Archive for libertarianism
One of my great friends is Daniel Krawisz, who I first met at the University of Texas with Libertarian Longhorns. We were both graduate students, libertarian thinkers, and board gamers, so we quickly hit it off and have since traveled across the country together multiple times to attend libertarian conferences and to have a great time promoting the cause of liberty.
Daniel is a brilliant guy; he has earned graduate degrees in both physics and computer science and continually impresses me with his understanding of science and technology. But another area in which he has totally blown me away is his grasp of cryptography and bitcoin as a serious strategy against statism. He was instrumental in convincing me of the importance of bitcoin and the “crypto-anarchy” strategy, and today I want to encourage you to read his four-essay exposition on the subject. It may take some time to digest, but I promise you that the payoff is worth the effort. Here is a description and snippet from each essay to give you a flavor for what you will be reading at the Satoshi Nakamoto Institute.
There, I said it: legalize heroin. For those in a state of shock, let me say it again: legalize heroin. And for those conservative Christians who want to use the power of the state to stamp out sin and vice, let me say it again: legalize heroin.
Diacetylmorphin (or morphine diacetate or diamorphine), better known as heroin (or smack), is an opioid used as both an analgesic drug (to kill pain) and a recreational drug (to get high). I mention these basic facts about heroin because most defenders of the war on drugs, although they are adamant that heroin should be illegal, can neither tell you what it is or how it differs from cocaine, LSD, and crystal meth.
I recently came across two articles in which the authors advocated the legalization of heroin. I agree with them, but not because of anything they wrote in their articles. Nevertheless, here are some things they say.
Conservatives and libertarians have a precarious relationship. On the surface, they appear to agree on some issues, but once you dig a little deeper, vast philosophical differences quickly become evident.
To get votes and support, Conservatives sometimes spout libertarian rhetoric, claim they are “libertarian leaning,” and—their favorite pastime—criticize liberals. The truth, however, is that conservatives are bitter opponents of libertarianism, lie incessantly, and are no better than liberals on most issues.
Yet, the case of public schooling is one where conservatives and libertarians appear to have some common concerns.
Liberals love public education. And especially when it promotes an agenda of diversity, environmentalism, political correctness, inclusivism, socialism, relativism, interventionism, statism, gun control, and LGBT causes. But like libertarians, most conservatives regularly criticize public education.
Conservatives cite the drop in SAT scores. They talk about the dumbing down of our kids. They vehemently express their opposition to Common Core. They talk about high schools graduating functional illiterates. They bewail the decline in discipline and standards. They bemoan the violence that occurs in schools. They are aghast at the increasing number of teachers caught having sexual relationships with students. They expose the anti-Christian bias that exists in many public schools. They express their opposition to the employment of gay teachers. They criticize the teaching of evolution as an established fact. They lament the elimination of prayer and Bible reading in schools. They denounce the power of the teachers’ unions. They condemn school-based “health clinics” for being pro-abortion. They complain about the public schools pushing a liberal agenda. They denounce the bureaucracy in the federal Department of Education.
Although libertarians may point out some of these very things, they have nothing whatsoever to do with the libertarian case against public schools. The libertarian case is a simple one. Libertarians oppose public schools because they are government schools. It doesn’t matter if none of the evils of public schools mentioned above even exist. It is simply not the proper role of government to educate children. Neither is it the proper role of government to force Americans to pay for the education of their children in a public school or to pay for the education of the children of other Americans. It is an illegitimate purpose of government to have anything to do with the education of anyone’s children. It is the responsibility of parents to educate their children. How they choose to do that is entirely up to them, but public schooling shouldn’t even be an option. Read More→
The Christians for Liberty 2014 Conference has come and gone, but now we get to post the videos from the conference for everyone to see.
Talking to Christians about libertarianism can be challenging at times. Doug Stuart says we often feel “stuck in the middle” between liberal and conservative Christians. In this presentation, Doug discusses conversational strategies Christian libertarians can employ to reach out to Christian conservatives and liberals.
Have you had successful (or not successful!) experiences talking to Christians about liberty? Tell us about it in the comments, and let us know which of Doug’s strategies you are going to use next.
I have long respected the work of Dr. John Cobin in the field of Christian libertarianism. His two books Christian Theology of Public Policy and Bible and Government have influenced my own exposition of Romans 13 and have affected many others in the Christian libertarian movement. You can read LCC author Doug Stuart’s review of Bible and Government here.
I occasionally receive emails from people trying to find his books for sale. Ordering one from Amazon.com or your local bookstore is rarely easy. However, I am very pleased to extend an offer from John Cobin himself to order these two incredible books at his main website. Right now, you can get a copy of Christian Theology of Public Policy (hardback) for $14.99, and a copy of Bible and Government (paperback) for $6.99 – and those prices include shipping to the continental United States. Plus, LCC readers can get a discount on any of his other materials as well.
Cobin’s works I consider nearly essential to a Christian libertarian’s education, as I have stated in various book lists. You can also read some of Cobin’s essays here at LCC in the Christian Theology of Public Policy short course. The article series covers some of the material in the book with less detail. The full book, as you might imagine, is even better.
Christian libertarians do not have quite as vast a literature to draw upon than the general libertarian movement. Add these books to your library and you will not regret it.
Click here to go to John Cobin’s website and order Christian Theology of Public Policy and Bible and Government.