Thursday, March 20, 2014

Ordered Liberty, State Religions and the Pedagogical Aspects of Law

Both libertarians and (American) conservatives find considerable value in social constructs outside government to encourage and enforce social goals through social means. Conservatives call limited government plus a large number of groups like churches, professional societies, charities, open source initiatives and so on, working generally together, but often at cross purposes, "ordered liberty". Libertarians like "ordered liberty" also, but with less order and more liberty.

Tribal leaders, feudalists, certain kinds of monarchists (examples are German but not British, in my opinion), progressives, socialists, fascists and Marxists tend to make all those social groups part of the government. This difference is particularly noticeable with regard to religion. Tribal leaders, feudal leaders, monarchs and Marxists tend to regard people outside the state religion as disloyal. (Actually, I just realized, so do American progressives, whose religion is progressivism.)

Conservatives are more likely than libertarians to embrace the pedagogical aspects of law. This conservative would prefer that more crimes be dealt with by parking ticket style fines. For example I would have relatively small fines (max $100) for using drugs but none for selling drugs (except to minors). I would have fairly large fines for engaging a prostitute ($500 to $1000) but none for prostituting itself (except to minors). I would have similar fines for adultery, including for married same sex couples. I'm a big fan of alienation of affection lawsuits (i.e. sue the home wrecker). This preserves the pedagogical aspects of law while minimizing many of the horrible side effects of throwing people in jail. Someone less conservative and more libertarian than I would skip both the fines and the law in the cases I mentioned.