The great disruptions in the western world economies that we are witnessing in the media on a daily basis is causing much consternation not the least among the intellectual classes who thought that they had this whole idea of political economy worked out. Things were just not supposed to happen like this. The question reverberating in the corridors of power is “now what?”.  But there is no answer. Let me explain…

The political theorist Francis Fukuyama wrote a much quoted (but little read) best seller in 1993 called, “The End of History and the Last Man.”  The basic premise was easy to understand and caused much self-praise in the world of academia and the corridors of power in the western world. The premise was this: With the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991 and the overwhelming military victory of the western powers in Operation Desert Storm (first Iraq War) the historical debate as to what is the superior organizing principle by which to rule nations was over. The “last man” standing in this centuries long struggle was Liberal Democracy. All other theories of the political state were vanquished by the overwhelming superiority of the west’s economies, technology and military power. These achievements supposedly directly related to the practice of “liberal democracy”.

When the monarchies of the world fell in the 19th century the answer to the question, “what now?”, was Liberal Democracy! When international communism fell in 1991 the answer to the question, “what now?”, was Liberal Democracy. But insightful observers of the economic chaos that is Europe are looking down the road to the end result of the coming chaos and are asking the question, “what then?”.  And the answer is not going to be, Liberal Democracy!

The Kingdom and the End of History…

From a Kingdom Vision perspective we obviously know the end of history and it is not brought about by liberal democracy. The Bible in Revelations tells us the end of history. It tells us that the kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our God and of His Christ, it tells us that the glory of the Lord will cover the earth and that nations will flock into His kingdom calling upon the Name of the Lord. Paul tells us in 1 Corinthians 15:24-26 when the end of history comes:
“Then comes the end when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God even the Father when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet. And the last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”

So here is what the Bible says: Jesus is now ruling over all and he continues to rule until every knee shall bow and every tongue confesses that Jesus is Lord. And He continues to rule until not only every power and government submits to his rule but until the last enemy of man is destroyed…death itself.  We are witnessing in our media not the end of history but the end of Liberal Democracy as an operating and functioning political system of regulating the affairs of men. Why do I say this? Well to understand the predicament of Liberal Democracy you need to go to its historical origin so proudly proclaimed by western historians…the Athens of Pericles in the 5th century BC.
The Athenian Disaster…

The world’s current liberal democracies will fall apart for the same reason that their original model, Athens, fell apart. The practical implementation of liberal democracy. It will destroy every nation that practices it just like it destroyed Athens by the end of the 5th century BC. The parallels between the liberal democracies of today and the age of the so-called great man of Athens golden age, Pericles, is instructive.

Pericles the leader of the Athenian democratic party is acknowledged today as the great builder of the monuments of Athens including the Parthenon and the patron of the great arts and the leader of the Athenian democratic party. But where did he get the money for these grandiose schemes? Well they had a military alliance at the time with many other Greek city states called the Dalian League, much like today’s NATO alliance. They all pooled their defense budgets and deposited the money for safe keeping with Athens, whereupon Pericles wanting to gain favor with the great democratic populace of Athens just stole the money of his allies and built Athens into its glorious state. But the democratic voting mobs of Athens were not satisfied with this loot for long. They wanted more. To get more Athens needed to go on a looting spree. The great Athenian democracy demanded empire as a means of providing cash flow to the Athenian treasury so more people could get government hand outs.

Thucydides, the great chronicler of the Peloponnesian War between Sparta and Athens that would eventually destroy Athens had this to say about Athens decision to attack Sicily in 413-415 BC for no reason but to loot it: “On a slight pretext which looked reasonable, but was in fact aiming at conquering the whole of Sicily…the general masses (of Athens) and the average soldier himself saw the prospect of getting pay for the time being and of adding to the empire so as to secure permanent paid employment in the future” (permanent paid employment by the state!). In the aftermath of the debacle that followed that war, Athens lost its fleet and forty thousand men and most of its empire and so closed the Golden Age of Greek democracy a mere 80 years after it started.

The liberal democracy of Greece destroyed Greece for the same reason that the liberal democracies of the west are destroying themselves today in about the same 80 year time span. The voting mobs, once they realize that they can vote themselves benefits which someone else will pay for, will find themselves politicians to get them the loot. People have not changed in 2500 years. They want the good life and they want someone else to pay for it.

There are many ways in which a modern democracy can live off other  peoples money. You can loot it by conquest the way Britain decided it must have the gold fields of South Africa and so committed genocide on the Afrikaner nation to get the gold. Or you can steal it by fraud the way American banks securitized junk bonds, slapped a AAA rating on them and then sold them to the world’s pensioners as great investments. Or you can borrow it from strangers and promise to pay and if you can’t repay then your children and grandchildren can repay the loans for the next 50 years.

The voting mobs of the liberal democracies of Europe have voted themselves wonderful pensions and medical benefits to be paid for by others. They voted themselves great government benefits also to be paid for by others. But these governments can no longer pay for all their political promises so they are passing the begging bowl around the world asking the world’s poor nations to contribute to their bankrupt government pension plans. China said no thanks along with the rest of the world.

Europe is finished, destroyed by its liberal democracies of rule by voting mobs. America will follow one day. The Democrats don’t want to cut spending and the Republicans don’t want to increase taxes. Their voting supporters will not allow for compromise. Everyone wants more government benefits than what they are willing to pay for. So who is going to pay for it?  Well, the world’s savings are rushing into America looking for a “safe haven” to preserve their money. So they are buying American treasuries. And the American people are saying to the world thank you for subsidizing our life style and paying for our American way of life. In the process they will consume the world’s savings and when it comes time to pay back? Sorry the cupboard is bare!

And so the world will once again have to ask the question, “and what now?” But according to Fukuyama there is no alternative anymore to liberal democracy. The world has run out of ideas just as it runs out of money.

Our eyes however are on the Lord. As the world’s governments and economies collapse from their own greed so the nations of the world will ultimately have to turn to the Lord and to His church and ask us, “Teach us your ways” (Micah 4). The mountain of the Lord will rise above the mountains of the earth. Nations will flow into the Kingdom of God. We have the answers to the world’s problems. But it does start with better economic or political systems. It starts with reborn men and women who have become new creations in Christ Jesus and thereby are able to build a new heaven and a new earth. All else is futility. 

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