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Earth to Rick Santorum: Libertarians Founded the United States

Andrew Napolitano recently showed a clip in which Rick Santorum explained his views on libertarianism. His comments are also instructive in understanding his animosity (politically) towards Ron Paul. Santorum said:

“One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a Libertarianish right. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.”

As David Boaz pointed out in the interview with Napolitano, Santorum seems to oppose a basic American principle- the right to the pursuit of happiness. I agree with him on this, but there is something even more fundamental here than that. It has to do with the conservative philosophy itself. One of the statements that Santorum makes is true. "That is not how traditional conservatives view the world."

There is a great disconnect between average Americans who refer to themselves as "conservatives" and the small group of politicians and politically-connected businessman who likewise refer to themselves. The members of the former group believe in the founding principles of the United States, including the inalienable rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They believe that these rights are endowed by their Creator. In other words, they preexist the government. They are not created by the government. It is the government's one and only job to protect those rights and when the government fails to protect them and instead violates them, it is the duty of the people to alter or abolish the government.

These inalienable rights are also referred to as "natural rights," meaning that man possesses them even in the state of nature (the state without government). For Jefferson, whose philosophy was inspired by Locke, the reason that men formed governments was to protect these rights better than they could be protected otherwise.

Locke viewed man in his natural state as capable of both good and evil. For Locke, man's natural state was a state of reason, which meant that he respected the rights of other men and observed the natural law of non-aggression. "The state of nature has a law of nature to govern it, which obliges every one: and reason, which is that law, teaches all mankind, who will but consult it, that being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty, or possessions."

For Locke and his philosophical heir Jefferson, this natural law of non-aggression was the basis of government power. By prohibiting aggression by one person or group against another, the government would preserve the natural rights to life, liberty, and property. Importantly, repelling aggression was also the limit of government power, for when the government exercised power for any other reason it was committing aggression itself and invading the rights it was meant to protect.

That this was Jefferson's guiding political principle is clear from his many statements to that effect. In his first inaugural, he argued for,

"...a wise and frugal Government, which shall restrain men from injuring one another, shall leave them otherwise free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned. This is the sum of good government, and this is necessary to close the circle of our felicities."

In a letter to Francis Walker Gilmer in 1816, he wrote, “Our legislators are not sufficiently apprised of the rightful limits of their powers; that their true office is to declare and enforce only our natural rights and duties, and to take none of them from us. No man has a natural right to commit aggression on the equal rights of another; and this is all from which the laws ought to restrain him.”

Even on religious freedom, Jefferson based his position on the non-aggression principle. "“The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts only as are injurious to others. But it does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."

As you can see, the non-aggression principle defines liberty itself as Jefferson understood it. For him, as well as the likeminded libertarians that led the secession from Great Britain, the word "liberty" as used in the Declaration of Independence had a specific definition. It meant the right to do what one pleases as long as one does not invade the life, liberty, or property of another human being. In other words, each individual was beyond the reach of government power so long as he committed no aggression against anyone else.

These are not conservative ideas. They are libertarian ideas. While Jefferson, Samuel Adams, and the others who espoused this theory may not have called themselves by that name, the basic tenets of their philosophy were the same. Today, the non-aggression axiom remains the fundamental basis for libertarian theory. Ron Paul bases his positions on it, as he said (about the 3:30 mark) when running for president on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1988.

Just as this non-aggression principle serves as the foundation and limit of government power between individuals within society, it is the foundation and limit of government power with respect to other nations. As all nations exist in a state of nature with each other, the natural law of non-aggression is the only one that governs them. As I've stated before, the non-aggression principle is the basis for the Declaration of War Power. The purpose of that power is for Congress to debate whether or not the nation in question has actually committed aggression against the United States. If it has, then a state of war exists and military action is justified. If it hasn't, there is no state of war, no declaration, and no military action is justified. The use of military force in the absence of a state of war (previous aggression by another nation) violates the natural law.

The conservative philosophy rejects all of these ideas. There were conservatives in the 18th century just as there are today and their philosophy hasn't fundamentally changed, either. The writer that most modern conservatives trace their philosophical ideas to was Edmund Burke. He has this to say about inalienable rights.

