And So It Begins – Trying Times For The Modern Soul

Posted: February 3, 2015 in Comparing History, Current Events, Opinion
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People, it seem, tend to embrace leaders they perceive can provide them with security when faced with economic and societal stress.  When our lives become too broken in too many places, it is only human nature to want someone to help when we are overwhelmed.

The 2016 election promises to give us a typical field of candidates, yet many attentive Americans aware of the dangers facing us remain unwilling to vote for principles over party.  The question is, will America continue to follow the same establishment party leaders until the current paradigm fails or seek another way.  If there is a failure, how many busy, distracted Americans would consider a strong authoritarian leader when that person promises security?

At the close of the 19th century, economic and military competition between European nations grew steadily.  People wanting self-rule conflicted with nation states seeking ever-increasing power and prestige.  The old ways of doing things were fading away as industrialization took hold.  World War I began when the systems of the day failed to accommodate societal needs.

Eric Lawson, author of theIn the Garden of Beasts,” showed how Germans In 1930’s Germany embraced Adolf Hitler when he promised he would be a strong leader and solve their problems.  Germans were angry with their more moderate leaders following World War I.  They wanted and found a charismatic man of action.  Unfortunately, in any era, ceding responsibility for convenience and sacred rights for perceived security rarely works out well.

Americans gazing out at our world today see circumstances that appear to be unworkable.  After 13 years of fighting, Islamic terrorists continue to routinely commit acts of horrifying barbarism.  The U.S. national debt is over $18 trillion and it is growing rapidly.  Illegal immigration continues to be a problem with thousands of immigrants illegally migrating into the U.S.

Jews in TroubleIn Paris, the world watched as Islamic terrorists killed innocent people, offended by inflammatory speech.  A few weeks ago, over 15,000 Nazi’s marched in Germany and Greece’s Neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party, won third place in recent elections.  Last week, Glenn Beck interviewed Noreena Hertz, a professor at the University College London, who spoke passionately about the rising hatred of Jews in Europe in recent years.  Zach Noble’s article on the Blaze noted that Jews in France, once estimated was 500,000, is now closer to 400,000 and getting smaller every day.  Old solutions are new again, it seems.

The thing about events such as what happened in Paris last week, is that they remind Americans of our own tragedy’s and vulnerabilities.  Life in the modern world can be more of a treadmill than an adventure.  With work, PTA, and getting our kids to soccer practice, it is understandable how reality bias can set in.  It’s easy to just let the so-called experts handle our problems.  In theory they know what they are doing, and besides, we are all too busy to think about it anyway.

Human nature being what it is, is it all that surprising when human beings today react to tragedy the same way their grandparents did?  Europeans are reacting to difficult times in much the same way as Europeans did leading up to World War I and then World War II, two decades later.  In both cases people who just wanted to live their lives were hampered by economic and societal distress.  Then and now, people often opt for blindly following those promising easy answers.

  1. Mary Johnson says:

    I pray that leaders with a knowledge of history, can succeed in stopping a repeat of what is sure to come, if something isn’t done soon. Our Constitution is hanging by its threads!

  2. Rusty Kerr says:

    People react according to their world view. If they are taught to be dependent and rely on the government to rescue them then they will give up their freedom for security. A large number of our citizens are dependent without initiative to rise above their poverty and being taken care of by the working citizens. Our leaders then develop the attitude they know whats good for us and refuse to represent “we the people” who provide for all the freebees they give away. Obama’s second election victory was the result of people wanting to be taken care of. We are finding he is incapable of making decisions that will keep our country secure as evidenced by open borders, dismantling of our military and giving aid to our enemies while turning on our allies. We should not be surprised if/when our country is attacked again.

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