Losing One Eye or Going Blind

Everyone knows Santayana’s quote that those who forget history are doomed to repeat it, but I prefer Russians to Spaniards.  A Russian proverb says, “Dwell on the past and you will lose an eye; forget the past and you will lose both eyes.”  I’d rather lose one eye than two, so I point you to the past.

Who is the following written about?

“In detail, he preached nationalization of the banks, mines, waterpower, and transportation; limitation of incomes; increased wages, strengthening of the labor unions, more fluid distribution of consumer goods.”

“He preached the comforting gospel of so redistributing wealth that every person in the country would have a several thousand dollars a year ([He] changed his prediction as to how many thousands), while all the rich men were nevertheless to be allowed enough to get along, on a maximum of $500,000 a year.  So everybody was happy in the prospect of [him] becoming president.”

 ”Congress shall have the sole right to issue money and immediately upon our inauguration it shall at least double the present supply of money, in order to facilitate the fluidity of credit.”

Sinclair Lewis wrote these words in It Can’t Happen Here (on pages 41, 37, and 66 respectively).  He wrote them in 1935 about a fictional character named Berzelius Windrip.  They describe the platform for his successful run for the presidency which turns into the subsequent introduction of totalitarianism to America.  It was taken as commentary on the New Deal.

You probably thought they were written about our current President.  I share them only because they seemed prescient to me when I read them.  Regardless of your politics, I would like to point out two Scriptural truths.  First, government is God’s servant for good.  Second, when Daniel is shown visions of various governments they are all beasts.  Though they started out being depicted by the statue of a man; they later appear as beasts.

We don’t want to be blind to either truth as we look forward with one eye on the future, one on the past, and both eyes on the Christ.

About Paul Harris

Pastor Harris retired from congregational ministry after 40 years in office on 31 December 2023. He is now devoting himself to being a husband, father, and grandfather. He still thinks cenobitic monasticism is overrated and cave dwelling under.
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