Saturday, November 24, 2012

Does this sound like a modern political speech?

so long as it [the country] enjoys material prosperity, and the glory of victorious war, or, better, the security of peace, why should we worry?   What concerns us is that we should get richer all the time, to have enough for extravagant spending every day, enough to keep our inferiors in their place.  It is all right if the poor serve the rich, so as to get enough to eat and to enjoy a lazy life under their patronage; while the rich make use of the poor to ensure a crowd of hangers-on to minister to their pride; if the people applaud those who supply them with pleasures rather than those who offer them salutary advice; if no one imposes disagreeable duties, or forbids perverted delights; if kings are interested not in the morality but in the docility of their subjects; if provinces are under rulers who are regarded not as directors of conduct but as controllers of material things and providers of material satisfactions, and are treated with servile fear instead of sincere respect. 
The laws should punish offences against another's property, not offences against a man's own personal character.  No one should be brought to trial except for an offence, or threat of offence,  against another's property, house or person; but anyone should be free to do as he likes about his own, or with his own, or with others, if they consent.  There should be a plentiful supply of public prostitutes, for the benefit of all those who prefer them, and especially those who cannot keep private mistresses.  It is a good thing to have imposing houses luxuriously furnished, where lavish banquets can be held, where people can, if they like, spend night and day in debauchery, and eat and drink until they are sick; to have the din of dancing everywhere, and theatres full of fevered shouts of degenerate pleasure and of every kind of cruel and degraded indulgence. 
Anyone who disapproves of this kind of happiness should rank as a public enemy: anyone who attempts to change it or get rid of it should be hustled out of hearing by the freedom-loving majority:  he should be kicked out, and removed from the land of the living.
This "tongue in cheek" parody could be of many politicians in the Western world, both conservative or liberal, as they pander to our pagan whims and aspirations. 

However, this was was actually written 1600 hundred years ago by Saint Augustine as a parody of the pagan vision of Rome.
It is in City of God, Book II, Chapter 20.

1 comment:

  1. Very well said. Politicians pander to paganistic desires of the people - this is what happens in a democracy as opposed to a theocracy.

    It angers me how Anna Bligh accused Newman of "pandering" to the Christians by telling them he would repeal civil partnership laws. Pandering can only be done towards paganistic, evil practices like drunkeness and homosexuality.

    I do not care if I offend the paganistic masses by saying this.