The Ultimate End of the United States

14 04 2011

At the front of the chamber of the House of Representatives, on either side of the national flag, are two symbols of power, known as fasces.  These are relief sculptures of the image of an axe embedded in a bundle of sticks and tied together with a strap.  For those who know history, this comes as an obvious reference to the old Roman Empire.  Wherever Caesar went, the fasces were carried before him as a symbol of power.  In the image, here, is also another symbol of power derived from the Roman legacy.  Just to the left and in front of the fasces is a mace with the image of an eagle atop it.  Hitler was in love with this symbolism and used it often, but what he did with it is not relevant, here.  These may be fascist symbols, or they may not be, depending on what meaning we ascribe to them, but one thing they do reference is Rome.

The United States is currently the oldest existing democracy in the world.  This representative democracy was, in fact, modeled after the old Roman design, and for good reason.  The Romans were the first to successfully establish a government that actually served the people.  The ancient Greeks tried democracy, but their efforts were short-lived.  Prior to the Romans, every government had existed for itself.  The citizenry existed to serve the government, and not the other way around.  A king was, essentially, the most successful thief and the most powerful warlord.  He took from the people, and then he took the people.  The people had their property, but the king owned both the people and their property.  Rome turned the entire system on its head.  One can read in the First Book of the Maccabees how the Jews were amazed that a city-state across the sea was managed by consent of the people.  Such a thing was stunning in its uniqueness.  The people of Rome were actually quite content with their way of life, especially compared with nearly all previous civilizations.  Therefore, the Roman model had to be the best possible choice for the creation of a new and happy nation that was to be called the United States of America.

France followed closely after.  Nation after nation followed in the footsteps of the United States.  This experiment has proved successful, at least thus far.  It is still a young nation, and we would like to keep it that way, but all people are mortals, and everything they make is destined to die.  We do well to know our weaknesses.  Democracy may have many moral weaknesses, but only two of them are truly mortal.

The first and greatest weakness of democracy is the tendency for the strongest political leaders to become stronger, while the weakest leaders become even weaker.  In the case of Rome, as with us, the strongest person in government is always the head of the executive branch.  We know him as the president.  They knew him as Caesar.  Our founders attempted to counter this by giving most of the powers of governance to the legislative branch.  It was a nice gesture, at best.  Congress makes a preferable seat of power, because it divides that power among many people.  No single person has enough of it to dominate the whole country.  The most powerful branch, in this case, is also the weakest.  It’s a delicate balance.  Everyone in power has that power because they strove for it.  We can guarantee that they will continue to fight for more power.  Therefore, the people with the most power will continue to take it from people with less of that power.  The legislature, as a whole, may be more powerful than the presidency, at least initially, but the president has far more power than any member of Congress.  The same was true for Caesar.  Consequently, both Caesar and the president naturally tend toward acquiring more power.  Responsibilities originally assigned to the legislature gradually migrate over to the executive.  For example, the act of declaring war, once a legislative function, has given way to “police action,” otherwise known as the president sending troops anywhere to fight for any reason he wants.  Eventually, the president could become powerful enough to remain in power indefinitely, and he might find that he can do exactly as he chooses with his nation.  Rome turned this course over hundreds of years.  Nazi Germany did it in a matter of a few years.  Most Middle-Eastern “democracies” started out this way.  When it happens, whether it changes over the course of several terms, or only one, we will find ourselves as Rome, engaged in expansion, foreign wars, and pretty much all manner of insanity associated with self-aggrandizement, the symptom of someone’s bloated ego.  The nation may not be a kingdom, but it will behave as one.

The second weakness of democracy, the one that actually might make the nation cease to exist, is the tendency to spend itself into oblivion.  Rome fell to the tyranny of the imperial Caesar, but it continued to exist for several years before ultimately crumbling under the weight of its own debt.  That is the hallmark of democracy, unfortunately.  We can see it everywhere we look.  Some nations rushed into it.  Others took their time.  All of them are headed in the same direction, and all of them have the same destination.  Rome died the slow death of depleting funds.  Government suffered from what might be called the grab-bag mentality.  It’s our own hand, even now.  Everyone wants as much as they can get.  No one wants to give more than they must.  Cutting taxes looks good.  Creating programs looks good.  No democracy ever seems to shrink its role, and no democracy ever does naught but slide further into debt.  The third-party payer weakness can be seen in the insurance industry, driving up the cost of health care, and it can be seen in the loan industry, driving up the cost of homes.  Wherever people are detached from their own expenditures, costs are sure to soar.

