Contributor Post Created with Sketch. It Takes a Village to Make a Village

 

I’m a third of the way through Tim Carney’s Alienated America and I also thoroughly enjoyed the episode of The Remnant podcast about the book. It’s no surprise to me that I like this book, as the lack of social organizations at a grassroots level is near and dear to my heart, especially when it comes to firearms ownership in America.

Gun owners are being shoved to the side in American culture, and that’s putting the right to self-defense for all Americans in jeopardy. While my focus is on gun rights, the fact is, the decline of social communities outside of politicas is something that is hurting all Americans. So I ask you, my fellow Ricocheti, what can we as individuals to help re-create and renew the social organizations that once held our country together?

I’ve written about “Warrior Club” as one way to bond over the Second Amendment, but what are some of the other ways we can jump-start American’s involvement in the local community and preserve our other freedoms? The obvious answer is, of course, “go out and join a service organization” or “help coach youth soccer,” and that’s how things will ultimately change. The preservation of individual rights, after all, is up to the individual, not the state. However, the act of preserving our rights does not have to be an uphill climb. In addition to re-invigorating our local churches and service groups, what can we as indivivuals do on a state and national level to make such goals easier to accomplish? What tactical-level goals are out there, and how do we accomplish them?

I realize that I am probably preaching to the choir here, as the members of Ricochet tend to be a bit more involved with their communites than the average American, but it’s also true that the members of the choir also tend to be good evangelists for the church. How, then, do we make the foundations of civil society relative again, without making those organizations subservient to the leviathan of a burdensome federal government?

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  1. Postmodern Hoplite Member

    Kevin Creighton: I also thoroughly enjoyed the episode of The Remnant podcast about the book.

    Me, too! I’m currently in the midst of a spouse-imposed book-buying ban, (ammo is still OK, though, so it’s endurable…) but I will be buying this book ASAP.

    • #1
    • March 1, 2019, at 11:19 AM PST
    • 1 like
  2. Henry Racette Contributor

    Kevin,

    I bought the book the day I heard the interview with Tim Carney, and I’m looking forward to getting to it soon.

    You’re asking the big question: how do we rebuild community. And I think you’re answering it: be the citizen you want to persuade others to be.

    Beside voting for the closest thing to small-government conservatives we can find (and I know that’s a bit of a stretch), I think local action, as you suggest, is the most likely to be profitable approach. You’re a gun guy, so you’ve probably observed this as well: even people with no gun experience are remarkably open to being taught how to shoot.

    Years ago, when we lived on our farm and my three older sons were in college, they’d come home for the weekend with college friends. My kids grew up shooting, but many of their friends were city kids who had never held a gun. It was always a pleasure to see five or six of them standing down by the pasture fence with the rifles, while my boys explained to them how to safely handle a gun, how to aim, how to shoot. It was particularly nice watching the girls, many of whom were initially wary of guns, enjoying the experience and coming back to the house excited about what they’d done.

    I still see that today. Even many of my liberal friends are interested in guns, whatever their reservations about hunting, the NRA, and what they believe is gun culture.

    So my stock answer is the same as always: talk about it. Talk about conservative ideas, educate people, be polite but don’t back down. Speak truth to pop-culture. Be friendly and helpful and generous and relentlessly conservative, so that people can’t help liking you even though they think some of your ideas are really weird and old-fashioned. (I can’t tell you how many liberals I’ve helped move from one apartment to another, knowing that they’d see my conservative posts on social media and have to somehow reconcile my monstrous views with my cheerful helpfulness.)

    Good post. Thanks!

    Hank

     

    • #2
    • March 1, 2019, at 11:27 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  3. Postmodern Hoplite Member

    Kevin Creighton: The preservation of individual rights, after all, is up to the individual, not the state. However, the act of preserving our rights does not have to be an uphill climb. In addition to re-invigorating our local churches and service groups, what can we as individuals do on a state and national level to make such goals easier to accomplish?

