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Author Topic: libertarianism is self-refuting  (Read 15668 times)
John Dibble
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« Reply #50 on: July 11, 2008, 01:03:34 pm »
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First, I've already demonstrated that limited government is as much a fantasy as my system is, if not more so, since both systems have not been demonstrated before, and the former system is impossible.

No, you haven't. Your system is an absolute fantasy, mine at least has a chance to be at least partially implemented, even if only temporarily.

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I'd rather put my time and energy into libertarian pursuits that actually have a chance of success.

Such as.........?

Well, I support the Libertarian Reform Caucus - probably the best chance to turn the LP into a viable political force. Also, I'd support libertarian candidates (regardless of party) in races they could win. For instance in races where only one of the major parties are competing. Don't get me wrong - I support Paul's candidacy, but I'm not going to invest alot of energy into it unless I think it's viable. As human beings we each have limited time and resources, so I'd prefer to use mine as best as I can.

And, of course, the end result was that Paul got ~300,000 more votes than the LP's most successful candidate and over $32 million, so I wouldn't be quick to shun beliefs as impossible, expecially when you consider Paul was willing to dive into deep libertarian issues such as non-interventionism and a free market in money. On the other hand, the current reformist candidate Bob Barr struggles to obtain ballot access and only has $430,000 right now, part of which is being spent on air conditioning.

And as I recall he still lost as I predicted - he put on a nice performance, but he didn't win. Besides, the LP hasn't been reformed in such a way it can become a major party, so why would I expect it to do better than a well known Republican? BTW, I would mention that Paul attracted a lot of people who didn't agree with all his ideas (hell, many of them probably didn't know a lot of his ideas) - he was a strongly anti-Bush candidate, which in itself attracted many. And frankly, I think even Paul would think you're nuts given some of your ideas.
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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #51 on: July 11, 2008, 07:41:41 pm »
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First, I've already demonstrated that limited government is as much a fantasy as my system is, if not more so, since both systems have not been demonstrated before, and the former system is impossible.

No, you haven't. Your system is an absolute fantasy, mine at least has a chance to be at least partially implemented, even if only temporarily.

The likelihood of my system being implemented doesn't dismiss the morality of it. If I were an abolitionist in 1800, would you call my dream of abolishing slavery a "fantasy", whereas the system of abolishing the slave trade at least has a chance to be implemented? Just because the idea seems improbable at the time doesn't dismiss the morality of it. I'm not suggesting my ideas will be implemented tommorow, or even 50 years from now, but educating people is the first step. On the other hand, the libertarians who are willing to compromise principle in favor of electoral sucess are unlikely to ever reach their goals, as the Barr/Root campaign is trying so hard to prove right now.

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I'd rather put my time and energy into libertarian pursuits that actually have a chance of success.

Such as.........?

Well, I support the Libertarian Reform Caucus - probably the best chance to turn the LP into a viable political force. Also, I'd support libertarian candidates (regardless of party) in races they could win. For instance in races where only one of the major parties are competing. Don't get me wrong - I support Paul's candidacy, but I'm not going to invest alot of energy into it unless I think it's viable. As human beings we each have limited time and resources, so I'd prefer to use mine as best as I can.

And, of course, the end result was that Paul got ~300,000 more votes than the LP's most successful candidate and over $32 million, so I wouldn't be quick to shun beliefs as impossible, expecially when you consider Paul was willing to dive into deep libertarian issues such as non-interventionism and a free market in money. On the other hand, the current reformist candidate Bob Barr struggles to obtain ballot access and only has $430,000 right now, part of which is being spent on air conditioning.

And as I recall he still lost as I predicted - he put on a nice performance, but he didn't win. Besides, the LP hasn't been reformed in such a way it can become a major party, so why would I expect it to do better than a well known Republican? BTW, I would mention that Paul attracted a lot of people who didn't agree with all his ideas (hell, many of them probably didn't know a lot of his ideas) - he was a strongly anti-Bush candidate, which in itself attracted many. And frankly, I think even Paul would think you're nuts given some of your ideas.

He still came closer to electoral victory than any other LP candidate in history, including Ed "low-tax liberalism" Clark. Also, why dismiss the anti-establishment coalition that Paul was able to bring together in support of liberty? I doubt Paul would dismiss me as nuts for holding my ideas, considering his best friend (Lew Rockwell) holds the same philosophy.
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John Dibble
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« Reply #52 on: July 12, 2008, 07:03:44 am »
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The likelihood of my system being implemented doesn't dismiss the morality of it. If I were an abolitionist in 1800, would you call my dream of abolishing slavery a "fantasy", whereas the system of abolishing the slave trade at least has a chance to be implemented?

