Liberty Clip: January 19, 2013

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13 Responses to Liberty Clip: January 19, 2013

  1. Pedro

    Good stuff, but the true conservative will unlikely to want to allow others the freedom to do things unconservatively.

    In my experience the vast majority of people are all for their preferred freedoms and down on yours; failing to realise that is a cake that can’t be both had and eaten. Every new restriction is a justification for the next.

  2. dover_beach

    Yes, good clip. There is nothing in it that I would fundamentally disagree with, except to say he seems imply that law and morality are separable. I don’t think they are, however, that doesn’t mean they aren’t distinguishable either.

    but the true conservative will unlikely to want to allow others the freedom to do things unconservatively.

    That’s not true. On the two issues we’ve debated this week the ‘conservative wing’ has never denied the other the “freedom to do things unconservatively”.

  3. Biota

    but the true conservative will unlikely to want to allow others the freedom to do things unconservatively

    No, the problem between conservative and unconservative arises because the unconservative generally doesn’t respect the views of the conservative and wants to change them to their own, by force if necessary.

  4. Discuss (a suggestion):

    Libertarians are cult members who worship business under the false pretence of loving freedom. Some who call themselves Libertarians are nothing but conservatives who are too embarrassed to say that they’re conservative because it sounds old fashioned. Others support radical ideas which Conservatives oppose. The philosophy of libertarianism might be summarized by “If rich people want to do something it’s okay, but if you want to oppose rich people, it’s not.”

    There does appear to be a contradiction between vilifying Government and accepting unqualified corporate power, which has a wider reach. Corporations might be seen as private property.

    The word “cult” might be applied to all ideologies and mythical stories, which I suspect we are all prone. The test is to examine our own assumptions – which may not always be easy.

  5. Pedro

    Dover, I said unlikely, so you are not evidence, you’re an anecdote. My assertion is that conservatives like to have rules restricting the behaviour they don’t approve of. For example, plenty of conservatives are in favour of recreational drug restrictions.

  6. Pedro

    “There does appear to be a contradiction between vilifying Government and accepting unqualified corporate power …”

    Only a dill would think this even happens except on the fringiest of fringes.

    “Corporations might be seen as private property.”
    If they are private or public corporations they are. If they are GOCs then not so much. But the important question is just what stunning insight can we gain from the statement of the obvious?

  7. Sinclair Davidson

    wmmb – I’m surprised by that characterisation – most libertarians tend to be opposed to big anything. Both big government and big business – especially the American version of libertarianism.

    In terms of who calls themselves libertarians? Well yes a lot of conservatives who want to smoke dope or engage in kinky activities suddenly discover their inner libertarian. So too lefties who decide they would like to keep their money and not redistribute so much to the suddenly unworthy. So it cuts both ways.

  8. Sinclair Davidson

    The other to bear in mind is that there are more checks and balances to control corporate power than government power.

  9. Jim Rose

    corporate power! corporate power has nothing on Director’s law.

    Sam Peltzman pointed out that most of modern public spending is supported by the median voter. Most of this spending is income transfers. Governments at the start of the 20th century were a post office and a military. At the end of the 20th century, governments were a post office, a military and a welfare state.

  10. I had never of Aaron Director and his law which seems to presume that class delineations can be clearly demarcated.

    I wonder about the accuracy of the classical liberal economic social model that was held by somebody such as Benjamin Franklin as distinct from predestination following the 17th Century Puritan Revival. Libertarian thought, if I understand it all, makes sense in an American context.

    “Corporate” behavior and power has to understood. The success of the corporate,or accurately financial elite, as distinct from the common or public, interest is particularly true in the US with the adoption of the Neoliberal agenda, masked by various expressions of popular irrationality. There is, for example, almost not other explanation for the contemporary Republican Party.

  11. dover_beach

    so you are not evidence, you’re an anecdote.

    Pedro, anecdotes are, indeed, evidence.

    My assertion is that conservatives like to have rules restricting the behaviour they don’t approve of. For example, plenty of conservatives are in favour of recreational drug restrictions.

    This is just begging the question. We can be quite justified in restricting what we don’t approve. I don’t approve of littering, and I have very good public reasons for not approving of littering involving public health and safety. The same arguments may indeed also be true of recreational drug use.

    And it is not even true to say that this is only true of conservatives; it is, in fact, a truism that all political persuasions restrict what they don’t approve. The difference may simply be that we don’t restrict everything that we may disapprove of.

  12. Pedro

    Dover, the point of the clip is that conservatives ought to adopt a libertarian approach when considering what should be prohibited. I’m saying I can’t see that happening because too many conservatives are keen on those prohibitions existing.

    Your views are not evidence of the views of conservatives as a group so they are an anecdote but not evidence in that context.

    Yes, lots of people like restricting the behaviour of others through binding rules. I merely point out that that includes conservatives. If the libertarian is anything, he or she is most reluctant to restrict the behavior of others through rules. Recreational drug use is a libertarian lodestone for the reason that it so nicely defines the libertarian idea.

    wmmb, only problem is that libertarians will say that corporate power in the US is a creature of the govt and they particularly criticise the capture of the democratic party by wall street and the finance industry.

  13. dover_beach

    the point of the clip is that conservatives ought to adopt a libertarian approach when considering what should be prohibited.

    Except he fails to offer a criterion of any sort that would help us do just this.

    Your views are not evidence of the views of conservatives as a group so they are an anecdote but not evidence in that context.

    Yes, but you haven’t offered any evidence of how conservatives “as a group” decide such cases.

    If the libertarian is anything, he or she is most reluctant to restrict the behavior of others through rules.

    So all you’ve offered is that the libertarian is not different in kind from the conservative, only more reluctant than the conservative. The conservative counter to this is that this exceeding reluctance is simply counterproductive; what it actually achieves, as Chesterton described, is ‘bureaucratized libertinism’.

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