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This sounds familiar
Posted by: Bryan Pick on Sunday, January 25, 2009

Over at Samizdata, Thaddeus Tremayne:
Since the late 1990's everybody outside of us hardy but microscopic band of ideologues (and I do mean 'everybody' including his brother, mother, plumber and household pets) has been tub-thumpingly convinced that we have endured "the most right-wing government in history". Oh my Lord, how right-wing it was! Uber-right-wing, ultra-rightist, extreme-uber-ultra-babyeatingly-sealcubbashingly-right-wing. Lord deliver us! Good people everywhere rolled their eyes heavenward and wondered just what was to become of us all in the new, ultra-neo-liberal, so-called-free-market, wild-west-uber-rampant-capitalist free-for-all.

Not us, of course. We could see the ugly truth that we were actually being sovietised. We told them all too. In fact, we shouted it from the blogtops. But was anybody listening? Were they hell. No, they were far too engaged in the generally agreed business of guffing on interminably about the rampant-wild-west-unregulated-greedy-so-called-laissez-faire-out-of-control-cowboy-shoot-'em-up-neo-liberal-free-for-all-unrestrained capitalist nightmare that was destined to reduce our once great nation to a dissipated radiation burst of lonely, atomised wage slaves chanting 'greed is good' as we are flung out to the frozen corners of an uncaring, Thatcherite universe.
He's talking about Britain, of course, but you could change one, maybe two words in those paragraphs, and you would have American libertarians' exasperation all wrapped up.

Years before this financial crisis got the whole Left crying that the fault lay in our dangerous levels of deregulation and free-market ideology, we had John Kerry saying dourly, “The Bush Administration agenda isn’t conservative Republicanism, and it’s not radical Republicanism—it’s extreme libertarianism.”

Extreme libertarianism.

I have trouble sometimes separating the truly confused from the cynically dishonest, but either way, it's frustrating to see people so massively misinformed about libertarianism and the Republican Party's record over the last eight years.

Did the government become less intrusive under Dubyah? More respectful of individual rights? Did spending drop when I wasn't looking, even counting out the War on Terror? How about the number of government projects, subsidies, bureaucrats?

Tax cuts without attendant spending cuts aren't terribly libertarian, since we just borrow and print money to pay for them. Deficit spending inherently means future taxation, and Bush had big, big deficits. Tax cuts are better than government spending the money itself, but that's a consolation prize.

Did we see some vast transition to private and locally-controlled schools under Bush?

And while the Bush administration took a few steps forward on free trade, it also took a couple steps back—see the steel tariffs in his first term. Free trade made far more progress under Clinton and JFK than under Bush.

I confess I don't know enough to make a final judgment on his environmental policy, but other than that, what was so radically libertarian/free-market about the Bush years?
  • Sarbanes-Oxley and the accounting/finance rules changes that made it harder to start or run a business in America?
  • Medicare Part D?
  • No Child Left Behind?
  • The continuation of the Drug War?
  • The mass transfer of power down to more local levels of government?
  • The end of agricultural subsidies?
  • The opening of the borders to allow the free flow of labor?
  • The Broadcast Decency Enforcement Act of 2005, or any of a host of actions by the FCC?
  • Kelo v. New London (though we can't pin the blame for that on Bush)? Raich?
And why is it that when libertarians and fiscal conservatives ask these questions, after having criticized these actions by the Bush administration and Congressional Republicans for years, we hear the Left mocking, "Oh, so conservativism can't fail, it can only be failed? How convenient."?

That would sting a little more if conservatism had been tried. As it stands, though, it just reflects poorly on those who do the mocking.

Government centralization, spending, regulations and powers grew under Bush, full stop. He may have signaled an intention to partially privatize pensions, health care and education, but his accomplishments on this front were very modest—we have health savings accounts now. He tried increasing regulation on Fannie and Freddie, but he was blocked by Democrats. And in the end, he (and many Republicans in Congress) cooperated in nationalizing massive amounts of capital right out from under the financial sector, and bailing out big industry (and, effectively, the unions who have helped choke the life out of said industry).

It's not even remotely difficult to make the case that George W. Bush was not a fiscal conservative nor a libertarian, if you have an elementary understanding of those terms. He talked like a Christian Democrat and governed with a heavier hand. And the libertarian/small-government part of the Republican coalition that tolerated him did so only because they feared even worse from the Left.

