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What is wrong with Libertarianism.
Conservative Commentary ^ | 28 July 2002 | Peter Cuthbertson

Posted on 08/01/2002 3:27:45 PM PDT by Tomalak

Thought for the day

If you believe in a truly libertarian society, your only way to success is in working to build a society based upon traditional morality, shame and chastity. Contradictory? Actually, no. Given a little examination, it turns out to be rather obvious; almost self-evidently true. If you want to live in a country where every man supports himself rather than looking to the taxpayer, where crime is rare and so massive police powers, ID cards and DNA databases are superfluous, you will not do so on the back of the destructive policies of social liberalism.

Libertarians traditionally do not look to history for the sort of society they wish to build. But I sense that the famous passage with which AJP Taylor begins his English History 1914-1945 comes closest to the libertarian ideal: a place where the normal, sensible Englishman comes into contact with the state only through the post office and policeman. The United States that existed before FDR's massive extensions in state power is similarly the model of the sort of America that libertarians across the pond seek to build. What all successful societies in history with small states have had in common is a strictly moral populace. Victorian Britain could survive without a large state precisely because pious ideas of shame, duty and self-reliance ensured that people would look to themselves for what they needed, rather than the state, and because crime was low enough that the state did not need to seek all the powers it could summon to fight back.

One mistake far too many libertarians make is to associate traditional morality with big government, and hostility to freedom. The opposite is true. The more influence morality has over a man's conduct, the less need there is for the state to control it. Crime can be reduced by many police, many laws, tougher sentences and more guns. But most of all, to have a low crime society without an overbearing state, you need to fashion the sort of country whose people are inclined not to commit crime in the first place. Roger Scruton made this point as brilliantly as ever in his call to "Bring Back Stigma":

"The law combats crime not by eliminating criminal schemes but by increasing the risk attached to them; stigma combats crime by creating people who have no criminal schemes in the first place. The steady replacement of stigma by law, therefore, is a key cause of the constant increase in the number and severity of crimes."

To see morality as inimical to liberty, as a threat to libertarian ambitions, is the most statist thing one can do. It is to leave the state as the only thing to pick up the pieces when society fails to function.

It is no mere joke to say that at present libertarians are those who like the liberal society but hate paying for it. Take a recent column on paedophilia in America's leading Libertarian Magazine, Reason, entitled "Sins of the Fathers". Throughout the article, the message is clear: molesting kids is wrong, but 'merely' wanting to rape them is not. The article is a rebuke aimed at all those with a moral problem with lusting after children.

"The issue is not sexual attraction; it is sexual action...

Bibliophilia means the excessive love of books. It does not mean stealing books from libraries. Pedophilia means the excessive (sexual) love of children. It does not mean having sex with them, although that is what people generally have in mind when they use the term. Because children cannot legally consent to anything, an adult using a child as a sexual object is engaging in a wrongful act. Such an act is wrongful because it entails the use of physical coercion, the threat of such coercion, or (what comes to the same thing in a relationship between an adult and a child) the abuse of the adult’s status as a trusted authority.

Saying that a priest who takes sexual advantage of a child entrusted to his care "suffers from pedophilia" implies that there is something wrong with his sexual functioning, just as saying that he suffers from pernicious anemia implies that there something wrong with the functioning of his hematopoietic system. If that were the issue, it would be his problem, not ours."

I believe that the dominance such people seem to have over libertarianism is a source of much of its undeserved failure. Such arguments only make libertarians sound nasty, extreme, and frankly strange. They may explain their defence of paedophilia on the grounds of a philosophical tradition of 140 years standing, but most ordinary people do not see it that way: what they see is a political movement apparently sympathetic to a pervert. Similarly, attacking the welfare state on grounds of economic efficiency is productive before some, but to the majority, it just looks like greed: not wanting to help those in need. Unless one explains morally the evils of trapping people on welfare so that each time they make an economic advance there is a corresponding benefit cut, and of creating a state which appears to remove every citizen's private duty to others, how can one show that they are wrong to put this thinking down to greed?

So morality surely reduces the need for a large state. But does accepting the importance of morality in society mean a greater role for the state in other areas? I do not believe so. Let us look at the actual aims of social conservatives like Melanie Phillips, Peter Hitchens, Ann Widdecombe, Charles Moore, John Redwood, Roger Scruton and Theodore Dalrymple. How many can you name in mainstream journalism or politics who actually want to change the law to make homosexuality illegal, for example? I do not know of any. Again, we see the reality - the social "authoritarians" are not really authoritarian. They do not want new laws to stop immorality and crime: they want free people to choose to be good themselves. They want a country where virtue is praised and vice condemned.

Ultimately, the enemy of libertarians is state control, not self-control. Morality in ordinary life removes the need for the sort of huge state that politicians have built for us since the 1930s. The more people choose to be good of their own accord, the more convincingly one can question the need for an over-mighty government to keep them in line. But until libertarians give up their crusade against any idea of decent behaviour, I do not see them succeeding.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Your Opinion/Questions
KEYWORDS: ajptaylor; america; annwiddecombe; authoritarianism; cantgetadate; charlesmoore; chastity; conservatism; crackheads; crime; dnadatabase; drugs; england; fdr; franklindroosevelt; government; heroinchic; homosexuality; idcards; johnredwood; liberalism; libertarianism; libertarians; libertinism; lifeslosers; losertarian; melaniephillips; morality; moredrugs; paedophilia; pedophilia; petercuthbertson; peterhitchens; pimplefacedgeeks; potheads; reason; rogerscruton; shame; socialconservatism; socialliberalism; taxation; theodoredalrymple; unitedstates; welfare; wheresmystash
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1 posted on 08/01/2002 3:27:45 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: Tomalak
Great post. The problem I have with many fellow libertarians is that they refuse to accept that morality is important to the state. I forget who said that humanity must be controlled by God or by the state, but that statement perfectly encapsulates the dilemma facing libertarians - there has to be some means of controlling bad actors. The more morality you have, the fewer bad actors. The less morality, the more bad actors, and the greater need for laws to crush them beneath the heel of the state.
2 posted on 08/01/2002 3:36:05 PM PDT by FateAmenableToChange
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To: Tomalak
Well, that's the big question: Is it possible to have a moral society without that morality being reflected in and enforced by the law/state?
3 posted on 08/01/2002 3:45:41 PM PDT by KayEyeDoubleDee
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To: KayEyeDoubleDee
Indeed. The answer given here is that a small state is only possible if people are moral enough not to require government coercion.
4 posted on 08/01/2002 3:49:35 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: Tomalak
Indeed. The answer given here is that a small state is only possible if people are moral enough not to require government coercion.

You're assuming the state will coerce people to do "good" things. States that acquire the power to control every detail of their subjects lives rarely use the power wisely.

Cromwell's England, the Taliban, the USSR, and Saudi Arabia spring to mind as examples.

5 posted on 08/01/2002 3:54:16 PM PDT by AdamSelene235
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To: AdamSelene235
Wasn't that the whole point of the article? That people need to be good all on their own, and you can only have a small state if they do.
6 posted on 08/01/2002 3:57:12 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: FateAmenableToChange
There is something to be said for moral suasion but the U.S. has never been a particularly moral nation, in the religious sense, and has done just fine with minimal government. U.S. history is far more Barbary Coast than Norman Rockwell.
7 posted on 08/01/2002 4:02:36 PM PDT by decimon
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To: Tomalak
What is wrong with Libertarianism. ?

BOTH Libertarians will continue to argue that point while they BOTH loose elections.

8 posted on 08/01/2002 4:04:32 PM PDT by ChadGore
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To: AdamSelene235
Not to mention Cuba, China, most of sub-Saharan Africa and the state of Vermont in recent years.
9 posted on 08/01/2002 4:15:54 PM PDT by Lightnin
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To: Tomalak
What's the William Penn quote?
Those who will not be ruled by God
will be ruled by tyrants.

10 posted on 08/01/2002 4:20:10 PM PDT by conservatism_IS_compassion
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To: Tomalak
So you want to work for the repeal of all drug laws, laws against sodomy, oral sex, etc. and have people go "tsk tsk" instead?
11 posted on 08/01/2002 4:27:31 PM PDT by ConsistentLibertarian
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To: Tomalak
To have a society of stigma, you must have a society where "what the neighbors will say" actually matters. You must have a society where most people spend their whole lives in one place surrounded by their families instead of a mobile, anonymous society. A society where reputations are fixed and once set can never really be changed. Where ostracism has terrible socioeconomic consequences.

It is not possible to restore Victorian social relations or the concept of "scandal". People do not want crime. But then again, they do not want to be stuck all their lives in miserable marriages, to be constantly watched and judged, or see the bastard stigma restored.
12 posted on 08/01/2002 4:29:13 PM PDT by Tokhtamish
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To: Tomalak
Wasn't that the whole point of the article?

The article is either obtuse or deliberately dishonest.

Given that they deliberately took Dr. Szasz's remarks on the nature of mental "illness" out of context to smear libertarians makes me think it is the later.

FYI, Szasz was arguing that the offending priests should have been charged with crimes rather than placed in treatments centers as they were not suffering from "illness" but were criminals.

Szasz's article is here :

http://reason.com/0208/fe.ts.sins.shtml

13 posted on 08/01/2002 4:35:26 PM PDT by AdamSelene235
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To: Tomalak
That people need to be good all on their own, and you can only have a small state if they do.

So you think a large, powerful state full of evil people will be just hunky dory?

I reject the dillema.

14 posted on 08/01/2002 4:38:14 PM PDT by AdamSelene235
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To: conservatism_IS_compassion
Those who will not be ruled by God will be ruled by tyrants.

Now there's wisdom.

I don't see how the article quoted the Libertarian out of context. He was implying that paedophilia is not an issue, only raping kids is. In fact, wanting to rape kids is immoral, and it is an issue, as the Thought for the day noted.

15 posted on 08/01/2002 4:40:41 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: ChadGore
Tell it to BOTH the RLC and JR:

REPUBLICAN LIBERTY CAUCUS POSITION STATEMENT

Address:http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/rlc/721810/posts
16 posted on 08/01/2002 4:42:58 PM PDT by tpaine
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To: AdamSelene235
You are pretty dumb if you don't understand what the article said. Pretty simply:

'You can have an immoral people, or you can have a small state, but you can't have both.'

The article was not advocating a big state and bad people: it wanted a small state and good people. Can't you see that?

17 posted on 08/01/2002 4:43:46 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: Tomalak
This argument assumes that the alternatives are limited to 1)convincing people to do X voluntarily or 2)having the state compel people to do X by force. However, in those areas which impinge upon mere preferences, not fundamental rights, one must admit the additional alternative of 3)accepting the fact that some people are going to do Y instead.

The basic moral principle that needs to be inclucated is found in the Notebooks of Lazarus Long:

The correct way to punctuate a sentence that starts: "Of course it is none of my business but--" is to place a period after the word "but."

18 posted on 08/01/2002 4:52:39 PM PDT by steve-b
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To: Tomalak
One mistake far too many libertarians make is to associate traditional morality with big government, and hostility to freedom.

This is not a mistake made by libertarians, but rather a fraud perpetrated by authoritarians who wish to elevate their personal preferences to the stature of moral law. To take obvious historical examples, prohibiting the sale of pictures of nekked wimmen and requiring stores to close on Sunday on spurious "moral" grounds degrades the term "morality", and thus makes it more difficult to invoke the concept legitimately.

Those who do wish to advocate real moral objections to (for example) businesses tied to organized crime then find themselves with the burden of cleaning the clintonized semantic swamp gunk off the term.

19 posted on 08/01/2002 4:59:12 PM PDT by steve-b
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To: AdamSelene235
Additionally, the basic point "The issue is not sexual attraction; it is sexual action..." ought to be considered an obvious truism. I could have sworn that I'd read dozens of threads on this forum denouncing, in the most strident terms, the concept of "Thought Crime".
20 posted on 08/01/2002 5:00:51 PM PDT by steve-b
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To: Tomalak
The importance of shame, and societal stigmatization of improper and immoral conduct, cannot be overstated. It is indeed a vital element in any healthy Society--far more important than any legislation in preserving one's cultural heritage. However, I think that the dichotomy discussed here is slightly off target.

Socialistic Government in the 20th Century not only replaced societal controls with those of Government, it deliberately undermined the societal values that were behind the societal controls. It was not the Libertarians who attacked morality, it was the people whom they opposed.

Take the outrageous New Deal venture that became known as the ADC--Aid To Dependent Children. It was not just an unconstitutional exercise from Washington, supposed to ease the burden of children in a single parent household. Part and parcel with the new approach, was a deliberate decision to outlaw any suggestion of stigmatization of the unwed mother--the clientele of the new program. The result is as well known as it was predictable--an exponential explosion in the American Bastardy rate.

The history of the Twentieth Century cannot be neatly systematized, of course. There were many cross-currents. But the real damage was done not by any traditional philosophic movement. All traditional societies have been under attack by Socialists of one hue or another, bent upon promoting egalitarian nonsense; with most of those proponents also promoting some version of the movement for an undifferentiated humanity. Stigmatizing people for having children out of wedlock did not fit the new Socialist norm, anymore than pride in ancestry was tolerated by the new Socialist norm.

Morality, community homogeneity, community religious sentiments, etc., are all ultimately the targets of those who want to break down any distinctions between peoples. While Libertarians may want to live and let live; they have never been those leading the charge against any community's value system. Quite the contrary.

As a Conservative seeking to preserve what is left of the American heritage, I find no problem with most of the people who label themselves "Libertarian." While some of them may occasionally embrace something ridiculous like liberal immigration, fifty years after our population reached its optimum level, they are not the ones promoting a breakdown of the American cultural identity. And most are easily persuaded that the present situation is very wrong. They are rational people, beset as are American Conservatives, by those who hate everything that America used to stand for.

William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site

21 posted on 08/01/2002 5:01:50 PM PDT by Ohioan
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To: Tomalak
You are pretty dumb if you don't understand what the article said. Pretty simply:

'You can have an immoral people, or you can have a small state, but you can't have both.'

The article was not advocating a big state and bad people: it wanted a small state and good people. Can't you see that?

Yes, I actually understood the article. As I pointed out the author was engaging in calculated deception.

'You can have an immoral people, or you can have a small state, but you can't have both.'

This statement is utterly false:

The possible combinations are:

Small state, bad people --Modern Russia, Somalia

Small state, good people -- United States 1800's

Big State, bad people -- USSR

Big State, good people -- Modern China

Its a false dillema, people are good and bad as individuals not as groups. There are cultural environments that healthier than others but ultimately they reflect the values of the individuals who comprise the society.

How exactly do you judge if a State is good or bad. Saddam Hussain's speechs read like a Baptist sermon.

America one the "nicer" countries on Earth has killed millions of innocent people. Usually we've had good intentions. But when you're 5 years old and covered in burning Napalm, the fact that the pilot attends Bible study every Wed. doesn't help.

22 posted on 08/01/2002 5:09:10 PM PDT by AdamSelene235
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To: FateAmenableToChange; Kevin Curry
Exactly. We as a society want to encourage:

Conversely, we as a society want to discourage:


"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." -John Adams, Oct. 11, 1798 Address to the military


23 posted on 08/01/2002 5:13:06 PM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: *libertarians
.
24 posted on 08/01/2002 5:15:07 PM PDT by Libertarianize the GOP
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To: steve-b; Tomalak
Tomalak:
One mistake far too many libertarians make is to associate traditional morality with big government, and hostility to freedom.


This is not a mistake made by libertarians, but rather a fraud perpetrated by authoritarians who wish to elevate their personal preferences to the stature of moral law. Steve-B



- Extremely well said, & bookmarked. - Thanks.

I doubt you'll get a rational reply.
25 posted on 08/01/2002 5:18:54 PM PDT by tpaine
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To: AdamSelene235
Small state, bad people --Modern Russia, Somalia

LOL! So you think Somalia and today's Russia are good models for the world? Obviously you can try to have no real morals and no real state, but it will be anarchy.

If you want a working country, you can have the state to restrain people, or you can have morality.

If you choose the state, you get mega-government and very high taxes.

If you choose neither, anarchy is what you get.

If you choose morality, that is when you get a truly great country, like America in the 1800s, as you mentioned.

As for the person who thought it a "truism" that sexual attraction to kids was not a moral issue, I just hope you don't work with children.

26 posted on 08/01/2002 5:19:11 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: Cultural Jihad
Fantastic quote and post - I'll repeat it:
"We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion. Avarice, ambition, revenge, or gallantry, would break the strongest cords of our Constitution as a whale goes through a net. Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate for the government of any other." - John Adams, Oct. 11, 1798 Address to the military

27 posted on 08/01/2002 5:21:36 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: Tomalak
I don't see how the article quoted the Libertarian out of context.

The article was asking if these priests were suffering from an "illness" or if they were criminals.

The Church decided to treat them as if they they had a mental disorder rather than treat them as criminals.

Szasz, as a psychiatrist, was writing an article critical of the dogma of modern psychiatry. Morality was not addressed.

This post deliberately misrepresented his views.

The Church shielded these priests which allowed them to use the Church to victimize children. Szasz is arguing for their immediate arrest.

Now is that the impression given by the quote above?

28 posted on 08/01/2002 5:22:46 PM PDT by AdamSelene235
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To: steve-b
"authoritarians who wish to elevate their personal preferences to the stature of moral law"

Oh yeah - being against personal irresponsibility, disaffection and alienation, sloth and laziness, immorality, promiscuity, ideology, and big government is just a "personal preference". Nothing to do with making a better, freer society.

Are you French or something, or did you believe all that postmodernism you were taught at college?

29 posted on 08/01/2002 5:24:45 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: All
Libertarians are anti-Christian, as far as their positions on the issues. Why waste time debating them on a subject when we've been warned, "the fool has said in his heart, 'there is no G-d'." Do what you want, but as for myself, I'm not about to take advice and counsel from the ungodly, and I'm sure not going to abandon the GOP for some stillborn quest that results in the Democrats, the least conservative alternative, becoming even more empowered. I've heard all their arguments, which can be boiled down to this: "we are not Republicans, we are not Democrats, we are the only ones who know how to correctly interpret the Constitution." If it puts Dems into office at the expense of Repubulicans, it ain't no plan for conservative victory, no matter how you slice it.....
30 posted on 08/01/2002 5:27:15 PM PDT by Malcolm
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To: Malcolm
Well Malcolm, you may be right. But the article highlights an important point about libertarianism. The size of government is related to the need society has for it. The more teenagers get themselves pregnant outside wedlock, the more businessmen do false accounting and the more mixed up kids shoot up schools, the greater demand there is for regulation, welfare and gun control. I agree with libertarians about nearly everything, but I am a conservative because I recognise this.

If you want to end state control, you need to reinforce self-control and moral responsibility. The article sums up my own view perfectly.

31 posted on 08/01/2002 5:32:38 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: Tomalak
A good article, but there's a little "getting the cart before the horse" here. Libertarians don't object to morality. They object to State imposed morality. What they react to is conservatives and liberals both attempting to use the organs of the State to impose their own moral codes on society.

Morality isn't the problem; it's that society's traditional moral teachers have abandoned their job and left it to the State. Yes, shame, stigma, or whatever term you want to use is a perfectly good way to control behavior within a libertarian society. But that sense of shame over evil acts must come from the people, not their government.

