Does Liberty Require a Nanny?


Master of Arts
Apr 25, 2008
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Southern Cal.
Too many differing responsibilities to properly address in an article of this size--duties to the state, the environment, the spouse, fellow workers, the poor...which the author links tenuously to a nanny state.

Where I see the dividing line between libertarians and authoritarians, is that the authoritarians would encompass all those entities and more as something to be regulated by the state. Libertarians OTOH separate those various interests into categories of "my business" versus "other people's/government's business". "My business" tends to be the vast majority of responsibilities for a libertarian, excepting perhaps the the maintaining of militia, LEOs, public roads, and the postal service.

Interestingly enough, what I do not see the author address is the origin of libertarian thought. I believe if we look far enough down the timeline, we'd find it has origins in the Rennaissance and strong ties to the Protestant religious tradition. Religion is traditionally a bastion of authoritarianism, and yet Martin Luther, a religious man, decried government control of the religious sphere (personal morality). Was that not the beginnings of a revolution in Western thought, one that perhaps eventually spawned Libertarianism?

In short, as a Libertarian and a Christian (not a Lutheran, rather nondenominational), I see those two worldviews as inextricably linked. But of course there are many Libertarians today who claim no particular faith, or faiths outside of Christianity. If there is a common thought amongst us independant types, it might be "I decide what is morally right or wrong for myself." (whether through choice of faith or otherwise).

A nanny state OTOH symbolically assumes the role of God, deciding for the individual what is morally right or wrong, regarless of whether or not that state justifies it through religious means.

My personal impression of the English through this discussion board is a tendency to nod toward the nanny state outwardly, while inwardly, having stronger libertarian tendencies. Especially when we are talking about certain iaido practicioners;).


Have the courage to speak softly
MT Mentor
Lifetime Supporting Member
MTS Alumni
Sep 15, 2006
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Staffordshire, England
Nice, concise, response, Bug :applause:.

Hmmm ... I wonder who is referred to in the last sentence ... :angel:.