Friday, January 25, 2013

Bolshevism and Societal Collapse

Every once in a while I get an inkling, a premonition? Or maybe just curiosity to go searching into a subject that I'm not familiar with because something in current events has prompted me. Recent events here in America seem to remind me of something I read back in high school history class about the Bolsheviks and the Russian Revolution of 1917. I Found myself wondering do we have the forgotten spirits of the Bolsheviks here among us influencing social, cultural and political events?

The more I thought about it the stronger the urge became to get brushed up on my Russian Revolution history. After a little bit of online research I discovered the name of the foremost authority on the Russian Revolution in Western culture. His name is Richard Pipes. He has written three major works about the Russian Revolution: The Russian Revolution, Russia under the Bolshevik Regime and Three “Whys” of the Russian Revolution. I ordered two of them; The Russian  Revolution and Three “Whys” of the Russian Revolution

The last of these being only 80 pages in length, I dove right in. By page 5 my blood was chilled. It was pretty much just the creeps until I got to page 40. Now I feel compelled to share with everyone this resource. The parallels between our current administration and the Bolshevik party warrant discussion. I would like to include a few excerpts from the book. I strongly encourage anyone reading this to order online "Three Whys of the Russian Revolution". In 80 pages you should be sufficiently alarmed.

The first excerpt is on page 40 describing Lenin:

**Lenin treated politics as warfare. Of course, all Marxists did so in a sense; to the Marxists, politics means class war. But the others did not take this dictum quite as literally as did Lenin. Whereas they thought of it as ordinary conflict, he and he alone saw its purpose as conquering power and annihilating all rivals. By annihilation, he meant, not merely eliminating them as competitors, but physically exterminating them. Such a view of politics, of course, gave Lenin great advantages in the struggle for power. Once power was gained, however, and the adversary was "conquered," such a view provided no guidance for running a society.**

Our current president has taken a lesson from Vladimir Lenin. Class war is a tool. The description continues on page 42:

**Lenin saw himself as the commander-in-chief of a organization committed to permanent political warfare. He unquestionably excelled in this particular pursuit. In the concluding chapter of Russia under the Bolshevik Regime, I maintain that he was never an outstanding statesman – he had few constructive ideas – but that he was one of the great conquerors of world history, a man who vanquished his own country in a way that no one before him had even attempted. The rival parties, the Socialists and, to some extent, the liberals, were populist, believing in the innate wisdom of the Russian people. They were not prepared to fight, and they lost out to a politician for whom struggle was a normal occupation, and peace emir breathing spell for war.**

If ever there was an organization bent on and committed to permanent political warfare it is the Democratic machine we are watching in operation right now. A good example of this is the reemergence of the issue of women in combat. The issue was settled some 10 to 12 years ago but not satisfactorily for the liberals and progressives in the Democratic Party. Here we are again fighting over the same issue that society had concluded a decade ago. This is permanent political warfare. On page 43 the description continues:

**Another advantage of Lenin's derived from the fact that he did not care about Russia. He cared about Germany and England in the sense that, for him, as a revolutionary, they were the key countries. Russia he viewed as nothing more than a stepping stone to global upheaval; a backward country, populated mainly by an uncouth rural "petty bourgeoisie" in the shape of self-sufficient "middle" peasants and "kulaks." Such a country could not make a world revolution: at best, it could serve as a spark that would set off the powder keg abroad. In his view, Russia was the weak link in the chain of world imperialism, the snapping of which would unleash upheavals in the heart of Europe. It was a profound personal tragedy for him that his expectations in this respect were not met and the Revolution remained confined to Russia and her colonies.
                Because he did not care about his country, Lenin was prepared to promise everybody whatever they wanted without giving much thought to the future. The peasants wanted private land for their communes? Let them take it: eventually all the land will be confiscated and collectivized anyway. Until then, "looting the loot" will win over, or at least neutralize, the peasantry. The workers demand to run the factories? Even though "workers control" is a detestable syndico- anarchist slogan, there is no harm in granting their desires – for the time being. Once industries have been nationalized and subjected to a general economic plan of production, "workers control" will vanish of itself. The soldiers clamor for peace? Give them peace; when the "proletarian dictatorship" is firmly in power, they will be duly mobilized for the global Civil War. The national minorities call for independence? By all means: they only have to ask. The "right of national self-determination," including separate statehood, is guaranteed, with the tacit understanding that, if exercised, it will be overruled by the superior right of "proletarian self determination." This purely tactical approach to all political problems was an enormous boon because no other party in Russia was prepared to engage in such demagoguery. Of course when the promissory notes were presented for payment later on, Lenin had to default, alienating all those who, passively or actively, had helped him come to power and forcing him to install a totalitarian regime which had not been his intention.**

