By Thomas Lee Abshier, ND8/8/2008
—– Original Message —–
To: <Thomas Lee Abshier, ND>
Sent: Friday, August 08, 2008 2:25 PM
Subject: How a society could work without government
I thought you might enjoy reading the attached essay below (heavily adorned with footnotes and other references) about how a society without government might work. This author’s ideas (based on his references) fit with the ideas of David Friedman (Milton Friedman’s son).
“Let Go and Let the Market” by Brian Gladish
Market Driven Government
Commentary on the Libertarian Philosophy of replacing Constitutional Government with Market Forces in an effort to create a Limited Government
By: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
In the Gladish piece, this Libertarian-type philosophy has impugned the entire Constitutional system of Legislative, Judicial, and Executive government as inherently flawed by noting the fact that elected representatives are unavoidably subject to the temptation of enriching self-interest. The Free Market advocate declares that individual self-interest is the most powerful and natural force directing human behavior, and as such we should simply design a system to harness the power of self-interest, rather than trying to shackle or direct it by a religion-based morality with laws and enforcement to direct the group behavior.
In the Constitutional system of government, we have given authority to representatives of the people to debate and establish laws that govern public morality. As a result, the laws that guide and direct our lives are dependent upon the moral probity of these representatives. And, given that these men are of the same nature and passions as the people they represent, offering them rewards for using their position of influence to benefit individuals and corporations can corrupt their objectivity and moral commitments. Thus, representative democracy has within it an inherent vulnerability to the passions of greed and lust for power.
This weakness in human nature cannot be overcome by greater surveillance, although accountability and transparency are important tools in giving the representative the aversive stimuli that urge him away from engaging temptation. Ultimately a society-wide, strong and personal, commitment to right action is the only force capable of directing a representative democracy. The representative must view his time in office as a service to God and country, and regard as sufficient his monetary compensation for the legislative, judicial, or executive duties.
The representative must hold tight to his internal moral limits and refuse the temptation to skew justice, legislation, or government action for additional personal reward in excess of the benefit accrued to the society in general for the righteous boundaries of law he establishes, judges, and/or executes. And, given that human flesh is weak, the representative must be subject to external accountability in addition to his commitment to complying with Godly internal standards. Thus, to properly supervise a public servant, the citizens must have a Godly moral compass and a means of monitoring the personal and public morality of their representatives.
The Libertarian Free Market advocate may counter that moral restrictions against “selling influence” are doomed to failure because they run counter to the drives of personal interest and oppose human nature. But God did not intend life to be without conflict, trial, and temptation. Humanity was created with a passion for sin, and a desire for personal indulgence that must be tamed, moderated and sanctified. God has created the creation as a platform for life to sift and challenge us to bring our passions into line with His Way of properly directing, using, and satisfying the various soul forces.
God has created us to be in relationship with Him as co-creators. He created the substance and ultra-structure of the heavens and Earth, while man is charged with the ordering of it. The mark of a man who loves God with his whole heart, mind, and strength is the one who will temper his passions in deference to the Laws and Way of God. God’s will and way are hidden like treasure, but diligent searching reveals them to the committed seeker.
The Free Market model of society seeks to justify itself as a superior determinant of resource allocation and governance of personal behavior to a morality based system of government-established laws. It declares that market forces alone are the most efficient and effective governors of the social order. Thus, there is no need to put in place a government of agents who use guns, fines, and confinement to enforce their moral judgment.
The Libertarian may object to being placed under the obligations of a national social contract. And, he may argue that the laws and Constitution of a previous generation should have no binding force on an individual who was simply born into the system but who has not given his conscious consent to their subjugation.
The complaint against the Constitutional Representative Democracy resolves if the government is Godly. And, the authority of Godly standards is applicable to the citizenry if:
There is a God.
God is active in the affairs and hearts of men.
There is a Right way of being/acting toward self, others, and God.
God, and the rules of nature, judges and rewards men based upon their free will choices.
If the Constitutional charter and its subsequent case law are “Right” in the most eternal and True sense.
In such a case, the citizen born into such a society is blessed, and should gladly subjugate himself to such a body of law and social order.
