Friday, April 20, 2007

THIS WAS SOMETIME A PARADOX, BUT NOW THE TIME GIVES IT PROOF. "[Glenn] Reynolds describes himself as a libertarian, specifically a libertarian transhumanist." -- Wikipedia.

"As a libertarian myself, I'd love to see the nation run under small-government principles..." -- Instapundit.

"A LOOK AT WHO'S TAKING AID AND COMFORT from Harry Reid's statements." -- Instapundit (link is to Eugene Volokh, often cited as a libertarian but undeclared as such, who says that Senator Reid is "strengthening the enemy's morale as well as by weaking our own soldiers'" by saying that the Iraq War is lost).

Here Perfesser Reynolds denounces NBC for encouraging "copycat mass shootings" by running its freely-obtained Cho footage.

Here is Jane Galt/Megan McArdle, another libertarian, explaining why the overthrow of Roe v. Wade would be a good thing, using an internationalist argument ("The restrictions that could actually be passed at the Federal level would probably bring our abortion law roughly in line with the rest of the world's").

We could go on and on with this, but why bother? With all props to those brave souls who cleave, come what may, to a coherent libertarian line, in the broad swath of public discourse "libertarian" is not a philosophical affiliation at all, but a grace note one adds to one's conservatism as a distinguishing feature (or, we might say, marketing ploy) to gain a wider audience, mostly consisting of people who are vaguely ashamed of current American conservatism.

This is why, despite my predilections, I try not to refer to myself as "libertarian-leaning" -- not out of contempt, but out of respect. Words should have meanings as specific as reason can make them, or all hope of using reason to dig out of the mess we're in is lost.

UPDATE. I made two little changes: in the penultimate graf, I changed "philosophy" to "philisophical affiliation," and I removed "the word" from "the word 'libertarian.'" Because how can a word be a philosophy? I mean really! My only excuse is that I post these things shit-ass drunk, just to test my skillz.

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