Catholics, Libertarians, and Coerced Charity, great post at FFF.ORG

Libertarian JesusOne of my favorite organizations and great website: The Future of Freedom Foundation.

Check out this article by FFF founder Jacob Hornberger:

Catholics, Libertarians, and Coerced Charity

 

Freedom Feens 05/20/2014 – Randy England co-hosts

novictim-nocrimeFreedom Feens is a daily, liberty-related radio show with Michael W. Dean .

I was co-host of this morning’s Feen broadcast. The 2-hour show is broadcast live at LRN.FM weeknights at Midnight Central time and at noon on weekends. A list of stations carrying the Freedom Feens is available here

Show notes for 05/20/2014: Stop Free Keene — No Knock Warrants — Becoming a libertarian — Using magic words in court — Castle Doctrine / self-defense — RIP R.J Rummel, Death by government — What will we replace the state with? — Prosecutors as politicians — JRR Tolkien, anarchist/monarchist — Not one man in a million is fit to rule other men

Download or listen to today’s show here:

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Or visit Freedom Feens

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Randy England & Michael Dean talk thick and thin

Michael Dean After Dark is a late-night, liberty-related podcast. I was Michael’s co-host this morning. The 2-hour show is broadcast live at LRN.FM weeknights at Midnight Central time.

Show notes for 05/06/2014: What are thin and thick Libertarianism? — Will liberty close the wealth gap? — Brutalism — Bitcoin / Dark Wallet — Money laundering — Defending the Undefendable — Why people take drugs — Lew Rockwell

Download or listen to today’s show here:

[Download here] (right click, then Save link as . . .)

Or visit Michael Dean After Dark

More Thick & Thin / Can prisons be totally abolished?

Anarcho-Ichthus-fav“Thick” libertarians are always talking about things besides liberty. They talk about unions, racism, patriarchy, hierarchy and sexism; and whether land rent, usury, wage labor or inequality of wealth are compatible with the maintenance of a stateless society. These libertarians want to graft their issues onto the tree of liberty because they believe these questions bear on the very viability of liberty. As near as I can tell, the seminal article on thick and thin libertarianism is Charles Johnson’s 2008 article, “Libertarianism Through Thick and Thin: What Kind of Commitment Is Libertarianism?

If “thicks” see any institution as oppressive, they noisily oppose it. Some atheist “thicks” (but not all) want to be rid of organized religion because they believe that church members are hopeless statists, mindlessly following authority. The consider obedience to any authority to be erosive of freedom. Who knows, there may be religious thick libertarians who want to read atheists out of the movement, but I do not know any.

To the extent that the “thick” issues seem to reduce the square footage of the libertarian big tent, “thin” libertarians are wary of mixing these social issues with the political philosophy of libertarianism. There are (at least) a couple reasons for this: 1) “thins” are concerned that these issues can turn off potential converts to libertarianism; and 2) “thins” fear that the “thicks” may place their social issues ahead of libertarianism’s organizing principle: nonaggression. See Lew Rockwell’s The Future of Libertarianism.

We can hope that time will teach us which–if any–of the “thick” issues turn out to be important. To be fair, most “thicks” do not advocate physical aggression to implement their agenda. Instead these “thicks” urge education, advocacy, propaganda, encouragement, ridicule, ostracism, boycotts and all kinds of non-violent persuasion to change the societal consensus on “thick” issues.

gotojailPrisons in a free society

One of the topics all libertarians think about is our unjust criminal justice system. I recently ran across this Jeffrey Tucker interview of Cory Massimino, a writer for the left-libertarian Center for a Stateless Society.

I have to agree with much that Massimo says. In a free society, prisons will largely become a thing of the past, but perhaps not completely, as Massimo suggests. By the time we eliminate imprisonment for drug-related crime, the prisons will be getting empty; especially as the drug war violence comes to an end. [The idea that proprietors of legal marijuana shops will still be killing one another seems about as likely as the Budweiser and Miller Light drivers shooting it out in the grocery aisle.] A greater emphasis on restitution over retribution will empty more prison cells, but Massimo may underestimate the problem of individuals who are unremittingly violent and dangerous.

