By: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
From: John H.
Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2011 9:16 PM
To: ‘Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
Subject: Discussion of prostitution
Tom, you might enjoy reading some or all of the discussion below. I am discussing prostitution with a fellow libertarian (and you can see that several others were cc’d including a famous scholar and author, Walter Block). The other person in this conversation is a psychologist with several books to his credit. He takes the view that prostitution is a perfectly valid “small business”. I take the view that it is a horrible choice and an act of desperation and a sign of terribly chosen values.
I will underscore the same point to you as I did to him: that being a libertarian only means that we hold individual liberty as sacrosanct, and that the choices that individuals make with their freedom don’t have to be supported by libertarians in order for libertarians to respect their freedom to make horrible choices if they sadly choose to. I am a libertarian, and I certainly abhor a great many choices that people make. But I fully respect their sovereign right over their own life and body to do as they wish, while I would make every effort to scorn their values and their choices.
Any brief comment?
From: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
Sent: Saturday, August 06, 2011 11:40 PM
To: ‘John H.
Subject: RE: Discussion of prostitution
John, I haven’t read any of the commentary/discussion on prostitution, but, I when I read your comment about Libertarianism and the sacrosanct nature of liberty, and I felt compelled to comment on that. Your statement of the fundamental principle of Libertarianism illuminates the center of our disagreement about government. I believe that the state, corporation, parent, mate, and friend has the obligation to intervene with the appropriate amount of force when a person is doing wrong.
I do not believe in the sacrosanct right of the individual to make wrong choices, while I watch without intervention. (That is, each individual and larger groups, including community and government have the right, in fact, obligation, to respond to that which is judged wrong.)
“It should be the highest ambition of every American to extend his views beyond himself, and to bear in mind that his conduct will not only affect himself, his country, and his immediate posterity; but that its influence may be co-extensive with the world, and stamp political happiness or misery on ages yet unborn.” –George Washington, letter to the Legislature of Pennsylvania, 1789
Everyone has the ability to make any possible choice, thus all are free, but they do not have the right to expect that the rest of the world will respond without exerting force against them. Thus, they remain free after action only to the extent that the rest of the world, and God, responds in an approving manner. The approval of unrighteous (or ignorant) men does not leave one free to act without consequence since God will work to bring correction (eventually) regardless of a man’s judgment of his own righteousness.
The appropriate force by men in response to a violation of moral code may be anything from a disapproving look to capital punishment. Men cannot say with certainty that their response is in fact “appropriate force” in a given situation, as the Rightness or Wrongness of every act is ultimately judged by God. Nevertheless, we must take action as God has given us this world to take dominion over.
God has given us no written prescription to which we may refer to determine the exactly appropriate response in each situation. Rather, He has given us general principles, and illustrations of those principles in Holy Scripture. It is our task in life to first carefully observe our world so we may give accurate testimony. Next, we must study the Words from God, and listen to His Holy Spirit to illuminate our minds and hearts as to His Way as it applies in each circumstance.
In the Bible, there are many principles of relationship overtly stated, and/or implied in parable, teaching, and/or recorded history. In each circumstance, a particular principle of God’s Law will take priority. For example, there is a time to turn the other cheek, and a time to take up arms. The Law is self-interpreting, but we must look, listen, and think with our physical and spiritual eyes, ears, and mind to rightly divine God’s priority of His principles of Law for a given situation.
But, no one can state with certainty that their insight or revelation is True. Nevertheless, we must each stand and advocate for that which we have seen/heard/felt as Right. In practical terms, we are often called as individuals when in relationship with friends, children, and/or spouse to take a stand.
In this country, currently, we have no dictators who exercise self-determined judgment against us. Rather, we are a nation where every man is subject to the rule of the law, and ideally, that law should be an accurate reflection of the Word and Spirit of God. Thus, men are included in the process of legislating law, judging the circumstances as it relates to the law, and executing the sentence imposed.
In the Constitutional Republic, the pure Word and Spirit must pass through a group of men, who must filter it through mind and emotion. Any man may be overcome by various spirits of his past, erroneous teaching, trauma, ignorance, and/or prejudice. But if as individuals, the group has steeped its mind in the Word and mediated on the leading of the Holy Spirit, then the errors of the individual will be canceled by the common wisdom and guidance received of the group.
All other forms of democracy lead to the tyranny of the majority, rather than a determinant of Righteousness. Thus, a Righteous Republic has little chance of Truth, Justice, and the American way of life unless it places in positions of leadership and authority those who are committed to the Way of God.
Thus, as a Libertarian, you may wish to exalt man’s freedom, the principle of Liberty as supreme, or sacrosanct, but Liberty does not trump all the other principles and virtues included within God’s Law and Way. Thus, if we are to apply the Law justly, we must rightly judge the priority of the principles. Giving the charge of Righteous judgment to a group of men who are committed to Righteousness, and submitting judgment to their divinely inspired analysis, inspiration, and revelation is probably the closest we can come to implementing the Rule of God on Earth, while we are separated by the veil.
are in the assembly of the elders, the leaders, receive the divinely ordered the interpretation is entirely dependent upon His Law and modifications of priority of the various principles of the Law due to the s circumstances/situation. It’s man’s job to determine by study and experience, what the “appropriate force” is in every life circumstance.
Thus, I don’t believe we are on this earth to only be observers as others act out their desires, neither intervening nor judging, as others act out their liberty. Nor do I believe that we are to only stand by and watch as God works the circumstances of life to administer the consequences/feedback of a person’s choices. In other words, I think we are to act as God’s hands extended – as His agents. We are to exert force as is appropriate for our involvement in a circumstance needing judgment. But, we do not have the right to intervene in the judgment of every injustice and violation of the Law. Rather, our level of intimacy and knowledge of a particular situation dictates whether we have standing to bring prosecution and/or judgment in a given situation.
I believe God has ordained the sphere of government, and it is the duty of government to Rightly judge and execute His response using the power of the State. Those serving in governmental (judicial, legislative, executive) capacity have the solemn responsibility to act Rightly in that post. And yes, the individuals executing the duties/judgment of the State can be corrupted by money and power and may violate the trust of their position. The abuse of power should not be considered to be the nature of government, rather it should be considered criminal, and judged according to the same Law as all other violations.
Note: the Libertarian movement has made extreme efforts to catalog the abuses of government, and then to use that litany as an indictment of the institution of government, to prove that government is inherently abusive, authoritarian, and/or immoral. Still, I agree in general with your concern about the State’s misuse of power. But, rather than proving that government is an inherently abusive, intrusive, and otherwise evil institution, I see this evidence as validation of the naturally depraved state of humanity, and the need for the embrace of a Biblical God/Christ-based center in our culture. The oppressive, authoritarian, and tyrannical implementations of government truly are violations of Righteousness, and they are well-traveled paths that unrighteous men are strongly and commonly tempted to follow.
The fact and possibility of poorly/wrongly executed power, does not negate that power/force must be used in life, and is appropriate at all layers of life. And, the only way that government will be righteous is if the society is dedicated to True, God-ordained, Spirit-breathed Righteousness at the individual and corporate level.
Having said that, we should note that just because a moral code is True, does not mean that the State should legislate, regulate, or enforce its right performance. In fact, a morally superior/mature society will take responsibility for moral enforcement as a civilian, lay, local, personal, and corporate citizen. When the society has deeply incorporated Righteousness into its fabric, the market, government, education, worship, and community will form a seamless web that permeates all of society. There need be no central governor imposing edicts of behavior and belief upon the masses. Rather, when the society operates as an integrated entity under the authority of Christ, the entirety of the social system acts to correct errors at all levels, and the greatest amount of freedom is possible. When the limits are known, and men are individually committed to honoring them, there is no need for the harsh enforcement of inflexible laws which unnecessarily restrict movement.
In previous discussions, we have agreed that as a matter of practicality we should simply try to implement the Constitution as per original intent. By doing so, most of your objections to government would resolve. But, implementing the Constitutional Republic as per original intent does not resolve your fundamental philosophical objection to government exerting any unilateral judgmental force over the individual.
You have embraced the philosophy of “no intervention” in a person’s life as “sacrosanct”, as the highest principle governing the group relationship to the individual. Thus, implementing the Constitution will not actually satisfy your criterion for how life should be lived properly.
I believe this objection can only be resolved by recognizing/ believing/ accepting on a transformational/submitted level that there is a Creator and that His Law reflects the perfected relationship between man and God.
In this vein, I believe God has ordained all the stations/spheres of life, and that government is one of those domains that must be included at some appropriate level in our individual and corporate lives.
In general, I do not believe the Federal government should legislate and enforce most issues of morality. Rather, they should be handled to the largest extent on a more local level as was the Founders’ intent. Thus, the individual and all the aggregates of individuals below the Federal level should participate appropriately in exerting force to extinguish bad behavior.
And specifically, regarding issues of a sexual/moral nature, each locality should legislate and enforce the codes of conduct that they believe are correct and appropriate. If the community morals are sufficiently strong and Right, and the populace is willing to enforce and train the youth and adult population in the ways of Righteousness, there will be a proportionately smaller place and need for government to act as the enforcer and holder of the moral code. Such a state/locality will need to be involved in the more significant crimes where a jury of truly wise men is called upon to ensure that violation is accurately attributed, and justice served.
In short, the local government should not be an island of moral prudence. Rather, the community should form a whole fabric of social consensus that not only supports but is actually the source from which the moral standard springs.
Both the prostitute and user of her services should be under individual and non-governmental community censure.
But censure is only the negative side of restoration. Edifying counsel and education in a broadly integrated moral system should be the foundation of the community and its moral principles. A violation of that moral code is an indicator of the soul’s need for confrontation and help. A man will only return to the fold of Righteousness if convinced on an affective and principled level that his actions are in fact wrong.
The Right use/control of a man’s sexuality is one of the most difficult tests that he faces, and often it a disturbance in this thread that indicates a distortion in the larger body of his moral code.
The Federal government should not impose a homogeneous moral code upon the whole country. The Federal system was meant to allow diversity in expression as each State choose their own implementation of Godliness. This variety of local, county, and state governments gives the individual many possible choices to match his personal taste and philosophy in the expression of social and moral issues.
The man who doesn’t want to be subject to the moral code of a particular community has the mobility allowed by a “Free Country” to move to another local with a moral standard more to his liking. And, if a man can find none that satisfies his taste and standards, this may indicate that the nation has fallen, or that he is in rebellion against the way of God.
But, regardless of a man’s desired liberty and choices, he cannot escape the eyes of God, His love, and His desire to return men to His fold. The issues of appropriate force, and all other subjective qualifiers used in this essay gain concrete execution only in the context of a material-spiritual worldview, and of course to implement this in our society, I advocate the return to a Biblically based education so that the words of scripture are used as the foundational principles by which the individual and group judge the extremely complex layers of consideration when judging violation and righteousness.
So, that’s my relatively short comment. Thanks for asking.
Wow! That’s a long short answer!
Well, we are down to a couple of areas of disagreement that maybe we can discuss sometime. This being one of them.
It is pretty clear to me that the purest and most historical definition of barbarism is initiated force. Barbarism is the opposite of civilized society. Conversely, the purest definition of a civil society (opposite of barbarism) is the non-aggression principle (“live and let live”).
Now that doesn’t mean we have any obligation to condone all behaviors in order to peacefully tolerate them. I consider bad life choices not barbarism, but repulsive decadence, and I do make a distinction.
Decadence and bad values are behaviors to be counseled against and urged to change, even with social exclusion and boycott. The person making correction may use any corrective behavior other than initiated force. Initiating force, no matter how noble the cause, puts the one doing the correction into the same category as a primordial brute.
