Secular Conservatism, Libertarians, Progressives, and Marriage

 

I take conservatism to be an appreciation and defense of what has been proven to work, and which benefits society and the individual in a balance.

If that seems overly-broad, let me provide an example.  Morality is effective in curbing largely destructive impulses and reactions, therefore morality is worth defending in principle, with some room for debate on many fronts.  Not all morality is the same, and it is not always helpful in the particulars.  But to hold that morality is not a necessary part of society is anti-conservative in my view, as morality is the most tested method for a society to control its own behavior with respect for the society and the individual in balance. 

Libertarianism is a radical extreme that places no value on society as a body, and progressivism is a radical extreme that places no value on the individual.  Conservatism is the compromise position arrived at through experience, and stored in our cultural traditions as the wisdom of the ages.  To a secular conservative, the Bible is one of many instruments to this end.  Just because there is a religious proscription against adultery doesn’t mean that only religious people can defend a belief that adultery is harmful to individuals and society.  Likewise with other religious proscriptions.

Religion is, of course, a large component of the conservative movement, but philosophically it is not a necessary component of a thoroughly conservative position.  Not even for marriage.  I view the partnership between religion and conservatism as a co-development from a common origin.  Shared predicates yield shared conclusions, and therefore common interest.  Where religion ascribes things to God, secular conservatism agrees to the extent that it is destructive of society and the individual for mankind to mess with certain things.  Progressivism on the other hand is the confidence that a small group of people in the present know better than (on the one hand) everybody else across time, and better than (on the Other hand) God in His infinite wisdom.  Secular conservatism and religion get along just fine as defenders of our culture.

I see value in describing much of libertarianism as allied with progressivism, because conservatism is where the middle is, and to pull us off that mark either this way or that is just as destructive.  If a movement seeks to abolish our traditions as proven over time, it is not conservatism.  Progressivism and libertarianism get along just fine as disruptors of our culture.

There is already a philosophical position consistent with conservatism which enshrines human rights and the liberty of the individual: it is called conservatism.

Now, not every tradition is valuable, and a slavish devotion to traditions which are not good is not conservatism; that’s mechanism, on the process level.  Radical opposition to a flawed and failing government is not anti-conservative, but radical opposition to the institutions of our culture, most definitely is.

For example, you could argue that big spending by government is now a tradition and that it is therefore conservative to defend it and radical to oppose it, but this is wrong for a number of reasons.  First, it may be a tradition, but empirically it has not been proven to be a useful one.  Some spending is necessary, some spending is excessive — making judgements is important, and at any rate, even if all projects were equally worthy, the sheer sum of spending which displaces other worthy but non-government projects must be taken into account and weighed for relative merit.  Big spending is anti-conservative because it is destructive.

Second, the dependencies come to play in that objects and policies are not the only subjects to be appreciated and defended.  The decision to spend less is no less valuable than the process by which we arrive at that decision, and its implications.  If we feel that the accumulated wisdom vouchsafed in our culture is probably more valuable as a guide for society (in the aggregate) than the intellect spawned in a few brilliant fellows, then a process which lends itself to operation gently over time by many rather than abruptly, once, by the few is an inherently conservative method of arriving at conclusions.  Big spending is anti-conservative because it operates through an anti-conservative process.

As the free market is operated gently by many, and government spending is operated forcefully by few, any problem not specifically recommended for government remedy is probably better handled outside of government.  So no matter how “traditional” big spending may have become, it is not conservative in itself, and it is not conservative to defend it merely because it is the status quo.

Marriage pre-dates any law.  It simply is, and it is between one man and one woman.  This may sound circular, or like a “no true Scot” defense, but I assert it as a foundational fact.   Marriage is not produced by law any more than our rights are.  Marriage is enshrined and defended by law in our culture, and if the law should fall, marriage would remain, just as our rights do.  The law does not trump marriage.

This should not be too alarming; conservatism is a platform, a set of positions.  Some planks rest upon others and not all must be as heavily pedigreed.  I hold that marriage is a foundational plank in the conservative platform.  I hold that marriage is an emergent cultural defense against various destructive impulses and reactions, including those of jealous males, engineering females, and hostile out-group sentiment.  Good manners are a defense against some offenses which can become lethal, and marriage is a defense against outrage.