"Government is not made in virtue of natural rights, which may and do exist in total independence of it, and exist in much greater clearness and in a much greater degree of abstract perfection; but their abstract perfection is their practical defect. By having a right to everything they want everything. Government is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants. Men have a right that these wants should be provided for by this wisdom. Among these wants is to be reckoned the want, out of civil society, of a sufficient restraint upon their passions. Society requires not only that the passions of individuals should be subjected, but that even in the mass and body, as well as in the individuals, the inclinations of men should frequently be thwarted, their will controlled, and their passions brought into subjection. This can only be done by a power out of themselves, and not, in the exercise of its function, subject to that will and to those passions which it is its office to bridle and subdue. In this sense the restraints on men, as well as their liberties, are to be reckoned among their rights. But as the liberties and the restrictions vary with times and circumstances and admit to infinite modifications, they cannot be settled upon any abstract rule; and nothing is so foolish as to discuss them upon that principle."

While modern conservatives like Russell Kirk have pointed to Burke as their philosophical father, one can see clearly that Burke is here merely restating ideas from the true father of modern conservatism, Thomas Hobbes. Hobbes asserted that in the state of nature man had "a right to everything," even a right to one another's bodies. Hobbes asserted, as Burke implies here, that man's passions would always overcome his reason and because of this the state of nature was a state of war of "everyone against everyone." For Hobbes, as for true conservatives today, man has to give up his natural rights upon entering society and accept those privileges to liberty and property that the government grants him.

For Hobbes, not only did man give up his natural rights upon entering society, but he also had to grant the "sovereign" absolute and undivided power. This was necessary in order to completely dominate man's natural impulses, which would always lead him to harm his neighbor if they were not checked. This power must literally keep each individual "in awe," so as to make him fearful of committing any unlawful act. To secure this absolute power, the sovereign needed control over the economy, which he consolidated through a privileged, wealthy elite. He also needed control over education and even the religious beliefs of the people. No individual could ever be allowed to follow the dictates of his own will, as it would inevitably lead him to harm his neighbor or the commonwealth in general.

On foreign policy, Hobbes also viewed all nations as existing in a state of nature. However, since he viewed the state of nature as equivalent to the state of war, he viewed all nations not under control of the sovereign as de facto enemies. In reading Leviathan, one can almost hear George W. Bush's famous remark, "You are either with us or with the terrorists." This is why conservatives support the deployment of troops all over the world. Like Hobbes, they believe that we are in constant danger from any nation that we are not completely dominating with the threat of force.

The reason that conservatism seeks to "conserve" the status quo is because its adherents do not believe that natural rights are inalienable. Upon entering society, man has to give up all of his natural rights, so the only rights that man has in society are those he has been given by government in the past. Thus, if you get rid of the past, you get rid of the rights. While the status quo might not be optimal, the conservative believes that to get rid of the status quo means returning to the awful state of nature, and necessitates reconstructing man's rights - via government - all over again. Conservatives are always fearful that rights can be lost and never regained - as opposed to libertarians who believe that rights are inalienable.

The conservative tradition in America does not trace back to Thomas Jefferson or the Declaration of Independence. Its tenets are completely incompatible with the basic libertarian philosophy that informed Jefferson and that document. The conservative tradition in America traces back to Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists, who were the conservatives of their day. Hamilton sought to preserve the status quo, which was a central government with absolute power, along with its mercantilist economic system. The only change he sought was that the system be run by Americans rather than the British.

Hamilton was a Hobbesian on every issue, which is why he clashed so stridently with Jefferson. Hamilton also believed that the power of the federal government had to be absolute. Otherwise, the separate states would be in the state of nature with each other and inevitably at war. He often spoke of the "want of power in Congress" leading to the states "being at each other's throats." Economically, he wanted a central bank, high protectionist tariffs to enrich domestic manufacturer's at taxpayer expense, and "internal improvements," which meant the government using taxpayer money to build what we would today call "infrastructure." While all of these policies were anti-free market, they served the agenda of securing the loyalty of a wealthy elite to the government. Hamilton went so far as to call the national debt “a national blessing” for the same reason. On foreign policy, Hamilton was an unqualified militarist who sought to lead an army in conquering an American empire, starting with the Western Hemisphere possessions of Spain.

He felt justified in all of these invasions of individual rights and violations of non-aggresion because he believed that what he called "national greatness" (today conservatives call it "American Exceptionalism") trumped the rights of individuals. For Hamilton, as for conservatives throughout human history, the individual lived to serve the commonwealth, as opposed to the libertarian belief that the commonwealth only existed to serve the individual.

This conservative tradition can be traced throughout American history from the Federalists to the Whigs to the Republican Pary. The Republican Party was born as the party of big government, centralized power, and a mercantilist economy. Ironically, all that history remembers of the Republican Party at its birth in the 1850's is its opposition to slavery - its one libertarian position - while ignoring its Hobbesian conservatism on all other matters. However, with slavery abolished, the Republican Party retained the rest of its philosophy through the next century and right up to the present day. One can hear it rehashed in any 2012 Republican presidential primary debate.

Today, conservative American voters wonder why the Republican politicians that they elect never seem to make the government smaller or less intrusive. They refer to elected Republicans who consistently grow the size and power of the government as "RHINOS" (Republicans In Name Only). They believe these politicians are not "true conservatives," because while they may belong to the Republican Party, they do not adhere to the principles of an underlying conservative philosophy that they imagine exists. They are wrong. Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, George Bush, and the rest of the establishment Republicans are the true conservatives. The American voters identifying themselves as conservatives are really libertarians - they just don't know it yet.

Go to any Tea Party rally. This is where you will supposedly find "radical conservatives," but you won't find them carrying any signs quoting Alexander Hamilton. You won't find speakers extolling the virtues of government spending on infrastructure. Instead, you see signs quoting Thomas Jefferson and speakers mocking the many "bridges to nowhere" that have resulted from attempting to put Hamilton's conservative ideas into practice.

The one inconsistency is the Tea Party's support of the U.S. government's military empire. This false note in the otherwise libertarian movement is the result of cultural confusion. These conservatives don't yet realize that they aren't really conservatives. They are libertarians, and the warfare state does not jibe with the rest of the tenets of their philosophy. They support it because they have been told all of their lives that it is the conservative position, which it is. However, limited government, inalienable rights, free markets, and individual liberty are not.

Contrary to Rick Santorum's assertion that no society based upon radical individualism has ever succeeded, the libertarian, radical individualist principles upon which the United States was founded were precisely why it succeeded so spectacularly. It was libertarianism that made America different from any society before or since - what made it the "shining city on the hill" as Santorum calls it. It was the collectivist conservative philosophy that helped bring it down - with a lot of help from a third philosophical movement called Progressivism. Neither more conservatism nor more progressivism - nor any combination of the two - can solve the problems that America faces today. If Americans want to see liberty and prosperity restored in the United States, then restoring libertarianism is their only hope.

Tom Mullen is the author of A Return to Common Sense: Reawakening Liberty in the Inhabitants of America

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Santorum is anti-God.

Santorum is anti-God.
God gave us free-will.
Santorum wants to outlaw freedom.
He's a resentful, vengeful, corrupt, fraudulent, control freak.

Bump Hey Buddy, God is a Liberitarian

Thou shall not kill
Thou shall not bear false witness against thy neighbor
Thou shall not steal (tax$$)
Your narcissim is incredible. You fit the profile of a psycho. Finally we saw someone wipe the smile off your face-what's her name, Cruela Dana Bash. Notice she's no longer allowed to cover Ron Paul...
Just heard that Rick Insanitorum's supporters are blaming his campaign staff for "under serving him". Oh that's real good for division within the ranks. I bet he walks. Remember Bachmann left owing money.

Yes, I noticed!

She was at Santorum's HQ last night, and a guy (Johns?) was at Paul's HQ.

Thank goodness!!!

She's probably ripping her hair out with all those Warvangelical nut-jobs!

I may be a vegetarian, but I'll defend to the death my right to eat meat!

bump

bump

Ez

Post this article here

A while back I commented to an article titled "Just What on Earth is a Conservative?"

