Is it Time to Reform Politics?

 Our era is run by incomparably stupid people… (Gary North).

You cannot watch a lot of political reporting today anywhere in the world, without coming to this conclusion about today’s political leadership: these people don’t care about the truth.

It doesn’t really matter where, it seems the current bunch of international leaders are pretty ordinary. What matters to these people is shadow, not substance, form not reality, appearances and not fact.

An outstanding US Congressman, Ron Paul, is retiring from politics, aged 77. He had some closing comments to make in Congress:

“The government has grown exponentially, taxes remain excessive as a prolific increase of incomprehensible regulations continues. Wars are constant and pursued without a congressional declaration. Deficits rise to the sky, poverty is ramping and dependency on the federal government is now worse than any time in our history. All this with minimal concerns for the deficits and unfunded liabilities, that common sense tells us: it cannot go on much longer,” said the congressman.

 “The spending continues, as the economy weakens and the downward spiral continues. As the government continues fiddling around, our liberties and our wealth burn in the flames of a foreign policy, that makes us less safe. The major stumbling block to real change in Washington is the total resistance to admitting that the country is broke,” pointed out the republican…

“Our Constitution, which was intended to limit government power and abuse, has failed,” Paul said. “The Founders warned that a free society depends on a virtuous and moral people. The current crisis reflects that their concerns were justified.”[1]

A year ago I watched on U-Tube, the murder of about a dozen unarmed Iraqi men. They were harmlessly conversing on a Baghdad street in broad daylight in 2007, when a US Apache helicopter armed with a 50 calibre (half-inch) machine-gun a few hundred metres away, opened up on them. The shooting was awful; the live commentary from the soldiers while this took place revealed something; they simply had no moral restraint that could hinder them from the senseless slaughter of innocent men. (If you can bear it, you can witness it too. Just Google “Apache helicopter attack-Baghdad-2007.”)

Have there been subsequent prosecutions for war-crimes? Don’t be ridiculous. It’s Bradley Manning and Julian Assange that the US wants to portray as the evil-doers. Why? Well, they “revealed US intelligence…” Such naughty boys. They showed the rest of the world what US soldiers were doing, bringing “freedom” to Iraq.

Madeleine Albright [former U.S Secretary of State, 1997-2001], said that “If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future.”

Albright was asked by Leslie Stahl regarding the U.S. sanctions on Iraq: “We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?” Albright replied,

I think this is a very hard choice, but the price – we think the price is worth it.[2]

The Iraq war was never about what’s good for Iraq. It’s always been about oil, and US geo-political power. Remember the pathetic intelligence about WMD? Forget the Iraqis; they are irrelevant.

How insensitive of Manning to reveal secrets, now in a US military gaol. What are his chances of ever getting a “fair trial,” let alone getting out? We understand now why Assange is not quite the US government’s poster boy, and the utter moral failure of the Australian government that can only lick the boots of American leaders at every opportunity.

Confront the Americans? Morally challenge an ally? Forget it. Our governments (Labor or Liberal) don’t know the meaning of the term. Bradley Manning and Assange are expendable for the sake of “national security.” We’re back now to the fascist ideology of Mussolini in the 1930s, who taught that “might makes right.” Thankyou Benito for those deep thoughts.

Hypocrisy doesn’t observe political boundaries. Lest someone gets the impression I’m being partisan, it was an Australian “conservative” Prime Minister in 1976, Malcolm Fraser, who claimed when Mao died, that he had “brought peace to China.” Thank you also Malcolm, for demonstrating your illiteracy in Australia’s foreign affairs, but what sort of peace were you referring too? That of the grave-yard?

Fraser either did not know (but could and should have found out from a half-decent Asian ambassador), or preferred not to acknowledge this fact: Mao was the worst mass-murderer of history, making Hitler look like a small-time gangster; something on the worse side of 60 million people died under Mao. Thankyou Chairman for your socialist ideology.

Is there public outcry at hypocrisy today? No. Why should there be? The electorate’s used to it now.

Why is this? It’s a reflection of the electorate. We’re the same, and we elect our own to represent us. “Like people, like priest.” Australians slaughter 100,000 babies in the womb annually, with State and Federal government approval and funding, and call them “terminations,” just like the Baghdad men were terminated.

There is a moral revulsion about it, and there should be, because God made us to be moral creatures. But there must be a limit to this: our sense of revulsion must turn to reconstruction. Furthermore, it’s pointless to say, “We’ll throw those corrupt politicians out, and put better people in. That’ll solve the problem.”

You won’t solve the problem. The electorate world-wide knows what it wants: people like themselves. If political leaders are self-serving and corrupt, you can bet your boots that’s exactly what the electorate’s like. And after five generations of government controlled public education, what should we expect?

Over twenty years ago, Rushdoony commented,

Politics cannot produce character: Christianity must. The decline of faith is a decline of character and a decline of character is the forerunner of political decay and collapse.  Christianity has an obligation to train a people in the fundamentals of God’s grace and law, and to make them active and able champions of true political liberty and order.[3]

Foolish Christians want a quick-fix, but there’s none. If we want lasting change, we’ll have to think about community change, at its grass-roots. While ever roots are corrupt, so will the trunk and fruit be.

The change that’s required is much more than anything that can be accomplished with guns and anger. It must be Christian, moral and ideological, centred in obedience to God through such things as the Ten Commandments. It must be from within the community, and firstly, within the church. God holds us responsible to ensure it takes place.

Solzhenitsyn knew something about the kind of change necessary. He said

Repentance is the first bit of firm ground underfoot, the only one from which we can go forward not to fresh hatreds but to concord. Repentance is the only starting point for spiritual growth. For each and every individual. And every trend of social thought.[4]

Conclusion:

There must ultimately be political change, but we have to get the roots right, first. That’s why the future for the West in the short-term is not pretty. But there is hope with Biblical obedience, beginning with God’s people.

Ready to contribute? If we want to “inherit the earth” (Mat.5:5), we’ll have to roll up our sleeves and get our hands dirty with the problems of people, the community and the nation.



[1] Quoted on Lew Rockwell’s website, “Blog Posts,” 15/11/2012

[2] Mike Rozeff, “The World, American Style,” Lew Rockwell website, 26/3/2011.

[3] Rousas Rushdoony, “Roots of Reconstruction,” 1991, p.552.

[4] Alexandr Solzhenitsyn, “From Under the Rubble,” 1974, p.108-9.

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