Religion and Liberty
Religion and liberty—few issues are more controversial among current-day libertarians.
– Jörg Guido Hülsmann, from the Preface to The Place of Religion in the Liberal Philosophy of Constant, Tocqueville, and Lord Acton by Ralph Raico.
Guido Hülsmann is one of the truly shining lights when it comes to Austrian economics, libertarian political philosophy, and the understanding of the intersection of culture and liberty. I have also come to believe that there is not a single subject known to man on which he is unable to provide informed thought. Maybe Major League Baseball, but other than that….
In this Preface, Hülsmann offers four possibilities when it comes to this intersection: first, that religion and liberty are separate spheres, with little to do with one another; second, that these two are completely antagonistic; third, that one complements the other – a sense of piety in man facilitates the possibility of limited government; fourth, religion – particularly Christianity – is fundamental to liberty, and this is demonstrated by both the historical record and by conceptual thought.
When considering these four, I see my journey going from the first to the third and finally the fourth. To walk through this here is too much to consider, covering a journey of at least five years – and, in some ways, a lifetime. I can describe, instead, why I am here. Let’s start at the end; Murray Rothbard writes:
What I have been trying to say is that Mises’s utilitarian, relativist approach to ethics is not nearly enough to establish a full case for liberty. It must be supplemented by an absolutist ethic—an ethic of liberty, as well as of other values needed
Article from LewRockwell