View Poll Results: Should/Can libertarianism work?

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  • Yes of course but first we need to become more known.

    28 31.82%
  • Yes but we will never get elected.

    10 11.36%
  • No and I'm damn glad of it.

    42 47.73%
  • No because we will never get well known/enough votes.

    8 9.09%
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Thread: Can the Libertarian party or policies ever work?

  1. #131
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    Re: Can the Libertarian party or policies ever work?

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    The obvious question is why are these bad items coming out of china? The most obvious answer is because they have lax regulation. If we reduce our regulation here, our products will be no better.
    I don't believe that to necessarily be the case due to differences in culture and mindset. Americans (at least the ones in generations past) are fairly detail-oriented and get satisfaction from a job well-done. In China, you are dealing with a fair number of peasant-types who are more interested in day-to-day survival, and are accustomed to living under tight governmental controls. The difference in mindset and educational levels make a big difference imo.
    "God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse."
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    Re: Can the Libertarian party or policies ever work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gander View Post
    Is this a serious request? You honestly don't know how capitalism relates to libertarianism?
    Spell it out, Dude. Thanks in advance.
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    Re: Can the Libertarian party or policies ever work?

    The Libertarian Party will accomplish nothing so long as it remains an outpost for Republicans seeking an exotic label, issues unthinking defenses of corporate capitalism despite its lack of relationship to free market principles, and maintains centralized dictatorial structure reminiscent of Communist practice.

    Let's go over those one by one. Firstly, there's the matter of the somewhat chauvinistic mentality prevalent in the LP atmosphere: Libertarian Democraphobia

    Libertarianism does have public relations problems, and it’s not because most people are stupid or immoral. It’s because libertarians have done a terrible job countering the widespread suspicion that it’s a uselessly abstract ahistorical ideology for socially retarded adolescent white guys. The sadly common libertarian-conservative penchant for “brave” counter-PC truthiness (e.g., 'Women do love the welfare state!' 'Blacks really do have lower IQs!') certainly doesn’t help.
    As to a more general comment on ideology, I've mentioned the cognitive scientist George Lakoff several times, as I believe that he provides insightful analyses of the mindsets of the politically involved regardless of his own liberalism. He says this of libertarians in his book Moral Politics:

    Libertarians provide a very interesting challenge to the study of variations on a central model. Libertarians see themselves as forming a separate political category, neither liberal nor conservative, but something unto itself. An analysis in terms of variations on central models suggests that their view of themselves is not entirely accurate.

    Suppose we start by looking at the central conservative model. Consider a variant on that model that is pragmatic in the extreme, that is, think of a conservative who sees the pursuit of self-interest as the principal end and conservative morality (self-discipline, self-reliance, etc.) as a means to that end. Someone who is extremely pragmatic will be willing to sacrifice aspects of conservative morality if it interferes with the pursuit of self-interest. Now imagine such a pragmatic conservative having the moral focus: noninterference by the government.

    So far as I can tell, this is what a 'libertarian' is, namely an extremely pragmatic conservative whose moral focus is on noninterference by the government. In short, a libertarian is two steps away from a mainline conservative.

    Such a person will believe that free enterprise should be as unrestricted as possible and that people should be self-disciplined and self-reliant in order to pursue their self-interest. He will be very much against social programs, taxation, government support of education and the arts, government regulation, and gun control. But the libertarian’s moral focus on noninterference by the government and his extreme support of the pursuit of self-interest will make him a radical advocate of civil liberties. He will oppose any governmental restrictions on free speech, pornography, abortion, homosexuality, and so on. He will probably support the rights of women, gays, and minorities to equal opportunity, but be strongly against affirmative action on the grounds that it gives individuals things that they haven’t individually earned. He will most likely be pro-choice on abortion, but not believe that the government should pay for abortions. And since he gives priority to the pursuit of self-interest over the rest of the conservative moral system, he will not have the moralism of mainline conservatives; the seven deadly sins may not be sins for him.

    A good example would be drug addiction, which, to many libertarians, would not in itself be immoral. Libertarians commonly favor the decriminalization of drug use and sale on the grounds of maximum noninterference by the government and maximum pursuit of self-interest. They frequently argue that government interference in the drug trade has artificially driven up the price of drugs, brought criminals into the drug market, and forced drug addicts to turn to crime to support their habits. Decriminalization, they argue, would allow honest businesses to pursue the drug trade, bring in competition, lower prices enormously, not force users to turn to crime, and not make it profitable enough for major crime syndicates to bother with.

    The libertarian’s advocacy of civil liberties will bring him into overlap with liberals on many positions. But the source of that advocacy comes from a different place – from a conservative model with minimally restricted pursuit of self-interest and a moral focus on noninterference. The advocacy of civil liberties in a Nurturant Parent morality comes from the nurturance model, especially the concern with empathy, with fair distribution, with happiness, with development of one’s potential, and so on. Empathy and fair distribution are not libertarian concerns.

    The fact that libertarians and political liberals both strongly advocate civil liberties is a superficial similarity. They do so for very different reasons, out of different moral impulses, with a very different spirit. Though two steps away from mainline conservatism, libertarians are conservatives in three very important respects: (1) Their concern with noninterference by the government comes directly out of conservatism, out of the idea that the government is inappropriately paternalistic, that mature citizens should be left to take care of themselves. (2) They preserve primary conservative moral priorities: self-discipline, self-reliance, and individualism, rather than the cultivated interdependence required by the nurturance model. (3) They do not give priority to the values of Nurturant Parent morality: empathy, nurturance, interdependence, fairness, and responsibility for others.

    There are, of course, lots of variations possible within the category of libertarians. One would no more expect uniformity there than in any other radial category. But variation within the ranks of libertarians is not random. One source of variation is the degree to which a given libertarian preserves conservative moral positions; for example, some libertarians might echo the conservatives’ aversion to drugs because drugs arise from, and perpetuate, moral weakness. In general, the variation among types of libertarians reflects their conceptual links with conservatism. We don’t tend to find libertarians supporting welfare or the progressive income tax or government protections of various kinds.

    Thus, despite the claims of libertarians to be a category unto themselves, they appear to be just two steps – two important steps – from central conservatism, and the variation within their ranks seems to tend toward conservatism. There is, after all, a reason why the scholars at the libertarian Cato Institute seem largely to be writing in support of conservative rather than liberal positions.

    Nonetheless, there is no objective answer here. They are far away enough to think of themselves as a separate category and close enough for others to think of them as conservatives.
    So long as libertarian principles continue to stem from the same root as mainline social rightist ideas, and so long as they fall into the petty stereotype of the reactionary defenders of wealth and power that they're depicted as, the LP and adherents to the party line will remain isolated from the general public, which might otherwise be sympathetic to principles of liberty.

    I next mentioned a principle that stems from this, that of opposition to capitalism. Libertarian support of capitalism is a betrayal of free market principles; the capitalist economy is a bastard child of the state. It was created through systematic violation of property rights, through the imposition of force and fraud on numerous people. The most critical point is that all existing capitalist property was at either directly acquired through aggression at some point in time, or else created through productive resources that were themselves gained through aggression, many of those being capital goods created through still other productive resources themselves gained through aggression. The inference is that state capitalism is unacceptable, and that we don't want some bloated state system; we want free markets created through voluntary associations and interactions between rational, consenting adults!

    The third issue might not be apparent to outsiders, and so I'd hesitate to elaborate on it more until I have something substantive to say on it.

  4. #134
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    Re: Can the Libertarian party or policies ever work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cochise View Post
    The Libertarian Party will accomplish nothing so long as it remains an outpost for Republicans seeking an exotic label, issues unthinking defenses of corporate capitalism despite its lack of relationship to free market principles, and maintains centralized dictatorial structure reminiscent of Communist practice.

    Let's go over those one by one. Firstly, there's the matter of the somewhat chauvinistic mentality prevalent in the LP atmosphere: Libertarian Democraphobia



    As to a more general comment on ideology, I've mentioned the cognitive scientist George Lakoff several times, as I believe that he provides insightful analyses of the mindsets of the politically involved regardless of his own liberalism. He says this of libertarians in his book Moral Politics:



    So long as libertarian principles continue to stem from the same root as mainline social rightist ideas, and so long as they fall into the petty stereotype of the reactionary defenders of wealth and power that they're depicted as, the LP and adherents to the party line will remain isolated from the general public, which might otherwise be sympathetic to principles of liberty.

    I next mentioned a principle that stems from this, that of opposition to capitalism. Libertarian support of capitalism is a betrayal of free market principles; the capitalist economy is a bastard child of the state. It was created through systematic violation of property rights, through the imposition of force and fraud on numerous people. The most critical point is that all existing capitalist property was at either directly acquired through aggression at some point in time, or else created through productive resources that were themselves gained through aggression, many of those being capital goods created through still other productive resources themselves gained through aggression. The inference is that state capitalism is unacceptable, and that we don't want some bloated state system; we want free markets created through voluntary associations and interactions between rational, consenting adults!

    The third issue might not be apparent to outsiders, and so I'd hesitate to elaborate on it more until I have something substantive to say on it.
    I don't see a lot wrong with that with a few exceptions.
    Libertarianism has existed for quite some time, emerging with the cynics to the physiocrats to what we have now.
    It was the original liberalism until that title was usurped by quasi social libertarians "the progressives."

