I remember the line from the movie Blade Runner: “Quite an experience to live in fear isn’t it? That’s what it is to be a slave.” But we can also point out that rather than just a description of slavery, living in fear can be a cause of it.
I thought of this yesterday while reading Ron Paul’s words: “Are We a Nation of Wimps?”
We now live in a society where safety and security are to be sought at all costs. The sacrifice of liberty is not a concern for most Americans today. This is not something new and it has been characteristic of most people throughout history but it has gotten especially bad in America since 9/11. In addition many Americans have become deeply worried as a consequence of the economic crisis that started in 2008. They have lost confidence in their future financial security but continue to deny our nation’s bankruptcy.
This has prompted many to opt for dependency on government even if it requires the use of force to get what they want to ameliorate their fears. Rather than having confidence in the benefits that accrue from a free society, the majority of Americans are now frightened by the thought of self-reliance and accepting the responsibility that comes with liberty.
At first I thought Paul was using the term, “wimp,” too negatively. People who are economically insecure are not “wimps.” You would be stupid to feel secure if your economic options are limited. You are stupid to have confidence in the future while the government destroys it through a pyramid scheme that can only lead to financial destruction.
But then I re-read it: “They have lost confidence in their future financial security but continue to deny our nation’s bankruptcy.”
You’re not a wimp for being afraid. You’re a wimp when you invent an imaginary savior who can solve all your problems if you give him your heart and mind.
Yes, secularists will scoff at Christians who make this claim, but they’re missing the point. Christians don’t need to worship the state because they know who the true God and Savior is. Remember, the ancient Romans described the early Christians as “atheists” because the Christians did not trust the gods or Rome or the emperor (who was supposed to be divine).
You’re also a wimp when you are confronted with a problem but refuse to acknowledge the nature of that problem. If you have no confidence in your future financial security, and recognize that most of your neighbors are facing the same loss of confidence, then on what basis can you deny the nation’s bankruptcy? If society is going bankrupt than what resources does the nation have?
We are letting ourselves get conned, even though we can see the fraud right before our eyes.
Is Ron Paul right that much of our war fever is a result of wanting to give our tattering confidence a boost by applauding overseas bloodshed? I fear he is.
The corrective to a loss of confidence is to remind yourself that you can’t move past your fears until you honestly face them. Yes, our economy is in a dire situation. But that means our Federal masters are also in a dire situation. If the economy rebuilds, it will be through the hard work of a free people. There is no other way and no government shortcut.
Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” In context, he wanted people to ignore the dire economy and trust that the government would take care of them. I think Roosevelt’s quotation is valuable, but should be used better. The government wants you afraid so that you will turn to government. But the government can only make the situation worse, just as they made the situation bad in the first place.
So the only thing you have to fear is the impulse to turn to the government as a savior.