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Not in the Mood for Fireworks
July 4, 2014 Classical Liberalism

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness – That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed – That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.”

Sure the founders were flawed, so are we. Two thoughts for the day.

(1) I’m not much a part of the “libertarian” movement, ad hominem attacks notwithstanding. Maybe a future post on that is worthwhile. Among many pieces that the movement is missing is a principled and independent stand to push for the end of the Administrative state. One reason I think that has happened is that many “libertarians” are focused on simpler and less important civil issues like smoking weed and legalizing all kinds of untoward behavior. While I agree with that, I think any focus on it pushes people in general away from the movement and diverts attention from the more material issues which plague is.

(2) Not to conflate capitalism with liberty too much, but I still have the hardest time respecting the progressive/socialist movement given that the moment cannot allow peaceful private markets to exist. That is quite the opposite of markets and capitalism. If folks want to have a giant socialist hot tub experiment under capitalism, go have a fine day. Nothing in markets prohibits or even discourages it. The converse is not at all true, which in my view means that progressive and socialist doctrine is not only incoherent but also immoral. I’ve never seen a coherent response to this.

Finally, here is some prescience from Adam Smith:

“From shopkeepers, tradesmen, and attornies, they are become statesmen and legislators, and are employed in contriving a new form of government for an extensive empire, which, they flatter themselves, will become, and which, indeed, seems very likely to become, one of the greatest and most formidable that ever was in the world.”

Happy 4th.

"3" Comments
  1. #1 – not in my experience. “Some” not “many.” Hence it is a strawman. Oddly enough, the Left keeps invoking Somalia at the drop of a hat. Maybe they’re on to something?

  2. Regarding #1, Ann Coulter has expressed similar thoughts, WC:

    “This is why people think libertarians are pu$$ies. We’re living in a country that is 70-percent socialist, the government takes 60 percent of your money. They are taking care of your health care, of your pensions. They’re telling you who you can hire, what the regulations will be. And you want to suck up to your little liberal friends and say, ‘Oh, but we want to legalize pot.’ You know, if you’re a little more manly you would tell them what your position on employment discrimination is. How about that? But it’s always ‘We want to legalize pot.’”

  3. “…not to conflate capitalism and liberty too much…”

    Hey, Milton Friedman wrote Capitalism and Freedom, doing a good job of conflating.

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