World leaders' reliance on fear to govern is behind many problems confronting society, especially the poor, says a man dedicated to fighting those problems.
“Basically, I believe there is two things in the world,” John Hope Bryant said during an interview with Newsmax.TV. “There is love, and there is fear — and what you don’t love, you fear. And the reason our world is so screwed up today is that most of our so-called leaders have led by fear.”
Fear is the ultimate prosperity killer, especially in the current economic climate, said Bryant, founder of Operation HOPE. His new book, “Love Leadership: The New Way To Lead In A Fear-Based World,” details the story of that group and provides insights for leaders who must make tough decisions.
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Leaders should generate love instead of fear so they can show people how they can prosper over the long term by doing well and doing good things, Bryant said.
The past four U.S. presidents have recognized the work of Bryant, who recently met with President Barack Obama to discuss his ideas for promoting love leadership and the new Consumer Finance Protection Agency. Bryant described the agency as representing president’s desire to “marry what Ike (Eisenhower) would call good capitalism with a desire to protect people from financial predators.”
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“This goes along with the baseline of my work, which is around civil rights, financial literacy, about giving me a hand-up and not just a hand out,” Bryant said. “One of my clients got an $800 payday loan, and unbeknownst to them because they were financially illiterate and because they were preyed upon, they paid $16,000 in fees over five years and never knew it.”
Ignorance of the language of money in the contemporary world reduces people to being economic slaves, he said.
See Video: Leaders Have Led With Fear, Says John Hope Bryant - Click Here Now
When asked whether Obama is what he would call a “love leader,” Bryant told Newsmax it is too early to tell.
The Nobel Peace Prize committee tried "to send a signal that he is a force for good,” Bryant said of the recent announcement that Obama would receive the Nobel. "And that I agree. He’s our president. We should support him. I support him with both feet.”
On an international issue, Bryant said fear and money are key components in the Taliban’s ability to get recruits.
“The most dangerous person in the world right now is a person with no hope,” Bryant said. “In the Middle East, which I just visited recently in Jordan, you have a need in the next 10 years to have 100 million jobs.
“Now 60 percent of that population is going to be under the age of 25. There is nothing more dangerous in the world than to have 100 million people under that age of 25 with no hopes, no skills, no desires, no dreams," and who are angry.
As a result, encouraging prosperity is a key component of bringing about peace in that troubled corner of the world.
Obama needs to get the economy moving again and get free enterprise and capitalism working for the poor, Bryant said.
“We want all boats to rise and not just yachts,” Bryant said. “If you create a middle class, and middle class people don’t want war; they want to shop. Then you take the legs from underneath the Taliban, you take the legs from underneath all of these ideologues and all of these hard-edged, fear-based leaders.
“And fear fails.”
He sees government interference in the global economy as a significant factor in the economic mess.
“We can’t have it both ways,” he said. “We can’t privatize gains and socialize losses.”
Business needs to work with the government to fashion a working free-enterprise system and a capitalism that acknowledges past failures but speaks to innovation and “good capitalism," he said.
“I am optimistic the next 30 years are going to be the most amazing in modern history,” Bryant said. “But we have to acknowledge mistakes were made. This is not a failure of capitalism, but this is a crisis and failure of greed."
The economic predicament is symptomatic of a deeper crisis in virtues and values, he said.
“We have lost our story line,” he said. “In the past 20 years we have made dumb sexy. We’ve dumbed down and celebrated it. We’ve got to make smart sexy again, and that means reimagining the world we want to live in.”
“It was the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Germany and Japan and the government that created an environment that lent credibility around the world that created global trade and free enterprise that led to 50 years of economic expansion.”
The United States needs to find a way to do well again by doing good and make capitalism work for the poor, he said.
“The only way capitalism and free enterprise is going to work is to make it work for the average person,” he said.
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