From the outset, I do not wish to give the impression that I hold to strong commitments to any current political theology, current or party. I have had party memberships in the Reform/Conservative Party in times past. However, my ideological relationship with them and with the various variants of conservatism has been one of unease and not infrequent disgust. My aversion to parties on the Left stems from my fierce love of liberty from statism and their unjust laïcité preclusion and marginalization of spiritually-inspired values and rational thought from the public square. Should they continue to fail to systematically accommodate their ideological adversaries, there will be future social and political conflict of a hotter kind.
I have spent much of my life contemplating political theory, dynamics and systems. I even entertained forlorn hopes in entering that realm. However, I am much too intellectually honest for the times; too much the purist to stomach necessary compromises; and I am simply without the necessary social graces and charisma. I didn’t have a chance.
However, after many decades entertaining political dynamics etc., I have determined, consistent with a seminal theme of Biblical Scriptures, that political structures, devices and machinations, hold little ultimate power against the ideological and ethical movements, dynamics and decadence of society. There is no fool proof system, devised by men, which the genius of other men cannot subvert and circumvent. There exists no Christian political theory, on this side of the Second Coming. Political and politicized Christianity is a bastard child. In light of the Scriptural persuasion, exemplified by ultimate failure of the ancient Hebrew state; by various passages which discounted external regulations and political ploys from saving the soul and person of man (i.e. Hebrews); I repudiate any enduring political theology. And the trepidation, I fear for the future of humanity, is too great to be resolved by political machination.
As the pompous showboat General Douglas MacArthur, nevertheless accurately portrayed on the state of humanity in the Radio Address, following the Surrender of Japan ceremony (September 2, 1945):
“The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all material and cultural development of the past two thousand years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh.”
If I speak on affairs political and social, it is from one crying in the wilderness, happily outside of mainstream, probably in the radical middle, making observations and analysis, which no doubt satisfy neither the pundits and profits of the Right or Left. My immediate concern is the intractable and increasing socioeconomic and political polarization which is overtaking every country in the West, prominently in the United States; evident also in Europe. My home country, Canada, is lagging in this disquieting development; simply because this boring nation, from the vantage point of intellectual and ideological interest; one lacking of ideological commitments; this most latitudinal and Anglican (Episcopalian) of nations; is probably in the best shape, in terms of social / political / ideological divide, for these very reasons.
I believe in the common good; but best arranged and provided for, through the voluntary conduct of private actors. I only see depredation and oppression in state-sponsored initiatives, often arrogant and misguided and with many so-called detrimental unintended consequences. However, as a student of history, I am not unaware of the historical social dynamic that as any people become less ethical, the consequential social harms and costs induce the state to mitigate the situation, invariably aggrandizing state power to the detriment of all other. I am also aware that minimalist government, without breaking up and reducing concentrated corporate power, furnishes just as evil a social environment as one of statism.
I have long, as conservative and Evangelical, been concerned with increasing economic disparity since the Fall of the Soviet Union, with resulting social, political and legal inequality; at a time when one mysteriously, barely heard a peep from the Left on such matters. I anticipate an era, not unlike the social agitations of 19th and early 20th Century Europe in the coming decades. The world will adjust leftward in order to forestall civil discord and revolution. It might also be an era when all the chickens come to roost.
If I harbour any socioeconomic and political aspirations for the present world, it would be in being able to arrange a social peace between all the increasingly polarized tensions in the various societies; between the secular and the sacral; the wealthy and the poor; the moralist and the libertine, the nihilist and the absolutist; the feminist and the upcoming masculinist.
I do despair.
With that, I proceed
as of Wednesday, August 29, 2012