This is it. This is the big one.
For more than 150 years, statists and socialists have had their Communist Manifesto–a puny pamphlet full of revolutionary, rabble-rousing rhetoric that gave voice to the repressive, totalitarian leanings of generations of anti-Christian, anti-free-market despots and their minions.
Now, thanks to this monumental “labor of love” from Joel McDurmon, the anti-statists and God-fearing, Bible-reading, libertarian-leaning folks finally have theirs: a “localist manifesto”!
In Restoring America, One County at a Time, Joel McDurmon has written and published his magnum opus. It is an absolute masterpiece. It is a historical, political, theological–and rhetorical–tour de force.
Finally! A book that very compellingly brings together all the practical aspects of biblical Christianity to bear on the reality of what Sorokin called “The Crisis of Our Age,” what Buchanan called, “The Death of the West”, and the civilizational slide described by Barzunin in “From Dawn to Decadence” and Bork in “Slouching Towards Gomorrah.”
Forgive me for gushing like a teenager, but,… this really is a TOTALLY awesome book!
It almost brings a tear to my eye.
Yes, I know, it’s only a book. But, McDurmon’s jam-packed how-to guide for reforming (some would say “reconstructing”) America through a systematic return to localism, fiscal responsibility and transparency and sound principles of government, law and economics, is so well-written, so tightly-focused, so well-argued, thoroughly-documented, comprehensive in scope and yet eminently readable and understandable–and, above all, actionable–for the average person (voter/citizen), that it almost defies all possibility of any negative criticism, at least from me.
But, I am not writing this as a literary critic. No, sir. I am writing as an enthusiastic, RAVING fan of biblically sound, intelligently reasoned and concisely presented information that is both historically faithful and intellectually challenging to the status quo of virtually every other book that treats of the same subjects (except, of course, for those written by fellow reconstructionists who have been arguing for 40+ years the principles behind what McDurmon is setting forth here), such that “Restoring America One County at a Time” has the potential to radically change a lot of people’s lives and even change the course of an entire nation.
That’s a BIG deal.
That makes McDurmon’s book a truly path-breaking work. It is a new manifesto for a new generation of liberty-loving, tyranny-hating Americans.
A Localist Manifesto
This is a ten-step recovery program for a nation mired deep in the throes of a chronic, long-term addiction to statism, centralized government, coercive empire-building, global governance by private corporate interests and, as of late, advancing stages of executive tyranny.
Joel–or, more accurately (now that he has been awarded his Ph. D.), DR. Joel!–has put together an extraordinary combination of historical causation, political and theological foundations for how we can get back our freedoms and restore, little by little, the nation’s collective cultural and societal health, an abundant array of examples showing our ideological short-sightedness, historical ignorance and political laziness (especially of Christians, who have in their possession the best political science textbook and manual of social theory ever written–the Bible!), with an almost “fool-proof” game plan for us to follow–a highly specific “to-do” list of reform measures and simple technological tools (like WordPress and You Tube) that individuals and communities can use to begin the dual process of exposing the fraud, corruption and systemic problems that exist, and presenting the particular biblically and historically based solutions that will correct them.
The unique thing about his proposals is this: none of them are intended to be applied at the federal level. NONE!
This is a road map to recovery that leads straight to local governments. It never touches Washington. It is all about counties and municipalities (with states included only as a secondary objective, the “next level”). The federal government is left completely out of the loop here because, well, to quote the late President Ronald Reagan, “Government (federal) is not the solution to our problem; government IS the problem!”
Think Biblically, Act Locally
The wrong-headed political thinking of so many Americans, and so many Christians, is that the only way to bring about real “change” and national reform and stem the tide of our nation’s decline is by changing the folks in Washington who represent us (or purport to), thereby leap-frogging over and effectively disregarding the state and local government levels because they’re, you know, minor league, and, well, after all, there’s a lot more “bang for the buck” when you head straight to the top and go for the whole enchilada.
McDurmon says this is wrong, wrong, wrong! That is what got us into this fine, socialist, statist mess in the first place. We got here and have reaped the whirlwind rewards of “salvation through legislation” the old-fashioned way–we earned it–slowly, progressively, and, alas, as Joel elaborates in chapter 4 on States’ Rights, constitutionally!
