MCViewPoint

Opinion from a Libertarian ViewPoint

What Voters Need to Know About Government Supremacy

Posted by M. C. on October 10, 2022

David Hume referred to “the three fundamental laws of nature, that of the stability of possession, of its transference by consent, and of the performance of promises,” noting,

It is on the strict observance of those three laws, that the peace and security of human society entirely depend; nor is there any possibility of establishing a good correspondence among men, where these are neglected. Society is absolutely necessary for the well-being of men; and these are as necessary to the support of society.

by Sheldon Richman

https://libertarianinstitute.org/articles/supremacy-of-government/

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[Source for above image)

Libertarians make a self-defeating mistake in assuming that their fundamental principles differ radically from most other people’s principles. Think how much easier it would be to bring others to the libertarian position if we realized that they already agree with us in substantial ways.

What am I talking about? It’s quite simple. Libertarians believe that the initiation of force is wrong. So do the overwhelming majority of nonlibertarians. They, too, think it is wrong to commit offenses against person and property. I don’t believe they abstain merely because they fear the personal consequences (retaliation, prosecution, fines, jail, lack of economic growth). They abstain because they sense deep down that it is wrong, unjust, improper. In other words, even if they never articulate it, they believe that other persons are ends in themselves and not merely means to other people’s ends. They believe in the dignity of persons. As a result, they perceive and respect the moral space around others. (That doesn’t mean they are consistent, but when they are not, at least they feel compelled to rationalize.)

That’s the starting point of the libertarian philosophy, at least as I see it. I am not a calculating consequentialist, or utilitarian, but neither am I a rule-worshiping deontologist. Rather, I am most comfortable with the Greek approach to morality, eudaimonism, which, as Roderick Long writes, “means that virtues like prudence and benevolence play a role in determining the content of justice, but also — via a process of mutual adjustment — that justice plays a role in determining the content of virtues like prudence and benevolence.” In this view, justice, or respect for rights, like the other virtues, is a constitutive, or internal, means (rather than an instrumental means) to the ultimate end of all action, flourishing, or the good life.

Libertarians differ from others in that they apply the same moral standard to all people’s conduct. Others have a double standard, the live-and-let-live standard for “private” individuals and another, conflicting one for government personnel. All we have to do is get people to see this and all will be well.

See the rest here

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