[Most Recent Entries]
Below are the 15 most recent journal entries recorded in
Libertarian Approach to Social Issues' LiveJournal:
|Thursday, December 20th, 2007|
19 hours ago: Descendants of Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse break away from US
WASHINGTON (AFP) — The Lakota Indians, who gave the world legendary warriors Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, have withdrawn from treaties with the United States, leaders said Wednesday.
"We are no longer citizens of the United States of America and all those who live in the five-state area that encompasses our country are free to join us," long-time Indian rights activist Russell Means told a handful of reporters and a delegation from the Bolivian embassy, gathered in a church in a run-down neighborhood of Washington for a news conference.
The rest at:
I wish them well. If the U.S. people are willing to go to war in Iraq (and 'we' are, since the U.S. people haven't put their feet down with the U.S. Governenet , 'we' are willing to go to war in Lakotah.
But by every legal point they make, this secession from all treaties is valid, even according to U.S. law *and* international law.
It will be an interesting ride, so I am holding on tight.
|Saturday, December 23rd, 2006|
The Hazards of Morality
Many people acknowledge that morality/ethics can function as a protector of every individual. This is a well-known fact. But in this article I want to disclose the side effects of morality which few people have noticed. These side effects cannot be underestimated. I call these side effects "hazards" because they are very dangerous that everyone need keep cautious of them.
The first hazard comes from the origin of morality.
Some people believe that every ethical system in every society is the product of the collective effort, i.e., every member in this society has been contributing to the formation and development of a morality. These people believe that every person in this society will willingly accept this morality because it is the voluntary invention of every person. Some conservatives believe in this so seriously that they have a great antipathy toward any deliberate reconstruction of morality and label it as "the road to serfdom".
But the fact is that so many kinds of moralities (especially traditional moralities) are not collective efforts. These moralities are invented by one man or a small group of men, and later carried out by rulers who themselves appreciate these kinds of moralities very much. As to the most ordinary people, they even don't know this new morality in the beginning, after the ruler's implementation of it, the people can do nothing but unwillingly accept these new moralities because if they do not they will be cracked down by rulers. For example, Confucianism is one of these kinds of moralities. Confucianism was invented in 6th to 5th century BCE by mere one man, when there are many other competitive ethical systems invented by other thinkers and only a small group of people believed in Confucianism. But at the time of circa 150 BCE, a Chinese emperor appreciated Confucianism very much and he thought that if all the people appreciated it the world would be a paradise on earth, so he implemented his blueprint forcibly. This has influenced the destinies of nearly all Eastern Asians afterwards. Christian morality and Islamic morality are also implemented through this process. In the spreading of the two religions, the rulers' atrocities against infidels who didn't mean to accept them are well documented.
After people accept a new ethical system for a long time, implementation of this morality will become a culturalized and everyone in this society usually automatically conforms to this morality without a ruler's punishment. But this automatic conformity does not mean that people have interests in it. They automatically conform to it because when they see other people conforms to this morality automatically they think other people have loved it and if they do not they will be boycotted by other people. No one wants to be boycotted, so everyone has to conform to a morality even though he/she feels so dissatisfied with it. If everyone thinks that "immorality" will be boycotted by others then no one have the courage to challenge a morality.
So, a morality can be the enemy of the most majority of people because only a small percentage of people like it while all other people who don't like it have to obey it.
The second hazard comes from the role of morality.
A morality is a system of standards which judges what conduct is "right" and what is "wrong". But morality itself is immune from this kind of judgment. A morality thus usually becomes a forever-correct thing. So we see that a morality can condemn a man who wears pants as "immoral" but no one dares condemn this moral code as "immoral". Morality loses its ability to correct. This is a dangerous fact. In history, most man-made calamities are due to this immunity of morality. In the Dark Ages, the Inquisitions burning witches and infidels is "moral" because forever-correct Bible (more properly, the forever-correct morality induced from Bible by a small group of theologists) said so. In Islamic society, a woman not wearing hijab is "immoral" because the forever-correct morality induced from Koran and Hadith said so. But no one dare question these cruel "forever-correct" moralities.
In modern society, various nationalists, multiculturalists, patriotists, cultural conservatives, "international democracy" preachers and fundamentalists preach various moralities which label various unbelievers of their theories as "reactionaries", "impudent beasts", but their theories and moralities are hard to criticized. Because as long as you criticize them, they will say that you have violated the noble morality first and agitate people to crusade against you. Criticizing morality must violating that morality first. People usually think if they violate morality they will be boycotted by other people. So you can see how hard for people to criticize a morality. But without criticism no ideology can correct its own faults. The faults of morality will last forever.
Morality judges whether a conduct or idea is right or wrong, but morality itself cannot be judged in this way because it is the basis of this judgment. This is the second hazard of morality.
The third hazard of morality lies in its function.
A morality is a thing that needs our observance. Observance means the act of following a law, custom, command, or rule. A morality is a law, custom, command, or rule. They all share one common feature: the restriction on the exertion of free will or human ability ---- even if you are able to do something you should not do it anyway. For example, "Do not steal" is a morality, but of course you are able to violate it. But in practice you should not steal anyway. That's the restriction on your ability. Some moralities even order people (especially women) not to think about sexuality, that's the restriction on one's free will.
We usually hear people say that, "things on earth follow the rule of gravity". But this "follow" is drastically different from that "follow". Here the "follow" does not mean following a rule that restricts the exertion of free will or ability. In this situation things can do nothing but follow that rule. They have no choice but to follow the rule. This "rule" is of course not the "rule" in the sense of morality. This "rule" (rule (I)) is a default course of events, and that "rule " (rule (II)) is the restriction on the use of human ability or free will. The difference is fatal. Only rule (II) can be a morality, rule (I) cannot be a morality.
But this difference is usually overlooked and even obliterated. In our society, rule (II) is usually mistakenly deduced from rule (I), or more terribly, rule (II) is usually regarded as the same thing as rule (I).
Rule (I) is usually seen as an absolute course of events, which means no one is able to alter it in any situation. But this viewpoint is wrong. Following rule (I) is not unconditional. Only when all its relative conditions meet, then a thing following the rule becomes absolute. For example, only when the value of gravity is larger than the value of an upward force, things will fall. In ordinary situation, these two conditions are arranged in this way, so we usually see things falling. This is the default course of events. But a balloon does not fall but rises, because its buoyancy is larger than its weight. This means, although if all relative conditions meet things will absolutely follow a rule (I), yet as long as one condition does not fulfill, things will not follow that rule (I). Rule (I) is absolute but conditional. Things need not absolutely act in their default ways.
But according to our experience, rule (II) (which morality belongs to) is usually unconditional. It is the restriction on the use of human ability. That means even if you have the ability to violate it, you cannot act by your very ability. What does "violation" mean? It means the act of not following a law, custom, command, or rule; or, the act of invalidating a law, custom, command, or rule.
Let's reconsider rule (I). The violation of rule (I) means not following it or invalidating it. But a natural course of events is prescribed by inevitable nature. How can it be "violated" (therefore evaded)? This point is crucial and must be noticed. When people say that you violate a rule (I), this does not mean that you have supernatural ability. It just means that you are altering the arrangement of conditions which together can render fulfillment of a rule (I). And this alterability is also in accordance with nature, not violating it. For example, many people believe that human cloning is violating the nature because humans are sexually reproductive animals. But sexual reproduction is just a default course of events. It has its own premises and conditions. If one premise or condition has been altered according to biological or physiological laws, sexual reproduction can be replaced by other kinds of reproduction even though sexual reproduction is seen as "default".
If these two kinds of "rules" are confused, the consequence is terrible. If rule (I) is seen as the same thing as rule (II), then even if you are able to alter rule (I) ( = rule (II)) you cannot use your very ability because that will be immoral.
In history, morality is the primary obstacle to scientific progress and human happiness. Since the maintenance of defaults is acknowledged as a morality. Till now morality goes on to hinder our progress and happiness. The rights of homosexuals are denied because their sexual functions are not seen as "defaults". New reproductive techniques are opposed by many people because it has the ability to change the "default" way of reproduction. Nature worshipers are the fanatic believers of this morality. They think all kinds of exploitation of nature are evil because they violate the natural rules therefore immoral. They even groundlessly believe that "She" (the nature) will punish humanity for their "atrocities". I usually think, when people lived in several hundred years ago believed that "Things Must Fall" were a morality, balloons, airships and airplanes would be all "immoral" and therefore never come into being.
When morality becomes a maintainer of the course of events that can be safely altered, it must become the obstacle to human progress and happiness. That's the third hazard of morality.
The three hazards of morality can and do impair all the people in the world. So people must keep cautious of these negative effects and find a way to minimize them.
|Tuesday, November 21st, 2006|
|Tuesday, October 31st, 2006|
x-posted to libertarianism, applied_liberty, libertarianonly, and politicsforum, as well as here, in my journal.
I drag this out from time to time for those who have never seen it. 'Splains it pretty well as how I see it.
A Libertarian Social Contract,
by Gene Trosper
I believe in tolerance. ( Read more...Collapse )
|Wednesday, April 19th, 2006|
Halliburton Gets Contract for Immigrant Detention Centers
Halliburton's Immigrant Detention Centers
By Ruth Conniff
April 17, 2006
While thousands of people were celebrating the contribution America's undocumented immigrants make to our economy, and demanding justice and recognition for workers who are denied basic rights, the government was making plans for large-scale detention centers in case of an "emergency influx" of immigrants.
KBR, the Halliburton subsidiary recently reprimanded for gross overcharging in its military contracts in Iraq, won a $385 million contract to build the centers. According to the Halliburton website--www.Halliburton.com--"the contract, which is effective immediately, provides for establishing temporary detention and processing capabilities to augment existing ICE Detention and Removal Operations Program facilities in the event of an emergency influx of immigrants into the U.S., or to support the rapid development of new programs."
What new programs might those be?
The web was abuzz with speculation after the contract was awarded on January 24. Pacific News Service gave the most detailed analysis.
It connected the new "immigration emergency" plans with older plans that involved imposing martial law.
Certainly the detention centers raise the specter of WW II Japanese internment camps.
The new facilities could be used for round-ups of Muslim Americans or other American citizens tagged as "enemy combatants.”
The use of military personnel and military contractors in the event of a Katrina-like disaster, which the Halliburton contract provides for, brings us closer to martial law, whether it is officially declared or not.
It also means record profits for Halliburton, which declared 2005 "the best in our 86-year history." David Lesar, Halliburton's chairman, president and CEO, declares on the company website, "For the full year 2005 we set a record for revenue and achieved net income of $2.4 billion with each of our six divisions posting record results."
Not bad for a company that has been repeatedly cited for inflating charges and wasting taxpayer money in Iraq.
The immigration detention centers ought to raise a red flag, not just about nepotism and waste among military contractors, but about what our government has in store for us.
Perhaps the same energy that propelled immigrant rights into the national headlines could be harnessed to demand an explanation for what, exactly, Halliburton is helping to prepare for with this latest big chunk of taxpayer largess.Link.
|Sunday, March 5th, 2006|
Why do People Fall in Love with Their Own Oppression?
Why do People Fall in Love with Their Own Oppression?
-----A Possible Explanation
When we talk about the concept of "mind-control", we usually regard it as an infirm psychological phenomenon. But I think mind-control is not infirm, as many people thought was.
People may know that many C-h-i-n-e-s-e people in C-h-i-n-a uphold despotism. You may say this is the result of the propaganda of the Authority. But why do many C-h-i-n-e-s-e living in western countries still uphold despotism, where they have the chance to get more information that negates their very sentiment? This is not as simply as being explained that they have been cheated. I want to give another explanation of the fact that C-h-i-n-e-s-e people have miraculous, bred-in-the-bone sentiment of "loving party", "nationalism" or "patriotism", as seen by many people of the world.
