Presidential History

Conservative-Libertarian Alliance Watch

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Catching up on some of the past few months magazines, I found this in National Review's "The Week" section, page 6 of the May 28 issue. (This is the unsigned front of the book section, written in official magazine voice.)

From the "Ooo, what a giveaway!" department. (It's alas not online for free.) Context: discussing common misreadings of St. Reagan:

Nor can Reagan be usefully emulated by simply aping his slogans–which are in any case themselves misunderstood. Everyone remembers that Reagan, in his first inaugural address, said that government is not the solution; everyone forgets his modifier, "in this present crisis." We no longer face double-digit inflation, 70 percent tax rates, or an enemy that could wipe out the human race. We need to apply old principles to new circumstances, to think anew….

Here's another Reagan slogan, often forgotten but not too hard to understand. He said it in an interview with reason magazine in our July 1975 issue: "I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism."

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  1. While I disagree with Reagan on many issues, he realized, at least in 1975, that many issues were in gray areas. To me a “gray area” means, hey, make a case and we’ll talk about gov’t intervention. The case you make will have to overcome the presumption against, and account for gov’t incompetence, inefficiency and big-brother power grabs. In our experience, some areas of gov’t regulation have worked, many have not. 1970s era Reagan seemed to think that conservatives should make a case against certain sins, but that at a minimum, a case would have to be made. For example, the case for public tertiary education can be made, but after so many years perhaps a reassessment needs to be made. Does the private sector really provide for what can be called an informed electorate? My snark is that the election of George W. Bush proves otherwise. But perhaps our emphasis on higher education merely makes people able to justify voting for an incompetent man who holds certain base proclivities in common. I think Reagan’s legacy is based on his willingness to see what works rather than ascribe to basic ideology in his political career. I think he became more of an ideologue when elected president (and I can’t stress this enough), but his basic appeal was that he (apparently) gave a damn about the arguments against what he thought. In today’s politics, the only concern given to opposing views is in how to minimize or defeat them. Of course, not having followed his political career as a scholar would, I may be duped by his interview answers given to a particular constituency, in this case libertarians.

  2. “I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”

    Well Reagan’s time in office would seem to offer evidence against his acceptance of that proposition.

    Here’s the key thing to remember: Historical onservatism–the kind National Review professes to defend–is about a resistance to rapid change (standing athwart history yelling stop and all that). The problem with that kind of mindset is that it does not offer any robust method to distinguish bad traditions from good. And in practice, philosophical conservatism has performed much worse than classical liberalism in addressing profound societal ills ranging from the unfair treatment of women to excessively harsh criminal justice systems.

    Doherty notes in his book that Gary Wills, who used to work at NR, said that the magazine adopted free market economic philosophy as its primary creed because the other strands of thought at the magazine were just unpresentable prejudices, instincts, and impulses. At any rate, conservatives these days don’t much care about philosophy or history. Then, as now, any invocation of serious thinkers is used as decoration to prettify a vulgar authoritarianism.

  3. We no longer face . . . an enemy that could wipe out the human race.

    That’s an unexpected admission from the NR crowd.

  4. CL:

    I don’t think that they’ve ever claimed our current enemy could wipe out the human race.

    I would believe that some of them think, however, that our current enemy could spell the eclipse of Euro-American civilization. While I don’t buy that, there’s a significant difference between “wipe out the human race” and “wipe out the current dominant paradigm, that being the paradigm we happen to favor”.

  5. STOP trying to paint reagan as a libertarian-ish figure. he wasn’t. maybe compared to the current adminstration but that’s not saying much. if anything what his political successes led to, with the christian right’s dominance of the republican party, overrides any libertarian qualities he may or may not have had.

  6. For conservatism to be a political paradigm of value, for it to be worth fighting for, its heart and soul has to be libertarianism.

    Reagan went on to say in that quote from the interview with Reason: “…The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.”

    BTW, Reagan read and enjoyed Reason. I know cuz he and Nancy told me when I met them at a speech here in Colorado in 1976. Here’s my account of that brief meeting which I’ve posted previously:

    It was in 1976 when he was trying to wrest the GOP nomination from Ford that Reagan came to Colorado to give a speech in Ft. Collins. I drove up from Denver to hear him and after the speech, when he and Nancy got to me in the receiving line, they found a wide eyed kid who was jazzed that he cited “The Road to Serfdom” by Hayek in his talk. He told me he also really liked Hayek’s “The Constitution of Liberty”! This, of course, put me “in orbit” and I then mentioned that I enjoyed the points he made in an interview with “Reason”. (It was in that interview where he made his “libertarianism is the kernel of conservatism” quote.) I remember he then said, I swear, “Well” “I’ll have to look at that again”. (Remember when the “Well” was the stock in trade of a Reagan imitation?) As I shook their hands in an enthusiastic fare well, Nancy assured me that “Ronnie loves that little magazine”.

  7. Reagan was a Boortz libertarian.

  8. Ashish George:

    Well Reagan’s time in office would seem to offer evidence against his acceptance of that proposition.

    I disagree. Sure, Reagan talked a better small government game then he played and the governing result was a mixed bag, but still there was real progress for liberty during his administration. We saw an actual decrease in discretionary spending. The rate of growth in total spending fell off drastically from Carter. And the Federal register, a monitor of all federal regulations and regulatory activity actually shrunk! There were REAL cuts in some government departments and also there were programs that were eliminated. The rates of job growth and personal wealth accumulation responded by setting new records.

    Note also that Reagan warned of the harms of curtailing civil liberties in order to fight the Soviet slave state. He asked why we should surrender to them by adopting their ways!

    Of course, the battle against the Soviet Union was a real struggle for liberty-far different than this ridiculously and harmfully overblown “War on terror”.

  9. The thing I miss about Reagen was his sunny disposition and sense of humor.He understood people disagreed with him and didn’t take it personally.He was known to have eveing stout with Tip O’Neil.his main critic.I think he would sad to see the anger of Bill O’Reilly,Mishell Malkin,Lu Dobbs ect.I see it on this page all the time,if someone disagrees they go to valgar and insulting words.Soetimes you have to agree to disagree.

  10. Well said Michael.

    In fact, it is one of the big downsides to the internet. Too often people can not seem to disagree without cursing at each other, calling each other names and vilifying each other.

    It is possible to disagree with people in good faith.

  11. Well I’m a barber.I’ve managed and owned my buisnesses all my life.At one time I had 22 employees.Clients come in all shapes and sizesand many varying opinions and I enjoy debating with them.Treating people that disagree as evil is a waste of time and shoes your ignorance.

  12. In regard to what CL and Postmodern Sleaze mention above, I find it interesting that they cite “an enemy that can wipe out the human race” as a reason to believe in small government, while the usual excuse for abandoning that philosophy is “9/11 changed everything.” So, when faced with an enemy that is capable of killing hundreds of millions, we should maintain our limited govt traditions, but when faced with an enemy capable of killing only thousands, we have to give up our freedoms and bow down before the Omnipotent State.

  13. People forget,in terms of the budget presidents have little power.They don’t write bills ,they can ony suggest.Their main power is the veto.That power has been diluted with the advent of ominibus spending bills.It’s a take.The main expantion of executive power has been congress.They create new departments and regulations the executive must manage[think epa,homeland security].The write laws taht are vauge then are shocked at how there implimented.Reagan understood this.

  14. Michael,

    This seems to be the unfortunate state of affairs. Much people on both the far-right and far-left resort to personal attacks and misinformation as means of attack. It does not seem to be something done out of habit, it seems to be more of an intentional attack to hide ignorance or their lack of possessing a good argument.

    Especially those on the right, the use quite fascistic attitudes and languages: patriotism, protecting the homeland (that is a recent one that received some attention), the Patriot Act, telling their listeners or viewers that they are the “best and brightest” (a trademark quote from a local right-wing station in Eastern Mass) to describe listeners who, judging from the limited knowledge they portray and poor mode of thinking, are really not that “best” or “brightest”. One of them, Jay Severin, who claims to be a libertarian (only when the need arises), is willing to just set the constitution aside to kill a few American Muslims, and the caveat is of course “if there is clear and present danger”.

    Their (on the right and left) real ultimate goal is to emphasize difference (otherwise they won’t have a job if they were just like the other people on the other side) and in fact alienate their listeners/viewers/followers from the other side to leave no room for compromise and intelligent discourse.

    I have to say that the right is far more sinister and dangerous than the left in their tactics.

  15. As far as Reagan is concerned, I was (1) quite young at the time of his presidency, and (2) did not live in the US at the time. Unfortunately, I cam to the US only a couple of months before GWB came to power.

    But the memories of the US at those times were ones of prosperity. I never think of Reagan as a Libertarian. From my limited readings and general knowledge about him, he seems to be a very benign version of GWB.

  16. Clinton Portis quote via
    http://www.tothepeople.com/

    “I don’t know if he was fighting dogs or not,” Portis said. “But it’s his property; it’s his dogs. If that’s what he wants to do, do it.”

    Portis said dog fighting is a “prevalent” part of life.

    Portis, a native of Laurel, Mississippi, added: “I know a lot of back roads that got a dog fight if you want to go see it. But they’re not bothering those people because those people are not big names. I’m sure there’s some police got some dogs that are fighting them, some judges got dogs and everything else.”

  17. Question for those who support laws against animal fighting but are not generally animal rights proponents.

    What about hunting dogs?
    Not retrievers and pointers but bear dogs and hog dogs. In hunting these animals,particularly bears there is often a “fight” when the prey is cornered/caught. The hunter is usually well behind the dogs often in thick vegetation and over steep slopes or swamps (depending on where you are of course. It is not unusual for the bear to kill an attacking dog.

    Would you ban this (legal) bloodsport?

    As in dog fighting this isn’t your household pet but a specifically bred and trained working dog.

  18. I believe it is near impossible to legally eat a horse in the US yet we export horse meat to Europe.Would it be OK to produce dog meat or dogs intended to be eaten for trade with Asia?

  19. Wrong thread …sorry

  20. iih,I think the radical left is just as dangerous as the right.They both cloak there policies in terms such as,think of the children and if it just saves one life to take more freedom away.The left’s fasination with socialism is as great a threat to liberty as the rights with terrorism and immigration.Plus the fact they feel most laws should come from Washington.Farm subsidies are a glaring example.We now have presidential canidates talking about the take over of a entire industry,health care.It wiil be cloaked in compassion.

  21. t.j.,

    christian right’s dominance of the republican party

    Ask John Ashcroft about that. He might still be AG if that were true, but he couldnt deal with the neo-cons running things.

  22. I had my problems with Reagan, however the man that currently occupies the White House makes Reagan look like Abraham Lincoln.

    I truly and thoroughly detested Bill Clinton, and I still think he is a lying, cheating snake. But he was a smart lying, cheating snake and even he looks good next to Bush.

  23. Michael,

    I whole heartedly agree with your views about the left, though I have always felt more threatened in a direct way by the right in this country. Not to defend socialism, coming from (Egypt — at least historically it was socialist, not any more) and now partially living in (i.e., Canada) socialist countries (at least partially so in Canada), the dangers of socialism are far less scary than the potential damage (the damage has already been done on the foreign policy side) that the right can and is doing in this country.

    Note that I use “right-wing” as opposed to “conservatives”. Many right-wing media (Fox, Limbaugh, Severin, Malkin, and their ilk) pretend to be conservative. They are far from being that. They are fascists or are on their way there. They claim to be conservative just to attract old generation republicans.

  24. iih, wasn’t Nasser more of a right-wing nationalist than a socialist? I know he said he was bringing “Arab socialism” to Egypt, but he seems to have used that word–like Hitler–to gain popular support rather than because he was left-wing.

  25. He was certainly a socialist. Socialism in he sense of social justice. He is the father of Arab nationalism. He was characterized by the West as right-wing, but I think it was part of the propaganda the West waged against him especially England when he nationalized the Suez canal.

    During the 50s and 60s, Egyptian society was very progressive, liberal, quite egalitarian, and somewhat prosperous. So his socialism did have liberal/left-wing by-products. There was also a strong sense of social security.

  26. Well being from Egypt I undrestand.The is a huge differance between the USA and parlimentary gov.like canda and Britian.We have a stong seperation between the executive and the legislative.Also,property rights are enshrined in our bill of rights and people here take them seriously.I think that colors peoples minds anout Bush[or Clinton],in other countries.They give imagine them to have powers he dosen’t posess.With the exception of Treaty law all things start in Congress.Every law ,tax or war.Tony Blair had much more power.People in this country enjoy many freedoms that don’t exsist even in Europe.If you want to claim the holocaust didn’t happen your free to do so.I’ll just think you a nut.We let the Klu Klux Klan march and ignore them.I fyou told folks here you had to pay 2.00 tax on gas or a 18% value added tax for health care you’ll start a revolt.We mostly believe we spend our money better than the goverment.

  27. How ironic Nasser was a socialist when he hated Israel. After all, Zionism initially was very much a socialist enterprise!

  28. Michael,

    Sure. I agree. That is why I am here at Reason. Libertarianism makes a lot of sense to me. Though I haven’t made a complete conversion yet –and probably I do not want to try hard for it. In fact I would rather be free-thinking than committing to any set of “rules” or ideology.

  29. Virginia Gentleman,

    Like-minded people can hate each other for a myriad of reasons. While there is a strong socialist, even communist, movements in Israel, the mutual hatred is engendered due to very specific reasons, which have originally been political and a form of a power struggle over who controls this part of the middle east (each side had arguments — some legitimate and others not — for the right of ownership), and then morphed into religious and ideological hatred.

  30. Sure. I agree. That is why I am here at Reason. Libertarianism makes a lot of sense to me. Though I haven’t made a complete conversion yet –and probably I do not want to try hard for it. In fact I would rather be free-thinking than committing to any set of “rules” or ideology.

    Wouldn’t be a good fit for you as libertarianism is a right wing ideology.

  31. Hear, hear to Michael Pack regarding the demise of civilized discourse. As a talk host, I’ve noticed with great dismay the trend toward the bombastic “I’m right, you’re wrong,” school of radio. For every Joe Pyne who can pull that off, there are literally a thousand talentless guys with neither the wit nor the courage to break out from the pack. This is largely the reason for the godawful sameness of most modern-day talk radio.

    The good news is the tide is turning; people are losing interest in conservaclone bombast. The bad news is that I’m not convinced the suits who run the broadcast industry (as well as the Wall Streeters who bankroll them) have a clue about how to fix it.

  32. SIV,

    Even if true (but so far I do not see how), I find non-interventionist libertarianism, but still non-isolationist, very attractive. I may be using these words liberally or inaccurately, but what I essentially mean is that ideally a nation should intervene in and directly control other nations’ businesses, but not at the cost of not establishing ties with other nations.

  33. Of course I means:

    “ideally a nation should NOT intervene”


  34. Wouldn’t be a good fit for you as libertarianism is a right wing ideology.

    Thank you for speaking for all of us. Seriously, are you the Commnisar of Ideology for libertarianism or something?

  35. Virginia Gentleman,

    “Thank you for speaking for all of us. Seriously, are you the Commnisar of Ideology for libertarianism or something?”

    Thanks. That was exactly my thinking. I thought may be I misunderstood the whole libertarianism thing 🙂

  36. The truth is, you cannot say if it is “right” or “left” wing, it has elements of both.

    Sometimes, its neither. This is particularly true in foreign policy. Right-wingers would like the USA to rule the world alone with an iron fist, Left-wingers would like us to submit to the UN or some other distant authority in a quasi-global government. I believe most libertarians on this board would not submit to either.

  37. Virginia Gentleman,

    “I believe most libertarians on this board would not submit to either.”

    That is exactly why I feel comfortable on this board.

    Right-wingers in their tendencies are more of “neo-colonialists”.

    As for the left-wingers, the UN could be a useful forum for international cooperation, but it should not become a government. An excellent current example, if Kosovars want independence, why should the rest of the world approve of it? Even worse, why does Russia (in this case) have a right to veto such a demand.

  38. virginia gentleman,I’ve always belived the far left and right are two dragons tied togeather at the tail.I see no differents between Hitler and Stalin

  39. I think one thing you have to be careful about doing when talking about Reagan is making sure to remember the context. Times were very different in the late 1970’s. hard core socialism as an ideology hand’t yet been defeated, and in the mainstream media and academic elite, it might have actually been favored. Wage and Price controls weren’t looked upon as insane. The country really was within an inch of going off the deep end. So Reagan deserves a lot of credit for saving the country in the short term and being an advocate for certain sound economic policies and at least paying lip service to limited government. To compare him to GWB is completely unfair. First, it was much harder to be a limited government guy back then, and unlike Bush, Reagan actually did advocate limited government. Comparing the anti-government rhetoric of Reagn and the “compasssionate conservativism” of Bush is like night and day. Can anyone imagine Bush reading Hayek? Reagan not only read him, but he made notes in the margins.