It lists a bunch of Burke's and Kirk's points that define "conservatism."

I replied by pointing out that Burke was NOT an American, and that his two key points DO NOT and CANNOT apply to AMERICAN Conservatism because they directly defy the Constitution! Besides, Burke was dead by then anyway!

Anyway, my point was that what we today call "Libertarianism" is in fact AMERICAN (Constitutional)Conservatism - they are the SAME THING!

So, post this article or link to it on this site:
http://whitehouse12.com/2012/01/03/just-what-on-earth-is-a-c...

So far my comment is the only one, so I don't want to post anymore there myself.

I may be a vegetarian, but I'll defend to the death my right to eat meat!

Email every paper radio tv station the MSM article

This will sink the santorun boat if it gets out...

I like Alex and what he does but he is a lot to take for most

Government is supposed to protect our freedom, our property, our privacy, not invade it. Ron Paul 2007

Values vs. Methods

"Conservative" can mean one's values: thrifty, preserving history, culture, and property (from change), rule of law, saving for and investing in one's own family needs, etc.

Just as "liberal" means sharing, giving, being generous, and having an interest in new cultures, new experiences, and tolerance for others being different.

"Libertarian" can mean a set of values, too, but it doesn't have to. Politically, "libertarian" simply means that one wants to preserve one's right to one's own values, whatever they are, by giving up the idea of government mandates.

The Founders were conservatives, liberals, authoritarians, and libertarians, who realized that the only way they could exercise their own values freely was to have a libertarian style government that would allow them each to do so.

All you have to give up is the idea of using government to force your values on others.

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

EXACTLY!

My PERSONAL values are Conservative, but legally I am 100% Libertarian.

This is why I just don't get "conservatives." What makes them think it's OK for the government to IMPOSE their values on society and that it won't backfire on them later?

Well guess what: OBAMACARE - FORCING BIRTH CONTROL AND ABORTION ON EVERYONE!!!

"Conservatives" ARE TO BLAME for this!

They think it's OK for government to impose its values on us, and well now it has!

TRUE Conservatives (libertarians)know that this works BOTH WAYS and now we are ALL suffering the consequences.

TRUE Conservatives want the government OUT of our bedrooms, classrooms and doctors offices. Any "conservative" with half a brain MUST realize that it goes BOTH WAYS: If I want LIBERALS OUT OF MY LIFE, then Conservatives MUST stay out of the lives of Liberals as well.

I may be a vegetarian, but I'll defend to the death my right to eat meat!

sharkhearted's picture

Brilliant article - But don't confuse conservatism with neocons!

Go back to William F. Buckley.

Yeah you can say he was a libertarian...and in essence he was.

But there is a place for conservatism ("conserving spending!!!!!!!!).

Don't paint with such a broad brush where you say conservatism is from Thomas Hobbes and incompatible with TJ and every other founding father libertarian.

Thomas Hobbes is really the force behind NEOconservatism, but not necessarrily paleo-conservativm.

Thomas Hobbes was pretty much a legal positivist by default. Sounds like a modern day liberal if you ask me.

Die hard conservatives (laugh if you want) like Sarah Palin, and yes, even Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter are closer to Locke than Hobbes but they are not astute enough to recognize their philosophical underpinnings of why.

Look, I HATE the beliefs of Thomas Hobbes. They are mega-destructive. If he was alive today I would tell it to his sorry face.

Certainly people like Newt and others are a continuation of the Hobbesean fraud.

But that is peanuts compared to the Hobbesean NeoCon scam that is the Democratic party who, abdicating any responsibility whatsoever, is pretty much Thomas Hobbes incarnate.

~Chris
Norfolk, VA

~Chris
Norfolk, VA

Time to INVESTIGATE the investigators of 9/11. PROSECUTE the prosecutors. EXPOSE the cover-up.

Agree - Hobbes is EVIL!!!

But Burke is the real problem in today's "conservative" world.

I classify Palin, Hannity, Coulter, Rush etc as "Confused Conservatives" for exactly this reason. They are TRUE (Paleo)Conservatives on everything except foreign policy, and that is because of the Neo-CON infiltration of the Marxists into the GOP in the 1970's.

