard to raise up good children and fight the evils all around us.
Man has a nature, obviously, but man’s nature doesn’t have a history. That’s the whole point. We must always be on guard against tyranny, be it the kind we see in ISIS or the kind we see in our own hearts. That line from Alexander Solzhenitsyn in The Gulag Archipelago, a book about the horrors of the Soviet forced labor camp system, comes in handy. Describing the basic error in another well-known form of progressivism’s thinking — that some men are good and some men are bad — he wrote:
If only that were true! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.