Jesus is an Anarchist
(A free-market/libertarian anarchist, that is–otherwise what is called an anarcho-capitalist.)
|The above title may seem like strong words, for surely that can’t be correct? Jesus an anarchist? One must be joking, right?But you read correctly, and I will demonstrate exactly that. At this point you may be incredulous, but I assure you that I am quite serious. If you are a Christian and find the above title at all hard to believe then you of all people owe it to yourself to find out what the basis of this charge is, for if the above comes as news to you then you still have much to learn about Jesus and about the most vitally important struggle which has plagued mankind since the dawn of history: mankind’s continuing struggle between freedom and slavery, between value producers and the violent parasitical elite, between peace and war, between truth and deception. This is the central struggle which defines mankind’s history and, sadly, continues to do so. As Christians and as people in general, what we choose to believe and accept as the truth is equally as vitally important, for ultimately it is people’s beliefs about the world that will shape and determine what outcomes transpire in the world. If the mass of people believe in political falsehoods and deceptions then mankind will continue to repeat the same gruesome mistakes, as it does presently, and the aforementioned struggle will continue to be no closer to a desirable resolution. Genuine change must first come by changing one’s mind, and if what one had believed before was in error then one cannot expect good results to proceed forth from it. And all change starts with the individual. You can help change the world by simply changing your mind. All I ask of you is to believe in the truth–know the truth and the truth will make you free (John 8:32).
It is the purpose of this document to demonstrate the above claim, and if you are a Christian then I submit that it should be your task to honestly consider what is presented here, for if the above claim comes as a surprise then I will show that what you thought you knew about Jesus was not the whole story: Jesus is far more radical than many would have you believe, and for good reason–it threatens the status quo. For the consequence of this truth becoming understood and accepted by even one-tenth of the population would be quite dramatic indeed: governments would topple like so many dominoes. For as the 16th century Frenchman Étienne de la Boétie observed in The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude(http://www.blancmange.net/ tmh/articles/laboetie.html), all governments ultimately rest on the consent of the governed, even totalitarian dictatorships. Now this “consent” does not have to be in the form of active promotion and support of the State, it could simply be in the form of hopeless resignation, such as accepting the canard “nothing’s as sure as death and taxes.” All governments can only exist because the majority–in one form or another–accept them as at least being inevitable. They believe in the deception that even though government may be evil that it is nevertheless a necessary evil, and therefore cannot conceive of a better alternative. But if such were true then Jesus Christ’s whole message is a fallacy. But such is not the truth, there is an alternative: liberty. And I will show that Jesus has called us to liberty, and that liberty and Christ’s message are incompatible with government.
You may wonder where I got the one-tenth figure from in the above if all governments require the acceptance of their rule by the majority of their population. Again, the reason is because this acceptance doesn’t have to be active support but merely resigned, as it usually is. If just one-tenth of the population strongly believed that government was itself the greatest moral evil and that there was a better alternative it would be enough to turn the tide. Since most people are followers and uncritically accept the reigning political opinions, those who do not accept the status quo and who are able to form and articulate a critical alternative will come to be the intellectual leaders by default when the popular regime suffers a crisis and people begin to look for alternatives. If the history of governments teach us anything it is that such crisis is a regular occurrence, for governments by their nature tend toward instability. If it be asked Why then do we still have government?, it is here answered that it is because no viable alternative to government has been articulated by a critical mass at such a crisis, in that most people throughout history have accepted the deception that government is a necessary evil and could not conceive a better alternative.
Now I will articulate that better alternative, the one that Christ commanded us. I will show that Jesus and His message are necessarily anarchistic. And what better place to start than in the beginning?:
Jesus’s Very Life Began in an Act of Defiance to Government (And Would Later End in Defiance to Government)
If it were not for Joseph and Mary’s intentional act of defying that which they knew to be king Herod the Great’s will and escaping with baby Jesus from out of Herod’s mid as fugitives to the land of Egypt then Jesus would have been mercilessly killed and needless to say His ministry and the fulfillment of Scripture would have never come about. Thus in the most fundamental of regards, there is a great antagonism from the very start between Jesus and government (to say the least): Jesus was born into the world as a criminal and would latter be killed as a criminal–a criminal as so regarded by the government, that is. And what was baby Jesus’s crime? From Matthew 2:1-6 we find the answer:
The Golden Rule Unavoidably Results in Anarchism
Jesus commanded us that in all things we are to treat others as we would want others to treat us. Thus:
Jesus does not Respect the Person of Men
According to the Bible, every person is equally subject to the commands of God, and one does not become exempt from God’s law simply because one has managed to receive some sort of title of nobility. We are instructed to treat everyone by the same law. Yet this automatically rules out the possibility that governments could ever be legitimate, as they can only exist do to a privilege of monopoly on the ultimate control over the law which they enforce while excluding all competitors. As well, they collect taxes, which they call “theft” and “extortion” if anyone else engages in the same behavior against them or others.
Jesus on Taxes: Nothing is (Rightly) Caesar’s!
The story of Jesus commanding us to give unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s (Matt. 22:15-22; Mark 12:13-17; Luke 20:20-26) is commonly misrepresented as His commanding us to give to Caesar the denari which he asks for (i.e., to pay taxes to government) as–it is assumed–the denari are Caesar’s, being that they have Caesar’s image and name on them. But Jesus never said that this was so! What Jesus did say though was an ingenious case of rhetorical misdirection to avoid being immediately arrested, which would have interfered with Old Testament prophecy of His betrayal as well as His own previous predictions of betrayal.
Tax Collectors are Sinners!
A further demonstration that Jesus considered the institution of taxation to be unjust is given in the below story:
On Paul and Romans 13 and Titus 3:1
It is often claimed that Christians are required to submit to government, as this is supposedly what Paul commanded that we are supposed to do in Romans 13. Thus:
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James Redfern’s classic scriptural analysis: