Monday, 26 January 2015

No mercy, no love and no compassion: survival of the fittest

The African Savannah was one of the most dangerous places in the natural world, if not the most dangerous place. It was sweltering hot during the day all year, and chillingly cold at night all year, for the African Savannah was the desert.  The animals that lived in the Savannah had their ways of surviving in such a harsh, hostile environment. They all learned their ways, which were passed down from generation to generation. Any animal that was too weak or feeble had no chance of survival: the rule was that whoever was stronger would destroy, or eat the week. Such is survival of the fittest. There was no point of helping the feeble or weak, because, in the minds of the animals that lived in the Savannah, they were destined to die in such a way. 

Whoever had control over the African Savannah controlled the whole land. The lion, which was the most powerful creature, was feared by all. Any animal that did not fear the lion was a fool, and is the next to find his way into the lion’s den. The lions lived in well-organised groups and has assigned roles for not merely survival, for they were too strong for merely survival, but destroying the communities of those below it.  Their dens stretched as far as hundreds of kilometres across the Savannah. If one lion family could not control a particular region, another lion family would control it. The lions were both independent as families and individuals, as well as supportive of other lion families. They were united as a tribe of lions, which was what made them so powerful, feared and hated. No animal dare even dream of challenging the lions’ rule over the Savannah because they knew it was impossible – the lions were merely satisfying their desire for security, control, freedom and power over others. Such is the animal kingdom.

Even the humans, who were more technically advanced than the lions and who shot the lion, feared them. The African Savannah was a popular tourist spot. Cars specifically designed for wildlife safaris in the Savannah would travel across the plains, in intrepid anticipation of seeing wildlife. However, the one thing that tourists feared was a lion attack. For the lion was merciless, ruthless and cruel. It killed without mercy, and stole territories without regret. The lion loved to rip apart and take away baby animals. It took pleasure in such cruel acts. That was what made it proud – that it would do something so merciless and not experience counter-attacks. For all the animals, despite despising the lions were ripping apart all baby animals, except for their own, admired the lions for their strength. They sought to be like the lions within their own communities, taking advantage of each other when one could. “To act like a lion” was considered with greatest compliment of all.

As this notion of acting like a lion was more widely embraced, a generation of animals across the whole of the African Savannah sought to be aggressive, ruthless and merciless, thinking it means they were successful and independent. Any animal that was not aggressive, ruthless or merciless was ridiculed as naive, immature or childish.

Such is the capitalist, narcissistic, liberalistic mindset of the modern 21st century West. The capitalist, narcissistic, liberalistic mindset is essentially naturalistic. It sees no point for compassion, generosity or mercy as the only reason why one should live is to maximise pleasure. Such pleasure comes from security as a ‘basic need’, ability to pursue one’s aspirations, power to control one’s life, and especially power over others such that one could show others how accomplished one was, and sexual indulgences. Mere sexual relationships are not enough – there are mere basics. The “social approval” of an individual indulging in sexual relationships is required for one to be deemed accomplished and treated as an ‘equal’. Such indulgence in sexual hedonism is not separate from such a capitalistic mindset. Rather, they compliment since both the pursuit of wealth and the pursuit of pleasure come from the self-indulgence of the heart. Such is lust of the flesh and lust of the eyes.

The pursuit of wealth and anxiety for one’s physical needs to be met is called ‘mammonisation’, which comes from the term ‘mammon’. Mammon does not mean money, but rather is the spirit of seeking one’s physical needs first to satisfy one’s anxiety for material security. A person need not be pursuing wealth to be mammonised. He only needs to be anxious about his own material security to be mammonised. Indeed, a person can be one who is not materialistic, but mammonised. Sexual immorality and mammonisation of society are linked and cannot be separated. The carnal nature of humans is indeed analogous to the nature of animals – it seeks only to indulge in one’s nature desires of security and pleasure. 

Capitalism has bred a generation of humans who are callous, ruthless, merciless and individualistic, devoid of all compassion and sympathy for the poor. Homeless persons are all assumed to be drug addicts or people who ‘deserved’ it for whatever reason. Since there is no social incentive to help the homeless, there is not the slightest sympathy or compassion for the poor. Work is seen as not merely a means of survival, but also a status symbol – those who do not work, either by choice or by inability to find work are despised. They are ridiculed, mocked and hated, seen as “oppressed”, “archaic” and “uneducated”. A person may indeed argue that he or she does not look down on those who are unable to find work, and made poor as a result. She may feel as sense of sympathy for the poor, only because of how she may feel if she were poor, not because she really has compassion for them. That is exactly what it means to despise and mock the poor. To have false hypocritical “sympathy” for the poor is to mock the poor and despise them. Whoso mocketh the poor reproacheth his Maker: and he that is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished (Proverbs 17:5).

Such an individualistic, mammonised culture has been associated with the breakdown of the family and high divorce rates. It is not because two people in the family work that has caused the breakdown of the family. Rather, it is the mindset behind work, which purpose it not merely for survival, but to show one approved as an autonomous, independent and accomplished person that has lead to the breakdown of the family. Women divorce their husbands whenever they do not satisfy them financially, out of spitefulness for his status as ‘poor’. Men divorce their wives whenever they do not satisfy them sexually, and move onto another more ‘sexually satisfying’ woman. Such is the spirit of mammon which births self-indulgence of one’s carnal desire. This is indeed the evidence of the link between sexual immorality and mammonisation. It is obvious, but few fail to acknowledge because of self-righteousness, and hence justify it as a means of ‘finding satisfaction’ or ‘feeling desperate’.

Capitalism prevails even when it fails, because people deceive themselves into thinking they are free, when they are indeed in bondage of the shackles of the desire to serve mammon. Indeed, that one cannot help but feel anxiety for one’s material security is to be bondage of the shackles of mammon. One may be “free” to work, under the guise of ‘independence’ and ‘autonomy’. However, as long as one has the anxiety for security, one is really not free. Only is really a slave to one’s desires of security. Since, however, capitalism legitimises the “noble lie” that one is free by the ability to gain wealth freely in the minds of many, it serves a comforting ideology, or even a psychological crutch for many.

“Who wants to be poor and unfree?” deride the multitudes. Despite the poverty and slavery that comes with capitalism, it is still embraced because it legitimises the very lie it hangs on, the lie that one is ‘free’ to indulge in one’s own lusts, and panders to the merciless, ruthless and selfishness of human nature.

Jesus said, “this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil” (John 3:19). Jesus said, “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).

The carnal mind does not nor cannot submit to the Moral Law of God (Romans 8:7). Since love is the fulfilment of the Law of God (Romans 13:10), and the natural mind cannot submit to the Law of God, and the Law of God is love, the natural person does not and cannot love. Therefore, since the natural person cannot love God which allows one to love other people, he cannot but only serve mammon. 

Capitalism encourages and feeds the carnal mind with things of the flesh. The spirit behind it is mammon.