It cannot be disputed that no other president in American history has promised so much to so many with no thought of how this will affect the future, just like Lenin.

And there's a lot to argue over whether Mr. Obama cares for this country or not. His being raised overseas with all his childhood memories abroad has at the least lessened his sentimental ties to an American raising and traditional values. After his election, his wife articulated the fact that she had never been proud of this country until he was elected. This speaks volumes of her sentiment toward America. And what else can we take from the fact that Mr. Obama spent 20 years under the pastor of “God bless America? No! God d**n America…”  More evidence is easy to find.  Mr. Obama's disdainful remarks about those who would "cling to God and their guns" is another revealing statement about his sentiment toward average Americans. It apparently parallels Lenin's thoughts of his “countrymen.”  

There are some striking differences between early 1900’s  Russia and the United States, however. For one, citizens of the United States have experienced and enjoyed all the amenities of real freedom. According to Natan Sharansky once you have tasted freedom, you will never be happy without it. And enslaving a people who have known real freedom is no small task. Yet we see the same tactics being used here in the US by an administration who has promised "fundamental transformation."

Please, please, please acquire this book. It is only 80 pages. Its contents may prevent us from experiencing a 70 year black abyss comparable to what Russia experienced or worse.

Bolshevism thrives and grows in a culture of discontent, dissatisfaction and conflict between subgroups of a society. It is simply a means for a narcissist to promote himself by creating crisis and dissension then taking full advantage to elevate himself to power.

Friends, unless I'm terribly mistaken the seeds of Bolshevism have been sewn here in our country. A second term to this administration will allow the crop to break ground. How will we respond?

Always remember we are Americans. Truly, united we stand. Disrespecting one another and disregarding the boundary markers our Founders left us in our State Papers will prove disastrous. Sound moral guidance, love for our fellow citizens is an antidote to Bolshevism. God help us to see in each other a God given, inherent value. Freedom is the longing of every human heart. It is not easy to obtain or maintain. Cling to it with all your might. Fight all that threatens it. Anyone who does not trust you with freedom should not be trusted of given the privilege of leadership.

Monday, January 14, 2013

On Societal Collapse and Other Such Trifles

Amidst the political and social turmoil we as American’s have been experiencing, I finally did what I usually do in a crisis. I went back to see what the Bible has to say about such things. “Does the Bible say anything about the collapse of a society of civilization?” you may ask. Well in my short 49 years of life I have found that the Bible has something to say about everything of significance (and in most cases those things of little significance) in life. Benjamin Franklin is known to have said:

