Free State Project Forum

Archive => Which State? => Topic started by: admin on September 08, 2002, 08:58:55 am

Title: Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: admin on September 08, 2002, 08:58:55 am
I was just glancing at the state data page.  One of the categories was something like "Most Votes for Conservative and Libertarian Candidates".  It's interesting to me that "conservative" is included.  While this makes sense to me personally, I have met a fair number of libertarians who came at it from the left, even making statements like "I would have voted for the LP, but I didn't want Bush to get elected".   I guess the FSP state selection group has determined that conservatives are more highly correlated with libertarians in general?  Or are "conservative" candidates hand picked for the stats, not to be confused with republicans in general?

Any comments?

Charles
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: JasonPSorens on September 08, 2002, 06:29:34 pm
That stat simply adds together votes for Bush, Browne, and Phillips (Constitution Party) in 2000.  I'm aware that Bush
ain't exactly a libertarian by any stretch, but presumably states that are more inclined to vote for Republican presidential
candidates are somewhat better than states that voted for Gore from our perspective.  Most people are deluded
about what Republicans stand for and think they're voting for free-market policies when they vote Repub.
They're deluded of course, but at least theyre better than outright statists.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: libertyVSlibertine on November 03, 2002, 01:43:24 am
Those who vote for Republicans aren't deluded.

They are practical.  They are voting to move in the direction of liberty and the ideals of the founders of this nation.  The Republican party is a long way from that, but it is the biggest movement that moves things back that direction and has a shorter-term probability of success.

Think of it as the "Free Party Project", influencing the policies of the party.  There are many of these people who would vote Libertarian, but for the lack of a coherent and consistent explanation by Libertarian candidates of where to draw the line between Liberty and Anarchy.

The big push for drug legalization is a good case in point.  This simply isn't a high priority for most Americans, and isn't going to make some vast improvement in the culture, but the same sort of 'give me' idea as those who desire handouts in the current welfare state.

Freedom isn't about complete liberty, but clearly and properly defining the limits.

The children in a schoolyard with a fence, though they can't run freely into the street, really have more freedom to play in the area that is in fact safe.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Reaper on November 03, 2002, 10:36:30 am
Those who vote for Republicans aren't deluded.

They are practical.  They are voting to move in the direction of liberty and the ideals of the founders of this nation.  The Republican party is a long way from that, but it is the biggest movement that moves things back that direction and has a shorter-term probability of success.

If you examine the record and not the rhetoric you will see that there is virtually no difference between the democrats and republicans.  Just look who all voted for the USA PATRIOT Act for example.  I'd say anyone who still believes republicans mean what they say about liberty and small government is deluded.  No, I've never voted for a democrat either.


Think of it as the "Free Party Project", influencing the policies of the party.  There are many of these people who would vote Libertarian, but for the lack of a coherent and consistent explanation by Libertarian candidates of where to draw the line between Liberty and Anarchy.

The big push for drug legalization is a good case in point.  This simply isn't a high priority for most Americans, and isn't going to make some vast improvement in the culture, but the same sort of 'give me' idea as those who desire handouts in the current welfare state.

Demanding the freedom to do as one wants with one's own body is not asking for a "hand out".

Freedom isn't about complete liberty, but clearly and properly defining the limits.

The children in a schoolyard with a fence, though they can't run freely into the street, really have more freedom to play in the area that is in fact safe.

So, we are all children who need to be fenced in by our Nanny government?

Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: PongGod on November 03, 2002, 12:10:46 pm
If you are comparing libertarians with "old right" conservatives, then I would agree that these groups have more in common than not.  However, today's Republican Party is dominated by neo-conservatives who are virtually as statist as the Democrats and their biggest issue seems to be pushing their imperialistic foreign policy, something that is not at all compatible with libertarian philosophy.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: SandyPrice on November 03, 2002, 02:26:52 pm
I see a closer relationship between libertarians and fiscal conservatives.  I tend to take a second look at any candidate running with a conservative label.  In 1964 this meant a fiscal agenda where the federal government would be scaled down to the bones and only those subjects mentioned in the Constitution would be given attention.  

Today, being a Conservative Candidate means a prohibition of many sins by the federal government.  These sins start with the big A Abortion and then Pornography, Prostitution, and a dozen other items to be added at a later time.

I don't practice any of these sins but to put the federal government in charge of listing these things as federal crimes would be opposed to our desire for individual freedoms.  

I live in a state where gambling is legal if done on Indian reservations.  We have a lot of Indians in Arizona and many gambling parlors.  The religious right can't stand it!  People will gamble their money away is what we hear day and night and I, like Atlas, shrug!  We have 3 initiatives on our ballot Tuesday and I will approve of all of them.  Who am I to tell the fellow next door not to play a little poker?

No matter what is considered sin, it is up to the parents to set the laws and see that their children follow them.  I'm tired of playing nursemaid to millions of Americans who seem to feel the government is the ultimate authority on everything.

For this reason I would be very interested in the FSP but at my old age, will need a warm climate.  Goose pimples make me bitchy!
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: craft_6 on November 04, 2002, 10:37:04 am
F. A. Hayek, writing in "The Constitution of Liberty," made the case that those who love liberty would do better trying to make inroads with progressives, rather than conservatives.  

Conservatives, by definition, are tied to the traditional and resistant to new ideas.  Conservatives in the U.S. tend to support smaller government because the U.S. has historically been a libertarian nation, not because they truly want people to be free to make their own decisions in life.  Conservatives look to the past for guidance.

Progressives, on the other hand, look to the future.  Although many have been deluded into supporting government programs as a way to improve society, their motivations (at least of the idealists, not the opportunists) are to seek the betterment of mankind.  They are willing to try new ideas, and might be susceptible to a utilitarian argument showing the benefits of liberty.

That being said, the Republican Party is still a likely source of many libertarian voters, since many who value smaller government, free markets, and individual freedom have chosen it over the big government Democratic Party.  Many of those natural libertarians call themselves fiscal conservatives, and are growing increasingly disenchanted with a Republican Party that continues to increase the size and power of government, despite all the talk about keeping the Democrats from doing the same.  
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: PongGod on November 04, 2002, 06:35:32 pm
F. A. Hayek, writing in "The Constitution of Liberty," made the case that those who love liberty would do better trying to make inroads with progressives, rather than conservatives.  

Conservatives, by definition, are tied to the traditional and resistant to new ideas.  Conservatives in the U.S. tend to support smaller government because the U.S. has historically been a libertarian nation, not because they truly want people to be free to make their own decisions in life.  Conservatives look to the past for guidance.

I think most of us libertarians would agree that America's past, particularly that of the early years (minus the slavery), is the form of government to which we aspire.  Anyone who looks upon this past for guidance is wiser than the idealists who refuse to acknowledge the abject failure that socialism has already proven itself to be.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: craft_6 on November 05, 2002, 11:56:59 am
I'm not knocking conservatives, by any means.  They are of course much closer to understanding the libertarian ideals of small government and individual responsibility than big-government liberals are.

I'm just suggesting that libertarians shouldn't write off liberals as a lost cause.  If they support big government because they believe it improves society in some way, they may be persuaded to give free market solutions a try, if they can be shown to produce superior results.

If liberals can be converted to libertarians, the upside may even be greater than with conservatives, since some conservatives will never abandon their traditional stance on moral and social issues.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Mark Alexander on November 05, 2002, 04:20:35 pm
I'm just suggesting that libertarians shouldn't write off liberals as a lost cause.
I certainly agree, having gradually moved to libertarianism after becoming disenchanted with liberalism, at least as it's currently practiced in this country.  One issue that can bring in other liberals is the failed Drug War; William F. Buckley writes very persuasively on this subject.

Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: rob_marlett on November 05, 2002, 08:00:45 pm
I used to call myself a conservative, but don't be confused - I haven't seen a politician that was a conservative get elected in a couple decades !!!!! what used to be "conservative" is now the radical right... what used to be liberal is now called conservative... and the socialists that used to be spurned by society are now "moderates" in the senate... and what used to be KGB tactics is now "anti-terrorist training that every police officer in America needs."
I just call myself a Constitutionalist now... but I'm sure some despicable batch of freedom hating scum will jump on that title before long - and I'll just call myself outdated !!! lol
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: mlilback on November 06, 2002, 06:22:58 pm
Today, being a Conservative Candidate means a prohibition of many sins by the federal government.  These sins start with the big A Abortion and then Pornography, Prostitution, and a dozen other items to be added at a later time.

That combined with outright purchasing of candidates by corporations is why I've never voted for a republican candidate and likely never will. Most convservatives have no regard for others beliefs, no tolerance of differences,  and are generally not concerned with the betterment of mankind.

While most modern liberals have gone too far in thinking government is the solution. My best friend would be called a socialist by most, but he's reading up on the FSP and is very interested. As mentioned in another thread, many socialists would be happy to live in a free state where they could set up their own commune/city/community. It is a much better option to them than our current system.

Mark
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Elizabeth on November 06, 2002, 07:13:35 pm
Ummm.... MB?  The origin of rights is one of the most fundamental tenets of *any* philosophy.

Here's what libertarian.org has to say about lib philosophical underpinnings:


Why do libertarians feel so strongly about freedom? Where are they coming from, fundamentally? Are they idealists with a utopian vision of humanity living harmoniously and enjoying total personal freedom? Are they spiritualists committed to the morality of freedom? Are they materialists, utilitarians who studied economics and concluded that freedom is the best way to build wealth? Or are they just skeptics who worry that people cannot be trusted with power?

The truth is, libertarians may fit any or all of the descriptions above. Trying to neatly categorize libertarian individuals and organizations is like trying to herd cats.

|  Philosophy  |

The philosophical roots of libertarianism are many and varied. Some libertarians believe that freedom is simply God's order, or more generally, that there is a natural order in the universe, and human beings have natural rights. Many classical liberals (including the American founders, of course) thought that the rights to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" were "self-evident."

More secular or skeptical libertarians sometimes subscribe to a rational egoism influenced by thinkers like Friedrich Nietzsche or Max Stirner; others see the foundations of their ideas in utilitarianism, Epicureanism, or even existentialism.

|  for more information  |

Freedom Network directory of resources on Philosophy

Freedom Network directory of resources on Skepticism and Free Thought

Freedom Network directory of resources on Religion and Liberty

Freedom Network spotlight on Religion and Liberty: The Christian connection"


You might want to check out the links provided on the site itself.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Elizabeth on November 06, 2002, 07:24:23 pm
You should also definitely read:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/068484768X/
 
Libertarianism: A Primer
by David Boaz

For an understanding of the variety of theories on origins of rights and the philosophical basis for libertarianism.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Jeffersonian Democrat on November 06, 2002, 07:46:30 pm

 
Conservatives, therefore can and have been,  as much a danger to liberty as the left is.  Since religious conservatives on the far right believe that the rights of man come only from divine investiture, it only makes sense to them that some liberty must be regularly sacrificed on the altar in the name of god in order for society to be worthy to continue to find favor from deity in the gift of freedom.


I don't think your surmise is all that accurate.  Just like our founding fathers wrote in the D of I, most conservatives recognize that our natural rights are God given rights.  Conservatives are much less dangerous to our rights then our latter day liberals.  Liberals believe in big government or government TO the people while conservatives are more willing to accept government BY the people.  Liberal are even more dangerous in that they consider themselves to be above the law as witnessed by the recent actions in NJ, which wasn't an isolated example only the most blatant and egregious.

I'm curious though, if you don't subscribe to the beliefs of our founding fathers that our basic rights are God given rights then from whence are they derived?
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Robert H. on November 07, 2002, 01:57:35 am
Many classical liberals (including the American founders, of course) thought that the rights to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" were "self-evident."

Yes I understand that, at least up to the "self-evident" part. A person who drowns on a sinking ship would likely prefer to see this concept upheld, but... To my thinking, for something to be self-evident" it must hold under all circumstances. Make sense?

Yes, the concept of self-evident truth is an interesting one, and the Founders were heavily influenced by the so-called "Age of Reason," which I really think of as being more an Age of Skepticism.

