Nobody likes to be nagged.
"Don't forget to brush your teeth!"
"This room looks like a pig-sty!"
"And when you've finished sweeping the storeroom, straighten up the magazine rack!"
Nagging is the foundation of Civilization.
Without nagging, life collapses into chaos and poverty.
Without nagging, cockroaches and hairballs take over the planet.
Without nagging, the Free Market, Liberty, Democracy, the Rule of Law, a Robust Economy, and iPods are impossible.
Without nagging -- at home, at school, at work, in church, driving your car -- jackbooted thugs will demand your papers and push you around.
Everybody is saying we should be more "tolerant." Conservatives -- especially -- are judgmental. But poverty is bad, and tyranny is bad, and we should nag each other so we never forget.
Laissez-faire capitalism says to the government, "Let the Free Market alone!" Libertarians propose dramatic cuts in government. Their goal is not simply to eliminate "the government." Actually, Libertarians believe in MORE government than those who support "the government." We believe in replacing "the government" with "self government." We believe in
Those who support increased power for the State and resist calls for Laissez-Faire Capitalism usually do so because they are concerned about the cultural effects of increasing numbers of people who do not understand the principles of liberty upon which America was founded, and who are easily manipulated by fascist or socialist demagogues.
Here's how self-government works to protect American values better than a bigger, more intrusive federal government.
Let’s consider the question of immigration:
Rather than being met at the border by jack-booted gun-wielding federal immigration authorities, immigrants should be met at the borders by voluntary associations of friendly Americans who will offer American hospitality, job training, values education and other works of mercy which will help the immigrants carry on great American libertarian traditions.
Once settled in America, there are continuing opportunities for self-governing Americans to help new arrivals become great citizens:
Families: Children who are not victims of government schooling and who have been trained to appreciate America's libertarian values can pass these values on to their neighborhood playmates who come from foreign lands. American parents have always been careful to know who their children play with, and always make an effort to meet the parents of their children's playmates and invite them to learn more about our culture.
Employers should actively seek out new arrivals to America and hire them, showing them how American employers appreciate the loyalty, hard-work, creativity and dedication which characterize most immigrants, and how generous American employers are in the wages they pay and benefits they offer. Lunchtime Bible studies and employee training sessions can pass on America's cultural values.
Landlords should rent to immigrants and help them become self-governing tenants, thus passing on American respect for property. Weekend classes in property management, concern for the environment, and household budgeting can be required of tenants in rental agreements.
Merchants should seek out immigrants and deal fairly with them, explaining to them how American capitalism rewards both buyer and seller in a voluntary exchange, and how capitalism has made America a more prosperous nation than the nation from which the customer has emigrated.
Teachers should pass on American values to their students, even in classes that do not directly teach social and cultural subjects. Like the Apostles (Acts 5:29), teachers should defy court orders prohibiting a discussion of American values before and after school, and at lunch.
Media sources which propagate anti-American values should be boycotted. Americans should invite immigrants to join them in viewing movies, television, plays, concerts, and other events which transmit American values. Americans should invite immigrants to neighborhood reading circles in which great American books are read and discussed. Americans should host ESL classes (English as a Second Language) in their homes. Parents are qualified to teach their children English; immigrants often bring a child-like love of learning.
Immigrants who commit crimes should be responded to in the same way we respond to natural-born Americans who commit crimes.
It is only because Americans are no longer self-governing that they appeal to "the government" to use armed force against immigrants. This desire for increased government power is lazy, unAmerican, and anti-Christian.
Let’s run through this list again in consideration of other more serious forms of crime. These considerations apply to all forms of crime such as theft, or any form of property damage, as well as to other crimes which “Christian Reconstructionists” are quick to demand criminal (State) sanctions: homosexuality, adultery, or even idolatry. “Punishment” is their by-word.
Keep in mind that Biblical Law has no place for prisons, but demands restitution. The victim is to be made whole by the offender. How can the offender be pressured to make restitution if there is no “government” threatening him with prison or fines? (Not that this helps the victim in any way; indeed, victims are taxed to warehouse criminals.)
Families: The Founding Fathers agreed that religion and morality were chiefly responsible for creating a population that respected God’s Law. Schools continued this tradition. It is a grave error to believe that the State can keep crime rates low by outlawing the teaching of religion and morality in schools while appropriating billions of dollars to a growing “prison industry.”
Peer pressure is more potent an educator than teachers, at least in modern public schools. Children who are not victims of government schooling and who have been trained to appreciate America's libertarian values can pass these values on to their neighborhood playmates who come from non-Christian homes. American parents have always been careful to know who their children play with, and always make an effort to meet the parents of their children's playmates and invite them to learn more about God’s Law. Sometimes children have been known to have a dramatic impact on their parents. Christian families can teach Godly values to neighborhood children, who may have an effect on their parents.
If a parent finds out that a child has committed theft or property damage, that parent should require the child to make restitution. This applies to children of any age (Deuteronomy 21:18-21). Adult children should be evicted, and ultimately disinherited. In too many cases, older children who commit crimes have parents who subsidize their criminal lives.
Churches should excommunicate those who are unrepentant. It should be socially unacceptable to not be a part of a Christian church or para-church organization. The sermon should be the dominant media event of our culture.
Employers should penalize employees who have committed crimes. Paychecks should be garnished to pay restitution to victims. Unrepentant employees should be fired. Recidivist criminals tend not to seek gainful employment, but before they become recidivists, the threat of unemployment is a strong incentive to avoid crime or undo the damage done by criminal acts. Lunchtime Bible studies and employee training sessions can pass on the values of Biblical Law.
Landlords should evict unrepentant criminals. Weekend classes in property management, concern for the environment, and household budgeting can be required of tenants in rental agreements. Such actions maximize respect for property and minimize crime.
Insurance Agencies will not insure property unless it is protected with a network of contracts that require restitution both on the part of the insured and those with whom the insured deals.
Merchants should not sell to those who have committed crimes and have not made restitution. Criminals should find it very hard to live in a Christian society until they repudiate a life of crime and commit to making amends for past acts of crime.
Teachers should pass on Biblical values to their students, even in classes that do not directly teach social and cultural subjects. Like the Apostles (Acts 5:29), teachers should defy court orders prohibiting a discussion of American values before and after school, and at lunch. Schools should evict students who do not make restitution.
Non-profit associations should pick up the hard cases from schools and other institutions. Intensive “brainwashing” may be necessary to fill the character void and reverse years of bad habits and unbiblical thinking.
Media sources which propagate anti-American values should be boycotted. Americans should invite the lost to join them in viewing movies, television, plays, concerts, and other events which transmit Biblical values. Americans should invite at-risk children and adults to neighborhood reading circles in which great American books are read and discussed. Media sources should adversely publicize those who do not respect life, liberty or property. The internet should have plenty of sites which catalog those who have been disinherited, evicted, boycotted, excommunicated, etc. Public shame is a strong source of social order. (Daniel B. Klein, Reputation: Studies in the Voluntary Elicitation of Good Conduct (Economics, Cognition, and Society), University of Michigan Press, 1997)
The strongest criticism of this proposal is likely to come not from Christians who oppose anarchism, but homosexuals who oppose Christian culture. When these “private,” non-political institutions are vigilant and Biblical, there is far less “liberty” for criminals than when the State is functioning “properly” but family, church, school, business, and voluntary associations are dormant. The forces of unrighteousness are far more likely to complain that people are trying to “impose their religion” on them than when these institutions are silent and hope a strong centralized State will speak out against evil. In short, a society is well-governed when “the government” no longer exists. This is not “utopian,” this is an ethical imperative.
Actually, as Bruce Benson has shown, private response to crime has historically been the norm:
The historical reality of crime policy
is that public [state] provision of criminal justice is a recent social experiment that
has not worked as predicted. The increasing role of private security that we see today is
actually a return to historical practices rather than something new, although private
sector institutions and technologies have changed dramatically as entrepreneurs have
discovered new ways to deliver the desired protection. . . . One survey
indicates that nearly half of all business security managers investigate and resolve
employee thefts within the business organization without ever reporting the crime.
To Serve and Protect: Privatization and Community in Criminal Justice (Political Economy of the Austrian School Series)
When all these social institutions are functioning properly, there is no need for the IRS, the INS, the DEA, or other fascist agencies.
History gives numerous examples of how theft, fraud, and other crimes can be dealt with in societies without socialism. Details here.
America became the greatest and most admired nation in the history of the world because we were a nation of naggers. Society was judgmental, intolerant, and constantly nagging everyone to work hard, be respectful, and don't hit your sister.
Today, we're much more "tolerant," and nobody is allowed to nag. As a result, people are lazy, disrespectful, and your sister gets beat up by her pimp.
Let's listen to some voices from the past, to see how nagging creates utopia.
Libertarianism is not a society without order. It is a society ordered from the bottom up rather than the top down. Among the most important sources of social order are "voluntary associations."
Democrats and Republicans are both advocating more power for Washington, D.C. This is not a new approach. In the early 1820's, America was experiencing a tremendous influx of immigrants. Alexis de Tocqueville was a French observer who doubted whether America could retain her admirable character with all these immigrants. DeTocqueville said only armed force could deal with the immigrants. But Christians in the America of that day believed that "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (2 Corinthians 10:3-5). Early American Christians sent an army of missionaries to deal with pressing social issues.
R.J. Rushdoony provides the following insights into DeTocqueville's day:
R.J. Rushdoony, Revolt Against Maturity: A Biblical Psychology of Man, pp. 216ff.
Chapter 5: Of the Use Which the Americans Make of Public Associations in Civil Life
Second Book: Influence of Democracy on the Feelings of the Americans
Democracy in America, Volume 2
Christianity in the 21st century is a narcotic. It is a me-centered "feel-good" religion. Too many Christians advocate more power for the federal government, the creation of "armed forces," and neglect the creation of voluntary associations and missions organizations which made America a great and Christian nation. These Christians want to "restore America" by creating a federal government vastly more powerful than the one created by Christians in the late 1700's. The coming America will not resemble the America of our Founding Fathers.
The civil government under the Founding Fathers publicly and officially ENCOURAGED these Christian "societies" -- they did not take the position of contemporary church-state jurisprudence, which says that government must never "endorse" or encourage Christian solutions to social problems like illiteracy and immorality.
As the New Hampshire Constitution, Art 1, sec. 6, "Bill of Rights" said,
America was made great by Christian charity, and the Constitution did not abolish or prohibit this.
As morality and piety rightly grounded on evangelical principles will give the best and greatest security to government and will lay in the hearts of men the strongest obligations to due subjection; and as the knowledge of these is most likely to be propagated through a society by the institution of the public worship of the Deity and of public instruction in morality and religion; therefore, to promote these important purposes, the people of this State have a right to empower, and do hereby fully empower, the legislature to authorize, from time to time, the several towns, parishes, bodies corporate, or religious societies within this State to make adequate provision at their own expense for the support and maintenance of public Protestant teachers of piety, religion, and morality.
We cannot approve, however, of "faith-based" governmental appropriations. Appropriations should come voluntarily from the wallets of Americans, not from the barrel of a gun and seized by the IRS.
Secular Humanism has been imposed on America in an unconstitutional manner, and charity has also been crippled.
An important book is Marvin Olasky, The Tragedy of American Compassion. He details how early America was dominated by voluntary associations and "societies," such as "The Salem Society for the Moral and Religious Instruction of the Poor."
At the Trough," by Roger Schultz, review of Olasky
"Compassionate Conservatism" - Olasky
What is Compassionate Conservatism and Can it Transform America-
I have already posted excerpts from Cremin's authoritative history of education, which discusses the tremendous influence upon education these societies had. There were many, many such societies, and they met an urgent need.
Voluntary Associations and the Priesthood of All Believers
Notice that de Tocqueville said, "The United States have no metropolis; but they already contain several very large cities." It was common in de Tocqueville's day to use plural verbs to speak of the United States -- as in, "The United States are a great source of inspiration to those who love Liberty Under God" -- because the United States was a union of sovereign States, and the Constitution acknowledged the sovereignty of those States. In our day the federal government has ignored the Constitution and the original intent of its Framers, and has almost completely eliminated "states' rights." It seems that its main purpose is to protect its own power, and further centralize power over the states. "The United States is no longer an inspiration to those who love Liberty Under God."