To War! For Nothing

When I was serving as a Air National Guard chaplain, I saw first hand how everything that took place was bent toward the accomplishment of the mission. In the case of the bases where I served, the mission was to provide fighter jets for whatever conflict required their presence. No matter how insignificant the task, in the end, everything served the one end – get the planes in the air.

That’s what it means to be on a war footing. All smaller ends are brought under the goal of the final end. Anyone who has served in the military knows what I am referring to.

Think about this for a moment and then turn your thoughts toward utopian ends. The push toward a utopian future requires a system that is, essentially, on a war footing. All social ends must be bent, by force if necessary, to the service of the progress toward the utopian goal. All areas of the social order must be controlled by the drive toward that goal. The problem is, no one knows what the goal actually is. But no matter. Good intentioned, high minded ideals are self-justifying. And those who are not so sure are simply in the way. Nothing can be allowed to interfere with the drive toward, well, nowhere.

You would think that having had numerous disastrous examples of this in the 20th century to observe, we would have disabused ourselves of the idea of turning society into a quasi-military enterprise. But no. The utopian socialist dreamers are alive and well. I suspect it has something to do with the loss of religious belief that really hit the tipping point in the 19th century. What does one hope for in a world that has been officially declared godless? At least with utopianism there is something quasi transcendent to believe in, even if it can never be realized. Even if ‘there is no there there.’

The stubborn commitment to the failed ideas of an idealistic utopian future is a pathetic substitute for the loss of  the religious, philosophical and artistic traditions of the west which once gave us a profound civilizational context to inhabit. We are now being sold the bill of goods that the great traditions of the west are actually the source of all things despicable. And in the place of this great inheritance we are offered a diet of resentful nihilism. Seems like a poor trade off to me.

Young people today are unhappy with the world without really understanding why. Well, here is a clue. When you jettison 2,000 + years of civilizational development for the sake of a present and future emptied of meaning, an empty and meaningless life is what you get. Young people, you are being had. The pseudo-intellectuals who are ‘educating’ you in this nonsense are making you their foot soldiers in their war on meaning. Instead of actually educating you in the great traditions of your history and enabling you to inhabit your world with real and effective tools for living, these charlatans are filling you with the resentments that are playing out in exactly the manner they intend: you are becoming mindless warriors on behalf of an unobtainable, utopian dream. You are  pouring scorn and resentment on a society that has given you life and unprecedented opportunity, the origins of which you have neither been taught to understand or appreciate.

Zealots in a war on behalf of nothing. I cannot think of a more dreary and depressing existence in which one could be fated to live.





Published by Pastor Mark Anderson

Lutheran pastor, husband, dad, archaeology nut, serious blues guitarist and aspiring luthier.

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