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Watchman on the Wall

The Church’s role in America’s Culture War

Introduction 
America is currently engaged in the longest Religious War since the Reformation, a war between Biblical Christianity and secular Humanism. Make no mistake about it; we are in the midst of a very grim war in which only one side can triumph, a war waged, not with bullets and bombs but with ideas and reason; A war that few Americans recognize and even fewer understand the serious consequences for the loser. The battlefields are our churches, our courts, our schools, our legislatures, and our political institutions. At stake are our Republic and the traditional American Culture left to us by our forefathers.

Although the struggle between good and evil began in the Garden of Eden, the religious war in America started in the latter part of the colonial period during the “Unitarian controversy”, the first major political assault in modern times was launched in the Presidential campaign of 1912 when four political parties vied for the office of President. All four nominated progressive (American Socialist) candidates, leaving the American people to select between the lesser of four evils. The party platforms on which the candidates ran were all slightly different, but all contained the most important planks of the then defunct Peoples Party; a graduated national income tax; the popular election of Senators, and protective tariffs, among other things.

Eugene Debs was nominated by the Socialist Party, Ex-President Theodore Roosevelt by the Progressive Party, Woodrow Wilson by the Democratic Party and incumbent President William Howard Taft by the Republican Party. Taft and Roosevelt split the Republican vote giving the Presidency to Woodrow Wilson. In 1913, the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Amendments to the Constitution were ratified, paving the way for the Socialist’s primary goals of income redistribution and a consolidated national government. The Seventeenth Amendment providing for the popular election of Senators weakened the protection of the Tenth Amendment making the consolidation of national government all but certain. Since that time, successions of Progressive Presidents and Congresses have waged a relentless attack on the institutions of American Society.

It is only since the election of socialist Barack Obama and the rise of the patriot movement, known collectively as the Tea Party Movement, that many Americans have become aware of the battle raging around them and the possible devastating consequences of its outcome. However, of those who are now paying attention to what is going on, few recognize the real nature of the conflict. Most see it as a political struggle for control of government and the enemy as the socialists in the progressive Democrat party, when in reality it is a conflict between two worldviews for control of the American culture. The real enemy is the progressive religion of Humanism that has become the Official religion of government, political progressives and the Democrat Party, “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Eph. 6:12)

The identity of a nation is determined by the nature of its three primary components, its form of government, its economic system, and its common culture. In America, the form of government is drawn from the principles set forth in our Declaration of Independence and codified in our Constitution. The Constitution contains the rules and limitations placed on the federal government, but deals only tangentially with the culture and the economy. American Socialists are determined to destroy all three components of American society and replace them with the institutions of socialism based on the progressive-socialist religion of Humanism. For the most part, they have been successful in shredding the Constitution and corrupting our culture and economic system without the American people fully understanding what is happening.

The American Culture 

The American culture is built on the foundation of our Christian principles; not the denominational doctrines quibbled over among America’s nine hundred self-identified Christian denominations, but the principles set forth in the Old and New Testaments of the Holy Bible. Our Founders recognized the necessity of a religious foundation for our culture in order for the Constitution to fulfill the purpose for which it was created. John Adams, our second President, stated plainly that, “Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.”

George Washington reminded the American people of the importance of religious principles in connection with governance in his Farewell Address when he said, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism, who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness, these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens. The mere politician, equally with the pious man, ought to respect and to cherish them. A volume could not trace all their connections with private and public felicity.”

“Let it simply be asked: Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation deserts the oaths which are the instruments of investigation in courts of justice? And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. Whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both forbid us to expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle.”(1796)

The wisdom of President Washington has become evident over the past few generations with the left’s determination to cast out the moral values on which our culture is built. Along with the efforts of American Socialists (progressives) to purge Christianity from our culture and replace it with the modern religion of Humanism, we have witnessed a steady decline in the moral foundations of our politics and economy as well.  We marvel at the equanimity of our elected officials as they look directly into the lens of the TV camera and lie to us with a sanguine belief that the American people will believe their fabricated assertions in spite of the evidence of experience and common sense; unfortunately too many of us do.

Our economic system rests on the centuries old principles of free market capitalism where individuals make their own economic decisions based on their perception as to what is in their own and their family’s best interest. The system worked fine in the days when “a man’s word was his bond”, and deals were sealed with a handshake. However, the corrupting influence of the continuous, incremental successes of American Socialism has replaced free market capitalism with an amoral, and often immoral, “crony capitalism” and is moving us ever closer to the centrally planned economy coveted by socialists the world over.

Both our political and economic well-being is dependent on the moral character of the culture that gave it birth. As Benjamin Franklin Observed on the final day of the Philadelphia Convention, “I agree to this Constitution with all its faults, if they are such; because I think a general Government necessary for us, and there is no form of Government but what may be a blessing to the people if well administered, and believe farther that this is likely to be well administered for a course of years, and can only end in Despotism, as other forms have done before it, when the people shall become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other.”

As we continue to move further into the twenty-first century we have to make a national decision; we must decide which course we will follow. One leads to a return to liberty and prosperity, the other to poverty, misery and servitude to the state.  There can be no middle ground. We cannot compromise with an enemy whose objective is to destroy our way of life. It must be defeated. Have we, as Franklin mused, become so corrupt as a nation that we can only be ruled by despotism? Are we so lacking in character that we prefer the false security promised by American Socialism, or are we willing to take the risk proposed by a growing number of Patriots and battle for liberty, freedom and a return of the blessings of God, settling for nothing less?

Church And State 

Of all the institutions in America that affect our culture, there are none more important than the Church. And yet, for the most part the modern Church has remained on the sidelines as our culture continues to decline and we move ever closer to a point of no return. In fact, many churches give “aid and comfort” to the enemy by embracing many of the Humanist religious doctrines espoused by progressives. There are many reasons why churches do not become publicly involved in the political and cultural controversies of the day. Perhaps the most prominent one is the doctrine of “separation of church and state”. 

It should be pointed out however, that this is neither a constitutional doctrine nor a Biblical doctrine. It is taken wholly from a metaphorical clause in a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in 1801 in reply to a letter from the Danbury, Connecticut Baptist Association, seeking assurance that Jefferson, as President, would respect “freedom of conscience”. In his reply Jefferson writes, “I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”

The first clause of the First Amendment reads, Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;” This clause actually establishes the independence of religion from the legislative and judicial powers of the federal government, not separation. It also prohibits the federal government from regulating or otherwise interfering with any form of worship or expression of religious faith, publicly or privately. Over time, this “first principle” of religious liberty has morphed into religious toleration only, applying mostly to Christianity. In practice, Christianity is heavily regulated by all levels of government today. Christian worship or expression is limited to places of worship, religious gatherings or among willing acquaintances. It is prohibited in virtually all public venues and events.

As Christianity is forced out of our public institutions by law and popular opinion, it has created a vacuum of faith that has been filled with the progressive religion of Humanism. Anthropogenic climate change, environmentalism, LGBT equality, internationalism, “reproductive rights” (abortion), multi-culturism, and sodomite marriage, are all Humanist religious doctrines supported and promoted by government through legislation, the courts and bureaucratic rule making. These same Humanist doctrines are taught in all our educational institutions and propagandized through the popular media.

Humanist religious doctrine is presented and defended as being based on “settled science”. It represents logical conclusions drawn from the acceptance of Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution popularized at the turn of the twentieth century. Evolution is the accepted science of our day, but it is by no means “settled science”. Most people are surprised to learn that there are over a thousand scientists, every bit as credentialed as those who teach evolution, who oppose evolution theory. Creation science is a fairly new scientific discipline that has experienced rapid growth and increasing acceptance over the past two or three generations. The reader can type the term “creation science” into an internet search engine and find a plethora of scholarly websites, white papers, theses, articles, books and video presentations on the subjects of creation science.

Both the evolution scientists and the creation scientists are usually educated in the standard scientific disciplines of physics, anthropology, geology, astronomy, astrophysics, quantum mechanics, etc., but they often arrive at completely opposite conclusions from the same data. Beginning with a preconceived hypothesis that the theory of evolution explains the origin of all things, the evolution scientist concludes that, “the universe [is] self-existing and not created…that man is a part of nature and that he has emerged as a result of a continuous process [of evolution]”. The creation scientist begins with a preconceived hypothesis that the Bible story of creation is the true explanation of the origin of the universe and all life, and he finds ample support for the faith-based belief that, “In six days the Lord made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is,” (Exodus 20:11)

Evolution Science and Creation Science generally agree on those things that can be studied and tested in the physical world using scientific methods. It is when Evolution Science leaves the world of science in the here and now and speculates about events before secularly recorded history that the diversity of opinion arises. All the confirmed findings of real science are consistent with claims of Creation Science that the universe and all its life forms could have come into existence as described in the creation story recorded in the Book of Genesis.

On the other hand, Evolution Science has a number of problems with both science and reason; matter evolving from nothing and life evolving from inanimate objects are two of the most obvious. According to evolutionism, in the beginning there was nothing. Over time, this “nothing” gathered itself into a highly charged ball of energy, possibly no larger than the period at the end of this sentence. At an unspecified point in time, billions of years ago, the ball of energy spontaneously exploded (the Big Bang), its fragments creating the universe. A tiny part of that exploding universe, Earth, just happened to end up at precisely the right location, and with just the right amount and types of resources to support life. A molecule of these resources eventually evolved into a living cell that grew, divided and multiplied, gradually evolving into all the living things on earth.

Evolution was presented by Charles Darwin in 1859 as a theory: “an idea of or belief about something arrived at through speculation or conjecture.” (Encarta), not a theorem: “a proposition or formula in mathematics or logic that is provable from a set of axioms and basic assumptions.” It was routinely referred to by writers of science textbooks as “Evolution Theory” until fairly recently.  It was not until sometime around the middle of the twentieth century that it started to be accepted by the academic science community as “settled science”. The speculative claims of Evolution Science about how the Universe, earth and mankind came into existence still have to be accepted by faith without objective scientific proof of their validity. For that reason, evolution should be considered as a religious doctrine not a system of scientific facts.

Of course, the same thing could be said of creationism; however Creation Science does not claim to prove the creation story. It only claims to show that proven scientific facts do not contradict any of the events or circumstances recorded in the Book of Genesis, possibly by eyewitnesses to those events, during man’s first 1700 years on earth. Christians readily admit to accepting the Biblical record on faith alone. While the findings of Creation Science may strengthen the Christian’s belief in the accuracy of the Biblical record, they are irrelevant to his faith.

The Bible And Politics

Christians often give as their reason for not being involved in the culture war politically as a belief that the New Testament teaches we should “suffer evil”, “turn the other cheek”, and “submit to all the laws of government”. Their usual authority for this is Matt. 5:39 “But I say unto you, that ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” And, I Pet. 2: 13-14 “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well.” In the quote from Matthew, Jesus is warning against the very human desire for personal revenge and “getting even”. In I Peter, Peter is encouraging good citizenship as a testimony to the Gentiles.

At the time of Christ and the founding of the Church, Rome had consolidated its authority over the entire civilized world and was generally at peace. It had a pagan, idolatrous culture with many different religions and gods. Because of the many and varied religions practiced in Rome, for the most part, religious freedom was permitted and citizens could practice whatever religion they wished. The persecution of Jesus and the early Church came, not from the Roman Government, but from the Jewish religious leaders of that day. Due to the short period of history covered by the New Testament and the fact that whatever political strife that existed within the Roman Empire at the time did not substantially affect the ministry of Christ or the Church there is not a lot of guidance in the New Testament for the modern Christian to determine how we should deal with the apostasy and political animosity prevalent in America today. For answers we need to look to the Old Testament.

Some might object that the Old Testament does not apply to the Church and that we should seek answers only in the New Testament. However, in 2 Timothy 3:16 the Apostle Paul reminds the young preacher Timothy that, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” At the time Paul wrote this, the New Testament was not complete and the New Testament canon had not been firmly established; Paul was referring to the Old Testament Scriptures.

There is certainly no shortage of Old Testament teachings and examples of God’s dealings with nations and governments that would apply to conditions in America today. We can open the Old Testament randomly at any page, and the chances are good that before we have read more than a few pages we will learn something about God’s standard for dealing with nations, governments, cultures and leaders. The Old Testament is a history of God addressing the apostasy and idolatry that was rampant throughout the history of Israel.

Two lessons stand out about God’s relations with men and nations. First, God usually  works through people to carry out his will. Second, God routinely uses nations and governments to chastise and punish His people for disobedience, apostasy and idolatry. One of the most familiar stories in the Old Testament of God using a nation and its ruler to punish his people is the story of Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon, who God sent to punish Judah for the iniquity that took place under King Manasseh. Parts of the story are found in two historical books and five prophetic books in the Old Testament. The most important parts are found in 2 Kings and the Book of Daniel.

2 Kings 21, records the reign of Manasseh over the Kingdom of Judah, 2“And he did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, after the abominations of the heathen, whom the LORD cast out before the children of Israel.”

As a result of the idolatry that permeated the culture of Judea during the reign of Manasseh, God pronounced judgment on the land through His prophets.

11” Because Manasseh king of Judah hath done these abominations, and hath done wickedly above all that the Amorites did, which were before him, and hath made Judah also to sin with his idols: 12 Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel, Behold, I am bringing such evil upon Jerusalem and Judah, that whosoever heareth of it, both his ears shall tingle.”

Even here, however, we see the longsuffering and mercy of God. After the death of Manasseh, his son Josiah took the throne. Josiah, after rediscovering the Books of the law, led a revival in Judah. The idols were destroyed and the groves were burned. The people returned to the worship of the Lord. It was not until the reign of Jehoiakim, the son of Josiah that God brought the judgment prophesied against Judah.