In this situation of this Assembly, groping as it were in the dark to find political truth, and scarce able to distinguish it when presented to us, how has it happened, Sir, that we have not hitherto once thought of humbly applying to the Father of lights to illuminate our understandings? In the beginning of the Contest with G. Britain, when we were sensible of danger we had daily prayer in this room for the divine protection. ”Our prayers, Sir, were heard, and they were graciously answered. All of us who were engaged in the struggle must have observed frequent instances of a Superintending providence in our favor. To that kind providence we owe this happy opportunity of consulting in peace on the means of establishing our future national felicity. And have we now forgotten that powerful friend? I have lived, Sir, a long time, and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth- that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid? We have been assured, Sir, in the sacred writings, that "except the Lord build the House they labour in vain that build it." I firmly believe this; and I also believe that without his concurring aid we shall succeed in this political building no better than the Builders of Babel: We shall be divided by our little partial local interests; our projects will be confounded, and we ourselves shall become a reproach and bye word down to future ages. And what is worse, mankind may hereafter from this unfortunate instance, despair of establishing Governments be Human Wisdom and leave it to chance, war and conquest.- Benjamin Franklin in the Constitutional Convention

To which I reply. Is it possible for a civilization to fall without His notice? It may be that in cutting out the core of His influence we have already fallen in His eyes.  All that is left is the painful part.

Getting back to what the Bible tells us… I have for several months been in a study of the Two greatest Commandments. Jesus was asked in Matthew 22:36 what the greatest commandment was in an attempt by the Pharisees to trip Him up. At first I didn’t get it. I’m slow like that, but Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was. He gave two in reply:

                Mat 22:37-40  And he said to him, "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with                all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the great and first commandment.  And a second is                 like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the                          Law and the Prophets."

For all of my life I have assumed that Jesus was just giving us a little “extra” wisdom when He included the second commandment. I completely missed the subtle comment “And a second is like it” phrase for many years. When Jesus was asked what was the greatest command He told them but He included a second command for one reason. It cannot be separated from the first. I’ll explain as we go.

When asked about the greatest command I also overlooked the fact that Jesus was quoting from the Jewish book of the Law. Recently I heard a radio commentator give the references for these quotes. (God has to hold my hand through these things or I would never find them.) The greatest command is from Deuteronomy 6:4-6:
                "Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one.  You shall love the LORD your God        with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  And these words that I command you         today shall be on your heart.

The second that Jesus included with the first is found originally in Leviticus 19:16-18:

                You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against    the life of your neighbor: I am the LORD.  "You shall not hate your brother in your heart, but you             shall reason frankly with your neighbor, lest you incur sin because of him. You shall not take    vengeance or bear a grudge against the sons of your own people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the LORD.

Ah HA! Now I get it. Jesus was quoting from the sections of the Jewish Book of the Law where God is establishing Israel as a nation. Did your ears perk up Americans? When asked what the greatest commandment was Jesus, knowing the whole of the Law, pulled out the core of it in, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. “ Fascinatingly, when He pulled this one out, like in a Barrel of Monkeys, another one came with it, inseparable from it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself.

Jesus said, “And a second is like it”. So did He mean that loving my neighbor as myself is like loving God with all my heart, soul and strength? After about a year of studying this section of scripture I am completely persuaded that the answer to this question is…Yes! And not just yes but absolutely yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, …

Let’s look at some other passages. I’ll try to limit the references. As my study went on the list became so extensive it will be impossible to include them all here.

The first and most striking in my mind is Matthew 25:34-40

Mat 25:34-40  Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me,  I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.'  Then the righteous will answer him, saying, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?' And the King will answer them, 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'

That’s pretty straight forward in my mind. When they were kind to others, God took it as a personally kindness to Him. This theme runs throughout the Bible. Look at John 4:20-21

              If anyone says, "I love God," and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen. And this commandment we have from him: whoever loves God must also love his brother.

Again, this is pretty direct and clear. John didn’t put anything shiny on this to distract us. If you say you love God and you hate a neighbor you are a liar. Ouch! I have been a liar. There is a principle emerging here that I will attempt to diagram. (My MS Word skills are poor at best.) I have come to the conclusion that my relationship with God is not linear or one dimensional. My relationship with God includes you. I have come to believe that God views this relationship as one relationship not 3.