Maybe you have known the famous conditioned response experiment of Pavlov. He performed this experiment with a dog locked in a cage. He fed this dog, meanwhile rang the bell. He repeatedly did this several times. Then the dog's secretion of saliva (this is an innate response when it perceives the food) steadily related to the rings of a bell (which was a irrelevant stimulation for the secretion of saliva before the experiment.) Thus even there was no food perceived by the dog, when the dog heard the rings of the bell, it would also secrete saliva. This is the conditioned response.
Pavlov also performed another reversing experiment. He shocked the dog with electricity (which can restrain it from secreting saliva), meanwhile rang the bell. This was repeated over and over. After that, when the dog heard the rings of the bell, even there was no electric shock, the dog's secretion of saliva cut down.
One basic function of nervous system is response. Response can be categorized into conditioned response and non conditioned response. The latter is innate to animals; it is their instincts, such as dog secrets saliva when it smells food.
Conditioned response is acquired. It can be categorized into classical conditioning and instrumental learning. Pavlov's experiment is an example of classical conditioning, in which the object of experiment passively forms this response.
While in the case of instrumental learning, the object of experiment actively chooses what response to form. It is a process of active learning.
The formation of a conditioned response is to let the receiver perceive a certain stimulus which itself can not arose its certain instinct accompanied with another stimulus which can arouse that instinct. Thereby the receiver's excitement of its cerebral cortex becomes connected with the otherwise irrelevant stimulus.
Many psychological activities are founded upon conditioned response. CeePeeCee's brainwashing of C-h-i-n-e-s-e people are the process of the formation of conditioned responses.
Sound is a main stimulus to humans. Among it music is the most significant sound, which can excite people most. But sound cannot give us any information of color, shape and other sense peculiar to eyes. Maybe you used to have this experience: when you first listened to a song in a certain circumstances, for example, when you first listened to "Life for Rent" in one of Dido's live concert, and if you listened to this song again in a bookshop some day after the concert day, you would unconsciously recollect the circumstances of that concert, as if you had seen the everything of the concert again: Dido's face, thousands of enthusiastic fans, and so on. And this song becomes the symbol of the circumstances of that concert that you once saw. It gives you the senses and responses that should be otherwise initiated by eyes.
This is one example of conditioned response initiated by an otherwise irrelevant acoustical stimulus.
Light is another main stimulus to humans. If some objects always put together in a certain pattern. This situation retains for a long time, and you see this combination of the objects continually. One day one object is removed from that combination. If you look at them again, you will feel as if that object which has been removed were still there. For example, there was a website I like so much. I put its address into my Favorite folder. There are always addresses of some other sites that surround it. One day this site becomes defunct. I delete its address from my Favorite folder. After that, in several days, every time I explore my Favorite, and I unconsciously look at the place at which its address used to be, I would feel as if it were still there, because those address which used to surround it still there. This is also an example of conditioned response.
Then we can explain why C-h-i-n-e-s-e people always take the symbols of "C-h-i-n-a", "CeePeeCee", "party" as "greatness", "glory", "correctness" or suchlike. This is the result of building conditioned responses upon otherwise irrelevant optical and acoustical stimuli.
C-h-i-n-a is an information insulator. Because CeePeeCee monopolizes all the media, from television to radio to internet to newspaper. And it prohibits C-h-i-n-e-s-e people from getting information from outside. It jams foreign radios, blocks websites, and produces low-grade radio devices lest you listened to V.O.A. This is akin to the cage of Pavlov's dog, and every C-h-i-n-e-s-e is that poor dog. All the symbols of CeePeeCee are the otherwise irrelevant stimuli. And the "millennia" fabricated by C-h-i-n-e-s-e mass media is the food that make Pavlov's dog slobbers, which is used to initiate some of human instincts.
