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A good essay by Journo as far as an intro into the divide. BUT, neglects to mention a rising International Socialism which has been taking the place of National Conservatism.

And as conservatism-religion has been pushed aside by the new Left, here was the cause of recent attempts by conservative thinkers to rediscover and reassert it and the nation state. The "divide" was created by the new Left, almost exclusively.

So Journo doesn't get down to the deeper malaise, imo: Activist, secularist, anti-Christian authoritarianism.  Which O-thinkers recognize as *the* false alternative but few others do.

 

https://newideal.aynrand.org/meet-the-conservative-authoritarians/

 

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An Alternate-Reality Version of “America”

The advocates of this new species of “conservatism” claim to love this country, but it’s impossible to believe that the Founders would recognize their conception of America.

The United States was a child of the Age of Enlightenment. What typified Enlightenment thinking was a questioning, often an outright repudiation, of hidebound tradition and the intrusion of Church upon life and the state. America embodied a revolutionary new idea. It was predicated on the Enlightenment perspective that the value of an individual’s life is sacrosanct; that his rational mind is competent to deal with the world, and that therefore he should be left free politically.

[...]

I have one thing to suggest about the Age of Enlightenment which will be controversial: The Enlightenment did not happen despite American conservatives of the time, but *because of* them - with their blessing. How else does one explain Enlightenment values taking hold at a time when the whole population, or almost, was religious? In every western country? Without being forced on them there had to be a large degree of agreement with and elevation of the ideas.

It is too tempting to view the Age (of anything) as a historical period with fixed boundaries. Before then, this - after, that. That it descended upon millions of minds without their knowledge and consent. That's not realistic.

As example, separation of Church from State was, I think, gladly accepted by Christians: As we cannot interfere with State so it can't interfere with us. (Okay, not always adhered to in every department).

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"Pause for just a moment on this account, and you can see that it is at best tendentious. Notice, for instance, that religion has only grown more salient in American culture, particularly within conservatism, in the last few decades. If our present society is what it looks like to abandon faith, try to picture what Hazony means by making it a focal point. And contrary to Hazony’s cultural diagnosis, we have seen not a flowering of respect for the individual in our society, but precisely the opposite. The pull of tribalism is virulent, including within many “conservative” circles. Everywhere people are seen, not as unique individuals, but as “representatives” of racial, ethnic, gender, national, religious, and still other tribal groups".

Well. "More salient"?

"...we have not seen not a flowering of respect for the individual in our society, but precisely the opposite".

And that's the fault of conservatives - alone?! At the very time that secularist Leftism is taking hold, and faith is being 'abandoned' by more people?

"The pull of tribalism is virulent, including within many "conservative" circles"

Who, actually, has been overwhelmingly responsible to a virulent degree recently, for tribalism (racial, gender esp.) rearing its head? The Left, obviously. The absolute enemies of individualism.

Here I think is some sophistry by Journo.

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What is the moral stature of those who are afraid to proclaim that they are the champions of freedom? What is the integrity of those who outdo their enemies in smearing, misrepresenting, spitting at, and apologizing for their own ideal? What is the rationality of those who expect to trick people into freedom, cheat them into justice, fool them into progress, con them into preserving their rights, and, while indoctrinating them with statism, put one over on them and let them wake up in a perfect capitalist society some morning?

These are the “conservatives”—or most of their intellectual spokesmen.

http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/conservatives.html

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There are three interrelated arguments used by today’s “conservatives” to justify capitalism, which can best be designated as: the argument from faith—the argument from tradition—the argument from depravity.

Sensing their need of a moral base, many “conservatives” decided to choose religion as their moral justification; they claim that America and capitalism are based on faith in God. Politically, such a claim contradicts the fundamental principles of the United States: in America, religion is a private matter which cannot and must not be brought into political issues.

Intellectually, to rest one’s case on faith means to concede that reason is on the side of one’s enemies—that one has no rational arguments to offer. The “conservatives’” claim that their case rests on faith, means that there are no rational arguments to support the American system, no rational justification for freedom, justice, property, individual rights, that these rest on a mystic revelation and can be accepted only on faith—that in reason and logic the enemy is right, but men must hold faith as superior to reason.

Consider the implications of that theory. While the communists claim that they are the representatives of reason and science, the “conservatives” concede it and retreat into the realm of mysticism, of faith, of the supernatural, into another world, surrendering this world to communism. It is the kind of victory that the communists’ irrational ideology could never have won on its own merits . . . .

Now consider the second argument: the attempt to justify capitalism on the ground of tradition. Certain groups are trying to switch the word “conservative” into the exact opposite of its modern American usage, to switch it back to its nineteenth-century meaning, and to put this over on the public. These groups declare that to be a “conservative” means to uphold the status quo, the given, the established, regardless of what it might be, regardless of whether it is good or bad, right or wrong, defensible or indefensible. They declare that we must defend the American political system not because it is right, but because our ancestors chose it, not because it is good, but because it is old . . . .

The argument that we must respect “tradition” as such, respect it merely because it is a “tradition,” means that we must accept the values other men have chosen, merely because other men have chosen them—with the necessary implication of: who are we to change them? The affront to a man’s self-esteem, in such an argument, and the profound contempt for man’s nature are obvious.

This leads us to the third—and the worst—argument, used by some “conservatives”: the attempt to defend capitalism on the ground of man’s depravity.

This argument runs as follows: since men are weak, fallible, non-omniscient and innately depraved, no man may be entrusted with the responsibility of being a dictator and of ruling everybody else; therefore, a free society is the proper way of life for imperfect creatures. Please grasp fully the implications of this argument: since men are depraved, they are not good enough for a dictatorship; freedom is all that they deserve; if they were perfect, they would be worthy of a totalitarian state.

Dictatorship—this theory asserts—believe it or not, is the result of faith in man and in man’s goodness; if people believed that man is depraved by nature, they would not entrust a dictator with power. This means that a belief in human depravity protects human freedom—that it is wrong to enslave the depraved, but would be right to enslave the virtuous. And more: dictatorships—this theory declares—and all the other disasters of the modern world are man’s punishment for the sin of relying on his intellect and of attempting to improve his life on earth by seeking to devise a perfect political system and to establish a rational society. This means that humility, passivity, lethargic resignation and a belief in Original Sin are the bulwarks of capitalism. One could not go farther than this in historical, political, and psychological ignorance or subversion. This is truly the voice of the Dark Ages rising again—in the midst of our industrial civilization.

The cynical, man-hating advocates of this theory sneer at all ideals, scoff at all human aspirations and deride all attempts to improve men’s existence. “You can’t change human nature,” is their stock answer to the socialists. Thus they concede that socialism is the ideal, but human nature is unworthy of it; after which, they invite men to crusade for capitalism—a crusade one would have to start by spitting in one’s own face. Who will fight and die to defend his status as a miserable sinner? If, as a result of such theories, people become contemptuous of “conservatism,” do not wonder and do not ascribe it to the cleverness of the socialists. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/conservatives.html

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Capitalism is as capitalism does. The concept is a product of epistemology but the practice is metaphysical.

Maybe the 'modern' term should be quantum capitalism, as in trying to measure and identify in order to label misses and changes the target. Collapses the normative wave function.

Adam Smith's invisible hand is the Newtonian apple viewing the economic strategies and interplays of nascent nation states. The Enlightenment and Industrial Revolution honed economic power and concentrated it in smaller and  more compact entities , that could function by cooperation as in corporations or be guided by individuals. Perhaps Rand could be analogous to Einstein in that she provides the space time fabric of a moral justification as a lens. Newtonian principles are comfortable to everyday experiences and don't necessarily contradict a heretofore nonexistent theory of everything , but Einstein doesn't yet provide it either.

 

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I read the article. It's great. I've been witnessing this transition toward integrating Church and state for years. Back in the day, I was willing to ignore it. I considered the evil of a leftist/socialist agenda to be the greater threat to American prosperity and stability. The left-wing agenda continues to be a monstrous threat. In 1980 and 84, I cast my votes to Ronald Reagan, believing that his support from the Moral Majority would not escalate to the threat to individualism and reason that it is today. The radical Christian conservative agenda now stands as large and menacing as a rival monster, eye to eye with the mystic monster of the Left. For this reason, I have abandoned my support for nearly all Republicans who exploits Christian value voters. My rejection of Trump doesn't mean that I support Biden. I vote with my conscience, and any third party candidate that presents no threat to individual liberty is fine by me. I show up at the polls, the respectable candidates have not. The American crisis of confidence has only radicalized the semi-literate electorate, playing on their fear and other emotions. Obama was a perfect example. I think very important issues were addressed in the past four years; some of Trump's policies were helpful. Some of his suggestions, (particularly his muted criticism against revisionist history in public schools), may yet have long term positive results. But overall, the recklessness of his language and management, his open displays of intimidation, his preference for authoritarian world leaders, I think the good does not outweigh the bad. It's quite unfortunate. Some good might come from all of this. I can only wait and see.