24:1“In his days Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came up, and Jehoiakim became his servant three years: then he turned and rebelled against him. 2 And the LORD sent against him bands of the Chaldees, and bands of the Syrians, and bands of the Moabites, and bands of the children of Ammon, and sent them against Judah to destroy it, according to the word of the LORD, which he spake by his servants the prophets. 3Surely at the commandment of the LORD came this upon Judah, to remove them out of his sight, for the sins of Manasseh, according to all that he did;”

From these and hundreds of other passages in the Old Testament we can see that God punishes and chastises his people when they turn their back on Him and reject his commandments. Perhaps not as dramatic as the founding of Israel, but nevertheless, just as certain, America was founded as a Christian nation. It was not until after a series of Supreme Court decisions in 1962 and 1963 that America officially rejected God in our national public life. (Engel v. Vitale, 1962, Murray v. Curlett, 1963, and Abington Township School District v. Schempp, 1963); dissenting Justice Potter Stewart criticized the Court’s ruling saying, “It led not to true neutrality with respect to religion, but to the establishment of a religion of secularism.”(Humanism)

A statement by Thomas Jefferson in his Notes on the State of Virginia is certainly appropriate here, “Can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are of the gift of God? That they are not to be violated but with his wrath? Indeed I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just: that his justice cannot sleep forever..;

Events over the past dozen or so years, when viewed in the light of history and Scripture, can easily be seen as the beginning of God’s judgment on America. The Church today (in the institutional sense) is much like the Church at Laodicea described by Jesus in Revelation 3; “15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. 17 Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:”

Today’s “Laodicean” Church of provides a mixture of psychology, philosophy, entertainment, clichés, and platitudes, with an occasional Bible reference thrown in to give it a Christian flavor. It watches with equanimity as our culture, our political system, and our economy collapse. It is neither Christian nor pagan, embracing many of the Humanist’s doctrines so as not to appear staid or old fashioned. It values inclusivity with little or no standards for church fellowship. It strives for self-aggrandizement and worldly success rather than the glory of God. The “Laodicean” Church has become as “sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal”. (1 Cor. 13)

The Last Days

False prophets are one of Satan’s favorite tools for misleading the Children of God. Prophesy was not given by God that we might be able to predict the future, but that when prophesied events take place we might understand and glorify God. “And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse, which I have set before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations,” (Deut. 30:1) Since the desire to predict the future is a part of human nature, Bible prophesies concerning the last days are fertile ground for false prophets. Much mischief has come to the Church from attempting to establish the prophetic chronology of events prophesied in the Bible concerning the Return of Jesus Christ to earth. The nineteenth century witnessed the rise of several new “Christian” denominations inspired by false prophets who believed they had determined the time when Christ would return for his saints.

In 1822 William Miller, a Baptist lay preacher, produced a twenty-point document in which he wrote the following; “I believe that the second coming of Jesus Christ is near, even at the door, even within twenty-one years,—on or before 1843”. Miller began publicly proclaiming his new doctrine, based primarily on the book of Daniel, in 1831. By 1840 Miller’s beliefs had become a national movement. By 1844 over a million copies of his writings were in circulation. Several dates were proposed for the return of Christ, with the final date being set as October 22, 1844.

When Christ failed to return on the expected date, many of Miller’s followers became discouraged and left the movement, returning to the Methodist, Presbyterian, Baptist and Campbellite churches from whence they came.  Others stayed true to the faith, and after some adjustments in prophetic doctrine formed into what is today, the seventeen million members strong, Seventh Day Adventist Church.

Around 1870, Charles Taze Russell, combining some of the teaching of the Adventist movement with the Pyramidology of Charles Smyth and Joseph Seiss, began developing a new prophetic chronology for Christ’s second coming. Russell and his associates later formed the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society. Russell was succeeded in 1917 by Joseph F. Rutherford who, in 1931, introduced the name of Jehovah’s Witnesses to distinguish his group from other groups associated with the Watchtower Tract and Bible Society. Today this group claims a worldwide membership of over seven and three-quarter millions followers.

Another prophetic doctrine that was popularized during the “Second Great Awakening”, not quite as radical, yet very important in the days in which we live, is the doctrine of the Rapture. Many born-again evangelical Christians are aware of the corruption in our government and culture. They see the immorality and lasciviousness in our entertainment industries, and the licentiousness creeping into our civil laws; yet they fail to see the seriousness and urgency of these changes in our culture in relation to themselves.

Rather than actively resisting the evils in society, their attitude seems to be, “we know that in the last days there is to be a great falling away and a time of troubles, but our duty is to hold fast to the faith and to look and pray for the coming of the Lord.” They know that tribulations are coming but are persuaded that the Rapture will rescue them from having to endure it. There are many New Testament passages that seem to support this belief. 2 Peter 3, and 2 Timothy chapters 3 and 4 are perhaps the two best examples.

The Rapture

 For more than ten years in my early Christian life I wholly believed in the doctrine of a secret Rapture; my church taught it and my Pastor preached it. As a new Christian, whatever my Pastor taught, I accepted as Biblical truth. Later I surrendered to the ministry and enrolled in Bible College. One day, our hermeneutics professor assigned our class the task of substantiating a pre-tribulation Rapture, using the Bible only. I, of course, was certain this would be an easy assignment. I still recall the anguish of soul, as I diligently and daily searched the Scriptures, slowly beginning to realize that what I had previously believed so strongly may be different from what the Bible actually taught.

It is easy to find proof in the Bible for that which we already believe. I often think of an event that occurred during the third visit of Jesus with the disciples after His resurrection, recorded in John, chapter 21. Jesus had just charged Peter to feed His lambs and His sheep as a sign of his love for Christ, He then tells Peter, “18 Verily, verily, I say unto thee, When thou wast young, thou girdest thyself, and walkedst whither thou wouldest: but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not. 19 This spake he, signifying by what death he should glorify God. And when he had spoken this, he saith unto him, follow me.”

20 “Then Peter, turning about, seeth the disciple whom Jesus loved following; which also leaned on his breast at supper, and said, Lord, which is he that betrayeth thee? 21 Peter seeing him saith to Jesus, Lord, and what shall this man do? 22 Jesus saith unto him, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? Follow thou me.”

23” Then went this saying abroad among the brethren, that that disciple should not die: yet Jesus said not unto him, He shall not die; but, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee?”

We could easily speculate from this exchange that Peter harbored some jealousy toward John because of his relationship with Jesus. That may be true; however, that is not what the passage is about. We could also speculate that Peter started the rumor mentioned in verse 23, but again, the passage does not support that. The valuable lesson we learn from this passage is to  never base our belief on what we think the Bible means but rather, on what it actually says. A belief based on an implied meaning we find in a text must always give way to a clearly written contradiction elsewhere.

At another time our hermeneutics professor asked us to explain the meaning of Mark 1:1, “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God;” It was utterly amazing to listen to the speculation of the class as to what message Mark was attempting to convey. Some related it to Genesis 1:1, others to the ministry of John the Baptist as the forerunner of Jesus Christ. Still others focused on Jesus as the Son of God. The lesson the Professor was trying to get across to his aspiring students was not to read more into a passage than was actually there.

With that thought in mind. Let us consider the doctrine of the secret Rapture and how it relates to the Church in the twenty-first century.

The word “Rapture” is not found in the Bible, although the idea is found throughout the New Testament. Its meaning is to be “caught up” or “taken away”. In 1 Thessalonians 4:17 the Greek verb form ρπαγησόμεθα (harpagisometha), is used, which in the KJV is translated, “caught up”. The word “Rapture” is believed to have been coined by John Nelson Darby sometime around 1830 from the Latin word, “raptus” which means “a carrying off”.

Darby was ordained as an Anglican priest in the Church of Ireland in 1826. While recuperating from a serious injury he sustained in a fall from his horse in 1827, he spent his time studying Bible prophesy and revising his theological views, particularly in eschatology (Bible Prophesy). During this time he began meeting with an interdenominational Bible Study group who simply called themselves, “The Brethren”.  In 1831 he separated from the Church of Ireland and a year later presented his beliefs concerning dispensationalism and a pre-tribulation Rapture at a prophetic Bible Conference held at the Powerscourt estate near Enniskerry, Ireland. Darby is considered to be the father of dispensationalism.

The Bible study group Darby was associated with eventually became known as the Plymouth Brethren. In addition to its teaching on dispensationalism and a pre-tribulation Rapture, Plymouth Brethren also objected to the use of clergy, insisting that the Holy Spirit could speak through any member of the assembly. Darby traveled extensively throughout Europe and Britain, eventually arousing the ire of Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

In the June 1869 issue of Sword and the Trowel, Spurgeon commented on a treatise by a Mr. Grant; “Mr. Grant has done real service to the churches by his treatise on ‘the heresies of the Plymouth Brethren’, which we trust he will publish in a separate form. It is almost impossible for even his heavy hand to press too severely upon this malignant power, whose secret but rapid growth is among the darkest signs of the times.”

The teachings of John Darby were widely disseminated in America during the twentieth century through the popularity of the Schofield Reference Bible published in 1909 by Cyrus Schofield, Bible Colleges such as the Dallas Theological Seminary and two bestselling authors, Hal Lindsey and Tim LaHaye.

Hal Lindsey graduated  from the Dallas Theological Seminary in 1958 earning a Master of Theology degree. After working with Campus Crusade for Christ for several years Lindsey published his bestselling book, The Late Great Planet Earth in 1970. After selling several million copies in hard cover, the book was republished by Bantam Books as a paperback, selling over 28 million copies by 1994. It was also made into a popular 1979 movie, starring Orson Wells. The book featured the dispensational eschatology of Darby including the pre-tribulation Rapture.

The most widely known author of “Rapture” literature is Tim LaHaye, the writer of more than fifty books, both fiction and non-fiction. The most popular of his books were the “Left Behind” series of apocalyptic fiction depicting life on earth after the Rapture. Between 1995 and 2007 LaHaye published a total of 12 titles in the series, selling over 65 million copies.

By the end of the twentieth century virtually all of the fundamental, evangelical denominations had accepted the doctrine of a pre-tribulation Rapture. Lay Christians and Ministers were heavily influenced by Schofield’s comments on the Rapture found in his study notes.  Nominal Christians and many un-Churched of all persuasions were persuaded by the books of Lindsey and LaHaye.

What someone believes about a secret Rapture and the chronological sequence of events accompanying it is not essential to the gospel message of salvation through faith in Jesus Christ and should not be a test of Christian fellowship. However, it is a stumbling block for many Churches, Pastors and Christians, excusing them from defending the faith against the continuous onslaughts of Humanism and the corruption of our culture as they patiently wait for the Rapture and the hoped-for deliverance from the troubles prophesied for the end of the Church Age.

For this reason alone we should learn and teach as much as we can concerning what the Bible actually teaches about the second coming of Christ. There are more than thirty passages in the New Testament that refer to Jesus returning to gather up his Church, most of them unequivocal and not open to speculation. For example,  “In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” (John 14:2, 3)

The passage most often quoted by pre-tribulationists is I Thessalonians 4:13 – 5:16;

13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. 16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. 18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

5 1But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. 2 For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night .3 For when they shall say, Peace and safety; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

4 But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. 5 Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day: we are not of the night, nor of darkness. 6 Therefore let us not sleep, as do others; but let us watch and be sober.

A common misperception among New Testament Christians was that the return of Jesus was imminent.  That idea still persists today among pre-tribulationists. The saints at Thessalonica were becoming concerned because some of their brothers and sisters were dying and Jesus had not yet returned. Paul wrote this passage to comfort the loved ones of those who had died. (Verse 18) Jesus and the New Testament writers did not teach an imminent return. In fact, there are many prophesies given in the New Testament that are to be fulfilled before Christ’s return. The phrase that fosters the belief of an eminent return is, “as a thief in the night” used by Paul in verse 2, Chapter 5 above. Peter uses the same phrase in 2 Pet. 3:10. These are the only two places in the New Testament were the phrase is used.

Jesus uses the word “thief” in the same sense in the parable of the unfaithful servant in Matt. 24:43, and Luke 12:39. He also uses it in Rev. 3:3 as a warning to the Church at Sardis, and in Rev. 16:15 as a general warning. In all of these passages where Christ is pictured as coming unexpectedly as a thief, it is as a warning to non-believers and unfaithful Christians, but as Paul says in verse 4 above, “ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” Notice the usage of pronouns in verses 3, 4, 5 and 6.

This passage also calls into question the idea of a “secret Rapture”. Verse 16 says Jesus will return, “with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God:” Couple this with the descriptions of the Rapture in Matthew 24:40, 41 and Luke 17:34, 35, “Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left,” and it is difficult to understand how the Rapture  could be in secret without someone noticing. Certainly if a family was sitting at dinner and mom or dad, or one or two of the kids suddenly disappeared, someone would notice and tell others.

Paul continues to address the expectation of the Thessalonians for an imminent return of Christ in 2 Thess. 2:1-12 where Paul beseeches, “2 That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.”

“3 Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition; 4 Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God.”

The “man of sin” in verses 3 and 4 evidently is a reference to the “Beast” of Revelation 13, and “the abomination of desolation” in Matt. 24:15, and Mark 13:14, foretold by Daniel the prophet.

None of the many passages in the New Testament concerning the return of Christ for His Church reveal a definite sequence of events as they relate to the great tribulation, with the exception of two, Matthew 24 and Mark 13. In Matthew 24 we read;

“24 1 And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. 2 And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.”

“3 And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”

Mark identifies the disciples who spoke privately with Jesus as John, Peter, Andrew, and James. (Mark 13:3) Note that the disciples asked three questions, (1) when shall these things be; the destruction of the temple? (2) What will be the sign of Jesus’ coming? (3) What will be the sign of the end of the world (age)?

Most Bible commentators relate this passage to the destruction of the Temple by the Roman general Titus in 70 A.D. That is speculation on their part and may or may not be true. It is also possible that Jesus chose not to answer the first question, instead giving a summation of the entire Church age up to the time of his return in verses 29 – 31, including the Great Tribulation in verses 15 – 22.

Matt. 24:  “4 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. 5 For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

8 All these are the beginning of sorrows”. (Run-up to the Tribulation?  Sounds like the twentieth century)

9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.10 And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. 11 And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. 12 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. 13 But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.”

“14 And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come”. (Also see Rev. 14:6)

The phrase “gospel of the kingdom” is used only three times in the Book of Matthew — here, and in Matt. 4:23, and 9:35. However, the phrases “Kingdom of Heaven” and “Kingdom of God”, which appear to be synonymous, are used 86 times in the four Gospels and is the central theme of Christ’s preaching throughout the New Testament. Jesus continues…

“15 When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand)”

(Daniel 11:31, “And arms shall stand on his part, and they shall pollute the sanctuary of strength, and shall take away the daily sacrifice, and they shall place the abomination that maketh desolate.”  Daniel 12:11, “And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.”)

Matt:24 “16 Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: 17 Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house: 18 Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. 19 And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! 20 But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:

21 For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. 22 And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

From the description given in verses 21 and 22, this could not be the tribulation brought about by Titus. It is said to be worse than any in the four thousand years preceding, including those of the Egyptian Pharaohs, Babylon, the Medes and Persians, Greece and Rome (“since the beginning of the world to this time”); and worse than any since, including those of the Dark Ages, the Muslim conquest of the Holy Land, The Holy Roman Empire, Hitler, Stalin, Mao, etc. (“nor ever shall be”) This passage can only be referring to The Great Tribulation.

Matt 24:  23 Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. 24 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

25 Behold, I have told you before. 26 Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

27 For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. 28 For wheresoever the carcass is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

29 Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: 30 And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

31 And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

This passage and the parallel passage in Mark 13: 24-27 are the only two passages in the New Testament that clearly gives a time sequence connecting the Tribulation and the Rapture. In order to establish either a pre-tribulation Rapture or a mid-tribulation Rapture we have to explain away the phrases “immediately after the tribulation” in verse 29 and “after that tribulation” in Mark 13:24.

Our purpose is not to proselytize for a post-tribulation Rapture, although if we have piqued your interest and your independent study of Scripture with the aid of the Holy Spirit convinces you, so be it. Our purpose here is to show the very real possibility that the Church will go through the Great Tribulation, the necessity of preparation, both spiritually and mentally, and to encourage pastors and laymen alike to take a more pro-active role in resisting the evils of Humanism that permeates our culture.

Everywhere, when Christ or the Apostles warn us about the end times or the Return of Christ for his Church we are exhorted to watch. But, what are we to watch for? I have heard more than once from the pulpit, “Jesus could come before this service ends.”  If that should happen, I fear there would be more stripes given out than rewards. (Luke 12:42-48) The command to watch is a warning not to slack off in our devotion to Christ, especially as we see the day approaching.  One such warning is found in Luke 21: 34-36.

“34 And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares. 35 For as a snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36 Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.”

Pre-tribulationists often read the words in verse 36 as implying that Christians will be taken out of the world before “these things that shall come to pass”. Matthew uses a similar phrase in Chapter 24:13, 13 “But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.” A synonym for the word saved is “rescued”. Since this passage is talking about the Tribulation, Jesus is saying that those who endure to the end of the tribulation will be rescued; by the Rapture.

Just what we are to be watching for is found in the parable of the fig tree. “Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors”. (Matt: 24: 32, 33) Jesus is talking here about the signs He has just given to the four disciples who asked. The most important sign is the “abomination of desolation” in verse 15, which ushers in the most severe part of the tribulation that “except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved”. It is this sign that gives hope to those Christians that are found watching that they may endure to the end and be rescued. They know they only have to hold out for a short time until Jesus returns to rescue them.

The Watchman

When we are dealing with Bible prophesy, we need to be careful that we teach only that which is revealed in the scriptures. We know from history the damage and destruction that can be brought about by false prophets, and we are not prophets, false or otherwise. God makes it clear in Deuteronomy 29: 29 that, “The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but those things which are revealed belong unto us and to our children for ever, that we may do all the words of this law.” There is no need for prophets today because everything we need to know is revealed in the Scriptures by prophets of the past.

There is certainly enough revealed in the Bible concerning how God deals with cultures and nations who defy him that we do not need to claim the gift of prophesy to know that the hand of God that was once the source of so many blessing for America, is now a hand of judgment. We need only look at the changes that have transpired over the past century in our culture, our politics, and our churches, and realize that God’s longsuffering and mercy cannot last forever, to recognize that America is in danger of His wrath and in fact, may be experiencing it already.

Awareness of these facts should make the responsibility of the Church, its Pastors and its Teachers clear. The Churches are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. Pastors and teachers are the watchmen for the Church. The warning given by the Prophet Ezekiel should be heeded by our Church leaders of today.

Ezekiel 33:2-11; 2 Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: 3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; 4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. 5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.

6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.

7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. 8 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.

9 Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

10 Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? 11 Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?

Remember, “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” This passage is certainly appropriate for the churches of the twenty-first century as we see the doctrines of Humanism crowding the doctrines of God out of our culture daily.  The satanic doctrines of Humanism; abortion, sodomy, and environmentalism (Earth worship), promoted by our public institutions, that defy the authority of God and even question His very existence, can no longer be ignored by the churches.

There are several things in this passage that should be profitable for us today. First of all, we see that the sword is brought upon the land by God himself in response to the iniquity of its culture. Second, note the three-fold audience to whom this message is addressed, the watchman, the entire culture, and the individual. Third, the end goal of the message is that they “turn from their way and live”. Fourth, the watchman is selected by “the people of the land”. In the Church that would be the Pastors and teachers. If America is to avoid the wrath of God, there must be a national repentance and a return to God with an acknowledgement of His sovereignty over all the affairs of nations. If the people will not hear because, as Franklin said, “the people [have] become so corrupted as to need despotic Government, being incapable of any other”, the church will have done its duty and the blood of the land will be on the heads of those who promote America’s official religion, secular Humanism.

Farewell Chicago

art wilsonDear Chicago,
In case you’re wondering where I am, I’ve left you and Illinois for another city in another state. It took some time but I finally realized that I am who I am and I certainly can’t change you. It’s not that I didn’t try these past six years. I voted in every election. I tried to explain conservative principles to hundreds of your citizens, (apparently printing money is more popular than I thought). But you and your state seem hell-bent on destroying yourselves and I just couldn’t live there and watch it happen. Oh don’t get me wrong, I still hear about you and what’s happening with you all of the time. In fact, just last week I heard Illinois credit rating fell to the worst in the country. Congratulations. You just beat California for being the worst “drunk” in the country. Keep spending. You don’t have a problem. And I hear about you in the news all of the time these days. Apparently the murder rate in January, (42), is the highest since 2002, (77). This is despite the gun ban you’ve had in place all of these years and the statistics that show over and over again that the gun bans haven’t worked. Instead of acknowledging you have a problem, you just blame something else. Seriously, global warming?

Don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t all bad. I enjoyed living next to the lake and being able to walk to Wriggly Field for a Cubs game. Watching a Blackhawks game at the United Center is an experience, not a sporting event. Lincoln Park Zoo, the aquarium, the Field Museum, the restaurants. Oh I could go on and on but that’s what makes you a great place to visit. It does not make you a great place to live. I’ll definitely miss my friends there. The conservatives are few there but they are some of the most solid in the country. (You really know what you believe in after you’ve had to argue explain it to the people around you a million times). I’ll miss my church – one of only a handful that’s not preaching the social gospel downtown. But Chicago, you did everything you could possibly do to push me away.

Let’s talk about values. Mayor Rham Emanuel spelled it out loud and clear last July when he stated Chick-fil-A’s values were not Chicago’s values. It wasn’t the statement as much as the threat by he and Alderman Joe Moreno that unless a private business agrees implicitly with what they believe, they wouldn’t consider allowing zoning rights to a Chick-fil-A in that ward of the city. Since when did elected officials start strong-arming people into believing exactly as we do? I would have just as much of an issue with this if a pro-gay business was treated this way. This is yet another reason why businesses will have to think long and hard before deciding to open up shop in Chicago. You’ve made it quite clear that if a business can’t play ball the Chicago way they can stay the hell out. Good luck with that.

And then there was the Cook County President Toni Preckwinkle budget proposal last year. Chicago you already have some of the highest taxes in the country and you want to do what? Another dollar tax per pack of cigarettes, the highest in the country. A violence tax – a nickel for every bullet and an additional $25 per gun. The idea being that this county tax would offset the county hospital costs due to the extremely high violence in the city. Yes Chicago, you have the audacity to suggest taxing law abiding gun owners for the crimes of the gang bangers that will never see the tax. Oh, and you wanted to tax certain goods bought in other counties with an additional tax. Chicago, you will never ever be satisfied with the amount of money you collect. I just can’t live there and watch you push yourself into bankruptcy and drag me in along with you.

And the political corruption. Number one in the country again last year. 1,531 convictions for public corruption between 1976 and 2010. But that was so long ago. Surely things would be different right? Well….. Rep. Jessie Jackson Jr.      Ald. Sandi Jackson     State Rep. Derrick Smith…..   All investigated, charged or indicted and still voted back into office anyway. Wow. Talk about an enabling constituent.

I could keep going Chicago but what’s the point. It just didn’t work out. I don’t see a future there – not one that I would want to be a part of anyway. So farewell Chicago. And good luck. You’re going to need it.

Art Wilson

Warning: U Turn or Crash

U-Turn to right permitted

U-Turn to right permitted

For a very short time in the history of the world, America was an oasis of liberty in a global desert of humanistic oppression. That era is rapidly coming to an end. Furthermore, it appears more evident each day that we may have passed the point of no return. No matter what decisions our leaders make in the next few months, we cannot defy the laws of economics and math. Eventually, we will end up in financial bankruptcy and social chaos. At that point, based on the lessons of history and the law of cause and effect, order can only be restored to the chaos by draconian government intervention.

When that happens, we will have lost all hope of ever returning to a constitutional republic. America will lose its place as the “leader of the Free World”. We will no longer be the “policeman of the world” helping to maintain world order. The disorder and confusion we now see in the Middle East and Europe will continue to spread until chaos extends throughout the world, requiring the same solution, draconian government intervention. Conditions will then be ripe for establishing the long sought after goal of humanists, socialists, communists and other left wing groups, for a one-world government; the “New World Order” spoken of by George H.W. Bush many years ago.

Many of my readers are probably thinking to themselves, “The old man has finally lost it”. In 2008 when I first began to write about the dangers of an Obama Presidency, the most common response from my friends was, “that could never happen here, the American people would never stand for it.” I was also chided by my friends when I labeled Barack Obama as a socialist when he first appeared on the political scene. For some reason, I do not hear those criticisms so much today. Anyway, before you click off this page, let me assure you these thoughts are not original with me. They are gleaned from political philosophers, news accounts of current events, and the writings of commentators on political and religious history. For example, the modern progressive goal of a one world government dates back to the utopian thinkers of the twentieth century as a means for ending war, curing world hunger and furthering the socialist idea of “social justice”.

A number of groups have long sought to bring global trade, finance, transnational businesses and natural resources, under international control. The vehicle through which they hope to exercise control is the United Nations. The most active of these groups are the American Humanist Association and the Unitarian Universalists Association; both recognized United Nations NGOs with consultative status on a number of UN committees. The ultimate goal is a secular federated world government as stated in the 1973 doctrinal statement of the American Humanist Association.

“We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community in which all sectors of the human family can participate. Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government.” Humanist Manifesto II (1973)

If we understand this, we are closer to understanding those who work for open borders, amnesty and a “path to citizenship” for illegal immigrants, not to mention such UN programs as Agenda 21 and the Kyoto Protocol. It also helps to explain the thinking of those who advocate the power to tax for the UN. Our national sovereignty is being attacked and slowly chipped away by the UN, issue by issue, and with the full support of too many in Washington; much in the same manner as the federal government has worked for years to destroy the sovereignty of the states.

America is on the verge of social and economic collapse. Once that happens, it will be a simple thing to surrender our sovereignty to the “democratic” protection of a world government. A large segment of our population — perhaps even a majority — have already been conditioned to accept it, through amoral secular education and the alluring promises of humanistic socialism. Any reform or reversal of our current trend must take place before we reach that point. Once we allow a societal collapse, through apathy or avarice, there will be no hope of returning to the America past generations sacrificed so much to build and preserve. As we prepare for the struggles ahead, it would be well to remember that our battles are not only fiscal and political; they are spiritual as well; “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” Eph. 6:12.

This nation was founded by the Providence of God and it can only be salvaged by the Providence of God. Our government must return to our plainly written founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, and our churches must return to the authority of the Holy Scriptures if we are to see true reformation. A Biblical passage that has been quoted so frequently lately, that it has almost become a cliché, is “If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.” II Chronicles 7:14. Cliché or not, it is a promise from God that America cannot afford to ignore.

Buckle Up For The Cliff Ahead

cliffAs we rush headlong toward the so-called “fiscal cliff”, Republicans are cowering in a corner fearing they will be blamed for the consequences. Conservatives from the Atlantic to the Pacific are exchanging emails and writing blogs blaming Barack Obama, George W. Bush, the Democratic Senate, or all three, for the mess in which we now find ourselves. Here’s a news flash for the constitutional neophytes in the Republican Party. Neither the President nor the Senate is in control of the nation’s finances.

For the first 169 years of America’s existence, we were a collection of colonies under the rule of the British King. Laws governing the lives of the citizens were made by colonial Legislatures in each Colony. The members of the Legislatures were chosen by the citizens of each Colony. These Legislatures were given complete control over the Colony’s purse strings. If a Governor, reporting to the King, wished to expand his carriage house or build a new bridge across the local creek, the money to do so had to be appropriated by the Legislature. Monies for the Crown came from excise taxes and tariffs imposed on Commerce. The “power of the purse” was so absolute among the colonies that they sometimes refused to appropriate money for the Governor’s salary until the Governor came around to their point of view. (For more discussion of this subject, click here)

The Governor had a simple choice, if he wanted his paycheck; he had to acquiesce to the wishes of the Legislature, even if that meant disregarding the direct orders of his superiors in England. Attempts by the British Parliament after 1763, to wrest control of the purse away from the Colonies led to widespread protest, and eventually to the Revolutionary War and the loss of the Colonies for Great Britain. By 1787 when the Constitution was written, citizen control over how taxpayer money was spent was so ingrained in American thinking that the new Constitution placed the power of the purse in the House of Representatives as the only branch of government elected directly by the people.

Article I, Section 7, Clauses 1, 2, says, “All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives; but the Senate may propose or concur with Amendments as on other Bills.” You do not need a JD Degree to understand the clear meaning of this simple decree. Only the House of Representatives can originate tax laws or other means of raising revenue. The Senate can “propose” amendments, but the House does not have to accept them. The House has the final say over how taxpayer money is spent. For the past four years I have listened to conservatives bemoan the fact that neither the President nor the Senate has presented a budget since Obama has been in office.  It is not the job of the President or Senate to present budgets. The only duty of the Senate is to concur with the Budget presented by the House or to offer amendments for the House’s consideration. A legitimate question may be asked at this point, “What happens in case of a stalemate?” Here to, the Founders did not leave us in the dark.

Article 1, Section 9, Clause 7, says, “No Money shall be drawn from the Treasury, but in Consequence of Appropriations made by Law; and a regular Statement and Account of the Receipts and Expenditures of all public Money shall be published from time to time.” Again, a Law Degree is not required to understand the meaning of this Clause. If the money has not been appropriated by the action of the House and concurred with by the Senate, it cannot be spent. The President cannot buy a postage stamp with taxpayer money unless it has first been appropriated by the Congress for that purpose, and don’t forget to get a receipt. “What then”, you may ask, “is the President’s responsibility in drawing up budgets?” Again, our Framers anticipated this important question.

Article 2, Section 3, Clause 1, says, “He [the President] shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient;” Here, the key phrase is “recommend to their consideration”. Until President Obama solidifies his position as the dictatorial leader of America, he only has the privilege of “recommending” to Congress how he would like to see us spend our hard earned dollars, but neither he nor his minions in the bureaucratic monstrosity, created by former Presidents and Congresses, has the authority to spend money for things and in ways that Congress does not give its prior approval.

If a CEO in the private sector spent money he was not authorized to spend, it would be called “embezzlement”; he would be issued an eight foot by ten foot cell and a striped suit, and it would be years before he could again view a sunrise from the comfort of his patio. When a President does the same thing, he should face impeachment, be turned out of office, and prosecuted for his misuse of taxpayer funds. Congress members, who conspire with the President to steal from the taxpayers and use the money for political advantage, should be turned out of office and prosecuted if the situation warrants it. It is time the American people said, “Enough is enough” and put an end to the misuse of taxpayer money and the wholesale abuse of taxpayers’ labors.

If the Republican Party does not take a stand against raising the debt limit and/or increasing taxes now, this song and dance and the Ponzi scheme that has become the way our government operates will go on for the foreseeable future. We can only expect these unconstitutional practices to continue ad infinitum until all our money is gone and America becomes just another destitute, third-world power. When we go over the looming “fiscal cliff” it won’t matter who gets the blame, it is the American People who will suffer; and there may be a degree of poetic justice in that, since we are the ones that allowed our elected officials to get out of control, believing that we could somehow benefit personally from their lawlessness.

Chicago: All American City?

CNS News quotes Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel as saying, “Chicago is the most American of American cities”. It’s not so much that I disagree with our illustrious Mayor, although I think he is premature in his evaluation. Chicago is what Wall Street would refer to as “a leading indicator”, but even in that, it is not number one. Cities like Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., Detroit and New York City are other leading indicators, as are the states of Illinois, California and New Jersey. If you want to know what your city or state will be like in a few years, assuming the current trends continue, you only need to look at these leading indicators of our culture.

Chicago has the highest murder rate in the country, along with the most stringent gun control laws. Its schools are among the worst in the nation, which may explain why its former school Superintendent, Arne Duncan was tapped by Barack Obama to be his Secretary of Education. Chicago’s property, business, sales, gasoline and cigarette taxes are consistently among the highest in the nation. Along with the high taxes, Chicago continues to gouge its citizens with additional “fees” for city services such as, ambulance, parking, and public transportation. The Fiscal Times reports that Illinois leads the nation in citizen exodus following a recent 67% increase in the state’s income tax rate.

Chicago has always been a leader in our slide into socialism. As far back as 1889 a Nationalist Club, advocating for the nationalizing of the nation’s economy was formed in Chicago with famous attorney Clarence Darrow as its head. In 1927, the University of Chicago became the home of America’s first Humanist Fellowship. The U of C has been the Midwest center of the socialist/progressive movement since the turn of the nineteenth Century. It is not by coincidence that President Obama and a surprisingly large number of his closest advisors have their roots in the Chicago socialist/progressive community.

While Chicago has long been a breeding ground for liberals, socialists, communists, humanists, and progressives of every stripe, it is still a long way from being an “all American city” as the 2012 election map shows.

2012 Election May by County

2012 Election Map by County

The electorate was fairly evenly divided in both the 2008 and 2012 elections. The problem was that not enough Republicans, represented by the red states  turned out in sufficient numbers to overcome the Democratic city machines located in the blue patches. Almost all of the (blue) areas where Democrats won in the ’08 and ’12 elections are located around major cities with Democratic Mayors and controlled by “machine politics”.  As this map shows, there is not a single state, with the exception of New England where the Democrats dominate the entire state.

In rural areas the “ground game” is not as effective in getting out the vote because the low population density makes person to person communication more difficult; and they are not as exposed to the constant bombardment of political advertising as those in “major markets”. Also, people in sparsely populated areas are not as affected by regional despots in their day-to-day lives as those in more densely populated areas, therefore they do not “feel” the urgency to vote or see the danger as clearly as their city cousins.

Before the next election we have to figure out how to get patriots in the rural areas of the country more organized and focused on the need for their participation in saving their country from the ravages of humanistic socialism. Tea anyone?

If We Only Had a Constitution

United_States_ConstitutionWe are learning today what it is like to live in a Democracy without a Constitution; and it is not pretty. No Democracy has ever lasted more than two hundred years before falling into chaos to be replaced by a tyrannical oligarchy headed by a “strong man” dictator. We have lasted a little longer only because of the lingering influence of the Constitution we once had. In a non-constitutional Democracy, or in our case, a post-constitutional Democracy, politicians have to give the majority of the people whatever they perceive it wants in order to hold onto power. This arrangement only lasts until the government has grown powerful enough that it no longer needs the approval of the people to stay in power. At that point, messy elections can be dispensed with, and the newly minted “leader” can rule by fiat until the next successful revolution.

Imagine how different things would be today if we had not abandoned our Constitution. We would not be sixteen trillion dollars in debt because the government would only be allowed to spend money for things the Constitution delegated as its responsibility. We would not be spending four million dollars to send our President on a Hawaiian holiday, because all expenditures would have to be first appropriated by the House of Representatives, and approved by the Senate for that particular purpose, with an accounting made to Congress and the people. The President would not be allowed to issue “Executive Orders” with the force of law, affecting the every day lives of the American people.

Federal laws would only be made by the federal legislature. Courts would not be making laws telling us how and when we can pray, or how we should educate our children.  Bureaucracies would not be issuing “rules” to tell us what kind of light bulb we should use, what kind of transportation we should buy, or what we should eat or drink and how much. Bureaucratic activity would be only what is needed to administer the specific laws written by Congress. Those bureaucracies and departments not established under the delegated powers of Congress would not exist. Our doctors would not have to consult with government to know how to treat our illnesses. Business failure or success would not be dependent on favorable laws by government; the market would determine what goods and services were needed and how much we were willing to pay for them.

We would have more control over the laws governing how we live because they would be made by our state and local legislative bodies whose members are within easy reach and more sensitive to our wishes. Laws passed would be more in keeping with the values of the community, not the values of politicians who had never set foot in our state, much less our community. We would not be working forty percent of our lives to supply the government with money used to buy the votes of its government-created dependents. Our tax burden would only be what is needed to carry out the delegated powers of government. Our schools would not be used to indoctrinate our children in statism and immorality, because they would be under our control and community supervision. Our teachers would consider their jobs a “calling” not a career and would teach for the love of teaching and not for fringe benefits.

Ah, for the good-old-days when America was ruled by law and not the whims of men; and those laws could be written in a few paragraphs easily understandable by the average person with a workable knowledge of the language and a good dictionary; when all laws flowed from the Supreme Law of the Land and not from the desire of “do-gooders” who believe that we all should live in a two-tier society made up of the ruling elites and the worker drones who subsist on the largess of government. Is it possible that liberty, once lost, can ever be regained? Let us pray that it can.

The Progressive Mind, Part 1: Moral Values

To the Christian mind, socialism or progressivism, as it is called in America today, is the epitome of evil. However, to the socialist mind, it is the essence of morality and virtue. Most believers in Biblical Christianity find it difficult to comprehend how anyone could support a philosophy that has resulted in the enslavement, torture and murder of millions of people, just during the past century alone. In attempting to understand the slavish devotion of millions of people to the doctrines of socialism, it is important to realize that it is much more than a philosophy of politics and economics. It is also a religion. More specifically, it is a division or “sect” of a religion. That religion is Humanism, the established religion of modern America and most other nations of the world today.

As a religion, Humanism is the mirror image of Christianity, which is a monotheistic religion that worships and glorifies the God of Creation, revealed in the Bible and worshiped by most of America’s Founding Fathers. Humanism is a polytheistic religion worshiping and serving the creature more than the Creator. Humanism has many gods. Its two major ones are, the human race en toto, and its political systems — “the State”. Its lesser gods include science, human reason, and nature — including the earth and its creatures. Just as Christianity has many divisions or denominations, Humanism also has many divisions or sects, but rejects both the Christian God of Scripture and the Scriptures themselves.

Background of Humanism

The lure of humanism first appears in the creation story of the Garden of Eden, in the dialogue between Eve and the serpent recorded in Gen. 3:1-6.

“Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said unto the woman, ‘Yea, hath God said, ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

“And the woman said unto the serpent, ‘we may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ‘Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die’.”

“And the serpent said unto the woman, ‘ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil.”

The history of mankind is the history of man’s efforts to cast off the boundaries established by God and creating or becoming our own gods, determining for ourselves that which is right or wrong, good or evil. That is the essence of Humanism, which is normally divided into two types, religious and secular. Our purpose here is to examine the influence of organized and focused Humanism on our culture, economy and government. Since both religious humanism and secular humanism share the same worldview and the same vision for America and the world we do not distinguish between the two.

Modern Humanism traces its beginnings back to the sixteenth century Unitarian movement started by Ferenc Dávid in 1565 in opposition to the reformed theology taught in the Churches of Switzerland. David was court preacher to János Zsigmond Zápolya, Prince of Transylvania, a historic section of what is today Romania. David rejected the doctrine of the Trinity and later came to believe and teach that Christ’s existence began with his birth. A similar movement sprang up in Poland at about the same time as the one in Transylvania. This group was known as the Polish Brethren and was completely suppressed by the established church. One of its best known leaders, Michael Servetus was burned at the stake.

Eventually Unitarianism spread to the colonies among dissenters to the Calvinism preached in the Congregational churches. In the mid to late-eighteenth century two momentous events transpired in America, the Enlightenment and the Great Awakening. Proponents of the enlightenment sought to apply science and reasoning to human nature, religion and society. The Great Awakening was a time of widespread religious revival. Along with the tremendous growth in the more traditional Christian churches like the Congregational, Presbyterian, and Baptist, Unitarian congregations also experienced considerable growth as a backlash to the “hell fire and damnation” preaching styles of evangelists like Jonathan Edwards, John and Charles Wesley and George Whitefield.

The eclectic mixture of Calvinism, Armenianism, and scientific reasoning created an ambivalence in America’s religious climate that continues to this day. Many of the Founders attracted by the intellectual nature of the enlightenment were drawn to the Unitarian point of view. The Dictionary of Unitarian Universalist Biography lists John Adams, John Quincy Adams, Dr. Benjamin Rush, Thomas Jefferson and several others as Unitarians. Although Jefferson never joined a Unitarian congregation he makes it clear in his correspondence that he embraced the Unitarian philosophy of his day. In a letter to Dr. Benjamin Waterhouse, June 26, 1822, Jefferson writes, “I rejoice that in this blessed country of free inquiry and belief, which has surrendered its creed and conscience to neither kings nor priests, the genuine doctrine of one only God is reviving, and I trust that there is not a young man now living in the United States, who will not die an Unitarian.”

In 1791 Joseph Priestly, an English scientist, philosopher, and Unitarian theologian, fleeing persecution in London, migrated to America. He settled in Northumberland County near Philadelphia where he became the Pastor of a Unitarian congregation. Philadelphia served as the seat of the federal government from 1790 until 1800 while buildings were being erected in the District of Columbia to house the new government. Priestly became one of the leading ministers in Philadelphia with many government officials regularly attending his sermons. He developed a close friendship with Jefferson and is credited with providing the encouragement and inspiration for the famous Jefferson Bible.

In America, the early unitarian movement—as opposed to an organized religion— was led mostly by Congregationalist ministers or former ministers. Unitarians at the end of the eighteenth century still clung to many of the doctrines taught by the Congregationalists. Most had a strong faith in the providence of God, believing He ruled in the affairs of men and nations, as expressed in the Declaration of Independence. They rejected the divinity of Christ, however, as well as the infallibility of the Scriptures and the doctrine of original sin. Since Unitarianism is primarily a free thought movement, it has no creed or firm theological position. Although most held the scriptures in high regard they did not consider it to be either infallible or the final authority in matters of religion. Their primary source for religious truth was nature, science, and human reason which were to be used in understanding Biblical teachings.

As time went on Unitarian teachings gained widespread acceptance among the “intellectual” classes. In 1805 Unitarian Henry Ware was elected Hollis Professor of Divinity at Harvard, a school originally founded to train Congregationalist ministers. The Arminianism that had become popular during the first Great Awakening mixed with the teachings of Calvinism from the Reformed movement and Unitarianism from the age of reason to form the religious “soup” that produced the second Great Awakening in the nineteenth century.

The influence of Unitarianism can be seen in the work of the antebellum reformers of the early and mid-nineteenth century. Brook Farm, one of the more famous utopian communes of that era, for instance, was founded by former Unitarian minister George Ripley and his wife Sophia in West Roxbury, Massachusetts. Although many of the utopian communes were started by reformers not connected to the Unitarian movement, they all were based on the Unitarian doctrine, the “perfectibility of man”. Although the belief that man was a being created by God was still widespread, many rejected the Creation Story and the story of the “fall” in the Bible as myth. The common belief among the reformers was that man’s development was progressive and the utopian communes were designed to help that progression along. It would be some time before they found a satisfactory answer to how mankind came into existence.

During the second Great Awakening a new reform element emerged with the preaching of the “social gospel” and the widespread popularity of millenniumism. This new wave of reformers attempted to create “Heaven on earth” and bring in the Millennium Kingdom through social reform. The temperance, abolitionist, feminist, prison reform, asylum reform and the settlement house movements were all reforms inspired by the social gospel and the developing religion of humanism.

With the ratification of the Constitution and Bill of Rights in 1788 and 1791 the United States became the first civilized nation in history not to have an established religion. For the first time man could allow his imagination to run free in matters of religion, believing, teaching and preaching whatever his fantasy could conjure up without government repercussions. New churches were formed and old ones split as congregants followed the new doctrines of their latest charismatic leaders, resulting in the nine hundred or so divisions we currently have among the self-identifying Christian churches in America. Without the objective authority of the Bible, Unitarians, the unchurched and nominal Christians gravitated toward the developing humanism, the “natural” religion of man without God.

In the 1850’s, two books were published in Europe that were to have a lasting effect on American religion, culture and politics. They were Karl Marx’s Communist Manifesto and Charles Darwin’s Origin of the Species. Both of these books furthered the development of the humanist philosophy. They provided answers to the two basic questions of existence, “where did we come from?” and “where are we going?” Evolution theory validated the utopian efforts of the reformers. If man was not created, but came into being through the natural processes of evolution, then he must still be evolving. If man does not possess a sin nature as a result of the “fall”, then the evil we see about us must come from life experiences and the social environment in the culture.

Therefore, since mankind is in a state of perpetual evolution, it just makes sense that in order for that evolution to have a positive outcome, a proper environment must be created to guide man’s development. That is where utopian socialism comes in. An ideal environment for human evolution cannot be left to chance or the whims of individual men. It must be planned and controlled collectively, that is, by government. While the labels of Marxian socialism has never been accepted by American socialists, its precepts along with Darwinian evolution theory were incorporated into the humanist religion destined to later become the de facto established religion of America. As Norman Thomas observed in 1944, “The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of ‘liberalism’ they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened.”

By 1825 Unitarian ministers had formed a denomination known as the American Unitarian Association. For the next hundred years Unitarianism continued to grow as a liberal and forward thinking segment of Christianity. In 1867 two Unitarian ministers, David Atwood Wasson and William J. Potter, founded the Free Religious Association. Its stated purpose was to, “emancipate religion from the dogmatic traditions it had been previously bound to.” It opposed organized religion and supernaturalism, promoting the supremacy of individual conscience, reason and the perfectibility of humanity.

In 1927 a group of seminarians and professors at the University of Chicago organized the Humanist Fellowship and began publishing the New Humanist magazine. In 1933 a group of 34 Unitarian ministers and academics from America’s leading colleges and universities convened and drew up The Humanist Manifesto. The Manifesto has since had two updates, the first in 1973 and the most recent in 2003. The updates reaffirmed the principles expressed in the original and expanded its vision for a one world government with an even distribution of resources and incomes around the globe.

“We deplore the division of humankind on nationalistic grounds. We have reached a turning point in human history where the best option is to transcend the limits of national sovereignty and to move toward the building of a world community in which all sectors of the human family can participate. Thus we look to the development of a system of world law and a world order based upon transnational federal government.” Humanist Manifesto II (1973)

Corliss Lamont was a leading light in the Humanist Movement for most of the twentieth century. He authored many books on Humanism and Socialism, among them The Philosophy of Humanism and You Might Like Socialism. In a document titled “Humanist Support The United Nations” Lamont writes,

“The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 by the United Nations, is in its entirety a Humanist document. Which could have easily been inspired by our own Humanist Manifesto”.

The first Directors of three prominent United Nations Departments were also prominent in the Humanist movement following World War II, Julian Huxley of UNESCO, Brock Chisholm of the World Health Organization, and John Boyd-Orr of the Food and Agricultural Organization.

Humanism supplies the underlying value system of American socialism, Progressivism, and America’s Democrat Party. The three organizations that have exerted the most influence during America’s journey from a Constitutional Republic to a Democratic Socialist state were, the American Humanist Association, The Unitarian Universalist Association, and The Democratic Socialists of America. The American Humanist Association has been particularly active in efforts to eliminate the influence of traditional Christianity from our national discourse and public institutions, working through the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and its own Appignani Humanist Legal Center (AHLC).

The ACLU was begun in 1920 ostensibly to “defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties that the Constitution and laws of the United States guarantee everyone in this country”. Corliss Lamont, mentioned above, served as Director of ACLU from 1932 to 1954, and until his death in 1995 was Chairman of National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee. This group successfully blocked Senator Joseph McCarthy’s Senate Committee attempting to expose Communists in our government. History has shown that McCarthy was right in many of his accusations.

In the Introduction to the Humanist Manifesto I, the author gives the reason for the necessity of such a document as, “While this age does owe a vast debt to the traditional religions, it is none the less obvious that any religion that can hope to be a synthesizing and dynamic force for today must be shaped for the needs of this age. To establish such a religion is a major necessity of the present. It is a responsibility which rests upon this generation. We therefore affirm the following:…” He then goes on to list the basic principles of Humanism. It is ironic that the ACLU, a creature of organized Humanism that presents itself as a defender of the Constitution uses the First Amendment of that same Constitution to suppress religious liberty for Christians and to censor any attempts to teach Creationism in any of our educational institutions in favor of its bedrock doctrine, Evolution.

The ACLU with two hundred staff attorneys and thousands of volunteer lawyers working pro bono file hundreds of lawsuits annually designed to suppress Christianity and further the doctrines of Humanism. Although, according to its manifesto Humanism was organized to establish “a religion” “shaped for the needs of this age”, it is allowed to operate freely among government departments and officials, as well as our educational and other social institutions without sanction. Since it does not recognize any Deity or maintain places of worship, it is not officially considered a religion and is not subject to the restrictions of the widely held doctrine of “separation of Church and State”. Laws designed to further its doctrines as a result of its litigation and lobbying efforts among our state and national governments, however, have made Humanism our de facto established national religion. The eighty-five members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, considered by the Democratic Socialist of America as its Washington lobbying arm, also serves as the chief lobby for Humanism in the nation’s Capitol.

The Progressive Mind: Socialist Planning for America

By Corliss Lamont

In this segment Mr. Lamont presents a hypothetical plan for the establishment of a central planning system for the entire nation. While this was written in 1939 and obviously did not materialize as he planned, the Lamont plan is only one of many that have been produced, over the years, by different socialist organizations like the Socialist Party USA, The Communist Party USA, The Democratic Socialist of America, and others. None of these plans have been realized in their entirety. The ones coming closest are Education and now Health Care. Tentative steps toward banking and manufacturing control were made with TARP and the GM bailout. You will notice, however, that the vast bureaucratic shadow government that manages our economy has many of the same characteristics as those foreseen by Lamont.

If Barack Obama is reelected to another four-year term, there is no doubt he will keep moving the nation in a direction similar to that advocated by Lamont.  The process of transitioning from capitalism to socialism will not be as smooth or as peaceful as that pictured by Lamont but in the end will be just as thorough, unless the trend is reversed by the American people. The hypothetical election date of 1952 chosen by Lamont could very well turn out to be 2012, with the first four-year plan ready to go into operation by 2016 or 2020. The two assumptions mentioned by Lamont, Congress and the Supreme Court do not look nearly as farfetched today as they did a few years ago. Think about that as you read the article.

Socialist Planning for America
To make the picture of Socialist planning more concrete, let us visualize how it would work out in a definite country. And let us take as an example our own U. S. A. Suppose that in the elections of 1952 or sometime thereafter the American people elect a President and a substantial majority in Congress [2008] pledged to establish Socialist planning throughout the country. Let us assume, furthermore, that the Supreme Court declares the legislative measures of the planning Party constitutional [Obamacare] or that they are promptly made so through amendment of the Constitution at [FOAVC] special state conventions. Leaving aside for the moment a discussion of the necessary transitional steps and without pretending to any finality, let us see what the pattern of American Socialist planning would in general be like.

Apart from the political field, the key organization in the American planning system, as in any other, would be the National Planning Commission, with headquarters at Washington, D. C. The President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, chooses the eighteen members of the Executive Council of this Commission, including its Chairman, who sits as a member of the Government Cabinet. The appointments are non-political and are made from among experts especially qualified by wisdom and experience to deal with broad social and economic problems. The Commissioners are to regard themselves as trustees of the public interest. They will each receive salaries of $15,000 a year, except the Chairman, who will draw $20,000. [in 1939 dollars]

Each of the Commissioners heads one of the eighteen different Divisions into which the Commission is organized. These Divisions, together with some of their more prominent Sections, are as follows:

Heavy Industry,
Steel
Machinery
Housing
Timber, Etc.
Light Industry
Clothing
Footwear
Furniture
Motor Vehicles
Finance
Banking and Currency
Capital Investment
The Budget
Taxation
Transportation
Railroads
Motor Transport
Air Transport
Shipping (Domestic)
Communications
Telephone
Telegraph
Radio [TV, Internet]
Post Office
Distribution
Retail Trade
Storage
Co-operatives
Consumers’ Needs
Social Welfare
Unemployment Insurance
Pensions
Public Health
Recreation
Education
Primary Schools
Secondary Schools
Technical Institutes
Colleges and Universities
Culture
The Arts
Motion Pictures
Science and Invention
The Press
Fuel and Power
Coal
Oil
Electricity
Gas [add bio, solar, nuclear, wind, etc.]
Agriculture
Cotton
Wheat
Dairy
Livestock
Conservation & Reclamation
Forests
Soil
Sub-soil Deposits
Flood Control
Foreign Trade
Exports
Imports
Merchant Marine
Foreign Exchange
Defense
Army
Navy
Air Force
Munitions
Labor
Wages and Hours
Workers’ Safety
Employment Exchange
Women Workers
Statistics & Research
Industrial
Agricultural
Population
Social Trends
Organization
Education of Planning Experts
Personnel
Coordination
Inter-Divisional Problems
Public Relations

The functions of all but the last two of the Divisions are clear enough from their names. The Organization Division has charge of managing and selecting the personnel of the Commission, which employs as trained statisticians or technical experts at least a thousand persons, as well as thousands of ordinary clerical workers. Appointment to a responsible position on the Planning Commission or the numerous subordinate commissions throughout the country is on a civil service basis. Only men and women who have fulfilled certain definite requirements are eligible for appointment. And one of the chief tasks of the Organization Division is to ensure the proper training of planning experts in a special Government institution or in already existing colleges and universities, which will establish special courses or graduate work for those who are aiming to enter the profession of planning.

The Co-ordination Division, the head of which is always the Chairman of the entire Commission, has the crucial task of constructing and synthesizing the final National Plan from the figures and projects submitted by the other Divisions and by the various sub-commissions throughout the country. It also oversees the relations between the National Commission and the Government, and through its Public Relations Section takes care of all publicity work for the Commission.

The Plans drawn up by the National Planning Commission and its subordinate commissions, while tremendously important and influential, are by no means final. Bills embodying the National Plans must be passed by Congress and signed by the President. They are subject to debate, criticism, and amendment like all other measures brought before the Senate and the House of Representatives*. Since, moreover, the Commission is not an administrative body, its different Divisions, except those of Statistics & Research and Organization, must be matched in the national Government by corresponding administrative Departments, each of which has a planning board within it as one of its Bureaus. This naturally entails a considerable amount of reorganization in the structure of the Federal Government. The Departments of State and of Justice alone will retain their present set-up. *[Ed. Note: We know by our experience with the bureaucracies and the President’s tzars how this will work]

Each of the forty-eight states in the Union has its own Planning Commission, of which the ten members are appointed by the Governor. Each of the territories and dependencies, such as Alaska and Hawaii, the Pacific Islands and the Canal Zone, also has its separate Planning Commission; and in addition there is a special Regional Commission with responsibility for them all. There are also nine regional Planning Commissions covering various states as groups according to the following arrangement:

New England Region
The six New England states; Headquarters at Boston
Middle Atlantic Region
New York down through West Virginia; Headquarters at New York City
South Atlantic Region
Maryland to Georgia, including Kentucky and Tennessee; Headquarters at
Atlanta
Gulf Region
Florida west to Louisiana and Arkansas; Headquarters at New Orleans
Great Lakes Region
Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Michigan; Headquarters at Chicago
Great Plains Region
Wisconsin in the east to the Dakotas in the west and Missouri and Kansas in the south; Headquarters at Des Moines
Southwest Region
Texas to Arizona Headquarters at Dallas
Rocky Mountain Region
Six mountain states with Montana in the north, Colorado in the south and Nevada in the West; Headquarters at Denver
Pacific Region
California, Oregon and Washington; Headquarters at San Francisco

Within the states each county and each city has its own Planning Commission. And in the more sparsely settled agricultural districts every unit of population amounting to 10,000 or more has a commission.

There are also Planning Commissions for each industry as a whole and for each sub-division of each industry. For instance, the entire steel industry as a unit has its Planning Commission; the various regional steel trusts, of course publicly owned and operated, likewise have their separate commissions; as does each substantial producing unit within each trust. Finally there exist planning committees in each factory and even in each shop of each factory.

Thus, all of the workers [unions] in a steel factory combine to put through a plan for that unit; all the factories in a certain district combine to put through a central plan for the steel trust of which they are part; all the trusts combine to put through a plan for the steel industry as a whole; and then the steel industry itself, the coordinating centers of which are a Division of the Planning Commission and a Department of the Government, combines with every other industry and economic activity to put through a balanced Plan for the entire country. The geographical planning bodies operate on the same principle, that is, from the smaller up through the larger. The cities’ plans fit into that of the county, the counties’ into that of the state, the states’ into that of the region, and the regions’ into that of the entire country.

Planning under Socialism is, then, a complex process embodying three different but intimately related aspects. All of the plans are, in the first place, plans over a definite period of time. Taking the presidential term in America as an appropriate time-span, our Commission adopts for the nation a First Four-Year Plan, a Second Four-Year Plan, a Third Four-Year Plan and so on. Inside these Four-Year Plans there are one-year, quarterly and even one-month plans.

In the second place, there is the geographic aspect of the plans. Besides the country as a whole, each region, state, county and city has its own four-year and one-year plan. In the third place, there is the functional aspect of the plans as applied to each industry and its sub-divisions. These three fundamental aspects of planning the temporal, the geographic and the functional are thoroughly integrated by the National Planning Commission in each big Four-Year Plan.

It is this Commission that welds together in one vast, integrated, long-range Plan all the minor plans and reports of all the various regions, states, counties, cities, industries, factories, distribution units, and cultural organizations throughout the entire United States. It is this Commission which takes the thousand and one estimates pouring in from all parts of the country and correlates them into the considered and rational whole which constitutes a National Plan.

It is this Commission at Washington which from week to week, from month to month, from year to year, casts its all-seeing eye over the economic activities of the nation and shifts the schedules within the Plan to keep pace with new and unforeseen developments. America’s First Four-Year Plan will need careful and extensive preparation before it can be put into effect. If our planning Party is victorious in the national elections of November, 1952, it will have two months of leeway before the new President and Congress come into office in the first week of January, 1953. Accordingly, it can be expected to have ready for action by Congress bills empowering the Government to take over at once a few key enterprises such as the railroads, communications, fuel and power, and most important of all the banks. Provision will be made for appropriate compensation of the owners over what must necessarily be a long period of years. The planning Party will also submit bills establishing the general structure of the planning system and giving very general estimates of what is to be accomplished during the First Four-Year Plan. I expect that the complete functional activation of existing capacity will be the main productive goal of this period.

Eight months later, September 1, 1953, the National Planning Commission will be ready with a preliminary draft, giving detailed figures and measures for the First Four-Year Plan. During the next three months this draft will be published abroad throughout the land and given the widest kind of publicity in newspapers, magazines, radio programs, public meetings, educational institutions, scientific institutes and other organs of public opinion. At the same time the Planning Commission will send out to all subordinate planning organizations the provisional quotas to be fulfilled in the geographical or
functional sectors for which they are responsible. Thus, the preliminary Plan will be discussed and criticized from one end of the country to another both by the public in general and by the specific planning, economic, and cultural agencies concerned in translating it into actuality. “How can we improve the Plan?” will become a nation-wide slogan.

By December 1, the various planning units, after careful consideration and in light of whatever suggestions have been made, will return revised drafts to the Planning Commission. During the next six weeks the Commission will proceed, after receiving all available information and criticism from its sub-commissions and other sources, to draw up a final Plan for presentation to Congress in the middle of January, 1954. Congress will then thoroughly discuss the Plan according to its regular procedures and will undoubtedly amend it to some degree. We can probably count on having the President’s signature on the final congressional planning bill by May 1, 1954, so that it can become definitely operative at the beginning of the fiscal year on July 1.

This means that the First Four-Year Plan (ending June 30, 1957) will be in operation as a completed and functional whole for only three years out of the full period. There is no way of avoiding this, however, for the first National Plan ; but the second will overcome any time-lag and will go into effect July I, 1957. All of the Plans will begin and end with the regular fiscal year. The Planning Commission will release its preliminary draft of the Second Four-Year Plan (1957-1961) on July 1, 1956, to run the gamut of public opinion. Its final version it will have ready promptly on January 1, 1957, for submission to Congress. The Commission will not wait for the formal completion of one Four-Year Plan before starting to draw up estimates for the next; and this preparatory work will ordinarily begin a full year before each Plan is due for presentation to Congress.

The standard-of-living goal for each family of four at the end of the First Four-Year Plan will be an annual minimum of $5,000 [1939$] in consumers’ values, including those made available by the extension of free government services. This goal will be achievable through the full utilization of our present labor supply, taking in the able-bodied unemployed but totally ruling out child labor, on the basis of a seven-hour day, a five-day week and a yearly holiday of three weeks. The minimum mentioned would be even higher if the new regime were able to eliminate America’s soaring defense and armament expenditures.

In any case, my $5,000 estimate by no means adequately represents the advantages which the American people will enjoy under Socialist planning. For it is impossible to evaluate in financial terms even the physical gains which will, for instance, accrue to the urban masses when they all live in houses or apartments which have plenty of room, good light and fresh air. And it is also out of the question to put a definite money value on the immense psychological boons which Socialism will bring, especially through insuring everyone a job and eliminating the chief economic worries of the present.

One of the most important problems that our planning experts will have to face is that of procuring trustworthy data on the capacities and needs of the various areas and of the country as a whole. It is not possible even to start planning without some such data; yet it is not possible to obtain complete and reliable data until planning is well under way. For only an organization like the National Planning Commission, with its hundreds of subordinate agencies in different localities and economic enterprises throughout America, is equipped to gather in and organize all the necessary statistics. The Commission’s own Division of Statistics & Research plays a central role here. Thus as planning makes headway, we shall see a steady improvement and enlargement of the statistical base, making the intricate network of economic forces more and more measurable and bringing about what has aptly been called by economists complete economic visibility.

In regard to this important matter of statistics, Socialist planning in America will not, as in Soviet Russia, have to start almost from scratch. For there already exist here a number of agencies, both public and private, which are constantly building up the kind of statistical knowledge that planning demands as a foundation. In the public field the most useful of these is the National Resources Planning Board, formerly called the National Resources Committee, which has published a number of volumes particularly pertinent to the subject of planning. Then we have the reports of the numerous local planning organizations, there being in the U. S. A. at present [1939] no less than 42 state planning boards, 400 county and over 1,100 municipal all with very limited powers, of course.

In addition, each of the main Departments of the Federal Government carries on vital fact-finding activities, outstanding in this respect being the Bureau of the Census and the Bureau of Standards, both under the Department of Commerce; the Bureau of Internal Revenue and the U. S. Public Health Service, both under the Treasury Department; the Bureau of Labor Statistics, under the Department of Labor; the Bureau of Home Economics, under the Department of Agriculture; and the Geological Survey, under the Department of the Interior. There has also been established recently at Washington a Central Statistical Board to render information and advice in the working out of inter-departmental problems. Under private auspices we find the substantial studies issued by the Brookings Institution and the Russell Sage Foundation, the reports of well-known research bodies such as the National Bureau of Economic Research and the National Industrial Conference Board, and the regular publications of organizations for the protection of the consumer such as the Consumers Union.

A huge aggregate of carefully organized and up-to-date statistics is as essential for the carrying out of a Four-Year Plan as for its preparation. For the National Planning Commission must keep informed on the progress or lack of progress that is being made throughout the country. For this reason the vast network of sub-commissions send into it frequent reports, at least once every two weeks. And the Commission has the duty, which is also an opportunity, of constantly revising the Four-Year Plans in the light of the specific situation at the beginning of each year, each quarter and each month. Whatever changes the Commission recommends to the Government Departments empowered to put them into effect, must of course fit in with the general perspectives laid down by the original Four-Year Plan, but need not conform exactly to the original figures.

These periodic readjustments are essential because in large-scale and long-range planning there are sure to occur both under-fulfillments and over-fulfillments. Then, too, it is perfectly obvious that a Planning Commission, even if composed of the wisest men in the world, is bound to make some miscalculations. Moreover, there exist certain factors which the most flawless technique of planning can hardly anticipate: weather conditions, for example, affecting the fortunes of crops throughout the country; new inventions and new discoveries of mineral wealth, affecting the progress of industry and agriculture; the movement of world prices, affecting payments for needed imports; and the whole international situation, affecting the day-to-day psychology of the people and the proportion of the industrial plant which has to be geared to defense. All of these reasons combine to make intelligent flexibility a natural and fundamental principle of social-economic planning in the dynamic and ever-changing society of today; the notion that Socialist planning implies some sort of strait-jacket thrown over the life of the people is very wide of the mark.

It is most important to note that the planning procedures which I have in mind make ample allowance for local initiative. The idea behind Socialism is not to set up a group of dictatorial supermen who sit in Washington and hand down orders to the rest of the country, but to provide for continuous and democratic interaction between the local planning units and the ones higher up, between the organizations on the circumference and those at the center. Within the framework of the National Plan it is possible and indeed highly desirable to give a good deal of leeway to the lower planning and administrative agencies in working out the details for their own particular sectors and in making final decisions on matters of primarily local significance. The National Planning Commission or the Federal Government steps in only if decisions seem to violate or disturb in some way the objectives and schedules of the National Plan.

Naturally enough, our Socialist planners are going to take full advantage of that bigness and concentration which is so marked a characteristic of American industry; and of the collectivism which objectively exists today in the form of mass concentration of workers in the factories, of extensive trade-union organization, and of the far-flung collective controls of corporate enterprise. A Socialist regime would find many problems solved in advance if it proceeded, for example, to take over the steel industry. For steel in the U.S.A., with a handful of monopolies ruling the roost, is already unified to such an extent that the step to total unification required by Socialist planning would be comparatively easy. And the same point holds true for a number of other basic industries. Indeed, if the present managements of these industries could be trusted to administer them faithfully on behalf of a Socialist commonwealth (and this is a very big if), they could be left substantially in charge.

Undoubtedly, in some cases concentration has already gone too far for the highest efficiency. There is such a thing as administrative breakdown from sheer bulk. But the unification intended by Socialism does not rule out decentralization in production. The over-concentration of industries in urban areas, resulting in crowded living conditions, bad air and lack of decent recreational facilities, is one of the first things which Socialist planning aims to rectify. The principle to be followed throughout is that of the greatest possible degree of decentralization and autonomy consistent with nation-wide co-ordination.

The final guarantee that local initiative will flourish under Socialism is that in the last analysis the drawing up and execution of any social-economic plan depends on individuals. The extent to which the beautiful blueprint of a Four-Year Plan is written into concrete material and cultural achievement rests upon the initiative and intelligence and energy of the workers and farmers, the technicians and professional people, throughout the length and breadth of America. Without their unceasing co-operation and support every Plan must fail. Hence the Public Relations Section of the National Commission has the vital task of educating every category of the population on the fundamentals of planning and of arousing their enthusiasm concerning the objectives and possibilities of the Four-Year Plans.

It must bring to every individual an understanding of his part in the total planning set-up and the connection between his own function and that of others. And this in itself constitutes one of the outstanding benefits of Socialist planning, since everyone in the community becomes able to see how and why his job fits into the larger scheme of things and to feel a significance and dignity in his work that was seldom present before. In this way central planning for the whole nation brings central planning into the activity of each person, pulling together the conflicting strands of his nature and making of them a
potent unity.

Socialist planning, carried out in America in the American way, will present to the citizens of this country the greatest challenge they have ever had. Limited as war planning was in the U. S. and destructive as was its objective, it did show that the theory and practice of nation-wide planning is not something entirely alien to the American genius. It is my firm opinion that under Socialism all the idealism and practical engineering technique for which America is so noted, freed at last from the shackles of the profit system, will have unprecedented opportunity for fulfillment in projects of almost unlimited scope and grandeur. There will be no lack of tasks to appeal to the imagination and ambition of new generations. And the American people in their boundless energy will sweep forward to conquer new heights of economic and cultural achievement.

Also See
Introduction to the Progressive Mind
The Progressive Mind, Part 1: Social Planning for Abundance

The Progressive Mind: Socialist Planning for Abundance

Socialist Planning for Abundance
By Corliss Lamont

Corliss Lamont (1902 – 1995) was born into one of America’s wealthiest families. His Father was Thomas Lamont, partner and later chairman of J.P. Morgan & Co. He was educated at some of the most prestigious schools in America and England, Phillips Exeter Academy, Harvard, Oxford, and Columbia. Later he became one of the foremost apologists and philosophers of socialism during the twentieth century. The following article is reprinted from one of his better known books, “You Might Like Socialism”1 published in 1939.

1. Everyone Can Live Well
Like anyone else, I want to live well, and I want my wife and three children to live well. I believe in the wholehearted affirmation and enjoyment of life. There are surely few mortals who appreciate more than myself the simple material things that both sustain human existence and can bring to it such delight. I enjoy good food, comfortable living quarters and surroundings that are pleasant and healthful. I am very fond of sports, especially tennis, skating and swimming. I like to dance. And I enjoy, too, the pleasures of culture: the leisured reading of books and poetry, stimulating wit and conversation, evenings at theater and concert and motion picture, the opportunity to write.

Some of my conservative upper-class friends occasionally banter me on the exuberant way in which I relish the sweets of existence, as if such relish showed that I could not really believe in Socialism. But they miss the point. For it is precisely the destiny of Socialism to bring to the whole community those felicities of living that up to now only a small minority have had the chance to enjoy. I want everyone to live well. And I am convinced that Socialist planning could quickly assure to every American family not merely economic security, but also a fair degree of comfort. For this reason, the idea of a Socialist society ought to attract profoundly not just the more poorly paid workers and farmers, but most of the middle class and many members of the upper class as well.

If we attain Socialism in the United States during my lifetime, I fully expect that I and other persons who are at present economically privileged will be able, if we work loyally under the new system, to maintain a very decent standard of living, though not one that is luxurious or extravagant. This Socialist promise of general prosperity is one of the chief reasons why I consider so infinitely shortsighted and unintelligent those members of the upper class who oppose with such bitter-end stubbornness the passing of Capitalism. For they themselves can share to a substantial extent in the abundance which Socialism will make actual. And so long as they prevent this abundance from coming to fruition, they are playing the invidious role of dogs-in-the-manger. They are saying in effect to the people: “It is true that we cannot ourselves unlock the untold possibilities of this modern economy, but just the same we don’t intend to let you do it.”

Suppose the American people woke up some fine morning and read in the newspapers that every factory and farm in the country was operating at full blast, that all the millions of unemployed had been able to find jobs, that sweeping increases in wages would shortly go into effect and that for the first time in years federal, state and municipal governments saw the sure prospect of balancing their budgets. One can imagine the sense of relief, the happiness, the positive thrill that would be felt from one end of the country to the other; one can picture the rejoicing that would be called forth in every American home, in every place of business, in every public gathering. It would be like the end of the Great War (2); indeed, it would be the end of a Great War, the war on poverty, on unemployment, on depression and the thousand ills that accompany these major maladies of the capitalist system.

All this I have been depicting is no mere word-mirage. It is a close approximation of what would actually take place under full-fledged Socialism. For Socialist planning means that the American economic system would in fact be kept going at 100 per cent capacity, that its potential plenty would at long last be released, its productive resources and distributive techniques utilized and developed to the maximum for the people and by the people. The almost immediate outcome would be that $5,000 (3) income for every American family that I mentioned earlier. And as time went on, this figure would steadily rise. These considerations spell out why Socialism means wealth,  fabulous wealth, and eventually tenfold, yes a hundredfold, more wealth than Capitalism has ever been able to bring mankind.

2. The Principles of Planning
The fundamental principle that lies behind planning is fairly simple and one which we encounter in some form in many different realms of human behavior. It consists of coordinating our activities in the light of our capacities and of the objective external environment, especially its economic aspects. As individuals we all plan to some extent, whether it be for a day or a month, a year or a decade, always keeping a weather eye on the state of our finances.

If we have a family, then planning becomes more complex and essential. The intelligent family looks into the future so far as is possible and plans, according to its resources, for the needs of its various members. If it is wise and has any sort of dependable income, it will make an annual budget, allocating definite sums to food, housing, clothing, recreation, baby carriages and the like. It will also probably try to set aside certain amounts as savings; and the most prudent heads of families will plan years and years ahead for the particular needs and vicissitudes of old age. Thoughtful people will take an even further step and, through the process of wills, lay careful plans for friends and family long after they are dead.

Coming to purely economic units, we find that every kind of business concern, no matter what its size and nature, must plan. The larger and more complex it is, the more attention it has to pay to planning. Any big corporation, for instance, with its many different departments, must have central planning in order to coordinate its various activities and to function successfully as a business. This is true whether the U. S. Steel Corporation or General Motors is concerned, whether R. H. Macy and Company or American Telephone and Telegraph, whether Standard Oil of New York or the Pennsylvania Railroad. The planning necessary for the efficient management of huge businesses like these reaches out to all parts of America and in some degree abroad as well. And in certain fields where big business has come to be overwhelmingly predominant, the planning of a few large trusts or even of a single monopoly may extend over well-nigh a whole industry.

The purpose of planning in all capitalist enterprise is, of course, to make money. And this means that each business, in the process of continually establishing and re-establishing its own superiority, must plan against its rivals and win away from them more and more customers, Trusts in the same industry have to plan against each other and also, in order to capture a larger and larger share of the general consumer’s income, against trusts in other industries. Thus, in enterprise both large and small, the plans of individual businesses and businessmen tend to cancel one another out to a considerable extent. The capitalist theory is that the most efficient and intelligently managed concerns come out on top. Undeniably this is frequently true; just as often, however, it is ruthlessness and lack of moral scruple that turns the trick, as has been amply illustrated in the lives of our “robber barons.” But whether efficiency or ruthlessness or perhaps both together are operative in any particular case, the result for the community is in the end economic.

In order to mitigate or prevent the disastrous results of anarchic Capitalism in some important field, capitalist governments sometimes put into effect a species of planning for an entire industry. In most European countries the telephone and telegraph are publicly owned and operated, and in several the railways as well. Then, too, there are public planning schemes in existence over particular localities. A good example of this is the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which is exploiting the power resources of the Tennessee basin on behalf of the population of the vicinity, much to the chagrin of the private utility companies. These types of piecemeal planning, however, no matter, how well they may work in the sectors allotted to them, cannot go far in solving the economic problems of a country as a whole.

It is characteristic that the most far-reaching schemes of public planning under Capitalism should be for profit, or for profit and war. The so-called planning of the New Deal during President Roosevelt’s first term was directed, especially in agriculture, toward decreasing production in order to bring back profits by making goods scarcer and prices higher. While the Great Depression was still ravaging the United States, the NRA (National Recovery Administration) and the AAA (Agricultural Adjustment Administration) nobly cooperated, through planned destruction, with the usual haphazard destruction for profit by individual capitalists. Those were the days when almost over-night a fourth of the cotton crop was ploughed under, the wheat acreage reduced by 20 per cent and five million pigs destroyed. The AAA, doing its best under the circumstances to rescue the American farmer by boosting the price level, actually paid bonuses to all the producers who participated in this wholesale sacrifice to the capricious gods of capitalist economics.

During the Great War, America, and more than half the nations of the earth as well, carried out planned destruction on an even larger scale. Not only did this war planning entail the shooting away into nothingness of billions and billions of dollars worth of goods in the form of munitions; even the food, clothing and other supplies for the military and naval forces were for the purpose of enabling millions of men to engage in the entirely unproductive function of fighting to the death millions of other men. In order to wage war more efficiently, the American Government proceeded to co-ordinate in some measure the economic life of the United States by setting up the War Industries Board, the War Trade Board, the Shipping Board, the Fuel Administration, the Food Administration and the Railroad Administration. Since the railroads under private management could not stand the added strain of war conditions, the Government took them over entirely and administered them on a unified basis. Unhappily, today again, the bulk of the planning that is going on in capitalist countries is for belligerent purposes. This is especially true of the Fascist Powers Germany, Italy and Japan in each of which the whole economy has for a number of years been on a war basis. As these Fascist states push farther and farther their present aggressions and prepare for new ones, they are forcing the democratic Capitalisms to introduce ever more extensive planning for the object of armed self-defense.

This brief review of the limited planning that takes place under Capitalism shows how far removed it is in aim and scope from Socialist planning. Planning under Socialism is for use, not profit, for increasing production, not decreasing it, for peace, not war. And it demands as an absolute prerequisite the socialization of production and distribution. For as long as private capitalists retain possession of a country’s natural resources and transportation facilities, of factories, farms, banks and all the rest, they have the power to throw out of gear the best-laid of Plans. It is common knowledge that even with the minor public controls established under Roosevelt’s NRA, the American capitalists, long before the law was declared unconstitutional, constantly sabotaged, dodged and defied the Act. But Socialist planning puts a finish to that unending tug of war, so characteristic of Capitalism, between the Government, supposedly representing the public in general, and various business interests jockeying for control of it and determined to carry out whatever profit promising policies seem most advantageous. Under Socialism, politics and economics are thoroughly integrated.

The socialization of economic activity which I have in mind, however, does not necessarily entail either nationalization by the federal government or ownership by state or city governments. Many industries, under Socialism the national government will certainly take over; many other economic concerns, less far-reaching in their ramifications, state or city governments will own and operate. But besides all this, there will be a broad sector of enterprise which is socialized yet not governmental. It will be advisable to run some industries through the instrumentality of Public Corporations, which will be subject to control by the government planning authorities, but largely independent in their administrative work. In the non-governmental class will also be collective farms and fisheries, and indeed almost the whole of agriculture; co-operative societies for production and distribution; and much of journalism, art and culture in general.

This means that there will be a sizable number, running into several millions, of independent individuals not on the pay-roll of any governmental concern. These will include a large proportion of the handicrafts-men, farmers, fishermen, inventors, teachers, authors, journalists, actors, artists and intellectuals. They will make their living by working in such organizations as I have just mentioned; or by selling their products or services to such organizations, to public agencies or to other individuals. So, in the Socialist state there will be plenty of room for freelance workers of every type.

Socialist planning differs from any sort of capitalist planning, lastly, in that it is not confined to special localities, industries or periods of time, but is continuous and nation-wide. A genuinely planned economy demands not only that all individual businesses in one industry, whether it be concerned with hats, shoes, sugar, coal or anything else, be consciously coordinated, but that each industry as a whole, including the prices of its products and the wages and working hours of its employees, be coordinated with every other industry as a whole. Think of the increase in efficiency and the decrease in waste that would result from planned coordination among America’s big energy-producing industries: coal, gas, oil and electric power. Such coordination, however, could reach its high point only when there was complete coordination also among the industries to be served. For only when we know how much energy is required throughout the whole country, and where and when, can we accurately gauge how much coal, how much gas, how much oil and how much electric power should be made available in a given period and in a particular locality.

Again, it is obvious that there is so much overlapping in the field of transportation among railways, boats, buses, trucks and airplanes that the situation cries out for unified planning. But it is not possible to separate transportation from the things to be transported. A plan for coordinated transportation implies a plan for coal and steel, farm products and finished goods, just as a plan for all these things definitely implies a plan for transportation. And of course all of agriculture must be carefully correlated with all of manufacture. The flow of foodstuffs to the cities must be coordinated with the flow of manufactured goods from them. The needs, of the farmers must be estimated. Our steel plan, for example, must take into consideration the demand for tractors, combines and other agricultural machinery; and our agricultural plan the particular food requirements of the heavily laboring steel workers.

Likewise there must be a well-worked-out plan for wholesale and retail trade, linking up these two main branches of distribution all along the line with industry, transportation and agriculture. The shops in town and city, the restaurants, the warehouses, the gasoline stations and other such distributive units all come into the planning picture here.

Since the planning I envisage covers the entire socio-economic scene, it naturally extends into the fields of health and recreation, of education and culture. Socialism is particularly concerned to bountifully provide all the different activities and services in these realms with the necessary equipment and other economic prerequisites. The educational plan of the country, moreover, must be always closely interrelated with the economic plan, so that there may never be a lack of the needed technicians, scientists and other experts nor a deficiency of suitable employment opportunities for graduating students. Finally, the entire economic and cultural life of the country must be carefully correlated with finance under one vast, unitary budget that takes in all branches of industry and agriculture, of commerce and trade and extra-economic endeavor.

This completes, in outline form, the picture of the great National Plan which Socialism sets in motion, a Plan which brings into the economic and social affairs of any country that adopts it a closely knit unity, a smoothly functioning team-work, among all the myriad enterprises and individuals involved, making each one count for infinitely more and lifting the collective achievement to new and unheard-of heights.

Because of its controls over production and distribution, currency and capital investment, prices and wages and hours, Socialist planning is able to overcome totally and permanently the central capitalist difficulty of lack of purchasing power. As more and more goods come out of the factories, wages go up throughout the land or prices decrease or the working day grows shorter. To take care of the increased turnover in commodities, currency may, depending on its velocity of circulation, be expanded. Since there are no capitalists to appropriate a large proportion of the value which the people produce, the full instead of only the partial value of their labor returns to them in one form or another. Thus, the unceasing abundance of goods is matched by an unceasing abundance of purchasing power. And this results in that depression-defeating, prosperity-ensuring balance between production and consumption, supply and demand, which every orthodox economist and capitalist has fondly dreamed of seeing Capitalism itself attain.

The United States and other capitalist nations are only as rich as the amount of goods that can be sold for a profit during any given period. But Socialist planning makes a country exactly as rich as its entire productive capacity during any period. This is why I say without hesitation that Socialism, in terms of sheer economic efficiency, is sure to far outstrip Capitalism. Since finance is the most important single element in Socialist planning and more crucial, if anything, than in a capitalist economy, a fact which ought to give some slight consolation to capitalist bankers, I want to discuss the subject in more detail. In a Socialist state the banking system operates under and administers an all-embracing Financial Plan for the nation as a whole. This Financial Plan is the counterpart of the Material Plan and translates all the production and distribution schedules of the latter into dollar units. The dollar is the common denominator in which the various aspects of the National Plan can be accurately expressed and clearly related to one another. The Financial Plan and the Material Plan are, in effect, two versions of the National Plan and each serves as a check on the other.

The Government Treasury Department, together with the State Bank and its numerous branches, acts as a great central pool for the national income. This it does not only through taxation of Socialist business concerns and of individuals, but also through receiving a substantial share of whatever surpluses the different businesses, including those involved in foreign trade, succeed in accumulating. A considerable portion of such surpluses, however, are retained locally by the factory or other unit earning them and are used collectively for expansion, improvements or social benefits connected with the same enterprise. The Government also raises a certain amount of capital through savings banks and through the flotation of public loans, which continue to be necessary during the first stages of Socialism.

The surpluses or “profits” which economic enterprises build up under Socialism have a very different status and play a very different role from what we have been accustomed to expect under Capitalism. They are, in fact, mainly a book-keeping device. Socialist business is run, as I have said, not for the sake of making profits, but in order to provide goods and services to the community. The most convenient process of accounting and of distribution, however, demands the mechanism of buying and selling, of money and prices. Furthermore, identifiable “profits” are necessary so that our Socialist planners can set aside a certain proportion of the nation’s income in order to meet depreciation and obsolescence and, above all, in order to expand the means of production. Soviet Russia, for instance, put into social savings for such purposes an annual average of one-third its total income during the first two Five-Year Plans, a feat which stands out all the more owing to the fact that capitalist economists have always argued that a Socialist government would act like a reckless spendthrift and could not possibly exercise the foresight and intelligence to accumulate capital.

Whereas under Capitalism money and prices control the output of goods, under Socialism it is the output of goods that controls money and prices. Money is on a goods standard, not a gold standard. No real need exists for the latter unless to make the initial transition from Capitalism psychologically easier in the minds of the people. There can be no such thing as financial bankruptcy unless the supply of commodities proves inadequate; the value of the currency does not depend on any gold reserve, but on the quantity and quality of goods that nationwide planning has made available. Money ceases to be a commodity in itself, as under the capitalist system. It simply serves as the recognized unit of economic measurement and exchange, a function that some medium will have to perform in any future stage of society.

The most obvious advantage of a Socialist financial system is that it enables the public authorities to distribute and re-distribute the nation’s capital resources according to the needs of the entire economy. The surpluses acquired in one sector of business can be transferred to other less developed and less lucrative branches of economic activity. This is analogous, on a national scale, to the various allocations within the huge budgets of some of the bigger capitalist corporations. Under Socialism a number of enterprises, particularly in the sphere of education and social services, will continue to show financial loss, perhaps permanently. And there will also be deficits in the industrial field, especially when some great new project is getting under way.

Socialist financial planning requires that there be an ordered flow of capital investment all along the line in place of the slap-dash, haphazard methods prevalent in capitalist countries today. Instead of overinvestment in some directions and under-investment in others, with crisis-causing disproportions as the certain result, Socialist planning ensures a balanced and even distribution of capital resources, that is, social savings, in the directions most useful and important. It would be inconceivable, for example, for vast quantities of capital to go into the building of palatial homes, yachts and other super-luxuries for a small class of the economically privileged while millions of families lived
in houses beneath even a minimum standard of decency.

It would also be inconceivable for socialized capital to go into the production of things clearly harmful to health and well-being such as noxious drugs, patent medicines and deleterious foodstuffs for which there might be unintelligent and perverse demand. It would be impossible, too, for capital to create manufacturing plants and services that would be continually duplicating one another, ruining one another through cut-throat competition, spending huge fortunes in misleading advertising, and inundating a locality or even the entire country with a bewildering flow of practically identical goods. The huge sums of money and the very large personnel involved in speculative activities in commodities, in land, and in stocks and bonds would also become a thing of the past. And, alas for the gamblers of high finance, that symbol of Capitalism at its worst, the stock market would be no more.

The perfect synchronization between savings and capital investment that Socialist planning makes possible is one of the weightiest arguments in its favor. Since the decision of how much and where and when to save and the decision of how much and where and when to invest rests in the hands of the Planning Commission and the Government, there is no danger that these important decisions will be at odds with each other as they so often are under Capitalism. The unplanned capitalist method means that two sets of different people, frequently with conflicting interests, save and invest as they see fit, with the result that the relations between saving and investment are always becoming maladjusted. Either savings cannot find an outlet in profitable investment or needed investment cannot find sufficient savings to put it across. In either case economic troubles are the outcome.

Under the financial system I have been outlining, every producing and distributing unit in the country has an account in the central State Bank or one of its branches. And it is the duty of each bank to check up on the use of the credits, long-term, short-term or emergency, which it issues at any time. It must make certain that the automobile factory, for instance, to which it has advanced a certain amount of credit, actually produces the motorcars called for by the Plan and supposedly made possible by the credit. The factory has the obligation of giving the bank definite reports on definite dates showing how it is
fulfilling its program. If the bank discovers that the credit is being wasted or used inefficiently, it will at once stop further credits until the matter is cleared up, even instituting a special investigation if necessary.

Thus, under Socialist planning, the banks become the watchdogs of the whole economy by carrying on what amounts to a constant audit of all business enterprises. They act as the vital link between the various sets of plans drawn up on paper and the fulfillment of these plans in terms of concrete goods and services. Their vigilance means that there can be no let-down on the part of either management or workers in a concern without the whole personnel being called to task.

In this function the banks are aided by a system of accounting which penetrates into every nook and cranny of economic activity. Socialist accounting, organized on the strictest basis, aims to cut production costs and to attain the greatest possible results for the least possible expenditure. Book profits enter again into the picture here as a partial test of whether or not a plant is being operated efficiently. So the idea sometimes advanced that, under Socialism, extravagant executives will fling away heedlessly and without restraint the financial resources of the community is merely a caricature.

Furthermore, besides the checks and balances inherent in the technical set-up of Socialist planning, there is always the control exercised by the people themselves through regular democratic procedures. At established intervals they can approve or disapprove of the planning schemes in effect or proposed by electing representatives and officials committed to carrying out the popular will. And at all times they can bring pressure to bear by criticisms and suggestions through public meetings, the organs of opinion, individual or organized lobbying, and other such processes of democracy. Of paramount importance in this connection will be the role of the trade unions, to which virtually all working persons will presumably belong. There is nothing, then, in the nature of Socialist planning which prevents it from being administered in a thoroughly democratic manner.

One can easily imagine some of the big public issues which are almost certain to emerge in the natural course of collective economic planning. Since the standard of living under Socialism goes steadily up, the question will arise as to how the people can most benefit from the increasing wealth. Shall our planners put the emphasis on raising wages continually or on providing more and better free services like libraries, parks and public concerts? How much of the national income shall be saved for the purpose of new capital construction? And in this connection will the time come when the population will prefer to stabilize the standard of living at a certain point and concentrate on enjoying the consumers’ goods producible at that level rather than to continue with vast expansion programs? For under Socialist planning there is no categorical imperative, as under Capitalism, for an economy to keep on expanding indefinitely.

This particular issue might well develop in relation to the matter of the average annual working time. In order that more leisure be secured, one political party might advocate reducing the work-day by a third or augmenting the number of holidays or cutting the age of retirement to fifty; another party might call for the maintenance of existing work-time schedules and for a mighty increase in production which would lift the standard of living to even greater heights. Or another burning issue might come to the fore, once the necessities of life had been provided for everyone, over whether to stress the provision of cultural as distinct from material goods and services.

