Libertarianism irreconcilable with conservatism
Neither society nor the individual may claim authority to divorce objective truth from government. God created the temporal order, therefore the premise that no relationship exist between Church and State defies natural reason -- their mutual support is vital to domestic tranquility. Where a people despise morals, their vices ultimately overpower the secular merits of the society and corrupt its government. Justice requires fixed moral principles, else we invite tyranny. Conservatism upholds these principles -- Libertarianism purges them, and thus its central principle: to promote maximum individual freedom, without restraint or limitation. Libertarian philosophy asserts a "sensual anarchy" irreconcilable with the moral discipline essential to ordered liberty, and is therefore the antithesis of freedom.
Prudence for the good order of society demands we not ignore divinely ordained restraints on behavior. Objective truth must lead political thought, not the reverse. While establishment liberals selectively apply this principle -- Libertarians oppose absolutes, contending there is no objective truth. More than the Liberal, the Libertarian foments revolution against the common good; because while the liberal may subvert morality for political convenience, the Libertarian does so as a matter of ideology. The Liberal demands a state-enforced absolute egalitarianism, affecting the destruction of individualism as a moral end -- the Libertarian pursues an absolute individual autonomy, affecting an end to morals. The Liberal inverts economic principles, and may eschew moral standards -- the Libertarian insists moral imperatives be subordinate to economics, and ultimately ejected from society. The Libertarian is the more dangerous creature, for his tyranny is cloaked not in the cry of equality but in the siren song of unrestrained liberty:
"But what is liberty without wisdom, and without virtue? It is the greatest of all possible evils; for it is folly, vice, and madness, without tuition or restraint." -- Edmund Burke
"Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith." Alexis de Tocqueville
"The fool who has not sense to discriminate between what is good and what is bad is well nigh as dangerous as the man who does discriminate and yet chooses the bad." -- Theodore Roosevelt
... Burke understood true liberty -- not license -- was connected to moral order, to the linking of people together by the bonds of custom, tradition, religion, fellow-feeling and virtue. Absent those qualities, individuals are incapable of governing themselves, and the state must rise to provide order and security ... Morality -- embraced by the individual but also reflected in the public institutions and laws of a given culture -- must have a role in the public square, otherwise tyranny will lurk at the door until an opening arises. Rather than being a guard against tyranny, libertarianism makes the collapse of freedom more likely by replacing liberty with license and eroding the connections between people that are essential for both personal and private morality. ... In this, libertarianism shows forth its origins as an ideological movement, grounded not in the preservation of rights and duties traditionally understood, but rather the dogmatic erosion of civic community and social order necessary for the concepts of rights and duties to exist within the interactions of human beings with each other. The entire idea of libertarianism is self-refuting. This is not to say that individual libertarians are incapable of virtue or devoid of moral conduct. It is to say that insofar as they are virtuous and moral, it is because they are not really libertarians." -- Anonymous Catholic attorney
Libertarians insist that restoration of our Constitution and recovery of the economy can succeed only if conservatives surrender the core moral principles requisite to maintaining ordered liberty and prosperity. History proves the root of national economic distress is moral apathy of the culture. Moral bankruptcy precipitates financial collapse; yet Libertarians -- such as self-proclaimed"conservative" presidential candidate, Congressman Ron Paul -- disparage conservative social doctrine, promoting an orphaned"fiscal conservatism" devoid of objective morality. But if its moral and fiscal gears are disengaged, then conservatism will neither drive society nor economy, because truth is essential to all human enterprise -- and that is why genuine conservatism succeeds. The irony of Paul's secularized counterfeit is that it will neither restore limited government nor economic success, but rather will encourage the bad actions that guarantee failure.
The Libertarian premise that our Constitution can operate in a moral vacuum is a pernicious error, which presumes we may without consequence divorce objective truth from government -- but it will only serve to further corrupt America and guarantee the dissolution of our republic. Edmund Burke wrote: "It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters." Under the pretense of "states' rights" the Libertarians champion drug use, prostitution, sodomy and abortion. Thus destructive behaviors define their "pursuit of happiness;" but each of these acts affects a psychological or physiological murder of the individual, and by extension the society. Individuals possess a free will to choose right from wrong, but none has a"right" to choose wrong. Yet the Libertarian demands we risk to subjective agency the sanction of non life-affirming conduct, even though the first declaration of our Republic was to pronounce that we are endowed by our Creator with the unalienable right to life. God is not mocked. Libertarians may win their fight for absolute sovereignty -- but, in the end, as Burke warned, America will lose her soul.
Bruce C. Desautels