Sunday, May 20, 2018

Confederate Memorials

Confederate Memorials
Thomas C. Allen

[Editor’s note: The following is a letter-to-the-editor on removing a Confederate monument. The editor of the local newspaper stated that if the legislature could change the law to allow a hospital in one county to own a hospital in another county, it could change the law to allow local governments to remove Confederate memorials. (A State law prohibits local government from removing Confederate monuments. Also, a State law prohibits a hospital in one county from owning a hospital in another county. Consequently, a special or local law had to be enacted to allow a hospital outside the county of this newspaper to buy the closed hospital in the county of this newspaper.) This letter follows.]

    There is a vast difference between monuments and hospitals — a difference far greater than between the proverbial apple and orange. After all, apples and oranges are both fruits. Hospitals are businesses; monuments are not. (The reason for prohibiting hospitals in one county from operating in another county is to reduce competition and, by that, drive up prices.)
    Confederate monuments commemorate those, including Blacks, who sacrificed to defend their homeland from an invading horde. (A union officer asked a Confederate prisoner why he was fighting. The Confederate soldier replied, “We are fighting because you are here. If you leave and go home, we will stop fighting.” They were not fighting to defend slavery.) To honor those who defend their homeland is why the Confederate monuments were erected — not slavery, which was much better protected in the Union than outside it, or racism.
    If Confederaphobes want to eliminate a symbol of racism and slavery, they need to remove the US flag. It flew over slavery decades before the Confederate flag did, while the Confederate flag did, and after the Confederate flag did. Moreover, the US flag flew over the genocide of the Plains Indians. Also, it flew over the racist Spanish American War, the racist World War II, and the racist Vietnam War. Is there a symbol more racist than the US flag?

✽✽✽✽✽✽✽

    Some more observations follow.

    Having flown over both slavery and Jim Crow, the Stars and Stripes, the US flag, is obviously a racist flag. Therefore, it needs to be replaced. Ideally, the replacement flag would be a red flag with a black image in the center of Martin Luther King, who has been deified and placed above Jesus Christ. (Proof: One may blaspheme Christ without repercussions and often with accolades. If one says anything less than complimentary about King, the best that he can hope for is permanent ostracism.)

    Only in America can a Communist frontman who left a trail of blood and destruction as he fornicated across the country be deified while men who sacrificed their lives to defend their country from an invading horde are demonized.

    Confederate monuments symbolize liberty, limited government, and localism. Thus, they stand for everything that Confederaphobes abhor. Confederaphobes adore the concentration and consolidation of political, economic, and social power into the hands of a few.

    What would happen if Black Lives Matter, Antifa, and allied groups were convinced that the K in a circle on food packages meant “Klan approved?” Furthermore, what would happen if they were convinced that the reason the item was “Klan approved” was because it was made with Black slave labor?  When the mentality of the members of these groups is considered, convincing them of such nonsense should not be difficult. If these people were convinced that the K in a circle meant “Klan approved,” it would be interesting to see how the Jewish controlled media would react.

    If a statue honoring Commander James Waddell (1824 – 1886) were erected on the courthouse grounds in Pittsboro, North Carolina, and if Confederaphobes attempted to remove it, would the “save the whales” folks rally to save the statue? Or, would they join the Confederaphobes in demanding its destruction? As most “save the whales” folks are typically liberals with an anti-Confederate mentality, they would have to make a difficult choice. Why would they rally to save Waddell’s statue? As captain of the CSS Shenandoah, he destroyed the whaling fleet of the United States — a worthy goal for any “save the whale” person.

Copyright © 2018 by Thomas Coley Allen.

More Southern articles.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Mencken on the Politician Under Democracy

Mencken on the Politician Under Democracy
Thomas Allen

    In 1926, H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) wrote Notes on Democracy in which he expressed his views on democracy and related issues. He was a journalist, satirist, and critic and a libertarian and one of the leaders of the Old Right. In his book, he describes the politician under democracy, pages 107-115. Below is an overview of his discussion on the politician under democracy; my comments are in brackets.
    “The politician . . . is the courtier of democracy.” Mencken remarks that “the essence of the courtier’s art and mystery that he flattered his employer in order to victimize him, yielded to him in order to rule him. The politician under democracy does precisely the same thing.” The politician’s business “is never what it pretends to be. Ostensibly he is an altruist devoted whole-heartedly to the service of his fellow-men, and so abjectly public-spirited that his private interest is nothing to him. Actually he is a sturdy rogue whose principal, and often sole, aim in life is to butter his parsnips.” His business is “to get and hold his job at all costs. If he can hold it by lying, he will hold it by lying; if lying peters out he will try to hold it by embracing new truths.” Furthermore, he has “no shadow of principle or honour.” His moral code allows him “to get into office by false pretences . . . [and] to change convictions overnight. . . . Anything is moral that furthers the main concern of his soul, which is to keep a place at the public trough. . . . [P]ower is the commodity that he has for sale.”
    Mencken states that the above characterization of the democratic politician describes him “in his role of statesman — that is, in his best and noblest aspect.” However, the democratic politician flourished “on lower levels, partly subterranean.” At the lower levels, public honor is an inconvenience, so he “contents himself with power.” These lower level politicians lie to the “weaknesses and knaveries of the common people — in their inability to grasp any issues save the simplest and most banal.” Lower level politicians excite the common people’s “petty self-seeking and venality . . . [and] their instinctive envy and hatred of their superiors — in brief, in their congenital incapacity for the elemental duties of citizens in a civilized state.” The lower level politician is the local party boss who owns his constituency. “He is the state as they apprehend it; around him clusters all the romance that used to hang about a king. . . . His barbaric code, framed to fit their gullibility, becomes an example to their young. . . . He exemplifies its reduction of all ideas to a few elemental wants.” Moreover, “he reflects and makes manifest the inferior man’s congenital fear of liberty — his incapacity for even the most trivial sort of independent action.” [Mencken’s description of the high-level and low-level politician fits almost every politician in the United States for the past 200 years.]
    Mencken continues, “Life on the lower levels is life in a series of interlocking despotisms. The inferior man cannot imagine himself save as taking orders — if not from the boss, then from the priest, and if not from the priest, then from some fantastic drill-sergeant of his own creation.”
    Initially, reformers in the United States “concentrated their whole animus upon the boss: it was apparently their notion that he had imposed himself upon his victims from without, and that they could be delivered by destroying him.” When the boss was overthrown, “the prehensile Methodist parson” filled the void.
    The art of politics under democracy has two branches: “There is the art of the demagogue, and there is the art of what may be called, by a shotgun marriage of Latin and Greek, the demaslave. They are complementary, and both of them are degrading to their practitioners.” Mencken notes, “The demagogue is one who preaches doctrines he knows to be untrue to men he knows to be idiots. The demaslave is one who listens to what these idiots have to say and then pretends that he believes it himself.” According to Mencken, “[e]very man who seeks elective office under democracy has to be either the one thing or the other, and most men have to be both. The whole process is one of false pretences and ignoble concealments.”
    Only by a miracle, could an educated man be elected to office in a democratic state. “His frankness would arouse fears, and those fears would run against him.”
    A politician’s job in a democracy is “to arouse fears that will run in favour of him. Worse, he must not only consider the weaknesses of the mob, but also the prejudices of the minorities that prey upon it.” These minority factions “not only know how to arouse the fears of the mob; they also know how to awaken its envy, its dislike of privilege, its hatred of its betters [i.e., the superior man].” Nowhere does a minority faction include “a majority of the voters among its subscribing members, and its leaders are nowhere chosen by democratic methods.” These minorities control the political process in the United States. They have “filled all the law-making bodies of the nation with men who have got into office by submitting cravenly to [their] dictation, and [they have] filled thousands of administrative posts, and not a few judicial posts, with vermin of the same sort.” [In a democracy, the vociferous minorities drive politicians much more than the more civil minorities and even more than the large silent majority. Thus, the vociferous minorities direct the government instead of the majority. Most of the time the agenda of the vociferous minorities is detrimental to the large silent majority. Nevertheless, the large silent majority acquiesce to this minority control by failing to end it, which is in the majority’s power. Moreover, minorities that seek to expand the power of government are far more successful in controlling politicians than minorities that seek to reduce the size of government — perhaps, because the former is more vociferous and the latter is more civil.]
    Consequently, dishonorable men “enjoy vast advantages under democracy. The mob, insensitive to their dishonour, is edified and exhilarated by their success. The competition they offer to men of a more decent habit is too powerful to be met, so they tend, gradually, to monopolize all the public offices.”
    Such a man is the typical American law-maker. The typical American law-maker “is a man who has lied and dissembled, and a man who has crawled. He knows the taste of boot-polish. He has suffered kicks in the tonneau of his pantaloons.” Moreover, “[h]e has taken orders from his superiors in knavery and he has wooed and flattered his inferiors in sense. His public life is an endless series of evasions and false pretences. He is willing to embrace any issue, however idiotic, that will get him votes, and he is willing to sacrifice any principle, however sound, that will lose them for him.” Such is the democratic politician at his normalcy — not at his worst. “[N]o man may make a career in politics . . . without stooping to such ignobility.” [How many good, honorable men have been elected to office only to become slimy, sleazy, dishonorable scalawags, i.e., typical politicians, by the time that they leaves office?]
    Where the ideals of democracy have been reached, “it has become a psychic impossibility for a gentleman to hold office, . . . save by a combination of miracles that must tax the resourcefulness even of God.” [Mencken has a low opinion of the common man and the leaders whom they elect. Unfortunately, so far, they have not proven him wrong.]

Copyright © 2017 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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Saturday, May 5, 2018

