Sunday, April 26, 2015

A Major New Attack on Libertarianism?

The book, One Nation Under God: How Corporate America Invented Christian America by Princeton University professor Kevin Michael Kruse, is being marketed this way:
We’re often told that the United States is, was, and always has been a Christian nation. But in One Nation Under God, historian Kevin M. Kruse reveals that the idea of “Christian America” is an invention—and a relatively recent one at that.

As Kruse argues, the belief that America is fundamentally and formally a Christian nation originated in the 1930s when businessmen enlisted religious activists in their fight against FDR’s New Deal. Corporations from General Motors to Hilton Hotels bankrolled conservative clergymen, encouraging them to attack the New Deal as a program of “pagan statism” that perverted the central principle of Christianity: the sanctity and salvation of the individual. Their campaign for “freedom under God” culminated in the election of their close ally Dwight Eisenhower in 1952.
An Amazon commenter notes:
I did not read this book yet, but was disturbed by the "Fact" stated in the write-up was that the national motto, "In God we trust" was a recent addition. Whatever you may think of our motto, Francis Scott Key quotes it in the Fourth stanza of the "Star Spangled Banner," Written in the year, 1814 AD/CE (which ever you prefer.) Thus, law making it a motto may have been enacted in the 1950, but it has been a de facto motto for a lot longer than that. I will give it PROVISIONAL 1 STAR, so I can publish this comment. This may be a good book; I intend to find out. But, I will be wary of the facts presented.

More disturbing is that there are indications of a vicious underlying attack against libertarianism in the book.  @FriedrichHayek  tweets:
Kevin Kruse's UG is a history in which New Deal Democrats & progressive GOPers place new God slogans in gov & libertarians are the villains.
Kevin Kruse's Under God is a history where anyone who opposes Stalin or socialism is labeled a libertarian & vilified as one of the bad guys.
Kevin Kruse's Under God is a history where Hayek & Mises have not upended everything by showing that the dream of socialism is impossible.
Kevin Kruse's Under God is history were the Christian Socialists & Nationalists haven't just sent a generation to pointless slaughter in WWI

1 comment:

  1. I question the relevance and the truth of this post. While I do not consider myself a "scholar" regarding the founding of our country, I have, and continue to read many books on the subject, many being the original text of those men, that would belie the conclusion arrived at by Princeton University professor Kevin Michael Kruse. As a "professor" of history and being a relatively young man, I must conclude that Professor Kruse is yet another victim of our Progressive education system lacking the skills to not only think critically but to actually conduct the level of research available to anyone online or at the local library.