Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Theocracy 'Lite'

In an excellent post, Noumenalself examines the arguments of the pro-Bush Objectivists, and finds their definitions and logic wanting. At root is a concrete-bound definition of theocracy, which one pro-Republican Objectivist argued is a "a totalitarian government enforcing religious rules of conduct and not merely a government with some religion-inspired laws."

I think this and similar definitions lets the theocrats off too easy. By enshrining faith and sacrifice, theocrats weaken the moral foundation our leaders need in order to properly limit government and protect our freedoms, and that is outrage enough not to support any party that includes them in its coalition. After all, why is it that the ostensive pro-war president refuses to wage a ruthless and uncompromising war against jihad? Because Jesus is his favorite philosopher—and the culture backs him up on it.

The theocrats need not create a totalitarian government to attack gays, outlaw abortion, preach creationism in the classroom, remake welfare into a faith-based initiative, or sacrifice our armed force to the liberty-hating people of the world. They can do damage enough with the power they enjoy now.


Mario said...

I myself am not voting Republican for tactical reasons. I think the best thing that could happen in the short term, politically, is that the Republican party should get a big slap in the face at the polls today and have to reexamine the principles for which it stands before fielding a candidate for the 2008 presidential run.

The author of "Noumenal Self" is absolutely right to draw attention to the important distinction between evangelical religion and the milquetoast religion of only a few decades ago. But, the Democrats scare me because I don't see their economic policies as "enfeebled"; and ultimately I see them as being just as dangerous.

According to Ludwig von Mises, an interventionist economy will always lead to more economic dislocation and turmoil, and if more government intervention in the economy is believed to be the solution, a country will wind its way towards greater turmoil, eventually spiraling out of control into full-blown socialism.

Going by this theory, it doesn't matter how enfeebled the Democrats' principles seem -- they will still work to wreck our country.

Strategically, we have to get the Republican party closer to fiscally conservative policies and far, far away from the Bible thumpers. I still think there is a better chance of that than teaching the Democrats economics. But, as I said, the Republicans need to be taught a harsh lesson.

Nicholas Provenzo said...

I myself think that it is a mistake to think of the political left as “enfeebled.” The fact is that feeble or not, the left has far more voice than we do in the very realms that we must take if we are to expand our reach—primarily the universities. Furthermore, even a dying creed can wrack great havoc in its death spasms. I revoked my support for the Republicans because they claim to support my values in the very act of betraying them, but I am under no illusion as to just how dangerous the left is and just how hard we will have to work to defeat both it and the right.