America decaying 32

We usually agree with Dennis Prager on political issues.

We never agree with him about religion.

Today he writes at Townhall:

As one who loves America – not only because I am American, but even more so because I know (not believe, know) that the American experiment in forming a decent society has been the most successful in history – I write the following words in sadness: With few exceptions, every aspect of American life is in decline.

“Decay” is the word.

He writes of the “decline of the family”, with figures to prove it; and the “decline of education”, with a short list of examples of poor education that could be extended to a great length.

He goes on  to assert that –

Most universities have become seminaries for the dissemination of Leftism. Moreover, aside from indoctrination, students usually learn little. One can earn a BA in English at UCLA, for example, without having read a single Shakespeare play.

Yes. Oh, but we have misquoted him in order to say yes, he is right.

What he actually writes is –

Most universities have become secular seminaries for the dissemination of Leftism. …

Why did he put in the word “secular”? Most of the universities of the West are powerhouses pumping out Leftists who will do all they can to destroy the civilization that sustains them. Their fault is not that they are “secular” but that they are Leftist, statist, collectivist. Their being secular, and not teaching some system of dogma that may not be questioned, would be the one thing about them that is good, were it not for the fact that Leftism too is a system of dogma that may not be questioned.

He continues in indignation – which we share – to deplore what the academies teach:

To the extent that American history is taught, beginning in high school and often earlier, American history is presented as the history of an immoral nation characterized by slavery, racism, colonialism, imperialism, economic exploitation, and militarism — not of a country that, more than any other, has been the beacon of freedom to mankind, and the country that has spent more treasure and spilled more blood to liberate other peoples than any other nation.

The End of Male and Female: Whatever one’s position on same-sex marriage, one must acknowledge that at the core of the argument for this redefinition of marriage is that gender doesn’t matter. Marriage is marriage, and gender means nothing, the argument goes. So, too, whether children are raised by mother and father or two mothers or two fathers doesn’t matter. A father has nothing unique to offer a child that a mother can’t provide and vice versa.

Why? Because – for the first time in recorded history – gender is regarded as meaningless. Indeed, increasingly gender doesn’t even exist; it’s merely a social construct imposed on children by parents and society based on the biological happenstance of their genitalia. When signing up for Facebook, one is offered nearly 60 options under “gender.” In various high schools across the country, boys are elected homecoming queen. A woman was recently kicked out of Planet Fitness for objecting to a man in the women’s locker room. She was accused of intolerance because the man said he felt that he was a woman.

Then he comes to –

The End of Right and Wrong: At least two generations of American young people have been taught that moral categories are nothing more than personal (or societal) preferences. Recently, an incredulous professor of philosophy wrote an opinion piece in the New York Times titled “Why Our Children Don’t Think There Are Moral Facts.” In it he noted, “Without fail, every value claim is labeled an opinion” (italics in original). This extends to assessing the most glaring of evils.

And he gives Nazism as an example of “glaring evil” – which it was and is.

And that brings him to his dogma:

The End of Religion: There are no moral truths because there is no longer a religious basis for morality.

What is “a religious basis for morality”?

Christian love? Love everyone regardless of what they do? Hate the sin but reward the sinner with love and do not hold him responsible for his sin? ? Forgive everything and anything? “Resist not evil” (as Jesus Christ is reported to have said in his “Sermon on the Mount”)? And – through many centuries – a religion that burnt people to death who questioned the dogma?

Judaism’s expectation of divine vengeance? “For I the Lord thy God am a jealous god, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me”? That as part of the revered “Ten Commandments” of the moral law in a religion that holds justice to be its highest value? And – for many centuries – a religion that punished people with pain and even death if they disobeyed the commandments in the dogma?

Islam’s “Kill the Infidel”? Keep women subjugated to the will of men? Burn people, stone them, amputate their limbs, and enslave them? And – to this very day – kill people who question the dogma?

Is it necessary to remind those who think religion is necessary to a moral life that there are – to this day – faiths which command that people’s lives be sacrificed to propitiate imaginary beings?

How is passionately believed religion helping the peoples of Africa? In Uganda, South Sudan, and the Congo where the fanatically Christian “Lord’s Resistance Army” feeds the earth with human blood? The Central African Republic where Muslims in the North recently slaughtered untold numbers of Christians, and now Christians from the South are slaughtering as many Muslims as they can? In Somalia, where aid workers trying to bring medicine and food to masses of sick and starving people are imprisoned and killed by devout Muslims? In Libya, where al-Qaeda is killing and maiming in the name of Allah? Under the Islamic State (IS/ISIS/ISIL) in Syria and Iraq? In Iran ruled by pious old men? That list too could be continued to become very long.

More than the Enlightenment, it was the Bible – especially the Hebrew Bible (which was one reason America’s Christians were different from most European Christians) that guided the Founders’ and other Americans’ values. Not anymore …

No. Our firm understanding is that the Enlightenment gave birth to the United States of America. If some of the Founders cited the bible (whether the Jewish bible as Prager likes to believe, or the Christian which came round tentatively to tacking the Jewish bible on to its own canon), that in no way changes the historical fact that the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution are supremely documents of the Enightenment; which is to say of reason. Reason, all on its own, without anyone claiming to have heard a god speaking the idea to someone long ago, established a state on the foundation of individual freedom of both thought and action.

Prager concludes:

If you acknowledge that American society is in decay, it is your obligation to fight to undo it. If you can’t acknowledge that American society is in decay, you are providing proof that it is.

America is in decay. Leftism, the secular form of Christianity, is the name of the rot that is destroying it.

Posted under Christianity, Commentary, education, Islam, Judaism, Leftism, Religion general, United States, US Constitution by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, April 7, 2015

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This post has 32 comments.

  • Sharon37

    America is in decline because we are a bunch of spoiled, vainglorious idiots who have lost their identity. The country is changing and we havent been able to adapt efficiently to that change. People are bemoaning US is changing. Well, change is inevitable. No society stays the same forever. Respect change but dont fear it. We are so spolied in this country that even our poor are spoiled and entitled. The rich are fleeing with the money and the middle class and poor are fighting over the crumbs. There is no one with a strong will or strong character to fight for us and give us a national idemtity. I saw at Saudia Arabia and how its huge, modern landscape, healthcare, clean, efficient. US use to be like that but we let the wealthy steal our future and turn us against each other. We keep holding on to some dead, greying past instead of being brave enough to redefine our future. Whites bi+ching how they are becoming minorities, blacks cant let go of wrong done to them from slavery and wont change the violent culture, Mexicans are poorly educated from third world country and cant contribute towards modernism. We need new ideas. New leadership. Drastic reform in education. Why are we still teaching social studiesbut science is only a 45 min instructional block. It should be 2 hours just like Reading and Math with emphasis on experimental sciences at elementary level. Who cares about Shakespeare. He’s been dead for centuries. Leave the Renaissance in the past. We need a new one for today. Look forward. We need younger leaders. People who will let science and technology take a bigger role in our advancement. The country that leads the world in science and technology will always be the world’s superpower. If we fail to correctly educate our children in modern science then we have already lost the battle and some other country wil take the lead. Ethiopia and India have recently launched their own satellites into space. They are joining us in space exploration. The world is smaller and more competitive yet the smarty pants people come on this board to argue some useless philosophical ideaology of a dead Ayn Rand from the 1950s. We are so darn smart that we are paralyzed from actually DOING something. Too many big headed thinkers and not enough fight in the mud DOERS. As an African American woman, I love this country so much and it still has great capacity to grow. But, if we dont put our differences aside we will be overtaken by outside forces and Ayn Rand wont mean anything. I beg of you guys to travel the world, Middle East, Asia, even Africa. These places are growing. Africa is not what most American think it is. There are beautiful metropolitan cities throughout Africa. Travel the world and see how new and modern Saudia Arabia has become then come back to the decaying US and tell me that we are on the right path. Wake up America! You know its pretty bad when foreign students study here and choose to stay in their home countries in Asia and Africa. They say Americans work too hard for very little and we live an overworked, stressed life indebted and embittered. We have no balance. Even Europeans understand this. Allow a four day work week so parents can spend more time with their kids. Or people can keep the 5 day work week but give us options. Allow Americans two weeks off paid vacations in addition to sick leave. Europeans get four weeks. Rebuild our landscape using modern technologies and design less reliance on cars but light rail. Change our classroom to virtual classroom with technology teaching kids from a screen rather than some tired teacher talking to 40 kids. Its an outdated method of teaching. Kids learn better through visual stimuli, sounds and graphics such as computers. Healthcare should be free not for profit. Taxes have to be raised on the people with the money and thats the wealthy, They use to pay 90% tax on capital gains and now its barely 15%. Why are we letting the wealthy ruin this country!

