"What do you think of interracial marriage? It would be hard, offhand, to think of a question less relevant to libertarianism"

Over at LewRockwell.com, David Gordon criticizes the "pseudo-libertarian concoction" contained within The Declaration of Independents: How Libertarian Politics Can Fix What's Wrong with America. In the process Gordon spreads a few misconceptions, and also initiates an interesting discussion about essential definitions of libertarianism. First the misconceived bits:

[Gillespie and Welch] extend the net of libertarian social values very wide; musical tastes, one gathers, are included. They mock William Buckley and Frank Sinatra, among others, who disparaged rock music. "Such dismissive critiques of rock music and other American ephemera like comic books, movies, and video games...proceed apace." (p.86). Of course, people who like rock music should be free to play it, and Gillespie and Welch offer an interesting account of how governmental suppression of it helped spark revolution in Czechoslovakia and elsewhere. But why must libertarians like it? Can you not be a libertarian in good standing yet regard this music as raucous noise?

One gathers incorrectly. Consider the material that was excised from our quoted sentence above. Here's the sentence in full, with the omission bolded.

"Such dismissive critiques of rock music and other American ephemera like comic books, movies, and video games ("Step away from the video games," counsels Barack Obama, who admits to not having played one since the days of Pong) proceed apace."

The linkage here (as in that chapter's discussion of Al and Tipper Gore) should be clear. Spasms against popular culture go hand in hand with government censoriousness, and always have. It was only two months ago that the Supreme Court ruled that California's attempt to crack down on violent video games violated the First Amendment of the Constitution. Does that mean I think every libertarian should like video games? If so, then I'm setting a miserable example, having not played one since the mid-1990s.

Re: musical preferences, Czechoslovakia's Plastic People of the Universe (like many Mitteleuropeans) revered Frank Zappa, who I consider unlistenable (aside from maybe "Titties and Beer"). If musical taste were some kind of libertarian litmus test–and more importantly, if I or Reason had any interest or track record in policing who does and does not get to be "a libertarian in good standing"–then I would likely be disqualified by my heartfelt dislike of Neil Peart's drumming.

Our book's main point in discussing rock music was not to bully people into favoriting our record collections (Gillespie's, by his own admission, is terrible), but to celebrate the art form's potency as a force for personal and even national liberation, a fact that contradicts many of the official and unofficial condemnations of the stuff as setting back the cause of human liberty.

There's a similar misconception at work here:

Even worse, what if you prefer to work for a large corporation? Then, it would seem, you have shown yourself to be an "organization man" and displayed a spirit antithetical to that of libertarianism. "The creative destruction of the Internet, along with the trailblazing pre-Internet example of disorganization men such as [baseball statistician] Bill James across thousands of disciplines, has destroyed corporate monoculture and subservient workplace identity as we know it." (p.114).

The key word in the quoted sentence is not "corporate," it's "monoculture." I work for a (small, nonprofit) corporation today; worked for a humongoid media corporation from 2006-07; and largely as a freelancer from 1998-2004. I enjoyed wearing a tie in all three work settings, though admittedly less frequently at the latter. The point here is not about emulating or validating my choices, it's about having greater choices, period. Monocultures are reflexively hostile to deviant minorities, have a tendency to influence laws in ways antithetical to liberty, and make life less interesting and prosperous.

Another faulty interpretation here:

Gillespie and Welch miss the crucial distinction between freedom from coercion and their own preferences for particular outcomes of choice that manifest wide variety. In their discussion of education, this mistake leads them to some dubious proposals. They say, "without making any sort of fundamental change in funding levels, structure, or school taxes, we can accomplish significant educational improvement virtually overnight through widespread implementation of what is known as the 'weighted-student formula'". (pp.192-93). In this formula "the money follows the students"; students may enroll in any public school that will accept them, and actual enrollment determines how much money a school receives. To the authors, "With a minimum of fuss from the outside, weighted-student formula funding creates a market in education." (p.103) The authors fail to grasp that a choice among government institutions and a free market are very different things.

They are certainly not opposed to free market education, but they do not call for the government to exit entirely from the field. To the contrary, they enthusiastically favor vouchers. To them, as always, choice and variety, not libertarian rights, stand uppermost.

This characterization of our views on education policy is contradicted by the paragraph immediately preceding the above quotation, which reads like this:

Can this system be saved? The short answer is no. The longer answer is only slightly more complicated: No, and the only thing that should matter is the timing of the exit plan. Whose child will be the last to live a frustrated life for this dreadful mistake?

We presented the weighted-student formula not as the ideal "free market" solution, but as a way of sketching out how the libertarian and capitalist insights on consumer-driven choice could improve education as it exists today and likely tomorrow. Backpack funding is a way to take existing government expenditure and make it work much better. I understand, respect, and sometimes even take the position that pragmatic-oriented discussions that cede to reality can amount to a big fat sellout, but at the same time I'm very glad that the New Orleans school district after Hurricane Katrina was hearing more public policy arguments than "Just get the government out of eduction!"

If the preceding has suggested some basic philosophical and cultural differences, this passage flushes them right up to the surface, and tacks on a question worth answering:

What do you think of interracial marriage? It would be hard, offhand, to think of a question less relevant to libertarianism, as usually understood. Of course, no one has the right forcibly to prevent such marriages. What more need a libertarian say about this issue?

Gillespie and Welch disagree. They praise Tiger Woods for calling himself a "'Cablinasian', a neologism that combined his various racial and ethnic components. Weren't we – finally – at a point in history where everyone was ready to move on from simple, either-or categories?...As a Cablinasian he [Woods] represents something that's in all of us." (pp.130, 140) Why is mixing categories a libertarian issue?

Here's why: Intermarriage and mixing–of people, of categories, of ideas–leads directly to more pluralism, more trade, more possibilities, and fewer opportunities for the majority to inflict its preferences onto less desirable minorities by force and exclusion. Here's how we make that case in the book:

With variety—of ethnicities, of genders, of races, of clothing, of food, and more—comes mixing. The percentage of foreign-born residents in the United States is about 12.5 percent, according to the Census Bureau, up from just 4.7 percent in 1970. Not coincidentally, Pew Research reports that one in seven marriages is now interracial or interethnic, an all-time high. While such couplings remain a small fraction, the trend captures an undeniable reality that has been gaining ground for the past few decades.

"In 1961," write Pew's Jeffrey S. Passel, Wendy Wang, and Paul Taylor, "the year Barack Obama's parents were married, less than one in 1,000 new marriages in the United States was, like theirs, the pairing of a black person and a white person, according to Pew Research estimates. By 1980, that share had risen to about one in 150 new marriages. By 2008, it had risen to one-in-sixty." New social realities have given rise to new levels of tolerance and pluralism as well. In 1987, two decades after the Supreme Court had invalidated the last laws against interracial marriage, only 48 percent of Americans thought it was "OK for whites and blacks to date each other." By 2009, fully 83 percent did. Similar trends can be observed in other areas of personal identity. The Gallup Poll began asking whether "gay or lesbian relations between consenting adults should or should not be legal" in 1977. Just 43 percent then thought they should be legal. Today, that figure stands at 58 percent.

Born in 1963, Nick Gillespie was delivered into an America where intolerant majorities saw to it that more than a dozen states outlawed interracial marriage. We still live in a country where most states do not recognize marriage between consenting adults of the same gender, because enough heterosexuals want their preferences enshrined in exclusionary law. So yes, I am heartened by any non-harmful trend that increases Americans' belief that the consensual behavior of minorities should not be prohibited by the government.

Is that outside the scope of acceptable libertarian thinking? David Gordon thinks so:

They characterize libertarianism in this way: "While there are competing definitions of what 'libertarian' means, the simplest understanding attaches to people who believe that government is less efficient than the private sector, that people should be left alone as much as possible to lead their own lives, and that tolerance is the most important social value."(p.34) This very much differs from the conception of libertarianism defended over a lifetime by Murray Rothbard. As Rothbard saw matters, libertarians are committed only to defining the permissible use of force. They are free to adopt whatever attitudes they wish towards people's lifestyles, so long as they respect rights. They are emphatically not required to be "social liberals". Though Rothbard indisputably ranks as a towering figure of the modern libertarian movement, his name nowhere appears in the book.

The authors might respond, "So what if we differ from Rothbard; we prefer our own view." If they were to say this, they stand open to two objections. First, people such as Ron Paul and many of his followers who are social conservatives have been excluded from the libertarian mainstream by definitional fiat. Further, Gillespie and Welch's account raises the question, why are the social attitudes they favor correct?

This is the meat of a very real and legitimate difference of opinion, one which we'll get to in a moment. And it should also be pointed out that no person, let alone an economist/philosopher 16 years dead, has earned the right to be the final arbiter of libertarianism. But first, how is there a "libertarian mainstream" that does not include the single most potent libertarian politician of the past several decades? And who, exactly, has "excluded" Ron Paul? Certainly it is not the magazine that named him one of its "35 Heroes of Freedom," enthused about the rEVOLution to Washington Post readers in November 2007, put Paul on the February 2008 cover, had him write a few months later on "The Coming Recession," positively reviewed his latest book, complained about his media marginalization a dozen times over the last four months, and interviewed him on God knows how many occasions.

But there is an identifiable difference of philosophy and emphasis embedded in Gordon's Rothbard-vs.-Reason formulation (even if it should also be pointed out here that Rothbard was a Reason columnist in the 1970s and '80s). It's similar to the tension at play in our great November 2009 exchange "Are Property Rights Enough? Should libertarians care about cultural values?", between Kerry Howley, Todd Seavey, and Daniel McCarthy. I basically take the Howley view that "Freedom is about more than just the absence of government." Here's a slightly longer snapshot of her argument, using a 17-year-old Chinese working girl as a jumping-off point:

I call myself a classical liberal in part because I believe that negative liberties, such as Min's freedom from government interference, are the best means to acquire positive liberties, such as Min's ability to pursue further education. I also value the kind of culture that economic freedom produces and within which it thrives: tolerance for human variation, aversion to authoritarianism, and what the libertarian economist F.A. Hayek called "a preparedness to let change run its course even if we cannot predict where it will lead."

Again, I understand and respect libertarian arguments that instead hew to first principles. That's not where I'm coming from, but as I wrote in a recent column, I'm glad that there is more than one approach to libertarianism.

Gordon, having complained–inaccurately–that our conception of libertarianism excludes people with different musical preferences, people who work for big corporations, people who are not social liberals, and even people named Ron Paul, finishes his review by excluding us (and others) from his conception of libertarianism:

In 1980, Murray Rothbard memorably criticized the Libertarian party campaign of Ed Clark for offering "low-tax liberalism" in place of libertarian principle. As a result he earned the enmity of the Kochtopus, an enmity that his death by no means has brought to an end. It is not hard to imagine what his opinion would have been of the pseudo-libertarian concoction we have here on offer.

Reason Senior Editor Brian Doherty–who is currently working on a book about Ron Paul–wrote about some of the underlying tensions at work here in a March 2010 piece entitled "A Tale of Two Libertarianisms." That essay concerned some previously unpublished writing by Rothbard, including his recommendation to the libertarianism-financing Volker Fund that they attack rather than fund F.A. Hayek's monumental work The Constitution of Liberty, on grounds that it was a "surprisingly and distressingly, an extremely bad, and, I would even say, evil book." I appreciate that many of Rothbard's biggest modern-day enthusiasts have emulated his intra-libertarian rhetorical bomb-throwing, and that (as discussed above) these conflicts frequently arise out of real differences in philosophy and basic orientation. But I'll never quite grok how the same people can in the next breath complain, often inaccurately, about being marginalized by fellow libertarians.

UPDATE: David Gordon responds.

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  • Tman||

    Matt Welch on How To Win Libertarian Friends And Influence People:

    Tell them Zappa is "unlistenable" and you don't care for Neil Peart's drumming.

    Well done. Why don't you just take a dump in the punch bowl next time?

    Sheesh.

  • Barry Loberfeld||

    Sorry for the threadjack, but check out this now-happening slander at Salon.com:

    “Why libertarians apologize for autocracy” by Michael Lind

  • Pip||

    You gonna do this on every fucking thread, asscunt?

    It's one thing to post an off-topic link. It's another thing to post the same fucking link on every fucking thread all god damn day long.

    You should get the banhammer for this shit.

  • Pip||

    Oh, BTW no fucking way you are "sorry for the threadjack" so that makes you a liar as well.

  • -||

    There are no rules in anarchy.

  • Pip||

    Bullshit

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Having just read the Salon piece, I can see why Barry is pissed about it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    BTW:

    http://letters.salon.com/polit.....a845b.html

    That should be printed on one long-assed bumper sticker.

  • -||

    Anyway, threaded comments turn all comment boards into chat-rooms. Discuss.

  • L’enfer est les autres!||

    EOM

  • Joe M||

    Seriously. How could he diss them both in the same post?! You have to dole that hate out in small portions, not all at once.

  • oncogenesis||

    Because he's absolutely correct.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    No comment.

  • Southerner||

    "What do you think of interracial marriage?"

    Don't know; I've never really done that before; might like to try it, though...

  • People's Front of Judea||

    SPLITTERS!

  • Judean People's Front||

    We were here first!!!

  • prolefeed||

    Who someone marries, or how many someones they marry, is none of the govt's goddamn business.

