Once more, Fr. Lemieux:
While I’m all in favor of the government generally leaving people alone to live their lives as they see fit, we have to realize that this kind of free society depends on people living morally responsible lives. The two go together; if people generally act like miserable vile barbarians treating each other like trash, the state has a vested interest in intervening. If people wish to be left alone in peace to live their lives, this has to occur in an ethical framework.
This is why I am not a libertarian, but a conservative. In the current context of out of control governments legislating every aspect of our lives, I have great sympathy with the libertarian perspective (as many of the lawn signs around this part ofOntario say, “This land is our land – BACK OFF, GOVERNMENT!”). But… every action we do on ‘our land’, so to speak, affects not just ourselves but the whole of society. Every choice I make is fashioning a world in which the rest of you have to live. Every choice you make fashions a world in which I have to live.
Libertarianism does not, it seems to me, take this into account. Freedom has to be directed by moral concern, responsibility, deep awareness of the solidarity and inter-connectedness of the human family, or it is doomed to failure. If this direction is not to come from intrusive and coercive government control, it must come from a shared moral vision derived from the traditional wisdom narratives of the human family—in North America and Europe this would be our shared Judeo-Christian ethos.
Without this, freedom is doomed to failure, as society degenerates into a Hobbesian jungle of competing self-interests and unrestrained appetites. We have three choices: anarchy; government tyranny; spiritual-religious-moral renewal. What’s it going to be?
A kite is unable to fly freely unless it's tethered.
You and I can never truly be free unless we too are tethered.
Are you tethered?