Tag: SoCons and Libertarians

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I am a conservative and I come from the social conservative side of that camp. This post is all about building understanding and defining terms. So I will start. For me Conservatism is a reaction to the political consensus that came after 1948. This Consensus rejected much of the classical liberal order that was fully […]

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The Proper Function of (Local) Government


At the risk of reigniting the libertarian-conservative Wars — Oh, who am I kidding? It’s fun! — I wanted to explore a subject we’ve touched on a number of times but never addressed in detail: the proper size and scope of local government.

Before discussing the differences between the two sides, I think it’s worth noting the areas of agreement. Almost to a man, I think libertarians and SoCons alike would greatly prefer a system in which the state and — even more so — federal governments limited their activities to a short list of defined powers but left cities and towns to their own devices. Put another way, we all have some preference for subsidiary over national government, and this is one of the foundational reasons for our alliance against the progressive Left.

Grants, Rights and Other Distinctions…


shutterstock_161354444Many a time, I have gotten into discussions with my lefty friends about the Second Amendment. It usually goes something like this:

Friend: Are you for gun rights?
Me: Yes!
Friend: Would you be okay with machine guns?

The issue with the any such conversation is the context of the questioning. Is the Second Amendment a right or a grant?

Grant Me Freedom and Small Government — But Not Yet


libertinesda mihi castitatem et continentam, sed noli modo — St Augustine

Ricochet contributor Rachel Lu wrote an article in the FEDERALIST yesterday, taking the left-anarchist wing of the libertarian movement to task for wanting to dissolve the bonds of family and community. At least I think that is who she is attacking — it is never quite clear who actually holds the views she disagrees with (although she almost implies it is Ben Domenech). Nevertheless, the core of her argument is that, yes, freedom is great and all, and small government is a fine idea in theory, but until a strong conventional morality is re-established in society they are just too dangerous.

Small government will not succeed unless people have a strong ability to govern their own affairs. That requires a culture that provides people with clear norms and expectations, and replaces the hard and impersonal boundaries of law with the softer forces of social approval and sanction. What we need, in short, are traditional morals.