If Only

Barb Wire

Here are a few widespread notions which the world would be better off without. I am sorry to say that there are good people who believe in them. But the interesting thing about them is that they’re all beads on the same string. And you may be surprised when you realize which string it is.

*”If only we had a big enough government, a strong enough government, with the wisest people running it, we could solve all our problems.”

This is socialism, and socialism doesn’t work. Boiled down, the idea of socialism amounts to this:

“Let’s have a global government (or a national government, if you’re not thinking big) that’s in charge of, like, everything; and me and my friends will be in charge of it. And we’ll make all the decisions about everything, because we’re smarter than everybody else; and we’ll, like, y’know, take all the money and all the resources, and divvy it up evenly, so that everybody’s equal,” blah-blah.

Throughout history, over and over again, there has never been a government that succeeded in making everybody rich or well-to-do; but many governments have succeeded in making everybody poor—except for the rulers and the experts who are supposed to establish “equality.” Somehow they get rich. Examples abound: Soviet Russia, Cuba, Zimbabwe, North Korea, etc.

What is this ideal of socialism, and equality, but a façade for the most blatant, fat-headed elitism? “Oh, but we’re going to govern scientifically!” And so you wind up with dumbed-down public schools, gulags for the dissidents, and people eating bark off trees.

*”Politics is so corrupt because the wrong political parties are in power. If only we could get rid of all the Republicans and Democrats and replace them with people from third parties, it wouldn’t be corrupt.”

Somehow it is expected that someone from the Green Party, installed in a position of power, will be mysteriously immune to the temptations of power. Right.

All men are sinners, and sinners sin. The temptations that beset the men and women sitting in power in Washington, D.C., are very strong temptations. The opportunities to do wrong without getting caught, to feather one’s own nest at the public’s expense, are too numerous to mention.

Because human beings are not plaster saints, our country’s founders did their best to create a system of checks and balances and wrote laws to limit the powers of the government. Because they themselves were fallible, the system they created is fallible—and always will be, until it is replaced by one even more fallible.

*“Everything would be working out just fine, if only we didn’t have this or that all-powerful, all-knowing conspiracy that keeps us down.”

It doesn’t matter which conspiracy. Take your pick—lizard people, bankers, “the corporations,” the Elders of Zion. Because they’re all-powerful—except for a curious inability to keep their secrets from assorted doomsayers on the Internet—it’s pointless to oppose them because they’ve got it all sewn up. So just sit back and complain, and revel in your helplessness. Unless you’ve found someone who can stamp out the conspiracy if we send him enough money.

What all these follies have in common is an un-Biblical presupposition that the descendants of Adam and Eve, unless interfered with by some malefic agency, are intrinsically good, and capable of perfection by the efforts of the wise. You don’t need God, said the Serpent in the Garden: just wise up by eating the forbidden fruit, and ye shall be as gods.

We’ve been trying to get along without God ever since, and all our efforts fail. Not because we haven’t given enough power to the smartest people; not because we haven’t found the right party to put behind the steering wheel; not because there is a vast conspiracy to keep us from doing all the great, good, wise things of which we’re capable—

But because we’re sinners, one and all.

But the holy King, whose birth in the flesh we celebrated last week, is not. And we can’t get by without him.

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Lee Duigon
Lee Duigon, a contributing editor with the Chalcedon Foundation, is a former newspaper reporter and editor, small businessman, teacher, and horror novelist. He has been married to his wife, Patricia, for 34 years. See his new fantasy/adventure novels, Bell Mountain and The Cellar Beneath the Cellar, available on www.amazon.com.

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