By Rev. R.J. Rushdoony
Peter F. Drucker, in Managing in Turbulent Times (Harper & Row, 1980), calls attention to some very significant facts about the Soviet Union. He believes that only a bold man will predict that the U.S.S.R. will still be in existence by the year 2000. European Russia has the world’s lowest birthrate, whereas Asiatic Russia has a very high one and will have a population predominance.
Other sources have added to this forecast. Asiatic Russia is predominantly Moslem, and, very soon, the Soviet Union will be the world’s major Moslem power. There will be internal problems by 1985, as the army faces the consequences of the low birthrate among European Russians. The draftees will begin to be more and more Islamic; getting them to obey European officers will be a problem.
Alexandre A. Bennigsen and S. Enders Wimbush, in Muslim National Communism in the Soviet Union, A Revolutionary Strategy for the Colonial World (University of Chicago Press, 1979), trace the history of Muslim communism. From the days of Lenin, the Muslim communists were nationalists and strongly (in most cases) Islamic. They saw Marxism as a means of dealing “a death blow to Europe.” Many religious leaders among the Moslems agreed with this. The end of European supremacy could be effected by means of Marxism, and the Muslim nations freed to pursue their course. “A significant number of Muslim leaders did lend their support to the revolutionary forces during the Civil War” (p. 31). These nationalistic Muslim communists were suppressed by Lenin and his successors, but their population increase, and the decline of the European Russian birthrate, have revived new currents of Muslim hope for the overthrow of Europe, including Soviet Russia. An often heard warning from Asiatic Soviet Muslims to Russians in the streets of Central Asia is, “Wait until the Chinese come. They will show you!” The Russian leadership of the Soviet Union is aging, and approaching senility. Population trends are destroying the Russian character of the Soviet Union and giving it a Turkic and Muslim character. After World War I, Turkey strongly promoted Pan-Turanian ideas, i.e., a union of all the Turkic peoples to create a great world power. This is an alternate theme to a pan-Islamic power. The Armenian massacres were an aspect of this Pan-Turanian dream.
Add to this factor within the Soviet Union an external factor, the rise of Muslim nationalism and Marxism outside of the Soviet Union, in Asia, the Near East, and North Africa, and you have all the ingredients for social turbulence, war, and revolution.
There is, however, a grim nemesis to Muslim hopes in the very nature of their faith. Bennigsen and Wimbush mention in passing “the ‘past-centered awareness’ which is common to most Muslims (in contrast to Christian awareness which projects a ‘Golden Age’ in the future,” p. 98f.). Iran is good evidence of this fact. The revolutionists in Iran dream of a golden age, in the mythical Islam of Ali, a time long-gone and more a product of imagination than reality. Moreover, their concern has been more with “the sins of the Shah” than with current and pressing problems. This past-bound nature of Muslim faith and thought gives it a proneness to hope and denunciation where work and action are needed.
But this is not all. Not only is Islam past bound, but, we must add, paralyzed because its concept of power and progress is a bureaucrat’s dream. Islam sees unity and government from the top down. Mohammed was strongly drawn to the Biblical doctrine of the Kingdom of God, of God’s rule over the world, and this is what Islam purports to be. However, from the beginning this kingdom was seen as coming by imposition from above, by military conquest, centralized rule, and concentrated authority. The result was a caliph, or powerful Moslem rulers, who concentrated all power in their hands. In Turkey, Baghdad, Iran, and elsewhere, it meant autocratic rule. Whereas in the Christian world, the revolutionary direction of history was to challenge centralized power in church and state, and to base the faith in the heart of man, the Islamic tendency was and is to equate strength with centralized power.
The triumph of Christian theological development, as it appeared in the West, was to formulate the creed into an intensely personal form, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, etc.” Whether recited with two or three, or with thousands, each believer in the Western tradition says, “I believe.” It is personal. This is in line with Scripture, where the first required confession began with the personal pronoun: “A Syrian ready to perish was my father,” or “My father was a wandering Aramean” (Deut. 26:5). This confession concluded, “And now, behold, I have brought the firstfruits of the land, which thou, O LORD, has given me” (Deut. 26:10). The emphasis is particular and personal in Scripture.
“Progress” in paganism, and in Islam, was spasmodic and superficial; it depended on a superior ruler, and it usually ended with his death. It had no roots in the life of the people. The Muslim revolution thus has no future, because it is too past bound, and too authoritarian.
Having said this, however, it is necessary to add that our world today is reproducing this same evil. The answers of statism are sterile and rootless, seeking to remake man from the top down. Eugene Rosenstock-Huessy spoke of John Dewey and his philosophy as the Chinafication of America, i.e., as the reproduction of all the evils of old China and its radical relativism. We can similarly speak of the growing centralization and bureaucratization of the Western nations as a reproduction of the narrow and decadent world of old Turkey, of the harem world and the intriguing eunuchs who ran the empire.
To command the future and to exercise dominion in the Lord’s Name, it is urgently necessary for Christians to recognize the essential nature of Christian self-government to freedom, the function of the tithe in godly reconstruction, and the necessity for the Christian dominion man to take back government from the state.
Marxism has no future, nor does Islam. Similarly, humanistic statism is declining and perishing.The Marxist Muslims are right in seeing its days as numbered. The Christian must separate himself from humanistic statism, its schools and ways. The summons is, “Come out of her my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues” (Rev.18:4). The future is the Lord’s and only ours in Him.
(Taken from Roots of Reconstruction, p. 81; Chalcedon Position Paper No. 18) December, 1980.
Rev. R.J. Rushdoony (1916-2001) was the founder of Chalcedon and a leading theologian, church/state expert, and author of numerous works on the application of Biblical Law to society.
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