Rubble left after the London Blitz, 1940

“Never give in — never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.”

- Winston Churchill, 29 October 1941

In 1941, humanity stood at the precipice of a great turning — the ravenous, overwhelming forces of Nazi Germany and its Axis allies were steamrolling through Europe, Africa, and Asia. The French had surrendered in the year prior, and Britain more or less stood alone on the western front of the Second World War. The US had not yet entered the war militarily, though the signing of the Lend-Lease Act enabled financial support to be provided to the Allied forces.

FREE TO CHOOSE

T o be sure, it is of course an individual’s right to choose this path. Who am I — who are any of us — to tell another person how to live their life? This is of course quite true. “A man chooses, a slave obeys” goes the refrain from the greatest video game of all time, and broadly, I agree with that sentiment. It is the choices of many million individuals that form the shape and color of our cultural character, economy, and body politic.

THE COWARD’S BULLET

Nihilism is the stopping off point for many individuals observing a civilization enduring great turmoil. But like the Nazi collaborators of WW2-era Britain, “rational self interest” rooted in nihilism too easily gives way to active treason, opting out of rebuilding efforts, or mere passivity.

These are not dark days; these are great days.

There is opportunity, and much work to be done, together.