Letter to the Editor

Libertarianism irreconcilable with conservatism

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dear Editor,

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

Stratton, Nebraska

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  • AMEN!!!

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Fri, Jan 27, 2012, at 9:17 PM
  • Speak plainly. Define "morality". All I can see that you are opposed to specifically are drug use, prostitution, sodomy, and abortion. I would venture that most people, regardless of political ideology, are opposed to those things.

    You write with such grandious phrases that your prose is empty of specifics. Express you moral agenda. What should government legislate on moral grounds? What is the basis of that morality?

    The Bible? You want the Christians to run the country? Which "branch" of Christians? Last count, I think there were nearly 10,000 variations in the US alone. Which group gets the final say as to what is "moral" and what is not?

    If you want to live in a Church run state, then say so. But don't pretend that that is what the founding fathers intended.

    -- Posted by Spock on Fri, Jan 27, 2012, at 9:27 PM
  • Bruce,

    Aren't you a Tea Party member? Though at the very least you stopped signing your letters this way.

    It is amusing since the party falls among the libertarian crowd and its values.

    Yet, you claim conservatism is the only one to support "objective truth" whereas Liberals and Libertarians are (to paraphrase) evil.

    Either this letter is nothing more than a contradiction, or you are jumping back and forth between party lines. However, neither brings much merit to your opinion.

    -- Posted by bberry on Sat, Jan 28, 2012, at 7:31 AM
  • if i read this right, bruce hates just about everyone for just about everything and does so with the blessing of his god. could bruce be a christian? i wonder.

    -- Posted by bob s on Sat, Jan 28, 2012, at 1:59 PM
  • What an utterly infantile statement from "bob s". It is always when a side has lost or when some one has nothing to say, the word "hate" is brought out.

    Bruce is pointing out why libertarianism and conservatism are incompatible. Bruce also explains why libertarianism is completely incompatible with a life with Jesus Christ. And this becomes "hate".

    Also note, the TEA Party is not the party of libertarianism. It is the party of controlled spending, a smaller constitutional government, and free markets, as opposed to the "live and let live" lifestyle of the libertarian.

    Your turn bob s.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Sun, Jan 29, 2012, at 7:24 PM
  • You are kidding yourself Chunky. The Tea Party is most defineately associated with libertarianism. Why do you think they call Ron Paul the intellectual godfather of the Tea Party?

    -- Posted by bberry on Sun, Jan 29, 2012, at 7:45 PM
  • the article itself is mostly misinformed psychobabble gibberish. i see others have commented. i'll let them handle that for now - i may have to assist though. in case they dont critisize it enough. let me defend my bruce hates just about everyone claim. 1st - people who dont believe in a god arent in his favor. this is abour 15% of the population. next - the libertarians - that'sanother 15% of the population. we are down to 70% now. the others are probably non libertarian christians. now bruce says something interesting here. " Libertarians champion drug use, prostitution, sodomy and abortion. " apparently anyone who fosters these things can be thrown in with the non believers and libertarians. so here we go, approx 90 % of all christians approve of either abortion or gay relationships or both. throw them in the scrap heap. that puts the percentage now at 6.3 % who meet his approval. and we are not done. anyone who sells cigarettes , alcohol. or any other type drug - or who approves of such sales fosters drug use - that's about close to 100% of the population. there aren't many more people left who could be on bruces good side here. but why stop here. he may well also hate people who believe in evolution, are scientist, buy goods made in china or a huge host of things. we are likely just seeing the tip of a very large ice berg here.

    -- Posted by bob s on Sun, Jan 29, 2012, at 8:09 PM
  • If you could carefully read my response, you will note I said "TEA Party is not the party of libertarianism". They may have their own political party. But yes, the TEA party could be associated with the libertarians. I'll give you that.

    Your turn bob s.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Sun, Jan 29, 2012, at 8:17 PM
  • bob s,

    Sorry I didn't see your above response. I am trying very hard to comprehend your typing, apparently not all of your keys work. Trying very hard to understand where the word "hate" fits in. Did Bruce himself say he hated libertarians and those who believe in it. That would run contrary to Christian thought. As does the rest of your rant.

    Sorry, just not seeing the validity of you point.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Sun, Jan 29, 2012, at 8:25 PM
  • people who paint with a wide brush are haters. for example "all A are bad people" this is a hate statement. "some A are bad people and let me show exactly which ones they are" is not a hate statement. or consider this --- " all christians are idiots " compared to " some christians are idiots and chunky is one of the ones that is an idiot" - do you see the difference?

