Monday, 25 April 2016

The modern impossibility of politics for Christians

When I first became a Christian, some seven to eight years ago, my first instinct was to look for a 'reactionary' politics that was strong enough to defeat the long tide in favour of secular Left progressive radical destruction in The West.

But that was grossly to underestimate the extent to which Christianity has been defeated. It took me some time to recognize that politics has long since become impossible for Christians - because politics requires some grouping of people that can wield power - and there is no such group of any significant size and strength (and no possibility of an alliance).

Some Christians in the public arena, including blogs, are forever addressing a totally imaginary audience of like-minded persons - trying to stir them to effective resistance and positive action. There is no such audience.

The fact is that the Left has already won in the secular public arena (and the public arena is wholly secular in its baseline assumptions)  - Christianity is on the ropes, and continuing their job is easy because it is easy to destroy, and very difficult to build.

A single person, one saboteur, can therefore inflict immense damage - especially when he or she is a head of state, chief executive of a major corporation, wealthy, a senior judge, prestigious media figure professor or the like... and there are many, many such persons at work and active. The Left is organized in its work - especially at the highest levels - but it hardly needs to be organized

The mass media is overwhelmingly dominant in people's lives; and is overwhelmingly anti-Christian and anti-Good in its content - more importantly the form of the mass media is anti-Christian, anti-religious, anti-Good.

In such circumstances Christians need to be far more realistic and honest than they are. Even suppose that - by some ludicrously unlikely series of coincidences - a Christian leader and government found themselves in charge of a Western nation, they could not do anything significant to reverse the trend towards destruction of the good because the Western populations are so widely, deeply, thoroughly corrupted: the mass majority do not want to be 'saved' and will exert themselves (in so far as they exert themselves over anything) to continue along the path to physical and spiritual destruction.

Having made a plain, simple and realistic appraisal of the actually existing situation; it is very clear that the active Christian must be active in the religious sphere and not in the political sphere (it is no coincidence that the pseudo-Christian majority of anti-Christian subversives who dominate the mainstream Churches are so keen on political 'engagement').

The serious Christian nowadays must be working to sustain the faith, to spread the faith (evangelism) and to deepen his own faith and that of others - as best he may and confident in the activities of imperceptible influences - and that is where his main energies need to be directed.

Time and effort expended on politics is time invested in aiding the enemy.  


Further reading:


AdamW said...

Almost all politics is now in the service of the Market god. It is difficult to see any benefits arising from close direct personal involvement in that activity.

P.S.: I had to lurk here a long time before I realised that you use the word 'Left' in a very traditional manner, rather unlike its 'conventional' definition (which indeed varies from country to country and obfuscates matters greatly).

Bruce Charlton said...

@AdamW - "I had to lurk here a long time before I realised that you use the word 'Left' in a very traditional manner, rather unlike its 'conventional' definition"

I wrote so much about this matter of The Left (which of course includes all mainstream self-styled parties of The Right, and all parties of The Right that are not primarily religious) in the early days of this blog, and in four books (so far) that I have to rely on those who are interested, in finding this out for themselves - it is just too tedious to insert explanatory paragraphs every time I mention The Left!

Even when I wrote *whole books* on this - such as the two referenced here - I find reviewers and commenters of these books assuming I restrict the term to mainstream usage and that I am a partisan supporting conservatives, republicans and libertarians!

William Wildblood said...

I'm inclined to think that any religious person who gets involved in politics nowadays will soon either lose his religion or it will be taken over by the political side to such a degree that it will have no real spiritual content any more. Perhaps that hasn’t always been the case but it certainly is now.

JP said...

"Almost all politics is now in the service of the Market god."

I certainly can't agree with that. Politics now does not serve or care about "the Market" - indeed, politics *despises* the market. Politics requires us to do (and pay for) things that are tremendously wasteful, unprofitable, destructive, and stupid. "The Market" would force us to stop doing these things if it had any power to command politics - but it doesn't.

Do not confuse the transfer of money and resources with "the Market". Politics today serves to transfer wealth from the politically unconnected to the politically connected. This is not an operation of "the Market".

You would have just as much luck looking for a reactionary *economic* politics that was strong enough to defeat the Left as you would looking for a reactionary *Christian* politics strong enough to defeat the Left. The Left has won in the economic arena just as it has everywhere else. It has coopted and corrupted the large economic enterprises. Politics is thus impossible for true believers in the free market - though not, of course, by any means impossible for those who believe in using state power to steal the wealth of others.

The Left has won politically. Therefore, to say that politics "serves the market god" is to say that the Left serves the market god. The absurdity of this is readily obvious.

John Fitzgerald said...

Maybe we should spend our political energies forging links with like-minded people in Russia, where Christians playing a role in politics seems much more a part of daily life.

Don said...

My personal choice, monarchy will not make a comeback in my lifetime. An explicitly Christian monarchy would be a better place to abide until the return of our true king. Since my vote is really a waste in most cases when not actively stolen there really is no reason to engage in nose counting.

Leo said...

It certainly must look like this to anyone with sensitivity and viewed from the perspective of the modern West. The contempt in which powerful elites hold Christianity is often palpable and increasingly gaining popularity. But hell is fragile. One might have predicted the rapid demise of Christianity after the French Revolution and the popularity of deism in America. But history didn't quite work out that way. Russia and China spent generations in the grip of a crushing, militant atheism, but Christianity is now showing a remarkable recovery in those countries. The less developed world is still fertile ground for Christianity.

History, though it may go through an apocalyptic phase, is really on our side (2 Kings 6:16). Our duty is to fight the good fight (2 Tim 4:7), which will largely be a spiritual and religious matter, though an honest merchant, scholar, journalist, or public servant can shore up a faltering society in valuable ways.

And consider these lines from Hopkins for the poetically inclined:

And for all this, nature is never spent;
There lives the dearest freshness deep down things;
And though the last lights off the black West went
Oh, morning, at the brown brink eastward, springs —
Because the Holy Ghost over the bent
World broods with warm breast and with ah! bright wings.

The Sanity Inspector said...

In real life, every age is a checkerboard, light and dark squares adjoining. ~ Barbara Tuchman