Clarity in thought and expression is such a rarity that one is inclined to be astonished when it is encountered. Unfortunately there are so few classes of people among whom it can be found. Atheists are notoriously obsessed with the painfully obvious, so what they write is either boring or obnoxious; Hindus and Moslems are obsessed with exalted expressions of the obscure and obtuse, so many words and so little of any value; Catholics are obsessed with endless speculations of the symbolically arcane: fascinating but often beside the point. Which is why if you want clarity you need to seek out the ruthlessly logical writings of Dietrich Bonheoffer or C.S. Lewis. However, a notable and worthy exception is C.K. Chesterton, the delightfully acerbic Catholic writer and contemporary of H.G. Wells, Bertrand Russell and G.B. Shaw, all of whom he skewers on the end of his pointed and germane wit for their fatuous philosophical meanderings through the issues of early twentieth century thought. One of those issues was Eugenics, which all three of these three famous Fabians espoused as the saving principle of modernity.
Eugenics was the wayward child of Social Darwinism, and enthusiasts like Wells, Russell and Shaw proposed that by genetic engineering humanity would be perfected. Under their guidance Britain was well on the way to formalizing these principles through the force of law – such as the ‘feeble-minded law,’ known officially as the Mental Deficiency Act of 1913, drafted in part by then Home Secretary, Winston Churchill, “In order to realize the opportunities for racial betterment, and to secure the social and moral improvement which will inevitably ensue.” In the United States in Buck v. Bell, (274 U.S. 200, 1927), the United States Supreme Court upheld a statute instituting compulsory sterilization of the unfit, including the mentally retarded, “for the protection and health of the state.”
One of the first acts of the new German Reich in 1933 was to pass a Eugenic Sterilisation Law, ordering doctors to sterilise anyone suspected of suffering from hereditary diseases. “We want to prevent the poisoning of the entire bloodstream of the race” to quote Goering’s legal assistant. By 1939 some 250,000 ‘degenerates’ had been forcibly sterilised, over half of whom were diagnosed as ‘feebleminded.’ The Nazi regime took what it regarded as the logical next step in 1939, when it decreed euthanasia for all severely disabled or mentally ill people in German asylums. Any Jew in these asylums automatically qualified, irrespective of degree of handicap, and about 70,000 people were murdered. Essayist Russell Sparkes notes that, “it can thus be said, without exaggeration, that eugenics was one policy which paved the way for the ‘Final Solution’ of European Jewry.” Chesterton labelled the ‘progressive’ eugenists of his day ‘anarchists,’ and thought that they were dangerously deluded and that following them would lead to a dangerously unstable world. It turns out that Chesterton was absolutely right, but 60 million people had to die before the world realized how right he was.
Taking a leaf from Chesterton, I would have to say that what is happening on Wall Street today is unfettered anarchy, and its notions are likewise dangerously deluded. I don’t mean what is happening on the street itself. On the contrary, I find the actions of the protesters perfectly rational. They have no meaningful employment and are blamed for being unemployed; they have no resources, yet pay a burden in taxes which is quite disproportionate to their income; they have no hope or future and are protesting against those whom they feel, with some justification, have stolen it from them. Nor are they anarchists who oppose them with batons and tear gas. The police are merely carrying out the orders given to them by those who pay their wages. If they did not do so they would lose their jobs, or at least their chances for promotion. Their behaviour is perfectly rational as well. There are undoubtedly some bullies among the police. You cannot have a form of employment that includes the lawful right to carry guns and physically manhandle criminals without attracting those who enjoy that kind of license to abuse others. But they cannot be called anarchists, since they operate within a certain framework that permits a tolerable amount of abuse.