If anyone has a compelling argument that outweighs the points I've made above, I'd love to hear it.
 
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For all you folks who disliked Bush for excessive spending, or the war, or something else, remember this:

Bush didn’t work in his first work to free terrorists and make sure the mass murder of infants is paid for by American taxpayers.

That’s what The Clown™ did in just one week. Just imagine what four years of this worthless imbecilic pr!ck will do to us.
 
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://
As a libertarian since the 1970’s, I can assure everyone that Bush was NOT anywhere close to being libertarian. To suggest so is to display total ignorance of what a libertarian is. (I would probably now be called a "strong defense libertarian".) Still, I think Bush was light years better than any democrat out there.
 
Written By: jjmurphy
URL: http://www.allthatisnecessary.com
James Marsden,

You said,
For all you folks who disliked Bush for excessive spending, or the war, or something else, remember this:

Bush didn’t work in his first work to free terrorists and make sure the mass murder of infants is paid for by American taxpayers
Bush’s excessive spending, massive growth of government, and complete fiscal irresponsibility are what made the obama victory possible.

In the process bush and the republican congress have effectively wrecked the republican brand. Difficult to argue the republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility after the spending bender bush and the republican congress went on.

Might want to think about that the next time obama does something you don’t like.
 
Written By: qualcomm
URL: http://
Excellent post, Bryan. You’ve captured my thoughts on the subject perfectly. I have this debate with co-workers and family all the time. Bush was conservative in one way and one way alone. Socially. He, in the way he governed, hardly showed any libertarian/paleo conservative tendencies. Yes, he had to give a little domestically to get the dems/progs to go along foreign policy wise, but did he ever try to stick to his alleged small government guns? I’m not sure he did. The fact remains, that Bush was NOT a conservative President, much less a conservative Republican.
 
Written By: RFN
URL: http://
That would sting a little more if conservatism had been tried.

Well, there lies your rub. Practically speaking, it has been tried. When GOP libertarians and small-government republicans go around branding there medicine labeled "NEW AND IMPROVED SMALLER GOVERNMENT AND FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY REPUBLICANS" and neolibertarians hark them as better than the alternative, which is why this,
And the libertarian/small-government part of the Republican coalition that tolerated him did so only because they feared even worse from the Left.

doesn’t really help you, it makes it very difficult to argue that conservatism works its just that we didn’t have the ingredients right this time.

Americans took your Republican pill, and it gave them the runs. Little wonder as to why they choose to try the other brand now.

Those describing themselves libertarians who consistently defend and argue for the Republicans always amuse me. You’re like Cubs fans... every year you have hope, but every year you’re disappointed.
Gotta keep working on that farm team.

Cheers.

 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
Qualcomm:
Bush’s excessive spending, massive growth of government, and complete fiscal irresponsibility are what made the obama victory possible.
In part. But it was also a horrific campaign run by McCain, a media out of control that anointed The Clown™ before he even got one vote in the primaries, and an economy that failed due to allowing everyone to have a mortgage for a home, despite the fact that most of them could not afford it. The bubble, the price of gas, and runaway spending all caused the recession. But Barney Frank and the Dems are as responsible as Bush, yet Bush was blamed for everything from the bank downturn to the price of rice in Taiwan.
In the process bush and the republican congress have effectively wrecked the republican brand. Difficult to argue the republicans are the party of fiscal responsibility after the spending bender bush and the republican congress went on.
Again, partly true. I blame the Republicans in Congress more, and Bush does deserve his share of blame. But do not forget that the media played up every Republican foible and problem - Mark Foley, spending, scandals, etc. - and downplayed every Democrat foible and problem - Blagojevich (who was a crook long before 2008), Spitzer, McGreevey, Jefferson, etc. - and covered The Clown’s™ smarmy behind and lack of experience by not asking him any questions whatsoever.

But do remember this: in 2000, the Dems lost seats as Clinton was as popular as the clap. And in 2002 and 2004, Bush helped retain GOP Congresses for the first time with a Republican in the White House since...McKinley? Who remembers anymore? In 2006, we lost the Congress because the country was tired of the war in Iraq. In 2008, the Dems won seats in the House because, as one documentary showed, people believed that the GOP still ran Congress. In other words, liberals never let facts get in the way of their arguments.

I will say this, however: the Dems thought that they were dead meat after 2000, 2002, and 2004. Yet they came back and won the House, the Senate, and the White House. It is a political cycle. If the GOP takes some strong stands, fights The Clown™ on his ridiculous spending and horrific social programs, and goes around the liberal media to make their case, they will be back in 2010. They will come back, and the Dems will be on the outs. Remember that when you hear whining from anyone regarding losses in Congress or anywhere else.
Might want to think about that the next time obama does something you don’t like.
I look at it this way: I don’t remember any Democrat feeling bad about Clinton’s scandals and payoffs and lies and cheating and selling of pardons since he left in January 2001. The Left spent the next eight years bashing George W. Bush. So, since Bush is out of the White House, we have to look forward, not backward. I will bash The Clown™ when he is wrong and cheer him when he is right.

So far, in his first week, there is nothing to cheer about, and plenty to bash him about. I can only hope that he doesn’t f*ck up too bad to allow terrorists to hit us again. He will, however, dig us a hole budget-wise that I believe will be the making of his failure of re-election in 2012. I already hear Dems saying that they expect to lose seats in the House in 2010. My hope is that it is somewhere between 50 and 70. This way, Nancy Pelosi can go back being the brain-dead dimwit she is without being in control of anything but her brain-dead party.
 
Written By: James Marsden
URL: http://

Well, there lies your rub. Practically speaking, it has been tried.
What a steaming load of self-delusion.

Has Wickard been overturned? Do we have a single rate-single bracket income tax? Does the entire income tax code fit on a single 3x5 card? As the 14th amendment demands, is the entirety of the constitution in force against the states? Do we still ask our economy to labor under the idiotic notion that businesses pay taxes? Do the state governments choose Senators?

It hasn’t scarcely been tried.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Hey Pogue, guess what? Now your team is up to the plate, and the results will be awe inspiringly worse than what the republicans did.

To continue your baseball metaphor liberalism has an ERA of 500.

cheers
 
Written By: kyleN
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog

Americans took your Republican pill, and it gave them the runs.
Every overt act and statement which brought about the real estate bubble was brought about by Democrats being Democrats. Every effort to rein in the Democratic stupidity of which I am aware was undertaken by Republicans, most notably Bush twice and McCain once.

This isn’t a case of the runs, it is a perfectly foreseeable—and was foreseen—consequence of government pressuring private entities to issue credit while the government promises to underwrite the risk of doing it. That idea has none but Democrats behind it.

Sell your lies to people stupid enough to buy them, like at those Kos.

Those describing themselves libertarians who consistently defend and argue for the Republicans always amuse me. You’re like Cubs fans... every year you have hope, but every year you’re disappointed.
I cannot think of one-pro-liberty action or inaction to be undertaken by government at a greater rate or a for which there is a greater chance if Democrats are in charge. It is not even slightly credible that any Libertarians will be elected to national office—the best of them cannot focus on the fact that politics is the art of the possible.

The very best that can be done is to give or withhold my wholehearted support to or from the Republicans.

That you are willing to imply that either the Democrats or the Big-L Libertarians have anything to offer shows just how deluded you are.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Libertarianism is definitely not right wing. But I have trouble knowing if your blog is really libertarian, or if it is right wing.

Right wingers do not oppose a strong, authoritative government. They tend to be militarist, and want a very strong police/safety apparatus because they fear instability, and want to protect tradition. They traditionally have distrust of capitalism. Being a right winger is to be anti-libertarian.

Now on Q&O there is a right wing attitude towards the military, the so-called ’war on terror,’ and governmental power when focused on security. You seem to have the fear that the right wing has, and which traditional libertarians don’t. You also discount the well proven historical notion that expansive powerful military states like the US will almost always see a corresponding increase in scope and power of their domestic government. There is a reason why most libertarians want an isolationist non-interventionist foreign policy. To people like me, it’s no surprise that a government that embraces aggressive war as a policy and denial of civil rights to "terror suspects" and a host of fear-driven policies will become more expansive in terms of government at home. That is a given. You cannot have a libertarian domestic policy with the kind of militarist foreign policy your blog seems to support. In fact, a fetish with the military — the paid hired guns of the state, in traditional libertarian thought — is anti-libertarian.

So until you give that up, you’ll get the government and the policies you deserve. You are holding on to mutually contradictory beliefs. If the GOP would re-embrace a non-interventionist foreign policy and show the same distrust to big government in the military as you wish it to do in domestic affairs, then you’d have something worth considering. As it is, your approach is incoherent and internally contradictory — and thus doomed to failure.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://scotterb.wordpress.com
Scott - My simple version of libertarianism has a minimalist federal government (VERY minimalist where the rule of law governs.) Strict constitutionalism. It has secure, tight borders. People within those borders enjoy maximum freedom AND the personal responsibility that comes with those freedoms. My view is the military should be used to protect the borders and our interests abroad. By our interests I am thinking along the lines of our "safety". Much like Jefferson and the Barbary pirates. This is a very hard area to define, as we all are well aware. We cannot draw in behind our borders and wait for attacks to happen. Because, no matter how non-interventionist we are, there are countries and movements out there that want to destroy us simply because we exist. In those cases we need a strong military to kill them before they kill us. Easier said than done.

I am interested in how others view this dilemma.
 
Written By: jjmurphy
URL: http://www.allthatisnecessary.com
and it gave them the runs. Little wonder as to why they choose to try the other brand now.
from the runs to Ebola. Exciting!!


 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Kerry actually accused the Bush administraion of "extreme libertariansm"? Gosh, Jean-Francois was actually a bigger doofus than I thought.
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
You cannot have a libertarian domestic policy with the kind of militarist foreign policy your blog seems to support. In fact, a fetish with the military — the paid hired guns of the state, in traditional libertarian thought — is anti-libertarian.
All I ever hear from you is "can’t" "won’t" "defeat" "impossible" and similar words.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
you can not have a libertarian domestic policy WITHOUT a militaristic foreign policy Doc...can try, but when the Canadians or the Mexicans invade, well then suddenly the libertarian Utopia, she must be defended, usually with paid hired gun.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Well said Joe.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
I have noticed over the years that, to those on the left, ’Right Wing’ is merely a convenient dumping place for everything they consider bad. There is no logic or consistency involved. Sort of a ’no enemies on the left’ kind of thing, I guess. I was taught, for example, that Sirhan Sirhan and Arthur Bremer were both examples of right wing political extremism because they used violence, and political violence was exclusive to the right.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I do not believe people want to destroy us just because we exist. That strikes me as a fear and paranoia based belief. People generally don’t want to destroy anyone, especially if people don’t intervene in their business.

And if Joe is worried about Mexico and Canada invading, well, that’s really paranoia. No one is arguing against a self-defense force.

I guarantee you: as long as we are an interventionist, aggressive world power spending half the world’s military budget, we will have a state that interfers more and more with in the lives of its citizens at home. As long as masses of dead civilians, atrocities like Abu Ghraib and Haditha, and other things are shown to publics across the world, the more America will be equated with evil deeds and lack of concern for individual rights than the freedom I think we all believe our country should be recognized for. And that will create enemies.

But, perhaps we’ve started a different path, rejecting the last eight years. I’m optimistic for the first time in a long time. The American people seem to be rejecting a fear-based policy.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://scotterb.wordpress.com
I do not believe people want to destroy us just because we exist.
Yeah, and no one will want to rob me unless I did something to them.

This form of logic is rampant in libs and pernicious. The old joke about how to turn a liberal into a conservative still holds.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
I do not believe people want to destroy us just because we exist. That strikes me as a fear and paranoia based belief.
Even when Adolf Hitler said it, or Stalin said it, or Mao said it, Osama said it? What they were all just kidding, right? They never really meant it? Oh sure they fought wars, built armies, launched wars of subversion, attacked the WTC, but did they REALLY MEAN to destroy us?

no, no, NO it was all a dreadful and misunderstood cry for attention and help...again Doc you are risible....

So history or even current events wasn’t really your strong point, right Doc?

I mean ’cuz the US spent less than 2% of GDP on Defense in 1939-41 and well some how that non-interventionist, low threat military sure didn’t translate into no attacks on the US or a friendly stance by our "neighbors."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
But but Mao’s... er Bush’s communism... er conservatism wasn’t REAL(tm) conservatism!
 
Written By: TomD
URL: http://
You have a point TomD?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
TomD is the new and improved version of the MKultra ’bot.

