My Anarchism v. Constitutionalists’ Anarchism

In my opinion, getting it through one’s head that states are simply big criminal monopolies is actually a source of relaxation and peace.  If someone holds you at gunpoint in order to take your money, it is a traumatic experience.  But at least you don’t feel guilty for submitting.

But when the government is involved, all sorts of American mythology about standing up for one’s rights, and “liberty or death” confuses one’s thinking.  One has some sort of duty to stand up against tyranny.

No, you have a duty to survive it as best you can.

Patrick Henry is not inspired (and never meant “Liberty or Death” as some sort of eternal principle anyway), but Solomon was.  And he said, “he who is joined with all the living has hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion“–which exposes grand stands of the Alamo kind as really exercises in mass suicide.

And it frees you from illusions of legitimacy.  Does anyone think that Paul would have modified Romans 13 if someone had said that a ruler had not been “lawfully” appointed by some legal tradition?  Do you think you get to avoid paying income tax because the amendment wasn’t properly passed or doesn’t really specify income?

Why bring trouble on yourself?

Most regimes in human history have come to power by coercion (actually, all of them have).  A legally predictable and consistent regime would be a great blessing, but it is not a reasonable expectation in most times and places and it is never an excuse for rebellion or even non-submission.

Joseph was kidnapped and enslaved through nothing but criminal activity.  When Potiphar’s wife asked him to “lie with” her, he replied,

Behold, because of me my master has no concern about anything in the house, and he has put everything that he has in my charge. He is not greater in this house than I am, nor has he kept back anything from me except yourself, because you are his wife. How then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God?

Get that?  Joseph doesn’t even mention that adultery is a sin against God. He only spoke of how greatly his master had blessed him and how it would be a sin to be untrustworthy and ungrateful.  Joseph restricted his reasoning to a reply that would work just as well if a fellow slave told him to stop laboring so hard when his master wasn’t looking.  He, a kidnapped victim, regarded himself as obligated to his master.

I’ve written a fair amount about how we’ve been enslaved since the Paulson coup in September 2008.  Don’t confuse what I write about our increasing and illegal (i.e. unconstitutional) slavery with some hasty course of action.  In the American movie version of Joseph’s story, he would have escaped Potiphar’s house with gunfire (and probably slept with his wife too, come to think of it).

But he would never have inherited the world.

2 thoughts on “My Anarchism v. Constitutionalists’ Anarchism

  1. Camilo


    I’ve always read that Old Testament accounts were non-normative – or differently stated we have to read the histories in light of more direct revelation (e.g. the Decalogue, Christ’s words, etc.) to evaluate them. Usually the account of the Sodomites standing around Lot’s house is trotted out at some point.

    So, what makes this account of Joseph normative? I assume it’s more than his thankfulness, unless that’s your whole point (in light of Romans 1). Or perhaps Joseph had gone through a significant part of his life’s central, terrible struggle and was therefore more mature and trustworthy (or what Jordan refers to as a type of “deep sleep”). Or something else?

  2. Alicia Donathan

    I’m having a hard time with that interpretation of Joseph’s speech. If adultery were a sin against God (and it is), then I have a hard time asking anything more explicit of Joseph than what he in fact said. I find nothing in the wording that tells me he wasn’t thinking of adultery as a sin against God (in addition to the sin of disloyalty to his master). Also, if adultery were a sin against God, that would also be a good reason (under the operations of common grace) for Potipher to keep his wife from Joseph.


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