People of faith rightly spend time studying scriptures, doing good works and being admirable citizens. This is a noble pursuit and of great benefit as an essential component of a just and free society.
But also a rare human quality is the ability to carefully analyze culture and society with its often unseen impact on the human soul.
It can be likened to an odd fish deciding to carefully analyze the water it floats in while all other creatures go about unaware of the true nature of their watery world.
Alec de Tocqueville was such an “odd fish”. His observations of American democracy and its culture during his journeys in the 1830’s have an astute and almost prophetic insight. De Tocqueville great work “Democracy in America” contains observations as relevant today as they were almost 200 years ago.
A striking discovery of his research involves the nature of democracy and the irresistible leveling effect it has on individuals and society. While democracy may create a leveling in the political realm, De Tocqueville rightly observed that human nature would still drive people to seek individual gain and prestige.
He noted how American’s were constantly forming vigorous civic associations to perform all manner of public and private endeavors. He wrote that being in such civic associations gave individuals the means to gain parity with the wealthy and politically well-connected by using the power of their combined numbers.
He also made the prophetic observation, that outside of such associations, people in a democracy are essentially enfeebled and politically impotent being their single vote, by itself, carried little political weight and lacking either money or prestige are helpless against what he described as the inherent power of the aristocracy.
He foresaw that as a nation state became more organized and dominate, individual outside of an aristocracy or without membership in powerful associations would in fact feel more enfeebled and insignificant. This lack of political recourse would leave him (or her) in a discouraged state of mind making them even less likely to participate in the counterbalance of vigorous civic association.
De Tocqueville described exactly what troubles a significant percentage of biblical and cultural conservatives today.
As we become more disillusioned and discouraged about having any control over the direction of our cultural, there is growing skepticism and indifference towards the power and necessity of joining in civic associations.
What many people fail to understand, is democracy without the constant input of those under biblical authority, is in essence politically and culturally orphaned by the very people the founders expected to be its tutors and guides.
They constantly warned that the enormous power of democracy was only controllable by people of faith who were themselves under biblical self-control.
Without self-control democracy runs wild like an orphan in an urban slum, an orphan who learns only of vices and human miseries.
Such a form of democracy seeks to placate the demands of those scornful of biblical self-control using equality without morality as a means to alleviate the constant and powerful leveling pressure of democracy.
As a result equality amongst women involving birth control can cost the life of an unborn American citizen through abortion.
Equality in marriage can require the forced participation of those who disagree with same sex marriage using the coercive power of the state.
This savage democracy has no limit to its demands because it has no basis for limiting its appetite for power. Lacking a reason for self control such a democracy is doomed to despotic hedonism and inevitable decay.
Our founders foretold that our democratic republic would collapse, if citizens under biblical authority failed in their responsibility to join in alliance with other like minded citizens in vigorous civic association to both confront and control the political and cultural excess which leads to savage democracy.
We who confess to believe in biblical authority must take our mandate seriously to be stewards of culture and society.
The future of the United States, as a free nation defending both liberty and equality, rest squarely on the backs of those who uphold and esteem the biblical values upon which it was founded. Only by such action can these values be preserved and protected for future generations…
Hawaii Future Project