December 14th, 2015


Report from Reason Magazine

My first column for EveryJoe was called ‘Why I am no longer a Libertarian.’

The short answer is that Libertarianism proposes that the government remain utterly neutral on all legal questions where no physical harm, trespass, or fraud is being done by one citizen to another. This requires that the law neither be used by the minority to trespass on the majority, nor by the majority to trespass on the minority.

But Leftism, particularly in its toxic pre-extinction form it has now assumed, the Social Justice Morlock stage of devolution, cannot allow for the neutrality of the law. Libertarians want victimless crime laws or vice laws taken off the books: but this calculates without a crucial fact of the psychology of vice.

The four virtues all men know by nature are fortitude, prudence, justice, self-command. The corresponding vices are cowardice, folly, partiality, and self-indulgence.

Those who indulge in vice, particularly in sexual vices, want not just to be left alone and to leave us alone. They want to be praised, applauded and petted, and demand that we normal people abjure, insult and avoid virtue under penalty of law.

Judgement, the mere act of preferring virtue to vice, is what they cannot tolerate. All their endless blather of self contradictory philosophies, the idea that truth is relative, that words are meaningless, that logic is local, the whole nonsense cavalcade of multiculturalism and moral relativism all is mean for one and one thing only: to suspend judgment hence perpetrate vice.

So the answer to the libertarian is: if you can create a truce with those who would use the law to attack virtue qua virtue, a neutral zone could perhaps be established, and a government which made no decisions one way or the other about vice, only about aggression, then your idea would be sound.

But since those who attack virtue qua virtue have repeatedly and publicly declared and shown that they have no intention whatsoever not to use the law to impose their vicious norms on us, and punish us for virtues, therefore your idea is not sound.

One more data point in the argument:

Originally published at John C. Wright's Journal. Please leave any comments there.