February 20, 2011

Is this World War Three?

Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Bahrain, Libya, and even Kuwait have all been rocked with protests since the beginning of the year. In that same time period dozens have died in ongoing drug cartel violence in Mexico. And just in the past few days the streets of Madison, Wisconsin were the location for a face-off between pro-union and pro-austerity demonstrators, including several doctors who violated the conditions of their medical licenses by providing union protestors with written excuses to save them from being disciplined at work.

I don't know if anyone has yet realized the full implications of all this chaos. I don't know if anyone can realize it. The unionized teachers and the oppressive dictators both represent an ideology based on the assumption that people are too stupid, too evil, and too untrustworthy to rule their own lives. The protestors in the streets of Middle Eastern cities, the current governor of Wisconsin, and even the Tea Party supporters who showed up in Madison yesterday, are all fighting for smaller, less controlling, less expansive government. They are fighting to destroy the cultural assumption that social stability depends upon a strong, dictatorial leadership and a dependent "mass" that relies on the benevolence of their leaders.

Granted, there is a certain amount of oversimplification in this interpretation of recent events. After all, exactly how the shake-up in the Middle East will work out is still up for grabs. It is entirely possible that all of the countries involved will wind up with more oppressive governments than they had before. It is also true that the teachers of Wisconsin don't believe their government is out of money, or even if it is, they don't understand why they have to foot the bill for it. The doctors who are providing illegal written excuses for them are doing so because they also don't believe the government is going broke. Personally, I believe it is, which means that from my frame of reference the teachers and doctors are both delusional.

And then there is Mexico. An oppressive, corrupt government is struggling to end violence created by a gang war between half a dozen different cartels. Some of these gangs have more money and better hardware than the national army does! The gangs and the government of Mexico have something in common, however. Both of them are collectivist organizations that believe their members are inherently entitled to greater access to resources than the rest of the Mexican population. They are both more than happy to see Mexico's impoverished and unemployed social class migrate north into the United States while the two of them shoot it out for domination of the country.

When watching tens of thousands demostrate against entrenched dictators in the Middle East while the America people are torn between unionized big government proponents and grassroots small government proponents, I cannot help but wonder at the parallels. In both cases one side of the debate favors a powerful but benevolent tyranny while the other favors minimal government involvement in daily life and greater freedom for the individual.

Back in July I predicted World War Three by fall, spring at the latest. And now here we are, in the midst of the most radical winter of discontent known to history. Chaos is everywhere and in almost every case, collectivism and freedom are battling one another for domination of the human imagination. Is this World War Three? Are we fighting for freedom from tyranny and social engineering? Is this the new face of modern war? Is this a global 1776 with people everywhere struggling to throw off the chains of tyranny and breathe free?

I hope and pray it is! And I hope it succeeds!

Or is it all something else? Is this perhaps an illusion? Is it possible that conspiracy theorists are right and the end result will not be more freedom, but less? Have we all been manipulated by media and entertainment into creating so much chaos that a global dictatorship more oppressive than anything we have ever known can rise to power?

Sadly, there is no way to judge ahead of time what the final product of all this chaos will be. I am hoping for an end to tyranny leading to the establishment of genuine freedom and a moral society. Unfortunately, I have a hard time believing in a utopia of any kind. So I wait, and watch, and wonder. Will a new kind of global society emerge or is all of this merely setting the stage for some kind of biblical armageddon?