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Reformed Libertarian Blog Posts

Is vigilantism forbidden in the Word of God?

After my post yesterday on Rothbard’s agreement with Scripture’s teaching on “private” vengeance, I read A Romans 13 Exposition on Church and State for Such a Time as This by Michael A. Milton, Ph.D. (President and Professor of Practical Theology, Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina). The exposition represents the typical gloss of the passage. One statement in particular jumped out, in light the above.

In Genesis, Noah receives a directive from God (Genesis 9.3-6), and this of course pre-dates the Mosaic Law:

Whoever sheds the blood of man, by man shall his blood be shed, for God made man in his own image (Gen 9.6).

Now of course this is interpreted with other Scriptures. When we take this into account with the principles of Leviticus and with this teaching in Romans 13; one sees the justification for the use of the sword against evil-doers who plot and commit murder, which is murder in the first degree. But vigilantism is forbidden in the Word of God. For a single man does not have the moral authority from God to carry the mantle of civil government, with its various laws, punishments and penalties. This is the role alone of human government, with its derived authority and its derived power.

Really? Scripture actually teaches precisely the opposite: a single man does have the moral authority from God to carry the mantle of civil government, with its various laws, punishments and penalties. That is precisely what the avenger of blood is: a single man executing punishment according to Genesis 9:5-6. Time to go back to the drawing board in interpreting Romans 13. Milton is correct that Romans 13 refers to the authority established in Genesis 9, but he is incorrect to think this authority is not equally given by God to all image bearers, but rather to a special class of humanity. The authority of Romans 13 is the authority given to all image bearers to execute justice. Precisely because this authority is given to all image bearers is why a pagan emperor can legitimately exercise it, even over Christians.

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Rothbard on the Death Penalty

In 1978, Rothbard wrote a brief piece in the Libertarian Review titled The Plumb Line: The Capital Punishment Question. “Libertarians can no longer afford to wait to come to grips with capital punishment. It has become too pressing a problem.” He concluded that it is just. His perspective is quite interesting in that he

  1. References mankind’s instinct
  2. Argues from proportionate retributive justice as the definition of justice (what one is due) and rights
  3. Argues for private administration of retributive justice by the victim’s legal representative

I believe that the instincts of the public are correct on this issue: namely, that the punishment should fit the crime; i.e., that punishment should be proportional to the crime involved. The theoretical justification for this is that an aggressor loses his rights to the extent that he has violated the rights of another human being. If A steals $10,000 from B, he should be forced, not only to return the $10,000 (the “restitutionist” position, with which most libertarians would agree), but he also loses his rights to his own $10,000; that is, he should be forced to pay the victim $10,000 for his aggression…

It is relatively easy to allot monetary penalties in the case of theft. But what about such a crime as murder? Here, in my view, the murderer loses precisely the right of which he has deprived another human being: the right to have one’s life preserved from the violence of another person. The murderer therefore deserves to be killed in return. Or, to put it more precisely, the victim — in this case his surrogate, in the form of his heir or the executor of his estate should have the right to kill the murderer in return…

But in any case, note that I did not couch my argument in utilitarian terms of deterrence of future crime; my argument was based on basic rights and the requirements of justice. The libertarian takes his stand for individual rights not merely on the basis of social consequences, but more emphatically on the justice that is due to every individual.

This is interesting because of how closely it aligns with Scripture (particularly the Old Testament).

  1. All image bearers have an innate sense of justice (Rom 1:32)
  2. Justice is defined as lex talionis (proportionate retributive; Ex. 21:22-25)
  3. The next of kin had the authority and duty to administer justice (Num 35:9-34)

Rothbard’s comments stand in stark contrast to many of the arguments heard from libertarians who oppose the death penalty. It is not unlikely that Rothbard’s firm commitment to this stance is related to his exposure to the Old Testament. Note not only his foundation of retributive justice, but also his understanding of restorative justice (___). I think it would be a mistake to assume that special revelation played no role in the development of his thought. This short essay stems from a longer 1977 essay “Punishment and Proportionality,” in Assessing the Criminal: Restitution, Retribution, and the Legal Process.

One aspect where Rothbard could be very slightly sharpened by Scripture, however, is his articulation of the interplay between the individual victim and society in the case of murder.

So far we have gone all the way with the proponents of the death penalty, ranging ourselves with the instincts of the general public and against the sophistries of the liberal intellectual elite. But there is an important difference. For I have been stressing throughout the right of the victim, not that of “society” or the state. In all cases, it should be the victim — not “society” or “its” district attorney — who should bring charges and decide on whether or not to exact punishment. “Society” has no right and therefore no say in the matter. The state now monopolizes the provision of defense, judicial, and punishment service. So long as it continues to do so, it should act as nothing more and nothing less than an agent for guarding and enforcing the rights of each person — in this case, of the victim.

If, then, a crime is committed, it should be up to the victim to press charges or to decide whether the restitution or punishment due him should be exacted by the state. The victim should be able to order the state not to press charges or not to punish the victim to the full extent that he has the right to do so.

While I think he is right that the murder victim’s legal representative has the primary duty and authority to administer justice, he does not have the exclusive authority. Genesis 9:5-6 was a command given to all mankind. We all have a responsibility to see that justice is done and the murderer is put to death. In the case that there is no legal heir or the legal heir is negligent, the community is obligated to act. In Mosaic law governing the execution of murderers, both the individual and the community play an important role. Neither has exclusive (monopolistic) authority. (Also, Mosaic law forbids levying a fine instead of execution in the case of murder).

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DACA: Yea or Nay?

Trump has decided to let DACA expire. As far as I understand it, DACA merely protects undocumented individuals who came into the US as minors from being deported and gives them a permit to work here. Among the requirements are that you would have had to enter the US before you were 16 and lived here continuously, and also that you are either in school or else at least completed High School, and also that you have not been convicted of a felony.

Let me get a couple things out of the way before I talk more about whether Trump’s decision was good or bad.

