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Tom • 11 months ago

Is this really a controversial debate?

Mortado • 11 months ago

Yes. For most Jews, Israel is the most important political issue. Anyone denouncing Israel is seen by them as an anti-Semite. Then you have the religious right and the neocons (who are mostly Jews anyway) who also place an extreme amount of importance on Israel. Anti-Israel sentiment is usually equated with either anti-Semitism or pro-Islamic views.

Neocons were initially leftists who switched allegiances once the New Left began turning on Israel

Tom • 11 months ago

I have been a libertarian for over 20 years. I don't recall whether a State that is thousands of miles away is/was a burning issue for libertarians. I wish the people over there well, but I would be lying if I said I really cared

Mortado • 11 months ago

Oh, I feel the same way. I don't care at all about Israel and just wish the US would stop sending them billions in aid that they then use to butcher civilians. But it is a very controversial debate in general, albeit probably less important to libertarians

Alex Graf • 11 months ago

Do you wish the US to stop sending billions to only Israel or also to the surrounding Arab countries and territories those (Arabs) receive even more than Israel from the US? If the latter (or better stop any US foreign aid programs), I am with you. Otherwise, why Israel is singled out?

Tom • 11 months ago

Of course, all foreign aid should be ended. I wouldn't care if any country was singled out, but I would prefer all aid ending at the same time. I wouldn't be so sure about what the Israelis get in aid. They get much more than the amount cited in "foreign aid".

Alex Graf • 11 months ago

http://www.politifact.com/t...
Ron Paul "The Arab and the Muslim nations get twice as much money as Israel"

Mortado • 11 months ago

I would like all foreign aid abolished. I'd be willing to bet most Tom Woods listeners feel the same way.

Alex Graf • 11 months ago

The main recipient of the US money is Arab and Muslim nations, not Israel: "Let’s take a closer look at the numbers from the USAID database, calculated in inflation-adjusted 2009 dollars: From 2000 through 2009, Israel received $32.3 billion in U.S. assistance — 82 percent of which was military assistance.

We compared that figure with the 10-year aid total for the seven major Arab or Muslim recipients. Their take during those years: $136.4 billion, more than four times Israel’s. Their military component: 42 percent." http://www.politifact.com/t...

Jeremy R. Hammond • 11 months ago

I don't see how it follows from being a libertarian that one should not care about matters elsewhere in the world. Quite the opposite, it seems to me to follow that we ought to be concerned about the plight of others elsewhere whose rights are perpetually violated.

Tom • 11 months ago

Mr. Hammond,

I didn't quite phrase that properly. What I should have said is that I don't recall the legitimacy of the State of Israel having been a burning issue in the libertarian literature over the past 20 years. Zionist(both American and non-American, and Jewish and non-Jewish) influence on the US has. In addition, I should have said, that as an American, and not a libertarian, I really don't care what goes on there. I think that is, as Frank Chodorov wrote, a natural isolationist impulse. Of course, as libertarians qua libertarians, we should be concerned about rights violations anywhere. But even then, it still seems like a theoretical concern because the issue is usually far removed.

Jeremy R. Hammond • 11 months ago

That is hasn't previously been a burning issue doesn't mean it shouldn't be now. As for being an American, you live under a government claiming to represent you that supports Israel's crimes against the Palestinians, including with your tax dollars. Seems to me that's a good reason to care. I don't understand what you mean about it being a "theoretical concern". The Palestinians aren't theoretically being oppressed. They live it daily, with US support and our tax dollars being allocated toward that end.

Tom • 11 months ago

Mr. Hammond,

I emailed Dr. Woods, suggesting that a more important debate should be Zionist control of US foreign policy. I am in total agreement with you about "our" government's support of Israel's crimes against Palestinians. While the legitimacy of the State of Israel is linked with its treatment of Palestinians, I think it is possible to separate them. If Israel was legitimate, their violation of human rights would still be on the table.

