31 August 2010


on this one

Some differences need to be lain out. I often arrive at some similar policy outcomes, opposing things, supporting some wacky wonk issues, and so on, as a mainline libertarian (typically and traditionally associated with conservatives). But I end up in a very different place often, what might be more a liberty oriented, liberal perspective than what the popular perception is. And I think it's worth explaining why that would be.

I think it comes down to a notion popular among many Americans that the Constitution is like dogma, and imparting a peculiar birthright extended by a mythology surrounding "the Founding Fathers". But more than that, that it is somehow a divine document in of itself. Much like the source of religious dogma, it is somehow meant to be read literally (despite sometimes some conflicting views of interpretation or priorities). Much like religious dogma, in practice it is read selectively.

Rather than arriving the idea that the Constitution is a good and generally valid set of principles on which to operate a large, complex, and diverse society through examination of those principles and comparing them to some governing philosophy (utilitarianism or libertarianism in my case) and something like empirical results of that philosophy (very hard to find), it seems to be more like the Constitution is ours, and that's how we roll here. So fuck Europe or anybody else because nobody does it better. The idea being that we have a "tradition" of "freedom" rather than a practice of it and this removes the necessity of learning how freedoms actually work, how their implications of free will and choices will effect our desired policies, and, usually, what those desired policies actually are.

Seems pretty much like Jesus Camp to me. Repeat what you have heard, don't actually study it, learn from it, and apply the basic philosophy behind it.
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