Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Satan the Politician

The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, "I will give you all their authority and splendor, it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. So if you worship me, it will all be yours." -- Luke 4:5-8

That is a very interesting little story. Satan offers Jesus political power over all the kingdoms of the world, and he refuses. What's offered is something that Satan already has, that's his to give as he pleases. Satan doesn't want political power; he already has it.

The only conclusion I can draw from this story is that political power is Satanic, as are politicians. Satan, then, is quite obviously a politician. So, no good can come from politics. That's been the history of the world, and certainly of the 20th century, in which up to 200 million people lost their lives at the hands of various States.

It's obvious from this story that on one side you have Satan and politics, and on the other God, and never shall the twain meet. That's something Jerry Falwell, John Hagee and the rest of their ilk should pay attention to.

The story of Lucifer that we are familiar with is actually a combination of two stories: the one in the Bible about his trying to overthrow God, and the one John Milton wrote about in Paradise Lost.

Milton states that Satan's problem is "pride." That's in the Bible, too: "Pride goes before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall."

"Pride" is what the Greeks called "hubris." In their view, hubris was followed by nemesis. It's the same story as pride going before a fall. The Greeks saw the sequence as koros (stability) to hubris (an overweening grandiosity) to ate (a madness is which wrong appeared as right) to nemesis (destruction).

What we are dealing with here are three things: the lust for power over others, the lust for attention, and the lust to destroy. And if those three traits don't describe Satan, politicians, and the State, I can't think of anything else that does.

John Jackley, in his book, Hill Rat: Blowing the Lid Off Congress, wrote about Congressmen and their aides wandering the halls with their eyes "glazed with power." They were offered, didn't refuse what was offered, and are now in the hands of the Evil One.

Most are familiar with Lord Acton's comment, "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." I think a better saying is, "Power intoxicates, and immunity corrupts."

Dostoevsky, in his, The House of the Dead, put it this way, "Tyranny...finally develops into a disease. The habit can...coarsen the very best man to the level of a beast. Blood and power intoxicate...the return to human dignity, to repentance, to regeneration, becomes almost impossible."

I don't believe in any Satan "out there." There certainly is one "in here," in every human heart. That's all we need to explain evil. It's inside us. People have always made the mistake of thinking of Satan as some guy with horns and a forked tail, instead of a guy in a three-piece suit.

The Greeks didn't have a Satan. The closest they had might be their god of war, Ares. What's significant about Ares was that he was incompetent. Satan, for that matter, would have to be incompetent. You can infer that from his belief he could overthrow God, and also from Milton's accurate assessment of his hubris, always to be followed by nemesis.

The human versions of Satan, such as Hitler and Stalin, were also incompetent, except when they gained control of the State. Even then, they were only competent at slaughter and destruction. None could make it through liberty and the free market. Human Satans are screw-ups.

Hitler, for example, was at one time in his life, a lice-ridden bum who made his living begging passengers at a train station into letting him carry their luggage. Lenin was an ugly little Russian who was exiled by the authorities from Russia, and whom the local peasants wanted to lynch. Ho Chi Minh was a not-very-good pastry chef. And these are the incompetent human Satans who caused such slaughter in the 20th century, because they couldn't make it in the free market, and so instead made their lives in that monster known as the State.

Most politicians are the bottom of the barrel, with that that "last chicken in the shop" quality about them. The worst ones can't make it at all in the free market. That might be the clearest warning sign about them.

One meaning of the word "monster" is "a warning." It's related to the word, "demonstrate." When you have someone who is utterly incompetent in the free market, and instead becomes a politician, that's about the best warning there is about what they really are.

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