When people isolated in a place, continuously received the two stimuli that has always been deliberately bundled together over and over for a very long time, and no other information can be received, the information they received will be consolidated in their mind. If one stimulus can naturally cause some positive physiological responses while the other cannot, after this process, the other stimulus can independently cause the same positive physiological response. In C-h-i-n-a, the visions of fabricated "millennia" can give people a wrong impression that C-h-i-n-a has the most desirable society. When they watch TV, they will feel positive senses. Meanwhile, these pictures always accompanied with the symbols of "CeePeeCee", "government", "the C-h-i-n-e-s-e Nation", such as the words of "C-h-i-n-a", "CeePeeCee" themselves or relative characters or sounds that represent them, or the Psalms that are used to celebrate the CeePeeCee, or the figures of the martyrs who were alleged died for people's happiness. C-h-i-n-e-s-e receive these stuffs day by day, month by month, and year by year. So even there is no pictures of "our bright future" or "harmonious society", when C-h-i-n-e-s-e hear or see any symbol of CeePeeCee , C-h-i-n-a and the like, (such as the word "party", or the song "His our great savior") they will instantly feel the senses of glory and loftiness.
So the C-h-i-n-e-s-e "patriotism", "nationalism" and "party-loving" are in fact the manifestation and result of this kind of conditioned responses rather than rational conclusions. It is very hard to wake them up from the ecstasy of the zealotic "love". Reason becomes useless here. If you had destroyed every underpin of their faiths through rational polemics and they became not able to retort you, they still believe what they have believed. Maybe many people have encountered this kind of situation. The reason why this "love" cannot be eliminated by rational arguments lies in the fact that it is not a rational thought but a kind of conditioned responses. Although people's reason tells them to abandon their false beliefs, the senses of glory and loftiness cultivated by these conditioned responses can overwhelm reason and force people not to accept any truth.
To put it frankly, the psychology that manifested through C-h-i-n-e-s-e people's unthinking "party-loving", "patriotism" is just equal to the fact that bell rings made Pavlov's dog slobbered. (Except for some clear-headed "experimenters" who is conducting the whole thing.)
Among C-h-i-n-e-s-e people, the most obstinate ones are the aged people and young students. The aged people have experienced the craziest era of M-ao Dynasty. They have been brainwashed seriously. They still have remnant senses of glory and loftiness which is the impression of the propaganda of that time. And this kind of senses are tightly linked to the concept and symbols of CeePeeCee. This situation is difficult to correct. Even the reality have clearly told them the truth, this party-loving sentiment is still hard to correct. On the other hand, C-h-i-n-e-s-e students are training exclusively with the ideological educations. And they haven't contacted the intricate society yet. They haven't known how black the society is. And they cannot receive other information either. So their "patriotism" is also difficult to correct.
To this sentiment, it is of no use to correct it with rational argumentations. The only way to cope with it is to construct a reversing conditioned response. The only effective way is to "take a bite of the dog that have bitten you". That is: to build a highly-frequent and reversing propaganda program in which when the images or symbols of CeePeeCee appear they are always tied to the most accursed phenomena such as corruption of bureaucrats, holocaust, starvation, death, bloodiness and various phenomena of social corruption and decays. And to have people received these stimuli again and again so as to generate another kind of conditioned response which directly collide with the former conditioned responses. Thus, the former pattern of conditioned response would be possibly defeated by the latter pattern, and the people would become vacillated. Then, they are probably corrected by rational argumentation. If they contact more reasonable ideologies such as libertarianism or objectivism, they probably accept their new beliefs and abandon the wrong ideologies.
In fact, it is also a kind of conditioned response that we accept and cherish libertarianism. If I come across some books that criticize libertarianism, I usually don't want to skim over them. Because I usually feel uncomfortable when I read these. But this kind of conditioned response is our active choice rather than passive imposition; this is a kind of instrumental learning.
In conclusion, we should employ the "revolutionary" conditioned responses to resist the "counterrevolutionary" conditioned responses. Or to put it more clearly, we should employ the "revolutionary" instrumental learning to resist the "counterrevolutionary" classical conditioning.
This analysis also applies to Islam enthusiast, "Leftists", fundamentalists, sexists, and other diehards.
(*CeePeeCee = com-mu-ni-st party of c-h-i-n-a)
|Friday, February 17th, 2006|
A Libertarian Model of Domination and Liberation.
Some of my notes on "structures of domination", what they are and how they work, and a libertarian response.
All structures of domination (racism, sexism, classism, etc.) are based upon what anthropologists called "ascribed status"." A person is granted a certain social status, without regard to her or his consent, purely through being born in a certain state or condition (gender, race, location, nationality, etc.) This status entitles a person to unearned social benefits, or subjects her to undeserved disadvantages.
The mechanism of status hierarchy is deeply wired in human behavior. Our primate ancestors have distinct status hierarchies, centered around variables like gender, age and physical strength. For these animals, status, however limiting, is an adaptive survive mechanism.
Humans, however, have evolved a sense of self which is potentially capable of transcending status hierarchy, a selfhood which can view its intrinsic worth and value as centered within itself, rather than ascribed and derived from environmental circumstances. The drive for this inner transcendance has emerged in many societies at various times, although it has most clearly showed itself in recent Western culture. This evolutionary step does not belong to any one race or culture, but is a potential of all human beings.( Read More...Collapse )
|Tuesday, February 7th, 2006|
suggested I post this here, as well.
A group of Christians are going to show up at the Capitol in a few days to show support for the "definition of marriage bill", or whatever ya want to call it. They even want men to dress in blue and women to dress in pink. Ugh.
I'm thinking of trying to get together some sort of protest group with signs. Any ideas what we could put on the signs that would be witty and get our point across, without being overtly offensive?
|Thursday, January 12th, 2006|
Power Corrupts, but it can save lives, too
Sprint Refuses To Reveal Location Of Cell Phone In Carjacked SUVhttp://www.nbc4.tv/news/6001336/detail.html
I've been hearing about this case a lot, so I apologize if it's already been discussed. I am conflicted on the issue, as my immediate feeling is to support the police in initiating force on the phone company to save a child's life from a criminal. In the specific situation, force may have been appropriate, but if they did have the authority to use force, such authority would be abused in the future. I know you're pissed at Sprint for not complying (I hope you are, anyways) but should the law have stepped in for the greater good here?
|Sunday, December 18th, 2005|
States Fail to Provide Legal Defense for Poor.
8 years in a Louisiana jail, but he never went to trial
By Laura Parker, USA TODAY
When he was charged with murder in 1996, James Thomas, an impoverished day laborer in Baton Rouge, became like many other criminal defendants: With no money to hire a lawyer, he had to rely on the government to provide him with one.
He then spent the next 8½ years in jail, waiting for his case to go to trial. It never did.
Last spring, a Louisiana state appeals court ruled that prosecutors had waited too long to try him, and it threw the charge out. By then, Thomas was 34, his alibi witness for the night of the murder, had died of kidney disease, and his case had become a symbol of the increasing problems within the nation's public defender system. ( Read More..Collapse )
Original article: http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2005-08-29-cover-indigents_x.htm
Found on anarchists
. A few interesting comments are found here.
|Friday, December 16th, 2005|
Stop The Patriot Act.
Stop the Patriot Act
The "USA PATRIOT Act," meant as a temporary, emergency roll-back of American civil liberties after the 9/11 attacks, may become permanent this week. Senators from both parties are resisting the removal of these freedoms, but they need our support right now.
The only redeeming feature of the PATRIOT Act was that the repeal of these liberties would be temporary. However, now that the expiration date for those restrictions has arrived, Congressional leaders are trying to push through a new version which would extend the lifetime of some of them and make the others last forever.
Six senators -- three Democrats and three Republicans -- are taking a stand on behalf of our civil liberties. They have announced that they will filibuster the bill when it is brought to the floor this week. This bi-partisan group is urging their colleagues to vote instead for a bill that would give the Congress time to fix the legislation by extending the expiring sections of the PATRIOT Act for three months.
The notion that Congress must rush to act without full consideration of the implications makes less sense now than ever. The responsible step to safeguard our heritage as Americans is to stop the PATRIOT Act re-authorization and provide more time to think this through
From this page: http://action.truemajority.org/campaign/patriot_act_renewal
The site has an online form to send a message to your Senators. I'm not sure how effective online petitioning is, but I figured it wouldn't hurt to use it.
|Thursday, December 15th, 2005|
Quality of Life Feminism, Sense of Life, and the Power of Reinforcement.
