Why More People Identify as Libertarian: Q&A with Freedomworks' David Kirby

"We've noticed in the last fifteen months an uptick in the number of people who are actually self identifying as libertarian," says Freedomworks' David Kirby.

Kirby sat down with Reason magazine's Editor-in-Chief Matt Welch to talk about why more people describe themselves as libertarian, how politicians like Senator Rand Paul and Congressman Justin Amash have come to think of themselves as libertarian and whether Glenn Beck calling himself libertarian is a good thing. 

Held each July in Las Vegas, Freedom Fest is attended by around 2,000 limited-government enthusiasts and libertarians. Reason TV spoke with over two dozen speakers and attendees and will be releasing interviews over the coming weeks. Go here for an ever-growing playlist of this year's interviews.

About 6:16 minutes.

Produced by Paul Detrick. Camera by Detrick and Tracy Oppenheimer.

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  • Mike M.||

    Blizzard slams parts of Wyoming, South Dakota, and Nebraska with up to 33 inches of snow, closing down much of Interstate 90.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but summer just ended about two weeks ago, right? How's that "global warming" working out for you guys in the midwest these days?

  • Alex||

    They call it "climate change" now, so any deviation from the average counts.

  • lilyhi||

    I just want to add my story. I get paid over $87 per hour working online with Google! I work two shifts 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening. And whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids. Its by-far the best job I’ve had. I follow this great link ,, www.Pow6.com

  • Hyperion||

    Wow, you teahadists, you don't know the difference between climate and weather. It's almost as bad as how you don't know what socialism means.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I've always found the equating of Islam and the Tea Party interesting given the wide ribbon of socialism that runs through Islam.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    the wide ribbon of socialism that runs through Islam

    Can you clarify? Islam's governmental structure is statist, certainly and supportive of welfarist politics. That said, outside of somewhat more revisionist traditions, I don't see where you are deriving socialism from orthodox Islam.

  • jolieena||

    I just want to add my story. I get paid over $87 per hour working online with Google! I work two shifts 2 hours in the day and 2 in the evening. And whats awesome is Im working from home so I get more time with my kids. Its by-far the best job I’ve had. I follow this great link http://cuttr.it/ukvczrq

  • Carolynp||

    I think their general leaning towards government control of everything, presupposing sharia and a ruling elite, makes them posterboys for socialism.

  • Voros McCracken||

    Reading through a couple comment sites after the Capitol shooting, I've found that my reaction to an insult changes greatly with the cleverness of the insult. EG:

    'Teabilly' = Stupid, unfunny, vaguely bigoted. Reflects poorly on the person using it regardless of your own political leanings.

    'Teahadist' = Devilishly clever. Thumbs up from me.

  • Carolynp||

    Dude! Totally love the moniker! Teahadist! Count me in.

  • Cytotoxic||

    3 Km wide tornado

  • ||

    Meh. Yawn. I'm from Quebec that's a day to go outside for us. We used to go car-skiing on days like that. We'd attach a cord to the hitch and away we went - like water-skiing. Dangerous? Yup. Against the law. What isn't? But it was fun. It was the funnest way to get to the forest to cross-country.

    Global warming. Astronauts to the moon? Ha, ha, ha!

    Anyway.

    There's no doubt there's a buzz around the libertarian (let's call it) movement. It's good that people have an alternative vision and voice to what they've come accustomed to (conservative, liberal, socialist for example). None of those parties or philosophies think of the individual first. Most if not all pay lip service to concepts of liberty as established by the Age of Enlightenment.

    Libertarian politicians and thinkers need to pound the pavement and get in the trenches. Stay relevant by getting exposure. One day, maybe, there will be a breakthrough moment. I like to use the analogy of Andy Dufresne patiently and skillfully digging through the wall for years on his way to freedom. Eventually the hole opens up.

    BUT, man, in the meantime you still get a dazed and confused look from people when you offer (what I regard to be self-evident) different perspectives to the status quo. We still have a massive job ahead of us changing hearts and minds because the infatuation people have of the government is the biggest drug (aphrodisiac) of them all.

  • Mike M.||

    Block Yomomma blocks the boys of Iwo Jima.

    Hilarious because it's true.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    You may catch more flies if you stop using that ridiculous name. WTF does that even mean, anyway?

  • Mike M.||

    I'm not looking to catch anything. And the name is perfect, both because it rhymes, and because it describes this vile cretin to a T.

    Have you seen the unnecessary "Barrycades" this dickhead has erected around the World War II strictly to piss people off and try to make his petty political point? Blocking people is what he lives for.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    A) I agree entirely on the WWII thing
    B) "Blocking" is not a really good criticism nor is it an character trait. You're really reaching.
    C) What the fuck does your or my mother have to do with anything?

    You need to believe that "Block Yomomma" is really, really stupid.

  • Irish||

    You need to believe that "Block Yomomma" is really, really stupid.

    Yeah. That's pretty fucking dumb.

  • Nazdrakke||

    Thirded. Hang it up, at least around here.

  • Hyperion||

    It sounds like something one of the so called conservatives on Politico would say. They are about as childish as the progs over there. Unless it's being used to parody one of those types, it doesn't make much sense.

  • Carolynp||

    I don't care for it, either, but say whatever you like. You have a right to free speech, use it.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I go out of my way to avoid the tempting word-play on Obama's name. Particularly when debating. It takes away from a legitimate argument and makes you sound like the playground bully. I don't even usually call him by name when criticizing him. I'll say "this administration" or "the President".

    If, you're respectful, no matter how undeserved, you stand a better chance of getting people to listen to your views.

    My .02

  • Irish||

    I go out of my way to avoid the tempting word-play on Obama's name. Particularly when debating. It takes away from a legitimate argument and makes you sound like the playground bully.

    This is particularly true given that it isn't a common name. It sounds like you're just being an asshole that's insulting a guy for his name rather than all of the actual reasons there are to despise Barack Obama.

    If you're bashing Obama for the dozens of cover ups perpetrated by the 'most transparent administration in history,' there's no reason to make people stop listening to you by insulting his name.

  • Banjos||

    Me too. I tune out comments with word play in them no matter the political persuasion. It is usually a good sign that the comment is idiotic.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    You may catch more flies if you stop using that ridiculous name.

    How about Buck O'Fama?

  • Mike M.||

    That's a good one too!

  • ||

    It is amusing to me that every president gets tagged with insulting names, but this one has earned more than all of the rest of them together.

  • ||

    Oh. You also have to win the "war on rationalism." As it stands, liberals/progressives believe they're the educated, reasonable minds among a sea of extremists. They're taken the liberal tradition of the Enlightenment and took it for their own. Read Thinkprogress, Mediamatters etc. The narrative assumes their the ones defending rationalism.

    To me, all they're doing is fighting a dead carcass known as progressivism; not classic liberalism.

    Look at our very own Palin's Buttplug. He bends over backwards defending Obama claiming the community here is unreasonable in its criticism of him. He justifies his defense by wrapping and describing himself as a (snicker) "classical liberal."

    Look at Tony. Notice his belief that his outlook is rooted in some sort of "proof" while the notion of libertarianism is absurd and unworkable.

    I don't see these guys as exceptions but as rules to the game of winning back the "age of reason."

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Tony and PB are griefers. I wouldn't take anything they had to say seriously.

  • ||

    Perhaps but they represent a large portion of people's opinions I reckon.

    Pascal's Wager suggested you shouldn't bet against God. Maybe we can expand that to one shouldn't bet against the individual? Not to engage in a false dichotomy but I'll use it as an example anyway - when faced between the choice of having the government run something and a free community why shouldn't we bet on the latter? We seem to go with the former a tad to easy.

    We opine not "what I can do" but "what the government ought to do" when it comes to issues.

  • John||

    PB is most certainly a griefer. It is a sock puppet run by several people that used to be known as Shrike. Tony in contrast is real. He actually is a neurotic gay guy in Oklahoma.

  • Hyperion||

    In a gated community. Never forget that.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Tony was real at one time. But he's become a pale and more partisan shadow of his former self. It's either a troll or a self-defense mechanism. Either way, he's just a griefer now.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Tony in contrast is real. He actually is a neurotic gay guy in Oklahoma.

    I can imagine that being a gay guy in Oklahoma could make one neurotic.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    What do you think Oklahoma is, Saudi Arabia?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It is not Saudi Arabia, but it is certainly not a very 'gay friendly' state.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    According to #TheLegendofTony, he moved there for college. But yeah, that damn Oklahoma Wall is a bitch at letting people leave though.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I believe this is what people refer to as 'moving the goal posts.'

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    It's a casual discussion, Bo. Besides, I have to believe you've never actually been to Oklahoma City if you believe it's some combination of Grapes of Wrath and Riyadh.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -if you believe it's some combination of Grapes of Wrath and Riyadh.

    It is almost like I never wrote:

    -It is not Saudi Arabia

  • John||

    You can't imagine it because you are a nasty ignorant bigot Bo. I lived in Oklahoma for 11 years. Oklahoma has a huge gay community. OKC has one of nation's better and more well known dag bars, The Hi Lo Club. There is nothing un gay friendly about Oklahoma compared to anywhere else. I know this because I lived there.

    Bo you really are a bigot. You need to seriously look at yourself and your views and do some soul searching. I don't think you are a bad person. I think you have just grown up in an environment where stereotypes and bigotry about places like Oklahoma and the people who live there is considered okay. You remind me a lot of someone who grew up in the deep South in the 1950s. You are so bigoted that you don't even realize that you are.

    I really encourage you for your own good to think a little bit before you speak. And to think about what kind of a person you are. I think you want to as nasty and bigoted as you are. But no one has ever called you on it or made you examine your views, so you don't fully understand how awful they really are.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    John, I appreciate your concern for my soul, and your inverted leftist bigot-baiting is noted, but I based my comments on Oklahoma on both personal experience and state policies, and in both I can say with confidence that, compared to many other states, Oklahoma is less gay friendly. I imagine comparing our anecdotal stories would prove little to each other, but I am confident my view would be more supported at the policy level.

  • John||

    And having there and a lot if other places I know this to be completely wrong. You clearly have never spent anytime thee or you would know better. You only don't know better because you are a nasty bigot. You don't even have to there. When was the last time there was a gay bashing in Oklahoma? In contrast they happen frequently in New York City.

