I’ve begun reading David T. Koyzis’ book Political Visions & Illusions: A Survey & Christian Critique of Contemporary Ideologies (InterVarsity Press, 2003).
David Koyzis (Ph.D., University of Notre Dame) is associate professor of political science at Redeemer University College in Ancaster, Ontario. He approaches his subject matter from a neo-Calvinist (Kuyperian) framework, which I highly value.
As I go through the book, I will write here on the blog things that pique my interest in the book and comment.
In a footnote, Koyzis quotes Charles Taylor (from his book The Ethics of Authority [Harvard University Press, 1991]). I thought this was insightful into how political ideologies are inconsistent:
“Right-wing American-style conservatives speak as advocates of traditional communities when they attack abortion on demand and pornography; but in their economic policies they advocate an untamed form of capitalist enterprise, which more and anything else has helped to dissolve historical communities, has fostered atomism, which knows no frontiers or loyalties, and is ready to close down a mining town or savage a forest habitat at the drop of a balance sheet. On the other side, we find supporters of an attentive, reverential stance to nature who would go to the wall to defend the forest habitat, demonstrating in favor of abortion on demand, on the grounds that a woman’s body belongs exclusively to her.”
We do well to look into the mirror as to what we say we are for and against based on our political ideology. As readers of this blog will know, I am constantly blaring the horn that seeks to point out how Christians who line up with the Religious Right and accept the Conservative side of the political discourse need to see the inconsistencies in that movement’s stands (for instance, while they seek to overturn Darwinism in the public schools, they participate in an economic form of Darwinism when it comes to economic issues in this country).
I also have gone round and round with Liberals in saying that even though they say they are for communitarian values they succumb to individualism when it comes to the issue of abortion (that each woman’s “right to choose” should trump the overall public good of protecting those in our society that are increasingly marginalized because they have no voice in the debate—the unborn).
Koyzis’ point in this portion of his book is telling: Whereas in the not-so-distant past political principles were limited to the educated and not usually intended for the general public, “modern (political) ideologies are packaged somewhat eclectically for mass consumption. It is not surprising, then, that such ideologies are often internally inconsistent.”
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