We Vanquish Terrorism When We Tap Into the Huge Reserve of Courage Within Each One of Us, and Refuse To Be Terrorized
January 21, 2014
“If You Are Scared, [the Terrorists] Win. If You Refuse To Be Scared, They Lose”
Northwestern professor Peter Ludlow writes in the New York Times:
Philosophers have long noted the utility of fear to the state. Machiavelli notoriously argued that a good leader should induce fear in the populace in order to control the rabble.
Hobbes in “The Leviathan” argued that fear effectively motivates the creation of a social contract in which citizens cede their freedoms to the sovereign. The people understandably want to be safe from harm. The ruler imposes security and order in exchange for the surrender of certain public freedoms. As Hobbes saw it, there was no other way: Humans, left without a strong sovereign leader controlling their actions, would degenerate into mob rule. It is the fear of this state of nature — not of the sovereign per se, but of a world without the order the sovereign can impose — that leads us to form the social contract and surrender at least part of our freedom.