    • liz

      Your right that we need to move ahead with technology, but you’ve completely bought into socialism, which is a truly “useless psychological ideology” from the past. If the world had embraced the ideas of Ayn Rand, by the way, we wouldn’t be in this mess. It’s precisely BECAUSE we rejected Objectivism and embraced Marxism that we are in decay. And we embraced it for the exact same reason you do – because we were ignorant. Ignorance of the past and it’s ideas leads to embracing the new just because it’s new – not because it’s good.
      Europe is successful because we – the U.S. – FUNDS it’s socialism. Saudi Arabia is so modern – yeah, and totalitarian! They execute apostates and fund terrorism.
      Do you call that “modern”?

      • Sharon37

        Liz, you must be a member of the older generation. You guys are the only ones that keep throwing out the ‘socialism’ word like its an evil entity. I dont care about ideaology like Marxism and Socialism. Those are old debates from the last century. Your perspective is from the last century. It’s outdated and has little relevance to the problems we have today. You guys are still debating ideas from a century ago in a world that has changed so much that those old ideas no longer fit the problems we are facing today. I am familiar with Ayn Rand since my college years. While I admire her strength of character and independence, Ayn Rand lived in a different America. It now is changed, more divided, more diverse, fewer opportunities, and vast inequalities. She lived inAmerica’s glory days when we were unified by shared values. The present times are more challenging and requires a new ideaology to bring together diverse groups to focus on a common cause that puts the nation ahead of our individual/group needs. objectivism, greed, Wall St, are not the answers to our problems today. The middle class has no more money. Neither do the poor. We are being overworked for less and less. You talk about the success of Europe. They are in the same boat as the US. Living in the past of glory days and unable to adapt to changes. European countries havent even sent a man into space and yet you think they are successful countries. They are still living in the early 1900s, their glory days. Refugees from the middle east will overtake Europe and it will not look like it does today in 50 years. Neither will USA. There is no safe place where one group can isolate themselves.Americans will have to learn how to get past race, south v north, liberal v conservative debates. Somewhere in the middle lies the answers of where we need to function. Neither liberals nor conservatives have all of the answers. You are so narrowminded that you look down on Saudia Arabia as being totalitarian. But, be open minded and see what they are doing right. They are conservatives in social values but progressive in finances. We are liberal in social values and conservative with finances. There has to be a balance.
        1. Raise taxes on the wealthy to fund new bridges, extensive light rail, redo our infrastructure, airports
        2. Use tecnology classrooms with large screens to teach school lessons nd use teachers as classroom facilitators or work with slower learners in small groups
        3. Fully fund science and technology and redo science curriculum
        4. Reform prison system and make them work 8 full hours a day and no cable TV
        5. Reform taxes so noone gets money from the govt but everyone required to pay something into it. Even if its $20. Even the poor should pay something
        6. Healthcare should be free. Period.
        7. Legalize illegal immigrants and build the wall.
        8. Tuition should be free for top 10% of graduates and rates reduced for the second 10%.
        9. Get rid of welfare. That’s what the churches are for.
        10. Seniors will have to agree to raise taxes on the wealthy or take huge cuts in medicare , medicaid and social security. Middle class dont have the money and theres not enough young people to pay fir the programs because seniors numbers are huge and younger people are paid less than generations ago. The money has to come from somewhere and these 3 programs alone maje up 60% of the budget and will increase to 80% of the federal budget. The wealthy will have to pay more in taxes.

        • liz

          Sharon, what you don’t seem to understand is that most of the problems we have now we’re caused by the socialism/Marxism that you don’t care to study. And it hasn’t gone away – it has simply been repackaged to appeal to your generation. You’ve absorbed its principles by osmosis through our education system and media – that’s why it’s so important to know history – so you won’t be taken in by propaganda!
          Some of your ideas are good, but you don’t seem to understand why the middle class has no more money, and there are fewer opportunities. It’s because we abandoned capitalism for socialism. That’s what Rand was trying to warn us of – but no one listened, and now we’re experiencing the consequences.
          Taxing the rich won’t solve it. We need to return to a free market.
          Free health care means low quality healthcare. Take Britain’s as an example.
          And yes, Europe is going down the tubes, because they are socialist, and the USA is right behind them!

        • 1. Bernie Sanders calls himself a socialist.
          2. Socialism has proved to be a system that does not work.
          3. Another word for socialism is redistribution – the government takes money from those who have made it (“the rich”) and gives it to those who haven’t made it. It is immoral to begin with, and since all incentive to individuals to make money is taken away from them, it is a short term “solution”. The money simply dries up. As the redistributor is the government, it puts enormous power into government hands, and the result is dictatorship, usually a tyranny. These are matters that were much debated in the last two centuries and still are being debated – by you, for instance.
          4. “Free” health care is not free. It is paid for by redistribution. Wherever it happens, the quality of health care deteriorates – long waiting lists, rationing, decisions by financial managers as to who will live and who will be left to die (ie. “death panels”).
          5. Do not assume that because we were adults in the last century we haven’t traveled widely in the world, or are unaware of what is going on in it.
          6. If sending a man into space is a sign of – what? modernity? – Saudi Arabia hasn’t done it either. Nor has any Muslim country. Very few countries have. A strange irrelevance to bring in to your rambling comment!
          7. Saudi Arabia is an extremely oppressive and intolerant tyranny, and as liz has pointed out, a major facilitator of terrorism. Most of the attackers on 9/11 (in this century) were Saudi Arabians. It flogs people to death for speaking their minds. Stones women to death for adultery – which includes her being the victim of rape. What on earth do you mean by them being “progressive in finances”? The statement makes no sense at all. They sell oil which lies under their feet. They have no other industries. The tyrants distribute the revenue. They underpay or refuse to pay imported laborers and overwork them – many literally to death. And you complain that Americans have no money! They accuse people of witchcraft and kill them. That’s liberal, or “progressive”?
          6. The principles of economics do not change with time.
          7. Moral values do not change with time – only with opinion at any time.
          8. “Somewhere in the middle” of what? Do you mean compromise? If so, between what and what?
          9. “All the answers” to what questions do neither liberals nor conservatives have?
          7. Suddenly in the midst of your passionate condemnation of us and our shortcomings, you introduce a preference for particular methods of teaching. Methods that are used among many others, and have been for a hundred years.
          8. To your suggestions for prisons, making prisoners work hard, we have no objection to make.
          9. WE HEARTILY AGREE THAT THERE SHOULD BE NO WELFARE. (We agree that the otherwise useless churches should become the charity collectors and carers that everyone seems to think are necessary,) BUT THAT MEANS NO “FREE” HEALTH CARE, NO FREE EDUCATION EVEN FOR THE TOP 10%, NO REDISTRIBUTION OF ANY SORT. You are being wholly inconsistent. You haven’t thought any of your ideas through.
          So we give you an A for your points on prisons, churches, and the abolition of welfare.
          For everything else we give you an F.

          • Sharon37

            Jillian, you and Liz are certainly cut from the same cloth. One of the things I detest most about so called conservatives is your refusal to compromise. You all are like spoiled kindergartens taking their ball home refusing to cooperate. You never get all that you want in life. Noone does. Life is making compromises in order to make relationships work. I cant imagine what the poor Greatest Generation went through trying to parent a spoil, self serving bunch like you Boomers. There is no other generation more self absorbed than you all. And you even passed those same selfish, narcissitic values on to your kids. The only person that matters is ME. Oh, and capitalism. Whether you like it or not, the world is changing. Millenials now outnumber Boomers. The change of power is taking place slowly but surely. When Millenials take over, they will vote to cut or eliminate Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security. You will see a lot of poor, homeless elderly people roaming the streets. They will raise taxes severely on the wealthy because thats where the money is. The middle class is tapped out. Welfare will be eliminated and it will be every man for themselves. So, enjoy you retirement age for now and meeting up at the local Denny’s for lunch. When Gen Y take the stage, they will become a more ruthless version of you guys. You taught them well.

            • 1. You have absolutely no idea what age either of us is. 2. We are AGAINST welfare.
              3. You think in cliches. “Millenials”. “Boomers”.
              4. Liz is right – you are a typical product if poor public education in the US.
              5. Why are you so bitter and aggressive?
              6. I’ve squandered enough time on you. You are muddle-headed, and repeat yourself like a stuck record in an old-style gramophone.
              7. Enough of all this. Please stop now.

            • liz

              Yes, it’s just so selfish and narcissistic (not to mention old fashioned) to champion the rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness – in other words, the pursuit of ones own rational self interest. (Oh, and capitalism.)
              You apparently think as an altruist – that to be truly virtuous, we should all unselfishly sacrifice ourselves for the “greater good” of the collective.
              But of course there’s no need for you to bother trying to understand these things – you already know it all!

          • Sharon37

            Both you and Liz upvoted your own remarks. Typical narcissists.

            • We upvoted each other’s remarks. Not our own. Typical appreciators of good sense. You seem to have difficulty registering facts .

  • And here I just posted a two-parter on the moral atheist over at Animal Magnetism (note, the second post is on Rule Five Friday, some photos may be marginally SFW.)

    And, personally, I think Prager is a putz.

    • liz

      Good articles! Thanks.

  • Kerry

    This is excellent Jillian, and the comments from Liz and don are also thought provoking. Thanks for the sharing. My only is comment is about a book I just finished by Phil Zuckerman, “Society Without God.” It is wonderful presentation about godless Denmark and Sweden and how they manage quite nicely without a “Bible Belt” or other state level religiosity. Most Christians in the States would have on believe that without god, people would rape, pillage, steal, and do all other kinds of “sins” to destroy society. These little enclaves have proven quite the opposite. It is a fascinating read.

    • The Scandinavian countries are, however, falling ever more helplessly into dhimmitude and will before long be governed by sharia law. Not just religion but totalitarian religion.

      • Kerry

        While I submit to your knowledge on this part of the world, especially as it relates to Sweden, I am not yet convinced that Scandinavia is lost. I have not spent much time there so I claim no special dispensation, but I hope the stark violence and stated goals of ISIS and others will open their eyes to the impending cliff of destruction. Yes, they are Leftists/socialists in many respects, but do you not agree that there is freedom…many of the freedoms we enjoy in America? Albeit with higher taxes to pay for all the programs the state provides. Understand, I am not being an apologist for these government styles, but I do think there is a nice blending of non-religion with a certain amount of stability, and I think there are things we can certainly learn, both from their mistakes/weaknesses and from their strengths.

        • Sorry, Kerry. I can see that you are generally very well-informed about what’s going on in the world. But on this I have to disagree with you. We can learn nothing from Sweden and its neighbors (except possibly from their mistakes – their weaknesses, as you say).

          See this quite recent post of ours:

          Also, put “Norway” into our search slot. A very depressingly wrong-headed country!

          • Kerry

            Jillian, Your response caused to do a little research on the situation in Scandinavia, and, sadly, it appears you are closer to the mark. Thus, the reality I was apparently “hoping” for is not in fact the case. I suppose my understanding came from a few highly placed friends in that part of the world whose comments in the recent past framed my opinion in a more hopeful way, but without the solid evidence I have since been able to glean from my research.

            Thank you for the challenge! I actually enjoy being proved wrong with evidence! It is what led me to atheism! I am not embarrassed to admit I did not have the facts on my side, but now I am much better armed for such a discussion.

            I will hope that eyes can be opened in that part of the world and that sober reflection on the drift toward sharia law will stir up those few remaining freedom loving citizens to action. As the eternal optimist that I am, I still contend it is not too late, but that is probably more hopeful thinking again!

  • Don L

    Arrogance on steroids! Reason, rationality and logic are just incapable of figuring out that murder, theft, breaking promises/contracts and other acts which negatively affect body and property are bad…nope only believing in magic people in the sky can arrive at honesty and good deeds. Amazing.

    Unfortunately, like so many topics of import, few ever personally investigate statements like, “We are a christian nation”. They just accept it. Oh, we aren’t.

    Whether it’s Law, economics, history…whatever you were forced to learn in compulsory schooling…sunday school is too…that’s it. And, since, purposefully, ‘education’ is such a dismal experience…the idea of reading, discovering…not on your life; never again. Genocide can happen but not learning more.

    Over 20,000, and climbing daily, books praising Lincoln and every one is a lie! But, there is hope. More and more books are coming to light that challenge the untruths. And, the success is based on reason and logic: Why, when slavery ended everywhere without a war, and European nations sought to help America do the same, did Lincoln fight a war to end it? The Lincoln myth cult cannot answer that. The truth can.

    Did you know Jefferson rewrote the Bible? Just ask people…most don’t know that he did…and, he did. He took out all the make believe, miracles and mysticism. He came away acknowledging that what remained made sense…a good moral code…but certainly not derived from some “only a god could know these truths”. That’s always the case…you sell the 20% crap by including 80% truth.

    Incidentally, in the days around our founding, the word god had meaning totally alien from its useage today. There was no omniscient, omnipresent, prayer answering supreme being. A people that had no knowledge of electricity did accept a god OF NATURE that having, maybe, created earth…he was long gone and people were on there own…to establish a government to secure unalienable rights…no matter their derivation.

    Well, we know America is in decay…it isn’t a lack of religion. It is the result of too much government. But a prager, a collective by a different path, still sees government as the appropriate tool…to impose religion…for him, freedom from religion doesn’t exist.

    OK…enough. God, Keynes and Marx must die for America to live! Oh, forgot: The myths of Lincoln & FDR have to go too.

    • liz

      Yes, education these days is designed to confuse, not enlighten.
      I think there were Christians at the time of the founding that did view God as answering prayer, etc., but Jefferson was definitely not one of them.
      Just the fact that he went through the Bible and removed the supernatural parts proves that he thought for himself and held everything, even religion, to the standard of Reason, rather than accepting its claims blindly.
      The decay is caused by not only too much government, but by the continual attacks on society by the left, who now also control government – a double whammy.

      • Don L

        Yes, there were xtians, a minority as most found xtianity to be a dangerous cult, among the founders…but even they unanimously affirmed the Constitution and the notion of separation of church and state; except as referencing the Lockeian notion of nature’s god, THEE ‘god’ is not included in any founding docs. So, for xtians today to claim xtian nation…it’s a lefty-like move like claiming right to a job, retirement, healthcare and any of the other rights they claim that require someone else to lose their rights to satisfy the left’s notion.

        I think I made sense in some of that…on a pain pill right now…sorry, I tend to wander off! LOL.

        Anyway. I really liked your Ayn Rand commentary…good stuff.

        • liz

          Thanks. Good point about the “Christian nation” claim.
          Just like the left arrogating to themselves the right to be the moral dictators of “social justice”, Christians use the Christian nation claim to justify imposing their version of moral dictatorship on non-Christians by “divine right” so to speak.

          • Don L

            Just finished reading Ayn’s essay. It’s been awhile since I read “Capitalim”. First time was when I was 17…knocked my socks off.

            I’m glad I got the “rights” issue, in my earlier post, right. rim bam!

            Good essay. I was into, on another site, a todo with some LGBTs on the idea of rights violations when they use gov’t to force their agenda on individuals…the loss of choice. I tried to explain a business owner has a right to choose…gov’t doesn’t. Only gov’t can discriminate by not protecting violence against blacks, gov’ts denying blacks the privilerdge of voting and segragation in pubklic facilities…as examples.

            The moment government was used to force business owners to do or don’t robbed them of their RIGHTFUL choice of action. A free society with a free market capitalistic system quickly solves the deny service discretion (as opposed to discrimination) whereas mobility allows those being denied service by religious communities to seek favorable geo areas…hmmm, San Francisco? Businesses that cater to left handers, gays, women…yada yada. Unserved consumers always creates profit opportunities…let freedom work.

            Point is…Ayn Rand is amazing…as is our host here.

  • liz

    It’s always disappointing when Christians like Prager get so close to being exactly right, but then blow it in the end.
    It never fails – they can’t give any credit for morality (or any other good of humanity, for that matter) to reason – they have to attribute all morality and goodness to religion, which basically invalidates their argument in favor of it.
    Because if faults and contradictions can be found in religions (as you noted) then the foundation for a morality based on it can be undermined.
    Some things Ayn Rand said in her essay “Mans Rights” touch on this:

    “The most profoundly revolutionary achievement of the U.S.A. was the subordination of society to moral law…The U.S. was the first moral society in history… All previous systems had regarded man as a sacrificial means to the ends of others, and society as and end in itself. The U.S. regarded man as an end in himself, and society as a means to the peaceful, orderly, voluntary co-existence of individuals…
    A “right” is a moral principle defining and sanctioning a man’s freedom of action in a social context…
    The right to life is the source of all rights – and the right to property is their only implementation. Without property rights, no other rights are possible…
    In accordance with the two theories of ethics, the mystical (religious) and the social, some men assert that rights are a gift of God – others, that rights are a gift of society. But, in fact, the source of rights is man’s nature… Whether one believes that man is the product of a creator or of nature, the issue of man’s origin does not alter the fact that he is an entity of a specific kind – a rational being…
    ‘The source of man’s rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity…Man is man…if life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him to be irrational’ “.

    • Many thanks for your comment with the Ayn Rand quotaton, liz. Very much to the point!

    • Azgael

      wrong, nothing has a right to life, including humans, if right to life was a real right, we could no longer eat meat, nor could other animals, we could not longer uthanize our sicks pets or us if we have terminal sickness, nor would capital punishment be ok, all life has a right to self-defense vs w/e threatens its life tho, life is a privilege, something we only haver 1 of and its short, and needs to be enjoyed to the fullest while we have it.

      • liz

        She doesn’t mean rights in the sense commonly thought of. Here’s a fuller explanation of what she means by a “right to life”:

        “There is only one fundamental right (all the others are it’s consequences or corollaries): a man’s right to his own life. Life is a process of self sustaining and self-generated action; the right to life means the right to engage in self-sustaining and self-generated action – which means the freedom to take all the action required by the nature of a rational being for the support, the furtherance, the fulfillment and the enjoyment of his own life. (Such is the meaning of the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.) …
        Since man has to sustain his life by his own effort, the man who has no right to the product of his own effort has no means to sustain his own life. The man who produces while others dispose of his product is a slave.”

    • Don L


    • Don L

      It’s been a bunch of hours…This was one of your best posts. In a post above I mentioned I read the essay and “Capitalism awhile ago and that I was glad to see I had the “rights” issue right. And, I’ve been thinking about how I did get it right.

      Was it Ayn Rand’s writings or the Austrian principles I’ve learned. Ya know, it doesn’t matter. What I do remember is how the Austrian Foubnders responded to Ayn Rand…they were amazed.

      Ayn was not familiar with Austrian economics. It had been PC’d out as being anti-progressive. In fact Keynes, eventually admitting he’d never read anything about it, wrote absolutely horrible things about it; when he was at the top of his popularity — guaranteeing Austrian economics would be dismissed out of hand.

      Then here comes Ayn Rand and her philosophy of selfishness and defines the morality behind the economics which was discovered entirely independently. The Austrian icons (Mises, Hayek, Hazlett & Rothbard) were inlove with her — for awhile. Then the atheist thing got in the way. The final separation was over the idea of copyrights.

      Libertarianism was beginning its shadow over Austrian economics. Ayn Rand believed her intellectual property was hers and she shouklld be able to earn profit off her mind’s product. The libertarians (Rothbard) believed all inrtellectual property belonged to everybody. Theschism was created. I, by the way, side with Ayn. Notwithstanding, all the freebies I suggest are a reault of the free intellectual libertarianism corrupting the Mises Institute. Oh, ther must be a rethink — they are changing all the URLs and no longer have the free books/pamphlets/booklets pages…they can be found.

      Now, Rothbard is an expert in things monetary and banking; his knowledge an ability to convey hard stuff into understanding is unchallenged….then he goes off into the ether…he is the anarcho in absolutely no government economics. Not the von Mises concept.

      Thanks for memories, contemplation and a great post!

      • liz

        Wow, that’s amazing stuff!
        That is so awesome how Ayn’s philosophy totally fit with and confirmed Austrian economics, even tho she’d never heard of them! It’s like when they do “blind” scientific experiments to further prove a theory – they came independently to the same conclusions.
        I didn’t know any of that – really interesting. It’s too bad they all diverged in opinion on other things, but the core ideas and philosophies they developed still stand. It proves their excellence and foundation in reality.
        Of course leftists haven’t changed – the reaction to both her and the Austrians is so typical – bashing it without ever having even read any of it!
        Must admit I’ve enjoyed taking advantage of all the freebies, but can’t argue with the no freebie principle.
        Thanks for the link!

        • Don L

          de nada

        • Don L

          That’s an important point: The core elements of Ayn Rand’s philosophy and Austrian Economic thought are inseparable.

          Yes, there are nodes that are tweaked, but the essentials remains. It is staggering how some of these very involved Austrians can go for thousands upon thousands of words arguing/debating/
          persuading about…were a comma ought be placed.

          Perhaps the biggest discrepancy I see, I see…not probably one of the pros would see…is the impact on religion (Xtianity) on the prime premise of the Austrian School…Humans acting to selfishly satisfy their perceived wants and needs…their survival. Yup, the Xtians just can’t get past the ‘selfish’ idea. They do all manner of mental gymnastics but in the end they don’t truly alter the principles of free market capitalism as the only economic system that supports liberty, opportunity. prosperity and resource sustainability.

      • Fascinating. And thanks for the link. Those letters are fascinating too.