The Shotgun Blog
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Stockwell Day vs. Scott Reid: who will win the hearts and minds of conservatives on drug policy?
Stockwell Day, Minister of Public Safety, announced today that three alleged drug traffickers in the Montreal area have been arrested.
In a press release, Day said:
“Our government recognizes that illegal drugs destroy lives. That is why, as part of our Government’s National Anti-Drug Strategy, we invested $3 million in the CBSA to enhance its ability to inhibit the cross-border flow of illicit drugs. As well, $8.9 million is being invested in the RCMP to enhance its ability to target illegal drug producers, such as grow ops and meth labs.”
Day didn’t say what drugs and in what quantity were seized, if any -- but the message is clear: the Conservatives are getting tough on drugs.
While this move will make most Conservative supporters happy, it conflicts with the reform-minded views of Conservative MP Scott Reid. In a powerful essay in Policy Options magazine, the MP from Lanark-Carleton wrote:
Many currently banned substances have physical and psychological effects that are no more harmful than those associated with legal recreational drugs such as caffeine and alcohol. Like the prohibition of alcohol in the United States in the 1920s, their prohibition skews the allocation of law enforcement resources, artificially raises prices to extremely high levels, encourages crime by addicts, and prevents the emergence of private institutions and products to deal with the very real social problems posed by addiction.
Day and Reid have two very different approaches to drug policy. So who do you think will ultimately win the hearts and minds of conservatives?
TrackBack URL for this entry:
Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Stockwell Day vs. Scott Reid: who will win the hearts and minds of conservatives on drug policy?:
Excellent question, Matthew.
I heard Scott Reid speak a few years back at a certain libertarian event. He was surprisingly well-spoken and passionate in his defense of private property. The kind of politician I could support, I think.
Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-06-17 4:24:26 PM
Day will win, but Reid is right (correct).
Posted by: TM | 2008-06-17 4:52:51 PM
I think we're in the midst of major ideological readjustment that will gradually alter parties' positions on drug policy and similar issues.
"Liberalism" (traditionally far more libertarian than the conservatism) is becoming more and more statist, even in regards to personal freedom issues (the CHRC is a great example), while many "conservative" right wingers are increasingly skeptical of centralized government power.
If this trend continues for another generation or so, I can see "conservatives" becoming far more permissive on issues like drug policy (where ineffective policies are costing billions of tax dollars to enforce), as "liberals" continue to flip-flop towards totalitarianism.
Posted by: Jeremy Maddock | 2008-06-17 10:53:03 PM
Right on brother!!!
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-17 10:59:23 PM
The government should offer unlimited amounts of ready-to-inject free heroin.
Posted by: philanthropist | 2008-06-17 11:12:42 PM
If these kinds of drugs were all lawful, should not the users be free to pay for using them as well as paying for any medical interventions needed to help them? Why should the 'clean living'
have to pay for the freedom loving drug users? If one assumes that 100% of the population pays medical premiums, then 100% of the population must get any medical treatment needed regardless of how the need came about.
Posted by: dewp | 2008-06-17 11:56:58 PM
>"If this trend continues for another generation or so, I can see "conservatives" becoming far more permissive on issues like drug policy (where ineffective policies are costing billions of tax dollars to enforce), as "liberals" continue to flip-flop towards totalitarianism."
Jeremy Maddock | 17-Jun-08 10:53:03 PM
If the trend we saw with Libertarians losing the House to the Democrats continues with the Libertarians helping Obama get elected over McCain, and the Liberals in Canada getting elected over the CPC which the Libertarians keep characterising as "Big Government", the Conservatives are going to have a major break with the Libertarians for a long time.
Dividing the Right means the Left gets to rule, move the nations further left, and the Right has to compromise even more to get back into power.
Libertarians aren't giving Conservatives any wiggle room and all I see is bitter infighting to come.
