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Wednesday, April 17. 2013
I am realizing that I object to the language of "rights" as if they were things doled out by the state, or as if our rights were at the pleasure of the state. That, I think, is an adolescent view of government as parent. The reality and the history is the opposite. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were never meant to limit the freedom of the people, or free enterprise.
I prefer the entirely different vantage point and language, the language of freedom and the limited rights and powers of government. Government powers stingily doled out to the state by free, intelligent, self-sufficient citizens. Land of the free and home of the brave, and all that. There is nothing at all intelligent about people in government, especially in a democratic republic. After all, you could not even run a corner candy shop with a democratic republic, much less with the doofus losers and sociopaths who mostly want to run for office.
Is it possible to be a Conservative Libertarian? I try, but I run into logical inconsistencies and conflicts. Take gay marriage as an example. The Conservative in me believes that Judeo-Christian ideals and ordinary family units are the foundation of society and of our civilization. Precious things. My Libertarian impulses want government entirely out of marriage except insofar as people want to make it a legal contract or a sacramental vow.
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First, one must recognize that there are two kinds of "rights": Natural and Posited (i.e. "man-made"). In a nutshell, the individual can exercise a Natural Right without encumbering anyone else. Thus Freedom of Speech is a Natural Right, a free education at public expense (involving at least a teacher and typically a school system) is not. Peaceable Assembly is a Natural Right, but Trial by Jury is a Posited Right. The right to a free education is a right posited by the Connecticut State Constitution. The right to trial by jury is posited by the Constitution of the United States. Classifying "rights" in this way clears up a lot of confusion.
Finally, to paraphrase something Condoleezza Rice originally said about "human dignity" which I think also pertains to Natural Right, "[It] is not a government's grant to its citizens nor mankind's gift to one another; it is God's endowment to all humanity."
P.S. "Natural Rights" is synonymous with "unalienable Rights" as in
"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 to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men…"
The Constitution was not written to balance "competing rights" but to institute a government designed to secure individuals' inalienable rights. Among equals, natural rights do not "compete". One man's freedom of expression does not diminish another's. The threat to natural rights comes from a government which thinks it has authority to interfere with natural rights. The syntax of the First Amendment, that "Congress shall make no law…", was no accident.
It is a good question, and I am glad you posed it. Linked here: http://bobagard.blogspot.com/2013/04/which-is-it.html
The Constitution and the Bill of Rights were never meant to limit the freedom of the people, or free enterprise.
definitely and demonstrably not true. the constitution provides a framework for how competing rights are balanced against each other, typically, private rights vs. public interest. by necessity, this means that some limits on rights is constitutionally proper.
I personally don't like labels. I believe the constitutional system we have to be the best possible system, it has room for a range of beliefs from true American patriotic conservative to horrendous libtarded douchery.
I am glad you wrote this post, as it is a subject I think about a lot. I linked to you here: (url)http://bobagard.blogspot.com/2013/04/which-is-it.html(/url)
--i'd say, that of the two proposals in conflict that you're in a quandary over which is superior (sorry for clunky sentence!) that, if the Christian is placed superior, you can't practice the other without ipso facto branding the oppo, which causes the conflict, while if the Libertarian is placed superior, you can individually practice both without any negative implication. You individually. Comes under the 'render unto caesar' doctrine, is the idea.
As far as having your (our) language damaged by the word 'marriage' being taken from the historical meaning, yes, that hurts, but the medicine may be worse than the cure, especially so in that the political cure will not be the spiritual cure, not without a great calamity or awakening accompnying.
If there is a "right" to abortion, then it is Sexxxxxxxxxxxissssst!
because I'm a guy and I Can't Have One!
YES!! I have always believed (conservatively) that the State has an interest in promoting certain behaviours - but for the last few years, I've been finding myself in the Libertarian camp (so to speak) as a result of TOO MUCH BLOOMBERG (and others).
It's obvious that it must be that language evolved by narrowing and distinguishing definitions. Observe, the first word 'ugh' must've stood for 'everything' --and a good deal more ughs accompanied by gestures and vocal gymnastics would've been yet required to say 'i love you' as opposed to 'i think i will kill you'.
So it's axiomatic that moving an important word in the other direction, counter to its mode of evolution, is among all other things that it might be, a certain degradation of the language in that sense. Not that that's the end of the world, but now old-fashioned folk who are used to 'marriage' meaning 'marriage', will have to come up with a modifier of some sort, in order to talk about the thing.
It may be that 'church marriage' will become that modification --which may have the effect of driving some folks back to the idea of a church --which would be poetic justice indeed.
--just put away that bong, BD --you'll be ok in the morning.
Marriage has never be referred to as "straight" marriage or "gay" marriage. It has been defined for centuries and has always been between a man and a women and for the support of children they bring into the world. Referring to gay marriage is simply and attempt to trash the definition of marriage. Gays may have some kind of a partnership they have always practiced but it certainly is not marriage.
'Trash the definition' not just of 'marrige' but to trash the definition of definition itself. Since we think in words, objective meanings are artifacts of paternalism and hierarchical master-slave relationships. To change this imbedded fascism, word meanings must become subjective, and anyone's meaning for a word is as good as that lackey of the power structure Daniel Webster's.
Since objective meanings are required to express subjective feelings, we will simply dispense with subjective feelings as mere tokens of the petty boojwazee. As Strelnikov informed Dr Zhivago, "The personal life is dead; history has killed it."
That is all, Comrades. By the way, the beatings will continue until attitudes improve.
Natural rights are negative rights as are the inalienable rights of the Bill of Rights. Positive rights or socialism are rights that have a cost to other people such as government welfare or abortion. Now that should stir the pot!!
The notion of "negative rights" (or as Obama called it at 1:10 in this 2001 radio interview, "negative liberties") is bogus. People have rights, not governments. Rights are only "negative" from the point of view of the government in that the government has no legitimate authority to interfere with natural, inalienable rights of Man which, according to the philosophy underpinning the Declaration of Independence, pre-exist government. Government is instituted by Men to secure their Natural Rights, which already exist. Man is born with his Natural Rights endowed by his Creator, not as authored by government. An American holds this truth to be self-evident. Only a statist elevating government (the State) above its pay-grade would foist the concept of "negative rights".
what happens when your natural rights interfere with my natural rights?
consider: the standard-issue liberal favors free speech expressed through child porn, shouting "fire" in a theater and using bullhorns at midnight on your residential street. who is going to restrict his freedom when it interferes with your right to child-free porn, safe theaters and quiet streets? You, Lt. Weinberg?
protip: that would be "the government".
I'm convinced my fellow conservatives are fascinated by grand phrases but rarely think things through.
every time I hear the phrase "natural, inalienable rights of Man" or "we the peoples" I want to reach for my gun.
What if you just dialed it down to ''disturbing the peace is a misdemeanor and it can get you arrested'' --would that suffice to induce you to holster that shootin' iron?
Liberal libertarians believe that every woman has a right to an abortion, paid for by the state. Anyone who disagrees should be taxed to pay for abortions anyway, because it is her right, which cannot be exercised unless paid for by the state.
Liberal libertarians believe in homosexual marriage, as well as polymarriage, bimarriage, bestial marriage; indeed marriage for every gender, and that anyone who disagrees must be compelled to think, speak, and act as if he agrees, and so they support, say, the prosecution of bakers, florists, and photographers who refuse to participate in “new normal” marriages.
The same for "hate speech." Liberal libertarians demand the state silence anyone who disagrees with feminists, communists, homosexuals, and other totalitarians.
In these things and all other things liberal libertarians believe, the state compels and is right to compel the thought, speech, acts, and taxation of non-believers.
And this is why I often write that libertarianism elides into fascism so easily, because libertarians, while proclaiming the opposite and allegedly opposing the state, demand state compulsion of all dissenters.
Conservative libertarians remind me of Quakers: everyone gets to choose his own path to hell, er, path to enlightenment, as long as I am not compelled to fund it, praise it, or participate in it.
I don't get it, Erisguy --the libertarian impulse is toward less government, smaller government, proscribed government. The statist/libertarianism you describe is 'progressivism' itself.
The desire to have the state approve homosexual marriage without abolition of anti-discrimination laws requires the prosecution of florists, bakers, photographers, priests, churches…. And it is self-described libertarians who want this.
If you know of libertarians who oppose abortion unless and until government subsides are withdrawn, good for you. I don’t. If you know libertarians who oppose homosexual marriage unless and until anti-discrimination laws are abolished, good for you. I don’t.
In the real world, that means they are in favor of state oppression of dissenters.
Obama has explicitly (in a public radio interview he gave as a State Senator) promulgated the concepts of "positive rights" and "negative rights". "Negative rights" are those things that the government cannot do or cannot stop you from doing. "Positive rights" are those things that the government must provide for you if you cannot provide them for yourself. So housing, medical care, etc. are "positive" rights, whereas freedom of religion, freedom of speech, the right to keep and bear arms, etc., are "negative rights". The government must buy you housing, food and healthcare. They do not have to buy you a gun or a printing press or a web site.
Before this, "negative rights" were called "rights", and "positive rights" were called "entitlements". But they want to get away from that language. They want people to think the State is required to provide you things.
You are learning what George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and an assorted group of other guys knew all along. Civilization is important. Civilization is not easy.