The two branches of American libertarianism

Read the article here.

The author is basically relabelling the “Yokeltarian/Cosmotarian” argument that is being perpetually debated over at reason.com (Hit and Run).  The argument goes something like this: there is a group of people (“Yokeltarians”, or, according to this author, “Calhounians”, after the former US Vice-President John C. Calhoun) who are culturally Southern and rural; they distrust the Federal Government because of the Civil War, and so are motivated to limit central government.  The worldview of such folk is generally Christian and traditional; they tend to study the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, oppose “social rights” like legal abortion and “same-sex marriage”, and are generally recognized by those living outside their inbred society as neo-luddite morons.

Then, there is another group of people (“Cosmotarians”, or, per the author, “Heinleinians”, after Robert Heinlein, an engineer and science fiction writer), who tend to be culturally urban and sophisticated, not to mention astonishingly intelligent and good-looking, who recognize that people need the “freedom” to murder children in the womb and invent new meanings for words like “marriage”.  These people tend to study Science!, see the future, and are working on using science and technology to create utopia on earth, where there will be no disease or scarcity, and where “mother earth” will be cared for as she ought to be, and where death itself will someday be conquered.

The author (he calles himself “Hamilton”), makes some interesting assertions.  For example, he describes President Obama as “sort of, kind of” libertarian, because he doesn’t seem to want to regulate the activities of the tech-savvy cosmotarians.  He wonders how Christians can square what’s in the Bible with “what’s going on in Silicon Valley”.  He asserts that technology, via the atomic bomb, “saved millions of American lives” (and thus shows a need for a strong central government that can arrange the creation and construction of atomic bombs).  He is critical of Romney for scorning Newt Gingrich’s plan to colonize the moon.  He points out that there is a reason why “gay marriage and free trade are always advancing”.

Well, President Obama isn’t regulating cosmotarian technology–yet.  Just give him time.

What’s going on in Silicon Valley that I would need to “square” with the Bible?  He mentions a proposal to fuse human consciousness with computers (my paraphrase).  Well, it’s a proposal, not a reality, and I seriously doubt it could ever become a reality because, despite the adamant assertions of the Delusional Darwinoids, we humans are not just a mass of chemicals that exist due to a cosmic accident.  Life has never been shown to come from non-living materials through natural processes.  A better hypothesis is that life was created, by a Creator.  I’m going to go out on a limb and say that human consciousness will never be stored in a computer.

As for the atom bomb, I doubt that it really saved “millions of American lives”.  Japan had already been trying to surrender for about a year; Douglas MacArthur, the commander in the Pacific, opposed the use of atomic bombs to “get Japan to surrender”.  In reality, the atomic bombs were to show Russia that 1.) we had them, 2.) we weren’t afraid to use them, and 3.) Russia better be satisfied with the portion of Europe it had already grabbed.  I guess, in a sense, one could argue that the atomic bomb *did* save millions of American lives, by preventing a war with the Soviet Union, but such an argument would be, in the end, merely speculation.

Newt Gingrich also said that the people on the moon would vote to make the moon the 51st state.  I recall a “Simpsons” cartoon where the children in Lisa’s class were shown a 1950-era film in which the claim was made that the moon “belongs to America.”  Life imitates “The Simpsons”!  In reality, Romney was quite right to criticize Newt’s idea: it was a stupid idea.

And the bit about “gay marriage advancing”?  Well, while three states have had “same-sex marriage” approved by popular vote, the rest of the states that have legalized “same-sex marriage” have done so through legislatures or the courts.  29 states still have “bans” on the practice instilled in their state constituitons (though I doubt that a same-sex couple in Tennessee that decides to go ahead and “get married” without a state license will be going to jail).

About Free Trade, we don’t have it, except perhaps among the various states.  All “free trade agreements” are actually government-managed trade treaties, so it’s a bit naive to think that Free Trade is “advancing”, even though that would be awesome.  Also, trade is the one activity that almost all economists of varying political philosophies agree is unequivocably beneficial to all parties involved.  It’s not a “left-right” issue, in other words.

He posits four “problems” with Calhounism.  1. The threat of foreign invaders necessitates a strong central government.  2.  You can’t have the internet without a strong central government.  3.  Calhounians are luddites.  4.  Calhounians are ignorant luddites.

The challenge for Heinleinians is: 1. That they’re so darned smart.  I’m talking wicked smart.  These guys are going to figure out how to become immortal, for crying out loud.  Also, they’re going to mine asteroids in space.  2.  They’re so freaking rich, that, even when they inevitably discover the technological secret to immortality, they will be the only ones able to enjoy it, which will be a problem.  3.  They sort of, kind of, like Progressivism, and would call themselves Progressives.  4. They just might turn into real-life versions of James Bond villains, which would make some people uncomfortable.
My reaction to all this?  Meh.  “Hamilton” is obviously a Cosmotarian, but he realizes that there aren’t that many Cosmotarians, and that for his movement to succeed, it needs to join with the icky neo-Confederate Sky-Daddy Worshippers.  His preferred method would be to persuade the nCSDW crowd to drop the opposition to antepartum infanticide and preposterous notions like “apple pies” made with peaches “same-sex marriage”.  Sorry, but if you want people to join you, it is you who must drop the evulz, Ham.

 

 

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