Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Libertarianism or Liberty?

There has been an interesting series of blog posts at LRC, a series / exchange between Walter Block and Michael Rozeff.  This exchange offers an opportunity to further develop a conversation around the question posed in the title; it is a question I have introduced earlier.

Needless to say, Block epitomizes the “libertarianism” side of this discussion.  Whether one agrees or disagrees with his interpretation and application of the non-aggression principle, there is no doubt that purity in libertarianism is the target at which Block aims.  Someone has to do this, and despite my couple of (significant) disagreements with him, few do it better than Block.

Rozeff struggles with Block’s work in this regard.  The dialogue begins with Block answering a question posed to him via email.  The topic is child abandonment, and the writer describes Block’s position as follows:

In your discussion on Lew Rockwell, you state that the parent has no obligation to feed or even keep their child alive. You state that the parent does have an obligation to notify someone that they have no desire to care for the child…

The writer wonders where responsibility and duty have a role in Block’s position.  Block responds:

I think we’ll have to agree to disagree. I regard the no positive obligations as an integral part of libertarianism.

Now, I take strong exception to the idea that one raising one’s own child is a “positive obligation” in any sense consistent with the underlying premise of the non-aggression principle – this is not at all a logical statement – but I do not want to distract from the conversation.  Suffice it to say, when one voluntarily takes on an obligation, there is nothing “positive” about it.

Rozeff picks up the conversation:

I agree with [the writer]. [I] try to “save” the non-aggression principle (NAP) by arguing that it does apply to the case of parents starving their children to death, which it has been said is because they have no obligation to feed them under the NAP. In contrast, I argue that parents assume that obligation when they bring children into this world. This elaboration of circumstances saves the NAP. Surely, if starving one’s baby or child to death is not murder, then nothing is; and if the NAP cannot address such a case, it’s sorely and surely defective.

Suffice it to say I agree whole-heartedly with Rozeff.  I do so for a couple of reasons: first and foremost, my objective is liberty and not purity of libertarianism; I do not see liberty long-lasting in a world that ignores responsibility for one’s own actions. 

Second, my grappling with this idea of “liberty” (as opposed to libertarianism) is bringing me to a place to consider as necessary the place where natural law, Christian ethics, and the non-aggression principle all converge.  In the place where these converge, I believe we will find liberty.  In this convergence, avoiding responsibility for one’s own child is unthinkable.  A society that finds this acceptable is a society with no future, and no future equals no liberty.

Rozeff goes on to introduce an addition concern: “Some actions resist application of the NAP, however.”  He cites as an example the New York Times repeatedly printing falsehoods about Block, describing him as a racist, etc.  Rozeff considers this morally wrong, and if the NAP cannot deal with this then it is too restrictive:

The ethics of liberty is supposed to be based upon natural law, and it seems problematic that the NAP in this case, at least as it has so far been interpreted by Rothbard and Block, fails to be in accord with a natural law obligation, which is that one does not misrepresent what service one is providing.

I don’t believe all libertarians base their views on the natural law, but it is the place I am landing.  Foundational to natural law is truth.  In this regard, sustained liberty requires that truth is valued and defended.  Specific punishments and remedies are beyond the scope of this post; I am only after this distinction of libertarianism or liberty.

Rozeff continues, regarding a man’s reputation:

A man’s reputation is not less important to him than his body. Men work hard to build up a good reputation. A lot is riding on one’s reputation.

Of this, I have no doubt.  Yet many libertarians will argue that a man does not own his reputation; his reputation is held in the mind of others.  This is true as far as it goes, but what happens when a third party constantly lies about me, damaging and even ruining my reputation – destroying all possibility of work, relationships, etc.?  Well, of course, under the NAP I am entitled to neither work nor relationships, so maybe I should just shut up!  But I won’t….

The non-aggression principle (NAP) rests on physical invasions or threats thereof. But must all crimes in a free society be restricted to physical invasions of property? Can’t law encompass more than such property invasions?

Rozeff offers Frank van Dun (PDF), who is after justice and not merely purity of theory – therefore he extends the idea of crime beyond these restrictive boundaries.

Without some superior justice authority based upon and actively implementing some notions of justice that go beyond the NAP, a “free society” that allowed all sorts of lies and false accusations would degrade into a free-for-all.

Well, it would not if all men were saints.  But that is for the next world, not this one; that is for utopians, not those who are seeking liberty in a world made up of human beings. 

In defense of this, Rozeff falls into an unfortunate pit; more specifically, he uses unfortunate language.  Accepting that Block’s position is the correct anarcho-capitalist position, Rozeff concludes:

It is one of several problems that make limited government an attractive option, despite its flaws. I refer to protection companies who have different laws and attract different clienteles.

I really don’t like the word “government” in this context; I strongly prefer governance – and yes, something or someone will always exist to provide governance.  In case you believe I am being too harsh, Rozeff continues:

Without a government over them to keep the peace, there almost surely will be war. Hobbes has a point.

I don’t believe Hobbes wrote of private protection companies or any such voluntary (or relatively voluntary) scheme. 

Block offers a simple response to Rozeff’s views on falsehoods, libel, reputation, etc.:

There is only one question that interests the libertarian, qua libertarian, regarding libel law: should malicious, lying libel, gossip, be prohibited by law. And, there is only one answer: no. For a compelling case on this matter, read what Mr. Libertarian has to say about it.

This may be true as far as a “libertarian, qua libertarian” goes, but what of the individual who is after liberty?  Rozeff suggests:

The NAP may be too restrictive to handle certain cases. Its restriction buys definiteness, perhaps, although one can think up hard cases where lines must be drawn, but it’s still arbitrary and not necessarily a basis for a COMPLETE set of laws. The objectivity of its application is by no means assured. Not everyone, including all libertarians, will buy into it.

Truer words have never been spoken – most specifically regarding the last sentence.  How much of what libertarians debate – and even largely agree upon – will be handled in a reasonably voluntary, decentralized society?  They won’t care about Block’s or Rozeff’s or my definition or interpretation, and they will be perfectly happy in their liberty.

Walter, you cannot define libertarianism by restriction to the NAP.

Here, I will disagree with Rozeff.  We need not confuse libertarianism; we only need recognize that it is not sufficient for liberty.


Hans Hoppe has offered a subset of the Decalogue as beneficial toward liberty, despite the fact that some of the cited commandments reach beyond a strict interpretation of the non-aggression principle.  He sees these commandments…

…as even an improvement over a strict and rigid libertarianism - given the common, shared goal of social perfection: of a stable, just and peaceful social order.

An improvement!  Is it our objective to purify libertarian theory, or is it to find liberty?

Hoppe recognizes that the issue for the libertarian as libertarian is one of punishment, noting that violations of some subset of these commandments…

…may be punished only by means below the threshold of physical violence, such as social disapproval, discrimination, exclusion or ostracism.

There is no lasting liberty in a society that places no responsibility on its members beyond “don’t hit first; don’t take my stuff.”  We know what a society looks like when no responsibility is taken for children.  I will offer two examples: first, America’s inner cities; second, the privileged social justice warriors of the middle and upper classes.

There is no lasting liberty in a society that does not place a cost on purposely and continuously working to falsely destroy another’s reputation.  We know what a society looks like when truth is not valued and defended.  Look at America.

The convergence of natural law, Christian ethics, and the non-aggression principle; I believe this is where liberty will be found.


The referenced Block and Rozeff blog posts:


  1. Might I suggest that without honor, virtue, personal integrity, responsibility and love cast in the broadest interpretation that there can be no society or civilization worth living in? And very likely, none that we'd want to live in.

  2. I can't fully get behind the NAP anyway. If someone is in my face and won't get out of it, or if some one is insulting me and won't stop. I will try to apply reason. Then I will apply threats. But then I am applying my fist. And I won't feel bad about it. Don't think I will be harming liberty either.

    The NAP is a decent rule of thumb but it can't be applied universally and it isn't soley sufficient.

    1. RMB, if someone insults my wife and I don't follow this with a quick punch in the nose, society is lost - and, along with that, liberty.

    2. Bionic, does this mean that if I insult your wife, at least in your eyes, you will punch me in the nose, even though I may be 5'2" and weigh 99 lbs? I'm seeing a lot of moral outrage by you and some of the commenters here over the principal of the NAP, which I've no doubt the same moral outrage is shared by Block. To me it looks like y'all are ignoring the forest for the trees. Peg in Oregon

    3. Principle, not principal. Mea culpa. Peg

    4. Peg, given that I am 4' 9" and 85 pounds, what do you think?

      "I'm seeing a lot of moral outrage by you...over the principal of the NAP..."

      I had to look it up: "Moral outrage is the emotion of outrage experienced in reaction to a perceived injustice and is often accompanied by a desire to shame and/or punish wrongdoers."

      Please point to examples where you find this to be true in what I have written.

