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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Why John C. Wright is not a libertarian

In which Mr. Wright explains why he is no longer a libertarian:
I often introduce myself as a recovering libertarian. It is not an entirely serious introduction, but it is not entirely frivolous either.

Why “recovering”? Sad experience teaches that any ideology, even a sound one, like libertarianism, is intoxicating. The appeal of ideology is the appeal of elegance. Just as Newton reduced all motions from the orbits to apples falling to three expressions, every intellectual craves a simple formula to explain the human condition. Libertarianism is based on a single principle that limits the state’s use of force to retaliation against fraud and trespass.

Nearly all the natural moral rules all men carry in their hearts are satisfied by the simple rule that you may do as you like provided you leave your neighbor free to do as he likes. No neighbor may rob, defraud nor attack another.

The intoxication comes with each case that fits neatly to the theory. Natural morality agrees that wars to defend the innocent are permissible, as is killing in self defense. Natural morality agrees that a man should keep his contracts, and so on.

The theory says the state must remain carefully neutral in all cultural and moral questions: the use of intoxicating drugs for recreational use, suicide assisted or no, polygamy, prostitution, gambling, pornography, duels to the death (provided only all participants fully agree!) or, for that matter, copulating with a corpse on the roof of your house in plain view of the neighbors’ children playing in their backyards, and then eating the corpse, all must be legal.

For me, the intoxicating spell ended in three sharp realizations, each one as forceful as a thunderbolt.
Read the rest of it there.

As for me, I've always been a small-l libertarian rather than a large-L one. These days, I consider myself more of a Christian nationalist, or a Western Civilizationist than a libertarian per se. Human liberty is an important priority, but we now have a sound historical basis for understanding that a free and open society of the sort that Libertarianism assumed is simply not an option.

Labels:

124 Comments:

Blogger White Knight Leo #0368 December 15, 2015 1:51 PM  

I happen to believe it is possible, but like many other political theories it requires all participants to agree with it for it to function, since most libertarian theories don't have many options for coercive action.



As an aside, VD, have you seen this yet? http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/12/swedish-govt-in-panic-after-isis-letters-give-3-days-to-convert-to-islam-or-be-decapitated

Blogger Daniel December 15, 2015 1:51 PM  

I do not understand why libertarianism must be neutral on suicide, necrophilia, dueling,borders, etc. I see no conflict with a libertarian who defends his nation and opposes death on the principle of liberty.

Blogger RobertT December 15, 2015 1:54 PM  

Can you believe it? www.everyjoe.com has been blocked by one of our content filters for lingerie/bikini adult themes. However, the Chateau is still freely accessible.

Blogger Nick S December 15, 2015 2:03 PM  

Libertarian ideals are noble and generally estimable goals to aspire to, but that pesky universality of human nature will never allow it to scale up.

Anonymous DavidKathome December 15, 2015 2:06 PM  

Libertarianism says my neighbors do me no wrong by exposing my children to child pornography, provided only force or fraud is not used. There is no public and objective standard of decency.

If that is the definition of libertarian, then I am not a libertarian. However, I never considered that to be the definition of libertarian, and while I have argued with libertarians who deny the concept of natural laws that man can infer with reason, I never saw any valid justification that their definition of libertarian had any type of universal authority.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 December 15, 2015 2:12 PM  

I'm pretty sure the BioShock game highlights the problems of libertarian utopias perfectly. Sure, so long as everyone agrees to it, it works great. Unfortunately, one sociopath in the mix can ruin it for everyone else.

And then you find yourself beating to death your own father.

Blogger praetorian December 15, 2015 2:18 PM  

I happen to believe it is possible, but like many other political theories it requires all participants to agree with it for it to function

Pro-tip: if you are picking between ideologies that logically make their own realization impossible, it is better to pick one that thrives on its own failures, like feminism.

Blogger Alexamenos December 15, 2015 2:18 PM  

I once regarded myself as a libertarian tribalist -- that a libertarian society was desirable but only feasible within a fairly tightknit tribe (of anglo-saxons). Somewhere along the way I dropped the libertarian bits, though I'm still sympathetic to young nerdy white libertarian guys.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 December 15, 2015 2:27 PM  

The funniest group are the anarcho-capitalists. Nowadays they call themselves libertarians but they take the non-aggression principle to a ridiculous extreme, citing spankings and time outs as child abuse, for example.

On top of that, their code of justice tends to be based in economics, which generally means that murderers can pretty much get away with murder since coercion against said murderer is wrong.

And they tend to be among the biggest cuckservatives of all since they tend to push for open borders and free trade believing that all evils of the world come from government coercion. They essentially argue that humanity is inherently good (or "rational") which is exactly how Leftists argue.

Anonymous Ash Housewares December 15, 2015 2:32 PM  

The quote is probably cliche to most people here, but John Adams (and likely, by extension, the Founding Fathers in general) realized that principles of liberty wouldn't work for everyone when he said, "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."

Blogger Giuseppe The Kurgan December 15, 2015 2:33 PM  

I've always been more of anarchist in the sense of (ironically) the Red Indian sense, which has also been called a Lysander Spooner sense of Anarchy.
But yes...it has become increasingly obvious that the modern world does not allow for that given human nature.

Fr the longest time then I was generally agnostic, as in, I tried to survive whatever government I lived under with as little interface with them as possible given the fact that some interface with them was inevitable. Absent a religion as such beyond my general Zen Agnosticism, there was never really much need to think beyond myself and my immediate loved ones.

Today, I cannot really envision a purpose at all if not one based at least loosely on Christianity. And my "loosely" may indeed be loose by Vox's standards, or others here, but it is also not the wish-washy crap of the SJWs that they paint over their Satanic real faces.

Christianity will be pivotal in the survival of the human race into anything we may even recognise as anything deserving of the words dignified, humane, just etc.

This is observably true even if you are an agnostic or an atheist, and in fact I had recognised some aspects of this as far back as 1996 when I was indeed a full blown zen/agnostic guy (it's in one of my books, so it can be fact-checked).

Blogger S1AL December 15, 2015 2:33 PM  

"L"ibertarianism is the political and philosophical cult of (primarily) white, (primarily) middle-class, (primarily) conservative, (primarily) Christian America. And within that segment of society, it is fully functional and even reasonable. But, freedom as license and the wickedness of the human heart eventually overcome that rather idyllic pattern.

Anonymous DCM December 15, 2015 2:36 PM  

I used to consider myself a libertarian, but my opinion of mankind is such that I don't believe it could ever work in real life. MPAI, after all. Perhaps I'm a reactionary, Nicolás Gómez Dávila wing.

Blogger WATYF #0222 December 15, 2015 2:36 PM  

His blog post (about the EveryJoe article) expands on the concept of libertarianism being a unilateral disarmament in the culture war.

http://www.scifiwright.com/2015/12/report-from-reason-magazine/

...which he then expands upon in the comments.

http://www.scifiwright.com/2015/12/report-from-reason-magazine/#comment-122972

FTA: "The barbarian is either at your feet or at your throat. If the Left were civilized, they would be willing and able to live in peaceful mutual respect and mutual toleration with their neighbors. For psychological reasons that seem to me to be inescapable, the Left cannot be civilized."

I am tempted to agree with this sentiment, but then the question becomes the age-old "where do you draw the line?" How much government gets to be used to impose which morals? Do we outlaw lying? What about lust? Greed? Laziness? And if we get to impose our morals by force when we are in charge, why shouldn't the other side get to impose its morals when it is in charge?

WATYF

Anonymous Washingmetricton December 15, 2015 2:46 PM  

Libertarianism always fails in the long run because even non-competitive centralized power has an advantage when competing with a decentralized power. Libertarians want to be left alone, a fine thing to want, but in practice it is impossible to maintain that. America came as close as anyone has ever come to combining libertarian principles with minimalist collective defense, but the system was almost immediately betrayed by people who long to master or be mastered.

Blogger Dan in Tx December 15, 2015 2:48 PM  

I drifted away from libertarianism as I came to understand that if you are not forcing your morals and ideals on others, they will force theirs on you. It shouldn't be that way but it's just how the world works.

Anonymous Hrw-500 December 15, 2015 2:51 PM  

@1 White Knight Leo #0368
As an aside, VD, have you seen this yet? http://www.jihadwatch.org/2015/12/swedish-govt-in-panic-after-isis-letters-give-3-days-to-convert-to-islam-or-be-decapitated

It's also mentionned at http://www.raymondibrahim.com/2015/12/13/swedish-government-in-state-of-panic-after-isis-letters-give-dozens-of-citizens-three-days-to-convert-to-islam-or-be-decapitated/ and some of the commenters thinks it might be a false flag or hoax.

Blogger Mr. Bee December 15, 2015 2:51 PM  

Libertarianism is the "gateway drug" to change. "Freedom" was the call for the movement away from a Judeo-Christian culture to a secular Marxist one. "Freedom" now needs to be the call for the movement back.

Anonymous DissidentRight December 15, 2015 2:54 PM  

Property rights and the NAP are excellent heuristics for civilization, especially if one recognizes that intellectual, sexual, racial, and cultural egalitarianism is nonsense.

Libertarianism, like Christianity and everything else, goes off the rails once you start making ridiculous assumptions about the nature of man.

Blogger White Devil December 15, 2015 2:54 PM  

Hrw-500
false flag or hoax
White nationalists trying to extort money or political capital from people. As opposed to Jihadists trying to extort money or political fodder from people.

Blogger August December 15, 2015 3:00 PM  

Our real problem has always been democracy- and when I say 'we' I mean those of us smart enough to be thinking about how policy should work while the rest of the the world votes for more free stuff.

Anonymous Crispy December 15, 2015 3:02 PM  

I'm still not dissuaded from my opinion that (small-L) libertarianism is a good direction, although getting there from here is not simple. Wright's examples relate more to current society.

Protecting ones children from harmful influences is more relevant to the cultural milieu rather than the form of government. Same for tolerating homogamy. Under a libertarian form of government, one would not be obligated to rent to, bake cakes for, or photograph the weddings of those whose moral systems we judge to be out of kilter. The Amish practice of shunning provides an example of non-governmental and non-violent enforcement of moral codes.

Wright's example from the Seven Samurai is more a moral conundrum, rather than an indictment of libertarianism. He offers no alternative form of government which would make acceptable the requiring of sacrifice from the few for the sake of the many. One could envision, in his specific example, that the people whose houses were burned would be compensated by the remaining citizens who were helped by this.

Libertarianism has had some notable successes where it's been tried. Pre-1997 Hong Kong is an example of government deliberately trying to stay out of the way.

Good parts aside, some of the unsolved problems include conflicts between the rights of children and the rights of their parents and how to deal as a libertarian society with outside societies which don't play by the same rules.

Anonymous Hrw-500 December 15, 2015 3:04 PM  

@16. I forgotted to mention these articles of various events who happened in the UK.
http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/christian-criminalized-for-trying-to-convert-muslims
http://christiannews.net/2015/11/21/uk-man-who-converted-from-islam-to-christianity-attacked-with-pickaxe/

Blogger Jourdan December 15, 2015 3:14 PM  

I certainly understand and agree with his view of why ideological theories are attractive to thinking people and why the experience of raising children changes a lot of fundamentals.

In fact, the deferral of parenthood probably is a big unspoken factor in our current problems.

Blogger Skylark Thibedeau December 15, 2015 3:15 PM  

I've always thought of Franco as being more of a Christian Nationalist than a true Fascist. He seems to have come forth with the Nationalists after the Anarchists had begun killing Priests, Nuns, and Catholic Boarding school children. He did retaliate against the Miners Union but did not need partisans in his rear.

When he won he was smart enough to stay out of WWII save for allow some Freiwillige Battalions to go. Had Mussolini done likewise the Europe of today might be totally different.

Blogger White Devil December 15, 2015 3:34 PM  

Liberarianism is narrow bridge, not a highway. Walk on it on a high wind and don't be surprised when you fall off.
Western Civilization suggests history. Christian and Nationalist both suggest community. Like a good family proud of its roots, but aware of its mistakes and its character? That seems to be a better starting point.
But on that sunny-day/rainy-day, peace/war divide, I remember the leftist utopia of Star Trek had satellites that controlled the weather. All of it. So that rain was scheduled.
It would literally be some bureaucrats fault if someone died of a heart attack while shoveling snow. Strange idea of paradise.

Blogger Nate December 15, 2015 3:41 PM  

libertarian never really described my politics... though I certainly cherished the concepts of common law upon which it is based. But I always veered from its tenets when it came to things like trade... and borders... and the death penalty... and localized government.

If a town wants to outlaw X or Y... precisely who are you to tell them they can't?

You're free to not live there after all.

I am therefore a Christian Confederate. As thoroughly unreconstructed as one may be.

Anonymous Statweasel December 15, 2015 3:52 PM  

I have no idea what I am after reading JCW's article. In terms of the big picture, I want government out of everything that they mustn't absolutely be involved in, so that sounds libertarian. That doesn't mean I'm keen on my neighbors sharing child porn with my kids or that I want my tax dollars to go to funding abortions. That doesn't mean I don't want to see highways maintained or medical care broadly available. Where to draw the line then?

What I do know is that what we have in Western democracies is bloated, overreaching, invasive and increasingly frightening to most rational folks. We need smaller government, less regulation, fewer laws and full transparency. Neither the Republicans or the Democrats are even close to offering that - it doesn't matter who is elected if those are the two options - because the campaign of bloat and sprawl will continue at fever-pace.

What's the option? Who is on the side of less government? Only the capital "L" libertarians. I don't like the full agenda but it's the only agenda that moves in the direction freedom requires.

Anonymous Adam1 December 15, 2015 4:02 PM  

I joined the party in the late nineties. Almost right off I knew something was wrong with it. 1.It was run by an elitest group who seemed to run it as a money-making scheme. 2.The local members were little more than gays and dope fiends. 3.Dispite claiming otherwise, there were Left/Right libertarians. The party was the former, while I was the later.

Anonymous patrick kelly December 15, 2015 4:04 PM  

@28 Statweasel: " it's the only agenda that moves in the direction freedom requires"

Unfortunately it is also an agenda that hasn't moved diddly squat in meat space.

You need to repair and conserve civilization before you can chase more freedom.

Anonymous YIH December 15, 2015 4:07 PM  

One thing that has soured me on 'libertarianism' is the 'cynical merchant' problem. Stretching caveat emptor to redefine fraud into non-existence. ''You entered into the transaction, therefore you were not defrauded''.
That you were prevented from doing 'due diligence' due to facts concealed/buried in a tl;dr thicket of legalese is irrelevant, you signed the contract or made the transaction you accepted the responsibility of how things turned out.
You bought the Merchant's product, that it wasn't what it was represented to be is your fault.
From the link above:
Every moral lesson I wished to inculcate into my children was contradicted by a thousand examples in modern media. They tried their damnedest to teach my children error, to make their filth seem normal and cool. They were trying to addict them to vice, greed and lust most of all, but also to moral apathy disguised as tolerance, and envy disguised as equality. In states where marijuana has been made legal, it’s being offered in candy and soda pop, in order to lure the young and make customers for life.

I realized that the culture surrounding me was my enemy.

Some examples: Look how coalburning is being 'sold' even though the potential tragedies are obvious and numerous, it's being 'sold' as a good thing to do (except for, as Hartiste points out, the merchant Tribe).
Elsewhere I pointed out why I've soured on 'drug legalization' using porn and gambling as examples.
Just like immigration from incompatible races/cultures ''poisons the (cultural) well'', promoting toxic behavior - often by those merchants either justifying their own degeneracy/twisted worldview (ex. Bruce Jenner) or the cynical ''they'll buy this garbage, I see it as an obligation to make money selling it to them'' regardless of the harm it causes - and excuses the damage it does as caveat emptor.
Whether it's cynical merchants dumping waste into the public space (instead of disposing of it properly - think water or air pollution) or cynical merchants dumping turd worlders in the public space and saying ''Why should I care? I'll be dead or in Israel by the time the SHTF!''.

Blogger Unknown December 15, 2015 4:16 PM  

The difference I see between Libertarian utopians and liberal utopians is that liberals believe they are or will be in the tyrranical elite, so they want everyone to be ordered about, while Libertarians see that they are not in the elite, and so want no-one to be ordered about. Both are utopian, and either group's beliefs are a prescription for disaster in the real world.

I think I like Nate's Christian Confederate idea. I'm not sure how it differs from Christian Nationalism, if we take nation to mean a people rather than a region of magic dirt.

Blogger dc.sunsets December 15, 2015 4:17 PM  

2000 years ago Sallust stated the truth: "Most men do not desire liberty, most only wish for a just master."

While market-order (anarcho-capitalism) sounds great, it is Utopian because most men would not accept being unable to organize (a state) and coerce their neighbors. It is utterly human nature.

Economically, market order only can be imagined in the ABSENCE of public land. As long as any state exists, shared resources will be squandered. This is the heart of open-borders immigration, which is a massive tragedy of the commons.

Bottom line: Human nature in collectives yields politics. Politics yields a state. If the state is inevitable, why not try to make it as benign as possible. This means NO Democracy, which is proven to bring out the worst in people.

In all likelihood, the best one can hope for is a monarchy under some version of Western Civilization, populated by exclusively people of Western Civilization Ancestry. A king can be benign or bad, but caretaker governments (under democracy, the government is always a renter) are guaranteed to be bad.

PS: Few people seem to understand how a market-order would work (and it wouldn't be touchy-feely, it would be vicious to those who couldn't control themselves...almost insuring they and their children starved.)

Blogger dc.sunsets December 15, 2015 4:25 PM  

In a Libertarian Utopia, the main firm would be in insurance.
All property would of course be private. If you wanted to enter a store, no proprietor would allow you to do so unless you were insured, otherwise if you fell, got hurt, pulled out a gun and robbed the place, etc. the cost would fall on the innocent (store owner.)

Frankly, you wouldn't be able to leave your own property unless you were insured. Your "premium" would be driven by competition among insurers and your own behavior. If you were inclined to break other people's stuff, hurt others, etc., your premium would rapidly skyrocket to infinity. If you then tried to go to the store, the store's insurer would have security personnel available to stop you. If you tried to use force, they'd use it back...and win. Conflicts between insured people from competing insurers would be settled by arbitration because conflict is costly and insurers, unlike governments, can't simple divert the costs onto innocent 3rd parties.

Basically, if you were a sociopath you'd better be 100% able to live in autarchy, because no one would do business with you at all.

In such a Utopia no one would INITIATE force against you, but neither would then sell you food, provide water, allow you access, etc. up to the point of letting you starve to death.

Imagine how cleaned up the gene pool would be after a few generations of letting bad people experience the full force of Nature's lessons.

Blogger dc.sunsets December 15, 2015 4:28 PM  

@29, no one stays with the LP. It's an oxymoron (Libertarian politics.) Their turnover rate is phenomenal.

Blogger LibertyPortraits December 15, 2015 4:35 PM  

It seems to me that a lot of people are saying that they aren't libertarian for the same reason people don't vote, because even if you are/do, nothing changes the way you want to see it changed.

I don't understand why it's necessary to concoct a hypothetical situation to prove why the theory doesn't work. Why can't we press the 10th amendment, fight for States' rights and nullification of ridiculous federal encroachment? Why can't State's constitutions be amended to deal with Californication? Why not do what they're doing in New Hampshire where a bunch of libertarians moved to where they can gain power? If small states work best for certain ideologies, then why not openly immigrate to places decided ahead of time?

Blogger dc.sunsets December 15, 2015 4:36 PM  

@27 Nate, you sound like Mises when he suggested that liberty lies in being able to secede, all the way down to the individual level.

To me, today's problems arise from a couple things: One, big is bad. Polities that allow for anonymity and distance produce evil. Two, democracy is terrible. When "everyone" is encouraged to be part of the ruling system, "everyone" becomes a petty dictator. Alexis de Tocqueville saw this clearly in Democracy in America. He called it Democratic Despotism, and by any standard surely we suffer under it now.

I'd prefer to live in a place where I can walk up to the ruler and ask an impertinent question like, "What the heck were you thinking about X?" Iceland's president walks to work on the street. No wonder that country flipped the bird to European banks while ours were handed truckloads of cash.

Anonymous technomage December 15, 2015 4:36 PM  

I believe a "libertarian society" is possible, but the *only* way to get to one is through the slow evolution of social/legal/etc conventions that the conservatives favor. Along the way we'll figure out what works and what doesn't, and how much it will look like any of the variations of the theory in vogue today is an open question. But the bedrock principle of minimal government is the right direction to head, IMO, even if we first have to take some detours to save the Western Civ that is the only place from which such a society can grow.

And if Western Civ really starts to go under, we're going to have to do without State force earlier than we otherwise might: as Vox says, build alternative institutions.

I think what we need is a reputation economy (via public key signatures) where we can know if the people we interact with have demonstated their adherence to the founding principles of this nation by being able to look at the public parts of their transaction history. I have some notion of how such a thing could be built, but I doubt it will happen until things get worse and we really need it.

Blogger paradox December 15, 2015 4:37 PM  

The problem with libertarianism is that it's morphed and has nothing to do with Jeffersonian principles. Just look at Reason Magazines and the opinions of Judge Andrew Napolitano on forcing Christians to bake gay wedding cakes. Those libertarian authoritarians are fine to use government force against free association, because the free market dictates it.

Then you have Napolitano and the Koch brothers defending gay marriage. David Koch even filed a brief with the supreme court, supporting gay marriage.

Then their pro on open borders garbage. A president Jefferson would have shot these super-cucks for treason.

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 December 15, 2015 4:47 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger dc.sunsets December 15, 2015 4:52 PM  

All of this is moot.

Every Western country is operating under an open Theocracy whose central tenets are Blank-Slate anti-racism and "we-are-the-world" cultural Marxism.

We know this because the penalty for confronting these publicly is the same today as is uttering blasphemy under theocratic rule (well, not Islamic Theocracies...the West isn't flogging people, chopping off hands or stoning people yet. Today's punishments are mostly disemployment and public shaming mobs tweeting metaphorical stones.)

This apogee of political organization of human society exists because the underlying energy is deeply religious, not just shallow philosophy. It is a Universalist dogma, and Virtue Signaling is used to indicate membership in the theological elect who are destined for salvation.

This does not have a political solution.

Anonymous patrick kelly December 15, 2015 4:58 PM  

@36 LibertyPortraits: Why can't we press the 10th amendment, fight for States' rights and nullification of ridiculous federal encroachment? Why can't State's constitutions be amended to deal with Californication?"

Gee, why aren't all the people who still proudly claim to be Libertarians doing this?

"Why not do what they're doing in New Hampshire where a bunch of libertarians moved to where they can gain power?"

Yeah, just look at all that power they're wielding, and all the change it's making.

Blogger LibertyPortraits December 15, 2015 5:04 PM  

@42 patrick kelly - check out Tom Wood's episode 319 for information on New Hampshire with Ian Freeman. Maybe it's stupid and all those people are idiots, but to me it's people taking action for something they believe in, and I respect that.

Blogger unclesol December 15, 2015 5:06 PM  

I have to agree with you and Mr. Wright. It seems, the, that we need to define a more perfect philosophy of political engagement. The Dems and Repubs have shown us what happens when one is guided primarily by monied interest. Libertarianism is only practical in a cultural vacuum. What next? Western Civilizationalist sounds appealing, but at least by name, seems like it might fall into the traps of utilitarianism. Nationalism of the non-ultra variety sounds appealing also, but an American must ask, what nation?

Blogger swiftfoxmark2 December 15, 2015 5:18 PM  

@34 dc.sunsets: what is the value of human life?

I ask because libertarians seem to derive justice from economic factors where crime requires compensation to the victims. This is all well and good for property crimes, such as vandalism, but for murder, how do you quantify that?

Just because something is private, doesn't mean it can't be any less oppressive or totalitarian. Look at VD's next post: social media companies are censoring "hate speech". Now, the libertarian argument is that it is their property and therefore they are free to implement whatever policies they desire.

Doesn't make it any less totalitarian.

Anonymous patrick kelly December 15, 2015 5:31 PM  

@43 LibertyPortraits

Listening now. So far mostly talking about how great libertarian radio shows are. I'll keep listening.

I don't think they are stupid or idiots, I just don't think they are a great example of what is necessary to steer the whole nation back on the right track.

Hopefully they will be able to maintain their libertarian identity and existence after the coming earthquakes divide the US into a chaotic mess.

Blogger dc.sunsets December 15, 2015 5:39 PM  

@45 I don't argue that life can be reduced to economics alone. Heck, I don't even argue in favor of libertarian Utopia, either.

I also know that even in the absurd situation that I might have all the Answers, it matters not. I control nothing but some of my immediate choices. That is all.

The world goes by itself. The dominant ideas change in a system too complex to control or predict. Those ideas choose who leads, not the other way around. Our world is like a vast river and we are but ants riding leaves on it. We do not change the course of the river, and we can only see but a tiny bit of what's coming.

Whether you attribute it to God's Plan or some other system, the idea that "we" change things is silly, about on the level of CNBC looking at the stock market and then searching the available "news" for a scapegoat to which to attribute the rally or decline.

Debating politics, theology and philosophy can be engaging but what difference does it make? Neither you nor I can compel an idea whose time has not yet come, and no one can resist an idea whose time has arrived.

Anonymous YIH December 15, 2015 5:48 PM  

@5. DavidKathome:
Libertarianism says my neighbors do me no wrong by exposing my children to child pornography, provided only force or fraud is not used. There is no public and objective standard of decency.
It's easy to invoke the standard libertarian claim ''prostitution should be legal'' (and I agree, it should be) not so much with what I like to call the Michael Jackson problem.
Namely can (and should be able to) adults hire kids for sex so long as the parents sign off on it?
With certain professions (acting, music, modeling, and sports such as Tennis) children can and do get contracted to work.
Below the statutory ''age of reason'' (typically 7-10 years old) only the parents authorization is needed, above (but still minor), both have to sign off on it.
Prior to it's specific criminalization in the late 70's it did include pornography (search 'Brooke Shields nude' with 'safe search' off on Google - NSFW of course) those pics are legal because they were done pre-ban.
With Michael Jackson the claim was he was molesting a 13-year old boy over a period of time. How much did it cost MJ 'to make it all go away'? Wikipedia says $22 mil (I've heard 10-15).
The classic joke comes to mind:
Man: Will you sleep with me for a million dollars?
Woman: OK
Man: How 'bout for $50?
*slap* What kind of girl do you think I am? Man: We settled that, now we're talking price.
Would you accept a big payday from a wealthy pedo to pimp out you kid?
They did. I wouldn't.

Anonymous P_R December 15, 2015 6:03 PM  

Started out as a conservative because that's what my father was. Became a libertarian in HS and an anarchocapitalist though college as I lost more and more respect for .gov. In the last few years I've come to recognize that any notion of limited government seems impossible in a diverse populous. Example: 1st amendement's freedom of religion was written within the context of a christian society. Within a christian culture, you can have a workable freedom of religion. A baptist isn't going to go nuts if a lutheran church crops up next to his kid's school. But in a society where all religions are accepted, then 'freedom of religion' breaks down because ... diversity + proximity = war. Baptists don't like satanic temples in the neighborhood so government has to step in and write a law. I'm fairly confident that our overlords recognize this and therefore promote diversity in order to have a pretext to expand their power.

Anonymous patrick kelly December 15, 2015 6:11 PM  

@43 LibertyPortraits

Listened to the rest.

Impressive and admirable IMAO, but as they move out and try it in bigger municipalities and the empire strikes back with the gloves off we'll see if they can stand. I really hope they can as I instinctively cheer for the little guy and the underdog, but I've been disappointed quite a bit.


Blogger Doktor Jeep December 15, 2015 6:18 PM  

Libertarianism is a failure.
What America once was, the day after the Constitution was ratified, was exactly the Libertarian utopia touted today.
Then the Whiskey Rebellion started and that was the beginning of the end.

But for me it's darker than that.

There was a case in NYC roughly a year ago, a thug angry over the Eric Garner case picked up a gun and shot two cops. Naturally the cops he killed were having nothing to do with the Garner case but hey that's the problem with wearing "colors". And a jury ruled that Garner's death was no crime, and that the reason for the cops being on his case was because of laws regarding the selling of whiskey... scratch that... cigarettes.

What happened after that cop killing was fear was struck into the hearts of the cops in NYC and they were only showing up for "real crimes" - cases that they had to be there where a cop was needed to fill out a report of actually address a crime in progress.

No running about harassing the people and eating out their substance in the meantime.

In other words, one thug with a handgun did in a few seconds what an entire generation of libertarian begging, pleading, "getting the word out" and "educating", and three presidential campaigns spread over 30 years could not do.

What we had in 1789, if we had it again, would eventually bring us back here, where we are, again. It takes a while. But "Cthulu always swims left".

And that was when I realized that libertarianism lacks natural defenses from the worst kind of tyranny: democracy. When you have a king on a throne and everybody knows where that throne is, and the relatives of that throne, and everybody knows their names, that is indeed better than millions of wannabee tyrants anonymously hiding in voting booths and checking on murder and robbery of their neighbors (such that violence is the outcome of every law being enforced one way or the other) with zero chance of personal risk to themselves. Cherry picking of liberty and voting against people they don't like or who have something they want, even if just for spite.

What a scam. And when libertarians tout how great democracy is, I move on.

It's done.

Blogger Desiderius December 15, 2015 6:18 PM  

Libertarianism is decent as a skeptical theory of government based on an accurate understanding of human nature.

It's a lousy general philosophy of life.

Blogger SirHamster December 15, 2015 7:37 PM  

If that is the definition of libertarian, then I am not a libertarian. However, I never considered that to be the definition of libertarian, and while I have argued with libertarians who deny the concept of natural laws that man can infer with reason, I never saw any valid justification that their definition of libertarian had any type of universal authority.

How do you police libertarian ideas?

Libertarianism by itself is amoral; a Christian libertarian can make it work by using Christian culture and values to fill in all the gaps, as the Christian is not a law unto himself but a servant of a divine King.

Taken by itself, libertarianism has no moral reference to keep it grounded.

"Can't legislate morality" is how it's often put, but legislation reflects our morality. "Do not murder" makes a moral judgement.

Blogger Joe A. December 15, 2015 7:52 PM  

Many libertarians are moving toward the anarchist camp as of late.

Blogger gunner451 December 15, 2015 7:54 PM  

The problem is not the form of government but the nature of the people, both inside and outside of government. Given the fallen nature of humans you will never have any form of government that does not eventually result in all sorts of problems.

For me the best form of government would be a benign dictatorship with the ruler having absolute despotic power over the people. So long as that despot is good there would be no problems.

Blogger JaimeInTexas December 15, 2015 8:01 PM  

There is no human solution to the human condition.

I view the libertarian NAP as the North Star. A fixed point of governing direction. Life is the terrain which must be navigated. Cannot always move straight towards the star but it provides the reference point. Any other star will send you in another direction. The farther a point of reference is from the north star the more error in navigation and the lesser chance of reaching the destination.

Anonymous Godfrey December 15, 2015 8:04 PM  

Human nature trumps ideology... any ideology. If you want to understand why the world of men is the way it is, study human nature and the seven deadly sins.

Blogger JaimeInTexas December 15, 2015 8:05 PM  

I know of no libertarian; thin, thick, minarchist or anarcho-capitalist, that agrees with your assertion.

Blogger JaimeInTexas December 15, 2015 8:05 PM  

Your murderer hypothetical.

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY December 15, 2015 8:59 PM  

"The problem with libertarianism is that it's morphed and has nothing to do with Jeffersonian principles."
You got that right.
"Then their pro on open borders garbage. A president Jefferson would have shot these super-cucks for treason."
Once again , you are correct.
As Vox said, being a small "l" libertarian is a world apart from the big "L" type.
Josh is prolly most butthurt over your comments, but that's a good thing.

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY December 15, 2015 9:17 PM  

If a town wants to outlaw X or Y... precisely who are you to tell them they can't?

"You're free to not live there after all.

I am therefore a Christian Confederate. As thoroughly unreconstructed as one may be."
AMEN, BROTHER.

Anonymous Whatchu talkin bout Willis December 15, 2015 9:26 PM  

Limited as I am by spending very little time outside of the U.S., it appears to me from far observance that the Swiss have the closest thing to an "ideal" government and society as one can have in a sinful world.

Solid checks and balances between the cantons and the federal entity. At the very least a respect for Christianity among the populace if not open and devout worship of Christ. A respect for tradition. Enclaves of French, German and Italian speakers, all of whom appear to adhere to the greater good. A citizenry well armed, to boot. Prosperous and able to deftly avoid war for going on 200 years now. America and Switzerland were once called "Sister Republics."

My only complaints with the Swiss was their sheltering of Lenin who was subsequently unleashed upon Russia during WW I and allowing women to vote beginning in 1971(?)

If I am mistaken in this generalization of the Swiss, Vox or others, please provide points of correction.

Blogger haus frau December 15, 2015 9:35 PM  

@9 anarcho-capitalists like you describe are almost always spergy atheist types who came over to libertarianism from the far left. Since they come from the left, even if they pay lip service to hating BLM and affirmative action, they are still devout believers in multiculturalism. They believe all religion is inferior to atheism or outright evil and, yet, they think all religions are fundementally the same. All religible boils down to some feel good humanistic tripe about loving eachother. Likewise, the open borders idiocy means they also believe all cultures are equally capable of libertarian government. I can't take these people seriously. I want to slap them even more than the bleeding heart liberals. At least liberals have a more realistic understanding of human nature in that they know they need force to build their utopia.
case in point, a conversation I had concerning criminals who are not rational and don't respond to fines, even really, really big fines. In response the anarcho capitalist said what to do about psychopaths who aren't "rational" as he sees it did bother him and he had no answer to that yet....however most serial killers preyed on women and children and as he had neither he did not believe this was his problem.
Think about how incredibly spergy that is.
1. People who have sisters and wives and children will have no quads voting out of his pocket to pay for prison for those offenders so it certainly is his problem if he wants to be left alone.
2.psychopaths aren't just confined to serial killing. Many never graduate about low level assaults and theft and do not respond to normal incentives.
3. You can only fine someone so much before they have nothin to lose. Then you have a lose cannon out in the public.
I'm not worried about anarcho-capitalists taking over and leaving every one alone. I'm worried about them discrediting legitimate views by association such as opposition to neoconservative regime change.

Anonymous Satyr December 15, 2015 9:35 PM  

All respect to Mr. Wright, but it sounds like he absolutely is a libertarian.

Libertarianism is the optimal way for advanced, civilized human beings to interact. He's simply acknowledging that barbarians have not evolved to the point of being capable of libertarian society, and that civilized people cannot behave optimally when barbarians are around.

It's a descriptive article, not prescriptive. Short of reinstating Canon Law, what does he really think would be better than a government that strives for libertarianism?

Blogger haus frau December 15, 2015 9:38 PM  

Another fun conversation with an anarcho-capitalist sperg on open borders. Another person pointed out that open borders libertarianism is self-defeating as musmlime moving in in mass would impose sharia law. The sperg countered that if an area had a majority of muslims vote in sharia law then that was their right. So we don't have a right to vote in borders but muslims can vote in sharia.

Blogger Danby December 15, 2015 10:03 PM  

@Satyr
So... JCW doesn't know what he believes?
Are you retarded?
His basic point is that, in a world that has Leftists, libertarianism is suicide. In a world that depends on raising moral and disciplined children, libertarianism leads directly to the worst moral cesspit.

Libertarianism equals neither good nor freedom. Do try to keep up.

Anonymous Scintan December 15, 2015 10:16 PM  

If a town wants to outlaw X or Y... precisely who are you to tell them they can't?

That's where you go off the rails.

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY December 15, 2015 10:44 PM  

"That's where you go off the rails."
'SLAIN YOURSELF, YANK.

Anonymous Satyr December 15, 2015 10:50 PM  

Danby,

No. I'm not retarded. If you can't follow the conversation, it's a personal problem. Furthermore, insulting other people won't make Mr. Wright want to be your boyfriend; keep your homosexual histrionics to yourself.

I'll speak a little more slowly, so you can keep up (try to read to the end of this comment, since you obviously did not read the entirety of my last post): yes, Mr. Wright is correct in that libertarianism cannot survive bad actors. However, what is the alternative? Post-war United States was arguably the pinnacle of civilization. We got there by ravenously pursuing free markets, nationalism in a very libertarian environment. A quick survey of history does not provide any obviously better alternatives. Short of moving to Canon Law of the RCC, what does Mr. Wright propose instead?

Anonymous I See December 15, 2015 10:50 PM  

@68 JOHN MOSEBY

I do declare...John Moseby not seen around here for a bit.

Testify...............

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY December 15, 2015 11:08 PM  

First off, I M BLIND.I have been unpluged from the tube for a few years. Number 2, SPELL MY NAME RIGHT, FUCKWIT. I am not a god-damn troll, like you .(josh, is that u ? ) number 3,ZFG . GOT IT ?

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY December 15, 2015 11:29 PM  

".I do declare...John Moseby not seen around here for a bit"
MOSBY HAS BEEN HERE , FUCKTARD. i know nothing of this other character your dumbfuck ass refers to. I'm back, bitch whether you like it or not.

Blogger John Wright December 15, 2015 11:45 PM  

@14
"I am tempted to agree with this sentiment, but then the question becomes the age-old "where do you draw the line?" How much government gets to be used to impose which morals? Do we outlaw lying? What about lust? Greed? Laziness? And if we get to impose our morals by force when we are in charge, why shouldn't the other side get to impose its morals when it is in charge?"

Exquisite questions, these, and not to be taken lightly.

I am a conservative in the sense that, as a lawyer, I deem new law cases must follow old precedent when possible; as an artist, I prefer old and tried forms to experimentation; as an economist, I see social turmoil or even uncertainty as detrimental to the public weal.

So, until each of your questions can be answered by a treatise on morals as thick as a dictionary, allow me to suggest that the moral boundaries of where the laws fell before the spiritual collapse of 1968 served mankind well enough since the Stone Ages to preserve the species, and that any changes to traditional Western and Christian morals, customs, and laws should be made tentatively, locally, and experimentally, if at all.

Libertarianism proposes a radical change not to one or two, but to all human institutions. If unexpected consequences arise, and matters go awry, the boldness of the experiment may well prove deadly to the social compact.

The horrid results of divorces on members of my own immediate family have provoked in my heart a deadly hatred of no-fault divorce laws, for example. Even as recently as my mother's day, divorce was a scandal and a shame, not a norm, and only Hollywood Stars had this odd form of serial polygamy. Can a generation of bastards reared without fathers helm the ship of state? Or will they tend to turn into pajama boys or SJWs, seeking in Caesar the fatherly strength they miss in life?

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY December 16, 2015 12:03 AM  

"{Can a generation of bastards reared without fathers helm the ship of state? Or will they tend to turn into pajama boys or SJWs, seeking in Caesar the fatherly strength they miss in life?"
No they can't. You can't drive a car without a steering wheel

Blogger Vox IV December 16, 2015 12:05 AM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Danby December 16, 2015 12:29 AM  

@Satyr,
At least wipe the cum off your mouth when you address you betters, fuckwit.
I asked if you were retarded because you literally asserted that John C. Wright, one of the clearest thinkers and clearest writers currently working in philosophy, political or otherwise, literally did not understand his own thought and his own statement. That's retarded.

You also keep asserting that Canon Law is somehow a system for organizing society, which it is not, never was, and was never meant to be. That's retarded.

However, what is the alternative? Post-war United States was arguably the pinnacle of civilization.
Uh... no. Provided what one means by "pinnacle of civilization," it's not even close. The rot was so pervasive in the 1950s that where we are now was literally inevitable.
Take a look at the high middle ages sometime. You know, after the Albigensians and before the Protestants.

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY December 16, 2015 12:47 AM  

DUMBASS , PLEASE. We don't live in the middle ages,much less the 1950's . Try to stay in the modern times, not the King ARTHUR bullshit you are so so enamored with, moron.

Blogger Danby December 16, 2015 1:02 AM  

@77 John Mosby
We are men of thought, sir. Drunkenness does not become us.

Blogger Scuzzaman December 16, 2015 1:16 AM  

The fly in the ointment of libertarian dogma is that, in order for it to work and survive, the entire world must be libertarian.

This sounds awfully* familiar, doesn't it?

(*pun fully intended)

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY December 16, 2015 1:27 AM  

@77 John Mosby
We are men of thought, sir. Drunkenness does not become us.
Your dumbfuckerrey impresses me none. DUMBY.
get it ?

Blogger bob k. mando December 16, 2015 1:49 AM  

69. Satyr December 15, 2015 10:50 PM
libertarianism cannot survive bad actors. However, what is the alternative?



uh, the alternative is the real world?

you know, the world in which IT IS EXPECTED THAT BAD ACTORS EXIST AND WILL ACT?

seriously, if your point of view is that "Libertarianism works GREAT in Utopia" ... how is that any different than a Marxist saying that "Communism is the optimal government for humans ... except that people keep screwing it up" ( which i have heard said several times by multiple different people, some of them my public school teachers ).



by admitting that Libertarian thought cannot police bad actors you have self admitted defeat and prophesied the inevitable destruction of any polity which attempts to organize itself by those principles.

so why in the fucking world would you advocate it?

as for alternatives? that's what this Christian Republic was for.

OpenID Jack Amok December 16, 2015 2:13 AM  

If a town wants to outlaw X or Y... precisely who are you to tell them they can't?

Well, if I've been living in the town and doing X for thirty years and a bunch of noobs who can barely barely manage to wipe their own asses don't like it...

But that just highlights you need to weight the voting on X towards tradition and productivity, and make sure the people with a voice in the matter understand they are responsible for the consequences of their decisions.

It's a Catch-22 of sorts - if you have people who understand that, they can generally be trusted with most any level of authority. If they don't understand that, they'll fuck up no matter how many constraints you put on them, if you let them have a voice.

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY December 16, 2015 2:36 AM  

We are men of thought, sir.
So you speak for every body here ?

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY December 16, 2015 2:42 AM  

Do you speak mfor everyone here, damnby ? do ya ?

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY December 16, 2015 2:48 AM  

Damn, I miss BANE, i do.

Anonymous jOHN MOSBY December 16, 2015 3:18 AM  

Put it up to a vote, bamnby. Is everybody on board with your happy ass, or no ? Let's find out, m'kay ?

Blogger Desiderius December 16, 2015 3:39 AM  

"Libertarianism by itself is amoral; a Christian libertarian can make it work by using Christian culture and values to fill in all the gaps, as the Christian is not a law unto himself but a servant of a divine King."

A culture content to merely fill in the gaps cannot be Christian by definition.

Libertarianism properly understood can fill in the gaps in temporal governance of a Christian culture. The problem arises in the viability of that understanding among a sufficiently broad segment of the populace.

Blogger Shimshon December 16, 2015 3:48 AM  

As a regular LRC reader, much of the content published by Lew of recognizing the inability of many to adhere to the NAP. So even though it is an openly declared anarchist and anti-state, property rights do totally legitimize keeping people out.

The site has a large number of religiously devout contributors, and only a few declared atheists, who I generally ignore (yes, even Walter Block). I don't think there's anything inherently incompatible between small-L libertarianism and restrictions on trade, labor, and migration at the national scale. Especially when faced with enormous populations whose fundamental beliefs are not just incompatible with those beliefs and the desire to live by them but are literally at war with them.

Blogger Scuzzaman December 16, 2015 3:54 AM  

"Can a generation of bastards reared without fathers helm the ship of state? Or will they tend to turn into pajama boys or SJWs, seeking in Caesar the fatherly strength they miss in life?"

Not to Godwin the discussion, but Schickelgruber.

Anonymous Spartacus xxxxx December 16, 2015 4:20 AM  

@34. dc.sunsets
In a Libertarian Utopia, the main firm would be in insurance.
All property would of course be private.


I've also studied Hans Herman-Hoppe, who I have learned from and agree with in great part, and the rest as well. Interestingly enough, I've also traced out much the same trajectory that Vox Day and John Wright describe, in much the same time frame. The problem with leaving violence in the hands of Insurance is that Insurance become State, destroyer of civilization. Each violence specialist finds itself in competition with one another. What to about that? How do we, Violence Specialists Inc., increase our market share?

Blogger Scuzzaman December 16, 2015 4:21 AM  

@87:

Desiderius, this is a question I have long pondered. And in spite of my own libertarian leanings, like our host and Mr Wright I eventually reached the point where I had to give it up.

I have not given it up in favour of anything demonstrably superior, however. Theocracies work as well as monarchies and democracies. That is to say, they work for a time, while the general populace ruled by them is content to be so ruled. Is accustomed to the rule of [whomever], as determined by [whatever system of promotion/inheritance], and accedes generally to it.

But since there can be no government without consent of the governed (even a sullen, hostile and grudgingly resentful consent), when these conditions no longer hold, when large and vocal and openly defiant sections of the populace are no longer content to be so governed, then the nation is in a state of crisis, necessarily.

So I occupied my mind for a long time with this question: What is it that so holds people together under one system of government?

There are many secondary factors. There is the old saw that; "Markets make opinions" and certainly we have seen in recent years that democratic governments can rarely survive extreme market conditions. The US and UK governments survived the Great Depression only by engineering a world war against an "existential evil" behind which to rally their populations. (Göring would have been proud, no doubt.)

That people have hope of a good life, or even the prospect of a chance at such, is an essential sub-factor. Even if not in THIS life, and hence the long historic role of religion in politics.

But the primary thing, I deem, is that the great majority of the people share among them a clearly defined and understood set of moral values, such that they exercise a tacit but strongly perceived constraint upon the powerful. Such a constraint that abuses of power remain few and non-critical, and are always answered with strident and widespread opposition.

Absent such shared values and the outrage against abuses they engender, only tyranny may survive for any period, and even then only those tyrannies that constantly set their own people against each other (such as we see in the modern democracies, and which objective is the primary motive for the "free movement of people" maxim. No tyrant ever promotes a policy for their own aggrandisement but it comes cloaked in the rhetoric of humanitarian charity.)

Not even the most benevolent of tyrannies may long survive extended periods of peace and prosperity, which naturally give rise to questions regarding the necessity for the "father protector" figure of which Mr Wright writes.

Hence all systems of human government, i.e. of externally imposed regulation of the lives of the people, necessarily have incentive to promote conflict; internal disharmony and external war.

As it was once long ago said: a policeman in every heart, or a policeman on every corner.

With the advent of the internet, a policeman in every electronic device, which reality reveals the essential nature of our ruling classes most clearly.

There is no possible human political philosophy that can address and resolve all the problems of human nature. That is a "physician, heal thyself challenge to which all of history testifies us to be unequal.

Surely some political structures are better than others, but all political structures require, for the common weal of the people, for the longevity and slow maturing of the structure itself, this one factor as the bedrock of all civilisations in all times and places:

That the people governed under this structure share in the great majority a common set of morals and values in keeping with the operation of the structure.

In my opinion, nothing else matters nearly so much as this.

Blogger Scuzzaman December 16, 2015 4:25 AM  

P.S. The reader is invited to extend this concept and its implications to consider their relevance for the immigration controversy in which we are all, today, embedded.

Anonymous Spartacus xxxxx December 16, 2015 4:38 AM  

@91. Scuzzaman

@87:
Desiderius, this is a question I have long pondered. And in spite of my own libertarian leanings, like our host and Mr Wright I eventually reached the point where I had to give it up.

As it was once long ago said: a policeman in every heart, or a policeman on every corner.

all political structures require, for the common weal of the people, for the longevity and slow maturing of the structure itself, this one factor as the bedrock of all civilisations in all times and places:

That the people governed under this structure share in the great majority a common set of morals and values in keeping with the operation of the structure.

In my opinion, nothing else matters nearly so much as this.


Dialed.

Anonymous Satyr December 16, 2015 7:50 AM  

"At least wipe the cum off your mouth when you address you betters, fuckwit.
I asked if you were retarded because you literally asserted that John C. Wright, one of the clearest thinkers and clearest writers currently working in philosophy, political or otherwise, literally did not understand his own thought and his own statement."

Again, I'm extremely confident that, despite your hopes to the contrary, that John Wright is not gay and no amount of hurled insults is going to turn him on to you.

You should read some of Vox's posts a little closer, and don't automatically assume he's talking about other people when you see the word "midwit". Interesting that you glossed over Scuzzaman and Desiderius's posts, when they are basically raising the same questions I did.

Blogger Desiderius December 16, 2015 8:29 AM  

Scuzzaman,

Well said.

"But the primary thing, I deem, is that the great majority of the people share among them a clearly defined and understood set of moral values, such that they exercise a tacit but strongly perceived constraint upon the powerful. Such a constraint that abuses of power remain few and non-critical, and are always answered with strident and widespread opposition."

Aye, that's the nut.

The problem is not so much the compulsion to virtue-signal, that we will always have with us, to the extent that boosting the signal-to-noise ratio is a valuable calling, it is what it is that is commonly accepted, indeed aspired to, as virtuous.

And it is there that we have been well and truly cuckolded, in the most literal sense imaginable.

Anonymous WinstonWebb December 16, 2015 8:40 AM  

I remain a libertarian as the concept was defined by the late, great gentleman Mr. Harry Browne. Was he an idealist? Certainly. But his ideals and designs were, and still are, inspiring.

Anonymous TomT December 16, 2015 11:29 AM  

"As for me, I've always been a small-l libertarian rather than a large-L one."

Did this construction take on a new meaning in recent years? I've seen it used in this way more and more.

Back in the day, "I'm a small-l, not big-L, libertarian" simply meant, "I'm not a member of the official Libertarian Party."

Anonymous Mark Call December 16, 2015 11:35 AM  

While in general I very much appreciate John Wright's skill and insight, when it comes to the negative references to "polygamy" -- and lumping it in with things which Scripture forbids, as opposed to in some instances MANDATING --

I really do wish he would read what the Bible has to say about polygyny (to use the correct term) as opposed to the serial 'monogamy' licensed and then mandated by the Almighty State today (and its permitted and incorporated churches).

The destruction of "Western civilization" is in no small part related to the continuing decline associated with the 'xtian,' but utterly anti-Scriptural, claim that "the law is done away with".

A brief review of history should suffice to demonstrate that if God Himself changes His mind, can't keep His Word, and is NOT the "same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow," then a Constitution and Bill of Rights written by mere men hasn't got a prayer.

