But Boazâ€™s point wasnâ€™t just about the Gilded Age; the problem wasnâ€™t â€œ1880s, good/badâ€ but the kind of privileged perspective that grants the luxury of viewing civil rights as an abstract question.
Yes, I agree. Boaz isnâ€™t the first to raise that point within debates about this kind of Old Republic nostalgia, but his article did do a good job of articulating the worry.
Boaz noted that this not only cripples the validity of Hornbergerâ€™s analysis, but it cripples Libertarianism as a philosophy;
Well, I guess that depends on what you mean by â€œlibertarianism as a philosophy,â€ and who and what you take to be representative of it. I certainly agree that it causes some serious problems for some parts of libertarianism as a political movementâ€“it goes a long way towards explaining, for example, the endless stupid problems that the Libertarian Party or quasi-libertarian Constitutionalists like Rand Paul get themselves into, for example. Iâ€™m not interested in trying to save either the Libertarian Party or Rand Paulâ€™s campaign, since I consider them to be wastes of time and organizing energy, but, looking at the social movement more broadly, the sooner that sort of privileged bunkum becomes unpopular and gets you laughed at or shown the door, the better.
And while that problem isnâ€™t limited to Libertarians, itâ€™s a serious problem and itâ€™s why Rand shot himself in the foot. He doesnâ€™t need to think about civil rights much, so he didnâ€™t have a deeper answer
Sure, I agree with you about all that. Like I said at the outset, my interest here is certainly not in defending Rand Paul or the viewpoint from which he understands libertarianism. Itâ€™s just to point out that more radical and consistent forms of libertarianism are on offer, and that â€œthe idea at the core of libertarianismâ€ doesnâ€™t have the conservative implications that Jeff Fecke suggested, if your notions of consensual social organization are less constricted (and more closely based on the history of the direct-action sit-in movement itself) than either Paulâ€™s or Maddowâ€™s.
I meant it to modify the former and was clumsy in my construction. Sorry about that
O.K., no problem. Iâ€™m sorry to belabor the point on something you didnâ€™t mean to say in the first place, then.
Itâ€™s as if there was a high-profile extended argument among online liberals over whether or not the USSR ought to be our model for an ideal society. Youâ€™d find that disturbing, right?
Myca, Iâ€™ve clocked at least as many hours in â€œProgressiveâ€ and radical Left circles in my life as I have in libertarian circles. (It comes with being an Anarchist.) I quite meant it when I mentioned hearing similarly shitty things in a lot of political circles. For example, back when I was more involved with the leftish end of Democratic Party politics, I remember being directly involved in debates with â€œProgressiveâ€ dudes who were convinced that Progressives should stop worrying so much about Roe v. Wade, because abortion rights are â€œdivisiveâ€ and taking a stand against forced pregnancy was allegedly driving â€œworking-classâ€ voters (by which they meant working-class white men) to vote Republican. I also recall several conversations, especially around 2002-2005 or so, in which â€œProgressivesâ€ explicitly pined for the days when the Democratic Party was â€œa national partyâ€ and hoped for a day when it would â€œbe a national party again.â€ (Like it was back in the good olâ€™ days from 1932-1964, when the national Democratic Party maintained its position by supporting Jim Crow parties throughout the â€œSolid South,â€ and the Democratic leadership included august statesmen like Theodore Bilbo, Jim Eastland, Richard Russell, George Wallace, J. Strom Thurmond, et al.)
I did find these debates disturbing, and did my best to call them out on it at the time. So did a number of the people I knew through various feminist blogs. This is old news, no? Calling out this kind of wack privilege is unfortunately something that happens a lot pretty much wherever you go in political circles.
Government in itself is neither good nor bad it is just a tool.
Soâ€™s an atom bomb. Some tools have fewer productive uses than others.