Tuesday, 13 June 2006

'Why I'm not a conservative'

Vin Suprynowicz explains 'Why I am not a conservative.' Good reading.
What is a "conservative"? A conservative is someone who wants to keep things pretty much as they are, dubbing any major shift in direction a "risky scheme." By that definition, who in Washington today are more conservative than the so-called liberals?
Or who in Helengrad? As he says,
The 19th century definition of liberal -- we now use "classical liberal" to maintain the distinction -- was basically a laissez faire type who favored free trade and sound money. True "liberals" wanted low taxes and not much meddlesome regulation. Sounds modest enough. But anyone who really took those precepts seriously today would have to call for a vast and real reduction in the size and intrusiveness of government at all levels, boarding up all kinds of departments and agencies.
But you don't hear that from too many, if any, of today's liberals, do you? And you don't hear it from the conservatives either -- and if you do it's not followed up by policies that would ever make it happen.
I make no secret [says Vin] of preferring the more consistent smaller-government philosophy of the Libertarians. Though in today's America, the Libertarians (precisely because they threaten to shut down the pork parade, rather than merely diverting it to a new coalition) might poll 4 percent on a good day.
So why is Vin the Libertarian not a conservative? Well, says he in explanation, take for example "Ed Feulner of the Heritage Foundation -- your quintessential modern "conservative" think tank" -- whose recent article "Curing the conservative crack-up," proposed "six criteria by which conservatives should weigh any proposed government action."
Among his criteria were "Does it make us safer?" and "Does it unify us"?

It's hard to imagine any of the world's worst dictators having any problem eagerly embracing those justifications for their actions.

Freedom often looks dangerous, disorderly and divisive; bureaucratic control and the cops reading our mail, "wanding us down," and/or peering in every window are nearly always sold as "necessary to make us safer." And there sure is a feeling of "unity" as we're herded down those airport cattle chutes or race to mail in our tribute every April 15.

Read on here to find out for sure why Vin is not a conservative. Nor me. And do check out Trev's challenge from last week:
If this country had a libertarian government no legislation or force would impact on any non "mainstream" lifestyle, family arrangement, personal habit or proclivity. All lifestyles would be permitted as long as in living out your desires, you didn't force another to do anything against his or her will. Everybody would be free to live as a communist, a fascist, a vegan, a flat earther, a wife swapper, a gay leather fetishist, a bible believing Christian, a Zoroastrian, a Satanist, a line dancer, a rock star groupie, a heroin addict, a health food fanatic, a Sumo wrestler or a stamp collector. Would the same apply under a Workers Party/Socialist Workers/Socialist Party/Communist Party/Communist League etc government?
Answers on a postcard, please -- or join the debate at Trev's place.
LINKS: Vin Suprynowicz: Why I am not a conservative - Las Vegas Review Journal
What's a libertarian for? - Not PC (Peter Cresswell)
Some questions for the comrades - New Zeal (Trevor Loudon)

TAGS: Politics, Libertarianism


  1. If you start with the strawman:
    What is a "conservative"? A conservative is someone who wants to keep things pretty much as they are, dubbing any major shift in direction a "risky scheme."

    is there any point in reading this article?

    What is a libertarian? A libertarian wants your kids to access as many drugs as possible.

  2. And I suppose it's pointless pointing out once again that Libertarianz are opposed to children accessing recreational drugs, since you won't read that either, will you Berend.

    I suppose it's also pointless pointing out with things pretty much as they are, which you support, children are at present accessing recreational drugs by the truckload -- and it's you who wants more of the same.

    Ending prohibition for consenting adults allows real crime to be targetted. Among those real crimes, in the view of libertarians, is supplying recreational drugs to those who are not adults.

    But is there any point in saying ths, Berend, since you ignore it every time it's said. Perhaps that's also part of being a conservative?

  3. I have tended to think being conservative is the right to be so judgmental about what adults do with their bodies, that they want the state to back up their judgement with force.

  4. PC, I was putting up that strawman to show that it would be hugely unfair to claim that. As your reaction shows. Just as that whole "what is a conservative" only displays a persons complete ignorance on the matter.

    And for the record: I don't believe that libertarianz want my kids to use drugs.

  5. Fair point. YOu got me. :-)


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