Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Moral renewal, key to ending U.S. debt slavery- II

The options for dealing with the national debt presented in the Report mentioned my last post quietly highlighted a hard reality. There is no way to prevent the debt level of the United States from crushing the nation's economic prospects without addressing the public financial burden associated with Social Security and Medicare benefits for the elderly. Such programs are part of our society's efforts to address the age old challenge of all human societies- how to care for children, the infirm and the elderly. However, since the original Report to the President of the Committee on Economic Security transmitted to President Franklin Roosevelt in 1935, U.S. efforts have been based on the assumption that, "in this man-made world of ours", the God ordained natural family is inadequate to deal with the challenge.

This inadequacy purportedly relates to the fact that in the "man-made world" the family's material sustenance depends on the income individuals derive from participation in an artificial economy, characterized by large scale industrial and other human enterprises. This income dependency has largely replaced reliance on what they can produce by activities such as agriculture that involve direct interaction with elements of the natural world. According to this reasoning, even with the best intentions and cohesiveness, the family unit cannot secure sufficient income to be proof against the vicissitudes of life in the "made-made world." Government therefore has to replace the family as the locus of provision against misfortune.

That original report claimed that the "task of reconstruction" the nation faced as a result of the misfortune we call the 'Great Depression' "does not require the creation of new and strange values." In the American context this was, at the very least, a disingenuous declaration. The United States of America was not founded on the notion of a "man-made world" but that of a world made by the Creator God who endowed all men with certain unalienable rights. The aim of government is to secure these individual rights, not the individual's material welfare. To be sure, the idea of right includes the individual's responsibility to care for God's gift of life, including all that is necessary to sustain the body, which is its material form. But the idea of human welfare was not confined to meeting its material requirements. It involved, above all, the individual's responsibility to do right, i.e., to carry out the actions required to fulfill the natural law, which encompasses all the determinations of the Creator's will that make human existence possible.

The natural family, as defined by the predisposition toward procreation (to be fruitful and multiply) is the primordial focus of this individual responsibility. Though its activities involve actions indispensable for the material security of its members, the bonds of family are not simply ties of material selfish interest. They involve the active acknowledgment of obligations that subordinate material self-interest to the good of other members of the family and the family as such. Given the sacrifice involved in fulfilling these obligations (up to and including giving one's life for their sake) material calculation cannot ultimately be the motive for doing so. Rather it flows from the conformation of the individual's will to the overall will of the Creator as it relates to the life of each family member, but also to human life as such. This conformation of the individual's will to the benevolent will of the Creator, (as well as the feelings or emotions associated with it), is the true essence of family life, which we call love.

As expressed in the life of the natural family love is not simply an emotional connection between individuals, though it cannot exist apart from the determination of the individual will. Nor does it simply involve the reflexive subordination of the individual's will and existence to that of the family as a whole, for that would invalidate the individuality of each person's loving commitment to the family. As the individual accepts and respects what is required for the existence of the family as such (and that of each of its members,) so the family respects what is required for the existence of each individual as such, including its uniqueness. Though somewhat paradoxical, this mutual respect is the essence of true family unity. This unity is a covenant of love constituted and sustained by the will of the Creator. It emerges as all members of the family come together to accept and carry out the Creator's benevolent provisions for the possibility and sustenance of human life.

Love thus informed by respect for the will of the Creator substantiates the culture of voluntary self-sacrifice that contributes to reliable fulfillment of the mutual obligations family life entails. What people do for the sake of love they do of their own free will, even while preserving the natural bondage that defines and characterizes the family as a whole. This unique fusion of bondage and freedom, of individual choice and natural obligation, is the essence of the distinctly human community. Like the distinctive atomic structure that marks the molecules of a material substance, it marks the family as the indispensable building block of all the more extensive communities that, because they respect the prerequisites of humanity, are properly understood to be human communities.

