WHY ARE EVIL POLITICAL SYSTEMS SO ATTRACTIVE? — PART 3

Manipulated photo intended to show Vladimir Lenin with Stalin in the early 1920s. (from here)

This is the third of a three-part series. Here are links to the first two parts.

The theme of this series revolves around Busybodyism (see first part), that is, how does Busybodyism relate to Fascism and Communism. What busybodies do? They try to feed their egos by controlling other people. What are Fascism and Communism about? These ideologies provide different excuses and schemes for busybodies to control other people.

What is the topic here?

How Does Communism Justify Busybodyism?

Check the dictionary => https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/communism. Since it is all about sharing, the first definition sounds attractive.

  1. a : a system in which goods are owned in common and are available to all as needed
    b : a theory advocating elimination of private property

This first definition sounds very similar to the definition of Socialism. In fact, unless we use the capitalized Communism and use the word Communism to refer to the ideology that Karl Marx developed, communism and Socialism are different words for much the same thing.

What makes Communism different from Socialism? Communists admit up front that communism must be implemented through the coercive power of the state. Socialist lie about that.

How do Communists justify doing away way private property? Here is a portion of Marx’s argument from the Manifesto of the Communist Party.

You are horrified at our intending to do away with private property. But in your existing society, private property is already done away with for nine-tenths of the population; its existence for the few is solely due to its non-existence in the hands of those nine-tenths. You reproach us, therefore, with intending to do away with a form of property, the necessary condition for whose existence is the non-existence of any property for the immense majority of society.

In one word, you reproach us with intending to do away with your property. Precisely so; that is just what we intend.

From the moment when labour can no longer be converted into capital, money, or rent, into a social power capable of being monopolised, i.e., from the moment when individual property can no longer be transformed into bourgeois property, into capital, from that moment, you say individuality vanishes.

You must, therefore, confess that by “individual” you mean no other person than the bourgeois, than the middle-class owner of property. This person must, indeed, be swept out of the way, and made impossible.

Communism deprives no man of the power to appropriate the products of society; all that it does is to deprive him of the power to subjugate the labour of others by means of such appropriation.

It has been objected that upon the abolition of private property all work will cease, and universal laziness will overtake us.

According to this, bourgeois society ought long ago to have gone to the dogs through sheer idleness; for those of its members who work, acquire nothing, and those who acquire anything, do not work. The whole of this objection is but another expression of the tautology: that there can no longer be any wage-labour when there is no longer any capital.

All objections urged against the Communistic mode of producing and appropriating material products, have, in the same way, been urged against the Communistic modes of producing and appropriating intellectual products. Just as, to the bourgeois, the disappearance of class property is the disappearance of production itself, so the disappearance of class culture is to him identical with the disappearance of all culture.

That culture, the loss of which he laments, is, for the enormous majority, a mere training to act as a machine.

But don’t wrangle with us so long as you apply, to our intended abolition of bourgeois property, the standard of your bourgeois notions of freedom, culture, law, etc. Your very ideas are but the outgrowth of the conditions of your bourgeois production and bourgeois property, just as your jurisprudence is but the will of your class made into a law for all, a will, whose essential character and direction are determined by the economical conditions of existence of your class.

The selfish misconception that induces you to transform into eternal laws of nature and of reason, the social forms springing from your present mode of production and form of property-historical relations that rise and disappear in the progress of production — this misconception you share with every ruling class that has preceded you. What you see clearly in the case of ancient property, what you admit in the case of feudal property, you are of course forbidden to admit in the case of your own bourgeois form of property. (from here)

What is the problem with Marx’s argument? If the government owns everything, none of us own ourselves. If all the fruits of our labor belong to the state, then we don’t have the right to make use of any of our productive labor for our own purposes without the permission of the state. In a socialist or communist state, because private property is banned, everything we do, from taking a vacation, finding a house, choosing a job, having children, spreading our religious and political beliefs, and so forth, becomes a state decision regulated by bureaucrats.

Why would anyone want to live under such a government? Well, there are busybodies. If you are a member of the vanguard of the proletariat and a busybody, the kind of power that Communism gives bureaucrats over other people could be attractive. Yet that does not explain why the people of a nation would want such an absurd government, but the Bible suggests an answer. The operative word is “covet”. How does covetousness relate to government?

2 Peter 2:1-3 New King James Version (NKJV)

2 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

Of course, Communism qualifies as a destructive heresy. Its adherents vehemently deny God. Eventually the hateful ways of Communists brings havoc and woe. So why would the people of a nation support Communism? Too many of us covet what others have. Instead of striving for a system of government that allows us to keep the rewards of our own hard work, too many of us are temped by what seems easier, redistributing the wealth of the “rich” to the “poor”. This problem is so serious the Framers of our Constitution had to deal with it. James Madison describes how the Constitution deals with the problem in The Federalist, Paper # 10. (see my post, THE ADVANTAGE OF A REPUBLIC OVER A DEMOCRACY).

Note that Madison does not speak of covetousness. Instead, Madison speaks of our tendency to form factions, but consider how he defines the word.

By a faction, I understand a number of citizens, whether amounting to a majority or a minority of the whole, who are united and actuated by some common impulse of passion, or of interest, adversed to the rights of other citizens, or to the permanent and aggregate interests of the community.

Coveting what belongs to someone else is not rational behavior, but it can become a passion and a cause for forming a faction. When we yield to our desire for what does not rightfully belong to us, our actions become “adversed to the rights of other citizens”. Moreover, Communism never produces the desired result. What usually happens is that the people running the government, those busybodies who call themselves the vanguard of the proletariat, get rich. The vanguard of the proletariat is not immune to covetousness.

To protect us from the sin of covetous, the Ten Commandments include a prohibition.

Exodus 20:17 New King James Version (NKJV)

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

The Bible also provides examples of the sin. Genesis 4:1-15, for example, tells of the murder of Abel by his brother Cain. Why did Cain murder Abel. Cain coveted or envied Abel’s relationship with God.  However, Cain’s murder of a Abel is not the worst crime anyone has committed because they envied what belonged to another. Long ago, when Pontius Pilate’s sentence Jesus to crucifixion, he tried to persuade the mob to let Jesus go, but envious men wanted Jesus dead.

Mark 15:6-15 New King James Version (NKJV)

Taking the Place of Barabbas

Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion. Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them. But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy.

11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. 12 Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?”

13 So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!”

14 Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?”

But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!”

15 So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.

Are envy and covetous the worst of sins? No, but these sins cause no end of trouble.

James 4:1-6 New King James Version (NKJV)

Pride Promotes Strife

Where do wars and fights come from among you? Do they not come from your desires for pleasure that war in your members? You lust and do not have. You murder and covet and cannot obtain. You fight and war. Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures. Adulterers and adulteresses! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Whoever therefore wants to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God. Or do you think that the Scripture says in vain, “The Spirit who dwells in us yearns jealously”?

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:

“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble.”

What James observed is that covetousness stems from pride. When we think too much of ourselves, we start desiring too much things we have not earned.

To Be Posted

  • What Wisdom Does The Bible Offer Busybodies?

19 thoughts on “WHY ARE EVIL POLITICAL SYSTEMS SO ATTRACTIVE? — PART 3

  1. Lots of good comments here, I don’t think have much value to add except to say that Godless Communism is responsible for over 100 million people dying in the 20th century alone. That’s a lot of people.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. You don’t find the rational and moral justification for a given ism is important to answering the question you posed when you wrote this post? You don’t think that Bentham’s rational and moral justification for Utilitarianism was different from Marx’s justifications for Marxist Communism? You don’t see the reason behind Marx’s rational determinism (the horrors of economic depression) might be pertinent to why labor might ultimately find the security of proletariat ownership of capital production “attractive”?

    “Anyway, I hate to tell you this, but the boom-bust cycle is still with us. Remember that Great Recession. That was a bust. Currently, we seem to be at the beginning of a boom.“

    Did government involvement cause the Great Recession or did the decline in government involvement cause the Great Recession? Neither of us has the intellectual credentials to give much of an opinion (but of course that won’t stop us). Notwithstanding that disclaimer, like I said, I tend to think that one can find correlation to both variables – government promotion of a housing bubble and the relaxation of banking laws that allowed mortgage banking and investment banking to mix. Why does it have to be an either/or choice?

    On the other hand, saying that “all” government involvement in the capital markets is evil is simplistic and reductionist to the point of absurdity. It also denies reality. If you doubt this, give me a definition of private property ownership that does not involve the government to define, arbitrate and enforce those property rights and responsibilities? Most capital property ownership in the global economy is through corporations which themselves are just creations of the state which do not exist without government involvement and regulation. At the risk of being reductionist myself, corporations are in many ways just another institution of government. Saying they should run completely feral and run everything is about as dumb as saying that government should run completely feral and run everything.

    Other than that, I am saying that I agree with you – totalitarian collectivist systems fail both on their rational moral bases and as to their practical outcomes. I also agree that moral and practical methods and outcomes matter. As one of your other commenters pointed out, having 80 percent of the this nation’s wealth controlled by 1 percent of its citizens is not either a moral or practical outcome. But that is another discussion, a discussion about what makes and will continue to make market capitalism a more “attractive” alternative to the pure collective state and to a failed state of individualist anarchy.

    Like

    1. @tsalmon

      What do your questions have to do with this post? It is like you did not read this post. I quoted portion of Marx’s argument from the Manifesto of the Communist Party, and then I offered a refutation.

      It seems you have your own agenda. Could you at least explain the point you are trying to make?

      Does it have something to do with this?

      On the other hand, saying that “all” government involvement in the capital markets is evil is simplistic and reductionist to the point of absurdity. It also denies reality. If you doubt this, give me a definition of private property ownership that does not involve the government to define, arbitrate and enforce those property rights and responsibilities?

      These statements have nothing to do this post. They don’t have anything to do with this blog. It seems you are trying to make an argument against Anarchism, not Conservatism.

      Perhaps you don’t understand the difference between Socialism and laws and regulations that prevent such things as thievery and provide for such things as the enforcement of contracts. Socialism involves government control and direction of the economy. Conservative just want the government to protect property rights and to enforce contracts. We don’t want government running everything, and we don’t want anarchy. We want something in the middle, a system with rules that are impartially and fairly enforced.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It was this from post that I was responding to:

        “This first definition sounds very similar to the definition of Socialism. In fact, unless we use the capitalized Communism and use the word Communism to refer to the ideology that Karl Marx developed, communism and Socialism are different words for much the same thing.”

        And as for this:

        “We don’t want government running everything, and we don’t want anarchy. We want something in the middle, a system with rules that are impartially and fairly enforced.“

        Me too.

        Like

  3. Marxist Communism is a very distinct philosophy of government not really the same as Socialism. Marxist Communism fails ideologically for many reasons, but I think that the Philosopher, Karl Popper, correctly predicted that the main reason that Communism would ultimately fail is because it claims to be logically deterministic, meaning that Marx thought that the rise of the proletariat to take away the means of production from the capitalists was rationally inexorable. This was supposedly going to happen as the increasing swings between boom and bust, between rapid economic growth and recession, would eventually prompt this revolution. Marx’s prediction was rational because that was the history up to that point – the swings were getting worse, and there was no reason to believe the oscillations would not continue to swing more wildly until it brought about just the sort of despair that would incite labor to revolt. Why didn’t it happen as Marx predicted?

    Some economists would say that Keynesian economics broke the cycle of economic bubbles. Others would credit banking regulations, including Volker’s monetary policies. Still others would say that the Marshall Plan created demand in Europe the stimulated the retooling of US factories after WWII and kept the US and the world from sliding back into an even greater Great Depression as workers returned from being soldiers. I think it was perhaps all these reasons and perhaps many other factors.

    Ultimately that was Popper’s argument against Marxist determinism (and all other deterministic philosophies, including Fascism). Popper believed that there were too many variables, known and unknown, in social and economic systems for anyone to make such grand predictions.

