Still more on the “libertarian moment.”
For America to flourish, it doesn’t need a “libertarian moment” or even a conservative moment, with the latter’s emphasis on “traditional morality.” It needs libertarians and conservatives to come together to defeat their common enemy—radical utopian statists and their centralized, ever-expanding welfare state. If our liberties are to be protected, conservatives and libertarians must stand united on the principles of limited government.
What America needs is a “constitutional moment.”
You said a mouthful there, missy. Plenty more, all excellent. A good explanation of why I’m not entirely comfortable with calling myself either a conservative or a libertarian. In sum:
The radical’s first thought, Weaver said, is to get control of the state “to make all men equal or to make all men rich, or failing that to make all men equally unhappy. This use of political instrumentality to coerce people to conform with his dream, in the face of their belief in a real order, is our reason, I think, for objecting to the radical.”
A person can hope to change the world to make it better. “But,” Weaver warned, “when he tries to use the instrumentality of the state to bring about his wishes, then all of us are involved, and we have to take our stand.”
This is the common ground of the conservative and the libertarian as Weaver saw it in 1960. It is more true today than it was then. “The conservative in his proper character and role is a defender of liberty,” Weaver wrote. “He is such because he takes his stand on the real order of things and because he has a very modest estimate of man’s ability to change that order through the coercive power of the state…I therefore can see nothing to keep him from joining hands with the libertarian, who arrives at the same position by a different route, perhaps, but out of the same impulse to condemn arbitrary power” (emphasis mine).
Again: amen to all that.