Thursday, January 17, 2008

Shocking news

libertarians aren't anarchists.
Seems this didn't go over well with some of Megan's fans.

Anyone who has ever observed a two-year-old knows that lying, stealing, and using force to bully those of slightly lesser strength are also natural and normal human impulses. The point is, society is supposed to encourage us to control some of our less noble desires.
I'd snark, but the truth is such basic recognitions by Megan should be encouraged. Maybe she can lear... heh.
In any case, that comment triggered a truly revolting response by a sizable portion of Megan's commentariat. Some focused on the implied, and later made express in a comment of her own, support by Megan for school integration. (Vouchers will take care of the "problem" of mixed race classes anyway, at least where they're seen as such.) I would snark that Megan takes the easy way out in her follow-up post, but in truth I'm glad she stayed away from a racially charged topic. That is always a good thing.
Instead, I confess, I'm shocked:
And I didn't think I could be shocked.

A bunch of allegedly libertarian commenters in this* thread do not seem to grasp the idea that there is any sort of operating manual for society other than what is legal.
*- I didn't leave the link out, she did.
What follows does not sound like it was written by a libertarian, especially not a left-leaning one.
Someone may have the legal right to say abusive things to their spouse, refuse to hire Catholics, or use racial epithets. Indeed, I think they should have the legal right to do all these things. But that doesn't mean that I believe people who do do those things are right. I am not going to smile approvingly and say "Normal human impulse." Society--in the person of you and me, excercising [sic] our own precious right of free speech--should discourage these sorts of behaviors. We don't need laws precisely because the hidden order embedded in our culture does a (mostly) very good job at controlling behavior in these areas.

Society operates on rules. But the legal system is just the tip of the iceberg. 95% of the rules that sustain us--"Don't jump the queue"; "be polite to your mother in law"; "send a thank-you note"--float below the level of our consciousness. They are not codified anywhere, and through long socialization, they have become so natural to us that we are rarely aware of them at all. Libertarians are supposed to appreciate and celebrate the awesome weight of this emergent order, not complain that expecting people to behave like civilized adults without supervision is really just an extension of the state's cold, dead hand.
Moral constraint as societal glue in the place of (additional) legal regulation? I.... jebus. Libertarians are supposed to be glad for the influence of the Catholic Church?
Gittle hujibur ghu tesz? Mulibun! Nuchijan clivon.

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