Socialism Slavery and Sacrifice in Modern Government
Socialism Slavery and Sacrifice in Modern Government
Joel McDurmon www.AmericanVision.org American Vision Press Powder Springs, Georgia
God versus Socialism:
Slavery and Sacrifice in Modern Government Copyright ÂŠ 2009 Joel McDurmon Published by:
The American Vision, Inc. 3150 Florence Road Powder Springs, Georgia 30127-5385 www.AmericanVision.org 1-800-628-9460 All rights reserved. Written permission must be secured from the publisher to use or reproduce any part of this book, except for brief quotations in critical reviews or articles. Produced in the United States of America.
Table of Contents Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 One: Who Is King? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Two: Fanny, Freddie, and Pharaoh . . . . . . . . . . 25 Three: The Great Conservative Hypocrisy . . . . . . . 33 Four: Cease Ye from Political Salvation . . . . . . . 37 Five: The Planks We Walk to Our Doom . . . . . . . 44
Six: Social Success: Who Has the Program? . . . . 55
Seven: Economic Shortage: Causes and Solutions . . 59 Eight: A Window into the Socialist Soul . . . . . . . . 69 Nine: Conclusion: A Battle of Fundamentals . . . . . . 75
End Notes . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 81
Introduction God versus Socialism
od Almighty owns everything. This is the biblical view: “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it” (Ps. 24:1); God says, “[E]very beast of the forest is Mine, the cattle on a thousand hills. I know every bird of the mountains, and everything that moves in the field is Mine. If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all it contains (Psa. 50:9–12). God created mankind in His own image. Man reflects God’s character and order. Just as God owns everything, God delegated the stewardship and dominion of property to His image, mankind (Gen. 1:26–28), and thus humans have the capacity and calling to act as private owners. God planted a special garden—the Garden of Eden—and placed man in it to till it, and to guard its boundaries (Gen. 2:8, 15). When Adam and Eve rebelled against God’s law-order, God kicked them outside of those boundaries, and placed a “no-trespassing” sign in the form of an angelic guardian at their gates (Gen. 3:23–24). Adam and Eve very quickly learned the ins and outs of private property. This doctrine continued as God’s way of ordering and prospering society, and we see this in the fact that God’s fundamental laws for living—the Ten Commandments—include the prohibition of theft (Ex. 20:15). No man or group of men can take another man’s property—by individual act, legislation, petition, conspiracy, or appeal to the “common good”—in disregard for God’s law. The Old Testament frequently refers to the moving of a neighbor’s landmark (a property corner) in order to increase one’s own property (Deut. 19:14; 27:17; Job 24:2;
Prov. 22:28; 23:10; Hos. 5:10). The references forbid or condemn the act as an attack on inheritance and possession (Deut. 19:14). The same doctrine holds in the New Testament. In the early Church in Acts 5, as many Christians voluntarily sold their goods and gave to the poor among them, one couple sold some land and laid only a portion at the apostles’ feet pretending they had given all. Nevertheless, even for these corrupt-hearted individuals, Peter upheld the doctrine of private property: “While it remained unsold, did it not remain your own? And after it was sold, was it not under your control?” (Acts 5:4). God punished them, not for not giving all, but for lying about what they gave. Other apostles upheld the doctrine as well: Paul preached against theft (Eph. 4:28), as did Peter (1 Pet. 4:15) and James (Jam. 5:4). Not to mention that Jesus saw the command as quite relevant as well (Matt. 19:18). The biblical witness is clear: God believes in private property, and He not only desires us but commands us to live by that rule as well. Under this system, our rights and freedoms come from God. No man can take them away. He who tries must answer to the law, and ultimately to God.
Socialism Socialism is the belief that individual private property is a bad idea. It is thus an anti-Christian and anti-biblical belief. Socialists believe that governments should own most or all property and distribute it out as government experts, scientists, politicians, or occasionally voters see fit. Under socialism, the State puts itself in the place of God and says, “The earth is the State’s, and all it contains, the world, and those who dwell in it.” Under this view, the individual has no protection from his neighbor if his neighbor is in the majority, or if the State somehow deems his neighbor as needful in some way; the State simply uses force to take that individual’s property and give it to www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
someone else. In this sense, the State moves landmarks every day. In this view, the State determines our rights, and gives us our freedoms; here there is no appeal beyond the State. Socialism is the belief, therefore, that stealing is acceptable as long as another man or group of men says so. Socialism believes in theft by majority vote, or theft by a majority of representatives’ votes in Congress. Socialism is the belief that armed robbery is OK as long as you do it through proxy of the government’s gun. Socialism places man, and ultimately the State, in the place of God. Man becomes owned by other men, instead of by his Maker. Socialism is an entirely humanistic, God-denying, God-usurping belief.
Conclusion Between these two beliefs—private property and socialism— there exists fundamental conflict. They represent contradictory views of sovereignty, man, law, society, and inheritance. They are fundamentally rival religious systems. Choosing one, you reject the other— service and honor to God, or servitude to fellow men. Either God commands and judges man, or man commands and judges man. The following studies illustrate this war of worldviews in the economic and political realm, and argue the necessity and superiority of choosing God over humanism’s false god, socialism, in all its many faces.
Who is King?
One Who is King?
ho is King? You’d better get the answer to that question right. The difference between right and wrong means the difference between everything from sin and salvation, to freedom and bondage, to liberty and tyranny. For all the problems we hear and read about in society, the answer to this question either causes or begins to solve them. Christ has all power in heaven and on earth (Matt. 28:18), has ascended and set down at the right hand of the Father (Acts 2:33–36; Heb. 1:3, 13), and shall rule from that throne until all His enemies are vanquished (1 Cor. 15:23–26; Heb. 10:12–13). He is the “King of Kings, Lord of Lords” (Rev. 19:16), and the “prince of the kings of the earth” (not just a heavenly king, Rev. 1:5). At His name every knee shall bow and tongue confess—in heaven and in earth—that Jesus Christ is Lord (Phil. 2:9–12). Nothing escapes His control and Lordship, and He upholds all things by the word of His power (Heb. 1:3). There should be no question to any Christian of any denomination, Christ is King—King now, King forever, of heaven and of earth. As faithful Christians, then we must submit to His word, His edict. We must strive to bring every area of life under His law. This obviously causes tensions in areas where man’s desires and laws ultimately conflict with Christ’s: Christians must choose which King they shall serve in that situation. This does not mean that no other King has legitimate authority: God sets up earthly rulers as His ministers. But it does mean that no other law-order has legitimate authority; when an earthly king usurps the areas of life that God has designed and www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
decreed for the individual, the family, or the church, then that ruler has departed from His calling as God’s minister, and has denied God’s law. When such tensions arise, Christians must make every lawful effort to remain faithful to Christ. If we answer this question correctly, we at least position ourselves to reap the fruits of liberty. When we recognize, nationally, that a King exists who transcends mankind, before whom all men, even our leaders, are created equal, and to whom all mankind must submit and give account, then we have stripped the machines of tyranny to their barest skeleton (we can never permanently eradicate them in this age), and have lowered the potentate to the same frailty as our own frame. In this case, God gives man rights, and we can call the State to account for its deviancies and If we answer this question infractions. But if we fail this answer, and incorrectly, we at least stead assume somehow that the State position ourselves to reap is the giver and judge of rights— that the fruits of liberty. some men are born to rule, that some men somehow deserve to rule, that some charismatic personality, vaulted to status by public clamor, should rule, or that men should rule because of their wealth, connections, promises, SAT scores,1 education, etc., etc.—then we have already denied the reign of Christ, and accepted humanism in one of its various forms. In this scenario, we have declared that man has no ultimate recourse beyond the highest of his peers—we have greased the rails of tyranny, and shall give account, nationally, to the exactings of a fallible human being.
Rejecting God as King God Almighty, via the prophet Samuel, warned and pleaded with the Israelite nation not to accept a human king. But they argued with Samuel: “Now appoint a king for us to judge us like all the nations” www.AmericanVision.org
Who is King?
(1 Sam. 8:3). They wished to abandon their status of self-government under God which had so distinguished them among the nations. They wished now to be “like all the nations.” God told Samuel, “They have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them” (1 Sam. 8:6). So God forewarned them of what an earthly king would entail: This will be the procedure of the king who will reign over you: he will take your sons and place them for himself in his chariots and among his horsemen and they will run before his chariots. And he will appoint for himself commanders of thousands and of fifties, and some to do his plowing and to reap his harvest and to make his weapons of war and equipment for his chariots. He will also take your daughters for perfumers and cooks and bakers. And he will take the best of your fields and your vineyards and your olive groves, and give them to his servants. And he will take a tenth of your seed and of your vineyards, and give to his officers and to his servants. He will also take your male servants and your female servants and your best young men and your donkeys, and use them for his work. He will take a tenth of your flocks, and you yourselves will become his servants. Then you will cry out in that day because of your king whom you have chosen for yourselves, but the Lord will not answer you in that day (1 Sam. 8:11–18). As missionary and scholar R. J. Rushdoony notes, this prophecy describes the God-rejecting State with at least six distinct features: 1. Conscription of sons for military service
God versus Socialism 2. Conscription of youth for compulsory State service 3. These conscriptions will include young men, young women, and animals 4. Expropriation of property in land and wealth by the State 5. Taxation at the 10% level God ordained for the Church 6. God’s refusal to answer prayers during this judgment.2
It is not hard to find these characteristics in the history of Israel that followed, but the Christian should also recognize them as the hallmarks of our allegedly free society today. In some cases the “procedure of the king” far surpasses the tyranny of Israel (10% tax!), or even the tyranny of Egypt for that matter (20%, Gen. 47:26). Consider some of the ways in which our “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave” includes the features of the God-rejecting Israel: Firstly, military conscription. The U.S. has a well-known history of military conscription that lasted through several wars—even Elvis had to go!—until 1973. Even though the draft ended, contingency plans remain in place, and thus every male 18–25 years old must register with the “Selective Service System” so that the king has you on a list in case he needs to reinstate the draft. In its own words, the SSS exists to “provide our Nation with… the most prompt, efficient, and equitable draft possible, if the country should need it.”3 Failure to register (your duty by law) remains punishable as a felony including up to five years in prison and up to a quarter-million dollar fine.4 The only exemption is for those already serving in the military! In short, you cannot legally avoid military conscription in this country if the king wishes you to fight. www.AmericanVision.org
Who is King?
Secondly, labor or service conscription (subsuming both numbers 2 and 3 above) is under serious discussion. While such compulsory service does yet exist, some leaders and rulers have plans to institute it as soon as they can. In a July 2, 2008 campaign speech, Obama emphasized his desire for people to be servants of their government. In the construction of a dream of government lordship, repeating the word “service” some 35 times, Obama famously departed from his written, prepared speech5 to say, “We cannot continue to rely on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set. We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well-funded.”6 For starters, he promised to expand AmeriCorps—a government funded program that essentially trains young people to become government servants—from 75,000 slots to 250,000 per year, a 333% increase. Then he aimed for those who refuse to join voluntarily: “I will set a goal for all American middle and high school students to perform 50 hours of service a year, and for all college students to perform 100 hours of service a year. This means that by the time you graduate college, you’ll have done 17 weeks of service.” Just so you’d know this wasn’t just campaign fluff, once in office he appointed Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff. Emanuel is now famous for favoring compulsory national service of all youth in America, as he said in a 2006 book, The Plan: Big Ideas for America: It’s time for a real Patriot Act that brings out the patriot in all of us. We propose universal civilian service for every young American. Under this plan, all Americans between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five will be asked to serve their country by going through three months of basic training, civil defense preparation and community service.... Here’s how it would work. Young people will know www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism that between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five, the nation will enlist them for three months of civilian service. They’ll be asked to report for three months of basic civil defense training in their state or community, where they will learn what to do in the event of biochemical, nuclear or conventional attack; how to assist others in an evacuation; how to respond when a levee breaks or we’re hit by a natural disaster. These young people will be available to address their communities’ most pressing needs.7
Just to make sure you realize he means full compulsory conscription, Rahm ridicules that “Some republicans will squeal about individual freedom.…”8 Compulsory national service will enforce the God-rejecting, Godreplacing State’s belief that it owns its people and can demand their service and sacrifice at will. This is especially true of the youth, and is the long-held belief of the liberalleftists, who wish to impose militaryCompulsory national type conscription as an every-day, service will enforce the peacetime policy. See William James’ God-rejecting State’s belief 1910 essay “The Moral Equivalent of that it owns its people and War,” where he says, “We should be can demand their service owned, as soldiers are by the army, and our pride would rise accordingand scrifice at will. 9 ly.” The Corporation for National and Community Service (the parent-government organization to AmeriCorps and others) considers James’ vision as part of its foundational “national service timeline.”10 Obama signed the so-called “GIVE” Act, H.R. 1388, also known as the “The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, an Act to reauthorize and reform the national service laws,” into law on April 21, 2009. The bill increases the federal budget for such programs ten-fold, and expects to spend $6 billion on “manwww.AmericanVision.org
Who is King?
datory” “service-learning” programs in schools and other organizations over four years. Following James’ vision, the current administration, and leftists in general, believe that the State “owns” its people, and that it can mandate their service at will. Thirdly, the State confiscates property and land almost at will. Aside from the general fact that any property tax essentially represents rent paid to the State, and that the State uses “eminent domain” laws to grab any land it wishes for its purposes, as long as said purposes can somehow be argued as “in the public good,” the king has very clear means of taking property for himself. Just this year liberals rushed through the Omnibus Public Land Management Act of 2009—a conglomeration of dozens of conservation and environmental bills that resulted in the confiscation of two million acres of land as wilderness, and over 1,000 miles of river, among other things. The State believes it owns the land, and the State takes it for its purposes at will. Finally, the 10% tax I have already hinted is a mild tyranny by modern standards. In the modern industrialized, civilized world, the lowest level of taxation as a percentage of gross domestic product is still over 20%, the average being closer to 30%, and some nations pushing 50%.11 The 10% tyranny of Israel and even the 20% tyranny of Egypt would represent radical steps toward freedom in today’s world. As God demands a tithe (10%) of his people, the modern State considers itself two to five times more deserving than God, and as a result we stand more cursed than ancient Israel to that same degree. Even if none of these things existed in the Unites States, even if the few not fully in effect now remain that way, the mere fact that some people—some leaders—believe these things constitute the ideal society and work tirelessly toward that end, should rouse every freedomloving individual to action. In terms of freedom and liberty, this type of society is a tragedy. In biblical terms, this tragedy is the judgment of God upon a God-rejecting State. www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
Kings and Total Sacrifice In the Samuel passage the Hebrew uses the standard word for “king”— mlk, or melech. This common word appears all through the Old Testament, but when referring to a particular practice of neighboring pagan divine-king States, the Hebrew scribes replaced the vowels with those from the Hebrew word boseth, “shame.” The resulting name “Molech” refers to the pagan total-State, the great tyrannies incurred where the civil State usurped the place of God and worship in society and demanded ultimate sacrifice. The symbols of these tyrannies are perpetual servitude to the State in both person and property, and the unforgettable legacy of child sacrifice. For this reason the Hebrew scribes distinguished between “kings” (melech) and “king-mandated human sacrifice” (molech). The commands forbidding child-sacrifice appear in Leviticus 18:21, 20:1– 5, and in Deuteronomy 12:29–32, 18:9–10. These commands appear among sections of God’s law that forbid divination, false prophecy, and other attempts to control the future. In other words, God’s law recognized the propensity of kings and the State to attempt total control of its people, capital, environment, and future (as a god would do), and that same law condemned these actions. “The Moloch state simply represents the supreme effort of man to command the future, to predestine the world, and to be as God.… Moloch worship was thus state worship. The state was the true and ultimate order.… The state claimed total jurisdiction over man; it was therefore entitled to total sacrifice.”12 And sacrifice it was: The “Molech sacrifices” of children were widespread in Mediterranean culture.13 Archeologists have uncovered—from Tyre in the Middle East to Carthage in www.AmericanVision.org
Who is King?
