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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

America's Ruling Class and How It Holds on to Power

By Nancy Pearcey • August 4, 2010, 12:28 PM

The summer issue of the American Spectator features a cover story that is garnering a lot of attention.  (The magazine notes that it was highlighted "in a big, big way by Rush Limbaugh.")  The article dovetails nicely with themes from my soon-to-be published book, Saving Leonardo. The author, Angelo Codevilla, professor emeritus at Boston University, says the secular elites in America have become a ruling class. And he explains the strategy they use to discredit opposition and hold on to power:

Let [anyone] object to anything the ruling class says or does, and likely as not their objection will be characterized as "religious," that is to say irrational, that is to say not to be considered on a par with the "science" of which the ruling class is the sole legitimate interpreter.

That is precisely the strategy explained in greater detail in Saving Leonardo. Because secularism gives no basis for objective morality, secularists dismiss moral objections as mere private feelings and preferences. Then they tell opponents they have no right to apply their private preferences in the public square -- whether in politics or business or education or healthcare.

Of course, this clears the way for secularists to impose their own views in the public square. Codevilla explains the only way the secularist strategy can be resisted:

Because aggressive, intolerant secularism is the moral and intellectual basis of the ruling class's claim to rule, resistance to that rule . . . must deal with secularism's intellectual and moral core. This lies beyond the boundaries of politics as the term is commonly understood.

Just so. Because "ruling class" politics is shaped by secular worldviews, a political response alone is not enough. It is imperative to deal with the "intellectual and moral core" of those worldviews. That is why Saving Leonardo issues, as the subtitle puts it, "a call to resist" secular worldviews and to affirm a verifiable biblical worldview that provides the basis for a free society. 

Saving Leonardo can be pre-ordered here.

Added Friday, August 6: For more on resistance in our moment in history, please see "How the New Resistance Can Win the Culture War."