Daily Anarchist Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: FormerlyBrainwashed on July 05, 2010, 01:12:50 AM



Title: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on July 05, 2010, 01:12:50 AM


As is generally the case anymore... When I open my mouth around family members (none of which share my particular world-view) I end up being labeled as a buzz killer or pot stirrer… neither of which is ever my intention. My goal is to invoke rational discussion for the purpose of exploring reality and waning through the muck and mire which constitutes much of what society (at large) accepts as truth.
It is funny though… They (my family) consider me to be outspoken, when the reality is that I withhold commenting most of the time as a matter of choosing my battles. I can generally predict the outcome of a debate before I enter in to one with them, so I usually consider whether or not it will be a waste of time before I comment on many of the things that they say.

Today, one of them mentioned something about how American’s are set apart from other nations in the world when they celebrate their Independence Day because Americans do not do so by way of rolling tanks and military parades around Washington in a show of force (blah blah blah)… Instead, peaceful and kind spirited Americans enjoy family picnics and patriotic parties and the like to honor those who have given their all rather than expecting displays of power and might on the part of the govt and military.

I commented on how the rest of that story should be stated as what it really is. That is, that the poor people who DO have American tanks, planes, and bombs in their neighborhoods and territories reach across all the corners of the globe. So while American families sit back patting themselves on the back during their family picnics, simultaneously, the fact is that their empire continues to grow and therefore invalidates any such self-righteous claims.

Man – When you take away an American’s ability to pat themselves on the back, you may as well go swat a hornet’s nest, the effects will be the same. My family is no different. 

I don’t get into the mythical hoopla that goes with American Independence Day celebrations because I find the whole event to be rather depressing. To me, it is a day when millions of dupes come out in all their brainwashed glory to celebrate a whole host of distortions of reality.

Another example from the day is the countless times I heard the Lee Greenwood version of “I’m proud to be an American” playing on many peoples’ radios today.

It goes something like this:

“I’m proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free. And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me….”
Most will hear/read this and think it’s just wonderful. I’m sure whoever wrote it (Lee or whomever) didn’t mean to be such a dupe when they wrote it (most dupes don’t aspire to be dupes), nevertheless it is so hard to keep my mouth shut when I literally see people get teary eyed over songs like this without even being willing to admit how ridiculous its lyrics are.

“Where at least I know I’m free.” – Well that’s a joke but I’m sure there are plenty of so-called “conservatives” and “tea-partiers” who eat that up. They truly believe that “if only the government got back to the original intent of the founders, everything would be alright.” – Their worship of the “founders” and whatever they penned as [binding] on all “American citizens” is profoundly absurd!
“And I won’t forget the men who died, who gave that right to me.” – Another absurdity. Liberty is an innate right of human kind. It is absolutely true that most persons born into the world are oppressed and therefore do not experience true freedom; but freedom is not “granted” to individuals, it is only violently stolen from those whose liberty is hindered. Men cannot grant/give/offer that which they do not create/produce. It is also true that people may in fact fight to retain/reclaim certain liberties for themselves and/or others… But it is false to suggest that men can “give” that which they do not possess.

Why the fuss? Because it amounts to more smoke and mirrors to hide the true nature of the State and its desire to rule over naturally free individuals. If liberty is taught to be a gift of the State and its police force (military or otherwise), then individuals will continue to look towards the State in [dependence] of it, rather than independence and reliance on themselves for personal defense and personal accountability within whatever voluntary associations they enter in to.
None of this is intended to be a stab at military veterans or anything like that. It is simply a matter proper identification of the true nature of things.

As for my family members who view me as the black sheep in the bunch… Oh well… I never was one to set out on any sort of popularity contest!



Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: Seth King on July 05, 2010, 01:56:40 AM
I don't know if you intended for any of this post to be humorous or not, but I cracked up all the way through it.

As for your family and any of the others that don't share your worldview, the simply truth is they haven't read 1/10 of what you have. They have no idea what the hell you're talking about. That's not to pardon their behavior, however. If they really cared they could always ask you where you got your worldview. If they know but choose not to learn it for themselves, then shame on them.

This is why you should strongly consider moving to New Hampshire. Forget the title of the Free State Project. You don't need to sign up for that if you don't want to. The fact is, there are a ton of agorists/anarchists in New Hampshire. Your kind will be understood without explanation. Doesn't that sound nice, for once?


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on July 05, 2010, 09:00:07 AM

A little bit of humor was intended, but in all seriousness it is very difficult to stand by and bite my lip while my family (and so many others) sips on the cup of rotten milk that they are accustomed to. Talk about a severe case of the blind leading the blind!

I know that when I talk to family they think I am speaking a different language. That is why I hold back as much as I do; I am not going to impose rationality on them as to do so would be contradictory to my stated position. That doesn't ease the burden though. I feel as if I have life changing information (to share, not impose upon them) that is so simple to grasp if they'd only be willing to THINK!

At any rate, it's sad because I do care about them.

The FSP has nothing to do with the improbability of me relocating to New Hampshire. I have no disdain for NH nor anyone active within the FSP. I simply find some of their tactics to be inconsistent with true liberty. The reason why I will likely never move to NH (though I wouldn’t say that it is an impossibility) is again because of family. To do so would necessarily mean leaving my mate and children… something I am not willing to do. Her value of living near her parents is much more important to her than moving a thousand miles away from them all just so can be closer to liberty oriented individuals.
She has more gain (in her mind) maintaining the status quo. Her (their) opinion of me is that I spend too much time focusing on “worldly” concerns.

So – The prospect of me relocating to NH is very limited at the moment.  ;)





Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: Seth King on July 05, 2010, 01:19:15 PM
Does this mean that they are Christians? Christians are almost impossible to talk to. Jesus will save us, there is nothing we can do, so better to just go with the flow. That type of thinking boggles my mind. I know there are plenty of liberty activist Christians out there. I need to talk to them more and ask them why they are so different from the rest of their brethren.


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on July 05, 2010, 02:16:44 PM


Bingo... And good observation! Usage of the term "worldly" was subtle but should have been an easy one to catch for the careful reader.

It is an important point to bring up.

The reason they (Christian Liberty Activists) are different from the rest is because they view the idea of individuals as any sort of "sovereign" as contrary to their worldview. This may not be the place for theological debates, but mix in their whole network of presuppositions and it explains why they are unwilling to think through these issues. It is not as though they cannot, rather, they choose not to because they are taught that 'thinking' is foolish.

Add in the various eschatological (end times) presuppositions, various soteriological perspectives within the differing theologies (Arminianism vs. Calvanism, etc.), hermeneutical distinctives, and all the rest... And it is a wonder that they (the church at large) have "faith" in anything at all! That is where the biggest blank-out of all lies though; in that even when they are confronted with rational thinking, they intentionally and deliberately pretend that there is no value in reason. The reality is that they DO use rational thinking for some things, but not others (not areas of thought that challenge whatever version of faith they subscribe to). By what standard do they ever invoke rationality into some things, but not in matters of their faith? This is of course a rhetorical question. They pretend to have it both ways, and when something doesn't make sense to them... No worries, that's just because of their limited knowledge which cannot comprehend an infinite god. I understand why they would say that but it fails to account for clear inconsistencies and contradictions in their similar-but-different, yet perfecft/infallible systems.

Can't find a sensible answer for something, just chalk it up to faith. If someone speaks to them about anything that flies in the face of their presuppositions, they don't even give it consideration... It is labeled as worldly, confused, blasphemous, and all sorts of other lovely terms.

This, by the way, is not limited to Christianity; organized religion in general does a fair job of using the same brainwashing tactics.

One more very important thing that Christians (even those of Libertarian leanings) subscribe to... They love to invoke Romans chapter 13 where it describes "all authority on Earth" as being established by god. As such, even men who commit the most dastardly acts against others are excused because "they are just doing what they are told."