      "...which I've no doubt the same moral outrage is shared by Block."

      Are you sure? I don't think he takes "moral" outrage when, for example, I offer criticism (NAP-based or otherwise) of his libertarian view of abortion. Morally, he agrees with me.

    5. Bionic, I doubt you would punch a female regardless, especially an old lady as am I. Peg in Oregon

    6. Bionic, I suggested you and other commenters here of being morally outraged by Block’s libertarian view of what is meant by the NAP as it applies to abortion, property rights, child neglect, etc. You are correct of course, Block doesn’t take moral outrage by criticism, but instead responds to it. He is, after all, simply trying to get to that last nth of truth.
      I believe Block is personally contemptuous of the act of abortion, same as you, same as I. Yes, morally he agrees with you about all of those things mentioned in my previous paragraph. Moral outrage doesn’t give permission to commit aggression. Peg

    7. Abortion: a violation of the NAP, it is aggression, it is murder. What is an acceptable feeling for me to have in the face of someone who claims that a principle of non-aggression permits such aggression?

      Property rights: I am not sure when I have expressed something approaching moral outrage on Block's views here.

      Child neglect: when one places the thinnest of thin libertarianism at the top of the pyramid, there is no violation here. The thinnest of thin libertarianism equates positive laws and positive obligations, it seems to me. When these two are muddled, it is a lost society.

      Block advocates, I believe, that the parent is obligated to find the child a safe place - a hospital, orphanage, etc. I don't feel moral outrage about this. I do not believe he writes of abandonment; if he does, I will reconsider this point.

      Natural law speaks against abortion and child neglect; the non-aggression principle speaks against abortion; Christianity speaks against both. If, as I am coming to believe, our liberty will be found in the convergence of these three views, a community that views abortion and child neglect as normal is a lost community.

  3. I must agree with "unknown" in the first comment.

    We seek liberty here. If a libertarian must cling to libertarianism no matter what, then libertarianism becomes more of a religious dogma (and a poor one at that) than a path to liberty.

    The NAP is a great starting point. However, as the Black Pearl's first mate, Mr. Gibbs said of the Pirate's Code: "they're more guidelines than rules". The NAP should be taken as a guideline and not as a hard and fast rule.

    We must stop seeking certainty and instead seek for knowledge and truth.

  4. "We need not confuse libertarianism; we only need recognize that it is not sufficient for liberty."

    Libertarianism is only the skeleton of liberty. Without flesh and blood and a soul, it is a lifeless pile of bones, a relic of something that was once alive. Mr. Libertarianism himself understood this (excepting perhaps the soul part - Rothbard being agnostic as far as I know).

    I think the big disagreement between Block and Rozeff is not what is just but what should be punished with physical force. Block is a social conservative and would not condone abandoning children; he simply believes this behavior should not be punished with physical violence.

    I have half a mind to agree with him. The people who abort their babies and abandon their children to die are not a danger to anyone else's children. Do they deserve the death penalty, a lengthy or lifetime stay in confinement? Or should they be excommunicated from society, no longer able to work or buy food from others, not allowed on anyone else's property, shunned and ostracized from the rest of their friends and neighbors?

    The question of punishment is a difficult one for the libertarian qua libertarian, but it's even more difficult for the libertarian who seeks a social order of liberty and all its constituent elements: "natural law, Christian ethics, and the non-aggression principle". Perhaps each community or law association within a libertarian confederacy will answer these sorts of questions differently.

    I believe Rothbard and Block were and are first and foremost interested in denying the validity of the state, which they each correctly recognize(d) as evil. If Rothbard justified abortion, it was because he wished to deny the necessity of the state to intervene in such matters. If Block justifies libel, it is for similar reasons. Neither denied or denies the validity of social or non-violent punishment for such offenses.

    1. ATL

      "The people who abort their babies and abandon their children to die are not a danger to anyone else's children."

      I openly admit to not having a good answer in such cases. Of course, the doctor who performs the abortion remains a danger to other children...but I do not have a good answer here either.

      I do believe that we too often ignore the culpability (if that is the right word) of the father and this should be incorporated in any idea of justice in such circumstances.

      Ultimately, it is up to people of goodwill to provide and enable options to women and parents in crisis. If churches would spend half the energy on these issues that they do in praise of Israel and in prayer for nuclear holocaust, I suspect the problem would be close to solved!


    2. Your points on Rothbard and Block are valid, and I embrace the foundation that they (certainly first Rothbard) and others have placed on understanding libertarianism.

      As I have mentioned before, we have purified libertarian theory enough - we have found the libertarian truth on many matters. It is time to find liberty.

    3. From ATL: “Or should they be excommunicated from society, no longer able to work or buy food from others, not allowed on anyone else's property, shunned and ostracized from the rest of their friends and neighbors?”
      Thank you ATL, as always, for a thoughtful and reasonable comment. What you say is surely a more disagreeable form of punishment than say, a punch in the nose.
      I’ve wondered for some time if exile, rather than commonly used punishments such as prison or physical harm, would be a more valid application of the NAP. Peg in Oregon

    4. BM,

      "Of course, the doctor who performs the abortion remains a danger to other children"

      That's a great point. So do people who go around encouraging women to have abortions, convincing them its their right to end a human life in the womb. Still, talk of punishment is complex, especially in the crazy America we live in today, where even many Catholics condone the legality of abortion.


      Thanks! Exile is a terrible judgement. It should not be taken lightly, but it'd be hard to accomplish in our multicultural landscape.

  5. And people wonder why libertarianism is going no where!

    Is it a violation of NAP, if, for example, I was the neighbor and aware of the starvation of the child, were to enter uninvited to the property to rescue the child?


    Quite frankly, this sort of position, that parents have no positive duties to their child is positively evil.

    1. Even though I apparently _feel_ like you do, one does wonder: what if that child was adolf hitler?

      Or more to the point: Is every child worth saving? Including the children in ... say ... Venezuela?

      I agree that parents have a duty towards their children, but do WE have a duty towards THEIR children? Or should we take the opposite approach: step over our feelings and reject to help their children?

      I see this in the light of some recent observations that during the most liberal phase in european history people routinely died before reaching procreation age, and these people were overwhelmingly of lower social status (low IQ), and there was a death penalty for every serious crime that took 1-2% of the population each year, overwhelmingly of the lower social status (low IQ), and there was the black death that took mostly people of lower social economic status...

      Dark thoughts... yet...

  6. Put a fork in it. I won't be part of any "community" which has the NAP as its guiding principle. In fact, I will be hunting down NAP believers as a danger to civilization. You have NAP advocates saying that its OK to starve children. Robert Wenzel says that adults can rape children based on adherence to the NAP.

    1. "I will be hunting down NAP believers as a danger to civilization"

      I'll be the first to admit that there are some moral degenerates running around in libertarian circles who probably are a danger to civilization, but that much is assured within any outcast community (and many that are accepted!) - and it's hard to think of any community more outcast than those who in today's world reject the validity of the state.

      Having said that, there are many people who 'believe in the NAP' who are decent folks and who probably share a lot of the same goals as you. Are you going to hunt them down as well? How about me? I believe in the NAP.

      Let me be clear in my position (lest you hunt me in vain). The non-aggression principle should be no one's guiding star, it is simply the lowest bar of ethics. It is only a component of that which should govern our behavior. It's the one that should govern when force is justified. In other words, if you can't get over this bar, you deserve to be hit with it.

      Above this lowest ethical standard, should be classical virtue, the Decalogue, and the highest bar: the Sermon on the Mount. Some combination of Natural Law, Christianity, and the NAP sounds like a good recipe for civilization to me.

      What would you have as the highest ethical principle and how would you promote or enforce it?

    2. ATL,

      I don't know, dude. Perhaps there are too many highfalutin "principles" being thrown around. How about "don't starve children" and "don't rape children" for starters?

      Once we start dealing with "NAP believers" then no doubt you will make efforts to distinguish yourself from these criminals.

    3. I think the error being made is to consider that there is actually such a thing as a libertarian community. Even a libertarian community won't look like a libertarian community to those on the outside.

      While not exactly on point, I offer the following - which is close enough:


    4. I think if one is justifying child rape or abandonment and baby killing, it's time to reevaluate one's principles, or at least your application of them. I certainly justify neither, nor do I think the NAP does.

      Again, libertarians are an outcast community, so there will be freaks among us, especially since libertarianism is only a fixed position on the just use of force (and not anything else!). Because they draw wacky conclusions from the NAP does not mean the NAP is broken; it means they are.

      "Once we start dealing with "NAP believers""

      Why don't you just come out and say what you mean instead of hiding behind veiled threats? I used to have respect for your opinion, but that is now gone.

      Just remember that libertarians are not pacifists. Most of us will not be 'hunted down' or 'dealt with' without a fight.

