In his books, the Enemy always starts with seemingly fair motives, even to himself; motives of ordering the world, crafting it into the ideal, mastering the convulsions that threaten to rip it apart. But, being as there are free creatures in the world (Elves, Dwarves, and Men), their willing subservience too is needed to achieve the overall goal. If assent is not achieved willingly, then it is attempted via deception, and at the last by force if nothing else will do. The ideal and its achievement, and thus the glory of the one or ones achieveing it, is placed above all else. This seems to me to be why every movement that progresses from liberalism to socialism to fascism (meaning, for my part, an increasing continuum in state control) is essentially and increasingly anti-religious. Religions, particularly Judeo- Christianity, teach us that the ideal world cannot be achieved by man, and that, in fact, he is the very reason it cannot be achieved. Fascism denies this wholesale. It not only believes that the ideal world can be achieved if everyone works together, but also that it should be achieved and must be achieved - often by any means necessary when it comes down to it. Eventually the leader is held in god-like awe. The followers become fanatical in their zeal to carry out the vision and preserve the perceived foundations of the immient paradise about to unfold. It, ironically, becomes a kind of religion unto itself. Heresy is punishable by death.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tolkien and politics
Now that the political contest for POTUS is down to two major party candidates, I think it's wise to start reflecting on the underlying philosophy each brings to the table. In general, I find both men to be deeply flawed at that level. I wish for a leader who doesn't have "grand plans" for all of the rest of us little people. This reminds me of something I read recently by someone writing about modern politics through the lens of Tolkien's Lord of the Rings trilogy: