By John Dick © 2017
Recently, regarding my last pondering post “Atlas Shrugged, Psychology, and 60 Years,” someone asked me that while the literary and fictional psychological examples from Atlas Shrugged are very poignant, what about real life, especially in the contemporary United States?
If you need current proof of taking our psychologies with us throughout life, individually or in totality as a country, and what the consequences can be, one need look no further than most of the Hollywood, media, political, and educational arenas, where many of these individuals clearly have not moved beyond the emotional and psychological states of most teenagers; where they were, and are still, taught that emotions have equal standing with reason and facts in understanding the world and events. In fact, they are taught that emotions have greater value than reason, logic, facts, and science.
There are thousands of “emotionally driven” examples of untruths and bias from the above mentioned arenas: the Hollywood crowd and their films (The Day After Tomorrow or Deepwater Horizon); the media with its biased, twisted editorialized or fake news (no fact checking, anonymous sources, or lying by newsman Brian Williams at NBC); our politicians with their collective-statist thinking and central-government “protective” overreach and control into our lives with oppressive taxes, irrational laws (drug or gun control), and regulations (EPA); and worst of all, our totally corrupted public school systems turning out thousands of emotional toadies ready to march at any irrational order (Antifa) while spending millions on extravagant architectural monuments.
But, these particular societal areas including progressives and the political left, are not the only current cultural segments affected. I dare say that much of the political right and most religious people also fall into this category of favoring emotion and feelings over reason and facts, and also act accordingly, focusing on their own agendas, religious ideas, fears, and biases (such as anti-abortion, the wars on drugs and poverty, or faith-based public education).
Either way, acting on emotion over reason accounts for most of the violations and intrusions on individual lives, individual rights and freedoms, including property rights, from both the left and right ideological sides, and the economic and cultural mess that the United States finds itself in today.
If your emotions and feelings override reason and logic, then any number of horrible destructions and persecutions are possible against free individuals, and then rationalized, based on your “feelings,” to drive your personal and political agendas for the expedient moment, or because you “feel” it is the “right thing to do.”
Thus, besides all the irrational crap we are forced to deal with daily in the United States, we could easily end up in a tyranny such as an Environmental (Climate Change) Dictatorship or a Theocracy of sorts. I also dare say that if Americans do not eventually discover the intellectual, moral, and psychological fortitude and courage to choose reason and facts, over their out-of-control emotions and feelings, then we could easily face another type of horror: an Islamic Overrule of America.
All because we chose to value emotion over reason, feelings over facts, and force over freedom.
I quote Ayn Rand regarding her novel Atlas Shrugged: “Atlas Shrugged is not a prophecy of our unavoidable destruction, but a manifesto of our power to avoid it, if we choose to change our course.”
If we choose to change our course. Individual volition exercised by millions of individuals. But, we must first choose to value reason, facts, and individual freedom to change our course.