Poor on Bowen

Poor on Bowen
Thomas Allen

    In 1877, Henry Varnum Poor (1812-1905) wrote Money and Its Laws: Embracing a History of Monetary Theories, and a History of the Currency of the United States. He was a financial analyst and founder of a company that evolved into Standard & Poor’s. Poor was a proponent of the real bills doctrine and the classical gold-coin standard and, thus, the quality theory of money. He gave little credence to the quantity theory of money — especially if credit money, such as bank notes, were convertible on demand in species. Also, he contended that the value of money depends on and is derived from the value of the material of which it is made and with paper money, its representation of such value.
    In the latter part of his book, he discusses leading monetary theorists from Aristotle (350 B.C.) to David A. Wells (1875). Most of the economists whom he discussed were proponents of the quantity theory of money. We will look at his discussion on Francis Bowen. My comments are in brackets. Referenced page numbers enclosed in parentheses are to Poor’s book.
    Francis Bowen (1811-1890) was an American philosopher, writer, and educationalist and a professor of political economy at Harvard University. Among his works are Lectures on Political Economy (1850), The Principles of Political Economy applied to the Condition, Resources and Institutions of the American People (1856), and American Political Economy (1870), which Poor reviews.
    Poor describes American Political Economy as “a feeble and garrulous restatement of Adam Smith, Stewart, Ricardo, Tooke, McCulloch, and Mill, to whose absurdities and errors an emphasis is given by no means to be found in the originals” (p. 409).
    Bowen writes “that money is merely a contrivance for diminishing the friction of exchange; and, though safe and convenient, it is also a very costly contrivance for this end” (p. 409). Money is part of a country’s wealth, but it is not capital. It does not yield profit or interest. Only the goods transferred by the means of money yield profit. Because money is not consumed, “it is not productive” (p. 409). Therefore, “[t]he specie which a merchant or a banker holds in store, to provide against daily calls or sudden emergencies, is the only unproductive portion of his capital: he is subject to a loss of interest on the whole amount thus retained” (p. 409). “The coin which a man keeps in his pocket does not, like his shoes or his hat, contribute to his comfort: it is a convenience to him only as it supplies immediate means for making small purchases or satisfying small demands” (p. 409).
    Poor replies
[C]oin has a great many functions beside “diminishing the friction of exchange.” It cannot be called unproductive so long as it can be loaned at interest, and is absolutely indispensable in the process of distribution, without which there can be no capital worthy the name. It would be just as proper to say that a wagon or railroad car was unproductive, for the reason that it did not produce the merchandise transported by it (pp. 409-410).
[Expressing the same sentiment, Hutt states, “The essences of all these services [of money] is availability. . . . [M]oney assets are not unemployed or resting when they are in our pockets, or in our tills, or in our banking accounts, but in pseudo-idleness, like a piano when it is not being played, or a fireman or a fire engine when there are no fires.”[1] In essence, Bowen is presenting the sterility-gold-coin argument against the gold standard.]
    About exchanges, Bowen writes, “Every exchange is a barter of a quantity of merchandise for a certain sum of money which is its equivalent” (p. 410). Because money is not consumed when it is exchanged, a community does not need as much money as there is merchandise; therefore, money is immediately ready for another purchase. Bowen declares:
The circulation of money and of merchandise bears some relation to the momentum spoken of in physical science, which is composed of the velocity multiplied by the mass; the momenta are equal, though the velocity should be increased tenfold, provided that the mass is but one tenth part as great. So, also, the momentum of wealth is its value multiplied by the rapidity of its circulation. As money circulates far more rapidly than merchandise, it is evident that (the number of exchanges on both sides being equal) there must necessarily be less value in the money than in the merchandise, and as much less as the circulation of the money is more rapid than that of the merchandise (p. 410).
    Next Bowen presents an algebraic equation to describe his concept: gs=mr, where g = quantity of goods on sale; s = number of times the goods are resold; m = quantity of money in circulation; r = number of purchases effected by each piece of money. [This equation is similar to Irvin Fisher’s equation: MV=PT, where M = the amount of money; V = the velocity of money; P = prices; T = the number of transactions. In The Value of Money, Benjamin Anderson explains in great detail the flaws of Fisher’s equation and the quantity theory of money.]
    With this equation, Bowen shows “that the value of money will be inversely as its quantity” (p. 411). [That is, as the quantity of money increases, its value decreases if everything else remains constant. By value, he seems to mean purchasing power.]
    Poor remarks that Bowen errs because “[m]omentum and effective value are identical terms. All kinds of merchandise, wealth being a generic term, obey the same law. Whatever value can be predicated of one kind, due to the rapidity of its circulation, can be of all other kinds” (p. 411).
    Continuing, if Bowen is correct, then according to Poor, “the great problem for society is to determine the degree of momentum that can be secured for its merchandise, as its wealth will be increased in like ratio” (p. 411). Then, using Bowen’s equation, Poor defines “g” to stand for the “goose” instead of “goods.” Next, he states:
Now, “the value of the goose is inversely as its quantity multiplied by the rapidity of its circulation.” Assuming the formula given to express the ordinary rapidity of circulation, or, what is equivalent, the momentum, and consequently, value of the goose; then, if its momentum, or value, be doubled, the formula has only to be altered; thus: — gs=2mr, or mr=gs/2. The goose has now a value twice greater than it had before (pp. 411-412).
According to Bowen’s equation, the value of the goose is inverse to its quantity. Therefore, using Bowen’s equation, if the quantity of the goose is reduced by half, the quantity of money doubles — assuming that demand remains the same. Thus, Poor notes:
If the crop of geese should be short, and it should be desirable to increase their momentum, or effective value, say tenfold, all that would have to be done would be to increase their rapidity of circulation to be expressed by the following change in Mr. Bowen’s formula; thus: — gs/10=mr, or 10mr=gs. When the last degree of momentum was secured, a wing or a leg of the goose would have a value equal to that of the whole bird. Society will be the gainer in an equal degree, by being able to devote to other purposes the land formerly dedicated to goose-culture.
Continuing, Poor writes:
Admitting the conclusiveness of his demonstration, it must be applicable to all kinds of merchandise; for, as has already been shown, money, after it has been spent, is as functus officio to its late owner as is the goose to its owner after it is eaten. If it be objected that the money is still in existence, and the goose is not, it may be replied: that the goose has indeed been eaten, but productively, to appear in new geese, or, in other kinds of merchandise; so that whoever uses the money the second time is still confronted by a new goose or its equivalent. If the goose or its equivalent do not reappear, then the money does not. Each responds, and with equal alacrity, to the call of the other (pp. 412-413).
