"There are only two things that motivate men, fear and self interest" -Napoleon
I wrote an earlier post about the quote, war is just fear masked as courage. This is pretty damn close. Fear of attack, fear of loss of resources, fear of loss of standing in the world. I can attest to this as well. If I am truly honest to my choice of career, I can make a self deprecating argument to why I am a writer. One, I have a fear of becoming a cog in the wheel. I want to resist the temptation to forgo personal freedom as long as possible in exchange for the safer, more reliable cubicle job. However, pursuing a job in any creative endeavor is at it’s core, a pursuit of self-interests. The gaul to think that people will find what my imagination conjures entertaining or even important is quite astounding… yes, I’m aware of the irony.
Nowadays, an entire generation “suffers” from FOMO… Fear of Missing Out. Why? Because we are attached to our phones and the entire purpose of social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook is to advertise the very best slivers of what is probably a mundane existence. Fuck, that sounds bitter. I don’t mean it to be, because honestly, I do it too. I get jealous of my friends who are further along in their careers or those who are able to enjoy themselves on a Sunday afternoon while I have to work. Shit, maybe a little bitter. This fear is external. It is a distraction of epic proportions because all of a sudden we as an entire generation are craving validation from our peers at an alarming and ubiquitous rate. It’s one-ups-manship. By constantly looking at around us for approval, it’s slowly killing the integrity of trying to live a happy life internally.
On a broader note, the entirety of the 2016 election was based out of fear. The immigrants are going to take your jobs, kick them out. The socialists are going to take your hard-earned money, discredit them. And my personal favorite, the women are going to ruin our Christian values with their need for autonomous decision making, belittle them. I find it purely pathetic that the men who cry foul about the issues that plague our country, via immigration, women’s rights and for God’s sakes the fucking National Anthem kneeling, are scared cry babies. I want to hear you out, I do, but then come from a place of pragmatic fight, not emotional flight. Yes, Napoleon is one of the greatest Generals and leaders in the history of the world, but he ultimately lost. I’m not a historian but part of why he lost was that he bankrupted the treasury. He fought against he social change in Haiti, and he wanted to reinstate slavery and the hierarchal rule, but that revolution bled out his rule so much that he had to make the embarrassing sale of Louisiana to the US for a measly $15 million. And when it came down to his final battle at Waterloo, yes maybe the weather was against him and delayed his planned strike that probably would have led to victory had it not been rainy and muddy, but his pride got the best of him and he sent his best men, his loyal men, out to slaughter.
Fear, not courage, has been the biggest motivator of these last couple of years… and that’s shameful.