God is an Anarchist
Every Man Did That Which Was Right
Written by Darrell Anderson.
The last verse of the Biblical book Judges intrigues me. The reason is I tend to read Bible stories as written, not as taught by preachers influenced by the philosophy of statism. Additionally, I tend to read those stories from a property rights perspective and a focus from the fundamental principle of do not trespass.
The implied traditional teaching of the verse is that because there was no king — no ruler, the Hebrews experienced much chaos and disorder. Certainly the book reveals there were skirmishes and inconvenient times during that period, but to take that verse and then imply that rulers are good or necessary is a leap of bad judgment and logic.
The last verse declares a truism:
In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
In those day there was no king. A statement of fact, of truth.
Every man did that which was right in his own eyes. A statement of fact, of truth.
Notice that nowhere in the sentence is there a declaration of “why” or “because.” The sentence merely declares two facts.
Because of statist upbringing and brainwashing, after reading the book of Judges many people tend to read that last verse as a declaration that events might have been better had there been a king or ruler. Therefore, because that last sentence serves somewhat as a lead-in to the next Biblical book where Saul is established as king, those same people incorrectly conclude that a ruler is necessary.
However, when reading the Bible from an anarchist and property rights perspective, there is no mystery with the verse.
Humans possess the ability of free will. Reading the Bible from an anarchist and property rights perspective reveals that the God of the Bible respects free will. The story of Cain and Abel is typical. God easily could have stopped Cain, but instead chose to honor Cain’s free will. Likewise, in the Garden of Eden, when Adam and Eve chose to trespass against God’s property.
Moses provided the Hebrews a simple legal system to live quiet and peaceable lives. The core of that system is do not trespass. Much of the Mosaic Law addresses proper methods of restitution after having committed trespass. Most fascinating about that system was Moses provided no “executive” or “legislative” branch of government. Moses provided only a set of guidelines and principles.
A straightforward reading of the Bible stories reveals that the only government God “ordained” or desired is self-government. No human has standing to rule other humans; and there is no Biblical text to support such a claim. Understanding those straightforward teachings presents that last verse of Judges in a different light.
In those day there was no king. In other words, to resolve challenges humans had to act cooperatively rather than coercively; and the book of Judges reveals the people did just that.
Every man did that which was right in his own eyes. A truism. The God of the Bible would expect nothing else from free will and self-government. God is an anarchist and so should all people be.
Yes, the book of Judges tells about some challenges the Hebrews faced. Yet, the book also shows how persuasion and cooperation can resolve such challenges. The Hebrews tried to persuade Gideon to be king, and Gideon smartly refused. Gideon understood that no individual has standing to rule other people. People only can lead one another, but never rule. Gideon’s effort to help resolve the challenges he faced was a cooperative effort, not coercive. (Gideon’s son Abimelech, however, did not get the hint.)
Proponents of churchianity have twisted that last verse into a justification for statism. people embracing the philosophy of churchianity teach that the book of Judges is a good example for “why people need statism.” Such teachings are falsehoods. Statism is a philosophy where people operate by force and coercion, not persuasion and cooperation. Challenges in this world always will exist, but how people go about resolving them is a separate question. History loudly declares that the bloody philosophy of statism is not the solution. The book of Judges shows persuasion and cooperation can and does succeed. However, the statists and proponents of churchianity would rather people believe otherwise.
In those day there was no king. You are not to be ruled. You are to achieve using persuasion and cooperation.
Every man did that which was right in his own eyes. Just don’t trespass, and if you do, provide appropriate remedy.
Next: Anarchy or Monarchy