Pat Buchanan = Lockean with a bit of a social Burkean twist (but he's old, so that explains a lot).

Confused Conservatives = Lockean with a Neo-CON foreign policy view.

Santorum = Hobbesian couching his views through Burke / Kirk.

Gingrich = loud-mouthed idiot Big Business Progressive pretending to be a "conservative." O'Reilly falls into this camp.

Romney = Chameleon.

I may be a vegetarian, but I'll defend to the death my right to eat meat!

Tom Mullen's picture

The whole point of my article

was to show that the "neo-conservative" platform is the true conservative platform. It is consistent with the Federalists, Whigs, and Republican Party from its birth in 1856 to the present.

The only exception is the "old right," which I argue were a group of classical liberals (Robert Taft, etc) calling themselves conservatives within the Republican Party. They were largely a reaction to the "liberals" abandoning their platform under Wilson and FDR, leaving anyone with "libertarian" principles nowhere to go except to the Republican Party. The conservative philosophy has advocated big government, a wealthy elite with government privileges, and alignment with religion to control the behavior and thinking of the populace, and a military empire to dominate the world since at least Aristotle. Hobbes was only an Enlightenmnet argument for it. The Old Right was certainly better than anything else in the first half of the 20th century, but philosophically there are still flaws that lead to conclusions that are anti-liberty. That's where I'm coming from.

Seconded - A Brilliant Article

After reading this article it really helped me understand better the conservative disonnance that I have been feeling for years. As a "Conservative" Republican believing in, free markets, a smaller government etc.., but also very uncomfortable with Federal laws dictating people's personal lives, and further began having real problems with Iraq etc. incredible growing debt plus seeing 1000's of new "laws" passed every year. It helped me recall Philosphy and Poli-Sci classes from decades ago and put them in context with why Neoconservatives now/did dominate the party.
I still am having a hard time understanding why the Tea Party faction is not 100% behind Dr. Paul - DeMint helped Rand succeed and overall the new group in Congress is promising yet they and their constituents are still seemingly not strongly supporting RP 2012. Where do you think Rand can position himself to have mass appeal if he is perhaps the next great contemporary hope for the movement (no disrespect meant for DP)? And how can the campaign get "more" from the Tea Party? It all seems very crucial.

Tom Mullen's picture

Rand is a slicker politician

He talks like a conservative but acts like a libertarian - exactly the opposite of Reagan, who talked like a libertarian and acted like a conservative with a heavy dose of European social democracy! :)

Santorum tied to Penn State scandal?

Santorum should suspend his campaign right now

There is something really dark in Santorum's closet:
http://www.dailypaul.com/202143/media-ignores-santorum-s-sup...

If we can get 100 people to send this link to Drudge Report and Drudge covers it - the story could break his campaign.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
http://www.dailypaul.com/203008/south-carolina-battle-of-cow...
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Russell Kirk and Ron Paul

I am a new member of this site, but a long time reader of DailyPaul and an active Ron Paul supporter since 2008.

Here is a video link to the Kirkean case for Ron Paul presented succinctly:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nY98jH8fdfY

Please don't be too quick to exclude the non-libertarians from the revolution :)

A Farmer for Ron Paul

I agree!

This is a SERIOUS PROBLEM, the "Libertarian" vs. "Conservative" war.

I personally view myself as a Traditional (ANTI-Neo-CON) Conservative, and I see that as LEGAL Libertarianism.

The problem is the Neo-CONs (war-mongers) and social-conservatives have co-opted the term "Conservative" and make the rest of us look bad, so then Libertarians get mad at us good Traditional Conservatives.

And now you have these EVIL Faux-Conservatives hating on "Libertarians" and trying to force us out of "their" "conservative movement." Seriously - Santorum supporters HATE libertarians and Paleo-Conservatives.

Well, I say: GAME ON! It's time to take back the Republican Party from the FAUX-CONs ONCE AND FOR ALL!

BTW: "Social-Conservative" itself is a misnomer, since I personally have conservative values, just as Ron Paul does, yet I am totally against telling anyone else what to do with their lives because I'd kill them if they did that to me. In reality it is the Warvangelical Religious-Right that is the problem, not honest socially conservative people.

