Our Threatened Freedom

Are We Moving Into Slavery? (04:05)

R.J. Rushdoony


R.J. Rushdoony: 00:00 Are we moving into slavery? This is R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom. From 1854 to 1844, Herbert Spencer wrote some essays later published under the title “The Man Versus The State.” One of these essays was titled “The Coming Slavery.” Looking ahead to our century, Spencer foresaw the development of a new slavery. The old slavery was in process of being abolished all over the world. The old slavery was the private ownership of men by other men. The knew and coming slavery would be different and more deadly. It would be the ownership of people by the State.

R.J. Rushdoony: 00:47 The roots of the new slavery, he said, would be in a supposedly humane belief. He saw the churches themselves, falling prey to and advocating this dangerous premise. As Spencer stated it, and I quote, “The current assumption is that there should be no suffering, and that society is to blame for that which exists.” There were thus, two aspects to this malignant and deadly belief. First, the belief that there should be no suffering is a denial of the need to grow or to pay the penalty for sins and errors. Parents are commonly addicted to this error. They do not want their children to go through what they had to go through, with the net result that their children fail to develop the character their parents have. Apply this principle to society, and you have social anarchy.

R.J. Rushdoony: 01:46 Second, there is the belief that society is to blame for that which exists. Responsibility and character, however, are primarily and essentially personal. When we deny that personal foundation of responsibility, we undermine both law and civilization. When we make such a deadly assumption mainly, that there should be no suffering and that society is to blame for what exists, we then work to regulate society, not to develop character, knowledge, and abilities in the individual. The end result of these regulations, Spencer predicted, is more regulations, and finally, massive slavery. All of us then become, in effect, the prisoners of the State.

R.J. Rushdoony: 02:34 The slave society is increasingly one answer to all problems. More regulations or more slavery. Those who try to maintain their freedom begin to give up and to join the ranks of the slaves, and you have a revolution into slavery. As Spencer noted, and I quote, “To one who doubts whether such a revolution may be so reached, facts may be cited showing its likelihood. In Gaul, during the decline of the Roman Empire, so numerous were the receivers in comparison to the payers, and so enormous the weight of taxation that the laborers broke down. The plains became desert. And woods grew where the plow had been. In like manner, when the French Revolution was approaching, the public burdens had become such that many farms remained uncultivated, and many were deserted. One-quarter of the soil was absolutely lying waste. And in some provinces, one-half was [inaudible 00:03:40].”

R.J. Rushdoony: 03:42 Spencer’s prediction is right. We are indeed, moving into the new slavery. But responsibility is personal, and we are not helpless pawns. The time has come for us to move into freedom. This has been R.J. Rushdoony with a report on our threatened freedom.

Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916–2001), was a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical law to society. He started the Chalcedon Foundation in 1965.  His Institutes of Biblical Law (1973) began the contemporary theonomy movement which posits the validity of Biblical law as God’s standard of obedience for all. He therefore saw God’s law as the basis of the modern Christian response to the cultural decline, one he attributed to the church’s false view of God’s law being opposed to His grace. This broad Christian response he described as “Christian Reconstruction.”  He is credited with igniting the modern Christian school and homeschooling movements in the mid to late 20th century. He also traveled extensively lecturing and serving as an expert witness in numerous court cases regarding religious liberty. Many ministry and educational efforts that continue today, took their philosophical and Biblical roots from his lectures and books.

Learn more about R.J. Rushdoony by visiting: https://chalcedon.edu/founder