Thursday, January 8, 2009

Conservative Politics and Liberty

The life of Man must be defined as unalienably self-sovereign.

In a recent article in American Thinker, Bruce Walker wrote this piece of politically conservative observation:

"Seventy-five years ago this month, one of the most insidious laws in human history came into effect in Nazi Germany. The innocent sounding name was The Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Diseased Offspring. It was the ghastly pinnacle of an unholy theory of human eugenics. Darwinism -- not the Theory of Evolution, per se, but the sinister notion that natural selection made God superfluous -- liberated man from his obligation to treat fellow men as special creatures in a divinely ordered universe."

While Walker is correct in calling the law "insidious," and "the ghastly pinnacle" of eugenics, he demonstrates what is wrong with conservative epistemology, namely, the inability to see that political and social values and the virtues required to attain them must be values and virtues proper to Man--not to a God who is unattainable in life.

Men are never "liberated" from their "obligation to treat fellow men" as endowed with self-sovereignty. Whether or not God is "superfluous" can never be allowed to be part of the equation. The most avid atheists are often the most avid defenders of human rights, and they see no "divine" order in the universe.

What they see is the equality of creatures born with the unalienable right to life and liberty. The necessity of saying "liberty" ought to be superfluous itself, since the right to life necessitates the liberty necessary to live life as the rational animal. It is entirely superfluous to say "and the pursuit of happiness," for the same rationale.
However, it has come in handy in certain arguments with people who forget that the right to pursue one's happiness necessitates the liberty to achieve it.
It ought to be enough to simply say, "Until a man violates the rights--equal to his own, of other men--he has the right to libertarian life." Libertarian in this sense does not include the right to violate the rights of other men, which are equal in value by virtue of their unalienablity by right of birth.
Libertarian means specifically the ability to act with all the unalienable rights of birth with which Man is endowed by the nature of his metaphysical existence. That existence is defined as "the rational animal."

It can only be when a man has violated the equal rights of others that justice may require forfeiture of his libertarianism for a time, e.g., jail or prison or probation. In some cases of gross violation justice has required he forfeit his very life.

America's Founders were mostly Deists, no matter which denomination they attended. It was politically incorrect for public leaders not to attend a regular denomination such as Baptist or Episcopal, but there were some like Thomas Paine who managed to evade without even that constraint on his freedom. He had to flee America for France, literally for his safety and probably his life, in order to remove that constraint, until President Jefferson invited him back with a guarantee of his safety.

It is important to note America's Deist beginings because those Deists were more dedicated to worshiping God than were most of the commoners who followed established denominations. There is one and only reason for being able to say this: the Deists themselves said their devotion to the virtue of Reason and to the Rule of Law was precisely because they believed it was God himself who had endowed Man with that virtue.

Then He stepped back and allowed the nature he had created to run its course. A form of Darwinism one to two centuries before Darwin was born was part of the metaphysics of Deism. They believed God was superfluous only because He was willing to let the Reason He had provided them rule the affairs of the Men He had created as rational creatures.

Libertarian action translates into the value of being both free of coercion from others, and is non-coercion of others, for the purpose of furthering the pursuit of human life as well as one's own, through the virtue of Reason.

Yet, "when one speaks of a man's right to exist for his own sake, for his own rational self-interest, most people assume automatically that this means his right to sacrifice others." Ayn Rand; The Virtue of Selfishness: The Objectivist Ethics

The Law for the Prevention of Hereditary Diseased Offspring was ghastly because it used the power of government to choose the criteria set by a leader with a criminal mind, criteria for the sacrifice of others. Clearly Hitler's was not "rational" self-interest. Rational self-interest cannot be coercive or it is self-defeating and therefor non-rational.

But conservatives do not see that such men--Mao Tse Tung, Hitler, Mugabe, Stalin, Pol Pot--care nothing about whether or not God is superfluous. The only thing such men have ever cared about is power, and that is the power to control.

If it is insidious to find God superfluous, then America's Deists were insidious. Since that is not a word that can be used to describe them, Mr. Walker uses a "package deal" consisting of tying together the concepts of Hitler's policies with a disregard for God, as if God was anywhere in Hitler's thoughts. Corrupting or ignoring a "divinely ordered universe" was never a consideration for Hitler.

If Hitler had a devout belief in God, he would have continued his policies, believing as do Islamicists that what they do is in the name of God.
Neither Hitler nor the world's current Islamicists believe they are liberated from any obligation to "treat fellow men as special creatures in a divinely ordered universe." As a matter of fact, Islamicists believe that to continue the "divinely ordered universe" of Allah it is moral to martyr one's self in the destruction of those who actually see Allah--but not necessarily the Judeo-Christian God--as superfluous.

A supernatural God is superfluous for anyone who calls him or herself a naturalist, because in the cosmic scheme of the laws of nature, "nature's god" did not create existence.
The only "sinister notion" in natural selection is in the motives of men who refuse to accept individual sovereignty as the right of every human being, the selection by nature's god of the species of Man to be the one to obtain the virtue of rationality.

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