On the Existential Struggles of Our Time, Part III
What may lead to the ultimate demise of the United States of America? Can the country’s future demise be prevented with fore-knowledge and action? This is the third of a three-part series that examines the three main existential struggles ongoing in the Age of Trump. Part I defined the phrase “existential struggle” and examined Globalism versus Nationalism. Part II elucidates the ideological conflict between Individualism and Collectivism. This part delves into the eternal struggle between Good and Evil in the modern world.
What is Evil? The dictionary defines evil as “morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked.” The concept of evil has been defined by many cultures through the ages. American culture was derived from Judeo-Christian tenets developed over millennia. Suffice it to say that most Americans (and I daresay most people in general) have an innate understanding of what is good versus evil on a personal level. Some refer to that understanding as a conscience. The subject of evil as it expands beyond the personal level is so complex that it deserves its own treatment. My next article will explore some of the apparent evils in modern America, as well as why evil has been on the rise over the past several decades.
On to Good. The dictionary defines good as “morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious.” While that may be the current definition, Mankind has been arguing about, defining and redefining “good” for millennia. The Ancients defined good in terms of “normal versus different,” “knowledge versus ignorance,” and later “right versus wrong” in the context of defining laws and justice. Some useful context on the evolution of Good is found here.
Good versus evil – or “right versus wrong” – was defined differently depending on the cultural norms of the particular time period and country or empire. Eventually, various religious philosophies crystallized definitions of good versus evil over time – varied by race, culture and the specific religion. Those definitions have translated into different cultural norms for areas of the world as greatly simplified here:
- Eastern Civilization, consisting of China, Japan, Korea, and southeast Asia and influenced by Buddhism, Confucianism, Shintoism, etc.
- Southern Asia, largely that of India and surrounding areas influenced by Hinduism.
- Middle East (including North Africa), consisting of countries mostly dominated by Islam (with mixtures of other religions)
- Africa, consisting of countries largely influenced by paganism and animism but turning to Christianity and Islam in great numbers over the past century-plus.
- Western Civilization, consisting largely of Europe and the Americas and largely influenced by ancient Greece and Rome, Judaism and Christianity.
What is deemed acceptable (“good”) in one of these may be considered an abomination (“evil”) elsewhere – and vice versa! Here are just a few generalized examples presented as dichotomies. See if you can guess where each is considered good or bad (the soft form of evil).
- Proscriptions against strong drink and some foods is considered good; everything in moderation is considered good.
- Avarice (pursuit of money) is considered good; money is the root of all evil.
- Modesty of women must be preserved (a good); liberated women have few constraints (a good).
- The individual matters over the collective; the collective is more important than individuals.
- Polygamy is acceptable (a good); monogamy is the only acceptable form of intimate relationships.
- Only the majority religion (or no religion at all) is tolerated (a good); religious plurality is supported.
- Pedophilia is acceptable (good); pedophilia is an abomination.
- Corruption is an acceptable part of doing business; corruption is an unfair business practice.
The point of the above discussion is that there are wide-ranging definitions of good (acceptable) versus evil/bad (proscribed) in cultures around the world. Governments have been organized that reflect, monitor and control the cultural norms of the people governed. Logic dictates that those governments would also implement and enforce those cultural norms from a different philosophical framework from each other, partly as shaped by their respective religious philosophies. And indeed that is the case.
The United States was formed as the pinnacle of Western Civilization with a Constitution and body of laws informed and shaped by centuries of political and religious philosophical analysis. The US grew exclusively from Judeo-Christian roots. Over that last 80 or so years, we have been “convinced” by secularists that Judeo-Christian values have no play in modern America, especially in the public square. But that is not the way the Founders saw it. To the contrary, references to God and the Divine are thoroughly infused in their political and personal writings. And the Constitution they wrote, the government they formed, and the institutions they established were meant to be operated by and for a moral people, as defined by those Judeo-Christian principles.
You don’t believe me? Then you need to read: The Christian Life and Character of the Civil Institutions of the United States, by Benjamin Morris. It was written in 1864 and will amaze when compared to what Americans have been taught about our institutions by secularists in recent years. Christian concepts and principles infused American institutions from the beginning of the Republic.
The purpose of this article is not to argue religion or philosophy. However, a basic understanding of what motivated the Founders to enshrine our federal system in the Constitution is absolutely necessary if we wish to preserve the “good” of America. And despite what the likes of Obama, Marxists at home and abroad, the New Left, and other anti-Americans have been saying…
The US is inherently a force for good in the world. Good being defined in the Judeo-Christian sense, as shaped by the Bible and Ten Commandments.