Humans are sexual beings (as our grade-schoolers are reminded every minute by government busybodies), and many of our impulses and reactions are not rational in the way we would like, no matter how logical they may be from a chromosome’s point of view.  As manners are typically maintained by society itself, morality is often maintained by religion as a specific example of a philosophy operating in context.

As the male-female pairing is not up for debate in conservatism (I challenge you to convince me that it is not what has been proven to work), so the societal adaptation which defends it is a necessary component of conservatism.  I realize that many “conservatives” disagree with this, but they are mistaken about either their conservatism or their conclusions.

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  1. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Misthiocracy:

    Fred Cole:

    Misthiocracy:

    Jamie Lockett:

    The King Prawn: And when society becomes abusive to the individual and liberty then what? It’s not like pulling up stakes and leaving the western society is really an option.

    ”Society” doesn’t become abusive to individual liberty, individuals or government do

    Not necessarily true. Even without the government’s monopoly on the use of force, society can use persuasion tactics that many could describe as “abusive”.

    Shunning, shaming, ostracizing, slander, libel, and fraud, for example. These are non-violent persuasion tactics that many nonetheless consider “abusive”.

    I’d consider fraud to be a form of theft, and therefore coercive.

    I never wrote that fraud is not coercive. I wrote that it is non-violent.

    Okay.  Well for the purposes of our discussion, I consider fraud to be theft, and therefore a form of violence.

    • #91
  2. user_280840 Inactive
    user_280840
    @FredCole

    Jamie Lockett:

    The King Prawn: Government does not exist apart from society. It is merely one facet of society.

    Government is merely the name we give to things we do together?

    Government is a product of society, it is not part of society. It is a seperate entity we grant special limited powers to in order to protect certain rights.

     If you’re going to say this, I’d amend it to specify democratic forms of government.  I wouldn’t consider a military dictatorship to be the product of society.

    • #92
  3. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Mike H:

    The King Prawn:

    Frank Soto: False middles are awful rhetorical tricks, not only because of how poorly they reflect reality, but because of the condescension that lays behind them. It is saying that everyone but those who hold your opinion are not only wrong, but unreasonable. Only you and those who think like you are in their right brain.

    You’re still arguing against a rhetorical device and not against the concept being abused by it. Strain out the point and battle that.

    Why does Frank have to explain why he doesn’t beat his wife exactly?

    So now you feel that attacking the form is sufficient?  Accusation made, point gained, eh?  Sounds like the shoe is on the other foot.

    • #93
  4. user_130720 Member
    user_130720
    @

    Ball Diamond Ball: Progressivism on the other hand is the confidence that a small group of people in the present know better than (on the one hand) everybody else across time, and better than (on the Other hand) God in His infinite wisdom. 

     If someone has come up with a better concise definition of “Progressivism” I’ve yet to read it. As for me (and I’d like to think) and my house, I’m with Chesterton who said, “Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to the small and arrogant oligarchy of those who merely happen to be walking about.” With a phone and pen.

    • #94
  5. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Jamie Lockett:

    The King Prawn: Government does not exist apart from society. It is merely one facet of society.

    Government is merely the name we give to things we do together?

    Government is a product of society, it is not part of society. It is a seperate entity we grant special limited powers to in order to protect certain rights.

     Well, sure. Obama’s remark has some truth to it even though it’s not entirely accurate or nearly complete. That’s why we’ve had so much difficulty combating it and “you didn’t build that”.

    Otherwise, government isn’t instituted merely to protect certain rights ( I assume you mean individual rights). For instance, the constitution’s purpose is to “form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity”. Protecting rights can be even less pertinent when it comes to state and local government charters.

    • #95
  6. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Jamie Lockett: Government is a product of society, it is not part of society. It is a seperate entity we grant special limited powers to in order to protect certain rights.

     Tomato, tomahto. Government exists within society because society wills it into being. It does not stand outside of society.

    • #96
  7. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Fred Cole:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Fred Cole:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Libertarianism is a radical extreme that places no value on society as a body,

    Can you define “society” for us? Additionally: Who makes up “society”?

