Kierkegaard’s clown and fiscal responsibility

Posted on October 24, 2009


The philosopher Soren Kierkegaard wrote a parable about a fire breaking out backstage in a theater. The Clown came out to inform the public. They thought it was just a joke and applauded. He repeated his warning and they just laughed and clapped louder.  The point of the parable is that the greatest of disasters often occur amid public laughter and applause. Why? Because public perception of what is being warned of is frequently dismissed due to the public’s opinion of the messenger. Kierkegaard was talking about the disaster of those losing eternity when they fail to heed the warning about the salvation of their immortal soul.  The Clown parable however, is applicable to every kind of human disaster. Today our nation has a deficit of 1.4 trillion dollars. These deficits are projected to grow exponentially over the next few years. Our Currency is losing its value daily. The price of Gold is soaring along with the price of other commodities. Foreign nations who hold our Bonds and are financing our reckless debt are threatening to end their support.  Without a strong Currency and someone to finance this debt, we could be faced with the kind of Hyper Inflation that brought down the Wiemar Republic in 1932.  Many who warn of this are looked upon as was Kierkegaard’s Clown.  Too many of our elected representatives  are caught up in grandiose schemes that require these huge deficits.  We need to get back to principles of fiscal responsibility before a greater disaster than we have ever experienced takes place amid public applause and laughter.