    5. Matt, I accidentally deleted your comment; I apologize. Please comment again and I will do my best not to mess it up.

      Both Matt and ATL, please try keeping your handguns holstered.

    6. "Why don't you just come out and say what you mean instead of hiding behind veiled threats? I used to have respect for your opinion, but that is now gone.

      Just remember that libertarians are not pacifists. Most of us will not be 'hunted down' or 'dealt with' without a fight."

      Then you can volunteer to fight for the freaks among you simply because you insist on being associated with them.

      On my side we have a state, and people determined to stamp out child abuse using force. You on the other hand have atomized individuals who will be arguing over who will pay for the bullets.

    7. Let us all take a step back from this discussion for a moment to reflect on a few things:

      1. You can't equate someone who says it's ok to molest children on his property using whatever rationalization he comes up with as being specifically libertarian and NAP compliant- even if he claims to be both. It's a logical fallacy to do so on a variety of levels. (starting with the fact the NAP is clearly not objective in all areas, especially when it comes to punishment, even though some might claim it to be)

      2. Most libertarians would never defend such a person, regardless of whether they label themselves a "libertarian" or not.

      3. No individual or the state for that matter is going to hunt down "NAP believers" in some misguided attempt to exact justice for some false equivalence between the two. It's pure poppycock/fantasy land.

      4. The state itself, using the US as an example, is becoming increasingly unsuccessful in it's attempts to administer "justice". Take Jeffery Epstein as an example. If that's not good enough, read about groupie Lori Maddox.

      Did any of those rapists(statutory mind you) see jail time?

      It's plain for all to see the US "justice" system crumbling before our eyes for a variety of complex reasons.

      The US gov't can't even protect it's borders. (and that assumes it wants too....a separate discussion)

      The long term track record of successful long term governance(and even existence) of "the state" over time is zero. It always eventually fails with some other version to replace it.

      That is why BM's exploration of the intersection between morality and liberty is so very important, as well as understanding the more successful historical hierarchies(I'd prefer voluntarily subscribed to none the less if possible) relation to such.

    8. I'm not in favor of child abuse, nor are any libertarians that I'm aware of. The issue is whether you can justly punish with physical force a strictly neglectful parent.

      Rothbard and Block both recognize the right of others to rescue a child in such a situation. If the neglectful parent tries to prevent this with force, then force is justified against them, since at this point they are actively confining and aggressing against their own child and their would-be rescuer.

      If no active aggression is committed, only neglect, then I believe the proper course of action is to recuse the child, charge the parents with severe neglect, and if found guilty, the parents should be excommunicated (and this can be done without pointing guns at people).

      "On my side we have a state, and people determined to stamp out child abuse using force."

      Are they really? How long will that last before the unsavory tendencies of any monopoly (let alone any aggressive one) emerge: reduced output, lower quality, and higher price? How long will the zeal of goodness last in an inherently evil institution? Maybe a few generations at best.

      Soon those with money and power begin buying influence, in order to preserve and grow that money and power, and they'll figure out (once again) that the more they precipitate cultural decline and dilution (inversion of rights, consumer protection, welfare state, mass immigration, etc.), the more power and influence they can achieve. The words of your constitution will be bent and twisted to suit the purposes of those now in power. Then we'll be right back where we are now where child abuse (and porn, drug trafficking, homosexuality, sexual deviancy, etc.) is widely prevalent, especially among those positioned most securely under the wing of the dragon.

      "You on the other hand have atomized individuals"

      No, this is a caricature of our position. As Nisbet and Bionic have pointed out, it is typically those under a state who are atomized individuals, because without masses of unconnected people, people shorn of intermediating institutions, the state would not have formed in the first place. Our position, as libertarians, is not against authority or organization, it is simply in favor of natural or voluntary authority and organization.

      I'll fight on whichever side I deem most likely to fight toward this end, because I believe this will be the environment in which my highest ends (God, family, tradition) will have the greatest opportunity to thrive.

    9. Matt

      Nick and ATL have said it well, so I will be brief – or maybe not brief but offer a few other thoughts.

      The non-aggression principle, on which libertarianism is based, is rather quite simple – and I find beauty in this simplicity: it really doesn’t say anything more than don’t hit first and don’t take my stuff.

      There are many libertarians who will claim that it is much more than this. Any such claims must be weighed against the principle. Many additional claims are consistent with the principle, many are not – does this indict the principle or the one making the claim? Heaven help me if I was judged based on the actions and claims of the many “groups” to which I belong – be they country, nationality, religion, alma mater, the hooligans of my favourite football club, etc.

