Fear and Shame

How many elderly people will spend the last year of their lives isolated from most of their kin, wishing in futility for one last family holiday gathering that will be denied them by holier-than-thou politicians and self-righteously “compassionate” family members? — all those politicians and family members pretending that they are depriving these old folks of their last moments of earthly joy out of concern for those very elders themselves, even while consigning them to a hopeless and isolated death.

Today, as my university returns to virtual lockdown, pushing students back to their homes and denying them regular contact with their professors and peers, it occurred to me, for the umpteenth time, that it is the heights of selfish irresponsibility for us, the students’ trusted elders and mentors, to effectively tell our fifteen thousand young charges to be afraid, to panic, to hide, to overreact, and to live in daily terror of their fellow human beings — all the while pretending we are only doing this out of concern for the students’ well-being, of course. Shame on us.

In the real world, one of the first and most essential lessons in character development and rational thought is the lesson that fear is an entirely untrustworthy motive. To respond to a situation under the primary influence of fear is to react without understanding, to follow an unlimited passion without the moderating context that ought to control the passions through the power of reason and sober deliberation. 

The first premise and tactic of progressive politics, in theory and in practice, is to nullify or circumvent the real world, which means, above all else, reversing, or better yet preventing, the real world’s natural developmental lessons in reason and virtue — such as the lessons that teach men the value of contextualizing an object of fear through knowledge, and of quelling fear’s extremities with courage.

We no longer live in the real world. The sooner we all recognize this, the better. 

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