WHY ARE EVIL POLITICAL SYSTEMS SO ATTRACTIVE? — PART 2

Benito Mussolini (left) and Adolf Hitler (right). (from here)

In WHY ARE EVIL POLITICAL SYSTEMS SO ATTRACTIVE? — PART 1,  we decided to study what might motivate us to support a vile political system, to become advocates for the most insistent busybodies. At the outset I suggested that our motivation depends upon the type of political system. Here we will consider fascism.

How Does Fascism Justify Busybodyism?

What was one of the things that King Solomon tried to find happiness?

Ecclesiastes 2:7-8 New American Standard Bible (NASB)

I bought male and female slaves and I had homeborn slaves. Also I possessed flocks and herds larger than all who preceded me in Jerusalem. Also, I collected for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I provided for myself male and female singers and the pleasures of men—many concubines.

Solomon made people his property and objects for his entertainment. In his day slavery was so common Solomon probably did not think much about it. In fact, in this passage Solomon just speaks of his slaves to demonstrate the scope of his wealth and his pleasures.  Wealth and pleasure he foolishly tried to enjoy without God.

What has that got to do with fascism? What was the rationale anyone in his time had for owning slaves? Study history. It quickly becomes fairly obvious that the better people — the aristocrats — have almost always believed they have a special right to own common people. After all, there is nothing special about the common people. Those people just too common. Supposedly, they don’t know how to take care of themselves, and their caretaker has to have some reward for providing them proper guidance.

In the 20th Century, fascists such as Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler updated the concept of slavery. Hitler justified forming German society into classes based upon the “science” of race and eugenics. Instead of private owners, Hitler put his government in charge of the slave class, at least those slaves he did not decide to exterminate. Still, the fascists hearkened back to the past. The word “facism” comes from the “Latin fasces “bundle of rods containing an axe with the blade projecting” (see fasces).

How do fascists justify slavery morally? In BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL, here is the sort of argument Friedrich Nietzsche, a philosopher popular among fascists, used.

EVERY elevation of the type “man,” has hitherto been the work of an aristocratic society and so it will always be—a society believing in a long scale of gradations of rank and differences of worth among human beings, and requiring slavery in some form or other. Without the PATHOS OF DISTANCE, such as grows out of the incarnated difference of classes, out of the constant out-looking and down-looking of the ruling caste on subordinates and instruments, and out of their equally constant practice of obeying and commanding, of keeping down and keeping at a distance—that other more mysterious pathos could never have arisen, the longing for an ever new widening of distance within the soul itself, the formation of ever higher, rarer, further, more extended, more comprehensive states, in short, just the elevation of the type “man,” the continued “self-surmounting of man,” to use a moral formula in a supermoral sense. To be sure, one must not resign oneself to any humanitarian illusions about the history of the origin of an aristocratic society (that is to say, of the preliminary condition for the elevation of the type “man”): the truth is hard. Let us acknowledge unprejudicedly how every higher civilization hitherto has ORIGINATED! Men with a still natural nature, barbarians in every terrible sense of the word, men of prey, still in possession of unbroken strength of will and desire for power, threw themselves upon weaker, more moral, more peaceful races (perhaps trading or cattle-rearing communities), or upon old mellow civilizations in which the final vital force was flickering out in brilliant fireworks of wit and depravity. At the commencement, the noble caste was always the barbarian caste: their superiority did not consist first of all in their physical, but in their psychical power—they were more COMPLETE men (which at every point also implies the same as “more complete beasts”). (from here)

More complete beasts? Seems like kind of a strange way for supermen (overmen is the term Nietzsche used) to view themselves, but Nietzsche strove to put himself beyond the idea of good and evil. What exactly he mean by beyond the idea of good and evil? Not sure, but Nietzsche, who saw himself a free spirit, had no problem enslaving those he saw as fit for nothing else.

