Libertarianismgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Jon's Melange : One Thread
My current pet idea is libertarianism. I am intrigued by the idea of people living how they choose--and of a small federal government that minds its own business. On the other hand I see how this idea can fail horribly in the Real World, because in the vacuum of government there may be more malevolent powers that will seek to dominate. What do you think?
-- (email@example.com), February 18, 1999
The real question boils down to human rights. Are you born with them or do you owe it to some human authority to gradually dole them out to you, based on how well you conform to their wishes?
-- jon (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 23, 1999.
Of course, I plead guilty to being a big hypocrite on these matters. For it is "Big Government" that has paid my way through school and enabled me to do cancer research. I don't know what I'd would have done had there been no NIH grants. So, in the tradition of hypocrites, I wish to make the disclaimer that I am leery of a Huge Federal Government--but think that the NIH, NEA, and student loans are excellent ways to spend your hard-earned taxpayer money and comprise an investment in our long-term national security and economic well being.
-- Jon (email@example.com), February 26, 1999.
Yeah, I find I'm rather Jeffersonian myself. In theory I like a rather radical democracy in every conceivable social structure. I have complete faith in the ultimate rationality of the individual to be responsible for his/her own decisions and life. If they are allowed to mess up, they'll learn. Yes, it will take time for the masses to evolve. Yes, it will take a lot of education. Under this paradigm, the most a member of the government could do (besides carry out the tasks that the people rather explicitly tell him/her to do) would be to help bring even more information/education from all sides to the people.
In reality, however, we are very far away from that (radical democratic) social structure. And, in my old age, I have become more conservative about inflicting vast changes onto the masses. I have seen the erosive effects of sweeping changes/chaos that the people are not equipped to manage. I favor a long-term plan towards a democratic ideal with many short-term systematic plans to ease the transition.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), February 20, 1999.
-- coprolith (email@example.com), March 21, 1999.