One of my favorite books is William Golding’s Lord of the Flies, about a group of boys aged 12 and under who are stranded on a deserted island after their plane goes down following a nuclear war.
As the story unfolds, attempts made by the young boys to form a democratic society quickly unravel as anarchy starts to reign before ultimately giving way to tyranny.
The symbolism associated with the three major characters in the novel can easily be applied to our current political climate, with each character representing the realities of our day.
Simon is a wise and cerebral sort who clearly sees the realities of the situation but is written off by the others as peculiar in his reasoning. Ralph is idealistic, although insecure, in his attempts to lead and encourage his peers to work together and achieve responsible solutions. Jack is a narcissist and recruits a few of the more troubled boys (“thugs”) to establish a coup in which Ralph’s efforts are undermined and wholly thwarted. Jack and his “thugs” become extremely brazen over the course of the story as they realize that there are no moral consequences to their evil deeds, due to the absence of adult authority.
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How does the symbolism apply to today’s America?
I liken Simon to a Ron Paul-type (or even a Robert Bork), who, although not without shortcomings, tries to enlighten the masses of the self-destruction that constantly looms.
Ralph is symbolic of the American people of today, who, while well-intentioned, lack the vision and discipline to overcome trials and adversity.
Ironically, it is not until Simon is slaughtered by the other boys that Ralph fully understands the level of destructive depravity that has taken over – but by then, it’s too late for him to do anything about it.
Jack is driven by his own lust and ambition. For his ambition to be realized, he understands the need to seize all power and control, which he does by manipulating the young masses. He does this through an emotional appeal to their senses. He promises they will realize their heart’s desire, to have fun hunting, swimming, and playing without being restricted by rules and responsibilities. With no rules and no accountability, they resort to barbarism, with Jack assuming the role of a cruel, merciless dictator.
In the end, Jack is taken down by his own reckless quest for dominance. His command to smoke out a hidden and scared Ralph winds up setting the whole island ablaze. The conflagration alerts a rescue unit, whose sudden arrival prevents the murder of a defeated and helpless Ralph at the hands of Jack and his loyal tribe.
Who does Jack resemble in our day? I’ll give you a hint: he’s running roughshod over the Constitution in order to implement a utopian vision and aggrandize his own power.
In his book, Reason: Why Liberals Will Win the Battle for America, Clintonite Robert Reich astutely observes how “Radcons” — radical conservatives — “believe in virtuous behavior. People should act in ways that promote the public good. Robert Bork warns of the ‘radical individualism’ of those who ‘wish to be unhindered in the pursuit of pleasure.'”
Reich concludes with this fascinating confession: “Bork is right. But rather than worry about the unhindered pursuit of carnal pleasure, Bork and other Radcons should worry about the uninhibited pursuit of wealth and power.” Ironically, Reich’s fellow leftists are pursuing both carnal pleasure and wealth and power.
Ron Paul rightly lays out the original political intent of our founders when he declares, “The Founding Fathers envisioned a robustly Christian yet religiously tolerant America, with churches serving as vital institutions that would eclipse the state in importance.”
Dr. Paul has been a voice crying in the wilderness over the past few decades. He’s been able to see the forest through the trees economically and militarily, and the Constitution has been his compass.
Unfortunately, despite his constitutionally correct governing philosophy, and the consistency and reliability of his message, Dr. Paul has been treated with neither respect nor regard by the political establishment. If Ron Paul was a Star Wars droid, he’d be C3PO, providing sound judgement and reasoning, only to be rudely dismissed and belittled by a reckless Han Solo. A Ron Paul America would not have its citizens needlessly and intrusively monitored, its soldiers carelessly slaughtered, and its taxpayers smothered under the weight of catastrophic debt.
Robert Bork, who favored restraint rooted in Constitutional original intent over judicial activism, wisely declared, “A society deadened by a smothering network of laws while finding release in moral chaos is not likely to be either happy or stable.”
Bork also notes, “Those who made and endorsed our Constitution knew man’s nature, and it is to their ideas, rather than to the temptations of utopia, that we must ask that our judges adhere.”
Both men, Ron Paul and the late Robert Bork, although distinct from each other in emphasis and approach, represent the virtues of a political philosophy that embraces and promotes tough love, personal integrity and national responsibility.
They have sternly and repeatedly issued an unheeded call for reform and restraint.
They tried to warn us.
Unfortunately, America refused to listen!
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.