Our ideological lexicon is replete with expressions and quotes warning about the dangers of government overreach. One comes from the pen of J. R. R. Tolkien: “Not in in a million is fit for it [political power], and least of all those who seek the opportunity” (emphasis added). We are all aware of the corrupting nature of high office, but here Tolkien touches on a less politically correct aspect of this truism; the specific danger of Democracy. In Representative Democracies people stand for office as part of a broader political platform or otherwise, they seek the opportunity to become a member of the governing clique. Ought not our suspicion of government power be amplified in the face of persons desiring to wield such power? After all, how many can be said to want it so as to better leave us alone? The next question therefore is to enquire as to whether some political posts are best left to accidental acquisition.
There have been moves afoot for some time now to restore some degree of unity among the various orthodox Christian churches. In my view this can be a negative or positive objective, depending on the view of ‘ecumenism’ we embrace. On the one hand we can seek to come together as Christians extolling the fundamental orthodoxies of our faith so as to confront an increasingly secular world. I consider this view to be very fruitful indeed and that the establishing of normal and friendly relationships between our churches can only be a good thing. Alternatively, ecumenism can mean the consolidation of our denominations into a single dogmatic whole, with most or all of our distinctions eroded in favour of a common piece of turf in the ‘middle ground’. As a Catholic I believe that we can learn from our brothers (particular the Eastern Orthodox) but to shed the tenets of our church would be an unconscionable betrayal of her heritage.
According to the Oxford online dictionary, Anarchism entails the abolition of all government and the subsequent organisation of society on a purely voluntary basis. Noam Chomsky is perhaps the best known public advocate of Anarchism, specifically its left-wing variety which is anti-capitalist. However, in an interview with Reddit Blog Chomsky has stated his diffidence towards the abolition of the state as an objective. More than that, he goes on to say that in the short-term the United States should do “what the large majority of the population has wanted for decades… to develop a sensible national health-care system of the kind that every other industrial country has”, in other words expand the state. The trouble with Socialist Anarchism, as illustrated here, is that its goals call for the expansion of state power. How else is ‘exploitative’ private property to be abolished without the use of coercion? It is certainly possible for small cooperatives to do so peacefully, but all of civilisation?
In the recent Scottish referendum campaign we were treated to a brief insight into the relation between decentralisation and taxation. Respect MP George Galloway stated in an interview with CNBC that tax competition between an independent Scotland and the rest of the UK would inspire a “race to the bottom”. Though I have some regard for Mr Galloway as a man of forthright ideas, describing the reduction in state plunder as a “race to the bottom” is rather revealing of the socialist mind. That being said his assessment was accurate; competition between authorities with the power to tax puts a downward pressure on rates. A single rate of taxation across a country forces those wishing to avoid it to emigrate, thus burdening them with all the associated difficulties. Having several competing rates within the same country makes the prospect for flight simpler, thus encouraging these smaller entities to lower their rates so as to not haemorrhage citizens and businesses.
Since the end of the cold war the west, see NATO, has managed to annex several countries formerly aligned with the Soviet Union to its sphere of influence. This encroachment into Russia’s backyard has reinforced the famed suspicion of outsiders with which she is commonly associated. The conflict inside Ukraine is but one consequence of the eastward expansion of our allegedly north Atlantic alliance. In attempting to lure Ukraine out of the orbit of Russia we have opened age old wounds in that country’s fragile fabric. Many Ukrainians have a lot more in common with Russia and Russians than with the peoples of the west, thus it is quite reasonable in the current political climate for them to want to seek closer relations with her. Defenders of NATO appear to hold rival blocs to higher standards than their own side; as a thought experiment, imagine the reaction of these commentators if Russia were to bring Alaska under her protective aegis.
The purpose of this site is to put into words my thoughts on issues and to improve my writing skill and discipline. Hope you find something interesting.