For the Common Good

An evil man has severely disrupted the world’s order. Like others before him he told the world what he was planning, and now democratic world leaders are working together to stop him. One measure is economic sanctions against his country, but there is deep concern about the impact of such sanctions as removing Russia from SWIFT would have on the world economies. For instance, President Biden has repeatedly told Americans that our gas prices will rise as will the price of other goods. Sanctions against Russia will not only affect Putin’s regime, but the  world economy. We ask, what price will we be asked to endure? As always, history tells us.

The Blitz, the “lightening war” of Germany’s Blitkrieg against England, began on the night of September 7, 1940, and ended on May 11, 1941. The Blitz was an evil man’s invasion of a sovereign country by the indiscriminate bombing of London and other cities designed to break the spirit of the English people before a land invasion. The nightly bombing did not work.

Sanctions! They hurt Putin, but also us. However, do we have the fortitude and perseverance needed to fight him and his evil? Will we, the free world citizens, come together, forgetting individual wishes such as diamonds or oil/gas prices, and think of the world’s common good? Will we, as the Turl Street haberdasher in Oxford (who was a child of the Pied Piper evacuation of London’s children during The Blitz), said to me, “Well, get on with it,” in response to my becoming a paraplegic.

Yet, I wonder if the collective citizens of the world have the grit that will be needed in order to defeat Putin and his ilk. I worry that we all have become too accustomed to luxury and all that it provides. I worry that we will not have the gumption to lower the home thermostat and “get on with it” as other goods are rationed. I wonder if we can manage our daily lives without the oodles of social media that have become addictive and even thought of as necessities. Do we even have a concept of necessities?

During WW II many people across the world sacrificed in order to defeat The Axis powers, and it  seems to me that all democratic peoples are now called to unite in order to defeat Putin, and that unification will require unknown sacrifices for an unspecified time. No exceptions! And the mettle of the British during The Blitz serves as an example.

Here is the first paragraph of a cable from London written by Mollie Panter-Downes and printed in the September 21, 1940 issue of the New Yorker:

September 13, 1940

September 14 (by cable)

“For Londoners, there are no longer such things as good nights; there are only bad nights, worse nights, and better nights. Hardly anyone has slept at all in the past week. The sirens go off at approximately the same time every evening, and in the poorer districts, queues of people carrying blankets, thermos flasks, and babies begin to form quite early outside the air-raid shelters. The Blitzkrieg continues to be directed against such military objectives as the tired shopgirl, the red-eyed clerk, and the thousands of dazed and weary families patiently trundling their few belongings in perambulators away from the wreckage of their homes. After a few of these nights, sleep of a kind comes from complete exhaustion. The amazing part of it is the cheerfulness and fortitude with which ordinary individuals are doing their jobs under nerve-racking conditions. Girls who have taken twice the usual time to get to work look worn when they arrive, but their faces are nicely made up and they bring you a cup of tea or sell you a hat as chirpily as ever. Little shopkeepers whose windows have been blown out paste up “Business as usual” stickers and exchange cracks with their customers.”

Let us all freedom loving peoples “get on with it” and defeat this evil.

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