Monday, October 15, 2012
Philosophies, Politics and Their Policies - The 'Apples and Oranges' That Drive People Bananas
[The Following comes from way too much time in the rambling politics on my real life FB page. Enjoy or be intrigued, or however, by what you read.]
Or, simply put, the reason to have a standard by which to compare and contrast it all.
First and foremost, it is important to consider what is meant by the old adage that the path to Hell is paved by good intentions.
As a Christian and Catholic, the other thing I personally consider is what did St. Paul mean by saying, "with fear and trembling work out your salvation"?
On the latter, I particularly like the Aramaic English translation that states it as follows:
"with awe and with trembling, do the service of your life."
The pursuit of life is not easy. I'm of particular belief that it was always meant to be a challenge. And one that ought to be taken up. For it is one's life to live, no one else can do it for you. Some might cooperate and work along side you, others might coerce and attempt to make you work for them. But ultimately, it is you, the person living your life, that has to take responsibility for it, and take the actions necessary to do what you have to do for your own salvation, for the core service of your life - only you can pursue your own life and find the happiness and goodness that is sought for whatever that 'good life' may be.
No one individual has the same vision of what that life is. People may have similar views, but not completely the same. We can say that they would have to be robots to have same pattern of thoughts, but as our own technology shows, even core kernels, like that which Microsoft, Macs, and Linux have in common, they also sprout out to do things similar in different ways. And they also follow a pattern of what their creators intended for them to follow. A sort of residual of the 'fingerprint of God', in a certain manner akin to Tolkien's co-creation concept. And yes, I do believe in Tolkien's concept of the 'true myth' - or, as I perceive it, that which has been long since marred and mimicked by the bullshit, but is actually true.
As for apples and oranges? They are both fruits. Similar, but also different, but similar enough to be compared, and have a standard to do so, as well as a standard by which to contrast them. They both have skins, texture, and taste. An apple is a much more firm fruit, somewhat more tart in taste, with a skin that can be eaten. An orange is softer, more citrus and somewhat sour in taste, and a more juicy type fruit, to which most generally do not eat the skin. See? Compared and contrasted by the standards of what they have in common. It's something of value to learn to do, for your own good, at the very least.
But if you say comparing politics and philosophies is in much the same category, I can agree to some extent. But then you have to find a standard to compare and contrast the philosophies, politics, and the policies they lead to. And that is what the Church Fathers did with the pagan philosophies.
Sometimes, it worked out, and, for the things that had been core to Roman municipalities, as well to res publicae, and res comunae, these worked out perfectly for creating the standards of law for the Holy Roman Empire to come, not to mention the core vision of Western philosophy and the social contract of a constitutional governing system with an emphasis on human rights. Where they failed, it led to the 'dark ages' types of societies that preferred the more totalitarian methods of governing - the ones that refused to believe in public domain and would tax the air if they could, but happily taxed the land and claimed their own private domains, and the people upon it their property. And as such, the commons become those by which the totalitarian power can claim right to deprive people life, liberty, and the basic pursuit of living their lives. In other words, Ayn Rand and Margaret Sanger philosophies, policies, and practices would be perfectly ok under a totalitarian state, because the people in power would have every right to consider how to control, and even kill their people, because in a society where the common people are property, they can be discarded in like manner as people do with a 16 oz bottle of pop.
In one instance, you could call them Socialists in the sense of how totalitarian their view of Kingship was as the government over the people. In another instance, you could call them the ultimate capitalists because they viewed everything on their land, including the water, animals, and human beings, as their private property. But, overall, they should be a relatively clear picture of what happens in a totalitarian government, be it that they claim name as 'Socialist' or 'Capitalist' in nature. They both intend to enslave the commons and they both view the commons as their property, be it as servants to the state, or mere chattel that they count per capita - 'for each head', as the Latin term means.
Again, it's your life to live. You can somewhat live in comfort as the chattel or servants of such states of being. Or, you can work out your own salvation, do the service of your life, work out the pursuit of your life, albeit with all the risks that come with doing so. But at least you would be doing such pursuit of life through the principle of liberty. The principles of justice? Well, that and true human and God's virtues remain the struggle to continue to be fleshed out in the spirit of the Lord.
In short, you can try to live for the personalities of others, or you can make of your life what you will on your own terms. Even the saints will agree that, eventually, you have to separate from the icon, and seek out the real deal.