I have looked at the world from a ‘scientific’, ‘philosophical’, ‘spiritual”, “experiential’ and ‘logical’ perspective. I do not in any way feel the need to justify the worldview conclusions I have come to after this exploration. I do not feel like entertaining every person that comes along and presumes, because my worldview does not match theirs, that I haven’t followed ‘truth’ where ‘truth’ led me.
Though they are free to believe what they will, merely because they feel that way it does NOT compel me to justify my worldview to them, no matter the standards they may have chosen to set for themselves.
This is not to say that I won’t offer debate to some, at certain times and places of MY choosing, but it means that I won’t and don’t feel the need whatsoever to provide validation to anyone and everyone who wanders into my orbit and feels they can DEMAND I justify my worldview.
In my exploration of truth, I have come to a place where I have an unyielding, undying, (at this point) unquestioning faith in Christ. I have come to believe that the Word of God is infallible truth and EVERYTHING about my life is subjected to the truth of Christ. I submit myself, voluntarily, to the sovereignty of Christ, my ONE and ONLY true King.
I have also, in my exploration of ‘truth,’ come to the belief that the state, as we know it today, as it has been for thousands of years, has within it an inherent injustice, its continued use of coercion not to mete out justice, but to control and manipulate power, resources, people to extend and defend the positions of the people in charge of the lethal machines of the state. As the word is used today, the ‘state’ is unjust and cannot be redeemed.
I believe that we as humans are capable of choosing different paths that provide for God’s mandated magistrate, a deliverer of justice, in systems that are not like the ones we have today. I personally believe that such systems can emerge in voluntaryist associations.
As a Christian, I obey God, voluntarily, through my love for Him, and through the power of the Holy Spirit within me. My faith places boundaries on me in how I approach the demonstration and declaration of what many who think like me (at least when it comes to human governance) as TRUE liberty.
I cannot and will not call for the destruction and elimination of the state I occupy, this American state. This would violate Romans 13, which calls on me to honor the leaders God has appointed over me. However, ‘honoring’ the leaders does not mean assigning them infallibility, does not mean that they are above being held accountable for their violation of the standards of justice that God has made clear, through the prophets and through Romans 13.
What I can say to this American state is that so long as you steal from others and give that booty to others, you’re failing to meet God’s standard of Justice. So long as you send off war machines into other nations and take hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of lives for reasons that only serve the interests of the Royal Banking class, you’re failing to meet God’s standard of Justice.
What I can say is when you decide to force people to live the way YOU want them to live, in a way that is not directly interfering with others’ rights to live the way they want to live, you’re not meeting God’s standard of Justice.
Honoring the leaders means I will not violate the law, unless it calls on me to directly violate God’s law, but it does not mean that I must approve and support the continued unjust actions of the state, no matter what state God has chosen to place me in. The Apostle Paul never validated institutional slavery in the Roman Empire, for instance.
Honoring the leaders does not mean that I will not continue to champion the essential principles self-ownership (though even with that, I have distinct qualifiers which I will explain), that I will not continue to advocate for the Non -aggression principle, because I believe BOTH of these cornerstones (with qualifications on self-ownership) of voluntaryism meet God’s standard of justice, while the coercive state does not, has not ever, will not ever.
So where am I? I am an American, not by my choice but God’s. I will honor the laws of America so long as they will not compel me to directly violate God’s laws. I will not vote because no politician is supporting the elimination of unjust coercion in the state, is supporting governance based on the NAP and self-ownership., therefore, all politicians are in violations of God’s standard of justice.
I will not work to destroy the state as it is, but I will NOT stop working to enable myself and others to free themselves, as much as possible, from dependence on the state. In this, I will be consistent with the apostles in the book of Acts, who relied on one another for their needs, even creating their own courts, their own social services.
The state, if it wants to continue to exist AND get right with God’s standards of Justice, will have to abandon its unjust coercive ways and find out who really WANTS to be a part of a free association called America. The very definition of the word ‘state’ will have to change.