Can’t you tell?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I’m optimistic for the first time in a long time.
Didn’t Obama just kill a bunch of people in Pakistan? I guess that airstrike wasn’t based on fear like the Bush airstrikes.

Bush killed out of fear.
Obama kills out of hope!
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Americans took your Republican pill, and it gave them the runs. Little wonder as to why they choose to try the other brand now.
No, we got the runs from the other team, when it was in power pre-Bush.

Bush had his faults, but he isn’t the one who lead us into the financial crises by pushing bad home loans . . .

The biggest problems of the Bush era, the financial crises and radical Islamic terrorism, were for the most parts Clinton legacy.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
And if Joe is worried about Mexico and Canada invading, well, that’s really paranoia.
Well, I suspect lots of Mexicans would like to invade, it just isn’t possible.

Many Mexicans have serious issues about the loss of part of Mexico to the US in the Mexican American War (I base this upon first hand experience with mexicans and Mexican-Americans). Not becuase of the land itself so much, but because they got spanked so bad, and the resulting loss of pride.

There is a reason Germany was offering Mexico part of the US if Mexico sided with Germany in WW1.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I do not believe people want to destroy us just because we exist. That strikes me as a fear and paranoia based belief. People generally don’t want to destroy anyone, especially if people don’t intervene in their business.


I don’t believe you have a clue.

They want to destroy us due to envy and pride, the usual human emotions driving evil.

Radical Islamics hate us because we are powerful and dominate, the exact things they want to be, indeed the things they think they are entitledd to.

And Arabs hate Israel because the small jewish state defeated many much larger Arab nations in war, humiliating the Arabs.

There is a reason the "face" cultures cause so much of the world’s problems.


 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"I do not believe people want to destroy us just because we exist."

Amazing how some people can get advanced degrees in PS without learning anything about things like Communism.


"But, perhaps we’ve started a different path"

Sure. After we cut the military budget I am certain Obama will start cutting on the domestic front. That’s what always happens when liberals cut defense spending.


"Well, I suspect lots of Mexicans would like to invade, it just isn’t possible."

Given that there are probably over 12 million men, women, and children who have already invaded, I beg to differ. It seems that the only people who have not invaded are those that do not want to. Yet.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Bush’s communism
A leftoid thinks that Bush is a communist!? Wow, you learn something new everyday.
Obama kills out of hope!


Well, its the age of Obamaquarius and the year of the unicorn.

 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
Timactual, I’ll put my knowledge about communism up against yours any day.

And there is hardly anyone who wants to kill anyone else "just because they exist." People have reasons. The reasons are sometimes rational, sometimes irrational. That is what we have to deal with.

I read these comments and I am glad that my world is different than yours, so many of you seem to inhabit a very dangerous fear filled world where evil is everywhere and more powerful than good, and humans are driven by the worst of their nature. That world view requires a belief in a strong state and military, which of course leads to very anti-libertarian outcomes.

Sadly, your policies will get you that which you fear the most, creating a self-fufilling prophecy. That’s one reason I work hard to spread real knowledge of the real world, which is nothing like the paranoid view of it a few of you seem to hold, with carciatures of other cultures and peoples that you probably really believe. Oh well. There but for the sake of I, go I.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://scotterb.wordpress.com
That world view requires a belief in a strong state and military, which of course leads to...
..the states that continue to exist today since they haven’t been absorbed by some other nation. For some reason, Erb’s reality doesn’t contain any actual cultures that haven’t needed to depend on a strong military to survive.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
so many of you seem to inhabit a very dangerous fear filled world where evil is everywhere and more powerful than good, and humans are driven by the worst of their nature
Scott, we do indeed have different world outlooks. And, yes, there are entities out there that want to destroy us and our way of life, even if we went out of our way to avoid them. Islam come to mind quite quickly. Based on the history of humans, the world is a very dangerous place where peace is NOT the normal state of affairs.
 
Written By: jjmurphy
URL: http://www.allthatisnecessary.com
The reasons are sometimes rational, sometimes irrational.


By definition, things that are irrational have no "reason".

Get with the program Mr. Professor.



