Hillary Didn’t Win, But Don’t Miss the Primary Point
In breaking from the theological/philosophical norm here at PPT and dabbling in election politics I predicted Hillary Clinton would win the election and she kinda didn’t. What do I mean by that? Don’t forget that roughly half of the American voting population chose a known career criminal to be president of the United States. How is this possible? That was the primary question addressed in that series of articles coupled with the assumption that she would win. This election makes one thing abundantly clear: moralism is not the deciding factor. If a highly moral person is unable to protect your wellbeing according to your worldview, moralism may find itself relegated to the basement closet.
Broken down to the least common denominator, at least historically, it’s individualism versus collectivism. The inability of man doctrine is not a uniquely religious doctrine; it has framed human politics from the beginning of human existence and was executed by pagan-states until the 4th century when the church-state finally prevailed. When Americanism decimated the church-state in the 18th century Communism filled the void.
What emerged during post-Americanism was a confused church-state. It can be rightfully dubbed, Evangelicalism. Intellectually, it adopted the individualism of Americanism but unwittingly functioned as a church-state as much as possible while ignoring the logical conclusions of its functionality. This is the advent of the “cult.” What is a “cult”? A cult is a church-state that has been robbed of its ability to enforce its orthodoxy through the state. It is the separation of faith and force. Hence, cults must seek to control people through other means. So, a cult is a church that has been separated from its ability to control what people believe by force and must improvise with brainwashing, manipulation, mind control, and propaganda.
Therefore, did America create an unprecedented vacuum in human history that was filled by Communism and cults? Absolutely. The pagan-state, the church state, Communism, and cults all have ONE thing in common: the doctrine of inability.
Presently, the Protestant resurgence movement (Neo-Calvinism) claims that the inability of man doctrine is unique to the Protestant Reformation. That’s absurd. But at any rate, the argument goes like this: “Human history has always been predicated on man being the center of all things and not God. For the first time in human history, the Protestant Reformation put God at the center and proclaimed the total inability of man (the doctrine of total depravity: Augustine-4th century).” That’s just a big fat lie. They go on to finger the Enlightenment Age as a resurgence of the man-centered historical norm which is also a historical absurdity.
The Enlightenment finally figured out that the individual can know reality, is created free, and is individually culpable for the sum and substance of one’s own life. The great thinkers of the Enlightenment where a mixed bag in regard to what the foundation of this truth is, and it’s undoubtable that some put man at the center, but most of them held to the simple fact that God created man to be free and able. Before and after the introduction of sin into the world, God tells man to multiply upon the earth, subdue it, and be fruitful.
In contrast, the ancient pagan-states believed that the masses cannot know realty and must be ruled by elite mediators for the collective good. Government was therefore not an organizing principle, but the sole owner of truth. This philosophy of collectivism flowed from one of the major metaphysical pillars of sin—sin is driven by a desire to control. In other words, it ignores God’s command to the individual to pursue the fruits of his own ability (of course created and gifted by God), and instead seeks to control others. The command to subdue the earth is ignored in exchange for subduing others.
This theme dominates the Bible; the advent of murder in human history is the final solution to controlling others when all else fails. We see this dynamic playing out on every level of life’s strata from the top—down. Sin is defined by many different desires that are antithetical to love, but the desire to control others is one of the major organizing desires of the sin dynamic.
In all of this an undefined historical dynamic is missed: American colonialism; what we will call the colonial spirit. These were the people who rejected the colonial Puritan church-state predicated on ancient collectivism. Evangelicalism, for about 100 years, has been a confused hybrid of Puritan collectivism and the colonial spirit.
Individualism believes man is created free and able. Government is an organized entity that serves man’s individual endeavors. Collectivism believes that man is totally unable, and government is a mediator between man and reality. In the latter, reality is defined as holding the answers to societal utopia. Therefore, government must own truth for the collective good. Proponents of collectivism, whether the great unwashed or the elitist mediators, see individualism as a threat to the existence of mankind. However, it is ironic that the great unwashed would be able to understand this theory. The totally unable are only able enough to understand that they are unable. In the religious version, God enlightens man just enough to know that he is unenlightened, and so it goes.
In all of these articles we have connected this to Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow’s theory, self-actualization is efficacious to wellbeing—it is a built-in need according to our state of being in the same way food and water is needed. According to collectivism, actualization is not found in one’s own self-esteem or truthful self-assessment, but only in one’s contribution to the collective good.
And besides, according to collectivism, even if self-value was a true need for wellbeing, man is unable to achieve it anyway. Understanding this, it should be clear why collectivism deems capitalism as evil or “greedy.” In collectivism, the mommy-state is god, and selfism is the devil. Therefore, a collectivist consideration of Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs is going to dismiss self-actualization as totally irrelevant.
Individualism is therefore deemed as a threat to the very existence of mankind. Individualists believe they are responsible for their own happiness, and healthy just societies are made up of individuals free to pursue self-actualization. Any given society is defined by the strength of its individual citizens. In contrast, collectivism believes that individuals are unable, and the freedom to pursue self-actualization will lead to chaos and the destruction of the world.
Moreover, self-actualization is defined by one’s ability to contribute to the state not individual identity. The religious angle on collectivism or religious collectivism well often proffer the idea that ALL of our identity is in Jesus while secular collectivism finds all identity in one’s contribution to the state. In either case, self-identity has no merit and is deemed a threat to the existence of humanity.
Colonial Americans put everything on the line for freedom. And this explains what we are presently seeing in the American political arena. Trump represents rugged individualism born from American colonialism. This is why you are presently seeing violent demonstrations across America in protest of Trump’s election; supposedly, believing in individual ability puts all of humanity at risk for chaos leading to complete annihilation.
In my prediction that Hillary would win, a minor point and perhaps an unnecessary distraction, I underestimated what remained of the colonial spirit of rugged individualism. On the other side, the failings of collectivism (socialism) will never persuade because its presupposition begins with the inability of man. But of course socialism struggles, we are all unable! Of course there is rampant evil in the church; after all, we are all just sinners saved by grace! Hence, failure is NEVER a reason to reevaluate collectivism; failure should be expected. And consequently, the immorality of politicians is also irrelevant. BUT, supposedly, individualism will lead to the destruction of the world while collectivism will only lead to the suffering we all deserve anyway.
The point is individualism versus collectivism. The struggle between the two is defined by one of sin’s primary pillars: a lust to control and conquer others, not what God has commanded us to conquer and accomplish individually.
That’s the point.