    -- Posted by bob s on Sun, Jan 29, 2012, at 8:35 PM
  • It's really sad to watch as you fall on your face. Again, no validity. Sorry.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Sun, Jan 29, 2012, at 8:42 PM
  • "people who paint with a wide brush are haters." I can only assume we're not talking about actual painting, but why are they "haters"? What about if those "who paint witha wide brush" are not using any language in a derogatory or negative manner, is that still "hate".

    "for example "all A are bad people" this is a hate statement." What if this were a statement of truth from observation? Would this still be classified as hate? And notice, the word "hate" is not in your original statement, just "bad". Are all negative descriptions now classified as hate?

    ""some A are bad people and let me show exactly which ones they are" is not a hate statement." Or could it? What if "some A are bad people" and bad was your observation, but no one else', could you be the hater?

    "all christians are idiots " compared to " some christians are idiots and chunky is one of the ones that is an idiot"". Your position is loud and clear, but as a general statement, invalid.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Sun, Jan 29, 2012, at 9:32 PM
  • Chunky, I think he was referring to your comment:

    "Bruce also explains why libertarianism is completely incompatible with a life with Jesus Christ. And this becomes "hate"."

    From what I gather from this, you imply everyone outside of conservative ideology are not christians. Though more specifically in this instance, libertarians.

    Though in reality conservatives are equally guilty of sin as the rest of us.

    -- Posted by bberry on Mon, Jan 30, 2012, at 8:55 AM
  • bberry/bob s,

    I'm trying really hard to see your point, other than being argumentative. Christianity and conservatism are two completely different things. bberry, I would have assumed you knew that, bob s, probably not.

    First and foremost, I believe in the life of Jesus Christ and all He showed the world. Those principles happen to fall in the conservative political ideology. I suppose a libertarian could say he/she is a Christian, but if he/she were active libertarians, then questions should be raised. You do know what a Christian is?

    And yes, we are all guilty of sin no matter what political ideology. That is the reality.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Mon, Jan 30, 2012, at 3:35 PM
  • The point is that libertarianism is no more incompatible with "Jesus Christ" than any other political party, not just conservatism.

    It's disturbing one could possibly think christianity is only aligned with conservatism.

    -- Posted by bberry on Mon, Jan 30, 2012, at 5:55 PM
  • Not if you think about it. Take note, I said the priciples of Jesus happens to fall in the conservative political ideology. Not the other way around.

    A question for you, what is the libertarian concept?

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Mon, Jan 30, 2012, at 8:21 PM
  • Libertarians are ultra conservatives which base a lot of ideals off of individualism.


    -- Posted by bberry on Tue, Jan 31, 2012, at 12:27 PM
  • bberry,

    You couldn't be more wrong. There is no way a libertarian can be an ultra conservative. There are no conservative values in libertarianism.

    A libertarianism is a belief of maximum pursuit of liberty with no restrictions of governmental laws or societal rules. A conservatives view is individual liberties that conform within the rules set forth by society and the constitutional laws of the government. Marijuana legalization is a great example. Libertarians want marijuana legalized with no restriction, where as a conservative would view legalization as a detriment to society in general.

    The liberals viewpoint would be individual liberties as defined and limited by government.

    To achieve true libertarianism, government would have to be small and weak. Conservatism, government small but strong. Liberalism, big government.

    That's why.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Tue, Jan 31, 2012, at 3:17 PM
  • By the way, an ultra conservative does not believe in individual liberties at all.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Tue, Jan 31, 2012, at 3:20 PM
  • What?

    No conservative values in libertarianism? You must be kidding.

    There are certainly conservative libertarians.

    This after you told me the Tea Party could be associated with libertarians? You also say the Tea Party is not a party of libertarians?

    "But yes, the TEA party could be associated with the libertarians."

    Or are you saying the Tea Party is not conservative? Though I think we know beter.

    -- Posted by bberry on Tue, Jan 31, 2012, at 6:13 PM
  • Yes, it's true. No conservative values in libertarianism. If so, prove it.

    There is no such thing as a conservative libertarian. Only conservatives and libertarians. If so, prove it.

    There are libertarians within the TEA Party. There are those who believe in low taxes, small government, and maximum liberty (liberty without consequences). Therefore, it could be associated with libertarians.

