Green Room

Video: Libertarianism vs. libertinism

posted at 12:28 pm on January 7, 2013 by

Wisdom and charm from Julie Borowski, a.k.a. Token Libertarian Girl, albeit with one conspicuous omission. What about the most hot-button social issue of all? Even Ron Paul makes an exception for government intervention (at the state level, at least) when it comes to abortion. We know where the libertines stand on that, but what about the libertarians?

Recently in the Green Room:

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Wow, Ive never been lectured about politics by a grinning, caffeinated ferret before…

Valkyriepundit on January 7, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Why don’t Libertarians just start their own party?

…Oh yeah.

BigGator5 on January 7, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Drug abuse has wiped out entire families. Promiscuous sex costs the taxpayers 10′s of billions per year and entire cities have been trashed due to fatherless children turning them in to war zones. Thousands of women have been forced into prostitution and thousands more are abused sexually and physically as a result.

That is not to address what should be legal or not legal but we should stop pretending than an immoral nation is harmless to society and there are no social and monetary costs associated with said immorality.

echosyst on January 7, 2013 at 12:49 PM

The idea that a person should be free to do whatever they want with their bodies as long as they don’t — directly — harm others is a fallacy. If someone so abuses themselves that they then require others to provide for them or care for them, their self-indulgence becomes MY issue. Every person has an obligation to every other person and to society as a whole to provide for themselves and their family/offspring. They have an obligation to “own” themselves in a way that, at minimum, does not put an extra burden on the liberty of others. THAT is true libertarianism. Recognizing this truth and requiring this basic responsibility is the basis of laws governing personal behavior.

In other words, you DON’T have the right or the freedom to abuse yourself with drugs, sex, alcohol, or anything else if so doing puts an additional burden on me or others. See?

Whitewolf7070 on January 7, 2013 at 12:57 PM

As a libertarian I find myself in the middle (and often the only voice of reason) in the abortion debate. I believe that a person should be able to do just about whatever they want with their bodies as long as it doesn’t harm anyone else. However with abortion the issue of whether or not it hurts someone else is paramount. Is a fetus a person? We lack a hard definition of when personhood begins. This should be the crux of the debate. If a fetus is a person then they have rights and abortion deprives them of those rights. If they are not then a woman should be able to abort. It’s just as ridiculous to believe that personhood begins at conception as it is to believe it doesn’t begin until birth. Early fetuses are just clumps of cells and lack feeling, emotion, memory -the features characteristic of human sentience. While a fetus at term has nearly all of these. Both sides need to move towards the middle on this and leave religion out of it.

IMO -Ban all abortions after 22-25 weeks. Doctors can find significant brain activity at 22 weeks – so that’s probably where we should start looking for when we define personhood to begin.

No exceptions for rape/incest pregnancies. Conservatives undermine their principles when they cave on this issue. IF a fetus is a person, then the manner of its conception is irrelavant. It’s an unpleasant positon to take, but that’s what happens when you actually have principles.

McSmack on January 7, 2013 at 1:02 PM

The idea that a person should be free to do whatever they want with their bodies as long as they don’t — directly — harm others is a fallacy. If someone so abuses themselves that they then require others to provide for them or care for them, their self-indulgence becomes MY issue. Every person has an obligation to every other person and to society as a whole to provide for themselves and their family/offspring. They have an obligation to “own” themselves in a way that, at minimum, does not put an extra burden on the liberty of others. THAT is true libertarianism. Recognizing this truth and requiring this basic responsibility is the basis of laws governing personal behavior.

In other words, you DON’T have the right or the freedom to abuse yourself with drugs, sex, alcohol, or anything else if so doing puts an additional burden on me or others. See?

This viewpoint is the first slippery step towards nanny-statism. If we decide that we as a people (government) have a right to dictate other’s choices based on what’s best for them or the whole of society(aka it costing us money) then we have justification for government doing whatever it wants “for our own good”.

Obesity leads to increased cost for medicare/aid. Mandatory exercise.

Smoking leads to increased costs. Nationwide smoking ban.
Guns can hurt people. Let’s get rid of those too, so society doesn’t have to pick up the tab when they hurt themselves.

As a libertarian what I see is two parties who want to control my actions. The only difference is which types of actions they want to control.

McSmack on January 7, 2013 at 1:10 PM

Why don’t Libertarians just start their own party?

…Oh yeah.

BigGator5 on January 7, 2013 at 12:43 PM

Good one.

thebrokenrattle on January 7, 2013 at 1:12 PM

The “Slippery slope” argument has its place, but it is absurd to generalize it. Just because there is some government taxation does not mean that it is inevitable that there will be 100% taxation.

It all depends upon what it is you consider is a legitimate subject of government involvement.

For example, observation and experience objectively demonstrates that monogamous, lifetime marriage is the foundation of a healthy family and society. As such, government should endorse, and support marriage. To say that marriage may be good for you, but that it it should simply be one choice among many is like saying that health is good for you, but that sickness is just as good an option, too.

It’s absurd. And the sooner libertarians stop defending absurdities in the name of liberty, the better off they will be.

Whitewolf7070 on January 7, 2013 at 1:25 PM

It’s not absurd. It’s freedom. The wisdom of our choices isn’t for society or the government to legislate. And therefore the consequences shouldn’t be for the government or society to bear.

It all depends upon what it is you consider is a legitimate subject of government involvement.

Yes you are absolutely correct. The only difference I see is in what the GOP and the Progs think are legitimate targets for government control. Social conservatives need to start calling themselves social progressives – because that’s what they are. Government controlling our decisions because we lack the cognative capacity to make our own choices.

Just because something is good for society doesn’t mean it’s the place of the government to endorse or support it. I may agree with you that it’s a good thing, but I draw the line at government involvement. Having the government dictate/legislate socieal development and policy is wrong. And it inevitibly leads to less freedom for everyone.

McSmack on January 7, 2013 at 1:49 PM

This is why each state is free to make laws regarding the control of its citizens.
Notice the Fed is limited.
States have a right to do some potentially $hitty things.
Not saying I like that, but they have the right to via the voters in that state.

Badger40 on January 7, 2013 at 2:02 PM

While agreeing with the principles espoused in the video, Libertarians fail to acknowledge these discussions will always be required until the day the government let people deal with the consequences of their own decisions. There is simply no chance for that to happen any time soon and hence that is the question that we have to be faced. Until over 50% of the population support that the government should not take care of people who make bad decisions Libertarians, libertines or otherwise, simply are on the wrong side of the issue.

ojfltx on January 7, 2013 at 2:22 PM

It’s just as ridiculous to believe that personhood begins at conception as it is to believe it doesn’t begin until birth. Early fetuses are just clumps of cells….

McSmack on January 7, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Kudos to the idea of a ban and to the lack of a rape/incest exception. However, to say that they are just clumps of cells before some ill-defined point leaves science out of the picture. By scientific definition, that “clump of cells” is identical to the later fetus – it is merely in a different stage of growth. Life begins at conception by reference to science – why should feelings and emotions and memory play into it? By that standard, someone with advanced Alzheimer’s is no longer a person; so is someone born without certain senses (it has happened occasionally). If you accept the scientific definition, the line gets pretty darn easy to draw.

GWB on January 7, 2013 at 2:30 PM

That is not to address what should be legal or not legal but we should stop pretending than an immoral nation is harmless to society and there are no social and monetary costs associated with said immorality.

echosyst on January 7, 2013 at 12:49 PM

Exactly. What scares the muffins out of me is not the fact that so many people, even conservatives, have temporarily been seized by “if it feels good-itis”. That happens in our society now and again.

What’s frightening is the rampant and willful ignorance to the direct consequences of rampant drug use, as well as the childish whining about “nanny-statism” while the Democrat party works for the destruction of vital freedoms on a daily basis…

MelonCollie on January 7, 2013 at 2:39 PM

Pretty simple really. I’m a libertarian who believes that life begins at conception; thus, I’m anti-abortion.

As to libertines, they are amoral; most libertarians possess some moral value system (some, like me, primarily Objectivism — which ironically argues for pro-abortion).

ShainS on January 7, 2013 at 2:44 PM

Why don’t Libertarians just start their own party?
BigGator5 on January 7, 2013 at 12:43 PM

I’d support the Hell out of libertarians, if they’d offer their “help” to DEMOCRATS. They agree with each other every issue but one: If liberals would simply dispense with that silly little Socialism bugaboo of theirs, they’d all be one big happy family.

logis on January 7, 2013 at 3:00 PM

I’d support the Hell out of libertarians, if they’d offer their “help” to DEMOCRATS. They agree with each other every issue but one: If liberals would simply dispense with that silly little Socialism bugaboo of theirs, they’d all be one big happy family.

logis on January 7, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Seeing how your precious GOP has less stand-up to them than a cardboard cutout, the Democrats don’t need anyone’s help to walk all over you. And me. And everyone else who isn’t a liberaltard.

MelonCollie on January 7, 2013 at 3:22 PM

logis on January 7, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Are you kidding? Democrats want next-to-near TOTAL government, libertarians want next-to-near NO government. Libertarians, by definition, are to the RIGHT of conservatives and only slightly to the LEFT of anarchists.

BigGator5 on January 7, 2013 at 3:27 PM

I’d support the Hell out of libertarians, if they’d offer their “help” to DEMOCRATS. They agree with each other every issue but one: If liberals would simply dispense with that silly little Socialism bugaboo of theirs, they’d all be one big happy family.
logis on January 7, 2013 at 3:00 PM

Seeing how your precious GOP has less stand-up to them than a cardboard cutout, the Democrats don’t need anyone’s help to walk all over you. And me. And everyone else who isn’t a liberaltard.
MelonCollie on January 7, 2013 at 3:22 PM

My point exactly: Liberaltarians have bile to spare. And that could potentially be a great thing; but only if you decided to point it in the other direction for a change.

logis on January 7, 2013 at 4:06 PM

My point exactly: Liberaltarians have bile to spare. And that could potentially be a great thing; but only if you decided to point it in the other direction for a change.

logis on January 7, 2013 at 4:06 PM

“point it in the other direction for a change”, good Lord…

I’ve flung more bile in a week against liberals than I’ve thrown against conservatives in a year.

Not counting the times when I told people “I TOLD you guys that those ‘anti-terrorist’ laws was going to be used against you by liberals!”

MelonCollie on January 7, 2013 at 4:16 PM

“Here’s two different libertarians: watch them be in complete agreement with each other on policy and do absolutely nothing about societal ills while they maintain superficial differences when it comes to ‘personal judgments’.”

That’s basically the video in a nutshelll.

Stoic Patriot on January 7, 2013 at 5:34 PM

“Here’s two different libertarians: watch them be in complete agreement with each other on policy and do absolutely nothing about societal ills while they maintain superficial differences when it comes to ‘personal judgments’.”

That’s basically the video in a nutshelll.

Stoic Patriot on January 7, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Actually no, it’s not. The differences weren’t superficial at all. You can be against drugs and yet not think the government should be pushing the war on drugs. You can be against abortion and yet be against the government using force to imprison people who do it.

“I don’t agree with what you say, but I’ll defend your right to say it” is the epitome of what it means to be libertarian. They simply apply that philosophy to almost every policy instead of _just_ freedom of speech.

Libertarians simply recognize the fact that the US government can be just as evil and wrong as any private citizen. There would still be laws, and almost all of the existing criminal laws would remain, since they involve one person harming another.

However some kinds of laws, like prostitution and drugs, “moral” crimes, where no party to it is being harmed (in the “victim”‘s own opinion, not yours), would not be illegal and shouldn’t be illegal.

kaltes on January 7, 2013 at 6:10 PM

Actually no, it’s not. The differences weren’t superficial at all. You can be against drugs and yet not think the government should be pushing the war on drugs. You can be against abortion and yet be against the government using force to imprison people who do it.

kaltes on January 7, 2013 at 6:10 PM

No disagreement on policy = superficial differences.

It’s much the same with people who are “personally” pro-life, when everyone knows that means they’re pro-choice.

Stoic Patriot on January 7, 2013 at 6:26 PM

However some kinds of laws, like prostitution and drugs, “moral” crimes, where no party to it is being harmed (in the “victim”‘s own opinion, not yours), would not be illegal and shouldn’t be illegal.

It is unwise to rely on the “victim’s own opinion” of what is harmful and what isn’t. An assault victim may want to forgive his victimizer and let him/her off without consequences. However, the good of the community — the value of demonstrating the evil of violent assault and preventing its recurrence — requires that the victim’s view be subordinated to a much more objective judicial judgment.

