THE STATE AS PROTECTION RACKET:


           6-1.  The state is the ultimate "protection racket" because the price of its
        protection can be the highest tribute that may be exacted from persons: their souls,
        their moral autonomy.
             The coercive state, that is, often demands the moral autonomy of its citizens as a
        condition of its protection of their material well-being.  Many surrender that
        autonomy without a struggle, by gladly affirming the "legitimacy" of the violent and
        coercive hierarchies which rule over them.
             Why is this so?
          6-2.  If the officers of the state are ultimately only the enforcers of a protection
        racket, do we owe them honor and respect solely by virtue of their offices?
             No.  Their offices too often represent routinized hierarchy and domination.  In
        addition, the occupants of these offices are too often the most sophisticated and well-
        entrenched of the criminals among us.  Yet, even when they are, they are ironically
        victims, too, of a system and of a way of thinking.
          6-3.  From a purely ethical perspective, the problem with the coercive state is that
        it protects one group of God's children at the expense of others.  The realm
        ("kingdom") of God, by comparison with earthly states, offers universal "citizenship":
        no one is excluded by God.  (It may yet be safe to say that all of us exclude ourselves
        at times.)
             The state, that is, is not based upon altruism, but upon egoism, for it is always
        egoism that motivates individuals and groups to include some and exclude others.
        Any serious critique of the state--the realm of all violent, coercive, and judgmental
        practices--must begin with an analysis of the egoism-altruism dilemma.
          6-4.  The first question that one must answer when coming to grips with the
        altruism-egoism dilemma is whether that dilemma can bear the weight that one would
        put upon it.  Therefore, one cannot fruitfully proceed in ethical analysis until one has
        answered the first question of ethics: is altruism really possible?  
             If it is not, if everything is simply veiled self-interest, then one has to ask what it
        is that impels us to try to extend our moral perspective such that we feel either a
        kinship or an obligation (hardly the same thing) for more and more sentient beings--
        why we feel compelled, that is, to extend the boundaries of the category of those to
        whom we feel loyalty.  If one admits that one is so impelled, what is it that impels one
        to try to extend the limits of loyalty, if not altruism pure and simple?  Surely it is not
        egoism which is at work when we make the group more inclusive, for self-interest is
        typically better served by exclusion rather than inclusion.  Some force seems to be
        impelling us to go beyond ourselves, and it  must be God, who surely did not create
        us for his own self-interest, but for our own.  
             If one starts from strong theistic premises, one seems to be on safer ground in
        assuming that a strong altruism-egoism dilemma is a valid one, one that cannot be
        rationalized away by reference to some kind of milksop such as "reciprocal altruism,"1
        or by some appeal to "enlightened self-interest" or "mutual advantage."2  We do well
        to preserve a clear egoism-altruism distinction as the basis for our further analysis.  
           6-5.  The ultimate basis for all contracts is ultimately egoism: "What will I get in
               Another problem with a contractual theory of obligation, as opposed to one based
        upon unconditional altruism, is that contracts are always between subsets of the set
        of all human beings, and benefits and entitlements are seen to be owed only to those
        who are members of the subsets which contract together.
              Contractualism as a general social theory is thus by its very nature exclusive: this
        is the nature of egoism as manifested in social practices and structures.  When
        contractualism is extended from ethics pure and simple to the realm of political
        theory, the exclusivist orientation of social contract theory is manifested as a bounded
        conception of rights and citizenship.  Some persons, that is, are the objects of loyalty
        and moral concern.  Others are not.
              Altruistic obligation, by contrast, is transnationalistic and universalistic.  It does not
          6-6.  Conventional altruism (or what passes for altruism) is usually circumscribed
        by familial, tribal, national, religious, or ethnic boundaries.  The soldier who falls on
        a grenade is altruistic and selfless toward his comrades, but not toward his enemy.
        His altruism is to be applauded, for he demonstrates that he is capable of sacrificing
        himself for the sake of his fellow soldiers or his fellow countrymen.  
              Yet, to the extent that a soldier is prepared to die only for his countrymen while
        remaining prepared to kill those outside the limited bounds of loyalty, his altruism is
        circumscribed by the limits of the group identified as his own.  Indeed, whether we
        say that he is selfish in the limits of his national identification or altruistic in his
        predisposition to die for those with whom he identifies, the fact remains that he is not
        altruistically inclined toward all humankind.  
              The riddle of patriotism therefore remains: is nationalism, patriotism, an expression
        of altruism or of egoism?  What makes the issue problematic is the fact that the
        noblest patriot seems to be disposed to sacrifice himself only for those with whom he
        can identify.  It is not clear that his actions really should even be called altruistic in the
        first place: he seems to be prepared to sacrifice himself only for an extension of
        himself.  This limitation of his perspective allows him to kill others outside his group
        who are a threat to that which is dear to him, and so a nationalist perspective seems,
        if anything, to make the soldier more dangerous to humanity than if he were
        indifferent to the welfare of others.
              In any case, patriotism qua nationalism is not something that one wants to exalt:
        on the best interpretation, it is the result of an imperfectly developed moral
        perspective, whereas on the worst interpretation it is self-interest pure and simple.
          6-7.  Early Christian teachings may well be unique among altruistic systems of
        thought in that they require one to love all human beings, even those defined as "the
        enemy" (including, one presumes, criminals and other internal enemies to society).
        All other religions and ethical systems require altruistic sacrifice for the sake of
        members of some group, to the exclusion of others outside the group.  Yet, insofar
        as the "others" are not universal, neither is the altruism complete or universal.
              In Christian ethics, one must even be disposed to make sacrifices for the truly evil:
        we are obligated to follow the Christ, and he died for the sake of all persons, including
        the most ungodly.  How is this is to be accomplished without furthering the cause of
        evil?  This is the paradox of Christian ethics, and it is a reason that Christian ethics has
        been a "stumbling block" to those who cannot accept the ideal of unqualified for-
        giveness or of universal altruism.
          6-8.  Why should one die for the sake of an enemy, an enemy not only of oneself
        but of persons and ideals which one may hold dear?  If so doing leaves these dear
        ones vulnerable, what has one achieved by one's sacrifice, if not the promotion of evil?
        Is it not necessary to make a decision as to more or less worthy others and to be
        prepared to sacrifice accordingly?  
              This is an entirely reasonable position, and many nominal Christians have acted on
        the basis of some such rationale.  Yet, the early Christian view does not seem to
        support it.  For, having ranked others in terms of significance and worthiness, has one
        not only judged others but also indicated a predisposition to regress to the same
        exclusive nationalistic and ethnocentric impulse which feeds acts of war in the first
          6-9.  Even Jesus himself called for the sacrifice of his own followers for the sake
        of demonstrating his commitment to all humankind, even the worst sinners.  Since he
        loved many of his followers, did this not pain him?  Surely it did, but by his divine
        logic he had no alternative: if he as a human being was not to judge but to forgive and
        to be prepared to sacrifice, then was he not exemplifying the kind of universalist logic
        which is to guide and perfect our own altruistic impulses?
              Was he not also saying that even sinners are still "in the family," still children of
        God--no matter how wayward?
          6-10.  Perhaps it is not too strong to say that the main point of returning good for
        evil in hard cases is that one might find a way to change the evildoer, not merely
        reduce the level of conflict.  Even if the practical effect of a personal sacrifice is small
        or nonexistent, there may be long-term benefits of a non-material nature: persons do
        change when inspired by the examples of others.
              This way of looking at things could be in error, of course: perhaps we should
        always return good for evil simply because that is the divine imperative.  Either way,
        the proper response to any injustice is always to respond with good.  This is what
        many would call "coddling the criminal" or even "rewarding injustice."  Yet, original
        Christianity required one to return good for evil in the most literal sense, showing by
        one's actions that one's own physical welfare and social status are subordinate to the
        spiritual and material welfare of the person, group, or country which is threatening
        or injuring one or one's own.