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"The emergence of “national conservatism” is an ominous trend for American political life. Its advocates often stress the themes of patriotism and love of country and even political freedom. But the substance of their views is a betrayal of America’s founding ideals.

Three threads stand out. First, the life and judgment and freedom of the individual must be subordinated to some group: the family, tribe, community, and, ultimately, the nation. Second, reason is overrated. What should steer our own lives? Not our rational judgment, but tradition and faith. Third, despite the rhetoric about providing a foundation for American freedom, there’s an alarming comfort with, and even glamorization of, authoritarianism". Elan Journo

----

These "three threads" of national conservatism which "stand out", briefly: 1. subordination of individualism, 2. overrated reason and rationality, and 3.comfort with/glamorization of authoritarianism - meet their match over on the other side, the Left. And more.

Rather like potting at fish in a barrel, Journo has an easy time with Conservatives. Yes, we know, we know - Faith (and family and community and tradition and one nation under God) are the foundation of all "three threads". Obviously- that's the nature of religion and has always been. But if Journo could cast his attention wider, from his select examples, easy targets like Orban of Hungary, a few quotes by one conservative Rich Lowry, excerpts from the author Hazony and some National Conference of Conservatives - all of which he takes as representative of National Conservatism - he could find several dozens of Conservative thinkers I've found, like Hansen and Sowell and Rubin etc.etc. and many young women who reason brilliantly and are firm proponents of rationality and individualism, without the authoritarian impulse, who all cherish the sovereign state of America. (Which Rand did too, Journo should know). And the US Constitution. (Does it actually matter - to them - that most Christians believe that the Founding Fathers were inspired by God? Who does that belief do harm to outside of them?)

Are they, and certainly many thousands and more like them, also "National Conservatives" who "betray" the founding ideals?? Not in their conviction and not in action. Only in the formulation of their premises. My over all impression is that mainstream religions and the religious have come a long way into modernity. (How they hold a balance of faith and reason, tradition and modernism is obviously troublesome, but many I've met seem to do well and have successful careers and fulfilling lives and are good-willed to others - even an atheist like me, when you get talking).

Over on the other political-ideological side, there's clearly immense and explicit disavowal of reason, rabid anti-individualism, tribalism bar none, and authoritarianism in spades. The neo-faith of leftists in The Society and State is and will be, when in power, manifested as MUCH more intrusive on individual liberties then any conservatives in recent times. The State is their Church, and they observe no separation of the two I often say.

The Left's answer to nasty 'Nationalism' is supposedly 'Internationalism', or - globalism. Which only expands the nation into a conglomerate of many states, a one World State, as far as I can make out the intent. The Left, for all its soothing platitudes about USA exceptionalism are destructive of national values and freedoms. With them I think lies the much greater "ominous trend for American political life" [EJ]

I think it proper for Journo now to equally lambaste the other side, who might not be as convivial or accepting as Christian Conservatives to criticism.

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18 hours ago, Repairman said:

I read the article. It's great. I've been witnessing this transition toward integrating Church and state for years. Back in the day, I was willing to ignore it. I considered the evil of a leftist/socialist agenda to be the greater threat to American prosperity and stability. The left-wing agenda continues to be a monstrous threat. In 1980 and 84, I cast my votes to Ronald Reagan, believing that his support from the Moral Majority would not escalate to the threat to individualism and reason that it is today. The radical Christian conservative agenda now stands as large and menacing as a rival monster, eye to eye with the mystic monster of the Left. For this reason, I have abandoned my support for nearly all Republicans who exploits Christian value voters. My rejection of Trump doesn't mean that I support Biden. I vote with my conscience, and any third party candidate that presents no threat to individual liberty is fine by me. I show up at the polls, the respectable candidates have not. The American crisis of confidence has only radicalized the semi-literate electorate, playing on their fear and other emotions. Obama was a perfect example. I think very important issues were addressed in the past four years; some of Trump's policies were helpful. Some of his suggestions, (particularly his muted criticism against revisionist history in public schools), may yet have long term positive results. But overall, the recklessness of his language and management, his open displays of intimidation, his preference for authoritarian world leaders, I think the good does not outweigh the bad. It's quite unfortunate. Some good might come from all of this. I can only wait and see.

