The Book: The Unwashed Philosophers' Guide To Perfecting An Imperfect Union

The Book, Part 2-Chapter II: The Thin Red Line

The basic premise: America was conceived as “an Act” by God to design a better model for Mankind to live peaceably among one another, by causing His people to become in charge of their own destinies, rather than the top-down, dictatorial/authoritarian model that has ruled over Man since the dawn of civilization.

Our view is that God has been tinkering with a working model for Man to govern himself ever since He inked that covenant with Abraham thus beginning a “thin red line” from Abraham, through Moses and the Promised Land, to Jesus, thence to the world at large, and from Europe to an isolated piece of real estate in North America neither the French nor Spanish were interested in, settling it with largely separate groups of Protestant Christians who could at least get along with one another, and after a period of almost 200 years of cohabitation and trial and error, put into writing a template, a model for the people of all nations to use to define their own sort of free government.

Man’s first written offering of that new design was the Constitution of the United States. The question we pose, simply, is whether that is America’s last contribution, and will God, as He did with the Abrahamic line, take that design to be developed further elsewhere?

Logic dictates to us that it seems to have been God’s purpose to create a laboratory and working model since none of the people who came upon these shores ever seemed as noteworthy as Abraham of being singled out for special reward. But collectively they did have unique characteristics compared to the rest of the world, as we’ll describe shortly.

But first, the beginnings, as this has not been a linear process, since God’s perpetual antagonist and fly-in-the-ointment, Satan, has always been working to cause these designs (plural) to fail. It’s what he does.

We suggest that Tribalism could be considered God’s “next act” after Abraham, but might have been less a new idea, than an extension of a more ancient one that had pre-dated the 5000-year reign of dictatorship over the “peasant classes” of history leading up to America’s founding.

We will mention the “original nature of tribal Man” more than once, as we go along, but will begin here with pagan Man’s virtues, which preceded his vices and hunger for power by thousands of years, which means Good preceded Evil in Man’s existence, just as God preceded, actually created, his pesky arch-angel, Satan. In J R R Tolkien’s allegorical “Ainulindale” God’s Angels composed music to please Him, ethereal music, (think Mozart) while Satan preferred Acid Rock, and soon left the choir to one of the planets which would later be populated by dwarves, elves and eventually Men. (A thought-inspiring fable when read in this light.)

Philosophically, although rarely mentioned these days, it matters that Good came first in the moral pecking order and sequence of things.

But in primitive times those tribal virtues were applied in a very limited way, largely defined by territory, where, much like the animal kingdom, certain natural laws also apply, especially survival, and the common-sense acknowledgment that some behavior is dictated by that alone, first dividing Man’s behavior as survival-enhancing while other types of his behavior are survival-endangering. Everything else is secondary, only unlike the animal kingdom, where their only natural enemies are predators and the whims of Nature, Man is the only creature whose willful behavior can contribute to both his demise as well as his advancement.

There is more social Darwinism in modern politics than anyone will admit, and it has largely been based on ethical and philosophical fallacies concerning nature’s preference for the strong and powerful, thus justifying Man’s 5000 years of power-by-dictatorship, even in retrospect, versus nature’s greater preference for reciprocity and peace.

The tribal nature of Man, before all that “civilization” prattle about monumental palaces and tombs, and perpetual legacies, the ultimate vanity, turned him greedy, vain, and mean was the opposite; largely cooperative and reciprocal. The seven Virtues, (chastity, temperance, charity, diligence, patience, kindness, and humility) were practiced for thousands of years before some Latin prince of the Church put it all in writing. As a matter of natural law, they far outweighed the seven Vices (vainglory, or pride, greed or covetousness, lust, or illicit sexual desire, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth) when the survival of the tribe was the principal aim of the group.

This was thousands of years ago, Neolithic Stone Age Man, c10,000-4000 BC, before the rise of the first civilizations, which began around 3500 BC.

As a human understanding” “Good” was built around the survival instincts of social man. And they were “religious” even though they knew nothing of the God of Abraham or Jesus, yet had gods of a very similar disposition. But those “love thy neighbor” rules were practiced only within the tribe. Virtue was baked into their way of living together for they were survival-enhancing, geared toward harmony. (We hate to say it, but Rousseau got that part right.) And yes, the people gave credit to their gods for every blessing; the grain they planted and harvested, the meat they killed, and the social rules they lived by. Even their selection of chiefs was largely democratic. This is all proved by their oral legends, which for some tribal people, the Norse, the Celts, and the American Indians, ran well into the historic area.

But the name they gave themselves in almost every language (there are thousands) was “We” or “the People”. And every name they gave to their neighbors was a version of “Them”, “the other people”, “Not us”. Very exclusionary.

Throughout history, much like Arab Muslim lands today, they lived quiet, peaceful lives inside their borders, but with constant (at least low-grade) warfare on their borders; raids, stealing cattle, carrying off women, and war-parties to sate the appetites of the young men, or “young bucks” as John Wayne called them. Some even created war-cults after the horse found its way onto the western Plains, and the Cheyenne Dog-soldiers became a mix between Spetsnaz and Al-Qaeda.

Tribal harmony also depended on “Location, location, location”, or external geographical conditions. “Sky Determines” is a term by Ross Calvin in 1939, from his book about tribal life in New Mexico at the time of the Spanish Conquest. Used for years, it explains the role that the natural environment plays in the lives of tribal people, and why they so often have to simply get up and move…leaving it to archeologists to try to piece together their histories. In American pioneering lore, it was often called the “luck of the draw” that the first family to find a river confluence got the best bottomland, while people who came after had to farm higher up the valley, or move on.

And if the climate changed for prolonged periods…a drought, or the buffalo stop coming…they’d have to move, and that often meant into the territory of other peoples, where conflict always occurred. Our knowledge of the prairie tribes of the US and Canada is that their tribal territories changed regularly based simply on warfare with one another. Before the white man. It got much worse when the Spanish introduced the horse, which gave tribes with access to them an advantage over neighbors. Another advantage was having first access to traders for steel arrow points and blankets in the beaver trade created another route to advantage. This caused the Iroquois of New York to go on wars of annihilation against several Great Lakes tribes in order to be able to control the trade networks being established by the French in Montreal.

So the question has to be asked: Why is it that people who are living on the edge of survival are always so good to one another, but then when one tribe gets a leg up on the others, some suddenly become bullies and tyrants? And how long does it take for this transition to take place? Or was there ever a middle ground where Man could both “pursue life, liberty, happiness and property” without diminishing that same right in others?

Short answer: A long time; first in circa 33 AD, which began the new calendar, then followed in 1787.

Going all the way back to the ancient Egyptians, who began as tribal villagers farming the Nile Delta, and likewise the Sumerians, who farmed the Euphrates and Tigris valleys, comprising what is called the Fertile Crescent (near where Abraham tented and grazed his sheep) where the vagaries of survival were less risky than say the northern plains of Nebraska, this sort of tribal communalism ruled. It was even called the “Cradle of Civilization”, where the first metal age was also born, Bronze, c3500 BC.

It’s speculated that the tribal people who farmed there slowly grew in wealth, then power arose because they had surpluses in grain which they could then trade with other peoples for other things they desired, thus enhancing their power and wealth. How they evolved into king-systems no one knows because they didn’t write. And how those systems evolved into the social organization requiring building skills that could create engineering and architectural marvels that even a French tourist couldn’t help but notice; i.e. the Pyramids and the ziggurats of Sumer, is still a speculation. What science knows is that these first arose around 2600 BC, or about 600 years after the Bronze age began, which produced strong metal weapons, among other things. Metallurgy.

(Note: There is still a healthy scientific debate about the geology of the Sphinx which suggests that it may have been carved before the Sahara Desert was formed by a severe climate change, turning a verdant tropical garden in North Africa into a desert. Geologic observations suggest the Sphinx could have been carved as much as a thousand years before the first Pyramid c2660 BC, and even earlier than the recognized start date for the Bronze Age, throwing all the recognizing sequences of calendars of development out the window. The idea that all the archeology for such an event may still lie buried under hundreds of feet of sand, a “lost civilization” is a little more than 150 years of scholarship can bear to consider wiping their textbooks clean. (This is a bigger deal than you might imagine.)  Moreover, it’s thinking like this that invites the snooping of wealthy amateurs, who incidentally, are responsible for most of the great archeological finds of antiquity.)

We also know it should take much longer for peoples of other parts of the world not quite so naturally blessed as those in the Nile delta and Fertile Crescent to develop the same tool culture and growth of agriculture that spawned the civilizations of Egypt and Sumer. The Neolithic people of Briton and northern Europe, for instance, were “mining” flint for plowing ground, and other metals from rockfaces using antler-picks by 3300 BC, about 1000 years behind the Egyptians.

In a book written in 1979, G de G Sievking said about bronze, which requires the addition of small portions of tin to the copper smelting process, that while all the archeologists knew this mixing had taken place and it couldn’t have been accidental, still no one knows how the ancients actually discovered the mix, or how they knew to use it in the first place. In Briton tin was only found in a small spot in the southwest, yet bronze was found all over. (Norse legends said it was the dwarves who handed down the smithing arts to Man; in other places, just “the Gods”, and as you know, JRR Tolkien went with the dwarves.

But in all cases dealing with Antiquity and the original discoveries and inventions, such as the domestication of grains, animals, and metallurgy, or for that matter, religion, Science can only allow itself the findings of archaeology as evidence, so they can only theorize in jargon about basic events, as just mentioned, “Yep, they used bronze around 1600 BC” but with no idea how the process was learned, and this covers several thousands of years of known human territorial occupation.

Science considers both the Old and New Testament to be legend since very little of it can be “proved” by their methodologies of reporting. And Science is not terribly interested in the precepts we normally associate with Good and Evil about which they are generally agnostic. So when oral legends speaking of a Great Flood are found to be nearly universal, including some Amerindian tribes, and all speak of them as a punishment by the gods, you can understand why they consider as tales passed down no differently than the Greeks passed down Homer’s story of Troy in the same way centuries before the story was put into writing 500-to-1000 years later. What we can know is that tribal Man was humble enough, a concept unknown to modern science, that he always attributed “to the gods” the gift to know how to smelt copper with tin, rather than saying Richard Blumenthal invented it.

Still, there is something counterintuitive about how people who lived in less inviting climates, with no writing, only rudimentary language, and analytical skills, could accomplish this. Modern science has simply failed to satisfactorily explain how these people, dressed in skins, would know to use antlers to dig for flint in the first place, and then, besides shaping it for blades to break ground in their village, but also know to bag dozens of them up and walk several miles to trade with other tribes, since flint, like tin, was only found in various areas of Briton and northern Europe, yet were dispersed widely and apparently traded.

Also of interest, this means the tribes they traded with were not at war with them. (There were a lot of things going on in pre-history we can only guess about, but let’s stick with the notion that oral legends, including especially the role of their Gods, should be part of the mix…if for no other reasons than to keep scientific Man humble.)

But what eventually emerged by 2600 BC, we do know, were king-based empires built with a very small ruling and priest class, backed by a military carrying metal swords and spears, and no mention at all about how the life of the ordinary Egyptian or Sumerian had changed for the better. Egypt and Sumer were where and when “written” history would first emerge, but only accounting for the exploits and majesty of their kings, their gods, and their trade manifests. (It would be another 4500 years before a different class of historians would rise to write about how the other 90% lived.)

All those “great” ancient civilizations were so designated because of the engineering of their statuary and monuments, their arts and crafts, and their presumed ability to undertake multi-disciplined tasks. And of course, the availability of massive quantities of impressed labor.

We also know that this early Egyptian-Mesopotamian model was so successful, and also so rewarding to future ruling classes, in opulence and styles that distinguished them above and beyond the common citizen, that it became a religion in its own right, which has also trickled down into modern 21st Century thinking; a guiding lamp unto the feet of virtually every “ism” that has come in over the transom since Karl Marx, VI Lenin, Mao Tse Tung, and Adolf Hitler.