    I’m not really disagreeing with most of what you wrote above Tom. I’m just saying that you are making some broad generalizations about vastly different philosophies of government and their systemics. I agree, however, that nobody wants, or should want, a collective totalitarian state anymore than anyone should want to live in ungoverned pure libertarianism either. I don’t think that we have either in this country. As I’ve said before, least for Americans, this is a dumb argument, but it seems to be the only argument that the Republican extreme Right wants to have lately.

    Like

    1. @tsalmon

      I guess your complaint is that I said Communism minus Karl Marx equals Socialism, the sacred cow of today’s Democratic Party (which would have horrified Jefferson and Madison). What did you write that refutes what I said? I don’t see anything.

      First, you get into Karl Marx’s justification for the violent implementation of Communism.

      Next you say that something, whatever mysterious economic wonder you want to credit the government with, supposedly broke the boom-bust cycle. So Marx was supposedly right about the historical inevitably of Communism except that our wise government overseers managed to end the boom-bust cycle before the vanguard of the proletariat had to lead a violent overthrow.

      Finally, you are not really disagreeing except that you are. Tom is making too many broad generalizations and being dumb.

      So I am confused. What was your point? Did I argue that Marx was right? No, but that is what you argued against. What you did not even address is whether Communism minus Karl Marx equals Socialism.

      Anyway, I hate to tell you this, but the boom-bust cycle is still with us. Remember that Great Recession. That was a bust. Currently, we seem to be at the beginning of a boom.

      What causes boom-bust cycles? Is the boom-bust cycle even relevant to this discussion? Except for the fact that our wise government overseers use the boom-bust cycle to exercise an absurd amount of control over the economy, I don’t see how.

      Did the government end the boom-bust cycle or does it cause it? If you don’t know how it was supposedly fixed, then what is the chance you know the cause? Moreover, our economy still suffers from booms and busts, and you don’t seem to realize that.

      Are economic busts less severe than they use to be? Maybe. Technology has made famine due to weather events easier to manage, and famine used to be a severe economic problem. Technology has also boosted productivity. So food, clothing, and shelter is less expensive. Poor people can get by with less effort, and charity is easier. In addition, we can move more easily to where there jobs. So prosperity in one region often compensates for job losses in another. Finally, we have a far more diversified economy with access to world markets. That tends to stabilize a market economy.

      What about the alternative, a government-run socialist economy? Why don’t you check out places like Venezuela? When the government runs something, the bureaucrats don’t things like the delegation of authority (individual property rights), the diversification of jobs and products, regional differences, and so forth. Uniformity is what they want. Otherwise, it is very difficult to run a command economy. The fact a command economy does not work well anyway doesn’t seem to bother busybodies. It is the power and control they want.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Reading the running tit for tat offered by the good count….it seems to me that as he finds fault with the Holy Spirit and the Bible as being equally as “bad” as say the Quran…
    Hummm….
    Yet we are reminded that it matters not at what level one finds ones self on the food chain—everyone will, at some point or another, covet…and in that coveting lies the selfishness, dishonesty, stealing, embezzling, justification, murder that man has become so good at. Especially those at the top….
    they are equally as guilty in their “coveting” as they become just a bit more polished yet sinister in their quest and desires…..

    And so we look to a time when there were but two…and it was to all knowledge that they coveted…with disastrous results….

    And yes, if one is to be ruled by the teachings of Christ, there is and can indeed be harmony…the problem is that as long as Satan walks this realm—man will continue to make those more selfish mistakes of self….
    It’s just that those of us who seek to live a life under the yoke of Christ do so knowing it is
    a daily walk that takes a great deal of prayer and yielding—it’s the yielding man and woman find distressful

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Very interesting perspectives on the subject of covertness. My guess is most people associate poor people want to covet from the rich.

    However, there is an opposite association that should also be considered in my opinion. That being how the one percenters own 80 percent of the wealth in the USA.

    They too should consider the sin of covertness, in my opinion
    .
    Some might consider a one percenters as being greedy. Greed can also motivate both good and bad economic and social results.

    I surmise King Solomon observed human tendencies to covet to an excess.

