Why Europeans must reject Christianity, 17

by Ferdinand Bardamu

 
The Christian origins of modern liberalism and socialism

The “anticipatory” consequences of spiritual equality meant social and economic equality for the church, leading to the establishment of formal communism in the early Christian communities. This was not just philanthropy, but a highly organized social welfare system that maximized the redistribution of wealth. Early Christian communism was widespread and lasted for centuries, crossing both geographical and ethno-cultural boundaries. The communist practices of the ante-Nicene church were rooted in the Jesus tradition of the 1st century. The existence of early Christian communism is well-attested by the Ante-Nicene fathers and contemporary pagans.

After Christianity became the official state religion, the church became increasingly hierarchical as ecclesiastical functions were merged with those of imperial bureaucracy. The communist socio-economic practices of the early church were abandoned by medieval Christians. This was replaced by a view of inequality as static, the result of a “great chain of being” that ranked things from lowest to highest. The great chain was used by theologians to justify cosmologically the rigidly stratified social order that had emerged from the ashes of the old Roman world. It added a veneer of ideological legitimacy to the feudal system in Europe. In the great chain, Christ’s vicar, the pope, was stationed at the top, followed by European monarchs, clergy, nobility and, at the very bottom, landless peasantry. This entailed a view of spiritual equality as “antipathetic.” St. Thomas Aquinas provided further justification for inequality along narrowly teleological lines. In the Summa Contra Gentiles, diversity and variety in creation reflect the harmonious order established by god. If the universe only contained equal things, only one kind of good would exist and this would detract from the beauty and perfection of creation.

The antipathetic view of Christian equality was the dominant one until the Protestant Reformation of the 16th century. Martin Luther’s iconic act—the nailing of the 95 Theses to the Wittenberg Castle door in 1517—began an ecclesiastical crisis of authority that was to have tremendous repercussions for the future of Western history. The pope was no longer the supreme representative of Christ on earth, but an irredeemably corrupt tyrant, who had wantonly cast the church into the wilderness of spiritual oblivion and error.

Access to previously unknown works of ancient science and philosophy introduced to an educated public the pagan epistemic values that would pave the way for the Scientific Revolution of the 17th century. The humanist cry of ad fontes! was eagerly embraced by Reformers. It allowed them to undermine scholastic hermeneutical principles (i.e. the Quadriga) and the major doctrines of medieval Christianity. The rediscovery of more reliable manuscripts of the Bible served as an important catalyst of the Reformation.

Reformed theologians, armed with humanist textual and philological methods, studied the New Testament and the Ante-Nicene fathers in the original languages. This led to a Christian “renaissance,” a rediscovery of the early Christian world. Compared to the lax morality and spiritual indifference of late medieval clergy, the first 4 or 5 centuries of the primitive church seemed like a golden age, one that maintained the doctrinal purity of Christian orthodoxy until Pope Gregory I, unencumbered by the gross distortions of scholastic theology and ecclesiastical tradition. Early Christian teachings and practices, forgotten during the Middle Ages, became popular once again among Protestants.

Reformers sought to recapture the spirit of primitive Christianity by incorporating egalitarian and majoritarian principles into an early modern ecclesiastical setting. Egalitarian thought was first enunciated in Luther’s teaching on the universal priesthood of all believers. In contrast to medieval Christian teaching, which viewed the clergy as members of a spiritual aristocracy, Luther proclaimed all Christians equally priests before god, with each one having the same capacity to preach and minister to fellow believers. On this basis, Luther demanded an end to the differential treatment of clergy and laity under canon law. He also defended the majoritarian principle by challenging the Roman ecclesiastical prerogative of appointing ministers for Christian congregations. Calvin, the other great Reformed leader, acknowledged the real-world consequences of spiritual equality, but approached it from the perspective of universal equality in total depravity.