    There are conservatives within the TEA Party. They are the ones who believe in low taxes, small but strong government, and liberty with morals. It could also be associated with conservatism.

    Not sure where you got the idea, at least from me, the TEA Party wasn't conservative.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Tue, Jan 31, 2012, at 11:07 PM
  • "Yes, it's true. No conservative values in libertarianism. If so, prove it.

    There is no such thing as a conservative libertarian. Only conservatives and libertarians. If so, prove it."

    Answer: How about Ron Paul or David Koch?

    For example, conservatives want less government and a smaller role, libertarians want the same thing just radically less.

    Here's a link in reference to Koch and AFP.


    I suppose you could look it up on wikipedia also, but I don't consider this completely reliable so I'll leave it up to you.

    You can't associate something with which do not share the same values. It would be similiar to saying liberals can be associated with conservatives.

    You did say libertarian can be associated with the "conservative" Tea Party. The only way your agrument could be true then is if the Tea Party wasn't conservative since "they do not share any values."

    Even if the Tea Party were an equal mix of both conservative and "non conservative" libertarians (ha) the fact that they both share a party is enough evidence that their values are shared. If it isn't, then I look forward to a party of conservatives and liberals.

    So, looking back at Bruces letter, it is still contradicting. It isn't rational to condemn a political ideology when its values are shared with your own. Unless he meant to and perhaps thats why he stopped signing his letters ending with the Tea Party.

    -- Posted by bberry on Wed, Feb 1, 2012, at 7:33 AM
  • Ron Paul is more conservative than he is libertarian. His conservatism is all but wiped out by his few libertarian views. Perhaps this explains why he gains no political traction. David Koch of the "infamous" Koch Brothers has been described as an "ultra conservative" by some, and now as a conservative/libertarian. I certainly don't see the connection. It depends on who is doing the describing.

    As I have explained it before, libertarianism deals entirely on the liberties of the individual. Conservatism deals with the individuals role in a society. They may share basic ideas, but beyond the basics they have little resemblance.

    -- Posted by Hugh Jassle on Wed, Feb 1, 2012, at 9:48 AM
  • Since conversatives and libertarians cannot share values according to you, Ron Paul cannot be both.

    In my opinion, Ultra conservative, radical conservative, conservative libertarian and conservative/libertarian are all synonymous.

    Though, I am glad you've come to terms that they share values or in your terms "basic ideas".

    In the end, I suppose we'll agree to disagree.

    -- Posted by bberry on Wed, Feb 1, 2012, at 10:03 AM
  • What does it matter? Anyone associated with the Tea Party is nuts.

    -- Posted by carlsonl on Thu, Feb 2, 2012, at 1:31 PM
  • *

    Nice over the top overgeneralization carlsonl.

    I suppose using your template one could very well feel the liberty to say that anyone using the moniker carlsonl is an intolerant ranting bigot?

    Feel better now, pumpkin?

    -- Posted by Mickel on Fri, Feb 3, 2012, at 10:15 AM
  • "Liberty cannot be established without morality, nor morality without faith."

    Lets examine that thought for a moment, shall we? I guess Bruce, you are not one to undertake morality with any serious thought (or believe that miles & distance = an eraser) nor do I believe that you have a thread of faith, as we all know actions speak louder than words ever could, would we not agree?

    Perhaps all individuals should consider the double edge sword of truth in that they themselves live in an undiscovered glass house. What should a society do when we are faced with an "outsider" one who moves into our community with a shadow of a past. When we, in our society are subjected to the implausible theories of an overzealous individual Bruce, should we not consider the underlying rational for that basis? One may wish to speak to the theories of prostitution or gay fathers in Worcester on a back road by a church no less, in a dark....dark house, or more appropriately pornographic addictions that have no end or children that are not our own. Is it not ironic that life is a chaotic and cyclical event in that the truth will face you. The truth is in itself a coherent and distinctive echo that surreptitiously awaits you and your peers as you attempt and flounder at disguise of your inner self. Attempts to dispel it only assist in showing the root of the evil within you. Unless that is, you run and burrow like a hideaway 2000 miles away from Worcester in an attempt to conceal your identity. The deplorable aspect of this transgression is that you yourself know what you are and what you have done in this world. May god have mercy on your soul. To quote you at your best:

    "He shoulda, coulda, woulda -- but didn't!"

    -- Posted by WorcesterMAN on Mon, Feb 13, 2012, at 1:21 AM
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