As we continue to look at this, many things begin to come clear. If when we are kind to others God says it is kindness to Him, then when we harm others we are harming Him (figuratively speaking).  If God see this 3 cornered graphic as ONE relationship then it makes sense what David said after he had Uriah killed and took his wife: Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment.  Ps 51:4. I agree that Uriah’s family may have disagreed with this but in God’s eyes it is true if He sees the relationship as ONE relationship.When we sin against "others" we sin against God.

Now the beauty of this diagram is that you can put anyone, any earthly relationship you want in the “Others” box and the Bible will confirm it somewhere.

Try employer:

                Slaves, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as    people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, work heartily, as                for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as   your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.  Col 3:22-24

Catch that last phrase, “You are serving the Lord Christ.” It is one relationship with 3 individuals. When you are working for someone else you are working for God. 

Now put your spouse in the “others” box:

                 Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife,                 as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be        not hindered.  1 Pet 3:7

Seems God doesn’t want to talk to us if we aren’t talking to each other.  God sees it as ONE relationship.

Put your employee in the “others” box:

                Masters, give unto your servants that which is just and equal; knowing that ye also have a           Master in heaven.  Col 4:1

Masters (employers in today’s terms) are reminded of the third person in the relationship in this verse.

Look back at Matthew 25… the hungry, the thirsty, the stranger, the naked, the sick, the prisoner…

The list goes on and on so let’s get to the nub of it. Can we even put those that are our enemies in the “others” box? Yes.

                And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. For if ye love them      which love you, what thank have ye? for sinners also love those that love them.  And if ye do good to them which do good to you, what thank have ye? for sinners also do even the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again. But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil. Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.  Luke 6:31-36

God is on the line in every relationship. Loving Him requires loving everyone else. This is the foundation upon which a civilization can be built. Dare I say our Founders knew this? Christianity was the inspiration for our founding. Just ask the Founders. (see Original Intent- David Barton)

So when Christ was asked what is the greatest commandment He pulled out the heart of the issue. Love God but remember, in doing this you will have to love “others” as you love yourself. Those 2 were the heart and soul of all the Law God gave to Israel to establish itself as a nation. Jesus identified the spirit of the law to guide a nation well: Loving God accomplished by loving others. Jesus said it Himself, “On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.” The closer a nation comes to following the spirit of the law the fewer “laws” will be required. Such were we as a nation.

Now I ask you liberals and progressive who are all about removing God from government, schools, court houses and public squares, what happens to that 3 cornered relationship when God is removed? What is the basis for your relationship with me? What happens when you cut a string of pearls? Chaos.  The connection between neighbors and “others” is lost in spirit. The pursuit of one’s own interests, in disregard to others, becomes the rule for conduct. Nietzsche’s philosophy is the closest articulation of this situation. Yes, the same Nietzsche that inspired the rise of Nazi Germany.

Let me submit to you that undermining the spirit of the law of a free nation will change its status. Freedom without moral guides, without a core moral objective (loving God) will only be free to destroy itself.

I would think even the most a-theist of atheists would want a doctor, a lawyer, a banker, a child, a neighbor, a president with the most impeccable of moral guides. God, who watches over the cause of the spouse, the employee, the employer, the hungry, the prisoner…the enemy would be the best guarantor of fair, no exemplary treatment.

Did we understand that removing God from our discourse would pull out the corner stone of our society?

Turns out facilitating society collapse isn’t that hard. Just pull out the core philosophy.

Here is my pitch, Americans. We are as a nation addicted to excellence. We know it and want it when we see it. Isn’t a life based on loving God and others as the core principle a better proposition than a life centered on self interest. Life based on self interest is, by definition, a small life indeed.

What kind of freedom does love bring? Who knows more about love than God who created, defined and embodies it? (By contrast, love is not the invention of survival of the fittest.) What kind of adventure and wonder-filled life would we lead if we based our interactions in life on the object of loving God through loving others? Now that is a liberating thought.