    The best solution, though, is tell government they get no say at all in defining or recognizing who is married -- if two or more people say they are married, they are, end of discussion -- rather than a marginal expansion of those marriages the govt deigns to recognize and grant special privileges to.

  • O2||

    well since the states issue & regulate marrage (& medical) licenses, it is the business of the state govt.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Double Asshole,

    well since the states issue & regulate marrage (& medical) licenses, it is the business of the state govt.


    Pulled from the book: "Examples Of Really Stupid Question Begging Arguments"

    +State issues licenses
    +Therefore, it is the State's business!!!

    Ta-da!!!!

    You stupid fuck.

  • 2O||

    taking exceptions to truisms may require psych evals

  • 02||

    You know the best thing about having two rectums? I have a place for each of my fists!

  • the real O2||

    quit thinkin about my rectum u perv

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Double Asshole,

    taking exceptions to truisms may require psych evals


    Confusing an argument with a "truism" requires a brain transplant.

    "well since the states issue & regulate marrage (& medical) licenses, it is the business of the state govt."

    Premise, conclusion. That is no truism, you ignoramus.

  • Tony||

    If anything it's a tautology. I.e., truism.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: sockpuppet,

    Oh, the other idiot decided to jump in where he wasn't called.

    NO, you dumbass, it's not a "truism," it's an argument. READ IT AGAIN:

    "well since the states issue & regulate marrage (& medical) licenses, it is the business of the state govt."

    THAT'S an argument, with a CONCLUSION. The premise is correct, but the stupid fuck that uttered it uses the same premise in his conclusion i.e. it's the state's business, then it is the state's business - a classic QUESTION-BEGGING assertion.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Solution:

    Stop issuing marriage licenses.

  • PIRS||

    Would you support ending the government's involvement in marriage altogether?

  • 2O||

    i feel there should be a licensing authority namely, state govt. DOMA should only apply to federal property

  • Anonymous Coward||

    well since the states issue & regulate marrage (& medical) licenses, it is the business of the state govt.

    Tautology, much?

  • the real O2||

    old mex objected above.

  • ||

    Forgive me for being a symbolic-logic fussbudget, but the argument only becomes a tautology when interpreted. In the hard-core symbolic logic world, a reduction to a tautology is a means of proving the argument to be true.

    If it's always true, then it's true. (How's that for a meta-tautology?)

    Believe it or not, some logicians saw this technique as a way to assign truth-values to arguments themselves: (Must be) True | (Must be) False | Uncertain (without adding premises).

  • sarcasmic||

    Can't unsee is right.
    Blech.

  • ||

    Holy fucking shit, did you do a mind meld with Cavanaugh to gain his incredibly-long-article writing powers? Such a creature would be unstoppable, and must be destroyed for the good of us who do not have the time at work to read posts that are longer than my arm.

  • ||

    Get a longer arm, fuckbag.

  • ||

    Isn't that what your wife said to you about your choad?

  • ||

    That was my arm. It makes it incredible hard to type.

  • ||

    Clearly, seeing as "incredible hard" must be incredibly hard. Is your arm incredibly hard right now?

  • ||

    Oh yes. It's like it has a couple of bones in it or something.

  • ||

    I would so eat your bone.

  • Amakudari||

    I saw Lew Rockwell's name, that the article was long and that it had a bunch of blockquotes, so Welch much have been raging about some circular-firing-squad something-or-other. I'm probably correct.

    It was actually a much quicker read than most.

  • Bradley||

    The thickness/thinness thing has been hashed out endlessly in more convenient forums than blog posts laden with decades-old enmity. Surely there's something more pressing to focus on, like, oh… maybe a whole bunch of nasty wars and the looming ruin of the US dollar?

  • Atanarjuat||

    OT: Florida Senate tries again to tax bottled water, which I point out only because the senator who proposed the bill (Evelyn Lynn) has almost the same name as a porn actress (Evelyn Lin)

  • Anonymous Coward||

    *Google-fu on Evelyn Lynn*

    EEWWWW. Back to Evelyn LIN.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    You seem to be spending an inordinate amount of time defending this book. I suggest burning all copies and starting again from scratch.

  • ||

    Mixing of the races and cultures may be great. And it is probably something that happens over time on its own. But if it doesn't because people choose not to do it, I don't see where a libertarian should be concerned.

  • ||

    a libertarian can have any position on interracial marriage (Setting aside the whole "Race is a social construct thing").

    but a libertarian would be against govt. interference - iow GIVEN that marriages are licensed by the state, govt. should neither incentivize or disincentivize (let alone criminalize) interracial marriages.

  • shorter dunphy||

    "I'm divorcing Morgan for Beyonce! Yum, yum, yum!"

  • ||

    ah, the pip-troll rears its childish head. from between his mama's legs...

  • tarran||

    So if you were an officer in Virginia in 1958 and you were ordered to serve the arrest warrant on the Lovings, would you refuse, or would you arrest them?

  • ||

    god knows i would hope i would have had the integrity not to serve the warrant.

    it's easy for me or reasonoids to opine with hindsight about what they BELIEVE they would have done. but nobody KNOWS what they would have done

    fwiw, i have already refused to charge somebody after being ordered by a supervisor (because there was not PC to believe they committed the crime) to do so.

    *my* immediate supervisor backed me up on my decision, too.

    i never heard anything more about it, but i'm certain that certain (now promoted) supervisor holds a grudge for me daring to not respect his authoritah.

    in brief, i wrote an "info case" with no charges preferred. he rejected it and said i needed to charge person X with the crime of harassment (making threats). i told him i could not do that, because it did not meet the elements of the crime, but he was free to have one of his detectives charge (actually, WE (cops) don't charge in my jurisdiction, we recommend charges and the prosecutor makes the decision, but still...).

    i would have had to sign the report with the charging under the penalties of perjury, and i told him i wouldn't perjure myself for him or anybody else.

    IF one of his detectives charged based on my report, believing there to be PC, that would be their prerogative, but i would have made a nice defense witness.

    Defense attorney: "ofc. dunphy why didn't you arrest my client at the scene for the crime he was later charged with?"

    Dunphy: "because i do not believe he committed any crime and his actions did not meet the elements of the RCW "

    Jury: not guilty!

    of course, no prosecutor in his right mind WOULD charge even if i forwarded the case with the charge recommendations, but since it was a DV case, the sgt. wanted ME to send it in that way since the war on DV's makes everybody want to CYA and just charge away and let the prosecutor nolle pros it.

    fuck that. it wasn't a crime, i'mnot charging

  • tarran||

    I actually was confronted with this sort of situation when I was in the Navy.

    I was ordered to charge one of my men with various crimes. This guy was a bit of a dirtbag, but I was convinced that in this case he was innocent, that he had performed the maintenance he was accused of gundecking.

    My department head ordered me to charge him with dereliction of duty, falsifying records, etc. I told my PA (the guy who was my immediate superior) that I was not prepared to obey the order. After he warned me that I would go up on charged myself for disobeying a lawful order if I refused, I ended up submitting the charges to the JAG.

    In the end, my testimony in favor of the accused resulted in the charges being dismissed by my Department head when he held the initial hearing, probably because he was afraid of looking bad when the Captain got the folder.

    To this date, my caving in on this issue haunts me. I don't look back at my naval career with pride, and it was my lack of courage in this incident that gives me the greatest shame.

    It is a major reason why I swore never to put myself in a position where I could be ordered to hurt someone again.

  • ||

    the problem with your conclusion is that if GOOD men don't choose to put themselves in that position, is that a better option? iow, you don't want to sully your hands doing important work (and imo policing is immensely important) and you feel it might compromise you in some way (not you particularly, just in general) but isn't society MUCH better off if men of conscience choose such a career, even with the admitted pitfalls at time, then that we leave it to those who DON'T agonize over such decisions?

    the answer is clear to me.

    it's also a point that serpico et al made extensively when they outreached to colleges etc. to recruit cops (unheard of at the time).

    it's a perfect is the enemy of the good type fallacy again. i sometimes have to do some distasteful things, but i can look at what i do with immense pride because it's overwhelmingly for the good. and when and if i am (as i was) ordered to do something blatantly wrong - i won't do it.

  • tarran||

    the problem with your conclusion is that if GOOD men don't choose to put themselves in that position, is that a better option?

    I think it is. It will take too long to explain here and today in proper detail, but basically, if good people refuse to participate in flawed institutions, the flawed institutions become hated by the people and lose their power.

    Take the KGB, for example. I'm sure there were guys who entered the KGB for all kinds of honorable reasons. And, I'm sure the KGB did do some good stuff in catching serial killers. But much of what the KGB did to preserve the Soviet Union was pretty horrific, and drove people with consciences out of the system.

    Did their departure make the system less humane?

    Yes.

    Did their departure hasten the demise of the Soviet Union.

    Absolutely.

    I've taken too much time of of work today. I'll write up something more detailed and throw it up on the Liberty Papers one of these months. I'll let you know when I do so you can see the full argument.

  • ||

    ok, i just don't buy this. sure, the justice system is flawed. ANY institution that has people in it will be flawed because people are flawed. i would WAY rather have good men working in a flawed system than only have men who don't really care about the flaws (granted, i don't know a cop alive who doesn't grumble about the problems of the justice system, but i digress).

  • ||

    If good men are many in a bad system, then things can work out pretty well. If a good man is alone in a bad system, then he is simply sacrificing his own well being for very little gain.

    The real test is what happens to a good man who exposes the crime of a bad man within the same system to public scrutiny.

    There is a reason it took the FBI to root the Mob out of controlling Chicago. It wasn't because the Chicago police had too few resources. They still greatly outnumbered the Mob even in the 20s and 30s. It was because the Chicago police were too far gone down the road of corruption for a few good men to prevail. Instead a fairly small contingent of FBI men in a fresh still uncorrupted organization did the job.

  • ||

    i would have had to sign the report with the charging under the penalties of perjury, and i told him i wouldn't perjure myself for him or anybody else.


    Good on ya, Dunphy.

  • Wait a minute...||

    You guys have a new book out? Why have I not heard anything about this until now?

  • Colin||

    +100

  •  ||

    -101 for unoriginality.

  • ||

    "The ultimate act of libertarianism is to let other libertarians decide on their own just exactly what that word means." -me

  • Brandon||

    Metalibertarianism FTW!

  • Fluffy||

    What do you think of interracial marriage? It would be hard, offhand, to think of a question less relevant to libertarianism, as usually understood. Of course, no one has the right forcibly to prevent such marriages. What more need a libertarian say about this issue?

    OK, I think I see Gordon's problem.

    He's saying that it doesn't strictly contradict the principles of libertarianism if some Rockwellite says, "I hate niggers and don't like it when they marry white women or even look at them with their dirty black buck leers, but as long as I don't favor the use of the police power to prevent interracial relationships I should still get to call myself a libertarian."

    That's actually true. But that doesn't mean the rest of us want anything to do with that speaker.

    Although, honestly, I doubt very much if that speaker would really be a reliable libertarian. Some ideas just find it difficult to co-exist in one mind. "Those damn darkies are going to miscegenate all us into mongrels!" may not explicitly contradict the non-aggression principle or minarchism, but I find it hard to imagine a person actually combining such disparate outlooks. It was probably possible at one time (I'll bet many Declaration of Independence signatories could have pulled it off) but in 2011? Those thoughts just don't go together in 2011.

    It's not reasonable for you to ask me to trust that you are a libertarian if you admit to me that you think interracial marriage is bad.

  • ||

    Yeah but either you believe people have a right to think what they want or you don't. IF they do, then you shouldn't care about what the guy thinks.

    It comes down to what you think about civil institutions. The Rockwellites hate Hayek because Hayek embraces civic institutions and mores. Hayek says that those mores have a collective wisdom that we can't understand and ought to be respected. Hayek believes in a civil society outside of government. The Rockwellites don't. They reject anyone's authority to say to anyone else that "this or that is wrong".

  • ||

    however, criticizing a person's belief doesn't interfere with his right to hold them, speak them, etc. some on the hard left make this error. especially in campus speech codes, etc. they see allowing certain kinds of speech as (orwellian as it is) interfering with others right to free expression, speech, etc.

    but imo, libertarianism primarily applies to one's beliefs about the role of govt., individual responsibility, and the general concept that govt. should leave people alone to make their own choices.

    while i personally find racists to be stupid and odious, a person who personally held racist beliefs BUT believed that govt. should be race neutral could still be a libertarian.

    also, some libertarians feel that businesses should be allowed to discriminate on account of race, and holding that belief doesn't mean the person IS a racist, although it could arguably be seen as holding a policy position that would empower racists.

  • Apatheist||

    It could arguably be seen as holding a policy position that would empower drug addicts to legalize drugs but it would be a retarded argument. The only people who would be empowering the racists would be their customers.

  • ||

    again, i said ARGUABLY, but i disagree.

    if you can't see how allowing (for example) homeowners to only sell to people of the same race (and even political ideology) could empower racists to create exclusive enclaves for themselves EMPOWERS racists, then i don't know what to tell you.

    that's TANGENTIAL to the issue of whether prohibiting transacting on the basis of race is constitutional and/or libertarian.

    i'm not sure what your point about drug addicts is. only a small %age of drug users are addicts, and only an even smaller %age of legalization/decrim advocates are addicts.

    again, what's your point?

  • Brandon||

    "only a small %age of drug users are addicts, and only an even smaller %age of legalization/decrim advocates are addicts."

    You're my favorite police officer ever.

  • ||

    spanks man. not sure if that is "damning by faint praise" but i'll take it!

  • ||

    Seconded. Would that all cops exercise your type of critical thinking, Sir.

  • ||

    Libertarianism has nothing to do with government's role in our lives. It has everything to do with the "non-aggression principle." It is the coercion of people that libertarianism is all about. Whether those people wear a government uniform or not.

  • ||

    Pfft, Just because I think people have the right to think what they want doesn't mean I can't think, as well as inform them, that they are sick and wrong. Just because they think something I consider backwards and repulsive, doesn't mean I want the state to correct their thought patterns.

    From a slightly different perspective, I care what others think, because I care about them. If I can bring the light of truth to someone, and improve their life, I will. However, that doesn't at all mean I want the government to do so for me.

  • ||

    ^ this. exactly this.

  • tarran||

    Given the praise heaped on civic institutions that arise organically out of voluntary action within society that I have read in Lew Rockwell's site, I think you are quite wrong John.

    I think the dislike of Hayek arises from the perception that he was in favor of a state-managed free society. In reading Hayek, I am often reminded of the thoroughly coopted Orthodox Church in Soviet Russia, where every priest was an agent of the KGB ensuring that the church would never be a threat to party power.

    Hayek was a great guy. His stuff is well worth reading. In the end, though, he was very tolerant of a state that engaged in charitable work. It's no accident that during the debate over Pelosi's nationalization of health insurance that Hayek's argument about state provided "safety nets" kept popping up in pro-nationalization commentary.

  • affenkopf||

    The Rockwellites don't hate Hayek. They disagree with him on some issues. They sell his books and T-Shirts with his face in the Mises store. Hate looks different to me.

  • fish||

    They reject anyone's authority to say to anyone else that "this or that is wrong".

    Nope....you can say it all you want. Just don't expect anyone to care.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    Hayek believes in a civil society outside of government. The Rockwellites don't.

    that's not true.

    They just think Hayek is a "sell out" because he's not "hardcore" enough. Plus some plain old TEAM ROCKWELL vs TEAM CATO. That is all really.

    Rockwellites have zero problem with a civil society outside of government. And Rockwellites don't reject the notion of morality altogether. That is just silly.

  • ||

    If they don't reject civil society, how in the hell do they get off calling the Constitution of Liberty an "evil book". Just what is evil or non libertarian about it beyond Hayek's embrace of civil institutions and mores?

  • tarran||

    John, see my post above. It's Hayek's inclusion of government in the civil institutions that upsets them (and me to a lesser degree).

  • ||

    Ok. Perhaps they don't. But I really can't get on board with kicking around Hayek.

  • CrackertyAssCracker||

    First off "they" is unnecassarily imprecise. It was Rothbard. I'm sure there are some other people who consider themselves libertarian and don't like that book. But I'd bet they are a minority, even at a Mises Institute Tractor Pull.

    And the "evil" part is as I said above. Hayek could tolerate a government funded safety net. Once you are pointing a gun at somebody and forcing the to use the sweat equity of their life to fund these safety nets, they don't really seem that "civil" any more, least to some folks.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I wonder what Hayek would have thought about marriage? Would he have seen SSM and polygamy as philosophically equivalent to interracial marriage - requiring the government to recognize them all? Or would he have said, "since we aren't enlightened enough to deregulate marriage, let's at least let same-sex couples and polygamists enjoy the same government benefits as opposite-sex married couples?"

  • ||

    He did talk about marriage. What he said was that instutions like marriage are the result of the collective wisdom of our ancestors figuring out how to do things. And if people want to try new things, they should be free to. If their idea, say gay marriage or polygamy doesn't work, it will die out.

  • ||

    Polygamy and homosexuality seem to be as old as monogamous marriage. Although, maybe homosexuals calling themselves married is something new, I never studied the ancient greeks that closely.

    The real test of this kind of issue is pedophilia (accepted by at least the ancient Greeks and I assume others.)

    That's a line that strikes me as hard to cross from a legality standpoint. But, it is a line that would surely be tested in a libertarian society.

    Would Libertarians tolerate a Jeff Jeffers in their midst as long as he got permission from that 8 year old and her parents.

    I don't see it given the prevailing morals of today. Some morals that are quite clearly a result of civil society (those weird Greeks again) inevitably get enforced with violence (either government or private).

    Surely, tolerance is a virtue but there is always someone who can succeed at pushing your tolerance beyond the pale.

    The principle of non-initiation of force solves most problems associated with the mixing of cultures and the formation of civil society but not quite all. Doing weird things with kids probably tops that list.

  • PIRS||

    I agree it is not very likely for a true racist to be libertarian. For one thing racism is usually the result of just plain ignorance [I mean that in the most literal sense] and someone likely to be that ignorant [again, in the literal sense] probably will not have thought deeply about philosophical-political issues. But let me take a MUCH more mild case. Some men are more physically attracted to women with certain physical characteristics, some prefer to date blonds, some brunets - some Asians. Is a man who prefers to date Asian women over all other types not able to call himself a libertarian?

  • asianbabefan||

    I hope not!

  • ||

    Fluffy, let's tinker with your thought experiment just a bit.

    Suppose the discussion is about same-sex marriage. Speaker A says "I think those fucking gays are sick and immoral, and don't want them to even think about my beautiful bubble butt, but I don't approve of using state powers to prevent them from fucking each other."

    Could I - a gay libertarian - work with such a libertarian to reduce the size and scope of the government? I don't see why not.

    Would I invite him to Club Metro to dance with my buds? Probably not.

    Different strokes, different folks.

  • What?||

    You're gay?

    (NTTAWWT)

  • Your Favorie Queer||

    "Would I invite him to Club Metro to dance with my buds? Probably not."

    The homophobic stereotyping is strong in this one. As if we all like dancing to industrial music and Donna Summer ballads.

  • ||

    No some of you sing show tunes and listen to Judy Garland.

  • Mainer||

    I lol'ed out loud.

  • Tom Servo||

    Camping? I'll dress up as Noel Coward and you start reciting Oscar Wilde.

  • ||

    Usually, hatred of people for who they like to have sex with is indicative of other beliefs and feelings that are not going to pair well with a doctrine which says "leave everyone alone if they're not hurting anyone".

    Not saying you can't have a libertarian who is a huge hater, but I don't see it working very well.

  • ||

    I think homosexuality is unnatural, immoral, and just plain disgusting. However, I have had a few homosexual friends that I've spent time with. They knew my position on the issue, and didn't rub it in my face. Just as I didn't harass them about their lifestyle choices.

    Just because I hate the act, and the fact that someone has managed to convince themselves that it is natural, doesn't mean I hate the person.

  • ||

    It's not that racism and homohate is un-libertarian qua un-libertarian, it's that it is indulging in collectivism. The racist/homohater is not living by individualist principles, which libertarianism is founded on.

  • ||

    I think you missed the point. It is possible to hate certain ideas and actions, without hating the people that hold and act them. I can hold completely to their freedom to think and act the way they wish without approving of any of it.

    Disapproval should be protected just as much as holding a belief.

    BTW, I don't conflate racism, and disapproval of homosexual acts. To me they're two completely different issues.

  • ||

    Then again, I noticed you didn't reply to me, so.....Damn nested comments!!!

  • ||

    Aelhues,

    I'm not interested in making people change their minds, but neither am I interested in changing mine. If you (not you you) want to be a racist, go right ahead. But don't accuse me of somehow betraying the "brotherhood of libertarians" for not wanting to associate with you.

    Shorter: If you want to be intolerant, don't demand tolerance from me.

  • ||

    How is disapproving of homosexual acts being intolerant?

    Is disapproval of sex with goats intolerant? What about disapproval of cutting oneself, or abortion, or creating hideous music? What is intolerant about disapproval of anothers actions? It would be intolerant if I tried to force them to stop those things I disapprove of.

    On the other hand, I'm not suggesting that anyone has to associate with me. However, I find it entertaining that you seem to find my opinions bad enough that you wouldn't want to associate with me, while things I clearly state I disapprove of don't necessarily keep me from associating with people who believe/act in those ways (clearly there is a line that could be crossed there).

  • GILMORE||

    Aelhues|8.30.11 @ 4:29PM|#

    Is disapproval of sex with goats intolerant?

    Hmmm. Fascinating comparison. Humans, goats.

    How about people who DRESS like Goats? Like, furverts, only more like, Goatish. Are we in the Tolerance grey area now?

    Do you not tolerate the Black Eyed Peas? That's something we might see eye to eye on. I didn't believe in Hell before they came along. Now I hope for it.

  • ||

    I cringe at some of the dreck my friends say. Typical Republicans and Democrats every one. I especially hate the warmongering. I doubt I would find the things racists say any more odious to my ears.

    I chalk it up to ignorance, and tell myself just because they don't understand calculus doesn't mean they are bad people. Just poorly educated. While I don't know any (at least not anyone who will admit it), I expect this means I would have little problem being friends with a racist.

    Since I am vastly outnumbered as a lone libertarian, I don't say a word to them. I save my proselytizing for strangers since I want to have friends.

  • ||

    I know how you feel, steve. I spend all of my time drinking with my neo-nazi buddies. I just keep quiet about certain things, and we get along famously.

  • cynical||

    There's a difference between "collectivism" and making generalizations, even if it makes a nice dodge for Ron Paul.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    What if someone says (sincerely): "I have no interest in putting gay people in jail or having hospitals exclude them from their partners' rooms, but neither am I interested in the government giving same-sex couples the same benefits as married couples. Nor am I interested in having the government 'deregulate' marriage, because marriage (of the opposite-sex variety) has an objective existence apart from any governmental definition, and it's the government's job to recognize marriage, not redefine it. Also, I don't think interracial marriage is a new thing which never existed before the 1960s - or else why did Shakespeare assume it was valid?"

  • ||

    Did Shakespeare ever write a scene which began "By the power vested in me by the State, I thee wed?"

    Is there any verse in the scriptures which reads "By the power vested in me by Caesar, I thee wed?"

    The case for government regulation of marriage cannot rest upon traditionalist or religious grounds. It's just a newfangled presumption.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I was talking about government *recognition* of marriage, not "regulation." For example, the government recognizes marriage by not forcing a person to testify against a spouse.

    As for common-law marriage (below), this applied to people who had the right to marry each other, told everyone they were married, and had marital sex. This made sense when religious dissenters didn't want to have a Church of England ceremony (the only recognized marriage ceremony), but it could lead to problems.

    So most states require people to have *some* kind of ceremony to get married, whether it's in a church with the organ playing the wedding march, or in the Ethical Culture hall, or a naked pagan ceremony with a priestess throwing salt at you (or whatever they do). If you're kinky, you can actually go to a government office and have an official marry you. Whatever floats your boat.

    If you don't have a marriage license, the marriage is still valid, but the celebrant can be fined. The government wants to encourage record-keeping.

  • ||

    Go back and look at the records and you discover that there were a ton of folks in the past who were in a "common law marriage". They declared they were husband and wife and everyone accepted them as such. An interesting celebrity example is Wyatt Earp, who had three "wives" during his life, only one of whom did he marry in a state sanctioned, official marriage.

    Having state sanctioned marriages really didn't become important until the state decided to start granting special privileges to those who chose to be married and have children over those who didn't. At least from a government perspective. How "the church" looks at it is something else entirely.

    Having the church sanction your marriage was quite important in the past since it could determine if you got in to heaven, or not. And whether the parish priest, who was socially and culturally important, would give you the time of day as you walked down the street, or not. Of course, you could just up and move 3 towns over and no one would have a clue that you and your "wife" weren't really married according to god and priest.

  • ||

    I'm not sure anybody has raised this question, but if a state has SSM and common law marriage (shacking up for a certain length of time creates a marriage), would you have, for example, people who were roommates all through college being declared married?

    I smell a follow-up to "I Now Pronounce You Chuck & Larry"...

  • JD the elder||

    Nope, sorry. Common-law marriage almost invariably requires the two people to intend to be spouses and publicly present themselves as such, so you can't get married by accident. Not that Hollywood is likely to let a little thing like implausibility stop them.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    "Those damn darkies are going to miscegenate all us into mongrels!" may not explicitly contradict the non-aggression principle or minarchism, but I find it hard to imagine a person actually combining such disparate outlooks.

    But Slappy! is trying his damnedest.

  • Scott||

    Can I still be a libertarian if I like The Fray?

  • Apple||

    There's nothing contradictory about being a gay libertarian.

  • ||

    I haven't thought about their craptastic whining in years. Damn you for reminding me.

  • Warty||

    Is that a band of some sort? If so, are they worse than the Pixies?

  • ||

    So, so much worse.

    IIRC, they got popular when one of their songs was featured on a Grey's Anatomy commercial in a horrific axis of suck.

  • Warty||

    I made it 16 seconds.

    Earbleach

  • robc||

    Heh. I thought I had you beat, but :16.

    Wow.

  • robc||

    Only made it :14 into the earbleach.

  • Warty||

    Your good taste is ruined by your terrible taste.

  • Nooge||

    How could I not know Gene Hoglan was their drummer? I'm even looking at him, going "Gee, that guy sounds as badass as Gene fucking Hoglan."

    Anyway, \m/.

  • Amakudari||

    Yeah, I've been using some classic Hoglan as earbleach recently.

  • ||

    New Hoglan is also awesome.

  • Nooge||

    How could I not know Gene Hoglan was their drummer? I'm even looking at him, going "Gee, that guy sounds as badass as Gene fucking Hoglan."

    Anyway, \m/.

  • Nooge||

    I clicked submit once. ONCE.

  • Warty||

    I mean, fuck. It's like Coldplay times Coldplay.

  • ||

    If it wasn't for the lead singer's skinny annoying bird, Coldplay wouldn't be that bad.

  • ||

    I'm tempted to go see Contagion just to see Gwyneth die.

  • ||

    I read somewhere someone talking about her posing topless in Vanity Fair recently. They said it was like seeing your kind of hot awful boss topless. They only thing you could say for it was that you wanted to look just to see that she had skin rather than scales.

  • ||

    No one is worse than the Pixies. Yeah, I know The Frey suck and they are douche rock at its worst. But the fucking Pixies couldn't even play in the right key.

  • ||

    FUCK. YOU.

  • ||

    For those of you who couldn't make it through the song, I urge you to go back, mute it, and watch the video itself. It's a special sort of shitty that needs to be experienced. Imagine a Dove "real women" commercial crossed with a Commodore 64 running an inspirational epigram generator.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    It appears to be a song about drug addiction intervention, so of course libertarians are going to recoil from it. IT MIGHT AS WELL BE ABOUT SOMALIA.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Also, they still make song videos?

  • Scott||

    It's the songs that don't get released as singles that sound good!

    Dammit now I sound like a hipster. Except a hipster defending The Fray. That makes no sense.

    Is it better that I feel guilty about liking The Fray?

  • Brian E||

    Is it possible to be a libertarian without actually liking the consequences of libertarianism? Sure, I guess. Will very many people adopt this position? Doubtful.

  • ||

    actually, "hard" libertarianism could be seen as having consequences that would empower racists, although not racist in intent.

    iow, fair housing act etc. prohibits discrimination on account of race in choosing who to sell or rent to.

    however, libertarians who believe in a "true free market" argue that people should be free to choose not to sell or lend to whomever they damn well please, for whatever reason they choose, to include race.

    an enclave of racists (whether black or white or whatever) would then be empowered to only sell/rent to other like people.

    regardless, it's pretty clear to me that being a racist isn't inconsistent with libertarianism. from what i've seen it isn't inconsistent with being a dem or a repub either, ime

  • Gibby||

    Ever been to Atlanta? Because today, it's as segregated as it ever was. Only difference is that today, it's self-segregation.

  • ||

    that may very well be true. but self segregation, as long as it does not limit choice is legal, and distinguishable.

    a black man can CHOOSE to only seek houses in predominantly black neighborhoods , same with a white man in a white neighborhood.

    and that often happens.

    no choice limitation, no legal impediment.

    a libertarian would say "fine".

    many liberals would say that (much like busing) that govt. needs to step in and FIX this.

    whether or not self-segregated neighborhoods are a net good or net bad, a libertarian would NOT support limitation of choice, or incentivation based on race to FIX it.

    MANY liberals would.

  • Gibby||

    "a black man can CHOOSE to only seek houses in predominantly black neighborhoods , same with a white man in a white neighborhood."

    But in Atlanta, A black man may very well WANT to live in Druid Hills, but rest assured, he can't, because he knows he would not be welcome.

    Just ask John. Ask him how many black people live on Highland Ave and University.

  • ||

    Not a lot. It is just astounding how black people just don't seem to want to go north of Ponce. I will say this though. It is a class thing more than a racial thing. A black lawyer would have better luck north of Ponce than a poor white person.

  • ||

    and again, no law says you have to be nice to people you don't like, whether because you are a racist, or just an asshole.

    again, i am a libertarian. i would fight for that man's right to live in any fucking neighborhood he could afford, but he (nor i) doesn't have a right to have people like him or welcome him.

    however, once momentum shifts and enough of a particular minority get a hold, then they at least have backup so to speak.

    libertarianism limits govt. power. it cannot limit the ability of people to be fucking assholes

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    an enclave of racists (whether black or white or whatever) would then be empowered to only sell/rent to other like people."
    It is not inconsistent with Libertarianism, but it is bad business. Limiting the buyer side of the market to one class of people (race, religion, wealth status, career choice, or favorite football team) will definitely lead to lower prices, longer turn around time, and will in the long run lead to failure. But I suppose if a racist seller would rather fail than sell to a black guy... well, good luck with that!

  • Wayne||

    Leave the state out of the decision.

    Some will disapprove of interracial marriage, for good reasons and bad ones.

    Some will approve, for good reasons and bad ones.

    I could not care less.

  • ||

    i disapprove of fat people wearing spandex in public.

    however, as a libertarian, i don't think govt. should regulate it.

    i disapprove of smoking, and specifically of smoky bars. i far prefer smoke free bars. however, i do not think govt. should have the authority to tell bar owners they cannot allow patrons to smoke.

    i "approve' of interracial marriages, in that i think in the long run, more mixed race people means less attention on racial differences, which is a net good. however, i wouldn't support govt. incentivizing or disincentivizing interracial marriages.

  • Wayne||

    I agree with you on every point, especially the fat/spandex thing.

  • ||

    As a fat person who wears spandex in public, I agree with every point.

    (I cover it up with long inseam gym shorts)

  • Apatheist||

    I don't have a problem with you argument, but what is a good reason to disapprove of interracial marriages?

  • ||

    that leads to a subjective discussion of what is or isn't a "good reason".

    that's tangential to the fact that any individual is free (legally) to choose their spouse with race as *a* consideration, and frankly i bet a substantial %age of people of most ethnicities tend to do so.

  • ||

    I would disaprove of someone who said I wouldn't consider marrying a black/asian/caucasian woman regardless of her charms.

    But, it wouldn't bother me if some Chinese or Indian or whatever said they would only marry a woman from their same ethnicity and religion because of cultural differences.

    It's very nearly racism. Same effect just a denial that its about race even though that is effectively a requirement.

  • Pip||

    Jesus Christ! Why not just post the book? I suspect it would be shorter.

  • GILMORE||

    I enjoyed wearing a tie in all three work settings

    uh...

    WTF happened *since* then? Tie-trauma?

    re: lewrockwell.com, etc. -

    isn't the whole deal with them that they always get all miffy about "who is and isnt' a REAL LIBERTARIAN?" Endless hairsplitting of policy minutae or ideological presumptions to finally get to an "AHA!" moment where you reveal some failure of Libertarian RightThink?

    I mean... Though Rothbard indisputably ranks as a towering figure of the modern libertarian movement, his name nowhere appears in the book.

    I mean, come on. YOU FAILED!! FAILED THE TEST!! THIS ONE IS NOT PURE!! HE HAS NOT GENUFLECTED TO THE NAME OF TEH GREAT ONE! CAST HIM IN THE PIT WITH THE OTHER HALF-BREED LIBER-FAKES!

    Seriously though, do you get like a decoder ring or something if you can prove your Libertarian Bona Fides to them? A lapel button? Why is the fundamental issue for them always Are you IN or OUT of our CLUB!?

    Its sorta funny that some of the harshest and most unfair criticism doesn't come from the Social Conservatives, or the Progressive Liberals... but the ostensible Libertarian Purists.

    Seriously, the Rockwell types always bring far bring more DRINK to the party than the Lonewackos/Tony-types.

  • Sparky||

    Seriously, I think you said seriously too many times. Seriously.

  • ||

    Twice is too many?

  • GILMORE||

    yeah, I guess you got me there. Sniff, tears. Those years of doing stand-up comedy in the Catskills have left me with a verbal tic.

    But seriously: about the decoder ring...

    I wants a card to prove Im a CARD CARRYIN LIBERTARIAN. Seal of approval! Grade A prime!

    I find it kinda funny that Matt and The Nick often get hated on in the following way =

    ... Either, "Extremists!!" (progressives) or , "fake libertarians!!"(real libertarians(tm)), or "unrealistic and amoral!"(conservatives)

    I was just looking at the Salon interview they did ("Are libertarians misunderstood?"),

    http://www.salon.com/news/poli.....index.html

    .... and made the mistake of looking at the comments.... Whoo boy.

    The consensus seems to be that Reason-type Libertarians are: "Extreme-Right-Wing-versions of Republicans who want to bring back slavery and destroy the social safety net and can only believe in their ridiculous utopia because of their incredibly low IQs and amoral worldview, oh, and by the way? their ideas have been tried and they always have failed so stop allowing these people to be featured on Salon"

    Something like that.

    A buffet of insights! feast upon them! =

    e.g.

    Nick Gillespie, Matt Welch, I hope that you're reading this thread and learning something. Because the unreal, hopey-dopey, airy hypothetical, cloud-castle worldview that's permeating the Libertarian Responses in this thread is about par for the course.

    That's why I'm checking out of here for a while. I've already heard enough weak-ass, dumbed-down, milquetoast, wishfully fantasizing homilies about the "free market" to last me quite a while, and based on prior experience I don't anticipate much of an improvement. Although perhaps one of you might give that a try by posting your own views, if you're out there.

    Libertarians are assholes. Selfish assholes. Period.

    People who see public education or government programs to keep people from starving to death in the gutter as necessary evils, or unfortunate inevitabilities are assholes. Selfish fucking assholes.

    Libertarians Misunderstood?

    Misunderstood? Libertarians themselves don't know or understand what Libertarian thinking leads to, or what consequences follow. Libertarian thought can be summed up in just 2 sentences: 1) I've got mine. 2) Screw you.

    The current economic situation in America is due to just a few Libertarian Principles actually having been put in place. Thinking that economic solutions and more employment will result from MORE Libertarian ideas being put in place is simply ideological dogma. Like Marxism, Libertarianism DOES NOT WORK; they both are based on unrealistic, simplistic, utopian, and imaginary views of human behavior derived from wishful thinking. Ron Paul, Rand Paul, Ryan, Cantor, or ANYONE calling himself a LIBERTARIAN, who does not or cannot see this, or who denies this conclusion...is unable to think, is stupid, or is, more likely, aligned with the upper tier. Grabbing even more wealth, at the expense of the working middle class, supports the return

    of a feudal hierarchy. Uncontrolled greed, coupled with unregulated markets, allowed to manipulate and hoodwink buyers, without penalty or punishment, only unleashed since 2000, has results and consequences for all to see. Believing that MORE of this is needed, and legislating MORE of this will guarantee the end of America.

    —ngauge

    Not Impressed!

    I have seen first hand what the Libertarian's mind set is! A family member became one 20 years ago and he hasn't been fit to live with since. He used to be an intelligent guy, but his think has become muddled and chaotic with all the fear and ignorance he injests daily. They seem to imagine the country is going to fall apart at any second and errupt in an all out Civil War. It's really sad what I have been a witness too. So I don't think they are misunderstood. I don't think most people realize how dangerous their ideas are.

    Libertarian = Republican Asshole

    Liberty? Let's talk about liberty.

    You think George Bush was the champion of liberty?

    The guy who pushed the Patriot Act? Who expanded executive authority way over and above democratic control? Who thinks atheists aren't citizens? Who wiretapped us without warrants? Who stole a presidential election? Who lied us into war? Who enabled Enron et al and all sorts of corporate looting? I could go on.

    You think that guy loves liberty?

    Well 58% of libertarians do. That's why even when Bush's authoritarian colors were shining bright for all to see, 58% of libertarians voted to re-elect Bush in 2004.

    Libertarians are just another brand of Republican asshole.

    Naive Amateurs

    As economists and political philosophers Libertarians are just naive, dogmatic, utopian amateurs. The free market is never competitive in the way that generates the efficiencies described by economists, especially these days where price fixing is common and monopoly power is expanding unchecked. They are the disciples of Pangloss where the free market and absolute personal freedom creates "the best of possible worlds." They float in a sieve and bail furiously to stay afloat.

    It was regulations that cleaned up America's waterways, desegregated schools, removed highly toxic pesticides from the shelves, and made automobiles safer. Deep ocean fisheries are a good example of what happens when there are no regulations to thwart the market's insatiable greed: commercial extinction of the once vast schools of cod, swordfish, and tuna.

    —RobbieC

    My personal favorites

    A=
    If you want to ...

    ... get a better feel for the libertarian mindset, a brief foray into the "comments" section of Reason Magazine would be instructive. It appears to be dominated by 23 year old boys living in their parents' basement, where they spend entirely too much time re-reading Ayn Rand and thinking up scatological insults for other Reason readers and too little time interacting with actual human beings.

    PWND!!! (also, he took 12 years off my age, and killed all my friends! 2XPWND!)

    And B=

    one of the more...

    civil and substantial threads on Salon in a long time. Frankly, I think, because not only did the trolls not show up (no red meat), but so few self-avowed libertarians did as well - the callow, glib and born on third base.

  • Amakudari||

    Ah, yes.

    I really feel for people where validation of their beliefs relies on those who disagree being thoroughly terrible human beings.

  • ||

    The most biting criticism comes from within the libertarian circle because they actually understand the various strands of libertarianism well enough to pry at the weaker points in an argument.

    With only a few exceptions the average lefty author or blogger can't get beyond blustering about how benighted you must be for not accepting their scientific evidence produced by accredited PHDs that proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that government is the answer to whatever issue you are discussing.

  • ||

    I'm with Welch on this one. Someone calling themselves a libertarian who is uncomfortable saying greater diversity/mixing of people/cultures is a good thing sounds like a conservative in libertarian clothing.

  • ||

    First, I don't see what is "conservative" about separatism. Most of the most militant separatist groups I can think of (La Raza, Black Nationalists and such) are liberal.

    Second, if a group of people want to get together and form some kind of identity group, why is that a problem provided they don't expect the government to enforce their identity?

  • Hasidic||

    Fuck yeah!

  • ||

    I was looking for a word better than "conservative" to describe the people who don't like the kind of social change that greater diversity brings, whether it is immigration or interracial marriage or what have you. I tend to hear that kind of thing coming from cultural conservatives. If those people genuinely don't want government to enforce their preferences, great. But getting your panties in a bunch because someone praised diversity as a good thing smells really fishy to me.

  • ||

    I was looking for a word better than "conservative" to describe the people who don't like the kind of social change that greater diversity brings

    "Retards." Short, fun to say and to the point.

  • ||

    The reason why people get their panties in a wad over "praising diversity" is because most people who claim to praise diversity are doing exactly the opposite and are just leftists looking for a way to demand everyone agree with them in the name of "diversity". It is the newspeak that is the problem not diversity.

  • ||

    visit your nearest faculty lounge to see how freely diversity is practiced. Oh sure, a lot the folks will look different but they all sing from the same hymnal. And, that's why the diversity talk is bullshit; people hang around folks who are, more or less, like them.

  • ||

    I think that's a feint. You don't have to oppose everything that leftists like, but it's sure a good excuse if what you really think is that white culture is superior to (insert non-white/American culture here).

  • ||

    American culture is superior to some cultures, a lot of them as a matter of fact. If you don't believe me go out and travel the world sometime and see for yourself.

    And further, the leftists are a faint as well. They hold American culture to standards they would never hold any other culture too. America is sexist because women don't participate in sports as much as men, but African culture is diverse for genital mutilation. Most lefty "diversity" is just an elaborate self loathing ritual.

  • Amakudari||

    This.

    I'm in no way a cultural conservative, but if we judge cultures by the extent to which they allow individuals to pursue their own values, American culture comes out looking extremely good (and even more so in historical terms). And I've never understood the agnosticism of full-bore cultural relativism.

  • Amakudari||

    Was supposed to be in response to John.

  • ||

    I can't claim it's superior, but I prefer to live within white culture, and I choose to buy property and live in places where whites are predominant, because I believe these places are quieter, more aesthetically pleasing/prettier/better maintained, and that the crime rate is lower and the areas are generally safer.

    I like some of the change that diversity brings (i.e. decent Thai restaurants), but choose to reject and avoid other changes (i.e. corruption, lawlessness, poor hygiene). And if I owned a business, I would not ever, ever hire blacks or illegals. My choice.

    I think a lot fewer people than you believe actually want the government to step in and enforce racial or cultural segregation. I'd go so far as to say you're imagining that people who eschew multiculturalism want the government to force this on others because it makes your statements seem damning. The KKK-types who want the government to mandate segregation (or want to create their own government that does this) are very few in number.

    It's no skin off your nose, or anybody else's, for people to privately choose not to associate with others, regardless of the origin or appearance of said "others."

  • ||

    Additionally, 'diversity' has been incentivised....which in and of itself, puts a bad taste in the mouths of some. Those who think race shouldn't even be a consideration.

  • Sparky||

    The bad taste might be from the fishy-smelling bunched panties.

    However, you're right on. Almost every corporation around these days has a diversity council or some such to make sure they're hiring enough of the right types of people. Sure they give you the "diversity makes for a stronger working environment" speech but I'd bet most are doing it because they'd rather not face the penalties.

  • Nooge||

    The "diversity" espoused by many left-leaning people (especially, in my experience, academics and highly educated professionals) is the most shallow and superficial kind of diversity. It is a diversity of appearances only. This man has black skin, this man has brown skin, this man has white skin, this is a woman, this is a black woman, etc., etc. Diversity of ideas and opinions and philosophy is not tolerated.

  • ||

    But getting your panties in a bunch because someone praised diversity as a good thing smells really fishy to me.

    Praising diversity is a cultural marker for soft-headed affirmative action social justice goo-goos. I have a "meh" reaction to it for that reason.

  • Nooge||

    Yeah, it's not so much actual diversity. Actual diversity is good. It's the PC diversity babble that drives me crazy.

    I don't even like the word "diversity" anymore, just because I've had to hear so many academics say it in tones that implied I was not only ignorant, but deserved to burn to death in a fire, for not being very interested in learning/teaching about "diversity," as they define it.

  • Sparky||

    How about let's not use "panties in a bunch" and "smells fishy" together anymore. Just a humble suggestion.

  • Wayne||

    Because "diversity" is code for "not white", and especially, "not white male". I have been to enough mandatory diversity training to loathe the whole corrupt, racist practice.

  • ||

    Lew Rockwell is aligned very closely with Ron Paul. I am not saying this is definitely the case. But perhaps this little spat has as much to do with electoral strategy as significant differences.

    It is my opinion that Ron Paul has a clear self-interest in appealing to conservative and religious Republicans while playing down those parts of libertarianism disliked by such people as much as his morals will allow.

  • Old man||

    Because culture matters, some cultures are better than others. Diversity does not work, unless enforced by the heavy hand of the state.

  • ||

    If, as you say, "greater diversity/mixing of people/cultures is a good thing", why do people invariably live around, socialize with, and otherwise surround themselves with people who are similar to themselves? People gravitate toward those with whom they share experiences, whether those are based on race, gender, age, region of birth, etc.

    The idea that diversity is an end unto itself is on page 22 of the liberal playbook, in Chapter Two, the one that details how men and women are the same, no culture is better or worse than any other, and that any perceived differences between any two people are the result of ingrained prejudices.

  • In Time of War||

    Would you then also argue that people should never leave their home village, because travel will expose them to different people/cultures/experiences?

  • Sparky||

    If, as you say, "greater diversity/mixing of people/cultures is a good thing", why do people invariably live around, socialize with, and otherwise surround themselves with people who are similar to themselves? People gravitate toward those with whom they share experiences, whether those are based on race, gender, age, region of birth, etc.

    Define diversity here. If I'm white and have a black friend and we're friends because we share the same views on things is that not diverse? How about if I have a white friend who I completely disagree with on everything political but we're still friends? Are we required to hang around with people that we truly dislike because of their differences just to meet some diversity quota?

  • cynical||

    We should just distinguish between personally conservative and politically conservative. Both libertarians and many paleocons are politically liberal, but libertarians tend towards being personally liberal (cosmotarian being a slur for those that go farther than most) while paleocons tend toward being personally conservative.

  • JTG||

    Differentiating between the political sphere of compulsion, and the personal sphere of volition is the mark of a true libertarian. Foregoing meaningful engagement with the former in favor of proffering piffling aspersions in the latter is the mark of a petty gossip.

  • anarch||

    Research reports that one in seven marriages is now interracial or interethnic

    Interethnic? How do we draw the line? English and Scot? Northern Irish and Southern?

    Color me puzzled.

    And in a while it will be the same question about shades of beige all around, Ja?

  • ||

    I would say damn near every marriage is inter ethnic. Even marriage among black people probably involves two people descended from different parts of Africa.

  • Apatheist||

    Yeah, there aren't many people in America who don't have at least some ancestors of different ethnicity than others. I would imagine that almost every marriage is inter-ethnic. Shit I don't even know what my "ethnicity" would be. Some English, some German, some Czech, some Native American and I don't know more than couple generations back on either side. I just call myself Texas American if someone asks.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    My ancestors came to Plymouth Rock on the Mayflower... but not from Europe, from a different part of America. So I am one of the true Americans here.

    So anyone want to get married and benefit from a large infusion of red, white and blue ethnicity into their family gene pool?

  • Tony||

    I'll accept your vigorous Early American seed.

  • ||

    we didn't land on plymouth rock! plymouth rock landed on us!

  • ||

    I can see why they would accept your European and Native American ancestors, but the Smurf blood would be right out.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Not Smurf, regality! (But not the inbred kind.)

  • anarch||

    ...and from the Caucasus and points West therefrom.

  • tarran||

    An eccentric uncle spent ten years exhaustively documenting my family tree on my mother's side.

    I had ancestors fighting on both sides of pretty much every war in Europe prior to the Napoleonic wars... just in my mother's WASP ancestry.

    Mix in my Turkish side (our oral history claims we were originally Hungarians and starts with an ancestor helping ol' Atilla plot how to more efficiently slaughter Romans), and I figure I have genetic material from a good portion of the globe: Native Europeans, Asians and North Americans (Algonquin great-great-great grandmother).

    Of course, my kids are even bigger mongrels: my ex wife is a Micronesian.

  • Nipplemancer||

    Of course, my kids are even bigger mongrels: my ex wife is a Micronesian.
    How did you have sex with such a tiny woman without hurting her?

  • ||

    How did you have sex with such a tiny woman without hurting her?

    Think about it, Nipplemancer. It'll come to you.

  • ||

    I put other/Welsh on the last census. I don't see why they have a bunch of non-race based separations, without including one I'm covered by.

  • tarran||

    So reading Richard Scarry's nursery rhymes to my daughter last night, I come upon this gem:

    Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a thief;
    Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of beef;
    I went to Taffy's house, Taffy wasn't in;
    I jumped upon his Sunday hat and poked it with a pin.
    Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a sham;
    Taffy came to my house and stole a piece of lamb;
    I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was away,
    I stuffed his socks with sawdust and filled his shoes with clay.
    Taffy was a Welshman, Taffy was a cheat,
    Taffy came to my house, and stole a piece of meat;
    I went to Taffy's house, Taffy was in bed,
    I took the marrow bone and beat about his head.

    Honey, today we're going to learn about ethnic prejudice!

  • GILMORE||

    Sorry... funniest Google Finance headline of the moment =

    Daryl Hannah arrested in White House oil protest

    USA Today - 40 minutes ago
    WASHINGTON (AP) - Actress Daryl Hannah has been arrested at the White House along with other environmental protesters opposing a planned oil pipeline from Canada to the US Gulf Coast.

  • ||

    Boce balls!

  • GSL||

    Eh. I think the LRC folks are still a little huffy about the whole KMW-Ron Paul thing.

    On one hand, I think they have a point about Reason: when you have to defend libertarianism to (liberal or conservative) statists, it's helpful to have a principle to argue from other than utility. Because most statists detest liberty if you press them on it. So I like the emphasis at LvMI on really versing oneself in libertarian philosophy and economic theory. And Reason usually takes a pass on discussions involving principles or philosophy.

    That said, the LRC folks really need to get over this idea that people can't be true libertarians unless they support Ron Paul. If nothing else, there's a certain contradiction in getting this absorbed by a political campaign when you call yourself an anarchist.

  • -||

    Reason usually takes a pass on discussions involving principles or philosophy

    Philosophy is hard.

  • -||

    "Some libertarians have gone so far as to deny that libertarianism needs a philosophic foundation of any kind. They have held that the principle of non-initiation of force is an "axiom" of social organization that should be accepted on faith, or as self-evident. But political principles are anything but self-evident: they depend on a vast number of conclusions about reality, human nature, and moral action."

    http://www.atlassociety.org/li.....compatible

  • affenkopf||

    Objectivists. The only people that make the LewRockwell crowd seem compromising.

  • ||

    "Libertarians are all these things we hate, so we hate libertarians whether they are these things or not."

    That strawman sure is taking a beating.

  • Bradley||

    Libertarians hostile to philosophy, huh? I guess someone should've told Rothbard, Hoppe, Nozick, Narveson and all the rest.

  • -||

    Libertarians hostile to philosophy, huh?

    Libertarian puppets and parrots. The chattering class in this chat-room.

  • Fred||

    Please. If by "versing one's self in philosophy," you mean Rothbard and Rockwell engaging in race-baiting as a political strategy in the '80s, then I guess you have a point. Enjoy the teachings of your cult leaders.

  • Fred||

    Oh, and I forgot -- the LVMI also unapologetically associating with the League of the South. VERY principled.

    So what they really mean when they say "libertarianism isn't about culture" is that "it's morally OK to be a racist, personally." Regardless of the politics, said thought makes you a piece of shit.

  • Bradley||

    Since you post this same League of the South shit every time someone mentions the Mises Institute, go back and read the last time I pointed out that those "associations" amount to nothing, and spare us the trolling.

  • cynical||

    "On one hand, I think they have a point about Reason: when you have to defend libertarianism to (liberal or conservative) statists, it's helpful to have a principle to argue from other than utility. Because most statists detest liberty if you press them on it."

    Um, aren't those statements contradictory? Consequentialism is for arguing with people who don't share your principles.

    When you hear a bump in the night and come downstairs with a tract from the von Mises Institute about property rights, that's an argument from principle. When you come downstairs with a shotgun, that's a consequentialist argument.

  • ||

    My biggest gripe with Reason (include CATO, and the rest of the libertarian "establishment") is that they continually feed the lie that it is not possible to elect Ron Paul or someone like him (discounting that he has many "unique" arrows in his quiver ~ foremost a consistent 30 year anti-establishment, pro liberty voting record) to the Presidency. That is where you talking heads drive me wild.

