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Breaking the Long Truce

Breaking the Long Truce

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element of democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the ruling power of our country.[1] – Edward Bernays, 1928

Ressentiment is directed at something which at the deepest level of his being the individual recognizes as good. Although there may be evil mixed with it (as in the sinful preacher), it is not the evil which is hated primarily but the good. Dwelling on the evil is ressentiment’s ploy for attacking the good.[2] – James Hitchcock, c. 1983 

During the Great Depression and before the outbreak of the Second World War John Maynard Keynes wrote The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (1936). A well-known lesson that he imparted was simply this: 

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist. Madmen in authority, who hear voices in the air, are distilling their frenzy from some academic scribbler of a few years back”.[3] 

Nearly a century later, we may ask whether the West has reached a dead end in legitimizing its institutions. Few American presidents in the past century have done so more eloquently than one most remembered for his silence.[4] Having closed their eyes to the Christian West’s original vision, our public figures too often hear the wrong words and heed the wrong voices.

Any effort to find our footing again will require a full-orbed binocular scrutiny of what Reinhold Niebuhr called “the nature and destiny of man.” It is said that, in the country of the blind, the one-eyed man is king. A Cyclopean perspective, however, necessarily lacks depth perception. Too long have we turned our spiritual focus away from paying any heed to the ordinary affairs of daily life, yet it is from this quarter that any real improvement is apt to come. We are surrounded by the fruits of a powerful ideational culture, an outgrowth of Christianity, which reshaped the world as nothing before it. [5] As the historian Tom Holland describes it: 

“So profound has been the impact of Christianity on the development of Western civilization that it has come to be hidden from view. It is the incomplete revolutions which are remembered; the fate of those which triumph is to be taken for granted.”[6] 

Even after centuries of a protracted conflict which spread the faith globally, as well as power and profit, we are still drawing on reserves of law, reclamation, custom, and energy built up over many centuries. The challenge we face is to rebuild the foundations of civilization after they has been beset by so much destruction and demoralization. A revitalized Christian vision of discipling the nations must include rehabilitating our common humanity by reviving a sense of vocation and stewardship, rebuilding family and community life, and restoring a sense of the sacred rather than seeking to overcome or supersede our creaturely limitations.

The West began as a Christian project. Philip Rieff called the remnants of Christendom a “church civilization.”[7] The modern age, however, began with, first, a neglect and then a repudiation of that great wellspring of constructive energy in favor of a sensate culture advanced by a series of economic revolutions. After half a millennium this sensate culture has been disintegrating in a frenzy of invention, social change, and rivalry which Pitirim Sorokin described as a chaotic syncretism.[8] We have gained a whole world, but at what cost? Our reach now exceeds the human scale of our ancestors.[9] Our communities disintegrate along with our grasp of reality.

Charles Hill summarized this historical trajectory in dialectical language: 

“All parties agree about the role of religion in the pre-modern age: it was pervasive, central, powerful, and generally respected as a given of the human condition.

The modern world, in sharp contrast, has defined itself against religion. Among the elites, religion is to be neutralized, marginalized, excluded, and often derided.”[10] 

As J. Budziszewski notes in The Revenge of Conscience: “the Tower of Babel is a very ancient tale, and just as many voices, sects, and doctrines quarreled in premodern times as today.”[11] Thrust into a swirl of ideological conflict and changing mores many are embracing a “pernicious tolerance” which seeks – by combating stereotypes, distorting reality, criminalizing alleged “hate” – to silence the wisdom of the past in favor of a future open to whatever social experiments our Conditioners might devise.[12] Not even the removal or mutilation of healthy body parts seems to escape their imagination. Is there is any limit to the mayhem which might be inflicted on the helpless or the heedless in the name of some utopian vision of hoax? We should realize by now that any novel program the government encourages, subsidizes, and finally mandates may be the long-gestating byproduct of a fevered imagination.[13]

The economist George Stigler recognized the folly when he wrote: “Until the basic logic of political life is developed, reformers will be ill-equipped to use the state for their reforms, and victims of the pervasive use of the state’s support of special groups will be helpless to protect themselves.”[14] Absent the stern judgment of market forces, political follies are not self-correcting. This realization should be burned into our memories. In protracted conflicts, such as our culture wars, those in the thick of the fight often fail to notice the provocateurs.[15] Competing interest group demands often trigger Gresham’s Law which devolves into a vicious circle that locks all parties into preordained failure and into the proverbial race for the bottom.

