Advanced Worldview Analysis - Lesson 4

Statism and Anti-statism

People favoring statism support extensive government involvement in education and social programs.

Ronald Nash
Advanced Worldview Analysis
Lesson 4
Watching Now
Statism and Anti-statism

Political Philosophy and the Christian Worldview

Part 3

I.  Contemporary Liberalism and Contemporary Conservatism

A.  Contemporary Liberalism

1.  Humanitarian

2.  Statism

B.  Contemporary Conservatism

1.  Humanitarian

2.  Anti-statism

C.  Examples

1.  Education

2.  Welfare


II.  Meyer's Four-fold Indictment of Statism

A.  Big Government

B.  Big Unions/Big Business

C.  Education

D.  Media

  • Discussion of the content of a worldview and the criteria used to evaluate worldviews.

  • Discussion of liberalism and conservatism, and statism and anti-statism.

  • Political systems fall along a continuum between the extremes of anarchism and totalitarianism.

  • People favoring statism support extensive government involvement in education and social programs.

  • From a biblical point of view, statism is evil.

  • Discussion of justice on an individual and corporate level.

  • An economy based on capitalism has much less government involvement than an economy based on socialism.

  • Interventionism is a capitalistic economic system in which government gets involved to allow free exchange within a framework of laws.

  • Discussion of the strengths and weaknesses of capitalism.

  • Two basic concepts of economics are limited resources and the choices we make that reflect our values.

  • Marxism is an economic system based on the idea of a class struggle with the goal of a classless society.

  • Article from The Free Market

  • The Bible and Socialism, Moral Defense of Capitalism

  • We are responsible to be a good steward of the wealth God gives us to manage.

  • Some of the root causes of poverty are government, social and religious systems.

  • Liberation theology is an ideology promoted by people trained in Marxism. True liberation theology delivers people from tyranny, poverty and sin.

  • Christians ought to care about poverty and oppression. People who hold differing economic and social theories propose very different approaches and solutions to these problems.

  • Discussion of the differences between evangelical liberals and conservatives.

  • Guest Lecturer, Alejandro Moreno-Morrison discussing the inflation of rights.

  • Guest Lecturer, Alejandro Moreno-Morrison discusses legal positivism.

  • A balanced approach toward environmentalism is needed because it can be a serious threat to individual liberty.

  • Discussion of how people work in a capitalistic system to address environmental concerns.

  • The public school system in the United States has fostered functional illiteracy, cultural illiteracy, and moral/spiritual illiteracy.

  • Discussion of the pros and cons of setting up a voucher system to fund the education system.

In this class, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of advanced worldview analysis, starting with an introduction to the concept of a worldview and its importance. You will explore the various components that make up a worldview, including epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and anthropology. The course delves into analyzing different worldviews such as theism, deism, naturalism, nihilism, and existentialism. Finally, you will learn about the role of the church and individual believers in engaging with culture and responding to worldview challenges, as well as strategies for effective communication of your own worldview.

Dr. Ronald Nash
Advanced Worldview Analysis
Statism and Anti-statism
Lesson Transcript


Now what I hold here in my formerly not so stained fingers. The laugh here is just embarassing in its greatness. People are rolling on the floor here. This is a review of a book called 'Bias' written by Bernard Goldberg. This book has been close to being No. 1 on the Bestseller list. The subtitle is "A CBS Insider Exposes How the Media Distort the News". And is this a bombshell. Is this a bombshell. This guy was right. He was involved with 60 minutes on CBS, and he watched Dan Rather do things and say things, until finally, even though this guy says, "I was not a conservative", he says, "Nonetheless I want to be fair. I want to be fair. And my liberal colleagues in the media were not being fair to conservatives. They were misusing their power. They were distorting the truth". And if you've been paying attention to this on the internet, you'll know that Goldberg has been kicked around unmercifully by people at CBS. Interestingly enough, when was it? I think it was Sunday night, I was channel surfing as I often do and there was MSNBC, I can't think of the reporter's name. He has a program every Sunday night. He was interviewing Bernard Goldberg and treating him with great respect. Now, this is a book review written by a man named Greg Crawford published in, first appeared in the Detroit Free Press. Let me just read this one paragraph. In its best moments, the book "Bias" transcends office politics to tell some uncomfortable truths about all the US media and the widening gulf between them and mainstream Americans. The book's main point is this. People at the networks and major newspapers are often so liberal, ie statist. That's what liberal means here. Big government guys. They are so often liberal and out of touch with the rest of the country that they aren’t even aware that they are slanting the news. They aren't even aware of it. That's why they always respond with indignation to charges of bias. And then here is a quote from the book. "Almost all of them think the same way on the big social issues of our time. Abortion is good. Gun control is good. Feminism is good. Gay Rights is good. The environment. Anti-school prayer. And after awhile they start to believe that all civilized people think the same way they and their friends think. What reasonable person they wonder could possibly be against affirmative action. Maybe some stupid people in the South and Mid West who wear polyester pants are against it. But what could you expect from them anyway. Now, that's media liberalism. So I'm reading that and I'm thinking, "Well, I ought to plug that into my course. And maybe when the book comes out in paperback we all can afford it and send some royalties Mr Goldberg's way.

Now, I want to build on that now and add a few more things to what I said last week. First thing I want to say is that once you agree that my little chart last week is correct, here is statism, here's anti-statism, here's the middle, here's moderate anti-statism, here's moderate statism. We are able to build upon that chart and give you something of a definition of contemporary American liberalism and a competing definition of a contemporary American conservatism. Here is my definition of contemporary American liberalism. It is Humanitarian Statism. Notice I'm defining American liberalism in 2 words. Ted Kennedy must be so jealous of what I am doing right now. He certainly cannot disagree with me. Let me say here that the word humanitarian gives us the professed end, the destination, the objective of American political liberalism. Right? Or at least what they want us to believe. That liberalism is after the well being, the humanitarian well being of as many people as possible. And statism is the preferred means by which that well being will be achieved. Here's the end and here's the means. But listen to me. As we continue to go through this course, I will give you, both in my presentations and in my books plenty of information that will show you that if humanitarianism, if well being is the true end of American liberalism it is an utter, total disaster. It is an utter, total disaster economically. It is an utter, total disaster as far as the welfare state goes. Wait till I give you the statistics on what the Great Society of Lyndon Johnson and what a political liberalism of liberals in the US House and Senate have produced. That we actually have 40 years after the establishment of the Great Society programs of Lyndon Johnson and the Democratic Party. We actually have more poor people in America and they are far worse off than poor people were 40 years ago. You don't hear that. Now, you may sit there and say, "Well, Nash, if you can give me the numbers there, than I might believe you but I'm aware of their having been a lot of good about it. Yeah, I won't deny that when the government is cranked up to start spreading a whole lot of money around, that are going to be some people who benefit. But we must always remember this question. Where really did all of that money come from? The government doesn't create money, it only takes money and it transfers money. Where did all that money come from? And if we had not had coercive policies that possibly took that money and transferred it, are there any other uses to which that money might have gone. Is it possible that that money remaining in the hands of millions of people might very well have created a whole lot more jobs? And might have created an opportunity of more liberty for people. If you start looking through literature of the last 10 years, you're going to find a whole lot of articles and books written about the concept of takings. And that is the favorite activity, as some people say, of statists which is just coercively taking the property of people who just happened to be successful. Taking it.

OK now, I'm now going to give a 2 word definition of contemporary American conservatism. Watch this. Humanitarian anti-statism. Just think. am I right? Is this true? You may disagree. Humanitarianism is the end, is the goal. But will liberal statists agree with that? No! Liberal statists believe that if you are a conservative, you are a selfish materialistic capitalist rip off pig. That's what you are. And that's just the language the college professors use. You'd hate to hear what the languages are in the streets. You are a capitalist rip off pig. And you don't care about other people. Now, come on, even if we are a little bias, we ought to at least appear to give conservatives some respect. I mean, is everybody on this side of the line really a rotten pig? A sub-human person? That's really what the liberal media believes. Now, as you know, or as you think, I probably am a conservative. But I'll tell you about the people in the [group]. They really do want to help people. They do. And they believe the major obstacle in achieving proper help for people is government. And so it's not that they are opposed to helping people, they think the best way to help people is through personal community, societies, voluntarily associations rather than a coercive state. And so here's the end, here's the means.

Let me relate this to the many big debates in American society today. Take education. Is there any honest person in America who does not know that American education is a disaster? That the typical group of American kids who have to suffer through 12 years of coercive public, that is government schools, cannot begin except in rare cases where you got a real bright kid anyway, that the public schools of America are an utter total failure. Compare those fortunate kids who can be delivered from the public schools, the government schools, and are privileged to go into a private school, most notably a private Christian school. Let me tell you about my granddaughter. And she's nowhere close to the top of her kindergarten class. She comes home and she grumbles about this whole collection of other kids in her kindergarten class who went to Noah's Ark. Now, I don't know exactly what Noah's Ark is but it's a private pre-school. And Amanda comes home the first week of class and she says, "Mother, it's not fair. Those kids in Noah's Ark know phonics". Here they are, 3 and 4 years old and Noah's Ark is teaching these kids phonics. And Amanda's not getting phonics until kindergarten. When do kids in public schools get phonics? Never. Never, never, alright. You may be able to tell me the name of the some school down here, or maybe some school in Alaska, but the kids in Florida never get phonics. I'm watching my grandson who is in the second grade. He's reading "Pilgrim's Progress". Second grade. Finally he puts it aside, he puts it aside and I said, "Angel, aren't you going to finish it". He said, "No, the movie was better". Ha Ha. The movie was better. Here's Amanda, kindergarten reading 'Green Eggs and Ham'. And now I have never been a fan of Dr Seuss. Frankly 'Green Eggs and Ham' drives me crazy. But, the other day Amanda is working through 'Green Eggs and Ham' and all of a sudden I understand what that book does. They keep repeating the same words and that's how this little child learns to read. Now forgive me for being so dumb. OK. But you know when a typical kid in public school reads 'Green Eggs and Ham'? Probably high school. Some of these Orlando kids can't read 'Green Eggs and Ham' until they get to the 12th grade. Education. Get government out of education.

