Independence Day

by on July 4, 2017 at 10:34 am in Uncategorized | Permalink

All the advances in human rights that we’ve seen in American history—abolitionism, feminism, civil rights, gay rights—stem from our founding ideas of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The emphasis on the individual mind in the Enlightenment, the individualist nature of market capitalism, and the demand for individual rights that inspired the American Revolution naturally led people to think more carefully about the nature of the individual and gradually to recognize that the dignity of individual rights should be extended to all people.

David Boaz.

1 Brian Donohue July 4, 2017 at 10:43 am

You know what other movement put the emphasis on the individual mind? Christianity. In fact, when push came to shove in the early 20th century, the most forward-thinking and Enlightened lost touch with the individual in favor of the eugenic vision, leaving Christianity alone in its defense of individual sanctity.

Today, Christianity is dying in America. Or maybe just White Christianity, according to the gleeful headline to a recent Atlantic article. Yay?

2 Anonymous July 4, 2017 at 10:56 am

Or, all religions divide themselves between the learned, scholarly, philosophical version, and the simpler people’s version.

The difference between “what is free will?” and “please [god of your choice] let this horse come in.”

3 Art Deco July 4, 2017 at 5:13 pm

One is a philosophical question and the other is an intercessory prayer, though not one people are likely to offer with any seriousness. Neither is exclusive to one type of adherent or another.

4 Thomas Taylor July 4, 2017 at 11:14 am

Bet: Christianity wil still be “dying” and gathering votes for demagogues and money for televangelists way after the last people whinning about Christianity dying on America shuffles off this mortal.

5 Brian Donohue July 4, 2017 at 11:25 am

I suppose so. The religion earned its chops as a persecuted minority and is geared to endure such a state.

But I wonder if there isn’t something to the Atlantic article, once you get past the giddiness. I don’t consider myself to be a Christian, but I was taken aback by the support Trump got from “Christians”. I mean, what would Jesus think of Donald Trump? Trump was tapping into something else in these folks. Which is to say, I’m skeptical of how truly “Christian” many of these people are. Unlike the Atlantic, though, I don’t view this as a cause for celebration.

6 Thiago Ribeiro July 4, 2017 at 11:49 am

Come on. What would Christ think of most Caesars or most Czars or a lot of European kings and nobles? Henry VIII (the guy even created his own Church)? Now, you are really selling Trump short. He is better (or will not be allowed to be worse) than the historical average (even if he probably do not skip fish on the Fridays) – I even think there will not be many pogroms under his benevolent rule. As for what he tapped in Conservative (like it or not, Obama and the Clintons are as oficially Christians as Ronald Reagan and the Bushes – specially when Conservatives want to be able to poiny out Christians are still the majority) Christians, well, it is not a mistery at all, it is the Conservative part (a part many may say is essential to Christianity). You know: gays, Mexicans, Feminism, taxes, oil. And well, if James Dobson believes Trump has accepted Christ, who am I or who is the average church-goer to say he has not? You are making a tempest in a teapot.

“The religion earned its chops as a persecuted minority and is geared to endure such a state.”
That is for sure, but, to be fair, if you are really methodical, like your Japanese friends, you probably can destroy it in a country. But I would not hold my breath (I almost suffocated waiting Obama take everyone’s guns) and I do not wish such an outcome.

7 Art Deco July 4, 2017 at 12:19 pm

But I wonder if there isn’t something to the Atlantic article, once you get past the giddiness. I don’t consider myself to be a Christian, but I was taken aback by the support Trump got from “Christians”. I mean, what would Jesus think of Donald Trump? Trump was tapping into something else in these folks. Which is to say, I’m skeptical of how truly “Christian” many of these people are. Unlike the Atlantic, though, I don’t view this as a cause for celebration.

He was running against Hilligula. Prior to about 20 years ago, candidates for obtrusive public offices were seldom transgressive people in their domestic life and when they were, they took pains to hide it (with the aid of the press).

We don’t live in that world anymore, and evangelicals and serious Catholics are stuck with the choices everyone else has, so make the best of it. Trump’s a roue, but he isn’t hostile to the interests of evangelicals and old-school Catholics in the manner that is de riguer in the Democratic Party.

This isn’t that difficult to understand. Ironically, there is a problem with intellectual and moral seriousness in the Church and in the protestant congregations, it’s just not manifest in political choices.

8 a counterclockwise witness July 4, 2017 at 12:27 pm

solus rex lives!

