…..there is hope.
I’m tempted to compare our lot today in the embattled Anglosphere with that of the Holy Family on that first Christmas 2,000 years ago. Libertarianism in England is a broad church. There’s room for all shades of opinion about the Grand Question, from the anti-religious, through atheism, various gnostic stuff I don’t fully understand, and all the way to belief in a grand cosmic order (“Logos”) – call it God if you will, (read ch.1 John (v.i et seq) for the full explanation,) to which practically all thinking physicists cleave eventually.
It reads, under one form of translation as “In the beginning was Order. Order was God, and Order was [with = authorised text] God.” By contrast I prefer to read the Greek as the ablative case, which could mean any of “by/with/from”, so you could have “by” equally well here. If God created order (in a Newtonian physical sense, in the universe out of nothing (which He can if He wills it) and Liberty is the mother of order – and not its daughter as socialists think – and if God endowed His creation, the Universe (including Man) with free will, then it’s our lot now to defend its exercise, against all-comers.
The Grand Question was posed by Alfred the Great, in his later years, trying to grapple with the embryonic notions of modern Statehood, and the toughish job of being a king of somewhere desirable in an imperfect world full of pre-capitalist barbarians as well as some better people. This troubling time in which he lived was in the beginnings of the first, oldest and longest-surviving unitary nation in the modern history of the West. (Yes and I’ll talk about ancient China and Japan another time, thanks, so you chaps just form an orderly queue please.)
He articulated his problem by asking; “What is life? Why are we here? What then must we do?”
What must Libertarians do at Christmas?
Firstly they ought to give thanks for the non-accidental accidents of geological and anthropological history which produced a quite large and rather unassailable (well nearly) island, not far to the north of the continent that contained the remnants of the Graeco-Roman inheritance. Not more than a day’s bad sailing, and sometimes even visible. There was somewhere for an alternative view of the world, unencumbered by land borders requiring armies and perpetual fighting. The climate, even, was clement, most of the time.
Secondly, they ought to thank the evolving people of that island, for their erratic but remorseless progress towards a Limited State. It took nearly 1,000 years, it sometimes ended in fisticuffs, but by about 1870 – significantly the year the railway network (private) achieved its greatest ever extent so that no house was more than 3 miles from a station – Britain was about as free as any nation had ever been or would afterwards be. Dr Sean Gabb has chronicled how a man could be born, live and die without coming materially into contact with the State, in his latest book.
Thirdly, they ought to give thanks for the Gospels, and for the Mosaic Decalogue. These documents have underpinned, do underpin now, and will underpin, between today and Armageddon, the foundations of liberal Classical civilisation. (I like John best; he took the trouble to explain to us what Jesus Christ was for, and why He came.)
The countries that bore Libertarianism into being, and which most harbour it today, pay at least lip-service to this tradition, even though it is being viciously undermined by socialist memory-wipers in all climes and in all spheres of human action. Wiping of memories is their job; otherwise evil cannot triumph – why do they always refer to a “Year Zero” – as if there has been no past worth recording and learning from, and as if they are the sole arbiters of the future? If evil is to triumph, this result rests on no recognition of its dangerous isolation and lack of support among Men.
Fourthly then, regarding evil’s need to suppress info about itself, we have to thank the Internet for this latest, and possibly last, God-granted ability to spread information. Many places languish yet in internet-darkness. Notably China, North Korea, Cuba (I’m sure without checking) and many countries on “Arab Street” (what an evil, condescending way to refer to poor miserable enslaved people, used as it is by the fascist mediarati and the other execrable Polly Toynbees of this world. They want i-Pods, BMWs, uncensored broadband, an electricity-grid that works most of the time, and hot and cold running water and flush-toilets, just like we do.)
But for the discovery of these technological advantages that give us yet the edge in this century’s global war against liberty (that’s what it is, folks) – we have to thank first of all and last of all, God, Who Is, through all time and everywhere, and who gave Man the gift of Free Will. This great technological advantage of The West (born and evolved broadly in the free will of individual intellectual creation) is what Churchill called in “The River War”, the “strong arms of science”, in which he pictured liberal Judeo-Christian civilisation cradled. You may not be allowed to read this book for much longer, so you’d better go to http://www.gutenberg.org/ now and download a copy before it get deleted.
God needed to send no prophets after His Son Jesus Christ; I mean to say, whatever for? Anyone who thinks so is mistaken, and the victim of a ruse. All he needed to do was to give Man free will, and allow Man to set up the conditions for its proper exercise. This occurred, even if only once, and that has been enough for a body of lore and philosophy about liberty – as a discursible concept – to flourish, unlike any time before.
And so Liberty truly became the Mother and not the daughter of Order, and that is where I came in, as one aspect of His Creation was realised. Probably quite accidentally, and perhaps not even noticed importantly enough by That People wott dunn it, at the time. A pity, since lack of this realisation may have led to the death of liberal England, not through lack of sincerity about its rightness, but of failure to spot that it had mortal enemies.
All that Libertarians do is explain how a civilisation based on this would work in practice.
We wish a happy and joyful Christmas to all you people our readers, out there somewhere. If 2008 is looking dark, then write more; talk to more people, give them the directions to The Door Out Of Hell. And in doing so, pull the scales from their eyes about socialism and its allies.