North Africa, and even in Italy and Sicily—thousands of urns and burials containing the charred remains of infants and small children. One find notably uncovered inscriptions of mlk ’mr and mlk ’dm— “molech amar” and “molech adam”—meaning “king-sacrifices of lamb,” and “king-sacrifices of man.” Ancient historians as well attest to pagan rituals of rolling children into an idol-furnace shaped like a god with horns, whose hollowed midsection belched fire—sacrifices by the hundreds, even thousands.14 A fairly recent site near modernday Tyre uncovered so many cinerary jars and urns that the number “cannot even be approximated.”15 Despite a clear mandate from God Almighty, the community of the “faithful” could not refrain from acting “like all the nations.” It was not immune from even these barbarous practices. We find Judah’s kings Ahaz and Manasseh leading the country in pagan worship and even in the fires of Molech (2 Kings 16:3; 21:6), and we see the people of Israel following right along (2 Kings 17:17). Historian Vaux comments, The sacrifice of children, then, by burning them to death probably made its way into Israel from Phoenicia during a period of religious syncretism. The Bible mentions only two specific instances, and they were motivated by the same exceptional circumstances as the Phoenician sacrifices [see 2 Kings 16:3; 21:6].16 “Exceptional circumstances” allegedly being the portents of invasion and war, for which the sacrifice of children expected to gain the pagan god’s favor for salvation and victory. Whatever the circumstance may have been, the fact of human sacrifice is what concerns us. Formerly faithful people adopted the practice, following the God-denying, State-worshiping cultures around them. www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
During this time of social decline the Valley of Hinnom—just outside the city of Jerusalem—became a center of such worship, including the erection of a “tophet,” or furnace for sacrifice. Jeremiah decried judgment upon the “tophet” which the children of Judah had built in order “to burn their sons and their daughters in the fire” (Jer. 7:31–32). It took the reform efforts under good king Josiah (contemporary with Jeremiah) to destroy the shrine-furnace “that no man might make his son or his daughter pass through the fire to Molech” (2 Kings 23:10). In other words, it took a return to God’s word, and correction of the doctrine of God, a concurrent correction of the doctrine of king, and civil action in society to overcome the total sacrifice demanded by a pagan view of society and State.
Consent of the Civilized Do not make the mistake of believing this total sacrifice to exist only among ancient primitive peoples or particularly bloodthirsty tribes. The aforementioned Tyre was part of ancient Phoenicia, the people who pioneered maritime trading across the Mediterranean, and who, also, invented the alphabet. The Phoenician colony Carthage practiced child sacrifice extensively, while growing rich through international trade, and requiring three Punic Wars before finally succumbing to the power of Rome. And Rome! The great civilizer of the known world, the paver of Europe, and the benevolent dictator behind the Pax Romana! Even great civilized Rome sacrificed humans in order to control her State gods. Despite the fact that early Rome had “officially” outlawed human sacrifice for the people, the State practiced it widely. The great historian Lord Acton elaborates: But in Rome, where religion was more real, the awe of the gods greater, the view of life more earnest and gloomy, the morals more severe, human sacrifice was www.AmericanVision.org
Who is King? less hateful to the popular mind.… The deification of the State made every sacrifice which it exacted seem as nothing in comparison to the fortune of Rome; and the perils which menaced it from Carthage or Gaul, Epirus or Pontus, Parthia, Spain, or Germany, each demanded its human victims.… In every generation of the four centuries from the fall of the Republic to the establishment of Christianity, human victims were sacrificed by the emperors. In the year 46 B.C. Julius Caesar, after suppressing a mutiny, caused one soldier to be executed, while at the same time two others were sacrificed by the flamen of Mars on the altar in the Campus Martius.… Five years later, when Perugia was taken, Octavian sacrificed three hundred senators and knights to his deified predecessor; and the altars of Perugia became a proverb. In the same age Sextus Pompeius flung captives into the sea, as a sacrifice to his father Neptune.… When Germanicus died, his house was found to be lined with charms, images, and bones of men whom Tiberius had sacrificed to the infernal gods to hasten his end.… Nero, by the advice of the astrologers, put many nobles to death, to avert himself from the evils with which a comet threatened him.… Didus Julianus offered sacrifices of children.… At the beginning of the fourth century Maxentius divined the future by sacrificing infants, and opening the bodies of pregnant women.… Children were publicly sacrificed to Moloch in [Roman] Africa until the middle of the second century.…17
I have omitted many of the instances Acton lists. The practice was widespread, and accepted by many if not most of the most civilized www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
nations in the world. It took the advance of Christianity to end it for the most part (it still survived in some small pockets). The reader should see now what even the most civilized and well-intentioned States can do when made complete arbiters of life and death. The cradle-to-grave Nanny State is the replacement of God, and will just as easily end your life as sustain it when it so deems it beneficial to its agenda, or “the whole.” The sacrifice of children and humans in general can only occur where an earthly power has total control, and (excepting the possibility of kidnapping, which does not appear to be in play) where parents are brainwashed into handing their children over to an earthly king for some ungodly cause, even to the point of mindless murder in case
The sacrifice of children can only occur where an earthly power has total control, or where parents are brainwashed into handing their children over to an earthly king. of “national emergency” or for “the common good.”
Human Sacrifice Today What goes unstated or unnoticed is that human sacrifice continues openly today despite the advance of every measure of religion, science, and reason. In fact, we could say that the butchery is often aided and promoted by the march of both science and what passes as science. Likewise, human sacrifice in the “open society” is carried out by the most prosperous and self-appointedly rational people on earth: www.AmericanVision.org
Who is King?
most of Western Civilization. The massacres continue under two main guises: abortion and unnecessary war. The practice of abortion, from a pro-life perspective anyway, stands as an obvious modern counterpart to the ancient Moloch worship of sacrificing infants, only today done for human convenience, money, or social status, rather than religion. But don’t assume the difference is so great. The ancient pagans ritually killed infants as propitiation of a false god that didn’t exist. Today, it is done for the propitiation of a false god called man, humanity, society, woman’s rights, choice—this demon is legion. As a result, nothing has changed but the object of worship: society has exchanged a non-existent false god, Moloch, for an existent false god, man. The case of war is no less controversial, but no less clear. Without any intended reference to the current wars (though it may apply), it should be obvious that if any war is waged unjustly, and troops are killed in that battle for an ungodly cause, then the perpetrators of that war have offered human blood as an agent of social change, rather than relying on godly principles. This is human sacrifice pure and simple. Christians should not be afraid to oppose war, to oppose it vigorously, and to oppose hasty wars especially. Well does the Anglican prayer book include in its military prayer, “Ever spare them from being ordered into a war of aggression or oppression.”18 Even when modern States do not outrightly engage in blood sacrifice, they nevertheless call for total sacrifice—the full offering of one’s all to its mandates. When the State makes claim to your service, your children’s service, your property, your wealth, and meddles in the medical and “end of life” care you get, then there is no other name for it than total sacrifice. On top of this, most Christian parents today unquestioningly pass their children through the fire of Molech education; they have offered their children up to the tophet-furnace of the kings public schools, funded by the God-rejecting State’s property taxes and divine-State multiple-tithes. These arms of the State’s power teach—at every opwww.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
portunity, for hours per day, from every angle—every idea that contradicts the law of God and supports the State’s power. It is child sacrifice to the gods of the State, and a rejection of God’s command for families, not the State, to educate their children in the ways of God (Deut. 6:6–9; Eph. 6:4). In this matter Christians have failed, and secular humanists (who believe the State is the highest expression and guardian of man, and thus god) have consciously accepted Christian children as sacrifices toward advancing their social agenda. This was their plan from early on, as Charles Potter, a signer of the first Humanist Manifesto, clearly stated: Education is thus a most powerful ally of Humanism, and every American public school is a school of Humanism. What can the theistic Sunday-school, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a five-day program of humanistic teaching?19 The schools are humanistic because the system of socialism in which the State taxes other people to pay for other people’s kids’ edu-
“What can theistic Sunday school, meeting for an hour once a week, and teaching only a fraction of the children, do to stem the tide of a fiveday program of humanistic teaching?” ~Charles F. Potter www.AmericanVision.org
Who is King?
cation is humanistic and deifies the State. The secular Molech has increased his power, and the Christians have fed the beast! This failure repeats the sad, recurring legacy of people of faith— a pattern we see in 1 Samuel as well. The priesthood grew corrupt (1 Sam. 2:12–36), and generation arose without proper education in the ways of God. Even Samuel’s two sons departed from God’s ways even though Samuel had appointed them to judge over Israel (1 Sam. 8:1–3). As Samuel grew old the people sensed his decline and began to fret about leadership. Instead of falling back on God’s word and trusting in God, they appealed to Samuel to give them their king “like all the nations.” This was a failure of national faith. It led to the national tyranny outlined above. The cycle repeats itself today. Christians have accepted humanistic ways of doing things “like all the nations.” In the health care debate, in education, in other public programs, and in economics, Christians have sacrificed their lives and the lives of their children in exchange for the protection and security offered promised by the humanistic State. Lest we return quickly to God’s ways, we will enter the period of God refusing to hear our prayers for some time.
Conclusion Some Christians ask me why I write so much about “politics.” The answer goes far beyond the simple idea that we should apply God’s Word to every area of life. The answer must include the fact that if we don’t apply God’s Word to every area of life, the forces of darkness will push their word in the neglected areas. There is no neutrality. Either God reigns and His law is honored, or the enemy rules and humanists carry out their will in law, politics, and ethics. The reason for Christians in politics—and all other areas—begins with the answer to question, “Who is King.” Most, if not all, of the problems we face in society stem from the State’s transgression of Christ’s Kingship. This does not mean that www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
Christ ceases to rule in these areas; rather, the State interferes in areas Christ has not decreed for it to manage. As a result, the State sets itself up in the place of God in these areas. This is false Kingship, and with it comes judgment for idolatry and for worshiping a false god. Society progresses into the judgment of its own making. The progression into a sin-dominated culture happens slowly, and Christians tend to accept the drift unless sudden changes drastically strike at obvious issues. Thus, Christians speak out against abortion and homosexual marriage. Meanwhile, more subtle things creep in: Social Security, public education, Medicare, welfare, multiple taxes, etc, and possibly compulsory national service. Each of these programs violate biblical principles of property and life, and strike just as severely at the biblical idea of family as do homosexual marriage and abortion, yet Christians accept and even applaud them. The applause comes for many reasons—apparent benefits, self-interest, the programs appear moral, sustainable, and they are already established by our parents and grandparents. What gets lost in the whole process is a consistent, biblical assessment of the God-determined boundaries for Family, Church, and State. We must constantly return to Scripture and ask “Who is King” over these areas. To the extent that Christian let the State usurp the God-given roles of family and church, we have accepted the legitimacy of a false god. The fires of Molech will continue to consume and grow until Christians lose the ability to withdraw. Withdraw from your interest in the tophet schools and the false-prophet State systems of Molech while you still can. Ask yourself the question “Who is King?” A lot depends on your answer.
