June 23, 2014

The Messianic Propensity of the State

By In Articles, Politics

The lust for Empire, for world domination, is a longing with a well-rooted history.  From the Egyptians to Alexander the Great to the modern American global rule, there will always be those who, via the strong arm of the State, will seek to monopolize the wealth of the earth.  With resources naturally divided throughout the world, the moral means of accumulating such wealth is by trade, by productivity and economic calculation based on the private control and determination of prices and goods.

The State is the means by which morality is ignored and coercion is applied.

And yet, even with all the tools of the modern, technologically advanced State, the ruling class will forever be outnumbered by the ruled. As Ludwig von Mises once noted, “in the long run there is no such thing as an unpopular government.”  When the majority, seeing the injustice and depravity of that scam called the State, discover their common purpose, the dangerous tools of revolution and civil war are applied.  The State then, aware of this threat to its long-term survival, acts in its own self-interest to mitigate the effects of its immorality and its lust for power and control.  It is a beast that tends to always grow, at the expense of the un-favored private property owners and the citizens of the land.  How does it grow in domination while persuading the society to ignore its expansion?

It acts as Messiah.

The Constitution, and especially the Bill of Rights, were the product of a recognition that the State tends strongly toward infinite expansion, at the expense of society and culture.  Harnessing the beast with a strong system of checks and balances, so they thought, would be enough to tame the beast.  Two-hundred years of American history have proven them wrong and shown that perhaps the Articles of Confederation would have been more effective in chaining up the beast.  Regardless, it was under this governing structure that it was declared illegal for the Federal Government to expand beyond a very specific (albeit not specific enough) set of powers.  The goal was to prevent the State from becoming society’s leviathan.

And also therefore from becoming society’s Messiah.

It is only under the cover of a Good Samaritan that the State can convince the public to hand over their precious liberties.  Would the masses really hand over their lives, their children, and their money, knowing that they were being fleeced by the State?  Would the Germans have voted for Hitler; that is to say, would the Americans have voted for Franklin Roosevelt knowing that the actions below would have been accomplished during the regime?

“He suspended the gold standard, embarked on huge public works programs like the freeway systems, protected industry from foreign competition, expanded credit, instituted jobs programs, bullied the private sector on prices and production decisions, vastly expanded the military, enforced capital controls, instituted family planning, penalized smoking, brought about national healthcare and unemployment insurance, imposed education standards, and eventually ran huge deficits. The interventionist program was essential to the regime’s rejection of the market economy and its embrace of fascism in one country.” –Lew Rockwell.

Which tyrannical leader had done all those despicable things?  Hitler? Roosevelt?

Both.  The answer is both.

The State must parade as Messiah.  And the people must worship this false God.  From where shall we gather wisdom?  Public School!  The State has offered to provide.  And housing for the poor?  Let the State step in.  What about food?  Subsidies to farmers, a national Food and Drug Administration to check and verify the health of our daily bread!

The Jewish people waited for thousands of years for their deliverer.  Christ, the fulfillment of all the promises that God had made to Issac and Jacob and Abraham, the fulfillment of the Covenant, the fulfillment of the law.  The long-awaited and blessed Messiah.  And when he came, it was not just for the Jews.  But rather, he was the savior of the elect from all over the world!  For both Jew and Gentile, Christ had come.  Christ “who, for the joy that was set before him endured the cross” and saved those whom he intended to save completely and eternally.  This wonderful Messiah came as fulfillment of the promises and plans of God himself.

And this is how the State wants the multitudes to see it.

When the people are afraid, the State provides security.  Forsaking the divine gifts of liberty, the people have traded individual freedom for safety.  The people have run longingly into the arms of the State, ready and willing to give up everything for the god of this age, the ultimate idol.

Is there sin in this world?  Then let the State intervene.  Let the State solve drug abuse, gun abuse, alcohol abuse, tobacco abuse, and sugar abuse.  Leave no room for personal responsibility.  Where society claims that God has failed in preventing risk, the State steps in to remove the various dangers of life itself.  Is there poverty in the world?  Let the State provide wealth, free money, riches, and welfare.  The hungry shall eat and the thirsty shall drink!  “Come to me all ye weary, and I will give you rest.”

And with that, the Biblical mandate to the Christians to give to the poor and shelter the homeless has been fulfilled by the State.  Charity and care and aid, all those things which the Holy Spirit convicts believers do, have been “crowded out” by the public programs put forth by the Secular Messiah.  Indeed, the State seeks to fulfill the promises of God.

Beyond the realm of goods and services, the State has stolen the messianic mindset.  For in its massive taxation of the people, what has the State really claimed, but that it is the ultimate owner of whatever revenue the individual makes for himself?  This soon becomes a knowledge issue.  By its decrees and by its own calculation, the State assumes the ability to determine exactly how much money an individual “needs” and how much is good for him.  And when by licensing and certifying business to provide services for each other, the State has set up itself as Society’s sovereign institution, making it plain that, by only the grace of itself can the economy operate.

The ability of the central bank to create its own money without the economic productivity that a free market would require, is an expression of the State’s belief that wealth comes from its own command and direction.  Truly the preposterous claim that the State has the economic knowledge to set and determine interest rates for the society is as far-fetched as any.  Such knowledge is known only by God Himself and yet the State-endorsed Central Bank tells the peoples of the earth that it has discovered such knowledge.  And yet, despite hundreds of years of manipulations, the economy is on the verge of the most massive crash in known history.

In the race toward global control the State parades through the streets to accumulate the support of the people.  All that it does, it claims to do for the sake of the people.  Subsidies for the health companies are labeled health insurance, global military expansion is labeled defense spending, welfare for the manufactures is called “sustainable growth,” propaganda for the youth and money for the teachers unions are called free education, theft is called taxation, kidnapping is called conscription, murder is war, counterfeiting is quantitative easing, and on and on.  Justifying itself, the State considers that it is the god who is above the law.  Indeed, even the god who writes the law!

When there is a problem, the State has trained its constituents well.  For, rather than prayer to the sovereign God, the people opine: “there ought to be a law….”  And thus the State has opened up for itself the very path toward world domination that the masses were a barrier to.  No civilization desires lawlessness, and therefore the State utilizes this desire to become the law itself.  And when the law-giver is immoral and despicable, the law itself will reflect that.

With more Federal Agencies than there are members of Congress, the State has made it clear: you are safe, you are healthy, you have a roof over your head, you are treated fairly, you are looked out for, and you have the Government to thank.  Here is a small list of agencies for which you may thank the blessed consideration of the Government.  They include:

  1. A Transportation Czar
  2. An Education Czar
  3. An Environmental Czar
  4. A Labor Statistics Czar
  5. A Census Czar
  6. A Fine Arts Czar
  7. An Energy Czar
  8. A Renewed Energy Czar
  9. An Energy Information Czar
  10. An Energy Regulations Czar
  11. A Fossil Energy Czar
  12. A Nuclear Energy Czar

Why all the energy departments?  Because.  The State hath declared you need it.  

The State claims to solve all problems, to provide for the world, to be there when danger is present.  The masses run to the State, they worship the State.  Poverty, immorality and bad behavior, security, all these things and more are seen to be only a problem due to the restriction on activity of the government.  When the people see the State in the same way as the State sees itself, society falls.  We salute the flag regardless of the actions of the state.  We pledge allegiance to an immoral and lethal institution.  We bow to it, we sing songs to it, we sacrifice our lives for it.  We fight wars on its behalf! Behold the almighty State!

In the decades preceding the Progressive era, those individuals who reside within the borders of the United States considered themselves citizens of whatever state in which they lived, hardly noticing the influence and presence of the Federal Government.  But, acting again as Messiah, the Federal Government longed for the people to love it, to notice it, to take part in its operations.  It was utterly unacceptable for the people to live their lives as if the Great Federal State did not exist!  In fact, to live without consideration of the Great State and its activity was selfish.  The Great State demanded the world to know its very name.

Democracy is a farce.  Democracy is the means by which the people, all across the land, rush toward the booths to vote for the next leader, the next messiah.  The one who will save them from the woes of this age.  A wise State welcomes democracy with open arms.  For by this means, the people themselves will verify the power of the rulers.

For just as God seeks the Glory of his name, so the State seeks its own glory as well.  Christ, or Caesar.

The choice of our age.

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com
  • RChavez

    I think many SEA pastors and theological educators would find this article “very dangerous” and difficult to swallow.

    • I agree. And it actually didn’t turn out like I had envisioned. I’m aiming for a revamp tomorrow. So make sure you check back.

  • Rich Cromwell

    Mr Engel. Bravo! This is a message that Christians need to hear. Please see a blog post I put out last week, which is closely related to this excellent article: http://richcromwell.blogspot.com/2013/06/one-might-wonder-what-is-source-of-my.html

    • calrush91

      Thank you for your encouragement and for the link. I enjoyed your article, there was much content there to unpack. For instance, the struggle of understanding the God-ordained presence of government, coupled with the specific abolition of theft and murder in the Scriptures. I am doing a post soon on the difference between “government” as an institution (The State) and government as a role (which as a concept extends far beyond the “civil” role). If you are ever wanting to share your posts with us here at TRL, I’d be happy to see what we can do.

      It is a blessing to meet like minded individuals who are both “Reformed” and “Libertarian.”