Repairman, I think yours is the healthiest, realist attitude I've heard for a while. Which in effect is to keep a close eye on leaders and their predominant positions and acts, without expecting 'perfection' from any. By nature of their profession, they after all are compromisers who couldn't succeed to high office without a majority electorate behind them and many backroom deals made. The best and most principled of them couldn't rise as high.

I haven't quite understood the adoration for Trump exactly as I don't get why he should have been instantly loathed by others. (I will say favorably, that I think he was pragmatically smart at playing up or bluffing authoritarian leaders and showing plenty of carrot and just a little stick to any enemies which kept them guessing and quiet. Unprincipled, yes, but his term left the world a little safer and kept Americans out of foreign entanglements). Until his latest exploits he didn't do so badly for the US as a whole unless compared with impossibly ideal standards which no leader has come up to.

In your "good doesn't outweigh the bad", that's where I see the rational hierarchy of values at work; that is, first off, one objectively assesses and evaluates each candidate/leader in isolation; only then draws a relational comparison versus the other alternative individual(s); then prioritizes what each personally had done well against what was poor and bad.

I didn't know if the "radical Christian conservative agenda" has grown recently larger in the US. You'd know better. If so, contrary to the general world wide trend which sees Christianity lessening in numbers and influence and becoming far more passive. I have put the most recent Conservative revival in the USA down to being caused and preceded by a virulent Leftist onslaught against Christians, especially in the msm.

Takes us back to Rand and the "two sides of the same fraudulent coin (primacy of consciousness):

"Although skepticism and mysticism are ultimately interchangeable, and the dominance of one always leads to the resurgence of the other..."

I think what is very clear, there's now a general resurgence by skepticism over mysticism, and the wave has not crested yet.

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57 minutes ago, whYNOT said:

I didn't know if the "radical Christian conservative agenda" has grown recently larger in the US. You'd know better. If so, contrary to the general world wide trend which sees Christianity lessening in numbers and influence and becoming far more passive. I have put the most recent Conservative revival in the USA down to being caused and preceded by a virulent Leftist onslaught against Christians, especially in the msm.

The numbers suggest a trend of fewer people identifying themselves as religious in America. However, those with strong Christian faith (mainly Protestant), are reacting to the decline of Christianity. They are in rebellion. They have good reason to distrust the mainstream media. They are mostly white working families with children, longing for the security that their parents promised them, if only they would study hard in school and work hard. I share their sentiments, although I can be realistic enough to see that we are witnessing the decline of white Christian America. At the risk of seeming deterministic, I stop short of any fatalism.

Mine was one of those towns that caught fire this past summer. Jacob Blake was shot less than two miles from my home. I've seen first hand the results of these "peaceful protests," the social justice warriors, chanting, "No Justice; No Peace!" Eleven million dollars of municipal property damage later, the only thing that's changed is that otherwise sensible local merchants have particleboard covering the windows of their businesses, adorned with "BLM," and other platitudes of "unity," (presumed unity with the marauders who pillaged and, in some cases, looted their livelihoods.) A life-long student of history, I had to wonder if the Jews would have adorned their broken windows with swastikas and posters of Hitler after the Kristal Nacht. Both Trump and Biden visited for photo-ops, as if that made any difference. But Biden struck me the most, by pandering to the delusional Left, clearly sympathizing with the mob, those "peaceful protesters," and a man wanted for sexual assault charges, shot seven times after the police failed to subdue him by other means. I talked with shop-owners who defended their property from behind the glass doors of their stores, bearing arms, while another evacuated his inventory of used cars to safe locations. If it can happen in my town, it can happen in any town in America. And the mainstream media will respond by promoting the idea that the answer is to "de-fund the police."

As for the national conservative movement, their position of power in mainstream politics gives them an advantage, while their lack of authentic ideological argument erodes their "moral high-ground." So well stated in the article you presented, blind fealty to God and country have drown out any well-reasoned argument for reviving the founding values of liberty in America. I have no statistics to support the causes of right-wing mob violence, but it is evidently happening. I suspect that it's in part related to economic changes happening over the past forty years. Many have been stripped of their security, and someone has to be held to blame. When frightened ignorant people are desperate, the pitch-forks and torches come out. Trump used those pitch-forks and torches in an extremely cynical way, and told them, "We love you." I don't know who is included in his show of love, but it ain't me. I am among those caught in between the crossfire. I refuse to take sides with either irrational collectives, and remain steadfast to my individualism. Damn them all, and if I'm martyred for my isolated position, then, "give me liberty, or give me death." 

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Yes, there are two side that are attacking individual rights.

Many Objectivists I know find fault in Rand being against Reagan. In a world where authoritarianism is considered to be necessary, it's hard to distinguish which force is worse, the Socialist or the Fascist.

One of the problems I am concerned about is the constantly shifting definitions. One day Socialist means one thing, another day it means being like Sweden. Similarly China is not considered communist one day and the next day it is. South Africa seems to have a communist constitution, yet is it communist?

In one debate a prominent leftist (in fact he moderated a debate with Yaron and another person), said he believed that Marx and the Soviet union had nothing to do with each other, as Adam Smith and the US have nothing to do with each other. Well, we can't say nothing, but they may also not be identical.

The problem is that it does not allow you to identify friend from foe when they change colors like that.

Also, in the process, certain problems get confused in the public. One example is many Bernie people want Socialism simply because it means free education. Some of us get stuck in the idea that it is Socialist so it is wrong and never consider it.

Meanwhile a free education has always been available, we've always had it. It's called a scholarship, or just go to the library. In fact the European model is more geared toward "merit based education" kind of like a scholarship. In this case free market alternatives do exits but lost in the debate because of the fear that it might give socialism good publicity. So we end up with a gridlock rather than knowing what really works best.

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4 hours ago, Easy Truth said:

Yes, there are two side that are attacking individual rights.

 

I think going back to the fundamentals is revealing, and the explanation of those "constantly shifting definitions".

Look at the havoc created by the two different (apparent) camps -

"...they [skepticism and mysticism] differ in the form of their inner contradiction--the contradiction, in both cases, between their philosophical doctrine and their psychological motivation. Philosophically, the mystic is usually an exponent of the ~intrinsic~ (revealed) school of epistemology; the skeptic is usually an advocate of epistemological *subjectivism*.

But psychologically, the mystic is a subjectivist who uses intrinsicism as a means to claim the primacy of *his* consciousness over that of others.

The skeptic is a disillusioned intrinsicist, who, having failed to find automatic, supernatural guidance, seeks a substitute in the collective subjectivism of others".

{Consciousness and Identity AR}

Both the religious and the disappointed ex-religious then fail to "think and judge independently, respecting nothing more than the sovereignty of his or her mind". For each there is a differing rationale - God or other people -  that ultimately revert to the same thing: Muscle mystic and spirit mystic.

Without that ethical-psychological individualism, described by Branden, individual rights is a non-starter.

What emanates generally from the religious is a "rugged individualism" (alluded to by David Kelley's essay that I haven't read, Unrugged Individualism). From the skeptic-Left, I think is often a type of narcissistic self-indulgence.

But altogether, inner contradictions, subjective shape-shifting and unfixed defintions are common to both camps.

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On 1/11/2021 at 8:57 AM, whYNOT said:

I didn't know if the "radical Christian conservative agenda" has grown recently larger in the US. You'd know better.

 

whYNot,

I thought it worth the time to further explain my earlier statements regarding the "radical Christian conservative agenda," and the reasons why I believe their position of power in mainstream politics gives them an advantage. The position of power, of which I write, is the armed forces of the United States. Ultimately, in any violent power struggle, the ones with the greater might decide what is right. The American armed forces are an institution that has grown, shrank, repeated this cycle following every war, and, since December 7th, 1941, emerged to become the most dominant and potentially destructive force the world has ever known. I am grateful for this fact, grateful that random probability permits me to live within these borders, secure from external threats, and grateful to the men and women who service in my nation's uniform. However, I find it troubling to learn of the aggressive indoctrination of American servicemen and women, pressured by dominion theology. Dominion theology is supported by Christian leaders with designs to establish biblical law. There is historical context that explains the indoctrination of US servicemen and women. I'll try to be brief:

