The United States may be heading for an end in the relatively near future. That is good in the long run, because as Leopold Kohr and history show, huge countries have no reasonable option except to go wrong. It has something to do with human nature and the fact that many of us instinctively want to push other people around when we have the chance. The quality of our Christianity will have to improve for many, many centuries before we are able to understand that we need to leave other people alone even when we are strong! Breaking up power rather than consolidating it, is the way to protect ourselves and others. Read Kohr’s The Breakdown of Nations for a great deal more on the topic. Or, if you can’t resist (most people can resist, however), read my own Getting Ready for Secession.
But if the United States ends, history will not end. Life will still go on. Countries will go on. Good things will go on, and so will bad things.
Today we are simply going to have some fun. I am going to look at what happened after the break-up of the United States. It’s not all bad! There are a few good things to report, and even if you think those things are bad rather than good, at least you might find them interesting.
When the country broke up (due to massive inflation which destroyed the value of money and made it impossible to finance the welfare/warfare state), only a few rather small segments of the country were interested in becoming self-consciously Christian countries. Twenty-two small countries were Christian, with populations ranging from 50,000 to about 150,000. The average Christian country was 100,000, which means the total population of those countries was a mere 2,200,000. That is less than 1% (about .69%) of the pre-break-up population of the U.S. estimated at 320,000,000.
The other 99.31% of the ex-U.S. went other directions, with considerable variety. But today we have time only to glance at the 22 countries which decided to become Christian. Which meant–Christian. No fantasies about how separation of religion and state are possible. Every nation serves its own god, whether it knows it or not. These 22 countries understood that, and decided they would be self-consciously Christian.
There was not complete uniformity in how these 22 countries organized themselves. Some of them were Protestant, some Roman Catholic, in basic outlook. There was one Eastern Orthodox. Their organization of the civil authority also featured variety. Some were ruled by judges, some were republics, and some were monarchies. But even the monarchies which featured a king, made sure to restrain his power–or at least to try. Modelling the king’s authority on Deuteronomy’s instructions meant that the king was expected to kept under strict control. The king was not an absolute monarch; he was restrained by the law of God (Deuteronomy 17:14-20). We’ll have to see if that really works out in the long run!
The variety among the 22 countries was such that anything I report is likely not to be true for all the 22. So everything I say will be only partly true. Thus, when I say that taxes were around 3% total for everyone, that is only partly true. One of the countries went as high as 5% total. There was no property tax in most countries–but there was in a few. (Four, I think.) But nevertheless I am going to press ahead, trying to give you a flavor of these countries as a whole, with the understanding that you must study each individual country for more exact information!
Anyway, here goes.
There are no prisons. There are holding jails, where the accused are held for the brief time prior to their trials. Some convicted criminals are executed. Others are required to pay restitution–which means that instead of being in prison they are out working.
There are civil courts. But there are also church courts. Church courts handle some cases more effectively, whereas civil courts deal with more serious crimes.
Most of the 22 countries have laws which they have instituted, although the number of such laws is relatively few. Oddly, however, in four of the countries they don’t even make laws! They think they might be able to get by dealing with each court case as something that can be handled by general biblical wisdom. They are going to at least try this and see how it works.
Rapists are executed. So are murderers. If you drive drunk and you kill someone, you are executed. (Which means you will probably only do it once; you learned your lesson!) It turns out that there is always a death penalty, no matter what country you live in. In these 22 Christian countries, the guilty are put to death. In the non-Christian countries they put to death the innocent. Different strokes for different folks.
Wife beaters are whipped. Some of them grow up and become good husbands, and some of them prefer more freedom of action and thus leave the country so that they can find someone to beat without having to hear unpleasant whining.
If you make a female pregnant with her consent, you marry the girl and provide for her and the children.
Anyone engaging in homosexual behavior and being convicted on the evidence of two or three witnesses, is executed. Most people who want to engage in homosexual behavior prefer to leave the 22 countries before being caught.
Everyone is required to pay his bills. If you rent from someone and then don’t pay him, the civil authority requires you to pay him after all. You can escape over the border to avoid paying your bills. (Don’t worry, most countries won’t send you back.) But once you do that you are not likely to be able to come back. Until you are ready to pay your bills. The general principle of these 22 countries is that everyone has personal responsibility. (There are no corporations. Responsibility is personal.) Most people work and pay their bills. People who don’t like that way of living are always free to leave.
Money is silver and gold. There is no fractional reserve banking.
There is no public education. Homeschooling and private schools help most people get some sort of education. One seems to work better for some people, while the other works better for the others.
There is no state welfare. Charitable giving is done by churches and individuals.
Almost everyone has learned to handle rifles and pistols. The elders/deacons of the churches have overseen that instruction for both adults and children.
There is no standing army, but every adult male will be trained and ready to fight if necessary. (Three of the countries have standing armies, albeit small ones. Another indication that I am painting with a very broad brush here.)
People tithe to their churches. That includes children–if the adults have wisdom. Which some don’t, of course! But because most Christians are tithing, the churches have plenty of money with which to operate. Many of them are missionary-minded.
The roads are spotless of litter. That is mostly because people don’t usually throw things out their windows. But also in some cases the picking up of litter is a sort of gleaning process by which some people earn money.
If someone has an abortion, and this is discovered, the murderers are executed. That includes the doctor, the “mother,” the nurse, and the husband if he acquiesced in the murder, and anyone else who was complicit in the murder. Most people wanting an abortion simply flee over the border, and don’t come back. That solves everyone’s problem–except that of the baby being murdered. Our 22 countries trust God to avenge the baby if He wants to.
The work needed to be done in the world is always endless, so everyone who wants to work is able to do so. There is no minimum wage to discourage relatively unskilled people from finding work. Some people prefer working part-time, and thus buying more leisure time for themselves rather than buying more things.
Since taxes are small, the ordinary person is mostly working for himself rather than for welfare recipients, for armies and battleships and bombers and foreign interventions, for hoards of public school and public university teachers and all the myriad number of “zombies” (thanks, Bill Bonner) who live on the production of working people.
Our 22 countries have zero desire to attack other countries. They are too small to do so! They want to be left alone, and they know that there may come a time when they have to defend themselves or suffer being conquered by other countries. One of their major worries is that non-Christian countries will find some excuse to attack them. Life always has challenges!
There we have it–a brief survey of the 22 small self-consciously Christian countries which were formed after the break-up of the United States. I wonder if they will flourish, or fail miserably and come crying back to one humanist momma or another. Perhaps there will be some of each. Certainly few of us optimistically assume that we Christians are very ready to accept responsibility for ourselves. But the Bible seems to indicate that that is what God expects of us. What an optimist! Maybe He has long range plans that require that we grow up. If so, jolly good luck with that.
But maybe it would be fun to try . . .