Fannie, Freddie, and Pharaoh
Two Fannie, Freddie, and Pharaoh
t was in the midst of a great depression. Drought swept the land; food shortages squeezed towns and families; prices skyrocketed; the effects were international; complaining echoed across workplaces and markets; social unrest mounted. Something had to be done. Everyone looked to the one place which had reserves (built by prior taxation): the government. Even foreigners sought food from governments abroad, paying a premium just to eat. The general cry was, “Help us! Help! . . . . Save us!” In the public mind, only the government could save them now. The government did, creating programs of massive wealth transfer and popular dependence upon the saving arm of the State. This describes the Great Depression in the United States 1929– 1939, right? Actually, it first describes the story of Egypt during Joseph’s tenure under Pharaoh (Gen 41:46–57; 47:13–46). Both scenarios involved sweeping expansion of government power. Both loom as warnings to the present day. Sunday morning, September 7, 2008, then treasury secretary Henry Paulson announced that the government had taken control of the giant lending institutions “Fannie Mae” and “Freddie Mac.” The boards of these quasi-private enterprises were removed and the companies themselves placed under “conservatorship” of the U.S. Treasury. This is all legalese for “only the government can save the housing market now.” What is not stated is that these behemoth organizations never were private to begin with. In fact, the first of the two, Fannie, was created in 1938 as a fully-government run monopoly of the secondwww.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
ary mortgage market and was originally on the federal budget. This last point stands out because in the current takeover, the massive $5-trillion debt (half of the nation’s mortgage debt) will not appear on the federal budget (for political reasons?). Yet the fact that half of the nation’s mortgage debt is now overseen by the State is an eerie omen of the nature in which the State can “save” us: the extent of taking ownership due to “crisis,” “emergency,” or “desperation.” The second of the organizations, Freddie, was created as a “private” corporation over thirty years later in 1970, with the stated goal of creating “competition” for Fannie. Fannie had been “privatized” in 1968. “Privatized” is here in quotation marks because both organizations were still “government sponsored enterprises” (GSE’s). The current takeover shows that what the government once sponsors, the government can reclaim with little trouble. “Privatizing” in the interim was an illusion: “out of sight out of mind” government. (Yet another of these GSE’s is Sallie Mae, which finances billions in student loans—another theater of modern financial woe brought on by misperception, lust, and artificially easy credit.) To claim that these institutions actually compete is like arguing that Pontiac and Chevrolet are in competition. They are owned by the same corporation under the same umbrella. Likewise for Ford-Lincoln-Mercury and also for Chrysler-Dodge: different name brands, same owner. The illusion is sustained by the popular Pseudonyms “Fannie Mae” and “Freddie Mac.” These cutesy names are derived from their stock ticker symbols FNM and FRE; the actual full names are the Federal National Mortgage Association (FNMA) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (FHLMC)—both bearing the name of their maker. The general justification for the current intervention was that these agencies, comprising half of the mortgage market, were simply “too big to fail.” “Too big to fail” means that the bigger a failure you are, the more likely you are to be bailed out by the government. There is no belief in consequences for bad decisions here, only a destruction www.AmericanVision.org
Fannie, Freddie, and Pharaoh
of incentives for thrift and good ethics. “Who cares? The government taxes us. The government will save us.” The government itself call this dangerous precedent “moral hazard,” and “Too big to fail” means then goes on to create the hazard anyway. All of this is to say that these organithat the bigger a zations have, from their artificial births, failure you are, the never been far from the looming hand more likely you are to of government providence. They were be bailed out by the created as people looked to government government. for salvation. They have never drifted far from this original purpose. This most recent takeover amounts to a nationalization of housing finance in the United States. Does this mean that the government will own newly mortgaged property? Not clearly. But it moves property rights frighteningly closer to the hand of government. Does it mean that future defaults on these properties will transfer ownership the federal government? This is a perfectly valid question. My paternal grandfather grew up during America’s Great Depression. It permanently marked his character: to this day he’ll hardly spend an extra dime on frivolous things, wears the same clothes year to year, and, despite failing knees and the like, grows his own vegetables (enough tomatoes to supply friends and neighbors). To eat out at Dairy Queen on Friday night is a luxury. He tells me Depressionera stories about horse-drawn carts and hand-harvested corn-fields. Only one neighbor owned a threshing machine, and all the farmers around took turns to use it for their wheat harvest, and everyone helped the others until all were finished. But in spite of the low level of wealth, they all had something on which to build: they had their own land. Grandpa’s dad rented a place until he had saved enough to buy land of his own. Instead of seeking for government programs or handouts, they worked through their relative poverty and built their family and farm from the ground up. This is the great American Story. www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
This Story today is perverted. The American Dream now simply refers to having the house, car, cable, garden tub, granite counter top, etc. It no longer remembers the part about building this dream from the ground up. Today we have tons of credit and government programs for quick and easy financing of “McMansions” and the required appurtenances. There is no work or labor involved in getting to that point; most can obtain it almost instantaneously. At least, this was the case. Things have changed a bit as of late. The realities of recession have set in. Banks have grown stingier about whom they lend to; credit no longer flows so freely. Production and construction has halted in many places. Here in the counties surrounding Atlanta, there are dozens of subdivisions for new-construction homes that were begun but the homes never built. There are massive fields of stripped red-clay with PVC stubs sticking up at each proposed lot, but no houses—and no work continuing. Many of these properties now belong to banks that foreclosed on the construction loans. One local builder tells me how his business plummeted overnight. Another he knows had $3 million in the bank last year, but went bankrupt with $47 million in outstanding debts. The projects for which he borrowed never saw completion. My wife and I just bought a new construction home that was owned by a bank. They had foreclosed upon the builder months earlier. We got a good deal because the bank was smart: choosing to unload the liability quickly instead of waiting for the market to “recover,” an event unlikely for maybe years. This is one single incident. There are literally hundreds of foreclosed homes for sale in my county alone. The national number soars in the millions of homes. Whence cometh this crisis? There are probably several factors, but cheap and easy credit pushed by the Federal Reserve and government programs are at the base of it. It is a trap created by the lusts of man and it will pull society under the judgment of God. This echoes in many ways the crisis that occurred in 1929. The creation of the Federal Reserve in 1913 allowed for the later injection www.AmericanVision.org
Fannie, Freddie, and Pharaoh
“A great crash is coming, and I don’t want my name in any way associated with it.” ~ Ludwig von Mises
of massive amounts of credit into the economy in general. The credit craze took off, beginning an “unsustainable boom” that would lead to world-wide crises. One economist, the great Austrian Ludwig von Mises, saw what was coming. Early in 1929 he turned down a job offer from a prestigious bank in Vienna saying, “A great crash is coming, and I don’t want my name in any way connected with it.”20 The bank in question was the first in that country to fold from the pressures of the depression. That was Austria. Their neighbor Germany suffered the downturn acutely. People all around called for government to save them. They called for a political savior. One stepped up: his name was Adolf Hitler. The people cheered. The “government salvation in crisis” theme has a precedent in the story of Egypt. Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dream of seven fat cows and seven thin cows as seven years of plenty followed by seven of famine. Since Pharaoh had the same dream twice (two witnesses), Joseph saw it as confirmed by God. He conceived a plan that would seal God’s judgment on pagan Egypt: for Pharaoh to collect a fifth of all the harvest and store it for the famine ahead. This was done. When the crisis hit Joseph sold the grain back to the people it was taken from. They bought. When money ran out, Joseph traded for their cattle. When the cattle ran out, Joseph traded for their land. The people still agreed to this. When the land was all possessed by the State, the people offered themselves into slavery in exchange for the www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
grain. When all was said and done, the famine passed, but the State owned everything. The lesson is simple: crisis or not, when government becomes a means of provision, the end result can only be loss for the people. You may be fed today, but it will be the Fed tomorrow. It will come at the cost of freedom. As the famine ended, and all property and person had become property of Pharaoh, Joseph set forth the rules under the new totalState: Then Joseph said to the people, “Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh; now, here is seed for you, and you may sow the land. At the harvest you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own for seed of the field and for your food and for those of your households and as food for your little ones.” So they said, “You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s slaves” (Gen 47:23–25). It was clear, that even when the famine was past, the results of the new order would remain. Rights, property, and freedoms voluntarily given up once in the face of crisis and emergency are never returned. The State never voluntarily gives up its powers. This is why the American founding father Ben Franklin once wrote, “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.”21 For Egypt, hunger was the need, slavery was Rights, property, and the result, and a 20% income tax to freedoms voluntarily given Pharaoh was the legacy of their inup in the face of crisis are dentured servitude to the State (a never returned. total tax burden actually much less than our own). So, where does all of this lead? The story of Egypt tells us: slavwww.AmericanVision.org
Fannie, Freddie, and Pharaoh
ery. Ownership of the people by the State. This sounds far-fetched, of course, but is it?
State-Run Slavery Slavery is very difficult to talk about in America because it is so closely related to racism in the popular mind (partly due to the facts of history, and partly due to the limitations of public education). Slavery, however, is neither necessarily tied to race nor abolished in our time as we believe. It still exists in a few forms. The prison system, a military draft, and debt are all forms of slavery. Recall, it was the war-era spending including the military draft that were credited with bringing the U.S. out of its Great Depression. The takeover of such a large portion of the U.S. mortgage market, and the draining need for money and manpower for perpetual war on Terror provide evil portends for freedom in America. Biblical law, in contrast, protects private property from other people and from the King (thus Naboth was not required to sell Ahab his property, 1 Kings 21), and the early theoreticians of American freedom saw property rights as essential to liberty. Our Declaration’s phrase, “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness,” was taken from John Locke’s earlier (and better) phrase, “life, liberty, and estate (or property).” These Rights are inherent—given by God—not given by the State. If the State gave them, then the State could take them away. But since God gives them, the State has no right to interfere, and teh State becomes a criminal organization when it tries. When the State is viewed as a benefactor or savior, people are simply denying God by attributing these rights to the State. In such a circumstance, God will give the people exactly what they ask for. The result is a form of judgment—a glimpse of hell—not salvation in the least.
God versus Socialism
The Tyranny of the People We must confess—it is vital to admit—that along with all of the tyrannical aspirations of government, the will of a complicit people is vital to tyranny to continue. Dictators, tyrants, and tyrannies do not pop up and survive on their own. It was popular support that cheered Hitler into office. It was the voice of the people that let Joseph “buy” the people and all the land for Pharaoh. It was the rush for credit that was key to the Great Depression and the current economic crisis. And it will only be the popular mandate for government salvation that will further the tyranny. One article noted: “With the nationalization of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, it’s impossible to argue the Federal government isn’t playing a crucial and growing role in the financial markets. ‘Call it socialism, manipulation, intervention, or desperation. Call it what you will but don’t underestimate the mandate,’ says Todd Harrison, CEO of Minyanville.com.”22 This move, in other words, is cheered by—begged for—the public. It is a mandate (which means “command”). “Save us!” “Save us!” Don’t join that chorus. It is the song of slavery, the chorus of chains. It is the unprincipled refrain of the denial of God. Look for “salvation” to come in the form of inflation. Since Fannie and Freddie are off the books, their liabilities are hidden from the public, just as monetary inflation is a hidden tax on the public. The debts will have to be secured or paid, and the money will have to come from somewhere. Inflation is a handy tool for such expenditures: hidden taxes for hidden debts. We will all pay in devalued dollars and higher prices. Pharaoh will take his percentage; but he doesn’t yet have our land or our persons. Understand that now before the mandate changes, and fight it when it does.
The Great Conservative Hypocrisy
Three The Great Conservative Hypocrisy
hey say that conservatives suffered a great defeat in the 2008 election. I strongly disagree: this country has not seen a genuine conservative candidate in the major parties for several decades (no, not even Regan in practice). The problem is this: at the heart of conservativism lies a great compromise with the nastiest of moral enemies: covetousness and theft. These sins permeate every human heart, and they cross political every boundary. If the commandments of God Himself do not slow their spread into human choices (read: votes), then no stated principles of a political party will have much effect either. Let’s face the truth: both major political parties are inherently socialist.23 Both believe in the creation of wealth via fiat money (created out of nothing by the federal reserve) and the control of the vast majority of these created reserves by government decision. Even when the people oppose the creation of billions—such as we saw in the first attempt at a $700 billion bailout under Bush—the parties, unfortunately, do not. Both Senate and House ignored the flood of calls and emails of vast and vehement opposition to the bailout (later redubbed “rescue”), and they voted it through anyway. This was a failure of democracy at its most fundamental level (meanwhile, Obama praised the “power of democracy” in his victory speech, after he himself voted for the bailout against the democratic voice). Both parties were partners in crime in this disaster and this was only one of many. www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
Christians and conservatives condemn Obama for wanting “spread the wealth around,” and yet most base their own lives on the same principle. Losing the Moral High Ground Conservative Christians oppose liberals in general. We pretend we have the moral high ground. We oppose abortion, the homosexual lobby, etc. And yet Christians accept, almost across the board, socialist wealth-redistribution schemes. We accept, and through our practices and choices approve, the principle that money can be taken from someone else by force in order to pay for a cause we believe is good. The most glaring example of this is education. Christians, almost to the person, accept and fight for the institution of public education funded by other people’s wealth. Christians will employ every intellectual artifice imaginable in order to justify public education. And yet, what is government education based on except a wealth-redistribution scheme? Likewise, what is Social Security except a gargantuan behemoth of a wealth-redistribution scheme? What is the authorization of billions to prosecute unnecessary war except a wealth redistribution scheme? Christians will fight to the end for these things as morally right, and yet the funding for these things is based on institutionalized theft. Oh hear the justifications and rationalizations roll in against this argument! But there is no good rebuttal. Face it: most Christians believe in theft under the cover of a majority vote. Face it: most Christians (and most conservatives in general) are Socialists. Christians and conservatives condemn Obama for wanting to “spread www.AmericanVision.org
The Great Conservative Hypocrisy
the wealth around,” and yet most base their lives and their children’s lives on the same principle. And since Socialism is the accepted norm across and between the two major parties, not conservatives but really liberals and progressives have the moral high ground. With the exception of abortion and gay rights, conservatives cannot claim the moral high ground on the most widely pressing issues. Liberals claim to believe in taking care of the poor, caring for the elderly, caring for the oppressed, caring for medical expenses, care, care, care, care, care. Granted, there are many practical problems with the implementation of liberal programs, but details are largely irrelevant to public motivations. As long as our government is going to print billions (even trillions) and then distribute that cash around, why not send it down to the most needy, why not subsidize health care, instead of funneling the hoards of cash solely to the biggest of banks (who had a great hand in causing the financial problems to begin with), big international business, and foreign destruction and reconstruction projects (given to big-companies without any public bid)? Why not? Why not, please tell me, if are going to accept the principle of socialism anyway, why not have the fiat money go to our kids, our health, and our grandmas instead of bankers and bombs? Instead of cliques and cartels? Why not distribute the money evenly to all for common needs instead of selectively? There is no good answer. That government welfare and socialism are the accepted terms of the debate, the status quo, the accepted means to the end, eliminates the moral high ground for anyone who dares to not promise government “care” in some form or another. With public education, Until we stand opposed to fiat money you send your children and wealth-redistribution absolutely, we legitimize the liberals’ method. to learn about socialism, Christians, you give up your claim from socialists, on a to the moral high ground when you socialized buck. accept public education. You send www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
you children to learn about socialism, from socialists, on a socialized buck. You are teaching your kids that you are socialists, they will be too, and socialism is morally acceptable. Don’t complain when the liberals push for more consistent socialism: you have complied with it, You are teaching you practiced it, and fought for it thus far. children that you are The same is true for caring for the elsocialists, they will be derly, insurance, etc. too, and that socialism If the next two years (at least) involve a steam-rolling of the liberal legis morally acceptable. islation through this nation, we will be justified in calling it the judgment of God that we have brought on ourselves. Until conservatives grow a moral backbone and deny the federal treasury’s right to demand created billions, deny the principle that government should care for the people, deny that it is acceptable to vote based on the cash benefits and services government can provide, and in general, promote individual responsibility and accountability, America will decline. It will “change” into the tyranny that we fear most, yet have brought on through our own institutionalized covetousness and theft. Until we remove the wickedness at the core of the system, we Christians can preach all we want, but we will prove that we have no better answers to covetousness and theft than the secular world around us. We prove that we, like the humanists, ultimately trust in man and his devices, and believe salvation is ultimately political and man-made.
