First, you get red-pilled about women (and, at some point, you start to look around, wondering “what else did they lie to me about?”).
Then, you get red-pilled about race (and in America, that first means blacks. Then, at some point, you start to wonder about all the other races here…).
Then, you get red-pilled about the JQ (and, at some point, you start to read up on (((their))) history).
Then (my prediction), the last red-pill before it all comes crashing down is the red-pill about usury (because when you start messing with the money, that’s when wars start).
An article so good, I’m posting it before I even finish reading it. It’s a long one, and a small gripe I have with articles like these is that instead of spending so much effort to define Liberalism, they could just say Gnosticism and call it a day. It explains everything, which now leads me to a disagreement I have with this particular article: Liberalism isn’t irrational or unjustifiable, at least to it’s congregants. They have a moral orthodoxy, which gives their acts rational justification under that system.
That aside, I’ll reiterate that it’s an article so good, I’m posting about it before I even finish reading it.
Here’s the passage concerning usury, with my highlights in the bold:
This change arose most clearly in the economic sphere. To get an idea of this progression, I want to look specifically at the practice of usury. The acceptance of usury is one of the foundations of modern economics, and had the English not justified the practice, it is difficult to believe the capitalist engine could have ever been revved.
There is no justification for usury, that is, the taking of a profit on unproductive loans. It gives unaccountable power to a class of people who provide no productive labor, subjugates those taking out usurious loans to the prospect of lifelong indemnity, and transforms the character of economic activity from one of industry to that of a roulette wheel. As such, usury was condemned in a single voice by the philosopher as ruinous to the state, and the priest as ultimately destructive of a man’s immortal soul. The practice was universally condemned in the medieval world; it was tolerated only amongst wretches, in Cobbett’s memorable words, “for the same cause incest is tolerated amongst dogs.”
Yet usury found a defender in a former Defender of the Faith, and in the years after Henry VIII’s usurpation of spiritual matters in England, usury more and more found acceptance, an outcome that would have been impossible were it not for the very particular social circumstances of that time, that is, the existence of a large proto-bourgeoisie grown rich from Henry’s looting of Church lands, and a large vulnerable underclass created out of the same theft. The continued economic turmoil wrought from the theft of Church lands, the decline in industry and resulting necessity for state welfare, and the Tudors’ financial wantonness created the need for funds, and of course usury was an easy means of acquiring them. Without these particular circumstances, it is difficult to believe the mass of people in England would have allowed such a crime to continue.
And yet none of the bare facts about usury had changed. Surely its growing use was a sign of tyranny. There have been many tyrants in history, yet we know just as well that such tyrants eventually have their fall. But the vices and oppressions of the 16th Century had the benefit of coming about when the English people were in the process of radically redefining themselves as a people. A new philosophy was arising that required men take up the tyrant’s yoke and consider it sweet. How could this be justified on the grand scale? Here are the words of Sir Francis Bacon, which are incredibly telling given Bacon’s preeminent place in the Age of Reason. Instead of condemning usury, the state should license certain lenders to commit the crime. He continues:
“Let these licensed lenders be in number indefinite, but restrained to certain principal cities and towns of merchandizing; for then they will be hardly able to colour other men’s moneys in the country: so as the licence of nine will not suck away the current rate of five; for no man will lend his moneys far off, nor put them into unknown hands. If it be objected that this doth, in a sort, authorize usury, which before was in some places but permissive; the answer is, it is better to mitigate usury by declaration, that to suffer it to rage by connivance.”
All states allow certain vices so as to possibly prevent worse behavior to the overall detriment of the social good. Yet in just states, these permissive measures are allowed with the understanding that man’s personal faults can never be wholly eradicated, and the harm done in trying would not be worth the meager benefits. But these allowances are in regard to personal vices inherent to man’s individual nature, not those vices created or enabled by the social environment itself.
