By: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND7/08/2008
“As our president bears no resemblance to a king so we shall see the Senate has no similitude to nobles. First, not being hereditary, their collective knowledge, wisdom, and virtue are not precarious. For by these qualities alone are they to obtain their offices, and they will have none of the peculiar qualities and vices of those men who possess power merely because their father held it before them.”– Tench Coxe (An American Citizen, No.2, 28 September 1787)
Reference: Independent Gazeteer
Government by a Meritocracy vs. Nobility
Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
Tench Coxe reflects the dream of a young nation that a meritocracy rather than an aristocracy would populate our government, and that we would choose representatives based on a history of demonstrated life-wisdom and Godly character. Real world experience with success and failure seasons a man’s soul as it gives him the perspective to see life in the long view, and sensitizes him to the temptation of short-term solutions with painful ends. Exposure to the smaller issues of a profession and management gives training in prioritization and consequence and initiates the legislator, judge, administrator, and executive in balancing the needs of security, sustainability, justice, and freedom with goals, resources, and threats.
The nobility were “peculiar” because of their lack of restraint in disciplining their personal desires. Unearned privilege separated them from engagement and learning from the dynamic stresses of real life. The children of wealth and inherited class face the temptation to grow wild as eccentric spirits, letting their fanciful imagery about life’s rules to grow without check or comparison with reality, and thus function poorly in the daily commerce of life. But, the issue of maladaptation due to insulation from life’s consequences has survived the death of the aristocratic class. We currently see the results of the welfare culture with its State-enabled freedom to continue suboptimal behavior. The hard edges of life’s natural consequences can be so brutal that as a compassionate people we want to help the unfortunate and failed. But, our compassion has not been balanced with the wisdom to bring the rebel and sluggard through the gradient of consequences that raise him to the level of adult functionality. Nanny state liberalism has not successfully implemented a solution to the problem of bringing dysfunctional adults into the ranks of productive citizenry.
Free people are challenged by the stresses of life and their encounters with consequences. Learning from experience and wise tutelage trains the student of life to function in relation to the laws of nature and human nature. Our current society has not selected leaders of common sense, elevated vision, and honor. This lack of proper judgment may be from ignorance, envy, or guilt. Possibly the psychic pressure applied by the media has catalyzed this change in the hearts and minds of the nation. Certainly, the choice of poor leaders is due at some level to our loss of focus on our Christian heritage as the center of our moral judgment.
The media, education experience, parents, peers, church, and community fill the major roles as our teachers of value. And, while the media is not the only influence, it is sufficiently pervasive to cause all other voices to reflect its bias. The media speaks with a near metaphysical power to invoke images and mold our minds and expectations. Media is a tool useful in the service of both selfish and transcendent purpose. But as currently implemented, it largely reflects the agenda and ideals of a segment of the populace with the accumulated wealth to own and employ it.
This causes us to reflect on whether we should bring the media under the control of a more benevolent or rational master than the “free market.” While righteous control of the medium of information and persuasion is proper, we must realize that as soon as we give unopposed control to any single entity within industry, government, or religion, that entity will inherently limit the discussion and options to include only considerations within its own universe of possibilities and perspectives. Thus, the only entity that can maximize the freedom and good, while minimizing the harm done by these public institutions is a proxy control of them as per God’s will. And, since every man has his own opinion as to how God would direct media, government, and commerce, every man should speak and be counted.
The value of free speech lies largely in the fact that each man takes responsibility to speak for God as he is led. Speech that improperly defames, destroys, and defiles should be criticized and each person should take seriously the responsibility to properly censure. Only the perspective of God can deliver a truly transcendent solution to the question of allocating resources and giving freedoms within proper boundaries. Voices that speak only on behalf of the individual and group simply clamor for the meeting of the needs of human perspective. All men who have the privilege of speaking into the minds of men, both individually and via the mass media, should do so implicitly under an oath of Truth. And while such an oath does not ensure Truth, the oath itself is a constant reminder to seek only Truth.
