Sacrifice for Thee But None For Me

Sacrifice for Thee But None For Me by Charles Hugh Smith for Of Two Minds

The banquet of consequences for the Fed, the elites and their armies of parasitic flunkies and factotums is being laid out, and there won’t be much choice in the seating.

Words can be debased just like currencies. Take the word sacrifice. The value of the original has been debased by trite, weepy overuse to the point of cliche. Like other manifestations of derealization and denormalization, this debasement is invisible, profound and ultimately devastating.

Consider the overworked slogan of implied shared sacrifice: we’re all in this together. Pardon my cynicism, but doesn’t this sound like what the first class passengers in the lifeboats shouted to the doomed steerage passengers on the sinking Titanic?

Here is the ice-cold reality of America in 2020: Sacrifice for Thee But None For Me. This isn’t a new trend, of course. Any measurable sacrifices shared by all the socio-economic classes ended with World War II in 1945, and since then it’s been one long slide to Sacrifice for Thee But None For Me.

We’ve seen this slide to decay and collapse many times in history. The elites who once gained social status and political power by making real sacrifices on behalf of the nation / empire become entirely self-serving, accumulating ever greater wealth and power by transferring all the sacrifices and risks onto the lower classes.

Peter Turchin, author of War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires, describes how civic virtue is gradually replaced by personal greed and self-interest.

This excerpt perfectly captures the current zeitgeist:

“Virtus included the ability to distinguish between good and evil and to act in ways that promoted good, and especially the common good. Unlike Greeks, Romans did not stress individual prowess, as exhibited by Homeric heroes or Olympic champions. The ideal of hero was one whose courage, wisdom, and self-sacrifice saved his country in time of peril.

Unlike the selfish elites of the later periods, the aristocracy of the early Republic did not spare its blood or treasure in the service of the common interest. When 50,000 Romans, a staggering one fifth of Rome’s total manpower, perished in the battle of Cannae, as mentioned previously, the senate lost almost one third of its membership. This suggests that the senatorial aristocracy was more likely to be killed in wars than the average citizen….

The wealthy classes were also the first to volunteer extra taxes when they were needed… A graduated scale was used in which the senators paid the most, followed by the knights, and then other citizens. In addition, officers and centurions (but not common soldiers!) served without pay, saving the state 20 percent of the legion’s payroll….

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