How to Worship Your Government

10/27/201940 Comments

"The President of the United States is in danger of losing the mandate of heaven."

Thus spake Pat Robertson during the recent brouhaha over Syria, where the unthinkable notion that the US might actually pull out of a war zone instead of sending more troops in began to materialize last week.

Now, you might be tempted to dismiss this as just another raving of Pat "God blessed the Gulf War" Robertson, and you wouldn't be wrong. But still, that's quite the phrase: The "mandate of heaven." What does it mean?

Well, it turns out he didn't just make that up himself.

The "Mandate of Heaven" is an argument for the legitimacy of government that arose in ancient China. Called "天命" (Tianming) in Chinese, the concept rests on four basic principles:

  • Heaven grants the emperor the right to rule;
  • As there is only one Heaven, so there can be only one emperor at a time;
  • The emperor's right to rule is dependent upon his virtue; and
  • The right to rule is not granted to any particular family line in perpetuity.

Now you might wonder what China's "mandate of heaven" has to do with America's presidential system, so let me assure you that they're closely connected. In fact, the tie-in is so obvious that we never think to mention it except in times of extreme crisis. It takes the form of a question: Where the legitimacy of the government—and our would-be "rulers"—come from in the first place, if not straight from heaven?

Why does this or that person have the right to pass this or that law? What process imparts power to this or that lawmaker? How do governments themselves come about, and what gives them the "right" to rule over a given patch of ground (and, almost as an afterthought, over the serfs living on that patch of ground)? Why does the state exist at all?

If you're concerned about whether or not you're properly tithing to the god known as government, you won't want to miss this edition of The Corbett Report Subscriber. And stick around for this week's recommended reading, viewing and listening.

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  1. n4x5 says:

    “God Emperor Trump” is presumably a reference to the Dune franchise, specifically the fourth novel. Considering the kind of subject matter that The Corbett Report discusses, it’s a bit surprising that it hasn’t featured more prominently (or at all, for that matter, apparently). Technological fears (artificial intelligence / robotics), a resource war between great powers in a barren desert, secret societies exerting sub rosa influence for their own inscrutable ends, ancient elite bloodlines’ eugenics programs — it would seem that there would be enough for an FLNWO episode, at least. Pertinent to the topic at hand here, Frank Herbert has made a number of comments on his views on the nature of political power.

    • n4x5 says:

      I’ve considered the possibility (likelihood) that the popular usage of the term came directly from the Japanese monarchy, but somehow I always thought it owed more to the book. Taking into account the relative obscurity of the book, though, this could of course be completely incorrect.

      • n4x5 says:

        A little research reveals that the term is probably unrelated to Herbert’s novels. I don’t keep up with trending memes. Forgive my ignorance. Not that my point was to get bogged down in the origin of the term.

  2. zyxzevn says:

    10 Must Know Logical Fallacies. James Corbett & Keith Knight

    Great examples.

  3. hugo.c says:


    Sorry, this is completely off topic, but got my attention.

    I’ve been reading MoonOfAlabama for a while and have found its input on the Syrian situation useful. Now I find it compromised. Why?

    I’ll post below in numerous posts (3000 character limit) posts what I posted to MoA that had me censored (not shadow banned, just straight up censored). I’d like to say that I dont care, but that would be disingenuous.

    Here is the banning:

    “Deleted comments by “Fuzzball” which is one of 20+ names some sockpuppeteer tries to use here.

    Posted by: b | Oct 27 2019 14:43 utc | 85″

    So, I’m a sockpuppet. Ok. Not. But, its your site and you get editorial control.

    The topic is Biden/Trump/Ukraine and the compromise of USoA. Below I post the post which was banned. Ignore at will.

  4. hugo.c says:

    @ Ort, jackrabbit, james, jadan, karlof1, uncle tungsten, psychohistorian, ben, Paul D, et al (i.e all the flies)

    (okay, I can see now that this degenerates into a rant)

    1: The Article

    b stakes his claim in the title, and then provides evidence for it. This is journalism 101.

    In the article he writes in a way which seems supportive of Trump and some flies explode. I dont care. I make up my own mind.

    But, what is obvious is that “power corrupts and absolute …”. They (biden, trump, billary, obama, bush I and II, ..) are ALL corrupt.

    2: The legalities

    a) Biden (Jr and Sr) have committed no crime, but that tells you about law. Is it corrupt? Yes, obviously. It’s immoral but not illegal.

    b) Trump has also committed no crime. “Normally” the State Dept would contact the country with a mutual legal assistance treaty to do whatever shenagigans they are up to at the time. But that is not in the treaty. And, nominally, the president is head of the state dept anyway. So, no arguments there. Was he withholding military aid assistance? Who cares. There’s nothing illegal there either. Its aid. The head of the executive can do whatever the hell they want with aid.

    But, is it corrupt? As for withholding aid, that is absolutely normal leverage crap that happens all the time. Looks immoral, but is normal practice. As for asking for a legal investigation, it is “corrupt” because Biden’s son’s behaviour is corrupt. (recall what I said above, they are ALL corrupt). But, if you have the power to use state resources legally to weaken someone you are fighting, why not? Because they are all corrupt.

  5. hugo.c says:

    3: Taibbi, Norton, Blumenthal et al

    I like these journos, but I like them because they practice journalism 101 with their HEART ON THEIR SLEEVES. I know their bias, because they wear it, and thus I can be choose where to be more skeptical.

    The fact that b is seeming to change his position w.r.t Trump, is all fine and dandy. I make up my own mind.

    Of all of the above, I am most suspicious of Blumenthal. GrayZone does not publish its funders (that I can find).

    4: USA/CIA/NSA and all the TLAs

    If one starts from “Power corrupts …” then one assumes that all powerful politicians and members of a countries leading organisations, especially military intelligence, are corrupt. They are all currying favour and seeking to weaken their opponents. They get trained to do this as they climb the ladder.

    By extension, all countries are corrupt too, as their leaders are also corrupt. The issue at hand here is that citizens of the US have been lead to believe that it is not, and that the US is a “good country” which is “democratizing the world”. So, its all rather traumatic to discover that this is pure propaganda.

    Is the US corrupt? No (corruption happens between people; a country cannot be taken to trial, people can). Are its leaders corrupt? Without exception. The only difference is in degree. The question becomes, to which struggle do they lend a hand? Are they “fighting the good fight”?

    Case in point: Stalin. IMO he was a murderous meglomaniac (MM). But, he won WWII and in so defeated an even more evil MM. What is worse, is that because of his fear of overthrow by his military he fired the vast majority of his military leadership before WWII so that when the war arrived the Russian military was without trained leadership and this cost Russia millions of casualties. So, Stalin was a MM. My gratitude is to the Russian people who defeated the slightly more evil MM.

    • hugo.c says:

      Note that, although this entire post was censored, there is one remaining, published response to it, which counters this statement of “Russia not prepared because of purging of senior military staff”:

      “The claim that the 1937 purges deprived the Red Army of its best officers is part of general Robert Conquest/Foreign Office propaganda.” (read on)

      I’m happy to respect the individual’s opinion and evidence. What is happening is historical revisionism. This pisses me off, big time. Russia was the dominant force in the WWII military struggle, and these revisionists want to deny it to maintain some fantasy. I am not defending Stalin (an absolute meglomaniacal mass murderer), but that Russia won WWII by the dint of their people and the policies of their government.

  6. hugo.c says:

    5: Ukraine

    Obama allows/approves the overthrow of the Ukraine in 2014 via a colour revolution including military elements and coopts the local neo-Nazi’s as a tool. (This is viscerally similar to the US’s arming of extremist muslim military forces in Syria). This, in turn, provides a direct threat to Russia’s main warm water port in Sevastopol and thus Russia induces/creates/runs a referendum for succession. (Note that Crimea’s “gift” to Ukraine was another corrupt action some decades earlier). The vote of 90+% to join Russia is immediately seen as corrupt/staged/controlled by Russia because the US has a two party system which splits the country in half, and thus does not produce 90+% votes. I believe that the vast majority of people in Crimea wanted to rejoin Russia, and to deny them that right is to deny the right of self determination (see also Catalonia). What do we know about the legitimacy of the Crimean vote? (Actually, the GOP controlled Senate has just rejected 3 bills which were aimed at improving the auditability of the US vote; this should have been an outrage).

    Now you have a very interesting and powerful situation. A newly formed government, bordering Russia, over which the US has very strong influence. The CIA is in there like vultures to a dead wilderbeast. Biden gets profits for his son. DNC uses influence to get dirt on Trump (Steel Dossier), Trump advisor (Manafort) has had dealings there (because that is where the diplomatic/corruption was happening at the time and he was climbing the ladder).