I wasn't trying to make light of their plight. What I mean by "theoretical" is that I am not living their oppression. Not that it doesn't exist. I don't know another way of saying that I'm not inclined to do anything about it. The most moral and practical thing libertarians can do is try to convince enough Americans that a non-interventionist foreign policy is correct.

I agree with Michael Scheuer. Israel is a cancer on US Foreign Policy.

Jeremy R. Hammond • 11 months ago

Yes, convincing Americans of non-interventionist foreign policy is an important goal.

disqus_QZX8ENhLyb • 11 months ago

Lousy debate! Rafi terribly juvenile in his approach. No definitions. What i a Jew? Religion? Genotype? "From a libertarian perspective, what is the system of land ownership? Tribal? Private? No background established from which to discuss Lousy, Lousy.

Jeremy much more prepared and rational. He won hands down IMHO !

Tom • 11 months ago

I didn't finish the debate, yet (Quite boring). I agree that Rafi seemed to equate a subscriber to Judaism with someone who is ethnically Jewish (I don't know if Hebrew is the proper term for the ancient inhabitants).

It may be true that the snowflakes in the case are not SJW's but those on the "right". But the real debate should have been the role of Israel on US domestic policy and the influence of Zionists (Jew and non-Jew) on American culture, media and politics. That's a controversial debate!

Tom • 11 months ago

I should have said American Zionists.

David_Rogers_Hunt • 11 months ago

Something I NEVER hear discussed anywhere is the question of was the original founding of Israel over three thousand years ago really legitimate? Would any sentient being, not steeped in the Abrahamic religions, call genocide a valid means with which to found a nation? Why would any non-jewish Arab have to accept land claimed by the willful genocide of their own people as being okay?

Or, to be very explicit, how are we to judge the WWII Axis powers as being guilty, while saying the original establishment of Israel was just?

All quotes are from the English Standard Version Bible.

Exodus 32:27-28
And he said to them, “Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘Put your sword on your side each of you, and go to and fro from gate to gate throughout the camp, and each of you kill his brother and his companion and his neighbor.’” And the sons of Levi did according to the word of Moses. And that day about three thousand men of the people fell.

Exodus 34:11-14
“Observe what I command you this day. Behold, I will drive out before you the Amorites, the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. Take care, lest you make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land to which you go, lest it become a snare in your midst. You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim (for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God),

Leviticus 26:7-9
You shall chase your enemies, and they shall fall before you by the sword. Five of you shall chase a hundred, and a hundred of you shall chase ten thousand, and your enemies shall fall before you by the sword. I will turn to you and make you fruitful and multiply you and will confirm my covenant with you.

Numbers 21:3
And the Lord heeded the voice of Israel and gave over the Canaanites, and they devoted them and their cities to destruction. So the name of the place was called Hormah.

Numbers 21:35
So they defeated him and his sons and all his people, until he had no survivor left. And they possessed his land.

Numbers 25:4
And the Lord said to Moses, “Take all the chiefs of the people and hang them in the sun before the Lord, that the fierce anger of the Lord may turn away from Israel.”

Deuteronomy 2:34
And we captured all his cities at that time and devoted to destruction every city, men, women, and children. We left no survivors.

Deuteronomy 3:4-6
And we took all his cities at that time—there was not a city that we did not take from them—sixty cities, the whole region of Argob, the kingdom of Og in Bashan. All these were cities fortified with high walls, gates, and bars, besides very many unwalled villages. And we devoted them to destruction, as we did to Sihon the king of Heshbon, devoting to destruction every city, men, women, and children.

Deuteronomy 7:2
And when the Lord your God gives them over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them.

Deuteronomy 7:16
And you shall consume all the peoples that the Lord your God will give over to you. Your eye shall not pity them, neither shall you serve their gods, for that would be a snare to you.

Deuteronomy 13:15
You shall surely put the inhabitants of that city to the sword, devoting it to destruction, all who are in it and its cattle, with the edge of the sword.