    Bowen notes that a large portion of specie currency can be replaced with paper currency or other substitutes. However, “the total amount of the currency will remain just as before; the value of the paper and the precious metals, taken together, will be just what the specie alone would be if paper were not used” (p. 413). Wealth and commodities are estimated in the monetary unit, such as the dollar, “and it is by the aid of such estimates that all exchanges are made” (p. 413). “Thus, the idea of money aids us, when the reality is seldom employed” (p. 413). He asserts, “Money is even now only a hypothetical or abstract medium of exchange in all the larger transactions of commerce” (p. 413). Bowen anticipates “the time, in the progress of invention and the discovery of new expedients and facilities in commerce, when it will become so universally; when, at any rate, so costly and useless a realization of the idea as gold and silver coin will be entirely done away” (p. 413). [If Bowen had lived another 85 years, he would have witnessed his dream as gold and silver were no longer part of the monetary system. Also, he could have witnessed the economic disaster that the abandonment of gold and silver coin has brought.]
    Poor responds that Bowen is greatly mistaken:
Money is still, as many find to their cost, far more than a mere scale of valuation. The holders of property, when they sell it, still persist in demanding something more than “hypothetical or abstract media of exchange.” They may be very uncivilized and selfish to demand a quid pro quo in all transactions, and the laws which uphold them very barbarous; but these laws, nevertheless, have maintained their force since laws existed (pp. 413-414).
[Today, what passes for money is little more than an abstract counter, an abstract medium of exchange. It cannot extinguish debt as it is debt. At least mankind is no longer “uncivilized and selfish” as they no longer demand “quid pro quo.” They exchange goods and services for that which has no value in itself and does not represent value.]
    Bowen explains the difference between convertible bank currency and inconvertible paper money. Convertible currency cannot be overissued. If inconvertible paper money “could be kept precisely equal to what the amount of metallic currency would be in case there were no paper in circulation, then there would be no depreciation of the paper; nay, the paper might even command a premium over the coin, if the aggregate value of it were made less than what the coin would amount to, and if it were also possible to prevent the importation of specie.” (p. 414). [Bowen errs. Uncertainty causes inconvertible legal-tender government notes to depreciate. The excessive issue of these notes, as Bowen and the quantity theory of money claims, is not the cause of their depreciation. However, an excess of issue can influence the value of these notes by affecting uncertainty. Uncertainties that affect the value of inconvertible government notes include (1) the uncertainty of when they will be paid or even if they will be a paid, (2) the ability of the government to pay, (3) the willingness of the government to pay, and (4) the kind of coin that will be used for payment. S. McLean Hardy’s statistical study of the U.S. note between 1862 and 1873 shows that uncertainty, and not the quantity of notes, was the driving force behind the depreciation of U.S. notes.] Bowen adds, “Money acquires the power of exercising its functions, not from any intrinsic quality that it possesses, but solely from convention” (p. 414). [The economists whom Poor reviews needed to study the origins of money. They would have found that money acquired “the power of exercising its functions” not from convention, but solely from its intrinsic quality that it possesses. A good place to start is the works of Karl Menger and William. W. Carlile.] Continuing, Bowen writes, “The value of paper money, not depending at all upon its cost of production, is regulated solely by its quantity” (p. 414). [Thus, the quantity theory of money explains the value of money. However, the quantity theory of money seems to have failed to explain the downward trend in prices during the last three decades of the nineteenth century in the United States. Money supply more than doubled, yet general prices declined.] Then he remarks:
A certain determinable sum of money is needed in every nation to effect its current exchanges, and to maintain prices at an equilibrium with the average prices of commodities throughout the commercial world. Coin being banished, if the issue of paper money is less than this sum, the paper will be at a premium; if greater, it will be at a discount (pp. 414-415).
[For decades, every country has operated with a monetary system of inconvertible paper money completely divorced from gold. If Bowen is correct in that the managers of the inconvertible currency can maintain price stability, then the monetary system of every country is operated by either incompetents who lack the knowledge and ability to manage properly their monetary systems or criminals who are deliberately destroying the currencies of their countries. Fiat monetary reformers would argue that they are both. They are criminals transporting the country’s wealth to the rich and powerful by destroying the currency. They are ignorant incompetents for failing to follow the fiat money reformer’s scheme for issuing the currency. However, the fiat money reformers do not agree on the correct scheme to follow except that the government, which is controlled by the rich and powerful, should issue the currency. The fiat money reformers are probably correct in that the money managers are both incompetent and criminals. For that reason, the issuance and regulation of money should be taken from governments and their central banks and left to the markets. In monetary matters, the only action required by the government is to define the monetary unit as a specific weight of precious metal and to punish violations of contracts and acts of fraud.]
    In his concluding remarks about Bowen, Poor writes:
Were Mr. Bowen the only one to be affected by his opinions, they would be of very little consequence; but they become of the greatest importance when taught to young men about to enter the world of affairs, especially when they relate to a subject which concerns, more deeply almost than any other, the welfare of society. What would be thought of a professorship in a university that should still seek to establish the wonderful properties of the philosopher’s stone? The attempt would not be a whit more absurd than his teachings upon the subject of money. The thing chiefly to be regretted is, that there does not seem to be any way in which to rid the universities and the world of such nonsense. So far as money is concerned, all are Alchemists, all are believers in the philosopher's stone, all are intent upon its realization. The first step in the way of reform should be to abolish the “professorship of Political Economy,” not only in this, but in all institutions in which it is now pretended to be taught; and either abandon instruction in it altogether, or put its duties in commission. In the latter case, whatever was taught would at least have the merit of being as broad as the course of instruction would allow (p. 415).