It is very contagious… and that is what has always been the problem with the seven vices; they feel so good.

If you believe in a celestial power struggle that goes back before Creation, even before J R R Tolkien or the rise of Marvel Comics, and we do, you’ll note that Satan, under a myriad of names and disguises, contested God’s authority from the earliest beginnings, even though he is only an angel. One of God’s celestial creations. It makes the struggle between Good and Evil easier to understand if you keep in mind that while Satan is spending all his time trying to thwart God’s plans, God doesn’t give Scratch even the courtesy of acknowledging him, which certainly annoys him to no end even today.

So Satan’s plan has always been to defeat Good, while God’s plan is to push His own plan for Good forward, treating Satan as an irritation. An itch, if you will, or more simply a mere afterthought. After all, God did give Man Free Will, as part of the deal, along with the power to choose between Good and Evil of our own accord. The only “catch”, of course, was that any benefit or punishment for our choices would be ours, alone, to endure. But hey… at least He threw in an abode where those who choose poorly could spend eternity. Personally, we have no hard opinions about fire and brimstone, but there is common enough imagery to give most of us the general idea of what it might be like.

Not to sell him short, though, Satan is a master craftsman and defeated God’s first design in Eden by seducing the female and causing God to shut down the whole Eden Project, making Adam and Eve mortal… though they’d live hundreds of years… and give all of mankind that followed a choice between good things and bad things. As a bad thing, having mastered the power of Temptation, Satan engineered the intoxication of corruption (greed and power) and injected it into societies so brutal and so exclusive, that God finally had to flush it all out with a flood and give it another go.

We have no idea what God’s original plan for Eden might have been. Our current world is the second iteration of God’s Earth, and from the earliest building of cities and civilizations… our current scientific knowledge extending back to about 3500 BC with the rise of sophisticated agriculture, trade and commerce, writing, and metallurgy, just discussed above, and even organized religion, much of it directed at deifying the Devil himself.

We like referring to this allegorical narrative about God’s plan as “the Thin Red Line” for it created, via a Covenant, what was territorial only within the limits of one paternal line, through Abraham, and the territory his grandsons, and ultimately their tribes, could occupy and manage. He even promised them a Nation to manage, which they did a very poor job indeed of both managing or furthering God’s design.

That plan started with Abraham, ran through Isaac and Jacob’s twelve sons and subsequent grandsons… and then to Joseph and the Egyptian captivity… and continued thru Moses to the Promised land, then a 300-year trial run of “theocracy” which didn’t work (it’s easy to analyze why), before giving the Tribes the Kings they asked for. We know that worked even less well and it caused God, like any great corporate founder, knowing how all the pieces were designed to work, to break down the design into its constituent parts and repair or replace both the parts and the Supporting cast and have another go at it. We will delve a little more deeply into “How Things Work” in a moment.

There were as many as two and a half million people (the census mentioned this in the Book of Numbers, Chapter 1, indicating 604,000 men of fighting age), and occupying a territory of only 8000 square miles, despite having been carried off to Babylon for 70 years) but whatever grander plans God had for Israel we can’t know. After a 1500 year association beginning with that first meeting with Abraham, that “Thin Red Line” represented God’s stockholding and was the size of modern-day Israel, which lasted no more than 600 years as an Independent Nation before it was once more conquered, and allowed to survive semi-autonomously as a satrap for Greek and then Roman Kings.

That was the extent of the Abrahamic-world that Jesus was born into and when he had His face-to-face encounter with Satan and revealed to Jesus all the empires of the world he held, then offering them as a swap for His allegiance, he, in essence, boasted that he was both the spiritual and political head of the entire world, except for this little red dot named Israel on the eastern rim of the Mediterranean and that only as a vassal state of the Roman Empire, which was his. (Mark Twain as a humorous aside once stated around 1900 that Satan had great “executive ability” by being “the spiritual head of half the world” but was still “the political head of the whole of it.” It was a back-handed acknowledgment as to how much ground Jesus had gained in 1900 years, only now it appears we may have lost as many as half of those spiritual souls since. So God can’t be happy.)

We think God always had a different kind of “territory” in mind, and Jesus was to be His vehicle. So, after protecting the children of Abraham for 1500 years after that first meeting, God finally washed his hands with Abraham’s tribes. Even in their best years, they were little more than a restricted country club, with not a single hand extended in friendship or reciprocity to people not of their blood.

So God, while keeping to His end of the bargain, with the Laws and Decalogue He handed down to Moses, decided to take that model in a different direction, by sending them through a single Messenger, only to the whole world, and which resonated from the bottom up, by the people, or what politicians today call the “masses”.

Jesus won a lot of territory in those first 800 years of missionary work. A lot. But it came at quite a cost since the Kings who resented early Christians were armed, while theirs was a peaceful invasion, seeking only people’s minds and hearts. There were large swaths of Christendom whose communities were built in peace and fellowship, out of sight of Kings who would deny them. But some emperors were indifferent or even open-minded, as there was much spiritual emptiness in the religions of the Greeks and Romans.

Christianity touched them much deeper. In the eastern half of the Roman Empire, because of a battlefield vision, the emperor Constantine, legally permitted Christianity, (in 313 AD) giving them much-desired security, but which turned into the state religion in 380 AD, which turned out to be a bad idea, as state religions always turn bully. It was the same when the Roman Church in the West shared nuptials with the French and German kings of western Europe in 800 AD, creating the Holy Roman Empire, ending 800 years of looking over their shoulders, plus having to walk from town to town to gather a following, then toiling to build a church, when the kings would bring them to be baptized. This collaboration was initially seen as a godsend to the Faith, 1) for there was no more having to hide from pagan kings who wanted to kill them, and 2) a much easier process to baptizing new members, and even better 3) the kings tithing to the Church 10% of their lands in exchange for everlasting life, which the kings, who couldn’t read, believed was the Church’s, who could, power to grant.

So in time, this agreement became a Bad Thing, in that the Church as a power-sharer, with its own properties, its own courts, and even its own armies, could then punish those who believed in God in a different way. And it did.

We would be remiss if we didn’t point out that even Mark Twain couldn’t write this history.

We’re not sure what event caused God to begin to rethink this model, but Christ’s message of “Love thy neighbor” was losing ground, and the Devil’s new Feudal System, which largely spread from that creation of the Holy Roman Empire in 800, lasting 700 years, was so oppressive that even the poorest people could no longer think about their own souls, much less their relationship with their neighbors.

Nonetheless, it has been the model for Satan’s plans for world dominion going forward ever since, under dozens of guises.

This Feudal bubble had to eventually burst, which began with a plague, the Black Death, in the mid 14th Century (1346-1353) killing millions (and coming from East Asia, go figure), itself following a great 3-year famine in Europe (1315-1317) killing nearly half its population, leaving the surviving royals who owned all the land wondering how they could get their farming done with half of their farmers dead (who were not freeborn, but serfs), and Latin America still not even a gleam in Christopher Columbus’s eye for another 175 years) which was their sole source of income. (Answer, the royals had to borrow, as they had throughout the Crusades, and who they borrowed from were Jews, who were never allowed to own land, which was the principal capital asset that defined the Feudal System.

So Jews had plenty of cash, as they had to make their livings making and selling things, such as clothes, shoes, even candles and pots, and pans, and later, even small factories and finally banks, where they could keep their money since the royals had spies watching to see where they hid their money, so they could steal it for petty cash. This was considered reasonable since virtually every bad thing a person could do to a Jew was right by the Church since they killed Christ.)

Some very insightful histories have been written about this period of transition from feudalism to the Renaissance, but only a few about their impact on the common people who generally bore the brunt of it. The feudal system largely ended in the 1400s, at different speeds, whether it was German, Italian, Spanish, French, or English, but did stimulate the German priest Martin Luther, in 1517, to question the exclusive authority of the Roman Church with 95 Theses, sending the religious world into a bitter war covering the better part of two centuries.

