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u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/askaconservative

First, I think it's instructive to understand the difference between classical liberal's conception of freedom and the progressive perversion of freedom. The following is some copy-pasta I wrote a few months ago:

>In the early 20th century progressives broke from the classical liberal understanding of liberty by distinguishing between effective freedom and formal freedom. Formal freedom, or freedom per the classical liberal tradition, is defined as the ability of a man to pursue his goals without interference by others. In other words, formal freedom represents "a clear road, cleared of impediments, for action."

>Progressives argue that the ability for a man to pursue his goals requires more than just a lack of impediments, but the possession of material and mental means to get him where he wants to go. For example, having the freedom of speech doesn't mean much if you're mute, and having the freedom to travel doesn't mean much if you don't have a car. Thus, progressives argue that true liberty (aka effective freedom) understands material lack to be the true impediment of liberty, not government/social restrictions. Combining this progressive understanding of liberty with an unrealistic trust in the abilities of social science yielded massive increases in the scope of government.

>Classical liberals deny the existence of effective freedom in natural law, and argue that ensuring that everyone has the material means to pursue their dreams requires violating fundamental principles of formal freedom. Thus, in the minds of classical liberals, progressives are the enemies of liberty.

>Meanwhile, progressives perceive classical liberals as selfish or prejudiced because classical liberals refuse to use the state to redistribute wealth. Such characterizations are asinine. Taking the formal freedom position does not preclude individuals from donating to causes they think worthy.

>You'll find no better defense of the classical liberal definition of freedom than Hayek's Constitution of Liberty.

I agree with the classical liberal definition of freedom, but classical liberals and libertarians make the mistake of assuming freedom is sufficient for a good life and good society. It is not. Freedom is necessary for living a moral life in that it allows one to choose good. A proper understanding of good and evil, right and wrong, is also necessary for moral life. Conservatives advocate that our understanding of morality should not come from government, but from churches, schools, families, and other voluntary civic institutions.

Read Evan's classic essay, A Conservative Case For Freedom for more on the differences between classical liberals and conservatives with respect to freedom.

u/Religious_Redditor · 2 pointsr/askaconservative

In the early 20th century progressives broke from the classical liberal understanding of liberty by distinguishing between effective liberty and formal liberty. Formal liberty, or liberty per the classical liberal tradition, is defined as the ability of a man to pursue his goals without interference by others. In other words, formal liberty represents "a clear road, cleared of impediments, for action."

In the classical liberal tradition, rights are assurances of formal liberty. They can be understood as a shield against being forced to violate your will.

Progressives argue that the ability for a man to pursue his goals requires more than just a lack of impediments, but the possession of material and mental means to get him where he wants to go. For example, having the freedom of speech doesn't mean much if you're mute, and having the freedom to travel doesn't mean much if you don't have a car. Thus, progressives argue that true liberty (aka effective liberty) understands material lack to be the true impediment of liberty, not government/social restrictions. Combining this progressive understanding of liberty with an unrealistic trust in the abilities of social science yielded massive increases in the scope of government.

In the progressive tradition, rights are assurances of effective liberty. I'm sure you can see how guaranteeing healthcare to all denizens fulfills the progressive ideal of liberty.

Classical liberals deny the existence of effective liberty in natural law, and argue that ensuring that everyone has the material means to pursue their will requires violating fundamental principles of formal liberty. Thus, in the minds of classical liberals, progressives have become the enemies of liberty.

The most influential source of the progressive view of liberty is Dewey and Tufts' Ethics. For the applied stuff skip to part 3.

You'll find no better defense of the classical liberal definition of liberty than Hayek's Constitution of Liberty.

u/BlueCollarBeagle · 1 pointr/askaconservative

>Because unfortunately, conservative values build nations and liberal values tear them down

Give us one example, please.

> The job of the government is recorded in the Constitution.

Yes, but as Scalia wrote in his book, it's a matter of interpretation. It's a very informative book. I recommend you read it.

> Both sides have an agenda and that agenda is to inflate the well being of their supporters so that those supporters will continue to put them in power.

I agree. Who are the supporters and how do we take them down? Trump has made them all members of his cabinet.

u/zurgenfloggin · 1 pointr/askaconservative

This is devolving and becoming unhelpful to everyone. Tediously citing sources for every opinion is not helpful and often overburdens a social platform such as reddit. I'll finish off my thoughts here, but will leave you the last word if you want it.

u/SuperMarioKartWinner · 0 pointsr/askaconservative

I’ll give you my favorite: The Creature from Jekyll Island: A Second Look at the Federal Reserve

It’s a must read in my opinion. Long, but well worth it. Don’t waste your time with other books on the subject like “End the Fed” by Ron Paul. This book blows it out and is very comprehensive. It’s read like a story also, which makes it easy to read.

Also, take your pick from Mark Levin. I’d recommend picking any single one of his books that interest you.

u/LibertaliaIsland · 3 pointsr/askaconservative


I believe this is correct, but the part that complicates this matter is interstate commerce. There is a difference between a state dictating its regulations regarding health insurance companies and entirely preventing individual citizens from being a customer of an out-of-state insurance company that does not have the same regulations. The way I see it, it's the difference between being forced to work in the state in which you live and having the opportunity to, say, live in New Jersey and work in NYC.


Insurance companies would flock to states with the least amount of regulation, but that doesn't mean that only the lowest-covered plans with the lowest prices will be bought. It depends on what people want.

Let's say there's a state with no insurance regulations. Now, a company can offer a plan that includes pregnancy services, or it can offer a plan that does not include pregnancy services, based on the age and sex of the consumer. Obviously, the former would be more expensive, but it is up to the consumer to decide.

The issue is if you have regulations that dictate that every insurance company and plan must offer pregnancy services, that's an unnecessary cost to a husband and wife in their 50s.


Yes, it would be very unpopular to offer a service for free to a specific group while forcing all others to pay for it, and then right the ship by having individuals be responsible for their own payments in order to increase efficiency and lower overall cost.

Regarding Canada, yes, it has "free" health care, but in socialized industries, either costs are high due to inefficiency or shortages are inevitable. So, when you see that costs are lower per capita in socialized health systems such as the one in Canada, there also exist absurd wait times because of said shortage. The average wait time in Canada is 47 weeks for neurosurgery, 38 weeks for orthopaedic surgery, 28.5 weeks for eye surgery, and 26 weeks for plastic surgery. The shortest wait time for a specialist is that for oncological services, and even that is a full month - quite a period when every treatment counts in the fight against cancer. (Source:

In addition to long wait times, health care shortages manifest as a shortage of capital and health care equipment. The US has at best a mockery of a market health care system. Yet, in 1992, compared per capita to Canada, we had 8x more MRI machines (Washington state had more MRI machines than all of Canada), 7x more radiation therapy units for cancer treatment, 6x more lithotripsy units, and 3x more open-heart surgery units (Source: Patient Power, by John Goodman and Gerald Musgrave). We've become more centrally planned since then regarding health care, yet still have 5x more MRI machines and 3x more CT scanners per capita (Source:

Think about the fact that despite Canadians' "free" access to care, people are still choosing to go to another country to pay for medical services that would be free in their own country.
We all want lower costs, but the way to lower them is not to deny care for those who either legitimately need or are willing to pay for it. It is to decrease overconsumption on others' dime and increase supply and competition.

Of course, part of increasing supply includes increasing the number of doctors, but so long as the United States places caps on the number of residency positions available for medical school graduates, there won't be a significant increase in the supply of PCPs and specialists, at least for the near future.

u/Sir_Timotheus_Canus · 9 pointsr/askaconservative

Just to point out, many Conservatives would disagree that Austrian Economics and Ayn Rand's Objectivism are even remotely Conservative (this is more related to the Libertarian branch of the Republican Party and is more correctly labeled "Libertarianism"). That said, I hope that you don't leave your studies with the notion that Milton Friedman and Ayn Rand necessarily represent Conservatism, because they most certainly don't (but to be fair, they are Right-Wing).

I like that Russel Kirk was on your reading list. Since you've read The Conservative Mind, I'm sure that you've read about Edmund Burke. I'd recommend Reflections on the Revolution in France. Another good book you may want to check out is The North American High Tory Tradition by Ron Dart. These works represent Traditional Conservativism, of which Russel Kirk was included.

u/jub-jub-bird · 2 pointsr/askaconservative

A few books

Reflections on the Revolution in France by Burke

The Law by Frédéric Bastiat

The Conservative Mind by Russell Kirke

The Road to Serfdom by Friedrich Hayek

The Righteous Mind by Haidt, not a conservative and not really a conservative book but interesting research by a social psychologist researching morality and it's impact on political opinions.

For websites, magazines, blogs

National Review not quite as good nor as influential as it once was in decades past but still worthwhile.

Instapundit blog by libertarian law professor Glenn Reynolds. Usually links to articles posted elsewhere with a bit of commentary.

I like the The American Interest. Walter Russell Mead is a self declared liberal editing a self declared centrist publication. But much of his writing consists of a critique of what he calls the "blue social model". At this point I think he's well on his way down the road to becoming a (moderate) conservative but just can't bring himself to call himself one.

u/I_am_just_saying · 6 pointsr/askaconservative

> In a small community - say a village of 350 people - I would say 'Yes, we are all in this together and our collective success or failure is intertwined with one another and we must all contribute to helping each other by specializing in different things which together allow the best functioning society.

This is one of the many arguments for federalism, its why services should be supplied by states and local communities, the states can act as laboratories and people can move in and out of areas they favor.

> Capitalism measures success by the amount of money we have

No, capitalism doesnt measure anything, it is simply the economic system that allows individuals to exchange their goods or services as they see fit.

Dont anthropomorphize an economic system. Capitalism allows for taco bell to sell taco's at 2 for 99 cents and a Jackson Pollock artwork for a few hundred million dollars, it doesnt measure success.

I measure my personal success different than you do, it has nothing to do with an economic system.

> is a very difficult one when we get into details and I am unresolved in where I stand on it (where is the line drawn? Cue a reference to 'death panels'...).

All the more reason why putting a bureaucrat who does not care about you or even know you exist in charge of your health is such a bad idea.

> I am of the belief that our entire nation is stronger when we are looking out for each other.

I agree, but having the government forcing people at the point of a gun erodes the voluntary individual responsibility we have with each other. Looking out for eachother doesnt mean forcing one group of people to pay for another.

It is certainly not society's job to fill in the gaps where you have failed. It is your job to pick yourself up.

If you are actually genuine with your questions and actually want to learn I strongly recommend reading Thomas Sowell's Basic Economics: A Common Sense Guide to the Economy ( I think it would help a lot with your understanding of economics.

u/thalos3D · 0 pointsr/askaconservative

Don't have to. There's a whole book on the topic.

u/ThePoliticalHat · 1 pointr/askaconservative

I don't think there is a copy of the book online. Here are reviews at Amazon.

u/Zeppelin415 · 2 pointsr/askaconservative

Tomas Sowell is in my opinion the most eloquent conservative writer. I read a lot of his work that's published on the internet. The only book of his I've read personally is ["Economic Facts and Fallacies"] ( It puts together some good arguments on controversial economic issues.

u/agfa12 · 1 pointr/askaconservative

Even in the first Obama administration, Iran agreed to the terms of a deal negotiated on behalf of the US by Brazil and Turkey according to which Iran would have exported its enriched uranium in the hopes of receiving the reactor fuel it had been denied, only to see the Obama administration pull the rug out from under them AFTER Iran had said yes to the deal, upsetting the Brazilians and Turks so much they publicized the letter Obama had written to them just a week earlier endorsing the same terms that Iran had agreed to

One American expert on Iran affairs, noted that the very day after Iran had agreed to these terms, the US proceeded to impose yet more sanctions on Iran

The Bush administration had started out imposing an unrealistic and illegal demand called "Zero Enrichment" -

which would have required Iran to give up her sovereign right as recognized by the NonProliferation Treaty to be able to make their own reactor fuel (which thanks to US sanctions, Iran was not able to import as usual.) This was a deliberate policy of the Bush admin, to prevent any deal by making demands that no country would accept.

The second Obama admin eventually dropped the zero enrichment demand,

and thus signaled that it is willing to actually resolve the nuclear issue, which is what we're seeing today.

The significance of this is not in the details of the nuclear deal itself, but in that the US and Iran are POSSIBLY finding ways to get along rather than continuing towards a conflict.

That's why there are many forces opposed to such a deal and insist that the US and Iran should not be talking but that the US should be attacking Iran instead, including Israel and the pro-Israeli lobby in the US which has been pushing for a war for a while now.

There are others who say that the US should not listen to the Israelis and should instead "Go to Iran" just as Nixon "went to China" and decided to open up relations with those countries rather than continue the emnity.

So you see the nuclear issue is not really about nukes but is just a part of a larger political dispute. There are no Iranian nukes just as there were no Iraqi WMDs.

