Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Reversing Degeneration- How Do We Get There From Here?

I am a little surprised at the lack of email and comments my current series of posts has generated. I realize that two things are true.

First the theories that I have laid out to support the justifications I presented are based on my faith. Even the justifications I have presented are based on nothing more really than a feeling and opinion. I cannot prove to a person that society and culture has and is deteriorating if their world view is not already predisposed to believe such things. The fact is many people actually believe things are always getting better. Many others think that there are only a few problems here and there that might be addressed via single scope solutions.

Second, even if a person accepts my justification and believes society is in decline there exist several plausible reasons that might explain the demise. Answers in Genesis for instance has numerous theories that explain away common evolutionary notions as well as provide explainations for some of the questions I raised in these several posts.

Dabney has stated several times in many places that he believes our degeneration is a result of covenant breaking. This is really a different way of saying what I have said. His view is Eastern or rather Hebrew in nature. He accepts boldly that there is a law, does not question the law nor does he seek explanations for the punishment for breaking the law. I sadly admit my efforts have been more Western based. I have attempted to rationalize that there must be an unseen force at work causing our ills. I have pondered what effect this force, which I have identified as sin, might have had on mankind and our culture. Obviously my attempt is flawed because science and reason cannot answer what is unknown and unobservable. In the end we have reached the same conclusion. Despite attempts at reason in these matter i must return to faith. That seems the proper place to be in any account.

Obviously neither he nor I dreamt all this up alone. Many others have and do hold this view. My attempt here was merely an effort to articulate my changing worldview. As I have said this new world view will affect all my future thoughts and efforts. In one very real sense it makes the prospect of success in many of the initiatives I work to support seem doomed. For now, for the first time, I see the full scope of the battle we face and the forces arrayed against us. I have always intuitively known these things and have always realized the difficulties. I now see clearly the obstacles and the only real path that might lead to success.

Friends and neighbors have something profound to say. If we ever hope to set things right it will take hard work, dedication, personal sacrifice, great patience, a solid strategy and Divine assistance. You say it has all been said before. I agree some have said it in the totality of purpose I intend to articulate as future for our struggle. I do not claim ownership or seek credit of originality of ideas in this regard. I will say that few people actually lay out the entire set of obstacles and fewer still present complete and all encompassing strategies to guide us and lead us to success. I intend to do just that as best as my intellectual capabilities allow.

The problem with all of our efforts to correct what is wrong is that our energies are fragmented. Gun-rights folks fight current legislation to protect their rights. They falsely assume that winning legal battles will secure rights that the Federal government has never had the prerogative to restrict. They never consider it is an evil world view at play that wishes to restrict their freedom. Pro life advocates raise their banner around the fight to protect life but ignore that the real issue is a culture and society that have degenerated to the point that it allows the killing of the elderly, infirmed and unborn. Pastors build bigger and grander institutions of worship and falsely believe that having more people attend an occasional Sunday morning service will stem the tide of degeneration. Many in the Southern movement believe our proper place is to educate the masses and defend our heritage from slander and attack. We never stop to think that what we are defending are mere symbols of a people that walked with God and lived lives that exemplified honor and integrity. We have lost most of what was good about Southern culture; defending symbols will not bring it back. Well-intentioned members of the Constitution Party believe if they can only get the good message of right government out to the people that the voting population might turn from our current path. This ignores the deeper and more overarching problem.

There is commonality in the battle all of these groups are fighting. In actuality they all fight a common foe. Seldom in the course of history have smaller armies been successful when they divided in the face of a much larger enemy. In the rare cases when this does succeed it is because of superior genius of leadership, strategy and execution. All of the various groups I mention above plus the dozens of others working and fighting against a common enemy lack the benefit of a unified command and a central strategy. In light of this and considering the fact that we are severely outnumbered our eventual and total defeat is inevitable on each issue we might wish to affect.

I plan to continue this series in a different area of focus. Up to this point I have stated what is obvious to many of us. That is, things are not right and they are getting worse. If you are serious about changing things then I invite you to follow along, contribute your ideas or write yourself about the thing we most need, that is an overall strategy that will bring together the various factions fighting for pieces and parts of what is right under an umbrella where we might collectively fight to really cause change.

