Archive for government
By Rev. Edmund Opitz, author of The Libertarian Theology of Freedom and Religion and Capitalism: Allies, Not Enemies. This essay was originally published in the June 1966 issue of The Freeman. Read more in the Edmund Opitz Archive.
The effort to prevent people from obtaining certain kinds of reading matter on the grounds that its perusal may inflict damage on the minds exposed to it, springs from a “father knows best” psychology. Men of this persuasion assume that they know what is bad for people — even if the people themselves do not—and, further, that they are called upon to invoke statutory safeguards to prevent these latter from injuring themselves unawares. Paternalism is not limited to a concern for the purity of literature, however; the “father knows best” attitude is rampant in every sector of our society, and it is the key to the “liberal” mentality.
The liberal draws a clear distinction between himself and the average man. The average man, in his ignorance and innocence, is at the mercy of his employer; he is gulled by the hucksters of the advertising profession; he is regarded as fair game by the patent medicine men, food faddists, hidden persuaders, and other such extremists. The liberal, therefore, attempts to regulate industry, fix wages, control profits, enforce social security, and otherwise protect the consumer against the wily agents of Madison Avenue and the obscene lure of tail fins.
Tags: censorship, Edmund Opitz, freedom of speech, government, morality, self-control
Breitbart reports that the Pentagon recently released a statement that soldiers who share their faith (I presume Christian or otherwise):
This regulation would severely limit expressions of faith in the military, even on a one-to-one basis between close friends. It could also effectively abolish the position of chaplain in the military, as it would not allow chaplains (or any service members, for that matter), to say anything about their faith that others say led them to think they were being encouraged to make faith part of their life. It’s difficult to imagine how a member of the clergy could give spiritual counseling without saying anything that might be perceived in that fashion.
And thus it becomes ever more difficult – if it were ever even possible – to live out the commandments of and serve Christ while also in “service” of the State.
Tags: Christianity, government, militarism, military, The State
This guest post is by LCC reader Paul Maitrejean.
Many Christians today are quick to leap to the defense of the current American regime. They will go to any length to defend its actions, particularly in the case of foreign policy and “culture” wars. On both sides of the aisle, Christians will throw their support behind virtually any politician of their particular political leaning regardless of his record, his words, or his current actions. Supporting without question the activities of the American government, particularly in foreign matters, has nearly become an unwritten prerequisite for being a Christian.
Amazingly, these Christians are supporting and swearing allegiance to among the most godless, cruel, greedy, murderous governments in history. When this is pointed out, though, the supporters of the State will cite Scripture in their defense – usually the oft-heard and badly-twisted Romans 13:1 – and they fall upon the dissenter like wolves. Is this the sort of mindset Jesus came among us to promote?
Tags: Bible, Christianity, government, render to caesar, Romans 13, statism, statolatry
In between drug prohibition and drug freedom are two concepts that are often confused.
Drug prohibition is the criminalization of the production, distribution, and possession of drugs as currently exists in the United States on the federal level and in most of the 50 states. Drug freedom is the complete absence of federal and state laws and regulations concerning drugs because what a man wants to grow, sell, or smoke is his natural right.
Drug decriminalization is the elimination of criminal penalties for possessing drugs. Although it is still illegal to possess the drugs, violators are given a civil fine or referred to a drug-treatment program instead of being arrested and saddled for the rest of their lives with a criminal record. Drug legalization is the elimination of both criminal and civil penalties for drug possession.
In either case, it is not drugs in the absolute sense; the drug in question is always limited to marijuana. The decriminalization or legalization is also never absolute; in either case it always comes with a myriad of government regulations and restrictions.
Both concepts are sometimes wrongly identified with drug freedom, “wrongly” because they primarily focus on possession and only secondarily on production and distribution; moreover, because of the numerous regulations and restrictions that accompany them, they are actually closer to prohibition than to drug freedom.
Tags: drug freedom, drug war, drugs, ethics, government, health, libertarianism
When it comes to governments the world over, bad economic policies usually beget more bad economic policies. That is especially true when it comes to taxes.
The eyes not just of Europe but of the world were on Cyprus recently when, as part of a proposed bailout package, ordinary bank depositors were to be taxed to pay part of the €5.8 billion needed to secure a €10 billion bailout from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.
That, of course, would have set a terrible precedent and given the insatiably cash-hungry governments of every country another idea of how to extract more money out of its citizens.
In the 1990s, Italy did impose a tax on all bank accounts to keep its lira afloat, but the rate was only 0.06 percent. In Iceland in 2008, the government reneged on deposit insurance for Internet-based accounts held by British and Dutch clients. Those two governments spent $5 billion helping their citizens who were affected and then sued, unsuccessfully, in a European court to get their money back from Iceland, which has nevertheless begun to repay some of the money. But all that pales in comparison with the situation in Cyprus. Read More→
Tags: ethics, government, statism, taxation, taxes, theft