Sunday, June 06, 2010

Libertarianism Leads Where?

This recent article by Christian Libertarian, William Grigg, has many idealistic points I can readily agree with. However, there are presuppositional claims that I can't see as being either Biblical or defensible, or just plain realistic. Here is a paragraph I think many Christians and non-Christians can agree with.
As Augustine pointed out, the key difference between a state and any other criminal gang is not the "renouncing of aggression" but rather the "attainment of impunity." Like the behemoth in Washington that lavishly underwrites it, nurtures its worst and most corrupt instincts, and shields its rulers from accountability, the Israeli government is a criminal band that acts with utter impunity -- not to protect its citizens, but to defend and enhance the state's power and the material advantages of those allied to it.
There is no doubt that for the Christian, governments are often nothing more than a modern Beast as depicted in the Book of Revelation. Even in the movie the God Father, one conversation explains that governments and the mob are just two versions of the same thing.

However, this concluding statement caught my attention.
All of this is necessary, we are incessantly told, in order to ensure the survival of the Jewish State. But self-defense is an individual right. No state, Jewish or otherwise, has the "right" to exist, and all of them -- the Israeli state emphatically included -- prosper at the expense of those they supposedly protect.
This seems more of the same argument that the Political Left offers when responding to 9/11. If the American government would cease to exist, the world would like us. Of course that would be true in one sense. If there were no American government to stop Hitler and Japan, they would have liked us as well.

So in a idealistic sense, I wish Grigg's position of government were true. I wish we lived in a world that was a true theocracy (where men are like angels, who are governed directly by God without government). I wish Islam we not on the march. I wish foreign dictators and Marxists and the like did not exist.

Perhaps I should put it this way. What would the world look like if Americans were thorough going Libertarians? Perhaps 9/11 would not have happened. But then would not Europe basically be Islamic today? How does a truly Libertarian (apparently isolationist) U.S. government defeat tyranny throughout the world or restrain its advances? We have already had two world wars that should dispel that idea.

Perhaps Grigg's thinking is that the church would be far more "successful" in a world dominated by evil men. Personally, I enjoy free speech and being able to call men to Christ in a world of liberty and where governments are instituted to secure the liberty to freely do so. Yet I agree with Grigg. That seems to be an oxymoron.

1 comment:

Ed Groover said...

Curiously, I've been reading libertarians, too. The presuppositions of the ones I've read aren't based on anything in the Bible as far as I can tell. Human government is a device used by God and sanctioned in Scripture. And "just" wars are not condemned in the Bible, but modeled.

Libertarian economics has many desireable features, though.