Sunday, September 21, 2014

It would seem people do indeed promote anarchy...

"...a Punch joke had one anarchist asking another: ‘What time is it by your bomb?’" [Hastings, Max (2013-09-24). Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War (Kindle Locations 434-435). Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.]

 These days (over the course of the last period), I have come to the conclusion that, for however mad and vile it might be as a choice in life, people do opt for anarchy and not just sad little 19 year old Bosnian assassins of one hundred years ago. The option has always been totally foreign to me and to be associated with the diabolic, but there it is. I think "Gothic" (dyed black hair and pale skin with appropriate ghoulish wardrobe) is out again as a fashion statement, but that is not what I am referring to. I am convinced that there is a choice of anarchy of the lethal kind, which is not social, but simply unhappy and death-dealing, first to others and ultimately, intended or not, to oneself. 

In our day and time, we tend to live from presumptions that involve us somehow being better than our ancestors and that especially holds true in our talk about World War I. Blame it on the petty nobles of that day clinging to their dying empires and you have it, they say. Blame it on modern weaponry destroying good old battlefield etiquette, as if such had ever existed, and maybe you have it, they say. Whatever the pettiness, whatever the miscalculations, it might be good if we just plain accepted that there were and are people in the world firmly in the grasp of the Evil One. For these, material gain is a distraction; it alone does not motivate all the rage, the self-destructiveness which they heap upon their chosen victim or target. Anarchy... the anarchist!  

As I say, it is something in life I have never been able to grasp and I suspect I am not alone in my difficulty. We see it in the struggle of expert commentators to explain Russian aggression in Ukraine, Georgia, Moldova, Chechnya, Afghanistan, and on... General vocabulary and analysis lead folks to describe not the core but the consequences of what boils down to the choice by at most a small group of people holding half a world hostage and we do so in terms of system, as if there were some kind of logic to imposing one's own nihilism on society. Our clueless-ness or unwillingness to identify as such the anarchist option is part of what is involved in our wanting to attribute belligerence to entities or whole peoples (Sparta or the ancient Assyrians revisited!). And so we use terms like: "rogue state" or "state terrorism". There is something inherently inaccurate or wrong about the expression, a contradiction in terms if you will.

Maybe all I want to say is that recourse to utopia/distopia scenarios ultimately takes us nowhere. Again, to nag, shout, almost screech it out: we have thrown off His gentle yoke to our own damnation. The fall of Adam and Eve is all too poignant in its lesson and its consequences for the life of the world. Choosing Barabbas, if you will, is no choice at all. There He stands, knocking at the door, it is urgent that we let Him in. We need to stop fumbling around and cursing the darkness and let Christ our Light come in.

Regardless of the given day's anarchist's name, there is no salvation in him, but only in the Name above every name. My Jesus mercy! We pray for our world straddling the issue and consoling itself with half measures when the devil needs to be cast out.


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