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Libertarians on Lincoln (the President, not the car)

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  • Victor Tiffany
    Hello; I have just been welcomed to the group, but it seems that there has not been a post for three months. I am a bit surprised given the statist agenda of
    Message 1 of 61 , Jun 16, 2010
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      Hello;

      I have just been welcomed to the group, but it seems that there has not been a post for three months. I am a bit surprised given the "statist agenda" of the Obama Administration.

      At any rate, I'd like to get some feedback on the group's views of President Lincoln. (I know, so long ago.) I found a website that's very critical of Lincoln: http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig2/lincoln-arch.html

      I'm interested if that's normal for the far right (Libertarians), or if there's anyone here supportive of his policies back then.

      Victor Tiffany
      Blogger, media critic

    • Charles Johnson
      ... Hash: SHA1 ... I m not sure what it means to be an instrinsically moral question, unless you re expecting all moral questions to be of a certain internal
      Message 61 of 61 , Jun 30, 2010
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        On 06/29/2010 08:52 PM, Craig J. Bolton wrote:

        > Joshua, we use to have this same problem many years ago, and,
        > apparently, we still have it. Not all questions about the behavior of
        > human beings in society are intrinsically moral questions..Some are
        > legal questions. Some are economic questions. Some are questions of
        > political organization. You can, of course, view all such questions as
        > moral questions, just as many economists view all such questions as
        > questions of constrained maximizaiton of wealth or utility and many
        > political economists view all such questions as questions of dominance
        > and submission, and.... But presumably you either get the point or don't
        > get it.

        I'm not sure what it means to be an "instrinsically moral question,"
        unless you're expecting all moral questions to be of a certain internal
        form, all legal questions to be of a different form, etc. [*] If so,
        you'll need to specify what form each kind of question has. Otherwise,
        it looks like we have not got one set of questions that are
        intrinsically moral, and another set of questions that are intrinsically
        legal, but rather a lot of questions, roughly of the form "Should I do
        such-and-such," which could be addressed from many different aspects --
        "Morally speaking, should I...?" "Legally speaking, should I...?"
        "Economically speaking, should I...?" "As a matter of etiquette, should
        I...?" Etc. But then if you are in a situation where these shoulds seem
        to conflict, you are going to have to give some reasons for which of
        them should win out, and why. Anarchists aren't ignorant of the fact
        that you could ask about the legal aspects of a course of conduct; we
        just have a substantive view to the effect that ethical or prudential
        shoulds -- the deliverances of individual conscience or individual
        self-interest -- always trump legal shoulds. This may be because legal
        shoulds are held to be simply irrelevant (because government law is held
        to have no color of authority) or because legal shoulds are held to be
        limited and partly determined by moral shoulds (if one holds to a theory
        of natural law). In either case, claiming the opposite -- that there are
        cases in which legal shoulds trump ethical shoulds, or cases where legal
        shoulds completely determine the question of "What should I do...?"
        without questions of individual ethics even arising for the individual
        actor -- is a substantive claim that you will have to give some defense
        of. Not just something you can assert as if it were obvious.

        > Questions of the relationships between states are questions of political
        > power and force. That's what states are [an institution that specializes
        > in force] and the commodity they deal in [force]. Maybe in some
        > imaginable world states would deal in the protection of rights or some
        > other commodity other than force, but not in this world. Again, I would
        > think that would be obvious to an anarchist.

        This and your previous comment about wars and proportionality seem
        simply bizarre. Of course it's true -- and Anarchists generally know it
        to be true -- that government wars are never conducted in accordance
        with principles of proportionality, and governments themselves never
        deal in -- because the States-men who run governments never constraint
        themselves to respect -- individual rights. It's not that we're naive
        about how government wars and States are. That's just why Anarchists are
        against government wars and the State as such.

        The fact that an individual person, or an organized group of people,
        consistently act without regard to moral considerations when they are
        acting politically doesn't mean that it is senseless to consider what
        they are doing from a moral standpoint. Any more than the fact that a
        robber or rapist consistently breaks the law makes it senseless to
        consider what they are doing from a legal standpoint. The *point* of
        norms is that they persist even when they are being ignored or violated.

        > Further, the exceptions are pretty rare. Anarchists are more
        > typically in danger from "their own" state than from
        > an invading and conquering state....

        As if Anarchists weren't aware of the danger from "their own" state!
        Exactly that statement is contained in more or less every Anarchist
        article ever written on militarism, as part of an effort to puncture the
        myth of "national defense." (And there are a lot of Anarchist articles
        that have been written on militarism.) But what has it got to do with
        the current discussion? The fact that local governments are a threat to
        innocent people hardly changes the fact that invading governments are
        threats to innocent people, too. All governments are a threat to
        innocent people; that's why Anarchists are against governments.

        - -C

        [*] Of course, "Is it morally permissible to _______?" and "Is it
        legally permissible to ________?" and so on will require a moral and a
        legal answer, respectively, in virtue of their syntax. But
        syntactically, you could always fill in the same thing in each of the
        blanks. So the question is whether only one of the two questions is the
        appropriate question to ask about a given course of conduct -- in which
        case you'd have to say why -- or whether both can be appropriately asked
        - -- or whether neither can. If you want to claim that there are courses
        of conduct of such a nature that they are "intrinsically" suited to
        being in one sort of question but not in the other -- so that the only
        appropriate questions about one course of conduct are the moral
        questions, and the only appropriate questions about the other are the
        legal questions, say -- then you'll have to explain what intrinsic
        features of each course of conduct make it so that it "fits" -- so to
        speak -- in one and only one of the blanks.

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