"Values Voters," how ridiculous! Everyone votes based on their own set of values!

Note that pure Neo-CONs are NOT social-conservatives OR fiscal-conservatives in the LEAST! Neo-CONs are MARXIST Zionist War-Mongers - that's it, plain and simple! Look it up!

I may be a vegetarian, but I'll defend to the death my right to eat meat!

"Please don't be too quick to

"Please don't be too quick to exclude the non-libertarians from the revolution"

Welcome to the revolution brother! God forbid we should exclude non-libertarians from the revolution.

A true Libertarian

is incapable of excluding anyone.

There are no politicians or bankers in foxholes.

Welcome to the revolution,

Welcome to the revolution, brother! God forbid we should exclude nonlibertarians from the revolution.

I second your motion.

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton Forest Dutton, MD, in his 1916 book whose subject is origin (therefore what all healing methods involve and count on), simple and powerful.

You're a good writer, Tom.

You're a good writer, Tom. You're always presenting your case clearly, sequentially and sensically. It is obvious you know logic and rationality. I'm very glad you're here.

School's fine. Just don't let it get in the way of thinking. -Me

Study nature, not books. -Walton Forest Dutton, MD, in his 1916 book whose subject is origin (therefore what all healing methods involve and count on), simple and powerful.

Word are the tools ...

... that are used by lawyers, politicians, and those who want to lie without people realizing it.

Terms such as "liberal" and "conservative" have morphed over the years, as people try to steal the label and use it for some very different ideas.

200+ years ago, the "federalists" where the small government guys and the "nationalists" where the big government guys. Alexander Hamilton, a nationalist who argued in favor of a new monarchy, knew he was in a minority as far as his ideas were concerned (the Americans had just fought a war against a king, after all).

Hamilton called his group the "Federalists," even though they were nationalists (in favor of a strong, central government). That meant that the TRUE federalists (those in favor of a weaker, smaller central government) had to call themselves something else. They chose "Antifederalists" to point out the lie of Hamliton.

This is why, when we read the Federalist Papers, it can be confusing because they are often arguing FOR a strong central government -- Hamilton and Jay were really nationalists (and Madison changed his views over the years as he become more and more influenced by Jefferson's ideas).

Over the years, "liberal" and "conservative" have been changed and abused by people who really did not respect or believe in what those terms originally meant.

Today, we can say that a "classical liberal" is the same as a "classical conservative," which is the same as a modern "libertarian."

On the other hand, a neoliberal (just called "liberal") is a statist socialist, with a communist bent. Meanwhile, a neoconservative ("neocon" -- the ones who have taken over the Repulican Party) is a statist socialist, with a fascist bent.

The neocons and neoliberals have taken over the two major political parties, which is why both parties are the same, and both in favor of big government.

It's all done with the definition of words.

(It depends on what the definition of "is" is.)

Yipper dipper!

Exactly!

I may be a vegetarian, but I'll defend to the death my right to eat meat!

Proud to be Libertarianish!

So what does that make Rick Santorum? NeoConish? Ron Paul describing how Neocons came to hijack the GOP party, he names names too for the congressional record! Bold! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNb_610L0GE

RP R3VOLution

Rick Santorum: Are You Kiddin' Me America?

http://youtu.be/F7a6x5Lrt5c

"Truth is treason in the Empire of lies." - Ron Paul, MD

Great article

Too bad most history textbooks don't take note of this. It seems like we've all been misled in a lot of ways.

Join the Music Bomb! Be sure to invite all your friends so we can get Ron Paul's name to the top of the charts AND raise a lot of money for his campaign at the same time!

http://musicbomb2012.weebly.com/
http://www.facebook.com/events/259729074095040/

C_T_CZ's picture

Brilliant

Thanks for the outstanding write up

rEVOLutionary Advertising Corps
It's Better Than Sitting On Your Rump Doing Nothing™

Santorum is an UN-American idiot.

How dare he say the pursuit of happiness is the cause of our problems?

