Following progress of the Ron Paul campaign from across the “pond” in Europe has been interesting and inspiring. The world desperately needs a breather from the headlong race to totalitarianism and a Ron Paul victory would at the very least have a major decongestant effect everywhere. Even more importantly — his message continues to have a major effect in changing hearts and minds.
But there are many more minds to be changed. On this side of the Atlantic, while there are still plenty of right wing socialists — conservatives of the militaristic warmongering kind — the influence of left wing socialism is much more overt. So it was no surprise to watch that upper elite Brit, Piers Morgan continually and rudely interrupt Ron Paul on screen recently.
Caring for the poor was the main focus of attack. Morgan’s views are those of the typical “champagne socialist” — filled with a self righteousness that implies those who support state welfare are the ones who really care.
That sentiment matches a certain quotation… probably by someone famous… who knows? It goes something like this: “I give to the poor and they call me a saint. I ask why they are poor and they call me a communist.”
The inherent contradiction between the first and second sentences shows blindness to even the slightest difference between the virtue of giving themselves and the vice of stealing from others, then dividing the loot …and then having the nerve to claim sainthood for it.
It is worth remembering when dealing with people like this or like Piers Morgan, that their response is not rooted in logic but emotion. Their emotion is the product of cultural conditioning — largely fed by the mainstream, state franchised media — not from following any independent line of clear thinking.
Into the emotional mix, often there is an element of defensiveness. Usually those privileged rich people howling the loudest for government to help the poor are those who themselves do least. They might well toss the poor a few token scraps for PR, but invariably their primary focus is on the grand political “causes" their social and business networks profit from. …While conveniently assigning to government the distasteful and menial task of managing the little people.
Remember Ted Turner trumpeting that he was giving a billion dollars to the UN? Then there are the numerous foundations of the privileged rich, dedicated to advancing globalist agendas. Bill Gates is aboard too: Having taken control of desktops around the world through government IP enforcement, he is now looking to plant a little seed money to control the world's weather — in the hopes of a bumper harvest of government sponsorship.
All of this is a far cry from genuinely helping the poor, and highlighting that fact may be the most effective way of helping those who listen to them not to be fooled. By first attacking the false moral foundation at its root; it then becomes easier to fill in the economic detail as to why the free market offers a much better deal for the poor.
Otherwise, with their pseudo-moral high ground intact, the privileged socialists are just going to keep on celebrating their righteousness and twanging at the heart strings of the sincere but confused.
However, the plight of the poor remains a very important and real concern for those who are both sincere and informed.
Liberty v. Poverty
Part of the free market solution is that in a free society we can all make advance provision through various economic means like savings and insurance. This solution also rightfully cautions against “moral hazard” — that failure should not be rewarded, or you'll get more of it. It is certainly a just and ancient Biblical principle that the lazy should also be hungry and poor.
But what about those individuals who are trying but have failed to make provision? Or those who for some reason, possibly beyond their control — a crisis, theft, failed venture etc. — also do not have any savings or provision in place?
In many cases, those who are poor may indeed be responsible for it by having made bad decisions. But which of us cannot speak with the great authority of experience on the subject of mistakes? Also, what about those who are in difficulty through no fault of their own — perhaps through illness or disability?
“Unrestrained freedom means u2018devil take the hindmost'” cry the socialists of both left and right — and who differ only slightly in their preferred ratio of government social welfare v. corporate welfare.
To the champagne socialist, all of these cases can justify the organized theft of the state. To them, the point that it actually is organized theft need go unchallenged in the face of a greater “concern” for the vulnerable. Sound economic arguments and the long term view that everyone will be poorer in the end are trumped by this primary concern.
Still, nowadays those economic arguments are rarely abandoned completely, as all hell has broken loose when they have been — and they do make sense even to a brainwashed mind. So instead, the end result is support for a watered down, half and half, mixed state/private economy — but always moving toward an increased ratio of more state, less private and always blaming liberty for state failure. In other words: pretty much the status quo.
There can be only one answer to these false arguments: The truth — not only economic reality, but moral and spiritual truth. Only then can minds be freed up to think clearly or, in other and greater words: “You shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.”
A big part of the truth is that a system of organized theft can never be the hope that answers the need of the poor; because virtue can never be found in vice — and true compassion is impossible with impersonal bureaucracy.
