September 12, 2022
Filed In: Philosophy
No other nation, in the history of civilization, has endured so long without the benefit of kings or authoritarians. The United States has achieved a long-running democracy, in which the principles of liberty and civic responsibility drive us to our collective forward progress as a nation. What are we doing with this freedom?
To be frank, we’re blowing it. Our forefathers did the hard work cobbling together a nation of immigrants, standing up to the British Empire, resolving a civil war, winning two global wars, and setting a course to prosperity. For Americans alive today, we’ve received the gift of a stable, peaceful democracy without having to fight for it.
This is a grave danger, and it has all the hallmarks of historical collapses of civilizations. We become complacent and more concerned about perfection than about preserving domestic tranquility. We club our political and intellectual opponents, assuming the worst in each other and ignoring facts.
It’s a matter of physics that an object at rest tends to stay at rest. We are tending towards that sense of self-satisfaction that will be our undoing. It’s like we read in the Gospel, how the man rids himself of a demon, but doesn’t fill that space with anything good or new. So, when the demon comes back with his friends, he finds a space to inhabit.
Freedom is not free, and even now, there are Americans standing guard around the world, separated from their friends and family, maintaining our peace and security. This is a flawed, but great nation, an experiment worth defending. A house divided against itself cannot stand. Let’s stop using our freedom to attack each other, and instead use it to build a better nation.