This “Standing” Business . . .

  • October 15, 2023

Is it possible to conceive of a less meaningful act than “standing” with Ukraine? Or with Israel?

Or with any abstraction?

How does one “stand” with another country, which is another abstraction as there are only people who live in countries? And how does one “stand” with those people by not doing anything – other than changing out the flag icons of the foreign country you “stand” with to accompany your Tweets?

It’s a modern virtue-signaling fatuity on par with “stay safe” and “we’re all in this together.”


The Left excels at “standing” with various things. Whatever the latest thing is. This is natural, of course, because the Left only stands for one thing, really. That thing being dogmatic (and doggy) devotion to “standing” with whatever the latest thing is. It can be Keeeeeeeeeeeeeeev. It can become Israel.

Uber alles, of course.

So long as you “stand” with whatever it is now, you’re in good with the Left.

And that helps us understand what people are being trained to do when they are pressured to “stand” with whatever the latest thing is. It is the same training Americans began to receive more than 20 years ago – times flies! – when they got habituated to spreading their legs and raising their arms in order to be allowed to board a commercial flight. The object being not merely obedience but habituation to arbitrary authority demanding it. In former times, Americans had been habituated to think of themselves as free people who were under no obligation to obey just because they were told to. They chafed at violations of their rights, including the right to be left in peace when they’d done nothing to disturb the peace.

It was once – as the saying used to go – a free country.

It has become a regimented one and not merely in the literal stand here sense. It has metastasized into being expected to “stand” with various causes-du-jour, i.e., whatever the latest thing happens to be. It’s marvelous – in a horrible way – to see how well so many Americans have taken to their training. How eager they are to show they “stand” with whatever they’re told the latest thing is. People who were rabid about how “we’re all in this together” during the mass-psychosis event styled the “pandemic” shifted seamlessly into rabidity about the need to “stand” with Ukraine, whatever that means.

And now they are just as seamlessly shifting their “standing” to Israel, as they’ve been told to.

Orwell was perhaps the first to describe this business in his best-known novel, 1984. He describes a party rally at which an orator is haranguing the crowd about the latest thing – the only thing, for as long as the party says it is the only thing. That thing being the war against Eastasia, which has been continuous for as long as anyone pretends to remember. In mid-harangue, the orator is handed a piece of paper which he quickly scans and then proceeds without more than a very slight pause to resume his harangue, with the war now being with Eurasia instead.

It has become the latest thing – and everyone in the crowd (save Winston Smith, the hero of the novel) understands where things stand.

This is where America stands now.

It’s not so much a country anymore as a kind of continental amen chorus, bellicosely “standing” with whatever they are told the latest thing is.

Right now, it’s Israel. In a month, it’ll be some other thing.

It’s laborious to try to keep up with all this “standing.” Luckily, it’s easy enough to change one’s Twitter flag from gold and yellow to white and blue.

. . .

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