Revisiting the Christian and State Relationship.

Archive for the ‘minarchist’ Category

Green lights eastern and western

As usual, Ron Paul gets it.

Hat tip lewrockwell.com//blog

Why this is the end of America

Why do these days mark the end of America? Not because terrorists destroyed the World trade Center, or because a president signed a liberty-destroying bill. The America we grew up loving and believing in, that we were taught about in school and whose flag we dutifully and without reservation saluted, that America has not existed in our lifetimes. That America was a slanted and barely half-truth myth, just one part of the story, leaving aside or gently explaining away the more unseemly parts of American history. No. That is not why it is the end of America.

It is the end of America because the red, white and blue colored glasses are coming off. People are seeing through the fabrications and lies. The results are in now from the lab. Minarchy is like a relentless weed; its only end is imperialism, empire, and then demise. It is like a mushroom surging up into being and then rapidly wilting away in its own death.

When the bipolar cold war era ended with the collapse of the Soviet state, the only appropriate course for the American state was also to shrink. The cold war masked, at least to many of us, the imperial ambitions of the American state. Now that the Soviet “threat” was ended, America could stand down. It did not. Far from it. Rather, its shallow, supposedly do-gooding, entwining hubris expressed itself in the now very open and brazen drive to become the world’s policeman and the ruling power of this age. The state stood out of the shadows, naked in its new boldness. Its sheen of goodness no longer covering its swollen girth.

It is the end of America not because of any great changes that have only just now occurred, but because we now see through. The shades have fallen from our eyes. The dream was only a dream. We must prepare to do something very new but very old. The state has shown its true nature. Let us try a different order—something that for lack of a better name has been called anarcho-capitalism. That is, an ordered world but one not molded in the coercive shape of the state. A world where each man reaps what he sows (Galatians 6:5, 7), and where our moralities are not shaped by those who impose right and wrong as they see it upon us. We have not come to the beginning of utopia, but have come to the end of something else. And this is a good thing.

Federal Health Care Nullification Act

From Tenth Amendment Center:

“While lawsuits by State AGs have been getting considerable attention in the media, we at TAC feel that it would be a poor strategy to rely heavily on such efforts to stop the newly-signed health care law. As Thomas Jefferson told us—whenever the federal government assumes powers not delegated to it, those acts are ‘unauthoritative, void, and of no force’ and that a ‘nullification of the act is the rightful remedy.’

“Nullification is not an act of going to federal politicians or federal judges to repeal an unconstitutional law. It’s not about getting ‘permission’ to exercise our rights…it’s about exercising them whether the federal government wants us to or not. It’s taking action to make an unconstitutional act null and void right within your own state boundaries. In this spirit of American resistance, the Tenth Amendment Center is pleased to announce the release of our ‘Federal Health Care Nullification Act’—which you can learn more about below. Please call on your states to introduce and act on this legislation. Such resistance will not be easy, it will not be short, but it must be won.

“The Federal Health Care Nullification Act

“A. The Legislature of the State of _______________ declares that the federal law known as the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,” signed by President Barack Obama on March 23, 2010, is not authorized by the Constitution of the United States and violates its true meaning and intent as given by the Founders and Ratifiers, and is hereby declared to be invalid in this state, shall not be recognized by this state, is specifically rejected by this state, and shall be considered null and void and of no effect in this state.

“B. It shall be the duty of the legislature of this State to adopt and enact any and all measures as may be necessary to prevent the enforcement of the “Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act” within the limits of this State.

“C. Any official, agent, or employee of the United States government or any employee of a corporation providing services to the United States government that enforces or attempts to enforce an act, order, law, statute, rule or regulation of the government of the United States in violation of this act shall be guilty of a felony and upon conviction must be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand dollars ($5000.00), or a term of imprisonment not exceeding five (5) years, or both.”

Of course, this still promotes a minarchism—a small state government, and so is not wholly consistent with the principles of Christian anarchism. Nevertheless, it is a start in the right direction.

Ron Paul interview with Jack Cafferty 2010-02-27

Notice the (very probably correct) conclusion of Cafferty that because of the debt the nation will go “belly up” and his question to Paul about what it will be when it rolls over. Also, Paul’s confirmation that all debt is eventually liquidated one way or another. (Via dailypaul.com).

Are we living in USA 5.0?

Whatever one may think of Hauerwas, he has a point:

Who has the infinite duty to honor the infinite claim of every person to the pursuit of happiness? The answer of the eighteenth century, and of those who have followed, is familiar: it is the nation-state. The nation-state replaces the holy church and the holy-empire as the centerpiece in the post-enlightenement ordering of society . . . the nation-state has taken the place of God as the source to which we look for happiness, health, and welfare (Stanley Hauerwas, After Christendom, p. 66).

For long years the situation has developed. The powers that be would prefer that we go blandly onward believing a cardboard cut-out picture. The United States is the land of the free and the home of the brave. “We” are always the good guys. No need to be concerned. Those who run the country are ever engaged in “the art of cutting into this chaos [the messy way things actually are] and imposing a simplified definition on the situation, that is, making people act as if the simplified picture were the reality” (F. G. Bailey, Humbuggery and Manipulation, p. 2).

Still, the networked-world renders this a difficult prospect. The state has failed. Today, even those of us who grew up attending state schools, indoctrinated into all the fine tales about the goodness of this fine nation, sense that the United States of America isn’t quite what it once was. In fact, the history of this nation is divided rather easily into periods, each dominated by a distinct ethos. One way to outline these is as follows.

United States of America 1.0
1775 – 1782 War of Secession from England (Revolutionary War / War of Independence)
1776 Declaration of Independence
1777 – 1789 Articles of Confederation
United States of America 2.0
1789 – 1791 Constitution
1791 Bill of Rights (first ten amendments to the Constitution added)
1819 US Supreme Court rules congress’ powers not limited to those expressly delegated
United States of America 3.0
1846 – 1848 Mexican-American War (US acquires Alta-Mexico, i.e. The southwestern states)
1861 – 1865 War of Northern Aggression (Southern War for Secession, Civil War)
1862 Creation of US agency that became the IRS (Internal Revenue Service)
1869 US Supreme Court in Texas vs. White rules US Constitution does not permit states to secede
1886 Creation of US agency that became the BATF (Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms)
1898 Spanish-American War (US gains control of Cuba, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Guam)
1898 US steals Hawaii
1908 Creation of US agency that became FBI (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
United States of America 4.0
1913 16th Amendment to Constitution legalizes Federal income taxes
1913 17th Amendment to Constitution changes to direct election of senators
1913 Federal Reserve Act establishes Central Bank
1917 Woodrow Wilson and US entry into World War I
1919 18th amendment to the US constitution prohibits manufacture, sale, and transportation of alcohol
1929 – 1940 Great Depression I
1941 Franklin D. Roosevelt and US entry into World War II
1942 – 1945 110,000 Japanese descended imprisoned in US concentration camps by executive order 9066
1945 135,000 German civilians killed in Dresden bombing by Britain and US
1945 100,000 Japanese civilians killed in fire-bombing of Tokyo by US
1945 220,000 Japanese civilians killed by US nuclear weapons attacks on Hiroshima and Nagasaki
1945 – 1963 US the primary polluter in above-ground nuclear testing
1947 Creation of US agency CIA (Central Intelligence Agency)
1950 – 1953 US-Korean War
1952 Creation of US agency NSA/CSS (National Security Agency / Central Security Service)
1965 – 1973 US-Vietnam War
1971 US abolishes gold standard, moves to only fiat currency
1979 Creation of US agency FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency)
1983 US invasion of Grenada
United States of America 5.0
1990 – 1991 US-Iraq War I (Persian Gulf War)
2001 USA Patriot Act
2001 – Present US-Afghanistan War
2002 Creation of US agency DHS (Department of Homeland Security)
2003 – Present US-Iraq War II
2007 Directive 51 gives president authority to declare suspension of regular operation of government
2007 US spy satellites in use against US citizens
2007 – Present Great Depression II
2008 US soldiers stationed and operating on US mainland

USA 1.0 covers the period of the United States’ war to secede from Britain. Many of the 13 former colonies specified that they were confederating in union as sovereign states.

Under USA 2.0, a major shift occurred from the Articles of Confederation to the Constitution. The result was centralization of power and a substantial weakening of the powers of the individual states. In the space of less than 30 years, the working of the Federal government moved from the tenth amendment’s language of powers “expressly delegated” by the Constitution, to the US Supreme Court ruling in 1819 that Congress’ powers were not limited to those expressly delegated. The hand-writing was on the wall, but who wanted to see it? Murray N. Rothbard states what had become obvious: “the Constitution has proved to be an instrument for ratifying the expansion of State power rather than the opposite” (For a New Liberty, p. 67).

In USA 3.0, we see naked thirst for empire slipping into the open. The idea of Manifest Destiny justified the expansion of the state. The lands of Native Americans were seized, treaties they signed disregarded by the USA. Overseas, numerous lands were taken by force. Finally, war between North and South was loosed after the imposition by the North of the Morrill Tariff Act of 1861, which imposed a 47 percent tax on the value of all imported goods coming through Southern ports. At this point, the Southern states sought to secede from the Union. The North aggressed. Where slavery had been ended peacefully almost everywhere else, in America it was ended via cataclysmic bloodbath in a northern victory.

In USA 4.0, the deterioration continues. Power is further centralized at the Federal level. A central bank is restored and the devaluation of the dollar proceeds. US presidents manage to manipulate facts and circumstances such that public opinion which had firmly opposed entry into world wars was turned. During WWII the US is directly responsible for the killing of half a million civilians, beside foreign military. American citizens of Japanese descent on the West Coast are rounded up and imprisoned in dozens of concentration camps. The cold war began and the wealth of US citizenry was spent on stockpiles of genocidal weapons. The nation renounced the gold standard and moved to a purely fiat currency. (Several cases of foreign “regime change” under 4.0 and 5.0 are not here noted.)

In USA 5.0, we have empire fully on display. With the 1991 collapse of the Soviet Union, the US stood at a crossroads. No longer “necessary,” it was time to shrink the military-industrial complex. Fat chance. Instead, the US embarks on a further round of foreign military adventures, buying-off other nations and forming coalitions providing a cover of legitimacy. The terrorist attack that destroyed the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 offered convenient justification for government surveillance of its own citizens. Unrestricted spending by the US triggers worldwide economic collapse. US debt during this period assumes catastrophic proportions. In repudiation of Posse Comitatus, US soldiers are stationed in the United States mainland to be available for use against US citizens in case of “civil unrest.”

We summarize, noting that there have been at least five iterations of the United States of America. From the initial concept of a very limited government and soveriegnty of the states in union, the state has travelled to its present situation as an autonomous behemoth operating independent of its founding values. The idea of a state whose power is limited by a piece of paper has run its course. We live in the result. In human terms, only time will tell whether the whole thing comes tumbling down of its own weight, or solidifies into a perpetual totalitarian regime as bad as the worst science fiction nightmare.

Welcome to America 5.0!

Reality distortion field failure pt. 2

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!

More on the Daily Dent

On occasion we will include in the posting of the “Daily Dent” a statement that is as minarchist as anarchist, although the position taken by this site is anarchist. There is enough room here to appreciate others’ thought as well.

In the next day or two we will post our first Christian anarchist Bible study, this one on the book of Colossians. Looking forward to seeing what you think.

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