Crimes of Philanthropy

19 08 2008

If this phrase appear to any reader paradoxical, a very little reflection will convince him that it is only so in appearance. For, the greatest organized wrongs which the civilized world has seen perpetrated in modern times, upon the well-being of mankind, have been committed under the amiable name of humanity. No despotic government now avows the ruthless purpose of self-aggrandizement and of the gratification of hatred and the lust for power; but its pretense is always the good of society, and the welfare of the governed. The wars of the ‘Holy Alliance,’ which drenched Europe in blood at the beginning of this century were all undertaken nominally for the peace and liberties of Europe. No demagogue confesses, in popular governments, the greedy ambition or avarice which proves to be his secret motive: but he seeks only the good of the ‘dear people,’ while he betrays them into mischievous anarchy or legislative attrocities.” –Robert Lewis Dabney, 1886

A dear friend of mine just returned from a ten day mission trip to Siberia. What he witnessed there were the inevitable results of the failed experiment of Communism, and the continued policies of Socialism that have literally laid waste the beautiful Russian landscape. He visited a small rural village that once boasted some of the richest and most fertile farmland in the region. The government, however, on the misguided principle that no people should be allowed to excel in benefits beyond their neighbors, razed the village, scraped the fertile soil from the fields and shipped it hundreds of miles away to a less fertile area, and relocated the population to another spot eight miles distant from their former home, where they now live in abject poverty. Their supply of potable drinking water must be brought to their village by making eight mile trips to the artesian well that once supplied their needs in their previous habitat. Such are the inevitable results of the misguided policies of wealth redistribution in the name of equal opportunity.

My friend described Russia as “a third world country with a first world military.” While the Russian Orthodox Church is the officially sanctioned religion, most of the people are animistic, setting up shrines and offering sacrifices to appease the local spirits, like the man who tacked a ribbon to a tree and left his water bottles in tribute before proceeding on the seven hour hike out of the mountains.

Democracy is not the answer to such problems. Western civilization is what it is because of the legacy of the Gospel. Let us pray for the advance of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the extension of His Kingdom into every corner of the earth where the demonic forces of tyranny continue to hold men captive to superstition and oppression. And, while we’re at it, let’s pray that God will be pleased to revive our own land and spare us from the crimes of philanthropy.

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