The broad scope of this little 400-plus-page book is simply astounding. That makes it all the more valuable and all the more vital to read, especially for “activist”-minded Christians and the rising generation of libertarians (small “l”) who have been searching for a handbook giving them a detailed strategy to follow of how to defeat the tyrants of the 21st century and their enablers and supporters, as well as the failed philosophies, hare-brained theories, hokey economic principles and academic fantasies that have undergirded them for far too long, once and for all.
I won’t do a full-blown “book report” here. I just want to whet your appetite to entice you to HURRY up and finish reading this article and then click through to your nearest (or favorite) online bookseller and buy yourself a copy of this fabulous book.
There are so many excellent quotes that could be pulled from almost any page you read. I’ll just give you a sample:
Education in a free society means exclusively “private” education. We are never free as long as we are subjected to compulsory government education shored up by threats, penalties, fines, and taxes—to any degree or at any level.
So, instead of thinking of Social Security as some kind of investment program, a fund you’re paying into on which you can draw in the future, you need to see it for what it is—a tax now, spend now scheme (tax you now, and spend on others now scheme).
In principle, limited and localized government is an outgrowth of specifically Christian thinking; particularly the demands that 1) rulers are not divine, but are themselves subject to a higher law, 2) private property is to be protected and property owners invested with powers against encroachments even from government, 3) social relationships are based on legally binding contracts, and 4) power enables corruption and should therefore be limited, checked, and safeguarded. In short, we have a society based on religious faith, property rights, honoring of contracts, and individual responsibility—all fundamental things derived directly from the Ten Commandments.
But if taxes must exist, they should be as decentralized as possible. Only the most local municipality should have power to tax the individual.
The biblical prescription for markets and business is very simple: non-violence, enforcement of property rights and enforcement of contracts.
Civil rulers are to be representative servant-leaders of the people, and thus biblical government is representative government.
Civil disobedience in egregious cases—necessary cases—is a long accepted and ancient Christian right and practice which modern Christians need to recover.
What is clear here is that God’s society makes no provision for a standing army and none for military conscription or a draft.
…the Constitution defines the President’s power so broadly that he can essentially create new laws by interpreting undefined areas of existing law according to his own agenda, interpreting how to implement existing laws, or he can perhaps even ignore specific laws of Congress if he thinks they infringe upon the broad interpretations he comes up with.
And so forth and so on.
Joel does a masterful job of laying out and expanding upon all of the ten topics he discusses in his book.
- County Rights
- States’ Rights
- The Executive
His Epilogue is his final “pep talk” to his team-mates, and he follows it with an Appendix calling for the Repeal of the Seventeenth Amendment, which he argues was “an important assault on states’ rights” that ultimately weakened them and “magnified the power of special interests in Washington.”
A Scripture and Subject Index round out his seminal work. Of course, the iBook and Kindle versions of “Restoring America” contain word-searchable texts with hyperlinked footnotes and links to many of the sources he cites in his dozens of footnotes.
This book is destined to be a runaway non-bestseller among Christians. That’s because too many of them believe, (a), the Bible has almost nothing to say about politics, economics and the proper role of “biblical” government in our lives, and, (b), what little it does say promotes “Christian socialism” and the welfare state. (Thank you, Jim Wallis.) The remainder believe that it is a waste of time to go about trying to “restore’ and reform very much of this world, since, after all, it’s about to be totally immersed in the conflagration of the Great Tribulation, and we (meaning they) won’t be around anyway since ‘Jesus is coming soon’, i.e., any minute now, and the imminent Rapture will make all of this a non-issue anyway. . . It should be a hit among a large contingent of the libertarians–those who are not seduced by the anarchic, extra-biblical tendencies of so many of the proponents and writers in the liberty and Austrian economics movements.
Be all of that as it may, my advice to you is, get this book (immediately), read it thoroughly and thoughtfully, and then begin to DO what it says.
The nation’s 3,143 counties are counting on you to implement its vision!