Friday 10 January 2020

What will be the political system of the future? A prophecy

A great deal of political commentary over the past couple of hundred years (and continuing) is directed at the question of what kind of political system we ought to have; what we could (in principle) have, and what we should be striving for. I have certainly spent a good deal of my life pondering and researching such matters.

My current understanding is not welcome to me, but it is something I can't shake. The conclusion is that I can see no future; or, at least, none that is significantly better than what we have now.

The present System is actively destroying itself, and is anyway unsustainable for multiple reasons. None of the past systems are viable from here forward; and anyway none will happen because they are not wanted/ opposed.

And knowing what we now know, I think we can see that no conceivable political system is going to be better. But more than this, I don't see any kind of System at all surviving - at least nothing on the scale of any current nations.

The ultimate reason behind this is the change in 'human consciousness'. This is not something that can be proved with evidence (indeed, nothing can ever be proved by evidence); but there is plenty of evidence compatible with my belief (coming via Rudolf Steiner and Owen Barfield, mostly) that human beings have changed through history; so that past possibilities are left behind.

We can see this in so many ways. The death of real leaders, and the absence of real and good leaders. On the other side, the lack of desire among the masses for real or good leaders. The short-termism, the petty selfishness - making survival in the long term impossible. The (really astonishing) lack of courage means that no plans get followed-through; indeed so cowardly are people that they seldom even get as far as formulating an idea of resistance.

And, most decisive of all, the lack of motivation - which underpins most of the above; and which stems from the denial of God, the denial that we live in a creation, the denial of ultimate meaning and purpose and relatedness in the world.

All of this might not be sufficient to destroy the hope of something better if it was not for the utter inability of people (both the leadership, but also en masse) to be able to acknowledge the real problems; the habitual and denied dishonesty, the inability to stick to a line of thinking for more than a single step, the absence of even the most basic discernment.

All of these stem from the denial of God; yet the denial is itself denied; and the basic consequences of the denial of God are denied... so that this situation itself seems extremely unlikely to be remedied. 

But even if all-of-the-above was remedied; and we had brave and honest Christians looking ahead; I see no conceivable way in which any kind of politics, any social organisation, can be imagined that would allow the kind of Christian world that we know we ought to have.

The Christian societies of the past are all (in their different ways) so obviously and so deeply flawed to the modern mind, so not-truly-Christian; that we cannot honestly regard them as anything other than a merely quantitative and partial improvement on what exists now.

And we know that all were riven with contradiction, and unstoppable change and decay; so even if they could be recreated (which they can't) they would begin to collapse as soon as (or before) they were remade.

So this is my best guess, my foretelling, my prophecy. That the experiment of human civilisation will come to an end.

There will be no future politics in the same sense that (as far as we know) there is no such thing as politics in small scale, nomadic, tribal societies. That whole level of things will cease to exist.

If my understanding is accurate, then this is something we cannot prevent, cannot stop, should not stop; but it is something we will each need to acknowledge and learn from. We will be severely challenged by it, each in multiple and different ways; and these challenges are an opportunity to discover things we personally need to know - for eternal life in Heaven.

Perhaps it is worth clarifying that I am not in any kind of despair about this, above and beyond the usual worrying to which we are prone. It is not a projection of some kind of inner nihilism.

I see this a just a matter of fact; which it is my duty to confront. The future of the world really is in God's hands; and I trust God.

That is to say I trust God not to make this world 'more perfect' (more comfortable, prosperous, peaceful, cheerful or whatever); but I trust God (as my loving parents) to arrange things such that my personal experience in this world will be for my ultimate eternal benefit - if I make the choice For love; For God, Goodness and Creation. If I join the side of right.

But for those who decline Jesus's offer of Life Everlasting in Heaven and adhere to the mainstream materialistic this-worldly atheism; there will be zero meaning or value in this collapse.

Presumably they will carry on living in terms directed by their aspirations - such as grabbing for more immediate pleasure, and eluding current suffering; or perpetuating their biological life for just a bit longer.