As long as "people of faith" are content to pass off individual accountability, they cast their lots against those who seek to enjoy unadulterated liberty. Their unreserved sanctioning of the State directly impacts both statists and non-statists alike.

I once had a discussion with someone who tried to explain why all military service members are exempt from accountability for their actions in the "line of duty" (he even said this was true for men such as Hitler’s SS Army, and the like) because they are subject to the god-given authority of their superiors. That if they commit an act of force/violence against another it is the burden of the ruler "appointed" over them (even though such so-called rulers are generally self-appointed), but that the individual actor is free and clear as long as they were only "following orders." Of course all of this is utterly ridiculous, but it is a common position nonetheless.

As Ayn Rand aptly described in her famed novel Atlas Shrugged, “...But the damned and the guiltiest among you are the men who had the capacity to know, yet chose to blank out reality, the men who were willing to steel their intelligence into cynical servitude to force…”



 


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: Seth King on July 05, 2010, 03:08:03 PM
There is such a thing as Christian Anarchists who have a different interpretation of Romans 13. What is your take on Christian Anarchism?


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on July 05, 2010, 03:26:01 PM


You are correct, however I would guess that most professing evangelicals do not subscribe to the ideas of so-called Christian-Anarchism but instead believe that Romans 13 is as described in my last post. Wasn't a categorical statement, only a generalization.

In either case - I am not sure how anyone could rationalize the notion of Christian Anarchism. The two terms are contradictory to each other. Christians may very well suggest that they do not accept any "man-made" governments but they still declare that the legitimate government is found in the kingdom of heaven which is headed by Jesus who is "lord over all and sits at the right hand of god." Moreover, they are "subject" to the laws of their bible even while in "this life."

So which is it? Again... they wish to have it both ways. Christian Anarchism is therefore an oxymoron in a literal sense.



Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: Seth King on July 05, 2010, 03:35:07 PM
I would be curious to see what a Christian Anarchist thinks about the claim that it is an oxymoron. Hopefully, someday, one or more will join this forum and clue me in.



Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on July 05, 2010, 03:46:56 PM
Not a whole lot they could say about it.

If the term anarchy is derived from the Greek word "anarchos" which means "without rulers," then there isn't really anything debatable about my statement. That is unless they wish to deny the alleged source of their belief system (the bible) which declares all humans to be subject to his "rule."

As you said though... I'd also welcome the perspective of others.



Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: Seth King on July 05, 2010, 04:03:09 PM
My definition of anarchy is an absence of any form of political authority. I fail to see any contradiction between God and anarchy. Christianity and anarchy, on the other hand, may be incompatible if Christians feel that government is the work or will of God.

Although it seems to me that there are Christians who feel government is NOT the work of God, which opens the door to anarchy. Not all Christians interpret things the same just as not all anarchists interpret things the same. Many anarchists find anarchy to be incompatible with capitalism, yet another thought I have a hard time wrapping my head around.


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on July 05, 2010, 04:07:12 PM

This reminds me of what I was saying earlier in this thread about the family member who was talking about the tanks and parades and what sets apart American celebrations from others. When the error of her statement was pointed out she said "well that might be what it means to you, but this is what it means to me....."

Unfortunately 'reality' doesn't work that way. Reality exists independent of what one might wish things to be.

In like manner, the reality of the contradiction of the terms Christian and anarchy is what it is. That some may ignore what the root meaning of words within a language are is of little consequence to the truth. 


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: Seth King on July 05, 2010, 04:14:25 PM
Is Christianity objective or subjective? If it is objective, then interpretations other than the truth are wrong. But if Christianity is subjective, then it is open to interpretation. I am curious if I were to ask a Christian whether they felt their religion were objective or subject what they would say. I would also be interested in what 100 different Christians would say.


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on July 05, 2010, 04:17:05 PM

Fair points. However, I am not even speaking about "god" or anything to do with god. I am specifically dealing with religious 'systems' which purport rule over human kind. 

