Category Archives: Philosophy

How the Bible influenced the Founding Fathers

Which political traditions and thinkers shaped the ideas and aspirations of the American founding? Late eighteenth-century Americans were influenced by diverse perspectives, including British constitutionalism, classical and civic republicanism, and Enlightenment liberalism. Among the works frequently said to have influenced the founders are John Locke’s Two Treatises of Government, Montesquieu’s The Spirit of the Laws, and William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England.

Another, often overlooked or discounted source of influence is the Bible. Its expansive influence on the political culture of the age should not surprise us because the population was overwhelming Protestant, and it informed significant aspects of public culture, including language, letters, education, and law. No book at the time was more accessible or familiar than the English Bible, specifically the King James Bible. And the people were biblically literate.

Continue reading here.

New Survey: Fewer Germans feel free to express their political opinions in 2023

. . . than in any year since the early days of the Federal Republic

Article by eugyppius.


The impression of a closed and stifling discourse is present across the political spectrum. Only 39% of centre-right CDU voters feel free to express their views, but for Die Linke, or the Left Party (the successors of the East German SED), that number falls to 36%, and for AfD voters it is lowest of all, a mere 11%. A clear majority (75%) of Greens alone feel that they can speak their minds, and so here we learn who feels best represented by our present discourse.

“Do you have the feeling, that you can freely express your political opinion today in Germany, or is it better to be cautious?” Blue: “I can speak freely.” Orange: “It is better to be cautious.”

No surprises lurk in the breakdown by education: 51% of those with university degrees or an Abitur feel their political expression is unhampered, while clear majorities of everybody else say they cannot speak their minds.

The historical perspective is sobering. The Federal Republic was only five years old in 1953; the Allied occupation and denazification were recent events, and even then Germans enjoyed a substantially greater subjective sense of political expression than they do today. This sense peaked under Willy Brandt during the Cold War, but has been in a state of decay since the fall of the Berlin wall in 1989. This would be good evidence in favour of Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s thesis, that Western liberal states rapidly lose their enthusiasm for principles like free expression in the absence of competition from rival systems.

Yet it was not the end of the Cold War, but rather the chancellorship of Angela Merkel that saw the most dramatic decline in free political expression. Specifically, Merkel’s strategy of “asymmetric demobilisation,” via which she sought to disarm the leftist opposition by adopting central elements of their political programme, had a very perverse influence. German voters and hence the politicians who appeal to them have always had pronounced conservative tendencies, while the media here as everywhere else lean to the left. Before 2005, politicians provided an important counterweight to the line taken by our press, but Merkel’s triangulations created a new system of soft political enforcement sustained by establishment politicians and mainstream journalism alike.

The consequence is a system that has placed all of us in thrall to the whims of an eccentric minority. The opinions which govern German society, as I’ve written many times before, are not those of most people, but rather of an increasingly insular, university-educated urbanite class, who are relatively affluent, who vote overwhelmingly Green and who constitute no more than 15% of the population. I doubt the old socialist countries of the Warsaw Pact were any different in this respect. More and more, it feels like we defeated communism only to recreate an equivalent system, which threatens to be much worse, insofar as its informal nature and soft asymmetrical methods confuse everybody and thwart opposition.

Legal Foundations of a Free Society

Excerpt from Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s foreword to Stephan Kinsella’s new book, “Legal Foundations of a Free Society”.

The objective for a human ethic or a theory of justice, then, is the discovery of such rules of human conduct that make it possible for a—indeed, any—bodily person to act—indeed, to live his entire active life—in a world made up of different people, a “given” external, material environment, and various scarce—rivalrous, contestable or conflict-able—material objects useable as means toward a person’s ends, without ever running into physical clashes with anybody else.

Essentially, these rules have been known and recognized since eternity. They consist of three principal components. First, personhood and self-ownership: Each person owns—exclusively controls—his physical body that only he and no one else can control directly (any control over another person’s body, by contrast, is invariably an in-direct control, presupposing the prior direct control of one’s own body). Otherwise, if body-ownership were assigned to some indirect body-controller, conflict would become unavoidable as the direct body-controller cannot give up the direct control over his body as long as he is alive. Accordingly, any physical interference with another person’s body must be consensual, invited and agreed to by such a person, and any non-consensual interference with his body constitutes an unjust and prohibited invasion.

Second, private property and original appropriation: Logically, what is required to avoid all conflict regarding external material objects used or usable as means of action, i.e. as goods, is clear: every good must always and at all times be owned privately, i.e. controlled exclusively by some specified person. The purposes of different actors then may be as different as can be, and yet no conflict will arise so long as their respective actions involve exclusively the use of their own private property. And how can external objects become private property in the first place without leading to conflict? To avoid conflict from the very start, it is necessary that private property be founded through acts of original appropriation, because only through actions, taking place in time and space, can an objective—intersubjectively ascertainable—link be established between a particular person and a particular object. And only the first appropriator of a previously unappropriated thing can acquire this thing as his property without conflict. For, by definition, as the first appropriator he cannot have run into conflict with anyone else in appropriating the good in question, as everyone else appeared on the scene only later. Otherwise, if exclusive control is assigned instead to some late-comers, conflict is not avoided but contrary to the very purpose of reason made unavoidable and permanent.

Third, exchange and contract: Other than per original appropriation, property can only be acquired by means of a voluntary—mutually agreed upon—exchange of property from some previous owner to some later owner. This transfer of property from a prior to a later owner can either take the form of a direct or “spot” exchange, which may be bi- or multi-lateral as when someone’s apples are exchanged for another’s oranges, or it may be unilateral as when a person makes a gift to someone else or when someone pays another person with his property now, on the spot, in the expectation of some future services on the part of the recipient. Or else the transfer of property can take the form of contracts concerning not just present but in particular also prospective, future-dated transfers of property titles. These contractual transfers of property titles can be unconditional or conditional transfers, and they too can involve bi- or multi-lateral as well as unilateral property transfers. Any acquisition of property other than through original appropriation or voluntary or contractual exchange and transfer from a previous to a later owner is unjust and prohibited by reason. (Of course, in addition to these normal property acquisition rules, property can also be transferred from an aggressor to his victim as rectification for a previous trespass committed.)

Drawing on the long, but in today’s world largely forgotten or neglected intellectual tradition of natural law and natural rights theory with its three just briefly sketched principal components, then, the most elaborate, systematic, rigorous and lucid presentation of a theory of justice up until then had been developed in the course of the second half of the 20th century by economist-philosopher Murray N. Rothbard, culminating in his Ethics of Liberty, originally published in 1982. Unfortunately, but not entirely surprisingly, however, his work was typically either completely ignored or else dismissed out of hand by the gatekeepers and high priests of academia. The anarchist conclusions ultimately arrived at by Rothbard in his works appeared simply outlandish in an ideological environment molded overwhelmingly by tax-funded intellectuals and steeped to the hip in statism or étatisme. Among academic big-shots, only Harvard philosopher Robert Nozick in his Anarchy, State and Utopia acknowledged his intellectual debt to Rothbard and seriously tried to refute his anarchist conclusions—but miserably failed.

While Rothbard’s work largely fell on deaf ears within academia, then, it exerted considerable influence outside of it, in the public at large. Indeed, through his work Rothbard became the founder of the modern libertarian movement, attracting a sizable popular following far exceeding that of any mainstream academic in numbers. As for the further development of a natural-law and -rights based theory of justice, however, this very success turned out to be a rather mixed blessing. On the one hand, the movement inspired by Rothbard likely helped dampen and slow down the popularity and growth of statism, but it manifestly failed in halting or even reversing the long-run historical trend toward ever increasing state-power. On the other hand (and that may well be one of the reasons for this failure), the larger the movement grew in numbers, the greater also the confusion and the number of intellectual errors spread and committed by its followers. The pure theory of justice as presented by Rothbard was increasingly watered down, misunderstood, misinterpreted or downright falsified, whether for short-run tactical gains, out of ignorance or plain cowardice. As well, all too often sight was lost of the fundamentally important distinction between the core, the foundational principles of a theory on the one hand and its application to various peripheral—often far-fetched or merely fictional—practical problems on the other; and far too much effort and time, then, has been spent on debating peripheral issues the solution of which may well be arguable, but which is of minor importance in the larger scheme of things and helps distract public attention and concentration away from those questions and issues that truly matter and count.

In this situation, then, more than 40 years after the first publication of Rothbard’s Ethics of Liberty and characterized by much practical disappointment and increasing theoretical confusion, the publication of Stephan Kinsella’s present work must be considered a most welcome sign of renewed hope and new, refreshing intellectual inspiration. Indeed, with this work, that has been in the making for more than two decades, Kinsella has produced no less than an intellectual landmark, establishing himself as the leading legal theorist and the foremost libertarian thinker of his generation. While following in Rothbard’s footsteps, Kinsella’s work does not merely rehash what has been said or written before. Rather, having absorbed as well all of the relevant literature that has appeared during the last few decades since Rothbard’s passing, Kinsella in the following offers some fresh perspectives and an innovative approach to the age-old quest for justice, and he adds several highly significant refinements and improvements and some centrally important new insights to the theories of personhood, property and contract, most famously some radical criticism and rejection of the idea of “intellectual property” and “intellectual property rights.”

Henceforth, then, all essential studies in the philosophy of law and the field of legal theory will have to take full account of the theories and criticisms expounded by Kinsella.

The Westminster Declaration of 18th October 2023

Published on this German blog site.

We write as journalists, artists, authors, activists, technologists, and academics to warn of increasing international censorship that threatens to erode centuries-old democratic norms.

Coming from the left, right, and centre, we are united by our commitment to universal human rights and freedom of speech, and we are all deeply concerned about attempts to label protected speech as ‘misinformation,’ ‘disinformation,’ and other ill-defined terms.

This abuse of these terms has resulted in the censorship of ordinary people, journalists, and dissidents in countries all over the world.

Such interference with the right to free speech suppresses valid discussion about matters of urgent public interest, and undermines the foundational principles of representative democracy.

Across the globe, government actors, social media companies, universities, and NGOs are increasingly working to monitor citizens and rob them of their voices. These large-scale coordinated efforts are sometimes referred to as the ‘Censorship-Industrial Complex.’

This complex often operates through direct government policies. Authorities in India and Turkey have seized the power to remove political content from social media. The legislature in Germany and the Supreme Court in Brazil are criminalising political speech. In other countries, measures such as Ireland’s ‘Hate Speech’ BillScotland’s Hate Crime Act, the UK’s Online Safety Bill, and Australia’s ‘Misinformation’ Bill threaten to severely restrict expression and create a chilling effect.

But the Censorship Industrial Complex operates through more subtle methods. These include visibility filtering, labelling, and manipulation of search engine results. Through deplatforming and flagging, social media censors have already silenced lawful opinions on topics of national and geopolitical importance. They have done so with the full support of ‘disinformation experts’ and ‘fact-checkers’ in the mainstream media, who have abandoned the journalistic values of debate and intellectual inquiry.

As the Twitter Files revealed, tech companies often perform censorial ‘content moderation’ in coordination with government agencies and civil society. Soon, the European Union’s Digital Services Act will formalise this relationship by giving platform data to ‘vetted researchers’ from NGOs and academia, relegating our speech rights to the discretion of these unelected and unaccountable entities.

Some politicians and NGOs are even aiming to target end-to-end encrypted messaging apps like WhatsApp, Signal, and Telegram. If end-to-end encryption is broken, we will have no remaining avenues for authentic private conversations in the digital sphere.

Although foreign disinformation between states is a real issue, agencies designed to combat these threats, such as the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency in the United States, are increasingly being turned inward against the public. Under the guise of preventing harm and protecting truth, speech is being treated as a permitted activity rather than an inalienable right.

We recognize that words can sometimes cause offence, but we reject the idea that hurt feelings and discomfort, even if acute, are grounds for censorship. Open discourse is the central pillar of a free society, and is essential for holding governments accountable, empowering vulnerable groups, and reducing the risk of tyranny.

Speech protections are not just for views we agree with; we must strenuously protect speech for the views that we most strongly oppose. Only in the public square can these views be heard and properly challenged.

What’s more, time and time again, unpopular opinions and ideas have eventually become conventional wisdom. By labelling certain political or scientific positions as ‚misinformation‘ or ‚malinformation,‘ our societies risk getting stuck in false paradigms that will rob humanity of hard-earned knowledge and obliterate the possibility of gaining new knowledge. Free speech is our best defence against disinformation.

The attack on speech is not just about distorted rules and regulations – it is a crisis of humanity itself. Every equality and justice campaign in history has relied on an open forum to voice dissent. In countless examples, including the abolition of slavery and the civil rights movement, social progress has depended on freedom of expression.

We do not want our children to grow up in a world where they live in fear of speaking their minds. We want them to grow up in a world where their ideas can be expressed, explored and debated openly – a world that the founders of our democracies envisioned when they enshrined free speech into our laws and constitutions.

The US First Amendment is a strong example of how the right to freedom of speech, of the press, and of conscience can be firmly protected under the law. One need not agree with the U.S. on every issue to acknowledge that this is a vital ‚first liberty‘ from which all other liberties follow. It is only through free speech that we can denounce violations of our rights and fight for new freedoms.

There also exists a clear and robust international protection for free speech. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was drafted in 1948 in response to atrocities committed during World War II. Article 19 of the UDHR states, ‚Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.‘ While there may be a need for governments to regulate some aspects of social media, such as age limits, these regulations should never infringe on the human right to freedom of expression.

As is made clear by Article 19, the corollary of the right to free speech is the right to information. In a democracy, no one has a monopoly over what is considered to be true. Rather, truth must be discovered through dialogue and debate – and we cannot discover truth without allowing for the possibility of error.

Censorship in the name of ‚preserving democracy‘ inverts what should be a bottom-up system of representation into a top-down system of ideological control. This censorship is ultimately counter-productive: it sows mistrust, encourages radicalization, and de-legitimizes the democratic process.

In the course of human history, attacks on free speech have been a precursor to attacks on all other liberties. Regimes that eroded free speech have always inevitably weakened and damaged other core democratic structures. In the same fashion, the elites that push for censorship today are also undermining democracy. What has changed though, is the broad scale and technological tools through which censorship can be enacted.

We believe that free speech is essential for ensuring our safety from state abuses of power – abuses that have historically posed a far greater threat than the words of lone individuals or even organised groups. For the sake of human welfare and flourishing, we make the following 3 calls to action.

  • We call on governments and international organisations to fulfill their responsibilities to the people and to uphold Article 19 of the UDHR.
  • We call on tech corporations to undertake to protect the digital public square as defined in Article 19 of the UDHR and refrain from politically motivated censorship, the censorship of dissenting voices, and censorship of political opinion.
  • And finally, we call on the general public to join us in the fight to preserve the people’s democratic rights. Legislative changes are not enough. We must also build an atmosphere of free speech from the ground up by rejecting the climate of intolerance that encourages self-censorship and that creates unnecessary personal strife for many. Instead of fear and dogmatism, we must embrace inquiry and debate.

We stand for your right to ask questions. Heated arguments, even those that may cause distress, are far better than no arguments at all.

Censorship robs us of the richness of life itself. Free speech is the foundation for creating a life of meaning and a thriving humanity – through art, poetry, drama, story, philosophy, song, and more.

This declaration was the result of an initial meeting of free speech champions from around the world who met in Westminster, London, at the end of June 2023. As signatories of this statement, we have fundamental political and ideological disagreements. However, it is only by coming together that we will defeat the encroaching forces of censorship so that we can maintain our ability to openly debate and challenge one another. It is in the spirit of difference and debate that we sign the Westminster Declaration.

List of Signatories

Why is Greta protesting against a wind farm?

This story proves that the main impulse of many in the climate change movement is not to save the planet, but to bring down humanity.

Not only do they not believe in progress, they actively combat it. Or, put another way: They DO believe in progress, but only as a fundamentally malignant force.

“What Western climate activists are really celebrating here is subsistence farming and absolute, grinding poverty. They are exploiting the indigenous people and their alleged harmony with nature to push the UN’s anti-growth agenda.”

Who destroyed Western Civilization?

Asks Paul Craig Roberts.

His answer:

I once offered this explanation:

The liberals’ stress on social purification flows from an inconsistency in the intellectual foundation of Western civilization.  The Enlightenment had two results that combined to produce a destructive formula.  On the one hand, Christian moral fervor was secularized, which produced demands for the moral perfection of society.  On the other hand, modern science hammered epistemology into a critical philosophical positivism that is skeptical of the reality of moral motives.  From the one we get moral indignation and from the other, moral skepticism.  How can two such disparate tendencies be reconciled?

The answer seems to be that this inconsistent combination is held together by their joint attack on existing society.  One pre-empts existing society’s defense, while the other focuses moral indignation against it.  Together, they support a social and political dynamism that seeks to achieve progress by remaking society.

Affirmations of society’s achievements run into this dynamism, which mows them down with skepticism and indignation.  People who are motivated by moral purposes  find that they have a safe outlet only in accusations of immorality against existing society, and the West’s morality becomes immanent in attacks on itself.

Others, such as Richard Knight, believe Western civilization was destroyed by German Jewish cultural marxists whose march through the institutions discredited every institution of Western civilization. I don’t disagree that this has occurred, but I think Cultural Marxism is itself a product of the inconsistency in the Western intellectual foundation that I described. 

It seems unlikely that the West’s intellectuals can escape the destructive dynamism of moral indignation and moral skepticism.  When civilization is destroyed, nirvana is not standing ready to take its place.  The replacement is barbarism into which we are already descending.

From Liberal Democracy to Global Totalitarianism

Article by Thaddeus Kosinski, PhD.


However one explains this totalitarianism (and if you deny that we are now living under globalist totalitarianism, you are beyond the reach of argument), it cannot be denied that it emerged from the cultural and political soil of what we call Liberal democracies. There are only two explanations for this. One is that a revolution happened, one in complete opposition to those secular, enlightened, Liberal principles and practices that are truly ordered by and to the dignity and respect for the human person. Marxists or fascists or psychos have infiltrated the Liberal sanctuary and profaned it. The other explanation is that the totalitarianism we are now undergoing is logically entailed by the very principles and practices of Liberal democracy, which are not actually ordered by and to the dignity and respect for the human person, but only claim to be. I think the latter explanation is the more plausible one.

Interview with Rvd. Dr. Joseph Boot

Author or The Mission of God

Boot was recently interviewed by Revelation TV.

Here are my notes:

How do we address the culture we’re living in?

JB: In the Western World, the objections to Christianity have been changing. 27 or so years ago, the focus was still on questions such as “does God exist”, “what about evil and suffering”, “is Jesus the only way to God”. Objections have changed, in university, media etc, people are not literate in theological points to ask these questions any more. The challenges are now civilizational. Christianity is deemed imperialistic, colonial, oppressive, anti-choice, misogynistic, transphobic etc. These are the kind of questions the pagan world asked Christians in Augustine’s time. He in turn wrote as an answer to these questions the tome “The City of God”.

We need a cultural apologetic to the challenges of our time.

The challenge to Christianity now is that Christianity itself is deemed evil.

What we’re facing now is radical de-Christianisation, it’s a revolutionary movement. It began in Europe with the French Revolution, which was the political expression of the philosophy of the enlightenment. Reason leading to the autonomy of man. Existence precedes essence. We’re not image-bearers of God, we are merely a choice, standing on the edge of the abyss. Everything’s about me. Then there was the neo-Marxist movement, the Frankfurt School which gave us Critical Theory, everything is socially constructed. The male Christian is the oppressor. The oppressed must become the oppressor.

The opposite movement to that has been the retreat of the church.

The Ezra Institute is trying to put some backbone back into the church. What does it truly mean to be a Christian? Great Commission. We’ve retreated from externalising the faith. Culture is religion externalised. We’ve left the various institutions of cultural life to the forces of secularism, humanism and paganism. We’ve sent our children to Caesar to be educated and are shocked that they return as Romans.

We’ve reduced Christianity to personal salvation and neglected that we pray “Your Kingdom come, your will be done ON EARTH as it is in heaven”. We’ve surrendered Jesus’ Lordship over all life.

The temptation for the church has always been to be synthesised with the culture around it. This happened when the pagan elites became Christianised. They wanted to synthesise their culture. Roman Catholicism was a synthesised culture. Then the Reformation came along. And with that the rediscovery that Jesus is the king of kings. Meaning that in economics, law, education, political life, in the arts etc. we must bring to bear the claims of the Lord Jesus.

What we’re saying in the West now is that we like the fruits of Christendom: Freedom, the rule of law, economic prosperity, peace and stability, etc. But we don’t want the root, which is Christ. We thought we could retain those things without the Gospel of Jesus Christ and submission to his word. We’ve been living off the energy of Christendom for a long time. We now find the Christian capital so eroded we’re in a crisis spiritually.

What principle markers should we be looking for in the path to recovery?

We need to recognise that Jesus is not just our saviour, but also our Lord. Christ is not just redeemer, he is also creator. He is Lord over all areas of life, not just in the church and a little bit in the family.

Our situation is like in a double-decker bus. Where in the upper deck we do the spiritual disciplines. In the lower deck we have the “secular area” which can be governed by the neutral forces of reason. Problem: That’s where the driver is. And it’s driving off a cliff. Paul says be transformed by the Holy Spirit and present your bodies as a living sacrifice.

That means take off that upper deck altogether. Just have one deck. It’s called the Kingdom of God. No area of life is outside the Kingdom rule and reign of the Lord Jesus Christ.

We’ve lost the Christian life view. Human existence is in every area a response to the Word of God. You can’t have Christian action if you don’t have Christian thinking. Young, enthusiastic Christians who want to do something end up doing things with are “Karl Marx baptised” or some other world-life view sprinkled with some Christian name. We’ve got to recover a Christian world and life view so we can act and live Christianly.

We’re currently not the salt and light of the culture.

There’s the elements of Prophet, Priest and King. It’s the King element that’s missing. My father was told “we shouldn’t be interested in property”. He said: “Well the devil is.”

Every square inch of the universe is contested between Christ and the Enemy. People want to stay on the mountain, have the sort of monastic life. No, you have to come down from the mountain and deal with the boy possessed by an evil spirit.