The State is God, God is the State, Part V
If we assume that man creates God in man's own image and likeness, then (logically) man, not God, is the supreme ruler of the universe and the only standard for determining what is good or evil. Reality depends not on some objective actuality, but on subjective opinion. Everything becomes relative, based on the opinion of whoever can force others to accept his or her version of reality — for it becomes, ipso facto, reality by the mere fact that people "agree" on it. Black can become white, and up can become down, simply by convincing people that such is the case. You only think the Emperor is walking down the street naked, because your consciousness hasn't been raised and your perceptions corrected.
We can therefore easily understand the attraction that basing the natural law (and thus the social order) on the Will has for many people. In essence, you can do anything you want, as long as you have enough faith in your own interpretation, enough of an ego to maintain your position in the face of all argument and evidence to the contrary, enough inventiveness to dismiss objective facts and truth, and enough power to force others to comply with your will.
The State is God, God is the State, Part VI
While Judgment at Nuremberg used an obvious situation to make its point, the very obviousness of the point obscures it. People assume that what was done was wrong because "the Nazis" did it, not because it was wrong by nature itself. To this day we find many people asserting that there must be some flaw in the German national character that allowed them to give in to Hitler. They forget, ignore, or never knew that every tendency, even the philosophy itself that led to Hitler and the Holocaust is still with us today, and is much stronger and more pervasive now than then.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Author Michael Greaney, at The Just Third Way blog, has an interesting analysis of our times through the lense of history. These full essays are well worth reading.