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    What Gods Do the "Three Peoples" Believe In

    IN my reductive Three Peoples theory I propose that three kinds of people live in the modern world. There are the People of the Subordinate Self, workers and peasants who are clients to some great lord. There are People of the Responsible Self, citizens that work in the city as responsible individuals. And then there are People of the Creative Self, that believe life should be more than just responsible; it should aim for a work of original creation.

    But no man is an island; each of us must life in society. That is the point of social animals, that we work together. So what does that mean to each of the Three Peoples?

    We humans symbolize this situation with the notion of "gods." Our God is the something to which we surrender and bend the knee, and that is what makes us social and connected rather than alone on an island.

    The God of the People of the Subordinate Self is the great lord or patron. In return for his Patron's patronage he must surrender to the power and might of his lord, his political boss, his work supervisor. And the Patron distributes loot and plunder as the mood takes him. I have argued, in my "little darlings" notion, that in the end the People of the Subordinate Self get left by the roadside, for they are, in effect, the soldiers in the great lord's army, and when they are no longer useful, the lord will abandon them, as Napoleon abandoned his troops on the retreat from Moscow.

    The subordination to a fickle lord or Patron is not an easy life, and so from time to time the peasants arm themselves with their pitchforks and rebel. But they are always too late.

    The God of the People of the Responsible Self is the abstract, though personal, God of the Axial Age religions. He is no longer sitting in the middle of the village or on Mt. Olympus playing power games with the human lives under his charge. Now God is retiring from active rule, and setting forth abstract rules for humans to follow. The problem for humans is no longer to submit to the actual power and might of the ruler, but to submit to the abstract rules of the Law. This was incredibly sexist, for it is men that demand to be told the rules, so the new God came out with a girl concept as well. Now the thing to do was to submit to God's love, for God offered the perfect relationship: love God and God would love you right back. In our latter days, People of the Responsible Self have learned to submit to the market, that remarkable human notion, and offer themselves and the work to the rest of society in return for the hope of reward. Of course, the market also has its girl aspect, as in the long-term relationships between businesses and their customers.

    The submission to an abstract God or to the market is a hard and challenging life, for all its rewards. And so the People of the Responsible Self are always tempted to take the easy way and return into the orbit and the protection of some new Patron. But they betray their responsibility when they do.

    The God of the People of the Creative Self is the the Creative Self. If the old God was the creator of the universe, or at least in on the design, the modern creative self aims to become as God. The nature and the meaning of life, the universe, and everything is not a mystery known only to God, but a Gordian Knot that creative man himself is unraveling and will eventually master. That is why our modern ruling class is full of plans for improvement and bending the arc of history towards justice. Society is, for them, a creative project.

    The relation of the Creative Self to society has almost come full circle to the great lord or the Patron god. It is a temptation that few creative people seem able to resist, to sit on Mt. Olympus and order around the humans under their rule as the mood takes them. But I would say that the essence of the creative life is to submit to the verdict of the creative Muse. The fact of a life devoted to creation is that is is a failure: many are called, but few are chosen. Many people aspire to become artists and writers, but few make the grade. Many people start businesses and tech startups, but almost all of them are failures. If it is hard to be a peasant, and harder to stay responsible in the face of setbacks, it is harder still to aspire to creative notability.

    You can see that there is a common theme here. A true and faithful person must surrender and submit to his chosen God, and not to do so is to betray your God and become antisocial and corrupted. A Person of the Subordinate Self has surrendered his life to the pleasure of his great lord, and the subsequent cruel fate that awaits him. A Person of the Responsible Self has surrendered himself to obeying God's laws and the verdict of the market. If it seems hard, well, it is. A Person of the Creative Self must submit to the creative process, and accept that very few people that aspire to works of original creation actually succeed in that Olympian ambition, just as very few aspiring Olympic athletes get to participate in the Olympic Games.

    The whole point of this little exercise is, of course, to point out that humanity's Big Problem right now is the globalist Creative Class and its overweening conceit that it is called, like the peerless Lina Lamont, to bring a little joy to our humdrum little lives, so that all its hard work "ain't been in vain for nothin'."

    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 10/21/16 5:06 pm ET

    Zuckerberg in the Pulpit over Peter Thiel

    YOU won't get a better summary of the liberal line this week than this from Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg. He's defending Facebook's early investor Peter Thiel, a gay that has committed the h-heresy of supporting and contributing to Donald Trump. There are many reasons a person might support Trump that do not involve racism, sexism, xenophobia or accepting sexual assault. It may be because they ...

