Written By: Josh Kimbrell.
In 1889 Fredrick Nietzsche posed a question for which we’re still receiving the answer: “What will we do as the Earth is set loose from its sun?” This thought provoking question was part of Nietzsche’s parable on the “death of God.” Of course, Nietzsche wasn’t arguing that God had physically died so much as He had become irrelevant. It is, as Chuck Colson characterized, “not because He doesn’t exist, but that we live, play, procreate, govern, and die as though He doesn’t.” As it turns out, the sun from which we’ve become detached is, in actuality, the Creator of light.
Modern American politics illustrates this concept with depressing clarity. We are perilously close to abolishing God as our Nation’s ultimate lawgiver, and grantor of inalienable rights. On the far left, we see a dangerous deference to the state as the origin and defender of our basic liberties. On the right, we see a reaction that suggests that “We the People” are the guarantors of our own rights. In this case, both the right and the left are wrong, and the consequences for both shall be equal and absolute tyranny. The reason: each ideology has, at its core, the belief that people, or at least a group of people, ultimately determine right from wrong. Each effectively suggests that the rights of man come from man.
Now, before you all miss my point, allow me to clarify that I’m a small-government conservative. I believe that “We the People” ought to govern our own affairs, improve our own finances, and raise our own families without interference from the state. We need to roll-back spending, slash deficits, shrink the size of government and return power to the people; however, we must not abandon our consensus social principles in the process. Straight Libertarianism is as great a threat to freedom and free markets as is big-government paternalism. Both approaches are, at their very core, based on the belief that man is inherently good. If history has taught us anything, it’s that humans are capable of great atrocity and hatred.
American Exceptionalism is rooted in our Judeo-Christian heritage, which provides the cultural conditions necessary for freedom. Consensus values inform the larger social consciousness, thus limiting our need for excessive laws and regulation. This, in turn, leads to a flourishing freedom that unleashes the entrepreneurial spirit, drives innovation & economic expansion, and provides a framework for millions of Americans to pursue happiness. In the current debate over our Country’s future, conservatives must not take the Mitch Daniels (GOP Gov of Indiana) approach of focusing exclusively on economic policy, while ignoring cultural issues. A strong cultural foundation is necessary for economic prosperity.
Some time ago, Representative Nikki Haley wrote an article for our CEO Round Table newsletter, EnableSC, entitled “Families First.” In this timely article, she argued that strong families reduce the role, indeed the need, of the state. This kind of consistent reasoning on the relationship between economic and social issues is required to restore our Constitutional framework, natural rights, and economic strength. Going down a path of economics-only libertarianism will lead to the same destination as big-government paternalism: a land of man-made rights creeping ever closer to tyranny. Soulless policy is soulless policy, regardless if it’s right or left. Let’s reduce the size of government, thus reclaiming South Carolina and America, by rightly understanding that we can’t set ourselves loose from our sun: the Truth of God.
* Derived from upcoming book Economics of Eternity Copyright 2010 CEO Round Table of South Carolina
Joshua B. Kimbrell
President & Chairman
CEO Round Table of South Carolina
Josh Kimbrell is President & Chairman of CEO Round Table of South Carolina. CEO stands for “Christians Empowered & Organized.” Part of the mission of CEO Round Table is “to promote a way of life that embraces faith, family, and freedom.”