Meta-Blog

SEARCH QandO

Email:
Jon Henke
Bruce "McQ" McQuain
Dale Franks
Bryan Pick
Billy Hollis
Lance Paddock
MichaelW

BLOGROLL QandO

 
 
Recent Posts
The Ayers Resurrection Tour
Special Friends Get Special Breaks
One Hour
The Hope and Change Express - stalled in the slow lane
Michael Steele New RNC Chairman
Things that make you go "hmmmm"...
Oh yeah, that "rule of law" thing ...
Putting Dollar Signs in Front Of The AGW Hoax
Moving toward a 60 vote majority?
Do As I Say ....
 
 
QandO Newsroom

Newsroom Home Page

US News

US National News
Politics
Business
Science
Technology
Health
Entertainment
Sports
Opinion/Editorial

International News

Top World New
Iraq News
Mideast Conflict

Blogging

Blogpulse Daily Highlights
Daypop Top 40 Links

Regional

Regional News

Publications

News Publications

 
More reasons not to trust Democrats
Posted by: McQ on Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tristero, over at Hullabaloo, a left-wing blog, answers Mona's post of yesterday with what one can only be characterized as less than reassuring for libertarians. In this post, Tristero makes an amazing number of assumptions that I can only charitably call uninformed.

For instance, libertarians and basic human rights:
"Basic human rights" appears to be code for "affirmative action stinks." I won't rehearse the arguments pro/con affirmative action here other than to reassure readers that I fully support affirmative action (even if it produces the occasional Clarence Thomas) and don't think American culture has changed enough vis a vis racism and poverty since the 60's and 70's to merit its abandonment - it can always be improved, however.
Incredibly shallow. Affirmative action has little if anything to do with human rights as a concept per se, except as a perversion of it. But this sort of assumption should warn libertarians sufficiently that the left, as represented by this statement, isn't really serious about the real concept of "basic human rights" as libertarians understand them.

Another assumption (and conclusion) concerning government and social engineering:
The point Mona is finessing here is, of course, not affirmative action per se but more general objections to the kind of social engineering liberals are often accused of advocating in their latte-addled interfering way. What libertarians fail to understand - and it is what makes me characterize libertarianism as utopian and naive - is that essentially *all* political action is social engineering.
Of course political action is social engineering. That's why libertarians call for minimal government. Social engineering is anti-liberty for heaven sake. It would indeed be utopian and naive to believe otherwise. Libertarians certainly understand that.

But the difference is people like Tristero want that and accept that as a "good" thing. Libertarians, otoh, see government as a necessary evil and want to minimize such activity through government, because unlike most on the left, we recognize that government is pure and unadulterated coercion. How one can label the premise that liberty is better served by less government intrusion than more intrusion to be "utopian and naive" is beyond me, and, apparently beyond Tristero.

Assumption 3, libertarians believe there are no proper functions of government:
Before going blue, however, libertarians will need seriously to refine their notion of what government is. Make no mistake: Democrats do not loathe government. They recognize that there are some functions a government must do. And they are honest - unlike their red counterparts - about their belief that there are some things governments should do. Furthermore, Democrats are once again honest in asserting that there are some things governments do far better than private corporations or charities. (And it goes without saying there are many things the government should keep its filthy hands out of.)
Now maybe I missed Libertarinism 101, but 99% of the libertarians I know argue for minimal government, not "no government". The difference is libertarians, for the most part, don't buy into the perverse arguments necessary to make statements like "there are some things governments do far better than private corporations or charities." On its face as well as on the ground, that assumption has simply not proven to be true.

The fact that government has unilaterally used it's power to usurp duties and functions normally done in the past by the private sphere and are far outside it's natural purview doesn't at all prove it does those functions better. In fact, the basic libertarian argument is that it doesn't. How anyone who calls themself a libertarian could reconcile themselves with accepting Tristero's premise and still claim to be libertarian is beyond me.

A majority of libertarians only support those few functions government does which, as our society is structured, they are positioned to do best, such as defense, law, courts, etc. But to pretend that libertarians need to buy into the "honesty" of Democrats concerning government is as big a bill of goods as anything the Republicans have sold us. That isn't "honesty" that's pure ideology.

While I often criticize doctrinaire libertarians, this assertion by Tristero is simply a bridge too far and unacceptable to most who consider themselves any flavor of libertarian.

Which brings us to the final assumption I want to cover here. You can read the rest of the post at your leisure but it doesn't get any better (and I have to go do stuff - I might take this up again later).

Again Tristero assumes naivete and utopianism drive Mona and all libertarians:
As long as Mona clings to the illusion that any human society can exist with "minimal" or no social engineering from the top, she will find politics among the blues majorly annoying.
Of course, ignored in all of this is the fact that human society functioned quite well here in this nation with almost no "social engineering" from the top. In fact, that was the founder's intent. What they certainly didn't intend is what Tristero claims is necessary.

Anyway, there's the guiding premise or principle of the left in this coutnry laid out in black and white for you and all to see. It also illustrates very well the primary reason I find nothing on the left in particular which is alluring to me politically or ideologically. Consider the bottom line: If you don't agree that government exists to engineer society according to the whims of a particular party in power, you "will find politics among the blues majorly annoying."

I already do find it annoying and threatening which is why I can't find it in myself to embrace the left or their ideas. Even their idea of "basic human rights" is a perversion.

Consequently I will certainly continue to work more on the right where there is at least a chance, even if it is a future chance, to actually implement in reality what they only mouth as platitudes today. Smaller and less intrusive government. There at least exists, in reality, a small core of believers in that premise. On the left, however, not only is there no support for such a premise, I can't even get the platitudes.
 
TrackBacks
Return to Main Blog Page
 
 

Previous Comments to this Post 

Comments
Tristero’s post pretty much p*ssed me off. Cleaning up somewhat my email reply to him (I’m too angry at the moment to comment over at Digby’s where he posts):

From tristero’s post:


Basic human rights" appears to be code for "affirmative action stinks." I won’t rehearse the arguments pro/con affirmative action here other than to reassure readers that I fully support affirmative action (even if it produces the occasional Clarence Thomas) and don’t think American culture has changed enough vis a vis racism and poverty since the 60’s and 70’s to merit its abandonment - it can always be improved, however.

The point Mona is finessing here is, of course, not affirmative action per se but more general objections to the kind of social engineering liberals are often accused of advocating in their latte-addled interfering way. .. I say "potentially" because I don’t know enough about what Mona herself means by the term. From what I can tell in a quick search, federalism is just States Rights rewritten as a polysyllable. And that is troubling.

You got that all extremely wrong.... States Rights is not a dirty word, and if Bush respected it we wouldn’t have abominations like Raich or Ashcroft’s attempt to thwart Oregon’s assisted suicide law. All of which you can see denounced in libertarian Cato Institute’s Report Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush pdf)...

And by "basic human rights," I mean freedom from torture, due process, and the Writ of Habeas Corpus. (I didn’t write one word about affirmatrive action.)


Look, if you liberals/Dems do not want to seek out a working coalition with the many libertarians who are disaffected by the populist Bush/Frist GOP, fine. If you insist on rejecting every value we hold, and think we can in no way make common cause, so be it. Kos seems to be trying, though.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
The only way to justify voting Democrat is dividing the government, so it’s more an anti-Republican vote. They don’t really care about personal liberty, outside of primarily abortion, and sexual choice.

But I think I’d rather vote for none-of-the-above, rather then someone who believes what Tristero is pushing.

At least with the House Republicans we have the Republican Study Committee, which is currently 110 members. At roughly 47% of the Republican House, you would think they’d get better results. But frankly I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t been tracking what the House has been doing. And it’s still only 25% of the House overall.
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
Is this a test?

You say that Libertarians believe is little government but you routinely support an all powerful executive branch. You believe in warrantless wiretapping without any independent evidence that it is needed. In the name of security, you will accept anything the leaders tell you. Obviously there are not many Libertarians from Missouri. We’ll just take your word for it.

You say ...
Of course political action is social engineering. That’s why libertarians call for minimal government. Social engineering is anti-liberty for heaven sake. It would indeed be utopian and naive to believe otherwise. Libertarians certainly understand that.
What the hell are we doing in Iraq if not spending a Trillion dollars on social and political engineering . What the hell are all of the "just say no" values" and faith based initiatives that you support if not social engineering.

You title your post "More reasons not to trust Democrats" after the republicans have been in power for six years and failed at everything they have tried to do other than run up the big deficits needed to "starve the beast". Liberals haven’t been in power since 1969. We have no reason to trust or distrust them. We have seen what the republicans do, and we will be paying for it for quite a while. Check your 401K if you don’t believe me.

You support the appointment of judges who claim to be "originalists" but upon coming to power promptly rule that the government has the power to prohibit your physician from assisting your imminent death (Roberts) and taking away your property so they can build a mall on your house (pick any of them).

It really raises the question, "are libertarians every bit as stupid as your non randomly selected leftist blog?"
 
Written By: cindyb
URL: http://
Yes, Cindy, it was a test of your reading comprehension. You failed. While your projections of what you believe libertarians stand for are interesting, they don’t add much to the real discussion of real issues taking place here currently. I diagnose latte-addlement.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
McQ is right on. While reading this post I thought several times of having various statements mounted on a wall plaque; they were that good. Just what I would have wished to write if I were capable of substantively replying to posts.
 
Written By: Notherbob2
URL: http://
Liberals haven’t been in power since 1969.
Ah, if only I could forget the Carter Administration!
 
Written By: D.A. Ridgely
URL: http://
Mona,

You’ve described what repulses you about current Republican Party. But can you describe what attracts you as libertarian to current Democratic Party, especially to its liberal wing represented by Kos. In light of this post by McQ I just don’t get it, what the possible attraction. As bad as Republicans are right now I just don’t see that there is more common ground with Dems.
 
Written By: IR
URL: http://
Tristero, the people advocating no government are the anarchist black bandanna bozos you come running to march shoulder-to-shoulder with whenever ANSWER whistles.
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
IR: I can’t put it any better than Ron Bailey just did.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Why don’t people like Tristero just say what they really mean? "I like forcing other people to do my will, and I love the State because it provides me the legal means for me to do so." I’m a libertarian; I’m pro-freedom; I don’t recognize anyone’s right to coerce me. That’s pretty clear, isn’t it? Staat-shtuppers like Tristero always have to come up with some socioeconomic theory to justify themselves, and then use straw-man arguments against people who prefer freedom. I think that tells a lot about them, and the difference between libertarians and statists.
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
Mon,

Bailey, does the same thing that you did: he describes his displeasure with current Republicans. Fair enough. However my question remains unanswered. He, like you, doesn’t say exactly what policies of Democrats would align better with those of libertarians. Actually what he says is that "It’s not the platforms of the Democratic primary candidates".

I understand your frustration with Republicans. So don’t vote for them. What I don’t understand why and how can a libertarian align herself with Democratic Party. I just don’t see any common ground.
 
Written By: IR
URL: http://
I understand your frustration with Republicans. So don’t vote for them. What I don’t understand why and how can a libertarian align herself with Democratic Party. I just don’t see any common ground.


Because it’s important to punish Republicans...whatever that means, rather than to advance a policy. Because We’re RIGHT and we wanted it YESTERDAY...if the R-’s are doing what WE want, then we’ll "teach them a lesson" and then they’ll "Miss us when we’re gone." Unless of course they don’t....and then we’ll have Nancy Pelosi and SHE’LL make everyone want to vote Not-Democrat, or not...I hear the same strategy and petulance from the Right Wing of my Party all the time. And I think it’s sad, human and seems so odd, I’ll repeat.. "Victory Lies in Defeat."
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Joe wrote:

"Because it’s important to punish Republicans...whatever that means, rather than to advance a policy."

To be fair Joe (although maybe you don’t care to be) the Republicans haven’t been advancing many particular policies any person who loves liberty would like. They’re better than the Dems, just not much.

