Category: John Horvat II

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Global Debt Soars to $169 Trillion: Will We Ever Learn?


Ten years have passed since the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, the worst financial panic since the Great Depression.  Now it seems that some of the lessons learned back then are being forgotten.  Growing debt burdens in emerging markets are igniting new fears of a crisis that could shake economies everywhere.

This time, the debt is not mortgages or deficit spending.  The new crisis involves corporate debt and bonds.

What is setting off alarms is the recent collapse of the Turkish lira, which has lost more than forty percent of its value.  Turkish banks and companies borrowed heavily over the past few years to finance infrastructure projects and even a mammoth cruise ship terminal.  The lira’s collapse makes it hard to repay loans or bonds made in dollars and euros.

Turkey is not alone in its dollar- and euro-delineated debt burden.  Similar loans and corporate bond issues can be found in Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, Russia, and other nations.  They have taken advantage of cheap money to bolster their national economies and build infrastructure.  Investors have likewise shifted their money to these markets, ignoring risks and creating a massive bubble.

As a result of such policies, the McKinsey Global Institute reports that total world debt load is an incredible $169 trillion as compared to $97 trillion in 2007.  This burden amounts to nearly two and a half times the size of the total global economy.

Perhaps it is in the frantic nature of modern finance and economy.  There is the great tendency to detach investment from firms that produce things.  Too many investors look for the short-term profit instead of waiting for the often greater long-term yield.  They look for any higher return on investment, especially in times of low interest.

Throughout it all, there is the frenetic intemperance of transactions, where the desire is to have everything now, instantly and effortlessly. 

Sooner or later, the bills come due.  Borrowers scramble to pay.  Speculative investors then rush to unload failing stocks and start the cycle again by looking for new bargains.

The foreign crisis could not have come at a worse time.  A strong dollar, rising interest rates, and weaker local currencies come together for a perfect storm.

In these emerging countries, the strong dollar and sinking local currencies combo makes it difficult and expensive to repay loans.  The panic also sends capital out of the countries and triggers inflation at precisely the time when loans are coming due.  Default or refinancing is looming on the horizon for many companies.

Global economies tend to globalize problems.  Any crisis rarely stays local these days.  Failing economies reduce a nation’s ability to import now more expensive goods from the U.S. and Europe.  Many banks, especially Spanish ones, extended loans to Turkey and will be impacted by its collapsing economy. 

Many argue that corporate debt in emerging markets will not lead to a deep recession like that of 2008.  Nevertheless, the situation is causing unease.  The world is very different today.  Other factors of instability can enter into the equation and cause significant damage to the global economy.  Europe and the United States depend upon emerging markets, which stimulate growth needed to keep their economies prosperous.  Plunging exports to these countries will have a negative impact on the stock market.

The foreign corporate debt burden comes at a time when American corporate debt is also at an all-time high.  Over the last ten years, quantitative easing (Q.E.) programs increased the money supply and pumped trillions of dollars in liquidity into global markets.  American corporations responded by splurging on bond offerings.

Many attribute the booming stock market to the increased use of low-interest bonds to arrange buybacks, mergers, and increased dividends.  Such artificial measures increase share value but do not encourage long-term expansion and investments.

The tightening of monetary conditions and rising interest rates are likely to burst America’s corporate debt bubble.  The situation threatens to add to economic woes since U.S. corporate debt is now over 45% of GDP.

Virtue has a great role to play in the economy.  One lesson to be relearned from this new financial crisis is the need for restraint.  A sound economy is based on measured and calculated risks.  Investors need to be concerned about the long-term health of the markets.  Central bank money meddling is no substitute for wise and prudent business practices.  The present generation should not burden later generations with its mistakes.

All these things need to be relearned the hard way.  However, the worst part is that the errors are not solved, but only accumulate.  Over everything, there is the towering and growing figure of $169 trillion in debt.  It weighs heavily upon the world.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles.  He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

Ten years have passed since the 2008 subprime mortgage crisis, the worst financial panic since the Great Depression.  Now it seems that some of the lessons learned back then are being forgotten.  Growing debt burdens in emerging markets are igniting new fears of a crisis that could shake economies everywhere.

This time, the debt is not mortgages or deficit spending.  The new crisis involves corporate debt and bonds.

What is setting off alarms is the recent collapse of the Turkish lira, which has lost more than forty percent of its value.  Turkish banks and companies borrowed heavily over the past few years to finance infrastructure projects and even a mammoth cruise ship terminal.  The lira’s collapse makes it hard to repay loans or bonds made in dollars and euros.

Turkey is not alone in its dollar- and euro-delineated debt burden.  Similar loans and corporate bond issues can be found in Brazil, South Africa, Argentina, Russia, and other nations.  They have taken advantage of cheap money to bolster their national economies and build infrastructure.  Investors have likewise shifted their money to these markets, ignoring risks and creating a massive bubble.

As a result of such policies, the McKinsey Global Institute reports that total world debt load is an incredible $169 trillion as compared to $97 trillion in 2007.  This burden amounts to nearly two and a half times the size of the total global economy.

Perhaps it is in the frantic nature of modern finance and economy.  There is the great tendency to detach investment from firms that produce things.  Too many investors look for the short-term profit instead of waiting for the often greater long-term yield.  They look for any higher return on investment, especially in times of low interest.

Throughout it all, there is the frenetic intemperance of transactions, where the desire is to have everything now, instantly and effortlessly. 

Sooner or later, the bills come due.  Borrowers scramble to pay.  Speculative investors then rush to unload failing stocks and start the cycle again by looking for new bargains.

The foreign crisis could not have come at a worse time.  A strong dollar, rising interest rates, and weaker local currencies come together for a perfect storm.

In these emerging countries, the strong dollar and sinking local currencies combo makes it difficult and expensive to repay loans.  The panic also sends capital out of the countries and triggers inflation at precisely the time when loans are coming due.  Default or refinancing is looming on the horizon for many companies.

Global economies tend to globalize problems.  Any crisis rarely stays local these days.  Failing economies reduce a nation’s ability to import now more expensive goods from the U.S. and Europe.  Many banks, especially Spanish ones, extended loans to Turkey and will be impacted by its collapsing economy. 

Many argue that corporate debt in emerging markets will not lead to a deep recession like that of 2008.  Nevertheless, the situation is causing unease.  The world is very different today.  Other factors of instability can enter into the equation and cause significant damage to the global economy.  Europe and the United States depend upon emerging markets, which stimulate growth needed to keep their economies prosperous.  Plunging exports to these countries will have a negative impact on the stock market.

The foreign corporate debt burden comes at a time when American corporate debt is also at an all-time high.  Over the last ten years, quantitative easing (Q.E.) programs increased the money supply and pumped trillions of dollars in liquidity into global markets.  American corporations responded by splurging on bond offerings.

Many attribute the booming stock market to the increased use of low-interest bonds to arrange buybacks, mergers, and increased dividends.  Such artificial measures increase share value but do not encourage long-term expansion and investments.

The tightening of monetary conditions and rising interest rates are likely to burst America’s corporate debt bubble.  The situation threatens to add to economic woes since U.S. corporate debt is now over 45% of GDP.

Virtue has a great role to play in the economy.  One lesson to be relearned from this new financial crisis is the need for restraint.  A sound economy is based on measured and calculated risks.  Investors need to be concerned about the long-term health of the markets.  Central bank money meddling is no substitute for wise and prudent business practices.  The present generation should not burden later generations with its mistakes.

All these things need to be relearned the hard way.  However, the worst part is that the errors are not solved, but only accumulate.  Over everything, there is the towering and growing figure of $169 trillion in debt.  It weighs heavily upon the world.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles.  He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.



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Three Ways to Stop the DACA Nightmare


The “dreamer” debate is raging as the nation contemplates what to do with the 800,000 young people who came to America illegally as children alone or with parents or relatives.  

Of course, this debate was foreseen. The Obama administration broke the immigration rules with its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, in which young people who arrived in America illegally with their parents might apply to stay in America upon reaching age 15 for two-year renewable periods.

The program does not offer any legal status or path to citizenship. It merely allows young people to live in America without actually being Americans.

This legal limbo logically led to the present scenario. There are now hundreds of thousands of young adults living for years as Americans clamoring for amnesty so that they might be transformed from de facto residents into future citizens.  

Falsely framing the debate as one over the welfare of the children, liberals have turned these adolescents and young adults into pawns in a political game. The issue is now dividing the nation into those who want to offer the DACA recipients Christian compassion and those who insist upon the rule of law.

What needs to be done now and in the future is to take away all the conditions that led to the DACA debacle. The causes of the dreamer nightmare must be addressed and kept from ever happening again.   

Empty the Debate of Sentimental Content

There are three ways to curtail the DACA nightmare.

First, as in all legal matters, minors must be represented by their lawful parents or legal guardians, not put on a separate path. DACA encourages the separation of the teenager from their illegal parents. It necessarily breaks up families, by giving a deferment to one but not the other. The real face of DACA is that it works against children, not for them. It provides legal security to neither parent nor child.    

By following an immigration policy that keeps minors as they should be, under a guardian, the debate will be emptied of the fuzzy sentimental content of false compassion for “children” that makes rational debate possible.

Remove the Umbrella of Time

The second thing to be addressed is the umbrella of time. Part of the problem with the DACA nightmare is that it shelters the “dreamers” with two-year renewable deferments that keeps them out of the reach of the law. This legal limbo provides a shield for them to establish deep roots in a society of which they are not legally a part. They accustom themselves to American culture, schools and language under the DACA umbrella going through the cruel illusion they are becoming Americans without actually doing so.  

This umbrella must be withdrawn to take away the element of time that tends to normalize irregular situations and create illusions. Immigration policy toward minors or young adults should be clear, quick, and unambiguous to allow them to plan their future. It cannot cruelly linger on and on like the DACA executive order that forces minors to live without definition under a Damocles’ sword. 

Never Reward the Breaking of the Law

Finally, the third thing that must be done to end the Dreamer nightmare is never to reward those who break the law either directly or indirectly. Respect for the law is one of the foundations of a civilized political order. When the rule of law is disregarded, as in the case of parents who enter illegally with their children, it is a matter that affects the common good. Children are taught no good lessons when they see the illegal acts of their parents rewarded with benefits.    

Thus, any measure taken by Congress needs to consider that breaking the law cannot be rewarded. The government cannot treat those children illegally brought into the country in the same manner as those who came in legally. Any alternatives offered to those under DACA should not allow them to cut in front of the line of those minors and young adults who have followed all the proper procedures legally seeking residence and citizenship.

It is also proper regarding law to penalize those who break it. New legislation might consider opening residency avenues while significantly delaying possible citizenship opportunities to qualified DACA recipients (who were never promised citizenship) or require special vetting to ensure fairness in dealing with all immigrants.

Providing Better Alternatives

By depriving future immigration legislation of its emotional content, rational debate can proceed unimpeded. Likewise, clear and timely treatment of immigrants is essential to guarantee fairness and planning for the future. Above all, the respect for the law must be maintained. It is this very respect that attracts so many immigrants to America. It would be a great injustice to use the very immigration system itself to undermine that rule of law under which so many long to live.

The DACA debate bitterly divides the nation because it presents false options. The DACA nightmare can be avoided by rejecting its false premises. Americans must dream of better alternatives outside the DACA box and under the rule of law.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

The “dreamer” debate is raging as the nation contemplates what to do with the 800,000 young people who came to America illegally as children alone or with parents or relatives.  

Of course, this debate was foreseen. The Obama administration broke the immigration rules with its Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, in which young people who arrived in America illegally with their parents might apply to stay in America upon reaching age 15 for two-year renewable periods.

The program does not offer any legal status or path to citizenship. It merely allows young people to live in America without actually being Americans.

This legal limbo logically led to the present scenario. There are now hundreds of thousands of young adults living for years as Americans clamoring for amnesty so that they might be transformed from de facto residents into future citizens.  

Falsely framing the debate as one over the welfare of the children, liberals have turned these adolescents and young adults into pawns in a political game. The issue is now dividing the nation into those who want to offer the DACA recipients Christian compassion and those who insist upon the rule of law.

What needs to be done now and in the future is to take away all the conditions that led to the DACA debacle. The causes of the dreamer nightmare must be addressed and kept from ever happening again.   

Empty the Debate of Sentimental Content

There are three ways to curtail the DACA nightmare.

First, as in all legal matters, minors must be represented by their lawful parents or legal guardians, not put on a separate path. DACA encourages the separation of the teenager from their illegal parents. It necessarily breaks up families, by giving a deferment to one but not the other. The real face of DACA is that it works against children, not for them. It provides legal security to neither parent nor child.    

By following an immigration policy that keeps minors as they should be, under a guardian, the debate will be emptied of the fuzzy sentimental content of false compassion for “children” that makes rational debate possible.

Remove the Umbrella of Time

The second thing to be addressed is the umbrella of time. Part of the problem with the DACA nightmare is that it shelters the “dreamers” with two-year renewable deferments that keeps them out of the reach of the law. This legal limbo provides a shield for them to establish deep roots in a society of which they are not legally a part. They accustom themselves to American culture, schools and language under the DACA umbrella going through the cruel illusion they are becoming Americans without actually doing so.  

This umbrella must be withdrawn to take away the element of time that tends to normalize irregular situations and create illusions. Immigration policy toward minors or young adults should be clear, quick, and unambiguous to allow them to plan their future. It cannot cruelly linger on and on like the DACA executive order that forces minors to live without definition under a Damocles’ sword. 

Never Reward the Breaking of the Law

Finally, the third thing that must be done to end the Dreamer nightmare is never to reward those who break the law either directly or indirectly. Respect for the law is one of the foundations of a civilized political order. When the rule of law is disregarded, as in the case of parents who enter illegally with their children, it is a matter that affects the common good. Children are taught no good lessons when they see the illegal acts of their parents rewarded with benefits.    

Thus, any measure taken by Congress needs to consider that breaking the law cannot be rewarded. The government cannot treat those children illegally brought into the country in the same manner as those who came in legally. Any alternatives offered to those under DACA should not allow them to cut in front of the line of those minors and young adults who have followed all the proper procedures legally seeking residence and citizenship.

It is also proper regarding law to penalize those who break it. New legislation might consider opening residency avenues while significantly delaying possible citizenship opportunities to qualified DACA recipients (who were never promised citizenship) or require special vetting to ensure fairness in dealing with all immigrants.

Providing Better Alternatives

By depriving future immigration legislation of its emotional content, rational debate can proceed unimpeded. Likewise, clear and timely treatment of immigrants is essential to guarantee fairness and planning for the future. Above all, the respect for the law must be maintained. It is this very respect that attracts so many immigrants to America. It would be a great injustice to use the very immigration system itself to undermine that rule of law under which so many long to live.

The DACA debate bitterly divides the nation because it presents false options. The DACA nightmare can be avoided by rejecting its false premises. Americans must dream of better alternatives outside the DACA box and under the rule of law.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.



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Three Reasons Why Bitcoin Is Not Money


With the dramatic rise of bitcoin, many are talking about this crypto-currency as the new money of the future.

Such a simplification is understandable, since the matter of money is complex.  Not all that glitters is gold.  Likewise, what appears to be money often is not.

Bitcoin does nothing to clarify the matter, since it markets itself as a transactional currency that will be one of many digital replacements for the world’s tired old legacy currencies – especially the dollar.  In addition, merchants accepting bitcoin payments give the impression that it functions as money.

Libertarians love bitcoin since it appears to break away from the bonds of government.  Perhaps they exult in thinking that the predictions of economist F.A. Hayek are coming to pass.  He advocated competitive currencies and even imagined monetary units like “Hayeks” alongside “Smiths” and “Joneses” jockeying for prominence in a vibrant market economy.

However, bitcoin is not money.

Difference between Money and Currency

The main confusion lies in the distinction between money and currency.  In the mind of the public, the two terms are synonymous.

Currency consists of banknotes and government-issued paper bills and coins that serve as media of exchange to facilitate transactions.  In the modern economy, this currency, which is the actual physical cash in circulation, accounts for only a small amount of total money supply.

In this sense, bitcoin, acting like virtual cash, can perform functions similar to currencies’ as a medium of exchange.

What Makes Something Money

Money is something different.  It requires the existence of a lawful monetary authority.  In Greek, money is termed numisma (from which comes numismatics), meaning law.  Money is a creation of law.  Currency becomes money by the action of lawful authority that assures its universal acceptance and takes it as payment for taxes.  It acquires credibility through common usage and custom.

Like a stable legal system, every society needs a stable monetary framework. Throughout history, it has always fallen to responsible government, which exists for the common good, to control money and currency supply, prevent counterfeiting, and keep money’s value stable.

That is why the American Constitution granted Congress the power to “coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin.”  Milton Friedman notes: “There is probably no other area of economic activity with respect to which government intervention has been so uniformly accepted.”

A private medium of exchange that is not accepted universally and lacks stability cannot be considered money.

That is why bitcoin is not money.

A Measure of Value

For something to be money, it must serve three basic functions: a measure of value, a medium of exchange, and a store of wealth.  These are the three reasons why bitcoin is not money.

Money is a measure of value that allows people to gauge what something is worth.  A money of account serves as a yardstick.  Americans look at things and calculate their worth in dollars – the dominant measure of value.

It is important that money be a stable measurement, since one cannot trade or make contracts when the unit wildly fluctuates.  A yardstick that is constantly changing is useless in the construction of a house.  That is why it has always been the duty of the state to safeguard the political and monetary stability needed to plan for the future.  Determining a measure of value is also an attribute of sovereignty, since it involves the very life of the nation and prevents the country from falling into the hands of a shadow government of manipulators.

By its nature, bitcoin does not seek to be a stable measure of value.  Its enthusiasts welcomed its speculative rise in value from one to twenty thousand dollars.  No one looks at things and thinks in terms of bitcoin because one cannot be sure what the unit is worth at the moment.  Bitcoin itself is further expressed in dollars and not in its own units since it has no stable value in the public mind.  It is risky to make contracts in bitcoin since its future value is unknowable.

Money as Medium of Exchange

Money must also serve as a medium of exchange that facilitates the buying and selling of goods.  The fact that money is universally recognized within a sovereign area makes it desirable, respected, and trusted.

Bitcoin presents itself as a medium of exchange.  Using blockchain technology, the crypto-currency claims to process global transactions more efficiently and instantly, especially outside the limitations of borders and other currencies.

However, bitcoin is a limited medium of exchange restricted to those who accept it.  It carries no buyer protection mechanisms against fraud and error found in more traditional methods and instruments like credit cards.  Indeed, its lack of security and transparency is a major concern that undermines its reliability.

A Store of Wealth

The final function of money is what Aristotle calls “a store of wealth.”  It involves money’s ability to preserve value over time and therefore ensure the stability of trade.  In this sense, most experts will admit that bitcoin is a store of wealth.  However, because of its volatility, it behaves more like a commodity than a currency.  Indeed, since bitcoins have no real existence beyond the algorithms that create them, they represent an unreal and precarious store of wealth.

Given its extraordinary rise, bitcoin is better called a risky investment.  It is hardly the calm financial yardstick and medium needed to make an economy prosper.

This is yet another reason why bitcoin is not money.

The Drive to “Monetize” Bitcoin

The drive to “monetize” bitcoin and other digital currencies is dangerous.  The bitcoin phenomenon represents those who long to break free from legacy currencies that have provided some measure of stability and expressed the sovereignty of nations.  They yearn for an economy of frenetic intemperance, in which everything must be instant and effortless.  It is an economy detached from reality and responsibility, from which they might create their own abstract economic worlds.

Much like political ideologues who forced their ideal systems upon others, the new economic ideologues do the same.  Their economic musings are dangerous, since they tend to force reality to conform to their global fantasies of a free-flowing abstract currency that sidesteps national sovereignty and links all nations and peoples.

German sociologist Georg Simmel, who wrote about the philosophy of money, once defined money as the value of things without the things.  Perhaps bitcoin might be defined as the value of nothing without something. 

It is certainly not money.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles.  He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property.

With the dramatic rise of bitcoin, many are talking about this crypto-currency as the new money of the future.

