Friday, April 15, 2011

The Left's Psychological Assault on Independence - Slavery To Liberalism

This has never been so evident as it is in the city of Detroit or in any major city where the "compassionate" liberal politicians have been in control for centuries.  There is absolutely no indication that the "unfortunate" are  becoming more productive or even trying to cope.  Instead, the government safety nets are smothering innovation and any incentive for them to become "internal" beings and stand up and fend for themselves.

Obama wants to increase this dependence in order to shift our population further to the left and establish a citizenship wholly dependent on the government as in Greece or other failing nations.

Excerpt: The United States faces overwhelming fiscal problems. Our current level of government spending and future entitlement obligations are simply unsustainable. However, as concerning as these fiscal matters are, the biggest problem America faces has nothing to do with economics, but rather psychology.

The strength of a nation reflects the character of its citizens. While America was once considered a nation of individuals fiercely independent and self-reliant, her citizens are moving closer to a state of dependence, characterized by irresponsibility and ambivalence. This change has been instigated by the politics of collectivism and the growth of the social welfare state.

F.A. Hayek, the famous Austrian-born economist and political philosopher, warned of the dangers of excessive government.

The most important change which extensive government control produces is a psychological change, an alteration in the character of the people.

To understand how this alteration occurs, one must first understand the psychological concept known as locus of control. In 1954, American psychologist Julian Rotter introduced the concept that describes how individuals could be divided into two basic groups, which represent two ends of a continuum (Figure 1): internals believe that their locus of control is within themselves, and externals believe that they are under the control of outside forces.

 According to Lee Harris, author of The Next American Civil War:

[Internals] believe that they are the masters of their own destiny; they tend to be high-achievers, optimistic about their ability to improve their lot, and to discard bad habits. They believe in willpower and positive thinking. They are determined to control their own lives, for better or worse. [Externals] look on themselves as victims of circumstances, the playthings of fate. If they go to bed drunk, light up a cigarette, and burn their house down, they explain the disaster as another instance of their bad luck, and not their poor judgment, much less their bad habits.

Based on Harris's description, it is simple to understand why having an internal locus of control is desirable, while having an external locus is not. Furthermore, individuals can move along the continuum in response to external factors.

What has resulted in America is a vicious cycle in which government programs along with rhetoric, intended to foster learned helplessness, have led individuals to advocate for more aggressive welfare programs and support the candidates who back them. This cycle ultimately results in dependence (counterclockwise circle) and leads to the fiscal condition America now finds herself in. The inevitable outcome is the destruction of the American Republic. However, because this relationship is multidirectional, it can change course and cycle towards freedom (clockwise).

The most important question, then, is, "How to change the direction of the cycle?" The answer:Individuals with a strong internal locus must preach the value of independence. They must teach those they encounter -- their family, friends, colleagues, and especially the disadvantaged (whom they should make extra efforts to reach out to through voluntary service) -- that as human beings with free will, we are responsible for our own actions, that we are not the victims of fate, and that we will achieve happiness and self-esteem if we take hold of our lives and never let go.

Read full American Thinker article here.

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