Archive for the ‘anarcho-capitalism’ Tag

Becky Akers on Racism   Leave a comment

Lela: Welcome back! Becky Akers and I are continuing our discussion of how an anarchic world would deal with racism and bigotry since there would be no government to enforce civil rights. Becky, my mother, an American Indian, suffered some segregation issues – difficulty renting apartments, denial of job opportunities — so I’ve always viewed the Civil Rights Act as a necessary government action which means I can be a human and not some sort of subhuman racial minority. Which brings us back to my original statement – government would not be necessary if men were angels. If men and women are bigots, how do the people they want to oppress get justice in a world without government?

 

Becky: Lela, I attended a women’s college that was so heavily Jewish it offered a kosher dining room. We schicksas, as its patrons called us, were forbidden to so much as throw our trash into the kosher garbage cans. Imagine the bigotry when even your wastepaper isn’t good enough!

 

Christian AnarchyLela:  That’s awful, but vaguely understandable given Jewish kosher regulations. I wouldn’t choose to be that cut off from the normal course of society and I couldn’t treat people with such contempt, but I understand it in principle. But that sort of attitude is exactly what scares me.

 

Becky:  Yep. So it’s understandable that you and a great many folks hope the State will force people to show better manners. But let’s remember who codified and enforced the racism that your mother suffered: government.

 

Lela:  Did it come from government or was it people in community who hated/feared Indians and wanted their land and asked government to support their decision to steal and abuse? That’s sort of off topic, but it is interesting to consider which came first — racism growing from the sinful hearts of fallen people or the government codifying and enforcing that racism.

But, back on topic — does anarcho-capitalism offer a better solution than civil rights legislation?

 

Becky:  Anarcho-capitalism offers far better methods of combating racism than that sin’s prime proponent, the State, ever could.

 

For over 75 years after the Constitution’s ratification, the Federal government and many states legislated and enforced chattel slavery. And those governments’ atrocities against American Indians are so heinous and infamous that time, space, and a queasy stomach prevent my rehearsing them here. Does it make sense to look for salvation from racism to the very agency that bolstered—and continues to bolster—it?

 

Lela: From someone who gets to look at it from both sides — whites did some evil things to the Indians, but some of my Indian ancestors admitted to the evil they did to white settlers. There was evil done on both sides and I can’t justify any of it. I can understand the sentiments that created the conflict, but I can’t justify the sins committed.

 

My family came to Alaska about 1946 just after Alaska became the first place in the United States to make Jim Crow-like discrimination illegal. My mom immediately noticed the difference from her experience in Washington State. My dad was with his first wife, a Creole, at the time and he always talked about the “miracle” of anti-discrimination laws. I grew up never really knowing legalized racism and thank God for that.

 

Becky:  But let’s ask another question: why were Jim Crow laws “necessary”?  Why go to the bother of legally banning black people—or, in Alaska’s case, native peoples—from movie theaters, housing, etc., if white people are by and large racists? Because clearly most proprietors of movie theaters, landlords, restaurateurs, etc., disagreed with discrimination. Then as now, these folks wanted as much profit as they could earn. And that means subjugating one’s prejudices against other colors to favor one: green.

 

Lela:  That’s a perspective I had not considered before. It would explain why Alaska’s anti-discrimination law was passed in 1945 and within a year my dad and mom (in separate parts of Alaska) noticed a difference. I always sort of imagined the owners of the Juneau Hotel grinding their teeth as Roy and Katherine Peratrovich celebrated its passage by dancing in their ballroom with their white patrons, but I never met any older white Alaskans who said they were absolutely horrified at its passage either. And it is true that the discrimination laws were written to “protect” white privilege because whites were a minority compared to Natives at the time. So, you think money is an anecdote to bigotry?

 

Becky:  Yes, I do. I think the free market in general is one of God’s greatest blessings to us because it lifts more people out of poverty by far than any other economic system. And specifically, it is bigotry’s most tireless enemy, as the State tacitly admitted every time it passed another law against a commercial transaction or behavior based on race.

 

Now, does this mean that everyone everywhere will welcome everyone all the time in an anarchic world? No, of course not. Let’s always remember that anarchy does not yield utopia, nor should we want it to: utopians like Hitler or the Khmer Rouge number among the most ruthless murderers in history. Whatever our social or political systems, we will still be fallen sinners living in a fallen world. But anarcho-capitalism offers the most opportunities for peace, prosperity, and freedom from bigotry’s burdens to the most people.

 

Lela: I’m still stuck here, though. I’m not looking for a utopia where everyone gets along and nobody has any evil thoughts. That won’t happen until we’re with Jesus in heaven and I honestly believe there will be some seriously embarrassed Christians when that day comes.

 

Becky: Amen. Seriously embarrassed.

 

Lela: From a statist perspective:  those that society deems “less-than” can perhaps “buy” their way into an accepted status in stateless anarcho-capitalist society. The converse is that “less-thans” are almost always poor in material wealth because of lack of opportunity. So again, don’t we circle back to needing the state to protect civil rights?

 

Becky:  Lela, much of the “lack of opportunity” you lament results from the State! For example: government requires many professionals, such as hair-braiders or morticians, to undergo expensive training totally irrelevant to their needs and to buy a license before they can practice their trade. Poor people almost always lack the time, money and resources to comply with the State’s demands; this isn’t “lack of opportunity,” this is outright tyranny! And it wouldn’t exist in an anarchic world.

 

There are other problems with anointing government Our Protector Of “Civil Rights” (I’ve put that term in quotes because I vehemently disagree with “civil rights,” as I explain here, here and here. “Civil rights” is a recognized political philosophy based on Marxism rather than mere shorthand, as most people assume, for “warm, fuzzy laws against nasty old bigots”). First, let’s remember government s inherent incompetence and corruption. Neither fault goes missing among those writing, passing, and enforcing regulations against discrimination. A Chinese landlord in San Diego, CA, may bribe the bureaucratic bean-counter who finds no Korean tenants in his five apartment buildings, but he’s unlikely to increase his profits in a heavily Asian area if he continues to indulge his racism.

 

Lela:  Okay, that makes sense. In a territory where most people were Alaska Natives who were starting to get educations and incomes (Roy Peratrovich was a lawyer, for example), it didn’t make much sense for businesses to refuse to sell to them.

 

Becky:  Remember, too, that we can’t control the unintended consequences or direction of any legislation, including that of “Civil Rights.” Who would have predicted in 1964 that the State’s ordering hoteliers, airlines, landlords, movie theaters, etc., to accommodate all patrons regardless of ethnicity would lead to the persecution-sorry, prosecution of Christian bakers and florists 50 years later for refusing to supply cakes and flowers to homosexual “weddings”?

 

Lela:  I definitely agree there. A law upholding the Christian principle of anti-discrimination (James 2 comes to mind) has become an excuse to deny religious liberty — to force private individuals to participate in and publicly sanction sinful behavior.

 

Becky: Lela, you’ve articulated a powerful principle there concerning the State. It always twists “well-intentioned,” “Christian” legislation into a horror straight from the pit of Hell. “Compulsory education” is another case in point: Protestants concerned about the huge numbers of Irish Catholic immigrants to mid-nineteenth century America pushed for laws compelling everyone to send his kids to “public” school–which they assumed would always be Protestant. Imagine their horror if they could see the State’s schools today, with pornography and the deliberate destruction of innocence, a.k.a “sex education,” unhealthy drugs and violence rampant, Darwinism not only preached but fanatically believed, and indoctrination in Marxism replacing any actual education.

 

Lela: In effect, the Civil Rights Act now discriminates against Biblically-faithful Christians. So how did that get twisted around?

 

Becky:  The Civil Rights Act arrogated the property owner’s rights to the State; in effect, a restaurateur no longer owns his diner because government now tells him how he may or may not use that property. If you doubt that, let me ask whether you own the bottle of aspirin you bought 2 weeks ago and placed in your medicine chest. If you do own it, can I prohibit you from opening it? Of course not! You can open it or not as you see fit, right?

 

Lela:  Yes.

 

Becky:  And if I said, “I prohibit you from opening that!”, wouldn’t you laugh at me? Wouldn’t you say, “Look, I have a headache, and anyway, it’s my aspirin! I’ll open it when I dang well please! It’s none of your business!” So with other kinds of property. If the State can tell me the uses I must make of it, I do not own it: the State does. And once we have ceded government the authority to dictate how some property-owners must use their property (restaurants must seat black patrons; landlords must rent to families with little kids though they disturb other tenants), we cannot legitimately, logically protest when it forces other property-owners to use their property as bureaucrats and politicians desire.

 

Lela:  Okay. I can see that. In fact, I’ve had conversations with people on this blog who argued the same thing from the statist position.

 

Becky: Lela, it’s supremely ironic that so many folks believe the State saves us from the consequences of bigotry: it’s among the worst of discriminators, if not the worst! Go to almost bureaucracy’s website and you’ll find a page like this one, listing the ways in which the agency favors some people over others, based solely on sex, race, etc.

 

Lela:  Right. Those pages (in print in those days) were always a conundrum for me because I could legally claim minority status, but I was raised to celebrate all of my heritage, so I didn’t. In high school, I started checking “other” and writing “human” on the line. I hope some bureaucrats were confused by that.

 

Becky: Good for you! The upshot is that government doesn’t prohibit discrimination and bigotry; instead, it promotes both in the varieties that bureaucrats and politicians prefer.

 

Lela: I’m part-American Indian, but I have blue eyes and curly hair, so I have a choice whether to look white or Indian (and have experimented to see if there is a different reaction; there is sometimes with some people). In principle, I can say that private individuals and companies have a right to choose who they associate with, but if I’m honest, as an Indian, that would mean my freedom would be curtailed by their freedom. It’s not as simple as saying “well, just move somewhere and associate with your own kind” because my own kind is as much Americans of Swedish and Irish descent as Americans of Indian descent. To me, freedom is being able to move within all of those groups without having to change my appearance to “pass”. I don’t care what’s kicking around in the private recesses of some rude person’s mind because their thoughts don’t hurt me, but if their actions deny me freedom … then I start to see a need for government to protect my freedom.

 

Becky: We need to return to our definition of  government,  Lela, which I’ll paraphrase as “physical compulsion, up to and including lethal compulsion, and the authority some people (ie, politicians, bureaucrats and their enforcers) claim to initiate that compulsion against others.” Are you saying that if a landlord refuses to rent to you, government should ultimately kill him?

 

Christian AnarchyLela:  No! Rudeness should not carry a death sentence.

 

Becky: Let’s also specify what we mean by “freedom” (which I’ve used throughout our conversation interchangeably with “liberty”), since you fear that bigots’ actions deny you your freedom. The dictionary defines ”liberty” as “freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control.” As an anarchist, I’d remove “arbitrary or despotic.” And for the purposes of our discussion here, I’d also delete “or control” since we’re dealing with political freedom and there are other sorts of “arbitrary or despotic…control” (my mother-in-law, for example!). Ergo, liberty is “freedom from government.”

 

When we consider both these meanings in the context of your sentence, we see that however despicable or cruel the “rude person’s” treatment of you may be, he is in no way denying your freedom. Unless he is a politician or bureaucrat acting in an official capacity—and in an anarcho-capitalist world, we’d have neither of those sub-species—he is merely insulting, offensive, and inviting the judgment of God. Indeed, his abuse is so egregious that when you tell me about it, Lela, I organize a boycott of his business. I shun him personally, too, as do readers of the articles I write against him. Pretty soon, he either gets the message, or he’s one lonely, broke racist.

 

Lela:  Now we’re getting to the crux of the conversation! Reasoning from a statist position, the lack of a state means there’s no way to influence others, but you’re suggesting there are alternatives to the state that work just as well or better.

 

Becky: Much better!

 

Lela: We’re running out of time today. Would you be willing to return to discuss this further?

 

Becky: I’d be honored to do so!

 

Becky Akers is a free-lance writer and historian who has written two novels about the American Revolution, Halestorm and Abducting Arnold.

 

 

Stay Tuned for Christian Anarchy   Leave a comment

Becky Akers retuChristian Anarchyrns to discuss the role of government in perpetuating institutional racism.

Interestingly, this coincides with Starbuck’s Race Together campaign, which I (and my husband Brad) take exception to on the grounds that it is itself racist.

Join Becky and I for this timely discussion.

Biblical Anarchy 3   2 comments

Hi, Lela. I hope you and everyone reading enjoyed a blessed week since our last discussion!

I am enjoying it, Becky, and I’m looking forward to continuing the conversation.

So am I, Lela.

Last time we focused on the Bible’s implications against the State, beginning with the Ten Commandments; we observed that if Christians seriously upheld them, the State could not exist. Hence, the Mosaic law contains the first of Scripture’s many intimations that political government is evil.

We find another huge hint that the State violates God’s will in the Golden Rule – or, as we often paraphrase it, “Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.”

Ouch! Officers of the government break that one all the time!

Oh, indeed, they do! I’m amused whenever I read of another exemption politicians grant themselves from the laws they impose on everyone else. Nor do cops do unto us as they want us to do unto them. Rather, they physically brutalize civilians while prohibiting us from so much as brushing against their exalted personages. And how many bureaucrats open their homes or businesses to us though they trespass in—or “inspect,” as they euphemize it—ours? How many busybodies at the various Departments of Motor Vehicles would want us to deny them the right to drive though they strip us of that essential power? How many employees at Child Protective Services would tolerate our remanding their kids to foster-care as they daily do to parents around the country?

I can actually speak on how social workers feel about having their kids taken by Child Protective Services, because I worked as an administrator for a community mental health agency. They get as worked up as any other parent when it happens and, of course, they don’t think they’ve done anything wrong … which they probably haven’t. Usually the parents who don’t have an SW after their name haven’t harmed their children either.

Breaking up families is so utterly heartless and anti-Scriptural. Christians ought to combat the State for that barbarity alone.

Obviously, government by its nature violates the Golden Rule. Even clearer proof comes when we consider yet again the State’s two most characteristic behaviors: war and taxation. No one wants soldiers shooting at him while bombing, raping and pillaging; even the most belligerent hawks in Congress would mightily object should troops storm Capitol Hill and subject them to the horrors they so readily visit on the rest of the world. And the Chief Thief at the IRS would never permit any of us to pick his pockets though he routinely loots ours.

It would seem, then, that the Golden Rule prohibits our participating in the State’s atrocities. If we call ourselves Christians, we not only can’t “work” in government, we must actively oppose it, just as we oppose other evils (cruelty, child abuse, pornography, etc.) that violate Christ’s clear teaching in the Golden Rule.

There are other insinuations of Biblical hatred for the State. For example, Holy Writ repeatedly assures us of God’s special concern for the poor and His fury against those who exploit them. Yet political government always, in all times and places, preys on the impoverished, anecdotally and statistically. So standard is the State’s victimization of the poor that Scripture cautions us against amazement: “Don’t be surprised when you see that the government oppresses the poor and denies them justice and their rights. Every official is protected by someone higher, and both are protected by still higher officials.” Alas, this verse from Ecclesiastes 5 is another text I have never heard preached from any pulpit.

Remember our definition of “government”: a group of people who claims a monopoly on the legal and moral authority to initiate physical force within a certain geographical area. Physical force is political government’s sine qua non, its hallmark, its distinguishing feature; it underlies all government’s actions, even those that seem beneficial or moral.

Give us some examples of that, Becky.

Well, Lela, some people, even Christians, consider housing the homeless to be one of government’s duties. What they are actually saying is that politicians and bureaucrats should compel certain folks, i.e., landlords, construction workers, their suppliers of brick, mortar, etc., to provide their products and labor without payment – and if the landlords, builders, and suppliers refuse, the politicians and bureaucrats may fine them. If they continue to refuse, the government will imprison them. If they resist the officers pushing them into those cages, their assailants may “legitimately” kill them. (Of course, in reality, the process is far subtler: the landlords, builders, and suppliers’ loss is spread among taxpayers. But the principle holds, as we see when any taxpayer refuses to pony up: the State can and will fine, jail and ultimately murder our hero, should he resist.)

I had not actually thought of it that way before. Cast in that light, it doesn’t seem like a Christ-like response to homelessness. Are there other examples?

Millions, tragically enough. What of the poor sap addicted to drugs the State disapproves? Many people, even Christians, consider preventing, punishing, and curing addiction to heroin, cocaine, etc., worthy goals for government. But again, that means arresting, caging and, in some cases, killing anyone who resists. Does the Lord we worship approve of such violence against people who were neither threatening nor harming anyone?

You have a point, although I don’t wholly buy the argument that drug users aren’t threatening or harming others. Let’s hold that topic for a later discussion because I do agree with you that Jesus did not treat sinners the way the government treats those it has deemed as criminals. I don’t think He approves of that.

I don’t think He does either. He certainly didn’t resort to physical force Himself when dealing with needy people or sinners. He fed the 5000 after asking volunteers to share the food they’d brought. He did not order the disciples to search the crowd for hidden lunches and confiscate whatever they found, like a squad of hungry TSA goons. Nor did He single out the wealthiest people in the audience and double them over with abdominal pain until they bought everyone else dinner.

When the Pharisees insisted on executing the adulterous woman, Christ defended her from that enforcement of virtue. What a contrast to modern Christians, who, with their love of the State’s power, consider its punishment of “victimless” “crime” God’s work! And Christ famously dined with winebibbers and sinners, as His enemies charged, rather than agitating for laws limiting Sunday sales of alcohol or requiring ID for purchase.

Jesus wasn’t a complete pacifist though. He did resort to physical force at times.

Only once: when He chased the money-changers from the Temple. And then He was remarkably restrained. Rather than divinely striking these cheats dead or causing an earthquake to swallow them, He limited Himself to His own human strength and a whip.

So, you’re saying that the morality laws that many Christians advocate are actually violations of God’s law?

Yes, I am. The left is fond of pointing out that you can’t legislate morality, and just as a stopped clock is right twice a day, they’ve got a point. Force precludes morality.

What do I mean by that? Note that a God powerful enough to create the universe never compels us to love Him. He endows us with free-will. And His earth, both before and after the Fall, requires liberty and the power of choice as a framework for virtue.

I get no credit for being virtuous if my husband hogties me inside our home: I cannot commit adultery; I have no chance to; I’ve not opted for faithfulness over infidelity. Similarly, you are not a moral person if I hold you at gunpoint and say, “Don’t steal my wallet”: I have deprived you of the ability to decide to do otherwise. (Now, certainly, all of us lock our homes and cars, use passwords on our accounts, etc. But we are protecting our property from those who have already decided to steal, already chosen immorality.)

Ergo, liberty is a pre-condition of virtue. If we are not free to act, we cannot be virtuous. Christians who try to outlaw immorality via the State’s physical compulsion are completely illogical—and unbiblical. Our Lord doesn’t instantly zap sinners when they transgress His laws, and He doesn’t compel blasphemers to their knees in punishment.  Should we through the agency of the State? Or should we permit others to live as they see fit, sharing the Gospel with them, certainly, but relying on the Holy Spirit and persuasion to change their hearts rather than on government’s violence? The Bible does not condone force as a response to sin except in self-defense.

Now, some Christians will protest, “But I want laws against prostitution! I can’t live next door to a whorehouse!” And freedom holds the answer, but let’s explore that later.

Lela, we’ve looked at the Bible’s abhorrence, both obvious and implied, of political government. But perhaps the most compelling reason for Christians to denounce the State is that it is Satan’s citadel. He owns it, as the Bible clearly, graphically tells us and as I’ll explain next week.

I look forward to that discussion, Becky.

Becky Akers is a free-lance writer and historian who has written two novels about the American Revolution, Halestorm and Abducting Arnold.

Posted March 3, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Anarchy

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Biblical Anarchy 2   3 comments

LELA: Becky Akers and I continue our conversation on anarchy and Christianity. See earlier installments on the Conversation with an Anarchist page.

BECKY: Hello again, Lela. We parted last time on a question that had long puzzled me: how to reconcile Romans 13 and I Peter 2:13-17 with the rest of the Bible. Those two passages seem to extol government and urge not only our compliance but our enthusiastic support. Yet a myriad of other verses condemn the State’s wickedness, as we saw last week.

LELA: Thanks for coming back, Becky. I’m definitely stumped by the apparent contradiction. As a Baptist, I find my church tries very hard to take the entire Bible into context. I know a couple of pastors who are cool in their attitude toward government and/or military conflict, but most Baptists are straight up statists who consider me a radical for advocating for state secession and federalization and they base that stance on those two verses. How do you resolve it?

BECKY: Yep, the apparent contradiction between those verses and other passages, such as Judges 9, I Samuel 8, Psalm 2, etc., troubled me greatly. So did the silliness of asserting that “rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same.” [Romans 13:3] This is obviously untrue of any and all political governments: even a cursory examination of history shows the diametrical opposite, let alone our own experiences with politicians and bureaucrats. Meanwhile, Christians are worse than fools to believe or to preach such lunacy. So how could God, writing through Paul, allege such an absurdity?

LELA: Especially since Nero was emperor of Rome at the time. It would seem patently obvious that Christians had a great deal to fear from him even if they were doing good.

BECKY: Especially if they were doing good! Well, Lela, I searched long and hard for an explanation. I read a great many commentaries from other Christian anarchists—and some who were not so Christian.

LELA: I’ve noticed that in researching this topic that a fair number of anarchists claiming to be Christians just dismiss the verses they don’t like – claim they were added by Constantine or the Catholic Church.

BECKY: Exactly. But true Christians never presuppose that the Bible is just another book from which we pick and choose what we wish to believe. It is the Word of God in its entirety, even those parts that mystify us or confuse our puny, finite minds. Ergo, I immediately ruled out anyone who denied the Bible’s authority, who pooh-poohed either passage as not really inspired or as some government’s later interpolation, or who dismissed these verses as Paul and Peter’s disingenuous attempt to placate their Roman persecutors.

LELA: I totally agree. I don’t know how someone can call themselves a Christian, but ignore the parts of God’s word they don’t agree with. That standard often makes for some complications, but it’s the only way to be true to my faith, I think.

BECKY: Anyway, after crashing into lots of dead ends, I finally found this masterful treatment of Romans 13 and I Peter 2. The author makes an excellent case for their wildly inaccurate translations from the original Greek – and though I don’t read Hebrew, as I mentioned previously, I studied both Greek and Latin as my major in college. So I was able to verify his thesis that the Greek words used in these passages do not typically pertain to government; rather, they refer to other “authorities,” such as our biological fathers, owners of property, etc. (I am over-simplifying here and urge folks to read the article rather than rely on my inadequate summary.) Indeed, the usual translations, whether King James or more modern ones, err so egregiously that they invert the meaning, upholding the State instead of its private and far superior alternatives.

LELA: My Greek is not as good as yours. I have to rely on helps and on friends who have studied Greek. I went to the Net Bible’s Greek interlinear of Romans 13 and cross-referenced with Strongs and found that it is a voluntary giving in for the purposes of cooperation. There’s an element in the word “exousia” (translated governing authorities) of the power of choice or liberty. In 1 Peter, I found similar ideas of voluntaryism with the idea that the king (or ruler of the people) is to be estimated (or judged) by the people. I’m pretty sure that the Christians of Paul and Peter’s time would have estimated Nero as a crazy man who wanted them all dead. At some point we’re going to have to talk about whether we can adequately estimate the value of a ruler through elections, but let’s continue with the Scriptures for now.

BECKY: Restoring their true content to these two sections of Holy Writ shows us yet again that our omnipotent, omniscient God does not contradict Himself. (And now, the third verse of Romans 13 makes utter sense, too: our fathers, tutors, and other familial and social “rulers” do indeed reward us when we do well!) The Lord utterly opposes evil, even from politicians and government. And His revelation bears this out in all its chapters, including those that fallen sinners have (deliberately) mis-translated.

Meanwhile, in addition to the Bible’s outright condemnations of political government, Scripture also implies that the State should not exist. We find some of the most egregious implications against the State in the Ten Commandments.

Too many Christians read these laws as if the Sixth and Eighth end with the words “unless thou wearest a badge and a polyester costume that the State issueth.” Yet “You shall not murder” and “You shall not steal” are pretty much absolute. They permit no exceptions, nor do they read, “You shall not murder unless the State says it’s OK because those little brown people over there in Iraq might be terrorists” or “You shall not steal unless the government lusts after the ‘revenue’ from the traffic tickets you write hapless drivers.”

Let’s think about that for a moment to understand how truly radical it is. If the Lord – and we, His followers – hold the State to the Eighth Commandment, if indeed no one, not the IRS, not the Congress or president, no bureaucrat, no politician, no cop or judge, can legitimately, “morally” force anyone to hand over his wealth, then taxation will screech to a halt. Government cannot function, cannot even exist, without the taxes it steals from us. The State will disappear.

Likewise with war, which is nothing more than organized, State-mandated mass murder. Randolph Bourne very wisely observed that “War is the health of the State.” Other philosophers have noted that wars allow governments to grow exponentially, that legislators who pass “emergency measures” while bullets are flying do not rescind them when peace is declared. New taxes, new bureaucracies, new infringements on freedom – war allows the State to foist all these on its subjects.

But if we take the Commandment against murder seriously, if indeed no one, not the Pentagon, not the Congress or president, no bureaucrat, no politician, no cop or judge, can legitimately, “morally” murder another person, even a foreign one, then war will end. And the State will shrink dramatically if it doesn’t completely vanish.

Until that glorious day, however, many churches and Christians act as if the Ten Commandments are mere suggestions, and ones they can safely ignore at that. Far from rebuking or shunning members of their congregations who volunteer to murder on government’s behalf, they praise them. And while I have gagged at plenty of sermons about how “honest” Christians will never cheat on their taxes, I have yet to hear one on how honest Christians will oppose official theft and all the evils politicians buy with our money, from abortions to the White House’s lies , lavish living , and orgies .

In case the Ten Commandments’ prohibition of the State’s life-blood doesn’t convince readers that political government is incompatible with the Bible, I’ll look at another of our Lord’s implications next week, Lela. Hint: many people consider this one “golden.”

LELA: I look forward to that.
Becky Akers is a free-lance writer and historian who has written two novels about the American Revolution, Halestorm and Abducting Arnold.

 

 

Halestorm and Abducting Arnold, the revolutionary novels. Buy them before they’re banned!

Visit the books’ website.

What is Anarchy?   26 comments

My conversation with Becky started easily enough — for me. I wanted to know —

What is anarcho capitalism?  Or better yet, what is capitalism? What is anarchy? And then what is anarcho capitalism?

 

BECKY:  Boy, she starts with the easy stuff!

 

LELA:  I didn’t realize that was a deep-end-of-the-pool question. It’s seemed like a good start, but it’s a big subject. Sorry.

 

CAPITALISM

BECKY:  Lela, I retaliated by heading for Webster’s—and I was pleasantly surprised: I can live with its definition of “capitalism”—

 an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, especially as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.

I doubt that I’m alone when I use “capitalism” as short-hand for “economic freedom and abundance” as opposed to the enslavement and poverty of socialism or communism. (And I would hope that contrast is beyond dispute at this point. Progressives’ infatuation with communism is no longer tenable, given the multitudes of corpses and accounts from eyewitnesses of mass murder, torture, famine, etc. If you continue to espouse communism, you not only condone those horrors, making you a menace to humanity, but you are probably an American politician.)

 

LELA:  That would be my understanding of capitalism (and readers are welcome to rebut if they like). So what is anarchy?

ANARCHY

BECKY: Let’s head back to the dictionary for the definition:

 

  1. a state of society without government or law.
  2. political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control: The death of the king was followed by a year of anarchy.

Synonyms: lawlessness, disruption, turmoil.

  1. anarchism (def 1).
  2. lack of obedience to an authority; insubordination: the anarchy of his rebellious teenage years.
  3. confusion and disorder: Intellectual and moral anarchy followed his loss of faith.

It was impossible to find the book I was looking for in the anarchy of his bookshelves.

Synonyms: chaos, disruption, turbulence; license; disorganization, disintegration.

Alas, this time I’m not nearly as happy, though my dissatisfaction is soon remedied by isolating the first definition and inserting the word positive before law:

 a state of society without government or positive law.

 

POSITIVE LAW

LELA: What is positive law?

BECKY:  Positive law, of course, is that set of man-made regulations, decrees, commands—any “law” beyond the Biblical ban of murder, theft, rape, and kidnapping (philosophers call this proscription on initiating violence against others “natural law”).

 

LELA: What would be some examples of natural versus positive laws?

BECKY: All of us recognize that walking up to a man and decapitating him is morally wrong because it’s murder, but few if any of us would agree that manufacturing incandescent light bulbs of 100 watts is a sin. Yet governments around the world, including the Feds, have made such production illegal. We designate such arbitrariness “positive law” though its effects are anything but positive.

 

LELA: I see what you mean. I’m quite irritated with the loss of 100-watt bulbs. I now have to turn on all the lights in the kitchen to read a cookbook. I wonder why they call it positive law.

 

BECKY: Anarchy, then, means living life without politicians and bureaucrats, without the taxes and poverty, war, diktats, cruelty and all-around misery they inflict as well as the obedience and obeisance they demand in return. In short, anarchy means living free of the State and its coercion. It does not imply the suspension of natural law so that the “big” crimes (such as murder and theft) that everyone, even criminals, acknowledges to be immoral are suddenly OK. Murder is still murder, theft is still theft, and both are still crimes under anarchy.

 

LELA:  We’ll return to that subject of crime later. What is anarcho-capitalism?

 

 ANARCHO-CAPITALISM 

BECKY: Well, looking at definitions 2, 4, and 5 tells us why libertarian philosophers coined the term “anarcho-capitalism.” The State, always desperate to prevent its victims from realizing that it sponges off them while actively harming them, has long pretended that it’s the source of order and a peaceful society. It’s no wonder that politicians and bureaucrats—who declare and prosecute wars while picking our pockets to finance them and caging anyone who refuses to go along with their murder—insist on this self-serving lie. What’s baffling is that most of their subjects do, too. And uncritically, as well: tell the average American, let alone the average Christian, that government preys on him and that we should abolish it, and he’s so repulsed he’s dumbfounded. The few who can still speak usually bleat, “But—but what about the roads? Who’ll build ‘em?”

 

LELA: We’re going to discuss the roads too, I hope.

BECKY:  This bias in favor of the State underlies the second definition of anarchy (“political and social disorder due to the absence of governmental control: The death of the king was followed by a year of anarchy”). But why would “political and social disorder” prevail without government (by which we designate the group of people who claim a monopoly on the legal and moral authority to use physical force within a certain geographical area)? I’ve never started a war; have you?

 

LELA:  No!

 

BECKY:  Yet politicians do, all the time. I’ve never gone next door, held a gun on my neighbor and barked, “Hand over 33% of your income from last year!” I bet you haven’t, either.

 

LELA: I’m pretty sure they call that armed robbery, which carries a presumptive 20-year sentence in Alaska.

 

BECKY: Yet the bureaucrats at the IRS not only do so full-time, they further insult us by calling that “work” and keeping a percentage of what they loot from us as “pay.”

So how is it that if these organized and very large-scale crimes went missing, we would descend into “political and social disorder”? Wouldn’t just the opposite happen?

 

CRIME

LELA: But private citizens commit crimes, too.

BECKY:  Sure they do. They steal. They rape. They kidnap and even murder. And their victims, refusing to see that bureaucrats and politicians have already preyed on them in exactly the same way, cry for the government to protect them. But how much harm do these private criminals wreak vs. the State? The notorious swindler, Bernie Madoff, cheated his clients out of perhaps $50 billion (the exact amount is disputed and may have been much lower). Contrast that with what a single bureaucracy out of the hundreds at the federal level thieves from us: “The FY 2016 Budget for DHS [Dept. of Homeland Security] is $64.9 billion in total budget authority…” Remember that government has no wealth but what it takes from us: every one of those 64,900,000,000 dollars, let alone the remaining trillions municipal, state and federal governments gobble, originated with you and me.

  • Madoff   $50 billion
  • Department of Homeland Security  $64.9 billion

Likewise, let us consider the murder and mayhem a private citizen can dish out: if you believe the official story of Timothy McVeigh, he killed 168 people. But one of the Feds’ more “limited” wars, the one in Iraq, has claimed 3,528 lives in combat (4,493 if we count other deaths, I presume from accidents, disease, etc. These figures are as of February 6, 2015). And if we look at a “big” action, such as World War II, the numbers absolutely shock: 407,000 Americans in the military died, thanks to Franklin Roosevelt’s finagling the country into a conflict many taxpayers abhorred.

  • Timothy McVeigh  killed 168 people
  • US War on Terror has killed 4,493 Americans
  • World War II killed 407,000 Americans

Does it make any sense to believe that life is safer or more civilized with the State than without this most organized and gigantic of all criminals?

LELA:  Looked at that way, not really. 

BECKY: Yet most people conflate anarchy with chaos and disruption—so much so that the dictionary lists those words as synonyms. Indeed, folks will often refer to a nation whose government has toppled, with competing gangs of displaced politicians now fighting for dominance, as being in a state of “anarchy.” It is in no such thing. Rather, it suffers from too much government—too many politicians battling to lord it over everyone else.

Even worse, Americans of the early twentieth century often spoke of “communists and anarchists” as Marxism conquered Europe while making inroads here. Confused babblers like Emma Goldman contributed to the denigration of the word “anarchy”: her ideas are basically recycled communism, yet she called herself an “anarchist.”

LELA: Why was this disingenuous?

BECKY:  Communism cannot possibly be anarchic, nor can it lead to a stateless society: since communism directly contradicts human nature, requiring us to put the “common good” ahead of ourselves and our families, it demands an extremely powerful government, indeed, a totalitarian one, to force us to act against our best interests.

 

LELA: My political science background is agreeing with this, but hopefully we can later discuss why socialists claim capitalists can be anarchists. But let’s stick with the subject at hand — anarcho-capitalism.

BECKY:  Hence the origin of “anarcho-capitalist”: to distinguish from false “anarchists” — those of us who truly crave a world without the State, without its political force and interference, who respect private property and the free market as the key to the most abundance for the most people, and who revere peace rather than politicians’ constant wars.

For Christians, anarcho-capitalism offers another huge benefit: it’s the only social and economic system consistent with the Bible.

 

 

 

LELA:  We’re out of time for today, but next week, Becky will explain how anarcho-capitalism is consistent with Christianity.

 

Becky Akers is a free-lance writer and historian who has written two novels about the American Revolution, Halestorm and Abducting Arnold.

Posted February 10, 2015 by aurorawatcherak in Anarchy

Tagged with , , , ,

Stay Tuned for A Little Anarchy   3 comments

When Becky Akers and I met to talk about her books — Abducting Arnold and Halestorm, we touched on subjects of political philosophy. Becky is an anarcho-capitalist, whom I stalked after hearing her on local talk radio.

It should not surprise regular readers of this blog that Alaskans tend to be enamored with the idea that government — especially the federal government — gets in the way more often than it helps us. I’ve always had anarchist flickerings in my soul. At the same time, I grew up in a state that is government heavy. Alaska is a deep scarlet state with a huge government apparatus. I don’t think I can imagine a future with No government, but I think I would like to try.

Thom Stark and I are having a wonderfully fun debate across the progressive-small government divide, but Becky and I are going to have a conversation in which I hope to show you what I find attractive about the anarchist philosophy and also answer some of my own questions to see if it’s a bridge too far or right up my alley.

So, hang on! Tuesday Coffee with Becky starts tomorrow.

Becky Akers Announces Sale   Leave a comment

FirestormHalestorm       $1.50 on Kindle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ArnoldAbducting Armold  $1.50 on Kindle

http://www.amazon.com/Becky-Akers/e/B00DOZU8UU/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1?qid=1421445596&sr=1-1

 

And check out Becky’s thoughts on many subjects on LewRockwell.com

http://www.lewrockwell.com/author/becky-akers/?ptype=lrc-blog

I want to thank Becky Akers for visiting the blog, where my stats are booming, all surrounding her interview and a lot coming from Lew Rockwell’s site.

Interview with Becky Akers   1 comment

Today’s interview is with Becky Akers, author of Halestorm and Abducting Arnold, two works of fiction based on a refreshingly different take on American history. I heard Becky interview on Patriot’s Lament, a Saturday morning radio program on KFAR AM 660 (Fairbanks Alaska) that explores anarcho-capitalism and a lot of other liberty subjects. I liked what she had to say so much that I tracked her down and asked her if she would let me interview her.

 

Tell us something about yourself, Becky.

For starters, Lela, I’m honored to talk with you today! Thanks so much.

As for the salient facts, my favorite meal is dessert and my favorite sport, reading; I adore storms—meteorological ones, that is; you can usually find me at either my computer’s keyboard or a piano’s; and if we could choose where and when we’re born, I’d have picked Boston in 1758.

 

How long have you been writing and what was the first story you wrote?

When I was 8 or 9, I sobbed my way through Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings’ The Yearling. I then baldly and boldly plagiarized it to write my first story. I learned later that authors call this “inspiration.”

 

Yeah, fan fiction at the behest of my bored friends was where I honed my early writing skills. What are you passionate about in life?

Chocolate and Chinese food!

I’m down with both of those, but …

Oh, wait: you mean something inedible, don’t you? Of lasting value, even eternal significance?

 

FirestormDefinitely!

In that case, I am most passionate about Christianity—the Biblical version, thank you, not the man-made knock-off that presents God as a sort of celestial vending machine: “Insert prayers and good deeds, receive that new car.”

Because I am a sinner Christ saved via His infinite grace and mercy, gratitude alone compels me to obey Him. Politically, that translates to anarchism, by which I mean there should be no State, no government, no political class of sinful, fallen men thumbing their noses at the Almighty while lording it over the rest of us.

 

Having listened to Patriot’s Lament for two years now, I know the answer to this question, but I have to ask it anyway for readers’ benefit —

Aren’t anarchists all Marxists?

To be precise, I am an anarcho-capitalist. Anarcho-capitalists are true anarchists, as distinguished from the communists the American government mislabelled “anarchists” in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Communists cannot be anarchists: they need a strong central government, so strong it’s totalitarian, since their philosophy compels citizens to sacrifice their own interests to the “common good.” No one voluntarily does that, hence the armies and wholesale slaughter that ever attend Marxism.

By contrast, anarcho-capitalists do not go around blowing things up, nor do we wear red berets. We uphold the individual and his inalienable rights; the free market—a truly free one, with no regulations but its own, self-correcting ones; voluntary interactions and transactions; peace. We love liberty, just as the Bible does: “Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free…

 

Are you saying that the Bible supports anarchy?

Any Christian who loves his Lord must abide by the Ten Commandments—and that perforce makes us anarchists since the Law prohibits two of government’s essential hallmarks: stealing (even if we rename it “taxation”) and murder, which remains murder even if we call it “war.” Nor do I note any exemption in Holy Writ for those wearing badges or merely following orders. If you worship Jesus Christ, you had better be serious about your morality and about doing unto others as you would have them do unto you. And since none of us want others to steal from or murder us, how can we support government when it routinely commits both crimes?