The shaping of American military force in the aftermath of 1945 has radically changed, as it has taken on the role of securing more than our national borders. It secures an American empire. Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, along with the Department of Defense perceived a lack of cohesion, a unifying ideology that would fire the imagination of men to fight to ultimate victory against the atheistic communists. It was also a time of racial integration. Spiritual leaders, such as Rev Billy Graham and Bishop Fulton Sheen, were rising stars of a religious awakening in the 1950s. The solution was to draft new codes of behavior for US servicemen, based on Bible-teachings. As this newly created ideology of Bible-based nationalism spread into the civilian realm of public schools, a minority of parents objected to religious indoctrination of their children at the expense of their tax dollars. This and the many other political movements of the 1960s ignited our present-day culture war. American service men and women come from every diverse identity group you can think of, and the transition to full integration of some of these "people of diversity" has been problematic, to say the least. Without exception, everyone either in or formerly in the Service I've spoken to in recent years is Christian. Parents of men serving tend to be Christian. I've not spoken with any who are completely comfortable with the cultural changes imposed by civilian leaders upon men in service. Herein, I believe, is the compression-point of a major problem.

Whether civilian or those sworn to protect civilians, these inductees to Christ's army are very likely to turn on any collective their commanders identify as the "Army of Satan." I support my local police. But one day, they may not be sufficient to suppress the sort of uprisings we saw last summer, and many summer prior. In a Christian police state, under martial law, with all of the myriad of digital surveillance methods at our government's disposal, a free-thinker would be as welcomed as a rattlesnake. And likely to be disposed of with equal haste.

Luke 19:27, "But those mine enemies, which would not that I reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."

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On 1/14/2021 at 12:29 AM, Repairman said:

 

whYNot,

I thought it worth the time to further explain my earlier statements regarding the "radical Christian conservative agenda," and the reasons why I believe their position of power in mainstream politics gives them an advantage. The position of power, of which I write, is the armed forces of the United States. Ultimately, in any violent power struggle, the ones with the greater might decide what is right. The American armed forces are an institution that has grown, shrank, repeated this cycle following every war, and, since December 7th, 1941, emerged to become the most dominant and potentially destructive force the world has ever known. I am grateful for this fact, grateful that random probability permits me to live within these borders, secure from external threats, and grateful to the men and women who service in my nation's uniform. However, I find it troubling to learn of the aggressive indoctrination of American servicemen and women, pressured by dominion theology. Dominion theology is supported by Christian leaders with designs to establish biblical law. There is historical context that explains the indoctrination of US servicemen and women. I'll try to be brief:

The shaping of American military force in the aftermath of 1945 has radically changed, as it has taken on the role of securing more than our national borders. It secures an American empire. Presidents Truman and Eisenhower, along with the Department of Defense perceived a lack of cohesion, a unifying ideology that would fire the imagination of men to fight to ultimate victory against the atheistic communists. It was also a time of racial integration. Spiritual leaders, such as Rev Billy Graham and Bishop Fulton Sheen, were rising stars of a religious awakening in the 1950s. The solution was to draft new codes of behavior for US servicemen, based on Bible-teachings. As this newly created ideology of Bible-based nationalism spread into the civilian realm of public schools, a minority of parents objected to religious indoctrination of their children at the expense of their tax dollars. This and the many other political movements of the 1960s ignited our present-day culture war. American service men and women come from every diverse identity group you can think of, and the transition to full integration of some of these "people of diversity" has been problematic, to say the least. Without exception, everyone either in or formerly in the Service I've spoken to in recent years is Christian. Parents of men serving tend to be Christian. I've not spoken with any who are completely comfortable with the cultural changes imposed by civilian leaders upon men in service. Herein, I believe, is the compression-point of a major problem.

Whether civilian or those sworn to protect civilians, these inductees to Christ's army are very likely to turn on any collective their commanders identify as the "Army of Satan." I support my local police. But one day, they may not be sufficient to suppress the sort of uprisings we saw last summer, and many summer prior. In a Christian police state, under martial law, with all of the myriad of digital surveillance methods at our government's disposal, a free-thinker would be as welcomed as a rattlesnake. And likely to be disposed of with equal haste.

Luke 19:27, "But those mine enemies, which would not that I reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me."

Repairman, Undoubtedly much truth in what you say. Looking into this, I see there has been a greater insistence lately on 'diversity' of personal beliefs in the armed forces by the US Department of Defense.

"Christ's Army" once made its mark on the overseas actions by the US, exporting Democracy but more insidiously, Christian Democracy, I think. But not at all, lately.

There is one over-riding factor one can't forget, as shown here:

"More recent DoD administrative data focused on active duty personnel show that as of January 2019, approximately 70 percent were recorded as Christian (about 32% no denomination, 20% Catholic, 18% Protestant, 1% Mormon), 2 percent as Atheist or Agnostic, 1 percent as affiliated with an Eastern religion, 0.4 percent .."