Not all men will have the fortune to be heard throughout the nations. Still, every word spoken by every man should reflect his belief that he has spoken from the mind and mouth of God. When we all have that expectation and use our discrimination to measure that message against the internal voice of Truth, we will properly oppose force with force. With a universal commitment to Truth, it will prevail in the long term for the individual and the nations.
But, men committed to Truth do not control the media. And industry and government have taken control as the parent-teachers of the group mind. They have relentlessly promoted the satisfaction of a program supporting their agenda, worldview, and interests. The masters of the media have used the tools of basic physiology and the hardwired needs of survival, pleasure, and avoidance of pain to associate with their agenda. The survival of the fittest, and support by the markets, as the measure of the allocation of media programming, has been justified on the conservative principle of letting the marketplace decide. But, when skewed by money, power, and monopoly, the media is able to create its own demand by indoctrination. This semi-robotic pied piper has been justified in the name of freedom.
Many recognize that the marketplace has within it an element of control by the elitist plutocracy, and declare that the marketplace has failed to deliver its promise of providing truly unbiased information. The near monopolistic media bias is somewhat softened by the fact that the “Mainstream Drive-By Media” does not fully control the tools of information, but it has clearly dominated the information marketplace. The liberal solution to this shortcoming is to legislate “fairness”, a move that conservative talk show media has declared is a ploy to fully dominate the airwaves, rather than to enforce unbiased discussion.
I believe Rush, Savage, Hannity, etcetera are right, the “fairness doctrine” would not be fair. Still, neither solution addresses the commitment to Truth. But, we may ask, who is currently lying? How would such a requirement to speak the Truth be helpful, or enforced? To begin with, such a solution will never be implemented until society itself demands and expects Truth. But even this confronts the basic question, “What is Truth?” And, if we open ourselves up to the entirety of the human experience, there is no end of advocates who declare their path as True. Still, a nation that is committed to Truth, finding it, implementing it, speaking it, thinking it, examining it, going deeper into it, will be a nation that will eventually find it. Truth will not be found without looking, and it will only be found with much sacrifice in the expenditure of treasure and life. An excellent first step in this return to seeking Truth is returning to our Christian heritage. We were once a people who nearly universally recognized that God created this world, fashioned our bodies, judged us, loved us, and had mercy on our shortcomings. By holding these concepts as true, our words become significant, and weighty with their consequence.
To produce a rich crop of potential representatives from society, ones who are worthy of leadership, we must have an environment that nourishes Godly maturity. To fully develop as a mature man, the valuable traits of character must be chiseled out of the hard stone of unregulated human passion. Such endeavors require directed effort, sacrifice, intention, and commitment to higher principles.
The media informs the public of which policy, personality, and expenditure should be pursued. But the ordinary man stands defenseless against this onslaught of Pavlovian programming when there is no internal standard of Truth against which to compare the subliminal propaganda of advertisement and entertainment. The education/industrial/media/PC humanist establishment has the ear of the largest segment of the populace, and without an alternative perspective, the single voice is taken as truth.
The loss of the public morality and a sense of the Absolute standard of Godly righteousness has resulted in the media/industry/government complex appealing to and grooming the brutish tastes of the common man for their benefit. This strategy brings profit to segments of the economy and its interests, but in the long term, the pandering to the selfishness of the individual and group brings self-destruction. The Republic has been used in the service of the electorate voting for bread and circuses instead of moving the group mind to engage in the sacrifice required to build that which is noble and enduring. A nation guided only by its desire to satisfy personal and group interests at the expense of another segment of society will eventually fail under the weight of the burden placed on the backs of the production/servant class.
To thrive, a nation must base its conduct upon the standard of Truth that corresponds to the lasting needs and values of the human heart. The effort to establish any form of government in a people without an internally driven set of Right standards will be met with frustration as those placed as slaves will eventually rebel and sabotage the system.
A people without self-regulation, pursuing only the base interests of self, will eventually require a rule with a rod of iron. A people without an embedded Right, self-government must be tamed and regulated by force rather than allowed to roam free and trusted in the freedom of commerce and interpersonal relationship. Unfettered liberty is rightfully given only to His children who follow the will of their loving and wise Father God.