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Fearless Philosophy For Free Minds: Fearless Philosophy Blogpost of the Month (February 2006)

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Fearless Philosophy Blogpost of the Month (February 2006)

Before I get into this month’s selections I would like to take a moment to note the passing of a champion of the Libertarian movement, Harry Browne. Browne ran as the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000 kept a blog (which is still up and running, HarryBrowne.org) and wrote several books. Among his most famous works were Why Government Doesn’t Work and The Great Libertarian Offer. I would describe Browne as a Libertarian purist (he advocated eliminating the IRS, abolishing nearly every government program, ending the war on drugs, and changing the U.S. military posture to one of purely defensive with no troops abroad). Browne was a little too extreme for my tastes (as is the National Libertarian Party for that matter) but he certainly was an ally of all who believe that life, liberty, and property are fundamental rights that every human being deserves who would not deny his fellow man the same. Harry Browne died March 1, 2006 at the age of 72. The three posts I’ve selected seem to be fitting because each of the posts deals with liberty in one way or the other.

Third Place goes to Michael Hampton of Homeland Stupidity with his post Liberty 101: An Introduction to Liberty. Hampton says that this is the first of a series of posts he plans to write explaining what the meaning of liberty is in his view.

Hampton writes:



What is liberty? Put simply, it is the opportunity to do as you please without interference from the government, so long as you did not interfere with anyone else’s right to do as they please…

In this series I will cover a wide range of issues facing us today, showing how government has completely boiled us all like frogs, and how it has introduced an “absolute despotism” beyond anything the founders ever imagined…
Second Place goes to Eric Cowperthwaite of The Liberty Papers with his post: Over the Top. Eric’s post deals with the way that far too many Muslims responded to a handful of cartoons published in a Danish newspaper and the disgraceful response of the MSM.

Eric writes:



First, a piece of advice to Muslims. Stop worrying so much about what someone who doesn’t believe in your religion does. After all, if your religion is true, those cartoonists have committed blasphemy and will pay the price for their sin. In the meantime, it doesn’t hurt you at all. They have not caused you to violate your religion, nor even urged you to…

[…]

Freedom of speech means that I can say whatever I please, publicly, no matter whether it is offensive, racist, inflammatory, or anything else that people don’t like. To suggest that there should be limits on what I say or write in order to avoid offense to another is to suggest that I should not be free to speak. The choice, and the responsibility, must be mine, else the freedom does not exist…

I would just like to say, for everyone out there who says that Islam is a religion of peace I have to ask the question: “what’s your evidence?” If all that needs to happen for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing and most Muslims are good peace-loving people who recognize the rights of the individual then there is a hell of a lot of good Muslims doing nothing and desecrating their religion.

And the Winner is…
The Fearless Philosophy Blogpost of the Month for February 2006 goes to Lecentre of Centrerion with a post called On Democracy and Liberalism. When Lecentre uses the term ‘liberalism’ he uses it in the original or classical sense not to be confused with how we commonly think of the term which represents the polar opposite statist philosophy of the American Democratic Party (a liberal is someone who wants more personal liberty). One of the common talking points for most proponents of the war on terror is that the more democratic societies become, the freer the people are who lives in those societies. This all makes perfect sense right? Lecentre has reached a far different conclusion:



Firstly, and most importantly, Muslims in the Middle East do not have liberal values; their values are primarily religious. Whereas liberalism advocates the separation of Church and State (Mosque and State as it were),
Muslims in the Middle East are looking at drafting laws and constitutions based on Sharia. Like Paul Martin said, you vote for people based on your values. As we in the West are so steeped in the liberal tradition, we inherently associate liberalism with democracy…

[…]

If we want to encourage liberalism in the Muslim world, promoting literacy (as Dr. Syed suggests), freedom of speech, and exposure to various philosophies is probably the best way to do it. Democracy is not synonymous with liberalism.
Lecentre's post reminds me of something Walter E. Williams wrote in a recent article for Capitalism Magizine: “I can't think of a worse place to have a democracy -- majority rule. Iraq needs a republic like that envisioned by our founders -- decentralized and limited government power.”

I wish we would eliminate the word democracy from our lexicon altogether. The commonly held idea that America, for example, is a democracy rather than a constitutional republic is one of the gravest threats to our liberty. If we want to win the war on terrorism and despotism we must do so by promoting the virtues of life, liberty, and property rather than this notion of majority (read mob) rule.

Excellent writing Michael Hampton, Eric Cowperthwaite, and Lecentre!

5 Comments:

Blogger Michael Hampton said...

Thanks!

I didn't realize I was in a contest when I wrote the piece, and as I said, it's to be a series, so there will be much more where that came from, as long as the coffee maker doesn't break down. :)

12:14 PM  
Blogger lecentre said...

I'm absolutely flattered! I can't tell you how much I appreciate the honour, Mr. Littau (can I call you Stephen?)
Incidentally, I find your topic matter here to be absolutely facinating; expect yourself in my blogroll. I really appreciate people who can intelligently discuss liberties and freedoms.
Cheers,
Gab, aka lecentre, of centrerion.blogspot.com
p.s. I don't know how to post trackbacks with blogger, but expect a link.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Stephen Littau said...

I'm looking forward to the rest of your series Michael.

Lecentre, you can call me Steve or Stephen; Mr. Littau, that's my dad. I'm glad you like the content of my site. I appreciate you linking me; I have linked your site under 'Libertarians and Classical Liberals' if that is ok (if not, I can put you under the category of your choice). I saw that you categorized me as a 'centrist'. I suppose if a centrist is someone who favors ending the war on drugs, eliminating the IRS, keeping state and church seperate, and would like to see the demise of 'The New Deal' programs than I guess I'm a centrist.

1:05 PM  
Anonymous Eric said...

Wow, I'm clearly not keeping up with the world. I totally missed that you posted this and selected my entry as number two. Thanks Stephen. I have to say that post is one of my all time favorites, so thanks for the hat tip!

1:59 PM  
Blogger lecentre said...

Will do Steve.
Thanks for the link back :).
Cheers
le centre

9:52 PM  

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