We all know what is meant by the nasty bureaucracy of any state’s Department of Motor Vehicles. It’s a byword, and we can make jokes about it.
My old friend Jim Bennett of George Mason University traveled in the Soviet bloc in the early 1980s on an Agency for International Development junket (because of his position as an adjunct scholar of the Heritage Foundation, which was closely linked to the Reagan administration). I can still recall what he said about the Soviet Union upon his return: “We have nothing to worry about; the place is one big Department of Motor Vehicles.”
We gain an image of the old Soviet Union as surly, inefficient, and extremely frustrating to the most honest and patient of people, the quintessential essence of a government monopoly on any particular thing.
Of course, the website where this joke appears assumes the problem is government. That’s leaping over quite a lot of intellectual territory. The problem is way too many people want private vehicles for use mostly in tightly congested cities with all too many motor vehicles already. And because of the naturally resulting competition between the operators of these vehicles, far too many will not abide by any common sense behavior in regards to others. Those who do have common sense are forced to call for some sort of enforcement over those who would otherwise refuse to abide by any restraints. The Lew Rockwell gang tend to deny such a problem exists, in particular that so many people demand the right to drive their vehicles in such a dense, competitive environment.
Since restrictions only come via government force, it becomes a major element in police functions. Traffic enforcement, including heavy penalties for registration, insurance and licensing violations, is a primary government activity. Naturally, the same venality of human nature appears in the opportunistic politicians who make the whole thing rather profitable for themselves and, incidentally, government treasuries.
In other words, the big mess is entirely dependent on materialism. Too many people want the benefits of a condensed market, so they cluster in cities. Lots more folks are suckered into it for the sake of their own, lesser opportunities to rise above their otherwise boring and peasant existence. The boring peasant existence is actually fairly ideal for humans. It includes a lot of community obligation, but that’s life in this fallen world. No, too many want to be their own god, independent of all others. They want the excitement of constant buzzing hustle in the city, and they have to run around that city in transportation. They can afford to buy their own transportation, so they demand the means to use it, rejecting the concept of shared facilities. They want to have their cake and eat it, too. Out on the rural spaces, it might be easier to justify a privately owned vehicle, but when you embrace the urban atmosphere, you really ought to embrace the whole package, which naturally includes common transportation.
That, too, is never done right. Private providers are too exclusive, refusing service to many who need it, but don’t fit the proper profile for any number of goofy reasons. And government provisions are, well, a DMV on wheels. When American culture changes so that those of the prissy and prosperous middle class don’t act like demigods in hatefully excluding anyone they don’t like, we can trust private provision. Don’t see that? One item: Why do we have the prim and proper necktie as a requirement, a token of bowing to the middle class god of fakery? Nothing about the modern necktie makes any sense at all from the pragmatic standpoint. It requires all manner of empty posturing to defend it, yet you rarely see anyone without it who is taken seriously. For women there is a similar milieu. It is by definition prissy and silly, the ultimate symbol of what’s wrong with modern Western Civilization.
The DMV is a natural outgrowth of what we are, and simply getting government out of it won’t fix anything. God’s wrath on us is just.
From ancient times, we understand humanity lived first under tribal social and political structures. The first kings were actually warlords, men who gained authority because they were effective in leading during emergencies which threatened the community. Eventually the respect and honor granted them increasing authority over other aspects of life. Natural competition for resources brought about wars between tribal nations, but those most successful would enslave those they defeated. Particular genius at military and political activities created domains quite large, and actual slavery of a few eventually transformed into virtual slavery of one nation over another. The conquered could keep their land and nominal freedom, but had to fork over some of their product to the victors. Tribute became taxation.
Throughout history, as we know it in the West, there have always been some who voiced a concern for the little people who paid the tribute and taxes, such that their lives were actually worse than simple slavery. They were first heard as prophets and reformers. Eventually it became a reliable source of support for the next ambitious warlord who sought to overcome the current ruling regime. Wise rulers knew to avoid taking too much, and protected their subjects from external threats; there weren’t very many of them. Too many were overly ambitious about glory and gold. They often used God as an excuse for grabbing those things. Thus, we have the easily recognized God, glory and gold. Naturally, God was the first factor peeled away.
It was by no means pure hedonistic grubbing that drove such men for the bulk of human history. There was a consciousness of moral obligation, even if it was flouted. They didn’t fear death, for the most part. It was more about being remembered a certain way, and living splendidly until they that death came. It was all part of the noblesse oblige which was clearly stated many times throughout history. Those kingdoms and empires which lasted longest were those which maintained a sense of that obligation. Little else can be noted as the common factor in great enduring empires. Great military power lasted only so long as resources paid for it, or until someone with ambition decided to use some of that prowess against the throne. Truly beloved were rulers who managed to capture the imagination of the common folks, making them feel a part of something worthy.
Such goes all the way back to the Tower of Babel. National greatness against entropy or external enemies does appeal to the subconscious, even if it fails to win the conscious mind. We call it “a gut reaction.” We’ll face a lot of hardship voluntarily if we are convinced the alternative is worse, and that national pride is always a factor in the equation. At the same time, we instantly recognize there is no justice in deprivation which does not come from a noble cause.
In human history, one of the greatest changes in the human condition came from the revolt of the middle class. European feudalism carried the seeds of its own destruction, and that destruction ruined it for all humanity, for all time. The story is a bit complicated, because we had the long history of the Roman Empire, which raised dehumanization to a high art, and broke forever the idea civilized men could be tribal. It destroyed the personal ties in all things. But that movement was delayed a bit by good old fashioned conquest from a bunch of hungry tribals, while the empire was weakened by petty personal abuse of the original Roman vision. There was no going back to the glories of the past in Rome; that path was closed, and this had much to do with her collapse. The Germanic tribes invaded. Their culture wasn’t all that hardy, and it quickly absorbed vast amounts of that civilization they had tried to destroy. The bastardized result was what we call the Middle Ages, with European Feudalism. It was brutal and hateful, and much of what was noble in ancient feudal structures was gone. Worse, it was greedy and ambitious. The business of God was almost always pure facade, while the gold and glory was what really mattered. It was the nature of Germanic culture to drift into such a petty and mean, hedonistic mockery of of things. So when kings and emperors grew ambitious for God-on-their-own-terms, they were ripe for the revolution of the merchants.
Should it surprise anyone that particular merchant civilization aborning should be of the same essential nature? It was greedy, petty, but lacked the noble fearlessness in facing death. So it was fearful, too. First God, then glory was peeled away. What had once been a fearfully oppressed minority became a fearsomely oppressive ruling minority — yet always claiming to be a majority because they co-opted the poor. There was a pretense of kindness, but only if you bought into the cultural loyalty. Things were even more dehumanized and depersonalized. Now it’s all about property. And the fake god who served the noble property interests of the lords became the fake god of who protected liberty and property in the middle classes. That is, liberty to do whatever it took to get more property, and the liberty of forcing their burger-burgess-bourgeoisie morals down everyone’s throats. By no means did any of this bear more than a superficial resemblance to the God of the Bible, and His outspoken concerns for the little people.
By the time the poor realized they had been suckered by a grubby materialism, it was too late. The ruling middle classes were brutally efficient, like the Rome of old. All their charitable works came down a particular narrow chute which required you pretend you wanted to be among them, to be like them in every way. “Validate our imaginary godliness or starve.”
The early middle class were simply a replacement for the noble classes, pretending to be as good, but certainly lacking in any sense of noblesse oblige. It became a doctrine their material success was God’s will, because they had obeyed God’s Laws to gain His blessings of prosperity. Meanwhile, their success was precisely because they leveraged and controlled commerce, in the same spirit of the feudal lords before them. So while at one time Conservative meant “royalist” and Liberal meant “merchant class,” eventually the Liberals found themselves defending their foothold, and became the Conservatives, while the defenders of the restive poor majority became the new Liberals. From the French Revolutionary assembly came the designation of Right for Conservative and Left for Liberal.
We can see those defenders of the poor grasped at all manner of straws in seeking a means to fight the bourgeoisie. The biblical social structure of the tribe was long, long forgotten, despite how tribal the poor tend to be. It’s an instinct which is entirely correct. So the Marxists capitalized on that (pun intended), and exploited the solidarity of condition as the means to identity. Virtually the entire range of political activity on behalf of the poor is some flavor of socialism and communism. While there are plenty of fakers running the show on this new Left, opportunists who typically rise to the top, the underlying traction of the leftist appeal remains one of human decency. The only sin is the method of righting the wrongs.
To further confuse things, a great many grubby materialists in the middle classes have learned how to make a living using a perverted socialism to support their businesses because it can be argued it’s good for the poor working class. Few will take the time to grasp the sharp divide between the working class and the poor peasantry. The former is an artificial construct, and dependent class suckered into clustering in cities for improved material conditions which never come, at least not for very long. But it does create a whole class of people with some brand of middle class prosperity tinged with socialist controls. What we see today is the cyclical death of such a monstrosity.
Unionists know there is something unseemly in management, because there is no such thing as a large corporate entity with good morals. They may well be lawful and ethical, but most laws were shaped by their paid henchmen in Congress. Actually caring about people? Nah. They remain utterly cynical about their customers, would gladly manipulate the whole world in buying stuff no one could possibly need, if only government didn’t restrain them from using various means of hypnosis. They settle for legally permitted forms of lying and tort protections.
Modern Western Civilization is devoid of morals. The very concept of what is good and right before God has been so twisted and perverted, it has become a mere petty dispute between a left and right who aren’t all that different. Neither cares a whit what our God and Creator has said on the matter, because they refuse to approach the question from His perspective. A concentration of wealth and power is inherently sinful. That was a part of the forgotten lesson of Babel. There is no means to justifying it before God, because there is no means of restraint for the fallen soul. The best protection of all human life on the planet is to ensure no one person or group ever holds enough of anything to threaten anyone who outnumbers them. The only proper defense against a bigger opponent is God, the One who promised to defend anyone who obeyed His Laws, regardless whether small or large. Righteousness by His Laws of Noah is the only acceptable path to His promises for prosperity, social stability and security.
That backing of from concentration of wealth and power surely means we must reduce our material standard of living should be obvious. What no one wants to admit is much of what we have now is so utterly superfluous as to be hedonistic by definition. We have gained so very much so very quickly, no one has any time to evaluate the moral implications over the long term. The utter lack of a long term view is another way we defy God. If nothing else, it acts a drug, a false god of progress, an means to distraction which keeps us from ever stopping to consider. So we have this constant blaring noise in ears and in our minds, and God is not heard.
That is, He is not heard as He prefers to be heard. We have demanded He not speak to us in gentle loving tones, under the false assumption we can declare Him non-existence. Nice try. Since we will not hear Him willingly, we will hear Him in destruction. It’s not just America — the entire facade of Western Civilization is collapsing, and it will hurt. The wrath of God isn’t simply fun and games, and we have earned the full measure of it.
I moderate comments. Take a moment to scan the "Readers Note" tab on the menu bar at the top of the page.
As a minister of God, I do accept donations. Please click the "Donate" tab above.