No, because abolition would still be feasible. It would be a long road, but not an infinitely long one. Don't confuse my being pragmatic with being impatient - if I think what I want can be accomplished in the long term I'm still willing to go for it.

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Just because the idea seems improbable at the time doesn't dismiss the morality of it.

I don't believe I mentioned morality in this thread, so I don't see how that's important. Whether a system is "moral" or not is certainly a concern to me, but there's also the matter of whether or not it can work and whether or not society will ever be willing to implement it.

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I'm not suggesting my ideas will be implemented tommorow, or even 50 years from now, but educating people is the first step.

So if they know about the ideas, they'll just follow along like brainless zombies? Oh please. Don't expect people to just become mindless zombies who blindly follow your ideas just because they know about them. You'll never have enough people on board with your anarchist views of the world to get it implemented.

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On the other hand, the libertarians who are willing to compromise principle in favor of electoral sucess are unlikely to ever reach their goals, as the Barr/Root campaign is trying so hard to prove right now.

The Barr/Root campaign will fail because the Libertarian Party is currently too small of a political force to have success in the presidential race, not because of lack of principle. We've had "principled" Libertarian Party candidates for the most part since the party was founded, and that includes the time Ron Paul ran as the LP candidate. Each and every one of those principled guys lost. Frankly, I see the guys who make some compromises more likely to have at least some of their goals accomplished, while the principled people who can't convince enough people to agree with them will get absolutely nothing done.

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He still came closer to electoral victory than any other LP candidate in history, including Ed "low-tax liberalism" Clark. Also, why dismiss the anti-establishment coalition that Paul was able to bring together in support of liberty? I doubt Paul would dismiss me as nuts for holding my ideas, considering his best friend (Lew Rockwell) holds the same philosophy.

And he still lost by a wide margin. And he wouldn't have had that success unless he compromised principle for electoral success by joining the corrupt Republican party. Since you believe him to be such a big success, I thank you for proving my point for me.

As far as Lew Rockwell, show me where he advocates private police and military for everyone while also saying there would be no free riders with that system.
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« Reply #53 on: July 14, 2008, 07:23:02 pm »
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There's also the matter of cartels.

Cartels would also be economically inefficient in a free society, because any cartel artificially raising prices will be subject to non-cartel competition able to make profits by selling that good at a lower price.

look at it this way, they claim to be all about being against initiating force against other people but yet favor things which allow corporations/other non-governmental groups to be able to initiate as much force as they want against the population without any restrictions.   
What are some ways companies use force against the population?

The State does it:  things are arranged so that all productive resources are 'owned' by a tiny minority.  The majority is thus prevented from access to sustenance unless this minority allows it, which they do, typically, in exchange for the labour of the serf. 

The essential source of their power to order the serf about is, clearly, due to the force that the State exerts, and has always exerted, upon their behalf.  If any serf tries to revolt, he is placed in prison or killed.  Many libertarians have difficulty understanding all this because they have a complete lack of a sense of historical context, and assume that the status quo of inequality of access to State power is 'natural'.

Opebo, you seem to have a hard time understanding that libertarianism isn't feudalism or corparatism.

But your anarcho-capitalism is. At other times, I've showed what your total freedom would mean: namely, a lack of freedom for all but the privileged few.

No, in feudalism serfs lack freedom of opportunity, distinctly different from capitalism. In corporatism/fascism, corparations are able to get political favors from the government, impossible in government if they do not have the authority to do such things.

Without government protection, there is nothing to stop slavery, which is a total lack of freedom. Though this may be uncommon in industrialized areas, wage slavery would be the norm.

First of all, nobody with a gun is going to become a slave. Second, if the "Civil" War proved anything, its that slavery is no institution to base your economy on. you will get much better quality labor if it is voluntary. Third, slavery would not be permitted in a libertarian society, so your point is moot and a straw man. Next time you criticize my arguments, make sure the claim is valid.

If I had 5 people with submachine guns and you had a shotgun, I'd be able to enslave you. And why wouldn't slavery be permitted?