  • First, I don’t take seriously claims of this being an example of Trump’s alleged “racism.” As I have talked about time and again, Trump holds to a sort of protectionist outlook on economic and border related issues; that is, he considers it the governments role to protect jobs, businesses, and industries from foreign competition. This does not per se make him a racist. A racist would more likely actually begin deporting those of the “inferior race” while inviting those of “superior races” to help purify the citizenry. To simply dismiss this action as a racist one doesn’t really get to the bottom of things.
  • Second, on the closed/open border debate, as I have stated many times, I do not believe in an open border policy. I also do not believe in a closed border policy. I believe in a border policy in which the localities have a stronger say about who may come than the Federal Government. In a pure private property libertarian setting, of course, everything would be privatized and therefore up to the judgement of private property owners. For the central government to declare that all immigrants are welcome over against the will of private property owners is a version of forced integration. In light of the fact that we live in a statist world, my first suggestion would be to let the states decide who is allowed over the borders. My recommendation to these states would be to let the counties make the decision. And so on and so forth to the property owners. It is important to remember: there is no God-given right to walk on property that is not your own. Therefore, there is no “right” to immigration. But by the same token, there is no “right” that the Federal Government has to prevent the entrance of an individual who has been invited on the property of its owner. That is the libertarian theory– and pragmatic insight– on the immigration issue.

Now, as for DACA. It seems to me that it makes zero sense for the Federal Government to deport people who have lived here their whole lives, pay taxes here, speak English better than Spanish (or whatever), have no home or relatives in Mexico, Honduras, etc. According to DACA itself, one is required to be studying to working. These are private arrangements, or at least arrangements between the individual and a smaller jurisdiction. As they are contributing to economic productivity and are therefore a net benefit on the economy, they don’t seem to be part of the systematic breach of the non-aggression principle. In fact, if these individuals do have residence here, if they are not breaching the property rights of others (via direct criminal action), or demanding welfare benefits or other government aid, it seems more criminal to remove them. The act of tossing these folks who have done no civil wrong is completely unproductive and wrong.

Some conservatives might argue that there are some of these that are simply living as bums on welfare. I haven’t seen any proof of this– it seems contrary to the demands of DACA itself. If there are, I would urge that they be removed from the dole. But the important point is that this is not the fault per se of DACA. This is a welfare policy that should be addressed. DACA is not inconsistent with eliminating welfare.

Of course, how many native US citizens are net leeches on the system? How many of them don’t contribute to the economy but instead receive redistributed goods?  DACA simply has nothing to do with the welfare problem in America.

Now, I would welcome correction on this for sure as I am usually quite skeptical of efforts by the Federal Government to push integration policy. But does DACA actually cost money? Is there any secret subsidization of the undocumented immigrants I am unaware of? If there is any proof of this thing subsidizing the immigrants or forcing smaller government jurisdictions to provide for their presence, I will immediately update this post. But in the interest of being objective, I seem to be seeing the DACA program as something Trump should not have let expire.

Now, three other considerations that should certainly be mentioned:

  1. Its very possible, and I have this at the forefront of my mind, that Soros’ and other forced-integration-internationalists use things like DACA to protect the immigrants from deportation after they have done the dirty work of subsidizing and purposefully bringing in millions of people. Folks like Soros understand that the way to control the future of a democracy is to upend cultures, to create strife via group conflict. In this case, of course, DACA itself is not the problem. It is merely a tool leveraged after the problem has already been implemented.
  2. This may have been a half-hearted attempt by Trump to satisfy his base. After all, just removing a protection does not mean he is going to round ’em all up and ship ’em back (of course, since most of them were born here, they have nowhere to actually return). Trump has to show the voting base that put him in to office that he hasn’t been completely swarmed by the establishment since entering office (he has).
  3. As always, the democratic state is the problem here. The more things are privatized and less under control from Washington, bureaucratically, the more local decisions can be made. By nationalizing society, everything becomes a national controversy and there is incentive to bring in people that will vote a certain way.

Privatize everything! In the meantime, DACA doesn’t seem per se evil. And I say this as a Hoppean on the immigration issue. If anyone has information otherwise, please let me know ASAP.

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On the Arrested Nurse Incident

The trending news over the weekend was the nurse who was arrested for refusing to submit to the cop’s threats and demands that she draw blood from a patient. As she stated in the video that circled the internet, the written law was on her side as medical professionals are only allowed to draw blood under the following conditions:

  1. A warrant
  2. The patient under arrest
  3. Patient consent

The majority of people rightly took the side of the nurse who was unquestionably the victim of the deranged cop’s power trip– he grabbed her, dragged her outside (to her screaming that he stop and her insistence that she had done nothing wrong), and arrested her. Uncalled for.

Since it’s easy to vocalize disapproval at the cop’s behavior in this specific case, I also have two other points to make that are more likely to have been missed by most people weighing in.

First, the nurse’s refusal to draw blood and the cop’s deranged overreaction are not right and wrong respectively on the basis that the written law was on the nurse’s side. That is to say, if the law was that cops have the authority to order medical professionals to do whatever cops tell them to, the nurse still would have been justified in refusing to draw the blood and the cop would still would be acting criminally in aggressing against her. The reason for this is that legal and criminal behavior (a subset of moral and immoral behavior), are not determined by written law but by natural law (law that transcends written laws). For example, murder is not made wrong by virtue of its being declared wrong by a legislative body or bureaucratic agency; rather, if anything, it is already unethical to murder independent of the government and it is up to the government to recognize this ethical stipulation.

Second, and related to the first point, we need to understand that cops so often aggress against people and property (as happened in this case), but there is nary a smidgeon of outrage by the same people who expressed distaste for the current event. Drug laws and their subsequent enforcement protocols are a deep-seeded implementation of criminal assault. The difference, however, is that in the current situation a) the written law was on the victim’s side and b) there has been no desensitization regarding what happened, as opposed to in the case of drug laws. Besides drug laws, of course, there are other sorts of government approved acts of violence against legally innocent (under natural law) people. All forms of eminent domain laws, anti-gun ownership laws, laws outlawing and criminalizing unapproved food production, seatbelt laws, the TSA’s daily airport assaults, and taxation itself.

In fact, every government agency consists of positive laws which control and regulate so many aspects of our lives from food/drink to insurance to education to transportation to clothing to money and banking and beyond. The police are merely the enforcement arm of the state and therefore threaten to initiate violence upon refusal of the private property owner to comply.

Thus, when the headlines say that the nurse was arrested “simply for doing her job,” we should realize that “doing one’s job” is only good if the job-duty itself is good. In this case, for the nurse, it certainly was. If her job required her to do something wrong, we would only praise her if she refused to “do her job.” On the flip side, we aren’t criticizing the cop here because he was acting outside of his job, we are criticizing him because he was acting against the strictures of ethics, of natural law. Thus, even if protocol allowed him to act as he did, he would still be in the wrong.

The news is that this cop has been placed on suspension. Such a bureaucratic response is not enough, however. He didn’t act simply against the will of his superiors– he acted in a criminal manner and should be prosecuted accordingly. Just as cops who steal drugs or give out seatbelt tickets or arrest those selling goods on the market without a business license should, if justice was actually present in our society, be prosecuted for breaching property rights.

