Divine Law is the Defense Over Addictive Power

1361966304_Victory parade in Red Square, Moscow, 24th June 1945.Is there a truly evil power that afflicts the world, is there a dark side as is portrayed in science fiction, is there universal force of evil that attempts to feed men? We suggest that capitalism is the economic system that balances this dark force for the good of nations but if such a dark force exists can it truly be contained? Consider this thought from the sci-fi writer Adam Turquine…

“Evil is not just a theory of paradox, but an actual entity that exists only for itself. From its ether of manifestation that is garlanded in perpetual darkness, it not only influences and seeks the ruination and destruction of everything that resides in our universe, but rushes to embrace its own oblivion as well.

To accomplish this, however, it must hide within the shroud of lies and deceit it spins to manipulate the weak-minded as well as those who choose to ally themselves with it for their own personal gain. For evil must rely on the self-serving interests of the arrogant, the lustful, the power-hungry, the hateful, and the greedy to feed and proliferate. This then becomes the condition of evil’s existence: the baneful ideologies of those who wantonly chose to ignore the needs and rights of others, inducing oppression, fear, pain, and even death throughout the cosmos. And by these means, evil seeks to supplant the balance of the universe with its perverse nature.

And once all that was good has been extinguished by corruption or annihilation, evil will then turn upon and consume what remains: particularly its immoral servants who have assisted its purpose so well … along with itself. And within that terrible instant of unimaginable exploding quantum fury, it will burn brighter than a trillion galaxies to herald its moment of ultimate triumph. But a moment is all that it shall be. And a micro-second later when the last amber burns and flickers out to the demise of dissolving ash, evil will leave its legacy of a totally devoid universe as its everlasting monument to eternal death.”

How does one that is not driven by the intoxication of evil power nonetheless gain an understanding of it. If it is power that skews men’s wages to the detriment of a nation, should we then not try to gain more than a vague understanding of it:

“The fairy tale belongs to the poor…I know of no fairy tale which upholds the tyrant, or takes the part of the strong against the weak. A fascist fairy tale is an absurdity.”
― Erik Christian Haugaard

“Power is a word the meaning of which we do not understand.”
― Leo Tolstoy

Perhaps we are lucky to have escaped a grasp of understanding for it seems there is no escape once one falls prey to its lure:

“In the beginning, the taste of power is sweet, savored on the tongue, like fine wine. It whispers promises in your ear and pretends to be your friend. It is easy to become addicted to this feeling.”
― Rahma Krambo

“Whoever has experienced the power and the unrestrained ability to humiliate another human being automatically loses his own sensations. Tyranny is a habit, it has its own organic life, it develops finally into a disease. The habit can kill and coarsen the very best man or woman to the level of a beast. Blood and power intoxicate … the return of the human dignity, repentance and regeneration becomes almost impossible.”
― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

For the masses of us who have not been tormented by the temptations of power, we are nonetheless victims of this obscure stranger:

“Power lacks moral or principles. It only has interests.”
― Horacio Castellanos Moya

“For the powerful, crimes are those that others commit.”
― Noam Chomsky

“The object of terrorism is terrorism. The object of oppression is oppression. The object of torture is torture. The object of murder is murder. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?…Power is not a means; it is an end.”
― George Orwell

“Station is the paradox of the world of my people, the limitation of our power within the hunger for power. It is gained through treachery and invites treachery against those who gain it. Those most powerful in Menzoberranzan spend their days watching over their shoulders, defending against the daggers that would find their backs. Their deaths usually come from the front.” -Drizzt Do’Urden”

“People with power always take advantage of those without power.”
― Christopher Pike

“It is the destiny of the weak to be devoured by the strong.”
― Otto von Bismarck

“Power brings a man many luxuries, but a clean pair of hands is seldom among them.”
― Robert Harris, Imperium

We Americans go about our quiet lives depending on our institutions of fairness and justice to govern the affairs of others over us yet it is power that directs our lives when we turn over our institutions to others:

“If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States.”
― Henry A. Wallace

“What better way for a ruling class to claim and hold power than to pose as the defenders of the nation.”
― Christopher Hitchens

“All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities.”
― Frank Herbert

So then we must choose whether power will be our master:

“In this world, who can do a thing, will not;
And who would do it, cannot, I perceive:
Yet the will’s somewhat — somewhat, too, the power —
And thus we half-men struggle.”
― Robert Browning

“History shows that it does not matter who is in power or what revolutionary forces take over the government, those who have not learned to do for themselves and have to depend solely on others never obtain any more rights or privileges in the end than they had in the beginning.”
― Carter G. Woodson

Unless we are so far removed from power, it is hard for us to see it influence over us:

“What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July?
I answer: a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass-fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages.
There is not a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States at this very hour.”
― Frederick Douglass

“It is a self-deception of philosophers and moralists to imagine that they escape decadence by opposing it. That is beyond their will; and, however little they acknowledge it, one later discovers that they were among the most powerful promoters of decadence.”
― Friedrich Nietzsche

Yet as a nation, we collectively have righteous power to correct imbalance:

“To me, the conclusion that the public has the ultimate responsibility for the behavior of even the biggest businesses is empowering and hopeful, rather than disappointing. My conclusion is not a moralistic one about who is right or wrong, admirable or selfish, a good guy or a bad guy. My conclusion is instead a prediction, based on what I have seen happening in the past. Businesses have changed when the public came to expect and require different behavior, to reward businesses for behavior that the public wanted, and to make things difficult for businesses practicing behaviors that the public didn’t want. I predict that in the future, just as in the past, changes in public attitudes will be essential for changes in businesses’ environmental practices.”
― Jared Diamond, Collapse

The powerful may be less powerful in the end for they are inhibited by their station:

“The higher a man stands on the social ladder, the greater the number of people he is connected with, the more power he has over other people, the more obvious is the predestination and inevitability of his every action.”
― Leo Tolstoy

Yet the masses are not so constrained:

“You have a power that most high noblemen envy. It is a power that, had you been born an aristocrat, would have made you one of the most deadly and influential people in all of the final empire…’But, you weren’t born an aristocrat. You’re not noble. You don’t have to play by their rules–and that makes you even more powerful.”
― Brandon Sanderson

“You can tell people of the need to struggle, but when the powerless start to see that they really can make a difference, nothing can quench the fire.”
― Leymah Gbowee

Ultimately the rule of law is no defense against power:

“Constitutions become the ultimate tyranny,” Paul said. “They’re organized power on such a scale as to be overwhelming. The constitution is social power mobilized and it has no conscience. It can crush the highest and the lowest, removing all dignity and individuality. It has an unstable balance point and no limitations.”
― Frank Herbert

Yet divine law if it exists, is a subtle, everlasting defense:

“God has chosen to save the world through the cross, through the shameful and
powerless death of the crucified Messiah. If that shocking event is the
revelation of the deepest truth about the character of God, then our whole way
of seeing the world is turned upside down… all values are transformed… God
refuses to play games of power and prestige on human terms.”
― Richard Hays

“The great question…What did Jesus actually bring, if not world peace, universal prosperity, and a better world? What has he brought?

The answer is very simple: God…. He has brought God, and now we know his face, now we can call upon him. Now we know the path that we human beings have to take in this world. Jesus has brought God and with God the truth about our origin and destiny: faith, hope and love. It is only because of our hardness of heart that we think this is too little. Yes indeed, God’s power works quietly in this world, but it is the true and the lasting power. Again and again, God’s cause seems to be in its death throes. Yet over and over again it proves to be the thing that truly endures and saves.”
― Pope Benedict XVI

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Filed under American Governance, American Politics, social trajectory, World Sustainability

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