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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

The Cost of Compliance

Though I have tried to remove myself from watching the news these days, I am still prone to reading headlines which come in my email.

Each time I read one proclaiming the injustice and oppression in America, I am reminded of the tyrants of history who led revolutions started by similar proclamations.

The reigns of leaders such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Mao Tse-Tung all began under the guise of bringing justice to one group of people by forcibly removing or controlling another.

Hitler and Stalin both rejected democracy while promising progress and better lives for the common man. Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” inspired those being oppressed to overcome their oppressors.

In each case, the ideas promoted by these men fed the desires of those who saw themselves as oppressed or disadvantaged. For these tyrants to be able to provide the change they claimed they could provide, they needed compliance from the masses.

In other words, the people needed to go along with whatever they deemed had to be done. History teaches us, under each of these tyrants, the masses did just that.

The “cost of compliance” can be seen in the carnage left behind.

In Hitler’s Germany there were approximately 20,946,000 non-battle deaths including 5,300,000 Germans and over 6,00,000 Jewish people. In Russia under Stalin’s rule, over 40,000,000 Russian troops and civilians died. Chairman Mao was even more prolific as he is responsible for the death of over 45,000,000 Chinese in just two years.

The irony is all this has occurred within the last 100 years. There is no doubt many of the people killed demanded change and looked to these men to be the arbiters of that change.

Solomon tells us “there is nothing new under the sun”. Yet, each generation seems to believe they will be the ones to right the wrongs of the past. They do this, seemingly unaware, they are striving to do so by instituting the very methods that brought so many others to their demise.

The mantra today is, this time, the “cost of compliance” will be different. This time, we will be able to create the utopian society humanity has tried to create since the beginning of time.

This time, compliance will be worth the cost.

If we believe, “there is nothing new under the sun”, we must ask, will this time be any different than the last time? I pray it will! Because either way, it appears we are about to find out.

Proverbs 26:11-12 “Like a dog that returns to its vomit, a fool does the same foolish things again and again. People who think they are wise when they are not are worse than fools”.

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