9 Art Deco July 4, 2017 at 5:09 pm

Who seem to have about the same opinion of Pope Francis as Trump, oddly enough.

We get it, you’ve never read anything by old school Catholics. Francis is a subject of considerable dismay, because he is pushing the boundaries of his teaching office to the breaking point and clearly wishes to do away antique principles and practices which are incorporated into the ordinary Magisterium. There are some subsidiary point in that critique, concerning Francis’ undsciplined utterances and interest in matters extraneous to the core functions of a bishop, as well as his abuse of faithful religious institutes.

This relates not at all to anyone’s praise of Trump or complaint about him.

10 Jan July 4, 2017 at 12:45 pm

That was an interesting data point from the election. I happen to think that all these christians were voting for Trump in spite of the fact that he is the furthest thing from pious a candidate can be. I suspect there were confounding factors that explain how heavily evangelicals in particular went for him.

11 Ricardo July 4, 2017 at 1:58 pm

They wanted a conservative to replace the late Antonin Scalia on the Supreme Court. I’m not sure the explanation needs to be more nuanced than that.

12 Jan July 4, 2017 at 7:24 pm

I’d be surprised if that is really the main reason most folks voted for him. In fact, I’d be interested to know what share of the voting public even knew there was a Supreme Court seat open, and where that issue ranked in terms of factors that swung evangelicals to vote for Trump, including 1) the economy, 2) he tells it like it is, 3) he’s the only Republican on the ballot, 4) hatred of Clinton, 5) bringing back the blue collar jobs from Mexico, etc.

13 TMC July 4, 2017 at 9:48 pm

The lesser of two evils is a thing, apparently.

14 Todd K July 4, 2017 at 11:49 am

“coil.” “shuffles off this mortal coil” I hate unfinished

15 Brian Donohue July 4, 2017 at 11:55 am

LO

16 leppa July 4, 2017 at 12:01 pm

+0.99

17 Moo cow July 4, 2017 at 11:59 am

Remember to send money! Lots of it! Those Jesus mansions don’t just appear outta nowhere.

18 rayward July 4, 2017 at 12:30 pm

Yes, it was Jefferson, the deist, atheist according to his political rivals, who understood the significance of the teachings of Jesus as central to individual freedom. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/04/opinion/thomas-jeffersons-bible-teaching.html

19 rayward July 4, 2017 at 12:40 pm

And yes, I do have a copy of the Jefferson Bible. He combined the four canonical Gospels chronologically, omitting the mystical parts. At one time new members of Congress were given copies of the Jefferson Bible. Today, that would never happen, as Jefferson is considered a heretic in much of the Christian community, the extremist community that dominates Congress and much of political America.

20 a counterclockwise witness July 4, 2017 at 7:18 pm

When will the world learn that one million men are of no importance to one? The one who can sense and feel the lapse in interference, and in that vigor find a epanouissement citoyen. That is a mean to transact some private business with the fewest obstacles. A rudimental, burrowing man, forever relentlessly [she] dirves thou hence to where [she] is kind.

21 Kris July 4, 2017 at 2:21 pm

You know what other movement put the emphasis on the individual mind? Christianity.

Nonsense. Both the Renaissance and the Enlightenment were explicit revolts against religious Christian dogma. The Christian religion in its essence is as obscurantist as its Abrahamic siblings, Judaism and Islam. Modernity owes nothing to these traditions.

That’s no reason to celebrate the death of such traditions though. There’s value in a society where most people profess nominal allegiance to a religion (only paying lip service) without practicing it in any way in their daily lives.

22 Thiago Ribeiro July 4, 2017 at 4:32 pm

“There’s value in a society where most people profess nominal allegiance to a religion (only paying lip service) without practicing it in any way in their daily lives.”
Like they do now? Which valueis it? I would rather people be honest. Brazil’s Constitutio ‘s Preamble acknowledges God’s existence, but, if Americans don’t believe in God, why pretending?

23 Brian Donohue July 4, 2017 at 5:10 pm

Sorry Kris, we’re not just doing superficial erroneous talking points here.

Here’s one order:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jesuit_scientists

24 Kris July 5, 2017 at 7:40 am

You missed my point. I wasn’t claiming that Christianity was incapable of engendering scientists. Every religion has done so, including Hinduism and Islam. I was saying that Christianity did not have a unique claim on the “individual mind”, as you seemed to assert.

