April 12, 2002

TRUST, BUT VERIFY :

Towards a Victorious Libertarian Revolution (Manuel Miles, April 2002, The Texas Mercury)
[O]ne must be clear on what Libertarians believe:

1. We oppose all offensive wars, no matter the excuse. Troops not on their own soil are invaders, period.

2. We oppose all attacks on the unalienable rights with which all men are endowed by their Creator, in wartime equally as much as in peace.

3. We oppose not only the expansion of restrictive statist bureaucracies, but their very existence.

4. We oppose all attacks on any religion, especially attempts by governments to license, supervise, tax, or in any other way restrict religious organisations.

5. We oppose all fraud and coercion by whom or what ever.


Given a choice between a libertarian or a liberal, I suppose I'd take a libertarian, they'd at least leave you alone. But there's one dangerous delusion that the two share that makes both unfit for governance. Both libertarianism and liberalism (the modern Leftist version, not classical Liberalism) take as their starting premise the manifestly erroneous idea that Man is fundamentally good, a creature whose dearest wish is to live in peace with his neighbors, if only the nasty accretions of civilization--either government if you are a libertarian or unfair economic systems if you are a liberal--had not intervened and corrupted our natures. Conservatism on the other hand, with its basis in Judeo-Christianity, is premised on the all too frequently proven fact that Man is an unfortunate admixture of good and evil, and that left to his own devices one man will practice evil upon another for his own advantage.

The libertarian delusion here leads Mr. Miles into a box wherein he asserts the sanctity of "unalienable rights" (#2), religious belief (#4) and freedom from coercion (#5), but then deprives himself of the means--war in the international sphere (#1) and police power in the domestic sphere (#3)--to vindicate these values. It is possible to admire the faith and touching naivete of the man who abjures the means of defending himself, while insisting that if the rest of us understood our true natures we wouldn't want to hurt him in the first place, but it is difficult to take him seriously as a political philosopher. Such is the stuff of saints, while we are sinners.

Posted by Orrin Judd at April 12, 2002 9:51 AM
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