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Misunderstanding libertarians

I probably should not do it to myself, but sometimes I can not help but wonder how a large group of seemingly intelligent people can be so wrong about so much. Charlie Stross has written about what might even be somewhat legitimate concerns about Amazon but as ever with him there is an infuriating wrongness floating on the surface and the comments amplify it.

But there is much to learn here about misconceptions about libertarians. Let me start with Charlie’s characterisation.

I’m not going to lecture you about Jeff Bezos either, although I do want to note that he came out of a hedge fund and he’s ostensibly a libertarian; these aspects of his background make me uneasy, because in my experience they tend to be found in conjunction with a social-darwinist ideology that has no time for social justice, compassion, or charity.

I am a libertarian. I notice that people suffer less when they are richer. I notice that greater freedom leads to greater wealth. My views are formed precisely out of a desire to see greater wellbeing and happiness in the world and this has been translated in the mind of someone who is ostensibly not a moron into a survival of the fittest race to discard those inferior to me to starvation and disease for my own personal benefit.

I need a new advertising agency.

I need to start being explicit about the end goals and work back from there, and always remind people about the goal at every opportunity. It needs to be the first and last thing I say in any debate with a non-libertarian: the aim is to reduce suffering. Now: how do we do that?

Then there is comment 100:

Perhaps you could point to a working libertarian utopia so I could understand how such a wonderful system works? Otherwise, it’s no more meaningful than those who complain that they problem with communism is it hasn’t been tried properly…

It has not been tried but one can notice without much effort that the places that look more like libertarian utopias, that is to say they have more freedom and smaller governments, tend to be richer than those that look less like libertarian utopias. Richer meaning that there is less starvation and suffering, let us not forget.

In comment 128 Charlie makes the closest thing yet to an interesting point when he accuses us of having a “fundamentally broken model of human behaviour”. It is a shame he does not say how the model is broken. The biggest problem I can think of with human nature is the tendency in many humans to want a leader or to want to boss others around. It really would be nice if these people could find each other without involving me. Which brings us to comment 473:

The thing is, libertarians really don’t just want to be left alone. You want to impose a libertarian society on us even though the overwhelming majority has made it abundantly clear that they have absolutely no desire for such a change.

If you want to go off on your own and build a libertarian country, go with our blessing. But leave us in peace. If you want to stay, accept that we do not want a libertarian society and let the matter drop.

Oh how much I would love to. Perhaps Jeff Bezos will finally succeed. Until then, good luck getting the International Community to allow it. With that option removed it is probably not worth pointing out to this commenter exactly who is imposing what upon whom. What is really going on is that this person thinks that a more libertarian society would lead to more starvation and disease and of course he does not want that imposed upon him. It is the same marketing problem again.

71 comments to Misunderstanding libertarians

  • Yes, I read that too, and I found it equally annoying. Because we don’t think that charity and compassion should be functions of the state, we entirely lack such things. Whatever. (I will ignore the “social justice” thing, because fuck knows what that actually means).

    On to Amazon, I am impressed by just how vehemently the existing publishing industry and those connected with it seem to hate them. (This makes me want to rather like them). I can’t imagine that the Department of Justice getting involved will make anything better, but just read the vehemence of this piece, and shudder slightly at its dismissal of the suggestion that lower prices might be a good thing, and indeed the author of the article’s seeming utter contempt for the idea.

    Publishers and authors should be able to sell their books to customers via Amazon, Apple, or anyone else using any pricing model they want, and I really don’t care if they collude, but there is something more behind it, I think. Ultimately, I think the question is whether there actually need to be two middle men in between an author and a reader. Is both a publisher and a retailer or aggregator like Amazon, Apple or whoever actually necessary, or can the job be done by only one of them. Certainly Amazon will happily sell copies (both electronic and printed) of any book I ask them to sell, and there is massive self-publishing going on there. Does even a well known author need more than this? That’s the question, and that is the threat, I think.

  • Dale Amon

    What we are seeing is the results of success. We have become a serious ideological threat to the socialist project. We know how their methods work and we are every bit as good at it as they were 75 years ago when their ideas still seemed fresh and viable.

    So please gird thyselves well for the battle which is upon us. The more we become part of the general meme structure of the population, the uglier they are going to get to try to stop us.

    Trust me, they have no ethics and no morals and no compunctions when it comes to this sort of battle.

  • visitor

    “It has not been tried but one can notice without much effort that the places that look more like libertarian utopias, that is to say they have more freedom and smaller governments, tend to be richer than those that look less like libertarian utopias. Richer meaning that there is less starvation and suffering, let us not forget.’

    That’s a curious and unsubstantiated claim. What specific societies with smaller governments less starvation and suffering are you speaking of? Ever been to the developing world? That’s the closest you get on the planet to unregulated commerce; I can assure you, you’ll find plenty of suffering and starvation in such places.

  • 'Nuke' Gray

    Whilst some people are having a tough time in the developing world, their rapacious governments are not! I presume that visitor means places like Zimbabwe, and North Korea? That is not the fault of Capitalism, and you can’t call it Free Enterprize, either.
    Try the Isle of Man, or Switzerland, for better places to live. Whilst neither are perfect, they are better than a lot of other places!

  • Lee Moore

    I have been to the developing world. Conditions there vary, and why they vary is not an accident. After the second world war, those bits of the developing world that were spun off from the British Empire mostly got themselves governed by alumni of the London School of Economics, not to their advantage. The premier exception was Hong Kong which instead of an LSE socialist, got the late great Sir John Cowperthwaite. Hong Kong has no oil, no gold, no nothing. Except people and a government that largely left them to get on with things on their own. Now Hong Kong isn’t developing, it’s developed – richer than most of Europe in fact, and certainly richer than its ex colonial master.

    Germany – though hardly a libertarian paradise – took off like a firework economically when it shed LSE government with Erhard’s “bonfire of controls.” It’s a pattern repeated in varying shades around the world. The more you open your economy up to capitalism and free trade, the richer you get. The more you fend off capitalism and free trade the poorer you get. Before the Korean War, the two Koreas had roughly equal standards of living. Now, you can see the difference by satellite at night. South Korea looks like Japan. North Korea looks like the Gobi Desert.

  • Bod

    I think ‘visitor’ was alluding to that other libertarian paradise, Somalia, where as we all know and agree, is the best example of a Minarchist Utopia.

