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Sunday, December 1, was the anniversary of the day in 1955 when civil rights icon Rosa Parks was arrested in Montgomery, Alabama, for refusing to give up her seat on a bus to a white man. The Republican National Committee (RNC) posted a message and sent out an email celebrating Parks’ legacy. The message mentioned remembering and honoring Parks “for the role she played in fighting racism and ending segregation.”
But the RNC also sent out a tweet saying: “Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in ending racism.”
This brought forth howls of protest from Democrats, who never cease to remind us that racism is far from over.
So, a few hours after the original tweet, the RNC issued a clarification: “Previous tweet should have read ‘Today we remember Rosa Parks’ bold stand and her role in fighting to end racism.’”
Tags: culture, government, history, law, racism, Rosa Parks
“The most just of wars brings with it a train of evils—if indeed any war can really be called just.” ~ Erasmus
In the first of my articles on Erasmus (“Erasmus on the Evils of War”), I wrote a brief introduction to Erasmus and his works on war and peace that should be read to better understand what Erasmus has to say here about the just war.
The concept of just war theory has been resurrected with abandon since Bush invaded Iraq and Afghanistan after 9/11. It has even been used to justify those wars. The views of Erasmus on the just war are much more restrictive and much less liable to abuse. Even a war waged ostensibly to protect the innocent is unjust because it is the innocent that most heavily suffer the scourge of war. Read More→
Tags: church history, Erasmus, ethics, history, philosophy, theology, war
“Who could possibly tell how many hardships these idiots of soldiers put up with in their camps? And they deserve worse just for being willing to put up with them.” ~ Erasmus
In the first of my articles on Erasmus (“Erasmus on the Evils of War”), I wrote a brief introduction to Erasmus and his works on war and peace that should be read to better understand what Erasmus has to say here about the wickedness of soldiers.
No matter what subject he is writing about, Erasmus has absolutely nothing good to say about soldiers. Indeed, as the translator and annotator of one of Erasmus’ Colloquies wrote: “Erasmus seldom missed an opportunity to satirize soldiers or to attack their wickedness.”
In a 1514 letter to Antoon van Bergen asks us to consider the instruments of war: “I pray you: murderers, profligates devoted to gambling and rape, and the vilest sort of mercenary soldiery to whom pay is dearer that life. These are splendid material in war; for then they earn rewards and glory for doing what they were doing at their own peril before. These are the dregs of mankind whom you must welcome into your countryside and towns alike if you have a mind to make war. In brief, if we seek to take vengeance upon another, to such as these must we enslave ourselves.” Read More→
Tags: church history, Erasmus, ethics, history, soldiers, theology, war
LCC reader Andrew recently asked me,
“Norman, in your opinion, how would child abuse like the recent incident where a baby was found nearly starved by his lazy parents be prevented in a libertarian society? How would children such as this be protected?”
Andrew, there will always be evil people in the world. Government will not solve that, neither will a world without government. Children are not “protected” now in the sense that 100% of all potential abuses are thwarted, as is evident from this stupidity. Additionally, nobody can promise that a libertarian society is a utopia full of puppies and rainbows.
However, I am quite confident that child abuse or neglect such as this terrible incident would be reduced in a free society, relative to the current state of affairs. Right now, the government basically incentivizes irresponsibility in child-rearing through welfarism and the public school system. How so? When the State provides “free of charge” certain services that make it possible to have sustained unemployment and to remove a parent from a central component of a child’s life – his/her education – then it is no surprise that certain parents will be inclined to laziness, and even to abuse.
With those things out of the way, I think that habitually irresponsible people will actually be less likely to have children precisely because they will have to be 100% responsible for their family – they cannot just assume the government will pick up the slack. Yes, there will still be problems, but I would expect the problems to be far fewer in number than what we experience now.
Also, a free society would probably have much more active adoption opportunities. The government has essentially monopolized adoption, and as a result the costs are high and the efficiency low. In a free society, the incentives would be aligned so that irresponsible parents would be much more likely to put their baby up for adoption once it becomes clear that it is more in their interest to divest themselves of the responsibility rather than keep it.
As it is, governments have thoroughly messed up the world with respect to children. The United States has made it difficult to adopt without the state getting its cut, of course, but adopting a child from another country in the United States is even more difficult because of the multiple states involved in the process. People assume that the state puts the interests of children first, yet not only do they do no such thing but they also exacerbate pre-existing problems with excessive regulation and stifling of the marketplace.
A lot of people dislike the idea of a “paternal” or “nanny” state, but the state playing the “parent” game with real children is truly tragic.
Tags: children, children's rights, economics, ethics, FAQ, parenting