The First Libertarians

This week in my Western Civilization course on the Ron Paul Curriculum, I learned about the Levellers, the first organized Libertarian society.  Now, I will answer this question from my instructor: Dr. Tom Woods.

Who were the Levellers, and what did they believe in?”

(Just a quick note, all words or sentences in “” are from a quote I will be sharing with you later.)

The Levellers, a political movement during the 17th Century, were one of the first libertarian societies to exist.  I am sure others in the past had considered these ideas but not with the same intent of creating a party.  Please do not confuse this group with another group called the Diggers.  The Diggers and Levellers couldn’t be more different.  While the Levellers believed in private property, the Diggers believed in common property.  They were the exact opposite from each other.

Levellers were libertarian but who are they and what do they believe in?  Their leaders and founders were these three men:

  • Richard Overton
  • John Lilburne
  • William Walwyn

These men, together, were able to create a whole system of how things should be run from a libertarian perspective.  This included certain rights like, private property, self-ownership and religious freedom.

Now, if what I said didn’t make any sense, just read this quote by Murray Rothbard,  he was an economist, libertarian and professor at Mises Institute.  This is what he said about the 17th Century libertarians:

the world’s first self-consciously libertarian movement. … In a series of notable debates within the Republican Army — notably between the Cromwellians and the Levellers — the Levellers led by John Lilburne, Richard Overton and William Walwyn, worked out a remarkably consistent libertarian doctrine, upholding the rights of self-ownership, private property, religious freedom for the individual, and minimal government interference in society. The rights of each individual to his person and property, furthermore, were natural, that is, they were derived from the nature of man. … And therefore were not dependent on, nor could they be abrogated by government. And while the economy was scarcely a primary focus of the Levellers, their adherence to a free market economy was a simple derivation from their stress on liberty and the rights of private property.”

This quote just summed up everything that I was talking about!  Rothbard explains who the Libertarians were and who they were led by.  He also explained what their beliefs were.   I don’t think there is much more for me to explain.  Here is where I got the quote, if you are interested in learning more about the Levellers.

Quinn Palmer

RPC Student

 

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Three Stories I Would Use in My Autobiography

In this English course,  I am preparing and learning how to create and write an autobiography.   And for this first assignment,  I am going to tell you three stories that I would use in my autobiography.

Story 1:  My Jeep

When I was between the ages of three and five, my family lived in Okinawa, Japan.  While living there, my dad had convinced me that Jeeps were the coolest thing ever!  We owned one while living there and my dad also had an old 1954 Willy’s Jeep back in the states.

We would drive around in our cul-de-sac over and over.  And because I loved riding in the Jeep so much, my parents decided to get me my own electric battery, drive-around  Jeep.  The day I got it, my dad asked me if I wanted to go take a ride in the Jeep and I, of course, said “yes!”  So we walked outside.  When I saw the toy Jeep, I looked at it for a moment, then continued to walk towards our real Jeep complaining,  “No, not that Jeep!”

Eventually, I did come to love my very own Jeep.

Story 2:  Lost in Korea

While living in Korea, I had to catch a city bus from the Air Force Base to my family’s apartment.  So,  for two days in a row, my dad helped me practice and know which bus to get on and where to get off and each time we got off safe and sound.  However, the next day,  my dad couldn’t come with me and so when I hopped on to the bus, which was a little more crowded than normal, I was a little nervous.  Normally, on my bus there are just a couple old Korean grandmas. I didn’t think much of it until we took a wrong turn to the right instead of the left!

A little confused and lost, I rode all the way to the end of the buses’ route at a college where it turned around and started going back the other direction.  I was already so lost and couldn’t call my mom because I didn’t have a phone!  I asked the bus driver if he was going to my stop and he said no so I got off at the next stop and decided to wait for another bus.  I stood waiting, just a foreign kid who had no idea where he was, for fifteen minutes with no bus coming.  So, I decided to take a risk and flag down a taxi.  I would not have done this had my dad not given me some money the night before.  I had about $5 in Korean money.

When got in the taxi, I was still a little confused and scared and I told the driver to take me to my bus stop.  My bus stop?!  I don’t know why I didn’t tell the man to take me to my apartment.  While we were driving, I was carefully watching the fare counter and making sure that I didn’t go over what I had.  When we pulled up to my stop, I fished out the one bill I had, and then the counter ticked over to that exact amount! That was a close one!  When I got out, I started to run and didn’t stop until I had gotten to my door!  My mom was pretty worried!