25 JK Brown July 5, 2017 at 12:47 am

You are confusing the Church (Catholic) as a political entity with Christianity. But Christianity is much more as the Reformation demonstrated. It was through the Reformation that an individual relationship with God free from the religious intermediaries that spurred the evolution to individual rights.

26 Hazel Meade July 5, 2017 at 11:17 am

The Reformation also gave us the Hutterites.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutterite

27 chuck martel July 5, 2017 at 11:47 am

” It was through the Reformation that an individual relationship with God free from the religious intermediaries that spurred the evolution to individual rights.”

Except that Luther and Calvin and Zwingli became intermediaries themselves.

28 Hazel Meade July 5, 2017 at 11:16 am

Christianity only took us so far. Eventually, we ran up against the limits of it’s teaching.
And actually socialism can trace it’s roots to Christianity too. It’s open to plenty of interpretation, more than enough to justify collective ownership of the mean of production and so forth. There are LOTs and LOTs of communist Christian offshots – the proliferation of groups like the Hutterites, mennonites and Amish. Nevermind endless Christian cults like Seventh Day Adventists, etc. who have communal lifestyles.
Then there’s Liberation Theology. And utopian Marxism can easily be seen as an offshoot branch of christianity – “socialist workers paradise” = “the kingdom of heaven on earth”.

29 PhillySouth July 4, 2017 at 11:28 am

” abolitionism, feminism, civil rights, gay rights” were most certainly the primary ideals pursued by the Founding Fathers in 1776, in their desperate violent war with British imperial rulers…..

David Boaz is way out in left field, though posing libertarian. “Individual Rights” as codified in the Bill of Rights are almost completely inoperative under today’s American Government rule

30 Anonymous July 4, 2017 at 11:34 am

When you say crazy things like that, you do yourself a great disservice. At best you find other people on your same fringe to reinforce your hyperbole.

I suppose this is the hiccup American democracy faces today. Hyperbole reinforced until it became belief is what got us Trump.

“Things have never been worse,” and “only I can fix it.”

31 PhillySouth July 4, 2017 at 11:55 am

….you are quite correct, of course. There is no possible validity to my point of view– it can only be explained by some physiological mental aberration (“crazy”). OTOH your point of view is very rational and embraced by most ‘normal’ people.

32 Anonymous July 4, 2017 at 12:06 pm

The link below actually relates, describing the aberrations in American politics as a sort of noise (present in every age), disguising the long term progress.

33 Art Deco July 4, 2017 at 12:13 pm

When you say crazy things like that, you

What he’s saying is perfectly reasonable and would have been immediately understood by consumers of libertarian thought 60 years ago. You know nothing.

34 Anonymous July 4, 2017 at 12:23 pm

Or, MR has come to be a place to find other people on the same fringe, who believe rights have been reduced rather than expanded in the last 60 years.

https://iwastesomuchtime.com/a_civil_rights__161114

An interesting perspective.

35 Art Deco July 4, 2017 at 4:36 pm

who believe rights have been reduced rather than expanded in the last 60 years.

This is not a complicated issue. A franchise granted you to coerce someone else reduces their rights, or, more precisely, their freedom. What is the justification for that?

36 Anonymous July 4, 2017 at 8:18 pm

Are you literally saying that the right to own a “whites only” drinking fountain was greater than the right of all Americans (and servicemen!) to use all public accommodation? Making a net loss?

37 Art Deco July 5, 2017 at 7:56 am

The drinking fountains in question were generally public property. What you’re calling a ‘public accommodation’ is what is commonly known as a ‘commercial enterprise’ located on ‘private property’. Prior to about 1946, it was the general assumption that proprietors had an unrestricted franchise to limit their custom any way they chose to and that private parties could not through lawsuits compel them to provide service. Free exchange, freedom of contract, freedom of association – simple principles that you are incapable of understanding (much less critiquing).

I suspect the reason for this is that the vociferous progressive fancies adult life should replicate the social relations of a high school, where the population is under the tutelage of a class of teachers and administrators who have plenary discretion in regulating the interactions between parties.

38 Anonymous July 5, 2017 at 9:22 am

1946 eh? Leaving aside the broader equity of white-only lunch counters, when we’re you born Art?

When did, or did you ever, make the decision to be a US Citizen?

39 Art Deco July 5, 2017 at 10:08 am

1946 eh? Leaving aside the broader equity of white-only lunch counters, when we’re you born Art? When did, or did you ever, make the decision to be a US Citizen?

