Time is running out in the little western town of Hadleyville. Frank Miller, the leader of a violent gang that terrorized the hapless settlement years ago, was sent to the gallows by Will Kane, the local marshal, but the justice system failed, and now after so long, Frank Miller is free, heading back to Hadleyville on the noon train to meet his men, and take revenge…
Will Kane is just married, just retired, and just about to leave town when he gets the news that the tyrant he had deposed is about to waltz back into the parish with impunity and begin killing the people who sent him away. Everyone is afraid of reverting back to the terrible past they had left behind them. Kane decides to stay in town until the matter is resolved, and he reaches out to the local community for assistance in stopping Miller’s band of thugs. There’s just one problem; no one will help him…
And so begins ‘High Noon’, a film I had seen when I was younger and loved, but did not fully appreciate until today. Being a kind of “cinema scholar”, I had always been struck with how different High Noon was from almost every other western I had ever seen. Sure, ‘The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly’ was fantastic, and ‘The Wild Bunch’ was genius, but these movies were about “anti-heroes” who only did the right thing by accident, or because fate pressured them into following their consciences. In High Noon, Will Kane (played by Gary Cooper) is trying desperately to follow his conscience and do what he knows is right, but everyone, including the people he is trying to save, attempts to stop him! I found so many parallels between the story in High Noon and the story of our American society today, the Liberty Movement, and the global elites trying to ransack our country at this very moment, that I just had to write an article exploring what it all means.
Here are some of the lessons I learned from High Noon…
Never Turn Your Back On Your Own Conscience: Will Kane could leave Hadleyville and Miller’s gang in the dust. In fact, Kane’s friend, the local judge, escapes the second he hears that Miller is on the loose, despite Kane’s pleading to stay and take responsibility for the safety of the townspeople. Everyone questions why Kane doesn’t just run, even his new wife (played by Grace Kelly), a Quaker and a pacifist. They treat him like an idiot or a lunatic for wanting to stand and fight. Kane stays anyway.
His character never makes any long boastful speeches about why he won’t run. He even admits he is afraid of what will happen when Miller’s gang arrives (as opposed to numerous John Wayne-style Westerns characters that never show or admit fear). When asked why he doesn’t “play it smart” and hightail it out of harms way, Kane responds that “he just can’t, it wouldn’t be right”.
I can’t recall how many times I’ve heard remarks by people, even close friends, asking why we Liberty Movement folks don’t fly off to Fiji or some other tropical paradise and stay there until everything in the U.S. “blows over”. We are smart enough to see the enormous discrepancies in the economy and are fully aware that a historical collapse is near. We are completely cognizant of a plan by globalists in our own government to use chaos in the U.S. as a backdrop for imposition of martial law and eventually the institution of global economy and global government. We know full well what is coming. Why do we stay in harms way?
Like the character of Will Kane, Liberty Movement proponents also listen to their inner voice. They understand that there are greater concerns at stake than their own safety. That there are ideals under threat of extinction. That the future stands at the edge of a knife. If we don’t do what is right, then who will? All other concerns are either secondary, or irrelevant. When has leaving the problem for others to deal with ever led to anything good? History is filled with examples of cowards who chose to pass the buck rather than take responsibility, letting the rest of the world rot while they defer the pain until tomorrow. Such an act requires a considerable deficiency of moral character. The Liberty Movement is different. Under no circumstances, no matter how foreboding, do we ever compromise our conscience.
Never Expect To Have Time On Your Side: Through every moment of High Noon, time is against Will Kane. Disaster strikes often with little warning and without mercy. Kane is given only a few hours to devise some kind of a plan to stop the dreaded Frank Miller, and it’s simply not enough. The town has been putting off preparations for defense and safety, leaving Kane little to work with, and now their lack of decisiveness is coming back to haunt them.
In our society, we have an extremely bad habit of not preparing for unforeseen difficulties. The average American home, for instance, has less than a week’s worth of food in the pantry, and some millions of Americans have absolutely no training in self defense in the event that their life or their family’s lives are threatened. We have come to expect, even demand, that government entities “save us” from any adversity. So much so that when we are faced with catastrophe we REFUSE to save ourselves in the assumption that some faceless bureaucracy will come to the rescue in the nick of time. In the real world (and in High Noon), this faith in collective and governmental safety is a fantasy. Katrina should have shown Americans that much, but there are still many out there who ignorantly cling to the nanny state, apron strings and all.
When Doing What Is Right, Never Expect The Masses To Help You: After working in the Liberty Movement for a while, it sometimes feels like you are trying to turn back a herd of mentally deficient cattle stampeding towards the door of a slaughterhouse. You could put up a twelve foot neon sign flashing “DANGER, YOU RAGING IDIOTS!” and people would bumble right through it while complaining that you’re in their way.
