What happens when a society completely forgoes reason and instead focuses only on abstract ends without giving any thought to the means involved? We’ve seen it before in history, and the result has always been ugly. Barack Obama embodied this sentiment more than almost any other leader in recent history with the abstract campaign promises of hope and change with barely any talk of the means involved. Not surprisingly, very few of Obama’s supporters seem to truly understand the method being used in bringing about the planned changes. Truly just and liberal political systems must rely on the test of reason and the consent of those governed in order to provide legitimate government. It is no coincidence that the legislation being proposed by our “representatives” is consistently too long and complicated for even those who write it to understand its true meaning.
If people aren’t using reason and their mental faculties in order to conclude that they support our government, they why are they doing it? Put simply, people agree with the ends being proposed without understanding the means involved. The body that decrees these means becomes simply a benevolent force to be obeyed — one of the most dangerous and incidious characteristics of collectivist doctrine.
Ludwig von Mises provides good commentary on exactly this subject in the chapter entitled Human Society of his work, Human Action. He writes:
Theocracy is a social system which lays claim to a superhuman title for its legitimation. The fundamental law of a theocratic regime is an insight not open to examination by reason and to demonstration by logical methods. Its ultimate standard is intuition providing the mind with subjective certainy about things which cannot be conceived by reason and ratiocination. If this intuition refers to one of the traditional systems of teaching concerning the existence of a Divine Creator and Ruler of the universe, we call it a religious belief. If it refers to another system we call it a metaphysical belief. Thus a system of theocratic government need not be founded on one of the great historical religions of the world…
What characterizes them as theocratic is their craving to organize the earthly affairs of manking according to the contents of a complex of ideas whose validity cannot be demonstrated by reasoning. They pretend that their leaders are blessed by a knowledge inaccessible to the rest of mankind and contrary to the ideas maintained by those to whom the charisma is denied. The charismatic leaders have been entrusted by a mystical higher power with the office of managing the affairs of erring manking. They alone are enlightened; all other people are either blind and dead of malefactors.
With these characteristics of theocracy in mind and applied to our current political and social situation, one has to ask the question, do we live in a theocratic state? And if so, who/what is the god? Is it simply a general worship of the state, or are we moving towards something deeper than that?Published in