The Role of Intellectuals in Society

The concluding words in Murray N. Rothbard‘s book “The Case For a One Hundred Percent Gold Dollar” (pp. 71f):

There is no gainsaying the fact that this suggested program will strike most people as impossibly “radical” and “unrealistic”; any suggestion for changing the status quo, no matter how slight, can always be considered by someone as too radical, so that the only thoroughgoing escape from the charge of impracticality is never to advocate any change whatever in existing conditions.
But to take this approach is to abandon human reason, and to drift in animal- or plant-like manner with the tide of events. As Professor Philbrook pointed out in a brilliant article some years ago, we must frame our policy convictions on what we believe the best course to be and then try to convince others of this goal, and not include within our policy conclusions estimates of what other people may find acceptable. For someone must propagate the truth in society, as opposed to what is politically expedient. If scholars and intellectuals fail to do so, if they fail to expound their convictions of what they believe the correct course to be, they are abandoning truth, and therefore abandoning their very raison d’etre. All hope of social progress would then be gone, for no new ideas would ever be advanced nor effort expended to
convince others of their validity.

LENT – give it up ‘for Lent’ and forever

Article by

The Rev Dr Alan Clifford

LENT – (along with the religion which inspired it) should be given up ‘for Lent’ and forever!

An Oxford organisation known as the ‘Oxford Minority People Gathering’ have complained to BBC Oxford that while Divali, the Chinese New Year, and Ramadan are reported, Lent is not.

I fully understand OMPA’s complaint. This is but a further example of the creeping deletion of Christianity from our culture.

However, a more urgent question is what kind of Christianity do we wish to preserve and promote?

Getting upset about BBC Oxford’s omission of Lent raises a more profound question: why Lent at all? As I argue, there is a strong case for abolishing it.

It is astonishing in this secular age that superstitious observances like Lent still survive.

There’s no denying that in our obesity-ridden society, diet-reduction would be good for the health of all of us. But to turn it into a religious ritual is no part of authentic biblical Christianity.

Lent is of pagan origin, adapted as a 6th-century Papal innovation. It is quite alien to the teaching of the New Testament. While Roman Catholics, Anglicans and others persist in its observance, the Apostle Paul rejects the validity of special holy days and superstitious abstinence (see Galations 4:10-11; Colossians 2:16-23).

Christian teaching does have a lot to say to us on the subject of over-indulgence. However, our Saviour’s teaching on ‘self-denial’ (see Mark 8:34-8) covers every kind of self-gratification, and not just for forty days but every day! Also, arguments against Lent do not call into question properly-understood and correctly-motivated periods of fasting and prayer.

More faithful interpreters of the Bible are represented by the great Genevan reformer John Calvin (1509-64) and the great English Puritan Richard Baxter (1615-91):

Christ did not abstain from food and drink to give an example of temperance, but to gain Him more authority in being set apart from the common lot of men, that He might progress as a messenger from heaven, not as a man of the earth.

It is really quite foolish to institute the so-called forty-day fast in imitation of Christ. For there is no more reason today why we should follow the example of Christ, than ever there was for the holy Prophets and the other Fathers under the Law to imitate the Fast of Moses. In fact we know that no-one ever had such a thought.

They pretend to be imitators of Christ, when they fast every day of the forty, but really they so stuff their bellies at breakfast that they can easily go through dinner-time without food. What resemblance have they to the Son of God?

Neither Christ nor Moses held a solemn fast every year, but both held one only, in all their lives.

For [Lent observers] to persuade themselves that it is a work of merit, a part of religious devotion and the worship of God – this is the ultimate superstition.

Commentary on Matthew’s Gospel, John Calvin

The imitation of Christ in His forty days’ fasting is not to be attempted or pretended to; because his miraculous works were not done for our imitation.

The pretending of a fast when men do but change their diet, flesh for fish, fruit, sweetmeats, etc, is but hypocritical and ridiculous.

As for the commanding such an abstinence, as in Lent, not in imitation, but bare commemoration of Christ’s forty days’ fast, I would not command it if it were in my power…

A Christian Directory (1673), Richard Baxter

So give up Lent and take up the true Christian life! Link up with a faithful and consistent Bible-believing church, and embrace for life-long discipleship our Saviour’s life-transforming saving grace.

Dr Alan C. Clifford
Norwich Reformed Church

What Has Government Done to Our Money?

Book by Murray Rothbard, preface by Guido Hülsmann

I can name maybe half a dozen books (including the Bible) which have been pivotal to my intellectual development. What Has Government Done to Our Money, by Murray N. Rothbard, is one of them. Here‘s the Wikipedia page on the book.

I cite in the following excerpts from the preface by Professor Jörg Guido Hülsmann.

What Has Government Done to Our Money? is an outstanding example of Rothbard’s creative mind at work. Since it was first published in 1964 .[sic! Wikipedia and other sources say 1963], it has appeared in four editions in English, and has been translated into many foreign languages. It has served as a primer on monetary theory for all its readers. In fact, it is probably the most brilliant introduction to monetary theory ever written, presenting both the foundation of monetary theory and exploring the role of the state in the degeneration of monetary systems. The book is suitable not only for economists, but also for non-academics and all people interested in the subject. It is, like all of Rothbard’s works, a timeless and powerful statement. It leaves the reader with a completely new way to think about the relationship between money and state.

Here the elements and the functions of a free monetary system are presented with brevity and clarity. Rothbard shows how and why gold and silver are used as money on the unhampered market. Money originates neither from social compact nor government edict, but as a market solution of the problems and costs associated with barter. All other tasks usually considered monetary duties of the state — from minting to the definition of the monetary units to the precise form money will take — are left to private entrepreneurs on the unhampered market.

Where is the place of the state in this picture? Doesn’t the state have to guard our money? Doesn’t it have to adjust the money supply and supervise the banks? Rothbard’s answer to these questions is a clear no. Government intervention does not protect money at all but rather threatens its integrity. Government interference leads to more abuse and more instability than the free market would otherwise have tolerated. Instead of solving problems, intervention creates them. Instead of order they bring chaos and economic upheaval.

For Rothbard, the central issue is not whether monetary policy should stabilize the price level or the money supply; it is whether there is a role for the state in the monetary system at all. On this question, Rothbard answers decisively in the negative. Entrusting the money to the state is a grave error. It opens door and gate for totalitarian control of the society by interest groups closely connected to the state apparatus. The consequences are economic and monetary crises, and a relentless decline in the purchasing power of money. Rothbard illustrates this impressively with a short history of the monetary collapse of the West.

Rothbard’s chronicle of decline ends with the breakdown of Bretton Woods and a prediction that the future portends continued exchange-rate volatility, debt accumulation, inflation, crises, bailouts, and a political drive to further centralize control of money and credit. This prediction turned out to be a good summary of the monetary events of the last quarter century. The world economy adopted a de facto dollar standard, a managed monetary integration came to Europe, and crisis has followed crisis in Asia, Russia, Mexico, and Central and South America, along with exploding deficits and debts in the United States. Undoubtedly many more will come our way.

This new edition includes a detailed reform proposal for a 100% gold dollar [see online here], an essay first published in 1962, the same year that Man, Economy, and State appeared and two years before What Has Government Done to Our Money. That it was written a decade before the last vestiges of the gold standard were abolished does not diminish its power as a proposal for reform.

Would Rothbard’s plan work? Certainly. The limits are due not to its economic viability but rather to the same forces that keep all radical proposals for freedom at bay: political barriers and ideological opposition. Should the conditions ever become ripe for pure liberty again — and Rothbard was ever the optimist — this essay will serve as an outstanding blueprint.

Today all nations face a choice between sound money and continuing monetary depreciation and/or monetary crisis. Sound money, Rothbard shows, means the enforcement of strict separation between the state and money. Rothbard has shown that the world’s party of liberty can embrace what is usually said to be an impossible ideal: an international money protected against the arbitrariness of the state. His analysis and prescriptions deserve even more attention today than when they were first written.

Jörg Guido Hülsmann

Angers, France

April 2005

What led to the Decline of the West

In this article, I find the following paragraphs:

The 1970s and 1980s were the point at which the long arc of traditional liberalism gave place to an avowedly illiberal, mechanical ‘control system’ (managerial technocracy) that today fraudulently poses as liberal democracy.

Emmanuel Todd, the French anthropological historian, examines the longer dynamics to events unfolding in the present: The prime agent of change leading to the Decline of the West (La Défaite de l’Occident), he argues, was the implosion of ‘Anglo’ Protestantism in the U.S. (and England), with its entailed habits of work, individualism and industry – a creed whose qualities were held then to reflect God’s grace through material success, and, above all, to confirm membership of the divine ‘Elect’.

Whereas traditional liberalism had its mores, the decline of traditional values triggered the slide towards managerial technocracy, and to nihilism. Religion lingers on in the West, though in a ‘zombie’ state, Todd avers. Such societies, he argues, flounder – absent some guiding metaphysical sphere that provides people with non-material sustenance.

It’s a bit strange: The author (Alastair Crooke) points to Todd’s hypothesis of “‘Anglo’ Protestantism” being the “prime agent of the Decline of the West”, but in the following paragraph mentions “the decline of traditional values”. It’s not clear from the article whether the latter statement is Crooke’s or Todd’s.