Slavery is a violation of man's right to life, liberty, and property. Also, the main difference between polycentric law and centralized government is that in the former, if you do not like the service of your protection agency, you can hire another one instead. You do not have that choice with the latter.

This is, of course, subject to so many things like blacklisting. Also, it'd be impossible to ban slavery.
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Chuck Hagel 08
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« Reply #54 on: July 14, 2008, 09:08:45 pm »
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The likelihood of my system being implemented doesn't dismiss the morality of it. If I were an abolitionist in 1800, would you call my dream of abolishing slavery a "fantasy", whereas the system of abolishing the slave trade at least has a chance to be implemented?

No, because abolition would still be feasible. It would be a long road, but not an infinitely long one. Don't confuse my being pragmatic with being impatient - if I think what I want can be accomplished in the long term I'm still willing to go for it.

And who made you the ultimate arbitrer of what's feasible and what's not?

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I'm not suggesting my ideas will be implemented tommorow, or even 50 years from now, but educating people is the first step.

So if they know about the ideas, they'll just follow along like brainless zombies? Oh please. Don't expect people to just become mindless zombies who blindly follow your ideas just because they know about them. You'll never have enough people on board with your anarchist views of the world to get it implemented.

No, I meant educating people and convincing them that the non-agression principle is the only moral system you can have. Do unto others as you would have done unto you. To call all libertarians who follow this principle 'mindless zombies' completely ignores the point of education. Don't expect to tell me to believe that you were libertarian since the day you were born. Somewhere between your birth and now, you would have had to have someone to have educated you to libertarian principles.

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On the other hand, the libertarians who are willing to compromise principle in favor of electoral sucess are unlikely to ever reach their goals, as the Barr/Root campaign is trying so hard to prove right now.

The Barr/Root campaign will fail because the Libertarian Party is currently too small of a political force to have success in the presidential race, not because of lack of principle. We've had "principled" Libertarian Party candidates for the most part since the party was founded, and that includes the time Ron Paul ran as the LP candidate. Each and every one of those principled guys lost. Frankly, I see the guys who make some compromises more likely to have at least some of their goals accomplished, while the principled people who can't convince enough people to agree with them will get absolutely nothing done.

Well, good luck with that. I'll be over here laughing when the ex-drug warrior gets the usual >0.5% on Election Day. In the meantime, if you're advocating growing the party (which BTW, I have not been associated with since Ruwart lost the nomination), don't be a hypocrit and purge people with more radical views the yourself.

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He still came closer to electoral victory than any other LP candidate in history, including Ed "low-tax liberalism" Clark. Also, why dismiss the anti-establishment coalition that Paul was able to bring together in support of liberty? I doubt Paul would dismiss me as nuts for holding my ideas, considering his best friend (Lew Rockwell) holds the same philosophy.

And he still lost by a wide margin. And he wouldn't have had that success unless he compromised principle for electoral success by joining the corrupt Republican party. Since you believe him to be such a big success, I thank you for proving my point for me.

As far as Lew Rockwell, show me where he advocates private police and military for everyone while also saying there would be no free riders with that system.

Despite his being a Republican, Paul was willing to dwell into issues that you would rather not discuss, such as abolishing the income tax, having competing currencies, ending military interventionism abroad, relegalizing drugs, etc. As for Lew Rockwell, this should do the trick.
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John Dibble
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« Reply #55 on: July 15, 2008, 08:20:50 am »
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And who made you the ultimate arbitrer of what's feasible and what's not?

Nobody, but I can use logic, reason, and facts to determine what is feasible and what isn't.

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No, I meant educating people and convincing them that the non-agression principle is the only moral system you can have. Do unto others as you would have done unto you.

It's easy enough to say "non-aggression" is moral, but when it comes down to it that's an overly vague concept and many people will take it differently. My statement was more on the specifics of your beliefs.

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To call all libertarians who follow this principle 'mindless zombies' completely ignores the point of education.

I never called them such - I was claiming that human beings as a whole aren't going to mindlessly follow what you or anyone else teaches just because you want them to. All people live different lives, and their circumstances are different as well. There's enough people who live in circumstances that make hardcore libertarianism seem like an extremely bad idea to them that it would be impossible to implement hardcore libertarianism.

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Don't expect to tell me to believe that you were libertarian since the day you were born. Somewhere between your birth and now, you would have had to have someone to have educated you to libertarian principles.

