Thursday, October 23, 2014

Are we using language to confuse ourselves?

Too often in our time, the terms we use to organize our thinking are created by statist agencies and serve to mislead us. One such set of terms created by the IRS is "profit versus the non-profit." Profit-making activities are taxed. Non-profit enterprises and agencies are not. People come to classify activities in terms of these two terms. And so they describe reality instead of a statist-taxing category. Would it be not much more realistic if we classify things without reference to the IRS? If the IRS were to disappear in the next decade, how useful will these terms be? After all, they have referenced only to taxing. I submit that the terms "productive versus non-productive" are much more useful. Churches, schools and libraries are non-profit, but they are at the same time the most productive agencies civilization has ever known. To eliminate them would be to eliminate civilization.

Civil government is emphatically non-profit. Often it is not productive and . . . . But once kept within its limits can be productive of social order. The family is a non-profit community, but it is most emphatically a productive agency, and its decay is the decay of society and civilization. Because we have emphasized the profit versus the non-profit perspective, we have tended to falsify our view of life in every area: intellectual, industrial, and personal. We have downgraded the productive man in favor of the profiting man. Production has thus been displaced by an administration by the visible symbols of profitable power of church, universities, state and business, which have gained ascendancy over the productive mind and hand.

Religiously speaking, this means that form has been more important than substance. Pragmatism has replaced theology. When we look to the world through categories governed by the IRS, we have beggared ourselves intellectually and we have allowed the taxmen rather than the Lord our God to form our thinking. We need to remind ourselves of Saint Paul's words, "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."


Note: This article is transcribed from RushdoonyTV