  • Lee Moore

    In which case “visitor”has misunderstood libertarianism, which thoroughly approves of a role for the state in suppressing, in accordance with the rule of law, private coercion. Which is the main problem afflicting Somalia.

    (Note not all Somalia is equally blighted. The former British colony which calls itself Somaliland, while it is not entirely free of militant Islamism, is a more or less functioning society, though by no means a libertarian one. )

  • Doc Merlin

    @Visitor.
    “That’s a curious and unsubstantiated claim. What specific societies with smaller governments less starvation and suffering are you speaking of? Ever been to the developing world? That’s the closest you get on the planet to unregulated commerce; I can assure you, you’ll find plenty of suffering and starvation in such places.”

    I’ve lived in the third world. You sir are an idiot or a liar. Opening a legal business in the third world is an insane kafkaesk regulatory process.

  • Richard Thomas

    The whole “Libertarian Utopia” thing strikes me as projection of the first order. Much of the point of libertarianism for me is the abandoning of the idea that people can be coerced into a Utopia and instead, looking to how they can best interact in as free a manner as possible.

  • K

    @Dale +1

    There have been increasing attacks on libertarians – see Utah incumbent Orrin Hatch’s recent diatribe – implying we’re at least annoying the powerful. That’s new and in my lifetime unprecedented. Let’s hope libertarians continue to be vociferously attacked by bilious establishmentarians – from such attacks the “cool factor” grows. Next step – libertarian clubs on campus.

  • Michael Lorrey

    I’ve known Charlie for quite a long time, and although I enjoy his scifi, he is one of those radical leftists whose scifi tries to parody the sort of society that libertarians (as Neal Stephenson does in Snow Crash) and extropians (as Charlie himself does in Singularity Sky) want to live in and get all discombobulated when we libertarians or extropians say “YES, more of that please!” as if it seems like the writer actually understands us, until you get them talking about their actual views of us and you find out that they could not be more wrong.

    Now, as for the going off and building a libertarian utopia, well , some of us are doing that here in New Hampshire, and are starting to meet with some success. If you want to help out, join the Free State Project and move here.

    Charlie’s main problem, as is typical among leftists, is they continually confuse means with ends.

  • Re “libertarian utopia” contradiction of terms:

    “Utopia” means “perfect society.” “Society” encompasses both the public- and private-sector culture. You can’t have a perfect society without perfect consensus on what the perfect society is. Libertarians know that such consensus doesn’t eve come close to existing. The goal of establishing utopia MUST involve force, and MUST involve totalitarianism to bring about the consensus that does not exist.

  • IMHO we should distance ourselves from the U-word as loudly and as often as possible.

  • MajikMonkee

    “I can not help but wonder how a large group of seemingly intelligent people can be so wrong about so much”

    It has to be laziness, there’s the monopoly man image of capitalism that appeals to rock stars and actors and you can stick with that and say very poetic things that sort of sound right, appeal to base emotions and look good when sprayed on a wall, written on a t-shirt or rhymed in a hip hop track.

    I pretty much bought into that but when you start looking at statistics on economic indicators, the economic policies that cause them and reading about economic history, you realise the anti-capitalist thing is a load of crap. The truth emerges that more capitalism=a better standard of living. There probably is a limit to how much capitalism but no society has ever got there.

    My theory is left wingers are too lazy to read up and settle for an image not data, or have made the realization but shouted so loud before that it would be embarrassing to admit they were wrong.

  • Paul Marks

    Michael Jennings “I will ignore the Social Justice thing because fuck knows what that means”.

    Sorry Sir but that is as bad as the enemy not knowning what the non aggression principle means but writing about libertarianism.

    Just as the Non Aggression Principle is the central principle of the libertarianism, so Social Justice is the central principle of the enemy to “not know what the fuck it means” is NOT something to be proud of.

    So what does Social Justice mean?

    It is the doctrine that all income and wealth rightfully belong to the collective (“the people”) and should be “distributed” according to some doctrine of “fairness” (normally an egalitarian or semi egalitarian doctrine of fairness).

    Such best selling works as John Rawls’ “A Theory of Justice” are based on this doctrine that income and wealth are a “social product” and should be “distributed” by the authorites to the best advantage of the “least favoured” (i.e. the poor).

    Mr Jennings you are not an ignorant man – you are not someone like David Cameron, there is no excuse for you to not know the above (unless you actually do know the above and were just showing contempt for the doctrine of Social Justice by pretending to not know what it means – if that was your intent I APOLOGIZE).

    Someone can hardly effectively oppose the enemy without a basic understanding of their central doctrine – Social Justice (although, I repeat, one may pretend to not know or care what it means – as a way of showing contempt for the enemy).

    And, of course, the writer quoted by Rob is CORRECT – libertarians do oppose Social Justice (I leave aside the “Bleeding Heats” at this point on the grounds that their fundemental dishonesty irritates me).

    As for “charity” and “compassion”.

    Contrary to the German philosopher Samual Pufendorf, there can be no such thing as “compulsory charity” (it is like saying “dry water”).

    It is in fact Social Justice (NOT libertarianism) that is not compatible with charity and compassion.

    After all if income and wealth are a collectivist social product and are distributed by the authorities – there is no room for charity and compassion (i.e. for voluntary CHOICE).

    It is not “compassionate” to have one’s income and wealth taken away, by force, to be distributed.

    Robin Hood does NOT engage in charity when he takes money from some people and gives it to others – and neither does George Osbourne.

    As for “Social Darwinism”.

    Has the writer that Rob cites actually read the works of Herbert Spencer, and William Graham Sumner (the actual “social Darwinists”).

    Does he know that they were ANTI war, ANTI colonialist -and (yes) deeply charitable and compassionate people?

    No – I thought he had not read their works or studied their lives.

    I apologize if anything above reads as if I am looking down my nose at people.

    I sometimes forget that not everyone has spent their lives in the study of all this stuff.

    “But Paul the enemy are not united in their understanding of Social Justice”.

    Over details no – but over the basic principle (that income and wealth are a social product to be distributred on a collective basis) they are united.

    I wish it were not so – but even the student savages on the streets of Chile (with their body paint – and demands that went from “free” education, to the banning of private education, to the nationalization of industry, to the extermination of pro “capitalist” opinions, all in a wink of an eye…) are basically on the same page as the people teaching in Harvard (and so on).

    Just as the “Occupy” movement in the United States is (at base) on the same side as Comrade Barack.

