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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Taconicus BS: Rabbis Push FOX to Bust Beck... (178* d) Classical liberalism and libertarianism 31 Jan 11


I reject deconstructionism as a fatally flawed and self-contradictory doctrine. If the meaning of the words we use is ultimately unknowable then conversation is meaningless and we might as well live in a might-makes-right world.

When I say limited government I'm not using it as a slogan for "I don't want to be regulated" as you suggest. I mean exactly what the phrase means to anyone familiar with political theory. Our Constitution gives us a government of limited, enumerated powers. If we can't agree on what those words mean, then we have no basis for conversation.

Assuming we can, and therefore do…

Yes, classical liberalism is very close to libertarianism. But libertarianism is a blanket term that includes the political philosophies of people who believe different things. Like you, most people today are not familiar with classical liberalism, and thus many people who call themselves libertarians (I used to call myself a "rational libertarian") are actually classical liberals. Other "libertarians" are not. A fair number could be called anarco-capitalistic libertarians, who are opposed to all government and believe everyone would be better off with a utopian, totally unregulated, absolutely free society, where private property rights are the basis on which to settle all human differences. That's a nice ideal for a perfect world, but unrealistic. However, it is fairly clear that libertarianism derived from classical liberalism, and there are many similarities. In fact, you will probably find few differences between "moderate libertarians" and those who recognize themselves to be classical liberals. The problem is, of course, that the word "liberal" has been co-opted by radical leftists, socialists, and progressives who have gradually taken over political parties that formerly were of a more classical liberal nature, so that now the word means something else entirely, and classical liberals don't recognize themselves (nor do others recognize them) as liberals at all.

Sure, we could talk about Citizens United or the Second Amendment if you like (you don't think Citizens United was a Second Amendment case, do you?) If you are open-minded then after I explained more about the Citizens United I think you would come away with a different opinion. However, it would be a few days before I had the time to do that. I should've worked over the weekend, but instead I frittered away a lot of it rambling on inconsequentially on this forum, probably mostly to avoid work I had to do.

If we do talk about one or the other, we should probably start a new thread about it.

I like listenting dulcimer music. Do you play hammer dulcimer?


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