Thursday, March 30, 2006
In short, immigrants looking for work are denied work.
Then the federal government makes the manufacture and sales of drugs illegal, turning everything over to organized criminal syndicates, jacking up the profits, and enticing the unemployed to find lucrative employment in organized crime.
Much of the problem associated with illegal immigrants is in fact caused by the government's War on [some] Drugs.
Let's remember how unconstitutional the War on [some] Drugs is.
Nearly 100 years ago, the Religious Right of the day concluded that Alcohol was the problem, and that our borders should be closed to alcohol. Back then the Constitution was respected more than it is today, so proponents of alcohol prohibition graciously admitted that "We the People" had not delegated any power to the federal government to criminalize alcohol. Prohibitionists sought therefore to amend the U.S. Constitution, something that had only been done 17 times in the previous 130 years.
They got their amendment, and they also got increased deaths from "bathtub gin," and created organized crime, because non-criminal elements were prohibited from meeting the nation's demand for alcohol. Organized crime and bootleg liquor turned out to be a cure worse than the disease, and so the Constitution was amended once again, this time to repeal the previous amendment.
The Constitution did not give the federal government authority to regulate alcohol, nor does it give the federal government power to regulate marijuana or other drugs. The power wasn't there in the early 20th century, and it isn't there now, because nobody even bothered to try to
amend the Constitution in order to conduct the War on [some] Drugs. Prohibiting the sale of drugs is as unconstitutional as prohibiting the sale of alcohol. And it's just as bad for society.
And the illegal aliens who were invited by the Statue of Liberty to enter, have been blocked from working at above-ground jobs, and have found their way into the criminal underground.
Wednesday, March 29, 2006
It's always good to remember that if I were elected, I would be the only Libertarian in Congress. That's 434-1. Republican Ron Paul votes libertarian, so ideologically the vote is 432-2. A libertarian society will not come about overnight. (Even Ron Paul is not as open-borders as I am.) For the next few years the government will still be in the business of granting visas and naturalizing new citizens, and murderers will kept out.
Or at least most murderers will be kept out; murderers with friends in high places or with buckets of drug money will still get through.
Then again, one wonders if any murderers are now being kept out by the government.
So perhaps the government is not keeping murderers and rapists out after all. One writer has moved from worrying about those who call themselves "Mexican-American" to those who call themselves "gang-American."
Perhaps we would be better off not depending on "the government" to deal with murderers. We must move in the direction of consistency. We should be true to our best assumptions. We have two alternatives: move toward (1) Christian libertarianism or move toward (2) statism. Statism says build a Berlin Wall around America. Turn America into a police state. The Christian answer was seen in the voluntary associations of the past, who met immigrants at the docks and converted them from criminals to Americans. This is the true "culture war," an offensive missionary-minded war, not a defensive statist war.
As Rushdoony pointed out in that essay, Europe literally emptied out their prisons and shipped their criminal class across the Atlantic to the new world. But America did not become a criminal distopia. Voluntary associations preserved the godly character of the nation by evangelizing and converting the immigrants into Christians and Americans. In the 20th century, government stepped in to replace private charities, and America's Christian culture went into freefall.
The government is not keeping the murderers and rapists out. So the question is, do we want to strengthen the government so that it does, or should we create new solutions in a libertarian context?
I frankly don't want a government powerful enough and a Berlin Wall high enough to keep every murderer and rapist in the world out of America. America's Founding Fathers clearly opposed such a strong-arm state.
The Biblical promise is that all nations will be attracted to the prosperity and healthy culture of a Christian nation. Even if the immigrants aren't truly converted, they will act like it in order to assimilate and benefit from participation in a Christian capitalist economy.
We are dealing with a cultural problem, not a border problem. We can't build a Berlin Wall all around the U.S. Gang turf is usually "public" areas within the U.S. By "public" I mean not privately-owned, or not governed by private property owners who see themselves as soldiers in a culture war, but regulated by government, rent checks paid by the government, or lacking the influence of voluntary associations. "The City" tends to be anonymous and impersonal. "The Ghetto" is the creation of a government that tells private voluntary associations that "poverty is OUR job, not yours," and zones immigrants away from growing and healthy economic and cultural influences. In a Christian libertarian utopia there would be fewer zones of anonymous isolation, where gangs are now multiplying like a petri dish.
Where should we invest our energy and talents? In creating that libertarian utopia, or in strengthening the state to protect the status quo?
We should move in the direction of that "libertarian utopia" because the economic advantages of millions of hard-working immigrants vastly outweighs the harms of a handful of murderers. That may sound greedy and callous, but if you think about it, it's true. We can turn America into a police state to keep one murderer out, and then the standard of living of millions is dramatically reduced. If we open the borders and the murderer gets in, the statistical probability of YOU being murdered is very small, but you and millions of other people gain better lives through new jobs, specialization, and the effects of competition and the division of labor.
We should also move toward that "libertarian utopia" because it's the right thing to do, and we have no right to pray "God bless America" if we're not doing the right thing. A bureaucrat in Washington D.C. has no ethical or moral right to tell Jones in L.A. that he cannot hire Gonzales, or cannot rent to Garcia. These are basic God-given rights which Washington D.C. has no right to alienate, either from Jones or Garcia.
There are no immigration laws between Missouri and Oklahoma. How do we here in in Missouri keep murderers from Oklahoma out? Are fences and border cops economically justified? Are Mexican immigrants statistically more likely to be criminals than Oklahoma fascists? Is there evidence that people who want to come to America from Mexico are more criminal than people who were born in the American welfare-state? If America were more libertarian, how would all this change? What kind of immigrants would a Christian libertarian America attract? What kind of Americans could immigrants become if they were met at the border and welcomed by Christian libertarians? I say let the murderers in, and conquer them with the weapons of faith.
When I decided to run for Congress, I debated over which Party to run under, whether the Libertarian or the Constitution Party. I like the pro-Christian rhetoric of the Constitution Party; the Libertarian Party is secular, with some strong anti-Christian elements among its supporters (e.g., the Objectivists). But in my opinion the Libertarian Party is more Christian in its policies than the Constitution Party, and the immigration issue was the issue that shifted the balance in favor of the Libertarian Party.
The Constitution Party is anti-immigrant. This stands in stark contrast to the Biblical position. It's a huge theme in the Bible: Israel emigrated to Egypt during a famine, had favorable status under one Pharaoh, but was oppressed by a later Pharaoh, becoming in a sense "illegal aliens" in Egypt. After the Exodus, God reminded Israel:
I could cite many more passages. It is a major Biblical theme, and the Constitution Party misses it! The CP's thinking is based on numerous unBiblical socialist and collectivist assumptions. David Chilton, in his book Productive Christians in an Age of Guilt Manipulators, has done a fine job of summarizing Biblical law on this issue:
Exodus 22:21 Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.
Leviticus 19:34 The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt; I am the LORD your God.
Deuteronomy 10:19 So show your love for the alien, for you were aliens in the land of Egypt.
Socialist thinking runs deep on this issue. Every Candidate for office in the CP (and the LP) should be required to complete George Reisman's home study course in capitalism.
Reisman's treatise on Capitalism is gigantic (1000 8x11 pages with two columns of 10-point [or less!] type) but eminently readable. One of my all-time favorite books. The retail price of $100 is worth the investment. A pdf version of the book is available for free on Reisman's website:
Essential reading on this issue is in chapter 9, "The Influence of the Division of Labor on the Institutions of Capitalism," Part C, "Economic Competition," Section 6, "The Population Question," and Section 7, "Free Immigration."
Competition benefits everyone, even the one who is out-competed. Henry Ford out-competed the horse-and-buggy manufacturers. Obviously we all benefited, but even the displaced workers in the horse-and-buggy industry ended up living in a better world. They benefited from decreased transportation costs, and other benefits provided by their competitors. Unions and anti-immigrant forces are competition-phobic. They want their Big Brother the government to protect them from those mean ol' competitors.
More people is good. Hard-working aliens are good for America, as long as America follows God's Law with respect to aliens (which we are not at present). More aliens means more jobs can be created. More human potential will be unleashed. Specialization and economic development will increase. Reisman shows that arguments about America being unable to absorb immigrants into the economy reflect a crippled and stagnant view of capitalism. In 1880 there were 50 million people in America. Ask the anti-immigrant crowd in 1880 if America could possibly absorb four times as many people, and they would have said "absolutely not." But 100 years later, our population was four times as great (200 million). And our economy is 100 times larger. By 2080 the population will be 500 million. And if our economy isn't 1000 times larger than it is today, it will be the government's fault -- and the fault of socialist-thinking anti-immigrants, seeking government protection against growth and change. Christian Capitalism should give us clean, nuclear-powered cars, genetic engineering should make food almost free . . . who can even imagine the possibilities? And if we have immigrants mowing our lawns and hammering the nails, the rest of us can develop our specializations: curing diseases, programming computers, discovering free energy, and developing the capital infrastructure that will dramatically increase production and lower prices on everything. And the next generation of immigrants moves up the ladder of the division of labor as well.
La Raza claims there are 40 million immigrants in the U.S. In terms of capitalist economics, this is not a problem. It could be a cultural problem, and I'll discuss that in the next post.
Tuesday, March 28, 2006
I am an "open borders" libertarian, but I oppose any policy which opens borders by replacing individual nations with new regional governments.
I invite thoughtful comments and informed criticisms. I might delete comments which I think are racist, but that's just an invitation for any racists to replace overt racist remarks with more intelligent-sounding analysis.
Monday, March 27, 2006
- They created a Christian nation
- They created a Libertarian nation
It wasn't perfectly Christian.
It wasn't perfectly Libertarian.
But America was dedicated to becoming "a more perfect union" by striving toward these two goals.
America's Founders believed that measurable progress toward those ideals was possible.
Benjamin Rush, who signed the Declaration of Independence after first being highly incredulous at the idea of building a society without a king, based only on "the consent of the governed," believed that
the events surrounding the creation of the Republic marked nothing less than a turning point in the course of human history. "I was animated constantly," he reflected in later years, "by a belief that I was acting for the benefit of the whole world, and of future ages, by assisting in the formation of new means of political order and general happiness."Perhaps some who oppose the "anarchism" of the Libertarian pledge lack the confident optimism of America's Founders.
Lawrence Cremin, American Education: The National Experience, 1783-1876, NY: Harper & Row, 1980, p. 114-15, quoting from The Autobiography of Benjamin Rush, edited by George W. Corner (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1948), p.161.
But what was it that gave the Founders such confidence? Why did they believe that a society without a king -- a change every bit as dramatic in their eyes as a change to "anarcho-capitalism" would be in our day -- would not collapse into chaos and disorder? Why do I believe that we could abolish the government the Founders created and not degenerate into "a warlord society?"
First of all, I am convinced that America's Founding Fathers, if they were here today, would advocate the complete abolition of the federal government. The government they created is no longer bound down by the chains of the constitution (to use Jefferson's phrase). Christopher Bentley has compiled an updated version of the Declaration of Independence in his article, "It's Not Just a Piece of Paper."
Second, the Founders' confidence in "the People" presupposed a Christian morality among the people. That morality is reflected in the Libertarian Pledge:
I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.But not just in the negative ("I do not believe in . . . force") , America's Founders believed the People possessed a positive morality, as seen in such concepts as "The Protestant Work Ethic," or even in what Objectivists call "altruism." Here is an introduction to this morality and to the Founders' confidence, which explains why those who defend the Libertarian Pledge are confident that social order can be maintained without the institutionalization of the initiation of force:
Sunday, March 26, 2006
He says we should get rid of the Pledge because it leads to anarchism.
I say we should keep the Pledge because it leads to anarchism.
In case anyone's forgotten, the National Libertarian Party requires members to sign the following Pledge:
I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.
Saturday, March 25, 2006
Although church attendance had often been mandatory, and was nearly universal, only those who demonstrated a proficiency in the church creed, usually a variation of the Westminster Standards, were voting members of the church.
A good argument can be made that abolishing the requirement for voters to own property gradually led to a more socialistic America. The parallel argument is that allowing anybody to obtain voting church membership led to clergymen who did not really believe the Bible or the fundamental tenets of Christianity, and were political liberals as well as theological liberals. H. L. Mencken saw the parallel.
Coming from California just a few years ago, I only recently learned that in 1985 the Missouri Libertarian Party removed the "oath" that is required for membership in the National Libertarian Party. The "oath" in question is specified in the National LP bylaws, section 7: "Members of the Party shall be those persons who have certified in writing that they oppose the initiation of force to achieve political or social goals."
