On fate

fate

Fate is a disposition inherent to changeable things, by which Providence connects each one with its proper order.

-Aquinas (attributed to Boethius)

The idea of Fate in literature, poetry, philosophy, politics and history was often presented in human form, sometimes abstractly personified as the opponent of freedom in the spectacle of human history and life. This was the understanding of Fate to the Greek poets and philosophers of antiquity. We find this reoccurring leitmotiv in the Greek tragedies where the Fates must be confronted by the protagonist. Some inescapable curse demands fulfillment usually at a critical juncture in the plot. Nevertheless, the actors on the stage are not merely hapless victims of an unstoppable metaphysical fate they neither understand nor can control. Transfixed by the structure of the inevitable, the tragic hero struggles to determine his own destiny; manipulating the Hobson choices in a usually (but not always) vain attempt to forestall his tragic end.

Sisyphus, King of Corinth, due to his chronic deceitfulness is fated by Zeus to roll a giant boulder up a hill only to watch it roll back down again for eternity. The Titan, Prometheus, is punished by Zeus for stealing fire from heaven and giving it to mankind thus providing warmth and a giant leap forward for human civilization, nevertheless, Fate destined this cultural hero to suffer the torture of having his liver eaten by an eagle everyday only to have it grow back the next day and the whole process repeated in perpetuity. Oedipus, predestined to murder his father and marry his mother, is not fated to question his past and to learn the evils which, when he understands, he determines to understand no more (willful ignorance). The Furies which chase Orestes is tormented by them for killing his mother, Clytemnestra, an act not fated but an act of free will done to avenge the murder of his father.

The ancients’ idea of Fate or better “Chance” or “Destiny” was that men had a critical role to play, through choice, demonstrating some control over human nature and the vagaries of Life. Tacitus, for instance, while declaring that “most men … Cannot part with the belief that each person’s future is fixed from his very birth,” asserts that “the wisest of the ancients … leave us the capacity of choosing our life.” He also identifies a transcendent order, a natural law of events outside man’s authority to affect, though he discoveries no logic concerning its source—whether it be contingent “on wandering stars” or “primary elements, and on a combination of natural causes.” Subjectively speaking, Tacitus proclaims, “I suspend my judgment” on the question “whether it is fate and unchangeable necessity or chance which governs the revolutions of human affairs.” In this manner, he allows the chance there are events in life that man can control through choice—that not everything which is outside man’s control is doomed or fated. Therefore, Tacitus believes that Fate, including Destiny, Chance, and Fortune play an important role in governing the affairs of mankind.

In ancient poetry and mythology, both Destiny and Chance were personified as deities or agents of the metaphysical realm. There were the goddess of Fortune and the three Fates, as well as their three evil sisters or counterparts, the Furies. The Fates—were the white-robed incarnations of Destiny (e.g., the “sparing ones”, or Fata; also comparable to the Germanic Norns prominent in Richard Wagner’s music drama, Gotterdammerung). Tradition eventually fixed their number at three: Clotho (spinner), Lachesis (allotter) and Atropos (unturnable). The Latin derivation of “fate” means an oracle, and so indicates what is divinely predestined. Life moves from event to event by fate and thus is fated—something exclusive to the metaphysical realm of Zeus and thus is divinely ordained and commanded in the councils of the gods on Mount Olympus. Nevertheless, even ancient Greek history demonstrates time and again that there any events concerning the fate of man that reside outside the supernatural destiny of the gods; a fate that not even Zeus himself can control, affect, or prevent.

Moreover, the concept of fate suggests a supernatural will, what Schopenhauer called a “Will to Life” and Nietzsche called “Will to Power,” just as destiny suggests predestination by a metaphysical force capable of knowing the future but also to ordain that destiny. The certainty of fate and destiny is thus different from that of simply natural inevitability which controls the future to the extent that it could be the unavoidable consequence. We often find the Fate theme in art and music for example, the subject matter of one of Verdi’s most famous operas, La forza del destino (The force of destiny), has a fate force so strong that many great opera singers in history refused to sing this opera for fear of bad luck. (In a 1960 Met production one opera singer actually died on stage singing this opera).

Nonetheless, the ancients do not seem to be fatalists in the radical sense of the term. To the degree that mankind can appease the gods through good works, prayers, alms to the oracles, offerings, as well as incite divine jealousy and wrath, the attitudes and actions of men appear to be a decisive dynamic in the will of the gods. The question of whose side the gods are on is also an important and reoccurring theme in ancient Greek literature, poetry and history—Will the gods be antagonistic and incite human conflict (as in the Iliad), or be pitted against each other (as in the Odyssey)? Even the Bible has a view of this existential cosmic dualism, or what the early Romantic writers called Strum und Drang (storm and stress), a dynamic natural law which is demonstrated in the words of Jesus in Matthew 18:18—“Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

English Historian Michael Grant, in his groundbreaking 1994 study, The Ancient Historians, speaks of Herodotus and his magnificent contributions creating the historical method in his magnum opus, Histories (or The History) Books 1-9:

He [Herodotus] believed, that is to say, in a heavenly power that is common to all humanity. And, like the Ionian scientist Anaximander before him, he describes such a power by a neuter adjective ‘the divine’ (te theion), without any personal differentiation. When this agency spoke in oracles, it was convenient to departmentalise [sic] its activity by the bestowal of a name. Yet what keeps the balance in the universe and the world is deity undefined… Sometimes men have a tragic foreknowledge of their future destiny. And yet all Herodotus’ stories imply at least the illusion of free will, and much free will, too that is not illusory but authentic. For it had now become clear that a historian’s very subjects, the actions of men in communities, presuppose that human decisions have some power. But they are hampered by fate. What is more, they are hampered by accident, since Herodotus, like the tragedians, was very conscious that this is another factor which widens and deepens the gap between real and ideal.

Under this worldview we see that Herodotus and also Thucydides played down the omnipotent, omnipresent power of Fate as distinct from and subservient to Chance. Grant continues:

Accordingly, at the beginnings of his threads of causation, there is often an unresolved, irrational strand. Greek nouns such as Chance (Tyche) can mean anything between an abstraction and a goddess receiving worship. Chance had appeared in Greek literature as early as the post-Homeric epics, and had gradually taken shape until it was represented and portrayed by sixth-century sculptors. It was also occasionally personified in tragedy. Later Greeks would elevate it to a major deity, but its role in Herodotus, though vital, is not as great as that. The operations of Chance may be neutral, or catastrophic, or favourable. Its insertion into a story was a way of saying that some links in the course of events are not known. A complete understanding of causation is not claimed, and there is still room for the unique and decisive accident–a factor that is under-estimated by many modern historians.

In what ways does Thucydides exemplify the recurrence of past events within the History? For example, the fate of Persia in the prehistory and Athens; the Athenian response to Persians, Melian reaction to Athens; or the Plague, Corcyra, Athens attack/retreat at Sicily? What is Thucydides saying about war, making war, winning war and so on? Thucydides was definitely not a pacifist, yet throughout his magnum opus, The History of the Peloponnesian War, he repeatedly iterates that war is unpredictable and cruel; that the Spartans did not lightly undertake aggressive foreign wars (1.118.2).

Thucydides understanding of fate is as the unchangeable, irrational dynamic of Tyche: not Doom or Fate, but Chance. If the will has a true foundation and the reason maintains its order, the man of power, the man of action, says Thucydides, can ascend above the compulsion of Chance — if not at all times, at least frequently enough to make a substantial difference in his own destiny and in the destiny and history of those people under his domain.

Thucydides (460-395 B.C.) and his contemporary Herodotus (484-425 B.C.) both were an important influence on Western historiography. In the seventeenth century, the English political philosopher Thomas Hobbes, in his 1651 magnum opus, Leviathan propagated the idea of absolute monarchy. Hobbes revered Thucydides and in 1628 was the first to translate his writings into English directly from Greek. Thucydides, Hobbes and Machiavelli are all considered the founding fathers of political realism, according to which public policy must primarily or exclusively focus on the needs of the State to preserve military, economic and political power rather than reliance on God, morality, ideals or ethics. Political realism is the antecedent political philosophy of collectivism, statism, progressivism and the modern Democrat Socialist Party.

If Fate, according to Aquinas “is a disposition inherent to changeable things, by which Providence connects each one with its proper order,” then the Judeo-Christian understanding of Fate is intertwined with Providence (God). This does not make the Christian a fatalist (as humanists, atheists and progressives contend) believing that every human act is foreordained by God, therefore he resigns himself to fate. No, because God knows the beginning from the end, and the end from the beginning, and man does not, thus all of humanity is inextricably dependent on God to “Give us this day, our daily bread,” to order our steps and to preserve, to order society, to always obey reason by conforming to God’s natural law. Therefore, to act counter to reason, natural law, and good moral order is to embrace a tragic Fate; to doom oneself, your family, your society to choose one of the twin Fates Odysseus and his men faced in Homer’s Odyssey—Scylla (a 9-headed sea monster) or Charybdis (an inescapable whirlpool).

Passing the coast of modern-day Sicily, Odysseus successfully sails his ship beyond the clutches of Scylla and Charybdis, nevertheless, Fate compelled Scylla to catch six of his men, devouring them alive. Homer writes:

…they writhed
gasping as Scylla swung them up her cliff and there
at her cavern’s mouth she bolted them down raw—
screaming out, flinging their arms toward me,
lost in that mortal struggle.

On love

love

Dilige, et quod vis fac—“Love, and do what you will.”

-Augustine

According to the theologian love is not restricted to realm of the divine and human, nor to those beings inferior to man who possess conscious desires. Natural love, Aquinas writes, is not only “in all the soul’s powers, but also in all the parts of the body, and universally in all things: because, as Dionysius says, ‘Beauty and goodness are beloved by all things.’”

The diversity of love appears to be both the general fact and the general problem for the psychologist, the ethicist, the theologian. The ancients had three separate words for the primary forms of love: Eros, philia, agape in Greek; amor, amicitia (or dilectio), and caritas in Latin. Because English has only word for love, it appears essential to apply such expressions as “sexual love,” “love of friendship,” and “love of charity” with the purpose of plainly indicating that love is mutual to all three, and to differentiate the three connotations. Nevertheless we are compelled to embrace Augustine’s view of law who argues that the Bible “make no distinctions between amor, dilectio, and caritas,” and the Scriptures in the “amor is used in a good connection.”

The idée fixe of many of the countless analyses of love in literature, poetry and history appear under different names—love of desire vs. friendship; concupiscent love and fraternal love; the friendship centered on pleasure or craving and the friendship centered on virtue; animal and human love; sexuality and tenderness; physical vs. emotional love. Romantic love is typically regarded as comprising both selfish and altruistic motivations, the latter exaggerated by what its detractors understand as an excessive idealization of the adored. The theological benefit of charity, instead, is basically a love of friendship, in purity made faultless through its mystical foundation. One issue of ultimate concern here is whether the romantic is in agreement with the Christian view of love, whether the admiration given a beloved human is tantamount to deification—as much a desecration of the principles of charity as the pride of unbounded self-love which caused Lucifer to be cast out of heaven as the fallen archangel, Satan. This eternal battle of worldviews compares the origin of marital love and the relation of love in courtship to love in marriage. In a future essay on family I will connect the forms of love as a major foundation of all societal institutions.

Regarding the objects of law: the good, the true, the beautiful; God, man and things, we now come to Homer’s Iliad. In Book III the two sages, Ucalegon and Antenor remark to one another when they saw the legendary beauty, Helen walking towards the tower, “Small wonder that Trojans and Achaeans, should endure so much and so long, for the sake of a woman so marvelously and divinely lovely. Still, fair though she be, let them take her and go, or she will breed sorrow for us and for our children after us.” Remember that it was the love/lust of Paris, King Priam’s son, for Helen (sister-in-law of King Agamemnon) that compelled Paris to kidnap her back to Troy, thus precipitating the Trojan Wars (c. 1260-1240)—the ancient version of World War II.

Regarding the intensity and power of love: its increase or decrease; its constructive or destructive force, in Homer’s Iliad Book XVIII the hero Achilles responds to a question by his mother, “My son, why are you thus weeping? What sorrow has now befallen you?” Achilles groaned and answered, “…seeing that my dear comrade Patroclus has fallen—he whom I valued more than all others, and loved as dearly as my own life? … Hector when he had killed him stripped him of the wondrous armor, so glorious to behold… I will not live nor go about among mankind unless Hector fall by my spear, and thus pay me for having slain Patroclus son of Menoetius.” The 2004 movie Troy, featuring Brad Pitt as Achilles, Homer’s Iliad is excellently dramatized in the pivotal battle scene outside the impregnable walls of Troy—Achilles against Hector to avenge the death of his cousin Patroclus whom Hector had killed in an earlier battle thinking it was Achilles since he was wearing his armor. Here again we find the irony of love causing death.

Regarding patterns of love and friendship in the family, Homer’s Odyssey, Book XVI, after 20 years of privation suffered in the Trojan War, countless ordeals with monsters, tsunamis, witches and worst of all, the unpredictable wrath of the gods, our hero Ulysses, grey and haggard comes how disguised as a beggar. Yet Minerva (Athena) goddess of wisdom and magic, “touched him with her golden wand” changed his clothes and gave him the appearance of a strong, vigorous young man to such a degree that Ulysses’ son Telemachus for a time insisted that he was a god and refused to look directly at him for fear of offending the gods. Finally, Ulysses said, “I am no god… I am your father on whose account you grieve and suffer so much at the hands of lawless men. As he spoke he kissed his son, and a tear fell from his cheek on to the ground, for he had restrained all tears till now.”

Regarding marital love: its sexual, fraternal, and romantic components, recall that the sorceress, Circe made Ulysses her love slave for a year in order for the curse to be removed of turning Ulysses’ men into pigs (which I believe the aphorism originated, ‘Men are pigs’). If this sexual slavery wasn’t bad enough Ulysses later had to spend seven years in captivity on Calypso’s island, Ogygia, because Calypso falls deeply in love with Ulysses and refused to let him leave her. He only escaped after utilizing his carpentry skills to build his own boat to escape the island bordello of Ogygia from which no doubt we get the word “orgy.” Ironically, most men, especially young men would fantasize that to be a prisoner on Orgyia—the island of endless sexual pleasure would be the ultimate fantasy, but Ulysses understands that one can even get tired, or bored, or even traumatized by too much pleasure; that there are higher virtues men of character must aspire to— discipline, duty, honor, chastity, altruism, and marital love.

After a short boat ride home, Ulysses performed the feat of strength in stringing his own bow Penelope had required of the suitors (in a cunning effort on her part to delay having to marry one of these vile rogues), our hero then was required to skillfully shot an arrow through 12 axe blades. Having fulfilled Penelope’s feats of strength and marksmanship caused the evil suitors to immediately arise in unison attacking Ulysses in jealous rage which in defending himself and his honor Ulysses then quickly slaughtered them all.

Now, at long last the hero and his wife have a quiet, intimate dinner in their home in peace, but there is one more test Ulysses must pass. He says to his wife, Penelope:

My dear, heaven has endowed you with a heart more unyielding than woman ever yet had. No other woman could bear to keep away from her husband when he had come back to her after twenty years absence, and after having gone through so much…” “My dear,” answered Penelope, “I have no wish to set myself up, nor to depreciate you; but I am not struck by your appearance for I very well remember what kind of a man you were when you set sail from Ithaca. Nevertheless, Euryclea, take his bed outside the bed chamber that he himself built. Bring the bed outside this room, and put bedding upon it with fleeces, good coverlets, and blankets.

Penelope’s request about their bed made Ulysses incensed and caused him to rage, “Wife, I am much displeased at what you have just been saying. Who has been taking my bed from the place in which I left it? … I built my room round this [olive tree] with strong walls of stone…” Homer continued, “When she heard the sure proofs Ulysses now gave her, she fairly broke down. She flew weeping to his side… Do not be angry with me Ulysses,” she cried, “You, who are the wisest of mankind… I have been shuddering all the time through fear that someone might come here and deceive me with a lying story; for there are many very wicked people going about…” Thus, Ulysses passed Penelope’s final test for only the man who built their bed anchoring it to a giant olive tree would realize that their bed could never be moved. A fitting closing metaphor to the unshakeable, transcendent love the pair had for each which endured over these many years.

For all of his 20 years of passion, war, death, starvation, cunning, imprisonment, fear, privation, pressure, pain, and loss, or what the literary Romantic writers called Strum und Drang (storm and stress), Homer’s Iliad and the Odyssey in particular is a love story of Ulysses—a singular man, a father, a husband… the King of Ithaca, just trying to come home after doing his duty as a soldier, fulfilling his mission as a general of the Greek legions, fighting heroically in the Trojan War, yet the gods were against him every step of his long odyssey back home to embrace and comfort his loving, long-suffering wife, Penelope. Ulysses could have remained on the island of Aeaea with the sorceress Circe and succumb to hedonism, but he didn’t. Ulysses could have stayed on the island of Ogygia as Calypso’s love slave where she promised to make him a demigod, but he refused. Why? His heart didn’t belong to either of those strange women; his heart belonged to his wife, Penelope and he would not rest until he embraced his beloved or died trying.

In my mind the story of Ulysses is the sublime love story for the Ages; a pure, eternal love which reminds me of the scripture—John 15:13, There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

On Tyranny

tyranny

Again, where the people are absolute rulers of the land, they rejoice in having the openness and exuberance of youth, while a tyrant counts this a danger, and seeks to slay or silence those possessed of spirit, while the discreet fear his power and violence.

-Euripides, The Suppliants

The world is in an existential state of chaos and war where tyranny is aggressively on the ascendancy—whether you refer to Assad’s brutal terror in the Syrian War, or that Iran virtually has its own nuclear bomb it promised “to wipe Israel off the map,” the reemergence of Al-Qaeda in Iraq and the Taliban in Afghanistan, or the failed policy of the “Arab Spring” which gave us the military dictatorship in Egypt that ousted the Western-friendly dictator Hosni Mubarak, or the neo-Stalinism of Russia’s Putin who the annexed the Crimea without firing a shot. Now with his eyes on eastern Ukraine and doubtlessly reacquiring most if not all of the so-called “Baltic States” of the old Soviet Union—Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Georgia, Ukraine, etc., will America and NATO who are under treaty to defend these nations if invaded by any aggressor nation, do so?

Are these examples of geopolitical tyranny?

Let us bring it closer to home, is the presidency of Barack Obama the very essence of tyranny with his frequent issuances of unconstitutional executive orders or his legions of shadow government “Czars” who rule in secret without oversight or knowledge by Congress nor legal checks and balances by the courts. For example, Obama’s Car Czar, Ron Bloom, once said that “the free market is nonsense” and “We kind of agree with Mao, that political power comes largely from the barrel of a gun.” As a point of historical reference according to the peer-reviewed research of R.J. Rummel, communists like Mao, Stalin, Lenin, Pol Pot, and other genocidal mass murders killed over 260,000,000 people in the twentieth century alone… in the name of an idea—atheism.

