EDITORrnThomas FlemingrnEXECUTIVE EDITORrnScott P. RichertrnSENIOR EDITOR, BOOKSrnChilton Williamson, ]r.rnASSISTANT EDITORrnAaron D. WolfrnART DIRECTORrnH. Ward SterettrnDESIGNERrnMelanie AndersonrnCONTRIBUTING EDITORSrnKatherine Dalton, Samuel Francis,rnGeorge Garrett, Paul Gottfried,rnPhilip Jenkins, j.O. Tate, MichaelrnWashburn, Clyde WilsonrnCORRESPONDING EDITORSrn]anet Scott Barlow, Bill Kauffman,rnDonald Livingston, William Mills,rnWilliam Murchison, AndreirnNavrozov, ]acoh NeusnerrnFILM EDITORrnGeorge McCartneyrnFOREIGN-AFFAIRS EDITORrnSrdja TrifkovicrnLEGAL-AFFAIRS EDITORrnStephen B. PresserrnRELIGION EDITORrnHarold O./. BrownrnEDITORIAL SECRETARYrnLeann DobbsrnCIRCULATION MANAGERrnCindy LinkrnPUBLISHERrnThe Rockford InstituternA publication of The Rockford Institute.rnEditorial and Advertising Offices:rn928 North Mam Street, Rockford, IL 61103.rnWebsite; www.chroniclesmagazine.orgrnEditorial Phone: (815)964-5054.rnAdvertising Phone: (815) 964-5813.rnSubscription Department: P.O. Box 800,rnMount Morris, IL 61054. Call 1-800-877-5459.rnU.S.A. Newsstand Distribution bv Eastenr NewsrnDistributors, Inc., One Media W;iy, 12406 Rt. 250,rnMilan, Ohio 44848-9705.rnCopyright © 2001 by The Rockford Institute.rnAll rights reserved.rnChronicles: A Magazine of American Culturern(ISSN 0887-5751) is published nronthly for $39.00rn(foreign subscriptions add $12 for surface delivery,rn$48 for Air Mail) per year by Tlie Rockford Institute,rn928 North Main Street, Rockford, II, 61I03-706I.rnPreferred periodical postage paid at Rockford, ILrnand additional mailing offices. POSTMASTER:rnSend address changes to Chronicles, P.O. Box 800,rnMount Morris, IL 61054.rnTlie views expressed in Chronicles are thernauthors’ alone and do not necessarily reflectrnthe views of The Rockford Institute or of itsrndirectors. Unsolicited manuscripts cannot bernreturned unless accompanied by a self-addressedrnstanrped envelope.rnChroniclesrnVol.25, No. 4 April 2001rnPrinled in ilif Uiiilcd Sinks of AmericarnPOLEMICS & EXCHANGESrnOn John LockernTo argue, as Paul Gottfried did in “DistrustingrnJohn Locke” {Views, January),rnthat the writings of John Locke were notrninstrumental to the founding of thisrncountry is to suppose that the authors ofrnthe Federalist did not know what theyrnwere about, hi philosophy, John Lockernwas sometimes an extremist, and he wasrnwrong in thinking that no ideas are innatern(there are a few —for instance,rntime). But he is still instructive, for mostrnof our ideas do come from reasoningrnabout sensory experience. In his ReasonablenessrnOf Christianity, Locke saw anrninner harmony in the Gospel that othersrnhad missed before. His commentaries onrnsome of St. Paul’s epistles contained importantrntruths: In his interpretation of Romans,rnfor instance, he reflited the Calvinistsrnon the very scriptural ground thatrnthey had considered to be their strongestrnterritory.rnBut whether one likes Locke or not,rnthe strangest teaching in this misbegottenrnissue is Dr. Gottfried’s assertion thatrnDavid Hume was an intellectual founderrnof America. This man was the most pronouncedrnirrationalist in the history ofrnphilosophy. Contrast his ideas with thernwords of the Declaration of Independence:rn”We hold these t r u t h s . . . “rnLocke wrote an essay defending miracles;rnHume attacked them, arguing thatrnany alleged miracle might actvially havernbeen the result of a mundane natural lawrnwith which the believer is not familiar.rnHaving denied religion in the name ofrnscience, Hume then denied science itselfrnby casting doubt on the principle ofrncausality.rnHume perverted Locke’s empiricismrnin the direction of extreme skepticism,rnjust as Rousseau perverted Locke’s doctrinernof the social contract into a vehiclernfor collectivism. Kant combined theserntwo perversions with Leibniz to form hisrncritical philosophy; through one of itsrnbranches, as a result of Hegel’s partial acceptancernof Kant, dialectical materialismrnarose; through another branch, Europeanrnlogical positivism. In the 20th century,rnBertrand Russell basically mathematizedrnHume’s skeptical empiricismrnand combined it (once more) with somernLeibnizian ideas, leading to the analyticalrnmovement that has devastated academicrnphilosophy in the United States.rnDr. Gottfried’s tone turns superiorrnwhen he criticizes Locke’s social-contractrntheory. “Hume,” he writes, “expressesrnastonishment that a seriousrnthinker could believe that individuals leftrna ‘state of nature’ and entered civil societyrnby way of a contract.” But it is only rightrnthat those who live in darkness should bernastonished by the light. Locke did not believernthat man evolved out of a primalrnooze over millions of years, but that herncame into being all at once as an intelligent,rnwonderful creation of God. I’mrnsure Locke had read about illiterate tribesrnof cannibals. But he would have supposedrnthat they were men who had degeneratedrn—like the homosexuals discussedrnby St. Paul in Romans.rnDr. Gottfried continues: “Humernasked, why did individuals throughoutrnthe world live ‘in subordination to eachrnother’ without a sense of being deprivedrnof rights?” But in the Second Treatise,rnLocke demonstrated how the parentchildrnrelationship fit with his theory.rnMoreover, history seems to support Locke.rnThe records of ancient peoples do speakrnof them getting together and agreeing torncertain laws and leaders. In Deuteronomy,rna great meeting occurs in which therncovenant between God and the Hebrewsrnis read, section by section, with blessingsrnupon them if they should keep theirrnagreements and curses if they shouldrnbreak them. This type of a social contractrnbetween unequals took place over 1,400rnyears before the Birth of Christ and wasrnnot dissolved until sometime betweenrnthe Resurrection of Christ and the destructionrnof Herod’s temple.rnThis does not mean that Locke’s theoryrnwas perfect. In the First Letter on Toleration,rnhe states the idea behind his device:rn”Covetousness, uncharitableness,rnidleness, and many other things are sins,rnby the consent of all men, which yet nornman ever said were to be punished by thernmagistrate. The reason is, because theyrnare not prejudicial to other men’s rights,rnnor do the) break the publick peace of societies.”rnChronicles has shown over andrnover again that this device is breakingrndown. May Chronicles carry on its goodrnwork, leaving behind that which is not.rn—Peter EricksonrnPortland, ORrn4/CHRONICLESrnrnrn