Like other histories, since the pharaohs, this era has been analyzed by hundreds of historians, only none that we can tell ever viewed the Christian world from the bottom up, from the viewpoint of the work-a-day Christians who tried to continue to work their fields, tend to their trades and raise their families, each according to their education and class.

So, by 1600, another 800 years, God decided it was time to try to build yet a newer model, as His current Christian “thin red line”-holder had become quite vain and self-satisfied in its own right.

With Spain and France both trying to pillage the New World in search of gold and beaver pelts, and not quite what He was looking for, God selected the English for this new model. But also for a variety of other reasons, especially since they were a full 200 years advanced in social development at the farmstead level…past the Christians on the Continent…due to the Magna Carta, and who had even learned a modicum of ecumenical tolerance for other faiths since several different Christian churches were represented in England. Moreover, they were literate and therefore middle-class by modern reckoning, something Lenin never saw in the thousands of villages across Russia in 1917. They could (sort of) live together peaceably, claiming only a small amount of exclusivity in their towns.

One of the anachronisms of the American model is that it was built largely by literate Christian communities, a complete reversal from history, who would build their prototype from the ground up for about 80 years… three generations… from clearing forests to building towns before even bringing in the first waves of less-educated ( but more rugged) Scotch-Irish who would colonize the western lands into the Appalachians, and serve as the prototype for the westward-expansion pioneers that would continue another 150 years, finally ending in Washington, Oregon, and California, and all that territory in between. Their three generations would be the first to complete the full course of “becoming American” even before the “United States” was born.

All too easily and frequently lost, especially in the modern era with the stunning and heart-wrenching lack of understanding, respect, and appreciation for what has been handed down from the generations of our forefathers, is the humble gratitude for those contributions that began with literate people who had to learn “how everything worked” in order to build a simple camp, then a settlement, and then a town from the ground up; from felling trees and digging up root wads, to killing animals for meat, digging dirt and planting seeds in a world very much like that of the Neolithic Britons who lived 5000 years earlier. Other than their broader awareness of the world and their faith(s) in God, they started out just as tribal as Stone Age man.
We think, before moving on from our discussion regarding God’s “Thin Red Line”, that it is important for readers to consider a bit more context, especially as it relates to this idea of “How things work” in a larger sense. To begin with, understand that even to the casual historical observer in American universities since around 1970, what grew up in America might in many respects appear to be the same kinds of farm villages in Europe, only it was very different because every farmer in Europe had done what they did for over a thousand years, with a majority of farm profits going to a manor house on the hill. They were still more or less locked in there even if no longer serfs.

By contrast, every town and city in America was built and grown by its owners, under “Sky determines” laws of nature, whether agriculture, ranching, fishing. And the town governments they created from scratch each bore the special marks of their original founders, usually that sign on the road going in and out, saying “Smithville” or some such.

Just like every hill-town in Appalachia, every town begun along the Oregon Trail, (and often they were begun at that very spot where the wagon broke down), had its “Mayflower families”, who had broken ground just like the original Jamestown families, but probably knew more about digging for rutabagas than did the average Mayflower family of Massachusetts in 1613.

By the time that Conestoga family along the River Platte in Nebraska had survived the second winter in 1837 most were at least two generations advanced from that second season on Massachusetts Bay in 1623. But that “generations-ride” was both up and down, consider Abraham Lincoln, who was born in a log cabin in Kentucky in 1809, poor as a church mouse, yet his family had been in America for 179 years, (7 generations) and some wings of it had become quite prosperous. Just not all.

Because of those seven generations, Lincoln had the right stuff born into him, defining how he would meet America’s first true existential moment, compared to, say, how Andrew Jackson, a second-generation Scotch-Irish American, also raised on the frontier, would see America in an entirely different way.