Outright barbarism on the part of the perpetrator (i.e. initiated force and aggression) must be met with ruthless defense.
I clearly understand that you don’t agree. Much to discuss….. Someday……
From: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
To: John H.
“Not all the treasures of the world, so far as I believe, could have induced me to support an offensive war, for I think it murder; but if a thief breaks into my house, burns and destroys my property, and kills or threatens to kill me, or those that are in it, and to ‘bind me in all cases whatsoever’ to his absolute will, am I to suffer it?” –Thomas Paine, The American Crises, No. 1, 1776
John, I agree with your comment about aggression and barbarism to the extent that they refer to an offensive, unprovoked, threat-less, expansionistic war. The brute takes what he wants, and usurps the property of another. Theft and murder are the tools of expansion of wealth and power without proper compensation and labor.
Although not explicitly stated, you appear to have imputed barbarism to the state (local and/or federal) who uses corrective force with they use the force of fines/prison on a citizen who makes bad moral choices or does not comply with the tax or regulatory mandates of the state.
I do not support local or federal government using force (fines, imprisonment, pain, or death) to enforce compliance with unRighteous laws. But, when the State and God agree upon the terms of Law, the State is legislating and enforcing the same laws as God. Enforcement of Righteous Law is not a violation, but rather a parental hand guiding a wayward soul in the direction of salvation.
Of course, we could argue whether the State or any man can know the will and way of God and whether he has the right to enforce the behavior of another man to comply with that will and way.
To isolate the discussion to its proper domain, let us assume that we are discussing the context of the city/locality. Because of the freedom of mobility, we can assume that its residents have freely chosen to live there, which includes the implicit agreement to subject themselves and their children (morally subjugated agents) under that set of local ordinances, and the penalties associated with violating the town ordinances.
If the town allows input into the ordinances through representative or direct participatory democracy, then the laws are a reflection of the will of the people. And, if the majority chooses onerous/unRighteous laws, the federal system allows free movement to another locale.
Thus, by choosing to live in a town, a man has made the de facto choice to follow the laws and be subject to its corrective force. The force applied to the violator under such circumstances is neither barbarism nor naked aggression. Rather, choice is available in places of residence, at least to the degree that the individual may freely choose to associate himself with a town, its commerce, laws, and enforcement.
In the context of the discussion, making a stand against barbarian aggression appears to equate all government force with barbarian aggression. This implies a moral equivalence between all government force and barbarian aggression. But this is wrong, the domain of the violent thieving/murdering aggressor is not equivalent to the domain of the city council/legislature, judiciary, police force and electorate attempting to establish a framework of righteous group interaction and individual conduct.
In my defense of the institution of government and the use of governmental force, I argue that there is a place for Righteously administered corrective force. Evil always attempts to invade the realm of Righteousness, and we must all be firm, vigilant, and wise in establishing a proper boundary and using appropriate defensive force.
Applying corrective force to violators of moral law is a use of defensive force. If evil is allowed to penetrate boundaries, evil will grow and corrupt the community. Government should use its force to support righteousness, and be one of the participants in combating the evil’s relentless attempts at encroachment. Government is not the only player on the field of battle against evil, but it is an important tool of the community.
It would be nice if the boundaries of righteousness could be optimally defended only by the forces of supply and demand. But, the tools of the market are diffusely applied, and the standards vague. Government likewise has difficulty associated with establishing the right definitions of moral boundaries. Government addresses the issues of morality overtly, while the market uses the subconscious, distributed judgment of the masses. You have advocated for the use of the market as the arbiter of right — as the agent who impersonally punishes or rewards those who please and anger the group and individual. And, by the various examples of government abuse, you have in effect declared that government cannot make proper judgments about moral standards.
To a large extent, I agree with you, but I believe both the market and government will produce poor systems of justice unless the people have their minds bathed continuously with the Absolute standard of Righteousness. If the society does that en masse, I believe the market and republic will produce good results, but I believe that the Righteous Republic will surpass all other systems in terms of accomplishment and satisfaction.
