What Is True?
July 6, 2003

Liberty, War & Politics
Values & Human Life

Liberty, War & Politics

Mourning in America
by Justin Raimondo,  Antiwar.com, July 4, 2003

...For a long time Americans remembered their heritage, and agreed with Thomas Jefferson, who said in his Third Annual Message (1803): "We should be most unwise, indeed, were we to cast away the singular blessings of the position in which nature has placed us, the opportunity she has endowed us with of pursuing at a distance from foreign contentions the paths of industry, peace and happiness; of cultivating general friendship and of bringing collisions of interest to the umpirage of reason rather than of force."

In the context of the Republic vs. Empire question, he defends the American colonists as a whole. He's right about property rights, but I wonder how "nomadic" all the Indian tribes were. If there was ever a collection of libertarian societies in North America, I think unresolved sovereignty and property issues in Canada and the U.S. would be worked out quickly among native and non-native individuals and groups.

White House defends Bush remark on Iraqi attacks
CNN.com, July 3, 2003

...Since May 1 -- when Bush declared an end to major combat in Iraq -- there have been more than two dozen "hostile" U.S. military deaths in Iraq, according to the Pentagon.

4 'jihad' defendants granted bail
by Kevin Johnson, USA TODAY, July 2, 2003

...Four men accused of being part of a "jihad network" were granted bail Wednesday...

U.S. Magistrate T. Rawles Jones Jr. said none of the defendants pose a threat to the community. The men are accused of training for combat while on paintball outings in the Virginia countryside.

Rothbard and Hayek: A Personal Memory
by Ronald Hamowy, LewRockwell.com, July 3, 2003

...emeritus professor of history at the University of Alberta.

Values & Human Life

A Libertarian Atheist Answers "Pro-Choice Catholics"
by Doris Gordon, Libertarians for Life, l4l.org, January, 2003

Our unalienable rights are pre-political. As Nadine Strossen, the president of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), said on C-Span: "We don't need the Ninth Amendment or the Constitution to have rights; we have rights by virtue of the fact we are human beings." I agree. The Declaration of Independence holds that everyone is created -- not born -- equal and "endowed by their Creator" -- not the government -- with certain unalienable rights, among which are life and liberty, and that the purpose of government is to secure these rights.

My Approach to the Abortion Issue

I like the Libertarians for Life web site, because they present arguments against abortion, and because I relate to their non-Christian perspective.

I'm not familiar with all their opinions, but it looks like there aren't just two perspectives on this issue among libertarians.

I agree that there is no real natural right to abort an unborn baby if the unborn baby is a human being, and it is. I would not be unhappy if the courts overturned this false idea and allowed local laws to discourage abortion. However, even if those things were likely to happen, I don't think that laws solve problems as large as this, and I believe the State just creates more problems and should not be empowered further. The State is terrible at making moral decisions.

People fool themselves when they vote for the Republicans - or the Canadian Alliance - just because of the abortion issue, pretending that these politicians won't use their power to cause trouble in other areas. The mainstream political culture includes "conservatives" and they already join with "liberals" in interfering with local, business, family and individual decision-making concerning religion, culture and traditional values. Abortion laws would become one more excuse to break down someone's door.

Don't give just any politician the pseudo-legitimacy tag of "I'm anti-abortion so all Christians should vote for me". And if you're going to vote for someone on that basis, make sure you hold him accountable for his other actions too. Don't hand issues of principle to the unprincipled. Don't give the unprincipled more power.

Many political Christians do this with their attitude about drug use which should definitely be less of a legal issue.(1) If the government can't stop itself from violently invading the homes of people over drug use, and locking them up, and doesn't care about abortion at all, why do you encourage it to continue the war on drugs?

Why do you trust its methods of enforcing your values when it's much more likely on balance to turn on you in the future because of your religious values, and threaten your independence. Many police officers do their best to help people, it's true, but governments seem to endanger more than protect.

Making more laws to force people against their will to stop abortion is probably not the right way to go, because the real problem is people wanting to have abortions in the first place. Abortion is a case where those who donít believe they are committing murder commit murder. We are talking about a world where there are many murders that laws and penalties don't stop, where people will always legitimately need to find other means of security, and a world where the most "enlightened" nations justify civilian deaths in bombing raids in the name of fighting evil. It's time to lay off the legal violence towards people far away from us and focus on what is possible to achieve as imperfect human beings, using peaceful means.

Yes, the unborn baby should have legal rights to match its natural rights, but this is a world filled with rights violations against life and property in which governments are by far the largest part of the problem. We are never going to have a perfect world, especially when the public looks up to governments to decide or enforce every matter of right and wrong, and where individuals hand over their powers of judgment to every "higher authority".

The role of protecting the unborn ought to fall to individuals, families and doctors rather than police and courts. To reduce abortions we ought to focus on speaking up and explaining to everybody why abortion is wrong, and introduce issues in appropriate contexts concerning lifestyle and personal responsibility. Those who are willing to listen might be persuaded, to think it through themselves and to learn about the truth. Sometimes a young person - young or old - just needs to hear: "It's wrong. I disagree with that. I won't go along with that." Many of us have left religion or religion has left us, so for some of us there is a need to learn to deal with moral issues outside of a religious context.

Eventually we could someday reach the point where people knew it was not just a question of particular religious beliefs. The more that the general public, doctors and nurses etc. are against abortion, the more people will recognize the injustice of forcing tax-payers to pay for abortion and the injustice of interfering in family decision-making. It would also be a society where doctors, nurses and hospitals would feel free to follow their conscience. In fact, it's healthy to tell your political representative what you think about issues of free speech and conscience or about public funding of abortion.

That is why it is critical that we preserve freedoms such as freedom of speech, and the right of families to make decisions about the education of their children. If we want any kind of a better world - there can never be a perfect world - it will only come with more personal reflection and knowledge, which will only come with more freedom.


[1] Edited, July 24/03