People eventually run to God or run from God. Those that run from God will run to something else. Perhaps it is just an idea that suits their situation. Maybe its someone or something that is appealing to them at a particular point in time. I suppose Blaise Pascal had it right back in the 17th century when he said, “There is a God-shaped hole in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God the Creator.” It seems when we try to fill that hole with stuff that doesn't belong, we end up in a mess. Another way to put that is when we substitute the confidence we should have in our Creator God for confidence in anything else, particularly man, we will have a void in our very soul. Eventually, that void leads to insecurity, hopelessness, and fear, and that leads to desperation and despair. Yet, history is replete with people that turn their lives over to a man or men, believing in the rhetoric their ears desire to hear(it’s the whole “itchy ears” syndrome referenced in the Bible). People listen to what they want to hear and ignore what they don’t want to hear. So, when we hear we can "master our own destiny", be all we can be, and live the American dream, all in the setting of a utopian universe, we just don't ask the hard questions first.
Back in the early sixties when I was just a young thing, some of us were selected for testing to determine our aptitude and attitude. I remember one of those questions being, “Is man basically good?” Before my high school graduation, a specified group from my class was selected once again to take this exam, albeit a bit more involved, and the same question was offered to us in a variety of different ways. I later figured out these test (social barometers) were there to measure our level of assimilation into our culture. Social experimentation and engineering had been going on for some time by then. The idea that man holds the keys to his own utopian destiny were well documented before Marx, Lenin, Hitler or Friedrich Nietzsche’s declaration that “we have killed him—you and I” referring to God. Of course Nietzche is also famous for his "SuperMan” ideology which Hitler took to like a "duck on a June-bug" in his Mein Kampf rant. But I digress.
So, off we go, symbolically marching (evolving) toward utopia...envisioned, developed, and implemented by the smartest of the smart, the strongest of the strong, the most articulate and charismatic visionaries we can find. Some call this the "Escalator Myth", I will just refer to it as the "Great Falling Away".
There are many points of discussion here, but the specific point I wish to make is every generation listens to those "on the pedestal" during their generation. The one or ones on the pedestal(s) are there to articulate the vision, set expectations and confirm that utopia is just over the next rise. All that is required, is to stick together and be prepared to sacrifice for the utopian cause. You know, because "it's a big idea".
The “greater good” is the pièce de résistance of utopian speak. But for reasons seemingly beyond explanation, there are those of us who just don’t buy into the whole “heaven-on-earth gig”. For our benefit and that of the vacillating masses, a little coercion is sometimes required for the “greater good”. That is when those “owing the vision” must produce the necessary compelling events to ensure compliancy. In 1933 Germany, it was the Reichstag FireDecree that allowed Adolf Hitler the ability to rescind most civil liberties of his own people who feared a communist revolution. Once those laws were in place, it seemed good to Adolf to police the population and educate them about those in their midst that were disruptive, providing a vision of building a utopian race and culture. The rest, as they say, is history (not revisionist history). Look up autocracy, despot, dictator or tyrant and Germany's Hitler is sure to be found.
There are those now "on the pedestal" stating that our national sovereignty is incompatable with global governance and that the world must have global governance to ensure stability, peace, and prosperity. To put a finer point on that, we have members of our Legislative, Executive, and Judicial branches of the United States government, sworn to protect the Constitution, moving us away from national sovereignty toward world totalitarianism at best or an oligarchy at worst. Either will be an abrupt end to our liberty.
Someone once said a gun or a bomb may kill a few people in one place and time; but an idea can murder millions for generations. Perhaps we need to re-examine the lens through which we see the world. We may want a mulligan.