Monday, January 01, 2007

Libertarian for free expression?

When others ask about my political views, I usually respond by referring to myself as libertarian. Although I only really share Libertarian platform's position on the issue of government debt, I've found such a self-description is the best defense against being instantly intellectually pigeon-holed by committed ideologues. "Free thought," I say in justification after we've been talking for awhile. I wonder how readers describe themselves politically and why.

But an absolute freedom from taking offense at words or thoughts is an improved reason for the tailing description. I suppose most empircally-minded people feel similarly, but I hadn't actually thought about it in such a way.

I never take umbrage at the things people say (short of personal threats I suppose), and try always to foster an image of someone willing to listen to unique perspectives or less conventional pet theories on things. On the flipside, I audaciously expect others to take little offense at what I say (a strategem that didn't go over too well this Christmas season). Politically, this earns me a great amount of ire from leftists of a fascistic-academic variety, but aslo with WSJ type neocons, some religious folks, and ambivalent 'centrists', among others.

Multiculturalism makes it all the more difficult to function in such a way (think the Muslim cartoon episode or Michael Richard's gaffe), and not surprisingly diversity is more enfeebling than empowering.

3 comments:

JSBolton said...

I use descriptors like rightist, pro-capitalist, reactionary, pro-laissez faire, America-firster, but not libertarian, although, years ago, I sometimes said; libertarian legalist.
There is really no such category though; or if there is, it doesn't quite belong with all the anarchists who are called libertarians.
In all politics, there is nothing but: valuing freedom-from-aggression, vs. valuing freedom-for-aggression.
Libertarians tend to value freedom-for-aggression, and thus turn out be servants of the left.
The other dimension of politics is spirituality and volitionism vs. materialism[metaphysical] and determinism/fatalism.
Empiricism tends to push people to the left; and to be cynical about aggression. But politics consists of nothing else!
Essentially, it cannot be other than the ethics of aggression.
Any larger definition extends the sphere of the political, to where it ought not to extend, unless the purpose is to enlarge despotism and the rule of aggression.

JSBolton said...

One could observe how all these leftist and libertarian, etc. political tendencies, will try to put over anything that can be gotten away
with, which tends to castrate, I mean prevent the reproduction of, civilization.
This is because they want freedom-for-aggression, nothing else defines them, and nothing else explains them; and civilization is the obstacle to freedom-for-aggression.
So, in terms of names to go by, one has to be all the more careful to define: What sort of freedom one is for.
Otherwise, not only will one be vilified, but one will be asked as by libertarians with malign intent: why you won't you be for freedom to build even unlimited immigrant shantytowns, don't you value freedom?
Terms are defined, loyalties spelled out, and one can then insist that the officials must act so as to prevent the increase of aggression on the net taxpayer of our sovereignty, in the jurisdiction for which the decision is to be made.
I don't know what the term for all this may be; patriotic counter-aggressionalism is a possible one.

crush41 said...

"In all politics, there is nothing but: valuing freedom-from-aggression, vs. valuing freedom-for-aggression."

Fascinating way to look at it. Thanks, as always, for the commentary.

Nationalist is another label I frequently use, as well as empirical rightist. Regarding volitionism vs. fatalism, I'm much closer to the latter but see little benefit on the personal level to living as if it were so.