I am a man of peace and I want to be at peace with all men if possible. That is how Baptists are (Romans 12:18). However, I am a libertarian, too, and as such I am in favor of self-defense against criminals and even criminal states (Luke 22:36-38; 1 Corinthians 7:20-26). I know that some people could care less about the biblical support for libertarianism and self-defense, since they arrive at those principles in other ways. Yet we all stand together united with the same conclusion: we have to defend ourselves and our property against predators, especially when government fails to do so.
Over the last few days I have been completely flabbergasted to watch the incredible, violent treatment that political figure José Antonio Kast received in Universidad Arturo Prat in Iquique, Chile on March 21, 2018 (the man in the blue dress shirt being assaulted above and with a leg cast below)—a bottom-of-the-barrel state university where the students with the worst entrance exams can become "university-educated professionals." And, apparently, criminals, too. A violent mob of them kicked and hit Kast, as well as pelted him with everything from water to stones and small flagpoles.
It is worth watching the whole account—captured on cell phone camera—to see how a man, with views equivalent to a member of the Constitution Party in the U.S.A., is treated by the organized, ignorant, vitriolic and I think even bloodthirsty Chilean hard Left. (The major aggression starts around minute 19:30 of the video.) For the first time in twenty-two years of being a resident of Chile do I now understand why the local libertarians and people on the Right say that President Pinochet had no choice but "to violate human rights" in order to hold these wild Chilean "animals" in check.
Indeed, it is truly astounding. It is a case worth considering. I know that this sort of incident is par for the course for most of the rest of the world, but what makes it so shocking is that it occurred in one of the word's freer countries. The difference in Chile, unlike America, is that while pistols are legal to own and even use at home, they may not be carried on the street. This policy blunder has consequences. The adage is correct, "An armed society is a polite society." Maybe that is the main reason that the United States is politer than Chile: up there the hard Left knows that a significant percentage of the opposition is carrying concealed weapons, and knows how to use them.
My views are more "radical" than Kast's, being a pro-life libertarian. I have a gun and know how to use it. But even in the U.S.A. I did not feel slightly frightened like I do now: I might have to use my gun should this country break into greater civil unrest. The streets of Las Condes and Viña del Mar may seem calm now, but there is a seething and venomous hatred boiling over in places, like Iquique, among the hard Left—ever since they lost the election to centrist Sebastián Piñera. It looks like they will be demonstrating and venting their frustrations with violence. For those readers unfamiliar with Chilean political figures, if I were to put them on a simple political spectrum, Piñera, Macron and Merkel would be to the left of Trump who is to the left of Kast, Ron Paul and people like me.
The young adults of the Chilean Right (age 25 up through age 45) are fed up with it and some are talking with fighting words. They are sick and tired of the idle and tacit comments, gestures and cowardly attacks on persons and property. They detest the fact that criminal and civil justice is a joke in Chile, with leftist judges leaving leftist criminals insufficiently punished and district attorneys (fiscales) refusing to prosecute—or even serve papers formally accusing—known felons. I worry, for good reason, that threatened rightists are not going to put up with it forever.
Indeed, the rhetoric on the Right is heating up, as evidenced, too, in the blog of famous Chilean editorialist Hermógenes Pérez de Arce. The cowardly leftists are now sending screenshots of WhatsApp chat groups run by the Right to the police (PDI) and claiming they are being threatened. They want to have their cake and eat it, too. Look at the anti-Kast image above: "Boycott Kast! We do not accept machistas, homophobes, or xenophobes." The intolerant, hateful miscreants commonly found among the Chilean Left are organized and following Kast around to his talks wherever he is invited.
Remember that Baptists were a large part of the defensive or revolutionary force that held off the British in the newly-founded United States. It was those same Baptists that were led by men like Pastor John Leland, who after the War for Independence (1780s) heavily influenced George Mason, James Madison and perhaps Thomas Jefferson to insist on a Bill of Rights to the Constitution, modelled on the Virginia Declaration of Rights (1776). So where is Chile's Leland?
Remember that Baptists are natural libertarians. We make no state alliances and there has never been a Baptist state. We would (and did) go to jail prior to asking the state for a license to preach (as in the image below). Many Baptists (at least historically) see a strong link between the state and Satan himself. Consequently, we do not want to use the state to spread the kingdom of God or enforce biblical morality—unlike Protestants and Roman Catholics do, along with (shamefully) many modern American Baptists.
As such, it was primarily Baptists that favored the Second Amendment to the American Constitution. They wanted a final check against the state or any other predators that would hunt them down as their forefathers were in Europe. Chilean Baptists have a largely pacifist theology (which was also common among European General (or Arminian) Baptists, and their theological cousins like Mennonites and Amish people.
Not all European Baptists were that way, especially the Waldensians holed-up in the Alps for centuries. They fought back against Catholic inquisitors when they could. Moreover, I am fairly certain that the German and other European Baptists that fled to Chile from 1892 to 1910 and started churches in the Fifth Region (Valparaíso) and especially in the lower Eighth Region (south of Concepción) and western Ninth Region (capital being Temuco) had weapons and were willing to use them to defend themselves and their families against the Mapuche Indians. Yet some Chilean Baptists are simply shocked to hear me tell them so. They have strayed from their historical faith.
Many Chileans hate Kast for being "ultra-Right," a traditional Roman Catholic, son of a German immigrant (and now rich owner of the Bavaria restaurant chain), former Chilean Senator that garnered about 8% of the popular vote in November 2017 when running for President. However, the Chilean Left particularly hates Kast because he has been getting an incredible amount of face time with Chilean television lately and is likely to be the Right's frontrunner in the 2020 presidential election.
What the Kast case in Chile shows is yet another case of failed government policy to ensure rights to free speech, along with the rights to life and property themselves. There is simply nothing on earth more intolerant than a leftist, especially a communist. How can we begin to change this short of lodging bullets in the heads of a few thousand of them?
One intermediate policy that I now favor for Chile (more than ever before) is a concealed carry rule. As soon as all people are allowed to go through a process that permits them to carry concealed pistols, Chile will start to be a more civilized and polite place. The hard-core leftists will think twice before openly assaulting people that do not think the way they do. And establishing such a policy might be the best means—at least in the short term—of averting a civil war in the country.
John Cobin, Ph.D.
Escape America Now