The French aristocrat, Alexis De Tocqueville would visit the American hinterland in the 1830s, and he notes Americans’ literacy and fondness for books, only, much to the chagrin of the French nobility he’d hoped to convince about the benefits of American democracy, almost all those books were practical “How-to” books, of a pamphlet nature. Only a few Americans were still in its pre-layabout period and were too un-busy enough to curl up with a book by Voltaire or other classical philosophers, then taught largely at Harvard, and which Ben Franklin, who knew how all sorts of different things worked and had written books on the subject, thought was one of the greatest wastes of a parent’s money to invest in a son. (Ben’s argument is far more persuasive today than it was in 1760.)

And proving this in the most dramatic way, this How Things Work theme became manifest when a young fellow named Thomas Paine wrote a 47-page pamphlet called “Common Sense” in 1775 and which is still today, in proportion to the population of the colonies at that time (2.5 million), the most widely read book published in American history.

More importantly, his book was not originally addressed to the political leaders of the several colonies, but rather to their constituents, the farmers and shopkeepers who, once reading it, they insisted, with a capital “I”, that their delegations in the Continental Congress demand Independence, with no compromise, thus ensuring, in an “or else” tone of voice to their delegates, the Declaration’s ratification which followed in Philadelphia, July 4, 1776.

So it is then, that the American government was defined from the bottom up, for every town was built by people multiple generations old, yet all still had to know or learn how things worked. And while Dutch farm towns founded in the early 1600s in the Mohawk Valley of New York by 1837 were already into their 7th generation, and were very prosperous and powerful in state and national politics, (the Roosevelts), there were millions in America who would not yet have turned over their first spade of dirt.

With far greater authority, Frederick Jackson Turner in 1893, penned “The Significance of the American Frontier in American History”, or simply “The Turner Thesis”, detailing how the frontier defined America, saying what we report here. He was still taught in university when one of us attended in the 1960s. But by the 1980s it was discreetly shown the academic back door by a notion called “Post-Modernism”, defined by a few French philosophers and a Marxist, just to give you an idea of its origins.

Post-Modernism signaled that it’s time that America “caught up” (actually regressed) with the rest of the world, which politically and culturally has generally been engaged in a political plot ever since. And our unique American culture, its self-designed educational institutions, and most of our political structures, from city to state to federal bureaucracy, have largely succumbed to an avalanche of at least seventy years of design to erase our bottom-up approach to just about everything done in America.

This worldwide management-class dislike for “things American” was despite that more than half of all the great inventions of the industrial age which their world has benefitted from came from the American formula, through the descendants of ordinary people who knew how things worked, many of them quite ordinary men and women themselves. But this dislike was never shared by their lower, working classes, which is why so many of their people still flock to America.

The Europeans considered America garish and unseemly, both our capitalists and their children. It seemed that every time a Henry Ford would invent a cost-saving process such as the assembly line, the Euros would offset those savings to consumers by adding just one more level of bureaucracy to oversee it. But all their pedestrian classes still wanted to be like these same Americans.

“To be American” has been a common theme with us for many years, and we have often mentioned our preference for the poor man and woman who, by the time they could pass the test to become a citizen, would someday kneel and kiss the ground underneath their feet and thank their God for their being an America to allow them to achieve this sort of freedom. Then, once done, simply let their generations begin.

The idea that we should lock these kinds of people out in exchange for technical geniuses who will come here from countries that produce more of them in their schools than their own economies can afford to hire (this list is becoming quite long), but among them China, India, the old Soviet Empire) is not a good idea. Most are arrogant with an academic chip on their shoulders, not unlike the bankers we imported in the early 1900s, only thousands more. Even the poorer Hispanics from the South must now come in as hostages to various political groups to which “Becoming American” is now anathema.

This newer trend spits in the face of the entire original design of America, which for citizenship one must first know how America works. These are not things found in Tegucigalpa nor Mumbai.

Clearly, we are being asked, even demanded, to surrender our knowledge of how things work in exchange for convenience and entertainment; i.e., sloth and laziness.

The question is whether this is self-induced or has our system been poisoned by outside agents. We’re inclined toward a little bit of the former and a lot of the latter.