      But there is more for many who call themselves libertarians: there are many claims made despite the fact that the NAP cannot answer the question either way – yet this doesn’t stop those who call themselves libertarians from making such claims.

      When one prominent libertarian claimed that a property owner was justified in deciding any punishment he wanted for a violation of his property, I offered as an example a child who picked an apple off the ground of the farmer’s orchard while on the way to school. Can the farmer shoot the child? Clearly not.

      For this I was derided by this prominent libertarian, at which I offered that if this is consistent with libertarianism, I want no part of it.

      Of course, one could conclude exactly this from the non-aggression principle alone – who else but the victim can decide the value of the stolen property? But liberty will not be the result. And as you know, my quest has been liberty, not libertarianism.

      Of course, there comes a point when punishment crosses the line into aggression – clearly the case, it seems to me, in the example given.

      Do I throw out the non-aggression principle because of such idiotic thinking? Not at all. If I thought like this I would have to throw out Christianity because of people like Hagee or the Pope. That would be rather silly, just as it would be silly for me to throw out the non-aggression principle because there are idiots on both the left and right who abuse the principle.

      As to looking to a state to protect from child abuse, give me a break. No one who has lived in this world can believe this to be a solution. You are too intelligent a commenter to believe this – and please don’t discuss theory, please consider reality given human nature, just as libertarians must (but often don’t).

    10. *the proper course of action is to - rescue - the child (not recuse!).

  7. Haven’t read a word of Block’s in a long time and I see nothing has changed, still hanging on every word of Rothbard’s like a Talmudic scholar.... It should be clear that Block doesn’t see his system as a way to bring justice to the world but rather he sees the both the world and justice (as the ancients understood it) to be obstacles to his system. In some ways I can’t help but admire his fanaticism but I have zero sympathy with his goals.

    >Is it our objective to purify libertarian theory, or is it to find liberty?

    Just as you would say libertarianism per Block is insufficient grounds for liberty I would argue “liberty” is insufficient grounds for civilization. Before liberty I would put the welfare and survival of the West. If individual liberties need to be sacrificed to this end then so be it. What the West needs most will come from Duty and Sacrifice which funny enough is on the micro exactly what Block is rejecting in the above exchange.

    1. "Before liberty I would put the welfare and survival of the West."

      Which part of the West exactly? Socialism came from the West. Capitalism as well. Christianity, virtue, Reason, nihilism, libertinism. The list of ideas with long roots in the West is nearly endless.

      How do you separate what is good from what is not? "Duty and Sacrifice" I can certainly agree to but in service to whom and what end? I believe I have an overarching duty to provide for and otherwise encourage the health and happiness of my family and this often entails sacrifice on some level (time, money, energy, patience, etc.). All my other goals and aspirations take a back seat to this. Is this in accordance with your notion of Duty and Sacrifice?

      Do I have the same duty to sacrifice for an organization (the State) which represents the single greatest threat toward the future happiness and well-being of my descendants? I would say not a chance in hell.

      Nor would I trust any state to usher in a civilization of virtue and honor. Either this happens from the ground up (with good leadership of course), or it won't happen at all. Virtue, like Salvation, cannot be imposed; it must be earned and accepted.

    2. A large portion of my work at this blog - especially earlier in my progression - was on the history of the West, being the false narrative told to cover up the many evils perpetrated.


      And then there is my Timeline to War - so long it had to be split into two parts (see tabs above). It is a timeline leading up to the West's self-destruction of the twentieth century.

      Abraham pleaded for Sodom, finally getting God to agree that it was worth saving if as few as ten were found righteous. This tells me that there is still some hope for the West, but maybe not much.

      Abraham started his pleading with God at 50 righteous; fortunately Abraham didn't stop there, continuing to challenge God, as I am not sure there are 50 such people in the West today.

  8. Good grief, man. The hypothetical is limited to what me, I, as in individual. I am taking charge of my actions and not requiring anyone else's. My hypothetical involves personal knowledge, as in witness.
    My hypothetical does not involve the situation where there is only reports by others.
    If the situation merits, and I am called to, I would try to rescue as many as I was personally able.
    In no way I give myself the authority to force anyone into dong the same.
    But, in real life, where there is trust, close friendship among people, my word might be sufficient to bring another's action into play.
    You know, as in close knit society with a common cultural understanding of right and wrong.
    As to my duty, well ... I am a Christian. For me there is no anarchy since I am under a government, even if it is not of this world ... yet.
    Come soon Lord Jesus.