Skip to comments.Karl Keating on the Decline of the National Review and Other Matters
Posted on 07/06/2005 10:01:01 PM PDT by annalex
THE NEEDLE, PLEASE
I think I was in college when I first subscribed to "National Review" magazine. I kept renewing faithfully for more than three decades. Some years ago a youngish editor was brought in, and after a while I no longer saw any of the familiar names.
Of course, some long-time writers had moved into a well-deserved retirement, and some had died. It was natural for the roster to change, but other things also changed, including the magazine's intellectual level and commitment to principle.
This year I ignored the pleas to renew and let my subscription lapse. Occasionally I visit the magazine's web site, National Review Online, but the same new writers are there, producing much juvenilia and showing themselves to be more loyal to a political party than to traditional ideas.
Let me give one example. John Derbyshire, a transplanted Englishman, wrote this at the web site:
"At the Atlanta bash last month, an audience member asked the panel whether the [Terri] Schiavo case had caused us to change our minds about the underlying issues. I piped up and said, yes, the case had changed my mind in one respect. It had made me realise--a thing I never realised before--that I do favor euthanasia.
"Ramesh [Ponnuru, another writer for "National Review"] asked me at some point why, if I were willing to see Mrs. Schiavo have her feeding withdrawn so that she dehydrated to death over several days, I wasn't willing to just have her [be] given a lethal injection. I couldn't think of any satisfactory answer to this, and haven't been able to since; so in all honesty, I am bound to say I favor the lethal injection, in at least some cases.
"Since I have never had a strict anti-abortion position, I suppose I shouldn't be surprised to find that I don't have a strict anti-euthanasia position, either. I just hadn't thought it through before."
Sandra Day O'Connor has tendered her resignation, and President Bush is making preparations to nominate a replacement. We will know soon enough who that will be.
Liberals on the Senate judiciary committee are making the usual demands for a "centrist" nominee, which is to say someone who passes the pro-abortion litmus test. Unlike many others, I have no problems with litmus tests. I think the President should use one in making his choice.
The one he should use was given in our "Voter's Guide for Serious Catholics." The nominee should be someone who conforms to Catholic teaching on all five non-negotiables, even if the nominee is not a Catholic. Other considerations should be secondary: male vs. female, this ethnic group or that, long-time confidant of the President or not.
Just as a litmus test should be used in selecting a new member of the Supreme Court, so one should be used in selecting writers for a magazine that claims to articulate the conservative political position. While I hope that the President will have the courage to impose a litmus test (I have my doubts, but we shall see), I have no real hope that "National Review" will undertake an internal reform. I think the magazine is too far gone.
"National Review" has been reliably, if not ideally, pro-life, but why is a man such as John Derbyshire still associated with it?
I had not been aware that he "never had a strict anti-abortion position"--I do not recall his having written about abortion--but now he has admitted it, and he has gone further than most of the people who sided with Terri Schiavo's husband. Derbyshire says it would have been fine if she had been put to death the way inmates on death row are put to death (and the way pets are "put to sleep"), with an injection.
No matter what his skills as a writer--and he has produced nicely crafted columns--Derbyshire has shown himself to be a bad thinker. He may be expert at mathematics (I have enjoyed his frequent mathematical interludes), but he is hopeless at morals. That he remains at the magazine tells us much about its editors and their principles.
There was a time when "National Review" really did "stand athwart History, yelling 'Stop!'" (a line from its first issue). But that was a long time ago. Accommodation with the secular mind-set started several decades back, but with the almost complete changeover in staff the accommodation accelerated, and the result is a party magazine that increasingly follows the "big tent" strategy.
This is not a strategy based on firm principle but on the exigencies of political maneuvering. If today the magazine has no qualms running articles by someone who favors euthanasia, is there any certainty that in a few years it won't favor euthanasia as an editorial policy?
POPE PETER II
Yes, this is a look at another anti-pope. I ask you to read these few paragraphs because there will be a follow-up in next week's E-Letter. The follow-up will not be about the man who styles himself "Pope Peter II" but about a prominent American apologist who, it seems, has a connection with this anti-pope.
For now let me tell you about Maurice Archieri. He says he became the real pope in 1995 through the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
Archieri was then 70, so he would be 80 now. Prior to his retirement he worked as an automotive mechanic. I have been unable to find at his site anything to suggest any sort of theological training. What I did find was a touching video. You can find it and his position papers at http://custodi.club.fr/Indexangl.htm
The video shows the 2002 episcopal ordination of Jean-Marie Archieri. The ordinand seems to be nearly as old as "Pope Peter II," so perhaps he is his brother. Be that as it may, the video shows a ceremony that takes place in a tiny chapel, cluttered the way most "independent Traditionalist" chapels are cluttered. The room may have been used previously as a bedroom. It is that small.
The two Archieris are assisted by a much younger man, dressed in a surplice. He looks a bit bored. He frequently turns his head to look around the room, and at one point he rubs his finger in his ear. I wonder what he really thought about these two elderly men playing bishop.
"Pope Peter II" heads a group called Catholici Semper Idem (Catholics Always the Same). Its web site is in French with an execrable translation into English. The translation apparently was generated automatically by a computer program--in this case a program that needs a more skilled programmer.
Despite the mock-English, you can make out well enough the group's arguments, the chief one being that John Paul II was not a real pope. In the mind of "Peter II," the late pontiff actually was a "prophet of the Antichrist" who merely dressed up as pope. This is ironic, coming from a man who dresses up as pope.
There are many anti-popes in today's world, perhaps more than at any time in history. In some cases--and perhaps this is one--it is hard not to feel empathy for the pretender because the man does not realize that he is pretending. For whatever reason, he really thinks that he is the head of the Church.
It is hard to be angry with someone whose actions may be the result of mental imbalance, senility, or grossly misguided idealism. (Some anti-popes are quite clearly con men, but most appear to be convinced of the authenticity of their papal status.)
As I said, these paragraphs about yet another anti-pope have a connection with something that will appear in next week's E-Letter. Stay tuned.
Until next time,
LOL! Classic Gipper punch line. That's what he called the most frightening words in the English language.
I'm not saying that mandatory community service is a good thing, just that not all forms of required service can fairly be called slavery. If the country is in trouble, and that service is necessary to prevent real slavery it's justified.
Oh, I beg your pardon. You've argued that government compel its citizens only for good purposes. Silly me.
You really seem not to get the fact that to justify a dubious principle with the proviso that it not be abused is ipso facto utilitarian.
Shouldn't it be obvious that arguments predicated on the Declaration of Indpendence presume that government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed?
No. These days the governed consent to a great many depraved things. You will not find a majority in this country prepared to vote for human life protections in line with those demanded by the Catholic Church. You have got to face the fact that some political theories implicit in the Declaration -- specifically, the notion that all power derives from the popular will -- are radically inconsistent with a Christian view.
Considering what the Gipper did to jolly along conservative while massively expanding government and giving nothing but lip service to conservative social concerns, I'd call it a Classic Gipper sucker punch line.
No man is an island. entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main.
From the Declaration.....We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, LIBERTY and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,
If you believe in God, then you know that rights are only half of an equation, with responsibilities on the other side.
And those nations will answer to God when they usurp the rights he has bestowed for social agendas at variance with his rule. God has endowed man with free will. To usurp that free will from someone who has not forfeited it with an injustice is to declare war on God.
From the Declaration..... But when a long train of abuses and USURPATIONS, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.
Section 311. Militia: composition and classes.....
What is the current composition of the U.S. militia? You seriously want to force the "militia" to be redefined into some sort of barracks oriented "commune"?
The Constitution says the government shall provide for the common defense and merely promote the general welfare.
Lately, though, the magazine seems to be more a product of a small clique with its own particular interests and preoccupations. The circulation is larger than it was in the Fifties or Sixties, but it doesn't seem as essential as it did in the Seventies or Eighties. The difference is that the deeper cultural concerns of the early magazine aren't there. NR wants to be a "player" on the political and policy scenes and doesn't bother as much with the philosophical framework.
With the end of the Cold War it was back to the drawing board for NR. They've had a hard time getting things to gel. They downplayed some of their earlier cultural conservatism and their post-Cold War positions didn't have as wide an appeal. 9/11 gave the magazine a new focus and won plenty of new readers concerned with homeland security, but they haven't quite convinced me that they're on the right track about a lot of things.
"not in cases of emergency, but in the normal course of business"...Draft is morally permissible to defend the homeland."
Defense of the homeland is not something that can be put away in a closet until we are attacked. For instance, highways and bridges figure in to national defense.
It is foolhardy to wait for emergency before thinking of defense.
"Routine national service under any other pretext is temporary enslavement of the conscripts and is malum in se."
Nonsense. It is not only moral but Constitutional to require a certain amount of service from members of society. To propose otherwise leads inexorably to the position that every requirement laid on us is slavery, from military service in time of war to taxation and child support.
You propose "defense of the homeland" as your requirement for conscription, but that's as arbitrary as any other position. Someone could easily say, okay, our country is in a state of emergency due to the failure of parents and our social institutions to turn young people into civilized human beings. Draft'em, send them to boot camp, and civilize them. They get their discharge when they pass the GED.
There is no question here that we want the country to have the power to require some things of us under some circumstances; we're just quibbling over how much and when.
You automatically assume that enforced community service will be for "the common good".
Wars can be just or unjust, which is why we have conscientious objectors.
And "community service" is actually one of the most destructive government programs ever devised. The community is not established and maintained by the government. The community establishes and maintains the government.
Giving clean needles out, distributing condoms, midnight basketball, and whatever other whimsy some elite group of corrupt powerbrokers have decided for your children to do may be fine for you but I would not allow my children to be corrupted by their filth.
If the French Army could supply mobile brothels for their soldiers, why is it such a far cry for U.S. women (and men)to be eventually conscripted for the "morale of the people" to bend over and 'take it like a man'? I mean, they will be paid of course. We could even start encouraging people to breed the right types of people suited for that thing. Ah...Eugenics, where have you been?
After that, we'll be euthanizing people. Oh wait, we're already doing that.
He's probably going to go after Gerry Matatics. He's been hounding the man trying to destroy him after Gerry stopped working for him years ago. They had a disagreement over finances. (basically one didn't want to pay the other what he'd agreed to)
Gerry has since become a traditionalist Catholic and that spells trouble for the other guy.
Yes, silly you. Not only for "good purposes," but to a limited extent, with the consent of the governed, and within Constitutional constraints.
It is silly indeed to have a problem with that.
"You really seem not to get the fact that to justify a dubious principle with the proviso that it not be abused is ipso facto utilitarian."
Been a long time since philosophy 101, eh? Utilitarianism is the political philosophy that justifies measures by their utility. There is no necessary connection whatsoever with their "dubiousness" or any requirement that they not be abused.
Or rather, to any sensible and fair-minded person, "Yes."
"specifically, the notion that all power derives from the popular will -- are radically inconsistent with a Christian view."
It was specifically stated by the Founding Fathers that the popular will would necessarily be informed by Christian principles, else the system would not work.
The Declaration implicitly holds that the power that derives from the popular will has its source in God. Rights derive from God, and people can exercise power in line with those rights. It's not a license to do anything our sinful natures can conceive.
"You automatically assume that enforced community service will be for "the common good".
I don't "automatically assume" doodly squat. I think that it can be run for the common good, and I don't believe that the possibility of abuse is sufficient grounds to insist it not be done.
"Wars can be just or unjust, which is why we have conscientious objectors."
With very few exceptions, such as Quakers (who object to all wars, just or unjust), we have conscientious objectors because some people are always trying to scam their way through life.
"And "community service" is actually one of the most destructive government programs ever devised."
I'd prefer military service, but a stint repairing roads and bridges doesn't seem too destructive to me.
"Giving clean needles out, distributing condoms, midnight basketball, and whatever other whimsy some elite group of corrupt powerbrokers have decided for your children to do may be fine for you but I would not allow my children to be corrupted by their filth."
I see we have entirely different visions as to what sort of service should be performed, and who should be running it. I would define community service as finding people who think the things you name are a good idea and whacking them on the head with a baseball bat.
"If the French Army could supply mobile brothels for their soldiers, why is it such a far cry for U.S. women (and men)to be eventually conscripted for the "morale of the people" to bend over and 'take it like a man'?"
Because we're not French. Besides that, it's a total non-sequitur. Even the French didn't draft ordinary women to serve as hookers.
"After that, we'll be euthanizing people."
Yeah, euthenasia was such a *huge* problem back from 1941 though 1973, when we had a draft. There's a clear link.
Defense of the homeland is defense of life and property of the fellow citizen against an invasion. The rest is aggrandizing the state under one pretext or another, which is immoral for a Christian to contemplate. In particular, building up a cadre of militarily trained youth in anticipation of some imaginary invasion at some unspecified point in the future whets the aggressive instincts of the state and is a grave sin.
I stopped reading it after they smeared conservatives such as Buchanan and Sobran by lumping them up with the likes of Raymondo. But the deathist views of Ponnuru and Derbyshire are news to me, so I think I will ask them for a check for the balance of my loooong subscription, payable to Catholic Answers.
Derby's British. He probably longs for euthenasia. In England, that's upholding tradition.
What others are you suggesting. I'm not asking this in an accusatory tone. I'm genuinely interested in learning more. Please enlighten me.
Hillary, is that you?
Need some Twilight Zone music here.
"Defense of the homeland is defense of life and property of the fellow citizen against an invasion."
Oh? And what do you call defense of life and property of the fellow citizen against home-grown barbarians? What do you call maintaining a decent and moral society in which the life and property of the citizens are routinely safe from their fellow citizens?
"In particular, building up a cadre of militarily trained youth in anticipation of some imaginary invasion at some unspecified point in the future whets the aggressive instincts of the state and is a grave sin."
That is far and away the worst looney-left whacko bilgewater I've ever seen posted on FR.
Si vis pacem, para bellum. If you wish peace, prepare for war. This is an immutable principle of life on Planet Earth, and I'm sure the Romans got that proverb from an earlier civilization who got it from an earlier and so on back to Urrgh the cave man, who noticed that the tribe down the river with 15 warriors didn't attack his tribe that had 30.
Further, the state does not have "instincts" to whet, so your position is in that regard utter nonsense.
On top of that, given the scope of aggressive evil in the world, it is lunacy of the first water to dream that being prepared to oppose it could be "grave sin."
Yet further, when military veterans return to society at large, they are not a "cadre," with all the spooky boogy-man implications of that loaded term.
And finally (because I'm tired of typing, and not because there are no more fallacies in your position) military veterans bring much more than military training home with them, and the things they bring make them more valuable members of society.
Jeez, did you just wander over from DU?
I have no doubts that Ayn Rand was a woman, but somehow, I always thought she dressed in drag.
I can excuse a lot in a libertarian, being one myself till not long ago, but Derbyshire is no libertarian either. I liked his columns about shopping in Home Depot though.
I hesitated to include the third part, because it has nothing to do with the reasons I thought the E-Letter is remarkable, which is the observtions about NR. I ended up including it so that not to violate the copyright. I agree, the Peter II part is strange. If he has bigger news than an antipope dressing up like the big guys in his bedroom, he should have been direct about it. It is also mean to remark about the small size of traditionalist chapels when the powers that be did everything they could to keep them that way.
Well they goofed, because somehow that requirement didn't find its way into the Constitution. Any such "specific statement" (by whom, btw, and when?) was nothing more than a hopeful assurance, an undertaking that said founding fathers had no power to make or enforce.
Your proposal is utilitarian because it rests on nothing more than the promise that it will not be abused and its promised result is desirable. You are not looking beyond usefulness, to the fundamental question of whether the principle of compulsory service is good or evil in itself.
The Declaration implicitly holds that the power that derives from the popular will has its source in God.
Sorry; it does not. The Declaration states that:
1. Man is endowed by God with certain inalienable rights (one of them being LIBERTY, btw!)
2. Governments are founded to secure these rights.
3. Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed.
The Declaration has nothing to say about an obligation of the popular will to be godly. It does affirm a God-given right to constitute whatever form of government "on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness" -- another appeal to utilitarianism. Finally, there's no suggestion that this political judgment be accountable to a higher power: the "Supreme Judge" of the world is invoked not as a source of authority, but only presumptuously, as a vidicator of the founders' decisions.
Who is minding the store there? I always found Sam Francis refreshing.
Great post! Thank you! And yes, that is something I have noticed too. You've articulated something that has had me perplexed for some time. There always seemed to be a limit to the logic of status quo conservatism as you so aptly describe it. It isn't enough to just shout "stop" if you have nothing to offer in the wake of train wreck of history.
Legitimate role of the military is to win defensive wars. In America that translates to no need for draft. Everything else is statist fluff, which causes your typing fatigue.
Don't be dissing Ronnie.
We should be asking that question.
Many parents are asking that question. Home schooling is growing in leaps and bounds.
Whoa! Ramesh is not pro-death in any way. He is one of the most articulate pro-life writers I've ever read. And Derbyshire aside, I really do appreciate the fact that Professor Robert George is a frequent contributor to the magazine. It's not all bad. It just has some weaknesses.
