We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata slogan of the day

Over the years it has become apparent to me that to discount the position of others on the basis of their number is democratically sound but morally wrong. It’s this feeling that has brought me, and others like me, to samizdata and to a consideration of libertarianism.
– JohnJo

9 comments to Samizdata slogan of the day

  • Guy Herbert

    However, if an opinion is a popular one it can usually be discounted.

  • Johnjo’s position here can safely be discounted on grounds of moral relativism (which, of course, can always be safely discounted). Democracy does not attempt to deselect opinions on the basis of their minority but to select a political direction or policy that most consider right. That is not quite the same thing.

    Flawed though it may be, democracy is an attempt by the electorate as a whole to feel its way towards the light. Certainly, this will involve mistakes and much wastage because political ideas have a distressing tendency to be found out by time and changing circumstance. But at the moment democracy is the best we can do.

    Libertarianism might be better, of course, except that it commends an equality of value in ideas and behaviour that is an open doorway for social harm.

    By way of example, I note that at the upcoming conference Paul Coulam will speak on the Myth of Sexual Ethics. I don’t want to pre-empt whatever he may say. But only homosexuals can separate sex from consequence. Sexual ethics follow upon the creation of life and all that this entails.

    So democrats and ethicists alike must, in their different ways, discriminate. Common values must be attributed to actions that are common – like sex – even if the commonality of said values cramps the style of a minority, be they homosexuals or libertarians. But, and a glorious but it is, too, a society of freemen living by the light of truth? Now that would be something!

  • Charles Copeland

    Guessedworker writes:

    By way of example, I note that at the upcoming conference Paul Coulam will speak on the Myth of Sexual Ethics. I don’t want to pre-empt whatever he may say. But only homosexuals can separate sex from consequence….

    Congratulations. Clearly, you have a well-functioning ‘gaydar’ (as in ‘radar’)! However, I would like to pre-empt what Paul Justin Raimondo Coulam has to say: it’s going to be Andrew Sullivan minus the gay marriage bullshit. Paul Justin Raimondo Coulam is going to say that the state should opt out of marriage altogether.

    Still, I’m looking forward to the conference — one doesn’t want ALL the speakers to be paleolibertarians and paleoconservatives, I suppose.

    One caveat: it’s not only homosexuals who ‘separate sex from consequence’. The same goes for contraceptive fornicators and, indeed, for legally wedded people who intentionally avoid reproduction — isn’t life without kids much more fun?

    Yeah, I really envy these fun society libertarians …

  • Tony H

    Well Guessedworker, “cramps the style of a minority” is pretty neat as a euphemism for oppression – seems like JohnJo’s slogan has brought some of the tyrannical majoritarians out of the woodwork.
    “Democracy does not attempt to deselect opinions on the basis of their minority..” – what an extraordinarily naive, sweeping statement! Does anybody really believe that, to take just two issues, the campaigns against private gun ownership, and against hunting with dogs, are not carried on chiefly through the inveterate malice of political interest groups who hate the people (and those people’s politics) who engage in such activities? These are powerful, wicked examples of attempts to “deselect” minority opinion.
    And I doubt whether many libertarians “commend an equality of views & behaviour” along the lines of nihilistic indifference that you describe.

  • Charles Copeland: we will not tolerate your direct insults of commenters any more and you are no longer welcome here.

  • Cydonia

    Perry:

    I’d be surprised if Paul regarded being compared to Justin Raimondo as an insult.

    On the other hand….he’ll be spitting at the comparison with the neocon Andrew Sullivan :-)

    Cydonia

  • Johnjo’s position here can safely be discounted on grounds of moral relativism (which, of course, can always be safely discounted). Democracy does not attempt to deselect opinions on the basis of their minority but to select a political direction or policy that most consider right. That is not quite the same thing.

    Ahhh, it’s like history repeating itself, having ones opinion discounted. The last time it happened to me was at the apparent behest of the public majority. Though democracy does seem to be the best on offer at the moment it has let me and others like me down.

  • Heh, I meant “position discounted” not “opinion discounted” in the above.

  • Democracy? Has it ever been implemented?^_^

    Just kidding, just kidding…

    But that brings us to the focal point of the whole issue. Is the majority view right? Logically, morally, or otherwise? If the majority view can often turn out to be wrong or self-serving, leading to the insidious phenomena where the majority takes advantage of the political process to bully the minorities, what does it tell us about the pitfalls of democracy?

    If a million Muslims vote to kill off the thousand Jews in their midst, is that morally right, even if it is legally and even democratically correct?

    But of course, when one’s viewpoint has been defeated for the moment, all the more to try harder next time. Maybe more people will listen.

    *snicker*