"Sometimes Contrarian. Often Libertarian. Always Independent."

Some of us are libertarian, some conservative, some moderate, many a mix -- but all are independent of Reason's editorial line (such as it is) or of any dictates from me or from each other. Expect many departures from libertarian orthodoxies.

|The Volokh Conspiracy |

People sometimes berate us for departures from self-professed libertarianism—not just that we're not being libertarian, but more, "How can you call yourselves libertarian if you say [X]?" That happened when we were at the Washington Post, and I'm seeing it in the comments here as well.

I thought it might be helpful to repeat in a separate post what our blog subtitle (and the title of this post) says: Don't expect solid or even near-solid libertarianism from us. Some of us are pretty hardcore libertarians. Some are more conservatives. Some are moderates. Most of us are a mix. Our blog subtitle says "Often libertarian," and that's true. But "often" was deliberately chosen to also flag "not always" (and not even almost always).

If you call me anything, you might call me a libertarianish conservative, but even that isn't really that helpful. I think human affairs are complicated things—as my father likes to quote, "Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made." We all come at this with some general principles, but, to offer another quote, "General propositions do not decide concrete cases," in part because there are so many things we want at once and so many opportunities for good general principles to conflict.

For instance, I want liberty (often including privacy) and security; indeed, security is often another term from liberty from private misconduct (or liberty from foreign governments). These aren't always consistent, but I can't tell you that one should always trump the others. (That's why the Fourth Amendment, for instance, bans unreasonable searches and seizures rather than banning all searches and seizures; that's why the Constitution tries to create a limited government, but does create a government.) My guess is that many of my cobloggers take the same view.

Now maybe I'm not libertarian enough, or maybe I'm too libertarian, or maybe I'm one of these in some situations and another in others. Perfectly possible, indeed very likely. But measure me, and the blog, against what you think is right, not against our supposed (but never actually offered) assurances of libertarianism.

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  1. “even that isn’t really that helpful.”

    Yet the “often libertarian” claim remains.

    This would be helpful:

    Which part of a Ted Cruz endorsement is libertarian, or “libertarianish,” or “often libertarian,” or anything other than movement conservatism in all of its prudish, backward authoritarianism?

    1. TROLLLLLLLLL

      “But “often” was deliberately chosen to also flag “not always” (and not even almost always).”

      Seem so like there’s certainly room for a Ted Cruise endorsement in “not always”, certainly room in “not even almost always”

      Moreover, you’ll see that most of the conspirators tend to limit their policy opinions to areas where they have some expertise or qualification to speak, something that the rest of the political comentariate would do well to learn from. So you’ll find Eugene to typically be outstandingly libertarian-ish and vocal principally when it comes to issues of 1st or 2nd amendment, etc.

    2. And once again you demonstrate that nothing you have ever said in any VC comment thread has demonstrated your self-proclaimed love of reason/rationality.

    3. Cruz is a thug. His anti-gubmint mentality has destroyed the GOP (as Goldwater predicted) … just as the same mentality has crippled the libertarian movement, which lost its pro-liberty focus decades ago, isolating us from our majority of voters.

      The purists sneer at getting elected, which makes them authoritarian .. with no clue how to evolve a free society, and no interest in doing so. The Ivory Tower is just too precious. So Lady Liberty weeps in silent shame, undefended and unpromoted.

      Progressives are kicking our ass in the court of pubic opinion, mostly because we have ZERO credible policy solutions for taxes, health care, or jobs/economy. But GREAT slogans, soundbites … and self-delusion!,

      1. are you ever sane? Is there a day where you take your meds once in a blue moon?

        No, Ted Cruz has not destroyed the GOP as Goldwater predicted, you loon

        1. No, Ted Cruz has not destroyed the GOP as Goldwater predicted, you loon

          Typical right-wing bully.
          Enhanced with self-righteous denial.
          PROVES the destruction!
          Unwittingly.

          Libertarians, on the other hand, reject aggression and bullying.

          (This comment in self-defense from aggression)

          P.S. it was Cruz who tried to shut down the entire federal government .. as a threat to defund Obamacare .. with NO ALTERNATIVE. This is the useless and destructive anti-government mentality. And shamelessly authoritarian. Liberty lovers have long promoted why (and how) we should (and can) restore free markets. It requires a tad more effort than screeching anti-gubmint slogans and soundbites.

          Like our founders did, REAL libertarian/conservatives that they were. Goldwater was indeed correct to despise and ridicule the “Moral Majority” — in the 70s and early 80s — as did Reagan — both defending homosexuals three decades before Clinton shamefully signed DOMA and DADT from the Christian Taliban (a minority of even the Christian Right) …. and four decades before Obama “evolved.”

          Evidence.

          1. How can something be anti-government and authoritarian at the same time?

            1. It’s a mental disorder, swallowed by goobers. Ted Cruz attacks government, as he seeks to use government to impose his “values” by force. Also true of Ron Paul.

              Other libertarian ones are the same mentality, minus the force. They bellow and rage their hatred of government, but sneer and verbally aggress any attempts to move toward a free society as …. (laughing) “conspiring with statists.” This is how the anti-government mentality — mostly Rothbardians and a large percentage an-caps — has managed to stifle and crush our pro-liberty heritage. They babble and screech a lot, but have NO CLUE how to move even one inch closer to a free society, and no desire to. They SOUND like they’re willing to do so, only if there are no “statists” to conspire with … which means we’d elect a majority legislature with … NO policy platform! So, the libertarian establishment has … NO policy solutions … to anything … just anti-gummint slogans and crazy bullshit like Medicare vouchers (that only goobers swallow)..

              They’re actually anarchists 3.0, who rebelled at the anarchists 2.0 for having brains and “conspiring” with minarchists to form the Party (the Dallas Accord).

              It’s a cult, like the Moonies, Davidians and People’s Temple. . Anything else?

          2. ” as a threat to defund Obamacare .. with NO ALTERNATIVE. ”

            I don’t understand the complaint here. If you want rid of Obamacare, why would you have to provide an ALTERNATIVE? There wasn’t any Obamacare just a few years earlier, why is it so damning to try to return to the status quo ante?

