- Love and Liberty
Death By The State
"As far as empirical—historical—evidence is concerned, proponents of the orthodox view face obvious embarrassment. The recently ended twentieth century was characterized by a level of human rights violations unparalleled in all of human history. In his book Death by Government, Rudolph Rummel estimates some 170 million government-caused deaths in the twentieth century. The historical evidence appears to indicate that, rather than protecting life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness of their citizens, governments must be considered the greatest threat to human security" (The Myth of National Defense, Hoppe, pg. 4).
In his book entitled “The Myth of National Defense”, Hans Hermann Hoppe has assembled essays from various writers to refute the argument that the State is necessary for the purpose of national defense. I have slowly been working my way through the book (while also doing other reading at the same time) and various points are raised throughout the book to answer statist objections. For now, I would like to draw attention to the quote above, particularly the last line – “governments must be considered the greatest threat to human security.”
Many tend to think that people (or Governments) outside of the territory they live in are the greatest threat to their security, but this is false. The greatest threat to the safety and liberties of any people is the State that controls them. When the State gets to tell you what you can and cannot use for the means of defense, when it takes portions of your income away from you that could be used for security purposes, when business owners (the largest producers) have a third or more of their income stolen from them so the State can fund itself, and when the State can force you into its service or imprison or punish you for not doing its bidding, it is obvious that it isn’t people from other territories that we should be worried about.
What does State control and taxation get us anyway?
Consider that “the U.S. government commands a “defense” budget of $400 billion per annum (*), a sum equal to the combined annual defense budgets of the next 24 biggest government spenders. It employs a worldwide network of spies and informants. However, it was unable to prevent commercial airliners from being hijacked and used as missiles against prominent civilian and military targets." (Hoppe, pg. 2)
*The Biden Administration submitted a 2023 budget request to Congress for $813 billion for national defense – defense.gov .
It has been estimated that State Governments have been responsible for the deaths of 170 million people in the twentieth century (see R.J. Rummel’s Death by Government). One hundred and seventy million people. Dead because of politicians. All in the name of protecting the State, spreading democracy, seeking glory, or maintaining control over the lives of people. The mass killings carried out by Communist rulers get a lot of attention, but the US and Great Britain contributed greatly to the number of deaths, especially of citizens. Both were responsible for the indiscriminate bombing of German cities, and we must not forget that the US is the only State that has ever dropped atomic weapons on civilian cities. There was absolutely nothing necessary about this evil act, and it sickens me to think there are people who try to justify what the US Government did to the people in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Those who called for this, and those who carried it out, are guilty of murder. The US Government is a terrorist organization if there ever was one. The US Government and its military are responsible for millions of deaths over the last one hundred and fifty years in the Southern States, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Japan, Iraq (including at least 500,000 Iraqi children through food sanctions) and in other places, and not for defensive purposes. Much more can be said, but I will lastly mention that the US Government has sold billions of dollars of weaponry to other murderous Governments, all for political positioning and riches. And yet people will stand up, place their hands over their hearts, and pledge allegiance to the flag of this murderous Empire.
I listened to Dennis Prager and Tom Woods speaking on an old episode of the Dennis Prager show today. I have no interest in listening to the neocon Prager, but I was interested in hearing what Woods might say in response to questions from Prager. Prager gushed over the economic policies of the libertarians that ascribe to the Austrian School of Economics, but he admitted he has a problem with the libertarian insistence that the interventionism of the US is a bad thing. Prager thinks it is a good thing for the world that the US has the strongest military, and he thinks it is a good thing for the US to try to police the world. Woods, who acknowledged he too once held to this neocon view, said he doesn’t trust the Government’s propaganda machine and believes the regime in Washington (republicans and democrats) is corrupt and that the US Government is not our friend. He further stated he does not see it as an institution of protection but that it is an institution that “expropriates, lies, and brainwashes kids into thinking if the Government doesn’t watch over them”, things won’t be good for them. Woods stated it bluntly: “I don’t trust these people, I think they are liars, I think they are bloodthirsty, and we are better off without these interventions.” I was glad to hear that he didn’t soften the explanation of his views just because Prager’s views differ on this topic.
Christians, of all people, should be leading the way on this. If anyone should be against invading other territories and killing the people there, it should be Christians. But many professing Christians cheer on the mass starvations, economic sanctions, and bombings of innocent people, all for the sake of American “pride.” I say these people are guilty of idolatry. They serve the Kingdom of America and not the Kingdom of God. We need more people to get their minds right and to start preaching against the kingdoms of men and their statist agendas. Many don’t because they are afraid of offending the political class or their Church members. Their prayer lives, their outreach, even their messages revolve around propping up and promoting “American exceptionalism.” What blasphemy. The pulpits they are speaking from are pulpits of statolatry, they certainly aren’t pulpits of Christianity. They are hirelings, not Christ’s pastors.
“How long halt ye between two opinions?” If the Lord is God then follow him. If (insert your Empire here) is your god, then follow it. Go all the way. Make your choice. The man who has turned toward evil and corruption with all his heart and soul isn’t doing near as much harm to humanity as the man who gives lip service to the Lord but he worships at the altar of (insert your Empire here) and attaches to it the name of Christ. We are in perilous times indeed.
Who will defy Caesar as a warrior of Christ?
“Desperate times call for faithful men, and not for careful men. The careful men come later, and write the biographies of the faithful men, lauding them for their courage.” ~ Douglas Wilson