Nietzsche saw egalitarianism as the path to mediocrity.  He hated and denied the notion of equality. Nietzsche believed in elevating the overman or superman. Thus, because fascist ideologies tend to emphasize racial purity (see Fascism and ideology), many praised Nietzsche’s work.

Is all that still fuzzy around the edges? Consider again that Satan often poses as a beautiful angel. The proponents of that which is evil, because what they want is so repugnant and ugly, usually avoid clearly describing their full intentions. Thus, the Nazis exterminated people by the millions quietly.

To Be Posted

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

 

14 thoughts on “WHY ARE EVIL POLITICAL SYSTEMS SO ATTRACTIVE? — PART 2

  1. I surmise that King Solomon may have changed his views about being rich implied being superior when he wrote this proverb.

    Rich and poor live side by side, Yahweh makes them all. (Proverb 22:2)

    I surmised an explanation of this proverb in a previous post.

    https://rudymartinka.com/2017/09/14/king-solomons-wisdom-on-wise-or-foolish/

    Perhaps King Solomon wised up and became more humble in the later part of his life, same as many people may do when they reflect on all the foolish decisions, words, acts, they made or did before they became humble with age. His Ecclesiastes perhaps is evidence?

    I am not certain busybodies is the right choice of a word to describe people who believe they are elite, smarter, or superior because of position, power, or wealth.

    Fools in my opinion, for being busybodies yes. Fools for lack of humility yes. Fools for believing they are Gods, yes,

    Regardless of their reasoning, fools.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Perhaps King Solomon wised up and became more humble in the later part of his life, same as many people may do when they reflect on all the foolish decisions, words, acts, they made or did before they became humble with age. His Ecclesiastes perhaps is evidence?

      Hope so, but I doubt he could easily imagine a society of free people.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You Said

        Hope so, but I doubt he could easily imagine a society of free people.

        I think the ancient experience of the Israel inhabitants may be fairly close to the ideals of a free people based on some of the research of ancient readings I found.

        For example, their exodus from slavery from Egypt gave them firsthand experience of the cruelty of slavery.

        Perhaps that is why they only allowed people to be slaves for six years and had laws how to treat them from unjust cruelty.

        Keep in mind, some people became slaves from ineptness of their own makings, Many came to America by becoming indebted for a period of time to secure passage to America…

        Another example, is they were warned about having a King who in time would interfer with their freedoms by instituting taxes, census, and all the government excess we now experience as you term busybodies government leaders.

        Many working for minimum wages with limited opportunities in the USA feel they are slaves even though they are termed free.
        Free people is just a word to some people.
        Nothing is new under the sun.

        Regards and goodwill blogging.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think the Bible discourages slavery, even what Solomon wrote. Nevertheless, in Solomon’s time slavery was normal, and he quite readily made use slaves. So I am uncertain as to what he actually thought about the matter.

          In Biblical times slavery was the closest thing they had to welfare. Whatever the reason, if you could not feed and cloth yourself, if you were willing to sell yourself into bondage, someone would take care of you. You just had to do enough work to make it worth the bother. Otherwise, I doubt anyone would accept you as a slave. Begging then becomes the next option.

          Like

    1. Your comment went into the spam bucket. Why? Don’t know, but I would imagine that enough people have marked your comments as spam that that the spam checker now regards your comments as spam. That tends to happen if you visit blogs hosted by authors intolerant of disagreement.

      Many Christians are too tied to the political system, whatever its name.

      As far as it goes, that is a true statement, but I am somewhat uncertain as to why you think it relevant to this post.

      Perhaps your issue concerns how some define patriotism. How should Christians define patriotism? Some people think patriotism is about backing the policies of the government. Many of these people complain those who don’t back the government’s policies when their party is in charge are unpatriotic. Don’t think so. There is such a thing as loyal opposition. I think the Bible teaches that patriotism is about loving our People no matter who is in charge.

      Here is example of what I mean. Both the apostles Peter and Paul were patriots. Both urged Christians to be good citizens, but the Roman government brutally executed both. Romans 13:1-7 command us to be subject to the governing authorities. However, we must obey God before all else.

