Will there be a just ordering of the world? And is “representative democracy” the way to do it?
Yes, there will be a just ordering of the world—when Jesus returns and after the thousand years Satan will be destroyed (Revelation 20). And before that? Probably not. But as Jacques Ellul says,
I believe that the anarchist fight, the struggle for an anarchist society, is essential, but I also think that the realizing of such a society is impossible (Jacques Ellul, Anarchy and Christianity, p. 19).
He further elaborates,
The more the power of the state and bureaucracy grows, the more the affirmation of anarchy is necessary as the sole and last defense of the individual, that is, of humanity (Ibid., p. 23).
Ellul sees anarchy as the only serious challenge to the abuse of power.
We can denounce not merely the abuses of power but power itself. But only anarchy says this and wants it (Ibid.).
Any other solution involves the power of some people over others. And no basis for elevating some into power over others exists. Now Rothbard:
Suppose, for example, that there are many competing cantaloupe stores in a particular neighborhood. One of the cantaloupe dealers, Smith, then uses violence to drive all of his competitors out of the neighborhood; he has thereby employed violence to establish a coerced monopoly over the sale of cantaloupes in a given territorial area. Does that mean that Smith’s use of violence to establish and maintain his monopoly was essential to the provision of cantaloupes in the neighborhood? Certainy not, for there were existing competitors as well as potential rivals should Smith ever relax his and threat of violence; moreover, economics demonstrates that Smith, as a coercive monopolist will tend to perform his service badly and inefficiently. protected from competition by the use of force, Smith can afford to provide his service in a costly and inefficient manner, since the consumers are deprived of any possible range of alternative choice. Furthermore, should a group arise to call for the abolition of Smith’s coercive monopoly, there would be very few protestors with the temerity to accuse these “abolitionists” of wishing to deprive the consumers of their much desired cantaloupes.
And yet, the State is only our hypothetical Smith on a gigantic and all-encompassing scale (Murray N. Rothbard, The Ethics of Liberty, p. 161).
The state, of course, arrogates to itself a monopoly over a variety of services, including police and military services, law, money, and more. The state is, therefore, as a starting-point, a most inefficient arrangement, for competition between providers is prevented.
Because resources are limited, inefficiency itself serves as a tax upon those most in need. To pay for a state is to impose inefficiency and scarcity upon society. A current example of the insanity of government is the “cash for clunkers” program. This sounds more like a plot off of a science fiction television series where starship Explorer comes upon a planet that produces and immediately destroys goods. There would surely be an hour or so of story line that could be wrung out of such an absurd imaginary culture. But we needn’t find a screenwriter to provide the story; it is current in the United State today. My children and grandchildren are paying for the intentional destruction of wealth in order to “reduce pollution” and to “stimulate” the economy. My children will be poor tomorrow so that your children can live off of their blood today. The state is vampiric and parasitical.
But there is the goodness that is the Constitution. Only one problem: The state interprets the rules that govern itself. In the end there is no way that an objective, just source of coercive fallen human over fallen human lordship is obtainable. Put simply, we may place overlords over ourselves who are as fallen as we are, or we may live in a society so ordered that the distortions of arbitrary rules and schemes like “cash for clunkers” have been discontinued, and men relate to each other on the basis of their own direct action. In the end, we “reap what we sow” (Galatians 6:7). And the world will be a more just place if in the present also we “reap what we sow.”
Our real options are (A) variations on totalitarianism, or (B) anarchism. That is all. Either some lording it over others, or no one lording it over others. The minarchist (minimum state) Constitutional route, as in the USA, is shown to be a mirage. The USA has become the most vast and invasive force for distortion, imposition, and expropriation that the earth has yet seen.
To return to the theme of the collapse of reality distortion, it is good to see that there is an enormous increase in skepticism about the state. But unless at least some people begin to understand the root cause of distortion (choosing option A), any relief, perhaps after a wrenching period of turmoil, will be short-lived, and will be replaced again, with another statist world regime. Time will tell.
In the meantime, an opportunity could be placed before us that has not been seen for hundreds of years: the opportunity for a newly relevant Christianity. If Christians can see through, and realize that “the state is the permanent enemy of mankind” (Rothbard, Ethics, p. 262), something different is possible. The alternative could be one of the greatest setbacks Christianity would ever face: To align itself with the nation-state just as the domination of the nation-state has run its course and it is in rapid decline. The state is not of Christianity, is not even “just” in potential.
May the distortion field continue to come off!