But even more than this, support for such a system is support for dereliction of the most basic human duty to our fellow human beings.
Dereliction of Duty
In particular, for the professing Christian majorities in many welfare state countries, this doctrine violates our most primary directive — the new commandment instituted by Jesus upon which the old, written in stone, were based and which are also violated. That command is to love our neighbor as ourselves. “Love” in this context is not an emotion but an act of free will and, in accordance with the famous John 3:16, evidence of its reality is shown by the act of giving.
Even in the absence of active generosity, there is also an innate sense of duty to others in all people. But that natural sense of duty can also be eroded, along with the conscience, and such is the case when the state assumes those responsibilities as it has in the West. Duty and charity have been culturally undermined to the point that a “Good Samaritan” is perceived to be just another passerby — asking why “they” don’t do something about it, just a little more loudly than the others.
Upon this primary foundation of individual duty and of care toward others, are secondary natural welfare institutions. In particular: the family and the church.
With the usurping nationalization of welfare, comes the dereliction of family duty. In most parts of the world where the welfare state has not been imposed, family duty goes without saying. Life without these ties — immediate and extended — is unthinkable. Family duty in the “Christian” West was once held in similar regard until those who actually wanted its demise were able to dissolve the bond of family, replacing it with the shackles of state bureaucracy and social engineering.
But in this matter also, the New Testament is absolutely intransigent, spelling out with zero theological uncertainty:
Jesus even put duty to elderly parents above giving to the church/synagogue, upholding it as a capital offense under the Old Covenant and condemning neglect as dishonoring to both God and parents:
"Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother'; and, ‘He who curses father or mother, let him be put to death.' But you say, if a man says to his father or mother, u2018Whatever benefit you might have received from me is a gift to God ("Corban")' then you no longer let him do anything for his father or his mother."
If religious leaders who increase wealth and power by usurping the honor and support due to parents were warned so sternly — what of the tax and welfare state propagandists, who empower and enrich the governments they serve (invariably as net beneficiaries) at the expense of both family and church.
This brings us to the church — as in local congregations, and Christianity as a whole:
In the beginning, the force of the state was an obvious and violent enemy. But then, by insidiously merging state interests with the church, it became an influence of corruption within. So in recent times, after the concept and funding of the welfare state was made feasible by economic progress (resulting from greater liberty) the church as a whole succumbed.
Today in Europe and significantly so elsewhere, leaders of the declining state-embedded churches in particular, frequently contribute more to the expansion of government welfare than the Gospel. Even their “charitable” organizations often amount to little more than a state funded window dressing exercise. The idea has spread far and wide, on both left and right — one of the first acts of George W. Bush, for example, was to consolidate the support of Christians with “faith based” state funding.
Here again, there are zero grounds for uncertainty. In 1 Timothy chapter 5, it is spelled out in detail that the local church has direct responsibility for administering charitable distribution from voluntary contributions — but only when the normal bonds of family are not intact.
This church role was first demonstrated in Acts 2:44. That funding was from the voluntary contribution of private property is highlighted in Acts 5:4 (public false promises to God being another matter…). In 2 Corinthians 8 and 9 we also see two whole chapters dedicated to the importance of voluntary charitable giving, even in temporarily difficult times; its administration by the church; and the promise of financial blessing that follows over time.
But the false prophets and “experts” of the state system only tolerate faith that glorifies themselves, and see personal virtue and voluntary charitable assistance as a competitive threat to be regulated, obstructed by state agencies, and/or absorbed into the state through funding.
The lure of the state, with its satanic glory, power and wealth was the last great temptation of Christ in the wilderness. What more will it take for Christians to see the anti-Christ nature of this entity?
But many today have been overcome and so Christians of all backgrounds will do well to remember that if even God the Son needed to speak the holy written Word of God to resist this evil, so do we. By God’s grace, change will start with those who will speak the truth. Even the smallest light can transform the darkest place. One of the Bible's greatest chapters on liberty, the free market and free trade — Isaiah 60 — begins like this:
"…darkness shall cover the earth and deep darkness the people; but the Lord will arise over you and His glory will be seen upon you. The nations shall come to your light- kings to the brightness of your dawn"
Social Security Safety Nets
In addition to neighbors, family and church or private charity, there are other natural welfare institutions that together constitute multi-layered safety nets of social security:
One top social safety net layer comes with owning a “piece of the rock”. This layer can prevent dependence on others altogether even in hard times, at least for the able-bodied. Recent events have confirmed the importance of a workable homestead, if only to fall back on. But Europe in particular is neo-feudal and the US is becoming more so — landless peasants on a high tax treadmill to keep a rented, government or bank owned/mortgaged roof over their heads — in tiny residential zones, at bubble prices. The bulk of the land being either government owned or locked up for increasingly centralized corporate agriculture.
