Skip to main content

View Diary: A Libertarian Reads “Atlas Shrugged” - Part 1 (173 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  some right-libertarians have used the same sort (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    drewfromct, VA Classical Liberal

    of argument for various public goods. In many cases, though, they opted for smaller entities performing the actions; a neighborhood association that raises money for streetlights, accepting that some will not contribute yet benefit from the results so that they - the supporters - do have those benefits themselves.

    I think you will find that many of the true libertarians on the right accept your argument to some degree for certain aspects of society. Given the mobility of people in current day settings, some level of national health structure is needed, plagues no longer spread at the speed of a walker, sailing ship, or even horse rider, but conceivable could reach around the globe in less than two days. From purely selfish concerns, with no altruistic emotions at all, a person could desire a functional health infrastructure and care for most of the population just as an early warning measure and to avoid pools of infection (as with vaccines that establish herd immunity, meaning polio and smallpox are no longer the concern to one's own safety that they once were)

    I must note that a theme not uncommon here on Dkos - the house that generates its own power, produces its own water, treats its sewage, grows much of the food needed - was a concept popular amount what could be called the libertarian right, although they tended to call themselves individualists, of the 1920s-1940s.  Doing so made them less dependent on government, thus less need for it and less reason to feel forced to obey it.

    •  This is a very important issue. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      wondering if

      In my libertarian writings I've stressed that the more local levels of government have a greater relevance than the federal levels.

      Libertarians in general would agree with everything you said about society.  They would just point out that most of what you describe can be accomplished with voluntary action.  There is no need to do it "at the point of a gun", as harder libers like to put it.

      as with vaccines that establish herd immunity, meaning polio and smallpox are no longer the concern to one's own safety that they once were

      This is a hard issue for me.  I strongly support vaccination as one of the most successful public health measures ever.  But when it comes to government required vaccinations, I have a problem.  It's an undisputed good (at least for those who don't have their heads in a dark, smelly place) but under what possible conception of freedom can the government require you inject yourself with a toxin.

      Just to be clear, by toxin I don't mean that vaccinations cause autism or any of that crap (I have an autistic child and have done a lot of research on this issue).  I just mean that by the nature of vaccinations, they are something that is foreign to the body and are intended to provoke a defensive reaction.

      Results count for more than intentions do.

      by VA Classical Liberal on Sun Dec 06, 2009 at 08:20:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  public health issues are complicated (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        VA Classical Liberal

        consider quarantine, once not uncommon, as a means of controlling the spread of disease; and then the case of Typhoid Mary. Unwarranted restriction of personal freedom, necessary action for public health, or a less extreme action taken in self defense?  I've heard both the first and last argued by those of small-l libertarian leanings.

        And there are other enforced group actions. Traffic laws, regulations of toxic and otherwise dangerous materials, similar controls on various lifeforms. For such as those, everyone is grouped as being equal even though some people could safely drive 100 MPH while others can't handle going over 30.

        Vaccination works with herd immunity, if a large enough percentage of a population set is immune to a disease then it is much more likely that the disease will die out rather than spread. This protects those that can not be given the immunity, children too young or people with compromised immune systems for example. So the issue becomes more "the government requires you inject yourself with a toxin in order to protect others" than one of you in isolation being required to do so.

        It is not a simple matter, but so are many other issues related to addressing the interaction of large numbers of people in what often is not a wholly voluntary fashion. Did I invite you to exhale a contagious organism in such a fashion it would reach me? Is not saying it was my choice to go out in public just as much an implied restriction of my freedom as stating that you should not be allowed out in public while infectious? Will you accept responsibility for someone catching a disease from you, a disease you could have avoided through vaccination? And how would your liability be establish in that case?

        Answering questions like that can be difficult, and would take active and engaged dialog from a number of political-philosophical view; even then anything resembling a consensus would seem to be unlikely.

        •  Typhoid Mary is an especially sad case (0+ / 0-)

          She really WANTED to be a cook. She LOVED cooking for people. But because she was a typhoid carrier, the one career she wanted most could not be allowed, because it killed people. (She was also in extreme denial about her problem.)

          If it's
          Not your body
          Then it's
          Not your choice
          AND it's
          None of your damn business!

          by TheOtherMaven on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 06:44:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Has anyone actually done this, though? (0+ / 0-)

        Actually REQUIRED vaccinations?  I've never seen it.

        The '60s were simply an attempt to get the 21st Century started early....Well, what are we waiting for? There's no deadline on a dream!

        by Panurge on Mon Dec 07, 2009 at 09:28:50 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Required to attend public school, at least. (0+ / 0-)

          The anti-vac crowd (who I think are full of it, just to be clear) have made it easier for parents to not vaccinate their kids.  Before that, you could attend public school without a full slate of vaccinations.

          Since schooling was manditory and public school was the only option for many people, that amounted to forced vaccination.

          When I was in grade school, they even did the vaccinations at the school.  They'd line us up, we'd roll up a sleeve, get the shot and send us home with a note saying we'd been vaccinated for whatever, watch out for any reaction.

          I don't think they do that anymore.

          Results count for more than intentions do.

          by VA Classical Liberal on Tue Dec 08, 2009 at 06:53:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site