Yours, TPD, ml, msl & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
So don’t vote for them. What I don’t understand why and how can a libertarian align herself with Democratic Party. I just don’t see any common ground.
Civil liberties for one. (Russ Feningold’s narrow objections to The Patriot Act largely focused on tools that are being employed in the so-called war on drugs, things like expanded "sneak ’n peak" searches.)And Bush’s expansive, nearly limitless Executive theories which he claims exempt him from hundreds of federal laws (I’ve documented this all here before, several times). Torture. A GOP foreign policy I increasingly reject as unsound. All those reasons Bailey cites for not liking the GOP, are mostly areas in which the Dems will stop the GOP, if gridlock occurs and thus the Dems are potent enough to do so.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Torture.
Huh, beyond a Talking Point who’s been "tortured" again?
A GOP foreign policy I increasingly reject as unsound
OK, so we’ll go with John Murtha and Joe Biden’s plan, or will we resort to the Clinton Terrorism is a Law Enforcement Issue Paradigm? Mona, here’s a hint, IT’S ON FOREIGN POLICY that the Republican s HAVE their strength. If you advance to folks that you want the Democrats in power because you prefer their National Security policy to the Bush’s you seal the D-’s fate! Please continue on with this I urge you! Both philosphically and politically this is a winner for the Republicans.
They’re better than the Dems, just not much.
I assume Jerry Rubin and Tom Hayden felt similarly about the Democrats...however it didn’t stop them from campaigning for them as an alternative to the Republicans and stop them from colonizing the party, either. Please note Tom Hayden and his ilk are now FAR MORE AT HOME in the D party than Zell Miller, but it wasn’t always so.

 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Will any Democrats ever push for S.S. privatization?

Are any Democrats interested in getting the govt. out of education, health care, anything?

Does advancing the "Living Wage" doctrine sound remotely Libertarian to you?

Gimme a break. Only in the area of abortion are the democrats remotely Libertarian. And even there their love of the Nanny State still shows: Don’t the Dems want to use tax money to help fund Abortion clinics? Am I wrong?

Oh, sure, the Democrats are worried about NSA spying, etc. But do you know why? Not because they give a rip about your civil liberties, but because they have little interest in fighting terrorism.

How many civil liberties will go down the drain once HillaryCare 2009 takes root?

Didn’t FA Hayek write that all freedoms start with Economic Freedoms? I can’t think of one area where the Dems are in favor of Economic Freedom, in terms of public policy. Can you?

Not that the Republicans are great on these issues, but better.
 
Written By: Oh, Please!
URL: http://
You support the appointment of judges who claim to be "originalists" but upon coming to power promptly rule that the government has the power to prohibit your physician from assisting your imminent death (Roberts) and taking away your property so they can build a mall on your house (pick any of them).
Uh, the Supremes who decided that it is OK to take my property to make a mall were the lefty ones. The "originalists" dissented.

Cindyb appears to devoid of the smallest clue . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Only in the area of abortion are the democrats remotely Libertarian
I’ll open that can of worms... How is Abortion Libertarian? Putting the word "Right" onto something doesn’t make it a right!

So when did Libertarians/libertarians decide it was OK to kill babies? Alternatively, I understand that libertarians believe in the acceptance of the acts of mutually consenting adults. In the case of abortion, configured by Roe v. Wade, how is abortion libertarian?

Only ONE person can make the choice, the woman, the fetus and the man have NO say. Have news for you, that ain’t libertarian...

I believe Neal Boortz said, that he thought about 30% of libertarians are Pro-Life, because it’s NOT obvious tht abortion is libertarian, only that libertarians support it.

I guess this is addressed to L/libertarians... is abortion, as currently practiced, in fact in line with a libertarian philosophy?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Civil liberties for one. (Russ Feningold’s narrow objections to The Patriot Act largely focused on tools that are being employed in the so-called war on drugs, things like expanded "sneak ’n peak" searches.)
The Dems had their own anti-terror bills they were pushing back in the ’90s. They were for the most part anti-gun bills, as I recall, but contained common ground with the Patriot Act. They had a number of nasty little additions, like tagents added to gunpowder (which would have little impact on terrorists but would shut down the reloading industry).

Can you explain why the Patriot Act is worse than the Democrat proposed versions?
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
The Dems had their own anti-terror bills they were pushing back in the ’90s.
Not to mention the banking bill (Know your Customer or some such thing?) which had banks reporting customer transactions of a particular size to the feds (was defeated finally and thankfully).
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
"Can you explain why the Patriot Act is worse
than the Democrat proposed versions?"

Uhhh, because MSM says so?

 
Written By: Oh, Please!
URL: http://
Bush’s expansive, nearly limitless Executive theories which he claims exempt him from hundreds of federal laws.
Unlike Clinton, who made no use of Executive power?
Torture.
Uh, what torture? The lies about flushing the Koran? The secret CIA prisons that no one can find? The acts by guards who went to prison?
A GOP foreign policy I increasingly reject as unsound.
And you would prefer that of the Democrats—whatever they come up with?

I actually tend to agree with the Bush forign policy. But the Democrats can’t seem to come up with anything coherent. And if Clinton/Carter are examples, I’m damn happy with what we have now.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Look, if you liberals/Dems do not want to seek out a working coalition with the many libertarians who are disaffected by the populist Bush/Frist GOP, fine. If you insist on rejecting every value we hold, and think we can in no way make common cause, so be it. Kos seems to be trying, though.
I suspect any "trying" will be in effect up until Dems are in power.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
One point on Repub v. Dem that clearly favors the former is the Supreme Court justices. Kelo is a good example:

Majority (upheld Kelo): Stevens (Ford), Ginsburg (Clinton), Breyer (Clinton), Souter (Bush 41), Kennedy (Reagan).

Dissent: O’Connor (Reagan), Rehnquist (Reagan), Scalia (Reagan), Thomas (Bush 41).

All the Democrat appointees and most of the "moderate" Republican appointees voted badly; the "conservative" appointess voted well. The one "moderate" that voted well was O’Conner. Other decisions follow this pattern, with "moderates" such as O’Conner and Kennedy floating between good and bad decisions.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Ok, since my fellow liberals seemed to chosen to remain silent or played it worse than the US team did yesterday (i.e. Tristero, I have no idea who he is or why he gets to count as the left. Are you sure he’s not a caricature?).

Issues where the Dems/Liberals fit better than R’s with Libertarian philosophy (not perfectly, just better)
1) War on Drugs
2) Abortion/Reproduction choice (+stem cell research)
3) End of Life decisions (assisted suicide, schaivo, etc.)
4) Patriot Act/Terrorist Surveilance/ NSA Program
5) Seperation of Church and State
6) Expansive executive power (specifically Habeus Corbus, Jury Trial, etc.)
(Bush has been far more blatant in ignoring federal law.)
7) Same sex "marriage"
8) Corporate tax breaks/subsidies
9) Seperation of health care from employment (yes, different solutions, but the goal is very much the same.)
10) Balanced budgets. (Again, through different means, but at least the government is paid for.)
11) Not regulating "morality" (though the push for "cultural sensitivity" issues can move in that direction some.)

Major Disagreements between Dems and Libteratrians:
1) Progressive Taxes
2) Affirmative Action
3) Corporate Regulation
4) welfare/social safety net
5) gun control (though I meet few dems, self included who still have this as an issue... though with the recent SF nonsense, I suppose still and issue. Maybe it’s just midwest dem’s who don’t want gun control.)


Perfet fit? No, obviously. Did I list everything? Of course not. As was stated in comments earlier, R’s want to curtail personal liberty and D’s want to curtail economic liberty (as a sweeping generalization).

I suppose that if you believe "property rights trump all", then the R’s become the "obvious" alliance. Otherwise, there are choices and problems with both.

Oh, and here’s a group to check out.
Democratic Freedom Caucus

Of course, it’s not like I get to "speak for liberals" either.
 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
Why is the War on Drugs #1 and End of Life Decisions @ 3? I assume that’s not the actual pecking order. Is it? If so, that’s pretty lame.

Stem Cell Research: The Dems want the govt. to fund S.C. research. And the D’s are still all over Bush even though he is the first prez to allocate fed. funds for it. How is SC research at taxpayer expense remotely Libertarian?

Pat. Act. etc.: I want the govt. the hunt down terrorists. If a phone call or mine is "monitored" so be it. The Dems and Libs often come out looking weak on defense/law enforcement because their plan is simply "don’t do anything in the name of civil liberties."

Sep. of Church and State: What a non-issue. Where does Sep of C and S ever come into play in the normal course of living? Whenever this issue is brought up, the Left usually comes up all redfaced screaming about "Faith-Based Initiatives!!!!!" The govt. shouldn’t be funding any charities, regardless of religious affiliation. And don’t large Christian universities like Notre Dame and Seton Hall, etc., receive fed aid?

Not regulating "morality" — you mean like anti-smoking, pro-enviro legislation, pro-union legislation, hate crime laws. The Left always enforces their morality, it’s just that their morality is not Bible based.

<<<
Major Disagreements between Dems and Libteratrians:
1) Progressive Taxes
2) Affirmative Action
3) Corporate Regulation
4) welfare/social safety net
5) gun control >>>

And this is why I won’t vote Dem. Numbers 1 thru 5 directly affect my life and well-being. Many of the first 11 pts. are merely points of theoretical discussion.
 
Written By: Oh, Please!
URL: http://
No order of any kind was intended, it was a really quick brainstorm off the top of my head and WoD was probably on the top becuase it was mention in the original post, or one of them. Not sure why no one else tossed out things in a list format. It makes it much easier to discuss.

As for stem cells, I was discussing the push to ban research regarding in the name of pro-life, not necessarily the funding.

As for "Pat. Act, etc" you can say "so be it", and we can argue about it, but "so be it" on massive govt. surveillance is NOT a libertarian position.

I’ll agree that the anti-smoking crap and "hate crime" laws aren’t really libertarian, and I attempted to convey that (poorly) in my parenthetical statement. As for "pro-enviro" laws, pollution is the single best example of an economic externality in existance. I’d like to see it taxed or controlled with tradable credits instead of the current regulation, but it does need to be protected. I agree that some "protections" go too far as well.

And on "pro-union", unions are part of the free market, and are useful in combating certain abuses that occur because job demand is FAR less elastic than job supply. Though again, it has gone too far at times.

And you considering the "pros" to be "theoretical" while the "cons" are real is the opposite of my view. I am affected or know people affected by most of 1-11, whereas in the cons aren’t that big of a deal. (And yes, I enjoy shooting, am in a high enough tax bracked that the progressive rate matters, and think affirmative action is a stupid idea based on "group identity".)

Regardless, my point wasn’t to argue each issue with a conservative (not a slam, please don’t take it that way). It was to show some points that liberals and libertarians have some agreement, like Mona’s original post.
 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
War on Drugs

Nope. Not today’s Democrats or the past’s Democrats. And that is who we’re talking bout since we’re discussing why we should help one of the two parties in power.

Abortion/Reproduction choice (+stem cell research)

Not really. Libertarians believe it isn’t any of the state’s business. The left wants it enshrined in law. Not a proper use of the state, Tito.

End of Life decisions (assisted suicide, schaivo, etc.)

Again, only to the extent that libertarians believe none of this is the state’s business. And, again, the left wants to use the state to have it’s way.

Patriot Act/Terrorist Surveilance/ NSA Program

Rule of law. While admittedly in gray areas, none, to this point, have been shown to violate the rule of law as I understand it. So while libertarians may be wary of some of the provisions and would want anti-liberty provisions removed, unless they can be shown to have unconstitutionally limited the liberty of anyone, they would be considered legitimate tools for use in the defense function of government.

Seperation of Church and State

Not at all to the extent the left wants. The seperation necessary is such that the government cannot establish a state religion. That doesn’t translate into removing every religious symbol or celebrations of religious holidays, etc.

Expansive executive power (specifically Habeus Corbus, Jury Trial, etc.) (Bush has been far more blatant in ignoring federal law.)

If you want a lesson in the expansion of excutive power, read up on FDR. Both sides attempt it. There’s no common ground here as the next Democratic president is just as likely to try to expand it as any Republican president.

Same sex "marriage"

Unless the position is "none of the federal government’s business" there’s no particular agreement.

Corporate tax breaks/subsidies

Another phantom issue given past Democratic administrations. The difference is the left has a different set of corporations it would subsidize than does the right.

Seperation of health care from employment (yes, different solutions, but the goal is very much the same.)

Again, hardly exclusive to just the left and libertarians. There is also an element on the right who see this as something important and necessary.

Balanced budgets. (Again, through different means, but at least the government is paid for.)

See above. The only reason Democrats are for balanced budgets right now is they aren’t balanced and Republicans are in power. One doesn’t have to dial back too many years to hear the Dems position, ala Clinton and the Dem Congress on what they thought of balanced budget.

