Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The howl of the Coyote and other Libertarian thoughts...

Liberalgeek and I have been continuing to discuss his formulation (originally posited impromptu in a thread on gun control):

I am in favor of sensible restrictions on things that can be easily misused.

And because I am trying to move the discussion forward rather than lampoon his position, let's also include this comment:

Indeed, I see your point. As a geek and a liberal, I abhor the whole library censorship thing. I think that often they are inspired by people that don't understand the fact that information is like water in a basement. It will find a way to get out there. This applies to predators, bomb-making and sexual perversions. You cannot stop.

I can see your point fully. My quote was, I believe, regarding putting restrictions on guns. There are certainly parallels and I have not thought about it in that way before. I will consider this and get back to you if I can formulate a counter. I am pretty well stumped. For example, I suspect that shoulder-launched SAM's should not be available for purchase, but I cannot necessarily make an analogy to Internet access.

So I found this on Coyote Blog, which seems germane (although I'm working on explaining exactly how):

Everyone is a libertarian when it comes to his or her own choices:

My speech should be legal (though those other guys are over the line)

My choices, diet, lifestyle should be legal (though those other guys need to be protected from themselves)

My personal interactions are fine (but those other guys are all racists, threats to children, indecent, etc)

My business is great (but those other guys are all evil exploiters)

The hard part about defending freedom is not defending it for oneself. The hard part is defending other people's right to be free.

Apropos of something, even if ... I'm not sure ... exactly what.

1 comment:

Arthur Torrey said...

I think that it's an important point to make, namely that freedom only works if UNPOPULAR speech is protected...

There is never a problem with popular speech - Remember that in Nazi Germany, even the JEWS (along with all the other minorities that were sent to the camps) were free to say "Heil Hitler". It is UNPOPULAR speech and other actions that need protection...

Gun owners won't force the unwilling to carry...

People on Atkins diets don't insist that their veggie friends eat steak..

Potheads don't force non-drug users to toke...

And so on down the line.

Immediately Post 9/11, speeches like Sonny Landham's were fine (I know I heard a bunch of them) but I got threatened w/ violence for suggesting that while their actions were evil, perhaps Osama and friends had legitimate grievances against the US...

I object to the Catholic church's homophobic stands, but I think that the GBLT protests that disrupted ordinations and such were totally out of line...

Lots of other similar issues - I look at many groups and evaluate them based on how much respect they accord their opponents freedom.