This NATO-produced video could well have unintended consequences before the first half of the 21st century has passed. History may not repeat itself, but sometimes it echoes.
This post is for all those who feel compelled to fight for First Principles in some way or another when the time comes…and for all the lost stories floating to the surface now that the USSR is truly no more.
When I lived in the Boston area there was a Latvian radio show (in English) on Sunday evenings. While preparing supper, I would listen to Latvian music played by the exiles and their descendants. The poignancy of their situation underlined how fortunate Americans were, how desperate the longings of those behind the Iron Curtain.
It wasn’t possible to see then the adumbration of bellicose factionalism and paranoid fragmentation that arose in the post-adolescent rumblings of the 1960s. Surely they’d “grow out of it”? Many did, but a significant number kept their Leftist resentments, pushing the meme of oppression on the gullible, including the scheming MSM.
For most of us – i.e., for the “average” person – nationalism is a “thing” (to borrow a phrase from the future Baron). No matter how one may be forced into exile, the love of the landscape, the light, the “folks” of one’s origins is the template by which we measure our present place…
Addendum from the Baron: Back in the early 1980s I was a math tutor. My specialty was helping teenagers prep for the SAT exams (for non-Americans, those are aptitude tests in Math and English that you take before you leave high school, assuming you intend to go on to college).
One of my students was a 16-year old Estonian. He was a fully American kid, born and raised here, but he was also Estonian. His father was born in the old country. The grandfather was here in Virginia, too — he and his wife and infant son had fled Estonia in 1940 ahead of the Soviets. The son grew up here, and did well for himself — he was a dental surgeon, if I recall correctly. The grandson was intelligent and did well in school, but they wanted to make sure he would get into the college of his choice. So they called me.
The boy was very personable, and knew a lot about his ancestral home, even though he had never been there. Because of my interest in between-the-wars history, we used to have discussions about what had happened to Estonia, how it had had a brief twenty-two years of independence before it was invaded and reabsorbed into Mother Russia.
The kid had an ordinary American name: Tom. That wasn’t his given name; it was just what he used in the outer world. In the family he had another Christian name, an Estonian name. It was similar, close enough to “Tom” so that the nickname was suitable.
Their house was decorated with art and memorabilia from Estonia. I was impressed with the way the family remembered where they had come from and what their heritage meant, even as they became normal mainstream Americans. They were proud that the United States had never recognized the incorporation of Estonia into the USSR. They were strong supporters of Ronald Reagan.
Ten years later I thought about Tom and his family when Estonia regained its sovereignty. It came so much sooner than most of us expected — I wondered if Tom’s dad and his grandpa (assuming he was still alive) were surprised. I’m certain that Tom and his dad must have made the trip to Tallinn to see the Estonian flag flying once again over the national legislature.
And I hope the old man lived to see the homeland he had left more than fifty years before.