Humanism’s Rise and Fall

From Civilization’s Civil War, by R. J. Rushdoony

The bold in the quote is mine. I’m using italics just to show it’s a quote from Rushdoony, and not my own words.

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For well over 500 years now, Western civilization has been in a state of civil war, with two aspects thereof in a growing conflict with one another. These two contending forces are humanism and Christianity. Humanism began its rise to power in the medieval era, and its strength was such that it captured the church, much of the academic world, and the state as well. The so-called Renaissance was the victory celebration of the triumphant humanists. While preserving the form of Christendom and the church, the humanists put them to other uses. Lorenzo Valla openly turned to anti-Christian standards as the new yardstick, without bothering to deal with the Bible as a serious source of law. The source of all virtuous action, Lorenzo Valla held, is man’s natural bent to pleasure. Ficino held that virtue and love were responses to beauty. However much these and other men disagreed as to the true standards for life, they were agreed that God could not be the source of standards, but that man and man’s reason is the yardstick in terms of which all things must be judged. The standard, it was held, is man, and the moment. Ficino’s inscription in the Florentine Academy concluded thus: “Flee excesses, flee business, and rejoice in the present.”

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The thirst for pleasure and power beyond the reach of Law remains the primary driving force among the humanists.

But reason? That’s basically dead and gone in their hearts. Even their appeal to Science is just ritual chanting: modern humanists couldn’t care less what the actual scientific results or mathematical sums are, only that they comply with the current ideology of the Better Sort.

As far as they are concern, there is no “empirical reality”, no “outside”. There is only the opinions of men, and especially the only truly authoritative divine opinion, MY opinion.

So the West is ruled by perhaps a million or so Nero wannabes, from the truly wealthy and the discreet senior families, to the step-and-fetch-it Human Resource Directors, name-famous media talking heads, and tamed and broken scientists, promoted to nice institute leadership positions and departmental leadership chairs for their subservience to the Proper Ideology.

(I doubt if there are any religious leaders in the inner circle: the Pope and the Archbishop of Canterbury are barely more than toys to the Inner Circle today, and there are no name-famous religious leaders in America that rate a mention.)

They are united in their comprehensive and total hatred of the Christian faith, and their whole-hearted exaltation of the Power and the Divinity of the State… but in little else. As of today (2022), they share ties from the Right Universities and social circles: but I have a suspicion that cultural fragmentation is kicking in their Commanding Heights, as well.

But we won’t really know until the money is gone, and the dogs — high and low — start ripping into each other.

That day is coming. Be careful.

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Both branches of the church were quickly infiltrated by humanism, and, with the French and Russian revolutions, two things became clear. First, the old attempts at synthesis and union had been discarded. Humanism was now strong enough to stand on its own, to judge and condemn Biblical religion. Second, it was also clear that, however much the façade of synthesis has since been offered to Christendom, the real issue is a war to death. In the Marxist world, the persecution of Christians (and orthodox Jews) has not diminished with the years. A very considerable number of the people in the slave labor camps are there for religious reasons, and their persecution is savage and intense. The triumph of statist humanism has been very nearly complete, in that virtually every state in the world is either dominated by or under the influence of this alien faith.

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Trust me: if it was up to the clergy, it certainly won’t be the Christians who will come out the winner.

Obviously.

And indeed, if we are looking at Europe – especially Western Europe – we all know which faith won the battle and lived, and which faith lost that battle and died.

The Two-kingdom theology of Luther — the ever-expanding kingdom of the State, and the ever-shrinking kingdom of the Church — reaches its appointed end. To the applause of both the government leadership and the church leadership.

(Serious Christians know: there is only one King, who rules a united Kingdom – over heaven and earth, church and state, science and art, math and poetry.

All things shall bow and submit to Christ. In time and on earth. Without exception.

This is in contrast to the limited and finite scope of the power of the assorted civil governments, and of the various religious organizations. And any other human power-pyramid.)

While the dead churches of Europe are best left to rot, this is not so true in the United States. The clergy wasn’t paid off properly, the Wrong Sort of thinkers got traction here…

(Turns face towards Rushdoony: turns back towards Westminster Seminary, who carefully ignored Rushdoony’s work as much as possible, in favour of any obscure European leftist theologian.)

…and the church wasn’t centralized sufficiently for the satisfaction of the mainstream clergy… and their grinning backers in the shadows. As a certainly, belief in God is now declining swiftly here, but the floor has risen, and too many children and families are beyond the grip of the State to solidify their dominance to the extent that it is in Europe.