The principal problem with ‘white-only’ lunch counters is that they were required by state law in Mississippi and other loci. That requirement did not apply in New York, where refusal of service was at the discretion of proprietors. You can complain that being rude to people is bad, but that doesn’t answer the question of under what circumstances being rude should be legally proscribed. Understanding that that’s the question at hand is not difficult, but it defeats you.

I’m a native citizen, as were most of my great-great-great-great grandparents. That, of course, is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

40 Anonymous July 5, 2017 at 10:19 am

First of all, I see your camouflaging deflection. Obviously not all “white only” anything were “required by law.” You have just been defending the “right” to have the sign. Now you run away.

Second, it is hilarious that some people (in this political cycle conservatives) say “I was just born here, so I don’t have to accept the Constitution or the laws of the land.”

Passive aggressive citizenship?

41 Hazel Meade July 5, 2017 at 11:28 am

Public accomodations was a wash. The real decline in individual rights cam from increasing government regulation of the economy. Not everything is about having the right to be dicks to black people, or it really shouldn’t be. The big problem is that you can’t negotiate wages and benefits freely, you can’t build or use your own property freely, you can’t engage in certain trades without jumping through dozens of hoops, you can’t sell products without conforming to any number of arbitrary requirements, many of which are scientifically unjustified. One’s economic life – which is the main sphere of human social activity – is completely subject to state control, even according to the most recent Supreme Court rulings. Public accomodations is bupkis. it is a trivial issue that is a distraction from the larger state of things – one cannot engage in any form of exchange with any other human being without the government asserting it’s right to control that exchange.

42 Anonymous July 5, 2017 at 11:46 am

I agree Hazel that, this unfortunate binding aside, it should be about optimal markets.

But you load a lot on “freely.” Markets operating “freely” have bandits, and cheats, and adulteraters. What happens in practice is that people argue small differences while trying to paint the argument as black or white (oops).

In the case of land, you appreciate clear title and protection from bandits and your neighbor’s septic system (or his coal heater!) .. but want within that framework want to use or dispose your land “freely.”

Sure, sure.

43 Hazel Meade July 5, 2017 at 11:55 am

Yes, yes, obviously there’s a framework of property rights and liability in a free market.
Clear, general, minimal, rules that apply equally to everyone.

When you have a complicated set of detailed explicit regulations managed by an unelected bureaucracy, the rules tend to become either explicitly unequal or unequally enforced, or just plain gamed by politically connected insiders. Unequal rules create unfair markets.

44 Ricardo July 5, 2017 at 11:57 am

“Prior to about 1946, it was the general assumption that proprietors had an unrestricted franchise to limit their custom any way they chose to…”

This is ahistorical. First, common law required innkeepers to accept all bona fide travelers except those who exhibited specific signs of being drunk, disorderly, etc. When hotels, motels and inns in the U.S. systematically excluded black people, they were not relying on some alleged ancient libertarian principles but were rather overriding common law. Second, attempts to outlaw discrimination in places of public accommodation in the U.S. date back to Reconstruction, not 1946. Finally, see Gavin Wright’s work on the economic history of discrimination. Business owners often decided to discriminate against non-whites not because of personal preference but because they were afraid of various forms of social pressure and intimidation that could be brought against them by white racists in their communities. Once the law clearly announced it was on the side of non-discrimination and that anyone who engaged in violence or intimidation of any sort to obstruct the enforcement of the law would face an FBI investigation and federal prison time, things changed very rapidly and for the better.

45 Hazel Meade July 5, 2017 at 11:57 am

Also, how do you analogize mandatory provision of health insurance as a benefit to septic tanks? Where is the liability or externality? Whose rights are being violated by not getting compensation in the form of employer-provided health plans?

46 Art Deco July 5, 2017 at 12:31 pm

This is ahistorical. First, common law required innkeepers to accept all bona fide travelers except those who exhibited specific signs of being drunk, disorderly, etc. When hotels, motels and inns in the U.S. systematically excluded black people, they were not relying on some alleged ancient libertarian principles but were rather overriding common law.

Your observation is ahistorical. Hotels in St. Louis in 1945 were not monopolistic common carriers or anything like them. Neither were people living at the edge of subsitance. Invoking Plantagent jurisprudence is a game.

Yes, statutory law over-rides common law. That’s been the case for about 700 years now. Get used to it.

While we’re at it, civil rights ordinances were not limited to inns.

47 Art Deco July 5, 2017 at 12:36 pm

Second, it is hilarious that some people (in this political cycle conservatives) say “I was just born here, so I don’t have to accept the Constitution or the laws of the land.”

The constitution does not require that proprietors serve anyone. Such requirements are incorporated into statutory law. The constitution does leave general police powers in the hands of state legislatures, a division of labor ignored by latter day ‘civil rights law’.

Whether I ‘accept’ the law or not is of no interest to people employed to enforce it. Laws in force are laws in force. They may be good laws or bad laws. They may be congruent or incongruent with superordinate law. I’m under no obligation to call a bad law a good law or an unconstitutional law a constitutional law.

48 Anonymous July 5, 2017 at 4:52 pm

Hazel “luckily” we have communicable disease as a factor, connecting actually your sewage system, public health, negative externalities of epidemics.

Art, it sounds like you refuse full citizenship in the good old USA, seeing yourself as a victim of our laws.

Happy trails, don’t let the door ..

49 Hazel Meade July 5, 2017 at 11:23 pm

@Anonymous,
Ahh, I see. So because my next door neighbor may create a public health risk with his overflowing septic tank, my employer should pay for my health insurance. That makes perfect sense.

50 Anonymous July 4, 2017 at 11:37 am
51 Moo cow July 4, 2017 at 12:04 pm

Yes. Happy 4th.

52 Thomas July 4, 2017 at 12:31 pm

Why should those of us concerned about the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 10th amendment concern ourselves with the assurances of someone who believes in reducing those liberties, such as yourself?

53 Anonymous July 4, 2017 at 12:33 pm

Speaking of pathologies, it is definitely one to make up positions for me, to make yourself feel better!

54 Ray Lopez July 4, 2017 at 11:54 am

If you believe the book I’m reading, “Economic Development in the Americas since 1500” by Engermann & Sokoloff (2012) (not to be confused with Dutch GM Ivan Sokolov), the difference between North and non-North America, the former prosperous and democratic, is (1) land reform, (2) immigration of non-elites, (3) fewer slaves and (4) a bigger middle class, which demanded things like education and the secret vote, both of which took several generations to fully achieve. Argentina and Costa Rica most close aped the North Americas and consequently they also achieved higher growth rates than their peers down south. My pet theory, not mentioned in the book, is geography: it’s really hard to do anything productive in the tropics, it’s so hard just fighting the elements and battling disease you have nothing left. Brazil is a jungle, eh, TR, buddy (a Canuck expression)?

But AlexT’s David Boaz, who wrote some libertarian books I’ve read, is right: the scrap of parchment (is the original parchment or paper? probably paper) known as the Declaration of Independence is also important, though arguably, like TC once argued, if the USA was still Canada we’d not be that different than we are today.

Happy 4th of July! Enjoy the Chinese invention of fireworks.

55 Anon July 4, 2017 at 12:04 pm
56 Art Deco July 4, 2017 at 12:10 pm

All the advances in human rights that we’ve seen in American history—abolitionism, feminism, civil rights, gay rights—stem from our founding ideas of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Another example, in case we needed one, that contemporary libertarianism is unserious (perhaps, as the wag said, a stratagem to avoid being yelled at by liberal women).

‘Feminism’, ‘gay rights’, and ‘civil rights’ are not ‘advances in human rights’ to someone for whom individual liberty is a lodestar. All three incorporate coercing people to engage in commercial, labor, and property transactions from which they’d rather refrain and rob associations of the franchise to conduct their day to day affairs (including and especially deciding who is or is not a member). At least two of the three incorporate systematized patronage of phenotypically-defined categories as a matter of public policy. All three incorporate varying quanta of slander directed at their opponents (and, two of the three it is safe to say incorporate political discourse as a means of giving vent to poisonous personal problems). Among them, only the purveyors of ‘civil rights’ agitation (i.e. black protest) were at any time concerned predominantly with contrived abuse incorporated into public policy or the routine practice of officialdom. Blacks are the only mascot group listed which had important grievances which required resolution in the public square. The others had small grievances, illegitimate grievances, and problems in living that are not a public interest.

As for ‘abolitionism’, the replacement of chattel slavery in Europe with serfdom is thought by historians to have begun around Ile de France in the 7th century AD and was largely complete by the 11th century. The erosion of serfdom was a feature of life in the High Middle Ages. reversed in Eastern Europe in the Early Modern period. I can see an argument that dismantling feudal-manorial agrarian systems in Eastern Europe owed something to physiocratic thought, but abolitionism in the West was a distinctly Christian movement. No clue how it gets credited to the account of Thomas Paine.

