The contemporary “progressive” movement claims to seek a liberal society and that “liberal” in this sense has the classic definition of liberty, equality and natural rights.
Adam Smith, the great economist and philosopher, proposed that the three pillars of a liberal society are:
- Prudence, looking after oneself as best as one is able;
- Justice, keeping the law of the land; and
- Beneficence or caring for others and society where there is need.
These are the things that we are told are the things that contemporary “progressivism” also proposes to support, however, these “progressives” propose achieving these three by starkly different means than was contemplated by Smith. Smith proposed:
- Prudence would be managed by the individual acting on their own behalf in the free market,
- Justice would be administered according to law based on a common morality that is shared and equally applied to all, and
- Beneficence would be executed based on satisfaction of a need, not a want, by individuals who assuage the need based on a sense of duty and moral obligation, and that assistance is accepted with the same sense of duty and obligation.
What we are being asked to accept in the “modern” world is this:
- Prudence is the remit of the collective, represented by a central government, as the individual has no capacity to manage their own affairs and inequality in this capacity demands that government assure equal shares of prosperity,
- Justice is relative and a tool to be applied in unequal amounts to protect “special” political classes, and
- Beneficence is to be standardized to be doled out “equally” regardless of true need with no obligation, moral or otherwise, for the recipient to return anything or feel any responsibility to avoid future recurrences of the condition that led to the need – it is just an anonymous check in the mail.
There are two things missing from the “progressive” society of the latter definition – a soul and individual freedom. Without these, the America that was forged in the heat of war and quenched in blood on July 4th, 1776 cannot, and will not, endure.
For the first 100 years of our country, we understood the need for a soul created by a faith in God. We had an imperfect faith as there were institutions of evil that existed, slavery being the greatest evil. We had evil robber barons who took advantage of their workers, but these men, while powerful, were undermined by the very soul of the country – the faith and Biblical laws that underpinned the morality of the country. Simply because we had people who professed one thing in public and prosecuted another in private, we did not throw away our core beliefs; we united behind them and ended the evils of both slavery and oppression.
Out of this struggle emerged the materialistic and secular humanistic anti-American ideology of communism. This ideology was developed and promoted by men who had lost faith in both men and God and like the weak Israelites of Old Testament times, they convinced themselves that God was dead and the affairs of men should be left to men, effectively relegating themselves to idol worship while assuming to be above God.
Principal among these men were Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx.
Marx did not believe that religion commanded human activities; he did not believe that laws could be moral according to God, immutable and unchanging. Rather, he incorrectly believed the converse, that religion was a function of human activity and therefore was relative to economic need and societal mores. According to Marx, religion can only be understood in relation to other social systems and the economic structures of society. In fact, religion is only dependent upon economics, nothing else — so much so that the actual religious doctrines are almost irrelevant. This is a functionalist interpretation of religion: understanding religion is dependent upon what social purpose religion itself serves, not the content of its beliefs.
So, in a Marxist world, there are no core beliefs that guide mankind, all human activity is to be guided by what is relative to the societal purpose that is the desire and whim of the authority in existence at the time. In a Marxist society, there are no such things as natural rights or natural law, two concepts that have been recognized since the time of Plato and Socrates and are the concepts that our country was founded on, to wit:
When in the Course of human events it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.
So politics and government must necessarily fill the void left by the absence of God and ever-changing laws replace morality rooted in natural law. When there is no soul, no consistency in principle, there can never be true equality as governments of men attempt to legislate and regulate based on this unprincipled position, governments and societies become a version of a cat chasing its tail, doomed to eternal action oblivious to the impossibility of ever achieving the goal of actually catching the tail.
Whether you accept it or not, our current political direction is decidedly Marxist in nature, perhaps not by textbook definition, but surely by action and intent. Just because the term Marxist is an uncomfortable appellation for some, that doesn’t prevent it from being accurate.
It is self-evident that without a soul, individual freedom cannot exist. As the malleability of the legislative environment increases, as it must to attempt to satisfy every perceived inequality in society, what is legal and permissible today is illegal and forbidden tomorrow. As Thomas Jefferson so accurately pointed out, the result of this process is:
A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, and to have no sensibilities left but for sinning and suffering.
My Christian beliefs do compel me to care about your immortal soul but I do not ask you to believe in God or any particular religion. What I do ask is that you consider these words, the validity of my argument and decide for yourself if a belief in natural rights and natural law, no matter if you accept that they come from God or elsewhere, must be the most basic requirement for the maintenance of our Republic and the future of America.
There can be no doubt that “progressivism” won the day last November 6th but I must remind us all of one thing from Matthew, Chapter 8, verse 36:
For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?
We must stop compounding our errors that yield us no remaining sensibilities but for sinning and suffering. “Progressives” must consider the possibility that they are a modern Sisyphus, being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this action forever. It must be considered that their very efforts to create a truly liberal society are, in fact, creating a far more illiberal one, one filled with inequality, class envy and animosity.