Monday, 3 November 2008

Powers that Be

Tomorrow is election day in the US. About time. I expect Obama will win. I have become thoroughly disillusioned with the Republican party, so having the Democrats get in might not be a bad thing, although the insane fanaticism of Obama's followers is a little disconcerting. I'm quite happy to live in Canada right now.

While I'm discussing politics, I've always been somewhat fascinated by the ideas of totalitarianism and fascism. Machiavelli and Hitler and all that. Currently I'm reading the Art of War by Sun Tzu. There's something kind of entrancing about the idea of so much power and authority. Maybe that's why I like the book of Isaiah so much:

Do you not know? Have you not heard? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you understood since the earth was founded? He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth, and its people are like grasshoppers. He stretches out the heavens like a canopy, and spread them out like a tent to live in. He brings princes to naught and reduces the rulers of this world to nothing. No sooner are they planted, no sooner are they sown, no sooner do they take root in the ground, than he blows on the them and they wither, and a whirlwind sweeps them away like chaff.

“You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me. I, even I, am the LORD, and apart from me there is no saviour.

(segments from chapters 41 to 43)

But while it is kind of terrifying that God has that kind of power, it's reassuring, too. It would be the furthest thing from reassuring if any loser king (or queen, if it happened to be me) had anything similar to that kind of power, which is why I believe so strongly in personal rights and freedoms even to the deficit of personal security.

Oh, and Leon died this morning just as I had to catch the bus.

“Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." Abraham Lincoln

1 comment:

art said...

I am predicting an Obama win too. Probably around the 338 to 159 area. (yes, I know my comment is posted the next day after the US election but it makes predicting easier.) I also suspect that Obama will not be able to meet the unrealistic expectations that people have placed on him and we will see his popularity drop. You cannot repair damage as quickly as one can cause damage. It will take many years before US reputation can be restored. Perhaps the reality is that the USA will never again be the nation of choice it once was.