As you know, I have chosen to believe that there is an Absolute Standard; and that it can be at least dimly, but correctly, known. The Absolute is first divinely revealed from the Bible, and secondarily by confirmatory logic and experience. The proof of the Rightness of man’s extraction of life-principles from this parallax is seen in the long term and stable production of felicity.
Determining right principles on the basis of feelings, logic, and experience produces a potpourri of good and poor results. The mind and emotions are easily seduced into error by: 1) the strong pulls of the mind, heart, and emotions/glands to experience self and immediate gratification, 2) the invisibility of the larger frame of the group and the play of history, and 3) the veil between personal perception and the reality of others. Thus, we need a guide, an eternal standard, a revelation of the actual nature of God and the perfect pattern of being for man. That guide gives us a Right initial template by which we may organize society and individuals in their participation. Using the Bible, as well as the heart, mind, and experience, can produce excellent results.
The market clearly has an important role in the negotiation of the satisfaction of wants and needs, on both the individual and group level. Parents, friends, and community groups, and government likewise have a role in shaping the individual and the environment to produce a mutually satisfying life experience. I make the axiomatic declaration that government is involved as one of the participants in shaping life’s happiness, simply because all the spheres of life play a necessary role.
As substantiation for the axiomatic declaration that government is a necessary and natural expression of life, we note how commonly analogies to government appear throughout the creation on all levels. We see government-like organizations spontaneously arise in society, community, business, family, cliques, and the human body. These widely dispersed metaphors in nature and society give us a clear indication that government is a natural method by which humans organize to meet the needs of the individual in group life and relationship
But, just because government is a natural expression of life, and is spontaneously expressed, does not mean that all problems are best resolved by committee, decree, democracy, or representative. Likewise, the market is a natural expression of exchange, as well as reward and punishment, but not all group interactions are best mediated by the market.
The problem with government lies in the fact that it necessarily imposes and enforces its moral judgments. But, in this also lies its strength and utility when applied Rightly. Thus, the question is how to tame this powerfully organizing, but potentially tyrannical entity.
The negative effects of government will predominate unless society and its government are organized around the eternal principles of Righteousness. Without organizing around the principles of Godliness, government will almost certainly devolve into the demonic actor that Libertarians so strongly condemn.
But, when government is properly tamed by men who apply it in its proper domain and size, the unity of group mind can elevate mankind’s achievements to a higher level. The Federal government should confine its domain of action to the maintenance of a peaceful and safe framework in which commerce and society can thrive. (This simple mandate for government has been lost inside of the inappropriate clamor for its function to maintain full employment, prevent inflation, cure cancer, end poverty, provide entertainment, and fund abortions…)
Why did I bring up the issue of Absolute standards in a discussion of the market versus a Constitutional Republic? It appears to me that the Market-Driven Government is offered as a Libertarian solution to the problem of determining Right and Wrong. By giving every man only the power of the market, there is no imposition of a top-down, other-determined moral standard. Thus, a market-only system prevents the imposition of the well-documented abuses of government.
The Anarcho-Capitalist dream of a de facto Market Driven government gives hope to the Libertarian that he can actually manifest his dream of living in an individually crafted world where men choose their moral standards, and suffer only the individual consequences of their own choices. The Libertarian dreams of the opportunity to buy only the amount and type of government he wants, not the government he is forced to buy.
You sent me the cartoon below, which illustrates the State using force to implement the various government programs that are supposed to make life great. We all think that helping the poor, protecting the public, and setting moral codes will produce a good world, but the cartoon well-illustrates the fact that force must be used to implement any of these programs.
In this www.mises.org cartoon, the first order argument, the superficial case, is made that government is bad simply because it must forcefully take from one man to give to another. The cartoon proceeds to examine numerous governmental actions which all require force to implement. Application of any force is equated with wrong, bad, and evil, therefore government is clearly indicted as an evil institution.
But, we must examine whether this accusation is being properly applied, since if government is being condemned for using force to implement a program that should never have been implemented by any institution. With this data, we cannot declare that government is bad, only that this particular program is bad.
Regarding government-forced charity, such programs are counter productive if their purpose is the creation of the equality of prosperity, rather than equality of misery. Forced charity is not charity, but rather theft, and it produces loss of motivation by the victims of government theft and loss of motivation by its recipients. As a policy to produce wealth, prosperity, and happiness, forced charity is a miserable failure.
Again, this evidence does not indict the institution of government; rather it indicts: 1) the politicians who use the promise of a free lunch to buy votes, 2) the naivete of politicians who think fairness is the highest or primary goal of societal organization, or 3) politicians who are engaging in purposeful destruction of the republic and create a communist, socialist, or authoritarian state in its wake.
The cartoon should be classified as an “examination of the folly, benefit, considerations, and unintended consequences of various government programs. The long list of forceful impositions that government has engaged do not prove that government is evil, only that men are seduced into using government as the tool for implementing many counterproductive programs.
Thus, we should broadly and deeply examine the societal effects of programs before we give government the task of administering and enforcing them. An example of appropriate use of Federal authority includes defense of borders. Likewise, local government enforcement of prohibitions against mind altering drug use, drunk driving, prostitution, homosexuality, theft, rape, and murder is an appropriate use of governmental force.
The fact that government has typically, often, or could engage any particular “good appearing” activity, that actually has bad societal effects, does not make the institution of government evil. Rather, it challenges us to answer the question, “What programs and laws are appropriate for the domain of government?”
The example of enforced charity illuminates the fact that misguided people can use the tool of government for destructive, naive, or selfish purposes. Clearly, men are tempted to use the tool of government to solve problems more suited to the private sector. In the example of charity, private individuals and groups are more motivated to demand accountability.
The cartoon confronted the issue of wealth redistribution, and its justification in the name of eliminating poverty, fairness, or charity. But, a cursory look at such programs reveals that they are the de facto vehicle of subverting the merit-based votes upon which the Republic is based. Government allows men to multiply their power by harnessing the power of the State to implement their personal dreams. But, the motivation of a man is irrelevant if the program corrodes the human soul. There is no program which can manifest the perfect world. A society so perfectly ordered as to match the dreams of utopia will only come when men take it upon themselves to perfect their ears to hear the Holy Spirit and adjust their moral compass to the True North of Godliness.
This brings up the question of whether government should mandate and enforce personal and relational morality. The Federal government should enforce morality on the broader level of defense and invasion of boundaries. And, local government should have the authority to mandate moral behavior at the local level. This was the pattern envisioned by the Founders, but the globalists, socialists, communists, secret societies, and/or the demonic hordes have seduced the masses into embracing the Federal government as the supreme lawgiver in all realms of life.
Elected government is not identical to Market-Driven government, but both systems produce an enforced moral standard (one by police, and the other by the force of the market). In a truly Righteous Republic, the society and government would have largely the same moral standards. And, given that participation in government is the only way that government will remain actually a reflection of the people, there must be an ongoing debate. And, given the near-universal cyber connectivity, the barrier to participation is now very low.
The integration of the concern of the Libertarian with the solution of the Constitutional Republic is found in the consideration of the Absolute Standard. If there is an Absolute Right, then life is best lived according to those standards.
The Market lets people live how they wish, to an extent. In the best possible scenario, the citizens and “government” in an Anarcho-Capitalist system may in fact over time move towards an actual implementation of the Absolute Right way of being by simply “buying” the government and community standards they want. This in fact is the hope of the Libertarian philosopher. And, even if this perfected state is not reached, then at least the individual has not been subject to the imposition of fines, imprisonment, taxes, and unwelcome moral direction by a Federal authoritarian who cannot be escaped other than by emigration.
Still, my contention is that even the market driven society will flounder at a sub-optimal implementation unless the society consciously chooses to adopt the Absolute Standard to guide and form all the interactions of the society.
