Hell in a Handbasket

A curious turn of the phrase, I’ve always thought, meaning (as per the oracle of Wikipedia):  “a situation headed for disaster without effort or in great haste“.   Yes, that – for me – describes rather well the human condition.

If you happen to believe that our purpose on this planet is primarily to improve the state of our material well-being, you’ll likely disagree with that observation.  Perhaps you’d cite great progress in technology, medicine, governance, foreign affairs….whatever.  To be sure, the progressive humanists among us can take great pride in such advancements.

At the forefront, perhaps, of this wave of achievement is the supposed explosion of knowledge, best epitomized by the internet.  A great tool, to be sure, but one that – in my opinion – seems a bit like the frosting on the cake of our increasingly complex lives.  If complexity is your thing, well, you’re standing in tall cotton now.

Well, personally, I believe our purpose in this life is a bit more urgent and vital than whether or not we’ve achieved (Roosevelt’s) freedom from want.  Frankly, I don’t even think that’s possible, maybe even especially for the richest among us.  It seems that we often forget the difference between want and need.

I happen to side with those of our nation’s founders that would have placed “moral agency” at the top of the priority list.  In a nutshell, we must be free to make important choices about how we are to live.  For those of us that (still) believe in God, that belief will clearly influence how our life choices are made… whether to be charitable, to be kind, to be resolute, to be productive.  These, after all, are the cornerstone characteristics of a well functioning (and, I might add, prosperous) society.

So, no, I’m not much for the “bread and circuses” of our modern collectivist society.  Socialism, on the one hand, accomplishes nothing, in my opinion, other than the promotion of dependency and state-sanctioned larceny.  And, humanistic narcissism, on the other hand, fosters the sort of puerile society that, ultimately, becomes both ungovernable and, frankly, dangerous to the welfare of everyone.

Of course, you can’t force people to be good.  Any Christian (worth his salt) knows this, as it is one of the essential foundations of the gospel.  As such, the protection of liberty (i.e. “free will”) was the whole point of the (libertarian) principles espoused by our founders.

It may well be your Christian duty to set aside your own wants in the interest of being charitable, but it is surely not your neighbor’s right to insist upon it.  Those that today promote such a “social good” are committing a crime of theft and despotism (not too mention butchering the language).

As for today’s headlines and current events generally, sigh, let me say this again:  “hell in a handbasket“.  We…collectively…have lost site and understanding of such principles as that of self-sufficiency, of self-responsibility, of modesty, of rectitude, of reason, of charity, of accountability, of lawfulness.

We use the blunt weapons of politics to argue over issues of governance that the (presumed) law of the land – the original Constitution – quite plainly states are patently out-of-bounds for our meddlesome government.   Through this force, we allow bureaucrats to regulate every facet of our daily lives, obsessively criminalizing ideas, and, as often as not, rewarding egregious misbehavior with fame and celebrity.

In short, it seems that most have come to “believe the lie“, mostly the one that says we’re smarter than we used to be, and that we’re better too:  That’s its “good” to have 1/3 of our adults policing the 1/3 who are slaving away to support the 1/3 that want more stuff.  Or, that “more is always better”.  That the solution to any problem, in fact, is always “more” of something new.

OK, well then, for me, the “more” I would like to have, is mostly the sort of stuff we’ve been throwing in the trash.  I want more quiet, more time, more space, more reason, more liberty, more of the fruits of my own labor, more tradition, more beauty, more durability, more simplicity.  If that means less of what you want on my behalf, so what?

Now, is that too much to ask?

– HT

2 responses to “Hell in a Handbasket

  1. Thanks for what you’ve posted here, it’s refreshing. The way it sometimes looks to me is as if planet Earth is a cosmic looney bin and I wouldn’t BE here if I didn’t belong…

    Unless one is hopelessly literal minded, which lots of real good-hearted but ignernt fundamentalists tend to be, that preceding statement could be taken as a functional equivalent to the Idea of Original Sin. Somehow or other, even though it’s pretty much as plain as the noses on our faces, neither what could be called the mass psychosis (akin to hypnotic sleep) or condition of sin we live in are recognizable to most of the other inmates.

    As you say, re: poking our head’s up, indeed it’s a dilemma.

    I’m looking forward to checking out your writing further. My own site has, so far, stayed away from OpEd commentary, though I can’t maintain that stance forever.

    Hell in a Handbasket seems understated to me. There are more than 3 convergences going on.

    I nominate counterfeit food and deadly pharmaceuticals to accompany hypnotic television as additions to the Shopping Cart / Handbasket to Hell.

    And of course there’s Fukushima, which is not fixable and, a year and a half down the road, has disappeared from world ‘consciousness’.

    • Otto: Likewise, it’s refreshing to get feedback such as you have offered. I won’t burden you (today) with the details of my particular brand of fundamentalism, these days even most Christian’s seem fast asleep to me. A few other quick observations, but, first, a confession that it had been my original intention to avoid Op/Ed writing, sticking primarily to more practical topics. In the end, I really just couldn’t help myself and eventually had to taper it off for a bit. I feel compelled now and again to pop in for a comment, but I’ve generally got more important things on my mind.

      I wanted to take a moment to highlight and express appreciation for your “convergence zone”. You’ve pretty well covered the ground there, though even I might be tempted to add a bit about funny money and debt slavery to the mix. I have a very personal experience with the counterfeit food and pharmaceutical intersection, having been diagnosed with diabetes a couple of years ago now. (You can read a bit about that here.) It’s hard to say that I was actually shocked by how deception nearly ended my life, but I was certainly impressed with just how deeply this world is deceived, my “doctors” included. Just about the best thing that ever happened to me…including the decision to utterly ignore my doctor’s “advice”. (I still occasionally wake up from dreams where I’m calling him a dumbass, ha, ha.)

      Oh, hey, like the “shopping cart’ metaphor too. Cheers, and thanks for dropping by with some great insight. – HT

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