CLC Libertarianism

The Libertarian party uses the word libertarian in a slightly different sense from that of the CLC. We want a movement upholding political liberty to match that regarding equality, which has had such great effect. We mean liberty in the Jeffersonian sense of the Bill of Rights and the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence. We support free markets secondarily, and do not even use the Marxist word “capitalism” to describe this natural economic activity which indeed must be protected by government, to keep a level playing field. Otherwise, profit can be made not by making an honest living, but by shysterism, and the economic libertarians might even applaud. Profit is not to be made by milking the common wealth, nor by harming one’s nation. Monsanto taking over the ecosystem is different from making money off the value of ones product, and if government does not protect the commonwealth, competition will require the businesses that will succeed in the Darwinian competition to harm the common good or fail, and soon the honest businesses will disappear. This is what has happened to the internet, where once extortion and the prostitution of our privacy are allowed, the only googles and facebooks that can succeed are those that practice extortion and the prostitution of our privacy, while the internet businesses with integrity all are bought out by the villainous businesses, again by a kind of natural selection. Borrowing money from investors to start businesses that require expense at the beginning but will make money in the long run, some of which will fail and some succeed, seems to us a fine idea. So we support “capitalism.” But we want businesses to make money from the value of their products, though, and to be prevented by government from making money off the power their money gives them to control the markets- which is not liberty or free market, but a kind of tyranny, and has resulted from the economic libertarianism of the republican party. Nor are we libertarian in the sense of the social libertarians or libertines. Jefferson explained, again, that the legislators do not understand the rightful limits of their powers, which are to uphold and secure rights while taking none from us. When no one else’s rights are being violated, government has no place. Heinous ideas will soon lead to prosecutable criminal offenses in any case. But where rights are violated government certainly does have a place. And so for example it is not at all obvious to CLC libertarianism that the government cannot protect the rights of a fetus at all, especially if we forbid cruelty to animals. Perhaps these must be understood to have partial rights. Similarly, laws regulating commerce, such as the sale of snake oil, are within the constitutional purpose of government, while laws extending the commerce clause to control things that are not commerce are unconstitutional. One cannot just call anything commerce, nor call anything the promotion of the general welfare, which congress indeed has the power to do, but must obey the limits of the Bill of rights. One cannot deprive a citizen of property, nor liberty, and call it the promotion of the general welfare, or the Bill of rights would have no meaning. At the same time, we can care for the homeless because it serves the common good to not have starving desperate people in the streets, and we can facilitate the attempts of the churches to help these people. Similarly, it is a promotion of the general welfare to have public education, since as is becoming apparent, an uneducated people cannot possibly govern themselves. Hence, our libertarianism cares more about the cultivation of the liberal arts than even jobs and technology in education.

Finally, to lighten up a bit, I will drag out an old thesis from undergrad philosophy school on Free will, which is the first and primary meaning of the term libertarian, one who believes in free will against determinism. The problem always seemed to us like an optical illusion, or not a real philosophical question at all. Where this is apparent is when one considers that the free will arguments seem to require that there be uncaused effects in order that all not be “determined” and we compelled in every choice. In religion too, we get the Predestination guys, arguing that there is nothing we can do to gain salvation because the names are written in the book of life from the beginning. But uncaused effects certainly cannot be free actions either. Laplace is a joke, an illusion due to considering only material and efficient causes, or presupposing materialism. The fact is that we cause, and this is all that is required for “free will.” Animals too cause and choose, though in a different sense. Aristotle is able to consider formal and final causes in addition to material and efficient causes, so that even while all the molecules are surely behaving as billiard balls, unbeknownst to the spectator, the organism as a whole causes and chooses, and for certain reasons, like the reasons Socrates stayed in prison. Humans cause because of what they are and what their aims are, and we too can cultivate virtue so that in the crunch, we have the better habits, better than we would have if we had not cultivated virtue. So, to have “free will” and be responsible for our actions, it is not required that there be causal looseness in the material world, and uncaused effects, but rather only that we too cause things to happen, and make things other than they would have been without our actions. The religious question is way more difficult, though, and involves mysteries we cannot address, for there are things that can be seen in the past, things that can be foreseen, things seen by a prophet or seer, and things that Jesus himself says only the father knows. The fatalism of the apocalypse is like that. It is truly possible that humanity avoid these terrible things by doing the right thing in each circumstance, though it is perhaps assured that, given human nature, we will not. The developments set in motion by what has occurred, or what unfolds from human nature, where tyranny is more common than kingship, probably are such that these will not be overcome. But for our time, we can secure much happiness and prevent much sorrow all the same, and even in the terrible time, many right things can be done. To avoid doing any right action because of some abstract fatalism due to an intellectual optical illusion is just plain stupid.

Animals are self-moving, and this is what animate means, though plants are alive without moving, and hence probably without choosing. (I was relieved to reason, at about age 40, that plants probably cannot feel, because they cannot move either toward or away by choice). But human choice has what is like another dimension in geometry. Animals cause. But humans, in addition, not only know all this stuff about causing, which animals probably do not think much about, and realize that they cause, but we have foresight, envision, and have priotities and purposes that we know are more or less accurate, because we know we can be mistaken! Hence there are various senses of volition. Socrates is famous for the teaching that no one does harm knowingly, from the Apology. In this sense, people are not responsible even for crime, because if they knew what they were doing they would not do it. So evil is involuntary, and this is a basis for forgiveness that dissolves anger. A second and different sense of volition distinguishes criminal responsibility. People choose wrong knowingly in this sense, due to a perversion of the accurate natural priorities: They set their desire for money above their respect for another’s property rights, for example. This moral weakness is yet different from malice, when due to an intellectual perversion people seek to hurt or harm others, as from revenge. Malice is very difficult to understand, but these are to say the least criminally responsible, and the entire effort of civilization is in one sense to suppress the malicious and tyrannical powerful who have set a delusion of their true self interest above absolutely everything. This may even be a kind of possession, and the perpetrator still be criminally responsible. Finally there is of course the kind of madness that serves as a genuine criminal defense, as when someone steals, but thought some great purpose were involved in their having the object, or some such delusion. Henious crimes are committed by persons in a dream world in which the act is not criminal at all. The trouble is that sociologist type lawyers like to argue that because of genes, environment, neurons, molecules or other materialistic billiard ball type causes, the person is not criminally responsible, confusing the defense that an act is involuntary with an extenuating circumstance defense.

So human self motion has this added dimension. Paul, writing of something like conscience, explains that the truth about right is evident to all men from the beginning (Romans 1-2). But we are especially self moving if, and to the extent to which, we attain knowledge. Seth Benardete has a discussion of the self-motion of the soul in Plato’s Phaedrus, in which the projection of the ideal in love is a self motion of the soul upward, in the ascent of education. This sort of self-motion reminds me for some reason of the Zoa in the vision of Ezekiel and John, of the Cherubim who move with the wheels. So too, it is said that we can become one with the divine, and then our free choice would be the same as the choice of the Big Cheese. But when we, as whole organisms, cause, the matter moves not like a billiard ball, where the effect is later than the cause in time, but the effect and cause occur simultaneously, because the appendage is a part of a whole, effected by a super-ordinate cause, ourselves, as in we move our hand. The pen moves across the page at the same time as I move it, a tool works as one works it. This simultaneity of cause and effect proves that Aristotle and Socrates are right, that there are indeed causes that are not material and efficient causes, and proves this scientifically. It may be this sort of cause that is truly free and yet can in principle be foreknown, if only by the Father.

That is surely less a paradox than the requirement of uncaused effects for our “wills” to be “free.”

But political liberty is, as Montesquieu formulates, not being compelled by government to do anything wrong, nor forbidden to do anything right. But for simplicity, we can say with Jefferson, being allowed to choose and do anything that does not violate the equal rights of another, and liberty is one of these rights.

Socratic ignorance and Jeffersonian libertarianism fit together. It is because government is ignorant of what is right that political liberty consists in not forbidding the free citizens to do anything that is right, nor compelling them to do anything that is wrong. Government is to secure the conditions where free citizens just might hit upon the right things to do, and so government both stays out of the way, by not attempting to do the right for us by legislation, since it cannot. Socrates and Jefferson fit together, and that is CLC libertarianism.

Spying Billboards? Lets Restore the Old World

As my computer watches me to “market,” me, I write this morning to say some obvious but rather important things. This world where Billionaires suddenly own us leads to tyranny, and we must and will restore sanity and the Fourth Amendment. That the Billboards are now watching us is the news this morning, probably on WWJ. People of America, do you not see? Barack Obama, are you awake at this hour? Lets get some intelligence into government quickly, and oust all those who have been too stupid or slavish to see this coming.

Look, it is not “marketing” what they do not own and making money off value they have not produced that is our greatest concern. Hit men can track anyone and kill them at whim, and there are billions of dollars and thousands of mobsters who have all day to do these things, because they do not work, but live as “Caterpillars of the Commonwealth,” as the Gardener in Shakespeare’s Richard II puts it. Murders are suddenly exploding, and this is part of why. Our government Shifted focus on to Al Quaeda and foreign policy, ignorant of the connection between domestic crime and our vulnerability- ask Salwyn Raab. Truth is these morons who will do anything for wealth and power will do what they are paid to do, or forced to do, without asking why, so that, for example, the Russian mob can get doctors prescribing oxy to chase the Americans into the old mob which is doing heroin, and even the leading mobsters are too stupid to see that they are being used and had– (how’s your “honor,” boys?). Do you all happen to know which direction is Mecca? I say this as a joke, because the Italians will not really be forced to bow toward Mecca- they will be dead. The violation of the Fourth Amendment leads to tyranny, universal tyranny, if we allow this stuff to continue. We call for America to wake up, dust off that Constitution and that Declaration, and restore sanity, quickly. Vote CLC, and dear Barack, dude, be persuaded.

The purpose of Government is to secure rights: That is the third assertion of the second sentence of the Declaration of Independence. “To secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.” We are the owners of data about ourselves, and private companies cannot be allowed to seize rights and liberties which we would not allow even the government to seize. The current government, allowing the FBI to use marketing to spy on everyone, is illegal, in just this sense: we never voted to amend the Constitution, they just did it, and no one stopped them. Instead, the few, the aristoi, or oligoi, they paid them, to allow marketing spying, and the FBI then took over, joining the two interests. The shortsighted FBI thinks they should destroy all locks so they can break down any door. Great, now find staff and resources to protect a citizenry with no locks! You leave us naked, and no power then to protect us. The opposite began with getting all you sheep to piss in a little cup for the privilege of a job, oh except for the politicians, who still do not have to piss. I have said, “I will piss in a cup for no man living,” and I invite my fellow Americans to do the same, regardless of how convenient the opposite appears to those too stupid or lazy to think it out. A political (as distinct from ethical) crime in the U. S. is when one violates the rights of another, and the Fourth Amendment cannot be suspended without warrant. Ask Jefferson the first, and the Bill of Rights the second. You think your rich enough, Mr. Billionaire, to seize the rights my forefathers fought and died to secure for me? I’ll call your attention to the Fourth assertion of the second sentence of the Declaration, then. Fuckin’ punk.

Richard Bauckham II

While satirizing the Anti-futurist reading of the Revelation, I neglected to address Mr. Bauckham. He is a wonder as a scholar, reader and writer. The Baptist review by Mr. Luter showed me to Mr. Bauckham’s other book, more on the literary and historical study of the Revelation than on the Theology, called The Climax of Prophesy. Just reading the Introduction, one can tell this is going to be some fun, catching up with the reading of this anti-futurist. I had things from his part in the Oxford Bible commentary especially in the section of my book on chapter one. He is showing me now, something about the seven angels and the relation of the throne scene to the unfolding judgments.

Mr. Bauckham is also alot of fun, having a story on his website about his bus ride home, encountering knickers and an Indian Holy man, for whom he offered to pray for free.

We do not have holy men in the Biblical tradition. This is something like the way that it is sometimes said that in the Greek, there is no Holy God (said by Strauss contrasting Socrates and Isaiah). But if we did, well, she showed him her knickers!

Richard Bauckham

While staying up all night to watch the record lows, and keep the shed cat happy and warm, I have been reading Richard Bauckham’s book on the theology of the Revelation. He is good for me, because he reads the book like the modern scholars do, as referring to the Roman empire in the time that John wrote, rather than some future political disaster. This is comforting, because then we do not have to worry that these things are occurring in our world. There is just a huge hiatus between the Roman emperors and “He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and of his kingdom there will be no end.” And that third of the world destroyed, why, that’s just symbolic of the Roman empire, the nations at the four corners of the earth, just parts of the Roman empire surrounding Jerusalem as in 70 A. D., the whole apocalypse referring to those other people. The seventh trumpet has been blown, and Babylon fell somewhere early in the fifth century. The beheading of the martyrs, again symbolic of Roman persecution, as must be the mark of the Beast. The scroll and seals were open for the seven churches, and refer to the particular troubles predicted in the seven letters.

The anti-futurist reading makes sense of some things in the text which are otherwise difficult for me, like the inclusion of the seven churches in the gifts of the kingdom, and the fact that all the apostles seem too to have thought of the events as very imminent, in their own lifetimes. It is a good challenge to our reading to say just why it cannot be so. If I were not now doing the second manual index for yet another edition…I will address these things in a note, after I spend some time with his book.

The main reason we think the futurist reading to be true is the symbolic resemblance of things in the vision to things in the political theory and developments in the world. But it is also said that the gospel would be preached throughout the whole world, and then the end would come. But there is no way to demonstrate, for example, that the reading of the visions in the Revelation as referring to the end times future is false or is a misreading. The modern scholars simply assume this as a principle, because we are uncomfortable with so many futurists. We can say things like there has not been a universal rule, the nations have not gathered at Armageddon, no mark of the beast given, no nations from the four corners of the world, etc. But they will simply say these things are not really to be looked for, but rather, we were to look for Nero revived attacking Rome with the Parthians for troops. This we know because we know John was writing about his own times, and could not think beyond the Roman emperors then bothering the Christians.

Perhaps some simple math is in order: The Antichrist or Beast/False Prophet is to be the worst tyrant of all time. Hitler was worse than Nero. Therefore Nero is not the Beast or Antichrist.

Three foul spirits are to proceed from the mouth of the dragon, beast and false prophet, gathering the armies from the four corners, that were held back by the four winds. Nothing like the modern ideological tyrannies of fascism, communism, and now terrorist Islam, had ever been imagined in the world when John saw his vision.

You see, I should not stay up past 5 A. M. watching the weather!

On Education: President Obama Calls for a Long Term Effort to Oppose Terrorist Ideas

The president has begun to address the difference between Islam and the terrorist teachings at the root of the supposed new caliphate called Isis. This is an effort of study, and of liberal education. Unfortunately, for the past twenty or thirty years, we have been systematically destroying liberal education in America. The only goals of education that are publicly admissible, addressed by our president or Governor, have been the goals of jobs, or “opportunity,” and technology. This destruction of education has become so bad that Representative Lucido suggested a civics test for High School graduates. As addressed in a blog, and a letter to him, does he realize that Michigan schools do not study government past the eighth grade? And how will the studies currently funded – such as the one about cockroaches, or the one about trans-fats, or caffeine, how will these studies help us to separate out Islam, with whom we are not at war, from the terrorists, with whom we are at war? All that money, given by the entrepreneurs to the universities, and little did they know that these would be the funded studies.

We have done everything with education except education. We have used the offices to promote our infantile ideas of of numerical equality, destroying the previously white male dominated departments of political science and philosophy. Because these departments were, prior to affirmative action, white male dominated, only non white and non-white males have been hired to full time teaching positions in the past 15 years. There are no unemployed non-white male PhDs in these disciplines, while it is well known that for the past twenty years, white males would not be hired except as adjuncts, part time teachers paid about minimum wage. So, at every community college in the nation, all the adjuncts are white males, while all the full time professors, those paid like professionals, rather than soda jerks, are either not white males or were hired before affirmative action or are nearing retirement. Find the statistics, if you doubt this. The Statistics are not kept, but my guess is 80-90 % of full time jobs in political science and philosophy departments have gone for quota stuffing by the universities, to fulfill federal requirements. This despite the Fourteenth Amendment, which forbids racial preference, for everyone, and not only the some who are more equal than others. Ah, but we have not studied the constitution since eighth grade!

One would think that a PhD in human studies: politics, philosophy, literature, psychology, history, theology- would have the schools looking for these persons. But there is an army of advanced liberal arts degree scholars who are forbidden to teach in High Schools because they do not have “certification.” To teach in High Schools, one must get a Bachelors degree and no more, then take up a special study, once described as how to set up a class room and to be sensitive to other races. These are things we ought have learned in Kindergarten. We grant that how to avoid lawsuits for the district may be a more difficult study. For this we turn to the law scholars, whose goal has been not justice and how to apply the law, but how to make money suing one another. These are trades, and not liberal studies. The same for that science of how to make money proscribing drugs for every malady imaginable, now called psychology and psychiatry. And again for that of how to write grants for studies. We haven studied almost nothing but the greatest books, and taken up residence with the greatest minds of mankind, and we were unemployable in the Michigan education system, and probably anywhere in America. Had we turned our political studies to how to win elections, or been willing to subject the science of the soul to the more limited purposes of government agencies, we may have done well.

The president is right that the distinction between moderate or conservative and radical Islam is crucial to preventing our trouble with certain terrorist groups from becoming a major war. President Bush popularized the phrase “hijacked Islam,” saying that the terrorists had taken over Islam as a hijacker takes a plane. It is extremely important that conservative Islam see this distinction, and it is not guaranteed that they will. The terrorists want the conservatives to see this as a war between the Christian West and Islam, in part because we would not allow them to destroy Israel. The key for us is to drive a wedge between conservative and terrorist Islam. We cannot do this ourselves, because they cannot listen to us. It is a bit like an Islamic Imam trying to persuade David Koresh that Jesus thinks what he is doing is unjust. But we can call for Islamic teachers to clarify these matters. Certain organizations, such as that of Usef Islam (Cat Stevens) promote Islamic education, but the Koran does not emphasize study and critical thinking. So, like our faith-based Biblical teachings, they are in trouble when authority authorizes a false or limited teaching. The authorities must make the distinctions and then teach them, and this raises the question of how, if they were blindly obeying authority, these terrorist movements could get started at all. Something very fishy is at the root of this. The revenge of conservative ethics and the love of one’s own group do not quite explain the limitless injustice and cruelty of these apocalyptic tyrannies. But like the atheistic apocalyptic tyrannies, these kill more of their own people than the targeted enemy. The true interest of conservative Islam is clearly on the side of humanity.

I have begun again a reading of the Koran, beginning with my current hypotheses, that it is about Justice  and Charity, that Mohammed brought the Monotheism of Abraham to the Arabs, and that while it does not prohibit war nor the self defense of Islam, does not promote injustice of any kind against either Jews or Christians. The Koran is medieval, written in the seventh century, while the Christian scriptures are ancient, and this matters, because medieval religion includes persecution. In the first two chapters, the Koran calls on the believer to have faith in this book and message or face the fires of hell, and this is more than in the whole of scripture combined. The medieval picture of the world can barely be squeezed out of the Old and New Testaments. But this islamofascism, this new tyranny, may be a certain revenge of the medieval, in the history of the conflicts between East and West. I have learned from Chapter 2 that Mohammed intends to reject both Moses and Jesus, as additions to the religion of Abraham, and to base Islam on this. I had thought Islam followed the Ten Commandments. Still, they must follow the law after Noah. There are teachings of charity and chastity, if the old traditional or conservative ethics are sometimes imposed despotically. There are amazing teachings, too, like about Khadir and the Ephesian youths in Chapter 17. The apocalyptic teachings will be the most important. We have the three frogs of Revelation 16, and the possibility that terrorist Islam is the False Prophet. It seems way too early, but these are the three who by ideology gather the three who come toward Armageddon.

More interesting is the strange sense of allusions to works like the Nativity of Mary and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, as though these works, reprinted in the Roberts and Donaldson, were available in Byzantium. The Quran is another window into these things. I received my text from the official Islam people, and promise to treat it with respect, though not because we fear anyone. In certain circumstances, we only read secular works, out of respect for the texts and the people of the texts.

We have always, though, been gravely concerned that the teaching of Christianity is forbidden most Islamic nations, and appeal to them to allow it. But consider the things forbidden in the American colonies before the Declaration! Our openness is the revolutionary teaching, and is foreign to most the rest of the world.

I should have been able to read the Koran a long tome ago. But since my studies are not funded, I have never had the time. My nation has had me painting, doing labor, and rolling my own cigarettes, because these are the truly important things. I have written on the Revelation, which is published above, and on music, which is soon to be published, because these studies might actually sell, and so the effort can be justified regarding my creditors, as the only way I will prevent the people from being stuck with my school loans.

Another reason that I do not like to talk about the Koran and the Revelation is that our government may construe this study with whatever suspicion they wish, and our constitutional rights have become meaningless. No one would do anything if someone started piling on their general terms that sound bad to make a particular seem to fit that does not fit. (There is no English word for this practice, a shadow casting done with words). I could easily be an adherent of a “fringe ideology” that thinks apocalyptic-ally. Better watch those guys! And what do we care? Perhaps our government will infiltrate these suspicious sorts. Maybe they  could get one suspicious sort to fall in love with their infiltrator. Is that not the most effective surveillance? But what do we care? And who would ever do anything about it? So maybe it is safer to leave these studies alone, since security is the only good. Or perhaps the president, as the only person free of the U. S. executive agencies, has the liberty needed for such an inquiry.

In my book on the Revelation, I had warned as early as 2010 of a more radical group arising out of Iraq. It was clear that Al Qaeda was beating us strategically, by sparking civil war with the Shiites. I also suggested we consider how we would respond to an attack on Rome. Foresight is one result of education, but its cultivation is not the same as “jobs” and “technology.” We can be mistaken. But read Plato’s Republic, in book VII, about the turning of the soul. This is the most important thing about the nature of man and education, and our psychology cannot even approach its study. They do not even admit that there is a psyche or soul, so that we sometimes have to say, “That thing your thinking with, and the thing I’m talking to, that is thinking.” But if we do not know the highest faculties of the soul, we do not know the health of the soul, nor can we hold a single thing correctly in the science of education, except by accident. Our scientists look at neurons lighting up in areas of the brain, and, following a freshman philosophy error, think this is knowledge.

If anyone wants to come along, I am going to take up my Introduction to Philosophy course, which I used to teach at St. Mary’s of Orchard Lake. I want to write on Plato’s Euthyphro, since my philosophic friends think, from my New Testament studies, that I must have forgotten the most elemental things about the conflict between religion and Philosophy. We used to do this book, along with Apology and Crito, in the Introduction to Philosophy class at Salem Academy. Perhaps we could have Salem Academy Online, and even publish a newsletter with essays and miscellany. We also did classes on Plato’s Republic, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, King Lear, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Romeo and Juliet. We tried to do books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Job, Daniel and Revelation. The project died for lack of a place. As the fool says, “…a house to put his head in.”

The liberal arts are dependent upon society for support, and yet society cannot possibly understand them. But it turns out that liberal education is the one thing most necessary to national security, when our people and our policy makers cannot distinguish between Shiite and Sunni, Islam and Isis, nor between liberty and tyranny. What part of the goals of Jobs and technology covers these things?

Next we will blog on how liberal arts is one of the few things we can do to counter the emptiness of soul that allows for drug addiction in America.

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