Fear is intimidating. Fear of the unknown. Fear of the future. Fear of risk. Fear of failure. It can motivate. It can paralyze.
Generally, people like to know what is happening and what will happen. People become comfortable knowing that tomorrow will mostly be like today. People rise knowing what they will do. Mostly, people rise, shower, dress, and go to work. Some stay home and raise their children. People are accustom to their own routines and, for the most part, are comfortable knowing what to expect.
A routine is the customary or regular course of procedure. It is the regular, unvarying, habitual, unimaginative, or rote procedure. And, let’s face it, most people live this way. People want to believe they are in control. People want to believe they know what has happened, is happening, and is about to happen. Fear of the unknown and of not knowing is troublesome to most people. As a mechanism to cope with this fear people develop routines and stick to them. Today is like yesterday and tomorrow.
This behavior extends to governance as well. People become accustom to and comfortable with their form of governance. People generally know how our system of governance works and they live within its constraints and parameters. People understand the routine of governance. They know what they have and what is coming.
Jefferson captured the essence of human nature and the extent people will accommodate their forms of governance. He said, “all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed.” People tend to suffer government’s oppression and abuse rather than acting to change it. It’s my assertion people exchange their freedoms and liberties for security, to mitigate fear of the unknown, and to retain the illusion of control.
The ruling class understands human nature and uses it advantageously. The ruling class knows people are willing to suffer – at least to varying degrees. History is replete with examples of this. The ruling class wants people to feel despaired and discouraged. The ruling class wants us to feel helpless and hopeless. The ruling class wants us to believe the only acceptable political action is to vote. This scenario is ideal for the ruling class. They know it matters not which political party is in power or who is elected to office. The dirty little secret is they want to perpetuate the status quo. The two-party system gives the illusion of choice and the illusion of control. It’s perfect for them — as long as we are all obedient subjects in a state of hopelessness and helplessness.
Our system of governance is dysfunctional, yet voting in new people doesn’t address the real problems. This tactic has been tried for decades and has failed miserably. If the dysfunction were removed the entire system of governance would collapse. Yet, the ruling class understands allowing people to vote provides the illusion of control. Frankly, many people believe because they vote they are in control and they have a say in their governance. Not just because that’s all they’ve ever known, but because they fear the unknown if they upset the political apple cart. They lose the illusion of control. They fear for their own security.
In a recent article I wrote I quoted Jeffrey Tucker. He said, “Today is just yesterday and tomorrow – forever”. It echoes in my head constantly. Think about that for a moment. If there is no hope for real change, if governance cannot be changed through the electoral process – and it can’t – then what does the future promise for us, our children, our grandchildren? What kind of future is that? If we are limited to voting and voting changes nothing we clearly are not in control of our governance, the politicians, or the bureaucracy.
What motivates me and what motivates others is hope. Hope for a better tomorrow. Hope for our children’s future. Hope is an unfilled promise that tomorrow can be better, tomorrow can be different. But hope doesn’t produce change. People produce change. We are the ones that have to produce that change.
To paraphrase Jeffrey Tucker once more, dare to imagine, dare to break bad, dare to disagree, and dare to take the risk to overthrow the status quo in favor of what can be. This was the prevailing attitude in 1776 when the founders dared to break bad, and dared to risk everything for the promise of what can be. They did not fear the unknown. They did not trade their freedoms and liberties for security. They dared to dream and boy did they dream big.
As they say in my favorite Christmas time movie “A Christmas Story”, I triple dog dare you.