Oxfam’s rhetoric of covetousness didn’t work

The Left-wing Oxfam group has issued a report saying that the world’s wealthiest 1% will soon own 50% of the world’s wealth…

With this in mind, read this summary of Oxfam’s press release. Variations of it are all over the Web.

…Oxfam made headlines at [the meeting of the World Economic Forum in] Davos last year with the revelation that the 85 richest people on the planet have the same wealth as the poorest 50% (3.5 billion people).

It said that that comparison had now become even more stark, with the 80 richest people having the same wealth as the poorest 50%.

We are now a century into the welfare state. The winners at the top are still winning, and the losers are still losing. What is Oxfam’s solution? More of the same. More government taxation of the rich. More welfare state action.

This is the rhetoric of envy. This is the politics of guilt and pity.

Quote source

North, G. (2015). Pareto Statistic: The Wealthiest 1% Will Soon Own 50% of the World’s Wealth. Tea Party Economist. Available http://teapartyeconomist.com/2015/01/19/normal-pareto-statistic-wealthiest-1-will-soon-50-worlds-wealth/. Last accessed 19th Jun 2016.

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All Christian political campaigns should answer these questions

How can you motivate people to get out and work for a political cause if you also tell them that they cannot be successful in their efforts? How can you expect to win if you don’t expect to win? How can you get men elected if you tell the voters that their votes cannot possibly reverse society’s downward drift into Satan’s kingdom? What successful political movement was ever based on expectations of inevitable external defeat?

Quote source

North, G (1981). “The Eschatological Crisis of the Moral Majority” in Christian Reconstruction, Vol. 5, No. 1 (January/February 1981). Available http://www.garynorth.com/public/15229.cfm. Last accessed 29th May 2016.

Jesus is not a wedge between God and his Word

According to the rhetoric of Philip Pilkington:

Thankfully [Gary] North’s cranky delusions never came to pass because his views on Christianity include advocacy of the death penalty for women who lie about their virginity, children who curse their parents, blasphemers and, of course, male homosexuals. If this doesn’t sound like the sort of “love thy neighbour” and “forgiveness in the eyes of Christ” Christianity which is expounded by the mainstream churches that many of us grew up in it’s because it’s not: this is the lunatic fringe of Christianity; in fact, it’s even the lunatic fringe of the already fairly nutty fundamentalist movement in the US.

Now compare that against the insight of A. William Merrell (speaking in another context):

In fact, for more than a hundred years, those who hold a low view of Scripture have seized upon any pretext to challenge its authority. Their own biases against the Bible stimulate them to irreverently attempt the impossible — to use Jesus as a wedge between God and the Scriptures He Himself inspired. Exhibiting sanctimonious fraud of the lowest order, and hoping to seize the high ground by appealing to the “spirit of Jesus,” they undercut the authority of whatever part of the Scriptures they wish to dodge or dismiss.

If these quotes were golf shots, Merrell’s landed on the green, but Pilkington’s landed in the rough.

Quote sources

  1. Pilkington, P. (2014). Was Keynes a Money Crank or is Gary North? Fixing the Economists. Available https://fixingtheeconomists.wordpress.com/2014/04/16/was-keynes-a-money-crank-or-is-gary-north/. Last accessed 21st Mar 2015.
  2. Merrell, A.W. (2000). Bibliolatry — A Fraudulent Accusation. Baptist2Baptist. Available http://www.baptist2baptist.net/b2barticle.asp?ID=54. Last accessed 21st Mar 2015.

The growth of Christian scholarship since the 1960s

Sometimes I think that Baby Boomers and Generation X Christians had it easier than the Christians that followed. Then again, maybe not; this from Gary North, born in 1942:

I wrote this book [Rapture Fever] for the same reason that I have written about two dozen books of Christian scholarship and published dozens of others with my own money or money I have raised: I am determined to offer Christians, especially college students, a biblical alternative to humanism. I want to provide them with something that no one provided me.

Quote source

North, G. (1993). Rapture Fever: Why Dispensationalism is Paralysed. Institute for Christian Economics, Tyler, p. xxvii.

Reminder: The Bible is a blueprint

A tag line for her [Rachel Held Evans’] book on her blogsite caught my eye. It speaks from the hip of a large section of the crypto-liberal evangelical world:

“The Bible is not a blueprint.”

Back in the mid-to-late 80s, Gary North launched a ten-book series aimed at distilling the teachings of biblical law down to laymen’s terms, so to speak, in ten major areas of life. It was called the Biblical Blueprints series. The point was to show that the Bible is indeed a Blueprint for all of life, every area of life, and that evangelicals could advance the kingdom rather than leaving the world to liberals and other miscreants.

Quote source

McDurmon, J. (2014). Rachel Held Evans has a rude awakening. The American Vision. Available http://americanvision.org/10472/rachel-held-evans-rude-awakening/. Last accessed 11th Oct 2014.

 

“The” government? No, only one government among many

Then what of individual rights? This was not a major concern in the medieval era. Why not? Because the individual’s rights were defended by institutions other than the civil government…

When men accept the state’s claim that it is the only sovereign, the only agency possessing the mark of government—demanding legal immunity from all other agencies—they become vulnerable to the tender mercies of the state. They have no higher earthly court of appeal. The state claims to be the only legitimate government. It uses coercion to enforce its claim. The citizen, now emancipated from all rival claims of authority, no longer has access to rival courts.

My two cents

This quote brings up some helpful points on how to view the state.

I guess I was taught by society to view “the government” (as people call it) and “the state” as one and the same. Now I understand there’s a difference, and the importance of not putting all of one’s eggs (rights) into one basket (the state). I wish more people could understand the danger of this.

R.J. Rushdoony has also made this point, that the (civil) government ought to be seen as one of several governments in the individual’s life, each with its own sphere of authority (as opposed to the state being an authority over everything). But if state-run schools have nothing to gain by teaching this, the status quo remains. Hopefully home schooling, Christian schooling, and private schooling can educate children correctly and teach the history of the development of the state—something I wasn’t taught.

If that happens—and people respond to it—then the state will be reduced to its proper role and relocated to under a higher authority (i.e. the law of God). The alternative (fully developed) is a state that steadily and increasingly arrogates power and politicises its own role—off its own back.

Quote source

North, G. (2013). Nisbet on Civil Government and Rival Governments. Available: http://www.garynorth.com/public/10962.cfm. Last accessed 10th Nov 2013.

Web-driven tertiary education for homeschoolers

The monopoly is tottering. Ten more universities have joined Coursera, the site that posts free college courses. This project began less than 36 months ago as a part-time venture…

What parents will pay $50,000 to $250,000 to pay for their child’s B.A. degree, when these liberal arts and humanities degrees are merely job-hunting licenses? Only not-too-bright parents.

My two cents

Haha, I like that last sentence.

One thing I’ve read about is children who grow up in Christian homes, but then when they’re in their late teens, they move out of home, get more absorbed into the world, then turn their backs on Christianity. I think part of this is caused by the structure of the education system, particularly tertiary education.

I think the emergence of web-driven education, while not the be-all and end-all of learning, is helpful for homeschoolers who have finished their secondary education years, and might now be interested in tertiary education. In 2013, it’s more feasible to do this from home (in a family environment, not some disconnected brick-and-mortar university campus) than it was 10 years ago. I imagine it’s a bit cheaper too.

Quote source

North, G. (2013). Busting the College Monopoly: Latest Phase.Available: http://teapartyeconomist.com/2013/05/30/busting-the-college-monopoly-latest-phase/. Last accessed 6th Oct 2013.