Just as each of us needs a positive role model in order to develop into healthy people, so too does a society need heroes. A hero is an inspirational figure, an exemplar of high ideals, a champion of the nation.
Heroes can powerfully bind communities together. A sense of shared identity comes from the celebration of such heroes; it's no coincidence that the ANZAC story is the most powerful national myth of New Zealand. Such stories motivate people to improve themselves and serve their community, in order to honour past heroes and live up to their example. They inspire us to constantly improves ourselves; to strengthen and grow, instead of slackening and giving in to baseness and complacency. Strength instead of surrender. Action instead of sloth. Struggle instead of comfort.
In this culture we now lack truly extraordinary modern people – ideal people – we can point to, learn from, and emulate to better understand and develop ourselves. Men and women of good character and strong will. The great figures of our past have been largely forgotten, and thus the striving spirit that animated and inspired our forefathers has disappeared from our culture.
We are starved of figures whose excellent character is celebrated. Opportunities for heroism seem few in the modern context. Softened and stifled by material luxury, we are deprived of opportunity for meaningful outward struggle within the current system. Victory has defeated us.
Today, we are denied legitimate heroes. The only 'extraordinary' figures promoted to us in the controlled media are actors, sportsmen, and singers of the most decrepit moral constitution.
Instead, it is made to seem that the very best people that our brilliant, 'enlightened' society can produce are Californian prostitutes and other drug-abusing entertainers. The worse these counterfeit aristocrats behave, the more coverage they are rewarded with, and the more influence they have upon our culture.
The globalist media and academia routinely attacks ('deconstructs') the traditional heroic myth. They expose themselves as haters of transcendence, self-conquest, and all positive, life-affirming forces. Concern for family, community, and faith are mocked as backwards and reactionary.
Instead of a romantic, aspirational, idealistic attitude to our lives, we are reduced to Homo Economicus; we are told that our lives can be summarised in terms of mere numbers. Our natural drives are mutated and commodified so that we become subservient components of the global capitalist machine. Pursuit of beauty becomes dumb lust. Desire for meaningful belonging becomes participation in internet subcultures defined by consumer choice. We have a culture which would rather import Black Friday sales - a celebration of indulgence and greed - than Thanksgiving - a time of family, reflection, and gratitude.
Even in fiction, we are only given heroes who were chosen by fate, or have inborn special abilities which allow them to succeed, instead of being ordinary people like us, who become great through honest effort and perseverance. This engenders an attitude of complacency instead of proactive self-improvement.
Nobody is a better consumer than an adolescent with the money of an adult. Consequently, the aim of consumer culture has become to extend our adolescence for as long as possible, keeping us in a state of arrested development. Instead of growing ourselves as men and women, we simply stagnate and spend.
This is a profane inversion of the normal, positive relationship between man and system, in which the function of our systems is to serve man, instead of trying to fit us into an ideologically and economically convenient box.
All of this has made us some of the most miserable people in history. Despite our relative material wealth, suicide rates in New Zealand are through the roof. 1 in 8 New Zealanders are on anti-depressants. Drug use among young adults is ubiquitous. Porn addiction has become a signature demon of our youngest generations. Clearly, sheer economic efficiency has failed to give us the deep satisfaction that makes life worth living. These circumstances force us to ask the question: are we on the right track? Is this really the best that we are capable of?
A new attitude, a new approach to life is possible, for ourselves and for our nation. We can refuse to have our instincts exploited by consumer culture. Instead of trading money for ephemeral indulgences, we can make a new bargain: the pain of sacrifice in exchange for the liberation of self-improvement and community solidarity.
A dramatic change is needed. The first step to change our society for the better is to conquer ourselves – to undergo an inner revolution. To burn away weakness and vice within ourselves, and to replace them with the heroic ideals treasured and passed down by our forefathers. In so doing, we can put the strength and welfare of our people first, instead of that of the ‘global economy’. Only then will our future be in our own hands.
Our people are not destined to be the passive victims of circumstance. It our imperative to become men of virtue and action. To become heroes for future generations.