Libertarians: Call Them Irresponsible

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Ron Paul as a lesson in libertarian public irresponsibility.

Quotations

From one of Paul’s newsletters: "Justice Brandeis said that the most important Constitutional right the Founding Fathers gave us was the 'right to be left alone.'” While traditional conservatives reject this right to privacy that Brandeis proposed in an early legal paper and much later Supreme Court dissent, libertarians love to cite it. Timothy McVeigh did so at his trial. Ignore for today that Brandeis as a crusading social advocate and firm believer in government regulation of private enterprise, represented in his intellect and public career nearly everything the libertarian disavows. Overlook that Brandeis wrote “let” alone, not “left” alone, and that one could tease out a treatise on a subtle and profound distinction, accordingly, between uninterfered with and isolated.
A. Jay Adler, "Libertarians: Call Them IrresponsibleLibertarians: Call Them Irresponsible"
There are, for the libertarian, few more unloaded and provocative words than that of responsibility. The libertarian is so challenged by the word, in effect, as to suffer a kind of cognitive disability in the face of it. Libertarians, and the Tea Party conservatives who converge with them in this area of thought, frequently cannot distinguish responsibility as obligation, responsibility as the holding of another in one’s care, and responsibility as guilt, the last of which is what libertarians will always fear is impugned in any discussion of common responsibility, and all of which is always, as government policy, a tyrannical burden upon them.
A. Jay Adler, "Libertarians: Call Them IrresponsibleLibertarians: Call Them Irresponsible"