Again - the root meaning of the term anarchy is not limited to a ruling "class," but [without] rule altogether. 

All this simply to point out (in response to your previous question) why I think it is difficult for Christians to absorb information that explains true liberty. It is fundamentally antithetical to their worldview because they do not view mankind as autonomous. 



Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on July 05, 2010, 04:37:09 PM

Is Christianity objective or subjective? If it is objective, then interpretations other than the truth are wrong. But if Christianity is subjective, then it is open to interpretation. I am curious if I were to ask a Christian whether they felt their religion were objective or subject what they would say. I would also be interested in what 100 different Christians would say.

I don't think they really have a firm grasp on what objectivity even means. The biblical doctrine of scripture as being devinely inspired, infalible, inerrant, etc., might give the illusion that they believe it to be objective. Problem is, the basis of these assumptions is the text itself. It declares for itself its own authority. There is nothing objective about that... It is a rather flagrant example of circular reasoning.

They certainly would not claim it to be subjective because it would reduce the (alleged) devine supremacy of their system into nothing more than fallible stories written by men with no "other worldly" influence. But since their claims are based on faith and circular reasoning, it is easy to identify the lack of objectivity in their system.





Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: Seth King on July 06, 2010, 03:38:09 PM
Too bad we don't have more people on this forum. I would love to hear a retort to that. More and more people are joining every day though. They just haven't commented yet. Soon, hopefully.


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on July 12, 2010, 01:48:01 PM



Here's a site where a reader might be able to hypothesize what the “Christian Anarchist” position might be. Keeping in mind what I said earlier in this thread about literal meanings of terms vs. what people want things to mean… A simple quote from their site is pretty straight forward.

http://christiananarchists.org/ (http://christiananarchists.org/)

“In addition to persuading you to become an anarchist and to join our movement to abolish the Constitution and government of the United States, our home-study program is going to persuade you to commit to making America a Christian Theocracy once again. If we're wrong, we'll pay you $1,000.”

If anyone wants to know more about what kind of "Theocracy" they may be referring to go do a web search for the terms Christian Reconstruction and Theonomy.

There you can find a lot of info as to what this is all about via the writings of Gary North, R.J. Rushdoony, Greg Bahnsen, and many other "reconstructionists" who support what is known as Theonomy in Christian Ethics.

A one stop shop for much of this stuff can be found here: http://www.entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/_bkssubj.htm (http://www.entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/_bkssubj.htm)

 




Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: Seth King on July 12, 2010, 03:04:19 PM



Here's a site where a reader might be able to hypothesize what the “Christian Anarchist” position might be. Keeping in mind what I said earlier in this thread about literal meanings of terms vs. what people want things to mean… A simple quote from their site is pretty straight forward.

http://christiananarchists.org/ (http://christiananarchists.org/)

“In addition to persuading you to become an anarchist and to join our movement to abolish the Constitution and government of the United States, our home-study program is going to persuade you to commit to making America a Christian Theocracy once again. If we're wrong, we'll pay you $1,000.”

If anyone wants to know more about what kind of "Theocracy" they may be referring to go do a web search for the terms Christian Reconstruction and Theonomy.

There you can find a lot of info as to what this is all about via the writings of Gary North, R.J. Rushdoony, Greg Bahnsen, and many other "reconstructionists" who support what is known as Theonomy in Christian Ethics.

A one stop shop for much of this stuff can be found here: http://www.entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/_bkssubj.htm (http://www.entrewave.com/freebooks/docs/_bkssubj.htm)

 




I briefly skimmed the christian anarchist site but I didn't get into it too much. While that site may represent what one christian anarchist thinks, it is not necessarily the best representation of what all christian anarchists think.

It's like the term anarchy. A lot of people subscribe to that term, and yet there are wildly different interpretations of what exactly it means.









Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on July 12, 2010, 03:15:22 PM

I absolutely agree, just remember, reality is not held hostage by interpretive differences. I didn't mean to suggest that ALL who call themselves Christian Anarchists MUST subscribe to the philosophy espoused on that one site. Nevertheless, my fundamental point in the whole topic is that the term Christian is pretty unambiguous (i.e. not usually contended as to what its meaning is). As such, if the Christian Bible requires individuals to acknowledge their subordination to a god-man, then they must necessarily acknowledge their status as subjects.

I didn't really think I was stating anything that anyone would disagree with. If someone does I'd love to hear their line of reasoning as to how they came to those conclusions.


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: DaveG on July 30, 2010, 04:04:23 PM
Hopefully I can provide my insight into this as a Christian who has come to adopt many Rothbardian / anarchist concepts into my political and economic world view.  As I mentioned in comments on the blog, the two most influential and world-view changing books I have ever read are 1) Bible  and 2) Ethics of Liberty by Rothbard. Let me state that I do not consider myself a Christian because I periodically attend a Christian church.  I am a Christian because I have made a personal commitment as a follower of Jesus Christ - and that fully impacts my life on a daily basis.  I do attend worship on a weekly basis, and I am actively involved as a volunteer worker in my church.

There are a long list of points and questions to address on this thread, and I'm obviously not going to be able to cover them all in one post.  I will start with a summary of how I see my faith and my political world view not just able to co-exist, but how I've come to believe that libertarianism (and taken to it's extreme, anarchism) is the political world view that is the most compatible with the Christian beliefs.

As a point of definition, when I say Christian - I speak of those who have made the conscious and willful decision to invite Christ into their life, and to follow Him as their Lord and Saviour. Just because one attends a church every Sunday morning does not make one a Christian any more than standing in your garage every Saturday morning makes you a car.  There is a vast difference between the relationship I have with Christ and a "religion".

Also, it is important to note that my world view is based upon the traditional story of human history shared by most Christian sects.  In VERY brief summary:
1) God created everything, including man
2) God defined a set of rules to be followed in order to be in right relationship with Him (don't eat from that tree)
3) Man chose (free will) not to abide by those rules and was therefore out of right relationship with God
4) God provides a set of rules to come back to close to right relationship with him
5) Man manages to screw those up too, and in the process adds a bunch more
6) God sends His Son as Savior for all who would choose Him.
7) Those who choose Christ are restored to right relationship with God.

Yes, this does directly imply that I believe that Christ is the only way to right relationship with God. 

Christianity requires free will.  One cannot establish a relationship with Christ necessary through any other means.  It is a personal decision which must be made.  That's the critical point for me - God does not force this on us.  He gives us each individually the freedom to make our own choice.  He does inform us of the consequences of our decision (being in right relationship with him, or not), but he does not say "you must do this".  Overall, if you sit down and read the Bible from start to finish, you will find that God is quite the libertarian. Sure, there are many "rules" or "laws" defined there, but none of them are "you cannot" or "you must".  They are all dependent upon the individual's personal wish to either be in or out of right relationship with him.  Yes, there are consequences either way to that decision - just like any other. Granted because He is God, those consequences tend to be a bit more extreme in both quality and duration (hell for all eternity vs. heaven for the same eternity).  I just chalk that up to RHIP - Rank Has It's Privileges.   ;)

It's actually quite similar to how I operate my business.  If a client of mine wishes to be in right relationship with my firm (and thus have the ability to enjoy the benefits of our service), we have established the rule that they must pay their invoices within 30 days.  They can choose not to, of course - I'm not coming in and taking the money from their bank account.  However, if they choose not to, then they are out of right relationship and the benefits of our service are no longer available to them.

I do have a lot more I'd like to share, but it is now 1700 hours on Friday, and I have a wife and daughters who want to spend some family time.  I will return to continue this!


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on July 31, 2010, 11:02:40 AM
Quote
There are a long list of points and questions to address on this thread

Looking forward to it.


