(From my other blog)
Because we believe all power and authority is Christ’s, we seek freedom from the tyranny of men, whether wicked or righteous.The Christian and the Cultural Wars by Mark R. Rushdoony
One interesting way to envision [interstellar empires] is with a truly righteous tyrant on the throne.
What primitives like us will see is the obvious righteousness of his rule. Not some murderous self-centred clown like the 20th century collectivists, but a truly intelligent and wise ruler. Someone who is a shining light, who has made multiple major contributions to humanity as a whole.
Not a mere power-grabber, he will know which powers to delegate, and understand who to trust innately. He will have his powers restricted by law, and actually abide by those laws.
But what cultural primitives like us — so used to oppressive taxation, regulations, and controls of what we say, do, and (in time) think — won’t see is the righteous tyrant bit. That part where the humble, yet beloved Emperor puts the Lie in the Noble Lie.
King David is not a bad analogue here: beloved by God, a man of honour who refused to attack his rightful liege, King Saul, he had a certain taste in women… lots of women. No matter that this is pointedly forbidden in the Law, and that David knew the Law inside and out.
Knowledge of good and evil does not save a man.
“When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold.
“And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.Deuteronomy 17:14-20, ESV
Note the rules listed here:
- Only a brother may rule, never a foreigner
- No massive military complex (“many horses”)
- No excessive silver or gold
- nod to the Japanese, who like to limit their executive compensation to 10x that of the average worker
- Read, write, know the Law. Enforce it in public, and keep it in private, always.
- Easy to say. But, as King David could tell you, not nearly so easy to do!
Of course, it would be better to not have a king at all, as I Samuel 8 spells out clearly. So does Judges 9…
The trees once went out to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, ‘Reign over us.’ But the olive tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my abundance, by which gods and men are honored, and go hold sway over the trees?’ And the trees said to the fig tree, ‘You come and reign over us.’ But the fig tree said to them, ‘Shall I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go hold sway over the trees?’ And the trees said to the vine, ‘You come and reign over us.’ But the vine said to them, ‘Shall I leave my wine that cheers God and men and go hold sway over the trees?’ Then all the trees said to the bramble, ‘You come and reign over us.’ And the bramble said to the trees, ‘If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade, but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon.’Judges 9:8-15, ESV
Productive, intelligent people have better things to do, than steal from A to give to B… with the Noble Leader and his friends taking 50% off the top, for ‘handling expenses.’
However, people — especially men — insist on a Mighty King to lead a Strong Army on some National Glory collectivist project. Many men also dislike responsibility, preferring to hand it off to someone else.
And so, some future tyrant — well-spoken, patient, intelligent, extremely well-connected, and quite possibly ageless — will see his opportunity for a very long and profitable rule.