    If you find honey, eat just enough– too much of it, and you will vomit. (Proverb 25:16)

    What is the answer to the age old problem of covertness? As you pointed out, communism and sectarianism were not solutions because of the evil they produced.

    While the Bible has all the answers, sadly the Bible does not seem attractive enough to be a coveted commodity in the USA right now, in my opinion.

    Regards and goodwill blogging.

    Liked by 1 person

        1. “Better is the enemy of good.”

          Men are imperfect, but we are supposed to work with the Holy Spirit and strive for perfection. So it is that I am pleased to live in a nation where the people at least try to respect each others right, even if we sometimes fail.

          Like

          1. [only for the sake of argument] “we are supposed to work with the Holy spirit” not once has the Holy spirit shown his/her presence which can be proved. In fact more wars and genocide has taken place for the Holy Spirit than any other cause in history. As for striving towards perfection, power, money and sex have proved by history to be more powerful drives for people than the concept of perfection.

            Like

          2. In fact more wars and genocide has taken place for the Holy Spirit than any other cause in history.

            That’s what is called an unsupported assertion. What I find puzzling is your next statement immediately contradicts that assertion with another that states that power, money and sex are more powerful drives.

            I think your second assertion is closer to the truth. That is why I ended the post above with James 4:1-6.

            What Jesus Christ taught included at its core the virtues of love and humility. Christianity, when Christians heed the Bible and the promptings of the Holy Spirit, does not promote strife, much less genocide.

            Have people who have called themselves Christians committed genocide. Yes, but the Bible calls for Christians to be known by their love, not their malice.

            Liked by 2 people

          3. The Bible calls for many unrealistic things. So does the Qur’an and the Gita and the Torah and every religious text. Also in context with the article and your first reply to me I quote
            ‘but we are supposed to work with the Holy Spirit’
            and ‘What Jesus Christ taught included at its core the virtues of love and humility. Christianity, when Christians heed the Bible and the promptings of the Holy Spirit, does not promote strife, much less genocide.’

            you seem to be implying that only christian regimes are, good regimes.
            Also as to why i did not include “proof” or more facts as to how Christianity has caused the maximum genocide , which led you to call it an unsupported assertion is because I thought you would already know that. The various bellum sacrum which changed the reasons and way war was fought etc

            Like

          4. @The Count Gustaf

            I believe the Bible is God’s revealed Truth. I believe in Jesus Christ. I also think we are all sinners in need of salvation.

            Does the Bible call for us to do what we think is unrealistic? Yes.

            1 Corinthians 2:6-16 New King James Version (NKJV)
            Spiritual Wisdom

            6 However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing. 7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

            9 But as it is written:

            “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard,
            Nor have entered into the heart of man
            The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.”

            10 But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. 11 For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. 12 Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.

            13 These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual. 14 But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. 15 But he who is spiritual judges all things, yet he himself is rightly judged by no one. 16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

            Are Christian governments better than other governments? Well, there actually is no such thing (at least until the Second Coming) as a Christian government. There are only peoples who call themselves Christians with governments. Sometimes those people do what the Bible says to do. Sometimes they don’t, and sometimes they don’t know what to do. In any event, the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is not of this world. Therefore, your assertion cannot be supported.

            Politicians, so-called nobles, and the like always claim seeming high-minded excuses for doing whatever it is that they want to do. Hence, we have to examine the situation and verify their motives. We also have to consider whether the Bible supports their claims.

            Following the beginning of the Protestant Reformation, the nobility of Europe wrestled for power. The breakup of the Roman Catholic Church provided the various factions the opportunity to excuse their atrocities in the name of Christ. In other words, they blamed God for the evils they perpetrated. Eventually, the various peoples of Europe, at least those who had actually read the Bible refused to accept that excuse. So it is that the leaders of nations where Christians appear to be dominant now rarely dare to claim God is on their side.

            We, on our side, are praying Him to give us victory, because we believe we are right; but those on the other side pray to Him, look for victory, believing they are right. What must He think of us? — Abraham Lincoln (=> https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Abraham_Lincoln)

            Liked by 1 person

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