Barry Goldwater's The Conscience of a Conservative is, sadly, just another politician's manifesto, making sweeping statements in support of individual rights in one breath and in the next sacrificing them at the altar of government. He believes in individual property rights, sure:
One of the foremost precepts of the natural law is man's right to the possession and the use of his property.
But, naturally, individuals must pay for their government out of their... uh, property:
But having said that each man has an inalienable right to his property, it also must be said that every citizen has an obligation to contribute his fair share to the legitimate functions of government. Government, in other words, has some claim on our wealth, and the problem is to define that claim in a way that gives due consideration to the property rights of the individual.
Goldwater declines to provide any defense for this claim; at least he knows he can't rely on natural law this time. The problem as he states it is irreconcilable; absolute property rights and absolute obligation to the government are inherently contradictory, "due consideration" notwithstanding. As expected, Goldwater's sense of justice is much more easily appeased than is indicated by his initial defense of property rights — if only the rich were taxed at the same rate as the poor, if only all were coerced equally, he'd be happy.
The award-winning contradiction, however, is found in his divergent approaches to handling intrusive big government. On one hand, we have the overreaching and unconstitutional US federal government:
The Congress and the States, equally with the Supreme Court, are obliged to interpret and comply with the Constitution according to their own lights. I therefore support all efforts by the States, excluding violence of course, to preserve their rightful powers over education.
Of course! No violence, no way. That's crazy talk!
On the other hand, the imperialist and nonconstitutional Soviet government:
If we tell ourselves that it is more important to avoid shooting than to keep our freedom[,] we are committed to a course that has only one terminal point: surrender. We cannot, by proclamation, make war "unthinkable." For it is not unthinkable to the Communists: naturally, they would prefer to avoid war, but they are prepared to risk it, in the last analysis, to achieve their objectives.
Huh. American history indicates that "Communists" in that last sentence can be replaced by "tories" or "unionists" without any loss of truth. And at the end of the day, are the objectives of these different varieties of statist substantially different?