“I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Painting and Poetry Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry and Porcelaine.”
-John Adams, 1780
I suggest we call the notion that we can ever simply surrender vigilance the “Adams fallacy.” We find ourselves on the verge of surrendering our own nation to teeming hordes of people who hate us because of this line of reasoning. The problem with this fallacy rests our earnest and Godly desire to spare our children the adversity we’ve faced. Unfortunately, it does our children no good to give them nothing but ease.
There exists a middle ground between suffering and laxity, and we must find it. As another Founding Father, Benjamin Franklin, observed, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” If our forefathers had maintained their watch against the forces of disorder, pride, jealousy, greed, and lust, we may have persevered. Instead, our forefathers crafted a utopia for us in which to grow fat, lazy, and weak. With pure intentions they laid down the conditions for our suffering.
We must study war and politics if we wish to survive the next century; no man can contest this. More importantly, our sons must study war and politics forever. We cannot afford the blissful eternal midsummer our parents had in mind for us and neither can our posterity. We must ensure grit, toughness, and game in our children. I do not advocate cruelty or abuse. We need not torment the young, but merely imbue them with a vision of the difficult realities of the world and their duties to preserve their Faith, Folk, and Fatherland. Imagine what modern maladies we could have averted if our grandparents maintained a watchful eye rather than a relaxed posture. To this end, we must teach our children to always maintain vigilant watch for enemies, and, more importantly, teach them to teach their children the same.
War and politics will always exist in humanity. To cease their study is a terminal folly.