            Granted there are clear improvements available over that prior state, from a libertarian perspective. But that state is still an improvement over Obamacare.

            1. ” as a threat to defund Obamacare .. with NO ALTERNATIVE. “

              … why is it so damning to try to return to the status quo ante?

              Because the status quo failed to provide the outcome of a free market — which was universal treatment for the uninsured — regardless of income. That’s what Americans wanted, were willing to pay for, and progressives are STILL the only ones claiming to provide the outcomes of a free market (what consumers want) Consent of the governed. Will of the people.

              Because Medicare sucks (now) $300 billion from INCOME taxes, and is guaranteed to take an ever-increasing percentage of income taxes, thanks to Republicans.

              Because we spend more per capita on government insurance alone, for 40% of our people, than total per capita health spending in Sweden, the U.K., Australia, New Zealand, and Japan

              Hard to see, when fiscal conservatives are essentially clueless on health care — with nonsense like Medicare Vouchers, and that rejection of free-market outcomes. Largely the conflict of visions that has divided libertarians for decades — pro-liberty vs anti-government. Policy solutions vs slogans and sound bites..

              Granted there are clear improvements available over that prior state, from a libertarian perspective. But that state is still an improvement over Obamacare.

              An alternative!
              And Obamacare was better than the status quo — when compared with free market OUTCOMES.

              1. Correction:

                If you want rid of Obamacare

                First you say it existed …. Then you say it didn’t.

                There wasn’t any Obamacare just a few years earlier, why is it so damning to try to return to the status quo ante?

                YOU said Obamacare was the status quo — except when it wasn’t.

                It was

                “You can’t replace a something with a nothing.”.

                Anything else?

                P.S. WHY did you find the status quo acceptable then???
                And still have no credible alternative now? (Kinda proves my point)

                1. All we’ve proven here is that you don’t know what a “status quo ANTE” is. The prior status quo.

                  1. HEY, BRETT!!!
                    “Ante”- means prior ….. ONLY AS A PREFIX!!
                    https://www.thefreedictionary.com/ante-

                    So it’s NOT a separate word … and not AFTER its subject!! Which would be a SUFFIX!
                    Wait for it ….
                    It’s antebellum … NOT bellum ANTE. Check it out!.

                    As a separate word it’s a stake put up in poker and other games to receive cards.

                    Note: It has never been my intention to publicly humiliate every single “point” of Brett’s. Merely to defend against multiple verbal aggressions

                    Will he punish me AGAIN — for revenge?

                    (My tone and boldface in defense of serial aggressions by an apparent stalker … with an authoritarian mentality)

                    1. “Mess with a bull, you get the horns”

                    2. And lots of bullshit.

                    3. Merriam Webster: “the state of affairs that existed previously”

                      The Cambridge Dictionary: “the situation that existed before”

                      The Law Dictionary: “A previous or last contested state before the current state.”

                      The Collins Dictionary: “the state of affairs existing prior to a given event”

                      But, you knew all that already.

                    4. You are one sick fuck.
                      THAT is what I knew already
                      A bellowing bully, blowhard

                      https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ante

                      (too long; connect the spaces)
                      https://dictionary.cambridge. org/dictionary/english/ante

                      You’re WAY outa your league. It is NOT true that bullshit baffles brains

                      (Boldface AGAIN in defense of aggression by a serial stalker)

                    5. Dumbfuck Hihnsano shrieks like a bitch again. #HihnsanoSoFragile

                    6. Wonderful! I’ve frequently been called a “troll” by lefties who simply don’t like anybody who disagrees with them and actually dares to present arguments. But this might be the first time I’ve actually encountered the real deal, in it’s natural habitat.

                    7. How do blowhards and cyber-bullies “respond” … when their false claims are DEMOLISHED by actual links to THEIR OWN (bullshit) SOURCES> (lol).

                      called a “troll” by lefties who simply don’t like anybody who disagrees with them and actually dares to present arguments

                      1) Anyone else STOOPID enough to confuse MY supported argument versus HIS mere assertion? (sneer)

                      2) Rightwing aggression is almost alway defended by the cyber-bully WHINING it was publicly humiliated by … a lefty …. or a progtard … or various other childish name for anyone outside their tiny tribal cave.

                      Now … MOAR PROOF!!

                      (laughing hysterically) Please follow this link to the web archive of my published political writing … and especially check my “lefty” views on … ohh … Taxes, Health Care, and New New Federalism … while I piss my shorts laughing at this sadsack gomer.

                      (My tone and boldface STILL in defense of aggression by a serial stalking blowhard.
                      Anyone else confused on what aggression is?)

                      P.S. Keep in mind, the dipwad had snottily “corrected” me … with sources pulled out of his ass … so I jammed it up that ass … yet again … .

                      REPEAT: You’re WAY outa your league. It is NOT true that bullshit baffles brains

                    8. LOL! You’re funny, but I’m guessing the entertainment factor runs out quickly.

                    9. How do blowhards and cyber-bullies “respond” … when their false claims are DEMOLISHED by actual links to THEIR OWN (bullshit) SOURCES> (lol).

                      LOL! You’re funny, but I’m guessing the entertainment factor runs out quickly.

                      Wrong again. The joy of ridiculing blowhards is had to top.
                      For liberrtarians

                    10. Status quo ante, Latin for “the way things were before”

                      I am sure I could find dictionary definitions for the separate words of the phrase that are not the meaning of the phrase itself, but that would be silly.

                    11. Can ANYONE be a bigger blowhard that Brett?

                      Status quo ante, Latin for “the way things were before”

                      Start by blowing smoke out your ass (1000000% irrelevant to issuem, AND wrong language).