The exact planning techniques which I have been describing will certainly not be used in all stages of Socialism nor in all countries adopting the new system. For it is crystal clear that each nation will use somewhat different methods, adapting Socialism to its characteristic traditions, political institutions and degree of economic development. It would be foolish to imagine that if central planning were introduced in China at the same time as in the United States, it could be put into effect by precisely the same measures or at the same rate. Indeed, there will be plenty of differences even between two countries both as highly evolved industrially as

END NOTES: It is important to keep in mind that this was written in 1939 just before WWII.  Some adjustments were made to the socialist agenda as a consequence of the War, however, the basic goals remain the same today. I chose this for our first article on the progressive mind because I have witnessed during my lifetime many parts of its agenda being proposed or actually put in place by progressive Presidents and unconstitutional bureaucracies.

1. Corliss Lamont, You Might Like Socialism (1939) Modern Age Books, New York.

2. Great War= World War I

3. In 1939 dollars

Paul Ryan’s Acceptance Speech

Full text of speech
Delivered August 29, 2012

“Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellow citizens: I am honored by the support of this convention for vice president of the United States.

I accept the duty to help lead our nation out of a jobs crisis and back to prosperity – and I know we can do this. I accept the calling of my generation to give our children the America that was given to us, with opportunity for the young and security for the old – and I know that we are ready.

Our nominee is sure ready. His whole life has prepared him for this moment – to meet serious challenges in a serious way, without excuses and idle words. After four years of getting the run-around, America needs a turnaround, and the man for the job is Governor Mitt Romney.

I’m the newcomer to the campaign, so let me share a first impression. I have never seen opponents so silent about their record, and so desperate to keep their power.

They’ve run out of ideas. Their moment came and went. Fear and division are all they’ve got left.

With all their attack ads, the president is just throwing away money – and he’s pretty experienced at that. You see, some people can’t be dragged down by the usual cheap tactics, because their ability, character, and plain decency are so obvious – and ladies and gentlemen, that is Mitt Romney.

For my part, your nomination is an unexpected turn. It certainly came as news to my family, and I’d like you to meet them: My wife Janna, our daughter Liza, and our boys Charlie and Sam.

The kids are happy to see their grandma, who lives in Florida. There she is – my Mom, Betty. My Dad, a small-town lawyer, was also named Paul. Until we lost him when I was 16, he was a gentle presence in my life. I like to think he’d be proud of me and my sister and brothers, because I’m sure proud of him and of where I come from, Janesville, Wisconsin.

I live on the same block where I grew up. We belong to the same parish where I was baptized. Janesville is that kind of place. The people of Wisconsin have been good to me. I’ve tried to live up to their trust. And now I ask those hardworking men and women, and millions like them across America, to join our cause and get this country working again.

When Governor Romney asked me to join the ticket, I said, “Let’s get this done” – and that is exactly, what we’re going to do.

President Barack Obama came to office during an economic crisis, as he has reminded us a time or two. Those were very tough days, and any fair measure of his record has to take that into account. My home state voted for President Obama. When he talked about change, many people liked the sound of it, especially in Janesville, where we were about to lose a major factory.

A lot of guys I went to high school with worked at that GM plant. Right there at that plant, candidate Obama said: “I believe that if our government is there to support you … this plant will be here for another hundred years.” That’s what he said in 2008.

Well, as it turned out, that plant didn’t last another year. It is locked up and empty to this day. And that’s how it is in so many towns today, where the recovery that was promised is nowhere in sight.

Right now, 23 million men and women are struggling to find work. Twenty-three million people, unemployed or underemployed. Nearly one in six Americans is living in poverty. Millions of young Americans have graduated from college during the Obama presidency, ready to use their gifts and get moving in life. Half of them can’t find the work they studied for, or any work at all.

So here’s the question: Without a change in leadership, why would the next four years be any different from the last four years?

The first troubling sign came with the stimulus. It was President Obama’s first and best shot at fixing the economy, at a time when he got everything he wanted under one-party rule. It cost $831 billion – the largest one-time expenditure ever by our federal government. It went to companies like Solyndra, with their gold-plated connections, subsidized jobs, and make-believe markets.

The stimulus was a case of political patronage, corporate welfare, and cronyism at their worst. You, the working men and women of this country, were cut out of the deal. What did the taxpayers get out of the Obama stimulus? More debt. That money wasn’t just spent and wasted – it was borrowed, spent, and wasted.

Maybe the greatest waste of all was time. Here we were, faced with a massive job crisis – so deep that if everyone out of work stood in single file, that unemployment line would stretch the length of the entire American continent. You would think that any president, whatever his party, would make job creation, and nothing else, his first order of economic business.

But this president didn’t do that. Instead, we got a long, divisive, all-or-nothing attempt to put the federal government in charge of health care.

Obamacare comes to more than two thousand pages of rules, mandates, taxes, fees, and fines that have no place in a free country.

The president has declared that the debate over government-controlled health care is over. That will come as news to the millions of Americans who will elect Mitt Romney so we can repeal Obamacare.

And the biggest, coldest power play of all in Obamacare came at the expense of the elderly.

You see, even with all the hidden taxes to pay for the health care takeover, even with new taxes on nearly a million small businesses, the planners in Washington still didn’t have enough money. They needed more. They needed hundreds of billions more. So, they just took it all away from Medicare. Seven hundred and sixteen billion dollars, funneled out of Medicare by President Obama.

An obligation we have to our parents and grandparents is being sacrificed, all to pay for a new entitlement we didn’t even ask for. The greatest threat to Medicare is Obamacare, and we’re going to stop it.

In Congress, when they take out the heavy books and wall charts about Medicare, my thoughts go back to a house on Garfield Street in Janesville. My wonderful grandma, Janet, had Alzheimer’s and moved in with Mom and me. Though she felt lost at times, we did all the little things that made her feel loved.

We had help from Medicare, and it was there, just like it’s there for my Mom today. Medicare is a promise, and we will honor it. A Romney-Ryan administration will protect and strengthen Medicare, for my Mom’s generation, for my generation, and for my kids and yours.

So our opponents can consider themselves on notice. In this election, on this issue, the usual posturing on the Left isn’t going to work. Mitt Romney and I know the difference between protecting a program, and raiding it. Ladies and gentlemen, our nation needs this debate. We want this debate. We will win this debate.

Obamacare, as much as anything else, explains why a presidency that began with such anticipation now comes to such a disappointing close.

It began with a financial crisis; it ends with a job crisis. It began with a housing crisis they alone didn’t cause; it ends with a housing crisis they didn’t correct.

It began with a perfect Triple-A credit rating for the United States; it ends with a downgraded America.

It all started off with stirring speeches, Greek columns, the thrill of something new. Now all that’s left is a presidency adrift, surviving on slogans that already seem tired, grasping at a moment that has already passed, like a ship trying to sail on yesterday’s wind.

President Obama was asked not long ago to reflect on any mistakes he might have made. He said, well, “I haven’t communicated enough.” He said his job is to “tell a story to the American people” – as if that’s the whole problem here? He needs to talk more, and we need to be better listeners?

Ladies and gentlemen, these past four years we have suffered no shortage of words in the White House. What’s missing is leadership in the White House. And the story that Barack Obama does tell, forever shifting blame to the last administration, is getting old. The man assumed office almost four years ago – isn’t it about time he assumed responsibility?

In this generation, a defining responsibility of government is to steer our nation clear of a debt crisis while there is still time. Back in 2008, candidate Obama called a $10 trillion national debt “unpatriotic” – serious talk from what looked to be a serious reformer.

Yet by his own decisions, President Obama has added more debt than any other president before him, and more than all the troubled governments of Europe combined. One president, one term, $5 trillion in new debt.

He created a bipartisan debt commission. They came back with an urgent report. He thanked them, sent them on their way, and then did exactly nothing.

Republicans stepped up with good-faith reforms and solutions equal to the problems. How did the president respond? By doing nothing – nothing except to dodge and demagogue the issue.

So here we are, $16 trillion in debt and still he does nothing. In Europe, massive debts have put entire governments at risk of collapse, and still he does nothing. And all we have heard from this president and his team are attacks on anyone who dares to point out the obvious.

They have no answer to this simple reality: We need to stop spending money we don’t have.

My Dad used to say to me: “Son. You have a choice: You can be part of the problem, or you can be part of the solution.” The present administration has made its choices. And Mitt Romney and I have made ours: Before the math and the momentum overwhelm us all, we are going to solve this nation’s economic problems.

And I’m going to level with you: We don’t have that much time. But if we are serious, and smart, and we lead, we can do this.

After four years of government trying to divide up the wealth, we will get America creating wealth again. With tax fairness and regulatory reform, we’ll put government back on the side of the men and women who create jobs, and the men and women who need jobs.

My Mom started a small business, and I’ve seen what it takes. Mom was 50 when my Dad died. She got on a bus every weekday for years, and rode 40 miles each morning to Madison. She earned a new degree and learned new skills to start her small business. It wasn’t just a new livelihood. It was a new life. And it transformed my Mom from a widow in grief to a small businesswoman whose happiness wasn’t just in the past. Her work gave her hope. It made our family proud. And to this day, my Mom is my role model.

Behind every small business, there’s a story worth knowing. All the corner shops in our towns and cities, the restaurants, cleaners, gyms, hair salons, hardware stores – these didn’t come out of nowhere. A lot of heart goes into each one. And if small businesspeople say they made it on their own, all they are saying is that nobody else worked seven days a week in their place. Nobody showed up in their place to open the door at five in the morning. Nobody did their thinking, and worrying, and sweating for them. After all that work, and in a bad economy, it sure doesn’t help to hear from their president that government gets the credit. What they deserve to hear is the truth: Yes, you did build that.

We have a plan for a stronger middle class, with the goal of generating 12 million new jobs over the next four years.

In a clean break from the Obama years, and frankly from the years before this president, we will keep federal spending at 20 percent of GDP, or less. That is enough. The choice is whether to put hard limits on economic growth, or hard limits on the size of government, and we choose to limit government.

I learned a good deal about economics, and about America, from the author of the Reagan tax reforms – the great Jack Kemp. What gave Jack that incredible enthusiasm was his belief in the possibilities of free people, in the power of free enterprise and strong communities to overcome poverty and despair. We need that same optimism right now.

And in our dealings with other nations, a Romney-Ryan administration will speak with confidence and clarity. Wherever men and women rise up for their own freedom, they will know that the American president is on their side. Instead of managing American decline, leaving allies to doubt us and adversaries to test us, we will act in the conviction that the United States is still the greatest force for peace and liberty that this world has ever known. President Obama is the kind of politician who puts promises on the record, and then calls that the record.

But we are four years into this presidency. The issue is not the economy as Barack Obama inherited it, not the economy as he envisions it, but this economy as we are living it.

College graduates should not have to live out their 20s in their childhood bedrooms, staring up at fading Obama posters and wondering when they can move out and get going with life. Everyone who feels stuck in the Obama economy is right to focus on the here and now. And I hope you understand this too, if you’re feeling left out or passed by: You have not failed, your leaders have failed you.

None of us have to settle for the best this administration offers – a dull, adventureless journey from one entitlement to the next, a government-planned life, a country where everything is free but us.

Listen to the way we’re spoken to already, as if everyone is stuck in some class or station in life, victims of circumstances beyond our control, with government there to help us cope with our fate.

It’s the exact opposite of everything I learned growing up in Wisconsin, or at college in Ohio. When I was waiting tables, washing dishes, or mowing lawns for money, I never thought of myself as stuck in some station in life. I was on my own path, my own journey, an American journey where I could think for myself, decide for myself, define happiness for myself. That’s what we do in this country. That’s the American Dream. That’s freedom, and I’ll take it any day over the supervision and sanctimony of the central planners.

By themselves, the failures of one administration are not a mandate for a new administration. A challenger must stand on his own merits. He must be ready and worthy to serve in the office of president.

We’re a full generation apart, Governor Romney and I. And, in some ways, we’re a little different. There are the songs on his iPod, which I’ve heard on the campaign bus and on many hotel elevators. He actually urged me to play some of these songs at campaign rallies. I said, I hope it’s not a deal-breaker Mitt, but my playlist starts with AC/DC, and ends with Zeppelin.

A generation apart. That makes us different, but not in any of the things that matter. Mitt Romney and I both grew up in the heartland, and we know what places like Wisconsin and Michigan look like when times are good, when people are working, when families are doing more than just getting by. And we both know it can be that way again.

We’ve had very different careers – mine mainly in public service, his mostly in the private sector. He helped start businesses and turn around failing ones. By the way, being successful in business – that’s a good thing.

Mitt has not only succeeded, but succeeded where others could not. He turned around the Olympics at a time when a great institution was collapsing under the weight of bad management, overspending, and corruption – sounds familiar, doesn’t it?

He was the Republican governor of a state where almost nine in ten legislators are Democrats, and yet he balanced the budget without raising taxes. Unemployment went down, household incomes went up, and Massachusetts, under Mitt Romney, saw its credit rating upgraded.

Mitt and I also go to different churches. But in any church, the best kind of preaching is done by example. And I’ve been watching that example. The man who will accept your nomination tomorrow is prayerful and faithful and honorable. Not only a defender of marriage, he offers an example of marriage at its best. Not only a fine businessman, he’s a fine man, worthy of leading this optimistic and good-hearted country.

Our different faiths come together in the same moral creed. We believe that in every life there is goodness; for every person, there is hope. Each one of us was made for a reason, bearing the image and likeness of the Lord of Life.

We have responsibilities, one to another – we do not each face the world alone. And the greatest of all responsibilities, is that of the strong to protect the weak. The truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot defend or care for themselves.

Each of these great moral ideas is essential to democratic government – to the rule of law, to life in a humane and decent society. They are the moral creed of our country, as powerful in our time, as on the day of America’s founding. They are self-evident and unchanging, and sometimes, even presidents need reminding, that our rights come from nature and God, not from government.

The founding generation secured those rights for us, and in every generation since, the best among us have defended our freedoms. They are protecting us right now. We honor them and all our veterans, and we thank them. The right that makes all the difference now, is the right to choose our own leaders. And you are entitled to the clearest possible choice, because the time for choosing is drawing near. So here is our pledge.

We will not duck the tough issues, we will lead.

We will not spend four years blaming others, we will take responsibility.

We will not try to replace our founding principles, we will reapply our founding principles.

The work ahead will be hard. These times demand the best of us – all of us, but we can do this. Together, we can do this.

We can get this country working again. We can get this economy growing again. We can make the safety net safe again. We can do this.

Whatever your political party, let’s come together for the sake of our country. Join Mitt Romney and me. Let’s give this effort everything we have. Let’s see this through all the way. Let’s get this done.

Thank you, and God bless you all”