A Mostly Libertarian View

DontTreadThumbby Steve Lancaster   12/22/13
The Individual: Without individual liberty there can be no free society. “Things fall apart; the center cannot hold; Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world” – William Butler Yeats. How can anarchy ever be mere?

· Adulthood:

We cannot sensibly define adulthood by just age. Some people are adults much later in life than others; some never become adults; some are adults early in their teens.

Any person who is capable and prepared to care for himself or herself, support himself or herself, does not ask for charity is an adult regardless of age.

Yes, this means that teenagers can marry, have children, make contracts, suffer the consequences of bad decisions and enjoy the success of good decisions. It is not a crime to be successful and young. Henry II was king of England at 21. Additionally, parents have a right and social responsibility to kick loafer children out of the house and not allow them back.

· Property:

Our right to own and control our property is essential to a free society. Government is established to allow individuals to have the maximum use of their property. A society is free to the extent that property use is controlled by the owner. The more government intrudes on property rights the more it becomes oppressive and tyrannical.

· Individual Sovereignty:

Every adult is sovereign in their own person. Intrusion by government in personal lives is offensive and a gross violation of Natural Law. We surrender minute parts of our personal sovereignty to create government to better order society and for collective defense. It must be recognized by all that the free society is based on the surrender of liberty in small increments by the citizens and when government becomes intrusive in our liberty it is our duty to change that government; violence is a last resort, but has almost always been the road to liberty. Jefferson said, “The tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of tyrants and patriots”

· Privacy:

In a free society, adults have the inalienable right to be private in all actions of their life. It is an adult’s choice to make known what, if any, information is disclosed, including financial and sexual relationships and to whom that information is given. The government and officious individuals and business have no right to inquire into private lives of any person.

Actions that injure or may obviously cause injury to others are by definition no longer private.

· Marriage:

Marriage is a social positive when the care and welfare of children is the most important motivation for the marriage, accordingly, marriage between any congregation of adults who can provide the necessary love and support for children is proper. If the children are suitably loved and cared for then the marriage is socially sanctioned regardless of sex or number of partners. A polygamous, polyandrous or homosexual individual(s) or for that matter a polygamous/polyandrous homosexual family may provide more stability for the raising and protection of children than the standard monogamist family. Marriage is not a legitimate government concern. It is a civil and religious oath. It is not the function of the federal government to order or determine who can be married and who cannot.

Can we honestly say that standard monogamist government ordained families have done all that well, especially in the 20th century?

· Homosexuality:

If it fits your personal goals and needs for love and friendship then enjoy it, but the extraordinary purpose that we have two sexes is the special bonding that is possible between man and woman. That is not to say same sex relationships cannot achieve this type of bonding, but it is much more difficult to achieve and maintain. The high levels of promiscuity among homosexuals, male and female, are substantiation of the search for significant relationships without success.

· Intelligence:

The most certain capital judgment is a lack of intelligence. There is no social stigma, however, people with low intelligence are condemned by nature to die more often and younger from circumstances beyond their control. The second most certain capital offence is the failure to use intelligence.

· Abortion:

Abortion is infanticide; there is no honorable or ethical difference between Spartans exposing unwanted children to the elements and aborting a female child in hope of having a boy, or a Down’s syndrome child because it is inconvenient, however, the issue of caring for living children has some narrow moral primacy. That does not make it better, but most moral decisions are between bad and worse. The moral high ground is reserved for dead saints most of whom never had children.

· Pornography:

Limiting pornography is like damming water. It can be stopped for a while but keeps coming out because it seeks its own level. Best alternative: for parents to control what comes into the home; then the kids can find ways to defeat parental control. Do not ask the government to make laws, either enjoy it or do not. It is an individual choice, that tiresome adult issue again.

Like all other forms of speech, silence by turning it off will render it flaccid. If you do not like it, or choose to not tolerate it walk away.

· Prostitution:

It is a business that involves a personal relationship between consenting adults. In the simplest form it is a contract for services; as such it is not the concern of the government what the services are. The contract is much like a short-term marriage contract with the services specified and money given. As long as the parties are willing and able to make a contract then no law is broken.