Libertarians operate under the delusion that Judeo-Christian morality is subjective and arbitrary. It isn’t. The 10 Commandments aren’t “right” merely because the Creator arbitrarily declared them to be. The Creator enforces the 10 Commandments because they are, all things considered, OBJECTIVELY right and moral. For example, Cain was still guilty of murder even though he killed his brother long before the 10 Commandments were given to Moses.

The 10 Commandments did not create law, they merely codified it — put it in writing.

The truly shocking thing is that in our day and age, this is still not clearly understood and taken for granted.

Whitewolf7070 on January 7, 2013 at 6:43 PM

On abortion I’d say that libertarians could hold either conservative/liberal positions on that topic. It just falls back to the State’s role. When we look at previous attempts of the State prohibiting undesirable behavior we saw that it only created a hostile and dangerous black market. If there were flat out bans on abortion women would still seek them. Probably in places with less than desirable sanitation or safety standards.

neightkelly on January 7, 2013 at 6:57 PM

No disagreement on policy = superficial differences.

It’s much the same with people who are “personally” pro-life, when everyone knows that means they’re pro-choice.

Stoic Patriot on January 7, 2013 at 6:26 PM

If that is what you believe, and Im being perfectly honest here and not trolling you or meaning to insult you at all:

You are a socialist.

The reason you are a socialist is that you think that every single problem must be addressed by the government. You think that, unless someone pushes laws to criminalize abortions, for example, they are pro-abortion. You are so socialist that you can’t even see that there are other ways to address social issues besides using cops with guns to throw people in jail or take their money.

kaltes on January 7, 2013 at 7:48 PM

Abortion is a unique issue because it may or may not involve “harming another person” depending on whether you think life begins at conception or sometime later. If you believe it begins at conception, then abortions are murder, plain and simple. If you don’t, then as a libertarian you’d think government shouldn’t be involved no matter how immoral it might be.

Social conservatives push their values on everyone else through the barrel of a gun. They think they know best, but the fact is that their own philosophy gets turned against them when liberals use socialist policies to do things like funding abortions with taxpayer dollars.

kaltes on January 7, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Oh and for the record, I think the Token Libertarian Girl is a bit obnoxious because she comes across like one of those overly-excited infomercial freaks. Her eyes are way too wide, her face is way too in the cam, and she is just way too intense.

Crowder does the same thing, and I can’t watch him either. He is actually worse about it.

If a person wants to get their point across, they shouldnt just show their face. They should put up some graphics that relate to or support their arguments.

kaltes on January 7, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Social conservatives push their values on everyone else through the barrel of a gun.
kaltes on January 7, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Anyone who believes anything even remotely like that is capable of believing literally anything. And, in today’s media-driven world, it’s perfectly safe to assume that you do.

I suppose I could humor you and listen to you rant long enough to try and figure out what random bit of propaganda you’ve seen on TV 10,000 times that makes you think you’re not a “liberal”…

Or not.

Eh, I’m going with not.

logis on January 7, 2013 at 9:16 PM

Wow, Ive never been lectured about politics by a grinning, caffeinated ferret before…

Valkyriepundit on January 7, 2013 at 12:38 PM

Excuse me while I wipe my coffee off the screen… Hilarious!

The Thin Man Returns on January 7, 2013 at 9:53 PM

Social conservatives push their values on everyone else through the barrel of a gun.
kaltes on January 7, 2013 at 7:52 PM

Anyone who believes anything even remotely like that is capable of believing literally anything. And, in today’s media-driven world, it’s perfectly safe to assume that you do.

logis on January 7, 2013 at 9:16 PM

I don’t believe all (or even most) social conservatives think that way, but I remember some Texas lawmakers suggesting that justices of the peace marrying same-sex couples be arrested and charged with a felony. Some people can be quite over-zealous in trying to cut down anything that those on the other side enjoy (and enjoy responsibly, I might add).

TMOverbeck on January 9, 2013 at 7:25 AM

And by the way, I’m mostly on the pro-life side. I’ll allow for the morning-after pill and terminations before a heart and/or brain develop, but after that I’m against abortion except to save the mother’s life. And I’ll happily support any advances in bio-medical technology that lead to stuff like “human incubators”.

TMOverbeck on January 9, 2013 at 7:31 AM