Chaocracy and Our Malorderous B.O.
Using Wilber's nomenclature, the government would refer to the exterior-social, whereas culture is the interior-social, i.e., the We. The closer the government can come to expressing the will of the We, the better -- assuming, of course, that we are dealing with a virtuous populace. With a citizenry that lacks virtue, a virtuous autocrat would actually be preferable (in the short term, of course, until his inbred, syphilitic son takes the throne).
Obviously, the Founders never foresaw an unvirtuous populace. Well, actually they did, which is why they rejected democracy for a representative republic. This is also what led to our first factions -- let's just call them political parties -- i.e., the Federalists and the Regular Guys. The Federalists were extremely skeptical of the ability of grubby Regular Guys to govern themselves, and envisioned more of an aristocracy of virtuous Men of Slack (for Slack was required in order to cultivate virtue, e.g., manners, classical learning, disinterestedness, and the occasional bath).
The Federalists lasted only 12 years, until Jefferson, who pretended to speak for the Regular Guys, became president. The Democrat party can be traced back to him, in that it still consists of an intemperate rabble of utopian schemers, impractical dreamers, and condescending monied elites who presume to speak for the Regular Guys who just laugh at them behind their backs.
Today, these self-styled elites mostly prop each other up in a nationwide televised intellectual jerk circle, so that, say, a Thomas Friedman and a David Gergen (to pick two clowns at random) can convince each other and themselves that they are not vacuous mediocrities with nothing important to say. Their real job is not to convey useful ideas to people who need them, but to manufacture and maintain self-importance in each other through the propagation of conventional wisdom.
For example, if you are one of those many people who think that Obama is "brilliant," it is very likely that you are a member in good standing (no pun intended) of the elite jerk circle. In affirming your belief that B.O. is something more than a failed community organizer and affirmative action political hire, other members of the jerk circle will confirm your brilliance, sophistication, and discrimination, and elevate you above those tea-bagging talk radio listeners and sexy leather-clad biker chicks -- you know, the millions of Regular Guys & Gals you presume to speak for.
Anyway, enough history. More sexy leather-clad biker chicks!
There can be no government in the absence of force, i.e., violence (potential or actual). But this violence is only legitimate if 1) it is rooted in ordered reason, and 2) it expresses the will of the people, i.e., the interior social. But again, when we speak of the "people," it is the individual who is the ultimate source of order, for a nation of disordered souls cannot produce an ordered government. To put it another way, people who cannot even master their own domain have no business trying to master mine.
But one of the shell games the left plays with virtue is to conflate it with politically correct stances on social issues. For example, you can be the most hateful, mean-spirited, and disordered person -- say, Sean Penn, or Alec Baldwin -- but so long as you support "gay marriage" or believe in "global warming," then the left considers you a Good Person. Dennis Prager was talking about this the other day, i.e., the replacement of the classical virtues with mere political correctness.
For the left, to become "socially conscious" is analogous to baptism, which washes away one's sins. But becoming socially conscious never involves seeing through the intoxicating and destructive lies of the left, much less ordering of one's own disordered soul. That would be too difficult. Much easier to just wish rectal cancer on one's critics. After all, didn't Thomas Jefferson say that the Tree of Marxism must occasionally be refreshed with the blood of Fox viewers?
Now, man is not perfect, so inevitably we must have a government that has the power to crack the occasional head and lock up the disordered people who threaten the general order. But what if the very forces of disorder take control of the government?
As a matter of fact, we have been on this downward trend for the past 75 or so years, and Obama represents the apex -- or nadir -- of this baleful ascent of the chaocracy. For example, we all know what happened when the judical chaocrats took control in the 1960s, and crime -- the very definition of disorder -- skyrocketed. But their solution was to define deviancy even further down, so that abnormality became the new normal.
For the chaocrats are fundamentally naive about the source of order, generally because they don't believe in the soul, much less an ordered one. Rather, as someone put it (Eliot?), they dream of top-down systems so perfect that no one will need to be good. For example, that's what the government takeover of healthcare is all about. Just like Medicare, this vast system will be so effective that it will eliminate fraud, waste, and increased demand for "free" services. Thus, it will not just cure men, but finally cure Man. And they call themselves reality-based.
But socialists perversely punish responsibility (i.e., order) in the effort to eliminate irresponsibility (disorder). For example, I would like to be responsible for my own health and retirement, and suffer the consequences if I don't plan for the future. Is that a bad thing? Yes, it is -- so bad that the left would like to outlaw the selfish pursuit of my own health. (Step one: make it too expensive.)
As I have mentioned on a number of occasions, if one's political philosophy is not rooted in an accurate anthropology, then it will not just be wrong, but actually engender oppression, for you will be like a deranged zookeeper who puts the penguins with the toucans or feeds grass to the lions. To take just one obvious example, if you do not believe that man was created to be free, then you will have no problem with a political philosophy that devalues or even eliminates man's freedom.
Or, as Schall puts it, "Politics presupposes our understanding of the internal order or disorder of human beings." Without this understanding, we will create a political order that is literally appropriate for some other nonexistent species. For example, let's say that your anthropology doesn't go beyond a literal-minded, fundamentalist Darwinism, with no recognition whatsoever of the transcendent order that is man's true ground and destiny. What would your resultant ideal political order look like? I won't even get into the possibilities, because I don't want to violate Godwin's law this early in the morning.
To be continued. Probably no post tomorrow, as I have a very early day.
(Yoinked from Lucianne)