Sunday, November 22, 2009

Crowley, Bork and the Question of Conservative Libertarianism. Oh My!

Be alarmed when Crowley is quoted quoting Rabelais and Bork is asked to weigh in on "rights," all in the same discussion about the compatibility of Conservatives and Libertarians. You can, should you wish, find the entire post here.

And if you don't wish, as I would fully understand, I clip the part pertinent to "euthanasia" and the "inevitable" but ridiculously unsubstantiated "slippery slope" argument that if you give those killing liberals an inch they'll take your granny.

There is no logical reason for the Libertarian belief in the absolute autonomy of the individual to supplement the desire for this freedom with a caution “avoid harming others”. A conservative belief in an authority beyond the self, a spiritual authority, has for centuries been instrumental in forming the laws by which our society functions. In this context, man is not considered “the measure of all things”, nor is he thought of as the final arbiter. Without this underpinning, there is no possible reason why everyone should not do exactly what pleases him regardless of the convenience of others, or, as Alistair Crowley puts it, quoting Rabelais: “Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law”. What is presented as a call for liberty is actually an excuse for license, blurring the distinction of what is and what is not morally acceptable. Anyone acknowledging a morality, external to himself, will find that the requirements of that morality are not always in accord with his natural inclinations.

Robert Bork identifies the impossibility of a Libertarian being a conservative in this extract from his book being a short essay on both pornography and drugs where he wrote:

“Modern liberals employ the rhetoric of ‘rights’ incessantly, not only to delegitimate the idea of restraints on individuals by communities but to prevent discussion of the topic. Once something is announced, usually flatly or stridently, to be a right –whether pornography or abortion or what have you– discussion becomes difficult to impossible. Rights inhere in the person, are claimed to be absolute, and cannot be diminished or taken away by reason; in fact, reason that suggests the non-existence of an asserted right is viewed as a moral evil by the claimant. If there is to be anything that can be called a community, rather than an agglomeration of hedonists, the case for previously unrecognized individual freedoms (as well as some that have been previously recognized) must be thought through and argued, and “rights” cannot win every time. Why there is a right for adults to enjoy pornography remains unexplained and unexplainable.” (6)

Labels: , , , , ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home