The Book Thief & The Arena of Ideas



The powerful life-altering essence of the movie The Book Thief is found in the scene where Max asks Liesel to describe the world outside of his hiding place in the basement of Hans and Rosa Hubermann during Hitler’s rule. After a thoughtless attempt or two, Liesel finally succeeds in crafting her words so descriptively it caused Max’s face to light up as he beamed an appreciative, “Thanks…I could see that!”

It made me think how important the link between “knowledge” and “survival” are at even the most basic level. I thought to myself, Every society is in the dark just like Max in the Hubermann’s basement, relying on the virtues of a Free Press exactly as Max depended on Liesel to be able to see…in order to survive…the way we used to. Liesel was the Free Press to Max!

What have we now? We have actually become Max ~ “I never thought I’d see the day when Freedom hangs her head” ~ And instead of the lovely and virtuous Liesel to bring us the world outside, we have the evil Hitler Youth Leader, Franz Deutscher, aka MSM to rely on! Tyranny could never take the stage much less keep it without good ole Franz. What this means is that the competition in the Arena of Ideas, which has served us well, has become a dungeon-like illusion where no light can find its way. What this means for us is perfectly simple. We can either find the courage of Liesel, or we can perish in the dark.

So Max, here’s what it looks like outside: On one side of town, there’s a funny little man in a white robe named Francis tip-toeing past the evil dragon to attack the drowning businessman wrapped in the heavy taxing and regulatory chains of the State, while he conspires to kill the basement cracks that welcome the few rays of light that remain, by fundamentally transforming the “C” into a “c”…so he thinks. 😉

On the other side of town there’s another funny little cherub-like bald man with a beard named Ben who works for the dragon. The drowning businessman and all his friends and neighbors thought their money was going into “safe” deposit accounts in their local banks when it was really going into the basement under the bank (with no cracks) and on to a special conveyor belt directly to Ben. Ben then turned around and used the money to change the Free Press to MSM and take over their printing press. The printing press that was once used to bring the Truth to Max, now prints “Magic Money” instead. They call it “Magic Money” because people want more and more…even though they know it turns into the very chains that will hold them in their basement prisons forever and ever.

I’m sorry to have to be the one to bring you this news dear Max. But you should also be aware and take heart in knowing that there is a very brave group of people around the world at this very moment who are risking everything to save you. Their #1 goal is the #1 fear of the dragon. The Arena of Ideas is the dragon’s greatest fear because it is not a single coliseum which the dragon could destroy in one fiery exhale. No, it is the infinite tabernacle connecting the mind of man to the very Truth beyond even the reach of death. Hold on dear Max…we are coming, I promise you! 

“We know the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong. Do you not think an angel rides in the whirlwind and directs this storm?” ~ John Page to Thomas Jefferson

Chip Murray: Wide Awake

About Chip Murray

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