                      Then …. (emphasis added for the mentally challenged)

                      I am sure I could find

                      I’m sure you’ll make a total fool of yourself. Shoulda read the thread!

                      dictionary definitions for the separate words of the phrase that are not the meaning of the phrase itself,

                      1) “The phrase” is your own topic,.which has NOTHING to do with the thread.
                      2) It’s about his dumbass use of “ANTE”
                      3) I already linked to dictionary definitions of ANTE — not your irrelevant phrase in the wrong fucking language … so you’ve been ridiculed BEFORE you commented!

                      but that would be silly.

                      SILLIER

                      Cyber-bullies travel in a pack, like wild dogs. We can USUALLY assume that THIS dick supports the same discredited nonsense as Brett …. AND he’s a wacky conservative or a Ron Paul libertarian (same thing)

                      (Now the REVENGE aggressions …. ) (sneer)

                      HOW MANY COMMENTS TO “DEFEND” A SINGLE FUCKUP?
                      (See D. J. Trump)

                    12. “HOW MANY COMMENTS TO “DEFEND” A SINGLE FUCKUP?”

                      I don’t know, do you ever stop?

    4. Well my litmus test in the primaries was any candidate from either party that stood up against ethanol subsidies for corn farmers in Iowa. Ted Cruz passed that test.

      And he ended up winning Iowa. That was a big win for libertarians because it showed that the candidate that promises the biggest payout, either via government spending, mandates on the private sector or private individuals, or even tax cuts, isn’t necessarily going to get the most votes.

      1. That settles it! Ted Cruz is a libertarian. Just like Prof. Volokh and his Conspiracy.

        Stick around, and the Conspiracy will treat you to explanations of how government gay-bashing, government micromanagement of abortion facilities, pre-emptive invasions (of the wrong country), expanded government surveillance and secrecy, government-conducted torture, incessant whittling of the Fourth Amendment, endless detention without trial, the drug war, school prayer, and massive military spending are — if only we were to view them properly, with the benefit of originalism and free of the warping influences of our strong mainstream universities and public schools — actually libertarian positions, or are at least congruent with libertarianism.

        1. Yes, originalism is congruent with libertarianism. Genuine originalism. And genuine libertarianism.

          All unalienable rights are precisely co-equal — Life. Liberty, Pursuit of Happiness, and all the others. By definition. Thus, no rights can possibly be absolute. So both extremes are wrong on things like abortion and gun rights — each seeking to impose their view by force of law.

          Originalism also includes that Wall of Separation. Statist charlatans say, “Those words are not in the Constitution.” — as if they had to be! They are the founders INTENT, as proven by words and actions of our first three Presidents and the UNANIMOUS US Senate in our9th year … versus NOTHING by ANYBODY. The (un)Holy Inquisition was still committing moral atrocities until our Civil War. We’d had the Salem Witchcraft Trials. And we KNOW many came here to escape religious persecution.

          And — despite the shameless lies of Ron Paul, the 10th Amendment does NOT do what southern racists claim. The 9th Amendment forbids ANY level of government to “deny or disparage” even unenumerated RIGHTS (which trump unenumerated powers).

          Most shameful was Ron Paul sponsoring a bill that would have forbidden SCOTUS to even CONSIDER challenges to DOMA — the first group denied a constitutional defense since slavery — and a violation of the 9th and 14th Amendments, by a self-proclaimed originalist ? actually an enabler of bigots like the alt-right.

          1. “Thus, no rights can possibly be absolute.”

            This fails to understand the positive/negative right distinction.

            “Positive” rights, rights that somebody affirmatively do something for someone, indeed conflict with each other, and so cannot be absolute.

            But negative rights, rights that other people simply not get in your way of doing something, simply leave you alone, are not similarly limited. You can leave any number of people alone at the same time, without so much as lifting a finger.

            That’s why Libertarians dismiss positive ‘rights’, and will only acknowledge the existence of negative rights. Positive rights are the moral calculus equivalent of division by zero, rendering any moral theory which acknowledges them internally self-contradictory.

            Oh, and the 9th amendment merely prohibits denying or disparaging unenumerated rights on the basis that they are not enumerated, leaving everyone, in or out of government free to deny or disparage them on any other basis.

            1. This fails to understand the positive/negative right distinction.

              Neither is absolute

              But negative rights, rights that other people simply not get in your way of doing something, simply leave you alone, are not similarly limited. You can leave any number of people alone at the same time, without so much as lifting a finger.

              That fails to understand the difference between between people and rights.

              Oh, and the 9th amendment merely prohibits denying or disparaging unenumerated rights on the basis that they are not enumerated,

              Which is what it says, explicitly.

  2. It’s the purists who’ve destroyed the movement. The same Cato survey that found 69% of Americans to be “Nolan libertarians” (fiscally conservative and socially liberal). … also found the libertarian label REJECTED by a staggering 91% of those libertarians.

    Does it help that a libertarian society is the OPPOSITE of a free society? Simmer down!

    In a libertarian society, we’d all live in gated communities with private police forces and competing court systems. A statue of John Galt stands proudly in every town square. That’s libertopia, but is it a free society?

    In a free society, Galt’s Gulch could exist right next to a Marxist commune ? lesbians up the street from a community of Christian Fundies ?. retired Catholic priests across the field from Wiccans. And that statue would be Voltaire, inscribed: “I disagree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.”

    This is why we lose (or haven’t won yet). We’ve never promoted a free society. Not ever. Every religion and philosophy has a utopian vision to attain, be it Heaven or Galt’s Gulch. We’ve been pursuing the wrong utopia, chasing the wrong dream, so we have no sense of politics, no philosophy of governing, and no destination.

    Mostly because of the purists.

    1. In a free society, Galt’s Gulch could exist right next to a Marxist commune ? lesbians up the street from a community of Christian Fundies ?. retired Catholic priests across the field from Wiccans.

      Sounds like something libertarians would be happy with. Each person gets to free chose who they wish to associate with.

      1. We’re headed in that direction, barely, congregating in enclaves, mostly red and blue for now. I’ve been asking people for years, short version, if they’d enjoy a society were nobody attacked your values (good with Christians), or cared what you did in your private life — you know the drill, They always say yes. Then I talk about the price they’d have to pay. What if you respected others to the same absolute extent? Might you wind up defending each other — KNOWING you could count on each other? BIG smiles from them.

