Homeschool Your Children

The first reason is to teach them to live their lives, in accordance to the laws, commandments, and ethics of God.

The second reason is for their own safety.

An article on the horrific incompetence , cowardice, selfishness and tyrant-bully-failure of the Texas lawmen:

Police Botched the Uvalde Standoff. Now Gun Controllers Want to Give Police More Power. by Ryan McMaken

Protect your children.

Protect your children from all the Satanists, ready to deliver spiritual or physical death – or both – to the little people God trusts you to shield and guard and guide and nourish.

Authority and Power


Systematic Theology – Authority
Authority and Power
Rushdoony Dr. R.J.R.

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Let us begin with prayer. Our help is in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth. Thus said the high and lofty one who inhabiteth eternity, whose name is holy; “I dwell in the high and holy place with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the Spirit of the humble and to revive the heart of the contrite. If thou shalt seek the Lord Thy God thou shalt find Him; if thou seek Him with all thy heart, and with all thy soul.” Let us pray.

Glory be to Thee oh God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. We praise Thee on this day and always that Thy hand is every upon us for good. That all the days of our life Thou art mindful of us. Thou hast beset all our goings and our comings with Thy gracious love and care. Give us grace so to walk oh Lord that in all things we may seek to serve Thee, be faithful to Thy word, and rejoice in Thy providence, in Jesus name amen.

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Rushdoony always begins with prayer. I don’t always quote it, though.

But this time I did.

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Our scripture this morning is two verses of the chapter of Acts, Acts 1:7&8. Our subject is authority and power, authority and power.

“7 And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” As we have seen the New Testament word for authority in the Greek is exousia. It is translated in several ways in the New Testament. In Luke twenty-three verse seven it is translated as jurisdiction. In first Corinthians eight verse nine as liberty. Many, many times exousia is translated as “right” and when it is used in these various sense what it is trying to convey is that the authority to speak or act and the liberty to do so, and the rightness of such actions are all one and the same. We also have it translated as “strength” in one instance. In other words there is a relationship between power and authority; they are essentially one in God. In man power and authority do not necessarily go together. A tyrant may have a great deal of power but no, or very little, legitimate authority. A usurper or conquering army may have power, but no legitimate authority. A gunman breaking in and holding a family as hostage has power, but he has no authority. Authority means legitimate jurisdiction, a rightness morally; a liberty which comes from this legitimacy. There can be no separation of authority and power in the triune God. This is why kenosis is so evil and destructive a doctrine.

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In man, power and authority don’t always stand together. Quite a lot of the laws and ethics of secular culture is enforced with power… and that’s all. There’s no truth or law behind it. just the will of powerful men and their guns, their courts, and media mouthpieces.

But the only reason why these jokers can claim to be anything at all, is because most Christians don’t really believe that God created heaven and earth. So, most Christians don’t really believe that God has total, lawful authority over the cosmos. And when you don’t fear, revere, and worship God, you are going to fear, revere, and worship some idol or other.

Even when such Christians cry out “Lord, Lord”, God knows different. The mocking secularists soon know different as well. And in time, the worthless servants will recognize what they really are.

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But we have to go a step further; can we legitimately separate Godly authority and power? An ironic fact is that in the modern age a great deal of to-do is made about mothers when their authority is at a low ebb. But in terms of scripture than can be no separation of authority and power; in this sinful world Godliness may have authority, but it attracts hostility, it incites attacks. The aim of the ungodly is to obliterate God’s witness in man’s righteousness. Westminster Confession of faith says, with regard to holiness, that we are quickened and strengthened and given more authority in the practice of holiness. We are told that they who are effectually called and regenerated, have a new heart and a new spirit created in them are further sanctified really and personally through the virtue of Christ’s death and resurrection by His word and spirit dwelling in them. The dominion of the whole body of sin is destroyed, and the several lusts thereof are more and more weakened and mortified, and they more and more quickened and strengthened in all saving graces, to the practice of true holiness without which no man shall see the Lord. So that the Westminster confession tells us very quickly, very plainly, in the compass of one brief paragraph that there is a relationship in our lives between authority and power. Because when we grow in the authority of faithfulness to God, in the exercise of our calling we grow in power. And this development is not a Saint Vitus dance in no-man’s land. It is in the real world of everyday life, and the growth of holiness must be seen as the growth of power in and through the Holy Spirit.

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When Christians are faithful, they grow in power.

So, when Christians are as weak and as powerless as they are today… it isn’t because God’s hand has grown short.

It’s because He is paying His faithless servants the wages they have earned.

I recommend that we repent, and strive again to be faithful and holy.

As the end of the road we are currently on ends only in death and hell.

And when I say “we”, I don’t mean a man there, a woman over yonder, two kids in the backwoods. I mean the entire Body of Christ.

We all must repent, and place God and His Will above all our life. Or at the very least, the God-fearers who repent can stay in the Body, but the God-haters must be cut off, to worship… whatever their true Lord happens to be.

God-haters are to visibly have no place in the Body of Christ: at least until they repent.

If we don’t do what God commands, God will make it happen Himself.

He WILL have his Pure Bride.

Whether you and I are counted as part of His assembly, His people, His Bride, is a separate question entirely.

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In the American version of the Presbyterian form of government in 1788 when it was formulated the statement was made that truth is in order to goodness. And the statement goes on to declare very plainly that there is a correlation between virtues. When we develop one virtue we are going to strengthen ourselves in every virtue. We gain power and we gain authority, we gain strength. In brief true virtues do not come singly, and the grace of God comes to us to give us strength, growth, in every area of our lives. The fallen world is in hostility to God, it reacts with hatred and hostility and conflict ensues wherever Christian strength is manifested. But there is victory, and we must never forget it. Truth in order to goodness, it is also in order to authority, holiness, and power.

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“In brief true virtues do not come singly, and the grace of God comes to us to give us strength, growth, in every area of our lives.”

The victory of God is a holistic, complete victory. In all ways.

“The fallen world is in hostility to God, it reacts with hatred and hostility and conflict ensues wherever Christian strength is manifested. But there is victory, and we must never forget it. Truth in order to goodness, it is also in order to authority, holiness, and power.”

When God’s people get serious about holiness, righteous, truth, and love – first in ourselves, than the family, the Christian assembly, the neighbourhood – the world will shake.

And if Christians today refuse to lead, then God will simply pick someone else. And His Holy Spirit will be withdrawn from those who reject it, and given to those who welcome it.

No fuss, no muss.

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I believe that one of the greatest statements made in this century was made on June 15 1917 by a very remarkable man, Pope Benedict the 15th. His papacy was brief, 1914 – 1922. He is a virtually forgotten man today, but he had a great deal to say about the scriptures and about Biblical preaching. Consider what he said in these words, now this was when the war was being fought, little before we landed troops into Europe. And I quote, speaking of the reviving paganism of the world in the twentieth century “The causes of these evils are varied and manifold. No-one however will gainsay the deplorable fact, that the ministers of the word do not apply thereto an adequate remedy. Has the word of God then ceased to be what it was described by the apostle, living and effectual and more piercing than any two edged sword? Has long continued use blunted the edge of that sword? If that weapon does not everywhere produce its effect the blame certainly must be laid on those ministers of the gospel who do not handle it as they should. For no-one can maintain that the apostles were living in better times than ours. Or that they found minds more readily disposed toward the gospel, or that they met with less opposition to the law of God.” That’s a tremendous statement. Benedicts point is very clear. The authority and the power of the word of God enabled the apostles and their successors to challenge and overthrow the paganism of their day against incredible odds. It was a grim battle, but very early Rome knew that the Christians represented power.

We have less opposition said Benedict in 1917, and the fault is not that the word of God has lost its power, but that we do not proclaim it as we should. The church today wants to be a democracy, not a monarchy whose king is Christ. Is predestination unpopular with the people? Well then we won’t talk about it. Is the doctrine of responsibility unpopular with the people, we want to blame the environment and everything else? Well we won’t stress it. This is the order of the day, men preach to please people. Congregations object if what is said from the pulpit does not agree with them. Private judgment rules against God’s word.

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Western Civilization is not dying because the Secularists killed it, flesh and soul, mind and reason, child and elder, testicles and womb.

Western Civilization is dying because Christians explicitly and knowingly refused to lift a finger to defend the patrimony given to us. Free Stuff and a comfortable life trumped all other considerations.

Even the very will of God.

It’s time to change course, from the heading these delusional, irrational, totalitarian humanists – left-wing and right-wing – have set for us.

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But we are told in the book of Acts, first chapter verses seven and eight certain things. First the word that is used in verse seven is exousia, power and authority. Then we are told that we shall receive power. God the Father keeps in His own power the knowledge of the timing of history. Men cannot seek after that knowledge; they must know only what He tells us. As Deuteronomy 29 verse 29 says “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.” What is the purpose of knowledge? That we may do all the words of this law Moses said.

Now the believer who is faithful to God in this sense receives power and authority. Ye shall receive power. How? In order to do His will, to be His witnesses, to do His work. Now the reference here some would say is to Pentecost, but it is far more. Because the primary emphasis, in fact the exclusive reference here is to the testimony, the witness. Not the gifts of the spirit but the gift of the spirit that we might function day by day in whatever we do, for the Lord and His kingdom. So the emphasis is upon the power that manifests itself, in faithfulness to the word, in the proclamation of the word, in being governed by the word. Ye shall be my witnesses unto the uttermost parts of the earth. Our Lord here speaks against curiosity, he recalls men to their duty. What the disciples had been asking about was “you tell us how history is going to develop.” And today a great deal of preaching is about the rapture, and people want charts to know what to expect. When will Russia move against us, or when will the rapture or the tribulation and all that nonsense take place? Morbid curiosity, not “what are God’s marching orders for me now?” What doth the Lord require of me?

These are two different religions. One that seeks knowledge in order to protect oneself and withdraw from reality, the other to go out and conquer, to exercise power in the name of God. Today we honor the forms of power. We honor authority outwardly and we have a Mother’s Day and we have a Father’s Day and we have all kinds of days on the calendar. But in reality the authority that should be represented in what those things symbolize is lacking. Authority and power come from God, and they must be united. The Holy Spirit gives us power to act for the Lord, this gift of the spirit is not for our personal pleasure or satisfaction or contentment.

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It is time for the good guys to win.

Which, by definition, means that it is time for the bad guys to lose.

“…today a great deal of preaching is about the rapture, and people want charts to know what to expect. When will Russia move against us, or when will the rapture or the tribulation and all that nonsense take place? Morbid curiosity, not “what are God’s marching orders for me now?” What doth the Lord require of me?

These are two different religions. One that seeks knowledge in order to protect oneself and withdraw from reality, the other to go out and conquer, to exercise power in the name of God.”

We need a new Ruling Class.


A Ruling Class that exercises power in the name of God, and in accordance to His law. (As opposed to the arbitrary babble of intellectual, financial, political or military authority.)

A ruling Class that focuses in subjecting our selves, our families, our assemblies, our businesses and our civil societies under the Law of God.

A Ruling Class that respects Moses: so instead of some top-down Secularist (or Islamic) tyranny, we have bottom-up local authority, set in families of ten household heads, then groups of 50, then a hundred families, then a thousand. (Exodus 18). With all political power set at the lowest levels, unless an appeal to a higher court is needed for a particularly difficult problem.

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Very shortly after the end of World War II was published which was an instant best seller; and the title of it sets for the goal of man in the post-war world. I believe the authors name was Lieberman the title was Peace of Mind peace of mind. This has been the great quest of modern man. Virtually all of us want peace of mind, and we forget that peace of mind we are never told in scripture that it is a legitimate goal, it’s only a byproduct. Happiness is not a legitimate goal, it’s a byproduct; Of what? Of doing the will of God, of working in terms of what God has appointed us to do, of being useful to him and to his kingdom. So that if we want peace of mind we must say “Lord what wilt Thou have me to do?” Paul tells us in II Corinthians 3:17 “Where the Spirit of God is, there is liberty.” Because there too is power, there too is authority, and there is freedom then to go forward in the name of Christ and His kingdom.

When Paul says “where the Spirit of God is there is liberty, the word liberty is a translation of the Greek word eleftheria. Once in a while you encounter that as a name, it was once a little more popular than it is now, but in the past few years I have met a woman whose name was Eleftheria. Her parents who were obviously well-educated and knew there Greek, or else they probably had a great-grandmother who had that name. Eleftheria as Paul uses it in II Corinthians 3:17 means freedom of access to God, and freedom in Christ for greater movement. Where the Spirit of God is there is liberty, freedom for greater movement and freedom of access to God. Now this matter of access to God of which Paul speaks is something that doesn’t mean much to us today. But we must remember that scripture presents God as the great King, the King of all creation, king of the universe, and access to the king meant that power and authority had been conferred upon you. Tremendous fact, if you could walk into the presence of an emperor, when you walked out people virtually bowed before you because they knew they would never get to see the emperor, but you had power. That access gave you authority and power so that they sought favor from you, sought to please you because you were a person of power. And what are we told? We have that access. We have it when we walk in faithfulness to God. We walk in the Spirit and we have power, we have access. We pray, and we have access, it’s the privilege of being a Christian. It gives us power and authority if we want it.

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Access to the Throneroom of God is better than access to all the cabinets and legislatures and Presidential Studies on Earth. Combined.

To rule lawfully, God’s people must dedicate themselves to the expansion of God’s Kingdom. Not our power, and not some priestly or political hierarchy, but to Christ and His Law-Word.

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The word of God is the totally authoritative word and therefore the word of power. If Christians in their churches are powerless and sit in their pews week after week wondering why the world is going to hell it is because they have neglected the all conquering weapon which is at hand. We have access to the throne of power, we are given authority and power if we chose to use it. We have been called to be kings, priests, and prophets in Christ. The world is ours to conquer, will we do it? Let us pray.