People say that the actions of this cop give all cops a bad name. Let me clarify the matter. Any cop that initiates or threatens to initiate violence against the bodies or the external private property of individuals acts wrongly. Whether cops are good or bad adds vagueness and imprecision to the matter. We ought to keep it simple: if you breach the private property rights of individuals, natural law is not on your side. Cops do act rightly when they respond to aggressors of private property, and wrongly when they become the aggressors. This has nothing to do with the state of written law– and it is the goal of the libertarian to bring written law (also known as positive law) into compliance with natural law.

Unfortunately in our time, all cops have voluntarily agreed and sworn to uphold unethical positive laws, whether they are aware of it or not and whether they are nice and respectable people in their private lives.

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The Avenger of Blood in Modern Albania

In The Avenger of Blood I showed how Mosaic law (reflecting Genesis 9:5-6) authorized the next of kin of a murder victim to administer retributive justice – something not reserved for a special class called “rulers”. I noted that this was the common/default practice in ancient cultures. But the practice did not die out there. In fact, it has never died out. The pervasiveness of the role of the next of kin as an avenger of blood in cultures down through history is fascinating. It is found in ancient, medieval, and modern cultures everywhere that central power is weak. It’s almost as if the duty to enforce justice is an innate part of being an image bearer 🙂 (Gen 9:5-6, 4:14; Rom 1:32; Num 35:19).

It became commonplace throughout Europe in the Middle Ages following the collapse of the Roman Empire. In Albania “The norms were passed on from generation to generation by an oral tradition and were decreed by the council of elders. It is considered that the Code was rationalised by despot Lek III Dukagjin (1410 – 1481). This code was compiled throughout the centuries chiefly by adding new norms. It was studied by folklorist Shtjefën Gjecov and was published as late as 1933.” [1]  Following the collapse of communism in Albania, the customary law has been revived, largely due to the corruption and injustice of the standing government. “Blood feuds are not unique to Albania. They can be found in other isolated societies of the Mediterranean (such as Corsica) or in the Northern Caucuses. Carver tells us that this Albanian code most closely resembles the pukhtoonwali of Northwestern India.” [3]

There are several parallels between the Kanun and the relevant portions of Mosaic law (see Avenger post).

  • The next of kin is authorized to administer justice
  • Justice must be according to lex talionis (eye for an eye)
  • The manslayer (accidental killing) is innocent and is not to be killed
  • Only the murderer may be killed (not a member of his family)
  • There are sanctuaries (City of refuge vs asylum in a home)
  • Elders may become involved as a third party (originally to investigate/have a trial, now mostly to seek reconciliation) [3]

However, the text of the Kanuni is often contested and with many different interpretations which significantly evolved since 15th century. [2] At about 8:00 in the Aljazeera video an elder, acting as a mediator between two families, explains “The Kanun’s rules have been muddled with myths. You can’t trust anyone. Before, the Kanun was followed to the rule but as time changed so did its interpretation.” At around 2:00 the Journeyman Pictures video explains “The truth is that Kanun has accurate, concise, clear rules. An important rule is ‘the blood goes by the hand of the killer.’ It means only the killer could be killed. That’s how it was, so no other family member could be in danger. Later, the rule was changed and clarify that blood can be taken on family members.”

At first only other adult males in the family could be killed, instead of the killer. Then that was extended to include males of any age. More recently that has changed to include females as well (see the Aljazeera video). “The application of the ancient Kanun has been ousted by a distorted use of a modern Kanun in favour of personal revenge and settling old gangster scores. The range of vengeance killings now covers all members of Albanian society, including women and even children.” [1] The result has been disastrous. Entire families cannot leave their homes – not even to work – for fear of being killed.

Currently, we can notice a distinction between classic and modern vendetta respectively before and after the communist regime. The classic vendettas occur especially in the northern Albania and they follow the procedures of the Kanun more closely including the involvement of the elders of the village and the application of the period of liberty and security that the victim’s family grants to the murderer and his family. The modern type of vendetta reappeared after the end of the communist regime. The appearance of this new phenomenon can be
qualified as pseudo-traditionalism accomplishing a function that we can nominate semantic, since it permits to give a sense to the new political shapes. In this case, the manipulated tradition becomes the instrument to give a sense to new realities or to claim justice. The Kanun and its norms are not recognized anymore. Its application has been ousted by a distorted use of the Kanun in favour of personal revenge. The data-gathering shows how the Kanun applied in the nineties was illegitimate. [3]

Conciliators have emerged to try to help resolve modern problems resulting from this broken system. “What persons can become conciliators? D. Ch. recounted that in Krujë there was a special group consisting of men of senior age, well-familiar with the Kanun. The group’s members
should include influential figures – for example, members of Parliament, ministers, etc. Negotiators are elected among the inhabitants of the region once in 5 years. In the course of reconciliation, an agreement is signed between the two feuding sides, as well as by the warrant group, affirming that no one would break the arrangement.” [1] However, anyone may act as a mediator in individual cases.

At 20:45 in the “Prisoners of Kanun” video, a man involved in a blood feud since his grandfather was killed in the 1920’s says “If justice was applied correctly, both would work – the Kanun and government laws.”


This 2001 video from ABC Australia provides a helpful overview of the post-communist situation (16min).

This 2015 video from Journeyman Pictures provides a helpful synopsis of the role of Kanun and the current situation with blood feuds (7min).

Here is a longer, much more observational study of the people involved blood feuds (30min – same producer/footage as above, but more detailed).

Here is a 2017 Aljazeera piece (25min).

Here is a 2015 doc from VICE on the blood feuds (35min).

Finally, a 2012 Sundance Select feature film Forgiveness in the Blood tells the story of a blood feud in Albania.

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The Fed Works Against the Trend of the Free Market

Bloomberg notes:

Amazon’s plans to cut prices at Whole Foods is great news for shoppers, but not so much for Federal Reserve officials wondering whether they’ll ever hit their 2 percent inflation target.

The Fed should not be in the business of targeting price inflation. Prices adjust in accordance with consumer demand and producer’s supply. In order to increase profits, Amazon/Whole Foods anticipates that it should encourage more consumption of its goods by lowering prices. And shoppers respond to this by either buying more food at Whole Foods or buying the same amount of food and then having a surplus leftover. This surplus will allow them to consume more elsewhere or else save and invest.

There is nothing at all wrong with this, in fact, it is the natural machinations of the market at work.

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Redefining Libertarianism: Insufferable Steve Edition

Insufferable Steve Horowitz is at it again. Last time, he smeared Jeff Deist as a literal Nazi.

