One shoe size too small

For the last year I have studied Libertarianism. Here are just some of the things that I learned and that I am grateful for during this time of study and emersion into Libertarian thought.

1. It helped to motivate me to get my personal investments (for eventual retirement someday) in order.
2. It gave me a better understanding of economics and classical liberalism.
3. It awoke me to many of the problems with the Fed and the fractional reserve banking system.
4. I appreciate many aspects of revisionist history which it promotes. The history we learn in our youth is far too simplistic. History and life (past & present) in general is far more complex than what many folks have told us.
5. I appreciate its position against the warfare state and Neoconservatism.
6. Many in the Libertarian movement were very kind to me. I would like to publicly thank Tom Woods, Lew Rockwell Jr., Robert P. Murphy, and probably others whose names did not come immediately to mind.

As anyone who has read my posts this last year on The American Catholic knows, I have struggled to get my mind around about what is both good and bad about Libertarianism. (Refer to my archives.) I really appreciate the feedback that many have given in the comments of my posts. Thank you my friends! Like all of you I am struggling to engage more of reality. I desire to see the truth, beauty and good in the world & cosmos.

Now here’s the other critical side of my judgment. Here is what bothers me about Libertarianism.

1. It’s an ideology – political, economic, & social/cultural. It’s an ideology though never-the-less.
2. This ideology naturally leads to an embrace of anarchy.
3. There are many aspects of this ideology which conflicts with Catholic Social Ethics and Thought.
4. For example, the presupposition which drives this ideology is that the State is evil. To be sure it can be evil, but it’s not inherently so. In a fallen world the State is good and it should promote the common good.
5. Capitalism has big problems (as does Socialism). Liberalism, either in its classical or modern forms, also has major problems.
6. Too many Libertarians get the moral issues wrong. They fail to understand the true meaning of family and marriage and the disordered nature of homosexuality. They fail to recognize the evils of abortion, embryonic stem-cell research, and euthanasia. Often times they promote evil aspects of society, i.e. pornography, gambling, etc.

At the end of the day it’s a shoe size which is one size too small for me. Many aspects of these Libertarian shoes make them a beautiful pair of shoes which can be very attractive at different times and at different angles. I really tried to wear them, but in the end they caused me to have blisters.

Personally I feel much more at home following the below political/economic/cultural websites:

American Chesterton Society

Distributist Review

The Front Porch Republic

First Principles

Time Out of Joint

The American Conservative

Chronicles

The below video perfectly shows how I feel about this entire matter…

YouTube Preview Image

12 Responses to One shoe size too small

  • I find that labels such as “libertarian” or “conservative” or “progressive” are almost useless. You really need to look at what a person says, and what a person supports, and what a person believes to understand their political views. And every person has a different perspective. THeir perspective might be broadly classified as “conservative” or “liberal” but these are only useful at the outset of a conversation and only if they serve the purpose of a deeper understanding between interlocutors.

    Politics is not simple and while labels make it easy to dismiss those with whom you disagree, they seem not to help true and productive conversation, whose ultimate ground is friendship and whose ultimate aim is the truth.

  • I was with the video until “cultural disintegration of western civilization.” That’s a vague term. It can mean moral decay or it can mean immigrant influx. If the former is meant, please stop using a phrase that can be so easily misunderstood as xenophobic.

  • I took a similar path from libertarianism to where I am today with a very brief layover in distributism. I’m sometimes surprised to run into people who share my views almost exactly. It’s rare but 1. it renews my hope in humanity, and 2. it confirms that I’m not crazy.

  • I guess I am highly conservative: both cultural (morality) and fiscal.

    My opinion (BOMBS AWAY!): libertarians help elect dems and liberals.

    Plus, libertards (here both libertarians and liberals) are alllied with satan. Proof:
    “Pew poll: Support way up for gay marriage, abortion, legalizing marijuana”

  • I agree with Zach that in practice, labeling oneself or others as “conservative” or “liberal” or “libertarian” is limited in its usefulness. As I’ve said before I can’t think of a single person I know who is completely 100 percent liberal or conservative or whatever. I’m not even sure how to describe myself. I tend to say conservative because pro-life falls under that umbrella most of the time. However, if I were ever to run for public office (ain’t gonna happen, believe me) my views on other issues like immigration, the death penalty, and even (gasp) taxation would quickly get me written off as a RINO or mushy moderate among many.

