Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Timid Animals

Government as Shepherd

Douglas Wilson has reproduced the following quotation from Alexis de Tocqueville.  It described the gradual insinuation of despotic power over a people who are slowly conditioned to it--and welcome it.

I see an innumerable crowd of like and equal men who revolve on themselves without repose, procuring the small and vulgar pleasures with which they fill their souls. Over these is elevated an immense, tutelary power, which takes the sole charge of assuring their enjoyment and of watching over their fate. It is absolute, attentive to detail, regular, provident, and gentle. It would resemble the parental power if, like that power, it had as its object to prepare men for manhood, but it seeks, to the contrary, to keep them irrevocably fixed in childhood . . . it provides for their security, foresees and supplies their needs, guides them in their principle affairs . . .

 The sovereign extends its arms about the society as a whole; it covers its surface with a network of petty regulations―complicated, minute, and uniform―through which even the most original minds and the most vigorous souls know not how to make their way . . . it does not break wills; it softens them, bends them, and directs them; rarely does it force one to act, but it constantly opposes itself to one’s acting on one’s own . . . it does not tyrannize, it gets in the way: it curtails, it enervates, it extinguishes, it stupefies, and finally reduces each nation to being nothing more than a herd of timid and industrious animals, of which the government is the shepherd. 

As we reflect upon what Western democracies have morphed into, we cannot but think these words spookily accurate.  Timid industrious animals--of which the government is the shepherd.  But that only refers to those still working.  The rest--those living off the property extracted from others through the taxation system--are worse: they are timid, but not industrious.  They are indolently dependant, irrevocably fixed in childhood.

The Government is my shepherd: I shall not want
The Government makes me lie down in green pastures
It leads me beside the still waters
It restores my soul . . .

This ought to be New Zealand's national anthem--for it reflects far more truthfully the actual national hope and faith. It is our established religion.  Our present official anthem,  "God of nations, at Thy feet . . . " is pure hypocrisy when sung by a bunch of Unbelievers whose only other recourse to the Name above all names is for the purpose of blasphemy, cursing, or abuse. 

What is the solution?  Whence does hope come?  Wilson nails it:
And this is the meaning of judicial stupor and blindness. It is not an intellectual problem, but rather a spiritual and moral one. The answer is the message of Jesus, crucified, risen, and enthroned.

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