The Fall has affected government in a myriad of ways. Tyranny and corruption are two common ways that sin has corrupted governments. David Koyzis points out that the Fall has affected our approach to governing in ways that we may not think about at first: political ideologies.
According to Koyzis (Political Visions and Illusions):
Every ideology is based on taking something out of creation’s totality, raising it above that creation, and making the latter revolve around and serve it. It is further based on the assumption that this idol has the capacity to save us from some real or perceived evil in the world (kindle loc 156).
For instance, liberal ideologies make liberty the ultimate good, socialist ideologies do the same with equality, democratic ideologies make the voice of the people the ultimate good.
When ideologies do this they become idolatrous:
If ideologies deify something within God’s creation, they inevitably view this humanly made god as a source of salvation. Thus each of the ideologies is based on a specific soteriology, that is, on a worked-out theory promising deliverance to human beings from some fundamental evil that is viewed as the source of a broad range of human ills (kindle loc 338).
Koyzis does not deny that every ideology has grasped a part of the truth. They have each grasped something good in the creational structure. The problem is in elevating that good part of the creation out of its rightful place.
Ideologies also make the equal and opposite error: “ideologies tend to locate the source of this fundamental evil somewhere within the creation” (kinde loc 347).
The Christian worldview, by contrast identifies sin, not some aspect of the creational order, as the fundamental problem in the world, and it looks to Christ for salvation, recognizing that salvation cannot be achieved through the political process.
Traditional conservative Russell Kirk makes much the same point in his critique of ideologies:
Ideology, in short, is a political formula that promises mankind an earthly paradise; but in cruel fact what ideology has created is a series of terrestrial hells. I set down below some of the vices of ideology. 1) Ideology is inverted religion, denying the Christian doctrine of salvation through grace in death, and substituting collective salvation here on earth. . . .
Russell Kirk, The Politics of Prudence, 5.
Kirk’s point was that there is a certain kind of prudential approach to politics that has the more limited goal of seeking to retain what is good in a society and seeking to reform what is evil as we are able. Some of these reforms have a life-and-death importance to them (literally, in the case of abortion), and deserve a great deal of political effort. But achieving such reforms must be seen as a means of glorifying the heavenly Father though good works (Matt. 5:16) and not as a step on the way toward saving the nation.