Saturday , September 26 2020
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You Didn’t Build That (God Did)

Summary:
There’s nothing wrong with the logic of libertarian property rights (homesteading etc.). The problem only comes in if you assume empirically at the outset that the Earth was unowned when the first human stumbled upon it. Because if the opening Genesis account were true, for example, then God is obviously the owner of everything. Again, for me to point this out doesn’t refute The Ethics of Liberty in terms of its framework, it just shows that most practicing Rothbardians have been incorrectly applying some of its theorems. This is also related (somewhat) to some of the difficult events in the Old Testament when “God was mean” as opposed to Jesus when “God was nice.” (Of course I am not endorsing these sentiments, but I’m sure the reader gets what I mean

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There’s nothing wrong with the logic of libertarian property rights (homesteading etc.). The problem only comes in if you assume empirically at the outset that the Earth was unowned when the first human stumbled upon it.

Because if the opening Genesis account were true, for example, then God is obviously the owner of everything. Again, for me to point this out doesn’t refute The Ethics of Liberty in terms of its framework, it just shows that most practicing Rothbardians have been incorrectly applying some of its theorems.

This is also related (somewhat) to some of the difficult events in the Old Testament when “God was mean” as opposed to Jesus when “God was nice.” (Of course I am not endorsing these sentiments, but I’m sure the reader gets what I mean and how people think like that, when the first encounter Scripture.)

When God (working through Moses) rescued the children of Israel out of slavery, He led them through the desert for 40 years. His presence in Israel was manifest in the form of a column of smoke during the day and a pillar of fire at night.

Then when He would deliver them into the Promised Land, they not only won military victories that the recently-liberated slaves had no business winning, but the Israelites also took possession of entire cities. It would be like showing up at a really nicely furnished Airbnb except you are there permanently (so long as you follow the landLORD’s rules).

This was a stark reminder to the Israelites that everything they had was ultimately from God; they couldn’t point to some of their possessions as due to their own merit.

I realize a Randian reading this would pull back in horror, but no, recognition of such facts actually gives you immense peace and wisdom. It’s not that happy people are grateful, it’s that grateful people are happy.

Robert Murphy
Christian, Austrian economist, and libertarian theorist. Research Prof at Texas Tech and author of *Choice*. Paul Krugman's worst nightmare.

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