Let’s face it, we’re all sociopaths in our own special ways.
The story of Cabela, a pit bull, brought this home to me. Her owners shot her. Bleeding and in pain, the dog did the only thing she could imagine: she ran to her home.
Naturally, her owners found her there and they weren’t done. So they tied her to a train track. Only the intervention of police officers called for the gunshots saved her.
The reason for the torture?
Cabela the pit bull refused to fight. She was too nice.
Animals kill. Humans torture.
Because we are a fallen species, a fact recognized by Judeo-Christian ethics and their understanding of original sin.
People suck. Jews and Christians recognize this.
On the other hand, secular humanists view people as generally decent. They view people as beings that react badly to material circumstances and if we just fix those, then everything will be great.
Who can forget State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf saying all ISIS needs is a job?
Here’s the thing. ISIS members have a job. It’s being ISIS members. The terrorist army enjoys the raping and killing.
Jihad Johnny comes from a wealthy, educated background. So did Mohammaed Atta.
Osama bin Laden was the scion of a Saudi billionaire. He could have spent his life in luxury, drinking Scotch and dandling supermodels on his knee. Poverty doesn’t create terrorists.
They’ve embraced their inner sociopaths and no amount of social engineering is going to do anything about it.
Humans are naturally terrible and only by embracing this truth of Judeo-Christian philosophy can a society hope to maintain its freedom.
John Adams understood this. He warned in 1798 that, “Our constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other.” Then again in 1811, “Religion and virtue are the only foundations, not only of republicanism and all free government, but of social felicity under all governments and in all the combinations of human society.”
Does anyone think that he was talking about Wicca or Shinto?
Or how about this one from 1809?
I will insist that the Hebrews have done more to civilize men than any other nation. If I were an atheist, and believed in blind eternal fate, I should still believe that fate had ordained the Jews to be the most essential instrument for civilizing the nations. If I were an atheist of the other sect, who believe or pretend to believe that all is ordered by chance, I should believe that chance had ordered the Jews to preserve and propagate to all mankind the doctrine of a supreme, intelligent, wise, almighty sovereign of the universe, which I believe to be the great essential principle of all morality, and consequently of all civilization.
Our Founders understood power and its corrosive effect on people. The fact that those people getting into positions of leadership are those who actively seek power only increases the danger.
This demonstrates the genius of our founding. Instead of trying to fight a universal truth – the inherently flawed nature of humanity – the Founding Fathers developed a system to set ambition against ambition. The monsters inside of us would be used to stop each other.
The gridlock we moan about today is a feature, not a bug.
For a great counter example, let’s take a look at France.
The French fought their revolution shortly after America. Indeed, French citizens had fought in our war and brought the taste of freedom home, with the skills to fight with it.
However, instead of instituting their new republic with Judeo-Christian principles and understandings of humanity, the new French leaders were secularists who believed in the perfectibility of man.
Apparently, this perfection could be reached with guillotines. Things got so bad that Napoleon’s dictatorship seemed like an improvement.
The lack of understanding of human nature played out in how the state treated its citizens.
America allowed individuals to flourish in freedom. The state existed to protect individual rights and make sure people left each other alone.
On the Continent, however, a humanist vision flourished – and freedom withered.
The salons of Paris, after the secular scouring of the Revolution, gave birth to the cancer of Marxism, a disease that eventually metastasized to Russia and around the world.
Even though Western Europe did not fall to Communism, secularism colonized Christendom. As the Judeo-Christian values vanished, the State rose. The European Union regulates everything from the proper bend of bananas to forbidding advertising that water cures dehydration.
Even worse than the loss of freedom through an ever-expanding government is the corrosive effect this expansion has on the individual.
Free money and life on the government dole throws fuel onto the fire of flawed souls. Economic incentives trap the victims of government largesse. Government checks replace fathers and destroy families. Fatherlessness leads to crime, drug use. These social pathologies lead to more government involvement.
And the cycle continues.
There’s no coincidence that the cratering of the Judeo Christian ethic in America is coinciding with an increasing government Leviathan.
There have been plenty of comparisons to America and the falling Roman Empire, from the loss of border control to military overstretch to the rise of the executive at the expense of Congress.
In these comparisons, no one ever considers another similarity: the rise of Christ and the death of the old gods. As the Christian faith took hold and replaced the pagans, it shook society. The rotting foundations of the empire could not take it.
Dennis Prager convincingly makes the case that Leftism is the most dynamic religion in the world at the moment. An observer of the early Church would no doubt recognize the fervor of Leftism’s adherents. They certainly proselytize, which is giving them a firm grasp on the levers of power in society.
We are in danger of reliving history, as Christendom falls and the State rises.
And unfortunately, the ethos replacing Judeo-Christianity lacks a basic understanding of human nature.
That means the dark ages that follow Western civilization could be far darker than that which followed Rome, even if they’re lit by neon.
Please join the discussion on Twitter. The essay above is the twenty-eighth in volume 2 of the cultural discussions between the writers of PJ Lifestyle and Liberty Island exploring the history of counter-cultures, the future of conservatism and the role of new, emerging counter-cultures in restoring American exceptionalism. Want to contribute? Check out the articles below, reach out, and lets brainstorm: @DaveSwindle
- Frank J. Fleming on February 26, 2015: What Is the Future of Government? Why It Won’t Look Like Star Trek
- Aaron C. Smith on February 26, 2015: What Is the Future of Superheroes? Why They Need To Start Killing Super-Villains
- Mark Ellis on February 26, 2016: What Is the Future of Gen-X Manhood? Adam Carolla Vs Chuck Palahniuk?
- David S. Bernstein on February 26, 2015: What is the Future of Fiction? You’ll Be Shocked Who’s Fighting the New Conservative Counter-Culture
- Aaron C. Smith on March 2, 2015: The House Loses: Why Season 3 of House of Cards Utterly Disappoints
- Michael Walsh on March 2: What the Left Doesn’t Get About Robert A. Heinlein
- Frank J. Fleming on March 3: 8 Frank Rules For How Not to Tweet
- Susan L.M. Goldberg on March 4: 7 Reasons Why Backstrom Is Perfect Counter-Culture Conservative TV
- Frank J. Fleming on March 5: What Is the Future of Religion?
- Aaron C. Smith on March 5: The Future of Religion: Why Judeo-Christian Values Are More Important Than Science
- Spencer Klavan on March 5: Not Religion’s Future: ISIS and the Art of Destruction
- Chris Queen on March 7: 5 Reasons Why Big Hero 6 Belongs Among The Pantheon Of Disney Classics
- Jon Bishop on March 8: Why I Am Catholic
- Frank J. Fleming on March 11: 6 Frank Tips For Being Funny On the Internet
- Becky Graebner on March 11: 5 Things I Learned In My First 6 Months As a Small Business Owner
- Frank J. Fleming on March 12: This Is Today’s Question: What Does It Mean To Be ‘Civilized’?
- Mark Ellis on March 12: The Future of Civilized Society: One World
- Aaron C. Smith on March 12: Why Civilization Is a Gift to Bullies
- David S. Bernstein on March 12: Nihilism & Feminism for Girls: Has Judd Apatow Let Lena Dunham Self-Destruct Intentionally?
- Susan L.M. Goldberg on March 15: Why I Am Jewish
- Chris Queen on March 15: Why I Am Non-Denominational Christian
- Allston on March 16: Counter-Culture Wars, Part 1: Why the Fellow Travelers Hijacked Folk Music
- Ronald R. Cherry on March 17: How To Untangle Orwellian Doublethink: 4 Secrets To Help You Spot BS
- Dave Swindle on March 18: Do Fairy Tales & Scary Stories Hide Secrets For Defeating Evil?
- Walter Hudson on March 18: The Case Against Freedom, Part I: What Are ‘Externalities’?
- Chris Queen on March 18: Can Conservatives & Libertarians Unify? A Review of The Conservatarian Manifesto
- Frank J. Fleming on March 19: Today’s Question: Are We All Sociopaths In Our Own Special Ways?
See the first volume of articles from 2014 and January and February 2015 below:
2014 – Starting the Discussion…
- Sarah Hoyt, March 22 2014: Interview: Adam Bellow Unveils New Media Publishing Platform Liberty Island
- David S. Bernstein, June 20 2014: What Is Liberty Island?
- Adam Bellow at National Review, June 30 2014 kicking off the discussion: Let Your Right Brain Run Free
- Dave Swindle on September 7, 2014: Why Culture Warriors Should Understand the 10 Astounding Eras of Disney Animation’s Evolution
- Dave Swindle on September 9, 2014: The 50 Greatest Counter-Culture Films of All Time, Part I
- Dave Swindle on September 19, 2014: The 50 Greatest Counter-Culture Films of All Time, Part II
- David S. Bernstein on November 19, 2014: 5 Leaders of the New Conservative Counter-Culture
- Liberty Island on November 22nd, 2014: A Unique Team of 33 Creative Writers
- Dave Swindle on November 25, 2014: 7 Reasons Why Thanksgiving Will Be My Last Day on Facebook
- Kathy Shaidle on November 25, 2014: Is America Overdue for a Satanic Revival? (Part One)
- Dave Swindle on December 2, 2014: My Growing List of 65 Read-ALL-Their-Books Authors
- Kathy Shaidle on December 3, 2014: Is America Overdue for a Satanic Revival? (Part Two)
- Mark Elllis on December 9, 2014: Ozzy Osbourne and the Conservative Tent: Is He In?
- Aaron C. Smith on December 22, 2014: The Villains You Choose
January-February 2015 – Volume I
- Paula Bolyard on January 1, 2015: 7 New Year’s Resolutions for Conservatives
- Susan L.M. Goldberg on January 1, 2015: The Plan to Take Back Feminism in 2015
- Kathy Shaidle on January 4, 2015: Did the 1960s Really Happen? (Part One)
- Andrew Klavan on January 5, 2015: In 2015 The New Counter-Culture Needs to Be Offensive!
- Clay Waters on January 5, 2015: The Decline and Fall of Russell Brand
- Mark Ellis on January 5, 2015: How Conservatives Can Counter the Likable Liberal
- Audie Cockings on January 5, 2015: Entertainers Have Shorter Lifespans
- Aaron C. Smith on January 6, 2015: How Mario Cuomo Honestly Defined Zero-Sum Liberalism
- Stephen McDonald on January 10, 2015: Why the New Counter-Culture Should Make Strength Central to Its Identity
- Stephen McDonald on January 16, 2015: The Metaphorical War
- Kathy Shaidle on January 19, 2015: Did the 1960s Really Happen? (Part Two)
- Frank J. Fleming on January 20, 2015: What if Red Dawn Happened, But It Was Islamic Terrorists Instead of Communists?
- Mark Ellis on January 21, 2015: Adam Carolla: The Quintessential Counterculture Conservative?
- Aaron C. Smith on January 29, 2015: Objection! Why TV’s The Good Wife Isn’t Good Law
- David Solway on February 2, 2015: For a Song To Be Good, Must It Tell The Truth?
- Mark Ellis on February 6, 2015: President Me: Adam Carolla Vs. the Scourge of Narcissism
- David Solway on February 6, 2015: ‘Imagine’ a World Without the Brotherhood
- Kathy Shaidle on February 9, 2015: Was Rod McKuen the Secret Godfather of Punk Rock?
- Aaron C. Smith on February 10, 2015: Kick NBC While It’s Down: Use The Williams Scandal to Set the Terms of the 2016 Debates
- Spencer Klavan on February 12, 2015: How to Apologize for Your Thought Crimes
- Kathy Shaidle on February 16, 2015: David Byrne: Creepy Liberal Hypocrite
- David P. Goldman on February 18, 2015: Understanding This Bloody Truth About the Bible Will Save Your Life
- Lisa De Pasquale on February 20, 2015: Why American Sniper Is a Much Better Love Story Than Fifty Shades of Grey
- Spencer Klavan on February 24, 2015: How Bad Ideology Destroys Good TV: Why Glee Crashed and Burned
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