Thirty Tyrants

Lee Smith, in his 2021 editorial, “The Thirty Tyrants,” maintains that “the deal that [our] American globalist elite [has chosen] to make with China has a precedent in the history of Athens and Sparta.” He compares our elite with the Athenian oligarchy who, after Athens’ defeat in the Peloponnesian War, adopted their Spartan victor’s authoritarian ruling principles to subjugate common Athenians and exile, execute, and confiscate the wealth of those formerly in power. Smith writes,

The Athenian government, disloyal to Athens’ laws and contemptuous of its traditions, was known as the Thirty Tyrants, and understanding its role and function helps explain what is happening in America today.

He defines globalism and the globalist elite this way,

Globalism [is] the freedom to structure commercial relationships and social enterprises without reference to the well-being of the particular society in which [these globalists] happen to make their livings and raise their children.

Modis Operandi

Smith makes this elite’s operating method clear,

The elite…saw enlightened Chinese autocracy as a friend and even as a model—which was not surprising, given that the Chinese Communist Party became their source of power, wealth, and prestige. Why did they trade with an authoritarian regime and send millions of American manufacturing jobs off to China thereby impoverish working Americans? Because it made them rich.

They salved their consciences by telling themselves they had no choice but to deal with China: It was big, productive, and efficient and its rise was inevitable. And besides, the American workers hurt by the deal deserved to be punished—who could defend a class of reactionary and racist ideological naysayers standing in the way of what was best for progress?

…The corporate and political establishment’s trade relationship with China had sold out ordinary Americans.

He calls these people the ‘China Class,’ composed of Democrats and Republicans. The China Class is opposed to the American People, also composed of Democrats and Republicans; some of whom are unaware that they are opposed. Roughly stated, if you can’t afford a private island or citizenship in another country, you are merely a useful instrument in your own demise, no matter how “progressive” you might think you are.

Recent History

As evidence of the China Class’s contempt for the American People, he writes [formatted for emphases,]

Because…China was the source of the China Class’s power, the novel coronavirus coming out of Wuhan became the platform for its coup de grace. So, Americans became prey to an anti-democratic elite that used the coronavirus to:

    • demoralize them;
    • lay waste to small businesses;
    • leave them vulnerable to rioters who are free to steal, burn, and kill;
    • keep their children from school and
    • [keep] the dying from the last embrace of their loved ones;
    • desecrate American history, culture, and society; and
    • defame the country as systemically racist

[all] in order to furnish the predicate for why ordinary Americans in fact deserved the hell that the elite’s private and public sector proxies had already prepared for them.

For nearly a year, American officials have purposefully laid waste to our economy and society for the sole purpose of arrogating more power to themselves while the Chinese economy has gained on America’s.

…The China Class cemented its power within state institutions and security bureaucracies that have long been Democratic preserves.

If you have the patience, Garet Garrett explained long ago how the government captured the economy and subjugated the three Constitutional branches to administrative rule, Woodrow Wilson’s dream made reality by Franklin D. Roosevelt.

Embracing Autocracy

But how could “our betters,” those with the most privilege, enjoying the fruits of liberty, and charged with the preservation of our heritage, abandon their responsibility? Short answer, the money looked good. Smith writes,

The poisoned embrace between American elites and China began nearly 50 years ago when Henry Kissinger saw that opening relations between the two then-enemies would expose the growing rift between China and the more threatening Soviet Union. At the heart of the fallout between the two communist giants was the Soviet leadership’s rejection of Stalin, which the Chinese would see as the beginning of the end of the Soviet communist system—and thus it was a mistake they wouldn’t make.

Meanwhile, Kissinger’s geopolitical maneuver became the cornerstone of his historical legacy. It also made him a wealthy man selling access to Chinese officials. In turn, Kissinger pioneered the way for other former high-ranking policymakers to engage in their own foreign influence-peddling operations,

Yet it’s unlikely that Kissinger foresaw China as a cash cow for former American officials when he and President Richard M. Nixon traveled to the Chinese capital that Westerners then called Peking in 1972.

It was only in the 1990s with the debates every year about granting China most favored nation status in trade that China became a commercial rival”—and a lucrative partner.

Just after defeating communism in the Soviet Union, America breathed new life into the communist party that survived. And instead of Western democratic principles transforming the CCP, the American establishment acquired a taste for Eastern techno-autocracy.

Tech became the anchor of the U.S.-China relationship, with CCP funding driving Silicon Valley startups, thanks largely to the efforts of Dianne Feinstein, who, after Kissinger, became the second-most influential official driving the US–CCP relationship for the next 20 years.

They Knew Better, But Did It Anyway

We were told economic trade with the People’s Republic of China would moderate their totalitarianism, but the opposite was true. Smith writes,

Yet the past actually should have told Feinstein’s audience in Washington a different story. The United States didn’t trade with Moscow or allow Russians to make large campaign donations or enter into business partnerships with their spouses. Cold War American leadership understood that such practices would have opened the door to Moscow and allowed it to directly influence American politics and society in dangerous ways.

But it wasn’t just about jeopardizing national security; it was also about exposing America to a system contradictory to American values…Trade and foreign policy from the end of WWII to 1990 reflected that this was a consensus position—Cold War American leadership didn’t want the country coupled to a one-party authoritarian state.

Autocracy’s Impact

Sadly, we marched to our leadership’s tune for too long. We trusted their beneficence. We were lied to. Smith chronicles the China Class’s impact on business, national security, and society. He writes,

On Business

More than two decades later, the number of American industries and companies that lobbied against [the 45st President’s] administration measures attempting to decouple Chinese technology from its American counterparts is a staggering measure of how closely two rival systems that claim to stand for opposing sets of values and practices have been integrated.

…All [corporations] exist with one leg in America and the other leg planted firmly in America’s chief geopolitical rival. To protect both halves of their business, they soft-sell the issue by calling China a competitor in order to obscure their role in boosting a dangerous rival.

Nearly every major American industry has a stake in China.

On National Security

“Through the 1980s, people who advanced the interests of foreign powers whose ideas were inimical to republican form of government were ostracized,” says [an unnamed] former [44th President’s] administration intelligence official. “But with the advent of globalism, they made excuses for China, even bending the intelligence to fit their preferences…”

…The American security and defense establishment had their own interest in turning a blind eye to China. Twenty years of squandering men, money, and prestige on military engagements that began in [during the] “War on Terror” have proved to be of little strategic value to the United States.

However, deploying Americans to provide security in Middle East killing fields has vastly benefited Beijing. …American troops are deployed abroad in places like Afghanistan less to protect American interests than to provide security for China’s Belt and Road Initiative.

On Society

When a…virus hit in the fall of 2019, Chinese authorities followed the same protocol [used earlier in the year to suppress antipollution dissent], quarantining not just prospective troublemakers but everyone in Wuhan in the hope of avoiding an even larger public outcry than the one they’d quelled in the same city just months before.

There is a good reason why lockdowns—quarantining those who are not sick—had never been previously employed as a public health measure. The leading members of a city, state, or nation do not imprison its own unless they mean to signal that they are imposing collective punishment on the population at large. It had never been used before as a public health measure because it is a widely recognized instrument of political repression.

Eventually, the pro-China [American] oligarchy would come to see the full range of benefits the lockdowns afforded. Lockdowns made leading oligarchs richer…while impoverishing [the 45th President’s] small-business base. In imposing unconstitutional regulations by fiat, city and state authorities normalized autocracy.

Smith’s Conclusion

I must let his words speak for themselves,

For the pro-China oligarchy, the point of getting [the 46th President] elected was to protect themselves…

What seems clear is that [the 46th President’s] inauguration marks the hegemony of an American oligarchy that sees its relationship with China as a shield and sword against their own countrymen. Like Athens’ Thirty Tyrants, they are not simply contemptuous of a political system that recognizes the natural rights of all its citizens that are endowed by our creator; they despise in particular the notion that those they rule have the same rights they do…

Like Critias and the pro-Sparta faction, the new American oligarchy believes that democracy’s failures are proof of their own exclusive right to power—and they are happy to rule in partnership with a foreign power that will help them destroy their own countrymen.

What does history teach us about this moment? The bad news is that the Thirty Tyrants exiled notable Athenian democrats and confiscated their property while murdering an estimated 5% of the Athenian population. The good news is that their rule lasted less than a year.

Today, please listen to (or read the subtitles of) an excerpt from Pastor Wang Yi’s sermon, “The Gospel and Church-State Relations” preached on May 27, 2018, at Early Rain Covenant Church in Chengdu, China. On December 30th, 2019, Pastor Wang Yi was tried in a secret trial and sentenced to 9 years in prison for the crimes of “inciting to subvert state power” and “illegal business operations.”

We Are Not ‘Doing Politics’ 我们不在”搞政治” – Pastor Wang Yi 王怡牧师, Six minutes, Subtitled, YouTube, March 11, 2019, Wang Yi Sermon Clips

The Political and Domestic Social Order – Bernhardt Writer

In case you missed it, we’ve had a revolution in America. No one’s blood was spilt; but the establishment was sternly rebuked by the unitary representative of the people of the United States, namely, the President of the United States:

We, the citizens of America, are now joined in a great national effort to rebuilt our country and to restore its promise for all of our people…

Today’s ceremony, however, has very special meaning, because today we are not merely transferring power from one administration to another, or from one party to another — but we are transferring power from Washington, D.C. and giving it back to you, the American People.

