It has been a week of anarchy in the world—mob violence, murder, chaos. While the political way ahead in Egypt, Libya, Iran, Syria is far from clear, and the proper response of US and Canadian governments is far from clear, I hope we can all at least join together in fervent prayer for peace in these and in all parts of the world. Lord have mercy on us.
We do see in this situation, however, the true value and indeed necessity of social order, rule of law, basic structures of police, military, court systems, and the constitutional framework into which all these fit. When this collapses, when law is violated and the structures that enforce the law co-opted to serve the political ends of whoever is exerting power of office today, then anarchy is upon us.
And with anarchy, eventually the violence of the mob. And this is not some far away (yet all too close) Middle Eastern phenomenon. Lawlessness and mob violence are growing in North America, too. When people in power ignore the laws of the land for political expediency, when the rich and the powerful seem to be exempt from the petty rules that govern the rest of us, when the rules and regulations themselves appear to breed like Tribbles, each new set of regulations born pregnant with the next batch, so that it is probable that both you and I are breaking some law or other right now… when the law is broken, in other words, it is only a matter of time before people take to the streets in sheer anarchic revolt.
Underneath the political issues is a moral and spiritual question. Namely, are we as a society concerned with forming people to be good human beings, or merely good units of production? Are we as a society concerned with passing on the virtues of justice, equity, self-sacrifice, concern for the common good… or are we content with reducing people to the level of cattle to be herded, exploited, and kept happy with ample feed?
I know—I’m starting to rant here. Sorry about that. (It’s been a while since I’ve ranted, hasn’t it?) But a society that has no concern for the moral fiber of its citizens is a society on its way out. A nation, a civilization that throws pornography and light entertainment, cheap food and drink at its people, while seeing them fundamentally as ‘human resources,’ sources of capital and labor, is a civilization sowing the wind and about to reap the whirlwind.
Basically, if you treat people as sub-human, don’t be surprised when they behave sub-humanly. And when the music stops, the money starts to run out, the food and drink is a bit scarcer… well, a people who have never heard of, let alone been formed in, an ethos of justice and shared sacrifice and concern for the common good may not take this too easily. Today there are mobs in Egypt and Libya… tomorrow or the day after it could be well be Ottawa, Toronto, New York, Washington.
He's not done... and he finishes with an action plan of sorts.
I'm thinking you ought to finish with him.
It'd be wise.