Can libertarians be liberals?

Working in Democratic politics can do strange things to libertarians. Part of the job is selling libertarian economics to hardcore liberals– and that’s a daunting task. Perhaps impossible. It led me to re-evaluate major aspects of my libertarianism (Liberals support x. Libertarians oppose x. But is libertarian philosophy really opposed to x?) and take a much closer look at liberal ideas.

When I started, I was already skeptical of some core libertarian arguments, due to my near-obsession with academic economics. My work with liberalism opened the floodgates. Eventually I was forced to admit that I was probably wrong in advocating free market anarchism and adopted a position awkwardly in between liberalism and libertarianism.

Since then I’ve struggled to find a way to describe my views. “Left-libertarian” was an obvious candidate, but it seems that most people using the term are anarchists, and I’m not nearly that radical. Taking a cue from Will Wilkinson, I started to use “liberaltarian“. But, in many cases, people simply interpreted that as “libertarian”, defeating the purpose.

For a while, if asked, I would just shake my head and laugh nervously. Finally I gave up and called myself a liberal.

So I was intrigued to find an essay at the Bleeding-Heart Libertarians blog by left-leaning libertarian Will Wilkinson, titled “Why I’m Not a Bleeding-Heart Libertarian“:

I’m not interested in identifying which among the many kinds of bleeding-heart libertarian I am because I’m not interested in identifying myself a libertarian. Ideological labels are mutable, but at any given time they publicly connote a certain syndrome of convictions. What “libertarian” tends to mean to most people, including most people who self-identify as libertarian, is flatly at odds with some of what I believe. So I guess I’m just a liberal; the bleeding heart goes without saying.

Here are some not-standardly-libertarian things I believe: Non-coercion fails to capture all, maybe even most, of what it means to be free. Taxation is often necessary and legitimate. The modern nation-state has been, on the whole, good for humanity. (See Steven Pinker’s new book.) Democracy is about as good as it gets. The institutions of modern capitalism are contingent arrangements that cannot be justified by an appeal to the value of liberty construed as non-interference. The specification of the legal rights that structure real-world markets have profound distributive consequences, and those are far from irrelevant to the justification of those rights. I could go on.

Given the prevailing public understanding of “libertarianism,” this ain’t it and I’m no libertarian. And it’s not at all clear to me what is to be gained by trying to get people to retrofit the label to fit my idiosyncratic politics. At any rate, that’s not a project I’m interested in. I am interested in what it means to be free, and the role of freedom in flourishing or meaningful or valuable lives.

“Liberaltarian,” ugly as it may be, has been useful to me because it offers a convenient label for a position that is neither standard liberalism nor a standard libertarian altenative to standard liberalism. Jason Brennan and John Tomasi’s “neo-classical liberalism” is better, in that it isn’t such a barbaric neologism and doesn’t suggest as much affinity with libertarianism, but also worse, in that it suggests something like the liberalism of neo-classical economists, which it sort of is, but needn’t be.

Labels aside, I’m more interested in arguing with standard liberals about the nature and scope of specially-protected rights and liberties within the settled context of the liberal-democratic nation-state than in arguing with standard libertarians about the justification of taxation, publicly-financed education, or welfare transfers. After all, there are many orders of magnitude more standard liberals than standard libertarians, and they possess many orders of magnitude more influence. We pick our fights, and I’d like to pick ones that stand a chance of making a real difference.

Anyway, I would encourage other decreasingly standard-libertarian libertarian-ish types to hasten their passage through the liminal “bleeding heart” stage and just come out as liberals. Or, better yet, to come out as inscrutably idiosyncratic. You are not alone. Well, if you’re inscrutably idiosyncratic, you are. But the similarly inscrutably idiosyncratic can be alone together. I’ve heard some good things about individualism. Maybe some of us should try it.

Join the club, Will!
But, although I’m excited to see that someone as well-known as Will Wilkinson is also struggling with this issue, what I found more helpful is the response from Timothy Lee, at Forbes:

There seems to be a bit of a double standard here. The two dominant political coalitions in American politics—”liberal” and “conservative”—encompass a broad diversity of intellectual views. David Brooks, Andrew Sullivan, Reihan Salam, Rush Limbaugh, Pat Buchanan, George W. Bush, Michelle Malkin, and David Frum all call themselves conservatives, but you’d be hard-pressed to find any issue on which all of them agreed. You could make a similarly eclectic list for liberals. American liberalism and American conservatism are sprawling political coalitions bound together by a cluster of shared values, assumptions, and associations. If your politics are closer to Ted Kennedy than Ronald Reagan, then you’re a liberal, and vice versa for conservatives.

In contrast, libertarianism tends to be defined much more narrowly. It’s often defined as the belief that the government should be limited to a night watchman state: police, courts, military, and nothing else. And there’s an anarchist wing of the libertarian movement that thinks even these functions can and should be provided by the competitive market.

By this definition, I’m not a libertarian. Among other things, I favor government-run roads, government-supported subways in large cities, educational subsidies for children whose parents cannot afford private tuition, safety regulation of dangerous chemical and nuclear facilities, regulation of natural monopolies, copyright protection, and so forth.

In many of these cases I can make a plausible argument that the government activities in question can be justified under a strict libertarian conception of the role of government. But in other cases (vouchers, for example) it’s more honest to admit that I simply don’t hold the most libertarian possible position on that issue.

So does that mean I’m not a libertarian? Maybe Will is right that the “prevailing public understanding” says I’m not. But I don’t think so. If someone is more conservative than the median voter on most policy issues, we call that person a conservative even if his views aren’t identical to those of Ronald Reagan. If someone is more liberal than the median voter on most policy issues, we call that person a liberal even if his views aren’t identical to those of Ted Kennedy. I’m more libertarian than the median voter on almost every policy issue. So I’m a libertarian despite the fact that my views aren’t identical to those of Ron Paul or Gary Johnson.

But this isn’t an either-or decision. It’s worth remembering that both F.A. Hayek or Milton Friedman, two of the libertarian movement’s most important thinkers, were self-identified liberals. This is partly for historical reasons—Friedman and Hayek were both middle-aged when the modern meaning of the term “libertarian” came into widespread usage. But it’s also because there’s substantial overlap between liberal and libertarian ideas. There are lots of Tea Party types who self-identify as both libertarians and conservatives. There’s no reason there couldn’t be an equally large number of people—like me and Will circa 2009—who identify as both libertarians and liberals. [Emphasis added.]

Thank you, Tim. I now have a name: I am a libertarian liberal.

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51 comments
American Neo-Buddha
American Neo-Buddha

This is the harsh reality of politics.? NO, This is the healing balm of reality... Remember, Buddha was well over 500 years old, before your Jesus Christ was even BORN....... And, your Jesus himself is just a reincarnation of Buddha... ...as are we all... Hey, get over it, OK?... Even Buddha himself is just a reincarnation of God, so.......... Yes, we are all as Gods & Goddesses, and it's long past time to start acting like it....

American Neo-Buddha
American Neo-Buddha

That is an excellent, well-written recapitulation of 20th Century CE Western geopolitics........ Mad props & extreme kudos if you actually typed it extemporaneously........ But, Dan, *DUDE*, mark it 8, OK...???........... ...Mark it 8............................................................................. Because, there is a world beyond labels, beyond tribal groupings and political parties, beyond the false dichotomy of "fascism/communism", and "conservative/liberal"..... ...beyond Repubturds & Democraps..... Ron Paul is but one of many doormen, showing us a WAY OUT of this MESS... ...and, yes, imperfect as it is, by whatever label you name it, by whatever name you label it, the Constitution of the United States of *****AMERICA**** is still the Supreme Law of this Land, and the words from which the STARS & STRIPES both FLOWS, and still FLIES.... GOD BLESS AMERICA .... GOD BLESS AMERICA GOD BLESS AMERICA ...and goddamn you motherfuckers..... ...we have not yet begun to fight....... ...give us Liberty or give us death... ...we may only have but one life to give for our Country.... ...we may only have but one life to LIVE for OUR COUNTRY... ...but live it we shall... ...but live it we will... ...because one life well-lived is our sacred duty... ...duty, honor, Country... ...Semper Fidelis Morbidus... ...Semper Fi.... ...Semper Fi... Buddha = Executive Branch Dharma = Judicial Branch Sangha = Legislative Branch OK, it's not perfect, so sue me, OK...???..... :) - American Neo-Buddha Horse... :) ...

