Systems

Some time ago, I wrote this piece at AATW. I have failed to live up to those ideals and need to try again. Indeed, I believe on of the things God wishes for those who work in secular jobs (as I do) is to teach us to be in the world but not of the world.

My intuitions and convictions that form the basis of that post are probably somewhat altered and more nuanced now. Nevertheless, one thing I can say is that I feel increasing bound up in systems, as if life is a set of puppet strings, pulled not by God but by more malign forces – perhaps this is part of what the Bible means by the “Babylon” motif.

I long to see reform in my country, but my premillennialism is a big part of my thinking, and I remain convinced that dominionism is false. Whatever improvements we make, the core problem cannot be fixed by us – that is why we need a Saviour.

7 thoughts on “Systems

  1. I was reading morning prayer this morning. And it’s the feast day of the conversion of St. Paul. The antiphons continually remind us that it is God’s Grace that transforms us to a life holiness. However, we must be open to His Divine Revelation; to His decrees. It’s been the product of modern philosophy to mold God into our needs from Hume, Voltaire, and Kant. However, it is Divine Revelation of God that informs us His will against our own.

    His Grace is sufficient.

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    1. Nicholas

      The World cannot receive the Spirit, as Christ says in the Gospel. So the system qua system is unredeemable. It is by changing individuals that our societies change.

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      1. People talking about NGO and institutions but institutions only exist in both the mind, agreement, and by force.

        It’s a bit complex. In regards to culture, England the nation is merely agreed upon, but a satellite image of the island doesn’t say England. However, Englishness and the people—the cult; so to speak, does exist and is materially observed.

        It’s something I’ve thought about from time to time. In that sense, England exists until you come across the French cult, German, etc.

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      2. Nicholas

        I’m always wary about talking about “England” with Americans because I’m never entirely sure they get the various distinctions there. NEO does, as far as I’m aware, but I’m not sure I’ve talked about those with you before.

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      3. I’m not talking about England specifically but in general in relation to cult and institutions. I could have said German and Germanish.

        I remember being asked once what is Americanism. It’s hard to pin down when I thought about it .

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      4. Nicholas

        Indeed – I was just curious as it can be a problem generally when I write posts about economic and political problems and cultural ones here.

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      5. I think in the American cult, Rebellion is in the blood. Look at the state mottos of Virginia and New Hampshire for example.

        I think modern political philosophies are too—Locke, Burke, etc. An emphasis on human rights and a lack of human duty.

        America has no Shakespeare, Cervantes, Michelangelo, Bach, Chopin, etc. There are some literary greats: Hemingway, Twain, Hawthorne, Poe, Whitman, etc. but most of those are products of the 19th century or early 20th century. What is the great literary work of the 80s or 90s? In college, a professor made the class read Lovely Bones—suspenseful sensational garbage—all while telling the class that fantasy genre had no classics and wouldn’t say a word when I brought up CS Lewis is JRR Tolkien.

        Our great works are made like modern refrigerators with planned obsolescence. Sure. There are some timeless gems like Robert Johnson playing the blues, but we’re a land Stephen Foster,

        A nation cut from earth that blue jeans—the working man’s clothes—became fashionable.

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