Fear is an integral aspect of the human condition. It is our relationship with fear that determines our life. James Williams Sensei of Nami-ryu Aiki Heiho wrote that line while suggesting this video from Academy of Ideas.
Fortune favors the bold was a Latin proverb that propagated throughout Western Civilization. Avoiding risk leads to missed opportunities, stagnation, and even decline.
For this reason, Shakespeare wrote in the play, King Henry VI: “Of all the base passions, fear is the most accursed”.
The samurai leader Hojo Tokimune advocated studying the mind through Zen meditation in order for his warriors to transcend the fear inherent to a life of constantly facing violent death. Edged weapons engagement is one of the most visceral forms of combat. Dealing with the horrors of battle at intimate range takes a special kind of resolve and the samurai devoted considerable attention to the psychology of combat.
Psychology, like all science, can be used for good or evil. It has been, and continues to be, employed to liberate as well as enslave humanity. One need only look at Edward Bernays works on Propaganda or Public Relations, or the corrupt fusion of state and corporate power (i.e., fascism) in the Mockingbird Media to recognize domestic information operations.
Despite material conditions dramatically improving, to such a degree that living standards and life expectancy are at unprecedented levels over the past two hundred years, orchestrated fear campaigns have convinced most developed populations to believe that risks should be avoided at all costs.
A population afraid of risk is easy to dominate, control, and tax. There is always an incentive for a ruling caste to keep their subjects disoriented, disorganized, and distracted. It naturally follows that, whether real or not, those that derive their living through taxation will promote issues that perpetuate mass fear psychosis.
The antidote, of course, is readily available. As Miyamoto Musashi wrote in the Gorin No Sho, “The Way is in training”. Training the mind, body, and spirit to overcome fear and manage risk skillfully is an essential character trait for warriors.
Indeed, societies cannot maintain their liberty without these warrior virtues diffused throughout the population. As Patrick Henry stated, the “great object” is that everyone be armed. This attitude was incorporated into the structure of the republic, when George Mason asserted that the militia was composed of the “whole body of the people, except for…public officials”.
In this way, those that make their living through taxation (public officials) would risk the consequences of upsetting a citizenry that was armed, organized, and disciplined in order to execute the law, repel invasions (of their property), and suppress insurrections (of constitutional order).
Training builds confidence and discernment. Routinely handling weapons necessitates attention to detail. Therefore, an organized, armed, and disciplined population is both more likely to detect fear propaganda and, at the same time, able to take action to arrest such political manipulations.
This is just another example of why securing a free state requires a robust and active militia. The key identifying feature of such an arrangement is political institutions encouraging widespread discipline in the martial arts, weapons proficiency, and participation in every aspect ‘public' safety.
Contrast those legislative duties (Art. 1, Sec. 8, Cl. 16) with the fear-based ignorance promoted by the political caste today and the source of dysfunction and social strife becomes clear. Fortunately, the solution is equally clear.