Oh Lord our God Thy word is truth and Thy word is the word of power and authority. Make us strong in Thy word, in Thy work, and in prayer; that we might be a generation of victors knowing that this the victory which overcometh the world, even our faith. Bless us to this purpose we beseech Thee, in Jesus name amen.

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We have been called to be kings, priests, and prophets of God.

We have neglected our calling, God’s command, so we have these howling incompetents set above us.

It’s long past time to repent of our sin before God, and so God can shatter their chains, and free us to serve Him.

And Him alone.

Why is there very little sediment on the seafloor?

So – why is there very little  sediment on the seafloor? Simply put, because there hasn’t  been enough time to deposit as  much as should be there according to the  evolutionary time scale. But, once again,  what we observe matches very well with what  we’d expect according to biblical history.

Now, the facts – and their implications – don’t matter to our enemies.

But that’s to be expected: they are not interested in the truth, or “following the evidence, wherever it leads.”

Not with COVID, not with evolution, not with crime, not with economics, not with anything.

In contrast, Christians are to follow the physical evidence (and all other forms of factual truth).

The real world matters.

And it matters because God says it matters, and will judge us based on our actions in the real world. Our actions, as well as our thoughts, matter before His piercing eyes.

Now, connecting Biblical teaching is important, as Christ is to be Lord of all.

But in truth, the committed anti-Christians – who have been exalted in their positions, precisely because a majority European Christian population grew to detest the God who gave them wealth and power – will not change their mind for any reason, regardless of the evidence.

Fortunately, we are not called to change the minds of the walking dead, old men who have forged and reinforced their chains to hell, while blinding their eyes and spiking their ears.

We are to reach the young, the future, who is interested in the world around them, and want to know how things really are, how the laws that govern our physical and spiritual worlds really work.

Reality matters. And the One who created and directs reality matters most.

Selective Interviews and Secret Recordings

You cannot trust evil liars.

But, if you are careful and wise, you can play them for the fools they are, and strengthen the confidence of your own people.

From How Alex Jones Blindsided Megyn Kelly, by Gary North

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Megan Kelly got a promotion from Fox News to NBC because Donald Trump insulted her during an early Republican presidential debate. This promotion did not include an increase in wisdom. It merely gave her a larger audience for her to reveal her limitations. Her limitations are considerable.

Her latest bonehead move was to interview Alex Jones. This got her in trouble with NBC, because nobody is supposed to interview Jones. That would give him some degree of credibility. The mainstream media do not want to consider him as anyone who deserves credibility.

The mainstream media still believe that someone like Jones can get credibility only from the mainstream media. They still think it’s 1995.

Her response was this: she thinks he is despicable. She said that his view of Sandy Hook as a hoax is revolting. That bought her a little time. But time will run out on the evening of June 18, when her interview is scheduled to be run.

Jones did what any sensible conservative should always do when interviewed by the mainstream media. He made a secret recording of the entire interview. He says he will release the entire interview on YouTube.

He says that he did not claim to believe the story that Sandy Hook was a hoax. He simply said that he had offered theories regarding Sandy Hook to his viewers.


The game the liberals play is always the same. Anything that makes a conservative’s position look sensible is eliminated by three dots. The writer gets to pick and choose what he wants to illustrate. If he wants to illustrate something that will make a conservative look bad, he will quote him. He will not mention the missing qualifications to the outrageous statements.

Some journalists will quote the conservative link. When the conservative says something sensible, the journalist then adds three dots. These indicate a break in the interview. But most journalists don’t do this. They simply enter the quotation with a quotation mark. Then they continue to summarize what the conservative really means, which is what the journalist wants the reader to believe that the conservative really means. Then he provides another brief quotation inside quotation marks. This is an ancient technique of journalists. I’ve been a journalist long enough to know that this is how the game is played.

The media have been unsuccessful in doing this to me. That is because my statements are so outrageous and unqualified in any way that they prove irresistible to Left-wing journalists. These people usually quote me verbatim. I get my point across, and they get to look like heroes for having exposed to me.

The crucial point is this: almost nobody pays any attention. Hardly anybody reads these stories. My followers rarely read these stories. Liberals rarely read them.

Here is reality: journalists don’t have much clout. I learned this 40 years ago. “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but liberal journalists can never hurt me.” (You may quote me verbatim.)

In the case of Alex Jones, this is a bonanza for him. His followers are laughing derisively at Megyn Kelly. She is now under the digital sword of Damocles. If she runs her edited snippets, she will look like a fraud. In other words, she will look like exactly what she is.

On the other hand, if the network now has some junior technician frantically reinserting what Jones really said, Jones will look like a semi-reasonable fellow. Kelly will still look like a fraud, because Jones forced her hand early. He went public about the existence of his interview before she ran her hatchet job.

She is now on the hook. I call it her Sandy Hook hook. No matter what she runs on her show on Sunday evening, she is going to look like a fraud. She can either be seen as a boneheaded, unwavering fraud, or she can be seen as a cowardly fraud who reinserted Jones’s qualifications, or worse, as a fraud who refuses to run the segment on Jones, despite the fact that she promised that she would.


I have been down this road before. Back in 1987, Rev. Bill Moyers planned to run a PBS show featuring me. It was going to be part three of a three-part program on PBS. It was a program on the New Christian Right. I was confident that I was going to wind up as the bogeyman of the whole series.

I was proud of the whole thing. I liked to think of myself as the bogeyman of the New Christian Right. It was good positioning back then, although nobody cares these days. I thought of myself as Jerry Falwell with footnotes.

Still, I was taught very early by R. J. Rushdoony to avoid interviews by liberals. He said they will always have the upper hand. They will get to edit whatever I say. He said that any publicity was never worth it. I believed him.

I wrote about this incident for Lew Rockwell back in 2001. I quote it here because my memory in 2001 was closer to 1987 than what I remember today. I wrote this.

The Republican Party hired the master advertiser, Rosser Reeves (Reality in Advertising), to create a series of 30-second filmed interviews of Dwight Eisenhower, to be shown on television. Ike answered briefly and vaguely, spot by spot, short questions that were posed by a voice. While the filming was in progress, he asked rhetorically after a take, “Is this what the old general is reduced to?” It was, indeed. These paid commercials were run in states where the race with Stevenson was considered close, most notably Ohio. (David Halberstam devotes a fairly lengthy section of his book, The Fifties, to Reeves’ work.)

Reeves’ TV spots set the pattern for subsequent politics. He understood that the public does not remember intricate details. Viewers remember brief phrases or images. Reeves made millions of dollars for the Mars candy company with his slogan, “melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” The TV image of a chocolate-smeared palm is embedded in my mind almost 50 years later.

