View Poll Results: Do libertarians inadvertently enable fascism?

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Thread: Do libertarians inadvertently enable fascism?

  1. #81
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    Re: Do libertarians inadvertently enable fascism?

    Regarding the OP....


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    Re: Do libertarians inadvertently enable fascism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    Umm first of all, one of the defining characteristics of being libertarian, is that is doesn't just stop at the ballot box but it is a pathway to walk. Your life is changed in total because of the belief system.
    As Haymarket said earlier, and I agree, you are correct to say that libertarianism is a belief system - in fact, it has more in common with religion than political philosophy. I mean this entirely as observation and not as insult, but in the libertarian community the "free market" takes on aspects of the godhead: It's treated as a mysterious, sacred, and impenetrable force that must not be desecrated by the impure hand of government. It's as valid as any other religion, but as a set of ideas for improving the quality of American life it's basically moribund and sock-puppeted by fascistic elements merely trying to weaken current institutions.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    No one believes that zero taxation brings in revenue
    Plenty of libertarian arguments boil down to that - you can find them everywhere politics is debated, including here. Categorical statements like "cutting taxes increases revenue" and "raising taxes reduces revenue" are commonplace among libertarians (and conservatives), and there is little recognition that these statements inherently involve a claim that zero taxes would bring in maximum revenue. The vast majority of libertarians have no specific proposal for an optimum taxation level, and those who do just hit on 10% because it's a round number and sounds low relative to current rates, but be realistic: If taxes were 10% and another round of Republican politicians came along offering more tax cuts, it's a pretty safe bet that libertarians would support the proposal. The distinction between libertarianism and anarchism is almost entirely academic rather than practical.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    but of course I rarely if ever see anyone try to "debunk" there economic policy suggestions.
    How does one debunk a religious belief enough to convince its believers? The Cato Institute's work consists of deducing facts from predetermined conclusions, not the other way around - like Middle Age philosophers investigating the nature of the world by reading the Bible rather than just looking at the world. The difference between good work and shoddy work in such a context is merely how artful one's sophistry is - beyond that, there can be no surprises and no change in viewpoints. Cato promulgates a religion beneficial to a lot of elite interests, and as with the medieval Church, those interests are quite generous in supporting its efforts.

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    It's definitely a think tank, much like that of the Brookings Institute.
    I'm not as well-acquainted with Brookings as Cato, but I seriously doubt it.

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    But I do see the danger that expanding markets, with the side effect of allowing inequality to increase and democratic participation to be curbed, has the unwanted side effect of turning more people towards demagoguery. That can be fascist demagoguery, communism or anything else. In these regards, maybe you can say that implementation of libertarian free market ideas has the side effect of pushing more people in the arms of demagogues, although this is the exact opposite of what libertarians intend. I see that danger.
    Well said, and I agree.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ikari View Post
    Something that is more than just your conjecture and supposition based on your personal bigotries; that would be a good place to start.
    That's not an answer, that's just a blanket-dismissal. I've addressed your comments and questions in detail while your responses to me become increasingly vague, superficial, and avoidant of specifics. From my experience arguing with right-wing commenters, this tells me you recognize the strength of my arguments and do not wish to engage them, but also do not wish to concede anything. I hope you change your mind and decide to discuss this issue substantively.

    Quote Originally Posted by cpwill View Post
    given that fascism is statist in nature, and of necessity involves extremely powerful state insitutions, almost by tautology the answer would have to be no.
    Fascism creates an overbearing state, it rarely inherits one. And arguing tautology in physical causation is like saying that a peace treaty can't provoke a war - context, not the static definition of elements, is what shows cause-and-effect. Libertarianism has consequences that have nothing to do with its own values.

    Quote Originally Posted by ElijahGalt View Post
    How about the fact that Obama broke his promise never to allow the outsourcing of torture? Obama has not repealed the executive order giving the president almost unlimited power to conduct covert warfare. We STILL ship terrorist suspects to other countries, in the dead of night, so that they may be "interrogated" for information. And who is giving the direct order to bomb and shoot thousands of people in Afghanistan, all for the crusade to capture one man? Is it REALLY worth it?
    I strongly disagree with your characterizations, but we're veering pretty far from the topic - the unintended consequences of libertarianism. I only brought up Bush because it demonstrated how pliant and passive the self-described libertarian community becomes when fed tax cuts and small government rhetoric.

