In his most welcome remarks on my tribute to the Battle of Cold Harbor, Michael Sheldon tried to imagine what a Marxist theory of the Civil War might be like – Eeevil captains of industry sending the poor off to be killed so that they could be replaced in the factories by even cheaper freed slaves, etc. Marxists and progressives, borrowing from Hegel, do see history as the constant collision and reformation of vast impersonal forces or classes, like some cosmic lava lamp. Such a souless, dreary perspective leaves the after-taste of despair and impotence. If anyone gets anything from my series on liberty, let it be this: The thoughts, words and deeds of even the least of us can MATTER – whether it was a scribe for King Alfred, a palfrey rider bring news from the next shire, a man-at-arms for one of the barons who forced King John’s hand, a clansman who stood with the Bruce at Bannockburn, or a yeoman archer beside his king at Agincourt.

"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was all vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act upon their dreams with open eyes to make them possible." T.E. Lawrence (of Arabia).

So the next time somebody tells you to "dream on," take them up on it; and get "dangerous."

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