Deuteronomy 20:16-17
But in the cities of these peoples that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance, you shall save alive nothing that breathes, but you shall devote them to complete destruction, the Hittites and the Amorites, the Canaanites and the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites, as the Lord your God has commanded,

Joshua 6:21
Then they devoted all in the city to destruction, both men and women, young and old, oxen, sheep, and donkeys, with the edge of the sword.

Joshua 8:22-25
And the others came out from the city against them, so they were in the midst of Israel, some on this side, and some on that side. And Israel struck them down, until there was left none that survived or escaped. But the king of Ai they took alive, and brought him near to Joshua. When Israel had finished killing all the inhabitants of Ai in the open wilderness where they pursued them, and all of them to the very last had fallen by the edge of the sword, all Israel returned to Ai and struck it down with the edge of the sword. And all who fell that day, both men and women, were 12,000, all the people of Ai.

Joshua 10:28-43
As for Makkedah, Joshua captured it on that day and struck it, and its king, with the edge of the sword. He devoted to destruction every person in it; he left none remaining. And he did to the king of Makkedah just as he had done to the king of Jericho. Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Makkedah to Libnah and fought against Libnah. And the Lord gave it also and its king into the hand of Israel. And he struck it with the edge of the sword, and every person in it; he left none remaining in it. And he did to its king as he had done to the king of Jericho. Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Libnah to Lachish and laid siege to it and fought against it. And the Lord gave Lachish into the hand of Israel, and he captured it on the second day and struck it with the edge of the sword, and every person in it, as he had done to Libnah. Then Horam king of Gezer came up to help Lachish. And Joshua struck him and his people, until he left none remaining. Then Joshua and all Israel with him passed on from Lachish to Eglon. And they laid siege to it and fought against it. And they captured it on that day, and struck it with the edge of the sword. And he devoted every person in it to destruction that day, as he had done to Lachish. Then Joshua and all Israel with him went up from Eglon to Hebron. And they fought against it and captured it and struck it with the edge of the sword, and its king and its towns, and every person in it. He left none remaining, as he had done to Eglon, and devoted it to destruction and every person in it. Then Joshua and all Israel with him turned back to Debir and fought against it and he captured it with its king and all its towns. And they struck them with the edge of the sword and devoted to destruction every person in it; he left none remaining. Just as he had done to Hebron and to Libnah and its king, so he did to Debir and to its king. So Joshua struck the whole land, the hill country and the Negeb and the lowland and the slopes, and all their kings. He left none remaining, but devoted to destruction all that breathed, just as the Lord God of Israel commanded. And Joshua struck them from Kadesh-barnea as far as Gaza, and all the country of Goshen, as far as Gibeon. And Joshua captured all these kings and their land at one time, because the Lord God of Israel fought for Israel. Then Joshua returned, and all Israel with him, to the camp at Gilgal.

Joshua 11:8-23
And the Lord gave them into the hand of Israel, who struck them and chased them as far as Great Sidon and Misrephoth-maim, and eastward as far as the Valley of Mizpeh. And they struck them until he left none remaining. And Joshua did to them just as the Lord said to him: he hamstrung their horses and burned their chariots with fire. And Joshua turned back at that time and captured Hazor and struck its king with the sword, for Hazor formerly was the head of all those kingdoms. And they struck with the sword all who were in it, devoting them to destruction; there was none left that breathed. And he burned Hazor with fire. And all the cities of those kings, and all their kings, Joshua captured, and struck them with the edge of the sword, devoting them to destruction, just as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded. But none of the cities that stood on mounds did Israel burn, except Hazor alone; that Joshua burned. And all the spoil of these cities and the livestock, the people of Israel took for their plunder. But every person they struck with the edge of the sword until they had destroyed them, and they did not leave any who breathed. Just as the Lord had commanded Moses his servant, so Moses commanded Joshua, and so Joshua did. He left nothing undone of all that the Lord had commanded Moses. So Joshua took all that land, the hill country and all the Negeb and all the land of Goshen and the lowland and the Arabah and the hill country of Israel and its lowland from Mount Halak, which rises toward Seir, as far as Baal-gad in the Valley of Lebanon below Mount Hermon. And he captured all their kings and struck them and put them to death. Joshua made war a long time with all those kings. There was not a city that made peace with the people of Israel except the Hivites, the inhabitants of Gibeon. They took them all in battle. For it was the Lord's doing to harden their hearts that they should come against Israel in battle, in order that they should be devoted to destruction and should receive no mercy but be destroyed, just as the Lord commanded Moses. And Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua devoted them to destruction with their cities. There was none of the Anakim left in the land of the people of Israel. Only in Gaza, in Gath, and in Ashdod did some remain. So Joshua took the whole land, according to all that the Lord had spoken to Moses. And Joshua gave it for an inheritance to Israel according to their tribal allotments. And the land had rest from war.