Meekly submitting to such a regime does not relieve us of the responsibility of doing “due diligence” and engaging in critical reasoning. When government agencies and major corporations make it their business to prescribe and enforce an ideological orthodoxy and call it “settled science,” we must realize that the imposition of such ideological straitjackets is designed to stampede us into meek obeisance, turning us from citizens into subjects. Even when the path we are following has an appearance of inevitability, we must understand that – with the unfolding managerial revolution which is reshaping the landscape and even redefining our humanity – we are dealing with political strategies and choices rather than eternal verities. Jonathan R. T. Hughes concludes his 1992 book on a sobering note: 

“The problems for which the controls were invented are to be managed in perpetuity, not solved. The ruling paradigm was established by the first federal nonmarket control agency, the ICC. We may well now have the controls because they reduce economic efficiency; the controls are seen to save us from the uncertainties of the free market just as civil government is seen to save us from the uncertainties of anarchy. Professors of economics may not like the parallel, but they do not make laws.”[16] 

Finding ourselves entangled in administrative “red tape” renders us all less self-governing and more fearful. Shortly after the introduction of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs, America’s longshoreman philosopher, Eric Hoffer, made some astute observations about the general practical-mindedness of Americans which, in his judgment, made them largely immune to the appeals to abstract ideas of social and economic justice by intellectual elites nestled in academia, the media, and the bureaucracy. “Up to now,” Hoffer wrote in 1964, 

“America has not been a good milieu for the rise of a mass movement. What starts out here as a mass movement ends up as a racket, a cult, or a corporation. Unlike those anywhere else, the masses in America have never despaired of the present and are not willing to sacrifice it for a new life and a new world.”[17] 

But decades later, the economist Thomas Sowell remarked that a transformation had already taken place by 1995. A decade earlier Sowell had written A Conflict of Visions, a time when the “constrained” or “tragic vision” still had articulate defenders, Sowell now intensified his critique of the increasingly prevalent “vision of the anointed:” 

“What is seldom part of the vision of the anointed is a concept of ordinary people as autonomous decision makers free to reject any vision and to seek their own well-being through whatever social processes they choose. Thus, when those with the prevailing vision speak of the family – if only to defuse their adversaries’ emphasis on family values – they tend to conceive of the family as a recipient institution for government largess or guidance, rather than as a decision-making institution determining for itself how children shall be raised and with what values.”[18]           

Like Hughes, Sowell has been especially trenchant in analyzing the enormous damage that a secular clerisy of abstract thinkers – Michael Oakeshott called it “rationalism in politics” – has inflicted upon the civil body politic: 

“In order that this relatively small group of people can believe themselves wiser and nobler than the common herd, we have adopted policies which impose heavy costs on millions of other human beings, not only in taxes but also in lost jobs, social disintegration, and a loss of personal safety. Seldom have so few cost so much to so many.”[19] 

Sowell’s friend Walter Williams – time and again – proved equally willing to “speak truth to power.” Williams, who wrote a powerful memoir entitled Up from the Projects (2010),[20] soon afterward released another book: Race and Economics. In the preface he wrote: “As a generality, if one is a member of a minority, he is less likely to realize his preferences if decisions are made in the political arena, particularly if they are made at the national level.”[21]

In Sowell’s and Williams’s warnings we may sense the quality of thought that Madison, Hamilton, and Jay sought to instill into readers of their Federalist Papers. The passage which follows could serve as a manifesto for a renewed constitutionalism: 

“Consider another comparison between market- and political-resource allocation. If one tours a low-income black neighborhood, he will see people wearing some nice clothing, eating some nice food, driving some nice cars, and he might even see some nice houses – but no nice schools. Why? The answer relates directly to how clothing, food, cars, and houses – versus schools – are allocated. Clothing, food, cars, and houses are allocated through the market mechanism. Schools, for the most part, are parceled out through the political mechanism. If a buyer is dissatisfied with goods distributed in the market, the individual can simply ‘fire’ the producer by taking his business elsewhere. If a buyer (taxpayer) is dissatisfied with a public school, such an option is not, in a black neighborhood, economically viable to him. He has to bear the burden of moving to a neighborhood with better schools.”[22] 

