Corbyn - A Hugo Chavez for Britain
Written by Scott A. Shay
As an American I don't have a preference in foreign elections unless a leader literally threatens to attack the US or opposes basic principles of justice and decency. I am concerned about the future leadership of Britain, because Mr. Corbyn unquestionably poses a threat to justice and decency. I say this not because Corbyn is a man of the Left, or because he rejects the economic policies of New Labour. Corbyn is a threat because his motivating vision for Britain draws its inspiration from Venezuela, Cuba, and Iran - not Norway or New Zealand.
That really says it all - or should.
Yet this is the essential point that eludes Corbyn supporters, especially millennials who accord him near messianic status. Do they realize that if the Labour Party leader assumes office, he will be the first British Prime Minister since WWII who does not stand for the principles of equality that define modern democracies? I am referring to the separation of powers, equality before the law, anti-monopoly, and equality of opportunity principles that form the basis of freedom. It is precisely with those who oppose these principles that Corbyn stands.
While it might surprise some, the biblical concept of idolatry is a good lens for distinguishing between leaders who stand for equality and those, like Corbyn, who claim to be for equality while actually opposing it.
Most people think that idolatry is just about bowing down to statues. In fact, idolatry is a set of lies about power and authority. As an inherent logical fallacy, idolatry ascribes supernatural power or supernatural authority to finite beings, such as people, elements, or natural processes that are bound by nature. The Bible's revolutionary revelation was that these lies form the basis of all political, economic, and social oppression. Leaders of the ancient world from Ramsees II to Nebuchadnezzar proclaimed a status above nature and thus rejected the fundamental basis of any kind of justice, human equality. But idolatry did not die with the Pharaohs of old, modern dictators follow identical patterns. Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao, Kim Jong-il, Saddam Hussein, among others created ideologies of their personal grandeur and built statutes, erected monuments, plastered their countries with posters, composed songs, and choreographed pageantry just to show their supernatural power and authority. Stalin famously had his image. projected into space by the Soviet Space Agency. The Kim family claims to have created the world. Idolatry runs very deep in human culture, always with the same characteristics: a leader who views himself as the law or above the law, who lies to his people, who pushes for a concentration of power and wealth, and who demonizes and silences those who oppose him.
The Bible's prohibition against idolatry leads to political, social, and economic justice. Whether you believe in God or not, the Bible prohibits deifying anything that is not God. No human can ever be God, we are all equally subject to nature and death. All justice flows from this fundamental existential equality. This includes equality before the law, which the Bible upholds, but also political equality, through checks and balances. These comprise of an executive (king) who is in charge of carrying out the laws (of Torah in the case of the Bible) and serves as the commander in chief; the courts (or Sanhedrin in the Bible), a source of free expression by people and the press (or the prophets of the Bible); and a separate priesthood (in the Bible, as the priests had their own taxation source and were independent of the king). The Bible also upholds national sovereignty and rejects empires: the Israelites were forbidden to conquer their neighbors, and the Egyptian, Assyrian, and Babylonian empires were chastised for their oppression. Indeed it was the Bible's political principles embodied in the Hebrew Republic that influenced the first modern British theoreticians of political freedom and equality such as Locke, Harrington, Milton, or Selden. Today these biblical principles are found in constitutional democracies across the world. Finally the Bible addresses economic equality by eliminating economic obstacles to economic freedom and opportunity. It forbade the monopoly of land by mandating it be returned to its owners on the jubilee every fifty years. This ensured that inequality would not become too pronounced over the generations which effectively bars others from economic opportunity. The Bible also established the first redistributive taxation system and labor laws. These biblically-inspired policies have also been central to modern democracies.
Today their legacy is clear in anti-trust laws, labor laws, or a social safety net, all essential regulations for people to be free economically as well as politically. The contrast between the biblical model and the idolatry of Hitler or Saddam Hussein is obvious. Yet Chavez's, Khomeini's and Castro's redistributive policies and rhetoric of justice, equality, and anti-imperialism have confused many people of good faith. So I ask people to consider the biblical criteria of equality and look at the reality.
Other than some redistributive economics and social programs for the poor, the very people Corbyn admires, have like all idolatrous leaders --rejected all the foundational elements of equality. Were they actually interested in equality as the Bible delineates it Chavez would not have changed the constitution to govern by fiat, Khomeini would not have given himself control over the armed forced, judiciary, and secret police, nor would Castro have run Cuba like his personal fiefdom. Nor would they have restricted the press, imprisoned or executed political opponents, or seized national resources as their party monopolies. Chavez all but ruined the Venezuelan economy by nationalizing the gas industry to the benefit of his party and himself. Were they for global equality, as they claim, they would not support imperial expansion like Iran's forays into the Middle East and Africa, or its suppression of minorities. Even more to the point, they would not demonize another people out of the ranks of humanity. Yet these leaders. were fixated on the Zionism as the source of world evil in the world, an obsession equally shared by Corbyn. While this fixation is absurd on the face of it, it is actually a tell-tale sign of idolatrous leadership.
Idolatrous leaders, whether right or left wing from Pharaoh to Stalin have always obsessed about Jews. One has to wonder what that's all about. Whether obsessed about the "Jewish race" or about the "Zionist entity" idolatrous leaders have accused the Jews of all manner of conspiracies to rule the world and destroy other peoples. This is not the case with their rhetoric against African peoples or Native Americans for example, who have been accused of many heinous things, but of not world domination.
The idolaters' obsession with Jews has a very clear logic. Because of their connection to the Bible and a higher, namely biblical law, even proud secular Jews represent a direct threat to leaders who have usurped power themselves. But rather than being exposed, idolatrous leaders blame Jews of the very malevolent power and imperial designs they harbor. Castro, Chavez and Corbyn have all claimed Zionist conspiracies against them.
But these accusations are in fact a projection. It hardly matters that these left- wing leaders - unlike right-wing idolaters such as neo-Nazis-- allow those Jews who accept their ideology and power to live. The Left-wing idolatrous leaders' demonization of Jews who don't reinterpret their heritage to suit these leader's ideology or submit to these leaders power is a dead give-away. Indeed this obsession with Jewish power as uniquely malevolent, explains Corbyn's otherwise bizarre reinterpretation of the Jewish holiday of Hanukah - a holiday about Jewish sovereignty and religious freedom - i.e. Jewish power - as a holiday about "kindness, sharing and welcoming' refugees." Jews are usually the first to be demonized, but never the
Just ask the Kurds and Christians in Iran. Attitudes towards Jews are the "canary in the coal mine" a litmus test for idolatry.
It is well known Corbyn has praised all of these leaders or countries publically, repeatedly, and above all mentions of democratic leaders on the left. For this alone, Corbyn has already dangerously perverted the discourse on equality in Britain. However if he gets into power, he will have a chance to pervert actual political equality. The British parliamentary system, lacks the institutional checks to keep him in line. The Parliament has full authority to do whatever it wants and there is no formal constitution or independent judiciary. Now you may say these powers will be tempered by tradition and the will of the people to have fairness and harmony. Unfortunately we cannot assume that tradition will be sufficient. As things stand Corbyn has the tools to overcome any hurdles. It is important to note that Castro, Chavez, and Khomeini fudged their intentions before coming to power: Corbyn too has been vague and slippery. I pray that Britons of good faith, particularly millennials will see past the rhetoric about equality and his redistributive programs to the danger that Corbyn poses. He is not a leader who simply rejects the path of Thatcher or Blair in favor of return to the social democratic path of Atlee.
He is a leader who words and actions show that he rejects political, economic, and social equality in the name of his own power and ideology. Corbyn is a clear and present danger.