The War on Drugs

The War on Drugs, made official by President Nixon in 1971, has continued on to this day. But, at what cost to American liberty? And, should we as Christians support this war? First, the cost to American freedom. Ever since the War on Drugs began the police and the government have become more and more involved in our lives. The search power of police has been increasingly more and more abused over the years. Also, the corruption among the police has increased as well, as police departments all over the country have incorporated money confiscated from drug addicts and drug gangs into their budgets. And, since they need the money, drug gangs can pay the police for protection from competition. The CIA was recently exposed to have received money and intelligence from a particular drug cartel in exchange for protection by U.S. forces. Many U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan have come back with the intelligence that our soldiers are protecting poppy fields, and this statement has been verified by statistics which show that heroin production in Afghanistan has increased 500x since the U.S. invasion. Coincidence? I think not.

…Chihuahua state spokesman Guillermo Terrazas Villanueva told Al Jazeera that the CIA and other international “security” outfits “don’t fight drug traffickers.” Instead, Villanueva argued, they try to control and manage the illegal drug market for their own benefit. The New American, July 28, 2012

U.S. Marines with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, patrol through a poppy field on their way to Patrol Base (PB) Mohmon in the Lui Tal district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 17, 2012. The Marines joined with coalition forces at the PB to begin conducting operations in the area. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ismael E. Ortega/Released)
U.S. Marines with Fox Company, 2nd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, Regimental Combat Team 6, patrol through a poppy field on their way to Patrol Base (PB) Mohmon in the Lui Tal district, Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 17, 2012. The Marines joined with coalition forces at the PB to begin conducting operations in the area. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Lance Cpl. Ismael E. Ortega/Released)

Just think… what would happen if the police stopped prosecuting victimless crimes (as in there being no one hurt or affected except the offender) and went after real criminals, such as robbers, murderers, and the like? (The U.S. Government has even admitted that most murderers and thieves get away repeatedly from crimes.) First, we would see the price of illegal drugs plummet, since the risk of being caught is no longer there. This would do several things; (1) remove the incentive to kill and destroy to smuggle drugs around, (2) families would have much more money to spend, making society richer (3) the police would no longer have the incentive to protect big drug dealers from competition. Second, the police state that has formed in order to execute justice on drug offenders would no longer be necessary. This means that the rights of the individual would no longer be infringed unnecessarily and unlawfully by the government and police. Third, people would stop taking legal drugs, which are at least 10x more dangerous than illegal drugs, and go to a less risky alternative, such as marijuana. Now, should Christians support the War on Drugs? Yes, we as Christians should strongly avoid drugs of any kind, legal or non-legal, for fear of an addiction. We are to be in control of our bodies so that we can yield that control to Jesus. However, I have several reasons against those supporting prohibition. First, we need to understand what government is for. “For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.” (Romans 13:4 KJV) So, we know that government is for evil doers (i.e. murderers, thieves). The only crime most drug offenders commit is taking the drug, and harming themselves. They typically do not harm anyone else. Since the only biblical function of government is to “execute wrath upon him that doeth evil”, we know that we cannot just make anything a crime. Second, we should beware using Government to achieve our means. We as Christians should be very fearful in wielding the sword that the State bears. It has been used successfully by the enemy to slay millions of believers and unbelievers in the past, and it is most likely going to continue. When we give the State the power to search peoples homes and other property for drugs, we’re giving them the ability to do that to us in the future. Instead of building our own scaffold, we should seek to dismantle the State’s ability to rob, kill, and destroy, and use merely its Romans 13 function of administering justice upon evil doers. This third point and last point is very similar to my second. We cannot use the State to legislate morality. Christ told us how we are to change people, and that, surprisingly enough, is through the gospel. We cannot expect to change people using mammon or any other worldly means. For instance, drug abuse amongst high school students is steadily increasing despite the law system and the police state in place. When people have a desire for something, no matter what it is, they’re going to find a way to get it, and they are only going to be driven to commit crime after crime to do so. Instead of seeking to shackle the outer man, we must seek to reach the inner man with the gospel of Jesus Christ, and change the natural desire found there to do evil. Then, and only then, can we truly end the War on Drugs.

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Should the Government Provide Public Goods?

There is a common idea of there being two types of goods; private goods, such as a house or car, and public goods, such as fireworks displays, lighthouses, and national defense. I believe we all know the definition of a private good, but here is the definition of a public good; a good that cannot someone cannot be excluded from, meaning that there would be little profit made from such a good, and is thus provided by the government so that there wouldn’t be a lack of that particular good. Now that we have our definition, I would like to argue that public goods do not have to be provided by the government in order for them to exist.

Louisbourg_Lighthouse

As our first example, a lighthouse. Imagine a rocky coastline, with powerful breakers crashing upon it, capable of dashing any ship that came too close to pieces. Now imagine that there is a fishing town near that dangerous coastline, and the fishermen going out into the ocean to, well, fish, were in danger of being sunk. It would obviously be in the fishermen’s interest to be able to safely bring man and cargo back to the harbor as much as possible, since every time a ship went down, they lost not only the ship, but the cargo and potentially many if not all of their skilled workers that had manned the vessel. So, the fishermen would build a lighthouse to warn them of the fatal wall of rock so that they could avoid it in future. Thus, the losses of the fishermen are reduced, as well as the danger to their lives. They benefited from the lighthouse, and so they built it. A lighthouse, even though its a non-excludable, “public” good, as fishermen from another village can benefit from it as well, it did not have to be provided by the state, or the civil government.