Some musings of mine, inspired by something from feminist
(this post actually makes sense):http://www.livejournal.com/community/feminist/2310023.html?nc=25
The gist of it is that making small changes on an individual level can have a cumulative impact on society; the OP compares it to the idea that when people make "cosmetic" changes like fixing broken windows and cleaning up litter, the crime rate in the neighborhood goes down since the neighborhood is perceived of being of higher quality.
I like this idea, as a general concept. It fits in well with systems theory, the view of society as a complex, chaotic system in which ground-level inputs propagate spontaneous order (Hayek, anyone?) Too, it emphasizes the significance of individuals and individual actions.( Read More...Collapse ) Current Mood: Curious
No Fly List includes babies and Peter Johnsons
I'm conflicted on this issue. Well, I guess I'm just more pissed off, like if there was a business that discriminated against certain races. Where is the common sense in not removing children under ONE from the no-fly-list?! When thousands of people share the same name, how can you justly ban all people for the POTENTIAL terrorism of one? In addition, I would like to know what the no-fly-list makers smoked to believe that terrorists try to purchase a plane tickets under their own name.
How would you libertarians feel about this issue if you were about to board a plane when you are calmly informed that you may not fly on a plane? Ever? Are you just happy that the loss of a few people's vacations/family-visits benefited the majority or people or are you pissed that you've lost your dignity and resources due to something beyond your control?
|Wednesday, December 14th, 2005|
I started this group for the discussion of how social issues can be handled from a Libertarian viewpoint. By "social issues", I mean the wide range of problems in society that are not directly part of the structure of goverment (although they are often promoted, exacerbated and perpetuated by governmental systems.) Examples are racism, sexism, homophobia, ethnocentrism and other "isms" or forms of prejudice, including intergroup strife and conflict; poverty and its cycle of perpetuation; globalization and the cultural changes it is creating in the world; the social and economic struggles of people in developing nations; corporate corruption and lack of transparency; and the environment.
Some Libertarians seem to be of the opinion that these problems don't exist -- that our current society (at least in the US) is already completely meritocratic. There is a great deal of evidence that this is not so; however, since many Libertarians focus on the disciplines of philosophy, economics and political science, they are unaware of research in the other social sciences. Too, the problem is made more severe by the current hegemony in the humanities and social sciences by institutionalized Leftism -- PC academica. To take back the universities for the Classic Liberal worldview -- and liberty of thought and speech -- we must take a serious stand in engaging these issues, not ignoring them. Simply mocking the Leftists' postmodern excesses does not answer the questions they pose, nor does it provide effective counterarguments.
Besides academia, there is the problem of Libertarianism's, and the LP's, relevance to the general community. Speaking of the US in particular, Libertarianism currently appeals mainly to white, middle-to-upper-class males. We will not win an election until we find a way to reach out to other demographics -- to make those who are not already advantaged feel welcome in our party, to let them know that their concerns are heard and we are prepared to offer real, workable solutions, not just vague hand-waving about how "the market will fix it all." We won't get
a free market until people feel secure and confident trusting in their own voluntary actions, rather than government. And to win people's confidence, we must first listen to them, discover their needs and desires, and address them in a respectful and meaningful way.
Therefore, this community will also foster an appraisal of and dialogue with other points of view. It's time to stop sticking our idealistic heads in the sand and see what's out there. The next important step is to develop and promote voluntary, noncoercive solutions to social ills which free people to improve their own lives, instead of chaining them to the stifling care of government.
The subtitle I've chosen for this journal is "Social Solutions for Social Problems", in recognition of the Libertarian principle that the market and civil society should be free to act independently in their own arenas, unencumbered by government coercion. Exploring the area of civil society, or voluntary human action which does not necessarily involve economic exchange, is an important project that Libertarian scholars have, so far, touched only briefly. We must open this field to full investigation, if our political stand is to gain relevance and influence in today's world.
Since many of us are Americans, there will be some degree of US-centric focus, although I encourage the development of a global viewpoint.