If the world is heading for a human induced apocalypse, shouldn't we read about it as theologically minded Christians? Here is Tobias Stone warning that history may prophesy where Trump and Brexit may be leading us.
On a different note, but still related to how history unfolds in the grand scheme of things, I notice this notice for Tom Wright's latest book, due out this October. It is called The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus' Crucifixion.
Good to see that you are keeping yourself informed of world events through the lens of Godless Western Liberalism Peter
Will you be watching the Olympics
Is it on Free to Air TV?!
I read the article that included the following statements:
“Trump is a possible future Hitler”
“We need to find a way to bridge from our closed groups to other closed groups, try to cross the ever widening social divides.”
Do you sense the dissonance?
Trump is not a product of illiberal uneducated white trash who live in fly over country and ‘cling to God and guns’ as so eloquently stated by America’s current president. He is very much a product of the liberal elite who long since ceased to reflect the views of large sections of America, whose jobs they outsourced to China, whose factories they closed, some of whose kids are on heroin and who live without hope for the future.
When Trump promises to ‘Make America great again’ he only gets a hearing because the liberal elite in both parties have screwed over their political base and made them susceptible to a ‘strong man’ who promises to help them.
This phenomena is not unique to America, just take a look at Europe, and of course Brexit in the UK. Even in Australia’s most recent election, minor parties took the greatest percentage of the vote in their political history while the Greens lost votes.
In the west today we are afflicted with politicians who are increasingly unsuited to deal with the challenges of our times and the people are beginning to sense it.
Hi Brendan and Andrei
My point in linking to the article was not to foster a Trump = Hitler campaign but to share the question, are we as a world on the verge of a further world war?
"...but to share the question, are we as a world on the verge of a further world war?"
Well I think we are Peter and I also think anyone who equates a man with the stature of Vladimir Vladimirovich Putin as Hitler is part of the problem not part of the solution
If you want people to go to war against another people the first step is to dehumanise your enemies - oldest trick in the book
The drug "scandal" that has seen much of the Russian Olympic Team excluded from the games is part of this campaign - all those involved in promoting this "scandal" are from the so called "Anglosphere" and Russians are typecast as drug addled cheats and given no opportunity to defend themselves against the allegations. I don't know what you made of the speech by Yelena Isinbayeva I posted above - given at the Official send off of the Russian team where all selected athletes were in attendance in their uniforms regardless of whether they were going or not
That ridiculous movie "Child 41" you reviewed was intended to be released in Russia (where it would sink like a lead balloon) on May 8th - this was a deliberate insult and when its release on that date was blocked the press had a field day about Russian censorship - I don't think you realize just how offensive that movie is - I'd laugh at it's stupidity in normal times
Its never ending actually
I’m not sure if it will be a ‘world war’ but further bloodshed and the prospect of civil war seems all but inevitable for Europe, France in particular. Again, none of this should be a surprise to anyone. It has been obvious now for at least a decade that nation states who imported large Muslim populations to be the children they couldn’t be bothered having were in inviting an unpleasant confrontation with reality.
For an historical perspective with a good insight into our present dilemma I’d like to recommend an article from Father George Rutler, from New York.
We might be on the verge, but I seem to remember that we have been warned what not to do.
Douay-Rheims Bible; St Matt 24:6 -
And you shall hear of wars and rumours of wars. See that ye be not troubled. For these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.
I assume your protestant translations say the same :) :) Nick
A lot of Liberal hysteria in that article, but no serious analyses. It was basically one long violation of Godwin's Law. It was good comedy though. It had me in hysterics in several places. Only someone terrified of any threat to the Liberal project could put Putin, Trump and Brexit in the same box as Hitler. I was expecting to read "and they eat babies too!" :)
"are we as a world on the verge of a further world war?"
No, we are already fifteen years into the third world war. It began on Sept.11 2001.
