Skip to comments.What Should Libertarians do About Politics? (To fight or not to fight at Cato)
Posted on 03/06/2012 12:29:39 PM PST by Timber Rattler
Recent momentous events at Cato have drudged up some age-old questions about libertarianism and politics: how should libertarians interact with politics and political candidates? Should libertarians compromise full freedom by promoting half-measures in the form of less-than-perfect candidates who are better than the alternatives on some matters but perhaps worse on others?
Many of the most long-standing divisions within libertarianism are partially a result of different answers to these questions. Some regard all interactions with politics and politicians as inherently corrupting and a tacit endorsement of governmental oppression. Others feel that a refusal to engage in politics is a one-way-ticket to irrelevancy that ultimately guarantees a less-free society. They claim that while utopian dreams of a political discourse built on ideas and bereft of partisanship are fine, political change happens through politics and politicians, and to deny this is to be obstinate.
(Excerpt) Read more at libertarianism.org ...
“and ‘libertarian’, and is described as such”
“described as such”? By whom?
The essence of Libertarianism is not a philosophy that argues AGAINST the values of social Conservatives; it is, instead, a philosophy that argues in favor of natural limitations of law and promotion of Liberty wherein one can be a social conservative in their personal affairs, or a social liberal in their personal affairs, as their conscience dictates. The problem for both social conservatives and modern day Liberals is they both want to bring the state into making “legal” and “illegal” many things the Libertarian would leave for the individual to decide; and when they can, both Liberals and social conservatives want to use the institutions of the state to take on the role of advocating for their social positions and advocating against the social positions of others - where again, the Libertarian wants to remove the state from having such power in the first place.
In the essence of Conservatism, Libertarians are more Conservative than many social conservatives, as many social conservatives don’t really want the state diminished, they only want it diminished as regards oppostion to their social values.
“The Warren Court was committed to the promotion of a libertarian and egalitarian society.” http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/Warren+Court
“Throughout the remainder of his political career, Warren publicly defended his action, which stands in stark contrast to his role as one of the staunchest civil libertarians ever to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.” http://what-when-how.com/social-sciences/warren-earl-social-science/
“Most of the accolades of the Warren Court, Vestal points out, are ascribed to what the Court accomplished after justices appointed by President Kennedy joined the Court’s liberal bloc to form a solid majority of libertarians who usually upheld civil liberties claims against the government. This consolidation of the libertarian bloc occurred before the beginning of the 1962 term when the Court the public identifies as “the Warren Court” came into being.” http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Eisenhower_court_and_civil_liberties.html?id=XrSRAAAAMAAJ
” While Warren’s record as a civil libertarian on the Supreme Court had cast his role as an architect of the relocation policy in an ironic light,” http://www.vqronline.org/articles/1979/autumn/white-unacknowledged-lesson/
“Engel vs. Vitale (1962).—A strongly civil-libertarian court, headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, ruled that reciting nondenominational prayers written by government officials violated the Establishment Clause.” http://www.witchvox.com/white/wscourt_schools.html
“Warren did not immediately manifest the libertarian activism that would eventually result in all-out assaults on the Court, accompanied by the distribution of ‘Impeach Earl Warren’ bumper stickers and Warren Impeachment Kits. By mid-1956 it had become crystal clear that, as Chief Justice of the United States, Earl Warren was in the process of providing leadership for a libertarian activist approach to public law and personal rights that went far beyond the Eisenhower brand of progressive Republicanism. The Chief Justice, usually with Justices Black and Douglas (and later Brennan) by his side, wrought a constitutional revolution in the application of the Bill of Rights to the states; in the generous interpretation of specific provisions of criminal-justice safeguards for the individual; in the application and interpretation of the Civil War amendments; in the liberalization of the right to foreign travel, to vote, the right to run for office, and the right to fair representation, to ‘one person, one vote’; an elevated commitment to freedom of expression; and in many other sectors of the freedom of the individual. He was the Chief Justice par excellence-second in institutional-leadership greatness only to John Marshall himself. Like Marshall he understood and utilized the tools of pervasive and persuasive power leadership available to him; he knew how to bring men together, how to set a tone, and how to fashion a mood. He was a wise man and a warm, kind human being. He was his Court, the Court.” http://www.humanistsofutah.org/humanists/EarlWarren.html
I personally don’t care about the issue of prayer in public schools. I feel that if someone subjects their child to a school run by big government, they are going to get what they get. It is all pretty much soiled in my opinion. If someone sees the idea of prayer in public schools being struck down as libertarian, they should take it with a grain of salt because the idea of public schools is anti-libertarian in the first place. If people want to educate their children properly, then they belong at home or at a religious or private school that parents can trust. And there shouldn’t be school taxes.
Upholding civil liberties claims against the government is a good thing. Every blind judge can find a nut once in a while. For example, all of the left-wing justices voting in the recent Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church v. EEOC, a unanimous decision. Good grief, Kagan and Alito even wrote a joint concurring opinion.
The reason why upholding civil liberties claims against the government is a good thing is that it is wrong for a powerful government to run your life. I shouldn’t have to go into too much detail on that, but essentially, freedom means freedom, and if your natural rights come from God then man doesn’t have the authority to take them away. But a court that upholds those rights from time to time isn’t necessarily a libertarian court, any more than Kagan is a right wing religious conservative for supporting Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church.
Once again, you support my blind squirrel theory with Warren’s support of relocation camps during WWII. Big government messing up the lives of Japanese Americans. You might agree with Michelle Malkin that it was necessary, but it is not something a libertarian would do. Just as supporting Roe/Doe is not something a libertarian would do.
The “impeach” effort in 1956 was perhaps due to Warren’s recent role in Brown v. Board of Education. Once again, a central government sets policy for the states (although I think that with public education, you takes your chances when it comes to big government pushing people around). Did they have the power to do so? No more so than the federal government that forced policy on the states as they did with the Fugitive Slave Act, or Dred Scott v. Sanford or Plessy v. Ferguson.
Plessy, interestingly enough, was brought forth by private companies, specifically train companies, who were trying to get rid of a Louisiana law that harmed their ability to do business. They were specifically required to carry at least four train cars, two for white and two for black (one smoking and one non-smoking each). Train companies couldn’t afford to run 4 cars on every train, they preferred to run as many cars as there were tickets sold. Big government Supreme Court supported Big Government Louisiana who were jerking around people and private companies. If the trains didn’t have to run under regulations they didn’t want, they would have integrated their trains and then, there is another private solution a problem where some feel only government can solve problems.
Warren being compared to Marshall is a laugh, and another sign that Warren wasn’t nearly as libertarian as everyone says. Thanks to Marshall, most people think that only the Supreme Court can decree that things are unconstitutional. A read of the Constitution and the 9th and 10th amendments shows this to not be the case. Certainly the Supreme Court can do it, but the authority does not reside with them alone. If it did, then Wisconsin wouldn’t have been able to fight the Fugitive Slave Act.
If anyone wants to know my opinion on Cato, its simple. It is inside the Beltway and it has been corrupted by power like everything else. It all went downhill when they purged Rothbard.
Therefore, I do not choose a side in the Crane/Koch battle because I want them both to lose.
Yes, everyone says his was the greatest libertarian court.
I am happy to learn that I am no longer included in the meaning of the term “everyone.”
Although, how many of the courts were truly libertarian? Since Marshall, they have all been about building up big government at the expense of everything else, so perhaps you could be right.
But that is like having the distinction as the world’s tallest midget. Which, I think, is a musician named Dewey Cox.
I don’t know what you mean by the “everyone” remark.
The left/libertarians loved the libertarian court though, famed libertarian Noam Chomsky probably did as well.
Noam Chomsky, Bill Maher, Earl Warren, well known libertarians, you I haven’t heard of.
It's a question of what it the government's responsibility. The question is this: Is it the government's job to legislate morality and moreover can it? As a Bible believer I have no doubt that both polygamy and sodomy are wrong; and I think politicians in favor of either do not posses the moral fiber to be a good leader. I do however wonder at the effectiveness of laws against both, do they really change anyone’s behavior?
The underlying moral problem is not decided in government,but the hearts of men. If our laws are a reflection of our society then changing the laws and polishing the mirror won't cleanse society. If you read the Bible and believe as many do that we are in the last days then you know the world is in a time apostasy and that man “as in the days of Noah,” “did that which was right in his own eyes.” Matthew 24:37,
Laws aren't going to stop that change. Certainly I can personally oppose it and stand against it without forbidding other from sinning.
The same is true of the other erstwhile point of contention: drug policy. Does the federal government's anti-drug policy actually cut down on drug use, are the federal laws a violation of states rights? The libertarian in me will be cynically laughing if the Supreme Court uses the federal drug law cases as precedence to shove Obamacare down our throats.
I find it a complex and fascinating issue. I'm no full fledged Proudhon following Anarchist; I do however think conservatives should think long and hard before they suggest a big government solution to any problem.
Ping to comments
Karl Rove and John McCain call themselves “conservwtives” despite all of the evidence to that contrary.
Keep voting for bigger government and less freedom RINO’s. you may as well be a Democrat.
Comments? More like typical “we’re afraid of real freedom/personal responsibility” anti-liberty crap.
I ended up in some weird time warp thing on my Nook. I hit News/Activism in the side bar like i always do and got the feed from October 2011.
I didnt pick up on it until about halfway down the page and after I pinged my friend. Sorry for the confusion.
Cue Frankenfurter and the Unconventional Conventionalists...
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