March 7, 2005

FISSION:

Liberty Quote (Eric Hoffer)

Every device employed to bolster individual freedom must have as its chief purpose the impairment of the absoluteness of power. The indications are that such an impairment is brought about not by strengthening the individual and pitting him against the possessors of power, but by distributing and diversifying power and
pitting one category or unit of power against the other. Where power is one, the defeated individual, however strong and resourceful, can have no refuge and no recourse.

This is the core insight that differentiates conservatism from libertarianism, that individualism is ultimately destructive of freedom.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 7, 2005 8:23 AM
Comments

Libertarians are anarchists who refuse (or are delusional enough to be unable) to admit the true cost and end of their shallow ideal.

I came to the conclusion yesterday that there is no such thing as a "fiscal conservative", that it is impossible to be a social libertine and also desire a limit in the size and scope of government. Only a social conservative can have faith enough in non-governmental institutions to carry on society without oppressive taxation and intrusive laws.

Besides that it is either big government or anarchy.

Posted by: Randall Voth at March 7, 2005 10:39 AM

Uh, I'm a libertarian and I've always believed exactly this. In contrast, it's OJ who, for instance, prefers concentrating economic power in the government rather than allowing it to be distributed (c.f. Microsoft).

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at March 7, 2005 11:28 AM

When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle. *

Posted by: joe shropshire at March 7, 2005 12:04 PM

"This is the core insight that differentiates conservatism from libertarianism, that individualism is ultimately destructive of freedom."
This is one of OJ's best howlers. What unit is it that's free, or not free, other than the individual? If you're talking about some social aggregate (society, the state, the nation, mankind, whatwever, you might as well just give it up and admit that you're a Marxist.
Also, the literaure on the desirability of separated powers is at least as well developed in the libertarian camp as in the conservative camp.

Posted by: Tom at March 7, 2005 3:50 PM

AOG:

Yes, but you aren't libertarian, you're republican.

Posted by: oj at March 7, 2005 7:54 PM
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