Sunday, March 22, 2009

Lost Souls in the Cult of State Worship

I have a couple of friends who are true believers. They are older gentlemen, otherwise very intelligent and quite capable of making their own decisions and running their own lives, but for some reason they have chosen to put their faith in a place where perhaps it doesn’t belong.

As good cult members should, they will at times try to convince me of their beliefs. They want me to join them in their delusional ways so we can have nice, quiet conversations about how great their belief system is. Of course when this happens I usually shoot back at them with a couple of obvious truths about the corruption of the entire system. I happen to know they agree with me on these truths and that usually ends the discussion. It seems they don’t want to question and shake up their belief system too much for fear that it might crumble to dust. This would, of course, mean they’d have to build new temples in their minds in which to place their faith.

Their cult has recently installed a new charismatic leader who is well versed in the art of recruiting people and convincing them of the righteousness of his cause. He presents to his followers simplified solutions to daunting problems that may alleviate some of the symptoms, but makes sure the disease remains. Perhaps he does this to maintain the illusion that his institution cares for people and is needed, or perhaps he does it for his own personal glorification, I really don’t know. I do believe, however, that the solutions he espouses will only exacerbate the problems, much like the doctors of old who would try to put leaches on or bleed a man who had already lost too much blood.

I have no idea how many people are like my friends, no idea how many cult members there are in the world today, but I believe there are too many to count. I believe they number in the tens of millions. I hear them talking on a daily basis, discussing how this leader or that leader is better equipped for, or not so good at, handling specific problems. They all believe that this institution will somehow lead the masses of humanity to a better life. Yet during my entire existence in this physical realm I’ve only observed this institution fail. I’ve only seen it bring mayhem and destruction to some and mishandle the affairs of others. I’ve only seen it create problems and yet some still worship it as if it was the only solution and ask that it solve the problems it created.

I am talking, of course, about the cult of state. I am talking about those people who worship government and turn to it and its innate use of force when confronted with a problem they don’t understand or refuse to get personally involved in. These cult members continue to give the illusion of legitimacy to government as they ask those in control of the mechanisms of the state to solve problems for them rather than looking to themselves for the answers they seek. They support the system by using it and don’t care who the system hurts, even when it hurts the very people using it. Like a hamster in a wheel, one wonders if the cult members even realize that they are going nowhere.

I believe there is a basic moral reason why government can’t solve the problems of society and therefore why it continues to degrade the humanity of its worshippers. Anyone with the slightest bit of empathy for their fellow human realizes that stealing is wrong. Societal problems can’t be solved by stealing (taxing) from one class of people to give to another class. Likewise, economic problems can’t be solved by forced redistribution of wealth. But the priests of this cult of government, the ones known as congressmen and senators, presidents and prime ministers, Democrats and Republicans, they espouse the virtues of such immorality to their doe eyed cult members. Indeed, they have gone so far as to claim that each individual has a duty to surrender a portion of his labor to this cult, whether they believe in it or not, and that refusing to do so somehow makes one a bad person. The cult members cry “foul” whenever a brave soul decides to stand up and declare that he doesn’t want to be a slave to the system anymore and refuses to pay his tribute. Such is the power these occult priests have to mesmerize their followers.

This cult worship could become more dangerous yet as it morphs from a cult that worships a failed, immoral system to a cult of personality. It is no longer suitable to the priests of state that the followers of this cult simply submit to their demands without question. They are now seeking the allegiance of the masses to an installed figurehead. They are now attempting to put a smiling, happy face on the hand that controls the mechanisms of power and sell the populace on the idea that a “change” to a new style of socialism can bring “hope” for our future. But it seems to me that the smile is false, the hope is futile and the change is back to an old failed model on a larger scale in twenty first century packaging.

Yet the members of this cult are its enablers. Those that put their faith completely in this system help maintain its veneer of legitimacy. Without these followers the federal government in particular, which is responsible for the central planning schemes that have led us to this juncture, would soon lose its popular support and be forced to turn over the services it attempts to provide to other agencies more adept at handling such functions. These lost souls continue to wander in the illusionary political forest of right and left, liberal and conservative, Democrat and Republican, and can’t see that the trees which block their view were planted there to keep them from finding true freedom. They can’t see that these collectivist ideologies are all basically the same and that the ideology of individual rights, individual responsibility and self governance has been crowded out of the American political garden and left to die due to lack of sunshine.

To bring these lost souls back we must help them to realize the harm they are causing simply by using the current system. By promoting federally founded government programs and regulations one helps stifle innovation and remove choices that private individuals and organizations would otherwise bring to the marketplace. By praising those who promote centralized control, socialism, and government involvement through bailouts one helps keep an elite ruling class in power and helps stagnate the growth of small entrepreneurs who would otherwise step in and succeed where others have failed by offering the legitimate services the marketplace demands.

State worship is something we as a society can tolerate no longer. Our empire has grown too large to afford and needs to be cut back. Our individual, natural rights are no longer respected by those who hold the reins of power. Our economy is in shambles due to the monopolistic policies that are only possible with government involvement. It is the federal bureaucracy which created these problems, and it is not they who we should turn to for a fix. It is time to stop worshipping at the altar of the state. It is time to evolve past this over bloated centralized federal government, shrink it to a reasonable size and function, and return the power to the community level and to the individual. Then perhaps we can achieve true freedom. Then perhaps we can begin to build a world where respect for others is honored. Then perhaps we will see a society where no man can be shielded by his power when he decides to bring harm to another.

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