21 Radicals, Four Horsemen of Progressivism and the Four Horsemen of American Liberty

Worldview Weekendby David Noebel

Just as I finished reading Grave Influence: 21 Radicals and Their Worldviews that Rule America from the Grave, I noticed that National Review (December 31, 2009) carried a series of articles entitled "The Four Horsemen of Progressivism" (Richard Ely, John Dewey, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., and Herbert Croly).

A few hours later I read in The New American (January 4, 2010) about another four called "The Four Horsemen of American Liberty." These four included such well-known thinkers as Algernon Sidney, Samuel von Pufendorf, Jean-Jacques Burlamaqui, and Emmerich de Vattel, who had a profound effect on the thinking of our Founding Fathers.

This brings me back to Brannon Howse's latest work on 21 thinkers who actually do rule America-and they're all dead!

But first a little background on how they're able to rule from the grave. The one historian who emphasized the importance of going behind historical events to the "ideas" that preceded them was Lord Acton. Acton, of course, was famous for his quip, "Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely."

However, he also made the observation that 20 or 30 ideas-he calls them "currents of thought" or "attitudes of mind"-provide "the structure of modern history and hold the key to explaining it." Most of these ideas, according to Lord Acton, were either "religions or substitutes for religion."

If we add National Review's four horsemen to The New American's four and Brannon Howse's 21, we'd have the think tank of the 21st century in a nutshell. These 29 thinkers have given us the ideas that make today's world go 'round. And if today's world is a mess (and it is!) go no further than these even though four of the 29 were decent!

There's no need to wonder why the 20th century produced such carnage-over 300 million human beings slaughtered! Lord Acton predicted this result by observing the ideas of the late 19th century-socialism, atheism, nihilism, and relativism-ideas that produced Communism, Nazism, Fascism, Progressivism, Secular Humanism, and yes, modern liberalism! (See Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism or Ann Coulter's Godless if you doubt!)

While I'm indulging in this jeremiad, and since Christianity is disdained by most of these radicals, allow me to observe that Christian thought was responsible for none of the 20th century's carnage! Ideas about creation, created in the image of God, moral absolutes, soul, spirit, family, justice, Christian love, or Christian charity, for example, were not the force behind the slaughter.

Which brings me to Brannon Howse's effort to identify those responsible for the mess we're in. Included among his 21 radicals are Alice Bailey, Helen Schucman, Betty Friedan, Margaret Sanger, Julius Wellhausen, Soren Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, John Dewey, William James, Kinsey, Benjamin Bloom, B. F. Skinner, Darwin, Marx, John Maynard Keynes, Langdell, Saul Alinsky, Freud, and the ACLU's founder, Roger "I am a communist" Baldwin. Howse also includes the Frankfurt School with its titans of radical thought-Herbert Marcuse, Theodor W. Adorno, Max Horkheimer-all Marxists, too!

While Howse does an admirable job distilling the ideas of these radicals. His chapter on Alinsky is timely since the present American administration is wrapped in Alinsky cloth. The radical ideas of several of these thinkers are also oozing throughout the Obama administration, such as his economics czar, who claims to be a follower of John Maynard Keynes. Other of his czars claim the ideas of Karl Marx and Mao tse Tung.

On page 38 Brannon reveals Eric Pianka who is very much alive. Pianka's thinking plays a role in the present day scheme to save the planet by reducing the human race by 90 percent. I imagine that Pianka assumes he'll be in the fortunate 10 percent! Pianka is a biology professor at the University of Texas and was named the 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist by the Texas Academy of Science. But since we must divorce morality from science, what's so bad about eliminating 90 percent of the population if humans are mere evolving animals whose carbon footprints are dramatically warming the earth's temperature.

I suggest you read a chapter of 21 Radicals a day-that's one radical a day that you can digest over the next 24 hours until you're hungry for another whose ideas are probably being taught to your son or daughter in our public schools. Have I mentioned yet Obama's safe schools czar, Kevin Jennings, who wants to queer our elementary children and introduce our secondary students to the glories of the homosexual lifestyle? Want to bet he finds a kinship with Alfred Kinsey who Brannon covers in chapter 12!

Did someone say, "This must all be fiction"? You decide!

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