Again, I never made a different claim. Of course I wasn't always a libertarian, though my own circumstances probably helped me become one. My family had a rather libertarian attitude on social issues, though economics weren't as big a consideration - it wasn't all that political. When I became a libertarian initially I had a lot of zeal and believed in very hardcore libertarian ideals, but as time passed I discussed, debated, and researched and gradually moved towards a more moderate position.

But again, someone else given the same information might reach an entirely different conclusion on libertarianism.

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Well, good luck with that. I'll be over here laughing when the ex-drug warrior gets the usual >0.5% on Election Day.

I don't expect him to do all that well - I never said he would. He's not the type who has enough mass appeal to get elected even if we were a major party.

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In the meantime, if you're advocating growing the party (which BTW, I have not been associated with since Ruwart lost the nomination), don't be a hypocrit and purge people with more radical views the yourself.

I have no intention of purging people with more radical views from the party, and again I never said I would. However, there is a problem in the party that I like to call the purist faction that would like to purge moderates such as myself from the party. I do think those people are holding us back quite a bit.

Also, just for the record, I don't expect we would ever grow to the size of the two major parties barring one of them collapsing due to some event we can't currently forsee. I would consider it a win if we could take 5-10% of the House of Representatives (arguably the easiest federal office to get elected to) - that would give us enough political force to encourage some fiscal responsibility as well as place some libertarian initiatives in bills before allowing them to pass.

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Despite his being a Republican, Paul was willing to dwell into issues that you would rather not discuss, such as abolishing the income tax, having competing currencies, ending military interventionism abroad, relegalizing drugs, etc.

Yes, but that doesn't change the fact that he made a compromise in joining the Republicans in exchange for electoral success. I applaud his principle, and I think he's a good voice of conscience for the house, but unfortunately I don't see too many of people like him getting elected.
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angus
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« Reply #56 on: July 15, 2008, 07:18:05 pm »
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look at it this way, they claim to be all about being against initiating force against other people but yet favor things which allow corporations/other non-governmental groups to be able to initiate as much force as they want against the population without any restrictions.   

Love the title.  Reminded me of the Simpson's episode in which Homer and the stoners, the day after the weed legalization vote was scheduled, all woke up and remembered to vote.  The day after, that is.  D'oh!  That episode always reminds me of Libertarians.  They either wake up stoned and remember the Yes on Weed vote was yesterday, or they don't wake up to remember that the Yes on Guns vote is scheduled for today.  They don't wake up at all because they experienced some misfortune, usually on a trip involving alcohol and motorboats and firearms. 

Still, you gotta love 'em.  They're purists.  And I agree with the Libertarians over half the time.

By the way, in related news, I went down to the county courthouse today and changed my registration from Republican to unaffiliated ("no party" in Iowaspeak), just in case you were wondering about the avatar (or lack thereof).  Actually I was there for other reasons but I passed the "elections office" and thought about it.  Been meaning to do that.  Not that it matters.  It's mostly symbolic.  I can't imagine voting for John McCain even if I were still a registered Republican in November, but since I was there, what the hell.  They charged me a forty-two cent fee.  You believe that?!  Goddamned Democrats.  Apparently they have to mail me something.  I wrote them a check.  Fück 'em.  I didn't want to break a dollar.  Not that a dollar is worth all that much these days.  Goddamned Republicans.

I'm thinking Obama will probably siphon off my vote in November, but who knows, it may be Barr who siphons off my vote.  He seems pretty contrite these days.  Apologetic even.  "I don't know what I was thinking when I supported the surveillance...  I realize now that it was a mistake."  He may even convince me to vote for him.  I have to imagine that the nomination of John McCain was like adding Insult to Injury to many libertarian(-ish) republicans.  Whether or not it all helps Obama win isn't my concern.  Anyone but McCain, that's what I say.  Bloated gasbag he is, intent on bigger spending than even the 70s Democrats were.  And on more horrible stuff.  At least the democrats want to spend it on schools and hospitals.  If you have to waste money, at least give yourself the mental masturbatory effort so you'll think you're making a difference.  McCain wants to buy more tanks and young boys' blood.  Hell, he even thinks election campaigns ought to be publicly financed.  Bastard.  I think that unless youze guys manage to defeat yourselves--which isn't beyond the realm of possibility--then Obama should have it locked up.

« Last Edit: July 15, 2008, 09:58:04 pm by angus »Logged
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