Friday, May 30, 2008

Jesus Is a Libertarian

It's a fair question: "compassion" is a vice, when practiced by government. But isn't it still a virtue when practiced by individuals?

The Objectivist position is that moral pressure, and guilt, are just as coercive, and just as wrong, as government coercion.

So, the liberal position is this: "We" should take money from B to give it to C. B is rich, and C is poor. But "We" does not include rich liberals, like Al Franken, who think that only saps pay taxes.

It's not charity if it's done at gun point. Is it charity if it is done out of fear of shunning?

12 comments:

Thunder Pig said...

Technically, Jesus is a Monarchist.

Dirty Davey said...

This is a bit of an unfair slap at Franken. He ran into the relatively new (or at least only recently enforced) trap in which people who earn money for appearances and activities "on the road"--e.g. speakers or pro athletes--are taxed in the states where they appear. He got bad accounting advice, and initially paid Minnesota taxes on all of his speaking fees rather than doing separate state tax payments and tax returns for each different state in which he "worked".

So Mungowitz--if your LP celebrity gets you compensation for any appearances outside NC, remember you need to pay taxes and file tax paperwork in every state in which you make a compensated appearance!

Paul said...

Speaking of Jesus, have we got a youtube or whatever of your keynote yet??

Mungowitz said...

Thunder Pig wins, on the technicality.

Of course, a monarchy where obedience is voluntary is a lot like a libertarian ideal, until you come to what happens after life ends. Clearly a monarchy then....

Robert S. Porter said...

I've always argued that Jesus was a libertarian. I'll change my mind when you find one instance where Jesus says "Now go out brothers and sisters into the world and force, by the threat of violence, your neighbors into helping the poor. For God wants not people, who, through the conviction of their hearts help the poor, but all of society forced into begrudgingly into helping the poor."

Anonymous said...

I will be a monarchy then, but still completely different than any "monarchy" we've seen before, for two reasons:

1) everyone there will be there voluntarily, and
2) the monarch really will be perfect. King Jesus is a lot different from King Louis.

Back to your original question, is it charity if it is done out of fear of shunning? Well, if "shunning" is a cost imposed by a free market (of ideas/morality/etc), then it's really a cold, calculating decision. But so long as we're not talking about government coercion, should charity be defined by the motive, or the result?

Rolo Tomasi said...

Just because people think I'm a jerk doesn't mean I have to stop being one!

Tom said...

I'm afraid we're not going to see video of Munger's keynote. They had DVDs of everything else, but there was some glitch and only audio of Munger.

:-(

Jody said...

Is it charity if it is done out of fear of shunning?

Is it free speech if what you say is not free from criticism?

br said...

Mr. Jesus could probably have been considered a luddite libertarian as opposed to a capitalist libertarian.

He told Matt (in 19:24) that,
"it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God"

Kind of collectivist, but still probably libertarian.

His dad on the other hand seems more like a Tyrant. In Ezekiel 16:48, He justified destroying Sodom with fire and brimstone, because "She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me."

Paul said...

Where can I find audio of the keynote then?

Juris Naturalist said...

An Objectivist objects to charity on the basis that it is inconsistent with Human Nature. The Christian believes that he has an altered nature - a regenerated nature. Regeneration makes the Christian honestly altruistic. He *is* charitable.
That said, he also take on full responsibility for charity.
So, Jesus was a libertarian, an objectivist regarding the unregenerate, and an altruist.
Nathan