What about welfare. What has the welfare society bred? It has bred a society in which at the last that I know, 80% of all inner city births are illegitimate. That really helps those kids, didn't it? To be born into a world in which they've got 5 or 6 siblings, each of whom is sired by another man. That destroys the family.

Now, I'm ready to move away to a related position by Frank Meyer. If you have finished reading the excerpts from" Freedom, Justice and the State", you know I am not a slavish follower of Frank B. Meyer. You know that I take Meyer on and I criticize him. And there's a little debate in the book between Meyer and a man named Nisbet, N-I-S-B-E-T. And I side with Nisbet and I accuse Meyer of being too much of an extremist. Meyer did make a moral stand?? in his book, in “Defense of Freedom”. He made, what I think, is a penetrating statement. That you never hear said anymore. Frank Meyer said that when it comes to statism, the statist government of a nation like the United States, can be thought of as a quadrapartite bureaucracy. In other words, it's a 4 headed monster. There are 4 major components of statistism in America. And I would guess that this is true of statism everywhere. Let's identify the 4 parts of the quadrapatite bureaucracy, the 4 headed monster in the United States. Here's the 1st one. It's government.

Now, I don't know how much you pay attention to the American government. But you want to know something? We continue to have thousands of programs on the budget that should have been discarded, thrown away, decades ago. If there's anything about the American government it's this. Once they give birth to a program it never ends. There are programs out there for which there is no purpose in the world. They just duplicate each other. And they all have their little bureaucracies. And when they all go to vote, they all vote for a retention of big government politics. Now, we happen to have a President right now, 2002, who unlike Presidents from the other party, really wants to remove a lot of these redundant programs from the budget but there are people in the Congress who won't let him do it. And guess what party most of them represent? Now, there are, whether the opposition to removing, terminating these useless programs, comes from Democrats, it comes from the other side of the aisle from liberal Republicans. Statist Republicans. Well, my region gets a little bit of money from this. We have a couple of offices of theirs and the head of our county and all of these just nobody is willing to do the honorable thing and help the American tax payer get rid some of this burden. George W. Bush is trying to do that. Extra military bases that we don't need. We haven't needed for 20 years. All of a sudden even conservative Congress people say, "You can't get rid of that military base in my district". Even though that might save 5 billion a year in the budget. So, the government head of the bureaucracy.

Now, watch the 2nd head. This is a surprise, big unions. Now, you might expect a Republican to pick on the unions. Why would anybody pick on the unions? Because they coercively take, T-A-K-E, billions of dollars in money from the union members and then spend that money without ever consulting the poor union members, how they want that money spent. And, guess where that money ends up? It ends up in the pockets of statist politicians. But, there is another side to this big business. There is a stereotype out there that conservatives are always supportive of a business and Democrats are always supportive of the big labor unions. But according to Frank Meyer, there is no difference. And you want to know what recent event made so much of these clear? The Enron disaster. Where we suddenly have discovered that these alleged crooks, notice the safety word there, these alleged crooks who have been parceling out millions of dollars to people in all directions. And don't be taken too much by the fact that much of the Enron money went to Republicans because you've got just as many big businesses, a lot of them in Silicon Valley, California, where the big chunk of the money went to Dems ??. Everybody plays it safe, see? There isn't a darn bit of difference between the big business and the big unions because there isn't a real capitalist in the crowd. One of the problems with big business in America is the people who are running the show, for the most part, there are exceptions, they have no idea what capitalism is. And you know what will be necessary for them to understand what real capitalism is? They are going to have to read my book. They are going to have to read "Poverty and Wealth". Because the way capitalism is used in the western world today has no contact with reality.

What's the 3rd level of this quadrapartite bureaucracy? Anybody want to guess? The 3rd head of the quadrapartite bureaucracy is the education lobby. Do you know the biggest labor union in America. It's the National Education Association, the NEA. Why isn't that just a big union? Because that's a special union. Usually at a Democratic National Convention, upwards of 25% of the voting delegates are NEA members. These people are really radical statists. Now, I'm not criticizing the run of the mill public school teacher. I happen to know a lot of public school teachers and they are wonderful people and they are committed teachers. And they know what they are doing. But they are forced to give their contributions to the NEA. They have no voice in how the NEA spends its money. And I'll tell you this. There isn't a penny of NEA money that goes to support a non-liberal political candidate. Not a penny! It's locked up tight, the National Education Association.

And then finally, there is the media. Stuff that Mr Goldberg has revealed to the world. You really ought to read just excerpts of the Mr Goldberg's book on the internet. About how people like Katie Couric and other liberals on network television ridicule God fearing people who want a good education for their children, and black children and Hispanic children. And these liberals just don't understand it. That's the quadrapartite bureaucracy that Frank Meyer [wrote about], and when did he write that? He published that in 1960. And it has been lost from view. Very few people read Frank Meyer's book anymore. 1960, 42 years ago. And the bureaucracy has only gotten worse.