Ever sit in a theater during a run-of-the-mill horror flick and watch the people around you? Every time the yuppie couple in the movie heads straight for the creepy haunted mansion of doom after their car breaks down, everyone in the audience mumbles “how could they be so stupid…” Well, that’s what it’s like being in the Liberty Movement. Everyday, you have to watch as people wander blindly into the jaws of monsters, the only difference is that the monsters in our world wear $10,000 suits and drink cognac instead of blood (but don’t quote me on that…).
High Noon depicts this unfortunate quality of an unbalanced society, and it does it with eye opening precision. The town of Hadleyville is filled with weaklings, excuse makers, and people who could help themselves but weasel out of their responsibilities. Everyone Will Kane knows has turned on him. Many are his friends, but are so afraid or so self centered they can’t see that doing nothing carries far worse consequences than doing something. Some people in the town actually WANT Frank Miller’s gang back, because they would personally benefit from the resulting crime and dysfunction. In one saddening scene, Kane has been abandoned by his most reliable deputy. Afterwards, a moonfaced fourteen year old boy offers to take the man’s place and fight. Kane is at the same time appreciative and crushed by the boy’s offer.
Great and honorable deeds are not achieved by collectives. They are achieved by individuals. High Noon faces a cold hard fact that many Americans today will not; action starts with you. It starts with each man alone. It never starts with groups acting in concert. Individuals standing in the face of evil cannot wait around for the rest of society to back them up. Sometimes, you have to make a stand at an incredible disadvantage.
During the American Revolution, only 3% to 5% of citizens actually participated in the defense of the country at any given time. Many others remained neutral, or even loyal to the British crown. Tyranny almost always starts out with the edge. What is the point? The “odds” of success are irrelevant. All that matters is what is true, and what is right.
Never Underestimate Fear, Or Bravery: Towards the end of High Noon, the citizens of Will Kane’s town are so afraid of what might happen if a fight ensues over the return of the Miller Gang that they begin to blame Kane himself for their troubles, instead of Miller. They attempt to pressure him to leave, even to the point of violence. They are so gripped with dread that they would rather be willingly ruled by their tormentors than face the unknown consequences of open struggle. Even though Kane’s decision is his own, the “idea” of a person diverging from the group to act of his own accord is sometimes enough to induce panic.
We see this all the time in our world. There are a million and one rationalizations people will use to not participate in the solution to a problem, but almost to a man, the real reason is fear. Fear of death, fear of loss, fear of disappointment, fear of struggle, fear of failure. This fear can become so overpowering that some in the community begin to distrust and hate those who are not controlled by their anxieties. Those who have the will to fight back expose the rampant shortcomings of others, and this draws resentment. There are those that think “if I can’t do it, then certainly no one else can, or should….” This is insanity, of course, the kind of insanity that leads to large scale nightmares like those seen in Nazi Germany.
Will Kane is as afraid as anyone else, but he also has courage. Bravery is not the ability to “erase” fear, but the ability to act in spite of it. To do what must be done no matter how it makes us tremble. In our times, there is a lot of over-rationalizing, and a lot of fear. Bravery seems in short supply. But as High Noon teaches us, the bravery of others is not our concern. We have only to worry about our own.
All It Takes Is One: Kane has passed through a gauntlet of doubt and dismay, the clock strikes twelve, and he enters the deserted streets of Hadleyville to face the Miller Gang unaided. At this point, he’s not fighting for the town, he’s not even fighting for his own life. He’s fighting on principle. He’s fighting to honor a greater purpose, a philosophy of freedom that we take for granted today. If Kane does not fight, then all is without a doubt lost. Tyranny wins without lifting a finger.
The only gun fight in the entire movie occurs in this scene, which is probably my favorite aspect of the film. Throughout history, the downtrodden tend to put so much energy into worrying about facing their oppressors that the actual fight seems so fleeting in comparison. Building up the will to take action is often a battle in itself. Kane, using some guerilla tactics I have never seen in any other Western from that era, engages the Miller Gang. Kane’s wife (the Quaker), watching the carnage unfold, finally decides that her love is more important than her pacifism, and picks up a gun to help him (perhaps the message here is that behind every good man there is a good woman…). In the end, and to the surprise of the townspeople who were half an hour ago building a pine box for him, Will Kane prevails, throws down his tin star, and rides out of Hadleyville.
Now some might say “of course he won the fight, it’s Hollywood, not real life…” They have missed the message entirely. Whether Gary Cooper as Will Kane wins the shootout or not is unimportant. What is important is that symbol of defiance that exists in every human being. That undeniable element of history that has shown us time and again the power of the individual in the progression of liberty. The choice to become a participant in the making of the future, instead of a spectator. We need this methodology now more than ever, especially in light of so many impending hardships. Our own clock is ticking away, the train is nearing the station, and time is not on our side. Do we hide, do we run, or do we face our fears, and everyone else’s, and make good on our beliefs?
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