Dan
Dan

Libertarians are, by definition, liberals. Period. Only those who do not understand politics, on a deep level, would disagree. The fact that libertarianism is represented and accepted as a conservative perspective is one of the largest disasters to happen to conservatism in modern history. It is a political disaster, with the people paying the price in their loss of liberty, that there is a belief in a third direction for politics beyond that of communism on one extreme end and fascism on the other. "Liberalism" and "Conservatism" are only more central expressions of communism and fascism, with the modern accepted liberal position being conservative communism and accepted conservatism being liberal fascism, respectively. Fascism and communism act as counterweights to one another, and if one is removed as an ideal than the other force will inevitably and conclusively take over and dominate the political landscape of the world. There is no politically effective third position. I used to believe in the political quadrant, but it does not exist in reality, and a horse by a different name other than that of communism or fascism will inevitably dis-empower and lead to one extreme by virtue of fooling the population into removing a counterweight. Libertarianism's primary effect/purpose is to remove the counterweight of conservatism/fascism from allowing communism to take hold. It convinces conservatives that liberal views are actually conservative views, by convincing them that "freedom" comes from an always historically defeated and never verified notion that rank individualism leads to "freedom". The fact remains that individualism leads to slavery because individuals can't defend themselves from foreign nationalist groups or even well organized Communist groups or organized armies. The inter-generational community cooperation and resultant political power that are borne out of the strong family unit, is a result of the extreme social conservatism that fosters such strong family ties. This social conservatism / fascism is the one thing that preserves freedom. Individualism leads to slavery from powerful internationalist (communist or international conservative) groups. Beyond this political reality, libertarian's social ideals largely mimic the social ideals of communism, the only difference being the "freedom" to have strong family values and to try and build communities if they wish. A freedom that will never last nor be effective, first, because it is born out of the undisciplined culture that is a principle of libertarian ideals, and second because and therefore will never be intergenerationally effective, and second will never be allowed to be exercised once these loose individualist / relatively uncooperative "libertarian" communities become overrun with the communist state directives or even private politically powerful groups that wish to exploit them. Libertarianism is the lowering of defenses against communism. You will realize this once your realize the force that breeds political power: that is the strong family unit that is bred from extreme social conservatism, and the strong communities that extend from these units. All international forces within these communities, even if they be "libertarians" that adhere to their individualist notions that effectively make them nations unto themselves, weaken the communities against the liberal forces of internationalization and communism through the weakening of the tendencies of individuals to cooperate within the group, especially intergenerationally. Another way to prove this theorem is to state that the reality that both liberalism/communism and libertarianism are individualizing forces within small communities, and that social conservatism is a cohesive force. It is the relative individualizing force of a movement, in relation to the cohesive force of other political movements, that define any political philosophy as liberal/communist or conservative/fascist. It is the individualizing of communities which either fosters or destroys their level of cooperation within the community, and therefore the political power of the community. When all of a communities power is removed, a foreign power (inimical to the interests of the community) controlled state can then take over. Individualizing communities and destroying extremely conservative family values are the direct path to communism, and the only true accomplishments that communism requires to be put into long term effective action. This is the harsh reality of politics.

Truth-out
Truth-out

Somalia is NOT an example of "anarchy"....- rather, it is an example of a "failed state that has reverted to tribalism...Somalia does have a functioning "government" - it is groups of warlords, and the arrangements they make to control territory... There is really very little pure "anarchy" in Somalia... Just like there is really very little true freedom left in America...

name
name

Cheap cell phone plans? That's what you get with anarchy? Sign me up. And look at all the innovation and technological advances which come from such a free land. Hell, I bet they invented the cell phone. But, since there are no patent/copyright laws, their ideas flowed freely, and right into the hands of the devil in a state controlled society. Bless you maineshark. You belong in the genius category, just like your buddy chaz 'genius' munro.

Anton Lee
Anton Lee

there is nothing that can't be done. Nothing. To that end, to find the easiest route being illegitimate taxation (theft) from others is what I believe to be the most heinous solution. Humans are smarter than they give themselves credit for. Anything that we have today could be done without the use of force.

MaineShark
MaineShark

Because the problems in Somalia all relate to it /not/ being a pure anarchy? While the good things that happen there (extremely inexpensive cell phone coverage, for example, due to free-market competition) can all be traced to the areas where the government has kept its hands off? I'm sure all the Somalis feel exploited by those evil companies who offer them quality service at rock-bottom prices. I can only imagine how much they hate that...

Tully Fitzsimmons
Tully Fitzsimmons

Julia: Why read about modern stateless societies in an antiseptic vaccuum when you *can* look at Somalia to see the relistic, objective problems with pure anarchy?

david
david

Here is a better question : can liberals VOTE for RON PAUL... and the answer is ,yea they CAN AND WILL if the wars/usa aggression are there most important issue

Skeptikos
Skeptikos

Julia: "Will, I would seriously suggest reading on modern stateless societies (NOT Somalia) and seeing how they function or were able to function. You might be surprised." Can you give me something more specific?

david
david

SY, I am just asking you if you are consistent. You can hurl the word "fraud" if you want. The point of asking you about government womb control is to see if you are consistency pro liberty. You are a republican partisan. My point is that "liberals" (not that i believe you know what that is) but if liberals can be ostracized from the libertarian party why can't republicans ? You just don't know what a liberal IS. Ya! REPUBLICANS are not big government EVERYONE knows that,....lol THERE IS NOTHING "FRAUD" ABOUT BRINGING UP REPUBLICAN, HUGE intrusive.invasive ,government control of women's wombs! I guess it's 'FRAUD" when I point out REPUBLICAN big government' Again just seeing if you're consistent. And finding out you are not. You are the "fraud" sy and so easy to beat in a debate...yawn

S_Y
S_Y

david on Sat, 7th Jan 2012 2:00 pm -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- SY, You are a narrow minded partisan. The right wing wants to involve government in women’s bodies : should those folks be ostracized from the libertarian party? (in your view). That is a real question;i hope you answer. My guess is that you make exceptions for government control of wombs. Lets hear your answer. SY. _____________ Whose body? There are many libertarians that are pro-life. It all depends on whether you believe a baby in the womb possesss certain inalienable rights. Its a difficult question. But like I wrote, you know a left libertarian is an absolute fraud when they keep harping on abortion laws, yet say nothing and do nothing when the government nationalizes 1/5 of the private economy in the name of ObamaCare, which hires 15,000 new IRS agents. Public option and single payer systems that liberals desire put government bureaucrats in control of your whole body from head to toe including the womb. People who support liberals and Obama abdicate any authority to complain about abortion laws. Their fraudulent hypocrisy is shameful.

Julia
Julia

Will, I would seriously suggest reading on modern stateless societies (NOT Somalia) and seeing how they function or were able to function. You might be surprised. Also, look into the works by anarchist anthropologists. They often contend that one the reasons stateless societies have remained stateless is not because of their adherence to a particular philosophy (like - dare I say - the NAP) but rather due to their social customs and how they relate to one another in their societies. It's quite fascinating.

david
david

SY quote : "If all you care about are drugs, sex and anti-war activism, there are dozens of states for you. " I know you want to paint people as "hippies" and thereby alienate them,and divide, with that comment. Should government be involved in sex? Should government be involved in drugs? (including the drug alcohol). I guess your FOR the wars seeing as you don't like protesters like ron paul (who speaks out against them at every turn btw.. ...just a reminder)

david
david

Sy, Protesting war gets ,from you, a "Please leave NH alone with this garbage. " So to you,SY, protesting war is "garbage". You must think ron paul is "garbage" then.

david
david

SY, You are a narrow minded partisan. The right wing wants to involve government in women's bodies : should those folks be ostracized from the libertarian party? (in your view). That is a real question;i hope you answer. My guess is that you make exceptions for government control of wombs. Lets hear your answer. SY.

Skeptikos
Skeptikos

I won't lie-- I really like Vermont. (Massachusetts, not so much.) Whether you accept that libertarians can be liberals or not, "drugs, sex and anti-war activism" are a major part of what libertarianism is about.

S_Y
S_Y

If all you care about are drugs, sex and anti-war activism, there are dozens of states for you. Liberals infest Vermont and Mass. Please leave NH alone with this garbage. Its nothing new. It infests every college campus in Massachusetts. Its what most of these kids mommies and daddies were doing in the sixties. It fails. It sucks. And many people want to get away from the left-wing crap. Thats why they move to NH. I think Cambridge or Burlington is calling some of the people on this thread.

david
david

Just one more quicky point :-) while doing the peace rally.. you know who gets mad at us or gives us the finger? .. It's a easy guess : jingoistic "Americans" :-) Guess what party they probably belong to? ...so lefty liberals doing a war protest getting the finger by righties ... How does that fit into the query posed?

david
david

I dont care about this party that party... But this query has partisanship built into it. So I'm just pointing out stuff where "LIBERALS" fall RIGHT INTO HARMONY with libertarians and they are points that NO ONE ELSE is the torch holder for!. And they seem to be issues RIGHT IN THE FOREFRONT of libertarian-ship! Death penalty ,freedom for gays, social freedoms for EVERYONE, recalling the drug war, anti war (rally today SEE YOU THERE!)..etc.. Also they are ,quite often, issues the RIGHT OPPOSES! Yet this question DOES get posed, to me the query is blind partisanship. I think librarianship is a place for common ground. not partisan bickering. :-) smiley face

Skeptikos
Skeptikos

Oh, and Julia- You may be right about college economics classes. I don't have enough information to say either way.

Skeptikos
Skeptikos

David, I love you, haha. Bill Clinton FTW. I guess I should respond to critics, too. Enslave- I can agree with some level of welfare and still be a libertarian. Not in the minarchist/anarchist sense, but in Tim Lee's sense of more libertarian than most people. (It's commonly used that way outside of Free Keene.) That's the point. The definitions are broad. I can be both. Sy- You write, "Even now, when Clinton bombs Serbia and Iraq, or Obama escalates a war, there are no protests from liberals." But that's absurdly false. Some liberals are protesting so much that they've decided to vote for a REPUBLICAN (Ron Paul)! That's unprecedented, at least in my lifetime. Others are just pissed. And some liberals are pro-police, some are strongly pro-civil liberties. (Think Glenn Greenwald.) "Liberal" is a broad term. Ian- I think that comment would be more usefully directed toward Will Wilkinson. Or Steven Pinker, who wrote the book making that argument. (BTW, Steven Pinker leans libertarian.) Julia- I almost want to say that "reject" is too strong of a word. I have multiple issues with it. Many fall under the umbrella of collective action problems. (Think national defense, or global warming-- I know we've talked about this before.) I don't necessarily think that anarchist societies are impossible, or unstable, but there are a variety of things that I want in a society that can't be done (to my knowledge) without some sort of government. Um, basically, I think it's possible for a government to improve on anarchic outcomes. I'm not prepared to throw the baby (government) out with the bathwater (bad laws and institutions) just yet. My views here aren't completely organized right now. Maybe I'll write a blog when I feel like I've got a better grasp of my position. I think that's the best summary I can give you without going into extensive detail. Feel free to ask me on facebook if you want to follow up on this.

Julia
Julia

I'd like to know why exactly you reject anarchism, not just this fake "anarchism" (otherwise known as "anarcho"-capitalism) but a stateless society in general. Stateless societies can and do work, they just need to have the institutions there to perform the things that state and capitalist institutions have done (like roads, public goods, etc.). Anarchist Catalonia, for example, worked very well during its short lifespan. The other day I was at a talk by Cindy Milstein (a well-known modern-day anarcho-communist author and activist) about the Occupy movement(s) and how it proves that a decentralized, headless, mutual-aid based society works in reality. You can read about this on my blog if you'd like. Also, most college economics classes are taught from a point-of-view which serves elite interests. I'm not trying to poison the well, I'm just giving you facts.

SY
SY

Liberalism is incompatible with rugged individualism, or just individualism in general. It is the classic battle between statism and collectivism and less freedom and individualism, and liberals no matter how they doll it up or exploit individual issues and events always push society towards the former.

SY
SY

"The point is who ever said “liberals cant be libertarians”.. was probably a womb controlling righty…lol" Another case in point. You know when your a tool for the statist Left when you get worked up over "controlling the womb". But do nothing when Obama and the Left attempt a government takeover of health care that gives them control over your whole body. "Contolling the womb is bad".... "Controlling the womb, brain, lungs, kidneys, bones, skin.... is good". At least the abortion argument involves reconciling the fates of two human lives. Only an idiot would get worked up over abortion laws then roll over government run health care. But this is the state of mind of most young gullible, indoctrinated kids who pretend they care about liberty. Nothing but suckers.

SY
SY

Bush was 21st Century. Duh. I said 20th century. Point is that the Left only protests wars they don't start or approve. They find gullible college kids and raise hackles whenever it suits them. Case in point, GITMO is still open. Go try and rally against it w/ Obama in power. The anti-war movement is largely a joke..

Ian
Ian

[blockquote]The modern nation-state has been, on the whole, good for humanity.[/blockquote] Uh, tell that to the millions slaughtered by the people calling themselves the state and the millions more wrongfully imprisoned.

SMASH CAPITALISM
SMASH CAPITALISM

Mainstream liberals are too attched to the establishement and are the same as repubtards except for they offer a more humane version of capitalism but the power structures are the same

david
david

SY QUOTE “Every major war of the 20th century was started by progressives. Wilson, FDR, and JFK. Even now, when Clinton bombs Serbia and Iraq, or Obama escalates a war, there are no protests from liberals.” SY :don't avoid fact that don't suit your argument... That just means you HAVE no argument .. Hence one must move on. I don't care why you did a dancey dance around Bush. Peace man :-)

david
david

Sy, you said : "Obama escalates a war, there are no protests from liberals. " you didn't read above... And .. Where do you GET THAT : just off the top of your head!? Or ,no, you must have scoured the nation going from town to town... Liberals are the ones that PROTEST WAR ... you going to dispute that too because it doesn't suit you? The point is who ever said "liberals cant be libertarians".. was probably a womb controlling righty...lol

david
david

the only thing you showed sy is that you didn't read what I said and that you don't know what a liberal is... I described the ones I have met above.. liberals ARE NOT "pro police" . ... you dont know what you are talking about thats all your showing me. Tallied up some facts above ;read em. Texas republicans are PROUD of all the people they kill by whatever death penalty they have... Everyone knows republicans are the "law and order" ones ... Last president who even came close to legalizing pot ; Jimmie Carter. You do some very good dancing and cherry picking sy, I'm sorry the facts don't help your position... bring some FACT to the table ... I brang actual sited facts to the table... your brang bupkiss. "major wars by progressives" ... WE HAVE TWO WARS GOING : WHEN WERE THEY STARTED SY!.... stop cherry picking... non sense!... i'm sorry you dont have any FACTS ;SOLiD facts at your dispense as i do.. SY QUOTE "Every major war of the 20th century was started by progressives. Wilson, FDR, and JFK. Even now, when Clinton bombs Serbia and Iraq, or Obama escalates a war, there are no protests from liberals." YOU ARE NUTS ..who was president when iraq and afganistan started SY!?... DONT SEE THAT NAME UP THERE IN YOUR TALLY SY!...it reminds me of john stewart when he was reviewing the race and people doing a dance around ron paul ..talking about 4th and third ..avoiding ron paul who was second,, or something .. you have no cred SY you have no cred sy..done with you ...I will talk to someone who doesn't avoid facts (unlike you) peace :-)

Tully Fitzsimmons
Tully Fitzsimmons

You're wrong, Sy. There is an entire school of thought called Leftist-Libertarianism with a long and rich history. After the French Revolution, libertarians and socialists naturally sat together in the Etats-General. There is a commonality in that both philosophies resist and oppose oppression of the individual. Libertarians often see the State as the only oppressor; Liberals understand that private entities, especially those with monopoly power, can be just as oppressive, and act as de facto states in the power they wield. In embracing Free Markets, Right-Libertarians often have a blind spot when it comes to externalities, and in understanding that market power can prevent access to the factors of production, thus locking comepetition out. There is *definitely* a place for Liberals and Libertarians to work together. Those who are most dogmatic, who can't see this - are like religious fundamentalists who embrace a doctrine unswervingly rather than risk questioning their beliefs.

name
name

Be the smiley face you type, david. Let the smiley face be you. It's like the Force, only, smiley-er.