Endnote

1. William Harold Hutt, Individual Freedom: Selected Works of William H. Hutt, editors Svetozar Pejovich and David Klingaman (Westport, Connecticut: Greenwood Press, 1975), pp.207-209.

Copyright © 2017 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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Friday, April 27, 2018

Predestination Theology

God the Great Programer: 
Predestination Theology
Thomas Allen

 
[NOTE: This article has been inspired by a preacher from Asheville, North Carolina, whose teaching describes God as the Great Programmer, although he does not use such terminology, and that people have no choice to do but what God has predestined them to do. However, God holds people accountable for the acts that He has coerced, predestined, them to do — perhaps because they believe that they chose to do such acts although, in reality, they had no choice.]
    According to the predestinationists, God is the Great Programmer of the universe. Free will is an illusion. No one really has any choice in what he does — especially where salvation is concerned. If free will exists, i.e., if people have a real choice, then God is not sovereign. According to predestination theology, man has no more choice in what he does than an ant, ameba, or aster.
    God arbitrarily decides who will be saved and, consequently, who will be condemned. (If one is not saved, he is condemned. No other options exist.) Faith, baptism, repentance, good works, and even Jesus’ death and resurrection have nothing to do with salvation. A person believes in Jesus, repents, is baptized, and does good works because God has programmed him to do so. He does not believe in Jesus because he has heard the evidence about Jesus and is convinced that it is true. He believes because God has programmed him to believe. Furthermore, a person who does not believe in Jesus can also be saved because salvation depends on God’s arbitrary choice and not on faith. Therefore, salvation is by God’s arbitrary choice and not by faith.
    People do good because God programmed them to do good. People who do evil because God programmed them to do evil. Moreover, people sin because God has programmed them to sin. They have no choice whether they will do good works or bad works, for that would require free will. If free will exists in one realm, it must exist in all realms — even in the realm of salvation. As no one has any say in the realm of salvation because that is God’s arbitrary choice, he has no choice in his works. Free will impugns (refutes and denies) God’s sovereignty and, therefore, cannot exist if God is sovereign — such is the implication of the predestinationists and their predestination theology.
    Because God programs people to act in certain ways does not mean that they are not accountable for their acts. However, it does mean that they are not responsible for their acts. For example, a robot programmed to perform evil acts is held accountable for its acts and is destroyed or decommissioned. (Predestinationists effectively consider humans and all other life forms to be essentially robots.) However, it is not responsible for its acts. It is just doing what the programmer programmed it to do. The programmer is responsible for its acts.
    People are held accountable for their acts, but are not responsible for them. God is responsible. Free will is necessary for people to be responsible. If people have free will, then they have a say in their salvation, and God is no longer sovereign. However, predestinationists claim that people have no say in their salvation. Salvation is God’s arbitrary choice.
    In other words, although God holds his created robots accountable for their actions, though they have no choice, He being the Master Programmer is responsible for their actions. For them to have any say requires free will. However, they cannot have free will because that destroys God’s absolute sovereignty.
    If the predestinationists are correct, free will does not exist. Free will is merely an illusion. God chooses whom He will save regardless of faith, baptism, repentance, or good works. (By this choice, He consequently chooses who is to condemn.) To the extent that any of these have anything to do with salvation, they result from God’s programming and not from one’s choice, acts, or efforts. Although a person may be held accountable for his actions, he is not responsible for them. He is merely executing the program that God has inputted into him. Responsibility rests with God because He has programmed the person to act the way that he does. If God is not responsible, then free will exists, and God’s sovereign is impugned.
    According to the predestinationist, man cannot have free will. If he were to have free will, God’s sovereign would be impugned (refuted and denied). Being the absolute sovereign, God’s sovereign cannot be impugned even one iota. If God’s sovereignty is impugned one iota, God would cease being sovereign. Therefore, man cannot have free will.
    Eve and Adam eating the forbidden fruit was not an act of free will. God had programmed them to eat it. They had no choice. If they had a choice, then God lost sovereignty, and He did not lose any sovereignty. Eve and Adam did not sin because they yielded to temptation; they sinned because God programmed them to sin. They had no choice but to sin. However, God held them accountable for their act, although He was responsible for it instead of them.
    Pharaoh of Moses’ time was an extremely obedient servant of God. Few Biblical characters were as obedient as this Pharaoh. He did exactly what God wanted him to do when God wanted him to do it. Yet, the Bible implies that he died unsaved. Thus, obedience to God’s will does not guarantee salvation.
    God programmed (forced) Saul to perform an unauthorized scarify. Then, He punished him for doing it. Thus, God was responsible for Saul’s sin because He made him sin. However, He held Saul accountable for the sin and made David succeed Saul as king. Other examples are found in both the Old and New Testaments of God programming people to sin and holding them accountable for the sin.
    As Paul explains in Romans, people have as much choice, free will, as a clay pot — which is none. The potter, God, is responsible for how the pot, the person, turns out. However, He holds the pot accountable. If He does not like the pot that He made or if He made it to be destroyed, He destroys, condemns, it.
    Some predestinationists who also hold to the identity school (the identity school believes that the lost tribes of Israel are found in Europe and their descendants in the Americas) claim, or at least imply, that all Israelites are saved. Apparently, this is true if they do not believe in Jesus and do sinful work. They are saved because God chose the Israelites and no one else for salvation regardless of their beliefs or acts. They are saved because of their ethnicity; God arbitrary chooses their ethnicity for salvation. Presumably, all the idolatrous kings of Israel and Judah were saved because they were Israelites. In any event, these kings were merely doing what God had programmed them to do. (Not unamazingly, people who hold this belief assume that they are Israelites and are, therefore, among the saved. God must have programmed this belief into them. They will not know for sure that they are among the saved until they die.)
    Since man has no free will, he is neither moral nor immoral. To be moral requires having the choice of acting immorally. Furthermore, to be immoral requires having the choice of acting morally. Having a choice, free will, impugns God’s sovereignty and, therefore, cannot exist. When a person appears to act morally or immorally, he is merely executing the program that God has inputted into him. He is doing exactly what God wants him to do.
    Having no free will, no real choice, no person is responsible for his acts. Whether good or evil or whether a believer or nonbeliever, he is merely a robot executing the program that God inputted into him. Moreover, his acts and beliefs have nothing to do with salvation. God arbitrarily decided whom He saves and whom He condemns before He programs anyone.
    God has programmed some people to believe that they have free will although they do not. Others He has programmed to know that they have no free will.
    As shown above, according to the predestinationists, man cannot have free will if God is sovereign. Each individual does only what God has programmed him to do. Free will is an illusion.
    In summary, man is not responsible for his actions: God is. He merely does what God had programmed him to do. However, God holds man accountable for his acts and beliefs. Moreover, the death and resurrection of Jesus have nothing to do with salvation. Salvation is God’s arbitrary choice — not faith in Jesus. To the extent that belief in Jesus has anything to do with salvation, God has programmed that belief into the person. As man has no choice in what he does and believes — he is merely executing the program that God put in him — free will is an illusion. If man had a choice, free will, God’s sovereignty is impugned (refuted and denied) and, therefore, cannot exist. Such is the essence of predestination theology.
    (With few exceptions, predestinationists seem to believe that they are among the saved. To know whether they are saved, they have to know God’s arbitrary choice. That is, they have to know the mind of God, which no man knows. How do they know whom God has chosen for salvation? They cannot base it on their beliefs or acts. Salvation is by God’s arbitrary choice and not by one’s beliefs or acts.)

Copyright © 2016 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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Thursday, April 19, 2018

Mencken on Disproportional Representation

Mencken on Disproportional Representation
Thomas Allen

    In 1926, H. L. Mencken (1880-1956) wrote Notes on Democracy in which he expressed his views on democracy and related issues. He was a journalist, satirist, and critic and a libertarian and one of the leaders of the Old Right. In his book, he describes disproportional representation, pages 97-107. Below is an overview of his discussion on disproportional representation; my comments are in brackets.
    Disproportional representation “is intimately bound up with this question of disfranchised classes, for it must be plain that a community whose votes, man for man, count for only half as much as the votes of another community is one in which half of the citizens are, to every practical intent, unable to vote at all.” An example is the U.S. Senate. Regardless of population, each State has two Senators and no more. Moreover, the votes of Senators from States with small populations are the same as States with large populations. [Some democrats have proposed proportioning Senators among the States based on population. With no Constitutional authority, the U.S. Supreme Court imposed its democratic desires on the States by requiring them to proportion the legislative districts of both houses based on population. Before that ukase, most States proportioned at least one house of their legislature based on nonpopulation considerations. Also, before the Supreme Court ruling, rural areas and urban areas had approximate equality in State legislatures. After the ruling, rural areas lost their equality as urban areas gain control of both houses in most State legislatures.] Mencken comments on this issue of disproportional representation in State legislatures.
    To overcome disproportional representation, “certain romantic fuglemen of so-called pure democracy . . . [came] forward with complicated remedies, all of which have been tried somewhere or other and failed miserably.” Mencken notes “that disproportional representation is not a device to nullify democracy, but simply a device to make it more workable.” Thus, in the United States, “the sovereign people have voluntarily sacrificed a moiety of the democratic theory in order to attain to a safer and more efficient practice.” [In a true republic, the majority lacks the power that Mencken describes. In a true republic, absolute political power resides in no individual or body — not even the largest majority. Checks and vetoes always exist to everyone’s and every group’s power.] If they so desire, they could get rid of all disproportional representation. [Lacking the patience to allow the people to change their disproportional representation systems in the States, the U.S. Supreme Court usurped their power and did it for them. Obviously, the Supreme Court did not trust the people with this decision for fear that the people would not abolish disproportional representation.]
    Most people prefer disproportional representation because of a “wish to counterbalance an advantage lying in the very nature of things.” It “is not a wish to give one voter an advantage over another.” [Apparently, the U.S. Supreme Court believed otherwise. Based on its philosophy of “one man, one vote,” it swept away disproportional representation of the State legislatures.] Mencken explains that urban areas have a natural advantage over rural areas. The proximity of people in urban areas enables them to form opinions more quickly and uniformly and to maintain a solid front than people in rural areas, who are spread out more. Thus, people in urban areas “show all of the characters of men in a compact mob, and the voters of the rural regions, dispersed and largely inarticulate, cannot hope to prevail against them by ordinary means. So the yokels are given disproportionally heavy representation by way of make-weight: it enables them to withstand the city stampede.” In spite of disproportional representation, “the majority under democracy remains the majority, whatever laws and constitutions may say to the contrary, and when its blood is up it can get anything it wants.”
    Mencken remarks, “Most of the so-called constitutional checks, in fact, have yielded, at one time or other, to its pressure. No one familiar with the history of the Supreme Court, for example, need be told that its vast and singular power to curb legislation has always been exercised with one eye on the election returns.” Early Supreme Court decisions have been “completely reversed afterwards, as the second thought of the plain people has differed from their first thought. This responsiveness to the shifts of popular opinion and passion is not alone due to the fact that the personnel of the court, owing to the high incidence of senile deterioration among its members, is constantly changing, and that the President and the Senators, in filling vacancies, are bound as practical politicians to consider the doctrines that happen to be fashionable in the cross-roads grocery stores and barbers’ shops. It is also due, and in no small measure, to the fact that the learned and puissant justices are, in the main, practical politicians themselves, and hence used to keeping their ears close to the grass roots.” [Thus, the United States have the “rule of men” and not the “rule of law,” which exists independent of even the largest majority.]
    Mencken writes, “In boom times, indeed, democracy is always very impatient of what used to be called natural rights. The typical democrat is quite willing to exchange any of the theoretical boons of freedom for something that he can use.” Continuing, Mencken adds, “In most cases, perhaps, he is averse to selling his vote for cash in hand, but that is mainly because the price offered is usually too low. He will sell it very willingly for a good job or for some advantage in his business. Offering him such bribes, in fact, is the chief occupation of all political parties under democracy, and of all professional politicians.” [The welfare state has given the politician another avenue of offering legal bribes at the taxpayers’ expense.]
    Whether ideal or not, democracy “works, and the people are actually sovereign.” The system works: “Any conceivable change in the laws could be effected without tampering with the fundamental scheme.” Therefore, the “inferior American [is hostile] to the thing called direct action — the darling of his equals in most other countries. He is against it, not merely because he is a coward and distrusts liberty, but also, and maybe mainly, because he believes that revolution, in the United States, is unnecessary — that any reform advocated by a respectable majority, or even by a determined minority, may be achieved peacefully and by constitutional means. In this belief he is right. The American people, keeping strictly within the Constitution, could do anything that the most soaring fancy suggested. They could, by a simple amendment of that hoary scripture, expropriate all the private property in the land, or they could expropriate parts of it and leave the rest in private hands; they have already, in fact, by tariff juggling, by Prohibition and by other devices, destroyed billions of dollars of property without compensation, and even without common politeness, and the Constitution still survives.” Mencken identifies many other things that the American people can do if they so willed. He provides a list of the horrendous actions that the sovereign people can lawfully do: “They could enfranchise aliens if they so desired, or children not taxed, or idiots, or the kine in the byres. They could disfranchise whole classes, e.g., metaphysicians or adulterers, or the entire population of given regions. [They disfranchised Southerners following the War for Southern Independence.] They have done such things. . . . Finally, they could, if they would, abandon the republican form of government altogether and set up a monarchy in place of it: during the late war [World War I] they actually did so in fact, though refraining from saying so frankly. They could do all of these things freely, and even legally, without departing in the slightest from the principles of their fundamental compact, and no exterior agency could make them do any of them unwillingly.” [Thus, they can make the likes of Stalin, Mao, Hitler, and Pol Pot look like saints.]
    Mencken adds, “The people, if they are actually sovereign, have a clear right to be wanton when the spirit moves them, and indifference to an issue is an expression of opinion about it. Thus . . . the masses are that part of the state which doesn’t know what it wants.” Next Mencken discusses what the people want: “What they want principally are safety and security. They want to be delivered from the bugaboos that ride them. They want to be soothed with mellifluous words. They want heroes to worship. They want the rough entertainment suitable to their simple minds. All of these things they want so badly that they are willing to sacrifice everything else in order to get them. . . .    The science of politics under democracy consists in trading with them, i.e., in hoodwinking and swindling them. In return for what they want, or for the mere appearance of what they want, they yield up what the politician wants, and what the enterprising minorities behind him want.” [Since 9-11, most people have wanted security. The powers behind the politicians, i.e., big money, the military-industrial complex, and the security complex, want ever-expanding wars and ever-expanding police state. In the name of security, the American people have received more wars and a growing police state. Thus, liberty dies under democracy.]

Copyright © 2017 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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Wednesday, April 11, 2018