Aside: One of the hopes of the Libertarian is for each man to be able to create his own customized/optimal environment by supporting the police, fire, moral code, etcetera that he wants through voluntary purchase. And, to a large extent, this is what the capitalistic system provides. But, the optimization part of the dream will always be elusive since there will always be compromises with others in the same group.
When we propose that government be limited, local, and based upon Absolute standards, we have opened the possibility for a world where many people may be satisfied. Local government allows each locality to conduct a life experiment in choosing the best implementation of the Absolute moral code. Allowing each city the latitude for moral autonomy provides a rich tapestry of possible governmental implementation. A man displeased with his current governmental environment can flee to a locale with a moral, regulatory, and/or tax structure more resonant with his sense of Righteous government.
The Market Driven government requires essentially the same movement and choice to satisfy a man’s taste. Most individuals cannot purchase sufficient influence to shape the tone of an entire city. Thus, while the market allows us to shape our world, so does voting and movement. If these tools are insufficient, then organizing, activism, voting, and purchasing change is necessary.
Of course, men can start a new local government of any flavor to satisfy the inner beast. But, men ultimately desire a Righteous world, even though the heart pulls strongly for the libertine ways of sin. Sin is self and/or other destructive, and its consequences ultimately give the pain signals that indicate its error. If the society meditates and organizes itself around The Absolute Standard, the self-government and market will move the world toward manifesting goodness rather than selfish animalistic sense satisfaction.
The Constitutional Republic can converge on Righteous Government, but will probably only do so if the people are each immersing their minds and hearts in the Words from God. Without an Absolute Standard, without a sure and dependable cornerstone, men will choose paths that destroy themselves and others, as they pursue self-satisfaction.
The cartoon illustrates the fact that government is inherently forceful, and implies that force exerted on any man is inherently bad. But, this is false. If the Government truly IS an implementation of the divine pattern, then rebellion against government is rebellion against God.
We focus more properly on a useful question when we as whether “THIS government action is an extension and earthly implementation of the divine will?” The current government is clearly far from the divine standard. We could easily use its wickedness as justification of the declaration that government IS evil. But at its founding, government may have been closer to being actually Godly government. The majority of the Founders were preachers and otherwise men attempting to know and follow the Judeo-Christian ethic. But, the population bias and cultural commitment to being a Christian nation has been purposefully eroded by the educational system. And, the atheistic 5th column has populated entertainment, media, academia, and government. Thus, when the Libertarian looks at the laws and taxes imposed by government, it takes little reflection to rebel against its policies, and only a little generalization to conclude that the entire system of government should be replaced.
Again, I argue against the cartoon’s notion that government IS evil because it uses force to implement its policies. Government is only evil if it uses force to compel compliance with unrighteousness. Government being of and by the people does not insure that government is Righteous. Only righteous people populating government can sanctify it.
Quote from the blog at the end of the cartoon: “Private protection firms”? You mean rackets? Gangs? Because that’s what you’ll get. Just look at Colombia. And why is it better to pay them than the govt? Besides, private protection is every bit as “violent” as govt forces, moreso in fact, and the morality of that is what this video’s about.
The Market Based solution where men employ “security forces” to buy protection for the boundaries they wish to enforce can become perverted. The individual who amasses wealth can become a petty tyrant, a feudal lord of sorts, and the market driven government can devolve into a balkanized patchwork of fiefdoms and gangs protecting their turf. The excellent implementation of the market driven government is as dependent upon implementing the high moral standards of Godliness as is the Constitutional Republic.
It is impossible to Rightly organize men solely around a mechanical format of government, regardless of its excellence and logic. Men must choose to act Right. But, they cannot act right unless they actually have a Right standard — good intentions are not sufficient. And, since humanity does not have a manual or clear voice from God directing every act and law, men must continually refine their concept or Righteousness in an attempt to more clearly reflect Godliness. This search for Truth, and its multiple iterations of testing applies to both the Anarcho-Capitalist and the Constitutional Republic. There is no definite prescription for organizing society in the Bible, nor one for resolving the problems of society, but the spirit of the metaphors provided can guide men toward those optimal solutions.
One final point on this topic: In a Constitutional Republic; the Majority should restrain the unGodly minority of rebels against Righteousness. Such action is not aggression, nor brutish force, but rather, the necessary requirement of survival and parental instruction.
(Of course the challenge is in defining Godliness and unGodliness, and that is the ultimate challenge and charge of legislation. If the Representatives have not attempted to integrate the spirit of Godliness into every legislative, judicial, and executive act then the entire processes of Representative Democracy is simply a façade to hide the fact that majority is simply imposing their personal will upon a less numerous/powerful minority.
Biblical principle/Godliness must be the guiding principle that justifies law and its enforcement. The Achilles heel of the Constitutional Republic is the fact that it can be Godless or Godly. Without the True application of Absolute standards to the consideration of legislation, every concern about tyranny, force, and aggression leveled by the Libertarian is valid.
The Constitutional Republic can only recover its stature as a superior form of governmental organization if the society is steeped in Biblical metaphor. The scriptures give the elemental patterns for recognizing and creating Godly standards of behavior.
And yes, force is appropriate if Godliness is violated. Of course, the force should be graded, but we should call it what it is — it is force. And, it is Right, if it is in service of the Right.
The problem with a Constitutional Republic comes when the majority is unGodly. In a Republic where unGodliness has become the norm, the minority may rebel at the injustice of persecution for Righteous action. The reaction against the uprising may then be tyranny, and the iron boot of authoritarianism may only release after forceful rebellion.
A nation based in Righteousness is capable of naturally allowing Liberty. The organization of self-government by a Righteous people is rare in human history, maybe unique. And, we are currently squandering the inheritance from our once Righteous Nation in a cry for “Freedom” and “Liberty” without Godliness. Freedom can only exist as a stable and exalted principle of society when Godliness is the foundation of organizing society.
Additional commentary — New Topic, but related:
Today I heard Jim Rogers talking about two important issues regarding the Constitutional Republic:
1) Jim Rogers: The Constitutional Republic is governed by the Will of the Majority, and dependent upon the Consent of the Minority:
Thomas: This is an extremely important concept in any governmental system, whether Market Driven or the Constitutional Republic. There will always be a segment of the public which does not agree with the decision of the majority. As long as the deviation from Righteousness imposed by the majority is sufficiently small, the minority will consent to suffer the injustice for a time. That is, the deviation of the majority from the standard of Righteousness must be smaller than some subjectively held sense of tolerable deviation. When the deviation from Right is sufficiently egregious, the minority will rebel, and revolution/forceful transition will be the new ballot cast for change.
2) Jim Rogers: The inherent nature of the political process is compromise, which is the opposite of taking principled stands. Politics and principle are incompatible.
Thomas: I disagree, politics and principles are required companions to produce a Righteous Republic. Only when evil has become the norm must the politician compromise principle. Compromise on issues of time, money spent, design, taste, management, wording, are all proper arenas where trading and negotiation need not compromise principle. Politicians should never compromise with evil, that is trade-principle we see commonly utilized for reelection, campaign contributions, fame, appeasing a vocal but unrighteous minority, etcetera. Giving evil even a small percentage concession is evil. To trade a bridge for support of abortion, prostitution, homosexual marriage, offensive war, mandated union membership, etcetera is political corruption. If good men occupy the halls of power and refuse to compromise, then evil may threaten blame, obstruct, and employ any number threats and epithets. Regardless of the consequences to person, career, name, or party, the political class should not bend regardless of the threatened consequences. Strong force should come against those who would attempt to manipulate justice and the establishment of Righteous law. When consequences of standing for principle are large, it can bring the debate to a focus on principle, rather than concealing the war raging between good and evil. Issues involving principle should never be compromised, lest the moral standard be gradually lost, and the nation set adrift on the sea of moral possibilities. The end of compromise in the realm of principle will always degrade a society. And, if followed to its logical end, produce a nation subjected to the tyranny of evil.