Such a simplification is understandable, since the matter of money is complex.  Not all that glitters is gold.  Likewise, what appears to be money often is not.

Bitcoin does nothing to clarify the matter, since it markets itself as a transactional currency that will be one of many digital replacements for the world’s tired old legacy currencies – especially the dollar.  In addition, merchants accepting bitcoin payments give the impression that it functions as money.

Libertarians love bitcoin since it appears to break away from the bonds of government.  Perhaps they exult in thinking that the predictions of economist F.A. Hayek are coming to pass.  He advocated competitive currencies and even imagined monetary units like “Hayeks” alongside “Smiths” and “Joneses” jockeying for prominence in a vibrant market economy.

However, bitcoin is not money.

Difference between Money and Currency

The main confusion lies in the distinction between money and currency.  In the mind of the public, the two terms are synonymous.

Currency consists of banknotes and government-issued paper bills and coins that serve as media of exchange to facilitate transactions.  In the modern economy, this currency, which is the actual physical cash in circulation, accounts for only a small amount of total money supply.

In this sense, bitcoin, acting like virtual cash, can perform functions similar to currencies’ as a medium of exchange.

What Makes Something Money

Money is something different.  It requires the existence of a lawful monetary authority.  In Greek, money is termed numisma (from which comes numismatics), meaning law.  Money is a creation of law.  Currency becomes money by the action of lawful authority that assures its universal acceptance and takes it as payment for taxes.  It acquires credibility through common usage and custom.

Like a stable legal system, every society needs a stable monetary framework. Throughout history, it has always fallen to responsible government, which exists for the common good, to control money and currency supply, prevent counterfeiting, and keep money’s value stable.

That is why the American Constitution granted Congress the power to “coin money, regulate the value thereof, and of foreign coin.”  Milton Friedman notes: “There is probably no other area of economic activity with respect to which government intervention has been so uniformly accepted.”

A private medium of exchange that is not accepted universally and lacks stability cannot be considered money.

That is why bitcoin is not money.

A Measure of Value

For something to be money, it must serve three basic functions: a measure of value, a medium of exchange, and a store of wealth.  These are the three reasons why bitcoin is not money.

Money is a measure of value that allows people to gauge what something is worth.  A money of account serves as a yardstick.  Americans look at things and calculate their worth in dollars – the dominant measure of value.

It is important that money be a stable measurement, since one cannot trade or make contracts when the unit wildly fluctuates.  A yardstick that is constantly changing is useless in the construction of a house.  That is why it has always been the duty of the state to safeguard the political and monetary stability needed to plan for the future.  Determining a measure of value is also an attribute of sovereignty, since it involves the very life of the nation and prevents the country from falling into the hands of a shadow government of manipulators.

By its nature, bitcoin does not seek to be a stable measure of value.  Its enthusiasts welcomed its speculative rise in value from one to twenty thousand dollars.  No one looks at things and thinks in terms of bitcoin because one cannot be sure what the unit is worth at the moment.  Bitcoin itself is further expressed in dollars and not in its own units since it has no stable value in the public mind.  It is risky to make contracts in bitcoin since its future value is unknowable.

Money as Medium of Exchange

Money must also serve as a medium of exchange that facilitates the buying and selling of goods.  The fact that money is universally recognized within a sovereign area makes it desirable, respected, and trusted.

Bitcoin presents itself as a medium of exchange.  Using blockchain technology, the crypto-currency claims to process global transactions more efficiently and instantly, especially outside the limitations of borders and other currencies.

However, bitcoin is a limited medium of exchange restricted to those who accept it.  It carries no buyer protection mechanisms against fraud and error found in more traditional methods and instruments like credit cards.  Indeed, its lack of security and transparency is a major concern that undermines its reliability.

A Store of Wealth

The final function of money is what Aristotle calls “a store of wealth.”  It involves money’s ability to preserve value over time and therefore ensure the stability of trade.  In this sense, most experts will admit that bitcoin is a store of wealth.  However, because of its volatility, it behaves more like a commodity than a currency.  Indeed, since bitcoins have no real existence beyond the algorithms that create them, they represent an unreal and precarious store of wealth.

Given its extraordinary rise, bitcoin is better called a risky investment.  It is hardly the calm financial yardstick and medium needed to make an economy prosper.

This is yet another reason why bitcoin is not money.

The Drive to “Monetize” Bitcoin

The drive to “monetize” bitcoin and other digital currencies is dangerous.  The bitcoin phenomenon represents those who long to break free from legacy currencies that have provided some measure of stability and expressed the sovereignty of nations.  They yearn for an economy of frenetic intemperance, in which everything must be instant and effortless.  It is an economy detached from reality and responsibility, from which they might create their own abstract economic worlds.

Much like political ideologues who forced their ideal systems upon others, the new economic ideologues do the same.  Their economic musings are dangerous, since they tend to force reality to conform to their global fantasies of a free-flowing abstract currency that sidesteps national sovereignty and links all nations and peoples.

German sociologist Georg Simmel, who wrote about the philosophy of money, once defined money as the value of things without the things.  Perhaps bitcoin might be defined as the value of nothing without something. 

It is certainly not money.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles.  He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania, where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family, and Property.



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Dishonor Is behind the Failure to Repeal Obamacare


The failure of the Graham-Cassidy attempt to repeal ObamaCare is symptomatic of a deeply unhealthy political system. The ObamaCare repeal was a signature issue of the 2016 campaign. Everyone from the president on down stumped on it. The Republican-controlled Congress itself voted for repeal many times over the years, only to be thwarted by the Democrat president’s veto.

But now it appears to be over. All the conditions were in place for victory. A chance will be lost and it is questionable if it will ever return.

Looking for Blame

It is easy to blame the senators who defected and voted against the effort — and they should be severely blamed for their actions.

Likewise, it is easy to say that the bill was far from ideal. No one holds otherwise, but everyone knows that politics is the art of the possible and that “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” The bill was only a beginning; it dismantles some of the more egregious parts of this unpopular socialistic program.

However, the real causes for the debacle point to a much more profound problem. What is missing, and has long been missing in our political leadership, is a sense of honor.

Defining Honor

Honor can be defined as an authentic esteem given to all that is excellent in society. It towers above that which is strictly material, functional, and practical.

Those with honor hold themselves to high standards regardless of the consequences. They do not fear the opinions or actions of others. Their only fear is being untrue to their pledged word and their principles. Such people hold themselves accountable. For them, a promise, a handshake, a simple agreement under honor is their guarantee that it will be done.

And that is what is wrong with the present political system. It has insufficient honor. In today’s rushed news cycle, things happen and are quickly forgotten. Campaign promises can be like Snapchat exchanges that appear on the screen and mysteriously disappear shortly afterward. In the name of pragmatism and bipartisanship, many elected officials betray their promises to appear popular in the polls.

There is no accountability during a political term, be it two, four, or six years long. The only recourse voters have is a distant primary, and by then it is hard to undo all the damage done. Changing this is an impossible constitutional battle. Restoring honor and a sense of shame may bring results quicker.

A Rule of Money

Many claim the culprit for this lack of honor are special interests with plenty of money that help influence the debate. When money rules everything, it does corrupt elected officials.

Indeed, no one doubts this influence. The image of a great swamp has been used to describe the impact of long-embedded interests upon policy and legislation.

While this influence is real, the ObamaCare debate suggests a new and much greater force at work in Washington since conservatives had nothing to lose by claiming their mandate.

And that new force is the rule of fear.

A Rule of Fear

There is a fear of challenging the liberal narrative that dominates the culture. This fear has now come to rule not only in Washington but all over America. The fear of being labeled politically incorrect leads people to work against their self-interest. One sees this in the case of NFL team owners who prefer to lose money by allowing players to kneel during the national anthem.

There is the fear that one’s principles and standards will cause one to be labeled rigid, old-fashioned, or cruel. People fear being judged judgmental. Thus, they abandon their principles when asked to defend them, as in the case of those who surrender to the bathroom war tyranny.

Finally, there is the fear of going against the prevailing opinion. Many abandon principles simply because they mistakenly believe few think as they do. So they give up everything for fear of being out-of-step.

Filling in the Void

Fear rules when there is no honor. It moves into the vacuum and takes over.  Where there is fear, everything can be politicized, since all certainties can be challenged. It creates the conditions for a culture of dishonor, in which people conform to the lowest standards and seek personal gratification.

Thus, without a rule of honor, simply electing more conservatives will never turn the situation around. Just crafting better political platforms will also fail.  Merely holding votes will not guarantee that needed legislation will pass.

That is why a rule of honor is the fitting response to this rule of fear. Historically, when honor rules, it defines a lifestyle that naturally leads people to esteem and seek after those things that are excellent. It introduces a set of values that includes quality, beauty, goodness, and charity.

If conservatives want to win, they must never surrender their principles. Rather, it is all the more urgent that they hold on to them, unite, and proudly affirm themselves in the debate and the public square.

The failure of the Graham-Cassidy attempt to repeal ObamaCare is symptomatic of a deeply unhealthy political system. The ObamaCare repeal was a signature issue of the 2016 campaign. Everyone from the president on down stumped on it. The Republican-controlled Congress itself voted for repeal many times over the years, only to be thwarted by the Democrat president’s veto.

But now it appears to be over. All the conditions were in place for victory. A chance will be lost and it is questionable if it will ever return.

Looking for Blame

It is easy to blame the senators who defected and voted against the effort — and they should be severely blamed for their actions.

Likewise, it is easy to say that the bill was far from ideal. No one holds otherwise, but everyone knows that politics is the art of the possible and that “the perfect is the enemy of the good.” The bill was only a beginning; it dismantles some of the more egregious parts of this unpopular socialistic program.

However, the real causes for the debacle point to a much more profound problem. What is missing, and has long been missing in our political leadership, is a sense of honor.

Defining Honor

Honor can be defined as an authentic esteem given to all that is excellent in society. It towers above that which is strictly material, functional, and practical.

Those with honor hold themselves to high standards regardless of the consequences. They do not fear the opinions or actions of others. Their only fear is being untrue to their pledged word and their principles. Such people hold themselves accountable. For them, a promise, a handshake, a simple agreement under honor is their guarantee that it will be done.

And that is what is wrong with the present political system. It has insufficient honor. In today’s rushed news cycle, things happen and are quickly forgotten. Campaign promises can be like Snapchat exchanges that appear on the screen and mysteriously disappear shortly afterward. In the name of pragmatism and bipartisanship, many elected officials betray their promises to appear popular in the polls.

There is no accountability during a political term, be it two, four, or six years long. The only recourse voters have is a distant primary, and by then it is hard to undo all the damage done. Changing this is an impossible constitutional battle. Restoring honor and a sense of shame may bring results quicker.

A Rule of Money

Many claim the culprit for this lack of honor are special interests with plenty of money that help influence the debate. When money rules everything, it does corrupt elected officials.

Indeed, no one doubts this influence. The image of a great swamp has been used to describe the impact of long-embedded interests upon policy and legislation.

While this influence is real, the ObamaCare debate suggests a new and much greater force at work in Washington since conservatives had nothing to lose by claiming their mandate.

And that new force is the rule of fear.

A Rule of Fear

There is a fear of challenging the liberal narrative that dominates the culture. This fear has now come to rule not only in Washington but all over America. The fear of being labeled politically incorrect leads people to work against their self-interest. One sees this in the case of NFL team owners who prefer to lose money by allowing players to kneel during the national anthem.

There is the fear that one’s principles and standards will cause one to be labeled rigid, old-fashioned, or cruel. People fear being judged judgmental. Thus, they abandon their principles when asked to defend them, as in the case of those who surrender to the bathroom war tyranny.

Finally, there is the fear of going against the prevailing opinion. Many abandon principles simply because they mistakenly believe few think as they do. So they give up everything for fear of being out-of-step.

Filling in the Void

Fear rules when there is no honor. It moves into the vacuum and takes over.  Where there is fear, everything can be politicized, since all certainties can be challenged. It creates the conditions for a culture of dishonor, in which people conform to the lowest standards and seek personal gratification.

Thus, without a rule of honor, simply electing more conservatives will never turn the situation around. Just crafting better political platforms will also fail.  Merely holding votes will not guarantee that needed legislation will pass.

That is why a rule of honor is the fitting response to this rule of fear. Historically, when honor rules, it defines a lifestyle that naturally leads people to esteem and seek after those things that are excellent. It introduces a set of values that includes quality, beauty, goodness, and charity.

If conservatives want to win, they must never surrender their principles. Rather, it is all the more urgent that they hold on to them, unite, and proudly affirm themselves in the debate and the public square.



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How the West Became A Shepherdess of Wolves


Once upon a time, there was a shepherdess who was charged with keeping her sheep in the pasture and away from the clutch of the terrible wolves. Over the years, the shepherdess worked long and hard at this duty. Despite all her efforts, some sheep occasionally fell victim to the wolves.

One day, however, the shepherdess thought it better to come to an agreement with the wolves. The hard work of keeping the wolves and sheep separate was simply too much for her. It would be much better and easier for all concerned if the wolves could mix peaceably and coexist with the sheep. Mind you, she would keep a careful watch on the wolves to ensure that no sheep was attacked. However, as long as the wolves did not attack the sheep, they would be left free to wander about the pasture mingling with the flock. She would even tie up the sheepdog to avoid misunderstandings.

The wolves thought the arrangement superb and for a while, everything seemed to work out fine with only a few minor incidents here and there. However, the first wolves soon invited other more hostile wolves to join them, and these started to take over the pasture and harass the sheep. The shepherdess redoubled her watch upon the growing number of wolves in the hopes of avoiding a crisis.