    So, the entire current fiasco can be laid at the feet of the corrupt politicians and Obama/CIA. Indeed, it goes back to the fall of the Berlin Wall, after which the US verbally said they would not move NATO “one inch” closer to Russia than the re-unified Germany. And, Russia fears a re-unified Germany because they were the last to attack them, and the previous attack (Bonaparte) came through them. And the Ukraine is the place where the scorched earth defence policy is implemented.

  7. hugo.c says:

    6: Barflies

    Foremost, I would like to thank the barflies. The level of intelligent, informed discourse in the comments here is rare and wonderful.

    However, (there’s always a caveat) I humbly suggest that attacking b for his opinions is a waste of time. You are given freedom to express them, but a ramping up of this is likely to see a change of editorial policy, and thus the vibrant discussion we see could be damaged.

    Be good. Point out factual errors (which I’m sure b would love), and express *your* opinion. Attacking b’s position gives little reward. If you think his opinions are egregious, go for it, but otherwise it matters little

  8. hugo.c says:

    And that is what I was censored for.

    A lesson of control.

    What, in that, was soooo nasty that it needed to be censored? MoA call’s the name “Fuzzball”. Yeah, right. What was soooo nasty that it had to be removed?

    Statement of US involvement of the Ukraine coup? I dunno.

    Sorry for the pollution of this discussion. As I said, ignore at will.

    • generalbottlewasher says:

      Hugo.c, your good observations have come quite unexpectedly into a hole i fell into this morning. The word tare. I had randomly used it without knowing its true worth. Your kind words are materializing the “Parable of the tare”. However in today’s Orwellian world where things are turned on their head, the use now by trolls and weeds to describe the mana wheat, as ( nothing but) a weed. Nuts! The wheat is being pulled by the roots to the betterment of the weeds. Divine inquisitions are being played out by hands of men, disastrously .

      • hugo.c says:


        I cannot find any consistent argument or thought expressed in the text of your reply.

        To quote one “sentence”:

        “However in today’s Orwellian world where things are turned on their head, the use now by trolls and weeds to describe the mana wheat, as ( nothing but) a weed.”

        Corbett has done vids on “logical fallacies”, but your text is not even logical. It is not even English (their/they’re, “mana wheat” etc.).

        Oh, well.

        • pearl says:

          I believe generalbottlewasher was complementing you on how well you worded your argument which was banned at MoA, and sharing your frustration that you were unjustly banned, while also noting how good is called bad in this Orwellian world (like prematurely pulling up wheat to make room for the weeds/tares – it’s a mad world!).

        • generalbottlewasher says:

          Hugo’s ; their there old sport, in the profidious English of Francis Bacon we find all sorts of allegory. In the words of Pearl we find the truth. Thank you Pearl. No rules in english, the corruption, which you hinted at above can neutrilize the poison of the wicked through allegory. Plutarch won many a heart without becoming censored. Loosen up otherwise we would be reading Plutarch in Latin.

  9. HomeRemedySupply says:

    James Corbett:
    “… this Most Dangerous Superstition—the one that holds that a special class of people have the divine right to rule over us.”

    J.R.R. Tolkien:
    “…some Orc gets hold of a ring of power–and then we get and are getting slavery.”

  10. HomeRemedySupply says:

    – SYRIA –
    President Trump’s Special Sunday 9am (Oct 27) Announcement

    (25 minute mark)Trump says: “…The Oil is so valuable!… …we should be able to take some also….”
    Then around the 39 minute mark, Trump again talks about securing the oil. “…Now I will secure the oil, that happens to be in a certain part. But that’s tremendous money involved…”

    (October 15, 2019)
    Under Corbett’s Newletter’s “Recommended Viewing”, be sure to watch the 4 minute video by Syrian Girl.
    Syrian Exposes Media Lies About Syria Withdrawal

  11. HomeRemedySupply says:

    A MUST SEE 3 minute video which jives extremely well with this James Corbett article of 10/27/2019 “How to Worship Your Government”.

    For non-Canadians like me (and even Canucks), this can be shocking government worship…an act of a nod.
    Curtis Stone, an Urban Farmer, exposes “Royal Assent”

  12. zyxzevn says:

    Major propaganda but it would take some research to pick it apart.

    Block on GM rice ‘has cost millions of lives and led to child blindness’

    Discussion at:

  13. scpat says:

    Very nice piece, James.

    “And, depending which pub you happen to be in and the general state of lubrication, there are still some old royal loyalists who would be more than happy to engage in fisticuffs with anyone questioning ol’ Queen Elizardbeast’s divinely-granted authority.”

    This sounds like an anecdote from your time in the U.K.? Haha

    The two videos below disturbed me when I first watched them. They still do. Each time I watch them again, it stirs something in me emotionally. The damage the State has inflicted on humanity is nearly incomprehensible.

    Statism: The Most Dangerous Religion (feat. Larken Rose)

    The Complete and Undeniable Truth – Larken Rose

  14. Octium says:

    I don’t have problems with authority. It’s just other peoples authority I have problems with 🙂

    • mkey says:

      I don’t have a problem with authority, authority has a problem with me.

    • HomeRemedySupply says:

      As an expert authority on the subject, I can say that…

      You guys are pretty good with those aphorisms i.e.(“a short saying that is intended to express a general truth”)

  15. mik says:

    Youboob algorithms served me some new Peter Thiel stuff.

    Man, this guy is also a philosopher and penned an essay The Straussian Moment.
    On the link below is link to essay, summary (well, kind of) and interview with him.

    Holy shit, what is he pimping, I don’t have time, energy, nor will to dissect.

    In interview (37:30) he was asked about China-US struggle and answering he came to the point that we are presented with three choices what the future will be: salafists, china AI driven orwell state, hyper-environmentalism. Conservatives and libertarians should offer something better he thinks.

    For how much libertarian he is lets see this one

    (1:50) First of three contrarian truths for entrepreneurs in his
    belief is: You aim to build a monopoly.

  16. hawaii_casey says:

    All eyes are opened, or opening, to the rights of man. The general spread of the light of science has already laid open to every view the palpable truth, that the mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately.

    Author Unknown

  17. s.jamieson says:

    As a “died” in the wool State worshipper, I have to bleat out a protest – Or do I? The favoured everybody instead of the favoured few sounds kinda nice . . .

  18. mkey says:

    Reagan Official Says Cut Military Spending! Panel SCREAMS!

    A nice truth bomb if you can stand the fake cheering.

  19. Steve Smith says:

    “Which brings us back to Pat Robertson and God Emperor Trump. Has Trump really lost the “mandate of heaven”? Well, since the question relies on a false premise—namely, that he ever actually had such a mandate—it remains unanswerable. But perhaps even the fact that the question is being asked at all is a step in the right direction.”

    Well, I’m sure I’m not alone in the belief that no, Trump never had a “mandate of heaven” to lose. But could there be something to the idea that some sort of “heavenly protection” has been lost?

    Naomi Wolf, who’s intellect and spirit I admire explores that possibility in a new Substack article which is well worth reading in it’s entirety.

    ……”Because Jewish history is longer than Christian history (not a value judgement, just a statement of fact), we have more experience of God’s having indeed withdrawn His protection and left us to the fate about which he warned us.

    But even Christian history does not have a promise that God can never withdraw. Though these darker or more wrathful warnings seem less often taught from many pulpits these days than they used to be taught in our Puritan past, Jesus Himself warned His followers about the dire consequnces of amoral behavior —- the serious dangers of being “whited sepulchers” — of neglecting or hurting the poor — or of bringing children to harm. Matthew 13: “But woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye shut up the kingdom of heaven against men: for ye neither go in yourselves, neither suffer ye them that are entering to go in. 14Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye devour widows’ houses, and for a pretence make long prayer: therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation.”…….

    …..”The great genius of America was not that it was consecrated to a specific religion — the great genius of our nation included freedom of religion — but our great distinction was that we were founded as a City on a Hill; spiritually; we were consecrated, in our ultimate organizational manifestation of human freedom, with its basis in free will — to God.

    If we withdraw our role in that covenant, perhaps Pastor Cahn is right and pagan entities, long held at bay in the West – are empowered, and rush back in.”……

    ……..” What feels intuitive to me is that God is at the limit of His patience with us.

    And He has said,

    Okay, you want to do it yourself?

    Do it yourself.

    And He let go.”

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