Usury is not a personal vice, but a public one. It has no existence outside social transactions, and cannot but harm other men by its practice. At the same time, no one is so naïve as to claim that medieval loansharks were ever completely without a clientele. Yet there is a great difference between a crime conducted out in the open versus the shadows of Skid Road, a crime which is regulated versus a crime which is allowed, but always with the proviso that its practice could be throttled at any time at the discretion of the state. In adopting the tactic of regulation, the state acquires financial benefits for allowing such vice. The state becomes a necessary partner in the criminal enterprise, and any prior questions about the morality of the practice falls away and is replaced by an alternate analysis, one in which the total society-wide effect is assessed, not its effect on the individual.
Given our fallen nature, we well know that man is prone to crimes like usury. But to accept this fact, and even to tolerate some evils in practice, knowing that it is in vain to try to squelch all of them, is far different from providing sustenance to those crimes, which all forms of regulation materially are. And as incentives shift for the state to allow more and more of a vice, it will find that the social body can bear a larger and larger area of that gangrenous growth. Thus, in the case of usury, one can completely admit that much evil will come from it, but preventing such evil is costly, and such costs might be spent on other social endeavors. Tolerating the existence of vice in our intellects has transformed into manifestly aiding them.
In a system which regulates rather than condemns crimes, man’s relation to right and wrong—that fulcrum from which our relationship to God and our fellow man depends—is now mediated by our relation to the entire population. And this is the characteristic of liberal morality as compared to independent assessments of bad and good. Liberal morality is created not by man’s rational determination of his situation in the universe, his relation to Nature and the social world, but as a dependent variable in the sea of other dependent variables—something like the way prices are determined in neoclassical economics. Man’s moral nature is at the mercy of society at large; it is socialized.
Note that through all this, the idea of usury is still squalid and immoral; but this has been drowned out by the function of the market, the thousand other vices of avarice now regulated by the ballooning state, the specious reasoning of the economists, and the ultimate transformation of man himself into homo economicus, who sees the world in eat-or-be-eaten terms, and owes his fellow man no more than the what the Golden Rule demands: That if he is able to commit usury on his neighbor, his neighbor is just as “free” to seek usury from him. This reciprocity in exploitation is called “justice”—and it is steadfastly maintained as a form of justice, for to say that such actions are simply might equaling right would be to give away the lie. Though liberal changes always separate us from reason and morality, our most human attributes, they nonetheless will not allow man to be cognizant of that he has descended to the level of animal exploitation. Man must still be assured that he is operating on some the basis of some higher ethos, an expanded godhead which miraculously allows for vice.
From this dynamic arose Hobbes’s mighty Leviathan, the very notion of which shows the corruption wrought by adoption of liberal mores. Man, the political animal, does not need a great impetus to form tribes, cities, nations. Man is a social being, and is more himself in society than he is apart, and even more himself in a just society than an unjust one. Yet man needs some special impetus to join a covenant of injustice, some mutual assurance that his skirting of moral law will not be punished; that, like criminals in a gang, all have the same motive not to defect lest the crime be exposed. This is what Hobbes envisioned the state to be—and given the state of 17th Century England, he was correct in his assessment. The social contract of the Hobbesian Englishman was that he would enter into such a unjust pact; in return would arise the Leviathan—that beast which God holds out to Job as the summit of his awful power.
Just finished reading the whole thing, and I’m sad to say, don’t read the whole thing. Just read the passage above, or read the article up until the section “Liberalism as an Attack on the Real Presence.” After that, it devolves into an unconvincing anti-Protestant screed. Most of it is directed at Calvin, and the concept of Election, or Predestination, which is not even exclusively Protestant. Most Protestants don’t believe in it, while Catholics themselves believe in Election, although they may differ in their description of it. See Thomas Aquinas. Also, see the book of John, chapter 6, to read about Election in Christ’s own words. Or read Romans 9 for the words of the apostle Paul. I could keep listing others, but that’ll surely do.
While I’m not arguing Sola Scriptura here, I am saying that Election/Predestination is about as plainly spoken in Scripture as it can be. If those two chapters don’t convince you, then I give up.
I’m also not saying that the Protestand Reformation/Revolution didn’t contribute to the Liberal Leviathan. Others have argued this, convincingly. I’m saying that this author’s arguments are shrill and lame. What a shame. Up to that point, he had me hooked, but then he lost me. But hey, nobody’s perfect, and that’s what discernment is for, right? Cling to the good, throw away the garbage.