Thursday, 12 March 2009

Stringfellow on American leaders

“The … ingenious aggressions of the principalities against human life in society, the victimisation of human beings … by the demonic powers exposes a crucial aspect of the contemporary American social crisis. The American problem is not so simple that it can be attributed to a few – or even many – evil men in high places…. Our men in high places are not exceptionally immoral; they are, on the contrary, quite ordinarily moral. In truth, the conspicuous moral fact about our generals, our industrialists, our scientists, our commercial and political leaders is that they are the most obvious and pathetic prisoners in American society. There is unleashed among the principalities in this society a ruthless, self-proliferating, all-consuming institutional process which assaults … and destroys human life even among, and primarily among, those persons in positions of institutional leadership. They are left with titles but without effectual authority; with the trappings of power, but without control over the institutions they head; in nominal command, but bereft of dominion…. The most poignant victim of the demonic in America today is the so-called leader” (An Ethic for Christians and Other Aliens in a Strange Land, pp. 88-89).


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