    Hmmm, good question. Try this: Society is those people who have instituted a government among themsleves to guard their persons and their culture from invasions and impositions of foreign ways of life. Oh, and borders.

    Okay, so society is the government? Or just the people who instituted the government? Or just the supporters of the government?

     Hmmm, good question. Try this: Society is those people who have instituted a government among themselves to guard their persons and their culture from invasions and impositions of foreign ways of life. Oh, and borders.

    • #97
  8. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Ed G.: And that may have been an overriding concern in Bastiat’s France with its political turmoil and recent intimate memory of monarchy where government was largely imposed onto society. That’s still a valid concern today too, but my impression (despite the unfortunate wording in the original post) is that BDB is asserting a libertarian over-emphasis on protecting society from government as if the two were entirely distinct and at odds, as if government were being imposed onto society rather than government in our system being an outgrowth and tool of society and community.

     When characterizing BDB’s argument I think you’re too quick to disregard the actual text of what he wrote in order salvage a more defensible position out of it. In my experience, BDB is someone who says precisely what he means. If you don’t feel inclined to defend what he wrote that’s understandable, but he didn’t make the argument you’re defending.

    • #98
  9. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Misthiocracy: Actually, if it wasn’t for government it would be possible to pull up stakes and move to a more remote geographical area. If I didn’t like the culture, rules, and taxes of the city I could move to the country. Unfortunately, thanks to government, the number of rules and the severity of taxes are just as onerous in the country as they are in the city, so why bother?

     Have you ever tried to buy cigarettes at a gas station you didn’t realize was actually in Maryland?  If you think you’re in Virginia, you might not bring enough money.  If you didn’t know the difference between one backwood country area and another just based on state government, you would by the time you staggered out of there. 

    • #99
  10. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    The King Prawn:

    Salvatore Padula: Basically I think an individual’s responsibility to society is not to commit acts of aggression or fraud, and to refrain from creating public nuisances. If you take a broader definition of society as being synonymous with the polity I would add the obligations to follow the law.

    But society doesn’t (or at least it hasn’t always) callled the cops at the first sign of acts of aggression, fraud, or nuisance.

     So?

    • #100
  11. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Fred Cole:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Fred Cole:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Libertarianism is a radical extreme that places no value on society as a body,

    Can you define “society” for us? Additionally: Who makes up “society”?

    Hmmm, good question. Try this: Society is those people who have instituted a government among themsleves to guard their persons and their culture from invasions and impositions of foreign ways of life. Oh, and borders.

    Okay, so society is the government? Or just the people who instituted the government? Or just the supporters of the government?

    Hmmm, good question. Try this: Society is those people who have instituted a government among themselves to guard their persons and their culture from invasions and impositions of foreign ways of life. Oh, and borders.

     I think it would help clarify things if you could explain if/how you think society can act apart from through government.

    • #101
  12. Frank Soto Contributor
    Frank Soto
    @FrankSoto

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Mike H:

    The King Prawn:

    Frank Soto: False middles are awful rhetorical tricks, not only because of how poorly they reflect reality, but because of the condescension that lays behind them. It is saying that everyone but those who hold your opinion are not only wrong, but unreasonable. Only you and those who think like you are in their right brain.

    You’re still arguing against a rhetorical device and not against the concept being abused by it. Strain out the point and battle that.

    Why does Frank have to explain why he doesn’t beat his wife exactly?

    So now you feel that attacking the form is sufficient? Accusation made, point gained, eh? Sounds like the shoe is on the other foot.

     I addressed that your portrayal of both liberals and libertarians was a poor reflection of reality.  More of a conservative pep rally than any interesting point.  I don’t feel it requires any more of a dressing down.

    • #102
  13. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Salvatore Padula: So?

     Either people once took their responsibility to society much more seriously individually, or society took it’s enforcement of norms much more seriously collectively. Either is possible. Now we have litigious individuals and a society as a whole that cries “there ought to be a law!” every time someone colors outside the lines.

    • #103
  14. Majestyk Contributor
    Majestyk
    @Majestyk

    Fred Cole:

    They’re based on the same principle. Dr. Walter Williams was drafted as a young man. He refers to it as “having my labor services confiscated.”

    How is having one’s labor services confiscated during an alleged “extreme national duress” (that “duress” meaning that a war isn’t popular enough to get the number of volunteers the government deems necessary) different from having one’s labor services confiscated to bake a gay couple a cake?

     

     And Dr. Williams is absolutely correct that his labor was being confiscated.  The part that he and you are leaving out is that he was being compensated for it – now, perhaps that compensation wasn’t the market clearing price, but he wasn’t a chattel slave either.

    The difference of course is that in the first case, there is justification for drafting conscripts under the heading of national defense (which is a public good) and there is no reasonable justification for forcing people to engage in commerce with other people whom they otherwise wouldn’t on the basis of a voluntary behavioral characteristic.

    Just as that same baker shouldn’t be forced to bake a Hitler Birthday cake for a Neo-Nazi.

    • #104
  15. The King Prawn Inactive
    The King Prawn
    @TheKingPrawn

    Frank Soto: I addressed that your portrayal of both liberals and libertarians was a poor reflection of reality. More of a conservative pep rally than any interesting point. I don’t feel it requires any more of a dressing down.

    Oh, please do defend the liberals against the OP, for mental exercise and our amusement if nothing else.  

    • #105
  16. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Fred Cole: Okay.  Well for the purposes of our discussion, I consider fraud to be theft, and therefore a form of violence.

    Therefore, according to your definitions of the terms, “force” is not required for an act to be “violent”?

    • #106
  17. Ed G. Member
    Ed G.
    @EdG

    Salvatore Padula:

    Ed G.: And that may have been an overriding concern in Bastiat’s France with its political turmoil and recent intimate memory of monarchy where government was largely imposed onto society. That’s still a valid concern today too, but my impression (despite the unfortunate wording in the original post) is that BDB is asserting a libertarian over-emphasis on protecting society from government as if the two were entirely distinct and at odds, as if government were being imposed onto society rather than government in our system being an outgrowth and tool of society and community.

    When characterizing BDB’s argument I think you’re too quick to disregard the actual text of what he wrote in order salvage a more defensible position out of it. In my experience, BDB is someone who says precisely what he means. If you don’t feel inclined to defend what he wrote that’s understandable, but he didn’t make the argument you’re defending.

     Fair ’nuff.

    • #107
  18. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Salvatore Padula:

    I think the confusion is that you’ve claimed that libertarianism places no value on society. Frederic Bastiat is one of the intellectual founding fathers of libertarianism and throughout his works emphasizes the importance of protecting society from the state.

     I well know who Bastiat is.  He is one of the clearest proponents of limited government conservatism.  He was a liberal in his day, meaning that he was opposed to a powerful government,  But he was a conservative in that he saw a necessary function in government, of the “men are not angels” variety.

    He speaks of citizens of a country, not vagrants of the global soup-kitchen traipsing across one another’s property.
    Libertarians are fond of him, and they claim him as their own.  But what of Bastiat there is in libertarianism is also limited-government conservative.

    Libertarians are not conservatives.  They wish to lay claim to the intersection of libertarianism and conservatism, which only diminishes conservatism and does not attract adherents to the kook part that conservatives won’t touch, like gay marriage and open borders.

    Of course, the Bastiat Institute is thoroughly libertarian  but it was named for him, not by him.

    • #108
  19. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    The King Prawn:

    Salvatore Padula: So?

    Either people once took their responsibility to society much more seriously individually, or society took it’s enforcement of norms much more seriously collectively. Either is possible. Now we have litigious individuals and a society as a whole that cries “there ought to be a law!” every time someone colors outside the lines.

    But there are, and always have been, laws against aggression, fraud, and nuisance. That enforcement isn’t perfect is certainly true (and has always been true), but I don’t see its relevance to this discussion.  

    • #109
  20. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Salvatore Padula:

    Misthiocracy:

    The King Prawn:

    Salvatore Padula: It’s about the extent of the obligations society imposes on an individual.

    The realistic difficulty of selecting a different society or polity makes the obligations imposed by society rather absolute, no?

    Without government and its monopoly on the use of force, society has no ability to impose obligations on the individual. It can only persuade the individual that these obligations exist and are in the individual’s best interest.

