By: Thomas Lee Abshier, ND
John, I read the article but did not comment on it extensively, although I was tempted to. I began with a quote and then commentary upon it. And then proceed with prose about a weak point I saw in Hoppe’s system of society. http://www.lewrockwell.com/hoppe/hoppe26.1.html
“That is, the state is the ultimate arbiter in every case of conflict, including conflicts involving itself. It allows no appeal above and beyond itself. Second, the state is an agency that exercises a territorial monopoly of taxation. That is, it is an agency that unilaterally fixes the price that private citizens must pay for the state’s service as the ultimate judge and enforcer of law and order.”
The issue of no authority higher than the state is the concept that I have been referring to for repeatedly. There is a law higher than the State, the Law and Rule of God. Of course, God does not come down and enforce His law against the state, (but He does exact vengeance against the State eventually — but this is not my point). The people, the body politic, the church, the people of God who make up the democracy, are the necessary polarity to the rule of the State. For the State to be civilized, and an actual servant, the government should be composed of those who hold allegiance to God’s Law and attempt to form a body of law that reflects God’s Law for the issues in the situation. Manifesting such a government requires a huge amount of vigilance against the demons that inhabit the soul by each governmental employee, and by the public who hires them. A great deal of supervision and commitment to such a state of moral
Taxes should be voluntary. The government should be required to sell the proposals to the people as a benefit. Likewise, funds should be optionally withheld from the government if morally objectionable programs are being funded (abortion, illegal alien support, education in evolution-only schools, wars of aggression….) Taking the mandate away from taxes, and making their donation voluntary is a median solution between public and private. Such a government is still a monopoly, but if it is kept small, local, and accountable, then much of the objection to government is alleviated. Those who wish to live in states/locales which enforce moral standards of whatever level should have the right to engage in such enforcement. There are no victimless crimes. The moral crimes change the tone of the individual who engages them, and then they take that personality into society and inflict it upon society. The state/locale that wishes to raise the tone of its milieu should have the right to do so.
The moral solutions of the Muslim and Catholic cannot be merged. The separation of the two societies is all that is possible. Proving that the solution of one is better than the other by its fruit, and witness of the sweetness of the life it produces will probably be the only way to proselytize one to the other. Currently, Islam feeds upon the poor and captive as its new converts. In the past, and probably presently, their method of expansion has been by domination by violence and propagation. It is a religion which does not allow free migration from its ranks. The social pressure maintaining its adherents is extreme, to the point of being almost irresistible to those who wish to maintain a social network of support. Some are truly moderate, and those who hold such beliefs, I have no problem with allowing to live within a free and open society. They are men who are open to other opinions and the feedback of another way of life/belief system that could be superior to the one they have embraced under duress or inheritance.
I enjoyed the essay. He is eloquent and has developed many novel and well thought out solutions/alternatives to the problems of monopoly, protection, and insurance.
His criticisms of the flaws of government are valid, when takers, users, selfish men populate the government. And of course, they always will, until the character of the populace embraces a higher solution. All the governmental solutions will fall prey to the criticisms that Hoppe mentions if the society, and the people of it, are not dedicated to following God’s law.
In a privately funded society, the security offered to the richer will be better, and the security offered to the poor will be correspondingly poor. Insurance and protection solutions are necessarily related to their capability to pay. Thus, the rich will benefit more from this arrangement than the poor. This will be an unavoidable aspect of a private pay system. This type of pay for what you get system may be what is needed to get the poor out of their bad situations by making it worse. Or, it may perpetuate and accentuate the cultural divide. The rich may like the solution because it reduces the forceful giving to suppress societal violence and protect them from it more effectively. Or, the rich may suffer greatly as the poor rise up to take from the rich.
I don’t think transferring protection and insurance to the individual will be sufficient to resolve the societal disease. The rich and poor will benefit most when there is voluntary charity (rather than enforced charity through the medium of government/taxes) with associated accountability of the poor for the gifts they have received. The society pathology may move toward resolution when the rich take on the poor as a type of mentorship project. The training/rehabilitation of the poor may include giving them adequate protection but requiring of them education, discipline in moral rectitude, self-protection, skill development, industry, and production. This complex of skills will enable productivity to those who take advantage of it. This is a private solution that should be part of any society. Groups of the wealthy could form pools of resources to hire teachers, people to work with the delinquents, and train for useful work. Such a system is a reparative public/private education system with a moral center. It is of advantage to the wealthy because it reduces the need for protection and increases the general wealth available in the society as more people are productively employed producing wealth.
Hoppe probably addresses the issue of charity in his body of work, and probably proposes a similar plan. My only addition, possibly, is the insistence that the education and help include moral training at its center.
Without the piece of charity, and responsibility to the benefactor, the poor and badly behaved will simply balkanize and two camps will form, one armed in defense, and the other attempting to invade.
Ultimately regardless of the form of protection, insurance, or education is used, there must be a moral education in the ways of Righteousness to bring society to its maximum potential.