Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Libertarians Are Not Social Liberals

Social liberals are often quite aggressive advocates of using state power to impose their preffered versions of "liberty." Most libertarians are disgusted by thought-policing political correctness, by forced "sensitivity" training, by so-called Hate Crimes tribunals and racial and gender quotas. They detest smoking bans, forced volunteerism and the whole panapoly of Nanny State outrages. They may detest religious incursions on government, but they also detest governmental incursions on religion.

...most libertarians I know may be in favor of gay marriage, but they're against the state forcing eHarmony to provide services to homosexual customers against their will.

...liberals are dishonest or ignorant when they claim that they are particularly libertarian in their outlook when, more often, they are merely strong champions of having the State mirror and impose their value choices.

The Myth of Libertarians as Social Liberals

1 comment:

  1. Yeah. The idea is that on issues other than economics, libertarians are indistinguishable from liberals. Nothing could be further from the truth. Libertarians are primarily united in opposition to using the state to control and regulate society. There are libertarians who are very religious and hold conservative views on things like family and sexuality, but they don't seek to use the government to enforce their private beliefs, same with atheist libertarians, who really only get upset with religion when it seeks state power.

    The confusion here results, I think, from the fact that there is some overlap with liberals on civil liberties issues, e.g., pornography, drug laws, the 4th amendment (well, some "liberals" anyway). Conservatives and liberals both misunderstand libertarians, not realizing, for example, that to be against strong drink does not mean one wants a return to prohibition. Or, conversely that to be in favor of racial equality means one must want laws to enforce it.


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