Now, he’s redefining libertarianism, though this is hardly the first time. He’s a thick libertarian– a libertarian who wants to add to the definition of our beloved theory, in order to add in his own preferences and passions.

This time, he claims that libertarianism rejects anti-semitism.

Part of the problem is that too many libertarians think that claiming to believe in the Non-Aggression Principle is sufficient to establish someone’s libertarian bona fides.  If this summer should teach us anything, it’s that the NAP, while a good rule of thumb and summary of an aspect of ethical teaching, is not enough. Libertarians have apologized far too often and far too long for those who claimed that their anti-Semitism or racism is compatible with their libertarianism because it’s just a “private view” and they don’t wish to enforce it with political power. That excuse making needs to end.

We’ve been over this. Many times. Libertarianism addresses the proper role of coercion, in light of our formulation of property rights, throughout society. Libertarianism seeks to answer the problem of what actions should be criminal, and which should be legal. Anything that is exterior to this specific problem is outside the realms of what the libertarian can say qua libertarianism.

But Insufferable Steve simply asserts that libertarianism ought to be more than this– it ought to, well, we aren’t sure. He offers no boundaries of what the doctrine ought to address.

Obviously, “anti-semitism,” to the extent that it does exist in the west, isn’t agreeable or endorsable. It’s intellectually flawed and without philosophical defense. But so are a lot of things. But this in and of itself require us to expand the definition of libertarianism into other fields of study. As a Christian, as a decent human being, as an individual that attempts to be as intellectually accurate as possible, I assent to the proposition that “anti-semitism” (provided it is defined properly) “is wrong.”

But this does not mean that libertarianism, a doctrine of coercion, qua libertarianism rejects it.

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I’m Not the First to Use Clark in a Dissent from Mises on the Temporariness of Logic

Recently I wrote on Mises’ odd mistake of claiming that logic and the mind were not eternal:

Thankfully, the Christian, or more precisely the Augustinian/(Gordon) Clarkian, framework does better. By saving the eternality of reason and the mind, they save the Misesian system. If Misesian economics truly proceeds in deductive fashion from its axioms, then a robust defense of deductive reason will adequately and tremendously support deductive economics even from its most able historical theorist.

Interestingly, another individual used a citation Gordon Clark in dissenting from Mises’ mistake in the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics (2005). Steven Yates writes:

There is a sixth thing Austrian scholars should know about logic, and it is this: given our results so far, there is one and only one correct logic—despite Mises’s own occasional demurrals. Occasionally he suggest the possibility of beings possessing different sets of logical categories—subhuman or superhuman—or that reason is transitory.15 It is now both possible and necessary to lay this ambiguity to rest—returning to the Mises who wrote the above paragraph about the “immutability” of reason. The propositions at the foundations of logic are immutable (although a people’s capacity to grasp them may indeed be transitory!). Can anyone seriously suppose that the principles of identity and contradiction are “true for us” but not “true for God” (for example)? Or that it is possible that for God there can both be and not be houses on Elm Street at the same time and place, or that God could will that seven and five add up to some number other than twelve? (Clark 1985, pp. 117–31)

The book he references is Clark’s textbook on Logic, which can be found here.

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Two Articles on Austro-Libertarian History

I recently wrote up an overview on the two branches of economic theory that can be found within the greater Austrian School and traced them from beginning to the present. It can be found here.

I also republished something that I had written last year on the split in libertarian circles between Rothbard and the Cato Institute. Find that here.

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Red Sea Crossing as an American Seal

Daniel Dreisbach posted an image on twitter of a Seal of the United States proposed by Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin.

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In the Jefferson Manuscripts in the Library of Congress are two notes of suggestion on the Great Seal. One in the writing of Franklin, and the other in that of Jefferson.

Franklin’s note reads: “Moses [in the Dress of High Priest] standing on the Shore, and extending his Hand over the Sea, thereby causing the same to overwhelm Pharoah who is sitting in an open Chariot, a Crown on his Head and a Sword in his Hand. Rays from a Pillar of Fire in the Clouds reaching to Moses, [expressing] to express that he acts by [the] Command of the Deity. “Motto, Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God.”

The note of Jefferson reads: “Pharoah sitting in an open chariot, a crown on his head and a sword in his hand passing thro’ the divided waters of the Red sea in pursuit of the Israelites: rays from a pillar of fire in the cloud, expressive of the divine presence, [reach] and command, reaching to Moses who stands on the shore and, extending his hand over the sea, causes it to over whelm Pharoah. “Motto. Rebellion to tyrants is obedce to god.” Words in brackets were stricken out by the pen. Jefferson merely noted a version of the Franklin suggestion. In the Writings of Jefferson (Ford), I, 420 is what purports to be a scheme of arms made in 1774, but the date assigned to it is doubtful.

In a letter from John Adams to his wife, written August 14, 1776, he said: “Doctor F. proposes a device for a seal. Moses lifting up his wand, and dividing the red sea, and Pharoah in his chariot over whelmed with the waters. This motto. ‘Rebellion to tyrants is obedience to God.’ “Mr. Jefferson proposed, The children of Israel in the wilderness, led by a cloud by day, and a pillar of fire by night–and on the other side, Hengist and Horsa, the Saxon chiefs, from whom we claim the honor of being descended, and whose political principles and form of government we have assumed.

I don’t necessarily agree with the motto, without further nuance (see the paragraph here). However, the suggested seal (or one part of the suggested seal – which was intended to be more than just this) demonstrates the common understanding that the American Revolution stood on biblical grounds.

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Ugh, Doolittle.

Curt Doolittle is the worst. Primarily because he owns Propertarianism.com, but is the worst propertarian I’ve ever come across (for the record, I love the word propertarian, and wish it hadn’t taken the domain– humph!). If it wasn’t for that, I would ignore him completely. He has profoundly and impressively misunderstood nearly everyone in the Austro-libertarian movement and holds himself out to be the Great Corrector of their mistakes, the crusader who has learned somewhat from them, but purified them of their own irrationalities.

Besides this, his writing is unclear and vague. He uses big words in a cringeworthy manner and I’ve rarely been able to truly understand what he is trying to get across. Unfortunately, when I do, I realize just how awful his “contributions” are. If you want to gouge your eyes out, read his “basic concepts” page. If you want to simply pound your head into the desk, read his pieces on the mistakes of Rothbard, Hoppe, and Mises. Apparently, he’s got tips and strategies for a full-fledged revolution. Spare me.

He writes recently:

“Praxeology is a method of testing rational choice and moral reciprocity in economic propositions when people are possessed of information heavily weighted by prices, and when they are rational actors, working from simple stacks of priorities.

Then he counters Mises (or at least the straw man of Mises), with this:

“People act irrationally because of a set of cognitive biases and fragmentary information.”

What. The. Heck.

Praxeology:

1). has nothing to do with testing, much less testing choices and whatever moral reciprocity means;

2) has nothing to do with morals, much less morals that are allegedly “in” economic propositions;

3) is actually a science in which economics is a subset, that is, it doesn’t test economic propositions;

4) is not bound by situations where people are “possessed of information weighted by prices” (whatever that means), but rather observes that men make choices and face tradeoffs in a world of scarce resources;

5) teaches that humans are always rational in the sense that they employ certain means to achieve chosen ends (he is assuming that Mises is saying that men always act logically— which means he never read Mises).

In short, one rarely comes across someone who so obviously and magnificently misunderstands such a simple concept as praxeology. In one sentence, we have the understanding of a third grader who criticizes Mises’ deficient understanding of things without himself understanding Mises 101.

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Danger of Narrative Chasing in Charlottesville

I recently wrote a reflection on Pastors and their reaction to the Charlottesville incident– I warned that jumping to support the narrative wasn’t healthy. It was the most well-read post on this site.

Now, as we learn more about what happened beyond the media’s reporting, we see crystal clear the trap that results from refusing to be skeptical about media-driven narrative.

Jack Kerwick writes:

First, while there were indeed some self-styled neo-Nazis that were present among the rally’s attendees, they were, by all appearances, a tiny minority.  And they constituted a far smaller fraction of the totality of the group than, say, that which on multiple occasions comprised the totality of Black Lives Matter demonstrators that marched through busy city streets shouting such murderous slogans as, “What do we want? Dead cops! When do we want it? Now!” and “Pigs in a blanket, fry them like bacon!”

And again:

Second, the Charlottesville demonstrators organized their rally months in advance of its occurrence. Their application for a permit to march was initially denied. To its eternal credit, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), a left-leaning organization, came to the organizers’ defense and helped them to appeal this decision. A federal judge eventually ruled that it was illegal for the city of Charlottesville and the state of Virginia to prevent people from exercising their Constitutional right to peacefully assemble.

And this is a crucial point: Those in attendance at the “United the Right” rally did peacefully assemble. They had speakers lined up to speak at Emancipation Park (formerly known as Lee Park).

Hordes of “Anti-fascist” (Antifa) and “Black Lives Matter” agitators assembled to “bash the fash.” As always, it is they who initiated the violence. Even the Washington Post admits that it was the fear of leftist violence that provoked Governor Terry McCauliffe’s State of Emergency. Yet it was this move legitimizing the “Heckler’s Veto” that rendered a lawful event unlawful.

That’s when all hell broke loose.

Finally:

Fourth, a life was indeed lost on Saturday. A counter-demonstrator was killed when someone who was allegedly one of the demonstrators plowed his car into a mob that had filled the street. The suspect has since been identified as James Alex Fields, a 20 year-old white man from Ohio. About 19 or so others were also injured.

This is the one event of the day on which the media have fixated. No doubt, it was the most serious of events, given that a person was killed. But insofar as it is abstracted and isolated from the context of violence that, to repeat, the Antifa and BLMers had been unleashing long before it happened, it is Fake News in the extreme, a tactic by which the day’s violence can be dropped exclusively upon the shoulders of those who exhaustively pursued legal measures to express themselves.

In short, I commented that the Pastors rushing to disavow white supremacism would merely be used as tools in the media’s fodder. And by the looks of it, this is exactly what is happening. There is heavy and ideologically-sourced spin on current events, and there is zero reason to trust what the most-well funded and well-connected “news” outlets have to say about current events.

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George R. Knight on Romans 13

In “Exploring Romans: A Devotional Commentary,” George R. Knight mentions that Romans 13:1-7 and 1 Peter 2:13-14 were Hitler’s favorite passages. “One of those two texts had to be preached every year in every church in the Third Reich.”

Knight clarifies that Paul’s comments only apply to “rulers [who] are not a terror to good behavior, but to evil.” “That ‘good,’ of course, must fit God’s perspective rather than that of Nebuchadnezzar, Caesar, Hitler, Stalin, or some modern ruler.”

Thus Paul in Romans 13 is not seeking to cover every situation involving every government. Rather than speaking to every possibility, he presents the case in which a legitimate authority makes an appropriate demand on its citizens. In healthy times the apostle is correct. The government rewards people for doing right and punishes those who do wrong (verse 3, 4). Thus the Christian to whom Paul is writing should obey the government in its legitimate demands. He is firm that every Christian has a definite responsibility to the government under which he or she lives. Obedience to the state for a Christian is not an option. As T. W. Manson puts it, “resistance to legitimate authority legitimately exercised is wrong” (in Morris, Romans, p. 462).

Does Paul elaborate on precisely what that legitimate authority is? No. We get that from reading all of Scripture. A rulers’ legitimate authority is to wield the sword in defense and in the execution of vengeance according to lex talionis, period. Romans 13 does not require us to obey any demand beyond that narrow scope. But within that narrow scope, a ruler (even if a pagan who claimed to be god) is a servant of God and must be obeyed (which is Paul’s point).

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On Pastors Opposing the Alt-Right

I want to be very clear about what is going on under the surface, whether these pastors and Christian leaders know it or not: in letting the media drive their commentaries and phraseology, they are becoming tools of the political narrative.

Let those words sink in. I mean it very seriously.

They have rushed to make it obvious: racism and racial supremacism are un-Christian. And they are dead right, of course.

Here is the problem: in letting the media drive their commentaries and phraseology, they are becoming tools of the political narrative.

I’ve seen dozens of conservatives (and liberals) coming out strong against the so-called alt-right on the basis that the alt-right’s racism is of the devil. But what they do not realize, indeed what they refuse to consider, is the fact that the entire phenomenon of the alt-right as a headline narrative is media driven.

Sure, a handful of misguided folks (some far more than others), aggravated as they were about the revolutionary left, teamed together to “troll” and agitate against the leftist media, the leftist political establishment, and the childish leftist rabble-rousers such as BLM. They called themselves the alternative right– the right that had been rejected by a neoconservative movement that had more in common with Progressivism than traditional conservatism.

But as I mentioned here, the media took this small group of mostly internet voices and made it into a category that every non-respectable (remember, being “respectable” in the Progressive’s eyes is no honor) conservative belongs. Thus, old-fashioned conservatives who, unlike the neoconservative Bush-era Republicans, oppose global militarism, the welfare state, public schooling, debt-financed government, bailouts, the national bureaucracy which oversees every industry known to man; these old fashioned conservatives have been rudely crammed into the alt-right category.