McCain has the Republican nomination because of Ron Paul, not in spite of him.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-06-18 12:05:43 AM
>"If these kinds of drugs were all lawful, should not the users be free to pay for using them as well as paying for any medical interventions needed to help them? Why should the 'clean living'
have to pay for the freedom loving drug users?
dewp | 17-Jun-08 11:56:58 PM
Why should the people who stay safely at home like me have to pay for people who have dangerous freedom loving lifestyles like skiing, or motorcycle riding, or rock climbing, or boxing, or skating, or horseback riding.......well you get the point.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-06-18 12:11:17 AM
Speller: Who cares if we split big government? There's little difference between the CPC and the Libs anyway. If we don't teach Harper that his brand of socialism will be punished, then he'll continue on his trudeauesque ways.
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-18 8:32:54 AM
"Democracy is indispensable to socialism."
"The goal of socialism is communism."
"When there is state there can be no freedom, but when there is freedom there will be No State."
>"There's little difference between the CPC and the Libs anyway."
No State | 18-Jun-08 8:32:54 AM
The Liberals would be a lot worse than the CPC, however disappointing the CPC minority government has been to date.
And no, you wouldn't be splitting big government, NS, you would be disenfranchising the Conservative position and the Libertarian position for a long time and empowering socialism.
You must be very young, NS, to be so politically ignorant and so idealistic as to throw away any political advantage for an unattainable fantasy of perfection.
Even the Libertarians who run the Shotgun are willing to compromise by accepting a temporary tax on marijuana if only the prohibition on drugs would end.
p.s. (in German NS as a contraction is pronounced na zi)
Posted by: Speller | 2008-06-18 8:59:16 AM
Politically ignorant? You can't even see that Harper is a socialist and I'm ignorant?
Did you watch as Harper lied about energy trusts? Did you watch as he adopted Kyoto? Politically ignorant indeed.
I'm not sure about your Marxist quotes, but I agree that where there is state, there is no freedom. Do you agree with that?
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-18 9:58:54 AM
Yes, Harper lied about Trusts Companies, not just Energy Trusts, all Trust Companies.
Being selective about the facts of the event is dishonest.
Was it wrong to say he would leave them alone and then enact legislation that regulated them.
It is socialism?
It's tax policy and tax policy has existed long before socialism.
Has Harper adopted Kyoto?
Here you are lying.
The Harper government has specifically rejected Kyoto and climbed aboard the American plan.
No, I don't agree that there is no freedom where there is a State.
The existence of a State guarantees the security to enjoy freedom.
You can't have freedom without security and justice and the State exists to provide those things.
I agree that the State oversteps and crushes some liberties, but that is where politics come in.
Freedom for some is tyranny for others and meaningful informed citizen participation in a democracy is necessary to guarantee the maximum freedom possible.
There cannot be No State or there will only be capricious Warlords running things like the societies that exist in much of Asia and Africa and will will revert to the status quo that existed during the Dark Ages in Europe.
(except some Warlords will have weapons of mass destruction and will be CEOs rather than tribal leaders)
I posted the above V.I. Lenin quotes because it was Utopian promises of No State that paved the ideological road for the Soviet tyranny that terrorised and murdered 60 million of their own citizens.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-06-18 10:22:49 AM
Asking, "Did you watch as he(Harper) adopted Kyoto?" is perpetrating a bald faced lie.
"Harper strongly opposed Kyoto and several times repeated that a Conservative government would turn its back on the Kyoto accord and set its own "Made in Canada" targets for reducing greenhouse-gas emissions. Not one notable Canadian environmental advocate spoke in favour of this approach, probably because the unity behind one scheme, and an international GHG trade? scheme, was central to achieving a post-Kyoto agreement including India?, China, Brazil? and others.
Claiming that the accord’s targets cannot be met either internationally or within Canada, Harper cited Canada's woeful record on climate change since the agreement was signed in 1997 by Jean Chretien. He was adamant:
“The Kyoto accord will not succeed at achieving its objectives and this government — the Canadian government — cannot achieve its objectives,” Mr. Harper said."
Another link about Harper and Kyoto:
Do you really think, NS, that helping the Liberals get re-elected, and the environment is their one real hole card in the next election, will achieve anything other than the opposite of what you pretend to stand for?
Harper does just enough on the environment portfolio to keep his hand in the game and sooth the worries of the majority of ignorant voting Canadians who are brain washed into believing in Global Warming.
If you think the CPC is Big Government the Liberals are going to be magnitudes bigger and more intrusive sitting on top of their Global Warming mandate.
And yes, NS, you are as ignorant about politics as you are about Harper's support of Kyoto.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-06-18 10:59:38 AM
Speller, here is some food for thought:
("To advocate government is to advocate slavery. To advocate limited government is to advocate limited slavery." [p. 35] "Price control, like all other political controls and regulations imposed on the market by legislative force, is…people control!" [p. 18, emphasis and ellipsis in original])
From: The Market for Liberty by Linda and Morris Tannehill, Foreword by Karl Hess (Fox & Wilkes, 1993. 169 pgs.)
We cannot imagine that we could function without the government, but that is not because it is not possible.
Posted by: TM | 2008-06-18 11:09:52 AM
The quotes you cited are a ridiculous tautology.
One must accept the absurd premise that, "To advocate government is to advocate slavery."
before one accepts the equally absurd, "To advocate limited government is to advocate limited slavery."
I reject the first premise as empirically false.
Government is not slavery.
>"We cannot imagine that we could function without the government, but that is not because it is not possible."
TM | 18-Jun-08 11:09:52 AM
I can imagine functioning without government because I am not a slave, either to government or half-baked ideology such as yours.
If we had no government we would become the subjects of Warlords who would rule over us as the serfs and peasants we would become without government protection.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-06-18 11:21:58 AM
Speller: Don't be so simple. Kyoto enacted under a "made in Canada" is still a campaign of theft. We object to the UN stealing program, but we agree with Harper stealing from us? Don't be so gullible.
What Lenin and you failed to understand is that the state is a one-way ratchet. It will never loosen. We have warlords taking more than 1/2 our money for our "protection".
Harper is a socialist. He believes in state run health care, education and of course he loves the hammer of the state.
Not even Chretien actually did anything about Kyoto. It's Harper who's doing that. The Libs are bad in theory, but the CPC is bad in practice. I never thought I'd say it, but I'd rather have a gov't who does nothing. I'd rather have Chretien back.
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-18 11:35:00 AM
Speller, there are scholars more educated than you or I who could challenge your thinking more eloquently than I. I would say though that since none of us have ever known a society without government, it is hard to really know for sure what it would look like.
A slave is allowed only a small portion of the fruits of their labor. The slave master is legally allowed to take their share first, by force if necessary. Or said another way, a citizen is allowed to keep a portion of the fruits of their labor. The government is legally allowed to take their share first, by force if necessary.
Posted by: TM | 2008-06-18 11:42:59 AM
Right TM: The warlords are ruling us, yet Speller is afraid of different warlords? He's never been able to get his head around the use of force and coercion nor economics. He's unteachable until he does.
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-18 11:53:25 AM
>"Not even Chretien actually did anything about Kyoto. It's Harper who's doing that. The Libs are bad in theory, but the CPC is bad in practice."
No State | 18-Jun-08 11:35:00 AM
And what, other than the incandescent light bulb legislation, which the Americans have also done, which the Liberal government of Ontario did first, has Harper done "in practice".
I expect an answer.
Harper is dithering on the environment just as the Liberals did.
He hasn't enacted anything that wasn't already done by the Ontario government.
Tell me, NS, what has Harper done?
And no, or government isn't composed of Warlords.
We live in a lawful society and those in government are as susceptible to the laws as we are.
A military commander exercising civil power in a region, whether in nominal allegiance to the national government or in defiance of it.
a European system flourishing between 800-1400 based upon fixed relations of lord to vassal and all lands held in fee (as from the king), and requiring of vassal-tenants homage and service.
>"Speller, there are scholars more educated than you or I who could challenge your thinking more eloquently than I."
You presume too much, you know very little about me.
>"A slave is allowed only a small portion of the fruits of their labor.
A slave isn't allowed ANY of the fruits of their labour.
A slave is not permitted to leave and go elsewhere.
Slaves who left were hunted down, killed, and their corpses were erected as an example to the other slaves.
If we did not have government society would revert to feudalism and we would be the vassals of Warlords.
It is as simply as that.
Government does not equal slavery.
Posted by: Spelller | 2008-06-18 12:04:51 PM
Now the true colorsa shine, Speller. You want answers:
A politician "dithering" on a stupid program is good news, Speller. If I said I was going to hit you in the head with a hammer (like the Liberals did with Kyoto) would you rather I dithered or followed through?
To say that other countries are on board with local Kyotos is just silly. You oppose a far away thief, but have no problem with a local thug. Wake up to the act itself. It doesn't matter who performs it.
But, I see you have no problem with slavery unless it's total slavery. How much do we need to be enslaved before you object? 70%? 80%? As long as we keep one iota of our labor there is no slavery.
I'll say it again: You are easy pickin's for a tyrant because you are clueless about force, coercion and economics. You are more concerned about the totality of the force and who is behind it, than you are about the actual act. Silly man
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-18 1:50:34 PM
There is no such thing as partial slavery.
There is no 70% or 80% slavery.
Slaves are chattel.
You can have a part ownership of a chattel but a chattel is entirely owned.
1. Law An article of movable personal property.
2. A slave.
You are making shit up when you utter nonsense phrases like total slavery.
Slavery either is or it isn't.
You still have not given any example of Harper's government "practicing" Kyoto or enacting any part of Kyoto.
You, No State, are a liar and a dissembler.
Harper is on board to discuss the Asia-Pacific Group which is largely seen as a coal lobby and climate change denier front by Leftists.
He hasn't joined or signed anything and you haven't paid for anything that Harper has done regarding Climate Change.
It's all in your the private mind hell of your own making just like your own private definitions of "warlord" and "slavery".
No State, you have a right to your opinion but you do not have a right to redefine words.
Where is the coercion?
How much have you paid for Kyoto?
I have paid nothing.
You, No State, are easy pickings for a tyrant because having no state is exactly what thugs want so they can do whatever they want with simpletons like you who want chaos instead of order.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-06-18 2:29:30 PM
What a simple mind. You mean to say that 99% slavery is not slavery? That is so stunned, I digress. You view force, coercion and anything short of 100% slavery as "normal." The tyrant will love you - Useful idiot.
What has Harper cost me? Wait until his stupid cap and trade kicks in, then ask.
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-18 2:48:09 PM
>"What has Harper cost me? Wait until his stupid cap and trade kicks in, then ask."
No State | 18-Jun-08 2:48:09 PM
Tell me, when does it kick in?
Here is what I've found:
"Prime Minister Stephen Harper's government, which, unfortunately, refuses to impose the hard caps necessary to make cap-and-trade work."
"That's why Ottawa needs to adopt a national strategy. And since Harper talks vaguely about cap-and-trade without real caps, Dion's approach is the more serious of the two."
Vague talk and no real caps.
So you are pissing yourself over something that doesn't exist and may never happen.
You, NS, are certifiable.
Why don't you go smoke a fatty and chill before you have a breakdown?
You really are living in a hell of your own making.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-06-18 3:09:17 PM
Speller: You might just as well join me. Your mind is obviously destroyed anyway.
So far you're on record as saying 99% slavery isn't slavery and printing money doesn't cause inflation. Any other ignorant statements to give us all a chuckle?
You're like a child who wandered into an adult discussion. You aren't equipped to sort these things out.
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-18 3:21:08 PM
I agree about the dithering politician. The less they do the better.
There are people who believe the state should have this power or that power, and there are those who believe the state should NOT have these powers. The difference is that the prior will impose his beliefs on the rest, and the latter will not.
People cannot be trusted to have power over others, especially if they are very kind that would want to have that power in the first place.
Posted by: TM | 2008-06-18 3:28:38 PM
There isn't any such thing as 99% slavery.
I didn't say there was, you did, NS.
That's a strawman argument you have, leading nowhere, just like your entire "political" ideology.
You are arguing in circles against your own fallacious constructs.
Not to congratulate the Leftists, but in the nearly 4 years I've been posting here at the Shotgun I've haven't meet one as stupefyingly shallow as you two, NS and TM, when it comes to ideas.
Why don't you go and display your mental masturbation somewhere else, Slave./
>People cannot be trusted to have power over others, especially if they are very kind that would want to have that power in the first place."
TM | Wednesday, June 18, 2008 at 03:28 PM
What kind of people are you thinking of entrusting power to, TM, people you have to coerce into taking the power or people who just lie about not wanting it?
>"The difference is that the prior will impose his beliefs on the rest, and the latter will not."
Yeah well, in a democracy the majority impose their beliefs about policy, if they're paying attention.
Before I started on this thread I thought it would go without saying that, and I'm referring to the 2 people and their beliefs example that TM has given, politics is about getting your way on issues.
If you don't understand that you don't understand politics.
If the first person in TM's example has power and the second doesn't have or want power the discussion is moot, the first person will get their way on policy.
It amazes me that people like Jaws or Mr. Johnston don't come here to salvage the Libertarian position that you two bozos are trashing with your inflammatory foolishness.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-06-18 3:42:37 PM
Speller, OK you win.
Posted by: TM | 2008-06-18 3:58:22 PM
C'mon TM, don't back off and put the idiot in charge. That would be like a businessmen letting a politician run his life...whoops, we have a few precedents there.
Mr Economics/Speller: You said "there is no such thing as partial slavery. There is no 70% or 80% slavery."
You can't even stay consistent with your own blather. So, with that, it follows that 99% slavery would be classified as NOT slavery, would it not? If you worked all day every day and I took 99% of your wealth, then you aren't a slave right? Right, you're a free man.
I can get you a plantation job if you'd like. At least 19th century slaves knew they were slaves. By the time you caught on, the fence would be up. Sucker!!!
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-18 6:10:36 PM
No State, I'm not really backing off. It's just that some arguments on blogs are reduced to those found on bathroom walls.
Posted by: TM | 2008-06-18 6:28:15 PM
You're right. Speller's blogging is one long bathroom wall. Graffiti really. You should hear his economic theories if you want a real good laugh.
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-18 6:35:24 PM
That may be. But I suspect I share some of his personal views on other matters, such as abortion. It's almost always possible to find some common ground.
Posted by: TM | 2008-06-18 6:40:26 PM
"No State" is a typical example of one species of libertarian. Their argument is something like: if X forces Y to do something, then Y is X's slave. Slavery is bad. Therefore, etc. Or, at least, I think that's what's going on here.
That's not to say that law doesn't involve coercion at least sometimes. But it is usually a little more than coercion, too. People tend to accept legal norms in a way they wouldn't accept a sheer exercise of force from some other party. That fact can't be explained, I think, just because the state happens to have the most guns.
Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-06-18 7:09:38 PM
It's something like that Terrence. But if X forces Y to work and takes the fruits of his labor, that is slavery. The degree is determined by the amount taken. So, the slave can refuse to work, but he'll starve. What would happen if the slave refused to pay his master? Ask Wesley Snipes or the countless people who are in US prisons. You don't go to jail in Canada, but you are in the hurt locker.
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-18 9:23:39 PM
I meant to say if X doesn't force Y to work but takes the fruits if he does.
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-18 9:26:09 PM
"If X forces Y to work and takes the fruits of his labor, that is slavery. The degree is determined by the amount taken. So, the slave can refuse to work, but he'll starve."
Well, no, at least not necessarily. If the slave refuses to work, he could (presumably) be killed.
As well, your account of "degrees of slavery" is rather ambiguous. Suppose X forces Y to work for him, using the threat of painful death. But all Y needs to do to satisfy X is brush her own hair (on her own schedule) and give the discarded strands to X. In one sense, X is taking very little of the fruits of Y's "labor" -- Y couldn't really care less what happens to her hair after it leaves her head, after all. Here I'd say Y is X's slave (or X is attempting to make her a slave, anyway.)
What makes the slave a slave, in my mind, is simply that the slave is owned by someone else; the slave is property. Ownership is a bundle of rights, including the right to dispose (e.g. X can kill Y, for whatever reason) and the right to transfer the ownership right to others (e.g. X can sell Y to someone else, without Y having any say so.)
In this analysis, whether the master is stealing the "fruits" of the slave's labor is a further, mostly irrelevant question. Suppose after I brush my hair, someone sneaks up and pulls a few hairs from the brush after I set it down in a suitably public place (maybe I'm at the gym.) He's taken a part of my body away with him -- I suppose he would be making me his slave as well?
I'm with Speller on this: you can use terms however you'd like. But no one, except maybe you and a few of your friends, would say that the person who steals my hair has enslaved me. No one, not even Robert Nozick (in the end) would argue that taking a penny from a millionaire amounts to enslaving him.
You can call it "partial slavery" if you wish; but then, perhaps "partial slavery" is only partially bad. Why not?
Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-06-18 11:57:26 PM
>"You can't even stay consistent with your own blather. So, with that, it follows that 99% slavery would be classified as NOT slavery, would it not?"
No State | 18-Jun-08 6:10:36 PM
There is no such thing as 99% slavery. It isn't classified as anything. It is your own private concept that I reject, as most thinking people would.
There are no degrees of slavery, there is only slavery.
You haven't given any real life example or proof of degrees of slavery and to contrast it you haven't defined what the 1% or 20% or 30% or any % of "Not-slavery" would consist of and you couldn't anyway because from your private definition of slavery(which I reject) 1% or 0.0001% slavery is still slavery.
So slavery is slavery, with no degrees or percentages.
And you can't define "Not-slavery" either, NS,
because you began with the ridiculous false statement that government is slavery.
You might just as well say that parenthood is slavery or employment is slavery or responsibility is slavery when none of those are.
What you want is license, period.
You are a libertine.
Your premises of partial slavery and tautologies of "government = slavery" therefore "limited government is limited slavery" remain unsupported, undefined by real world example and historic definition, and your banal unsupported repetition is endlessly puerile.
>"I can get you a plantation job if you'd like. At least 19th century slaves knew they were slaves. By the time you caught on, the fence would be up. Sucker!!!"
No State | 18-Jun-08 6:10:36 PM
No, you couldn't get me a plantation job.
You probably couldn't get yourself a job at a video store.
It's all in your fevered, but shallow, imagination, just like your mis-educated understanding of words like slavery and Warlord.
You are a pitiful liar and pompous ass, Slave./
Posted by: Speller | 2008-06-19 7:58:15 AM
"No, you couldn't get me a plantation job.
You probably couldn't get yourself a job at a video store."
Ouch. That's going to leave a mark :-).
I once attended a seminar on slavery. We never really got around to defining the term, even though I wanted to do so. But I think we all agreed there's a difference between slavery in the Old South and taking pennies from billionaires.
And it's not just that the slave in the south is 98% a slave, while the billionaire is .01% a slave (or whatever.) It has more to do with the fact that, under the law at the time, the slave wasn't a person at all, but property, like a cow or a horse.
Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-06-19 11:38:05 AM
I defined SLAVE yesterday at this comment above:
Speller | 18-Jun-08 2:29:30 PM
Posted by: Speller | 2008-06-19 11:50:01 AM
Yeah, I offered NS a definition of slavery related to ownership as well. I think his argument must be something like:
1. If the government gets to tell you what to do, ever, then that means it owns you.
2. The government tells us what to do all the time.
3. Therefore, the government owns us (so we are slaves.)
I think you are right in pointing out that what's lurking behind this argument is a desire for pure license.
Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-06-19 11:57:04 AM
You got it Terrence.
By NS's definition, NS's own mommy was a slave owner and so were all of NS's school teachers as would NS's potential boss at the video store be.
I pity NS's spouse if NS were ever to have one.
On the bright side, it's payback time if NS ever has a child.
Posted by: Speller | 2008-06-19 12:09:35 PM
The ‘freedom from responsibility' crowd never ceases to amaze me.
You've done a good job trying to warn of the consequences that history has shown us.
Before I run, I'll just throw this out:
God has given us all the gift of unfettered will. It's a shame how this freedom is abused and slaveries to the material world embraced.
They are locked in a prison of their own design, then blame others for their willing self-enslavement.
Posted by: set you free | 2008-06-19 12:49:42 PM
Noun 1. licence
- excessive freedom; lack of due restraint; "when liberty becomes license dictatorship is near" ~Will Durant
Posted by: Speller | 2008-06-19 1:32:53 PM
Terrence – the welfare state encourages license because it de-risks behaviour. Self-control is necessary in a truly free society, which is why conservatism and libertarianism are compatible ideas.
Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-06-19 2:34:09 PM
Matthew: Are you saying freedom is for adults and socialism is for children? I agree.
It says something about a society when they use hyperbole to defeat freedom. Only someone who doesn't understand libertarianism would think that it means freedom to do anything. We believe in a strong national defence and punishment of people who commit crimes against a person or property. We know the neo-cons. We know the left. They are quite similiar in that they believe the government keeps them safe.
It seems that neither of the big government squads understand us.
Terrence/SYF/Speller: What lurks behind your arguement is a huge nanny state. You'll win. Speller quotes Lenin about democracy being important to socialism and socialism being important to communism. You guys are the reason why democracy turns so ugly. Because you demand its growth. Your fear of facing the world without a safety net is too much for you.
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-19 2:56:36 PM
No State: Terrence is a libertarian. A different kind of libertarian, maybe, but a libertarian nevertheless.
Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-06-19 3:02:36 PM
Yes, Peter: The kind of libertarian that fears foreigners, thinks freedom means total license and believes that government control is a good thing. If that's libertarianism, he might just as well vote for Harper/Layton/Dion. Apparently, they're libertarians too. What's in a name?
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-19 3:15:09 PM
Gheez Peter: Since you're acting as counsel for TW I'll address this to you.
I went back and read some Terrence "freedom train" babble. Please explain how this guy is a libertarian and who else would you put in the club? Bush? Layton? Harper? Lenin? And let's not forget that great freedom lover Pol Pot. It seems from his posts that he fears freedom as opposed to embracing it.
Posted by: No State | 2008-06-19 3:25:06 PM
Where did you get "fears foreigners" and "believes that government control is a good thing" from? And he wasn't saying that libertarianism = licence, he was insinuating that you actually believed in licence, rather than in liberty.
I'm not on any side here, by the way. I just know Terrence personally, so I can vouch for what he actually believes.
Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-06-19 3:27:43 PM
I have one question for Terrence:
Does he smoke?
If he doesn't smoke, he probably can't be trusted as far as rationality and a respect for industry are concerned.
Smoking is an essential benchmark.
What about tiddlywinks music? Never mind, I said only one question.
You’re suspect, Terrence. :-)
Posted by: Matthew Johnston | 2008-06-19 3:35:03 PM
Okay... Terrence is not a fan of Ron Paul. There are plenty of libertarians who have problems with Ron Paul. His "freedom train" nonsense (and I agree it's nonsense, but Terrence and I have had it out over Ron Paul enough times already--I like Paul, Terrence doesn't), was about Paul, not libertarianism.
Terrence is a fusionist libertarian. He takes seriously Hayek's suggestion that we don't know enough to craft institutions all-at-once, and that we should be deferential, to some extent, to existing institutions with a storied pedigree (me too, except maybe less so than Terrence).
He also thinks that the public choice school of economics is right on the money, and that bureaucrats and agents of the state operate under an incentive structure that fails in producing good outcomes (me too!).
I won't say more in defence of Terrence's position, since he can speak for himself.
As for the definition of libertarian, there are at least two different categorical distinctions that need to be made: We should distinguish "moral" libertarianism from "political" libertarianism.
A "moral" libertarian is someone who thinks that libertarian political philosophy flows necessarily from a particular moral position. The natural rights libertarian, or the contractualist libertarian, the Aristotelian virtue ethics libertarian, and so on, are examples of that sort. Moral libertarians are necessarily political libertarians.
But you needn't be a moral libertarian to be a political libertarian. Milton Friedman, John Stuart Mill, Gordon Tullock, James Buchanan, Friedrich Hayek, Adam Smith, etc. are pretty good examples of this. You might have empirical beliefs that don't countenance the state even if, in principle and in theory, it may fit within your moral picture. You might think that human psychology is such that giving people state-like powers is a bad idea, you might simply think of the state as one sort of institution operating under the same economic incentives as all other institutions, and believe that the incentives lead to bad outcomes (like public choice theorists do who, in general, are libertarian), and so on.
Clearly, none of the people you mentioned fit in the category. But you knew that already.
Posted by: P.M. Jaworski | 2008-06-19 3:37:53 PM
The comments to this entry are closed.