For a far more serious analyses of of the challenges we face in the West and what we are fighting for and against I would recommend to anyone interested two books by Guillaume Faye; 'Convergence of Catastrophes' and 'The Colonisation of Europe'
I am out of time at the moment (busy teaching weekend about to begin) to look further at videos, articles, but I will take your words for them, i.e. I have a lot to learn about Russia! And I am learning ...
Someone who prattles repeatedly about an "Arch Duke" probably thinks "Arch" was the Dook's first name.
I wonder if he has ever read a real book before.
If you were looking for serious commentary - and not just trying to goad a few people - you could have done infinitely better than this silly screed.
Western liberalism is staring into an abyss and can only respond to the problems of its own cultural and political making by offering more censorship and more control.
It comes down to this (and none of this was recognised in the stupid article).
Western secular culture is aging, declining and broke. For 50 years or more it has been anti-natalist, statist and globalist.
Birth rates in the west have cratered through abortion, birth control and the drive to put women in the work force, while life expectancy (and what people expect out of life) has extended.
The shortage of working age people has led to largely uncontrolled immigration from politically and culturally unstable areas of North African and the Middle East.
Islamicising the poorer cities of Europe though immigration will be understood by later historians as one of the most foolish acts by Europe's political mandarins, driven by capitalists on the right and politicians on the left chanting 'human rights' mantras.
So terrorism, illiberal censorship (aka 'political correctness') and 'multiculturalism' have become staples of western life, foisted on the population by the political elites. This is the rotten fruit of liberalism, which is simultaneously anti-Christian (remember the attacks on Christian morality through the 1960s that bequeathed us abortion on demand, schoolgirls on the pill, pornography in the name of individual 'freedom' and now open prostitution and same-sex "marriage"). The main victims have been white working class people who have lost their old communities and their old jobs (thanks to globalisation). Meanwhile, the state has borrowed endlessly to pay for an increasingly unstable edifice. This can have only two consequences: either the debasement of the currency or an intolerable burden on future taxpayers.
The Christian faith is the root of western culture. But when the root has been cut, don't be surprised that the fruit is spoiled. The German intellectual Ratzinger understood this but his successor from a very different Argentina doesn't and is manifestly out of his depth.
"Western liberalism is staring into an abyss and can only respond to the problems of its own cultural and political making by offering more censorship and more control."
True, but oddly nothing to overly worry about. Western Liberalism is dead or close to it, and we are living in it's corpse. It's a minor annoyance rather than a serious threat. The damage it can do has already been done. It's increasingly absurd obsession with issues like toilet access rights are signs of it's ideological exhaustion. In many respects the current Pope is an example of this. Bumbling about lecturing Europeans to commit religious and ethnic suicide while the enemy he embraces slaughters his flock and now targets his priests.
Like the fall of the Roman Empire, or the Reformation, the wheel of history is turning, and Western Liberalism will soon be little more than a memory.
Well, Shawn, when I signed up to be a Christian I knew that martyrdom was somewhere in the small print but I didn't really expect it would be me one day. By 'Western liberalism' I mean of course 'Western anti-Christian illiberalism that sacralises sex (and only sex)' - the point that Ron Smith persistently fails to get - but would if he read Augustine!
There is a reason why 'Western liberalism' is obsessed with sex - sex without children, that is, because it must be accompanied with contraception and abortion - and it is that sex is mysterious, joyful and dangerous and tied up with the most powerful emotions we know: in other words, it serves as a proxy for faith in God among godless people.
Augustine most certainly understood this and said so. It's all there in the 'City of God'!
Hi Ron and Brian
I am deleting your comment above Ron because, on further thought, it is not fair comment, and it has elicited a responsive comment from Brian which is both fair comment and not helpful if I publish it, so I am not going to, but it means, in fairness that I must delete your comment Ron.
Is your statement,....eg: Donald Trump and similar (heterosexual) serial adulterers and mountebanks.-a reference to Billy' I never had you know what'.
