Re: Where’s the Goodwill in Washington?

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Michael, I believe the simple answer lies in the essential exploitative nature of the state and the persons attracted to it. They are sociopaths, without character, integrity, good will, or any other humanitarian attribute. They shield their true motivation toward hegemonic power and aggrandizement behind psychological masks. They are devious, duplicitous, and deadly liars, thieves, and killers. Jim Tonkowich, in his article, Libido Dominandi: St. Augustine and the Lust for Domination, cogently observes:

In his magisterial work The City of God, Augustine of Hippo (AD 354-430) contrasts the City of God with the City of Man. The Church is the City of God on pilgrimage through this age to the Eternal City. It is the divine commonwealth ruled by God and governed by the law of love. Augustine writes of the City of God:

For if we inquire whence it is, God created it; or whence its wisdom, God illumined it; or whence its blessedness, God is its bliss. It has its form by subsisting in Him; its enlightenment by contemplating Him; its joy by abiding in Him. It is; it sees; it loves. In God’s eternity is its life; in God’s truth is its light; in God’s goodness is its joy.1

By contrast, the City of Man is the secular order. It is the earthly city ruled by humans for their own gain using their own rules. Above all, says Augustine, it “is itself ruled by the lust of rule.”2 “The lust of rule” is a translation of the Latin libido dominandi. As Richard John Neuhaus puts it, libido dominandi is “the lust for power, advantage, and glory.” It shouts, “My way or no way!” This lust for domination doesn’t just characterize politics in the City of Man, it characterizes each of us. The libido dominandi is that within each of us that plots and strives to have our own way and force others do as we say. As such, it is the controlling passion of our fallen nature and, thus, of our fallen world. We see this lust to dominate beginning with the Fall in the Garden of Eden.

“You will not surely die,” the serpent said to the woman. “For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. (Genesis 3:4-6)

The desire to “be like God” — great, glorious, and in control — led to all the misery in the world.

2:29 pm on May 24, 2014