Freedom vs Ideology

Some of you may be aware that I am a fan of the book Intellectual Morons: How Ideology Makes Smart People Fall for Stupid Ideas by Daniel J. Flynn. Although mostly conservative, Flynn doesn’t hold back when it comes to some of the ideas that led to the invasion of Iraq. It is really surprising to see the source and history of some modern notions that we take for granted in many circles. If nothing else, you come away from the book realizing that there are consequences for ideas.

World domination has often been a subject that dictators like to bring up. Global domination, if not outright global government, has been the goal of many an egomaniac down through the ages. A charismatic leader rises up, gains attention for himself, promises a paradise with the “chosen ones” being at the head of the world and begins to implement plans to subjugate all opposition. It typically begins with an ideology. It begins with a system of beliefs. An ideology is:

  1. The body of ideas reflecting the social needs and aspirations of an individual, group, class, or culture.
  2. A set of doctrines or beliefs that form the basis of a political, economic, or other system.

~ “ideology“,

Nazism is perhaps the epitome of modern dictatorships, so I almost feel obliged to bring it up as an example. The Nazi ideology was blindly followed by an entire nation. There were, of course, dissenters, but they were silenced as early as possible. Emotional appeals to national greatness, patriotism and economic recovery overshadowed any doubts that anyone had. People wanted a “strong man” to be in charge, and that is what they got. When those appeals did not work, fear was used to keep dissidents in line. Lastly, people were rallied to fight common “enemies” such as Judaism, Gypsies and homosexuals.

Under the Nazis, politics were elevated above religion. Some have argued over whether or not Hitler was an atheist. Detractors of that argument quickly point out Hitler’s Catholic background. In fact, many of his close associates were also from a Catholic background. It is evident, however, that he also embraced Darwinism. He felt that certain races were inferior and justified such opinions on the basis of a separate evolutionary path. That does not make him an atheist, though. The Catholic Church even assumes that the Creation Story in the Bible is an allegory and that evolution is the mechanism God used to bring life onto the planet. Still, Hitler also was heavily involved in the occult, so where does that place him? In my opinion, he was an opportunist. He used whatever arguments from whatever source in order to justify his ideology. Opportunists are also somewhat superstitious, and they want to gain favor from any source possible. Therefore, his forays into the occult should not be surprising, either. No, the Nazi ideology was his religion. Everything else was to be used to promote it.

With all of this going on, how many Germans bought into Hitler’s scheme wholeheartedly? It’s hard to tell, actually, for several reasons. For one thing, some things were carried out semi-secretly. I really don’t think the average German had any idea to the extent of the brutality in the concentration camps. Yet, there were hints that could have been picked up by people, and there certainly were rumors. Most were probably afraid to voice dissent or raise questions. In reality, there were probably only a minority that knew everything that was going on, who were willing to impose it upon others and ruthlessly carried out the actions of the regime. Yet, how many were willfully ignorant? To me, this gives a new level of understanding to passages such as “they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” and carrying on in their daily affairs as though nothing was unusual even at the time of the end. People will be paying attention to themselves and their own welfare.

Dictatorships are nothing new, however. Rome was considered a brutal regime in many ways. In other ways, it was a fairly free society. However, the Roman soldier was to be feared. Crucifixions littered the landscape. Modern dictatorships include the Soviet Union, Chinese Communism, the Taliban, many African governments, and so on, and so on, and so on.

The West’s reaction to the fall of the Soviet Union is an interesting one. The ideals of freedom seemed to dominate. However, it seems that political controls have a tendency to veer away from the ideals of freedom even in the best of circumstances. Political correctness instead has taken over many western societies. “Tolerance” has become the ideology of the liberals in the democratic West. Gradually, the only sin that one could commit was to be intolerant. Intolerance of immorality and sin was eschewed as a sin itself. Instead of liberals promoting freedom, they slowly began to try to control dissenting voices.

9/11 changed everything again. Now, suddenly, “freedom” wasn’t the main concern. Instead, it was “safety”. Long lines at airports became expected. Wiretapping our phones became legal. Internet Service Providers were forced to cough up logs of “suspicious” activities. The government of Big Brother became a very real and partial reality. People are willing to give up freedom for a feeling of safety, yet there is little evidence that we are safer today than we were then. Trusting the government to take care of you was one of the things our founding fathers fought against, in fact. How times have changed!

What is interesting is that since 9/11, many Western civilizations have seen an increase in Muslim populations. Yet, instead of integrating in with the societies around them, many choose to live separately. There are neighborhoods in the UK and France where the police do not even dare go into. The imams in the area control it. If you see pictures of women walking down the street, you would think you were seeing a picture from the Middle East. Children go to Madrasahs instead of schools. There are some, including Geert Wilders of the Netherlands, who want to limit immigration of Muslims chiefly because they are unwilling to integrate into society.

And, exactly what is the ideology of Islam? Basically, it can be summed up thusly: World peace will not ensue until the entire world is Muslim. Until that time, Jihad dictates that Islam must be spread to all nations. For those who are not aware, “Jihad” literally means “struggle”. It can be manifested by a literal holy war, but that is not its only meaning. Some Muslims view it as a struggle against Satan (Shaitan). According to Sunni beliefs, Jihad is one of the pillars of Islam. You could say Islam is a religion built upon conflict. Islam is an ideology that has conflict as a core belief, and that has been used by people of evil intent to cause conflict and terror.

Yet, isn’t the history of mankind filled with conflict? The way of get and competition has been predominant since Adam and Eve. Hitler wrote about his struggle in Mein Kampf. The Communists and the Capitalists during the Cold War saw their conflict with each other. Even today, China has a sometimes uneasy relationship with the United States. For example, tensions arose with the disclosures of lead in paint and melamine in pet food. Competing ideologies inherently cause conflict.

What we see in the making are 2 polar opposite ideologies. The ideals of political correctness and Islamic fundamentalism mix like oil and water. There is no in-between. They will eventually cause a clash. What will the reactions of the West be going down the road? Will Europeans continue to cater to the Muslim minority, following the ideology of political correctness, or will there eventually be such a backlash that Muslims will be forced to leave some countries?

Make no mistake about it: the Bible indicates that once again Europe will cry out for a strong man to lead them. Something will take place that will set the stage for Armageddon. As a Christian, you need to be aware of the prophecies of the Bible so that you don’t lose hope and don’t get caught up in the times. This strong man of Europe will make a lot of smooth promises, just as all dictators do. He may even seem to bring about a peace for 3 ½ years. However, tensions will continue to mount with the Muslim nations of the Middle East, and he will break his own peace treaty and attack the “King of the South”. This will be the beginning of the Great Tribulation. However, we are instructed to “lift our heads” when these events come to pass because our Redeemer is coming back for us!

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