Sunday, November 11, 2007

Ron Paul and the Reconfiguration of the State

The major political movements of our day (i.e. conservatism, liberalism, libertarianism, etc.) are all bastard children of the Enlightenment, grounded in secular premises. They are anti-Christian at root.

The reigning faith of our age is Liberal Humanism (LH). LH naturally devolved into statism. As Rushdoony wrote, "Man needs a source of certainty and an agency of control: if he denies this function to God, he will ascribe it to man and to a man-made order."

The rise of the messianic, imperial state has been ongoing for several centuries, connected to the ascendancy of LH ideology. But the loss of faith in secular premises and institutions will ultimately lead to a lack of faith in statist, i.e. political, solutions, and bring about a reconfiguration of the state.

Ideology is little more than the inversion of religion and hence hostile to Christianity. The religion of LH (whether called liberal, conservative, libertarian, etc.) is a dying faith. It is in a terminal condition collapsing under the weight of its presuppositions. Drowning in debt, awash in the silly coarseness of popular culture, and bleeding from imperial overreach, it is merely a matter of time before the ticking bomb explodes.

How long will the process take and what will succeed it? Those are the questions for serious Christians to consider. The collapse is inevitable, but have we so confused Christianity with America or Conservatism that we have no biblical alternative to provide?

A collapsing faith in the state will engender the sprouting of decentralizing institutions--and political movements. This is one reason for the rise of Dr. Paul:

I think people are tired of what they're getting from their government. They don't believe it's working. They're angry. They believe they're being lied to when it comes to the economy. They believe they've been lied into going to war. And they're tired of it all, and they want change.

In other words, they have lost faith in liberalism.

Ron Paul and the movement growing up around his candidacy, despite their flaws, represent an opportunity. The Establishment is slowly losing control and desperately clinging to power. The changes wrought by new technologies will make it possible to not so much circumvent as create a new elite, outside the control, funding and licensure of the state.

As Gary North writes, Paul "is now in a position to begin to mobilize this vanguard for a 20-year political battle that will reach into every local community – to train people in the techniques of political mobilization through digital communication, and to provide them with the materials to challenge the existing political Establishment."

Despite its bravado and braggadocio, the modern state has made promises it cannot keep. The stack of IOUs is growing by the day, and at some point the populace will look elsewhere for solutions.

Will Christians be ready for that opportunity? Are we up to the task of thinking carefully about how the faith applies to every sphere of life? Have we done the hard work of exegeting the passages and constructing a fully-orbed theology of life? Or will we be engaged in pointless navel gazing?


Blogger Eric Schansberg said...

Off the top of my head, I'd say that the lack of interest in Paul among "conservative" Christians stems from one of two significant (and somewhat related) reasons.

First, from some combination of secular attraction to neo-con politics and a significant level of faith in Bush.

Second, a political apathy which has resulted in an attenuated and ultimately incoherent political philosophy. As such, they can embrace a Huckabee for his social conservatism despite his other immense policy baggage.

At the end of the day, Christians (like most other people) rarely have a coherent (Biblical) worldview-- with respect to much of anything, but especially politics. The results are, then, none too surprising.

11:19 PM  
Blogger Darrell said...

The Evangelicals that I have spoken to tell me that they disagree with Paul about foreign policy.

Most do not also have a respect for the Biblically imposed limitations on the state. We can agree that far too often the state has become an idol, and the temptation to statism is strong among Christians for reasons I just can't quite fathom.

As for Huckabee, it seems to me that he is genuinely a creature of the Religious Left, or what the Relgious Left would claim. He also represents continuity with Bush on foreign policy, immigration, etc.

6:46 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We would have to discuss what 'biblical worldview' is then... because reconstructionist like Rushdooney often tout their view as the end all truth with little historical, biblical, or practical support.

6:40 PM  

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