You ask an American kid today how anything works, and he/she will begin by saying, “Easy, just push this button.” This is a result of intentional conditioning, children becoming obsessed with toys instead of learning about how things work, which, lest we forget, is a mental process beginning with A + B = C.

America’s Founders knew they were trying something daring and unique. But all but one of them had already been in America for multiple generations. So they didn’t think there was anything extraordinary in what they were attempting. That’s why Thomas Paine called it “common sense”, and is why the people took to the Constitution the Founders proposed quicker than their state political delegates. As Fibber McGee of 1940s radio fame often shouted when a door-to-door pollster knocked, wanting to get the opinion of “the average American”. He’d slam the door saying “I’m above-average!”

It was as ordinary as cutting kindling. Perhaps too ordinary, for we quit teaching our children just how extraordinary it was. Once “Sky determined” how they would be taught, and the core curricula were similar everywhere; civics, American history, and interesting “exceptionalism” insights, such as the fact that America was the first nation in the history of the world to send men to war to free other men and women they had never seen before. A remarkable observation if you consider the breadth of 5000 years of prior history, that not one single regime ever considered such a noble sentiment. (America did that first in 1860 and a couple of other times more, including the 19 servicemen who died liberating the island of Granada in 1989.)

When one of us taught inner-city black mothers about Civics, courses in the 1990s, this was always the turning point about where they all kept their attention.

Sadly, in these modern times, our complacency (and willful refusal to honor and respect “how things work”) comes at the worst possible time, for the Enemy of our special design realized by the 1960s that controlling thought in select university academies was not enough to stem this American regeneration of transcendent freedoms that were built from the ground up. So, for three generations now, they’ve set about to identify and manipulate all our cultural buttons; from pop music to advertising, to the federal government being able to attach financial strings to public schools, and on to the addictive powers of the ubiquitous cellphone and social media cabals.

As Pogo said, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.” The larger question, of course, is: Does God also think this?

In the end, it doesn’t matter whether our current conundrums are because of this sneak attack by the life-long enemies of Liberty or just simple complacency and decay by a people who were low-born and backward and were expected by Europe to relapse as early as 1850.

But while we scurry around, sometimes in the dark alleys of America, trying to devise plans to defeat this 70-year assault the Enemy has aimed at us… and yes, it may not be pretty and may get out of hand… but that was how we were born, remember? Today, we have the added burden of convincing God that this country is still worthy, that we are still worthy as citizens to shoulder the burden of not only expelling the enemy from our gates but remembering our original commission, devising plans to go onto the next phase of God’s design which is exporting Liberty-from-the-ground-up to the millions out there who are still eager to know how they might also do-it-themselves at home.

We need to pause and reflect on the idea that if God indeed created this nation, and in this special way, He did not do it to reward a bunch of random English Protestants in North America just for giggles. We have proved for several hundred years that this design works, but if we can no longer make it work here He can still take it elsewhere, and cut us loose, on our own, just as He did with the tribes of Abraham. There are other viable options… maybe Eastern Europe, who’s flooding back to their churches by the millions, still with the memory of the heel of a dictator’s boot on their back, and the stifling grip around their collective religious necks, and He has time to develop any plan He wants.

About David M. Poff

There's not much to say... I come from a long line of Appalachian folk that landed in America long before flipping off the King was even a twinkle in the eyes of our founding fathers. We have been Carpenters and coal miners... Soldiers & Sailors and pig farmers and Sunday morning circuit-riding preachers. Hell, I'm told we have even been fairly decent bootleggers too. The oldest of my family elders I met as a child were the sons and daughters of farmers across whose red rocky fields the North and South marched and died at Antietam. I am quite sure that my ancestors had more wisdom in the palms of their crooked calloused hands than the whole lot of high-minded and over-educated White Collar class will ever acquire across the entirety of their collective lifetimes. It is my hope that, in the midst of so many lost and self-unaware souls, I might pay forward - even a little bit - of what was handed down to me before it is my turn to swan-dive off this mortal coil.
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