    Quote Originally Posted by megaprogman View Post
    Regarding the OP....

    There have been plenty of lively, substantive discussions so far, so I urge you to read the rest of the thread and feel free to offer your thoughts after doing so.

  3. #83
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    Re: Do libertarians inadvertently enable fascism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Troubadour View Post
    Can you explain the distinction?

    This is written unclearly, so I'm not sure what you're saying.
    I guess, what you're saying in the OP is that in a libertarian state, the government would be so weak, that it would be subject to overthrow or corruption by other powerful interests. My response is that a libertarian government still has all of mechanisms needed for it to work. It still has police, a military, and courts. The state is still fully capable of putting down unrest. My point is, I don't see how all the extra stuff you want to add on, like entitlements, welfare, and other programs, would add to the stability and prevent fascism.
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  4. #84
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    Re: Do libertarians inadvertently enable fascism?

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    Probably you are right, but my skepticism towards too unregulated markets is another problem: While the libertarian ideal of a really free market may sound nice on the paper, I don't think it is realistic. No matter how small government, there will always be some attempt of circumventing free market principles by both corrupt officials and corrupt private actors (yes, they often work against free market principles too, because they are more interested in rent seeking). It's simply not realistic to expect this to vanish entirely.
    I agree, I think a complete restructure of government is in order to make it work better, not perfect but much better than now.

    Also remember that it isn't total unregulated, it's reasonable regulation.
    We have to remove the knee jerk emotion that seems to come part and parcel with the regulations we do have.


    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    And my second point is that while genuinely free markets may not create monopolies and/or multinational companies by default, the market still creates a situation where there is extreme inequality. That's because some people simply have less to sell on the market (skills, workforce, etc) than they need to make for a living (think of ill, handicapped, elderly, very unintelligent people and so on). And markets create a situation where it's not really your effort and hard work that pays off, but you get rewarded for your possessions you have already: When you have few money, it's very difficult to make a little more, but when you have a lot already, it's very easy to make more -- in some cases, you can just let your money work for you, without investing much effort yourself. Maybe it's indeed the system with the smallest possible amount of coercion, but when your belly is empty, you can't fill it with that freedom. Freedom is not everything, satisfying basic needs is at least just as important.
    I'm fine with some basic level of safety net services, the problem I have with the supposed safety net now, is that people use it for life style (at least in the states).
    Instead of, saving the difference of, what they would of spent of food, shelter, medical care, people are spending it on excess.

    We also need to consider the long term generation inequalities that come with some social programs.
    If in the long term, future generations are poorer because of the program, it may not be a good idea.

    We can see this potential with Social Security and Medicaid in the U.S.
    For something closer to your home, the Greek situation shows what can happen when one generation lives to excess, at the expense of future generations.
    It creates a similar inequality by trying to equalize things.

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    The free market may be efficient, but in my personal opinion, this does not satisfy what I believe is an inherent human instinct: An instinct for fairness. It also flies in the face of the normative conviction that human beings all have an equal value, regardless of skills and traits -- on the market, their value is reduced to what they can sell, or on how many possessions they have. That's too Darwinist for my taste.

    And because an inherent sense of fairness is indeed a probably even genetic trait in humans (many studies found that the common human instinctively tolerates only limited inequality), it's unrealistic to expect that there can ever be a true consensus for extirely free, unleashed markets without any limits. Those who are disadvantaged materially by such a free market will always turn to alternative ideologies.
    I'm pretty well convinced that fairness is instinctual.
    We need to consider how much fairness we need in this world.
    Some people will be inherently better than others, we shouldn't handicap them though.
    That isn't fair either.

