Thursday, March 13, 2008

Lucia Recognition of Totalitarianism

The family is the primary social unit of society, the fundamental building block, it's own mini-society. The family pre-dates the state, so any attack on the family should be a cause for concern of every citizen. However, citizens don't seem to exist any more. We have the people, the workers, the poor, the fundamentalists, the rainbow parade, the single mothers, young people - all groups that are touted to the populace at large as having special interests of how society ought to be run - but what about the citizens?

In a democracy, a citizen has a responsibility to be interested in what is occurring in the governance of the nation, and taking an active role to prevent anything detrimental to society at large. But it seems in NZ many people no longer consider themselves citizens and instead consider themselves as children that need to be looked after by the state.

No wonder the state is dismembering it's major rival. Strong families don't need a strong state and will prevent a state from over-reaching. Weak families lead easily to a totalitarian state, headed by parliamentarians that don't need to do anything except say the right things to get themselves voted in. Gone are the days where a violent revolution was needed.

Dr. Jeff Mirusof Catholic Culture asked the question: "At what point is totalitarianism recognized by the citizenry? At what point does a sufficiently large group of people understand what is going on that they can move cohesively to stop it?"

It's a good question. I think in NZ, many people are recognising that what Labour has done with the anti-smacking and electoral finance acts went way too far. I think many people think that all our problems will be solved if they just vote in a different government. A different government headed by John Key.

John Key is rapidly turning into the messiah-in-waiting - never-mind that he got the Nationals to vote FOR the anti-smacking act. And even if he was the type to recognise the danger of that act and repeal it IF National gets voted in next election, that will not be nearly enough to turn the creeping tide towards totalitarianism. In a highly secular society such as NZ, the creep will continue inexorably towards the end. The media reaction to the "new" deadly sins shows how adverse many are to any culpability of their own failings in the situation we have now in NZ.

Related Link: Secularism, Acculturation and Creeping Totalitarianism ~ Catholic Culture

5 comment(s):

Fergus said...

Attacks on the family like the EFB (huh ?) the Families Commission and the changes to the Family court to encourage accountability and responsiveness that Labour has brought us. Woe betide

JC said...

I think it's wrong to focus on the family as the primary building block because it's not. The primary building block is the individual.. and Catholic dogma has absolutely concentrated on the individual to get right the principles of free will, a relationship with God, a sense of right and wrong and a sense of interaction with other humans.

Even if you are a secularist, you must start with a sense of self and your relationship with the world and other humans.

The family is secondary to the individual, because the family is not God or an individual conscience.. it is a development or artifice for creating new human beings, and as such is the second most important building block.

But a family is also a source that can detract from or enhance an individual's relationship with God, or the secular world. There are a number of compromises that need to be made to keep a family whole, and not all of them are good for the individual and his conscience, and of course, a family might be just the ticket to humanise an insufferable stuffed shirt.

So when we produce a family, we have hopefully produced a group of individuals that have a relationship with God (or Ayn Rand), have developed an individual conscience and an ability to interact with other humans that isn't destructive; and which is capable of producing other and quite separate families.

JC

Lucyna Maria said...

JC, of course it is the individual. Individuals form societies. The first society in a miniature form is the family.

12. The rights here spoken of, belonging to each individual man, are seen in much stronger light when considered in relation to man's social and domestic obligations. In choosing a state of life, it is indisputable that all are at full liberty to follow the counsel of Jesus Christ as to observing virginity, or to bind themselves by the marriage tie. No human law can abolish the natural and original right of marriage, nor in any way limit the chief and principal purpose of marriage ordained by God's authority from the beginning: "Increase and multiply."(3) Hence we have the family, the "society" of a man's house - a society very small, one must admit, but none the less a true society, and one older than any State. Consequently, it has rights and duties peculiar to itself which are quite independent of the State.

From RERUM NOVARUM ~ Pope Leo XIII

A. J. Chesswas said...

great post and comments.... i was having a discussion with a friend the other day about politics at a local branch level, and one comment you made here lucyna was particularly pertinent to that conversation:

"In a democracy, a citizen has a responsibility to be interested in what is occurring in the governance of the nation, and taking an active role to prevent anything detrimental to society at large. But it seems in NZ many people no longer consider themselves citizens and instead consider themselves as children that need to be looked after by the state."

In that conversation i shared my concern that at the local branch level of New Zealand party politics, there seems very little interest in actually discussing policy. There is a lack of space for truly "taking responsibility [for] and interest [[in]] what is occurring in the governance of the nation, and taking an active role to prevent anything detrimental to society at large". I expressed much the same concern - that too many people have given up on getting their heads around policy as governance. You are quite right, people "no longer consider themselves citizens and instead consider themselves as children that need to be looked after by the state." It's just so much easier that way.

And it's not just rural New Zealand where this is the case. I remember trying to access these sorts of discussions while a United Future member in Wellington, and was shocked to find there weren't any such forums on party policy. And that's in the capital city for crying out loud! How are people ever going to own the concept of "citizen" when our political structures are so terribly inaccessible?

I am looking forward to the challenge of doing what I can to try and change this culture of apathy, at least in my town, over the next three years.

Lucyna Maria said...

AJ,

Phew! I'm glad someone understands this post. It was a bit of a brain dump last night and then I thought - what have I actually said in my post?

Anyway, that culture of apathy can be linked back to a number of the seven deadly sins - directly to sloth, indirectly to lust and gluttony, and then ultimately to pride - I think. NZ'ers seem also particularly affected by envy, if the strength of socialism in this country is anything to go by, and wrath if Kerre Woodham's desire to crush cars is indicative. So changing the culture of apathy will be quite a job, in my opinion.

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