July 1, 2024

Election and Disintegration: A Fork in the Road

‘The crowd is untruth. Therefore, was Christ crucified’ – Soren Kierkegaard

One of the most fascinating figures for me in the history of European thought, is the controversial and prophetic, Soren Kierkegaard. He recognized, back in the mid-nineteenth century, that Western Europe was reaching a tipping point. As a devout Christian, although he strongly believed an emphatic ‘turn’ toward a renewed consolidation of faith in the eternal worth of human beings as God’s image-bearers lay ahead, he was also convinced that before this could happen, there would be a protracted time of upheavals and catastrophes.[i] The portent of this was already heralded by the revolutionary movements of 1848 – beginning in the Italian peninsula and spreading throughout much of Europe. Shortly thereafter, Europe was rocked by two World Wars and a sexual-social revolution that continues to this day. Kierkegaard foresaw the late-modern age of radical democratization as one of steady disintegration, suffering and bloodshed, in which man would try and solve his existential problems by politics – by his own power and reason.

This, he recognized, was an essentially religious issue resulting from the uprooting of a scriptural world and life view. In fact, just as Karl Marx was embarking on what would prove a highly influential writing career, Kierkegaard noted with remarkable prescience that the godless secular movements which were emerging would arrive as ‘political’ trends but would soon be unmasked as deeply religious in nature. He wrote,

The future will correspond inversely to the reformation: then everything appeared to be a religious movement and became politics; now everything appears to be politics but will become a religious movement.[ii]

We are seeing this played out before our eyes in modern political life. Under the profound and lasting influence of Hegel and Marx, modern statism has become the neo-pagan religion of choice across Western Europe – politics is again priestly and saving in its pretentions. The conservative and classically liberal vision of a small and delimited state, focused on its task as a ministry of justice, has almost entirely given way to a plan for radical social democracy, in which the state is an omnipresent and totalizing institution in which civil government swallows all other forms of government in a parts to whole relation. This messianic state, hailed and erected by the crowd, has sought to redefine marriage and sexuality, truth and justice, the meaning of money, the value of life and the concept of law. As a result, family, church, private enterprise, and independent nationhood have been assaulted on every side.

Inevitably, sacrifices must be made to the new god – the unborn, historic freedoms, family inheritance, progressive taxes, and property. State tyranny is no longer dressed in the luxurious robes of royal privilege, and yet, adorned with the positive law of ‘the people,’ equally asserts its eminent domain. Ahab wants your vineyard, and he will plot, bribe, lie, and grind you to powder to get it, all under cover of a sovereign seal. Yes, the new god will ‘level up’ the world through a vast democratization and equalization of all life. The modern West’s mutiny against God, whether kitted out in proletarian or aristocratic, elitist boots, is of a demonic character and so no purely political solution is possible. The root problem is unquestionably the underlying religious worldview, and it is imperative it be addressed.

The masses in Europe have been bought off for decades by false and impossible promises of cradle to grave security, the omnicompetent state embracing the gullible crowd in its providential beneficence and paternal solicitude. But Dagon has toppled. And though we keep trying to stand him on end and glue his head and hands back on, some people are beginning to realise, the jig is up.  The emperor has no clothes. The social democracy proffering utopian political salvation is a powerless idol, no more capable of delivering on its promises than the prophets of Baal on Mount Carmel.

This is now painfully true in the UK. Like much of the West, Britain is broken, bankrupt and decaying rapidly. The British states ludicrous attempt to ‘save’ its people from Covid-19 with state largesse led to runaway inflation from which the economy has still not recovered. Its borders are overrun by both legal and illegal migrants from largely Islamic lands, and there is presently no meaningful political will to prevent it; its public services are at breaking point; twenty percent of its working age population is economically inactive, with over 50% of the nation taking more directly and indirectly in benefits and welfare than they pay in taxes, despite taxation being at a record post war high; its demography is in freefall as the family collapses; and its favorite goddess of state, the National Health Service, is teetering on the brink of total collapse; the military has shrunk to its smallest size since before the Napoleonic war as recruitment becomes an uphill struggle, and confidence in social and political institutions has reached a radical low.

