August 28, 2015

Helping Some by Hurting Others

Edmund Opitz wrote the following in response to a Christian socialist. In the space of a few short paragraphs he delivers a devastating critique of the social gospel as well as a concise explanation of libertarian principles:
Every law supersedes the will of some individuals, forcing them to do what their own will and conscience would not lead them to do; or, conversely, restrains them from doing what they want to do or think they ought to do. It is morally right to use legal force to frustrate criminal action for the protection of peaceful citizens. But the use of legal force against peaceful citizens is something else again. . . . When you advocate that a given social end be accomplished by means of government action, the construction of housing, say, you will persuade a few people. You would not, however, persuade people like myself who would regard your scheme as morally and economically unsound. Even though you could not persuade me, you could, if you succeeded in capturing the machinery of government for your purpose, force me to go along with you. I would be legally deprived of my property to further your scheme. If I decided to cast prudence aside and stand by my principles to the bitter end, I would be the victim of physical violence by agents of the state . . . This is not what you advocate, but it is the end product of your advocacy. If you are opposed to this end-product, you should desist from advocating the course of political action which produces it. [1]

1. Opitz, Edmund. The Libertarian Theology of Freedom (Hallberg, 1999), p. 32.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Follow by Email

Support C&C by Using One of Our Amazon Associate Links