You are right. Not Ponnuru, and Keating did not imply that either. I stand corrected.
Ditto. The reason why I was so disappointed in Derb is precisely because I've enjoyed a lot of his other columns so much. His "moderate, tolerant homophobe" column had me in stitches. But in temperament he is a British conservative. I remember reading a post of his in The Corner in which he defined his Anglicanism in a way that made actual belief and doctrine seem secondary. It was really just a tradition thing -- a sort of useful cultural institution that acts as a safety net to keep the more egregious consequences of man's sinful nature in check.
As a practical matter, you may be right. Get enough people to go along, and there is no limit on the power of the state. (In other words, might makes right.)
But that is not what the Framers had in mind when they wrote of inalienable rights.
That's clever -- maybe too clever. The US did require up to four years paid service from people in the years 1941 to 1945. Was that slavery?
Was it "community service" or defense? (the issues are more complicated as to whether or not it was really defense vs. policy but we'll put that aside for now.)
It gave them up to four years paid food, shelter, and medical care. Was that welfare or socialized medicine?
Why didn't it give them cash to buy all of those goods and services in a free market? It was pretty much the same "voucher" style system that Hillary tried to impose on medicine and the Republicans want to compromise with on Education.
I'm not saying that mandatory community service is a good thing, just that not all forms of required service can fairly be called slavery. If the country is in trouble, and that service is necessary to prevent real slavery it's justified.
Agreed but I would argue that the current political atmosphere is incorporating a form of subjugation akin to slavery and they will gradually and deliberately strip away many of our rights in order to control the larger movements of populations.
The military is one of the most "controlled" of organizations by government. And, necessarily so, but at the same time, you can see a constant attempt by politicians to put that template onto the population at large (with pretty colors) and a little sweet talk.
I went to the Catholici Semper Fidem site and there was no mention of "Pope" Peter II. On "Pope" Peter II's site, there is a reference to material written by CSI. It's not clear to me that "Pope" Peter II has any affiliation with CSI.
Gerry Matatics is speaking at a CSI conference soon. I hope Keating has his facts straight before he launches another public attack on Gerry.
In regard to Derbyshire, you forgot to mention, condescending.
Is Ponnuru compromised as well? I haven't noticed, and Keating doesn't mention his views.
I subscribed to NR for a year or two in college in the late '90s, I believe after reading Buckley's first book God and Man at Yale.
Aside from an occasional piece by somebody like Robert P. George, they have no more Russell Kirks or von Kuehnelt-Leddihns. Thinkers of their caliber have been pushed into more academic journals, like those published by ISI.
I also forgot to mention his subtle (and at times not so subtle) dislike of Catholics. He also loathes the Irish. I suppose that's to be expected of a Englishman no matter how far removed he is from the island of his birth. I was recently reminded of these old ingrained British suspicions when that UK Tabloid reported Benedict XVI's election with the headline "From Hitler Youth to Papa Ratzi". As one objective Englishman noted in a subsequent edition of The Times, the new Pope embodies two groups that the British have historically found abhorrent -- he's Catholic and he's German.
I confess that the only posts on NR that I read about the Pope, were those by KC Lopez. I just skip over anything by Derbyshire. Actually, I rarely go to the site anymore.
No, it was my mistake. I am sorry.
The problem with a lot of media, including conservative media, is they get the desire to be invited to those stupid parties hosted by other, virtually all liberal, media members. Essentially, they want to be liked rather than to be right, and if they have to take a position to do that, some are all too willing.
David Brock is an example of a VERY extreme case of this.
SUCCESSION OF PETER II. The Apostolic Succession of Peter II is the lineage of Holy Peter Apostole by the Seat of the Church of Antioquia.
That's not the CSI website. This is:
I couldn't find any mention of "Peter II" here. Let me know if you do.
...I'm an avid reader of National Review, have renewed my subscription until 2007 and will continue to keep renewing. There is something for everyone in this magazine and unlike Time, Newsweek or the other rags, NR does not deliberately try to slant one's point of view. You can always write them a note and tell them how much you agree or disagree. I wonder if Karl feels the same about Fox News?
Have you noticed how National Review On-line lacks a letters to the editor section? The American Spectator site has that much, at least. A critic's only hope is to catch the eye of one of the writers in The Corner.