Not regulating "morality" (though the push for "cultural sensitivity" issues can move in that direction some.)

See hate crimes. See consistent support by Democrats for the War on Drugs. See social engineering by taxation. See affirmative action.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
McQ: you judge the R’s by saying "at least they pay lip service". Then you knock on D’s for not living up to their lip service.

Obviously both sides need to be held to their respective "lip service", and in practice we’ll both be pleasantly suprised if they do. But you are holding the R’s to "what they say they will do" and the D’s to "what they have actually done".

I’ll respond more spectifically once I get proper time.
 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
McQ for Congress!!!
 
Written By: Keith, Indy
URL: http://
McQ: you judge the R’s by saying "at least they pay lip service". Then you knock on D’s for not living up to their lip service.
That’s not what I said at all, Tito.

I said, "Consequently I will certainly continue to work more on the right where there is at least a chance, even if it is a future chance, to actually implement in reality what they only mouth as platitudes today. Smaller and less intrusive government. There at least exists, in reality, a small core of believers in that premise. On the left, however, not only is there no support for such a premise, I can’t even get the platitudes."

The list you provided simply doesn’t find the issues matching the political reality. And as I said, at least there is a core of those on the right who believe in the smaller and less intrusive government premise. I still can’t find the matching core of believers on the left or among the majority of Democrats.
Obviously both sides need to be held to their respective "lip service", and in practice we’ll both be pleasantly suprised if they do. But you are holding the R’s to "what they say they will do" and the D’s to "what they have actually done".
Not at all and I know you’ve read this blog for quite some time and you know we have all taken issue with the R’s on many, many issues.

Again, it comes down to that base premise of smaller and less intrusive government. It is an accepted premise for that core I talk about on the right. There is no similar group on the left.

If there were, I might possibly be able to accept some of the lip service on the left. But without the existance of that similar core, that’s all it is ... lip service. I see no reason to give blatant lip service any partiuclar credibility without some level, even small, of commitment to its fulfillment in the future.

It’s a matter of ideology, Tito. The ideology of the left doesn’t lend itself to smaller and less intrusive government, while that premise is a substantial portion (although completely overlooked lately) of the right.

Mars/Venus.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Tito, thanks for a thoughtful post. To take your points seriatim:

Issues where the Dems/Liberals fit better than R’s with Libertarian philosophy (not perfectly, just better)
1) War on Drugs
Well, online, yes. I find much more support for ending that abomination from "progressives." But in the real world, most candidates of either party run from drug policy reform, for its supposedly constituting "political suicide."
2) Abortion/Reproduction choice (+stem cell research)
Libertarians are split on this, with the majority thinking abortion ought to be legal, and a good minority who do not. There are also those like me who find Roe and its progeny to be jurisprudentially and intellectually corrupt and poisonous. The matter ought to be left to the states; however, there is now growing indication that in a post-Roe world the Bush GOP plans federal legislation to criminalize abortion via the 14th Am; they have already passed The Partial Birth Abortion Ban, which has no warrant in any enumerated power of Congress. (One can, as I do, strongly oppose that procedure without agreeing that Congress possesses authority to legislate in the area.)

Overall, I’d say the issue tilts toward the Dems for libertarians.

3) End of Life decisions (assisted suicide, schaivo, etc.)
Most libertarians are likely with you on that.

4) Patriot Act/Terrorist Surveilance/ NSA Program
In my view most libertarians are also with you there, at least to varying degrees. (Tho you may not see that reflected in comments at this particular site.)

5) Seperation of Church and State
Maybe, depending. Most libertarians favor school vouchers, and don’t give a rat’s patooty if the voucher goes to the parents and they opt to send Johnny to St. Mary’s. But many of us are with you on creationism/ID taught in public schools as science.
6) Expansive executive power (specifically Habeus Corbus, Jury Trial, etc.)
(Bush has been far more blatant in ignoring federal law.)
With you, most of us, in my experience of many ’tarian sites. But again, the comments here may not reflect that.
7) Same sex "marriage"
Most of us are with you.

8) Corporate tax breaks/subsidies
Yeah, no more Chrysler bail outs, no corporate welfare. But also,no Byzantine nest of regulations that keep the small guy from entering the field.
9) Seperation of health care from employment (yes, different solutions, but the goal is very much the same.)
Something has to be done. It would be nice if Dems would consider the ideas of think tanks like Cato.
10) Balanced budgets. (Again, through different means, but at least the government is paid for.)
And Howard Dean received a "B" from the Cato Institute for fiscal responsibility when he was Governor Dean. President Bush would get, what, a "D"?
11) Not regulating "morality" (though the push for "cultural sensitivity" issues can move in that direction some.)
Well, if you mean not criminalizing dildos, strip clubs, gambling etc,. sure. But you are right, "multiculturalism" enthusiasms generally leave libertarians cold.
—————————————————-

The GOP today is so bad, I prefer to hold my nose over some of the differences I have with Dems, at least for now, and at least to be sure the GOP ceases to hold all three branches of govt. But the dismissive, insulting and frankly ignorant attitudes of an awful lot of left-of-centerists toward libertarians (and not just tristero) are pretty off-putting. At one site in particular I’d already had my fill from leftists with whom I agree on the warrantless wiretapping issue, and this latest from tristero pretty much caused me to blow a gasket.

Some are no better where libertarians are concerned than are Rush and Coulter on the subject of those "treasonous" and "defeatist" liberals.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Issues where the Dems/Liberals fit better than R’s with Libertarian philosophy (not perfectly, just better)
1) War on Drugs
Not since ’75 or so.
2) Abortion/Reproduction choice (+stem cell research)
3) End of Life decisions (assisted suicide, schaivo, etc.)
There is certainly a large leftwing minority who disagree with the "Dem position" on these issues. Then again, there isn’t as clear cut of libertarian position as you may think. I’d be happy to overturn Roe and leave the abortion legality decision to the states, actually . . .
4) Patriot Act/Terrorist Surveilance/ NSA Program
As I noted elsewhere, the Clinton administration came up with some nasty "terror" provisions, they just failed to pass them.
5) Seperation of Church and State
The left/ACLU has been pushing a hideous interpretation of this, one that steps all over individual rights so as not to offend non-Christians.
6) Expansive executive power (specifically Habeus Corbus, Jury Trial, etc.)
(Bush has been far more blatant in ignoring federal law.)
More blatent than who? Clinton and FDR were both worse.
7) Same sex "marriage"
I’d rather remove marriage from the list of government concearns.
8) Corporate tax breaks/subsidies
Huh? So the left doesn’t provide subsidies to aid preferred companies, like those that hire lotsa union labor?

I’m all for ending ALL corporate taxes. Are any Dems behind that?
9) Seperation of health care from employment (yes, different solutions, but the goal is very much the same.)
Ironic, since FDR’s high income taxes drove employeer provided health insurance in the first place. Socialzed medicine is the goal of Democrats, even if they lack the guts to say it.
10) Balanced budgets. (Again, through different means, but at least the government is paid for.)
So, since when have balanced budgets been a Dem priority? It was never a priority when they were in power.
11) Not regulating "morality" (though the push for "cultural sensitivity" issues can move in that direction some.)
Certainly the left strives to regulate morality.
Major Disagreements between Dems and Libteratrians:
1) Progressive Taxes
2) Affirmative Action
3) Corporate Regulation
4) welfare/social safety net
5) gun control (though I meet few dems, self included who still have this as an issue... though with the recent SF nonsense, I suppose still and issue. Maybe it’s just midwest dem’s who don’t want gun control.)
Gun control is certainly something the Dems push here in California. They only back away on it when they get slapped real hard, often.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I’d already had my fill from leftists with whom I agree on the warrantless wiretapping issue
Isn’t that about international calls? Specifically, calls involving suspected supporters of terrorism? If your private calls is accidently intercepted, they can’t touch you, even if you are discussing plans for mass murder.

Now, I agree you have a valid topic of discussion, but frankly this wiretapping issue is primarly of theoretical value. The endangered species preventing me building on my land is not a theoretical issue; the gun control laws, smoking laws, taxes, are not theoretical issues, they impact real people in real ways.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Let me change the debate slightly. In the initial thread, Tristero stated that libertarians were for almost no government, or something to that effect, while it was stated later that libertarians were for limited government.

However, to me there is a bit more to it than that. It is about an entire way of looking at life. If a problem arises in the public eye. The smart libertarian will (1) Try to find out if it really is a problem and not some BS where people are trying to scare us to sell books.

(2) Try do see if there is anything that CAN be done about the problem, (some things are beyond the scope of human enterprise)

(3) If it is discerened that there is indeed a problem, the libertarian will look first for what can be done by private citizens and non-government groups. Then if more is needed he will look to the actions of small,local government first. If that is not enough he will look to the central government, but will try to find a solution based as much as possible on market based solutions and citizen-government coalitions.

It seems to me this is exactly the opposite approach of the democratic party and increasingly also of the republicans. But not all republicans.
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Not surprising, and even a little revealing, the difference between McQ’s answers and Mona’s.

The one question that I keep coming back to is the war on drugs. The suggestion that Libertarians side with Democrats is disingenuously superficial. We all dislike wars... well some of us at least. Some of us like wars such as a war on poverty, or a war on racism, gender inequality, or even wars on intolerance. A rare few even like real wars. Many argue that some wars are necessary, and depending upon which side of the aisle usually determines which kinds of war one supports. That many Libertarians don’t like ’social wars’ is because they have no faith in the government’s ability to win such a war. In fact, they/we view it as financial folly. Additionally, the question of what to do instead of government sponsored social wars shatters the illusion of like-mindedness between Libs and Dems. I doubt you could sell the pusher/nanny state path of the Nederland’s to many libertarians. Similarly, I’m sure that the ’with personal liberties comes personal responsibilities’ approach of most Liberians wouldn’t sell in Democrat camps.

In other words Tito, yea we agree with Dems on the war on drugs... we equally disagree with what Dems would do instead.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Mona,

Comparing your responses to Tito’s points with those of McQ his answers seem a lot more what libertarian would say.

"4) Patriot Act/Terrorist Surveilance/ NSA Program
In my view most libertarians are also with you there, at least to varying degrees."

Don’t you see that Dems current position is pure politics. If they were in power it would’ve been the other way around.

"9) Seperation of health care from employment (yes, different solutions, but the goal is very much the same.)
Something has to be done."

Given a choice whether to keep health care the way it is now or turn it over to Gov. (and I guess that’s what Tito means by "different solutions") I think most libertarians would prefer the former.

"It would be nice if Dems would consider the ideas of think tanks like Cato."

You should propose it at Daily Kos we’ll see how it goes.

"10) Balanced budgets. (Again, through different means, but at least the government is paid for.)

And Howard Dean received a "B" from the Cato Institute for fiscal responsibility when he was Governor Dean. President Bush would get, what, a "D"?"

This comparison apples and oranges. Balancing the budget of VT and USA is not the same things. When was Dean a governor, in 90’s? Don’t you think it was much easier to do back then? As for balalnced budget, everybody is for it, the whole point is in the "means".

I won’t address the rest of the points since other people, especially McQ, have done a very good job.
 
Written By: IR
URL: http://
Of course, ignored in all of this is the fact that human society functioned quite well here in this nation with almost no "social engineering" from the top. In fact, that was the founder’s intent.
Yeah, things functioned pretty well. Unless you were a slave. Or a woman. Or Catholic. Or Jewish. Or poor. Or brownish.

I frequently wax nostalgic about the days when landed Anglo-Saxons ran everything. Damn that "social engineering."
 
Written By: Brian Issleb
URL: http://
Wow... lots of things to respond to. It’s very interesting to see the different responses to the list from McQ, Mona and Don, all of whom are "libertarian".

I’ll start by saying McQ, when I was talking about you using R’s lip service and D’s actions, it was with regard to this recent subject of possibly backing D’s. I’ve been reading you guys long enough to know you criticize R’s as well. (and long enough make my share of stupid comments ;-) )

My fundamental disagreement with you is that I see enough on the left to have a starting point, in the same sense that there is portions of the right that are in sync with some libertarian ideals. Though there are definitely some on both side that are seriously statist. If nothing else, realize that Mona and I are some level of starting point. Hell, you guys have done a great job convincing me on the flat/fair/vat tax ideas. I’m happy if there is a decent size base exemption. Though again, no one elected, appointed or otherwise made me "spokesman" :-).

Ok, onto the list of points I originally made.

