Friday, April 25, 2008
JESUS THE LIBERTARIAN
Whatever one’s religious denomination, a careful, dispassionate analysis of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth compels the conclusion that Jesus was an uncompromising political libertarian. Libertarianism is of course not a faith or a creed, but rather a political theory for organizing civilized society. The written record provides strong, unambiguous support for the fact that Jesus was a political libertarian who very likely had an Austrian understanding of money.
Jesus believed in and taught the importance of the following principles: (1) all people must treat others as they would like to be treated (the "Golden Rule"); (2) man’s primary responsibility is to obey God and his conscience, not man-made positivist legal codes; and (3) that state actors who violate God’s will are morally responsible for their actions. Further, Jesus’ parables repeatedly recognize and implicitly support the ownership and responsible stewardship of private property.
Before going further, it is necessary to understand what most libertarians believe. Libertarians believe that people have all right, title and dominion over their own lives, liberty and property. Libertarians believe that all people or entities (organized groups of people) that infringe on others’ lives, liberty and property violate reason and/or Natural Law. To most libertarians, government is legitimate only insofar as it meets both of the following conditions: (1) government’s power derives from the voluntary "consent of the governed" (i.e., everyone governed contractually agrees on the laws and a method of enforcement that ensures due process prior to restraining any single individuals’ life, liberty or property rights); and (2) government’s enforcement methods do not indirectly violate any individual’s life, liberty or property rights, including the rights of those not party to the social contract.
The Golden Rule
Libertarian theory is different from all other political theories primarily because libertarians reject the notion that government is entitled to a monopoly on violence or otherwise has license to violate reason, Natural Law or the Golden Rule. Simply put, libertarians believe that the Golden Rule applies to everyone, including government and its agents. Thus, a government that deprives an individual of property without prior consent violates reason, Natural Law and the Golden Rule. This is the sine qua non of libertarianism.
Yeah sure. Tell it to Ayn Rand and the practitioners of Thelema. Both groups claim to be Libertarians. From a review of the book SEX AND ROCKETS, co-authored by Robert Anton Wilson:
This book tells the life story of a very strange, very brilliant, very funny, very tormented man who had at least three major occupations (or vocations); he also had no less than four names. He acted as scientist, as occultist, as political dissident and often as a simple damned eejit (just like you and me).(emphasis mine)
Scientists, aware of his tremendous contributions to space science, generally call him John Parsons, and they’ve even named a crater on the moon after him. Those occultists who know of his work in their very specialized arts call him Jack Parsons, the name he himself preferred; in
some magick lodges they consider him second only to Aleister Crowley as a progenitor of the New Aeon. His best-known book, Freedom Is A Two-Edged Sword, which increasingly influences the libertarian and anarchist movements, gives his name as John Whiteside Parsons on the cover and title page. And, as the present biography documents, this odd bird actually had the legal name Marvel Whiteside Parsons imposed on him at birth.
Incidentally, I printed the article from LewRockwell. It came with an ad attached: "What Does Your Soul Look Like? Take A Free Kabalistic Personality Test". I wonder where the Libertarians stand on Kabbalah? A branch of them represented by the followers of Crowley, have embraced it.