Life, Liberty and The Pursuit of Happiness: A Shift in American Culture

This video really caught my attention the other day and illustrates the underlying culture of America at the moment.  The changes to our country have been very subtle and that is what causes me great concern.  So many of our liberties are being taken from the individual and quiet power is transferred to large corporations and the government.  The actions we take as individuals in the coming years is crucial to how this country will be left for our children and grandchildren.  Take a few moments to watch this video and read my excerpt below after.

I am an advocate of reading historical literature and applying it to our modern day society.  Recently, I was reading an old classic by CS Lewis, The Screwtape Letters.  This is a fun and insightful book of an elder demon teaching his younger nephew demon to torment humans on earth.  At the end of the book the main character, Screwtape, is toasting the graduating class of demons.  In his speech he discusses the past, present and future of the devils plan to torment humans.  When reading this toast I came across a section that was discussing the devils strategy on democracy and was blown away by what I read.  Whether you believe in the devil or not is irrelevant, it is the actual meaning behind what is written and how it applies to today.

“What I want to fix your attention on is the vast, overall movement towards the discrediting, and finally the elimination, of every kind of human excellence – moral, cultural, social or intellectual.  And is it not pretty to notice how Democracy is now doing for us the work that was once done by the most ancient Dictatorships, and by the same methods.  You remember how one of the Greek Dictators sent an envoy to another Dictator to ask his advice about the principles of government.  The second Dicatator led the envoy into a field of corn, and there he snicked off with his cane the top of every stalk that rose an inch or so above the general level.  The moral was plain.  Allow no pre-eminence among your subjects.  Let no man live who is wiser, or better, or more famous, or even handsomer than the mass.  Cut them all down to a level; all slaves, all ciphers, all nobodies.  All equals.  Thus Tyrants could practice, in a sense, “Democracy”.  But now “Democracy” can do the same work without any other tyranny than her own.  No one need now go through the field with a cane.  The little stalks will now of themselves bite the tops off the big ones.  The big ones are beginning to bite off their own in the desire to Be Like Stalks.”

The Screwtape Letters were published in 1942 which gives one perspective of what scholars saw could happen to Democracy in the future.  We as individuals are not immune to any government or system, we must constantly keep balance and power.  To me the great scholars of nearly 50 years ago like CS Lewis and Ayn Rand saw this coming to the United States and tried to warn us through their literary talents.  Unfortunately, we are fulfilling the prophecy that they warned us could come.  I have written many times about the power of the individual and our ability to influence change and will continue to push all those around me to fight for their life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.  Our founding fathers understood the hardship of living under repressive leadership and is our duty to uphold what so many have fought hard to protect.