SY
SY

Just reality. All liberals do is throw a couple of bones and people by their whole charade like suckers. A few anecdotal examples is no illustrative. For example, Every major war of the 20th century was started by progressives. Wilson, FDR, and JFK. Even now, when Clinton bombs Serbia and Iraq, or Obama escalates a war, there are no protests from liberals. Liberals are statist. They are extremely pro-police. Its liberal and their promotion of public sector unions and taxes that fund police. And I assume you talk about rank and file street cops. Most liberals are too young or immature to grasp the full scope of police presence because it doesnt affect them... IRS agents, environmental police, OSHA enforcers... On and on and on, its silly. A libertarian and liberal are antithetical. They just sell young naive kids on some bullshit.

david
david

I ranted lol :-)

david
david

Whos pro police? REPUBLICANS!..whos pro death penalty......REPUBLICANS... Liberals sure aren't pro death penalty OR police .. thats for sure.. what president had a surplus? and no war ?... CLINTON... I wouldn't have ranted on this but yall are spreading this partisan non sense ... and being divisive ..when I just named tons of facts that ANY ONE should have in their brains.. Hence not saying that ... again yall are talkin out of your asses

david
david

Who wants to fucking legalize pot :not conservatives;not republicans ......fucking liberals ....you bunch of hypocrites.... so quit saying that no sense.. again yall are talking out of your asses

david
david

People who say "iberals can't be libertarians" are talking out of the ass

david
david

Ok what ,to you all , is a "liberal" that they can't be a libertarian.. How can a conservative be libertarian when they want to control womens bodies? Like I said ..If a liberal can't be a libertarian no one can......Libertarians are supposedly WAAAAAAY against war .. thats totally them all over... a main tenet.. you know whos at the anti war rally? ALL LIBERALS Like I said ..If a liberal can't be a libertarian no one can. Who wants to give rights to gays? LIBERALS... so spare this crap all you self righteous "only conservatives or repubs" can be libertarians.. HYPOCRITICAL HORSESHIT ..

Bob Constantine
Bob Constantine

Can a woman be a "little bit pregnant" ? Probably not.

david
david

if "liberals" can't be libertarians then no on can (sy)

SY
SY

In one word, no. If you lend yourself yourself to the liberal cause, you are supporting a collectivist zeitgeist. And Hayek and Friedman, referenced liberalism in the classical American sense, which is where most of the Tea Party and constitutional conservatives align themselves.

david
david

I don't have a label.

david
david

I never "pimped for cnn" ever before ... I dont even have a tv! wtf :-) (?)

theKINGofKEENE
theKINGofKEENE

Oh, what, like there's some *LAW* *AGAINST* "Libertarians" being "liberal"...???.... WTF...???...... Getting so you have to carry a dictionary, and look at it daily, just to figure out what you're supposed to call yourself... Me? I'm a small-m monarchist... Not 2 B confused with "minarchist".... ...or "anarchist"... I'm a Posi-Christ, but that's a blog for another post... ~tKoK.

theKINGofKEENE
theKINGofKEENE

There goes our "david" - pimpin' for CNN again...You just LOVE Santorum, doncha, david...???... You're BOTH Catholics, right...???....... :( ~tKoK.

david
david

I guess a lot of womb controlling right leaners don't think so.

enslave keene
enslave keene

Im a hard core capitalist, in spite of what the FSP would call one but I also believe in government funded safety nets for those who simply can not (not will not) but can not maintain a viable life style (food, rent and shelter) unless you can agree with this as a libertarian you cant be liberal as well.

dave
dave

Thanks for the article. Much of the problem IMHO is that the author confuses conservative ideas with Libertarianism e.g. equating small government with Libertarianism or public with government, then that Libertarianism is against proactive public programs.. For info on people using voluntary Libertarian tools on similar and other issues, please see http://?www.LibertarianInternation?al.org , the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization

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