Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

A Dispassionate Assessment of Libertarians
The Heritage Foundation ^ | 5/28/1988 | Russell Kirk

Posted on 04/17/2012 4:03:24 PM PDT by WPaCon

The term "libertarianism"is distasteful to people who think seriously about politics. Both Dr. F.A. Hayek and your servant have gone out of their way, from time to time, to declare that they refuse to be tagged with this label. Anyone much influenced by t h e thought of Edmund Burke and of Alexis de Tocqueville - as are both Professor Hayek and this commentator - sets his face against ideology; and libertarianism is a simplistic ideology, relished by one variety of the folk whom Jacob Burckhardt called "the terrible simplifiers."

Nevertheless, I have something to say favorable to today's libertarians in the United States; later I shall dwell upon their vices. With your indulgence, I mean to make three points about persons calling themselves libertarians, whic h may warm the cockles of their rebellious hearts.

First, a number of the men and women who accept the label "libertarian!' are not actually ideological libertarians at all, but simply conservatives under another name. These are people who perceive in the growth of the monolithic state, especially during the past half century, a grim menace to ordered liberty; and of course they are quite right. They wish to emphasize their attachment to personal and civic freedom by employing this 20th century word deriv ed from liberty. With them I have little quarrel - except that by so denominating themselves, they seem to countenance a crowd of political fantastics who "license they mean, when they cry liberty."

Descendants of Classical Liberals.

(Excerpt) Read more at heritage.org ...


TOPICS: Editorial; Philosophy
KEYWORDS: libertarians
This Russell Kirk lecture, although riddled with typos, is another one worth reading.

I'll later post his speeches on popular conservatives and neoconservatives.

Here is a link to the thread with his lecture on cultural conservatives:

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/2873340/posts

1 posted on 04/17/2012 4:03:30 PM PDT by WPaCon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: WPaCon; 2ndDivisionVet; traviskicks; bamahead

I think that Libertarians have much to offer the public discourse. They are consistant in their ideas.


2 posted on 04/17/2012 4:23:51 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (A liberal's compassion is limited to the size of other peoples' paychecks)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WPaCon

My disagreements with libertarianism are slightly less strenuous.


3 posted on 04/17/2012 4:24:35 PM PDT by mamelukesabre
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WPaCon
The term "libertarianism"is distasteful to people who think seriously about politics.

Yea, I hate your guts too. Now what ass hole?

4 posted on 04/17/2012 5:21:53 PM PDT by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Clintonfatigued
I think that Libertarians have much to offer the public discourse. They are consistant in their ideas.

Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds and libertarians are the living proof.

5 posted on 04/17/2012 5:24:39 PM PDT by JediJones (From the makers of Romney, Bloomberg/Schwarzenegger 2016. Because the GOP can never go too far left.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: DManA
Yea, I hate your guts too. Now what ass hole?

That comment's addressed to Kirk, not me, right?

I don't agree with everything he says, but I would give Kirk more respect than that.

6 posted on 04/17/2012 5:54:11 PM PDT by WPaCon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: WPaCon

Yes yes yes, Kirk not you. Sorry for the confusion.

I don’t give Kirk a lick of respect. He doesn’t deserve any.


7 posted on 04/17/2012 6:23:09 PM PDT by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 6 | View Replies]

To: WPaCon
The term "libertarianism"is distasteful to people who think seriously about politics.

Pound sand, Kirk.
8 posted on 04/17/2012 6:28:28 PM PDT by arderkrag ("WAAHH WAAAHHH SCOTUS" is no excuse to vote for Romney. LOOKING FOR ROLEPLAYERS. Check Profile.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: JediJones
"A foolish consistency..." get it right! The essential failure of libertarianism as generally advocated, is the failure to grasp the necessity and desirability of order.

As the author noted, "ordered liberty" is the goal of conservatives. Libertarians have no concept of order which enables them to devise a real society in the real world. Libertarians are doomed always to live in an autistic world of fantasy about "wouldn't it be loverly".

9 posted on 04/17/2012 6:33:42 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: JediJones
"A foolish consistency..." get it right! The essential failure of libertarianism as generally advocated, is the failure to grasp the necessity and desirability of order.

As the author noted, "ordered liberty" is the goal of conservatives. Libertarians have no concept of order which enables them to devise a real society in the real world. Libertarians are doomed always to live in an autistic world of fantasy about "wouldn't it be loverly".

10 posted on 04/17/2012 6:33:55 PM PDT by hinckley buzzard
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

To: hinckley buzzard

Libertarians are anarchists who own property.


11 posted on 04/17/2012 6:37:00 PM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 10 | View Replies]

To: DManA
Sorry for the confusion.