The media and academic left said: everyone who dissents from the Establishment Right is alt-right! But there are so many great Establishment dissenters on the right! The Establishment Right has taken the last 30 years purging the GOP of traditional conservatives, of true constitutionalists, of Kirkians, of foreign policy realists. In fact, the Establishment Right has made it a primary part of its existence in casting away all dissenting conservative voices.

And now we are here. The media and academic left said: everyone who dissents from the Establishment Right is alt-right!

Now, we know due to the progressive war on vocabulary that racism (as employed vaguely by the left) is a great social sin. And we know that the alt-right’s founders were racists (some of them actually are, no doubt). But then, since all non-respectable conservatives are categorized as alt-right, and since the alt-right is by definition racist and therefore not worthy of listening to or engaging in conversation, we reach the sad and devastating conclusion that traditional conservatives too are racist and not worth listening to.

I’ve said it again and again in recent weeks: understand how the cultural revolution is being achieved! Christians, traditional conservatives, local community-oriented libertarians– all of these are not worth listening to because they are categorically alt-right! This is how the academic left revolts. They have borrowed the Fabian playbook!

And thus, the Christian preacher who jumps into the game denouncing racism (which is worthy of being denounced, of course, provided it is properly defined [which does not include something like: “a racist is someone who opposes the civil rights act or subsidies for peoples of color”]), via denouncing the alt-right walks right into the trap.

As I have said before, I have no particular reason to defend the alt-right, partially because there is no good definition of it. Truly and surely, some self-described alt-right figures are despicable. But what I am aware of is the attempt to demean good honorable thought-leaders, thinkers, cultural commentators by the means of categorizing them improperly.

Christians, especially their leaders, ought to have a much more robust skepticism about social narratives. They ought not comment simply on the headline. They must work harder to understand the cultural movements, the sources of narratives, and the dangerous era of statist propaganda under which we live.

In unknowingly catering to the cultural narratives of our time, it is my belief that they are contributing to the downfall of the principles and foundations of western civilization.

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Let the Chips Fall

One of the biggest criticisms that people like Dave Smith of Part of the Problem Podcast, and Tom Woods (who needs no introduction) had of the Libertarian Party (LP) during the recent election cycle was the cozying up to the Left that the LP inexplicably decided was a good tactic.

Bill Weld and Gary Johnson were always nice about Hillary, a murderous and bloodthirsty animal, but oh boy, Trump was the worst thing in the entire world because he said mean things.

Their policy decisions also pandered to the Left. The LP seemed to think that people weren’t allowed freedom of association and need I bring up baking cakes here?

Where did all of this get the LP? Not much of anywhere. They can claim that they had growth, and that’s all fine and dandy, but nothing of substance really happened. Tom Woods specifically kept making the point that the Left has no respect for libertarians and thus cozying up to them will bring nothing but ridicule (what’s up half-naked dancing guy?). It’s not like we are going to make any converts this way because we are providing a bastardized version of (l)ibertarianism.

Why do I bring this up now?

Unfortunately, many pop evangelical Christians seem to have the same strategy as the LP. The past couple of days, every well known pastor and their mother has come out against white nationalism and Nazism. Making declarations that it’s evil, and we cannot stand for the sin of racism!

It’s hard not believe this is to try to stay relevant in a world that is ever becoming more hostile towards Christianity. If we can just get mainstream approval on this, then maybe we won’t be hated for believing homosexuality and abortion are sins just as heinous as racism!

But will this pandering actually doing anything? Count me skeptical. Why? Because it’s not honest. The world isn’t going to suddenly be open to the Gospel because we take their side on a basic belief of 2017 when on everything else we disagree.

Much like Tom Woods pointed this out in his wonderful speech to libertarians at LP Convention last year. We should be unashamed in our libertarian beliefs. Be bold, don’t back down, and let the chips fall where they may.

May we be even more so for the Gospel.

And boldness? Boldness in belief doesn’t require you to take self-described “brave” stands that literally everyone else is taking. I feel no need to sign a petition against racism. It’s just that simple.

And racism is bad, but coming out against it is not going to get Christianity mainstream acceptance to agree with something we’ve already believed for years. And the left doesn’t really care about us because the Gospel is offensive either way.

@AndrewIsker pointed this out beautifully on Twitter in a thread:

Compare and contrast how evangelical leaders talk about white nationalism and homosexuality. For one they will use every ounce of fire and brimstone they can possibly summon. For the other, they will say “we have to be gentle, patient, kind, gracious, and careful not to give offense, they are broken & hurting.” If you aren’t willing to use the same terms for the sin the zeitgeist adores, I don’t want to hear your condemnation of the sin they hate.

As the kids say, that’s straight fire.

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Why is it the Mises Institute and not the Hayek Institute?

UnknownHans-Hermann Hoppe very clearly explains in this article.  Below is an excerpt:

My thesis is that Hayek’s greater prominence has little if anything to do with his economics. There is little difference in Mises’s and Hayek’s economics. Indeed, most economic ideas associated with Hayek were originated by Mises, and this fact alone would make Mises rank far above Hayek as an economist. But most of today’s professed Hayekians are not trained economists. Few have actually read the books that are responsible for Hayek’s initial fame as an economist, i.e., his Monetary Theory and the Trade Cycle and his Prices and Production. And I venture the guess that there exist no more than 10 people alive today who have studied, from cover to cover, his Pure Theory of Capital.

Rather, what explains Hayeks greater prominence is Hayek’s work, mostly in the second half of his professional life, in the field of political philosophy — and here, in this field, the difference between Hayek and Mises is striking indeed.

My thesis is essentially the same one also advanced by my friend Ralph Raico: Hayek is not a classical liberal at all, or a “Radikalliberaler” as the NZZ, as usual clueless, has just recently referred to him. Hayek is actually a moderate social democrat, and since we live in the age of social democracy, this makes him a “respectable” and “responsible” scholar. Hayek, as you may recall, dedicated his Road to Serfdom to “the socialists in all parties.” And the socialists in all parties now pay him back in using Hayek to present themselves as “liberals.”

Now to the proof, and I rely for this mostly on the Constitution of Liberty, and his three volumeLaw, Legislation, and Liberty which are generally regarded as Hayek’s most important contributions to the field of political theory.

According to Hayek, government is “necessary” to fulfill the following tasks: not merely for “law enforcement” and “defense against external enemies” but “in an advanced society government ought to use its power of raising funds by taxation to provide a number of services which for various reasons cannot be provided, or cannot be provided adequately, by the market.” (Because at all times an infinite number of goods and services exist that the market does not provide, Hayek hands government a blank check.)

