Tuesday 5 November 2013

How far should the state go in defining and sustaining The Good?


The answer is: a long way - but never so far as to try and coerce choice.

The current political scenario is of a totalitarian Left which regards Leftist priorities is having total importance - such that in practice nothing else matters AT ALL.

The Left - Right divide is therefore often seen as being between the advocates of comprehensive government versus the advocates of partial government.

But this is an error, on the part of the Right.


For example, an exemplary person who happens to argue-against the currently-imperative Leftist priority of same sex marriage is (for Leftists, in actual practice) a totally evil person who deserves punishment of pretty open-ended severity and/ or duration.

And by contrast any lying, aggressively-promiscuous, selfish, nasty, physically-aggressive, foul-mouthed drug addict is regarded as a better person, indeed a totally-better person, than any opponent of same-sex marriage.

(For example, Orson Scott Card versus any randomly-selected media celeb, pop musician, politician or journalist.)


There is zero balance or moderation or scale about Leftist imperatives - there is zero place for choice; the objective is, indeed, to coerce not 'merely' behaviour, but choice, desire, motivation.

The whole mind-set is to be changed so that only the approved choice is physically possible.

(Everybody must love Big Brother.)

And that is precisely what makes Leftism totalitarian.


So the enforcement of such Leftist priorities is absolute - nothing whatsoever can be allowed sufficient importance to stand in their way; thus nothing else has any importance at all.


Against this, at present, the Right tends to argue in favour of limited scope for government - a lot of (even) Religious Reactionaries use libertarian-style arguments about the role of government.

So we have a party of intervention against a party of refraining from intervention, big government provision against low government provision, high taxes against low: the party that (apparently) 'cares' absolutely and infinitely about the things they care about; and another party of moderation, of yes-buts, of pragmatism, of seeking a balance between various priorities (but without putting forward any over-arching system which can allocate weights to Goods and thereby discover the proper balance of priorities) ...


Yet in reality, the Christian position is that society should:

1. Be run with Christianity as the number one priority above all else.


2. Individual choice of religion (or no religion) must never be coerced - indeed, for a Christian, choice cannot be coerced, and it is both cruel and futile to try.


3. There is no limit to the ways and means that a Christian society should be Christian: all aspects of life should, ideally, be included. Christianity should be precisely that 'over-arching system' which has the authority and duty to allocate weights to Goods and order priorities.

So there is no place in the Christian view of politics for limited government, separate spheres, or anti-theocratic ideals.


Christianity therefore aspires to a form of government which is utterly non-totalitarian, but just as comprehensive in its scope as Leftism.

The difference is that while Leftism is necessarily and intrinsically destructive, since all its priorities are equally absolute and total, and therefore the only cohesion is to be united in the aim of destroying The Good; the comprehensive government of Christianity has positive aims, and is therefore potentially coherent and harmonious in its priorities; and even its compromizes.


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