    I too have been thinking on this question quite a bit lately. My working hypothesis is that the purpose of the 2A from its inception is to protect the individual right to bear arms by providing a local, community function for the armed populace to fill. Security and protection at the level of houses, neighborhoods, and schools is best and most efficiently provided by those who live there. Police are all well and good, but there will never be enough police officers to control a populace that chooses to be ungovernable.

    I suggest that local associations of gun owners – both handguns and long guns – should be constituted formally as Militia to serve these functions. These would be self-organized, self-regulating, and subject to local authority at the county level. State-authority would provide the legal framework for such militias to be constituted, and might specify minimum requirements for training. A robust and durable legal firewall would be necessary to protect such militiamen from an unconstitutional regulatory invasion or threats from the Federal level. 

     

    • #3
    • March 1, 2019, at 12:09 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  4. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    I liked Carney on The Remnant. His book is available on Audible. I just bought it, and should be able to listen within the next week.

    Kevin Creighton: How, then, do we make the foundations of civil society relative [relevant?] again, without making those organizations subservient to the leviathan of a burdensome federal government?

    I’d say that Job #1 is family. Hold your family together. Make the necessary sacrifices. If you’re young, aim at getting married and don’t have kids outside marriage. If you’re older, stay together and commit to making it work. I fully understand that this is not always easy.

    From the discussion, Carney seems particularly focused on churches. So I’d say that Job #2 is to get more involved with your church. If you’re not a believer or if you’re a believer in another faith, pick an appropriate alternative.

    Job #3 is to be a good neighbor and co-worker, which may well influence others in your circle.

    Job #4 is to vote Republican, even if you have many legitimate objections to the particular candidate. There is one side that, broadly speaking, favors faith, family, and non-government solutions. There is one side that is relentlessly hostile to these things. Even a pretty bad Republican is far better than almost any Democrat. (I’m thinking that Joe Manchin may be the only exception to this.) Work within the Republican coalition to advance more conservative views and get better candidates.

    • #4
    • March 1, 2019, at 12:48 PM PST
    • 6 likes
  5. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    I’ve heard two interviews with Tim. He is pretty interesting. I don’t know that he has the root cause properly identified. Strong families make strong communities rather than Tball leagues. Married, educated adults make good parents and strong families and a strong middle class and those people make Tball leagues and strong churches. The leagues and organizations are a by-product of a strong middle class, not the cause.

    The government doesn’t need to do anything, but stop harming families and the middle-class. Import upper-class workers, not middle/lower class workers. Stop unfair trade. Stop fighting religiosity. Encourage skill trades instead of debt for worthless degrees. Promote American ideas and racial harmony rather than anti-Americanism and racial division.

    • #5
    • March 1, 2019, at 1:16 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  6. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    DonG (View Comment):

    I’ve heard two interviews with Tim. He is pretty interesting. I don’t know that he has the root cause properly identified. Strong families make strong communities rather than Tball leagues. Married, educated adults make good parents and strong families and a strong middle class and those people make Tball leagues and strong churches. The leagues and organizations are a by-product of a strong middle class, not the cause.

    The government doesn’t need to do anything, but stop harming families and the middle-class. Import upper-class workers, not middle/lower class workers. Stop unfair trade. Stop fighting religiosity. Encourage skill trades instead of debt for worthless degrees. Promote American ideas and racial harmony rather than anti-Americanism and racial division.

    Based on his interview on The Remnant, my impression is that Carney believes that a hands-off approach will be insufficient. Once policies or other events have undermined a previously strong community, some repair may be necessary to recovery. This is by analogy to something like environmental restoration after mining or farming.

    • #6
    • March 1, 2019, at 1:20 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  7. Mrs. Ink Member

    Regarding churches, I believe that the “unchurching” of many people happened because of the leftist takeover of mainline Protestant churches. People do not want social justice warrior diatribes delivered to them every Sunday, so they opt for an extra morning off and no tithes.

    Where is a non-SJW Protestant to go? If you were an Episcopalian, you might go to the Catholics, but it will never feel like your liturgical home (especially in the present day of guitar mass), not to mention the sex scandals that seem to be uncovered every day. Evangelical services will never feel right, nor will Mormon theology.