Protestant radicals viewed the egalitarian policies of the mainstream Reformed churches as fundamentally inadequate; any concrete realization of Christian spiritual equality entailed a large-scale revival of the communistic socio-economic practices of the primitive church. Muntzer, an early disciple of Luther, is representative of this more radical egalitarian version of the gospel. In 1525, a group of religious fanatics, including Muntzer, seized control of Muhlhausen in Thuringia. During their brief rule over the city, they implemented the program of the Eleven Articles, a revolutionary document calling for social justice and the elimination of poverty. Idols were smashed, monks were driven out of their convents and monastic property was seized and redistributed to the poor. From the pulpit, Muntzer delivered fiery sermons ordering his congregation to do away with the “idol” of private property if they wished the “spirit of God” to dwell among them. A leader of the Peasant’s War in Germany, he was captured in May of 1525 after his army was defeated at Frankenhausen. He was tortured and then executed, but not before his captors were able to extract the confession: “Omnia sunt communia.” Whether the confession represents the exact words of Muntzer is controversial; nevertheless, it accurately reflects Muntzer’s anti-materialistic piety and view that the teachings of the gospel were to be implemented in full.

The Munster Rebellion of 1534-1535, led by Jan Matthys and Johann of Leiden, was far more extreme in its radicalism. After the Anabaptist seizure of the city, Matthys declared Munster the site of the New Jerusalem. Catholics and Lutherans were then driven from the town, their property confiscated and redistributed to the poor “according to their needs” by deacons who had been carefully selected by Matthys. They set about imposing the primitive communism of the early church upon the town’s inhabitants. Money was abolished; personal dwellings were made the public property of all Christian believers; people were forced to cook and eat their food in communal kitchens and dining-halls, in imitation of the early Christian “love feasts.” Ominously, Matthys and Johann even ordered the mass burning of all books, except the Bible. This was to symbolize a break with the sinful past and the beginning of a new communist era, like the Year One of the French Revolutionary National Convention. In the fall of 1534, Anabaptist-controlled Munster officially abolished all private property within city limits. But the Anabaptist commune was not to last for long. After a lengthy siege, the Anabaptist ringleaders, including Johann of Leiden, were captured, tortured and then executed by the Bishop of Munster.

The Diggers (or “True Levellers”) and the Levellers (or “Agitators”), active during the English Civil Wars (1642-1651) and the Protectorate (1653-1659), were strongly influenced by primitive Christian teaching. The Diggers, founded by Gerard Winstanley, were inspired by the communist socio-economic practices of the early Christians. They tried to establish agrarian communism in England, but were opposed in this endeavor, often violently, by wealthy farmers and local government officials who dismissed them as atheists and libertines. The more influential Levellers, a radical Puritan faction, tried to thoroughly democratize England by introducing policies of religious toleration and universal male suffrage. Their rejection of the arbitrary monarchical power of King Charles I in favor of egalitarian democracy was ultimately informed by Christian theological premises. Prominent Levellers like “Freeborn” John Lilburne argued for democratic egalitarian principles based on their exegetical interpretation of the Book of Genesis. All men were created equal, they said, with no one having more power, dignity and authority than anyone else in the Garden of Eden. Since no man had the right to exercise authority over others, only popular sovereignty could legitimately serve as the underlying basis of civil government. Many Leveller proposals, as written down in the Agreement of the People, were incorporated into the English Bill of Rights of 1689. This document later influenced the American Bill of Rights of 1791.

John Locke was the founder of modern liberalism, a political tradition soaked in Christian religious dogma. He drew many social and political implications from Christian spiritual equality. His belief in equality was rooted in the firm conviction that all men were created in the image of god, making them equal by nature. Church fathers and medieval theologians had long argued that all men, whether slave or free, were “by nature equal,” but that social inequality among men was god’s punishment for sin. John Locke agreed with the patristic and medieval authors on natural equality but repudiated their use of original sin to justify the passive acceptance of human social and economic inequality. Like the Protestant reformers before him, he believed that spiritual equality was not merely eschatological, but entailed certain real-world implications of far-reaching political significance.

Locke’s argument for universal equality was derived from a careful historical and exegetical interpretation of the biblical narrative. The creation of man in god’s image had enormous ramifications for his political theory, especially as it concerns his views on the nature of civil government and the scope of its authority. From his reading of Genesis, Locke argued that no man had the right to dominate and exploit other members of the human species. Man was created by god to exercise dominion over the animal kingdom. Unlike animals, who are by nature inferior, there can be no subjection among humans because their species-membership bears the imprint of an “omnipotent and infinitely wise maker.” This meant that all men are born naturally free and independent. Locke’s view of universal equality further entailed the “possession of the same faculties” by all men. Although men differed in terms of gross intellectual endowment, they all possessed a low-level intellectual ability that allowed them to manipulate abstract ideas and logically reason out the existence of a supreme being.

In Locke’s view, all government authority must be based on the consent of the electorate. This was an extension of his belief in mankind’s natural equality. Any abuse of power by elected representatives, when all judicial and political avenues of redress had been exhausted, was to be remedied by armed revolution. This would restore men to the original liberty they had in the Garden of Eden. Freedom from tyranny would allow them to elect a government that was more consonant with the will of the people.

Locke’s theory of natural rights was based on biblical notions of an idyllic prehistory in the Garden of Eden. Contrary to monarchical theorists like Filmer, man’s earliest social organization was not a hierarchical one, but egalitarian and democratic. If all men were created equal, no one had the right to deprive any man of life, liberty and private property. In Lockean political philosophy, rights are essentially moral obligations with Christian religious overtones. If men were obliged to surrender certain natural rights to the civil government, it was only because they were better administered collectively for the general welfare. Those rights that could not be surrendered were considered basic liberties, like the right to life and private property.

Early modern Christian writers envisioned in detail what an ideal communist society would look like and how it would function. The earliest communist literature emerged from within a Christian religious context. A famous example is Thomas More’s Utopia, written in 1516, which owes more to patristic ideals of communism and monastic egalitarian practice than Plato’s Republic. Another explicitly communist work is the Dominican friar Tommaso Campanella’s 1602 book City of the Sun. These works form an important bridge between pre-modern Christian communism and the “utopian” and “scientific” socialism of the 19th century. For the first time in history, these writings provided an in-depth critique of the socio-economic conditions of contemporary European society, indicating that only through implementation of a communist system would it be possible to fully realize the humanist ideals of the Renaissance. They went beyond communalization of property within isolated patriarchal communities to envisage the transformation of large-scale political units into unified economic organisms. These would be characterized by social ownership and democratic control. Implicit in these writings was the assumption that only the power of the state could bring about a just and humanitarian social order.

“Utopian” or pre-Marxian socialism was an important stage in the development of modern leftist ideology. Its major exponents, Blanc, Cabet, Fourier, Saint-Simon and Owen, were either devout Christians or men profoundly influenced by the socio-economic and ethical teachings of primitive Christianity. They often viewed Jesus of Nazareth as a great socialist leader. They typically believed that their version of communism was a faithful realization of Jesus’ evangelical message. In the pre-Marxian vision, the primitive communism of the early Christian church was an ideal to be embraced and imitated. Many of these writers even defended their communist beliefs through extensive quotation from the New Testament.

Louis Blanc saw Jesus Christ as the “sublime master of all socialists” and socialism as the “gospel in action.” Etienne Cabet, the founder of the Icarian movement, equated true Christianity with communism. If Icarianism was the earthly realization of Jesus’ vision of a coming kingdom of god, it was imperative that all communists “admire, love and invoke Jesus Christ and his doctrine.” Charles Fourier, an early founder of modern socialism, viewed Jesus Christ and Isaac Newton as the two most important figures in the formative development of his belief-system. He grounded his socialist ideology squarely within the Christian tradition. As the only true follower of Jesus Christ, Fourier was sent to earth as the “Comforter” of John 14:26, the “Messiah of Reason” who would rehabilitate all mankind along socialist industrial lines.

Henri de Saint-Simon, another important founder of modern socialism, believed the true gospel of Christ to be one of humility and equality. He advocated a “New Christianity” that would realize the practical and economic implications of the just world order preached by Jesus. Saint-Simon was also an early precursor of the Social Gospel movement, which sought to ameliorate social pathology through application of Christian ethical principles. The early Welsh founder of modern socialism, Robert Owen, although hostile to organized Christianity and other established religions, regarded his version of socialism as “true and genuine Christianity, freed from the errors that had been attached to it.” Only through the practice of socialism would the “invaluable precepts of the Gospel” be fully realized in contemporary industrial society.

The earliest pioneers of socialism, all of whom maintained socio-economic views grounded upon Christian religious principles, exercised a profound and lasting influence on Marx. His neo-Christian religious beliefs must be regarded as the only real historical successor of orthodox Christianity, largely because his ideology led to the implementation of Christian socio-economic teachings on a scale hitherto unimaginable. Muntzer, the radical Anabaptists and other Christian communists are considered important predecessors of the modern socialist movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. For example, in Friedrich Engels’ short monograph The Peasant War in Germany, Muntzer is immortalized as the man whose religious and political views were way ahead of his times. He even possessed a far more sophisticated “theoretical equipment” than the many communist movements of Engels’ own day.

