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How Many Does It Take?

Quoted from Wilford I. King, cited in John R. Richardson, Christian Economics (Houston, TX: Thomas Press, 1966), p. 31, cited in David A. Noebel, Understanding the Times, Unabridged Edition, p. 707.

Suppose that, in an isolated valley, there are three men, each working for himself on his own farm.  One is very diligent, and when winter arrives, has accumulated a large enough store of foodstuffs, and has on hand ample feed for his horses, cows and poultry.  The others, having taken life easy during the summer, find that long before spring they are short on provisions.  If, then, they combine forces, set upon their neighbor and seize his possessions, both capitalists and collectivists will agree that the two lazy farmers have violated the Eighth Commandment – in other words, they have stolen the diligent farmer’s goods.

But suppose, instead, that the two insist upon establishing a democratic government for the valley.  They hold a “town meeting” and by a vote of two to one adopt a statute requiring that all share equally in the summer’s produce. 

Is this a perfectly legitimate action, falling outside the scope of the Eighth Commandment?  If not, just how many persons does it take to establish a government and make the procedure ethical?

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