It's fine. I thought you meant Kirk.

I don’t give Kirk a lick of respect. He doesn’t deserve any.

Really? He was one of the most important conservative thinkers of the last century, and I say that while disagreeing with him on at least a few counts.

12 posted on 04/17/2012 6:38:40 PM PDT by WPaCon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 7 | View Replies]

To: Moonman62

Anarchism is an intriguing idea. Of course, not the type you see on tv, but more like the Hans-Hermann Hoppe idea, where there is no nation-state. For a long time, Europe went without having the type of nation-states that really started appearing after the Peace of Westphalia.


13 posted on 04/17/2012 6:44:56 PM PDT by WPaCon
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Moonman62

Everything is property. Starting with 100% ownership of your own life and the products of your efforts.

If that’s anarchy, bring it on. It a damn sight better than this crap Socialist society we have...


14 posted on 04/17/2012 7:02:18 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (Steampunk- Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Moonman62

Everything is property. Starting with 100% ownership of your own life and the products of your efforts.

If that’s anarchy, bring it on. It a damn sight better than this crap Socialist society we have...


15 posted on 04/17/2012 7:02:18 PM PDT by Dead Corpse (Steampunk- Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: WPaCon

It is more and more clear to me that “conservatives” are a big part of our problem.


16 posted on 04/17/2012 7:26:31 PM PDT by DManA
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 12 | View Replies]

To: WPaCon
Thanks for posting.

I haven't read so much undiluted truth in one stretch in quite some time.

17 posted on 04/17/2012 7:41:08 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: WPaCon

Thanks for posting. It did make good reading.

However I lost respect for Russel Kirk with this one, he employed every rhetorical vice in a single essay. He makes an ad hominen attack on a straw man while contradicting himself in the process.


18 posted on 04/17/2012 7:46:35 PM PDT by ThirdMate
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Clintonfatigued

The Ron Paul faction in the last 25 years has ruined the libertarian ideology and the party. Ron Paul is not a Libertarian. The confusion over Ron Paul’s political philosophies has led to much misunderstanding of libertarianism.

Ron Paul is more of a mix between a Paleo-conservative on economic issues and a Neo-leftist liberal on everything else. And when it comes to foreign policy, Ron Paul and his supporters are not only not conservatives, but left wing to an extreme. Going further than most libertarians.

It is clear that one look at the social Platform and Ron Paul is nothing more than a new version of a liberal.

The differences between a liberal and a progressive are confusing as it relates to today and the modern left. It has gotten to the point that some people call themselves progressive or liberal without knowing much about the words.

So my point is that Ron Paul has more of a traditional liberal stance but progressives embrace most of it.


19 posted on 04/17/2012 8:06:49 PM PDT by Mozilla
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Moonman62

>>>Libertarians are anarchists who own property.<<<

I always thought libertarians were Republicans who liked to smoke pot.


20 posted on 04/17/2012 10:23:08 PM PDT by redpoll
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 11 | View Replies]

To: Dead Corpse
"Everything is property. Starting with 100% ownership of your own life and the products of your efforts."

At exactly what point does a person have 100% ownership of his own life? When he becomes 21? 18? When he is born? When he is conceived?

21 posted on 04/18/2012 8:54:18 AM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 14 | View Replies]

To: Dead Corpse
"Everything is property. Starting with 100% ownership of your own life and the products of your efforts."

Is the child born to a couple the 'product of their efforts'? If so, is that child always 100% owned by those parents?

22 posted on 04/18/2012 8:55:55 AM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 15 | View Replies]

To: who_would_fardels_bear

From conception.

Those rights are held in trust by the parents/legal guardians until reaching an arbitrary age of majority and then it is up to them to advocate for themselves.

This also ties in to the pro-life libertarian stance of “If it’s human, killing it is murder.”


23 posted on 04/18/2012 9:04:39 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (Steampunk- Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 21 | View Replies]

To: who_would_fardels_bear

No. The parents cannot “own” their child any more than they can “own” anyone else. As legal guardians, they are responsible for holding their child’s Rights in trust until they are old enough to exercise those Rights themselves.

Full neurological development is generally achieved around 18 years of age. This makes it not only congruent with the generally accepted age of majority, but backs up that age with a bit of biological science.


24 posted on 04/18/2012 9:08:44 AM PDT by Dead Corpse (Steampunk- Yesterday's Tomorrow, Today)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 22 | View Replies]

To: WPaCon; Dead Corpse
The other side of the argument:

Passionate Defense of Libertarianism

25 posted on 04/18/2012 6:22:11 PM PDT by who_would_fardels_bear
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 24 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson