in the end the Libertarian vision and the Marxist vision share a common teleology in terms of their vision for the future. Both envision the eventual withering away of the State. The Marxists envision it happening by way of abolishing private property. The Libertarians envisions it happening by exalting the ownership of property to the Highest good of politics. The Marxists envisions it happening by absolutizing the State so as to deny private property. The Libertarians envision it happening by completely eliminating the State so as eliminate the commons. However, each vision is pursued to the end of some fanciful Utopia.
Both Libertarianianism and Marxism articulate a anthropology that reduces man to homo econonomicus. Both view man as the sum of his economic decisions.
Both Libertarianism and Marxism get the One and the Many wrong. The Libertarian extinguishes the One in favor of the Many and the Marxist extinguishes the Many in favor of the One. Taken together they are Van Til’s “Rational” and “Irrational” wash women taking in each others laundry.
Libertarianism is all particulars and no Universals. Marxism is all Universals and no particulars. Libertarianism gives us beads without holes. Marxism gives us strings that have no ends.
Further, both Liberrtarianism and Marxism lose the idea of the Transcendent Objective. This is seen most clearly in ethics for the Marxism, while for the Libertarians the absence of the Objective transcendent is seen most clearly in the absence of any objective standard of a just price or wage. Both Libertarianism and Marxism suffer from the subjectivity of Monism that always affects those who do not have a vigorous understanding of Transcendence.
One solves ABSOLUTELY NOTHING by championing Libertariansim over Marxism.
I just read an article making the case that Libertarians make good Christians.
Why Christians Make Great Libertarians
I know you like to say that Libertariansim is good as far as it goes but that when it is seen as a system authoritative in itself that it is a positive evil. Could you explain, in your estimation why it is the case that Libertarians who have embraced movement Libertarianism don’t make good Christians?
Thank you for the opportunity to deal with this again. I do think that Libertarianism does at points coincide with Biblical Christianity but as a ideological movement it is opposed to Biblical Christianity. Biblical Christians and Libertarians, for example, both agree that the State should be minimal. However, movement Libertarianism tends to absolutize the individual while Biblical Christianity absolutizes God. As such because of these different absolutes the definition of liberty is different for each. For the movement Libertarian liberty is largely defined by something they call the Non Aggression Principle whereas for the Biblical Christian Liberty is that behavior which is lived out consistent with God’s Law Word. Here are some other ways in which I can see that movement Libertarianism is not consistent with Biblical Christianity.
1.) Movement Libertarians absolutize Liberty so that it turns into anarchy. (Each man does what is right in his own eyes.) Biblical Liberty is ordered liberty — ordered by God’s law word.
2.) Libertarians turn man from Homo Adorans (man the worshiper) into Homo oeconomicus (man the economic being). Movement libertarian reduce man to the sum of his market decisions and turn his whole being into one of economics. Biblical Christians do not see man as primarily an economic being and so the thinking of Biblical Christians on social order issues does not reduce man to the sum of his economic decisions.
3.) Movement Libertarians have no standard by which to measure Liberty except the sovereign autonomous self and its fiat word. Libertarianism insists on doing that which is good for the individual but that which is defined as good in only in reference to the individual.
4.) Movement Libertarainism atomizes man and completely misses His covenant jurisdictions. As such men become free floating integers that are not inherently connected to any covenantal identity. If Socialism makes the mistake of seeing man only as part of the hive, movement Libertarianism makes the mistake of seeing only man as unrelated to anything but his own subjective self (ego).
5.) Libertarians don’t make good Christians because as Rushdoony taught Libertarianism is merely the flip side of the coin to Marxism. Marxism and Movement Libertarianism presuppose one another. Neither get correct the One and the Many and in getting the One and the Many wrong they serve the purposes of each other’s errors in that regard.
Thanks for writing Leland,
I have said the blockquote below forever, to anybody who would listen that deficits in the budget of the Federal Government is not paid either by the Uber-Rich, nor by the poor, but it is paid by the middle-class. It is in the Middle Class where all the money is and so despite the lies about how the “rich are going to be made to pay their fair share,” it is always the middle class folks that are the ones that foot the bill. People have known this for decades.
I will even go so far as to insist that our current tax system is NOT a redistribution of wealth from the rich to the poor but rather it is a redistribution of wealth from the middle class to the uber-wealthy. Every tax policy that is pursued in Washington is pursued in favor of taking from the middle class and giving to the uber-wealthy. They lie about that. They masquerade and cloak that. They compliment themselves on how noble they are for doing that. However, in the end the tax policy is to enrich the uber-wealthy and their political bag men and enforcer thugs. This is the essence of the Corporatism that we are currently living under where mega government and mega Corporations are in bed together to enrich themselves at the cost of the rank and file middle class.
What is most frustrating though is when the middle class is too stupid to figure this shell game out, and as such keeps pulling levers for both Democrats and Republicans who both are part of the crony capitalism that is Corporatism. Our ignorance is killing us.
But enough of me … consider how Al Smith put it clear back in 1936,
“Now here is something that I want to say to the rank and file. There are three classes of people in this country; there are the poor and the rich, and in between the two is what has often been referred to as the great backbone of America, that is the plain fellow.
That is the fellow that makes from one hundred dollars a month up to the man that draws down five or six thousand dollars a year.
Now, there is a great big army. Forget the rich; they can’t pay this debt. If you took everything they have away from them, they couldn’t pay it; they ain’t got enough. There is no use talking about the poor; they will never pay it, because they have nothing.
This debt is going to be paid by that great big middle class that we refer to as the backbone and the rank and file, and the sin of it is they ain’t going to know that they are paying it.It is going to come to them in the form of indirect and hidden taxation. It will come to them in the cost of living, in the cost of clothing, in the cost of every activity that they enter into, and because it is not a direct tax, they won’t think they’re paying, but, take it from me, they are going to pay it!”
Gov. Al Smith — 1928 Democratic Presidential Standard Bearer
1936 Speech — Betrayal of the Democratic Party
“by the late 19th century the inner sanctums of Wall Street understood that the most efficient way to gain an unchallenged monopoly was to ‘go political’ and make society go to work for the monopolists — under the name of the public good and the public interest…. One barrier to mature understanding of recent history is the notion that all capitalists are the bitter and unswerving enemies of all Marxists and socialists…. In fact the idea is nonsense. There has been a continuing, albeit concealed, alliance between international political capitalists and international revolutionary socialists — to their mutual benefit…. The open minded reader should bear two clues in mind: monopoly capitalists are bitter enemies of laissez-faire entrepreneurs; and, given the weaknesses of social central planning, the totalitarian socialist state is a perfect captive market for monopoly capitalists, if an alliance can be made with socialist power brokers.”
Antony C. Sutton
Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution
Clearly the point above is that the idea that socialism and (finance) capitalism are arch enemies is ridiculous. In point of fact the purpose of finance capitalism (Corporatism) is to enrich itself via the means of socialism.
A couple of examples will begin to bring to light this reality.
How else, but as entitlement to the Oligarchy, does one view the FEDS lifting bad assets from private bank balance sheets? This is an entitlement for the International Money interest, is it not? This is a clear re-distribution of wealth upwards.
When we bail out mega companies from their private debt who’s money is committed to being the ‘lender of last resort’ but those of taxpayers?
In such a move we see a re-distribution of wealth upward from the have-nots to the haves.
Secondly by way of example, taxing the middle class income and using it to pay the interest on the Treasury bonds that make up the National debt is also and example of redistribution of wealth upwards where there oligarchs are enriched at the cost of the middle class. This is because the Treasury bonds that represent the National debt are held mostly by the wealthy companies, individuals, and nation states.
Socialism is NOT a boon to the lower class. Socialism is the way the Oligarchy fools the lower economic class into thinking they are trying to help them. In Socialism the Oligarchy (the International money interest) is helping and enriching themselves at the expense of the middle class. Socialism does not lower the gap between the Bourgeoisie and the proletariat. In point of fact Socialism widens the gap between the finance capitalist Corporatist class and the blue collar laboring class.
“The Churches too have adopted this doctrine of humanistic debt to the people. The Bible tells us that we are totally in debt to the Lord God, that we owe Him as our Lord the tithe as the minimum, and our lives as living sacrifice. The new humanistic doctrine of debt turns the moral universe upside down and the poor replace God as the focus of moral concern.”
R. J. Rushdoony
Roots of Reconstruction — pg. 320
The thought categories of Biblical Christianity have too often been refilled with Marxist content so that man is the center of our Christianity and not the Lord Christ. This is seen most clearly in the doctrine of social justice which is so bandied about today inside and outside the Church.
Clearly we should be concerned with the righteous poor in our communities but the Church shows this Marxist switch when it draws the antithesis between rich and poor instead of between the righteous and the unrighteous. Marxism is the only thing that can explain how much of the Church knee jerks about social justice for the poor, forgetting that God loves the Rich righteous and blessed many throughout Scripture to be rich (Job, Abraham, David, etc.). God has no more love for the wicked reprobate poor just because they are poor anymore than he has love for the wicked reprobate rich.
Our social justice, if we must use that term, should be for those in Christ first. However Marxism has allowed us to feel good about ourselves if we damn all rich and act as if the poor are automatically righteous just because they are poor.
“Remove far from me falsehood and lying; give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with the food that is needful for me…”