Libertarianism

Into Libertarian "Temptation," Knowing Full Well the Earth Will Rebel

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Pretty great song, despite the terrible artwork here

The Editorial Board of Jewish Currents, "a progressive, secular" and 65-year-old bimonthly magazine, has a warning up entitled "The Temptations of Libertarianism." Robert Arvay of The American Thinker, a more right-leaning "daily internet publication" for whom "the right to exist and the survival of the State of Israel are of great importance," has its own piece up by Robert Arvay entitled "A Conservative's Practical Guide to Challenging Libertarianism." Let us mash up these cautionary tales into a single narrative arc!

Act I: Into Temptation

American Thinker:

For example, on the one hand, [libertarianism] advocates lower taxes, smaller government, and strong property rights. So far, that is appealing to conservatives. […]

[L]ibertarian thought is not, in fact, a hodgepodge—its individual policy positions are not eclectic, but rather consistent with its central theme of individual liberty and personal freedoms.  This central theme is very attractive to conservatives of all stripes[.]

Jewish Currents:

The "hands-off," anti-government libertarianism espoused by Reason may offer some temptation to us "homeless" progressives, especially in the wake of Washington's bipartisan betrayal of working people over the past decades. As self-proclaimed devotees of the Declaration of Independence's call for "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness," for example, Reason's editors advocate marital rights for same-sex couples, decriminalization of drugs, reproductive autonomy for women, and similar manifestations of liberty. The magazine also decries intrusions into private life by the national security establishment since September 11th, 2001, and worries about anti-Muslim bias in America. All of this contrasts sharply with the hypocrisy of the Christian Right and other conservative elements that condemn "government interference" yet are only too glad to pass laws that institutionalize their biases.

Sometimes you just get over-committed to the joke

Act II: Sister Madly

Jewish Currents:

What Reason argues for under the rubric, "free markets," is a whole lot less tempting, however. Welch and Gillespie unveil their logic as follows:

A growing majority of us has responded to the stale theatrics of Republican and Democratic misgovernment by making a rational choice: We ignore politics…and instead pursue happiness. We fall in love, start a home business, make mash-ups for YouTube…bum around Europe for a year orthree…or trick out our El Caminos. Through these pursuits we eventually find…[that people] mostly left to their own devices and not empowered by the state to force others into servitude, will create riches far more meaningful and vast than the cramped business of tax-collecting, regulation-spewing, do-as-I-say-or-else governments.

True story: I failed my first driving test (on my 18th birthday!) in my libertarian stepdad's custom El Camino

Never mind the callow obliviousness to their own class privilege (Hey, guys: a bunch of Americans are living in their El Caminos): Welch and Gillespie have here revealed the central fallacy of their libertarianism. They see a smooth highway, "the pursuit of happiness," running between the private and the economic, between "free minds" and "free markets" — if only the government would stop erecting traffic signs and toll booths! But economic activity is never private. All aspects of wealth-creation are "social": from the natural resources we use (our shared inheritance), to the process of invention and innovation that sets in motion new products (dependent upon previous centuries of education, infrastructure and scientific advance), to the labor that manufactures, ships, harvests, bills, etc., right on through to the solutions we must now collectively seek to the blunt the global-warming impact of industry.

American Thinker:

For freedom is not merely a right; it is also a responsibility.  With the freedom from tyranny comes the duty to do good.  Were it otherwise, the Declaration of Independence might well eliminate the words "endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights" and substitute instead "permitted by their government to exercise certain negotiable rights."

Without acknowledging that human rights come from the Supreme Being, one concedes that all human rights are conditional upon the current structure of power, the particular fad of the moment.  Subjective rights are not rights at all, but merely temporary, revocable privileges.

To recognize that human rights come from God is to affirm that there is a God, and that His commandments are not subordinate to the whims of men, but instead are absolute and eternal. […]

It is vital then, to understand and embrace not only the written words of the Constitution itself, but also its underlying values.  Those indispensable words are but the edifice which rests upon an equally indispensable moral foundation.

I was thinking 'bout a padded cell

Dénouement: Mean to Me

Jewish Currents:

Taken to its logical conclusion, economic libertarianism leads to Social Darwinism, the doctrine that sees it as proper that the fortunate few who are endowed with talent, endurance and, above all, luck, should thrive at the top, while the rest of us fall by the wayside. Progressives want to cultivate a very different doctrine, one that believes human society to be capable of moving beyond the "survival of the fittest" to seek the greatest good for the greatest number — with democratic government as the tool for achieving that goal. This doctrine is just as deeply rooted in America's founding documents as hands-off libertarianism, since our Founding Fathers saw fit to mention in the preamble to the Constitution a governmental obligation "to promote the general welfare."

Political philosophy aside, what are the concrete results when economic libertarianism is implemented? The answer is simple: Look around! We are living through one of the least regulated, least taxed eras in modern history — and the results have been disastrous for the great majority of Americans.

Yeah, you're just saying that because THE GOVERNMENT IS MAKING YOU

American Thinker:

Forcing landlords to rent to unmarried couples, forcing professional photographers to accommodate homosexual weddings, and requiring pharmacists to supply abortifacient drugs are just a few examples that come quickly to mind.

In the near future, licensing of brothels, clean injection centers for drug addicts, and a requirement that grade schools teach homosexual propaganda will likely be enacted.  To varying degrees, they already have been.

Libertarian thought provides no reliable remedy to the social poisons that society is ingesting.  Its values may be those of freedom, but they are also the values of the golden calf.

Libertarianism has much to recommend it.  But a poison lurks within it, and only clear thinking can save us from that.

So there you have it: Freedom tastes great and all, but without God or enough government the brew will prove fatal.

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  1. “We are living through one of the least regulated, least taxed eras in modern history ? and the results have been disastrous for the great majority of Americans.”

    They have to be FUCKING kidding. Only and idiot would make the assertion that our era is among the “least regulated/taxed in modern history” — but then, they HAVE to make that assertion in order to follow with the assumed corollary that low regulation/taxation leads to “disaster” for the citizenry.

    Fuck progressives.

    1. Not necessarily idiots, just intellectual slackers.

      1. No they’re willfully ignorant.

        There’s no other way to explain trying the same old policies for the 47th time and expecting different results this time.

        1. It’s not the same policy because a black president and a female Speaker of the HOuse put it into being.

          You think I’m kidding, but I know a couple of leftists who would somewhat sincerely make that argument or something like it.

        2. “No they’re willfully ignorant.”

          Why can’t you just say that they are dishonest? Why are progressives always credited with high character and good intentions?

          1. I try to credit most people with good intentions.

            1. I am afraid that I am too weak of character to cut much slack to those who would take everything I have if they could.

    2. Didn’t you read your history books? Remember the 1890s with it’s 60-70% tax rates and the regulation! You couldn’t even move without signing a form!

      1. of course what do they mean by modern era? Past 5-10 years? 50?

        1. It doesnt matter. The pages of regulation grows EVERY year.

          1. I too wonder how one can call tens of thousands of pages of regulation “deregulated”.

            It isn’t stupidity. It’s much worse than that.

            1. Irrationality. Willing and knowingly adopted.

    3. I think they’re comparing it to the era from about 1946 to 1977, when tax rates were higher and the income gap was much smaller, and yet growth was greater. This is the meme put forth by people like Fareed Zakaria and Robert Reich. Here’s the most recent column on this by the latter:

      http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09…..d=fb-share

      1. The always forget that the state and local taxes were much lower during that time,federal regulations were 1/10th of what they are now. And that federal spending was lower than it is today with a larger amount gong to the military, meaning that federal meddling with the domestic economy was a fraction of what it is now.

        1. They also forget that capital flight was far simpler at the time. You could visit an office of Credit Suisse right in Manhattan, get a numbered account, and that was pretty much that.

          -jcr

      2. It might have helped that we started off with all of our international competitors obliterated by WW2 and needing to rebuild, and a populace that had been depriving themselves and saving for 15 years. The end of that period wasn’t terribly growth-oriented, either.

        Of course, regulation during that period was also much less strict in most areas.

        1. yes indeedy

        2. The post-WWII era is the only time I can think of where generally sustained economic growth didn’t end in a direct bust. Any think of anything else?

          1. the postbellum era.

          2. What’s your definition of “direct bust”?

            The 70s were the price we paid for the postwar era’s excesses.

      3. Their thinking is that we had 90% marginal tax rates in the ’50s, when the US was the only world power not destroyed or bankrupted by WWII, and unions were wonderfully large and powerful, so therefore if we bring back 90% tax rates, everything will be peachy again.

        1. Those 90% rates were fictitious in practice though, since deductions were much more generous back then. Hence the creation of the AMT.

          I wouldn’t put it past some leftists to advocate a 100% tax rate coupled with a 60% tax credit for complying with a laundry list of demands that would be unconstitutional to enact directly in law.

          1. Check out “B-Corporations.” At the moment, awaiting Jerry Brown’s signature in CA, is AB361, which will create a new type of “public benefit corporation.”

            http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/…..rolled.pdf

            The B-Corporation status is voluntary (it always is, at first) and entails assuming a greater reporting burden, along with a “public benefit” purpose (the pursuit of which will be tracked and certified by government-approved third parties). Reading through AB361, I saw a great many potentially expensive or even onerous obligations for B-Corporations, but no significant, compensatory benefits or privileges. Perhaps, merely establishing the class is the first step; later, much higher corporate taxes may be levied on all those greedy “profit-making” companies, and perhaps on any insufficiently pious “non-profits” as well. You may be able to get a break, however, if you “voluntarily adopt” B-Corporation status, which, as far as I can tell from reading the law, puts private business under significant political control.

            I’m sorry, but wasn’t using regulations and taxes to control business, while ostensibly leaving it in private hands, a hallmark of fascism?

        2. I think the key to a great boom like the 50’s is to have 20 years of depression and stagnation courtesy of stupid politics, so that there’s tons of pent-up technological advances to roll out. Not to mention a population that has lived on the edge of starvation and thus has developed a major work ethic.

          We’re on track for the 20-year depression part.

    4. The Code of Federal Regulations was up to 163,333 last time I checked.

      1. 163,333 pages, I meant to say.

    5. We are living through one of the least regulated, least taxed eras in modern history ? and the results have been disastrous for the great majority of Americans.

      Ummmmm…WHAT?

      1. There was a lemonade stand last week in Tallahassee that wasn’t raided by jackbooted, MP5-toting SWAT goons. We’re on the edge of becoming fucking SOMALIA!!!

        1. SWAT was probably sitting that one out at the behest of the PBA in retaliation for Rick Scott wanting to privatize the rest of Florida’s prisons.

    6. We are living through one of the least regulated, least taxed eras in modern history ? and the results have been disastrous for the great majority of Americans.

