People will only do so much in the name of virtue, but they will do far more if they are hag-ridden in the name of guilt. People tire of being virtuous, but they are never allowed to tire of being guilty. They will allow their own freedoms to be stripped away from them if they can be convinced that they do not deserve those freedoms because they have taken them from others. They will allow their money to be taken from them, if they are convinced that their hard-earned money is actually ill-gotten loot. Most of all, they will allow their happiness to be taken from them if they are convinced that their happiness indicts them for not caring enough about all the misery that they have caused.
And yet virtue is the gateway to guilt. If you allow politicians to spend enough time singing your praises, eventually they will force you to live up to them.
If they praise America as a generous nation, that means they expect to take your money. If they praise it as a tolerant nation, that means you are expected not to put up a fight against any imposition. If it is praised as being willing to meet all challenges, that is a blank check. If it is praised for its willingness to come to terms with the past, that means the guilt is about to be piled on with a wheelbarrow.
Be wary of praise, for it often implies obligation. The easiest way to trap a population in guilt is to praise them to the skies, swell their heads with their own greatness, and then pull out the rug from under them by blasting them for their shortcomings. Make a people think that they are possessed of extraordinary virtues, and it is a matter of child’s play to entrap them by showing them that it is not so. As virtue easily becomes guilt, so the dictatorship of virtue becomes a United States of Guilt. – See more at: http://sultanknish.blogspot.co.il/2013/07/the-united-states-of-guilt.html#sthash.cDneSzkG.dpuf
About the Author: Daniel Greenfield is an Israeli born blogger and columnist, and a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center. His work covers American, European and Israeli politics as well as the War on Terror. His writing can be found at http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/. The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not represent the views of The Jewish Press.
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