        Then, where possible, I pair them with a polar opposite. Say, a homosexual to a fundie. “I don’t know the odds, on this, but what if a gay couple stood and defended your right to your own religious values, Might you be more tolerant of their lifestyle? ” ALMOST always it’s a slow smile. But many doubt it would be possible. I think it’s almost inevitable, enough to mold our society. Don’t want to pick on gays and fundies, but they really are DEFENSIVE toward each other. See each other as a threat. Hate to sound sappy, but I;be been bringing disparate people together for decades — in a narrow field of political activism. Tax revolts, ballot and candidate issues. Find the shared values . I’m an atheist, and Christian Conservatives are almost always my biggest supporters. They know I’m an atheist — always ask! — and don’t care I clarify that I’m NON-religious, not ANTI-religious — no threat. And they’re cool with that.. ,

  3. “Don’t expect solid or even near-solid libertarianism’

    Can anyone even define what “solid libertarianism” is? Does it mean I need to adopt kooky and debunked ideas like Ron Paul? Maybe I need to adopt heterodox economics like Austrian school internet trolls? Or maybe “solid libertarianism” just means classical liberalism.

    I am not sure. I am pretty sure some people think “libertarian” boils down to one issue: pro-pot legalization, like Gary Johnson. Or maybe it is defined by what it isn’t: not-Clinton-not-Trump, like Bill Weld

    Over time I have decided “libertarianism” is like pornography, it means something peculiar to each person. Everyone likes it, but each person sees something different.

    1. Well, there really is a huge range. It goes from Sasha Volokh, who thinks it would be wrong to impose a tax to prevent the world from being imminently destroyed by a meteor to David Post who is a standard issue Democrat to Stewart Baker who is a government power worshiping conservative.

      1. Is it tribal to deny libertarianism tribalism?
        When our tiny 7-8% of the population has more “strains” than the major tribes?
        What’s the difference between a movement and a cult?
        And can they be mutually exclusive?

        Why is libertarianISM (the ideology) rejected by 91% of libertarians (the values), per Cato?
        Is it possible to be authoritarian WITHOUT advocating force? Say, intolerant?

        1. Ideologues generally do not get elected. Sometimes they do, but usually they do not.

          Libertarians who want to get elected generally have to follow the Buckley rule: the most Libertarian candidate who can actually get elected.

          My view is most of the country is fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Reasonable people can disagree on the edges, for example whether we need regulations over pollution, or regulations to maintain sustainability of Fisheries.

          Two of my favorite “Libertarians” are Ted Cruz and Alan Dershowitz. The point being, libertarianism is really a spectrum, unless you’re an ideologue. But ideology is religion by another name.

          People need to remember that in the USA we take our rights seriously and we can do things and post things on the internet do you can’t do in Europe or the UK.

          1. Part 1 of 2

            Ideologues generally do not get elected. Sometimes they do, but usually they do not

            Libertarian ones never do. Fake libertarians, like Ron Paul, use their racism and states-rights bigotry to get elected in places like ,.. south Texas!

            Libertarians who want to get elected generally have to follow the Buckley rule: the most Libertarian candidate who can actually get elected.

            Wrong target. How many elections have you won? Or helped win? How many tax revolts have you won? (rhetorical questions, not personal)

            My view is most of the country is fiscally conservative and socially liberal.

            Over 60%. Per Cato … who also reports that 91% of them EXPLICITLY reject the libertarian label. Hence, my conclusion, a severe disconnect between libertarian values and libertarian … ideology.

            Reasonable people can disagree on the edges, for example whether we need regulations over pollution, or regulations to maintain sustainability of Fisheries.

            Pollution can be property rights. Few of today’s libs saw the 1950s. I lived in the rust belt, auto and steel country, where frame houses had to be repainted every five-10 years. Cleveland, where our river caught fire, severely! Also health.

            Contd

            1. Part 2 of 2

              Two of my favorite “Libertarians” are Ted Cruz and Alan Dershowitz. The point being, libertarianism is really a spectrum, unless you’re an ideologue.

              Ron Paul is worse than both combined. The label is actually dead, the lesson from Cato’s “brand” survey – conducted by a top pollster.

              But ideology is religion by another name.

              We’re in the same ballpark! Where we differ MAY be my lengthy hands-on activism for nearly four decades. That’s how this atheist notes that even Christian conservatives are not nearly as authoritarian as their leaders. But nobody else defends their values. We have NO unifying dialog at all, and the ideology now sucks. Libertopia is the exact opposite of a free society!

              Even Ayn Rand said Galt’s Gulch could never be a society! It was for people who all thought the same (like libertopia) Her politics was remarkably more tolerant than her philosophy. Even said, in effect, “first, we must change the culture,” which was the core of her contempt for libertarians (then mostly still anarchists).

              Despite the apologetics of this page, I’m seeing a LOT more libertarianism/tolerance here than Reason’s commentariat, a laughingstock among civil libertarians, like popehat.com which openly ridicules Reason’s commentariat — DEFENDED for feeding of opponents into woodchippers, by an ideologue editorship.

              So who’s defending liberty VALUES? Or promoting them? Nobody.

    2. That’s a rather shameful depiction of Gary Johnson.

      1. I’m not so sure; If Johnson is a libertarian, then I don’t know what it means anymore.

          1. Do you seriously believe that Gary was a single-issue candidate, pot legalization?
            This can be confusing since the libertarian establishment has not one single credible policy solution. For anything. Mostly ignorant anti-gubmint gibberish like Medicare vouchers, and a wacky “6.2% solution” for Social Security that Cato lies about rather shamefully..Stuff like that.

            It’s a fundamental principle of persuasion/salesmanship:

            You’re not there to prove your prospect wrong. You’re there to AGREE with your prospect, and to show how your product or services will best deliver what he or she already wants

            People want 90-95% of what government provides, but libertarianism has not had any “better ways” (policy solutions) for several decades. That’s why progressive are kicking our butts in the court of public opinion, on virtually every major issue.

            Telling the prospects they are wrong … how’s that been working for individual liberty?
            Americans are open to even radical change, which happens only once or twice per century. We’ve had nearly 50 years to prepare, but have NO solutions. It’s embarrassing to liberty-lovers.

            And the clock is ticking.

          2. Helping to found a college chapter of the LP back in the 70’s, and at least 20 years pounding the pavement for Libertarian candidates, suggests I might have an idea.

            What kind Libertarian supports forcing bakers to bake SSM cakes? Be in favor of most drug laws?

            1. While you were “pounding the pavement,” I was actively engaged for nearly 40 years. I was the first paid Director of a state party, wast elected twice to local office, won a lengthy tax revolt and helped ELECT dozens of local candidates. A former corporate trainer, I ran workshops for my county chairs on candidate, issue and marketing development, and created maybe 100 candidate websites since the early 1990s. My campaign for state Insurance Commissioner helped secure Major Party Status.

              Thanks for supporting me that Gary was NOT a single-issue candidate … though misrepresenting two other positions. Gary was CEO of a company selling marijuana oils and products, Cannabis Sativa. He’d jail his own customers?

              Wedding cakes are a common falsehood by (mostly) authoritarian, Ron Paul types, that I call the American Taliban. I’m ashamed to see so-called libertarians support special legal treatment for ONLY certain Christians, a violation of equal rights, especially in a nation founded on Separation.

              So, please clarify, do YOU support special laws and exemptions, for only certain Christians, as a legitimate use of government force? And if so, on what basis?

              On the related, earlier issue, are you clear now that all fundamental rights are precisely co-equal? No right can be absolute over another, not even Life, since each is absolute unto itself?

              1. “I’m ashamed to see so-called libertarians support special legal treatment for ONLY certain Christians, a violation of equal rights, especially in a nation founded on Separation.”

                I’d enforce the 13th amendment in all cases whatsoever. Unlike Gary Johnson.

                “In a nationally-televised debate among three of the Libertarian candidates for President (A debate that should, by the way, have been more inclusive of all the candidates.), a highly unlikely hypothetical question was raised about whether a Jewish baker has the right to refuse to serve a Nazi sympathizer asking for a “Nazi cake”. I responded to that question in the legal context of whether a public business has the right to refuse to serve a member of the public, as distasteful as it might be.

                1. The simple answer to that question is, whether all like it or not, U.S. law has recognized the principle of public accommodation for more than 100 years: The principle that, when a business opens its doors to the public, that business enters into an implied contract to serve ALL of the public. Further, when that business voluntarily opens its doors, the owners voluntarily agree to adhere to applicable laws and regulations — whether they like those laws or not.

                  To be clear, anti-discrimination laws do not, and cannot, abridge fundamental First Amendment rights. I know of no one who reasonably disagrees. In the highly unlikely event that a Nazi would demand that a Jewish baker decorate a cake with a Nazi symbol, the courts, common sense, and common decency — not to mention the First Amendment — all combine to protect that baker from having to do so. It’s not an issue, except when distorted for purposes of gotcha politics.

                  Does a public bakery have to sell a cake to a Nazi? Probably so. Does that bakery have to draw a swastika on it? Absolutely not. And that’s the way it should be.”

                  And that’s the way it should be.” IOW, that’s not just the law, that’s what the law should be.

                  1. You’re documented as a bulshiter here.

                    https://reason.com/volokh/2017/…..nt_7072679

                    Pathetic

                    (Boldface AGAIN in defense of a serial stalker)

                  2. 1) Non-responsive to the false claim that Gary Johnson supports drug laws
                    2) Non-responsive to special rights for a privileged class.

                    Have you EVER seen a sign outside a business, open to the public, “No shirt, no shoes, no service?”
                    Open to the public — unless publicly stated otherwise. LONG established. NEVER challenged.

                    REAL libertarians do not
                    1) Support special rights for ONLY a privileged class, especially for a religious class. Because separation.
                    2) Reject long-established practice that “open to the public” includes — “open to the public unless publicly statde otherwise”

                    REAL libertarians do not argue against personal accountability. This is morally equivalent to shameful refusal of vaccines for one’s children …. WITHOUT ACCEPTING LIABILITY FOR ANY DAMAGE TO HEALTH OR LIFE, CAUSED BY ONE’S OWN ACTIONS . True or false.

                    Only faux libertarians invent faux rights to suck off of individual liberty.
                    1) Prior notice might damage the revenues of a business. (What are they ashamed of?)
                    2) Failure to accept responsibility for anti-vax decisions is a PURE entitlement mentality (a moral equivalent)

                    (Boldface to highlight false and/or evasive “responses” ? which also violate individual liberty. Fairly common among authoritarians-claiming-to-be-libertarians — who are most often — but not always — extreme social conservatives)

                2. You’re documented as a bulshiter here.

                  https://reason.com/volokh/2017/…..nt_7072679

                  Pathetic

                  (Boldface AGAIN in defense of a serial stalker)

                3. Totally off the rails??

                  “I’d enforce the 13th amendment in all cases whatsoever. Unlike Gary Johnson”

                  Amendment XIII
                  Section 1.
                  Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction
                  Section 2.
                  Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

              2. >>>i>”So, please clarify, do YOU support special laws and exemptions, for only certain Christians, as a legitimate use of government force? And if so, on what basis?”

                NO ANSWER

                (Boldface to highlight: blah, blah, blah, evasion.

                1. Some call it “evasion”, some call it “having a life”. But I’m feeling good now, the scrapple I was making last night while you raged at your keyboard having turned out good, so I’ll venture an answer.

                  I would not compel anyone, anyone whosoever, in the private sector, to labor involuntarily for anyone else, utterly regardless of their motive for refusing.

                  In the private sector, of course, because the 14th amendment expressly applies to the state, not the individual.

                  I wouldn’t compel Christians to labor for ‘gays’, I wouldn’t compel Muslims to labor for Jews, I wouldn’t compel atheists to labor for religionists, I wouldn’t compel misanthropes to labor for human beings. I wouldn’t compel labor. Period.

                  How is not compelling labor a “use of government force”, legitimate or otherwise? It was the customer in the Masterpiece case, not the baker, who was invoking government violence.

                  1. This is a DISCUSSION forum. Stop yer damn whining EVERY TIME you’re asked to support a mere assertion.. LIKE HERE https://reason.com/volokh/2017/…..nt_7073277
                    On top of THIS bullshit: https://reason.com/volokh/2017/…..nt_7072679
                    and all down the page

                    Some call it “evasion”, some call it “having a life”.

                    OMG! REFUSING to support assertions — IN A LENGTHY NON-RESPONSE — is HAVING A LIFE??? Or more evasion? (lol)

                    ***HE****STILL**** FAILS!!
                    1) Non-responsive to the false claim that Gary Johnson supports drug laws
                    2) Non-responsive to special rights for a privileged class.

                    In the private sector, of course, because the 14th amendment expressly applies to the state, not the individual.

                    NON-RESPONSIVE TO WACKY ASSERTION RE: 13th AMENDMENT

                    IT NEVER ENDS WITH SNOWFLAKES
                    …assert (a memorized slogan)
                    …refuse
                    …deny
                    …whine
                    .

                    How is not compelling labor a “use of government force”, legitimate or otherwise?

                    Cyber-aggressors also lie about the other’s words!!! Pathetic diversion.

                    THIRD REQUEST:
                    So, please clarify, do YOU support special laws and exemptions, for only certain Christians, as a legitimate use of government force? And if so, on what basis?

                    WHY DOES HE EVADES HIS SPECIAL RIGHTS FOR (SOME) CHRISTIANS?

                    (Boldface STILL to highlight: blah, blah, blah, evasion.

                    1. P.S. Our Resident Blowhard IGNORES a GENUINE libertarian solution here
                      https://reason.com/volokh/2017/…..nt_7072697
                      To defend his shameful demand for special rights granted to (some) Christians.
                      Anyone else so hopelessly confused on the fundamentals of Individual Liberty … Equal Rights … Natural Law … and Separation? …

                      Or just this PROVEN troll? https://reason.com/volokh/2017/…..nt_7073268

                      (Boldface still in defense of aggression … but often “triggers” REVENGE aggression by cyber-bullies )

    3. ‘Can anyone even define what “solid libertarianism” is? ‘

      Solid isn’t so clear, but ideologically pure is more what I think is intended here.

      There is a calculator which will report the ideologically pure Libertarian answer.

      Some enter the question, report the answer, done. No need to think, no need to see if the answer makes any sense. For some, no need to even check if the premises are accurate. Calculator say no government involvement, then no government involvement is the answer.

      The calculator occasionally emits utter nonsense, and those who don’t recognize that are doomed to look as tied to ideology as any Marxist out there.

  4. Thanks for the reminder, though I’m guessing that those who previously questioned your unoffered libertarian bona fides will continue to question them.

    A different question: Why do so many doctrinaire progressives/statists insist on identifying as libertarian and then go around questioning the libertarian bona fides of others though always from a progressive/statist perspective? And usually do so in such an acerbic, ad hominem fashion as to poison forums such as this?

    1. Why does Ron Paul claim to be libertarian? Reason, mostly Gillespie, points to greater acceptance of social tolerance to “prove” a libertarian moment. But also points to Ron Paul, the polar opposite of social tolerance! I read the other day about 100 strands of libertarianism — kinda silly for 7% of the population.

      I stick with “tolerance” as the definition, “acceptance,” and evolve it from Nolan’s definition. Because we suffer imposed conformity like all the other tribes. An authoritarian streak that’s kinda bizarre.

    2. Why does Ron Paul claim to be libertarian? Reason, mostly Gillespie, points to greater acceptance of social tolerance to “prove” a libertarian moment. But also points to Ron Paul, the polar opposite of social tolerance! I read the other day about 100 strands of libertarianism — kinda silly for 7% of the population.

      I stick with “tolerance” as the definition, “acceptance,” and evolve it from Nolan’s definition. Because we suffer imposed conformity like all the other tribes. An authoritarian streak that’s kinda bizarre.

  5. I want liberty (often including privacy) and security; indeed, security is often another term from liberty from private misconduct (or liberty from foreign governments).

    I don’t think you need to be at all abashed about this security angle. Liberty and anarchy are not the same thing.
    Liberty entails enforceable rights. Or strictly it entails enforceable duties on everyone else not to interfere with you (unless you consent.) The enforcement of your liberty against transgressors is fundamental to the whole idea of liberty.

    Obviously that creates all sorts of practical and definitional questions – where your nose begins, where my fist ends, when enforcement should be left to the individual (and friends) and when not. And so on. And on. But liberty without its enforcement is anarchy. So some security is not merely compatible with liberty but necessary to it. Though security taken beyond what is necessary to protect liberty ceases to be liberty and becomes tyranny. The devil is in the details.

    1. One of the most thoughtful depictions I’ve seen, in nearly a half-century. Sadly, a wing of anarcho-libs has now gone rogue, attacking and ridiculing any attempt at policy solutions, or getting elected to achieve them, as “conspiring with statists.” Apparently, they expect a stateless society ro spring from the earth, spontaneously, like weeds.

      The Dallas Accord, at the LP’s founding, had a FAR MORE realistic view toward evolving a free society, and far more TOLERANT of differing views. We’re all on a train, headed in the same direction. We all possess the right of self-governance, and can get off the train whenever we’ve each reached a destination acceptable to ourselves. Anarcho-libs will ride to the very end, but … and this is critical … THEY knew the obvious, that they could go NOWHERE on their own, and NEEDED various levels of minarchy to move the ball forward, to get them even close to their own chosen destination. Likewise, there’s never any need for any special help by minarchists … beyond our own self interest. Liberty is a SHARED value, and should be, among self-governing individuals

      Today, the greatest obstacle to liberty is … (some) libertarians … those who would deny the vast majority of us ANY baby steps forward, ANY expansion of individual liberty. Hard to imagine, for those who’ve been here from the start …. authoritarian anarchy!

  6. Volokh increases the viewpoint diversity among Reason authors by about 300%.

    Of course if you include commenters in the ranks of authors the increase is a bit less.

  7. I fully support viewpoint diversity.

    Some things I’m more libertarian about (e.g. free trade, opener borders), other things I’m conservative on (e.g. every citizen should be fingerprinted into a fully integrated database, just like India), and other things I’m liberal (e.g. progressive taxes… how about a wealth tax on the stock market casino?)

    The underlying objective of these viewpoints is to minimize suffering.

    1. Ummm, most corporate stock is owned by workers … employee pension funds, whose asset values are greater than the entire market value of the New York Stock Exchange, and over 75% of NYSE + NASDAQ. How many of those assets are in interest-bearing investments paying 1%?

      It’s capitalism that has created workers owning the means of production, and progressive ideologues who have created the near-bankruptcy of worker investments and security.

      We had 91% tax rates after WWII, and suffered five recessions in a mere 12 years. 1945-1957, until Kennedy repealed those rates. He also described how we collapsed from the only industrial base left on earth to “among the worst” in economic growth Top to bottom in only 16 years.

      In 1986, progressives wrote the tax “reform” that they bragged had “repealed Reaganomics” — actually repealed BOTH Reagan’s and Kennedy’s CAPITAL INVESTMENT incentives (unmm, factory jobs), which drove our manufacturing taxes back to the deadly postwar years. Now they blame the same Reaganomics they had repealed … for their own re-destruction of our industrial base and the resulting rise of inequality. They were “closing corporate loopholes!”

      What were you saying about suffering?

      1. Yes, the stock market allows anyone to enjoy the benefit of ownership. As you point out, pensions (now rare) and 401k’s enable the upper-middle class to benefit financially. However, the lower and middleclass, are largely left out. According to this WaPo article, 80% of the market value is owned by the top 10% And most jobs do not have pensions, many do not even have 401k’s. In actuality, the market results in “winner takes all” outcomes. A 1% tax on a market that has gained 15%, while a tremendous absolute sum, is small on a relative basis. And really, why does it make sense to tax active income more than passive income? Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

        In terms of the stock markets social function, we are told it allows companies to raise capitol. While this is quite true for small and medium size business, it is fiction for large enterprises (the S&P 500). These large corporations are doing the reverse of raising capitol. They are returning large sums through massive stock repurchase programs. Management is essentially using the stock repurchases to pay themselves, since they are compensated by stock options. Management should instead be doing there job of finding profitable ways to reinvest the capitol.

        1. Goddamn workers be exploiting workers! SOME WORKERS EARN MORE THAN OTHERS (GREEDY BASTARDS)

          WaPo suckers lefties.– again — in Op-Ed by “former economist to Vice President Joe Biden”

          1) His Op-Ed table does not appear at his link http://www.nber.org/papers/w20733.pdf
          2) Household wealth does not include personal value of employee pension assets, which total more than the entire NYSE.

          CORPORATIONS ARE SCREWING THEIR SHAREHOLDERS!!

          Wage and wealth inequality began soring in 1986, when our industrial base ? our best-paid union jobs ? were destroyed by liberal Democrats “closing corporate loopholes.”

          The 1986 “reform” was authored by DEMOCRATS – Bill Bradley and Richard Gephart. Democrats campaigned that year on having “repealed Reaganomics” — they now blame the SAME Reaganomics THEY REPEALED for the damage they caused.

          The “corporate loopholes” were the core of both Kennedy’s and Reagan’s tax reforms —
          which launched the ONLY peacetime booms since the 1920s.

          After WWII, our trade competitors — forced to rebuild bombed-out industrial bases ? replaced their “New Deal” style taxes for pro-investment policies — notably the tax depreciation of new capital investment, historically the “useful life” of factory equipment.

          We stayed with New Deal taxes ?. Including 91% tax rates and “useful life” factory equipment. The results were HORRIFIC.

          Cont’d

          1. Part 2

            We suffered 5 recessions in 12 years, 1945-1957, falling to what KENNEDY described “among the worst in economic growth” (1961 SOTU)

            Kennedy’s reforms included an immediate 10% tax credit (on top of depreciation) for buying job-creating factory equipment, FINALLY launching a postwar boom.

            Trade competitors were still more pro-investment, and our manufacturing base had again collapsed by the late 1970s. In 1980, BOTH parties campaigned on “reindustrialization.”

            Reagan’s reform ? SUPPORTED BY TED KENNEDY — “accelerated” depreciation (ACS) to 8 years on new factory equipment. Investment EXPLODED. From the REAL worst recession since the 1930s.

            Until 1986 ? dumbfuck liberals

            1) INCREASED TAXES on new investment in factory equipment (repealed JFKs tax credit)
            2) DOUBLED depreciation to 16 years (average)) WHEN OUR TRADE COMPETIORS WERE ALL AT FIVE YEARS OR LESS

            THAT is when our industrial base began shrinking (NOT MEXCANS!) ? as our best-paid union jobs were DESTROYED BY LIBERALS. (While equally dumbfuck fiscal conservatives began drowning in anti-gubmint slogans and soundbites ? including the libertarian establishment)

            DO THE MATH. If ONE worker must replace a lost $85,000 job with a $45.000 job ? average and median wages decline ? and the rich have a greater share of what’s left ? EVEN IF NOBODY ELSE suffers a wage loss.

            Anything else, snowflakes (both left and right)?

  8. Good job. Nothing is less valuable then arguing from a point of purity rather than arguing from a point of right or wrong.

    One’s agreement with some group should be treated as some mere statistical coincidence. It says nothing about any given argument.

  9. Welcome to Reason!

    How can you be libertarian and believe X is a valid question/argument.

    It does not preclude answers such as “I am not libertarian with respect to X because …”
    Or “I beleive X is consistent with Libertarianism because …..”

    A common attribute of libertarians is the relentless demand for intellectual and logical consistency.

    It is difficult for us to understand how others can tolerate inconsistency.

    Regardless, no matter how you answer the question we are more enlightened.

    1. A common attribute of libertarians is the relentless demand for intellectual and logical consistency.

      Then we agree that Ron Paul is the polar opposite of a libertarian — and a phonty conservative regarding the Constitution and/or individual liberty.

  10. Thanks for the post @EugeneVolokh. As public intellectuals (as opposed to partisans) the point is to bring our best game with intellectual honesty and integrity. If we’re honest, and have integrity, political labels are not important. I value that about your writing.

  11. So, is this Hihn dude a regular here at Reason? I notice that he’s single handedly responsible for at least half the comments on this thread, and 90% of the capital letters.

    1. You have to give Hihn credit for his boldness.

      1. I use boldness only in defense of AGGRESSION AND STALKING by assholes, bullies and blowhards .. like you. Like when you made a TOTAL ass of yourself here … https://reason.com/volokh/2017/…..nt_7073289 … wrong topic … wrong LANGUAGE!!! … AND a VERY STUPID bluff on dictionary definitions — which had already been proven wrong BEFORE you commented. Hint: reading the thread can avoid humiliating yourself like that.

        73% of my comments are responses … and over 80% of THEM are jamming it up the ass of bullies and authoritarians.

        This is a libertarian website, Sport.
        We have this “thing” about aggression. And authoritarians. And thugs.
        Especially when we can PROVE it. See link.

        (How many more assaults to “prove” he’s a Manly Man?)

        (Boldface in self-dense of aggression by a cyber-stalker)

        1. (Boldface because he’s a prissy little bitch)

    2. I notice that he’s single handedly responsible for at least half the comments on this thread, and 90% of the capital letters.

      HOW DARE ANYONE “talk back” to your assaults and cyber-stalking? (Nearly half his total comments)

      The authoritarian mentality be bullies.
      Brett moves WAY down page, hoping nobody sees his bullshit called out here.
      https://reason.com/volokh/2017/…..nt_7073290

      Now FOUR TIMES he REFUSES to defend his lying slander about Gary Johnson
      OR to explain his SPECIAL RIGHTS for only SOME Christians, despite Separation.
      AND his REFUSAL to address a GENUINE libertarian solution to “gay wedding cakes.”
      https://reason.com/volokh/2017/…..nt_7072697

      Blowhards and bullies be cowards when called out. Respond with MOAR AGGRESSION.
      Pathetic.

      Is he trolling for the Christian Taliban?? Or self-righteously anti-liberty? Both?

      Excuse my “talking back.”
      NOT

      1. I refuse to do what I’ve actually repeatedly done? Including a direct quote from him?

        “Further, when that business voluntarily opens its doors, the owners voluntarily agree to adhere to applicable laws and regulations — whether they like those laws or not.”

        What libertarian would describe being bound by laws and regulations as voluntary? As though running a business were some sort of privilege the government was entitled to subject to any condition it pleases? And that, by doing what you have a RIGHT to do, you ‘voluntarily’ subject yourself to any conditions it pleases the government to place on the exercise of that right?

        You might as well suggest that by walking through an alleyway, I volunteered to hand my wallet over to a mugger.

        Further, on drugs, Johnson favored legalization of marijuana, and that’s great, but, “we are not espousing the legalization of any drugs outside of marijuana.”

        That seems pretty clear: He opposed legalization beyond pot.

        My advice, Hihn, it that you kick the meth habit, breath into a paper bag, or whatever is necessary to calmly evaluate what people say, instead of exploding like this.

        1. STILL IGNORING HIS SPECIAL RIGHTS FOR (SOME) CHRISTIANS, DESPITE SEPARATION.

          NOW REFUSES TO DEAL WITH THE ONLY TRUE LIBERTARIAN POSITION ON THE PAGE

          “Further, when that business voluntarily opens its doors, the owners voluntarily agree to adhere to applicable laws and regulations — whether they like those laws or not.”

          What libertarian would describe being bound by laws and regulations as voluntary

          The vast majority who are minarchists.
          WHY DID YOU IGNORE THE SOLUTION? IN-CON-VEEEEEEN-YENT?

          instead of exploding like this.

          You’ve been PROVen a liar and/or a bully … seven times on this page.
          But STILL stalking me!! Revenge?

          1. Why would I “ignore” what I’ve already explicitly rejected? I said that I wouldn’t compel labor by anybody, regardless of the reason they wanted to refuse it. How is that according special rights to Christians?

            IMO, religion should have no special rights, because we should all have such liberty that absolutely anything it would make sense to permit somebody to do for a religious reason, you’d already be entitled to do for any reason whatsoever.

            You don’t need to exempt sacramental wine from Prohibition if you don’t have Prohibition, or peyote from the war on drugs, (Just Prohibition MK2, stupider because we already knew it was a mistake.) if you’re not waging a war on drugs.

            You don’t need to exempt Hobby Lobby or the Sisters of Peace from a contraceptive mandate, if you don’t have a contraceptive mandate.

            A FREE society doesn’t need religious exemptions. Our society deploys them because it’s not free, and has to make exceptions from the general lack of liberty for people who are sufficiently motivated to cause trouble if you oppress them. That’s the only reason religion gets exemptions, granted by people whose only religion is the State: Because religion is one of the few things that motivates enough people strongly enough that they’re willing to cause the State trouble if not given a pass on regulations nobody should have been subject to in the first place.

            1. Why would I “ignore” what I’ve already explicitly rejected?

              liar

              Now you babble about everything EXCEPT wedding cakes. (lol)

              STILL IGNORING HIS SPECIAL RIGHTS FOR (SOME) CHRISTIANS, DESPITE SEPARATION.

              NOW REFUSES TO DEAL WITH THE ONLY TRUE LIBERTARIAN POSITION ON THE PAGE

              1. Dumbfuck Hihnsano babbling while his Depends fill up.

                  1. Give us some screechings, Hihnny-poo.

  12. Yeah. That’s the kind of libertarian I can relate to.

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