After the Civil War, following the great American theologian Abraham Lincoln, "the Depravity of Man" became the Benedict Arnold of dogma. The doctrine became a turncoat premise in syllogisms buttressing an increase in the paternalistic powers of the State. Whereas Man's "depravity" earlier meant that man could not be trusted with power (whose corrupting influences Lord Acton saw residing in man himself), the modern doctrine indicts the fallen and untrustworthy masses ("the People") and supplicates the sinless and infallible State for social salvation. Because the masses are depraved, you see, the centralized state needs more power to control them.
• Because criminals are depraved, we need a Police State.
• Because Arabs are depraved, we need a Garrison State at home and hundreds of U.S. bases abroad.