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Hegemony, RIP

28 January 2008

Well, I can safely say this:  the columnist has saved me a couple of blogs.  

It has seemed to me that hegemony requires some minimum degree of self-sufficiency in the essential dimensions, and in a post-Hubbert’s-Peak dispensation, we are no longer achieving that in the energy realm.  With all major systems (military, industrial, consumer) so heavily and increasingly dependent on energy supplies, I had concluded: mene mene tekel upharsin.  

It also has struck me that when power is the operative currency, one never makes either permanent friends or enemies; all marriages are those of convenience, and they’re rather more like dalliances, affairs, and one-night stands than marriages.  Security in that regime is an illusion.  

A couple of years ago, before the unpleasantness that surrounded the arrival of our new senior “pastor,” qb would open our Bible class with a few centering thoughts before handing the class over to our teacher.  Increasingly, those opening thoughts centered on the vital need to develop Christlike character in my three boys (parabolically representing our class’ children as a whole) so that they are equipped to function well in a world dominated by competition for scarce energy supplies rather than the sort of happy-go-lucky free-for-all we have enjoyed up until recently.  

In a paradigm of abundance, competition does not lead inexorably to violence as it does when scarcity is the rule.  Will my boys be equipped to lay themselves down as a witness to the kingdom of God, or will they get caught up in the spiraling violence of the present age?  

Somehow, last evening’s family time in front of the TV brought me a great deal of peace and gratitude.  The show was “Extreme Makeover – Home Edition,” and for some reason I decided to ask the boys why that is their favorite show.  I was astounded at what I heard – not formulas or pat answers or telling-us-what-we-want-to-hear, but rather thoughtful and creative answers, paragraphs instead of bubble-fillers.  So we went to Matthew 25 for our devotions and evening prayer.  

I know things can change; after all, Satan will not sit idly by and let such winsome delights stand unchallenged.  But for a moment, I had a glimpse of what God is doing by allowing our national hegemony to crack and shudder.  Even if it’s out of self-preservation rather than intrinsic goodness, my boys seem to be learning what it will be like to be in the middle of the pack rather than top dog.  And that’s not such a bad thing.


P. S.  Coop, thanks for the link. 

2 Comments leave one →
  1. 31 January 2008 10:21 am


    It is often the simple, unexpected, ordinary things which we ought to relish (and often don’t) which testify to the presence of God in the midst of our mortality. Things like: our wife and kids (or grandkids) sitting with us at the local barbeque joint chowing down on ribs, brisket, sausage, pintos, onion, and a jalepeño. Throw in a crabby waitress and you have a theophany.


  2. qb permalink*
    31 January 2008 5:58 pm

    Truer words were never spoken…unless, of course, it includes a frosty longneck of Shiner Bock. Well said, Coop. qb

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