    That’s a very good point and I’ve been meaning to mention it, but in the context of this discussion it seems as though the conservative side is using the term “society” in a sense very close to that of “state.”

     Society can throw off a government.  
    If individual people are trees, society is the forest, and the state is The Self-Governing National Forest.  Obviously this analogy breaks down if we talk about the sawmill by the river.  The superposition of the political entity with the human one is the distinction I draw.   

    • #110
  21. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Ball Diamond Ball: He speaks of citizens of a country, not vagrants of the global soup-kitchen traipsing across one another’s property.

     I know that there are a few open-borders libertarians/anarchists on Ricochet, but most libertarians recognize the legitimacy of the Westphalian conception of national sovereignty. You’ve repeatedly made mention of the importance of securing national borders with the implication that this is an area of disagreement between yourself and libertarianism. It isn’t. The most common strain of libertarianism is the social contractarian variety which places a great deal of emphasis on the sovereign nation-state as being the basic unit of the social contract.

    • #111
  22. Misthiocracy Member
    Misthiocracy
    @Misthiocracy

    Ball Diamond Ball:  I well know who Bastiat is.  He is one of the clearest proponents of limited government conservatism.  He was a liberal in his day, meaning that he was opposed to a powerful government,  But he was a conservative in that he saw a necessary function in government, of the “men are not angels” variety.

    “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?” – Frédéric Bastiat

    • #112
  23. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Ball Diamond Ball: I well know who Bastiat is. He is one of the clearest proponents of limited government conservatism. He was a liberal in his day, meaning that he was opposed to a powerful government, But he was a conservative in that he saw a necessary function in government, of the “men are not angels” variety.

     Bastiat’s position on government is basically the standard modern libertarian position. In The Law he wrote that state action is only justified as a “substitution of a common force for individual forces” and that an individual may use force to protect “his person, his liberty, and his property.” If you agree with Bastiat you’re functionally a libertarian whatever you prefer to self-identify as.

    • #113
  24. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Ed G.:

    Salvatore Padula:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Misthiocracy:

    …..Frederic Bastiat

    I agree with this and it is actually a plank in my own conception of conservatism. So I am puzzled by the accusation that I have conflated the two…..

    I think the confusion is that you’ve claimed that libertarianism places no value on society. Frederic Bastiat … emphasizes the importance of protecting society from the state.

    And that may have been an overriding concern in Bastiat’s France with its political turmoil and recent intimate memory of monarchy where government was largely imposed onto society. That’s still a valid concern today too, but my impression (despite the unfortunate wording in the original post) is that BDB is asserting a libertarian over-emphasis on protecting society from government as if the two were entirely distinct and at odds, as if government were being imposed onto society rather than government in our system being an outgrowth and tool of society and community.

     Right.  Government is the wrong hammer for most staple-sized problems.  But we do have a government and for very good reasons, which are few and well-defined.  Government should protect, not change, our society.

    • #114
  25. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Salvatore Padula:

    Ed G.:  government was largely imposed onto society. That’s still a valid concern today too, but my impression (despite the unfortunate wording in the original post) is that BDB is asserting a libertarian over-emphasis on protecting society from government as if the two were entirely distinct and at odds, as if government were being imposed onto society rather than government in our system being an outgrowth and tool of society and community.

    When characterizing BDB’s argument I think you’re too quick to disregard the actual text of what he wrote in order salvage a more defensible position out of it. In my experience, BDB is someone who says precisely what he means. If you don’t feel inclined to defend what he wrote that’s understandable, but he didn’t make the argument you’re defending.

     He’s putting it rather more charitably than I would, and I wasn’t aiming for this particular leg of the stool, so to speak, but I accept the substance of what he said.  You’re right, I didn’t say quite that, but I feel it is consistent with my position as expressed.

    • #115
  26. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Salvatore Padula:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Fred Cole:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Fred Cole:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Libertarianism is a radical extreme that places no value on society as a body,

    Can you define “society” for us? Additionally: Who makes up “society”?

    Hmmm, good question. Try this: Society is those people who have instituted a government among themsleves to guard their persons and their culture from invasions and impositions of foreign ways of life. Oh, and borders.

    Okay, so society is the government? Or just the people who instituted the government? Or just the supporters of the government?

    Hmmm, good question. Try this: Society is those people who have instituted a government among themselves to guard their persons and their culture from invasions and impositions of foreign ways of life. Oh, and borders.

    I think it would help clarify things if you could explain if/how you think society can act apart from through government.

     Normative morals.  Social obligations.  Expectations of assimilation.  Welcoming strangers as Americans.  Group outrage at egregious transgressions of minority rights.  (Also, group transgressions of minority rights — society is not always positive, but it is usually less harmful than government).

    Helpful?

    • #116
  27. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Misthiocracy:

    Fred Cole: Okay. Well for the purposes of our discussion, I consider fraud to be theft, and therefore a form of violence.

    Therefore, according to your definitions of the terms, “force” is not required for an act to be “violent”?

    I disagree with the “violent” condition.  Any non-consensual invasion of life, liberty, property, or the freedom to pursue happiness, diminishes liberty.  Such acts are, rightfully, deemed crimes.  The use of coercion to enforce a prohibition on such crimes increases individual liberty, rather than diminishes it.  This is one of the few proper functions of government.  

    Fraud, like burglary, is a crime against property.  Just because it doesn’t involve violence, doesn’t mean it is not an infringement of the property owner’s rights and freedoms.

    Fred, extending the term “violence” to include fraud opens the door to extending it to include hurt feelings.  “You do violence to my feelings when you won’t bake me a cake.”  It is better to be precise with our terms, imho.

    • #117
  28. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Salvatore Padula:

    When characterizing BDB’s argument I think you’re too quick to disregard the actual text of what he wrote in order salvage a more defensible position out of it. In my experience, BDB is someone who says precisely what he means. If you don’t feel inclined to defend what he wrote that’s understandable, but he didn’t make the argument you’re defending.

    He’s putting it rather more charitably than I would, and I wasn’t aiming for this particular leg of the stool, so to speak, but I accept the substance of what he said. You’re right, I didn’t say quite that, but I feel it is consistent with my position as expressed.

     Fair enough.

    • #118
  29. hawk@haakondahl.com Inactive
    hawk@haakondahl.com
    @BallDiamondBall

    Frank Soto:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Mike H:

    The King Prawn:

    Frank Soto: False middles 

    You’re still arguing against a rhetorical device and not against the concept being abused by it. Strain out the point and battle that.

    Why does Frank have to explain why he doesn’t beat his wife exactly?

    So now you feel that attacking the form is sufficient? Accusation made, point gained, eh? Sounds like the shoe is on the other foot.

    I addressed that your portrayal of both liberals and libertarians was a poor reflection of reality. More of a conservative pep rally than any interesting point. I don’t feel it requires any more of a dressing down.

     I didn’t take exception to your protest,  but addressed it a while back in a two-part comment.  Whether you feel that carries the day or not, I welcome criticism of bad form.  I just don’t feel it actually applies in this case.
    I  note Mike H’s newfound appreciation for attacking the form of an argument rather than the substance.  That’s the shifted shoe.

    • #119
  30. user_653084 Inactive
    user_653084
    @SalvatorePadula

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Salvatore Padula:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

    Fred Cole:

    Ball Diamond Ball:

     

     

     

    Hmmm, good question. Try this: Society is those people who have instituted a government among themsleves to guard their persons and their culture from invasions and impositions of foreign ways of life. Oh, and borders.

    Okay, so society is the government? Or just the people who instituted the government? Or just the supporters of the government?

    Hmmm, good question. Try this: Society is those people who have instituted a government among themselves to guard their persons and their culture from invasions and impositions of foreign ways of life. Oh, and borders.

    I think it would help clarify things if you could explain if/how you think society can act apart from through government.

    Normative morals. Social obligations. Expectations of assimilation. Welcoming strangers as Americans. Group outrage at egregious transgressions of minority rights. (Also, group transgressions of minority rights — society is not always positive, but it is usually less harmful than government).

    Helpful?

     Yes. Now why is it that you think libertarianism does not value a society which acts in these ways?

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