Blogger Scuzzaman December 16, 2015 12:47 PM  

@98:

Bingo. Well said, sir.

Blogger Danby December 16, 2015 12:59 PM  

@99
Really, That ignorant and illiterate and intentionally ignorant twaddle qualifies as "well said?" Completely contradicting Christ Himself on the subject of marriage and then castigating anyone who disagrees as an idolater is "well said"?
What's it take to get a "Bad Show, old fellow" from you?

@98
Not "well said."
More like "here's a napkin, you seem to have gotten some drool on your bib there, Sparky"

Anonymous Mark Call December 16, 2015 1:19 PM  

@100 --
"Completely contradicting Christ Himself on the subject of marriage and then castigating anyone who disagrees as an idolater is "well said"?

You, sir, are a liar, as well as an idiot.
Cite chapter and verse! (Although every member of the Dread Ilk already knows the sorry tripe you'll trot out. Been there, done that.

And realize that you dare not bring a pen knife to a gun fight. You ignore the totality the Book of Deuteronomy, the entire story of the patriarchs, lessons of prophets in places NOT limited to Jeremiah chapter 3 and Ezekiel 23, but of course the oh-so-inconvenient Words of the Word Made Flesh Himself in Matthew 5:17-19 et al. AND the aforementioned Hebrews 13:8.)

While you're at it, why not drool a bit more yourself and enlighten us all as to why "shall not be infringed" doesn't really mean what it says either.

This is not hard.

You are not merely ignorant and Biblically illiterate, but willfully so.

Blogger Danby December 16, 2015 1:33 PM  

@Mark
I wasn't talking to you. I was talking to Scuzzaman, who has shown some wit and intelligence at times on this forum.
You, on the other hand, are an unliterate goob and not worth my time.

Blogger Artisanal Toad December 16, 2015 1:58 PM  

@73

The problem with libertarianism is it left God out of the equation. In fact, that is the entire problem with libertarianism.

For Christians this should be simple, but it isn't because by and large they don't want to hear what the Bible says and get even more uncomfortable with what it doesn't say. So, they twist definitions and make stuff up to get God's Word to match their beliefs.

You mentioned the SCOTUS ruling sweeping the sodomy laws off the books. The proximate cause of that injury was the church. Leviticus 18 explains exactly what sodomy is: "if a man lies with a man as with a woman..." The church reversed this and said the only thing two men can't do together is PIV, so everything other than PIV is sodomy. And sex is for procreation, not recreation, missionary position only, etc, etc..

But God never said that.

In fact, if you read carefully you'll notice the Bible doesn't mention any sex acts other than "he went into her and she became with child" which can only describe PIV sex. There is no mention at all of anal sex, fellatio or cunnilingus, anywhere. I took this argument to the extreme recently, arguing there is no Biblical prohibition on female-female sex (there isn't). My chief opponent finally admitted:

I believe what I have been taught, that all homosex is sin. Attacking Toad's position cannot be made by showing a prohibition against woman-woman sex as no verse does so. The question then becomes, how do I make a Biblical case that it is sin absent such a verse?

Why? Because tradition. Problem is, according to Romans 4:15 and 5:13 it can't be called sin. Point to Romans 1:26 and you're claiming Paul violated Deut. 4:2.

Somewhere between 400 and 800 AD, the church invaded the family, usurped the authority of the husband and regulated the marital bed. Cunnilingus/fellatio are not "oral sodomy" and if husband and wife want to do it they can. Why? Because God only placed three restrictions on the marital bed: no sex while the wife is on her period, no sex during the proscribed period after having a child and no adultery.

The church was waging a war against the nobility at that time in its fight to become a powerful monolithic organization. They did so by subverting marriage, usurping the authority of the husband and invading even the marital bed with their rules. Problem is, even if you've got them by the balls it doesn't mean their hearts and minds will follow. Henry VIII proved that.

The Bible has no prohibition on polygyny (God does not regulate sin). Yet the church says it's wrong and taught marriage was to be monogamous in violation of Deut. 4:2. Who did it impact? The nobility. What was the result? Doctrines permitting divorce between two confessed believers in disobedience to 1st Cor. 7:10-11. Nobody wanted to be another Thomas More.

The church's rules about marriage and sex became entrenched in the culture over time. Why? Because the rules (especially monogamy) empower wives at the expense of their husbands. If the Church had been content with God's Law, the sodomy laws would have been in line with what God prohibited and there is every reason to keep such laws on the books. Yet, because the laws hewed to the teachings of the church and interfered in the relationship between a man and his wife, it was right to strike such laws down. The problem was by lumping the permitted in with the forbidden, the forbidden is now permitted.

Your libertarian instincts were correct with respect to Anderson, but you left God out of the equation. What goes on in the bedroom between husband and wife, or even husband and wives, is nobody's business but theirs. Sodomy is a different story because if God says it's wrong, it's wrong and the state should enforce that.

And that only scratches the surface.

Blogger Danby December 16, 2015 2:50 PM  

Did someone put the "Arrogant Aspies with only a vague idea of scriptural interpretation welcome!" sign out or something?

Blogger kurt9 December 16, 2015 3:29 PM  

Libertarian ideals are noble and generally estimable goals to aspire to, but that pesky universality of human nature will never allow it to scale up.

This is an argument in favor of libertarianism. If humans are by nature good, then any sort of system ought to work. If humans are by nature bad, there is no sense in putting one human or group of humans in charge of all others. Think of it as "social systemic risk", just like its financial counter part, the only solution is in decentralizing of human institutions, particularly authoritarian ones.

Blogger Artisanal Toad December 16, 2015 3:33 PM  

@104

Danby, you need to work on that projection.

The problem with refusing to recognize polygyny as a sanctioned marriage is it redefines adultery, lust, fornication and sexual immorality into prohibitions God never made in ways that restrict men, not women. By invading the family and usurping the authority of the husband the church created feminism.

Lust. There are no direct references to what lust is, but we can logically deduce what lust isn’t by looking at God’s various prohibitions. Lust is contextually defined as a sin closely related to coveting, so a good basic definition of lust is it’s a sexual desire that cannot be legitimately fulfilled.

Lust is one of those words that’s been twisted to become a club to beat men. The passage in Matthew 5:27-32 where Jesus said if a man looks on a woman with lust in his heart he’s already committed adultery in his heart is a beautiful case in point that demonstrates how an improper understanding of Scripture results in bad doctrine. First, the only way to look at a woman with lust is if she cannot legitimately be obtained and the only way that happens is if she’s married. It doesn’t matter if the man is married or not because a man can legitimately have more than one wife, but the only woman a man can legitimately marry without committing adultery is one who is eligible to marry.

A young man who looks on an unmarried woman with desire in his heart is not lusting because his desire can legitimately be fulfilled. That desire is the driving force behind the desire to marry and only an idiot would claim men decide to marry women they aren’t attracted to. It may happen from time to time for various reasons, but in general it simply doesn’t happen.

“Adultery.” According to the Liddell Scott lexicon, the word adultery is best translated as “to mongrelize” and there’s both a physical and spiritual component to the word. Idolatry is spiritual adultery and adultery is physical idolatry. The problem with adultery in the physical sense is it’s a sex-specific crime (sin) that requires a married woman. No married woman, no adultery.

Women don’t like this because they want adultery to apply to men who have sex with a woman they aren’t married to, but it doesn’t work that way. A man has the right to take another wife but it goes even further than that. Look at Exodus 22:16-17 and Deuteronomy 22:28-29. If a man (with no distinction between married or unmarried) seduces a virgin he is to pay the father the bride price and marry her. Because he has “humbled” her he cannot divorce her all the days of his life. If the father refuses to allow the marriage the man is to pay a price equal to the bride price. No prohibition, no condemnation and there goes the whole "sex before marriage is sin" argument.

Jesus was speaking to people who understood this and these definitions are all based on the fact a man can have more than one wife.

So, with no Law prohibiting or condemning the extra-marital sex of the man and woman in Exodus 22:16-17 and Deuteronomy 22:28-29, according to Romans 4:15 and 5:13 we cannot call it a sin (fornication). It doesn't matter if the man is married (he’s authorized to take another wife) or single. In fact, the married man cannot be committing adultery because the woman (not his wife) he was having sex with was single and not betrothed.

The Law contains no prohibition on using a prostitute and we see Samson didn't violate his Nazerite vow by using prostitutes. Why did Paul instruct the believers in 1st Corinthians 6 not to have sex with prostitutes if it was fornication and a sin (it isn’t)? Even though the Law was silent on this, 1st Cor. 6 is a restriction specific to Christians because only Christians can join the members of Christ to a whore. Just as Christians are forbidden to divorce, this is a restriction that applies only to Christians- not a change to the Law.

