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Echoes and Mirrors» Blog Archive » Social Conservatives: Liberty is not just for You.

Social Conservatives: Liberty is not just for You.

I had originally planned on posting some really kickass video from Reason TV, but I was blindsided by PajamasMedia.  This is truly demoralizing and defies any sense of reason or liberty: Libertarians Need to Rethink Support for Drug Legalization. Why? Here’s what happened:

  • guy was getting arrested, freaked out because he was carrying a bag of marijuana and didn’t want to get caught with it.
  • He eats it.
  • He chokes on the bag.

Obviously the libertarian argument is that if marijuana wasn’t illegal, this would never have happened.  Which is logical.

The problem with this Pajamas Media blog post is that they are trying to join social conservativism into libertarianism and distance themselves from the GOP.

The position on the legalization of marijuana provides the point of departure from the traditional libertarianism of Barry Goldwater. In abandoning the duty to enforce social order, today’s libertarians have made a devil’s pact with the pro-drug forces of George Soros and company.

Traditional libertarianism holds individual property rights, especially those of one’s own person to be the first and foremost concern. If the state were to prevent you from doing things because they were “unsafe” then they might as well be telling you that you don’t have the liberty to control your own person.

They forget that the moral order they have inherited is put at even further risk as laws change to allow more destructive behavior.

That’s right because as individuals we are allowed to choose self-destructive behavior if we see fit. Morality and justice have nothing to do with whether it is pretty, nice or gives you the warm and fuzzies.

There is too much stupid to nit-pick. Get your religion away from libertarianism, go read Anarchy, State and Utopia and drink yourselves to death.

The comment thread itself is a fucking goldmine (hint: they tear the blogger a new one). PajamasMedia needs to reel its bloggers like Mary Grabar in a bit.  This one pretty much nails it (commenter ‘spindok’):

The author simply does not understand Libertarianism. Her entire argument is collectivist and intent on preserving “our way of life”, “foundations of society” and “judeo-christian heritage”.

These things are not meaningful in the Libertarian context. It is like arguing against Capitalism because it would destroy the obviously desirable goal of “state control of the means of production”.

To the Libertarian way of thinking pot may very well be bad for you and legalizing it may not produce the best results for society as a whole, but that is beside the point.

Libertarianism is not utopian. It accepts that social outcomes may or may not be “better” if we respect individual liberties. It is a principled moral argument, not an empirical one. Society and government cannot have rights, only people can and yours stop at my nose.

A Libetarian can either cringe or laugh when the author says that Pot, or something else, needs to be illegal to preserve “our” culture, but would only take that as evidence for the dangers of collectivist thinking.

Watch what happens if I propose that I dont care what “our” culture says, but “my” culture says differently. She will tell me to pack my bags and go elsewhere and if I dont follow the rules “we” will be happy to lock “me” up because although I have done no harm to anyone except perhaps myself I have not done my share in preserving our culture, our biblical values, or something else of ours.

Well said. I don’t give a crap about “Judeo-Christian values” because I am neither Jewish nor a Christian. Let’s talk reason.

85. gs:

Pajamas commenter Kazooskibum puts it well. Remember: The issue is never the issue. The issue is control.

Bravo! Then this guy comes in, and he pretty much gets ripped apart. I’ll quote the part that I can disagree with personally:

86. archer52
Most libertarians I know that like the free drug argument have two common traits. One- they usually use weed or something along that line. Not the hardcore crack/meth/oxy drugs that kill people. Just weed, or as one of the comments said- a vegetable. Two- The active libertarian does not work or live or suffer dealing with the hardcore drug user. Their argument is a classroom argument, not a real world argument. I’ve seen the end result of hardcore drug use. Meth, crack, prescription pills. I’ve actually seen it kill the user and more often kill an innocent. Legalizing anything with that kind of power and put it in the hands of people who can’t control it is stupid and dangerous. We do live in a society where our right to screw up ends at the nose of the guy next to us. There has to be controls on behavior.

I work with crackheads every day, and you know what? There would be a fraction of the crime there is in this town if drugs were for sale in a guarded liquor store. The argument is not about the drugs themselves, but about the criminology associated with drug use, dealing and trafficking. Major drug companies don’t shoot each other up or rob each other or accept stolen televisions for payment.

The post goes on to decry porn, stripping and other assorted fun activities. It’s a fucking mess. I quit.