Monday, April 8, 2013

Margaret Thatcher, RIP

One of the political giants of the 20th century is gone. Margaret Thatcher has died of a stroke at age 87.

Her passing brings wistful thoughts of the glorious 1980s, when people of honor, vision and determination РThatcher, Reagan, Pope John Paul II Рfaced up to the communist tyranny that had destroyed so many millions of lives over the preceding 70 years and knocked the rotting props out from under it. One also recalls with admiration and pride how Thatcher and Reagan defeated the machinations of statists at home, and ushered in a period of unprecedented individual initiative and economic freedom Рa time, I fear, that may well prove to have been the Indian summer of liberty. How small and ineffectual the representatives of even their own respective political parties appear to be these days, how ominously ignorant and unserious the electorates that have restored to power the contemporary peddlers of the soul-destroying ideologies that Thatcher and Reagan combatted Рand combatted, not with bitterness and anger, but with élan and joy, happy warriors secure in the justness of their cause, and confident in the ultimate wisdom of a genuinely free and self-reliant people.

Some may say that the only serious thing in which they erred was in their belief that the value of individual freedom – and its corollary, individual responsibility – would always trump the false blandishments of the provider state. Others may assert that they didn’t err at all, and that a world that seems to be showing signs of spiritual and cultural exhaustion may yet undergo another renaissance as the age-old truths irresistibly reassert themselves.

I think the real truth is that Thatcher and Reagan understood both the value, and the fragility, of freedom, and that the battle to secure this greatest of social goods is generational and permanent. They did not shrink from doing their duty in the time allotted to them. It is an epitaph we all should aspire to earn.


Michael Lonie said...

The greatest British PM of the 20th century after Winston.

bruce said...

Hear hear, well said.

Comparisons with Churchill seem so apt.

Anonymous said...

Lovely piece Paco.
RIP Maggie. Hopefully not the last lioness.


RebeccaH said...

RIP, old girl. You've already been missed for years.

kc said...

Go with Go, Ma'am...your work here is done.

I aspire to be a Tough Old Broad like Maggie...

Robert of Ottawa said...

After those megaliths of rectitude, only wets, too cowardly to stand up to the media, have been running the "right" parties.

I personally think it is due to the successful take over of universities by socialists.

Spiny Norman said...

From Andy Sullivan, of all people:

"Perhaps in future years, her legacy might be better seen as a last, sane defense of the nation-state as the least worst political unit in human civilization. Her deep suspicion of the European project was rooted in memories of the Blitz, but it was also prescient and wise. Without her, it is doubtful the British would have kept their currency and their independence. They would have German financiers going over the budget in Whitehall by now, as they are in Greece and Portugal and Cyprus. She did not therefore only resuscitate economic freedom in Britain, she kept Britain itself free as an independent nation. Neither achievement was inevitable; in fact, each was a function of a single woman’s will-power. To have achieved both makes her easily the greatest 20th century prime minister after Churchill.

He saved Britain from darkness; she finally saw the lights come back on. And like Churchill, it’s hard to imagine any other figure quite having the character, the will-power and the grit to have pulled it off."

RIP Mrs Thatcher.

Paco said...

I'm glad he he had this moment of lucidity.