20 June, 2012 2 Comments
In yesterday’s blog post I quoted Gary North calling Joseph Schumpeter a “moral monster”. Not that it makes Schumpeter any better, but I have found out that North himself is a moral monster, too.
You may have read a blog post by George Reisman, If Abortion Really Were Murder, where he reduces this idea to absurdity by showing that if abortion is murder, it has to be premeditated murder and thus has to carry the death penalty in states that have the death penalty and imprisonment for life in states that don’t have it. One might think that nobody would actually advocate the death penalty for abortion – but Gary North does. This is from an article in the libertarian magazine Reason, An Invitation to a Stoning by Walter Olson:
Almost any anti-abortion stance seems nuanced when compared with Gary North’s advocacy of public execution not just for women who undergo abortions but for those who advised them to do so.
Not only abortion should carry the death penalty; so should cursing one’s parents; and so should blasphemy against the Lord:
So when Exodus 21:15-17 prescribes that cursing or striking a parent is to be punished by execution, that’s fine with Gary North. “When people curse their parents, it unquestionably is a capital crime,” he writes. “The integrity of the family must be maintained by the threat of death.” Likewise with blasphemy, dealt with summarily in Leviticus 24:16: “And he that blasphemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him.”
“Why stoning?” asks North. “There are many reasons. First, the implements of execution are available to everyone at virtually no cost.” Thrift and ubiquity aside, “executions are community projects–not with spectators who watch a professional executioner do ‘his’ duty, but rather with actual participants.” […] “That modern Christians never consider the possibility of the reintroduction of stoning for capital crimes,” North continues, “indicates how thoroughly humanistic concepts of punishment have influenced the thinking of Christians.”
“So let us be blunt about it,” says Gary North. “We must use the doctrine of religious liberty to gain independence for Christian schools until we train up a generation of people who know that there is no religious neutrality, no neutral law, no neutral education, and no neutral civil government. Then they will get busy in constructing a Bible-based social, political and religious order which finally denies the religious liberty of the enemies of God.”
So we should have religious liberty for a while – until we are back to the dark ages, where everybody shares the Christian faith and dissenters will be severely punished.
How those views are compatible with “Austrian” economics is an enigma to me. (Ron Paul – with whom I agree on economic matters – is also an anti-abortionist; but I don’t think he goes so far as to advocating the death penalty. But then, of course – as George Reisman argues in the blog post I referred to above – this is the logical consequence of regarding abortion as murder.) And however this may be, this is truly monstrous.
(Thanks to Henrik Sundholm for alerting me to this article.)