Never never never never

On a recommendation from Maggie's Farm, I've been reading the recently deceased Vladimir Bukosvky's "To Build a Castle," about the astonishing success of resistance against Soviet totalitarianism even in the grimmest of prisons and work camps.
“The implacable force of one man’s refusal to submit” could, Bukovsky wrote, weaken the force of the leviathan, which rested “not [on] rifles … tanks, [nor] atom bombs [but] on public obedience.”
With such a thought, maybe he was crazy, you might say. But, having won his freedom, he outlived the Soviet Union by 30 years — not nearly enough for those of us privileged to know him or the millions of others forever in his debt.
Bukovsky and his fellow political prisoners resisted all day, every day, in the tiny ways they had available. They never rested.
The old jailers used to sigh, "You're hopelessly spoiled. Now, twenty years ago...." But we too were nothing like the rabbits who died without a murmur. We had grasped the great truth that it was not rifles, not tanks and not atom bombs that created power, nor upon them that power rested. Power depended upon public obedience, upon a willingness to submit. Therefore each individual who refused to submit to force reduced that force by one 250-millionth of its sum. We had been schooled by our participation in the civil rights movement, we had received an excellent education in the camps, and we knew of the implacable force of one man's refusal to submit. The authorities knew it too. They had long since abandoned any idea of basing their calculations on Communist dogma. They no longer demanded of people a belief in the radian future--all they needed was submission.
As Churchill said,
[S]urely from this period of ten months this is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never-in nothing, great or small, large or petty - never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy. We stood all alone a year ago, and to many countries it seemed that our account was closed, we were finished.... But instead our country stood in the gap.

Another interesting read this week:  James E. Mitchell's "Enhanced Interrogation."  Diane Feinstein doesn't come off well, but the author has good things to say about John Durham.  Mitchell is the man you've probably seen quoted as reporting KSM's astonishment that the "cowboy" George Bush didn't treat 9/11 as a law-enforcement matter, but instead took decisive action to disrupt al Qaeda's follow-up plans.

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