Saturday, November 07, 2009

Invasion of the Sloths


from Red State:

There is what I would consider hard fascism/socialism/communism, and then there’s the softer variety. Both are oppressive with regard to freedoms and both share multiple traits. They differ though in how they achieve their goals. In the case of hard communism, governments like the old Soviet Union and their satellite eastern bloc countries used the gun as the primary means to enforce and promulgate their ideology.

Fast forward now to modern day Europe and America; the age of Obama is in full swing and Europe is already nothing more than an impotent shadow of its former self. In our day and age, we have a softer variety of socialism to contend with. Instead of guns, the ideology is supported with various opiates like government entitlements and the redistribution of wealth. Bullets have essentially been replaced with a gigantic government wet nurse who insists on keeping her adult charges in diapers.

But, peer a little deeper . . . just beneath the guns or diapers . . . and you will see a commonality between the hard and the soft varieties of fascism/socialism/communism. What you will unearth is sloth. I’m not talking about the animal mind you. I’m speaking instead of sloth with respect to its definition under the seven deadly sins, which unfortunately has become all but lost in our era.

Peter Kreeft in his wonderful and relevant book, “Back to Virtue,” reminds our generation what sloth is and isn’t. It is not, for example, laziness. Americans especially are highly productive. We are, by nature, go-getters. Many of us live at a frenetic pace, balancing the responsibilities of work and family. We are hardly lazy . . . yet, as a nation we are sliding to Gomorrah on the sloth express.

So, what is the old time definition of sloth that is so lost from the common knowledge of our era and thusly so imperils our society? According to St. Augustine it is, “sorrow about spiritual good.” Peter Kreeft gives an updated version of Augustine’s definition by restating it as:

“Joylessness when faced with God as our supreme good” (Back to Virtue. Peter Kreeft, page 153)

Sloth is, as Kreeft explains, the state of being when one has simply lost his appetite for God. This, of course, also happens to be an absolutely necessary prerequisite of both hard and soft fascism/socialism/communism. In the hard variety, churches were simply taken over by the state and converted to other non-religious uses. In countries like China, the practice of non-state sanctioned religion is a punishable offence worthy of an all expense paid trip to a re-education resort (aka, a concentration camp).

On the other hand, the soft variety of socialism encourages sloth by employing the equivalent of cyanide laced Kool Aide. In our current era, a little bit of sugar makes the socialist ideology go down. Religion in soft socialism becomes pigeonholed as an entirely subjective, personal ‘tradition’ that should never, ever intrude into one’s civic life. If you do not behave toward religion in this prescribed manner, then you are guilty of violating soft socialism’s uber-value, tolerance. Of course, in soft socialism’s case, tolerance is used as the primary weapon to dismantle the people’s reliance on God.

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