Friday, December 28, 2012

Barry Rubin On Forgotten Lessons About Statism and Foreign Policy In The Bible

Bible is a terrific source for history and political analysis, often in the passages least quoted today.
Barry Rubin

Barry Rubin has posted a Weekend Essay: Biblical Lessons on Foreign Policy and Statism

The first example Rubin gives is from the Chapter 8 of the Book Of Samuel, which teaches us about the evils of statism:
“Plow his fields, reap his harvest, and make his weapons and equipment for his chariots. He will take your daughters as perfumers, cooks, and bakers. He will seize your choice fields, vineyards, and olive groves, and give them to his courtiers [crony capitalism!]. He will take a tenth part of your grain and vintage [far lower taxes than today!] and give it to his eunuchs and courtiers [entitlements? Crony capitalism?].”
In short, he would make the people
“work for him…and you shall become his slaves. The day will come when you cry out because of the king whom you yourselves have chosen [elections!]; and the Lord will not answer you on that day.”
This view in the Bible is balanced the end of the Book of Judges, which relates the disastrous effects of anarchy -- while noting that there was no king in those days, allowing people to do what they wanted to do.

Then there is the book of Joshua, which teaches some forgotten basics of foreign policy.

Read the whole thing.

As Rubin notes:
The basic principles of statecraft aren’t new. You can learn from the Bible that people understood four thousand years ago about things that America's current leaders have forgotten today
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