      This is a good discussion about “deregulation” under the Bush II presidency (http://www.heritage.org/research/reports/2008/03/red-tape-rising-regulatory-trends-in-the-bush-years). Fact is, as Reason has documented so well and so consistently, there hasn’t been serious microeconomic liberalization since deregulation since the Carter and Reagan administrations. When I hear the “deregulatory Bush” meme, I ask a straightforward question: name one significant instance of deregulation since 1997 (it is even arguable whether the repeal of Glass-Steagall was, on net, an example of deregulation). You won’t hear a peep. ‘Cos there wasn’t a one. When you tell people that there was more deregulation under Carter (with a bicameral Dem majority!) than under Bush I, Clinton and Bush II combined, they won’t believe you. But they won’t have facts to counter you with, either.

      As for lower taxes, this graph (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:U.S._Federal_Tax_Receipts_as_a_Percentage_of_GDP_1945?2015.jpg) is a pretty good start — 91% marginal rates notwithstanding, in 2008 federal tax receipts were higher than under Truman/Eisenhower/Kennedy — let alone state and local rates (which, as others have noted, are way higher now).

      Btw, Matt, Mega-points for the Crowded House theme (you can become an honourary NZer after all….)

      1. Have you heard that Nixon is making a comeback among “progressives.” Some are calling him the last liberal president.

    7. EVEN STEVE IS SPEECHLESS.

  2. Look around! We are living through one of the least regulated, least taxed eras in modern history ? and the results have been disastrous for the great majority of Americans.

    Where do people get this idea, anyway? As far as I can tell, they believe it because they ideologically think they’re supposed to.

    1. I look at it the other way around.

      They didn’t write that because they got it from somewhere–they wrote it so their sheep could get it from somewhere.

      1. Ding-ding-ding-ding-ding. We have a winner.

        Like every other variety of post-modern opinion leaders, Progressives just make shit up to fit their narrative.

        There is no truth; there are no facts; there is only the narrative.

        1. If you repeat a lie often enough it becomes the truth.
          -Joseph Goebbels

          1. 2 + 2 = 5

            Now, say that 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 times and it *has* to be true.

            1. “There are FOUR lights!” — Picard, his eyes Defiant

    2. They get this idea because they don’t run a business or have any understanding of just how regulated business is and they know nothing about history.

      1. I started a small business a couple of years ago, and the majority of my starting capital went towards meeting particular regulatory requirements, and then there is the fact that I cannot sell internationally because of various export rules and regulations that simply make it so that I cannot compete.

        And all I sell is fucking organic fertilizer.

        1. you sell shit?

    3. To be fair, the GOP Congress and Bush talked a ton about deregulation from 1994 onwards, despite not really doing much of it.

      1. An oral agreement is worth the paper it’s written on.

        RP and GJ deliver results.

      2. …the GOP Congress and Bush talked a ton about deregulation from 1994 onwards, despite not really doing much of it.

        Worst case scenario. The progressives (and a few conservatives) remember the talk, but none of the inaction. So the “Bush = dereg” myth can live on.

  3. “Progressives want to cultivate a very different doctrine, one that believes human society to be capable of moving beyond the “survival of the fittest” to seek the greatest good for the greatest number ? with democratic government as the tool for achieving that goal.”

    I think this pretty much has it right.

    The only problem is that this person seems to be completely oblivious to what happens to minorities under democratic governments–under the rouse of doing the greatest good for the greatest number.

    Libertarians, to the contrary, are all about standing up for the individual–the ultimate minority.

    Historically speaking, being a minority in this democratic country stinks! Democratic government-at best–hasn’t done much for minorities, and, at worst, doing the greatest good for the greatest number has made democratic government entirely hostile to minorities.

    It often leads to the scapegoating of minorities.

    And the Progressives have made a virtue of scapegoating the the ultimate minority. Oh, us individuals–we’re all so selfish, you know. The greatest number needs democratic government to save us from the individuals and their damn individual rights–don’t you know?

    Want to do the greatest good for the greatest number? Do everything you can to protect individual rights from those who would save us from ourselves through democratic government.

    1. “Want to do the greatest good for the greatest number? Do everything you can to protect individual rights from those who would save us from ourselves through democratic government.”

      But that’s the problem, Ken — in the minds of “progressives,” individuals aren’t smart enough to do the right things that will lead to some wispy, Utopian vision of “the greatest good for the greatest number,” so enclaves of governmental Philosopher Kings must be in charge to ensure that the plebes do what they should.

      1. I don’t think it’s just about them thinking we’re not smart enough–there’s a fundamental hostility to individual rights at the heart of Progressive ideology.

        The greatest good for the greatest number is fundamentally opposed to the idea that individuals have rights–even if individual rights mean bad things for the greatest number.

        Progressive ideology cannot escape its hostility to individual rights–that’s basically its most essential definition. They cannot be for the greatest good for the greatest number–and not be in favor of violating the rights of the ultimate minority–if they think doing so would lead to the greatest good for everyone else.

        The Progressives may think the masses too idiotic to fend for themselves, but open hostility to individual rights isn’t just something they think. It’s who the Progressives are.

        1. Greatest good is to liquidate the Joos

          1. Communism is the same idea taken to an extreme–individual rights should be sacrificed for the greater good–just applied to property rights more so than civil rights.

            Fascism is the same idea taken to an extreme–that the individual rights of the minority should be sacrificed for the greater good. …the holocaust just took that extreme idea further than anyone had before.

            This is why Progressives are reflexively compared to fascists and communists! I’m not saying the people we saw carrying such signs to Tea Party rallies a year ago understood it in those terms exactly–but Obama and the Progressives’ permanent insistence that individuals rights should be sacrificed for the greater good?

            That’s what they have in common with the fascists and the communists…

            The holocaust, of course, was NOT for the greater good–but the fascists thought it was when they perpetrated it. …and that was their justification–all for the greater good.

            There’s one other thing they all have in common too–a willingness to use the power of government to coerce people.

          2. Only one reference to the Joos? I’m disappointed in the Hit&Run; Commentariat.

        2. The heyday of the Progressives also turned out to be the heyday of “scientific management.” I read a thought-provoking article in The Freeman the other day, which purports to show that the early Progressives were much more in league with the bosses, drovers, and elite experts, than with the common people. Check it out: http://www.thefreemanonline.or…..y-experts/

      2. The greatest good to the greatest number is achieved by freeing people from the tit of the state.

        1. This certainly bears repeating.

      3. The greatest good to the greatest number is achieved by freeing people from the tit of the state.

      4. Not philosopher kings, just Top Men?.

  4. Libertarian thought provides no reliable remedy to the social poisons that society is ingesting. Its values may be those of freedom, but they are also the values of the golden calf.

    ahhhhh the Gey!

    1. Hmm. Well, there you have it. “Conservative” nanny-statism at its most basic.

      1. “Libertarian thought provides no reliable remedy to the social poisons that society is ingesting. Its values may be those of freedom, but they are also the values of the golden calf.”

        It is remarkable how much social conservatives and progressives have in common.

        They both want to use the state to address social issues–they just disagree about which issues are “problems”.

        A pox on both their houses!

        1. “It is remarkable how much social conservatives and progressives have in common.”

          Forcing landlords to rent to unmarried couples,

          Government coercion.

          forcing professional photographers to accommodate homosexual weddings,

          Government coercion.

          and requiring pharmacists to supply abortifacient drugs

          Government coercion.

          a requirement that grade schools teach homosexual propaganda

          Government coercion, although complicated by the whole question of why the government is involved in education in the first place.

          There are certainly examples of socons wanting to use the power of government to defend or impose their values, but this American Thinker quote isn’t a very good one. Naturally, MW doesn’t point out that socons are mostly reactionary and that soclibs use the power of government to promote their values all the time. It all depends on whose sacred beast is getting stabbied.

        2. no reliable remedy

          And government is a reliable remedy? Fuck that noise. I also hated this…

          “Taken to its logical conclusion, economic libertarianism leads to Social Darwinism”

          Economic libertarianism also means you’re free to save up your money and do god’s good works on earth through charity. Or service, if you don’t got the dough.

        3. Very True!

    2. Look, it’s very simple. Freedom is my right to do what I want to do, as well as my right to go over and beat the shit out of somebody for behaving differently. Oh, and I can take their money if I really need it.

      1. So are you a troll, a progressive or a conservative?

        1. “Look, it’s very simple. Freedom is my right to do what I want to do, as well as my right to go over and beat the shit out of somebody for behaving differently. Oh, and I can take their money if I really need it.”

          I don’t know which one he is, but it’s a common Progressive misconception–equating armed robbers with the police who arrest them.

          Armed robbery is violating someone’s individual rights.

          Arresting someone for armed robbery is protecting someone’s individual rights.

          Progressives call both of those things “coercion”–they can’t see the difference between them.

          But arresting someone for armed robbery is not the same thing as armed robbery. No matter what Progressives say to the contrary.

          1. What about arresting somebody for not paying their taxes?

            1. “What about arresting somebody for not paying their taxes?”

              There’s no question the government can perpetrate crimes against its own people.

              …and if people become accustomed to being so victimized, that doesn’t make it any less of a crime.

              I’d argue that coercive income taxes are criminal–having earned money is certainly no justification for taking it from me by force.

              Sales taxes I feel a lot better about. A lot of people wouldn’t pay the sales tax unless it was mandatory, but we pay sales taxes more or less voluntarily by comparison. We figure the cost of the tax into the price of the purchase, and we decide whether to pay the tax or not.

              But if I were sitting on a jury for someone who didn’t pay their income tax? If the government were going after the defendant for perjury related to not paying income taxes, they might get my vote. But if it’s just for not paying protection money income taxes?

              There’s this thing called “jury nullification” I’ve heard about, and…

              The government should collect taxes in as voluntary a way as possible, and it should limit itself to only spending what it can finance from relatively voluntary forms of taxation. People do pay taxes in relatively voluntary ways, like sales taxes, to the tune of billions–just like they willingly volunteer for military service.

              I don’t think I could bring myself to convict someone for draft dodging either.

    3. “ahhhhh the Gey!”

      Yep, it’s always all about the gays, isn’t it? No other issues or concerns are ever involved.

  5. tan deprimente las supersticiones de los serviles

  6. And how is 100% of political power going to whoever got 51% of the votes of whoever showed up on election day not “survival of the fittest”? Multiple businesses can survive, only two parties can.

    1. it’s not even that – 51%

      see, for example, clinton’s first election (hint: the perot factor)

      realizing that the percentage would still only apply to electoral college votes, but that’s another issue

    2. “Multiple businesses can survive, only two parties can.”

      Australia would like a word with you…

      1. Having the greens running the nation having just 13% of the vote is hardly a recommendation for government over business

      2. They don’t have a first-past the post democracy do they? I thought they were still allocating in a more traditional English parlimentary system. There was a huge discussion of this when England? Scotland? discussed reforming their system to FPTP representative districts. American style rules tend to two parties because the cost/benefit of defection is so poor. If you have two 34% parties and you form a third made up of everyone else, guess what? The two 34% parties still hold every office between them. IRL, if you have two parties that each have 40%+ of all voters, defection only guarantees the defeat of the people most satisfactory to you. As a friend pointed out to me, if everyone in Alachua county FL who voted for Nader had voted for Gore (their probable second choice), Gore wins by 300 votes. So apparently I have the UF faculty and students to thank for GWB over AlGore.

  7. Meh. I’m starting to believe there’s no bad publicity.

    1. You’re absolutely correct that all of this criticism of libertarianism by left and right opinion leaders is a very good development. Even if they misrepresent libertarianism.

      For decades now both left and right were content to ignore libertarianism. Now both consider the idea of libertarianism consequential enough to disparage it.

      1. While Ron Paul may never achieve the presidency, he’s revolutionized American thinking which is more than any Democrat or Republican has accomplished.

        1. “Ron Paul … ‘s revolutionized American thinking which is more than any Democrat or Republican has accomplished.”

          That’s just silly, unless you mean any currently active Ds or Rs.

      2. “both consider the idea of libertarianism consequential enough to disparage it.”

        Bingo! That’s the half full glass.

        1. First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

          1. and the little brown guy in the diaper scores a win!

            1. he always does

  8. Hey, guys: a bunch of Americans are living in their El Caminos…

    I guess I need to read this book. Apparently Gillespie and Welch failed to effectively draw a connection between statist policies and economic woes. People aren’t living in their El Camino because there weren’t enough laws on the books. (They’re not living in it because there’s no room.)

    True story: I took my first and only driver’s test at 16 in a 1971 Super Beetle. I miss that thing.

    1. considering the last El Camino was made in ’88, I wouldn’t consider it a popular sleeping car.

      1. As far as sleeping cars go, the El Camino has enough room in the back for a full size mattress. If anybody is spending much time in the back of one of those, I would hope they aren’t sleeping.

        And damn, those are some high-rise shorts that chick is wearing. (No, not Maddow and her minority^3 lover, the one by the car.)

        1. I think high-rise shorts should be mandated for certain uh, females… and that’s one government regulation I will stand behind. *snicker*

          1. You’ll have a lot of company standing there and lots of people maneuvering for your vantage point 🙂

  9. There is nothing more horrific to me than the Bentham-style “greatest good” utilitarianism.

    1. C’mon, man, that’s just selfish. Think of all the people who could be kept alive if you were offed and your internal organs spread around to multiple people. Surely you wouldn’t deny, say, four people their lives just so you could keep your one life.

    2. Studies show 9 out of 10 people enjoy a good gang-rape.

      1. I was going to post something referencing Philippa Foot’s “Trolley Problem” but you’ve summarized Utilitarianism far better than some scenario of throwing a fat man in front of a runaway train.

        A more relevant example might be to say that 9 out of 10 people prefer an Ikea where your house happens to be. So lie back and think of America.

        1. You’re talking about act utilitarianism.

          A rule utilitarian would pose the question as, how many of those 10 people would want IKEA to be able to take their own house away.

          1. Studies show that 9 out of 10 rule utilitarian masochists prefer to be beaten. Prepare to take it like a man.

            Seems like it sucks to be in the minority in Utilitarianville.

    3. Every moral philosophy has issues with arbitrariness. Natural rights philosophy has the same problems, and also has difficulties being applied to situations where alleged rights come in conflict.

      I do agree that Bentham’s definition is especially vague, since it’s not clear what the criteria for goodness are in the first place and it’s not clear how much emphasis to give the “greatest good” part vs. the “greatest number” part. These ambiguities lead to the split between “act utilitarians” who evaluate the utility of each individual act, and “rule utilitarians” who evaluate the utility of rules by which acts will be chosen. Of course the Jewish Monthly editors expploit the hell out of this vagueness by asserting that that’s what leftism is seeking, and it’s abuses like this that give utilitarianism a bad name.

      As a rule utilitarian, the hierarchy of goods are (1) stability, (2) prosperity, (3) equality.

      1. Really? Stability? That’s your top priority? I can’t even begin to imagine the list of atrocities that could be justified with stability as the moral factor with the most weight.

        1. We agree! Political stability is way overrated!

          May we interest you in a basketful of heads?

          1. Non! The status quo must be maintained regardless of how evil the establishment might be. The alternative can only be worse.

        2. I should be more specific about the terms. I don’t mean the PRC definition of stability, ie that no one ever questions the govt or tries to change anything. Stability to me means that the legal environment you’re living in doesn’t change significantly from day to day, so that you can plan ahead for things.

          Of course, there are plenty of atrocities that could be (and historically have been) justified by appealing to prosperity and equality too. Any ear-tickling principle can be taken to hideous extremes.

          1. Stability to me means that the legal environment you’re living in doesn’t change significantly from day to day, so that you can plan ahead for things.

            True for the PRC, too.

            1. Not so sure about that. The CCP can change laws at a moment’s notice.

  10. If you see life as a zero-sum game, democratic control of economic activity makes more sense. But economic activity in a relatively free market is a positive-sum game. I wish the progressives would better appreciate this point.

    1. but im not sure that is even that important to a progressive. They are generally less interested in the absolute improvement in one’s life ad mroe interested in the equality or more generally the “fairness” of it.

      They would preffer everyone to be poorer, but make similar incomes, then have everyone be richer but with wider disparity.

      1. I’ve seen that aspect too, but if you can get across the positive-sum point about markets, the beggar-thy-neighbor philosophy is a weak fall-back position for progressives.

    2. The problem is, there are still losers in a positive sum game. In the (imaginary) system where everyone is equal, no one will lose as badly as the worst losers lose in the free market.

      1. Depends on how long a game you are looking at. A mere 1 percent difference in annual per capita growth translates to a factor of 2 in per capita income in 70 years, a factor of 8 in 2 centuries. The biggest losers are in the collectivist system, but you don’t see them right now. They are the future generations.

        1. This is a great point that needs to be mentioned again and again.

      2. In the (imaginary) system where everyone is equal

        In such an imaginary system, there is no such thing as free trade, because free trade can only exist when two individuals have differing preference schedules for goods.

        1. Equality != identity

  11. The following paragraph is in the *American Thinker* article, showing that the “socons” at that magazine don’t necessarily want the government to ban everything they dislike.

    “To be sure, there is much room for debate as to which social conservative values should be enshrined into written law and which should not. It is wisely said that morality cannot be legislated; to this effect, for example, the religious foundations of the Constitution must never be twisted so as to institute a state religion. But neither must those foundations be undermined with imported values that contradict the Constitution.”

    Making a brief glance at recent articles, I didn’t find anything about caning fornicators or stoning gays. I *did* find an article denouncing red-light cameras:

    http://www.americanthinker.com…..bbery.html

    1. Red light cameras don’t ban anything or coerce anyone in any way, so I’m not sure where you’re going with that.

      If you want to argue against traffic control laws, make that argument.

      1. Reason also criticizes “red light cameras,” a term which self-evidently refers to the mistreatment of motorists through these cameras:

        https://reason.com/blog/2010/07…..n-red-ligh

        If you don’t like the use of the phrase “red light cameras,” make that argument. *My* argument is that the American Thinker has taken up at least one cause which Reason deems “libertarian.”

        1. When I hear someone talking about self-evident things, I always check for my wallet.

          Reason’s obsession with RLCs is one of their less libertarian facets, so the fact that AT is also obsessed with it doesn’t say much. Not that I think it’s anti-libertarian to oppose RLCs, but it’s not really an issue of coercion once you accept that traffic control devices must be obeyed under penalty of law.

          1. I’m be happy to grant your point for the sake of this discussion, since my main issue is that AT and Reason agree with each other on the red light camera. If they’re wrong they’re wrong, but my point remains that Reason should take a look at points of commonality between itself and socons like the ones at American Thinker.

            Peace,
            EVH

            1. Reason and Am. Thinker make the argument that red-light cameras are associated with *unfair trials* – they’re not claiming it should be legal to run red lights!

              Are the red-light cameras, in fact, unfair? Like I said, I’ll assume they’re fair, but if Reason and AT says otherwise, it’s because they’re misinterpreting the evidence, not because they’re going outside of proper libertarian concerns.

  12. Gillespie and Welch say to the social conservatives: “Come on board”.

    Reasonable conservatives recognize that libertarianism is more socially liberal, and for many, “liberty” is defined more broadly (as in say, California) to include many activities religion shuns (hence the American Thinker piece).

    Social conservatives also recognize that some moral obligation and personal responsibility necessary for liberty is bound up in the rituals and doctrines of the church, and through revelation and belief (though it doesn’t follow religion equals wealth nor wealth creation).

    Libertarianism is big in California so a question for Nick and Matt:

    Are you just libertarians out of necessity (meaning you already have had to compromise with the progs because they live next door and run Hollywood and most of LA and Frisco?)

    If so, you guys are losing: California’s economy is a mess, and while I appreciate the fight, it’s an uphill battle. I don’t know how you fit recently arrived immigrants (often very Catholic), gays and lesbians, vegans, unions, flakes, actors, children raised on green-ism and moral relativism only into the habits necessary for a balanced budget and growing economy.

    Maybe it’s possible…but it’s not looking good.

    Libertarianism rises during liberal administrations, and many conservatives will throw you away once you’ve done your part against progressives and commies/materialists/equalitists/some utilitarians/secular religionists/Statists and all manner of union-growing, quota building, economy regulating idealists.

    1. Being from California, I can tell you that I don’t compromise with progs on anything.

      My stand on gay marriage is what it is because I don’t see it as the government’s job to say who grown ups can and can’t marry. I have a hard time saying that the government helping itself to my income–just because I earned it–is wrong, out of one side of my moth, and then turning around and saying that the government should decide who should and shouldn’t be allowed to get married.

      “I don’t know how you fit recently arrived immigrants (often very Catholic), gays and lesbians, vegans, unions, flakes, actors, children raised on green-ism and moral relativism only into the habits necessary for a balanced budget and growing economy.”

      All those people you mention have always been here. There’s nothing new under the sun. If the economy was great at any time in history before, it was great despite LGBT, unions and recently arrived immigrants too.

      In fact, if there’s anything holding free market ideas back in California, it’s the association conservatives have lent to the idea of free-markets–coupled with their hostility to things like LGBT and immigrants.

      If anything is a lost cause in California, it’s cultural conservatism. Anyone who wants to promote free-markets in California would do well not to accidentally step in any cultural conservatism and scrape any of it out of their shoes if they do.

      1. “If anything is a lost cause in California, it’s cultural conservatism. Anyone who wants to promote free-markets in California would do well not to accidentally step in any cultural conservatism and scrape any of it out of their shoes if they do.”

        The governing classes in Calif, and, indeed, a large number of voters, oppose *both* cultural conservatism and economic liberalism – which they equate.

        Meanwhile, the actual voters will sometimes (not always) support free markets *and* cultural conservatism.

        Examples: The infamous Prop 13 (which still gives economic progressives apoplexy), the rejection of the establishment-endorsed tax package, and the “socially conservative” initiatives to cut of aid to illegal immigrants, prohibit most racial preferences, and define marriage as the union of 1 man and 1 woman.

        Given this record by the voters, I wouldn’t assume that they are *solely* to blame for California’s social and economic progresssivism – the gerrymandered legislature has also contributed.

        The Calif. establishment clearly fears the voters, as shown by the criticism and regulation of the initiative process and the grumbling about bigoted and stupid voters.

        1. And I almost forgot the amendment to encourage English immersion in the public schools rather than “bilinguailsm.” Another “culturally-conservative” policy approved by the voters.

          1. Some of the more socially conservative impulses we’ve seen in California, I think, are more a function of immigration–than the traditional Orange County, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon old-school home of California conservatism.

            In other words, the immigrants liberals heralded as the antidote to the old conservatism are in many ways more socially conservative now than the old conservative base.

            North County San Diego voters and voters in Orange County are probably more tolerant of LGBT rights, for instance, than newly arrived immigrants are. And I think we could go down the list on a number of issues like that.

            And now, listening to people from up in NorCal talk about minorities after the initiatives kept shooting gay marriage down–they sounded a lot like Archie Bunker.

            Maybe a gay Archie Bunker, but Archie Bunker anyway.

            1. “In other words, the immigrants liberals heralded as the antidote to the old conservatism are in many ways more socially conservative now than the old conservative base.”

              The point was that the newly arrived immigrant, social conservatives are extremely hostile to old school conservatism because they associate it with being anti-immigrant.

              Free market libertarians are often guilty by association in their minds. It’s a freakin’ travesty what social conservatism has done to common sense economic policy in California.

              1. “the newly arrived immigrant, social conservatives are extremely hostile to old school conservatism because they associate it with being anti-immigrant.”

                There is that and the fact that latinos come from countries in which the only way to get ahead is to be involved with the government somehow coupled with the general temptation of supporting anyone who promises to give you something for nothing.

                1. Sure, but not everyone in the Latin countries agrees with this set-up. We shouldn’t assume that immigrants from these countries do, since if they obviously liked everything about their native lands, they wouldn’t be here.

                  1. “California’s black and Latino voters, who turned out in droves for Barack Obama, also provided key support in favor of the state’s same-sex marriage ban. Seven in 10 black voters backed a successful ballot measure to overturn the California Supreme Court’s May decision allowing same-sex marriage, according to exit polls for The Associated Press.

                    More than half of Latino voters supported Proposition 8, while whites were split.”

                    —-November 5, 2008 LA Times

                    http://latimesblogs.latimes.co…..can-a.html

                  2. “Sure, but not everyone in the Latin countries agrees with this set-up. We shouldn’t assume that immigrants from these countries do”

                    I agree, but habits of thought are difficult to break and, if you grew up in a country in which everything flowed through the government, it would be hard to not think that way even if you recognized its shortcomings.

      2. “If anything is a lost cause in California, it’s cultural conservatism.”

        Then why is the Progressive idea so popular in CA? It’s just as conservative, but in a different way. E.g., WOD, dietary restrictions, anti-smoking edicts, DWI limits defined by teetotalers, political correctness, warmongering when their guys are in power, etc., etc.

      3. “There’s nothing new under the sun.”

        True.

        “If the economy was great at any time in history before, it was great despite LGBT,”

        LGBT influence was never anywhere near as strong before.

        “unions”

        Public sector unions have never before been as strong as they are now.

        “and recently arrived immigrants too.”

        Previous generations of immigrants were expected, as a matter of course, to assimilate. There is a big effort to discourage assimilation now.

        1. “LGBT influence was never anywhere near as strong before”

          Influence on what? Are they forcing people to be gay? Or are they just seeking to be left alone to marry, fuck or parade with whoever they want, like everyone else?

          1. “Influence on what?”

            Influence on policy, culture and the law. In case you haven’t noticed, the expansion of marriage to include same-sex couples has occurred in a couple of states, there have been many court decisions favoring gay-friendly policies, the entertainment industry has been promoting gay themes and characters openly and CA is now requiring public schools to teach “gay history”, which, if the teaching of ethnic histories is any guide, will be little more than the promotion of positive examples of gays and the omission of negative examples. Anyone who speaks publicly against the political goals of gays is automatically targeted, smeared, put on the defensive and an effort is made to wreck their careers. Transexuals are being touted as victims instead of freaks as they were not so long ago. BHO has changed by EO the policy on gays serving openly in the military against the wishes of the military, yet there has been little or no public opposition to the change.

            I really didn’t think my statement was controversial.

              1. Not trying to entertain you heller, just pointing out to Pro. C. something which should have been obvious, but apparently wasn’t.

            1. well sometimes TSs are victims – up until recently there was generally a medical policy to reassign boy babies with really small penises at birth as “women”, do the requisite surgery, etc.

              1. reassign boy babies with really small penises at birth as “women”

                Is that really true? I’ve never heard of that. Sports car manufacturers must have been really mad about that.

          2. “are they just seeking to be left alone”

            No.

            1. well let’s be fair, the libertarian lesbians and gays (all 2 of them) are. It’s the liberals in the community that are trying to force other people to recognize them with the power of the state.

              1. Yonemoto’s got it right.

              2. Longtime lurker dropping by to condemn you for your egregious underestimation of the number of gay libertarians. There are 5 of us, not 2 as you say.

    2. recently arrived immigrants (often very Catholic), gays and lesbians, vegans, unions, flakes, actors, children raised on green-ism and moral relativism

      Some people in all these groups might dig libertarianism. I won’t kid myself about most, but some.

    3. Gillespie and Welch say to the social conservatives: “Hello, sailor!”.

    4. My personal life is pretty strongly leaning to the socially conservative style. And yet I have no problem with libertarianism (and see it superior to the politics of so-called so cons).

      1. Yeah, but there is the problem that some issues libertarians don’t agree on, and Reason suspiciously comes down on the side of the left on all of them. Basically they break down into three categories:

        1. Disagreement over definition of terms and degrees of rights for non-adult-humans: eg abortion, animal cruelty, statutory rape

        2. Issues that involve activity outside this govt’s jurisdiction: wars, immigration

        3. Issues regarding noncoercive govt activity such as providing documents and employment: gay marriage, rights of govt employees

        Outside of those three categories, I don’t think any social conservative libertarians should have an issue with Reason.

        1. I fail to recall any time where Reason has come down against animal cruelty. Reason is consistently against any restrictions on cockfighting, dogfighting, veal or pate.

          1. True. That’s one issue on which they’re not aligned with the left. Oddly, it’s one on which I’m somewhat aligned with the left as I don’t view animals as absolute chattel property as many libertarians do.

            1. They also tend to take a conservative view of the medical establishment, coming to the side of the AMA against alternative medicine.

              1. Also, there are two other issues where they sound more right than left. While they sensibly argue for more choice in schools, they also back up some of these arguments by citing national test scores – tests that dubiously test students on their abilities and/or what they’ve been learning as well as useful knowledge.
                They also take the establishment’s view on intellectual property rights in regards to GM foods, having no problem with corporations gaining monopoly control over genetic information.

  13. Euro banks are sliding to 29 month lows
    http://uk.finance.yahoo.com/ne…..3.html?x=0

    Tomorrow will be interesting for the US markets.

  14. Wow, 25 comments and nothing antisemitic.

    1. FUCK OFF JEW SLAVERS!

      /thought Id help you out

  15. FUCK OFF, SLAVERS!

    FUCK UTILITARIANISM!

    COASE COASE COASE COASE COASE…

    Apply as necessary, Im sure the last one applies somewhere in there.

  16. Forcing landlords to rent to unmarried couples, forcing professional photographers to accommodate homosexual weddings, and requiring pharmacists to supply abortifacient drugs are just a few examples that come quickly to mind.

    Anyone who believes in those things is a liberal not a libertarian. That is a slander of the worst sort.

    1. I was right there. Apparently they failed to notice the criticism of, for example, Rand Paul in his election.

      1. Yeah. I thought Libertarians were evil because they wanted to get rid of the civil rights act. And now they are evil because they want to create one for gays? Which is it?

        1. My grandmother once refused to rent a house to a couple…

          Once she realized what was going on, she met them–and brought a bible! And she explained to them that she couldn’t rent to them without participating in their…

          And she showed them why she felt that way from the bible.

          I remember reading something once about how individuals have rights against “establishment” and a right to “free exercise”. She was 88 at the time, and that was probably 15 years ago. My grandfather was a minister, and she’d been a missionary. She knew her bible like the back of her hand, and she might have rather gone to jail than…

          Nobody said respecting people’s individual rights was gonna be easy. Any law that requires 88 year old missionaries to violate their religious convictions? Needs to be reconsidered.

    2. I’ve seen some libertarians argue that so long as pharmacists benefit from licensing laws (which libertarians oppose), it’s OK for govt to restrict their discretion in providing services.

      Oddly, the analogous argument on the illegal immigration issue is usually classified as racist.

      1. So you’re saying both cases of restriction are wrong for the same reason? Glad to see you agree with me Tulpa.

        1. Not really, just playing pin-the-tail-on-the-hypocrite.

          1. The hypocrite you made up. Mmmkay Tulpa…

    1. Damn, Aqua, you could almost hear them swearing between swigs of Diet Coke.

  17. But economic activity is never private. All aspects of wealth-creation are “social”: from the natural resources we use (our shared inheritance), to the process of invention and innovation that sets in motion new products (dependent upon previous centuries of education, infrastructure and scientific advance), to the labor that manufactures, ships, harvests, bills, etc., right on through to the solutions we must now collectively seek to the blunt the global-warming impact of industry.

    And of course, “social” = society = the state. Yep, nothing elided there.

    1. BASTIAT BASTIAT BASTIAT … eh, doesnt work, nevermind.

    2. Every sentence of that quote is complete nonsense. No one owns natural resources? That will come as a hell of a surprise to people who own things like timber rights and mineral rights. So since I might build on someone else’s work in an invention, my invention is community owned? And is there anything more “private” than labor management relations? That is full on stupid.

      1. “That will come as a hell of a surprise to people who own things like timber rights and mineral rights.”

        I’d throw in water rights.

        Oh, and do they think homeowners don’t own the land their homes are built on? Because that would come as a hell of a surprise to an awful lot of homeowners.

        1. Of course not.

          Doesn’t their obsession with prop 13 prove that.

        2. Careful, Ken… you’ll wake up White Injun with crazy talk like that.

        3. “Oh, and do they think homeowners don’t own the land their homes are built on?”

