Decadence

Decadence: (n) moral degeneration or decay; turpitude.

“Congratulations. We have a new country.”

“So where should we start?”

“I guess we should get organized.”

“Now by organized, do you mean the Robert’s Rules? Or Parliamentary Procedure?”

“Somebody needs to be in charge.”

“How should we pick him?”

“Well… we could have them campaign for the job.”

“Okay. But no insults, right?”

“Maybe insults, but just not personal.”

“Well, leave them alone and let it play out.”

“Well—now what’s next?”

“We need an organized government.”

“What should the government do?”

“Govern—according to the will of the people.”

“Unless the people are wrong.”

“Then what?”

“Govern them, letting them think they’re in charge.”

“Isn’t that a lie?”

“It’s politics. There will be lies.”

“I see. I forgot.”

“Don’t let it happen again. We need to be able to lie—to get our message across.”

“But what if we get caught in a lie?”

“Deny.”

“Why would they believe us?”

“Because they don’t really care what we do—just as long as we don’t make their lives difficult.”

“You act like you think people are stupid.”

“No, just less informed.”

“Well, since they’re less informed, maybe we should take some chances.”

“Or open the door to some possibilities.”

“But isn’t that illegal?”

“You mean by the Constitution?”

“Yes—the Constitution.”

Everybody interprets that differently.”

“But it seems we’ve left our original plan—a government of the people, for the people and by the people.”

“It’s still of the people. We let them vote.”

“By the people because we are coming from the population.”

“The only question would be for the people.”

“Do they really know what they need?”

“And do they care what’s happening in other countries?”

“It’s like my Grandpappy once said. ‘It takes a lot of money to be honest.’”

“What do you think he meant by that?”

“He meant, ‘do what you do to get as much as you can so what you say makes a difference.’”

And then, all at once, we had decadence instead of a government.

 

Admission

Words from Dic(tionary)

dictionary with letter A

Admission: (n.) a statement acknowledging the truth of something e.g. an admission of guilt; a man who, by his own admission, fell in love easily.

The quote is attributed to William Jefferson Clinton: “In the face of a lack of evidence, deny, deny, deny.”

The first time I heard this sentiment I was shocked. I think the reporters sharing it were also quite alarmed. But when Clinton survived the Lewinsky scandal and went on to be considered a “statesman,” the quotation has seemingly gained not only popularity but also the lilt of power.

Yes, it is safe to say that “only suckers confess”–at least, that’s the consensus of our social agenda today. Even though we watch murder mysteries on TV which close with a confession by the criminal, sometimes duped by devious detectives, no one really believes that admitting fault or releasing an admission of guilt is a positive thing.

So what we’re gradually eliminating is the idea of repentance. I have to ask myself:

  • Do I want to live in a world which has crucified repentance?
  • Do I want to exist among people who freely admit only one thing–they will probably lie?
  • Is there any potential in progressing as a culture if we’re unwilling to come clean on the parts of our structure that are faulty?

In the story of the prodigal son from the Good Book, it is made clear that the young man, after squandering all his money, has a great “aha” moment when he comes to himself. Yes, he discovers that his situation is dire, but needn’t be.

If we do not have a gear in the human psyche–to realizes that to continue in error is to perpetuate our own pain–are we not doomed to die in our mistakes without recourse?

Every day of my life I like to do two things: (a) listen to what other people think about me; and (b) see if I truthfully agree. After all, it’s not criticism if people challenge me but I already know what they’re saying is true.

What would have happened if Bill Clinton had admitted his sexual indiscretion with Monica Lewinsky? After all, it was eventually proven. Would his position in society be stronger now, or weakened by his confession of the truth? Would he possibly be deemed a more trustworthy fellow, and have been of more value to his wife in her presidential bid?

We will never know.

But when I see the tide of human thinking going in the direction of falsehood, I know that it is a dangerous fad, flirting with a social infidelity that produces mistrust and ultimately, anarchy.

I admit to you that I’m flawed. It wouldn’t take you more than twenty minutes of Googling to find my mistakes. And if you do find errors that I’ve forgotten, I will give you a great gift:

When confronted with my inadequacies … I will admit they are mine.