Skip to comments.Fusionism, 60 Years Later
Posted on 11/08/2015 3:27:22 PM PST by TBP
Who lost the libertarians?â Itâs a question you hear a lot from conservatives of late. The reason should be obvious to anyone who has followed the conservative movementâs internecine intellectual frictions over the last decade â or decades. Self-described libertarians are a minority, even among the ranks of people one could properly describe as libertarian. On many, or even most, contentious public-policy issues â economics, gun rights, health care, free speech, regulation, constitutional interpretation â most support for the libertarian position actually comes from people who describe themselves as conservatives. In other words, conservatives tend to be libertarian, but libertarians tend not to be conservative.
(Excerpt) Read more at nationalreview.com ...
Ayn Rand, the anti-statist titan, was "read out" of the conservative movement in these pages by Whittaker Chambers for her views on religion and morality. Rand held "that man exists for his own sake, that the pursuit of his own happiness is his highest moral purpose, that he must not sacrifice himself to others, nor sacrifice others to himself." She even denounced the crucifixion as "the symbol of the sacrifice of the ideal to the nonideal." It's not hard to see why such views would not sit well at a magazine with a strong Catholic bent.
Rand’s Humanist bent is well known and grounds for a lot of conservatives rejecting her. I find that I can take the best of her ideas and leave the rest. She can be wrong about things too, but when she’s right, she’s RIGHT.
and NO OTHER candidate is close.
” Self-described libertarians are a minority, even among the ranks of people one could properly describe as libertarian. “
I lack the mental energy to plow through this pretentious muck.
Goldberg covers the history well.
Covers the history well? Not really. He just has a slick narrative. His “church and throne” comment is historically illiterate, and he doesn’t know much about serious libertarianism, including it’s strengths, divisions, and and weaknesses. His comments about Rothbard aren’t serious, nor are his comments about the Old Right. Goldberg sometimes makes sense on current issues, but even then he far to GOPe/neocon.
Rand was far and away not a humanist. Humanism exhorts a morality that comes from man but dependent on the collective will of man. Therefore any concept of individual rights in humanism exist solely at the behest of whatever laws men decide to right.
Rand correctly identified individual rights as part of and inseperateable from mans nature.
Only some conservatives reject Rand and as best I can tell its mostly from spite. Rands atheism was a consequence of her philosophy but she never translated her atheism into public policy. She again correctly felt it didn’t belong in politics
libertarian thought started with Joshua: “Choose ye this day whom ye will serve. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.” That is followed by the book of Judges observing that everyone did what he thought was right in his own eyes.
Judeo-Christian libertarianism is the basis for all libertarianism in the US. Rand is just branched off from Judeo libertarianism by leaving “the Lord” out of it.
The theology of Cain is the constant enemy of Judeo-Christianity. God asked Cain “Where is your brother?” Cain did not want to answer God. So Cain raised a non-sequitor: “Am I my brother’s keeper?”
Of course, the Judeo-Christian answer is “No, I am not my brother’s keeper. I am my brother’s brother.” A keeper is superior to his brother. Zoos have keepers. Prisons have keepers. Plantations have keepers.
I am my brother’s brother is the true Judeo-Christian position. But our sinful nature of pride wants to believe that we know what is best for the brothers. Thus, our sinful nature leads us away from Judeo-Christian libertarianism and into the brothers-keeper theology of Cain, the first theologian who tried to improve on God’s idea.
When God is left out of it the libertarian entire position collapses into a form of existentialism. Rothbard knew this, but lacked a satisfactory answer - other than being inclined toward Natural Law theory.
You’re more forgiving of her than I am. She could not bring herself to contemplate that the rights “innate in man’s being” were either a completely arbitrary construct possessed of only whatever moral authority Man gave them, or they were divinely vouchsafed us by some Being greater than ourselves.
Nevertheless, in elevating Man to the status of self-Creator, she prescribed a philosophy that gave no man power over any other ...the ultimate in human-centric liberty.
You’d still need some meta-being in the picture to be an enforcer of the “oughts.”
In the end it looks like yet another lame attempt to help God.
In fact Cain had arrogated to be Abel’s “keeper” going along those lines. “This uppity dude ought to die” seems to have been his idea.
I feel that man cannot allow himself to be coerced or forced to sacrifice himself to others and I will meet every individual on these same terms. I as an individual, reserve the right to freely give to others as I see fit. Charitable giving must be recognized as a valid enterprise if it improves my world and those within it. As such, Socialism is the greatest evil mankind has created.
>> In other words, conservatives tend to be libertarian, but libertarians tend not to be conservative.
As a conservative libertarian, I’m inclined to agree, but a healthy percentage of conservatives prefer regulations to ensure the desired outcome.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad most conservatives recognize the contribution Ayn Rand gave to the philosophical justification of individual rights but I’ve read all her books. What you said she could not bring herself to contemplate was central to her argument. It’s hard to sum up her work in one quote but I’ve found one:
“The source of man’s rights is not divine law or congressional law, but the law of identity. A is A, and Man is Man. Rights are conditions of existence required by man’s nature for his proper survival. If man is to live on earth, it is right for him to use his mind, it is right to act on his own free judgment, it is right to work for his values and to keep the product of his work. If life on earth is his purpose, he has a right to live as a rational being: nature forbids him the irrational. Any group, any gang, any nation that attempts to negate man’s rights, is wrong, which means: is evil, which means: is anti-life.”
Whatever you think of mans origin, our purpose...at least in part...is to live here, on earth. In order to best do that, certain objective conditions to protect the individual must exist and it is up to us as a society to enforce them. That’s her basic message and it’s a very Christian one as well. The only claim her supposed ‘liberty loving’ christian detractors have is that it wasn’t meant to be. And as Whittaker Chambers that pisses some of them off.
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