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: DaveG on August 02, 2010, 08:09:07 AM
I do have quite a bit more I'd like to write about on this subject, but I'm wondering if it serves us all better for me to wrap it up into a post (or series of posts) for the home page, rather than buried here in the forums?  I'm comfortable either way, but it took me a few minutes to find this thread, and then read all the way through the conversation - even when I was specifically looking for it to post on. 

I have no interest in abandoning this discussion - just considering where the best place to have it will be.  Thoughts?

Dave


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on August 02, 2010, 11:11:54 AM
Seems easy to find for me -and- went from a post about so-called Independence Day celebrations to what it is now. I would suggest that if your intent is to explain why you are a Christian and what that means to you (which is basically what your initial post in this thread was about), you have already done that.

I am not trying to sound rude here, but the basic point that was made earlier on in the thread is that anarchism (specifically) and Christianity (specifically) are a contradiction in terms when attempted to be combined into a singular anarcho-christian system.

You can describe how you "voluntarily" submit to your religion and its stated LORD(s), and that's just fine. As soon as you do though, it is no longer anarchism. I acknowledge that in such a case it is voluntary... No dispute there. The point made earlier in the thread had nothing to do with voluntaryism (in general); but that the term christian anarchy is an oxymoron.

If you disagree, my interest would [only] be in how you would propose to reform the root meaning of the terms within the english language.



Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: DaveG on August 02, 2010, 12:53:45 PM
I fully disagree, yet no reform of root meanings is necessary.  Anarchism is such a vague term that is interpreted so many ways that it's possible to be fully compatible and fully conflicting with Christianity.  It very much depends on how an individual is defining the term.

It would appear that you subscribe to the anarchist viewpoint that under no circumstances can just authority exist.  Under that definition - then you are correct, the two are in direct conflict.  However, I will submit that such a viewpoint is also in direct conflict with the fundamental right of private property ownership.

Private property rights require the concept of just authority.  For to own property, I must have the authority to control other's use of said property.  Otherwise, ownership is a meaningless abstract concept.  For example, if you were to visit me at my home, you voluntarily submit to my authority over the appropriate use of my home (my property). You are, of course, free to leave my home at any time.  However, if you choose to remain, then you must submit to the rules I have defined for appropriate language, attire and actions (no running around naked, swearing like a sailor in front of my children). 

If you work from the "no just authority all all" position, you must also believe that it is impossible for someone to be an employee and an anarchist at the same time - that they are a contradiction in terms.  For the employee voluntarily submits to his employer's authority, and in return receives compensation.  This arrangement is quite similar to my faith.  I voluntarily submit to Christ, and in return I receive compensation (eternal life in Heaven).

I am very much a Rothbardian anarchist.  I come to the anarchist viewpoint through the logical extension of a libertarian viewpoint. I guess you could consider me an anarcho-capitalist.  Anarchism when concerned with governments (institutions established by a few which require non-voluntary submission to an unjust authority) yet fully accepting truly just authority is fully compatible with Christianity, and as I stated elsewhere is the most compatible political belief. 

In my reading of the Bible, I find God to be fully non-tyrannical.  As I stated above - He provides steps by which a man my be in right relationship with Him.  The fact that He created mankind with free will stands as proof that he endorses self ownership and self governance - two core concepts to anarcho-capitalism. 


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: Seth King on August 02, 2010, 01:25:50 PM
I do have quite a bit more I'd like to write about on this subject, but I'm wondering if it serves us all better for me to wrap it up into a post (or series of posts) for the home page, rather than buried here in the forums?  I'm comfortable either way, but it took me a few minutes to find this thread, and then read all the way through the conversation - even when I was specifically looking for it to post on. 

I have no interest in abandoning this discussion - just considering where the best place to have it will be.  Thoughts?

Dave

I say post in both!  ;D


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: Intuition on August 03, 2010, 03:42:04 AM
If God as a ruler violates the tenets of anarchism, then do the laws of physics not also violate said tenets? I only ask because in the Christian's mind, IMO, God isn't anthropomorphized into a human-like "ruler" that would violate the anarchist's belief that human rulers are immoral. Rather, God is seen simply as a reality of the universe (or beyond, I suppose, to be more precise).

