Why the left always wins.

And the non left always loses.

“Coordination Problem” is treating this as a deep and puzzling mystery.  Obviously they have not been reading Moldbug.

Leftism is a form of theocracy. The state endorses the belief system, and the belief system endorses the state. The priests (the Ivy league professoriat) get power and the state gets power. Indeed, since there is no fixed doctrine or direction of leftism, it is merely theocracy. Any theocracy is in a sense leftism, which is why leftists are so fond of Islamists – but since Islamists, unlike leftists, do have a fixed and definite doctrine, an unchanging holy book, they do not return the affection.

Leftism is the state, and the state is the left. Leftism is the state at prayer.

Naturally, those who intend to remake society in their interests, adhere to the faction that has been successful in remaking society in their interests. The left is simply the gang that has been winning, and so keeps on winning, while the right is whoever is getting run over by the bandwagon. The process is inexorably self accelerating.

Leftists are confident that Islamism has no fixed essence, that Islam can be whatever leftists would like it to be, because leftists have no fixed essence.

Most theocracies do have a fixed essence – because those without a fixed essence destroy themselves quite rapidly. In a theocracy the way to power is always to be holier than the next guy, to be lefter than thou, and if the religion does not have a book and immutable doctrine to anchor it, this results in doctrine becoming ever more extreme and ever more crazy.

Leftists project onto Christianity their own theocracy, and onto Islam their own fluidity. When they see Muslims taking “moderate” positions, for example the Muslim brotherhood’s gradualism, they conclude that Muslim brotherhood is well on the way to being progressive, but in reality the Muslim brotherhood’s gradualism is Mohammed’s gradualism. Mohammed favored the salami slicer procedure for eradicating opponents, so favoring more abrupt repression of heretics does not make a Muslim more Muslim than a gradualist, whereas favoring more abrupt repression of heretics does make a leftist lefter than a gradualist.

Leftists tend to be staggeringly ignorant of cultures and societies different from their own, since any actual knowledge of such societies is likely to be politically incorrect, or have politically incorrect implications. Since the way to power is to sincerely and loyally believe every single one of ten thousand points of ever shifting leftist doctrine, and reality is apt to contradict leftist doctrine, the way to power is to avoid knowing the difference between shit and beans. Even if reality fails to contradict today’s leftist doctrine, it might contradict tomorrow’s, so knowing reality can get you into trouble. Perhaps tomorrow it will be necessary to believe that beans remain unchanged after passage through a mule, in which case should you have ever believed otherwise, you will be a global warming denier or something equally heinous.

It is always safe, and apt to be profitable, to be lefter than thou, whereas right wing deviation is apt to be punished. This has been the case for a couple of hundred years. Even when slavery was in effect, it was apt to be hazardous to argue in favor of slavery, while very safe, and wonderfully respectable, to argue against it, and to argue for the dignity of the negro race, the inherent equality of women, that labor and the poor are oppressed. Dickens was wonderfully respectable, taking the safe, respectable, and popular position. Carlyle was not. In a conspicuous display of affirmative action the reasonably literate black schoolteacher John Jacob Thomas was in 1869 paraded around London as a brilliant intellectual, like a monkey dressed in a business suit – not primarily because he was a reasonably intelligent counter stereotypical black man, but because he was a reasonably intelligent counter stereotypical black leftist. And if anyone doubted the supposed brilliance of John Jacob Thomas, it cannot be because Thomas really was not all that bright, it must be because the doubter hates blacks and favors slavery. The doctrine first enunciated by Thomas is still around as Ebonics, and to doubt what we now call Ebonics was as hazardous back then as it is now.

And indeed, by and large the doubters did favor slavery, in the sense that they believed that blacks needed white rule for their own good or they would revert to savagery. And by and large, the doubters were right. For example, when the whites fled the Congo, cannibalism and genocide returned. Since the progressive finds it perfectly obvious that blacks are on average precisely equal to whites, and woman on average precisely equal to men in every respect, there can be no reason for doubting this other than hatred of blacks and desire to harm them. And thus, if one makes unkind remarks about women’s driving and parking skills, one will on most blogs be promptly banned, lest your horrid hatred of womankind causes trouble for the blog owner.

The good leftist will not only perfectly confident that women are just as good at driving as men, he will also be agnostic as to the difference between beans and shit, just it case that too becomes a point of leftist doctrine.

Does this mean we are doomed to always and forever move ever leftwards? Of course not. Trees do not grow to the sky. They grow to a certain height, then fall over. But we will move ever leftwards until we run into crisis and collapse. Chances are that democracy and the United States will end before the ever leftwards movement ends. Predicting when a tree will fall is chancy, but predicting that a tree will fall is certain. If you are in bus moving at high speed, and the driver is blind and insane, the bus will stop eventually.

45 Responses to “Why the left always wins.”

  1. […] As I said earlier, if you are in bus moving at high speed, and the driver is blind and insane, the bus will stop eventu…. […]

  2. […] pet causes are many, and new ones appear from nothing all the time. As Jim said in his probably most brilliant article, the elite today has to be dumb, not because it has biologically poor cognitive power, but because […]

  3. Aaronovitch says:

    Does leftism lack a fixed essence? I would imagine it to be egalitarianism. We are all the same, we are all one, we are the world, etc.

    • jim says:

      Environmentalism, which is leftist, wants to eradicate ninety nine percent of humankind. US leftism, which today calls the shots for leftists world wide, believes that blacks are equal to whites, but does not believe that white manual workers are equal to non manual workers – even if the non manual work is unskilled and poorly paid, and and the manual work is highly skilled and highly paid – for example Joe the puppeteer versus Joe the plumber. Joe the puppeteer is high status, Joe the plumber is low status. Leftists believe that rural whites are markedly and dramatically inferior to urban whites, despite, or perhaps because of, the high trust levels characteristic of rural whites, and the low trust levels of urban whites.

  4. bgc says:

    Jim – I think there is a confusion here between what you personally would like as a society (which I would term pick and mix libertarianism – that is all the best bits – from your perspective – of all the different types of societies), and what societies are actually possible (obviously this differs in the short and long term).

    What you personally want is almost certainly not on offer, and (IMO) would not last even if it was created. Or, at least, its cohesion is purely conjectural.

    I don’t know why you keep trying to call static traditional religious societies and modern progressive anti-religious societies by the same name of theocracy.

    On the face of it a society based on God is very different from a society based on anti-God. Then again there is the problem of conflating Christianity with other religions, all different, some very different. After all, Islam formed in opposition to Christianity and Judaism and displaced them from their heartlands.

    This *can* be done, but only at the cost or making the category of theocracy so broad as to be useless except as a contrast with (pick and mix, wishful thinking) libertarianism.

    And it is important to recognize that the two longest lasting modes of government in the past 2000 years have been – 1. Byzantium – lasting 800-1000 years, and 2. Islam 9lasting about 1400 years and stronger than ever) – both of which were religious states, and would be regarded as theocracies by most people.

    • red says:

      bgc neither Byzantium nor most of the Islamic empires were theocracies. Beyond the initial invasion of Arabia I think the only Islamic empire you could call a theocracy until modern times was direct rule by religious leaders in the the 15 century Persia.

      Here’s a definition of Theocracy from wikipedia:

      “From the perspective of the theocratic government, “God himself is recognized as the head” of the state, [4] hence the term theocracy, from the Greek ????????? “rule of God”, a term used by Josephus for the kingdoms of Israel and Judah.[5]

      A theocracy may have an administrative hierarchy of the government identical with the administrative hierarchy of the religion, or it may have two ‘arms,’ but with the state administrative hierarchy subordinate to the religious hierarchy.

      Theocracy should be distinguished from other, secular, forms of government that have a state religion, or are merely influenced by theological or moral concepts, and monarchies held “By the Grace of God”
      /End wikipedia quote

      The key to understanding all of this is getting the idea into your head that religions don’t need gods. This is hard to do so because the left has spent centuries describing themselves as the anti religion and creating the idea that believing in a god = religion. The reality is very few men can live without some kind of religion and that every system claiming to be without religion mirrors religion and becomes one in it’s own right.

      • bgc says:

        Well… definitions can be more or less agreed on, more or less broad. Theocracy doesn’t have a firm standard usage – the essence of it is that the society is run for the benefit of a religious goal.

        But what is a religion? – again there are narrower and broader definitions. A definition broad enough to include Zen would also include Liberalism – agreed, but then it would also include all bottom line ideologies or assumptions – and the whole thing seems to become mushy and useless.

        “The reality is very few men can live without some kind of religion and that every system claiming to be without religion mirrors religion and becomes one in it’s own right.”

        Yes, but not in the same way – since evil is not the opposite of Good but the distortion, ruin, subversion, inversion of Good. So the ‘religion’ of modernity/ Leftism/ political correctness has some of the characteristics of Christianity, but is anti-Christian as both its origin and essence.

        That is the most important thing about it, from a Christian perspective.

        The concept of the antichrist (from Biblical prophesies) captures this – the antichrist is that which distorts, mimics, parodies Christ but with the opposite purpose (i.e. using Christian element, but furthering the work of Satan, not Christ); insofar as the Left is a religion it is an antichrist kind of religion.

        • jim says:

          insofar as the Left is a religion it is an antichrist kind of religion.

          Some people don’t like the word theocracy for our existing social order because they think the doctrine of our existing social order is good and true, and past religious orders were not, and some people don’t like the word, because they think that past religious orders were good and true, and our present order is not.

          It is certainly the case that past Christian theocracies tended to promote civilization (those of them that survived anyway) whereas modern leftism tends to undermine civilization and is consciously hostile to civilization.

          So yes, this use of the word has problems, but what is an alternative word?

        • red says:

          Theocracy doesn’t have a firm standard usage because there are 2 forms of the word:
          1. Is a slur used to denigrate religions people/states the left is currently attacking.
          2. Is the actual historical definition along with historical examples of how such a society operates.

          The most commonly used version of the word is #1. What would probably be best for this entire debate is finding conceding ownership of the word to the left and finding a creating a new word.

    • jim says:

      I don’t know why you keep trying to call static traditional religious societies and modern progressive anti-religious societies by the same name of theocracy.

      This distinction assumes that which is to be proved – that what past theocracies taught was superstitious lies, while what today’s highly reliable authorities wisely teach you is simply the truth.

      The religious character of progressivism is obvious in its historical descent, and in its emotional relationship with believers, and in the manner in which it is catechized in schools.

      Theocracies were not static – just the ones that survived for any length of time were static. Theocracy has a chronic tendency to become ever holier, which eventually results in self destruction.

    • jim says:

      “On the face of it a society based on God is very different from a society based on anti-God.”

      Islamic theocracies are strikingly similar to political correctness, in particular Iran.

  5. […] – "Leftism is the state at prayer." […]

  6. red says:

    I theocracy describes a specific type of government, certainly not one where people vote even in sham elections, or where there is some degree of heterodoxy/political opposition to whatever elite ideology is.

    Is Iran a Theocracy? They describe themselves as a “theocratic republic”. They have sham elections with some opposition. Everyone has to say the right words and think the right thoughts to even get a shot at running for office. How are we any different?

    And there is no political opposition to the elite ideology in this country. The last of that breed died with the Birchers.

  7. Udolpho says:

    The “leftism/atheism/secularism as religion” argument is lazy and misleading. In general we tend to approach the world through belief systems that have intuitive, quasi-religious characteristics because that is how we are hardwired. Our brains aren’t too good at reason, they prefer to take shortcuts because it’s faster. What you’re saying here is lacking insight.

    • jim says:

      The point is not that leftism is a form of religion, but that it is a form of state religion. The problem is not that we tend to make the same fallacies, but that one can destroy one’s career should one fail to make certain fallacies.

    • red says:

      I read a comment thread at ace of spades the other day(A conservative political blog). The topic was an older Ron Paul newsletters pointing out that blacks commit crimes at much higher rates than whites. Ace mocked, described Ron Paul as crazy racist, and in general acted like he was 100% wrong.


      In the comments a few Ron Paul supporters point that according to FBI statistics Ron Paul is exactly right and were attacked as crazy, racist, and evil by the other commentators. After a bit of prodding Ace himself admitted the FBI statistics where true but he didn’t want them repeated. It was clear the actual problem Ace had with the commentators was the fact they were repeating a politically incorrect truth.

      Anytime you have a suppression of admittedly true data because it’s wrong to believe it you’ve moved from a system of reason and truth to a system of dogma. When that same dogma is dominate at every level of our society and not believing it is dangerous to keeping your job, your friends, and in some cases your life(Waco) then it’s clear that’s you live in a theocracy.

      • PRCalDude says:

        Ace is as conservative as Charles Johnson and about as sane. Same for his commentors.

        I’ve seen pictures of him and he’s a doughy failure.

      • Udolpho says:

        No it’s not clear because a theocracy is not a term used to describe any system which strictly adheres to an ideology. I don’t know why many religious people are infatuated with calling liberalism or political correctness a theocracy/religion. You’re just using theocracy incorrectly to mean any system where an ideology is enforced. That’s misuse of the term. I theocracy describes a specific type of government, certainly not one where people vote even in sham elections, or where there is some degree of heterodoxy/political opposition to whatever elite ideology is.