      So it is that although we may not differ on the meaning of patriotism. However, we do differ on pacifism. I gather from briefly looking at your blog that you think Charles Spurgeon was a pacifist and that you are one yourself. Frankly, I have not investigated Spurgeon stance on pacifism. I just know I am not a pacifist. I don’t think the Bible supports pacifism.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Remember that scene in the movie Pretty Woman.
    Powerful man walks into the store and says (something along the lines of): “We’re going to spend an obscene amount of money here, and what we want is for you to start sucking up to us right now. Because that’s what I like..”
    And the salesperson says (something along the lines of): “I can see you’re a powerful man. A very powerful man, Sir….”
    The that was an unusually direct dialogue for comedic effect, real life isn’t so much different.
    People in power positions can become so accustomed to their place in the pecking order they lose perspective. This happens on a regular basis, and when it does it makes them lose credibility and trust. A General for instance will probably tell you the day he made General he magically became somehow funnier, smarter and more handsome than he’d ever been. The longer they are in that position, the more convinced they are of their own “God given” superiority. “People have to wait for my opinion on all matters! This must mean I’m the expert in all matters!”
    My spouse was the person who actually pointed this out to me. And his request was that I keep him grounded, because he noticed (though he’s always been a funny guy) once he took his current job everyone laughed just a little too loud and a little too long (ever see that episode of twilight zone with the kid whose wishes come true?).

    It’s why the NFL players feel free to thumb their noses at their client base…forgetting who pays their salaries. It’s why celebrities believe they’re the authority on whatever part they played in a movie.
    “Hey, I played a third world victim on film! Now I’m the expert on foreign affairs!”

    Liked by 2 people

      1. That was a REALLY good writeup, thanks for the link.
        Much to consider there.

        I’ve thought about the influence of social cues on behaviors for quite a while.
        Environments are so important.
        Humility is key.
        I think leaders might understand this on an intellectual level (leadership classes give them the talking points), but they often don’t process it. People can spot sincerity. I know the CNAs (nursing assistants) saved my bacon on the regular when I was a floor nurse. They were the ones who saw the patients the most, so I respected their opinions and took their advice when they offered it, and treated them well.
        It pays off.
        *****************
        My man is very wise, thank you Citizen Tom.

        Just a side not re slavery (since it hasn’t been brought up, or if so I missed it). Slaves of the past were typically the vanquished from wars. So in the (typical) context of the ruling elite of the times it was considered a kindness not to kill them. The rationalization was kinda “hey, if they really want to die they can just kill themselves”. We do not think that way now. Thinking that is unthinkable…because we live in a different environment.
        Same with Nazi Germany. I have a book that was written by a girl who worked for the Red Cross as a nurse, in France, during WWII. She was only a teenager at the time, and details what happened to people when the Nazis came over. It’s really hard to believe, the inhumanity of these people who were their neighbors. She went over to the resistance, and noted that at the beginning there were very few of them, yet after the war everyone claimed they had worked for the resistance once the risk to themselves has passed and it benefitted them to do so.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. People are what they are. Sometimes awful. Sometimes not so awful. Which is often difficult to know.

          “You are young yet, my friend,” replied my host, “but the time will arrive when you will learn to judge for yourself of what is going on in the world, without trusting to the gossip of others. Believe nothing you hear, and only one half that you see. — “The System of Dr. Tarr and Prof. Fether” by Edgar Allan Poe appeared in the November 1845 issue of “Graham’s Magazine” (from https://quoteinvestigator.com/2017/06/23/half-see/)

          I suppose this has much to do with why it is best to let God judge and concern ourselves with our own conduct.

          Like

  3. Good part 2 to your series Tom. We see this trait of separation between the “better” people and the “common” ones with our own politicians. That condescending air they have on needing to protect those dumb citizens from their own petty and selfish ways. It’s appalling really how much power we willingly turn over to such people but such is life in America these day.

    Liked by 2 people

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