Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Babel Syndrome


The judgment at the tower of Babel did not snuff out mankind’s instinct to embark on similar kinds of venture. Daniel saw four beasts rising out of the sea, each representing a major empire: Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. In Revelation 13 an apocalyptic beast rises out of the sea. Many commentators have agreed that “the sea” represents the masses of humanity. We might say that these beasts arise by the consent (or desire) of the masses. Israel tossed aside God’s direct, personal rule in order to have a king like the nations around it. The people democratically clamored for a monarch, and they got Saul for their just deserts.

It seems that fallen man has a proclivity toward a certain kind of idolatry that objectifies his thirst for control. Insidiously it comes under the guise of social cooperation. “Together we can achieve great things.” Invariably one man or a small cadre rises to the top; but these epitomize the desires of the masses. Man lives vicariously through power-brokers. So it is here in these United States. The two major political parties have their visions of order and collective welfare. The one of the Left is overtly socialistic and redistributive. It thrives by drawing innumerable clients from among the masses into its franchise. The one on the Right is more subtle: it appeals to the notion of individual rights, but rides populist sentiment to strengthen control over a corporate state bent on global domination. The Tea Partiers are increasingly falling for the latter form, hook, line and sinker. The lure of “national greatness” is irresistible. Upholding a common language, glorying in military prowess, waving the flag, etc. are powerful galvanizers.

Societal greatness, however, is comprised of the day-to-day small things. Being faithful to one’s church, doing the right thing when no one is looking, helping one’s neighbor, and fostering a productive environment all make for quality living. These things happen all the time, but they don’t seem to be enough. Paul’s words are lost on society at large: “…I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.”

And so we fall, again and again, into the Babel syndrome. Hans-Hermann Hoppe is quite right: democracy is the god that failed. It has failed, is failing, and will fail.

1 comment:

The Underground Pewster said...

"We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Pogo by Walt Kelly