Do conservative magazines take liberty seriously?

Daniel Klein and Jason Briggeman say maybe not:

Abstract:
Conservatives say they are for small government and individual liberty,
but a
content analysis of leading conservative magazines shows that most have
preponderantly failed to take pro-liberty positions on sex, gambling,
and
drugs. Besides many anti-liberty commissions, the magazines may be
criticized
for anti-liberty omission–that is, failing to oppose anti-liberty
policies.
Magazines investigated include National
Review
, The Weekly Standard, The
American
Enterprise,
and
The American Spectator. We find that National
Review
has had the strongest
record on liberty on the issues treated, while the others have
preponderantly
failed to be pro-liberty or have even been anti-liberty.

Comments

Abstract: I misstate what conservatives believe and point out that they do not, in fact, believe my misstatement.

So conservative magazines are conservative rather than libertarian.

Who knew?

If in fact those were the only liberties there were, then it's possible the article could be correct.

Absent a consistent, broad-based definition of what constitutes a liberty, it's simply a self-serving, meretricious nonsense.

"We find that National Review has had the strongest record on liberty on the issues treated.."

You have got to be kidding me.

This just in, liberal magazines frequently don't support economic liberalization.

Those swedes need to learn the distinctions in American politics of what constitutes conservative, liberal, libertarian, statist, etc.

I don't think it is news that there are at least two political dimensions: the economic dimension and the social dimension. Arguably, Republicans tend to be economically liberal but socially interventionist, i.e., not liberal. Democrats tend to be socially liberal but economically interventionist, i.e., not liberal. In a two-party system that unfortunately leaves two quadrants empty, one of which is liberal in both dimensions.

Sex, gambling and drugs? All three issues have strong moral overtones that could obscure the magazines' true opinions of liberty.

The sad thing about stating something so obvious is that is that the study was paid for with tax dollars. Clearly, colleges get too much government money.

Is this somehow a new idea? The very nature of being 'conservative' means being against free will and openness. Isn't it the classical liberals who were for small government (truly free markets) and the open societies that are needed to foster the small government mentality?

Too many libertines masquerade as libertarians.

Pop Quiz: I'm picking a hotel to stay in for a trip. I want one that doesn't have hookers peddling their wares in the lobby. Does that make me anti-liberty?

No, it's the same difference as between looking for a non-smoking restaurant and trying to pass an ordinance that bans smoking in all restaurants. Only the latter is anti-liberty.

In the absence of government interference, the market would spontaneously segment into hotels with and without hookers (assuming a sufficient base of consumers for each type). Accommodating a variety of preferences is one of the things markets do very well.

Even perfect market segmentation, of course, doesn't prevent people who genuinely *are* anti-liberty from trying to get the hookers out of *everyone else's* hotels too. But that's not the question you asked.

As far as the original post is concerned, though: Duh. Conservatives are conservative. This is news how? Did libertarians actually believe that by politically servicing conservatives for a few decades, they would make the conservatives more libertarian? Sorry, not happening. If you want to change someone's political views you have to engage them in political discourse and convince them. And conservatives highly prize their closed-mindedness and refusal to engage in substantive discourse.

"most have preponderantly failed to take pro-liberty positions on sex, gambling, and drugs"

Often, one must look to those that were viewed as radicals in the past, to find the cures for the ills of the present.

http://www.lysanderspooner.org/VicesAreNotCrimes.htm

"The very nature of being 'conservative' means being against free will and openness."

"And conservatives highly prize their closed-mindedness and refusal to engage in substantive discourse."

And with those sorts of attitudes and beliefs about conservatives, is it really any wonder that conservatives (to say nothing of the rest of the political spectrum) consider libertarians to be--shall we say--not even worth the powder to blow them to hell?

The only time I ever hear from libertarians is when they're threatening to torpedo some Republican candidate who isn't sufficiently to their liking. The fact that this will inexorably result in the election of a Democrat who--objectively speaking--should be even less to their liking seems...irrelevant to them.

Libertarians are basically like Marxist-Leninists: they believe in a utopia that is fundamentally contrary to several millenia of observed human behavior, and they apparently believe that the way to usher in this utopia is by using tactics that amount to "the worse, the better."

Pfui.

"content analysis of leading conservative magazines shows that most have preponderantly failed to take pro-liberty positions on sex, gambling, and drugs. Besides many anti-liberty commissions, the magazines may be criticized for anti-liberty omission"

So what are the "pro-liberty" positions on sex, gambling and drugs?

There is a certain contingent of libertarians that simply fail to understand that unlimited personal license does not constitute liberty to a vast majority of people. There is a difference between liberty and libertinism.

Sex, gambling & drugs have significant externalities. You want to see it in action? Look at "Octomom", she exercised her reproductive faculties in accordance with her wishes.. Now there's eight kids with no father and no means of support.

You want a forgotten aspect of liberty? Try traffic law enforcement. Your local and state police routinely hide in order to catch speeders (and ignore more difficult to prosecute laws against reckless driving).

Hidden police forces attempting to catch, rather than openly prevent violations of laws, especially malum prohibitum laws, is an affront to liberty that very, very few people ever notice. It reduces the rule of law to an arbitrary game rather than attempt to achieve justice.

David Hecht,
The only time I hear Republicans get upset about big governemnt is after they have grown the government for 8 or 12 years. Then they quote libertarian economist and ideas until they get in power again, then they throw all the ideas out the window and steal tax dollars(through standard govt corruption), lie the public into BS wars, swell the prisons with more people than China and the USSR put together, increase taxes, create new entitlements and triple government spending. Then when the economy crashes they blame it on free markets.

When a man points this out in the primaries, the big republicans call the man a terrorist and say he shouldn't be allowed in the debates. If we can torpedo a republican then god bless us. The country is already going in the shitter. You dipshits had several opportunities to fix things and you blew it. If the 'pragmatic" republicans liked the New Deal so much, then your going to love the NEW NEW Deal. I really don't even understand why you don't like Obama...he is doing the same stuff Bush did. Your pansy brand of "pragmatic" small governmentism is clearly a failure, time to re-think your premises. How much time do you think you have? I guess your counting on Keynsian stimulus to help improve things some in the next year? :) you retard

Got any specifics on how libertarians ignore human behavior?

The basic premise of libertarianism is that most individuals are benign rational free agents. Some may be benign, some rational, some free, very few are all three.

The only time I ever hear from libertarians is when they're threatening to torpedo some Republican candidate

They can only do that by withdrawing their previous support, and that is only possible if Republicans had their support to begin with. Which they did. Libertarians have heavily voted in favor of Republicans. It is only recently that there's been a shift away from Republicans, and this was in response to a shift in the behavior of Republicans in government. Libertarians aren't asking for utopia - obviously, since if they were, they would never have supported Republicans in the first place.

Obviously you haven't read much Mises.

Actually, I have. I read a great many things. If you are telling me intent defines the rationality of
an action, well, you are a leftist, not a libertarian.

People tend to be very rational in their economic lives. But this thread began with discussions
on sex, gambling and drugs. In these spheres, there is great irrationality. The very act of
gambling is irrational since the expected payoff is negative. Gambling an excessive proportion
of one's disposable income presents ruinous consequences on numerous fronts.

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