To use a term from Greek philosophy, the telos (purpose) of government has been misplaced. Instead of designing laws and methods to enhance the dignity and freedom of the individuals living in our society, the government has been designing projects that are either (1) guided exclusively or primarily by utilitarian goals of the greatest good for the greatest number, or (2) by socialistic goals that government expansion is the greatest good in itself, or (3) by identity politics where the good of identity collectives is more important than the good of individuals. True Biblical morality as the center and pillar of righteous legislation has been pushed aside.
The above three purposes of government thus diverge from the founding values of the United States. Those values are based on government’s existence to promote the well-being of the individuals living under that government, individuals as individuals, not members of a subgrouping according to sex, race, age, mental functioning, health, etc. Thus, there is a divergence between the path taken by government and the philosophical premises of our society as built upon a foundation of Biblical morality. This writer used the word “telos” purposely in the above paragraph. This term taken right out of Aristotelian philosophy fits perfectly with Biblical teaching. The holy revelations of God have given meaning to the idea of purpose in life that mere dependence on human reasoning – the approach taken by the Greeks – could never achieve.
Government in the name of order, control, efficiency, organization, the greatest good for the greatest number, solidarity, social justice, and safety is instead ruling over a society that is increasingly disordered, crime ridden, unjust, and disturbed to an extreme. One writer has calculated that at present there are approximately 900,000 police officers in the USA. While violent crime peaked in the 1990’s today it is still more than double what it was in 1960.
A word that describes the direction of our acceleration through space and time is anarchy. Synonyms for anarchy are lawlessness, nihilism, mobocracy, revolution, insurrection, disorder, chaos, mayhem, tumult, turmoil. Instead of looking at discrete issues in our classic pragmatic way, is it not necessary that we revamp our thinking, see what society has become, and work through our issues as a culture in light of the general disintegration. Who is the only One who can bring hope to our fallen, desperate, disintegrating society and world?
Thus, despite increased government controls of everyday life in education, policing and citizen surveillance (don’t forget those traffic tickets based on surveillance cameras), and dictation of many aspects of everyday living, we do not observe increasing order. We observe increasing social anarchy. Let’s look at a somewhat truncated list of what we have endured and are enduring as a society. We have seen horrible onslaughts as follows: Fort Hood jihad massacre, Boston Bombing jihad massacre, San Bernardino jihad massacre, Pulse Nightclub massacre, riots in Berkeley, Ferguson, and Baltimore, cop shootings in Dallas and New York City, Sandy Hook massacre, Las Vegas massacre, Texas church massacre, Florida HS massacre, Chattanooga recruiting station attack, and jihad in Garland, TX against Pamela Geller.
We see regular and frequent breakdowns of mass transit systems in metropolitan New York City and elsewhere, massive infiltration of our country by illegals (reminiscent of flooding in of Germanic tribes leading to collapse of the Roman Empire), and the drug use epidemic (this writer just watched a show on Justice TV indicating that 1 out of 7 persons in Puerto Rico is a heroin/cocaine addict).
Porous borders, massacres, addiction, high percentage of persons born out of wedlock (not to mention those born within a marriage but the parents get divorced, thus the children are not raised in a two parent home), and recently a mayor of a city (Oakland, CA) notifying 1000 undocumented immigrant felons [yes, felons – not just nice boys and girls scrambling to make a living] that ICE was coming for them suggest that anarchy is rife.
Thus, we see the scope of government has grown and become more intrusive, but at the same time, anarchy seems to be racing forward at warp speed. The leftists seem to think that the anarchy is growing because government, despite its growth, has not been growing big enough or fast enough. According to their thinking growth in government power is the answer to anarchy. They think this partially for a good reason: namely, the purpose of a government is to protect the citizens from the bad people and from the wrong activities that threaten social safety, unity, and order. However, given the present size, scope, and cost of our government, it never seems to occur to them that governmental policies have been wrong-headed and guided by a wrong philosophy or purpose(s) for the past 100 years. It’s not the size and power of the government that has been lacking, but the size and power has been put in the service of wrong purpose.
The Greek and Roman wise men also understood that there was a necessary link between good governance and the well-being/happiness of the individual. But they did not appreciate the role of divine-centered and divine-inspired morality as the Christians did who came after them. They did not appreciate the mercy and love of humanity by our Creator that led to the revelation of His ultimate intentions of salvation as taught, evidenced, and provided through His Son.
Government is considerably to blame for the anarchy that besets us. But the answer is not more government programs and more government authority. More government authority is not the answer to an anarchistic society. Rather, it is a government with a correct understanding of its purpose that is needed. The true conservatives have it right. We need to go back to our Christian Biblical moral roots based on Biblical/natural law, and to checks and balances and federalism in that Biblical context as understood by the Founders.