01 Mar, 2011 Utopian ideologies
It may be that no one actually reads this – but here are some thoughts on a few utopian ideologies, based off what I emailed to someone today. This may be a bit too heavy for some (and too long and convoluted for most), but I thought I’d take to risk to write on a different topic to see what happens. If its too ‘heavy’, maybe just skip forward to read the next blog… 🙂
[The significance of ‘worldview’]
Ideologically, welfare states (I believe) are an ideal that only works if integrity is at the foundation. Consider this thought – human nature leads fallen men and women toward self-interest, or corruption at the worst – so even democracy (the potentially best of human systems) is unavoidably a fallen ideal in this world. The layers of ‘self interest possibilities’ for those in power increase with each generation (i.e., people / large corporations / influential groups learn how to work the system), and the integrity of the system inevitably winds down (unless there is a genuine moral reform or belief to protect its integrity – where we are heading in this reflection). Chuck Swindoll writes well on aspects of this in ‘How Now Shall We Live’.
The important question here is whether humans are intrinsically good, or (as the Judeo-Christian world view suggests) intrinsically ‘fallen’ (selfish / sin-full).
[Where the world is now headed]
The EU is a utopian ideology (they believe they are creating a better world), as also is the whole bigger scale globalisation that we’re walking into globally. I perceive a globalised scenario to be a foregone conclusion in our times. In the economic world of today this is clearly the direction (we’re creating regional economic unions, paving the way for greater unification / simplifying / systematising of the whole international economic system). But it won’t stop at economics.
As a rule of thumb, fiscal policy (more general law) follows economic policy. While some say ‘love makes the world go around’ it seems money is quite influential too. Those who control the money control the power. General law will inevitably be determined (controlled) by those who have the economic power.
In consideration of where this can lead – consider that it is in our nature as humans to guide those we have ‘power‘ over toward what we believe is best – whether we are parents, or leaders who control the finances of nations. We have already noted that our current increasingly centralised economic power will invariably result in increasingly centralised ‘general’ law in all manner of areas in our nations. Whose world view gets to determine what those laws are?
The EU will provide a classic modern example of this. This economic alliance is now affecting far more than just the economics. As of 2010 they appointed a president!
Global economic leadership will thus similarly result in singular global government, as those in leadership will be unable to hold themselves back from crossing the fine line between their justified economic influence and their potential wider influence. Its unavoidable. We are headed toward international government (the world ‘governance’ being the preferred terminology).
The problem is that the direction of their decisions will unavoidably be an expression of their worldview. And their world view will determine not only where they seek to lead us all, but also how far they might be willing to go to ensure they accomplish it!
[How fast might be get there?]
(Aka, how relevant is this to we who are alive now?). How fast this whole transition which we are heading into will take place will depend on the perceived necessity for it. On the one hand matters may arise naturally that give perceived reason for the transitions to be fast-tracked, such as a more massive economic crash, a major multi-national war, or a internationally catastrophic natural disaster or pandemic.
But the other option is that matters might arise unnaturally to give rise to a general perceived need for greater international leadership – and it might be impossible to tell which it is. Its a question of worldview and morality. I don’t have any conspiracy theories, but to simply note the obvious – that those leading the current world direction might be intelligent. They might thus apply that intelligence to their work – and so, if they are convinced on the benefits of globalisation, might work out a few ways, here and there, to help us all along toward a more ready acceptance of the idea.
[How far might they be willing to go? / The significance of morality in government]
Here-in comes the idea of ‘chaos theory’, whereby (a) one can create (or draw attention to) a problem, (b) everyone feels very concerned, (c) and then you propose the solution, (d) and everyone readily accepts what you suggest where they might never have done so otherwise (and you are the hero, rather than the villain). The creative use of problems can fast-track change processes. When people are made to feel the importance of a problem enough, they will be willing to sacrifice anything to see it solved.
Obviously a leader could use a genuine issue (the loss of biodiversity) to further ‘selfish’ goals (globalisation). For example, if I wanted the world to become globalised and there were genuine international environmental concerns, I might just use those as a tool to help accomplish my own agenda (we need to submit to a common centralised leadership as this is the only sustainable solution for our planet – so how about every nation pays…). We can expect that this sort of thing is going on today. Its a lack of integrity, but not a major lack of morality.
The moral question is whether a person would create the problem, so as to be able to then solve it. An economic crisis is the most obvious and significant potential tool for fast-tracking globalisation – were people to ever be so unethical. Whether such powerful people exist is maybe unknown, and not my topic of discussion or interests. But whether such a moral view of the world exists in global leadership is – I think – a very significant question!
It is not the shape of a system that matters (democracy, autocracy, socialistic, whatever…), but the worldview / values / morals of those who lead it, because this determines not only what their end goals are, but also what they might do along the way so as to get there!
Would global leaders cause a war in our day to aid their goals? Would they do wrong to others to achieve their own purposes? Would they create world problems in which people get genuinely hurt, such that we desperately want them to fix it – which they then do, taking us in the direction they origionally wanted us to go?
Unfortunately, the possibility for this is distinct!
[The irony that humanists believe in the inherent goodness of humankind]
While the above ‘evils’ are the natural possibilities of a godless worldview, humanists ironically demonstrate a high trust and hope in the goodness of human nature. Humanism is a ‘faith’, no different to any other religion. They believe humans can fix human problems – that we humans are intrinsically good! This is the reason the globalist leaders are so passionate about achieving their goals – they genuinely believe that, together, they can create a utopian (ideal or better) world. They are like religious zealots for their cause. But does the history of empires tell us of the goodness of human nature, or its inherent fallenness?
While they will propose a ‘global system’ (aka ‘new world order’) that can help solve our planets problems, there are really no ‘good’ systems – only good people. To understand this lets reflect on the present failure of two very good utopian ideologies – that of the welfare state and of democracy itself.
[Morality in government – why good systems depend on good people]
Consider the ideal of the welfare state. The whole idea of the welfare state comes from Christian belief, seeking to create a system that takes care of the poor and needy. Its an excellent, and right, idea! But to sustain this the foundations would need to have remained in the kind of morality that came from the Christian belief. Christian belief comes with a certain morality, and a certain honesty and integrity. Without these the whole system – a good system – is fundamentally unsustainable. Why is it unsustainable? Lets consider some reasons.
Regarding leadership, welfare states are usually democracies. Democracy is yet another utopian idea (idea for creating ideal societies). The problem is that democracy, again, seems to only be sustainable if it exists alongside a certain kind of morality. The integrity of many democracies is increasingly in question.
To explain democracies fundamental flaw – the politician has to play to the current ‘wants’ of the people if they are ever to be voted into power, but what the people want may be selfish (or misguided) rather than wise. If the people all really want something, the campaign and promises have somehow pander to those felt needs of the people to get the vote – but the people could be acting selfishly! People vote on the basis of tax cuts that benefit them or possible law changes that benefit their sexual preferences. Popularity thus becomes the focus over and above focusing on making the ‘right‘ decisions for the longer term well-being of the nation. And popularity remains a significant motivator through his/her term if the politician wants to be voted in a second time. The democratic system thus does not work in the best interests of the people unless the society pursues, at the same time, a very high moral ideal, because both the politicians and voters could end up looking out for themselves (in which case no one is really focused on looking out for the nation and its economy). Such a system cannot sustainably fund an ideal as high as that of the welfare state! The sustainability of the welfare state, and the integrity of a democracy, are thus both intrinsically connected to a certain kind of morality in government.
(What that ‘certain kind’ is we shall later discuss).
To further consider the role of morality, the general morality of the people’s day to day conduct is also significant to the sustainability of a welfare state. For example, if sex outside of marriage is acceptable (which it generally became from the 1960’s onwards) then having children out of wedlock is also acceptable. The state thus supports these mums, as well as their children. The children grow up generally less emotionally well off than those from ‘traditional families’. They (from studies) (a) enjoy less opportunities, (b) do less well in education (c) are more prone to compulsive behaviours, bringing increased societal problems from alcoholism, drug addiction and crime, (d) are generally less physically healthy / more prone to smoking / more likely to be over weight etc., and resultantly also live shorter lives too (e) not to mention that they are likely to repeat the whole cycle in their own family life… Depressing stuff!!!
I really don’t mean to depress any who come from ‘unstable’ backgrounds (as I consider myself to come from also), nor to condemn anyone to a certain future (for we can all make good choices). The point is that the bills quickly mount. Instead of the family being sustained by government as the core economic unit of a society, they make the individual the core unit – and that means the government has to pay. The family was (and is) of course also the core social unit of a society – so when the government helps endorse its breakdown…
When certain moral lines are crossed (whether that morality was right or not is not the point here) the ramifications can be greater than were at first perceived. The high ideal of the welfare state (a good ideal) simply can’t fund those kinds of bills. And that’s not to mention those who, due to weakening morality, will seek to ‘work’ all of the above government systems for their own benefit (or the exorbitant GDP losses that might be coming from all the dishonest hands that are reaching into various tills, etc.).
So, how far can morality wander from the traditional Judeo-Christian ethic before the system begins to slide? What morality is needed in higher government to enable sustainable government that cares for the welfare of the people? These are important questions! I will give you a thought on this…
For us at the receiving end of fifty year old welfare states, our nations are in debt, our health systems are being cut, our family support systems are being cut, our taxes going up, the integrity of our democracies is increasingly in question, and it can only get worse.
[What might keep people – and a system – good?]
(Which is to ask our big question in its reverse).
Quite obviously it is high moral standards and values – but where do they come from? Consider what it is about a belief in ‘God’ that is beneficial to government. Basically, because the belief includes that ‘God loves all people’, the end cannot be used to justify the means. This protects people from becoming ‘pawns’ in someone else’s chess game. We can’t sacrifice the lives of millions and millions to help bring about our ideals – such as in communism did. We must, in fact, do right at every turn. Why? For there is the fear of a God who will punish us in the afterlife. And there-in lies an unavoidably unpopular, yet unbelievably powerful, idea!
The Christians’ Bible says ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’ – meaning, at its extreme, that it is this base-line belief in a final judgment, and this fear alone, that gives a person the motivation to do what is right when all the pressure of the world is upon them to compromise, and when no one else would ever see or know what they did!
It is this fear that gives us restraint. Decisions made from that place of restraint are what wisdom is (and consider the logic of that – they will be ‘right’ as opposed to ‘self-seeking’ decisions). And it is that kind of wisdom and integrity that holds the whole system of things together for good.
[…and what can happen when that ‘protective standard’ is not there?]
We are now at the hard face of the rock. Whether this kind of God is true or not, I don’t think there is any possible replacement for this kind of belief!
When we intentionally removed this ‘fear’ from our societies we began an evolution of social changes that was greater than we could – or yet can – comprehend.
Without this kind of world view, I believe people will suffer!
Combined with the globalisation of our times, I believe we have set ourselves up for the greatest sufferings in human history, and all at the hand of humans, for there are too few moral fences to protect us from hurting each other, and no intrinsic fear of God to stop us doing so.
[An example – communism]
To consider Communism, the ‘sacrifice’ of the lives of millions was allowable in the morality of the leaders because it was for the greater good (the fulfillment of their utopian vision of an ideal society). Their beliefs were not everyones beliefs, but they did no respect that, as they were caught up in the zealous pursuit of their utopian ideal. Their beliefs thus led to the oppression of those who disagreed with them, or who stood in their way – the same as has happened in a great many empires throughout history.
(And, yes, as I’m a Christian writer I need to note that the Roman Catholic Church did exactly the same thing in the crusades of the middle ages. It must be noted, with this regard, that in the eleven hundreds The Roman Catholic ‘Church’ rejected the Bible outright as one of their writings. Bibles were to be burnt, and it was illegal to own one. The word ‘Church’ must, therefore, be understood to be attached to the words ‘Roman Catholic’ in the loosest sense possible at that time, for they were bluntly NOT believing or following Christian belief – which is defined by the Bible which they had outright rejected and banned. They were an empire seeking control, using religion as the base for their power, and – when it suited them – Christian stuff mixed in. More recently, in Vatican II in 1960, the Roman Catholic Church endorsed the theology of the reformation (the Bible), and again said that all believers should have a Bible in their homes. This was a significant change in belief for the Church – and the word ‘Church’ sits very well alongside such beliefs! The extent to which the Roman Catholic Church’s current upper leadership actually believe the Bible is questionable (such as in noting their many statements that all religions are essentially the same, possibly motivated by their desire to lead the worldwide religious movement in a globalising world), but a great many within the system do believe what the Bible says, including a great many priests, some of whom I’ve had privilege of friendship with – making them all Christian no less than any other person who believes the Bible. This is all simply to recognise the seeming hypocrisy – a Godless worldview / having no ‘fear of God’ leaves the door open for doing evil to others and not seeing it as evil [as without ‘God’ there is not only no consequence, but also no clear basis to even define what ‘evil’ is]. The Roman Catholics were genuinely ‘not with the Christian God’ through that whole period of history – no different to other oppressive empires – only religion was used as their justification. It stands as, probably, the greatest embarrassment of all time to the Christian Church. I note that these comments are not intended as an attack on anyone – just a recognition of the regrettable history of those times, and in defense of the point that the fear of God restrains us from great evil- as the Catholic ‘Church’ was clearly not restrained from evil in those times!).
[An example: Todays globalism leaders?]
I note that while communism, which was responsible for the murder of many tens of millions of people, has fallen before our eyes, the idea behind it (socialism) has not. It is the very same political ideology the greater majority of the worlds current international leaders hold! The idea is not dead! They believe that an elite few need to make decisions on behalf of the masses, for the benefit of the masses. They have no ‘fear of God’, and are inspired by the potential for achieving a truly globalised world. They are zealots for their cause, and speak of it on our televisions and in our news magazines continuously.
As an example, a great many of the leaders at the UN are socialist in ideology. If you read their speeches to determine their worldview (I’ve read up a little of the ideas Javier Slovana in UN meeting minutes. He states his worldview / position on this stuff clearly in some of his speeches, and – while having a world view I feel I would not agree with – is a remarkable man seeking to do good work) you will find they believe in the necessity of a socialist approach whereby an elite few hold the reigns of power in the greater interest of the masses. They believe international controls are needed for the benefit of all the people. But the question is, who gets that power?
Quite obviously the problem is that ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’. The problem is that human nature may not – contrary to what they believe – be good. They are zealots for their globalisation cause because they believe in its merits – but this is only because they believe in the inherent goodness of humankind. They have, at the same time, no ‘fixed’ form of morality to help ‘hold a line’. They have have no belief in (or fear of) a supreme and morally good God to restrain them from secret evil. They believe people are essentially good. They believe they are essentially good. They are socialist by persuasion. They believe they are right. Where will such a thing lead?
The door is wide open for major future problems!
[The problem stated: need for a certain kind of moral center]
With no belief in ultimate truth, or in a ‘judgment’, there isn’t the needed moral center to protect from a situation where those in power will use their power to harm those who oppose them, or to remove those who are in the way, so as to bring about their own utopian ideals. And there isn’t the needed moral center to protect the systems integrity so that it actually does look after the interests of the people, rather than the leaders succumbing to the temptation to use their power for their own benefits (such as most every leader in history has done).
[The benefits of that certain kind of morality, even when only a few hold to it]
While in ‘Christian’ nations many in power do not actually live as Christians, the presence of those who do take their belief seriously can be noted in its affect in bringing a positive ‘balance’ to the morality of decisions, helping sustain a certain goodness to the system, or bringing back a restoration to the system periodically. Consider the influence of Christian belief in the UK where, from those holding seriously to the belief, there have been significant restorative moral reforms, such as the fight against turning a blind eye to extreme poverty, against allowing legal sex with children, the sex trade, and slavery (these being in consideration of the influence of Williams Booth and Wilberforce). These changes were just 200ish years ago. Judeo-Christian belief (mono-theistic morality and belief in accountability) protects the integrity of a system, and can restore it when it is lost. Without it…
Love holds a family together. What holds a society together? Utopian ideals that look good can work for 50 years, but what is the bedrock of sustainable people-caring government in a ‘fallen’ planet?
[What is the best governmental system?]
‘Integrity’ is thus the only type of government that can really work – for even democracy (the otherwise seemingly best of systems) can become increasingly ridden with self-interest driven agendas over the decades as the various people work out how to work the system for their own benefit.
In terms of governmental systems, no system is really ‘right’, because its not about the structures, but about the people!
[Conclusion: The ironic need for mono-theistic belief and a ‘fixed’ truth]
If what is true and right can be determined by consensus or opinion (this being what the current worldview that ‘truth is relative’ is all about), then there is no morality that can work! We are doomed! Consensus can change. The ‘power of the group’ can over-ride. There is no fear of a greater power, and thus power can be easily corrupted.
To put all this differently – philosophically – without mono-theistic religious conviction I believe there can be no true and sustainable people-serving government on this planet.
Ironically, in a world that doesn’t want ‘God’ to have to exist, we seem to need Him!
Moral reform is our hope – but what kind of morality is needed?
More than taking mere high ideals, the fear of God alone can coerce sinful man to be honest in unseen things.
I believe history evidences that human nature is actually not good. Globalisation can only result in great human suffering if belief in a moral God is not at the center of it. Even though the reasons given for its formation will be alleviating both present and anticipated future sufferings, without the ‘fear of God’ the system will invariably become corrupted.
Beyond this, we can note that in the current world view of those who are gaining power there is nothing to stop them even creating human suffering if it somehow enables the further advancement of their own globalist cause – for there is no ‘ultimate’ judgment to face.
If absolute power does corrupt absolutely, and if human nature is not actually good, then our globalising world is heading for some serious trouble. This is not to say the leaders are bad people who intend to do such things (they are no doubt well meaning), but to say that their worldview will allow for such to happen again, for history has a way or repeating itself.
We are sick of the corrupt systems around us, and ready for change. They are zealots for their utopian dream of globalised secular government, and we will buy into their vision just as all who have gone before us have bought into similar utopian ideals.
But, philosophically, there can be no sustainably good government without the mono-theistic idea of a God.
Any governmental system that is void of this idea, is unfortunately destined to go down the same path every other government has before it.
And any governmental system with this idea will only sustain their idealistic directions for as long as they sustain their idea of God.
Spiritual reform precedes moral reform, which precedes sustainable political and social reform.
We need to have a belief in God, even if it is just to save our planet from ourselves.