A lightbulb came on for me in a conversation I was having with Mike Duran about sex zoos in Germany. Now, I’m not linking to the original article because I really don’t want to dwell on the fact that there are sex zoos in Germany where people can pay a horse pimp to let them have sex with the horse. But there are. And the Libertarians at Pajamas Media (I guess that’s still around, huh…) said that this “presents a perplexing situation for Libertarians.”
I am libertarian. I am not perplexed. Sex zoos are wrong. Anything that exploits another being is wrong. Anything that abuses a being without agency is clearly wrong under the Rule Of Law that Libertarians sign on for. But I’m ahead of myself.
Lately, since the last election, I’ve seen Libertarians getting more guff. This is good because it means we’re becoming a force to be reckoned with, but it’s also bad because it means people out there think we support NAMBLA and…sex zoos in Germany.
So I need to clear some stuff up for you folks. Most of this was already posted on Mike’s Facebook Status so I’m sorry for repeating myself. It’s just that I put it so well that first time…
1. The thing that makes a Libertarian a _libertarian_ is our core belief in limited government interference in private lives. So when it comes to politics you will hear any libertarian say things like “prostitution should be legal”; “gay state-sanctioned marriage should be legal”; “pot should be legal”.
2. We all have PERSONAL ETHICAL BELIEFS that differ wildly, even from other libertarians. When we say something should be “legal” we do not mean that we think it is okay or right or healthy. We merely mean that philosophically our belief in adults being allowed to make their own mistakes dictates that the law shouldn’t be interfering. So I will say that prostitution should be legal. I also think prostitution is wrong and exploits women and profanes sexuality. But those are my Christian beliefs and as a Christian I work to make changes in people’s lives individually through grace to make sure that prostitution really goes away and isn’t just hidden as it is when it is “illegal”.
3. As a libertarian my grounds for opposing things LEGALLY (as opposed to morally) are that they harm another individual. Libertarians agree that law is necessary when society is protecting an individual from harm. So you have libertarians and we think that prostitution should be legal but that child pornography and child-adult sex should not be legal. We all believe strongly the government is not the arbiter of morals. So we’re libertarians.
4. There is a split in the libertarian camp between anti-abortion libertarians and pro-abortion libertarians. The split is along the issue of whether or not the fetus is a life and a being in need of protection from society or whether it is a part of the woman’s body over which the state has no legal right to interfere. Not all libertarians support abortion. Many, like myself, object to abortion but seek to address the societal problem of unwanted children through means other than legislation.
5. Respect for others is a key part of libertarianism. That man who wrote the thing about all Democrats being dead to him*…as far as I’m concerned he isn’t a libertarian. He’s a reactionary right-wing person who has seized the mantle of libertarianism because it is new and hip and sounds less controversial in some circles than “Republican”. We’re getting a lot more of these reactionary types in the libertarian camp, especially after this last election. I’m not happy about it, but they’re free to call themselves libertarians. I’m free to explain why they aren’t wanted in the libertarian camp.
In answer to the animal sex thing: No, my personal objection is that it is sinful and gross and disgusting and wrong. But my objection as a libertarian, when it comes to internal consistency about the laws, is that I can assert the relevance of the rule of law because the animals are harmed.
*I’m not linking to this fellow either. He doesn’t need any more traffic and I don’t like his nil siochain cluttering up my life.