Tag: Libertarianism

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Donald J. Trump is the Republican Nominee in the 2016 General Election. This is a fact. Now those of us who care must begin to plan the alternative; to plan a new party. This must not be a hastily done matter, and requires great thought and consideration; there is no chance that a new party […]

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An Open Letter to Republicans

 

shutterstock_69030448For as long as I’ve been eligible to vote, I’ve been registered as a Republican. Through highs and lows (and more lows), I have maintained that party registration, even as my political and philosophical leanings have brought me from conservatism to libertarianism. In theory, the Republican Party was the conservative party and, to me, there was enough of an overlap in the Venn diagram between conservatives and libertarians to allow me to stay. I stuck around because I believed that there was a space for me in the Republican Party. And there was: Libertarians were a small part of the party, but an accepted part nonetheless.

Last night, that all changed. After Donald Trump’s victory in Indiana and Senator Ted Cruz’s withdrawal from the race, it’s clear that Trump will be the Republican nominee. And so, last night, I filled out the form to change my party registration.

I feel there is no longer room for me in the Republican Party. It is no longer even nominally a conservative party. During this primary season, record numbers of Republicans have turned out to endorse Donald Trump. I don’t know what the hell Trumpism is (well, I have some idea), but I don’t want any part of it. It’s not conservatism and it is utterly at odds with the values of individual liberty that I hold dear. Not only is there no overlap between Trumpism and libertarianism, the two are irreconcilable.

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Senator Sanders did his doddering fool act last month or thereabouts & said, it’s unacceptable that some nobody country worth nothing in comparison to the accounting errors in the federal budget has faster internet than America. I know a bit about that country, because that country is Romania. Yeah, the internet speed is sweet unto […]

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It’s a Conservative dream. Ted Cruz is going to lead a glorious exodus out of the GOP, and then lead a glorious Third Party crusade, announcing in his speech: “Outside of Washington, the vast majority of Americans share those basic common sense values. I believe we need to reassemble the Reagan Coalition, to unite conservatives and libertarians and […]

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An Appeal to Classical Liberals It is February 29th, and it seems as though God has had some mercy on us, and created an extra day for us to live in a world where Donald Trump isn’t the presumptive republican nominee.  I suggest you open your windows and enjoy the natural light, before we start […]

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This post is an elaboration on a theory I presented in a discussion had in a previous post discussing the origins of Classical Liberalism.  Classical Liberalism, Libertarianism, Conservatism. There is a lot of debate about where the borders of these groups start and end, who is in what sphere,  who is banished from what sphere, and […]

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The other day, I started publishing some notes on the way to think about fascism. You have there an insistence on the theoretical origins & orientation of radical politics that you might not often see. At any rate, I offer it as a corrective of the kind of scholarship that has led people to say things like, […]

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Allow me to offer you some notes for an analysis of the wishful thinking that underlies at least some versions of what we call libertarianism, which I take to mean the most coherent or radical or thought-through belief in the free market or in economics. The writer is a Mr. Kevin Williamson, who I suppose […]

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The Wit and Wisdom of Thomas Sowell

 

Thomas-Sowell“Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”

“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”

“[T]he bottom-line message of multiculturalism [is that] members of minority groups that lag educationally, economically, or otherwise are to continue to behave in the future as they have in the past – and, if they do not get the same outcomes as others, it is society’s fault.”

Libertarians: How to Win Friends & Influence People

 

Libertarians: Please stop telling me I’m no better than the Left.

As for libertarians who don’t believe that, you need to call out your fellow travellers who go too far. In the past week I’ve been told by self-proclaimed libertarians that I don’t believe in property rights, that my belief in liberty is no better than Obama’s, and that I don’t really believe in individual rights in general.

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I was going to post the following to Rachel Lu’s “Why I am Not a Libertarian.” Alas it’s rather lengthy, I’ve prefaced it with some thoughts of my own, and so I thought it best to post it here for reflection or discussion.  What’s below is from a dialogue between Bill Kristol and Harvey Mansfield. […]

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Laissez-faire SCUBA (Part 3): Coming Up for Air

 

You can read Part 1 of the Laissez-faire SCUBA series here and Part 2 here.

shutterstock_226671082We’ve already seen how SCUBA diving developed an astonishing record of safety and success free of governmental involvement. But what if government had regulated the industry from the beginning? Let’s contrast it with one where the government took on the role of safety guarantor: the recreational aircraft industry.

Why I Am Not a Libertarian

 

I recently listened to Tom and Sal’s podcast on libertarianism, but didn’t quite get in on the follow-up debate. So I thought I’d offer my critique in a separate post, as a non-libertarian who’s been trying to define libertarianism for years, with a little help from my Ricochet friends.

Here’s my current view on this. Libertarianism is best understood as a school of thought. It’s not the sort of thing for which it would be appropriate to draw up clear-cut identity conditions (as Tom and Sal were endeavoring to do). It has its own tradition, complete with revered thinkers such as Rand, Hayek, and Friedman. It has its own lingo and established relationships to particular disciplines (notably economics). But the difference between a libertarian and, say, a small-government conservative may have more to do with background and influence than with actual content.

Laissez-faire SCUBA (Part 1): How an Unregulated Industry Triumphed

 
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Mrs. Hanson says “Free Markets are OK!”

We’ve all been told why government safety regulations are necessary. Why, without an active government inspecting and approving products and manufacturing methods, consumers will be helpless against the rapacious greed of capitalists. Without government oversight, capitalism results in a “race to the bottom” with manufacturers cutting corners and skimping on quality to protect their profits.

Mere Libertarianism

 

Libertarianism is the subject of regular debate on Ricochet, both between conservatives and libertarians and — if you really want to see heated debate — among different kinds of libertarians. Taking inspiration from C. S. Lewis’s Mere Christianity, member Sal Padula and I recorded a conversation in which we attempt to distill libertarianism down to its essence and explore some basic questions about it, including:

What is libertarianism? What isn’t libertarianism? What is its relationship to conservatism (both in America and abroad)? How do contemporary politicians fare under a libertarian analysis? The results may surprise you (and are largely free of references to Rand Paul!).

Conservatism, Libertarianism and Other Distinctions

 

I recently got back from attending the 10th annual meeting of the Property and Freedom Society. It’s a libertarian organization of the anarcho-capitalist variety, started by Hans Hermann Hoppe (anonymous recently reviewed one of Hoppe’s books). I found the visit rejuvenating: rarely do I spend four or five days in the company of so many libertarians.

Even on Ricochet, there seems to be a constant conflict between conservative and libertarian ideology. What most people — including many of my fellow Ricochetti — would find most surprising about the conference is how conservative these anarcho-capitalists are. I present to you a speech from last year’s meeting by Dr. Gerard Casey, a Catholic, conservative anarchist, and a lovely and brilliant man. To me, it encapsulates why so many anarchists exist in the libertarian movement, and why they aspire to the same morals as most conservatives.

Agile Methodology, Libertarian Thought, and Other Distinctions

 

The methodology I use on a day-to-day basis for developing software is called Agile; SCRUM in my particular case.  The developers of this methodology have a manifesto that goes like so:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools; Working software over comprehensive documentation; Customer collaboration over contract negotiation; Responding to change over following a plan.

Rejecting the Premise with Humor and Charm

 

dboazIn the course of a six-hour drive last Thursday, I tuned in the NPR station on my satellite radio in our truck. I found myself laughing out loud periodically during an interview on a show called “Ballot Talks” with David Boaz, the executive Vice President of the Cato Institute. He has written a book, The Libertarian Mind, which was recently updated, hence the current invitation to the NPR show. Please spend the 30 minutes to enjoy this yourself. Here’s what I found amusing.

I sensed the mood when the interviewer stated that most people think of “wealthy white men” and the Koch brothers when one talks about libertarians. However, Boaz responded consistently with humor, charm, and a variation of “I reject that premise…” or “I just do not agree…” It really threw her off her game each time he failed to sound annoyed, apologetic, or defensive.

As the show continued, the interviewer became a little defensive, or astonished that her assertion was completed denied. I’m confident that some of the information that Mr. Boaz presented was unknown to her. Several times, he turned upside-down certain historical “facts” or common perspectives that are treated as truths — especially regarding free trade and child labor laws– yet are simply one point of view about society.