by George Giles
by George Giles
Karen Armstrong has written a concise, eloquent and beautiful little book titled A Short History of Myth. Her thesis is elemental and important: mankind's societal evolution and mythology are intimately linked together. Myth provides a vehicle for the transference of values from individual to group and back over multiple generations and time spans. Myths have presaged the written word in the absence of accurate historical record. According to her myths are discarded as an evolutionary process when they no longer serve the purpose for which they were created. Such is the myth of modern government that it is the foundation of contemporary society, the architect, progenitor and guardian of man's scientific, ethical and cultural values. It is myth whose time has come to be discarded onto the "dust bin of history".
Ms. Armstrong is mainly known as a religious scholar. Her most famous works are Islam: A Short History, A History of God: The 4,000 Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam, and The Spiral Staircase: My Climb Out of Darkness. Her curriculum vitae includes 7 years as a nun in the Society of the Holy Child Jesus and graduate work in English at St. Anne's College, Oxford University. Her books, in my opinion, are well researched and make pleasant and easy reading especially considering that nature of deep choice of topics. Full a full catalog go to Amazon and query books using keywords Karen Armstrong.
The Founding Fathers, drawing on hundreds of years of European history, much witnessed firsthand, viewed the state as an anathema, a monster to be kept in chains lest it rise up and wreak havoc on our shores of individual liberty and economic liberalism that they had so assiduously created and defended. The separation of powers in the Constitution were carefully crafted to perpetually starve the state by denying it the sustenance of centralized power, unaccountable authority, and the ability to reach into the public treasury.
As most readers of Lew Rockwell's site know that didn't last too long. The battles between Hamilton and Jefferson are legendary and while Jefferson won the initial skirmishes, and got his ideals enshrined into hallowed and timeless legal documents, Hamilton's ghost holds the field today and the public and the greater world at large are suffering again at the hands of the monster.
The modern nation state is scarcely a century old. Prior to that time, government was not viewed as the responsible agent for the education, health, welfare, and geriatric care of the populace. It is my opinion that the seeds of Empire were planted by Abraham Lincoln in the War of Northern Aggression (I'm a Southerner, not by birth, but I got here just as soon as I could), but they first bore Imperial fruit under McKinley when he invaded the Philippines. This was followed in rapid-fire succession by Wilson and The First World War, Roosevelt and World War II, Truman and the Korean War, Kennedy/Johnson and the Vietnam War, and the Bush family with Gulf War I and II. It's been the proverbial express elevator to hell, going down, for lovers of peace and freedom ever since.
The mythology that has been so carefully crafted over the last century is that we live in a free and compassionate society, with individual rights protected by the Bill of Rights, but as students of liberty and observers of contemporary events we now know that this is not the case. Thousands of executive orders, secret protocols and classified laws have largely eliminated these in fact, if not in mass perception.
As Ms. Armstrong has so carefully delineated in her fine book, mythology is discarded when it no longer serves the purpose for which it was created. Pagan Gods evolved as did patterns of worship to reflect man's changing role in society and his perception of the environments in which he lived. The Koran, Torah and Bible have all undergone similar revision both in the textual presentations and in the presentation by their respective clergies over time, tuning the mythology to the current needs of the faithful.
The last 100 years have shown clearly what the nature of government is a parasitic, opportunistic, deceitful, hypocritical, and the greatest destroyer of life, liberty, and property of both citizens and foreigners alike. The myth is the state as a creator, nurturer, and protector and it has been shattered in the eyes of all but the spin doctors, political sycophants, and the delusional. More than a hundred million souls have been sacrificed on this altar of democidal delusion.
Consonant with Ms. Armstrong's thesis we must change current state mythology to reflect the reality of our current cultural needs. Statistical pole after pole has clearly demonstrated that Americans understand the reality and are actively discarding the mythology of this belief.
It is now time to discard the mythology codified in the unintelligible, unmanageable and unenforceable nightmare that is the U.S. Code and the Federal Register. It's time to represent current Federated government for what it is: a multi-headed hydra, a monster to bind with the chains of the republican representation, constitutional and limited government that puts the rights of the individual and the state's above the Hydra of Federated Power.
We already have the mechanism: the right to free speech, public assembly, and the democratic vote. I have been voting Libertarian since 1976. When a Libertarian candidate does not exist I vote against the incumbent (only a bad idea if it is Rep. Ron Paul). Join me, and thousands of others, in discarding the stale, perverted mythology of the Modern Nation State, and replace it with that which Washington, Jefferson and the Founding Fathers intended. Truth is not fungible, mythology is, let's make ours both believable and a service to our needs, just like Karen says we always do eventually over the 4000 thousand year period of her analysis.
July 20, 2006
George Giles [send him mail] is an independent thinker and writer in Nashville, Tennessee.
Copyright © 2006 LewRockwell.com