Judges 1:8
And the men of Judah fought against Jerusalem and captured it and struck it with the edge of the sword and set the city on fire.

Judges 1:17
And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they defeated the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath and devoted it to destruction. So the name of the city was called Hormah.

Judges 20:48
And the men of Israel turned back against the people of Benjamin and struck them with the edge of the sword, the city, men and beasts and all that they found. And all the towns that they found they set on fire.

Judges 21:10-12
So the congregation sent 12,000 of their bravest men there and commanded them, “Go and strike the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead with the edge of the sword; also the women and the little ones. This is what you shall do: every male and every woman that has lain with a male you shall devote to destruction.” And they found among the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead 400 young virgins who had not known a man by lying with him, and they brought them to the camp at Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan.

1 Samuel 15:2-3
Thus says the Lord of hosts, ‘I have noted what Amalek did to Israel in opposing them on the way when they came up out of Egypt. Now go and strike Amalek and devote to destruction all that they have. Do not spare them, but kill both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’”

1 Samuel 15:7-8
And Saul defeated the Amalekites from Havilah as far as Shur, which is east of Egypt. And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive and devoted to destruction all the people with the edge of the sword.

Isaiah 13:15-18
Whoever is found will be thrust through, and whoever is caught will fall by the sword. Their infants will be dashed in pieces before their eyes; their houses will be plundered and their wives ravished. Behold, I am stirring up the Medes against them, who have no regard for silver and do not delight in gold. Their bows will slaughter the young men; they will have no mercy on the fruit of the womb; their eyes will not pity children.

Isaiah 14:21
Prepare slaughter for his sons because of the guilt of their fathers, lest they rise and possess the earth, and fill the face of the world with cities.”

Jeremiah 50:21-22
“Go up against the land of Merathaim, and against the inhabitants of Pekod. Kill, and devote them to destruction, declares the Lord, and do all that I have commanded you. The noise of battle is in the land, and great destruction!

Hosea 13:16
Samaria shall bear her guilt, because she has rebelled against her God; they shall fall by the sword; their little ones shall be dashed in pieces, and their pregnant women ripped open.

If you've read everything up to here, may I also suggest viewing God on Trial (1:25:22), where Jews in Auschwitz get to put God in the docket.

Zeev Kidron • 11 months ago

Are you a simpleton or on purpose trying to be thick? There were NO Arabs in Israel before the 7th century AD. Arabs were living only in what is today Saudi Arabia/Yemen. ALL the middle east was Christian and Jewish (small minority).

Even if the biblical accounts are true, no Arabs were involved. None of those people or their descendants exist today as a nation, tribe or group.

Arabs conquered the land, butchered and forcefully converted the population in the 7th and 8th centuries AD.

By your very own logic, Europeans and Jews should now lay claim to ALL those territories and throw all Arabs out: Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Iraq, Turkey (Most of it), Syria, Lebanon.

Ignorance is ok, but to make a public display of it is not.