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    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 10/20/16 5:45 pm ET

    What Comes After Trump

    LET us assume that the pundits and the polls are right and that Hillary Clinton is elected President of the United States. What happens next? Obviously we will see an intensification of the left's cultural hegemony. I do not mean, as I read in Child of the Revolution, that we will be arresting people for wrongthink and that people will go "pale as ashes" for saying the wrong thing. I do mean ...

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    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 10/19/16 5:11 pm ET

    What About the Victims of Politics?

    CONSERVATIVE scholar Thomas Sowell has a three part piece on The Left and the Masses, essentially arguing that the Left never stops to wonder whether their ideas really do benefit the masses. [T]he left is so invested in the idea that they are helping the disadvantaged that they seldom bother to check the actual consequences of what they are doing... Surely the intelligentsia of the left have ...

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    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 10/18/16 10:56 pm ET

    Switch to An American Manifesto

    WE won't be posting to this blog any more.

    Go to an American Manifesto instead.

    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 04/08/15 5:22 pm ET

    The Party of the Ruling Class

    HOW do we deal with the meme that sank Mitt Romney, the idea that he was an unfeeling rich man that didn't care about "people like me."  Mona Charen makes the point directly. Many Republicans now recognize that they must propose reforms that speak to middle- and working-class voters, and shed their image as the party of the rich. But what is it that makes the Republican Party the "party of the ...

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    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/06/14 4:31 pm ET

    Bergdahl: Obamis Just Don't Understand Honor

    MANY conservatives are puzzling over why, just why, the Obama administration would get itself into such a mess over the Bergdahl prisoner exchange.  How could anyone treat Bergdahl's likely desertion as just a matter of missing a class on Monday? The answer is simple.  It is honor.  Lefties don't understand honor, male or female.  And especially they don't understand military honor. The whole ...

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    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/05/14 5:48 pm ET

    We Need a Religion of Limited Government

    YOUNG Voices Associate Cathy Reisenwitz has taken a look at the new ideas in YGNetwork's "Room to Grow" proposals, and wonders what's the point.  Forget the "new" ideas.  How about some good "old" ideas? Here’s a old/new idea: get government out of the way. cut off the spigot. end the subsidies. cut the regulations. help the middle class by allowing the market to work for them. Cathy quotes ...

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    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/03/14 4:46 pm ET

    Critiquing Obama from the Enlightened Left

    EVERY time we hear of a new incident of Obama administration lawlessness, we have to wonder.  Do liberals really not see this as a problem? We know what is going on.  The news media and the cultural czars reckon that Obama and the liberal activists and the Democratic Party have their heart in the right place and so the corner-cutting on Obamacare, the bogus wait-list scam at the VA, the ...

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    perm | comment | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 06/02/14 7:54 pm ET

    Liberals Don't Know Better | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 05/30/14 4:10 pm ET
    Moral Dilemmas in "The Secret Life of Violet Grant" | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 05/29/14 5:22 pm ET
    The Ruling Class's Sickness Unto Death | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 05/28/14 1:04 pm ET
    Beyond Tea Parties and UKIPs | Follow chrischantrill on Twitter | 05/27/14 1:29 pm ET

    |  October blogs  |  September blogs  |


    “I Want a President”

    Georg Simmel’s Sociology

    Charles Murray’s By The People

    Thomas Piketty’s Capital

    The Spirit Level

    McCloskey’s “Bourgeois Era”

    Karl Polanyi’s Great Transformation

    A Look at the Left: “Contra-deBoer”

    “Little Darlings”

    “Three Peoples”


    Download latest e-book draft here.


    A New Manifesto
    A spectre is haunting the liberal elite—the spectre of conservatism.


    The Crisis of the Administrative State
    It wasn’t supposed to be like this.

    Government and the Technology of Power
    If you scratch a social reformer, you will likely discover a plan for more government.

    Business, Slavery, and Trust
    Business is all about trust and relationship.

    Humanity's Big Problem: Freebooters and Freeloaders
    The modern welfare state encourages freeloaders.

    The Bonds of Faith
    No society known to anthropology or history lacked religion.

    A Critique of Social Mechanics
    The problem with human society reduced to system.

    The Paradox of Individualism
    Is individualism the gospel of selfishness or something else?

    From Multitude to Civil Society
    The larger the government, the smaller the society.

    The Answer is Civil Society
    In between the separated powers.

    The Greater Separation of Powers
    If you want to limit power then you must limit power.

    Conservatism Three by Three
    Conservatism, political, economics, and cultural.

    The Culture of Involvement
    Imagining lives without the welfare state

    The Poor Without the Welfare State
    Can the poor thrive without the welfare state?

    The Middle Class Without The Welfare State
    How would the middle class live without all those middle-class entitlements?

    Liberals and the Welfare State
    Liberals, the ruling class of the administrative welfare state.

    From Freeloaders to Free Givers
    The path to the future lies through moral movements.

    The Real Meaning of Society
    Broadening the horizon of cooperation in the “last best hope of man on earth.”

    conservative manifesto


    AAM Book of the Day

    Harris, Lee, Civilization and Its Enemies

    AAM Books on Education

    Andrew Coulson, Market Education
    How universal literacy was achieved before government education

    Carl Kaestle, Pillars of the Republic
    How we got our education system

    James Tooley, Reclaiming Education
    How only a market in education will provide opportunity for the poor

    James Tooley, The Miseducation of Women
    How the feminists wrecked education for boys and for girls

    E.G. West, Education and the State
    How education was doing fine before the government muscled in

    AAM Books on Law

    Hernando De Soto, The Mystery of Capital
    How ordinary people in the United States wrote the law during the 19th century

    F. A. Hayek, Law Legislation and Liberty, Vol 1
    How to build a society based upon law

    Henry Maine, Ancient Law
    How the movement of progressive peoples is from status to contract

    John Zane, The Story of Law
    How law developed from early times down to the present

    AAM Books on Mutual Aid

    James Bartholomew, The Welfare State We're In
    How the welfare state makes crime, education, families, and health care worse.

    David Beito, From Mutual Aid to the Welfare State
    How ordinary people built a sturdy social safety net in the 19th century

    David Green, Before Beveridge: Welfare Before the Welfare State
    How ordinary people built themselves a sturdy safety net before the welfare state

    Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy
    How the US used to thrive under membership associations and could do again

    David Stevenson, The Origins of Freemasonry
    How modern freemasonry got started in Scotland

    AAM Books on Religion

    David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing
    How Christianity is booming in China

    Finke & Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990
    How the United States grew into a religious nation

    Robert William Fogel, The Fourth Great Awakening and the Future of Egalitarianism
    How progressives must act fast if they want to save the welfare state

    David Martin, Pentecostalism: The World Their Parish
    How Pentecostalism is spreading across the world


    Sponsored: 64% off Code Black Drone with HD Camera
    Our #1 Best-Selling Drone--Meet the Dark Night of the Sky!

    How the education gap is tearing politics apart
    More on the digital divide between the educated and the not-educated.

    Trump & Clinton's Voters Have an Educational Disparity
    All about the digital divide.

    After the Republic
    Angelo Codevilla's broadside against the ruling class.

    2016's Foreign Policy Issues Will Be the Most Important
    maybe this explains George Soros funding BLM. For global governance to work the national demos must be divided and conquered.

    > archive


    cruel . corrupt . wasteful
    unjust . deluded



    After a year of President Obama most Americans understand that the nation is on the wrong track. But how do we find the right track? Americans knew thirty years ago that liberalism was a busted flush. Yet Reaganism and Bushism seemed to be less than the best answer.

    But where can we turn? Where are the thinkers and activists of the old days? Where do we find the best ideas? And how do we persuade our present ruling class to loosen its grip on power so that we can move the locomotive of state back onto the right track?

    With all of our problems it seems like the worst of times.

    In fact, this is the best of times. Under the radar a generation of great thinkers have been figuring out what went wrong and conjuring up visions of a better future. This book, "An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism" is an introduction to their ideas, and to the great future that awaits an America willing to respond to their call.

    Although this book is addressed to all Americans, conservative, moderate, and liberal, and looks to a nation that transcends our present partisan divide, I must tell you that liberals will have the most difficulty with the book. The reason is simple. I am asking liberals to give up a lot of the power they have amassed in the last century. But we are all Americans, and we must all give up something for the sake of the greater good.


    I am Christopher Chantrill and I am writing this book in full view. I'll be blogging on the process and the ideas, and I'll be asking you, dear readers, to help. Read the blog. Read the articles as they come out on American Thinker and ponder over the draft chapters here on this site.

    Then send me your reactions, your thoughts, and your comments. You will help more than you know.


    What Liberals Think About Conservatives

    [W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
    Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican

    Racial Discrimination

    [T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
    Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District

    Liberal Coercion

    [T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
    Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State

    Taking Responsibility

    [To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
    MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

    Responsible Self

    [The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
    Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


    [In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
    Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


    [Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
    Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values


    presented by Christopher Chantrill
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