The administrative state – with its vast range of programs for various constituencies – revives some of the worst features of monopoly. Progressive reformers intended antitrust laws and regulations to solve the problems generated by unlimited corporate power through the use of unlimited governmental power. But the danger of monopoly is not limited to private corporations vested by the state with such special privileges as limited liability. Monopoly powers are also vested in agencies of the government itself. Urban political machines keep their constituents languishing in poverty and powerlessness for decades by keeping many of them in a state of dependency. When local tax burdens and other problems mount due to corrupt political machines, the more prosperous residents of such cities, states, and even countries often “vote with their feet” and take their time, talents, and treasure elsewhere. As a result, they must contend with a shrinking tax base.[23] Free markets help correct inefficiencies and even injustices.

The late Roman Empire faced a similar problem and “solved” it by making office-holding hereditary and continued service in office mandatory. Still, this did not stop a great many Roman families from exiting the empire before it crumbled. To rephrase an old line: A lot of good people came from Rome, and the better they were, the faster they came. The question we face today is: How can cities, states, and countries keep their own best assets at home when emigration becomes such an attractive option? How do we get our economy, borders, and Constitution back in good shape? Some historical perspective is required. 

Scrutinizing the long truce 

Ever since the Peace of Westphalia formalized the modern system of states at the end of the Thirty Years War (1618-1648), the idea of sovereignty – the supreme, perpetual, indivisible right to rule -- has been attributed to individual states or their rulers. This modern innovation was lifted from theology during the French Wars of Religion by Jean Bodin (c 1585) and later by Bishop Bossuet (c. 1681) to bolster the royal authority. During the Middle Ages, the power of kings was more decentralized, effectively shared with and limited by the nobility and the Church. This changed with the rise of powerful monarchs, such the Charles V, Francis I, Henry VIII, Philip II, and Elizabeth I during the High Renaissance and Reformation eras.

The political theorist Thomas Hobbes, who lived through both the Thirty Years War and the English Civil War, elevated the will of the king “to absolute moral sovereignty,” as Stephen Toulmin put it: 

“A modern state (specifically, a nation-state) requires, in his view, overwhelming force concentrated at the center, under the authority of a sovereign, whom he likens to an irresistible monster, or Leviathan. As willful social atoms, all of his subjects will otherwise go their own ways, and pursue their individual goods independently; so they must be made to understand that their personal activities take place under, and are constrained by, the shadow of this overwhelming social force.”[24] 

Although Hobbes’s and, later, Locke’s social contract theories laid the groundwork for classical liberalism, these and subsequent theories were in some respects marred by authoritarian as well as a utilitarian ethical bent. During the preceding century, a large body of literature and practice regarding resistance to tyranny had circulated, especially among Protestant sects in Germany, France, England, and Scotland during and following the Reformation.[25] Hobbes, like many after him, came to regard Christianity as a potentially seditious force – due to its conscientious adherence to divine authority – unless the interpretation of Scripture be made to “depend upon the sovereign authority of the commonwealth.”[26] As Hobbes himself put the issue: 

“Having showed, that in all commonwealths whatsoever, the necessity of peace and government requireth, that there be existent some power, either in one man, or in one assembly of men, by the name of the power sovereign, which it is not for any member of the same commonwealth to disobey; there occurreth now a difficulty, which, if it be not removed, maketh it unlawful for a man to put himself under command of such absolute sovereignty as is required thereto. And the difficulty is this; we have amongst us the Word of God for the rule of our actions: now if we shall subject ourselves to men also, obliging ourselves to do such actions as shall be by them commanded, when the commands of God and man shall differ, we are to obey God, rather than man; and consequently, the covenant of general obedience to man is unlawful.”[27] 

Hobbes sought to bridle political and religious liberty by subordinating the Church to the State. Concerning “the authority of interpreting the Scripture,” Hobbes earlier wrote in Leviathan that “whoever hath a lawful authority over any writing, to make it law, hath the power also to approve, or disapprove the interpretation of the same.”[28] Thus the sovereign must be regarded as the theologian-in-chief.

The effect of the Peace of Westphalia, however, was to marginalize the role of religion in the new international order. Having hewn a civilization out of the ruins of fallen empires and the European wilderness over more than a millennium, Christian churches, monasteries, universities, and leaders were now relegated by the peace settlement into an essentially private supporting role rather than be permitted to remain a collective institutional restraint or counterweight to the ambitions of political bodies and rulers. The diplomats sought to marginalize the international role played by the church in order to make space for nation-states which encompassed “more diverse populations – made the more diverse by divisions in the church... Toleration was a way of setting aside, as strictly private, the difficult metaphysical and theological dimensions of public life.”[29]

The Swedish Chancellor Axel Oxenstierna’s observation to his son about the absence of wisdom in government has largely held true ever since.[30] A red line of inhumanity may be traced from the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of 1571 through the French, Russian, and Chinese revolutions to the present day. The events of the 1640s, when it was still possible to speak of Christendom, may continue to shape our situation as much as the French Revolution of the 1790s and the First World War finally shattered Christendom.

Just after the Second World War, Bertrand de Jouvenel argued that “it is impossible to condemn totalitarian regimes without also condemning the destructive metaphysic which made their happening a certainty.” 

“This metaphysic refused to see in society anything but the state and the individual. It disregarded the role of the spiritual authorities and of all those intermediate social forces which enframe, protect, and control the life of man, thereby obviating and preventing the intervention of Power. It did not foresee that the overthrow of all these barriers and bulwarks would unleash a disorderly rout of egoistical interests and blind passions leading to the fatal and inauspicious coming of tyranny.”[31] 

De Jouvenel here summarizes a political theory Johannes Althusius worked out two decades before the Seven Years War. Althusius regarded society as a symbiotic relationship between a multitude of authorities and organizations ranging from kingdoms, principalities, and municipalities to families, churches, guilds, universities, and various community groups. Along with such later ideas as subsidiarity and sphere sovereignty, it supports of a decentralization and limitation of political power.[32]

The theologian A. J. Conyers observed how the modern idea of toleration arose in the context of the nation-state system. 

“In Hobbes we find in precise form the motivation for a modern idea of toleration... Theology has been set aside in the interest of the political task of ruling. Therefore, all groups, including the church, but not exclusively the church, are coopted into the general political enterprise. Groups no longer appear distinctly, only the multitude of individuals and the ruler himself.”[33] 

One consequence is the bipolarization of society, which may very well account for a tendency to bifurcate political issues, along with political parties. Political divisions and conflicts may intensify and lead incrementally, to the persecution and suppression of dissenters. The general consensus is that competing loyalties, Conyers observes,

“are the most formidable barriers to the spreading efficiency of central administration of authority. The passions must be harnessed to the larger agenda and not be distributed in the untidy natural associations that spring up as freely in a society not well organized, not rational, not subservient to the goals of commerce and power.”[34] 

Yet the result of such thinking has been to move Hobbes’s state of nature into the collective operations of the administrative state itself. As an artificial man or corporation, the Leviathan State faces the problem of how to renew whatever force of attraction holds the people together. In the absence of a natural resilience or renewal which the state cannot engender, it must become progressively more authoritarian and liberty will gradually diminish. Casting political dissenters into the role of enemies of the people leads inexorably to the persecution and economic loss. The Treaty of Nantes gave France a nearly a century of prosperity and growing power. Its Revocation led Huguenots to take their time, talents, and treasure to distant places in Africa, Europe, and the Americas. France fell into social calcification, fiat money inflation, and Revolution.

Conyers recognizes that more is required than a toleration which makes “the world safe for power and profit.” 

“The question raised by the long course of modernity is this: How long can society maintain itself on the residue of a culture’s fundamental commitments? Or more precisely: How long can it do so and pretend that the issues once fought out at the theological level no longer matter? How long can it pretend that the character and virtue of a people, that which makes social life commodious and predictable, can simply be taken for granted?”[35] 

This is in part a question of risk management – balancing anticipation with resilience – but it is really about attaining “the good life.” As Aaron Wildavsky showed, we must balance a cautious anticipation of danger with a policy of holding resources in reserve to meet unforeseen emergencies.[36] :

What remains to be answered is: How does a decaying civilization beset by maladies of affluence hope to replicate the character of the people who laid its foundations once upon a time? Perhaps the question answers itself: How can it?

A self-governing people can anticipate exigencies and make the necessary judgments without the dictates of commissars or bureaucrats. Not so a growing population of dependents. The Leviathan state clears away the undergrowth of perceived rivals to its power and authority, thus becoming a hazard to or an enemy of its own citizens. To do otherwise increases the risk to “business as usual.” A. J. Conyers describes the bitter pill we have chosen to swallow: 

“The state that we have learned to expect is a fairly faithful representation of what we might have learned from Hobbes. Yet this Leviathan was always preceded by a shadow. It was preceded by a kind of society in which this state has a chance of coming into being, a society of individuals and dispirited, jejune groups, void of the kind of conviction for which men and women sacrifice and even die. It is the Shadow Leviathan, that loss of power that invites the excess of power. It is tolerant not in the sense that it expects to learn from others but in the sense there is nothing really to learn of any consequence.”[37] 

Today the definition of toleration narrows even as the list of thought crimes grow. As J. Budziszewski put it three decades ago: “Things are getting worse very quickly now. The list of things we are required to approve is growing ever longer.”[38] Disapproval often carries legal penalties as well as social ostracism. Herbert Marcuse’s “repressive tolerance” holds the field – for now – in the urbane West.[39] Toleration comes to resemble Henry Ford’s offer to his Model T purchasers: “Any customer can have a car in any color that he wants, so long as it is black.” 

Reading the fine print in the long truce 

What is at stake is the very resilience of a civilization which must draw upon the cultural, moral, spiritual resources built up over many generations, often sacrificially, through the stewardship of preceding generations. Among Lord Keynes’s “madmen in authority” are voices that demand the destruction of all obstacles to what many imagine as a great liberation. Klaus Schwab of the World Economic Forum similarly imagines a Great Reset. This impulse may be characterized, as Eugen Rosenstock-Huessy and J. L. Talmon did, as a form of political messianism. Far from decentralizing or redistributing wealth and power, control is most apt to be held in perpetual trust by those who seize the levers of power.

Roger Scruton has described the western conception of the nation-state as a Personal State in which “there is a political process generating corporate agency, collective responsibility, and moral personality in the state.” 

“It is a moral and legal person, which acts on its own behalf and is liable for what it does... The very same political process that turns subjects into citizens turns the state into a collective expression of its citizens’ way of life. When we speak of the United States as negotiating a treaty, as building up its army, as declaring war on terrorism, we are not speaking metaphorically. These things are the genuine actions of a corporate person, in which all U.S. citizens are to some extent implicated, but which are the actions of no individual.”[40] 

Herein lies much of the difficulty. When a Personal State adopts an official ideology – such as a religious or ideological establishment – it places immense burdens on those who dissent. The United States was originally settled by religious and political dissenters, some of whom nevertheless supported similar policies against others. Massachusetts dissolved its establishment of religion in 1833 only to establish public education in its place four years later. Whether it is tax support of churches or of schools, many families are led to forgo services to which they are otherwise entitled because of the bias of the curriculum or the conditions that are attached. When a Personal State promotes a religious establishment, or subsidizes an ideological orthodoxy to the disadvantage of other views, countless individuals and families are conscientiously compelled to pay double for the service. Some will vote with their feet and further deplete the common treasury. In many respects, the Personal State resembles Rousseau’s general will, in which dissenters may be “forced to be free” and made complicit in its actions. Some people prefer the invisibility of collective responsibility.

Hobbes, whose discussion of the competition of desire anticipates René Girard’s mimetic desire and mimetic rivalry,[41] may be the first true philosopher of individualism and equality. Like Plato, Machiavelli, and Rousseau, he sought, like Thucydides, to write an exemplary work for all time.[42] Like them, he also had an agenda in mind. Hobbes wanted no competing loyalty to come between the state and each citizen. All would be equal and all would submit to a sovereign of which each is a part. Hobbes may well have understood the political uses even of an expressive individualism. In this respect, Rousseau – who offered an authoritarian “general will” as a solution to ruling over individualists – may have been his truest disciple.