57 Chip July 4, 2017 at 12:24 pm

One of my most disturbing internal contradictions is that – as a libertarian and atheist – I think the concept of universal individual liberty is linked to Christianity.

58 Jan July 4, 2017 at 1:11 pm

Being allowed to vote, live free from systemic discrimination based on the way you were born, and marry the person you love are considered small and/or illegitimate grievances to you?

59 msgkings July 4, 2017 at 4:35 pm

Yes Jan, obviously.

60 Art Deco July 4, 2017 at 4:56 pm

Being allowed to vote, live free from systemic discrimination based on the way you were born, and marry the person you love are considered small and/or illegitimate grievances to you?

Do you and prior_approval ever stop playing games?

Suffrage has been at issue in the last century only for Deep South blacks, who were specifically excluded from my reference. While we’re at it, the extension of suffrage concerns not liberty but interests and status.

Contemporary feminism dates from about 1963, and has had few if any complaints properly resolved in the public sphere (and, truth be told, few complaints of any validity). Attempting to resolve complaints about ‘discrimination’ in any sphere other than the civil service and public colleges impinges on the freedom of another party. (As it happens, discrimination is practiced as a matter of course by public institutions. It’s just that the beneficiaries are progtrash mascot groups).

As for the homosexual population, it never would have occurred to anyone even thirty years ago that they had any claim on public recognition for whatever user-defined affiliations they could dream up. Marriage is an antique institution that has several social functions. It is not some bauble that you are granted (or not) by the state. And, again, liberty is not at issue here, but the distribution of status and recognition. Homosexuals, who fancy themselves, want a public decision that says their associations have a certain dignity. The majority refuses to grant them that, and refuses in large measure because ‘marriage’ is an institution that is old and well-understood. Helping sexual deviants feel better about themselves by promoting certain burlesques is not a proper object of public policy.

61 Jan July 4, 2017 at 7:41 pm

1) This debate is only about the last century? News to me — I thought we were talking about American history.
2) Are we only measuring progress in terms of public policy? That seems an insufficient measure.
3) Are “progrash mascot groups” poor high school kids and black people, because that is who typically benefits from affirmative action.
4) Progress has happened fast for gay people for a reason. In 10 to 20 years there will be almost nobody who shares your baseless aversion to letting gay people live their lives free of discriminatory policies. If there is a deviant here it is the Catholic church, which has a systemic and shameful ongoing problem with sexual abuse but enjoys many unjustifiable, taxpayer-funded benefits.

62 a counterclockwise witness July 5, 2017 at 11:00 am

Regarding the public decision for triangle’s dignity:

There are BIG SIGNS. You CAN’T park there. They *should* get towed. I hope they get towed to Queens, and the Triboro is closed, and there’s a big craft show at Shea, a flea market or a tractor show.

A polychrome rain of “pedals.” Thoreau was a pencil maker, [I] cedar, lacquer, graphite, ferrule, factice, pumice, wax, glue

Marriage is a type of natural fact and so it is a symbol of another spiritual fact. The triangles seek no voluntary contact with color.

63 JonFraz July 6, 2017 at 2:17 pm

Re: And, again, liberty is not at issue here,

You seem to be posting from an alternate universe. Within in quite recent memory here there were still laws on the books that allowed gay people engaged in nothing more wicked than consensual private relations with some like-minded partner to be locked up and fined by the state. This ought to be anathema to anyone with any remotely libertarian convictions.

64 Anonymous July 4, 2017 at 8:19 pm

“‘Feminism’, ‘gay rights’, and ‘civil rights’ are not ‘advances in human rights’ to someone for whom individual liberty is a lodestar.”

This obviously sounds like someone who cannot see past his own skin.

65 Hazel Meade July 5, 2017 at 11:21 pm

Do you prefer to live in a society where people treat one another as equals, or one where there is a clear hierarchcy – particularly a hierarchy in which race and gender are determining factors of rank?

66 Pensans July 4, 2017 at 1:10 pm

And, they have destroyed the country.

67 Jan July 4, 2017 at 1:26 pm

I hear Pakistan and the Islamic State are very successful and looking for immigrants.

68 Some guy July 4, 2017 at 10:15 pm

Why move there when they can come here? If we bring enough immigrants in who hold retrograde views at a fast enough rate, we can Make American Great Again!

69 Unintended Consequence July 5, 2017 at 11:51 am

You are 100% correct on your statement. Europe, with its mass immigration, will face these challenges much quicker than the Untied States will. This topic of retrograde is often overlooked and will only be a bigger factor in the coming decade.

