QOTD: Time Preference

I'm new to the illuminating idea of "long" or "short" time preference among cultures or societies. "Long" meaning roughly that people see themselves as inheritors of a precious tradition and patrimony from their fathers, and work to enrich and extend that inheritance for their sons. See this prior QOTD for a good example.

"Short" time preference is hedonistic and consumptive. It views the past as something to be erased or forgotten. "A litany of sins."  Nothing good is inherited, so nothing passed down. "Die broke." See any college campus or large city for a good example.

All of this drives time-preference toward the present — which manifests itself in hedonism, present consumption, loss of social cohesion (why pull together when there’s nothing to pull for?), and declining birth-rates. Finally, the foreshortening of time-preference attacks the bedrock of civilization itself, in an accelerating, destructive cycle.
— Malcom Pollack

Read the whole thing

Western Civilization has been convinced by a bunch of old hippies to kill itself. They have convinced the West that the patrimony is tainted and worse than worthless. Now we consume and distract ourselves out of existence, leaving nothing for the next generation.  

Hey, American Christian: we must band together in a way that we have never done in American history if there is going to be a stable and just society for our children. It's time to stop allowing our enemies to write the rules of our culture and lifestyle. It's time to reject the modernist lifestyle entirely, and return to the old ways upon which our civilization was founded. 

Look at this beautiful picture of the old ways. 

And you shall rejoice before the LORD your God, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant, the Levite who is within your towns, the sojourner, the fatherless, and the widow who are among you, at the place the LORD your God will choose, to make his name dwell there.
— Deut. 6:11

There is a host of cultural wisdom for the taking in the old testament, especially in passages like the above in which God is instructing his people how to live together and care for one another. 

Let's look at an important idea there. "Within your towns... who are among you." The word "towns" is also often translated as "gates." There is meaning there. This is painting a picture of God's people living together all the time, set apart, so that we can honor and obey God together, propagate our inheritance, and steward the Kingdom while we live on the earth. We need to dominate our own territory- the shining city on the hill. 

Today, however, we are dissolved indistinguishably among the prevailing pagan culture that has come to dominate the West. The lifestyle of the Monday-Saturday atomistic and lonely Christian is not sufficient for the task and great challenge of spiritual and cultural stewardship that is ours to fulfill. Atheistic, modernist materialism is completing its hijrah against us, and we must react against it in a powerful way. "A forceful reaction has become necessary." Indeed.  Step one is going to be building a cultural wall against it. "Gates"/"Towns" is a premise. When we don't understand the premises of an argument, we have a harder time acting on the conclusion. 

Now to make it practical. Here's an idea: Let's start spending our money, time, and charity on each other, and denying those resources to the enemy. This logic should effect who you bank with, who mows your grass, and who educates your children. 

Speaking of enemies, lets look at another forgotten premise: 

Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.
— Matt. 5:44

Jesus is not telling us to let our enemies educate our children and teach them to hate Christianity while we're at work. Loving your enemies, and protecting your family from them are not mutually exclusive propositions. The reason there is any confusion on how American Christians should educate their children is that we have forgotten the premise, "enemies." We have enemies, and I'm not just talking about sin and satan. They are the authors and stewards of the prevailing Western culture. It's time to remember this. 

More on this another time.