Blogger Scuzzaman December 16, 2015 3:39 PM  

@100

I've given up arguing theology here. Too many people just interested in serving their egos, not their minds.

But this last bit:

"A brief review of history should suffice to demonstrate that if God Himself changes His mind, can't keep His Word, and is NOT the "same, yesterday, today, and tomorrow," then a Constitution and Bill of Rights written by mere men hasn't got a prayer."

- was well said.

Whatever you might think of what went before it.

Blogger Danby December 16, 2015 3:41 PM  

So tell me toad, what sexual perversion are you addicted to? Pornography I imagine.

Blogger kurt9 December 16, 2015 3:45 PM  

Speaking of morality, have any of you read "Foundations of Morality" by Henry Hazlitt?

https://mises.org/library/foundations-morality

If so, what are your thoughts on it?

I think some of the criticism of libertarianism in here and else-where is rooted in the flawed assumption that most of us libertarians are too pussy to defend ourselves and our world-view (by violent means if necessary) from extra-civilizational brutes.

Blogger Danby December 16, 2015 6:02 PM  

I think some of the criticism of libertarianism in here and else-where is rooted in the flawed assumption that most of us libertarians are too pussy to defend ourselves and our world-view (by violent means if necessary) from extra-civilizational brutes.

Well, when your primary principle is that you are not allowed to initiate aggression, you are essentially telling those who would subjugate you exactly how far they can go before you will react. Not all brutes are extra-civilizational. If, instead of directly assaulting you, what happens when your enemies live within your rules, while isolating and dispersing you and your libertarian friends? You're not allowed to initiate aggression after all.

Which is, in fact, what is happening.

Blogger Artisanal Toad December 16, 2015 6:14 PM  

@108

Danby responds, not surprisingly, with more projection.

Your responses are typical of the zealous catholic, displaying the inability to cite an absolute standard that does not change with time. Claiming the Pope is "infallible" in *anything* is blasphemy because only God is infallible. Adding the "teachings of the church" to Scripture is, by definition, a violation of Deuteronomy 4:2 and a negation of Romans 4:15 and 5:13, which negates 2nd Timothy 3:16-17 and that pretty much guts the authority of Scripture leaving only the teachings of the church.

Which is exactly what they wanted, because the majority of people want to be told what to do without having to think and the RCC is a business in the business of telling people what to do and discouraging thinking.

Since you're a simple creature, I'll try to keep this simple.

"Let God be true and every man a liar."

The entirety of the Christian faith is grounded on the Word of God. Salvation is through Jesus Christ (the Word made flesh) alone and we are saved through faith in Christ, not the church. God said "I am the same, yesterday, today and forever." Therefore, His Word is the same, yesterday, today and forever.

The Word says "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." To claim that *anyone* is infallible in *anything* is to contradict God's Word, regardless of how funny the hat they wear.

When anyone claims something is a sin when God chose not to do so, they are lying and in violation of Deuteronomy 4:2. There are so many ways in which catholic doctrine and dogma violates God's Word that it's sad someone who is intelligent and logical enough to program computers is unable to comprehend this, but it proves the point that most people just want to be told what to do.

I do not mock you, for you are to be pitied.

Libertarians tend to be people who can and do think for themselves, which is how they came to be libertarians in the first place. However, because libertarianism is a political philosophy that leaves God out of the equation it cannot possibly get the right answers to questions of morality. Therefore, people like John Wright tend to move on. The question is what the standard for morality is and God's Law is the only answer because there are only two sets of law in this world, God's Law and the law of the jungle: might makes right.

Your problem is you can't argue this without resorting to the Magisterium, the very concept of which is a violation of Deuteronomy 4:2 and 12:32 as well as Romans 4:15 and 5:13. All you're left with is snark, ineffective rhetoric and the ad hominem, which, not surprisingly, is all you've had to offer. Again, you are to be pitied and I'll endeavor to treat you will the kindness I'd reserve for an autistic child.

Blogger Danby December 16, 2015 6:38 PM  

You think I'm arguing with you. That's cute.
but if you insist...
It is my experience that someone who is so angry about conventional Christianity, Protestant or Catholic, is someone who has surrendered to his temptations. Since your rants seem to have a sexual focus, it's likely that your have a besetting sexual sin that you refuse to admit or correct, instead trying to justify it through tendentious and barely literate individualistic biblical exegesis. I could easily be wrong. It might be wrath.

Blogger kurt9 December 16, 2015 6:46 PM  

Not all brutes are extra-civilizational. If, instead of directly assaulting you, what happens when your enemies live within your rules, while isolating and dispersing you and your libertarian friends? You're not allowed to initiate aggression after all.

It depends on how you define aggression. I would consider how the SJW's get into an organization and eventually poison it to be a form of aggression, and the manner of how our host here is fighting back (gamer gate, Hugo awards, etc.) is entirely appropriate and defensive in nature. People who create things have the right (and responsibility) to defend them. SJW's are parasites, pure and simple. People have the right to defend their institutions from them. I see no incompatibility with libertarianism here.

Blogger Artisanal Toad December 16, 2015 6:55 PM  

@112

It is my experience that someone who is so angry about conventional Christianity

SJW's Always Lie

but if you insist...

SJW's Always Double Down

it's likely that your have a besetting sexual sin that you refuse to admit or correct

SJW's Always Project

Blogger SirHamster December 16, 2015 7:30 PM  

Christians who don't approve of polygamy are obviously SJWs.

Next thing you know, they'll sneak in gay marriage and trans-acceptance.

Was this not Jesus' greatest challenge to his followers? Choose today whom you will serve - approval of polygamy or rejection of God's Word.

Blogger Artisanal Toad December 16, 2015 8:08 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Blogger Artisanal Toad December 16, 2015 8:11 PM  

@115

You lost the argument last time and don't have the wits to understand what this one is about.

Danby started off with the spurious claim that Christ instituted monogamy ( @100 ). He doesn't have the wit to understand that if he is correct, Christ violated the Law (Deut. 4:2) by both adding to and subtracting from the Law. Which, by definition, means Christ was not a perfect sacrifice and therefore all of Christianity is a crock of shit.

Christians who claim polygyny is a sin are attacking the foundation of their faith: God's Word. They seek to modify God's Word in accordance with their preconceived ideas of how thing should be. So, yeah, that seems like something a SJW would do.

But, SirHamster, I'm not saying you're a SJW any more than I'd call an idiot child playing with a machine gun a terrorist. Without understanding there can be no mens rea.

Blogger SirHamster December 16, 2015 8:51 PM  

The polygamy train is fine, Artisanal Toad.

Blogger Danby December 16, 2015 9:41 PM  

@Toad
You make outreageous claims based on your own intemperate and frankly irrational exegesis and demand obesiance.
Shut the fuck up and move your hobby horse, please. it's in the way.

Blogger Artisanal Toad December 16, 2015 10:26 PM  

Why Danby! There you go with that projection *again*

Danby screams
Danby pouts
Runs in circles
Screams and shouts.

I finally figured it out. You remind me of ¡Jeb!

Blogger Danby December 16, 2015 11:49 PM  

It sits in it's hole
scanning the sky
and waits for normal
folks to walk by.

It leaps out and accosts
argues absurdness
and demands answers NOW!
to its bizarre exegesis

Those that refuse
to play its rigged game
are assaulted instead
and called a Bad Name

It croaks it's lone curse
just one and not several
Disagree with me?
you must be a Liberal!

It knows nothing worse
despite its perversion
Leftists alone
merit derision.

It sits there alone
stoking its pole
while admiring itself
Artisanal Toad in its hole

Blogger Danby December 16, 2015 11:54 PM  

My daughter offers this:

There was was a toad on a forum
Who had no sense of decorum
He'd swear and he'd curse
Just to make matters worse
So normal folks would just ignore 'im

Blogger The Overgrown Hobbit December 17, 2015 3:37 AM  

Power to the people.

Think nationally, govern locally.

Federalism for the win. This isn't a hard one: It's not either/or. (Two legged stools are inherently unstable, which is why private sector unions appear neccessary, but always fail.) The further one gets from the ability to correct laws in the face of lived experience, the less power said lawmakers ought to have.

There's a reason the newly freed USSR satellite states avsiled themselves of America's founding documents. Go thou and do likewise.

Blogger agraves December 17, 2015 11:53 AM  

Thanks you for the great discussion.

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