This topic started a short comment of mine on another’s blog:
He replied on one of my posts. Following the quote is my reaction..
I am more interested in making individual humans operating efficiently in their lives with a moral code that promotes efficiency with an efficient language, efficient education, and ultimately an efficient political system which gives a dam about biodiversity, its preservation, and expansion. Nature punishes the inefficient animals and plants and it is time for humans also to reflect this natural moral natural law in the way that they behave towards each other and the wilderness. am more interested in making individual humans operating efficiently in their lives with a moral code that promotes efficiency with an efficient language, efficient education, and ultimately an efficient political system which gives a dam about biodiversity, its preservation, and expansion. Nature punishes the inefficient animals and plants and it is time for humans also to reflect this natural moral natural law in the way that they behave towards each other and the wilderness.
I applaud your interest in helping people become more efficient in their lives and a moral code that incorporates such a goal. I think it should be obvious that in no way did my comments mean that inefficiency is acceptable either as a goal or a moral good.
In fact almost all of your blog posts share and promote laudable ideas that are good for people, a commendable effort. I’m sorry our first real interactions were on this small difference.
Let me illustrate with the big picture view of governments. I see in your most recent post from today that you advocate ratcheting down the power of states to a local level closer to the people. Now THAT is a good idea, but it would be better to advocate (for the same reasons you express and other reasons).
Governments are notoriously the most inefficient institutions for any specified purpose, and that includes some of the most noble purposes.
I recommend reading up on Austrian Economics as a way of more fully grasping that idea, if you haven’t already. The Mises Institute (www.mises.org) is a good source for learning more about it. Keynsesians don’t have a clue about how economics works.
Now, I’ll step into a little bit of hyperbole here (kind of like calling inefficiency as “immoral”) and I’ll say that Keynesian economics is “immoral” in the sense that it advocates theft as a way to do good. As if government is justified by the fact that its power does indeed come out of the barrel of a gun, like Obama’s Information and Regulation Czar said, quoting Mao Tse Tung. Only he said it like Mao as a general principle.
I have learned as a born-again Christian that the most powerful force in the world is love, and the love of Christ is the testament to the fact.
Now, the fact that government is an inefficient way to do anything it purports to do is not by itself make it immoral per se. The “immorality” of government comes from the fact that it steals from its subjects and forces people (at the point of the gun of the law) to do things or not do things whether they like it or not.
This principle is more clear if you just replace the word “government” with the word “your neighbors”. The Good Samaritan was “neighbor” to the victim of highway robbery, because he took resources from his own purse to help the man. He did not wait for some rich man to come by to steal from him.
In this sense, the resources that government steals from the productive to give to (whoever else), is immoral. The ruling position, based on force, is a temptation to do all kinds of good things, but in the end it exposes the truth of the old adage, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. It takes a special strength of innate character to avoid the temptations of power, The fact that the Ron Paul’s are such a rarity in Congress (or else lobbyists would have nothing to do) is a demonstration.
I do not agree with some of C. S. Lewis’ most important assertions (that he thought were minor I think) ideas, but one truth he said was this:
“Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good
of its victim may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live
under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies.
The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may
at some point be satiated, but those who torment us for our own good
will torment us without end for they do so with the approval
of their own conscience.”
It think it’s horrendous the way that in recent decades in the prosperity after World War II, Americans have been some of the most wasteful people in the world.
But their government has done tremendous harm in the name of doing good. The temptations of power result in a lot of immorality, and now, as the Bible says about those who have little conscience, “They declare their sin, they hide it not”.
By far the biggest waste is war, though. The welfare-warfare state builds up this oppressive monster. “Cities are a festering sore on the body politic” said one famous historian, and he was right.
The corruption factor is seen in the application to taxation. “Taxation is theft” said Murray Rothbard.
Jesus even explained this to his disciples. When you ask 90% of Christian pastors about taxes, they’ll point to Jesus’ retort to the Pharisees asking whether it was “lawful” (under the Torah, of course, not the Roman) to pay taxes, and he said ” Render therefore unto Caesar the things which be Caesar’s, and unto God the things which be God’s.” (Luke 20:25).
We all know (or should know) that “The Earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof”.
But elsewhere he taught something more to his disciples. In Matthew 17:24-27, when they came collecting taxes from Jesus’ band, he taught them with questions what he thought about questions.
25 He saith, Yes. And when he was come into the house, Jesus prevented him, saying, What thinkest thou, Simon? of whom do the kings of the earth take custom or tribute? of their own children, or of strangers?
26 Peter saith unto him, Of strangers. Jesus saith unto him, Then are the children free.
That’s right, they take “taxes” from you at the point of the gun of the law, but they don’t pay them.
Find an emotional expression of this, in an outburst, of all places, in the European Parliament: