Friday, December 7, 2007

Freedom from Fear

December 7, a "day that will live in infamy," is a good time to reflect on one of the famous statements of Franklin Roosevelt, "We have nothing to fear except fear itself." This was said in the dark days of WWII in which totalitarian regimes were using fear to make their people silent and stupid. Fear was being used to threaten nearby countries. Roosevelt understood that the difference between a free country and a dictatorship was that in a free country the government did not use fear to silence its citizens. That extended to saying we did not torture, we did not terrorize.

After WWII America made sure to work in an absence of fear. We transformed defeated Germany, Italy, and Japan from enemies to allies by assuring them they had nothing to fear. What would have happened if, while the world rebuilt after WWII, America instilled fear of its might in the countries it vanquished? Today would be much darker.

Perhaps every year on December 7 we should say, "Have a happy Freedom from Fear Day!"

In a previous post I may have mentioned that is seems the Mainstream Media is aiding and abetting the GOP through the stories it chooses to not cover. It seems the reason is not because the Media approves of the GOP party line, but because whenever an ant-GOP story was run the patriotism of the journalists was challenged.

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/12/hbc-90001869


Here is an article that discusses the hubris of Kaiser Wilhelm II during and after WWI and draws inexact but still scary parallels to the current American leaders. I'll let you read the list yourself. I'm most interested in a quote at the end by Fritz Stern:

"The consequences of their leadership—bolstered as it had been by claims of divine guidance, shrouded in chauvinism, and fortified by the cunning manipulation of pervasive fear—became truly manifest only later, as the people of an aggrieved nation turned against each other, almost reveling in their deep political and moral divisions and hatreds."

http://www.harpers.org/archive/2007/12/hbc-90001860

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