  • Zach & Elaine – What you describe is correct. We are Catholic period. We believe in the preferential option for the poor and we are Pro-Life. We Catholics do not fit neatly in either lable of being Liberal or Conservative. We are Catholic.

    RR – you are not crazy. Here at The American Catholic I think Black Adder had a very similiar experience as well. Joe Hargrave also considers himself a Catholic Libertarian in many regards. They should speak for themselves though.

    T Shaw – It’s very Neoconservative (and Republican) to drop bombs :-)

  • As this video maker, I would like to thank “The American Catholic” for publishing it. I would also like to thank RR for his critic about the phrase “cultural disintegration of the western civilization”, but some perspective is advised.

    First of all, remember that I am not an american. I’m a portuguese european. English is not my native language and there are linguistic nuances that I still not grasp completely. And, while it is true that immigration is a very hot topic there in the USA, it is not so in Europe.

    Sure, there are some european countries that experienced some xenophobic surges in the last years, like France, Italy or the Netherlands. But those are the exceptions rather than the rule… Some xenophobic politics have been elected, but generally they are so IN SPITE OF their xenophobia and not BECAUSE of their xenophobia.

    In Europe, the immigration problem tends to be faced in the opposite way as it is in the USA. We tend to be extremely xenophilic, if you will. For instance, England is trying to acomodate its legal system to sharia law. In Portugal, only one fringe political party is vocally xenophobic, with no electoral expression whatsoever.

    So, I was not trying to attack (or defend) immigrant influx with this video. The phrase “cultural disintegration of the western civilization” must be understood as refering to the intelectual elite who is trying to deconstruct the Western Civilization (wich includes Christianity). For better or worse, the Western Civilization is the only one that evolved from a judeo-christian background. So, I can not feel but pitty from its disintegration.

    With this in mind, I believe that my wording is accurate and that it does not clash with catholic doctrine or with the universal dignity of Man.

    Of course, I understand your concern. But every intervention can be misconstrued, misinterpreted and misunderstood… just look at our poor Holy Father! Catholicism is, by its essence, prone to misinterpretation, because it doesn’t use the logic of the World. The only alternative would be silence, which is intolerable!

    In conclusion, your plea seems very akin to political correctedness. For that I can not abide! What I said means exactly what I said, and nothing more…

    Pax Christi
    Alma Peregrina

  • Alma,

    Christ is in our midst!

    Welcome to The American Catholic. I recognize how much work it is to produce a video like that… I thought the content was brilliant. Please alert me to any other videos or writings you have in English. I will alert folks about them.

    your friend,
    David

  • Thank you D.L. Jones for your kind words. “The American Catholic” and Mark Shea’s blog are sites that I frequently visit, though I never commented.

    I would also like to tell what’s the context of this video… Five years ago, the portuguese people elected a Left-Wing prime minister. And shortly after a Right-Wing, catholic, president.

    Well, the Left-Wing prime minister managed to legalize (in the span of only five years!) abortion on demand, artificial procreation, no-fault divorce, State mandated sexual education and homosexual “marriage”. The Right-Wing president ratified every single law, saying that those debates were only distracting us from the economic crisis!

    So, in last January, that Right-Wing president ran again for presidency. And catholics were being told by right-wingers: “You’d better vote for us, because there is no one better”!

    And, in responde, I made this video!

    The Right-Wing president won again. And now, this very week, the Left-Wing prime-minister managed to legalize sex changes in our ID cards. And the Right-Wing president ratified, AGAIN!!!

    Only a miracle will save Portugal from legalizing embryonic stem cell research and euthanasia. The Left-Wing prime minister wants to do so before he steps down…

    (Sigh)
    please pray for my country!

    As for these videos, I am planning to make one about Distributism and other about Theology of the Body! I hope that I will be able to publish them before the end of the year!

    Pax Christi
    Alma Peregrina

  • Wow… I can’t wait to see your videos on Distributism and the Theology of the Body. I will say a prayer to Our Lady to assist in your efforts!

  • To American sensibilities, Europe is very xenophobic.

  • Europe has (still to this day) the ghost of the Shoa haunting it…

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