This is going to be a brief post since I have been traveling all day, coming back from Porcfest (which was awesome, by the way, but more on that as the video becomes available).
Anyway, while at Porcfest I was chatting with an economics colleague, and she said that someone at dinner was stunned to learn that she was both a Christian and not a fan of the State. Now I don’t know if this particular colleague calls herself an anarchist, but she for sure is against drug prohibition and the U.S. government’s foreign wars, and at the very least she is very familiar with, and sympathetic to, the writings of people like Murray Rothbard and David Friedman on free-market anarchy.
(Now even though I wrote a pamphlet in grad school sketching a vision of how a free market could handle the provision of judicial and defense services, I don’t call myself an “anarchist” anymore. However, that is mostly me being pedantic, and wanting to distinguish myself from a lot of self-described anarchists who feel that authority per se is bad, and don’t like “anyone telling me what to do.” Since I worship and follow King Jesus, it seems weird for me to call myself an anarchist on that score.)
But back to the main point: I actually think evangelical Christians are a ripe demographic for understanding the ideal of a Stateless society. God warned the Israelites not to submit to an earthly king, and His warnings were spot-on. Indeed, for those of you who are skeptical of my claim here, skim (or better yet, read carefully) this page. I found it just by googling “god warns against king” and this was the top hit that had a URL suggesting to me it was written by someone who actually believes this stuff.
Notice that it’s not merely God warning the Israelites that the king will lay heavy burdens on them, taking their sons into war, etc. It also explains how Israel was “governed” before kings, via judges. Check this out:
c. What was the difference between a king and a judge? A judge was a leader raised up by God, usually to meet a specific need in a time of crisis. When the crisis was over, usually the judge just went back to doing what he was doing before. A king not only held his office as king as long as he lived; he also passed his throne down to his descendants.
i. In addition, a judge would not have a “government.” He was there to meet a specific need in a time of crisis. A king would establish a standing government, with a bureaucracy, which is both a blessing and a curse to any people.
ii. In Judges 8, Gideon was offered the throne over Israel. He refused it, saying “I will not rule over you, nor shall my son rule over you; the LORD shall rule over you.” (Judges 8:23) This was the heart of all the judges, and why Israel went some 400 years in the Promised Land without a king.
Now I need to be honest, the guy who wrote the above almost certainly is NOT an advocate of dissolving the coercive State apparatus. He earlier argues that there was nothing wrong with wanting a king per se. (I think he is overreaching on that point, but I’m not going to go into that now.) At the very least, though, you can see how Bible-believing Christians don’t need to look to Iceland for an idea of how a Stateless world could work.