For example, pornography is immoral. It should not be available in a decent society. But the controls on pornogrpahy ought not come from the State; they should be internal to us all. Were we all raised to believe that it's wrong to view pornography, we'd avoid it for fear of getting caught and shamed. The market for it wouldn't exist. But that moral teaching no longer exists. Instead, we placed the State in the role of the arbiter of morality. And there's the problem. The State has no moral sense. It is an amoral being. It hasn't the ability to see pornography as inherently evil. Thus, it cannot decern a difference between "Debbie Does Dallas" and "Gone With The Wind". In the libertarian society that the author describes, shame allows us to see the difference and to accept one while rejecting the other. But so long as moral opprobrium comes down to us in the form of a State edict, libertarians will resist attempts to impose it.
32 posted on 08/01/2002 5:34:27 PM PDT by Redcloak
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To: Tomalak
So morality surely reduces the need for a large state.

The point everyone misses is this: personal morality reduces the need for a large state, and a large state reduces the need for personal morality. Immorality breeds socialism/statism, and socialism/statism breeds immorality.

33 posted on 08/01/2002 5:35:17 PM PDT by sourcery
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To: Tomalak
If you choose morality, that is when you get a truly great country, like America in the 1800s, as you mentioned.


Punch up a search on the 'victorian compromise'. You will find that America of the 1800's was a quite libertarian society, - drugs, prostitution, gambling were tolerated in limited red light districts all over the country. Hypocrisy was rampant. - But we prospered.
Then the bluenosed prohibitionists got in power, and its been downhill for 'morality' ever since.

You need to read, and *understand*, some U.S. history.
34 posted on 08/01/2002 5:36:21 PM PDT by tpaine
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To: Redcloak
I agree 100%. I wasn't saying the government should decide what is right and wrong. I was just saying that the article was right in saying that when people don't know right from wrong, the state steps in to clean up the mess. So if you really believe in a libertarian society, your first duty is to work hard to ensure everyone knows right from wrong, so they don't need a big government to control them any more.
35 posted on 08/01/2002 5:37:29 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: Tomalak
LOL! So you think Somalia and today's Russia are good models for the world?

Sigh. No. Obviously you can try to have no real morals and no real state, but it will be anarchy.

Actually, there have been anarchies that had murder rates far lower than the United States. The punishments for murder were much greater as well.

If you choose the state, you get mega-government and very high taxes.

Not always. Modern Socialist times, I suppose.

If you choose morality, that is when you get a truly great country, like America in the 1800s, as you mentioned.

This is one of many possible routes.

As for the person who thought it a "truism" that sexual attraction to kids was not a moral issue, I just hope you don't work with children.

Why don't you read Szasz's article. Just because morality was not within the scope of a psychiatric article does not mean he does not have a strong moral position on the subject.

Its a pity the Catholic church doesn't have the common sense that Szasz has. I suppose they are too busy rambling on about morality.

36 posted on 08/01/2002 5:38:21 PM PDT by AdamSelene235
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To: sourcery
The point everyone misses is this: personal morality educes the need for a large state, and a large state reduces the need for personal morality. Immorality breeds socialism/statism, and socialism/statism breeds immorality.

Excellent point. I hadn't thought of it that way round.

37 posted on 08/01/2002 5:38:52 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: tpaine
You will find that America of the 1800's was a quite libertarian society, - drugs, prostitution, gambling were tolerated in limited red light districts all over the country."

That only proves my point. In those days, the state didn't need to crack down on such things because the American people were so moral that almost no one did them. Not now, though.

38 posted on 08/01/2002 5:41:32 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: Tomalak
When behavior is enforced under the law, it is no longer morality it is obedience. Those are two entirely different things. Obedience is merely compliance, but morality can only occur voluntarily.

Certainly some have failed to teach their children morality, but attempting to replace it with obedience to whatever laws happen to be in place at any given time is far more destructive in the long run. All you get, then, is a bunch of poodles who roll over on their backs when you shout at them. As soon as you turn away, they go back to licking themselves.
39 posted on 08/01/2002 5:43:02 PM PDT by David Cannady
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To: Tomalak
Hypocrisy is still rampant, among certain groups at FR.
40 posted on 08/01/2002 5:43:56 PM PDT by tpaine
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To: AdamSelene235
So you think Somalia and today's Russia are good models for the world?