Problem, Solution, Problem

Even more importantly, financial bankruptcy beckons: and if you can’t pay off enough people, then control slips from your grip.

Moreover: if a large section of the public believes both in the Law of God and in the free market — especially in the goodness and profitability of entrepreneurship and mutual service — well, the only hope left is to disarm the masses “for their own protection”.

And, after the guns of the Inferiors have been seized, use the guns of the State to maximum effect. “To Save Our Democracy”, obviously.

However, I think there just isn’t enough time to prep the plan and put it in effect. The welfare state will fall apart before this can be done: and with the end of the welfare state, comes the end of the legitimacy of the Progressive Rule.

No More Free Stuff.

And the methodically impoverished, broken, disempowered, and humiliated masses turn to the Ruling Class — almost uniformly Progressive nowadays, corporate, academic, and political alike — with contempt in their eyes.1

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At the same time, however, the growing bankruptcy and imminent collapse of humanism has been increasingly in evidence. By replacing God with man as the new ultimate and absolute, humanism has introduced moral anarchy into the world. If every man is his own god and law, then no order is rationally possible. Humanism, having deified rationality, must now use the irrational and coercive power of the socialist state to hold society together.

—<Quote ends>—

The Progressives no longer have arguments.

Money and guns and political favours?

THAT they have.

Not arguments. Not logic. Not reason. Not truth.

Just bullets and bribes, and shouty wall-to-wall media noise machines.

—<Quote begins>—

The bankruptcy of humanism makes all the more urgent a return to a consistent and thorough commitment to Biblical faith, to Biblical law, and to a Biblically governed world and life view. It means, too, that the opportunity for the resurgence of such a faith has never been greater. As the crisis of the twentieth century deepens, the opportunity will become more and more obvious. Men will not long cling to a humanism which cannot provide them with anything to satisfy either their mind or body. One man, speaking of modern humanistic politics, once told me, “Sure, the system is rotten and senseless, but it still gives me a good living.” There are millions like him, feeding on the relics of humanistic civilization. Every day, however, the emptiness of humanism becomes more apparent; its money is progressively bankrupt, its politics corruption, and its education mindlessness. As a result, since nothing has any meaning, bad taste, vulgarity, profanity, and insanity are enthroned as “art” to express total contempt for all things. As one very popular modern “musician” said recently, “Sometimes I think I’m playing for the lunatic fringe. Luckily, it is widening. In fact, I think it is outdistancing the mainstream” (“Kinky and Country Music,” Los Angeles Times Calendar, September 30, 1973, p. 68). But the cultivation of insanity is the cultivation of irrelevance and death. Such people will not be with us long. The question of importance is, will we stand and move in terms of God’s Word and law?

Taken from Faith & Action: The Collected Articles of R. J. Rushdoony from the Chalcedon Report, 1965-2004, Volume 1, pp. 183-185

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Meek Before God vs.
Meek Before Men

A delusional Ruling Aristocracy that has cut themselves off from God-ordained reality — in favour of their own reality — becomes an ex-aristocracy, soon enough.

But that is THEM.

WE must walk a different road, and become a worthy Ruling Class.

Rulers who humble themselves before God and His commandments, and so are blessed for (and by!) our obedience to the TRUE King, Jesus Christ.

And that is how the meek before God inherit the earth…

…but not the meek who bow down and exalt the Powerful Men they see, far above the Law of God that they don’t see.

THOSE meek men just get their faces ground in the the earth when alive, roast in hell after they die, and scream in the Lake of Fire after the Final Judgement.

Don’t follow their example.

Follow the example of Moses, who was meek before God. Not Pharaoh.

Numbers 12:5, English Standard Version

Now the man Moses was very meek, more than all people who were on the face of the earth.

THAT is the kind of meekness God is looking for.

Go thou and do likewise.


1 Religious elites are a non-entity, both by their own choice and the choice of their Betters. “Crushing your enemy is so much easier when they so desperately look for your approval!” smiles the Progressive aristocracy.

And the Conservative aristocracy before them, truth be told.

In the meantime, the leaders of the carefully apolitical leftist-progressive // rightist-submissive religious mystery cultist lick the boot, and receive the treat. When judging between the words of some old book, and the wealth, power, and prestige of Caesar and his friends, we all know where the Law-despising, responsibility-fleeing, power-worshipping clergy will go with.

The destruction of the seminaries and the end of the gelded leadership they manufacture is a true blessing, direct from the loving hand of God Himself.

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