Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Democracy Depends on a Well-Informed Electorate - This Is Why The Barbarians Are At Our Gate in 2016

In late antiquity, as municipal and provincial governments disintegrated and imperial appointees abandoned their posts, there was one official who could be counted on to stay with his people even to death, the episkopos (say it quickly and you will hear where the English world bishop comes from), a Greek word meaning "overseer" or "superintendent."  In the Acts of the Apostles and in the letters of Paul, bishops are mentioned occasionally as church functionaries, hardly distinguishable from priests (from the Greek presbyteroi, or elders).   Most early Christian congregations seem to have been run by some combination of bishops and priest, local men - and, in the first stages of development, women as well - who were chosen by the congregants for specified terms to take care of practical matters.   With the deaths of the apostles (aposteloi, or envoys), who had been the chief conveyors of Jesus's message, the role of the bishop grew;  and by the beginning of the second century we find him being treated in a more exalted manner - as a successor to the dead apostles and symbol of unity for the local congregation - but still the appointee of his congregation.  As its symbol of unity, he was duty- bound to consult his congregation in all important matters.  "From the beginning of my episcopacy,"  the aristocratic Cyprian of Carthage, monumental bishop of third-century Africa, confided to his clergy,  "I made up my mind to do nothing on my own private opinion, without your advice and without the consent of the people."

By the end of Augustine's life, such consultation was becoming the exception.  Democracy depends on a well-informed electorate;  and bishops could no longer rely on the opinion of their flocks - increasingly, uninformed and harried illiterates -nor, in all likelihood, were they averse to seeing their own power grow at the expense of the people.   In many districts, they were already the sole authority left, the last vestige of Roman law and order.  They began to appoint one another' and thus was born - five centuries after the death of Jesus - the self-perpetuating hierarchy that rules the Catholic church to this day.

The Roman polis had always depended more upon living men than written laws.  Laws had to be interpreted and executed;  and men of property and standing were allowed much leeway in interpreting the laws.  Now, bishops, along with the petty kings and princes  of the New World Order, would become the only men of property and standing left. The "king" or local chief was likely to be a barbarian with peculiar notions of justice and few whatever of order.  It would become the task of the bishop - often the only man who still had books of any kind and, save for his scribes, the only man who could read and write - to "civilize" the ruler, to introduce to him diplomatically some elementary principles of justice and good government.  Thus did the power of the bishop, sometimes himself the only "prince" in sight, continue to wax.
How the Irish Saved Civilization :  Tom Cahill

Only, we don't have anyone who is going to serve that purpose.  Our dark age isn't one that comes with a collapse of civil authority so much as it implosion and, in any case, those who could have served that purpose are in on the plunder and pillage or too cowed by it through the lassitude of comfort in their own lives and surroundings.  The few, the very few who have the character and courage to try are disappeared from civic life.  More are voluntarily rendered impotent through their own modernist, romantic mythology and their determination to be ballot box poison*.

Long time readers of this blog might have seen the clause that jumped out at me, the one I extracted as a title, because it is something I've harped on in association with the degeneracy of our press and media,  Without people in sufficient number being sufficiently well-informed, democracy is impossible.   Our media is so inadequate in fulfilling that responsibility, from the absolute cesspool of hate talk radio to the media drenched in aroma to cover the stench like a late 18th century French courtier, the New York Times - NPR class of media is in the business of propping up the corporate establishment narrative to have prevented the choice of their party being between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz, who are far more fit for the role of barbarian chief than the President of a democratic government.  And, whichever one gets the nomination, they will promote their election.  In the case of the NPR level of it they will call what they say "objective reporting" it will "objectively" present the words of Trump or Cruz along with those of their supporters, refusing the responsibility of pointing out that what they are saying are lies and where they are headed is fascism.

And the alleged alternative, the "leftist" media is not reliably better.  It has consistently made choices that have both been ineffective in promoting effective influence in the real world, as opposed to quasi-academic fantasy, it has, as a practical reality, never, in it history elected a majority in a congress or a president, it has served, most often, as an impediment to those who could possibly be elected as they either provide material to act as a useful foil for the corporate right or by attacking the least bad of those running and who could win.  That is exactly the role that the "leftist" media is playing in this election.

We don't have any episcopacy that has the moral influence or power to mitigate the worst of the barbarism that is coming,  Which brings up two other absolute pre-requisites which we have lost, morality and an effective belief that people have a status above objects and that all of us possess both rights and, even more so, moral obligations.  In too many cases - almost all of them, in fact - those with the credentials to hold those positions are too prone to enjoying the position and privileges of office, themselves.  The secular clergy of the judiciary, part of the corrupted government and the system that feeds it,  are far more corrupt than the religious ones.

We are hell-bound for a dark age and in this case the barbarians have used the amorality which is an inbuilt feature of modernism, with that comes all the rest of it, the lies, the convenient lies, the opportunistic lies, the appeals to the worst in us - I'd go into the enormous role that entertainment has played in this, these days it is the foremost carrier of barbarism and fascism into the heart of the American culture, but this is getting very long.   American fascism is as much the product of Dirty Harry and action movies, sit coms and cop shows as anything,   It is brought to us by Hollywood and Wall Street, it was brought to us by Harvard and Princeton and Yale and the University of Chicago.  Fascism is a product of scientistic and artistic modernism which rejected moral obligations.   Once you deny the reality of moral obligations it is just a matter of time before rights are washed away in the erosion that comes with the daily results of that.  Fascism is a product of the smart alack incivility and the use of racism, sexism, and other allowed hatreds in jokes.

* The character presented to be heroes of the left are, when not being totally fabricated using the names of real people - are impossibly idealistic, quite often those ideals, themselves, insanely inappropriate.  The hero-worship of American Stalinists, even now, is all you need to know about why that hasn't had a positive effect in the past century and longer of that kind of stuff.  If that was going to work it would produce nothing like democracy and it would have done it a long, long time ago.  It's not that there are no better examples of heroes for the left but they are generally rejected because their lives wouldn't make a good feature film or, more often, because they are unacceptably religious.   So Dorothy Day is ignored while a total idiot like John Reed gets turned into a movie.  Oh, yeah, when it's the movies, it's a sure bet that the hero has to be a guy, too.  Someone like Warren Beatty has got to play him.  Nothing true will be learned from watching it.   John Reed, in real life, did entirely more to harm the left than he ever did to inform progress.


  1. Dorothy Day, the Kerrigan Brothers, Will Campbell....just three, off the top of my head, far more important than John Reed.

  2. Warren Beatty makes REDS. Donald Trump becomes president.

    Got it.

    1. If you were any more demented you would need an aspirator to keep you from drowning in your own saliva.

      I guess Breakfast Cereal U wasn't big on a close reading of anything back in the day, was it.