The greatest certainty man has attempted to avoid, aside from taxes, is death.Without realizing it, most death kills slowly as a result of self-destructive behavior. When one consistently pursues temporary gratification over long-term discipline, the person perishes little by little with every poor decision. In the movie, The Matrix, the character Mouse states, “To deny our own impulses is to deny the very thing that makes us human.” However, there are natural impulses that ought to be resisted. A culture that yields to and enshrines impulsiveness, instead of restraint, will simply lay waste to its people.
The clearest indication of whether the culture is decaying or thriving is its art. The contrast can be seen in the art of the Dark Ages and the birth of the Renaissance.What a culture hears, watches, speaks, reads, and wears is a gauge for the level at which a society is embracing death. Many times throughout the centuries, there has been a resurgence of the gothic styling of romance, death, gloom, and high tension in art. Most recently, fictional gothic figures have made a prominent reappearance in American culture. Entertainment has made seemingly tempting depictions of vampires, werewolves, witches, zombies, and ghosts. They all give the kiss of betrayal to humanity. Each characterization requires the surrender to harmful impulses that cause the death of man in order to become one of them. Once they are malformed, a blood lust manifests. The rest of man is to become unceremoniously sacrificed to an insatiable being for its hedonism to be sustained.
This is what happens to a culture that feels it is close to the edge of collapse. Society either minimizes the threat, or braces itself for impact. Now, more than ever, one can see society preparing for the apocalypse. Similar to the panic of ‘Y2K’, western culture is sensing doom, but it doesn’t look the same. The crisis is not technological; it is moral. The left indulges the damage caused by nihilistic behavior. The last fifty years of leftist policies have struck at the heart of America’s core: private ownership, capitalism, freedom of religion, preservation of God-given rights, self-determination, and protection from tyranny. A seemingly innocuous bolstering of fascistic regulations with regard toward any one of these American principles ultimately falls prey to socialism, communism, and totalitarianism.
Judeo-Christian philosophy asserts its plea to value and prolong man’s life. Man is commanded to obey the principles that preserve life. Deviation results in discipline by principle. If a culture is permitted to completely disregard its pursuit of meaning, it eventually ceases to exist. The Roman Empire fell due to its overindulgence of pleasure. The fictional film, The Gladiator, conveyed it is this way:
Senator: “I think he [the Emperor] knows what Rome is. Rome is the mob. Conjure magic for them and they’ll be distracted. Take away their freedom and still they’ll roar. The beating heart of Rome is not the marble of the Senate; it’s the sand of the Coliseum. He’ll bring them death – and they will love him for it.”
Other, would-be empires of the 20thcentury were no different. Adolf Hitler wanted to build a master race while simultaneously murdering 11 million people. Joseph Stalin abandoned God to justify the murder of approximately 50 million people. Mao Tse-Tung banned God and murdered 45 million people within 4 years.
Adolf Hitler declared, “I want to raise a generation of young people devoid of a conscience, imperious, relentless, and cruel.” What a heinous notion. It is entirely opposed to what the prophet Micah in the Bible asserts, “He has shown you, oh man, what is good, and what the Lord demands of you; but to do justice, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
The left continues to think that man will only preserve itself in the face of catastrophe. They fear what they can’t expect of themselves. America’s thriving culture challenges one’s self-satisfaction if it comes at the expense of someone else’s liberty. Once one’s freedom is violated, those in the surrounding culture are affected by a diminished ability to thrive. To demand pleasure at the expense of liberty is a leisurely death of the pursuit of happiness. When a society or a government is willing to deny itself the pleasure of power to keep its citizens free, it will thrive. Should a government become drunk on the power it permits itself, it eventually drinks itself to death.
By: Rosemary Dewar