One day when the defenseless sheep were resting, a wolf, who had never hurt any of the sheep before, rushed to the scene and brutally killed some of them. The shepherdess let loose the sheepdog who killed the offending wolf. The whole pasture was shocked. Many had seen the wolf in past days acting completely normal. They could not understand what had caused the wolf to act in such a manner. The sheep upbraided the shepherdess for failing to read the signs of crisis inside the soul of the dead wolf. Others searched for evidence that the wolf had been mistreated by the sheep, causing it to become bitter and resentful. Still others claimed this incident was merely the action of a lone wolf and hardly represented the sentiments of the others.

In the end, the shepherdess visited the site of the incident and urged all, wolves and sheep alike, to unite together to denounce such random acts of violence. She promised to be more careful in the future when allowing new wolves in. She said she would redouble her watch on the wolves to avoid this terrible tragedy from ever reoccurring.

The story does not end happily ever after. The sequence of events repeated itself continually until life for the sheep became unbearable and the wolves had installed a reign of savagery and terror.

One cannot help but feel a similarity between the story above and the recent spate of terrorist attacks in London and other places. Healthy societies take measures to keep out bad elements who subvert the general peace and endanger the safety of their citizens.

But the West has abandoned this policy of exclusion for one of inclusion, that welcomes those that have declared their intent to destroy the remnants of Judeo-Christian order.  It takes no mysterious process to identify these rogue elements. Radical Islamists mock the West by openly admitting their hatred in publications, websites and social media. In addition, they invite even more radical elements to come from outside the country to swell their ranks.

The preferred government policy is to monitor the behavior of the radicals. Indeed, many of the attackers are “known” by the police to be security threats before they attack innocent civilians in the streets. There are many more “known” suspects that even now live undisturbed in many cities, and their number is growing. As this is allowed to develop, it must inevitably reach a point where no police force in the world will have the resources to monitor all the dangerous individuals. At this point, they will strike and kill.

Something must be done to denounce and stop this policy of appeasement. It must be based on the premise that there are sheep and there are wolves. Wolves can always be counted upon to act like wolves if given the opportunity to strike.

Those in government who are remiss in their duty to eradicate the wolves and content themselves with just monitoring them become partially responsible for their crimes. Their complicit hands become stained with the blood of the sheep. They should at least be honest and admit that they have now become shepherdesses of wolves, not sheep.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

Once upon a time, there was a shepherdess who was charged with keeping her sheep in the pasture and away from the clutch of the terrible wolves. Over the years, the shepherdess worked long and hard at this duty. Despite all her efforts, some sheep occasionally fell victim to the wolves.

One day, however, the shepherdess thought it better to come to an agreement with the wolves. The hard work of keeping the wolves and sheep separate was simply too much for her. It would be much better and easier for all concerned if the wolves could mix peaceably and coexist with the sheep. Mind you, she would keep a careful watch on the wolves to ensure that no sheep was attacked. However, as long as the wolves did not attack the sheep, they would be left free to wander about the pasture mingling with the flock. She would even tie up the sheepdog to avoid misunderstandings.

The wolves thought the arrangement superb and for a while, everything seemed to work out fine with only a few minor incidents here and there. However, the first wolves soon invited other more hostile wolves to join them, and these started to take over the pasture and harass the sheep. The shepherdess redoubled her watch upon the growing number of wolves in the hopes of avoiding a crisis.

One day when the defenseless sheep were resting, a wolf, who had never hurt any of the sheep before, rushed to the scene and brutally killed some of them. The shepherdess let loose the sheepdog who killed the offending wolf. The whole pasture was shocked. Many had seen the wolf in past days acting completely normal. They could not understand what had caused the wolf to act in such a manner. The sheep upbraided the shepherdess for failing to read the signs of crisis inside the soul of the dead wolf. Others searched for evidence that the wolf had been mistreated by the sheep, causing it to become bitter and resentful. Still others claimed this incident was merely the action of a lone wolf and hardly represented the sentiments of the others.

In the end, the shepherdess visited the site of the incident and urged all, wolves and sheep alike, to unite together to denounce such random acts of violence. She promised to be more careful in the future when allowing new wolves in. She said she would redouble her watch on the wolves to avoid this terrible tragedy from ever reoccurring.

The story does not end happily ever after. The sequence of events repeated itself continually until life for the sheep became unbearable and the wolves had installed a reign of savagery and terror.

One cannot help but feel a similarity between the story above and the recent spate of terrorist attacks in London and other places. Healthy societies take measures to keep out bad elements who subvert the general peace and endanger the safety of their citizens.

But the West has abandoned this policy of exclusion for one of inclusion, that welcomes those that have declared their intent to destroy the remnants of Judeo-Christian order.  It takes no mysterious process to identify these rogue elements. Radical Islamists mock the West by openly admitting their hatred in publications, websites and social media. In addition, they invite even more radical elements to come from outside the country to swell their ranks.

The preferred government policy is to monitor the behavior of the radicals. Indeed, many of the attackers are “known” by the police to be security threats before they attack innocent civilians in the streets. There are many more “known” suspects that even now live undisturbed in many cities, and their number is growing. As this is allowed to develop, it must inevitably reach a point where no police force in the world will have the resources to monitor all the dangerous individuals. At this point, they will strike and kill.

Something must be done to denounce and stop this policy of appeasement. It must be based on the premise that there are sheep and there are wolves. Wolves can always be counted upon to act like wolves if given the opportunity to strike.

Those in government who are remiss in their duty to eradicate the wolves and content themselves with just monitoring them become partially responsible for their crimes. Their complicit hands become stained with the blood of the sheep. They should at least be honest and admit that they have now become shepherdesses of wolves, not sheep.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.



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Liberals Are in Trouble – and They Know It


Conservatives often complain about the lamentable state of their movement. They would do well to look left.  Liberals are in greater trouble, and they know it.

The recent special elections for vacant House seats made this evident. The thrashing liberals received in the 2016 elections were also a sign of an inability to communicate their message.  Gone are the days in which liberals worked inside a consensus and engaged in debate with others. Everywhere, liberal democracy seems to be endangered by the breakdown of political discourse.

This is due to a great crisis inside the left worldwide. It is no longer a movement of ideas. Liberals have no new ideas because they have adopted such an extreme relativism that they no longer strongly believe in anything. Everything is fluid and undefined. In this way, they have undermined their own foundation of logic and authority that is essential to the functioning of any political movement.

As a result, the old days of rational debate are over. The left exploits emotions and resentments, but can no longer be held to the logic of ideas. 

The left also has little passion. Passion requires strong beliefs worth fighting for. To be effective, it must be focused and directed by vision. However, many liberals now admit that they have no vision. Their ranks are full of aging militants who lack dynamism. More often than not, its most ardent activists, like those of “the resistance” or Black Lives Matter engage in erratic and irrational behavior that alienates the population as a whole.