As a former prosecutor and now a criminal defense lawyer, I am personally familiar with murderers who CANNOT be dealt with by Massimo’s house-arrest solution, not unless the security is so prison-like that there is no real difference.

jail celljail cell-smThe bleeding hearts need to recognize that realistic options are more limited. The most obvious non-state solutions are: 1) securely imprison incorrigible murderers and make them work for their supper; or 2) execute them.

A possible–but perhaps unrealistic–solution, might be some sort of banishment, like to Mars or Australia. The problem is that there exist certain human beings that no one–not even a thick libertarian–is willing to have around. (Ted Bundy, John Wayne Gacy, etc). I am open to other ideas, but I cannot think what they would be.

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Randy England co-hosts Michael W. Dean After Dark

Michael Dean After Dark is a new late-night, liberty-related podcast. Michael asked me to serve as one of the show’s rotating co-hosts. The 2-hour show is broadcast live at LRN.FM weeknights at Midnight Central time. Download or listen to today’s show here:

Show notes for 03/31/2014 : Rules in a Libertarian Society — Homeowners Associations — Voluntary communities — Crowd-sourcing National Defense — Randy’s brother hangs up  a jury — Unions, Guilds and the Wobblies — Copyrights

[Download here] (right click, then Save link as . . .)

Or visit Michael Dean After Dark

Here, have a war. No thanks, I’m trying to give them up

Catholic LibertarianNobel peace prize winner, Barack Obama, has decided to commit acts of war against Syria but wants the U.S. Congress to give its approval first. The reason is to punish Syria for its alleged use of poison gas to kill more than 1000 of its citizens.

Perhaps there is some desire to assist the Syrian opposition, which–along with their allies–have their own record of brutal murder of Syrian Christians.

To intervene in another land’s quarrel is always dangerous–even when the moral choice is clear–but when the choice is murky, the only certainty is that U.S. intervention will lay even more innocent people in their graves as collateral damage to killing some bad guys.

Consider, also, our own children; those we send to do the our killing. Middle-aged presidents do not fight; nor do Congressmen, nor most of the voters. The question is the same as one posed almost fifty years ago during another war:

As a father, I must look at my son, and I must ask if there is anything I possess—any right, any piece of property, any comfort, any joy—that I would ask him to die to permit me to keep. I must ask if I believe that it would be meaningful—after his mother and I have loved each other and begotten him and loved him—for him to die in a lump with a number hanging around his neck. I must ask if his life would have come to meaning or nobility or any usefulness if he should sit—with his human hands and head and eyes—in the cockpit of a bomber, dealing out pain and grief and death to people unknown to him. And my answer to all these questions is one that I must attempt to live by: No.

~ Kentucky teacher, poet, novelist and farmer Wendell Berry, “A Statement Against the War in Vietnam,” 1968.

If an enemy were invading my own country, trying to kill my family, my sons and my daughter, my friends and neighbors, I would stand with them to defend the people I love on the land that I know. I cannot say the same about making war around the world, whatever the justification.

The government has a track record too long and too clear to believe that any good will come of it. We will lose our sons. We will kill their sons in battle and their mothers and daughters on the sidelines. That much we know with certainty.

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What we cannot be sure of is when our meddling will ignite the next world war. When that comes, most of our youngsters–the ones sensible enough to have had other plans–will be forced to make war for this government. Their parents will send them, but the parents will not go.

The parents will not even have to pay for the guns and the bombs, because the money for war can always be borrowed or printed, secured by the promise that our children and grandchildren (if they survive) will pay it back after their fathers have died, warm in their beds.

It is hard to imagine any overseas war worth the price.