Therefore, if Obama and his legions of bureaucratic Brownshirts have such a revolting, genocidal view of life and history of the past, just think how insignificant you are in his eyes and in the eyes of his Czars if you get in the way of his grand, utopian/dystopian vision for America. Remember Obama’s campaign promise uttered just 5 days before becoming president, “… we will fundamentally transform America [into a European-style Socialist State]. Obama purposely left that last part out lest he reveal his overt plans of universal tyranny to even the low information voters out there.

It appears beyond a reasonable doubt that tyranny is the vilest corruption of government—a malicious abuse of power and a malevolent exploitation of the human spirit and human beings who are enslaved to it. Aristotle’s statement that “no freeman, if he can escape from it, will endure such government.” Totalitarianism is self-evident to all who, cherishing liberty and despising slavery, regard tyranny as always destroying the one and establishing the other.

Continuing our survey of the Great Books of the Western World brings us now to vol. 5 containing the works of the immortal ancient Greek playwrights—Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes. In works by Aeschylus (525/24-456/55) such as the Oresteia, Oedipus Tyrannus, and his most noted opus, Prometheus Bound, writer David Cohen seems to echo the view of other writers’ historical view of the old school playwright Aeschylus as “the prophet of Zeus.” Moreover, in his work “The Theodicy of Aeschylus…” Cohen reveals the true nature of Zeus at the beginning, “I will first discuss the main traditional views concerning Aeschylus’ presentation of what is commonly called the Justice of Zeus, and then try to demonstrate that, in reality, Aeschylus portrays a cosmic and political order which is neither moral nor just, but rather tyrannical, in the sense that its ultimate foundations are force and fear.”

Later in Sophocles’ (497/96-406/05) Antigone, we see the twin weapons of the tyrant—force and fear—as demonstrated by King Creon, yet it is Creon’s son Haemon who first points out to the King of Thebes that he is acting tyrannically. Haemon argues that all of Thebes believes it is unjust for Antigone to die in such a terrible way for such a noble deed of giving a hero a hero’s burial against the king’s capricious decree forbidding the same. Creon, like the tyrant he is, then asks his son, “The city will tell me how I ought to rule it?” followed by the equally tyrannical, rhetorical question, “Isn’t the city thought to be her ruler’s?” (745, 749). In both occurrences, Haemon answers that his father is behaving unwisely and that “this city does not belong to one man!” (748). For a wise man would understand that the city of Thebes was not meant to be governed by a tyrannical ruler; rather, the ruler should listen to the city’s desires and needs. Sophocles’ meaning here is to affirm that it is a tyrannical ruler who believes no law stands above his own, ‘not even the gods.’ “Knowledge truly is by far the most important part of happiness, but one must neglect nothing that the gods demand” (1348-50). Hence, Sophocles is indeed emphasizing the point that a ruler must take all things under contemplation when leading, even religion, as man’s laws are surely not the highest laws.

The subjects of tyranny, tyrants, and their demonic abuse of the law is eloquently unveiled in this passage from Euripides’s The Suppliants, lines 429-40:

Nothing does more harm to the state than a tyrant; when he rules, equal application of law comes to an end, the one man is tyrant, and he keeps unto himself and in secrecy the law, and so perishes justice. But when the laws are written down, rich and poor alike have equal justice, and it is open to the weaker to use the same language to the prosperous when he is reviled by him, and the weaker prevails over the stronger if he have justice on his side. Freedom’s mark is also seen in this: “Let any man possessed of wisdom give counsel to the state.” And he who comes forward and counsels well, gains renown, while he, who has no wish, holds his silence. What greater equality can there be in a state? Again, where the people are absolute rulers of the land, they rejoice in having the openness and exuberance of youth, while a tyrant counts this a danger, and seeks to slay or silence those possessed of spirit, while the discreet fear his power and violence.

Moses Hadas, in the introduction to his 2006 book, Ten Plays by Euripides, wrote an elegant synopsis of this genius’s work—Euripides was “the creator of…that cage which is the theatre of Shakespeare’s Othello, Racine’s Phèdre, of Ibsen and Strindberg,” in which “…imprisoned men and women destroy each other by the intensity of their loves and hates,” and yet he was also the literary ancestor of comic dramatists as diverse as Menander and George Bernard Shaw.

Finally, it is in Aristophanes Birds that we find the theme of tyranny once again but in an inconspicuous form. The protagonist of Birds arises from nothing to become a tyrannos of two men, Peisetairos and Euelpides (a forecast of the would-be progenitors of ancient Rome—Romulus and Remus). These men are weary of the checks and balances of Democracy instead long for tyranny of which they rule unhindered by the whims of the people, or the strictures of the rule of law. It is Peisetairos’s impressive political gifts that make him the obvious man of action for absolute rule, yet does his treatment of his subjects mark him as guilty of arrogance and treachery?—Aristophanes does not condemn him. Nor, however, does he praise Peisetairos’s rule. Therefore, if a birdlike population is to have a kingdom, must they of necessity also accept a tyrant like Peisetairos? —A man who as the supreme master, rules over his subjects as slaves in the way he imagines to be most advantageous for himself.

It was King Solomon in the Old Testament Book of Ecclesiastes where these two great aphorisms that to me seem tangentially related to the issue of tyranny—1) “There is nothing new under the sun;” 2) “Vanity of vanities. All is vanity saith the Preacher.” In our brief survey of the writings of these four ancient Greek playwrights going back over 2,500 years we see that the same intractable human nature, the same hardness of men’s hearts leads to the same desire to seize absolute power; to be like the gods (demigods) and those forms of despotic rule (which isn’t something new) always leads mankind into tyranny and the establishment of the ultimate vanity of vanities—the master/slave relationship.

We see this tragic refrain repeated over and over throughout history under different names—Despotism, Slavery, Tribalism, Democracy, Paganism, Theocracy, Aristocracy, Oligarchy, Monarchy, Gnosticism, Secularism, Liberalism, Jacobinism, Evolution Atheism, Marxism, Communism, Socialism, Will to Power, Progressivism, Banana Republic, Democratic Socialism, Nazism, Nihilism, Fascism, Anarchy, Mob Rule—it’s all tyranny and all of these methods of government only leads to despair, poverty of mind, body, spirit, degradation, and death of the people. Hobbes used these words: “Whenever [Natural] law ends, tyranny begins, if the law be transgressed to another’s harm.” Tyrants never willingly cede power to the people or to the slave for Aristotle said that “the tyrant must be careful … to keep power enough to rule over his subjects, whether they like him or not, for if he once gives this up he gives up his tyranny.”

Outraged and disgusted by the manipulative tactics of despotic power, Sophocles’ Antigone refuses to surrender: “I will not be moderate. I will not be satisfied with the bit of cake you offer me if I promise to be a good little girl.” Antigone says no to King Creon and his tyrannical worldview. She demands to live life on her own terms or she will embrace death as a heroic martyr to be remembered as today … celebrated through the Ages. Thus, the Antigone/Creon battle of good vs. evil reminds me of the words of philosopher Soren Kierkegaard, “The tyrant dies and his rule is over, the martyr dies and his rule begins.”

If tyranny is anything it is the systematic institution of force and fear to enslave humanity, yet “the rebellion to tyranny,” Jefferson says, “is obedience to God.”

On Courage

courage

Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.

-C.S. Lewis, “The Screwtape Letters”

As Russia’s dictator Vladimir Putin annexes the Crimea in Ukraine and now plans troop movements to eastern Ukraine, not a shot has been fired. America and all of Europe stands mute or its petty bureaucrats like Secretary John Kerry pontificate empty rhetoric for fear of angering a renewed Soviet empire ascending before the eyes of the world, yet why won’t world powers act against Russia’s naked hegemony and aggression? Europe, NATO, and the U.N. are appeasing Putin because their member states are enslaved to Russia’s oil and gas monopoly which is pumped from Ukraine throughout Europe—push against Putin’s fascism and the lights go out all over Europe. Like America, Europe is adverse to self-sustaining energy production in their own countries through fracking, the Keystone pipeline, nuclear power, oil refineries, and other means of domestic energy exploration due to propaganda and lobbying efforts from the radical global environmental movement.

Where are all the real men of courage today? Have they all been compromised by implicit or explicit threats from fascist powers? Who will pay the price to stand for truth despite the costs? Who can look at overwhelming odds and the relentless pressures of society and say to himself, “Here I am Lord, send me.”

From antiquity to modern times, the heroes of history, philosophy, poetry are often cruel, brutal, self-seeking, pitiless, extreme, and unjust, but cowards they are not. They do not weaken or surrender. They do not despair even in the midst of desperate odds. They have the power and determinism to triumph over whatever they set their minds and wills to achieve. Their very acts of courage define them and place these men in the Pantheon of heroes.

This is where we get the Greek term ‘demigod’ for the very connotation of heroism exalts these legendary heroes nearly to the standing of the gods. In the Homeric age this is indeed the condition where men like Odysseus, Theseus, Perseus, and Hercules as demigods struggled with the gods as they struggled with men. The two Homeric epics, Odyssey, but particularly the Iliad, are filled with men who cannot be cowered or intimidated. For example, in Tennyson’s poem, Ulysses, the now restless King of Ithaca reminisces over the years he spent in battle at Troy and his long, torturous expedition home, says to his companions,

Some work of noble note may yet be done
Not unbecoming men that strove with Gods …and though
We are now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are:
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Courage is the quality above all others in the Iliad, which personifies the heroic figures of Achilles and Hector, Ajax, Patroclus, and Diomedes, Agamemnon and Menelaus. Cunning—the expertise of Odysseus, that man of many schemes, and the subtleness in discourse of Nestor, is the only other value which seems to be similarly prized as courage, and made the subject of competition, honor and duty. Yet the most elegant rhetoric is only the prologue to great actions, and but for the night mission of Odysseus and Diomedes into the Trojan camp (e.g., breaching the impregnable walls of Troy with the famed “Trojan Horse”), the legendary feats of the Iliad are improvisational deeds of skill—direct, aggressive, bold, not surreptitious.