My support of the "oath" is found here. I'm convinced that without the "oath," the Libertarian Party will eventually become indistinguishable from the Republicrat/Demoblican two-party monopoly.
The marketing gurus are telling us about the importance of "branding" and of protecting the brand. In a chapter called "Counterfeit Libertarianism," Michael Cloud (Secrets of Libertarian Persuasion) writes:
"Libertarianism" is attracting the fakers, forgers and counterfeiters.Cloud then gives 5 suggestions, which in my opinion don't go far enough. Each are susceptible to unscrupulous brand-counterfeiters, like Republicans who say they voted for "smaller government" when all they voted for was a slight cut in the increase of the size of government. But I agree with his final exhortation:
Why? Quality. Value. Performance. Libertarianism is the gold standard of political philosophies.
When someone is tolerant about something, he tries to cash in by calling his tolerance "libertarian."
When a person opposes a tax increase on his business -- while supporting other tax increases that don't gore his ox -- he may support his position by saying, "On this tax issue, I am a libertarian."
Sure. And when I eat a salad I'm a vegetarian.
How do we protect the value of "libertarianism?"
We must publicly and privately show people the difference between true libertarianism and counterfeit libertarianism. We must teach them how to tell the difference between genuine libertarianism and fake libertarianism.So what distinguishes "genuine" libertarianism and "fake" libertarianism? There's only one thing: a voting record that consistently opposes the initiation of force. Thoughtful observers do not have a problem discerning who is "a true libertarian." In a world flooded with legislative proposals to initiate force against others, the true libertarian earns the brand "Dr. No."
We must expose the counterfeits -- and get them out of circulation.
Friday, March 24, 2006
Nobody wants to vote for a loser.
What made America's Founding Fathers true winners was their willingness to be losers, if that's what it took:
And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the Protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.The winners are those who lost their lives, their businesses, and were called "traitors" by those on the (eventual) losing side of the American Revolution.
They stood for their principles.
They were willing to spend a winter at Valley Forge even if they lost a limb to frostbite.
In 1765, Patrick Henry
Ten years later, Henry was still heard saying, "Give me liberty, or Give me death." And it would be nearly ten years after that before Britain would admit that the American Revolutionaries were winners.
proposed the Virginia Stamp Act Resolutions. Few members of the Burgesses, as aristocratic a group of legislators as existed in the colonies, would argue openly for defiance of Gr. Britain. Henry argued with remarkable eloquence and fervor in favor of the five acts, which by most accounts amounted to a treason against the mother country.
The real winners are those who are willing to be called losers. The real winners are those who are willing to take a stand for truth long before the majority concedes defeat.
Too many Americans today are losers.
Their government wants them to believe they are winners as long as they stay in line and don't talk out of turn.
In a recent test, American students competed against foreign students in a math bee. In addition to the math questions, the "self-esteem" of the participants was probed when they were asked to answer "yes" or "no" to the statement, "I am good at math." The Americans overwhelmingly believed they were winners.
But they were losers.
The South Koreans were the winners.
We have to change the way Americans think about elections.
People must realize that a vote for the principle of "Liberty Under God" is a winning vote, and a vote for continued expansion of the Messianic State is a cosmic loser, regardless of which candidate "wins" the election.
Many Americans today, were they living in Germany before World War II, would have been proud to vote for Adolph Hitler. They would have boasted that they did not "waste" their vote by voting for a "loser." Adolph Hitler was democratically elected. He was a "winner."
Most dictators and tyrants in the 20th century had "elections" and were declared to be "winners."
And most voters lacked the patriotic guts to "waste" their vote by voting for principle over The Party.
In November voters in Southwest Missouri will be called upon to chose between the losing principle of slavery to the Messianic federal government, and the winning principle of "Liberty Under God." They will be asked to break away from the two-party monopoly and be the first to put a Libertarian in Congress. Two million dollars' worth of 60-second radio and TV ads could not accomplish this goal. What is needed is a million man-hours of provocative conversation, challenging questions, and maybe a little hand-holding, spread out over 100,000 Missouri voters, to convert lukewarm losers into winning, passionate "extremists."
This may not be the year that the Income Tax is repealed (1765) , or the Federal Nanny abolished (1776), or those who support the initiation of force sign a treaty of unconditional surrender (1783), but winners are already hard at work to accomplish those goals.
Still cleaning up a few dead links:
Activism, Patriotism, Protest -- KEVIN CRAIG for Congress
Thursday, March 23, 2006
The concept of Liberty advanced by America's Founding Fathers was one of a self-governing society and a State as close to invisible as possible. In 1985 Ronald Reagan said:
The GOP is the party that adheres to the old Jeffersonian philosophy that that government governs best that governs least.The GOP clearly no longer believes this, as government under George Bush now governs (and spends) more than it did under Bill Clinton. Bill Clinton was a champion of "smaller government" compared to George Bush and the GOP. The Republican Party seems to agree with the secular left of a few decades ago, as expressed by Robert Maynard Hutchins:
That the sole concern of a free society is the limitation of governmental authority and that that government is best which governs least is certainly archaic. Our object today should not be to weaken government in competition with other centers of power, but rather to strengthen it as the agency charged with the responsibility for the common good.Professor Paul A. Samuelson's Economics, An Introductory Analysis is a standard college textbook. It agrees with the "liberalism" of Hutchins:
No longer is modern man able to believe "that government governs best which governs least,"or, as Bill Buckley added,
to put it the other way around, one cannot believe in minimum government and be a "modern man," to which, it is to be assumed, we all aspire.I do not aspire to be elected to Congress if I must be a "modern man" to do so. I would rather have the approval of Thomas Jefferson and Sam Adams than the approval of George Bush and the voting record of Roy Blunt.
I'm hoping that the idea of "Liberty Under God" is an idea so old it will appear "brand new" to modern voters.
Both the "Religious Right" and the secular left get nervous when they hear the phrase "Liberty Under God." The "Religious Right" is more comfortable with words like "execution" and "mandatory minimum" and the "security" of a police-state than they are with the word "Liberty." The secular left doesn't want to admit that America was founded as a Christian nation "under God" because the left takes its understanding of "Christian" from George Bush and the "Religious Right," not from Micah's "Vine & Fig Tree" vision.
William Penn (Founder of Pennsylvania) said
If thou wouldst rule well, thou must rule for God, and to do that, thou must be ruled by him.... Those who will not be governed by God will be ruled by tyrants.Liberty (under the American view) depends on society being governed by "the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God." In every action, our conscience must be able to appeal "to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions."
There is a strong secular strain in the Libertarian Party. I hope they realize that Micah and Isaiah and Jesus were the strongest opponents of Empire in their day, and they'll support my campaign for a libertarian "Theocracy."
"Liberty Under God" is the most effective weapon against the Messianic State and the most powerful world-view for a prosperous free economy.
This page from my campaign website has now been updated:
Liberty Under God -- KEVIN CRAIG for Congress
More discussion here:
Comments, suggestions, criticisms, complaints, gripes and threats always appreciated. Better to be threatened than ignored, I always say.
Wednesday, March 22, 2006
But as I said yesterday, I'm running more to defend "the Big Picture."
So what is "the Big Picture?"
There are a couple of ways to describe it. One way is to recall the animating vision of America's Founding Fathers, who used the words of the Bible, and the Prophet Micah in particular; who spoke of a day when every man would be able to dwell under his Vine and under his Fig Tree, with no one to make them afraid. It was a vision of private property, unmolested by princes or other pirates.
I have just updated the first of a couple of hundred webpages from my 2004 campaign website:
Vine & Fig Tree: The American Dream
Tuesday, March 21, 2006
There are already many blogs that cover political races, political news, and events related to the upcoming election, and are updated frequently. I can think of hammeroftruth.com and rationalreview.com as two examples. I'm not going to try to compete with them. This blog is broader in focus, looking more at "the big picture."
This is my third campaign for Congress. I am committed to running for Congress as long as I am alive or physically able. I believe it's a great vehicle for advancing "the big picture," though it's only one possible vehicle. Winning the election is not my primary goal, although getting people to "vote" for me might be a great way for them to start acting in defense of "the big picture."
Roy Blunt already has over $1,000,000 to spend on his campaign. I am not accepting a single dime in campaign contributions. Yet it is not impossible for an upset to occur in this election. And although I certainly don't expect to win, I think I could be a Congressman that America's Founding Fathers would be proud of.
My thanks to Jake Porter who created this blog and helped get me started. I'm completely new to the blogosphere.