Are We Going to Hell in a Hand-basket? 1 of 5

Are we as a people, as a nation going to hell in a handbasket? I really don’t want to come across as an alarmist, as a pessimist, as a catastrophist, but I don’t know how to avoid these charges. I think of myself as a realist but that’s like sitting on a teetertotter, sometimes you’re down into pessimism, other times you’re up into optimism. What determines what category you’re in is the flow of history bringing you to where you are—the circumstances of the moment, the likely future this will take you to. When you are in the down position on that teetertotter it feels like fate is the deciding factor and your life will be what it will be and there is nothing you can do to change it. It’s hard not to draw this conclusion.

If you are on the precipice of an abyss about to fall in how realistic is it to think that hope can still save you. At some point the weight of disaster is so great the inevitable is the inevitable. The question is, of course: Is America and Americans at that place? My answer is, yes. What puts us in this position is our ignorance of history, the greatest sin of millennials. And we can thank colleges and universities that engage in propaganda rather than learning for this. When history is taught in these progressive learning centers it’s more likely distorted, left out, or restated in biased ways so what we learn are lies and not truths.

Millennials, we have seen, are high on socialism as their favored way of governance. Yet, when questioned to define socialism, they can’t. Why can’t they? Because their schools promote socialism without an unbiased, objective, look at history. They are sold the idea without ever understanding historical reality.

Jonah Goldberg wrote a book I mentioned in an earlier essay, Suicide of the West, a title that could not be more prescient. Could we? Would we take our own political life? Here’s one way it could happen:

“We will take America without firing a shot … we will bury you!

“We can’t expect the American people to jump from capitalism to communism, but we can assist their elected leaders in giving them small doses of socialism, until they awaken one day to find that they have communism.

“We do not have to invade the United States, we will destroy you from within.”

This is a quote attributed to the late Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev. The only verifiable part of this quote is “We will bury you.” The rest, while not verified as being actually said, certainly is within the clear thinking not just of Khrushchev but every communist leader beginning with Marx. And it has really worked well.

The start of the Industrial Revolution has been pegged to 1760 and began in England. But it wasn’t until the middle 1800’s that it really began to change everything. In 1848 Karl Marx and Fredrick Engels wrote The Communist Manifestoand in 1867 Marx wrote Capital (Das Kapital). This was the beginning of a counter-revolution to the Industrial Revolution.

Let’s back up a little historically to get the context for this counter-revolution.

When the Normans settled in France around 900 BC they instituted a political system we would centuries later call Feudalism. All the land belonged to the King. “One quarter was kept by the King as his personal property, some was given to the church and the rest was leased out under strict controls.” The leased land went to the wealthy and powerful men in the country and they became “Barons” who “were known as the Lord of the Manor and were in complete control of this land. They established their own system of justice, minted their own money and set their own taxes. In return for the land they had been given by the King, the Barons had to serve on the royal council, pay rent and provide the King with Knights for military service when he demanded it. They also had to provide lodging and food for the King and his court when they travelled around his realm. The Barons kept as much of their land as they wished for their own use, then divided the rest among their Knights.”

One such Knight was William who lived in Normandy, the territory in Northwestern France just across the English channel from southern England. He was knighted in 1037 at the age of 15. From 1047 he had to fight off attempted takeovers from neighboring nobles, including King Henry I. In 1066 William took across the channel in 600 ships around 7,000 men, 2-3,000 of them cavalry troops. It was a long arduous fight but William would be crowned King of England on Christmas Day 1066 in Westminster Abbey. By the end of William’s reign over 80 castles had been built throughout his kingdom, a permanent reminder of the new Norman feudal order.

From here until the end of the Middle Ages in the Sixteenth Century, Feudalism reigned when nations were ruled by Monarchs, and private ownership was only in the hands of the nobility. As industrialism shifted power away from the state it went into the hands of the entrepreneurs, but not just the monied, it also was in the hands of the common people who now could own property and the product of their hands. At this point, capitalism as an economic system found its place in Europe and in a large way in America.

From Investopediawe read this about Capitalism:

“Capitalism is an economic system in which capital goods are owned by private individuals or businesses. The production of goods and services is based on supply and demand in the general market (market economy), rather than through central planning (planned economy or command economy). The purest form of capitalism is free market or laissez-faire capitalism, in which private individuals are completely unrestrained in determining where to invest, what to produce or sell and at which prices to exchange goods and services, operating without checks or controls. Most modern countries practice a mixed capitalist system of some sort that includes government regulationof business and industry.

“Private property rightsare very important in capitalism. Most modern concepts of private property stem from John Locke’s theory of homesteading, in which human beings claim ownership through mixing their labor with unclaimed resources. Once owned, the only legitimate means of transferring property are through trade, gifts, inheritanceor wages.”

The phrase in the Declaration of Independence, “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” comes from Locke’s “Life, Liberty, and Property.” Property was changed by our Founders not because they were against property but to prevent the South from jumping on the word “property” to validate their belief that slaves were their property. Private property, not just land, is the foundation of capitalism.

Atheists love to use the Bible but only when it serves them (at least in their thinking) to bash Christians over the head with verses they think support their suppositions. And some Christians, who have made social justice the only gospel of the Bible, come to Genesis with an exhortation against private property supposedly found there. How do they draw this conclusion? Because the creation is God’s creation, everything belongs to him. Absolutely true. He has given us a command over his creation to fill and till (garden). The words “rule over” or “dominion” and “subdue” are not about some self-serving privilege but grave responsibility to take care of. We all actually agree on this. I also agree with the first presupposition that everything is God’s, we just manage it. But does this preempt the idea and formation of private property? If it did we would see injunctions against it throughout the Bible. We don’t. We do see very strong condemnation against those who don’t help those who have lost their livelihood, their farms, and seek help and are denied help. Nowhere do we find God saying cease your ownership of whatever you have and give it to the poor.

If we were to find this injunction against private ownership certainly we would find it in the only nation God is directly responsible for creating, Israel. It didn’t come with such a political manifesto. It does come with a simple statement: God is King, follow Him. Levitical Law was His attempt to reshape the Hebrews from who they were after all those years of slavery in Egypt into who they were intended to be.

The problem we have when making the Bible all about social justice is that it becomes and is based on our idea of justice, not God’s. And we don’t find arguments for social justice in the Bible, just justice which isn’t the same thing (though sounds like it is). An injunction against private property is not ipso facto, rather a non sequitur—a conclusion or statement that does not logically follow from the previous argument or statement. Genesis does not argue the point so you can’t make one from its silence. But we love to do that.