        • spandrell says:

          Read some history. Religious dogma has not been enforced at this scale since Savonarola in Florence. Even most Islamic caliphates were ruled as typical familial aristocracies, with little regard to theology besides keeping basic societal piece. Ditto for any ancient kingdom, for Chinese empires, etc.

          Modern liberalism well deserves the label of theocracy. Heterodoxy is not really allowed, you just can’t kill them all and keep the economy running. But most people shut up anyway. Where’s the HBD heterodoxy outside the internet?

          • Udolpho says:

            So you’ve already forgotten the Soviet Union, Mao’s China, Hitler’s Germany…I guess those are theocracies too, by your thinking. Whatever, it’s pointless arguing with someone who insists his bizarre definitions of words are the correct ones.

            • jim says:

              Ex communists tended to describe them as theocracies: For example “The God that Failed”

              Havel in his essay on the greengrocer describes a level of ideological enforcement in communist Czechoslovakia that is pretty similar to that which we are now experiencing in the USA, and is dramatically more severe than that experienced in most of our past.

          • Aaronovitch says:

            How do you distinguish between an ideological regime and a theocratic regime? Keep in mind that generally both can be dogmatic, that is neither is receptive to facts that contradict their worldviews. If there isn’t a boundary between the two then the metaphor isn’t very useful, its just another way of saying that they’re dogmatic. You should find a way to either make a better case for this metaphor or to drop it entirely.

    • sconzey says:

      It seems to me that those are precisely the reasons that the “leftism/atheism/secularism as religion” argument is both perceptive and important.

      Your main complaint is — I think — semantic; you dislike having the same word for theistic and atheistic “belief systems with quasi-religious characteristics” as you consider the theistic belief systems “not even wrong” per the chocolate teapot, whereas atheistic belief systems can be tested against reality.

      Moldbug tried a couple of times to solve this by coining new words: kernel/monitor etc. but as far as I know none of them caught on. What terms would you choose to talk about “belief systems with quasi-religious characteristics” ? Besquirks?

      • sconzey says:

        (addendum: I think this is an important problem that needs to be solved. A lot of people on comment threads and that I’ve spoken to in person struggle with the concept of “an atheistic religion”)

        • jim says:

          Communism is the classic example of an atheistic religion – the God that failed.

          Mencius repeatedly uses the concept of a memetic disease, a belief system that relies on something other than evidence and logic.

          But what we are talking about is a ruling memetic disease, one that relies on power and state endorsement.

          • sconzey says:

            Ah, the way the comments here are laid out has concealed the fact that my first comment was addressed at this comment of Udolpho’s:
            [quote]In general we tend to approach the world through belief systems that have intuitive, quasi-religious characteristics because that is how we are hardwired. Our brains aren’t too good at reason, they prefer to take shortcuts because it’s faster.[/quote]

            I was re-reading some classic Moldbug the other day (aside: the measure of the quality of an author’s thought, and prose, is to what extent they stand re-reading; I read “An Open Letter…” part 1 once on the tube into work, and once in the tube on the way home and enjoyed it equally both times :P) and I hadn’t really registered the first time how many paragraphs he dedicates to justifying that there is such a thing as an atheistic religion and that the subject merits discussion.

            As a religious guy growing up with a lot of atheist friends, the concepts of what Moldbug calls kernel and monitor have always seemed obvious to me, but given quite the amount of time Moldbug’s spent on the subject it seems to be a concept a lot of people struggle with.

            My atheist childhood friends certainly had trouble spotting “magical thinking” that didn’t invoke actual literal magic.

            So yes, I concurr that Communism is a prime example of an atheistic religion, using the terms as you and I understand them, but when we communicate, we use words to evoke in another a desired mental state — that means we have to speak the language they do, and use the words they use, in the sense in which they understand them.

            In most people’s minds, the word “religion” evokes images of churches, robed priests, gold and silver implements, odd symbols, stained glass, funky smells. More importantly, they will understand religion, store it in their brain, in the same way they store racism, or flamenco.

            So when you or I say to someone else: “Communism was an atheistic religion,” they suffer cognitive dissonance, because they think of the two concepts in completely different ways, using completely different mental operators. You or I might as well have said “Telephone is a rubber potato.” “What you’re saying here is lacking insight.”

            Which is why terminology is important, which is why Moldbug is always coming up with those stupid neologisms: “cryptocalvinism,” “synthetic eleemosynary institution.” Your brain’s never come across “synthetic eleemosynary institutions” before, so you have no choice but to clear some space on your desk and consider the concept afresh, free of any emotional connotations you might have had he said “social-democratic government” instead.

            So terminology is important. So what terms should we use when talking about the State Religion of Demotism (as you or I would put it)

            “Ideology” and the “ideological state” are good, but they lack all the red flags you get for free when you use “religion” and “theocracy”


  8. spandrell says:

    I’m starting to think that whites just are hard-wired for theocracy. Its what we do.

    • jim says:

      Yes, hence the argument that the only solution is one of the milder and more stable Christian theocracies. I do not like that solution, however.

      For so long as competing religious and political ideologies are allowed, natural selection will tend to discard all Christian elements that get in the way of theocracy, which is how progressivism arose in the US in the first place. A memetic disease will evolve to use the state to propagate itself, and the state will select memetic diseases that advance the state. The more powerful and intrusive the state, the worse the problem, and of course, an ideology that favors a larger and more intrusive state will be selected for, since it can provide jobs for the boys – note that pay for government jobs has been increasing rapidly, while real pay for non state jobs has been falling. Efforts to correct the pay problem have been political suicide. Preferential pay for government jobs turns out to be more sacred in practice than any other left wing issue.

      The higher the pay for government jobs, the more advisable it is to be a leftist. The more employers depend on government favor, the more dangerous it is for them to employ a non leftist. And the further we move left, the higher the pay for government jobs, and the more employers depend on government favor.

      At least a holy book limits how bad the theocracy can get.

    • jim says:

      While differences between races obviously matter, the difference in theocracy may well reflect the fact that whites have, for most of history, been more advanced than other races. Higher civilization causes and is caused by more communication between more people, which makes the wisdom of crowds more available, and the madness of crowds more dangerous. Theocracy is a particular form of the madness of crowds.

      • spandrell says:

        I’m not for a return to Christianity, you can’t resurrect what is dead. We just know too much to go back to believe in the Bible.

        But if theocracy gave us originally an edge, but now theocracy is killing us, what’s the choice? The death of civilization or the death of the white race? Either way civilization is dead.

        • jim says:

          Reading old books, it is clear that freedom of thought and speech has been declining uniformly since the early 1800s.

          The scientific method, with its rejection of consensus and supposed experts (“Don’t take anyone’s word for it”) is a prescription for resisting theocracy and the madness of crowds.

          In the early 1800s, science, science in the sense of the scientific method was high status, and every successful pirate who aspired to be a respectable English gentleman, would collect some interesting zoological and botanical specimens and send them off back to England with erudite commentary (in between massacring villages, burning cities, seizing merchant ships, and shaking down sultans for chests full of of bloodstained gold) .

          Note that without empirical data (the specimens), the erudite commentary would not have been high status.

          Today, science in the sense of the scientific method is not high status, indeed the scientific method is not really mentionable in polite company. Today, mere empirical data marks you as low status just as much as shouting “niggers are stupid and violent and need to be shipped back to Africa” – observe the reaction to people actually measuring the urban heat island effect by hanging a thermometer out the car window and driving from the countryside through the city and out to the countryside on the other side of the city.

          So what was right in the late eighteenth, early nineteenth century anglosphere?

        • jim says:

          After the dissolution of the monasteries, England remained pro-forma theocratic, but there was no real substance in the theocracy. The nearest to actual theocracy was Cromwell, who not very effectually repressed Christmas, but let a hundred flowers bloom. Mencius’s reset is a proposal similar to the dissolution of the monasteries and denazification – eradicate the theocracy and forbid the methods it employs. But who carries out the reset?

          Mencius’s reset is similar to the program carried out by Sulla to restore the republic – but such stern medicine is apt to kill the patient.

          • spandrell says:


            So what we need is a power hungry tyrant who doesn’t care about theology, Henry VIII style.
            Hardly a system. The problem still stands that white people default to theocracy given enough time.

    • Alrenous says:

      Absolutely, though I disagree that it’s genetic.

      What is a theocracy? It is a state philosophy.
      In fact, theocracy is what created the West’s success. It’s a tradition going back at least as far as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. However, the uncorrupted tradition is for the state philosophy to be logic and truth. Hence, things like the industrial revolution and the grand success of engineers and other applied mathematicians.

      Test: most other societies were dominated by scholar classes, much like Christian priests, but those scholars didn’t respect logic, and thus were what we now call non-STEM students. Our culture is the only one where the scholar hierarchy is topped by Reality.

      Unfortunately, having a respect for theocracy, in addition to the communication issues Jim mentions, makes theocracy particularly dangerous for white culture.
      The use of logic also backfires if Reality loses its hold on scholar status. Proggies change their premises all the time, but if you look at any particular moment, they reason forward fairly reliably from those premises – directly into the insane conclusions you’d expect from deprecating reality.

      • jim says:

        Our culture is the only one where the scholar hierarchy is topped by Reality.

        Science and the scientific method became relatively safe, or at least less dangerous than usual, after the dissolution of the monasteries, but it only became high prestige after the restoration. When the furtive invisible college became the prestigious Royal Society, then the scientific method was on top, and as a result, the STEM fields were on top. Today, however, diversity studies are on top. Majors that require calculus as a pre-requisite are still high status, but the scientific method is not only low status, but horrifying low status, as bad as shouting “Niggers are stupid and violent”. Replication is not only little practiced, but real replication is socially unacceptable, shockingly unacceptable. The main concern is not empirical verification, but getting enough women to superficially appear to be participating in STEM fields.

        • Alrenous says:

          Even the monasteries respected logic, however. Whether the angel-pin-head thing is true or an urban myth, at least they argued about it. Both Augustine and Aquinas can be safely called philosophers.
          To them, Reality was the Bible, which is somewhat problematic, but to get from Aquinas to Grosseteste is one step – identify physics as God’s work. Indeed, Grosseteste predates Aquinas.

          Yes, today reality has lost its grip on the top spot. Which means no culture’s scholar hierarchy is topped by reality.
          I can’t believe the rejection of the Bible and the rejection of reality were simply coincidental.

      • spandrell says:

        I say its genetic because I’ve lived in Asia for quite long, and NE asians are not theocratic. They just don’t do metaphysics. And don’t get it when somebody explains it to them.

        I think the rejection of reality comes from the necessary consequences of acknowledging HBD. Which is the simply that all races but Whites and NE asians can’t be allowed to survive.
        Reality got scary, so we stopped believing in it.

        • jim says:

          “I think the rejection of reality comes from the necessary consequences of acknowledging HBD. Which is the simply that all races but Whites and NE asians can’t be allowed to survive.”

          Descent of Man, Chapter 07

          “At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilised races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time the anthropomorphous apes, as Professor Schaaffhausen has remarked,* will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilised state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the negro or Australian and the gorilla.

    • Kylia says:

      Hekvcua good job. I sure appreciate it.

  9. Alrenous says:

    The process isn’t quite inexorable. One could use atheism’s weapons against Christendom against atheism. The Theseus or ju-jitsu approach. That said, I can’t safely guess what the actual weapons are. Causation is hard.
    Though I think I can safely say one wouldn’t be able to use the weapons on behalf of Christendom or any other traditional belief system. Mainly because they’re mortally wounded by said weapons.

    • red says:

      Most Christians are leftists to some extent and want to be replace atheistic theocracy with Christian theocracy. The most successful version of the church was the medieval church which was not a theocratic beyond the papal states. It was local, worked with in what works for the locals, and had no actual military power. Church courts were optional and you could simply walk away from their judgment if you so chose. Today’s Christians (just like leftists) would toss you in jail for defying their moral judgement given the power to do so.

      • jim says:

        “Today’s Christians (just like leftists) would toss you in jail for defying their moral judgement given the power to do so.”

        Would they? Back when Christians had some power, the only specifically Christian repressive law that I recall was the drastic prohibition on sodomy. More recently, there is the Texan prohibition on sex toys (never actually enforced) Alcohol prohibition, raising the age of consent, prohibiting drugs, and so on and so forth all came from the progressives, or the Christian predecessors of progressives, whose distinctive characteristic was not their Christianity, for they had already thrown the Bible overboard and remade Jesus into chief community organizer, but their proto progressivism. As early as the civil war the censorious predecessors of today’s progressives were finding the Bible an embarrassment, with its explicit tolerance of slavery (Christians are encouraged, but by no means required, to free their slaves) and its severe position on wive’s submission to their husbands. (Wives must submit and obey. Wives but not husbands must be virgin at marriage. Wives can be divorced for cause, but not husbands. Divorced wives are forbidden to remarry while their husbands are still alive) The nominally Christian predecessors of progressives, of course, found all of that entirely unacceptable.

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