Sunday, March 15, 2015

Great Men And Monsters

A Monster of Our Own:

The linked article focuses on Hillary, but she is really just an example. All of us at least to some minor degree wrestle with "What is it all for?". Williamson does an excellent job of covering some of the more (in)famous examples of characters wrestling (badly) with such questions ... Faust, the Marquis de Sade, Nixon -- rather an odd juxtaposition, but he weaves them in an interesting and thought provoking way. He makes the point that "politics" is just another human false god, an idol that breaks the First Commandment. 

When Christ summarized the commandments he said “'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

He knew that for fallen man, such was impossible -- and even his word  on the subject contains a paradox. **IF** one could TRULY only love God with our ALL -- the heart, the soul and the mind, then what would it mean to "love our self"? --  because we ought love our neighbor in the same way.

As we look to ourselves, and to current and past characters, both real and imagined, much of their and our efforts can somewhat be summarized as "efforts to forget our self". Certainly the addictions mentioned in the column -- drugs, alcohol, politics, power, adulation, are all significantly driven by a drive for something like the search for an escape from "plain old us". Typically beginning with an idea of "how we will feel if / when / etc" some event, some goal attained, some ingested substance, some pleasure, some reward -- SOMETHING, alters our state. Even religion itself -- and I think here of the "born again experience", can for some be or at least be seen as an "altered state".

It brings to mind Nimoy's last tweet;  "A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. LLAP" (Live Long and Prosper)

When reflecting on his life, Churchill found the greatest moments to be in 1940 -- when the situation was the most grim for England and he was the indispensable man. He had a strong sense of "destiny", yet not a strong sense of God. His faith seemed to be in himself and the ultimate victory of the English people and he regularly talked of his "mission" as being to give voice to the English people -- and he also sometimes referred to them as "the English race".

It is very hard to reflect on "monsters" of history without considering Winston's adversary Hitler. Hitler also thought he was a reflection of the "German race" and likewise was a speaker that millions were captured and motivated by. The difference in my mind boils down to Hitler's demand that the German people (and himself) RULE -- to the exclusion and even deaths of other people, especially of course the Jews.

Churchill definitely saw the English people and their empire as "special", and instruments of good in history. He certainly also saw himself as "a great man" -- humility was not his strong suit! Yet, nearly nobody thinks of Churchill as a "monster".  I'd argue that Reagan is much the same -- an also "great man", who similarly won his battle with "the evil empire".

It's very hard for me to imagine what anyone sees in a Hillary, or an Obama for that matter. What is it that is their "vision" for anyone but themselves? An easier and less challenging life for "average Americans"? Political hegemony for the Democrat party and a final resounding "victory" of single party rule for America? Some sort of ill defined "world government" where no "dominant powers" exist anymore and we may as well all aspire to be Kenya, or Venezuela, or any old "unknownistan" ?

I can't tell -- it seems clear that BO and Hillary both hate "Republicans", or "conservatives", "bitter clingers", or "the vast right wing conspiracy", but other than that, is it really only that they care about adding "president" to their resume? Sure it is still a significant title, but unless it comes with something that really makes a difference in history, is it THAT much different from any other "perfect moment"?

Perhaps that is the real unease that certainly a few more are starting to feel as Hillary dissembles and gives us the basic "what does it matter now?" sense of "I'm inevitable, live with it" sort of pitch.

While the column caused neurons to fire, I'm not sure at all that Hillary, or BO for that matter comes even close to having her name uttered among the "monsters", and certainly not among the "great men of history".

America and Western Civilization is in obvious decline. The Bear and the Dragon, both historical opportunists are rising, along with the crescent and the sword in the Middle East. For the tide to be turned, the West will have to be ABOUT SOMETHING other than "care of the elderly and an equitable distribution of whatever we can beg and borrow".

We are in need of a "Great Man", which always carries with it the danger of a "Monster". I don't see Hillary as anything other than another caretaker on our way to the dustbin of history if we are foolish enough to choose her.

Nationally and personally, we need to get outside ourselves. Ideally, to a Christian, that means putting God first, but to all, it means that we have to find SOMETHING to love about ourselves and our nation beyond comfort, income equality and obsessive worry about the climate.

'via Blog this'

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