WHY ARE EVIL POLITICAL SYSTEMS SO ATTRACTIVE? — PART 1

Michael casts out rebel angels. Illustration by Gustave Doré for John Milton’s Paradise Lost. (from here)

Introduction

I suppose I could just throw up this question and let people answer.

WHY IS EVIL ATTRACTIVE?

Undoubtedly, I would get plenty of answers, and anyone who wants to do so is welcome to leave an answer to that question. We actually do need to discuss our differing opinions. What is sad is that many of us — perhaps all or most — think some vile things good. We get confused about such things too easily.

2 Corinthians 11:13-15 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works.

Consider. Much of the Bible is devoted to the subject of distinguishing between good and evil. The capacity to discern between good and evil involves what we call wisdom, and it is more difficult for us to discern between good and evil than we are inclined to think. That is why much of the Bible is what we call Wisdom literature (see Tour of the Bible, part 3: the Wisdom Books). The Bible does not offer simplistic solutions; it doesn’t even provide a definition of wisdom. Instead, the Bible tells us how to seek wisdom.

Consider these two posts by scatterwisdom.

What is wisdom? What I think it comes down to is fearing God and keeping His commandments (Ecclesiastes 12:13-14), but I am still learning.

Of all the Bible’s wisdom literature, I think Ecclesiastes comes the closest describing what makes evil attractive. As an old man King Solomon told his own story in Ecclesiastes. He described all the things he tried to do to find happiness apart from God. He described those efforts as a complete and utter failure. Yet in spite of his wisdom, he did not give up that effort easily. He was old before he did.

The Two Major Types of Evil Political Systems

During the last century two types of evil political systems fought each other in a great struggle for world dominion. These were Fascism and Communism. What follows addresses the differences between the two. In practice, these differences amount to very little, but fascists and communists make each other sound like opposites.

The definition of fascism is fairly broad. The dictionary does not explain the philosophy, principles, or methods of fascism. On the other hand, the dictionary does attempt to define the basic principle of communism. It doesn’t succeed, and we will try to explain that confusion in what follows. Just keep in mind this thought. Fascism and communism are just two different ways for making the same kind of evil attractive.

What kind of evil do fascism and  communism make attractive? Well, we could mention all the evils of totalitarianism: the lack of individual rights, the purges and the death camps, the propensity for warfare, the social decay, the destruction of the economy, and so forth. Yet very few people find such evils attractive. What people find attractive about fascism and  communism is that these philosophies provide a justification for bossing other people about, being a powerful busybody, making other people do what they don’t want to do. The problem is that once this sort of behavior starts it tends to escalate (see Degrees of “Busybodyism”).

About nine years ago I wrote a post I titled BUSYBODYISM. When I googled the word back then I got 1,230 hits. This time I got 3,690 hits. Busybodyism is still not listed at dictionary.com, but it is in a couple of online dictionaries. Apparently, interest has grown a bit, but that is probably not a good thing. It probably just means we have more busybodies, more people who are unrelenting in their quest for power over others.

What would I add to that nine-year old post? I would mention the word “pride”. Fascism empowers supermen to lord over commoners, and  communism empowers the vanguard of the proletariat lead the workers by the nose. That is,  fascism and  communism gives busybodies an excuse to make themselves feel big by making others feel small.

To Be Posted

  • How Does Fascism Justify Busybodyism?
  • How Does Communism Justify Busybodyism?
  • What Wisdom Does The Bible Offer Busybodies?

 

13 thoughts on “WHY ARE EVIL POLITICAL SYSTEMS SO ATTRACTIVE? — PART 1

  1. I’m now calling you Tom the wise—you will be knighted later 🙂

    You would love that book I’m currently reading. The one I alluded to briefly in yesterday ‘s post.
    Anders Rydell, the author, goes in to a great understandable history / background to the rise of the NSDAP in Germany long before Hitler was even in the picture—with a good deal of history behind Alfred Rosenberg and his having laid the groundwork—as he was considered a Baltic German being born and raised actually in what was then part of Russia. He eventually landed in Munich, finding its far right enclaves much to his liking. He had come from Russia in the midst of the Revolution having taken on a terrible taste in his mouth for what he had seen and experienced.
    He saw it not as a revolution of the working class led my the likes of Marx and Lenin but rather was convinced it had all been a Jewish plot.
    Rosenberg had come across a book, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, that was a lynchpin to his fanatical antisemitism, a book he later shard with Hitler…which is thought to have been a turning point in Hitler—the birth of his extreme antisemitic views.
    The little book was used by the Russian extreme right as part of their propaganda, and proposed the revolutions uprising was in fact an act of the Jewish revolutionaries.
    The book supposedly revealed the minutes of a secret meeting held at “the end of the 1800s in with a group of influential Jews , known at the Elders of Zion, swore an oath to take command of the world….” I suppose we could say the rest is history—
    It was this manifest that Rosenberg carried to Munich, finding a welcoming and sympathetic audience and a book that he eventually shared with a then 30 year old Hitler prior to his first beer hall putsch.

    And I’m only a fourth of the way into the book….but I say all of this because whereas we in the west know the basic boned facts (with that basic boned knowledge growing more and more dim and indistinguishable over time between fact and fiction) behind the rise of fascism in Germany…with key components being Hitler, Mein Kampf, book burnings, concentration camps, eugenics…then to what we know about the rise of Communism in Russia…that being oppression of the people coupled with the bizarre visionaries such as Lenin, Trotsky, Marx to a fall of the Tsars, revolutions pouring out to the likes of Stalin and gulags with much more ethnic cleansing…
    One thing in common…and this is not a point Rydell makes but rather a point I wish to make….is that what both of these regimes, ideologues and political uprisings possessed was a deep disdain for Christianity and a complete severing from the yielding to the higher power of God.

    Both fascism and communism are ideologies that have totally taken God out of the equation. Manmade and conceived in the twisted ego’s pursuit of power and control…..
    no matter the cost…

    As we see time and time again what happens when man attempts to erase the God of Creation out of his life……

    Sorry to be so long winded—I was just so excited reading your post as it tied in nicely to the Rydell’s booK

    Keep up the good works Sir Tom the Wise 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Citizen,

    You bring up an excellent, excellent topic!

    This is especially true for Americans because our Founders designed and built a “Republic of virtue.”

    The Christian (and ancient Greco-Roman) notion of virtue is the pursuit of excellent.

    Tyranny is so popular because it is so easy.

    Freedom is hard because it demands so much personal, community and national energy devoted toward the pursuit of excellence.

    What is excellence?

    Excellence results from engaging in those activities which foster the growth and development of our human nature.

    The Founders understood that our national politics of liberty demanded that each citizen pursue excellence in their own life and then vote excellent people into office as their representatives.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. Great post Tom! Your focus on “busybodyism” as a central principle on what makes evil movements so attracting is spot on. People will always desire to be virtuous, to be be looked upon as a smart do gooder, but too often pride takes over and the personal crusade turns in to protecting the ego and gaining power. Our Constitutional form of government with its divided powers and focus on individual liberty protect us from a Hitler or Stalin like leader, but this is being chipped away at daily and America will eventually devolve in to despotism if the course is not reversed.

    Liked by 1 person

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