We’ve been taught that fascism is a foreign-born ideology that spawned the political aspirations of Benito Mussolini and Adolf Hitler. In reality, fascism has a long history in America and has been resurrected by people who believe that power guided by good intentions can do no harm. They are ignorant of history and human nature.

The transformation of the United States happening right before our eyes. What took a generation or more, is taking place in months. The crisis of WWI and the hyper-inflation that followed (1921–1923) led the people to seek more salvific political control of the nation. Crises often lead people to make poor social and political choices.

The hyped-up COVID-19 pandemic is being used to move the United States further Left to realize the Marxist dream of eliminating the Middle Class, the bourgeoisie, the entrepreneurial base of American productivity and employment. Major corporations and big-box stores have remained open. Good for them. It’s the Middle Class, the employment class, that’s being hit hardest. Is this intentional? If it wasn’t at the beginning, it seems to be the case now.

Unfortunately, most churches don’t have a clue on how to teach on the subject because they gave up on cultural transformation long ago. A crisis leads to the rapture in the case of premillennialists and to inevitable grin-and-bear-it persecution of many amillennialists who teach that there are two kingdoms and never the twain shall meet.

John Murray, former Professor of Systematic Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, published the following in 1943, in the midst of WWII, titled, “The Christian World Order.” ((The Presbyterian Guardian (October 10, 1943), 280.)) In it, he took exception to the claim that the State (civil government) is independent of God’s sovereignty:

But a fatal element of error inheres in this position, if it is thought that the Christian revelation, the Bible, does not come to the civil authority with a demand for obedience to its direction and precept as stringent and inescapable as it does to the individual,to the family and to the church. The thesis we must propound as over against such a conception of the relation of the Bible to civil authority is that the Bible is the only infallible rule of conduct for the civil magistrate in the discharge of his magistracy just as it is the only infallible rule in other spheres of human activity.

He goes on to write:

How necessary it is to remember that Christ has spoiled principalities and powers, triumphing over them in His death, and that He is now exalted far above all principality and power and might and dominion and every name that is named not only in this world but also in that to come! Being by the right hand of God exalted and having received the promise of the Father, He hath sent forth the Holy Spirit. We must do honor to Christ and to His kingly authority and might. We must also do honor to the Holy Spirit who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness and of judgment. We have not only an almighty advocate in heaven at the right hand of God but also an almighty advocate upon earth.

How puny and helpless are the powers of evil when they are set over against the irresistible grace and power of Him who is Himself God, possessing with the Father and the Son the totality of Godhood, the Spirit of the Father and of the Son! And how shameful and vile is our faintheartedness and unbelief! “Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” (I John 4:4). It is the peculiar prerogative of the Holy Spirit to take of the things of Christ and show them unto us. It is His to glorify Christ. Let us lay hold upon the promise, “If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him” (Luke 11:13), and let us in His strength go forth to claim every realm for Him who must reign until all His enemies shall have been made His footstool.

To use Hegel’s phrase, “the [modern] State is god walking on earth.” All the attributes of God are imputed to the State, including security. William L. Shirer, in The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, writes that Otto Von Bismarck’s policies gradually made the German people “value security over political freedom and caused them to see in the State, however conservative, a benefactor and a protector.” ((William L. Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1960), 96.))

In a footnote, Shirer writes: “Between 1883 and 1889 Bismarck put through a program for social security far beyond anything known in other countries at the time. It included compulsory insurance for workers against old age, sickness, accident and incapacity, and though it was organized by the State it was financed by employers and employees.” Sound familiar?

Hitler took full advantage of the German state of mind and Bismarck’s early progress in turning the nation into a model of socialist reform. Hitler remarks in Mein Kampf, “I studied Bismarck’s socialist legislation in its intention, struggle and success.” ((Shirer, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, 96, note.)) It was Hitler’s social security policies and promises that got him elected to office.

Hitler was not alone in his admiration of Bismarck. FDR borrowed Bismarck’s socialist agenda and created what is now known as the Social Security System. Bismarck said that “the State must take the matter in hand, since the State can most easily supply the requisite funds. It must provide them not as alms but in fulfillment of the workers’ right to look to the State where their own good will can achieve nothing more.” ((Quoted in P. J. O’Brien, Forward with Roosevelt (Chicago: John C. Winston Co., 1936), 84.))

Roosevelt and his admirers agreed. P. J. O’Brien, writing in Forward with Roosevelt, links Bismarck’s social policies with those of Roosevelt: “[The quotation by Bismarck] might have been lifted out of a speech by President Roosevelt in 1936, but the Iron Chancellor uttered it in 1871.” ((O’Brien, Forward with Roosevelt, 85.))

Some people understood the implications of what Roosevelt was attempting to do. “Roosevelt was branded as an agent of the Reds [Communists] for voicing similar opinions.” ((O’Brien, Forward with Roosevelt, 85.)) The State became the savior of the people, and the social policies of the New Deal became holy writ.

In Edward Bellamy’s widely read socialist fantasy novel Looking Backward, 2000–1887, a Rip Van Winkle character goes to sleep in the year 1887 and awakens in the year 2000 to discover a changed world. His twenty‑first century companions explain to him how the utopia that astonishes him emerged in the 1930s from the hell of the 1880s. “That utopia involved the promise of security ‘from cradle to grave’ — the first use of the that phrase we have come across—as well as detailed government planning, including compulsory national service by all persons over an extended period.” ((Milton and Rose Friedman, Free to Choose (Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, 1980), 93.))

Bellamy’s fiction became much of the world’s reality in twentieth‑century socialism. Bellamy managed to mix the perversions of socialism, secularism, and New Age philosophy into one impossible world.

Consider Woodrow Wilson (1856–1924). His two political heroes were Abraham Lincoln and Bismarck. What Wilson admired about Lincoln was his “ability to impose his will on the entire country. Lincoln was a centralizer, a modernizer who used his power to forge a new, united nation. . . . Wilson admired Lincoln’s means — suspension of habeas corpus, the draft, and the campaigns of the radical Republicans after the war — far more than he liked his ends.” ((Jonah Goldberg, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (New York: Random House, 2007), 84.)) Wilson “loved, craved, and in a sense glorified power.” ((Walter McDougall, Promised Land, Crusader State: The American Encounter with the World Since 1776 (Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1997), 128. Quoted in Goldberg, Liberal Fascism, 84.))

In the hands of good people, it is believed, power is incorruptible. In his book Congressional Government, Wilson admitted, “I cannot imagine power as a thing negative and not positive.” ((Woodrow Wilson, Constitutional Government in the United States (New Brunswick, New Jersey: Transaction Publishers, [1908] 2002), 105–106.)) Of course, he believed that with his good intentions, the use of unbridled power was a good thing for everyone. Power is often most dangerous in the hands of those who want to do “good,” because they believe their intentions to help the less fortunate are righteous and just and therefore nearly any means can be used to achieve them.

In J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, the power of the ring is not something to be desired even by good people. The goal is to destroy it. When Boromir fails to avoid the ring’s power, he dies. Even Gandalf and the elves shun the power of the ring. Tolkien is doubtful that any person has the ability to resist the temptation of absolute power promised by the ring, even if that power is used for good. That is one of the great themes of the series.