The only things you should be afraid of are the institutions that tell you to be afraid

I’m watching CSPAN and listening to Lauren French, a congressional reporter for Politico, talking about the fear that Americans are experiencing right now and how candidates like Donald Trump have been able to tap into this fear. This fear may be concern for being a victim of terrorist attacks or concern about how the economy is treating the average American.

I believe what’s driving this fear is the failure of Americans to rely on themselves versus placing their faith, trust, and belief in any and all institutions that need your fear in order to survive.

Government needs you to be fearful of an uncertain future. Your fear of a foreign power allows government to justify taxing you to finance an army. Your fear of a terrorist act authorizes government to suspend portions of your civil liberties. Your fear of not living a quality life during retirement authorizes government to raise taxes to fund social security and Medicare. Your fear that the economy will not provide you a job authorizes government to tax you and fund job training programs and universities.

The irony is that for all the fear and government regulations and taxation that fear creates, citizens experience the inefficiency, ineffectiveness, and downright failure of these initiatives and find their fears compounded, aggravated. Their institutions are not protecting them because these institutions never had their best interests in mind.

If institutions had your best interests in mind, they would emphasize how best to face your supposed fears on your own. While I’m angered at acts of terrorism, I don’t fear terrorists. Violent death comes from various sources and I’m more concerned about police offers carrying out violence against me than some nut job who believes that his religion gives him the right to convert me to his narrative via threat of violence.

Against either a terrorist, who represents someone who wants to take over the reins of the State,or the incumbents that occupy the seats of power in the State, my first and only valid line of defense is me. I feed and strengthen my body in preparation of attack. I arm myself. I fortify my property. I study how to produce my own energy and grow my own food so I can sustain myself. I use my knowledge of the law to halt the State’s encroachment on my right to sustain myself as I see fit. In these ways I eliminate my fears.

If you are fearful of something, you should be afraid of the faith, trust, and belief that you place in institutions that continuously fail you; fail you because your personal self-interest has never been their concern.

About Alton Drew

Alton Drew brings a straight forward and insightful brand of political market intelligence. Alton Drew graduated from the Florida State University with a Bachelor of Science in economics and political science (1984); a Master of Public Administration (1993); and a Juris Doctor (1999). You can also follow Alton Drew on Twitter @altondrew.
This entry was posted in American society, foreign policy, government, liberty, police, society, statism and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to The only things you should be afraid of are the institutions that tell you to be afraid

  1. kenski2013 says:

    This is a very interesting essay. It appears to have strong libertarian bent. However, many libertarians argue that the one major responsibility of government is the common defense of citizens, which this essay seems to eschew. This essay seems to suggest almost an “every man for himself” Henry Thoreau Walden Pond approach to life.

    As my mother used to say, “the apple is not going to fall off the tree into your mouth.” I agree that each of us should be as self-sufficient as possible. Taking the various actions Alton suggests would be prudent. However, in modern society, I’m not sure that such actions alone would be sufficient to ensure one’s survival or make one successful.

    It’s true that social and governmental institutions can’t solve all of our problems, and may not always work in our best interests. There are times when they do, and so it makes sense to utilize them to help as much as they can, while recognizing their limitations.

    The idea of civilization/society, as I understand it, is that human beings can work together to make life better for everyone while giving up some of what each person wants to make that possible. There is also the concept of specialization, whereby each person can get really good at performing some action(s) to provide certain products and services to others, while others specialize and provide different products and services, since it is rare than any one person can be really good at everything. And of course, no one person has the time to make all of the things he needs or wants himself.

    It’s an imperfect method, but is has been more than reasonably successful in advancing civilization and the human race.

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