Friday, June 27, 2014

Libertarians are not Conservatives; nor are they Liberals.

Amy Alkon, the redheaded Advice Goddess, put up a post about how True Libertarians Aren't Conservatives which is a sentiment I wholeheartedly concur with. The comments are instructive once you filter out the extraneous crap about Hillary "The Harpy" Clinton.

She includes a quote from a Cato post on California's Proposition 8. I reproduce part of it here because it helps make my point.

More generally, conservatives agree with Cato on some issues – such as the right to bear arms, lower taxes, reduced spending, free trade, and less economic regulation. Liberals agree with us on other issues – such as immigration reform, drug legalization, marriage equality, and a non-interventionist foreign policy. Does that indicate libertarians are philosophically inconsistent? No, it indicates quite the reverse – conservatives and liberals are philosophically inconsistent. Conservatives want smaller government in the fiscal sphere, but they condone bigger government when it comes to empire building and regulating personal behavior. Liberals want fewer government restrictions in the social sphere, but they embrace strict limits on economic liberties. Unlike liberals and conservatives, Cato scholars have a consistent, minimalist view of the proper role of government. We want government out of our wallets, out of our bedrooms, and out of foreign entanglements unless America’s vital interests are at stake.

Both the liberal and conservative ideologies are group oriented. Liberals believe that "society" or "the public" is a single organism with individuals as little more than cells in a living body. Conservatives believe that "family" or "religion" are the enduring entities and individuals merely come-and-go within those structures. Neither sees the individual as an end in himself.

  1. Liberals want to be your mommy.
  2. Conservatives want to be your daddy.
  3. Libertarians want you to grow up.

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