    Modern conservatism was born out of the Dixiecrat shift.

    The defense of corporations is usually for contextual reasons and not because of actual agreement with corporatism.

    This I think is a more accurate form of what progressed libertarians think of a more perfect society.
    [ame=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributism]Distributism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia[/ame]
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  5. #135
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    Re: Can the Libertarian party or policies ever work?

    I think the best way to describe the libertarian thought process is;

    We see the world for what it is, imperfect.
    To attempt to perfect it through imperfect means(government), will not lead to perfection.

    It is the most rational, reasonable form of thought, in my opinion.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  6. #136
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    Re: Can the Libertarian party or policies ever work?

    I think people overthink things.

    The libertarian party is by and large peopled by contrarians. They dont know what they ARE...they just know they dont want to be...democrats or republicans. The average libertarian is the epitome of the old saying, doing a good job is like wetting your pants in a dark suit...no one really notices...it feels warm for a while, but eventually it just gets cold and clammy.

    And yes...I AM a libertarian.

    Look...both major parties are invested in ideology and they can afford to treat the Tea party, the Libertarians, and the green party as merely a voting block. The libertarian party itself has this great concept...the worlds shortest political quiz, which shows that really...deep down MOST people are libertarian. But then to avoid the responsibility of actual party and politics they adopt platforms that will GUARANTEE that they will never get elected.

    I cant abide being a republican...not when republican politicians arent a dime different then democrats. So...I either abandon all politics...seek some comfort in affiliation with a fringe group, or become an independent (with the same results).

    If the libertarian party wanted to get people elected they would find a niche. There are literally MILLIONS of disenfranchised voters, republican AND democrat, that are disgusted by the actions of congress and the president. Congressional approval is...what...11%? Avoid the non-starters like legalizing drugs and prostitution and the like. Focus on foundation concepts...small and responsible federal government with powers centralized on constitutional concepts. Focus on strong individual and states rights. Pay off the debt then reduce federal taxes while allowing states to tax and provide social services as they deem prudent. I believe they could begin to be legitimate contenders. I also dont believe that will ever happen.

  7. #137
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    Re: Can the Libertarian party or policies ever work?

    Quote Originally Posted by VanceMack View Post
    I think people overthink things.

    The libertarian party is by and large peopled by contrarians. They dont know what they ARE...they just know they dont want to be...democrats or republicans. The average libertarian is the epitome of the old saying, doing a good job is like wetting your pants in a dark suit...no one really notices...it feels warm for a while, but eventually it just gets cold and clammy.

    And yes...I AM a libertarian.

    Look...both major parties are invested in ideology and they can afford to treat the Tea party, the Libertarians, and the green party as merely a voting block. The libertarian party itself has this great concept...the worlds shortest political quiz, which shows that really...deep down MOST people are libertarian. But then to avoid the responsibility of actual party and politics they adopt platforms that will GUARANTEE that they will never get elected.

    I cant abide being a republican...not when republican politicians arent a dime different then democrats. So...I either abandon all politics...seek some comfort in affiliation with a fringe group, or become an independent (with the same results).

    If the libertarian party wanted to get people elected they would find a niche. There are literally MILLIONS of disenfranchised voters, republican AND democrat, that are disgusted by the actions of congress and the president. Congressional approval is...what...11%? Avoid the non-starters like legalizing drugs and prostitution and the like. Focus on foundation concepts...small and responsible federal government with powers centralized on constitutional concepts. Focus on strong individual and states rights. Pay off the debt then reduce federal taxes while allowing states to tax and provide social services as they deem prudent. I believe they could begin to be legitimate contenders. I also dont believe that will ever happen.
    I would agree but things have gone to far for that to happen.

    It would take a government calamity to change the thought process of millions of people to realize what they have caused.

    Maybe the eventual meltdown of our budget will do that.
    I don't know though.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
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  8. #138
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    Re: Can the Libertarian party or policies ever work?

    Quote Originally Posted by lizzie View Post
    I don't believe that to necessarily be the case due to differences in culture and mindset. Americans (at least the ones in generations past) are fairly detail-oriented and get satisfaction from a job well-done. In China, you are dealing with a fair number of peasant-types who are more interested in day-to-day survival, and are accustomed to living under tight governmental controls. The difference in mindset and educational levels make a big difference imo.
    I think the two go hand in hand, honestly. Americans are used to buying a safe product and are used to making a safe product because we have regulatory mechanisms of accountability for products that cause injury. These mechanisms cause a company to be more successful if they product a safe product. For society it then becomes normal to have safe products, and inversely it means there will be outrage when there is an unsafe product, this indirectly creates support for these regulatory agencies, however if those mechanisms went away, safety would slowly decline as profit concerns take over. It wouldn't happen overnight, but I think over time, our mindset would shift towards survival as well since the safety of an item would become a gamble at best.
    Last edited by tacomancer; 04-14-10 at 09:10 AM.

  9. #139
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    Re: Can the Libertarian party or policies ever work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    I don't see a lot wrong with that with a few exceptions.
    Libertarianism has existed for quite some time, emerging with the cynics to the physiocrats to what we have now.
    It was the original liberalism until that title was usurped by quasi social libertarians "the progressives."

    Modern conservatism was born out of the Dixiecrat shift.

    The defense of corporations is usually for contextual reasons and not because of actual agreement with corporatism.

    This I think is a more accurate form of what progressed libertarians think of a more perfect society.
    Distributism - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    I believe you're correct.

    Have you heard of a man named Kevin Carson, who seems to advocate some kind of market socialism while trying to remain under the "libertarian" banner? I don't agree with much of that, but he did make what I consider to be insightful commentary on what he calls "vulgar libertarianism." Here is a passage from a book he wrote called Studies in Mutualist Political Economy:

    This school of libertarianism has inscribed on its banner the reactionary watchword: "Them pore ole bosses need all the help they can get." For every imaginable policy issue, the good guys and bad guys can be predicted with ease, by simply inverting the slogan of Animal Farm: "Two legs good, four legs baaaad." In every case, the good guys, the sacrificial victims of the Progressive State, are the rich and powerful. The bad guys are the consumer and the worker, acting to enrich themselves from the public treasury. As one of the most egregious examples of this tendency, consider Ayn Rand's characterization of big business as an "oppressed minority," and of the Military-Industrial Complex as a "myth or worse."

    The ideal "free market" society of such people, it seems, is simply actually existing capitalism, minus the regulatory and welfare state: a hyper-thyroidal version of nineteenth century robber baron capitalism, perhaps; or better yet, a society "reformed" by the likes of Pinochet, the Dionysius to whom Milton Friedman and the Chicago Boys played Aristotle.

    Vulgar libertarian apologists for capitalism use the term "free market" in an equivocal sense: they seem to have trouble remembering, from one moment to the next, whether they’re defending actually existing capitalism or free market principles. So we get the standard boilerplate article arguing that the rich can’t get rich at the expense of the poor, because "that’s not how the free market works"--implicitly assuming that this is a free market. When prodded, they’ll grudgingly admit that the present system is not a free market, and that it includes a lot of state intervention on behalf of the rich. But as soon as they think they can get away with it, they go right back to defending the wealth of existing corporations on the basis of "free market principles."
    That's why I'm not inclined to join the crowd in attacking progressive taxation as "theft" from the upper class; that would presume that the system of wealth distribution that they benefited from was based on legitimate principles of consensual and voluntary transaction, i.e. a free market. Since it was not...the thievery of already stolen goods doesn't tend to alarm me. But the Libertarian Party and mainline libertarianism does not acknowledge this.

    The same is true of the differences between classical liberalism and modern corporate capitalism, the former which involved agrarian self-reliance and the latter which was built upon industrial serfdom. Modern corporate capitalism, dependent upon the state for its survival, is the enemy of the free market.

  10. #140
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    Re: Can the Libertarian party or policies ever work?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cochise View Post
    I believe you're correct.

    Have you heard of a man named Kevin Carson, who seems to advocate some kind of market socialism while trying to remain under the "libertarian" banner? I don't agree with much of that, but he did make what I consider to be insightful commentary on what he calls "vulgar libertarianism." Here is a passage from a book he wrote called Studies in Mutualist Political Economy:
    Definitely familiar with him, I haven't picked up any of his books yet but it's on the list.

    People treat competition and mutualist ideas as opposites when in reality they are complimentary.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cochise View Post
    That's why I'm not inclined to join the crowd in attacking progressive taxation as "theft" from the upper class; that would presume that the system of wealth distribution that they benefited from was based on legitimate principles of consensual and voluntary transaction, i.e. a free market. Since it was not...the thievery of already stolen goods doesn't tend to alarm me. But the Libertarian Party and mainline libertarianism does not acknowledge this.

    The same is true of the differences between classical liberalism and modern corporate capitalism, the former which involved agrarian self-reliance and the latter which was built upon industrial serfdom. Modern corporate capitalism, dependent upon the state for its survival, is the enemy of the free market.
    Can't argue with that at all.
    Glad to have another enlightened libertarian in the ranks.
    I was discovering that life just simply isn't fair and bask in the unsung glory of knowing that each obstacle overcome along the way only adds to the satisfaction in the end. Nothing great, after all, was ever accomplished by anyone sulking in his or her misery.
    —Adam Shepard

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