September 20, 2014

Earth to Rick Santorum: Libertarians Founded the United States

Andrew Napolitano recently showed a clip in which Rick Santorum explained his views on libertarianism. His comments are also instructive in understanding his animosity (politically) towards Ron Paul. Santorum said:

“One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a Libertarianish right. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.”

As David Boaz pointed out in the interview with Napolitano, Santorum seems to oppose a basic American principle- the right to the pursuit of happiness. I agree with him on this, but there is something even more fundamental here than that. It has to do with the conservative philosophy itself. One of the statements that Santorum makes is true. “That is not how traditional conservatives view the world.”

There is a great disconnect between average Americans who refer to themselves as “conservatives” and the small group of politicians and politically-connected businessman who call themselves likewise. The members of the former group believe in the founding principles of the United States, including the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They believe that these rights are endowed by their Creator. In other words, they preexist the government. They are not created by the government. It is the government’s one and only job to protect those rights and when the government fails to protect them and instead violates them, it is the duty of the people to alter or abolish the government.

These inalienable rights are also referred to as “natural rights,” meaning that man possesses them even in the state of nature (the state without government). For Jefferson, whose philosophy was inspired by Locke, the reason that men formed governments was to protect these rights better than they could be protected otherwise.

Locke viewed man as capable of both good and evil. For Locke, man’s natural state was a state of reason, which meant that he respected the rights of other men and observed the natural law of non-aggression. “The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions.”

For Locke and his philosophical heir Jefferson, this natural law of non-aggression was the basis of government power. By prohibiting aggression by one person or group against another, the government would preserve the natural rights to life, liberty, and property. Importantly, repelling aggression was also the limit of government power, for when the government exercised power for any other reason it was committing aggression itself and invading the rights it was meant to protect.

That this was Jefferson’s guiding political principle is clear from his many statements to that effect. In his first inaugural, he argued for,

“…a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities.”

In a letter to Francis Walker Gilmer in 1816, he wrote, “Our legislators are not sufficiently apprised of the rightful limits of their powers; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.”

Even on religious freedom, Jefferson based his position on the non-aggression principle. ““The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

The non-aggression principle defines liberty itself as Jefferson understood it. For him, as well as for the likeminded libertarians that led the secession from Great Britain, the word “liberty” as used in the Declaration of Independence had a specific definition. It meant the right to do what one pleases as long as one does not invade the life, liberty, or property of another human being. In other words, each individual was beyond the reach of government power so long as he committed no aggression against anyone else.

These are not conservative ideas. They are libertarian ideas. While Jefferson, Samuel Adams, and the others who espoused this theory may not have called themselves by that name, the basic tenets of their philosophy were the same. Today, the non-aggression axiom remains the fundamental basis for libertarian theory. Ron Paul bases his positions on it, as he said (about the 3:30 mark) when running for president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1988.

Just as this non-aggression principle serves as the foundation and limit of government power between individuals within society, it is the foundation and limit of government power with respect to other nations. As all nations exist in a state of nature with each other, the natural law of non-aggression is the only one that governs them. As I’ve stated before, the non-aggression principle is the basis for the Declaration of War Power. The purpose of that power is for Congress to debate whether or not the nation in question has actually committed aggression against the United States. If it has, then a state of war exists and military action is justified. If it hasn’t, there is no state of war, no declaration, and no military action is justified. The use of military force in the absence of a state of war (previous aggression by another nation) violates the natural law.

The conservative philosophy rejects all of these ideas. There were conservatives in the 18th century just as there are today and their philosophy hasn’t fundamentally changed, either. The writer that most modern conservatives trace their philosophical ideas to was Edmund Burke. He has this to say about inalienable rights.

“Government is not made in virtue of natural rights, which may and do exist in total independence of it, and exist in much greater clearness and in a much greater degree of abstract perfection; but their abstract perfection is their practical defect. By having a right to everything they want everything. Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom. Among these wants is to be reckoned the want, out of civil society, of a sufficient restraint upon their passions. Society requires not only that the passions of individuals should be subjected, but that even in the mass and body, as well as in the individuals, the inclinations of men should frequently be thwarted, their will controlled, and their passions brought into subjection. This can only be done by a power out of themselves, and not, in the exercise of its function, subject to that will and to those passions which it is its office to bridle and subdue. In this sense the restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights. But as the liberties and the restrictions vary with times and circumstances and admit to infinite modifications, they cannot be settled upon any abstract rule; and nothing is so foolish as to discuss them upon that principle.”