David_Rogers_Hunt • 11 months ago

So the Jews coming out of Egypt succeeded in their total genocide of the people living in Judea,... there were no Arabs killed,... and that makes today's Jewish claims upon Israel legitimate, valid, and okay?!?

Again,... if the WWII Axis powers had succeeded in their goals to create Lebensraum for their own people,... could they then have justly claimed the land the previous inhabitants had lived upon?

The victor will always be the judge, and the vanquished the accused.
~ Hermann Göring

Zeev Kidron • 11 months ago

You do realize if you go 3,500 years back for justice you have to remove everybody from where they are? How idiotic are you willing to appear?

Can The millions of Germans removed by force (at the same time as the creation of Israel) from other European nations go back and claim the Right Of Return?

Rusty Shackleford • 11 months ago

Who cares about the Arabs. What about other indigenous Near Easterners? ALL of the Middle East? To be frank, I actually don't know what the cultural profile of the region was before Islam began, but I suppose that it's possible that a large percentage were Christian and Jew. What's the point? My problem is that the state was imposed and orchestrated by outside powers. If it weren't, if it arose naturally, then I suspect that it would be a much more peaceful and heterogeneous area. There certainly wouldn't be an apartheid state like there is now.

Tom • 11 months ago

Zeev,

Arabs are an ethnic group. You contrasted Arabs with Christians and Jews. That is an error. Are you using the term"Jews" to designate a ethnic or religious group?

Israel Navas Duran • 11 months ago

You don't know what your're talking about. The ethnic group known as "Arabs" isn't exclusively originally from the Arabian Peninsula (which for the most part was a desert devoid of population). The ethnic Arabs inhabited in pre-Islamic times the present territories of Syria (with its metropolis at Damascus), Lebanon, Palestine/Israel, Jordan, and part of Iraq.

Zeev Kidron • 11 months ago

Ignorance, like yours, even when states with confidence is still ignorance.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

"Before the spread of Islam, Arab referred to any of the largely nomadic Semitic people from the northern and central Arabian Peninsula.[31] In modern usage Arab refers to a heterogeneous collection of Arabic-speaking peoples in Western Asia and North Africa."

Syria, specifically, was NOT Arab before they invaded with Islam. They were mainly Assyrian and Aramean. Hence the name Syria since Hellenic times.

Iraq and even Egypt are the same story. Muslims came, invaded, slaughtered, imposed their language and religion and now the ignorant can call any Arabic speaker an Arab.

Doesn't make it so. read a bit.

Israel Navas Duran • 11 months ago

Straw man argument. I never claimed the peoples who inhabited the Arabian Peninsula were never called Arabs. What I claimed is that the present-day ethnic Arabs, group to which Palestinians belong, are not primarily the descendants of the people who inhabited the Arabian Peninsula but of those who inhabited the territories of modern Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan and Iraq.

The Palestinians, even if they call themselves Arabs, are necessarily the descendants of newcomers that came from the Arabian Peninsula, their ancestors (or at least the majority of them) already lived in those territories before the Islamic period.

Likewise, the ancestors of the Hispanic people who live in Mexico are not primarily the descendants of the Europeans who conquered Mexico, but the descendants of the indigenous peoples who already inhabited those territories during the late pre-Columbian period.

PS: FWIW, you are wrong again. Arab are not equivalent to Arab speakers. For instance, the Berbers of northern Africa also speak Arab and clearly they aren't ethnic Arabs.
BTW, the territory of the ancient Assyria isn't located in Syria but in northern Iraq, likewise the Roman province of hot name (between northern Iraq, Southeast Turkey and northwest Iran), so your claim that the population of Syria wasn't Arab but Assyrian is nonsense.

Zeev Kidron • 11 months ago

I am sorry, I mistook you for a person interested in facts, though hostile to my opinions.

I see you are in fact only interested in your opinions while completely hostile to facts.

Once you say Berbers speak Arabic you show such ignorance as to merit completely ignoring anything you say, based on your total and complete idiocy.

I use idiocy in the original Greek sense.

maninthewilderness • 11 months ago

"Something I NEVER hear discussed anywhere is the question of was the original founding of Israel over three thousand years ago really legitimate? Would any sentient being, not steeped in the Abrahamic religions, call genocide a valid means with which to found a nation?"

The answer depends on what one's beliefs are concerning God.

If one is an atheist, or believes in a supreme being (or beings) other than the God of the Bible, then the answer is "Probably not" unless of course, you believe that might is right, and that if I can do something, then it is legitimate for me to do so.

If you believe in the God of the Bible, then you believe that the whole world belongs to God, and thus, if you believe in private property rights, you believe that he can do with the nations as he chooses.

martinbrock • 11 months ago

Libertarianism has nothing to do with any right of a property owner to do anything he likes to anyone on his property. This worship of all powerful property owners is a caricature of libertarianism offensive to most libertarians and to practically all non-libertarians.

Israel Navas Duran • 11 months ago

Actually, it has to do with property, since libertarianism is a doctrine that advocates for absolute liberty (hence its name), and that includes the freedom of any individual to control and make use of natural resources (e.g., land) as well as the wealth created with them (e.g., crops). So being forcefully dispossessed of them is a violation of such liberty, and therefore, anti-libertarian.

martinbrock • 11 months ago

"Absolute liberty" is an odd way of putting it. Liberty is a right of all individuals. My liberty cannot entitle me to violate yours. Liberty includes rights to exploit scarce resources, but because the resources are scarce, many individuals seek to exploit them, and civil resolution of this conflict requires standards of propriety governing which individual may exploit a given resource at a particular time.

Libertarian property in the land is contingent on contractual relationships with other individuals expected to respect the proprietor's right; otherwise, "property" only describes a privilege of the most powerful enforcers of standards of propriety.

Guest • 11 months ago
martinbrock • 11 months ago

I love Heinlein, and I understand the poetic license, but he confuses an alienable right with a right that others will violate. Liberty (self-ownership) must be defended from people who would violate it, but it is inalienable in libertarian theories of justice (including Rothbard's theory) regardless, i.e. selling oneself into slavery is not a valid contract.

Some people will try to enslave others regardless of any theoretical rights, alienable or otherwise, and people who would be free bear the cost of resisting this enslavement, but this fact doesn't make all rights alienable.

If I buy my rights from people who would forcibly violate them, then every state, even every criminal rights violation, is legitimate. If someone is forcibly violating my rights, I haven't paid him enough to stop violating them yet.

Guest • 11 months ago
martinbrock • 11 months ago

Yes. Alienable rights are violated every day. Violating an alienable right doesn't make it an inalienable right, and violating an inalienable right doesn't make it alienable.

Zeev Kidron • 11 months ago

In fact, some genetic studies discover the TRUE long term inhabitants of Israel (MOST so called Palestinians came to Israel no more than 4 generations ago, when Jews developed the territory) share more genetic commonality with Jews than with Arabs.

Israel Navas Duran • 11 months ago

BS, Zionist propaganda.

Jeremy R. Hammond • 11 months ago

This claim that most Palestinians are recent immigrants is tired old Zionist propaganda. Incidentally, Block, et al, parrot this propaganda in their paper, supporting it by citing demonstrable hoaxes, the truth being that Arabs were always the majority and owned more land than Jews in every district, and the growth of the Arab population was mostly due to natural increase.

Zeev Kidron • 11 months ago

You are a supposed intellectual so everything you say has sources to back it up? Please cite sources.

I am an ignorant citizen so I use sources, themselves full of sources:

http://www.imninalu.net/myt...

http://www.eretzyisroel.org...

http://www.eretzyisroel.org...

Note: the genetic surveys you discard, they DO exist. Most (not all) Arabs inhabiting Israel in 1948 WERE at most 3rd generation there. Call it propaganda if you want. Still true.

Jeremy R. Hammond • 11 months ago

Yes, of course I have sources to back up what I said. I intend to write something up about how they rely on hoaxes in their paper to try to support their claim Arab population growth was mostly due to immigration. That is false. It was mostly natural increase.

maninthewilderness • 11 months ago

"Libertarianism has nothing to do with any right of a property owner to do anything he likes to anyone on his property."

Sorry, I did not make myself clear.

You are, of course, completely correct in saying that property owners do NOT have the right to do anything they like to people on their property, and that it would be monstrous to say that they do.

When I say that the whole world belongs to God, that includes the people in it. The people of the world are, therefore, not people on God's property; they ARE his property. You and I are as much his property as my phone or my laptop are my property. And just as I have a right to do whatever I want to my phone, he has a right to do whatever he wants to me.

martinbrock • 11 months ago

As a pantheist, I have no problem with the (allegorical) idea that God owns everything including every human being; however, I don't at all believe that God ever told Moses to tell his followers to kill every Midianite except the virgin girls who could be kept as concubines. No one ever establishes a legitimate homestead, in libertarian terms, this way.

Ancient texts describe God telling Moses these things, but I take these texts no more seriously than more recent texts like Mein Kampf.

Libertarians trying to reconcile their favorite, ancient, tribal theology with libertarian ideals are doomed to frustration and to tie themselves in ideological knots. Ancient theology is not remotely libertarian, and ancient monotheism is the foundation of modern statism, seems to me. One God, One Law, One State.

Guest • 11 months ago
maninthewilderness • 11 months ago

Exactly. Though the passage you are referring to is actually I Samuel 8:10-18.

rctube • 11 months ago

"Seen as a whole, the Old Testament is a tale of Israelite failure, corruption, humiliation, and defeat. " Yes! I've said this for years the my fellow Christians. Only I would add that it is a lesson in how even those "chosen by God" can squander their blessings.

maninthewilderness • 11 months ago

"Ancient texts describe God telling Moses these things, but I take these texts no more seriously than more recent texts like Mein Kampf."

Which is the point I made in my original post.

If you believe in the God of the Bible (i.e. you believe that God did tell Moses these things, as described by the Bible), you are going to take one view.

If you do not believe in the God of the Bible (i.e. you do not believe that God, the creator of the world, said these things to Moses), then you are going a different view.

I'm not sure that Tom Woods would agree that "Ancient theology is not remotely libertarian", and as for ancient monotheism being the foundation of modern statism, it has been pretty persuasively argued that one of the reasons for the rise of libertarian thought in Europe was the presence of the Catholic Church in the middle ages which, as a supranational organisation, declared, in the face of kings, that kings and nation states were not supreme.

martinbrock • 11 months ago

The Biblical tradition incorporates many voices. I prefer Sobranistik's holistic interpretation (though it seems no less contrived than other interpretations associating the tradition with other modern, political theories), and I agree that Church/State separation within Christendom (following dissolution of the Roman Empire and ultimately the Protestant reformation) contributed to the liberal tradition in Europe; however, we're left with many, extremely illiberal voices in the ancient tradition, often placing extremely illiberal sentiments in the mouth of God.

Trying somehow to square the illiberal voices with modern, libertarian thought seems fruitless to me, but if libertarians revering this tradition enjoy the exercise, more enjoyment to them.

I started to say, "More power to them," but I worry about empowering people who feel obliged somehow to rationalize texts like Numbers 31:17-18.

"Sure, we're libertarians, and we oppose this sort of thing for the most part, but occasionally, we may have good reason to kill every male in a tribe, including the youngest boys, and every non-virgin female, keeping the virgin girls for ourselves. We like what Rothbard had to say, but reasonable men can disagree, so we need a little room for tribal slaughter and enslavement in our formulation of individual rights."

I'm a big tent libertarian, but the tent can be too big. If libertarianism doesn't rule out this sort of thing, it's a lot of sound and fury signifying nothing. If a person can defend this slaughter, he is not a libertarian at all in my way of thinking.

maninthewilderness • 11 months ago

"we oppose this sort of thing in general, but occasionally, we may have good reason to kill every male in a tribe, including the youngest boys, and every non-virgin female, keeping the virgin girls for ourselves. "

No, that is to misrepresent the Christian libertarian position. It actually says "we oppose this sort of thing in general, but we believe that the people of Israel, on one specific occasion over 3000 years ago, were obligated to kill every male in a tribe, including the youngest boys, and every non-virgin female, keeping the virgin girls for themselves. "

"I worry about empowering people who feel obliged somehow to rationalize texts like Numbers 31:17-18."

As a young Christian (many years ago), I really struggled with texts like that, and indeed, large chunks of the Old Testament.

It took years of reading and thought before I came to understand what their significance was.

I suppose one way of putting it is that I hold to libertarian political positions because they seem to me to be consistent with what the Bible teaches - not the other way around.

Or, to put it another way, I believe that what the Bible teaches is that a major / basic change took place in the coming of Jesus the Messiah. I believe that for the era we live in, the era of Jesus Christ, God's ideal for how society functions is somewhat different to God's ideal for Old Testament Israel.

I believe that in Old Testament times, there were definitely some libertarian aspects to God's ideal for the functioning of society (see I Samuel 10:8-18) , but there were some things that Old Testament Israel was commanded to do that are not permitted now that Jesus Christ has come.

That, by the way, is not an eccentric position, but is the mainstream historical position of Catholicism, Protestantism, and Eastern Orthodoxy. Which is why many Catholic, Protestant and Eastern Orthodox Christians are happy to embrace libertarianism (and to completely agree with Jeremy Hammond's position), and also to hold that Numbers 31:17-18 as spoken by God.

Ultimately, of course, the way earthly nations conduct their affairs, and matters of politics, are not what the Bible is about. Ultimately these things will pass away. There are more important things in life.

Edit: And I hope David Hunt is reading this, because it is answering his original question.

martinbrock • 11 months ago
It actually says ...

Needless to say, this distinction doesn't satisfy me. Libertarianism rules out this behavior, then, now and always. If a person can justify this behavior 3000 years ago, why should I believe that he won't justify it again tomorrow?

A Christian need not be a Biblical fundamentalist, and most Christians are not, but a fundamentalist can hardly be a libertarian.

... there were definitely some libertarian aspects to God's ideal for the functioning of society (see I Samuel 10:8-18) , but there were some things that Old Testament Israel was commanded to do that are not permitted now ...

Or maybe Moses and Samuel were two different men with differing ideas of God's will. Maybe neither man literally heard the voice of God, because God has no literal voice. Maybe Samuel would have condemned Moses, both for ordering the slaughter of Midianites and for attributing the order to God, if he had felt free to contradict the tradition. Hebrew prophets routinely condemn Hebrew rulers.

Maybe "turn the other cheek" directly contradicts "an eye for an eye", not because God changed his mind or because we live in different times but because "an eye for an eye" was never more than a human instruction to other humans. It definitely sounds to me like an instruction from one human to another. I don't need any theological system telling me to strike someone who strikes me, if I think myself the stronger. I was born with these instructions.

maninthewilderness • 11 months ago

"Needless to say, this distinction doesn't satisfy me. Libertarianism rules out this behavior, then, now and always."

If your basic principle of ethics is "what behaviour does libertarianism allow", then libertarianism, is your ultimate value, and hence, it is effectively your religion.

If you are a Christian, then your basic principle of ethics is "What does God (who, as maker of the universe, is the owner of all things - and hence the one whose property rights entitle him to set the rules) allow?"

The difference between us is not in our political philosophies (which seem to be pretty similar, if not identical) but in our religion.

(As for the possibility Samuel condemning Moses for ordering the slaughter of the Midianites, it seems pretty unlikely - note the quotes from I Samuel 15 above.)