“Stick with me and you’ll never go hungry again!”
With that promise, Scar rallies a pack of bloodthirsty hyenas, topples the Lion King from power, upsets the Prideland’s order and turns it into a wasteland.
This is not the stuff of Disney movies alone. History is filled with such ruinous examples which we are doomed to repeat if we don’t learn from its lessons, as cautioned philosopher George Santayana.
The world has paid a heavy price for falling for the empty promises, demagoguery, and calls for unity and identity on the basis of race, blood, and soil, thundered by silver-tongued villains.
“The main plank in the National Socialist program is to abolish the liberalist concept of the individual and the Marxist concept of humanity and to substitute therefore the folk community, rooted in the soil, and bound together by the bond of its common blood.” — Adolf Hitler 1930s
Fifteen years before Hitler’s rise to power, Irish poet W.B.Yeats saw the writing on the wall and wrote his prophecy in ‘The Second Coming’:
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.”
By the time Yeats penned those words, Italian strongman Benito Mussolini had unleashed the scourge of fascism onto the world by hypnotizing his compatriots with his passionate intensity.
Back in the Prideland, while Scar and his slavish minions unleash their anarchy, the hoped-for savior, Simba, lacking all conviction, wastes his days singing ‘Hakuna Matata’ with his feckless buddies, Timon and Pumbaa.
By luck, Simba finds Rafiki, the old and wise baboon.
When Simba tells Rafiki that his father, Mufasa, is dead, the wise baboon says, “I know your father… he’s alive, and I’ll show him to you. Follow old Rafiki… he knows the way!”
Rafiki leads Simba to the edge of a waterhole and makes him look at his reflection. Simba looks hard, sighs, and says, “That’s not my father, it’s just my reflection.”
The wise baboon stirs the water’s surface with his finger and says, “Nooo, look harder… you’ll see he lives in you!” When Simba takes a second look, he sees Mufasa’s face, then hears his voice coming from above. Simba looks up and sees the ghost of his father breaking through a dense cloud.
“You have forgotten who you are,” says Mufasa in a deep voice. “Look inside yourself, Simba, you are more than what you have become.”
Like Simba, the American people have forgotten who they are.
Once a nation held together by a shared story under the motto “Out of many, one,” it is rapidly becoming a splintered patchwork of squabbling tribes laying waste to the ideals which their forefathers brought forth to give birth to the greatest country on earth; a country that appears to have forgotten Lincoln’s warning that a house divided against itself cannot stand.
“Divide and Conquer” has been a tool of tyrants since the dawn of time, along with their keen understanding and cunning manipulation of people’s fears, anger, greed, prejudices, ignorance, and insecurities. Most often, these scoundrels are not interested in the wellbeing of the people but consider them as halfwit pawns in their megalomaniac quest for absolute power and control.
“I never thought hyenas essential. They’re crude and unspeakably plain. But maybe they’ve a glimmer of potential if allied to my vision and brain.” — Scar
“Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold,” as Yeats said, so long as a group lacks a unifying story.
Rafiki had to remind Simba of his roots and his father’s legacy to wake him up from his self-centered existence. Armed with renewed courage and conviction, Simba returned to reclaim the Prideland and assumed his rightful place.
Americans have lost their center. They either ignore, or disdain the legacy of their forefathers. Like Simba, they stand aloof while the ideals enshrined in their Constitution are increasingly desecrated. Profit over principle is now the people’s maxim. Lacking a higher conviction, they stand on loose sediment. Thus unanchored, the American people are bewildered and afraid; easy prey for crowd-pleasers and opportunists — the Scars and hyenas of this world.
To Scar’s rallying cry of, ‘Stick with me and you’ll never go hungry again!’ I counter with Jesus’ warning: ‘For what shall it profit a man if he shall gain the whole world but lose his soul?’
Wake up America! The soul of your country is in peril. Look inside yourself, you’re more than what you’ve become.
Wake up, before your once, proudful land becomes a wasteland.