Among these goods and services are: ‘protection against violence, epidemics, or such natural forces as floods and avalanches, but also many of the amenities which make life in modern cities tolerable, most roads … the provision of standards of measure, and of many kinds of information ranging from land registers, maps and statistics to the certification of the quality of some goods or services offered in the market.’

Additional government functions include “the assurance of a certain minimum income for everyone”; government should “distribute its expenditure over time in such a manner that it will step in when private investment flags”; it should finance schools and research as well as enforce “building regulations, pure food laws, the certification of certain professions, the restrictions on the sale of certain dangerous goods (such as arms, explosives, poisons and drugs), as well as some safety and health regulations for the processes of production; and the provision of such public institutions as theaters, sports grounds, etc.”; and it should make use of the power of “eminent domain” to enhance the “public good.”

Moreover, it generally holds that “there is some reason to believe that with the increase in general wealth and of the density of population, the share of all needs that can be satisfied only by collective action will continue to grow.”

Further, government should implement an extensive system of compulsory insurance (“coercion intended to forestall greater coercion”), public, subsidized housing is a possible government task, and likewise “city planning” and “zoning” are considered appropriate government functions — provided that “the sum of the gains exceed the sum of the losses.” And lastly, “the provision of amenities of or opportunities for recreation, or the preservation of natural beauty or of historical sites or scientific interest … Natural parks, nature-reservations, etc.” are legitimate government tasks.

In short, Hayek is respectable because he’s largely just a run of the mill social democrat type. Of course, he made vital contributions to Austrian Economic theory, especially relating to the Austrian Business Cycle Theory. But economics is not political theory. In fact, in some ways, his name can do libertarians harm. After all, once we explain the true libertarian position on issues like Universal Basic Income (a common issue these days) both non-libertarians and left-libertarians will say: “well but even Hayek was for it!” Of course he was; he wasn’t a pure private-property libertarian. Thus, it is for this reason that he is a respectable Austrian, not an extremist like Mises!

And besides this, I think, another reason for mainstream approval of Hayek (at least 10 years ago) was the fact that his epistemology was different than Mises’. Hayek adhered to the modern “logical positivism” epistemology, which, being an empirical school is acceptable where Mises’ “radical apriorism” is not. Rationalism is definitely out of favor today, as the philosophical establishment decries logic and instead embraces “science” and “observation.” This was part of the very “revolt against reason” against which Mises stood firm. Mises is considered here again as an extremist, not beholden to the modern god of “Science.” That is, he accepted apriori statements as discoverable and true and even as the foundation for all economic laws.

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Riddlebarger on the Old Covenant Context of Romans 13

I am quite convinced that understanding the difference between the Old Covenant and the New Covenant is foundational to properly exegeting Romans 13:1-7. I call this the “legitimacy interpretation.” I believe Paul is applying Jesus’ words in John 18:36 to the situation in Rome. I touched on this a bit in a previous post and I will do so more in the future. Here are some worthwhile comments from Kim Riddlebarger.

Another reason debate arises about this section of Romans is due to the Old Testament background as to how the people of Israel were to relate to the pagan kings around them. Jews viewed all Gentile nations in light of Israel’s divinely appointed mission–Israel was God’s chosen nation and the object of God’s care and affection…

as God’s chosen covenant community, the nation of Israel was not to submit to any pagan king. In Deuteronomy 17:15, we read “be sure to appoint over you the king the LORD your God chooses. He must be from among your own brothers. Do not place a foreigner over you, one who is not a brother Israelite.” Israel’s king must be a Jew. Thus it would be very difficult for Jewish converts to Christianity to adopt a Christian view of state…

As the covenant community, Israel was not to take for itself a Gentile king (much like its people were forbidden from inter-marrying with Gentiles), even though pagan kings were raised up by God according to his providential purposes. Jews could not but help think of their history and the Egyptian Pharaoh, from whose hand God had rescued Israel. It is because of Israel’s unfaithfulness that the nation came under the covenant sanctions, was conquered by the Babylonians and hauled off into captivity, and forced to submit to a Gentile king…

At the time Paul writes his letter to the church in Rome in the mid-fifties of the first century, the Roman empire was largely indifferent to Christianity. Throughout the Book of Acts, we read that Paul, a Roman citizen, is able to appeal to Roman authorities to protect him from those Jews who threatened to kill him. But there is also some indication that things were beginning to change. In Acts 18:2, we read that Paul “met a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had ordered all the Jews to leave Rome.” This is a reference to the famous “edict of Claudius” which was promulgated in AD 50. According to the Roman historian Suetonius, rioting broke out in Rome among the Jews, instigated by a certain “Chrestus.” Most scholars believe this to be a reference to Christian preaching about Jesus Christ in the synagogues. This produced a violent reaction from the Jews, which, in turn, lead to rioting. To keep the peace, emperor Claudius ordered all Jews expelled from the city of Rome. But his edict was eased when the rioting ceased and there were many Jews and Christians back in Rome soon thereafter. The Jews in the Roman church would have likely considered Rome to be an evil Gentile nation and if, whenever the emperor felt like it, a persecutor of the Jewish people. Jews would have been very leery of being told to submit to such a government…

Now, as for the reason as to why Paul addresses this subject in the way in which he does in Romans, the issue is primarily a pastoral one. There are Jews in this church who have converted to Christianity. How can they now be expected to submit to a Gentile king? And a pagan king whom they feared and who has already ordered them out of the city. Gentile Christians faced an entirely different situation. If Rome viewed Christianity as a branch of Judaism, Christians would be offered the same toleration the Roman government gave to Jews. But if Christianity was regarded as a different religion entirely, then what legal protections would Christians now have? And how should Christians view a state which did not grant them official standing? This means that the issue here is not theoretical–“what is the ideal state?”–but practical, “how should Christians in Rome view this pagan empire?”…

We must also keep in mind the specific situation Paul is addressing with this congregation. Paul is not dealing with the question of what a Christian should do if/when the state (or its ruler) becomes a tyrant. The apostle is not writing a systematic treatise on civil government. Rather, Paul is affirming to Jewish and Gentile believers in the city of Rome that the Roman state is a servant of God [insofar as it legitimately exercises its legitimate authority]…

In context, then, Paul is telling Jewish and Gentile Christians in the Roman church that the Roman government is a legitimate civil authority [under the New Covenant – unlike under the Old Covenant], because such authority come from God. Christians should, therefore, submit to the government. But the question about what to do if and when the Roman government exceeds this God-given authority is not addressed here…

In verse 2, Paul goes on to say that there is no basis upon which to rebel against legitimate civil authority… Again, the question as to whether and when the state forfeits such authority is not answered here. As one writer puts it, what Paul does say is “resistance to legitimate authority legitimately exercised is wrong.”

Thus Rome has legitimately authority over Christians (insofar as it exercises a very narrow task), unlike pagan kings ruling over Israel.

Riddlebarger has other good things to say, but his treatment suffers one significant flaw. He believes “established by God” refers to God’s providence. I believe he is wrong and contradicts himself. If our submission stems from providence, then it is not limited. God establishes tyrants, just as he did against Israel in the Old Covenant. But Riddlebarger rightly notes that we are not required to submit to them. Thus, the simple fact that a ruler rules, according to God’s providence, is no reason that we must submit to them. Israel was not required to submit to foreign rulers who exercised dominion over Israelites at various times. Rather, God blessed their rebellion against foreign rulers to the extent that they obeyed Mosaic law (2 Kings 18:7, etc).

“Established” here, in my opinion, refers to the authority of sword given to all image bearers to defend and exercise vengeance according to lex talionis, as articulated in Genesis 9:6. Anyone who exercises that God-given authority, whether pagan or Christian, is exercising God-given authority and must be submitted to.

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The Alt-Right and Conservatism

In immediately distancing themselves from the so-called “alt-right,” many of its Republican critics are distinguishing between the Respectable Right and this “alt-right.” The respectable right, apparently, includes those who have committed mass war crimes and national level extortion rackets (IRS). That is, it is just fine and acceptable for a conservative to be on the side of the anti-liberty and anti-constitutional drug war, to be on the side of imperial militarism, to be on the side of government intervention in money and banking, to be on the side of the evil income tax, the monopolization of educating the children, and so on. But, apparently, the line is to be drawn at racism. This is the bane of selective outrage.

Furthermore, it casts aside traditional conservatives without a place in the right side of the political spectrum! Whatever you think of the traditionalists, to put them in the same camp as Richard Spencer and others of his ilk is a serious mistake. Spencer and the KKK and actual neo-Nazis (the dozen or so that exist–despite the media’s fear mongering that they are taking over) are leftists. Both economically and politically.

The traditionalist conservatives have been mistreated and pushed aside by the mainstream right since the Reagan years. They were eventually forced to distinguish between themselves and the Respectables by referring to themselves as the paleoconservatives (Gottfried’s phrase). But now, since we are only given two options (respectable and alternative), the traditionalists are equated with the so called neo-Nazis. Thus, anyone who is concerned about the border (for economic reasons– fallacies these reasons might be), the culture, the weakening of local governments, the nationalization of education, and the politicalization of life itself, is awkwardly and ahistorically being placed into the alt-right camp. But that’s part of the trap against the paleos. After all, the alt-right is by the media’s definition Literally Fascist. Therefore, we know what we Ought to Think about the paleos, the traditionalists, the limited government/anti-GOP conservatives.

See how it works?

As my article last week showed, this is cultural revolution via language manipulation.

And it’s not just the left falling for it. Evangelicals like Russell Moore and the Gospel Coalition seem to be leading the way. They piously reject the alt-right, but no one is questioning what the phrase might actually apply to. I have no special need to defend the alt-right, whatever it is. But I sure as snow want to oppose the herding of the conservative movement into a GOP-approved alliance. Nothing could be more destructive for the longevity of traditional social norms.

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When You Make Bees Angry, They Sting

The internet is ablaze with posts and reports on the so-called Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville. The emphasis in the news, of course, is the presence of Nazis, White Nationalists, and KKKers, though to the extent to which these are actually dominating the rally is unknown– never trust the media and their vague phraseology.

The rally was concocted by Jason Kessler, a blogger. It was in response to a recent decision by Charlottesville to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park. Fascinatingly, the blogger who organized the rally is being represented by the libertarian Rutherford Institute (headed by John Whitehead, a friend of Ron Paul who publishes at FEE, Lew Rockwell, etc.) and the left-leaning ACLU! The rally has broken out in violence and even a death.

Let’s say, for the sake of the argument, that this rally is 100% filled with actual white nationalists and white supremacists and so on. For the record, this is not the actual case. But let’s just say.

Does this small uprising surprise anyone? The last 5 years especially we’ve seen a doubling down on the “American history is racist” narrative. We’ve seen increased spotlight on the idea that certain aspects of history are just too offensive to tolerate, that certain ideas associated with the past (such as secession, nullification, private property) are therefore also offensive.

Robert E. Lee, who for a hundred years after the Civil War was revered as a man by both the North and the South, is now being re-characterized as a symbol of racism. This rally isn’t about Lee himself, it’s merely a single stimulus in a great set of government and media-driven attempts to undermine certain cultures that are deemed unacceptable. This set included the removal of Andrew Jackson from the $20 bill.

Eventually, people are going to react. Baiting members of a certain culture tends to bring out the extreme in them. Isn’t that what we have learned with the American interventionism in the Muslim Middle East? We poke and prod and —bam!– Islamic extremist reactionaries. Why would this be any different in the American South?

The lesson here is not that racists are bad (sure they are– but this is hardly the lesson here) or that, see! white nationalism is violent and unconfined! No, the lesson is that when you throw rocks at hornet nests, you get stung. Of course, I am not going to assume that every attender of the rally is a white nationalist (that is, not everyone is a hornet), but the analogy should be understood.

Maybe people don’t like when governments and PC-professionals piously and arrogantly preach at them. When some individuals overreact, we are supposed to take this as proof of the culture’s degeneracy. The cycle goes on. This is part and parcel of the Progressive’s poke-and-prod method of cultural revolution (since neoconservatives are Progressives, the method is entirely consistent with Middle East foreign relations analysis).

I’m not one for rallies, preferring instead the comfort of the couch, but the motivation behind this rally is generally understandable. Of course, we ought to always oppose the wrongdoers who decide to show up and cause a mess at these things, even if we have the insight to explain why they are acting this way.

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Podcast Site Updated!

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In the last week, I’ve pushed hard to get the podcast revamped. The new site for the podcast is podcast.reformedlibertarian.com.

There, you will find all the feeds, links, subscription information, etc. I’ve handled requests to get the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, Google Play, SoundCloud; as well as a prominent download option. I’ve got some fresh logos up and my new mic came today as well.

I tried the best I could to make sure all the files and links were working and updated. If anyone sees anything wrong or missing or has more requests about features, feel free to let me know.

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