              The requirement always to return good for evil would clearly preclude war or
        punishment as possible moral courses of action.
          6-11.  Returning good for evil is a powerful example because it has the potential
        to convince others of the sincerity of one's beliefs, and it does this by convincing them
        of the importance one attaches to their beliefs and to their moral condition or spiritual
              Giving one's life is a small thing if the possible result is a paradigm change in the
        thinking and behavior of others, a change which will prepare them to face God and
        to live in peace with all persons.
          6-12.  Christianity leads us to apparently absurd conclusions if it demands us to
        make vulnerable our loved ones, but any lesser predisposition to sacrifice does not
        offer a truly universalizable example: God is no respecter of persons, including one's
        loved ones, for all are loved by him.  It is possible that a Christian action may require
        one to leave vulnerable those for whom one has the strongest emotional attachment
        in favor of those for whom one has absolutely no emotional attachment, but whom
        one has reason to believe are nonetheless children of God.  
              If a predisposition to risk the sacrifice of the physical welfare of one to whom one
        is emotionally attached is required in order to promote the spiritual welfare of one to
        whom one has no attachment (and who might even be brutal toward oneself and one's
        loved ones), then the divine logic of spiritual priorities would seem to require that one
        might have to risk losing that which is more precious than one's own life: the life and
        well-being of those whom one most dearly loves.  If our willingness to suffer the loss
        of our loved ones demonstrates to those who call themselves our enemies the depth
        of our commitment to the spiritual well-being of those same enemies, then we have
        not only promoted their spiritual understanding but in the process contributed to their
        conversion and the subsequent saving of lives of other innocent persons.
              We must always remember that our "loved ones" are no more loved of God than
        are our enemies, or the enemies of society.
          6-13.  On such things as the willingness to sacrifice our loved ones, we tend, of
        course, to "think like men" and not like God.  The physical welfare of ourselves or our
        loved ones, as important as it is, is a small thing compared to the spiritual welfare of
        our enemies.  Jesus even knowingly called for his own loved ones to go out and be
        killed for the spiritual welfare of those who were enemies to his cause.  To drive home
        the point, he accepted his own execution--that of the most perfect human being--in
        order to prove his own unconditional love (even for his own tormentors), as well as
        to convert those who could not be converted by a lesser example of selfless sacrifice.
          6-14.  This is the example of Christ: he not only died for all persons, but he called
        upon those whom he "loved" (to whom he was personally attached in a human sense)
        to make a comparable sacrifice.  This was probably his greatest sacrifice, although
        most of us are more impressed by his own disposition to die for those who were
        enemies to his cause.  The crucifixion gets our attention, but his willingness to
        encourage a similar sacrifice on the part of those whom he loved is, upon reflection,
        the most astonishing attribute of his divinity.
          6-15.  Jesus told Peter that in his old age others would come and take him where
        he did not want to go.  That he loved Peter is beyond doubt.  It is noteworthy that he
        still said to Peter at the last, "Follow me." (John 21:22)
          6-16.  Perhaps it is well to say, with Abraham, that we should be prepared to
        sacrifice our loved ones if that is what God requires; and, being prepared to do so, we
        may yet pray that we shall not have to.  God will provide the sacrifice--most probably
        in the form of ourselves.  It is thus reasonable to hope that we may be able in every
        case to find a way to sacrifice ourselves in order to save our loved ones, and thus to
        be true to the demands of peace and of universal altruism without being called upon
        to let our loved ones die before we do ourselves.  
          6-17.  In its typical chauvinistic but moralistic manifestations, the mutual security
        argument manifests itself as a claim that all persons have an obligation to be prepared
        to use force to protect some group (the family, the community or the nation) against
        outsiders.  Although the varieties of the argument differ, as do the settings, the
        general presumption is that the members of the family, the community, or the nation-
        state are or ought to be dearer to one than those persons or groupings outside of that
        family, community, or nation.  In addition, on such a view, being entitled to the
        benefits of that community or nation obliges one to do one's "fair share" by way of
        providing for the common defense.
              The mutual security premise thus leads to conclude that there is an "obligation" to
        do some supposed "fair share of the killing."   This is the foundation of all jingoistic
        arguments in favor or war and the military draft.
              Such is the final fruit of egoism writ large.
          6-18.  One part of the revulsion which the Christian pacifist feels in the face of the
        mutual security argument is moral: one feels strongly that moral obligation is of a very
        different nature from the idea of mutual protection and mutual advantage found in so-
        cial contract theory, and one also feels that moral obligation has as its end something
        more significant than collective security for some exclusive group (even one as large
        as the nation), at the expense of others outside that group.
          6-19.  The mutual security corollary which calls for a moral imperative of violence
        also comes to fruition as hostility toward the pacifist, who is characterized as a shirker
        or a coward, or both.  
              Pacifism is thus a defense not only of the welfare of those excluded from one's
        immediate group, but also a defense of a higher conception of honor than that
        contained in any claim of an obligation to kill or punish.  Perhaps the pacifist should
        be above the capacity to be insulted, but there is no denying that those who tell the
        pacifist that he has an obligation to kill have insulted the foundation of his belief
              They have also, I think, insulted God as well.  Had they been around at the time
        of the Christ, they would have joined the chorus calling for his crucifixion.  He was
        not the nationalist zealot his countrymen had been led to expect of anyone who
        claimed to be the Messiah, and he wanted to include Greeks and Arabs in his family.
        It was this denial of exclusivity which infuriated his own countrymen the most, for it
        was a denial of their special status in the eyes of God.
              Yet, his pacifism, too, must have played a role in inflaming their passions, for
        human nature has not changed in two thousand years, and the pacifist is almost
        universally hated and probably always has been.
              Why is this so?
          6-20.  A coherent Christian pacifism is averse not only to war and punishment as
        expressions of group egoism, but it is equally averse to the state's honoring of those
        are prepared to kill, those who accept the conception of honor implicit in the mutual
        security premise.  
              One may yet memorialize those who have died in war without yet honoring their
        actions.  Yet, if one does so, one must be prepared to memorialize non-combatants
        as well.  The state, however, tends to build monuments only to those who are
        prepared to kill.  It tends to remain indifferent to those who simply died.
              The state wants, that is, to encourage warriors.  It does not care about those who
        are simply victims of war.  It certainly does not care about those who died on "the
        other side."
          6-21.  Ultimately, of course, the state does not even really care about those who
        died as warriors.  If it did, it would not have sacrificed them on the altar of war in the
        first place: the group (the state in this case) uses some for the sake of its own survival.
              The monuments to veterans are too often not really for the sake of those who have
        died.  Such monuments are too often directed at the next generation, those who can
        be induced to serve the exclusive group by being prepared to kill and die for it.  We
        should thus look at monuments to warriors with a certain scepticism, and sometimes
        even cynicism.  Such monuments are not only valid memorials.  They can also be one
        of the means by which society recruits new sacrificial lambs--young men who will then
        go out and create other sacrificial lambs on the "other side."
              The state, that is, does not even honor its own dead unless they are warriors.  The
        state, in pretending to honor warriors, honors war.  It does not really care about the
        victims--including that class of victims who were combatants.
          6-22.  Jesus of Nazareth was telling his fellow Jews that their conception of a
        chosen people was faulty, that all persons were children of God.  He challenged, that
        is, the exclusivity premise which is the foundation of the mutual security position of
        all egoistic groups.  He was thus hated and misunderstood for trying to promote the
        truth of a higher, more inclusive standard of justice.
