My old friend Loren Mark Swearingen who played a key role in introducing me to libertarianism, and who subsequently joined the Eastern Orthodox church, wrote me the following in regards to the Auberon Herbert quote that Jeffrey Snyder highlighted: “The history of force is the history of the continuous crumbling away of every institution that has rested upon it.” (see Herbert’s original essay). I thought his comments provided some welcome perspective:
A frequent subject of contemplation for me in recent years has been the last phrase in the section of the Nicene Creed on the person of Christ: “… his kingdom will have no end” (itself an obvious echo of similar phrasing in the Psalms, Isaiah and Daniel).
I seem to recall also that St. Augustine in “The City of God” ridicules the transience and hubris of the Roman Emprie, which was supposed to have been “the eternal kingdom.”
In any case, it is an interesting contrast that every earthly political power in human history has come to an end, but in two thousand years “the church” (which, of course, you would interpret in a more general and I would interpret in a more particular way) — with no army to defend itself or police power to enforce its decrees — has endured.10:16 pm on November 29, 2004 Email Stephen W. Carson