  40. You know what I miss about the old days? People like Reagan had to explicitly deny being warmongers to get elected, because people were worried about the potential of nuclear war. Nowadays ‘conservatives’ practically pledge to drown the world in a river of blood.

  41. We are talking about Ronald Reagan, aren’t we? That pro-Vietnam-War, socially reactionary, foreign-intervenin’, dictator-installin’, covert-fundin’, big spendin’, Klansman-vote-courtin’ fake cowboy who never met a military pork project he didn’t love?

    Even now, nearly twenty years after he left office, writers for the most serious and professional libertarian magazine in the country swoon when they recall the times he tossed a meaningless platitude their way. It’s amazing how far a little lip service goes with some of you folks.

  42. An excellent current example, if Kosovars want independence, why should the rest of the world approve of it? Even worse, why does Russia (in this case) have a right to veto such a demand.

    And independent Kosovo would not be independent for long. It would rapidly be swallowed by Albania since Kosovo is about 90% Albanian. This would be find with the majority of the population, but the minority populations (mostly Serbian) would be subsequently purged or forced to flee. Russia has long supported the Serbs and is now manuvering to protect the Serbian minority in Kosovo. This has been an international issue for almost a century – do you remember the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

  43. Ask John Ashcroft about that. He might still be AG if that were true, but he couldnt deal with the neo-cons running things.

    God, I can’t believe I miss Ashcroft. Every time you think this administration can’t get worse…

  44. Janet Reno was no walk in the park.

  45. The problem with that kind of mindset is that it does not offer any robust method to distinguish bad traditions from good.

    Libertarians don’t have a method either…in fact we shove it off for the market to determine the value of traditions.

  46. I would rather be free-thinking than committing to any set of “rules” or ideology.

    Well, there’s a limit to how free of ideology one’s thinking can be in the political sphere. There has to be some definite idea of a good to be pursued in order to make sense of political questions. For some, that good will be freedom, for others it will be order, for others it will be religious purity. Even utilitarians need to define what “good” means in “the greatest good for the greatest number” or its variants.

    I think a large part of the problem with the political discourse is that people consider their own decision about what constitutes the good to be obvious, if they consider it at all, and thus have a hard time persuading others who would strive for other goods.

  47. As far as Reagan is concerned, I was (1) quite young at the time of his presidency, and (2) did not live in the US at the time. Unfortunately, I cam to the US only a couple of months before GWB came to power.

    iih, out of curiosity, what brought you to read and comment at reason?

    Is there an equivalent libertarian type “movement” where you are originally from?

  48. Hitler and Stalin were both Progressive Socialists albeit not of the same school.
    They were allies for a while.

    Libertarianism is “ultra-right” in American political terms as it advocates individual rights and absolute minimal government. The left denies individual rights in favor of collective rights and is in favor of a large central government. The mainstream right professes a belief in individual rights and smaller government so on that continuum libertarianism is further to the “Right”.

    This is not my personal view, it is supported by communitarian writers who consider libertarian thinking to be “dangerous” while quite willing to compromise with conservatives
    as long as Society and the State take precedence over the individual. Regular leftoids used to regularly sneer at libertarians as being far right until this whole bs “liberaltarian” thing gave some the idea that we can be co-opted into supporting collectivism at the ballot box.

    The circular “political scale” puts anarcho-capitalists down there on the bottom right next to the collectivist (true not crypto-marxist) anarchists.

    Then there is the Reagan quote above…….

  49. …..foreign-intervenin’, dictator-installin’, covert-fundin’, big spendin’….

    All that was part of his plan to defeat Communism

    It worked out splendidly to say the least.

    Well abroad anyways.

  50. They were allies for a while.

    Wow, non sequitur. Trust me you don’t have to share ideology to be allies. The Czar, the “Autocrat of all Russians” making an alliance with the secular, republican French against Germany in the early 20th century comes to mind.

    Come to think of it, so does the capitalist USA and Imperialist Britain allying with Stalin does, too.

    Ideologues believe in realpolitik, too.

  51. SIV, your assertion that Stalin and Hitler are the same ideologically would have flown 40 years ago when historians still accepted the “totalitarian” view of Hitler and Stalin.

    They now recognize there were important differences between them and in fact, they were opposites ideologically. Their methods may have borne some similarities, but what they wanted to achieve was quite different.

  52. joshua corning,I think the thought on here is alien to most in other countries.I had a friend from Paris.He came here to work on a project for Shell in Belpre,Ohio.He became a client at the salon I owned at the local mall.Many of us hunted and he wanted to try.We took him to the range,taught him safety and he made his first kill.He a was amazed.He said in France he didn’t have a car,much less a truck to hunt,could not own a rifle and all land was tied up so only the truly wealthy or politiclly connected could shoot.Driving to the woods with a cheap hunting tag on his back was something he never thought possible.After he when’t back to France he came back on holiday to hunt,though he had to leave his gun here in the states.We even taught Fredrick to play poker with cigars and beer.

  53. The idea that National Socialism and Stalinism were “opposites”is nothing more than communist propaganda back-pedalling after the failure of the Hitler/stalin pact as well as an attempt to disassociate the two forms of European Progressive Socialist Authoritarianism. Both sought to “improve” their socieities through absolute central authority and planning, purges of anyone not purely ideologically correct, mass killing and violent foreign expansionism.
    Each had it own psuedo -scientific evolutionary beliefs in Eugenics and Lamarck. Differences include that Germany had an advanced capable private sector industrial base to co-opt as long as they “played ball”. Stalin had to build from scratch a State industry in the recently feudal backward east.The aesthetics of National Socialist style were the high water mark of European Modernism while the Soviet Socialist style-excepting the graphic arts early on- were down right ugly.

    Soviet Socialism/German National Socialism
    Yet another reason to Thank God we are Americans and put the socialist excesses of FDR into context.

  54. Wouldn’t be a good fit for you as libertarianism is a right wing ideology.
    The truth is, you cannot say if it is “right” or “left” wing, it has elements of both.

    Actually, it is neither.

    Classic “left wing” liberalism holds that government should pass laws to change the way society operates to foster “progress.” Universal healthcare, universal employment, equal wages, etc.

    Classic “right wing” conservatism holds that government should pass laws to keep society from changing. Industry protection, maintain class differences, enforce traditional morality, etc.

    Libertarianism holds that government should be tightly restrained to keep it from passing laws, and thus let society evolve on its own.

    For an example of the difference consider the Pink Pistols, an organization of GLBT gun owners.

    Liberals want to pass laws taking their guns away.

    Conservatives want to pass laws keeping them from acting gay.

    Libertarians want to do away with laws against firearms and sexual orientation and live and let live.

    Libertarianism is “ultra-right” in American political terms as it advocates individual rights and absolute minimal government.

    “Ultra right” conservatism traditionally, and particularly in the U.S. today, is far from a “minimal government” ideology. Particularly the “Christian right” wants a religious government modeled around the Spanish Catholic government (but evangelical instead of popish) complete with inquisition. No relation whatsoever to the libertarian model.

    This is not my personal view, it is supported by communitarian writers…

    Consider the source.

    SIV, your assertion that Stalin and Hitler are the same ideologically would have flown 40 years ago when historians still accepted the “totalitarian” view of Hitler and Stalin. They now recognize there were important differences between them and in fact, they were opposites ideologically. Their methods may have borne some similarities, but what they wanted to achieve was quite different.

    There are only two forms of government. Either the government has power over the people and eventually treats them like peasants, or individual people have power over the government and force it to treat them like citizens. In the first form government exists to benefit government and the few who run it. In the second form government exists to protect individual rights.

    Hitler and Stalin ran governments of the first sort. Differences between them run on the order of one wanted to eliminate Jews, Catholics, and homosexuals; while the other wanted to eliminate Ukrainians, Christians, and homosexuals.