Fat chance. The only criticism they post in the Corner is the sort of laughable DU blather sent to them by moronic lefties. It provides comic relief but offers no opportunity for real introspection.
DOSSIER C.S.I DIFFUSION
(Il est entendu que CSI Diffusion de M. L.H REMY, ne reconnaît pas "Pierre II" et n'a aucun lien direct avec ce qui est écrit sur la page Internet des "Catholiques romains de la sainte Tradition apostolique", en dehors de leurs publications);
Malgré cela, nous approuvons ce qu'il dénonce et que nous dénonçons depuis des années et recommandons vivement l'étude des excellents dossiers diffusés par le CSI. ( Note de custodi))
If my long-forgotten French still serves, it has something to do with the fact that SCI does not recognize Peter II.
Looks like Keating is wrong on the CSI leadership score.
Allez-vous figurez, as they say in French.
Thomas Fleming was and is the managing editor.
They have a wide variety of writers - Pat Buchanan, Srdja Trifkovic, Chilton Williamson, Paul Craig Roberts and others. Check the website for regular updates.
I like Latin Mass too of course :) Good stuff in there, more concerned with the happenings in the Church, theology and history than secular politics tho.
New Oxford Review tends to deal more with secular political issues from a Catholic perspective
"He's probably going to go after Gerry Matatics."
I think you are probably right. If not him then perhaps Bob Sungenis or Chris Ferrara?
To be fair, Derb never said anything negative about the Pope. The anti-Catholic tendency to which I am referring came to the fore during the brouhaha over Mel Gibson's The Passion. He dismissed the film's realistic portrayal of Jesus' suffering as being too bloody and chalked this morbidity up to a uniquely Catholic preoccupation with gruesomeness of Jesus' suffering -- an obsession which he finds unwholesome and crude (and primitive? and ant-intellectual?).
It should be understood that the government receives its powers immediately from God, even if it is chosen by the people. This is Catholic teaching according to Pope Leo XIII:
But it is of interest to note at this point that those who are to be in charge of the state can in certain cases be elected by the will and judgment of the multitude, and Catholic doctrine makes no opposition nor resistance. By this election by which the prince is designated, the rights of principality are not conferred, nor is the power committed, but it is determined by whom it is to be carried on. There is no question here of the kinds of states; for there is no reason why the principality of one person or of several should not be approved by the Church, provided it be just and intent upon the common good. . . . But the Church teaches that what pertains to political power comes from God. . . . It is a great error not to see what is manifest, that, although men are not solitaries, it is not by congenital free will that they are impelled to a natural community life; and moreover the pact which they proclaim is patently feigned and fictitious, and cannot bestow as much force, dignity, and strength to the political power as the protection of the state and the common welfare of the citizens require. But the principality is to possess these universal glories and aids, only if it is understood that they come from God . . . (Encyclical Letter Diuturnum Illud, June 29, 1881)
This seems somewhat hard to reconcile with the Declaration.
Good job of finding the French note on CSI. Someone needs to inform Mr. Keating of this before he sticks his foot in his mouth.
He's going after Gerry.
Let me ask you, if we exist in a "social contract" when did you sign this contract? Or agree to it in any way? Were we not born into this society as one is born into a family?
This made more sense to people I suppose when family meant something, in the old countries of Europe where one's family roots could go back centuries and those things mattered to people.
Here in our modern, rootless nation an atomized concept that the individual makes a contract with society seems natural, in fact so natural most people cannot concieve of any other model.
Robert Filmer in Patriarcha (1680) wrote:
BTW it was in response to this work that Locke penned his Two Treatise on Government in 1690.
Locke's work ressurected the democratist idealogy that had been successfully buried for centuries by the West's 2 chief experiences with democratic governance - the execution of Socrates and the Cruxification of Jesus Christ. Of course Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau are the most signficant influences on the thought of the men that wrote the US Constitution. No wonder we are so screwed up.
Aristotle agrees with this model of the society as a family in Politics, Book 1 when he analyzes it as one. Of course Aristotle did err when he stated the state was prior to the family, while his reasoning is sound, divine revelation teaches otherwise. The family is prior to the state since the family is the basic organization of man.
Neither is the Constitution. What's your point?
You seemed to equate the Constitution with Revelation. Perhaps I read your post wrong:
One human right God gives us, per the Declaration of Independence, is the right to establish government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to us shall seem most likely to effect our Safety and Happiness.