Even beyond the money issue, we have the problem of diminishing priorities.  Every priority that we have, even our highest priorities, are hurt by every new priority we add.  Each time we add an objective, all previous objectives become a little more neglected as a result.  Hence, even if the national defense is still our highest priority, the addition of environmentalism takes away from our ability to defend ourselves.  On a personal scale, we might consider the automobile: if we want it fast and relatively safe, then we run on gasoline.  If we want it to burn cleanly, then we run it on methane, but then it is less safe and less strong.  Occasionally, people kill themselves while pumping natural gas, while gasoline rarely causes injury during fueling.  We could make the car more efficient by making it smaller and lighter, but then, again, it has a weaker engine, and it gets deadly in a collision.  Each new priority added weakens all preexisting priorities.  As a nation gets older, it continues to add priorities.  Each priority costs something, whether money, human resources, natural resources, or just attention.

We need to be aware of our weakness as a democracy, and we need to vote accordingly.  This means we need to keep our debt in check.  We absolutely need to curb our innate tendency to always add new programs.  We’ve got to focus on the fundamentals, the things that government must provide.  Lastly, we need to vigilantly reign-in the presidency.  This great experiment will eventually come to an end, if only because it was made by humans, but it doesn’t have to end today, or tomorrow, next year or next century.  It doesn’t have to, but it will if we don’t learn from history.


Famine in the Land of Plenty

25 11 2010

Let’s imagine a hypothetical situation for a moment.  We’ll take a pre-Industrial Revolution town, just some plaster houses with a small business district and surrounding farms, and we’ll give it a combine and a tractor and all of the necessary mechanized implements.  In this way, one man can  manage enough farmland to feed the entire community and have plenty left over for export.  This is an incredible boon for the town, because they now have all the food they need, provided for minimal cost.  Now the farm workers are out of a job.  Because the town was mostly agrarian, that means that most of the inhabitants are now unemployed.  Those merchants with a non-agriculture occupation are also forced out of business, because the majority of their customers are now unemployed.  The whole town slides into economic depression, because, although the food is plenty and cheap, no one has money to buy it, because no one has a job.  The man on the combine must find new customers in a hurry, because the town can’t buy his goods.  In this case, the community has more resources than ever before, but they slip into poverty anyway.  All of their basic needs are filled.  They don’t know what a television is, or a cell phone, or a computer.  They only needed a roof, clothes and food.  They could make their own clothes from the sheep in the backyard.  The roof is a done deal, and the food is plentiful and provided by one man.  With the work of a single individual, the entire town could take a more or less permanent vacation.  This is, of course, an exaggeration to make a point.  But the entire town has done nothing to deserve the food.  Only that one man earned anything.  Therefore, the entire town cannot get the food, because they have done nothing to earn it, even though it is there and ready for the taking.

The real paradox of a depression is that, while the society has all of the machinery necessary to produce everything it needs, which are all of the things it was producing prior to the depression, no one can afford those things.  Through the law of supply and demand, one would expect the products to become cheaper as demand decreases, offsetting the problem, but if the people are unemployed, then the luxuries could never be cheap enough to be purchased, yet expensive enough to be produced.  If the people have no income, then they can’t afford anything at any price, and if they are unemployed, then they have no income.  If people don’t buy their goods and services, then they will be unemployed, but people cannot buy their goods and services because they have no income, either.  So there’s the paradox.  Everyone is willing and able to produce all of the things that everyone else wants to buy, but can’t, because no one is able to buy their goods and services, either.

Getting back to the problem of the man on the combine.  At first glance, we would fault the farmer for buying the combine and putting others out of a job.  That would be foolish, though.  He should not be faulted for providing an abundance of food to the community, or for finding a much more efficient way of doing it.  We should say, rather, that the farm hands have been freed to provide other services to the community.  Unfortunately, these services can not be afforded by anyone, because too many people are unemployed.  Everyone wants to sell something, but nobody can, because nobody can buy anything because they can’t sell anything either.  The problem is not that the town had too much food.  That could never be a problem for anyone.  The problem was that the food industry was too big of an industry for the town.  When it changed, the economy could not absorb the change.  A few unemployed people might eventually find a new niche to fill.  An entire town full of unemployed people would be hard pressed to find any means of income.

A single industry can have a sudden shift.  A market for cars or widgets can saturate overnight.  Suddenly, nobody needs another car or widget.  Everyone who wants one has one, so the industry must downsize, and people are left looking for new employment.  Sometimes, as with the combine, new technology displaces the old.  People who made a living making and selling the slide rule were driven out of business by those who make and sell the electronic calculator.  We cannot fault people for inventing a marvelous new device.  We cannot fault people for finding a better way of producing things.  The problem is not that an industry shifts.  All industries shift.  That’s how progress is possible.  The problem is when an industry shift is so huge that it takes the entire economy down with it.

Those communities in the Midwestern United States area are often plagued by single-industry towns, like a town built around a paper mill, or a town built around a pencil factory.  When that one major factory fails, when the pencil business drops in response to the use of computers, for example, the entire town, all the way from the mechanic to the jeweler collapses.  In terms of basic needs, they still had available everything that they needed to live, same as before, but no one could pay for those things, because too many people were out of a job.  The supply was untouched.  The demand would be untouched if people could find a way to earn their right to the supply.  The economy for the country at large is not entirely different.  When any one industry becomes so huge that it cannot hiccup without taking down all other industries, it has the potential to, sooner or later, start a chain reaction that ultimately has us all waiting in a food distribution line.  On the large scale, these industries are big things like automobiles, fuel and housing, the things that we dump the greatest portion of our income into.  The greatest of these is housing.

At the moment of this writing, foreclosures are extremely high.  The country is full of empty homes and people badly in need of them.  Society has everything it needs to be prosperous.  There are enough homes to go around.  No one need be without one.  In this case, the combine has been replaced with the housing market.  Everyone needs that industry badly, and that industry has ample supply, but no one can afford it at any price, because people are becoming highly unemployed.  There’s no shortage in supply.  There’s not really even any surplus of demand.  There’s just a shortage of jobs.

Now, in any economic crisis, the focus is always on the jobs.  Everyone wants to be employed.  In fact, they’re more concerned about having a job than they are about getting the newest gadget.  Yet, if they don’t buy the newest gadget, then someone else will be out of a job, and other gadgets will not be purchased.  In the past, the government has responded to this one-sided predicament by emphasizing its opposite, by encouraging people to spend their money.  The government is always anxious to have us spend more money, not only because it generates tax revenue, but also because it helps to balance the supply versus demand.  It takes the focus off of getting more money, that we might spend more money, to ultimately help us get more money.  This has two problems to it.  First, it puts the cart before the horse.  No one should be expected to buy anything that they did not already want to buy.  The burden is on the seller to provide something worth buying.  Second, this approach has never once succeeded.  That, alone, should be reason enough to abandon this method.

The real solution goes back to the man on the combine.  His single industry is huge for an agrarian culture.  Any change in his one industry, even a positive change, can cause the economy to collapse.  The people have more food, but fewer people actually get any food, because nearly everyone is now unemployed.  The problem was not that he ruined the industry.  In fact, he improved it greatly.  The problem was that his industry was too important to the over-all economy.  Had he been in the business of selling widgets, he could rise and fall without affecting anyone else.  Likewise, the housing industry is not to be faulted for creating too many houses or too few, but for being too big a part of our expenses.  Home loans, coupled with the rush on the housing market, caused prices to soar.  People could spend more if they could borrow more, and if they were suddenly motivated to buy a bigger house on the same income, then they had less money left each month to spend on other things.  This would not be such a problem, except that those other things happened to be other people’s livelihoods.  When those other things were no longer being bought, then those people lost their jobs.  When they lost their jobs, they could no longer afford to buy other things, and those people lost their jobs.  Eventually, the chain reaction worked its way around to the housing industry, itself, because the people who got the bigger loans could no longer pay for them, because they were largely unemployed.  So the housing industry collapsed.  We have a lot of people in need of homes and a lot of homes in need of people, with no way to bring the two together.  It’s like the town full of people starving to death, because the man with the combine is producing too much food.

In the end, the economy pulls itself together.  The government is always useless in this effort.  If they could have done anything, then they probably would have found a solution to these things by now.  Despite great odds, people must strive to find a way to produce goods so worthwhile that they can squeeze a profit in a dry economy.  The unemployed farm hands must invent other services to provide the world.  Avoiding a recession is quite a different thing than getting out of one, though.  A recession happens not only when something big goes wrong, but it even happens when something big goes right.  The problem is that something big happened.  The problem is that any one industry should be too big a portion of our economy.  If a business cannot shrink and grow, change and develop without toppling the economy, then we have the makings of economic instability.  It would be tempting to suggest government-legislated price limits, but this only forces the problem out in other directions.  The real problem lies in the mentality of the people in our society.  It’s a problem that no single individual can do anything about.  I can do my best to live within my means, thusly creating a stable personal economy, but if the rest of the world does not do this, then my finances will always be at risk.  I can diversify my portfolio, but the whole thing can still plummet entirely if the rest of society crashes.  The best thing I can do is buy a smaller, more affordable home, drive less, and drive an economy car.  In this way, the biggest industries can have less impact in my life.  Still, the economics of one person is not enough.

The fact is that we all love to have the biggest, nicest home, drive the flashiest car, and travel the world.  So long as this country remains addicted to this limited sort of materialism, it will not have the economy to pursue these very things.  It’s almost like trying too hard to sleep, or trying too hard to be happy.  The effort is self-defeating.  In the meantime, the best that the government can do is to avoid making any big changes in spending and taxation, unless necessary.  Sometimes the last thing we need during times of trouble is someone’s idea of a solution.  The government, after all, is possibly the biggest industry of them all.

The story of the town with the combine is not entirely fictional, though.  Just prior to the Great Depression, farmers were complaining to their government that food was too plentiful, and they were not generating enough revenue from their farming.  The government’s solution was to pay the farmers to destroy food.  The economic collapse that followed left people standing on the riverbanks watching trucks dump potatoes into a river, with police guarding the load to keep people from jumping in to save the food.  A man could earn a wage to dig a ditch, so that pigs could be herded into it and shot, then buried.  By destroying enough food to feed an entire town, he could earn enough to buy his family a meal.  The masses were starving in the land of plenty, and the government was using their money to make the land less plentiful.  Clearly, they were solving the wrong problem.  But then, the government always did have a way with money.

This, That and the Other Thing

20 03 2010

This is This.

This is a location.

This is a position.

This is the period at the end of the sentence that keeps a statement from running on and on.

Sometimes a sentence just begs to continue, and more than one This is needed, otherwise….

This is stasis, a strength through stability, a security that tomorrow will be the same as today.

This is traditionalist.

That is That.

That is not a place, but a direction.

That is somewhere else.

No matter how far That travels, That will never be This.

That knows no destination, but if it did, then That would not stay there.

That cannot stop, is not satisfied, is always changing.

That is visionary.

This has a problem.

A large ambiguous uncertainty hangs overhead.

So long as This remains thus, this will always be so.

That seeks to fix This.

That would change This to a New This.

This does not want to be changed, resists change.

Sometimes This wins and is not moved.

Sometimes That wins, and moves.

But time is on the side of That.

No matter how many times This wins, only the victories of That add up.

That always wins in the long run.

This is approaching a new problem.

This is no longer a fearsome uncertainty.

This now becomes a horrible certainty.

That is Not That.

Not That is not That.

Not That is also not a location, but a direction.

Not That doesn’t know a destination, either, but if it did, then it would not stay there.

Not That seeks to stop the destructive influence of That, the horrible certainty.

Whatever That is, Not That is not.

Not That is defined by That.

Not That is reactionary.

That and Not That battle for direction.

Sometimes That wins.

Sometimes Not That Wins.

If either side won, then it would continue unabated.

But Not That is not This.

Not That is just another kind of That.

Only This is This.

But in the battle between That and Not That, This is lost.

How do we ever find This again?

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

(James 1:17 NIV)


Peace of Mind

15 02 2010

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.

Philippians 4:8 (New International Version)

Politics makes excellent fodder for a heated discussion.  Living in a representative government gives us the feeling of empowerment, that our leaders are our servants.  We take personal responsibility for the fate of our nation.  When our elected officials make a mess of things we get angry, because we feel responsible for having given them that authority.  Much of what we see in the news is about politics.  Friendships are forged and broken over political affiliation.  Yet, we give ourselves too much credit.  A person gets one vote.  That one vote among many gets two choices.  Will it be Republican or Democrat?  Anything else, and the vote is wasted.  People judge us by whom we would vote for, but we really have so little choice in the matter of our governance.  Both parties are corrupt.  One wants to take over our lives quickly, and the other wants to take over our lives slowly.  Both are faithless, immoral aristocracies, bent on gaining power.  They gain power by getting elected, and then they gain more power by ascribing more authority to themselves.

One can easily become frustrated over politics.  I can clean my house.  I can order my own little world.  I only think I can order my country.  In truth, I have almost as much say in the workings of my representative government as I would under a monarchy.  It’s like playing the lottery: an expired lottery ticket is only less likely to win by one in ninety-four million.  The difference between an old ticket and a new one is almost inconsequential.  My one vote among millions is not significantly better than the opinion of a man living under an unelected king.  Granted, the mass effect of an entire nation of votes is significant, and I should continue to vote, but I would not benefit from taking myself too seriously.  I, personally, have little say in the matter.

People pull their hair out over politics.  Yet, they are almost entirely helpless to do anything about it.  A key to happiness is to avoid dwelling too heavily on that which a person cannot change.  You were handed a life with certain conditions that you had no hand in making.  You can make yourself miserable by worrying over the evils that were handed to you, or you can find those things which are in your power to affect, and then affect them for the better.  You get one vote.  You only get that one vote.  Don’t treat it as something more than it is.  The governance of your country is likely not in your hands.

You can put your faith in God.  No one can take that from you.  You can put your mind at ease by ordering the little piece of the universe that God has placed in your hand.  Take charge of what is really yours.  Let go of what is not.  If you can’t kill the rats of angst that gnaw at your mind, then remove yourself to a peaceful place.  While it lasts, there are still places of beauty in this world.  There are still decent people among us.  There is still a way to live at peace.  Thank God for what you do have.

In the end, life is not what you make it, in an absolute sense.  It is what you do with what you’re given.  Some people are given more and some less, and different people are sure to have different outcomes and accomplishments.  Sure, under better circumstances you could have made more of yourself, but that isn’t really the point, is it?  Anyone could do better under better circumstances.  The issue is what you did with whatever circumstances life threw your way.  If unfairness comes your way, then the matter is not whether things should be fair, but what matters is what you did with what you had.

In a sense, life is unfair.  People start out with all kinds of advantages and disadvantages.  Down the road, more are added to the mix.  In a sense, life is perfectly fair, because initially everyone had an equal chance of being born in anyone else’s shoes.  Whether chance or divine providence chose your origins, the only question you have left to ask is, “Where do I go from here?”

Somewhere out there is a beautiful place, and you can find it.  Somewhere out there are nice people, and you can be one.  Somehow, there can always be meaning in your life.  You can always live to serve the God who made you.

Domesticated Society

7 12 2009

The falconer is a talented individual, who knows how to release a patently independent creature and fully expect that it will not continue flying, never to return.  The bird, though it be freed from its tethers, is not free in its own mind.  The key to this, as any falconer knows, is to successfully prevent the bird from eating the fruits of its own labor directly.  In training, he must be there to snatch up the bait before the bird can eat it.  Everything that the bird eats must come from the owner’s hand, so that the poor beast never makes the connection between its kill and its food.  Otherwise, it might realize that it does not need the master at all, and the next time it is released, it might fly away and never return.  The falconer uses the bird to catch him his food.  The bird only thinks it needs the falconer for its own food.  In reality, this is a strictly parasitic relationship.  The bird acts as a voluntary, if unwitting, host.  The human cannot give it anything that he does not first take from the bird.  He contributes nothing to the relationship, other than psychological enslavement.

Oh, but this happens to you, too.  You are that bird.  When communism fell in Eastern Europe, people, at first, cherished their new found freedom, but with time they discovered the burden of having to fend for themselves.  These days, much of the populace is waxing nostalgic for the “good old days,” when a job was guaranteed to every person.  With time, those memories seem not so bad.  It’s like the Israelites leaving Egypt, saying, “We were better off in the land of Egypt, living as slaves, because at least then we had food and water…security…certain assurances.”  Egypt provided them nothing.  Everything that their masters gave them was the fruit of their own labor, minus whatever the masters took.  The security of a guaranteed meal was an illusion.  If the slaves stopped providing it, then the masters certainly would not have taken to the fields to provide for their slaves.  The essence of the problem was that the people were looking to other humans to fill a role that should have been occupied by God.

Jan, a Czech immigrant, and a few of his friends conversed with me over a few glasses of wine, while I sipped my coffee.  They lamented the waning of freedom in their homeland.  This freedom has not been weakening in the political field, so much as it has been in the psychological realm.  They fear that Communism is on its way back, and the worst part of it is that it is being invited back by the very people that it once enslaved.  The difference between them and Americans, they assure me, is that Americans put their faith in God.  The Czech Republic is overwhelmingly atheistic, and so to fill that void, they place government in the esteem of God, looking to corrupt greedy men for the assurance of security.  This is probably the essence of why the Communist regime worked so hard to kill religion.  If people have faith in God, then they do not look to the government for hope.  Kill God, and the government inherits godlike authority.  Ever wonder why the West has instituted atheism as the official, “scientific” explanation, the only thing that can be taught in public schools?  It isn’t actually scientific at all.  Rather, it is a tool for bringing more power to the government.

Through the first years of the United States, people lived quite successfully without any help from the government.  Life was a constant struggle for survival, but people put their faith in God, and they lived through it.  These days, one might think that the entire nation should have perished without publicly funded programs.  How did they ever survive?  As the faith in God wanes, the faith in government grows.  But, where God can give us what we did not sow, the government can only give us what it takes from us.  We are that falcon that brings food to its master, then accepts, gratefully, food in return.  We fail to see that we would be better, far better, able to care for ourselves if the money had not been taken from us in the first place.  With faith in God, we would have cared for our own needy.  With faith in government, we lose most of our forced contributions to administrative costs.  We catch the rabbit for the government, and it gives us our morsel in return.

Were people really guaranteed a job under communism?  Not really.  The government could not give what it did not first take.  When the economy ran dry, the government collapsed.  Instead of losing their jobs a little here and there, they all lost their jobs at once.  The bigger the beast, the harder it falls.

My Czech friends warn me of a ratchet effect in the United States, and I have thought as much, myself.  Change only happens in one direction.  The government never relinquishes power.  That domesticated falcon is never set free.  Little by little it promises more to us.  It feigns to be our omnipotent guardian.  It usurps God.  Little by little it takes our money and our freedom to pay for these vices.  The process never reverses.

As we lose our faith in God, so do we lose our freedom to men.

A wild animal is born knowing things.  It knows how to hunt, how to care for itself and how to live out in the middle of nowhere on practically nothing at all.  It needs no food dish, no doghouse, no litter box.  This animal is born to be free.  It takes a clever trainer to domesticate it.  The animal unlearns all of the skills that came to it instinctively.  It learns, instead, the ways of its new master, the human.  It learns to be helpless.  What does a horse need?  It’s surrounded by food, everywhere it goes.  Yet, it comes to depend on the human.  For what?  The human gives it a fraction of the fruit of its own labor.

But the domesticated mindset, once learned, is not forgotten.  To put it another way, the wild instinct, once forgotten, is not easily learned.  Once the animal learns to eat from the hand of a human, it forgets how to eat from the hand of God.

Festus, an old Roman governor, was a freed slave, but the Caesar remarked that he still had the mind of a slave.  What was this mindset?  To understand this, we must look to the slaves that we know.  When freed, they stayed with their masters and continued to work for them.  Years later, their children still largely look to the mastership of other humans to provide for them.  Predictably, they tend to vote for the party that not only enslaved them but even marginalized them through horrible racist laws.  The reason is that this party has become to them the new slave master.  It reaps what they sow, and it gives back to them what they need.  That government has become as God to them.  They look to it to fulfill their needs, never really grasping that they have surrendered their freedom, little by little, and never really accounting for the fact that they only receive a net loss in the transaction.  Like the Israelites, they long to return to Egypt, where a meal seemed guaranteed, where they trusted in the providence of men rather than God.

But the provision of men will certainly come to an end, and the provision of God is boundless.

When a natural disaster like hurricane Katrina hits, people whine and cry that the government is not there to rescue them.  It’s like complaining to an intestinal worm that it does not provide nourishment in a time of famine.  The parasite is not there for the host’s benefit.  It takes as much as it can, leaving just enough to keep the host alive.  It provides nothing in return.  We need not thank it for what it lets us keep.  It is not our savior.  The government is only human, like us, and as humans, it is vulnerable to all of the same troubles.  Its role as God is only a masquerade.

Choose, this moment, whom you will serve.