The Tomunist Manifesto. Vol.1, Issue 3
American Frontier Spirit
I read an article today talking about how this generation may have to deal with being the first to have a lower standard of living than it’s parents – and how we can react to this.
I reposted the article and added these thoughts:
These hard economic times offer our generation a huge opportunity. We can reclaim the American Frontier Spirit by: learning to do more with less, truly working hard, building communities, and relying on God for everything. Or we could go the other way and further entrench the Entitlement Mentality which has so poisoned our national psyche.
I would like to expand on that in the following several postings, so bear with me.
Staring a national destiny in the face forces one to take a few brief moments of reflection. As poor as our economy is, our spirit is much poorer. Previous generations of Americans have stood tall, battling demons from within and without. Now, it is our turn.
The proverbial fork in the road is upon us. We may go Right, or we may go Wrong. The choice, as they say, is ours to make. As I see it, we can either continue wallowing in the moral cesspool of post-modern Entitlement thinking….or….
What if we learned from our past to help shine a light on our future?
What would happen in this country if we Recaptured the American Frontier Spirit?
With all due respect to Frederick Jackson Turner, my thoughts of the American Frontier Spirit are slightly different. For the purposes of brevity and clarity, I am choosing to define the Frontier Spirit with four specific characteristics or patterns of thought:
- Do More With Less
- Truly Work Hard
- Build Communities
- Rely on God for Everything
For the remainder of this post, I would like to outline some thoughts about each of these traits. My intention is to begin a dialogue and further refine my initial thoughts.
Do more with less –
This is very simple, common sense thinking… but’s it’s effects – if actually applied – are quite life-changing. Doing more with less accomplishes the following:
- Addresses the economic realities we face
- Gets people away from the “Credit-style” of consumer thinking
- Starts the process of shunning the hyper-materialism we’ve grown accustomed to
- Has the added benefit of encouraging ingenuity
Truly work hard –
It may be cliché, but the Protestant Work Ethic was a major factor in what helped America to grow and prosper. Further thoughts:
- Our extreme Leisure Culture leads to laziness
- Entitlement has replaced Merit as a mode of thinking
- Sometime in the late 40’s, the American Dream was corrupted to simply be a pursuit of Material gain.
- The true American Dream – or as Jefferson called it, the Pursuit of Happiness – is the opportunity to better yourself and your community. This actually has little to do with financial wealth.
Leading in from the last thought, no man is an island unto himself. So says John Donne, and who am I to argue with an Elizabethan poet?
- The clearest analogy to point to is Barn raising
- It doesn’t take a village to raise a child (rather, an intact family and God will do the trick nicely) but, a common striving towards mutually beneficial goals within a small community is an amazing thing to teach a child.
- Coming together at the local level forces a terribly needed de-centralization of power
- Rugged Individualism has been misrepresented and so is a concept much maligned nowadays in Christian circles.
- Rugged Individualism is nothing more than the exercise of Freedom in Christ, with a hearty dose of frontier guile thrown in.
- The idea is that, as Individuals, we come together to promote the general welfare.
Rely on God for everything –
- Self-Reliance is also quite misinterpreted nowadays.
- Self-Reliance is simply the understanding that no one has to help you. It is merely the opposite of our Entitlement Mentality.
- In the context of the Frontier Spirit, this means that we place our burdens at the foot of the cross.
These are the seeds of some thoughts that perhaps need to germinate more… but I think it is a powerful rhetorical approach: Recapture the American Frontier Spirit.
[The preceding post is available to be re-purposed as a campaign speech for the next President of the United States, whoever he or she may be. Contacting the author for permission is the first step towards that goal. So… Perry’s people, Romney’s ring, Bachmann’s batch, Cain’s crew, or Palin’s posse: I eagerly await your imminent phone calls]