Of the unlimited passions possessed by heroes fear is among the primary. When they are called fearless, it is only in an ironic sense for little frightens them or causes their countenance to become dispirited. Like with all men fear robs them of courage, likewise anger, with all its physical dynamism, nonetheless the courageous are fearless only in the sense that they refuse to allow their fear to impede their will to action. Their courage is commensurate to the danger sensed or identified, in order to achieve that duty to be done as though the fear of failure, pain, or death never existed.

Yet valiant men regularly speak of courage as the equal of fearlessness and identify the coward like one who is transfixed by fear. An ambush, Indomeneus claims in the Iliad, will show “who is cowardly and who is brave; the coward will change color at every touch and turn; he is full of fears, and keeps shifting his weight first on one knee and then on the other; his heart beats fast as he thinks of death, and one can hear the chattering of his teeth.” The courageous man, conquering fear, will seem to be fearless.

From antiquity to modern times courage defines men of action, men in war, established not merely in the heroes of the siege Troy, but in the proponents of numerous other battles—Leonidas at Thermopylae, Aeneas and Turnus enjoined in singular combat, the victors in Plutarch, the warrior-nobility in Shakespeare, the enlightened Prince Andrew and young Rostov in War and Peace. The manner of courage that combines physical power, with feats of strength; and, as indicated by the Latin-root of “fortitude,” meaning courage, it is a reservoir of civic, ethical, or religious strength to endure exploits even when the spirit is willing but the flesh is too weak to endure to the end. Courage of this manner is a virtue in the chief sense of the Latin word virtus—meaning manliness, the spirit, or fortitude of spirit, the prerequisites to be a Man.

Courage appears in many other forms also. The courage of the tragic hero, of Oedipus and Antigone, is accompanied with vigor of mind, not body. Strength of mind, perhaps above being lion-hearted, is a particular human power. Fight vs. Flight—Courage is not only conquering ones fears and in preventing the body from flight regardless the pain or danger. It involves at minimum as much will to action, strengthening its resolutions, and constantly disciplining the mind to determine and confronting the truth.

Regarding the sublime narrative of Antigone as recounted by Sophocles, I quoted Bard College president Edward Rothstein in my 2002 book, The Inseparability of Law and Morality:

The Greek tragedy [Antigone] tells of the ruler Creon forbidding the burial of a traitor, and of Antigone’s defiance of his order as she proclaims a higher law… Antigone showed the issues of faith and allegiance … struggle between public law and religious tradition, between accommodation and absolution.

The heroine Antigone chose to disobey the tyrannical rule of King Creon for the divine faith of natural law—the transcendent ideas which have descended to humanity down through the ages—that law is not merely a set of principles and standards created by humans, but rather part of an objective moral order, existing in the universe and accessible to human reason. Indeed, this is the “Higher law” or “Natural law” of the Bible, of the ancient Hebrews, Greeks, Romans, America’s Founding Fathers, the European States up to the French Revolution (1789-99) where secular humanism led directly to the anti-church, anti-clergy and anti-Christian genocide throughout France. Seventy years later the evolution atheism of Darwin began to be universally embraced by leftist intellectuals, humanists, socialists, liberals, progressives, and radicals of every ilk and taught as the successor ideals of the Age of Enlightenment which would systematically replace the “dead religion” of Christianity. Beginning in France, then all over Europe and in modern times throughout the world, State worship and evolution atheism would be the twin demons the Left used to deconstruct the formerly Judeo-Christian worldview, thus breaching the previously unshakable moral foundations of Western civilization which were extant for over 3,000 years.

For Hegel, taking an opposing view, civic courage involves embracing dangers, even to the level of sacrifice for the State. Likewise, for him pure courage is entirely a civic virtue. “The intrinsic worth of courage as a disposition of the mind,” he writes, “is to be found in the genuine, absolute, final end, the sovereignty of the state. The work of courage is to actualize this final end, and the means to this end is the sacrifice of personal actuality.” However Hegel concedes that courage “is multiform,” he argues that “the mettle of an animal or a brigand, courage for the sake of honor, the courage of a knight, for the sake of honor, these are not true forms of courage. The true courage of civilized nations is readiness for sacrifice in the service of the state, so that the individual counts as only one amongst many.” Hegel’s State-centric view of courage sounds like Marx, sounds like the progressives, sounds like the Democrat Socialist Party of today.

In the writings of Plato and Aristotle we find that they often condemn the constitutions of Crete and Sparta for their incessant warmongering; for deifying war as the noble end and highest aspiration of the state, while praising courage is only a measure, above “the whole of virtue.” Courage must be united with the other virtues to make a man good, not only as a citizen but as a man. “Justice, temperance, and wisdom,” says the Athenian Stranger in Plato’s Laws, “when united with courage are better than courage only.”

Moreover, courage in battle is not the be all and end all of courage. Although Plato recognizes the necessity for it, Plato believes that a wise statesman or what he calls in his Republic a “philosopher-king” would place it in its correct place, if men are to be educated to be good citizens, not purely good “auxiliaries” or soldiers. Plato argues that it would be foolish for a senator or a wise legislator to order “peace for the sake of war, and not war for the sake of peace.” Therefore, the Athenian Stranger advocates that a wider understanding of courage than the form the Cretans and Spartans seem to favor, not merely in overt warfare, but in the undertakings of peace—in the struggle to follow the good life and construct a good society.

Nonetheless, through the ages the form of courage which the philosophers, poets, and historians exalt has been the heroism of men who fight off fear and willingly jeopardize their lives for their fellow men, for their country—the courage of the citizen doing his duty, or, what is still more remarkable, of the soldier opposing the enemy despite the odds against him. This circumstance among others is one cause why numerous writers, from the Greeks to Hegel, have established a moral incentive in war: or, like William James, have looked for its moral equivalent. On this point they are connected not only by those who see only deprivation in war, but also by the numerous expressions of the understanding that peace can have its heroes also.

Christian apologist and scholar, C.S. Lewis, in his Screwtape Letters wrote that, “Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.” Indeed this is reminiscent of the biblical story of Gideon in Judges 7 who was charged by God to fight 135,000 Midianites, yet despite the overwhelming odds (God, who wanted no uncertainty in Israel as to who gave them the victory) cut down Gideon’s army from 32,000 to 10,000 to just 300 men. The difference between the 300 who went into battle vs. the 32,000 who were too afraid to fight was that the 300 were just as afraid as the 32,000, yet as C.S. Lewis wrote, “The form of every virtue at the testing point” compelled Gideon and the 300 into battle… into the triumph of the ages.

Gideon’s legendary valor brings to remembrance Tennyson’s immortal words on courage,

Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.

Education and Economics

communismslaverypubliceducation

A man without the proper use of the intellectual faculties of a man, is, if possible, more contemptible than even a coward, and seems to be mutilated and deformed in a still more essential part of the character of human nature.

-Adam Smith

Apart from John Dewey, the so-called father of the modern public school system and today’s Progressives, up to about 1900 it was self-evident that the majority of academics, intellectuals; even educators, politicians, lawyers, judges and literary writers held that a good education was obtained only through serious, systematic reading and study of the literary canon—the “Great Books” and the “liberal arts.” This was ipso facto the elite education for the few. Yet my thesis here is could it be the best education for the many if the many have not the capability to seize it? (Carpe diem—seize the day)

“Ellis, are you crazy? This is the twenty first century, the age of the Internet where at the touch of a computer key any student virtually anywhere on the planet can not only read the Classics, but access entire libraries in virtually any language they desire.” Indeed, yet this begs the question: If education will maximize culture and societal intelligence for everybody to be educated, if it is in society’s best interests that the State provide everybody with “access” to a good education, then the question of ultimate concern is this: Can everybody get it [a good education]? This is the most essential question in education. Possibly it is the most essential question in the world.

Maybe this is a rhetorical question that cannot be answered. Now, it can be argued, that we are living in one of the few times in history when everybody has the ability to get a liberal education, yet why are dozens of millions in America so functionally illiterate, incapable of even rudimentary inductive/deductive reasoning, let alone critical thinking? We can, nevertheless, examine the choices, and the consequences of education vs. mis-education (e.g., propaganda). If relaxation, idleness, and political power are objectives for liberal/progressive education, then everybody in America now should possess this life-goal, and therefore, should everybody where democracy and progress exists ultimately demand this “good” education?

This is the Holocaust scenario: What if We the People have been so dumbed downed by decades and decades of mis-education by the federal government, by the State in order that the State can more efficiently enslave and manipulate the masses to vote for this party or that party, to vote for this entitlement or that entitlement program in the name of “equality,” “freedom,” or “choice”? Aren’t we then incapable of attaining the education that a responsible democratic republic mandates of all its citizens? If the answer is yes, then democracy is doomed, America’s Republic de facto dead. Aristotle justly condemned the majority of the Polis (citizens) in his many writings to natural slavery, and since the so-called Progressive Revolution (c. 1860s-present) socialists, progressives and many on the political Left believe that the faster society set about retreating from democracy, capitalism, freedom, and the rule of law the better it will be for the environment, for the world. Perhaps Marx was right, perhaps people are just too obtuse and irrational to take care of themselves necessitating the omnipotent State to fill the void; to become literally the de facto slave master over the people who have now devolved into a regressive, existential state of nature I call Voluntary Slavery.

