Letter to the editor: Escape from freedom
Honor is dead. Truth is alive, but on life support. Willful ignorance (aka denial) is thriving and growing stronger. Why? Because truth can create anxiety. Once you buy into denial, you tend to defend it as you plunge deeper into it. Like quicksand, it gets more difficult to escape.
Freedom, truth, fact … these can be frightening.
Erich Fromm, in his book “Escape From Freedom,” written during World War II, illuminates where many people turn to counteract fears and negative effects of truth, fact and freedom. They turn to authoritarianism, destructiveness and conformity (adopting thinking of others as your own … you don’t have to do the hard work of thinking for yourself).
Enter the savior. He’s different, he shakes the status quo, stirs the pot, ruffles feathers. He calls out opposition for what they are — cheaters who weaken the fabric of society. He calls out media as enemies of the people, strengthens the military budget. He alone is the answer to the country’s problems, so we don’t have to stress ourselves dealing with them.
As George Santayana said, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
By the way, the savior referred to is Hitler.