  55. Driving to the woods with a cheap hunting tag on his back was something he never thought possible.

    hmm….not sure this is a libertarian thing….regulated public lands…why are there public lands at all?

    and if is is private lands what the fuck do i need a tag to shoot a deer on my land for?

    Anyway i have an ex-french girlfriend who I email. She views my libertarian political leanings as essentially “Liberal” she is a socialist.

    And she rightly accuses France’s new president as being a hypocritical liberal in regards to immigration and such.

    Note: In France and much of Europe socialist are not called liberals.

  56. Come to think of it, so does the capitalist USA and Imperialist Britain allying with Stalin does, too.

    FDR’s US economy was capitalist?!?!

    News to me.

  57. “Conservative-Libertarian Alliance Watch”

    Let’s hope it’s a death watch.

  58. joshua corning,

    “Is there an equivalent libertarian type “movement” where you are originally from?”

    No, where I come from does not have a hardcore libertarian movement — liberal yes, but not libertarian in the strictest sense of the word.

    The real reason for my interest is that there is so much entanglement, so much confusion, so much animosity and and antagonism, and I find in libertarianism a set of ideals that could help resolve all the mess out there. This is basically, “lets agree that we do not trespass our own personal entities, unless we agree to cooperate”-kind-of-thing.

    As a Muslim, I honestly see an Islamic community back in the homeland and the rest of the Muslim world where *most* libertarian ideals are imlemented without interfering with the Muslim nature/culture of society. But that is a whole topic of its own that deserves an entire discussion board(s) of its own.

    But lets just take the free market. Islamic economy is essentially free-market based. The only thing that are: (1) required is that the rich pay a minute amount of their income in charity (different from taxes), and (2) no interest should be allowed. The first is okay since the amount paid is a very very small percent of total income (a very very small fraction of *liquid money* –not total assets– one possesses). The second exception which may contradict libertarian thought, one may argue from a societal health point of view (i.e., not necessarily libertarian) that a credit-based society (with interest rates) will result in an unhealthy society (e.g., look at all the trouble that many are in due to subprime lending, free-for-all credit cards and so on). Still, one may argue from an Islamic point of view that if two parties agree to engage in an interest-based finanical arrangement, then it is fine (not acceptable, but fine) since the two parties are essentially free to do so. Mandatory charity, on the other hand, is a different story).

  59. I have to add, that the above views are not wide spread at all in the Muslim world. There are some movements for personal liberties and rights, but not mainstream yet. I would say, however, that certain Muslim autocratic societies (e.g., Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Malaysia, UAE…) are prone to such ideals. In fact they do have a history of liberties (e.g., Egypt in the 50s 60s — unless these ideals were “Islamist” [Nasser practically put all Islamists in prison, something that fired back in the 80s, 90s]). The problem is that over the last 100 years or so, totalitarian thought (Russo-Western style) over the last 100 years was mistakenly viewed as Islamically-based, which I do not believe is true.

  60. “I disagree. Sure, Reagan talked a better small government game then he played and the governing result was a mixed bag, but still there was real progress for liberty during his administration. We saw an actual decrease in discretionary spending. The rate of growth in total spending fell off drastically from Carter. And the Federal register, a monitor of all federal regulations and regulatory activity actually shrunk! There were REAL cuts in some government departments and also there were programs that were eliminated. The rates of job growth and personal wealth accumulation responded by setting new records.”

    If all you care about is keeping your own money, maybe you can make a case that Reagan–and more recently, Clinton–was your type of libertarian. But if you are bothered by petty things like U.S. support for third world dictators and thugs (Saddam Husseim, Argentina, South African apartheid, the Contras, the same brand of Islamic fundamentalists we’re now fighting in Afghanistan), the military-industrial complex, invading virtually defenseless countries (Grenada), scandals and lying at the highest level of government (Iran-Contra), or the brutal prosecution of the war on drugs, then not so much.

    Also, two questions for those of you who think Nazism was a species of leftism:

    1. Why did the Nazis draw more of their supporters from the German right than the German left?
    2. Why did the leftist parties fight the Nazis tooth and nail, with the Social Democrats even pleading with the communists to form an alliance with them against the NSDAP?

  61. sarcasmo sez “It’s amazing how far a little lip service goes with some of you folks.”

    That really depends on who’s lips were talking about.

    However, from your laundry list of Reagan perfidy, I’ll chance the assumption that you are the typical leftie critic that responds to “RR” about like HSR’s dobermans did to “Nixon” in “Where the Buffalo Roam”. Reagan made plenty of promises to various constituencies of the right – and governed pretty much from the center. The man never even dismantled the Dept of Education (a platform promise as I recall).

    Certainly I’d prefer someone more truly libertarian (and a whole bunch of them in Congress too), but if I have to make a choice between the Goldwater-Reagan branch of Republicans and the Bush-neocon twig, it’s a no-brainer.

  62. Here’s another Reagan slogan, often forgotten but not too hard to understand. He said it in an interview with reason magazine in our July 1975 issue: “I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.”

    And then as Presdient he sent the drug “war” atomic. Some libertarian. I stopped voting after that, for a very long time.

  63. 1. Why did the Nazis draw more of their supporters from the German right than the German left?
    2. Why did the leftist parties fight the Nazis tooth and nail, with the Social Democrats even pleading with the communists to form an alliance with them against the NSDAP?

    Because the German Left was aligned with International Communism rather than the National Socialists.

    Interesting to note that among American Leftists Hitler was OK…. until the Hitler/Stalin pact collapsed and he invaded Russia.

  64. And then as Presdient he sent the drug “war” atomic.

    Reagan cannot be excused for his role in this but the escalation only took off in 1986 when the Dem controlled Congress got on board with hysterical vigor. If you don’t remember the details I think Balko has a piece in the arghives.

  65. Particularly the “Christian right” wants a religious government modeled around the Spanish Catholic government (but evangelical instead of popish) complete with inquisition. No relation whatsoever to the libertarian model.

    Conservatives want to pass laws keeping them from acting gay.

    This strikes me as a very “homo-centric paranoid” view of the ” Religous Right” which is actually a fragile decentralized loose coalition at best.

    When did they propose the No-Swish Act ?

  66. “Because the German Left was aligned with International Communism rather than the National Socialists.”

    Good grief, read some fucking history. You really have no idea what you’re talking about. The SPD and the communists were committed rivals during the Weimar era, and the Social Democrats were the only party to vote against the Enabling Act. The KPD was already banned by then.

  67. Juris –

    Goldwater/Reagan alliance. How much, in your opinion, of that is based on the cold war mentality? Do you think Goldwater’s social stances across the board would have been acceptable to Reagan’s alliance with the Moral Majority?

    SIV – if the little bird is correct, you’re actually Dan T: lose that persona and hang out with the same opinions… Dan T is much more fun 🙂

  68. Nazis were the christian right of Germany in that time!

    http://www.nobeliefs.com/Hitler1.htm

  69. Factional dispute on the Left.

    European Fascism is still socialism.

    The “conservatives” in Spain were loyalist.
    Mussolini was a former left Anarchist.
    Hitler was a “National Socialist”.
    All held a “progressive” vision for their States.
    The Nazis implementing that most sacred American Progressive program of eugenics.

    All quite different from the limited government
    isolationist pursuits of American conservatism
    of the time.

  70. I did not make it clear that the conservative loyalists were in opposition to the Fascists in Spain.

    This is all quite messy as it is hard to compare Euro right/left to the American scale.

    Hitler had more in common with the State Socialism of FDR and the New Deal era than any strain of the American Right.

  71. Ashish George @ 4:40pm:

    But if you are bothered by petty things like U.S. support for third world dictators and thugs… invading virtually defenseless countries (Grenada),

    Yeah, Reagan was no foreign policy libertarian but he was heck of a lot better than our neocon motivated King George.

    The Grenada incursion was actually sanctionable by libertarian criteria. Americans were under duress. Quite unlike the Iraq war.

  72. Joshua Corning,
    You need a permit to shoot a deer on your own private property because wild deer move from property to property. Without the permiting system, people were shooting all the deer, and they were becoming extinct in some areas. If you fence your property and have your own private deer, then you can have Dick Cheney come and “hunt” your own private deer any time.

  73. Ashish George:

    Also…for those of you who think Nazism was a species of leftism:
    Why did the leftist parties fight the Nazis tooth and nail, with the Social Democrats even pleading with the communists to form an alliance with them against the NSDAP?

    It’s clear that Nazism (aka National Socialism) was a species of leftism. Think of them as rival gangs of thugs.

    Also, note these planks from the Nazi Party platform:

    We demand the nationalisation of all (previous) associated industries (trusts).

    We demand a division of profits of all heavy industries.

    We demand an expansion on a large scale of old age welfare

    The state is to be responsible for a fundamental reconstruction of our whole national education program…

    We demand that the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens

    Abolition of unearned (work and labour) incomes. Breaking of rent-slavery.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_Program

  74. “The Grenada incursion was actually sanctionable by libertarian criteria. Americans were under duress.”

    What evidence was there that these Americans were under duress? Why didn’t the Reagan administration try to evacuate them peacefully?

    Also, that’s a pretty selective choice of Nazi positions. Why not cite Nazi views on women, which were profoundly illiberal? Or anti-Semitism, which Lenin had condemned? Or social darwinism? Or the Nazis’ embrace of militarism?

    And still, aside from your speculation, you cannot offer any evidence to account for the fierce opposition Nazism provoked from the German left. Either you can offer some citations from the period that support your theory that Nazism was viewed as a rival gang by the left parties or your opinions are thoroughly worthless. I’ll hazard a guess it’s the latter.

    It’s also worth pointing out that the conservative DNVP formed an alliance with the Nazis at the same time the Social Democrats and the Communists were resisting them.

  75. Well women film makers and test pilots were accepted in the Third Reich.

    I’m sure the Soviet Union was a regular Jewish Paradise. Social lamarckism is better than social darwinism? I’ve never given it much thought, hmmmm( they both sound sorta progressive).
    The Soviet Union rejected militarism?
    I guess those “floats” in the parades were made of flowers. Admittedly I am not to familiar with German political history between the wars but the Nazis were a political gang in the early Horst Wessel days.

    Regardless, the National Socialists were left wing authoritarian by American standards.

    ’nuff for me for tonight I reccommend anyone listen to the program on WREK from 10-12 EDT if you enjoy music of the late 70s-early 90s punk, new wave indy variety. Available via your intartube live or archived. Show is called Personality Crisis and DJ is John Kincaid.
    Been on WREK since the music was actually new!

  76. Ashish George :

    That’s a pretty selective choice of Nazi positions

    What? Selective?? They’re to the point! Those are distinctly Leftist positions which disprove your bizarre contention that Nazism was not species of leftism. That’s why you discount them. But I’m guessing that you were ignorant of them until I pointed them out.

    Why not cite Nazi views on women, which were profoundly illiberal? Or anti-Semitism, which Lenin had condemned? Or social darwinism? Or the Nazis’ embrace of militarism?

    That doesn’t make your case. The Soviets and their lefty allies had many views that were profoundly illiberal, including anti-Jewish racism and an embrace of militarism. Also, many Leftists, including the Commies and the Nazis shared harsh anti-free speech positions.

    And still, aside from your speculation, you cannot offer any evidence to account for the fierce opposition Nazism provoked from the German left.

    That there was opposition from parties on German left does not provide any disproof of the Nazi’s leftist ideology. That leftist ideology is manifest in their positions

  77. SIV,

    Thanks for the music hint. I love old school punk and late 70’s-80’s New Wave. I’ll check it out archived if I can find it.

    Check this out!

    Siouxsie and the Banshees “Hong Kong Garden”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PF0OjrFIVWY

  78. Ashish George:

    What evidence was there that these Americans were under duress?

    I found evidence that the American med students on Granada were under duress. However, I also found as much evidence that they were not. So the question seems to be inconclusive. I think I should revise my statement thusly (Actually, I think that it needed some revision whatever the reality was in Granada):

    The Grenada incursion could be sanctionable by libertarian criteria if Americans were under duress.

  79. link to WREK program Personality Crisis

    http://www.wrek.org/?q=scheduleafternoon

    punk new wave and indy all from way back

  80. In a society which traditionally values liberty, it’s natural for a libertarian to be a conservative. After all, liberty is something that should be protected tooth and nail once it’s achieved. History shows that institutions that protect liberty are fragile; vulnerable to the same kind of human failings that conservatives fear. Greed, envy, sloth, et. cetera.

  81. “I found evidence that the American med students on Granada were under duress. However, I also found as much evidence that they were not. So the question seems to be inconclusive.”

    Okay, so you stated that the invasion of Grenada was defensible by libertarian criteria either without bothering to research whether it really was until I called bullshit or without taking care to phrase your position as a clear hypothetical despite knowing that the evidence was mixed. Lovely.

    “What? Selective?? They’re to the point! Those are distinctly Leftist positions which disprove your bizarre contention that Nazism was not species of leftism. That’s why you discount them. But I’m guessing that you were ignorant of them until I pointed them out.”

    Those certainly were positions of the left. But just because Group X has some positions that the left shares that does not mean Group X is on the left.

    “That doesn’t make your case. The Soviets and their lefty allies had many views that were profoundly illiberal, including anti-Jewish racism and an embrace of militarism. Also, many Leftists, including the Commies and the Nazis shared harsh anti-free speech positions.”

    The relevant question is what positions defined these groups. I’ll concede that the Soviets–who, unlike the Nazis, everyone can agree really were perverse extremists of the left–were defined in part by militarism as well. But the welfare state positions the Nazis espoused were not their core identity. Thus the intense opposition from the SPD and the KPD.

    The Nazis’ core identity was devoted to defending traditional German values (as they saw them), an expansive nationalism, and anti-Bolshevism.

    “That there was opposition from parties on German left does not provide any disproof of the Nazi’s leftist ideology. That leftist ideology is manifest in their positions.”

    I have offered the following points: (1) The NSDAP drew more support from the German right than the German left and (2) The parties of the German left fought passionately to keep the NSDAP from gaining power and ruling with an iron fist. The truth of these claims is well-documented.

    If you are trying to demonstrate that the Nazi ideology was primarily leftist, you have to offer reasons why your hypothesis is more likely to be true given these facts than not. Aside from citing stated Nazi positions, you have failed to do so. These positions alone are insufficient to the task because–wonder of wonders!–regimes often have stated goals and motives quite different from their long-term plans.

    So, for example, under Nazi rule was it in fact the case that “the state be charged first with providing the opportunity for a livelihood and way of life for the citizens”? Did Hitler and company really intend to make this the regime’s guiding principle in the long-term any more than the Soviets intended to achieve true egalitarianism in the long-term?

    If you follow the link ktc2 offered at 7:10, you can find quotations from Hitler and his colleagues linking their actions to Christianity (“I believe that I am acting in accordance with the will of the Almighty Creator: by defending myself against the Jew, I am fighting for the work of the Lord”). So I guess we can conclude that Nazism was a Christian political movement, huh? I would say probably not, but by your anemic reasoning we can. All we need is for someone to say “I believe and intend to practice X” and that person suddenly is an actual believer and practitioner of X.

    The burden of proof is on you. You are the one offering a thesis which contradicts what most historians would say. Either you have the evidence or you don’t. So far, you don’t.

  82. SIV,

    Thanks. Got it. All I got heard so far were promotions, though. I’ll try again tomorrow cuz I wanna crash now. Didya dig that Siouxsie and the Banshees vid?

  83. …or without taking care to phrase your position as a clear hypothetical despite knowing that the evidence was mixed. Lovely.

    Read more carefully. I didn’t know at first that the evidence vis a vis the med students was mixed. I found out and then revealed to you what I found, even though it militated against my statement on the Granada matter. I’m always intellectually honest, and in this case you try to use it against me. Kinda desperate, aren’t you?

    Those certainly were positions of the left. But just because Group X has some positions that the left shares that does not mean Group X is on the left.

    A political group’s advocacies are the data that we use to place them on political spectrums.

    The truth of these claims is well-documented

    But they don’t challenge the fact of the Nazi’s leftist, anti free=enterprise/anti individual liberty ideology.

    These positions alone are insufficient to the task because–wonder of wonders!–regimes often have stated goals and motives quite different from their long-term plans.

    That’s not a refutation here cuz the Nazis put their force behind those platform positions.

    Did Hitler and company really intend to make this the regime’s guiding principle in the long-term any more than the Soviets intended to achieve true egalitarianism in the long-term?

    Certainly. The Nazi state controlled many aspects of the lives of the people both in and out of the work place.

    The Nazis’ core identity was devoted to defending traditional German values (as they saw them), an expansive nationalism, and anti-Bolshevism.

    Amazing; you seemed to have left out statism! Heavy handed control of the economy/ anti-individual liberty statism.

    Either you have the evidence or you don’t. So far, you don’t.

    Your dismissing evidence sans good cause hardly means that the evidence doesn’t exist.

    Now who’s advocacies are way closer to the Nazi’s, Hillary’s or Ron Paul’s? The answer to that question is as clear as it is that you’ve been wrong in this debate.

  84. Ashish George,

    Did the Sino-Soviet rift mean that either one of them were less on the left? Of course not, but that’s the implication of your silly “idealogical identification by opposition” methodology that you’ve tried to employ concerning the Nazis.

  85. SIV,

    Oh well. sleeping is boring anyway…now where’s that station? Just kidding, I’m really gonna crash now. I’ll try it again tomorrow.

  86. Russia has long supported the Serbs and is now manuvering to protect the Serbian minority in Kosovo. This has been an international issue for almost a century – do you remember the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand?

    Franz Ferdinand was a Kosovar? And here I thought he was a rock band.

  87. Conservatives and libertarians are the same thing. I believe this strongly though I am unable at this time to offer any reason for doing so. Besides, Jefferson and Locke said it, so I believe it.

  88. I just like that the acryonym for this is CLAW.

  89. Rick Barton

    but still there was real progress for liberty during his administration. We saw an actual decrease in discretionary spending.

    Not true. While Reagan did decrease non-defense discretionary spending, total discretionary spending actually went up under Reagan.

    Now who’s advocacies are way closer to the Nazi’s, Hillary’sObama’s or Ron Paul’sGW Bush’s? The answer to that question is as clear as it is that you’ve been wrong in this debate.

    Fixed.

    You’re defining the poltical right as the group that supports individual freedoms, and therefore anyone who opposes freedom must be on the left. This is not a statement of fact, this is tautology.

    For example, I could say that because rightists tend to support things such as the PATRIOT act, expansive police powers, and laws against flag burnning, the right is the statist side, so anyone who advocates for individual freedoms is therefore on the left. This would by definition put Nazi’s and Communists on the right. This argument has the same foundations as your argument.

    Of course neither argument is valid. Neither the right nor the left argue for individual freedom and minimal government in all realms. Therefore, you can’t say that big government = left and small government = right.

  90. brian:

    While Reagan did decrease non-defense discretionary spending, total discretionary spending actually went up under Reagan.

    Incorrect. No part of the defense budget was catagorized as “discretionary”. (Much of it, as with all government spending, should be categorized as “wasteful”.)

  91. “People forget,in terms of the budget presidents have little power.They don’t write bills ,they can ony suggest.Their main power is the veto.That power has been diluted with the advent of ominibus spending bills.”

    Nonsense. All you have to do to get rid of omnibus spending bills is to veto every omnibus spending bill that hits your desk. It’s really hard to get both houses of Congress to muster up the 2/3 supermajority to override a veto. Presidents have a great deal of unexercised power over the budget, Bush Lite in particular with his one veto over stem cell funding.

    The problem is that the public is overwhelmingly statist, and elects statist presidents, not that presidents don’t have the theoretical power to reign in uncontrolled spending.

  92. brian:

    Therefore, you can’t say that big government = left and small government = right.

    Sure I can (if we use the = as “tends to =”). I can name lotsa parties on the right that favor smaller government and lotsa parties on the left that favor bigger government. I know that you can’t do the opposite.

    Size of government advocated is one of the criteria for placement on the political spectrum-of course it’s inexact. We aren’t talking about quantitative relationships here.

  93. Rick Barton | July 23, 2007, 11:12am | #

    Incorrect. No part of the defense budget was catagorized as “discretionary”. (Much of it, as with all government spending, should be categorized as “wasteful”.)

    Check out this report. Scroll down slightly and there is a graph showing the path of total discretionary spending, and then breaks it down into its components.

    http://www.cbo.gov/ftpdoc.cfm?index=4916&type=0&sequence=5

    Also, a quote from the report:
    “Outlays for national defense, highways, the national park system, education, research and development, and the federal workforce all fall within the category of discretionary spending.”

    So defense is part of discretionary spending.

  94. …Of course it shoulda been: Now *whose* advocacies are way closer to the Nazi’s, Hillary’s or Ron Paul’s? The answer to that question is as clear as it is that you’ve been wrong in this debate.

    Sorry, but it was late.

  95. Rick Barton
    Sure I can (if we use the = as “tends to =”). I can name lotsa parties on the right that favor smaller government and lotsa parties on the left that favor bigger government. I know that you can’t do the opposite.

    Sure I can. George W. Bush, John McCain, etc. All right-wing big-government types.

    On the left you have many talking down the government’s military establishment and suppression of social rights, like Richardson, Evan Bayh, etc.

    Of course each side favors individual freedoms in some spheres but opposes them in others. The right as it is generally defined promotes capitalism but opposes social rights. The left promotes social rights but opposes capitalism.

    Therefore, it is incorrect to say that one side promotes individual freedom, and the other side opposes it. They both have mixed records.

    You can replace “left” and “right” with “statist” and “libertarian” in your posts and you would be correct. But left does not equal statist and right does not equal libertarian. The reverse is not true either.

  96. brian,

    You were right and I was wrong about the categorization of defense spending. Thank you for proving it by providing documentation.

    I shoulda said that, Reagan shrank domestic discretionary spending.

  97. Rick –

    your 12:29 note underscores exactly why you’re such a welcome poster. Not only do you write very interesting things, you are also willing to learn and are very polite.

    I take my hat off to you, Sir.

  98. brian:

    Sure I can. George W. Bush, John McCain, etc. All right-wing big-government types…On the left you have many talking down the government’s military establishment and suppression of social rights, like Richardson, Evan Bayh, etc.

    Those aren’t examples of parties. And also, the example of John McCain substantiates my point of the “right” designation tending to favor less government. Cuz even in his case, we have a person that tends to vote for less total government spending. Certainly less than Evan Bayh. McCain scores a 88% from the NTU, while Bayh only earns a 12%

    http://www.ntu.org/misc_items/rating/VS_2006.pdf

    Also, Bayh voted for both the war and the Patriot Act. If he’s “talking down the government’s military establishment and suppression of social rights” then talking is all he’s doing.

    But left does not equal statist and right does not equal libertarian. The reverse is not true either.

    In current political parlance there is most certainly, on net, a tendency for those called “right” to be more libertarian than those called “left”, and the same with those called “left” being more statist vs those called “right”.

    My point in these posts was to challenge the ridiculous notion of Ashish George, that Nazism isn’t a species of the left.

  99. Rick Barton
    In current political parlance there is most certainly, on net, a tendency for those called “right” to be more libertarian than those called “left”, and the same with those called “left” being more statist vs those called “right”.

    My point in these posts was to challenge the ridiculous notion of Ashish George, that Nazism isn’t a species of the left.

    And I find your notion that the right is libertarian to be equally ridiculous.

    The fact is that neither the right nor the left are libertarian. I’m not saying the left is libertarian; I’m just saying that the right is not libertarian. Trying to place libertarians on a left-to-right scale is impossible simply because it contains elements of both.

    The disagreement you’re having with Ashish George is simply over the definition of left and right. You see the left as the side pushing for more government power, with the right as the side pushing for limits on that power. The problem is that’s simply not true. The right pushes for more government control as well. Just look at this article (http://www.weeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/003/017wgfhc.asp)from the Weekly Standard entitled (approvingly) “Big Government Conservatism.”

    All I’m saying is that you simply cannot place libertarianism on a left to right scale. In that respect, I guess this is more an argument about semantics than anything else.

  100. VikingMoose,

    Thank you vey much. Coming from you, with your fine reputation around here for insightful, fair-minded, and friendly debate, those words are quite gratifying.

  101. brian:

    And I find your notion that the right is libertarian to be equally ridiculous.

    As I’ve said, my notion is that there is an affinity between the right and libertarianism, not equivalence. And the same for the left and statism. And that, as I’ve shown, is manifest.

    I gota split now. But there’s more I wanna say about your last comment so I’ll rejoin later.

  102. Rick Barton
    As I’ve said, my notion is that there is an affinity between the right and libertarianism

    Both the left and the right share some features with libertarianism and some features with statism, but in different ways. But I do not see how either side has a closer affinity with either ideology than the other. And I don’t think you’ve shown otherwise, as you claim you have done.

    Yes the left pushes for higher taxes and more government services in the economic realm, so I agree that there they share ideas with statists.

    But you seem to ignore all of the authoritarian government policies that the right pushes, which are largely opposed by the left. In recent years alone you have the gay marriage amendment, flag burning amendment, Patriot act, military buildup, and the biggest increase in discretionary spending since LBJ’s Great Society. (The scary thing is just how much these policies on the right resemble the policies of the start of the Nazis reign.)

    With all of these statist policies, I just can’t see the affinity between the right and libertarianism.

  103. Brian,

    George W. Bush, John McCain, etc. All right-wing big-government types.

    Conservatives do not consider either of these men to be particularly “right-wing”. Even the celebrated conservative entertainers Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter admit as much.

  104. SIV
    Brian,

    George W. Bush, John McCain, etc. All right-wing big-government types.

    Conservatives do not consider either of these men to be particularly “right-wing”. Even the celebrated conservative entertainers Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter admit as much

    Ok, then how about Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter? Those two are big government conservatives as well. Actually slightly moreso than Bush/McCain given their support for more government rules and regulations surrounding immigration.

  105. WTF?

    They OPPOSED the immigration bill.

    I don’t recall any recent congressional initiative to decrease rules and regulations.

  106. I wasn’t talking about the immigration bill specifically. I’m talking about what they’re advocating, which is more government rules restricting the freedoms of illegal immigrants.

  107. The general conservative position was to enforce the existing laws rather than pass any new ones.

  108. Rick Barton,

    Notably, not a single one of those planks, from the Nazis’ “unalterable” plantfrom from the 1920s, was ever implemented. They died on the Night of the Long Knives.

    There was a minority leftist faction of the NSDAP. It was lead by the people Hitler, Himmler, and Goering had murdered at the behest of the right-wing institutions like the military and the industrialists, who were welcomed into top positions in the NAZI Party and carefully courted with business-friendly policies, which actually were implemented when the Nazis rose to power.

    You’re playing the “no true Scotsman” game, Rick. The NAZIs, as they said themselves, wer a party of the right.

  109. Rick Barton,

    Adolf Hitler’s chief economic theoretician, in a speech about the Nazi’s suppression of the labor unions:

    “Only the employer can decide. Many employers have for years had to call for the ‘master in the house.’ Now they are once again to be called the ‘master in the house.” – Shirer, William, The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich, pp 282-283.

    Not only did the Nazis leave private industry in the hands of its owners, but they extended the “Fuhrer Principle” to include the natural right of business owners to be absolute masters over their workplaces, without interference from their employees.

  110. “Read more carefully. I didn’t know at first that the evidence vis a vis the med students was mixed. I found out and then revealed to you what I found, even though it militated against my statement on the Granada matter. I’m always intellectually honest, and in this case you try to use it against me. Kinda desperate, aren’t you?”

    From my last post:

    “Okay, so you stated that the invasion of Grenada was defensible by libertarian criteria either without bothering to research whether it really was until I called bullshit or…”

    I think I read you just fine. The fact that you cited the government’s stated justification for invading Grenada without really knowing its validity reflects your desperation, not mine. You clearly want to preside over a conservative-libertarian marriage, the facts be damned.

    “Did the Sino-Soviet rift mean that either one of them were less on the left? Of course not, but that’s the implication of your silly ‘idealogical identification by opposition’ methodology that you’ve tried to employ concerning the Nazis.”

    Bad counterexample. There is evidence from what people said and did at the time that the Sino-Soviet rift was motivated at least as much by tensions along the Sino-Soviet border as by doctrinal quarrels.

    “There are several politico-military points of conflict between the U.S.S.R. and the C.P.R. that focus on the nationalistic rather than the ideological character of the rift, even though lip service is paid by both states to the precepts of Marxism-Leninism, with the Chinese adding the names of Stalin and Mao Tsetung to their list of Communist theoreticians.

    One of the conflicts has to do with the international boundary between the U.S.S.R. and the C.P.R., which stretches for a distance of over 4000 miles from Afghanistan and the Pamir Range to Vladivostok and the Sea of Japan. The Chinese have accused the Russians of provoking over 5000 border incidents along this desolate line in just one year.2 In turn, the Soviet government in a declaration of 21 September 1963 accused the Chinese of violating the Soviet frontier an equal number of times and of even carrying out ‘attempts at ‘occupation’ of certain small sections of Soviet territory.’3 The rugged terrain, lack of a natural boundary, and the low density of population make this border particularly conducive to violations, both intentional and unintentional.”

    http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/aureview/1967/may-jun/vaslef.html

    See how that works? You offer a thesis and I offer evidence from the period to support or contradict that thesis. It’s called good historical practice.

    Now, many posts after saying the Social Democrats and communists saw the Nazis as “rival gangs of thugs” on the left, can you use good historical practice to support that claim or will it remain speculation?

    “Now who’s advocacies are way closer to the Nazi’s, Hillary’s or Ron Paul’s? The answer to that question is as clear as it is that you’ve been wrong in this debate.”

    I see Jonah Goldberg’s book will have at least one buyer.

    I’ll second brian’s point that this is an argument about semantics more than anything else, but he is also right that you are wrong to simplistically identify the left with statism and the right with individual freedom. The positions Ron Paul takes would be out of place on the right (remember how Giuliani got cheered when he attacked Paul at the SC debate?).

    Of course, unlike you, I’m not trying to identify libertarian views with the left or the right, although I do think the issues of the Bush era have found made liberals and libertarians come together on the issues brian listed.

    And as Brink Lindsey pointed out:

    “But an honest survey of the past half-century shows a much better match between libertarian means and progressive ends. Most obviously, many of the great libertarian breakthroughs of the era–the fall of Jim Crow, the end of censorship, the legalization of abortion, the liberalization of divorce laws, the increased protection of the rights of the accused, the reopening of immigration–were championed by the political left.”

    http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=6800

  111. Just to clarify: It’s not that I think it’s inconceivable that two political factions with similar goals would stridently oppose each other. It’s just that I think that this was not the case with the parties of the German left and the the NSDAP because there is no evidence either that the NSDAP really shared the long-term goals of the SDP or the KDP or that the latter two viewed the Nazis as “rival gangs of thugs” of the left.

  112. Giuliani was THE MAYOR OF NEW YORK

    He and Bush, McCain, Romney et al are MODERATES.
    (and Big Time Statists)

    Ron Paul is “on the Right”, albeit the isolationist, non-interventionist wing.
    Remember the guy is pro-life and anti-illegal immigration.

    Watch the conventions. You will hear a lot of rhetoric at the Republican one that will sound
    like libertarianism. You won’t hear any of that at the Dems- well actually you might, it will be used to characterize Republicans to gin up heat and boos.

    Ever hear a left/Dem say anything like ….

    “My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”

    Grover Norquist

    that is an example of where conservative and libertarian ideology are in agreement.

  113. “”””Tip O’Neil.his main critic.I think he would sad to see the anger of Bill O’Reilly,Mishell Malkin,Lu Dobbs ect.I see it on this page all the time,if someone disagrees they go to valgar and insulting words.Soetimes you have to agree to disagree.”””

    Well the current admin seems to favor Nixon over Reagan, their actions say so, and the Rush O’Hannity crowd either can’t tell the difference or don’t want to.

  114. Brian,

    With the neocon’s Trotskyite linage and the revolt with in the more libertarian conservative movement against their influence, citing Weekly Standard lends evidence to my side of the debate.

    But you seem to ignore all of the authoritarian government policies that the right pushes…

    That’s just the matter. The Bush administration’s big government types aren’t very far on the right at all. Not only do I not ignore them, as a libertarian Republican, I fight them tooth and nail. Ask joe. He’ll tell you.

    All I’m saying is that you simply cannot place libertarianism on a left to right scale.

    Of course you can. Libertarianism is on the far right, just to the left of anarchy on a linear political spectrum. On the far left are totalitarian systems such as Nazism and communism. I think that that political spectrum is useful but Dave Nolan, the founder of the libertarian party, devised nn even more descriptive political spectrum:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Worlds-Smallest-Political-Quiz.svg

    Congruent with my contention in this discussion with you, brian, is the fact that you’ll find more folks in closer proximity to the libertarian quadrant within the conservative quadrant than you will in the liberal quadrant. Note that both Nazi and commie policy will fall in the statist quadrant!

  115. brian,

    (The scary thing is just how much these policies on the right resemble the policies of the start of the Nazis reign.)

    Give me a break! It was FDR who put innocent Japanese Americans into concentration camps and Reagan who fulfilled his pledge to make restitution to these victims.

    It’s among liberals, not conservatives and libertarians, that you find support for racist government enforced racial quota systems. It’s among libertarians and conservatives that you’ll find the strongest opposition to this Nazi like racist barbarity.

  116. “In current political parlance there is most certainly, on net, a tendency for those called ‘right’ to be more libertarian than those called ‘left’, and the same with those called ‘left’ being more statist vs those called ‘right’.”

    Ok, Rick, whatever. The vast majority of philosophers, historians, political scientists, and the fucking Germans themselves are wrong. Only the left has dictatorships and statism and only the right has sunny days and puppy dogs. Reagan rules over a kingdom of supply side angels in Heaven. Q.E.D.

    Did you even notice that left liberals and right conservatives are equidistant from libertarians according to the quiz?

  117. Yup, Mein Kampf and the Hitler Youth are the first things to spring to mind when I hear about affirmative action.

    It’s because of people like you that libertarianism is such an electoral juggernaut.

  118. That last observation was inspired by Jim Henley’s reaction to Randy Barnett’s equally pathetic attempt to reconcile the war with his libertarianism…

    http://highclearing.com/index.php/archives/2007/07/17/6806

  119. joe:

    Notably, not a single one of those planks, from the Nazis’ “unalterable” plantfrom from the 1920s, was ever implemented.

    I know that that platform was stressed in the the 1932 and 1933 elections when the Nazis won their biggest victories. Progress was made on all of the planks that I listed with the exception of the last one. Note Nazi election slogan: “Labourers awake! Vote for the National Socialist German Workers’ Party!”

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Socialist_German_Workers_Party

  120. joe:

    Not only did the Nazis leave private industry in the hands of its owners, but they extended the “Fuhrer Principle” to include the natural right of business owners to be absolute masters over their workplaces, without interference from their employees.

    The Nazis extended te power of the state over boith employer and employee. “Absolute masters”- except for things like wage and price controls and production and hiring quotas.

  121. Ashish George:

    I think I read you just fine. The fact that you cited the government’s stated justification for invading Grenada without really knowing its validity reflects your desperation, not mine.

    You obviously didn’t understand the point I was making. And I now have seen enough from you that I think that you just write stuff before you think it thru. Now think, Ashish. If it was me that was desperate, I wouldn’t disclose that I found evidence that was contra a point I was making. Now would I?

    Bad counterexample. There is evidence from what people said and did at the time that the Sino-Soviet rift was motivated at least as much by tensions along the Sino-Soviet border as by doctrinal quarrels.

    That’s it! Even if it were a bad counterexample, it would not invalidate my point. You need to re-read my point! But now I know that you just say things sans substantiation and then try to invent evidence! Note that you said: “There is evidence …the Sino-Soviet rift was motivated at least as much by tensions along the Sino-Soviet border as by doctrinal quarrels.”

    This is just not accurate!

    http://files.osa.ceu.hu/holdings/300/8/3/text/91-3-32.shtml

    But worrse; in the link that you provided, but obviously didn’t read thoroughly, it says: While the rift began on ideological grounds shortly after Nikita Khrushchev’s denunciation of Stalin at the Twentieth Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1956, it has since developed into a struggle embracing principles and characteristics more nationalistic than ideological. And then it says: “Ideology may have been the reason for the incipience of the rift…

    When you cite things you need to actually read them, not just cut and paste!

  122. Ashish George,

    The point you make at 1:04am is a non sequitur. It has nothing to do with the point of mine you quote!

  123. Ashish George:

    Did you even notice that left liberals and right conservatives are equidistant from libertarians according to the quiz?.

    Of course. Note that I made the point: “Congruent with my contention in this discussion with you, brian, is the fact that you’ll find more folks in closer proximity to the libertarian quadrant within the conservative quadrant than you will in the liberal quadrant. Note that both Nazi and commie policy will fall in the statist quadrant!”

  124. Ashish George:

    Yup, Mein Kampf and the Hitler Youth are the first things to spring to mind when I hear about affirmative action.

    Both Hitler and today’s liberals have enthusiastically supported and expanded coercive racial preference. Racism is always wrong.

  125. Ashish George:

    That last observation was inspired by Jim Henley’s reaction to Randy Barnett’s equally pathetic attempt to reconcile the war with his libertarianism…

    The Iraq war is as indefensible on libertarian grounds as is coercive affirmative action.

  126. Although I should have done it earlier, I didn’t look at Barnett’s original piece until just now. I thought the critical responses to it when it was first published dealt with the gist of the argument quite well. This isn’t always a reliable heuristic, of course, but I see I was right this time.

    http://opinionjournal.com/editorial/feature.html?id=110010344

    Even if you disagree with him about Iraq, Barnett is your kind of libertarian, Rick– the type who is all too forgiving of some destructive government excesses while he criticizes others.

    You still haven’t gotten it. And at this rate you never will. There’s a lot I could say in response to your recent offerings. But to paraphrase George Bernard Shaw, wrestling pigs is no good: You only get yourself dirty, and the pig likes it.

    You can declare victory or keep putting up ten posts when one will do if you like, but I’d recommend getting some sleep.

  127. brian:

    I just can’t see the affinity between the right and libertarianism.

    Ashish George:

    You clearly want to preside over a conservative-libertarian marriage, the facts be damned.

    I think I’ve demonstrated that you guys are wrong, and that there is a *relatively* stronger affinity between libertarians and the American political right.

    So this is your last chance, you two. (as far as I’m concerned). Niether of you answered SIV’s good question:

    Ever hear a left/Dem say anything like ….
    “My goal is to cut government in half in twenty-five years, to get it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.”?

    Grover Norquist

    So I’ll give ya another chance and ask one. If you can answer it successfully, I’ll consider a paradigm change. If not, I’ll consider SIV and myself the winners of this right/left libertarian question encounter…

    I can name some Republican’s from the House and Senate who are both of these:1) Strong fiscal conservatives, as evidenced by their voting records. 2)In opposition to aspects of the Patriot Act, as evidenced by their voting records and pronouncements.

    Now, can you guys name me two, yeah just two, Dems who meet those criteria?

    I maintain you can’t.

  128. Ashish George:

    Even if you disagree with him about Iraq, Barnett is your kind of libertarian, Rick– the type who is all too forgiving of some destructive government excesses while he criticizes others.

    I can quite assure you; I’m not forgiving of any government excesses, let alone the destructive ones!

    Hey Ashish, no hard feelings. I mean it.
    Here are 2 swell vids for you to enjoy. Dig em if you can:

    B52s “Rock lobster”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-UqKRGW6_rw

    Bananarama “Robert de Niro’s Waiting”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-CISiV7nIU

    Yeah, you’re right. I’m gonna crash.

  129. Rick Barton,

    First of all, after having denounced Ashish George’s argument that the Nazis and Communists must have had opposing ideologies because they went to war, you write: The Bush administration’s big government types aren’t very far on the right at all. Not only do I not ignore them, as a libertarian Republican, I fight them tooth and nail. Ask joe. He’ll tell you. Something about geese and sauce, I think.

    Second, you are correct that the Nazis used rhetoric designed to appeal to socialists and unionists, but that does not mean they governed that way. If we were to judge politicians by their self-serving rhetoric, we’d have to Vladimir Zhirinovsky’s word for it that he is a “Liberal Democrat.”

    None of the socialist planks of the 1920s Nazi platform were implemented, the industrialists and business magnates were proclaimed to be fuhrers, and the Roehm/socialist faction of the Nazis ended up in mass graves. Rhetoric shmetoric, we’ve seen their true colors.

    The Nazis extended te power of the state over boith employer and employee. They left industry and business in private hands, allowed the owners to rack up huge profits, gave them inflential positions in the regime, and used to power of the state to provide industrialists with slave labor. Unionists, on the other hand, were arrested, tortured, and executed.

  130. “””The general conservative position was to enforce the existing laws rather than pass any new ones.”””

    Back when? The Continental Congress?

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