Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Libertarianism and Social Conservatism

A conservative blog for peace posts two links on the theme:
  • Steve Burton explains "a purely political doctrine according to which the state ought to be confined to, at most, a few essential functions - most notably police protection, enforcement of contracts, and national defense" — Mere Libertarianism. "I think that what it all comes down to is that I just have a very strong aversion to bullies and busybodies: I don't like people butting into my affairs without being asked, let alone trying to boss me around."

  • "What Libertarians and Christian Social Conservatives can learn from each other" — Deborah Water Gyapong Presentation. "How the two compliment each other and why a working alliance is very important."

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Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Russell Kirk was right about the libertarians -- they are chirping sectaries. A libertarian order -- if such a thing is possible -- isn't one any conservative, social or otherwise, should embrace. Libertarianism means nothing more than social anarchy, a lack of responsibility to others, a refusal to abide by restraint or virtue, an endless quest after promiscuous and deviant sex, drug use, abortion on demand, the elimination of marriage as a legal institution, and the collapse of any kind of moral judgment in society. No thank you. Like Kirk, I think an alliance between conservatives and socialists is more likely than an alliance between conservatives and libertarians.

Such an alliance is like an alliance between the guardians of civilization (the conservatives in this case) with the barbarians trying to destroy it from within and without (that would be the libertarians).

11:27 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

When libertarianism is perverted into an ideology of self-liberation (and negation), yes, but when it is seen as a political strategy to confriont particular circumstances, as those we now face in America, no.

A libertarian in de Valera's Ireland or Moreno's Ecuador would, indeed, might well be an enemy of civilization, but when your government is itself an enemy of civilization, it must be radically reduced. With our neo-con and neo-lib ruling class, we are living under "an alliance between conservatives and socialists," and it's destroying us.

12:01 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

As Kirk has pointed out, the distinction you are making about different types of libertarianism isn't really valid. Libertarianism isn't just a method, it is inescapably an ideology -- one that leads inevitably to the disruption of social order. While I agree with you completely about the need to reduce the size of government and to confront the problems of out of control spending, social engineering and the like, libertarianism is not a viable way of fighting those problems. It is simply another vehicle of attack against the traditional social orders that you and I both want to preserve.

Modern liberalism is one avenue of attack. Libertarianism is another.

1:27 PM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

This just in from Laurence Vance -- Is Libertarianism Compatible With Religion?

2:59 PM  
Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

The question isn't whether libertarianism is compatible with religion. Virtually every political system is -- liberalism, Soviet Communism, etc. The Chinese Communists run state churches! The question is, is libertarianism true? Does it provide a vision that enables human flourishing, or does it simply lead us back to the same abyss that modern liberalism has lead us to?

I think that many traditionalists who support libertarianism make a category error when evaluating modern politics. They confuse symptoms with disease. The symptom that the West is suffering from now is big government. But big government isn't the disease. The disease is the turning away from traditional aspects and understandings of order. The liberal symptom of that is big government, usually in the service of some social engineering goal.

But there are libertarian symptoms as well -- drug legalization, sexual license, abortion, etc. The disease is the same, the symptoms simply vary. But scratch a liberal or scratch a libertarian, and you find the same infection: rebellion against custom, against tradition, against natural justice, against liberty properly understood. As the Popes have consistently taught, freedom is always positive, not negative, it is freedom for something, not freedom from something. And what is that something? The true, the good and the beautiful. The human person.

12:51 AM  

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