Being one who doesn't watch much TV to speak of anymore, I must say that it's nice to be free of most of the political distractions. Even so, today I turned on one of the programs that is getting much attention these days. The whole program was basically dedicated to the corruption of the systems in this nation and the loss of decency in our culture. All I could think was...Does it take Sherlock Holmes to figure that one out? What is stunning to me is how corruption has been ignored and accepted by the population for so long with it in full view for our eyes to see. (I could have added something about that one in the last post IGNORING THE OBVIOUS)
People have spoken of corruption in the realm of government and the private sector for as long as I can remember...and yet people still praise and look to governement and the private sector for leadership. Seems to me that there is a complete void in leadership in both. What's more stunning than that reality is how long I allowed myself to be duped by it all, thinking the clubs I ran in had the answers and everyone else had it wrong. Turns out that the "To be a good citizen you must....." and the "To be a good Christian you must....."mantras are rather effective ones in keeping us in the space of ignoring the obvious and playing along.
The TV program sent me to a book that actually turned out to be very timely read for me when it dropped into my life a couple years ago. I had never even heard of Jacques Ellul before. This was written 21 years ago.
"The unions, the labor halls, decentralization, the federative system---all are gone. The perverse use that has been made of them has destroyed them. The matter is all the more urgent because all our political forms are exhausted and practically nonexistent. Our parliamentary and electoral system and political parties are just as futile as dictatorships are intolerable. Nothing is left. And this nothing is increasingly aggressive, totalitarian, and omnipresent. Our experience today is the strange one of empty political institutions in which no one has any confidence any more, of a system of government which functions only in the interests of a political class, and at the same time of the almost infinite growth of power, authority, and social control which makes any one of our democracies a more authoritarian mechanism than the Napoleonic state." from the book Anarchy and Christianity