Poor on Price

Poor on Price
Thomas Allen

    In 1877, Henry Varnum Poor (1812-1905) wrote Money and Its Laws: Embracing a History of Monetary Theories, and a History of the Currency of the United States. He was a financial analyst and founder of a company that evolved into Standard & Poor’s. Poor was a proponent of the real bills doctrine and the classical gold-coin standard and, thus, the quality theory of money. He gave little credence to the quantity theory of money — especially if credit money, such as bank notes, were convertible on demand in species. Also, he contended that the value of money depends on and is derived from the value of the material of which it is made and with paper money, its representation of such value.
    In the latter part of his book, he discusses leading monetary theorists from Aristotle (350 B.C.) to David A. Wells (1875). Most of the economists whom he discussed were proponents of the quantity theory of money. We will look at his discussion on Bonamy Price. My comments are in brackets. Referenced page numbers enclosed in parentheses are to Poor’s book.
    Bonamy Price (1807-1888) was an English political economist and a professor of political economy at the University of Oxford. Among his works are The Principles of Currency (1869), Currency and Banking (1876), Chapters on Practical Political Economy (1878). Poor reviews Principles of Currency.
    Price provides this profound observation:
It [political economy] never seems to make a final and permanent lodgement of any of its truths in the public mind. They float on a tide which often carries the vessel backward as fast as it progresses forward. The tendency to backslide seems to be incessant and irresistible, — not often from any fault of its own, or from want of ability and demonstrating power in its teachers, but from the strength of the adverse forces which every one of its conclusions is ceaselessly obliged to encounter. A centrifugal force is ever acting on some large section of society, — sometimes, even, on a whole population, — which makes it forget all that it has learned, and draws it back into the darkness of ignorance (p. 401).
[Ever since the abandonment of the gold standard accompanied by the real bills doctrine with World War I, mankind has been charging ever more swiftly into the “darkness of ignorance.”] In other sciences, once a truth is established, people do not return to the errors, fables, and falsehoods that it has corrected and replaced. For some reason, the political economist has difficulty in confirming his observations; about this issue, Price writes:
The reason of this difference of fortune does not consist in the certainty attached to the subject-matter of the one, and the inherent uncertainty of the other. Some of the positions reached by Political Economy attain the quality of demonstration; and yet they are denied or ignored as readily as if they were the hypothesis of an empiric. They are not argued against and refuted; no second trial is summoned to retest their value: they are simply passed over; and then the error which they were supposed to have dispelled resumes its possession of the public mind, just as if it were the infallible suggestion of instinct (p. 401).
    According to Price, the explanation for people continually returning to false economic principles “is to be found in the ceaseless action of selfishness, in the never-dying force of class and personal interests, in the steady and constant effort to promote private gains at the cost of the whole community” (p. 401). To Price,  promoting private gain at the cost of the whole community is just a manifestation of the mercantile theory. Price follows his explanation with a discussion on mercantilism (pp. 402-403).
    Poor strongly objects to Price attitude about merchants: “A reader of the Economists cannot fail to be struck with the hostility, not to say hatred, which all of them display toward merchants” (p. 404). Then Poor asks, “What is the reason of this hatred, with a sharper tooth even than that of the odium theologicum? — the practice of treating gold as wealth, and the highest form of wealth” (p. 407). Also, Poor expresses his low opinion of Adam Smith’s treatment of merchants. He writes, “Smith did his best to sustain his theory by sneers and flings at those who grew rich by its violation. He declared them to be a mean and selfish race, the abettors of the worst forms of monopoly, and the disturbers of the peace of the world” (p. 407). Then, Poor adds that “Price, in his grotesque way, attempts to paint them in still blacker colors” (p. 407). Moreover, Poor states that Price “admits that if the merchant, if the universal instinct of the race, is to be trusted, the teachings of Adam Smith, so far as they relate to money, are shams” (p. 407). Continuing, Poor writes:
The only refuge of the Economists is in crying that the science has been overborne by the selfishness of men of affairs. They cannot deny that these grow rich by pursuing methods precisely the opposite to those which they lay down. . . . The Economists fiercely reply that truth is sacrificed to mammon; but if it be the office of Political Economy to teach the method of wealth, why has not the man of millions the true method; and what need of going beyond his rules? As for the selfishness of the race, we fear that Political Economists have no prescription for its cure (pp. 407-408).
[If the merchant looks to the government to gain an advantage over others, he is a villain of society — and even more so are those in government who conspire with him to give him an advantage. {Governmental officials who seek to penalize merchants because they are merchants are also scoundrels.} However, if a merchant concentrates on providing the customer with goods and services of the highest quality at the lowest price instead of seeking governmentally protected advantage, then he is a great asset to the community.]
    Price rejects the notion that bills of exchange and checks represent money. Moreover, he declares that they are not money. They are “[o]rders to pay money, which can be legally enforced; title-deeds to money which lead directly to the obtaining of money. They are all warrants or evidences of debt” (p. 404). [Bills of exchange, checks, and even bank notes are forms of credit {credit money} and are not real money themselves. Price is correct in that they do not represent money, i.e., gold coin. However, they do represent the equivalent value of gold coin. That is a $10 bank note, or a check written for $10, represents the value of a $10 gold coin; it does not represent the $10 gold coin. Credit money is merely the promise to pay the value, i.e., the amount of gold, stated on the note, check, or bill. {Today, notes and checks are promises to pay some unknown nebulous abstraction. Moreover, it is a promise that the issuer has no intention of keeping.}]
    According to Price only a small amount of buying and selling is done with coin or bank notes. Most buying and selling and borrowing and lending are done with checks and bills, that is, it is done by exchanging debt (p. 405). [In today’s monetary system, all exchanges are made with debt. All “money” is credit. Therefore, the only way to extinguish debt is bankruptcy and reputation.]

Copyright © 2017 by Thomas Coley Allen.


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Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Does God Abhor or Approve Miscegenation?

Does God Abhor or Approve Miscegenation?
Thomas Allen

    Does God abhor and condemn or approve and condone interracial marriages? Is God an integrationist or a segregationist? Both sides of these questions claim that the Scriptures support their position. Which side is correct: the segregationists and anti-miscegenationists or the integrationists and miscegenationists?
    The Bible describes God as the great segregationist and separationist. According to Acts 17:26 (“. . . having determined their appointed seasons, and the bounds of their habitation”), God created humans and assigned them their habitat. Thus, God segregated and separated the various races (species) of humans. (Acts 17:26 is a favorite verse of the integrationists and miscegenationists. However, they ignore the second part of the verse, which opposes their position, or they claim that it refers to tribes or culture. If the latter are correct, then it shows that God is even a greater segregationist and separationist than people who claim that this verse merely refers to racial separation. Moreover, tribes are either monoracial or hybrids; the latter is questionable as the members of a tribe are descendants of a common ancestor. In any event, a tribe is not multiracial.)
    God is the author of the greatest segregation and separation in recorded history. According to Genesis 11:1-9, God caused the people of Babel to segregate and then separate themselves.
    Another example of God being a segregation and a separationist is His ordering Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt — thus, separating the Israelites from the Egyptians. Then He ordered the Israelites not to integrate with the inhabitants of the Promised Land, but to segregate and separate from them when they failed to genocide them.
    “The Bible, Segregation, and Miscegenation” refutes several arguments based on Scripture that integrationists and miscegenationists use to support their position. Below are three Biblical stories that support God’s abhorrence and condemnation of miscegenation and interracial mating.
    One story illustrating God’s condemnation of miscegenation is the Noahic Flood. The sin of miscegenation, interracial marriage, is the primary reason that God sent the Flood. He sent it to destroy the people committing this sin and their hybrid offspring and the people who condoned such marriages.
    How do we know that this was the specific sin that brought the Flood? This is the only sin specifically described in Chapter 6 of Genesis. It describes the sons of God cohabitating with the daughters of man. Literally, the daughters of man were the daughters of Adam, i.e., they were Adamites or Aryans (see “What Race Was Adam”). Highly debated is who were the sons of God. Most likely, the sons of God were people of other races; they were non-Aryan humans. (A discussion of the sons of God is given in People of the Flood by Thomas Allen [2008] and why they were non-Aryan humans.)
    Next is the story of Dinah. Chapter 34 of Genesis tells the story of Simeon and Levi, two of Jacob’s sons, slaying a city of Hivites over the issue of interracial marriage. The prince of the Hivites wanted to marry their sister, Dinah. So, the Hivites of this city offered to intermarry with the Hebrews. Before they could intermarry, Simeon and Levi told the Hivites that they needed to convert to the Hebrew religion. The Hivites converted and were circumcised. Thus, the two people would not be unequally yoked religiously. Now both of them were of the same religion, the Hebrew religion. However, they differ racially. The Hebrews were Aryans; the Hivites were Aryan-Melanochroi hybrid (or possibly Melanochroi). Simeon and Levi slew the Hivites not because of religious differences, for they were of the same religion. They slew them because of racial differences. Slaying the Hivites prevented miscegenation and racial amalgamation.
    Lastly is the story of Ezra’s return to Jerusalem. Chapters 9 and 10 of Ezra are among the clearest condemnation of miscegenation if one refrains reading into these chapters what is not there. After Ezra had arrived in Jerusalem, he learned that the Israelites were guilty of a great abomination. They had not segregated themselves. Instead, they had integrated with the inhabitants of that area (who at this time were mostly Melanochroi and Melanochroi-Aryan hybrids) and had intermarried with them. The religious leaders were among the worst offenders (Ezra 9:1-2). This news devastated Ezra, and he cried unto God his shame (Ezra 9:3-15). He identified miscegenation as rebellion against God’s law (Ezra 9:14) and as a sin (Ezra 9:15, 10:2, 10). Ezra’s solution was for the men of Israel to separate themselves from their alien wives and to send them and the children born from these immoral mixed marriages away (Ezra 10:3-5, 11-19). Ezra read the law to the people of Israel (Nehemiah 8:1-8). The Israelites responded by segregating themselves from the rest of the people in the land and vowing not to intermarry with them (Nehemiah 10:28-31).
    Careful, or even cursory, reading of these chapters clearly reveals that the divide was not made on religious grounds. The separation was not believers from unbelievers. No exception was made for believing wives or their children. Whether they were believers or unbelievers, all wives were divorced and sent away. Furthermore, no Israelite was sent away because he was an unbeliever. Many of them appeared to have been unbelievers because they were blatantly violating God’s law against miscegenation. Whether they were believers or unbelievers, all Israelite men remained. The issue was clearly race, not religion.
    Likewise, the New Testament also condemns miscegenation. In 1 Corinthians 6:18, Paul urges people to flee from interracial sex, for it destroys the body — hence, the race — and is, therefore, a sin. He warns against this sin in 1 Corinthians 10:1-11, especially verse eight. The writer of Hebrews warns against miscegenation in Hebrews 12:12-17; the fornicating profanity of Esau was miscegenation (he married a Hittite, a Melanochroi-Aryan hybrid). Warnings are given in 2 Peter 2:9-16 and Jude. The church in Pergamum is condemned for holding “the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling block before the children of Israel” (Revolution 2:12-14). Miscegenation was the doctrine of Balaam.
    Deuteronomy 23:2 (“No half-bred [mongrel] may be admitted to the assembly of the Yahweh; not even his descendants to the tenth generation may be admitted to the Assembly of Yahweh” – NJB.) summaries God’s attitude toward miscegenation and interracial mating. (For a discussion on Deuteronomy 23:2, see “Commentary on Deuteronomy 23:2.") To prevent interracial breeding, God ordained racial segregation and separation.
    (For additional discussions on Scriptural evidence against miscegenation and integration, see False Biblical Teachings on the Origins of the Races and Interracial Marriages by Thomas Allen [2001]. Passages that condemn miscegenation and interracial mating include Genesis 6:1-7, Genesis 24:1-4, Genesis 26:34-35, Genesis 28:1-2, 6-7, Genesis chap. 34, Exodus 11:7, Exodus 33:16, Exodus 34:10-16, Leviticus 19:19, Leviticus 20:26, Leviticus 21:14, Numbers chap. 23, 24, and 25, Deuteronomy 7:1-4, Deuteronomy 23:2, Joshua 23:12-13, Judges 3:5-8, 1 King 8:53, 1 King 11:1-8, 1 King 16: 30, 31, 1 King 21:25, Ezra chap. 9 and 10, Nehemiah 8:1-18, 9:1-3, Nehemiah 10:28-31, Nehemiah 13:1-3, 23-31, Psalm 106:28-35, Isaiah 2:1-9 (esp. v. 6), Jeremiah 2:19-25, 29, Ezekiel 16:15-39, Ezekiel 44:6-23, Hosea 5:3-7, Hosea 6:7-10, Hosea 10:1-10, 1 Corinthians 3:16-17, 1 Corinthians 6:18, 1 Corinthians 10:1-11 (esp. v. 8), Hebrews 12:12-17, Hebrews 13:4, 2 Peter 2:9-16, Jude 3-11, Revelations 2:12-14, Revelations 2:18-23, Revelations 5:9, 7:9, 11:9, 13:7, 14:6, 17:15, 21:24, 22:2.)
    As shown above, God abhors and condemns miscegenation, interracial marriages and, by inference, interracial mating. To prevent the sin of miscegenation, he ordained racial segregation and racial separation.

Copyright © 2017 by Thomas Coley Allen.

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