Monday, February 20, 2012

Santorum
"Freedom isn't to do whatever you want to do, it's to do what you ought to do"
Atrios' confused response
I've long had a big whiff of this kind of thinking in our oddly conformist libertarians. Freedom to some of them means the freedom to win the game if you play well enough.
Santorum is not a Libertarian (but he is a Catholic Compatibilist).
Gene Healy, of Cato
To borrow from Mitt's rhetorical stylings, I'm not severely conservative, but I do have a case of Stage IV libertarianism. And anyone who shares that condition will find Santorum's rise particularly vexing. The former senator from Pennsylvania is libertarianism's sweater-vested arch-nemesis.

In a Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon in Harrisburg last summer, Santorum declared, "I am not a libertarian, and I fight very strongly against libertarian influence within the Republican Party and the conservative movement."

..."This idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do," Santorum complained to NPR in 2006, "that we shouldn't get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn't get involved in cultural issues ... that is not how traditional conservatives view the world."

That version of conservatism has a new standard bearer, and he's rising in the polls.
"Freedom isn't to do whatever you want to do, it's to do what you ought to do." In his nonsensical way he's almost right, but that depends on whether your definition of freedom refers first to individuals or to individuals as members of a community. The freedom to engage in collective decision-making is not the freedom to do what you want, it's the freedom to vote on what you will be told to do.

4:30-"You've confused a war on your religion with not always getting everything you want. It's called being part of the society. Not everything goes your way. I don't let my kids eat ice cream every night. They wish I did, but even they know that doesn't make me the Hitler of ice cream"
Jon Stewart for community values.

Popular performers are predictably close to the culture curve as self-conscious intellectuals are predictably behind it. A favorite: Hobsbawm
Why brilliant fashion designers, a notoriously non-analytic breed, sometimes succeed in anticipating the shape of things to come better than professional predictors, is one of the most obscure questions in history; and for the historian of culture, one of the most central.
In a republic elected representatives make the law. Protected rights are mostly rights of thought and argument, not action, to preserve the right of the electorate to change the law that governs them. If the community wants socialized medicine it gets it.

More and more our technocrats are unelected rulers, and even those who defended them in the past as defenders of "liberalism" are concerned. Libertarianism in one form or another was considered intellectually respectable until very recently. Liberal elites are becoming divided as they're forced to chose between their status and their claimed beliefs.

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