The idea of the pursuit of happiness is in our founding papers.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

Natural Law and Rights Endowed by the Creator

If Libertarian philosophy truly follows the thoughts of Natural Law and the "rights endowed by the Creator" then we have to ask the most important question, "Who is this Creator?" "What rights has He given us?" "What are the "Natural Laws" that He has established for humanity to live in peace and happiness?" For those who spouted these philosophies four five hundred years ago, undoubtedly, they had the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob in mind. And these answers can all be found in the Bible.

Talking about liberty and rights without regard to the true Natural Laws, God's Laws is absurd. Just like talking about our physical world without regard to the law of gravity is absurd. This, I think, is where the libertarians and the cultural left missed the point entirely. The extend of our individual freedom is not necessarily subjected to the government, but it is definitely subjected to the Laws established by God, our creator. Failure to abide by those boundaries will cause injuries to ourselves and our neighbours. On top of that, breaking the Laws of God is an unjust act that not only injuries people around us, it actually injuries the law abiding society as a whole. The government is established to govern, to serve justice, to uphold the Laws of God (Natural Laws) to the best extend possible. Therefore, the government has the right to arrest, judge and punish murderers, thieves, adulterers, sodomites, (as in the early days of the United States) etc. The Government needs to do its best to discourage people from breaking the Natural Law and punish the evildoers.

Of course, this doesn't mean the government has the right to spy on us, tell us how much salt we can eat, or what size of the flush toilet tank that we can use. It doesn't mean government can intrude to our lives without any bound or limit. The limit is definitely set forth in the Constitution, and also in the Natural Law itself. Therefore, I believe, some of the issues today is not merely a culture issue. Murdering a baby is not a culture issue. Committing fornication, adultery, sodomy, lying, stealing, etc, all these are not cultural issues. They are issues with the Natural Law, God's Law.

Of course, if you don't believe that the God of Abraham, Issac and Jacob is the Creator of the Universe and established the Law for us to follow, you are free to do so. However, be aware of the serious consequences of your actions that ignores the Law that governs you. You can ignore the Law, but the Law will not ignore you.

Inalienable Rights

It doesn't matter if you believe in Jesus and / or the God of Abraham, or Wicca or Zeus or Odin or the Big Bang or absolutely nothing at all. The whole point is that we have the Right to believe these things without threat of violence against us.

The ONLY role of government is to protect us from such threats of violence acted upon us.

I may be a vegetarian, but I'll defend to the death my right to eat meat!

As a Christian libertarian, I

As a Christian libertarian, I think you need to educate yourself a bit more. There are many libertarians that hold the Natural Laws can be found in God's Word. At the same time, I hold that a true understanding of the world God created will lead to the same conclusions through human reason, although it is a little less direct. The idea is that these rights are derived from our human nature (which was created by God). Some, who are blinded to the truth, reject the existence of God, but this does not change fundamental human nature - anymore than rejecting the law of gravity means you float into space. To put it in a more direct manner, it derives from human reason - which we have because we are created in the image of God - but denying God does not eliminate reason. That would imply that CS Lewis was wrong when he wrote, "A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word 'darkness' on the walls of his cell."

Exactly!

I was a libertarian before I knew what a libertarian was when I was a kid being raised as a Catholic. Then I became a socially liberal Atheist, but remained a die-hard Libertarian. Then Jesus called me, liberal college professors turned me into a social-conservative, yet based on pure reason alone, I can only conclude that everyone, ESPECIALLY Christians, can ONLY be free in a purely libertarian legal-political system. ANY other system MUST necessarily enslave me and everyone else in some manner or another (physically or mentally).

I may be a vegetarian, but I'll defend to the death my right to eat meat!

It's really quite simple

I no longer believe in the "God" you described. But I adhere to the belief in natural rights. So I don't have a right to do anything I want.

It's real simple. Our rights are derived from the property we own. We own ourselves. We are our own property. From that we have the right to enter into contract with others, exchange, associate.

ANYTHING that doesn't violate another person or their property is not a crime. Acts one may consider immoral - say in your example, 'sodomy' - are not crimes if there is no victim.

Therefore the government does NOT have the right to arrest sodomites and adulterers.

What property was violated?

