Blogs > Liberty and Power > Question for libertarians over at Daily Kos

Jan 28, 2008 10:13 pm

Question for libertarians over at Daily Kos

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Roderick T. Long - 2/1/2008

And here's Tom Palmer on the Protect America Act.

Steven Horwitz - 1/30/2008

Tim Lee criticizes the conservatives (National Review specifically) on FISA.

Again, Gus, I think you're treating the exceptions as the rule here.

Steven Horwitz - 1/30/2008

Well Gus, we read them over 24 hours apart, so perhaps the tone changed in that time.

As you well know, I'm more than happy to engage with folks on the left over the important concerns we share, but I won't do it if my ideas are not being treated seriously. And by that I mean three things: 1) an assumption of good faith (i.e., I'm not a conservative who just wants to smoke dope and have gay sex); 2) a recognition that my goal is to make the world a better place, esp. for the worst off among us; and 3) a recognition that libertarian ideas have a long and noble history of intellectual seriousness.

Where those are lacking (at least two anyway), I am not interested in conversation because conversation is not what I'm going to get. Name calling is. Those on the left who can extend to libertarians the same good faith that we should extend to them will always be of interest to me as conversation partners and political allies.

The crowd at Kos, at least those who posted early on, don't even come close to meeting that standard. I have much better things to do with my time than to try to engage them.

Aeon J. Skoble - 1/30/2008

The problem isn't exclusively right-wingers who misleadingly call themselves libertarian. I think a far more prevalent problem is the tendency of the left to refer to libertarianism as part of the right wing and mercilessly caricature it.

Gus diZerega - 1/30/2008

I’m sorry you feel that way Steve. I just checked the discussions and yes, there are some awful comments. There were also a bunch of more thoughtful comments, some by libertarians. But also – and I think this is important - some of the more ignorant comments exist because so many on the right who are not libertarians have adopted the label. Is Pilon a libertarian?

One of the things that became clear when reading many – I admit not all – of the comments was that some libertarians did get involved, and made good points – but also that libertarianism as a political philosophy has been grievously damaged by its association with a right wing that basically repudiates libertarian principles.

Anthony Gregory - 1/30/2008

Here's some of my stuff on FISA and wiretaps:

David Friedman - 1/30/2008

I can't speak for anyone else, but I've been blogging about FISA for almost precisely three years now, and I've had at least three posts on the proposed legislation to immunize the phone companies.

Steven Horwitz - 1/29/2008

Make it three.

Yes, we should be fighting FISA, but I'm not gonna go over to Daily Kos and try to have a civilized conversation about libertarianism after skimming those comments.

Roderick T. Long - 1/28/2008

Agreed, Aeon. There are plenty of things that mainstream libertarians can be criticised for. But these Kosites seem to have fastened on some of the least plausible cases. These guys don't seem to know the most basic thing about the movement they're criticising.

Aeon J. Skoble - 1/28/2008

It's barely even worth discussing libertarianism with people who begin:
"Why do Libertarians care so much about liberty from taxes, but not from oppression or government interference in one's private affairs?"
So, no thanks for me, but if anyone else cares to, more power to you!