    I take it back. You are just a bad guy. Apparently hating people and places you know nothing about is how you feel better About yourself. You are a bigot but make up for it by being ignorant.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I lived in Oklahoma for several years John. But as I said, what good is an anecdotal battle on the internet? If you are interested in talking about the state comparatively in terms of objective factors such as policy as I invited you to previously, rather than speculative ad hominems couched in inverted leftist style rhetoric then I would be happy to. Otherwise I am inclined to let you the last word and/or rant.

  • John||

    I lived in Oklahoma for several years John.

    Where? When? Why did you live there? Tell me about it. Tell me where you lived and something about the town. I think you pulled that out of your ass after I called you.

    And living there for 11 years is more than just an anecdote. You are really turning into a griefer on here.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Ponca City John, though it is not important. What is important is that you seem to not know what an anecdote is.

  • John||

    You lived in Ponca city? What oil company was founded there? What town sits on I 35 west of there?

  • BillEverman||

    Seriously? Because I can tell you that Marland Oil Company was founded there, and the closest I've been to Oklahoma is Iowa. It's not that Marland Oil Company is that famous; it's that there's this thing called Google. If someone wants to claim that they lived in a particular place, I'm going to accept it as a reasonable claim unless there's good reason to believe otherwise. And if Bo really does want to win his argument enough that he's going to lie about something like that, I say just let him have that one. But on with the interrogation. Maybe you can get Bo to send you an expired OK driver's license.

  • Anonymous Coward||

  • prolefeed||

    Pretty much any city, or even the rural areas, will have gay CL hookup offers.

  • SIV||

    "Oklahomo"

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    I would remind Tony and Mr. Buttplug that their quarterly Troll Posting Schedule reports are due by the 15th.

  • Irish||

    Look at Tony. Notice his belief that his outlook is rooted in some sort of "proof" while the notion of libertarianism is absurd and unworkable.

    Tony has actually claimed that he is an heir to the enlightenment. If he isn't a sockpuppet troll, then he's almost comically delusional.

  • Tony||

    It would be a sad state of affairs indeed if the last heirs to the Enlightenment were a small group of antigovernment cultists. Let's just think about this for a second.

    Also, I believe in science and you guys think it's optional. You don't get to be heirs to the Enlightenment. Sorry.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    believe in science

    You see the contradiction in this phrase, n'est-ce pas?

  • Tony||

    "It pays to keep an open mind, but not so open your brains fall out."

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Like I said: Tony is a griefer.

  • Tony||

    You mean I'm smarter than you and have different opinions?

  • Carolynp||

    I mean that you refuse to allow different opinions. I find that whenever someone claims to be "smarter", they have a deep seeded insecurity about their intellect. People who are genuinely intelligent don't have to remind others. It shows.

  • Irish||

    Tony is not a griefer. He's just not particularly bright and doesn't know what words mean.

    For example, here are some words from Tonyland:

    1. Racist = anyone who disagrees with me.

    2. White supremacist = anyone who thinks races should be treated equally.

    3. "Pro-science" = An individual who has never taken a science class but unquestioningly believes anything that gets told to him by a man in a lab coat.

    4. Heir to the enlightenment = a person who disagrees with everything the enlightenment stood for.

    5. Anarchist = someone who isn't a fascist like I am.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Tony's purpose here is to intentionally cause stress, not engage in conversation. That's the definition of "griefer". It's not that he doesn't know any of these things; he says inflammatory things on purpose to get you guys all wound up.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So he's a run of them prog.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    ...run of the mill prog, then?

  • Irish||

    It would be a sad state of affairs indeed if the last heirs to the Enlightenment were a small group of antigovernment cultists. Let's just think about this for a second.

    I'm pretty sure your 1780's British alter ego, Anthony, would have called Adam Smith an antigovernment cultist and raved about the need to valiantly defend the crown against such ignoble incursions.

    Also, I believe in science and you guys think it's optional.

    Given that you're a liberal arts drone who thinks the way to salvation is for more people to get English degrees, I don't know how you can claim to be the pro-science one on a board that seems to be filled with engineers, computer programmers and chemists.

  • Tony||

    Adam Smith, despite forming the primitive foundation of free-market ideology, was far more pragmatic than modern libertarians, who don't even talk about how society best functions, but act just in opposition to the concept of government.

    Engineers and computer programmers are not scientists, as they seem bizarrely keen on demonstrating with their opinions about stuff.

    If you are not willing to accept the findings of climate science then you are letting politics disrupt your objectivity, and the very first thing that disqualifies you from being an heir to the Enlightenment is letting factional politics (or other forms of religion) trump science.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    If you are not willing to accept the findings of climate science

    Climate science has found nothing; Climate scientists have presented theories based on certain models.

  • Tony||

    And most people completely reject them for no reason other than they don't like the political implications. No such "skepticism" is applied to any other nonpolitical field, even ones with far less support in evidence.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No such "skepticism" is applied to any other nonpolitical field, even ones with far less support in evidence.

    That's nonsense. Evolutionary theory comes to mind; a theory which is vigorously supported in this fora. Likewise, neurobiologists' findings that a 2-month-old fetus can feel pain are met by your ilk with fingers firmly placed in ears and shouts of "LA-LA-LA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU! CHOICE! CHOICE! CHOICE WITH NO CONSEQUENCES! LA-LA-LA! I CAN'T HEAR YOU!"

    So give it a break already!

  • Irish||

    No such "skepticism" is applied to any other nonpolitical field, even ones with far less support in evidence.

    This is hilarious. Tony's apparently never heard of the linguistic shit fights that occur between Noam Chomsky acolytes and some of the people who have disagreed with Universal Grammar.

    99% of the population doesn't give a shit about linguistics and that didn't stop bands of linguists from forming partisan groups that scream at each other.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    That's true, I didn't even get into the social sciences. I tried to focus on examples from the hard and life sciences. If we expand to the social sciences, Tony's argument is even more ludicrous.

  • MSimon||

    We will all be better off with me in charge of the Vagina Police.

  • ||

    Most people reject them because they can't even predict THE FUCKING PRESENT.

    Consensus is not science.

  • Irish||

    Models which an scientist has claimed to be 'hilariously flawed.'


    “I think that the latest IPCC report has truly sunk to level of hilarious incoherence,” Dr. Richard Lindzen told Climate Depot, a global warming skeptic news site. “They are proclaiming increased confidence in their models as the discrepancies between their models and observations increase.”

    “Their excuse for the absence of warming over the past 17 years is that the heat is hiding in the deep ocean,” Lindzen added. “However, this is simply an admission that the models fail to simulate the exchanges of heat between the surface layers and the deeper oceans.”

    “However, it is this heat transport that plays a major role in natural internal variability of climate, and the IPCC assertions that observed warming can be attributed to man depend crucially on their assertion that these models accurately simulate natural internal variability,” Lindzen continued. “Thus, they now, somewhat obscurely, admit that their crucial assumption was totally unjustified.”

    I know carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. The question is how dangerous this actually is and whether or not the way of counteracting it might actually be MORE damaging.

    These are open questions, and to claim otherwise is to show that you're anti-science, not me.

  • wadair||

    "Engineers and computer programmers are not scientists..."

    Engineers are applied scientists often heavily educated in math and physics. "Applied" means that they must apply scientific theory in the real world where shit happens. Climate science is still quite young and does not always pass the sniff test. That's why you will find applied scientists feeling sceptical.

    But, methinks you live in an ideological world where ideas either fit your paradigm or you deem them false and antithetical. You don't grasp how scepticism works in separating truth from hearsay because you're a hofferian true-believer.

  • Tony||

    So engineers run experiments and test hypotheses?

    One day science is narrowly defined, the next it includes engineering!

  • Carolynp||

    How about we just exclude English majors from "scientist"? In other words, no matter how you slice this, you ain't invited to the party.

  • MSimon||

    So engineers run experiments and test hypotheses?

    All the fookin time. Ever heard of "prototypes"?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Given that you're a liberal arts drone

    Hey, let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater. Logic is one of the tradition liberal arts. Likewise, let's not forget that all science develops from philosophy.

    Just because people like Tony do the liberal arts poorly doesn't mean the discipline itself is without intellectual merit.

  • Irish||

    I know. I am in favor of actual liberal art studies. I've actually studied them.

    I realize I shouldn't have used that phrase, but I don't really know what other word to call the incestuous, almost anti-intellectual trend in modern academia where they exist for no other reason than narrative construction and the denial of contrary evidence.

    This trend is particularly advanced in the liberal arts, which is why I used that phrase even though I'm sure there are better terms.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The term I think you're looking for is "post-modernism," which I agree is particularly advanced in the LA. However, let's not declare all of, say, biology to be nonsense just because PZ Meyers exists.

  • Irish||

    Isn't PZ Meyers a legitimate biologist though? I don't think you can claim Meyers work in biology to be nonsense just because of the sheer lunacy of his political activism.

    Newton believed in alchemy and thought menstrual blood had magical properties. That doesn't discredit calculus.

    Man. We sure are having an awfully long discussion about the merits and demerits of various scientists for people who deny it so much.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I don't think you can claim Meyers work in biology to be nonsense just because of the sheer lunacy of his political activism.

    Right. Likewise, just because a LA scholar is a postmodernist doesn't mean that all literary theory/literary criticism is nonsense. It doesn't necessarily mean their criticism is nonsense, if and only if, their theoretical methodology was internally consistent and their criticism is given in good faith and serves to advance the academic discussion of the work.

  • Carolynp||

    Meh, I think the argument is moot. Many liberals take liberal arts degrees and feel a sort of "short man's syndrome" so they go about bashing others using "science" they read on Daily KOS. It's irritating to watch or participate in because they have this notion that their scientists are clergy whose ideas cannot be questioned.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    HAHAHAHAHAHA!

    Tony, you don't have the first inkling of what science is.

  • Irish||

    But FDA, he knows that it's a scientific fact that what the country needs more of are English, gender studies and philosophy majors. These noble ubermensch shall defend Barack Obama's throne from the ravages of the libertarian horde!

    Learning to parrot everything your teachers say is the height of free thought.

    Also, science means believing whatever the majority believes or adhering to 'consensus.' It doesn't mean rationally weighing the evidence. This is why all good Catholics know that the sun revolves around the Earth, unlike the heresies spread by that savage Galileo.

  • Tony||

    I put hard science above liberal arts on whatever hierarchy we're talking about. Hard scientists are the least muddled in their thinking. But if you can't handle that, a good education in the history of thought equips you well.

    Trusting what the majority of experts say about their particular subject is the best bet you can make, and makes a whole lot more sense than believing whatever the fuck you want to depending on how it fits your politics.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it. -- The Buddha

    You're illiterate

  • Tony||

    That goes for libertarian and rightwing cranks too, you know. You know, people who don't even accept empirical tests for things.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    So? A crank is a crank is a crank. Empiricism knows no political ideology, so stop pretending it does.

  • Tony||

    The overwhelming majority of experts in a subject cannot be defined as cranks.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The overwhelming majority of experts in a subject cannot be defined as cranks.

    Really? What about the majority of physicists who fought against quantum theory, tooth-and-nail, until the evidence was proven to be overwhelming circa 1920 or so? Even on the eve of the Spanish Civil War, some of them were still suggesting that we merely need a modification of the theory of the luminiferous aether.

  • Irish||

    Climate science is also such a heavily politicized branch of science that a lot of the people who go into it are true believers before they run their first test.

    It's like how labor historians tend to be pro-union. That doesn't prove that unions are really great, it proves that a type of historian who chooses to go into the study of the labor movement will probably already by left-wing.

  • Tony||

    I wouldn't describe them as cranks.

    A modification of whatever fallacy it is you guys constantly employ that says "people believed the world was flat at one time, therefore everything I believe is true, ipso facto."

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I wouldn't describe them as cranks.

    Why not? The majority of physicists rejected quantum theory at first because they believed that physics was "solved", that at the end of the 19th Century, every problem found in Classical mechanics was deduced and physics was the purest expression of man's understanding of an inherently ordered world.

    Let's not even get into those physicists who rejected those early papers because their authors were Jewish.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    The overwhelming majority of experts in a subject cannot be defined as cranks.

    Says the phrenologists association.

  • SIV||

    It's called neuroscience now.

  • wadair||

    "The overwhelming majority of experts in a subject cannot be defined as cranks."

    So you would accept the opinion of the majority of astrologers?

    I was right: you are an ideologue. A True Believer.

  • MSimon||

    Phlogiston.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Are you referring to the climate models that do not reflect the real world?

    Those "empirical" tests?

    You are anti-science.

  • Tony||

    In what way do they not reflect the real world?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Are you intentionally obtuse?

    The models that failed to predict and have no explanation for the ABSOLUTE SCIENTIFIC FACT that there has been NO STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT warming in the past 16 years.

    AGW due to increased CO2 is a theory that has been shown to be faulty. REAL scientists would now attempt to explain where and why the predictions failed. They would not attempt to endorse a theory that has been CLEARLY discredited.

  • ||

    Are you intentionally obtuse?

    Yup.

  • Tony||

    You don't know what you're talking about, you're just repeating talking points.

  • ||

    "Trusting what the majority of experts say about their particular subject is the best bet you can make..."

    I think someone pointed out already that you dont have a clue what science is. It was unnecessary for you to point it out again.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Trusting what the majority of experts say about their particular subject is the best bet you can make,


    So back when the "majority of experts" said that homosexuality is a mental disorder, you would have nodded your agreement and submitted your little gay self for treatment for your problem?

  • Tony||

    Therefore you're right about everything! Logic!

  • ||

    Match this community's line of thinking and yours with the philosophers of that age.

    Who is more in line with the Enlightenment?

    That's right.

    This community.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    In a sense Tony is right. Rousseau, the French Revolution, and socialism were all products of the Enlightenment, as much as (if not more so) than Locke, Adam Smith, and the American Revolution.

    Just because the Enlightenment included some inspired thinkers doesn't mean that it didn't also produce a whole raft of garbage as well.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -The narrative assumes their the ones defending rationalism.

    I think this is easy for them to do seeing as how they seem unable to distinguish libertarianism from conservatism, and the latter does have a fetish for tradition, which was the foil of the Enlightenment. When you are opposing the party of nearly slavish deference to tradition it is easy to convince yourself you must be the heirs to the Enlightenment (especially in our political climate dominated by 'the Big Two').

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Conservatism in America is not the conservatism you're claiming it is.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Conservatism in America does not define itself according to tradition?

    Opposition to gay marriage is largely based in the idea that, ick, that has never been done or thought about. Opposition to immigration, multiculturalism, etc., is based on the idea that it will change the character of this nation from what it was to something different.

    Even where we agree with conservatives they have different reasons for doing so. Conservative rhetorical nods to small government are nearly always couched in reverence for the Founders and their relatively small government. This is why they can, on a dime, wheel to embracing government intrusions which were commonplace during the Founding Era (such as obscenity laws). Second Amendment rights are important because gun owning and hunting are 'American traditions.' Etcetera.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Well, yeah, but your problem there is adherence to the beliefs of the Founders is adherence to the beliefs of the Enlightenment.

    Not all conservatives are opposed to gay marriage, immigration or multiculturalism, so your stereotype fails on its face.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If you adhere to the beliefs of the Founders because of a reverence for that tradition, then that is not exactly an Enlightenment way of thinking.

    As to your second point, of course there are no absolutes here, but opposition to gay marriage, immigration and multiculturalism are dominant stances among conservatism. This can be shown by pointing to platform positions in the Republican Party and polling data.

  • DJF||

    Yet many that call themselves libertarian support or at least ignore government licensed marriage, government subsidized immigration, government mandated multiculturalism.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Of course, which is why I submit the real defining political line is statist/non-statist.

    Conservatives do not generally limit themselves to ignoring government licensed marriage, government subsidized immigration and government mandated multiculturalism.

  • ||

    Quebec is a left-wing socialist leaning society and it opposes multiculturalism. It speaks like it wants immigration but then demands assimilation through legislation. Is that the "conservative" strain talking? Just a point.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Most of the people considered influential in American conservatism -- from politicians to leading lights -- argued for freedom as a universally applicable good unto itself suitable for all individuals, rather than merely arguing for it as a part of American tradition. I can drag out a whole raft of quotes from Reagan, Buckley, Meyer, etc. to that effect. There are of course exceptions (Russell Kirk), but this is the primary stream of conservative thought.

    Ironically, conservatism is a relatively recent movement in American politics (rooted in opposition to the New Deal); before then American politics was dominated by classically liberal parties of various intensity and interest. By and large American conservatism is a corrupted form of the classical politics which preceded the era of social democracy -- something which just about every European observer, including libertarians like Hayek, have observed.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Russell Kirk is 'an exception' in American conservatism? The man is pretty much the father of the movement. And conservatism is a 'relatively recent movement in American politics'? I guess you have not read Kirk's books to say that.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Russell Kirk is 'an exception' in American conservatism?

    Yes. Very few people read him anymore, and he was one of the very few figures in conservatism to oppose fusionism. Kirk also opposed the war in Iraq, free market politics in the 90s, and a whole number of other policies associated with conservatism. I assume that you will not be categorizing opposition to Iraq as conservatism?

    And conservatism is a 'relatively recent movement in American politics'? I guess you have not read Kirk's books to say that.

    Russell Kirk and you are both wrong. Edmund Burke is an imported limey that Burke tried to graft onto American politics and in any case not representative of the conservatism of his country (he was on the classical liberal wing of his party); American conservatism as a mass movement historically began post-New Deal as anyone with a basic understanding of history would attest to. (Indeed, the fact that you claim Russell Kirk as the father of American conservatism attests to its novelty on the political scene -- do you even try for consistency?)

  • Hyperion||

    Those who call themselves conservative, or Tea Party, actually consists of a pretty broad spectrum of people. Some of them are pretty close to libertarian while some are closer to progs.

    The term is almost as meaningless as saying you are a Democrat or Republican, it can mean almost anything.

    On the other hand, calling yourself libertarian or progressive, that's a much more well defined position.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -On the other hand, calling yourself libertarian or progressive, that's a much more well defined position.

    That is hardly clear or obvious. Some anarchists are as far from some libertarians as some libertarians are from progressives, and 'progressives' has become a near meaningless term in my opinion in that it is used to apply to people as varied and at odds as Woodrow Wilson, Eugene Debs, Mayor Bloomberg and the ACLU.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    it is used to apply to people as varied and at odds as Woodrow Wilson, Eugene Debs, Mayor Bloomberg and the ACLU.

    Huh? All three of those people and the one organization share the same intellectual tradition. Indeed, looking at the commonalities between them, you get a good idea of what Progressivism actually is.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    So Woodrow Wilson, whom Debs railed against and who then jailed Debs, should be counted among the same tradition? And the ACLU which has sued and protested against Bloomberg's policies many times should be counted as the same?

    The term becomes meaningless when so used.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Just because Hitler had Roehm killed doesn't mean Roehm wasn't a Nazi. Substitute Stalin and Trotsky if you want to avoid the Godwin.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Hitler had Roem and Stalin had Trotsky killed as intraparty jockeying for power.

    Wilson jailed Debs because of ideological differences, and this is why the ACLU sues Bloomberg over and over.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    no, Wilson jailed Debs because Debs pointed out that Wilson had become a warmonger corrupted by power. That doesn't mean they were ideological foes.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    According to you, a school of thought can't have factional disputes? By your argument, the term "communist" is meaningless because Mensheviks and Bolsheviks fought each other in 1917.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    And according to you, can all actual conflicts be explained away by labeling them 'factional disputes.'

    The ACLU and Bloomberg find themselves at opposite sides of the courtroom because they have real differences in how the government can act. Read the briefs in the many cases they have been at odds. If you want to ignore all those real differences and conflate them under the same label because 'sometimes both like government to do things' then you have to include social conservatives or national security conservatives as 'progressives' because they, too, 'sometimes like government to do things.'

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So Woodrow Wilson, whom Debs railed against and who then jailed Debs, should be counted among the same tradition?

    Yes absolutely.

    All are willing to use the power of the state to 'improve' the citizenry.

    The ACLU is actually schizophrenic, pro individual in many areas and pro state in others.

  • Irish||

    So Woodrow Wilson, whom Debs railed against and who then jailed Debs, should be counted among the same tradition?

    Stalin murdered other communists. Did that not make them communists?

    The people who tend to be opposed to each other the most are not people on opposite sides of the partisan line, but people on the same side with minor differences in opinion.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -All are willing to use the power of the state to 'improve' the citizenry.

    This was true of Jerry Falwell too, is he part of the same tradition?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    This was true of Jerry Falwell too, is he part of the same tradition?

    That wasn't true of Jerry Falwell.

    The SoCon equivalent of the shit that progressives do would be something like putting christian theology into the grade school curriculum.

    Some SoCons may advocate that, but not any that I'm aware of.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Jerry Falwell did not support 'us[ing] the power of the state to 'improve' the citizenry?'

    So his push for stricter obscenity laws and more enforcement of them was, what, a progressive mind control plot?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    IIRC he was seeking a return to obscenity standards as they exist up until the late 1960s. And no that is not the same as progressives trying to enforce their dietary preferences, speech codes, eco worship etc.

    One was seeking a return of the status quo ante of 20 years ago in one specific area, while the other is pushing a comprehensive escalation of state power.

    Besides which, Jerry Falwell had zero success, as opposed the proggies.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    So your answer to me pointing out that Falwell pushed for stricter obscenity laws and enforcement of extant obscenity laws is 'well, he was trying to return to previous anti-liberty laws?'

    With respect, that is terrible.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I don't agree with his position, I'm just saying that it is fundamentally different than the progressives in scope and especially in lack of success.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -The SoCon equivalent of the shit that progressives do would be something like putting christian theology into the grade school curriculum

    Like teaching young earth Creationism or having teacher/administrator led prayers as into the grade school curriculum (both positions Falwell and the Moral Majority took)?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Again, you are being disingenuous.

    The SoCons want creationism taught alongside evolution - a position that I reject, but also see as not comparable to the proggies turning primary schools into socialist indoctrination camps.

    The SoCons also pushed the rights of students to form religious groups on campuses similar to other clubs. They never sought teacher led prayers.

    As opposed to the proggies who sought and got the teacher led prayer - the pledge of allegiance - enacted in all government schools.

  • Calidissident||

    Considering that as recently as last year, less than half of Republicans said that gay relations should be legal (and that's not even touching on various other issues I could cite), I really am not seeing on what grounds anyone can say that SoCons don't support using the power of the State to "improve" the citizenry. I don't agree with everything Bo's said in this thread, but there's no reason to whitewash the beliefs of conservatives to counter his assertions.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    as recently as last year, less than half of Republicans said that gay relations should be legal

    Cite

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -They never sought teacher led prayers.

    That is demonstrably false.

    -not comparable to the proggies turning primary schools into socialist indoctrination camps

    So pushing to have their theology taught ('alongside evolution') is nothing like indoctrination of their beliefs.

    Except it is exactly that.

    -As opposed to the proggies who sought and got the teacher led prayer - the pledge of allegiance - enacted in all government schools.

    Citation?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    You need to provide a cite of any major political figure advocating teacher led prayers - in the last forty years. I'm not aware of any that has.

    WRT teaching creationism vs socialist indoctrination - yes they are fundamentally different. The creationism would be taught as an opposing opinion, not settled fact alongside the dominant position of evolution. That is fundamentally different than all of the socialist crap that is embedded in public schooling.

    And I'm not sure what you are disputing about the pledge of allegiance. My characterizing it as a 'prayer'? The fact that it was originally created and pushed by socialists or that currently teachers lead children in its recitation.

  • John||

    Bo, we get it. You hate conservatives and think they all think and act the same way. You don't really help your cause very much when you live up to the worst things people say about you.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I am not sure I know what you are talking about. But as to conservatives, yes, I think that many of them are as bad as many progressives. Both want to use the state for their goals, one just wants to use the state to preserve various traditions and the other to further 'progressive' goals.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I gots me an idear!

    Hows about we not argue about it right now. How about we embrace all philosophies that promote MORE liberty than we have currently?

    When we've saved the world from the progressives and the socons and liberty is the order of the day, we'll have plenty of time for a war between the anarchists and the objectivists.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    FDA, the problem you have is Bo is trying to rehab people who are not ideological fellow travelers.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Bo is trying to rehab people who are not ideological fellow travelers.

    How so?

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Bo is Blue Tulpa.

    Arguing whether liberty is better because it stems from sound philosophical ideology or from the Founder's vision, in an article about liberty being on the march is simply someone who is trying to invent something to argue about.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think there is a critical difference between pushing whatever the Founders did because the Founders were our forefathers and pushing things because they are consistent with the NAP or libertarian philosophy. The critical difference is that there were many areas where our forefathers allowed blatant violations of the NAP (and I am not talking something like slavery, but things like obscenity laws or 'blue' laws).

    If you are saying we can and should make common cause with such folks in particular battles that promote liberty I do not disagree, but of course I feel the same about progressives.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -How about we embrace all philosophies that promote MORE liberty than we have currently?

    Agreed, but that is partly my point. Libertarians should not fool themselves that groups like social conservatives in particular, or conservatives in general, have a philosophy that promotes liberty.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Libertarians should not fool themselves that groups like social conservatives in particular, or conservatives in general, have a philosophy that promotes liberty.

    Okay, PB, are there 3 people on this site, who identify as libertarians, who think socons promote liberty?

    Your premise is faulty.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    There seem to be an awful lot of people who feel the need to debate me when I note that socons are anti-liberty...

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    I can name about 3. And it's because they are socons...NOT libertarians.

    If your goal is to convert them to libertarians, yes, you need to get them to bite off on the NAP and be consistent in their philosophy over the large range of issues.

    When it comes down to individual issues, I'm more than happy to accept their support REGARDLESS of how they got there, and disagree with them on the issues they are wrong about.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Agreed, but that is partly my point. Libertarians should not fool themselves that groups like social conservatives in particular, or conservatives in general, have a philosophy that promotes liberty.

    This is libertarianism as a cult.

    You care about the internal motivations of people and not their actions. You are eager to reject erstwhile allies because they lack your religious purity.

    I, on the other hand, don't give a damn about what their motivations are. I care whether they support liberty or not. And will work on specific issues with anyone that does.

  • Irish||

    I think socons will become more and more anti-government and more and more pro-liberty as they become further marginalized.

    You want to know who loves liberty, even if they have an authoritarian philosophy? The victims of government oppression. The more the government forces the religious to do things that they are morally opposed to, the more I think you can count on the Socons to oppose government force.

    If Socons were a legitimate threat of gaining control of the government then I'd be worried about them. Since they're a group becoming ever more marginalized with time, I think they can be legitimate allies if only because they're fighting for their own self-interest and religious freedom.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Irish, I think it depends on where one is.

    If you live in Alabama the threat to liberty comes not from progressives but from conservatives, who are more than willing to use the government to, for example, impose the heavy hand of government to fight the free movement of labor and peoples (immigration).

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -You care about the internal motivations of people and not their actions. You are eager to reject erstwhile allies because they lack your religious purity.

    Wrong. As I said previously in this thread:

    -The critical difference is that there were many areas where our forefathers allowed blatant violations of the NAP (and I am not talking something like slavery, but things like obscenity laws or 'blue' laws).

    If you are saying we can and should make common cause with such folks in particular battles that promote liberty I do not disagree, but of course I feel the same about progressives.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Except that progressives (as opposed to liberals) are a type of fascist and always support the state against individuals.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    And a couple of thoughts WRT to your hatred of conservatives -

    1) That label includes so many disparate ideological groups that it is almost worthless as a political label - the only commonality is opposition to progressives. Some, although no where near as many as you suppose, want to capture the state to impose their own values on others but most merely oppose proggies imposing on them and have no desire to reciprocate.

    2) The real meaning of conservative is one who holds traditional values and is cautious about change. In other words, someone that respects emergent order and is skeptical of imposed (as opposed to naturally evolving) change. Furthermore, the traditional value of America is individual liberty and limited government. All of which is compatible with libertarianism. Especially since almost all of the imposed changes of the last 100 years have been in the direction of increased state power.

    Even the great exception of the civil rights movement involved increased government intervention and not just an elimination of the laws that enabled Jim Crow and segregation.

    3) The SoCons have become increasingly mmarginalized and the culture war has been waged against them by elites trying to imposed changes to their culture. They have not attempted to impose their culture on the elites or anyone else.

  • ||

    VG, I think you brought up a point people miss about conservatism. The key point is "cautious about change." They do not necessarily oppose or are resistant to change per se. They just want to make sure the changed proposed are rooted in sound judgment.

  • Irish||

    Well, this is often not true of people who CALL themselves conservatives in America. I agree with Bo that a shitload of Socons have totalitarian impulses and, were they in power, they would attempt to impose those impulses on society.

    I just don't think Socons have any chance of being a serious political force in the near future, except among fringe Republicans. Because they're becoming politically marginalized, they are in serious danger of being oppressed by an increasingly left-wing government that is utterly hostile to their way of life.

    This means that even though they're philosophically opposed to me, I think we'll end up on the same side in the coming years more often than not.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -The SoCons have become increasingly mmarginalized and the culture war has been waged against them by elites trying to imposed changes to their culture. They have not attempted to impose their culture on the elites or anyone else.

    Blue laws? Mandated prayer in schools? Harsh obscenity laws?

    Historically Christian conservatives have been very active in enforcing their cultural beliefs on others via the law. If they are not today it is only because they are not strong enough (and in places where they are strong enough they still do).

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Except that progressives (as opposed to liberals) are a type of fascist and always support the state against individuals.

    Unless you are talking about classical liberals this is just a handy tool for non-falsification of your contention.

    NARAL fights a government restriction on a woman and her doctor engaging in an abortion procedure? Well, those are liberals, not progressives.

    The ACLU suing to end the NSA surveillance program or Bloomberg's stop and frisk? Well, those are liberals, not progressives.

    Etcetera.

    The truth is that 'progressives/liberals' will turn to state coercion at times, and oppose it at times. The same is true for most conservatives.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    The truth is that 'progressives/liberals' will turn to state coercion at times, and oppose it at times.

    Show me where progressives have sided with individuals over the state.

    And don't use abortion, as that is a completely different argument.

  • Irish||

    And don't use abortion, as that is a completely different argument.

    Abortions also an idiotic example because they don't only want it to be legal, they want it to be subsidized.

    Whenever progs have a view that is in any way 'opposed' to government, they always want to government to pay for their preference.

    The only times you can almost consider them pro-freedom are times when they actively oppose basic economic freedom in service to an illusory social goal.

    Progressives are never pro-freedom.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    How about the many times the ACLU has represented individuals against the state, in matters of free speech, fourth amendment rights, etcetera?

    By the way, abortion is not a 'completely different argument.' I understand that some people think abortion is murder and falls under the NAP, but regardless of that it is an area where progressives consistently oppose the state in its attempts to restrict individuals from engaging in it.

  • Irish||

    Read my point. They don't oppose the state. If they opposed the state, they'd want abortion to exist free from the state. That's not what they want. They want to state to actively support, subsidize, and advocate for abortion. This is not an anti-state position or a pro-freedom position, it's just another example of the left trying to use government power to support their personal preferences.

    This isn't even getting into the hypocrisy of opposing abortion regulations. How can leftists who applaud any regulation in good faith claim that regulating abortions is terrible?

    How about the many times the ACLU has represented individuals against the state, in matters of free speech, fourth amendment rights, etcetera?

    I agree with you on the ACLU. I don't get libertarian opposition to them. They suck on gun rights, but there's no reason they have to support them. They're good on the first, fourth, and fifth amendments, and I think we should applaud them for that.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Do you not think that the ACLU is dominated by 'progressives'?

  • Irish||

    No I do not. I think the ACLU has supported the rights of the Klan to march and that most modern progressives would have no ideological problem with the government suppressing or even murdering Klan members.

    Go look at any article about the Klan or any racist group on a left-wing website. They would adore to have the government suppress their speech or obliterate racist groups in their entirety. This is true of almost all progressives. Hell, most of them would have no problem with the fucking Tea Party being declared enemies of the state and wiped out.

    The ACLU legitimately holds to certain principles about free speech and free association. For legitimate progressives, free speech is a vehicle for their own ideas and a weapon against opponents to be used or taken away at the behest of progressive philosopher kings.

    The ACLU is left-wing but has not yet drifted into the prog fever swamp. Not all liberals are progressives and not all conservatives aren't progressive. There are progressive Republicans and non-progressive leftists.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Also, Irish, I am not sure that we do not ultimately agree.

    As I said early in this discussion, I think there are really only statists and non-statists. Statists will turn to government coercion to achieve their goals. Now those goals vary. For liberals the goals are to further their ideas of equality or minority protections or public health, and yes, while they will at times take a stand against a particular government action against an individual in those areas in ways we as libertarians would agree with, they are not doing it because they are pro-freedom but rather because in that instance they oppose that particular government action. But the same is true of the socon. The same SoCon who oppose mandated teaching of evolution will push for mandated teaching of creationism tomorrow, the same SoCon who opposes mandated contraception coverage will push for faith based initiatives tomorrow. The same socon that opposes forcing 'gay friendly' messages on school children will tomorrow support school prayer. The same socon that decries 'special protections for gays will demand religious exemptions from a variety of laws. Etcetera.

  • Irish||

    The same socon that opposes forcing 'gay friendly' messages on school children will tomorrow support school prayer. The same socon that decries 'special protections for gays will demand religious exemptions from a variety of laws. Etcetera.

    Agreed. I just don't see Socons as any sort of threat to my liberty as they are a dying philosophy. They may have a rebirth someday, and I will fight them then. I just don't think that focusing on a Socon war that we've been winning for 20 years and which is now essentially over provides any value when the progressives are in control of virtually every American institution and are actively attempting to not only oppress dissenting actions, but to oppress any thought that does not serve the collective.

    It would be like worrying that the Mongols might come back on the eve of World War II.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    As I said early in this discussion, I think there are really only statists and non-statists. Statists will turn to government coercion to achieve their goals.

    Correct, and the ACLU is fine with using the state to enforce their preferences wrt fairness, safety, hoplophobia, religion hate etc.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    the same SoCon who opposes mandated contraception coverage will push for faith based initiatives tomorrow.

    It's ironic that you fail to see progressives successfully pushing for faith based initiatives.

  • Irish||

    You also twice ignored my point about the fact that prog support of abortion is NOT pro-freedom in any way. I don't really have a problem with you the way some people here do, and I think you sometimes make decent points and are a good counterbalance when people here fall into a little too much group think.

    That said, I understand why people get annoyed by the fact that you'll ignore clearly expressed arguments and just fall back on this bizarre Socratic Method nonsense.

    Answer the question: Do you concede that the progressive support of abortion is in no way anti-state, and is in fact just another example of their use of state power to support their personal preferences?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I think it depends on the progressive. Not every one of them I know supports taxpayer funded abortions. Frank Church was certainly a progressive, but the law that prevented tax funded abortion at the federal level bears his name on it.

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    How about the many times the ACLU has represented individuals against the state, in matters of free speech, fourth amendment rights, etcetera?

    Yes, I see so many Progs falling all over themselves to denounce the NSAs violation of the Fourth. PLEASE!

    (BTW, did you just admit the ACLU has a left-wing agenda by coloring them "progressive"? I thought they had no "party" affiliation and were on the side of civil liberties, except on matters concerning the 2nd amendment?)

    By the way, abortion is not a 'completely different argument.

    Sure is. Depends on whose rights you speaking of. IF the fetus is a person, progressives CERTAINLY do not side with the civil liberties of the fetus. DIFFERENT argument.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The major lawsuit against the NSA, before any others, was by the ACLU. See ACLU v. Clapper. The Supreme Court denied them standing (the conservatives on the court forming that opinion).

  • VG Zaytsev||

    How about the many times the ACLU has represented individuals against the state, in matters of free speech, fourth amendment rights, etcetera?

    The ACLU does support some liberal causes and many progresse / statist causes. So they are a mixed bag. Overall, I'd say they are a net negative but can see why other people can disagree in good faith.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Agree with VG, though my views trend towards net positive (ACLU state chapters vary).

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Unless you are talking about classical liberals this is just a handy tool for non-falsification of your contention.

    Not at all, I am capable of discerning various leftist factions based on the positions that they espouse. You are making the same error that SoCons make in equating progressives and liberals. The two philosophies are quite distinct, even though they have cross over appeal within certain demographics.

  • ||

    Grammatical error on my point noted.

  • Hyperion||

    To me, all they're doing is fighting a dead carcass known as progressivism; not classic liberalism.

    They have the same old failed idea that the communists had. That the solution is an all powerful state that controls everything, including all human behavior. Any rational person knows this is a recipe for failure and disaster, but the Progs are true believers.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If 'they' believe in an all powerful state then how do you explain many (if not most) of the stances a group like the ACLU takes? They are vigorous in suing the government and pushing to limit in a various ways. Are they not part of 'they'?

    I think a better distinction is statists and non-statists. Statists do not mind using the coercive power of the state to achieve their goals. The goals differ by group, so for 'progressives' the state can be used to push for equality or 'public health' while for conservatives the state can be used to maintain 'morality' or 'preserve the culture.' The non-statists could have any of these goals, or none of them, they are characterized by seeing that it is wrong to advance them via the coercive power of the state.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    The ACLU that does not believe in freedom of speech, freedom of association or the right to keep and bear arms?

    They're simply the heirs and outgrowth of the counterculture of the '60s. They are a relic of the Old Left and will wither and die due to their lack of philosophical rigor soon enough.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    The ACLU has won more victories for freedom of speech and association than any libertarian organization that can be named.

    They may differ from you in how that should work in some cases, but it is impossible to argue that they have not in many, and critically important, cases argued for individuals trying to speak and associate and against governments trying to limit that.

    I will grant you they are disappointing on gun rights, but gun rights are not usually seen as a defining aspect of the Enlightenment.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Nonsense. Campaign Finance Reform is the antithesis of the First Amendment, and the ACLU has thrown its allegedly freedom-loving corpus in favor of it.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    This is so completely non-responsive to what I just said that it would be silly for me to do other than to refer you back to it.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    You're claiming the ACLU has been a net positive for freedom. That is incorrect. They're neutral at best, thanks in no small part to their embrace of the State in many many other things.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You really should look up a history of the major cases the ACLU has brought, and won, in these areas. I have the advantage of currently being in law school so I am forced to be immersed in them, and it has struck me how many important cases involving liberties involved the ACLU on the side of the 'good guys.' If you find any libertarian or conservative organization that could match their record please bring your evidence forward, I would be happy to see it.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    By the way, do you realize that the ACLU filed an amicus brief in Citizen's United for the side you favor?

    -ACLU Position on Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission (2009 resource): This case before the Supreme Court had to do with whether a provision of the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, which bars unions and corporations (both for-profit and non-profit) from engaging in "electioneering communications," violated the First Amendment and should be struck down as facially unconstitutional. The ACLU consistently took the position that section 203 was facially unconstitutional under the First Amendment because it permits the suppression of core political speech, and the amicus brief that we filed in the case took that position again.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    gun rights are not usually seen as a defining aspect of the Enlightenment.

    Now you're moving the goalposts. I thought we were talking about all of the Enligtenment's values, not just the "defining" ones.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Would gun rights be an Enlightenment value at all?

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    So, a country conceived in liberty just won its freedom from the world's most powerful country and army, and they did so using guns the soldiers brought from home...

    Well, you tell me.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    So, anything the revolutionary Americans did=Enlightenment values? Because it was common for sympathizers with the revolution to tar and feather loyalists.

    I am most certainly not trying to argue against or diminish the idea of gun rights or self defense rights, merely saying not every great value is an Enlightenment value. As Scalia noted in Heller the RKBA was a right that pre-existed the Founding and the age of Enlightenment.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    As Scalia noted in Heller the RKBA was a right that pre-existed the Founding and the age of Enlightenment.

    That is just historically false.

  • Irish||

    Uh...the right to keep and bear arms had virtually never been codified into law anywhere in the world prior to the enlightenment. People may have tacitly been allowed to have weapons, but there was no reason the government couldn't take them from you at any time.

    There were constant disarmament campaigns in Europe where the people were stripped of the capacity for defense except during war time. In the Ottoman Empire, people who came back from war kept their weapons at various times and actually tried to revolt against the government, which resulted int he Ottoman's trying to confiscate those weapons.

    There may have been individuals who believed people should be allowed to have weapons, but there was never a large scale intellectual movement in favor of the right to keep and bear arms prior to the enlightenment.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I cannot respond to you better than to simply refer to Scalia's opinion, and the evidence he offers, that the RKBA was a right pre-existing, and oft recognized in English history before, the Founding.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Would gun rights be an Enlightenment value at all?

    Absolutely.

    They go directly to empowering the individual.

  • ||

    Bo, it's irrelevant as I doubt Enlightenment philosophers would advocate for state-sponsored gun bans or control. To them that would probably be a non-starter and not deserving to be discussed further.

  • Hyperion||

    Does the ACLU define itself as progressive?

    while for conservatives the state can be used to maintain 'morality'

    If you think that progressives are not in favor of controlling morality, you are familiar with an entirely different progressive movement that what I am. We don't call them the new puritans around here for no reason. These are the original prohibitionists we are talking about. Progs are the ultimate statists.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Does the ACLU define itself as progressive?

    Does Mayor Bloomberg?

    -These are the original prohibitionists we are talking about.

    That statement is false as a historical matter and equivocal as a current one.

    Historically many progressives supported prohibition of alcohol, but the strength of the movement was found in rural and deeply religious communities, not the urban and suburban strongholds of progressivism.

    As a current matter public health 'nannies' labeled progressives usually try to couch their statist intrusions not in specific moral grounds but in 'health' and 'science.'

    Of course this makes them no better than any other statist intruders.

  • Hyperion||

    As a current matter public health 'nannies' labeled progressives usually try to couch their statist intrusions not in specific moral grounds but in 'health' and 'science.'

    Whatever excuses you make to enslave people, it's still the same.

    If you believe that you only have rights because they are granted to you by an all powerful government, that is not liberty, it's much closer to slavery.

    If someone can tell you what you can put into your own body, at the point of a gun, you are not free.

    But nice to know this is what you believe in. The mask is off.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Whatever excuses you make to enslave people, it's still the same.

    We are in total agreement here. Here is what I said in this very thread:

    -I think a better distinction is statists and non-statists. Statists do not mind using the coercive power of the state to achieve their goals. The goals differ by group, so for 'progressives' the state can be used to push for equality or 'public health' while for conservatives the state can be used to maintain 'morality' or 'preserve the culture.' The non-statists could have any of these goals, or none of them, they are characterized by seeing that it is wrong to advance them via the coercive power of the state.

    Which makes your comment:

    -But nice to know this is what you believe in. The mask is off.

    All the more odd.

  • Hyperion||

    -But nice to know this is what you believe in. The mask is off.

    All the more odd.

    Because you are defending them. You keep saying that they only want to enslave people for their own good, that they are in fact better than the SoCons, because they only want to enslave us in the name of public health.

    The worst sort of tyrants are the ones who want to enslave you for your own good.

    Stop defending them.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I have never said progressives are better than socons, just that the two are opposite sides of the same coin, a coin which I have repeatedly said I oppose vehemently.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Historically many progressives supported prohibition of alcohol, but the strength of the movement was found in rural and deeply religious communities, not the urban and suburban strongholds of progressivism.

    Your premise here is false.

    Progressivism evolved from the social gospel movement of the 19th century, so there was no divide between rural religious people and urban progressives at the time.

    The movement became ever more godless during the 20th century, while retaining 19th century christian morality at it's core. Ironically, Christians, in the US retained god and embraced capitalism.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    -Progressivism evolved from the social gospel movement of the 19th century, so there was no divide between rural religious people and urban progressives at the time.

    This is a pretty silly statement, conflating the Social Gospel movement that evolved into urban progressivism with the rural fundamentalism that opposed it so vehemently. You may want to actually read 'the Fundamentals' from which fundamentalism gets it name in order to see how wrong that conflation is.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    You are projecting late 20th century social trends onto the 19th century.

    William Jennings Bryan was a leader of the social gospel movement and the progressive movement and also the prosecutor in the scopes monkey trial.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You may be interested in this:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/m.....ospel.html

    And, if you can gain access to it, this better piece (less tarnished by the silliness that can be found in the second paragraph of the first):

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/amex/m.....ospel.html

    Of course, as I said, you would gain much more insight from tracking down and perusing The Fundamentals and comparing it to the writings of prominent Social Gospel writers.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Both your links go to the same pbs article.

    Which does not refute my contention or support yours btw. Specifically that progressivism evolved from the social gospel movement and along the way lost a belief in a personal diety, while retaining the foundations of 19th century morality.

    And before the scopes monkey trial their was overlap in the people that both ideologies appealed to as evidenced by WJB being associated with both.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    My apologies, here is the second link.

    http://www.jstor.org/discover/.....2734593203

    The article documents how Bryan and many of his contemporaries were aware of the strangeness and tension between his theological conservatism and his participation in social gospel movements. An odd thing if they were the same thing, no?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I didn't say that they were the same thing.

    I said that they appealed to and competed for the same social audience in the early days.

    You claimed that there was tension between 'rural fundamentalists' and 'urban social gospelists' in the run up to prohibition and that it was primarily driven by the fundamentalists.

    Which is historically false. Fundamentalism began shortly before WWI, while the social gospel and the prohibition movement had deep roots stretching back to the post civil war era. There wasn't any tension as you describe it in say 1895 because the fundamentalist movement hadn't even begun then.

    And none of that in any way refutes my contention that progressivism evolved from the social gospel movement. Which was your original point of disagreement.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    PS thanx for the link, I'll read tomorrow morning.

  • Mickey Rat||

    "... progressives usually try to couch their statist intrusions not in specific moral grounds but in 'health' and 'science.'"

    A rose by any other name...

    Progressives do tend to speak as if changing the name you call something changes the meaning of that thing.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Opposing something for health reasons and for morality are conceptually distinct (unless you want to raise things to a truly 'meta' level where every valued thing becomes a 'moral' stance). The man who opposes me smoking marijuana because he thinks it will give me cancer and the man who opposes the same because he thinks it is wicked or sinful are differently motivated (as a libertarian I condemn them both).

    You may think that at some level public health extremists and moral nanny's are the 'same thing' because they are both statists, but of course that is my point as well, that differently motivated people can be statists.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Actually, they really aren't different at all because both involve using the state to prohibit an action for the benefit of the victim.

    The idea that it is done so for the physical health of the person is every bit as much of a faith based proposition as saying that you are doing it to save their soul (which isn't a very christian position anyway).

  • ||

    It is my contention that the rise of fascism/communism is correlated to the destruction of liberalism. Once classical liberalism fell around the late 19th century, beginning of the 20th century (or thereabouts) it left a complete black hole open to new ideologies to enter the realm of politics. Conservatism wasn't strong or cohesive enough to mount a counter-attack and rested on being a "voice of reason" in an age of unreasonable naifs led by progressives.

    That culminated, arguably, into two great world wars.

  • ||

    Just got back from the ride. I see this thread has grown nicely and notice Tony is back up to his own tricks.

    Anyway.

    "they're the ones" not "their."

    Shit me.

  • Cytotoxic||

    I love how liberals/progs always so stridently point out how 'reality based' and 'knowledgeable' they are. Not betraying any intellectual insecurity here.

  • ||

    'too easy.' I've said enough this morning. I have a 60k cycling regime to keep up.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    Tony and PB are griefers.

    Fascinating. Tell us more.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    when faced between the choice of having the government run something and a free community why shouldn't we bet on the latter?

    It's funny how the "heirs" of Camelot have turned JFK's words inside out.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I just tried to check the Old Faithful webcam, to see how much snow they got. I got a "Fuck you, we've been shut down" message.

  • John||

    America must be punished Brooks. Obama tried the easy way. But now he is going to have to go the hard way so you people learn that the government is you.

  • John||

    Apparently Obama has shut off the NFL games on AFN this weekend. You know because those games were not already paid for or wouldn't be given for free by the networks if asked. What a total asshole he is. Are the military people watching AFN going to force the evil rethuglicans to end the shutdown. I am not sure which is worse, the fact that he is such a nasty asshole or that his brain dead followers are convinced he is such a nice person who cares about them.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    That ought to endear the troops to their CIC.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It is certainly petty, but there is something a bit ironic in watching conservatives veer, often in the same conversation, to how the government shutdown is no big deal and should be welcomed because it will help people realize how useless government services really are, to wailing about Obama cutting off certain services and rushing to pass bills funding them. It is schizophrenic.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    Your attempt at equivalence is actually what's petty here.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I do not think I claimed equivalence. One is petty, the other ironic.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    You juxtaposed them for a reason.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I thought one segued into the other, that is all.

  • Neoliberal Kochtopus||

    I'm calling BS on you for that. You meant to put them together.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    If one finds it ironic to hear conservatives that welcomed the shutdown on the grounds that government programs are useless suddenly start attacking the administration for suspending this or that government program (and all the people it will hurt!), then responding to a conservative who has made such claims engaging in that attacking is not a logical segue?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    So this attacking the administration for suspending this or that government program is flat out disingenuous.

    You sir are a liar or an idiot.

    Conservative are attacking the administration for spending money to inflict pain as a publicity stunt.

    It cost the government money to rent and erect barrycades to block monuments and then post guards to reinforce the point.

    Likewise, shutting down various websites required affirmative action and therefor cost money.

    And the above mentioned action in blocking AFN broadcasts required action and cost by the administration.

    So Obama is spending more money to show the peasants how important government is to them, which actually underscores the point that the 'government shutdown' is no big deal.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Conservatives have not limited themselves to decrying instances in which the administration ' is spending more money to show the peasants how important government is to them.' If you would like, for example, to try to shoehorn the ones who wore the white lab coats to call renewing NIH funding or the one leading off this very discussion, be my guest.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Again false.

    The bill to renew funding for NIH was a response to media claims that KIDS ARE DYING.

    It was only after the media started pushing that meme that the HoR said "fine, lets restore funding for that to which Hairy Reed infamously responded why would we want to do that.

    The whole episode was a rare example of media savvy on the part of the Rs. It was pr jui jitsu turning a progressive attack against the attackers.

    So again, are you a liar or a fool?

