Totalitarian governments become inevitable if people won’t restrain themselves.
The Gospel Coalition posted some social wisdom that Peter Kreeft gained from Chuck Colson, the founder of Prison Fellowship. Reading Kreeft’s words made me think of the question: Why are self-consciously Islamic nations almost invariably totalitarian?
Colson’s Law is named for the man I learned it from: Chuck Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship Ministries. It is one of the fundamental laws of human history. It has always been true, and it always will be true, unless human nature itself changes in its very essence. It is the law of four “C’s”: Chaos, Community, Conscience, and Cops.
Colson’s Law can be remembered best visually, like the “square of opposition” in logic.
Community and chaos are “vertical” opposites, good versus evil, while cops and conscience are “horizontal” opposites, two goods to be balanced. Community and chaos are inherently opposed forces, like battling armies.
Cops and conscience are the two possible weapons of the defensive army (community) against the offensive army (chaos).
Both pairs of opposites are inversely proportionate, but the two vertical opposites are necessarily opposed (chaos and community destroy each other), while the horizontal ones are not (in fact, cops and conscience are often complementary).
But the need for each one decreases as the supply of the other increases: The more conscience a community has, the fewer cops it needs, and the more cops it has, the less conscience it needs to rely on.
So, again, why are self-consciously Islamic nations almost invariably totalitarian? There are at least a couple of obvious reasons.
- Because Muhammad’s conception of god was a solitary tyrant, and being an illusion has no ability to restrain the wayward heart of man. Chaos eats up community, unless that community is restrained
- Because without any inner spiritual restraint, a nation will inevitably be a tyranny of a man (Iraq under Saddam) or a tyranny of the mob (Iraq after Saddam). Cops must be used to make up for a lack of conscience (though the problem of cops without conscience complicates matters).
Men will either be self-controlled, or they will be ruled by others.
America is increasingly a Police State because we have cast off the benevolent rule of the sovereign Creator from within. Colson’s Law is a good addition to the earlier discussion about police in America.