The Power of the State.

English: President Barack Obama welcomes Israe...
English: President Barack Obama welcomes Israeli President Shimon Peres in the Oval Office Tuesday, May 5, 2009. At right is Vice President Joe Biden. Official White House Photo by Pete Souza. Français : President Barack Obama accueille le président israélien Shimon Peres dans le bureau ovale mardi 5 mai 2009. A droite, le vice-président Joe Biden. Photo officielle de la Maison Blanche par Pete Souza. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have read and heard many stories in the last day about President Obama’s visit to Israel, and have been struck by a thought which should be disturbing. There are so many stories that I will not directly reference any, as they are being spread quite widely.

The President’s speeches were met by cheering crowds in a country where the consensus usually seems to be distrust rather than acceptance. Wherever our position falls in regards to Israel, we must all admit that they have a great deal to fear.

It seems that their response to the President’s visit, cheers and gratitude, has more to do with a reaction to the state of fear they experience so frequently in their daily lives. There is indication that this response is less gratitude than a desire to turn to any source of hope available rather than to face their fear directly.

There is a tendency inherent to human nature to turn to help instead of taking on the individual responsibility of facing the uncomfortable situation yourself. This is the true power of the state. Not the obvious force of arms, but the willingness of the people to subvert themselves to a higher authority because it is easier and more comfortable than facing the problem themselves. It also affords them the opportunity to ignore the problem entirely, because it is now in someone else’s hands.

Armies, police, taxes, and regulations are all tools of the state, but it is the willingness of the people to seek comfort in subjecting themselves to a supreme power which fuels the engine.

Barack Obama
Barack Obama (Photo credit: philomythus)
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