Saturday, May 30, 2009

Just can't make the connection

In the comment section of the previous entry to this blog, Chiu Chunling and I have been discussing this mind-boggling phenomenon which seems to indicate that people are ill-prepared, or simply incapable of making the connection between American exceptionalism and the ingredients which created that exceptionalism.

Chiu wrote to me:

Even leaving God aside...how can Americans view the enormous disparity between their prosperity and that of any other nation and not understand that it has something to do with the principles of personal freedom and responsibility? The mind boggles, or at least mine does. Do Americans think, like cargo cultists, that this wealth simply fell out of the sky because of our brightly colored flags?
And I reply.

Relatedly, there's a discussion ongoing in a new thread at Loyal To Liberty -- Dr. Alan Keyes's site -- in which a commenter called "moniquemonicat" writes:

New World Order Prince Obama can put 10 Hispanics in his cabinet, Hispanics will still hate him.

I replied to this assertion in this manner:

"New World Order Prince Obama can put 10 Hispanics in his cabinet, Hispanics will still hate him."

Yeah, to the tune of about 67% that voted for him. If Hispanics hate Hussein Obama, they sure have an interesting way of showing it.

He ought to install ten Muslims in his cabinet. Then Muslims can (still) hate him to the tune of about 90% that voted for him. And etc...

Another commenter named Angelopeter answers my comment about the Hussein Obama-Islam connection in this manner:

[T]here are some muslims that believe that Obama is indeed their awaited saviour, "imam," that will force the world to submit to islam. Because one of the signs written of in the koran, is that this "imam," will captivate the youth through his words, and shall give to the poor (wealth redistribution).

Yes, you read it right, "some" (generally the term, so used, indicates a relatively small number, or a minority).

Sure, I was being ironic, as well as a little facetious in my comments, but I was dead serious about the main point. My numbers are also accurate to the man. Why can't people (Christian-Americans in particular) make such simple connections? The question still stands, and it, as Chiu iterates in the other thread, boggles the mind.

2 comments:

chiu_chunling said...

Jesus said, "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

Can there be a truly Christian nation? The founders of the nation saw truly that a Christian nation must allow freedom of conscience, because no person who pays devotion to God out of fear of man is a genuine Christian.

Did they also see that Christ taught His disciples to take up the cross? If Christians are not persecuted and afflicted, how are they to follow the example of Christ? If being Christian leads to prosperity and material security rather than to sacrifice and suffering, will Christianity retain it's genuine character?

I am not a very good Christian, and my habits of thought often reflect that lack. But when I look at the problem of America as a Christian nation, I easily comprehend. Any community which follows the teachings of Christ will be blessed to overcome great afflictions (and there will be plenty of great afflictions for them to overcome). America followed this pattern. But there is another side to Christian teaching. Anyone who does not have to overcome afflictions because of Christ will not become strong and faithful as a Christian. So, to the extent that a Christian community is able to overcome all outside afflictions, later generations will not have the opportunity to become true disciples of Christ.

As the community loses its Christian character, it falls prey to worldly influences and loses the blessings which enabled it to prosper. The Christians become an oppressed minority again, and the cycle has to start again. They taught us this in Sunday School. I should be ashamed to forget it so easily.

But I'm a cyberneticist, after all. I principally view America as a grand experiment in individual freedom, the fact that it was an exercise of deeply thoughtful Christianity is often relegated in my thoughts to a simple historical fact. But it's actually very significant. It means that America doesn't follow the historical pattern one would expect of a nation devoted to individual liberty as a cybernetic mechanism for creating prosperity, but rather the pattern of any Christian community.

Discipleship, faithfulness, blessing, prosperity, decadence, weakness, suffering, hopefully leading back to discipleship. But not always. The critical weakness of the Christian cycle is its generational links. Each generation must be challenged to sacrifice for the sake of Christ, and each generation must individually rise to that challenge or the cycle will be broken, sometimes for several generations.

Of course, that failure is mainly seen in individual families. With a large community, the Christians may become a small minority but there will still enough of them to restart the cycle, though it can take a while before they secure a great nation again. But that's actually good for them, the longer the Christians can receive blessings in faithfulness without actually becoming prosperous, the longer they can stay on the good side of the cycle.

chiu_chunling said...

If America had been designed as a capitalist nation rather than a Christian nation, there would be none of this nonsense about freedom of religion and speech. You would have the right to say anything that could be demonstrated as fact, because that's an essential element of the free-market. But large public assemblies for any non-state sanctioned purpose would be prohibited. People acting in large groups, for whatever reason, distort the market.

So, no nightclubs or churches, at least not very large ones. No marches or protests either. You would still need to make property rights and due process preeminent, so at least China is out of the running on those points. No fractional reserve banking, it inflates the money supply and causes the boom-bust cycle. Limiting the supply of capital to actual assets helps to ensure that entrepreneurs are selected for diligence and reliability and reduces the risk of wasteful or destructive investments. No fiat currency for the same reason. Limited standing army and police, heavy reliance on the militia for national defense and law enforcement.

No education monopoly. Extending universal benefits of any kind is one of those charitable pipe-dreams anyway. No racial preference policies, of course. If one race is really superior, then they don't need the help, and if a race is inferior they don't deserve it. No parties, and no pay for elected office. Candidates run with their own money and lose office if they accept donations from anyone, including the little old lady down the street. If you can't survive on your own earned savings while in office, you don't deserve control of a capitalist nation's budget or policy.

Secret service...no. Assassination should remain a legitimate danger even for the best politicians, but assassins and conspirators should face treason charges on top of murder one. Forced testimony okay, but confession by accused considered suspect unless details of testimony demonstrate the witness to be reliable despite being a presumptive criminal. Criminal conduct by police or deputies treated as separate matter.

Hmmm...well, while America is doomed to fail, I don't see that anyone else is poised to do any better. So no need worry about that. There's no country anywhere that passes even a quarter of those requirements. Though I'm thinking of starting one ;)