Sigh. No.

Okay - so can you name a few countries where the state is small and the people are immoral that are worth living in then? I think every conservative and libertarian would agree that the best combination is a moral people plus a small state. But you can't have a small state without a people moral enough to manage without big government.

41 posted on 08/01/2002 5:45:59 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: FateAmenableToChange
that humanity must be controlled by God or by the state

Libertarians do not believe it free and total reign let loose on the populace. You seem to believe that people are incapable of living out a life of decency and morality without either believing in God or having the government tell them what is correct to do and how to behave. Please tell me if I am misunderstanding what you are saying.

42 posted on 08/01/2002 5:47:06 PM PDT by riley1992
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To: David Cannady
Yup. Whatever some libertarians think, the law is no substitute for morality.
43 posted on 08/01/2002 5:47:22 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: riley1992
I can only speak for myself, but I think there only are two ways to behave well. The first is if the government forces you to. The second is if you choose to freely. If people don't choose to, the government steps in. That is why libertarians *need* morality.

But I don't think you need to be religious to be moral.

44 posted on 08/01/2002 5:50:47 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: Tomalak
Define Morality.
45 posted on 08/01/2002 5:53:37 PM PDT by AdamSelene235
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To: AdamSelene235
Morality is what a person ought to do, how a person ought to operate. It means helping others when they need you, working hard when you would rather be lazy, doing your duty even if it is a difficult one, and providing for yourself and your family, rather than looking to others.
46 posted on 08/01/2002 5:55:51 PM PDT by Tomalak
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To: Tomalak
In those days, the state didn't need to crack down on such things because the American people were so moral that almost no one did them.

Oh really, I wish I had a time machine so I could see the look on your face.

47 posted on 08/01/2002 5:56:13 PM PDT by AdamSelene235
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To: Tomalak
Libertarians don't expect to substitute law for morality. They expect that, absent a bunch of mommies in blue, we'd police ourselves.

The death of respect for each other has come from overreaching authoritarianism.

Respect was born of the certain knowledge that, if you went to far with someone, you could expect to get a knuckle sandwich. Not now! NO! People can be as insulting as they want to, but if you even threaten to respond with violence, you get arrested. That has been the death of civility and the downfall of morality. And adding more laws upon laws will never replace it. Only a return to individual sovereignty will bring us back.
48 posted on 08/01/2002 5:57:13 PM PDT by David Cannady
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To: Redcloak

I don't understand your point. Neither the Founders nor any of our ancestors exhibited any great difficulty in differentiating a brothel from an opera. There was no flood of pornography in the first 200 years of our nation's culture, the nation's store shelves were devoid of intaglio etchings of people copulating, and yet the laws were so written to discourage it. The flood of pornography came only recently, with the moral-liberal court rulings striking down the age-old obscenity laws. Hence your 'Woe is us, the state is to blame for porn' doesn't really fly.

Or maybe your point is that the laws which provide legal protection to porn should be rescinded so as to allow citizens their right to close down the porn industry.

49 posted on 08/01/2002 6:09:48 PM PDT by Cultural Jihad
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To: Tomalak
Morality is what a person ought to do, how a person ought to operate.

Can you provide me a complete list of everything I must and must not due or am I going to have to figure this out myself. If I have to figure it out, it will subject to my judgement. Since, my judgement is so poor that I've actually read folks like the evil Dr. Szasz, obviously we'll need someone else to make decisions for me. Gee, I hope they have my best interests in mind.

It means helping others when they need you,

What if they have brought suffering on themselves?

working hard when you would rather be lazy,

What if I am not allowed to enjoy the fruits of my own labor?

doing your duty even if it is a difficult one,

Who defines my duties?

and providing for yourself and your family, rather than looking to others.

Housing is too expensive to form a family. Marriage puts a husband in danger of losing his home, salary, children and 2nd Amendment rights.

The same was true in Rome in later days.

50 posted on 08/01/2002 6:10:20 PM PDT by AdamSelene235
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