While modern conservatives like Russell Kirk have pointed to Burke as their philosophical inspiration, one can clearly see that Burke is here merely restating ideas from the true father of modern conservatism, Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes asserted that in the state of nature man had “a right to everything,” even a right to one another’s bodies. Hobbes asserted, as Burke implies here, that man’s passions would always overcome his reason and because of this the state of nature was a state of war of “everyone against everyone.” For Hobbes, as for true conservatives today, man has to give up his natural rights upon entering society and accept those privileges to liberty and property that the government grants him.

For Hobbes, not only did man give up his natural rights upon entering society, but he also had to grant the “sovereign” absolute and undivided power. This was necessary in order to completely dominate man’s natural impulses, which would always lead him to harm his neighbor if they were not checked. This power must literally keep each individual “in awe,” to make him fearful of committing any unlawful act. To secure this absolute power, the sovereign needed control over the economy, which he consolidated through a privileged, wealthy elite. He also needed control over education and even the religious beliefs of the people. No individual could ever be allowed to follow the dictates of his own will, as it would inevitably lead him to harm his neighbor or the commonwealth in general.

On foreign policy, Hobbes also viewed all nations as existing in a state of nature. However, since he viewed the state of nature as equivalent to the state of war, he viewed all nations not under control of the sovereign as de facto enemies. In reading Leviathan, one can almost hear George W. Bush’s famous remark, “You are either with us or with the terrorists.” This is why conservatives support the deployment of troops all over the world. Like Hobbes, they believe that we are in constant danger from any nation that we are not completely dominating with the threat of force.

The reason that conservatism seeks to “conserve” the status quo is because its adherents do not believe that natural rights are inalienable. Upon entering society, man has to give up all of his natural rights, so the only rights that man has in society are those he has been given by government in the past. Thus, if you get rid of the past, you get rid of the rights. While the status quo might not be optimal, the conservative believes that to get rid of the status quo means returning to the awful state of nature, and necessitates reconstructing man’s rights – via government – all over again. Conservatives are always fearful that rights can be lost and never regained – as opposed to libertarians who believe that rights are inalienable.

The conservative tradition in America does not trace back to Thomas Jefferson or the Declaration of Independence. Its tenets are completely incompatible with the basic libertarian philosophy that informed Jefferson and that document. The conservative tradition in America traces back to Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists, who were the conservatives of their day. Hamilton sought to preserve the status quo, which was a central government with absolute power, along with its mercantilist economic system. The only change he sought was that the system be run by Americans rather than the British.

Hamilton was a Hobbesian on every issue, which is why he clashed so stridently with Jefferson. Hamilton also believed that the power of the federal government had to be absolute. Otherwise, the separate states would be in the state of nature with each other and inevitably at war. He often spoke of the “want of power in Congress” leading to the states “being at each other’s throats.” Economically, he wanted a central bank, high protectionist tariffs to enrich domestic manufacturer’s at taxpayer expense, and “internal improvements,” which meant the government using taxpayer money to build what we would today call “infrastructure.” While all of these policies were anti-free market, they served the agenda of securing the loyalty of a wealthy elite to the government. Hamilton went so far as to call the national debt “a national blessing” for the same reason. On foreign policy, Hamilton was an unqualified militarist who sought to lead an army in conquering an American empire, starting with the Western Hemisphere possessions of Spain.

He felt justified in all of these invasions of individual rights and violations of non-aggresion because he believed that what he called “national greatness” (today conservatives call it “American Exceptionalism”) trumped the rights of individuals. For Hamilton, as for conservatives throughout human history, the individual lived to serve the commonwealth, as opposed to the libertarian belief that the commonwealth only existed to serve the individual.

This conservative tradition can be traced throughout American history from the Federalists to the Whigs to the Republican Pary. The Republican Party was born as the party of big government, centralized power, and a mercantilist economy. Ironically, all that history remembers of the Republican Party at its birth in the 1850′s is its opposition to slavery – its one libertarian position – while ignoring its Hobbesian conservatism on all other matters. However, with slavery abolished, the Republican Party retained the rest of its philosophy through the next century and right up to the present day. One can hear it rehashed in any 2012 Republican presidential primary debate.

Today, conservative American voters wonder why the Republican politicians that they elect never seem to make the government smaller or less intrusive. They refer to elected Republicans who consistently grow the size and power of the government as “RINOS” (Republicans In Name Only). They believe these politicians are not “true conservatives,” because while they may belong to the Republican Party, they do not adhere to the principles of an underlying conservative philosophy that they imagine to exist. They are wrong. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, George Bush, and the rest of the establishment Republicans are the true conservatives. The American voters identifying themselves as conservatives are really libertarians  – they just don’t know it yet.

Go to any Tea Party rally. This is where you will supposedly find “radical conservatives,” but you won’t find them carrying any signs quoting Alexander Hamilton. You won’t find speakers extolling the virtues of government spending on infrastructure. Instead, you see signs quoting Thomas Jefferson and speakers mocking the many “bridges to nowhere” that have resulted from attempting to put Hamilton’s conservative ideas into practice.

The one inconsistency is the Tea Party’s support of the U.S. government’s military empire. This false note in the otherwise libertarian movement is the result of cultural confusion. These conservatives don’t yet realize that they aren’t really conservatives. They are libertarians, and the warfare state is inconsistent with the rest of their philosophy. They support it because they have been told all of their lives that it is the conservative position, which it is. However, limited government, inalienable rights, free markets, and individual liberty are not.

Contrary to Rick Santorum’s assertion that no society based upon radical individualism has ever succeeded, the libertarian, radically individualist principles upon which the United States was founded were precisely why it succeeded so spectacularly. It was libertarianism that made America different from any society before or since – what made it the “shining city on the hill” as Santorum calls it. It was the collectivist conservative philosophy that helped bring it down – with a lot of help from a third philosophical movement called Progressivism. Neither more conservatism nor more progressivism – nor any combination of the two – can solve the problems that America faces today. If Americans want to see liberty and prosperity restored in the United States, then restoring libertarianism is their only hope.

Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America.

Comments

  1. Interesting points Tom, but lets really look at history and authoritarians and supposed educated in LAW. So many of the Founders and oppositions believed that the authorities could only be placed by LAWS. Even the constitution is considered a legal Document. This being the crime because the ignorants pretending education at all were clueless. Except Thomas Jefferson who was also as educated saw things from a different prospective because no one puts together a Declaration of Independence like this based on law, no one. Law has never looked at Life as the basis but rather authority as the basis and who in Gods creation is the authority? Educated lawyers of course.

    But the truth is Life has authority over its SELF, that no other life is or was given authority over another (in the Words of William Schooler to you today) if you object show me, show which life has more authority than another? Next is acts, acts are the truths of the deciding factor or those choosing something and acting upon it. The acts going against life are what acts? Dominance, Authority, Secrecy?

    One of the things I was able to recognize about Thomas Jefferson is that he over others used whats called observation of cause and effect and he knew without question for Life to do what it does “pursue idea that support life” liberty had to be in place to be free of dominance and false authority. This was actually genius because not only was it the whole truth but does the act of supporting life itself, no way!

    Way, and is this simple, by using this basis in which to decide with or on would be the law of nature as intended by God and all life, which are connected you know.

    The freedom of religion is also another interesting subject because throughout history Religious groups have attempted to use authority over other groups attempting authority over. By stating freedom of Religion gives liberty for life to choose its own way of life by which ever group it chooses and is not to be chosen for. This kept them at bay but even today some groups have attempted to be the authority of the Constitution as well the authority on Religion which by this discussion is false. No idea is authority over another. Groups and individuals in a Republic setting can show accomplishments that have bettered or made greater good for life. But none may take authority or why have liberty?

    Not coming from a legal mind but a mind of life, to another life in support of life is not legal or authoritative, it is in all honesty from one to another as life in total respect for life.

    So Thomas Jefferson was spot on in his documented truths and not to do with false practices of history which he personally lived through and witnessed. This is something so few take in as consideration or evaluation of the information that was passed along. There is much more but I have shared what I do know and not what I pretend I don’t know.

    Mr. Rick Santorum is corrupt Government and false authority even by his own group who attempts to impress upon us their authority which is false. His own actions do not support life in its true state as free to be that which we are able to choose with respect for all other life choosing.
    This is a total representation of present education practices for which Santorum is a scholar of and the poor example in supporting life.

    Up against Ron Paul, no comparison exists because integrity is what? Ron Paul as genuine as nature is isn’t he?

  2. David Robertson says:

    Thank you for this clear exposition of the present conundrum facing Americans.

    I am a UK citizen living in Scotland who started following Ron Paul in 2007. At that time I often wrote comments on websites dealing with American history and pointed out that the Republican Party has its roots in the Federalist movement of Alexander Hamilton, directly descended from Hobbes as you point out, rather than the Democratic Republican tradition of Thomas Jefferson. The assumption of the mantle of “Republican” by the Federalist Whigs was simply a political manoeuvre to conceal their true origins. As is the root so is the fruit.

    This being the case and given that Dr. Paul is an American historian it is impossible that he does not know this. This being the case and given his frequent references to Thomas Jefferson it is clear that when he refers to himself as representing the positions of the original Republican Party he is not speaking of the party of Lincoln but rather the Democratic-Republican party of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison.

    Once again thanks for this article. It is not a difficult subject, covering as it does a mere 236 years, yet it is surprising that so few Americans appear to be aware of the history of their nation and the consequences flowing from the watershed events contained in it.. This short article goes a long way I believe to clearing up some of the confusion that presently exists.

    It is good to see this subject being discussed at such an important juncture of history. By all means let Americans rebuild on these foundations as they were originally conceived. Today we have a Democratic-Republican Party in power that is as you say descended from the Hobbesian-Federalists. Let us hope that it will soon be swept away and replaced by the true Democratic-Republican Party in all its original creativity and dynamism.

  3. “If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.”

    Ronald Reagan quote. Bam.

  4. Em New says:

    Outstanding analysis, as always. Is it too much to dream, for Newt, with his keen skill for substantive, succinct expression to read this, get it, and take up our flag? No doubt. But one can dream.

  5. Sherry says:

    Well, well, well. … Quite a lot to think about. I was about to rip you up one side and down the other. But, I think perhaps the statement that conservatives are actually libertarians who don’t yet know it was a rather insightful thought! 2nd interesting thought: I think I might remember quite a bit of this! Thanks Tom. I do appreciate your hard work. I come back and have another go at it. I’m hoping Ron Paul does well in NH. I really want him to be our next President.

    • Funny you say that Sherry,

      I have often wondered why so many wish to label themselves saying I am something others are. Especially with in each “club” or what ever everyone wants to call it no consistency across the board exists. But so many are ready to jump on some band wagon of some idea some other created in some point in time. Is it soul searching and I found my niche? Or this idea best fits mine? Or I agree so it must be it?

      A while back I really looked at this and I asked myself what the hell am I if I don’t fit in with all the inconsistencies? All these ideas that are not defined clearly because depending on household or individual this idea varies. So looking around I kept asking myself what the hell am I, I knew I was American because I was Born here but I did not agree with a lot of Americans who were also born here. So then I asked myself what the hell is it I do most of my time, and I looked and looked and what I do most of the time is work some effort for another. Under close inspection I discovered what I do is produce different ideas for others to use in services or devices made no difference. So finally after a lot of work and evaluation I decide I was a Producing American because that was open to different ways of performing acts for others to use these ideas in exchange.

      I also refuse to be what I consider to be normal or what others call normal because most really suck at normal. Educated is what I call normal or the system of education without real education. Then most assuming from such a task go out into the world and want to classify themselves at something they only assume and have not researched at all.

      This does not say all did not, a few actually do but very few and the rest are just ready to jump on some band wagon without a clue.

      From A Producing American because that is one thing I can show I am great at and don’t have to assume a thing just show results and let them speak for themselves.

      As far as Libertarian or conservatives showing consistent results that actually achieve I am still searching for because it when it comes to results I am not seeing it at all. I hear the idea but I just do not see the idea anywhere blatantly staring at me.

      I want Ron Paul too because of his actions and consistency as an individual by the acts he has done or produced for others.

      • Tom Mullen says:

        William,

        It’s not the label that is important. It is the philosophy underlying the label. You can call them anything you want, but the people in power who have called themselves “conservatives” have had a consistent way of viewing the world, the nature of man, and have drawn consistent conclusions about the role of government based upon that. The same goes for those who have called themselves “libertarians.” I am pointing out the elements of the two philosophies, and showing how people who follow the tenets of each take action IN THE REAL WORLD that affects all of our lives. This is why it is important.

        • I understand Tom and I was no way attempting to take away from what you wrote. Sherry’s comment just brought back memories of when I actually looked at the idea, the philosophies and the actions in the real world.

          I bet we could ask the question what does each mean and people would give you a wide variety of meanings. I know personally and is why I made my decision. People have attempted to call me Libertarian so I ask them what do they mean. Of course that usually gets a funny look to start and then it goes from there. For me the same goes for Democrat and Republican, they are labels that in todays world have no clear meaning anymore because they both look alike by those who act as them, not by what was originally intended by such a philosophy.

  6. Great article.

    It is so important to delineate libertarianism from conservativism. Words have so much meaning and when people forget what they mean as we all do from time to time, it results in a cognitive dissonance, hence the current GOP. Some want to feel they are backing a “winner” i.e. Romney. Some want to find the “real ‘conservative’” i.e. Bachmann, Perry, Cain, Newt, Santorum… But the rest have realized, while they claim they are conservative they are really libertarians, as you said! It is the latter group who is the most honest with themselves and finds coherence in principles of individual liberty and therefore lack the exhausting cognitive dissonance of the former. Once they find this solace they can no longer return to the “conservatism” they once proclaimed. Once a libertarian, always a libertarian, hence the steady resolve of Dr. Paul’s supporters.

    Great clarification on the pedigree of philosophy Mr. Mullen.

  7. Sherry says:

    I found this quote today that very nicely explains my aversion to Libertarianism. It is based on the foundational error that I have mentioned in the past that the failure to understand the nature of the Creator’s authority over all of his creation, Liberterianism produces a false foundation of human reason or rationalization for that which is not rational.

    “The American system grants freedom . . . to irreligion and infidelity, but only within the limits of the order and safety of society. The destruction of religion would be the destruction of morality and the ruin of the state. Civil liberty requires for its support religious liberty, and cannot prosper without it. Religious liberty is . . . freedom IN religion, not freedom FROM religion; as true civil liberty is freedom IN law, and not freedom FROM law …”
    Philip Schaff, ” Church and State in the United States,” 1888

    It is the failure to understand that it infringes on our freedom to practice our religion to prevent us from practicing our religion! The founders put the ten commandments on the walls of our government buildings. Some stupid court removed a supreme court justice from his position because he refused to obey an unlawful court order to remove the ten commandments display from public display in a court house. It is Libertarians who support these kinds of unlawful actions.

    Also, Libertarians don’t recognise the individual responsibility to care for the poor that is inherent in creation. The neglect of the poor is a non-aggression enemy that Libertarians fail to adequately address. Caring for the poor and the needy is part of our responsibilities as human beings not as Christians, Jews, Mormons, etc.

    It is an error of reasoning that cannot be rationalized away. It is not enough to say “rule of law” because the law originates from God. Without God there is no just law. Without God you have only man made rules and regulations intent on trying to control one another. Whether you call it liberalism, socialism, concervatism or libertarianism makes no difference. Without God, there are just man made rules and regulations that allow one group or the other to oppress the other group or the other.

    • To say the creator did not give us independence with liberty and self authority to decide is to say life has no choice of its own. Life the creation of creation to be the cause as well the effects. The deciding force lay within us as given and is not to be taken away.

      This is the reflection of life itself as viewable in all forms.

      Life in the American system grants us freedom by the acts of our choice in support of life independent of false authority by acts of Liberty documented in a constitution to limit any other authority over independent authority of self. This is supported on the basis of principals within the foundation of such an independence as documented.

      Life in the acts of life support is independence by total self authority by deciding the act of such support.

      Genuinely,
      William Schooler
      A Producing American

      • Sherry says:

        From a sermon before the Commonwealth of Massachusetts general court in 1783:
        “To carry the idea of religious liberty so far, as to make it an effectual hindrance to the providing and using necessary means, for the preservation of a sense of religion and moral obligation among the members of a community, is to oppose it to the interests of human society, and to rob civil government of one of it’s main supports. For this most powerful enforcements of obedience to civil authority, are derived a consideration and belief, that there is a supreme invisible Power, presiding over the world, to whom all men are accountable, and who will reward, or punish every man, in a future state, according to his works. Obedience that proceeds wholly from fear of punishment from men, is precarious and uncertain; and will be withdrawn, upon the slightest temptations of pleasure or profit, whenever a person believes, that he can escape with impunity. Religion therefore forms a more steady and permanent principle of obedience to civil government, than any penal sanctions, of a temporary nature by which the laws of men can be enforced.”

        Nobody who signed the Constitution interpreted freedom of religion to mean the society could operate without the true religion before God. It was a matter of choosing the manner of observance of that true religion before God.

    • Vae Victus says:

      Sherry, what you are struggling with is an age old philosophical dilemma. Fortunately, there are quite a few centuries of philosophical discourse that deal with it, and I think you will find there are plenty of arguments settling the issue in a way that eliminates the frustration.

      I highly recommend you search terms “Thomistic Law,” “Divine Reason,” and “Thomas Aquinas.” Also, search for “Hugo Grotius” and the philosophy of “Stoicism.” You will see rectified the apparent disconnect between the Creator’s will and, as you say, our supposed “false foundation of human reason or rationalization.”

      I think you will discover that most of the dilemma actually arises from certain presumptions humans make as to what ‘law,’ ‘purpose,’ and ‘reason’ are in fact, not necessarily how they play out. I say this because of your statement:

      “Without God, there are just man made rules and regulations that allow one group or the other to oppress the other group or the other.”

      The inherent conflict you seem to be perceiving here is really non existent, as it is based on a dichotomous outlook. The dichotomy can be resolved into a unified whole relatively easily.

      As for your other comments, I think they are off base. To say that “Libertarians don’t recognise the individual responsibility to care for the poor that is inherent in creation,” is simply baseless. First of all, libertarianism does not either pro or prescribe behavior beyond that which can be derived from the Non-Aggression Axiom. It may be true that there is not explicit mandate for caring for the poor, but there is no prohibition against it either. It does not in any way violate the NAP to give or care for the poor, so a libertarian is just as likely to engage in that as anyone else. Libertarianism above all respects mutually voluntary exchanges of property and labor, so giving to the poor or anyone else should be easier within a libertarian framework than any other system. A libertarian-minded government should would leave their citizens in possession of the fruits of their labor so as to better allow opportunity for charity.

      On the other hand, the institutionalization of “charity” and “sacrifice” tend to be counterproductive as exchanges of property backed by force or social pressure can result in demagoguery and corruption. Think of Jesus and his rage at the temple workers and patrons who had come to sacrifice, and his admonishment of those who did so only to bang the tambourine.

      You also are asserting that freedom of religion, means freedom from religion, which is true. I don’t understand your problem with this however.

      What is the alternative? To force faith upon others? This destroys the principle of what “faith” is in principle, and again, does not work well in practice. Again, I think the New Testament is rife with examples of this. There was a large difference between the approach of Jesus, who drew to himself volunteers and adherents from all walks, and those of the regime of Herod, who separated the people into castes. Jesus operated totally on the NAP. Freedom to travel with him, preach with him, or listen to him, also meant the freedom to NOT walk with him. He told this to his disciples.

      Finally, just for your consideration, it must be recognized that the Founder’s were not as ‘ecclesiastic’ as they are often portrayed.

      They all recognized a Creator, or Supreme Being, but many of them, and most of the principal ones, were Deists.

      Washington was certainly a Deist. Jefferson was not what you would call a Church going man, but was still a very spiritual man. Those who were more traditionally religious, such as Adams, or became so later in life, such as Paine, tended towards the fringe of their day: Unitarianism and associated systems.

      I say this because many people ascribe the prominence of the Ten Commandments and such to the Founders, when in actuality most of this prevailed in the mid-late 19th century. The Founders took a much more pluralistic approach to the Creator, and you can see this typified in such things as the use of a Masonic Bible for swearing in ceremonies. This contrasts with the Evangelical approach of the later 19th and 20th centuries.

      • As for the other comments, LOL thats so not specific. Let me say Vae, you make valid points upon your decision. Was it yours? Is it possible you shall carry the force of this as I?

        For me I don’t think as Libertarian, I think it terms of life and the creator as life in all life. Since life is a creation and life creates life it becomes natural to preserve or support life. This could only be from a reflective view of recognition. I am ok with this and I am ok with others choosing the life they wish should these ways of life support or do the acts of support to said life. Those not doing such acts become in question. How can one say they support the life of creation by showing no such support I ask you?

        This is not something I have to presume or assume since I find myself as life far above human, human in form maybe but hardly human as life. Because I could go no other place in any other form if no other form existed now could I? Heaven would be a long ways away if no other form was possible. So it is funny what some bring to the table without the other.
        Of course my experience of being out of body my reality, yours?

        As for Religions or ways of life which all are and all are decided upon or none would exists are ideas chosen by those sharing in the idea. History has shared with us different ideas and all are sure of something more exist than some human form which is not in question is it?
        Then we have stories claiming only some stories claiming authority over others. But lets observe life in its present state, can Life decide for itself? Does any deciding life have any more authority than some other life? Who decides this?

        If we look at knowledge from the experience perspective, we truly learn and truly we grow. This does not take the 10 commandments to tell me so because these axioms can be experience and tested to be true. So those ten supposed to be supported only by one is not so at all. Why would one claim one, to be the one, to be superior over, the authority?
        What is different from the acts of man choosing to be authority over with no proof but actually only a claim.

        Show me the difference, please make it clear, I am starving to see it. Clearly the actions of men by choice have caused and effected. What makes the difference of the cause and these effects?

        Could it be the factors chosen? Could the ten commandments be good factors to support life itself? This way of life chosen using these factors to decide with will produce which kinds of effects?
        You have used them so you should know shouldn’t you?

        What if Thomas Jefferson recognized them in only 3 factors of great choice making? Is this possible, are you sure? If experience is our teacher and we learn to recognize the things truly sitting in our vicinity could we learn?

        See I am not here to discount you but rather to be an example of that authority for which I speak as one authority to another authority or as a life to another life. Simply put from one deciding factor to another deciding factor in the role of life and the support of such an idea.

        Since I am a Godly man and choose to have a creator, since I decide my destiny and what I shall decide upon becomes my own authority doesn’t it? Not to be taken, or given but to be applied in an effort to support all life. Who has the authority over me to say no, or to tell me what I will decide, who?

        Since I have answered these questions clearly no confusion may exist, You? So from one authority to another, please share yourself with me and please enlighten me why I am not to have such an authority or do I?

    • Vae Victus says:

      Sherry,

      I did a search on this site, because I thought I vaguely remembered Mullen discussing this subject in the past.

      Sure enough, I found these two articles:

      http://www.tommullen.net/featured/the-myth-of-the-christian-nation-divides-us/

      http://www.tommullen.net/featured/jesus-christ-libertarian/

      Both are excellent reads.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] Tom Mullen returns to The Robert Scott Bell Show on Friday, January 13, 2012. Were there any libertarians around at the dawning of the American republic? We’ll discuss the ignorance and arrogance of Santorum and Gingrich, the prescience and “presidence” of Ron Paul, as well as the volatile issues relating to Iran and Israel… http://www.tommullen.net/featured/earth-to-rick-santorum-libertarians-founded-the-united-states/ [...]

  2. [...] Mullen wrote a very interesting piece on his own blog about the libertarian roots of the United States of America, humbly undertaking a [...]