Mirror Libertarianism

 

ProposalA young man once came to me with a paper in his pocket. On it was a list of reasons he and his beloved should be married. Convincing her was necessary, for she had once again turned down his proposal.

I thought the list odd but I scanned and shrugged.

“Aren’t my reasons good enough?” he asked.

“Oh, they are good enough,” said I, “but not … enough.”

We’ve recently spent a bit of time defining and discussing libertarianism. Allow me a brief moment to weigh in on behalf of those who are exhausted by it.

At the heart of this entire discussion is a truth often overlooked –  libertarians are right and everybody else is wrong.

For this reason, I lay my hat with everybody else.

The key is why they are wrong. They want to be. It is in their nature. If man was born free, then here we are. If man is everywhere in chains, it is because man finds chain more comfortable than rope.

Some men want freedom and some want control. The rest want to be controlled and reserve the right to complain about it.

Lion_1298618cLibertarians seem to reject this truth. They seem to see the rest as chained versions of themselves: zoo lions longing for the savannah.

But the lion does not long for the savannah. He longs for the zookeeper and his steak. At 1:00 PM daily.

The conservative recognizes this truth. The conservative hopes to cordon a reserve before the free lion runs off with a zookeeper.

The conservative simultaneously accepts the truth of the reasons the young man should be married and the truth that he won’t be married.

Modern American conservatism is therefore a real-world adaptation of libertarian ideas. Conservatism is as close to libertarianism as real life can get.

And so, dear libertarians, understand that it’s not that your reasons aren’t good enough. It’s that your reasons aren’t … enough.

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  1. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    It might be thought that this was a poor way to accumulate a princely fortune- and so it was, a very poor way indeed. But I am one of those who never take on about princely fortunes, and am quite content if the world is ready to board and lodge me, while I am putting up at this grim sign of the Thunder Cloud.

    • #1
  2. jetstream Inactive
    jetstream
    @jetstream

    Libertarian philosophy is about free to choose, no requirements required -other than the right for any individual to freely swing his fist stops where someone’s nose begins. This comment does not to imply anarchy, laws should protect individuals from the threatening actions of others, including statists and government regulators.

    Libertarians don’t require anyone to work, it’s choice each is free to make and the consequences are uniquely owned.

    • #2
  3. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    It’s that haircut.  Of course she said no.

    • #3
  4. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    jetstream: Libertarian philosophy is about free to choose

    Exactly.

    • #4
  5. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    The Libertarians have destroyed the links in the OP. (I don’t that they caused it but I have to blame someone and I CHOSE Libertarians.)

    • #5
  6. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    What do cats do? What does Casey have on his business cards?

    Why do I get a “If only people would listen.” vibe from Libertarians?

    • #6
  7. jetstream Inactive
    jetstream
    @jetstream

    Casey:

    jetstream: Libertarian philosophy is about free to choose

    Exactly.

    Libertarians correctly argue, in a libertarian society similar to the time of the Declaration of Independence, individuals mostly face a binary choice, work or starve.

    Only in modern, non-libertarian societies, can individuals safely chose not to work. What was the percentage that haunted Mitch Romney, 47% live an almost middle class lifestyle by choosing not to work.

    • #7
  8. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    jetstream:

    Casey:

    jetstream: Libertarian philosophy is about free to choose

    Exactly.

    Libertarians correctly argue, in a libertarian society similar to the time of the Declaration of Independence, individuals mostly face a binary choice, work or starve.

    They also have a choice to be libertarian or not.  And here we are.

    • #8
  9. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    10 cents:The Libertarians have destroyed the links in the OP. (I don’t that they caused it but I have to blame someone and I CHOSE Libertarians.)

    Aw geez… in all my effort to fix the pics the links broke.  Now if I try to fix the links I lose the pics.  You ignoring those links is probably easier than me fixing.  Just links to previous posts for those that may have missed them.

    • #9
  10. jetstream Inactive
    jetstream
    @jetstream

    Casey:

    jetstream:

    Casey:

    jetstream: Libertarian philosophy is about free to choose

    Exactly.

    Libertarians correctly argue, in a libertarian society similar to the time of the Declaration of Independence, individuals mostly face a binary choice, work or starve.

    They also have a choice to be libertarian or not. And here we are.

    Until they run out of other people’s money. There’s a tipping point when only a fool would continue to produce while everyone else is at the beach. Which is why the main products of  communism and socialism are misery and poverty. 90 or whatever percent of the population can vote themselves the equivalent of a permanent vacation, eventually that means huts with dirt floors for everyone.

    • #10
  11. Limestone Cowboy Coolidge
    Limestone Cowboy
    @LimestoneCowboy

    Casey: The key is why they are wrong. They want to be. It is in their nature. If man was born free, then here we are. If man is everywhere in chains it is because man finds chain more comfortable than rope.

    Not quite, Casey. I’m not libertarian, but I don’t want to be wrong, and I don’t think I am.

    I’m a libertarian-leaning conservative, and at one (brief) time would have classified myself as a Randian.

    What persuades  me to move into the conservative camp (again, with a strong libertarian inclination) is that humans,  unique in the animal kingdom undeniably show a dual nature. Our uniquely human part is capable of marvels of reason, foresight, hindsight, ambition.. you name it. Moose and monkeys don’t speculate on the cosmos, or on the origins of life.

    Our animal side is still driven by primordial needs and instincts. Hunger is to be feared and avoided, children are to be protected, threats vanquished. I understand why genuinely impoverished people resort to theft or violence to ensure their own survival.The lion on the savannah is not concerned with the morality of violating zebra rights. The impoverished man is not concerned about the morality of stealing food.

    Indeed, one could argue that a fully developed and truly human society can only develop once a sufficient level of wealth (food, water, shelter) has been accumulated to ensure the survival of the human animal. Only then can human society emerge.

    The wisdom of classical conservatism is that it lives in the world as it is. It recognizes this duality and relies on experience.

    The brilliance of libertarians is that they can envision the world as it should be. Their weakness is that they can’t (or are less willing) to  deal with the world as it is right now.

    • #11
  12. 10 cents Member
    10 cents
    @

    Casey:

    10 cents:The Libertarians have destroyed the links in the OP. (I don’t that they caused it but I have to blame someone and I CHOSE Libertarians.)

    Aw geez… in all my effort to fix the pics the links broke. Now if I try to fix the links I lose the pics. You ignoring those links is probably easier than me fixing. Just links to previous posts for those that may have missed them.

    David Sussman also had problems.

    If they keep fixing the site nothing will work.  An anonymous quote from me.

    • #12
  13. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    Limestone Cowboy: The brilliance of libertarians is that they can envision what the world as it should be. Their weakness is that they can’t (or are less willing) to  deal with the world as it is right now.

    This is exactly what I mean.

    • #13
  14. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    jetstream:

    Casey:

    jetstream:

    Casey:

    jetstream: Libertarian philosophy is about free to choose

    Exactly.

    Libertarians correctly argue, in a libertarian society similar to the time of the Declaration of Independence, individuals mostly face a binary choice, work or starve.

    They also have a choice to be libertarian or not. And here we are.

    Until they run out of other people’s money. There’s a tipping point when only a fool would continue to produce while everyone else is at the beach. Which is why the main products of communism and socialism are misery and poverty. 90 or whatever percent of the population can vote themselves the equivalent of a permanent vacation, eventually that means huts with dirt floors for everyone.

    I’m not sure I’m following.

    • #14
  15. Limestone Cowboy Coolidge
    Limestone Cowboy
    @LimestoneCowboy

    Casey:

    Limestone Cowboy: The brilliance of libertarians is that they can envision what the world as it should be. Their weakness is that they can’t (or are less willing) to deal with the world as it is right now.

    This is exactly what I mean.

    Hi Casey.

    Sorry.. I was taking issue only with the emphasized statement. Apparently my rhetorical device detector malfunctioned.

    I’m glad we’re on the same page.

    • #15
  16. jetstream Inactive
    jetstream
    @jetstream

    Casey:

    jetstream:

    Casey:

    jetstream:

    Casey:

    jetstream: Libertarian philosophy is about free to choose

    Exactly.

    Libertarians correctly argue, in a libertarian society similar to the time of the Declaration of Independence, individuals mostly face a binary choice, work or starve.

    They also have a choice to be libertarian or not. And here we are.

    Until they run out of other people’s money. There’s a tipping point when only a fool would continue to produce while everyone else is at the beach. Which is why the main products of communism and socialism are misery and poverty. 90 or whatever percent of the population can vote themselves the equivalent of a permanent vacation, eventually that means huts with dirt floors for everyone.

    I’m not sure I’m following.

    Think Greece at the terminal stage.

    • #16
  17. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    jetstream: Think Greece at the terminal stage

    Will this make libertarians of Greeks?

    • #17
  18. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Casey: But the lion does not long for the savannah. He longs for the zookeeper and his steak. At 1PM daily.

    Tell me you have read The Life of Pi. :)

    • #18
  19. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    jetstream: Until they run out of other people’s money. There’s a tipping point when only a fool would continue to produce while everyone else is at the beach. Which is why the main products of  communism and socialism are misery and poverty. 90 or whatever percent of the population can vote themselves the equivalent of a permanent vacation, eventually that means huts with dirt floors for everyone.

    I think on a simple level that is true. But what western civilization faces right now is a chaos brought on by 100 years of dancing with socialism, and a government that has grown like a weedy vine, complete with thorns, throughout the country. The regulatory state inhibits that poor person from taking a job at a gas station and saving a little money each week until she can buy the gas station from the big company. It inhibits the gas station owner from hiring the poor person in the first place–it’s just too costly to take on an employee. It’s easier for the owner to work most of the hours himself.

    The cost of supporting the government is borne by everyone, rich and poor alike.

    We find ourselves in an tightly woven economy, an ecology, where everything is ridiculously connected to everything else. No one can move.

    And it is strangling the poor most tightly of all.

    At least that’s how I see it.

    • #19
  20. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    I have not read Pi. Completely unfamiliar with it.

    • #20
  21. MarciN Member
    MarciN
    @MarciN

    Casey:I have not read Pi. Completely unfamiliar with it.

    Your description of the life of animals matches the one in this wonderful book.

    It is a delightful book. I’m only halfway through it, and I am really enjoying it. The first part takes place in a zoo in India. It is funny.

    • #21
  22. Aaron Miller Member
    Aaron Miller
    @AaronMiller

    Good post. It’s thought-provoking, whatever one thinks of the conclusion.

    Can a libertarian be free without forcing freedom on his fellow citizens? Can he be an equal citizen without being an equal participant?

    I think of libertarian political philosophy as a companion to conservatism. Conservatism seeks moral freedom. Libertarianism seeks legal freedom. They can serve each other.

    • #22
  23. Casey Inactive
    Casey
    @Casey

    I’m not sure I’d say companion.

    Libertarian and Conservative is not unlike couples without children and couples with children. Before having children one has all sorts of great ideas about how to raise them. And in fact their ideas are great. But then you have children and get down to brass tacks. Listening to the other couples at that point makes you say stuff like “yeah, but here’s the thing. ”

    I think a lot of conservatives begin with libertarian ideas then move on to brass tacks.

    • #23
  24. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    jetstream:Libertarian philosophy…

    That’s the problem.  There is philosophy, and there is the real life of persons. It’s good to have a philosophy to go with your life, and it’s also good to have a life to go with your philosophy.

    • #24
  25. jetstream Inactive
    jetstream
    @jetstream

    The Reticulator:

    jetstream:Libertarian philosophy…

    That’s the problem. There is philosophy, and there is the real life of persons. It’s good to have a philosophy to go with your life, and it’s also good to have a life to go with your philosophy.

    America did at the time the Declaration of Independence was signed. The U.S. Constitution is an excellent libertarian blueprint.

    • #25
  26. Ball Diamond Ball Inactive
    Ball Diamond Ball
    @BallDiamondBall

    Limestone Cowboy:
    “The wisdom of classical conservatism is that it lives in the world as it is. It recognizes this duality and relies on experience.

    The brilliance of libertarians is that they can envision the world as it should be. Their weakness is that they can’t (or are less willing) to deal with the world as it is right now.”

    And this differs from progressivism how? Rhetorical question, there is no difference. Left progressives seek socialist upheaval. Right progressives seek anarchist upheaval. All to varying degrees, to be sure, and both sides frequently reject the labels.
    Conservatism is neither extreme, but the recognition that what got us here so far is probably superior to whatever will result from novel social engineering of any sort.

    • #26
  27. Fred Cole Inactive
    Fred Cole
    @FredCole

    So let me get this straight:

    Because some people are comfortable being wrapped in mommy’s warm blanket of socialism, I’m wrong to prefer freedom to coercion?

    • #27
  28. katievs Inactive
    katievs
    @katievs

    Casey:Libertarian and Conservative is not unlike couples without children and couples with children. Before having children one has all sorts of great ideas about how to raise them. And in fact their ideas are great. But then you have children and get down to brass tacks. Listening to the other couples at that point makes you say stuff like “yeah, but here’s the thing. ”

    I think a lot of conservatives begin with libertarian ideas then move on to brass tacks.

    Yes, exactly so. I’m with you, Casey.

    • #28
  29. The Reticulator Member
    The Reticulator
    @TheReticulator

    Fred Cole:So let me get this straight:

    Because some people are comfortable being wrapped in mommy’s warm blanket of socialism, I’m wrong to prefer freedom to coercion?

    That depends. Was it wrong for the young man in the anecdote to want the woman to marry him?

    • #29
  30. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Fred Cole:So let me get this straight:

    Because some people are comfortable being wrapped in mommy’s warm blanket of socialism, I’m wrong to prefer freedom to coercion?

    I’d say, because people want the blanket, you cannot expect the world to end up aligning in a libertarian way. And you clearly cannot expect the voters to approve it.

    I have been harping on community rights in these threads in the past week because they are a great example (outside of socialism), where what libertarians want is in opposition to what voters want.

    Voters like zoning laws. They like the local government supporting their communities in the way they want them. Voters want things like noise laws, laws about 17 cars parked on the grass, HOA rules about keeping garage doors closed. Voters to not want strip clubs built next to schools, and laws to stop them.

    Libertarians, if they had their way, would have national laws, rules, amendments etc. that would prohibit these local laws from existing. This is because libertarians see these local laws as infringements on individual liberty. The average person is never going to see it that way. The average person wants to live in a community of people that are like themselves, and they want laws support that.

    That does not make them socialists, or no better than Stalin.

    • #30
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