Will we muster the political courage to resist? What began in the Progressive era as a desire for a living or fluid Constitution, matured during the New Deal into the desire for a permanent administrative state, and erupted in the 1960s as a continuing cultural revolution in the name of social justice. This led the country into James Kurth’s sixth stage of the Protestant Deformation, expressive individualism, along with a massive debt of more than $100 trillion in future obligations.[43] Unfortunately, the dollar amount of our mortgaged future may be the least part of the cost.

Legal plunder has, as Frederic Bastiat expected, become “universal plunder.”[44] Legal plunder may or may not be systematic, as Bastiat recognized, but it has taken on a life of its own, like an American-style corporation, which, as a legal person, enjoys limited liability as an instrument of the state. Somehow the plunder always seems to make both the plunderer and the public ever more dependent upon the state. Perhaps we are all regarded both as wards and instruments of the state.

The New Testament uses the language of Roman law, however, to describe a rather different corporation – the Church – which predates the modern state. Its leavening influence continues to shape history after two millennia. The historic relationship of church and state could be characterized as “iron sharpening iron.” The stakes were always high. The birth of the Age of Faith changed the face of the world forever. Vishal Mangalwadi concludes The Book That Made Your World with a provocative observation: 

“Rome’s collapse meant that Europe lost its soul – the source of its civilizational authority – and descended into the ‘Dark Ages.’ The Bible was the power of revived Europe. Europeans became so enthralled with God’s Word that they rejected their sacred myths to hear God’s Word, study it, internalize it, speak it, and promote it to build the modern world. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, the West is again losing its soul. Will it relapse into a new dark age or humble itself before the Word of the Almighty God?”[45] 

Notes:

[1] Edward Bernays, Propaganda (New York: IG, 2005 [1928]), 37.

[2] James Hitchcock, Years of Crisis: Collected Essays, 1970-1983 (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 1985), 47.

[3] John Maynard Keynes, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 1936), 383.

[4] https://coolidgefoundation.org/resources/inspiration-of-the-declaration-of-independence/

[5] Pitirim A. Sorokin, The Crisis of Our Age: The Social and Cultural Outlook (New York: E. P. Dutton, 1941), 247-52.

[6] Tom Holland, Dominion: How the Christian Revolution Remade the World (New York: Basic, 2019), 17.

[7] Philip Rieff, My Life Among the Deathworks: Illustrations Among the Aesthetics of Authority (Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2006), 1.

[8] Sorokin, 247-52.

[9] See, e.g., Francis Fukuyama, Our Posthuman Future: Consequences of the Biotechnology Revolution (New York: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux).

[10] Charles Hill, Trial of a Thousand Years: World Order and Islamism (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2011), 153.

[11] J. Budziszewski, The Revenge of Conscience: Politics and the Fall of Man (Dallas: Spence, 1999), 7.

[12] Robert Weissberg, Pernicious Tolerance: How Teaching to “Accept Differences” Undermines Civil Society (New Brunswick, NJ: Transaction, 2008); on the Conditioners, see C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man, or Reflections on Education with Special Reference to the Teaching of English in the Upper Forms of Schools (New York: Macmillan, 1965).

[13] On the subversive role of cultural Marxism and the Frankfurt School, see, e.g., chapter 10 of Paul Kengor, Takedown: From Communists to Progressives, How the Left Has Sabotaged Marriage and the Family (Washington: WND, 2015).

[14] George J. Stigler, The Citizen and the State: Essays on Regulation (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1975), 132.

[15] Robert Strausz-Hupé, William R. Kintner, James E. Dougherty, and Alvin J. Cottrell. Protracted Conflict (New York: Harper Colophon,1963). René Girard has treated “triangular desires” or mimetic desire – and the conflicts they generate – most systematically. See René Girard, I See Satan Fall Like Lightning, trans. James G. Williams (Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2001), chapters 1, 3.

[16] Jonathan R. T. Hughes, The Government Habit Redux: Economic Controls from Colonial Times to the Present (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1991), 231.

[17] Eric Hoffer, The Temper of Our Time. New York: Harper & Row, 1969), 60.

