INCOMPATIBLE VIEWS ON GOVERNMENT — PART 2A

The post continues where INCOMPATIBLE VIEWS ON GOVERNMENT — PART 1 left off. Please refer to PART 1 for links to the other posts.

Here we will consider the first of four questions.

Why is it moral for the government to tax us?

Why is it moral for the government to tax us? This is, oddly enough, not a question most of us give much thought. Our biggest expense is taxes, but most of us just accept that fact, pay our taxes, and try to get on with our lives. Some of us even make a virtue of paying taxes, holding it up as our contribution to a great society. Since we don’t have any choice in the matter, that is an odd sort of pride. However, there are more pragmatic views. Here is something Lysander Spooner wrote just after the Civil War.

For this reason, whoever desires liberty, should understand these vital facts, viz.:

  1. That every man who puts money into the hands of a “government” (so called), puts into its hands a sword which will be used against himself, to extort more money from him, and also to keep him in subjection to its arbitrary will.
  2. That those who will take his money, without his consent, in the first place, will use it for his further robbery and enslavement, if he presumes to resist their demands in the future.
  3. That it is a perfect absurdity to suppose that any body of men would ever take a man’s money without his consent, for any such object as they profess to take it for, viz., that of protecting him; for why should they wish to protect him, if he does not wish them to do so?  To suppose that they would do so, is just as absurd as it would be to suppose that they would take his money without his consent, for the purpose of buying food or clothing for him, when he did not want it.
  4. If a man wants “protection,” he is competent to make his own bargains for it; and nobody has any occasion to rob him, in order to “protect” him against his will.
  5. That the only security men can have for their political liberty, consists in their keeping their money in their own pockets, until they have assurances, perfectly satisfactory to themselves, that it will be used as they wish it to be used, for their benefit, and not for their injury.
  6. That no government, so called, can reasonably be trusted for a moment, or reasonably be supposed to have honest purposes in view, any longer than it depends wholly upon voluntary support.

(from here)

Spooner obviously had a cynical view of government, and some classified him as an anarchist.  Since the man is long dead and not well-known, I won’t debate whether Spooner was an anarchist. The point here is that taxation does not require the consent of those taxed by the government, and not paying can have severe consequences. If we don’t pay, the authorities will come after us.

So about that question? Why is it moral for the government to tax us? What is the crucial issue? Let’s refer to an old post, PHILOSOPHICAL CONFUSION OVER ENDS AND MEANS. Here we considered the wisdom of that old proverb:

The end justifies the means. (see here and here)

As that old post explained, morality requires that the means be in accord with the end. Taxation looks an awful like stealing. How can such stealing be justified?

Here is an example of doing something wrong for an apparently high and noble purpose. Does it make sense to teach a child to tell the truth by lying about your own truthfulness?  No one should lie, right? And we don’t want to set a bad example. Yet if we lied to our children to hide our own dishonesty and then expected our children to be truthful, would it even work? No. We would eventually be found out, and our children would probably follow our bad example. Hopefully, the prospect of such a horror encourages us to be honest. That is, the proper way to teach others to honor the truth is to honor it with ones own conduct.

Lying to our children about our own dishonesty would in fact just compound the sinfulness of our lies. We would be telling our children two lies. We would be trying to deceive them into believing that we could be trusted to tell the truth and that we believed that honesty is actually important.

Still, when it serves its proper purpose, good government achieves an end which justifies the use of force to make everyone help pay for it.  What is that purpose? The founders explained the purpose of government in the Declaration of Independence.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. –That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, (from here)

We can debate what the Rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness might be. Nevertheless, it is clear that the founders wanted a government that would protect the People from being deprived of their Rights to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Why a government? For thousands of years men have created governments. Those government have done good things and bad things.  The good things governments have done include the maintenance of order, that is, the protection of life and property. The bad things include enforcing the stratification of societies with “elites” at the top and slave classes at the bottom.

For better or worse, government is something we know how to do, and the absence of government, anarchy leading to famine and disease, is worse than a bad government. Therefore, because some agency has to exercise the force required to maintain order and protect everyone’s rights, forcing everyone to pay taxes to maintain a good government is one of those cases where the means is in accord with the end and therefore justified.

That is, we simply do not know a better way.

What Is To Come?

Answering the first of those four questions took a bit more effort than I had hoped. So this became PART 2A, and I will try to answer the other three questions in PART2B.

Please refer to PART 1 for links to the other posts.

THIS WAS PREDICTED AND ENTIRELY PREDICABLE

Do you care about our military? Do you care about our nation’s ability to defend itself? Then read this.

A record 16 out of 100 Navy women are reassigned from ships to shore duty due to pregnancy, according to data obtained under the Freedom of Information Act by The Daily Caller News Foundation’s Investigative Group.

That number is up 2 percent from 2015, representing hundreds more who have to cut their deployments short, taxing both their unit’s manpower, military budgets and combat readiness. Further, such increases cast a shadow over the lofty gender integration goals set by former President Barack Obama.

Overall, women unexpectedly leave their stations on Navy ships as much as 50% more frequently to return to land duty, according to documents obtained from the Navy. The statistics were compiled by the Navy Personnel Command at the request of TheDCNF, covering the period from January 2015 to September 2016. (continued here)

Men and women are different. Each sex is equal before the law, and the Bible says God loves both men and women. Nevertheless, men and women have different roles. Men do some things better than women, and women do some things better than men.  A man cannot get pregnant. A woman has no business trying to be a soldier. Can women perform the functions of a soldier? In theory? Yes. In practice? No. Pregnant soldiers don’t make good soldiers.

Think about this little doozy of a navy regulation: 6701 – Maternity Uniforms. It includes this guidance.

6701.  GENERAL (MATERNITY UNIFORMS)

1.  WEAR.  Certified maternity uniforms are mandatory for all pregnant women in the Navy when a uniform is prescribed, and regular uniforms no longer fit.  Personnel are expected to wear regular uniforms upon return from convalescent leave, however, commanding officers may approve the wear of maternity uniforms up to six months from the date of delivery based on medical officer diagnosis/recommendation.

Are we going to send pregnant women into combat? Of course not! Then what is the point of pretending it makes any sense to put women in combat units?

Think I am biased? Fine. Check out what some women think of the idea of women in the military. Click on the following:

WHO DO YOU WANT TO TELL YOU HOW TO BE A _________________?

The donkey is the Democratic Party’s logo. Is this truly America’s symbol of tolerance? Really?

This is sort of a reblog. ColorStorm has a somewhat lighthearted post, Thought for the day, that raised a topic I thought worthy further exploration.

This cracks me up. Really busts my buttons.

Image result for bust my buttons

People who do not believe one word of scripture, who pretend to lecture they who believe every word of it, as if the unbelievers are PhD’s in telling believers they are doing Christianity all wrong. Yikes.

They who know nothing of God’s laws, statutes, ordinances, covenants, precepts, edicts, judgments, commands, and most importantly grace………..sit in judgment of believers as if we are some type of monkey who does not know how to turn a leaf on a book. Strange I tell ya.

And I got news for you. The so-called doctors of the law……..to whom, and through whom the law was given, were a few doughnuts short in the box of understanding WHY the law was given in the first place.

Imagine a young punk who just learned the alphabet………now lecturing an English professor on the improper use of ending a sentence in a preposition. Ouch kid. You may want to put a few years of learning and context in your life before you strut your foolishness. (continued here)

In response to someone who does not believe in Christianity, I commented on the post. That commenter dragged “tolerance” into the discussion.

Here is the bulk of my comment.

Toleration is not the subject of this post. Before I quit my apostate ways and decided I had made a dumb mistake, I became a Conservative. When I took the time to listen to the Democrat Liberal news media, I often found myself torn between grimacing in disgust and laughter. For some reason the talking heads always felt more qualified than Conservatives to tell Conservatives what to do. If only Conservatives would do such and such they would be much better Conservatives. It’s silly! Any Conservative dumb enough to go to Democrat Liberals for advice is not a Conservative; he or she is a Democrat Liberal (or a RINO).

Similarly, no Christian in his right mind is going to go to an unbeliever WHO HAS REJECTED Christianity for advice on how to be a Christian. Because that person is not a Christian, he or she will not be filled with the Holy Spirit. That person has rejected Jesus and the Holy Spirit. So what would be the point? Without God’s help, we cannot understand. Until we ask for understanding in Jesus’ name, we cannot understand. We cannot be wise in the way that the Bible speaks of wisdom.

Are there people who have not heard of Jesus or read the Bible who are wise? Yes. Are some Hindus, Buddhists, Muslims, and so forth wise? Are they capable of giving good advice? Yes and Yes. Will Jesus save some people who are not Christians? I think so. Jesus is God. People can know God without being Christians. Still, if one wants to be a Christian, it is best to go to someone who is a devout Christian with the gift of teaching. (from here)

When I was much younger, I earned a reputation as something of a know-it-all. If I had been a real know-it-all, I suppose I would have known better and kept my mouth shut, but I was full of myself and quite ready to give advice. After being ridiculed sufficiently, I reconsidered the matter. I decided to blog anonymously on the Internet. I also observed that the people that other people go to for advice wait to be asked.

The respect that comes with expertise requires study and patience. If we yearn to teach, we have to build the expertise. If we yearn to teach, we have to wait for people to recognize our expertise and ask to partake of it.

All will not recognize our expertise. All will not ask. If you wanted to be a Buddhist, would you go to a Catholic priest for instruction? If you wanted to be a physical therapist, would you go to a school that teaches people how to be a chiropractor. For better or worse, we seek the gifts we value from the people we respect.

Toleration is just learning to accept the fact that others have the right to make their own choices.  We accept what is a lesser evil than tyranny. What is tyranny? We tyrannize our fellows when we arrogantly force them to accept our choices.

WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COLLECTIVE AND A COMMUNITY?

Charity without love is not charitable.

More than we know we do combat with words.  Consider the etymology of these ideological words. Consider what happens when the words “collective” and “community” become wrapped into isms.

Collectivism has strong associations with communism.

collectivism (n.)Look up collectivism at Dictionary.com
1880, in socialist theory, from collective + -ism. Related: Collectivist (1882 as both noun and adjective); collectivization (1890).

It seems that some would have us believe that the mere act of organizing people into a group with a common interest is communistic.

The word “community” has multiple associations with isms.

Like communism, communitarianism also emphasizes the community over the individual.

communitarian (n.) Look up communitarian at Dictionary.com
1841, “member of a commune,” from community + ending from utilitarian, etc. The adjective is attested from 1909.

Communitarianism is not the same as communism, but it does emphasize the interests of the community over the individual.

Like Communitarianism, communism is related to community via the word “commune“.

communism (n.) Look up communism at Dictionary.com
“social system based on collective ownership,” 1843, from French communisme (c. 1840) from commun (Old French comun; see common (adj.)) + -isme (see -ism). Originally a theory of society; as name of a political system, 1850, a translation of German Kommunismus (itself from French), in Marx and Engels’ “Manifesto of the Communist Party.” Compare communist. In some cases in early and mid-20c., a term of abuse implying anti-social criminality without regard to political theory.

Each [i.e. socialism, communism, anarchism] stands for a state of things, or a striving after it, that differs much from that which we know; & for many of us, especially those who are comfortably at home in the world as it is, they have consequently come to be the positive, comparative, & superlative, distinguished not in kind but in degree only, of the terms of abuse applicable to those who would disturb our peace. [Fowler]

We even have something called communalism which is similar to communitarianism. Instead of a strong central government, however, both communitarianism and communalism emphasize creating a federation of communes, just not for the same reasons.

communalism (n.) Look up communalism at Dictionary.com
1871 (in reference to Paris), from communal + -ism.

Thanks to all these mushy isms, it is a little difficult to speak of the difference between a collective and a community.  Nevertheless, people form collectives deliberately for a specific purpose. Whereas people form communities by living together and forming strong ties with each other.

Therefore, only when we speak of a community does it make sense to apply this verse.

John 13:35 New King James Version (NKJV)

35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.”

When we form charitable organizations, because there is a personal relationship it makes sense to provide charity at the community level.  Unfortunately, our political leaders have created new and improved charities.  They have used the state, especially that great collective we call the Federal Government, to give away our tax dollars using expensive health, education, and welfare programs.  Hence we have politicians spending other people’s money on people they don’t even know. The result has been phenomenal fraud, waste and abuse.

Ideally, because the personal relationship between those who give and those who receive charity is so important (It is about love, after all.), charity should only be the function of local, private organizations. Only when we have no other alternative should we involve government, and that should be local government. Only when we have no other alternative should we involve either the state or the Federal Government.

What is the big issue of the moment in Washington DC? It is Obamacare.  What is Obamacare? It is about whether the average American will be able to make his or her health choices without overriding interference from nameless bureaucrats. It about disconnecting the desires of people who pay the bills from the people who provide health care services. It is about giving politicians power just because they want it. It about turning our whole healthcare system into a wasteful and inefficient government-run charity rife with fraud, waste, and abuse.

Please let your senators and congressman know you want Obamacare repealed. You want them to do the same thing they did when they knew Obama would veto their repeal bill. Then you want them to replace Obamacare with laws that allow us to use our own money to make our own decisions. Do we really need their help to provide charity for our neighbors, the people in our communities. No. Not if we actually care about each other. If we don’t, there is nothing they can do anyway. If we don’t care, they won’t either.