1) War on Drugs
McQ & Don: Yeah, both side’s politicians are stupid. But you cannot deny the left base has much more support for ending this.

2) Abortion/Reproduction choice (+stem cell research)
I’ll agree on Roe, but the core question is whether or not it should be legal, not HOW is should be made legal. Libertarian is not federalism. If the govt should be out of it, then it is legal.

3) End of Life decisions (assisted suicide, schaivo, etc.)
McQ: and the Left’s position on this is MUCH closer to the libtertarian one. They are the ones generally supporting the decision between the doctors and patients, leavign the govt. out of it.

4) Patriot Act/Terrorist Surveilance/ NSA Program
Don: how is this a "theoritical issue"? Nixon used it to tap political opponents. This is a power the govt should not have. It is always abused.

5) Seperation of Church and State
School vouchers are good, though I will agree the teachers unions have blocked progress on this. The left/ACLU has been pushing an interpretation that says the govt shouldn’t be involved in religion. Why does our national pledge say "under god"? Why does our money say "in god we trust"? (That one is a particularly delicious irony IMO, given the bible’s complete disdain for money and wealth.)

6) Expansive executive power
Don: What?! I’m not even sure where to start on this one. Clinton was worse? Umm... NSA collecting everyone’s call logs. Hell, Bainbridge (a conservative corporate law professor) posted this one.

7) Same sex "marriage"
Yes, govt should be out of the marriage business completely. But can you imagine the howl that would come up from conservatives if that happened? It isn’t going to happen. I would put the "pragmatic libertarian" into accepting gay marriage. (I read a blog post recently, but don’t have the link.)

8) Corporate tax breaks/subsidies
Don: Why are corporate taxes any more evil than taxes on individuals? For that matter why should corporations pay tax on profits, where individuals pay on revenue? I’m fine with most aspects of a flat tax, but why have any corporate exemption. They are seperate legal entities. (They are not just "owned by the shareholder". A dog’s owner is liable for the dog’s action. The owners of a corporation are not.) Flat tax is fine. However, corporations should pay the exact same rate in the exact same way as individuals. I have brought this point up before, and have yet to get any answer at all on this point. Thus far, it seems to be an article of faith that taxing corporations is worse than taxing individuals.

9) Seperation of health care from employment
Actually, I thought it was the government enforced wage caps with the 1942 Stabilization Act that caused companies to start offering health care as a "perk" because wages couldn’t be increased. Again, because corporations pay taxes much differently from individuals, it is much cheaper for a company to provide health insurance than for them to pay the employee extra to buy their own.

As for Kos accepting Cato, let’s try to get LGF to accept the ACLU. Seriously, why pick the most extreme example from the other side?

10) Balanced budgets
Not that I expect the D’s to actually do it, but they have been making a lot of noise about the deficits. And there are definitely D’s pushing for it. The R’s certainly made a lot of noise in this area, and look at what they did in power. It would be hard for the D’s to do worse, and in fact the split govt seems to be the best in this area.

11) Not regulating "morality"
How about regulation of sex (sodomy, pornography, etc) as an additional point the right likes to regulate out of existance. Add in FCC obscenity regulation for radio/tv and video game sex and violence. (Yes, I know H. Clinton chimed in on those, but she’s pathetically attempting to pander to the right. I forget which blog coined the term "panderbear".) Again, not saying the left doesn’t have issues as well, but they are MUCH better in this regard.

From the comments here, it almost look like the choice between D and R comes down to which one you (the general "you") see imposing on you more. The life experience as to which are "theoretical" and which are "real" concerns seems to be the main factor in the decision.

Man, that was a long post, here’s hoping I caught all my mistakes... (queue joke about my ideas being a mistake ;-) )
 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
I guess I might be further left than Tristero but I don’t see any problems with the "libertarian" principles that Mona listed off.

"Federalism" it seems to me is simply the concept of deciding as much as possible at the local level. Is that correct? I don’t know if the "founding fathers" wanted that, but it’s a good thing in theory. More efficient, more democratic. Yes, it’s associated with Republican hypocrisy and corruption, for that matter so is "libertarianism" as a whole. But if you look at the root meaning it’s something lefties ought to support - to below the level of the state too.

I would NOT say that affirmative action is a "basic human right". It’s not in the Universal declaration of human rights for example. In general rights are non-negotiable but affirmative action is simply a strategy. People can disagree about the means of achieving desirable goals.

In theory too most on the left are against coercion of course and government is coercion, ok. However there’s an easy answer to this question,

unlike most on the left, we recognize that government is pure and unadulterated coercion. How one can label the premise that liberty is better served by less government intrusion than more intrusion to be "utopian and naive" is beyond me

which is to point out that the government is not the only one that uses coercion. I don’t think this is an observation libertarian principles would have a problem with.

Nevertheless I don’t think that libertarians belong in the democratic party but for different reasons. I think anyone who holds libertarian principles would never go near the Republican party (unless like Ron Paul it’s to curse them every day). Certainly they would have issues with Democrats — as anyone would on the left. But I think libertarians belong in the Republican party because I don’t think libertarians actually hold any libertarian principles.

I mean how can you take anyone seriously who says they hate big government because it can be corrupt and coercive and then votes for Bush? Libertarians are a joke. No wonder Tristero simply cannot take seriously the idea of federalism. It’s only supported by people who clearly don’t mean a single word of it. Against the state because it’s inherently coercive? Nice sounding words but then you go on to say you’ll continue to support a president who’s invaded and occupied three countries (so far). War is the ultimate in government coercion not to mention the ultimate in "the health of the state". Any libertarian - sorry - anyone with libertarian principles - should therefore be naturally anti-war.

So carry on supporting Bush the most anti-libertarian president imaginable because nobody beleives you actually hold any of the principles of libertarianism anyway. That falls to the left.
 
Written By: DavidByron
URL: http://
Yeah, things functioned pretty well. Unless you were a slave. Or a woman. Or Catholic. Or Jewish. Or poor. Or brownish.
Which of course has nothing to do with how government was structured or functioned, but it is a convenient strawman for those who now want to rationalize and characterize oppressive and intrusive government as a ’good’ thing, huh Brian?"

Get out of the shallow end of the pool for heaven sake and try swimming in intellectually deeper waters for a change.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
I thought this..
Will any Democrats ever push for S.S. privatization?
was pretty revealing after McQ said this.
The difference is libertarians, for the most part, don’t buy into the perverse arguments necessary to make statements like "there are some things governments do far better than private corporations or charities." On its face as well as on the ground, that assumption has simply not proven to be true.
Considering, that is, that Social Security’s efficiency is pretty darned undeniable both in the areas of administrative overhead and fraud prevention when compared to the US insurance industry.



 
Written By: Davebo
URL: http://
So carry on supporting Bush the most anti-libertarian president imaginable...


I can imagine Nader, who actually ran last time, Gore who was one hundred heartbeats from the Presidency for 8 years, just to name a recent few recent.


 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Don: Why are corporate taxes any more evil than taxes on individuals? For that matter why should corporations pay tax on profits, where individuals pay on revenue? I’m fine with most aspects of a flat tax, but why have any corporate exemption. They are seperate legal entities. (They are not just "owned by the shareholder". A dog’s owner is liable for the dog’s action. The owners of a corporation are not.) Flat tax is fine. However, corporations should pay the exact same rate in the exact same way as individuals. I have brought this point up before, and have yet to get any answer at all on this point. Thus far, it seems to be an article of faith that taxing corporations is worse than taxing individuals.
Corporations don’t pay taxes. Only individuals pay taxes. When the government taxes a corporation, they are really creating a hidden tax: the corporation can only pass the tax on to individuals. Is is the shareholders, employees, and customers of the corporation who pay the tax.

Consequently, I object to corporate taxes as a hidden tax, but it is a hidden tax that the government can use to play favorites among corporations. To engage in additional social engineering, as it were.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Considering, that is, that Social Security’s efficiency is pretty darned undeniable both in the areas of administrative overhead and fraud prevention when compared to the US insurance industry.
The correct thing to compare to SS is not insurance, but investments like 401ks.

In terms of fraud prevention, SS should be a slam dunk since it is based upon wages earned. Insurance has a significantly more difficult task since it has to determine both the value of a loss and the validity of the loss.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
My fundamental disagreement with you is that I see enough on the left to have a starting point, in the same sense that there is portions of the right that are in sync with some libertarian ideals. Though there are definitely some on both side that are seriously statist. If nothing else, realize that Mona and I are some level of starting point. Hell, you guys have done a great job convincing me on the flat/fair/vat tax ideas. I’m happy if there is a decent size base exemption. Though again, no one elected, appointed or otherwise made me "spokesman" :-).
Understand Tito. But I want to make a point here before we get into the rest of this. And this is central to my belief that there is no common ground for me with the left.

The principle of smaller and less intrusive goverment is a primary principle for libertarians. It is one of those pillars of the movement. Issues we’re about to discuss aside, I see nothing which leads me to be persuaded that principle has any grounding whatsoever on the left and among Democrats. None.

Because of that, the best I can see is teaming up occassionally with those on the left when I see something they’re doing which enhances liberty. But as a movement per se, I see no way I could reconcile my ideology of smaller and less intrusive goverment with an ideology which espouses almost the polar opposite for government.

1) War on Drugs - McQ & Don: Yeah, both side’s politicians are stupid. But you cannot deny the left base has much more support for ending this.

Uh, no, they’re not. In fact, anyone who has really taken the time and thought this through understands the folly of this war ... and those folks are found on both sides of the political spectrum in my experience ... Of course that obviously doesn’t include politicians from both sides of the isle.

Prohibition wasn’t passed into law in the 1920s because only Republicans thought it was a good idea.

2) Abortion/Reproduction choice (+stem cell research)

I’ll agree on Roe, but the core question is whether or not it should be legal, not HOW is should be made legal. Libertarian is not federalism. If the govt should be out of it, then it is legal
.

I’ll restate the position: none of the federal government’s business. Not a federal matter. Frankly it really isn’t any government’s business.

3) End of Life decisions (assisted suicide, schaivo, etc.)
McQ: and the Left’s position on this is MUCH closer to the libtertarian one. They are the ones generally supporting the decision between the doctors and patients, leavign the govt. out of it.


Tell Jesse Jackson et al about how he should feel then, will you? But I’ll concede the left, on this particular subject is indeed better than the right. But it is only coincidental that we agree because we approach the issue from completly different directions.

4) Patriot Act/Terrorist Surveilance/ NSA Program Don: how is this a "theoritical issue"? Nixon used it to tap political opponents. This is a power the govt should not have. It is always abused.

Come on Tito, you can do better than that. Abuses of power and liberty are certainly not exclusively from the right. Who was President and agreed with the internment of the Japanese in the US?

5) Seperation of Church and State
School vouchers are good, though I will agree the teachers unions have blocked progress on this. The left/ACLU has been pushing an interpretation that says the govt shouldn’t be involved in religion. Why does our national pledge say "under god"? Why does our money say "in god we trust"? (That one is a particularly delicious irony IMO, given the bible’s complete disdain for money and wealth.)


I’m not sure what school vouchers have to do with separation of church and state, but they do provide a very good example of where the left refuses choice and the right is fighting for it. School vouchers exemplify the cognative dissonance of the left when it tries to sell itself as the side for choice.

BTW Michael Newdow doesn’t indentify himself as being from the right.

6) Expansive executive power
Don: What?! I’m not even sure where to start on this one. Clinton was worse? Umm... NSA collecting everyone’s call logs. Hell, Bainbridge (a conservative corporate law professor) posted this one.


Here’s a quiz for you Tito ... name one president who hasn’t tried to expand executive power? Hardly something exclusive to Republicans or the right. Certainly something all sides try to expand when they’re in power while the other side decries their efforts.

7) Same sex "marriage"
Yes, govt should be out of the marriage business completely. But can you imagine the howl that would come up from conservatives if that happened? It isn’t going to happen. I would put the "pragmatic libertarian" into accepting gay marriage. (I read a blog post recently, but don’t have the link.)


We’ve written on it many times. It isn’t about "acceptance" it’s about who’s business it is and who’s it isn’t. It isn’t any of the federal government’s business.

8) Corporate tax breaks/subsidies

However, corporations should pay the exact same rate in the exact same way as individuals. I have brought this point up before, and have yet to get any answer at all on this point. Thus far, it seems to be an article of faith that taxing corporations is worse than taxing individuals.


You can bring it up until doomsday, Tito, but most libertarians know that corporations don’t pay taxes, individuals do. Corporations pass them along and collect them, nothing more.

10) Balanced budgets
Not that I expect the D’s to actually do it, but they have been making a lot of noise about the deficits.


It is called political expedience, not ideological principle. The were explaining to us, not a decade ago, why that wasn’t important and how hard it was to do it. Now suddenly it’s important. Leopard, spots.

11) Not regulating "morality"
How about regulation of sex (sodomy, pornography, etc) as an additional point the right likes to regulate out of existance.


Why not address the points I made for those on the left?

From the comments here, it almost look like the choice between D and R comes down to which one you (the general "you") see imposing on you more.

Not at all. It’s the one who has the most potential to fulfill the "smaller and less intrusive" government principle. And as I pointed out, it isn’t the left.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
4) Patriot Act/Terrorist Surveilance/ NSA Program
Don: how is this a "theoritical issue"? Nixon used it to tap political opponents. This is a power the govt should not have. It is always abused.
Theoretical, yes. Who do you know who were impacted by it? By its actual implementation, not just the fact that they read about it and it bothers them.

Keep in mind, Clinton had several proposed anti-terror laws, with many of the provisions of Patriot. Clinton’s proposals would have impacted me, as a shooter and reloader, since they contained several nasty gun control / gun powder provisions.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
6) Expansive executive power
Don: What?! I’m not even sure where to start on this one. Clinton was worse?
Sure, Clinton became Persident Executive Order after the Dems lost control of Congress. He passed all kinds of EOs, shutting down tracts of land to mining, imports of firearms and ammunition, and so on.
Umm... NSA collecting everyone’s call logs. Hell, Bainbridge (a conservative corporate law professor) posted this one.
Everyone’s? My understanding is that they are only working on international calls, and that no matter what they hear in a domestic call, they have no legal basis for action.

In any case, Clinton and the Dems were on to something similar with their anti-error legislation, although portions of that seemed more aimed at US citizens. In any case, it was Clinton’s administration that used tanks against US citizens.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
1) War on Drugs
McQ & Don: Yeah, both side’s politicians are stupid. But you cannot deny the left base has much more support for ending this.
Not long ago, National Review was writing quite a few anti-drug war articles, while South Western Republican governors were coming out against the war on drugs. It also seems to me that the right’s base is less than unified behind the war on drugs, and that they have more clout in ending it.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Yeah, things functioned pretty well. Unless you were a slave. Or a woman. Or Catholic. Or Jewish. Or poor. Or brownish.
Which of course has nothing to do with how government was structured or functioned, but it is a convenient strawman for those who now want to rationalize and characterize oppressive and intrusive government as a ’good’ thing, huh Brian?"
Actually McQ you’re dodging here and you’re wrong...1st it WAS structural. "Nigra’s" counted as 6/10th of a person for Census purposes and the fact that it took 2 Amendments to the US Constitution to end the Evil of Slavery.

And your argument really dodges the bullet, because the US DID behave poorly towards the Yellow, the Black, the Jew and Women. And it is PERFECTLY fair for a Liberal to point out that "Social Engineering" corrected these problems. In fact I will further it and ask, ’HOW WOULD THE LIBERTARIANS HAVE DEALT WITH SLAVERY, JIM CROWE AND SEXISM?" because Liberals DID deal with them, and to an extent rather effectively. They DO have that to their credit, what do we Conservatives or Libertarians have as an alternative narrative?

And if we have none, they win, by default and DESERVESDLY so. So let’s hear how libertarians will deal with the social evils of sexism and racism? Or WOULD have dealt with Slavery?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
DavidByron wrote:
. . . but then you go on to say you’ll continue to support a president who’s invaded and occupied three countries (so far). War is the ultimate in government coercion not to mention the ultimate in "the health of the state". Any libertarian - sorry - anyone with libertarian principles - should therefore be naturally anti-war.
Yet, war is necessary.

If William the Hammer didn’t go to war in 732, it is very likely we would be Muslim.

If the US didn’t go to war in 1941, Hitler may have won, and if he didn’t the Soviets would have gained full control of Europe.

The thing you are missing is that sometimes coercion is the best solution, and sometimes the only solution. It is what we must resort to when dealing with criminals, terrorists, and dictators. It should be minimized when possible, for example with respect to law abiding citizens or friendly forign nations.

In my experience, the left is more interested in increasing coercion of law abiding citizens while reducing coercion of criminals and forign threats.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
McQ,

Please, lead me from the shallow end.

Given that both the federal and state governments of 1850 were miniscule compared to today’s, I would love to hear your arguments that:
  1. The American people, as a whole, were less oppressed by the state 160 years ago than they are today.
  2. The way government was structured and functioned had nothing to do with the living conditions of women and just about anyone who wasn’t a white, middle class male.
Keep in mind:
  • Fully 13 percent of the population was held in permanent servitude by government enforcement of property rights.
  • The vast majority of the population was not able to participate in the election of their government.
  • A myriad of laws proscribed where non-white citizens could eat, sleep, live and attend school.
  • Spousal abuse was not illegal.
The founders of our country, and certainly those who led after them, would view many of the changes in the status quo since then as unconscionable "social engineering."

I am naturally leery of big government. Any rational person is. But I am equally leery of any argument that relies on how much better things were back when government was small and "society functioned quite well."
 
Written By: Brian Issleb
URL: http://
Yes, everyone’s calls. Even those that are purely domestic, and have no international point on either end.

http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/2006-05-10-nsa_x.htm
http://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2006/05/
http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,70944-0.html
http://blog.wired.com/27BStroke6/att_klein_wired.pdf

No, not saying it’s strictly an issue on the right. Primarily that Bush II has been far worse about this than previous administrations.
 
Written By: Tito
URL: http://
Considering, that is, that Social Security’s efficiency is pretty darned undeniable both in the areas of administrative overhead and fraud prevention when compared to the US insurance industry.
Yeah, and that return on investment? Wow!

Not to mention the solvency of the "trust fund?"

Inspiring.

 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
In fact I will further it and ask, ’HOW WOULD THE LIBERTARIANS HAVE DEALT WITH SLAVERY, JIM CROWE AND SEXISM?"
Slavery is a fundamental violation of a person’s right to liberty. Nothing short of the right to life is a higher value for libertairans than the right to liberty. No libertarian — NO LIBERTARIAN — could endorse involuntary servitude, save for incarceration after due process of law.

As for Jim Crow, that is classic case of social engineering. The state has no business passing laws delcaring who may ride which vehicles or sit where on them. It has no business declaring public places, such as pools or schools, restricted to one class of citizens. It has no business prohibiting private enterprises from providing goods or services to black people. Such laws were passed because, in their absence, even bigoted whites tended to see green before they saw black.

As for sexism, nothing has liberated me more than the fruits of the free market: Maytag; Kroger’s meat, produce and canned goods sections; ready-to-wear clothing; microwaves; vehicles and mobility; contraceptive technology etc...the whole panoply of the fruits of capitalism freed women from the full-time labor of running a home and rearing (sometimes too many) children. We now have time and energy for so much more.
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Spousal abuse was not illegal
It was illegal by the 16th century let alone the 19th.
 
Written By: DavidByron
URL: http://
Actually McQ you’re dodging here and you’re wrong...1st it WAS structural. "Nigra’s" counted as 6/10th of a person for Census purposes and the fact that it took 2 Amendments to the US Constitution to end the Evil of Slavery.
The Constitution almost banned slavery, but it was retained since the South would not have signed on for that, and at that point a succesful Civil War was not likely. I’d say that slavery wasn’t structual to the US, but was a significant institution in part of the country.
And your argument really dodges the bullet, because the US DID behave poorly towards the Yellow, the Black, the Jew and Women.


Compared to NOW, sure. By the standards of the day the early Republic was quite advanced. In some respects England or perhaps the Netherlands was more so, certainly in the case of England with respect to slavery (they ended the international slave trade despite the fact that they thought it was against their best intentions).
And it is PERFECTLY fair for a Liberal to point out that "Social Engineering" corrected these problems.
It may not be fully accurate. England and the US developed exceptional rights for women and individuals from their free market rights; and that these in turn came from a merchant’s value system. While social engineering no doubt took place, the free market core of England and the US was what was responsible for moving it in the right direction.
In fact I will further it and ask, ’HOW WOULD THE LIBERTARIANS HAVE DEALT WITH SLAVERY, JIM CROWE AND SEXISM?" because Liberals DID deal with them, and to an extent rather effectively. They DO have that to their credit, what do we Conservatives or Libertarians have as an alternative narrative?
The liberals who dealt with slavery were what we would call "classical liberals". More like libertarians than "modern liberals", who are better termed "leftists".
And if we have none, they win, by default and DESERVESDLY so. So let’s hear how libertarians will deal with the social evils of sexism and racism? Or WOULD have dealt with Slavery?
My greatgrandfather, who took a .58" bullet in the shoulder while "dealing with slavery" was a life long Republican, although from what I know of him he would lean libertarian. He certainly wasn’t a leftist.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
I didn’t read all the comments, though I did get far enough down to say: it wasn’t a blogger who coined the term ’pander bear’; it was Paul Tsongas referring to Bill Clinton in the ’92 Presidential campaign. I normally like Tristero, but I thought his post was condescending and (in the mind-reading parts) off base.

However, there is one point at which I think Mona might be misreading Tristero. Specifically, here:
"The point Mona is finessing here is, of course, not affirmative action per se but more general objections to the kind of social engineering liberals are often accused of advocating in their latte-addled interfering way. What libertarians fail to understand - and it is what makes me characterize libertarianism as utopian and naive - is that essentially *all* political action is social engineering."
Presumably, the point is that both enacting and repealing laws counts as social engineering. In both cases you do something; in both cases, you do it because you think it’s the right thing to do; in both cases, you are probably motivated at least in part by the consequences you anticipate (e.g., the expectation that repealing laws will be good because the government tends to screw things up.)

That;s not a nutty thing to think, especially if you add to it something that Tristero does not say: namely, that now, as far away from the state of nature as we are, no option available to us counts as the default, "natural", un-engineered state, from which government programs lead us away. We are thoroughly and irreversibly the products of our society, whatever it is; and therefore, while some hypothetical race of asocial hominids living on an as yet undiscovered island might live without "social engineering", this is not a possibility for us.

This does not, and is not meant to, imply that we should just go ahead and socially engineer with wild abandon, or that no holds are barred. It does mean, however, that the question has to be not "shall we have social engineering?", but "which kind? And, in particular, should it be letting as much as possible be determined exclusively by markets and individual choices?"

Further note: the possibility of the answer that not everything should be determined by exclusively by markets and individual choices does not necessarily involve a hostility to markets or freedom. There are some pretty standard cases in which individually rational choices lead to worse results for all concerned (by their standards of better and worse), and in which everyone would have better choices available to them given some enforceable policy. One role of government, as I see it, is to address these sorts of cases.

(Example: suppose a region where most people make their living by fishing, but the fishing stocks are being depleted. Everyone knows that the community as a whole should fish less, in order to preserve their future livelihood. Everyone wants this to happen. Nonetheless, it is individually rational for each fisher to overfish: if everyone else limits their catch, this individual’s failure to abide by those limits will not, by itself, cause the fishery to collapse; if others also overfish, the fishery will collapse anyways, and so why not get as much out of it as possible? Suppose there are enough people that the likelihood of a given person’s being the one that pushes the fishery over the tipping point is remote: it’s rational for individuals to overfish.)

In a case like this, you want a communal decision, plus some enforcement that will both alter the costs and benefits of cheating, and also provide others with some assurance that most other people will obey the rules. If the regional government enacts such a policy, it can achieve a result that everyone wants, but that is unlikely to result from individual choices alone. Thinking that enacting such a policy is appropriate does not, I think, involve a hostility to individual autonomy or freedom.)
 
Written By: hilzoy
URL: http://obsidianwings.blogs.com/obsidian_wings/
David,

From the Yale Law Journal, available on Questia:
The Anglo-American common law originally provided that a husband, as master of his household, could subject his wife to corporal punishment or "chastisement" so long as he did not inflict permanent injury upon her. During the nineteenth century, an era of feminist agitation for reform of marriage law, authorities in England and the United States declared that a husband no longer had the right to chastise his wife. Yet, for a century after courts repudiated the right of chastisement, the American legal system continued to treat wife beating differently from other cases of assault and battery. While authorities denied that a husband had the right to beat his wife, they intervened only intermittently in cases of marital violence: Men who assaulted their wives were often granted formal and informal immunities from prosecution, in order to protect the privacy of the family and to promote "domestic harmony."
Statues varied from place to place, but wife-beating was certainly the law of the land.
 
Written By: Brian Issleb
URL: http://
hilzoy, thanks for the comment. Your fisheries example is, of course, one that calls to mind Garret Hardin’s Tragedy of the Commons. Libertarians have long been engaged with that topic, and here is just one cite with further links to follow that explore how ’tarians tend to address that problem. It need seldom be via regulation, but sometimes must.

You write:
Presumably, the point is that both enacting and repealing laws counts as social engineering.
Leaving people to act on their own preferences is not engineering them; no abstraction called "society" is directing, much less engineering them. Society is not engineering me by failing to prohibit my buying and consuming a quart of Godiva ice cream, and neither does it do so if it repeals such a law that had been briefly been in effect.
There are some pretty standard cases in which individually rational choices lead to worse results for all concerned (by their standards of better and worse), and in which everyone would have better choices available to them given some enforceable policy. One role of government, as I see it, is to address these sorts of cases.
Like what?
 
Written By: Mona
URL: http://
Hilzoy aptly points out that as proxy for the societal animal, human governments – all human governments are, in effect, engaging in social engineering whenever they govern. To delve into Protein Wisdom territory, I’d agree because clearly that is what Hilzoy meant. Often, however, the language gets misinterpreted, and this case is a prime example. Someone upthread brought up coercion which I think can illuminate the animus Libertarians instinctively have with what we see as social engineering. Consider a rancher needing to water a specific area of his field from a nearby stream. Gravity willing, he diverts the course of the stream from its natural course into that field. Did the rancher engineer the dam, or coerce the stream? Given his intend, I’d say the later. In fact, his cognitive interest in the dam only occurs when it stops doing what he wants of it. These dams are in fact gates, they can be part of a fully engineered and sometimes rather expensive irrigation system, they can be resilient, inexpensive and immediately replaceable fabric that is temporarily buried into the stream bed – they are merely tools to achieve an end.

But what happens when those tools become preeminent? I could employ thousands of people to engineer hundreds of working scale models of all the great flood mitigation and water storage dams just to replace those rusty steel, spalling concrete and tattered fabric gates. I’d be famous, and loved by all that immediately benefited from my solving the huge problem of decentralized, haphazard and regionally insensitive irrigation gates… and waste millions of taxpayer dollars. Now think Gun control, Affirmative action, Social Security, or a slew of other issues, not ignoring amending the constitution so that marriage is defined as only between man and woman? Too often governmental social engineering, especially in democracies, isn’t about solving problems, rather mollifying those that think “Government has to do something.” Too many gun crimes in this nation – hell, lets just ban the guns. “See, we did something.”

A cynic might even say it’s about buying off a constituency that will return you to office.

We’ve imperfect and failing tools and yet are they seemingly are more important than what they were their ostensible engineered to solve. Compassionate platitudes about really wanting to help me re-engineer my gates ignores the fact that what I really need is grain to feed my livestock.
 
Written By: bains
URL: http://
Your "source" is wrong.
This is an urban legend they are repeating.
The Anglo-American common law originally provided that a husband, as master of his household, could subject his wife to corporal punishment or "chastisement" so long as he did not inflict permanent injury upon her.
It’s usually associated with the "rule of thumb" urban legend.

Blackstone (the usual source of collected English Common Law from the period of time in question) has this to say on the matter:
"The husband also, by the old law, might give his wife moderate correction . . . in the same moderation that a man is allowed to correct his apprentices or children. . . . But with us, in the politer reign of Charles the Second, this power of correction began to be doubted; and a wife may now have security of the peace against her husband."
Charles the second was 1660-1685.

However Blackstone was wrong; likely he was just trying to demonstrate how enlightened folks were in the 17th century. There’s no indication I know of that it was legal under English law going back centuries earlier still. Under ancient Roman law I’ve heard this might be accurate.

I can specify many US laws before the 19th century that explicitly outlawed hitting wives, but the absence of such a law would not legalise it because of the longstanding commonlaw precedent.

Honestly there’s a ton of crap made up about the condition of women in ye olde days. It sells well. But it’s urban legend mostly.
 
Written By: DavidByron
URL: http://
"How would libertarians deal with slavery . . . " Gee, that’s a toughie. Let’s see: libertarians are pro-freedom, against coercion, don’t believe some people have the right to force other people to do things . . . . Gosh, what WOULD the libertarian position be on slavery? That’s such a head-scratcher. . . .

But seriously—if you read the writings of the abolitionists (and I have), except for some of the God stuff, they read like they could have been written by Murray Rothbard or Ayn Rand. Even the abolitionists who were socialists were libertarian socialists (i.e., advocating voluntary common ownership of property, as opposed to coercive State redistributuon). If modern "liberals" want to claim the abolitionists for ancestors, they pretty much have to go through the intellectual equivalent of a contortionist act.
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
The American people, as a whole, were less oppressed by the state 160 years ago than they are today.
As with most who argue your line, you want to leave historical context out of the equation. The American people, as a whole, were less oppressed by the state 160 years ago than were others living around the world at the same time. There was a reason for that.

But make no mistake, every nation then existing at the moment of the formation of the US existed under similar cultural, societal, legal and traditional conditions or worse. It is what happened and why after the formation of the US as compared to them which makes the statement valid.
The way government was structured and functioned had nothing to do with the living conditions of women and just about anyone who wasn’t a white, middle class male.
But it was the structure and function of that government which eventually led to and made possible the changes in the political status of all of them. Again, context.
* Fully 13 percent of the population was held in permanent servitude by government enforcement of property rights.

* The vast majority of the population was not able to participate in the election of their government.

* A myriad of laws proscribed where non-white citizens could eat, sleep, live and attend school.

* Spousal abuse was not illegal.
And this was unique to the US?

What was the method and impetus for changing all of that?

That’s the point that is repeatedly ignored when those who prefer this line of argument make it. The collection of states which became the US lived in a time where all of those things you list were traditionally and almost universally true just about everywhere in the world. It wasn’t just the case here nor did it suddenly come into existence here when the colonies declared themselves a united nation. That was the day’s society, like it or not.

What is important is not that these situations existed - no one denies that, that’s history - but instead how they were changed. Some took longer than others, but the primary reason the changes took place, the driver if you will, was the Constitution and the basic nature of the govenment established by the founders and the principles they established. As we examined the claims of minority groups to a share of the power, against the political tradition of the day, we were unable to constitutionally argue against them. And we changed. That’s an important point that is repeatedly ignored by those who want to play the "rich, white dead men" gambit.
And it is PERFECTLY fair for a Liberal to point out that "Social Engineering" corrected these problems.
It is certainly perfectly fair to contend that whether true or not.

The Constitution was a broad document which was made that way to enshrine certain principles and their application. Limited government, limits on governments and individual rights.

What it couldn’t do immediately was change the traditions and prejudices of the day. They existed. But it provided a mechanism and a foundation for examining them and changing the law as society applied them more thoughtfully and rigorously.

Name another country at that time which enjoyed the same ability.

That isn’t top down "social engineering". It was driven by the socitey as it changed.
So let’s hear how libertarians will deal with the social evils of sexism and racism? Or WOULD have dealt with Slavery?
See above. You change society through persusion and dialogue instead of declaration. You provide a foundation for the dialogue and mechanism for the changes it produces to be applied.

The importation of new slaves had been declared illegal in the 1830s as I recall. The institution had be outlawed in certain new territories. The movement was dying. Those who supported slavery understood it’s end was near because socially and culturally they had lost the battle of persuasion. Given our foundational principles and their application to slaves, it was unsupportable anymore to most Americans. They had recognized that the institution was incompatible with the principles on which the country had been founded.

For anyone with eyes and ears, it was clear that those who favored slavery had lost that battle. The Civil War was simply the last desperate act of those who refused to acknowledge the inevitable. And it was made possible because in the region of the south, they held the power. But the CW was an exception to the way we’ve handled societal and cultural change and applied them, not the rule.

Woman’s sufferage came to be because of the same sort of realization (but without the necessity of any sort of armed battle for obvious reasons). And racism. And sexism. To pretend any of this happens without a reference to founding principles is simply silly.

They are what framed these discussions and debates and it is they which led to these eventual outcomes. But the changes were driven socially from below, not from the top. And that is the way it should be.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
The American people, as a whole, were less oppressed by the state 160 years ago than were others living around the world at the same time.
This is another argument by ignorance of history. The British empire had already outlawed slavery. The French outlawed it even earlier during their revolution (although it came back briefly under Napoleon and then was made illegal again under the 2nd Republic). America was the country with the largest slave population and the largest economic reliance upon slavery.

The American genocide of natives was not without precedent any more than American slavery was, but again, at the time it was probably the largest ongoing genocide in the world.

America was also very late to the party in terms of women’s vote. I think it was about the twentieth country to give women the vote.
 
Written By: DavidByron
URL: http://
I just don’t see that the question that was asked —- how would libertarians go about fixing these social issues from the past —- has been answered. Is the answer that libertarians would do nothing and just let nature or "history" take its course confident that people would eventually get around to doing the right thing?

I’m not trying to be pissy — is that basically it?

McQ is saying the constitution allowed for changes. Well it didn’t work out that way for slavery. The senate was locked up with half the states being slave states and half free. It was so bad that they couldn’t recognise any new states without them coming in in pairs, one of each, one slave and one designated free. it took an act of war —- the most extreme act of coercion possible —- to change the US position on slavery. That’s not a plus for the system of the constitution.

But let’s hypothesise that the senate was not so locked up. Would a libertarian have imposed what is a states right issue on the whole country from the federal level?

Presumably this discussion is really about Tristero’s comment on affirmative action. Do libertarians baulk at correcting societal wrongs if that’s seen as using the government?
 
Written By: DavidByron
URL: http://
Couple of other historical niggles:

The importation of new slaves had been declared illegal in the 1830s as I recall.

The British and French had already banned the slave trade across the atlantic for over two decades by then.

Woman’s sufferage came to be because of the same sort of realization (but without the necessity of any sort of armed battle for obvious reasons).

World War One excluded? Women’s rights and men’s rights both tend to get a shot in the arm after a big war because the aristocrats have to justify the "sacrifice" to a populace that is armed and ready to kill, fresh from war. The bigger the war the more rights.

I would say the US constitution applies a brake to any sort of progressive changes of the sort you are giving as examples - it didn’t help at all. it’s incredibly hard to get an ammendment passed in the US system.
 
Written By: DavidByron
URL: http://
My "source" is a peer-reviewed legal journal. You can choose to disbelieve it if you like.

Yes, the "Rule of Thumb" is an urban legend. That women beaten by their husbands had virtually no legal recourse through most of history, including the 19th century, is not.

This is a silly thing to argue about. No one disputes that the legal system treated women as second-class citizens 160 years ago.
 
Written By: Brian Issleb
URL: http://
My "source" is a peer-reviewed legal journal
Of the 21st not the 17th century. It’s really more history than law. The best source I ever found was a large article on alt.folklore I think. At any rate there’s no doubt whatsoever that Yale is simply flat out wrong. A few minutes googling could come up with several explicit laws that prove that Yale is wrong. They are just faking it. They obviously never tried to find out if what they said was true or false.
That women beaten by their husbands had virtually no legal recourse through most of history, including the 19th century, is not.
Yes but that’s also true of men beaten by their wives isn’t it? That was also not uncommon. The fact is these behaviours were outlawed. As you say for many people of the period the fact that it was outlawed might not have helped that much but there it is.
No one disputes that the legal system treated women as second-class citizens 160 years ago.


I dispute that. The history of criminal law is a history of society placing limits on male behaviour. Female behaviour was generally regualted through extra-legal means. I would guess a man beaten by his wife had substantially less chance of getting a cop to help him than a woman beaten by her husband. (For that matter that remains true even today) The reason is that male violence is/was taken seriously by the law and female violence is/was not. Likely the male victim would have been told (and still is often) that he ought to take care of his own business or that he is less of a man for even having the problem. He’d be ridiculed. By comparison a wife beater was seen as a social pariah and frequently was attacked even before the cops got involved just by his neighbours or relatives of his wife.

Perhaps you hope to make your case on the basis of civil law, not criminal law? But much of the argument around things like voting rights was to do with economic independence not gender. America (and France) are exceptional in having a long gap between the time the majority of adult men could first vote and the majority of adult women. In Britain these two events occurred in the same act of parliament. In the US the majority of men could probably vote by around 1820 or 1830, except in federal elections where men who were black, natives, 18 to 21 or living in territories not states were excluded, even before other considerations. Arguably in 1840 most US males couldn’t vote in federal elections.

But the main problem with suggesting civil law treated women worse is that women themselves of the period would have strongly denied that claim, as is evident from the history of the early feminist movement. Many women actively opposed the feminist movement and saw it as a threat to their special roles as women. That is to say they were aware that women were treated differently but they considered, and so did society generally, that women were treated far better than men were in terms of the respect afforded them. Remember this is the victorian period where middle class women were placed on a pedestal. Even working class wome had some deference due to their sex. Women were routinely perceived as more spiritual and moral than men (that stereotype persists today) and involvement in civic duties and politics was said to taint women’s moral purity.

Now we disagree with such views today but it’s an open question. Women were not at all like slaves. No slave figured they were better of being whipped and owned. The problem with enforced gender roles is that those who don’t fit the stereotypes lose choices. That was true of men as well as women incidentally. But such people are a minority usually. These issues of strict role enforcement by society are not to be compared with the devastation of a life of slavery.

Well as you can guess I could go on and on, but your statement that "nobody" denies women were 2nd class citizens is obviously disproven.
 
Written By: DavidByron
URL: http://
This is another argument by ignorance of history. The British empire had already outlawed slavery.
Slavery isn’t the point or the problem for heaven sake. And the fact that Britian ’outlawed’it says nothing to the fact that in many parts of the empire it continued to flourish for decades. It also doesn’t speak to the fact that slavery became socially and culturally unacceptable here not through government fiat, but through the majority desire of the people of the nation.

And I’ve certainly read enough history to know I’d have much rather lived in the US than Scotland, Ireland or Wales at the same time. Actual slavery and virtual slavery aren’t much different to the slave.
The American genocide of natives was not without precedent any more than American slavery was, but again, at the time it was probably the largest ongoing genocide in the world.
Pure contextless quackery. It was no different than the clash of any other two cultures anywhere in the world’s history. And it wasn’t a purposeful "genocide" to apply today’s terms to yesterday’s normal expansionist actions undertaken by nations thoroughout history.

Again within the context of history it was business as usual. The displaced Siberians lost a war with a technologically superior expansionist culture. They’d lost similar wars among themselves for heaven sake. The Illinois Confederacy was wiped out to a man by the followers of Pontiac at "Starving Rock" to cite on example.

But they certainly weren’t wiped out nor was there any organized US governmental attempt to kill them all.

What has happened since then is more of an indicator of the point being made. A recognition that in many ways their rights had been violated (treaty obligations, etc) and attempts have been made to make up for that. Autonomous tribal lands, self-rule, etc. Where else has that happened? Where else is that even a priority? Why is that a priority here?
McQ is saying the constitution allowed for changes. Well it didn’t work out that way for slavery.
Well yeah, it did, it just ran into people who felt it necessary to confront the popular movement away from slavery with force of arms. But anyone who’s studied the period understands the institution was a dying institution. They realized its days in the US were numbered. In fact, southern slave owners were looking at opportunities to move and expand in central and south America (as I recall it was characterized as the "Golden Crescent") since they had been blocked from moving into western US territories. Many a filibuster at that time was aimed at that southward expansion. The CW simply hurried the eventual demise of slavery.
I would say the US constitution applies a brake to any sort of progressive changes of the sort you are giving as examples - it didn’t help at all. it’s incredibly hard to get an ammendment passed in the US system.
But it seems, when morally justified and when the people are satisfied that is the case, they get through that very difficult process, don’t they? That is a result of persuasion turned into political pressure. It is one of the reasons why the foolishness we now see on the marriage amendment is failing. It is also why the ERA failed. The culture didn’t buy the premise, feeling instead it wasn’t necessary given the already existing rights enjoyed by women.

To me, that governor on the process is very important because it ends up requiring social consensus be present before such changes are and can be made. That majority acceptance after deliberation and debate eventually builds the political pressure necessary to support an amendment. It is a product of the bottom-up process, not a top-down process as it should be.

For an example of the top-down approach and it’s failure one only has to turn to the 18th Amendment.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
They are just faking it. They obviously never tried to find out if what they said was true or false.
This is literally hilarious. I’ve read this statement like four times, and it keeps making me laugh. Especially since you then go on to use the phrases "I would guess," "likely," "arguably" and "probably" in the following paragraphs. Why don’t you go find out if your statements of fact are true or false? (Note: Newsgroup postings are not an acceptable reference.)

You are obviously unfamiliar with how scholarly research and publishing works. I have neither the academic background, time nor inclination to respond to your unsourced assertions. Conveniently, the article does this for me.

Finally:
Well as you can guess I could go on and on, but your statement that "nobody" denies women were 2nd class citizens is obviously disproven.
You are right. That was a foolish statement for me to make. Which is unfortunate.

But at least now I know that you don’t consider voting rights a prerequisite for full citizenship. I could point you towards several treatises on the evolution of women’s rights in the United States which explicitly document the legal and social status of women in the 19th century, but I’m sure they’re just faking it.
 
Written By: Brian Issleb
URL: http://
I forgot to add, in my post on the abolitionists, libertarianism and slavery, that, conversely, if you read George Fitzhugh, the South’s most prominent and probably most articulate defender of slavery, he sounds much like a modern-day collectivist.
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
McQ,

You make some good points. I would definitely agree that a bottom-up approach to social change is eminently preferable, and Prohibition is a very good example of the dangers of top-down social engineering. The history of how the Eighteenth Amendment came to be passed is an ugly one.

However, your arguments seem to be an endorsement of popular programs with which you disagree. If laws against private discrimination (for example) are proceeded by much debate, supported by a majority of the populace and enacted by their duly elected representatives, how is this not bottom-up social change? The same can be said a host of other programs much maligned by libertarians.

I’m not arguing that laws like these are a good thing, necessarily. But where do you make the distinction between the passage of the Thirteenth and Nineteenth Amendments, with which you apparently agree, and the Sixteenth Amendment, which unlike Prohibition has absolutely no chance of ever being repealed?

Or Social Security, for that matter? The fact is, if push came to shove and the Supreme Court found Social Security unconstitutional, there would likely be little problem passing a constitutional amendment supporting it.

The central tenant of libertarianism is: "Everyone should be free to do as they choose, so long as they don’t infringe upon the equal freedom of others."

Who determines what "equal freedom" is? Is a smaller government per se more conducive to human freedom? What if the majority of the populace expands the definition of what freedom is, and then determines that larger government is necessary to protect that freedom?

I would argue that has been the trendline in the West for some time.
 
Written By: Brian Issleb
URL: http://
A little late, but I see libertarians sya here, "Libertarians NEVER would tolerate Slavery", to paraphrase. Begs the questions.... I asked how would have libertarians dealt with Slavery? Because many libertarians I meet complain about Lincoln and his suppression of Civil Liberties and the assault on State’s Rights. So my question is, "Would Libertarians have fought the Civil War?" It seems that libertarians oppose Slavery, now, but could they have solved it any other way, better than Lincoln? That’s fudnamentally my point, much of libertarian thought tends to make me think that libertarians COULDN’T have fought the Civil War and ended Slavery. Lincoln suppressed and suspeneded Civil Liberties of COPPERHEADS and other opponents fo the war! These people were undermining the war effort! Would libertarians have allowed these folks to prate on, akin to the Kerenskii Government allowing the Bolshieviks to operate aftre Feb 1917?
Or States Rights, I’ve read many libertarians who curse Lincoln as a "tyrant" that imposed the Federal Government ON states. Well he DID and Thank GOD he did.

Bottom-line: libertarians are like the "Win Without War" Crowd, they SAY they want the good outcome and that they could have achieved it without recourse to nasty things like war or suspension of habeus corpus, but when you look at it you begin to doubt it. And BTW, no one ACTUALLY said what libertarians would have done 1832-1865 that would have ended Slavery with or without war.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
Especially since you then go on to use the phrases "I would guess," "likely," "arguably" and "probably" in the following paragraphs.
I didn’t use those words to describe the statement you attributed to Yale did I? I said, "no doubt whatsoever" and "flat out wrong". At this point you seem to have just given up trying to have a reasonable discussion. I’m not playing "gotcha" with you. I really don’t care what you believe. Believe urban legends if you want to, (I wouldn’t expect anything else from a Republican anyway) it’s really of no great interest to me. But I am telling you that your source was and is flat out wrong and that a few minutes googling will easily show that.
at least now I know that you don’t consider voting rights a prerequisite for full citizenship
Well I would today but in those days many non-citizens could vote and many citizens could not vote. It simply was not true that voting rights were associated with citizenship. That’s a modern invention.

You know some things were different 160 years ago than today. That seems obvious but a lot of superficial references especially to women’s rights in the past just gloss over all that —- as the Yale example shows. It’s a sort of political correctness. Unfortunately much that is written about the women’s movement of the 19th century these days would be unrecognisable to anyone of the day. You’ve demonstrated two such examples here already. Whereas some issues of fact are open to a certain amount of wiggle room for these revisionist histories to frame things a certain way items as specific as "Did such and such a law exist?" are very precise and therefore I can very preceisly refute them. Estimating when 50% of adult males could first vote in a US federal election OTOH is not so exact and I won’t pretend it is.

Most of the arguments for women being 2nd class citizens would proceed by characterising the female role as negative as judged by people of today — not people of the time. So these arguments implicitly say that women of the time were ignorant of their plight and unable to make a judgment about the issues being raised by feminists at the time. That’s actually a demeaning attitude towards those women. These women knew the feminist argument and rejected it (more so a little later than 1840). They didn’t do so through ignorance or submission but from a knowledge of both sides — a knowledge you lack. Even today we’d say the benefits of releasing women from gender roles is to enable the minority who disliked those roles more choice. But that correct observation does not show that the majority of women who did like their roles were 2nd class citizens or that they couldn’t make that determination.

Now if you can find any essay arguing women were 2nd class citizens that doesn’t depend on treating them like zombies who were controlled by "the patriarchy" but does try to account for why intelligent women of the time certainly disagreed with the idea they were 2nd class citizens and tries to explain how they all could be so wrong, then sure, go ahead and link to it.
 
Written By: DavidByron
URL: http://
However, your arguments seem to be an endorsement of popular programs with which you disagree. If laws against private discrimination (for example) are proceeded by much debate, supported by a majority of the populace and enacted by their duly elected representatives, how is this not bottom-up social change? The same can be said a host of other programs much maligned by libertarians.
My endorsement of the bottom-up process doesn’t mean that everything initiated in that manner has merit to a libertarian. It is, in my opinion, simply the superior process to the top-down method.

I like the idea of citizen generated propositions as well, but I certainly don’t support all propositions initiated by them.
I’m not arguing that laws like these are a good thing, necessarily.
To be clear, neither am I.
But where do you make the distinction between the passage of the Thirteenth and Nineteenth Amendments, with which you apparently agree, and the Sixteenth Amendment, which unlike Prohibition has absolutely no chance of ever being repealed?
The distinction is made on idelogical principles. The fact that the 16th was passed doesn’t mean I support it or the principle it represents. But that doesn’t mean the process I outlined is wrong, it simply means something I can’t support on principle got through that system.
Or Social Security, for that matter? The fact is, if push came to shove and the Supreme Court found Social Security unconstitutional, there would likely be little problem passing a constitutional amendment supporting it.
Probably true. Few if any systems survive long without some perversion of original intent. That’s one reason why we squeeky wheels known as libertarians exist.

Frankly, the 16th is an example of (as is SS) of top-down vs. bottom-up approach that has survived and is now accepted by the majority mostly because reasonable people understand that the rejection of either or both would cause unacceptable hardship (i.e one the majority is not willing to endure for a number of reasons). It is one of the reasons libertarins are interested in a solution which transitions SS to a private system and would like to see a system of taxtion other than the income tax.
The central tenant of libertarianism is: "Everyone should be free to do as they choose, so long as they don’t infringe upon the equal freedom of others."
Well that’s one of the principles and it has to do with human interaction on a personal level.