              Every pacifist should be prepared for the possibility of a similar fate: the merits of
        pacifism and universal brotherhood do not evoke insight and respect as often as they
        evoke perplexity and anger.
              Every pacifist must be prepared to die for his or her "country": the brotherhood
        and sisterhood of humankind.
          6-23.  What the pacifist also rejects when facing the advocates of mutual security
        and exclusivity is the taking of sides in a zero-sum game.  The pacifist thus never
        adjusts to the typical complacency about casualties in warfare and other conflict.
        Regardless of whether or not these casualties be military or civilian, whether on one
        side or the other, the pacifist is concerned.  The advocate of mutual security and its
        exclusivist and egoistic premises, by contrast, is concerned only with casualties on one
        side while applauding casualties on the other.  
              Can one imagine God doing that?  Can one imagine God's applauding one group
        of his children for their abuses against others of his children?
          6-24.  A concern for mutual security leads inexorably to the taking of sides in such
        a way as to exclude others, and this is the foundation of war.  Any kind of social
        conflict can be war, even where overt violence is not used.  Even philosophy can be
        warlike if its goal is to humiliate or to make outcasts those of a differing persuasion.
        The pacifist is thus opposed to fruitless social conflict, including but not limited to
        that which entails the use of force, punishment, and other violence.  Any practice or
        any social grouping which offers a de facto condemnation of those who are outside
        the circle is thus the kind of "war" which the Christian pacifist wants to abjure.
              What pacifism rejects, that is, is not only violence but a general manifestation of
        ethnocentric exclusivity.  In the United States, nationalistic exclusivity is manifested
        through much talk about something called "national security," the local variant of the
        mutual security dogma.
          6-25.  Patriotism is primarily a glorification of a mutual benefit association.  At its
        core it is thus egoistic.
              The disguised egoism surfaces in the euphemism of "military service."  Yet, what
        is this "service" but a disposition to kill for one's country?
          6-26.  Courage as a willingness to die for one's country has rarely been the true
        issue, as the patriot would have us believe.  In a nuclear age even babies and quad-
        riplegics are capable of the dubious virtue of dying for their country.  What the group
        qua state is actually asking is for one to kill for it.  "Are you prepared to kill for your
        country?" is thus a more nearly correct interpretation of what is being asked.  
              Even here, however, the appeal to "country" hides the uglier reality of the claim:
        one is being asked to kill so that the group qua state can enjoy security and
        prosperity--even if so doing reduces the security and prosperity of other groups, not
        to mention those young people of one's own country who are the routine sacrificial
              What the patriot is really asking is, "Are you prepared to kill for me and my
        group?"  The self-righteous patriot is thus a egoist in moral disguise--a scoundrel
          6-27.  In the best case, the call to arms means being asked to kill members of
        another nation so that one's own nation might survive.  At worst, the unwitting pawns
        of one ruling elite are being asked to kill the unwitting pawns of a ruling elite of a rival
        state so that one order can dominate the other--so that the elites on both sides can
          6-28.  Patriotism in the usual limited nationalistic sense is as beguiling as a
        prostitute--pretty and wholesome-looking on the outside, but riddled with moral and
        physical disease and putrefaction of all sorts on the inside.
              Like most diseases, patriotism and other forms of group chauvinism often do not
        show their worst manifestations in their early stages.
          6-29.  If we should do good to those who persecute us and oppress us, then how
        are we to treat our ultimate oppressors, those who would dare to try to rule over us,
        to dominate us and try to control our very lives while claiming to be our "public
              Consistency would require that we try to treat them with good also.  The apparent
        absurdity of such a view can be countered by the positive side: the potential beneficial
        consequences of converting those so powerful are great enough to justify the likely
        sacrifice of oneself in a given instance.  Admittedly, those who would do good to
        those in power are not likely to convert them in any given instance, but the possibility
        is nonetheless real and justifies the likelihood that one may not survive the effort.
        After all, one is not talking here about "being nice" to those in power: one is talking
        about talking straight to them with the full knowledge that one is likely to get into
        trouble that way, while still preparing no contingencies for retaliation.
          6-30.  But what about Hitler?  Should one not be prepared to knock off a Hitler?
        No, but one should be prepared to talk straight to a Hitler, and one should expect
        retaliation from a Hitler.  There is only one consolation: against unjust rulers in
        general, one is morally permitted to speak and then run, or to speak on the run.  There
        is nothing that requires one, like Socrates in prison, to sit and go too easily to one's
        death, if a moral avenue of escape presents itself.
              On the other hand, one should not delude oneself into thinking that one is always
        going to be able to make a clean getaway.  How does one deal with a Hitler?
              Consistency requires that even a Hitler is worthy of one's sacrifice, if one's sacrifice
        can offer some small hope of showing him the error of his ways.  Even a Hitler, after
        all, is a child of God, regardless of the scope of his atrocities and his delusions.
              If God is all-powerful, God can and will salvage all persons.  Can our attitude be
        less forgiving?
          6-31.  One's ethic is found out when one's own welfare or survival is on the line.
        What will one do to save oneself--or one's reputation?  Who will one publicly declare
        to be the villain?  Who will one throw to the dogs?  How will one do all of this?
              The answers given to all of these questions are what distinguish the true pacifist
        from those who merely talk laboriously of peace, but who are as treacherous as
        snakes in their interpersonal relations.
          6-32.  Rather than promote peace as some end state, human beings do well if they
        learn to act and to achieve their more limited goals in the world by peaceable means.
        They cannot guarantee thereby that others will do the same, although the strong
        presumption here is that acting peaceably as individuals is the best single way to
        promote a similar behavior on the part of others.  
              The motive for acting peaceably must not be so that others will treat one peaceably
        in return, for that would be a narrowly selfish motive.  Besides, the reaction to pacifist
        ideals is often hateful and violent, so that what one really must be prepared to do is
        to travel the path of peace alone: one's peaceableness should not be contingent on the
        reciprocated peaceableness of others.
          6-33.  The conception of ethics which I am defending can be called an exemplary
        conception: a conception which, if correct, would bear emulation and universalization
        in the behavior of all persons.  
              An exemplary conception is also one that would be worthy of being emulated
        unilaterally, with or without the reciprocation of others: God incarnate would not take
        a poll before deciding what is the right thing to do, and neither should his children.
        Most of all, God incarnate does act unilaterally in the sense that he continues to act
        benevolently toward his children, no matter how they act toward him or toward each
              If God incarnate acts in a unilaterally benevolent fashion toward those who are
        unworthy, can we (who are the unworthy ones) do otherwise if we think of ourselves
        as his children?
          6-34.  The most fundamental kind of betrayal is that found in sacrificing another
        person or group for the sake of oneself or one's group.  Much that goes by the name
        of "patriotism" is betrayal of one segment of mankind for the sake of the survival of
        oneself or the group to which one belongs.
              In addition to the term "patriotism," an even more common and inclusive
        euphemism for betrayal is the so-called "right of self-defense."
          6-35.  The usual (including the statist) way of looking at betrayal is to say that
        betrayal is the forsaking of one group or person for another.  The pacifistic Christian,
        whose loyalties are to all persons and not to one group or person at the expense of
        others, must come up with another, more inclusive, way of looking at the concept of
        betrayal.  Thus is it necessary to see any sacrifice of another as a form of betrayal, and
        thus it is necessary to see why it is that what the state calls virtue is really vice: all
        violence done in the name of "patriotism," "self-defense," or "official duty" is really
        a form of betrayal.  
          6-36.  The first step in the process of the betrayal of God is to define another
        person or group as "the enemy."  Once this has been done, thereby imputing inherent
        evil and worthlessness to the other, the actual act of betrayal comes easily enough: the
        execution of judgment follows easily from the making of the moral judgment.
              That this process of betrayal occurs everyday, at the level of ordinary interpersonal
        relationships, should be obvious enough.  Indeed, betrayal begins on a small scale,
        with the so-called "minor" brutalities which persons commit against one another
        during everyday life.
          6-37.  One wonders how God feels when one of his children calls another of his
        children "the enemy."
          6-38.  The so-called "right of self-defense" is one of those concepts which is the
        product of rationalization.  Like all products of rationalization, the idea of such a
        "right" is very difficult to break down in the minds of those who have succumbed to
        it.  Thus a "right of self-defense" is thought by many to be more or less self-evident,
        perhaps because the primal instinctual urge toward self-preservation is so strong, or
        else (in truly pathological cases) because other rationalizations have so distorted a
        person's moral judgment that he or she exaggerates or even imagines the potential
        threat which another poses.
              Perhaps this latter evil can be seen at its worst in the tendency to scapegoat those
        who, from a state of moral and psychological distortion, are viewed as sufficiently
        threatening to one's survival that one must be prepared to exterminate (or at least to
        banish or incarcerate) them in order to feel secure.  
              The destruction, banishment, or extermination of other individuals or groups--these
        are what the so-called "right of self-defense" is really all about in practice.
          6-39.  Did Jesus of Nazareth speak of a "right of self-defense," or invoke such a
        concept in his own behalf?  Did he try, that is, to defend a "right" to do wrong?
          6-40.  What the right course of action is in the face of perceived threat might be
        very much in opposition to common sense and instinct: the right course of action
        might be to be disposed to sacrifice oneself for the sake of another, even for another
        clearly in the wrong.  
              Otherwise, how does one explain the behavior of Jesus of Nazareth?
          6-41.  Jesus of Nazareth sacrificed himself to those who were less worthy than
        himself, and in so doing communicated in the strongest possible way--with deeds and
        not merely with words--that the will of God does not require us to save ourselves at
        any cost, such as by accusing, judging, or coercing others, but requires us instead
        always to be a living example of the divine altruistic impulse, which can be counter
        to mere instinct--especially the survival instinct.
          6-42.  Did Jesus of Nazareth save himself from his accusers by engaging in
        counter-accusation?  Did Jesus save himself from those who threatened him by engag-
        ing in counter-threat?
             Why was Jesus almost totally silent before his accusers and before Pilate?
          6-43.  What is counter to instinct seems almost certain to cause some emotional
        distress.  Yet, one dare not confuse all such distress with a bad conscience.
        Otherwise, one will not have the moral courage to do what must be done in those
        cases where one's sacrifice really is called for, when a given cup refuses to pass.
          6-44.  Without the rational intuition of the divine will, perhaps each of us could live
        well enough--as animals.  If human beings were animals and nothing more, this
        possibly would be enough to please God.  Therefore we might justifiably behave as
        ferociously as the most savage beast if we were attacked, or even remotely threat-
        ened, after the manner of truly wild beasts.
              Being neither beasts nor wild, however, human beings cannot justify as acceptable
        to God that which God might tolerate in other animals at their present stage of
        development.  Thus it is that human beings are called to aspire to a higher plane of
        existence, to an ideal which goes beyond the rationalization of the instinctual as
        "right" or "duty."
          6-45.  Does anyone truly doubt that other animals besides humans are also engaged
        in the evolution or development of "moral faculties"?
          6-46.  Betrayal can ultimately be understood in its most fundamental sense when
        it is seen in the simplest kind of social situation--one in which the welfare of one
        person comes into direct conflict with the welfare of one other person.  Group
        situations, by contrast, have a way of causing confusion as to the real meaning of
        betrayal, for the group makes claims upon individuals for violent defense of itself,
        claims which seem plausible because moral claims about the welfare of all get mixed
        up with egoistic claims.
              Perhaps that is how persons in most human societies have come to believe that
        killing for the group is really a virtuous act: the conviction has developed that killing
        is a thoroughly selfless act, as has the corresponding conviction that a disposition not
        to kill is a very selfish act.  Nationalistic prattling about a patriotic "duty" to kill in
        order to preserve the country or other group is the worst kind of double-talk and
        rationalization imaginable.  
              Individuals may actually help themselves (i.e., act egoistically) two different ways
        when they kill for the group: they may be really killing for themselves as members of
        the group, or they may be killing for the approval of the group, or both.  The fact that
        actual self-sacrifice might occur does not change the egoistic logic of the situation,
        even if a genuinely altruistic disposition motivates the individual actor in a given case.
          6-47.  If one kills others for the sake of oneself or the group to which one belongs,
        one betrays Christ, who died for all persons and not merely for one small segment.  
              If one kills one person to preserve oneself, one has also made the judgment that
        that person is less worthy of existence than oneself, and this is a judgment that is to
        be left to God alone.  One has, in any case, denied the infinite worth of that person.
          6-48.  The pacifist who refuses to fight is seen by the patriot to be a traitor to the
        group, one who shirks or who leaves others in the lurch.  In fact, the principled
        pacifist simply refuses to betray the larger group of humanity and its Lord who died
        for all.
              One who calls oneself a "patriot" may well be the traitor to the "nation" of all
        humankind, the only nation ordained of God.
          6-49.  Pure altruists do not claim a right of self-defense, either individually or
        collectively.  Not recognizing such a right, they also do not encourage others to
        defend them through violence or counter-accusation.  Indeed, they discourage others
        from such a defense of themselves, as Christ implored his disciples not to defend him
        with the sword.  
              Christ was saddened, however, that his disciples did not stand with him.  Refusing
        all methods of defending him or sharing his fate was betrayal, as the story of Peter
        clearly shows.  
          6-50.  When children and those in obvious need of assistance are threatened,
        extraordinary defensive measures may be called for, such as interposing oneself
        between them and the threat, so that harm comes only to oneself if escape for all is
        not possible.  Diversion of aggression from them to oneself is perhaps the recom
        mended way to protect them--and it may be quite effective.  One reason for this is that
        humans respond to obstacles to their aggression in ways that are similar to beasts: that
        which stands up to them either discourages the assault or enrages the aggressor and
        diverts his wrath against the one who interposes himself or herself, thus tending to
        lead to forgetfulness about the original prey.
              These arguments are not decisive for all cases, of course.  Such a strategy will not
        always work.  Where it would not work, one has to ask oneself why it is that one
        might be obligated not to use evil means to come to the assistance of someone in
        need.  Is it because there is always some creative alternative, or is there simply some
        categorical prohibition against the use of imperfect means?  Is such a prohibition ab-
              Such questions get to the heart of the problem of finding and defending a coherent
        pacifism.  The only coherent response seems to be the absolute prohibition against
        returning evil for evil.
          6-51.  "Nationalism" in the conventional sense implies not only allegiance but strict
        limits to that allegiance.  Expanding the limits of nationhood means holding onto the
        positive aspect of allegiance or loyalty while expanding the scope of those included
        in the concept of "nation."  How national boundaries are presently drawn, while not
        accidental, is nonetheless ethically arbitrary: which nation one is a part of is really a
        matter of which super-extended family one is a part of, and which family one is a part
        of is an accident of birth.
          6-52.  The fact that national or familial identity, like bastardy, is an accident of
        birth ought to alert us to the possibility and desirability of defining our allegiance and
        loyalty to the largest possible concept of nation, a concept whose limits are not
        arbitrary or exclusive.  
              The ultimate ideal is allegiance to God and loyalty to all of humankind.  Far from
        being "impractical," this is in fact the only practicable ideal, for it is the only
        conception of nationhood not likely to come to fruition in war.
          6-53.  God does not judge groups, references in the Old Testament to a "chosen
        people" notwithstanding.
