Life in a low-trust society

Mexico is collapsing. It has never been a nation-state in the same sense as Western states but it was much more stable with a semi-functioning government. The cartels used to report to the government and it was relatively safe if you minded your own business – safe in the Latin American sense. Now, the government reports to the cartels and even defeats Mexico’s military.

All this has lead, predictably, to an increase in violence. In the past, you could write-off the violence as cartel members killing each other. Not any more. The violence has spread well-beyond the drug trade into adjacent markets: extortion, prostitution, kidnapping, and other forms of theft. This is what it’s life living in a low-trust society, which is what the USA is now. Even if the Mexicans were armed – and many are armed illegally – it still takes trust between neighbors to repel gang predation. It takes cooperation with honest government officials to fight crime. If your neighbors and government have even a 10% chance of being on the payroll by the cartels, what are the odds you’ll ask them for help? You could be asking one of their informants for help and then you’re dead.

Gang extortion has wider implications than just poverty – it also means you lose your property rights. If a gang decides to use your property for storage or trafficking, it’s no longer yours. If this is likely, why buy property or capital equipment? If you can’t buy property or capital equipment, how do you earn a living? Most poor people throughout the world have a home-based business: all their possessions and income are within the 4 walls of their house and co-located shop.

It’s not long before we have the same problems here, enabled by the elites and the voters. The elites play this game by building low income housing in your middle class area and moving section 8ers and immigrants into it. But the cartels are more skilled and ruthless at extortion and they’ll eventually figure out our law enforcement are no match for them. (Many of our state, local, and federal bureaucrats want completely open borders). They’re already crossing our borders armed and having gunfights right on our Southern border.

Put yourself in the shoes of these Mexicans and think about what you’d do if the cartels moved into your town. They’re probably already there, in fact.

Can you argue from nature without knowledge of Creation?

Every culture has a creation myth. Ours is that we came from muck and evolved into humans over millions of years and are no different than animals. We’re particularly smart apes. The moral implications of our creation myth are that there are no morals: do whatever makes you “fitter” than your neighbor. Hitler took this to its logical conclusion: Germans passed his fitness test and Jews, gypsies, and others did not.

When addressing the Athenians in the Areopagus, Paul refuted the Athenians’ creation myth with Genesis and the person and work of Jesus:

Acts 17 22 So Paul, standing in the midst of the Areopagus, said: “Men of Athens, I perceive that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I passed along and observed the objects of your worship, I found also an altar with this inscription: ‘To the unknown god.’ What therefore you worship as unknown, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man,[c] 25 nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. 26 And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, 27 that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us, 28 for
“‘In him we live and move and have our being’;[d]
as even some of your own poets have said,
“‘For we are indeed his offspring.’[e]
29 Being then God’s offspring, we ought not to think that the divine being is like gold or silver or stone, an image formed by the art and imagination of man. 30 The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”
32 Now when they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked. But others said, “We will hear you again about this.” 33 So Paul went out from their midst. 34 But some men joined him and believed, among whom also were Dionysius the Areopagite and a woman named Damaris and others with them.

The Athenians believed they sprung up from the soil of their native Atticus and were not descended from an ancestor common to all mankind (Adam) who was created by God. They thought that the gods were far from them and they could do whatever they wanted. Paul tells them that since Jesus came and rose from the dead, they could no longer claim ignorance about their creation, the Fall of our federal head (Adam), and its moral implications, namely coming judgment and the need to repent.

Paul argues from Creation in 1 Corinthians 11 and 1 Timothy 2 to tell women how to behave in church:

1 Corinthians 11 For man did not come from woman, but woman from man; neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. 10 It is for this reason that a woman ought to have authority over her own[c] head, because of the angels.

1 Timothy 2: For Adam was formed first, then Eve; 14 and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.

The only instances of “natural law” being used in Scripture are derived from the account of Creation in Genesis 1 and 2. This is actually special revelation, not general revelation. Creation myths are not common to mankind as I showed above – every culture has a different one. Thus, arguing from natural law with an unbeliever is a pointless exercise. It also means natural law cannot be a basis for a secular state unless that state has an agreed-upon Creation myth. Our elites believe in one, the Red Staters believe in a different one. The men who wrote, “We hold these truths to be self evident…” all agreed upon Genesis 1 and 2 as their Creation myth and their codified summary of natural law (The Bill of Rights) rested on that Creation myth and a Christian anthropology.