If I Had Courage…

Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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9 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    Ugh. Post-libertarians are insufferable.Report

  2. Chris Dierkes says:

    On the positive side, the comments thread to that post is just a serious of Big Lebowski quotations interspersing the actual comment thread. You might check in over there to see what condition your condition is in.

    To the actual post though, Howley’s article struck me as basically a revived version of Lawrence Harrison and Samuel Huntington’s Culture Matters. The problem there for Howley is that (I’m guessing) she wouldn’t buy into the Huntington civilizational block mentality. But actually this makes Howley a conservative (by US standards).Report

  3. JosephFM says:

    Yeah, good luck convincing the Randroids and social conservatives to actually believe in real individual liberty and not just anti-statism. That would require they admit social construction of anything, which directly contradicts their respective deterministic ontologies.

    IOZ is totally right about Libertarianism being more a weak third-party coalition than a consistent philosophy though.

    BTW, Howley’s opening also made me think of James Poulos’ idea of the Pink Police State: one of the central PoMoCon ideas (if I’m not totally off-base here), seems to be that not only is a libertarian culture incompatible with small government, it actual causes an increase in demands for government intervention, in the form of an ever-more-intrusive welfare state, to save us from the consequences of our choices, which absent authority will often lead to moral nihilism. (As for me, I think this idea, at best, gets the time order of cause and effect exactly backward – that the corporate state encourages individual recklessness and narcissism in the name of economic growth, and the welfare state grows out of the acknowledgement – usually considered “leftist” – that this state of affairs is wholly unsustainable).Report

    • JosephFM in reply to JosephFM says:

      Sorry, that should be “real individual liberty for all“. As opposed to the naturally and Objectively talented and strong-willed only, or the those who follow a particular religious code.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to JosephFM says:

      What’s the old Sam Adams quotation?

      “I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.”

      He left off the part about the great-grandchildren watching Michael Bay films and eating deep-fried twinkies.Report

  4. Sam M says:

    So the point appears to be that libertarians only focus on government coercion. But as far as i can tell, there are maybe two touchstones of libertarianism in pop culture. One is Ayn Rand. The other is Rush. The former spends a shocking number of pages detailing the ways prime movers abandon family members and, in particular, flaunt society’s concerns about promiscuity.

    As for Rush, I only know the one song. But the most famous lyric appears to be: His mind is not for rent, TO ANY GOD or government.

    Emphasis mine. Clearly, Rush cares about coercion other than that brought on by governments.

    I might add that almost all of the libertarians I know are counter-culture types. Particularly the young ones.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Sam M says:

      “I might add that almost all of the libertarians I know are counter-culture types. Particularly the young ones.”

      Calling oneself a communist doesn’t shock like it used to.

      They’ll grow out of it the second they realize that they can use the government to help make other people better.Report