Skewering Jonah Goldberg and the Circle of Politics
Well, the libertarians are on Jonah Goldberg’s case for his column entitled Freedom Kills. Libertarian Samizdata says that Goldberg doesn’t know what he’s talking about while another good libertarian blog goes after many of his arguments.
As someone who is a conservative with some libertarian leanings, this is a very interesting debate. The principals of individualism, rationality, and liberty are good ones, but I do believe that moral concerns are important too. Look back at the writings of John Locke (one of my favorite phlosophers) – he realized that in order for society to maintain cohesion, there has to be some sense of popular morality. Libertarians tend to join with liberals in bashing conservatives – especially religious conservatives as wanting some kind of theocracy. This (for the most part) isn’t true. There’s a big difference between a government that respects the rights of human beings under moral law and a government like the Taliban which systematically destroys anyone who doesn’t agree with them. The fact is, much of morality isn’t mere superstition. Casual sex isn’t good for you – nor is a massive onslaught of pervasive pornography. We’ve seen the problems that have come with an increasingly permissive society. Libertarians should examine whether moral guidelines don’t have some kind of rational justification afterall.
All this started with the ratfink bastard Taliban traitor John Walker’s Marin Country, CA upbringing. Those who say that the permissive attitudes in that area have no bearing on his treason have to admit that there is some correlation to his actions and the way in which that culture lauds anything stupid and non-Western. However, the assumption that he’s either left-wing or right-wing is one that’s based on a faulty understanding of the spectrum of political ideologies. In many ways, political ideologies are more circular than a simple left-right line. After all, both Noam Chomsky and Jerry Falwell said that in some ways the US deserved what it got on 9/11. The discussion about Left or Right in the Walker case ignores the fact that whatever his personal politics, Walker betrayed his country and deserves a traitor’s death.