[FoRK] Misunderestimating "The" Tea Party

Russell Turpin russell.turpin at gmail.com
Sat Mar 20 09:05:16 PDT 2010

On Sat, Mar 20, 2010 at 10:29 AM, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
> Second, your argument is flawed because it doesn't generalize;  you're correct
> to say that shifting the matter of choice from federal to e.g. as small as city
> scope would in general represent a reduction in a specific individual liberty in
> net *relative to the present status quo, on this issue (abortion) specifically.* ...

Neither my argument nor examples were restricted to abortion. I pointed
out that the actual history of civil liberty here in the US has largely been one
of states legally regulating speech, religious exercise, sexual behavior, and
other core liberties, which liberties then are won at a national level
by appeal
to the Bill of Rights and 14th amendment through federal courts. Soon, we
will add gun ownership to that list.

> In general, putting more choices on more matters into the hands of
> smaller decision-making collectives yields a *much richer* matrix of individual
> choice and liberty, not a more impoverished one.

I'm a bit skeptical that that is the case, historically. It seems to me there
are significant examples in both directions. But for the sake of argument,
let's say it is. I'm not sure I see the significance. Our time and place isn't
"in general," but the current US, with its specific history and culture. Even
if that is the case "in general," that just means the US is an exception
in that regard.

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