On the other hand, being born into an unGodly, unjust, unrighteous, self-enriching, and corrupted-by-sale-of-influence system, each new member of society should do all that he can to influence others to change their hearts, minds, and behaviors toward Righteousness. In this way, the corruption of self-interest can be eliminated by a nation full of individuals who oppose serving an unGodly system.
People inherently like good and Godly behavior even though every man is tempted by a host of soul hungers to follow unGodliness. In the economic arena, the value of a person’s excellent, moral contribution would be evaluated by the unseen hand of the market and rewarded appropriately. Likewise, the reward of Godliness automatically gives incentive to right and good behavior without the intermediary step of government establishing the standards of good behavior and enforcing it by police and bureaucrats.
Consideration of the mechanics of the Market-Driven Government:
In the article by Gladish, and other Libertarian philosophers, he advocates for using a purely economic solution to the problem of enforcing the group morality. Gladish argues that people will be pressured into right and productive behavior by giving or withholding purchasing power credit and that the feedback associated with this economic incentive “report card” will inspire productive behavior.
To implement this solution, Gladish suggests that every citizen have an implanted RFID chip implanted to enable tracking a person’s every economic transaction. In the economy-only system of government, prices are established for goods and services, and so is a person’s wages or credit-worthiness to consume. Numerous other objective and subjective data points would be collected to create an extensive profile that would, in turn, result in a computation of a person’s creditworthiness. Such a computation could be implemented by an algorithm or by individual review of the person’s life-data (consumption vs. productivity) at the point of sale. Of course, such a system would require a vast infrastructure of sensors for data collection to have such information available for review or algorithmic computation.
Thus, morality would be tacitly regulated and enforced by granting, denying, or limiting credit purchasing power to every person in proportion to their contribution to, or violations of, society. For example, in the case of sloth, excessive consumption, or moral infractions such as murder or theft, the unseen hand of the “Market” (and its economic algorithm) would reward or punish the man in proportion to his footprint on the social-economic landscape. But again, to implement a society-wide economic-governmental system requires the creation of a universal and detailed database in order to accurately judge and enforce creditworthiness.
The designers of this Market Only utopian system seek to realize a world where no laws are established or enforced by government. The motivations for implementing such a system include: 1) This system removes the arbitrary and perverted justice often enforced upon society because of the greed and power-lust of men and governments. These fallible governmental systems are replaced by the impersonal objective mechanisms of the market. 2) If the market makes decisions about the moral conduct of men, then there is no need for society to pass laws and enforce behavior based on a theological system and its conception of the behaviors allowed and prohibited by a deity.
The market-only government advocates argue that even if there is a God, that a governmental judgment of those laws would be made unnecessary. Since an economy-based system would implicitly consider the rules dictated by God and placed into mankind’s passions, and the invisible and unthinking hand of the market would automatically enforce these rules. When the market and human nature automatically judge and enforce the innately present Laws of God, the existence and acknowledgment of God are unnecessary to consider, thus making codification of these natural laws in legislation and case law. Thus, the existence of God becomes irrelevant to the experienced-quality of the daily life since people simply behave in the best possible way in a world that gives them automatic feedback and rewards based on their compliance with Godly standards.
The goal of this market-only government is utopian, but the method and tool of implementation and enforcement of this system are the impersonal forces of the market and its all-powerful algorithm. Thus, at some level, the implementation and enforcement of justice is still subject to the intervention and skewing by the passions, prejudices, and judgment of men. The criterion for creditworthiness becomes the surrogate god that every man would then seek to satisfy.
Self-interest will powerfully motivate men into action as they are faced with the choice between work and hunger. God has embedded within every soul the motivation to preserve life, maximize pleasure, and minimize pain. Man is likewise programmed and driven by secondary motivations to experience beauty, harmony, adventure, love and pleasant relationships. Thus in a properly designed economic system, each individual can program his own path in life and properly balance his experience of pleasure/pain, risk/security, and acceptable compensation for his work/effort. Such a personally motivated individual is the dream of every employer and is the ideal of the conservative political movement.
But, when we seek to eliminate the government entirely, and instead replace its regulatory-moral guidelines with the Market Force, it is necessary to monitor every transaction of tangible and intangible property to prevent the wild fluctuations in resource allocation that occur in a market without strong data feedback loops. The most obvious criticism of a market-only system of governance is the requirement to place the individual under full surveillance to feed the data needs of this cybernetic Big Brother.
As Gladish overtly states, we are attempting in this venture to create a new system where God and His Laws are made obsolete as considerations in the regulation of public and private behavior. The advantage of such a system is that by governing the individual by the market, instead of by the force of a personal, group, or state morality, we are moving to a system that appears free of imposed authority. By casting aside the institutions of civil government, and retaining only the market forces as our governors, we can theoretically extract our lives from any overt consideration of the Judeo-Christian God and its moral limits.
This particular strain of Libertarian philosophy wishes to remove any overt consideration of God, history, and the layers of a balanced government from the social equation, and rely only on the market to administer justice and allocate wealth. But, seeking to eliminate all government raises the question as to whether God has planted the need for government within the human heart? Is government part of the pattern of social regulation required by the heart? And if so, does the Constitutional division of government into branches reflect that divine plan properly?
In response to these questions, we note that in the Holy Bible there were times when the children of Israel were governed by Judges and Kings, and the Lord Himself gave the people Laws. In those days God directed men to separate life into many domains of activity and authority. The priests were separated from direct authority in ruling the people. And the military was placed under control of a King. The pattern of government established in the Constitution was not an exact extraction of a single system illustrated in the Holy Bible. Nevertheless, the various functions of government were introduced as archetypal organs in the Scripture. And most importantly, we note that the government was given supernatural power and wisdom when the leaders submitted to His Law, and the people and nations were blessed when the king governed the people according to it. Thus, government, business, citizens, and the priesthood are woven together by the common thread of the benefit derived by serving God and establishing His Kingdom on earth.
The Economy-Only Government attempts to replace the motivation of laws with a system based only on the internal drives and passions associated with self-interest. It is reasonable to design a social system that takes advantage of human nature, but that system should also have institutions in place that moderate those passions. As currently implemented, the market system harnesses self-interest in a powerful and effective way, and moderates some of the excesses of self-interest. For example, the man who charges too much because of his greed will lose customers due to the price vs. demand effects. And, the company that builds products with cheap materials to increase profit margin and undercut the competition will likewise eventually lose customers due to quality vs. price considerations.
But, the system of market regulation breaks down when a corporation has acquired monopolistic control of a segment of the market. The market is also vulnerable to the excessive and invasive self-interest of gangs and organized crime. And on a moral development level, a system of government by economics based largely upon self-interest could easily nourish an excess of self-interest unless strong negative feedback was applied by some method.
The Libertarian response to the concerns about excessive self interest is that with a sufficiently mobile capital supply, the market could raise funds and establish a private police force to combat crime, establish a quality-measurement corporation, and incorporate kindness and selflessness parameters in the data collection which would allow the citizens to patronize and support those who exhibited these more beautiful and fragile traits of humanity.
And this is true, the market could provide any service whose need became visible by the pain felt in the human soul, by the pleasure the soul desires, or the imbalances that appear in any segment of society. And truly, such a world would be utopian. The problem with implementing such an auto-feedback system is again that governmental function has been transferred to the programmers and architects of the social-economic algorithm. And a feedback loop can only be established if there is a measurable data point that corresponds to the parameter we wish to modify. And, if the parameter is evaluated algorithmically, someone’s morality will be implemented and imposed upon the populace.
The opposite of the Libertarian Market is the command economy, which is governed by the Statist control system – e.g. The socialistic, communistic, autocratic, oligarchic, fascist, and theocratic governments. In these systems, a few men judge the conditions of the economy and suppress the excesses of the market and give a stimulus to its deficiencies by edict, 5-year plans, commands, national programs, propaganda, and personal charisma.
The social experiments that have attempted to bring the Statist solutions to reality have produced suboptimal results. They fail because of the need for a highly distributed judgment of needs and supply that the market provides. Thus, the communal system with its group ownership and universal equality of the working masses has severe deficiencies, including the lack of reward for individual enterprise, risk, and motivation. All the Statist solutions, such as the socialistic system where the state owns the means of production, have produced suboptimal results, for similar reasons.