For too long, a small group in our nation’s Capital has reaped the rewards of government while the people have borne the cost. Washington flourished — but the people did not share in its wealth. Politicians prospered — but the jobs left, and the factories closed.

The establishment protected itself, but not the citizens of our country. Their victories have not been your victories; their triumphs have not been your triumphs; and while they celebrated in our nation’s capital, there was little to celebrate for struggling families all across our land.

The President spoke these words to all of us: “Whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.” Considering this turn of events, we should ask: “Now what?”

The wisest king of Israel, Solomon, wrote:

Unless the Lord builds the house,

    those who build it labor in vain.

Unless the Lord watches over the city,

    the watchman stays awake in vain.

Psalm 127:1 English Standard Version (ESV)

The reformer, John Calvin, summarized the entire Psalm, writing:

…Psalm [127] shows that the order of society, both political and domestic, is maintained solely by the blessing of God, and not by the policy, diligence, or wisdom of men…

This week, we concentrate on political order. Mandated Memoranda will cover domestic order in the coming weeks. Calvin explains our passage this way:

Except Jehovah build the house…In affirming that God governs the world and the life of man, [Solomon] does so for two reasons:

First, whatever prosperous event may fall out to men, their ingratitude is instantly manifested by their ascribing it wholly to themselves; and thus God is defrauded of the honor which is his due. Solomon, to correct such a perverse error, declares, that nothing happens prosperously to us except in so far as God blesses our proceedings.

Secondly, his purpose was to beat down the foolish presumption of men, who, setting God aside, are not afraid to undertake to do anything, whatever it may be, in exclusive reliance upon their own wisdom and strength. Stripping them, therefore, of that which they groundlessly arrogate to themselves, he exhorts them to modesty and the invocation of God.

But, this doesn’t mean we should sit on our hands; Calvin says:

He does not, however, reject either the labor, the enterprises, or the counsels of men; for it is a praiseworthy virtue diligently to discharge the duties of our office. It is not the will of the Lord that we should be like blocks of wood, or that we should keep our arms folded without doing anything; but that we should apply to use all the talents and advantages which he has conferred upon us.

It is indeed true that the greatest part of our labors proceeds from the curse of God; and yet, …had [humankind] still retained the integrity of their [original] state, God would have had us to be employed, even as we see how Adam was placed in the garden of Eden to dress it. (Genesis 2:15.)

Solomon, therefore, does not condemn watchfulness, a thing which God approves; nor yet men’s labor, by which when they undertake it willingly, according to the commandment of God, they offer to him all acceptable sacrifice; but lest, blinded by presumption, they should forcibly appropriate to themselves that which belongs to God, he admonishes them that their being busily occupied will profit them nothing, except in so far as God blesses their exertions.

From this, Calvin lays out an admonishment for all, including us:

…It behooves us to remember what I have just now touched upon, that since the minds of men are commonly possessed with such headstrong arrogance as leads them to despise God, and to magnify beyond measure their own means and advantages, nothing is of more importance than to humble them, in order to their being made to perceive that whatever they undertake it shall dissolve into smoke, unless God in the exercise of pure grace cause it to prosper…

Let us then so occupy ourselves, each according to the measure of his ability and the nature of his office, [in such a way that] the praise of the success attending our exertions may remain exclusively with God. The partition which many devise — that he who has behaved himself valiantly, while he leaves the half of the praise to God, may take the other half to himself, is deserving of all condemnation. The blessing of God should have the whole share and exclusively hold the throne.

Finally, commenting on his times and ours, Calvin says:

…It is not wonderful to find in the present day the state of the world so troubled and confused as it actually is — justice put to flight in cities, the husband and the wife mutually accusing each other, fathers and mothers complaining of their children — in short, all bewailing their own condition.

For how few are to be found who, in their vocation, turn to God, and who, being rather inflated with arrogance, do not wickedly exalt themselves? God then justly renders this sad reward to ungrateful men when he is defrauded of his honor.

But were all men humbly to submit themselves to the providence of God, there is no doubt that this blessing which Solomon here commends would shed its luster on all parts of our life, both public and private…

Therefore, let’s reflect on and, especially, do what the Apostle Paul exhorted:

…I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:1-4 (ESV)

God does wonderful things when we believe Him and give Him glory rightly due His name.

The Inauguration of the 45th President of the United States, YouTube, The White House, Transcript