What is “good” about America? The Constitution was written to ensure maximum freedom and liberty to its people, as well as to purposely limit the powers of the federal government because the Founders understood the potential for tyranny by an unrestrained central government. Maximum personal and economic freedoms! We take that for granted in the modern era, but the concept was revolutionary then and revolutionary now! People everywhere yearn to be free. It’s why we are inundated with illegal aliens pouring across the southern border these days.
What do you suppose the average Venezuelan, Iranian, or North Korean thinks about freedom and liberty? These are universal desires and truths (“good”) that transcend cultures. Here are some other items that are considered to be “good,” as shaped by Judeo-Christian philosophy:
- Protecting the innocent (the unborn, children, the indigent, the disabled, the aged)
- Doing unto others as you would have them do to you (from the New Testament)
- Obeying the laws (including the Ten Commandments)
- Practicing civic courtesy and tolerance
- Performing honorable public service
- Making charitable contributions (time and/or money)
- Rendering to Caesar what is Caesar’s
- Acting honorably in public and private, with personal accountability and responsibility for one’s actions
- Maximizing personal and economic freedoms for all
- Of course, much more can be added to this list.
Are these universally understood and determined to be “good” at home and abroad? I don’t think so. And indeed, many items on the list have been purposely eroded by leftists, Marxists, secularists, and other anti-Americans over the decades. I cringe when I hear people like the Clintons and Obama use the word “values” when they exhort their sycophantic followers to “resist” their political enemies and to support socialist policies like Obamacare and “free education.” Because the values they purport to revere sure as hell do not comport with those on MY list!
The Left (i.e., the Democrat Party) place a high premium on concepts alien to the Founders, e.g., diversity, multiculturalism, and moral relativity. And, by the way, on collectivism/socialism and globalism, too! They also extol the virtues of diversity when in reality the true traditional strength of America since its founding has been our ability to absorb and assimilate people from all over the world and turn them and their progeny into Americans within a generation or two. Promoting diversity (and its companion multiculturalism) perpetuates divisiveness and delays if not prevents the magic of assimilation from occurring – especially the adoption of traditional American values. Its political purpose is EVIL in support of the Democrat Party!
The ACLU has been pitching moral relativity since its founding in the 1930s, particularly through their ongoing push to secularize the country, especially our public institutions. Did you know that Ruth Bader-Ginsburg was formerly the ACLU general counsel? That explains a lot about her Supreme Court opinions! What the Left cannot achieve through the legislative process, they seek to obtain via left-wing judges like Bader-Ginsburg. When God is removed from the public square, the authoritarians whose modern home is the Democrat Party can use moral relativity to their advantage when in political power. That is what happened with the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision on abortion – the essence of moral relativity and EVIL.
It is undeniable that the Democrat Party is the party of government and indeed socialism – and they are no longer afraid to say so in public any more.
The likes of Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez proudly declare themselves to be socialists. We have already explored collectivism in Part II of this series. It is an EVIL philosophy that results in death and destruction whenever and wherever it is implemented.
Democrats are also the party of globalism (along with a healthy slice of Republican-In-Name-Only). We explored globalism in Part I of this series. Globalism is the ultimate evil because it removes democratic control of governments in favor of an unaccountable group of authoritarians. The Founders would view the modern globalist movement as the antithesis of their underlying political philosophy that led to the drafting of the Constitution. Globalism does not promote personal and economic freedom; rather, globalists would put both in the hands of a distant amorphous and unaccountable bureaucracy. The globalists’ policy of open borders brings people into the US who won’t assimilate, who support authoritarian (alien) governments and philosophies, and who wish to destroy the US as we know it. And I consider that to be the ultimate EVIL!
Frankly, I do not much care about the cultural values held by people in other countries. Let them live and organize themselves and their governments as they chose. What I care about is America and the preservation of the Founders’ concepts as manifested by the Constitution. And I wish to preserve the traditional American Judeo-Christian cultural norms, including the “good” values listed above, as well as to fight tooth and nail to prevent the erosion of personal and economic freedom and other shared American values. This translates into a continuing and relentless existential struggle with partisan Democrats who seek to change forever American culture into a kind of Marxist perversion.
That means supporting the Make America Great Again (MAGA) agenda of individualism, nationalism and a return to the rule of law (all moral and GOOD!) and fighting the Left/Democrat Party tooth and nail to defeat them at the ballot box and in the public square.
Will Good or Evil triumph in America? It is up to us, friends.