    Why do you think the “mainstream” media has such sympathy for such things as the student movement in Chile and the “Occupy” movement in the United States?

    Is it because the msm people like body paint and rags?

    No – it is an IDEOLOGICAL kinship, based upon the doctrine of Social Justice.

  • Paul Marks

    As the late F.A. Hayek was fond of pointing out – Social Justice is actually the “morality” of the savage hunter-gatherer pack (so perhaps the rags and body paint are logical – most so than the expensive suits of the Harvard philosophy department members). Social Justice is the rejection of civil society – which is based upon private property (which, by its very nature, violates the doctrine of Social Justice – which holds that income and wealth are a collective product, to be distributed by the pack as a whole).

    For his account of Social Justice – see the second volume of his “Law, Legislation and Liberty” (“The Mirage of Social Justice”).

    For M.J. Oakeshott’s short refutation of distributive (i.e. social) justice – see the footnote on page 153 of On Human Conduct

    For a longer refutation see Antony Flew’s “Equality in Liberty and Justice”.

    This really is not obscure stuff – it really is basic political philosophy.

    No one in this line of study should pretend not to understand this stuff (someone who has spent their lives doing other things does, of course, have a legitimate reason to not understand it).

    This is why I have such utter contempt for those people who pretend that the Non Aggression Principle (i.e. libertarianism) is compatible with Social Justice.

    It is like fire and ice, light and dark.

    It vexes me (vexes me deeply) when I come upon “pro free market” people using the term “Social Justice” as if it were a positive term.

    I will tolerate such behaviour in someone like Ian Duncan Smith (an ex army officer – who, I am told, has never read a work on political philosophy in his life).

    But I will not let it go by in a political philsopher or (in contradiction to something I imply above) in someone who has studied polticical philosphy.

    And, yes, that includes Mr David Cameron.

    Oxford may not be perfect – but it is not plausible that someone could get a First in PPE from Oxford and not know what Social Justice means.

    So either Mr Cameron is a liar – someone who pretends to believe in Social Justice, but does not really believe in it.

    Or Mr Cameron is a beast – i.e. someone who actually does believe in Social Justice and should be out looking for a stone to sharpen his fangs on, with the rest of his savage pack.

    So which is it Mr Cameron – are you a liar or are you a beast?

  • unless you actually do know the above and were just showing contempt for the doctrine of Social Justice by pretending to not know what it means

    Roughly that, yes. Combined with irritation about the way the phrase is often used, implying that “Social Justice” is self-evidently a good thing and that as what I endorse is going to increase “Social Justice”, to oppose me is to take an actively immoral position. So, in practice, the details of what is meant are impressively malleable depending on the actual agenda being pursued by the person uttering the phrase.

    Or to possibly put it a different way, if I lack compassion or charity, this yes is bad. If I lack concern for social justice, is that bad? That is more complex.

  • steve

    It’s not a mistake. It’s a strawman. Better advertising won’t help, only more principled oponents. Good luck with that.

  • Tim Carpenter

    If one outsources, any “compassion” or “charity” is, by definition, impossible, especially when one is a net gainer and so others are forced to pay for it.

    Compassion and charity are things only individuals can truly do, and do to another soul.

  • Adrian Ramsey

    Go back to the comments on Charlie’s piece and check out no. 532.

    Hint: “hedge fund” as well as “ostensibly a libertarian” (my emphasis).

  • David James Roberts

    Coincidence, Michael and Paul?

    http://www.adamsmith.org/blog/philosophy/its-not-that-im-against-social-justice-its-that-i-say-it-has-no-meaning

    Sorry to get metaphysical, but I do wonder about Jung’s collective unconscious. I am nearly sure there is a rational explanation.

  • Russ

    Stross is a bigot. Stross is also a leftist…. am I supposed to see a difference? Rawls is nothing but warmed-over Marxism, and arguing with a Rawlian (or a Marxist, for that matter) is about as productive as mudwrestling with a pig: once you buy into the definition of terms, you’ve decided to redefine 99% of the human race as either evil predators or mindless sheep.

  • Russ

    Argh, smitebot gets me again.

    I don’t see that there’s anything productive to be gained in such debates: by choosing to accept a Rawlsian worldview, an individual has demonstrated a moral choice to move his opponents into “incapable of ever being right about anything” on either moral or intellectual grounds.

  • Russ

    Argh, smitebot gets me again.

    I don’t see that there’s anything productive to be gained in such debates: by choosing to accept a Rawlsian worldview, an individual has demonstrated a moral choice to move his opponents into the “incapable of ever being right about anything” bucket on either moral or intellectual grounds.

  • RRS

    It is always risky to compete with the Paul marks organization; still, I will offer up the following differing perspective on the meaning (but not variant uses) of Social Justice:

    “References to “social justice” (subject to Hayek’s question) are usually intended to imply corrections to perceived defects of the markets systems (as noted above). If, instead, we conceive of “justice” as the performance of obligations, then social justice would become the performance of obligations through “social” instrumentalities, rather than individually or even through civil voluntary means. That infers governmental actions for the performance of obligations; and in so doing the assigning, allocation and imposition of obligations (usually through taxation, occasionally by regulation) on the basis of politically determined criteria.

    “The politically determined imposition of obligations, at any level, not voluntarily undertaken, raises serious issues as to the viability of the social order in an open society; and certainly as to individual ‘freedom from.’


    The above is an extract from a comment at The Library of Law and Liberty section on the Liberty Fund site on 4/16/2012.

    The rhetorical use of terms is not always helpful in understanding human interactions. Still, it seems to remain elective in discourse.

  • Michael Lorrey

    I would argue against the claim that a utopia has to be “perfect” or that “perfection” is necessarily what Alan and Richard imply it would be in the mind of a libertarian. A libertarian utopia would necessarily be imperfect, and governed in a way that allowed for imperfection, i.e. minimal restraint upon the individual to account for each persons necessarily different judgement as to what the meaning of perfection is.
    My personal utopian perfection is to be able to shoot squirrels off my porch as I see fit, then going and drinking and smoking whatever I wish, with whomever I wish, in whatever state of dishabile we desire…. your milage may vary.

  • Paul Marks

    RRS – once the word “social” did indeed mean civil society.

    For example, Edmund Burke used the term “social freedom” in this way – social freedom meant private property respecting freedom (as opposed to a savage mob out robbing, raping and murdering).

    However, this will not do now.

    Social Justice has a meaning – the “Bleeding Hearts” (and others) know perfectly well what it means.

