The 19th century German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, was a radical thinker. His philosophy was considered so irrational and iconoclastic that only those on the fringes were inclined to read him. Having learned from Nietzsche (among others), the modern man believes that “God is dead”, that truth is relative, and that we can will ourselves to power like supermen.
The foundation of his philosophy found a very warm welcome in the modern cultures of Europe and North America over the past 40 years or so. The USA now evaluates whether to make a deeper, second generational commitment to it. The vestiges of the Judeo-Christian principles of natural law, revealed and objective truth are mere contradictions of the reality for the enlightened modern mind – which holds sway in the famous universities, among their disciple politicians, banker economists, and the media of course.
The effects of post Christian modernity are both celebrated and lamented depending on one’s disposition and inclinations. This is important because it reflects a widening chasm in the fundamental values between people at the extremes – the ones that influence policy, the norms of behavior, and the laws of society.
As liberty has been abandoned for ideology, even the meaning of “liberty” has been eviscerated of its profundity and historical context. The ideology of “post Christian modern” culture uses language and the forms of mass communication as tools to create a structured reality (i.e. the conditions) to will itself to power. In doing so, the masses remain entertained and dependent – anesthetized.
The Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution-the great founding documents, were firmly grounded in the Judeo-Christian principles held fervently by the authors; and they sought to protect individual liberty against tyranny and its collectivist propaganda – to reject forces that seek to impose their power on others and politicize the rule of law. I would never underestimate the resilience and creative abilities of Americans to restore their great legacy, but this idealism has given way to realism. We know the real risks have already materialized into losses, and we now just wait for their full realization and disclosure.
Real work – through its derivative value for making a useful contribution to others – is inherently valuable to the dignity of each human person. Productive work is grounded in real liberty. The idea that a person should feel compelled to work and that he can keep the fruits of his labor is at the heart of a sound economic system. This same person is able to welcome the contributions of others as employees, partners, suppliers, and customers; and many, through collaborative actions, combine to produce something of value for each of them through their private contracts.
Instead, we have witnessed a cultural and economic transformation of the US and global system. While embracing all things Keynesian (i.e. government spending on steroids to solve all economic ills), our economic and political leaders have deviated from common sense and have risked everything too – to socialize losses for some and to consolidate global initiatives using central authority to politically and financially benefit those already in power – despite powerful rhetoric to the contrary. This reflects a big embrace of Nietzsche.
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