Month: September 2011
Several of you on the list are avid Ron Paul fans. You’ve heard the expression “unelectable”… probably most viciously applied to Sarah Palin, but Ron Paul IS NOT electable and if you can bear with me for a moment, I will lay out my case.
I start with a caveat that after several political compass tests, I always come up as a “conservative libertarian”. Ron Paul is a libertarian, NOT a Republican OR a conservative. I like Ron Paul as well as John Stossel, Ed Crane, and Milton Friedman… all subscribing to libertarianism.
What is so damned attractive about the libertarian position? To me, it is its impeccable logic. If you ever listened to Milton Friedman about legalizing drugs, you’d soon say, “Where’s the petition I can sign?”
At this moment, we have an administration that is totally out of control and inept to boot. Out of chaos, libertarianism sounds pretty good, as it cuts to the quick of every stupid thing the government is currently shoving down our throats with increased momentum. If you scroll down to the end, I’ve pasted in an interesting description of libertarianism… Something just short of a conservative anarchist… a different flavor of chaos.
What really got my goat in the last couple of weeks was a flyer from the CATO Institute and a blog by John Stossel. Both of them were “impeccably” describing that nothing was wrong with same-sex marriage.
I have found libertarianism to be very amoral. The philosophy can simply be stated that if you don’t affect my life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, you are free to do nearly anything you want. The immediate tired saw of the left comes out on same-sex marriage, “How does same-sex marriage affect my marriage?” Logically, this is difficult to respond to, but an overlay of Judeo-Christian morality soon sets the matter straight, at least to the Judeo-Christian. Libertarianism is a logical construct for society. Alternatively, if you overlay the chaos and fallen nature of man upon this construct, it falls apart.
I have jokingly stated that libertarianism could survive IF those subscribing to it were living at least one mile from each other, a la Alaska. Consider what happens when that one mile is stretched to 6,000 or 10,000 miles, as would be the case of foreign relations with China or Russia or even the U.K. Over and over again, libertarians have exhibited absolute naïveté and a marked inability to understand and deal with other sovereign nations. In a pure sense, if we don’t bother them, they will not bother us, but we will advocate open borders, free trade, etc., etc. Total poppycock! Mind you, I detest this default world policeman role in which we seem to constantly find ourselves ensnared. Nonetheless, there are rogue states, and I must concede some level of protecting our interests here and abroad…BUT with support of a coalition NOT generated via the U.N.
During the debates, Ron Paul has embarrassed himself when issues beyond our borders arise. While I mostly agree with his domestic policies, the hole in his foreign policy is too big to patch.
Libertarian or Anarchist?
Libertarians are often accused of being anarchists or asked what the difference is between a libertarian and an anarchist. The popular image of anarchy is unrestrained violence and looting. Libertarians take a stronger stand against violence and looting than any other political group including republicans and democrats. The early history of the United States with its severely limited government was strongly libertarian and completely different from this image of anarchy.
The misunderstanding on this issue comes from the ideal state of peace and productivity with no government interference imagined by many libertarians who forget that we are the only ones who can imagine it. In a libertarian society the evolution of voluntary institutions providing the few remaining government services might lead to the gradual elimination of government but this scenario is completely beyond the imagination of the general public and it harms our cause to confront them with such a startling vision.
Here is a menu of answers to the question:
What’s the difference between libertarians and anarchists?
The traditional answer
Libertarians want severely limited government and anarchists want none.
The humanist answer
Libertarians are nonviolent; some anarchists are violent.
The funny answer
Libertarians are to anarchists as nudists are to naked people.They’re just middle class & organized so they appear less crazy.
The Party answer (from Andre Marrou)
An anarchist is an extreme libertarian, like a socialist is an extreme democrat, and a fascist is an extreme republican.
The graphic answer
It’s like the difference between a lover and a rapist.They’re both in the same place but one uses violence to get there.
The straight answer
Libertarians believe in free markets, private property, and capitalism. Anarchists who believe in these things usually call themselves libertarians.