Monday, July 25, 2011

Tyranny or Anarchy--Is That Really the Question?

What happened in Norway this past week is savage. Again, I do not mean savage as in culture untouched by the modern world, the myth of the noble savage. I mean the opposite of civilization, the opposite of respect and love for fellow human beings, the opposite of living together in peaceful harmony. 

Savagery is identified with lack of valuing human life, human freedom, God-given rights, fairness and justice, creativity, family, religious freedom—and everything else required for civilization.

Almost immediately the debate about the deranged murderer in Norway was whether he was motivated by right-wing extremism or not. The question is so irrelevant as to be laughable under less tragic circumstances. When a savage act is perpetrated, and the question is whether it was right or left wing, that question is actually this (using Spherical Model terminology): if we assume the upper half of the social sphere doesn’t exist, so there can be no civilization but only degrees of savagery, then we ask whether the political orientation is toward statist tyranny (sometimes thought of as leftist) or anarchical tyranny (sometimes thought of as rightist). OK, but why would you assume, a priori, that civilization cannot exist? 

This particular madman appears to be engaging in anarchical tyranny. He had a “manifesto” of rantings similar to the Unabomber, some of it word-for-word. And there are rumors he had Nazi ties—which is perhaps a different stripe of leftist than communism (the former is nationalist but insists on filling the world with control by that nation; the other is international, intent on filling the world with control by nations subordinate to the leading communist nation(s), but both wielding statist tyranny over the people). But the behavior, when not instigated by a government, is anarchical, whatever the ultimate goals. 

Those who engage in anarchical attacks while “sane” (although it is difficult to imagine anyone in his right mind engaging in tyranny) are following the Lenin/Stalin approach: create chaos so that people will be desperate for order, at which point these power seekers offer to step in as tyrants to restore order. This is also the Saul Alinsky model, a method followed by Bill Ayers (a friend of Obama), and taught by our current commander-in-chief during his ACORN days [see my March 12 post]. The goal for these power-mongers is not actually peace, in the civilized sense; it is tyranny of state. For those being oppressed by a state, it is unlikely to feel better than being oppressed by anarchist tyrants. 

So, whether this particular madman had an ultimate goal of creating enough chaos so that people would turn to him (or his cohorts?) for relief might remain unclear. My guess is that he was too unorganized to even fully follow through that line of thinking, pretty much like the Unabomber. The only thing that is relevant is that we all, without disagreement, recognize his act as savage, and have absolutely no sympathy for anyone who would commit such atrocities—for any purpose.  

I think we can agree the Norwegian people, as any non-savage people, absolutely do not deserve to have these evils done among them. Norway has for long centuries (pretty much post-Viking) been considered peaceful and civilized. The atrocity seems even more shocking because the Norwegians have felt safe—inoffensive and therefore safe from reasonable attack. Their nation is part of a less civilized world, so safety isn’t guaranteed anywhere.  

Their societal trend, unfortunately, is not in the civilized direction: they are less religious (and less respectful of religious beliefs), less family-oriented, less likely to value children and life. And they are more likely to turn to government to care for them, rather than their own ingenuity, free-enterprise, and creativity. On the Spherical Model, I would place Norway in the southeast quadrant, the statist tyranny zone. But because of their residual civilization, I would not put them down below the southern 45th parallel, qualifying as savagery; I would put them well below the equator but above savagery—as is much of Europe. From this position, a change in attitude, a change in leadership, an insistence by the people on their freedoms, combined with a commitment to living civilizing principles—these things can still yield results that could lift them up to, maybe even above, the equatorial dividing line. 

For their sake, I hope this was only a single deranged madman. I hope he is not symptomatic of a growing savagery. And I hope the terror he has instilled in these peaceful people will have a chance to dissipate rather than grow. And I hope that this tragedy will have the unanticipated effect of reminding them to turn to God, and to the protecting principles of civilization.

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