Gordon Clark on “Stealing by Government”

Gordon H. Clark writes:

The first of two points here to be mentioned concerns the eight and ninth commandments—commandments bearing on honesty and truth.

The shame of modern governments, including that of the United States, is their violation of their pledged word. And worse, not only is their word worthless, but also they attempt to justify deceit and claim that no moral issues are involved.

The British government recently stole from its people a part of all the money owned by them. This theft is called devaluation. The United States government perpetrated a similar crime on us some years back [I think he is referring to FDR’s taking the US off the gold standard in 1933 –CJE]. Bank notes on which the government had affixed its seal to the statement, Redeemable in Gold, were dishonored; and the gold metal itself was taken from us. In moral terms this should be called theft and repudiation. When Sir Stafford Cripps announced devaluation, after denying that he was going to devalue the pound, he said, “Even if we had then had some future intention of altering the rate of exchange, which in fact we had not, no responsible minister could possibly have done otherwise than deny such intention.” In other words, a government minister who does not lie is incompetent. In the United States Allan Sproul, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, said, “I perceive no moral problem involved in this question of gold convertibility.” In other words again, there is no moral problem involved in the violation of a solemn pledge.

Without considering the financial evils which in the past history of many nations have attended the debasing of coinage and the introduction of irredeemable paper, let us think what may be the righteous judgment of God on a nation that justifies theft and falsehood.

Read the rest of the short piece here.