Trump's slogan is not a seductive misrepresentation of what really makes a country great.A country is great when it has a rational foundation to it's culture.The present destructive Marxist/neo-Darwinist influence has turned the U.S.A into a castle built on the sand;with all its pseudo human rights.The progressive liberals,aided and abetted by the leadership of TEC has ripped the heart out the moral fibre of this once great country.
Donald Trump does represent the "little people" the forgotten, the despised, the down trodden,the dispossessed; White, working class Americans. Especially in the Rustbelt and rural areas. They are the true forgotten, oppressed and despised people. Foreign invaders, Islamic supremacists, and wealthy homosexuals who can now use the full power of the State to persecute conservative Christians, are not the oppressed and dispossessed.
'The lonely poverty of America’s white working class'
Shawn the article you reference is well written but what confuses me is two things how can you co-related this social issue or the article itself with:
a) Donald Trump as their representative
b) White people alone - the article clearly states our ethnic group are as if not more impacted by America's economic policies but that the white working class have adopted the individualist mindset and many abandoned the community contact provided by social groups including churches all prior to being unemployed making them more vulnerable socially as well as economically.
I listened to one Trump promo video and that was enough : ) . Aside from the frequent statements of I am a great man and my daughter will tell you so. He also referenced how people from offshore countries are 'stealilng our jobs'. So yes, as the article Peter refers to (and I don't agree with all of it), Trump appeals emotionally to people because he tells them what they want to hear and acts as if he will be their 'saviour'.
But where is the logic in this. Manufacturing decline in nearly all western countries has been due more to the managerial decisions of bigger companies outsourcing labour to improve their profit margins, mostly I would imagine in America White executives if you want to play the colour game alongside of course consumer demand for lower prices and exploiting the natural resources available in overses territories. So why look to Trump or even consider him who has built an economic empire under such conditions as one to offer hope to the very people that bore the consequences of policies he profited from. The logic is just not there.
I was shocked to hear of the minimum wage amount in America. Are conservative Christian's supporting a minimum wage lobby like the one which is gaining traction here in NZ? As the article finished off people in other western nations in a similar socio-economic group have feared better because of our social systems, however, the gap between rich in poor here is also growing (notably this is not hailed as an ethnic division which is an unhelpful lense as it only creates strife among the least); and soley individualistic economic based philosophies at the government level are not helping.
Jean may be shocked at the minimum wage of the USA.;but she would be even more shocked to find the purchasing power of the dollar now compared with say fifty years ago.
The Trump campaign,like the the English vote,is a vote against the Establishment who have lied to us ,the voters,that they have the answers to the problems that they themselves have created.
Under this Post Modern Secularism,society has no rational foundation.It is simply castles built on sand.Sadly, TEC and the ACANZP has been , and still is a party to furthering the false doctrines of humanism.
Perhaps,this is a wakeup call to the world ,who has been misled by Marxist/neo Darwinist teachings that the Scriptures are correct when they reveal that our origin lies in the Heart of the Trinitarian God. Reards Glen
Our society is not perfect but it is a better place to live in, especially if you are a woman, a Maori, a Polynesian, an Asian, a disabled person, etc, compared to my childhood in the 1960s when (looking back) the most appalling prejudice, bigotry and constraints existed for people belonging to such groups. I think as Christians we could be more open to the outworking of God's masterplan for the liberation and dignity of all human beings than would appear to be the case if one does a quick, cumulative read of comments on this thread!
No Ron, don't goad me ... all commenters welcome here who comment on issues and not on commenters. I do not always get it right about the line between acceptable and unacceptable comments. But it is not acceptable to goad me!
My basis for saying that Trump is their representative is based on an analysis of polling data which show that Trump's primary base of support is in the Rustbelt and Appalachia, and across party lines. And the fact that he speaks directly to their concerns so well and so often.
Yes he is telling them what they want to hear, but that does not mean that what they want to hear is wrong. And yes, Trump in terms of his own business history can be said to part of the class that helped create the problem, but to me, and I suspect to them, that means he is a more credible critic than say a Left wing academic with no business experience.
Trump has put forward specific policies on the issue, one example of which can be read here: https://www.donaldjtrump.com/positions/us-china-trade-reform
I don't think any politician is anyone's saviour, we already have one of those. ;)
But, I do think he is a game changer on the issue and may, assuming he wins the election, make significant progress in turning the tide of decline. Hillary on the other hand, despite trying to sound like Bernie Sanders, is a committed neo-liberal and a globalist. Trump vs Hillary is a tale of two capitalisms, one that puts America and Americans first, and one that puts globalism first.
On the issue of the ethnic component, what modern politics tends to hide, though not very well, is that at bottom all class and economic conflicts are at heart ethnic conflicts. Always have been, always will be. We were just not allowed to talk about it, until Trump came along and threw the Overton Window out the door.
Yes, it doesn't surprise me that his primary base of support comes from these areas, and as you say it does not mean what they want to hear is wrong. He is also telling Christian's what they want to hear, saying he will support the re-introduction of the words Merry Christmas instead of Happy Holidays, amongst other things, and this isn't necessarily wrong either. And he also tells those who are a part of the gun-lobby what they want to hear. And he tells those who place their faith in the military might of the US what they want to hear.
However, what about his character? Can the words of his mouth be seen as evident in the life he has lived and in his actions? Can he actually do what he says and is he who markets himself to be? Trump is not a blue collar worker come business man who has worked his way up from the top, he is university educated and the start he got in life can be credited largely to his family inheritance. He is a by in large a salesman working in real estate, not an experience advocate in trade or political relations. He has historical Christian roots but a pretty tenuous claim to being actively involved in following Jesus.
In respect to his policies on China and reform - and Glen refers to this as well in Trumps well stated how much less the American dollar is worth than it used to be. Trumps take is always on blame, on the responsibility lying elsewhere;
"Because other company-- other countries -- and it's really the countries. Other countries take advantage of us."
Actually in perspective, many countries currencies have fluctuated way more than the US, and and any decision for free trade has been the decision of US politicians not 'other countries taking advantage". Certainly this may be partially the cause for the current turn against the 'establishment'. In many cases though it has worked in favour of the US - I believe NZ are still "not allowed" to put contains GE products on imported food due to pressure from free trading partners largely the State, because it would disproportionately disadvantage products from countries more liikely to contain such ingredients. So much for freedom of information.
And in the next breath or the next policy statement notice under healthcare Trump avocates for free trade of pharmacueticals - when it benefits America. So free trade is okay but on our terms. But then isn't it as you suggest the heart of his campaign, for a better America. Kiwi's would call that always looking out for number one, or being one-eyed.
So yes Trump is all for America but being all for ones own country is no recipe for success - it needn't be America or globalism a middle road can be possible. Neither is an emphasis soley on creating more jobs or economic success as a solution to social problems. As your last referenced article suggests other countries have feared better because of their welfare policies - despite many being less wealthy than the US, Trump does not (well at the moment) support a minimum wage or government subsidised health care, core aspects of these other societies. Ones that recognise social welfare can not be as easily measured as economic capital but its impacts are just as far reaching.
We talk about socio-economic problems here and how they disproportionately relate to ethnic groups. Especially in NZ our indigenous Maori population who make up a higher percentage of those in our criminal justice system. However, most people in talking about helping those disadvantaged, don't discriminate on the basis of race. Where race and lower socio economic groups collide it is usually because social disenfrachisement breads poverty, isolation, anger, and in some cases violence. So assisting the disadvantaged helps the whole of society; here restorative justice rather than punitive justice has become a very successful option for addressing criminal behaviour.
Ha, ha so in short it may be advisable to think carefully before choosing Trump just because he represents an alternative to the current status quo. May you have wisdom from above!
"However, what about his character?"
Given that the choice is between Trump and Hillary, character seems like a moot point. And I'm always more concerned with policies rather than personalities. Character is important to a degree, but on that front I would argue that Trump beats Hilary by a country mile.