The problem with your approach to natural rights is that it's subjective. Maybe someone found a 'bible' that states eating pork is a sin(...hmmm.. where might I find that). So in that case you'd argue that government has the right to arrest anyone who ate pork.

No they don't. Assuming this pork wasn't stolen, there was no violation of a person or their property.

BINGO!

Exactly! So no one can tell me who I can / cannot have sex with, and also NO ONE can force me to pay for other people's birth control pills / abortions. Force works both ways - it is ALWAYS EVIL!

I may be a vegetarian, but I'll defend to the death my right to eat meat!

Well said!

Well said!

This explains so much

What a great article. This explains why "conservative" doesn't mean the same thing to everyone.

I really hadn't read anything of Burke or Hobbes. I just assumed they were the same as Locke and Jefferson. Boy, I have a lot of reading to do.

This really helps. Thank you so much.

Tim Maitski
Atlanta real estate agent
Atlanta real estate website

Question of semantics

He is saying that neocons' definition of "conservative" is that the government should get involved in people's lives, bedrooms, have high taxation, high regulation, policing other nations....basically to have a big federal government. And Santorum is right...that is what the neocon's definition of "conservative" is.

WE, on the other hand, are saying that "conservatism" means less government intervention.

That is what the Ron Paul Revolution is all about...this difference in neo con conservative and what conservative used to mean before the global elites hijacked this party.

And the GOP is the SECOND party to be hijacked by the global elites. And that is ultimately what we are fighting against.

When Was The GOP Hijacked And Taken Over By Neoconservatism?

Thanks.

___________________________________________________________________________
"Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket."-Rothbard

Started in the 60's and was completed by the 90's

William F. Buckley was one of the primary forces behind getting the Conservative movement to switch from Traditional to Neo.

I read that he later regretted that move.

Toward the end of his life, Buckley reportedly felt that GW Bush and the Iraq War had destroyed the modern conservative movement.

SUPPORT OUR FOUNDERS' AMERICA
Support the Constitution of the United States

The best answer

as always is given by none other than RP:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mNb_610L0GE

Wow -- Thank You!

He should re-deliver this speech on the campaign trail when the time is right, adding Gingrich Romney and Santorum to the list.

If they assassinated him, they would only embolden the counter-revolution. It would be a huge mistake for them.

___________________________________________________________________________
"Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket."-Rothbard

Justin Raimundo over at

Justin Raimundo over at antiwar.com wrote an article explaining that very thing. It was very interesting. I'll try and see if I can find it for you when I get some time.

Thank you Tom

As always terrific article.
Posting it for others on Twitter.

LL on Twitter: http://twitter.com/LibertyPoet
sometimes LL can suck & sometimes LL rocks!
http://www.dailypaul.com/203008/south-carolina-battle-of-cow...
Love won! Deliverance from Tyranny is on the way! Col. 2:13-15

Very well written!!!

Modern day 'Conservatism' (aka NeoConservatism) is just a form of Progressive-ism which is 'Progress' away from Limited Gov't which is 'Progress' towards Central Planning aka Socialism.

Reading this excellent description of Libertarianism reminds me and reinforces the position that this movement is just getting Revived. Once a person tastes Freedom there is no substitution. Freedom in the hands of the Capable is the Pursuit of Happiness and Limited Gov't is the best guarantee that the destination is reached.

Next Campaign Ads Should Quote the Candidates

Instead of quoting the media and Penn Jillette, maybe the next ads should just quote the candidates, themselves. What a snob.

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

Thank you for the brilliantly written and cited piece

If knowledge is power, this is 10,000 volts.

"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love." - MLK -

I just sent this to a neocon friend

in the SCGOP that I've been tussling with for over 2 years regarding this issue of libertarian vs conservative.

I ended my e-mail by telling her when she read the article, she'd see that "our disagreements are old as the hills".

And I just had to finish up with:
"'Cept I'm Jefferson and you're Hamilton (ewwwwww) ;)"

I await her reply. Hee heeeeeeeeeeeeee

Freedom is not: doing everything you want to.
Freedom is: not having to do what you don't want to do.
~ Joyce Meyer

Both the D's and R's are Hamiltons

Both the D's and R's are Federalists, they just slightly disagree on how to Coerce the States and People.