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Politics of Guilt and Pity By RJ Rushdoony

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Short Summary:

Man, as a creature of God, derives true meaning entirely in terms of God. Thus, the essential categories of man’s thought and activities are inescapable to him. If man rejects God, these essential categories are not rejected, but find their expression in ways that are ultimately destructive to man. The state, as the most powerful earthly entity, becomes man’s substitute God. If man refuses to serve God, he will be a slave to other men.

Extended Summary:

The alpha and omega of man’s being is his creation in the image of God and his inescapably religious nature. Because man is a religious creature, the god-concept is inescapable to his thinking. Man will either serve the true God or create a false one. If man removes his gods or God from heaven, he will speedily create a new god on earth. In any system of thought lacking in transcendence, power and omnipotence become immanent concepts. The highest point of power in any system becomes the god of that system. As a result, statism, the most logical expression of that immanent power, becomes the manifest expression of divinity.

The essential attributes of the Creator, and those of man as a finite and fallen creature, are man’s inescapable needs in order to sustain meaningful life and thought. Sovereignty, infallibility, omniscience, power, coercion, an agency of certainty and control, responsibility, liability, truth, law, morality, sin, guilt, atonement, and salvation are all necessary categories of meaning and order for man, and constitute the inescapable substrata of human existence and thought. If God be denied, these concepts are not denied, but will find their expression in the mind and activity of autonomous man. What is denied to God accrues to man. The state, as the most powerful earthly entity, becomes the source of certainty, truth, law, and salvation. Wherever there is no theology of God, there will be a theology of the state.

The will to death and the hatred of self is inescapable for unregenerate man, at war with God and man, and with himself, guilt-ridden and in flight from life, reality, and selfhood. Unless meaning is rejected and suicide is affirmed, the problem is the source of meaning, God or man? If men will not serve God, they will become the slaves of men.

[Besides the Holy Bible, Rushdoony’s Politics of Guilt and Pity is the single most important book I’ve ever read. It speaks with great lucidity to the chief errors of our age. – Mickey Henry, Empty Tomb Books]

Selected Quotes

“The reality of man apart from Christ is guilt and masochism. And guilt and masochism involve the unshakeable inner slavery which governs the total life of the non-Christian. The politics of the anti-Christian will thus inescapably be the politics of guilt. In the politics of guilt, man is perpetually drained of his social energy and cultural activity by his over-riding sense of guilt and his masochistic activity. He will progressively demand of the state a redemptive role. What he cannot do personally, i.e., to save himself, he demands that the state do for him, so that the state, as man enlarged, becomes the human savior of man. The politics of guilt, therefore, is not directed, as the Christian politics of liberty, to the creation of godly justice and order, but to the creation of a redeeming order, a saving state. Guilt must be projected, therefore, on all those who oppose this new order and new age.” (page 9)

“[G]odly man must recognize that he has the obligation to be without pity and without charity in dealing with some, that this attitude, however harsh it may seem in terms of modern sentimentality, constitutes moral strength and spiritual integrity. He must recognize that he cannot rob himself or others in order to feed the undeserving of the world, or the improvident who demand as their right a portion of our wealth…[T]rue stewardship means a humility whereby man avoids a fundamental sin common to false charity, that of trying to be God.” (page 72)

“Religious relativism is the ground of political absolutism. The conception and demand for an absolute just order is strongest where men are most insistent that Christianity’s absolutes are without reality.” (page 126)

“Man needs a source of certainty and an agency of control: if he denies this function to God, he will ascribe it to man and to a man-made order. This order will, like God, be man’s source of salvation: it will be a saving order.” (page 185)

“If the state controls money and banking, it can levy an income tax and every kind of tax without any special apparatus. The state then has total economic power. By its manufacture of paper money, the state has the power to confiscate all wealth and nullify whatever wages it pays to the workers. Hard money is resistant to socialism: it provides the owners with independence.” (page 227)

“We must render honor and justice to all men wherever due, but we have a particular responsibility to care for our own. This means first of all our families…Biblical conduct is regulated by relationship, and to subvert this is to lead directly into welfare economics and socialism. If a man must exercise towards all men the same care, oversight, and charity he does towards his own family, then an impossible burden is placed on him…Every system of ‘universal’ ethics is at one and the same time a system of universal slavery.” (page 248)

“In terms of the Kingdom of God, the offices of priest and king are united in the person of Christ. Since the basic unity of the Kingdom is supernatural and messianic, the purpose of biblical history was thus to point to the ultimate and transcendental unity, while preventing an immanent and man-centered unity. Such an earthly unity of the two offices would transform the realm into the Kingdom of Man and make it a messianic order.” (page 293)

“The foundation of orthodox Christian political theory is the divine decree and the authority of the infallible Scripture. The foundation of classical, liberal political thought is natural law and the authority of the autonomous reason of man. The foundation of post-Darwinian liberalism is the necessity of statist law as the new predestination and decree and the authority of the scientific socialist elite of the state. Liberty under God was the concept of the Christian state; liberty under Nature was the thesis of classical liberalism, liberty under the state is the assumption of the scientific socialist state.” (pages 315-316)

Table of Contents

1. Masochism and Atonement 1
2. Scapegoats 11
3. The Return of Slavery 22
4. Hell and Politics 32
5. Bloodguiltiness 39
6. False Responsibility 44
7. The Sabbath, Slavery, and the Proletarian Revolution 47
8. The Politics of Suicide 59

1. The Biblical Doctrine of Charity 64
2. Identification and Its Implications 73
3. The Heresy of Love and the New Tyranny 90
4. The Purposes of Law 97
5. The Meaning of Justice 116
6. The Relationship of Man to Law 139
7. Truth and Liberty 153
8. Liberty and Property 164
9. Christian Social Ethics: Love, Justice, and Coercion 174
10. The United Nations: A Religious Dream 184

1. Money and Power 200
2. Money and Centralization of Power 208
3. The Moral Foundations of Money 217
4. The Soviet View of Money 226
5. Money and Progress 234
6. A Biblical View of the Problem of Interest 243
7. Usury and Cosmic Impersonalism 246
8. Limited Liability and Unlimited Money 254

1. Calvin in Geneva 263
2. The Priestly State 291
3. The Royal State 300
4. Democracy and Divinity 312
5. Eminent Domain 325
6. Biblical Doctrine of Government 331
7. The State as Prophet and Logos 344
8. The Politics of Slavery 357

Product Details

Item #: 0002
Title (short): Politics of Guilt and Pity
Title (full): Politics of Guilt and Pity
Author(s): Rousas John Rushdoony
Number of Pages: 371
Edition: First Edition
Copyright: 1970
Printing: 1995
Style: Hardback
Publisher: Ross House Books
ISBN-10: 1-879998-07-6
ISBN-13 None
Library of Congress Catalog Card #: 95-070355
Electronic Version: http://chalcedon.edu/research/books/politics-of-guilt-and-pity-2/
Dimensions: 8.8” X 5.8” X 1.4”
Weight: 1.6 lb
Shipping Weight: 2.1 lb
Price: $16.00

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