Conversely, the Progressive braintrust demands that everybody should have the opportunity to have a “good” education which will fit him or her for responsible citizenship in our democracy. This characterization is reminiscent of Nietzsche’s “Will to Power” whereby each citizen of necessity must cultivate his or her human powers to the fullest extent possible to serve not himself or some metaphysical deity like ‘God’ but the omnipotent State. Mussolini said, “Everything inside the State. Nothing outside the State. Nothing against the State.” This conclusion defines the evolutionary and progressive model toward which the society should and must ceaselessly struggle (Marx). Yet, truly, do Progressives really want everybody educated? I’m not at all convinced of their utopian ideal. Nevertheless, it does not follow that this aspiration to the utopian ideal is worthless or doomed to catastrophe. On the contrary, the educational policy of a nation will be contingent on the morality, intelligibility, and passion with which its educational ideal is quantified and understood.

Poverty or lack of resources of a given neighborhood, city, state, or nation could prevent it from immediate realization of its educational ideal. In the 1700s and 1800s education of the few rested on the labor of the many in America. It was presumed (perhaps incorrectly) that the few could not have education unless the many were deprived of it (a form of education as a zero-sum gain paradigm). As the first Superintendent of the Washington, D.C. Public Schools, Thomas Jefferson’s proposal of three years of education for everybody could have been, and probably was, rejected on the grounds that the economy of D.C., Virginia, or anywhere else for that matter could not endure it. The state of education in America (circa1800s), as the case may be today in underdeveloped countries, can no longer be status quo merely aping the moribund liberal/progressive rhetoric of Dewey’s day—Education for all, from cradle to the grave. Why? Because we now have enough empirical data to dispel that previous sophistry and deceitful suppositions that education for all as being permanently outside the economic intent, capacity, and powers of the United States.

America spends more per student than any other nation in the world, yet are we the best educated in the world? No we are not.

The economic question is of ultimate concern and can be explained that liberal/progressive education, for example, is worthless to a man who is in poverty, or in the words of Adam Smith to the man whose mind “seems to be mutilated and deformed” nevertheless, the Founding Fathers taught us that the first obligation of man is to honor God, next to contribute to society through work, by learning and appreciating the value of work furthering society through work and earning. Hard work was tantamount to worshipping God. I’ll call this the First Education Model (circa Adam & Eve up to Darwin). The Second Education Model (circa 1860s-present) replaced the Judeo-Christian worldview with an evolution atheist worldview which is openly hostile to and possesses a venal hatred toward God, family, tradition, freedom, capitalism, natural law, natural rights, and American exceptionalism. Therefore, the ubiquitous question for this Neo-Pagan Age is the question of The Rules for Radicals author Saul Alinsky asks his fellow radicals: Whose side are you on?—i.e., C-O-N-T-R-O-L. The State is now aggressively fostering to enslave as many millions of new recipients to embrace the welfare state; to be in some manner entangled in the tentacles of the Leviathan hydra; to equate and conflate entitlements with constitutional rights more than ever before.

Historically, industrialization, automation, the assembly line as the typical component of Western industry, must now regard this modern “progress” as a mixed blessing to say the least. The robotic monotony, impersonality, uncreativeness, and slavishness to crass materialism has, especially since the 1960s, led towards a steady reduction in the hours of labor, particularly in the manufacturing fields. Those types of “blue collar” jobs have steadily moved to other countries, first Mexico and South American, now China, and the Far East. But what if this type of worker can do nothing else? What if his cognitive abilities amount to nothing in his head that is demonstrable or profitable to society? Is there value in all work or is there some cosmic diminishing return for the time that is gained for life off the assembly line which is exchanged for State mandated leisure (welfare)? Is President Obama’s current policies that seem to encourage people not to work a new higher ideal, or can such pursuits only be defined as Romantic melancholy of a bygone era, even subhuman?

Adam Smith proclaimed the case over 200 years ago: “A man without the proper use of the intellectual faculties of a man, is, if possible, more contemptible than even a coward, and seems to be mutilated and deformed in a still more essential part of the character of human nature.” He argues that this is the state of nature of “the great body of the people,” who, by the division of labor are shackled in their employment “to a few very simple operations” whereby the worker “has no occasion to exert his understanding, or to exercise his invention in finding out expedients for removing difficulties which never occur.” The consequence, according to Smith, is that “the torpor of his mind renders him, not only incapable of relishing or bearing a part in any rational conversation, but of conceiving any generous, noble, or tender sentiment, and consequently of forming any just judgment concerning many even of the ordinary duties of private life.”

Yet the replacement of machines for slaves offers society perhaps our final chance to build a civilization as magnificent as that of the Greeks, and far more enduring because since the Greek and Roman Empires Western civilization has adopted Christianity and later capitalism, thus are we not more just? I do not accept that “torpor” (laziness) of mind is the natural state of mankind, or that these people are irredeemable or incapable of participating in any rational conversation, or of possessing liberal, noble, and loving sentiments, or of establishing just judgments regarding the matters of private and public life.

If liberals, progressives, humanists, socialists, post-modernists, anarchists (i.e., the Left) are consigned to this false utopian purgatory that never was, and if they exist in this modernist, slavish state of nature as a consequence of the division of labor that embraces a Marxist/Socialist worldview, then industrialization (progress), democracy, freedom, natural law to these people are fundamentally in opposition. For Progressives who have summarily rejected the Judeo-Christian traditions of the constitutional Framers, they have indeed rejected the very Constitution which delineated those transcendent ideas they profess to revere; however, they have historically embraced an existential, evolution atheistic state of nature. Therefore, they are not competent to govern themselves nor government.

In conclusion, I do not think that progress (i.e., industrialization, modernity) and democracy (republic) are fundamentally opposed. However, they have the great potential to in effect be diametrically opposed unless the chasm between them is bridged by liberal/progressive education for all. At least that is the rhetoric we’ve been taught by Dewey and the Progressive establishment.

Long before Dewey, as early as 1857 the year the National Education Association (NEA) was founded, this egalitarian rhetoric of “education for all, from childhood to the grave” was propagandized to the nation. Yet, just two years later the advent of Charles Darwin’s evolution atheism with the 1859 publication of his pseudo-scientific book, On the Origin of Species, “Secular Man” begin to systematically replace Western civilization’s Judeo-Christian worldview, first in Europe, next in America, Russia, and now throughout the entire industrialized world, with a militant, intolerant, anti-Christian evolution atheist worldview.

Nevertheless, what has 160+ years of “free public education” given the world? Certainly not the education utopianism and liberal egalitarianism, neither the apotheosis of the ‘New Man’ John Dewey promised, nor a more literate society, but just the opposite—We have become a nation of mis-educated slaves who through the Internet and tens of thousands of public libraries which enable us to literally possess the Classics at our fingertips, however most children (and adults) chose to become obsessed with watching trash TV, or posting some strange picture on Facebook, or Tweeting some inane babblings of a monkey to friends and strangers across “cyberspace.”

Is it that modernization pushing society into the abyss? Is it that modernization which has both the tendency to devolve a man into a robot, yet also provides the economic foundation, leisure, and idleness that will empower him to seize this elusive and paradoxical liberal/progressive education? Indeed, this is the paradox of paradoxes—Absent a serious, systematic study of the Classics over many years (including the Bible), will this “good education; this “modern” education make him truly a man, or will this liberal/progressive education turn him into an unremarkable, uncreative, mis-educated, compliant, consensus cog in the vast Leviathan machinery of the State?

50 Years since LBJ’s Great [Slave] Society

greatsociety

The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time. But that is just the beginning.

~LBJ, “Great Society” Speech, University of Michigan (May 22, 1964)

The black family, which had survived centuries of slavery and discrimination, began rapidly disintegrating in the liberal welfare state that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.

~ Dr. Thomas Sowell

50 years ago on May 22, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson gave a historical Commencement Address at the University of Michigan. That speech introduced America to his utopian vision called the Great Society, the most recent stage in the evolution of Woodrow Wilson’s Progressivism and Franklin Roosevelt’s Second Bill of Rights socialist revolution. Until I started researching for this article I did not know that those grainy recordings I heard of LBJ touting his Marxist vision for America was made at U of M, yet I am not surprised. From 1985-87, I attended graduate school at U of M and in 1989 was an editor at the Michigan Law Review. It was a great experience but I’ve never been to a university so reflexively and uncritically in love with everything socialist, Marxist, even communist than my alma mater U of M (although Harvard would be a close second).

Remember the turbulent times in America in the 1960s: LBJ gave his Great Society speech just 6 months after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and the country was reeling from societal angst, counter-cultural upheaval and grotesque Jim Crow racism and discrimination against Blacks. President Lyndon Johnson boldly proposed his Leviathan monster he called the Great Society as the antidote to these societal ills. In this speech Johnson conflates the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (which was being filibustered in Congress) with his legions of comprehensive new federal programs – the apotheosis of FDR’s New Deal, Part 2. The madly utopian expectations and experimental recklessness in social engineering took modern progressives into a crisis and historically prolonged the socialist Leviathan State into every aspect of our daily lives, with all its waste, fraud and abuse, regulatory fascism and bureaucratic entanglements amounting to a verifiable loss of our constitutional liberty, inalienable freedoms and societal morality.

This Great Society, Johnson declares, is no “finished work” but “a challenge constantly renewed, beckoning us toward a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor.” As with Wilson, Roosevelt and John Dewey’s education atheism, the decisive target is by design to obscure, to pervert, to deconstruct American exceptionalism, thus LBJ’s Great Society is an enterprise well past the material necessity and the eradication of poverty they presuppose. It is an existential enterprise that will never end.

Johnson war on poverty programs are directed to the cities, the environment, and education. In each venue Johnson sought both utility and beauty. Thus, Great Society urban policy should not only “rebuild the entire urban United States” in the next 50 years (by 2014) but promote “community” and combat “loneliness and boredom and indifference.” The environment should not only be unpolluted but allow men to “wonder at nature.” Education will not only bring children out of poverty, it will give them “hours of leisure.” Johnson is self-assured that a socialist government, reliant on Deweyan education atheism and social engineering experimentation in government programs, can achieve both political and spiritual transformation. Under the paradigm of “creative federalism” the Constitution’s true principle of federalism is deconstructed and ultimately destroyed without amending one word of the U.S. Constitution. It is all done by autocratic executive decree, an activist, lawless Supreme Court and a lazy, unaccountable Congress: just like Obamacare was passed in our era.

Remember historically like the communists: Lenin, Stalin, Mao or the fascists: Mussolini, Hitler, Franco, education for the socialist left has always been the most irresistible (and effective way) to take over, deconstruct and destroy a society and culture and rebuild it into their own grotesque image. Remember Soviet dictator Vladimir Lenin who said regarding education: Give me four years to teach the children and the seed I have sown will never be uprooted. The Democrat Socialist Party has controlled education at all levels (particularly colleges and the public schools) much longer than the advent of LBJ’s Great Society 50 years ago which belies the fact that plummeting standardized test scores and public school dropout rates are at an all-time high. This is not by accident but by design because only in a poorly educated country can the majority of sheeple be controlled and manipulated with socialist collectivist public policies like the Great Society.

To advance such populist and uplifting programs, Johnson promised to “assemble the best thought and the broadest knowledge from all over the world to find those answers for America.” With their help, he asks students to fight four battles: for civil rights, against poverty, for enduring international peace, and, finally, for the Great Society, which seeks a “richer life of mind and spirit.” On all these fronts he retains all the utopianism of Progressivism, socialism and secular humanism as his anti-American polices propels society ever deeper into the abyss.

Johnson claims that the Great Society marks a watershed in America’s history, which men will appreciatively look back on this day and say: “It was then, after a long and weary way, that man turned the exploits of his genius to the full enrichment of his life”—LBJ’s myopic view of history implies that great presidents like Jefferson, Lincoln, and Coolidge had no indication about leading a significant life, without demanding an ever-growing socialist state.

Johnson challenges America’s graduating youth to join him in his noble crusade but in reality surrenders to the most radical of them, as his Great Society pronounces the prophecy of the Students for a Democratic Society. Founded in 1962, two years before this address, the SDS protested the Vietnam War while hijacking universities and demanding a complete transformation of society (sound familiar?) along the lines envisioned by Dewey’s evolution education campaign. This radical utopianism was virtually synonymous with the evolutionary worldview of the man they would soon spew hatred at, Lyndon Johnson. History is filled with such ironic twists in the dialogues of those who abandon the natural law, natural rights and constitutional government of the Framers for the 30 pieces of silver of socialism and evolution atheism.

When I recently read LBJ’s Great Society speech given 50 years ago I felt like it was Groundhog’s Day all over again where America, overcome with collective dementia, wakes up each day only to experience the same day as before; everyday Americans are beset by the same retarded rhetoric and failed public policies that our forefathers suffered through 50 years ago. Beginning with the collapse of the Soviet empire in 1990, socialism and an evolution atheist worldview has failed in every country where it was implemented, yet like inmates in a poorly run mental asylum we seem incapable or oblivious to the words of Einstein who said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”

In a recent Wall Street Journal op-ed, Ari Fleischer, a former press secretary for President George W. Bush and president of Ari Fleischer Communications wrote a provocative yet compelling critique directed at President Obama’s ‘income inequality’ proposals but indirectly against LBJ’s 50 year Great Society catastrophe which has decimated the Black family. Since 1965 the Democrat Socialist Party spent according to a Cato Institute study almost $15 trillion to eradicate poverty in America, yet 50 years later every socio-economic demographic proves that the Great Society not only was an utter disaster but pushed more people into poverty where they remained generation after generation after generation without hope or redemption.

Instead of spending trillions to eradicate something that will be with humanity forever (Jesus said, “The poor ye have with you forever.”) Congress should minimize the negative effects of poverty. For example, Ari Fleischer, using simple, yet profound wisdom reminiscent of the great Jewish Rabbis and philosophers of antiquity like Maimonides (1135-1204) or Moses Mendelsohn (1729-86) wroting, “If President Obama wants to reduce income inequality, he should focus less on redistributing income and more on fighting a major cause of modern poverty: the breakdown of the family.” In other words how does America fight Income Inequality: Get Married. As proof Ari offers statistics that in families headed by married couples, the poverty level in 2012 was just 7.5%. Those with a single mother: 33.9%. By contrast, when families are headed by a single mother the poverty level jumps to 33.9%. Among black married couples, the poverty rate was only 7%, but the rate for non-married black families was 35.6%.

In conclusion, Ari wrote, “Given how deep the problem of poverty is, taking even more money from one citizen and handing it to another will only diminish one while doing very little to help the other. A better and more compassionate policy to fight income inequality would be helping the poor realize that the most important decision they can make is to stay in school, get married and have children—in that order.”

The Democrat Socialist Party (and virtually all of their appointees including secretary heads, administrative agencies and judges) have nothing but utter contempt for the U.S. Constitution, natural law, the original intent of the constitutional Framers and biblical values. Long before he was president, Barack Obama was already plotting to deconstruct and destroy the U.S. Constitution while “fundamentally transforming America” into a servile socialist state. As far back as 2001 Obama, in a chilling public radio interview, boldly confessed that the Constitution was a “charter of negative liberties,” full of constraints imposed upon us by our Founding Fathers.

This is what you get for 100+ years of socialism slavery where since the Age of the Imperial Presidency—from Theodore Roosevelt (1901-09) to Woodrow Wilson (1913-21); from FDR’s New Deal and Welfare State (1933-45) to LBJ’s Great Society and phony civil rights scams (1963-69). Writer Roger Stone in his blockbuster new book, The Man Who Killed Kennedy, said of LBJ: “I think he’s an amoral psychopath,” further writing, “I think he’s crude, evil, vicious, vindictive, drunk.” Right up to Obama (2009-present), who contrary to progressive/socialist propaganda isn’t at all unique or transcendent; historically he’s just another Alinsky demagogue in a long line of political hacks whose Napoleonic, narcissistic ego compels him to rule not as a statesman using presidential restraint, but as an arrogant dictator who in his first speech to lawmakers of 2014 threatened to continue to bypass Congress via his authoritarian rule by executive order. Obama boasted: “I have a pen and I have a phone” [to make whatever laws I decree].

If America is to survive this existential Progressive Revolution (circa 1859 Darwin’s Origin of Species – present) which systematically seeks to replace Christianity, the Bible, and intelligent design with evolution atheism; natural law with positive law; capitalism with socialism and the rule of law with tyranny and executive decrees, then We the People must tell Obama—Yes, President Obama, you have a pen and a phone, but we have a Constitution and a Congress and the Tea Party… and God.

Sic Semper Tyrannous—Down with the tyrant!

Opening the Gates of Hell

A UK Daily Mail article on former defense secretary Robert Gates who served in both the Obama and Bush administrations exposes damning allegations in a new book which describes Obama as ‘a feckless commander-in-chief who was less interested in winning wars than in taking political advantage of withdrawing America from them’ and in one meeting Hillary Clinton and Obama admitted they opposed Iraq troop surge only for what in essence amounted to cowardly, selfish political advantage.

Robert Gates, secretary of defense under Barack Obama and George W. Bush, argues that Hillary Clinton used craven, Machiavellian political tactics in 2006 when she announced her opposition to Bush’s Iraq troop ‘surge’ just before entering the presidential race. Gates writes that subsequently she admitted making that decision as to avoid being politically outflanked by Obama as they entered the 2007 primary season. This blockbuster revelation could prove problematic for Clinton as she prepares what politicos characterize as a second run at the White House in 2016.

From the initial planning stages the former defense secretary says Obama knew his own troop surge – the move of 30,000 troops into Afghanistan – would fail, yet he callously pursued this ill-conceived escalation of the war in Afghan to keep a cynical political promise he made during the 2008 election. Gates also criticized VP Joe Biden, saying he ‘has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past 40 years.’ The White House timidly responded, saying Obama ‘disagrees with Secretary Gates’ assessment’ and stubbornly defended Biden as a ‘leading statesman’ while leaving Gates’ criticism of Hillary unchallenged.

One of the most discussed portions of this memoir describes a ‘remarkable’ exchange he witnessed, Robert Gates writes about when ‘Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary.’ Obama, too, ‘conceded vaguely that [his] opposition to the Iraq surge had been political,’ Gates recall. ‘To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.’

Yet I would ask Secretary Gates why would it surprise you (or any rational person not beset by leftist politics) that the two leading members of the Democrat Socialist Party would use Machiavellian tactics of ‘might makes right’ and ‘the ends justify the means’ to gain political advantage at every opportunity? Remember it was political philosopher Machiavelli (1469-1527) the patron saint of leftist political skullduggery who infamously said, “It is better to be feared than to be loved,” or as Lord Acton wrote of Machiavelli, “State power is not bound by moral law.”

And Gates recounts how, as the president lost faith in Gen. David Petraeus’ handling of hostilities in Afghanistan, he – Gates – lost faith in Obama’s commitment to accomplishing much of anything. ‘As I sat there,’ he recalls, ‘I thought: The president doesn’t trust his commander, can’t stand [President Hamid] Karzai, doesn’t believe in his own strategy and doesn’t consider the war to be his.’ ‘For him, it’s all about getting out.’