To make up for the lack of evidence of any Iranian nuclear weapons program in the past, the issue is instead framed as concern about Iran's "capability" to make nukes in the indefinite future.

In reality, Iran's "capability" to make nukes is hardly unique -- 40 nations were already capable of quickly making nukes if they wanted to, back 10 years ago. More now, presumably.

That's because the "capability" to make nukes comes with becoming technologically developed, not because these 40 nations want to make nukes.

There is a significant difference: the capability to make nukes is not illegal but the media coverage obfuscates this significant difference. In fact the NonProliferation Treaty is actually also intended to promote nuclear technology (which has to be shared "to the fullest extent possible" and "without discrimination") -- thus having the "capability" to make nukes is not a violation of the NPT but actually an inevitable part of following the NPT.

The US National Intelligence Estimate concluded that while Iran was engaged in "nuclear-related studies" until 2003 (for which the actual evidence is very questionable - more below) there's no sign they're interested in nukes now -

a conclusion that the Israelis agreed with,

The Russians noted there was no evidence of nukes either

There's no reason to just assume that Iran wants nukes either

There's zero evidence of any Iranian nuclear weapons program, ever.

>Despite growing international concern about Iran's nuclear program and its regional ambitions, most U.S. intelligence shared with the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency has proved inaccurate, and none has led to significant discoveries inside Iran, diplomats here said.

According to IAEA Director Elbaradei:

>I have been making it very clear that with regard to these alleged studies, we have not seen any use of nuclear material, we have not received any information that Iran has manufactured any part of a nuclear weapon or component. That’s why I say, to present the Iran threat as imminent is hype.


>With respect to a recent media report, the IAEA reiterates that it has no concrete proof that there is or has been a nuclear weapon programme in Iran.


>The IAEA is not making any judgment at all whether Iran even had weaponisation studies before because there is a major question of authenticity of the documents.

Even the new, US-backed IAEA Director

>The incoming head of the U.N. nuclear watchdog said on Friday he did not see any hard evidence Iran was trying to gain the ability to develop nuclear arms. "I don't see any evidence in IAEA official documents about this," Yukiya Amano told Reuters in his first direct comment on Iran's atomic program since his election, when asked whether he believed Tehran was seeking nuclear weapons capability.

and lets remember that Iran has bent over backwards and has actually allowed more inspections than legally required, in addition to suspending enrichment of uranium entirely for more than 2 years in the past, and currently.

>"Any country, I think, would be rather reluctant to let international inspectors to go anywhere in a military site," Mr. Blix told Al Jazeera English about Parchin in late March. "In a way, the Iranians have been more open than most other countries would be."

u/ouuuut · 1 pointr/askaconservative

From Russel Kirk's "Ten Conservative Principles" in the sidebar:

> Human nature suffers irremediably from certain grave faults, the conservatives know. Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created. Because of human restlessness, mankind would grow rebellious under any utopian domination, and would break out once more in violent discontent—or else expire of boredom. To seek for utopia is to end in disaster, the conservative says: we are not made for perfect things. All that we reasonably can expect is a tolerably ordered, just, and free society, in which some evils, maladjustments, and suffering will continue to lurk. By proper attention to prudent reform, we may preserve and improve this tolerable order. But if the old institutional and moral safeguards of a nation are neglected, then the anarchic impulse in humankind breaks loose: “the ceremony of innocence is drowned.” The ideologues who promise the perfection of man and society have converted a great part of the twentieth-century world into a terrestrial hell.

One of the most fascinating books I've ever read is A Conflict of Visions by conservative economist Thomas Sowell. The main thesis is that the differences in conservatives and liberals beliefs boil down to a philosophical dispute about human nature. On the whole conservatives adhere to the "tragic" view of an inherently imperfect, greedy, violent mankind with impulses that need to be constrained by social institutions, social norms, and moral values. The stereotypical liberal, on the other hand, has an "unconstrained" and optimistic view of humanity in which human nature can be changed by an ideal arrangement of social structures they're always striving for. Highly recommended.

u/dubalubdub · 3 pointsr/askaconservative

That book and those studies have been debunked so fucking hard over the years for having a cultural bias i cant believe you are actually citing it here. The tests would show people at tennis courts with pictures of A.) Tennis Rackets B.) Basketball C.) Baseball bat and ask which belongs. Obviously a middle class white kid will know to choose A. but what does a poor black kid who has never seen a tennis court choose.

Shit science from a shit scientist.