In the absence of great ideas and passion, the left congeals around tired ideas of the past. Liberals resort to socialist class struggle narratives that have long grown old and irrelevant. The fragility of these ideas makes them brittle to the point that they would seem to break if opposed and compromised. Safety lies in not changing, and just repeating slogans of the past.  

This explains the liberals’ stubborn attachment to political correctness that has so isolated itself from common sense and reality. It explains their willingness to suppress opposition even by sacrificing freedom of expression on university campuses. That is why the new liberals avoid debate and set themselves up as commissars to condemn those who oppose them on feminism, abortion, same-sex “marriage,” or global warming.

They know that all this causes intense polarization. However, the left lives upon this polarization. They only survive by hardening in their positions. It has reached a point where the more radical core does not wish to live in consensus with the right. It realizes that the minute it reaches a consensus, it is lost.

Thus, to advance, the left is restricted to looking to the right. Indeed, the only way the left can be saved is by exaggerating or distorting the right’s positions. It exploits any vulnerable point that might further liberal orthodoxy. It calls for media to create firestorms around minor issues that hide its weaknesses. The left creates myths about itself to make it seem more powerful than it is.   

The weakness of the conservative cause is its failure to rise above the noise from the left as its shifts the debate to secondary issues. Conservatives are also weak when they fail to adhere firmly to the ideas and principles that are their cause. They are vulnerable to the extent that they timidly believe liberal myths and fear what they imagine to be the disapproval of the masses. 

The strong point of the conservative cause is the fact that it retains the logic and discourse that support great ideas and strong principles. By nature, conservatives tend to buttress the structures of logic and authority that make movements vibrant.

Conservatives also tend to crystallize around ideas of the past. However, these ideas do not resemble the hackneyed slogans of the left. These ideas involve the joyful rediscovery of what Russell Kirk referred to as those “permanent things” that never grow old. These values of courage, duty, courtesy, justice, and charity are forever ancient, forever new, since they owe their existence and authority to a transcendent God. Amid the present chaos, they attract people in search of certainties. They have the capacity of regenerating cultures in decay.  

If unmasked, the left is vulnerable. Indeed , conservatives  have their own problems, but they  should exploit the weaknesses of the left and capitalize on its strong points.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

Conservatives often complain about the lamentable state of their movement. They would do well to look left.  Liberals are in greater trouble, and they know it.

The recent special elections for vacant House seats made this evident. The thrashing liberals received in the 2016 elections were also a sign of an inability to communicate their message.  Gone are the days in which liberals worked inside a consensus and engaged in debate with others. Everywhere, liberal democracy seems to be endangered by the breakdown of political discourse.

This is due to a great crisis inside the left worldwide. It is no longer a movement of ideas. Liberals have no new ideas because they have adopted such an extreme relativism that they no longer strongly believe in anything. Everything is fluid and undefined. In this way, they have undermined their own foundation of logic and authority that is essential to the functioning of any political movement.

As a result, the old days of rational debate are over. The left exploits emotions and resentments, but can no longer be held to the logic of ideas. 

The left also has little passion. Passion requires strong beliefs worth fighting for. To be effective, it must be focused and directed by vision. However, many liberals now admit that they have no vision. Their ranks are full of aging militants who lack dynamism. More often than not, its most ardent activists, like those of “the resistance” or Black Lives Matter engage in erratic and irrational behavior that alienates the population as a whole.

In the absence of great ideas and passion, the left congeals around tired ideas of the past. Liberals resort to socialist class struggle narratives that have long grown old and irrelevant. The fragility of these ideas makes them brittle to the point that they would seem to break if opposed and compromised. Safety lies in not changing, and just repeating slogans of the past.  

This explains the liberals’ stubborn attachment to political correctness that has so isolated itself from common sense and reality. It explains their willingness to suppress opposition even by sacrificing freedom of expression on university campuses. That is why the new liberals avoid debate and set themselves up as commissars to condemn those who oppose them on feminism, abortion, same-sex “marriage,” or global warming.

They know that all this causes intense polarization. However, the left lives upon this polarization. They only survive by hardening in their positions. It has reached a point where the more radical core does not wish to live in consensus with the right. It realizes that the minute it reaches a consensus, it is lost.

Thus, to advance, the left is restricted to looking to the right. Indeed, the only way the left can be saved is by exaggerating or distorting the right’s positions. It exploits any vulnerable point that might further liberal orthodoxy. It calls for media to create firestorms around minor issues that hide its weaknesses. The left creates myths about itself to make it seem more powerful than it is.   

The weakness of the conservative cause is its failure to rise above the noise from the left as its shifts the debate to secondary issues. Conservatives are also weak when they fail to adhere firmly to the ideas and principles that are their cause. They are vulnerable to the extent that they timidly believe liberal myths and fear what they imagine to be the disapproval of the masses. 

The strong point of the conservative cause is the fact that it retains the logic and discourse that support great ideas and strong principles. By nature, conservatives tend to buttress the structures of logic and authority that make movements vibrant.

Conservatives also tend to crystallize around ideas of the past. However, these ideas do not resemble the hackneyed slogans of the left. These ideas involve the joyful rediscovery of what Russell Kirk referred to as those “permanent things” that never grow old. These values of courage, duty, courtesy, justice, and charity are forever ancient, forever new, since they owe their existence and authority to a transcendent God. Amid the present chaos, they attract people in search of certainties. They have the capacity of regenerating cultures in decay.  

If unmasked, the left is vulnerable. Indeed , conservatives  have their own problems, but they  should exploit the weaknesses of the left and capitalize on its strong points.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.



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Why Millennials Don't Follow the Liberal Narrative


The standard narrative about today’s millennials is that they are unpredictable. They are very fluid and undefined. Despite this changeability, most people automatically assume that millennials are predictably liberal.

The facts, however, tell a different story. Researchers who study the habits and attitudes of millennials do not support this forgone conclusion. Indeed, liberal-minded people are finding these unpredicted results to be unsettling.

To liberals, millennials are free to be unpredictable as long as they are not conservative. That is why they are irate when the find millennials holding positions they are not supposed to be holding. On some issues, they are actually more traditional than their parents. 

What Do Millennials Think?

Millennials (born between 1982 and the early 2000s), hold a surprising set of views as they now finish high school, enter college and form families. According to sociologists Joanna Pepin of the University of Maryland and David Cotter of Union College, graduating seniors today are astonishingly more conservative than former classes.

Take for example the fact that only 42% of American high school seniors in 1994 agreed that the best kind of family was one in which the man was the outside bread earner and the woman took care of the home. In 2014, 58% held this opinion. The two sides have flipped in twenty short years.

Other surveys have confirmed these findings. A 2016 study was published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. It collected data from three surveys that monitored the last three generations following about 10 million American adults from 1970 to 2015. The paper found that millennials are much more likely to identify themselves as conservative than members of Generation X or even the baby boomers when they were the same age. They are also more polarized.

Why Liberals Are Worried

Of course, many millennials still hold very liberal views. However, the fact that significant numbers, and even majorities, hold contrary views threatens the forward motion of social and sexual revolutionary movements. When movements lose their dynamism, they easily stagnate.

Many older liberals, who fought hard to push through their permissive reforms, are fearful that the millennials will ruin by their new views all the progress in the field of social equality gained since the sixties. The “gender” revolution, for example, is now stalled and looking for a jumpstart.

“If they persist with these attitudes,” says researcher Dan Cotter, “they are not likely to be pushing for organizational or societal changes in those family arrangements.”

Why Are Millennials Taking These Stands?

Researchers can only conjecture as to why millennials are not following the liberal narrative, especially regarding the family. According to the leftist progressive view of history, youth over time should be getting more liberal, not less.

One intriguing theory is that millennials are actually being consistent with what liberals preach but actually don’t practice. Researchers Pepin and Cotter attribute these attitudes to what is called “egalitarian essentialism,” a view that all views are equal including the traditional ones.

If liberalism is all about freedom, they reason, then as long as women are not prevented from choosing careers, there is nothing wrong with freely choosing traditional family roles. Liberals worry that such reasoning will revert back to limiting career choices for women. It again seems that millennials should be free to choose anything they want… as long as it is not traditional.

Not Enough Government Support

Predictably, other scholars claim the reason for a return to more traditional values can be blamed squarely on a lack of government support. Millennials would be more open to other career and family options if they were provided with affordable childcare and paid parental leave.

They claim that the lack of government programs forces millennials to resort to default solutions such as the traditional family. Massive government programs would provide the logistics for millennials to freely choose more liberal career options and promote gender equality. Such European-like welfare programs will also make Americans happy.

Such simplistic analysis tends to reduce the family to an economic entity in which parental care and other family matters can be delegated to government. It tends to make happiness depend upon material success. It fails to realize that the family is more than just an economic unit. It is also a rich cultural, social and religious unit upon which all society is based. 

Stressed-out Families

One convincing explanation is that many millennials have watched their parents try to juggle two careers and saw how stressful it was. Others saw their families fall apart with divorce or single parenthood. When the family falls apart, a whole world unravels.

These millennials desire for their children the childhood they never had. Despite all the pressure to pursue options outside the family, it is no surprise that the traditional family is a real option that still draws the newer generations. It is the natural default position. Nature itself supports this ingenious union that provides for the education of children and the mutual affection of spouses.

It is also no surprise that it is the only option that radical liberals insist upon excluding. They know that healthy loving families will naturally give rise to more conservative and traditional values.

If these values take hold, the outcome, like millennials, will be unpredictable.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

The standard narrative about today’s millennials is that they are unpredictable. They are very fluid and undefined. Despite this changeability, most people automatically assume that millennials are predictably liberal.

The facts, however, tell a different story. Researchers who study the habits and attitudes of millennials do not support this forgone conclusion. Indeed, liberal-minded people are finding these unpredicted results to be unsettling.

To liberals, millennials are free to be unpredictable as long as they are not conservative. That is why they are irate when the find millennials holding positions they are not supposed to be holding. On some issues, they are actually more traditional than their parents. 

What Do Millennials Think?

Millennials (born between 1982 and the early 2000s), hold a surprising set of views as they now finish high school, enter college and form families. According to sociologists Joanna Pepin of the University of Maryland and David Cotter of Union College, graduating seniors today are astonishingly more conservative than former classes.

Take for example the fact that only 42% of American high school seniors in 1994 agreed that the best kind of family was one in which the man was the outside bread earner and the woman took care of the home. In 2014, 58% held this opinion. The two sides have flipped in twenty short years.

Other surveys have confirmed these findings. A 2016 study was published in the journal Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin. It collected data from three surveys that monitored the last three generations following about 10 million American adults from 1970 to 2015. The paper found that millennials are much more likely to identify themselves as conservative than members of Generation X or even the baby boomers when they were the same age. They are also more polarized.

Why Liberals Are Worried

Of course, many millennials still hold very liberal views. However, the fact that significant numbers, and even majorities, hold contrary views threatens the forward motion of social and sexual revolutionary movements. When movements lose their dynamism, they easily stagnate.

Many older liberals, who fought hard to push through their permissive reforms, are fearful that the millennials will ruin by their new views all the progress in the field of social equality gained since the sixties. The “gender” revolution, for example, is now stalled and looking for a jumpstart.

“If they persist with these attitudes,” says researcher Dan Cotter, “they are not likely to be pushing for organizational or societal changes in those family arrangements.”

Why Are Millennials Taking These Stands?

Researchers can only conjecture as to why millennials are not following the liberal narrative, especially regarding the family. According to the leftist progressive view of history, youth over time should be getting more liberal, not less.

One intriguing theory is that millennials are actually being consistent with what liberals preach but actually don’t practice. Researchers Pepin and Cotter attribute these attitudes to what is called “egalitarian essentialism,” a view that all views are equal including the traditional ones.

If liberalism is all about freedom, they reason, then as long as women are not prevented from choosing careers, there is nothing wrong with freely choosing traditional family roles. Liberals worry that such reasoning will revert back to limiting career choices for women. It again seems that millennials should be free to choose anything they want… as long as it is not traditional.

Not Enough Government Support

Predictably, other scholars claim the reason for a return to more traditional values can be blamed squarely on a lack of government support. Millennials would be more open to other career and family options if they were provided with affordable childcare and paid parental leave.

They claim that the lack of government programs forces millennials to resort to default solutions such as the traditional family. Massive government programs would provide the logistics for millennials to freely choose more liberal career options and promote gender equality. Such European-like welfare programs will also make Americans happy.

Such simplistic analysis tends to reduce the family to an economic entity in which parental care and other family matters can be delegated to government. It tends to make happiness depend upon material success. It fails to realize that the family is more than just an economic unit. It is also a rich cultural, social and religious unit upon which all society is based. 

Stressed-out Families

One convincing explanation is that many millennials have watched their parents try to juggle two careers and saw how stressful it was. Others saw their families fall apart with divorce or single parenthood. When the family falls apart, a whole world unravels.

These millennials desire for their children the childhood they never had. Despite all the pressure to pursue options outside the family, it is no surprise that the traditional family is a real option that still draws the newer generations. It is the natural default position. Nature itself supports this ingenious union that provides for the education of children and the mutual affection of spouses.

It is also no surprise that it is the only option that radical liberals insist upon excluding. They know that healthy loving families will naturally give rise to more conservative and traditional values.

If these values take hold, the outcome, like millennials, will be unpredictable.

John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.



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