Category Archives: Individual Rights

UPDATED II (4/30): NEW COLUMN: The Ethics of Social Distancing: A Libertarian Perspective

Ethics, Healthcare, Individual Rights, libertarianism, Liberty, Logic, Paleolibertarianism, Republicans, WMD

NEW COLUMN IS “The Ethics of Social Distancing: A Libertarian Perspective.” It is currently on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

This column is an honest examination of some highly complex questions and issues, without resorting to the smug self-satisfied SIN OF ABSTRACTION: “I’m so ideologically pure, look at me.”

As I say, “If I appear to be struggling with the ethics of this emergency—it is because I am. I must. This is vexing stuff.”

But readers do not want an honest struggle and a multi-faceted, nuanced examination of the issues. They want dogma; their own. Actually, the objections one critical reader mouthed are simplistic Republican dogma, sounded by almost all creedal Republicans; BUT NOT necessarily by all libertarians.

When libertarians begin to sound like Republicans all the time, it’s time to “check your premises.”

In any event, here is a short excerpt. Follow the hyperlinks to the website of your choice:

I was running up the mountain the other day. A couple was walking down it. I quickly crossed over, so as not to expirate all over them. To my surprise, they thanked me profusely.

I’m healthy; they looked fit. Distancing may not have been necessary in this case. Yet, in this simple act of conscious distancing, in the epochal age of a terrifying, communicable disease—my neighbors and I had come closer than ever before. Fear gave way to fellow feeling.

Having lived in both the developed and underdeveloped world, I have always associated social distancing with civility and civilization.

Cultures that honor personal boundaries have always seemed better than cultures which don’t—more genteel, refined and respectful.

Ditto people who keep a respectful distance: They have more merit than those who get in your face.

Which is why the wish expressed by so many freedom-loving protesters to violate the personal space of others is vexing.

Which is why comments such as the following are anathema:

“Your ‘health’ does not supersede my right.”

“Give me liberty or give me COVID-19.”

“I am not required to descend into poverty for you.”

In the absence of clinical therapies or a vaccine for coronavirus, the successful return to work rests, very plainly, on the willingness of the citizenry to cover up, keep clean and keep a distance. Why would anyone wish to infringe on another’s personal space, when the stakes are clearly so high?

Insisting on unfettered freedom to come and go as one pleases, sans protection, comes at a grave cost to others—it could constitute aggression against innocent others.

By the same token, the shuttering of private property by the State is an incontrovertible violation of private property rights. …

... READ THE REST. NEW COLUMN, “The Ethics of Social Distancing: A Libertarian Perspective,” is currently on WND.COM and The Unz Review.

UPDATE I (4/24): Some responses to readers. These should give you some idea of the intellectual climate out there:

@der einzige

What do we have here? Pointless, filthy, foaming at the mouth, directed at a writer; foul cuss words and hysterics utterly unmoored from the text “addressed.”

This is what my impartial examination of a “vexing” situation from different angles did to you.

The advice of Humphrey Bogart, playing Rick Blaine in “Casablanca,” should be considered: “I never saw a dame yet that didn’t understand a good slap in the mouth …”

You (male or female) qualify. Settle down. Give yourself that slap in the mouth. I write a column. You stepped into its space. Step out. Bow out. You have nothing reasonable or well-reasoned to add. Never will.

But no, you would rather anything that causes YOU cognitive dissonance be removed.

@Weston Waroda

Glad you admit, at least, that you are “railing,” and that, what you wrote, to quote, “wasn’t so much disagreement with [me] anyway as [your] own personal anguish.”

The unfortunate state of “thought” on this thread is that it demands a certain dogma to cheer on.

To thinking libertarians, the pandemic presents dilemmas. To tinny ideologues it doesn’t. I’m not a tinny ideologue. Too easy, too dishonest.

I could offer up rah-rah dogma to those who feel anguish and anger. I won’t.

In addition, I am not “advocating” any position, as you asserted; I am explaining positions. Distortions of my text are of a piece with the hysterical tone that develops on the threads to my articles.

There has been no advocacy for tyranny here and there is no applause for the State; only an honest examination of some complex questions and issues, without resorting to the smug self-satisfied SIN OF ABSTRACTION: “I’m so ideologically pure, look at me.”

Actually, what the reader mouths is the simplistic Republican dogma, sounded by almost all creedal Republicans; BUT NOT necessarily by all libertarians.

See: https://apnews.com/cfcdd563167c5ba60aa0e9011f4446cd

When libertarians begin to sound like Republicans, it’s time to “check your premises.”

It’s odd that an honestly conflicted look at the COVID-19 issues from all sides elicits such outrage. Is this the “Closing of the American Mind,” or what?

I recommend hearing from this New Yorker, who is in the thick of it. Warning: nuanced, closely reasoned thinking:

https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002826.html
https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002814.html
https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002811.html

https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002800.html

https://www.nyu.edu/projects/sciabarra/notablog/archives/002806.html

all the best,
ilana

@Exile

Thanks for the polite comment, in general, and this sharp observation, in particular:

The reason I as an ex-Objectivist still read Ilana Mercer is that she is one of the few libertarians who know [sic] the difference between anarchy and a functioning government that still prioritizes libertarian freedoms.

Your observation comports with my consistent attempts to avoid “that sin of abstraction.” Reality is the ultimate adjudicator of truth, in my thinking.

I presume, then, that you’ve read “Libertarian Anarchism’s Justice Problem” (2015):

http://www.ilanamercer.com/2015/04/libertarian-anarchisms-justice-problem/

Thanks for your thoughtful feedback.
ilana

• Replies: @Exile

 

Exile says:

@ILANA Mercer

That’s another good piece on the “is-ought” dilemma of libertarianism.

I like your citations above re: Republicans as well. The GOP has co-opted many libertarian concepts in the “tactical” fashion I mentioned to WW above, to the discredit of serious thinkers and the concepts themselves.

It’s in the common interest of all anti-establishment thinkers from libertarians to sincere Leftists to nationalist-populists to discredit and ultimately marginalize both major U.S. parties. The GOP is the lowest-hanging fruit. GOP delenda est, then on to the Democrats.

UPDATED II (4/30): If you dare honor the dead …

Aztec Princess Ana Navarro Has No Christian Mercy For Roger Stone, Only Irrational Vengeance

Classical Liberalism, Crime, Criminal Injustice, Individual Rights, Justice, Law, Morality

A man can be robbed of his liberty for life for lying to professional liars: to politicians. Politicians, in turn, may lie—and do lie—to citizens whenever they open their gobs, but are not legally liable for their lies. This is what occurs in a system in which those in power set the rules for themselves.

But the blood-thirsty Ana Navarro, every bit the Aztec princess, doesn’t care about mercy and justice. She brings to the United States an all-consuming, utterly un-Christian and un-American, lust for the blood of her political opponents, and proportional punishment, namely justice, be dammed.

How Second World. Ms. Navarro-Cárdenas is from Nicaragua. She is a Republican.

Via Mediate:

The CNN commentator … told the network she was rejoicing in Donald Trump confidante Roger Stone’s conviction, saying she hopes Stone “rots in jail and then in hell.”

“I have to tell you, the Sacred Heart nuns told me not to rejoice over another person’s grief and distress, but I can’t be happier that this guy got convicted on all seven counts,” The View co-host told CNN Newsroom anchor Fredricka Whitfield Sunday afternoon.

“Why’s that?” Whitfield asked.

“Because he has been incredibly misogynistic,” Navarro responded. “He’s been racist, he’s been a jerk. He’s attacked people like me, he’s attacked Donna Brazile, he’s attacked Don Lemon, he’s attacked Roland Martin, he’s attacked so many friends of mine in the vilest of forms and guess what … we are all people of color. He is a racist and misogynist… and frankly I hope he rots in jail and then in hell.”

In the First World we are not supposed to imprison a man for life for being a “jerk,” a “racist,” and having neem mean to Ana.

What a bad, bad person is Ana Navarro-Cárdenas

Turkey ALREADY Has One Genocide Under Its Belt: The Armenians

Donald Trump, Foreign Policy, Individual Rights, Middle East, Nationhood

“Our partner” is how Presided Trump refers to Turkey. “A hell of a leader” is what he calls President Erdogan.

“This is an amazing outcome,” extolled the president. He was praising, what, exactly?:

This is an outcome — regardless of how the press would like to damp it down, this was something that they’ve been trying to get for 10 years. You would have lost millions and millions of lives. They couldn’t get it without a little rough love, as I called it. I just put out — they needed a little bit of that at the beginning. And then everybody said, “Wow, this is tougher than we thought.” When those guns start shooting, they tend to do things.

Does President Trump know the Turks have one genocide under their belt?

Oh, I forgot. In the interest of pacifying its Turkish allies, American officialdom has generally refused to implicate the Ottomans in the mass murder of up to 1.5 million Armenians, 100 years ago.

Armenians who had survived the 1915 Turkish genocide; their children and grandchildren have tacitly supported the Assad regime, as against the Turks.

Turkey is an execrable force in the region.

The images are of Armenians beheaded and burnt alive by Turkish soldiers, circa 1915.

UPDATED (7/22/019): NEW COLUMN: Do We Still Have A Country? Part I

English, Homeland Security, IMMIGRATION, Individual Rights, Individualism Vs. Collectivism, Law, Nationhood, Natural Law, Private Property, Racism

NEW COLUMN, on Townhall.com, is “Do We Still Have A Country? Part I.” It’s accompanied by an abridged YouTube clip.

An excerpt:

How do you know you don’t have a country?

Simply this:

Every single passive, non-aggressive act you take to repel people crossing your borders is considered de facto illegal, or inhumane, or in violation of international law, or in contraventions of some hidden clause in the U.S. Constitution.

So say the experts and their newly minted jurisprudence.

You may tell a toddler, “You can’t go there.” But you may not tell an illegal trespasser, “Hey, turn back. You can’t come into the U.S. at whim.”

Please understand that not giving someone something they demand or desire is a negative act. Or, more accurately, an inaction.

You are not actively doing anything to harm that person by denying them something.

Unless, of course, what you are denying them is their right to their life, their right to their liberty, their right to their property. Those are the only things you may not deny to innocent others. These interlopers do not have a right to, or a lien on, your liberty and property.

But if you cannot say to millions of people streaming across your border, into your turf, “Hey, you can’t go there.” Then it’s simple:

We don’t have a country.

Oh sure, we have a territory. America is a market place for goods and services. A mighty one at that. It’s a market place to which millions arrive each year to make a living and engage in acts of acquisitiveness. ….

… READ THE REST. “Do We Still Have A Country? Part I” is on Townhall.com.

UPDATE (7/22/019): pointing out that language and civics knowledge are not required to pass the US citizenship test: that amounts to bashing. Are you sure it’s not also racist?

Trump, on the other hand:

Tower Of Babel:

Once upon a time: