I recently watched the movie, Man of Steel, which is a reproduction of the Superman origin story. It was well done, it was Superman both in his prime as well as an explanation of his birth and home world. There is a decent development of Clark on Earth as well, which is touching and important.
Clark’s development on Earth is punctuated by events that show his overarching desire to do good. And while he is sometimes scared, his earth father’s discipline is a key point throughout the movie. Even the righteous must wait for the right time, to have control even when you believe it is your destiny and purpose to do a task; you still have to be aware and must be cognoscent of the world around you and its realities. I see this as the old lesson of American style stoicism, not a realpolitik but a down to earth realism that guides moral judgements and actions–more on that later.
Every father wants his son to become a great man, a man of exceptional talent and capable of great feats. Wise men do not wish for their sons to be discovered too quickly, having their childhood and moral development stolen from them before they are actually men fully grown. Even with this Earth father’s protection, Clark still has a drive to do what he is meant to do. He wants to help and protect the people and the society he loves. He cannot do this fully until he knows who he is, where he comes from, and why he was placed in this position. Our Superman does find these answers, and there is a complete change in him, he has purpose combined with his super-natural strength, and now he has come fully into his own.
The same lesson can be applied to any situation, but I chose to use it as a chastisement of a political natural. I would direct these views towards my fellow Americans on the Right and ask them, “Do you know what you stand for? Do you know why we must fight, and who or what we are fighting for?” These are the most important questions, and they shape the debate on what will the future will hold; today’s questions and beliefs will cast shadows far into the future, for we are coming upon a decisive point in our history.
Unfortunately for the citizens of Earth, the process that transforms Clark into Superman also attracts General Zod, the last remaining leader of the race of beings which Superman originates. In contrast to Superman, Zod has never questioned his purpose, he has only one, and he carries it out with resolve. He is to protect the future of his kind, that was always his purpose and he has honed his abilities all of his life. He is genetically and environmentally conditioned to fight for and protect the future of his people. Nothing else matters for General Zod, it is his purpose for being. And here we have two beings who come from the same stock but are of completely different natures. In the simplest terms, one is of the old brand, and one the new; one understands choice with purpose, the other understands only purpose.
Now here I am going to stretch the analogy a little bit. Lets look at another situation where we have the nation in a transitional period. The Right and the Conservative and Republican factions of the country are in somewhat of an identity crisis. I will make the connection that among the Right there are many who understands purpose, although degraded in some places such as the political arena, and there are some who fully embrace choice. This in a political sense is healthy and proper; the debate will, I believe, create a new focus for the Conservative side or even a new party to overtake the GOP. But when we depart from simply the political arena we find that there are other trends.
Many Americans fear for the future of their country and values. And this was not helped when the Federal government published a paper that noted Right wing extremist groups with recent Iraq and Afghan veterans as a threat to national security; this only achieved the confirmation for many that the government was doing and intended to target them in their private lives. This was showed the drastic disconnect between the writers, probably East Coast DCites, and the policy culture of the Federal Government compared to the many millions of concerned citizens. It boils down to this, the “Armed Extremist Radicals” of America plan to defend themselves and their country against oppressors government or otherwise, but they still see light and a chance to live peaceably. And veterans no better than most the importance of a society run by laws and not gangs and clans armed with IEDs and AKs. Most Service members, present and past, have a sense of duty that will not tolerate aiding societal discord at home, from any source. And so the likelihood of the Leftist fears are unfounded. That will remain the case as long as the Right believes there is half a chance for controlled legislative government. If a new political force can come to fruition and defend traditional American vales and defeat the enemies of Progressivism and Subjective Multiculturalism then no fear can be justified. But, just as General Zod lost his purpose, if oppression and the abolition of the American values continues to the point to which the Right sees no peaceful recourse, then the Right will in great numbers resort to the force of arms.
For many, the future feared will soon be present.