Browsing the blog archivesfor the day Tuesday, August 26th, 2014.


We Are All Not Libertarians Now

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Libertarians

Lots of talk lately about a “libertarian moment.” However, it appears there may be few actual libertarians to have a “moment.”

A Pew Survey found that about 11 percent of Americans are libertarian, meaning they call themselves libertarian and know what the word means. However, among this group there were huge inconsistencies in their opinions, and on the whole their ideas about government policy are not significantly different from the views commonly held by a lot of other Americans.

And that doesn’t necessarily mean a lot of people are libertarian but don’t know it. It means that libertarians don’t automatically endorse libertarian views. About four in ten libertarians said that government regulation of business is necessary to protect the public interest (41%). Others also said government assistance to the poor “does more good than harm because people can’t get out of poverty until their basic needs are met” (38%). Further,

…there are only slight differences between libertarians and the public in views of the acceptability of homosexuality. And they are about as likely as others to favor allowing the police “to stop and search anyone who fits the general description of a crime suspect” (42% of libertarians, 41% of the public). … Libertarianism is generally associated with a less activist foreign policy, yet a greater share of self-described libertarians (43%) than the public (35%) think “it is best for the future of our country to be active in world affairs.”

These are the ones who correctly defined libertarianism, mind you.

I wrote a few days ago that there seems to be more faux than actual libertarianism floating around. And I have also observed that it’s something of a party game for libertarians to denounce anyone in the public eye associated with them as a fake. The difference between the fake and the true libertarian is an elusive thing that defies measuring, however.

See also Pew: What If The Libertarian Movement Doesn’t Really Exist?

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Ferguson: Same Old Trajectory

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Stupid Violent Things

I want to add to yesterday’s post that events in Ferguson appear to be following a standard trajectory. The immediate impetus after such an apparent act of brutality is for the Powers That Be to go into “nothing to see here, move along” mode. When the community and many others rallied and asked for justice, and the PTB realized they weren’t going to get away with burying the incident, they went into their standard alternate modes of (1) demonizing the victim by trying to claim he had just robbed a convenience store, for example, although I don’t believe he did, and I understand the owner of the store didn’t file a police report, and there is no way Officer Wilson would have known about the convenience store, and anyway the convenience store episode may not have happened on the same day; many things are not clear.

And then there’s (2) making excuses for the cop. By now it has been thoroughly proven that the eye socket injury didn’t happen. Now we see white supporters of Officer Wilson claiming the shooting was a “good kill.” WTF? Based on what evidence we actually have — no, it was not.

I fully support the opinion that we should not declare Officer Wilson guilty of anything before he has had his day in court. There may be evidence that hasn’t come into public view that will shed a different light on things. But based on everything even partly substantiated has been made public, this was an utterly unnecessary slaughter of an unarmed young man who hadn’t been found guilty of anything, either.

This trajectory of events is so standard it’s nearly become ritual. Next time we could appoint Kabuki actors to play it out for us.

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