No, the anarchists are those who inhabit the offices on Wall Street: the bankers and investors who wear Armani suits and drive luxurious vehicles. They are the true anarchists. Why so? Because they fit the definition. An anarchist is one who has no clear notion of what he is doing, has no goal or agenda other than simply to destroy what exists. He does not oppose any specific thing or group, he opposes everything and everybody. He is not a rebel, since a rebel wants to overthrow the existing order and establish a new order based on new principles. The anarchist wants to overthrown all order and establish nothing in its place. Within that absence of structure and authority the anarchist deludes himself into thinking that he will be totally free to act according to his own selfish desires with no one to hold him accountable for anything that he does. He is Chaos incarnate.
That is who we find in the offices of Wall Street. That is what defines the Koch brothers, who will raise and spend nearly a billion dollars to defeat Obama and the Democrats in the coming American election. They and their ilk are not seeking to defend the American principles of entrepreneurship. They are not seeking to redefine regulations regarding the expansion of capitalism. They want all of that swept away. They want a world where there are no limits on their accumulation of wealth; they want to remove all fiscal restraints, including reasonable taxation, which paves the roads their Mercedes and Beemers drive; they want to remove all fiscal regulations, which prevent the systematic abuse of financial instruments; they want to remove the restraint of government in its entirety, or at least bring it to a grinding, immovable halt thereby destroying the social contract and even the foundations of American society itself. By so doing they will destroy the very goose which has laid for them a trillion golden eggs with their corporate logos stamped all over them. At which point they will depart with their billions to more favourable climes to destroy another country in their wake. They are destructive, dangerous economic anarchists, and there is no end to their delusional greed.
All of this I in a measure understand. In my youth I spent four dissolute years probing the seedy underbelly of Western society, and never saw the bottom of self-indulgent, anarchistic evil. It does not surprise me to find it on Wall Street or Main Street. It is the calling card of the Enemy of Mankind, the very stench of his sulphurous armpit (Decency forbids me to say worse). What surprises me; what alarms and dismays me is the number of Christians who ought to know their scripture better than they do aligning themselves with the destructive insanity that motivates Wall Street and its toxic greed. Have you not read the scripture that says, “It is easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven?” (Matt. 19:24). Have you not read “Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: but the rich in that he is made low: because as the flower of the grass he shall pass away. For the sun is no sooner risen with a burning heat, but it withers the grass…so also shall the rich man fade away in his ways” (James 1:9-11); or that “whatsoever my eyes desired I kept not from them, I withheld not my heart from any joy; for my heart rejoiced in all my labour, and this was the portion of my labour. Then I looked on all the works that my hands had wrought, and on the labour that I had laboured to do: and behold, all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and there was no profit under the sun” (Ecc. 1:10-11).
For those that will dispute with me on textual interpretation, I do not defend these verses, though they speak plainly enough to me. So consider instead the narrative of Christ: how as Creator of the universe He came to earth as a lowly, impoverished baby, helpless and despised; how at His death he owned nothing but His tunic; how He gave the riches of heaven away for free for those who asked; who identified with the prostitutes, Galileans, fishermen and tax collectors of His time. If Christ walked the streets of New York today it would be as the hands and feet of compassion and charity to those who live on the street, asking only that they be given a chance to earn a decent living for their families. He would not be drinking champagne with the residents of the banks and investment houses; He would be driving them, like the money-changers of old, out of the temple. How is it possible for you to have missed this fundamental point of scripture and side with such anarchist agents of destruction?
Forgive me if I have overstepped the bounds of decorum here, for I do not wish to offend those whom I love. Perhaps I have steeped my reason for too long in the intoxicating waters of Chesterton and Lewis. I do not have their insight and wisdom, nor the fearless tenor of their prose. But mark my words; for although I am no prophet I have studied and seen much in my sixty plus years. If those anarchists who inhabit the towers of Wall Street cannot be reigned in, America will not survive the devastation that their destruction of the economy will bring. The Dust Bowl of the Dirty Thirties will seem as a summer holiday in the ruin of America they intend. Have nothing to do with their evil deeds. Rather condemn them as ungodly anarchists seeking nothing but their own selfish, satanic greed, and do not worship the Golden Calf they exalt as their god.
For an opposing view, kindly see http://jonandnic.wordpress.com/2011/10/27/occupy-your-job/