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The Political Litmus test: Determining one’s place on the political spectrum.

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“The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.” Robert A. Heinlein

It’s to the advantage of some groups to deliberately confuse the issue as to where one fits in the scheme of politics. Baffling political spectrum models or false labels are used to make this a daunting task. It’s the political version of the old saying that those who believe in nothing will fall for anything. Muddy the political waters to the point of absolute chaos and people will accept whatever they are told is their political ideology.

This is seen with various nonsensical political spectrum models that result in ridiculous political combinations such as an Anarchist-Communist. This incongruous juxtaposition of the complete absence of government control with complete government control is akin to the physical impossibility of Antimatter-Matter. Or there are the more commonplace attempts to make the slavery of socialism the natural extension of ‘Liberalism’. One being of the collectivist or left side of the political spectrum while the other is of the individualist or right side. In both cases, these phenomenon cannot logically exist due to the incongruity of the two concepts.

Simplifying the process to let people determine their ideology for themselves.

The point of this discussion is to end the confusion using fundamental principles in combination with the practical application of the ideological definitions. This will let everyone determine their place in the political universe for themselves instead of having it done for them with some biased questions or confusing graphics.

The engineering fields provide us with the best analytical model for making this determination. This begins with looking to basic principles to develop a ‘rough calculation’ of the answer. Then one proceeds to a more sophisticated analysis of the issue to develop more refined solutions. The first step in grounding the analysis in the fundamentals insures that the results of each stage will be in overall agreement.

The basic principle determining who is on which side of the Political Spectrum.

Author and Engineer Robert A. Heinlein set forth this fundamental principle of the political realm as the first step in this analysis:

Political tags – such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth – are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire.

Robert A. Heinlein

This provides the underlying precept for the rest of this analysis. It is a ‘rough calculation’ giving a very good approximation on where one might fall on the political spectrum. This is most likely objected to by those who would prefer a confused electorate, but its a superb way of making this determination. We will label this the ‘Heinlein line’ in honour of the man articulated this rule.

It should be readily apparent that those who clamour for wealth redistribution, Liberty control and tight regulation of business would fall on the ‘want people to be controlled’ side of the equation. One cannot have these ‘benefits’ without the strict control of the people as well as their property. It should also be obvious that those who want limited government would fall on the ‘no such desire’ side of the line.

We can also refine the determination with a few additional questions along the same lines:
What is the purpose of the government? Is it to impose fairness and equality or is it to let everyone live in peace with minimal interference?

Should government have virtually unlimited power for ‘the common good’ or should it be constrained?

Those on the political Left tend towards the control side of the line. Although they prefer to dress up their control fetish in terms of ‘equality’ and ‘fairness’, their ruling over the population is always seems to be the final result. This is contrasted with those on the political Right who want to be left alone, with strict limitations on governmental power.

Developing the metrics of a True Political Spectrum.

Now that we’ve done the ‘rough calculation’ indicating which side someone is situated on the Right-Left divide. We can refine where someone might be on the scale based on the definitions of the various common ideologies.

A political spectrum model is only is good as it’s underlying metric. Utilising nonsensical measurements such as ‘reaction to change’ are only useful to those with a certain political agenda that presumes an inexorable movement of history towards the Left. These only serve to reinforce these agendas without having any logical usefulness.

First principles would indicate that political power translates to governmental power, therefore that should be the generalised metric for any political spectrum model. While there are those who prefer to confuse the issue with 2 or even 3 dimensional constructs, the point here is to array the various ideologies in a logical manner instead of trying to foster a particular agenda. A quick search on the topic will yield a dizzying array of Lines, Squares, Diamonds, Cubes and other indescribable constructs that only serve to bewilder those trying understand the subject. Most often, these are set-up to convince the reader they are of a certain ideological bent when this is nothing of the kind.

Constructing the True Political Spectrum.

A basic two-dimensional graphic is the best illustration of the political spectrum. The y-axis indicates the percentage of government control while the x-axis is the Left-Right specrum line. The Right endpoint indicates 0% Government, while the Left endpoint indicates 100% Government. Definitionally speaking, the Right end will represent Anarchy – or no government control. While the Left end will represent Totalitarianism – Total government control. Please note that this corresponds directly with the ‘rough calculation’ of the Heinlein rule.

As one moves from the Right to the Left, government control increases. Libertarians are a short distance in from the Right end desirous of minimal government. Conservatives are a little further along in wanting a little more, followed by the Liberals desirous of ‘moderate political and social reform’ but still ‘favouring individual liberty’ and ‘free trade’.

Keep in mind that we are still on the Right side of the political spectrum, the side that favours the individual and individualism.

Over on the Left side of the political spectrum past the ‘Heinlein line’ the ideological terms are often used interchangeably. Moving Leftward there are the ever vaguely defined progressives who believe in ‘moderate political change and especially social improvement by governmental action’. Then there are the Socialists, Fascists, Communists or one of the myriad of synonyms for these ideologies. These ideologies are all of the collectivist mindset that necessitates expansive government control in order to operate.

The Takeaway.

It should be clear that instead of a complicated graphical models or a set of biased questions, one can easily determine their place on the political spectrum with some basic logical reasoning. Along with a check on the actual meaning of certain ideological terms.

One can easily surmise that most people would be of the ‘no such desire’ in controlling others on the Right side of the political spectrum. Which most likely would explain why things are not taught this way, there would be far fewer Leftists as a result.

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Culture and Religion

PragerU: Does race really matter?

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PragerU Does race really matter

Leftwing talk about race frightens Dennis Prager and it should frighten you as well. There is a dangerous precedent being set by the left that is creating division where it no longer exists. Unfortunately, it definitely did exist in the recent past, but modern America generally does not look at race as much of an indicator anymore EXCEPT when the left makes it an issue. This is ironic, of course, because in their quest to supposedly eliminate racism, the left tends to make race a bigger issue than it needs to be.

We hear about cultural appropriations, certain races whose lives apparently matter more than others, and the deconstruction of our nation’s history based upon cultural norms from the time that are no longer acceptable now. Yes, many of America’s first people were racist. Some even owned slaves. Even after slavery was abolished, we experienced racial divides that continued through the civil rights movement all the way into modern times. But today, those divides are no longer as prominent. A black President was elected with a strong number of non-black voters behind him. Congress is more racially and sexually diverse than ever in our country’s history. We have more CEOs of major corporations who aren’t just “old white guys” than ever.

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America is making strong strides to effectively eliminate racial inequality, but the push to keep the divide as wide as possible isn’t coming from the general conservative side of the political aisle. Yes, there are white supremacists who claim a portion of the right-leaning mantle, but they are infinitesimal compared to the standard masses of conservatives who have seen beyond race. The real cultural and racial divides are being perpetuated by the left, and in particular by our leaders from the Democratic Party who cannot have a future if they do not play the race card incessantly.

This video by PragerU shows the stark difference between Dennis Prager and Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA). As she vies for votes by playing the race card, Mr. Prager calls out the real racism in America that’s coming from the left.

 


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Culture and Religion

What are the spiritual beings in the Bible?

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What are the spiritual beings in the Bible

Most people, even those who haven’t read the Bible, are likely familiar with it enough to know there are two primary groups being discussed: humans and God in his three forms, also known as the Trinity. Those who have read the Bible realize there are other groups of being as well. These are the “spiritual beings” of the Bible – angels, demons, and everything in between.

While I don’t always agree with everything taught by the folks at The Bible Project, most of their perspectives are excellent. More importantly, they’re able to break down the complex elements of the Bible and retell the stories in ways anyone can understand.

They’ve begun a new series focused on spiritual beings that I’m very hopeful will be enlightening and exegetically accurate. This is an important teaching to understand. While I’d recommend reading one of Michael Heiser’s books on the subject, those who aren’t ready for lengthy research should at least take a look at this or other teachings. It’s an important topic, one that gets much less attention than it deserves.

As we continue to work on our Principalities and Powers Podcast, it behooves us that more people are aware of the forces that we don’t necessarily see that are at work around us. This is why we’re hopeful about this new series from The Bible Project.

 


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Culture and Religion

The Catholic-Mulsim fraternity deal is anti-Biblical

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The Catholic-Mulsim fraternity deal is anti-Biblical

Before I get into the meat of this subject, it’s important to be perfectly clear about one thing. This is not an anti-Catholic perspective. I not only love my Catholic brothers and sisters who follow the Bible and embrace Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. I’m actually related to a great deal of them. Yes, the majority of my large family on my mother’s side is Catholic. Spent the day with about a dozen of them yesterday.

With that stated, the leadership of the Catholic Church and the direction of the Vatican are so far off course, it’s odd that so few are actually calling them out for what is arguably the most anti-Biblical action they’ve ever officially taken. As bad as the action was, I’m more concerned that it’s not getting nearly the press it deserves.

I’m referring to the agreement signed by Pope Francis and Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb, the head of Sunni Islam’s most prestigious seat of learning. In this agreement, the truth of the God of the Bible is intermingled with the falsehood of the god of the Quran, Allah. Moreover, the call for the unification of religions in a fraternity of secular peace is disturbing, not because we’re against peace but because the call to make peace is done with an understanding that or beliefs are supposed to be secondary to the collective good in this world. Lastly and most disturbingly, there’s a line in the document that is drawing some ire, though not nearly as much as Bible-believing Christians might expect:

“The pluralism and the diversity of religions, color, sex, race and language are willed by God in his wisdom, through which he created human beings.”

The wording here is very careful. They’re trying not to say God willed other religions as a path to find Him, but when read in context with the rest of the document, that’s exactly what they’re trying to imply. They’ve put Islam on equal footing with the Judeo-Christian religions by insinuating God and Allah are the same entity.

They are not.

Defenses of the document seem to focus on two notions. First, in regards to the controversial line above, they’re saying that religious diversity is similar to sex, race, and other things that are willed by God because many are inherently predisposed to follow the religions of the culture surrounding them. Their second argument is that God wants his children to find Him, and if that path must go through Islam or Hindu or any other religion, so be it.

This is heretical teaching. One must do some pretty aggressive hermeneutical gymnastics to say that since God created everything, and other religions fall into the category of being included in “everything,” then God created the other religions. As a loving God, surely He didn’t limit which people could find Him and live eternal life, right?

The Bible cannot be more clear on one important fact: there is only one way to everlasting life: belief and worship of Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior. The document insinuates Islam is a path to salvation since, hey, they believe that Jesus was a very important prophet, so they’re not totally wrong. If it leads them to Christ through a non-traditional path, so be it.

This is a very dangerous road, one that harms the way the Catholic Church leads its people. It’s time for Bible-believing Catholics to speak out against the heretical teaching their leaders have embraced.

 


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