Another layer, domestic service, was once much more common: A less well off individual, couple, or even a family could be provided with lodgings in return for service to the host household. Is this really so evil — especially when compared to non-productive welfare slums or enslavement into government workfare schemes? Even indentured or bond service — where a person in difficulty is given a place in a household for an agreed minimum period of time — is mentioned and even supported in most books of the New Testament.
The exodus from Egypt and then later, the hope of the Gospel do offer the promise of freedom and therefore stand in opposition to all that would hold people permanently in bondage. But coming from experience — having lived in the third world and kept several domestic servants — it is also true that temporary servitude can offer education, provision, and lead on to better things.
So a financial fall can be broken at numerous levels: New work or a new business; falling back on savings or insurance; a return to self reliance on the family homestead; assistance from immediate family; extended family or friends; service in another household; then church assistance or private charity, especially in the case of widows.
By all means, somewhere in those layers, a place of independence and financial value to others can be found — if there is any freedom.
But instead of natural social security, majority Christian nations have been vulnerable to the false doctrine of state nationalized welfare, even when its main proponents were known to be militant atheists. But this is also in good part the result of teaching promulgated by Christian leaders.
Church leaders may be sincere — no one can be held responsible for light they do not have — and this is not to condemn the individuals concerned, but rather the ideas involved. Yet according to 1 Timothy 5, to teach that we are no longer responsible for our own families, immediate or extended, in part or in full, is to that degree a party to denial of the faith — in that area of life at least. The record of family breakdown amongst Christians shows this has not had a positive effect on the lives and families of those who listen to them.
When faced with such false ideas, the moral premise they are built upon must first be challenged. That includes exposing the hypocrisy of the champagne socialists when they claim to care (with other people’s money) or with token amounts and ulterior motives. It also includes counteracting with truth, the false teachers and evangelistic zealots of state welfare, of which there is no shortage amongst Christian churches.
Their message should be confronted not only as a personal dereliction of duty, but a dereliction of family duty and a dereliction by churches of their God-given duty.
It is a doctrine of social disaster: deadbeat fathers; welfare mothers — married to the state; negligent sons, daughters and relatives; declining churches and broken local communities; a doctrine unworthy of any human being, let alone a Christian.
Natural v. State Social Security
Besides the moral case, the fact is, natural social welfare institutions are also infinitely better in practice than state welfare — even in places where the people are generally poor. There are enormous and far reaching beneficial side effects of these natural institutions: They contribute to bringing people together, keeping them socially interactive and just plain happy.
- The suicide rate, especially in the European welfare state countries, is through the roof. Catholic family based culture tends to mitigate this in some, but in others depression is rampant.
- In Britain today for example, many old people die alone and abandoned — but this is rare in much of the third world, where they are cared for by family and any neglect is considered a disgrace.
- Isolation and loneliness are another consequence of the impersonal welfare state tentacles which choke the social life out of society and culture.
- Newcomers can often live a socially isolated life even in crowded towns — which also contributes to ethnic cliques and conflict instead of interaction and assimilation.
- Family disputes that would normally be minor can more easily go on to be rifts when the economic and social need to reconcile is removed.
- Decisions are made to move long distances that would not otherwise be made, when the “safety net” is a social security bureaucracy — artificially raising the anchor of family ties and of long standing local communities.
- Moral hazard is created when the consequences of sexual misbehavior are a new apartment for the mother and child, with few responsibilities expected of the father.
In social terms, Britain and the other welfare states are now third world countries and it has all happened as the state has taken over the management of social life and provision for the needy. The list of social ills could go on, and then the list of economic consequences begins.
Some may argue that if the natural institutions were so good — how come they disappeared?
But being in need of help is not a desirable experience and often can and should involve correction and making lifestyle changes. On top of that, the social benefits offered by the state have been very generous and attractive — and have come without any accompanying discipline or accountability.
Going on the dole was once a disgrace, but gradually the beliefs, institutions and the freedoms required for natural welfare to function were eroded, taxed heavily, or even made illegal. Today some claimants may be lazy, but many others have little choice in lands which increasingly suffocate opportunity. They cannot all be blamed and many have to endure Nazi style interrogation and violations of privacy.
Today, just building an outhouse for family or servants is often impossible due to planning rules. Instead, property rights are abandoned and in the UK, if unoccupied for six months, a house can be seized and used for "social housing".
Then there is the level of taxation — with spending over 50% of the economy in the UK and even higher in France and some other places. For many people, after expenses, that leaves very little disposable income available to help others with.
The welfare state has been used by the central planners and elite establishment to purchase — with stolen middle class money — the dependency and therefore loyalty of the working class. Nobody is quick to bite the hand that feeds them.
One reason authoritarian government control has grown so quickly and to such an unprecedented degree, while still maintaining some semblance of democratic support, is that the graspers are so far still being fed and dare not bite that hand. Even when the government overtly steals from the poor to pay their elite banking or corporate allies, they react with outrage — but will not do much beyond calling for more "honor" amongst the thieves they elected.
That process is now at its limit and a temporary, volatile equilibrium is in place between tax graspers and tax payers, with both sides angry and dissatisfied. The exact pivot point varies from country to country but things are now at the point of destabilization everywhere.
Thieves rarely look to the long term — it takes a producer to have forward vision. The idea is always to avoid consequences and live large now. They never think: What if everyone else stole? What would life be like for me? Well, anyone who has lived in the third world can answer that question. Welfare state thievery cannot go on, if only because the laws of economics will not allow it.
Liberty and the Social Realm
Friends of economic freedom also need to consider freedom's connection to the social realm. Human action that is rational requires whole human beings. Social desolation, isolation and damaged emotional development do not foster the forward thinking, rational decision making and bonds of trust that a free economy thrives on.
There are certain given principles that govern life. There can for example, be no legitimate free market in theft — although "fence" operations do superficially function in that manner.
Here are two questions for those who seek a truly free society:
1) Is there any real proven alternative to the family as the unit of authority, provision and welfare?
2) When faced with a breach of contract, is it correct to exempt marriage and dismiss this as a matter of private liberty, despite the potentially enormous third party consequences?
There is more to lasting freedom than just fit, healthy men flitting around the world on multiple passports, trading their gold online. Especially when leaving behind them a trail of broken relationships, maybe even broken homes — or abandoned women left to fend for themselves with an unknown number of abandoned children, conceived in those few minutes of exercising "personal" freedom. In that "consent" process, other parties to social contracts were not consulted.
The oppressive straightjacket of state regulation and taxation is the single biggest contributor to poverty, choking the opportunity for even the able bodied to make progress. Nevertheless, even in a free society there will always be some poor amongst us — if only because of human nature.
Sadly, the sense of personal and family duty that by and large prevailed and mitigated earlier depression times has been seriously damaged. But it can never be extinguished completely and for many it is a case of genuine ignorance and not malice. In fact, despite human failings and selfishness, most people still really want to help others — it is instinctive and makes life meaningful to do so.
Attacks on the Ron Paul campaign are symptomatic of this battle for hearts and minds. It challenges the usual base and short sighted motivations of the ballot box, by awakening the instinctive human need for liberty — not only in taking care of oneself, but in taking care of others also.
Champagne socialists like Piers Morgan, whose future advancement is bound to the approval and fortunes of the upper elite power class, desperately need the welfare system to continue. There can be no over-class without an underclass; no pagan eye on the apex of the central banker's pyramid without a large base to support the burden.
They also desperately need a pseudo-moral, religious sounding veneer, both to massage their own consciences and for the esteem they need and crave in the eyes of others — not to mention a place to retreat when their economic arguments fail.
It has been said that appealing to patriotism to justify the warfare state is “the last refuge of scoundrels and tyrants.” If so, then appealing to "social justice" to justify the welfare state is another hiding-hole.
Only the fire of liberty can smoke them out — not only by obviating the need for so much welfare, but also by reawakening a true welfare society in which neighbors, families, churches and natural social institutions can function freely and rise to their rightful place.
Paul Green [send him mail] supplies security and privacy services to clients worldwide.