December 27, 2009

ON THE CUSP OF BONDAGE

North Koreans, deprived of liberty, are fighting back against baseless edicts and clamoring for a bit of capitalism and modernism.  Even if it means death when caught.

Americans, on the other hand, are slowly and stupidly relinquishing all personal responsibility to the State, opting instead for security and coddling.

I used to think that the United States was the only place on earth I'd care to live.  But I'm afraid I might not be able to say that in 20 years.  I keep thinking of the words of Henning Prentis:

Paradoxically enough, the release of initiative and enterprise made possible by popular self-government ultimately generates disintegrating forces from within. Again and again after freedom has brought opportunity and some degree of plenty, the competent become selfish, luxury-loving and complacent, the incompetent and the unfortunate grow envious and covetous, and all three groups turn aside from the hard road of freedom to worship the Golden Calf of economic security. The historical cycle seems to be: From bondage to spiritual faith; from spiritual faith to courage; from courage to liberty; from liberty to abundance; from abundance to selfishness; from selfishness to apathy; from apathy to dependency; and from dependency back to bondage once more.

I'm afraid we're on the cusp of bondage once more.

Posted by: Sarah at 09:16 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
Post contains 217 words, total size 2 kb.

1 It scares the crap out of me.

Posted by: airforcewife at December 27, 2009 02:15 PM (uE3SA)

2 As much as I love modern technology, I can't help but feel the best is behind us.

Posted by: Amritas at December 27, 2009 02:42 PM (Q/zDt)

3

A big part of the problem is the growth of what can only be called *nihilism* among Western elites...people who feel so cold inside that they desperately want to feel warm, even if from fires of destruction. In the words of the now-defunct Italian blogger who called herself Joy of Knitting:

"Cupio dissolvi...These words have been going through my mind for quite a long time now. It's Latin. They mean "I (deeply) wish to be annihilated/to annihilate myself", the passive form signifying that the action can be carried out both by an external agent or by the subject himself...Cupio dissolvi... Through all the screaming and the shouting and the wailing and the waving of the rainbow cloth by those who invoke peace but want appeasement, I hear these terrible words ringing in my ears. These people have had this precious gift, this civilization, and they have got bored with it. They take all the advantages it offers them for granted, and despise the ideals that have powered it. They wish for annihilation, the next new thing, as if it was a wonderful party. Won't it be great, dancing on the ruins?"

When I saw her post in 2004, it immediately reminded me of a passage from Walter Miller's great philosophical novel A Canticle for Leibowitz:

"The closer men came to perfecting for themselves a paradise, the more impatient they seemed to become with it, and with themselves as well. They made a garden of pleasure, and became progressively more miserable with it as it grew into richness and power and beauty; for then, perhaps, it was easier for them to see that something was missing in the garden, some tree or shrub that would not grow. When the world was in darkness and wretchedness, it could believe in perfection and yearn for it. But when the world became bright with reason and riches, it began to sense the narrowness of the needle’s eye, and that rankled for a world no longer willing to believe or yearn. Well, they were going to destroy it again, were they-this garden Earth, civilized and knowing, to be torn apart again that Man might hope again in wretched darkness.”

Posted by: david foster at December 27, 2009 04:43 PM (uWlpq)

4

Spot. On. 

I think one of the great challenges of life is to keep our individual attitudes cycling through those faith-courage-liberty-abundance phases.  Honestly, society doesn't decay without sufficient individual decay; and the individual dependencies and attitudes that are so individually destructive are ... hmm... perhaps "accreting" is the right word.

At any rate, that's why - IMO - we have to work from the local level, up, right now.  We can't impose self-respect, humility, and appreciation of liberty & its associated ideals on people; we need to get out and *inspire* those things.

Posted by: Krista at December 27, 2009 06:21 PM (sUTgZ)

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