Under our current lawless regime our God King has an absolute, self-granted Executive 007 that can be exercised against any human being on planet Earth, citizen or not. No US law restrains him. Only custom and political expediency–in other words, what he can get away with before somebody stops him–pose barriers.
Now that the legal barriers are gone, the next phase is that, one by one, our societal, cultural and economic barriers against the tyranny of the weak by the strong are to be eroded. There are little straws in the wind about how this will proceed.
Straw 1: Here’s a little piece by Rod Dreher commenting on how the individualist ethos of the 60’s (“Do your own thing”) is now regnant everywhere. Economically and socially, sexually and politically, it permeates both left and right and everything in between in American culture. It animates the Tea Party and Planned Parenthood, the Randian Right Winger and the Leftist Gay “Marriage” advocate. And in practice, what it means is “Every man for himself.” This is a vastly different thing from the original vision of the American founding of ordered liberty in which we see ourselves as bound by certain elemental ties to the common good. And like all heresies outside the Church, it leaches into the Church in diluted form, just as Calvinism leached into the Church in the diluted form of Jansenism. In the Church, we see it among Right Wing Catholics attempting to baptize Ayn Rand and pretending that subsidiarity is the only part of Catholic Social teaching that matters (and pretending that “subsidiarity” means “taxation is communism” as I was informed the other day by a particularly robust Protestant who thinks he is Catholic). Meanwhile, among progressive Catholics, we find just the same atomized approach to the common good among the vast majority of Catholics who see no big problems with sex lives utterly unconnected to the common good.
Nonetheless, “every man for himself” is a synonym for a perfectly sound military strategy: Divide and conquer. And since we are, as the apostle informs us, in a cosmic war with principalities and powers and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenlies, every time we choose to place our disordered selfish desires above the common good (and American culture is now constituted to encourage that in every sector of existence and to export that as far as possible), we make ourselves more vulnerable and powerless to resist tyranny. Those in our elites who itch to no longer be constrained by custom or by outdated notions of “rights” are only strengthened in a world of atomized individuals Doing Their Own Thing.
Again, in military terms, we are in the “softening” phase of the initial bombardment. Once our ability to network and resist has been sufficiently degraded by our own chronic individualism and selfishness, the next phase will begin and the principalities and powers will suddenly develop a shocking lack of interest in your perspectives, feelings, desires and whines about Not Judging. Mike Flynn describes what’s coming:
In the 7 March 2013 issue of the New York Review of Books, in which important people write importantly about important books, Cass Sunstein comments on Against Autonomy: Justifying Coercive Paternalism by Sarah Conly (Cambridge University Press, 206 pp.) in an essay entitled It’s For You’re Own Good. The book is $95 important, which means only the important people can afford to read it; at least until the graphic novel comes out. Meanwhile, you can read the essay for free. And before you ask, they are serious. If only us peasants would just do as we are told by our betters.
Say what you will about Beyoncé, but this is a woman who throughout her phenomenally successful singing career, has nailed the powerful, sassy superwoman act down to a tee. So much so, that none other than Barack Obama hailed her as being the perfect role model for his two daughters.
First there were the good old days of Destiny’s Child, when the Beyoncé-fronted group regularly dominated the charts with songs such as Bills, Independent Women and Survivor. These were masterful pop creations about women refusing to put up with men who let them down. They contained, hardly profound, but nonetheless brilliantly empowering lyrics such as, “you thought I would be stressed without you, but I’m chilling”. You go girl, was the general message.
Then came Single Ladies, the feel-good song that pretty much acted as a call to arms for the global sisterhood, with Queen B again urging all her single ladies not to put up with useless men and presumably learn the dance moves to her song instead (which they did, in their thousands – the choreography to the video spawned a global dance-craze.) Beyoncé then tells the man who messed her around: “If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it” and the song has been compared to Aretha Franklin’s Respect and Gloria Gaynor’s I Will Survive for its rousing, empowering theme.
But in recent months, she’s opted for a change in direction, and a pretty stark one at that. Not only has she decided to call her upcoming global tour ‘Mrs Carter”, ditching her own powerful name to instead take on that of her husband’s, but this week the singer posted a taster of her new single Bow Down on her website, ahead of the release of her fifth album, and it ain’t pretty.
In the song, Beyoncé sings to her female fans: “I know when you were little girls / You dreamed of being in my world / Don’t forget it, don’t forget it / Respect that, bow down, bitches”, with the refrain “bow down, bitches” aggressively and tediously repeated throughout the song. We’ve come a long way since the days of “put a ring on it.” Put a sock in it, more like.
It seems that overnight we’ve been transformed from Beyoncé’s beloved single ladies, independent women and survivors, into her bitches. From Beyoncé singing, “all the women, independent, throw your hands up at me” to “bow down bitches” a change is underway, and it leaves a bitter taste in the mouth.
As I say, just a straw in the wind. But this is how the food chain works in a world that worships Darwin. Say whatever you need to to render the prey defenseless, then strike. Our cultural project is full throttle aimed at “Divide and conquer.” But once the powerful are secure in their pride, they turn to the people who put them where they are and say, “I’ve got mine. Who cares about you? Bow down, bitches.” Charity, concern about the common good: these things come the Holy Spirit. The devil, the ape of God, only simulates interest in them for as long as it takes to render you vulnerable. And everything in our culture indicates that the principalities and powers are preparing a grand feast on the isolated and atomized sheep.
Unless, of course, we repent and return to being disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and not of contemporary American culture.