    Therefore they are scum.

  • that has no time for social justice..

    Very true give what ‘social justice’ actually means to these people…

    …compassion, or charity.

    What the fuck does someone who supports taking money by force from people and giving it to other people know about ‘compassion’ or ‘charity’? He LITERALLY does not know the meaning of either of those words.

  • Sigivald

    Makes me wonder what he finds lacking in “a libertarian society” that he (and his admitted majority of like-minded folks) couldn’t add back in by voluntary action.

    Seriously, though, what is it that he desires that needs the coercion of the State to make it happen, despite the vast majority of people supposedly wanting it?

    (And at very least, an imposed “libertarian order” would impose on one only by… not making one do things. I can’t think of any way such a state would be anything other than a subset of the existing state; how radically small a subset depends on the sort of “libertarian” in question, naturally.

    [I'm far more for Hayek's minimal welfare state than for the nigh-anarchich versions.]

    It almost reminds one of arguments against Republican government along the lines of “if we didn’t have a King, we’d all be imposed on to run the place; a Monarch spares us from work”.

    Which is true – but not exactly what mattered.)

    (Full disclosure: I quite enjoy Mr. Stross’ works, and shall continue to do so. Hell, I’ll read Banks, and he’s a damned Communist.)

  • RRS

    SOCIAL

    is not at issue here (pace Hayek).

    An understanding of what constitutes “Justice” in any particular social organization (grouping of humans) is the issue.

  • Tedd

    “Whenever someone complains that libertarians are just pie-in-the-sky utopian (or distopian) intellectuals, just ask them again about the real world consequences of the War on Drugs, and see who gets all pie-in-the-sky right quick.”
    — Randy Barnett

  • Tedd

    Another quote I like, which captures the frustration I experience when people confuse libertarianism with libertinism:

    “Can’t I just think what I think without having to be in a three-way with Larry Flynt and Ron Paul?”
    — Eric Scheie, Making Freedom a Dirty Word

  • Ken

    The other thing is, that as a deontological libertarian, I don’t believe in utopia and consider the argument a straw man. However, more liberty is rather strongly correlated with better outcomes.

  • Here’s my response to friends who say that they woudn’t want to live in a libertarian society:

    If you don’t want unregulated food, education, healthcare, or trade, that’s great. Put “REGULATED” labels on the groceries, schools, hospitals and imports that have John Boehner’s, John McCain’s, and Barack Obama’s approval.

    But please allow the rest of us to purchase the same thing through a market regulated only by legally binding promises to provide “X” commodity in exchange for cash. Label these as “UNREGULATED”.

    And why the government monopoly on compassion? My church provides meals, healthcare and funds far more efficiently than any government agency. Should we have a choice in how we help others, or should we have to funnel our compassion through a Chicago Den Of Thieves?

    Finally….Utopia is not an option. Never has been, never will be. Some places are simply more utopian than others, and those are the places where people are given more of the choices listed above.

  • JohnB

    Perhaps there are some for whom the idea of individual responsibility is terrifying – that they might discover they are actually alone?

    Whose very identity depends on the concept of the collective and to suggest otherwise comes close to blasphemy.

    Who have not come yet to understand the full interconnectivity of the creation, nevermind begun to see the Creator.
    (All one needs to do is look at the available facts.)

  • Paul Marks

    Quite so Perry.

    Yours is the best comment so far – including mind (I tend to be long winded).

    RRS.

    Quite so.

    These are fundementally opposed positions.

    Social Justice (or “distributive justice”).

    And justice as to each their own.

    These two sides have been locked in battle since Plato’s day (and long before).

    You gave a quote – I will also.

    “And there is, of course, no place in civil association for so called “distributive” justice [i.e. social justice]; that is, the distribution of desirable substantive goods. Such a “distribution” of substantive benefits or advantages requires a rule of distribution and a distributor in possession of what is to be disributed; but lex [Oakeshott uses the Latin word for law - the English word "law" having become utterly debased, which is why such concepts as the "the rule of law" are not understood by people such as George Osbourne] cannot be a rule of distribution of this sort, and civil rulers have nothing to distribute.”

    Second paragraph of the footnote on page 153 of “On Human Conduct” (“On The Civil Condition” section) 1975.

    The conflict between social justice and justice is clear.

    They are fundementally opposed conceptions.

    The natural relationship between supporters of the rival conceptions is war.

    Total war.

  • Paul Marks

    By the way…..

    The word “social” is of fundemental importance – it is used (as Hayek put it) as a “weasel word” to suck out the traditional meaning out of a concept (much as the weasel sucks yolk out of an egg).

    For example, Imperial Germany (for all its faults) still had the rule of law.

    This is why such intellectuals as Richard Ely (the mentor to both “Teddy” Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson) had problems with Imperial Germany – they loved the “Progressive” thought they found there, but hated the fact that “reactionary” features (such as the rule of law) still existed in contradiction to this wonderful Progressive thought (thought that went back “Cameralists” of the 18th and even 17th centuries).

    They loved Imperial Germany for its vices and hated it for its remaining virtues (almost needless to say Richard Ely and co remade American higher education in their own image). The hatred for the rule of law and for the United States Constitution is obvious in the letters (and so on) of “Teddy” Roosevelt (“to Hell with the Constitution when the people when the people want coal” – and on and on). Woodrow Wilson expressed the same hatred and contempt – but used far more words (after all his book “The State” is perhaps the first “classic” in American intellectual life that hardly anyone read – because it is so long and uses such obscure language, but it served the purpose of establishing him as an intellectual – as it sat on thousands of bookshelves, unopened).

    Anyway Germany “resolved the contradictions” between its Progressive thought and, partly, reactionary practice.

    First in the First World War (under “War Socialism” – which was fundamentally different from, for example, France in the First World War – so it was IDEOLOGY, not just war, that was a key factor) and then under the Weimar Republic – the rule of law was replaced by the SOCIAL rule of law.

    As Hayek points out in “The Road to Serfdom”, “The Constitution of Liberty” and “Law, Legislation and Liberty” the fundamental principles of the rule of law had been undermined in Germany BEFORE the coming to power of the National Socialists.

    The “social rule of law” (i.e. the destruction of clear limits on government power) had already been “achieved”.

    Alas – reactionary elements in the United States prevented this noble work being fully achieved there (even during the New Deal).

    However, it is hoped that Barack Obama will complete the dream of all Progressives (Marxist and non-Marxist) and finally destroy the remaining elements of the reactionary order.