Just a random thought from a guy who currently considers himself a pantheist.


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: DaveG on August 03, 2010, 07:46:58 AM
That's an excellent point, Intuition!  Submission to the authority of nature and to nature's God fundamentally do fall outside the basic tenants of anarchism.  I hadn't really thought about it from that point of view - since there are many laws of nature that are mandatory to abide by.  I've never seen it questioned if being a physicist and an anarchist are a contradiction in terms. ;)



Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on August 03, 2010, 07:59:47 PM
FYI - I have been travelling since last week and will be until next week but am working on a reply as quickly as I am able.


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: DaveG on August 04, 2010, 06:57:56 AM
Sounds good FB!  Save travels for you!  Hopefully it's vacation rather than work?


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on August 04, 2010, 10:35:19 AM
I must first point out that I have no fundamental qualm with people choosing whatever belief system they wish, so long as it does not infringe on my right to the same. That being said, I am unwilling to  agree to any sort of notion that the true nature of [a thing] in reality is merely subjective in terms of which viewpoint one is going to take as we seek to identify what the reality of [a thing] is.

All this to say that I do not have an interest in merely “subscribing” to a “viewpoint.” My interest is in understanding truth. Reality is not at all dependant on human understanding. Granted, we are only talking about the meaning of a word which was created by a man… Nevertheless, I think that for the sake of philosophical consistency it is important to recognize the terms that we are to use as what they are and not just what we want them to be. This all [could] be an exercise in semantics just as well, although I personally do not believe that to be the case.

I do not agree that the term anarchism is vague, but I wouldn’t dispute the fact that many people recognize the term to mean different things. In either case, I will acquiesce for the sake of the discussion and grant that you believe there are many meanings for the term. When I use it, I mean to say “no-rule.” In the context of this discussion then, I have stated that living in accordance with Christian law, and moreover, with the dictates of characters such as so-called apostles and the king of kings and lord of lords, is antithetical to “no-rule.” Although you have pointed out that you voluntarily entered into the covenant that you have with the rulers of your religions, and that’s fine. My point is that once the conscious decision is made to “submit,” then such a state of existence is no longer compatible with anarchism as it is defined via its literal meaning. The initial act of voluntarily submitting to such rule has no bearing (IMO) on the end result.

You used the example of “just authority” and private property ownership. My response is that I believe that the only thing that man truly “owns” is his own person. Since the body is the vessel of the individual mind, and since they (the body and the mind) come into the world combined as one “being” in their natural state with nothing else attached… All else that is produced, acquired, etc., are not natural property of the individual. Such property ownership is assumed because of original appropriation or voluntary exchange between individuals as value for value. Nevertheless, since nothing that is originally appropriated comes from elements that naturally belong to the individual (again, except their own being), then all else is merely acknowledged to be property; however such acknowledgement are mere conventions. Such conventions are agreements and therefore not representative of anyone’s natural state of existence in terms of natural property ownership beyond their own personal being.

None of this is meant to suggest that such conventions do not exist. Only that the concept of property ownership is a concept and not a rule, or, not law-like as are laws of the universe. As such, no one technically owns anything in the same manner as they own themselves except as is generally agreed to by individuals for the sake of continuity within a given society/community of people who wish to coexist.

I am not suggesting that such things as original appropriation and developing new [things] via invention (i.e. the creative mind) are of no consequence; rather I am suggesting that it is important to always remember the natural state of existence of human beings in terms of what we come into the world with, and what we exit the world with. Heck, even Christianity supports this.

“Just Authority”

Taking “dominion” over something is much different than establishing any legitimate authority over others who may wish to interact with the person or thing thus dominated. You say that I must “submit” to whatever authority you have established for yourself in your home if I were to visit. I say that if I were to visit you in your home, I am not submitting to authority, rather I have a choice of whether or not to agree or disagree with whatever so-called rules you have devised for the object that you have exercised dominion over (in this example, your home). No matter what choice I make, it will be based on what value I place on the establishment (again, agreements between men) of mutual respect of that which is designated as property via original appropriation or voluntary exchange.

One may like to call this “just authority” but since any property one acquires along the way via dominion, original appropriation, or manipulation of matter that is external to their own person (i.e. not naturally theirs); I find it very difficult to attach any sort of inherent “authority” over terms that boil down to “agreements” when the onion is appropriately peeled away.

It naturally follows that in the case of the employer/employee relationship; the two have established agreements that equate to a mutual exchange of ‘value for value.’ I do not regard voluntary value for value exchanges between individuals to be authoritative in nature because again, if we are going to invoke “fundamentals,” then one must acknowledge that fundamentally, the only [thing] an individual has complete (natural) ownership of is himself. The process of bartering goods or services in mutually agreed upon terms (employer offering a wage for labor offered by the employee) are just that… Agreements.

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If God as a ruler violates the tenets of anarchism, then do the laws of physics not also violate said tenets? I only ask because in the Christian's mind, IMO, God isn't anthropomorphized into a human-like "ruler" that would violate the anarchist's belief that human rulers are immoral. Rather, God is seen simply as a reality of the universe (or beyond, I suppose, to be more precise).

I have not debated the existence of [a god] whatsoever. I have specifically debated Christianity as a system that requires subordination of its followers to the will of its lords; which necessarily abandons the basic meaning of “no-rule.” The argument above presupposes the validity of a very specific system; a system that I do not borrow from in my argument.

I would consider anything that is [naturally] law-like, such as laws of the universe (i.e. nature)… To be immutable whether they are yet understood, or not.



Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: JustSayNoToStatism on September 05, 2010, 10:30:14 AM
I'm bringing this thread back to life!!

I am not a Christian, and I personally view the idea of accepting a god as leader just because someone says I need to or else I'll be punished is a lot like accepting the righteousness of political rulers because they say they are benevolent. I often wonder how (literally the thought process) people were able to throw off their FAITH in government without doing the same in the religious realm.

Once I get past this initial confusion of how someone figures out one of these things but not the other, I realize that Christians, once converted to libertarianism, will fall into the Rothbardian camp more easily than others. Rothbard's use of natural rights to explain things fits very well with Christians, who can claim that god gave them those rights.

This is useful information when it comes to converting people to our side, because there are a lot of religious conservatives, and conservatives can be converted to libertarianism (which also has a lot of religious people), who might then love Rothbard's use of rights.


Title: Re: American Independence Day Celebrations
Post by: FormerlyBrainwashed on September 08, 2010, 09:23:44 PM

It is important to always keep into perspective the understanding that our job is not to "convert" people to any "side." I am not at all poking at your statement below in a personal way, only to highlight that it is vital to always consider the language we use in all we communicate.

To suggest we ought to ever convert people is a contradiction of our stated position (that of individualist/voluntaryist's). The true message of liberty and all the countless lies that makeup the Statist scheme, fall like a house of cards to anyone who genuinly cares about their own self-preservation and that of their loved ones.

Consistency in communication, clarity in intent, a message of functional/realistic liberty... that's the message that will be effective. It is the reality of things that will get another persons attention. Speak in terms that are unambiguous and black or white... No gray areas! It is all so plain to understand that once the revolution of their mind is settled, as was likely the case with most of us, all else is gravy. Suddenly everything becomes very clear and the falsity of their scheme is easy to discern.

It is very easy to open the door for meaningful conversation. The "moral" argument wins every time! Do not be antagonistic, but above all HAVE SOUND ANSWERS to their comments, rhetoric, and potential questions.

Learn about the value of counter economics and remind yourself that INDIVIDUAL liberty starts with you! There is NO NEED to try to secure liberty for millions of people; achieve incremental personal liberty for yourself and others will want what you have.

Don't feed the State and do NOT sanction their activity or perpetuate your own plunder (or that of others) via participation in their scheme.

Read, think, and communicate (share)...