You can buy a video produced by Bill Moyers on Reeves, the presidency, and TV spots, “The 30-Second President.” I mention this because I once defeated Moyers by using the reverse of Reeves’ strategy. He was planning to do what I firmly believed would be a hatchet job on me in the third segment of his 1987 PBS series, “God and Politics: On Earth As It Is in Heaven.” His staffers kept calling my two offices, begging for an interview. They even called my pastor for an interview. I told everyone to rebuff the requests.

Moyers’ staffers kept asking my staffers, “Doesn’t Dr. North want to get his ideas across?” My silent answer was, “Yes, but on my terms, not Bill Moyers’ terms.” I knew all about the power of videotape editing. Some unknown lackey is sent out to interview a naive victim for two hours in order to get one or two juicy sound bites, and then the retroactively spliced-in Famous Interviewer zings the victim on-screen with loaded questions, for which the editor splices in the victim’s answers. The victim has no power of reply and no authority to review the show ahead of time. In writing, scholars are supposed to use ellipses to indicate dropped words: [. . .] There are no ellipses in video editing.

The final version of Moyers’ show was not complimentary to me, but the show produced no problems for me. That was because I was nowhere to be seen. They interviewed some of my critics, but there was no talking head of Gary North to be guillotined (or “Billotined”) by Moyers.

The TV news shows have to have a talking head or an image. If you’re not on-screen, TV’s assassins will have trouble getting to you.

In retrospect, I now realize what I did to him. I Conned him. I Billy Conned him. Joe Louis famously said of Conn, “He can run, but he can’t hide.” I hid. Moyers never laid a glove on me.


Today, the intended victim can get even by posting his secret recording on YouTube. He can get out the message that he wants to get out, and the mainstream media cannot lay a finger on him.

There is nothing the shrinking networks can do to hurt Jones. He can present his side of the story on YouTube. His followers will chortle. Furthermore, every liberal journalist who is envious of Kelly’s $15 million dollar a year contract will secretly rejoice. There are probably several thousand of them. All’s well that ends well.

Alex Jones understands the limitations of the mainstream media. Megyn Kelly does not. She has now had a lesson from a master.

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Mises: Just How Common Are School Shootings?

Progressives use media-generated frantic panics to push for more controls and more domination over the commoner trash.

Emotions over thinking, fear over thought… this is not God’s way.

Neither should it be ours.

As it is a curse to live under a lawless, unpredictable, ever-more-authoritarian government, we will have to repent of our sins before God, and raise up a godly society, following the laws of God, and directed by God-fearing ministers.

Nothing will change, until we decide to expand the Kingdom of God to cover the whole world. This generally does not start with politics: but, as politics involves matters of justice and law, it must eventually include it.

Progressives are perfectly happy to live under irrational panic-driven control-regimes, forever shouting about an emergency that requires that the laws be dumped/completely rewritten. After all, that puts themin charge, and you under their heel.

After our repentance, after we have rebuilt our communities and re-grounded them under God’s Law and Authority, our increasing faithfulness and conformity to God’s Law-Word, our obedience to God in expanding His Kingdom in all things, will cut their chains from our wrists, our feet, and our necks.

That will be a good day.

From Just How Common Are School Shootings? by Ryan McMaken

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In response to the Robb Elementary School shooting in Texas this week, one now sees repeated claims that school shootings are somehow “normal” or common in the United States.

For example, social media at this moment is teeming with users—assuming they’re not bots—posting about how they’re absolutely terrified if the idea of allowing their children to attend school. Yesterday, in a now-deleted post, Elizabeth Bruenig—notable for writing on the topic of Millennials having babies—declared that one reason Millennials don’t have babies is because they believe their children are likely to be killed in a school shooting. Bruenig compared sending to children to school as a sort of “lottery” system in which your child’s time to be killed in a school shooting may come up at any time.

Some Europeans were eager to get in on the action also. El Pais, one of Spain’s largest dailies, presented “school shootings as a US norm.”

This is a pretty odd claim, however, given that school shootings are so rare that in the United States in 2021 there was one school-shooting death for every 23 million Americans. By comparison, approximately one in 350,000 Americans dies from drowning each year. 

If one is going to be “terrified” of the dangers faced by one’s children, obsessing over school shootings is a rather odd way to go about it. For all of us, our children are far, far more likely to be killed in an automobile accident than in a school shooting.

The reason for the laser-like focus on an extremely rare phenomenon, however, is easy enough to explain. Many people genuinely believe—wrongly—that their children live daily in the shadow of school shootings. For gun-control advocates, that’s all to the best since this false narrative can be used to push more legislation. 

Moreover, gun control advocates spend so much time focusing on school shootings because they contend—whether earnestly or cynically—that changing just a few laws will end school shootings. To believe such claims, however, we’d need to see some evidence not only that such laws reduce homicides overall, but that they also reduce homicides specific to schools. Secondly, these laws would have to work so well that they’d be worth the enormous costs to society—costs brought on by necessary drug war-like enforcement measures—that such laws would entail. And in the meantime, far more widespread causes of mortality for children won’t enjoy much attention in Washington because those awful things can’t be turned into a gun control campaign. 

On the other hand, more practical and attainable solutions directly related to school security will be ignored. 

School Shootings Are Incredibly Rare

Far from being a “norm” in American society, school shootings are a tiny subset of homicides which are themselves not exactly a leading cause of death in the United States. For example, there were approximately 16,700 homicides in the United States in 2019. That’s a rate of about 5 victims per 100,000 people. (By comparison, more than 100,000 Americans die of diabetes each year.)

Of those 16,700 homicides in 2019, 17 of them were due to shootings at K-12 schools. That means school shootings were 0.1% of all homicides, and school shooting deaths occurred at a rate of .005 per 100,000 Americans.

Some of the worst years for school shootings have placed homicides in the range of 20 to 30 deaths. Excluding the Bath Consolidated School killings of 1927 (which was a bombing rather than a shooting) 2018 was likely the most deadly year for schools, with 39 shooting victims. 2012—the year of the Sandy Hook shootings—was the second most deadly year. 2022 will likely be among the worst single years for school shootings, with at least 28 deaths.


If we look at school shooting deaths since 1985, we see that school shooting deaths per 100,000 swing from year to year—as we’d expect when total events are so few. In some periods, they can be fairly consistent, as from 1991 to 1999.  (The nation in the early 1990s was emerging from a high-crime period during the 1980s.) But consistency has not been the case over the past decade with rates ranging from .006 per 100,000 in 2015 to .119 per 100,000 in 2018. These are small fractions of total homicide rates, and totals can change dramatically based on just 1 or 2 events.


So should parents suspect that their children are in some kind of ghoulish shooting lottery? The data suggests we should be far more concerned about children dying in drunk-driving incidents, car accidents in general,  suicidedrowningcancer, or child abuse. Given the scarcity in this world of resources that can be devoted to addressing the dangers of the world, it only makes sense to put our efforts toward those measures that are likely to actually save lives. In the worst years, we’re witnessing around 30 deaths due to school shootings. That’s .000009% of the American population. I’m not saying that’s something we shouldn’t care about at all. But it is an odd thing around which to craft national policy or which we might think should prompt national “soul searching.” 

This raises an obvious question, then: why are we not hearing about the urgent need to pass comprehensive federal anti-child abuse laws—or drunk driving laws? It’s simple. Child abuse and drunk driving can’t easily be framed as something that requires the abolition of private gun ownership. 

The focus is clearly on the passage of legislation, not the actual pursuit of safety. This is why advocates are not deterred when we find there isn’t much evidence that any of these measures actually bring down school shootings, or even homicide rates overall. Given that school shootings are so rare, it is virtually impossible to establish any sort of correlation between certain laws and school shooting rates, and we can of course point to cases like Sandy Hook which occurred in locations with strict gun control laws. But even if we assume that a reduction of homicides overall correlates with school shootings, can we be confident that stricter gun control leads to lower homicide rates?

We can’t be confident in that regard either. After all, if we look to the “Annual Gun Law Scorecard” from the Giffords Law Center, we find that of the top ten states with the lowest homicide rates, only two states (Massachusetts and Hawaii) get an “A-“ or better. Six of these states get an “C-” or worse (i.e., Vermont, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Maine, New Hampshire) for the strictness of their gun laws. 


Basically, the gun-control position in these cases is to introduce hugely broad legal measures requiring enforcement and depriving countless peaceful citizens of the human right that is private self-defense.

If addressing school violence is the real concern—and not just the headline grabber—the more practical solution is to address the security of schools specifically. Just as the private sector routinely employs security for its own facilities,  schools need to be more targeted and practical in this regard as well. In any case, when addressing events that are as rare as school shootings, we’ll never have enough data to really know which measures deterred violence and which didn’t.

Read More: 

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For Book Lovers: Implied Law in the Abraham Narrative

While I was listening to The Book of Genesis – The Chalcedon Podcast – Ep. 23, a useful book was mentioned by Martin Selbrede: Implied Law in the Abraham Narrative: A Literary and Theological Analysis by James K. Bruckner. It is quite useful, to show how the Law-Word of God was upheld from Genesis 12 onward.

The prices start at ~$100 used, $245 new. It could be definitely worth it for the right amateur or professional scholar, focusing on God’s authority and law from the era before God wrote the law on stone tables, and handed them to Moses.

Also of note, the podcast is useful for creationists who are interested in God’s Law, as well as theonomists who are interested in creationism.

Training for Government

Systematic Theology – Church
Training for Government
Dr. R.J. Rushdoony

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Our subject this morning is Government. Last week we dealt with the subject of Training for Government, and today we shall concern ourselves with how are men to be trained, boys to be trained, to exercise the kind of government that scripture requires. Let us turn, first of all, to Exodus 13:8 and 14. “And thou shalt shew thy son in that day, saying, This is done because of that which the Lord did unto me when I came forth out of Egypt.”

And verse 14, “And it shall be when thy son asketh thee in time to come, saying, What is this? that thou shalt say unto him, By strength of hand the Lord brought us out from Egypt, from the house of bondage.”

Now, this has to do with the Passover service. Let us turn now to Psalm 78:1-8. “Give ear, O my people, to my law: incline your ears to the words of my mouth. I will open my mouth in a parable: I will utter dark sayings of old: which we have heard and known, and our fathers have told us. We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: that the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: that they might set their hope in God, and not forget the works of God, but keep his commandments: and might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation; a generation that set not their heart aright, and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.”

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Note that Rushdoony focuses on boys and men, when it comes to government. And there are at least three reasons for this:

  • Men naturally want authority, rule, government, and will sacrifice quite a lot to gain political preeminence over others. As it’s more likely that they will rule, it’s the wise decision to focus regal training on them.
  • In the Old Covenant, joining the Covenant was tied to circumcision: and only boys (and men) can be circumcised. Authority rests on those within the covenant, not those without.
  • Until the invention of electricity, movement, power and tools were strongly tied to physical strength, including the ability to fight and kill. This was – and in many ways, is – tied to physical strength and a commanding physical presence. So the strength, stamina, speed, load-bearing potential, and endurance of men makes them natural leaders.

There may well be others I missed, including aggression, tolerance of physical pain, the respect of other men, etc.

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Now, there are many references in the Bible, in the New Testament, to the home as the locale of church meetings. Prior to the Fall of Jerusalem, the church was not illegal in the Roman Empire because it had the protection that was given to all Jewish groups. After the Fall of Jerusalem, secret meetings were necessary, so the church continued to meet in the home, but in very small groups, lest they be discovered, but before it became a necessity, the church was meeting in the home. The qualifications of the officers of the church were also family-oriented. Read sometime what 1 Timothy 3:1-13 has to say. The church officer must be a man who has proven his character by his headship of a family, by demonstrating his capacity to rule in the product, that is, in godly children. The very terms for church officers are derived from the family. Elder, an elder in biblical times was the head of a family. Deacon, a family servant, so that both deacon and elder are family-oriented terms.

Even more, training for government in not only the church, but in the state, but in every area of life is, in the Bible, seen as essentially a training within the family. There are two key texts that reveal this. First, in Exodus 13:8 and 14, we are told that in every Passover service in Israel, beginning with the very first in Egypt, instruction and participation were basic, participation by the sons. Now, every religious festival in the Bible has a strong element of instruction as a part of it. It was essential in all things that the children be reared in the essentials of the faith, but in the Passover service, the child, and normally the youngest male child capable of understanding was required to ask the question as the beginning of the service. “Father, what is the meaning of this that we do?” and then the child was instructed by the father in the meaning of the Passover. God’s salvation, the history of salvation, its implications for the child. So that the Passover service was oriented to training the child in the meaning of redemption.

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Boys are taught to rule from within their family. This authority is tied to his godliness and his obedience to the Law of God, and not to his masculinity alone.

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Now, it is interesting that in the early church, this was continued. As a matter of fact, there was a memorized prayer taught to every boy, and the children offered, in unison, the prayer that preceded the communion service, a prayer that set forth the meaning of the service, and communion was served to the children. This practice prevailed for the first eight centuries. It was only terminated when, in Charlemagne’s France, they rules against this, but it persisted in many portions of the church, into the 14th century.

Moreover, it is interesting that the term “Passover” was retained for the communion service for centuries. In Scotland, not only was it called the Christian Passover, but it was celebrated with the use of a lamb, and a Passover supper. It was, in other words, seen for centuries by the church, beginning in the New Testament era, as essential that the covenant child understand the meaning of salvation as early as possible, and to share the responsibilities of the redeemed. He was taught to ask the question, because it was his responsibility to give an answer for his faith from his earliest years, to be able to say, “I believe, and we do these things for these reasons.” We see this kind of teaching device elsewhere in the Bible.

For example, when Joshua and the Israelites entered into the Promise Land and crossed the Jordan, they erected there a pile of stones, and Joshua said, in time to come, you shall bring your children, have them ask the question, “What mean these stones?” and then you shall tell them how God delivered us, and by his wonder-working power, gave us a great and mighty victory.

Then second, as we saw last time, in Deuteronomy 6:4-7, verses 20-25, the child was to ask, “What is the meaning of these laws of God? Why did God give us these laws? What is their purpose,” and they were to say, “The Lord God gave us these laws for our good, because he separated us unto himself and made us his people.” So, first the child was to ask concerning the meaning of salvation in every Passover and Communion service, and second, the child was to ask the meaning of the law, and they were required to make clear the meaning of how they lived, why they did the things they did, to talk of them continually, to instruct their sons in the meaning of God’s salvation and in the meaning of God’s law.

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Interestingly, the fathers were not to merely command their sons “obey God’s Law”, but were to tell them why they should obey God’s law.

We are expected to learn how to reason in a godly manner, to think God’s thoughts after Him, to know the spirit, as well as the letter, of the Law.

Passover ties in directly with the Lord’s Supper, with fellowship and with taking in the bread and wine, the flesh and blood of Christ. Not as a dead ritual presided over by a religious professional, but as a lively and talkative family/neighbourhood feast among believers, where we share our stories, our lessons, and ourselves. With singing at the end, and not a focus of the feast. Eating, drinking, and talking — fellowship — is the focus of the feast.

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Psalm 78 is given as a part of that function. It is over seventy verses long. Read it in its entirety when you go home. This was to be taught to children. “We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the Lord, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done,” and then, having spoken of the law and the necessity of knowing the law, then it goes through the whole of the history of Israel, how God had delivered them, and yet they sinned more against him by provoking the Most High in the wilderness, and they tempted God in their heart by asking meat for their lust. So they did eat and were well filled for he gave them their heart’s desire, but for all this, they sinned still, and believed not for his wondrous works.

The Psalmist gives us a picture of cycles of judgment, again and again, smiting Israel. Why? Because they forgot God’s salvation and they forgot God’s law, and so the child is to memorize this so that he might understand the pattern of history, that these things will befall men if they depart from God’s salvation and God’s law. So, the Psalm was to be memorized as a teaching device, even as they were to be taught the law.

History, the child was to know, illustrates God’s judgment, that the wages of sin are always death, that life must be built upon the law of God and the law must be taught to children. God requires it. But it is not merely knowledge that is to be taught, but faithfulness. The goal, as the scripture makes clear in this Psalm, verse 7, that they might set their hope in God and not forget the works of God but keep his commandments, and might not be as their fathers, a stubborn and rebellious generation, a generation that set not their heart aright and whose spirit was not stedfast with God.

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Not only law, logic, and supreme reverence to God is to be taught. The historical record of God’s actions among men – especially among His covenant people – also matters.

God acts to reward and bless those who love Him and His Commandments, and to punish and curse those who hate Him and His Commandments. And this is done in history, where everyone can see, and not just in the afterlife.

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There is still another aspect of the training for government. The meaning of salvation and the meaning of the law is to be taught, but also, as these text indicate in this Psalm: responsibility. That because they are called to be elders, because they are to be men, they are to be responsible. This is taught repeatedly in scripture. For example, in Leviticus 4, we have the graded sacrifices. The greater the responsibility, the greater the sacrifice a person had to offer, and our Lord summed it up thus in Luke 12:48, “For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required, and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.” In other words, the more God gives us, the greater our responsibility. The more gifts we have, the more money we have, the more honor and position we have, the greater God requires of us in the way of fruits, and the greater our culpability and our punishment if we go astray.

The Bible makes clear that men are judged more severely than women. We used to have the double standard, now we have none. The double standard said that women had to be virtuous and men could sow their wild oats. Actually, that was altogether wrong, because the Bible requires the same standard of both, but judges men more severely for their sins, and God makes it clear repeatedly as in Hosea 4: 12-14, that he will not judge the sins of the wives and daughters because they are guilty. Rather he will bring judgment upon the entire nation, because when the heads of households go astray, God says the culture is gone, because they are the key and when they sin, the whole culture collapses. We have today, child’s liberation movements underway because we’ve had women’s liberation, because men have sought liberation from God’s movement. The one follows after the other. If the one is going to be irresponsible, the others will also.

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God holds men responsible for their actions.

More than this, God holds men more strictly responsible for their actions, than He does women. Men are the covenantal heads, so if they fall, everything under them falls as well.

But if men stand, everything under them can more easily stand.

With greater authority and greater power, comes greater responsibility and greater punishment.

As it was for men then – and, to a large degree, even today – so it is with Christians vis-a-vis nonChristians, covenant keepers vs covenant breakers.

Self-governance is stressed in the Bible for very good reasons.

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The attitude of modern man is that status is a license for irresponsibility, and if you are a man, you can get away with things that women supposedly cannot, but this is anti-scriptural. The greater the position, the greater the responsibility. The greater the requirement that there be a discipline in word, thought, and speech, and our culture has reversed the whole thing. Children should mind. The parents should have freedom. This is why children do not mind, because we’ve broken the cornerstone of responsibility.

In Antiquity, in pagan culture, the same thing prevailed which prevails among us now. The man was the law. He could do as he pleased. He had total power over everyone. He could sell his wife and his children. They became virtual property. In Rome, a man had the right to sell his children, but the Bible says, in the law, “Do not prostitute thy daughter to cause her to be a whore, for the land will be accursed.” The curse that God pronounced upon the world will be enhanced when men are so irresponsible, and we are also told, “Fathers, provoke not your children unto wrath.” Teach them so that they grow and they rejoice in God’s law. They rejoice in the way of righteousness. Even as man is God’s property, so, too, is all that man has God’s property and man must see himself as God’s possession.

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Men hate this teaching.

And not just pagan men, either.

Even so, God and His Law-Word stands in authority and power over man and his piffle-waffle tyrant-babble.

Men talk a lot. God makes the decisive call.

So then, the wise and godly man will see himself, his family, and all he possesses as property of God, to be used and disposed of as God commands and as God decides. At best, man acts as Go’s lawful trustee, speaking and acting in the name of God to accomplish God’s objectives.

Fathers are to teach their sons to rejoice in God’s Law. This becomes implicitly difficult – I would claim, impossible – if the father secretly hates God’s Law. Children, both boys and girls, tend to have ways to suss out what their fathers actually believe.

When a believing father has a believing son, is where real multi-generational power comes in. Even better if we are talking about many children, sons and daughters, all holding close to God with father and mother.

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Thus, training for government means that boys must not only be trained to be good and to be responsible, but to be able to rule themselves and everything that is under their jurisdiction. One of the key texts concerning men in the New Testament is in 1 Timothy 3:5, where Paul says, “If any provide not for his own, and especially for them of his own house, he hath denied the faith and is worse than an infidel.” In other words, the essence of being a man, and a Christian man, is that you are responsible for everything in your house and every person. You provide for them. You take care of those of your household, outside your immediate family, too. You have a responsibility under God. You are a governor, a ruler, and you learn within the family what it means to be an elder under God, and if you do not provide for your own, the most elementary function, then you’re worse than an infidel.

Now, you can understand the biblical pattern of government. Men, trained to be responsible, every head of a household a responsible man. For every ten families, an elder over those ten families, and then over fifties and over hundreds, and every area of life, church and state, governed by elders. The alternative to this is what we have today, centralization, totalitarianism, and tyranny, government at the top instead of in the family. We can understand why, in Bible times, when this form of government was practiced, there was almost no government at the top of the state. Virtually no state. In fact, one leader of libertarianism, or anarchism, a generation ago, said the perfect anarchistic society was Bible society.

Now, he was partly right in that it was, virtually, a society without a state, but it was not totally without a state. There was always some government there, but he was right in that there was virtually no civil government governing things. It was done on the local level, and we know from archeology that in the prosperous times of the Hebrew commonwealth, the houses which were built of stones had no doors, just a canvas door, because it was easier to throw it aside and keep the place cool, and the reason for it was, that when you had this kind of government, every family was responsible, and you did not have problems of crime. When the family system broke down, heavy barred doors and windows replaced the earlier order. Today, the family has broken down. It is in a state of collapse, not only in the ghetto, but in the middle class neighborhoods, and in the best neighborhoods, and there is nothing the police can do to cope with it. It’s the family that is the key to government, and God says, “This is the way to govern. Rear up your children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord that they may be rulers in the kingdom of God.” Let us pray.

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God created a bottom-up society of free, self-governing men, as he laid out to Moses.

Men prefer a top-down Pharaonic society of fearful slaves, under a God-King (or Philosopher-King), as laid out by that same supposedly Above-the-Law man.

Idols increasingly have a weaker and weaker enduring presence on God’s Land. Let’s not put our trust in them.

Let’s put out trust in the real deal, the Triune God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

Mises: The New Postliberalism

Well, the Conservatives have decided to make themselves into fools. Again.

Christians will have to plow their own road, the slow way: self to family, congregation to neighbourhood, town and county to city.

Bottom to Top, face to face, family meal by family meal, under the Sovereign Rule of God and His Law-Word.

Not by some Mighty Philosopher-King, telling everyone what to do and say and think. Even if he chooses to strike a politically expedient pious pose, as right-wing humanists like to do from time to time.

At least we will have something to work with, after the Empire dies. Unlike our betters, who live and die with their chosen Lord and God, the State.

Quoted below: The New Postliberalism by Jeff Deist

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Postliberalism is having its moment on the political Right in America.

And why not? What exactly do conservatives have to lose that they haven’t lost already? The Bushes and their noxious legacy may be in the dustbin, where they belong, but if Mitt Romney and Liz Cheney represent the future of the movement, then a radical rethinking is in order.

That rethinking took the form of Donald Trump six years ago, but today it manifests in figures like Israeli writer Yoram Hazony, Notre Dame political science professor Patrick Deneen, Harvard law professor Adrian Vermeule, and journalist Sohrab Ahmari. It finds voice politically in candidates like J.D. Vance in Ohio and Blake Masters in Arizona, and support at outlets like the Claremont Institute and Compact Magazine.

Even the Conservative Political Action Conference, an older fixture in what postliberals rightly attack as Conservative Inc., just held a special conference in Hungary. It featured Viktor Orbán attacking media and progressive institutions under the banner of “God, Homeland, Family.” Mitt Romney certainly appreciates all three of these things in spades, especially if you count his six houses, but somehow I doubt he will appear arm in arm with Mr. Orbán any time soon.

Do the Hazonys and Orbáns have a point? Do the postliberal critics get liberalism right?

The essential argument goes like this: liberalism has become a perverse force in the West owing to an overly abstract bastardization of Enlightenment rationalism. In fact, it irrationally elevates individualism above family and community, while imposing free-market orthodoxy and global trade at the expense of good manufacturing jobs and blue-collar communities, not to mention pride and readiness.

This libertarian economic focus on limited government, combined with a willingness to cede one cultural issue after another to progressives, helped create a technocratic elite with lots of money but no connection to or love for average Americans. This artificial cadre of globalists, Rothbard’s “luftmenschen,” are void of any particular feeling for America’s history, people, or land.

And an essentially neoliberal foreign policy of invade the world / invite the world puts the interests of US hegemony and globalism first instead of America first.

Thus liberalism has become antifamily, anti-God, and antihuman, making us miserable and isolated as we seek meaning in temporary material things or careers. Rather than encourage building enduring attachments to God, family, friends, town, or tradition—to things larger than ourselves—liberalism rewards superficial choices. Worse still, it encourages replacing God or family with a saccharine higher purpose through a religious zeal for political activism. Meanwhile our decaying cities, drug-addled rural towns, and despondent, atomized young people bear witness to the manifest failures of liberalism.

There are truths here. Postliberals certainly get the bastardization part right; the liberalism of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries is a caricature of the nineteenth-century conception. Progressives certainly have won the culture. We do suffer under an unnatural group of elites whose interests are contrary to those of average Americans. Cities are in trouble, young people are indeed despairing, and US foreign policy appears divorced from reality. And clearly the Enlightenment came with costs, as so many things in society seem to advance faster than our psychological coping.

But the old liberalism,1 the earlier and better version which took shape in the 1800s, goes strangely unexamined by the critics of postliberalism. They conflate the two, stuck as they are in the framing and narratives of 2022. But Hazony and company would benefit from getting past their superficial readings of F.A. Hayek to consider the great champion of the old liberalism, Ludwig von Mises—who literally wrote the book on the subject.

Postliberals should find Mises’s work compelling. He rooted liberalism in property and self-determination, a far cry from the positive rights worldview of today’s liberals. He saw the highest possible degree of autonomy and localism for political minorities (are you listening, conservatives?) as the keys to peace domestically. And postliberals might appreciate his optimal case for a “liberal nationalism,” one which recognizes organic political entities but allows for peaceful breakaway movements when that organic shared principle fails (as it has in 2022 America). They might even begin to see free international trade as the key to peace abroad, a driver of a more restrained foreign policy.

For Mises, liberalism was a political and economic project focused on property and tradenot an exercise in liberation from human nature or freedom from material want. He had no illusions about remaking men to better fit a system.

Liberalism was an evolution in how humans organized society, intended to make us free of kings and feudal lords and dictators, free to own property, free to contract for mutual benefit, and free to live under a nonarbitrary set of laws applied to all. It was never designed to make us equal or distribute wealth, and certainly not to free us from work or hierarchy or human differences. In fact, these differences drive specialization, comparative advantage, and thus trade itself. Mises’s liberalism, in stark contrast to today’s, was not a call for sameness or political universalism at all.

In hindsight, knowing how far “liberal” has fallen in a century, we might wish he had chosen a different title for Liberalism: perhaps Laissez-Faire or The Free Society, to emphasize political and economic liberty.