    Via emergency measures in his second term (by passing Congress).

    These measures will be in the name of “social justice” – and “environmental justice” and “gender justice” and “racial justice” – indeed (as RRS points out) just in the name of “justice” (after all John Rawls book is called “A Theory of Justice” not a “A Theory of Social Justice” – and he is just one of a Legion).

    The final destruction of civil society (the reactionary order) will be completed – and the wonderful new society (dreamed of in such works as “Looking Backward” and “Philip Dru: Administrator”) will be achieved.

    Of course the “wonderful new society” will turn to ashes – even in the mouth of its own supporters.

    The “morality” of a savage hunter-gather pack (packs varied of course – the ones that respected private property rights developed into civil society, the ones that did not were eventually defeated) is not compatible with a vast society of hundreds of millions (indeed billions) of human beings.

    Should the vision of social justice be continued – the vast majority of the population of human beings on this planet will starve to death.

    That is the logical conclusion of the Progressive vision.

  • RRS

    At the Library of Law and Liberty segment on the Liberty Fund site there are some blogs on the topic of “Bleeding Heart Libertarianism.”

    As the PM Organization notes, the general concerns that lead to rhetorical appropriation of “justice” (as has the appropriation of “Liberal” in the U S) focus on perceived defects in the way our present social order has spontaneously generated systems of distribution.
    The system(s) of production evolved from acceleration in the specialization and division of labor, which rely on exchange (mostly commutative or reciprocal) for that production to contribute betterments and wealth to our evolving social order seem beyond reproach (pace Marx; super pace Engels).

    The reactions to the effects of those perceived defects seem to assume that Eros, Caritas and Agave were all buried with the ancient marbles at Aphrodite on the Anatolian coast. Daily life destroys that assumption. Individual and group objectives are not formed exclusively by Maximum Utility of consumption or possession.

    There is this seemingly endless and resurgent search for the “causes of poverty.” Poverty is not caused; poverty is. Betterments and advancements are caused. The impedances of the causes of betterments cause the continuance of poverty at all its relative levels, not defects in the spontaneously generated systems of distribution.

  • RRS

    I think that is a “Libertarian” view.

  • Paul Marks

    RRS.

    At the very top of the of the “Bleeding Hearts” website are the words…

    SOCIAL JUSTICE.

    Not justice – SOCIAL justice.

    I have already told you (at some length) about Social Justice and I am not going to endlessly repeat myself.

    They may be “libertarians” but they are not libertarians.

    Back in the 1920s the forces of evil (collectivism) took the word “liberal” in the United States. They now appear to be trying to do the same thing with the word “libertarian”.

    It has also been recently pointed out to me that a person by the name of Kevin Carson has connections with the “Bleeding Hearts”.

    Some years ago (2006 if I remember correctly) I first encountered the work of a person by this name – he managed to turn the British “Liberarian Alliance” away from a pro private property based civil society position, towards a position of hatred for “the rich”, “the corporations”, big landowners (whose ownership of land was denounced as nonlegimate by this enemy person) and so on. He carried on over the years.

    For example, the rioting scum in Egypt were endorsed by Mr Carson – who openly called upon them to loot and destroy (this was AFTER the attack upon Laura Logan). To him the Egyption regime, in reality basically the statist structure set up after the 1952 Revolution, was not anti property ENOUGH – it was the “puppet of the corporations” (and so on – classic “Occupy” movement agitprop, it might as well have been a Pravda edititoral from Soviet times).

    It has long been know that the Black Flaggers (the communal anarchists), have a de facto alliance with the Red Flaggers (the Marxists). There is a vast amount of evidence to this effect. The is also evidence of cooperation between the Anarcho-Communalists and the Marxists with the Islamists.

    The Anarcho-Communalists and Marxists cooperate on the basis of their mutual hatred of private property (especially large scale private property in land and other “means of production”) the alliance with the Islamists is more on an “the ememy of my enemy is my friend” basis. The enemy being the West – what is left of civil society.

    I strongly suspect that the “Kevin Carson” invited (as an honoured speaker) to a “Bleeding Hearts” conference (surprise, suprise – on whether private ownership of land is legitimate) is the same American whose work helped destroy the British Libertarian Alliance (technially it still exists – in a mutated state).

    “Social Justice” in the tag line at the top of their website.

    A known emeny agent (if I may use the old, and quite accutate, langauge) invited as an honoured speaker to their conference.

    How much freaking evidence do you want?

    I repeat.

    Social Justice is the central concept of the enemy. It is the incompatible enemy of justice.

    Those who endorse Social Justice – condemn themselves.

  • Paul Marks

    I apologize if the above comment seems hostile to RRS – it was not him I was thinking of as I wrote it.

    Of course the person I am most angry with is ME.

    It was me (the “Paul Marks organization”) who failed.

    I can tell myself comforting stuff (“I did not live in London, I was out of the loop, I did not know what was going on till it was too late…..”), but that this does alter the fact that I failed.

    Failure torments some people as they get older – I am still tormented by a failure of mine (over quite a different matter – a County Council election of all things, and no I was not standing) back in 1989. Indeed not a day goes by when I am not tormented by that particular failure of mine (worry not – I am not asking for sympathy, just stating a fact, and a state of mind that will be familar to many people from their own experience).

    And my failure to save the British LA still upsets me.

    To see American libertarianism to go down the same (collectivist) road that American liberalism did (the best part of a century ago) would indeed be a terrible thing.

    A prospect that causes me great distress – as I still believe that the United States is the last best hope for the survival of the West.

    The internal corruption of the forces of liberty in America – would, almost certainly, snuff out hope. As libertarians have an importance out of all proportion to the number of libertarians – libertarians act as an influence on the wider anti collectivist conservative movement (influencing American conservatives in a pro liberty direction and countering negative influences).

    It is therefore logical to assume that the corruption of the libertarian movement is an important objective for the enemy.

  • RRS

    Down in the South there used to be pillows with a legend:

    You ain’t fat You’s just fluffy

    As Senior Counselor in the PMO, you are not a failure; you are just frustrated.

    Nor to me are you hostile. You are absolutley on target as to the next “appropriation.” It is to be done by segmenting the objectives of Libertarian thought. Not exactly divide and conquer, rather segment and occupy or dominate.

    Perhaps that is why I focus on obligations instead of rights as the defining characteristics of an open society. Attempts to control or direct the obligations that must exist in any social order if any rights are to exist quickly reveals the objectives of collectivism and its ultimate ends.

