A scene from the Obsolete Man Episode of the Twilight Zone 1961
“You walk into this room at your own risk, because it leads to the future, not a future that will be but one that might be. This is not a new world, it is simply an extension of what began in the old one. It has patterned itself after every dictator who has ever planted the ripping imprint of a boot on the pages of history since the beginning of time. It has refinements, technological advances, and a more sophisticated approach to the destruction of human freedom. But like every one of the super-states that preceded it, it has one iron rule: logic is an enemy and truth is a menace.” –
-Rod Sterling From the “Obsolete Man” Twilight Zone(1961)
The above paragraph is the opening narration of a famous (and one of my favorite) episodes of the TV series: “The Twilight Zone” in 1961. The story takes place in a dark future in which a meek man Mr. Worsdworth is put on trial for his life for a capital crimes against the state. His crime you see was that he believed in God and that he was an independent free thinker who’s occupation was that of a librarian. The state has now determined that there is not God. The state has also decreed that there is no need for books since they cause dissention among the people and individual free will and choice is outlawed. The court rules that Mr. Wordsworth is “Obsolete” and should be terminated.
The governments position is that this is for the good of society. Every Totalitarian state uses this reasoning for everything they do. The individual must yield to the greater good. In President Obama’s Commencement graduating class of The Ohio State University this past May he said:
“Unfortunately, you’ve grown up hearing voices that incessantly warn of government as nothing more than some separate, sinister entity that’s at the root of all our problems. Some of these same voices also do their best to gum up the works. They’ll warn that tyranny always lurking just around the corner. You should reject these voices”
The President seems to think that opposition to his plans to: (as he stated in 2008) “fundamentally transform America” is gumming up the works. It’s the same reasoning former speaker Nancy Pelosi used when she said we will know what is in the ACA (Affordable Care Act) after it was passed. The framers of the constitution knew the tendency of government to grow at the expense of individual liberty and that is why they limited it to its enumerated powers in the constitution. Every effort to expand federal power and trample the constitution has used the reason it’s for the greater good of society.
Who decides what’s good for society? Of course the government will never let a good crisis go to waste as former white house chief of staff and now Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel famously quoted. It’s a similar philosophy tyrants of collectivism has used for the past 100 years. Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini and Mao or imperial monarchs of ancient times would be very familiar with. One of those who have “gummed up the works” in history was the Christian church in the early part of the first millennium. Their crime against the Roman Empire was not worshipping yeshua bar yosef (Jesus son of Joseph) as the son of God or even their belief in one God. Their imperial crime was disloyalty to the state and atheism.
By the end of the first century A.D. the Roman Empire comprised an area at its height of approx. 2 million square miles and would now include in whole or part of 46 countries with a population of around 88 million. This super-state had many nationalities, cultures and languages. It was open to any and all religions. The imperial government thought in order to for the empire to have some unifying cohesion it imposed one caveat. That one caveat was that all peoples of the empire had to honor the cult of the emperor. In your heart you didn’t have to believe Caesar was divine but you at least had to make a showing on state holidays to show you were a loyal roman.
After all this was for the good of society. It brought unity and after all the empire protected you from barbarians, provided you a stable economy and even the first welfare state. What should it matter for all of “blessings” roman society gave to you shouldn’t you in turn do this one simple thing. After all is one burnt offering in front stature of the emperor going to hurt you? To the devout Christian of course this was unacceptable.
No you couldn’t get around it even if you crossed your fingers behind you when you made the sacrifice; it was a deep matter of conscience. The Christians knew their God and it wasn’t Nero, Hadrian, Commodus or any other emperor. To the average Roman bureaucrat, Provincial Governor or Tribune Christians were being obstinate and disloyal. The devout Christian was willing to give Caesar what is Caesars but was willing to suffer the penalties for giving only to God what is God’s.
Let’s now move ahead 1900 years to our present time and nation. Under the ACA religious institutions must provide insurance for their employee’s that includes benefits for abortive and preventative birth control. This is abhorrent to Roman Catholic, orthodox Jewish and some fundamentalist Protestant organizations. The progressives in government say it’s for the better good. They too think that these religious zealots are being obstinate. After all what’s a few dollars for pills and procedures if it means providing a majority of Americans with healthcare.
I also was appalled at the reaction of so-called Neo-Conservatives at the recent revelation of the extent of the NSA data mining program. Gathering data on all Americans who were neither accused or have probable cause of committing any crime whatsoever should be abhorrent to everyone. Neo-Cons such as Senators Lindsay Graham and John McCain and anyone else on congres who justifies this is guilty of violating their oath to uphold the constitution. I do not subscribe to the notion that this data is being compiled for the public good. I believe this program can be used as a dagger to the heart of our republic.
As William Binney a former NSA official who left the agency in 2001 because he felt these programs violated the constitution made this shocking conclusion in a recent interview as he held his thumb and forefinger close together. “We are, like, that far from a turnkey totalitarian state.” I guess the Obama administration, Progressive Government bureaucrats and so called neo-cons think those of us who believe in a limited federal republic that strongly follows the constitution as being obstinate. Like Mr. Wordsworth in the Twilight Zone episode they think anyone who opposes them as gumming up the works. If the progressive’s in the government and media get their way with their hunger to micro-manage our daily lives through an all knowing central government and their neo-con allies who want an ultimate national security state we may soon lose our republic forever. I pray to God this will not happen but it may be the eleventh hour and we may soon be like Mr. Wordsworth and be declared “Obsolete”