Why Governments Fail

It’s fashionable in our day to wax poetic about justice for all and equality, especially in the financial realm and often by individuals who vilify the very people that they themselves are—elitist bags of money, drunk on power. Rhetoric and honesty are all that separate corporate elites from their bureaucratic cousins. One leverages power to get money and the other uses money to gain power, but both are equally powerful, loaded, and untrustworthy. Whatever hatred that’s perceived to be present between the two is either mirage or nothing a few earmarks can’t fix. They’re cut from the same cloth.

POWER CORRUPTS

We all know the saying:

“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

—Sir John Dalberg-Acton

Of course, this statement can’t be literally true because the only being who actually does have absolute power is as far away from being morally corrupt as Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi are from being perfectly righteous in themselves. But nevertheless, there is truth in the statement.

God aside, unchecked power seems to conjure up in our race nothing but unmitigated pain and gross sorrow. There’s nothing inherent to power that corrupts, again God is omni–powerful, but power provides the occasion, the favorable conditions whereby sin can come out of the closet.

There are a good many individuals sucking down air on this green, gold, and blue paradise we call home who follow a good many laws only because there are people who will drag their rear ends off to jail if they don’t. Power affords these fine peers of ours the freedom to let the crazy out and be who they really are. Abortion is the star witness, but it’s certainly not the only one.

You may fancy yourself better than Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Margaret Sanger, and the creator of Teletubbies, but apart from Divine renovation, the seed of sin in you has every bit the potential to grow to their stature given a steady supply of sunshine and opportunity. And even if circumstance—by God’s grace—prohibits monstrosity from bubbling to the surface of our lives, our thoughts alone should be sufficient to convince each and every one of us of the reality of sin and the grasp it has on the whole of humanity.

Why do I bring up these things? What does humanity’s proclivity towards sin tell us about how we should view those upstanding folks running our country in DC and the role they play in our lives?

Basically everything.

MOB-OCRACY

Let’s take “Democratic Socialism” for instance, since that seems to be hot right now.

First, democracy. We have this notion in America that as long as the people maintain some semblance of a voice in the matter, liberty is thus preserved. While this definitely has an element of truth to it—the will of the people in a democratic system can provide a check on governmental abuse at the top—under the surface there are serious problems.

True democracy provides no safeguards against “mob-ocracy,” that is—the unrestrained dictates of a simple majority. Actions are the overflow of what’s in the heart, and if the hearts of a people are calloused and wicked enough, democracy can easily become an enemy of freedom, not its guardian.

No matter how many people sit on the throne at once—no matter how many voices weigh in on issues of political importance, if their collective will is to enforce oppression, they together are no better than the deplorable king who oppresses without the aid of any. It matters not how many souls sit on the throne, tyranny is tyranny. And perhaps the most deceptive thing to note about pure democracy is that it makes men believe they can be safe from tyrannical rule. But when there’s no fear of God in a culture, no matter what the structure is, you’ll either become the tyrant or die under his boot.

The reason liberty had been preserved as long as it had been, and we still taste morsels of it to this day, is because we’re not a true democracy—we are a constitutional republic. A representative form of government that has at its center the rule of law over and against the fleeting whims of society. We have a First Amendment which promises freedom of speech, religion, press, assembly, and the right to air your grievances before the magistrates without fear of reprisal, all of which is grounded in the idea that God is the giver of certain inalienable rights that ought not be infringed.

Enshrining such a statement in the very document which is supposed to serve as the highest law of the land is a deliberate attempt to inform the citizenry that there exists a law that supersedes their will—a transcendent standard of good which we didn’t create and we can’t change. You could theoretically amend the First Amendment with enough support, but to do so would require the exercising of the very freedoms in question and thus a corporately deluded populace so far beyond common sense, that nothing could help their situation—save the Spirit of God Himself.

Provisions like the First Amendment can better guard a people from gross userpations than the fickle democratic alternative. In this way they act like checks and balances on the people themselves. But if you can get to the point where you’re ready to do away with such providential safeguards, at that very moment you don’t deserve them.

Full-fledged democracy is bad, constitutional republics are better, but in this fallen terrain we inhabit, there still isn’t much you can do when the salt has lost its flavor. When societies forget God, they are ripe for the trampling.

As John Adams put it:

“We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition and revenge or galantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

THE SLAVE STATE

But what about Socialism?

The problem with Socialism and Communism is the problem with Fascism is the problem with merely human monarchies and unchecked democracy, all them alike suffer from the same fatal flaw—the consolidation of powers in the hands of sinful men.

Whereas democracy vests all its authority in the will of the majority, Socialism intentionally grows the governing bodies to such a degree that authority is de facto, vested in bureaucratic agencies—which are run by the very people who were foolish enough to fall for Socialism in the first place.

It tries to guarantee, not just equality of opportunity, but equality of outcome. With Socialism, the goal is to ensure as little disparity as possible, because the assumption is that to gain wealth, you have to exploit your neighbor. Wealth in a Socialistic framework is not an indicator of how well you’ve served your neighbor, but how much you’ve taken from them. So in the mind of the Socialist, the rich possesses what belongs to the poor and Big Brother has to step in and rectify the “inequality.”

But if, in desiring to have what our neighbor has, we co-opt the government to do our bidding, we’ll inevitably grant to them the kind of power that never has to ask permission from a populace again. And if you’re wondering how that works out long term for a nation, history is littered with the carcasses of states that have tried and failed to actualize the brilliance that is Socialism. And voting on it democratically, doesn’t make it any less oppressive. Yet don’t worry, when such a day comes, I’m sure all will be done in the best interest of the community—your comrades.

So because Socialism is arrived at by the societal adoption of covetousness as its highest virtue, infringing on the rights of others is not just allowable, but it’s absolutely foundational. This is why wherever it goes in the world, it leaves behind a mess of unfulfilled promises and societal strife. But hey, to each their own!

CONCLUSION & A CLARIFICATION

The lesson is clear. Any system of government that doesn’t account for the sinfulness of man is subject to complete humiliation when actually put into practice. The founding of America experienced abundance of prosperity because the Fathers had enough wit between themselves to not utterly reject God’s word when it told them that, “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately sick, who can know it?” Hence, the separation of powers between branches and levels of government. And they knew the value of true religion—that personal governance is the foundation for a just and equitable people. It really was revolutionary (and yes, I meant to do that).

And lest you think I’m unfairly targeting Socialism, it’s my firm conviction that all Godless and oppressive forms of government be abandoned and exchanged for the wise and just principles of governance set forth in Holy Writ and respected by our abundantly more sane predecessors. It truly is sad to see such wisdom squandered.

And it doesn’t have to be this way. Subjugation is the fruit of apathy. Tyrants will do what you let them. Don’t let them.

That’s all I got.

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