April 20, 2014

>Conservatism Is Not What We Need

>If you are going to listen to Washington politicians at all, it is always best to listen to the party that is currently out of power. After each election, it is the job of the losers to try to attack the winners in any way they can. Often, they inadvertently advocate genuine principles of liberty in the process.

During the 8-year nightmare that was the Bush administration, it was the Democrats that stumbled upon these principles in their efforts to regain the throne. It was they who pointed out that the government should not be spying on its own citizens, that the president was assuming un-delegated powers through executive order, and that it was neither morally justified nor prudent to invade a third world nation that had committed no acts of aggression against the United States and lacked any reasonable means to do so. Their hysterical mouthpiece, Keith Olbermann, even went so far as to cite a long-forgotten document, the U.S. Constitution.

Of course, it is now abundantly clear that these arguments were made simply out of expediency. With the Democrats in power, it is now the Republicans’ turn to “fight City Hall,” and they have rolled out their usual rhetoric about small government, free markets, and traditional family values. Moreover, they, too, have rolled out the U.S. Constitution and waived it around in opposition to the Democrats’ plans to “spread the wealth around.”

Let’s take note that the Republicans are now correct in opposing the main tenets of the Democratic agenda, including expansion of government involvement in health care, “Cap and Trade,” and other wealth redistribution schemes. Amidst all of the usual noise coming from Washington and its media pundit class, it is only the Republicans that are making any sense at all.

Unfortunately, this is shaping up to produce familiar results. There is a growing movement for “change” that promises to “throw the bums out” in the next two elections. However, those who are part of this movement do not stop to consider what the Republicans’ true agenda will be once they regain power. As they have for over 100 years now, Americans are dashing to the other side in their perennial political game of “pickle in the middle.” They still haven’t learned that the pickle never wins.

The Republicans are having remarkable success in painting President Obama’s agenda as socialist and their “conservatism” as its antithesis. Most average Americans who identify themselves as conservatives accept this argument. If socialism redistributes wealth through the force of government, then conservatism, being its opposite, must oppose such redistribution of wealth. If socialism means that the economy will be centrally planned by government “experts,” then conservatism, being its opposite, must leave those decisions with private citizens. If socialism results in big government, conservatism, being its opposite, must result in small government. These are the assumptions that inform the political decisions of most conservative American voters.

There is only one problem. None of them are true.

The conservative-liberal dichotomy is as old as politics itself. It was present at the founding of the American republic. However, despite the Republicans’ claim to represent America’s founding principles, America was actually founded upon radically liberal ideas. The secession from the British Empire was in essence a complete rejection of conservatism.

Most Americans today believe that the primary motivation for the American Revolution was a separation from the British government. However, the revolutionaries only acquiesced to the necessity of complete separation as a last resort. Even after Lexington, Concord, and Bunker Hill, the colonists were still making attempts to settle their differences with the British king and remain in the British Empire. The primary objection of the colonists was not the British king being their executive, but the conservative, mercantilist economic system that the British government enforced. The colonists objected to the policies of corporate welfare, protectionist tariffs, a central bank, militarism, and the taxes levied upon them to support these and other aspects of the worldwide British Empire. Had the British not imposed this system upon them, they would have been content to remain British citizens.

As soon as the Revolutionary War was won, the exact same debate erupted within the new American political system. Alexander Hamilton and his Federalists wished to replicate the British mercantilist system under an American government that would closely mirror the constitutional monarchy of Great Britain. The Federalists were the party of big government, national debt, corporate welfare, militarism, and central bank inflation.[1]

 They wished to preserve the status quo insofar as the role of government and the nature of civil society was concerned, which benefitted a privileged, wealthy elite. They were the conservatives.

Socially, this party was the less tolerant of dissenters and tended to promote religion as useful in informing public policy. During Adams’ presidency and with the Federalists in control of Congress, the Alien and Sedition Acts were passed, making it illegal to criticize the government. These also are core conservative principles.

Their opponents, Thomas Jefferson and his Democratic-Republicans, promoted exactly the opposite ideas. They wished to radically change the role of government in society to one that was strictly limited to enforcing the non-aggression principle of liberty, most importantly economic liberty. They were opposed to corporate welfare or any other government redistribution of wealth, railed against the dangers and injustice of standing armies and the national debt, and opposed the central bank. Over and over again when asked about the role of government, Jefferson consistently applied the non-aggression principle to arrive at an unambiguous answer. Always his answer supported each individual’s right to do as he pleased as long as he did not violate the rights of others, and to keep the fruits of his labor.

Jefferson and his followers insisted upon a “wall of separation” between church and state and denounced the Alien and Sedition Acts. They advocated free speech, civil liberties, and tolerance. These are core liberal principles.

While the conservatives gained the early lead due to George Washington’s election as president and subsequent appointment of Hamilton as treasury secretary, it was not a decisive victory. Washington, who along with Vice President John Adams was certainly a more moderate Federalist, also appointed Jefferson to his cabinet as secretary of state. This set the stage for an epic battle between the two ideologies after Washington departed from politics. Adams eventually broke with Hamilton and his party, costing him the 1800 election, and resulting in a decisive liberal victory by Jefferson and his Democratic-Republicans. For the next 60 years, it was the liberal ideology of individual liberty, limited government, and economic freedom that dominated federal politics.

During this time, the conservatives constantly fought to establish bigger government, the central bank, and the other tenets of mercantilism that defined American conservatism. After the Federalist Party disbanded, they were replaced by the Whigs, a party made up of the same people and advocating the same principles as the Federalists. By this time, Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans had also had a split, and had emerged as the Democrats.

The Whigs were never successful in achieving their goals, and eventually disbanded. However, as before, the same people and the same principles of big government were back again in 1860, this time calling themselves “Republicans.” They finally won a decisive victory in electing Abraham Lincoln to the presidency and a majority in Congress. Immediately, the Republicans began implementing their agenda of corporate welfare, protectionist tariffs, and higher taxes. Contrary to conventional wisdom, it was this economic agenda (particularly the tariff) that motivated the southern states’ secession from the Union, not a disagreement over slavery.

It is vital to understand that the Republican Party was born as the party of big government, inheriting traditional, conservative big government principles from its conservative philosophical ancestors, the Whigs and Federalists. For most of its history, it has remained true to these principles, up to and including the Bush II adminstration. Barry Goldwater’s more libertarian platform during the 1960’s was a divisive anomaly in the conservative movement. Its popularity was later exploited by Ronald Reagan’s administration to implement the usual conservative philosophy of bigger government, militarism, and debt.