As I thought, the military is composed of a majority of Christians.

Without the voluntarism of the self-identified religious, could there exist a US military in sufficient strength?

And who other perceives the great value in the protection of that free nation, but those "National Conservatives"?

Apparently - not many of the agnostic/atheists.

(This paradox is not exclusive to America but is more evident there).

You can see the same pattern repeat itself, that those who hold intrinsic value (in the Constitution, the Nation) constitute the last line of defense for ¬objective¬ values (in the case of the USA).

Whereas, the new order believing in skeptical-subjective 'values' provide little to nothing, shifting with the winds. Lacking that individual fortitude of those many Christians' choice and character** to defend the nation, they have not and cannot replace the old with ¬anything¬ of rational value.

It is not as if objectivity and ¬objective values¬, the only substitute for both, are going to catch on any time soon.

One can see the glaring appeasement of the actions by those skeptics, intellectuals and political leaders, who'd rather come to a cynical 'accommodation' with avowed enemies, present and long-term, of the country, than be in readiness one day to take arms to defend against them - if it should come to that. By their weakness inviting an enemy attack. "Peace in our time" is the limit of their conceptual range. After "our time" who cares what comes?

**the quality which Rand in an address to cadets at West Point or other military academy, called their "earnestness". I know what she meant.

 

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4 hours ago, whYNOT said:

Without the voluntarism of the self-identified religious, could there exist a US military in sufficient strength?

The question you pose is the critical question of whether or not we have an authentic Pax Americana, versus an imperial order, one not only keeping our allies safe, but also keeping domestic tranquility. When America was more or less isolated from foreign entanglements, there were enough Americans willing to join in with the duties of national defense as needed with changing circumstances. Voluntarism does not necessarily have to be an altruistic concept. When there is sufficient evidence to alarm a free people to action, free men have proven to have the wits, will, and strength to resist the external forces that might otherwise enslave them. America is no longer the isolated nation of rural communities it once was 150 years ago. We're a global colossus. It's a thankless job, upholding worldwide order. 

I charge the American public schools with failure to properly explain the past. Children are not being taught that the United States were established as a secular government, with a Jeffersonian firewall between church and state. The principles for which it stands are abstractions left to the student to figure out for themselves. The apparent results are not an understanding of facts, rather they are popular notions, such as that America was founded on slavery, or that it was always a Christian nation.  

5 hours ago, whYNOT said:

And who other perceives the great value in the protection of that free nation, but those "National Conservatives"?

Apparently - not many of the agnostic/atheists.

Fifty years ago, I doubt that there would have been 2% of the American civilian population that would openly admit to being atheist. Things are different now. Atheism isn't exactly an organization, and our military is largely comprised of second, third, and fourth generations of volunteers, whose parents served. While I've not met any, I imagine there are some of these generational warriors who've spent some time figuring out deeper philosophical concepts for themselves. It was once said, "there are no atheists in the foxholes;" things are different now. There was resistance to integrating blacks into the ranks back in the 1950s. I've heard soldiers complain about women in ranks in the 1980s. But in spite of a series of DoD Directives designed to promote diversity and inclusion, there remains a much stronger network of support for Christianity among service men and women, and their families. Among these people are those who so intensely distrust institutions that offend them that they breed domestic terrorists that might blow up a federal building out of shear spite. They view multiculturalism, so venerated by Democrats, as an affront to their faith. Republicans exploit this with their connections to wealthy supporters of dominion theology. I think the DoD missed an opportunity decades ago to indoctrinate a more secular culture, one based on the secular values of the Founders. But then, it seems that a tiny minority of Americans have the slightest interest in US history. It wasn't very helpful that Southern public schools for generations taught a version of US history very sympathetic to the "Lost Cause of the Confederacy." The civics and social studies I remember emphasized the process of creating more legislation, and the great leaps forward taken by progressive leaders. And now, the argument in education is that American history began in 1619, when the trans-Atlantic slave trade came to our shores. These are civilian decisions that will not end well. They confuse people as to the true concept of liberty upon which our nation was born. But, if the public schools are incapable of understanding this, how will future generations? The prime solution is to break with national conservatism, and win the argument for secular rule of law. Either way, we get the government we deserve.  

 

 

 

   

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