Here is the crux of his argument. See if you can spot the massive, gaping fucking flaw in this shameful piece of rhetoric.
So, assuming that if libertarians had their way then these laws would not exist and the HDJ were therefore not breaking the law, I figured that libertarians would have no problem in the HDJ pushing their views on children.
Let me put that argument another way—in fact, let me translate it into a simple syllogism in plain, fucking English.
- Libertarians believe in actual free speech.
- Actual free speech means that neo-Nazis can spout their views in public.
- Therefore, libertarians support—and, thus, possibly are—neo-Nazis.
No. No, you see, we libertarians do believe in free speech and we do not believe that anyone should be banned from speaking their mind. We do not believe that anyone should fear being imprisoned by the state for something that they say (unlike, for instance, Chris fucking Huhne).
But that doesn't mean that we support neo-Nazis. It just means that we support their right to espouse their unpleasant views, so that society can confront and rebut their idiotic opinions. If society cannot be fucking arsed even to do that, then society deserves everything that it gets, frankly.
But it is good to see this a tribal Conservative spell out just what he believes in.
Libertarians can argue for a small state as much as they want, but when it comes to protecting vulnerable individuals, Conservatives seem much better placed to do somethiing about it than someone who doesn’t really believe government has a mandate to intervene.
Yup: Letters From A Tory believes that if you say something that he or his Conservative buddies don't like, you should be put in prison. LFAT doesn't explain for how long you should be imprisoned but it should, presumably, be until you are "cured" of your dangerously
Tell you what, guys—after you win the next election, why don't you just put all socialists in prison and rule happily ever after?
P.S. I know that LFAT is wibbling on about imprisoning people for the sake of the chiiiiiiiiiildren, but if he cannot be bothered to make a half-decent argument, then I cannot be arsed to answer it. Why not go and read The Nameless Libertarian's rather more rational reply...?
UPDATE: LFAT has left a reply in the comments, asserting that I have distorted his actual question.
I was discussing the issue of how libertarians deal with protecting 'vulnerable people' in society, which I think is a fascinating debate.
... suffice to say that you extrapolated a long way from what I actually proposed in my post!
Um, I don't think that I did, actually. However, to answer your question about who protects the vulnerable in society—it is the responsibility of their parents or other legal guardian.
And what if children's parents have nasty ideas?
Free speech is indeed the way forward because you can rebut views, discuss them, debate them etc. However, children are not capable of acting as rational agents so I was asking my readers to discuss whether a different approach is needed if children are being filled with views that genuinely threaten a cohesive society.
First, if you constrain free speech, then you don't have free speech: so, if you think that free speech is "the way forward" then you have already answered your own question.
Second, although children may not be "capable of acting as rational agents", the adults that they become are capable of doing so.
Third, it actually does not matter whether or not the children hold nasty views, or whether they grow up into adults who hold nasty views. As long as they do not negatively impact on anyone else's life, liberty or property, it is absolutely no business of the state's to try to change their minds.
Apart from anything else, if you decide that the state should intervene to condition people to a state of mind amenable to a "cohesive society", then you are explicitly acknowledging that the state's vision of said society is utterly correct and that it should attempt to compel people not only to act in the state's interest, but to totally believe in its rectitude.
There are considerable problems with this, and any Tory living under a Labour government should realise that. After all, if you do not believe in the state's vision of society, then why do you seek to change the state's administration?
Further, if people do not believe in your—or your state's—vision of a cohesive society, then the only way is persuasion or brain-washing. Because to hold views that are in opposition to the state is to be guilty of Thought-Crime, and Thought-Crime must be eradicated.
And then we will all truly love Big Brother, will we not?