          If you don’t pay your rent (property taxes), you will be thrown off of that rental property that you may say you own. If you want to own your own home, live on a dirigible.

          1. If we lived in dirigibles, the FAA would use the Commerce Clause to regulate THAT, too.

            1. Doh! Foiled again.

              1. The open ocean is still free, but . . .

          2. I would love to live in a dirigible and empty the onboard septic facilities as we passed over Washington DC every so often. Turnabout is fair play, after all.

            1. If you ever do, aim for the limos with the open sunroofs.

      2. No one owns natural resources? That will come as a hell of a surprise to people who own things like timber rights and mineral rights.

        You’ve obviously never talked to a PA Democrat about Marcellus Shale drilling.

    3. What else facilitates society? There have to be some things that are universally agreed upon. Like law. What makes that possible?

    4. But social activity is never private. All aspects of social behavior are “social”: from the natural resources we consume so we can survive to socially interact (our shared inheritance), to the process of fornication and childbirth that sets in motion new people to join society (dependent upon previous centuries of ethnic cleansing, eugenics, and racial segregation), to the sexual release that gets people off so they don’t instead become rapists and terrorists, right on through to the solutions we must now collectively seek to the blunt the population growth’s impact on the environment.

  18. Gosh, libertarianism must be The Worst Threat to Mankind, given this recent spate of bullshit doomsayings from Team Red and Team Blue mouthpiece outlets…

    1. Its the most encouraging thing that has happened in my 15+ years as a libertarian.

      1. That’s a good point. I’ve considered myself a libertarian for maybe 14 years, and I’ve never been so encouraged.

        1. Oh, I agree… it’s just a fucking shame the Teams are lying through their teeth while they’re at it.

          1. Them lying through their teeth is nothing new, it’s just that the subject has changed.

    2. Libertarians are the Jews of the 21st century.

      1. Now you’re talking!

        1. Don’t give ’em any ideas.

          1. I guess New Hampshire is our Israel.

          2. What do you think the FEMA camps are for? And why do they want to build more trains?

            1. And why do they sometimes call them “bullet trains”?

      2. Thank Christ there aren’t 6 million of us for the modern-day statists to gas to death.*

        *Of course, Krugnuts may see the opportunity for economic growth in the oven and rail spur industries that would accompany extermination of libertarians.

    3. On economic policy name a single difference between you and the GOP.

      1. The last Republican president racked up 6 trillion in additional debt? And increased federal spending dramatically? Do those count?

        1. You can’t have your massive tax cuts and a balanced budget too.

          1. Yes, you can… you just don’t like the other massive cuts that go along with it, though a few cents on the dollar is only “massive” to liberals.

            1. Fine, when people elect a Congress on the explicit grounds of abolishing safety net programs in favor of low taxes on the rich, we can talk. Deliberately forcing the crisis seems… undemocratic.

              1. *yawn*

                How many hours a day do you obsess over how much money people have, Tony?

      2. The GOP wants to keep Social Security and Medicare going.

        1. Not according to recent legislation they all voted for. You might as well face it, the GOP has appropriated your theories. Not that you’ll ever take credit, especially when they inevitably fail.

        2. If we had a libertarian president and a libertarian congress what would they do about social security and medicare? Just drop it? That would hardly seem fair to all those people who have paid into it. And it would cause massive suffering as well as unrest as people wouldn’t take kindly to just having their minimal needs just ripped out from under them.

          1. Twice the LP candidate for President, Harry Browne wanted to keep promises made to those who were or soon would be dependent on SS and Medicare. His solution was to sell government assets (land, real estate, etc.) to keep faith with those who had paid into the system their whole lives, while at the same time detaching younger citizens from the system entirely — no more payment in, but never any benefits paid out, either.

            Give me a few acres of the Los Padres national forest, near the California Coast, reachable by an access road, and I’ll gladly let Uncle Sam off the hook for any SS or Medicare benefits I might otherwise have expected. That’s my bottom line. Maybe it’s an unrealizable fantasy, but it’s a REASONABLE and FAIR one.

            1. That’s one idea, from one libertarian. Was the math ever done on that? Also, “soon to be retired?” Would that be 64, 60, 55? I can’t see people over 40, maybe even 35, who wouldn’t be in the “soon” to be retired category, and who’ve been paying into it since they were 18, accepting that they’d suddenly have no benefits.

              1. Browne wasn’t the first one to come up with that plan; it had been bandied about in pin-dancing-angel circles for some time. It would have involved giving people a declining amount of benefits the further away from retirement they were. for example, if you were already 60 you would get 100% of benefits, 50-59 would get 75%, 45-49 would get 50%, 40-44 would get 25%, and everyone younger would get zilch (the latter being likely to happen no matter what if we continue to ignore the problem). Obviously the devil’s in the details, since it’s not like Social Security has money laying around to finance these buyouts; I can’t see forcing 30-year-olds to continue paying into SS after they’ve been definitively told they won’t receive benefits.

                But hey, let me know what the liberal/moderate/conservative plan for solving all the problems with Social Security is. Since you guys are always lecturing us about not being serious, you must have put some thought into this obvious problem.

                1. “Since you guys are always lecturing us about not being serious, you must have put some thought into this obvious problem.”

                  I’m not a straightforward liberal. I agree with libertarians on about 75 percent of issues. But to save the system I would suggest two measures: no one should receive benefits until they are 71 or 72. Then benefits would be given out only to people with incomes somewhere above 300,000 (yes, the devils in the details – maybe it should be 500,000, I’m not sure, or higher).

                  So, is the libertarian plan only a buyout?

            2. Those young people will grow old too. Then what? You’ve got yours (maybe), fuck them?

            3. Another necessary idea is to give up the ghost about it being a “retirement plan”. It’s a fucking welfare plan, and it should only go to those who can’t get by without. Start means testing…

              1. Means testing won’t save any money, and the only thing it accomplishes is turning social insurance into charity. Why do you prefer that? Easier to kill it off later once you’re done demonizing the poor?

                1. Why wouldn’t means testing save money? Also, a start wouldn’t necessarily have to be on just the poor. Means testing might mean the cut off point would be for incomes over 500,000 dollars. That would save a lot of money.

                  Also, we could move up the age for receiving benefits to somewhere between 68 and 72. Both of these measures would save a ton of money.

                  1. Yes, Tony. BP is entirely right and my generation is filled with people that don’t expect to collect social security anyway.

                2. It’s already charity. It’s absoultely positively not an insurance plan or an investment; govt takes money from workers and hands it to retirees.

    1. The funny thing is, I doubt that’s why anyone would vote against Paul as opposed to “He’s old, says weird things about US currency and would legalize teH DRuG5!!!”

      But yeah, point out that he’s opposed to some things that he would never even come close to being able to change.

      1. First, medical science — as opposed to Paul’s anecdotal “evidence” — proves that abortions are sometimes necessary to protect the life of the mother. Second, Paul’s statement also contradicts the constitutional test articulated by the Supreme Court in Roe v. Wade and many subsequent decisions. According to established Court doctrine, states generally must make abortion available to protect the life and health of the mother. Even if Paul never witnessed a scenario where a woman needed a life-saving abortion, it is not difficult to imagine a situation where a woman needed an abortion to preserve her health.

        DERP TEH SZIENCE! is not an answer. It’s an appeal to authority. And the Supreme Court is batting .1000 throughout the history of its existence, isn’t that right, Fuller Court?

    2. That’s Darren Hutchinson, not Radley Balko.

      I would think we’d be happy that HuffPost was moving toward less of a hive-mind, but alas.

  19. Since we got something fucking stupid from Jews, let’s have something cool from Jews.

  20. The American Thinker also traffics in junk climate science for lunkheads, young earth paleontology for neocons, relativity denial by Arisitotelian die hards and Anne Coulter’s Darwin bashing.

    They are also down on modern artists, like that fellow Giotto.

    1. Like.

  21. I just love it that libertarians are considered the greatest threat to society by the two groups that have driven society off a cliff.

    1. They were blinded by our monocles. That’s the only reason, not their Toonces-like driving skills.

  22. They see a smooth highway, “the pursuit of happiness,” running between the private and the economic, between “free minds” and “free markets” ? if only the government would stop erecting traffic signs and toll booths!

    Really, do they not know the rules about arguing ROADZ!!?

  23. Without acknowledging that human rights come from the Supreme Being, one concedes that all human rights are conditional upon the current structure of power, the particular fad of the moment.

    Oddly enough, for the vast, vast majority of the Christian domination of Europe, those rights were completely ignored by those in power. Any God who existed all that time didn’t seem terribly interested in enforcing those rights. Like Elijah said, “”Pray louder! He is a god! Maybe he is day-dreaming or relieving himself, or perhaps he’s gone off on a trip! Or maybe he’s sleeping, and you’ve got to wake him up!””

    Subjective unenforced rights are not rights at all, but merely temporary, revocable privileges.

    1. unenforcedundefended rights are not rights at all, but merely temporary, revocable privileges…

  24. …while the rest of us fall by the wayside.

    Note the writer’s foregone conclusion that he/she will be one of the losers. Fatalist much?

    …”to promote the general welfare.”

    Yes, promote…not manufacture.

    …the results have been disastrous for the great majority of Americans.

    Because a GDP in the top 10 is “disastrous”, right?

    What compost heap did this clown crawl out of?

    1. Obama’s personal compost pile. You know, the one where all of his policy ideas have gone once they’ve failed and begun to rot.

  25. I think every dogmatic ideological boogie man was covered in that little mash up. From the tragedy of the commons to teaching our kids about teh gays.

  26. The liberal one has open commenting. I’ve already responded to a few fallacies. Let’s get some support up there.

    1. I don’t see any comments there or a link for them.

      1. Go all the way to the bottom and there should be a big comment box.

        Maybe it only shows up for Jews…

        1. I see the comment box. Don’t see any comments though. Are we submitting them so that “The Editorial Staff” can read and/or ignore them?

          If I’m going to show them my light, I want to see it shine, not be put under a bushel basket.

          1. My comment is “awaiting moderation.”

        1. This just directs me to a giant rotating Star of David. They must have found out I’m an Irishman.

  27. how the fuck does poison lurk?

  28. Freedom is its own reward. (it’s an MP3. Make sure your speakers aren’t too loud).

  29. The phrase “general welfare” refers to the general welfare of the United States as a government entity, not to any and all peons who call themselves inhabitants of the territory said government administers.

    It is not in the general welfare to provide free _____ to some whiny leech, even if you do it 200 million times over. It IS in the general welfare, for example, to spray DDT.

    If your “general welfare” scheme benefits some parasite citizens, at the expense of productive citizens: its not general welfare, you spiralling turds at the “Jewish magazine” (btw – nice job identifying yourself by your race/religion first and foremost, you greivance-mongering social cockroaches)

  30. OT, but I am so looking forward to the disintegration of the EU so that the leftinoids quit touting it as an example to emulate.

  31. …whereas we believe in freedom! Nice argument.

  32. Here, I’ll help… Pretty sure we’re on the same page with the pants shitting christianists. As to the liberal argument, “We libertarians believe that social darwinism is superior in virtue to maximizing human well-being because…”

    1. trollin’, trollin’, trollin’, keeps those post a trollin’ … Rawhide!

  33. In the near future, licensing of brothels, clean injection centers for drug addicts, and a requirement that grade schools teach homosexual propaganda will likely be enacted. To varying degrees, they already have been.

    Libertarian thought provides no reliable remedy to the social poisons that society is ingesting.

    Except that libertarian thought frowns upon business licenses, tax-funded health projects, and forced attendance at government-run schools. So once again conservatives argue that libertine + liberal = libertarian, while failing to grasp the basics of libertarian thought.

    1. Licensing of brothels? Hell, I was gonna risk my own dime and health to write a sort-of-Underwriters-Labs-meets-The-Michelin-Guide comprehensive rating of all brothels in the US. And manfully decline all sorts of bribes that might be offered to game the rankings. Licensing will give too many people the idea that any licensed establishment is “good enough”. Thanks again for pissing on my dreams, statists.

    2. Of course, they’d recoil in horror to find out we support unlicensed brothels, injecting themselves at home for drug addicts, and all manner of grade schools, including those allowed to teach the history of LGBT rights and the acceptance of LGBT as an alternative lifestyle.

  34. “We libertarians believe that social darwinism is superior in virtue to maximizing human well-being because…”

    Because individual rights are the highest evolved aspect of civil society, and because maximizing human well being ultimately comes from protecting individual rights…

    And because history has demonstrated repeatedly that the best way to minimize human well-being is to run over individual rights in the name of the common good.

    1. Because individual rights are the highest evolved aspect of civil society

      Which individual rights? That’s exactly what liberals believe, we just believe in more individual rights than you do.

      You said you believe in maximizing well-being, but that the common good is a bad thing to consider. It’s clear that social darwinism doesn’t maximize well-being, it grotesquely concentrates it by definition.

      So you are just as much a utilitarian, just provided the good comes “ultimately,” at some point, as a result of your clean slate. Why should people want to wait around for your promises to come true?

      1. “You said you believe in maximizing well-being, but that the common good is a bad thing to consider.”

        Please define “common good.” Since we’re individuals and not bees in a fucking hive, What’s good for me might ultimately not be good for you.

        1. But there can be many things that are mutually beneficial.

          You guys ever consider that maybe there’s something off about you that prevents you from realizing that people have to work together, and enjoy the benefits of doing so, daily?

      2. Tony,

        When someone has to be forced to provide something to you, it’s not a right.

        Moreover, libertarianism just removes aggresive violence from society.

        So you can join Social Security (or some privately set up analog), you just can’t force people to join,

        You can have single payer health care in the form of purchasing a health insurance policy. You just can’t force everyone to buy the same insurance policy you have.

        You can offer 1 month of paid vacation and 6 months paid maternity leave to your employees. You just can’t force other people to do the same.

        You can refuse to do business with blacks. You can’t force other people to do the same (that was a high-priority progressive cause back when my grandpa was in law school).

        It’s not hard. All the things you want the state to provide for you, you can get in a libertarian social order. You just have to convince a bunch of people to voluntarily fund an organization that provides those social services. And, if you are right and that your ideas are the apotheosis of civilization, you will have no problem getting the 200 million or so Americans you need to buy into the scheme to make it work.

        I honestly don’t see why you have so little trust in your own ideas that you feel that only with beatings, jailings and confiscations of the assets of state enemies that your vision of paradise can be enacted.

        1. When someone has to be forced to provide something to you, it’s not a right.

          So… no national defense then? No police to protect your property? Or do you have some bullshit excuse for why those are ok to pay for with taxes, but other things aren’t?

          Moreover, libertarianism just removes aggresive violence from society.

          That’s quite a feat. How does it do this, again?

          You just have to convince a bunch of people to voluntarily fund an organization that provides those social services.

          Why can’t that organization be government? It’s inefficient and beside the point to go begging to churches to provide a safety net. I’m not talking about charity, I’m talking about a social agreement. People “voluntary funding an organization to provide social services.” If you don’t think it’s voluntary, then you tell me how voluntariness works at a scale of many millions of people. Unanimous consent?

          Either you are an anarchist or you are every bit as much for beatings, jailings, and confiscations as I am. You just think the only things they should be used for is protecting your stuff.

          And we’d all be better off if that’s all it did, right?

      3. “You said you believe in maximizing well-being, but that the common good is a bad thing to consider.”

        I don’t believe I said that.

        I said that protecting people’s individual rights maximizes well being. I don’t think I said that considering the common good is a bad thing either–but using the government to violate people’s individual rights and force them to make sacrifices for the common good?

        That’s a disastrous thing.

        If there’s any legitimate function of government at all, it’s using the government to protect people’s individual rights.

        And Progressives making a virtue out of using the government to violate individual rights and force individuals to make sacrifices for the common good–is not only morally repugnant, it never works as intended!

        People are willing to make sacrifices for the common good–they do it all the time! They volunteer for military service. Can’t you see the difference between volunteering for military service and being conscripted?

        The Progressives are all about trying to forcibly conscript people into fighting for their conception of the common good and their conception of what everyone should sacrifice.

        Then they end up trying to force poor people to buy health insurance they can’t afford–and sic the IRS on them if they don’t? And then they wonder why people don’t think they’re all about bunny rabbits and unicorns?!

        It’s not that people don’t understand what Progressives are all about–they do! And they’re over it.

        Just because your intentions are good doesn’t mean you’re not hurting people. Time to grow up already. Time to start treating the people around you like they’re the rights holders they are. And if they don’t want what you want? That’s no reason to use the government to try to force them to do your will!

        1. If there’s any legitimate function of government at all, it’s using the government to protect people’s individual rights.

          It’s a bit of a catch-22 though, since the right you are asserting is the right not to be taxed. But we have to tax to pay for government to protect your stuff? You want to leave granny and homeless people and kindergartners to fend for themselves in essentially a state of nature–so why are you so special that you get government and they don’t?

          The Progressives are all about trying to forcibly conscript people into fighting for their conception of the common good and their conception of what everyone should sacrifice.

          What the hell are you talking about? No serious liberal today argues that people should be forced into any kind of labor. You bring up military service as some kind of contrast? Not only do you sign away many of your civilian to do this job, it’s paid for by taxpayers. You are incoherent.

          You don’t like liberal policies because you have some issue with liberals. Your policies are not of a different kind, you just need to think they are. You are asserting a system for the common good every bit as much as I am, and you require tax money to boot.

          1. “It’s a bit of a catch-22 though, since the right you are asserting is the right not to be taxed.”

            I don’t think all taxation is wrong, but I do think the income tax is a violation of people’s rights.

            Surely having earned a paycheck is no justification for the government confiscating a chunk of it. Earning income isn’t a crime.

            You want to leave granny and homeless people and kindergartners to fend for themselves in essentially a state of nature–so why are you so special that you get government and they don’t?”

            Oh hardly!

            You want to leave granny, homeless people and kindergarteners at the mercy of the government–and pretty much everyone else too. Can you imagine depriving old people of their pensions all their lives, to the point where the only thing they have left to live on is some government program that’s put together like a pyramid scam?

            …and meanwhile, the existence of that program gives people the impression that taking care of their own elderly parents isn’t their responsibility–that’s the government’s problem?

            You know why Social Security taxes are mandatory, Tony?

            I’ll give you a hint–it’s not because smart people everywhere volunteer to pay into Social Security–thinking it’s a great way to save for a care free retirement.

            “No serious liberal today argues that people should be forced into any kind of labor. You bring up military service as some kind of contrast?”

            I make a comparison between two completely different kinds of military service–and you still can’t see the difference between them?! Sometimes it’s like talking to a Moonie with you.

            Do you or do you not see the difference between volunteering for military service and being conscripted?

            As far as Progressives and sacrifice–as the Progressives this thread is about hinted at–Progressives are all about forcing individuals to make sacrifices for what they see as the common good.

            How come Obama wouldn’t let us opt out of ObamaCare if we wanted to?

            If I Google “Obama Sacrifice”, how many hits do you think I’ll get? The man came into office talking about “sacrifice”, and he’s still talking about forcing people to make sacrifices left and right.

            Using the government to force the minority to make sacrifices for the common good is what Progressives (and Obama) are all about. If you think that’s a good thing, stick with that argument. But there’s no sense in pretending Progressives are anything other than what they are.

            1. I don’t think all taxation is wrong, but I do think the income tax is a violation of people’s rights.

              What rights? The right to keep whatever you get your hands on, no questions asked? Where is that written? Certainly not our constitution. If you say only a quite regressive tax code is allowable, you’d better have a pretty good reason.

              the existence of that program gives people the impression that taking care of their own elderly parents isn’t their responsibility–that’s the government’s problem?

              Why shouldn’t it be? You can never predict how much taking care of your parents will cost you, and it will vary wildly based purely on luck. If the market is supposed to reward work and ingenuity, doesn’t a public safety net only enhance people’s ability to succeed on those bases, rather than rewarding and punishing based on dumb luck? These things exist because old people who can’t work are a part of society. We can either take them out back and shoot them, or provide for them. And expecting everyone to be even capable of planning for all such contingencies is to wait for a miracle.

              Do you or do you not see the difference between volunteering for military service and being conscripted?

              Yeah. Both have been legal in this country. Conscription is as old as civilization. You like your civilization? Want to see it go on? Then play your part in protecting it, or don’t be surprised if some of those entitlements you claim for yourself are put to better use. Who needs a moocher?

              Progressives are all about forcing individuals to make sacrifices for what they see as the common good.

              Unlike you, who wants people to sacrifice social security and medicare for your own personal good? I don’t even see the point in saying something’s bad because it’s utilitarian. If we’re not talking about common good, then what are we doing?

              How come Obama wouldn’t let us opt out of ObamaCare if we wanted to?

              How come I can’t opt out of paying for armed forces if I want to? Or police or fire departments? Because then I’d be a free rider. My house may burn down, and it’s nobody’s idea of efficiency to just let it go and perhaps take the neighborhood with it. You may have an accident and expect treatment at an ER. Taking your chances with nature means you are taking chances with other people too.

              1. “If you say only a quite regressive tax code is allowable, you’d better have a pretty good reason.”

                I like how his criticism of a income tax system that penalizes the top bracket by 40% and the bottom bracket by zero, automatically means he must instead favor a “quite regressive” tax code. Try making your case without resorting to false dilemmas.

                And you should be able to opt out of all those things. And sorry to be the one to break it to you but the existence of a fire department does not prevent your house from burning down. Houses burn down every day in this country.

