A Liberal Who Just Doesn’t Get It

Randy Balko cites this post by Matthew Yglesias as evidence that so-called “liberaltarianism” is a pipe dream, and I’ve got to say that I agree:

I guess this is something liberals and libertarians are supposed to agree about, but I consistently find it bizarre that there are some people who seem to think it would be a good idea if you could just walk into your local convenience store and pick up some heroin or crack along with your Fritos and Diet Coke. At times, people taking this line seem to argue that drug prohibition couldn’t possibly be having any beneficial effects because, after all, you can still find heroin. Naturally enough, you don’t see anyone proposing that the “war on mugging” be ended simply because mugging-prohibition has failed to actually eliminate the proscribed activity.

The difference, Mr. Yglesias, is that mugging constitutes at least two violations on the rights of another individual — namely, assault and robbery. Ingesting currently illegal drugs, as unwise as such as decision might be, violates the rights of no person. Therefore, the analogy is completely inapplicable.

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  • http://unrepentantindividual.com/ Brad Warbiany

    It’s even easier to point out. Crimes with victims can rely on the victim reporting it to the police and sending them off to find the perpetrator. Crimes without victims require police to violate our civil liberties in order to figure out that we’re committing these “crimes”.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/2005/11/22/a-bit-about-kevin/ Kevin

    But, I thought leftists and socialists were supposed to be tolerant and understanding of all lifestyle choices. It is none of their business that I go into a convenience store and buy heroin with my hot dog. In fact, it tastes quite good together.

  • http://www.belowthebeltway.com Doug Mataconis


    There are even those who might say that you need to be on heroin to even want a convenience store hot dog ;)

  • http://www.thelibertypapers.org/2006/11/22/comrades-i-hereby-declare-the-revolution/ Adam Selene

    You probably at least need to be smoking some really good dope!

  • http://www.kipesquire.com KipEsquire

    If cocaine had been legal ex ante, then crack would never have been invented.

  • http://thelibertypapers.org/2005/11/22/a-bit-about-kevin/ Kevin

    Any libertarian or classical liberal who thinks we can work with the leftists need to read this op-ed in the Boston Globe.


  • http://unrepentantindividual.com/ Brad Warbiany

    Yikes, Kevin! That one was a doozy!

    I found it especially funny that he accused Bush of slashing needed social spending, when Bush has increased domestic spending at a rate higher than LBJ.

  • http://www.pubcrawler.blogspot.com/ tkc

    I think one gets to Mr. Yglesias’ position by putting society ahead of the individual.