The problem for Americans today is that there is no longer an opposition party that represents a true antithesis of these principles. By the dawn of the 20th century, the Democrats had completely abandoned their core principles of individual liberty and economic freedom and adopted a socialist, democratic ideology of popular wealth redistribution. Where the Republicans continued to promote a system which plundered the many for the benefit of the privileged few, the Democrats no longer objected to government as an instrument of plunder and now merely fought to divide up the loot differently. They were no longer truly liberal, although they perverted that word in popular culture to mean exactly the opposite of what it really means. Since then, Americans have had to choose between two parties whose ideologies are fundamentally hostile to liberty.

One week ago, Congressman Ron Paul gave a speech at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) that both mainstream Republicans and Democrats disagree with. Of course they do. It was an eloquent articulation of America’s founding principles of individual liberty and limited government. Like Jefferson, Paul consistently applied the non-aggression principle of liberty to every aspect of government, concluding that we must end our worldwide military empire, end the welfare state (both corporate and popular), and get rid of the plundering Federal Reserve.

Socially, he advocated tolerance, civil liberties, and the right of every American to express his or her opinion, even if those opinions contradicted Paul’s own most preciously-held beliefs. Despite being likely the most truly Christian person in any branch of the federal government, he never once made any allusion to religion during his entire speech, except for a purely philosophical reference to Thomas Aquinas’ principle of the just war (he alluded to this as part of his anti-war argument). Young Americans for Liberty, an affiliate of Paul’s Campaign for Liberty, invited a gay pride group to the conference, invoking a bigoted outburst from one of the younger conservative speakers just before Paul took the stage. Paul’s followers roundly booed him out of the auditorium.

Ron Paul pitched his ideas as “conservative,” but they are not. During one point in the speech, libertarian radio commentator and publisher of Liberty Pulse, Kurt Wallace, turned to me and exclaimed delightedly, “Ron Paul is a radical!” He is. Like Thomas Jefferson, Patrick Henry, and the rest of the most pro-liberty founders of the United States, Ron Paul is a radical liberal (in the true sense of the word “liberal”). He is also an extremist, in the true sense of that word. He refuses to compromise his principles regardless of the political consequences.

Average Americans elect Republicans because they believe that Republicans will give them small government, low taxes, and economic freedom. They are mistaken. What they are yearning for has nothing to do with the Republican Party or the more general ideology called “conservatism.” What they really want is radical change. They demonstrated this in giving Ron Paul a victory in the CPAC straw poll. They also proved once again that they are wiser than the political class in Washington. At this critical juncture in American history, there is only one thing that can bring America back from the brink of social, economic, and political collapse: radical, anti-conservative change from leviathan government to extreme liberty.

[1] Thomas Dilorenzo’s books, Hamilton’s Curse and The Real Lincoln document the true roots and history of American conservatism superbly.

Check out Tom Mullen’s new book, A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America. Right Here!

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© Thomas Mullen 2010

Comments

  1. Mark Are says:

    >Could the possibility exist that even Thomas Jefferson was dealing with psychopaths back then? I'd say that is a good possibility. If you have not read this article you need to:

    http://www.barrettforcongress.us/twilight.htm

  2. Anonymous says:

    >Outstanding article! ! !

    If so-called "freedom-oriented conservatives" read this and take it to heart, they will start calling themselves "libertarians."

    Just examine the tight controls your state and county governments have over your lives. Government ("public") schools, for example! 80% of your real-estate taxes go to a broken, failed system!

    It ain't just the Feds we gotta worry about !

    We must attack coercive government everywhere it exists !

  3. Anonymous says:

    >Would you define this phrase… "extreme liberty" that appears in the last sentence at the end of your article. [quote]"At this critical juncture in American history, there is only one thing that can bring America back from the brink of social, economic, and political collapse: radical, anti-conservative change from leviathan government to extreme liberty". [end quote]

    If you define this then I will know what kind of extremeism and radical intentions are meant. I may like your reasoning, and I may not.

  4. Tom Mullen says:

    >Extreme liberty = government action is limited exclusively to defending its citizens against aggression by other human beings.

  5. Jim Getten says:

    >Excellent article. We wonder, however if the damage to the American political system is so severe after decades of the "pickle in the middle" game that it's unfixable. We always hoped for a Ron Paul approach to the Federal system but realize it's a slim possibility. Corporations that control our lives are really at the root of the problem. They own the leadership of both parties.

    Still, if enough Americans get their collective heads out of their oversized asses and educate themselves with materials such as Mr. Mullen's work, we may have hope yet!

  6. Anonymous says:

    >Love this blog.

  7. J. O'Brien says:

    >Another excellent piece Mr. Mullen.

    I have been vainly trying to make these same points for several years to my fellow university students.

    With the current state of affairs, more are coming around to the realities of the two-party paradigm, but we still have much work to do.

    Keep fighting for liberty!

  8. Anthony says:

    >Very nice article as usual. I think Ron Paul's 2012 run will expose how much control our corporate ruling class really has on the sheeple in this country. Remember, our ancestors weren't able to change Great Britain. They had to cross an ocean to escape. They fought a war to keep it from spreading and growing roots in America. Well, the British empire did manage to grow roots here, and they are deep. But we don't have anymore oceans to cross.

  9. David Singhiser says:

    >Outstanding article!

    The confusion over labels keeps us from seeing the true distinctions between liberty and collectivism.

    As an ex-conservative, I understand and agree with Mises and Hayek on rejecting the term. I hope to soon see libertarian become understood and respected. Even better would be a return to the true meaning of liberal in this country and around the world.

    Until then, we must keep on educating ourselves on liberty and spreading the message.

    Keep it up!

  10. Anonymous says:

    >Classical liberalism includes the importance of human rationality, individual property rights, natural rights, the protection of civil liberties, individual freedom from restraint, equality under the law, constitutional limitation of government, free markets, and a gold standard to facilitate global free trade and place fiscal constraints on government.

    In the 1920s, the New York Times criticized "the expropriation of the time-honored word 'liberal'" and argued that "the radical red school of thought…hand back the word 'liberal' to its original owners."

    Economist Joseph Schumpeter (1883 -1950 ) argued the terminological theft. “As a supreme, if unintended compliment, the enemies of the system of private enterprise have thought it wise to appropriate its label.

    As the Socialist Party candidate for president, Norman Thomas said in a 1944 speech: "The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of 'liberalism,' they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened." He went on to say: "I no longer need to run as a presidential candidate for the Socialist Party. The Democratic Party has adopted our platform."

    "I use throughout the term 'liberal' in the original, nineteenth-century sense in which it is still current in Britain. In current American usage it often means very nearly the opposite of this. It has been part of the camouflage of leftish movements in this country, helped by muddleheadedness of many who really believe in liberty, that 'liberal' has come to mean the advocacy of almost every kind of government control.

    I am still puzzled why those in the United States who truly believe in liberty should not only have allowed the left to appropriate this almost indispensable term but should even have assisted by beginning to use it themselves as a term of opprobrium. This seems to be particularly regrettable because of the consequent tendency of many true liberals to describe themselves as conservatives."

    —F.A. Hayek, in the Forward to "The Road to Serfdom" (1944)

    Scholar Leonard Liggio (a self-described classical liberal) holds that social liberalism does not share the same intellectual foundations as classical liberalism. He says, "Classical liberalism is liberalism, but the current collectivists have captured that designation in the United States. Happily they did not capture it in Europe, and were glad enough to call themselves socialists. But no one in America wants to be called socialist and admit what they are."

    The word was hijacked and its time to make conservatism=classical liberalism. It takes education but it can come back. Conservative as in conserving classcial liberalism.

  11. Shorty says:

    >As stated by Anonymous: "Classical liberalism includes the importance of human rationality, individual property rights, natural rights, the protection of civil liberties, individual freedom from restraint, equality under the law, constitutional limitation of government, free markets, and a gold standard to facilitate global free trade and place fiscal constraints on government" But we can't use the terms that have been discussed in this blog without introducing confusion and argument that is never ending.

    Should we then create a new term that equates to the beliefs outlined above? A new pole around which to rally. A means to gain nominations for those who agree with this concept and might result in the election of those who can be counted on to support our views!

    Perhaps "The Founders Party" would be appropriate.

  12. Anonymous says:

    >Are you kidding me, this blog post is horrible. Why not talk about the difference between classical and modern liberals? Why not talk about the difference between traditional conservatism and libertarianism?

    Classical liberals have always been against big government or statism. Modern liberals on the other hand want the big hand of government to come in and regulate morality.

  13. Anonymous says:

    >Excellent article Mr. Mullen! A copy of this should be sent to every school in America.

  14. Chris Moore says:

    >Chris Moore comments:

    Both the word "conservative and the word "liberal" have been hijacked by the intellectually lazy and unpricipled Big Government-pushers of Left and Right, whose "solutions" inevitably amount to throwing government buraucracy at every problem that comes down the pike, foreign or domestic (and of course, as the mechanisms and brokers of the Big Government "solution", enriching themselves in the process via government largesse).

    Mullens identifies Ron Paul as "likely the most truly Christian person in any branch of the federal government," and I think one of the reasons Paul identifies himself as a conservative is for that very reason: true conservative seek to preserve the moral authority of Christianity — which is inevitably at odds with Big Government, which seeks to usurp that moral authority for itself, and then force its subjects to abide by its collectivist' "secular" morality. Unfortunately, Big Government "secular" morality is something even more ruthless and fearsome than the morality of even the corrupted, pre-Reformation Church, and is roughly equal to the average of the sum total of all the Big Government pushers and profiteers put together — which is to say it is well below the moral IQ of nearly everyone else on earth.

  15. Tony F says:

    >The new term is "Freedom Movement". Ron Paul demonstrated that the only way to get anywhere in our corrupt two party system is to join one of the two parties. Therefore we need Freedom candidates in either party. The next Presidential election will bring much more exposure than the last. We will all be out early waving the Ron Paul banner. Not conservatism but freedom.

  16. NFT says:

    >Although I agree with the bulk of this writeup, I do have some ~bang the gong~ comments to make, mainly because you loosely and briefly attack John Adams.

    Jefferson's Deist beliefs were no less 'religious' than those of John Adams.

    Don't kid yourself, or attempt to kid the rest of your readers into thinking any of these founding fathers/poiltical philosophers in the founding of a 'new form of government' didn't fall prey to one doctrine or another. Just because something isn't cited as being 'religious' doesn't mean it is void of those things the non-religious people find abrasive with religious theory and actions.

    And while it's true that by the time Adams got into national office he had lost his original intent, along with the brilliance of it, as well as a good portion of the principles he had in mind, that is due in part to the influence and badgering of men like Jefferson, who had the doctrine of John Locke to go by as his 'holy scripture' – and while Jefferson may have been after 'limited government', it was John Adams who was trying to give the people something even more profound: SELF GOVERNMENT. INDIVIDUAL SELF GOVERNMENT.

    Not limited government. But a right to self govern. Fully sovereign. Where you, as the individual, could be supreme TO YOUR GOVERNMENT and even its laws; and he knew HOW that could be achieved, because he knew government and he knew law, and because he KNEW what it was, in the individual, that trumped both.

    But Locke's theory invaded the debates, no better than having the entire text of the Old Testament thrown into the mix as the highest order of laws for all, and what John Adams was trying to accomplish (originally, with Massachusetts) was not to have a nation, or even a state, or even a county or a town, be ruled over by one doctrine, or one set of man created laws, or by that of a majority (as Jefferson WOULD and DID see as the role and right of a society, per Locke) but to have individual rights respected, with patience, as each individual and/or families of individuals naturally gravitated towards those of the same ethics (which usually did have to do with religious subscriptions or non-religious views.)

    And although I can't defend the actions of John Adams once the Federal Constitution was drawn up and replaced the Articles of Confederation, I'm sure he'd blame the booze, the debates with well-spoken drunken deists, and long seperations from Abigail as the reason he caved in and just let those 'liberal conservatives' have their way with him, over the course of time.

    None of them understood his vision for a free people – and even today, he continues to be vilified, and pushed as a lunatic holy roller, when initially he had the right idea and knew that liberty and freedom did NOT come from, and were not possible within, the confinement and conclusions of Deism.

    I find it funny that you applaud Ron Paul's speech for not including anything 'religious' within it, yet you know he's the most Christian man in government at this time. His entire speech was based upon the principles of his 'religion' – If you can't see the philosophy he is going by for just the philosophy it is and not dismiss it the moment it is cited as also being a religion, or makes any reference to the religious aspect of it, you might want to ask yourself if that's because the Deists you subscribe to have made good use of word manipulation, with words like 'created' and 'nature's laws', knowing full well that those two words have different meanings to Christians than they do to Deists. And that troubles me; we're living the consequences of that kind of intellectual fraud.

    I do not wish to repeat it this time around; do you?

  17. NFT says:

    >wow, Tom, sorry, that was a bit harsh, huh? :p lol Careful with 'John Adams' – brings me out like a fire breathin' dragon.

  18. Tom Mullen says:

    >Rene,

    You're hilarious (in a good way!), but you're far separated from reality.

    John Adams was in Hamilton's party for a reason – he wanted much bigger government than Jefferson and the Democratic Republicans. However, as I pointed out in the article, his (Adams') vision was for a much smaller government and freer society than Hamilton's.

    The reason that religion should be separated from government is because government is an institution of force – so it should never be used in a positive manner. By that I mean it should never be used to force anyone to do anything. It should only be used to prohibit people from committing aggression. Thomas Jefferson consistently stated that government's power "extends only to such acts as are injurious to others." Religions, including Christianity, do much more than this. They do not only prohibit aggression, but command their followers to do certain things, like "love one another." It should be obvious to anyone that force should not be used to force people to love each other – it is an oxymoron just to state it.

    I am actually a huge fan of John Adams, and one of his greatest attributes was realizing how wrong he was about the Federalists, just as Jefferson came to the realization and admitted in his golden years that black people were not inferior. These were great men, but far from perfect (they put the Post Office into the Constitution). Overall, though, Jefferson's was the purer philosophy of liberty, with Adams only opposed to him on what we would consider today minor details.

  19. Tom Mullen says:
  20. Anonymous says:

    >this article is great and brings to life many truths about our government. it is great to see so many people agreeing with principles of freedom.

    SOL!

  21. Chris Moore says:

    >Mullens (in comments): [Government] should only be used to prohibit people from committing aggression…Religions, including Christianity, do much more than this. They do not only prohibit aggression, but command their followers to do certain things, like "love one another." It should be obvious to anyone that force should not be used to force people to love each other – it is an oxymoron just to state it.”

    Christianity “commands” this, but does not coerce this. If so, by what mechanism?

    It seems to me the problem (as government-utilizing, anti-Christians saw it) was that Christianity was so successful, the advent of Big Government was necessary to counter it on behalf of liberal malcontents, deviants, Zionists, and assorted other Christian-hating misfits.

    Fine. Objections to uniformity or not irrational. But when the bitter malcontents take over moral authority of any society, well…contemporary, dysfunctional Big Government America and its crimes against humanity (and itself) is the inevitable result.

    Christian moral authority was the basis of the success of Western civilization for a reason: because it worked.

  22. NFT says:

    >Tom,

    I think starting off your reply with a statement that translates to "this person is nuts" with the unspoken followup "and I'm not" is hilarious, too.

    If either of us is struggling with the reality of what took place at the founding of this nation, it's you, and that's simply because you have dismissed John Adams and can't read and understand his political theory because: you don't understand Christianity as a philosophy and only view it as a 'religion' – you do not see Christianity as 'realistic' nor as a 'reality'-

    Were you capable of stepping back from your knee-jerk reaction to Christianity as a 'religion', you'd find that John Adams, originally, initially, and long before his corrupt work on the Federal Constitution, had ZERO intentions of government being an instrument of force.

    Not only that, but he worded things so that the individual and their rights were guarded against the tyranny of society itself – I don't know if you'll ever be able to see what he actually had in mind, and I wish you could, because it was far more pure and true to the ideals of liberty and freedom that you seem to want so desperately and work hard towards achieving.

    John Adams was most concerned with the consent of the individual; it is the Deists who considered it and deemed it 'moral' by man's 'reasoning' that government and/or society had every 'right' to use force of law and government, even against an individual who had not lied, cheated, stolen or killed, to force them to comply to the wishes of the majority, especially in regards to property rights and/or the administration of a government and law system built upon the concept of both being granted, again, by man's 'reason', the 'moral right' of use of force -John Adams knew this was not the road to freedom and peace.

    And look around you, Tom. He was right. I'm no Christian, but even I can see it, what's stopping you from being able to see it for the reality it is?

    (continued)

  23. NFT says:

    >And Ron Paul, even though in his lifetime it is not 'politically correct' to bring 'religious views' into the fold of politics, is doing his best to re-explain the philosophy of Christianity to you in the language you'd best be able to hear it from; and yet, without being able to get past your agressive reaction to anything 'religious', because you'd rather things be deemed 'moral' by the reasoning of men, you wouldn't mind forcing Christians like Ron Paul to live under the laws YOU want at the helm of your ship, not realizing that in doing so you are doing the same exact thing you express as hostile and untolerable by the 'Christians' in regards to 'morality' -

    Pelosi, a Catholic, is right on board with you – she, too, would like to have Christians and Catholics live under the laws of man's reasoning, so that free will is protected. But how is it that free will is protected when an individual's or group of individual's free will becomes law instead of a personal choice consented to and agreed to by all?

    Dictating to an entire people by what laws they will live by and under is not free will at all, nor is it moral. And John Adams knew it, which is why he worked so hard to make even the law system itself a matter of consent, knowing full well, as he did, that it was built upon a hostile foundation of force. And knowing full well that there were those of certain religious views that would not be able to put the system of law above that of their own supreme creator's laws.

    I have no idea why you threw a picture of John Locke at me. Were you looking for my critique of his physical appearance? He has a wonderful nose and jaw line, and his hair looks soft and touchable, like he brushed it a lot. A very handsome man with a tremendously flawed political and social philosophy and a dark and creepy view of mankind and the Earth he lived upon. Not sure if that's what you were looking for, but there's my thoughts on the random photo tossing. (?) Here's one for you: http://emmyjo.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/john_adams1.jpg

  24. Tom Mullen says:

    >@ Chris – "by what mechanism?"

    When not informing government, Christianity does not coerce anyone. That is my point. People voluntarily following a spiritual movement that commands them to love one another is a beautiful thing. I've often said that if the whole world practiced Christianity the way Jesus preached it, we wouldn't need government.

    However, we had 1000 years of Christian government BEFORE the enlightenment. They called it the Dark Ages. The liberal movement was a break away from Christian government towards religious freedom. That's why the Pilgrims left England – because the Christian government didn't like their version of Christianity. That is also why religious freedom has always been a core American value.

    John Adams actually referred to Christianity as "that awful blasphemy," saying that until Christianity was "got rid of," there would "never be any liberal science in the world."

    That is exactly the problem with mixing religion and government. Everyone wants to impose their religion on other people. That's what the king did to the Pilgrims. That's what the Inquisitor did to his victims. That is what the Muslims do to their people. My argument is that coercion and religion should not be mixed at all – or you destroy the religion and society with it.

    NFT – your point on Pelosi has no logical merit. I am arguing for the non-aggression principle, her whole philosophy is based upon violating it.

    Right now the Catholic Church is publicly supporting government provided health care – a violation of the non-aggression principle. They do so because by trying to apply the beautiful tenets of Christianity (caring for the poor) through government, they unintentionally destroy the whole concept of Christian charity (was Simon of Cyrene the hero of the gospels?)

    @NFT – I just put the picture in their to antagonize you. :D

    To summarize: I have consistently argued that the non-aggression principle and NOTHING ELSE should be the standard by which laws are made. I'm not sure if all agree or not. The insistence to bring Christianity or any other religion into the mix makes me ask, for what reason?

    It seems that there can be only one reason, which is to either replace the non-aggression principle with another standard, or to add something to it in the making of laws. That is my objection. So here is my question. What difference would there be between a set of laws EXCLUSIVELY based upon the non-aggression principle and a set of laws that were based upon Christianity, either in place of or in combination with Christianity?

