Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Rushdoony Speaks, and so do Others in Their Folly

Heather Mac Donald writes that conservatism does not need God. But Mac Donald is making conclusions and evaluating the evidence through an existing paradigm and moral order created by Christianity. She defends the institution of marriage and speaks favorably of the Golden Rule as a foundation for personal ethics without realizing that neither has a basis in autonomous reason. Morality and ethics cannot be objectified with an appeal to materialistic and naturalistic assumptions. Thus Mac Donald is held on the lap of God even as she smacks Him in the face.

Rushdoony on self-government: "When we talk about government, we should remember that the heart of all sound government is self-government. We fail to grasp the nature of our problem if we do not recognize that, basically, government is self-government. Throughout history, wherever and whenever self-government declines, statist government increases proportionately. If men will not govern themselves, someone else will...The problem of our time is that men want neither freedom nor self-government. They want the advantages of slavery without its penalties. Slavery offers cradle-to-grave security, and it offers a master who solves all problems for us. Most people want slavery but are not honest enough to call it slavery. They sugarcoat it with all kinds of political slogans to make it sound like heaven itself, and they are the first victims of their propaganda."

'Twould appear that the Moors have overrun Spain.

A Jewish "conservative" reviews the work of a gay Catholic "conservative": "Oakeshott was wise, but Oakeshottian conservatism can never prevail in America because the United States was not founded on the basis of custom, but by the assertion of a universal truth — that all men are created equal and are endowed by their creator with certain rights. The United States is a creedal nation, and almost every significant movement in American history has been led by people calling upon us to live up to our creed." Wrong, Mr. Brooks. The United States is a nation, an ethno-cultural entity, not merely a set of vague universal propositions.

Talk-radio yakkers and shouting heads are mere adjuncts of The Man: "It was clear by the late 1990s that political talk-radio had ceased to be a useful forum for conservative ideas and activism outside the traditional media and became nothing more than the propaganda wing of the Republican National Committee (just like Free Republic website did in largely the same manner)."

Homeschoolers are shilling for the GOP: "'You only gain clout by activity,'" says Michael Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association. His group plans to send hundreds of teenagers who are home schooled to 10 states in the election's closing week to make phone calls and knock on doors on behalf of conservative candidates."

An honest diplomat has his paddies whacked: "When senior State Department official Alberto Fernandez said in an interview on Al Jazeera Saturday that US policies in Iraq have been marked by 'arrogance' and 'stupidity,' he was expressing a sentiment widely held in the Arab world...The only problem was, his comments were immediately disavowed by the Bush Administration. Now the future of Fernandez - one of America's most potent public diplomacy weapons in the region - is clouded, and the Arab view of an America that admits to no mistakes has become more entrenched."

An example of why I love The American Conservative. Writing of the looming Islamic caliphate, Gregory Cochran writes, "This is undoubtedly the craziest argument for a policy ever put forth by the United States government. The only reason that we’re not bundling Bush off to the booby hatch is that he’s ramped up the insanity gradually: first the Iraqi peril, then the crusade for Arab democracy, now preventing the rebirth of the Caliphate. Manage the segue properly and people get used to all kinds of nonsense."

More Rushdoony:

"When men in unrighteousness or injustice suppress or deny that knowledge, they cannot evade the necessity of God, and so they declare or create new gods in their image, or in terms of their imagination (Rom. 1:18-25). The most powerful, and most deadly, of these new or false gods has, through the centuries, been the state. The state, as a false god, claims total jurisdiction, and it declares itself sovereign or god: it is, in terms of ancient paganism, Hegel, and modern political thought, god walking on earth. Men, having denied the true God, cannot escape having a god, and the modern state is the great Baal (or Lord) of modern man. The cry of modern man is a political cry, 'O Baal, hear us' and save us (I Kings 18:26). Here is idolatry, and too long the church has been silent in the face of it, or has urged its people to submit to Baal in the name of Jesus Christ: to its idolatry, it has added blasphemy."

"Moreover, every modern state has demonstrated that its enmity with foreign powers is a transitory and changing thing. Yesterday’s and tomorrow’s enemies are today’s friends, and future friends as well. Each and every modern state has one abiding enemy against whom perpetual warfare is waged, under the façade of concern and 'welfare.' That abiding enemy of the modern state is its own people, against whom perpetual war is waged in the name of perpetual concern. The foreign enemy is often real, but it is the domestic enemy which is constant."

"The humanistic state is at war with God. For God’s law, it substitutes the state’s law. Because the humanistic state is at war with God, it will be at war with every faithful Christian. Even more, it will be at war with man as such, because man is God’s image-bearer. Therefore, the state seeks to remake man and to obliterate God’s image."

"But man cannot live without a doctrine of Providence. The idea of predestination is an intellectual necessity, because the alternative is a world of total chance and meaninglessness. The doctrine of laissez-faire had shifted the government and decree from God to Nature, while tacitly retaining all the forms of the theological formulation of the doctrine. With Darwin, a further transfer took place. Now the state (or with libertarians, anarchistic man) became the source of providence and predestination."

"The politics of the anti-Christian will thus inescapably be the politics of guilt. In the politics of guilt, man is perpetually drained in his social energy and cultural activity by his over-riding sense of guilt and his masochistic activity. He will progressively demand of the state a redemptive role. What he cannot do personally, i.e., to save himself, he demands that the state do for him, so that the state, as man enlarged, becomes the human savior of man. The politics of guilt, therefore is not directed, as the Christian politics of liberty, to the creation of godly justice and order, but to the creation of a redeeming order, a saving state. Guilt must be projected, therefore, on all those who oppose this new order and new age."

"Because man is a religious creature, the god-concept is inescapable to his thinking. Man will either serve the true God or create a false one. If man removes his gods or God from heaven, he will speedily create a new god on earth. In any system of though lacking in transcendence, and, ultimately, only biblical Christianity has a true doctrine of transcendence, power and omnipotence become immanent concepts. As a result, the highest point of power in any system becomes the god of that system. As a result, statism, the most logical expression of that immanent power, becomes the manifest expression of divinity on earth. Thus, as religious unbelief increases, statism increases….Political liberalism is thus a logical development of theological liberalism, in that both involve a transfer of sovereignty from God to man; both rest on a concept of the independence of time from eternity, implicitly or explicitly. Both are indifferent, cool, or rebellious towards the sovereign decree and favor a democratization of authority as the true ground of civil order."

"The essence of planning is this attempt to be as God, to replace God and his predestination with man and his predestination. Under the opiate of planning, the dream of reason aspires to circumscribe every man and every eventuality within the omnipotent arms of the Great Society, the Kingdom of Man. The Plan is a net to ensnare God but which instead ensnares Man. Its purpose is to bind the creation and its Creator within the decree of the City of Man, to creation and its Creator within the decree of the City of Man to make man supreme, but the only thing controlled is man: God remains sovereign. The politics of blood guiltiness is thus statism."


Anonymous Mark said...

Hi Darrell,

IS the Hegel that Rushdooney writes about the same Hegel of "Hegelian Diaeletic" fame?

4:19 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Yes, they are one and the same.

7:56 PM  

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