Aragorn’s speech in „The Lord of the Rings”. The one before the final battle. The one where he screams „By all that you hold dear on this good Earth, I bid you stand, Men of the West!”. And then he storms the Black Gate.
This, except in real life – messier, less obvious to someone far away, with Internet, shelters and tons of waiting rooms. I would prefer to just storm the Black Gate. I would prefer for the lines to be drawn clearly for everyone to see. I would prefer not having to explain what Moscow is. Some of my plans got broken, some bonds got nearly lost, I had to reach for some pills I forgot I had stashed in my drawer. While the man I wanted to spend my life with is doing some real humanitarian work close to the front line, my feminine self waits in a safe room and cries, and then goes on to teach physics and math, and then waits some more and wonders – maybe I could have written something better. Maybe our podcast could have had more views. Maybe I could have sent my articles to other media outlets. Am I making a difference?
We all have to add a tiny bit of a voice to Aragorn’s scream. We don’t just have one Heir of Gondor. We are plenty – children of all who have been killed and tortured by Moscow in the last century. We have to scream in front of the Black Gate in one way or another, and hope someone hears us. „I bid you stand, Men of the West” – this is who we are, and we picked this identity for ourselves. Nobody forced us. Sorry, Mearsheimer. I know you will deny our agency for we are not empires, but you are wrong about human nature. We want to choose life and freedom. And at some point, we want to live in a world where nobody needs to scream, for all screams have been heard.
Heard, not muzzled, not sent to labor camps, not minimized. And not twisted for the sake of someone’s ideology.
One personal realization that hit me the hardest – some American libertarians are not libertarians at all. Primarily, they are American pacifists. American pacifists. In case it is not immediately obvious… Imagine Yuri Andropov or other KGB propaganda official browsing their files thinking „Ah, yes. The American pacifist movement, left and right. Such a brilliant material for useful idiots. We have to infiltrate them, they will make it so easy for us. Let’s give them some money. Let’s see what moves them. They think states are bad, and the USA is the worst state? They think all can be blamed on Washington? They’re not even taught proper perspective?” – and a hellish laugh follows.
I thought… I guess I thought some people I have met would be wiser. And now I am left with downright suspicions (there is a difference between an idiot and and agent)… I thought a certain think tank was on the side of freedom. Now I have to see them publish articles that are clearly in Russian interest or are glorifying a murderous ideology, silencing the fact that Dugin openly called for genocide. Or articles falling for the false cultural narrative of „family values” in Russia – without even checking the statistics (yes, that same narrative that was fabricated in Moscow as a divide-and-conquer strategy). Or even claiming it would be good for a dictatorship to own nuclear weapons. I am not going to link anything in here; it is just a personal blog post. The betrayal feels like I have fallen on concrete directly on my stomach. Oh, my young naivete! While thinking they are rational, they just cherry-pick what fits their contrarianism, twist the truth, believe outright lies. Knowing people who I thought were my friends would easily lock me up in a cage and throw away the key for the sake of their detached idealism… It hurts. Knowing I may have had a beer with an influence agent… That is revolting. And knowing that I may have endangered my own life or my loved one’s life by doing so… That bond is broken forever. To quote a recent classic, you will never see my eyes again. Not after the mass graves. Not after I believed you get Moscow… and you don’t. Not after your sneaky explanations that made no logical sense or were not even to the point. Clearly, giving in to evil got so easy for you.
(By the way, is it just me, or… if a media outlet has the word „Eurasia” in the name – isn’t it a clear wink over the head to those who understand Russia?…)
The last three months were too busy, counting in the emotional rollercoaster of war, waiting for news from the convoy, losing sleep over not getting any, then crying and laughing when I finally got a human or cat rescue story. I was teaching in a high school and in college while finishing my own teacher certification. And I tried to write. Because… You know. Aragorn’s scream. We have a duty to add to his scream.
The KGB rules in Moscow, sends teenagers to labor camps and is proudly continuing their 105 year old traditions. You can read my piece for SFL here:
My other blog post on the murderous ideology of Dugin and on the proper ethical argumentation in a libertarian framework are both on the AEC blog. And by know, I feel I should have been far less apologetic in the third article.
All of these articles are meshed into one in my post for the Polish Libertarian Association, and they have also been translated into French for Contrepoints.
We also made a podcast – the wonderful Jacek of Liberty International brought us together to educate on what really is going on one border away from where I’m writing. You can listen to it here. I am so proud of my friend Ilya, a Russian geophysicist of the white-blue-white flag, and now a President to the Svoboda Alliance New South Wales. We’ve met in our previous life in academia. It is such a privilege to meet again in this way. Ilya’s organization managed some big shipments to Ukraine.
This August, I am also going to be a panelist during the Liberty International World Conference in Tbilisi. Traveling to Georgia again is quite exciting, however… remember the devil went down there 14 years ago and is still occupying a large portion of the territory.
This has been my war. Almost… I have a friend from a destroyed city. I cannot imagine losing everything and thinking I will never see my family again. And my heart is with this boy that dropped everything, took his car and language skills, and sank deep into Ukraine – distributing goods, rescuing 14 cats and 2 dogs in one go, or being lost in a forest, because a bridge was taken down and he had to reach two traumatized women in an abandoned village north of Kiev…
If you want to help them, the link is here (in Polish, language switch in the upper right, donate button below)
I wish we had wartime action-oriented psychotropic drugs. We probably do, I am just having this life AND being a highly sensitive person. Sometimes it’s just one day after another. Remember, action. Writing. Teaching. It’s easier now with the sun.
I have to think what to say in Georgia. But what was needed to be said is out there already. It is either going to be heard or not – we will still scream, as we now all are the Heir of Gondor. Sons and daughters of those banished and prosecuted by the ORGANIZATION in the last 105 years.
Some bonds of fellowship have been broken.
I still bid you stand, Men of the West.