No system provides for perfect safeguards against excessive consumption of wealth or credit by those who seek to subvert the intended principles of equity in trade. The jungle of the economic system is populated with both predator and prey. The prey includes those who simply work hard, without guile or scheming, who know and follow the rules of fairness, and who attempt to just live life by the simple maxims of hard work and honest trade. The prevailing wisdom of capitalistic, free market theory is that the more efficient, and better product wins, with the resultant benefit to the consuming public. But the capitalistic system has shown itself subject to the perversions of compensation, consumption, and production based on the perverting influences of monopoly, corruption, and information isolation.
The pure “government by market forces” provides feedback about the quality of delivered products and services. But, a market system seeks to dominate the supply and price, and when no governmental forces act to regulate the excesses of the market, it is susceptible to being dominated by a monopoly. The drive to satisfy self-interest above all else gives strong and authorized motivation to the aggressive and greedy capitalist who wishes to takes advantage of the system’s weaknesses. And ultimately, it is impossible for law or economics to regulate every human behavior at every moment. There will be time lags, between demand and supply, and ethical encroachments that will take time to identify and counter. A system without any centralization is akin to a body without a prefrontal cortex. It may function well on a vegetative level, but it is nearly helpless to respond effectively to any intelligent pernicious threat.
The market can have a strong voice in speaking to violators in the realm of quality and price, but it does not speak with the same fine articulation on all issues, such as ethics and the more etheric qualities of the soul. The market’s domain is more in the realm of supply, demand, and product quality than a defense of national borders or kindness to one’s neighbor. The human condition provides situations too unique and complex for law and/or economic valuation to direct the individual with precision.
In the domain of the exquisitely delicate perception and experience of balance, beauty, and equity, the direction of conscience by the Holy Spirit excels. Thus, in an effort to rid humanity of the seeming evil of public government, we have removed one of the layers of guidance of complexity that gives texture to the expression of the group mind. Law, supply and demand, and market choice all have their place. But ultimately, no market force or law can regulate with the supreme finesse of personally directed moral guidance.
The scope and size of government should be limited naturally by its charge to facilitate the formation of a more perfect environment for experiencing life. Business should serve people by providing goods and services which satisfy human needs, which if done fairly, also serves God. Likewise, a government that satisfies the need for balance, regulation, and coordination on the macro-level is properly limited by Godliness. A Righteous Judiciary gives dexterity to the broad principles of law by rendering a righteous Holy Spirit led interpretation of the general and primal intent of the law. The Military should serve as a true defensive force to prevent the invasion of the national interests by tyrants. The State Department should teach, negotiate, and bargain for righteous human rights throughout the world.
The concepts of personal accountability and market-driven demand for services and products are good, but the solution to public corruption is not the establishment of a central database to enforce, determine, and hold creditworthiness. Rather, the solution is the re-institution of personal morality, which extends to the public, corporate, media, and governmental expression.
The loosely monitored and enforced database of blogs, opinion polls, op-ed pieces, and letters to the editor enable the private citizen to participate in an informal public voting forum by which he can criticize the actions of the bakers, butchers, doctors, lawyers, private businesses, corporations, government, legislators, judges, and governors. The universe of public opinion and discussion of moral issues and public behavior should be fully open. This informal voting to give feedback to the society and government serves the same purpose as the “credit” database of the market-driven economy, but it does not require a Big Brother economist to monitor and give eyes and ears to the system so that it can function as the all-seeing and knowing cybernetic life-accountant. Ultimately the desire is for freedom and the liberty to pursue our appropriate and Godly self-interest. This liberty is the Freedom that is offered in following the Way of Christ, and it is the desire we all feel and know is our birthright as children of God.
It appears that in our nation, the institutions of media, corporation, and government have conspired covertly or as a de facto cabal to push an agenda of establishing Secular Humanism as the enforced State religion. The most rational motivation for this obvious transition from our heritage as a Christian Nation is the desire to be freed of authority and seemingly arbitrary and unnecessary limitations of a God who demands our obedience to His rules of life. In particular, as humans, we rebel against rules that pertain to our sexual expression. We see evidence of this worship of sexual freedom in the rabid defense of the sacramental ritual of abortion and the adulation of homosexuality as a mark of character and tolerance. The Humanist opposes what he sees as the imposition of an artificial moral injunction with roots stemming from a dark age of sexual repression based on religious myths.