In this sense the natural family is literally the building block of human society. If, as the original Social Security report implies, the "man-made world" strains the family beyond its capacities, then by threatening the family the "man-made world" poses a threat to the humanness of society (i.e., that which is distinctively human about it.) In response to that threat, the "welfare state" (socialist) approach started during the New Deal substitutes the coercion based activity of the man-made institutions of government for the love based actions of the God endowed natural family. That is to say, it simply surrenders to the threat. The surrender is couched in terms of material necessity. But since the necessity is "man-made" it is contingent upon the human choices responsible for what has been made. Those choices therefore give rise to the threat to the family and the consequent dehumanization of society.

In response to a man-made problem the socialists propose reliance on man-made institutions that cast aside the distinctively human basis of the community. The destruction of the family is therefore not an accident of material circumstances, but a purposeful sacrifice of human being as it comes from the hand of God (human nature) to make way for a world of human making. In the "man-made world" humanity is no longer recognized as such because man has superseded himself, asserting God-like responsibility for the nature of all things, including, of course, his own.

The English philosopher Thomas Hobbes wrote that man is the matter and maker of the state. Though for rhetorical purposes the socialists present the exaltation of the state as a function of compassion, it appears more accurately to be a function of self-idolizing pride. It allows man to believe that he is indebted for what he is to no one but himself. But a debt owed to ourselves is no debt at all. It represents no external constraint upon the will, and involves no acknowledgment of the limits or boundaries of our potential. For the sake of what we will ourselves to be we may therefore expend ourselves without limit, becoming on our own account all that we wish to be, no matter what the cost.

In keeping with this arrogant assumption of limitless potential, socialism dissolves the loving bondage of family life in order to unleash a tidal wave of self-worshipping pride that culminates in hateful bondage and self-destruction. The assumption of human self-sufficiency replaces the acknowledgement of our dependency on God's love for us. Mechanisms of coercion and fear replace the willingness to be the agents of that love toward one another. The self-sacrifice that is naturally the free gift of love becomes instead the coercive imposition of sacrifice, by one human being upon another (abortion, starvation of helpless innocents like Terry Schiavo, etc.); and one generation upon another (abortion, death panels for the elderly, the imposition of livelihood destroying debt upon future generations, etc.)

This prospect of fear and coercion, though desperately tragic, is not without hope because it is of our own making. What we are doing to ourselves, we can yet and still undo. We can turn away from (repent of?) the ideologies, policies and actions responsible for it and let our God-endowed nature once again take its course. In the next and last article of this series, I will offer some thoughts about what this might involve.



Dawg_em said...

Simply outstanding, Dr. Keyes! A most noteworthy tome on the foundation of our society, the natural family as instituted by God.

Whether intentional or not the root cause is the same; prideful self-assurance of an ablility to "help" in human terms what is in essence God-ordained. While we are called to assist the poor, the orphan, the widow, it must be done in support of the nuclear family. Economic and taxation policies make it extremely difficult for self-sufficiency while simultaneously creating a needful class.

True enough, choices made by "the people", going as far back as 1913, have laid the groundwork and infrastructure for this descent into a society of serfs. While this course of government benevolence may have started out as being sincerely inspired, the consequences cannot be ignored. In fact, egos being what they are, the power and influence gained by staying the course becomes an end in itself.

While educating 'the masses' may seem the logical route, education alone will not suffice. Some of the most highly educated people are abortionists. Knowledge of the systemic errors alone will not provide the requisite solutions. But it is a good start, one that must be wedded with moral and ethical considerations that illustrate the necessity to protect and defend the foundations of societies, the family, and which promote the national good over those of our districts or states.

Dr. Keyes, keep up the excellent work and God's speed. You, your family and your vocation are in my prayers.

nail-in-the-wall said...

“Socialism only works in two places: Heaven where they don’t need it and hell where they already have it.” - Ronald Reagan

“Here is my strategy for the Political and Economic moral challenge; We Win, they lose.”

[Paraphrased from - “Here’s my strategy on the Cold War: We win, they lose.” - Ronald Reagan]

Expand Capital Ownership Now! - ECON 1.0

Guy C. Stevenson

ClayBarham said...

The American culture was fashioned almost 400 years ago when a small band of pilgrims settled in New England and each had no other choice but to do their own thing, watching out for not only their interests, but that of their families and close community. They formed local government close, within a day's horseback ride, as the county. They elected people to make proper laws, enforce them, judge and punish lawbreakers. They held town hall meetings to reshape it when needed, and even vigilantes if government became abusive. The Tea Party movement is just an extension of that. Obama wants to change America from that culture, saying community interests are more important than are individual interests, yet individual self-interest and pebble-dropping was what made America great and prosperous. See Save Pebble Droppers & Prosperity on

gilbertabrett said...

Dr. Keyes, you say in your next & final post of this series, you will present some ideas about how we can get back on track in this country. I believe part of that post should address scrapping this travesty of a government and starting over with the original documents and people who will be held accountable AND HUNG if they do not.

For the last two days, I have had discussions with a friend and my mom concerning taking care of family. The friend - in the medical field and who helps take care of her ailing grandmother - and my mom - who a little over a year ago lost my dad to a stroke - have TOTALLY different ideas.

My friend argued with her grandmother for 30 minutes in order to get her into the shower. Her grandmother said she did not think her granddaughter should HAVE to bathe her. My friend told her grandmother she did not HAVE TO - she WANTED to.

My mom said my dad was very embarrassed during his recovery after he'd had his first stroke when she had to help him. She said they (her family and generation) were raised to be modest.

I strongly believe he was grateful it was her and not some hateful "health""care""professional" taking care of what he could not do for himself. And if he WAS that embarrassed, I told her I rather think it was from pride and not modesty. I mean come on, how many husbands and wives have never seen each other - well you get the point...

I understand that there are things that you would rather someone NOT do for you, BUT if it HAS TO BE DONE, wouldn't you rather someone you loved and trusted do it than someone who is more interested in a cigarette, or gossiping about what Dr. SO & SO is doing with nurse quickie?

Not that all people in the medical field are despicable, but the majority of elder farms in our country are not anyplace to spend your final years. They are a gold mine for greedy and selfish individuals who profit on taxpayer and private money, and the hard road some of our citizens are on in their final years.

Maybe because I am not married and have no children, it is easier for me to say I would take care of an ailing family member. Plus I have had a maternal great-grandmother and a paternal grandmother both ripped off (and one left to die in a "nursing""home") by their supposed loving and adoring favorite children. But I would like to think GOD has placed in me a heart of compassion that even if I had a wife and 15 children, I would not abandon the woman who gave birth to me to a life in a room with a "roommate" and "24 hour care."

I just sometimes think we are way past the point of return in this country without either something terrible happening to wake us up or without having a revolt against the powers that we continue to let dominate and control OUR lives.

Well, I am going to take something to coat my stomach as I think about the illegal alien who is getting ready to give what should be the State of the Union. NO - I am NOT going to watch it, but I DO plan to hear my governor give the Republican response.

GOD save our union...

gilbertabrett said...

Did y'all see our governor from VA? He seems like an alright guy... I do not like the term he used to describe our country though. We are a republic - NOT a democracy. Once again, another reason why everyone should NOT be allowed to vote...

I saw on Yahoo King Hussein said something about "time to get serious." Where has he been? Oh, that's right. Traveling and doing guest spots with his teleprompter. I think a lot of US ARE serious.

And you would think that although we are a nation of debt, he could use some of that TARP money to buy the correct color of foundation. I mean come on. His hands were pecan tan, and his face was yellow. YUCK... I am just glad I did not have to hear him. Thank you GOD for giving someone the idea of a mute button. Now we could really use facial replacement technology...

Dawg_em said...


Speaking of the pilgrims of 400 years ago, didn't they start out as a collective, or commonwealth, whereby the fruit of their labor was to be divided evenly throughout the settlement? Problem was they soon found out not everyone worked as diligently as others.

Voila'. Private property and personal responsibility became the watch-words. It's amazing how today people still haven't learned. Then again, perhaps it's not ignorance but something much more malicious. Afterall, respecting individual rights and liberty is anathema to central control and power exercised by a few elitists.

I can't wait to read Dr. Keyes' prescription for this malady.

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