On June 29, Law & Liberty, a popular online website devoted to “the classical liberal tradition of law and how it shapes a society of free and responsible persons,” published “Fear Not,” an essay by Juliana Pilon, Senior Fellow, The Alexander Hamilton Institute for the Study of Western Civilization (AHI). In the essay, Dr. Pilon examines the prevalence of “angst” in “our self-absorbed, politically-obsessed culture.” She discusses the great paradox of a postmodern world whose expansive opportunities and wondrous material advances have left increasing numbers of people unhappy and fear-ridden.
For insight into the problem, Dr. Pilon discusses the recent book of Michal Oshman, a “diversity and inclusion” executive for the social media company TikTok. In dealing with her own angst, Oshman discovered the value of consulting the ancient wisdom in Judaic texts. “She could have turned into a progressive activist obsessed with so-called equity, virtue-signaling to other people-pleasers,” Pilon observes. “Instead, she fought against resentment and envy, while recognizing that such feelings are perfectly human and surmountable.”
By rediscovering ancient wisdom, Oshman came to understand more about the human soul. She came to accept the proposition that “[f]rom every human being there rises a light.” Pilon does not deny that Oshman’s prescription may appear naïve, given “the darkness that rises from too many human beings enslaved by despair, hatred, and resentment,” who pay homage to “false gods.” But “what else can give hope if not the promise of redemption to which we can contribute as best we can, knowing we are not alone”?