              As it became clearer to religious thinkers that there was no such thing as a nation
        which was favored in the sight of God to the exclusion of other nations, the whole
        idea of a divine judgment of nations rather than individuals lost its entire rationale.
        Why judge nations if only individuals could be spoken of as having responsibility?
        What point, that is, could there be in making claims about the virtue of groups when
        only individuals can meaningfully be referred to in terms of virtue and vice?
               "Is this the best country?" is a question which can only meaningfully be answered
        in the context of an attitude of self-exaltation--in this case extended to some group
        to which one might claim membership.  Since original Christianity forbade such an
        attitude, it forbade as well such a concern, rendering the question meaningless.
          6-54.  The foundation of peace is ultimately that no one is excluded.  The
        foundation of peace is also liberty, freedom, for when one is excluded one has only
        the freedom to starve.  To be outside the group, to be excluded, means that one does
        not exist in a state of peaceful harmony with those inside the group.  If one is
        excluded, one has been declared to be a de facto enemy, or at least a non-person.
          6-55.  The foundation of exclusion is judgment, and thus it is that the foundation
        of war is also judgment, especially that kind of judgment which excludes some as
        worthy of acceptance while including others.  The nation-state is the largest and most
        dangerous form of exclusive mutual benefit association (hereafter referred to as an
        "EMBA").  The nation state, and allegiance to its tenets of exclusivity, is thus the
        basis of the most destructive form of warfare.
              Perhaps nationalism or its equivalent is the foundation of all warfare: "I am inside;
        you're out.  I count; you don't.  I am worthy; you are expendable."
          6-56.  "The few, the proud, the Marines."  The message appeals to the worst in
        human nature, which is appropriate for an organization which exploits children
        (recruits) and glorifies brutality.
              Is it any accident that that branch of service which most appeals to pride and vanity
        is also the most likely to be used to defend Hobbes' "King of the Proud," the nation-
        state?  Here lies a problem: the Corps builds men (or automatons) who are loyal most
        of all to the Corps, not to the nation, for the Corps is the more exclusive grouping.
        If everyone went into the Corps, the appeal of pride would be lost.
              One sees the same exclusivity in educational institutions, of course.  The military
        has no monopoly on arrogance and social exclusivity.  Educational institutions are
        also capable of violence, although they are more subtle about it.
              Perhaps that makes them more dangerous.
          6-57.  Hear the sad chant of the Vietnam veterans: "Why do they not honor us for
        our deeds in war?"
              The Memorial has been built.  The chant continues.  How does one, after all,
        compensate another for the theft of his or her youth?
          6-58.  How is allegiance to a universal nation possible or practicable?       Perhaps
        it is possible to give allegiance to a nation which is in the process of becoming, of
        coming into being.  Such a nation would be composed of persons who shared
        enduring core values.  The values of the Christian ideal of the Sermon on the Mount
        and associated teachings of Christian idealism may be an example of the "nation"
        which is only coming into being, for it is not a nation that one expects to see achieving
        its universalist potential in one's lifetime.  It is nonetheless a valid object of allegiance
        in this life, provided that allegiance to its principles is not seen as an excuse for
        limiting one's loyalty to only that segment of humanity which believes as one does.  
              Otherwise, one's pretensions to universality would only come to fruition in the
        worst kind of ethnocentric exclusivity: religious bigotry.
          6-59.  Concepts such as "citizen" and "member" are implicit judgments of
        exclusivity.  To the extent, that is, that some are labeled as citizens or members,
        others automatically are not.  There follows an inevitable tendency among those who
        are among the officialdom of both realms to grant certain rights or make certain
        claims on behalf of those who are official "persons" in both realms.  
              Those who are excluded, and who are thus denied certain attributes of personhood
        by virtue of denial of certain rights, are thus for all intents and purposes "non-
        persons," beings who are treated as if they were lacking in certain of the attributes
        associated with personhood and rational autonomy.  The important point, of course,
        is not any claim that anyone is actually lacking in certain rights, but merely that they
        are treated as if they were.
          6-60.  The state may profitably be viewed as an "EMBA," an exclusive mutual
        benefit association, or even an interest group writ large.  Only those who contribute
        to the state and who give a more or less exclusive allegiance to it are deemed to be
        eligible for the benefits which it bestows.  The state can thus be seen to be enforcing
        loyalty through its threat of exclusion and denial of benefits to those who refuse to
        grant it obeisance.  
              Such is the nature of "protection rackets": those whom they do not protect they
        tend to destroy.
          6-61.  The state is a jealous god, withholding its severest penalties for those who
        affirm that loyalty to God has priority over loyalty to the state and its laws.  Usually,
        of course, the state manages to co-opt potential religious objectors.
              The means by which this cooptation typically occurs is by convincing the citizenry
        that legal obligation is the locus of all moral obligation.  At other times, the state (in
        collusion with ecclesiastical authorities) propounds the doctrine of dual or parallel
        loyalty (Protestantism), or the idea that the state, subordinate to the church, is still in
        the service of God and thus in the chain of command from God (Catholicism).
          6-62.  By placing legal obligation at the locus of all moral obligation, the state
        manages to usurp the title of Sovereign or Most High: God had better not get in the
        way.  So clever is the way of thinking by which earthly rulers have duped their
        underlings (and themselves: this is no conspiracy theory) that persons are made to feel
        guilty if they do not consult the state before acting.  It is true that the U.S. Constitu
        tion has come closer than all previous legal constitutions to exploding the myth that
        rights come from the state.  It has done this through its almost unknown Ninth
        Amendment3 which affirms that there may be rights which exist whether or not the
        government recognizes them or not.  This is by far the most radical element in the
        U.S. Constitution, and when the time is ripe it will perhaps bring the next wave of
        significant constitutional interpretation and amendment.
              At present the Ninth Amendment serves to remind us that the source of rights (and
        of right) is not in the U.S. Constitution or any body of man-made law but in some
        higher law of nature or nature's God.  When that idea has reached its maturity, the
        Ninth Amendment will not have merely changed the U.S. Constitution: it will have
        helped demythologize it to the point that it will be seen to be totally superfluous and
              Or does one think instead that societal perfection will come through perfecting the
        legal system and its coercive sanctions backed up by the threat of violence?
          6-63.  Breathes there a man with soul so dead who has never felt that the entire
        world is or ought to be his home, his native land?  Is there anyone who has not chafed
        at the limits of experience and fellowship promoted by the culture of nationalism?
              The irony of nationalism, of course, is that it is a transnational phenomenon.  It is
        transnational without being international.
          6-64.  Collectivities have ways of preserving their exclusivity, of course, and one
        of these is the practice of conferring honor on those whose actions preserve the
        exclusive collectivity.  Another way is to confer blame and denigration upon those
        whose actions are a challenge to that exclusive collectivity.  Typically the collectivity
        is the state, but it can also be the local Rotary Club, a graduating class, or any other
        group which defines itself in exclusive terms.  
              The horror which seems to go unnoticed is how deliberate and manipulative are
        most schemas of both approbation and condemnation.
          6-65.  When the state honors its killers while never memorializing those on the
        "other side" who are killed by them, it affirms the Greatest Lie: the idea that only its
        people are valuable in the eyes of God.  In the domestic realm, this kind of chauvinism
        exalts the police, not the military, but the basic ethical problem is the same: someone
        is being either banished or destroyed so that someone else might live and prosper
        without inconvenience.
               And this is thought to be moral.
          6-66.  The violence employed to enforce exclusivity may not be physical violence.
        It may be psychological, taking its typical form in a kind of symbolic ritual of
        banishment--being incarcerated, fired, or denied membership.
