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Fear and Loathing

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Last night I watched the first of Adam Curtis’s trilogy of documentaries, The Power of Nightmares. The film focused on two key thinkers – Egyptian Sayyid Qutb and American Leo Strauss – who both were repulsed by what they saw as the moral degradation of Truman’s America. Both argued that the answer lay in curbing individual freedom and that, to achieve that, it was vital to establish a climate of fear. Both chose as the object of their fear and hatred Soviet Russia. This documentary is a fantastic piece of work. Apart from showing the complete political bankruptcy of the neo-Con agenda (which even in 1976 was discovering completely non-existent weapons of mass destruction) it shows a more profound truth: that fear can imprison us. ‘Perfect love drives out fear,’ says 1John 4.18. We think of ourselves as living in the free world, but only those who do not give into fear are truly free.