With my sincere apologies to John Locke for the title of this post…
For twelve solid years of my elementary, middle school and high school career, the first thing my mom would ask me when I walked into the house after school was, “What did you learn today, Mikey?” It is funny how things like that get carried forward through the generations because this is something that I have asked my kids as well.
I am left to wonder how our President would answer that question if asked today.
I’ll tell you a valuable lesson that we all should learn from Benghazi, the AP phone records and the IRS persecution of any Tea Party organization.
A secular government does not guarantee an apolitical government.
In this case I am defining a secular government as one that seeks to eliminate every vestige of religion in the act of governance.
If anything, a secularization of government encourages the gaps to be filled with politics and brinksmanship instead of morality and honor and when this happens, the actions of government are driven by what the rank and file believes the power structure desires, not what is morally correct – or in the case of the IRS, what is even legally correct. I would draw a parallel here between what Hayek said about socialist controlled economies in that there is no room in them for any morality other than that of the sovereign because in order to function, that organism must only act in accordance with the plan the sovereign has devised.
Secularization creates a sort of structural socialism where traditional religious dogmatic morality is removed and substituted with the prevailing political morality. Just as it is true that there can be only one master plan in a socialized economy, there is only room for one idea or direction in a secular government and that is the direction of the leader…and how do you progress in such a system?
You do whatever it takes to support the morality of the leader.
This is why I have argued with the collectivists who comment here that influence becomes the currency (money) of a socialistic society.
As I have previously stated, I seriously doubt that there will be a smoking gun that has fallen from Obama’s hand in this situation…but there are people at all levels who thought, assumed and even believed that this is something that he wanted done or at least would be pleased with if/when he knew – if it wasn’t, then why do it? Why go outside normal practice to create extra hurdles and delays for over 500 conservative applicants that liberal groups were not subjected to.
Remember Hayek’s words:
Advancement within a totalitarian group or party depends largely on a willingness to do immoral things. The principle that the end justifies the means, which in individualist ethics is regarded as the denial of all morals, in collectivist ethics becomes necessarily the supreme rule. There is literally nothing which the consistent collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves “the good of the whole,” because that is to him the only criterion of what ought to be done. Once you admit that the individual is merely a means to serve the ends of the higher entity called society or the nation, most of those features of totalitarianism which horrify us follow of necessity. From the collectivist standpoint intolerance and brutal suppression of dissent, deception and spying, the complete disregard of the life and happiness of the individual are essential and unavoidable. Acts which revolt all our feelings, such as the shooting of hostages or the killing of the old or sick, are treated as mere matters of expediency; the compulsory uprooting and transportation of hundreds of thousands becomes an instrument of policy approved by almost everybody except the victims. To be a useful assistant in the running of a totalitarian state, therefore, a man must be prepared to break every moral rule he has ever known if this seems necessary to achieve the end set for him. In the totalitarian machine there will be special opportunities for the ruthless and unscrupulous…
Since it is the supreme leader who alone determines the ends, his instruments must have no moral convictions of their own. They must, above all, be unreservedly committed to the person of the leader; but next to this the most important thing is that they should be completely unprincipled and literally capable of everything. They must have no ideals of their own which they want to realize; no ideas about right or wrong which might interfere with the intentions of the leader.
I can see this in the IRS scandal. The power vested in the IRS as the bill collector for the country makes it as close to an autocratic/totalitarian regime as can legally exist in a democratic government.
Apparently, not one single person at the IRS stood in objection…at any level. That means that the lowest level assumed and accepted this as a moral choice of the next level, that level accepted it as the morality of the next and so on until it goes all the way to the top. If the people at the top of the pyramid, closest to Obama, knew and didn’t object, they must have assumed that it was a decision that he would have wanted made, that it was consistent with his morality, that of the sovereign leader.
If you disagree with Hayek’s proposition, this is it displayed for you in full Technicolor IMAX 3D with Smell-i-Vision.
The same with Benghazi – the truth was altered to agree with the “leadership of the building” at State – Hillary Clinton.
The same with the AP situation – rules were bypassed to achieve agreement with the wishes of Sir Eric the Witholder and one must assume to achieve agreement with his boss, Barack H. Obama.
This is the danger of an immoral secular government. Does that mean that we should have a theocracy? No, no it does not – but when the morality of the leader is substituted for a morality born of faith in Nature and Nature’s God – that opens the door to tyranny.
Hayek sums it up here:
There is literally nothing which the consistent collectivist must not be prepared to do if it serves “the good of the whole,” because that is to him the only criterion of what ought to be done.
Remember this as the Benghazi, the AP phone record and the IRS scandals continue to develop.