There are few scenes in cinema so iconic, or that so powerfully convey the power of the American spirit, as the opening speech in the 1970 film Patton.
Standing alone upon a stage against the backdrop of the Union flag, the singular, powerful, dominant figure of General George S. Patton, adorned in full military regalia with whip in hand, addresses the unseen audience — seeming to talk, not to a crowd in his presence, but to us, the viewers.
“Now, I want you to remember that no bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor dumb bastard die for his country,” the general begins.
Men, all this stuff you’ve heard about America not wanting to fight, wanting to stay out of the war, is a lot of horse dung. Americans, traditionally, love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle.
When you were kids, you all admired the champion marble shooter, the fastest runner, the big league ball players, the toughest boxers. Americans love a winner and will not tolerate a loser. Americans play to win all the time. Now, I wouldn’t give a hoot in hell for a man who lost and laughed. That’s why Americans have never lost and will never lose a war. Because the very thought of losing is hateful to Americans.
One can’t help but be transfixed while viewing. It’s no surprise the film won the Oscar for Best Picture (we couldn’t imagine such a movie winning the award in today’s environment). And while credit is due to screenwriter Francis Ford Coppola (who also won an Oscar for his work on the film, and famously went on to write and direct the Godfather films), the speech was, in fact, cobbled together from actual speeches Patton gave (but were not recorded due to the general’s penchant for swearing).
General Patton, in both real life and his onscreen depiction, touched upon something that was once considered quintessential to the character of America and Western civilization, but which has seemingly been lost: Man’s aspiration to greatness.
In the distant past, the greatest aspiration of a man was to be immortalized in the songs of his descendants, to go down to his grave with a sword in his hand and be received in the afterlife as a champion worthy of his warrior ancestors.
It was an inner impulse not just to be good enough, not just to get by — but to be the best one could be, to be the best there is and ever was.
It was this mentality that led Western civilization to produce greater wealth, knowledge, scientific achievement, architectural splendor, and artistic beauty than had ever been seen on Earth. The great civilization created by the men of the West is the envy of the world, to which everyone wants to flock in order to partake of the abundance of our societies.
The same can be said of America. The men and women who settled the country built a great nation out of an empty wilderness, a nation that, in time, became the most powerful and most prosperous on Earth.
But somewhere along the way, we eschewed greatness for mediocrity. It became politically incorrect to aspire to be the best. It became taboo, even sinful, to win.
Of course, we’ve all witnessed the rise of “participation trophy” culture, but it’s much deeper than that. It goes beyond athletics and formal competitions, and permeates every aspect of life. A combination of the welfare state, victim culture, and talk of “toxic masculinity” has made men comfortable and content. They’re happy to have a nice nine-to-five in a globalist corporation, never questioning the system, either because they’re numbed by society’s endless distractions or because they’re afraid of the consequences of stepping out of line.
Where is the initiative to become a leader? To leave a legacy? To create something grand? To discover something transformative? To innovate?
Contrary to what the Marxists would have us believe, aspiring to greatness is not selfish (though it is self-interested). In fact, great men think about the future; they work and build and create, not just for themselves, but for future generations. A great man’s achievements will truly be enjoyed by his descendants, while he himself only sees the vision and plants the seeds in his day, happy to know his children and grandchildren will reap the fruit.
The globalists-Marxists want to shut down Western man’s pursuit of greatness. Total control is much easier when you have the populace poor and docile. They want order-followers, not leaders; passive sheep, not proactive thinkers.
Thus, if we’re interested in a genuine liberty movement, the solution goes beyond politics. It requires an awakening within the hearts of our men, a rediscovery of their worth, heritage, and potential — and an unshakeable resolve to fight for these things.