Perhaps the most valid justification of government is its defense of citizens against foreign aggressors. But when governments wage war, a thin line separates defense and offense. And even in a defensive war, governments typically deprive their own citizens of many liberties. Historically, war has done more than anything else to enhance the power of governments and to diminish the liberties of the people. Classical liberals have always recognized the dangers of war and supported policies, such as free international trade, that reduce the likelihood of war.
Norman’s Note: Today I’d like to introduce you to the next writer to join the LCC team, Doug Douma! I met Doug almost three years now (has it really been that long, Doug?) at the 2008 Austrian Scholars Conference, and we became fast friends due to our common bonds of Christian faith, libertarianism, and professional engineering. You might remember Doug’s previous posts about Ayn Rand and the origin of natural rights; they continue to be some of the most-viewed posts on LCC. Doug has a few words to introduce himself again to you. Take it away, Doug!
I was blessed to be raised in a Christian family. I grew up in the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod and have continued to stay involved to this day. I’ve taught Sunday School for about 10 years – the first when time when I was 17. This year I’m blessed to be leading a Junior High group through the confirmation process.
I was not heavily involved in political economy during my undergrad years as I focused my studies on Mechanical Engineering. After college, when I first had free time to read the books which I choose, I became acquainted with the ideas of classical liberalism. As with so many others, it began with Ayn Rand. In my case, I was reading Ron Paul at the same time. When reading Paul’s Foreign Policy of Freedom I was struck by the absurdity of the U.S. foreign policy. Paul pointed out that the Falkland’s war obligated us to essentially be fighting ourselves as we had committed to protect both the United Kingdom (through NATO) and Argentina (through the Rio Norte Treaty) in the event that either country were at war.
While in MBA school at Wake Forest, I met Professor Tom Taylor of the Accounting school and author of An Introduction to Austrian Economics. Through a series of lunch meetings with Professor Taylor I came to understand the fundamentals of praxeology, the study of human action. I then spent most of my time reading Menger, Mises, Rothbard, Paul, Rand, Hayek, and Block instead of the material for my MBA classes.
Against all my powers to fight it, a dedication to consistency slowly forced me to support anarcho-capitalism, which I still do to this day. However, a detailed study of Christian ethics convinced me that a commitment to the non-aggression principle of anarcho-capitalism is necessary but not sufficient. Political economy entirely avoids the subject of personal action. I know not to harm others, but what about myself? I believe the answer to this lies exclusively in the Word of God.
Perhaps ironically, despite my commitment to the non-aggression principle, I’m passionate about professional boxing and martial arts. My current station in life is working as an Engineering Manager at an Aerospace company. I’m glad to find like-minded thinking individuals with LibertarianChristians.com and I look forward to the growth of the website and the minds that will be transformed by Christ through us.