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    My goodness, your defense of the object of my ironic ridicule is that it was a 'pr' stunt and a 'rare example of media savvy' on their part.

    Because those are excellent rebukes to the charge of intellectual inconsistency!

  • VG Zaytsev||

    You are again being disingenuous.

    You said that conservatives were whining about a shutdown of the NIH

    I demonstrated the falsity of that assertion and you moved the goal posts to intellectual inconsistency.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    You did no such thing, you attributed their whining to being 'a PR' stunt or being 'media savvy,' which concedes the intellectual inconsistency.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I actually pointed out that they are not whining at all but using that as a tactic. The whining was coming from the progressives and their propagandists in the media.

  • Tony||

    Clearly there is no equivalence, football on TV is a higher national priority than food inspection or kids with cancer.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Tony, yes football may not be as important as helping kids with cancer, but it is still petty to stop troops from enjoying something during their hardship tours when it seems obviously not necessary.

    Even worse, in my opinion, are the service academies cancelling their football games today. Certainly ticket sales could cover the costs, the young men (from the academies and the unrelated schools they were to have played) are forced to suffer for a political point to be made.

  • Tony||

    None of this is necessary, and is entirely the result of pettiness, and I'm gonna pity people not getting their paychecks before those who don't get to watch football.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    I pity both.

    These football games do not mean much to you, but to many, especially the young men playing them, they mean a great deal. The way you dismiss what they value because you know what is 'really' important is chilling.

  • Tony||

    I'm all for opening the government. It would take 15 minutes.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Well, one way is that Obama and the Senate Dems could just give up Obamacare, which most people (rightly) do not like anyway. Heck, he could likely even get something like more funding for food inspection or kids with cancer if he were willing to let his unpopular, ultimately doomed vanity project go.

  • Tony||

    So it is the policy position of the Republican party that destroying the economy is preferable to letting the healthcare law get tried for more than a couple days?

    Funding the government and not destroying the economy are not concessions on Obama's part. Republicans demanding the ACA as a ransom is not serious and you know it.

  • John||

    Go fuck yourself Tony. The shutdown doesn't require ending football. Obama is doing it because he wants to punish as many people as possible to blame it on the shut down. If Obama could arrange for those kids to die, he would do it if he knew it would be blamed on the shutdown.

    The House passed an NIH Bill. He could fund it today. But Obama won't because he thinks having kids suffer will get him what he wants politically. That is how disgusting and immoral he is and his supporters like you and Bo are. This is what your political life has come to. Hoping that kids suffer so you can use it against your enemies. Congratulations Tony.

  • Tony||

    Oh because the piecemeal funding bills Republicans are pushing aren't completely and totally motivated by trying to embarrass Democrats.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Oh because the piecemeal funding bills Republicans are pushing aren't completely and totally motivated by trying to embarrass Democrats.


    Not that the Democrats are not leaving the door wide open to be embarrassed.

  • ||

    It's very much in line with Tony-thinking to pick and choose who get to be sympathized among leftists.

    Football players and their fans are not to be considered in the pecking order.

    Scary but that's how he rolls.

  • fish||

    Clearly there is no equivalence, football on TV is a higher national priority than food inspection or kids with cancer.

    Don't you need to return to your auto fellatio practice?

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Clearly there is no equivalence, football on TV is a higher national priority than food inspection or kids with cancer.

    Hairy Reed and Obama certainly think so.

  • John||

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/new.....ttack.html

    Five off duty cops watch a guy beat to near death. Do nothing.

  • ||

    Heroes!

  • DJF||

    Which probably explains why these bikers were able to go around ignoring all sorts of traffic laws without the cops stopping them

  • Hyperion||

    Do nothing

    Well, apparently, there were no dogs nearby.

  • Killazontherun||

    The bigger story is the membership of that violent biker gang includes many cops.

    The unidentified officer waited three days to come forward Wednesday night. He has been placed on modified duty and turned in his gun and badge on Friday, the sources said.
    He rides with the New Rochelle-based Front Line Soldiers, a club that also counts several other cops among its members, a source said.

    http://nypost.com/2013/10/04/u.....-beat-dad/

    Internal Affairs is investigating whether those cops, too, were among the bikers — and whether they also witnessed the assault that left Internet exec Alexian Lien bleeding on the pavement as his wife and toddler cowered in their black Range Rover.

    Last night on Piers Morgan (I would not have given him a minute of my time if Welch were not on) excused the security personnel who murdered Miriam Carey because the prevalence of guns in American society makes them twitchy.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Cops know what violent assholes and bad shots they are and think everyone else is too.

  • Hyperion||

    I think a lot of folks here are too pessimistic about Libertarians chances to turn things around, but there are many reasons to not be quite so pessimistic. For instance.

    Our numbers are growing. We now have more than one person in congress, and we can increase that in 2014, and in all the future elections.

    The current political establishment, made up mostly of either progressives, or those pretending to be something else but actually being progressives themselves( GOP establishment, Boehner, McCain, etc.).

    The progressives have no new ideas, only the same old ideas that have failed before, and that are failing now.

    The number of actual true progressives is small. It's maybe 15% of the population. It consists of elite politicians, academia, the media, and other highly educated but morally corrupted people. It has taken them 100+ years of patient and tireless effort to get where they are now, which is in almost complete control of the country. We worry because most of the country are uninformed and ignorant low information voters. We aren't going to change that, and neither are the progs, in fact, they rely on those easy manipulated people. I hate to say it, but we are going to have to use some of their own tactics against them. When the free shit gets cut off, there has to be something new, and that something is simply getting people into doing productive things again, like work, by taking away the big government stranglehold on the economy.

    cont...

  • Hyperion||

    We can win this fight, never doubt it, but we have to be just as tireless and patient as the progressives, because they are only the same old communists or socialists, with a pretty name, yet the same old failed ideas.

  • Cytotoxic||

    Also, the power structures progs have infiltrated and used are collapsing or becoming less important.

  • Stormy Dragon||

    I'm not pessimistic, just cynical. It's very easy to say you support smaller government, much harder to do it. So many so-proclaimed libertarians end up being libertarian in rhetoric only, but collectivist in action that I pretty much now start from the assumption that anyone claiming to be a libertarian is just trying to con me.

  • Hyperion||

    claiming to be a libertarian is just trying to con me.

    That's pretty hard to fake. I can usually expose that in just a few questions. And of course, if they are a pol, just watch their voting.

  • Biden's Scroteplugs||

    considering it's you Stormy Dragon, your definition of libertarian is most likely retarded. voluntary collectivism doesn't violate libertarianism.

  • Nazdrakke||

    So it's noon EST on a Sat. and no one has mentioned abortion or gone racist? What's going on here?

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    The circumcision thread is on the other post.

  • Agammamon||

    That's all in the GMO thread.

  • Nazdrakke||

    I admit, GMO equals "Danger, Derp in Progress" for me and as a general rule I avoid those threads. A personal failure perhaps, but can you blame me?

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I think a lot of folks here are too pessimistic about Libertarians chances to turn things around, but there are many reasons to not be quite so pessimistic. For instance.

    Based on observation, people outraged by pettyminded idiocy and authoritarianism at the local level but still cling to their faith in "big picture" government benevolence. Like Tony's comment above about food safety and cancerous chirrinz.

  • Hyperion||

    Apparently, the great emperor Obamulus, has closed the ocean...

  • Killazontherun||

    I'm going to tell you how unnecessary and counterproductive it is to do insulting word play with his name, and then pat myself on the back for being such a good person who doesn't engage in that kind of juvenile behavior.

    Ah, let the endorphins flow as my sentiments be harmonized with my betters . . .

  • Irish||

    I think Obamulus isn't the same as Block Yomomma. Obamulus is mocking him by changing his name to look like that of a Roman emperor and is therefore an actual specific criticism of his tendency to advocate the concentration of power in the executive.

    Block Yomomma has literally no purpose other than to allow conservatives to smell their own farts while mocking someone for having a name that doesn't sound Amurican.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Obamulus is also a play on stimulus.

  • Killazontherun||

    Preference is purely aesthetic. In either case, 'Obamulus' or 'Block Yomomma' all his supporters are going to see is an anagram for nigger.

  • ||

    Kinda like Obamulus too. More of an attempt to portray him as actual dictatorial emperor than an outright childish ad hominen. It's a play on history.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    It would be a sad state of affairs indeed if the last heirs to the Enlightenment were a small group of antigovernment cultists.

    Wasn't the Enlightenment a period in which people shrugged off (some of) the intellectual constraints of a cultish belief in the subjugation of the individual to an all-encompassing Higher power?

    I'm not going to lose any sleep over the possibility of your scary proposition being true. I hope it is.

  • Tony||

    You are all posers. There is an empirical approach to the world and there is everything else. Not a single tenet of libertarianism submits itself to empirical testing. Its social and economics policy ideas are based entirely on faith, and for some bizarre reason the majority of you are no better than creationists when it comes to realms of actual hard science that have troubling implications for your politics. You are libertarians first, and every fact of the world that challenges your beliefs is suspect. I only arrived at my politics after observing what works in the real world, and that's how everyone should approach it.

  • Hyperion||

    What works for someone who sits in their mommies basement all day, drinking fruity drinks, and what works for the rest of us, is entirely different. Dummy.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    I only arrived at my politics after observing what works in the real world, and that's how everyone should approach it.

    So that's an assumption you'll charitably give yourself but no one else?

    Go jump in a lake.

  • Irish||

    So that's an assumption you'll charitably give yourself but no one else?

    Go jump in a lake.

    Yes, because leftism is a cult of pseudo-rationalists. It's a cargo cult.

    They really are like parasites that infest a host. They latch onto a specific institution or belief and maintain the superficial trappings of that institution or belief while sapping it of everything that made it great.

    Therefore, you see liberals using words like 'science,' 'reason,' 'logic,' or 'empathy' while in practice being opposed to all those things. They infest journalism and continue using objective terminology while eliminating actual objectivity. They latch onto branches of science and turn them into nothing but brainless political advocacy groups free from the actual scientific method. They create these little incestuous academic cults that continue using phrases like 'free thought' and 'the free movement of ideas' while actively working to oppress and silence dissent.

    It's all about using words that people have a positive view of while completely stripping those words of any meaning. That's why Tony can claim to be in favor of 'observing what works in the real world' while never providing evidence of the rightness of his beliefs or doing anything other than slinging insults.

    It's because he is a parasite who has sapped those words of meaning but keeps using them, sort of like a corpse that kicks its leg when you shoot it full of electricity.

  • Artifex||

    Actually it is fairly interesting. All of these things have a certain continuity. I posit that the reason the progressive brain functions as it does is a deep seated need to think positive thoughts about oneself.

    Really it is not about lying to us, their primary target is internal. They are probably not even conscious of it. If something harshes on their world view, let the eyes go blurry, dance around the bad thoughts and think something pleasant.

    There is a reason progressive don't do well on ideological Turing tests. Their minds are full of ideological no fly zones.

  • Cytotoxic||

    This is one of the best posts I've read here.

  • Hyperion||

    Very well said, Irish.

    There is a reason why they changed their name to 'progressive' and have latched onto such meaningless terms as 'moving forward'. Their brainless minions never stop to consider that moving forward into a an old ideology that has murdered tens of millions of innocent people, is not a really great idea.

    But it's different this time, now we have the right people in charge! Derp.

  • Tony||

    So none of you disagree that libertarianism is entirely faith-based?

    I mean, you really can't, since it's never been tested, and you don't think any of its incremental failures count because they weren't complete systems.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    Not a single tenet of libertarianism submits itself to empirical testing.


    Like which?

    Its social and economics policy ideas are based entirely on faith, and for some bizarre reason the majority of you are no better than creationists


    Interesting comparison, considering that libertarians believe in individual liberty while statists believe in the intelligent design of a few experts.

    when it comes to realms of actual hard science that have troubling implications for your politics.


    Again, like what? Because if you're saying what I believe you're saying, then you would be equivocating, as the prescriptions that have been touted around for such a thing as so-called "climate change" (which is what I am guessing this is all going) are NOT based on science at all but on mere supposition and blind faith on the acquiescence of billions of individual minds (or faith in the power of the gun, take your pick.)

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    Not a single tenet of libertarianism submits itself to empirical testing. Its social and economics policy ideas are based entirely on faith,

    Yeah. Supply and Demand. That outlandish economic theory based entirely on faith.

    And this from the people who believe you can artificially create demand by telling people what they want.

  • Tony||

    That's like saying your policy prescriptions for all of society are based on Newton's Third Law. It means nothing. Yeah, supply and demand exist. So? What has that got to do with whether basic necessary demands are met (the province of politics)?

  • Jordan||

    I only arrived at my politics after observing what works in the real world

    I only arrived at my politics after I observed your politics murder 100+ million people in the 20th century.

  • Killazontherun||

    And despite all the evidence, critics keep calling socialism ineffective. It isn't easy to wipe out 100 million+ people. Impossible if you advocate liberty and the unfettered market place.

  • Tony||

    I must have missed that.

  • Cytotoxic||

    That's because you're a retard.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    I only arrived at my politics after observing what works in the real world, and that's how everyone should approach it.

    This objectively false.

    The progressive's pillars of faith are all religious tenets immune to rational refutation.

  • ||

    Tony. I think you've demonstrated freely, you're empirically impaired. Thank you for your service.

    Psh!

  • XM||

    Libertarianism in an imperfect form has shown to work. Communism in its rawest form has always failed, and can only exist when the government is tyrannical.

    How much of the world did you observe to form any kind of opinion that libertarianism won't pass some empirical testing? Many Asian nations are sort of the patriarchal government you endorse, and it's not always a hit. Most Asians routinely break their nation's nonsensical laws. That's why piracy and unlicensed businesses are booming in parts of that world.

    Have you ever wondered why so many people abandon their nation's wonderful healthcare system and public transportation system to come here? I mean, really, think about it. And no, it's not because of "social safety net."

  • Tony||

    Nobody's advocating communism, but at least you seem to be admitting that libertarianism is just as radical. What you don't seem to realize is that means it's doomed to fail.

    Nobody comes here for our healthcare "system." Someone may come for a treatment, but everyone in the rest of the civilized world absolutely cannot understand a) why we don't have a universal system like they do (since it costs a whole lot less and covers everybody) or b) how expanding access to healthcare is possibly so controversial as to cause a government shutdown.

    You are the cranks.

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I believe in science and you guys think it's optional.


    Believing in the power of the consensus among self-appointed notables is not the same as believing in science.

    You don't get to be heirs to the Enlightenment.


    Falls under the category of "just your opinion."

  • OldMexican||

    Re: Tony,

    I put hard science above liberal arts on whatever hierarchy we're talking about.


    Only a fool would give a cardinal value to things that are not comparable among themselves.

    Hard scientists are the least muddled in their thinking.


    Because they're not human. Right?

    Trusting what the majority of experts say about their particular subject is the best bet you can make,


    Again, your opinion. Several million were ruined by making such bet, after many of the so-called experts told them that things just can get better. The better bet is to understand what people are talking about and if what they're saying is truly based on facts.

  • Tony||

    Except you don't understand the first thing about what they're talking about.

  • OldMexican||

    Re:Tony,

    Except you don't understand the first thing about what they're talking about.


    How can you make such a judgment, Tony? You just said you prefer to defer such things as hard sciences to the experts (the "best bet", you called it), which ipso facto means accepting your lack of wherewithal to understand the subjects on which they base their conclusions. So, how can YOU know what I can or can't understand? If you meant it as a mere insult, it just makes you look more foolish.

  • Tony||

    Do large increases in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere cause extra heating as a result of the greenhouse effect?

  • Cytotoxic||

    Some. It clearly does not cause serious problems for humanity.

  • fish||

    Except you don't understand the first thing about what they're talking about.

    Oh my god but you're obtuse!

  • Hyperion||

    Look, fellow libertarians. It's time to give up the fight.

    Tony has sat in his mummies basement his entire adult life and has observed the empirical evidence of how the world works.

    Tony: 'Hey, mommie's getting a big fat check from the government, and she turned on the internet for me, and bought me a 12 pack of Bud Light Strawberryrita, government works!' Not one libertarian wanted to pay me to sit on my sorry ass, libertarianism doesn't work!

    I guess it's all over now.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    12 pack of Bud Light Strawberryrita

    No gay man would deign to drink such swill.

  • Hyperion||

    Maybe mums check isn't enough to buy him the good stuff.

    Maybe that's part of the reason why he's so bitter. Maybe if libertarians start a drunken Tony fund, it will help and he will like us.

  • fish||

    Maybe Tony needs to get out of the house and turn a few tricks to earn enough to purchase the good stuff.

  • Hyperion||

    That might take some ambition, and I don't think he believes in that.

  • ||

    Strawberryrita?

  • Tony||

    From my mother's basement or not, all I have to do is look at the world. The countries with the highest standard of living for the most people--what do they do? The countries with the least amount of government--how is their standard of living?

    These questions are easily answered. So if I'm in a basement gazing at my naval, what the fuck does that mean you're doing?

  • MSimon||

    What ever happened to the Soviet Union? They had a LOT of government.

  • fish||

    Uh oh......TEAM LEFT......your QB is in trouble! Trying to shift focus from government woes to sensitivity issues?

    Did it have to be such a lame topic as changing the Redskins name again?

  • Hyperion||

    Well, he couldn't get his war, and apparently not much of anyone is liking the looks of the all new and shiny ACA. So he's running out of deflections.

  • fish||

    Maybe he could run for office...he's good at basking in the adoration of fools.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I only arrived at my politics after observing what works in the real world, and that's how everyone should approach it.

    You're funnier than Lindy West.

  • Hyperion||

    Don't forget, that by the real world, he means education at a liberal college in a course that provides no useful skills in the real world, and then sitting in mums basement for the rest of his life because of the former decision.

    Remember when Tony used to brag about his degree and his job as some type of analyst for climate change, and was always telling the rest of us that we don't have any education and that we probably mop floors for a living? Looks like mopping floors turned out pretty well compared to Tonys situation.

  • ||

    uptil I saw the bank draft for $9693, I didn't believe that my sister woz like realey taking home money parttime at there labtop.. there uncles cousin has done this for only about eighteen months and at present cleard the depts on there villa and bought a great Jaguar XJ. he said

    http://WWW.WORKS23.COM

  • Francisco d Anconia||

    WOW!

    Work at home bot has devolved.

  • ||

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_.....e-concerns

    What a guy!

    One minute he's frightening the public because of the ominous shutdown, next thing we know he flippantly offers a an opinion on a frivolous issue like the Redskins?

    What a leader!

  • JeremyR||

    I dunno. In my experience, Libertarians are more disliked by young people than Republicans.

    I'm a regular at NeoGaf, a very popular video games board, and there are always random attacks on Libertarians in completely unrelated threads. Constant use of the Somalia being a libertarian paradise meme (along with the "Thanks, Obama" meme).

    Almost all video games are very left wing.

  • Assaf Koss||

    We can't expect popular media, memes and games etc', to reflect the hearts of the people in a meaningful way.

    So, I wouldn't be so worried about it, myself. Let popular media do what it knows best and ignore it.

    www.AssafKoss.com

  • Assaf Koss||

    Myself, being (sadly) not from America, I have to point out that it seems that the Libertarian movement is recruiting more people from the global scene, as well!

    We are all suffering the abuse of states all over the globe, and anyone who wakes up to this reality, is coming to realize that this sort of movement could do the trick.

    Other alternative movements (Zeitgeist, Anarchists...), so far, have been too extreme to become popular enough, for change-making. Libertarianism is probably the most balanced ideology for our current generation.

    www.AssafKoss.com

  • ludovikazaleskas||

    up to I saw the check saying $4560, I didnt believe ...that...my cousin could truley bringing in money part time on their laptop.. there uncle started doing this for only about 16 months and recently took care of the mortgage on there apartment and bought a top of the range Aston Martin DB5. visit this site
    =========================
    http://WWW.Works23.Com
    =========================

  • wooffjordy||

    Start working at home with Google! It's by-far the best job I've had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this - 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to Economy tab for more detail ...

    =============== http://WWW.MAX34.COM

  • Carolynp||

    Glenn Beck didn't just become a libertarian, he's been one for many years. At least since I've heard of him he's claimed to be a libertarian. Go back and watch his old fox news shows.

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