Friday, February 3, 2012

Putting Politics in its place

I typically try to stay away from politics these days on this blog for a few reasons.  First, I usually schedule my posts in advance.  And political posts are more often than not outdated on this site before they go up.  Second, politics is quite transient by nature.  Most political discussions pertain to a current event or proposed laws that often are relative to culture and time.  Since I typically gear my writing to more universal truths, politics is usually not the best topic for such discussions.

Finally I feel in this day and age we are too focused on politics in general.  Somewhere along the line America went from the government being one of many ways American culture expressed itself into the de facto method of expressing one's views.  Is it the growth of the government, changing views on society, the regression of other modes of expression (arts, religion, social gatherings)?  I think that they all play a part.

I would however submit that the reason why politics is so paramount in today's life is the rejection of universal truth.  All of the expressions of a healthy society and culture are ordered on a particular purpose, to learn and express the truth in a variety of different ways.  Arts, literature, social commentary, religion, and a host of other modes all are oriented toward discovering those truths that speak to all mankind.

The rejection of universal truth however undermines this purpose obviously.  By rejecting truth itself and reducing principles to mere "beliefs" we have severed the very reasons for these modes of expression.  Art no longer reveals beauty.  Literature is forgotten.  Social commentary dissipates into meaninglessness.  Religion is outright rejected.

Truth reduced into mere "belief" means that any person can believe anything that they "want."  By "want" I mean  truth is reduced to whatever makes a person comfortable.  It does not matter if it is actually correct.  As long as my beliefs make me comfortable and "happy" in the shallowest sense, then that is good enough.

No society can live like this however.  A culture, a people, a society professes truths about men and how they should relate.  Murder is wrong, regardless if the serial killer wants to believe otherwise.  At some point in order to have a society, some truths must be preserved, asserted, and enforced.

Enter the modern state.  Unleashed from any restraint of universal truth the state will seek to enforce its own whims.  An individual whose beliefs are transient is powerless in the face of naked force for two reasons.  First, by rejecting universal truth the individual has nothing to appeal to.  Second, the individual's own beliefs are one of convenience.  By making the situation more inconvenient, the reason to hold onto the belief evaporates at the business end of a gun.

A people that rejects universal truth is prostrate in front of a modern secular state.  Force unrestrained by conviction is a club to keep the populace in line.  And a people without truth has no convictions to resist such force with.  The dictatorship of relativism is in full swing.

In order to put the state back in its proper function we must rediscover the notion of universal truth.  But in order to that we must reeducate ourselves that there are some truths that bind all men.  That no power, no opinion, no desire, can invalidate.  This requires discipline and sacrifice, two words our modern society has forgotten.

Yet it must happen for Western society to survive.  Because there is a word for unrestrained state power that recognizes neither universal truths nor limits on its own influence.  Tyranny.

Update:  I'd like to thank Mark Shea for his shout out for this blog and my work on IGNITUM TODAY.  Also, more than a few of you are visiting this from IGNITUM TODAY.  Welcome to all new visitors!

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