Conquests and Cultures

Conquests and Cultures: An International History, by Thomas Sowell ★★★★★

Conquests and Cultures is the last of a series of three books by Thomas Sowell, the first being Race and Culture and the second Migrations and Culture. In Sowell’s words, the overarching theme of this series is to show that “racial, ethnic, and national groups have their own respective cultures, without which their economic and social histories cannot be understood.” In this text, Sowell focuses on British, African, Slavic, and American Indian cultures, though he generalizes a prevailing concept. This concept is that all civilizations have been subject to invasion and conquest, and how conquest has often enhanced a culture, and at other times has destroyed much of that culture. Beginning with the Roman Empire, Sowell demonstrates how countries that had a strong Roman presence have later come out stronger than their non-Roman counterparts, even after the demise of the Roman Empire.

It is hard to give a detailed description of this book, yet it held my interest through all of its pages. It is written from a distinctly conservative perspective, and Sowell uses his expertise in economics to further show how economic policy has affected the rise or fall of various cultures. The book is heavily referenced, and every page demonstrates a plethora of facts and details to support his thesis. I found the chapters regarding Africa and Western Hemispheric Indians to be the most fascinating, and greatly in support of the thesis of the previous book that I had recently reviewed, Not Stolen. You don’t find this stuff in standard textbooks. Reading this book will help round out one’s education with details that would never be taught in a liberal school or university.

Not Stolen

Not Stolen: The Truth About European Colonialism in the New World, by Jeff Fynn-Paul ★★★★★

I’ve already posted several reviews of books related to the conflict between the European settlers and Indians. In this text, Fynn-Paul provides a more comprehensive review of the interactions between the Europeans and the Indians. This text offers a rebuttal to claims made beginning in the 1970s that the Americas were “stolen” from the Indians. In that, Fynn-Paul is highly successful.

Columbus was the first European mentioned, followed by the Spaniards in general, then the French and English. The Pilgrim Thanksgiving was discussed, the trail of tears, settlement west of the Mississippi, and the western Indian “wars”. In each of these times and epochs, Fynn-Paul outlined various issues. Did the Europeans slaughter the Indians? (No; generally as many Europeans died as Indians). Did the Europeans feel superior to the Indians? (Generally, no, and often regarded them as noble races). Did the Europeans steal their land? (On rare occasions, they did, but nearly always, they paid well for the land. The cover photo of this book shows the Dutch negotiating for the sale of Manhattan Island. The Dutch got a large piece of malaria-infested swamp land, while the Indians got what they considered to most valuable–useful products from Europe. Both sides were happy, and Manhattan Island had no value until the Europeans developed it). Were the native Indians peaceful? (Almost always, no. Indian life was that of constant migration and warfare. There was no sense of permanent property, and new property and hunting grounds were obtained through bloodshed). Were the Indians the true environmentalists? (To even ask the question is laughable. They had no great concern about the preservation of either flora or fauna). Was American Democracy a gift of the Iroquis Coalition? (Again, with a little bit of information, this is a laughable question, though Fynn-Paul shows that it was definitely not). Was the Trail of Tears forced migration of the southeast tribes wrong? (For the most part yes it was, and most Americans at the time felt that it was wrong. Yet it showed a struggle by the newly formed USA to solve a vexing problem. Though it is taught as a massacre, in reality, less than 5% of the Indians perished in the process. A far greater percentage of Europeans were slaughtered at the hands of Indians in their migration on the Oregon Trail. ) Was there ever a genocide, such as putatively claimed in California in the aftermath of the gold rush? (Indian populations significantly decreased, but this was multifactorial. In addition, it is impossible to get accurate population counts on the Indians before and after the gold rush, so, it is impossible to make any hard and fast claims). Did the Europeans attempt to kill off the Indians through disease? (Even the Christian high school teachers where our children attended claimed this was true, there is hardly any evidence for that. The Indian population was exceedingly sensitive to the new diseases of the old world. The Europeans made enormous efforts to offer vaccinations to the Indians, who mostly refused).

One issue was brought up that I never considered. Fynn-Paul examines the native populations before the arrival of the Europeans. The USA and Canada had only about 20,000 TOTAL Indians in the entire area which is now filled by over 300,000,000 people. The preponderance of the Indians were in central Mexico (the Aztecs) and in western South America (the Incas). These people intermarried with the Spaniards so it is now impossible to sort out the pure Spanish or pure Indians. Thus, nearly every Mexican is a mestizo, which is of combined Spanish/Native descent. Thus, the Indians remain and are prospering, thanks to the European influence in their lives.

Many questions were raised and answered in this book regarding the interactions between the European settlers and the Indians. The chapters are nicely arranged as questions which are then answered through the text. Truth be told, there were terrible wrongs committed by both the Europeans as well as the Indians, and no group had a monopoly on virtue. The last section of the book summarizes a few contemporary issues. Did Europeans commit cultural genocide? Libtard scholars cannot provide any evidence for a physical genocide of the Indians, so the only recourse is to claim that a “cultural” genocide occurred. But is that all bad? Since when is a cultural status ever stable? As an example, before the Europeans, the Indians rarely were extremely successful at hunting buffalo, that is, until the Europeans provided them horses and guns. Would anybody in their right mind consider that to be genocide? The Europeans quickly provided education to the Indians, to learn to read and write, which is also relegated as a form of genocide. Is it cultural genocide when the Europeans put a halt to the constant Indian wars? When we name things after Indians, is that a form of cultural appropriation, and thus wrong? To even ask the question shows an abundance of folly in the questioner! Are the natives owed reparations? Heavens to Murgatroyd!!!! Even now, the native Indians receive more government handouts and are offered more privileges than any other minority group, including the negro.

This book is a wonderful text to read. I learned much, and appreciate that serious academic scholarship is refuting the ridiculous claims of the new liberal academia who are hell-bent on reconstructing truth. It is easy to read, and so I highly recommend it without reservation.

The Case for Christian Nationalism

The Case for Christian Nationalism, by Stephen Wolfe ★★

This book was obtained free from Amazon.com and read in digital format. Wolfe attempts to describe how a nation would look governed entirely by Christian leadership and (mostly) Christian citizens. Wolfe provides a heavily referenced text, though the most relevant text, the Bible, seems to come short. Tacitly assumed by Wolfe is a post-millennial world where everyone is Christian. Efforts to form a Christian society and government in this fallen world will segue into the millennial kingdom. Therefore, it behooves us to imagine how to best establish a Christian nation.

Wolfe spends much of his time describing either what he is going to do, or what he is doing at the moment. A huge portion of the book consists of quotes regarding a Christian government, written by (mostly) Protestant saints within the last few hundred years or medieval Scholastics. After introducing at length what Wolfe is going to write about, he begins by hypothesizing what sort of government would exist had the fall never occurred. Such idle speculation really doesn’t get one anywhere, since Scripture is silent on the topic. Scripture is silent perhaps for good reason; thankfully, the Bible wasn’t written by medieval scholastic scholars who would debate at length the imponderables, such as how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. Wolfe then discusses the fall of man and how this affects the establishment of a nation. Of importance is the identification of people groups or cultural groups, who would coalesce and govern themselves. Nations need a well-defined set of values and objectives, agreed upon by the masses. Issues of war were not discussed. Cultural Christianity would have an elevated status and thus define normative behavior in society. Wolfe discusses the construction of civil law in Christian society. He also describes what a Christian “prince” would look like, which sounds more like an unfallen sinless human than the fallen Christians who could lead us.

Wolfe then takes a turn and attempts to develop an argument for revolution. Wolfe doesn’t say overtly but does imply that bad government loses its legitimacy in God’s eyes, and thus it is right to overthrow such a government. Not mentioned is how one determines when a government is ever evil enough to call for revolution. Certainly, Christian history doesn’t help, as the early Christians in Rome probably were as great as a 1/4 of the population, and never ever sought to overthrow the government. In the chapter on conscience, Wolfe mulls over how much authority the state should have to suppress heresy, idolaters, false teachers, etc. Though his answer is quite lengthy, he really doesn’t provide even guiding principles for the management of heretics, save to identify how much harm a heretic might do to society and punish them accordingly. Wolfe’s attempt to go back to the founding fathers and show how the USA was essentially established as a Christian nation fails. Christianity was indeed the prevailing religion of the 17th and 18th centuries in America, yet evangelical movements such as with Whitfield and later Finney demonstrated that much of Christianity was in name only. Wolfe fails to demonstrate that the bulk of leadership in the American Revolution was only nominally Christian, thinking of such greats as George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, James Monroe, etc.

Stephen Wolfe fails miserably in his attempt to provide us a model for Christian nationalism. He is not wrong that for a Christian government to work properly, the subjects also need to be more than nominally Christian. Consider the eras in history when there was a truly Christian nation with Christian nationalism. Actually, there are many, but I’ll list a few. 1) Outre Mere (Jerusalem of the Crusaders) 2) Byzantium, 3) The Holy Roman Empire, 4) Oliver Cromwell’s England, 5) the New England Pilgrim states, 6) Taiping Heavenly Kingdom, and 7) The Colony (Belize). These are only a few attempts to set up an isolated group of people who will preserve and protect divine truth. All have (so far) failed. In the absence of a post-millennial hope, this book becomes relatively meaningless, or perhaps idle speculation and wishful thinking. Of course I wish we had a perfect, peaceful, Christian society, but with fallen man, such wishfulness remains nothing but fanciful daydreaming.

Scripture speaks plentifully about government. The clearest statement is found in Psalm 2, which paints man as forever attempting to overthrow God from His rule. The author Robert Case also develops an excellent argument as to why the book of Esther is relevant for developing a philosophy of politics (Esther & Trump, published by Saluda Press). Why Wolfe has so few Scriptures to defend his arguments is itself most telling. The VanTillian notion of the primacy of Scripture in philosophy and politics is defied by Wolfe, whom I might presume would consider himself a VanTil disciple. Wolfe’s suggestion that nations that restrict personal freedoms delegitimize themselves, yet Scripture would be at odds with this notion, starting with Psalm 2. I am not opposed to Wolfe’s desire to think out the characteristics of a Christian nation, though his inability to reckon with the dirty facts of life in a fallen world weakens his argument. Thus, I didn’t find this book very helpful at thinking through the ramifications of life in a political world. Who should I vote for? What laws are most fitting? Should our nation consider itself under the obligation of behaving in a Christian fashion with other nations? Should we allow open borders that provide for a large group that could be evangelized? Is Capitalism any more Christian than Marxism or other forms of government? If the nation is controlled by a Christian tyrant, is that bad? How should the nation treat citizens who reflect poorly on our nation’s Christian image on the international stage? Why does Christ occasionally mention non-religious people who have the art and skill of managing a nation? Should any nation identify as the world’s policeman? Is there a role for international law, and how is it developed and enforced? Many questions come out of this book; the book has value mostly at stimulating thought as to what government should look like. Otherwise, The Case for Christian Nationalism most fails in actually making a case for and against Christian nationalism. This book reminds me of a song by John Lennon, which imagines a fictional world that escapes reality. I quote the lyrics in full…

Imagine there’s no heaven
It’s easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us, only sky

Imagine all the people
Livin’ for today, Ah

Imagine there’s no countries
It isn’t hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion, too

Imagine all the people
Livin’ life in peace You

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will be as one

Imagine no possessions
I wonder if you can
No need for greed or hunger
A brotherhood of man

Imagine all the people
Sharing all the world You

You may say I’m a dreamer
But I’m not the only one
I hope someday you’ll join us
And the world will live as one

The War On Conservatives

The War on Conservatives, by Mark Dice ★★★★

Mark Dice is a YouTube commentator whom I regularly watch and demonstrates great perception in what’s going on out there in our government and political circles. Mark offers many insights in his videos, which is further reflected in this book. Though Mark has written a number of books that focus on a singular theme, this book covers a broad spectrum of themes. Much of what is discussed in the book is also covered in his videos, though the book takes the freedom to discuss issues and circumstances which would lead to a YouTube ban. Topics include 1) the decline in public school education, 2) the war on the family, 3) the attack on the symbols, traditions, holidays and historic culture in society, 4) Christianity and churches under siege, 5) the promotion of sexual perversion (please Mark, call it what is is, and NOT LGBTQRSTUVWXYZ+), 6) the invasion of our country through illegal immigration, 7) critical race theory (anti-whiteism), 8) main stream media and other government censorship, and 9) the failure of conservatives to stand up for the truth.

