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The Folly of Men Trying to Control the Future

What should be clear enough about the future is that our hope cannot be in the statist planners who have created this mess, but God alone.

Mark R. Rushdoony
  • Mark R. Rushdoony
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I read this morning that the economies of a number of countries are already in recession with several others seemingly on the cusp. Complicating efforts of statist planners to stimulate their economies by manipulating the flow of fiat money are newer factors. The boom-bust cycles of the mid-to-late twentieth century are not what we have been seeing in the last two decades.

Just one factor that has changed is demographics. Aging populations and a declining number of young or middle-aged consumers mean the ability to stimulate a “boom” cycle (much less actual productive growth in an economy is limited.

China is an example. Their one-child policy was not abandoned until it was too late. There is a lack of consumers and workers and an aging population. The government played god and so skewed the demographics that China cannot quickly recover.

Western nations have done the same by different methods. Inflation and the war on the family has caused a drop in the number of children per family, plus the sexual revolution gave us many households with no marriage or children. The declining birthrate and the consequent aging of the population has created a self-imposed demographic collapse. There is also a historically high percentage of working-age people in the West that simply refuse to work or do only enough to get by.

The problems of statist control over our money and our humanistic value system that downplays family life and a future orientation are now coming home to roost. The U.S. is slightly better than most demographically, but over half of all baby-boomers are now retired. Workers are getting hard to find.

Other man-made factors could be cited that contribute to our economic doldrums. They only illustrate the folly of men trying to control the future. The more man tried to control others and the future the bigger the mess he creates.

We don’t know how this will end. Our economy may crash and burn, or it may stagnate for many years. What should be clear enough about the future, though, is that our hope cannot be in the statist planners who have created this mess. Their plans will fail, but God’s will not:

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? And why art thou disquieted within me? Hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God. (Ps. 42:11)

Mark R. Rushdoony
  • Mark R. Rushdoony

Mark R. Rushdoony graduated from Los Angeles Baptist College (now The Master’s College) with a B.A. in history in 1975 and was ordained to the ministry in 1995.

He taught junior and senior high classes in history, Bible, civics and economics at a Christian school in Virginia for three years before joining the staff of Chalcedon in 1978. He was the Director of Chalcedon Christian School for 14 years while teaching full time. He also helped tutor all of his children through high school.

In 1998, he became the President of Chalcedon and Ross House Books, and, more recently another publishing arm, Storehouse Press. Chalcedon and its subsidiaries publish many titles plus CDs, mp3s, and an extensive online archive at

He has written scores of articles for Chalcedon’s publications, both the Chalcedon Report and Faith for all of Life. He was a contributing author to The Great Christian Revolution (1991). He has spoken at numerous conferences and churches in the U.S. and abroad.

Mark Rushdoony lives in Vallecito, California, his home of 43 years with his wife of 45 years and his youngest son. He has three married children and nine grandchildren.

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