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Saturday, November 06, 2010

God as Government

"In my own time governments have taken the place of people. They have also taken the place of God. Governments speak for people, dream for them, and determine absurdly their lives and deaths. This new worship of government... is a worship I lack. I have no reverence for the all-powerful and bewildered face of Government. I see it as a lessening of the human being and a final looting of his birthright."

Ben Hecht

God as government or government as god, is what takes place when you surgically slice away the "god" part of religion. Once you postulate that all religions are essentially the same, that they all worship the same god, and that the only differences between them are matters of ritual, then you have eliminated the differences and the identities of all religions. If there are no unique revelations, no special scriptures and no vital testaments... then each religion's identity becomes a formality, is reduced to a series of dubious traditions that don't really matter in the bigger picture. If all religions are equally valid, then they are also equally invalid. Just as, if all opinions are valid, then they are also equally invalid.

In the absence of theology, the only religion that remains is the universal one of "being nice to other people". Take god out of the equation, and all you have left is social justice. Liberalization leads to secularization with the end result that religion becomes one gigantic "being nice to other people" project. And what is the best possible vehicle for social justice projects, but government. And so governments became gods. Their mission to build kingdoms of heaven on earth, utopias in which no one went hungry and which everyone was equally prosperous.

Socialism and Communism had their roots in religious organizations that sought to create some sort of artificial equality between men, which eventually led to thoroughly irreligious attempts at creating kingdoms of heaven on earth. Ideology replaced theology. Ethical duties were conflated with political mandates. Equality replaced charity. The pursuit of equality was centralized within political systems and government agencies, which created their own gross inequalities through their power relationships.

Since equality of wealth could never be achieved, someone had to be held to blame. Success became a sin and wealth became the Mark of Cain. A secular theology evolved in which wealth was a satanic force controlling all societies, and whose privilege and power, the committed socialist was meant to fight. Like most fanatical crusades, this one spilled untold amounts of blood, with few of the murderers ever committing to a recognition of their own madness. Instead they usually turned on each other.

The socialist kingdom of heaven on earth replaces god with government as the overwhelming force that implements an absolutely just society and enlightens the people regarding their duties and the meaning of their lives. In Communist countries, religion was often dispensed with entirely. In more moderate Socialist systems, it is tolerated only to the extent that it echoes the social justice creed of the ruling culture. Thus there is no conflict between church and state. It is only when religion presumes to reach for some higher value system, that it becomes the enemy of the state.

But equality is not justice, it is actually a mandate for injustice. It provides a mandate for absolute tyranny in the name of social welfare. And with environmentalism, it reaches beyond tyranny in the name of man, to tyranny in the name of the polar bear and the ice caps. Behind it lies the insane hubris of god as government, of a political system taking on all the characteristics and powers of a religious one, complete with the fanaticism and omnipotence.

The religion of government justifies itself through the impossible messianic vision of equality, a state that cannot be achieved, but whose attainment provides an unlimited license for government to intervene in all human affairs. By turning government into the arbiter of equality, it gains an impossible mission and an unlimited scope of powers. A combination that historically has bred more nightmares than anything else.

"I glorify
in Lenin
World faith
and glorify my faith"

Mayakovsky, 1920


"O great Stalin, O leader of the peoples,
Thou who broughtest man to birth.
Thou who fructifies the earth,
Thou who restorest to centuries,
Thou who makest bloom the spring,
Thou who makest vibrate the musical chords...
Thou, splendour of my spring, O thou,
Sun reflected by millions of hearts."

Hymn to Stalin


“thou shalt smile!
for our President is smiling
just a man openly smiling...
let him beam
let his raw laughter flow where the fruited plains have faded, have dried.
let them slowly soak it up, that nurturing laughter.
let all the hillsides bloom with colors that no one’s seen for eight long years.
let Obama laughter ring. long may it
let it flood the high skies and tie sparkling wonder up in a silver bow."

Diane Wald, Starting Today, 100 Poems for Obama's first 100 Days

An impossible mission demands symbolic figures, leaders who transcend the political and ascend to the mystical. Who are somehow inhumanly inspirational, able to elevate their followers to a new state of being. Messiahs, so to speak. Leader-worship underlies the impossible mission. With faith in our leaders we can succeed.

Faith is required because the mission is inherently impossible. Only by believing in the latest Camelot in the latest "Communism-Over-the-Hill", can people suspend their disbelief, committing themselves to the thrill of Hope and Change, to "Yes We Can" and "We Are the Ones We Have Been Waiting For." The ecstasy is religious or rather pseudo-religious. It is government masquerading as god, anointing messiahs and trying to hide policy flaws under the veil of charisma.

Leader worship serves as a cover for tyranny, but more importantly as a cover for failure. Many people react to personalities, more than to policies. It is the antithesis of democracy which treats politicians as representatives, rather than saviors. But to god as government, democracy is heresy. It presumes that the people are qualified to elect leaders, rather than fainting before them and falling down at their feet. It presumes an equality between the electors and the elected. And equality is what the champions of equality promote, but not what they believe.

If we replace god with government, then it stands to reason that the government are on another plane of being above ordinary people. They may not be quite gods, but they are certainly more than mortal men. Their election is premised on our failure to conduct our own affairs, requiring wiser benevolent folk to step in and look after us. To guide us in the proper path. And so government goes from tool to minister to deity, deciding who will eat and who will starve, who will live and who will die. This is the essence of that arrogance, that grasping for absolute power in the name of a lie.

Government as god is always looking forward, to a new deal, a new frontier or a great society, some vast project of social justice always out there, a faint vision of a Communist future that is always hovering over the next horizon like a mirage in the desert. A future always out of reach because human greed is in the way. And since underneath it itself is also built on human greed, like the worst of fanatics, socialism maddeningly chases its own tail. And sooner or later it always turns on the people it claims to want to help, unless they turn on it first.

25 comments:

SabaShimon said...

Ben Hecht is an excellent resource. For those not familiar, I highly recommend his autobiography "A Child Of The Century".
It's an important read, not least of all because it lays bare for all to see, the spineless and unforgivable actions of American Jewry during WWII, in conjunction with that bastard Roosevelt.

LemonLimeMoon said...

Good article.

Carey Rowland said...

Your unmasking of the beast beneath communist godlessness is persuasive. It is true that the governmental designs of men cannot replace God.
The compulsion of liberals in America is to force Mr. Obama into that demigod corner that others--Stalin and Mao-- have occupied in times past, in other countries that had no heritage of constitutionally established liberty.
However, the unseen hands of tripartite government that is unique to American government has imposed a huge reality check upon our befuddled President. I am not willing to write him off as an overblown icon of the left, yet.
There may be within Barack Obama a tempering strand of desire for true statesmanship during these perilous times instead of demagoguery.
The people have sent him a ballot-box invitation to accept that nobler task instead of the role that overzealous progressives would thrust upon him.
If Mr. Obama possesses within himself any compulsion for national healing, to overpower the current divisiveness, it must become manifest in these next two years.
We shall see what he does with it. I, for one, am still not prepared to write him off as a false socialist messiah.
America is better than that. Keep the pressure on the man, so that he can hear the reasonable voices to his better angels.

Yael said...

Brilliant. Todah rabah.

Anonymous said...

Another superb entry, thank you.

Soclialism was never about the people, it's about replacing one group of elites with another. A socialist elite who have no intention of practising the soclialism they forcibly impose on the people. Hypocrites to a man jack one of them.

Proud Brit.

Kevin said...

This rambling, aphoristic discourse seems to be saying, if we don't have faith in "xyz" then we must have faith in government.

I say "xyz" because you do not specify what you mean by "G-d". Since you would base this belief on faith, I suppose a definition would be superfluous. But still you should at least go through the motions since you are pretending to communicate.

In reality, human communication is based on shared understandings. Without perception, there can be no understanding.
In fact there would be no brain without sensory apparatti. Both are simply opposite ends of the human nervous system.

Just as the natural order cannot be supernaturally determined (because if it were it wouldn't be natural), we cannot communicate without natural means. Human means cannot communicate the supernatural because if they could they would be superhuman.

Faith and force are destroyers of the modern world. Faith is the ultimate justification for all tyrannies and the intellectual refuge of idiots.

Paul said...

Once again the Sultan has dipped into a canard, hoping to pull out some intellectual plum and has come up short. We can be grateful he is at least brief.

Of course Hitler was not a socialist, despite his posing in being a member of the National Socialist Worker's Party. Hitler did not found the Nazi party, he joined it. Hitler is noticeably absent in this little work.

And so also, communism was not founded on any religion or religious belief. It was founded on a system of beliefs and so it shares beliefs as having something in common with any system of beliefs which is what any religion is. Any religion is a system of beliefs. Just because you have a system of beliefs does not mean that you possess or are practicing any religion. Communism disavowed religious belief and professed to be believe in "scientific socialism". Of course what communists got in the end was anything but scientific, especially in the Soviet Union and especially under the personality cults that sprung up under it and especially Stalin.

It is especially untimely that the Sultan would scare people away from government at a time when governments are globally threatened by a religious movement with threatening religious beliefs in Islam. Government has some responsibilities here in confronting the evil that this religion represents. Why not explore god as government when government actually claims to be run by god? This is where people are suffering the most at this current time.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

"Once again the Sultan has dipped into a canard, hoping to pull out some intellectual plum and has come up short. We can be grateful he is at least brief.

Of course Hitler was not a socialist, despite his posing in being a member of the National Socialist Worker's Party. Hitler did not found the Nazi party, he joined it. Hitler is noticeably absent in this little work."


Since Hitler is indeed not mentioned in this article, your predictable rant has no relevance to anything whatsoever, except your need to show off your cleverness, by going on about the same things you go on about in every post.

This time at least it is somewhat brief.

"And so also, communism was not founded on any religion or religious belief. "

See, League of the Just.

"It is especially untimely that the Sultan would scare people away from government at a time when governments are globally threatened by a religious movement with threatening religious beliefs in Islam"

It's people that are threatened by Islam. And governments that are cooperating in the Islamic takeover.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Saba,

yes Child of the Century is well worth reading. Probably the best of Hecht's books.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Carey,

unfortunately they can corrupt the system, dismiss its rules as irrelevant and non-binding in the face of the impetus of social justice

now that the Democrats hold the Senate, watch for the "House of Lords" to be rebranded as the true representatives of the American people

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

Thank you Yael

indeed ProudBrit, that is the exact goal of the system

Paul said...

Sultan, the League of the Just was a "Christian Communist" organization:

Wikipedia's entry on "the League of the Just"

Wikipedia says that Marx and Engels signed on. They don't mention Lenin.

I do not defend communism or liberalism. I don't mean to pick on you, I'm just advising you to keep your powder dry.

careyrowland said...

Oh yes, the Dems will embrace the Senate, House of Lords, as an authentic representation of us Americans, when Bretton Wood doth move against Dunsinane.
A donkeyed endorsement of the august upper House is difficult to imagine, especially since the Dems' effort to "reform" Health Care was so deftly rendered impotent when the Lords of Lobbydom got hold of it.

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

But that was before the Dems lost the house and have the Senate to fall back on. Now the Senate will be the bastion of reason and sanity against the crazed mob of ignorant tea partiers who have taken over congress.

Some of that rhetoric is out there already.

David Isaac said...

A first-rate piece. Very well done.

Leah said...

Once again, Sultan, a wonderfully, beautifully written article. I read it out loud to myself and I thought about it being a part of a debate speech with Obama running against a sensible presidential conservative candidate...Yasher Koach! I would love one day to hear these words on t.v. or some place where more of the public could hear them.....

LemonLimeMoon said...

Paul.....

You need a good laxative.

LemonLimeMoon said...

Communism is a religious belief in and of itself as is Fascism etc.
Whatever replaces the worship of G-d is an idol and therefore religion.

"throws chairs"

Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog said...

I am on record as opposed to chair throwing, but sometimes it's in a good cause.

Paul said...

If you are out of ammunition, I suppose you should throw your chair, but then you have nothing to sit on.

I suppose we can agree that communism is at least a system of beliefs and that religion is also a system of beliefs.

But you also seem to be missing that religions do not always embrace a belief in God as found in Judaism or those religions derived from Judaism. Unless you severely restrict the very definition of the word "religion", then this is an absurd statement, "Whatever replaces the worship of G-d is an idol and therefore religion."

Anonymous said...

