The American Heroic Myth

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The
word hero is defined as a legendary figure, often of divine descent,
endowed with great strength or ability. Heroism is man’s attempt
to fulfill a higher purpose, it is the basis for character development,
ethical living, and critical thought. Athletes, race car drivers,
and firemen are all marketed as heroes, but they do not pass the
critical test: They are not engaged in a battle of good versus evil.

The
State does not wish for the battle against evil to be discussed,
except in terms that it can control. Thus, the State defines heroism
as triumph over adversity, or danger. To call heroism a triumph
over evil makes the state uncomfortable. It knows that an increasing
number of Americans are engaged in a heroic battle against domestic
tyranny, which is clearly evil. The State thus denies it’s evil
nature, all the while increasing it’s tyranny.

Government
animosity towards heroism has it’s roots in the conflict between
Jeffersonian Democracy, and the Marxism we have today. Our original
democracy promised equality of opportunity, whereby each man was
expected to succeed or fail according to his own effort. This individual
effort stands as a threat to Marxist equality of condition. Our
government attempts to enforce equality by destroying the bond between
effort and reward. Through taxation and redistribution of wealth,
the State punishes effort, and rewards allegiance.

Everyone
knows, of course, that lack of effort does not create equality,
it creates poverty. When a Marxist such as Al Sharpton promises
to elevate the poor, he is really promising to deliver equality
as an illusion. Children are taught to expect reward without effort,
and status without achievement. Military rank is a prime example:
Promotion occurs as a result of political correctness. The ability
to win battles is no longer a factor.

The
Marxist disconnection between effort and reward has resulted in
a new pathology: The cult of non-effort. To witness non-effort in
action, tune to MTV. There, one can view young Anglo’s Hanging Out
and young blacks Chilling. The cult of non-effort is a celebration
of sloth within a materialistic utopia. Kid Rock, Snoop Doggy Dog,
and Puff Daddy are the primary arbiters of this worldview. This
cult takes other forms, as well. Consider the lottery. Everyone
is equal in the eyes of Lady Luck, so effort is pointless. The lottery
is self-funding Marxist propaganda.

According
to the cult of non-effort, nobody works, everybody is rich, and
all men are joined in a brotherhood of ego. Lurking just below the
surface however, is a deadly cynicism. Even the followers of this
new religion know it’s a lie. The success of the cult of non-effort
is evidence that American youth are attempting to fabricate a heroic
mythology, but without the benefit of worthy heroes. These young
men don’t know it, but they have been stripped of their heroic myth.

What
is the heroic myth, you say? It is the spiritual battle that each
man fights with evil, that places his life and personal struggle
within a context of greatness. Every man fights this battle. The
heroes of his mythology are drawn from his culture. Over the last
hundred years, there have been three cultural Icons who have played
central roles in the American heroic myth: Ragged Dick, John Galt,
and Christ.

Ragged
Dick is a novel that was written by Horatio Alger, in 1868. To quote
the publisher: Young Dick is a plucky street boy who smokes, gambles,
and speaks ungrammatically, but he is also honest and hardworking,
striving not for wealth and status, but for a steady job, a decent
place to sleep, and respectability. This was the first of a series
of poor-boy-makes-good books that connected virtue and hard work
with success. Ragged Dick is effort personified.

Atlas
Shrugged
is a 1957 novel by the Objectivist Ayn Rand. In
this novel, John Galt, the protagonist, makes a conscious decision
to think. It is that momentous decision, to become self-aware, that
changes his life forever. The libertarian creed of self-determination,
rather than collective responsibility, is reasoned as the highest
ideal. John Galt is integrity personified.

The
Bible is a collection of divinely inspired stories, woven into an
account of what many believe to be an accurate history of the world.
Christ, the rebellious central character of the New Testament, exists
as the Son of God who has been sent to atone for the sins of man.
Mankind, through worship, projects his most basic sense of self
onto Christ. Out of love, Christ returns this sense of self, in
the form of mercy. He serves as a vessel for our trust, and through
forgiveness, provides grace. Christ is virtue personified.

These
three figures are part of a group of hundreds of real and fictional
heroes that together form a standard of bravery, honor, and good
conduct. St. Augustine wrote extensively on the subject, saying
that the conflict between good and evil rages not only in mankind
as a whole, but in every individual.

Fathers
are the primary mythical heroes. Young men internalize the heroic
myth, and use it to form an identity. This identity serves as a
rudder, which helps each man to steer a course through a dangerous
and complex world. Marxist governments hate and fear the heroic
myth, and wish to destroy it. They know that it challenges their
authority at the deepest level.

Why
do they fear it so? There are three primary reasons:

(1)
The heroic myth is masculine, and chivalrous.

It
exists exclusively in the minds of men. It is Camelot, King Arthur,
and the Damsel in distress. This fact is intolerable to female Marxists
who demand, but can never achieve, heroic equality.

(2)
The heroic myth is self-aware.

The
conscious man explores his mind and heart openly. Marxism, through
repression, uses shame and guilt to force portions of the conscious
mind to submerge into the sub-conscious. Conscious men are not easily
repressed. Nor are they easily governed.

(3)
The heroic myth is spiritual.

Heroes,
above all, are moral beings. The inner voice that calls upon each
man is the voice of his own conscience, and proof of his spiritual
autonomy. Marxism, by definition, is atheistic and authoritarian.
These forces stand in perfect opposition.

The
heroic myth serves as a model for all men who wish to be free. That
is exactly why our Marxist government cannot allow it to exist.
Feminism encourages divorce, which separates fathers from sons,
breaking the heroic myth continuum. Secular Humanism denies the
existence of God, which removes the basis for a moral life. Finally,
leftist propaganda defines masculinity as the source of violence,
rather than acknowledging it’s true function as the source of honor.

Young
men need a strong hero myth for proper character development, the
same way they need vitamins and minerals for a healthy body. It
is a primary objective of our Marxist government never to allow
that to happen.

As
Americans, we must reintroduce heroic mythology into the minds of
young men.

We
must swim against the tide of popular opinion, and the Marxist agenda
of the public schools and universities. This heroic call to greatness
is the path to freedom.

February
21, 2002

Ron
Liebermann [send him mail]
is a contractor and manufacturer of mylar balloons in Louisville,
Ky.

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needs your help to stay on the air.

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