    There are traditional Anglican churches, but they are few and far between, same for the Presbyterian off shoots. Thanks to their African bishops, the Methodists are going to have to change course from their drift towards SJWness or leave, but what if your church decides to leave the traditional Methodists? Then what do you do?

    The leftists have taken over academia, education, entertainment, and many churches, and have destroyed or driven out all the normal people. Unfortunately for the normals, we need those institutions, and it is much harder to live and raise families without the support of those institutions.

    • #7
    • March 1, 2019, at 5:21 PM PST
    • 4 likes
  8. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member

    Mrs. Ink (View Comment):

    Regarding churches, I believe that the “unchurching” of many people happened because of the leftist takeover of mainline Protestant churches. People do not want social justice warrior diatribes delivered to them every Sunday, so they opt for an extra morning off and no tithes.

    Where is a non-SJW Protestant to go? If you were an Episcopalian, you might go to the Catholics, but it will never feel like your liturgical home (especially in the present day of guitar mass), not to mention the sex scandals that seem to be uncovered every day. Evangelical services will never feel right, nor will Mormon theology.

    There are traditional Anglican churches, but they are few and far between, same for the Presbyterian off shoots. Thanks to their African bishops, the Methodists are going to have to change course from their drift towards SJWness or leave, but what if your church decides to leave the traditional Methodists? Then what do you do?

    The leftists have taken over academia, education, entertainment, and many churches, and have destroyed or driven out all the normal people. Unfortunately for the normals, we need those institutions, and it is much harder to live and raise families without the support of those institutions.

    I think that you’re on to something. As an Evangelical, it’s a bit sad to think of my fellow believers dropping out of church altogether because our services “will never feel right.” I don’t disagree that many people may feel that way, I just find it rather tragic. Is it really worse than having no church at all?

    My impression is that the objection is more serious for Episcopalians, as they have specific theological belief relating to the Lord’s Supper. I don’t know whether this applies to Methodists or other “mainline” Protestant denominations.

    • #8
    • March 1, 2019, at 6:21 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  9. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Arizona Patriot (View Comment):
    Based on his interview on The Remnant, my impression is that Carney believes that a hands-off approach will be insufficient.

    I did get that impression too. Again I think he is off base. The government is *not* good at nation building. Perhaps states could drop a new trade/school or government service in a town to bring it back. At the national level, I’d love to see some govt. agencies moved to St. Louis or Detroit instead of D.C.

    • #9
    • March 1, 2019, at 9:04 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  10. Gary Robbins Reagan

    I am looking forward to reading his book. I note for the record that there was an excellent interview with the author on the March 1, 2019 Daily Bulwark.

    • #10
    • March 3, 2019, at 4:55 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  11. ShaunaHunt Coolidge

    Mrs. Ink (View Comment):

    Regarding churches, I believe that the “unchurching” of many people happened because of the leftist takeover of mainline Protestant churches. People do not want social justice warrior diatribes delivered to them every Sunday, so they opt for an extra morning off and no tithes.

    Where is a non-SJW Protestant to go? If you were an Episcopalian, you might go to the Catholics, but it will never feel like your liturgical home (especially in the present day of guitar mass), not to mention the sex scandals that seem to be uncovered every day. Evangelical services will never feel right, nor will Mormon theology.

    There are traditional Anglican churches, but they are few and far between, same for the Presbyterian off shoots. Thanks to their African bishops, the Methodists are going to have to change course from their drift towards SJWness or leave, but what if your church decides to leave the traditional Methodists? Then what do you do?

    The leftists have taken over academia, education, entertainment, and many churches, and have destroyed or driven out all the normal people. Unfortunately for the normals, we need those institutions, and it is much harder to live and raise families without the support of those institutions.

    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints is not a Protestant religion. We have the Lord’s Supper in our main meetings. It’s called the Sacrament. Our faith is all about strengthening families and becoming more like Christ. We embrace everyone. I won’t argue theology.

    I think it’s important to reach out to everyone. Regardless of their beliefs, politics, etc. I also think we have more in common than we are different. We need to build on that. 

    • #11
    • March 3, 2019, at 6:20 PM PST
    • 1 like

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