It's a choice - and we each make our own choice. 

Note added: The inevitability of collapse raises the question of whether it could have been averted. My view, expressed throughout this blog over the past few years is: yes, probably. The original (Christian) Romantic era - beginning in the late 1700s with the likes of Coleridge, Wordsworth, Blake and (in Germany) Novalis - and extending from then, with several revivals - showed clearly (and explained) the way it should have been; although, since Men's minds were Not so-transformed, we cannot Now, retrospectively, reconstruct how this would have worked-out. Instead, Christianity did not change and the residual mainstream of Romanticism became anti-Christian. Instead of Christianity being transformed and retained, retained and subjected to the best efforts of the best minds; Christianity was either un-transformed and shrank, or (more often) rejected. If the West had followed what I regard as its divine destiny; all kinds of things might have been possible. Yet as things stand, we are something between one and two centuries too-late; and have accumulated a truly colossal level of spiritual damage; such that value inversion is now mainstream, mandatory and - broadly - accepted as 'common sense'. For a few generations it might have been possible to re-grow The West from a minority of  Romantic Christians, but now the minority is minuscule and there is near zero in the way of shared assumptions. The units at issue have shrunk - over the decades - from civilisation, to nation, to denomination to the individual and his family. Well, so it goes. That is the situation. We know what we each need to do.


Stephen Macdonald said...

See, I will create
new heavens and a new earth.
The former things will not be remembered,
nor will they come to mind.

Isaiah 65:17

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

I think many people feel this at a deep level, which perhaps accounts for the rising popularity of "post-apocalyptic" scenarios in fiction and film.

Dave said...

My crystal ball is a bit murky, but our future political system looks like something starting with "right wing" and ending with "squads".

We're living in a mafia movie, where the various plot lines all meander toward the inevitable conclusion: A montage of all the Don's enemies dying in a hail of bullets. They attack the Don and reject his peace proposals because they think we're living in a Star Wars movie.

Cererean said...

Prediction is hard, especially about the future.

Who, in early 1st century Judea, would have predicted that the Messiah would arrive and die for the sins of the world, rather than build an army and evict the Romans?

2020 is a liminal year, more so than most. I don't think the ordinary rules of forecasting apply, if they ever really did.

Mark Nelson said...

Forgive me, as I'm new here. But how does one reconcile

"I trust God not to make this world 'more perfect' (more comfortable, prosperous, peaceful, cheerful or whatever); but I trust God (as my loving parents) to arrange things such that my personal experience in this world will be for my ultimate eternal benefit"

with "on earth as it is in heaven"?

Bruce Charlton said...

@Mark - It is never sensible to try and assert and reconcile every short phrase from the Bible (proof texting) - or in this case part-phrase. But anyway it is God's *will* that is being stated to be done - 'thy will be done, in earth as it is in Heaven'. I don't see any difficulty.

Mark Nelson said...

Fair enough. I've always been taught that that particular part-phrase applied to "Thy kingdom come" as well. We take this as instruction to try (as much as humans can) to make earth more heavenly. Even if this is never possible on our own, it is our charge.

So if Jesus is asking the Father (with some expectation of it coming to pass) to ultimately bring Heaven to earth, then that's where I was seeing the contradiction with what you were saying.

Bruce Charlton said...

@Mark - OK. Then it all depends on what is meant by that - the idea of making 'Heaven' on Earth has been used to justify hellish (eg. by regarding Heaven as a political blueprint, justifying any means to attain it) - as well as Heavenly (living by love, as if we were already in Heaven) - activities.

But no matter how we might strive, we *cannot* live permanently and wholly as if it was Heaven on earth and now; but only as glimpses and paryial or temporary moments. This because of the mortal facts of decay, disease and death; which is why we need Jesus's gift of resurrection.

Brief Outlines said...

I found this very thought provoking and I resonate with the central moral. I have written a response, providing my own angle on the issue, which is somewhat different.