The ‘Let It Burn’ Mentality

If ever the Time should come, when vain & aspiring Men shall possess the highest Seats in Government, our Country will stand in Need of its experienced Patriots to prevent its Ruin.

Our country is in a crisis of character, and frankly, the last thing it needs is the nihilistic Let It Burn thinking making its rounds in some political circles. The Entitlement Mentality is a crisis of character on the Left, but the Let It Burn Mentality is a crisis of character on the Right.

In December 1776 Philadelphia was in such a state of chaotic panic that it took Thomas Paine ten days to get The American Crisis printed. It was finally printed in a newspaper on December 19th, and as a pamphlet on December 23rd. He didn’t give up and say Let It Burn.

On December 18, 1776 George Washington wrote in two of his letters:

“. . .In a word my dear Sir, if every nerve is not strain’d to recruit the New Army with all possible expedition, I think the game is pretty near up”

Did he lay down and die or go back to Mount Vernon and say Let It Burn?

Cynicism and despair and contempt don’t solve a thing. They may give a false sense of ‘moral’ superiority, but that’s about it.

Surrounded by charlatans, takers and petty tyrants, we need grit and endurance. Whether the game is up for us or not, the very least we can do as is to have the courage and character to do what is right and what we can in our own circle of influence.

Last week Ebben Raves wrote Time to Let the Country Crash? Think Weimar Republic and its consequences. This is his conclusion.

“Make no mistake: encouraging an economic crash is a bad idea. A parasite may eventually kill the host, but it usually takes a while, and there is always hope for recovery. Predators, however, devour the carcass in a rapid fashion. No easier meal can be had. Do not forget that predators are foreign to the body, and there are many circling outside our borders. Even today, there is still plenty of flesh left on America — flesh worth fighting for by whoever wants it most.”

The Let It Burn mentality is Ayn Rand personified.

She wrote some books. She never built a nation. I’m amazed that so many people are willing to follow her and her unproven philosophy of destruction off a cliff and brag about going Galt for the purpose of crashing the ‘system’. If you’re a Christian this selfish, arrogant and cynical mentality should have no part in your thinking. It is abhorrent to God.

As I wrote in The American Crisis: November 2012 we are not so much in a financial crisis, but in a crisis of character and faith in God. The question to ask ourselves is not whether we have contributed to the ruin of our country’s finances, but whether we have contributed to the ruin of the American soul. Cynicism and contempt for our fellow citizens is not only one of the paths to the bankruptcy of our nation—it is also the road to totalitarianism.

The Entitlement Mentality is the grasping self-centered thinking of the Left, and the Let It Burn Mentality is the Pharisaical self-centered thinking of the Right. Neither built this country, and both contribute to its ruin.

Vain and aspiring men now possess the highest seats in government. We stand not in need of vain and selfish citizens who echo their conceit, but in need of citizens who possess humility before God and honorable character before man.

He who despises his neighbor sins,
But happy is he who is gracious to the poor.
Proverbs 14:21
He who mocks the poor taunts his Maker;
He who rejoices at calamity will not go unpunished.
Proverbs 17:5

Work, take care of your family. Help your friends. Treat those in need with wise compassion.

Righteousness exalts a nation,
But sin is a disgrace to any people.
Proverbs 14:24

Portrait of Samuel Adams, J. S. Copley.
Samuel Adams, Letter to James Warren, October 24, 1780 via Wikiquote.

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10 thoughts on “The ‘Let It Burn’ Mentality

  1. Sorry but I’m with the “Let it Burn” crowd. It would be easier to bulid from the ashes then try a remodeling job on this house of horrors that has been created.

  2. Hey, John, thanks for leaving the comment. I do understand the disgust, but destruction and creation are antagonistic to each other. I think “Let It Burn” is a runaway freight train that will only cause a wreck, and as Ebben Raves wrote, make easy prey for roaming predators.

    I’ve got to run. I hope you have a good Thanksgiving!

  3. The train is GOING to crash; might as well get to it. We just need to make sure the casualties are among the moocher class.

  4. John’s point is arguable but I think it omits important details. As ‘it burns’ all sorts of lasting damage will be done, divisions created, and needed discussion and education shortcircuited. Rebuilding wouldn’t start from where we are today but without O’Fraud and other corrupt elements, but rather where we would be a few years hence with new forms of corruption and a smaller group of citizens who know how government ought to work.

    Remember the Civil War? There were essentially just two sides and one of them won a clean victory after just a few years: It took us what — a century to put most of the damage behind us? ‘Burning’ would leave us a shattered country, with perhaps a dozen important sides (some even more corrupted than the one we see as the problem today) and no clear victor.

    I admit the appeal but ‘burning’ would not play out as we would like to imagine. We really do not want to go there.

  5. SDN, unfortunately, casualties would be widespread. It’s one thing to say someone’s actions are wrong, but contempt and revenge are fast tracks to a bitter place where there’s little chance to recoup any losses.

  6. Walter, I hadn’t thought of the Civil War, but it’s a good analogy with its resulting divisiveness. We would splinter into numerous factions with a worse aftermath.

    I agree that there’s much discussion and education that’s needed to be had on our foundations of government. IMO we also need to regain some critical thinking skills, because logic and understanding of propaganda have gone by the wayside. I hope to post some things about propaganda next week.

    And to hit my point again, the ultimate crisis is one of character. Character not only immunizes people against the appeal of charlatans, and but it enables them to keep on doing the right thing even when times are tough.

  7. Further thoughts: Indeed it IS a crisis of character. But we wouldn’t be where we are if our character were not already badly damaged. That will not be fixed by shaking of fingers or instruction about this or that, but only by consequences: Some will be reformed as they see what happens and others will less likely survive. The teaching of character will return with and after the waning of the crisis.

    We can and should fight ‘let it burn’ but much or most will burn anyway. These things cannot be turned on a dime and we’re now passed by our last chance to get serious before the flames are visible. The reason to fight nihilism is that the next America will be shaped by the people and ideas that survive and positive beliefs have survival value.

    One dangerous idea will be that we need to restructure our government, write a new and better Constitution, and so on. Fiddlesticks: This one works fine if people care to enforce it and nothing we can write will work if they don’t.

    A minor reform will be a requirement for actual examination of the resumes of top officers.

    I can see only one clear structural lesson: Government needs to be much smaller because citizen oversight is in inverse proportion to its size. What we have now is so large that nobody, not even a substantial organization can understand its actions and explain their meaning in a way most citizens understand. That’s why every major citizen subgroup except older white males voted to reelect yet these are the subgroups who will suffer most from what’s about to happen.

    The only fix for the failure of our public media is individual character. They are a clear illustration of ‘reform or die’ and most of the icons seem likely to die. The NYT is among our court fools; dancing and jiggling a ball on a string for our amusement but its use value is mainly as puppy training papers. How much longer will we be willing to pay for that?

    The notion of multiculturalism will die too; I can’t see that happening quietly but it WILL happen. No nation can be stable without general support for shared interests.

    As for the splintering that accompanies the fire that’s one of the things we must fight but it won’t be avoided. With most Americans in denial, the bite of reality will lead to anger, most of it directed at other subgroups.

    These will be the most interesting and sometimes the most exciting years of our lives.

  8. great blog…well thought out…first time ive read it….
    you can tell a lot of care was taken to be truthful and logical..
    tips hat…well done well done …g2m

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