All of this makes me NOT an Anarcho-Capitalist, but it means that I overlap with them significantly, especially when it comes to the NAP and, to a lesser extent, when it comes to self-ownership (I am not self-owned, I am voluntarily owned by God). But, on self-ownership, I am aligned with them when it comes to private property. I am also aligned with them in the sense that I believe the more human beings take full ownership of their worldviews and don’t simply accept what has been given to them by the culture around them, the better off we will ALL be. However, my ‘self-ownership’ is limited to the choice I made to follow God and my pursuit of knowing HIS truth, and accepting the boundaries of knowing His truth in my life. I do not need to understand everything about His truth to follow His truth, for instance
It would then go without saying that I support a person’s inherent right to pursue that self-ownership, as long as in so doing they do not interfere with others’ rights to do the same (even though I believe none of us can actually be self-owned). The state, as it exists today, as it HAS ALWAYS existed, in all its forms, does not allow for this to happen.
I refer to myself now by a phrase that my friend Dimitri Bozikis coined. I am a Decacapper. Deca is short for Decalogue, the Ten Commandments. Capper is short for Capitalist, or Free Market. Anarchist means without rulers. I cannot say I am an Anarchist, because I have a Ruler, Christ, and the Ten Commandments frame the boundaries I voluntarily submit myself to through my love for Christ.
I believe that the free market represents the golden rule, do unto others as you would have done unto yourself. This, I believe, is reflected in the NAP and the self-ownership principle.
I do not view myself as being nested within the Ancapper community, but rather, like a Ven diagram, as having significant enough of an overlap to co-exist with the Ancapper, and to hope for a day that looks very much like the Ancapper’s dream day, to see voluntaryist communities replace the state as we know it today. In the Decacapper world, Ancappers can have the kind of communities they want, and Decapppers would even belong to some of the same associations as Ancappers.
As surely as Christians who support the traditional form of the state wish for a more ‘righteous’ state, without being in open rebellion against the current state, so too do I wish for a radically different version of ‘the state’ without being in open rebellion against the current state.
With all of this said, what I want most in life is to see the Kingdom of God advance in this world. And how does the Kingdom of God advance? Through changed hearts, through voluntary associations of fellow believers that come together with the purpose of living out and demonstrating the truth of God here on earth.
In other words, the Kingdom of God is a voluntaryist association, but one slightly different from the secular one, one with a sovereign, God.
The Kingdom of God, like other voluntaryist associations, is a distributed community not defined by finite borders, but by geographical proximity of members of that association.
Yes, God has told us that he sets the boundaries of nations. And, as they exist today (at least the nation-states), these are the boundaries of the current nations. But, while I would not presume to even have the power to alter the time and season and definition of the boundaries of nation-states (since these are given by God), neither can I say that boundaries, as we know them today, will be different in the world of tomorrow.
I imagine in such a world there will be many types of associations that emerge, even associations that emerge to govern in disputes between members of different associations. The magistrate will exist in this new world. Justice will still be meted out. But state-sanctioned theft, state sanctioned murder, state sanctioned violations of individuals’ rights to pursue their own definition of self-ownership will not exist.
My vision of the potential world to come is not a vision from God or some divinely inspired prophecy. It is an observation of the history of liberty and an observation of the technologies that are already changing the very way we communicate, we play, we create, we go to market.
I do not need to demand this world. But I CAN and WILL do everything to help people free themselves, wherever they are able, without violating the laws of the land, from the injustices of the state, to help bring the state (in the new sense of the word ‘state’) back in line with God’s standards of justice.
I am a Decacapper. If I am left alone in my stand, if my Ancapper friends reject me, so be it. If I am left alone in my stand, if my Christian, my conservative friends reject me so be it. I will walk consistently, first in Christ, and then, within HIS boundaries, in true liberty.
Paul Gordon Collier
First a Son of Christ
Second a Decapper