Now there’s the rub as Shakespeare would say: Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates has given Republicans something- a huge cudgel to bash Hillary over the head in 2016 presidential elections with new revelations about what the GOP will view as Hillary Clinton placing crass, cowardly political expediency over principle. Gates writes his recollections about Obama’s own troop surge, a move of 30,000 armed personnel into Afghanistan meant to stabilize the country in advance of a final all-out troop withdrawal. (Remember that Gen. Petraeus insisted on at least 50,000 troops be sent to Afghanistan in order to insure a successful mission, but Obama refused). The commander-in-chief, Gates says, was ‘skeptical if not outright convinced it would fail.’ ‘I never doubted Obama’s support for the troops,’ Gates insists, ‘only his support for their mission.’ That’s Washington-speak for Obama didn’t believe in the troops or the mission in Afghanistan.

Ultimately, Gates nearly quit over Obama’s duplicity and cowardice about Afghanistan, he writes. The Bush administration hold-over reveals in his memoir that he was ‘deeply uneasy with the Obama White House’s lack of appreciation – from the top down – of the uncertainties and unpredictability of war.’ Describing a contentious day when Obama evaluated his Afghanistan strategy, Gates recalls: ‘I came closer to resigning that day than at any other time in my tenure, though no one knew it.’

Who then is ultimately to blame when cowardly politicians not only don’t pay a political or legal price for using our brave troops as cannon fodder and as faceless means to their own craven, political ends is We the People. It is the American voter who for whatever reason—leftist media propaganda, low information voters, a go-along-to-get-along philosophy, people being willing dupes for political hacks no matter what, cult of personality, etc.—in the end it is us the American voter that puts scoundrels like Obama and Hillary Clinton in office and empower them to elevate their morally bankrupt cronies to make decisions over our lives most tragically deconstructing the constitution and destroying our liberties and freedoms by their socialist and nihilist policies. The ultimate enemy of freedom, natural law and constitutionalism is not Obama, Hillary, socialism or the welfare state, it is the man or woman looking back at you in the mirror… no one else!

Gates views Obama’s war Iraq and Afghanistan strategy as wholly servile to preserving and deifying his overarching political career, writing that during his tenure at the Pentagon Obama ‘simply wanted to end the “bad” war in Iraq and limit the U.S. role in the “good” war in Afghanistan.’ However, the president’s specified strategy for withdrawing troops Iraq and Afghanistan, he claims, ‘conflicted with his own pro-war public rhetoric (especially during the 2008 campaign), the nearly unanimous recommendations of his senior civilian and military advisers at the Departments of State and Defense, and the realities on the ground.’ Finally, he concluded, Obama was ‘inexperienced’ yet ‘determined to change course – and equally determined from day one to win re-election.’ ‘Domestic political considerations would therefore be a factor, though I believe never a decisive one, in virtually every major national security problem we tackled.’

I repeat Obama and Hillary acted cowardly, callously and with Machiavellian tactics used our brave troops to further their own political careers and once having seized ultimate political power, sacrificed by the tens thousands our U.S. soldiers by expanding a foolish war in Afghanistan, by weakening our stronghold in Iraq and destroying our foreign policy in the Middle East, so that these cowards among heroes could prance around on stages across the world and lie to the American people about how great a statesman they were… Not!

May Gates’s memoir and the subsequent public debate it will engender, open up the gates of Hell against Obama, Hillary and the Democrat Socialist Party for committing treason against our heroic troops who gave their lives, blood and treasure in Iraq and Afghanistan wars… for nothing.

DO YOU KNOW YOUR CONSTITUTION? PART 2

constitution

There is no crueler tyranny than that which is perpetuated under the shield of law and in the name of justice.

~Charles de Montesquieu

Dr. Larry Arnn, constitutional scholar and president of Hillsdale College, has instituted a series of public interest programs aired on conservative talk radio called “Constitution Minute.” So far there have been nine episodes. Here are parts 5-9:

1. What is bureaucratic despotism?

DR. ARNN: “One of the chief sponsors of the Dodd Frank Finance Reform bill called that legislation, “about as important as it gets, because it deals with every single aspect of our lives.” And how does this legislation deal with every aspect of our lives? In the most unconstitutional way: It sets up a board called the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has the power to regulate our economic transactions independently of both the president and Congress—in other words, permanent government employees are placed in charge of us beyond the control of those we elect, the control of “we the people.” This is a violation of the representative form of government, without which there can be no Constitutional government.”

Historically, the Progressive Revolution under the auspices of the Democrat Socialist Party has shown nothing but utter contempt towards the constitution, natural law, America’s sacred traditions, and in this case the separation of powers doctrine that the Framers borrowed from the writings of French philosopher Charles de Montesquieu’s The Spirit of Laws (1748). All the political left is concerned about is deconstructing the constitution to amass more political powers unto itself. Excessive regulations since the Theodore Roosevelt’s decreeing millions of acres of private land as federal land during his conservation revolution of the early 1900s and FDRs “New Deal” welfare programs of the 1930s and 40s has been an effective way to achieve power over the masses while entrenching liberal fascism into every aspect of our lives. Socialism in America was deceptively simple—control the economics and the courts you control the people and the laws, control the people and the laws and you have absolute power.

2. Is the Constitution relevant today?

DR. ARNN: “Many argue today that the Constitution is outdated because it addresses problems peculiar to the eighteenth century, so long ago. Consider the injunction against titles of nobility in article nine section one of the Constitution. But is that outdated? The purpose of that injunction is to prevent the partisan bestowal of special privileges by the government, which privileges strike at the heart of a free society, which is based on the rule of law. Look at crony capitalism today, so common, whereby the government bestows favors and tax dollars on some businesses and it gives them a leg up over others. This is a striking example of what the Constitution was meant to prohibit and a striking illustration of why the Constitution is not outdated at all.”

Laissez-faire or conservative economists oppose crony capitalism equating governmental favors as a perversion of true free market capitalism. Laissez-faire supporters criticize crony capitalism as an ideologically motivated attempt to cast what is in their view the fundamental problem of government intervention or “investments” as an avoidable aberration; free-market advocates refer to governmental favoritism as “crony socialism”, “venture socialism” or “corporatism, a modern form of “mercantilism” to emphasize that the only way to run a profitable business in such systems is to have help from corrupt government officials who are open to bribery. Armies of D.C. “lobbyists” lauder hundreds of billions annually to control government legislation in their favor.

3. What is the relationship of the three Branches of Government under the Constitution?

DR. ARNN: “There’s a lot of confusion these days about the relationship of the three branches of government—especially among many who are in government. Some think the judiciary sits atop the other two branches—the legislative and the executive. Others think the president sits above Congress and the courts. In fact, all three branches are equally accountable to the Constitution, and therefore to the people who made the Constitution. The president, members of Congress, and federal judges all take an oath to the Constitution. In making the laws, Congress must adhere to the Constitution. In executing the laws, the president must abide by the Constitution. In interpreting the laws, judges are bound by the Constitution. All the people’s representatives are accountable to the Constitution, and therein lies our liberty.”

Constitutionally speaking it is both misleading and wrong to ask the question: Which is the most powerful branch of government? Because the original intent of the constitutional Framers placed enumerated powers in each branch that were in their sole domain and from which the other two branches held no power or sovereignty outside the blackletter text of the constitution. However, an existential constitutional crises is precipitated when one branch of government bleeds over into the others’ domain. The most infamous example of this is Chief Justice John Marshall’s majority opinion in Marbury v. Madison (1803) which created a new doctrine called judicial review whereby the Supreme Court out of whole cloth claimed for itself “the province and the duty… to say what the law is” and made the judiciary, originally the weakest of the three branches of government, into what Jefferson called, “the despotism of an oligarchy [of five].” This judicial tyranny to a large degree caused the collapse of our federalist system of government.

4. Why is Federalism crucial to free government?

DR. ARNN: “Many in Washington today have grown so accustomed to centralized bureaucracy that they think of Federalism as old-fashioned, kind of like fife and drum music. Those who wrote the Constitution saw Federalism as a vital principle of free government in a large republic. The division of power between the Federal government, state governments, and local governments, which serves an important protection against tyranny. The Founders also understood that while the Federal Government is essential for national matters like foreign policy and defense, the governments closer to the people were far better suited to oversee local matters. As we see in the problems that resolve from centralized bureaucracy today, there’s nothing out-of-date about the Founders argument for Federalism.”

Conservatives must return to doctrines of our political forefathers; we must re-embrace federalism, judicial restraint, and states’ rights. The party of Lincoln should protect core civil rights, but beyond that, states and localities should be given as much freedom as they can handle. If California wants to become a socialist hellhole then let it. If Texas wants to become Hong Kong on the Rio Grande, more power to them. And the same principle goes for cities and towns within those states. People will vote with their feet and move to the best states which is why Florida is quickly approaching New York as the most populous state in America—Florida is an island of low taxes and free market dynamism while New York has devolved into a socialist hellhole of collectivist misery.

5. Is the Presidential Oath of Office still relevant?

DR. ARNN: “Members of Congress and federal judges take an oath to the Constitution, but the Constitution prescribes the exact words of the oath only for the President. The American Presidency was a new and powerful office created at the Constitutional Convention of 1787. Nothing like it existed in any other Constitution in history. It was designed to allow certain virtues, decision, activity, secrecy, dispatch, things like that. And they were thought to be essential to executive power especially in a crisis. But despite this immense power, the power is not so powerful as the Constitution itself, that is why President’s must pledge to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, and why it is the duty of the people to make sure they do so.”

Every president, member of Congress, judge and Supreme Court Justice has vowed at pains of impeachment “to protect and defend the constitution against all enemies—foreign and domestic.” When was the last time a sitting member of any branch of government was impeached?—Nixon resigned before he was impeached in 1974, Clinton was impeached in 1999 but stayed in office and Florida Federal judge Alcee Hastings was impeached and removed from his judgeship in1989, yet in 1994 launched a successful career as the most impoverished and purveyor of cronyism than any member of Congress. Despite the rampant political corruption in Washington, D.C., there have only been eight [8] federal officials in American history to be impeached and removed from office. Impeachment must become commonplace if we are to save the Republic.

