“Writing for people who don’t read”:
For the lifelong student historian-philosopher, as well as Christian apologist, this is an interesting subject for it is about really only a few hard and fast rules, mostly those enforced by Nature, about which, Man has no vote.
Natural Law is a great analytical tool, planning tool, the absence of which has been tragically apparent in our failure in the Middle East, most recently Afghanistan.
For scholars, and scholars-in-the-making, since I don’t think it’s taught anymore, it’s a great learning platform for student-Historians, -Philosophers, even social scientists, and Bible scholar, if you want to know how events actually impact real people.
Almost 25 years ago a man named Sands, now passed onto the high pastures, and my mentor about the “little guy” in the Russias, wanted me to help him write a book for the benefit of ordinary Americans “who don’t read”, as I called it in 1998. That book never got written, but I was able to spend almost 20 years in the Communist area of influence, proving Mr Sand’s observations, taking notes about how their “common men and women”, vastly different from ours in many ways, approached the simplest of attempts to engage in free commerce, something that had been denied them most of their lives and their fathers’ lives. The only guides they ever read (on the internet) were the sort of how-to, Common-sense pamphlets Ben Franklin and Thomas Paine once wrote. It would be Donald Trump, in 2015, who showed me that there is a level of inquiry and awareness in those people who do “pay attention” more than the teaching and political class know. Or bother to study today. Still 70% of the American voting base today, almost no one in the educated political or corporate classes care what they think.
Hold that thought.
Of course, recognizing this human sector, which even today makes up about 70% of even Western cultures, makes the teachings of Jesus all the more easy to understand, because nothing Christ said was directed at the governments and institutions of that day. Only to the people who had to live under those institutions, and forbear, did He teach. So, the teachings of Jesus, even for the agnostic student of human behavior, can easily be reduced to a small, common sense template of human behavior in the pursuit of life, liberty, property and happiness; based principally on “love they neighbor”, or as my mentor, Mr Sands, said, with Russia in mind, “reciprocate with thy neighbor.” When Christ made his commission to the Disciples, He told them to tell the Good News He had taught, and not what Peter and Paul would add in the next few years, or what the Church(es) would add, ad nauseum, in the centuries to come. These eventually would become the basic building blocks of a free, civil society, from the bottom up, as opposed to one that had been imposed top down.
It was because of those little guys in the Russias and the Balkans that I began to try to reverse engineer the common sense roots of philosophy and history. and offer some observations in this series.
Let’s bring the Higher Laws of Nature back into the discussion, for Natural Law is the final word, the referee, in the world of manmade laws and institutions. And as you know, modern political philosophy the past century and a half have almost completely written Natural Law out of their line of thinking. Still, every new idea of governance that has come down the pike has failed…and all for the same general reasons, from their inception, having everything to do with the inability of passing on the “religious fire” of the first generation of believers onto succeeding generations within their territory of control. Vladimir Lenin was from an affluent family, learned his Marxism at university, and by 23 was knee-deep in Marxist cell activity in Russia. At 47 he led the overthrow of the Russian crown. Now he would die before “his revolution” would be complete, leaving (and some say the last man he would have chosen) Josef Stalin to complete that first generation of revolutionary Soviet Russia, expanding it to an empire. Then, inside another two generations it would collapse (1992), only, leaving in its wake the erasure of most of Russia’s cultural memory, it has now gone forward another generation, almost 30 years, where Russia’s accumulated state-owned wealth was simply shifted to a new set of corporate managers (much like Disney buying Hulu, Lucas Films, Marvel, and 20th Century Fox), in the process determining only what is and what is not appropriate business environment and behavior for its hirelings, i.e, a culture that is not, in the long view, “survival-enhancing”, and more likely “survival-endangering”. Reason? Largely because “management’s” position on the generational continuum 75 years later, was totally unaware they were even in danger of sinking.
If there was any fire-in-the-belly transcendence in their ‘ism, they didn’t now it. It had all burned out in Russia by the time Saul Alinsky finally, a late 1st generation Marxist in Chicago.
One of the curious truths about all “isms” is that there is no warm and fuzzy feelings about the “faith” past the first generation. For reason, which modern philosophers have a difficult time explaining why liberty, freedom, and a host of others aspects, are transcendent, and much like some religions (not all), can be passed culturally from parent to child, without any state intervention.
In both Russia and Disney, the people in their charge have gone forward without any fixed stars in the heavens to guide them, either individually, or corporately. Just manuals. As Pascal suggested, “they are lost, only don’t know they are lost, so are not seeking to be found.”…taking with them millions (or tens of thousands in the Disney case) to an uncertain future.
I only point this out here to suggest the ultimate survival of either is entirely in the hands of Natural Law. We’ll discuss it deeper later.
So let’s revise our thinking about “Law and Order” by bringing the Higher Law of Nature back into the discussion, for Natural Law is the final word, the referee. Common sense tells us Order came before Law, and both
I doubt any French, English, German, Russian, Indian or Chinese would think in these terms, but the object here is to define the power of Natural Law, which knows no political boundaries, and operates and rules in those places as well, namely, that the only enduring path to correct wayward thinking that might correct the periodic self-destruction of governments imposed by Natural Law is from the bottom-up.
For reference purposes, as this theme will contain several moving parts: just Search “How Things Work” and “Nature Law” in the Categories slider on the front page.