              Whether the violence be symbolic or substantive, however, it is manifested as
        exclusion, which presupposes a de facto judgment of unworthiness.  Such judgments
        are the essence of barbarism.
          6-67.  Let those who would exalt nationalism remember to extend its bounds to
        include all persons, and then it will not have as its obverse the tendency to stigmatize
        the outsider: the "alien," the "foreigner," the "Jew," or some other group or individual
        which feels the irrational and hateful reaction of the group sooner or later.
          6-68.  In any social contract theory, the state can best be viewed as an exclusive
        mutual benefit association.  As with any such association, one either is a member or
        one is not. Some ruling order must, of course, be able to make the determination of
        membership.  Since benefits and privileges can be withheld on the judgment of the
        ruling order, it is not meaningless to say that those whose benefits are withheld are
        treated as if they had no rights, and thus as if they were not "official persons."
              An even graver problem with social contract theory is that claims of right or justice
        are based upon perceived group (or national) self-interest.  The result is that the ideal
        of "patriotism" becomes the rather sordid one of self-interest writ large.  Loyalty to
        the group becomes just another expression of self-interest, since compliance comes
        to be based upon a recognition that exclusion could mean the end of all benefits: thus
        the ultimate sanction is not even a limited altruism, but fear.
              This emphasis upon fear as a social regulator (in this case the fear of exclusion)
        goes to the heart of my claim that the state is the ultimate "protection racket," for all
        protection rackets depend finally upon terror.
          6-69.  The state as exclusive mutual benefit association (the contractualist view)
        typically limits its ethical concern to those who are members: it is not unfair to see the
        state on this contractualist view as a huge country club with incredibly elaborate
        restrictions.  Social contract theory in practice thus becomes de facto bigotry: the
        basis for exclusion becomes almost reducible to the place of one's birth, surely as
        arbitrary a criterion as skin color, religion, language, or any of the many other bases
        for exclusion on a smaller scale.
              "Rules of immigration" become in fact restrictions governing membership, and, as
        with all such exclusive associations, those who can offer the most to the group are the
        more likely to be admitted, and those who have the least to offer but are most in need
        are the more likely to be rejected: the poor, the uneducated, the diseased.  Those least
        in need are admitted, and those most in need tend to be rejected.  Membership is
        never universal on any contractualist view, of course, since the whole point of any
        mutual benefit association is the distribution of entitlements, and universal mem-
        bership threatens a dilution of entitlements for those who already belong.
              The guiding principle is not altruism, but "reciprocity," which is nothing but
        reciprocated egoism.
          6-70.  Property being the first raison d'̂tre of any mutual benefit association, those
        who found a statist association can be expected to agree to arrangements which
        ensure their own healthy share.  Significant others (including those immigrants who
        can make a contribution through their cheap labor or professional services) are invited
        to join for the sake of strengthening the association economically and politically (akin
        in some ways to selling shares in a corporation to stabilize it at the risk of diluting its
        assets).  Beyond a certain point, however, the inclusion of new members obviously
        does not make the association more wealthy or secure, but less, and so acceptance
        and inclusion become increasingly more limited.  At every point, of course, the
        "national interest" is invoked to justify rationales of exclusion, so that those who
        support the pristine status of the association (state) are honored as being the true
        "patriots," those who are working for the "common good."  The "common good"
        unfortunately does not extend to all persons, of course, but only to those who are
              Such is the general egoistic legacy of social contract theory, the morality and logic
        of which seem to many persons to be very nearly self-evident.  Contract theory does
        seem, however, to be counter to the very principles of universal charity and concern
        which made Christianity such a radical force in its infancy.
          6-71.  Patriotism is typically defined as loyalty to one's country.  To the extent,
        however, that loyalty to one's country implies the absence of loyalty to other human
        beings outside one's country, then patriotism is nothing more than a kind of egoism:
        the self writ large.  The automatic anger that most persons feel when one of their own
        countrymen (or an ally) is attacked, at the same time that they remain indifferent to
        attacks on those not of (or allied with) their own country, indicates a kind of identifi-
        cation with countrymen combined with an indifference toward the welfare of others
        with whom one does not identify.  
              This simultaneous combination of apathy and outrage is characteristic of all
        chauvinistic impulses.
          6-72.  The process of identification with others is hardly evil: it is the moral
        foundation of family sentiments and fellow feeling for other human beings.  The
        problem is the kind of socialization which encourages it to be limited to some group
        smaller than the entire race of humanity.
              Loyalty in and of itself is, of course, a virtue.  Thus is the concept of "patriotism"
        usually thought to connote virtue.  The problem in real human situations, however,
        is that those who are vying for our loyalties are often (typically?) trying to recruit us
        to join or identify with one group in lieu of another: they wish us to take sides for (or
        advance) one group (of which they are, of course, a part) against some other group
        which threatens their positions of power, privilege, or prestige.
          6-73.  The problem with patriotism as a general virtue is that it is typically invoked
        at just those times that battle lines are being drawn, or else it is taught in terms of
        loyalty to one group in anticipation of threat to that group by some other group.
        Thus the very "institution" of instilling patriotism qua nationalism is socialization for
        war, for it trains us to limit our perspective and moral concern only to those most like
        us--and to be prepared to oppress or destroy those who are different.
          6-74.  What is true of patriotism is likewise true of the concept of "solidarity," and
        woe to that person who believes that he or she can be accepted as neutral in a labor-
        management dispute.  If one tries to remain neutral, on the premise that taking sides
        does not promote the process of problem-solving, then one is automatically branded
        as traitorous.  
              This tendency toward banishment of the "neutral" or the pacifist is the most
        marked in all-out war, of course, especially after the opposing group or country has
        indeed committed atrocities.  To try to put these atrocities in perspective (by compar-
        ing them with the atrocities being committed by one's own group) is often interpreted
        as an attempt to minimize them or even to try to justify the actions of the "enemy,"
        when in fact one's only goal is to try to reduce the polarizing tensions which
        exacerbate the conflict and lead to escalation.  
              When one tries to encourage persons to try to see things from the "other side's"
        point of view, one is, of course, open to the charge of "giving aid and comfort to the
        enemy."  This tendency is evident not only in international warfare, but in small group
        conflicts, such as post-divorce family squabbles and labor-management disputes.
              What all of these polarizing disputes have in common is competition for the
        loyalties of fellow "hate-mates."
          6-75.  The transnational perspective of Christianity ought to encourage the clear
        distinction between a Christian and a nationalistic perspective, but of course the
        distinction is not typically thought to be a valid one: thus do many churches have a
        "Christian flag" (whatever that is) displayed at the same time that they have a U.S.
        flag displayed.  They fail to see that, in a very essential sense, the claims of
        Christianity and the claims of nationalism are not only contingently opposed but
        necessarily opposed: it is one thing to cooperate with the state when its purposes are
        worthy, but it is quite another thing to identify with the state to the exclusion of
        loyalty to persons in other states.  
          6-76.  In the era of state nationalism, patriotism has tended toward a group
        psychosis deriving from a sense of impotence and lack of self-esteem on the part of
        more and more individuals.  Nationalism has become the glorification of power and
              Not long ago, I had the personal misfortune of starting the day by turning on the
        television just in time to see and hear a U.S. Air Force presentation of the national
        war anthem, accompanied by all manner of Air Force weaponry.  This particular
        sequence was particularly unfortunate, however, for it ended with a beautiful profile
        of an advanced aircraft flying steadily along above the clouds in a scene of total
        serenity and peacefulness--interrupted suddenly at the end when the plane began to
        bank, displaying rather ostentatiously two missiles, one on each wingtip.  The picture
        was frozen, so that the last thing seen during the last bars of the national war anthem
        was the very pointed claim that the reason for the peaceful scene just witnessed was
        the missiles which had previously been hidden from view.
