"A person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being, or to advocate or delegate its initiation. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim."
-- L. Neil Smith
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I don't think the writers of Veggie Tales have tackled that one yet but they have made videos from the book of Daniel. One, specifically about Daniel not obeying the government's decrees and God rescuing him and another, about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, called "Rack, Shack and Benny," who also obeyed God rather than government, although sadly in the Veggie Tales version, Nebuchadnezzar is represented as the owner of a chocolate bunny factory and it's never explained how he gained the ability to exercise the use of force over his employees. Another interesting government scheme is portrayed in the story of Joseph, or as Veggie Tales calls it, "The Ballad of Little Joe." Unfortunately, Veggie Tales skips over one of the most important aspects of the story. Joseph tells the government,( Pharaoh), about the impending famine, so the government confiscates all the grain in the kingdom. When the famine hits, the government's real agenda rears its ugly head. The government doesn't just give the grain back, it sells it back, first for the people's gold, then for the people's livestock, then he takes their land and then, to avoid starvation, they trade for grain the last thing they have, their freedom. And the rest is History until Moses comes along.
My favorite Veggie Tale isn't based on an Old Testament story. It's called "Lyle, the Kindly Viking." We should all know how the political structure of the Vikings went. They had the troops, the boats, weapons and the understanding of how great life could be if they just plundered the fruits of everyone else's labor instead of earning it themselves. Our little Viking hero, Lyle, doesn't think that's the right thing to do, but being a Viking he has an entitlement to his share of the booty. He takes personal responsibility seriously and, instead of resigning himself to his situation, he gets in his little boat and gives his share of the loot back to the people from which it was taken. I'd love to see someone remake Lyle, the Kindly Viking into Ron Paul, the Kindly Politician. They wouldn't have to change much.
It seems that you can't teach Bible stories honestly to children without teaching the lessons of libertarianism at the same time. There are simply too many parallels that can't be ignored. The basic libertarian principles just sound way too much like, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Put not your faith in rulers, Love thy enemies, and Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Maybe it's time that US Christians, who have put their faith in the men of government, (the Kingdoms of this world), and who idolize the nation-state, started exercising some childlike faith instead. Let's live dangerously, sit too close to the TV and watch some Veggie Tales.
Monday, October 29, 2007
I used to concern myself more with these details. They are important considerations. However to me, the "How would we" question is subordinate to the "Do we have the right to" question and who is "we" anyway?
The thief can always find justification for theft. Look how much better off "we" are because of the state, sounds just like a thief saying look how much better off I am now that I have your stuff. I do not doubt that using the state to suspend the laws of economics has its rewards, but I also believe there is also a price paid that "we" tend to ignore. Bastiat refers to these in What is Seen and What is Not Seen . None of the rationalization or justification prevents the state's actions from being what they are. They are violations of individuals' rights. I've gotten past how wonderful the world could be if people would just get out of the way of the state. If I had my choice between my subjective idea of Utopia created by theft, murder, slavery and fraud or being less well off without, I would choose the latter. But of course, even that choice has been stolen from me. I personally believe we'd be better off, not worse but that's less important to me than the ability to live my life without violating the negative rights of anyone else.
Thou shalt not steal. I think God had a good reason for not having an amendment process on that one which would allow you to use the force of the state toward that end.
Sunday, October 28, 2007
|1.||the act of conspiring.|
|2.||an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot.|
|3.||a combination of persons for a secret, unlawful, or evil purpose: He joined the conspiracy to overthrow the government.|
|4.||Law. an agreement by two or more persons to commit a crime, fraud, or other wrongful act.|
|5.||any concurrence in action; combination in bringing about a given result.|