In continuation of yesterday's "Conservatives and Libertarians Today," I thought a round-up of posts and articles on the subject might help clear things up a little more. First though, a brief note on government and the virtuous society.
Government is defined by its monopoly on the use of force. Generally speaking, libertarians agree it should be used to help protect our inalienable rights, and conservatives believe it should go beyond that - used to create order too.
In essence, it's Locke vs. Hobbes.
There is no genuine argument in regards to morality between the two camps. Thus,
- Conservatives who claim (imply) libertarians are hedonistic, libertine, and lawless;
- Libertarians who claim (imply) conservatives desire a theocratic authoritarian state;
are people engaging in useless partisan bickering and hyperbole.
Our differences arrive when the causation of moral decline is considered. Where the conservative sees government as a tool to "fix" society, the libertarian sees government as the cause of the decay which needs to be fixed.
As Albert J. Nock said:
In a society without the State, for example, the "court of tastes and manners" would be the thing that guides the operation of society, and this "court" would have a much larger role in society than law, legislation, or religion. If such a court were not in operation, because people are too uncivilized or too ill-educated to maintain it, there was nothing the State could do to uplift people. No matter how low a civilization is, it can only be made to go lower through State activity.
Please discuss in the comments below.
You can also learn more about this by reading the first article linked below.
- I Am a Reactionary Libertarian: Or Why I Believe in Fusionism
- Is Libertarianism Amoral?
- Conservative, Libertarian, Culture and Fusionism
- The Conservative-Libertarian Schism
- What is Libertarianism?
- The Liberty Pen
- The Conservative Case for Ron Paul
I hope this helps. Maybe one of our conservative friends will help bridge the gap too, by providing a clearer picture of conservatism for libertarians. (hint, hint ...)