Cease Ye from Political Salvation
Four Cease Ye from Political Salvation
or those who trust in man, man shall be their destruction. For those who trust in politics, politics shall be their judgment. There is the line attributed to the classic cynic H. L. Mencken, “Democracy is the theory that the common people know what They want, and deserve to get it good and hard.” The prophet Isaiah had a more blunt warning: “Cease ye from man, whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is he to be accounted of?” (Isa. 2:22). The issue is simply of faith: faith in man versus faith in God. This has had a profound reckoning recently in our “economy,” namely in the great crisis of mass foreclosures and the folding Wall Street Banks that foolishly bought the bad mortgage-laden securities. No one but a few Austrian-school economists, a few Biblical-law students, and one Congressman (Ron Paul, R-TX) warned of an impending implosion before it happened in Fall 2008. They saw the dominoes lined up; they knew the first one falling would send all tumbling. But government leaders, financial “experts” on TV, and the masses who trust (a keyword) them have been “hopeful” and “confident” in something called “our economy.” In his September 15, 2008, press conference, then Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson announced that “the American people can remain confident in the soundness and the resilience of our financial system.”24 “Confidence” is a Latin word that means “with faith.” Whence cometh this faith? What have these financial leaders and directors shown us so far in order to earn this assurance? Nothing. www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
They make these promises and assurances based purely on their titles, and despite their past failures. “Treasury Secretary”: well then he must know something about solving this crisis. Yet if he and all his hoards of bureaucrats and analysts are so confident in their abilities, why did they not see this problem coming? Paulson ultimately shifts the blame, “I’m playing the hand that was dealt me.” One journalist notes, “It’s all about confidence, stupid”25 (parodying the line from James Carville, Bill Clinton’s campaign manager: “The economy, stupid”). He continues, “People have to believe that the institutions they deal with (their “counterparties”) will perform as expected.” He’s exactly right, we have to be able to trust our “Bank & Trust.” What we have learned so far, however, is how untrustworthy the system really is. But our columnist—chosen at random—gives a questionable spin: “We are in a full-blown crisis because investors and financial managers—the people who run banks, investment banks, hedge funds, insurance companies—have lost that trust.” This is an explanation of the shallowest sort, and quite backwards, too. Is it not more accurate to say that banks have lost trust because there is a crisis? People don’t just lose faith in anything for no reason. There is a trigger, or a series of failures. At best there is a simultaneity and reciprocity between confidence and performance (or at least perception of performance, such as accepted graphs and charts, or “expert” opinions, or all three). The question we should address is, What starts the chain reaction? Something much more fundamental than an amorphous mass loss of confidence lurks in our midst. Neither will it suffice to blame the failures on vaguely defined “toxic assets.” There exists something even more fundamental than mass bad lending. “We should place the blame I believe a combination of past squarely where it belongs… legislation and Federal Reserve in the fiat money inflation manipulation are at the base.26 brought about by the Federal This is a critique of salvation by Reserve.” ~Michael Rozeff politics. www.AmericanVision.org
Cease Ye from Political Salvation
Mortgaging the Unmortgageable The expansion of the “Community Reinvestment Act” under Clinton in 1995 exacerbated the market for mortgage lending to borrowers who otherwise would not have qualified. The artificial demand for lending rolled into itself the obvious danger of default by high-risk borrowers: but the administration, as well as congress, demanded this in the name of “the convenience and needs of the communities,” stating that “regulated financial institutions have continuing and affirmative obligation to help meet the credit needs of the local communities in which they are chartered.”27 In other words, if banks want to continue to indulge from the hand of government-created money and “insurance” (FDIC = Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation), then they must prove to government agencies that they are lending said indulgences to even the un-creditworthy in their community. Sound like a recipe for economic disaster? It was and is. This is why banks originally opposed the Act strenuously in 1977. They didn’t want to be forced to loan to those with little or no credit. They didn’t want to be forced into bad lending. Only one banker—South Chicago banker Ron Grzywinski, a later devotee of both Clintons—could be found in the entire nation to testify in behalf of the Act in Congress. And it passed on his testimony. Economist Thomas DiLorenzo explains that the financial messes we currently strain through are simply the chickens coming home to roost after 30 years of progressive government interference and artificially deformed markets. Read his article “The CRA Scam and Its Defenders” here,28 and realize that this present crisis is not some sudden loss of faith, but the whiplash of the long tail of that old serpent, salvation by politics. This “bailout” is not merely economic, it is highly political, it involves every level of politics from greedy lootlusty voters, to spineless representatives (save about one), to shady nefarious hand-shakers in every corner of the executive behemoth, to the non-government/government—whichever it may be—Federal www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
Reserve “creature from Jekyll Island” System. Fortune magazine writer Peter Eavis pointed the finger at the Federal Reserve over a year ago, but figured the “System” as one faulty group among many.29 Truly there were many partners in crime in this downward spiraling debacle, but what is the root cause? Retired Professor of Finance, Michael S. Rozeff, emphatically explains that the crisis has its origin in “excessive central bank money creation,” and he concludes that “we should place the blame squarely where it belongs, which is on government failure, that failure being in the fiat money inflation brought about by the Federal Reserve.”30
Faith In Your Neighbors’ Pockets I mentioned Clinton campaign manager James Carville. Carville had three slogans posted in the “war room” during the Clinton campaign against Bush, Sr. They were: 1) Change vs. more of the same, 2) The economy, stupid, and 3) Don’t forget healthcare. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide who exactly is offering “more of the same.” Since his days with Clinton, Carville left campaign management and went into movies, producing All the King’s Men: a 2006 feature about an ambitious Southern socialist politician. One show business is as good as another. The movie was a box office flop, whereas his previous show won Clinton the presidency in 1992. Why the public is readily drawn into one show and not into another is worth considering. Yes, “The economy, stupid”; but why do we trust any given politician or agency to fix the economy when none has ever done so before? Why can we sense a bad act in the movies and not in real life? Let’s be serious. When most voters hear politicians toss around the word “economy,” they think “money for me.” This is why politicians toss the word around so often. Most voters, most Americans, have no principle with regards to other people’s money or fiat money which devalues everyone else’s. Sure, they probably—probably— wouldn’t walk over to their neighbor’s house and steal from him diwww.AmericanVision.org
Cease Ye from Political Salvation
When most voters hear politicians toss around the word “economy,” they think “money for me.” This is why politicians toss the word around so often. rectly, but they have absolutely no problem with taking that money if a politician signs it their way (which means, essentially, that they probably would steal directly from their neighbor if they knew they could get away with it). It is theft, simply. We live and breathe and jostle political elbows among a nation of thieves for the most part. It is a fact of life that governments, once given power, never relinquish it. It is equally true that people, once the beneficiaries of government extortion, will never relinquish their “benefits” voluntarily, even if it means others must bear the burden of being stolen from. This is the basis on which most people will vote: the candidate that promises them the most money. “Get more from them than they take from me.” This is salvation by politics. The present crisis is part of the Judgment Day of their false god. It was a combination of bad legislation and Federal Reserve manipulation at the root that has led to our problems. It was a complex of hasty decisions—bad decisions—by all parties involved, rushing in to take advantage of what was seen as a beneficial situation for everyone: low interest rates, easy credit, 100%+ financing. They were all vultures—money printer, lender, borrower, politicians—all of them circling the carrion of easy money. Now the fix for the problem has been stated as more carrion—more fiat subsidies. Treasury Secretary Paulson along with Bush got $700 billion(!) more fiat money in order to bailout their friends over in the big banks and now-government www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
mortgage agencies, and that was just the beginning. Paulson and Bush had their billions, Obama has his trillions. Are we missing something here? Was it not such inflationary practice that blew up this bubble in the first place? And the cure is supposed to be to blow up an even bigger one? This is why Paulson and the administration rushed and pressured congress into authorizing the money with threats of ultimate collapse and martial law if they didn’t. Like the greedy lenders and borrowers unleashed by the original legislation and policy, Paulson pressured our naïve representatives into mortBush had his gaging our future without reading the fine print 31 or counting the consequences. billions, Obama Who is this guy Paulson anyway (now rehas his trillions. placed in body but not spirit by Timothy Geithner)? Remember, he was originally CEO of banking giant Goldman Sachs—some of the very people involved in the problems in hand. Bush elevated him to the throne of the Treasury, and he demanding the money be authorized to save his old boys. A revealing headline: “Is it safe to trust a Wall Street veteran with a Wall Street bailout?”32 Another good question that was never given time or consideration is, Should Wall Street be bailed out to begin with? There was no debate. We were simply told that this was the only possible solution. We should at least count the costs of the alternative. No. We were pushed toward a congressional decision. This is madness, and it carries all the marks of a classic government power grab: crisis mode, insider officials, suppressed conflicts of interest, pressured legislation. While Paulson told the press “I don’t take lightly” either moral hazard (encouraging more risky lending by setting a precedent for bailouts) or putting the taxpayers on the line, his actions showed just the opposite, and prove him untrustworthy. So salvation has been promised in the form of fiat money. This is spoken of as “tax payers’ money,” which it is in a technical sense. The money will not be taxed directly, but will be pumped into the money supply, thus diluting the value of what money we already have. The www.AmericanVision.org
Cease Ye from Political Salvation
loss will show up in a decrease in purchasing power: prices will rise on nearly everything. This is the hidden tax of inflation. When the effects of the inflation hit, a year or so from now voters will complain about high food prices and high commodity prices and demanding government do something about it. “Government, save us from what we wanted government to do for us last time.” Those who trust in man.…
Conclusion There is, indeed, a lack of confidence in the system; but there has always been bad faith, by which I mean misplaced faith, in many places for a long time. Question: Where do you think our faith— the faith of millions of voters—has been most misplaced? No doubt in politics, which means, no doubt, in man. H. L. Mencken, again, provides apt cynicism: “The saddest life is that of a political aspirant under democracy. His failure is ignominious and his success is disgraceful.”33 These are the leaders we presently all but worship. Isaiah warned God’s people 2750 years ago to “cease from man.” Man’s self-vaunted abilities are as delicate as the breath in his nose. Yet we pretend that we live and die politically by the words breathed out of his mouth. This is folly. God gave us government and law to protect our person and property from the scheming lusts of each other and our leaders. We do not see government in this Biblical way. Instead, we delude ourselves with faith in political leaders, and deluge ourselves in promises of fiat prosperity. This, indeed, is folly. It is misplaced trust in man, and it will lead us through a reckoning before we return to anything like soundness and resiliency. This reckoning began years ago, and continues today, as we shall see…
God versus Socialism
Five The Planks We Walk to Our Doom
t is not a stretch to say that America is not what it used to be. Many lovers of our country will readily identify with the sentiment. What needs to be pushed, however, is a reminder about how and in what ways we have changed. The program we have followed and where we have ended up needs commentary. Used to be, Christians and conservatives in this country defined themselves politically by opposing the great threat of Communism. We hear hardly anything of this today. The idea that Communism was a real threat not so long ago, yet is almost forgotten today, presents a classic example of the American publicâ€™s short memory. Mention Marxism in a conversation today and you will almost definitely be hearing crickets in a short time. No one cares: itâ€™s history. The wall fell, we won, move on. Yes, the Wall fell, but it fell in our direction. No one talks about this. The Soviet Union fell, but Marxism and Socialism have long flooded all of Western and Eastern Civilization. America is no exception. Marxism is history, yes, and yet the influences of Marxism and various ideas of socialism have never been more dangerous than now, when it stands ready to expand further into every office of government, and when we are yet asleep to it. So let me briefly state my problems with America as it has come to be. First, we pride ourselves on free-market economics and private ownership of property, but these ideas have been phantoms as long as there has been property tax, which is little more than rent paid to www.AmericanVision.org
The Planks We Walk to Our Doom
government. If you disbelieve that, then try to go a year or two without paying your property tax, and you will learn who your landlord is. You will be fined, jailed, or “your” property will have a lien filed against it, or will be confiscated. We don’t own so much as rent from the government. That we have a free-market is likewise ridiculous to defend in the light of recent events. If the Federal Reserve can “print” money at will, and the U. S. Treasury can buy stakes in bank shares, then the market is not free of either State manipulation or intervention. Secondly, we have a heavy progressive (or “graduated”) income tax. For the few who may not know, “graduated” means that those who make more money should not only pay more tax based on equal percentage of tax, but should also bear the added burden of an increased percentage. Greater wealth is disproportionately taxed, which penalizes and discourages financial success. The graduated system is unfair, arbitrary, and unbiblical. The United States instituted the graduated income tax by the Sixteenth Amendment in 1913. It has been increased—again disproporThe graduated income tionately—many times since. Thirdly, we have strong anti-famtax system is unfair, arbitrary, and unbiblical. ily laws, including inheritance tax. In other words, when you die and leave wealth to your children or other designees, the government grabs anywhere from 18–55% of the amount for itself. This is a denial of the sacredness of the family as a unit, and the rights of families to determine the use of their own wealth. It is also a double tax on property, and a blatant attempt to again penalize wealth. It diminishes successful families’ strength in that it detracts from parents’ ability to advance their children’s future. Thus, it is an attack on the traditional family structure and leadership in society in general. Fourthly, following almost immediately on America’s 1913 imposition of income tax, was America’s lesser-known 1913 Inflation Tax, which came in the form of the Federal Reserve. America’s first www.AmericanVision.org
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central bank was proposed by Alexander Hamilton and created in 1791. It was closed twenty years later, and continued off and on due to mass opposition until the covert form emerged into law in 1913. Hamilton had been among the most radical Statists of the fathers, but his desire for controlling currency was constitutionally given to the legislative branch. The Federal Reserve Act of 1913 essentially overrides this constitutional feature and allows a single central bank to regulate credit and the money supply. With recent events, the fall of many banks has left primarily only a few big banks standing. This “crisis” and the mindless and immoral actions of congress to go along with the various “bailouts” have pushed our central bank closer to an exclusive monopoly. Fifthly, we have many, massive, subsidized government programs. These are all transfers of wealth based on factors other than the market. There are too many to name here, but farm subsidies come to mind: farmers are paid in various ways in order to manipulate crop prices across the board. Ethanol has been subsidized to the tune of $10 billion. This diverts corn from other markets into an otherwise market-doomed purpose (ethanol would never brew in a free market); not only does the public get hit with the $10B, it also suffers a rise in the price of meat and other products that require otherwise market-rate corn. These billions are a miniscule part of the overall government subsidy equation, which from 1995-2006 equals about $180 billion.34 Sixthly, and finally for now, we Even if we do not use the have compulsory public education public education system, regulated at federal, state, and local we are forced to pay for levels. Compulsory, because even if we home school or private school our it. This is a robbery of children, we are still compelled to pay freedom. taxes for public schooling. Public, because the taxes are used to fund government-run schools. This taxfunded schooling is presented as free, of course, but it is only free to www.AmericanVision.org
The Planks We Walk to Our Doom
those who don’t pay property taxes. Government spends about $700 Billion per year on public education, just for primary and secondary levels. The State determines whether, when, and what you will teach your kids. If people want to participate in this system, that is fine with me, but do not compel me to pay for it. This is a robbery of freedom. Also, when schools function legally as “in place of the parents,” the State has again usurped the role of the family.
Why the Concern? The concern over these particular aspects of modern America—and believe me there are many others—is that they are all innovations imposed upon America in direct contrast to either the Constitution or the traditions of our founding Fathers. And more to the point is the historical source of these points of discussion: I have lifted them all from the Communist Manifesto of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The reason these points are un-American and anti-biblical is that their source was anti-tradition and antiChristian in principle. What I have described above are roughly seven of the ten “planks” of the Communist Manifesto. I could probably work to show others, but have neither the time nor necessity. The relevant points are these (1, 2, 3, 5, 7/9, 10): 1. (1) Abolition of property in land and application of all rents of land to public purposes. 2. (2) A heavy progressive or graduated income tax. 3. (3) Abolition of all right of inheritance. 4. (5) Centralization of credit in the hands of the state, www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism by means of a national bank with state capital and an exclusive monopoly. 5. (7) Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state . . . 6. (9) Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries… 7. (10) Free education for all children in public schools.
The historical connections are clear, too. For example, the springs of the graduated income tax in America flow directly from Marxism. The connection is direct and unmistakable. The first group in American history to advocate the graduated income tax was the Socialist Labor Party, a dedicated collection of Marxists founded originally as the “Workingman’s Party of American” in the People’s Republic of New Jersey in 1876. Their 1887 platform unashamedly declared “we strive for the acquisition of political power.”35 Among their many “Social Demands” lay “Progressive income tax and tax on inheritances; but smaller incomes to be exempt.” The short-lived Populist Party followed in 1892. Their platform decried “a vast conspiracy against mankind” to demonetize silver and monopolize gold in the hands of a few, among others things. The document contains classic Marxist verbiage, accusing “bondholders” of wanting to “decrease the value of… human labor,” and to “fatten usurers, bankrupt enterprise, and enslave industry.”36 The party died out quickly but had a lasting impact, much of its platform being picked up by the Democratic Party the following election year. It was then in 1896 that William Jennings Bryan gave that most famous political speech in American history: the “Cross of Gold” speech. Bryan adapted ideas of the former Marxist groups. Already two years prior he had argued in favor if the income tax, and was now www.AmericanVision.org
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calling it “a just law” and further pushing for the inflation of the money supply. The success of his speech derives from his successful weaving of Marxism and Christian language. Lines like “[tarrif ] protection has slain its thousands the gold standard has slain its tens of thousands,” echoed to the religious mind unreligiously bent on envy of other people’s wealth. He called his crusade a “righteous cause” and “holy.” It was brilliant political proA political cartoon mocking Bryan’s paganda. Unequally yok“cross of gold” speech ing Marx and Christ (2 Cor. 6:14–18), Bryan argued that the gold standard would be a crucifixion of the “producing masses” and the “toiling masses.” The famous concluding lines leveraged the suffering of Christ for the Marxist agenda: “you shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns. You shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.” Christians by millions bought into the rhetoric. Tens of millions still do. And lest we forget the fundamentally anti-religious nature of this plank of Socialism in the country, the Socialist Party platform of 1887 demanded “Separation of all public affairs from religion; church property to be subject to taxation” (note the irony here: the church cannot get involved in public affairs, but the public treasury should benefit from the church’s property). What the Socialist Party could not accomplish with is explicitly anti-church platform, Bryan and his Democrats accomplished by appropriating biblical language to say the same thing. www.AmericanVision.org
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Likewise, the socialization of education stems directly from the work of early dedicated socialists in America. The “Father of the Common Schools” was Massachusetts lawyer and politician Horace Mann (1796–1858). He predates Marx, and thus is not dependent on him, nor was Mann an atheist like Marx, but an enthusiastic churchgoer. His theology, however, was suspect, as he embraced Unitarianism in its early days when it was mission-minded—presenting itself as the culmination of Protestantism and ready to lead the direction of the natural order. Mann rejected orthodox Calvinism and believed strongly in the “perfectibility of man.”37 This naturalistic belief was, however, couched in religious language: public education would eliminate ignorance, poverty, and crime. In his system, the State replaced both the church and he family: “Society, in its collective capacity, is a real, not a nominal sponsor and god-father for all its children”38 (classic political salvation). Rushdoony summarizes, “Mann’s work was two-fold, first to secularize education, and, second, to make it the province of the state rather than the community and the parents.”39 The story of the socialization of education, then, is the product Horace Mann (1796–1859) www.AmericanVision.org
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of unbiblical theology. It results in an unbiblical view of education and society that abolishes the role of church and family.
Fall and Recovery Why do I rehearse these aspects of American history specifically, and why should they bother you so much? Simple. These changes in the American system directly reflect the famous Ten Planks of the Communist Manifesto. We have witnessed a gradual progression into a Marxist America, all the while boasting ourselves champions of freedom. Well, the “land of the free, and the home of the brave,” has become, in fact, the “land of the Fed, and the home of the slave.” We do not live in the America that fought for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but in the America which will fight tooth and nail for government funding and special interest politics. America today is more Marxist than anything, and a large portion of the voting public wishes to make it even more so. I say these things realizing that many will pelt me with tomatoes and bricks, call me un-American, an America-hater, and most definitely unpatriotic. But here’s the catch: it is only because I absolutely love and adore the America of the Pilgrims, the Declaration, the Bill of Rights, and the Founding Fathers, etc., that I point out how much we have lost. This is not the same country. It has been flooded with Socialism. Envy, greed, and subsequent lust for political power have
The “land of the free, and the home of the brave” has become, in fact, the “land of the Fed, and the home of the slave.”
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raped lady liberty, ravaged our land, and stolen the inheritance of the American Dream. It is not patriotism to keep saying “America, America,” when the America of our fathers is all but gone. The American that remains is but a shell filled with Prussian and European-style Socialism, wrapped in red, white, and blue. No, it is I who am the true patriot: a lover of the father-land, a lover of freedom, family, and property, a lover of vast horizons untaxed by cold marble institutions in distant Capitols, unfettered by radicals in black robes. I am the man of the father-land, whose father is God not “the State,” and not “the People”; whose land is protected by law, respect for law, and as a last resort, guns, not taxed by politicians wanting to “spread the wealth around,”40 neither rented from the State as a privilege to live under its almighty watch. Is there a way to stop, even reverse the godless trend of the past 100 years? As pessimistic as this all may sound, I would not write for American Vision if I didn’t believe positive change is possible. It begins with mentally and spiritually reclaiming our founding principles of individual freedom and enterprise. We must make up our own minds and hearts that these principles are worth defending. And unlike those spineless Congresspersons who, after voting “no” on the bailout, sickeningly caved and voted “yes” after some of the loot was thrown to their pet projects and districts, We must never compromise our principles. Once these principles are secured, we must pass them to the next generation. This means maintaining a strong biblical view of the family, and of education. Education should be compulsory (in the sense that Deuteronomy and Ephesians command us to educate our kids), but this is compulsory before God and not the civil State; and education should be costly (in personal time, money, and effort), but no one should ever be forced to pay for someone else’s education. This seemingly simple tax for public education violates nearly every sacred boundary known to man, especially when the content of that education begins and ends with blasphemy. Unless we recover education as www.AmericanVision.org
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a distinctly family- and church-oriented mandate, we will continue to watch society slide into secularism. Further steps include continual effort to secure public debate in churches and public forums. Debates should center on America’s Christian history and the necessity of Christianity as the foundation of social order. Marx consciously erased this foundation, claiming it was but an abstraction of the real problems of mankind. He said that any objections to his system from a religious standpoint “are not deserving of a serious examination.”41 But he was too self-consciously opposed to Christianity for his dismissal to carry any truth. Christian freedom, God-given rights, and law-protected family and property all posed the ultimate threat to Karl Marx (1818–1883) his man-centered takeover of the world (and thus of other men). His program of abolishing property, abolishing the traditional family, socializing education, and socializing sex were all contrived precisely as anti-biblical ideas. It was the institution of his system that Marx saw, not as the product of, but as the means to abolishing religion itself.42 He saw his program as the economic and social counterpart to Darwin’s work in nature: an explanation of social order that does not require God. Perhaps the most unfortunate aspect of Marx’s success was the fact the he only succeeded because Christians refused to get involved to begin with. Marx always kept this in mind, and exploited it. Reporting on the socialist Hague Congress of 1872, Marx made this unfortunately true remark: One day the worker will have to seize political supremacy to establish the new organization of labor; he will have to overthrow the old policy which supports the www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism old institutions if he wants to escape the fate of the early Christians who, neglecting and despising politics, never saw their kingdom on earth.43
This â€œneglecting and despisingâ€? of politics by Christians has continued in modern American history, and America has since followed the anti-Christian program of Marx and abandoned that of the Bible. This blind following has included many Christians. The reversal of this trend will require bringing these issues into the open as worldview issues. The church must allow and encourage political and economic discussion, and the public must be made to know that we have the answers. The transformation will not happen overnight, but it can happen. Success can happen.
Social Success: Who Has the Program?
Six Social Success: Who Has the Program?
n the last chapter, I wrote on the Planks of Communism as they have manifested in America. I have to admit that their manifestation is, in some cases, not total, but that they have begun to manifest should concern us almost as much. I now would like to begin by revealing the surprising reason why Marx succeeded in America, and the Christian culture that let him in. I offer this analysis in hope of enlightening us all to the reasons why humanism advances, and to emphasize the need for a Biblically-centered social program. Why did Marxism succeed as it did? I understood the reason simply after reading the Communist Manifesto itself. It is clear to me from that reading that Marx was reacting against two things primarily. One is obvious to all: the horrible conditions of factory workers at the time. Marx, even if he himself had never even set foot in a factory, nor hardly even held a job, could leverage the publically perceived evil of oppressive factory conditions. He had the rhetorical ability— like certain modern politicians—to agitate feelings of resentment and call for “change.” In Marx’s social climate those feelings needed little goading, and the abysmal conditions are a well established aspect of the story. The second point of reaction for Marx—and this is more implied than explicit—is the right-wing of enlightenment rationalism embodied in the conservative writers at the time. This is clear from Marx’s interactions in the Manifesto to the standard responses of conservatives at the time. These interactions appear on at least four issues on www.AmericanVision.org
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which Marx anticipated alarm: abolishing of property, abolishing the family, the socialization of education, communal sharing of women. On each Marx stood ready with a counter-attack that exposed the hypocrisy of status quo ideology. On property Marx argued that the present system denied the ability for nine-percent of the population to acquire private property. Thus, it had been abolished in practice for most people anyway. On family, Marx decried the exploitation of children by their parents who sought to gain from child labor in factories. Marx argued that the same forces of industry allowed many children to be denied education as they were forced to work. In the light of common practice, Marx denounced the “claptrap” about “the hallowed co-relation of parent and child,” since “by the action of modern industry, all family ties among the proletarians are torn asunder and their children transformed into simple articles of commerce and instruments of labor.”44 Likewise, on the radical-sounding issue of “community of women,” Marx argued that it in fact already existed among them in the forms of prostitution, exploitation of the working class “wives and daughters at their disposal,” and rampant adultery with each other’s wives. Even if all of Marx’s arguments are a stretch, the common thread that runs through them is hypocrisy. Except for the property issue (and even this can be nuanced to be understandable), Marx was Where was the church? absolutely right about the hySociety was morally pocrisy of those who defended bankrupt, and trusted the contemporary society using institutions that should have conservative arguments. There provoked change did not. was no defense of the status quo. These political issues were moral issues, and thus issues of religious law. Where was the church? Where was the preacher? Society was morally bankrupt, and the trusted institutions that should have provoked change did not. Even though his system was consciously atheistic, Marx’s humanism took the place of www.AmericanVision.org
Social Success: Who Has the Program?
religious law by default. The truth is that the churches and preachers did denounce the immorality: but they provided no practical alternative. The church’s message needs more study and elucidation than I am ready or able to present here, but you will be hard pressed to find any system of social law at the time coming from a biblical perspective. As far as I can tell, there were few Christian writers who presented a clear alternative, certainly not a distinctly biblical alternative. The church’s responses merely echoed the common responses of the two parties, both of which derived from some form of humanistic rationalism as their philosophical basis, or fell into ancient ritualism. Parts of the church were, indeed, active on social issues. In fact, the evils of the new industrial technology and factory provoked countless sermons during the time.45 You will certainly find appeals to charity and helping the poor, you will find abundant claims about the centrality of religion, but what law was appealed to? What social theory backed it? There were Christian activists working on social issues. The Scottish Presbyterian Thomas Chalmers reformed and reinvigorated education and the economy in his parish, and reduced poverty and government expenditure on poverty through ecclesiastical organization. Likewise, William Wilberforce famously worked to end the slave trade. But action without theory explaining it is easily ignored or reinterpreted by opposing groups—a technique Marx excelled at. The great problem was this: conservatives did not have a workable and compelling answer for the social ills, while socialists at least presented one. Conservatives always fall at a disadvantage to liberals for this reason: conservatives generally don’t want change, and thus rarely present a viable program for social change. Their answers thus become defensive and ad hoc. Socialists look competent and promising in comparison simply because they count on change, even if that change is not necessarily good in the long run. The only change conservatives appear to offer is a return to the way things used to be, and this rarely www.AmericanVision.org
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takes the form of thought-out, concrete, practical, helpful steps—it strongly smacks of nostalgia. But it seems apparent to everyone that whatever social ills afflict us at the time will not go away by doing nothing, nor by merely lamenting that the present is not like the past. Thus whatever specie of “change” is presented sounds better than the present condition. This is rarely true, but the rhetoric of “change” is persuasive nonetheless. Unless conservative Christians can present a forward-looking, optimistic vision for society, then they will continue to allow socialism and other unbiblical political systems to succeed. This, once again, leaves us with the question: “So, what are we supposed to do?” It is easy to say “the churches and Christians have failed,” “we have to point the finger at us.” It is easy to say, “We need to pray,” and we must pray. But I think the beginning step is to reclaim our children: reclaim them from a host of educational evils that don’t need to be relisted here. This reclamation and reformation can take place, and is at the heart of American Vision’s mission.
Economic Shortage: Causes and Solutions
Seven Economic Shortage: Causes and Solutions
ast Fall in the Atlanta area we suffered from gas shortages. We were one of a few regions of the Southeast (also particularly Nashville and the Carolinas) that experienced a squeeze at the pumps due to Hurricane Ike (we have no local refineries, and our gas is trucked from one main pipeline that routes petrol from the gulf refineries that Ike shut down). Most stations within 60 miles of the city had no gas. Stations hurt not only due to decreased volumes of gas sold, but also due to decreased in-store sales since fewer people come in where there is no gas. This chapter offers a review of that situation and a solution to such a problem—not just a hind-sight’s 20/20 solution, but one based on classic free-market principles that would benefit store owners and consumers as well. Fear of prolonged shortages sparked panic, and thus heightened demand. As soon as a tanker arrived at a station, lines began to form and then remained until that station ran dry again. There were many stories of people following tankers to see where they arrived, and then buying gas where it unloads. (This makes me wonder how many people mistakenly followed milk, sugar, or liquefied fertilizer trucks thinking they were gas trucks.) On September 12, Georgia Governor Perdue signed an Executive Order outlawing “price gouging.”46 A state of emergency was declared and stations were forbidden from selling gas at Georgia governor Sonny Perdue www.AmericanVision.org
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prices higher than what they were before the emergency. Yet supply was diminished, and basic economics tells us that when supply drops and demand remains, then prices must go up in order balance the two. Government does not think this way: high prices in the wake of a disaster are called “unfair.” So prices remain low while demand remains high, and, guess what? The supply runs out. After the classic “anti-gouging” laws, we no longer had even high-priced gas, we had no gas. This basic rule of economics is most clearly seen in times of crisis. In 2 Kings 6:24–29, the siege of Samaria caused famine in the city. “There was a great famine in Samaria; and behold, they besieged it, until a donkey’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and a fourth of a kab [about 1/2 pint] of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver.” Ever had donkey’s head or dove’s dung for dinner? Would you pay $385 to eat a donkey’s head dinner, or $25 for a cup of bird dung? This is what naturally happens in times of scarcity: prices rise in order to distribute scarce resources to those willing to pay. If the crisis is bad enough, some people will pay very high prices for even very low-quality necessities. And of course, when times get so bad, people look to the State to help them: “As the king of Israel was passing by on the wall a woman cried out to him, saying, ‘Help, my lord, O king!’” In this case, however, the king did not foolishly decree price controls or any other such measure, but responded, “If the Lord does not help you, from where shall I help you? From the threshing floor, or from the wine press?” This is a wise ruler: government cannot help if the invisible hand of God in the market does not do so first. (The woman then goes on to confess to having eaten her son—an example of the extents of immorality to which people will run in times of crisis).
Economic Shortage: Causes and Solutions
Price Controls Always Result in Shortages The laws of supply and demand operate no matter what the scenario. When governments try to regulate one side of the balance, they exaggerate the other. In times of scarcity, prices rise. When government forces prices down by law, more people can buy and thus the scarcity increases. We see this in many economic sectors. For example, economist Thomas Sowell mentions the government manipulation of rent prices: “Rent control, for example, has been imposed in various cities around the world, with the intention of helping tenants,”47 but it inevitably results that builders “supply less housing” due to the inability to raise enough money from rent to cover costs. Shortage follows. Sowell cites the case of Egypt, 1960–2006: The end result was that people stopped investing in apartment buildings, and a huge shortage in rentals and housing forced many Egyptians to live in horrible conditions with several sharing one small apartment. The effects of the harsh rent control is still felt today in Egypt. Mistakes like that can last for generations.48 Sowell continues to note that similar rent controls have created shortages in “New York, Hong Kong, Stockholm, Melbourne, Hanoi, and innumerable other cities around the world.”49 Of these rent-regulated cities, Stockholm makes a particularly interesting example. Economist Dean Russell addressed the topic already in 1962, as liberals and socialism advocates praised the ultrasocialist system in Sweden as a model for America. Russell visited Sweden and was impressed by the beautiful apartment buildings, parks, and absence of slums in Stockholm. He was prepared to admit that maybe socialism can work afterall—that is, until he returned home and read some stats in The New York Times:
God versus Socialism “…the waiting time for an apartment in Stockholm continues to be six or seven years.” (October 21, 1962) And two years later (September 20, 1964): “At present, Stockholmers must wait up to 10 years for an apartment.”50
That was forty years ago; those were the good times. The current waiting time in central Stockholm as of 2001 has grown to 15 years.51 Another recent globe-trekker commented on his experiences in the U.S. and Sweden: In the US, the customer is king. The agent picks you up in a big German car and takes you to lunch. He spends weeks driving you around for viewings, chosen just for you. In Stockholm the agent wants as little contact as possible with you. The typical apartment viewing lasts 45 minutes on Sunday when a horde of seekers wait on line, docilely remove their shoes and whip through the apartment in the crush of competitive buyers.52 Of course such managed shortages (due to artificially low prices) encourage all finds of corruption—in this case, that of giving the rare open slots to favored people. One article decries how “senior union representatives swindle good apartments in Stockholm under the nose of the needy.”53 Meanwhile, the author complains about having to move every two months for a year, live illegally, and pay double rent just to have a place to stay. Double rent, or “black money,” appears to be common also, as a way of “landlords” actually raising prices unofficially but for sure.
Economic Shortage: Causes and Solutions
The Greed Game The gas shortage (hardly a siege or a famine) had drivers circling stations hoping to find gas, and then jamming a station when it was found. A local owner told me he was pumping 1000 gallons per hour. If the tanks start out empty, and are refilled by a standard 8,000 gallon truck, then the simple math tells you that even a full shipment wouldn’t last 8 hours in this demand. Something needs to slow the demand in order to ease the effects of the shortage. Perdue’s executive order was a classic case of government “doing something” in response to a crisis, and as usual that “something” was something not so helpful. I believe it was a classic government show for the people. The problem is that it was just that: a show. It was shallow but not easy to see through for the average person. The State’s responses had everyone pointing fingers at everyone else, and ultimately calling on the federal government54 for a solution (government calling for more government control). So, along with these misguided actions came a good dose of propaganda: “State’s on top of gas shortage but do your part, too”;55 “Perdue urges Bush to tap reserves to help with gas shortage”;56 “Officials: Panicking Motorists Contribute To Gas Problems.”57 They would say anything to point the finger away from the government’s interference in the market. “It’s Ike’s fault, Gustav’s fault, the station owners’ fault, your fault.” Sellers are to blame, and consumers are to blame; government is just trying to help! It was the old familiar refrain we hear every time something forces gas prices sharply higher, or when some event causes a temporary shortage of anything: high prices are inevitably demonized as “price gouging.” At least one local news writer saw through the standard government propaganda, and argued a free-market explanation to the problem; his story was good if a bit wordy.58 His point was righton: “The unhampered market will always move towards the marketclearing price. Sellers can’t sell anything for more than what people www.AmericanVision.org
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Price gouging propaganda taken from the State of Florida’s Division of Consumer Services website, complete with easy-click link to report turn in pricing deviants.
are both willing and able to pay, without going out of business.… If there are runs on gas stations, then prices are too low.” It’s a simple fact, if any station owner genuinely raised prices above what people were willing and able to pay, then people would not buy from him, period. The price may go high, but there is a point where he must stop if he wants to compete with other sellers. In some cases I heard the shortages blamed on greedy consumers who, it was claimed, don’t really need to fill up—perhaps they already had 3/4 tank—but would dive into a station anyway as soon as they spotted gas available. Why would people “greedily top off ” like this, extenuating a shortage and causing others to go without? The simple answer is price—not “greed,” but price. Taking advantage of an opportunity is not “greed,” it is wisdom. If, however, prices were allowed to rise until they reached the equilibrium which the market demands, wisdom would then dictate that those 3/4-tank people save the extra money until they really do need to fill up. Yeah, it may be true, they don’t need to fill up at 3/4 tank, but finger-pointing won’t change their minds. Raising prices may. The idea of “price gouging” contradicts basic economic sense. Raising prices in response to shortages is not “gouging,” it is common www.AmericanVision.org
Economic Shortage: Causes and Solutions
sense. Higher prices discourage consumer greed from manifesting in consumer action. During the shortages I took a break for lunch. As I drove about a mile to the restaurant I passed a gas station which had just received a shipment; lines had just begun to form. I had half a tank, but whipped in to fill up at $3.99/gallon. I sat in line for 20 minutes until a spot opened up and I topped off. Ask yourself the question: would you have spent 20 valuable minutes when you already had half a tank if the price were, say, $6.99 instead of $3.99? Likely not. Neither would, probably, a majority of the people in line. In such a scenario, lines would shrink, supplies would last longer, and at the higher price, people would likely begin to limit their driving to bare necessity until supplies stabilized and prices returned to normal. Not only would higher prices curtail greedy behavior, they would require consumers to take the further step of self-rationing. The “rationing” in this case, however, would be performed reasonably and freely (that is, willingly and without the clumsy consequences and annoyance of government interference) according to need instead of pouncing on the scarce resource at the governor’s artificially low price. As it was, people pumps as much as they could, whenever they could, every chance they got, and they consumed at the same level as before. The only pain was standing in line again in a few days to top off again. If prices has risen, the same people would less likely have stopped and filled so often, and would have curtailed driving as much as possible due to the higher cost; but they would also have less fear of not finding gas later when they really needed it. Therefore, the free market would have corrected the shortage by pressuring consumers to fill less frequently, to fill only when needed, and to drive only when needed, until supplies returned and prices fell. From this perspective, higher prices don’t reflect greedy gouging, rather, it is the opposite measure—government price controls—that unleashed greed, consumer greed. With higher prices, gas station owners would not be “gouging” because they themselves would have to pay higher prices to obtain the supply, and thus their profit margin www.AmericanVision.org
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would remain virtually the same. The great manifestation of greed comes in the uneducated cry of “gouging” from the people who think that higher prices are somehow “unfair.” When the government capitulates to that plea it suppresses the best possible relief, and sanctions unbridled greed in the name of protecting the masses from greed. The government therefore becomes complicit in greed, unleashes the greed, and, in fact, is the biggest exponent of greed due to its antifree-market policy; and all of this in the name of fighting greed.
A Genuine Solution? What follows is hardly legal advice, but fuel for thought. With the announcement of the price gouging laws, there was been little talk of what the emergency statute actually says (O.C.G.A. § 10–1–393.4). While it does ban selling “at a price higher than the price at which such goods were sold or offered for sale immediately prior to the declaration of a state of emergency,” it also includes provision for raising prices due to higher cost to the seller. The statute specifically states that the “price may be increased only in an amount which accurately reflects an increase in cost of the goods or services to the person selling the goods or services or an increase in the cost of transporting the goods or services into the area.” Even Perdue’s statement in the Executive Order allowed that “we expect the prices that Georgians pay at the pump to be in line with the prices retailers are paying.” Since the State laws can only apply to the sellers and wholesalers within the State, and the very statute in question allows sellers to raise prices in accordance with increase in cost and the cost of transportation, a proposed solution might be for stations to pay higher prices to out-of-state wholesalers and pay more to have supply trucked in from farther away. Then, the stations could legally pass the higher prices on to consumers who were willing and able to pay. Think about it. If you owned a gas wholesaling business, and you got an offer for $1 or $2 more per gallon for a shipment, would you be www.AmericanVision.org
Economic Shortage: Causes and Solutions
willing to ship? A typical tanker carries about 8,000 gallons. That’s an additional $8,000 to $16,000 profit per truck for merely diverting part of your normal shipments to a gas-shortage stricken region. Would you take the offer? Granted there are some slight risks involved— unhappy customers in other regions due to supply tightening when shipments are diverted, but then, prices would rise slightly in those regions and equilibrium would be reached. This would actually help matters, as what was initially a very bad shortage in a few regions becomes a mild to moderate shortage in many regions. In other words, this is a free-market solution to gas supplies instead of government manipulation in several degrees that only exacerbate the problem in the end. A problem in this hypothetical scenario is the perceived risk to the local station owner. If he pays extra for a full shipment of gasoline and then the shortage ended quickly, he will be stuck trying to sell that load of fuel at a higher price than everyone else. He will probably have to take a hit on that shipment. But seeing that shortages rarely end so abruptly such a risk is probably overblown, and at worst would last for one shipment. It may be tempting to object that as long as government price controls remain in effect, anyone trying to sell at higher prices would be unwise because people can get gas elsewhere at the pre-emergency price. But, of course, they can’t because the artificial pre-emergency price keeps the other stations drained of fuel anyway. I can guarantee you that some people would choose to pay higher prices rather than even wait in line, even if the long-line gas were much cheaper, let alone rather than not have the gas they needed at all. Further, the station owner who continued to get supplies at higher cost (as long as the shortage continued) would also have a continual flow of business to his store. Perhaps each driver would buy less gas at the higher price, perhaps not, but they would continue to come and he would continue to have supplies as long as his supplier continued delivering for higher profit (and who wouldn’t?). www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism
So then the main annoyance to the station owners would be the barrage of uninformed people who kept reporting the station to the police or the Georgia Fuel and Measures hotline. But this could be remedied by posting a large sign or passing out printed flyers stating that the higher prices are in fact legal and referring consumers to look up the statute in question before calling. This would not deter some, but these stubborn types who would call in the face of information would probably be causing trouble somehow else anyway. So the greatest obstacle to overcoming a gas shortage would remain government price control. As long as prices are forced artificially low and as long as government perpetuates the belief that high prices are unfair and illegal, then gas will continue to sell out as fast as it can be delivered. Raise the prices, slow the consumption, marginalize the hoarders, and everyone will benefit. Continue the government interference in the market, and the gas shortage will continue longer and more painfully than necessary. This will hold true for gas, as well as for everything from housing to health care: limit the price, limit the supply.
A Window into the Socialist Soul
Eight A Window into the Socialist Soul
ocialism found a seminal and powerful voice on English soil through a group of young deadbeats and intellectuals who called themselves “Fabians.” The Fabian Society included famous personalities such as founder George Bernard Shaw, H. G. Well, Virginia Woolf, Sydney and Beatrice Webb, and even Bertrand Russell for a time. These figures served as the main voices of socialism in both England and the United States. The Fabians took their name from Quintus Fabius Maximus, a Roman general famous for his tactics of delay and guerilla-style attacks designed to wear the enemy down over time. The Fabian socialists agreed to work for a socialist future covertly, gradually, without direct confrontation or call for revolution. As such, they used the turtle as a symbol of their movement: slow and steady, “Make haste, slowly!”59 With the exception of officially shunning noisy or violent revolution, The Fabians adopted the basic doctrines of Marxism including the inevitability of socialism in the future. This involved the rejection of the basic Christian doctrine of private property and ownership, as well as the overturning of the social order in most other areas: finance, education, politics, family, sex, etc. The Fabians, however, endeavored to advance this agenda without appearing to oppose the traditional system; they hoped to advance Marxism without being detected as Marxists. The amount of deceit involved in this endeavor defies all comprewww.AmericanVision.org
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hension. Two of the founding members, Sidney and Beatrice Webb, provide a great example of wolves spinning lies in sheep’s wool. During their 1932 visit to Soviet Russia, Stalin had waged war against Ukrainian farmers who refused to collectivize. The dictator closed railways, roads, and blocked all shipments of food, stock, fuel, and seed. In a short time, anywhere from two to ten million people starved to death. The Webbs crossed Ukraine through the worst of this slaughter, but denied seeing anything. Worse yet, in 1935 the couple published Soviet Socialism—A New Civilization?, in which they denied that any famine had occurred period.60 The question mark disappeared from the title in later editions. They approved of the Bolshevik Revolution, and vaunted Soviet Russia as a model. Later it turned out that Soviet army officials had written much of the text themselves, and that “The entire text of the Webbs’ book had been prepared in the Soviet foreign office.”61 Propaganda about their “humane” prison camps and denials of atrocities filled the whole work. Their willingness to spin lies in defense of socialism extended into every sphere of their activity. As they attempted to control the world toward their own hearts’ desires, they purposefully adopted another symbol: a wolf in sheep’s clothing. The emblem appears in a now-famous stained-glass window picturing the worldview of the socialists. Designed by G. B. Shaw in 1910, it ended up at the Beatrice Webb House, was stolen, resurfaced, and finally resides at the London School of Economics for which it seems to have been originally intended as a gift. Nevertheless, the content of the stained-glass spectacle concerns us more here, for it displays the dark mission and methods of socialism. Despite the fact that most of the Fabians (like Marx and the later Bolsheviks) promoted atheism or at least agnosticism, they had no problem employing religious language or even overtly tagging the name “Christian” on their devices. They disguised their wolf ’s-head atheistic system under the white-as-snow wool of Christian faith in such an “impudent contrivance,” as Martin calls it, as the “Christian www.AmericanVision.org
A Window into the Socialist Soul
Book Club.”62 For a grand opening in this disguise they offered Christians the Webb’s Soviet Socialism—A New Civilization. Martin comments: The inference seemed to be that, since Christians were not overly bright, they could easily be led down the garden path to Socialism by a false appeal to ideals of brotherhood and social justice.… To churchgoers among the voting population, Sidney Webb had reasoned shrewdly, Socialist goals must be presented cautiously—in terms that did not appear to conflict with their religious beliefs.… For the most part its spokesmen prudently avoided outraging the beliefs of religious minded persons, while soliciting their support for Socialist candidates and persons.63 The faux-religiosity of the socialist The whole system program extended well beyond the mere presentation of the message. The whole from Marx onward system from Marx onward intended to intended to replace replace Christianity, only while Marx faChristianity.… vored open confrontation and conquest, the Fabians promoted subversion and gradualism. Either way, socialism was a new messianism, a humanistic, God-replacing messianism. Martin again: In the Fabian Socialist movement, as in Soviet Marxism, there was always a strong element of political messianism, diametrically opposed to the religious messianism of One who proclaimed: “My Kingdom is not of this world.” Both Socialist and Communist literature stressed the supposedly communal character of early Christianity, undetectable to anyone familiar www.AmericanVision.org
God versus Socialism with the Epistles of St. Paul. Revolutionary Marxism, open or disguised, was presented as being the “Christianity of today.” Voluntary charity and renunciation of one’s own goods were confused with the forcible confiscation of other people’s property, as illustrated in the famous phrase of John Maynard Keynes, “the euthanasia of the rentier,” that is, the mercy-killing or painless extinction of those who live on income from invested capital.64
Nowhere does the messianic worldview of the socialists find a better visual expression than in the aforementioned window. Designed by one of the human objects of their devotion himself, all the major themes shine through: the caption at the top reads “REMOULD IT NEARER TO THE HEARTS DESIRE,” and while founding member Edward Pease mans the bellows, fanning the flames of a smith’s furnace, fellow founders G. B. Shaw and Sidney Webb place the globe— heated like iron to an orange glow—upon an anvil and hammer away toward that heart’s desire. Between the hammering atheists and above the globe stands a crest displaying a wolf in sheep’s clothing with the initials “F. S.”—for “Fabian Socialists.” Below this grizzly vision of socialist world-domination and “remoulding,” ten more of the original members kneel with hands folded in prayer towards a stack of their holy scriptures: the plays and works of G. B. Shaw, the writings of the Webbs, and the Fabian Society Tracts and Essays. The group of disciples even has a “Judas,” H. G. Wells, who later left the group in disillusionment. He kneels on the left end while thumbing his nose at the rest of the group and their devotion. Nevertheless, the overall picture is clear, and comports with the thesis of this booklet: the God of Holy Scripture and Socialism stand in total contrast to one another, they are totally irreconcilable, and must necessarily wage war until one lay vanquished. The window into the socialist soul reveals an attempt at a complete replacement of Chriswww.AmericanVision.org
A Window into the Socialist Soul
The Fabian Window, by George Bernard Shaw
tianity. Instead of God’s will they follow their own “heart’s desire.” In place of dominion under God, we have man-directed dominion and refashioning of the world in man’s image. Instead of the heart-refining fire of the Holy Spirit, we have man generating the flames of passion and ambition. Instead of Christ’s disciples we get twelve apostles of socialism (excluding Wells), “praying” and “hammering”—a parody of St. Benedict’s rule ora et labora, “pray and work.” Above all we see the central object of their obeisance: the words of Shaw, Webb, and their Society. That is, above all they have replaced God’s word with man’s. To intensify the insult, they openly declare that they will engage in trickery and deception—as wolves in sheep’s clothing—to carry out their ends. They will attempt deceive Christians, feeding them their www.AmericanVision.org
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atheistic agenda in the name of Christianity, all the while denying the Christian faith as ardently as Marx, Lenin, or Stalin themselves. In continuance of such mockery disguised as agreement, the Socialistdominated government at the time interred the ashes of the two atheists, Beatrice and Sidney Webb, within the grounds of Westminster Abbey.65 This should not surprise us, as they had buried Charles Darwin there over a generation earlier, thanks to the urgings of fellow agnostics Francis Galton and Thomas Huxley. But while Darwin denied God and appealed to natural selection for evolutionary change, the Fabian atheists created a belief system in which man (they themselves at the head, of course) direct the evolutionary change, including the evolution of mankind (meaning, â€œother menâ€?). This is a new providenceâ€”the providence of man. This worldview justifies the forced redistribution of wealth, erosion of personal freedom, and other measures of violence that have accompanied socialism throughout its history. There is no safeguard from this tyranny except for the doctrines of private property and personal accountability taught by God in holy Scripture. God and socialism stand in complete contradiction and eternal conflict. We must choose one, and cannot choose neither. Without God, mankind is doomed to the judgment of mankind, including his political contrivances leading to theft. Christians must recognize this antithesis and choose the good. Then, we must stand and defend the private property and individual freedom that come with that good. Thankfully, Christians have the Holy Spirit, and we have the Word of God, and we have the mandates and the will of God behind us in history, in order to combat the idolatrous man-contrived socialism that confronts us today.
Nine Conclusion: A Battle of Fundamentals
his collection of essays serves three purposes. Primarily, it shows the stark antithesis between the biblical view of property, law, and economics, and the humanistic systems of socialism. Anyone seeking to adhere to the Bible must choose the path of freedom, private property, and minimal government interference; the same person must reject and oppose the various attempts by certain people and groups that wish for government power to confiscate and redistribute wealth, or to otherwise control the economic lives of everyone else. Put bluntly, the biblical view provides for freedom and responsibility, the socialist view leads to serfdom, slavery to government, and dependence on the State. Secondly, these essays illustrate how the Bible applies to every area of life, and this necessarily includes the “mundane” issues of life—politics, money, power, education, etc. Too many Christians have abused the saying, “The Bible applies to every area of life,” by refusing to follow through on the issues of politics, law, and economics. They talk big, but back-peddle when the real subjects come up. “The Bible is not a textbook of…,” fill in the blank. The Bible tells about salvation. Yes, but what is salvation? Does salvation only concern the soul? To answer in this pietistic way is to ignore too much of Scripture. It ignores the several portions this book has covered, and the many more which deal with very practical, down-to-earth matters of politics, property, money, reproduction, education, inheritance, and so on. As these essays have tried to show, Christians ignore these www.AmericanVision.org
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matters to their detriment, and to their childrenâ€™s greater peril. As we neglect them, we destroy the foundations of a free society, and thus undermine the peace and prosperity of the nation our children will inherit. Indeed, their children will face an even worse scenario as the process of decay spirals downward into corruption. If the book of Judges teaches us anything, it teaches us this. That the process of decline begins when Christians refuse to apply Godâ€™s laws to the very real and pragmatic issues of social life, should ignite our souls to passionate action. Thirdly, these essays serve to introduce you to a body of work by concerned believers who have been laboring for many years toward this cause: to restore America to her biblical foundations. This is not to say that America has already attained perfection, but we can truly say that what perfections she had in the past (and has subsequently lost) grew directly out of the view of freedom, responsibility, law, order, ethics and morality infused in her foundations by the Christian faith. Her foundational generations, institutions, and foundational documents all exhibit this faith in various ways, and the slide away from liberty since that time has occurred only by ignoring the foundational principles the grow from that faith: commitment to individual freedom and individual responsibility, a commitment to private property, and a commitment to the decentralize and minimize the role of the civil State. A small group of writers took up the cause of demonstrating this nearly lost vision by exegeting Scripture faithfully. Their vast literature includes the pioneering effort of R. J. Rushdoony to return to the Bible for the foundations of law. His work in this regard appears in his three-volume work, The Institutes of Biblical Law, especially in the first volume which exegetes and applies the Ten Commandments. Likewise, he endeavored to expose the humanistic and god-replacing role of public education in his The Messianic Character of American Education, an to show the necessary role of the Christian faith as the basis for any free society in The Foundations of Social Order. Inspired www.AmericanVision.org
by Rushdoony’s work, Gary North has spent his entire career deriving a biblical view of economics with a full biblical commentary on the subject. This comes in addition to his more than fifty books on related topics. Several other authors have taken up the challenge of restoring the vision, including Gary DeMar, Ray Sutton, George Grant, James B Jordan, Kenneth L. Gentry, many others, and the list is growing. Much of their work has involved recovering lost ideas from earlier generations and centuries; much else of it has involved pioneering work in biblical exegesis and application. The work still continues.
A Battle of Fundamentals The clash between God and socialism involves a fundamental battle. We can understand it as a battle over ultimate authority. Ultimately, the battle of God versus socialism is a battle between God in charge versus man in charge. Socialism is, at bottom, an atheistic system. As Fyodor Dostoevsky criticized the socialist Belinsky, “as a socialist, [he] had to destroy Christianity in the first place. He knew that revolution [here quoting Marx] must begin with atheism.… As a socialist, he was duty bound to destroy the teaching of Christ.”66 Father Copleston explains: “For socialism, in Dostoevsky’s eyes, was by its very nature atheistic, substituting the Kingdom of Man Fyodor Dostoevsky for the Kingdom of God, and the Man-god (1821–1881) for the God-man, namely Christ.”67 This does not merely represent the opinion of writers opposing socialism, but even of the most radical of the socialists themselves. For example, revolutionary Leon Trotsky quoted Dostoevsky on this matter and approved of the sentiment. We read him at length:
God versus Socialism
Religion is a sop and a leash. Religion is a poison precisely during a revolutionary epoch and in a period of the extreme hardships which are succeeding the conquest of power. This was understood by such a counter-revolutionary in political sympathies, but such a deep psychologist, as Dostoevsky. He said: ‘Atheism is inconceivable without socialism and socialism without atheism. Religion denies not only atheism but socialism also.’ He had understood that the heavenly paradise and the earthly paradise negate one another. If man is promised a hereafter, a kingdom without end then is it worth shedLeon Trotsky ding his own and his brothers’ and his (1879–1940) children’s blood for the establishment of a kingdom just like this here in this world? That is the question. We must deepen a revolutionary worldoutlook, we must fight the religious prejudices in the youth and approach the youth, including those having religious prejudicies, with the maximum pedagogical attentiveness of the more educated towards the less educated. We must go to them with the propaganda of atheism, for only this propaganda defines the place of man in the universe and draws out for him a circle of conscious activity here on earth.68 Unfortunately, Trotsky leveraged the common misconception of Christians who hold a stark divide between “earthly” matters and “heavenly” matters, and he yoked it to this divide between the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of man (we should say, “of Satan”). In the godly view, God created, joined, rules, and redeems “earthly” www.AmericanVision.org
matters as much as heavenly, and thus they do not negate each other. Atheism is not the only system that provides a social theory for man; instead it offers, as Trotsky himself says, propaganda, bloody revolution, and sacrifice of one’s children. Perhaps you can see the fundamental worldview clash between the socialistic vision and a biblical society where kings’ (and revolutionaries’) hands are tied by the constraints of law, leaving the people free. These essays have shown that these issues did not die with previous era of socialism/communism versus the free world. They did not fall silent when the wall fell. They remain as relevant as ever, especially with the reinvigoration of soPropaganda picturing cialist ideology in government, includTrotsky as St. George ing radical activists in congress, the juslaying the dragon. diciary, labor unions, teachers’ unions, universities, and numerous posts in the White House itself, including the Presidency. The arguments of socialism resound throughout America like never before, and Christians must both discern their persuasive but devious rhetoric, and stand firm with a biblical answer. The answers to socialism are, “The King is not God,” and, “Thou Shalt Not Steal.” If Christians refuse to apply these principles to government, law, and economics, then we will move closer to the socialists’ vision of society. We will have more of Marx than Moses, more of Trotsky than Christ. Above all, we must oppose the socialistic idea of a central bank which has the power to socialize the money supply. This removes power from individuals, and transfers it to politicians and bankers who sway the masses with promises of loot, benefits, bailouts, etc. This socialized measure cuts across party lines in Washington, DC, as www.AmericanVision.org
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both major parties partake of deficit spending for their pet projects, and believe in the Federal Reserve system for “stabilizing” money and banking. Neither party dares oppose this font of political power. The Bible condemns tampering with the value of money, and instead calls for just weights and measures. Thus, the Bible condemns the core of the political and economic life of the vast majority of the world. God, you can see, is non-partisan in this debate. Issues such as this one bring us back to the essential matter at debate here. This is not about Democrat versus Republican; it is about God versus socialism, God versus humanism. In this sense, a Christian view of political economy extends the lessons learned in the Garden of Eden. Satan asks, “Hath God said?” (Gen 3:1). Eve pondered Satan’s question, pondered the merits of his point of view versus God’s command. In doing so, she had already lost the debate. She placed herself in judgment over God’s word, and thus over God. By just questioning God’s word, the Devil planted the seeds of humanistic ruin of mankind. By joining him in this regard, Eve secured that ruin. The only avenue to repairing this ruin is through faith in Jesus Christ. This path requires us to return to God’s word, and rebuild our lives, our families, churches, states and social order based upon God’s revealed way of life. The choice between God and socialism is the same as the choice between God and Satan. One leads to paradise, the other delusion and hell.
Other Books by Joel McDurmon
Return of the Village Atheist Manifested in the Flesh: How the Historical Evidence of Jesus Refutes Modern Mystics and Skeptics Biblical Logic: In Theory and Practice Find These Resources in American Vision’s Online Store at www.AmericanVision.com www.AmericanVision.org
End Notes 1 So thought NY Times opiner David Brooks, who hailed the Obama administration thusly: “This truly will be an administration that looks like America, or at least that slice of America that got double 800s on their SATs. Even more than past administrations, this will be a valedictocracy - rule by those who graduate first in their high school classes” (“Obama’s valedictory,” http://tiny.cc/bGmp0 [accessed August 27, 2009]). 2 Rousas John Rushdoony, The Institutes of Biblical Law (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed,  1983), 34–5. 3 http://www.sss.gov/what.htm (accessed August 27, 2009). 4 http://www.sss.gov/FSinternet.htm (accessed August 27, 2009). 5 “Obama’s remarks on service,” Wall Street Journal, July 2, 2008, http://tiny. cc/JZJAZ (accessed August 27, 2009). 6 “Barack Obama: Call to Service in Colorado Springs, CO,” 16:44–16:58, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Df2p6867_pw (accessed August 27, 2009). 7 J. D. Tuccille, “Obama’s Chief of Staff choice favors compulsory national service,” examiner.com, Nov. 6, 2008, http://tiny.cc/o0PgH (accessed August 27, 2009). 8 J. D. Tuccille, “Obama’s Chief of Staff choice favors compulsory national service,” examiner.com, Nov. 6, 2008, http://tiny.cc/o0PgH (accessed August 27, 2009). 9 Quoted in Michael Gallucci, “The ‘GIVE’ Act Calls for Your Kids to be ‘Owned’ by the State,” lewrockwell.com, March 25, 2009, http://www.lewrockwell. com/orig10/gallucci1.html (accessed August 27, 2009). 10 http://tiny.cc/tqlEE (accessed August 27, 2009). 11. http://tiny.cc/9rpDb (accessed August 27, 2009). 12 Rushdoony, Institutes, 35, 33. 13 Roland de Vaux, Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions, trans. John McHugh (New York, Toronto, and London: McGraw-Hill Book Co., 1961), 445. 14 Vaux, Ancient Israel, 445. 15 Helga Seeden, “A Tophet In Tyre?,” BERYTUS 39 (1991); http://tiny.cc/yFz27 (accessed August 26, 2009). Despite acknowledging that “probable human bone” was found among the urns’ contents, and that some of these fragments “consisted of shaft bone a few millimeters of diameter,” the report naïvely concludes that “their size was not consistent with them being remains of small infants.” 16 Vaux, Ancient Israel, 446. 17 J. E. E. D. Acton, “Human Sacrifice,” Essays in Religion, Politics, and Morality: Selected Writings of Lord Acton, 3 vols. ed. J. Rufus Fears (Indianapolis: Liberty Classics, 1988), 3:413, 415–7.
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18 The Book of Common Prayer (Reformed Episcopal Church of North America, Third Edition, 2003) 63. 19 Charles Francis Potter, Humanism: A New Religion (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1930), 128. Quoted in David A. Noebel, J.F. Baldwin, and Kevin Bywater, Clergy in the Classroom: The Religion of Secular Humanism (Manitou Springs, CO: Summit Press, 1995), vi. I have taken this from Gary DeMar, “Why Creation and Prophecy Can’t Be Separated,” http://tiny.cc/6INjV (accessed August 27, 2009). 20 Margit von Mises, My Years with Ludwig von Mises (Arlington House, 1976), 31. 21 Historical Review of Pennsylvania, 1759. Notice, this was written years before the Revolution. 22 http://tiny.cc/lqkau. The original article seems to be taken down already. It does survive in other places on the web. 23 Thank you to Michelle Malkin for boldly arguing this, too; http://tiny.cc/ HWONx, accessed November 5, 2008. 24 http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2008/09/20080915-8.html, accessed Sept. 23, 2008. 25 Robert J. Samuelson, “The Great Confidence Game,” 20 Sept. 2008, http:// www.newsweek.com/id/160098; accessed Sept. 23, 2008. 26 A couple good articles to read are “The Real Culprits In This Meltdown,” Investor’s Business Daily, 15 Sept. 2008; and Thomas DiLorenzo, “The GovernmentCreated Subprime Mortgage Meltdown,” LewRockwell.com 7 Sept. 2007. 27 http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/12/2901.html; accessed Sept. 23, 2008. 28 http://mises.org/story/2963 (accessed August 31, 2009). 29 “Subprime: Let the finger-pointing begin!” Fortune, 9 July 2007; accessed Sept. 23, 2008. 30 See Michael S. Rozeff, “The Subprime Crisis and Government Failure,” LewRockwell.com, 21 April 2008; accessed Sept. 23, 2008. 31 Martin Crutsinger and Charles Babington, “Paulson urges quick action on $700 billion bailout,” AP, 21 Sept. 2008; accessed Sept. 23, 2008; Glenn Somerville, “Paulson urges Congress not to slow bailout bill,” Reuters, 23 Sept. 2008; accessed Sept. 23, 2008. 32 http://tiny.cc/Qrb0G, accessed Sept. 23, 2008. 33 H. L. Mencken, “Note on a Cuff,” A Mencken Chrestomathy (New York: Vintage Books, 1982), 153. 34 http://farm.ewg.org/farm/region.php?fips=00000 (accessed August 31, 2009). 35 “The Socialist Labor Party of North America Platform,” 1887; http://www. slp.org/pdf/platforms/plat1887.pdf, accessed October 16, 2008. 36 “National People’s Party Platform”; http://historymatters.gmu.edu/d/5361, accessed October 16, 2008. 37 Quoted in R. J. Rushdoony, The Messianic Character of American Education: Studies in the History of the Philosophy of Education (Philipsburg, NJ: Prebyte-
rian and Reformed Publishing, 1963), 19. 38 Quoted in R. J. Rushdoony, The Messianic Character of American Education, 24. 39 R. J. Rushdoony, The Messianic Character of American Education, 27. 40 http://tiny.cc/G1Nhb. 41 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, “Manifesto of the Communist Party,” Basic Writings on Politics and Philosophy, ed. Lewis S. Feuer (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1959), 26. 42 Karl Marx, “Capital, Book I,” Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels On Religion (New York: Schocken Books, 1964), 136. 43 Karl Marx, “On the Hague Congress,” Karl Marx, Frederick Engels: Collected Works, 50 vol. (New York: International Publishers, 1988), 23:255. 44 Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, “Manifesto of the Communist Party,” Basic Writings on Politics and Philosophy, ed. Lewis S. Feuer (Garden City, NY: Anchor Books, 1959), 25. 45 Robert A. Nisbet, The Sociological Tradition (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction Publishers, 1993 ), 29–30. 46 http://tiny.cc/cTwzA (accessed August 31, 2009). 47 Thomas Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies (New York: Basic Books, 2008), 4. 48 Quoted in Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies, 4. 49 Sowell, Economic Facts and Fallacies, 4. 50 Dean Russell, “Socialism Works in Sweden,” Clichés of Socialism (Irving-onHudson, NY: The Foundation for Economic Education, Inc.,  1970), 258. 51 http://www.geocities.com/surreycolin/ (accessed August 31, 2009). 52 Jeanne Rudbeck, “When worlds collide: Apartment shopping in Sweden and beyond,” The Local, Jan. 2, 2009, http://www.geocities.com/surreycolin/ (accessed August 31, 2009). 53 “Who gives you the right to queue-jump?” Svenska Dagbladet, Aug. 31, 2009, trans. Google.com and http://lexin.nada.kth.se/cgi-bin/swe-eng; http://www. svd.se/opinion/synpunkt/artikel_176534.svd (accessed Aug. 31, 2009). 54 http://tiny.cc/bSLwM (accessed August 31, 2009). 55 http://tiny.cc/bgDwM (accessed August 31, 2009). 56 http://tiny.cc/U1kuX (accessed August 31, 2009). 57 http://tiny.cc/u2Pz3 (accessed August 31, 2009). 58 http://tiny.cc/qCq52 (accessed August 31, 2009). 59 Rose L. Martin, Fabian Freeway: The High Road to Socialism in the U.S.A., 1884–1966 (Chicago: Heritage Foundation, 1966), 1–7. 60 Wendy McElroy, “A Webb of Lies,” The Free Market, 18/2 (Feb. 2000): http://mises.org/freemarket_detail.aspx?control=286 (accessed September 15, 2009); (Rose L. Martin, Fabian Freeway, 29. 61 Rose L. Martin, Fabian Freeway, 29–30. 62 Rose L. Martin, Fabian Freeway, 54.
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63 Rose L. Martin, Fabian Freeway, 55, 57. 64 Rose L. Martin, Fabian Freeway, 55. 65 Rose L. Martin, Fabian Freeway, 30. 66 Quoted in Frederick Copleston, A History of Philosophy, 11 vols. (New York and London: Continuum Books,  2003), 10:158. 67 Copleston, A History of Philosophy, 10:158. 68 Leon Trotsky, The Position of the Republic and the Tasks of the Young Workers, Report to the 5th All-Russian Congress of the Russian Communist League of Youth 1922; http://www.marxists.org/archive/trotsky/1922/youth/youth.htm (accessed September 14, 2009).