Nothing in this World is What it Appears to Be

I’ve pointed this out many times here when speaking of the world in which we live, particularly in Biblical passages that deal with spiritual warfare; nowhere is this truer than in show business and politics.

Of course show business is obvious, especially when speaking about television and movies; what you see on the screen that looks so real actually isn’t. When the scene is over and the director says “cut”, the dead man gets up from the floor and goes to lunch!

For many of us, politics seems obvious as well, for ask anyone and they’ll tell you that they don’t believe a politician’s promise, but then that isn’t actually a true statement. Oh yes, everybody says that, but then ask them why they voted for or against so and so, and you’ll discover that they really do believe what was said.

What makes politics not what they appear to be is somewhat more serious.

Maybe Mr. Trump was right about one thing: The game really is rigged… but not in the way he meant it. Here’s what I mean by that:

Many years ago when I had government in high school, the teacher insisted that we accept the notion that there was this political spectrum out there that contained all of the ideas and notions about politics and government. On that “political spectrum” there was communism on the far left, fascism on the far right, and something called “Western social democracy” in the middle. Then, as any good teacher would do, she defined her terms. Since I was quite good at being a student, I wrote down and later memorized her definitions; they always appeared on exams…

“Communism is where the State owns the means of production, and where the State controls the means of production. Fascism is where the means of production are privately owned, but controlled by the State, and Western social democracies are where the means of production are owned privately and regulated by the State.”

I will never forget those definitions as long as I live… nor will I ever forget what came next.

“Which one are we?” asked one of my more clueless classmates.

“We are in the middles,” was her reply, “although the Europeans are better at it because we still have reactionary elements holding us back. Reactionary elements are ignorant people on the far right wing.” I simply couldn’t help myself:

“Doesn’t that mean that Western social democracies are fascist wannabe’s?” said I.

In reply, I was given small pink piece of paper which referred me to the care and custody of the Boy’s Vice Principal. Later that afternoon as I was serving my sentence as a slave for the school janitor, I thought about this some more. The thought that struck me as I was mopping the halls that afternoon was that every possibility in that spectrum supposedly containing all political and governmental possibilities was socialist to one degree or another. I decided that while I will regurgitate her definitions on exams, I will never believe them; there are simply too many other possibilities for that Left-Right model to be correct, including the U.S. Constitution. I did however ask my government teacher where a Monarchical Oligarchy like say, Czarist Russia would be on the spectrum (I remembered to raise my hand and not sound like a smart-alek that time) and she told me that they were fascist. That’s when I knew that I was on to something big.

It would be quite some time before I understood just how powerful it is to control the list of possible options in politics, science, philosophy, theology… or life in general, for you see dear reader, I had unwittingly begun to discover propaganda.

At this same time tomorrow, I’d like to tell you about the one and only political science course I took in college; you’re going to love this, see you then.

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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11 Responses to Nothing in this World is What it Appears to Be

  1. paulfg says:

    Is it Saturday already?? 🙂

  2. pipermac5 says:

    Your teacher was a communist and didn’t tolerate discent.

  3. “Of course show business is obvious”

    Not really. The line is blurred when show business people start acting like they are experts in everything from climate change to politics, and people base their opinions on what the celebrities say. Then you have Hollywood trying to influence elections by creating shows that push their point of view, such as Mme Secretary.

    • Don Merritt says:

      Which is a very entertaining show, yet alas like all of the rest of TV shows is fiction, as anyone who engages their brain knows. Yet sadly, you have a point; many of us have a tendency to skip that step 🙂

  4. Pingback: Poli Sci 256 | The Life Project

  5. Yes ye olde propaganda is good for the geesanda. My wife and I both share Carers provided by the Health and Aged Care Assistance schemes here in Australia and one of these is Polish and the other Russian. Both our own age and the stories they tell about being under the regime. Especially the Polish man the Communism inflicted on Poland was far more severe than in Russia itself. He is still scared of Authority and told me of a holiday he once spent in France where it abuts Switzerland and Germany – where the Post Office was in Germany and he was amazed that there were no border guards with rifles and that he didn’t need to show his passport.

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