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paul d s

Tim, this dictionary is much more polemical than definitive.

I'm socially liberal and pro-family. I make moral judgements, but I don't need the government to make those judgements for me. St Thomas Aquinas said, rightly, that there can be no virtue without free will.

Libertarians don't like to see the government sphere encroaching into the private sphere, it is none of the government's business what I do in the bedroom and how I choose to bring up my children, nor is it the proper role of government to attempt social engineering. Support for the family as an ideal is a matter for civil society and the faith-based community. The government should make sure that it does nothing to undermine the family.

You claim that "Only sixties socialists have the moral and intellectual right to oppose social conservatism." Well that's just ridiculous, who gives out these rights? Who determines what is moral?

Incidentally, I know lots of libertarian conservatives who detest liberal lifestyles, but support the right of others to live their life as they choose, because they value individual liberty. Like free speech, you may not like the results, but to prohibit it would be worse.

I suspect your argument is that big government is necessary to mend the "broken society". If faith based institutions had not lost their influence we might not have so broken a society, but this special pleading for government intervention in the areas of special interest to you is little different from the special leading from trade unions who want the government to intervene in areas that matter most to them - in the labour market.

Getting the government involved in "nurturing free society’s caring institutions" is asking for trouble. The welfare state destroyed the nurturing of private caring institutions.

By all means support the family and work to mend the broken society, but do not force others to pick up the pieces or live by your values against their will. Do not legislate or govern with the delusion that you have a monopoly on the moral highground or caring for social justice. A theocratic government is not part of the conservative vision of a free society and it definitely is not a component part of a culture of liberty.

Instead of trying to divide social from liberal conservatives, you should work to unify them against our collectivist enemies.

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