Posts Tagged ‘The Law’

This writing came from a Facebook page that I follow. I found it to be right on the mark. People are accusing Libertarians of being satanic, this is the perfect counter. The writing is on the same order as my post about Bastiat’s “The Law”, it is titled “Legal Plunder” read it here.

This is libertarian philosophy from a Christian perspective.

“I hold this truth to be self-evident, that the entire human race is equally created in the image of God, and that we have been endowed by our creator with certain unalienable rights. We, the entire human race, have the right to our lives, liberty, and our property. With this statement, it should become evident that my secular libertarian views are firmly laid on the foundation of my faith and belief that we are created.

On life

As a Christian, I believe that ALL human life is sacred. God’s commandment, “You shall not murder” (Exodus 20:13) is a law that applies to all. I believe that the only being in all of existence with the moral authority to take human life is the author of it. Therefore, I am opposed to abortion, unjustified war, and the death penalty. While I do believe that we have the right to defend our lives with violent force, if necessary, I do not believe that it is morally justified to take a life for any other reason. If it is immoral to take human life, then it follows that it is equally immoral to support a government that engages in the immoral act of murder.

On liberty

I believe that the only being in all of existence with the moral authority to govern the lives of man is man’s creator. This understanding has led me to the conclusion that neither I, nor anyone else, is morally justified in dictating to another how he or she may live. How one chooses to live is a decision that is between that individual and God, and God Himself has given us free will that we may be free to choose to accept Him or not. As C. S. Lewis states in Mere Christianity,

“God created things that had free will. That means creatures which can go either wrong or right. Some people think they can imagine a creature, which had no possibility of going wrong; I cannot. If a thing is free to be good, it is also free to be bad. And free will is what has made evil possible. Why, then, did God give them free will? Because free will, though it makes evil possible, is also the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automata-of creatures that work like machines-would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for His higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared with which the most rapturous love between a man and a woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that, they must be free” (52).

Some argue that because man is imperfect it is necessary to use coercion, backed with the threat of violent force, to ensure a stable society. However, there is a hole in this argument. Arming human beings and granting them the authority to use coercion and violence does not magically transform them into morally superior beings. In fact, the historical evidence proves just the opposite. It is in the nature of man that once having gained power, he seeks to expand it and will not stop at oppression, violence, and tyranny in violation of our God given rights to achieve that goal. Because I believe that the only being in all of existence that has the moral authority to govern the lives of man is man’s creator, I cannot support a government of men, who will always seek to violate the right to life, liberty, and property of other human beings.

On property

It is one of the tenets of my faith that theft is immoral. I believe that it is self-evident that there is no one who is exempt from the commandment “Thou shalt not steal,” (Exodus 20:15) whether they are in a position of power or not. Theft will always be theft regardless of who engages in the activity and, it will always be wrong. When the threat of aggressive violence is used to take from someone that which belongs to him to give it to someone else, it cannot, in any way be justified. Even when theft has been legally sanctioned, it is still theft, and in fact, as the threat of violence is used, it is worse; it is robbery! Everyone has the natural right to be the sole decision maker regarding what will, or will not be done, with the fruit of his labor. As God is the only being in all of existence with the moral authority to govern man, He is the only one with the right to require us to part with the fruit of our labor for the benefit of others. No state can exist apart from the exploitation of the people. Government must be funded to exist and government does not produce anything to fund its own existence. The argument in support of government is that it exists to protect the rights of the people that it governs. However, as government cannot exist without violating the property rights of the people, the existence of government actually contradicts the stated purpose for its own existence. Therefore, it would be immoral for me to support the existence of government that can only exist by exploiting the very people that it governs.

In my relation to my fellow man, I believe that I am completely sovereign over my own life and the only being who has any sovereign authority over my life is God. As I believe that only God has the moral right to govern our lives, I am a firm believer in the sovereignty of the individual. No human being has the right to require anything from another human being. The only morally just expectation that anyone may have of another is that he NOT violate the rights of life, liberty, or property of anyone. Beyond that, it is God’s to govern.

To suggest that libertarian philosophy is Satanic, is completely absurd.”

Samantha – A Christian libertarian

(Taken from a Facebook post by “I bet Ludwig Von Mises can get more fans than John Maynard Keynes”)

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This post is inspired by the first few pages of “The Law” by Frederic Bastiat. It is an incredibly informative book and I highly suggest reading it. This  link will take you to an online version of the book.

From here on anything in quotes is an excerpt from “The Law” as written by Frederic Bastiat.

“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place”

So, what is law?

“The collective organization of the individual right to lawful defense.”

“Each of us has a natural right–from God–to defend his person, his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of the other two. For what are our faculties but the extension of our individuality? And what is property but the extension of our faculties?”

Bastiat continues by saying that law provides for the right of the individual to defend, even by force, their life, liberty, and property. If this applies to the individual it most certainly applies to the common force of a nation. Natural law provides that no individual or group shall use force to “destroy the life, liberty or property of individuals or groups.”

As provided to the Federal Government by the constitution it has the right to defend it’s citizens natural rights by force when those natural rights are in danger of being destroyed.

In our system, the Federal and State Governments are in charge of upholding the law. The individual is discouraged from enforcing the law, unless they are an agent of the state.

The law is synonymous with justice in our culture and we see law as the ultimate expression of morality. All that is just should be legal, all that is moral should be legal. All that is an injustice or immoral should then be illegal. By this cultural definition it is easy to see where the perversion of the law has occurred.

For years I have said that, not everything that is right is legal and not everything that is illegal is not right. This is the truth. Our legal system flies in the face of natural law as well as our cultural definition of laws.

Laws have been created and put into place with the intention of abusing the correlation between law and morality as well as law and justice. Here is an example:

The most obvious example and the one that is toughest for most people to accept is the illegality of marijuana.

If a person smokes marijuana who’s rights to property, liberty, or person does that violate? The act of smoking marijuana itself does not affect anyone but the individual doing it. On its face this is obviously not a violation of natural law. So how did it become illegal?

Pot became illegal through a series of government campaigns and studies that framed marijuana use as immoral, unjust, and unsafe. (Reefer madness, pot kills brain cells, etc.) Arguably this was done to prevent a popular alternative to tobacco from existing. In those days the big tobacco lobby was a much bigger force in our governments legislative process. So all these years later why is it still illegal? What is a faster way to hurt the credibility of the system than to repeal laws and admit that they were enforced without reason?

This is a prime example of how the government has perverted the law to enforce the agenda of special interest and commit “legal plunder”. 

The point of this post is not to advocate breaking the law or risking incarceration just to make a stand. The idea of this post is to help point out that our legal system is not infallible and that this is not a problem that is new to the American legal system.

In the words of Bastiat, “The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say,not only turned from its proper purpose but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime,the law itself guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!

If this is true,it is a serious fact,and moral duty requires me to call the attention of my fellow-citizens to it.”