Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Philosophical Divide

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A Philosophical Divide
Jim Fedako

A philosophical divide between classic liberalism and the political forms now in vogue is manifest in the phrase, "Let's agree to disagree." To the classic liberal, this means we agree to end our discussion, debate, or argument and go about our separate ways. The phrase is the end as such. Certainly the classic liberal may engage the next person in a similar discourse and attempt to sway a new opinion, whether in person or by letter, handbill, pamphlet, etc., or through the more current versions of email, blog, or website. Additionally, the classic liberal assumes that his verbal opponent will also engage others in the marketplace of ideas. The understanding is that one is attempting to sway an opinion by the use of knowledge and logic.

Contrast that with the current use of "let's agree to disagree."

The statist version indicates that the statist will end the discourse and use whatever power and influence he has in order to have government -- the social apparatus of compulsion and coercion -- codify his views into law. What the statist is saying is, "Since your opinion holds no power, let's agree to end this pointless debate. I am wasting my time trying to convince you when I can use government to force you." You see it all the time as individuals lobby and pressure government to enforce their opinions and beliefs.

CS Lewis wrote that we need to fear those who claim to have our best interests in mind. Unlike the tyrant who will sleep every now and again, the do-gooder will work without rest in order to enslave you while claiming to protect you. I think that if Lewis were alive today he would have to extend that observation to include the do-gooder employed by government, no matter the level. Not only do they not sleep as they invade your rights, your taxes pay them to do it.

You can debate them and agree to disagree, but remember, as you sleep, they are drafting laws, rules, and regulations in order to control you life.

Jim Fedako, a former professional cyclist who lives in Lewis Center, OH, is a member of the Olentangy Local School District and maintains a blog: Anti-Positivist.

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