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The Decline of the Empire

24 Dec

“But unless America behaves as a leader and the guarantor of the world order, it will be inviting regional powers to test their strength by bullying neighbouring countries.” Found here.

There is a belief held by the Left. A belief which I believe to be dangerous. That is the belief that, in order for there to be equality, be it social, economic, or what have you, those who have more power should have it stripped from them so that all are the same. The danger is that, while the Left believes that this makes everyone the same, it makes everyone equally weak.

Let me use an analogy to explain this. In my work as a job coach, I find that my class as a whole does better, has more success at finding employment, when I maintain high standards for participation and when I am firm in enforcing rules. The same principle exists with my children. When my wife and I enforce structure, our children thrive. When I lower the bar of expectation in either of these situations, positive results decline.

So it is in larger social systems. Power is a social property, not a personal property. The Left would have the world believe that the only way to make the world “fair” is to weaken America’s position in international relations. To lead from behind, as it were. That the only way to “make things fair” for the rest of the world is not to help build them up, is not to help them grow and develop, but to weaken ourselves and become more like them. To lower the bar so that it is easier  for everyone to reach.

This, unfortunately, will lead to failure for all.

The Left, in its politically correct induced stupor, takes this definition of equality, this reduced capacity for all, and applies it unilaterally, sort of. Nothing is held up as superior than anything else, with the exception of secularism, which is, of course, superior to everything else because it supports, supposedly, the Left’s definition of equality. Thus, democracy is only superior to other forms of government when it supports equality. Otherwise, constitutional republican protection of minority rights is superior, but only of a secular minority, in order to support equality.

I’m moving off point, so let me return. The Left denounces coercive power because it is through this form of power that the evil white man has ruined the world. And while it can be said that coercive power is widely used in modern society and is responsible for many of the social ills that we face, coercive power fails primarily due to its reliance on force.

Persuasive power is the ultimate goal: where a vision or dream is laid out and the follower uses his or her full capacity of choice to accept or reject it. The difference between coercive and persuasive power is in the attitudes and values of those holding and using power and in the actions the leader takes to accomplish his or her goals. Martin Luther King Jr., Paulo Freire, The Buddah, Jesus Christ, all taught this principle. Persuasive power mandates that there is a better way. It states boldly that not all things are equal or the same.

Persuasion is then carried out, not by manipulative means, “but persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned; by kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile — reproving betimes with sharpness…, and then showing forth afterwards an increase of love toward him whom thou hast reproved, lest he esteem thee to be his enemy; that he may know that thy faithfulness is stronger than the cords of death” (D&C 121: 41-44).

Power in and of itself is neither good nor bad. It is the way in which that power is used. The Left fails to understand the principle that the powerful should seek to raise up those who are weak. Rather, the Left seeks to make everyone equally weak.

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One response to “The Decline of the Empire

  1. Invisible Mikey

    December 24, 2013 at 11:50 am

    I don’t see much historical evidence (outside of the linked article) for your theories about power and the Left within this post, but that’s fine. It’s your own experience, so it has anecdotal, conversational-casual validity.

    Speaking from my experience at the same anecdotal level of opinion, I try to maintain a philosophical distinction between power granted through moral authority and power maintained by external means, like military might. The U.S. has military supremacy, but the moral use of that power has been severely compromised by a lack of clarity of goals and missions.

    Our government has shown an increasing tendency to commit resources toward open-ended military conflicts, using ambiguous labels like the “war on terror”. These international actions dissipate American influence, creating future generations of enemies by killing non-combatant civilians along with intended targets. The moral justifications can’t hold for an indefinite period of involvement, and the government doesn’t seem to be able to establish clear timelines for whatever it is they want to achieve.

    In short, when an empire grows too diverse and large to be able to take and control focused missions and projects, decline is not only inevitable but well-earned.

     

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