Once again, I find myself up against the limitations of communicating in English. It’s not the language itself, but all the demented intellectual baggage that comes with it. Bear with me.
When we are encouraged to stop an think for a moment, we recognize that the concept of a cultural climate is a generalization. That’s the nature of social sciences, making broad generalizations that are never precisely true, but useful enough to learn something about human nature. We have to back away from the the subject matter at hand in order to see the broader trends. Precision is simply not the point. It’s when people lose awareness of it that we see those generalizations abused to manipulate the general public.
Let’s back up for just a moment and refresh some important ideas. Biblical thinking is indicative, not descriptive. Biblical Law is part of that. We don’t slavishly obey such law with legalistic thinking, but we absorb the character and personality of God as indicated by the record of Biblical Law. Biblical Law is the broad and intentionally imprecise overview of various Law Covenants and prophetic pronouncements, all of which must be discerned from a Hebrew Mystical frame of mind.
In Biblical Law, centralized control is inherently oppressive. No good moral person would ever consider using centralizing controls; good people do not want control of other people’s behavior. Nothing you can dream up as morally good can justify what most people today think of as “government.” Instead, the moral character of God teaches us to avoid it. When the duty of control is thrust upon us by circumstances, we would rightly seek to discern the path of least control. At the same time, government is a dire necessity under Biblical Law. So it becomes a question of seeing government as an art form, and trying to avoid kitsch and gilding the lily. It’s damned hard work.
This is according to divine revelation. Never pretend that you can just lay down some principles and let it run. Fallen human nature most fully expresses creativity when trying to circumvent moral justice. The problem is that it is a moving target.
Some of you may be aware that the military is one big concrete block of nit-picking regulation. It got that way layer upon layer as those under military regulation have sought endless variations in flouting the painfully obvious intent of the regulations. But when a particular fashion of contempt for law moves on to other things, the wholly uncreative process of regulation never goes back to relax something that no longer matters. Thus, military “justice” is loaded with hide-bound and frankly hateful regulation from centuries ago.
Just so, genuine government requires a deft hand of wisdom to notice when something can be forgotten and pay more attention to things that are a current problem. It requires genuine intelligence, not merely a prodigious memory for minutiae. You cannot govern by robot; it requires a person. The dehumanizing nature of bureaucracy kills both the governed and the government. It violates reality; it is unnatural by definition. It bears the seeds of its own destruction, and reality patiently waits until that seed bears fruit.
A primary manifestation of that fruit is a shift in cultural climate. Culture is never all one thing; the word “culture” represents a conceptual construct. It’s the net effect of multiple subcultures and various cultural influences on a wider whole.
American culture has shifted dramatically, and too many government figures haven’t noticed. Pay no attention to the rhetoric; major figures have recently betrayed a truculent blindness. They are holding their hands over their eyes tightly to avoid seeing. The reins of control are tatters and dust. A primary symptom right now is the vast troves of government secrets bleeding out into the public eye. The old culture of subservient reverence is gone; the new culture is open mockery by exposing blatant lies. The only way anyone in government can hope to capture the public imagination now is to join in that mockery and start tearing down the goofy stuff that no longer fits the current cultural trends.
The voters thought they had elected someone like that. He lied; he was just a salesman and the voters bought it without a warranty. Meanwhile, he has unleashed upon the public a hoard of scolding idiots who belong in the ancient past. Every moment of recidivism in government aggravates the depth of conflict with reality. The ability of that mocking culture has risen rapidly against the declining talent of bureaucrats trying to protect government secrets. Virtually nobody working in a bureaucracy is driven in their work by conviction; virtually everyone opposing the bureaucracy is driven by conviction. Professionalism can’t compensate for the dehumanizing task of secret-keeping, never mind corrupt politics; the computer crackers have the advantage, if only because they have nothing to lose.
DHS Secretary Kelly’s dismissive response to criticism has made him far more enemies than he knows. It’s not just Congress and entrenched NGOs that are offended. This isn’t merely a matter of illegal immigrants and Muslims; he is defending some of the most egregious policy mistakes from Obama’s administration or even earlier, and intentionally making them worse than they have to be. His blindness to the moral boundaries presents a threat to everyone who actually belongs in his country. Worse, it represents a direct provocation to the hacker culture that already dominates whatever American culture will become. This is going to result in outright warfare, and he doesn’t have the means to win. If there’s anyone likely to provoke a literal civil war, it’s this man, and he’s apparently stupid enough to relish the idea.
CIA Director Mike Pompeo’s hostility to Wikileaks is not merely pointless; it guarantees the snarks on 4chan (and the entire hacker subculture) will turn him into a laughingstock. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner has painted a target on himself. Yes, Mr. Sensenbrenner, we do have to use the Internet; we don’t have your personal staff funded by taxpayers to do it for us. You couldn’t do your job without it. The Internet will crush you, sir. And the abysmal incompetence of government bureaucrats to secure the secrets will only get worse, so there will be more leaks from the CIA, NSA and FBI.
We are staring multiple crises in the face, and many of them are rooted outside the US, making them totally out of government control. For many issues, there is simply no good answer because the US government policies destroyed all the good answers long ago. We are seeing once again the statue with feet of clay. What makes this less than apocalyptic is rather complex. It has to do with a global entanglement via the Internet, as well as the rising and already existing social order that is hardly dependent on the current system of government. It’s like a parasite that outgrows the need for a host, so the what’s left of the host will simply fall away. The government that gave birth to the Internet will be displaced by it.
Meanwhile, you and I will suffer at least some from the turmoil as these incompetent nitwits provoke chaos, even without any particular interest in the fight.