Yielding to tyranny is a shameful way to die

It has been quipped that the only thing people learn from history is that we learn nothing from history.  In that regard, while it may be tiresome to draw analogies to Adolf Hitler, his example reveals how little we have learned.  Perhaps it is better instead to compare his followers of then to the people of today.  They can teach us much.

To that point, in a televised documentary of Hitler's rise to power, one of the most poignant anecdotes concerned a German father and son.  In the early days of Nazism, the father opposed Hitler's rise to power, but the son was enticed by the dictator's charisma.  He persistently begged his father to allow him to join the Nazi Party.  After a long period of time, when it became clear that the Nazis would prevail in the political power struggle, the father relented.  He believed that the boy would be better off as a member of the majority.  

Months later, the entire German 6th Army was annihilated at Stalingrad.  Of a quarter-million men, only about 5,000 ever returned alive to Germany, and only years after the war.  The others died in combat, froze to death, or perished in captivity at the hands of the Russians.  As German cities were bombed, up to two million civilians died.  

We can reasonably imagine that many a son, and many a father, regretted his decision to yield to tyranny.  Their fates could not have been worse, even if they had rebelled against the dictator.  

Again, while it may be tiresome, the lesson we should have learned is that passivity against tyranny is a fatal mistake.  In such a struggle, there is no neutrality, but only its illusion.  The adage is true — that the only realistic hope, of those who yield to authoritarian rule, is that they will be eaten last.  However, their children will not survive that long.  

We have ample warning of what the radical left will do to us should it prevail in today's power struggle.  Leftists have boldly announced it.  They will trash our past; indoctrinate our children; and invite millions of noncitizens, who have no regard for our values, to vote.  They will wreck our economy with predictably disastrous regulations in the name of saving the planet.  Our enemies, correctly sensing weakness, will go to war against our national interests.  Finally, the system will be rigged so there will never be another honest election.  Having seized power, the left will never relinquish it without bloodshed.  It never has.  History testifies to it.  

What is more valuable to a free man than his freedom?  Is it safety?  Comfort?  Love?  His very life?  Whatever treasures one can name, each of them, without freedom, is sooner or later forfeit.

Have we learned that?

Image: Louis P. Hirshman via Wikimedia Commons, CC BY-SA 4.0.