Now, I didn’t have any problems after that because I figured out what had tricked me that day.  Just a little reversible red and blue sign with different destinations on it.  My dad and I had just coincidentally gotten on the right bus those first two practice times.  The blue side takes me to my stop, and the red sign takes me the college where I got lost.

Really wish I had known that before I got myself lost.

Although, it makes for a great story.

Story 3:  Aunt Sharon

In late summer of 2016, my family went up for a visit to my dad’s family’s cabin in Colorado and while we were there, I got to meet my great-great Aunt Sharon for the very first time.  I didn’t even know who she was before I met her.  She was so nice and sweet, and she wanted to get to know my family and I.  She was only there for a day but it felt really good to get to know her.

A couple of months later my family received an email that Aunt Sharon had just passed away from a form cancer.  I couldn’t believe it.  When we saw her, she looked healthy and alive.  She didn’t seem sad or unhappy.  I know why she didn’t tell us.  If she had told us, it probably would’ve spoiled the entire day she was there.  I know why she went up to the cabin, and why she wanted to get to my family and I so much.  She was a great example of how to be strong and unwavering in faith and spirit, even when something bad is inevitably bound to happen.  That impresses me a lot.

 

There they are, the three stories I would use in my auto-biography!  Just remember, writing an auto-biography is not just for the famous or important people, it’s for you!   It’s for posterity! You don’t have to publish it or make money off of it, you can just have it for posterity, for family and for you!  It helps you realize who you are.

Quinn Palmer

RPC Student and Soon-to-be auto-biographer

Q&A with Quinn Palmer on Business and Robots

Hello, and welcome to QUINNtessential News.  Tonight we interview a teenager whose name is, coincidentally, Quinn!   The program will be a Q&A based around this question:  “Why is running my own business a way to guarantee my employment in 2030?”

Lets begin!

Q: “Quinn how do you feel about this question?”

A: “Actually I feel that, even though I haven’t started a business, being an entrepreneur can be quite a risk and may be hard.  I believe though that there are many advantages to doing it this way:  One, how can you get fired or let go from a job you created and own?  You can still go out of business, but other than that you are pretty safe from getting let go or losing your job.”

Q:  “Yes, that’s true.  We see almost daily that thousands of people get let go or fired because, for example, robots taking up jobs and them being more efficient than humans.   Do you feel that this may be a threat to your progression in a self-owned business?”

A:   “As of right now and twenty years into the future?  No.  Mostly because robots are currently being designed to take over ‘routine jobs’. Jobs you don’t need a college degree or years in college for.  In fact, because of all these robots, it will open up new doors in the working field and create new jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities.  Someone can be a code, or a robot repair-man.  Makes me think of Star Wars! A robotic revolution is probably coming, but it shouldn’t be something to be afraid of.  We should be getting ready for and anticipating it.”

Alright, thank you very much Quinn for joining me, but unfortunately that is all the time we have tonight, so thank you again and good night.

Quinn Palmer

RPC Student and future business owner

Selling As Service

This week, as part of my Business Course in the Ron Paul Curriculum I finished a book called Selling as Service written by Harry Brown, a business entrepreneur.  I really enjoyed reading this book.  You would be surprised by how simple, logical and easy it is to understand what he explains in his book! If you are interested in selling, I encourage you to get a copy of this book. It is also available as an eBook.

Now, my instructor, Dr. Gary North would like me to answer this question: “How does Harry Brown’s approach to selling rely on the principle of service?”

Continue reading “Selling As Service”

Anonymous Journal Found in France! Sheds New Light On French Wars of Religion

An amazing new insight into French history!  Just a few weeks ago, in an Estate sale in France, a man opened up an old wooden trunk in the attic, and inside was a very old journal from an anonymous writer.  The entries were dated back to 16th Century France and were based around the French Wars of Religion, and the relationship between Catholics and Huguenots.   (Full Disclosure: There was no real journal…I wrote this as historical fiction and thought this format would be a fun way to answer my Western Civilization instructor’s assignment–“Who were the contenting parties in the French wars of religion? What was the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre? What was the Edict of Nantes?”  Enjoy!)

Continue reading “Anonymous Journal Found in France! Sheds New Light On French Wars of Religion”

The Dutch Revolt

During the 16th Century, when Philip II was King of Spain, he was also governor of the Netherlands.  Unfortunately, he was not very tolerant of any religion other than  Catholicism.  So this made it hard for him to deal peacefully with the Protestants.  While Philip was never actually in the Netherlands, his sister Margaret, Duchess of Parma was living in the Netherlands as regent.   And what she saw was that the Protestants were very tolerant towards all and that nobody was forced to do anything against their will.  However, because Philip didn’t believe in religious toleration, he tried to stem the protestant growth in the Netherlands by instating the Inquisition.  There were many different times in Europe when the Inquisition was used, but this was a time when the Protestants were not allowed any religious freedom and were persecuted.  It was religious prejudice.

A bit fearfully, Margaret wrote to Philip pleading with him to stop the Inquisition because in the Netherlands was very happy.  So Philip did the right thing and gave the Protestants some space.  But what worried him next was that the Protestants were now having large gatherings, and they were all showing up armed.  This made Philip start to think that maybe he had been too nice to them.  Had he?  Philip began receiving reports about more large gatherings and how Catholic churches and houses were being vandalized by Protestants now as well.  Now that was it for Philip, he immediately organized a 10,000 strong army, led by the Duke of Alba to get the Protestants under control.  He didn’t reinstate the Inquisition, but it was still just as bad.  The Duke of Alba also issued a 10% tax increase, which added to the mix of the Protestants’ anger and frustration.  No matter what the King did, he could no longer contain the revolting Protestants.

The revolt finally ended in 1648, long after all the people who had started it in 1568 were dead, and when the Treaty of Münster was signed and gave the Protestants religious freedom.  The Netherlands as a whole was also given its own freedom.

Quinn Palmer

RPC Student

 

You can read more about the Dutch Revolt and the Treaty of Münster here:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Revolt#Peace

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peace_of_Münster

Elizabeth I Chooses…?

Many people today struggle with finding or staying with a religion.  This isn’t a new problem.  Many people, especially important people,  sometimes struggled with this.  Elizabeth I, Queen of England was one of these.

In the 16th Century, while Elizabeth I, was able to create a system of order and a thriving economy with low taxes in her England.  Being queen for 45 years probably helped too!  I’m sure many people were happy to have Elizabeth as their queen.  However,  she struggled to pick a religion for her country to use.  Did she want Protestantism?  Or would she try something relatively new?  Did she want Catholicism?  If she did,  she would have to share power with the Catholic church which was not what she wanted to do.  She most definitely wanted to be absolutist or the only one in charge of church and state.  But, Catholicism was the religion that was accepted by previous monarchs.  And although, she did like some views of the Catholic church, she was reluctant to share any power.  She abandoned trying to choose between Protestantism or Catholicism and chose, instead, the religion of Anglicanism.  She even forced Ireland to abandon Catholicism and have Anglicanism as their religion.  They had no choice.

Unfortunately, this confirms  one of humankind’s major weaknesses: That powerful people will often do anything to keep their  power and have it all.  In Queen  Elizabeth’s case, there’s a good chance that she didn’t believe in or truly want Anglicanism for England — except as a wise political move.  Maybe she just did it to avoid the Catholics and to keep the Protestants ‘Okay’  with her decision.   Looking back, history must ask if she ever picked a national religion for the benefit of her people?  Or just to stay in power?  Maybe she felt it was both.

Quinn Palmer

RPC Student

 

Four Simple Steps to Take Over a Country

What I am about to tell you is the best way to take over a country!   But, in order for you to understand why this strategy works so well, I have to tell you a story:

Charles V lived in the 16th Century and was originally from the Lowlands or Netherlands.  When he inherited the crown and became King of Spain, he was only king for a couple of years  before he was elected to succeed his grandfather as Holy Roman Emperor.  In order to be coronated, he had to leave Spain and go to Germany.  During his absence he left one of the officials in charge — an official he had brought from the Netherlands.  Charles was likely scared that if he left a Spaniard in charge then they would take over and he would lose the crown.  His fears were not made-up because the Spanish people and government did not care much for their foreign king, especially that did not speak Spanish.  In his defense, he was learning! Just not very fast.  But now, they REALLY hated him for leaving a bunch of lowlanders who thought that they were better than the Spanish people in charge of their country.  Like me, you can now understand why my instructor, Tom Woods, points out that “the various provincial assemblies (known as the Cortes) hesitated to accept Charles as their king.”

When Charles got back, having been successfully coronated as H.R.E, Spain was in a mess.  The Spanish people had revolted against the foreign officials and the officials had lost control.  The Spanish aristocrats had sided with the officials though, not to help put down the threat of a revolt, but so that they, the aristocrats, could avoid a ‘class war’ and keep their power and wealth.   Meanwhile, all that the Spanish people wanted was self-government within their own provinces.  Maybe they went about it in the wrong way?  But Spain had been completely spent.  While Charles was not.  So it was really easy for him to take back control and reorganize Spain.

The best way to take control of a country is to make the citizens angry, leave for a while, (hint: take a vacation!), put some friends from another country in charge, come back when both sides are just exhausted from fighting and arguing, and “Voila!”– take back control!  Perfect.

Quinn Palmer

RPC Student

A Thesis on the 95 Theses

 

I was recently asked by Dr. Tom Woods, instructor of my on-line Western Civilization course, to consider: “What were the 95 Theses about? What was the basic message of Luther’s complaint?

Here are my thoughts.

Martin Luther, who is sometimes referred to as the ‘father’ of the Protestant Reformation, wanted to reform the Catholic church.  In a sense, he wanted to reboot the whole system.  If possible, his goal was to replace all the Catholic beliefs with new ones.  And, naturally, preferably with his.  As one can imagine, this did not go over well with the Catholic leadership or even normal, everyday parishioners so he ended up forming his own sect of religion instead.  What he is most known for was the bold way he and ‘hand-delivered’ his complaints, nailing 95 statements against the selling of indulgences.

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Martin Luther ‘hand-delivering’ his 95 theses to the church door in Wittenberg

An indulgence was a slip of paper that, when purchased, declared you forgiven of your sins.  Along with a few required actions, like saying a prayer, all you really had to do was purchase one every time you needed to do some repenting.  For instance, Theses No. 27 chides, “They [Catholic bishops and other authorities] preach man that as soon as the penny jingles in the money box, the souls fly out of purgatory.”  I am curious to know if the Catholic  bishops back then actually believed that divine forgiveness required money more than a change of heart, but either way it is easy to understand how this could get out of hand.  For the poor, what was it like if they had to choose between buying food or indulgences?

Another one of Luther’s arguments that kills the practice at its core, and one that I particularly liked, is  No. 36: “Every truly penitent Christian has a right to full remission of penalty and guilt without letters of pardon.”  He is saying that not just some  Christians have the chance to be saved, but all of them!

While I’m sure the Catholic church has changed and moved on since the 16th Century, I believe God inspired Martin Luther, and other truth seekers like him, to courageously stand up against what they felt was wrong for the benefit of believers.

 

How broken legs created a theologian

During a recent lesson in my Western Civilization course, I had the opportunity to read a small part of Ignatius Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises.  First though let me briefly tell you a little bit about this religious man then I will mention what I found about his religious and doctrinal opinions.

Ignatius lived in 16th Century Spain.  When he was a young man, he joined the Spanish military.  While serving in the military, he was shot in the legs by a cannonball and he survived!  Unfortunately for him, he was discharged from the military.  That incident left him with a limp for the rest of his life.  When he was in the hospital he read some religious texts that sparked an interest in religion.  In 1540  he and a few other theologians, including St. Francis Xavier, were granted permission, by Pope Paul III, to organize the Society of Jesus or Jesuits.

You cannot read Loyola’s Spiritual Exercises and not get the sense that he really was a committed Catholic.  However I found it interesting in the reading that he does not want time to be wasted explaining faith vs. good works in depth.  Instead, he felt that people should decide on their own whether they faith or did good works.  He argued that there would be no need for faith if everybody practiced good works and no need for good works if everybody had faith.

In many ways Loyola accomplished much, but his greatest contribution was to the betterment of the current state of the world that he lived in.  And even though he is not alive today, his contributions, such as his Spiritual Exercises can still be read and have the same impression it had on someone then as it does today.  That is the great thing about religious books and texts, they will always be applicable no matter where and when you live!

Quinn Palmer

RPC Student

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