Sultan, I see that G-d haters and undercover communists (same thing) are upset with you today. Interesting they complain of the length or lack of length of this article. Do you make people read your articles?

Will48 said...

Freedom vs Forceful Coercion is the only thing that Counts. Especially today.

Freedom is a consequence of Reason, the Scientific Method, the Modern, opposed by both primordialism of Islamo/Nazism, and postmodernism of Marxist radicalism.

A Christian can belong to either side on that divide. A Jewish believer too. Even a Muslim.

A believer in "social justice" even, or a utopian dreamer of "communism".

The only true distinction is the willingness to FORCEFULLY COERCE others to your liking.

True multiculturalism stands opposed to coercive Muslim invasion, because Islamizm is INTOLERANT, and there can be NO TOLERANCE for the Intolerant.

Many cultures - ONE Civilization. Civilization of Freedom - civilization of Tolerance.

Apparently not all cultures belong to THAT civilization, and those that do not, should not be blindly and falsely included, but recognized as ALIEN to it.

Dichotomy of cultures is out, that of Civilizations comes in its place. To pretend that there's only ONE civilization on the face of this Planet, is to PRETEND - to LIE to oneself.

We should never LIE.

This Free World's civilization's ethical basis is in the ethical axioms of

RIGHT TO THINK and TO KNOW
NO COERCION
DO NO HARM

(in descending order of precedence).

"In God of Truth we put our trust."

Is this the God of Judaism? Buddhism? Panentheism? - it does not matter. Leave all details to individual's Right of Choice - as long as that choice is compatible with the foundational ethical axioms of the Freedom Civilization, as stated above.

Do not use vague language, do not fall for false dichotomies/narratives. The only one that counts is Freedom vs Coercion. Equality before Law vs Subjugation and Domination. Freedom to Think and to Know vs the Enslavement of the Mind.

Include as many diverse forces as you can in our stand against the Islamization Threat. We need ALL to prevail in that fight.

P.S. Kevin and Paul - cheers, guys. Hope to read many of your comments here at the Great Sultan's in the future. We're nothing if we're divided.

Will48 said...

P.S. Kevin - "understanding" is what gives us predictive powers. Anything else is a chimera.

Sultan - the true sin of Marxist radicalism is that it "jumps the gun", or that it wants to "create the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth" HERE and NOW, that it does not want to wait for it to grow, natural and true, but rather elects to FORCE its understanding of it on all its unwilling subjects.

Not that it "substitutes govt for God" - both are too vaguely defined a concepts to be useful for anything other than propaganda pamphlet - but that it FORCES its (false) understanding of it, prematurely.

That is not to say one should believe in actual heavens on earth in any particular sense of any particular religion. That is a matter of personal CHOICE. As long as it's compatible with ethical axioms etc. etc.

You see, I actually lived under that system, USSR, so I know what I'm talking about. Millions were hoodwinked by that system to believe they were on the Goodness's side. Their beliefs and ideals were still good, as long as they precluded any coercion in them. What's wrong with planet-wide brotherly society of friends, caring for each other voluntarily? - as long as it is expressely understood to be a distant ideal, to be striven for in each individual's personal life and behaviour if he so chooses, and not having some bogus false pretend construct ("idol" and such) forced prematurely on anyone else.

Will48 said...

P.P.S Kevin - Faith might be the intellectual refuge of idiots, but not all taking refuge in it are idiots.

Far from it. Plus, there are many different grades - and types - of faith. It is a concept vaguely defined, itself.

It can not be dismissed, based on Reason. It is orthogonal to it.

Any ethical basis that you choose for yourself can be deemed "your God" (I think that was its original meaning in the days of yore anyway) and that choice is completely irrational and above any application of Reason. For instance, Al Awlaki just pronounced yesterday on my TV that they are fighting against the "Devil" (the West) on behalf of all that is Good, and inside his ethical axiomatic system he is completely reasonable about it.

We are moral, because we Choose our own Morality.

Will48 said...

"Government as god"

if taken as denouncement of individual freedoms-trampling statism, couldn't agree more.

Individual freedom of choice, GOOD. Coercion (governmental, communal, religious, etc) BAD.

Putting "real God" in place of govt would place it in a religious coercion category, it seems.

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