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America’s Decline and Israel’s Redemption

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The American flag. This Memorial day, remember one who fights for that flag and is now in a Mexican jail.

From an intellectual perspective, signs of America’s decline appeared with the advent of Progressive Movement toward the end of the 19th century. The most prominent leader of Progressivism was Woodrow Wilson.

Philosophically understood, the concept of Progressivism denies fixed or trans-historical truths. Progressivism therefore resonates with historical relativism or “historicism.” It also resonates with evolutionary Darwinism which took academia by storm after the First World War.

Historicism entered American higher education early in the 20th century. The doctrine was ensconced in Johns Hopkins, Wilson’s alma mater.

Historicism, Progressivism, and evolutionary Darwinism are cousins. Just as Darwinism denies fixed species, so Progressivism and Historicism deny permanent or immutable truths. Both contradict America’s primary foundational document, the Declaration of Independence, whose pivotal concept is the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” the ultimate source of man’s inalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness. These rights entail limitations on the powers of government—of the One, the Few, and the Many. The academic denial of the “Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” is the first step toward a second American revolution.

Steps toward a second American revolution

Few have probed the intellectual causes of this bloodless revolution. It has been going on with increasing force for more than a century spearheaded by higher education.

Early evidence of this revolution appeared in a book written by, Carl Becker, The Declaration of Independence (1922). Becker, a historicist, portrayed the Declaration as a mere tract of the times. He negated the Declaration’s pivotal idea of “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God,” the source of man’s inalienable rights to Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness.

Becker’s historicism was reinforced by evolutionary Darwinism. Darwinism is a materialistic doctrine. It contradicts the creation narrative of the Bible. So does Becker, who boldly states:

Much serious, minutely critical investigation into the origins of institutions seemed to show that all things human might be fully accounted for without recourse to God or the Transcendental Idea.

Becker’s materialistic worldview was reinforced by Charles Beard’s Economic Interpretation of the Constitution of the United States. Such has been the number of its printings since 1913 that it became commonplace for historians and political scientists to explain the political principles of the Founding Fathers in terms of their economic interests. This is an example of the reductionism and crypto-Marxism—indeed, the cynicism—that has permeated the social sciences for more than a century. Is anything more required to undermine a people’s reverence for their foundational documents?

Woodrow Wilson sees no limits to Presidential power

Woodrow Wilson sowed the seeds of the decline of America

Portrait of Woodrow Wilson. Photo: User Cliff1066/Flickr, CC BY 2.0 Generic License

Returning to Wilson: he not only rejected the Declaration’s concept of natural rights. He also rejected the Constitution’s system of institutional checks and balances. He targeted the constraints on the Executive branch. He regarded the President as the spokesman of the people, but in a new way. The President, he said, is to “move with the common impulse” and feel what ordinary men feel, to feel “what touches them to the quick.”

Wilson thus inaugurated what I called in 1974 the “politics of compassion.” This politics opposed the politics of the Founding Fathers, which I termed the “politics of magnanimity.” The latter identifies not with the few, and not with the many, but rather with the nation—with those structural principles and universal moral values that make this nation unique, exceptional, a nation that transcends the paltry and perennial conflict between the rich and the poor, a nation headed by statesmen, not politicians, statesmen whose love of fame is wedded to noble ideas, to immutable and transcendental truths.

Historical relativism cannot but degrade this lofty concept of statesmanship. This academic doctrine, which makes the philosopher a child of his times, also strips the statesman of intellectual independence. No longer is the statesman an educator. He becomes merely a policy maker, who may be nothing more than a puppet of the masses, for he must “move with the common impulse.”

Whereas the politics of magnanimity makes demands on and elevates the people, the politics of compassion undermines the people’s sense of personal responsibility and thus leads to the “nanny” state of which Wilson may be deemed the grandfather.

Barack Obama, post-American

Obama as a socialist leader taking over America

Barack Obama, in multicolored shadow, imitating Lenin or Stalin. Artist unknown.

Fast forward to Barack Obama, the unlearned successor of the learned Woodrow Wilson. But note well that Obama, as a “post-American” President, augurs the end of American Exceptionalism.

What made his election possible was one hundred years of American “higher” education, an education steeped in the decrepit doctrine of moral relativism. This doctrine, which the present writer excoriated in an article of warning published in the Congressional Record (Senate) in 1968, has degraded the American people. It has corrupted countless opinion makers, lawmakers¸ decision makers, and judges—to which add America’s cultural elite, if we may take a liberal view of the word “culture.”

There is no way of undoing this insidious, century-long revolution by conventional politics. America has become a “Humpty-Dumpty.”

This decadence is of course symptomatic of what has happened to Western Civilization. This civilization ceased being civilized in proportion to its forsaking the Biblical heritage and yielding to the atheism spawned by scientific materialism and multicultural moral relativism.

The First World War proves Progressivism wrong

The First World War that engulfed Christian Europe was a bloody refutation of “Progressivism” or the Idea of Progress—the conceit of the “Enlightenment.” That war put a question mark on Christianity. Rabbi Avraham Isaac Kook (d. 1935), Israel’s first Chief Rabbi of Mandate Palestine said Western Civilization was bankrupt.

The most distinctive and greatest intellectual achievement of this civilization was science, above all, mathematical physics. It so happens, however, that the founders of modern science, Galileo and Newton, had bestowed upon the West a science devoid of any moral compass. The truth is that paganism still lurked in Christian Europe, whose nations, in contradistinction to saintly individual Christians, had not fully assimilated the ethical and intellectual monotheism imported from Israel.

The Great War brought this paganism to the surface. Europe, the heart of Western Civilization, of Christianity and humanism, was again drenched in rivers of blood. Neither the religion of love nor humanism had made the nations of Europe truly righteous or humane. While the works of Goethe and Schiller, Herder and Schelling, Lessing and Schlegel may have illumined the salons of Europe, their influence was invisible during Hitler’s long night. Once again Jew-hatred has erupted in Europe. We see this sign of paganism in Europe’s support of the Arab Palestinians, an invented people that adorns its paganism in the guise of monotheism which threatens the world.

Don’t worry, America – Israel is coming!

America, Don't Worry: Israel Is Behind You! T-shirt for sale at a trading post on the Golan Heights. Photo: CNAV.

America, Don’t Worry: Israel Is Behind You! T-shirt for sale at a trading post on the Golan Heights. Photo: CNAV.

We should also recall, however, that the Great War not only terminated the Ottoman Empire, but also produced the Balfour Declaration, thus facilitating the rebirth of the State of Israel.

No doubt it will appear fanciful to say that just as a daughter of Israel saved Rome from utter barbarism, perhaps Israel herself will come to America’s? Since America no longer has the heart and the mind to confront the greatest enemy of civilization, perhaps the task has been left to minuscule Israel whose complete redemption requires the convergence of science and the Book of Truth.

Paul Eidelberg is a former US Air Force officer and electronics engineer and inventor. He wrote several salient works on American history and Constitutional government. Then in 1976 he “made Aaliyah” and joined the faculty of Bar-Ilian University in Jerusalem, from which he is now retired. He also has founded the Foundation for Constitutional Democracy and the Israel-America Renaissance Institute. His work has appeared at various venues, including PoliticalMavens.com and Arutz-7.

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Michael Alan Kline Sr

Michael Alan Kline Sr liked this on Facebook.

alex

sorry i cant take someone seriously when they imply that America was at it’s best in an era with jim crowe laws and limited minority rights.
although, if you are a white man, i can see why you would think that.

alex

Because if we accepted “life, liberty, and justice for all” as defined by the founding fathers, then it would not apply to women (who couldn’t vote until the 1900s) or African Americans. People being willing to reexamine that maybe our founders were not gods and that their words are not inherently truths actually allows us to move closer to “liberty and justice for all” as it would mean in the most literal sense.
SO how has it worked out? Well, black people aren’t nearly as discriminated against as they once were. Women not only can vote and get equal pay in most work places, they even hold seats in congress. Gay people can be openly gay without nearly as much fear of harassment. Being from the north I can’t speak as much for hispanic rights.
In general, our society is much more open and accepting of individuals and their beliefs. How is that decline?

alex

Yeah, I’m sure African Americans aren’t as discriminated against as they once were. Sure, there is plenty of institutional racism remaining, but we don’t legally segregate schools anymore. Our military allows African Americans, which it didnt at that point in time.
My point being, yes racism still exists, but it is not nearly as bad.

And while I’m at, the pay gap numbers are still disturbing. Yes, women get equal pay for equal work, but the glass ceiling still exists. You don’t know who i voted for, please don’t make assumptions about my private ballot.
Overall, I still don’t see how america was greater back then.

DinsdaleP

“Of far greater importance than where a man or woman may sit on a bus, is whether a man may drive a bus without having the government tell him that he may not. And of far greater importance than whether a man or woman may patronize a restaurant, is whether that man or woman can afford to go to that restaurant in the first place.”

Those words come easy from someone who’s never experienced this kind of discrimination first-hand. I doubt you’ve ever experienced that level of treatment simply for being born and walking around in the body your creator gave you.

I’d say that laws making some citizens second-class in terms of where they can sit on a bus or whether they can patronize a business if they have the same means as a “first class” citizen are far more important. That goes directly against the principle of being equal under the law, especially when dealing with public accommodation and not private clubs. It’s certainly more important that claiming it’s government over-reach to regulate who’s qualified to operate a passenger bus, let alone a plane.

Even Israel is struggling with areas of social equality in its most ultra-orthodox locales. A minute of searching on Google will pull up multiple articles about the discrimination and harassment women and even young female children face when moving in public in the presence of ultra-orthodox men, if their clothing or manners offend the rigid mores of the men. Israel has many wonderful things about it, but it’s a work in progress just like the USA.

When the Constitution was drafted, blacks only counted as 3/5 of a person and women of any race had no vote, so it’s fair to say progress since then has been substantial, not cosmetic. Try getting ahead in business when businesses were allowed to discriminate against you based on race. Try building your own wealth when you aren’t allowed to enter contracts. Nothing cosmetic about these hurdles at all.

MatthewJ

“So says King Barack the First, newly coronated today.”
You mean when he said “so help me God” at the end of his inaugural oath, both on Sunday and today?

DinsdaleP

No sanctimonious posturing, just an observation.

You may have had hard experiences growing up, and if you achieved success in life despite that on your own merit then you should be justifiably proud of that. However, if you were born a white male U.S. citizen in the 20th century, you were growing up with a different set of rights than a woman or a black person would have for the first 100-150 years of this nation, and that difference is not a cosmetic one.

I referenced “the Creator” because I was using your context, not mine, the point being that one’s race and gender are beyond our control. In my context I was created by my parents, and my race & gender are still equally beyond my control. Having less Constitutional rights for being born to a different gender is not cosmetic.

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