70 psmith July 4, 2017 at 1:54 pm

This poast has an absolutely killer Straussian reading.

71 Tanturn July 4, 2017 at 3:18 pm

Wanna hear a joke?

Feminism as an advance in human rights.

72 Snowflake Busta July 4, 2017 at 4:33 pm

No shit. Pretty tiresome hearing these shitlibs talking about women as if they were fully human. I mean, obviously they are of the human species, they are just lesser humans.

73 Art Deco July 4, 2017 at 5:03 pm

Pretty crude. You need to talk to people who disagree with you once in a while and not just consume John Oliver clips.

What ‘feminism’ is, in a nutshell, is the habit of looking at social relations with the assumption that women have options, and men have obligations. There are some subsidiary features, such as the assumption that holding women accountable for anything is an act of effrontery and the assumption that women are a norm and men are defective. A certain amount of sociological fiction is adduced to buttress this from time to time. It has one effect: granting positive feedback to women who retain an essentially juvenile outlook on life. Joan Didion discussed this in her essay on feminism included in The White Album.

74 Brian Donohue July 4, 2017 at 5:13 pm

Camila Paglia considers herself a feminist from way back in 1963, and I don’t think she believes any of that crap.

75 blah July 4, 2017 at 11:10 pm

Have you ever thought about she stands out from most other feminist voices? She is the exception that proves the rule.

76 Art Deco July 5, 2017 at 7:44 am

Here we have a confusion of terminology.

Clare Boothe Luce or Camille Paglia have been advocates of women’s achievement. That would have been common in my grandparents’ generation, the point of dispute being whether women’s achievement was to be considered a curio you read about or something you saw in the ordinary course of events.

About a quarter of the formal sector workforce was female in 1930, and about 1/3 was in 1957. People overstate the degree to which women were absorbed in domestic life.

The extent to which women’s achievement was rejected in the social world in which my grandmothers came of age is overstated as well. About 920,000 people were in 1928 enrolled in higher education, or roughly 6% of the relevant age cohorts and something quite atypical. About 39% of those so enrolled were female. About 23% of the instructors were female. About 39% of those enrolled in post-baccalaureate programs (outside of certain professional schools) were female. Professional schools (in theology, law, medicine, pharmacy, and veterinary medicine) were what remained a male preserve (wherein 94% of the students were male; the schools in question encompassed about 11% of the population enrolled in higher education). One source of that was the general assumption that professional women were celibates, and that is not a life aught but a few women seek for themselves.

Paglia and Luce are quite dissimilar fhinkers in most respects. Both are alike (and differ from a character like Barbara Ehrenreich or Ellen Goodman) in their assumption that women have agency, that agency is about equally distributed between men and women, and that the moral implications of agency are about the same for men and women. These three observations are absolutely at war with both conventional feminism and the poisonous womens-studies-faculty feminism. They are, in fact, at war with much of vernacular girl culture as well.

77 Hazel Meade July 5, 2017 at 11:08 am

It’s important to distinguish the institutions that comprise “the feminist movement”, from philosophical feminism. The institutional “feminist movement” is a set of political organizations mostly aligned with the Democratic Party, if not wholly owned subsidiaries of it. They are frequently seen adopting agendas that have nothing really to do with philosophical feminism, except via some tortured reasoning that nobody but a die hard Democratic partisan would find comprehensible.
Philosophical feminism is a broader field of thought of which main principle is that women and men are moral, intellectual, and political equals. People can debate what that means in the broader framework of society.

78 Art Deco July 5, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Philosophical feminism is a broader field of thought of which main principle is that women and men are moral, intellectual, and political equals. People can debate what that means in the broader framework of society.

That’s a cultural fiction invoked when people criticize feminism and not latent in actual feminist discourse and commentary. Now, you may find a discrete soi-disant feminist for whom that’s actually the deal or is at least the surface deal if you’re not dumpster diving through their public remarks. Like any shorthand, ‘feminism’ is imprecise and does not fully capture what individual voices advocate or what is latent in their advocacy.

79 Snowflake Busta July 4, 2017 at 6:51 pm

John Oliver? Are you kidding me? Screw that wanna be Jon Stewart shitlib.

80 a counterclockwise witness July 4, 2017 at 8:53 pm

http://www.tokyo-ws.org/english/archive/2014/12/h0124-RC.shtml

“we buy white albums” “gallery” – I believe it started on Grand Street in SoHo.

81 Michael S July 4, 2017 at 8:23 pm
82 Beefcake the Mighty July 4, 2017 at 9:46 pm

David Boaz is a fudge-packer.

83 Hazel Meade July 5, 2017 at 10:59 am

I think both sides have reasonably honest claims to be the defenders of rights for minority groups.

From a socialist perspective, the socialist thinks “I support equality, so gay people should have the same rights as straight people”, while the libertarian thinks “I support individual liberty, so adults should have the individual right to engage in whatever consensual relationships they want”. Libertarians also support political equality, although the focus is sometimes more on liberty.

The thing is that many people who identify as socialist are really just egalitarian liberals. They aren’t really that collectivist. In actual collectivist socialist societies, gays may be (and often have been) considered harmful since they don’t (generally) produce offspring. If the state believes that the production of babies is a social priority, a true collectivist would consider homosexuality a problem and would claim people have a duty to suppress homosexuality for the good of the collective.

So the libertarian position is ultimately the more consistent one, it’s just that the natural fusion of political equality and individual rights has been split into warring camps in Western liberal enlightenment society, with two branches both laying claim to the same fundamental principles.

84 Art Deco July 5, 2017 at 12:26 pm

A non-spurious libertarian position would be one endorsing freedom of contract and freedom of association. The dispute among libertarians would be the boundary condition which distinguishes sex offenses from mere sexual deviance.

Social democratic, communist, and syndicalist thought is concerned with the distribution of benefits and discretion in the material realm and is constitutionally agnostic about the questions under discussion (though particular individuals and organizations may have views on them). Socialist and Communist Parties have at different times been on different sides of these questions.

Terms like ‘liberal’ or ‘progressive’ are the self-designation of those carrying what Thos Sowell called ‘the Vision of the Anointed’, which is a discourse suffused with arguments (or rhetorical strategies) meant to establish and enforce a certain set of cultural, political, and economic strata. It doesn’t have much to do with conventional social democracy, other than making use of welfare programs to marshal support among wage-earners who otherwise have little interest in bourgeois culture war games.

85 Hazel Meade July 5, 2017 at 12:39 pm

Obviously freedom of contract and freedom of association are part of mainstream libertarian doctrine, it’s just that freedom of association, as applied to racial discrimination is a small aspect of the overall freedom of association picture in the US, and likely the least flattering one. To focus on it exclusively conveys the impression that one is only interested in the right to discriminate against blacks, rather than in the larger issue of the right to engage in private commerce in general. Also, absent some type of anti-discrimination laws, libertarians rely on social mores to restrict discrimination – mores with which are also objected to by a certain faction. Without either anti-discrimination laws OR social norms forbidding racial discrimination, America would be a much less free and less fair place for racial minorities.

86 Art Deco July 5, 2017 at 2:49 pm

Obviously freedom of contract and freedom of association are part of mainstream libertarian doctrine,

A generation ago. You’ve lost sight of the original post. David Boaz isn’t Joe Blow from Perth Amboy. He’s an official of the Cato Institute and he’s been a prominent libertarian publicist for about 30 years. Well, he’s celebrating social movements antithetical to freedom of contract and association. Why is that? Maybe it’s that organized libertarianism is all humbug.

To focus on it exclusively conveys the impression that one is only interested in the right to discriminate against blacks,

No, Hazel, that’s a function of your shticks (see your blather about Rachel Dolezal, the damaged and very silly individual you imagine is on some sort of admirable personal quest). Civil rights laws were the thin edge of the wedge. They exploited the miseries of the black population (which were real enough) to extend to the legal profession jurisdiction over just about every social relation. It took just seven years for the courts to assert that ‘civil rights’ and all effectively debarred a commercial company from making use of standardized tests to screen prospects. It took a little longer for the courts to assert that ordinary vendors had to kow tow to big gay.

87 Hazel Meade July 5, 2017 at 11:15 pm

he’s celebrating social movements antithetical to freedom of contract and association

Seriously? You think that celebrating individual rights for blacks, gays and women is antithetical to freedom of association ? You realize that the civil rights movement was about much more than public accomodation laws, don’t you?

88 Beefcake the Mighty July 5, 2017 at 4:18 pm

Hazel Meade is one seriously stupid cunt.

89 jorod July 5, 2017 at 11:04 pm

Gay rights? No such thing in history of civilization.

90 JonFraz July 6, 2017 at 2:21 pm

And once upon a time there was no such thing as the US Constitution. Or a (musical) fugue. Or the Christian faith, Your point is?

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: