“Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.”
What a way to start a blog post, eh? I haven’t talked about Christian anarchism in awhile and this quote has prompted some thought in me to want to again.
I think it is difficult to present my views to others without a clouded view of “government.” Because we live in a world run-by and destroyed-by government, it’s hard to understand how to go about life… without that all-consuming force.
So, when I say to others that I am a Christian anarchist pacifist, that I believe that the healthiest way for community to function and thrive is through “capitalism” (a free, willing exchange of goods) and also communal living (willing offerings between individuals/families/community in which no “tab” is kept and no qualifications are needed aside from being kind to one another). And yet, I am against what we see today as capitalism (it’s actually corporatism, government interference with corporations and corporations buying off politicians for favor – so it’s not capitalism at all). I am also against socialism and communism, which as most propose it today, would require government oversight and intrusion – the use of force, theft, and violence, to enact. So am for all and against all.
Many, without understanding that underlying spring of willingness within community from me, then, as Bastiat said, “As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.” Which couldn’t be further from the truth.
There are so many ways we can work together to support our community members, that never require politcians, military, or police to enact or enforce. Mutual aid societies collectively help one another out, with no government involvement whatsoever. Charities, as well. And, here are some other splendid ideas that require no compulsion of your neighbor to help another neighbor out. They can help or not.
One last problem I see it that many who support government force ensuring that “social welfare” programs go on, is that the justification is usually that, “if it weren’t for those programs, no one would help.”
First of all, we know this isn’t true because mutual aid societies and charities were long-doing almost everything that we now lean into politicians to do for us and they did it better and more financially wise as well. Second of all, this requires that “might makes right.” That if we take through force the money struggling people need, that makes it okay. We all know that a lone, struggling, impoverished robber of your home would never be given that justification, so why a swath of politicians. Third of all, no one seems to be able to reckon with me when I say, “If you support taxation (theft) to pay for any service you deem necessary, do you attempt to get money back during your taxes, do you happily see when you “owe more,” or do you voluntarily give more to such a ‘noble’ cause?” I have never had anyone answer me, and I am never being snarky asking this.
Community living does not only not require government, it is vital that for the community to flourish, to be grateful to one another, and for a spirit of joy and fellowship to abound, we must not have a force compelling us to do it “or else.” Government cannot be our salvation – it is only ours and our neighbors enslavement.