Thursday, August 25, 2005

Show Me Libertarianism And I'll Show You...

...chaos? Anarchy? Do it if it feels good?

Well, I do have some reservations about the philosophy of my Libertarian friends. I also have much in common with them- as do most Conservatives. We share many beliefs and ideas... but we also have some very serious differences.

This essay begins intriguingly enough:

[[ Are individuals the best judges of their own interests, or should government regulate matters of personal behavior?

Libertarians believe that it is better to allow adults to judge their own best interests. Opponents counter that human beings will not always act in their best interests, because we can be irrational, uninformed, weak, incompetent, etc. Libertarians do not deny that. We just question whether government coercion is a cure for moral infirmities
. ]]

Who could argue with that? Government is to "moral infirmities" what a ping-pong paddle is to brain surgery. If you keep reading, though, some of the contentious points start to come out:

[[ Paternalistic regulation is widespread. It includes many forms of "consumer protection," such as requirements that one must obtain a "license" to provide certain goods and services. ]]

I'm sorry... but I like my doctors and police officers to be licensed and credentialed- and the more of them, the better. There are just too many crooks out there who will do anything to make a buck. I think the government must include this sort of thing in its protection responsibilities.

Anyway, now we start agreeing again- BIG TIME:

[[ Opponents view private property as evil relative to an egalitarian ideal of sharing. When government takes property from one person and gives it to another, progressives see this as redistribution, which they regard as a good thing.

From a libertarian perspective, if I choose to give my money to someone perceived as less fortunate, that is my business. If you choose to give my money to someone perceived as less fortunate, that is theft. Libertarians see redistribution as theft, no different than if a criminal gang seized property for purposes of "redistribution."

There is almost no way I could agree any more with that.

It is very good to read the whole thing. (LINK to very good whole thing)


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