A very strong bit of cynicism runs through our world. A primary source is the state and its pretensions.
Presenting itself as necessary, impartial, essential arbiter of justice, protector of the peace, and faithful and unfailing defender of freedom—as superman robed in white—the image clashes sharply with the reality as experienced by many who are watching and thinking. In a world that does not come short of severe challenges, the state and pretension perpetuated in its name are precisely this distraction. As the ancient had recourse to idols made of wood, the modern makes statist ideas his bank of last resort. And does this surprise? After all, he was shaped in state schools from kindergarten upwards.
Could it be that the actual source of much of the sourness and anger seen in the daily news is the state itself? A state means power exercised over one’s fellow man, and, given time, this power inevitably corrupts. This is a phenomenon which cannot be fixed. So long as human nature remains as it is, the state will remain as it is.
But if the state is superman, reality is its kryptonite. At this stage of its inevitable totalitarian development, providence has given us also the cell phone and the internet and youtube. We will in a window of opportunity, when reality is exposing the state for what it is.
Whether o not we come to the place where the modern nation-state is peeled away, molted off, and left in the dust, and where men find their future as true men seeking a gracious God, and the way is opened for the realization of the potential inwoven in man, none can at present say. But this I know. There are at least some situations in which kryptonite comes in very handy. Thus, we may welcome the economic problems that are making the state tremble. At the end of the day, the state is the most inefficient means of accomplishing anything of substance for the world. Superman and his fiction must go their way, turn the corner, and fade into history side-by-side with Cinderella. I’ll take the kryptonite. And on the other side of the collapse, we will live as true men.