People want to destroy us because we are a threat.
Destroy doesn’t mean annihilate, destroy means remove the threat.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
And there is hardly anyone who wants to kill anyone else "just because they exist." People have reasons. The reasons are sometimes rational, sometimes irrational. That is what we have to deal with.
Oh so now it’s semantic back-pedaling, eh Doc? Nobody here was arguing that we are facing the Cricketeers (Hat’s Off to Douglas Adams) or the Hunters of the Dawn, xenophobes who felt everything that was “not we” must be destroyed…Sure Hitler, Stalin, Mao, Osama had their reasons, their reason(s) was/were that we were a threat to their ideology and the survival of their ideology. And since, in their Worldview, it was a binary decision matrix, if they were to prosper we must die…turns out they were right, and as you say it was a self-fulfilling prophecy. They decided to destroy us, and they lost….They had their reasons, no one denies that…just like the Osama, or the Canadians, or the Mexicans, or the People of Upper Volta will have theirs…there will always be reasons, rational or otherwise, for folks to want us destroyed. But for many people, fundamentally, it is that we exist, and in existing we pose a threat to their continued existence…this is not hard. You just have to accept the brutal lessons of history. It’s not that I hate THEM, it’s that they hate ME…it’s not relevant that I couldn’t care less about Osama in his cave, but rather that Osama in his cave, still frets about me. Please is that hard to grasp, are you so blind and arrogant to believe that if YOU don’t worry about someone that they don’t worry about you? Oh, you’re like that creature from the Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, if you can’t see it, then it figures it can’t see you. Take the towel off your head, you moron.

And if you TRULY understood Marxist-Leninism, you wouldn’t be maundering on about non-existent threats to our security!
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
"I do not believe people want to destroy us just because we exist."
Dumb, dumb, dumb. Really.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
In ancient times, such world views would be settled by the application of Darwinism. People with world views like this were usually exterminated by those that believed the opposite.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
And if Joe is worried about Mexico and Canada invading, well, that’s really paranoia
This is the most moronic thing you’ve ever posted, and that’s quite an achievement. Joe wasn’t actually saying Canada or Mexico might invade the US, he was making the point that a country without any military would be open to invasion from opportunistic neighbors. It’s completely unsurprising that you didn’t get the analogy.

 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
I am glad that my world is different than yours
We always knew you lived in a different world, thanks for affirming it.
so many of you seem to inhabit a very dangerous fear filled world where evil is everywhere and more powerful than good, and humans are driven by the worst of their nature
We’ve read The Lord of the Flies and learned its lessons. Have you?
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
This is the most moronic thing you’ve ever posted, and that’s quite an achievement.
I’d debate that point...in fact I’m not sure that is in the top 25% of moronic things he’s posted....
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
so many of you seem to inhabit a very dangerous fear filled world where evil is everywhere and more powerful than good, and humans are driven by the worst of their nature
A world where if we were good neighbors we wouldn’t have to fear (see! it’s OUR fault that we have to fear! we fear because we’re irrational. We fear because our fear and desire to protect ourselves causes others to want to harm us!)

Do you suppose Prof Erb locks his doors at night? Hmmm maybe not, I don’t always and I live in a very dangerous fear filled world where evil is everywhere.

Okay.
Do you suppose he locks his car? Hell, even I do that...
His office?
I mean, why should he have need of any kind of security measures? Surely, he’s a good neighbor, a swell guy, and that is all he needs to secure his property, person, or possessions, right?

Let’s ask....
I’m right, right Doc? You have no locks, right? You take no security precautions in your life, right? You don’t take any actions that are intended to shield your wife and kids from harm because you don’t have to, right?

Right?

Never mind that every day life demonstrates good neighbors get nailed on a daily basis. The idea that we should be ready to deal with non-specific, out of left field threats....nah.
The term "sucker punch" was coined for people like the Professor and they are usually on the receiving end.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Ya know...I suppose Erb’s not saying no security for the country.
Just no security that would allow us to do anything more than locking our doors against intruders. No security "off the property" as it were.

So, my car and office analogy still work. He can have locks on his house, just no locks on his office or car.
You think he might agree to that?
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
No security "off the property" as it were
Yes, you couldn’t go into the criminal gang’s safe house to capture them, especially if they duct taped babies around their chests. You can only talk with them and try to convince them to rob and rape someone else’s family.
 
Written By: JWG
URL: http://
Yes, you couldn’t go into the criminal gang’s safe house to capture them, especially if they duct taped babies around their chests. You can only talk with them and try to convince them to rob and rape someone else’s family.
You and Looker miss the point of the Good Doctor’s narrative. You see, HIS universe, there is NO criminal gang. Instead, they are an anarcho-syndicalist group, living a different, more communal, less structurally-bound lifestyle. It is YOUR paranoia and guns, that make them a criminal gang, you see. Had you and Looker, merely tolerated these folks, they would never have been driven to the margins of normal social intercourse and FORCED to rely on violence to achieve their, otherwise decent goals.

Erb is your usual arrogant liberal…I know he CLAIMS he’s a libertarian, but what libertarian position has he really advanced?...In Erb’s world, he and you and I are all-powerful. All third party action is driven by U.S.; there is no internal component to third party. Nazi’s…the result of the Versailles Treaty…Communists the results of US paranoia and over-reaction…the Khmer Rouge the results of US bombings and incursion into Cambodia…No one has any authentic internal motivations, the Nazi’s didn’t also follow in the footsteps of German Romantic vision, anti-rational, anti-materialistic, tapping into a strong German ethos of “Blood and Soil” and mining pre-existing anti-Semitism, with the capstone of an indigenous Fuhrer Prinzip, developed in the 1890’s, no it was the West’s inability and unwillingness to negotiate with Germany that led to the rise of the Nazi’s…The Nazi’s or the Communists are simply puppets danced by strings pulled by us…they have no internal motivations, they are merely a response and reflection of us….I would call that narcissism. Adolph Hitler didn’t speak for Germans, nor Lenin and Stalin for Russians, or Mao for the Chinese or Pol Pot for the Kampucheans, no instead they were mere reflections of the West. Profoundly arrogant….and foolish.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Scott Erb -
Libertarianism is definitely not right wing. But I have trouble knowing if your blog is really libertarian, or if it is right wing.
The Right-Left divide today is really nothing more than a way to describe the two political coalitions vying for electoral dominance. Libertarians of different stripes fall into the Right and the Left based on which issues they stress (as those issues are stressed differently by the two coalitions), and are often called right-libertarian and left-libertarian as a result. Right-libertarians outnumber left-libertarians handily.

So you’ve made a categorical error to start, which invalidates almost all of what you say in your next paragraph. So, on to the paragraph after that.
Now on Q&O there is a right wing attitude towards the military, the so-called ’war on terror,’ and governmental power when focused on security. You seem to have the fear that the right wing has, and which traditional libertarians don’t.
Traditional libertarians? Which would those be? And haven’t we explained the differences between neolibertarians and other self-identified libertarians?

And don’t be so dismissive of the term "war on terror." It’s a far more apt term than you make it out to be.
You also discount the well proven historical notion that expansive powerful military states like the US will almost always see a corresponding increase in scope and power of their domestic government.
I’ve heard that before: "War is the health of the state."

But the historical record isn’t so clear that military strength leads to the growth of domestic government. Just in the last century, there were states far less powerful and expansive than our own that oppressed and taxed their people far more than our state did, and relatively liberal governments have been conquered or overthrown for failing to provide greater security for the population. War — or more accurately, strategy — cannot be separated from the evolution of the state, and no state, however liberal, can survive without worrying about strategy. Every haven of liberty in the history of the world has been insulated by geography, strategic superiority (including that of allied powers), dumb luck, or a combination of the above.

Rather, it is more likely that states that rule by force against their own people often become militaristic to both loot their neighbors and suppress internal enemies. Or, perhaps their leadership is so used to governing by violent domination that they can’t imagine others being similarly restrained with superior power, so they arm themselves against anticipated attacks. Alternatively, one can explain some of the correlation by pointing to states that are militaristic and oppressive because the current regime was created by military coup. The twentieth century has significant examples in all three categories.

Twentieth-century nation-states did go to war, and all three ideological camps of the Long War (Fascism, Communism, and parliamentary democracy) were trying to prove that they could best advance the welfare of their peoples, so all three created welfare states. Fascism and, less convincingly, Communism were both discredited by an inability to deliver on that legitimating premise, and they were done in by different strategic innovations. In the case of Fascism, they were simply fought to death by a foe with far greater productive capacity and finally discredited by the parliamentary democracies’ use of nuclear weapons, and in the case of Communism, they were undone by an inability to manage the implications of rapid communications, both on the economic and political fronts.

The USA, for its part, has expanded its domestic government in times of peace just as much (if not more) than in times of war. The Great Society was passed during Vietnam, but Johnson had to hide the cost of Vietnam to do so (leading to unanticipated inflation). The New Deal started well before World War II, when America was in isolationist mode. And it’s hard to pin the blame for Medicare Part D or No Child Left Behind on the war on terror, although it is true that the war on terror was used to justify the militarization of the police in the war on drugs. Still, that’s a mixed record.
There is a reason why most libertarians want an isolationist non-interventionist foreign policy. To people like me, it’s no surprise that a government that embraces aggressive war as a policy and denial of civil rights to "terror suspects" and a host of fear-driven policies will become more expansive in terms of government at home. That is a given. You cannot have a libertarian domestic policy with the kind of militarist foreign policy your blog seems to support. In fact, a fetish with the military — the paid hired guns of the state, in traditional libertarian thought — is anti-libertarian.
First, all states’ legitimacy rests on the security of the people. Any idea of a state that doesn’t deliver that security is untenable, because people will not tolerate it. They will not support it, and will try to replace it if they think they can get something better, regardless of Ben Franklin’s famous warning.

So if intervention is required to minimize coercion and fraud against us, then rather than waiting for attacks to materialize, I will support it. Inherent in the right of self-defense is the right to act while action is still possible.

If the costs of intervention are too high, based on the certainty and magnitude of the threat, then I won’t support it. Neolibertarianism doesn’t call for all-out military adventurism, nor for a fetish with the military, but because neolibertarians understand the necessity of military force to defend our liberty, the military deserves respect—to the extent that it defends rather than infringes upon that liberty.

Any idea of libertarianism that promises anything else isn’t workable enough for anyone who’s making political and strategic decisions. See, I don’t believe in the concept of a "necessary evil"; if something is your best possible alternative, then whatever your inclinations or instincts against the isolated act would be, you should consider it good in that context.
In a perfect world, where we had no need to protect ourselves from outside threats, I wouldn’t tolerate a military, paid for by my coerced taxes. In this world, my tolerance for a military extends exactly as far as I believe they minimize infringement of my liberty.

And to that extent, I confess I do find something noble in those who volunteer to put their lives on the line, and sacrifice their comfort, and involve themselves in things that they’d rather not have their friends at home involved in. And I do allow myself to appreciate things that efficiently dismantle the enemy and make impressive light and sound effects.

So you’re incorrect when you say,
So until you give that up, you’ll get the government and the policies you deserve. You are holding on to mutually contradictory beliefs. If the GOP would re-embrace a non-interventionist foreign policy and show the same distrust to big government in the military as you wish it to do in domestic affairs, then you’d have something worth considering. As it is, your approach is incoherent and internally contradictory — and thus doomed to failure.
The world’s too messy for you to call my beliefs about security and liberty "mutually contradictory", at least until you get a better argument for why they aren’t compatible. To prove that, you’re going to need to prove that intervention in other states can never minimize coercion and fraud against us, which — being a matter of strategic consequence as well as of politics — will require something more of you than you’ve displayed here so far.
People generally don’t want to destroy anyone, especially if people don’t intervene in their business.
You have no idea what really drives crime, or how difficult it is to produce a society in which people’s values allow peace and harmony between them. It’s like you think cooperation and respect and fair-dealing are all natural to man, and malice and greed are aberrations.
 
Written By: Bryan Pick
URL: http://www.QandO.net
I have always thought that all it takes to get by in most jobs is to learn the jargon. Erb seems to support my contention. He has memorized and regurgitates words, phrases, and expressions. He just hasn’t memorized the right definitions to go along with the words, nor does he really understand them. Kind of like listening to a non English speaker who hasn’t quite learned English correctly, maybe because they learned it from another non English speaker. Come to think of it, that may explain why the left is getting farther and farther out of touch with reality; they learn from leftist professors, etc. who in turn have learned from leftists,....... and so on, each iteration of the learning cycle leaving the next student farther from reality.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Erb has an information fetish that is not supported with a thinking fetish.
 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
"People generally don’t want to destroy anyone, especially if people don’t intervene in their business."
We had a package stolen from our mailbox once. We told the mail carrier and said we’d like to stop having packages left in the box. His reply: "Don’t you think you should trust people more than that?"

Same disconnect from reality.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://

 
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