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    That's why I am not quite as fond of free markets as libertarians, and why I believe limited redistribution, and the possibility for democratic participation and positive freedom are necessary. Also, I believe some libertarians often underestimate the problem that private actors too are often not really interested in respecting the free market, when it comes to expanding their profits. But I agree with libertarians insofar that they emphasize the efficiency of markets, and are warning of regulating it too much: Many left-leaning people seem to lack the awareness that markets are indeed very efficient, and go way too far when it comes to curbing markets, or redistribution. That's why I think it's good libertarians exist, and make their voices heard in the debate, because the debate often is dominated by voices who don't seem to really appreciate the strengthes of free markets, that indeed exist.
    I'm not to big of democracy, it degrades the potential long term stability that can be created under a potential libertarian government.
    Individual citizens happen to be rent seekers, as much as corporations are.

    Private actors can be a big problem, it's not an anarchistic market ideology.
    There would be laws in place to help prevent fraud and force against unwilling individuals.

    Quote Originally Posted by German guy View Post
    Yes, that is often the case. But you also see private actors violating free market principles, by exploiting externalities and information assymmetry, by cancelling out true competition by conspirative agreements, and so on. Libertarians I met often don't seem to take this into account enough, IMHO.
    Some externalities get a, sort of, free pass from the state, pollution being one of them.
    Firms that pollute are violating another persons private property rights.
    That is a criminal act, that often get treated with civil penalties.

    Information asymmetry, in my opinion is required to make a market function.
    Without it, we have achieved perfection.
    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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    Re: Do libertarians inadvertently enable fascism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Troubadour View Post
    That's not an answer, that's just a blanket-dismissal. I've addressed your comments and questions in detail while your responses to me become increasingly vague, superficial, and avoidant of specifics. From my experience arguing with right-wing commenters, this tells me you recognize the strength of my arguments and do not wish to engage them, but also do not wish to concede anything. I hope you change your mind and decide to discuss this issue substantively.
    You have addressed nothing. All you have are things you suppose and things you conjecture. You haven't provided one iota of proof. The entirety of this thread has been a bastion to intellectual dishonest conjecture and you have tried your best to paint libertarian philosophy in the worst of light. But you have NEVER addressed libertarian philosophy. Where? Point it out? You want to try to claim some smarmy "do not wish to concede anything" argument, but where is the beef? You've shown nothing, you've supplied nothing, you've argued nothing. There is nothing in anything you presented to back up your claims which has any amount of factual truth or logical argument behind it. Where is it? This is your chance. You wanted to be smarmy. I can appreciate smarmy. But you have to be good at it, and you fail. Now tell me, where are these proofs you claim you made? What is it that you have, factual and on hand, that isn't conjecture, that isn't supposition, which isn't based in your bigotries against libertarians. Where is it. Show it now or recant you statement I quoted here. Those are your only two options.;
    Last edited by Ikari; 11-06-10 at 01:37 AM.
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  6. #86
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    Re: Do libertarians inadvertently enable fascism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Troubadour View Post
    As Haymarket said earlier, and I agree, you are correct to say that libertarianism is a belief system - in fact, it has more in common with religion than political philosophy. I mean this entirely as observation and not as insult, but in the libertarian community the "free market" takes on aspects of the godhead: It's treated as a mysterious, sacred, and impenetrable force that must not be desecrated by the impure hand of government. It's as valid as any other religion, but as a set of ideas for improving the quality of American life it's basically moribund and sock-puppeted by fascistic elements merely trying to weaken current institutions.
    There is nothing else in this world that has improved the livelihood of so many people than a more open market.
    Sorry but there isn't, it isn't a godhead, it is the actions of millions of people facilitating mutual aid, out of self interest.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troubadour View Post
    Plenty of libertarian arguments boil down to that - you can find them everywhere politics is debated, including here. Categorical statements like "cutting taxes increases revenue" and "raising taxes reduces revenue" are commonplace among libertarians (and conservatives), and there is little recognition that these statements inherently involve a claim that zero taxes would bring in maximum revenue. The vast majority of libertarians have no specific proposal for an optimum taxation level, and those who do just hit on 10% because it's a round number and sounds low relative to current rates, but be realistic: If taxes were 10% and another round of Republican politicians came along offering more tax cuts, it's a pretty safe bet that libertarians would support the proposal. The distinction between libertarianism and anarchism is almost entirely academic rather than practical.
    But that isn't true, no self respecting libertarian would argue that, it's hyperbole.

    No there is a huge difference between libertarianism and anarchism.
    Libertarianism is a smaller, logically and rationally implemented government.
    Anarchism is absolutely no government what so ever.

    The divide between the two is enormous.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troubadour View Post
    How does one debunk a religious belief enough to convince its believers? The Cato Institute's work consists of deducing facts from predetermined conclusions, not the other way around - like Middle Age philosophers investigating the nature of the world by reading the Bible rather than just looking at the world. The difference between good work and shoddy work in such a context is merely how artful one's sophistry is - beyond that, there can be no surprises and no change in viewpoints. Cato promulgates a religion beneficial to a lot of elite interests, and as with the medieval Church, those interests are quite generous in supporting its efforts.
    It isn't a religious belief.
    For it to be religious, there would have to be only faith supporting it, which isn't the case.
    Cato documents, practically, all the stances they take with fact based evidence.
    Almost any libertarian, worth their salt, can defend themselves quite well on policy with documented facts.

    Practically all the attacks against libertarianism are hyperbolic or appeals to ridicule.

    Quote Originally Posted by Troubadour View Post
    I'm not as well-acquainted with Brookings as Cato, but I seriously doubt it.
    It's a center left think tank, they have some decent, reasonable stances.
    I don't agree with everything, put forth by them, but their intent is good.

    Brookings - Quality. Independence. Impact.
    Last edited by Harry Guerrilla; 11-06-10 at 01:47 AM.
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  7. #87
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    Re: Do libertarians inadvertently enable fascism?

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Guerrilla View Post
    There is nothing else in this world that has improved the livelihood of so many people than a more open market.
    Sorry but there isn't, it isn't a godhead, it is the actions of millions of people facilitating mutual aid, out of self interest.



    But that isn't true, no self respecting libertarian would argue that, it's hyperbole.

    No there is a huge difference between libertarianism and anarchism.
    Libertarianism is a smaller, logically and rationally implemented government.
    Anarchism is absolutely no government what so ever.

    The divide between the two is enormous.



    It isn't a religious belief.
    For it to be religious, there would have to be only faith supporting it, which isn't the case.
    Cato documents, practically, all the stances they take with fact based evidence.
    Almost any libertarian, worth their salt, can defend themselves quite well on policy with documented facts.

    Practically all the attacks against libertarianism are hyperbolic or appeals to ridicule.



    It's a center left think tank, they have some decent, reasonable stances.
    I don't agree with everything, put forth by them, but their intent is good.

    Brookings - Quality. Independence. Impact.
    You're preaching to the deaf sir. You make valid and logical arguments, but they won't be heard. There are several people on this site whom have proven that they'd like to engage us on an intellectual and honest level. I give it up to them in this thread, thanks very much. Y'all know who you are. But the OP ain't one of them. He's not interested in intelligent debate and discussion. You know, we don't demand that people agree with us; only that they'll hear us out. There are those whom shall do so, and there are those whom shall not. The best thing out of this thread is that I know the people who will engage in an intellectually honest and curious manner, agree or disagree with our policies, but treat us with respect and try to understand (even if disagreeing) in some part with our philosophy.

    For the ones who have engaged in honest debate, I thank you.
    You know the time is right to take control, we gotta take offense against the status quo

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  8. #88
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    Re: Do libertarians inadvertently enable fascism?

    Libertarians laugh at the idea that they consider the free market a "godhead," but there are those who certainly consider it a near-supernatural devil. Can't imagine who that might be.

    The free market is the most voluntarily cooperative system ever devised by man.
    “Offing those rich pigs with their own forks and knives, and then eating a meal in the same room, far out! The Weathermen dig Charles Manson.”-- Bernadine Dohrn

  9. #89
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    Re: Do libertarians inadvertently enable fascism?

    Perhaps you can name a Fascist regime under which the government was limited.

  10. #90
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    Re: Do libertarians inadvertently enable fascism?

    The Keith Olbermann thread offers ample evidence that when libertarians have the choice, they will weaken government even at the expense of strengthening the power of the corporation. Their predisposed mindset to loathe government is strong and nearly instinctual. Its like a knee jerk response with some of them. The greatest threat to our freedom is NOT the US Government. It is international corporations. The fight for our freedoms and way of life between average folks and corporate interests will be the major struggle of the next few decades until it is decided one way or the other.

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