    I'll believe mainstream "libertarians" aren't completely full of crap the day that they start arguing that Paul's issues can't win in the US, and admitting how pointless that they themselves are ~ or the day that they demand he be addressed on the issues, and dismiss "crazy" "quixotic" "gadfly" "extremist" "racist" etc. as the political spin and pathetic gamesmanship that it is. Reason either believes what it says, or you're just a gaggle of writers and talking heads who are marketing spin to a defined audience. I don't think you want to win the debate for the hearts of America, I think you have given up. Ron Paul hasn't, and I'm with him. I threw away my libertarian card and registered Republican so I could vote for him last election cycle. I was convinced that he could win in June of '07 when I sat with a group of about 800 folks in a crowded theater on a nice Friday evening to hear him speak for the first time. Paul couldn't get any traction, and here we are. This time the message is getting out ~ the message will resonate. Maybe he doesn't win, maybe he does: but if you should be on his side now, and you're sitting out because you don't think the arguments are strong enough to win the day ~ maybe you aren't very libertarian and I wonder how much faith you have in your positions, I'm not reconsidering mine until I've heard a better argument, or Paul is out.

    Is it too much to ask that you egg-head know-it-alls just shut up until we are given the chance to introduce the IDEAS to a partially braindead electorate before you claim that Paul's "libertarian" ideals are a no-go with Americans. I beg to differ.

  • Nolan redux||

    How dare you take a realistic view of the electorate and US political system!

  • Nipplemancer||

    The reason why nonPaultards see Paul as un-electable is that we actually see the world around us. Statists and collectivists are a majority of the polity which is why it will be someone other than Paul who gets the GOP nod. Even if he ran independent/3rd party he still would not get enough of the people to vote for him because they don't understand the message and refuse to try.

  • ||

    But if the heretics just believed, then Paul would win. You have to believe, Nipplemancer. Believe. Clap harder! Clap harder! Clap until your palms bleed and your bones break and we'll all be able to FLYYYYYYYY!

  • Nipplemancer||

    I do believe in faries Ron Paul, I do I do.

  • ||

    I agree with M. Nolan. Not that Paul really can win, but that it is in the best interest of Libertarians to vote for him.

    My reasoning is that, I think it is clear that Ron Paul has changed the debate for the better. The other Republican candidates continue to co-opt bits and pieces of his platform.

    I would contend that the better Ron Paul does regardless of his overall chances of victory the greater chance some of his positions will stick.

    I believe we are facing the long march in reverse. Any improvement no matter how small should be seen as a victory.

  • ||

    Exactly! It's not that we don't LIKE RP. It's that we have a low opinion of voters.

  • Eric F||

    You don't like Neil Pert's drumming? Of all the reasons to dislike Rush, that could very well be the most specious one possible. Neil Pert doesn't really have an equal on the drums. Rush is an acquired taste, but the drumming talent is not really debateable.

  • ||

    Neil has great skill. No denying that. But he doesn't swing. I would rather listen to Charlie Watts or John Bonham of Stewart Copeland any day. Yeah, I know Peart has all of this amazing technical ability. But name me one Rush song that really swings?

  • Warty||

    Here's a drummer for you, John.

  • Tman||

    Holy crap that's hot.

  • Tman||

    And she's a former IDF?

    Good lord does Israel makes some incredible women or WHAT.

    Here she is doing a Rush tune...well, I might add.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....re=related

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Warty, I'll see you that and raise you Terry Bozzio pounding out the Black Page Drum Solo:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5dXonAnam1E

  • ||

    I would rather listen to Keith Moon.

  • ||

    Him too

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Word on Keith Moon. Also, Topper Headon from The Clash is a seriously underrated drummer.

  • ||

    Re: Neil Pert. Welch is nuts. And John, it's progressive rock - it's not supposed to swing! Pert is the best rock drummer there ever was.

  • ||

    I am not saying he isn't good. I am just saying he doesn't swing and I would rather listen to a drummer who does.

  • Apple||

    Would you consider Bill Bruford or Phil Collins more swingin' than Neil Peart?

  • ||

    Bruford is more of a jazz drummer now. So I am not sure he counts. And he can seriously play. I would say both of those guys swing more than Peart. I like some of the pop genesis stuff. It is good listenable music.

  • iamtheeviltwin||

    I will see your Neil Pert and raise you a Marco Minneman or Mike Mangini...Pert was good, but either of those two men are far more technical and progressive drummers than Pert

  • ||

    as a musician myself, i gotta say that if the guy fucking rocks, and how much you want to listen to his music matters more to me than whether he is 'technical' or 'progressive'

    i'd take joey ramones, the edge's, andy summers, neil young's, lou reed's, or any other # of tecnically limited guitarists over any # of progressive hypertechnical guitar wizards any day of the week. ultimately, what matters is the music you make, not how many music nerds you can impress.

  • ||

    Agreed. John Lee Hooker was lucky to play three cords in a song. B.B. King admits in the old U2 move Rattle and Hum he can't play chords. But I would consider both of those guys leagues ahead of some technically brilliant prog guy like Steve Howe.

    More to being a great musician than technical skill.

  • Apple||

    Steve Howe has a lot more than just technical skill.

  • ||

    Howe is a great musician. But what do you say about someone with great skill who produces just okay music versus someone with marginal skill who breaks all the rules and makes great music?

  • robc||

    FUCK...YOU...CLOWN

    [stupid two link limit]

  • robc||

    If the guitar solo in soundchaser doesnt speak to your soul, then you are dead.

  • ||

    yes. and also, having a limited proficiency with your instrument can often lead to some very exciting music as you approach the instrument differently than a technician, and find stuff they don't

    the edge is a perfect example of this (btw, the movie with him, jimmy page and jack black - it might get loud - is really good).

    his approach to chords and riffs came from his limited technical ability.

    and the result was stuff like i will follow, and especially gloria. imo, gloria is one of the coolest examples of two string guitar work ever.

    that's also kind of what punk was about, that it was about attitude and approach.

    granted, a phenomenally technically gifted person with something to say can be amazing TOO - see hendrix, for example.

  • ||

    When John dies, I am going to dance to some Rush on his grave.

  • GILMORE||

    But name me one Rush song that really swings?

    Well, there was an early incarnation of Rush that had Buddy Rich on drums, Charlie Christian on Guitar, and Perry Como on Upright & Vox... that was before they went mainstream...and Canadian.

    Rush = DorkRock

    Same goes with Zappa. Nothing wrong with that Its just that no one wants to listen to The Black Page drum solo at the keg party.

    Personally I'm a Bernard Purdie man.

  • ||

    i've never much liked rush. i like the IDEA of rush (some of the lyrics (peart writes them iirc) are good etc.) but the music just leaves me kind of "meh..."

    rush does have a lot of nerd-cred/appeal and as a dyed in the wool nerd, i guess it's one part of nerd culture i just never bought into.

    i was always more into punk during rush's heyday (the jam, the clash, and i also liked the police a lot and U2 and stuff).

    i'd see a rush concert for free, i guess.

    i can't imagine buying a rush album.

  • ||

    i've never much liked rush. i like the IDEA of rush

    good way to put it. All my friends in high school talked about how great they were. But you know, we never listened to them that much. And I never found them particularly interesting.

  • ||

    I like him. And I love Richard Allen. But I love motown. And I love music that rolls not just rocks. I guess I will never appreciate Peart because I just can't get over the fact that I find his band pretty lame.

  • Apple||

    Ian Paice rules.

  • robc||

    But he doesn't swing.

    You know what I dont like about Wiehenstephaner Hefeweissbier? Not enough hops.

  • ||

    +1

  • Libertarian2||

    Is there any beer that has enough hops? If so, please let me know what it is! Thanks in advance.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Founders Devil Dancer is a triple IPA.

    How anyone can drink beer that hoppy, though, is puzzling. I'm all about the malt, yo.

  • Cytotoxic||

    So lewrockwell.com has fools who make a sport out of misrepresentation of those who dare not to fall in line with their militant anti-authoritarian authoritarianism? Who knew?

  • ||

    Curly Goth: I'm such a non-conformist that I'm not going to conform with the rest of you. Okay, I'll do it. ...

  • cipples||

    I am pretty sure this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azesI46Vds4 applies somehow to the topic at hand.

  • ||

    Liberals or, more accurately, "progressives" (their preferred and appropriately self congratulatory designation) take the view that in order to change society for the "better" you need to change people's attitudes. The libertarian view is that people are entitled to whatever attitude they like, but they should not be empowered to inflict that attitude on others by the state. Culturally, I have always been on the opposite side versus the record burners and book burners and hysterical reactionaries who want to use the power of governmental authority to suppress expression they don't like. Even when it comes to expressions I don't get or even find repulsive. Hip Hop "culture" comes to mind. It represents a mentality that is completely foreign to me. Nevertheless, I recognize the fact that in ten years I will probably be playing Fitty Cent on my car stereo and having the dentist put in some gold caps.

    I have to say that David Gordon has a point that the Reason folks do tend to echo back some of the progressive inclination to be concerned with people's personal views with respect to cultural issues. I think racism is idiotic and wrong, but I also think people should be free to hold whatever asinine views they choose. Additionally, I don't think you need to be a racist to be appalled by the urban subculture which produces such activities as "wilding". That's really a different issue.

    I am most certainly a liberal (in the original meaning of the word), but I hardly think holding non-liberal personal views hardly disqualifies one from being a libertarian and Reason is suggesting that it does. There is a fundamental distinction between thinking homosexuality is obscene and presuming that the government has any business dictating our sexual behavior. Libertarians should be concerned with what people do and what they are empowered by government to do and not with what they think.

    Certainly Ron Paul is a perfect illustration of the perspective that you may not approve of a behavior, while still believing that government has no business dictating your behavior. In a libertarian political system it matters not one iota what personal views one holds, however illiberal they may be. You can not get more white bread and stick in mud than Ron Paul and yet, he is the best friend those not in the main stream could have. It is those who think it is the business of the state to produce good, right thinking citizens that you have to be afraid of. However noble their intentions.

  • NL_||

    Intolerance is not coercion, but it is often a precursor to accepting and normalizing coercion. It's germane to libertarianism to celebrate values that are supportive of liberty, even if those values are neither necessary nor sufficient conditions for liberty.

  • Trespassers W||

    Reason.com: Lobster Girl

    LewRockwell.com: 100 household uses for vinegar

    QED

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Trespassers W,

    Reason: Temperature Abnormality

    LRC: Anthropogenic Global Warming is a hoax [which it is].

    You tell me.

  • Trespassers W||

    I was actually making a point, which is that although I agree with the Rockwellians on many points, I somehow have almost nothing in common with them. This sort of griping about the Reason crowd is tiresome and more than a little pathetic.

    I'm not sure what point you're making, though.

  • fish||

    So the LRC guys are a little stuffy....they still pass the "have a beer with" test.

  • ||

    I think hoax is a little strong. It's definitely a poorly supported theory of a possible phenomenon with a lot of people using the fear of the populace to extract fat stacks of cash, but that doesn't mean that it is absolutely not happening.

  • KWebb||

    That's actually true. But that doesn't mean the rest of us want anything to do with that speaker.

    This.
    Sometimes I feel like I have to take a shower after visiting LRC. It's not just race, but food and vaccines.

    I think parts of the LRC/Mises Institute crowd have latched on to Rothbard's requirement to hate the state and taken it way too far. If something is approved or required by the state, that thing becomes evil and must be opposed.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Kwebb,

    I think parts of the LRC/Mises Institute crowd have latched on to Rothbard's requirement to hate the state and taken it way too far.


    Like... HOW too far?

    Also, you make a big mistake in tying together the Mises Institute with LRC, as LvMI is a school of economics dealing with economic problems and policy, whereas LRC is simply Lew Rockwell's blog. Each has its own defined boundaries.

    If something is approved or required by the state, that thing becomes evil and must be opposed.


    Is the state coercive? If not, then the above statement would certainly come from an inflexible zealot. But if yes, then make your case that the above statement is NOT true.

  • Tony||

    Your dentist is coercive. The weather is coercive. Get over it.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: sockpuppet,

    I am coercive: Fuck off!

    See? Coercive.

    Idiot. "The weather is coercive..." Sheesh. Sure, gravity is coercive.

    Guys, stand clear of his cage: The sockpuppet flings his droppings everywhere.

  • Tony||

    The most coercive force in your life is your genes. Yet you think you can meaningfully enhance your freedom to act by dicking around with government policy?

  • Shorter Tony||

    "Love Obama's sweet, sweet chains of servitude, mongrels! LOOOOOVVVVVE THEMMMMMMMMMMMM -- !!!"

  • The Ingenious Hidalgo||

    Yes. It would also be good if I could edit my biology. There're people working on it.

  • Mr. FIFY||

    I'll translate for Tony:

    Freedom is slavery.

    No charge for the translation.

  • Tony||

    Life is slavery. You think low taxes means something when your genes have already determined your date of death?

  • ||

    Sometimes, an Objectivist is actually needed...

  • KWebb||

    Like... HOW too far?
    To the point where they cease to be rational and/or constructive.

    LRC's stance towards the MMR vaccines and vaccines in general is a great example. LRC pushes the link between the MMR vaccine and autism. As far as I can tell they do so only because state organizations and the makers of the vaccines say they are safe.

