Christian Relaunch

"The State" can never be anything but varnished gangsterism.

Previously (under "Creation"): A basic duty of man is not to interfere with a man's body, family or produce.

Previously (under "Defection"): Man's defection from God has not abrogated man's basic duties.

From those two principles, it follows that "the State" never has been, and never can be, anything but varnished gangsterism.

(Conditional Egalitarianism, Conditional Welfarism) "So many are too selfish to help the poor that an organisation to seize their produce is needed."

The case against Political Consequentialism, mentioned in the Creation section of this Creed, applies equally here.

A few of the details may not apply to the present question, but I think all the major points are the same so there is no need to go into details here.

(Conditional Statism) "To defend against violations of producer's right there is needed a monopoly of power which everyone is forced to help maintain."

Imagine a world without wrongdoing. In general there is agreement about who owns what, for it is usually clear enough who produced what. From time to time two men differ, for learning through trial and error is inherent in being human, but then they will compromise, or seek arbitration, or resolve the matter in some such amicable way.

Man's defection has changed all that.

"They were filled with all manner of wickedness, evil, covetousness, malice, full of envy, murder, strife, deceit."

Paul of Tarsus, Romans 1:29.

It became necessary to react against encroachments by deterrence, defence, retaliation and restitution. This is the right and duty of counteraction which is the only basis for the proper use of force.

Men may form a league to protect property and punish violations. It may well be wise (and in that sense a duty) for all residents of a given neighbourhood to join such a league, but they are not obliged to do so, and to force them would itself be a violation.

Sources. As far as I know, the first to expound the voluntary defence league was Gustave de Molinari, in The Production of Security (1849). For a modern treatment see Murray Rothbard, For a New Liberty (1973).

Pacifism. I regard the propriety of self-defence as a detail, not a basic belief, and my Creed does not mention it, but I mention it here to show statists that there is a practical non-pacifist alternative to states. Those who uphold pacifism as a basic belief will not be able to unite with me, but if any pacifists are willing to differ on this question I see here no barrier to fellowship with them. How much I would donate to them if their undefended goods have been plundered is another matter, though maybe they would not want me to, and I suppose arrangements can be made.

Right and Left. Real Christians are neither Right Wing nor Left Wing but Libertarian. That is, liberal in an old sense, not to be confused with Liberal in either of the modern British and American senses. I favour the Right on economic policy, supporting low-tax, small-State policies as a step in the direction of a no-tax, no-State policy. And I favour the Left on leisure regulation and foreign policy: opposing any attempt to control folk's private lives, for instance by laws restricting what substances they are allowed to imbibe; and opposing any encroachment by one group on other groups, including the persistent US-led interference in world affairs.

"What if a man is oppressing his subject? Shall we not intervene?"

Of course authority can always be abused, but this is no reason to reject it. To encourage interference is to encourage stronger men to impose their will on weaker men, and I see no grounds for expecting the strong to be in the right. And the idea of "the people as a whole" intervening (or doing anything else) is discussed and rejected elsewhere in this Creed.

(Christianoid Conditional Statism) "God has instituted the state on account of sin, as explained by Paul of Tarsus in Romans 13."

See New Testament Statism?.

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