Skip to content

Why I Am a Catholic Libertarian

Friday, 14th September 2007
tags:

I mirror this article so that it may not fall down the memory hole.


Why I Am a Catholic Libertarian

by Thomas E. Woods Jr.

http://www.insidecatholic.com/feature/why-i-am-a-catholic-libertarian.html


It’s not always easy these days to tell which of our two major political parties is the Stupid Party and which the Evil Party. But it remains true, as a conservative wag once said, that from time to time the parties collaborate on something that’s both stupid and evil and call it bipartisanship.

Although I have no connection to the Libertarian Party, I’ve long been associated with small-l libertarianism. By the time I was finishing college, I found I could no longer be a cheerleader for the Republican Party, so much of my political evolution involves my disillusionment with the GOP.

For one thing, Republicans don’t even pretend to be interested in scaling government back anymore. With the exception of Congressman Ron Paul, no one in the recent Republican presidential debates could name a single federal pencil sharpener he’d do away with. And forget about abolishing the department of education or other federal agencies — what are you, some kind of extremist?

Oh, but we can’t seem anti-education, comes the response, even though spending more federal money has done exactly nothing to turn declining test scores around. (Only recalibrating the tests seems able to do that.) If they had a fighting spirit, Republicans would proudly adopt the conservative view and put the left on the defensive: By claiming we need a federal department of education, aren’t you really saying that Americans are too dense to run their own schools without supervision from Washington? Why do you think Americans are so stupid?

That won’t happen, though: Republicans are too busy proposing their own national "plans" for education (which are leftist in their very nature). So much for subsidiarity, a central principle in Catholic social thought.

A quick glance at the presidential debates reveals that the Democrats can come up with nothing more original than further proposals for looting the American population. I almost don’t blame people for being Democrats, incidentally. Americans endure twelve years of propaganda in a government institution, learning (not coincidentally) about the government’s glorious deeds and the terrible things that would surely happen to us in its absence. I can hardly blame someone who believes we owe our standard of living to labor unions and federal regulation: After hearing no other perspective on American history year after year, what else can the poor fellow be expected to think?

I don’t expect much from the Democrats. But even the boldest Republicans suggest "replacing" the Internal Revenue Service with some kind of horrendous consumption tax. Instead, the IRS should be abolished and replaced with nothing. Impossible? If the income tax were done away with, federal revenues would still be sufficient to fund the federal budget from the year 2000. I rather doubt we would be climbing over corpses on our way to work if spending were scaled back to its level of seven years ago.

Incidentally, if forced labor is wrong when it takes the form of chattel slavery, why is it all right when it takes the form of government confiscation of people’s income? Combining federal, state, and local taxes, Americans can easily find themselves handing over half their income to some level of government every year. Slavery was wrong because the slave did forced labor every year of his life, the fruits of which he could not enjoy. American taxpayers do forced labor for half the year. Being forced to work for someone else against your will all year long is a moral abomination; being forced to do so for only half the year is a-ok. I just don’t see it.

On foreign policy, I am convinced that the Founding Fathers’ counsel of nonintervention is the most sensible and morally sound position. (Heck, it must be right: None of the hacks in either major party recommends it.) When it comes to foreign policy, moreover, young Republicans are so in the dark about their own history that they think opposition to war is "leftist," and that demands to "support our president" in avoidable, multi-trillion-dollar wars are conservative. One scarcely knows where to begin.

But aren’t libertarians divided on abortion? Well, yes, but if the polls are any indication, Republicans seem perfectly happy to support candidates who spend half their time trying to figure out where they should stand on the issue that afternoon.

As it turns out, the only person with a serious and workable plan for overturning Roe v. Wade right now is Ron Paul, the 1988 Libertarian candidate for president who is currently seeking the Republican presidential nomination. In accordance with Article III, Section 2 of the Constitution, Paul’s bill would strip the federal courts of jurisdiction over abortion, thereby overturning Roe through a simple majority vote in Congress.

I bet you’ve never heard about that bill before. That’s because neither major party actually wants to see the abortion issue disappear from public life at the federal level — too much fundraising and grandstanding depend on maintaining the status quo.

We sometimes hear it said that the United States needs a third party. Maybe so. But if we could be permitted a second party, alongside the Republicrats, that would be a pretty good start.


Thomas E. Woods Jr. (view Web site) is the New York Times bestselling author of eight books, including Sacred Then and Sacred Now: The Return of the Old Latin Mass and Who Killed the Constitution? The Fate of American Liberty from World War I to George W. Bush (with Kevin R. C. Gutzman). His television series for EWTN, "The Catholic Church: Builder of Civilization," airs Wednesdays at 6:00 pm EST (repeated Thursdays at 2:00 am EST).

Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Prayers4reparation's Blog

..."If My people who bear My name, humble themselves and pray and seek My presence and turn from their wicked ways, I Myself will hear from Heaven and forgive their sins..." (2 Chron. 7:14) - "You will see that in prayer you will find more knowledge, more light, more strength, more grace and virtue than you could ever achieve by reading many books, or by great studies. Never consider as wasted the time you spend in prayer. You will discover that in prayer God communicates to you the light, strength and grace you need..." (Sr Lucia dos Santos)

Your Home for Homemade Japanese Food

How to cook "with visual instructions" healthy, traditional and delicious Japanese dishes!!

The Duterte Presidency

Just chronicling the term of this clown President elected by the Bobotantes and Tangatantes

The Society of Honor: the Philippines

"O' Rise Ye Land of Happy Fools!"

Symposium

A Ukrainian Greek Catholic Priest in the UK politely comments on things he does and does not like. For the most part.

Philippine Armorial

Philippine personal and family heraldry: coats of arms of Filipinos in the Philippines and overseas

The Developer's Tidbits

Helpful tips for random problems

Stormfields

Christian Humanism in a Post-Modern World

Art and Liturgy

Sacred art, architecture, and the Catholic liturgy for normal people.

Rosary Collector

Learn the history of unique rosaries, center medals and crosses

Intermissions

Married Life and Leisure

Tales from the Private Sector

Private Intelligence, Cyber Security and Military History

Iglesia Ni Cristo - Silent No More by Antonio Ramirez Ebangelista

This is the Official Website of Antonio Ebangelista

Preservation in Pink

Historic preservation, coffee, community + pink flamingos

Wandering American

The life of a guy living in China and actually kind of enjoying it.

The Blog of Author Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss's 4-Hour Workweek and Lifestyle Design Blog

%d bloggers like this: