June 9, 2014

Pessimism and Liberty

By In Blogs, C.Jay Engel

My article today had implications for a discussion on pessimism and optimism, not only in politics, but also in an eschatological sense.  Are ‘good times’ coming?  Will a libertarian revolution come our way?  These questions are categorically similar to questions relating to the eschatological millennium in Rev. chapter 20.  One’s understanding of the millennium can lead him to answer the question of whether the present age will continue to get better or worse until the Second Coming of our Lord.

The reader should know that I am a eschatological pessimist.  That is, unlike the theonomists who are Postmillennialists, I see the world has continuing in a downward spiral until Christ comes back.

I am also a pessimist in regards to liberty.  Unfortunately, I don’t see the liberty movement as succeeding in throwing off the domineering State.  I see the State as the product of man’s evil devices.  I see the State as the institutionalization of abomination against moral (natural) law.  However, it is God-ordained in the same sense that the Devil himself is ordained to exist by our sovereign God.

Only the eradication of sin can effectively destroy the State.

This puts me in a different camp than Ron Paul and Murray Rothbard, who are outspoken optimists.  I appreciate their enthusiasm.  But I see things differently.  Politically speaking, this puts me with people like Hans Hoppe and Robert Higgs.  We know the ideal: no theft, no murder, no initiation of coercion.  But we are doubtful of mankind’s capability of achieving such a world.   And in fact, we see the State as becoming worse and worse.

Regardless of my understanding of the millennium as an amateur student of theology and the future of political liberty as a politico, I am, like all Christians must be, an optimist in the long run.  That is, my King is coming and I will live forever in his presence.  This is a sweet, sweet truth. No State can touch me there.  Talk about freedom.

Written by C.Jay Engel

Editor and creator of The Reformed Libertarian. Living in Northern California with his wife, he writes on everything from politics to theology and from culture to economic theory. You can send an email to reformedlibertarian@gmail.com