  25. Tom Mullen says:

    >Oh, Rene, I just put the picture in their to inspire blind rage in you. :D

  26. Tom Mullen says:

    >Doh! My question should have read this way:

    "What difference would there be between a set of laws EXCLUSIVELY based upon the non-aggression principle and a set of laws that were based upon Christianity, either in place of or in combination with THE NON-AGGRESSION PRINCIPLE?"

  27. Chris Moore says:

    >I don’t think accomplishing the non-aggression principle as a mass movement basis for a change in the law and in the country’s current ethic is possible without invoking Christianity. In fact, I don’t believe the Freedom movement will ultimately succeed without invoking Christianity.

    The ability of Big Government to coerce, bully and buy its own political monopoly, perpetuation and growth is too great to ever be overcome without tapping into Christianity’s deep reservoirs of antagonism towards corrupt authority, and its contempt for bullies, reprobates and sociopaths operating under the guise of “secular” authority (think Roman Empire), or those corrupt parties or special interests willing to cut Faustian deals with them (think Pharisees).

    This idea that there should be a firewall between religion and government in the arena of rhetoric that formulates public opinion and policy has been taken to a ridiculous extreme (mostly by Marxists, or those who seek to use government to stifle Christianity in favor of their own religion, attitudes, political philosophies and ways). The effect has been to relegate Christianity to the realm of pornography, even as competing religions and philosophies are celebrated and embraced for their wonderful “diversity.” In actuality, there is probably no more diverse religion on the face of the earth than Christianity.

    Christianity has been hamstrung by a coalition of “vulnerable” minorities utilizing Big Government for so long now that many of the basic operating precepts of Western civilization have been turned on their head, and wrong has become right, good has become bad. The world has turned upside down, and its going to take every lever utilized to its maximum capacity to put it right. The hand-wringers are playing right into the hands of the politically correct Marxists, fascists, money worshippers and assorted other schemers and manipulators who have already done so much damage, and will only do more if we fail. Who knows where it will end…probably a neo Soviet Union that props itself up domestically at gunpoint — something the quasi-fascist American status-quo establishment is already doing in foreign affairs.

  28. Tom Mullen says:

    >Chris,

    I'm not sure your response addresses the argument I made or the undisputed historical facts that support the argument. I do consider Jesus himself as one of the great libertarians of history, which I want to write about sometime soon.

    However, let me attack this from antoher angle (and maybe I'll learn something, too).

    Give me an example of a law (besides abortion) that would change based upon using Christian principles. How would that law be different than if it was strictly based upon the non-aggression principle?

  29. Chris Moore says:

    >Tom: "Give me an example of a law (besides abortion) that would change based upon using Christian principles. How would that law be different than if it was strictly based upon the non-aggression principle?"
    —–
    I see your point, and it’s a good one. And no, I don’t believe any law needs an asterisk specifically notating that it is based on Christian principles, even if it was.

    But my point is that because the connections between Christian principles and freedom as we understand the meaning of the concept of “freedom” in the West have been minimized, dismissed, ridiculed or ignored altogether by Christianity’s opponents and antagonists, the fundamentals that intellectually prepare each new generation to understand and fully appreciate and embrace the causes of freedom and liberty get destroyed in the process.

    In other words, the corrupt “secular” status-quo today is intellectually preparing upcoming generations not to think as traditional Western freedom and liberty as their God-given right and heritage, but rather to think of themselves and their rights as subordinate to Big Government’s will and agenda. I believe there is essentially a conscientious effort afoot by Big Government and the Money Powers to intellectually enslave upcoming generations by either cutting them off from Christianity entirely, or by channeling them towards warped and deranged interpretations of Christianity like Christian Zionism, which makes them more easily indoctrinated into a subordinate position and mentality, and put to work on Big Government agendas like the War on Terror and the war against Islam.

    This is rationalized as protecting secularism, pluralism, tolerance and diversity — all overused catchwords designed to frame the practice of traditional Christianity as antagonistic of freedom and liberty, and the secularists and religious authoritarians as freedom’s guardians — when in fact the exact opposite is true.

    For example, does anyone believe the Big Government Democrats and Neocons are really interested in guarding the traditional concepts of freedom, liberty and limited government as understood and articulated by the Founders? Of course not. That would get in the way of their various and sunder other agendas, all of which are to be implemented by Big Government — indeed, all of which REQUIRE Big Government to be realized.

    By repeatedly drawing the connection between Christianity and freedom and liberty — at the very least in the realm of rhetoric, and ideally by implementing further “hard” steps, such as working towards primary education vouchers that can be redeemed at private schools, including religious ones — we can simultaneously help maintain comprehension of the intellectual connection between freedom and Christianity, and we can help sabotage the Big Government agenda and design.

  30. Chris Moore says:

    >Sorry, a bit long winded, I know. But bottom line: To function properly (or at all) every society needs a moral authority. Absent a religious moral authority, government will fill the vacuum, or in the case of contemporary America, and the old Soviet Union, government and its string-pullers set out to displace the (Christian) moral authority with themselves.

    Freedom evolved in the West to its highest degree in history because Christianity (which socially and intellectually prepares a people for self-government and self-determination) in all its diversity, was the moral authority. But in post-Christian, modern times, freedom has been contracting in rough correlation to the degree government has been expanding since Christianity was dispossessed. This is not coincidental.

  31. Tom Mullen says:

    >Chris,

    These are great arguments, and very well expressed. However, I believe that they contradict a vital component of the philosophy of liberty, and I am going to write an article explaining my position.

    One question first: For those who deny that your inalienable rights exist, based upon the fact that they do not believe in the existence of God, what is your argument against them?

  32. NFT says:

    >Tom,

    first, apologies for the span of time between my replies -

    second, I'm enjoying your exchanges with Chris, and I liked your last question to him and look forward to the reply.

    I also enjoyed your attempt to rile me up into a blind rage over the picture of Locke; I wish I'd delivered what you were after. :p

    Now I wonder; was it you that perhaps snuck in a picture of John Locke onto a campaign video that I recently DID fly into a blind rage over? ;) This isn't an accusation; this is a query.

    On some of your other notes to me (replies are now in fire breathin' dragon mode):

    1. please do your own and very expected research, please, before tossing out FRAUDULENT quotes from John Adams. The line you quoted (re: John Adams actually referred to Christianity as "that awful blasphemy," saying that until Christianity was "got rid of," there would "never be any liberal science in the world.") is not sourced in its entirety, nor is it ever cited, ANYWHERE, as to its origin prior to showing up in 2005 – unless you know of the document/letter it was from and can link me to that, don't EVER make me have to do your work for you and research your facts, only to find them questionable at best.