The primitive communist transformation of the socio-economic order under Christianity is based on 1.) the elimination of all ethno-linguistic and socio-economic distinction between men—unity in Christ—and; 2.) the fundamental spiritual equality of all human beings before god; it is the mirror image of the modern communist transformation of the socio-economic order under classical Marxist ideology, which is based on 1.) elimination of all class distinction between men and; 2.) a fundamental “equality” of access to a common storehouse of agricultural produce and manufactured goods. The numerous similarities between Christian communism and Marxism are too striking to be mere coincidence. Without the dominant influence of Christianity, the rise of modern communism and socialism would have been impossible.

The Protestant Reformation of the 16th century links the socio-economic egalitarianism of the early Christian communities with the socio-economic egalitarianism of the modern West. As a religious mass movement beginning in late medieval times, it profoundly affected the course of Western civilization. The Reformation played an instrumental role in the initial formulation and spread of liberal and socialist forms of egalitarian thought that now serve as the dominant state religions of the modern Western “democracies.” Without Luther and the mass upheaval that followed in his wake, Christian spiritual equality would have remained an eschatological fact with no direct bearing on the modern secular world.

Spengler’s observation that “Christian theology is the grandmother of Bolshevism” is a truism. All forms of Western communism are grounded in the Christian tradition. The same applies to liberal egalitarian thought, which was also formulated within a Christian religious milieu.

Liberalism, 16

Classical and modern

Enlightenment philosophers are given credit for shaping liberal ideas. Thomas Hobbes attempted to determine the purpose and the justification of governing authority in a post-civil war England. Employing the idea of a state of nature—a hypothetical war-like scenario prior to the State—he constructed the idea of a social contract which individuals enter into to guarantee their security and in so doing form the State, concluding that only an absolute sovereign would be fully able to sustain such a peace.

John Locke, while adopting Hobbes’s idea of a state of nature and social contract, nevertheless argued that when the monarch becomes a tyrant, that constituted a violation of the social contract, which bestows life, liberty, and property as a natural right. He concluded that the people have a right to overthrow a tyrant. By placing life, liberty and property as the supreme value of law and authority, Locke formulated the basis of liberalism based on social contract theory.

To these early enlightenment thinkers securing the most essential amenities of life—liberty and private property among them—required the formation of a “sovereign” authority with universal jurisdiction. In a natural state of affairs, liberals argued, humans were driven by the instincts of survival and self-preservation, and the only way to escape from such a dangerous existence was to form a common and supreme power capable of arbitrating between competing human desires. This power could be formed in the framework of a civil society that allows individuals to make a voluntary social contract with the sovereign authority, transferring their natural rights to that authority in return for the protection of life, liberty, and property.

These early liberals often disagreed about the most appropriate form of government, but they all shared the belief that liberty was natural and that its restriction needed strong justification. Liberals generally believed in limited government, although several liberal philosophers decried government outright, with Thomas Paine writing that “government even in its best state is a necessary evil”.

As part of the project to limit the powers of government, various liberal theorists such as James Madison and the Baron de Montesquieu conceived the notion of separation of powers, a system designed to equally distribute governmental authority among the executive, legislative, and judicial branches. Governments had to realize, liberals maintained, that poor and improper governance gave the people authority to overthrow the ruling order through any and all possible means, even through outright violence and revolution, if needed.

Contemporary liberals, heavily influenced by social liberalism, have continued to support limited constitutional government while also advocating for state services and provisions to ensure equal rights. Modern liberals claim that formal or official guarantees of individual rights are irrelevant when individuals lack the material means to benefit from those rights and call for a greater role for government in the administration of economic affairs.

Early liberals also laid the groundwork for the separation of church and state. As heirs of the Enlightenment, liberals believed that any given social and political order emanated from human interactions, not from divine will. Many liberals were openly hostile to religious belief itself, but most concentrated their opposition to the union of religious and political authority, arguing that faith could prosper on its own, without official sponsorship or administration by the state.

