Victory in the War
Against International Terrorism is as Close as Main Street
July 3rd 2006
The observation is offered here that
John Calvin was right; that, “For our nature is not merely bereft of
good, but is so productive of every kind of evil that it cannot be
inactive.” Calvin's assertion applies to all humanity and covers every
member of the Bush Administration including the president himself.
Consequently, when Chris Floyd, in
The Alchemists: Turning Blood into Gold,
reported the Bush Administration rebuffed a 2003 request of Iran's
clerics and then-President Mohammed Khatami to settle concerns the
administration currently considers worth making war over, it is easy to
think the worst.
The support for such cynicism is not contained in a single news report
nor is it necessarily motivated from emotional and partisan revulsion
for the president and his advisers. It has a heritage as long as
humanity and shows itself every time someone acts to take something that
is not theirs. That is what people do and it is why there is no utopia.
Calvin's view of human nature should be considered very deeply for
anyone who hopes to redirect America's government away from involving us
further in global economic schemes and building an empire with our lives
and treasure. It is nice to think that restoring American government to
its proper limits and challenging the political system to rise from its
anti-intellectual, propagandistic, power sharing games can make life
better for all of us, but, unfortunately, people get in the way.
This column, for the past year and one half, has been devoted to
contemplating the principles of provincially-centered culture, politics,
and economy. This focus of society is preferred simply because there
have been too many people who have proved untrustworthy with the power
necessary to govern nations.
To this extent I am in agreement with Nathaniel Barrell who, on
January 15, 1788, expressed his disagreement over the plans for the
emerging constitution to his friend George Thatcher by writing, “...for
as it now stands congress will be vested with much more extensive powers
than ever great Brittain (sic) exercisd (sic) over us—too great to
intrust with any set of men, let their talents & vertues (sic) be ever
so conspicuous....” It would not be hard to imagine Barrell's disdain
for congress' modern forfeiture of power to the executive branch,
political parties, and commercial interests. Worse still is the ease
with which the state legislatures have allowed themselves to be removed
from the balance of powers that was inferred in the original text of the
Although Barrell's views find favor here, note need be made that
recognition of the perils of human ambitions is not a support for
fracturing power among disparate communities. A system that allows
communities to determine their social and commercial interests will most
certainly have their own controversies.
Already many towns are finding they are being divided by income, race or
nationality and it is quite possible that communities will favor such
segregation and even deepen it. Furthermore, the current state of the
family is so dysfunctional that it is realistic to anticipate some
serious social upheaval and desperate poverty until we as individuals
become weary of the destruction we are causing each other because we
take the institutions of marriage and the activity that causes
procreation so cavalierly.
It is also likely that some communities will see a political shift that
favors local businesses over national chains. This will lead to some
economic adjustment which might lead to short term price increases as
the manufacturers shift from a market dominated by global distributors
who share their distribution costs to competing with emerging
manufacturers who supply the demands of local merchants. Certainly
profits margins will not be as great, but revived provincial power
centers will be more responsive to the individuals living and working in
them and, consequently, act to secure economic and financial stability
to those who are most active in supporting them.
There is no false illusion here that provincially centered culture,
economics, and politics will cure all of the world's ills—it will not.
However, bad leaders and greedy business people will cause hardship and
controversy in a smaller, more responsive circles. They are more likely
to be in direct contact with the people they conspire to manipulate and
cheat. Their victims will be able to make them face more significant
consequences for their narcissism than can be done with the current
global/national system in which elected officials and business leaders
are insulated from their decisions by the Washington beltway.
More simply put, I would much rather deal with a mayor who cheats local
businesses to build a a little machine than I would a president who
would manufacture a threat so he could expand his power. Working to
achieve such a system would only cheat those who have become powerful
and wealthy from centralized political and economic systems that place
moats between the haves and have-nots.
Bob Strodtbeck has been writing editorial
commentaries since 1993. He has professional experiences in
pharmaceuticals, radio, and education. He has also served as a church
elder in an Orlando congregation where he has made his home since firstname.lastname@example.org
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