For something to be truly "self-evident," I would think it would have to be indispensible to coherent thought.  For example:  truth itself.  Even if I choose to argue against "truth," in order to do so in any meaningful fashion, I must first assume the very thing that I am arguing against.  If I say:  "There is no such thing as truth," I have made what I assume to be a true statement, thereby contradicting my own premise.  A self-evident truth would thus be something that proves itself by the impossibility of its being un-true, something that you cannot think coherently without.

I posted some thoughts on inalienable rights before, but some while back, as follows:

I think that individual rights can be demonstrated, or at least "assumed," automatically.  It seems to me that "individual" rights can be established by the fact that we ARE individuals, and not parts of some mass-mind or simple components of some mass physical being.  We are separate from one another physically, mentally, and I would say spiritually as well.  There are various types of objects and animals that have natural connections to one another, and their mutual attachment and influence would seem to seem to merit their treatment as a whole to at least some degree.  We can see obvious relationships between them.  

But this is not the case with human beings.  We are separate from one another unless we are artificially connected somehow.  Thus, I think that individual rights can be established by asking a more natural question:  "Where do we derive the concept of corporate rights among clearly individual and distinct beings?"  The lack of any justification for establishing artificial connections or obligations upon beings that are clearly individual and separate from one another presupposes the existence of individual rights and status by itself.  And this lends itself quite handily to the way in which we naturally think and act.  As individual human beings, we pretty much go our own way unless someone acts against us to prevent us from doing that.  But forcing us to refrain from that which we would do naturally creates an artificial link between us.  It does NOT establish a corporate "right" for everyone to interfere in everyone else's affairs.  It is an arbitrary use of force to unify that which is naturally separate and distinct.

All of this, in turn, lends itself to the general philosophies upon which a free-state is based.  If someone asks me why I should not have to pay a social security tax to provide for general public retirement, it is not necessarily incumbent upon me to prove that I have some right to avoid paying it.  It is actually incumbent upon them to prove why they have a right to violate my natural, individual state and force me to conform to their communal wishes.  Their question by itself is wrong-headed because it violates the natural order of things and imposes a false, artifical unity.

In short, we exist naturally as independently-functioning, separate beings.  Imposing unity upon these separate beings is thus an artificial act because it alters what naturally exists.  Therefore, I would say that the absence of any natural, communal rights among individual beings is ultimately what presupposes, or assumes, individual rights.  And the fact that these rights would then be based on our natural state, and that they could only be taken from us by artificial means, would seem to demonstrate that our individual rights are "inalienable" because they cannot be taken from us by any natural means, only by artifical means.  Our rights may be subverted, but they cannot alienated from us because they are a natural part of what we are as separate and distinct beings.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: PongGod on November 07, 2002, 12:06:07 pm
But the fish will likely understand, and help me work through these issues... They are also quite tasty. ;D

Hey, MouseBorg, you're not going to violate the self-evident right to life of those fish, are you?  :D

- member of PETA (People Eating Tasty Animals)
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Mr. Roboto on November 07, 2002, 03:06:50 pm
Ponggod makes a very good point.  From robert's discussion, I think it would be very hard to deny that a dog has all the rights of a human.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: JT on November 07, 2002, 04:50:23 pm
People Eating Tasty Animals
http://www.petasucks.cc/ (http://www.petasucks.cc/)



I think all animals have the same rights as all others.  That's why the creator(s) gave us 'survival of the fittest'.  You can't pass a law against grizzlies eating humans, and you can't pass a law against humans eating catfish.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: mlilback on November 08, 2002, 01:26:08 am
I don't argue his answer, but I do question how the athiest & agnostic libertarian achieves the same results, without violating the concept of TANSTAAFL... being given (in fact demanding) something for nothing. Or in effect, unearned welfare "rights".

Personally, I've never worried about philosophy or justifcation, etc. I just believe that reason is what defines intelligence, and basic reasoning says to me that you have to follow the golden rule of "do unto others...", or society cannot exist.

Survival is the most basic instinct, and they only way to gurantee survival is a society where you respect the rights of others and they respect yours.

I've never felt a need to define a source of these rights, either from a divine being or some other source. I feel I have them to the core of my bones and would rather die that give up my liberty. I know they are right and have no need to justify them or claim they come from god. I'm perfectly happy in excepting that I can't know the answer to everything, and the unknown doesn't scare me.

As insulting as it may seem to many, I think Jesse Ventura had it right when he said religion is the crutch of the weak-minded. I really don't see a difference between modern religion and the ancient ones--they both exist to provide comforting answers to questions that can't really be answered.

Mark
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: JT on November 08, 2002, 01:33:03 am
I really don't see a difference between modern religion and the ancient ones--they both exist to provide comforting answers to questions that can't really be answered.

Mark


My thoughts exactly!  To me Christianity is the same as Greek Mythology.  They both talk about the intentions of the Gods and of Mankind's place in the universe.  Both make for fascinating stories, but to me they're just that: interesting stories.  I've been saying that for years.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Robert H. on November 08, 2002, 04:17:39 am
Thanx Robert, I'll be bouncing some of that around while out trying to catch a fish or two today... always the best place to go to ponder the mysteries of the universe. ;)

Gotta love it!  Sadly, I don't get to do very much of that nowadays.

Quote
I still have a few things to sort out there, as it would appear that nature, physics, and such universally doesn't seem to honor those rights (we all meet death - a serious breach of our right to life. If we fall into a hole, and can't get out, gravity is not swayed by our statement of the right to liberty.)

If nature itself doesn't honor such rights, then they do not hold true in the natural world... but hold only within our own minds, and with those who mutually agree to honor those principals.

I would say that rights exist conceptually, as you hint, and would thus apply only between those things are capable of understanding concepts.  Rights can only be applied, and thus defended, when they are first understood.  Since natural objects, such as the black hole, are not capable of understanding rights, then when you fall into one you are essentially dealing with an amoral situation in which the concept of rights has no legitimate place.  Nature abides by natural law; man abides by both natural and moral law.  So when we deal with nature, unfortunately, our complaints regarding the consequences of natural law (and the exclusion of moral law) fall on deaf ears.

Quote
John Adams seemed to hint that there was a problem in this area, which required divine intervention to provide these rights. I suspect he saw this problem (better than I obviously) and provided a sort of "short circuit" answer.

I don't argue his answer, but I do question how the athiest & agnostic libertarian achieves the same results, without violating the concept of TANSTAAFL... being given (in fact demanding) something for nothing. Or in effect, unearned welfare "rights".

The problem that the atheist or agnostic runs into is that his or her worldview centers on a naturalistic, materialistic system.  Rights are immaterial, and thus cannot be accounted for by such a worldview.  In the above posts, I provided an argument by which you can establish individual rights as a defacto element of our natural distinctiveness as human beings, but this argument rests upon concepts that must exist before such an argument can be framed.  It does not explain how those concepts can exist themselves, nor does it explain how they can be applied to the natural world with any degree of validity.

This is a basic problem of unity.  Humans have long sought to unify their experience both with material and immaterial things.  Scientists are still in hot pursuit of GUT (the Grand Unified Theory), which will supposedly unite all universal forces under one theoretical umbrella.  Philosophers, on the other hand, are still in pursuit of uniting the elements of Kant's conceptual dilemma:  "the starry heavens above and the moral law within."

If reason is, as Kant and Hume thought, a "habit of the mind," then so is the concept of rights, and as you suggest, rights could then only extend an obligation upon those who recognized and honored them.  They could not be logically applied in any universal sense, therefore, those who chose to ignore them could not be condemned in any universal sense either.  As you pointed out, Adams recognized this problem.  Jefferson did as well.

Quote
But the fish will likely understand, and help me work through these issues... They are also quite tasty. ;D

Yes, fish actually can help you work through conceptual dilemmas.  For instance, Benjamin Franklin finally resolved his problem of "interspecies pacifism" when he caught the smell of frying fish on board ship on day.  

Resolved that problem nicely!   ;D
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Elizabeth on November 08, 2002, 05:48:58 pm
MB - again from the lurker, I received this email:

Re Mousie's 'libertarian vs conservative' problem, he can gain a lot of
insight into the answer sought by entering various response-combos into
the "World's Smallest ... Quiz". There are lots of combos to try but a
simple program could be written to exhaust all  of them or,
alternatively, 25% or so of the possibilities could be enough to help
your friend to understand where the several philosophies place one on
the political landscape.

Another simple answer lies in who (the state or the individual) more or
less controls our behavior in the "boardroom" and the "bedroom". (Of
course, assault, theft, and fraud are to be prohibited in _both_
venues.) The four flavors of politics involve state control in:

a) Both Board _and_ Bedrooms = Totalitarianism

b) Board but _not_ Bedroom = Liberalism

c) Bed but _not_ Boardroom = Conservatism
 
d) Neither Bed _nor_ Boardroom = Libertarianism

Warmly,
Frederik Bastiat
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: libertyVSlibertine on November 09, 2002, 03:50:38 am
Quote
If you examine the record and not the rhetoric you will see that there is virtually no difference between the democrats and republicans.  Just look who all voted for the USA PATRIOT Act for example.  I'd say anyone who still believes republicans mean what they say about liberty and small government is deluded.  No, I've never voted for a democrat either.
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
There are huge differences between Demos and Repubs.  How about eliminating the gift and estate tax (passed the house)?  How about permanent tax cuts?  It's as much as they can get done, and as much as they are able to restrain themselves from the easy way of big government, to which they are constantly encouraged by our society.

Citing the USA PATRIOT act as proof that demos and repubs are the same is hardly a persuasive case.   Clearly they both have problems and vote anti-freedom frequently, but the Republicans can at least still smell the scent of freedom and move toward it.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Demanding the freedom to do as one wants with one's own body is not asking for a "hand out".

No, but its really not about demanding my freedom, that's selfish.  Our founders gained freedom for us.  Making the legalization of drugs and prostitution centerpieces gives the air of selfishness, not a thirst for true liberty.


------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
So, we are all children who need to be fenced in by our Nanny government?
 
   To some extent, yes.  If I answer no, I'm an anarchist.  This is the problem with much Libertarian rhetoric.  The question is how and where to draw the line of what government should and should not enforce.
   When Libertarians are able to enunciate what the line should be in such a way that citizens' consciences are touched, then the party will have a chance.
   Government should enforce a Godly moral code and no more.  Our Creator has written in text and imprinted upon every heart what is right and wrong (that's why people say 'everyone knows that murder is wrong' or how we come to the conclusion that direct physical harm to another must be wrong).


Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: libertyVSlibertine on November 09, 2002, 03:58:33 am
Quote
Our various political factions here are more than ripe for the same fate unless they can figure out that there ain't a damn thing for them to really discuss unless that common enemy can be handled first. Afterwards, then the other issues can be worked out.

And what precisely is the Libertarian movement, or the Free State Project, but another political faction?
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: libertyVSlibertine on November 09, 2002, 01:12:55 pm
My order of preference (not exhaustive, just recently discussed and related political philosophies).

1. Liberty
2. Republican
3. Anarchy
4. Democrat
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Robert H. on November 10, 2002, 12:24:59 pm
I'm still a registered Republican, but I've been thinking about changing over to Independent for quite awhile now.  I was almost about to do it, but then we began discussing the prospects of possibly working through the GOP in our chosen state, and I thought better of it.

So, for the moment, I suppose that I won't change my registration until we reach the state and then settle on a course of action.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Robert H. on November 10, 2002, 01:38:11 pm
Well nothing personal there in my above comment of course... was simply a conceptual statement. As Joe has mentioned a number of times, libertarians often run as republicans, as that tends to get more done than otherwise. :)

No problem.   :)  I've made statements myself to the effect that voting for a Republican as opposed to a Democrat is, more often than not, like choosing between muggers in an alley.  On the one hand, you've got the guy who'll only mug you for $5.00, while the other will take you for $10.00.  You're still being robbed!

I have no faith at all in the Republican leadership.  They're party people who are, more often than not, bent on their own advancement.  What principles they once had seem to have been sold to the system for the token thirty pieces of silver.

Or was that $30 million in highway funds for Wisconsin?
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Robert H. on November 12, 2002, 01:52:23 am
So I guess I'm still confused as to the source of said rights where athiests & agnostics are concerned. If the source is other than mentioned above, then does that negate this document for them? If so, then can they lay claim to what it declares, and has provided for, without it equating to a "free ride"?

You'd have to ask Reaper about that.  Most of the atheists and agnostics that I've spoken with seem to believe that you can arrive at human rights/morality via unaided assumptions of reason.  I suppose that it was Immanuel Kant that revived this thinking in modern times, and the philosophical basis that he provided was then further developed by thinkers like Nietzsche, who took those ideas to their logical conclusion:  relativism.  

Jefferson expounded somewhat on the reasons for why the Founders generally concluded that the rights of man came from a Creator in his Notes on the State of Virginia:

"And can the liberties of a nation be thought secure when we have removed their only firm basis, a conviction in the minds of the people that these liberties are the gift of God?  That they are not violated but with his wrath?"

Jefferson's reasoning was that, if man's rights merely exist because they are recognized by man, then they can be negated if man no longer recognizes them.  For that reason, in order to be truly inalienable, they would have to stem from a source higher than man himself, and anyone who chose to negate them would have to challenge the Creator Himself.  Thus, man could not negate the divinely-inspired rights of other men, and so, as far as human beings were concerned, such rights were seen as inalienable.

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Again though, in the real world, "rights" are only what one can actually enforce, either by direct force, or by implied force, so its prolly irrelevant anyway, but I do get curious about such seeming contraditions in principal.

The Founders were generally people who believed in God and in the idea that God had some sort of role to play with regard to the affairs of human beings, but they were also heavily influenced by the rationalistic thinking of the Enlightenment.  Rationalism, by definition, depended upon a system in which man was forced to reason all that he could know of the universe independent of God (Who was, at best, considered unknowable in any objective sense).  So you're basically dealing with people who attempted to build their core philosophy on two competing worldviews.  This was bound to create problems in logic for them.  

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Hmm... as an aside, I do have to wonder, given the above quoted text from that document, just how our Founding Fathers would have addressed something like the Anti-Patriot Act? Somehow I strongly suspect they would have drafted a sequel to that document.

I suspect that Patrick Henry would giving a certain speech again, and copies of that Act would be found floating in Boston Harbor.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: libertyVSlibertine on November 12, 2002, 09:46:34 pm
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You'd have to ask Reaper about that.  Most of the atheists and agnostics that I've spoken with seem to believe that you can arrive at human rights/morality via unaided assumptions of reason.  I suppose that it was Immanuel Kant that revived this thinking in modern times, and the philosophical basis that he provided was then further developed by thinkers like Nietzsche, who took those ideas to their logical conclusion:  relativism.  

The Founders were generally people who believed in God and in the idea that God had some sort of role to play with regard to the affairs of human beings, but they were also heavily influenced by the rationalistic thinking of the Enlightenment.  Rationalism, by definition, depended upon a system in which man was forced to reason all that he could know of the universe independent of God (Who was, at best, considered unknowable in any objective sense).  So you're basically dealing with people who attempted to build their core philosophy on two competing worldviews.  This was bound to create problems in logic for them.  


This is the problem.  Reaper should advocate anarchy.  If there is no Creator, there is no authority and no logical reason to hold to any code, except as an individual sees fit.  This sort of thinking is precisely what causes people who are disgusted with the Republicans' and Democrats' taking of freedom, and see the Libertarian movement as an alternative, to balk at going Libertarian.  They see through this logical flaw, and the arrogance of the same people, that somehow the other parties are corrupt, but not theirs.

The laws we hold to, even those which atheists accept without a solid logical foundation, are moral laws that we know inside because someone has designed us to know.

It's times like this when you wish the founders were here to clarify what they thought.  Adams, for example, and Jefferson held very different views philosophically...Adams, an awful conservative Christian such as some on this post despise - didn't hurt the cause too badly, and Jefferson with an odd, yet Christian-based philosophy.

Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: mlilback on November 12, 2002, 09:55:30 pm
Jefferson's reasoning was that, if man's rights merely exist because they are recognized by man, then they can be negated if man no longer recognizes them.  For that reason, in order to be truly inalienable, they would have to stem from a source higher than man himself, and anyone who chose to negate them would have to challenge the Creator Himself.  Thus, man could not negate the divinely-inspired rights of other men, and so, as far as human beings were concerned, such rights were seen as inalienable.