A free market in prostitution will eliminate the loathsome pimps that prey on men and woman who choose this business. In the long run this is an issue of privacy and property, because if we do not have ownership of our own bodies then we cannot own anything.

· Drugs:

Every primitive and advanced society in history has drugs of some kind; some attempt to control access more than others. The unhappy commentary is that control continually fails. As long as there is a market then drugs will be available.

Sooner or later some busybody will propose a prohibition on some drug, alcohol or tobacco, this will generally fail due to lack of conviction on the part of those chosen to enforce the law, and the similar lack of conviction on the part of the people. This Kabuki Theater of law, lawbreakers and corruption will continue until it fails of its own weight.

Parents have an obligation to keep drugs away from their children; however, adults have a right to poison their body in any method they choose. The caveat is that society has no obligation to offer support of any kind to drug users, except perhaps a quick funeral.

· Health Care:

Health care is not a right, nor is it a responsibility placed on government or employers to provide. Individuals must seek health care on the free market, without interference or control by the federal government, state (not federal) control and regulation of license of medical doctors is proper, and public disclosure of incompetent doctors will cure abuse of the system. The cost of health care will fall with and in direct proportion to the openness of the market.

· Guns/weapons:

An armed citizenry is more polite and law abiding. It is the duty and responsibility of every citizen to be armed not only for personal defense but to defend family and community against the government when it becomes tyrannical; there are no limits to the weaponry one can own from a pocketknife to nuclear weapon.

The gun is the only weapon that’s as lethal in the hands of a 90 lb woman or octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldn’t work as well as a force equalizer if it wasn’t both lethal and easily employable. • (1170 views)

This entry was posted in Politics and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to A Mostly Libertarian View

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Thanks for the thought-provoking article, Steve.

    One thing that libertarians haven’t figured out is how to temper their idealism with reality. For instance, you said:

    Limiting pornography is like damming water. It can be stopped for a while but keeps coming out because it seeks its own level.

    But such a thing is true of war, murder, rape, thievery, or any other bad thing. Libertarians are squeamish about prohibitions because their philosophy is based on a type of modern hedonism masquerading as “liberty.”

    It is typical of libertarians to deny human nature and just frame things in regards to “personal choice” or to parents. And I’m all for giving parents the maximum amount of freedom in regards to raising their children. But there are limits to even that. And parents (and society as a whole) need guardrails.

    One of the problems that libertarians have with this concept is that they equate any kind of government prohibition with collectivism. And having done so, a rational thought process regarding anything is difficult. It’s much like the Catholics who have equated welfare with charity. Once that is done, any kind of rational conversation about poverty and the need for limited government is nearly impossible.

    We must recognize that community standards are just fine to be encoded into law. It’s how much and how many that is the question, not if. We are all, to some extent, the products of the communities we live in. And one that has whore houses and porn shops on every corner will be much different from one that has soda fountains and churches on those same corners.

    • steve lancaster says:

      Many libertarians would agree with you. I also favor a level of law in a civilized society. What I find troubling is the reliance, even dependence, on government to make the decisions.

      For example, the 16th amendment created a national income tax, subsequent tax law changes allowed for “public service organizations” to receive an exemption because of their “charitable work”. Today, there are thousands perhaps millions of 501’s A,B,C,D that in effect are funded by money extorted from you and I because they claim that they serve a public good.

      Libertarians say, that is not right. A charity or a church should be funded by those who favor it and not with public money. However, people generally, liberals, progressives and social democrats want to feel good about helping out the less fortunate; they just don’t want to do it with their wealth, they want to feel good with our money not their own.

  2. faba calculo says:

    Excellent article, Steve. You present a strong brief outline of libertarianism without going over the edge into out and out anarcho-capitalism.

  3. Timothy Lane says:

    Very nice, but there is one problem, at least in terms of current society. No one has the right to harm others, but harm can be a nebulous concept. Did Phil Robertson harm anyone with his comments? I would say no, but GLAAD and an awful lit if other liberals would claim to be harmed by insult. So is the libertarian view that GLAAD had every moral right to pressure A&E into dropping him for hurting their feelings, or that this was a grossly fascistic attack on freedom of expression?

  4. faba calculo says:

    “So is the libertarian view that GLAAD had every moral right to pressure A&E into dropping him for hurting their feelings, or that this was a grossly fascistic attack on freedom of expression?”

    Why can’t it be both (perhaps without the “grossly fascistic”)? No one has the right to have their free expression NOT attacked during an exercise of the freedom of expression of someone else. You only have the right to not have the government (or, at very least, the federal government) pass laws interfering with it. What happened on Duck Dynasty had nothing to do with the government interfering in someone’s free expression. Thus, for any view at all in sync with the American understanding of free expression, what happened on Duck Dynasty was both a (legitimate) attack on the free expression of someone else AND an example of A&E acting within the limits of its rights.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      That’s why I referred to “moral right”. The militant homosexuals seek to get rid of any critical views of their behavior in public discourse. If forced to make a choice between the militants and the Saudis stoning homosexuals, I will choose the latter. Fortunately, I don’t think we’re there yet, no thanks to GLAAD and their fellow vermin.

      Jim Treacher on the Daily Caller asked an interesting question: Who is worse, Floyd Corkins or Phil Robertson? Normal people will say consider Corkins far worse; GLAAD, their fellow militants, and the liberals who support them all consider Robertson worse. And that attitude makes them the enemy.

      • faba calculo says:

        I guess I’m not 100% I’m totally clear on what you mean by “moral right”. When I use the term, it’s usually to assert that, for example, Saudis have the moral right to change religions. That is, they have a right to a right. And I think we’re agreed that GLAAD (et. al.) have the right to attempt to pressure A&E to boot an offensive character.

        I suspect what you mean is the same as what I would call exercising one’s rights in a moral manner. Thus, while someone has a right to advocate casual sex, it’s still an immoral position to hold.

        In the end, I think that this is another case of disagreeing with what someone is saying but supporting their right to say it.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          I think you basically have it. GLAAD has the legal right to act as the thought police of the liberal and/or homosexual movement. A&E certainly has the legal right to do as the thought police tell them. But such behavior is wrong, and even some liberals and homosexuals realize this — though far too many don’t. (And my use of “thought police” should be a good indication of my reaction, and the reason for it. I started reading Orwell — first Animal Farm, later 1984, and later still other books and essays) about 50 years ago. So now you can understand why I would prefer the stoners of homosexuals to the homosexual thought police.

    • steve lancaster says:

      The libertarian concept, in my view, is that Robertson and GLAAD have equal rights to express their views in the marketplace of ideas. They have every right to voice their views; neither has a right to be heard, or for that matter to be offended as there is no natural law concept of freedom from offensive language or speech. You have a right to speak, no one is required to listen, at least not yet.

      A&E owns the rights to the programs by contract and has every right to determine what is broadcast under their banner according to their contract with the Robertsons. Phil Robertson surely knows and understands, thus, the issue is one of contract law not of speech restriction.

  5. Kung Fu Zu Kung Fu Zu says:

    Mr. Lancaster,

    I would be interested in learning at which place and time did a society come closest to the general philosophy you have outlined? I think this will help me place your philosophy in a broader context.

  6. Steve Lancaster says:

    One of the reasons I am a libertarian is that by nature libertarians defy definition. I know libertarians who are in my opinion conservative Republicans and one who quotes Marx.

    In general I adhere to a natural law philosophy, with a strong stoic bent; Seneca and Marcus Aurelius I would consider mentors but not models. I also find much useful thought in the Objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand.

    “You have power over your mind – not outside events. Realize this, and you will find strength.” MA

    To further complicate matters I am a Marine who left the Corps to join CIA and left that august organization when I went Galt.
    Semper Fi
    and good night Chesty where ever you are!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *