This recent post of his, The Western Confucian: Libertarianism and Social Conservatism, takes issue with a post over at The Western Confucian concerning an alliance between social conservatism and libertarianism. In no uncertain terms he disagrees and in the process earns the coveted:
Quote of the Day
Packs a big punch in one paragraph, no?While conservatism is based on a positive conception of freedom rooted in a vision of the true, the good and the beautiful, libertarianism is based on a negative conception of freedom that simply seeks freedom from rules and authority, from social order and the rights of community. Devoid of any concern for anything beyond the self, libertarianism wallows in a degenerate license that undermines the very idea of civilization itself. It is the antithesis of everything that conservatism stands for -- of the very things that make conservatism what it is.
What a great quote of the day (as usual), and yes, I think he pretty much nails the differences. This is why you hear libertarians bashing the military and saying we need to cut spending to ensure only our own protection and get out of every other country. They want us to let people around the world starve, struggle under tyranny and oppression, and fend for themselves if there's a disaster (Haiti, Japan, etc.). Pretty heartless and definitely the opposite of what conservatives are all about.
This causes quite the quandary on the left: they are convinced that conservatives have no heart, that we are selfish and greedy, but they love the selfishness and greediness of libertarianism (they see libertarians as the "elite" conservatives in a bizarre way), but they still attach to conservatives all the "evil" tags that I think far better apply to libertarianism than to we conservatives. But we shouldn't be surprised by this, I guess.
This is my first time visiting your blog, so please forgive if my first comment is to respectfully disagree.
Many people equate libertarian with libertine. (Which is what is described above.) Granted, I'm only a small-l libertarian, but that's not at all my understanding.
Laws to protect citizens from one another are acceptable. (The old "your right to swing your arm ends at the tip of my nose" thing.) While laws to protect grown adults from ourselves ("victimless" crime) is not.
That's an oversimplification.
My favorite place to pick up good info from a libertarian perspective is Reason.com. Maybe have a look around over there?
Scratcher - nothing to forgive. I will take a gander at Reason.com. Perhaps you should head over and have a discussion with Mark since, as I said, my knowledge of libertarianism is so weak you'll probably have much more fun with him. Let me rephrase that a bit - you'll have much more fun discussing the issue with him. ;-)
Scratcher - about the "victimless crime" thingy? I don't believe there is any such thing as a victimless crime. On that issue I have a bit of knowledge. Maybe I should post on that in the future.
Fuzzy - your vast base of knowledge never ceases to amaze me. You never fail to give me great stuff to mull over - and I thank you!
"I don't believe there is any such thing as a victimless crime."
Many don't, that's why I put it in quotes. Let me try another way... crimes that are not against person or property. (That's probably more accurate anyway.) Does that make sense?
I'll have to have a look at the other site. (I'm finding quite a few new blogs the last few days. Everyone can indirectly thank RSM...)
Aw, thanks, Adrienne, I've been struggling to find something to post about (I have about ten half-written blog posts that I just didn't have the heart to finish), and this may be it. I think that a lot of people, including those who think of themselves as libertarians, don't really understand the underlying ideology of libertarianism . . . and the socio-cultural consequences of a myopic, self-centered (in the ideological, not personal sense) worldview. Libertarianism is so far right that it's almost anarachy, indeed, many libertarians, particularly those in the UK and Europe, are anarchists (though they use the term "libertarian anarchy" (which is pretty much redundant, actually).
Fuzzy - PERFECT!!! A sort of libertarianism for dummies (like me)
Get to work right now. No passing GO...
Scratcher - all crimes are against persons or property in some way or another.
Anything that hurts the Body of Christ, hurts everyone.
And then we have the things that are "legal" that are really crimes.
The concept of victimless crimes is interesting. When libertarians talk about victimless crimes, they generally mean anything that does not cause immediate physical harm to another. This includes things like drinking alcohol (including while driving as long as there's no accident that hurts/kills someone else, so a libertarian "law" would cover not drinking and driving but causing physical harm or death of another), smoking pot/doing drugs (drugs, all drugs, should be legalized according to libertarian ideology, though there are "conservative libertarians" who draw the line at legalizing pot), abortion (social conservatives disagree, obviously, that there is no victim), and smaller stuff like jaywalking. They also lump in things that aren't really "crimes" per se but that are illegal, including gay marriage and illegal immigration (libertarianism embraces open borders).
As I said, it's a myopic, self-centered ideology: it completely disregards both morality (they oppose religious institutions as much as they do government ones) and basic logic (illegal immigration, for instance, doesn't in itself "harm" anyone; however, there are numerous consequences of it that are largely ignored by libertarianism).
As with all political ideologies, there are hard-core libertarians and less-ideological libertarians, but the basics are simply that everything that does not directly and immediately hurt another person should not be regulated or made illegal. They define "hurt" as physical injury, and this is why we hear libertarians like Rand Paul say that he disagrees with the Civil Rights Act and that individual business owners should be allowed to ban anyone from their business based on anything, including race, gender, their hair style, whatever.
Like leftists, libertarians believe in a sort of utopia that will magically manifest once everyone is free to do whatever they want, whenever they want, with no repercussions, no moral or legal boundaries (except those that include physical harm to another).
Fuzzy - Hmmmmm. I have never really listened to Rand Paul. I don't find him very relevant so I had no idea of his stance on the Civil Rights Act.
On the point you make, I would have to agree with Paul. I think a business owner should be able to ban people from his business for whatever reason he dreams up. The bottom line for me is it's his/her business.
For instance - if a bed and breakfast doesn't want to rent to a homosexual couple, that should be their right. Don't want black people in your restaurant? They should have that right. There's plenty of other restaurants. I am referring only to private businesses here.
Ok - I have more to say but it's 5:30 and I just managed to get dressed (really!), haven't eaten since my morning oatmeal, and am getting so fuzzy (no pun intended) I may swoon. I'm no longer capable of sounding even reasonably intelligent. A hit of protein is in order...
There is something to be said for owning one's own business and being able to conduct it as you see fit. Personally, I think that it's time to quit thought policing everyone and to stop isolating people into divided groups (all the better to oppress and control them, shriek the leftists). We are all Americans, and that should be the tie that binds, not what race you are or what gender. But that would break the stranglehold the left has on its neatly divided little voting blocks. That's why they sneer at patriotism and American exceptionalism--if they actually cared about something that can bring us all together, their little world falls apart.
Thanks for quoting me! I am honored beyond words. I would also note that you quote my article and you get a bunch of comments on your blog. On my own blog, not so much! Sigh. I fear my little blog is not a traffic magnet...
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