Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The Massive Spying on Innocent Americans Should Surprise No One

Following M. E. Bradford in his 'Introduction' to John Taylor of Caroline's Arator, we find two basic kinds of government in the world: nomocratic and teleocratic.  The nomocratic form 'protect[s] what is' while the teleocratic attempts to 'creat[e] what is yet to be' (p. 20).  Prior to the War of Northern Aggression, the government of the South was essentially nomocratic, and that of New England and the North teleocratic - the much lauded 'city on a hill'.

Prof Bradford, in another essay - 'First Fathers: The Colonial Origins of the Southern Tradition' - explains this New England vision of society and government further:  'The godly commonwealth was to be a centerpiece for concluding history, for ushering in the thousand-year reign of the Saints predicted in the Book of Revelation and presided over by Christ the King.  New Englanders were an elect armed from on high with the power and authority to hurry up this beneficent apocalypse. . . . Its founding intended something immodest, the correction and restructuring of all other polities' (A Better Guide Than Reason, pgs. 174, 180).

Any society founded on the idea that it exists to literally transform fallen earth into perfect heaven is unquestionably totalitarian and heretical, no matter what Christian language it may use to mask this ambition.  It is this crusading, gnostic, New England empire that conquered the South in the great War of the 19th century, and that, today, under the name of 'America', continues to try to remake the nations of the world in its godless, democratic image, from Germany to Serbia to Afghanistan. 

But in this righteous quest of salvation, those who oppose its goals are necessarily evil - there are no shades of grey in the battle with heaven's chosen ones, only absolutes; no negotiated treaties with 'American exceptionalism', only unconditional surrenders.  To ensure no one in its own territory interferes with its progress, therefore, the government must see to it that all its citizens live according to the proper rules.  For dissenters could slow down or even derail the great project of earthly perfection.  It must know what everyone is doing at all times.

Thus are born PRISM and all the other spying programs that record phone calls, e-mails, purchases, etc. of ordinary, innocent people in the States of this unfortunate union, which are being brought to light by Edward Snowden and other heroic whistleblowers.  These are the fruits of the fully grown New England ideology, and there are perhaps others, more bitter, yet to be tasted. 

It was obvious for all with eyes to see that this all-knowing monstrosity was the end toward which we were headed if nothing changed, yet many were too apathetic or too blinded by an idolatrous nationalism ('That could never happen in America!', etc.) to do anything about it.

It is not too late, however, to leave our present home in the thorn tree of the false kingdom of New England for the branches of the true Kingdom of God in the tree grown from the mustard seed (St Matthew's Gospel 13:31-33).  In it, we may discover once again the good things of Southern society.  And sanctifying them by the grace of God, we will endeavor to enjoy a peaceful life on earth among our neighbors as we seek to work out our salvation quietly, in humility, and through ascetic labor.

Works Cited

John Taylor, Arator; Being a Series of Agricultural Essays, Practical and Political: in Sixty-Four Numbers, M. E. Bradford, ed., Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1977.

M. E. Bradford, A Better Guide Than Reason: Federalists and Anti-Federalists, New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction, 1994.
For more on gnosticism and modern politics, see Eric Voegelin, The New Science of Politics: An Introduction, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987, especially chapters IV, V, and VI.

For some basic differences between New England and the South, one may listen to Carey Roberts's short lecture 'The Southern Political Tradition'.

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