In any case, I would contend that Protestantism (not ‘Anglo’, but ‘Calvinistic’, e.g. Puritanism) indeed “entailed habits of work, individualism and industry – a creed whose qualities were held then to reflect God’s grace through material success”, this actually being good things. It led to the Industrial Revolution and so to the blessing of drastically reduced infant mortality and better quality of life for nearly everyone.

The other part of that sentence, namely “above all, to confirm membership of the divine ‘Elect’” indeed points to something more problematic. It’s true and will have led, due to human fallibility, to “elitist” attitudes. However, in a healthy Christian environment such attitudes would have been tempered by the commandment to “love thy neighbour as yourself”.

The loss of the faith in God led to the loss of the power of this commandment within society and therefore to “the decline of traditional values”.

So, it’s not “Protestantism” – of any flavour – that led to the “Decline of the West”, but the loss of faith.

What was retained was the belief in the ability to be somehow part of an “elect” group who are somehow “better” than most other people and therefor have a right to lord it over them – uninhibited by divine commandments.

That attitude led to fiat money, the welfare state, state schooling, both World Wars and the subsequent “Decline of the West”.

Why you should NEVER believe your eyes

Article by Kit Knightly


The media landscape is saturated with pretend, and has been for decades.

The technology discussed above doesn’t mean they will start faking things, it means the faking they’ve been doing for years will be easier to do and harder to detect.

The technology exists. The motivation exists. The required levels of dishonesty and corruption more than exist. The lazy entitlement that ‘justifies’ a culture of pretend also exists.

We’re long past the point now where questioning everything you see and/or hear could ever be considered “paranoid”. It’s healthy, rational and even a prerequisite for maintaining your sanity.

We know they’ll fake anything, so we must be prepared to question everything.

The importance of the language of theology and millenarianism for the Marxist revolutions

In 1988, Dr. Gary North gave a speech on Karl Marx and Marxism. The portion relevant here starts at this point and extends to the end about 12 minutes later.

Here’s what he says: In 1660, when Charles II acceded the English throne, it was clear the Puritan revolution had failed. From then on, the language, but not the system, of political tracts was secularised. For example, prior to 1660 there was regularly talk of the three ages of man being the age of the Father, the age of the Son and the age of the Holy Spirit. After that date, especially in the 19th century, there was often talk of the age of religion, the age of metaphysics and the age of reason.

This fed into the Marxian belief in an atheist millennium that was about to be ushered in, in fact that it was assumed to be “inevitable”.

However, the professional revolutionaries hit a brick wall in 1965, North says. And that was the undeniability of the failure of a socialist revolution in Indonesia. In a strong counter-revolution, 100.000 ethnic Chinese were killed by “racial anti-communists”. These, I assume, were Muslims (North doesn’t say).

North goes on to say that from then on, communists realised they couldn’t take over a country with deep religious roots. They would have to restructure their ideology and pitch and re-write their pamphlets.

They realised that they have to have a religious and theological foundation if they wanted to capture the minds of the people.

Out of these thoughts was born the “liberation theology”, which was, or is, particularly active in Latin America.

North finishes by saying that recruitment for revolutionary movements is based on a vision of world transformation and whose side you need to get on to drive progress toward a “new world order”.

My interpretation of North’s words here: From 1965, “Stalinist” communists implicitly agreed with the early “cultural Marxist” Antonio Gramsci, whom they had up until then treated as a heretic. The Italian Gramsci had in the 1920s written essentially that in Europe a Bolshevik revolution would not succeed because of the “cultural hegemony” of the Catholic church. It was these writings that inspired the Frankfurt School a generation later to their – largely successful – cultural revolution which has totally marginalised the church, where it has not been co-opted.

The COVID “vaccine” had no benefit

Zero. Zip. Nada.

Article by Steve Kirsch.


Official US government data, “gold standard data,” shows that the vaccine didn’t save any COVID lives at all. None. In fact, if anything, the data shows that the vaccine made you more likely to die from COVID. To the estimated 21 million people who were killed or seriously injured, you should know it was all for nothing.

[. . .]

In science, if you can’t explain a data point, you don’t just write it off. You have to explain it or at least publicly admit that your hypothesis could be wrong until you can explain it.

And this wasn’t cherry picked either. In the entire time I’ve been a “misinformation spreader,” I’ve only gotten one insider call from someone in a nursing home who would reveal the date that the vaccine was rolled out in her facility. One.

And even if I scoured all 15,000 nursing homes for a case like this, it still can’t happen because the probabilities are too small.

So I had two independent ways at looking at this data: the tip from the insider and the data reported to the government. Both aligned.

Does this deserve investigation?

Of course!

But there will be no investigations. Ever.

Because that’s the way science works nowaday [sic]. It’s all about ignoring all credible evidence that doesn’t support the narrative. And that should be troubling for everyone.