              Why the Air Force produces such patriotic vignettes for early and late night
        viewing is obvious enough: it intends further to indoctrinate the public with the view
        that the road to peace is paved with weaponry and preparedness of war.  It also
        further cultivates the image (in the crassest kind of way) of itself as the guardian of
        the rest of us--and therefore as our greatest group of heroes.  Were this simply Air
        Force public relations and rather devious lobbying for more defense dollars through
        the "public service" of providing tapes of the anthem for television stations
        everywhere, it would be obnoxious enough.  Unfortunately, it is more than that: it is
        a manifestation of the neurotic obsession with power by the military mind.  It is also
        self-glorification of the worst kind.  
              If the militaristic trend of the late twentieth century continues, this nation could
        become by far the most dangerous on the face of the globe, if it is not already.
          6-77.  As a form of pride, chauvinistic patriotism can best be exorcised by
        replacement with a sense of gratitude, not to the state or its founders, but to God
        from whom all blessings flow.  Patriotism is false religion of the worst kind, wholly
        incompatible with the humble, transnational message of equality before God.  To
        crow about the blessings of being an American is not to express gratitude so much as
        it is to exult in the good fortune which one enjoys, all too often a fruit of the exploita-
        tion of some (such as slaves, former slaves, and immigrants) or the extermination of
        others, such as the native inhabitants.
              It is ironic that the original inhabitants of this land were apparently more reverential
        toward the land than those who came in the name of "responsible Christian
          6-78.  In spite of the fact that almost all societies differentiate between those who
        "belong" and those who do not, it is certainly conceivable that societies could exist
        which would welcome others totally and without reservation--and who thus in some
        sense would be capable of universalizing their own identity and membership to include
        all of humankind.
              Another way of saying this is that it is possible to conceive of a society which had
        no limitations either on diversity OR on citizenship: all would be accepted.
          6-79.  If a society existed without limitations on citizenship, we should say that
        such a society did not "exclude," was not "exclusive."  What would be the logical
        preconditions of such a society?
              The only totally non-exclusive society conceivable would unfortunately be one
        based on a perfect consensus of basic values: there would be no barriers to
        acceptance because everyone basically thought alike.  Such a society is not a practical
        likelihood, of course, but it would be at least theoretically conceivable.  What is not
        so obviously conceivable, even theoretically, would be a society which tolerated
        totally divergent values but which still had no barriers to full and equal acceptance
        throughout all subunits of that society.  
              The theoretical limitation to such a conception is made obvious in the hypothetical
        case as to how a group which practiced human sacrifice could possibly be granted full
        acceptance (in any meaningful sense) in a society whose other members all believed
        in the absolute sanctity of human life.
              The example seems far-fetched, but it does remind us that the barriers to full and
        equal citizenship (that is, the foundations of exclusivity) seem to be ultimately
        reducible to lack of consensus on basic values: cultural differences.  Therefore, one
        may say that the first precondition of a truly non-exclusive, transnational society
        would be that there would have to be a consensus on some core basic values.  That
        being so, the first order of business for social and political philosophy must be the
        determination of what values are truly universal: what goods or principles of right are
        ordained of God.
              In this country, it is generally thought that the core values which can persist are the
        procedural democratic values which allow persons peacefully to agree to disagree.
        Yet, this very belief is at the crux of the civil religion of American democracy.  As
        powerful a force as this consensus on legal procedure and basic rights is, it is still not
        sufficient.  We shall have to proceed to a different constitutional foundation if we
        expect to realize the truly just society.
              The United States will not soon attain this state of true justice because Americans
        seem to be complacent and blind to the inherent defects of the existing system.  Those
        who do not seek will not find.
          6-80.  If a genuine moral consensus--and not mere "toleration"--is an absolute
        precondition for a perfectly non-exclusive society, then the first order of political
        business in the quest for a totally non-exclusive society would be a corresponding
        attempt to forge a genuine, voluntary consensus on such values--a consensus based
        not on convention or blind acceptance, but on true moral understanding across an
        entire society.  It does not seem likely that such a society could ever come into being
        in this life, but that is no reason that one cannot work toward it.  Even existing
        societies are true communities only to the extent that they have made at least some
        progress toward the goal of a valid and meaningful consensus.
              The irony of all this is that, without the norm of toleration, the exchange of ideas
        necessary for the emergence of a true consensus would not occur.  The prime political
        virtue for the non-exclusive society must therefore ironically still be the virtue of
        toleration.  Such a virtue would not only make it possible to work toward a true
        consensus--it would also allow for a high degree of acceptance and community where
        the consensus remains highly imperfect.  
          6-81.  One may hope that cultural diversity and non-exclusivity are not totally
        incompatible values, since a non-exclusive society bought at the price of total
        homogeneity of all values would seem to be a very dreary ideal toward which to
              Perhaps the point must be that there are certain values which have universal
        validity, whether persons recognize their validity or not, whereas there are other
        values which do not and need not have such universal truth or acceptance: they are
        simply a matter of personal or ethnic taste.  We should exalt both types of values, but
        first we have to know in which category a particular value really does fall--the
        category of universal truth, or the category of mere taste and convention.
          6-82.  The original Christian vision (revised almost immediately by Paul) was of
        a society constituted on the ethical ideal of tolerance and non-judgment of others,
        simultaneously combined with strong appeals to particular ethical claims as to that
        which was absolutely right or "best" among competing ethical values.
              Thus there was the paradox of the original Christian vision: one could be enjoined
        to love one's enemies without embracing their values.  Thus could one be enjoined to
        be tolerant of (even gentle with) the offender without yet embracing the offensive
              Such a vision of society seems to have been revised so early that nominal Chris-
        tianity can be seen to have been universalist only in its evangelical mission: it wanted
        everyone to belong, but it tended in practice to specify certain terms of membership
        and thus immediately backed away from the goal of universality in the direction of
              The formal organization of Christianity led to the dilution of its core tenets.  The
        voluntaristic ideal succumbed to the coercive methods of the state, and "Christians"
        ever since have not hesitated to force certain of their values down the throats of
        others.  Other core values--those of peace and non-judgment--were lost sight of in the
              This is the essential failing of organized Christianity.
          6-83.  One thing that one absolutely must insist upon with regard to the fact of
        cultural diversity in the face of a quest for genuine consensus and the non-exclusive
        society is that, where significant cultural differences do exist, one cannot use force,
        violence, snubbing, or banishment in order to try to create unity out of diversity.
              The Christian message is quite clear on this point: the means one uses must be as
        pure as the end one envisages.  This is where nominal Christianity has failed to live
        up to the non-judgmental, transnational, and non-violent ideal of Jesus of Nazareth:
        it has tried to implement a literal Kingdom of Heaven through a combination of social
        ostracization and the sword.
          6-84.  It is possible to define the Christian church in such a way that it is indeed
        circumscribed by certain doctrinal beliefs (the content of which can be considered to
        be a matter of continuing dispute), at the same time that it holds to the even more
        central ethical belief that literally all persons should be treated as God's children, as
        members of humanity, even as they might not yet be considered to be members of the
        church as defined by adherence to certain beliefs.
              I believe that it is fair to say that some such paradox of simultaneous exclusivity
        and universality of membership was not so much the original ideal as it was the
        original reality of the early church.  There was thus the very real paradox of separate-
         ness from the world combined with unity or brotherhood with the world.  These two
        ideals existed simultaneously in Christian thought and organization, and what still
        tends to distinguish certain variants of Christianity from one another has been the
        relative emphasis placed on one value at the expense of the other.
              The true Christian community must affirm both, thus accepting the tension between
        them without surrendering to a vacuous universalism, on the one hand, or to an
        oppressive enforced homogeneity, on the other.  Christianity has coped no better with
        this problem in terms of its own self-definition than it has in terms of reconciling itself
        with those who are total non-believers, but who are thus entitled to all of the
        privileges of community and beneficence.
          6-85.  As for the concept of "privilege" itself, consider its roots in the Latin words
        for "private" and "law."  As Christianity either made its peace with the state or else
        organized itself in more or less statist fashion, the various "Christian" organizations,
        both Protestant and Catholic, tended toward exclusion: nominal Christianity, that is,
        has tended to be characterized as a great variety of EMBA's, exclusive mutual benefit
              This tendency toward elitism and exclusivity has been the greatest for mainstream
        Protestant groups, which have clannish tendencies in their congregations.  The
        message of universality has, by contrast, been the great driving force for the Catholic
        Church and for the larger Protestant denominations.  On the other hand, too ready a
        universalism on the part of the Catholic Church and the large evangelical Protestant
        denominations has required too strong an endorsement of the civil order, with a
        corresponding watering down of core ethical tenets as the price of universal
              I see no easy practical resolution of this problem: one can empathize with both
        broad traditions, since one sees the value of insisting upon the stringency of certain
        doctrinal tenets (and thus risking exclusivity) at the same time that one can see the
        value of promoting greater universality, sometimes at the cost of doctrinal integrity.
              The two largest groups in this country, Roman Catholics and evangelical
        Protestants, have tended to emphasize inclusiveness, sometimes at the cost of anti-
        intellectualism and of being all things for all persons.  The goal must continue to be
        to affirm the value of universalism without becoming some kind of "lowest common
        denominator" of belief systems and core values.
              Attainment of this goal is difficult enough at the level of individual ethical action.
        It seems to be very nearly impossible at the level of organized entities.
          6-86.  The institutionalization of Christianity, intended to promote Christianity, in
        reality actually served to dilute its ethical impact.  A nominal Christianity was the
        result, and the church as the (potentially infinite) spiritual body of Christ gave way to
        the idea of church as finite, exclusive organization.  In spite of this bureaucratization
        (a statist or political tendency), "churches" in this diluted sense could be and often
        were instruments of good will and benevolence to outsiders.  
              It is clear enough, however, that these nominally Christian organizations were also
        often the opposite: instruments of hatred, bigotry, and horror.  Such was the
        consequence of failing to face up to and deal with the paradox of membership and ex-
        clusivity: the so-called "churches" all too often became state-like instruments of
        human judgment rather than of divine salvation (in the practical, down-to-earth sense
        of rescuing those who had fallen afoul of the social and political order).
          6-87.  What possible justification can there be for accepting the prevailing limits
        on loyalty?  Why not insist from the outset that one is a citizen of the world first and
        a citizen of this country second (if at all)?  Why not insist that, no, indeed, there is
        absolutely no rational reason to assume that an American is more valuable than a
        member of any other nationality?  Why accept without comment or challenge the
        common indictment of "unpatriotic" which almost invariably follows one's attempt to
        define oneself as equal to--but no better than--the member of some other group or
        nationality in the eyes of God?  
              Is God an American?
          6-88.  What is this nonsense called "patriotism"?  It is loyalty to a "fatherland"
        (from patrios, "forefathers," which in turn is from pater for "father").  Well, if all
        persons have one Father, and if all land or lands belong to Him--and if no person can
        serve more than one master--then loyalty to some exclusive segment of humanity in
        lieu of loyalty to all of humanity is not only arbitrary and nonsensical from an ethical
        point of view: it is wrong.  It is also not truly "patriotic."  The best patriot (if one
        insists upon the use of the word) is the patriot whose father is God, and whose father-
        land is God's creation.
          6-89.  Parallel loyalties to God and the state are not possible: dual loyalty would
        be possible only if God were sovereign and the state were his agent.  This unfor-
        tunately seems to be the conventional view: it is the entering wedge of statism and
        conventional patriotism, the seeds of war.
          6-90.  When the state serves divine ends with divine means, then and only then can
        it be obeyed without reservation.  At such times, however, it is not really the state in
        any meaningful sense.
          6-91.  Although "citizenship" as the term is commonly used implies exclusivity, the
        concept of citizenship is not an inherently statist, nationalistic, or exclusivist concept.
        One can, after all, reasonably think of oneself as a citizen of the world, emphasizing
        the fact that one is a member of humankind.  One would, of course, have to affirm
        one's unconditional acceptance of all persons before one could speak of a non-exclu-
        sive, non-statist grouping, no matter what its size.  If the implication of being a citizen
        of the world is that no one is excluded from one's loyalties, then it also follows that
        one does not exclude anyone from one's obligations, for loyalty implies obligation:
        if one is loyal to all persons, then one has obligations to all persons.
              Even where such obligations are negative (such as in the requirement not to kill or
        harm another), they are nonetheless significant.  In fact, of course, we have many
        positive transnational obligations of a humanitarian nature.  We could feed and
        otherwise assist persons all over the world, if only we could learn that the best way
        to do it is not at the point of a gun.
          6-92.  It is necessary to emphasize obligations when speaking of loyalties, because
        loyalty is a de facto way of describing the limits of one's sense of obligation: the limits
        of one's loyalties are the limits of one's obligations.  If there is no theoretical or
        practical limit to one's loyalties, then there is no theoretical or practical limit to one's
              An unconditional, universal citizenship thus implies a perfectly altruistic
        orientation, for a perfect altruism implies no limits to obligation except those
        limitations inherent in one's capacities.
          6-93.  To say that one is loyal to one state is really the same thing as saying that
        one feels a special force of obligation towards those who are members--citizens--of
        that state.  To the extent that one has a greater loyalty to some, one is presumed to
        have a lesser loyalty to others.  Although statists might recognize some general
        responsibility to others who are not citizens, they will at best emphasize that this
        responsibility is a lesser obligation, and at worst they will say that it is not an
        "obligation" at all.  One's responsibilities, where they exist on such a view, are not
        seen as "duty," but as what ethical deontologists call "supererogation," a concept born
        of the presupposition that virtue and attention to duty are not synonymous--a point
        of view derived ultimately from contractualist modes of thinking.
          6-94.  The state claims to secure our liberties and otherwise to protect us.  To the
        extent that we can be said to have made a deal or contract with the state, it is a rather
        Faustian bargain.
              The state offers "protection" in the same way that gangs offer protection: if you
        do not join the club, you not only will not get protection, but you will also have bad
        things happen to you.  These "bad things" may be overt, as in the case of gang
        beatings (as is the case for those who vocally challenge state authority in street
        demonstrations), or these "bad things" may be less overt but nonetheless real, as in the
        deprivation which comes with the withholding of those "privileges" which the state
        (like all clubs) extends to its members but denies to non-members.  Among these
        privileges, of course, are the rights to work and to eat.
              "Aliens" are, of course, denied these except as the state as collective and exclusive
        grouping deigns to drop them a few crumbs--for its own benefit, not for theirs.
          6-95.  If one joins or is otherwise accepted by the state "family" or "club," one will
        indeed receive its protection, within limits.  Yet, one's godfather the state will almost
        inevitably call upon one at some later date to reciprocate the favor, to perform one
        of its filthier services--being a party to the incarceration or extermination of some
        misbegotten member of humanity who has fallen afoul of the "family."
              If one is not obliging in returning the favor, the state (a variant of organized crime
        on a massive scale, after all) may indeed make one an offer one cannot refuse.  Since
        the state is a criminal association, a legalized "protection racket," the question for all
        of us is how we are to get free of it with both soul and body intact.
          6-96.  Once more, Da Capo:  If one's emergent country is all of  humankind, then
        whom would one kill in defense of it?  One of its own citizens?
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