- Which is more important:
- the rights of the individual, or
the safety, security, and prosperity of the entire society?
- Which is more important:
- unity or
This is a question which philosophers and political scientists have been arguing about for centuries. It is called the problem of "the one and the many" (see a few titles in the box on the right).
Western philosophy has struggled from the beginning with the problem of unity and diversity. Greek philosophy failed in its attempt to explain the relationship between the one and the many. The Greeks attempted to explain the two by means of a dualism — a permanent dialectical tension — between form (Idea) and matter. To explain existence either in terms of the static One (Parmenides) or the chaotic Many (Heraclitus) is to fail to understand reality. But later Greek philosophers could not explain how the two are related. Either static, monistic, undifferentiated order swallows up the particulars of life, or else chaotic, formless, atomistic, and equally undifferentiated change swallows up order.
Christianity has the only answer, and it is the foundation for both liberty and social order. All other religions or philosophies ultimately lead to individualist chaos or tyranny.
The reason Christianity has the answer is that unity and diversity are equally ultimate in God, who is both One and Many. The one God exists in three Persons. God's Law in the Bible is a blueprint for human social order, and it perfectly balances individuality and social unity.
- Failure to answer this problem correctly leads to poverty and mass death.
- • It leads to fascism, socialism, communism and other forms of totalitarianism,
• or it leads to "survivalism," the breakdown of the division of labor, social fragmentation, riots, and chaos.
- The social pendulum often swings back and forth between these two extremes, as totalitarianism often produces revolution and a breakdown of social order, and then social fragmentation opens the door to some political messiah who is given dictatorial powers to bring order (salvation) out of chaos. Back and forth history swings, because fallen man prefers autonomy over Theonomy (man's law over God's Law).
For further study:
We believe one of the most important books of the 20th century is The One and the Many: Studies in the Philosophy of Order and Ultimacy by Rousas John Rushdoony.
Thomas Jefferson had a tremendous influence on America. His greatest influence probably has been after his death, as his words have been twisted by the U.S. Supreme Court and the ACLU to secularize America. Jefferson denied the doctrine of the Trinity. He believed the Bible had been altered by corrupt clergy and the doctrine of the Trinity was added to the otherwise-unitarian words of Jesus. If Jefferson had been able to see the brutal panorama of 20th century history, the chaos and the tyranny, and if he had been able to read Rushdoony's survey of the problem of the One and the Many from ancient Greece to the modern era, and the answer to that problem in the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, Jefferson would have seriously reconsidered his opposition to Trinitarianism.
Jefferson also would have reconsidered his unitarianism if he had been able to see how unitarianism has led to socialism and fascism. The states where unitarianism flourished have been the states where federalism and collectivism have dominated.
Finally, Jefferson was a victim of Enlightenment "higher criticism," which has since been exposed as a hoax. Jefferson's view of the Bible is not supported by historical facts.
America became the most prosperous and admired nation in history because it was built on the foundation of Trinitarianism as revealed by God in the blueprints of the Bible. We need to return to that foundation in order to protect liberty and social order.