In The Origins of English IndividuaUsm, Alan Macfarlanenrecounts the close connection in medieval Englishnhistory of the development of the nuclear family and privatenproperty. This connection provides a crucial explanation ofnthe rise of English culture and wealth, and the traditionnmade up of the nuclear family, private property, andnindividualism culminated in England’s American colonies.nUnlike the nations of the Continent, England andnAmerica have maintained what was historically the legalnsystem of the European countries: the folk-law or commonnlaw. The common law is rooted in Indo-European historynand sHll reflects its original precepts. In the early modernnera, other European countries saw their original legalnsystems replaced by a stahst civil law system based onnRoman imperial edicts. The change in continental legalnsystems was part of a larger strategy to create the Total State,nan effort to enhance the power of the state against societynand the institutions that comprise society: private property,nthe family, the church.nTo create the modern fiscal state, the Total State, it hasnbeen necessary to fracture the institutions that stood betweennthe state and the property it coveted — the institutionsnof the family and religion. In various ways, the family andnreligion were directly or indirectly undermined. Resistancenarose all over Europe, but only in England, and then innAmerica, was this resistance successful.nThe Englishman’s resistance to the modern fiscal state isnthe history of liberty, as Lord Acton described it. Rooted innthe Puritan culture of England, the resistance to the TotalnState achieved success after a series of organized resistances.nDuring the reigns of James I and Charles I the strugglenbecame more and more intense, until in the English CivilnWar the king was executed and a republic declared. But thenCommonwealth and the Protectorate of Cromwell movednin the direction of the modern fiscal state, and to avoid thenTotal State, the dead king’s son was restored to the throne,nbut with greatly reduced powers. When Charles II’s brother,nJames II, sought to expand those powers, he was exiled andnhis daughters succeeded him — Mary (with William) andnAnne. The Revolution of 1688 with its Bill of Rights wasnnot only of the greatest importance for England but fornAmerica as well. The defeat of the modern fiscal-state meantnthe protecHon of private property and the institutions thatngave it strength — the family and religion.nThe sanchty of private property in Western society wasnrooted in the family religion that was universalized bynChristianity. The institutions of religiously-based family andnproperty provided the material as well as the spiritual basesnof Europe’s and America’s culture and prosperity. In ThenHistory of the Idea of Progress (1980), Robert Nisbetndescribes the importance of Christian doctrine in thenemergence of the idea of progress: “A very real philosophynof human progress appears almost from the very beginningnin Christian theology, a philosophy stretching from St.nAugustine (indeed his predecessors, Eusebius and Tertullian)ndown through the seventeenth century.”nThroughout the Middle Ages science was an importantnpart of the studies of the Schoolmen. Progress in knowledgenand in mankind’s prosperity went hand in hand. Thisnscientific focus laid the foundadons both for the scientificndiscoveries of the early modern period and “the idea ofnprogress.” As Nisbet observes:nThe fundamental structure of the idea, itsngoverning assumptions and premises, its crucialnelements — cumulative growth, conHnuity in time,nnecessity, the unfolding of potentiality, all of thesenand others — took shape in the West within thenChristian tradition. Tbe secular forms in which wenfind the idea of progress from the late seventeenthncentury on in Europe are inconceivable in thenhistorical sense apart from their Christian roots.nThe religious foundation in Christianity of the conceptsnof growth and development were rooted in the sanctitynof private property and the family. This sanctity gavengrowth, development, and accumuladon both certainty andnmeaning. The actual growth, development, and change innthe culture and industrializaHon of the West was possiblendue to the idea of progress, which was rooted in Christianity.nThe scientific discoveries and technological developmentnthat occurred in England in the 17th and 18th centuries —nthe scientific revolution and the Industrial Revolution —nwere rooted in the ChrisHan tradition and expressed themselvesnin a society that still maintained the Christian-basedninstitutions of private property and family. The resistance tonthe modern fiscal state gave England the ability and freedomnto pursue development and progress, and to expect the fruitsnthereof to remain the property of the family and not of thenTotal State.nThe American Revolution was the most important of thenmovements of resistance to the Total State. The revolutionarynfoundation was the argument from a Higher Law thannthe statutes of the state. The American Revolution representedna landmark in the more than two-thousand-yearntradition of natural law.nDr. F.A. Harper, founder of the Institute for HumanenStudies, in “Morals and Liberty” (1971), underiines thenfreedom to choose as an essential part of moral frameworks.nThis view — that there exists a Natural Law whichnrules over the affairs of human conduct — will benchallenged by some who point out that mannpossesses the capacity for choice, that man’s activitynreflects a quality lacking in the chemistry of a stonenand in the physical principle of the lever. But thisntrait of man — this capacity for choice — does notnrelease him from the rule of cause and effect, whichnhe can neither veto nor alter. What the capacitynfor choice means, instead, is that he is therebynenabled, by his own choice, to act either wisely ornunwisely — that is, in either accord or discord withnthe truths of Natural Law. But once he has madenhis choice, the inviolate rule of cause andnconsequence takes over with an iron hand of justice,nand delivers unto the doer either a reward or anpenalty, as the consequence of his choice. . . .nIf I surrender my freedom of choice to anruler—by vote or otherwise — I am still subject tonthe superior rule of Natural Law. Although I amnsubservient to the ruler who orders me to violatenTruth, I must still pay the penalty for the evil ornfoolish acts in which I engage at his command.nnnOCTOBER 1990/23n