Beyond the caricature of libertarians as, what, amyl-nitrate-huffing poofters (not that there’s anything wrong with that–there we go again!), I just don’t get the idea that what sometimes gets called the pursuit of happiness is in any way controversial. And if it is for conservatives, then it’s a good thing they seem to be in the shitter politically.
Amen. But I’d make a slightly different point. Dinesh seems to conflate morality with certain anti-pleasure codes, largely to do with sex and/or drugs. And so he places libertarianism in an immoral or amoral camp. But toleration is itself a moral virtue. And leaving others alone in a free society can and often does go hand in hand with quite strict personal morality in your own life. Some of that morality can be along the lines D’Souza admires: no sex outside heterosexual marriage and no drinking or smoking. There are plenty of libertarians in that camp. But others see morality as being more about how one deals with other human beings: the virtues of compassion, patience, civility, kindness, courage, honesty, toleration, humility and so on. This is the deeper and wider moral agenda that encompasses many, many libertarians. It seems to me that a focus on morality that is obsessed primarily with issues of personal pleasure or sex is a warped and misleading one. I’m not saying that morality is not a part of those areas of human life. I am saying that morality is far, far broader and deeper than that.
Merry Christmas. Enjoy your day – however you want to.
(Photo: Sergei Supinsky/Getty.)