In fact the central tenet of libertarianism is "you own yourself" and all the ramifications (and limitations) that brings. And it is in addressing those limitations where we come to:
Who determines what "equal freedom" is?
We do in relation to the tenet "you own yourself".
Is a smaller government per se more conducive to human freedom?
Well that depends on the purpose of the government, doesn’t it?

If the purpose of government is focused on "you own yourself", then it would most likely be structured to protect you from force and fraud and enforce legitimate contracts. Hayek calls that the "night watchman" approach. That sort of government obviously doesn’t have to be very large or intrusive.

OTOH, if government is seen as Santa Claus, and is given the job to fulfill the majority’s every whim, it doesn’t take long to see how quickly such a government could subvert liberty and freedom. In fact, it would be a requirement of such a government. There’s no question government this type must grow larger and more intrusive as more and more "whims" are identified to be satisfied.

Obviously libertarians like the night watchman type of government and when we talk about smaller and less intrusive government it is that model to which we refer.
What if the majority of the populace expands the definition of what freedom is, and then determines that larger government is necessary to protect that freedom? I would argue that has been the trendline in the West for some time.
Well that’s the fight isn’t it? As Dale categorizes the three factions at work, they’re the political right who’s guiding governmental tenet is justice, the political left who’s gov tenet is equity and libertarians who’s is liberty.

The trend has been toward the tenet of equity which requires both large and intrusive government to be successful. That is why I find it impossible, in general, to find common ground with the left. I can find common ground on particular issue or two, but we approach the desired result from completely different directions and for completely different reasons.

I find myself aligning with the right more often than not because the tenet of liberty is much more compatible with the tenet of justice than it is with equity.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
It was no different than the clash of any other two cultures anywhere in the world’s history. And it wasn’t a purposeful "genocide" to apply today’s terms to yesterday’s normal expansionist actions undertaken by nations thoroughout history.
I was talking about a class of nations not cultures. Yes, cultures are often extinguished in history, but it is rare for whole peoples to be extinguished rather than simply incorporated into the new rulers’ society. The genoicde (yes that is exactly the correct term) of the American Indians is far and away the biggest numeric example of genocide. If you divide it between north and south Americas then you could argue the US genocide was not worse than the Spanish genocide in the south. But that was centuries earlier. At the time there was no worse country than the US for both slavery and genocide. Those two things, along with women’s rights, were the examples we were discussing.

On all three counts your assertion that America was the best is simply false.
they certainly weren’t wiped out nor was there any organized US governmental attempt to kill them all.
Many of the (hundreds of) nations were wiped out and many were wiped out intentionally.
they get through that very difficult process, don’t they? That is a result of persuasion turned into political pressure. It is one of the reasons why the foolishness we now see on the marriage amendment is failing. It is also why the ERA failed
You seemed to be saying the US constitution helped these social changes along. To me it seems to be a road block. and I beleive it was intended that way. The system is and was intentionally hard to change compared with other countries. Maybe slavery would have been sorted out eventually even without a war. I dare say so. However that’s not the question. the question is would it have been sorted out faster if the US constitution had been as flexible as that of Britain for example.

If you accept that that the US constitution retards positive social changes then you have a problem as a libertarian if you are saying social change should go no faster than support can build for an amendment because it implies you’d accept several more decades or even centuries of social ills. You on the other hand wanted to claim that this process goes quickly, and you claimed more quickly than other countries at the time.

Btw I suppose the hidden assumption of your argument is that a constitutional process is somehow less coercive and more libertarian than just passing regular laws as other countries did / do?
 
Written By: DavidByron
URL: http://
Thanks, McQ. You more than answered my questions, and that’s a great explanation of why you would generally choose the right over the left. Some libertarians might view the left as more compatible, but it all comes down to personal philosophy and values.

And, of course, it’s a tossup which side presents more danger of totalitarianism. I’m keeping my eyes on the right these days.
 
Written By: Brian Issleb
URL: http://
Joe’s right that I never pointed how exactly libertarians would have abolished slavery in the 19th Century. Mainly because such speculation is beyond my field of interest, and because I don’t know. In that I am again much in the same boat as many abolitionists, who were also pacifists. Unleashing the federal government in a war seems like a cure that is worse than the disease. Although I suppose if libertarian principles had been adhered to at the country’s founding—when in fact that there were many who would have liked to have abolished slavery from the start—the problem would have not arisen in the first place. Certainly it was a problem that could not have arisen without the assistance of Joe’s best friend, Der Staat. What interest me more is on what moral grounds today’s statist pseudo-liberals would oppose slavery (since they seem to be doing their best to be bringing it about). Would they oppose it because was based on coercion? To quote John Wayne in THE SEARCHERS: "That’ll be the day."
 
Written By: Bilwick
URL: http://
Actually BilWick Slavery existed with or without "states" it is a condition of humanity....And I see you skirt around it, I’d like a more straight-forward answer, though. To say IF libertarians had been at the Founding is "copping out", because they weren’t... it’s akin to folks who say things like, "Well they weren’t GOOD Christians" when discussions of Slavery or Oppression or Violence come up. Whether or not they were Good or Bad Christians it DID happen, so too with Slavery and Sexism.

Some others are trying to argue that AS COMPARED TO OTHER SOCIETIES, the US wasn’t that bad. I accept the point, BUT it is like saying Birkenau wasn’t as bad as Auschwitz. It’s true but it’s not much comfort. I am not one to say, "Because Slavery existed in the US and because women were 2nd class citizens (of which there can be little debate as the BoR did NOT apply to them) the US if EVIL, then and FOREVER." No, the US could have led the world in freedom, at the time, but still be deficient. But I don’t think it’s good to deny the deficiency, either. And I’d like to see how libertarians propose to have solved these social ills without "Social Engineering" a la the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act and Title IX and the like.

Someone pointed out that a solution to women or Blacks that fundamentally says, "Wait another 50-100 years and the Market will provide a solution" is pretty cold comfort to someone living in bondage.
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://
I was talking about a class of nations not cultures. Yes, cultures are often extinguished in history, but it is rare for whole peoples to be extinguished rather than simply incorporated into the new rulers’ society.
Nations are also extinguished in history. Been to Assyria or Persia lately?

What "whole peoples" were "extinguished" here? Many died out, but none that I know of because of any attempt at genocide, but because of disease.

And, I assume you understand that incorporation into another society requires the people of the other nation to decide it is something they’re willing to tolerate and undergo.
The genoicde (yes that is exactly the correct term) of the American Indians is far and away the biggest numeric example of genocide.
This is total claptrap from the Ward Churchill school of revisionist history. These were nations warring with each other over territory. Welcome to the real world of that time in history. One side was more populous and better armed and they won. What they did was no different than the indian tribes of North America had done to each other for eons.

Get over it.
If you divide it between north and south Americas then you could argue the US genocide was not worse than the Spanish genocide in the south. But that was centuries earlier. At the time there was no worse country than the US for both slavery and genocide. Those two things, along with women’s rights, were the examples we were discussing.
Nonsense. All of the middle east, Africa and many nations of Central and South America and Asia were much, much worse than anything going on in the US.

And your genocide claim is historically incorrect.

Your grasp of the basic facts of this portion of history...
Many of the (hundreds of) nations were wiped out and many were wiped out intentionally.
...is lacking. While many nations died out, they did so because of the diseases introduced through white settlment to which they had no natural immunity, not acts of genocide.

That isn’t even in dispute.
Such isolation proved to be the primary factor in Europe’s successful advance into the Americas. Lacking immunities to common European diseases, Native Americans were susceptible to influenza, chicken pox, smallpox, measles, and other diseases. The results were devasting for Native American communities throughout the Americas.
—-
You seemed to be saying the US constitution helped these social changes along. To me it seems to be a road block.
I’ve already covered that.
If you accept that that the US constitution retards positive social changes then you have a problem as a libertarian if you are saying social change should go no faster than support can build for an amendment because it implies you’d accept several more decades or even centuries of social ills. You on the other hand wanted to claim that this process goes quickly, and you claimed more quickly than other countries at the time.
Where did I say it retarded anything? When your retard something you slow the natural flow. I said it acted as a governor. Knees jerk on both sides of an issue. This has a tendency to keep extremes and overreaction from becoming law. But it also acted as a catalyst. By making this process involved and requiring debate and interaction, I think it actually speeded up the process of societal and cultural change by airing the issue’s laundary.

The point being that social change is the only sure way to ensure a change is permanent, accepted or lasting. And it norally doesn’t happen overnight. If the purpose of change is to actually cure "social ills" it would seem most thinking people would seek solutions that are indeed permanent, accepted and lasting. That is how "social ills" are really, actually, in-the-real-world, solved ... not by governmental declaration.
Btw I suppose the hidden assumption of your argument is that a constitutional process is somehow less coercive and more libertarian than just passing regular laws as other countries did / do?
Considering the clear potentential for major societal resistance in the face of such unilateral treatment, what would you think?
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
What interest me more is on what moral grounds today’s statist pseudo-liberals would oppose slavery (since they seem to be doing their best to be bringing it about). Would they oppose it because was based on coercion?
How about opposing it because all property is bad? ;)

It does seem to me that if you got rid of property and money then you wouldn’t have to have a large government to have lefty ideals. At that point I think it would be the libertarians who’d be asking for the laws. There is an argument that private property is inimicable to personal liberty of course so perhaps libertarianism is just self-contradictory.
 
Written By: DavidByron
URL: http://
McQ,
That isn’t even in dispute.
Is that an argument that libertarians use a lot then? It seems a very odd thing to say while disputing with someone — to deny that you are disputing. But that’s the second time someone’s used that line on me here. Is this part of the whole fantasy / magical thinking thing? If you say something it becomes true simply by virtue of being repeated many times?
But it also acted as a catalyst. By making this process involved and requiring debate and interaction, I think it actually speeded up the process of societal and cultural change by airing the issue’s laundary.
True in your fantasy world where America was the bestest country in the whole wide world at everything and anyone who tells you any different is "Ward Churchill", but not true in you know— "reality". In reality America was not the bestest but in many respects the worst for tackling the issues we were considering. This reality undermines your case.

Oh well enough of that.

I was wondering if even at the slower pace, things like outlawing slavery can be considered libertarian under the terms you seem to be using (which means not having laws and stuff - as opposed to the terms Mona was using where it’s clear libertarians would be 100% opposed)

Firstly abolition is directly counter to the concept of private property. If you own a thing can the government just come and take it? Simply because the majority happen to be of the opinion that you shouldn’t have it?

Secondly shouldn’t abolition be decided upon a state for state basis meaning that a libertarian would have said that the South should have been able to keep slavery indefinately despite the objections of the North?

Thirdly why does the moral opinion of the majority get to create laws that coerce the minority? I guess I just don’t really see why taking longer to think about it makes this act any less coercive. Yeah, maybe more people will be in the majority so it will be practically speaking something the minority won’t be able to defend against, but that just seems like more efficient coercion.

Now if the answer to all this is to say that slavery is huge moral crime so it overcomes other considerations then doesn’t that mean that other moral issues should also overcome the principle of not legislating things? and then how is that any different from a big government liberal / lefty? Afterall nobody actually refers big government for no reason but because of what they can get from it.

is it just a question of emphasis?
 
Written By: DavidByron
URL: http://
What interest me more is on what moral grounds today’s statist pseudo-liberals would oppose slavery (since they seem to be doing their best to be bringing it about).
Hyperbole alert... and red herring. The question isn’t what would libertarians do about a set of social ills that have/had afflicted the US.

And it’s not just a theoretical question... IF libertarians can’t explain how they would deal with something, in a retrospective fashion, how ought I believe that they can solve TODAY’S problems?
 
Written By: Joe
URL: http://

 
Add Your Comment
  NOTICE: While we don't wish to censor your thoughts, we do blacklist certain terms of profanity or obscenity. This is not to muzzle you, but to ensure that the blog remains work-safe for our readers. If you wish to use profanity, simply insert asterisks (*) where the vowels usually go. Your meaning will still be clear, but our readers will be able to view the blog without worrying that content monitoring will get them in trouble when reading it.
Comments for this entry are closed.
Name:
Email:
URL:
HTML Tools:
Bold Italic Blockquote Hyperlink
Comment:
   
 
Vicious Capitalism

Divider

Buy Dale's Book!
Slackernomics by Dale Franks

Divider

Divider