Finally, the State is Satan’s citadel – I’ve written about this extensively; those whom this concept intrigues may want to start here or here – so I oppose it in its entirety. I’m not interested in “reforming” or “limiting” government, any more than I would be interested in reforming or limiting cancer. I want to abolish human government because it directly opposes itself to Almighty God, vying with Him for our devotion.

 

 

Talk about Halestorm.

Halestorm is the first novel for adults to follow the adventures of Captain Nathan Hale, the American Revolutionary (and devout Christian!) who supposedly said, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country” before the British Empire hanged him for espionage.

It’s an utterly thrilling story, full of suspense, breathtaking drama, and even humor—not because I’m such an enthralling writer but because Nathan was such an enthralling guy. Yet most historians dismiss him as a failure, a bumbling amateur, or, at best, a children’s hero. I’m not sure whether they do so because he was only 21 when he hanged or because of his wholehearted commitment to liberty—in other words, his idealism and integrity. Apparently, to earn historians’ favor, you have to be a power-hungry cynic and sociopath like the average politician.

I was indeed a child when I first learned about Nathan—so young, in fact, that I can’t remember whether I read his story for myself or whether someone told me of him. But his courage and defiance of tyranny captivated me. I’ve loved him ever since. And I hope other adults who pick up my novel because it’s exciting will come away from it admiring Nathan and his principles, too.

 

 

ArnoldNow, let’s get to the meat of the matter. Abducting Arnold takes an alternative view of the Benedict Arnold treason incident. You don’t see Arnold as a traitor, but actually cast him as a hero. That’s certainly not what I learned in high school.

No, I daresay it isn’t!

When I started the massive research for Abducting Arnold, I held the conventional view of him as an irredeemably wicked traitor; I figured that my novel would exhaust the list of synonyms for “dastardly” and “coward.” But within a few months, I had to radically change my view –and my plot’s outline!—, based on the evidence.

My first inkling that everything we “know” about Arnold is wrong came when I understood the scope of his career. During the war’s first two years, Arnold won astounding victories against huge odds for the Patriots: he was a hero’s hero who succeeded at the impossible time after time. He froze, starved and bled for the Cause, even sustaining a wound that crippled him for life. He was completely devoted to the principles of liberty.

Then, eighteen months after his most outstanding victory, he had sided with his former enemy, the one he had fought so vehemently and successfully, an empire inimical to freedom. Why?

 

I always heard that the British paid him. Isn’t that the reason he turned his coat?

No – though, as you note, most historians either imply or state outright that Arnold profited handsomely from his treason. But he actually lost money: I added up his accounts and documented, as much as is possible two centuries later, that he forfeited a considerable amount. And he knew he would.

Arnold was also allegedly the touchiest, most vainglorious and egomaniacal general around: another extremely popular explanation for his treason is that he prized his own military brilliance even if an ungrateful country and Congress didn’t, and he craved revenge for their constant criticism and abuse.

Unlike the money motivation, which is flat-out wrong, this second explanation is a mixture of truth and fiction. Arnold was indeed brilliant—to my mind, the most brilliant tactician and commander on either side of the war. And without a doubt, neither his fellow Patriots nor Congress ever came close to appreciating his genius. But Arnold reacted the way other officers in his situation did – because surprise, surprise, he wasn’t the only general Congressional politics savaged. Nor were his responses unreasonable and hysterical, as so many historians insist.

 

So if Arnold didn’t commit treason to reap a fortune or out of pique, why did he?

Trying to answer that question led me to a set of politicians known as the Radical Patriots. Though they’re virtually forgotten today, the Radicals were extremely powerful during the Revolution, and they pulled a sort of coup d’état in Philadelphia, where they first seized power. Basically, they were Progressives—as communist in their economics and as humorless in their fanaticism as Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama today. They loved government, the bigger the better, which, of course, was precisely the opposite of other Patriots. Radicals weren’t fighting to live free; they were fighting to rule their fellows in place of King George III’s administration.

Arnold was one of the only real Patriots to understand what the Radicals were up to. He tried to thwart them, to save the Revolution for liberty from them. His failure at that led directly to his deal with the British, for reasons I dramatize in Abducting Arnold.

 

Why do you think we don’t learn this in school?

I’d say primarily for two reasons.

First, winners write history. Arnold’s side lost. Not only that, but though the Radical Patriots faded from power after the Revolution, much of their philosophy not only survived but triumphed. It continues to curse us today. Telling the true story of Arnold, of why and how he opposed the Radicals, would undermine the modern welfare-warfare state.

And second, Arnold enrages statists.

There is no greater crime to people who love the centralized American government than to question or mock it, refuse to take it as seriously as it decrees, or prefer a different one; look at the hatred heaped on Ed Snowden (who, by the way, is often compared with Arnold. As he should be: he’s intensely heroic and principled, like Arnold). Arnold “betrayed” America because his allegiance wasn’t to Congress or the Continental Army or his home state of Connecticut or George Washington or to anything but freedom. And when he saw the Radicals rising to power while imposing a dictatorship that put George III’s in the shade, he turned his back on the American government, such as it then was.

Statists must blacken Arnold’s name, must depict him as evil incarnate, lest kids learn to love liberty and recognize Arnold for what he was: one of freedom’s most magnificent champions.

 

To truly understand what Becky is discussing, read the book. It’s meticulously researched and an entertaining read.

 

Links – to books:

Halestorm– http://www.amazon.com/Halestorm-ebook/dp/B008YF7H9A/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1358872730&sr=8

 

Abducting Arnold — http://www.amazon.com/Abducting-Arnold-Becky-Akers-ebook/dp/B00H6J50T4/ref=zg_bs_6361463011_19

 

Websites:

https://beckyakers.wordpress.com/

 

Facebook, etc. 

 

Nope – eschew “social media” like the plague and NSA-infiltrated trap that it is.

 

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