"As your last referenced article suggests other countries have feared better because of their welfare policies"
Welfare policies just hide the economic failures, but for how long? To me, jobs are the answer, not social welfare. Much of the West, NZ included, is struggling under the weight of the rapidly rising costs of the welfare state, not to mention the social costs. The Welfare state has been an abysmal failure in the West, especially in terms of eroding self-reliance and moral character, and in many other areas has created far more problems than it solves.
In terms of the US for example, the dire situation of many poor urban Black Americans is a direct result of President LBJ's "Great Society" welfare programs, which destroyed the black family and created generations of fatherless boys who went looking for affirmation from the gangs.
People need jobs, not handouts and free stuff, especially when those handouts contain perverse incentives that help keep people poor and dependent.
"Neither is an emphasis soley on creating more jobs or economic success as a solution to social problems."
It's a good start. Those social problems that are not primarily economic in origin are the result of decades of Liberalism and secularism destroying the religious and moral character of individuals and communities. Trump cannot solve this, and I don't expect him to, that is the Church's responsibility.
"and and any decision for free trade has been the decision of US politicians not 'other countries taking advantage".
Both are true. The globalist politicians in the US backed trade deals that allow other countries to take advantage.
" Especially in NZ our indigenous Maori population who make up a higher percentage of those in our criminal justice system."
This is true, but has little to do with poverty or social disenfranchisement, and everything to do with a political culture that treats Maori as perpetual victims in constant need of of special treatment and other people's money. The is certainly something rotting in the state of Maoridom, but it's not social disenfranchisement, it's an out of control entightlement culture and a "poor me" victim mentality.
I don't think many people of this side of the fence see Hilary as a great option just a better one. I have yet to encounter anyone who believe anyone can take Trumps acts of self promotion seriously but a few who fear people in the States might.
It has always been my understanding from studying Sociology that to exist captialism needs a percentage of unemployed. So it is imperfect, but mostly better than the other economic structures out there. As too some people take advantage of welfare systems, however, as far as I have learnt they too are imperfect but people as a whole fair better where they exist.
NZ has always been primarily secular so it is hard to comment on the connection between liberalism and secularism here, many Christian's in NZ including conservative Christians are politically liberal when it comes to social policies.
Our welfare system was initiated not during a period of economic wealth but the depression of the 1930's. Of course it excluded women and Maori's but it was a start. Interestingly it helped rather than heeded the countries ability to weather the storm as unemployed people were offered opportunities to help build infrastructure and even some of our current Botanical Gardens. In contrast in the 1990's recession the government reformed our social welfare system to align more with user pays which was primarily a universal one and it had the opposite effect - child poverty increased by 20% and the Maori unemployment rate almost tripled, .. The logic is simple, these two groups were socially and economically the most vulnerable and therefore the most impacted by a reduction in universal support services in combination with an economic downturn.
I haven't known personally any Maori with a poor me attitude, there is a general distrust of the government but I can hardly blame them for that. I could from my study of our history and people I know personally state more than a few of the injustices they have experienced from being hit for speaking their language in schools, being given limited seats in parliament to restrict their democratic rights when their population exceeded the Pakeha's, to returning from fighting in WWII and receiving no benefit or land to restart their lives in contrast to their pakeha counterparts, to Maori's playing a strong role in NZ Christian history, but I have a feeling no facts I quote will change your perspective.
I can't comment too much on US social history because I have less knowledge but didn't the Great Soiety reforms come at a time when US society still practiced racial segregation, and when a great proportion of the elderly population accross the board in the US something like in excess of 40% couldn't afford access to healthcare?
To me the re-distribution of wealth is a concept inline with the Christian ethos of giving to everyone according to their need not according to what their contribution is, and leaving the gleanings of our harvest for those who need it. Re-dressing genuine inequality is in-line with Christian ethos of liberty for the oppressed. The Christian Ethos that individual worth is not determined by a persons capability or failure to care for themselves lies in our mandate to care for the widow, to visit the prisoner, to be merciful ... And the Christian ethos of recognising people from all nations are created in the image of God, have fallen short, and are justified freely by his Grace,
You know Jean everything you know about Donald Trump comes from the media
And every day their is some negative story about him - TV ONE News gleefully reported how naked pictures of his wife appeared on the front page of a Newspaper. showed a censored version of the front page and then asked a rhetorical question - "But did Donald Trump release them himself"?
Now Jean you know what is not being discussed in this election cycle?
The entirety political discourse is flinging mud at one of the candidates while the other is kept virtually hidden from sight
This should scare the pants off you considering the winner will have the power to create a catastrophe unmatched in human history
And do you know what else has been completely MIA in the News?
The USA is conducting a major bombing campaign in Libya!
The bombs are raining down as we speak
I distinguish between whatever shenanigans are being cooked up by whomever in the nexus between media/foreign interventionists/internal US political manipulators and the words which Trump himself uses in direct speech.
The guy is a political fruitcake and whatever else is going on, I view Clinton as by far the lesser of two evils in this particular diabolical season in US politics.
Peter - the Clintons are psychopaths
Trump is the candidate because they chose him to be to clear the path for Hillary
Libya has been destroyed - it is not a game for those who live there and that woman played a major role in its destruction
Even now people are being killed and maimed there - do you get that?
This situation the world is in is positively terrifying and you seem almost oblivious
1. I am not completely oblivious!
2. That is because I do take on board what you say about what is going on.
3. Nevertheless I respectfully disagree with you on the presumption of some kind of conspiracy "because they chose him to clear the path ...". I always believe the cock up explanation over the conspiracy explanation when it comes to politics, and in this case the GOP (at least their primary voters) have cocked up big time.
4. If the Clinton are what you say they are and I hope their lawyers are not reading this blog then, nevertheless, I would vote for HC 1000 times ahead of DT.
Hi Jean, just some quick points as I am between classes.
I have no doubt some people think Hillary prefereable to Trump, but I have yet to hear one good reason why, especially when talking policy.
Hillary means four more years of Obama's policies. Obama's administration has been the worst in living memory. On every single front he has been a monumental failure. More people are on welfare and less on jobs. The country is in debt to the tune of trillions of dollars. Crime is rising again after decades of crime going down. He has deliberately unleashed a war against the Police, based on a lie, and cops are now being targeted and killed. He has imported vast numbers of immigrants that the country cannot afford, and a significant number of whom are the US and the West's enemies.
The US cannot afford four more years of this.
Mass immigration is, along with Islam, the biggest crisis facing the the West today. Hillary is for open boarders and continued mass immigration. On that score alone she is unfit to be President.
Now, this comes down I suspect to political ideology and belief. I am a New Zealand First voter, and a conservative nationalist, so for obvious reasons Trump's nationalist/America first policies are preferable to me.
On the economic issues we have been discussing, yes the State should help the poor, but our modern welfare systems go well beyond that. We now have a significant amount of welfare for the rich and middle class, and this is creating a debt crisis both in NZ and in the West. We simply cannot afford the welfare state in it's current form. I am not suggesting the State should not help and be involved. As you say, this can be understood as an extension of Christian concern for the poor. However, as Christians we should also be concerned for what actually works, what actually helps the poor, and the welfare state we have seems to me to create more problems than it solves.
That said, economics is where my own ideals and current political reality collide. My views on economics are well outside the maintsream, and thus there is no opportunity for me to vote for what I would ideally like, so I have to choose the lesser of evils. Given a choice between welfare socialism, neoliberal-corporate globalism, and national capitalism, I choose national capitalism, and so in the US now that means Trump, and in NZ that means NZF.
Ideally I would prefer Distributism.
Good to see American media are still focused on the things that matter
I'd be interested in your review of Wright's book in due course.
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