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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/11312/vices-are-not-crimes/

Vices Are Not Crimes

December 24, 2009 by

Spooner’s anarchism was, like his abolitionism, another valuable part of his pietist legacy. For, here again, his pietistic concern for universal principles brought him to a consistent and courageous application of libertarian principles. FULL ARTICLE by Lysander Spooner and Murray N. Rothbard

{ 14 comments }

PeterB December 24, 2009 at 9:37 am

Is this a seasonal post? Lysander Spooner was Santa Claus!

fundamentalist December 24, 2009 at 11:09 am

I would add a few things to Rothbards history. The debate over state control of the economy started with the very early days of the Protestant Reformation. Calvin added to the already existing control over markets that had existed before the Reformation. His Geneva was stifling in many ways. I believe it had a lot to do with his views on the kingdom of God, especially the millenial kingdom. Amillenialists and post-millenialists have always seen it as their job to create the kingdom of God on earth. Pre-millenialists saw that as an impossible task with an imperfect humanity and insisted on waiting for the return of Christ to accomplish it.

In the Dutch Republic, the Calvinists wanted the church to control the market through the state in the same way it had in Geneva. The battles were bitter, but the Erasmian protestants won in the market while the Calvinists won in the church. But the two spread their battle to England and the US.

But to me the decisive change in the US came when “liberal” theology began to take over the mainline churches in the US in the late 1800′s. Liberal theology denied all of the important truths of traditional Christianity, especially the notion of salvation. It was the fore-runner to liberation theology. Since no one was headed to hell, liberal had abolished it, the only work left for Christians on this earth was to transform society into their image of the kingdom of God. For almost all of them, that meant European socialism. That’s when socialism and liberal Christianity got married.

I have been debating socialism with the “evangelicals” over at http://imitatiochristi.blogs.com/imitatio_christi/. Chuck, the blogger, has written a book in which he insists that the Bible requires the state to redistribute wealth to the poor. One of his chief arguments are the poor laws in the Mosaic Law. I pointed that God didn’t intend the poor laws to be turned into criminal laws as evidenced by the fact that he didn’t provide specific penalties for violating them or a process. The poor couldn’t take someone to court for not giving them money. God enforced the poor laws personally, that was why Israel is called a theocracy.

The Pharisees criminalized the food laws and the sabbath law, which motivated them to want to murder Jesus for violating them. That’s just one of the worst examples of what happens when you criminalize vice.

Gil December 24, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Really, fundamentalist? Exodus 31:15 states that breaking the Sabbath is a capital crime. In Numbers 15:32-36 God orders the execution by stoning of an old man who gather sticks on the Sabbath. It seem God takes the Sabbath rather seriously.

newson December 24, 2009 at 9:59 pm

“The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me” (Matthew 26:11)

that’s enough to stop the redistribution debate. jesus, realist, not che, utopian.

newson December 24, 2009 at 10:03 pm

fundamentalist:
you’ve got a fight on your hands there. free nard-oil for all foot-washers! happy christmas, to you, too.

marco December 25, 2009 at 5:31 pm

why do Christians so often ignore the New Testament and improperly use arguments referring to the Old Testament? When Christ came it changed everything. The old Mosaic laws (600+) no longer applied as before.

Jesus’ actions and words give NO argument for socialism. His teachings and example are about PERSONAL relationships and INDIVIDUAL sacrifice for others.

The zealots expected the Messiah to be a great warrior and political leader. Jesus greatly disappointed them. Satan tempted Jesus offering him rulership over the entire world (hmm, the liberal dream of One World Government) and he REFUSED. Jesus is the anti-thesis of politics and power.

Liberals don’t want to hear it. Heaven forbid they personally give sacrificially. Hypocrites, the majority of them. Hasn’t research on charitable giving shown that the selfish evil capitalistic conservatives give more than liberals?

Instead, liberals insist that government must expropriate, under threat of force, from “society” for redistribution. Which, of course, doesn’t work and makes things worse. How obviously, and sadly, un-Christian!

scott t December 25, 2009 at 7:26 pm

i dont know if the poor means poor in spirit or not…somewhere in scripture a rich man cant enter into the kingdom of god?? maybe someone can clarify the context.

i thought that scripturally also diminsihing the spirit as well as the body and leading a child of god to a wrong path were big no-nos. vice or introduction to vice is sometimes the first step there i guess.

from any other point of view – personal vice i guess is largely defined by the individual.

i dont think that the govt should have nay role in criminalizing vice however.

Brian Macker December 26, 2009 at 12:24 pm

Is blackmail a private vice?

scott t December 26, 2009 at 5:02 pm

sounds more like malice to me.

give me money or i show nude beauty queen pictures – pictures perhaps intended for a sole audience or something?

malice or greed – if those are vice?

Brian Macker December 27, 2009 at 8:21 pm

Malice is merely the desire to do someone harm. The blackmailer actually causes harm. He doesn’t really care who he harms just whether he can make a buck at it.

scott t December 27, 2009 at 9:24 pm

not necessarily. if the blackmailer believes they are rectifying a wrong by someone…it would be baragining..a personal variety type of arbitration.

in the case i describe…would ‘sounds malicious’ be more helpful for you to digest?

does that help?

scott t December 27, 2009 at 9:49 pm

but if blackmail as you claim causes harm…i guess tehy had to think about it at somepoint…it seems malice would com into play somewhere in the thought act chain.

hopefully you know what i mean now

Nick December 27, 2009 at 10:20 pm

Blackmail is neither a crime nor a vice. It is a business proposition.

marco December 28, 2009 at 8:49 pm

blackmail is immoral. It goes against common decency. It breaks the Golden Rule. It is an attempt to profit at another’s expense. Yes, morals matter. Or at least they should.

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