Beyond identifying a clear role for government in modern society, liberals also have obsessed over the meaning and nature of the most important principle in liberal philosophy: liberty. From the 17th century until the 19th century, liberals—from Adam Smith to John Stuart Mill—conceptualized liberty as the absence of interference from government and from other individuals, claiming that all people should have the freedom to develop their own unique abilities and capacities without being sabotaged by others. Mill’s On Liberty (1859), one of the classic texts in liberal philosophy, proclaimed that “the only freedom which deserves the name, is that of pursuing our own good in our own way”. Support for laissez-faire capitalism is often associated with this principle, with Friedrich Hayek arguing in The Road to Serfdom (1944) that reliance on free markets would preclude totalitarian control by the state.

tom green

Beginning in the late 19th century, however, a new conception of liberty entered the liberal intellectual arena. This new kind of liberty became known as positive liberty to distinguish it from the prior negative version, and it was first developed by British philosopher Thomas Hill Green. Green rejected the idea that humans were driven solely by self-interest, emphasizing instead the complex circumstances that are involved in the evolution of our moral character. In a very profound step for the future of modern liberalism, he also tasked society and political institutions with the enhancement of individual freedom and identity and the development of moral character, will and reason and the state to create the conditions that allow for the above, giving the opportunity for genuine choice. Foreshadowing the new liberty as the freedom to act rather than to avoid suffering from the acts of others, Green wrote the following:

If it were ever reasonable to wish that the usage of words had been other than it has been… one might be inclined to wish that the term “freedom” had been confined to the… power to do what one wills.

Rather than previous liberal conceptions viewing society as populated by selfish individuals, Green viewed society as an organic whole in which all individuals have a duty to promote the common good. His ideas spread rapidly and were developed by other thinkers such as L.T. Hobhouse and John Hobson.

In a few years, this New Liberalism had become the essential social and political program of the Liberal Party in Britain, and it would encircle much of the world in the 20th century. In addition to examining negative and positive liberty, liberals have tried to understand the proper relationship between liberty and democracy. As they struggled to expand suffrage rights, liberals increasingly understood that people left out of the democratic decision-making process were liable to the tyranny of the majority, a concept explained in Mill’s On Liberty and in Democracy in America (1835) by Alexis de Tocqueville. As a response, liberals began demanding proper safeguards to thwart majorities in their attempts at suppressing the rights of minorities.

Besides liberty, liberals have developed several other principles important to the construction of their philosophical structure, such as equality, pluralism, and toleration. Highlighting the confusion over the first principle, Voltaire commented that “equality is at once the most natural and at times the most chimeral of things”. All forms of liberalism assume, in some basic sense, that individuals are equal.

In maintaining that people are naturally equal, liberals assume that they all possess the same right to liberty. In other words, no one is inherently entitled to enjoy the benefits of liberal society more than anyone else, and all people are equal subjects before the law.

Beyond this basic conception, liberal theorists diverge on their understanding of equality. American philosopher John Rawls emphasized the need to ensure not only equality under the law, but also the equal distribution of material resources that individuals required to develop their aspirations in life. Libertarian thinker Robert Nozick disagreed with Rawls, championing the former version of Lockean equality instead.

To contribute to the development of liberty, liberals also have promoted concepts like pluralism and toleration. By pluralism, liberals refer to the proliferation of opinions and beliefs that characterize a stable social order. Unlike many of their competitors and predecessors, liberals do not seek conformity and homogeneity in the way that people think; in fact, their efforts have been geared towards establishing a governing framework that harmonizes and minimizes conflicting views, but still allows those views to exist and flourish.

For liberal philosophy, pluralism leads easily to toleration. Since individuals will hold diverging viewpoints, liberals argue, they ought to uphold and respect the right of one another to disagree. From the liberal perspective, toleration was initially connected to religious toleration, with Spinoza condemning “the stupidity of religious persecution and ideological wars”. Toleration also played a central role in the ideas of Kant and John Stuart Mill. Both thinkers believed that society will contain different conceptions of a good ethical life and that people should be allowed to make their own choices without interference from the state or other individuals.

Liberalism, 6

The American Revolution

Political tension between England and its American colonies grew after 1765 over the issue of taxation without representation, culminating in the Declaration of Independence of a new republic.

The Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson, echoed Locke: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, and are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”.

Declaration_independence

After the war, the leaders debated about how to move forward. The Articles of Confederation, written in 1776, now appeared inadequate to provide security, or even a functional government. The Confederation Congress called a Constitutional Convention in 1787 to write a new Constitution of the United States.

In the context of the times, the Constitution was a republican and liberal document. It established a strong national government with clear separation of the executive, the legislative, and the judicial. The first ten amendments to the constitution, known as the United States Bill of Rights, guaranteed some of the natural rights liberal thinkers used to justify the Revolution.

Published in: on September 3, 2015 at 6:48 pm  Comments (3)  

Liberalism, 3

History of liberalism

Beginnings

The Agreement of the People (1647) [photograph: here] was a manifesto for political change, proposed by the Levellers during the English Civil War. It called for freedom of religion, frequent convening of Parliament and equality under the law.

Isolated strands of liberal thought that had existed in Western philosophy since the Ancient Greeks began to coalesce at the time of the English Civil War. Disputes between the Parliament and King Charles I over political supremacy sparked a massive civil war in the 1640s, which culminated in Charles’ execution and the establishment of a Republic. In particular, the Levellers, a radical political movement of the period, published their manifesto Agreement of the People which advocated popular sovereignty, an extended voting suffrage, religious tolerance and equality before the law.

Many of the liberal concepts of Locke were foreshadowed in the radical ideas that were freely aired at the time. Algernon Sidney was second only to John Locke in his influence on liberal political thought in eighteenth-century Britain. He believed that absolute monarchy was a great political evil, and his major work, Discourses Concerning Government, argued that the subjects of the monarch were entitled by right to share in the government through advice and counsel.

locke

These ideas were first drawn together and systematized as a distinct ideology, by the English philosopher John Locke, generally regarded as the father of modern liberalism. Locke developed the then radical notion that government acquires consent from the governed which has to be constantly present for a government to remain legitimate. His influential Two Treatises (1690), the foundational text of liberal ideology, outlined his major ideas. His insistence that lawful government did not have a supernatural basis was a sharp break with then-dominant theories of governance. Locke also defined the concept of the separation of church and state. Based on the social contract principle, Locke argued that there was a natural right to the liberty of conscience, which he argued must therefore remain protected from any government authority. He also formulated a general defense for religious toleration in his Letters Concerning Toleration.

Locke was influenced by the liberal ideas of John Milton, who was a staunch advocate of freedom in all its forms. Milton argued for disestablishment as the only effective way of achieving broad toleration. In his Areopagitica, Milton provided one of the first arguments for the importance of freedom of speech: “the liberty to know, to utter, and to argue freely according to conscience, above all liberties”.

Published in: on September 2, 2015 at 11:17 pm  Comments Off on Liberalism, 3  

Liberalism, 1

Wikipedia

Liberalism is a political philosophy or worldview founded on ideas of liberty and equality. The former principle is stressed in classical liberalism while the latter is more evident in social liberalism. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally they support ideas and programs such as freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of religion, free markets, civil rights, democratic societies, secular governments, and international cooperation.

Liberalism first became a distinct political movement during the Age of Enlightenment, when it became popular among philosophers and economists in the Western world. Liberalism rejected the notions, common at the time, of hereditary privilege, state religion, absolute monarchy, and the Divine Right of Kings. The 17th-century philosopher John Locke is often credited with founding liberalism as a distinct philosophical tradition. Locke argued that each man has a natural right to life, liberty and property, while adding that governments must not violate these rights based on the social contract. Liberals opposed traditional conservatism and sought to replace absolutism in government with representative democracy and the rule of law.

Prominent revolutionaries in the Glorious Revolution, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution used liberal philosophy to justify the armed overthrow of what they saw as tyrannical rule. Liberalism started to spread rapidly especially after the French Revolution. The 19th century saw liberal governments established in nations across Europe, South America, and North America. In this period, the dominant ideological opponent of classical liberalism was conservatism, but liberalism later survived major ideological challenges from new opponents, such as fascism and communism. During the 20th century, liberal ideas spread even further as liberal democracies found themselves on the winning side in both world wars.

In Europe and North America, the establishment of social liberalism became a key component in the expansion of the welfare state. Today, liberal parties continue to wield power and influence throughout the world.

The roots of ethno-masochism

By this time the single Jewish causers ought to have taken note that even well-known pro-white bloggers, who are either Christians or married to Christians, are openly saying that the root causes of our predicament are to be found in our most cherished traditions: religion and the ideals of secular liberalism.

The following are a couple of passages from “Death to Modernity—American Perspectives.” Alex Kurtagic responds to what some angry Christian commenters had said (in italics):

1.-

Saying that Christianity started liberalism is like saying the existence of truth is to blame for the distortion thereof.

Tracing the roots of an ideology to a religion’s metaphysics is not the same as blaming the ideology on the religion, or saying that the religion ‘started’ the ideology. The American Constitution and the Declaration of Independence (Introduction and Preamble) also have roots in Christianity, yet no one would reasonably ‘blame’ the American Constitution and the Declaration of Independence on Christianity or claim that Christianity ‘started’ them. Though known for their pagan outlook and critiques of Christianity, in the Manifesto the ENR merely points out the irony of Christian metaphysics’ having supplied—without that having been the intention—liberal theorists with the means to ‘liberate’ the individual from Christianity (along with anything transcendent or external to the individual).

2.-

What a crock!—blaming the evils of liberalism and the Leftist destruction of the U.S.A. on true Christianity. Liberalism sprang from secularism and both are ‘Jewish’ in origin.

Prior to emancipation, Jews were confined to ghettos and lived under civic and legal restrictions in Europe. By the time Jewish emancipation began in the 1790s, the Enlightenment (associated with secularism) was already in decline and giving way to Romanticism and the Counter-Enlightenment. In most places of Europe, Jews were not emancipated until the mid-1800s. On the other hand, Liberalism, like the Enlightenment, dates back to the 1600s. John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government was published in 1689, over a century before the first Jewish emancipation. Of the thinkers we associate with classical liberalism or the Enlightenment—John Locke, René Descartes, Isaac Newton, Montesquieu, Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, Voltaire, John Stuart Mill, David Ricardo, and Baruch Spinoza—only Ricardo and Spinoza were Jews, but both were disowned. The rest were Christians.

What we can say is that many Jews since emancipation have seen the obvious benefit to Jews generally of their host societies being as secular as possible, and have accordingly campaigned in various ways to accelerate and maximise a process of secularisation that had already been begun by lapsed, indifferent, or apostate Christians. The idea of separation of Church and state is not Jewish, but, as Henry Ford describes in The International Jew, Jewish activists—who, obviously, were either preoccupied with real or perceived anti-Semitism or who wished to advance the interests of their ethnic group—used this idea to further their aim of removing Christianity from the public square.

Liberalism does not reject Christianity or religion tout court; indeed, the Founding Fathers of the United States, though liberals to a man, were Christians—not anti-Christian atheists, like the Marxists who subsequently critiqued liberalism—and conceived the United States as a Christian country intended for Christians. What liberalism attempts to do is to ‘liberate’ the individual from anything transcendent or outside of the individual. The existence and the will of God is then ascertained by rational means, and the process of ascertaining is left to the individual, who becomes the measure of all things. Dogmatic belief and subservience to tradition and authority are abandoned.

One must not conflate anti-Western Jewish intellectual movements with liberalism just because the former marshalled liberal ideas to serve Jewish ethnic aims. The abovementioned Jewish movements were of a liberal character because they originated in a liberal context. Had they originated in a non-liberal context, we would have seen Jewish movements of a very different kind. That these movements remain influential highlights the dominance of liberalism and the need to dismantle it, for, once dismantled, these movements will become unthinkable. And depending on what replaces liberalism, ethnic subversion, Jewish or otherwise, may or may not become more difficult. Ultimately, it depends on how we reshape the intellectual landscape—nothing is predetermined or guaranteed.

And this is Hunter Wallace’s latest entry at
Occidental Dissent, Derb on Ethnomasochism”:

Derb is trying to understand the roots of White ethnomasochism at VDARE and Takimag.

Seeing as how this is a historical inquiry and intersects our particular fixation on the American South, we can unequivocally say that evangelical Christianity and Enlightenment ideology are the roots of this phenomena, and that the anti-slavery movement was its first major flowering.

It doesn’t take much time wandering through what Europeans were doing in the Caribbean in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries to figure out that they were operating in another moral universe.

By the late eighteenth century/early nineteenth century, you have your Abbé Raynals and John Browns who are fine specimens of this deranged type.

If I had artistic skills, I would draw a cartoon of a tree labeled “anti-slavery” with fruit hanging from its branches labeled “anti-racism” and “civil rights” and “feminism” and “free love” and “white guilt” and “communism” and “decolonization” and “white genocide.”