    Is the state coercive? If not, then the above statement would certainly come from an inflexible zealot. But if yes, then make your case that the above statement is NOT true.
    The state is coercive. The MMR vaccine is approved and in many cases required by the state.
    The MMR vaccine is not evil. Therefore, if something is approved or required by the state, that thing does not become evil and need not be opposed.

    You are right. I shouldn't lump LRC in with the Mises Institute.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I have never gotten the sense LvMI has engaged in race baiting. In fact, I find the articles to be pretty positive, mostly concerned with spontaneous order of entrepreneurship and capitalism. That is, as opposed to harping about "evil government" and opposing the state. One of the articles today was a glowing review of everything that is right with the TV show "Glee". Granted, it took an anti IP slant, but the majority was praise for the creativity and economic success of the series.

  • Fred||

    Rothbard and Rockwell: two pieces of shit in a pod. Only a group of inbred fundamentalists could feel so persecuted every time their great (racist) cult leader (Rothbard) didn't get the proper amount of respect.

    And whoever thought of Rothbard as a "towering" figure of anything was obviously born a bit shy in the brains department.

  • -||

    Reason editors usually avoid him like the plague. I wonder why.

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: Fred,

    Only a group of inbred fundamentalists could feel so persecuted every time their great (racist) cult leader (Rothbard) didn't get the proper amount of respect.


    Care to back up your claim that Rothbard was "racist"? A pretty bold statement about a non-collectivist.

    Otherwise, you would be talking straight from your ass.

  • Blank||

    Care to back up your claim that Rothbard was "racist"? A pretty bold statement about a non-collectivist.

    Otherwise, you would be talking straight from your ass.

    Though I doubt Rothbard himself was a racist, it is indisputable that he made a political strategy out of pandering to racists (see: Reason's article on the infamous Ron Paul newsletters). Your boy Lew Rockwell, on the other hand, really is a fucking racist. Even to this day, the Rothbardian wing of the libertarian movement is full of neo-Confederates, white supremacists, anti-government conspiracy theorists, and "anti-authoritarian" authoritarians (just a few examples here). Rockwell and co. maintain a collectivist "US versus THEM" mindset: the federal government is the source of all evil, and literally anyone who shares their hate for government is welcome in their movement.

  • Troll starvation advisor||

    Fred = Tony = whatever

    Install the INCIF for god's sake.

  • Bradley||

    Well, there was that piece about Rwanda where he suggested that the reason for Tutsi social domination was because they were naturally more intelligent than the Hutu. As opposed to, you know, an oppressive state established by an avaricious Tutsi monarch and then solidified and worsened by European colonialism.

    I'm generally a Rothbard fan, but the paleocon years really deserve to be forgotten.

  • ||

    What do you think of interracial marriage? It would be hard, offhand, to think of a question less relevant to libertarianism, as usually understood.

    Other than the standard disclaimer that government should neither incentivize nor punish such arrangements, of course.

    I'm all for interracial marriages and multiracial offspring for this reason:

    They strike at the collectivism and group identity politics that are at the heart of much of what the Total State does.

    Plus, hybrid vigor.

  • ||

    I love interacial marriage for one simple reason. The female offspring are hot. I just flip over exotic looks.

  • Old Mexican||

    The key word in the quoted sentence is not "corporate," it's "monoculture."[...]The point here is not about emulating or validating my choices, it's about having greater choices, period. Monocultures are reflexively hostile to deviant minorities, have a tendency to influence laws in ways antithetical to liberty, and make life less interesting and prosperous.


    You missed the point entirely, Matt. Working for a "monocultural" organization is NOT antithetical to libertarianism. It may be something you do not like doing, but there are so many things one does not like in this world. That does not mean that the people who like them are suddenly non-libertarian. It is ACTIONS that matter.

    That essay concerned some previously unpublished writing by Rothbard, including his recommendation to the libertarianism-financing Volker Fund that they attack rather than fund F.A. Hayek's monumental work The Constitution of Liberty, on grounds that it was a "surprisingly and distressingly, an extremely bad, and, I would even say, evil book."


    From the link you provided: "His initial review of Hayek's Constitution of Liberty, for example, is brutal in its criticism. But once the book came out, Rothbard moderated his opinion and called the book extremely important."

    Ergo, he changed his mind.

  • ||

    Regarding monoculture, there is no point in having liberty to exercise unless there are options to choose. For me, the decline in corporate monocultures is libertarian in that it has created more choices for free people to choose from.

  • ||

    Working for a "monocultural" organization is NOT antithetical to libertarianism.

    So, is working for an organization with a libertarian monoculture antithetical to libertarianism?

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: R C Dean,

    So, is working for an organization with a libertarian monoculture antithetical to libertarianism?


    No more than working for a florist. Why would it be? I don't understand Matt's and Nick's argument here.

  • ||

    Me neither.

    Working for a monocultural organization is an act of voluntary association, which sounds to me like its thetical to libertarianism.

  • Jesse Walker||

    It isn't the organization that's a monoculture; it's the environment.

    If your only choices are big corporations, that's a monoculture. If there's a wider array of choices, that isn't.

  • sailor||

    This pissing contest is old and wasteful.

  • Libertarians||

    But it's what we do!

  • Bartleby||

    I would prefer not to.

  • JoJo Zeke||

    Melville +1

  • Ahab||

    Whale of a good time.

  • ||

    Call me Episiarch.

  • NL_||

    It's pretty unremarkable for libertarian to enjoy books and videos about the free market improving human welfare. Milton Friedman is famous among libertarians not because he just reiterated the non-aggression principle; he's famous because he explained in practical and social terms why freedom worked and why freedom improved lives.

    There's no reason why libertarians shouldn't also celebrate the same processes of freedom outside the strictly economic context.

  • Susan Sontag||

    "Mozart, Pascal, Boolean algebra, Shakespeare, parliamentary government, baroque churches, Newton, the emancipation of women, Kant, Balanchine ballets, et al. don't redeem what this particular civilization has wrought upon the world. The white race is the cancer of human history.

  • fish||

    Are you still alive.....shit I thought I recognized the smell!

  • Calypso Louie||

    Preach it, Sister Susan!

  • New Black Panthers||

    Cracka bitch said some good shit there.

  • Old Mexican||

    "They characterize libertarianism in this way: While there are competing definitions of what 'libertarian' means, the simplest understanding attaches to people who believe that government is less efficient than the private sector, that people should be left alone as much as possible to lead their own lives, and that tolerance is the most important social value."(p.34)


    But Gordon is right to object here, Matt. You may be defining libertarianism in purely utilitarian way (e.g. being for less government because government is less efficient.) But that leaves the door open to the same pointless discussion like we have with MNG: like, how less efficient? Sufficiently to dispense with it in tot, or just enough to have some, or what?

    The libertarian position as defined by Rothbard is certainly based on morality and rights, but it leads to the more rational conclusions: If government is aggression, then what differene do the outcomes make? It's like arguing just how much rape is rape: If a little in, or half way, or totally in. Who the fuck cares??? Rape is rape: it's evil because it's naked aggression!

    And it should also be pointed out that no person, let alone an economist/philosopher 16 years dead, has earned the right to be the final arbiter of libertarianism.


    No, Matt, but one can discuss which definition is the more cogent, is the more convincing. So far, your definition seems too squishy and slippery, like a fish: "Oh, it's live and let live but with tolerance for others and less government because less government is just better than more and..." God! It's like a kid choosing the flavors for his icecream sundae.

  • ||

    While I have no beef in principle with arguing for libertarianism based on its results, I do find it odd that their definition of libertarianism subsitutes "tolerance" for "non-aggression".

  • Old Mexican||

    Re: RC Dean,

    do find it odd that their definition of libertarianism subsitutes "tolerance" for "non-aggression".


    I do, too. And I believe it is a cop-out. Being "tolerant" sounds much more enlightened than simply being for "non-aggression." It also sounds more political than "respect."

    What does "tolerance" entail? I believe father Jonathan Morris said it best when he said in Fox & Friends a week ago that "tolerance" is more a notion of "putting up" with a person, like permissiveness. Morris countered that the concept of "respect" serves the purpose better as basis for human relations, as it entails precisely a "non-aggressive" stance towards others, but not necessarily "tolerance." I agree with this argument - I prefer to be respectful to others as they show respect for me. But that does not mean I have to like what others do as evidence of my "enlightment," which is what the concept of "tolerance" entails.

  • Trespassers W||

    But that does not mean I have to like what others do as evidence of my "enlightment," which is what the concept of "tolerance" entails.

    That's a connotation of "tolerance" that I confess I've never encountered before.

  • Wayne||

    sounds like hair splitting to me. Respect vs. tolerance. I think respect is more akin to "liking" something. OM, your version of respect sounds more like tolerance to me.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    While I have no beef in principle with arguing for libertarianism based on its results, I do find it odd that their definition of libertarianism subsitutes "tolerance" for "non-aggression".

    It's called "moving the goal posts". It's akin to the difference between the gold standard, and fiat money.

    Non-aggression is a discrete, objective concept, it can't be "inflated" to carry the baggage our Enlightened™ hosts would like it to carry. Like the relationship between a paper dollar and a gold one, the value may be equivalent, but more often it is not.

    To abort a fetus is an act of aggression by any reasonable definition of aggression, but to "respect a woman's right to choose" is "tolerant".

    To argue the interests of your race, religion or ethnic group is clearly not an act of aggression, but (contingent on what your race, religion or ethnic group is), it may be "intolerant".

    It's an old trick used by Marxists (and cultural Marxists). Redefine the meaning of the words, and you can reframe the argument on your terms. "Non-aggression" cannot not be redefined to suit your preferences. It is an objective standard. What is the objective standard of "tolerance"? What you're seeing here is a debasement of the coin of the realm.

  • affenkopf||

    To abort a fetus is an act of aggression by any reasonable definition of aggression, but to "respect a woman's right to choose" is "tolerant".

    Abortion is not agression by any reasonable definition. There are plenty of people supporting both the non-aggression principle and the right to abortion. Rothbard himself among them.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Thank you for that. I've read many things by Rothbard, but I've never read that. I can't say that he managed to convince me that abortion is non-aggresive, but the article was not without valuable revelations:

    Applying our theory to parents and children, this means that a parent does not have the right to aggress against his children, but also that the parent should not have a legal obligation to feed, clothe, or educate his children, since such obligations would entail positive acts coerced upon the parent and depriving the parent of his rights. The parent therefore may not murder or mutilate his child, and the law properly outlaws a parent from doing so. But the parent should have the legal right not to feed the child, i.e., to allow it to die.

    I think I'll send a donation to the Seastead project or the Free State Project. Concentrating all the libertarians in one location for possible future carpet-bombing is sounding more attractive all the time....

  • Fred||

    THIS is why the sane, rational libertarians don't want to be associated with Rothbard.

  • Sidd Finch||

    Monocultures are reflexively hostile to deviant minorities

    WTF?

  • Trespassers W||

    Something has finally clicked for me.

    Lew Rockwell:Murray Rothbard::Leonard Peikoff:Ayn Rand

  • GILMORE||

    Ah yes, Peikoff.

    Creepy lookin fella. Also, he was in favor of mass nuclear slaughter response to 9/11. Cute!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....845AF698E3
    He's not exactly a poster-boy. O'Reilly milked him for as much crazy-talk as possible.

  • Bradley||

    I can only presume that The Fountainhead wraps up with Roark destroying just his compromised skyscraper, but also nuking the entire country.

    Maybe I should finally read it.

  • Bradley||

    *not just

    sigh

  • -||

    Maybe you should stick to graphic "novels."

  • Bradley||

    Back to your grave, Rand.

  • Almanian||

    Matt, that column was longer than the book.

    That's not a compliment.

    The End

  • Toddler||

    Reading is hard!

  • ||

    The linkage here (as in that chapter's discussion of Al and Tipper Gore) should be clear. Spasms against popular culture go hand in hand with government censoriousness, and always have.

    And spasms against illiberal beliefs also go hand in hand with govt censorship, but you don't inveigh against critics of Naziism, racism, or religious bigotry, do you?

  • Mr. FIFY||

    Anyone who doesn't at least appreciate Frank Zappa's guitar prowess... is a moron. (Though how Frank's surviving family members could shit on his grave for supporting Gore, is a mystery for the ages, and a reason to not buy new Zappa releases at full retail price.)

    And Peart is a fuckin' great drummer, yo.

  • ||

    my favorite zappa quote: the meek shall inherit NOTHING!

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    Frank seems to have been at his best, IMO, in his instrumental stuff. If you throw out the first and last cuts on Burnt Weenie Sandwich (and end when he starts talking back to the audience) it is as brilliant as anything that has been produced.

    ... Hobbit

  • ||

    Here is Matt Welch writing on his blog, circa

    “I’m a liberal. I take liberalism to mean a belief in policy geared toward easing poverty, extending rights to every walking human who hasn’t utterly forfeited them, getting the government out of the morality business, regulating markets judiciously, ensuring the pervasive yet hopefully efficient delivery of non-market goods such as education, health care and national defense, and otherwise having the sense to let the private sector handle private concerns. What makes me not “liberal” in the way that people who call themselves ‘progressives’ are seen as “liberal,” is that I don’t think the U.S. is the primary fount of global wickedness, I am heartily in favor of the war against Al-Qaeda,” (Emphasis in original)

    Welch wrote this in 2002, on his blog, tellilngly entitled "Return of the Warblog." See here:

    http://mattwelch.com/warblog/archives/000385.html

    What I'd like to know is two things: 1) How is it that Welch came to change his mind about so m any issues? I sincerely think that would make an interesting piece. It would also clue us in to the mystery that surrounds my second question:

    2) How is it that someone who, up until relatively recently, was a pretty conventional center-left liberal is now "correcting" a man, Murray Rothbard, who spent his whole life writing about libertarianism?