The reversal of this society-wide accepted bigotry against Christianity will only come about by an awakening of the populace by a miraculous transformation of the heart. The first and second great awakenings were the stimuli and basis for the mobilization of the colonists to take action and throw off the rule of England during the Revolutionary era. The settlers who came had done so in search of a place to create a Christian Nation. Not a theocracy where the State dictated orthodoxy of belief, but one where Christ and His Way could be the moral directive that guided the establishment of law, economy, and manners. But, that delicate structure and hard-won battle against the forces of Godless self-indulgence has been torn down by those who have truly instituted and mandated a Secular Humanist State. We now have a de facto State religion, where consideration of Christian principle in the conduct of justice, establishment of law, and execution of policy is forbidden, all justified under the guise of separation of church and state.
In Lawrence v. Texas, the prohibition of homosexuality as a public law was removed and in effect, the courts declared that Biblical standards could not be used as a measure of legislated public or private moral conduct. The courts have been the instrument used by the Godless Left to disestablish God and His moral system as the foundation of the group ethic. In turn, when those who advocate strongly for abiding by the Word and Godly morality commit the inevitable moral lapses, their integrity is given full scrutiny and reprimand. But, when the Humanist Left behaves in a similar manner, we are told that tolerance and understanding are necessary. The Left has blamed the corruption of moral principle on capitalistic selfishness driving greed, while they demolish the foundations of morality and Supernatural blessings that have made our nation the beacon of liberty and prosperity for the world.
We need not pretend that the current system of representative democracy and capitalist are immune from the perversion of personal enrichment. There is no check for the contagions of avarice and lust for power other than the rule of a personally held moral commitment. The threat of externally applied punishment requires the application of some corrective force. But, the efficacy of external force is small compared to the excellent results produced when restraint is applied by the man in the regulation of his passions that rises from a commitment to pleasing and serving an all-seeing, ever-present, perfectly-just and righteous God.
While the morality of the common man cannot be insured, it can be inculcated by education in a society with a common moral commitment. Thus, the need for a Judeo-Christian ethic as the foundation of the moral, legal, educational, economic, and governmental system. This was, in fact, the moral standard of this land for over 350 years until that commitment was summarily removed from our legal foundation in 1947 by the Supreme Court in the Everson vs. Board of Education ruling.
In that ruling, injection of the primal command to “Separate Church and State” became the new moral foundation of the body of law. From that seed, the active prohibition of instruction in Biblical morality was barred from transmission by the Public School system with the Abington vs. Schempp decision.
Our Founders recognized that the Constitutional system of government depended upon a distributed and widely embraced Christian morality underlying our private and public ethics.
“We have no government armed with power, capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.” John Adams, address to the military,
Oct 11th, 1798.
“Religion is the basis and foundation of government.” James Madison, June 20, 1785, The papers of James Madison, 1973, Volume 8, pgs 299-304.
“We have staked the whole future of American civilization, not upon the power of government, far from it. We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of mankind for self government; upon the capacity of each and all of us to govern ourselves, to control ourselves, to sustain ourselves according to the 10 commandments of God.” Gary DeMar, God and Government – A Biblical and Historical study, 1982, pgs 137-138.
“We have staked the future of all of our political institutions upon the capacity of each of our selves to govern ourselves according to the moral principles of the 10 commandments.” James Madison
A social system governed only by Market Driven Capitalism is deficient compared to the detailed control of a distributed commitment to Godly morality. If we depend only upon the market to regulate our individual, group, and meta-group affairs, we may suffer catastrophic failure before corrective action is taken to meet new threats. Such is the case with any monoculture if we are to use the metaphor of ecology as we examine economic systems. When a new contagion enters a biologic system which has only one method of defense, it is more susceptible to being overwhelmed than one with more robust layers.
In biological systems, we see how the diversity of the gene pool allows each inhabitant to find its own place of synergistic nourishment and survival as it colludes with its ecological niche. When changes come in the larger environmental milieu the new forces will overwhelm some of the species, but with a broad range of expression, some of the species will survive the new climate and reestablish the population.
Such is the case with the robust expression of culture in a multitude of semi-redundant modalities of capitalism and representative democracy. In America, we once sought to permeate all of life with the higher moral standard of the Judeo-Christian ethic. The individual embrace of this ethic, in turn, influenced the market and government. God and man struggle in a multilateral contest to influence the social equation.
To those uninitiated into listening to the Holy Spirit, and not yet dedicated to the precepts of Godliness, it may seem that kindness and all manner of Godly behavior will simply arise because of the economic advantage to following such behaviors. Godliness and prosperity follow each other and pursuing optimum prosperity approaches Godliness. But, the optimization of prosperity is unlikely to follow simply from adopting a pure market strategy. The humanistic approach to prosperity does not call on the miraculous blessings that flow from God, and some of the benefits of the miraculous will be missing unless God is included in some way as a partner in the enterprise.
The argument that God needs to be included in the social contract to optimize prosperity will fall on deaf ears to the unbeliever. What experiment could be run to determine the actual effect on prosperity between believing and unbelieving systems? Or, how do we prove its more fundamental corollary, “Does God exist at all?”
But, the believer who has seen evidence of the miraculous knows that God can change lives and hearts. The man who has seen God work knows that any man-made system is suboptimal in comparison to the Godly system and that the creation prospers most when God and man partner in manifesting that Highest will.
Some may object to the “Godliness as an important factor in prosperity and societal civility” thesis because the society was not perfect before 1947 when the Everson v. Board of Education ruled that there is a new Constitutional principle of “Separation of Church and State”. And this is true. Man has been at best, tepid in his commitment to Godliness. And, while it is impossible to force commitment and heartfelt relationship with God, it is nevertheless nourished by the group atmosphere that seeks to love Him and honor him personally and in the group. The most casual observer can see that society has become coarser in terms of language and sexual expression. Some would argue that such a social parameter is irrelevant because sexuality is a private expression, and the entire realm of sexuality as a moral issue is a fabrication of religion.
In response, the advocate for Godly sexual expression may respond that the gross societal parameters such as GNP, unemployment, % below poverty income, etc are all lagging indicators of the society’s health on the micro-level. When animal expression of sexuality is given full expression, fidelity and the integrity of the family suffer, which in turn leads to greater susceptibility to children following a life of crime and poverty. The devastating effects of the single parent household may be moderated somewhat in a broken family with a secure income stream. And, this moderation of the broken family effect is more likely in a highly prosperous economy. But, societal indicators of prosperity are not the only parameters of social health. When sexuality is made indiscriminate and ubiquitous in its availability and expression, the bonding glue of personal loyalty diminishes on some level. I do not cite here the research, but it has been done; I appeal only to the innate sense we all have that Godly sexuality, fidelity before and after marriage, intact nuclear heterosexual families providing strong moral guidance in personal and public Godliness, provides a healthier adaptation to life and a stronger social fabric.
In our current Godless secular humanistic culture, we now see the near majority of citizens who cannot recognize the threat that Militant Islam presents, and are hence willing to withdraw from a war against aggressors who are sworn to destroy our nation and civilization. To spiritualize and give sequence to this devolution of the societal wisdom and sense for self-preservation we can easily attribute the fall into Leftist liberalism by half the population to the group-mind’s desire for Godless freedom in sexual expression. We have rebelled against the standards of sexual restraint, and in turn embraced all manner of perversion including infanticide (abortion), house ownership without collateral or income, assisted suicide in lieu of expensive treatment, near-normalization of recreational drug use, and the media driven sale of candidates who buy the propaganda machine to obtain public office, etc.
The advocate of pure Market Driven Libertarianism may attribute the societal decay to nanny state liberalism and its attendant creation of a dependent class of citizens susceptible to easy manipulation by the globalist-socialist agenda. And certainly, the usurpation of the K-12, undergrad, grad school education establishment by the liberal puppet masters makes the ownership of the future a near certainty for the elite’s agenda. Certainly, these factors all have validity in contributing to social decay. But, the question at hand is, “Would the institution of a Godless market-driven economy provide the moral and instinctual rudder to bring mankind to righteous goodness in his relationship with self and others?”
Man’s self-interest appears to be the primary driving force that drives the social interplay. But, it is not the only force acting, since God, others, and self all exert force in the drama of life. Each participant in the society exerts moral, economic, and legislative forces that shape the individual and group morality. God allows man to call himself moral, but the principles and standards of perfect morality established by God never vary. The structure of society alters with language, technology, and the current threats of contemporary history. And different times cause people to organize in various ways to meet those threats. Thus, a dynamic superficial response overlies a stable moral base. If man judges rightly, he adopts laws and ethics for the era that continues to reflect the virtues of love, kindness, temperance, fidelity, etc. To the extent that the virtues are embedded within the laws of the land, that people will prosper with peace, prosperity, and joy. Such was the intent and reason of the Founders of our nation, to incorporate the Biblical principles into the nation’s civil government.
Lutz and Heineman studied 15,000 quotes from the founding fathers and they reported that 34% of all quotes were directly from the Bible. Lutz notes that after the Bible, the most frequently cited quotes were from Montesquieu (8.3%), Locke (2.9%) and Blackstone (7.9%). All these men were Christian, and each commented on the various social institutions from the Christian perspective. John Locke provided the commentary on economics, Blackstone provided the legal commentary, and Montesquieu provided the political commentary.
Man, considered as a creature, must necessarily be subject to the laws of his Creator, for he is entirely a dependent being… And consequently, as man depends absolutely upon his Maker for every thing, it is necessary that he should in all points conform to his Maker’s will. This will of his Maker is called the law of nature… This law of nature, being coeval [coexistent] with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe, in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original… The doctrines thus delivered we call the revealed or divine law and they are to be found only in the Holy Scriptures. These precepts, when revealed, are found upon comparison to be really a part of the original law of nature… Upon these two foundations, the law of nature and the law of revelation, depend all human laws; that is to say, no human laws should be suffered to contradict these. Sir William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Law of England, Volume 1, pgs 39, 41, 42, 1771
John Locke, the father of modern capitalistic economics states that, “The Bible is one of the greatest blessings bestowed by God on the children of men. It has God for its author; salvation for its end, and truth without any mixture for its matter.” This quote was taken from “Commentaries on the Laws of England”, which was used as one of our textbooks for a legal education until about 1900.
The great evangelist Charles Finny became a Christian while studying to be a lawyer while reading Blackstone’s commentaries. The Bible and Blackstone’s commentaries were the primary legal references in all legal cases in this country until around 1900. In the 1920s, the education system began to use the educational theories of John Dewey and others. These advocates for a Godless worldview began to rewrite history from an economic perspective instead of the Judeo-Christian perspective. The coalition of anti-God forces that agitated for this change in foundational perspective were advocates were the anarchists and communists such as Margaret Sanger, John Dewey, etc.
“The belief in political fixity, of the sanctity of some form of state consecrated by the efforts of our fathers and hallowed by tradition, is one of the stumbling blocks in the way of orderly and directed change.” John Dewey, The Public and its Problems, 1927, pg 34.
Contrast this with Montesquieu’s desire to create a nation based upon Godliness.
“The Christian religion, which ordains that men should love each other, would without doubt have every nation blessed with the best civil, the best political laws; because these, next to this religion are the greatest good that men can give and receive.” Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws, 1748, volume 2, pgs 125-26
As mentioned above, some of the prominent forces motivating the pursuit of forming a Libertarian market-driven society is correction of problems such as the corruption of public officials, and the repulsion against being governed by a God who has rules, laws, and standards that we must follow. The individual is assumed to have an adequate internal moral compass to pursue his own best self-interest, and that no government has the right to direct the individual in requiring an individual to act under threat of force. Likewise, the intervention of government acting as the agent of God in coordinating and regulating the affairs of men is unnecessary.
The Libertarian philosophy allows for personal worship of a deity, but stands against establishing laws that impose punishment for breaking standards which appear to reflect a Judeo-Christian ethic of a victimless crime. The Libertarian philosophy is not a fully elaborated or definite system, in that its philosophy spans the spectrum from anarchy to minimum government. The source of its moral guidance in personal action lies in the precept that men act according to their perceived benefit, as the individual is expected to do whatever advances his self-interest. The market-governed society would eliminate the possibility of the command power of government corrupting the distribution of resources. This philosophy eliminates the temptation to use governmental power for personal gain.
The weak philosophical link in this system is that it would allow being enslaved by the pressures of the economic engine and demands of impersonal market forces. In this system, the potential exists for depersonalization and commoditization of humanity that would remove it from manifesting the utopian dream. But, the Libertarian may reply that when humanity has reached the point where personalization has a value that the market will deliver it by using various feedback methods to give these abstract qualities quantifiable value. And, this argument is correct, but there still remains the issue of lag and the mechanical nature of the feedback. The system motivated at its heart by service to God and man, plus a system of commerce that gave value to the intangible, and a government composed of men responsible to the people and dedicated to the service of God and man would be the highest form of social-economic-governmental alliance.
The Constitutional system of government appears to reflect the patterns of the Holy Bible, where men are free, and their government is self-rule. But, no system of self-rule will survive the corrupting influence of money and power if its citizens are not individually governed by a personally held moral system that corresponds to the actual system of Law that reflect the forces God has built into the human mind, soul, spirit.
Such a condition may seem difficult to manifest, but not impossible. The questions that must be answered are, “Who is the True God?” and “What are His precepts of private and public conduct?”
To begin with, if there is a God who created the universe and the rules that govern nature and man, then there is by definition only one God, and there is only one set of rules to follow. That is Truth. It is my belief, and it was the belief of the Founders, that Truth is established in the Bible, and that America was established as a Christian Nation by men who came here to create a nation on earth where the Gospel could govern mankind. The Bible does not give us a complete recitation of all things we are to say, do, and think, in all situations public and private. In fact, Jesus said that His words were spoken as parables so that sinners would not understand them. In other words, the wisdom and prescriptions from the Bible are not obvious. Many people have many interpretations about what it says, and how life should be governed. It is in this chaotic system of moral direction that God’s truth is governing from the absolute center of moral perfection.
Because of the multiplicity of interpretation, there is freedom to disagree and hold many divergent opinions about government, personal relations, and ethics. We are given the freedom as Christians to act and speak our mind and heart as to the interpretation of the Biblical principles as they apply in a given situation. Our beliefs have no effect on the actual truth of the Bible. Rather, over the long term, the fruit of our actions and words will give evidence to its correspondence with Truth. In time, the hologram of life will reveal the texture, depth, and dimension of the Right principles to employ in a particular life situation if it is applied against the standard of the Bible.
The ideal pathway to creating a moral and righteous society is for the entirety of the society to be committed to manifesting the perfection of Biblical Truth. If the Bible is, in fact, the Word of God, then the constant comparison of circumstances and human behavior with the Biblical standard will produce a life outcome of excellence and joyous fulfilled freedom. Such is the fruit that comes from following the rules that are embedded inherently within the system that governs all of life.
This entire discussion and its validity depend upon whether there is God, and whether He has revealed His will and way in the Bible. Definitive proof of God cannot be conducted. At some point, man must simply fill in the gaps in his knowledge and sequential arguments with faith. The primary competitor to a creation created by God is the Theory of Evolution. The evaluation of the validity of this theoretical option will be left to another essay.
Likewise, a study of nature and the evidence of God’s signature can be accessed in my essays on physics. In these essays, I examine a proposed method whereby the actual method of creation, the substance, and structure of the creation, and natural law are examined. The purpose of the hypothesis is to give sufficient collaborative evidence to the actual existence of God, and the verity of the Bible as a revelation of His Will and Way, that the doubting intelligent searcher may be able to exercise his faith enough to try living and thinking according to the Bible’s life prescription. When the mystery of mass, energy, space, and time has been reduced to the level of a plausible theory harmonized with the facts of experiment, the acceptance of God’s existence requires only a modest leap of faith.