Atlas Shrugged: The Mocking

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Devil's Bargain

Billmon explores the "new stabbed-in-the-back myth," the Limbaughs call Obama a socialist, and Jonah Goldberg makes his bones by calling liberals fascist. The Authoritarians are indulging in a frenzy of fear and loathing, for the impossible is about to come true: The Authoritarian Leaders are going to lose.

How can this be? they ask themselves. Obama is one of those. He's a liberal, and liberals don't follow the rules. That's why they can't be trusted. The rules say that if you are obedient, you'll be rewarded. Your parents will love you and God will favor you and your country will be great and strong. If you aren't obedient, your parents will be mad at you and God will punish you and you won't be safe anymore. The Bad Guys will get you. It's the same old devil's bargain; safety for freedom. When you don't feel safe you give up freedom, but it's weak to give up freedom, so you have to shout Freedom! Freedom! over and over to convince yourself that you still have it. You don't really want it--you just gave it up, remember?--but it makes you feel weak to realize that you want safety so very badly. So you just pretend instead, and shout louder. And just in case someone points out the obvious, that you are afraid and embracing fascism to chase away that fear, you'll call them fascists first.

Just in case.

The Republicans gutted the treasury and trashed the economy and therefore will lose the election. But Authoritarians are incapable of learning from experience, since they can't question anyone or anything. They will lash out in anger instead. It should not be tolerated for one minute. Authoritarians' fears must be exposed for what they are; a desire to be controlled and restrained, to gain the illusion of safety. They need it to survive. We don't.

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