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32 The Sacrificial Crisis (2)
Latvia stands before a fork in the road. If it goes to the right, it faces extinction as a community; if it turns left, it may save itself and the world.
At this moment, it appears more likely that Latvia will turn right and die. Why should this be so?
The answer is that the fork signifies coming upon a sacrificial crisis. If the sacrifice is not made, a slow or sudden death is the likely outcome.
one’s independence by singing—either singly, or as a chorus, or by blowing trumpets. Much more than that is required. A people have to manifest a will to become independent and a willingness to die to bring about their will.
If one becomes a free nation, it is only because the people of the nation make a life-sacrifice. Latvians bore such a sacrifice during and immediately following WW1. However, Latvians bore no such sacrifice upon the invasion or fall of the Soviet Union.
It is the failure of Latvians to bear such a sacrifice (possibly due to circumstances) upon the fall of the Soviet Union that haunts Latvia today, and why Latvians are haunted by a suspicion that though Latvia is a nation, it is a failed nation. This sense of failure is notwithstanding the huge loss of life that Latvians suffered at the time of WW1, WW2, and the great deportations that Latvians suffered at the hands of the Soviets in 1941 and 1949.
This is why one may say that Latvians are suffering from a sacrificial crisis today. It also opens space for discussing who will or will not bear the sacrifice.
For a detailed argument of the significance of sacrifice, this writer suggests the works of Professor Rene Girard . Because a detailed familiarity with Gerard’s arguments may be obligatory to politologues, the ordinary citizen (unfortunately limited at this time to he-she who knows English) will find the following Fora.tv (Hudson Institute) interview with the professor (click here) helpful.
To be sure, neither this writer nor anyone else can foretell just how the sacrificial crisis in Latvia may resolve itself. Nevertheless, assuming that the forthcoming election (October 2) will put in office the same clique of elites, the reasons why Latvia is dying as a nation may be even more sharply silhouetted than they are today.
Let us hope that an increased awareness of the crisis their country and community is facing will send Latvians on a journey of discovery of what it takes to create and maintain a community.
If the Latvians meet the challenge, they may discover that from among the last and least, they have moved up and become redeemers, and not only of themselves. To be or not to be that is the question.
Asterisks & Links of Interest