    I KNEW the moment I read it that it was yet another attempt, by you, to portray John Adams as YOU sometimes would like to view him, which changes with your own Deist whims and agendas – but – you might want to think about this ACTUAL quote from John Adams before you EVER try to cite the man as a hater of Christianty: "Conclude not from all this, that I have renounced the Christian religion, or that I agree with Dupuis in all his Sentiments. Far from it. I see in every Page, Something to recommend Christianity in its Purity and Something to discredit its Corruptions. … The Ten Commandments and the Sermon on the Mount contain my Religion." (Letter to Jefferson.)

    (continued below)

  33. NFT says:

    >I'll get to your attack-comment about my Pelosi comment another time, when I have more time to get you in a headlock and make you cry "Uncle", but before I do that at a later date, I was thinking about this quote you made yourself earlier: "I've often said that if the whole world practiced Christianity the way Jesus preached it, we wouldn't need government." (Tom Mullens, 2010, on his own blog in a comment.)

    Let's hope you never get misquoted 200 years after you're no longer around to defend yourself and have to rely on some 200-years-from-now nutter like me researching it to make sure it's accurate –

    So if you see Christianity, which is the self-governing philosophy of that guy, Christ, you just mentioned, in the above quote, as Libertarian, and if you see it, as it was preached, to be a flawless foundation for self-governing, then is it not safe to suggest that your problem isn't with Christianity, isn't with the philosophy of Christ, but with Chrisitans and Catholics not abiding by it?

    And if that's the situation, do you think we might have a better chance at liberty and freedom in our lifetimes if you actually talked with Christians and Catholics about it, rather than to keep demanding that government not be built upon the foundation you apparently do consider to be one that very much could lead to liberty, freedom and peace?

    By the way; go review your non-agression principle and note what constitutes 'harm' – hold it up to the 10 Commandments and you'll note that all the 'laws' for 'harm' in the NAP are a replica of those in the 10C's (re: lie, cheat, steal, break promises, kill, scheme to take another's property/conspire/covet.)

    Good grief, I can't believe you tossed a freakin' false quote from John Adams at me… ha ha ha! You should know better, ya know? I'm probably his most devoted non-religious defender. I've read and studied him in ways you've never dreamed of, in all of your 'schooling' – don't try that tactic again, especially with anything John Adams.

    Hope this blind rage makes up for the one I didn't give to you with the Locke pic.

  34. Tom Mullen says:

    >Rene,

    “They all believe that great Principle which has produced this boundless universe, Newton’s universe and Hershell’s universe, came down to this little ball, to be spit upon by Jews. And until this awful blasphemy is got rid of, there never will be any liberal science in the world.”

    Adams, John Letter to Thomas Jefferson January 22, 1825 from The Works of John Adams Second President of the United States Vol. X Charles C. Little and James Brown Boston, MA 1851Pg. 415

    I used that book as a source for my own – it was written in 1851 by Adams' grandson.

    More later

  35. NFT says:

    >He wasn't talking about Christ's philosophy/Christianity, you intellectual manipulator!

    He was talking about an interpretation that he found in conflict with his own interpretation and thoughts on the philosophy of Christ/Christianity – he would never and never did cite Christianity as a 'blasphemy' that stood in the way of science, liberal or otherwise.

    If anyone understood you can't even BEGIN to research and understand math, science or the origins of this universe without first consenting to the mindset of lawfulness/morality, found in the 10C's, it was John Adams himself (who probably would have made a better scientist than he did a politician and laywer.)

    This is what I mean… you keep thinking of the philosophy of Christ as a 'religion', and all interpretations of it as being 'one philosophy', even thought you know and agree with THE philosophy that some guy demonstrated and had a bunch of other guys write about after his death.

    When it happens to NAP, in the form of an offshoot philosophies/interpretations that have come of that, you would never cite an alternative interpratation that conflicted with the principles of NAP as being the Philosophy of Non-Agression, nor find yourself thinking of the whole of the philosophy of non-aggression as 'blasphemy' yourself – you would do as Adams did, and find where the interpretation strayed from the concepts OF the philosophy of non-aggression, which is what I'm trying to warn you about with Locke, by the way… you have not held up his entire philosophy to Christ's yet, because you simply PREFER the 'non-religious' interpretation of Locke over that of Christ's philosophy which is considered to be 'religious' by most… but is it only religious? Is it incapable of being viewed as just a documented political/social/legal theory and philosophy?

    You can't and won't be able to see any of this with Christianity until you resolve your inability to see it as a philosophy and not simply a 'religious belief' – your own Jefferson tried to do that himself, and studied Christ's philosophy hardcore as a philosophy, taking out parts he found too whacky/supernatural, and trying to just see it in a non-religious context (but he didn't grasp the concepts as profoundly as Adams did.)

    Both Adams and Jefferson were 'fans' of Christianity/Jesus Christ's philosophy, but here's the difference:

    Jefferson thought it began with the variables of non-aggression/consent from man-to-man and 'goodwill' for all of mankind-

    Adams knew that it began with the law/morality, and that non-aggression and goodwill were impossible to achieve without first acknowledging the 'moral authority' and where the right to self-govern had to stem from – a very personal and individual starting point of a consenting to the laws themselves.

    By the way, apologies for initially calling you the equivalent of a liar, as John did have something to say about a certain sect of Christianity; however, I do stand by my current name-calling of 'intellectual manipulator' – taking something out of context to make a very inaccurate statement about what someone meant is something I won't stand for quietly, especially in regards to Mr. Adams.

    Next time you want to try that game with any of your readers, make sure they aren't ME. :P

  36. Tom Mullen says:

    >Rene,

    You have consistently claimed that Jesus advocated the non-aggression principle. By "non-aggression principle," I mean the principle upon which Jefferson said our philosophy was based, which says:

    1. Every individual is free to do whatever he or she wishes as long as he or she does not violate the equal rights of others (will assume the "he or she" hereinafter)

    2. Every individual has the right to use force to defend himself against aggression by other people

    3. The basis for society or government should be the non-aggression principle, i.e., that the individuals who make up society can delegate their right to use force against their fellow humans, in self defense against aggression only.

    Please provide examples, cited by chapter and verse, where Jesus teaches this principle or even refers to it.

  37. NFT says:

    >Tom,

    stop spelling my name wrong on purpose, or I'll start calling you Toom.

    You're the one who said that if everyone just followed Christ's philosophy (which IS Christianity) that things would be very 'libertarian' and good.

    Obviously, you, too, claim that Christ's message was one of non-aggression… so the claim that Christ advocated liberty and freedom isn't just mine, it is YOUR view, too. So, own it, instead of asking me to prove it to you when you already think it yourself.

    And, as neither of us considers ourselves 'Christians', nor would cite ourselves particularly 'religious', nor of followers of any sect of 'Christianity' in doctrine or scripture, I, like you, don't know what exact scriptures back up the philosophy of non-aggression, as I don't 'memorize' the writings of man, but, if a Christian reader of yours wants to pipe in and clarify it for us, let them.

    Barring either of us tearing into the numerous bibles/interpretations out there, and citing exact gospel, I'd say we stand a better shot at letting the supposed folowers of Chrsitian faith do that, when it should come naturally from them.

    I have read every bible out there – but I do not LIVE by scripture. Too many conflicts of law and logic.

    However, I have been told, throughout my life, about stories of a man named Jesus Christ who had some interesting things to say that I found myself agreeing with, as I'm sure is the case with you. I have Christian friends who COULD tell you the exact parts of their particular bible that demonstrate Christ's agreeance or disagreeance to all of your questions, in the order you listed them. For now, though, here's my thoughts on your list of how you see the philosophy of non-aggression, in the order you listed each item:

    1. Yep, that's straight outta Christianity/Christ's philosophy, as to violate a right of anyone would involve acts of lying, cheating, stealing, breaking promises, killing or covet/scheming to obtain the property of another person against their will, so, yes, of course Christ was all for doing what you wanted, as long as you also were not committing those 'sins' yourself – so, in essence, Christ was saying 'hold up all you do to these laws, as I do", except he probably worded it "Put my father/me first in your life." Be lawful, be moral, and do whatever you want in that lawfullness and morality.

    (continued)

  38. NFT says:

    >2. Christ never denied man's free will to react as they saw fit to an aggression, he never denied that man had free will to even do things AGAINST the laws of his father … he suggested forgiveness, not retaliating with acts of aggression because it only leads to continued cause/reaction/cause/reaction, by either the individual initiating force, or the family/loved ones/minions of the aggressor, if you end up killing your aggressor in the protection of your life or property.

    If everyone were Amish pacifists, for instance, and tried to figure out any other way but aggression to respond to an act of aggression, odds are we'd eventually figure out a way to address the acts of aggression in ways that led them to be less and less of an occurance. Forgiveness is an often underutilized tool mankind has had in its intellectual toolbox. People screw up; most screwups aren't the kind that need anything but forgiveness. That the Amish haven't had more lunatics targetting them for an aggressive duel (aside from government/the law system itself), is a testament to how well not responding to aggression with aggression works. It's a rare event that a hostile individual would target the Amish (again, aside from government and the law system itself.)

    3. No, this third thing you write of isn't from the philosophy of Christ, this that you write is straight outta Locke's theory (which Jefferson was a huge fan of, being a deist himself.)

    In and through the religion of Deism, what is attempted to be done, designed by man's reason, and then through force of law and government, is a set of manmade 'new laws' that make it 'moral' to 'fight back' – understandable for those who seek to keep their free will, but to then impose personal decisions made of free will upon all as 'law' and/or to cite it as being held as 'moral' (which is what manmade law does, it 'justifies' things as 'morally understood'), and then to have the audacity to call it supreme law, is no different than for any other sect of religion to impose its own personal ethical views about things like drug use or abortion upon all, stripping free will from mankind in the process.

    Free will, like religion, or any spiritual belief, or even an all out atheist view of life, is not capable of being one-size-fits-all at this time, if we're going to claim to be working towards a goal of not only liberty, but freedom of religion.

    The biggest problem of all we have yet to face is that the way the law system itself is set up, as a forced upon all/tax funded monopoly, is a direct infringement on the very essence of liberty – freedom of religion, and the right of conscience. You can't have either if the conclusions made through free will of others are imposed upon you as the new 'supreme law of the land' -

  39. NFT says:

    >p.s. – don't forget: Renee with two E's, goofball. Geesh. :p

  40. Tom Mullen says:

    >Sorry Renee,

    The answer to my question, then, is "no, you cannot find one passage from any of the gospels (canonical or apocryphal) in which Jesus articulates the non-aggression principle. That is because the non-aggression principle is a basis for living among other people in this world, and Jesus' gospel was a basis for achieving the ressurection (properly translated from the original Greek as "the awakening").

    Not only is my #3 missing, but #2 is missing as well. Your extremely weak argument that Jesus didn't tell people not to retaliate would be uncompelling even if it were true. However, Jesus specifically instructed his followers not to defend themselves, on more than one occasion.

  41. Tom Mullen says:

    >Matthew 5:38-41 Ye have heard that it hath been said, An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth: 39 But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if any man will sue thee at the law, and take away thy coat, let him have thy cloak also. 41 And whosoever shall compel thee to go a mile, go with him twain.

    I have heard Christian conservatives try to rationalize this away, but Jesus clearly directs his followers not to defend themselves against violence (verse 39), false witness (verse 40), and aggression against their liberty (verse 41). Jesus demonstrates that he practices what he preaches during his passion, when he makes not attempt to defend himself against these same three forms of aggression.

    In fact, in Matthew 52-54, Jesus says, " Put up again thy sword into his place: for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword. 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? 54 But how then shall the scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?"

    Jesus acknowledges that he could defend himself, but chooses not to.

    The only rebuttal to this clear departing from the non-aggression principle that any Christian has ever been able to come up with is the passage wherein Jesus says,

    Then Jesus asked them, "When I sent you without purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?" "Nothing," they answered. He said to them, "But now if you have a purse, take it, and also a bag; and if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one. It is written: `And he was numbered with the transgressors' ; and I tell you that this must be fulfilled in me. Yes, what is written about me is reaching its fulfillment." The disciples said, "See, Lord, here are two swords." "That is enough," he replied." Luke 22:35-38.

    This is almost as far a reach as you have been prone to attempt in defending positions that are flatly contradicted by facts. Jesus is quoting the Old Testament here to make a figurative point (he always quotes the Greek Septuagint, as he apparently was unable to read the original Hebrew – often the badly translated Septuagint gets the passage wrong and the original Hebrew ends up meaning something completely different, which doesn't support his argument, but I digress…). The passage stands alone as the only time that Jesus suggest that anyone carry a weapon, and interpreting it as his advocation of self defense completely contradicts everything he said and did when he actually addressed the subject or had an opportunity to defend himself.

    I never said that Jesus' teachings were "libertarian," I said that if we followed them we would not need government. That is because if we all loved one another perfectly and without exception, we would not need self defense (individual or government).

  42. Tom Mullen says:

    >Thomas Paine acknowledges this point when he writes,

    "Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first is a patron, the last a punisher."

    Jesus never advocated punishing the wicked here on earth – their punishment and our reward for refraining from defending ourselves would come in the next life.

    However, self defense was the bedrock of the philosophy of liberty and natural rigths adopted by our founders, and not just Jefferson. Samual Adams began his "Rights of the Colonists" in 1772 with,

    "Among the natural rights of the Colonists are these: First, a right to life; Secondly, to liberty; Thirdly, to property; together with the right to support and defend them in the best manner they can. These are evident branches of, rather than deductions from, the duty of self-preservation, commonly called the first law of nature."

    These ideas are a complete departure from Jesus' message of pacifism at all costs, which was later taken to an insane extreme by his followers, who actually antagonized Roman governors in the hopes of being matyred for Christ.

    In conclusion, your claims that the non-aggression principle comes from Christ's teaching are completely without merit, and in fact are flatly contradicted by some of his most famous lessons and the choices he made in his own life. This is not to denigrate Jesus, for as he said, his kingdom "was not of this world." He consistently avoided political positions as irrelevant to his message of salvation. He paved the road to the inner life.

    Locke's philosophy, which Samual Adams also revered in the same document quoted above, was a philosophy meant for the outer life – for people living amongst one another here on earth. The two are not mutually exclusive of each other, but are not one and the same either, as they have different purposes.

  43. NFT says:

    >Tom,

    The bible is the philosophy of non-agression and self-governing written in story form, by other men, about the life and philosophy of self-governing as well as non-aggression, and cited to some guy named Jesus Christ (as well as to God.)

    The philosophy may, because it was written decades after the life and death of this man it is attributed to, who seemed to clarify things after the initial and previous 'book' on it didn't seem to do much but cause a bit of a planetary ruckus, contain some parts (especially quotes) that seem a bit questionable.

    But, make no mistake about it, the guy had a philosophy, and it got written about, in spite of it being frowned upon by those in law and politics of its day. Not much has changed.

    Although some would question as fact even the statement of Christ ever having lived, let alone having some philosophy, the fact can then be only this: A philosophy for self governing and non-aggression/peace is, for whatever reasons, consistently attributed to a man named Jesus Christ.

    And every person has a different view about it, but, the same variables do come up… each and every time. Laws. Free will. Good will.

    NAP and other philosophies of non-aggression all have the same elements/variables as Christ's:

    laws/defining of 'harm'

    free will/rights (even to retaliate)

    goodwill

    in the NAP, the laws are replicas of the Ten Commandments, when it comes to citing what defines harm or infringements on another individual's self or property. (lying, cheating, stealing, etc.)

    In Christ's non-aggression philosophy, the Ten Commandments come first, as principles, to live one's life by (cited to 'God' or, in some interpretations, as Christ himself.) The free will/rights come 2nd.

    In other words, you have to first recognize the laws before you go about claiming any free will/rights, or the rights you claim will be baseless and not make much sense to those who find the harmful/aggressive acts of lying, cheating, stealing, killing or covetting other men's property for 'goodwill' to be 'justified' – (re: one of the most common arguments against NAP is the kill one innocent man to save a million men scenerio… if you claim you have no 'right' to do that, you lose to those who think they have every right to do that, because you've based it on right vs right – and because some view free will as having no authority but 'nature', they will lean towards the survival of a species at the expense of 'one innocent man.')

    If you claim you can't because you hold all you do up to the moral laws you back up your rights with, the same laws each parent teaches their own children not to do to them (re: Don't lie to dad, don't cheat at games with dad, don't steal from dad, don't kill dad, etc), you get every person who would break their own code of principles/laws, to consider it from a different perpsective, as well as finally acknowledging your moral authority (which some call 'God') –

    In the NAP, free will (including to retaliate) is stipulated to be seen as 'morally justified', differing from Christ's philosophy of forgiveness, but Christ never, ever suggested that an individual's free will should be forced upon them by manmade law or government – nor did he ever suggest the forced removal of free will as being the path to peace. It had to be by consent. NAP deviates from this in attempting to establish a 'moral justification' that some (re: like the Amish) would never be able to see as moral, re: aggresssion even in retaliation – but they would see it as your free will/right.)

    All choice in these matters, if you really want liberty, has to be up to the individual. Liberty is as individual as free will and rights are, after all.

    Christ never disagreed with your free will/right to defend yourself or your property, he just had a very different 'solution' to the issue of aggression -

  44. NFT says:

    >Perhaps Christ was simply saying that it is more important to protect your relationship with the principles, with the laws/10C's, and, by proxy, your love for mankind, than it is to protect your life and property.

    Obviously, a statement like that wouldn't go over so well at a Libertarian, Objectivist or a Deist convention.

    Some mistakenly might have interpreted Christ's advice to protect your relationship with God/The Laws and Him to mean they had to protect God 'himself', from false Gods and their laws. I wonder how many wars have to transpire before those of this mindset realize there's no way to force anyone to subscribe to any God, or to unsubscribe?

    I'm not looking for government (or society) to ever be given the duty, role, responsiblity or 'right' to punish someone who has infringed on my life or property … nor do I seek a government or society to protect me or my property, either, as a show of good will. I find it interesting that you do see government as both a protector of rights and a punisher of those that infringe upon yours.

    Protection and punishment. Is that how you see Government? Are you sure you aren't a Christian, Tom? Because that's exactly what most religious folks see God as – a protector and a punisher. If a government via NAP will give society and/or government a 'right' to protect and punish people, I'm not sure that's the way to go.

    By what philosophy would you like to establish a foundation for this protection and punishment? I'm simply looking for the right to self govern here. Lawfully. Non-aggressively. Peacefully. That's all. I'm not looking for a protector or a punisher. I'm looking for a government that just allows for each individual to lawfully live by their own ethics (even those I disagree with) as long as we do agree we won't be unlawful towards each other, nor will we try to force each other to live by each other's ethics –

    Government and/or Society can't punish without infringing on those who see forgiveness as the best and most logical solution, and it can't protect anything without infringing on the right of conscience held by some that see only a few things in this lifetime of being deemed worthy of protection, and desire it to be personally protected and not handed over to government or society to manage or dictate for them.

    The philosophy of non-aggression is a replica of Christ's – simply in a different order of arrangement. And I'm always amused at how the different order of arrangement so closely replicates some of the funniest (to me) interpretations of 'God' – re: protector and punisher.

    Locke, considered to be the 'source' for this non-aggression philosophy, took Christ's and simply rearranged it. He was no better than the soclialists, who start off their philosophy with Good Will; and without any laws to have to abide by, and without any free will of mankind, you end up, in both Locke's philsophy as well as that of Socialism, with the opposite of liberty, freedom and peace.

    When the Christians say 'the only way to liberty is through Christianity', this is why they are right. Albeit, most Christians don't even understand their own philosophy – and most have succombed to rights being first instead of God/lawful unharmful behavior, or Good will being first, instead of God/lawful unharmful behavior.

    apologies for this being so scatterbrained and rambly -