But that doesn't show his personal beliefs, just what "the minds of people" felt.

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The Founders were generally people who believed in God and in the idea that God had some sort of role to play with regard to the affairs of human beings, ...

Everything I've seen points to them as being diests, agnostics, or athiests who accepted that most people are religious and therefore you had to mention God in public documents, places, etc.

I've read a number of personal writings of the founding fathers that talk negatively about religion, and few of them attended church with any regularity.

They seemed to understand that religion is the opiate of the masses and you have to respect it. But you'll notice the references are generally vague terms like creator, and not God with a capital 'G'.

(I had a teacher in high school who was an athiest and had a large collection of personal writings of the time that he'd pull out anytime someone tried to claim this country was founded as a christian nation.)

I've never been interested in philosophy. To me it is just common sense and what I innately feel. As much as I like to rely on reason, I'm also heavily dependent on my intuition. As an agonistic, I have faith in myself and my beliefs, and that's all I need.

Mark
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: JT on November 12, 2002, 09:57:24 pm
Thomas Paine had a lot of very excellent quotes about religion.  Too bad I can't think of any offhand...
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Hank on July 28, 2003, 09:14:45 pm
Where did MouseBorg's posts go?
Why does MouseBorg no longer post here?
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: jeffandnicole2003 on July 28, 2003, 11:57:30 pm
I used to think conservative politicians were a good compromise... until the war.  When have we   lost  so much freedom than under this 'conservative' administration?
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Reaper on July 29, 2003, 07:45:49 am
HAHAHA!!!!!!!

Conservatives!!!

Look at all the lost freedoms due to the drug war, probably more than to any other single cause, the conservatives loved and supported every one of those unconstitutional laws.

Conservatives are the enemy, they are statists wearing a libertarian costume.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Robert H. on July 29, 2003, 05:15:30 pm
Where did MouseBorg's posts go?
Why does MouseBorg no longer post here?

MouseBorg took up a position on either his town or county government (can't remember which at the moment), and has had his hands full dealing with it ever since.  He was also discouraged by some things he saw developing here, but I believe he stopped posting mainly due to time constraints.
Title: Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
Post by: Kelton on July 30, 2003, 02:45:56 pm
The thing I admire about conservatives is that they recognize that rights come from somewhere besides government, just like libertarians do.

Where I disagree with religious right-wingers is not that rights are natural part of the existence of the individual that emminate from God, but that an individual cannot be an agent unto himself in determining what is best for him in his relation to his god in a secular society.

Stereotypical conservatives often go wrong in appointing themselves the arbiters between God and man in judging behavior they deem harmful, reference the drug war and all of the other vice wars, and so they swallow the camel while straining at the gnat, so to speak; they accept big government which they whole-heartedly oppose while seeking to regulate the wrongful behavior of others, (which they have every right to warn and speak out against), but regulate at the barrel of a gun.

While I recognize that social freedoms and economic freedoms are both the same indivisible freedom, I remain largely unimpressed by advances in social freedoms in places where economic freedom is declining.  For example, Europe has many social freedoms in greater abundance than in the United States, yet seems to continue on down the path of least resistance towards totalitarianism while you can frolic in the nude, freely get an abortion, hire a prostitute, and smoke cigarettes in public with abandon.  The areas of freedom that are supported by conservatives are largely lacking and on the decline in Europe (far more than in the U.S.) : gun freedom, economic freedom, and national sovereignty.

History shows that the quickest way to ruin a country is economically.  When there is massive poverty,  desperate people start looking for a political savior.  People that already respect the right of property, of self-defense, of independence are more likely to weather a storm than people who don't, irregardless of how liberal their views may be on other matters when their bellies are full.

For that matter, I prefer states that have certain conservative leanings over states that have 'liberal' leanings, IOTW, ID>MT, NH>VT.

--Just the opinionated ramblings of one conservative libertarian.
 
Of course, sometimes I wonder about the future of prosperity in the U.S., so dependant on the dollar, and the economic future of it all together after reading articles like this:
http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Asian_Economy/EG15Dk01.html (http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Asian_Economy/EG15Dk01.html)