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Your Religiosity Is Incompatible With Your Libertarianism

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Pro-Life Christian website LifeNews has published an opinion piece on the recent firing of “Duck Dynasty” star Phil Robertson for comments denigrating homosexuality in an interview:

http://www.lifenews.com/2013/12/19/like-phil-robertson-its-time-for-christians-to-speak-up-against-sin/

Firstly and most importantly, in the author’s opinion Robertson absolutely has a right to free speech and should not have been terminated for his opinions, especially since they were expressed in a personal interview totally outside the production of the show. But in this case it was A&E’s decision, not the author’s and it is unknown what were the contents of Robertson’s contract with the network.

The subject of this post is the response to the incident. This article moves the frame of reference to a completely different context (homosexuality to abortion) and sounds self-serving. This article could have been all about free speech, an issue important and common to all human beings, but instead changes the frame of reference and brings out the Christian/Pro-Life flag to wave it high once again.

This is a problem for the liberty movement. Choosing sides in religious conflicts does not help unify different groups in an appreciation of human freedom; it helps perpetuate divides between them along the lines of scripture and dogma (both of which are open to vastly different interpretations and resulting conflict). With a proper understanding of the universal principle of non-aggression, one can leave behind the quagmire that is religious scripture and seek the real, natural, universal truth of the human condition. One becomes less inclined toward hateful speech about a non-violent practice like consensual homosexual relationships, and when one hears such speech one becomes less inclined to react by drawing battle lines and immediately entering intellectual conflict. Increasingly, thanks to technology, there is only one collective on the planet: the Human collective.

Put succinctly, it is disingenuous or even hypocritical when Libertarians/Voluntaryists practice collectivism in the form of organized religion. We don’t get a free society by continuing to take such universal issues of human freedom (of speech, of association, of sexuality) and making them into tribal conflicts. This dynamic has even been harnessed by governments and religious institutions throughout history to justify all manner of atrocity in the name of God or Yahweh or Allah or whatever you call the divine eternal. There are few things less productive for the liberty movement today. If one waves the flag of the either the state or of one’s particular God, one makes the same mistake. We should build bridges between different traditions, not draw battle lines.

Libertarians and Voluntaryists should be less like TV preachers and more like Rush’s Tom Sawyer:

No, his mind is not for rent
To any God or government.
Always hopeful, yet discontent,
He knows changes arent permanent,
But change is.

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We Have The Technology

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Gentlemen, we can rebuild it. We have the technology. We have the capability to make the world’s first free society. Planet Earth will be that society. Better than it was before. Better…stronger…faster.

Novus Ordo Liber

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Novus Ordo Liber

“Own yourself”

People Are Bad, So We Need a Government Made Up Of… People…

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It seems to me that many of the common objections to the idea of a stateless civilization stem from a fallacy. It’s what I call the “people are inherently self-destructive” fallacy. This fallacy posits that if we don’t grant a centralized authority violent power over the citizens to enforce cultural norms (drug use/marriage/education), those citizens will devolve into stoned, slovenly, uncaring, violent, criminal, and unproductive louts and the civilization will crumble. I have three objections to this. The first is logical, the other two are empirical:

  1. The circular logic of government

    The circular logic of government

    The view of human kind as inherently self-destructive and in dire need of authoritarian guidance must apply to humans categorically in order to be an axiom and a basis for social policy affecting the entire society. If this is true of all humans, there are no humans who could effectively manage the affairs of other humans and central government is a farce. If this is not true of all humans, and some humans are in fact rational and capable of governing the affairs of the world properly (by way of centralization like representative government/voting/democracy/totalitarianism), you have violated the axiom. Also, this is called “elitism”.

  2. If the decision to do something is based solely on the current status of its legality according to the government, you can say goodbye to the Rosa Parks and Boston Tea Partiers of history because there will be no more. A great deal of human progress has been made by disregarding unjust laws.
  3. This is because government and law are TRAILING indicators of culture. Only after the CULTURE evolves to be more open-minded/less racist/less violent/more altruistic does any government policy then reflect the new sensibility. Using the guns of government to enforce behavior is trying to get the tail to wag the dog and ends up in things like our useless “drug war”.

The idea that people need to be watched over by Big Brother makes me think that big-government advocates have a dismal opinion of humanity to start with. This is a real shame because we are each free, beautiful, independent human beings who want to do great things for each other and with each other.

No One is Coming to Save You

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Popular Endorsements And Awards

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Today I was on a website discussing the fact that Americans are still getting their news from mainstream sources. I tried to make the point that MSNBC is no better than FOX is no better than CNN… when I was confronted with this argument:

Both CNN and MSNBC have Peabody Awards and Emmy Awards under their belts… Know how many Fox News has? 0. Hell, even Comedy Central has 5 Peabody awards. Just because certain networks lean to the left or right doesn’t make a difference when it comes to quality news content… Of which Fox has none.

Yeah, and Barack Obama has a Nobel Peace Prize despite his terrifying and murderously inefficient drone strike campaign. The EU has been granted a Peace Prize while in the midst of unprecedented unrest, debt, and austerity. Tell me again the value of awards, please. Because to me, it seems like they are often just society’s way of re-branding and endorsing a certain ineptitude.

So a bunch of university-educated statists on the Peabody Board agreed with the university-educated statists at CNN and MSNBC… So what? Is it any wonder that MSNBC gets awards from people who have “done commentary about television for NPR, CNN, MSNBC and other media outlets” or have been “chief national correspondent for The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, and a reporter for The New Yorker and The New York Times”? None of these outlets- CNN, MSNBC or Fox- have done anything worthy of mention with regards to challenging the problems of the status-quo or holding elected officials accountable for their decisions when it really counted (not in the last forty years or so, at least).

Again, this is not a defense of Fox News or any other mainstream outlet. Every outlet has their angle (not excluding this blog)- but the question you have to ask yourself is not “Has this content been validated by an “authority” by way of awards?”. The question you have to ask yourself is “Does this reporting resonate with what I have determined to be true thus far?”.

Never let anyone else tell you what is good or true or right in this world.

Walter Block Defines Libertarianism

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So what do Libertarians stand for, anyway? Walter Block told us on Capital Account.

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