Of course Mises’s liberalism never fully took hold anywhere, and where it took hold partially, it soon succumbed to the political pressures of democratic voting. Its glory years had already passed even when Mises wrote Liberalism, in the interwar years. And in fact, the thoroughgoing Rothbardian critique of the twentieth century is based largely on this terrible metamorphosis from laissez-faire into egalitarianism, democracy, and redistribution.

Postliberalism should reconsider that critique and ask whether it has been bamboozled into accepting the Left’s framework. It should be a broader critique of American society itself, rather than a specific response to the left-progressive political program. And it must be a direct assault on effete conservatism, which spent the last century getting steamrolled.

There are two competing visions for the Right. One is ascendant, one is moribund. One is populist, one is elitist and technocratic. One is nationalist, one is globalist. One recognizes restraints on government and foreign policy, at least conceptually, and one tends toward grandiosity and state omniscience. One finds purchase in rural and flyover regions; one exists comfortably in bluest America.

If the former is to prevail, it must swear off empty husks like National Review, jettison K Street and fantasies about “public policy,” and reject Foggy Bottom’s calls for “statecraft.” It must be relentlessly bottom up and antielite, always guarding against the co-opting camel’s nose under the tent. And it could use a good dose of Mises, Rothbard, and Hoppe to rethink the economics of a new right populism. If libertarians need culture, conservatives need economics.

Have we lost “liberal” forever? Maybe. If liberalism is dead, then liberals killed it. I’m doubtful we can ever reclaim it. Perhaps we need a new word for organizing society through property, peace, trade, and sound money.

  • 1.Many libertarians and conservatives attempt to distinguish themselves using the tired “classical liberal,” which elicits nothing but eye rolls and contempt from the Left.

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Our Secular Theocracy

More from Unherd.

From How race politics liberated the elites by Matthew Crawford

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The notion of expertise is important. There appears to be a circle of mutual support between political correctness, technocratic administration, and the bloated educational machinery. Because smartness (as indicated by educational credentials) confers title to rule in a technocratic regime, the ruling class adopts a distinctly cognitivist view: virtue does not consist of anything you do or don’t do, it consists of having the correct opinions. This is attractive, as one may then exempt oneself from the high-minded policies one inflicts upon everyone else. For example, the state schools are turned into laboratories of grievance-based social engineering, with generally disastrous effects, but you send your own children to expensive private schools. You can de-legitimise the police out of a professed concern for black people, and the explosion of murder will be confined to black parts of the city you never see, and journalists are not interested in. In this way, you can be magnanimous while avoiding the moral pollution and that comes from noticing reality.

With this clerisy’s systemic lack of “skin in the game”, the idea of a common good becomes a weak abstraction. Maintaining one’s own purity of opinion, on the other hand, has real psychic consequence, as it is the basis for one’s feeling of belonging — not to the community one happens to reside in, but to the tribe of the elect.

If the ideal of a de-moralised public sphere was a signature aspiration of liberal secularism, it seems we have entered a post-secular age. Populism happened because it became widely noticed that we have transitioned from a liberal society to something that more closely resembles a corrupt theocracy.

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Which ties in rather nicely with this bit:

Covid was liberalism’s endgame by Matthew Crawford

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The Nineties saw the rise of new currents in the social sciences that emphasise the cognitive incompetence of human beings, deposing the “rational actor” model of human behaviour. This gave us nudge theory , a way to alter people’s behaviour without having to persuade them of anything. It would be hard to overstate the degree to which this approach has been institutionalised, on both sides of the Atlantic. The innovation achieved here is in the way government conceives its subjects: not as citizens whose considered consent must be secured, but as particles to be steered through a science of behaviour management that relies on our pre-reflective cognitive biases.

This is one front in a larger development: an intensifying distrust of human judgment when it operates in the wild, unsupervised. Sometimes this takes the purely bureaucratic form of insisting on metrics of performance and imposing uniform procedures on professionals. “Evidence-based medicine” circumscribes the discretion of doctors; standardised tests and curricula do the same for teachers. At other times, this same impulse takes a technological form, with algorithms substituting for individual judgment on the grounds that human rationality is the weak link in the system. For example, it is stipulated that human beings are terrible drivers and must be replaced in a new regime of autonomous vehicles. The effect, consistently, is to remove agency from skilled practitioners on the grounds of incompetence, and devolve power upward toward a separate layer of information managers that grows ever thicker. It also removes responsibility from identifiable human beings who can be held to account for their decisions. Such mystification insulates various forms of power, both governmental and commercial, from popular pressures.

Needless to say, this sits ill with the Enlightenment idea that governing authority is grounded in our shared rationality, accessible in principle to every citizen and capable of articulation. Technocratic progressivism in fact requires the disqualification of experience and common sense as a guide to reality, and installs in their place a priestly form of authority, closer to the Enlightenment’s caricature of medieval society than to its own self-image.

It also requires a certain human type which, fittingly enough, looks like a caricature of the medieval personality: a credulous, fearful person. This brings us to the Hobbesian anthropological program.

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The Establishment must have its Lord and God: Thomas Hobbes’ Leviathan, the Total State, justified and anointed by The Science.

I recommend that Christians keep their distance from that ever power-hungry, ever frantic and terrified idol with its forever-emergencies, it’s intense hatred of every liberty and freedom, and it’s unlimited malice for all who insist on obeying the authority over it.

Covid was liberalism’s endgame

If you are confident that the COVID-19 mania was a synthetic construction of Our Betters… well, here’s one more point for that allegation. The writer does not go so far as to claim that much of it was puffed up (as I would), but he does note the psychological pleasures such emergencies have for those who rule us.

And we commoners have to pay for, in lost time, liberty, jobs, and increased stress.

As well as the pleasure of being lied to, censored, and bullied around/stripped of agency by those with political power.

Covid was liberalism’s endgame: Liberal individualism has an innate tendency towards authoritarianism BY MATTHEW CRAWFORD

(The title reminds me of the book Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left, From Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning by Jonah Goldberg. Just updated from 2008.)

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Throughout history, there have been crises that could be resolved only by suspending the normal rule of law and constitutional principles. A “state of exception” is declared until the emergency passes — it could be a foreign invasion, an earthquake or a plague. During this period, the legislative function is typically relocated from a parliamentary body to the executive, suspending the basic charter of government, and in particular the separation of powers.

The Italian political theorist Giorgio Agamben points out that, in fact, the “state of exception” has almost become the rule rather than the exception in the Western liberal democracies over the last century. The language of war is invoked to pursue ordinary domestic politics. Over the past 60 years in the United States, we have had the war on poverty, the war on drugs, the war on terror, the war on Covid, the war on disinformation, and the war on domestic extremism.

A variation on this theme is the utility of moral panics ­— spiritual warfare —  for pursuing top-down projects of social transformation, typically by administrative fiat. The principle of equality under the law, which would seem to be indispensable to a liberal society, must make way for a system of privileges for protected classes, corresponding to a moral typology of citizens along the axis of victim and oppressor. Victim dramas serve as a permanent moral emergency, justifying an ever-deeper penetration of society by bureaucratic authority in both the public and private sectors.


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