Election 2020: Byzantine Politics for the Modern Day

We live in interesting times; the kind of times that make one say, like Bilbo Baggins, “Sorry! I don’t want any adventures, thank you.”

As of this writing, the election is still undecided even though the mainstream media calls Joe Biden the president-elect. If you’ve been getting your news from conservative media, you’re aware of some very suspicious goings-on in key states, like suspiciously pristine ballots, statistically unlikely surges of Biden votes overnight, etcetera; which, I’ve got to admit, make me pretty suspicious. Add in the mainstream media running cover for Biden during the campaign, and now telling us he won, even when there’s pending litigation, and it looks like the Left and other anti-Trump forces are up to shenanigans.

It can be pretty disconcerting, and I can even see why people think that all of this, including the pandemic, was planned ahead of time. It’s a far-fetched idea, but I’m not surprised some might think it. This whole situation feels scary and new, but it’s not really unprecedented.

Lately, I’ve been reading Fourteen Byzantine Rulers by Michael Psellus. It’s an overview of the lives of 14 rulers of the Byzantine Empire, written in the early 1000s A.D. by a contemporary Byzantine historian who lived through the events he details. It is a story of elite members of society scheming, conspiring, and even breaking into armed revolt, to advance their own interests (usually by taking the throne for themselves) in one of the most powerful nations of the Middle Ages. Most of the machinations of the schemers, including a guy who committed adultery with the empress just to gain the throne, happened more or less out in the open, where courtiers, and even the targets of the schemes in some cases, were aware of what was happening.

If this sounds reminiscent of what’s happening today, that’s because the human heart hasn’t changed in 1000 years. The wealthy and powerful of the Middle Ages sought more wealth and power for themselves, because the human heart is deceitful and desperately wicked. The wealthy and powerful of today do the same, because the human heart is still deceitful and desperately wicked. This is why I don’t give much credence to weird conspiracy theories like Qanon, the Illuminati, etcetera. Why does the World Economic Forum push for the Great Reset now? It’s an opportunity to gain more power for themselves, the same reason Michael IV became the empress’s paramour. The motives of elites in Silicon Valley are just like those in Constantinople, there’s power to be had, they want to have it, and they’ll take any opportunity that presents itself. None of this needs some shadowy cabal pulling strings from the shadows to explain it; just powerful people seizing opportunities to advance their own interests, just like they always have. It seems strange to us because we don’t study history, but political opportunism is the norm, not the exception.

What we need to remember in These Troubled Times™ is that just as God was in control of every scheme in the Byzantine court (an easy thing to acknowledge in hindsight), He is in control of every scheme of the wealthy and powerful of our day. Succeed or fail, every effort at self-advancement by the wealthy and powerful will advance God’s agenda. God’s sovereignty cannot be stolen from Him, He cannot be outwitted, and He cannot be thwarted. So don’t be afraid of political machinations; God is still in control.

The king’s heart is like channels of water in the hand of the Lord;

He turns it wherever He pleases.

(Proverbs 21:1)

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One thought on “Election 2020: Byzantine Politics for the Modern Day

  1. However even if there is sketchy business going on the ballots in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Michigan, the Democrats would have still won the presidency.

    Like

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