Category: Lamentations

Why America Will Never Work

Why America Will Never Work

The more I meditate on the spiritual landscape of the United States, the more I am convinced that its political framework is wired to fail repeatedly; a pendulum that will never stop swinging. It is set up to provoke continuous civil wars with no real lasting solutions, because everyone gets to have a say, no matter how stupid they might be. Sometimes there is silence in the American fields. The crime rate gets low, the economy pseudo-stabilizes with quantitative easing, certain laws are put in place to give the illusion of victory, a “good” president is elected, etc. However, when the country seems suddenly silent, it isn’t because there is peace, it is because the factions are reloading their weapons.

The United States was founded by Protestant theists and deists who wanted to rebel against all authority and apply their Enlightenment ideology (largely borrowed from the Protestant Reformation) to politics. Individualism became synonymous with freedom and liberty, and freedom and liberty became synonymous with Divine Providence. Practically speaking, ‘Freedom’ means I can do whatever I want; it means that which is interpreted to be in any way restrictive is to be destroyed. Thus, in the hearts of many, individualism was united with the idea of God, and secularism was conceived. This is how an individualistic ideal became the false gods popularly known as Freedom and Liberty.

The Roots of Conspiracy Mentality

Protestant eschatology and conspiracy mentality have always gone hand in hand as well. Starting with the post-Reformation eschatological opinions of what is known as the historicism perspective, the Pope was seen as The Antichrist, and therefore all things Catholic must have a hidden agenda. The papacy (or “Babylon”) was out to get you and lead you to hell, or so they believed. Many influential Protestant preachers bought into this old-school “fake news,” and passed it down to the next generations. From then on, many Protestants began to ascribe the Book of Revelation to just about every authority figure that remotely threatened any aspect of their opinions (or general comfort, for that matter). Fast forward to 1966, Ralph Woodrow’s “Babylon Mystery Religion” was published, and it spread like wildfire. Popular Evangelicals like Tim LaHaye begin to feel quite comfortable slandering the Catholic Church, and polemics became normative and encouraged, no matter how false or ignorant they might have been. One might say this was the spiritual origin of the modern political “attack ad.” The accusation itself was enough for it to be true, and instead of actually talking to Catholics and exercising discernment, they were content to think the belief itself was enough for confirmation. All of this is why the Evangelical-political Right is the way it is. This is why people like Alex Jones are successful. His audience (which seems to consist largely of Evangelical Republicans) has been programmed for decades to desire only to hear ignorant conspiratorial accusations (to validate their own ignorant conspiratorial accusations), regardless of whether or not they are true. It is the self-validating accusation itself that matters to these people, not truth.

There are many other reasons for conspiracy mentality and why the average American now completely distrusts authority, such as JFK, Clergy sex scandals, Vietnam, Presidential scandals, 9-11, police brutality, the list goes on. The music (especially Punk) and entertainment industry from 1970-2000 then reinforced these sentiments and justified rebellion for decades. I love Star Wars, but let’s be honest, those movies are all about a ragtag rebellion against the establishment.

One Country vs Fifty Countries

Aside from the religious eschatological overtones of the founding framework, another problematic aspect of the country is the fact that not everyone truly views the United States as one country. The more conservative Republicans and Libertarians idealize the United States as essentially fifty autonomous countries that ought to operate independently of one another, whereas the more progressive Democrats tend to idealize the country as fifty united sections of one big country. This is why, for example, there are differences of opinion regarding the ideal size of the government. If the country ought to be divided into autonomous states, then government ought to be small. If the country ought to be a union of all states, then the government must adapt to the size and grow. This fundamental difference of perspective is why no progress can ever be made.

The whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected.
– G.K. Chesterton

If the entire country is filled with a bunch of people who want to assert their own opinion or religious-political ideology and die on every hill, how could the American experiment possibly succeed? The only thing I see in America’s future is the potential for another civil war. Revolution is all the revolutionary knows how to do. If people rise to power and get in the way of your beliefs, and if the established system is not working in your favor, you gun them down and enforce your ‘freedom’ upon everyone else until you get what you want.

The Bi-Partisan Imperial Cult

I should add, this is not merely a battle of ideology, this is a religious battle between major (political) groups of emperor worshipers who think they are fighting a holy war. Every political cult thinks God is on their side, precisely because everyone worships themselves. So in a sense, they’re right. I mentioned before about how the individualistic ideology of “freedom and liberty” became the American deities. This is how American flags made their way into religious sanctuaries, this is why we have forced conversions of other countries (known as “regime change”), and this is how Self became the god of modernity, reigning as the ‘Genius’ of the President. Patriotic anthems became the new liturgy, and every Presidential inauguration becomes an opportunity to worship our own proxy, that is, the one who is divinely (or rather, demonically) possessed by each individual voter. We should be provoked to laughter when we hear Republicans say they are afraid of an Islamic jihad, because violent Muslims could learn a few things from the bloody trail of American jihad. The USA spends more money on the military than the next multiple countries combined. As the Holy Scriptures say, “Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help, and rely on horses, and trust in chariots because they are many, and in horsemen because they are very strong, but they do not look to the Holy One of Israel, nor seek the LORD!” (Isa 31:1) Again the scriptures say, Some trust in chariots, and some in horses, but we will remember the name of the LORD our God (Psa 20:7). May we repent of such idolatry.

A united individualism only leads to bi-partisan bickering. Both the red and blue people worship the Genius of the emperor just like the Romans. Because the Genius of the President is supposed to reflect the image of the individual worshipper (and not the other way around), America is designed in such a way where one is able to worship themselves through the standing President. When one imperial cult is able to worship themselves, and another cult is not, it develops into more war and division. Individualism never works, and it never will. So long as the refusal to submit to an authority is built into the framework of the American spirit, and so long as that violence and rebellion results from a President not reflecting one’s personal image, America will never work.

On Millennial Scapegoating

On Millennial Scapegoating

It is striking to see how often millennials are blamed for everything by older generations. I wont say which generations, because it would be a redundant classification and it wouldn’t be fair to condemn an entire generation for the actions of some within the generation. But, I suppose it should be expected that logic and reason would be far from those in the generation which regularly snorted cocaine and slurped down LSD in the 1970s.

I suppose the 1960s generation would look at millennials as being overly sensitive for thinking sexually harassing women, treating black people poorly, and being an unfiltered ignoramus is not ideal.

But, again, I shouldn’t generalize, because perhaps not everyone in the 1970s generation was a drug addict, and perhaps not everyone in the 1960s generation was a misogynist.

It is easy to create a scapegoat and blame a younger generation for the world’s problems all the while ignoring the problems of ones own generation. It’s like a parent blaming the child for everything, simply because the child is there and within reach. I find it ironic how a lot of the time, the people who blame millennials for their “fragility” and “entitlement” are of the generation that taught them precisely how to be fragile and entitled.

 

Here are some things millennials didn’t do:

 

  • Millennials were not the ones who created the Federal Reserve in 1913 and thought Quantitative Easing was a great idea.
  • Millennials were not the ones who took the dollar off the gold standard in 1971, transforming commodity money into a fiat faith
  • Millennials were not the ones who implemented nonsensical parenting and reward programs in the 1980-90s.
  • Millennials were not the ones who corrupted the banking system and crashed the housing markets in the late 2000s.
  • Millennials were not the ones who believed America was God’s nation founded by men who were all Christians trying to create a Christian nation.
  • Millennials are not the ones who think cable news outlets are unbiased sources of information that should be believed at face value.

Purchasing Homes

According to Zillow, the median home price among first-time home buyers in the early 1970s (in 2011 dollars) was around $87k. In 2013, it was around $140k. Throughout all four decades, the median household income remained between $50-60k. The income has not really changed, but the price of a house increased by 60%.

College Tuition

According to College Board, the average tuition at public colleges was $2-3k in the 1970s and 1980s, and $9.6k in 2016. The average tuition at private colleges increased from $10k in the 1970s to $33.4k in 2016. College is simply more expensive now than it ever was in the past.

College Board, Annual Survey of Colleges; NCES, IPEDS data

It is obvious that the American economy has changed, and millennials have to deal with a much harsher reality than previous generations. So, before one laments the millennial generation and begins a sentence with, “Back in my day,” one should know that those days were different and do not apply to the present context. Just because one observes a millennial cave under the pressure of that reality, it does not grant the right to make fun of them. There is nothing clever about kicking someone while they’re on the ground.

Previous generations should stop blaming millennials for the consequences of the very things they’ve inherited from previous generations. It is wrong, and it further divides entire generations of people. Older generations should actually talk to millennials, rather than share ignorant memes to make fun of them.

Internet Group-Think

Internet Group-Think

I feel sorry for the poor wench who decides to post on the internet. Nuance and reason are satanic incantations in the ears of the insecure egotistical cynic. There is no such thing as a valid opposing belief system on the internet, for there is only gospel and heresy. I feel sorry for that poor wench, because her naiveté does not allow her see how quickly the internet will burn a witch without a fair trial. Every word she uses to free herself becomes another rope around her wrists. She’s not allowed to defend herself, such notions are arrogant. She must accept all false accusations simply because she was accused, not because they are true.
Behold, the wroth chant of the cyber mob:

“If you’re complex, you’re next.”

The internet is filled with people who force themselves to see the worst in every post. They refuse to acknowledge a fragment of truth in anything not created by them. To borrow the unofficial Reddit tagline that I just made up (I see it as a microcosm of the internet): “Every post is a shitpost worthy of a down-vote.” If someone feels good about themselves for a second or offers something not inflammatory, the internet will bring a foretaste of hell upon them (so they can watch something burn).
In a dark imploding netherworld like the internet, we must let our light shine no matter how tempted we are to get sucked into the abyss. We ought to encourage people where there is discouragement, and offer joy where there is only anger.
This will hopefully divest the mob, put out the fire, and get the girl off the stake.
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