Team_Singapore_fireworks_display_from_Singapore_Fireworks_Festival_2006Now how about a fireworks display. Can someone stop me from viewing it from my back porch? No. Thus, it doesn’t make too much sense for someone to charge money to let me sit on the green field with the perfect view of the display, since I can watch it pretty well from anywhere. So, it doesn’t look like the person hosting the display can make a profit from this colorfully explosive event. So, of course, this means fireworks displays will be non-existent? Not in the least! Most people enjoy fireworks, and, so, they would take time to sit out at night in some field and watch them go off. Now, just imagine that, in any free economy, there would be lots of businesses just dying to serve you. They would be thrilled to give towards a local fireworks display so long as their name was put up on some sign somewhere on that big grassy field and in a list of sponsors! There is a chance that you’ll need a service and then remember their name from when you watched that display. So, fireworks displays would be provided quite well by private businesses looking to make a profit later on. So, fireworks simply do not need to be provided by the government. In fact, companies and corporations actually do sponsor such events, as well as more publicly seen events such as NASCAR races or baseball games.

So, we’ve given two examples of public goods that have been used to support government supply of such goods, and they have been, I hope, proven to be just as easily provided by the private sector. If its in the best interest of those people around, some one will figure out how best to implement it.

William the Conqueror and England

After the Anglo-Saxons took over Britain in the 5th Century, a new threat troubled England; the Vikings. The Vikings were a powerful, warlike people that burned and pillaged cities and towns, giving little or no quarter. This great menace was stopped by King Alfred the Great, who forced one of their armies to surrender and convert to Christianity in May of 878 AD in the Battle of Edington. In doing this, Alfred consolidated the power of his native Wessex and became to first to call himself “King of the Anglo-Saxons.”

viking_longship

Many years later, after more Danish invasions, and even the reign of a few Danish Kings, Edward the Confessor took power, and reigned fairly well until his death in January of 1066. Having no son or heir to the throne, Harold Godwinson was declared by the people King, but William of Normandy, now known as William the Conqueror, had different plans. William, descendant of a group of Vikings that settled in what is now known as Normandy in northern France, claimed that Edward, a distant relation of his, had promised him the throne, and that Harold himself, on a trip to Normandy, had sworn to be his knight. As Harold ignored this, took the throne and defended northern England from another Danish invasion led by Harold Hardrada and his brother Tostig, William assembled a large fleet and army, and with the blessing of the Pope, set sail for England.

clovellhastingsstitched

Defeating King Harold in the Battle of Hastings, William, now a conqueror, took the throne. He immediately declared all of England to be his property, and then began handing it out to all of his nobles and knights, thus stripping power from the previous Anglo-Saxon owners. He also declared large portions of forest to be his hunting grounds, and all the houses and churches in the regions he chose were burned to the ground, and the people within turned into the streets. He also kept a Doomsday Book, in which he kept detailed records of the landholdings of his nobles and the economic conditions of England. Taxes were high during the reign of William, and he even went as far as to search the monasteries for wealth hidden by the citizenry. Castles, made to protect the new Norman nobility from the angry populace, were erected everywhere. At William the Conquerors death, England, a thrice conquered island, was firmly in the hands of the Norman invaders.

Is Civil Government the Only Form of Government?

When you hear the word “government,” we usually think of the state; the civil government. The State holds a monopoly of terms today; in the politically correct language of the modern day, “government” always refers to the civil government. However, a new line of thought has broken through the programming and mind-control, coursing through and into the minds of men and women all around the world; “Is Civil Government the only form of government?”

11949858391332901534government_icon_-_symbo_01.svg.hi

A government, or any institution, has five main points:

  • Sovereignty: Who is in charge?
  • Authority: To whom do I report?
  • Law: What are the rules?
  • Sanctions: What will happen if I obey or disobey those rules?
  • Succession: Will this outfit have a future?

Thus, there are several cultural institutions that have these five points in working order; the individual, the family, and the church. These institutions have their own rules, their own guidelines, for their members, there is a chain of command, always someone to report to, definite sanctions (in most cases) and a succession has been established. These government co-exist, but, unlike the civil government, allow their members to leave at anytime, unless there has been a contract arranged. The individual can submit himself another individual (like an employer) or he can work for himself. However, he always has someone to report to; God or another individual (such as a customer or client). The family works as a separate unit; the children report to the parents, and the parents make the rules, and determine the sanctions, but they have the right to determine if they submit themselves to a church or civil authority or not. Does the Civil Government let you leave its jurisdiction without its say-so? I’m afraid not.

Denmark  Police going through advanced
Danish Militarized Police going through a drill.

The one thing that makes the State (civil government) different than these other clear, defined governments, is the power of the sword that the State wields. The State has literal armies of bureaucrats, police (now militarized), and the military, and with this power backing them, they’re able to steal, kill, and destroy, and keep people down. They have no power to grant wealth to someone (welfare) without taking away something from another (theft). They also claim to be in control over the other forms of government (self, family, church), and claim ownership over your body (conscription), and property (property taxes) in total disrespect of family or self government.

So, there are other governments to turn to. We don’t need the state. Civil Government can easily be replaced by self, family, or church governments. We don’t need a small few, with flawed, human characters with unlimited power over the vast hen-coop of society. And, when this idea, which has been suppressed for thousands of years, surges with sudden realization like fire through the mental cords that bind the potential human action of untold billions of human beings, we will once again find that war and unwarranted violence of the State, will be no more.