The ideological difference between the two main parties in Britain is shockingly invisible. Both the Conservative and Labour Parties are addicted to an intoxicating status quo of high tax, high spend, debt ridden, la la land economic policy to appease the abstract ‘public,’ and a social liberalism unwilling to tackle head on the ruinous continuation of the sexual revolution – with both abortion and the queering of culture being a national disgrace. With few, but notable exceptions among the Tories, both the main parties promote a left-leaning social democracy, undergirded by stagnant socialistic welfare economics. Their actions show they are true believers in the fickle god of state – who now plans to save us from the climate itself, with mindless net zero policies.

Yet ironically, Britain remains in a better state than most of Western Europe. Over the English Channel, revolutionary rumblings are once again afoot in France, with elections happening on July 7. France has been riven by religious, economic, and social disintegration for decades, and its looks as though a day of reckoning is looming for the Justin Trudeau of Europe, Emmanuel Macron.

In Britain, the general election takes place on July 4th.  The chances of the British public voting for their own ‘Independence Day’ from an overreaching nanny state are presently zero. Our democracy is currently eating itself, and things are liable to get considerably worse before they get better. Segments of the population are starting to rediscover their individuality from the crowd and realizing something has gone badly wrong. A form of British conservative populism is on the rise. It looks back with understandable nostalgia to the days of the Christian Prime Minister, Margaret Thatcher, and though it does not fully know how, because its overlooks the religious root, longs to recover its British identity – decency, fairness, politeness, hospitality, generosity, justice, with a daring ‘can do’ spirit full of hope, fortitude and faith. But July’s election will almost certainly deliver a larcenous socialist government power in the UK for at least five years, as a disillusioned and furious electorate, lurching at the ballot box from bad to worse, unwittingly decides to watch the illusion of political salvation die a painful death.

A recent prediction regarding the expected outcome of our forthcoming election from one noted political commentator in the UK makes for sobering reading. Following the crowd is almost always a ruinous course:

It will merely make a bad situation worse, further ruining an already broken Britain, and will be remembered as the last hurrah of an ancien regime that never learnt from its mistakes. Our taxes will go up to even more extortionate levels, especially on capital and property, making it even less worthwhile to work, invest or create; our drift to European-style social democracy will accelerate; our ultra-regulated economy will carry on stagnating in terms of per capita GDP, delivering paltry wage growth and ensuring children can no longer expect to be better off than their parents. The NHS, pensions and the welfare state will career ever-faster towards bankruptcy; immigrants will arrive at extraordinary rates, fuelling problems of integration and exacerbating the housing crisis; the gap between London and the rest will grow; the somewheres will still be pitted against the anywheres; the education system, state and private, will be trashed by egalitarian fanatics. Quangos and human rights lawyers will be handed even greater powers. The woke revolution will tear through more institutions; the family will continue to wither, intensifying the baby-bust; criminals will run riot; energy costs will rocket further in a mad rush to net zero, while the war on mobility will be intensified; and our Armed Forces will remain preposterously small.[iii]

For good reason, Christ never entrusted himself to the crowd – for the crowd is untruth. The 51% is not the path of righteousness. The masses that would make him king, soon called instead for his crucifixion.  We can never place our faith in ‘the public’, elections or the political life of a nation. Through all the ups and downs, twists and turns of history, our faith must be in Christ alone who calls all peoples, kings, judges, and rulers to serve Him. Christ did not permit the crowd as mass-man to help him.  He ‘did not permit balloting, but would be what He is, the Truth, which relates itself to the individual.’[iv] With Kierkegaard, I have no doubt that Christianity will not only have the last laugh, but will have the final word in this great struggle of our time.

[i] Soren Kierkegaard, cited in, Gregor Malantschuk, The Controversial Kierkegaard, trans., Howard V. Hong & Edna H. Hong (Ontario: Wilfred Laurier University Press, 1976), 72-73

[ii] Kierkegaard, The Controversial Kierkegaard, 73

[iii] The Telegraph, Allister Heath, ‘Britain is Heading for a Populist Tsunami Far Greater than Anything Seen in Europe’ https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2024/06/12/britain-faces-populist-tsunami-greater-anything-seen-europe/ accessed, June 2024.

[iv] Soren Kierkegaard, in, Walter Kaufmann, Existentialism from Dostoevsky to Sartre (New York: Plume, 1975), 96

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