Just briefly summary the areas that I intend to discuss:

Identify the Enemy
We cannot truly battle and win against a foe we have yet to fully describe. We must come to understand that there is a single point of commonality among every program, policy and trend that opposes us (No I am not speaking of a nefarious conspiracy).

Individual Change
This is the cornerstone of any success we may hope to have. No matter what your cause, freedom from tyranny, taxes, gun-rights, stopping abortion or a dozen other conservative causes any change we might hope to create must begin with us. This is the simplest way to success but often the most misunderstood.

Community Development
Changing ourselves is an important first step but it will not gain us victory. As individuals we are still alone in a world hostile to much we hope for. We must re-learn the meaning and value of true fellowship and community.

Community Change
There is much power in individuals committed to individual change and to sincere attempts to live good and proper lives. This power is exponentially multiplied when communities of people begin to live and act like neighbors. If we really want to change the world we must first win the battle of our street, church and town.

Educating Leaders of Change for Today and the Future
Our nation, state, communities and churches suffer from a lack of leaders educated to be gentlemen versed in the art of letters, rhetoric and reasoned thought. Our industrialized society produces and encourages education in the form of technical learning. If we are to succeed in the long-term we must grow a sturdy crop of statesmen and leaders with the capacity to think, a foundation in good principles and versed in ethics and morality.

Revitalization of Good Culture
Rebuilding a culture involves much more than hanging on to symbols of the past, speaking a certain way or using manners that we have long forgotten the origin of. We cannot rebuild our culture until we change ourselves; learn to love God and our neighbor. If we can follow the two great commandments in our daily lives then rebuilding a culture worthy of perpetuation will be simple. We pride ourselves (often boastfully) that our Southern culture is somehow superior to that of any other. I contend we are little better than anyone else. Our attachment to traditions of the past without an understanding of the Golden Rule that underpinned all that built that former society is useless. Ours may be the best model to rebuild upon, for the mere fact that we do at least hold on to some of the traditions of a better society, but we ourselves are not superior for this mere fact.

Raising Public Awareness
This is naturally and obviously an effort that is well underway by many. However simply making people aware of our views will never achieve success. We must realize and accept this. We must continue to struggle to get the word out. We must sharpen our rhetoric and refine our logic and arguments. Our words serve to keep the fire burning in some small way. In time, once we accomplish many of the more difficult tasks, our efforts at raising our issues in the public forum will produce more fruit.

Building Local and State Political Power
We must accept the maxim that all politics are local. We must early on build communities and rebuild a culture that supports our aims. We will never win every State that comprises the current Union. We can influence some states. Unfortunately for some, we will discover early that it is impossible to build communities in our current states. For those of us in such circumstances the only option is to move to states where change is possible. In the long view of success our only hope is to influence the governments of states by influencing communities and the culture within those states.

Raising Issues and Fighting For Victory
Success to this point does not mean ultimate success. We are still faced with a Federal government that will have contiued to progress down the exact same road that it currently travels. We can only succeed by exercising the rights of individual states, either singly or collectively, to change, nullify, or ignore laws and policies contrary to the revitalized culture we have built.

In simple terms this describes the sum and total of the strategy I see as our only viable means to success. This is obviously, I my mind, an effort that will span our generation and cross into the next. Of course, monumental change is always possible to people that believe in The Lord, remain true to His principles and are willing to sacrifice everything for what they desire and believe.

If that at all sounds like too much work then I suggest you pack away any hope you have for real change, stop complaining about how things are. Our culture, our Constitution and our society were not destroyed in a day or even a generation. The effort to strip us of everything we believe, encroach further and further upon our rights and to fundamentally change who we are has been expertly crafted and implemented. We cannnot reapir all of that is a day, week or a year. Change will require committed wariors that will not abandon the field when times are rough and our prospects look bleak.

Recedite, plebes! Gero rem imperialem
El Cid

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