Happy VE Day

May 9, 2020

My Dear Reader,

With Memorial day coming up later this month and victory in Europe day today, I thought it would be important to remind ourselves why we celebrate and commemorate the sacrifice of millions of men and families across the free world.  The reason we venerate World War Two and its outcome the war we do is because it was the ultimate victory for the west.  While it marked the end of colonization, it was a definite rebuttal against the ideas of tyranny and authoritarianism. It was the final showdown between absolute earthly authority and the absolute reality of the freedom of man.  

It’s been so long since the triumph of man over his more nihilistic qualities in the moderate enlightenment era, that we often forget that for the majority of human history, human life was ruled wholly by the state and her nobles.  In every culture prior to the revolution of man, wars were fought for territory and land and nothing else.  As a result, a citizen’s life was more or less property of the state, to be used as fodder in numerous conflicts. Yet in the period of enlightenment during the 1600s and 1700s, the idea of the freedom of man took hold in the academic world.  For instance, Jean Joques Rousseau, author of the social contract, wrote that 

“Man is born free, yet everywhere he is in chains”.  It’s ideas like the social contract that led philosophers to the conclusion that the state was insead ruled by the consent of the governed, not the other way around.  The 300 year long struggle in the halls of academia was then personified throughout the 20th century. This is why the war itself ought to be remembered so fondly.  To all who benefit from the blessings of the enlightenment, happy VE day.
To your creation and potential,

Kevin Prendiville