  • RRS

    P.S.

    You did make me pull out my copy of the Oakshott you cited to find my bookmark of 1998 on page 158, pretty close.

    Next: Edward Shils?

  • RRS

    Incidentally, my references were to the Liberty Fund website blogs, not to the Bleeding Hearts website

  • Alisa

    OMG, here’s a match made in heaven!:-)

  • Brad

    The main underlying problem of people who don’t comprehend libertarianism is that they, a priori, expect an “-ism” to be establishing/promising greater efficiency or a paradise. Libertarianism doesn’t profess anything other than freedom, which could be good or bad depending on the person. So when those criticising Libertarianism have a difficult time finding the well defined Utopia promised by Libertarianism, and see it as condition one of its failure, it’s simply because not making such assertions is part of its foundation. Simply, they can’t think outside of their own box and blame those who can.

    And those who point to Somalia as some example of the failure of Libertarianism, we can point to a country that has a $55,000,000,000,000 accrual basis debt adding $1,300,000,000,000 more every year as a failure of another kind. I won’t even go into at length the cycle the third world have been in going from victims of Imperialism, it’s passing away, and its replacement by international assistance packages that nicely fund warlords as perhaps a reason for lack of progress in the third world. If a region has been starved of free market forces for four centuries, I’d expect the region to turn out as it has.

  • alanstorm

    This is just mind-boggling:

    “The thing is, libertarians really don’t just want to be left alone. You want to impose a libertarian society on us even though the overwhelming majority has made it abundantly clear that they have absolutely no desire for such a change. ”

    Sorry, no one one the left has any leg to stand on in that regard. The left plainly wants to impose their system on the rest of us – Don’t even try to attempt to think that we don’t have the right of self-defense against such things. How exactly can they object to a little political jiujitsu?

  • Richard Thomas

    alanstorm: Social jujitsu?

  • Tedd

    I think it’s important to differentiate social justice, as it was originally conceived by Rawls, from the policy prescriptions proposed in the name of social justice (which is what the term is more often used to refer to, today).

    In this sense, “social justice” simply refers to the uncontroversial fact that some people are born more fortunate than others. Healthy, intelligent, and materially comfortable is a better way to be born than ill, not very bright, and poor. Rawls argues that this fact creates a rational moral obligation on the part of those born more fortunate to share some of their good fortune with those born less fortunate. I think Rawls makes a very strong moral argument, he simply fails to make a strong political argument. That is, I believe he is correct about the moral obligation, but wrong that it should (or even can) be satisfied through coercion. (Objectivists, spark up your flame throwers!) I think this makes me a bleeding-heart libertarian.

    I bring this up, though, because I think that the failure to distinguish between the fact of social injustice (in the Rawlsian sense) and the policy prescriptions of social justice is a major cause of libertarianism being misunderstood and misrepresented. When libertarians (or conservatives, for that matter) deride “social justice” because of the policy prescriptions made in its name, it is interpreted by progressives and “the left” as either ignorance of or heartlessness about the harsh reality of differing circumstances of birth.

    I don’t mean to suggest that social justice as a purely moral concept is above critique. There are some very good critiques even of Rawls’s basic concept. But I am suggesting that, when talking to someone of “the left” it’s important to draw the distinction between concept and policy and be clear which one you are critiquing. Most progressives I know don’t know a thing about Rawls, which means they actually don’t understand anything about the foundations of the policies they ostensibly support. You need to first educate them about their own position before you can begin to critique it. Otherwise, at the first negative reference to social justice or their preferred policies they will believe you are an uncaring lout and stop listening.

  • Dave

    We have become a serious ideological threat to the socialist project. We know how their methods work and we are every bit as good at it as they were 75 years ago when their ideas still seemed fresh and viable.

    Because EVERYBODY who disagrees with libertarians is a socialist eh?

    No wonder nobody takes you guys all that seriously.

  • Dave

    Over details no – but over the basic principle (that income and wealth are a social product to be distributred on a collective basis) they are united.

    This sort of nonsense doesn’t help you either btw.

    Or in other words, does it f***!

    Of course income and wealth are not a social product. Don’t be a tit man and stop creating strawmen.

  • Julie near Chicago

    The second commenter to Part I of Rappaport’s piece on “Bleeding Heart Libertarianism” (at the Liberty Law site http://libertylawsite.org/post/bleeding-heart-libertarianism ) also makes an important point:

    “Bleeding Heart Libertarianism may prove to be as mistaken as compassionate conservatism. The term ‘social justice’ implies that ordinary justice is not good enough. Libertarianism is already just, as conservatism is already compassionate. The new adjectives attached to them imply that some apology or excuse must be made for a philosophy of individual freedom. The likely result of widespread acceptance of these pernicious ideas will be less freedom and less justice.”

  • Laird

    Agreed, Julie.

    And in response to Tedd’s comment, trying to discuss “social justice” in terms of Rawls’ original meaning is as useless as trying to discuss the word “liberal” in terms of what it meant 200 years ago. Someone hijacked a term and perverted it into a completely different meaning? Shocking; who ever heard of such a thing happening?

    I’m sorry, but whatever Rawls may or may not have meant when he coined the phrase, the fact remains that in current usage “social justice” means a perversion of true justice. Either the word “social” in this context is just noise, without meaning, or it is intended to modify the term “justice”. I think the latter is clearly the intent of anyone using that term today, and it should be interpreted in that way.

  • Because EVERYBODY who disagrees with libertarians is a socialist eh?

    Yes that is a serious error. Most statist conservatives are not socialists, they are, well, conservatives… ie they are the enemy because they are statists not because they are socialists (nor indeed because they are conservatives).

  • JohnB

    Seems to me that Dave is seriously into straw men.
    No. People do not agree with or disagree with, libertarians.
    It is an individual, not a group, think.

    Social justice implies conforming to a socially established (group-think) norm.
    The libertarian idea is of individual freedom and individual responsibility.
    The individual has to care for others. If it is done on a social basis it eventually ceases to exist as the individual ceases to be responsible and tends to descend back into the eat-or-be-eaten jungle.

  • RRS

    Since the interest here in what is transpiring with the “advent” of BHL seems somewhat intense (and personal?), a trip over to Cato Unbound (on the Cato.org website) might be enlightening, if not gratifying, for the series of entries of April 2,4,6 & 18; but best of all from the viewpoints here at Samizdata – for the comments:

    The most incisive of those read:

    “ . . . all joking aside, they are attempting to dilute the one philosophy that can save this society by transmuting it into the very philosophy that is rapidly destroying society, on campus and in Washington, DC.”

    Todd Seavey

    For a more thorough set of revelations about what is really going on with these “movements,” it will be worth your while to visit Todd’s blogs of 4/14 and 4/20 (both conjoined on his blog):

    http://www.toddseavey.com/2012/04/

    Disclosure: For many years I was a Sponsor (small-size) at Cato.

  • Tedd

    Laird:

    And in response to Tedd’s comment, trying to discuss “social justice” in terms of Rawls’ original meaning is as useless as trying to discuss the word “liberal” in terms of what it meant 200 years ago. Someone hijacked a term and perverted it into a completely different meaning? Shocking; who ever heard of such a thing happening?

    If the term had been hijacked and perverted, as the term “liberal” has, I would agree with you. But that is not the case. When progressives talk about social justice and their various policy prescriptions for achieving it they are talking precisely about Rawls’s concept and, for the most part, policies that Rawls would agree with. There’s no hijacking or perversion going on, so it is not just useful to discuss what Rawls meant, it’s crucial. You can’t possibly understand the issue if you don’t, and any critique you try to form can’t ever get beyond preaching to the converted.

    It would be like trying to defend free markets without knowing anything Adam Smith said. Much worse, actually, because many people besides Smith have said many coherent things about free markets, whereas scarcely anyone but Rawls has had anything coherent to say about social justice (unless they were paraphrasing Rawls).

  • Tedd

    When progressives talk about social justice and their various policy prescriptions for achieving it they are talking precisely about Rawls’s concept…

    Actually, that’s not quite true. The phrase has taken on a slightly different flavour in the years since Rawls’s original work. But nothing like the kind of wholesale reversal of meaning that the term liberal has gone through in the U.S. The important point is that Rawls’s work forms not just the best, but virtually the only philosophical foundation for progressivism. Any critique of progressivism that doesn’t take into account Rawlsian theory simply cannot succeed.

  • RRS

    Laird –

    You are probably too young to have experienced the Social Justice of my early adolescence, which emananted from Father Coughlin.

    I think that was the origin of the rhetorical use of that phrase.

    It was much disussed in my home (non-catholic, but anti-New Deal).

    These terms and labels for most of these “concepts” have been around for much longer than Rouseaunian revival.

  • PhilMill

    In a libertarian utopia (it’s an oxymoron but go with me on this) groups of people would be free to form communes or communist societies, so long as every individual did so willingly.

    No communist state would tolerate libertarianism.

  • Tedd

    PhilMill:

    Yes, that’s another subtlety of libertarianism that is lost on many people. One of the most libertarian things in contemporary U.S. society is the Amish — not Amish culture per se, but the fact that Amish culture can continue to exist.

    I guess Amish culture in the U.S. is also a good example of how liberty is connected to property rights.

    To avoid getting overly optimistic, though, it’s also important to recognize that the Amish are only able to continue to exist because they’ve been around a long time. Their freedom to live the way they do is “grandfathered in.” You couldn’t start a new community like the Amish in the contemporary U.S.

  • Brad

    Because EVERYBODY who disagrees with libertarians is a socialist eh?

    ———————————————–

    I am interested in hearing about non-libertarian philosophies that eschew the use of Force and threats of Force against peaceful and productive people. Please elaborate on your social, political, and economic philosophies so as to allow us libertarian/minarchists options that are not socialist but are not libertarian either. Or perhaps Mr. de Havilland’s response has cleared up any semantic misunderstandings?

  • Brad

    In this sense, “social justice” simply refers to the uncontroversial fact that some people are born more fortunate than others. Healthy, intelligent, and materially comfortable is a better way to be born than ill, not very bright, and poor. Rawls argues that this fact creates a rational moral obligation on the part of those born more fortunate to share some of their good fortune with those born less fortunate. I think Rawls makes a very strong moral argument, he simply fails to make a strong political argument. That is, I believe he is correct about the moral obligation, but wrong that it should (or even can) be satisfied through coercion. (Objectivists, spark up your flame throwers!) I think this makes me a bleeding-heart libertarian.

    ———————————————————-

    The problem inherent in being “bleeding heart” is that the errors that your predominantly emotional state can lead you. The fact that you generally feel compelled to help others less fortunate is fine, but consider what may be unleashed if you are too cavalier with your charitable allocations. People are considerate when they transfer their wealth in trade or investment, they should take similar measures in their charity. Throwing resources into an uncontrolled process can be damaging – doing more harm than good. Don’t let sentimentality rule charitable giving.

    An economic misallocation is harmful, even if it is done without coercion. It is just that much more galling when Statists use Force in executing a harm producing misallocation. At least if it is voluntary, you might be able to stop your poor charitable “investment” before more harm is done, while Statist Force takes much longer, and perhaps more violent means, to correct.

    Long story short, if you help someone up to your level out of love or a sense of brotherhood, wonderful. If you sacrifice yourself blindly for those who will consume your “good fortune” you’re a fool and may have created a bigger mess than before. The “tragedy of the commons” can be entered into voluntarily. The mechanism of private property is essential, allowing your passion to voluntarily subvert its usefulness isn’t anything to be praised.

  • Tedd

    Brad:

    I’m concerned that you may be reading things into my remarks that I did not intend. You should not conclude from the fact that I’m familiar with Rawls’s arguments for social justice that I agree with them. I believe that he makes a very clever argument that there is a rationally moral reason for fortunate people to help less fortunate people — within a very strict meaning of “fortunate.” (Read Rawls for the details.) I do not agree at all with his conclusion that this means such “help” can justifiably be achieved through coercive allocation of resources.

    But I’ll choose to “allocate” my own economic resources however I please, thanks very much. If you feel like calling that a mis-allocation, be my guest.

  • Paul Marks

    As Antony Flew aften pointed out….. (see, for example, his “Equality in Liberty and Justice”). John Rawls had no interest in justice in the traditional sense.

    Justice (in the sense of crime and punishment) has traditionally rested on private property rights – in one’s body and goods.

    Rawls, although he used the word “justice”, was in fact interested in “social justice” – and John Rawls conception is as one would expect.

    All income and wealth is a “social product” – to be distributed equally, unless someone can PROVE BEYOND ALL REASONABLE DOUBT that an unequal “distribution” is for the benefit of the “least favoured”. Not does not harm the poor – actively reduces poverty.

    It is is bugger all to do with some moral claim (the virture of charity), and to get involved in arguments about “well if you allow me an incentive in terms of an unequal distribution, I will be able to….” is utter folly (in fact intellectual, indeed physical, suicide).

    By the way John Rawls is a “moderate” in terms of the establishment elite.

    Not because he recognised some private property rights (he did NOT), but because he formally (and openly) limited his collectivism to a national community (in his case the United States).

    The modern elite think on a GLOBAL basis – they are interested in WORLD “justice”.

    “Global Governance”, international “cooperation”, and so on.

    Of course the deep hatred that many of the elite in the United States (including Barack Obama) have for Americans makes it natural for them to think in these terms – but they would anyway, as that is the logical conclusion of the doctrine of Social Justice.

    For example, Rousseau was not really interested in “France” or “the French” – he was interested in the world, in “humanity”.

  • Tedd

    Paul:

    All income and wealth is a “social product” – to be distributed equally, unless someone can PROVE BEYOND ALL REASONABLE DOUBT that an unequal “distribution” is for the benefit of the “least favoured”. Not does not harm the poor – actively reduces poverty.

    I’m not sure that’s really a fair reading of Rawls, but I agree that Rawls’s “difference principle” (upon which your statement is based, for the benefit of those reading this who aren’t familiar with it) is one of the areas in which his ideas are most easily challenged.

    His “original position” argument is more sound, as a moral argument (though not as a political argument). If, before birth (this is a thought experiment, so there’s no need to get all pernickety about the fact that it’s impossible), one were given a choice between two otherwise-equal societies, one where help for those born disadvantaged was the norm and one where it was absent, and if you could not know in advance the circumstances of your birth, what would be the rational choice? Rawls concluded that the rational thing to do would be to choose the “helpful” society.

    Now, before someone gets all excited, I’m fully aware that this argument is susceptible to several valid lines of attack, too. One obvious counter-argument is that if the “helpful” society achieves this help through coercive redistribution of resources then it would not be “otherwise equal” to the “non-helpful” society, it would be less prosperous.

    But it seems to me that it’s pretty hard to argue that a society in which it’s normal for individuals to voluntarily help those born disadvantaged isn’t better, morally, than a society where that’s rare. And even if you believe that’s not true, I think it’s smarter to try to convince a “social justice” advocate that voluntary help is better than coerced help than to convince them to give up on the idea that help is good. In other words, convince them to separate the moral from the political.

    I believe this separation of the moral from the political is something libertarians should be thinking about more because, for me, it clarifies both the differences we have with other philosophies and the things we have in common. Progressives and social democrats, in particular, are very susceptible to influence in this way because they have already accepted the idea of separating morality and politics where traditional moral values are concerned. But they morphed traditional morality into other areas, such as economics. Conservatives are harder to influence, in my view, because it is fundamental to conservatism that individual virtue and social virtue are tied together, so law and politics are more naturally extensions of moral philosophy, for the conservative.

    That is also why I think those who see libertarianism as fitting more naturally on the right than on the left are probably wrong, no matter how much conservatives currently claim to prefer smaller government. The philosophical divide between libertarianism and conservatism is much too vast to be bridged by that one, small commonality. It can never be more than a marriage of convenience.

    Sorry, digressing again.

  • RRS

    If you want to cut straight through all that covers it to the floor of this stable, even though some of the odor may remain: Some wish to believe and maintain that the individual is a derivative of the social groupings, social organizations and social order in which they are found; others of us conversely observe that it is the combining of individuals, with their diverse objectives, in their diverse social groupings, social organizations, which thus forms social orders as a derivative of human conduct.

  • Alisa

    In other words, convince them to separate the moral from the political.

    I thought that was what libertarianism was all about.

    I believe this separation of the moral from the political is something libertarians should be thinking about more because, for me, it clarifies both the differences we have with other philosophies and the things we have in common. Progressives and social democrats, in particular, are very susceptible to influence in this way because they have already accepted the idea of separating morality and politics where traditional moral values are concerned. But they morphed traditional morality into other areas, such as economics. Conservatives are harder to influence, in my view, because it is fundamental to conservatism that individual virtue and social virtue are tied together, so law and politics are more naturally extensions of moral philosophy, for the conservative.

    I have met quite a few former leftists who underwent precisely this kind of transition. However, this obviously works only on those who are both not innately collectivist, and those susceptible to rational arguments.

  • Brad

    Tedd,

    It is the notion of “bleeding heart” that is the crux of my comment, not Rawls or any other philosophy. I meant to point out that even uncoerced giving can have a net negative effect. And if one characterizes themselves as “bleeding heart”, it connotes the greater use of passion than logic. I would not stand in the way of you giving freely, just a request that the same degree of forethought go into it as you would a purchase or an investment (and therefore perhaps not quite so bleeding heart). All too easily people will buy an immediate mental gain by making an allocation of their wealth for which they haven’t the slightest idea what the outcome will be. The age old adage that you get more of what you invest in, and if your giving is already based in soft heartedness, you very well may be investing in negative behaviors. I can’t know obviously, but, again, the concept of “bleeding heart”, at least for me, has an element of a lack of control in the decision making process. An affliction I’ve seen in much of charitable giving as an auditor of non-profits. Of course it’s the grant based non-profits (and the unconscionable misallocation of coerced resources) that gets my blood boiling more.

    As a final word, I have seen cases where foundations have completely undone the original intent of he who endowed it. This may be the most far reaching example, but there are plenty of cases where endowments made decades ago are now used for a much different purpose than they were intended, even contrary to the original intent. Starting form there all the way back to writing a $100 check for Feed The Children which end up in the coffers of a warlord, without the same consideration of trade or investment, charitable giving can have noxious implications your heart may not have intended. I believe so many people think their responsibility ends when they’ve bought their warm, toasty emotion.

  • I have a post up on the subject:

    http://classicalvalues.com/2012/07/free-of-fear/

    Why do conservatives misunderstand libertarians? Because libertarians live without fear (mostly).

    In a different age it would be said, “They Trust In God”

    Ironic isn’t it that the most godless people in politics evidence the most faith. It is enough to make you ROTFLMAO.

  • And funny thing I made the same point about the slave mentality (independently) here:

    http://classicalvalues.com/2012/07/the-slavic-mentality/