Sunday, December 24, 2006

Auberon Herbert - Libertas in Excelsius

Each man shall be free, whoever he be,
And none shall say to him nay!
There is only one rule for the wise and the fool -
To follow his own heart's way.
For the heart of the free, whoever he be,
May be stirred to a better thing;
But the heart of the slave lies chill in its grave,
And knows not the coming of spring.

Auberon Herbert, brought to my attention by Murray Rothbard in Man, Economy, and State, was the founder of voluntaryism. He has been called an anarcho-capitalist, but he refused the title himself, due to the connotations the term carried at his time.

To follow one's own heart is to have the free will given to us by God. To be restrained from exercising this will is slavery. As believers we do not wish that any should be forced unto slavery. Yet, we know that their hearts are wicked, and for them to follow their own will is for them to end in misery. What is our role, then? Shall we force them unto Christ? Anathema! They must choose to follow Him of their own will, once they have heard His call. How should we devise public policy? To maximize the opportunity to exercise free will within the limits of allowing all others to exercise free will. In other words, do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Statism constructs an artificial conscience, a social conscience. But this is paganism, and slavery. Under such a system each person is bound to do what is best for everyone else and not for himself. The individual is sacrificed, and the mass takes on a new identity. This is what was happening at Babel. The masses were unified in opposition to the liberty God wanted them to live under.

Do not be aggregated!

Then forward your heart set, each lad and his lass,
Till to humble and great it is known
That each man shall rule, be he wise man or fool,
His own self, his one self, alone!

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