[18] Thomas Sowell, The Vision of the Anointed: Self-Congratulation as a basis for Social Policy (New York: Basic Books, 1995), 122.

[19] Ibid., 260. See also a classic treatment of the subject. Julien Benda, The Treason of the Intellectuals (La Trahison des Clercs), trans. Richard Aldington, New York: W. W. Norton, 1969 [1928].

[20] Walter E. Williams, Up from the Projects: An Autobiography (Stanford, CA”: Hoover Institution Press, 2010).

[21] Walter E. Williams, Race & Economics: How Much Can Be Blamed on Discrimination? (Stanford, CA: Hoover Institution Press, 2011), 2.

[22] Ibid., 2.

[23] Walter Russell Mead has written numerous articles on what he calls “the Blue Social Model” derived from the earlier New Deal. See http://www.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2010/01/28/american-challenges-the-blue-model-breaks-down/. Another side of the same coin is the excessive level of indebtedness that results from the lack of political will to live within a budget. Niall Ferguson’s The Great Degeneration shows where this has led.

[24] Stephen Toulmin, Cosmopolis: The Hidden Agenda of Modernity (New York: Free Press, 1990), 194.

[25] See Steven Alan Samson, “Interposition: Magistrates as Shields Against Tyranny,” Western Australian Jurist, 11 (2020): 301-38. https://walta.net.au/vol11/interposition-magistrates-as-shields-against-tyranny/

[26] De Corpore Politico, Second Part, chapter 6. Thomas Hobbes, Body, Man, and Citizen (New York: Collier, 1962), 346.

[27] Ibid., 346

[28] Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan: or the Matter, Forme and Power of a Commonwealth Ecclesiasticall and Civil, ed. Michael Oakeshott (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1957), 355 [Part 3, Chapter 34].

[29] A. J. Conyers, The Long Truce: How Toleration Made the World Safe for Power and Profit (Dallas: Spence, 2001), 64.

[30] Attributed to Swedish Count Oxenstierna upon the appointment of his son to the negotiations that resulted in the Westphalian system following the Thirty Years War. See Eric von Kuehnelt-Leddihn, The Intelligent American’s Guide to Europe (New Rochelle, NY: Arlington House, 1979), 70.

[31] Bertrand de Jouvenel, On Power: The Natural History of Its Growth, trans. J. F. Huntington (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1993), 417.,

[32] Johannes Althusius, Politica, ed. And trans. Frederick S. Carney (Indianapolis: Liberty Fund, 1995).

[33] Conyers, 83.

[34] Ibid., 224.

[35] Ibid., 64-65

[36] Aaron Wildavsky, “If Regulation Is Right, Is It Also Safe?” foreword to Rights and Regulation: Ethical, Political, and Economic Issues, ed. Tibor R. Machan and M. Bruce Johnson (San Francisco: Pacific Institute for Public Policy Research, 1983), xv-xvii.

[37] Conyers, 195.

[38] J. Budziszewski, The Revenge of Conscience: Politics and the Fall of Man (Dallas: Spence, 1999), 20.

[39] Robert Paul Wolff, Barrington Moore, Jr., and Herbert J. Marcuse, A Critique of Pure Tolerance (Boston: Beacon Press, 1969), 81-123. Some investigative journalists, such as Christopher F. Rufo and Andy Ngo, report what the mainstream media either refuses to cover, downplays, or spikes.

[40] Roger Scruton, The West and the Rest: Globalization and the Terrorist Threat (Wilmington, DE: ISI Books, 2002), 134, 135.

[41] Girard also recognized the totalitarian aspect of a “passion for equality.” See René Girard, Deceit, Desire, and the Novel: Self and Other in Literary Structure, trans. Yvonne Freccero (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins, 1966), 136-38.

[42] See Sheldon S. Wolin. Hobbes and the Epic Tradition of Political Theory (Los Angeles: University of California, 1970).

[43] https://phillysoc.org/kurth-the-protestant-deformation-and-american-foreign-policy/

[44] Frederic Bastiat, The Law (Irvington-on-Hudson, NY: The Foundation for Economic Education, 1998) 21. http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html

[45] Vishal Mangalwadi, The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2011), 401

 

 
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