    Oh, and I have another question for Matt: Have you finished reading Atlas Shrugged yet?


    Read more: http://webcache.googleusercont.....tt_welch/+"matt+welch"+liberal+raimondo+takimag.com&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us&source=www.google.com#ixzz1WYzvJlbv

  • ||

    I guess you missed his line about "what makes me 'not a liberal'". He's identifying himself as a classical liberal. It is a bit cutesy and a perilous thing to write with literal-minded ahistorical folks like yourself prowling about with axes to grind, but it's clear he's not changed positions in any marked way.

  • RyanXXX||

    What Matt described in that quote is NOT a Libertarian, even by his stretchy defenition

  • RyanXXX||

    definition

  • GILMORE||

    Yes, because ideological conformity is much more important than being actually a decent writer and editor.

    burp.

    WTF was the guy saying again? And why do these people keep making me drink?

  • ||

    To get to the horcrux of course.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    I guess you missed his line about "what makes me 'not a liberal'". He's identifying himself as a classical liberal.

    ensuring the pervasive yet hopefully efficient delivery of non-market goods such as education, health care and national defense,

    Education and health care being non-market goods is classically liberal?

    Can we put you down as supporting Obamacare as libertarian?

  • ||

    ummm... read the link he left and i think you'll want to remove your reply, meekly, quietly, with your eyes lowered a bit.

  • affenkopf||

  • GILMORE||

    One last point. I think that Gillespie and Welch have a mistaken view of libertarianism; but it does not follow that I deny their libertarian credentials. That would depend on whether they meet the terms of my definition, a matter that their book leaves me unable fully to discern.

    Yeah, a real mensch.

    I think the 'fellow travelers' concept is pretty screwed.

    The guy seems to be something of a pedantic dick over the current crop of libertoids not being carbon copies of the last crop. Big whoop. I think it all kind of boils down to, "who's getting more traction with actual people?" It is perhaps sad that LRC et al no longer guide the terms of debate. Well, ok, maybe not. Whatever. it seems mostly sour grapes.

    Now we've got Raimondo trying to recycle old ideological gripes. Spaghetti against the wall-theory? Maybe this time it will really get some traction! Keep chucking it dude!

  • affenkopf||

    I think it all kind of boils down to, "who's getting more traction with actual people?"

    LRC.com has more readers than reason.

  • James||

    If by "actual people" you mean separatists, conspiracy theorists, and the League of the South, then I guess you're right.

    If you mean "actual people who have the power to change things," then read reason and Cato.

  • ||

    Are you comparing website hits to magazine circulation? Perhaps you could link to the evidence for your claim.

  • James||

    You're right on everything, Gilmore. I am NOT a fellow traveler with any of these fundamentalists. They are cult members.

  • ||

    "And it should also be pointed out that no person, let alone an economist/philosopher 16 years dead, has earned the right to be the final arbiter of libertarianism. "

    If anybody could ever earn that right, I would submit that Murray Rothbard would make the best candidate.

  • James||

    Well, then that makes you small-minded, indeed. I am sad that you have never read the real intellectuals that laid the groundwork of the classical liberal movement and actually ACCOMPLISHED something in the progress of freedom.

  • ||

    LOL, more bickering amongst Libertarians. My dream is that Libertarism becomes soo dominant in American politics that Reason and Lew Rockwell become the new left and right. I will let you guys bicker over which is the left and which is the right.

  • Lib'tarian||

    We can't even define libertarianism!

    Why won't anyone take us seriously?

  • Uncle Joe||

    Because just like the word "liberal", the word "libertarian" is adopted by frauds who make the word "fit" with their completely inconsistent beliefs, rather than making their beliefs fit what the word is supposed to be.

    Since we are living in a time when even Glenn Beck can call himself a "libertarian", it should come as no surprise libertarians aren't taken seriously.

  • RHN||

    I agree with Gordon, but I think his argument gets muddled in all the back-and-forth about cultural rules for libertarianism.

    It's not that Gillespie and Welch are advocating a 'freak flag' litmus test for libertarians; they're just conflating their libertine attitudes with libertarian values. Welch especially seems to worship at the altar of choice in the temple of tolerance, as if liberty has a correlate in diversity. Perhaps diversity would be more conducive with a libertarian society, but it's irrelevant to the factors that make it libertarian. Just look at San Fran: for all of their appreciation for diversity, progressives are still itching to jail anyone who doesn't compost.

    I don't see how tolerance -- in the 'diversity appreciation' sense of the word Welch and Gillespie seem to prefer -- is anything short of terrifying. Not wanting to jail people for doing interpretive dancing doesn't mean one should condone it, or expect a rational society to do anything less than ostracize those who engage in it publicly. Why dismiss non-coercive intolerance as unlibertarian when it's our most potent weapon against Juggalos?

  • James||

    This is the first reasoned response to Welch and Gillespie that I can really respect and understand. I, too, am not comfortable with the conflation of culture and politics.

    That having been said, Welch and Gillespie are correct that there is a correlation between cultural liberalization and political liberalization (by which I mean, freedom).

    And it is also correct to point out that Rockwell and co. masquerade a type of states rights, anti-Federalism under the guise of "libertarianism," when it really isn't the same thing.

  • RHN||

    Thanks for the kind words.

    I don't think it's fair to say that Rockwell and co. are trying to masquerade libertarianism as a confederate, states rights philosophy. They prefer the political structure of confederacy because it's more decentralized than a federalist government, not because they think it's inherently libertarian. Beyond a confederacy of states, they advocate a confederacy of individuals, i.e., libertarian anarchism.

    Another thing to keep in mind: if the Mises types are 'neo-Confederates', then the Swiss are 'paleo-Confederates'. Switzerland has functioned as an effective Confederacy for hundreds of years. I easily prefer the Swiss Canton (state) system over the U.S. federal government, and that has nothing to do with the racial baggage that the term 'confederacy' carries here in States. So why insinuate the Rockwellites are racist for preferring confederacy to federalism when the same thing can be said of the Swiss?

  • Uncle Joe||

    Don't be ridiculous.

    Rockwell and co. are anarcho-capitalists.

    They just happen to be in love with Ron Paul, who *is*, at least to some degree, a constitutionalist.

    And what Reason often propagates is not remotely "libertarian" either.
    A utilitarian will keep the door open for anything.

  • RHN||

    Is this directed to me or James? I agree with you. My point was that Rockwell and co. support the ideas of confederacy for the same reason they support Ron Paul: any decentralization is better than the status quo. Of course as ancaps they wouldn't be satisfied with a constitutional confederacy -- they'd keep arguing for anarchy.

    The key difference here is that, unlike the utilitarians at Reason, they know when a compromise becomes unlibertarian, such as school vouchers for example. Welch seems to think that libertarianism can be defined by what's most 'efficient', which reduces it to a philosophy of the arbitrary.

  • ||

    A utilitarian will keep the door open for anything.

    That is indeed an aesthetic problem with utilitarianism. Of course natural rights theory has its own issues dealing with situations where rights conflict with each other, due to the fact that NR doesn't provide any mechanism to resolve such conflicts. From what I've seen the NR response to these issues is to quietly make exceptions (exactly what you accuse utilitarians of doing) and/or pretend the problem doesn't exist.

  • ||

    For me, their approach to culture as a reflection of liberty resonates because liberty becomes more meaningful the more options we have. We have so many options these days in so many different areas EXCEPT government.

    Government can't make these options available, but it can certainly crush them.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    The more I think about this, the more I realize what evil bastards these fucks really are:

    The point here is not about emulating or validating my choices, it's about having greater choices, period. Monocultures are reflexively hostile to deviant minorities, have a tendency to influence laws in ways antithetical to liberty, and make life less interesting and prosperous.

    ...

    Here's why: Intermarriage and mixing–of people, of categories, of ideas–leads directly to more pluralism, more trade, more possibilities, and fewer opportunities for the majority to inflict its preferences onto less desirable minorities by force and exclusion.


    So, basically, They're acknowledging that multi-racial nations can't really get along. Their solution to that? Open the borders, integrate us by force, and breed us out of existence! Speaking of choices, are We the Peasants going to have anything to say about this?

    Well, now we know how they *really* feel about diversity!

    And this bullshit is what they're peddling as freedom?!

    Suddenly I have a lot more sympathy for Andre Breivik.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Um, no.

  • Oliver||

    drop your meds down the sewer again?

  • ||

    Yes, Tiger Woods is unique. You know what else is unique, a culture that carries traditions for hundreds of years and builds unique histories and civilizations based on place and culture. This "Monoculture" being "deviant to minorities" could be seen as a clash of cultures when the majority is being forced to be nice to the unassimilated poor minorites.

  • Watoosh||

    ...What?

    Look, just get the fuck out of here. If you are able to misinterpret Welch and Gillespie so completely, you're either as thick as the US tax code or you're a liar who's willing to twist the truth any way you see fit to push your xenophobic ideology. Either way there's no use in trying to explain anything to you.

    Oh, and sympathy for a mass murderer... real classy. I can retain my intellectual integrity and fair treatment for all kinds of people but that's just about where it ends. Nobody wants you or your opinions here, you hateful piece of shit.

  • ||

    None if this would be an issue, if the white girls would just leave us alone.

  • Fred||

    ...

  • Jeff||

    What Welch and Gillespie don't understand is that a libertarian society would be a MUCH LESS "libertine" society, i.e. it would be much more conservative except in the political sense of the word. Churches and family, along with civic and social institutions, would grow in influence with the shrinking of the state. And without a government welfare net, those seeking charity would be forced to adhere to the standards of the charitable. It would be much harder for people simply to burn their bridges with family and society. Absent government provided welfare, drug treatment, student loans, Social Security, Medicare, etc., people would find that family really matters, for example.

  • JTG||

    Personal accountability is like, sooo coercive....

    It aggresses against my amorality.

  • ||

    Libertarianism has nothing to do with government's role in our lives. It has everything to do with the "non-aggression principle." It is the coercion of people that libertarianism is all about. Whether those people wear a government uniform or not.

  • ||

    I'm probably just lazy, but I'm not going to try to explain the non-aggression principle to my friends and neighbors.

    Instead, I'll try to say how much better of a world it would be if we did things like so. They know I have an underlying philosophy, and I'd be glad to talk about it, but they don't actually give a shit about principles and philosophy.

  • ||

    Who is "we"?

    You can't possibly expect that everyone in the society is going to follow the NAP voluntarily. If you do, you're off in la-la land no less than the Communists were when they assumed everyone would work hard for the common good.

    So you need some way of enforcing the NAP. In theory, it's possible for such enforcement to be non-governmental, but every non-governmental enforcement system I've seen runs into problems with enforcers fairly quickly turning into de facto governments.

  • ||

    Which non-governmental enforcement systems are you referring to?

    Enforcing NAP without government requires private systems of law. That's a long time from here. Most people aren't ready for it because they haven't thought about it and have been taught from early age that the state is indispensable. They fail to see its essential nature is corrupt: the idea that some people have a right to rule the rest of us and that their criminal acts can be made to appear just simply by making them legal. I'm thinking of slavery when it was legal and now taxation whether direct income tax or an indirect tax like inflation caused by a monetary system monopolized and controlled by the politicians and their symbiotic counterparts in the banking industry.

    With or without the law taxation is a form of theft. The politicians demand that you give them whatever they want from the fruits of your labor. Your consent is not required. And if you refuse you know what happens.

    Why do we allow the politicians to steal from us? Because they always have. Because we refuse to hold them to the same moral code that we hold ourselves and each other. Because we're too busy envying and hating people who are more successful and richer than we are. Because we want something for nothing. These reasons I've seen in myself and others.

  • ||

    True. None of my bidness, don't care who you marry, and if I had an opinion I wouldn't tell you.

  • Luis||

    Glad this debate is taking place. I've seen many divide themselves along these lines,and many that are similar (Paul vs. Johnson for example) but the ideas can resonate with all kinds of indivuals: pragmatic (reason) or idealistic/principled (myself). I think getting these ideas into the open is important, these ideas are best determined by the free market of ideas!

  • meh130||

    I subscribe to the Neil Boortz libertarian philosophy: You have the right to smoke pot, and I have the right to hire whoever I want to hire. Therefore, I have the right to not hire pot smokers, and you have the right to smoke pot. You just won't pay for your pot by working for me.

    As for Gillespie and Welch, the fallacy of "tolerance" as a social value (which is more Robert Fulghum than Nick Gillespie), is tolerance can never be equal.

    If those who don't agree with gay marriage have to personally tolerate gay marriage, then don't the gays who marry have to personally tolerate opposition to gay marriage? This is the fallacy of tolerance.

    We have unalienable rights protected by the First Amendment of speech, press, and religion. We have the freedom to hold intolerant beliefs. Catholics don't have to tolerate divorce ... Episcopalians do not have to tolerate principle ... I could go on.

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