(January 5, 2023)

Victories for Life and Liberty

By: Brian Almon

Brian Almon

Libraries are wonderful things. Ever since the time of classical Greece, westerners have treasured the library as a source and repository of knowledge. In the days before the printing press, owning a library full of books was the mark of a wealthy and respected man.

The concept of the public library, where citizens young and old can come to partake in the sum total of all human knowledge, might be one of Western Civilization’s greatest ideas. Our distant ancestors were starved for knowledge, while today we have free public libraries and inexpensive used bookstores everywhere you turn.

The library represents literacy, it represents learning, it represents curiosity and knowledge. A library is the mark of civilization, from the great collections at our oldest universities to a small box of books on a quiet neighborhood street corner. The library is a conservative idea, as it represents the storage and transmission of wisdom bequeathed to us by our fathers and grandfathers.

Perhaps the ubiquity of libraries in America allowed us to take the system for granted. We did not raise a hand when the progressives made their long march through our institutions. We lost our libraries to Marxist ideologues who are seeking to unravel the fabric of our society and brainwash our children into their culture of death.

Somehow we gradually came to accept that libraries, like public schools, are naturally run by leftists. Even the library boards and staffs in conservative communities are often made up of people whose positions put them far to the left of their customers. Rather than supporting the values and beliefs of their communities they see themselves as missionaries in a foreign and hostile land. They think that their job as librarians is to bring the progressive light to the knuckle-dragging rednecks of middle America.

To that end, librarians across the country stock their shelves with propaganda designed to push our society inexorably to the left. You will find books idolizing leftist figures, pushing identity politics and sexual degeneracy, and promoting all kinds of progressive causes. If they encounter pushback from the community, they retreat to ideological arguments about freedom of speech, as if there is no qualitative difference between the literature of Fyodor Dostoevsky, William Shakespeare, or Mark Twain, and literal pornography.

I suspect that some conservatives are simply naive about what is being distributed to our children through public schools and libraries, assuming that it cannot possibly be as bad as we say.

The books pictured above were recently found on the shelves of one of our local public libraries. The one on the left was in the teen section (Edit: it was in the adult section, but was delivered to a minor by library staff) while the one on the right was in the children’s area. Both are meant to assault the minds of young people with ideas and imagery that are not only overtly sexual but also absolutely deviant. The teen book is written to make young people question their gender, to influence them to identify as the opposite sex, or as neither sex, or as anything else on what they call the spectrum of gender. The children’s book is even worse, featuring extremely graphic depictions of genitalia and sexual techniques.

Is this the knowledge we want made available to our children? Are these the ideas that we as a community wish to promote?

Remember that leftist librarians see their mission as educating (indoctrinating) the less enlightened. They use our principle of free speech as a weapon against our families and our communities. They count on us to be so wedded to our principles that we will do nothing to stop them. Unfortunately, they have thus far been right.

Conservatives parents have adopted a live and let live response to this aggressive proselytizing of our children. “We can’t use the force of government to decide what books libraries should have.” “Just worry about raising your own children.” “What would happen if the left had that power?”

The answer to the last question is “They already do.” We have allowed the militant left to anoint themselves censors of what books are allowed and what books are banned; what ideas are promoted and what ideas are demonized.

We abandoned the public library in the assumption that it could be a neutral space, but I have bad news: There are no neutral spaces.

We thought the public square could be agnostic and non-partisan, but we were naive. Nature abhors a vacuum, and if we do not push our values, then someone else will push theirs.

As I write this [in March of 2022], the Idaho House of Representatives has just passed a bill removing an exemption in Idaho law that allowed schools and libraries to disseminate obscene material to children. The local left-wing newspaper mocked the effort and described proponents of the bill as a “hate group”. One might ask why progressive journalists are so worried about being prevented from grooming our children with pornographic materials, but I think we all know the answer.



What if we took back our libraries? What if library boards were composed of solid conservatives who believed in America’s traditional Christian values rather than weak-willed quislings, or worse, Marxist activists? What if library staffs were passionate about sharing the great books of Western Civilization rather than promoting divisive racial politics and sexual degeneracy?

Can you imagine?

Libraries are amazing, and should be treasured by conservative patriots, not forgotten. When we moved to Eagle in 2018, one of the first things we noticed was how wonderful the library was. Not only does it have books, music, and movies, but they also have musical instruments, toys, cake pans, and crafting materials for checkout. In the springtime they offer free seeds for your garden. It felt so… civilized.

Nevertheless, the Eagle Library staff has fully bought into the Covid fear porn. When even blue states and municipalities were removing their mask mandates earlier this year, Eagle staff were forcing children who wanted to attend weekly story time to stand outside in sub-freezing temperatures.

Photo Credit: Brian Almon, Gem State Substack

At least they relaxed the mask mandate for patrons, I will give them that much credit. Our neighbors in Meridian have endured schoolmarm tyranny for two years now. I attended a Meridian Library board meeting last month in which local conservative activists respectfully demanded the mandate be rescinded. The chairwoman of the board, her face hidden behind a surgical mask, seemed like she was on the verge of tears at the sight of so many smiling faces coming in to disagree with her policy.

We cannot continue giving ground in the culture war. Rather, we must go on the offensive, retaking the lost territory of Western Civilization. The library is a symbol of that civilization, a repository of knowledge, and a monument to literacy and learning. We should not abandon it to the Marxist left that seeks to destroy the civilization our fathers built.

Start going to library board meetings and make your voice heard. Run for library board and take an active role in deciding what information we promote in our communities. If you have the time, apply to be a library employee – if not for the pay, for the opportunity to influence our culture and our children in a positive direction.

Most of all, stop being passive. Stop naively believing that public spaces can be neutral. It is up to us to decide what values are endorsed and encouraged in our public libraries. Let us promote the ideas that build Western Civilization, not those that are tearing it down.

Note: A descendant of American pioneers, Brian writes about the importance of culture and about current events in the context of history.  His work can be found on Substack, here.

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