All of these issues are critical issues, and all of them are interconnected. Dice takes to the end of the book to circle around the real problem with the USA. It is not the politicians. It is not the deep state. It is not a select elite that control the country. It is not so-called “conspiracy theories” or secret societies. A cartoon best states the problem…

Old Testament prophets railed against evil leadership, but hit hardest on the general public that had lost faith in God, while retaining a gloss of religiosity. Americans are told a lie because they don’t want to know the truth. If they believe the “truth”, it relates to everybody but themselves. I look back on the hyper-conservative Amish-Mennonite church that I had grown up in, which is now in the throes of liberal thinking; their past attitude of “let the world go to hell, but we will hunker down in our own private little world” has served them no good. Even in the most conservative churches, you will rarely if ever heard preached the wrath of God, lest someone get offended, or the necessity of moral imperatives, lest the preacher be accused of legalism. The USA maintains a religious gloss but is rotten to the core, and so why shouldn’t God’s judgement be noted in all aspects of life? Not even Mark has the courage to state that America needs to repent, and no other action will solve her moral and social issues.

So, I diminish Mark’s book by one star. Is the book worth purchasing and reading? Absolutely yes! Does the book hit at the true root problem with Amurika? No. I know that Mark has a wonderful faith in God, and though we don’t expect him to become a soul-coach or preacher-man, perhaps his next book could attack the loss of faith among all, liberals and conservatives alike.

The Great Reset

The Great Reset and the War for the World, by Alex Jones ★★★★

I received this book in the mail several days ago, a personally signed copy by Alex Jones. Jones is an erudite and perceptive individual, though his manner and style of expression sometimes is a touch bothersome to me. His literary style would be well served with a smidgen of polish. Alex is highly controversial to many people, and the manner in which he has been silenced and sued by the Marxist left stands as a witness that America is no longer a great country. Globalism has been the liberal theme song ever since I was in college in the 1970s, and we are now witnessing its ugly face as it manifests itself in a maturing form. Much of the book is a review of the writings of Klaus Schwab and his minions. I laud Alex for even being able to read much of that garbage!

The first few chapters of the book detail the nature and character of the great reset. Using 4 books recently published by Klaus Schwab, Jones proceeds to show how the great reset is none other than a takeover of the world order. It is a Platonic dream in which a few enlightened individuals will be the world managers. Democracy and the choice of the people have no regard. People will NOT have private property, and all of their moves will be monitored. A version of Aldus Huxley’s Brave New World will be the theme song of the great reset. It is an atheistic world, God has no place, and hedonistic pleasure is the summum bonum of existence as well as the means of control of the populace. Alex provides a brief history of Schwab’s World Economic Forum (WEF), in that it was an outgrowth of the Trilateral Commission, started by Jimmy Carter and his national security advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski. The effects of the Wuhan bat virus (COVID-19) on creating a crisis to further strengthen the globalist power is detailed. Jones spends an entire chapter discussing Yuval Noah Harari, an Israeli intellectual and praised by Klaus Schwab, who proposes a dystopian future where humans will be phased out, with the replacement being robots, cyborgs, genetically recombinant humans, and, of course, the rulers.

Alex selects three areas of concern that are under the evil eye of the WEF. The first is the digital age and its ability to selectively control not only the media but also the financial world. A “rebel” can become a non-entity, losing any ability to interact, purchase things, or travel. The WEF is also focusing on the issue of energy. Environmentalism and climate change have become perfect means of creating a crisis to control people. Energy will soon become a scarce commodity. Equally scarce will be that of food, when the WEF and Great Reset take control of the food supply of the world. Meat will be removed from consumption (except for the controlling elite), and bugs will be offered in replacement.

Jones ends by discussing the bungling nature of the world’s elite globalists, and how they may become their own worst enemy. Such may be true, but it is amazing how often the most incompetent, inept people rise to positions of power; just look at our current president and members of Congress!

Alex Jones has tended to be correct in his predictions. In this book, I don’t think it is a perfect portrayal of the future, but offers a serious warning about where our world is headed. The Bible suggests a one-world government and authoritarian control of the masses; whether we are reaching that point or not remains to be seen. Jones attests that he is a Christian, and I have no doubt about that. I am troubled that oftentimes, Jone’s Weltanschauungen is everything but Christian. Jones reflects on a high point in Western Civilization being during the enlightenment; I would take serious issue with that. Though Jone’s heart is right, I believe he needs to spend a bit more time thinking through the full implications of his philosophical approach to the New Word Order, aka The Great Reset.