Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Thoughts on libertarianism

John Armstrong has a post on libertarian principles and Christian responses. l would say he oversimplifies things considerably, but since I know the pros and cons of libertarianism get debated here at Locusts and Honey from time to time, thought I would point it out . . .

7 comments:

Jeff the Baptist said...

Man, Armstrong's post was a whole lot of nothing. Why didn't he just say "I'm concerned about the rise of libertarianism in American Christians for vague and unspecified reasons" and save me a lot of reading.

John said...

I can only guess that Armstrong considered the brief quotations from libertarians to be self-damning. I have left a comment in the moderation queue asking for a further explanation of what he finds so disturbing about libertarianism.

Jeff the Baptist said...

I suppose, but Libertarianism is both anti-authoritative and ideologically diverse. You can't cite a few individuals, call them leaders, and then generalize without doing some work to show their views are held more commonly.

John Wilks said...

The idea of small government and shifting more social responsibility to a low-taxed private sector sounds good to me. I think the Church would have to act more like the Church if there were not a Nanny State in effect.

I also think social libertarianism is important because the best way to secure Christian freedom of thought is to protect all freedom of thought.

John said...

John Wilks, I am going to kiss you for that statement.

Eric Helms said...

John Wilks, you are right about the need for the Church to act more like the Church in a libertarian system and that such a system protects free thought. My concern is that there will always be winners and loosers in an unchecked market economy which is really where I see libertarianism placing social power.

While the church can provide social services and community for the weak, where is the social structure to protect market economy loosers in a ruthless capitolistic system? Is there a role for government to establish protection for people whose gifts may not be rewarded by the market?

John Wilks said...

Eric,

I hear what you are saying and I'm not sure I want a totally hands-off government where business is concerned. But sensible regulation doesn't require a massive federal government. You don't need a Nanny State to enforce a minimum wage and child labor laws. In fact, the Department of Labor is tiny compared to the agencies we fund to run welfare, police the globe, and spy on our own citizens.

To the contrary- big government tends to either get in bed with big business (see the current administration) or replace big business (pick the failed Communist regime of your choice.)

So I hardly see any reason to assume that things MUST get worse for the working class in a more libertarian environment. Done right, it could become a boon to the small business who currently has to fight not only large competitors, but regulations made by politicians who are funded by those large competitors.