                1. The only reason the income tax exists is to make up for the regressive nature of other taxes. Surely placing the bulk of the responsibility on the lower classes isn’t fair. If you have another scheme for a progressive or even flat tax system (overall) that doesn’t include an income tax, I’m all ears.

                  The point about fire is that it is a common threat, so the best way to handle it is simply pooling resources to prevent it wherever it happens. If your house catches fire because your neighbor didn’t pay for firefighting insurance, do you get to sue?

                  1. If you have another scheme for a progressive or even flat tax system (overall) that doesn’t include an income tax, I’m all ears.

                    But we MUST have inflation!

              2. “Why shouldn’t it be? You can never predict how much taking care of your parents will cost you, and it will vary wildly based purely on luck.”

                I’ve spent a lot of time working in the healthcare industry, so I guess I’m a little more sensitive to this than a lot of people…

                Suffice it to say that your parents are your responsibility to take care of regardless of whether there’s a government program to dump them into. And it’s unfortunate that so many elderly people are abandoned to government programs–like children being abandoned by their parents to the foster care system.

                The sad truth is that no one will take care of your parents as well as you would have, and that means that the most helpless people in our society are often left to suffer in some pretty pathetic conditions.

                If you don’t see the moral hazard there, then you should volunteer at your local nursing home sometime. Believe me–that’s not where you want to end up when you get old. …and any misconceptions about how things are as they should be could be easily remedied by a visit to your local inner city nursing home.

                1. So how will removing a safety net increase old people’s chances of being cared for? A lot of people simply wouldn’t be able to afford it. You can blame them for their moral failure, but you still have human beings who need to eat.

                  1. “So how will removing a safety net increase old people’s chances of being cared for?”

                    We’ll never get the money back they’re taking out of our paychecks for social security and medicare.

                    We’ll never get more back in services than they’re taking out. People can provide for themselves and their elderly parents better when the government isn’t siphoning off so much of their paychecks over so many decades.

                    Then there’s the moral hazard problem. In other countries, where I’ve lived, where they don’t have social security and Medicare like we do? People don’t abandon their elderly parents.

                    They take care of them in their homes. Grandma lives with the family.

                    When I went to live in other countries, two of the big stories I hear that people ask me about America… 1) Is it true that Americans sleep with their dogs? 2) Is it true that Americans send their elderly parents away to be taken care of by strangers?

                    They can’t believe we do that!

                    There’s a third question about homeless people. Immigrants who’ve been here are often amazed about two things about our poor people. 1) That they’re homeless* and 2) that they’re fat!

                    They think those things shouldn’t go together–why can poor people be fat and why do people let their relatives live out on the street.

                    I’ve lived in poor countries surrounded by relatively poor people by American standards–and they don’t have any homelessness there.

                    Why do you think that is, Tony? Why is it that a country without any social safety net doesn’t have any homelessness?

                    Learn to understand moral hazard, and then learn to understand that when the government takes the responsibility for something, the people who were responsible before often abandon their natural responsibilities.

                    P.S. If you’re ever in San Diego, send me an email, and I can hook you up with a great little soup kitchen where you can volunteer. I used to volunteer there a lot more than I do now.

                    *I heard a story one time about an immigrant who called the cops one night because he found someone sleeping on a park bench. The 911 operator said, “Is it a homeless person?” He asked the homeless lady on the park bench, and she said, “Yeah”. He couldn’t understand why the cops wouldn’t come and help her!

        2. The Progressives are all about trying to forcibly conscript people into fighting for their conception of the common good and their conception of what everyone should sacrifice.

          Perfectly true statement (despite Tony’s demurral; Social Security and PPACA are two easy examples). But they have a defense: they do it democratically!.

          Progressivism: Democracy and egalitarianism elevated to a state-sponsored religion.

          Democracy: mob rule elevated to a form of government.

          1. Maybe you’ll be the one to explain precisely what alternative to democracy you favor. Because it sounds a lot like rule by property owners to me. One dollar one vote.

            1. That’s the other concept you seem to have a problem getting no matter how many times people explain it to you.

              Write a letter to McDonalds complaining about the food, and write another to your congressman complaining about the food at your local McDonalds…

              See who responds first. See what the quality of the response is.

              The fact is that free markets are more democratic than elected officials. Major corporations care much more about what I think as a potential customer than any politician does. …and then compare that to some unelected regulator/bureaucrat?

              You think your elected politician gives a damn about you? The people who run McDonalds hire the smartest people they can find to stay up late every night trying to think up new and better ways to make Tony happy.

              Your elected politicians don’t care about you. Figure it out already.

              1. If elected officials don’t care about me, I have the option of replacing them at regular intervals. Do you have that same power at McDonald’s?

                It is very disturbing how casually democratic government is dismissed here. Maybe we should be a society of human beings before we’re a society of consumers?

                1. You don’t have to give money to McDonalds if you don’t want to.

                  The people in government get replaced, but not by who I want.

                  1. Some people couldn’t give money to McDonald’s if they wanted to. They, human beings, should get no say in their own society? Since when did owning stuff be a prerequisite for participating in self-government? Oh yeah, not since the 18th century.

                    Sorry you don’t get your way in government. Exercise your right to convince more people to agree with you. You don’t get to choose government for everyone else, however.

                2. “It is very disturbing how casually democratic government is dismissed here.”

                  What’s disturbing is your weird belief in the illusion of democracy–that you think the people who make decisions about your life care about you…when they don’t.

                  Anyway, the choice isn’t between democracy and non-democracy; the choice I’m presenting is between fake democracy and self-autonomy.

                  I don’t want some jackass in Congress making decisions for me that I’d rather make for myself.

                  If you think you have more control when your representatives makes choices for you–rather than when you make choices for yourself? That’s disturbing.

                  The other choice on the table is between strangers forcing us to make sacrifices for the common good–rather than us making those choices for ourselves. The Progressives quoted up top are at least being honest about that option and their preferences for it. Strangers forcing me to make sacrifices for their vision of the common good isn’t any better just because you call it “democracy”.

      4. “[liberals] just believe in more individual rights than you do”

        My recent lobbying campaign has been successful and I now have the “right” to all your stuff. The sheriff will be by in the morning to deliver the official eviction notice.

        Yours in forever expanding “rights,”
        The guy taking your stuff

        1. Better individual rights get expanded than rights for corporations.

          Lemme guess, unlimited political donations is a right they have, found in the fabric of the cosmos, but people’s right to healthcare doesn’t exist?

          1. Care to explain how the fabric of the cosmos puts a restriction on the amount a political donation may be?

            1. It doesn’t. Prudence might.

        2. “[liberals] just believe in more individual rights than you do”

          I was gonna mention that.

          Tony made a baloney statement there.

          I think people have a right to wear their hair any way they want to; liberals, on the other hand, typically anyway? They don’t think you have a right unless the government says so.

          They always skip the 10th amendment–and the 9th, my favorite amendment! If I had to pick just one amendment to keep out of the bill of rights? I think I’d pick the 9th:

          “The enumeration in the Constitution of certain rights shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/N…..ution#Text

          It says in plain English that my rights aren’t defined or given by the government.

          Do you have any idea how many individual rights I believe in?! You don’t, or you wouldn’t have written that statement.

          My girlfriend has a right to paint her dog’s toenails any color she wants to! Progressives don’t believe that for a minute–they think my rights are theirs to vote up or down!

          Liberals believe in more individual rights than I do? Baloney.

          1. They don’t think you have a right unless the government says so.

            Maybe they’re wrong on that trivia of philosophy, but we still have the question of what rights should exist and who gets to say so?

            I believe in all the rights you’ve mentioned, and many more. You tell me that you have a right to have government forcibly take money from people to pay for police to protect your stuff, so why stop there? Because that’s all you need, and society should base itself around you?

            1. Considering that government is a necessary evil, what he proposes can still be a lot less of such evil than what you want. His preference doesn’t need to be perfect to be superior.

              And there’s a big difference between things like police who’s role is to serve everyone, and things like universal healthcare and welfare, who’s role is to take from group A to the benefit of group B. When group B is the faction that votes in favor of such policies, while group B votes against them, you have failed even the pretense of having consent of the governed.

              1. I don’t see how police are meaningfully different. The more stuff you have, the more use you get out of police, after all. And anyway you can add a private security operation on top of it, if you like.

                All government functions require taxation and redistribution. You just don’t seem to like any of the ones that distribute in a downward direction.

                1. The more stuff you have, the more use you get out of police, after all.

                  Have you ever been robbed? The police do not protect against theft. They are most certainly not security guards that stand outside your house with guns and flashlights to preempt crimes. They merely document the event in case your stuff turns up again.

                  And they spend the overwhelming majority of their time providing “services” to a tiny subset of f’d up people. And that is to the benefit of their unfortunate neighbors in that part of town, which sure isn’t anywhere near where the rich people live with all their stuff.

                  Anyway what do you suppose the tax rate would be if we restricted it to just police and fire? You keep arguing if you are willing to give a penny you should be willing to give half your income.

            2. “Maybe they’re wrong on that trivia of philosophy, but we still have the question of what rights should exist and who gets to say so?”

              That’s only a question for people who know nothing about our history, Constitution, and the basic philosophy that stands behind all of it. The founders may have had differing philosophies on some of it, but what I’m talking about is things they all pretty much agreed on!

              The reason they put the 9th Amendment in there was because half of them were afraid that if they enumerated certain rights–some people in the future might think that the only rights people had were those that were enumerated. …that our rights somehow came from the government–from the president and Congress? Hell no!

              Nobody wanted us to think that was the case. We have millions of rights–all governed by a few basic principles and our own self interests.

              You claim your own rights. Your rights are your responsibility.

              We make some general guidelines that everyone agrees on–you don’t have a right to coerce other people is the general rule.

              There’s no mystery about this. Rape, theft, fraud, armed robbery, murder, breach of contract–all of these things are the government’s business because they’re all examples of one person coercively violating another person’s individual rights.

              And if there’s any legitimate function of government, it’s protecting individuals’ rights. We have a military to protect our individual rights from foreign invaders. We have a police force and a judicial system to protect our individual rights from each other.

              No one needs a president or an act of Congress or an election to decide what Ken’s rights are.

              1. So a bunch of dead white guys–who really couldn’t agree on much–are the source of our basic rights? People who owned other human beings?

                The reason they put the 9th Amendment in there was because half of them were afraid that if they enumerated certain rights–some people in the future might think that the only rights people had were those that were enumerated. …that our rights somehow came from the government–from the president and Congress? Hell no!

                Well, the 9th amendment is a clarification that the fact of enumeration of rights is not to be construed as an expansion of government power with respect to any other rights. But that doesn’t mean it restricts government’s power based on other things, such as clauses that specifically give it power (like the one that allows for an income tax).

                We have millions of rights–all governed by a few basic principles and our own self interests.

                Okay, so where are those basic principles enshrined? Don’t say the constitution–it allows for an income tax! And anyway, it could be wrong. I have principles too, ones I think are consistent with the constitution, I just think they are superior to yours on humanistic grounds.

                You claim your own rights. Your rights are your responsibility.

                Unless someone claims the right to take your stuff or rape children. Then you want government to step in.

                It becomes increasingly clear that you want government to protect your interests, but not anyone else’s. At least not anyone with interests significantly different from your own.

                1. A lot of those “dead white guys” worked to end slavery, Tony.

                  Barbaric as it was, slavery was part of those times.

                  But it’s way past over now. Get with the 20th century and quit bitching about it.

                  (Well, slave-owning in America is long past gone; it’s still happening in other parts of the world, though.)

                  1. A lot of those “dead white guys” worked to end slavery, Tony.

                    Thank you Michelle Bachmann.

                    I’m just saying, it’s possible that people who owned human beings might not have figured out the entire scope of individual rights for all time.

                    1. I’m no fan of Bachmann, Tony, so don’t even insinuate such a connection.

                2. “Well, the 9th amendment is a clarification that the fact of enumeration of rights is not to be construed as an expansion of government power with respect to any other rights.”

                  The 9th amendment makes it abundantly clear–for those who might be confused–that the government is not the source of people’s rights. The people are the source of their own rights.

                  Always have been and always will be.

                  Hell, I’ve seen times when the government didn’t respect people’s rights at all. Happened in Egypt recently. The people felt otherwise, and now their former dictator is on trial–for not respecting the people’s right to protest among other things…

                  Even when the government says the people have no rights at all? The people still have them!

                  Isn’t that interesting at all to you?

                  There was a time in this country, just a little before I was born, when state governments said people with dark skin didn’t have the same rights as white people. Turned out they had rights anyway–no matter what the government said!

                  They had a right to protest; they had a right to boycott the buses; they had a right to go to the same schools; they had a right to register to vote…

                  Is any of this getting through? Just because our rights aren’t all detailed in stone–doesn’t mean they’re dependent on elected politicians to decide what they are, etc. If the government ever gets around to recognizing an individual’s rights, it’s usually the last to get the memo. People with dark skin didn’t wait around for the government to recognize their rights–and then start protesting.

                3. So a bunch of dead white guys–who really couldn’t agree on much–are the source of our basic rights?

                  No, you jackass.

                  If you’d read what they wrote, you’d know that our rights are intrinsic to our human nature, and what they were trying to do was form a government that had only the powers necessary to secure those rights.

                  -jcr

                  1. Then sorry, they were mistaken. “Intrinsic to human nature” is so much magical bullshit. It’s the equivalent to saying you’re right because God says so.

                    1. There’s nothing mystical about it.

                      When I say I have a right to free speech, I accept the responsibility to respect everyone else’s right to speak freely too.

                      When I say other people have a right to free speech, I’m also saying that they have a responsibility to respect my right to free speech too.

                      There isn’t anything mystical about it.

                      What’s weird is the suggestion that our rights are a popularity contest–to be decided at the ballot box or by way of elected representatives?

                      Like I said before, if that’s what you think, then you must have really liked Jim Crow–’cause that’s what Jim Crow was all about. When Japanese-Americans were unpopular in this country, our elected representatives decided they had a right to be confined in internment camps.

                      We might sometimes insist en masse that the government respects our rights–but their existence is not a popularity contest. They exist whether the government respects them or not, and they exist regardless of whether they’re popular.

      5. That’s exactly what liberals believe, we just believe in more individual rights than you do.

        That is correct. However, more != better. How about we tack on individual rights such as “I have a right to a hot dog every monday”. “I have the right to fling poop at Tony”. “I have the right to have sex with children”.

        This would create a rights regime with more “individual rights” than yours.

        1. Indeed. So you understand we’re just arguing on which rights there should be, and you believe in a lot fewer than I do. Maybe you’ve distilled individual rights into the bare necessities, or maybe you haven’t, but I fail to see why your assertions of rights are superior.

          1. That’s a pointlessly semantic argument. Nazi’s simply believe in different rights than you also.

            1. It’s the heart of the matter. Yeah people differ on what rights they believe in. Libertarians just assert that their list is backed up by magic.

              1. There’s a reason rights are called “rights”, and not “entitlements”, or “benefits”. It refers to a simple argument about right and wrong, not about what you can demand or take from anyone.

                Rights do not require religion, merely philosophy. Which at its heart is just definitions of things. Rights refer to that which is inherent in the definition of being human. The original right, and that which all the natural rights comes from, is freedom from slavery. It is a denial of the nature of humanity itself, to have one human be owned by another. It simply says that the existence of a system which denies freedom is wrong. Whether the ends ever or always justifies the means is a completely different argument.

                Which is why just as it was ironic that the founders could champion rights while exercising slavery, it is ironic that today people like you want to use the concept of rights to enslave one person to pay for another’s welfare.

                And police are not a right either btw.

              2. Libertarians just assert that their list is backed up by magic.

                No, we just refuse to dilute it to meaninglessness. I was hanging out with the ex girlfriend and her two-year old. The only number that he knows is “two”. So, he calls everything two. Which means, for all intents and purposes, that label holds no meaning.

                1. Exactly – liberals conflate “rights” and “entitlements”, as if they are completely interchangeable.

          2. The key difference rights (which libertarians demand), and entitlements (which you demand), is that your entitlements can only be obtained through violence against other people.

            -jcr

  35. “Taken to its logical conclusion, economic libertarianism leads to Social Darwinism, the doctrine that sees it as proper that the fortunate few who are endowed with talent, endurance and, above all, luck, should thrive at the top, while the rest of us fall by the wayside.”

    From my perspective all political discord is not what you see on the surface with the big labels of Conservative, Progressive, or Libertarian and ideological conflict. Its roots lie in individual assumptions, preconception, and the vague general worldview of the participants involved.

    For example, we see this author’s presumptions concerning Social Darwinism, which we are socially conditioned to believe is a bad thing without question. In defining it, the author shows his hand. He demonstrates how he FEELS about the nature of reality and then justifies it.

    He believes that there are people at the top and the people at the bottom ? the have’s and have-not in a zero sum game. Why are the people at the top? Sure they have some talent and endurance, but primarily it is just luck ? random chance. Because these few had a lucky break, the rest of us are screwed.

    So it was not skill, will, energy, and determination focused in hours of hard work that brought Microsoft from Bill Gates’ basement to a company that directly or indirectly employs billions of people at every economic level, but random events.

    Bill Gates was simply “endowed” with the required talent. Endowed by who? God? This line of reasoning leads direct to the concept of “divine right”. Maybe he meant endowed by genetics. This leads to eugenics. I think I prefer the merit-based society of Social Darwinism to either of those two options.

  36. Why do Fibertarians denigrate the real freedom found in Non-State sociopolitical typology?*

    Because in their heart they are agricultural City-STATISTS, just like everybody else they hate.

    City-Statist fibertarian is Statist.

    ____________
    * NON-STATE AND STATE SOCIETIES
    faculty.smu.edu/rkemper/cf_3333/Non_State_and_State_Societies.pdf

  37. There’s a reason privation property Land Title is called a big government enTitlement.

  38. Tony you state you do not preach morals the one day, then the next day all you do is preach morals, so which it ?

    1. Tony’s left brain doesn’t know what his right brain is saying. He says he’s non-ideological and then a moment later makes an ideological argument or avoids investigating any evidence that disagrees with his tummy.

      1. I contain multitudes.

  39. You contain mush and nothing more.

  40. I was always under the impression that socializing Land equally across the entire spectrum of humanity was the only way for each of us to have True Liberty which opens the door to Pure Democracy and a Pure Capitalistic Marketplace where we each have an equal footing to “play the game”. There is an easy way to accomplish this -)

  41. THIS IS WHAT ALL LIBERTARIANS LOOK LIKE?

                                __
                              /     \        <– made of tin
                           /           \
                 ___/_____\___          monocle
            /______________\       |        _
                ///                         \\\          |      //
             || /////            \\\\\||       /     //
            /|   <o>             (( . ))  |<–/    //_
            { |              |   |             | |  }      //   /
                |             |   |            | |       //   /  <- AK-47
                 |          ‘-\_/-‘       |      //   /??___
                 \        ~   ~          ||   //   /   /____/
                   \        (o)       /|   //   /   /    \
                      \__v__/     \//  /  /\    /
       _______|   |___//_/_/      \/      ||      (*)
    /                  \\  //                       \          ||||||
    |       |      SOMALIA       |        |        /      /
    |__|    UNIVERSITY  |___|     /     /
    \      |  “It’s privately     |       /   /     /
       |     |         funded”        |       | /     /

    * towards offscreen starving orphan

  42. Today I brought my 90-year-old mother to a medical office for a CT scan. I waved her HIP and Medicare cards and she was in. Libertarians (and the friggin’ Republicans) want me to pretend that my mother is a “health care consumer” who should be responsible for selecting the best private insurance and best doctors based on Internet explorations of consumer ratings. That’s a fantasy, a fantasy without mercy. My mother can’t even get herself to the bathroom in time.

    Surely, in as prosperous a country as ours ? a prosperity in which so many generations of us have participated (it ain’t just entrepreneurs who work hard) ? health care should be a right. And the government should enforce and fulfill that right.

    And how, exactly, would highly opinionated libertarians arrange for the building of roads, highways, airports, and bridges? And how would they convince multi-national pharmaceutical companies not to fake test results or falsely advertise? How would they provide education for millions of children? Should we rely ? as we increasingly do ? on corporate largesse for the provision of education? Why not rely on corporations for military protection as well?

    How would libertarians have forced Exxon Mobil to use double-hulled tankers for shipping oil, which the government forced after the Alaska spill? If we wait for overworked Americans to organize an Exxon Mobil boycott to force the issue, we’ll drown in oil.

    I understand the temptations of libertarianism when our government is stuck in a two-party track that is owned by corporate lobbyists at almost every level. I understand hating the U.S. government. But libertarianism, as represented in the comments on our editorial in Jewish Currents, sounds to me like little more than the chest-puffing of ambitious young people who are simply convinced of their superior talents and are ready to win — and be magnanimous winners — in a “survival of the fittest” struggle. But as Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan, the founder of Jewish Reconstructionism, observed back in 1948, human beings are the one species capable of transcending “natural” selection to achieve “spiritual” selection, which has us concerned not only with “survival of the fittest” but with helping make the most people “fit to survive.” There are risks involved into trying to cultivate a communitarian or “socialist” way ? but it’s a way that is in tune with the social reality of being human.

  43. Hahaha, this has been one of my favorite articles on reason, just because it was such a light hearted, almost comic-strip like read. I want more of these types of quotes to entertain myself on evenings lol.

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