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Big enough to take it away from you...
Posted by: Jon Henke on Monday, December 18, 2006

Barbara O'Brien seems to have grokked limited government and libertarianism correctly, though she has exactly the wrong reaction to it:
I still say that libertarianism and “limited government” ideology is essentially anti-democratic. It deprives We, the People of the ability to use government in our own interests. Certainly the powers of government must be limited — the power to censor, the power to search and seize property, the power to intrude on citizens’ private lives generally — but placing artificial limits on the size and functions of government doesn’t restrict government as must as it restricts the will of the people. I’m not calling for “big government” for its own sake. I’m just saying that a government should be as big (or as small) as its citizens require.
That is precisely correct: libertarianism is anti-democratic. Whereever possible, we prefer not to put individual liberty and property rights up for a vote. O'Brien seems to think it's a bad thing.

But I don't see O'Brien and her fellow Progressives urging Democrats to reject gay marriage, teach creationism in schools and support school vouchers simply because, hey, will of the people, you know.

Leaving aside the well-tread objections to "democracy", many of which were enunciated by our Founding Fathers, O'Brien's argument is self-contradictory. She writes that we fail "to make a distinction between big government that is bad because it costs a lot of money or big government that is bad because it intrudes on personal liberty" and suggests these are two different things. This is the artificial distinction between economic and social liberty that liberals tend to make. But when a government "costs a lot of money", it necessarily must intrude on your personal liberty, both for sustenance and for the myriad social engineering schemes that are to be sustained.

The limited government set does not put "artificial limits" on the tasks performed by government. What we wish to do is put stringent limits on the government, allowing free people to find the best way to perform those tasks through voluntary exchange. What we wish to limit is coercion and force, not the sometimes-positive ends to which coercion and force are deployed.
 
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It deprives We, the People of the ability to use government in our own interests.

The first false premise is that the 300 million people in this vast country collectively share the same interests. If this were the case, then the coercive power of the state would not be necessary to ensure that those interests prevailed.

 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
I still say that libertarianism and "limited government" ideology is essentially anti-democratic. It deprives We, the People of the ability to use government in our own interests.
To which I say:

A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse form the public treasury
Looks like someone just discovered it
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
It deprives [We, the People] of the ability to use government in our own interests.

Notice the phrase in brackets. It is a euphemism, intended to subvert critical thinking. What is the actual word or phrase that should go there?

The pious allusion to the preamble of the Constitution is a quasi-religious appeal to a higher power that is supposed intimidate you from questioning WHO exactly should have the ability to use government to achieve their own interests.

Who is telling you that you can’t eat trans fats? Why it is none other than WE THE PEOPLE! So don’t question it.
 
Written By: Aldo
URL: http://
I guess she think that three wolves and two sheep voting on what to eat for dinner is a good idea.
 
Written By: Minh-Duc
URL: http://
Again, you are failing to understand this is a simple language barrier. "Democracy" means "socialism." Read it again, use the correct syntax, and everything she said will make sense. It’s not the Left’s fault that you Repugs can’t replace the damn words!
 
Written By: Kos-Head
URL: http://
Wow, a thread where everyone is right!

If the soclialistic elements of our society were limited to taxation and spending on social programs and collective purchasing that I may or may not agree with, I’d be thrilled in comparison to the current state of affairs.

There is so much railing about government spending on things that we would prefer the government no be involved in, but for my money, it is the regulations, prohibitions, and limitations on our ability to have life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

How about one last Constitutional Amendment:

Congress shall make no law prohibiting or restricting any action of persons when that action does not explicitly violate the rights of another.

There, that should render about 80% of the laws on the books unconstitutional.

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
How about one last Constitutional Amendment:

Congress shall make no law prohibiting or restricting any action of persons when that action does not explicitly violate the rights of another.
That’s in the same ballpark as what’s already written into the Constitution, but yours has a problem: wouldn’t taxes for the common defense restrict the action of persons?
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
wouldn’t taxes for the common defense restrict the action of persons?
Taxes do not prohibit or restrict unless you consider them in the very broadest sense, as in, restricting someone from having every cent they get paid.

Anyway, it’s academic, most people want MORE laws.

I heard Bill O’Reilly yesterday railing about the doomed Mt Hood climbers saying that there ought to be a law against doing something like climbing Mt Hood in December.

Oy Vey, hasn’t Bill ever heard of natural selection?

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
There doesn’t need to be a law against climbing Hood in Dec, but the climbers should bear financial responsibility (via insurance perhaps) for the costs and risks borne by rescue crews. Otherwise they shouldn’t be climbing.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
There doesn’t need to be a law against climbing Hood in Dec, but the climbers should bear financial responsibility (via insurance perhaps) for the costs and risks borne by rescue crews. Otherwise they shouldn’t be climbing.
This one has always perplexed me. I guess my feeling on this is that if the climbers request a rescue effort, they should bear the financial responsibility, but what’s wrong with a person taking a risk without a net? In other words, why can’t a person do something dangerous and risk the consequences without the national guard being called in if they screw up?

And by your logic, what mitigation and rescue efforts by the government are NOT caused by bad decision making to some degree.

Take New Orleans for example. I support the rescue efforts, and would not suggest that we bill rescuees, but seriously, if you choose to live below sea level in the hurricane belt, how surprised should you be when you wake up under water?

I know there is a difference between climbing Mt Hood in December and living in New Orleans in the summer, but in both cases, isn’t it really more of a question of when rather than whether disaster will occur?

Remember all those people that lived on the banks of the Mississippi that owuld lose their houses and the fed would pay to rebuild every 4 years or so. When the fed stopped paying, they stopped living in a place that was destined for destruction.

Cap

 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://
Are we disagreeing Cap? You seem to be taking two sides.

I’m not saying ’don’t take risks.’ I’m saying ’take responsibility for your risks.’ So yeah, if you live in a flood plain, hurricane zone, tornado alley, at the foot of Mt. St. Helens, or in California, you should be personally responsible for any consequences of natural disasters that befall you. If you can’t get insurance and can’t afford to self-insure, live somewhere else.

 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
Are we disagreeing Cap? You seem to be taking two sides
I think we are in agreement, except for financial responsiblity of a unrequested rescue effort.

I think that if the government chooses to mount an rescue effort, the government eats it (we eat it).

For the Mount Hood thing, just a post a sign, from November 1 through March 31, there will be no rescue attempts made if you choose to climb this mountain.

Cap
 
Written By: CaptinSarcastic
URL: http://

 
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