In “Federalist No. 46,” James Madison asserted that the states and national government “are in fact but different agents and trustees of the people, constituted with different powers.” Alexander Hamilton, writing in “Federalist No. 28,” suggested that both levels of government would exercise authority to the citizens’ benefit: “If their [the peoples] rights are invaded by either, they can make use of the other as the instrument of redress.” I don’t believe the states are the servants of the federal government. I believe in dual federalism which holds that the federal government and the state governments are co-equals, each sovereign.

In conclusion, it is the deception, duplicity and tyranny of the Democrat Socialist Party with their willing lackeys, the RINO, establishment Republicans, who have done great harm to lowering our education level and perverting our understanding of the constitution by dividing and conquering We the People, rather than standing on principle like the Tea Party is attempting to do following the original intent of the constitutional Framers.

Dr. Arnn’s ‘Constitution Minute’

constitution

The law of the Creator, which invests every human being with an inalienable title to freedom, cannot be repealed by any interior law which asserts that man is property.

~Chief Justice Salmon P. Chase

Dr. Larry Arnn, constitutional scholar and president of Hillsdale College has instituted a series of public interest programs aired on conservative talk radio called, “Constitution Minute.” So far there have been nine episodes. Here are the first four:

What is the Difference between Natural Rights and Entitlements?

DR. ARNN: “America’s founders knew, obviously, that human beings are not equal in terms of strength or beauty, or in terms of intelligence, industry or talents. They understood that because of such differences, differences in talents and things like that, some people would be wealthier than others. But human beings are equal, the founders believed, in their possession of natural rights, such as the rights to life, liberty and property. Today many American’s reject this equality of rights in order to pursue equality of condition through redistribution, or spreading the wealth around to use a famous formulation. This is destructive of liberty as the founders understood it.”

Entitlements (legal rights) are those granted onto a person by a known legal system, while natural rights are those not dependent upon the laws, traditions, or beliefs of any specific government or culture, and are therefore universal and inalienable. 17th-century English philosopher John Locke, who influenced America’s framers in his famous work, “Two Treatises on Government” (1690) identifying them as being “life, liberty, and estate (property)”, and argued that such fundamental rights could not be surrendered in the social contract. Preservation of the natural rights to life, liberty, and property was claimed as justification for the rebellion of the American colonies.

Social contract theory is an agreement between citizens to live within a common system of laws. Particular forms of government are the result of the decisions made by these persons acting in their cooperative capacity. Government is instituted to make laws that protect these three natural rights. If a government does not properly defend these rights, it can be overthrown by We the People.

In a draft of the Virginia Declaration of Rights (May, 1776), George Mason wrote that, “all men are born equally free,” and hold “certain inherent natural rights, of which they cannot, by any compact, deprive or divest their posterity.” Therefore natural law, from which natural rights originate can be defined as laws, principles and standards not simply originate by mankind but rather part of an objective moral order, existing in the universe and accessible to human reason.

Redistribution or spreading the wealth around are just progressive euphemisms for Marxism, socialism and communism.

How Well Do You Understand Our Constitution?

DR. ARNN: “America was founded on the idea that human beings are born with natural rights, such as the rights to life, liberty and property. A person who holds this view of rights makes no demands on others except that they respect those rights. Today, however, many Americans talk about rights to a college education, state of the art medical care and even birth control pills. These are rights understood as entitlements and a person who holds this view of rights, far from making no demands on other people, is making claims on other people’s money and resources. This understanding of rights not only sets citizens against each other, but it undermines the whole idea of natural rights.”

According to Locke there are three natural rights:

  • Estate (property): everyone is entitled to own all they create or gain through gift or trade so long as it doesn’t conflict with the first two rights.
  • Liberty: everyone is entitled to do anything they want to so long as it doesn’t conflict with the first right.
  • Life: everyone is entitled to live once they are created.

Increasingly since the 1850s and 60s the political left through the Democrat Socialist Party, have made an art form at deconstructing America’s natural rights, sacred values and societal institutions in a systematic and comprehensive manner. I call it the Darwin-Marx-Gramsci long march through the institutions. For example, recently the left has convinced people to ignore the moral foundations of the U.S. Constitution to embrace that same-sex marriage is real (legal) marriage thus overturning by judicial activism hundreds of anti-sodomy laws; also that college education, healthcare, birth control, abortion pills and “recreational” marijuana are constitutional rights.

The diabolical genius of such a plan is that you make people think they have rights contrived through the leviathan State thereby conflating rights with wants. These Machiavellian tactics harkened back to Thomas Hobbes in whose magnum opus Leviathan (1651) wrote, “Good simply means getting whatever you want, and evil is anything that might stand in your way of getting it.” Thus, it was Hobbes who over 460 years ago first elevated our wants, desires, needs and lusts to the heavenly dominion of Rights which has contributed to our present constitutional crisis and the deconstruction of societal morality.

Did America’s Founders Intend to Create a Separation between Church and State?

DR. ARNN: “America’s founders believed in the separation of church and state, in that the country was not to have an official religion or an official sect, but that did not mean that government was to be hostile to religion, or even indifferent to religion, as many today argue. In fact, America’s founding document the Declaration of Independence includes both a reference to God as the author of the laws of nature and a confident assertion that human beings are endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights. Far from being hostile or indifferent to religion, America’s founders understood the theology of the declaration to be an essential part of the education of citizens.”

If there was an original separation of church and state then that doctrine would be self-evident in the writings of the constitutional framers, right? To address the question of what writers and writings most influenced the constitutional Framers University of Houston political science professors Donald Lutz and Charles Hyneman in 1985 published a monumental study that took them 10 years to bring together. They compiled over 15,000 items, including 2,200 books, newspaper articles, pamphlets and monographs of political materials written between 1760-1805, and discovered that the three writers the constitutional framers quoted from the most often were: 1) Barron Montesquieu (1689-1755), 2) William Blackstone (1723-80), and 3) John Locke (1632-1704). Significantly, all of these men were strong adherents of natural law and natural rights philosophy, which followed an inseparable connection between law and morality. The Bible was referenced in fully 96 percent of all political writings of this period.

Why Does the Constitution Limit Government?

DR. ARNN: “James Madison writes in Federalist 51 that “Men are not angels; their passions and self-interest often get the better of their reason and sense of justice, so we need government in order to protect our rights against those who would take them away”. “But for the same reason,” Madison writes, “government must be limited because people in government have passions and interests too.” Many Americans today forget this, supposing that we can do away with constitutional limits on government, supposing that the unelected bureaucrats being put in charge of our health care, for example, will rule as if they are angels. If Madison was correct about human nature this is foolish and dangerous.”

Human nature, an indispensable part of humanity which science, economics, business and politics knows little about, was well-understood by the constitutional framers like Madison who along with Washington, Jefferson, Mason, Franklin and others certainly realized that natural law and natural rights were derivative of God, morality and the Bible. Human nature, therefore is concurrently humanity’s best character trait and our most intractable vice which Jefferson said to “bind him [politicians, judges] down from mischief by the chains of the constitution.” This is a central reason why the framers borrowed the separation of powers doctrine from Montesquieu by not investing absolute power in any one branch of government but spreading those godlike powers to three branches of government—legislative, executive and the judiciary.

Tragically, since the advent of the Imperial Presidency (1901– present) progressive presidents from Theodore Roosevelt to Barack Obama have increasingly conflated the three branches of government into one which inexorably leads to this existential socialism, fascism and tyranny.

Unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord

nativity-sceneThe gifts have been exchanged and opened. Santa has returned to the North Pole to begin work for next Christmas Eve. The turkeys or Christmas hams are roasting in ovens across this great country. The commercial side of Christmas is over for another year.

Now we honor the true and real purpose of our Christmas celebration: the birth of our Savior, Christ the Lord.

From Luke 2:

2 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be taxed.

2 (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was governor of Syria.)

3 And all went to be taxed, every one into his own city.

4 And Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judaea, unto the city of David, which is called Bethlehem; (because he was of the house and lineage of David:)

5 To be taxed with Mary his espoused wife, being great with child.

6 And so it was, that, while they were there, the days were accomplished that she should be delivered.

7 And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.

9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.

10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.

11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.

13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,

14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.

Behold! Today we celebrate and honor the birth of a life that gives eternal life to every sinner willing to humble themselves and repent their sins before the Lord. God is indiscriminate. Each and every one of us is given a choice: accept Christ into our hearts as our Lord and Savior, or not.

No other life has had or will have such a profound impact on earth as Jesus:

He was born in an obscure village, the child of a peasant woman. He grew up in still another village, where He worked in a carpenter shop until He was 30. Then for three years He was an itinerant preacher. He never wrote a book. He never held an office. He never had a family or owned a house. He didn’t go to college. He never traveled more than 200 miles from the place He was born. He did none of the things one usually associates with greatness. He had no credentials but Himself. He was only 33 when public opinion turned against Him. His friends deserted Him. He was turned over to His enemies and went through the mockery of a trial. He was nailed to a cross between two thieves. When He was dying, His executioners gambled for His clothing, the only property He had.. . . on earth. When He was dead, He was laid in a borrowed grave through the pity of a friend. Nineteen centuries have come and gone, and today He is the central figure of the human race, the leader of mankind’s progress. All the armies that ever marched, all the navies that ever sailed, all the parliaments that ever sat, all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man on earth as much as that One Solitary Life. Do You Know Who He Is?

Merry Christmas from everyone here at The Conservative Beacon!