Do Libertarians Still Exist?

El Borracho

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We may be talking at cross purposes here. I was talking about libertarianism as a philosophy for society to follow, not as a label for RWNJ to adopt as an excuse for their selfishness. I tried to make it clear that my vision of libertarainism is one where externalities cannot be ignored. The point of stating the requirement for knowledge is so that a libertarian can direct their own resources where needed, not just ignore the need. John Galt running away and creating a new society that benefits from all the knowlege and resources of the current world is not what I'm espousing. (Who is John Galt?)

Private property being socialism is a new idea to me. How do you reconcile that with Kant's view that all property is theft? Does this mean that the leftist view is that socialism is theft?

The problem with socialism and libertarianism is almost the same. While Milo Minderbender was saying that 'everyone has a share', the reality was that Milo had the only share that mattered. Not sure if that is socialism or libertarianism in it's failure.
Socialism and some rare form of libertarianism may indeed share some traits. In the existing capitalist system private property and other wealth is only possible with a large and powerful government to maintain property rights and beat back the poorer hordes.  The military globally and the sheriff enforce property rights on the pain of death. As the libertarians necessarily add back in all the things they rejected in their ivory tower whimsy their whole pile of dreamy BS falls apart. Proven time and time again. While socialism has arisen naturally many times and seems to be able to persist over long periods. Maybe failing when some group’s greed wins over, or more likely, takes over.

All you have are books on the subject. It is never going to happen. We have dozens of countries actually proving the benefits of socialism. Perhaps advanced socialist societies could make a sandbox for wannabe libertarians to live and experiment in. After all we are inclusive that way. I imagine it would look like an asylum. 

 

Se7en

Super Anarchist
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In the existing capitalist system private property and other wealth is only possible with a large and powerful government to maintain property rights and beat back the poorer hordes.  
So is it capitalism that enables private property, or socialism as you claimed earlier? I have long laboured under the misaprehension that property is only held through force, or the realistic threat of force.

 

Se7en

Super Anarchist
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Melbourne
 We have dozens of countries actually proving the benefits of socialism. Perhaps advanced socialist societies could make a sandbox for wannabe libertarians to live and experiment in. After all we are inclusive that way. I imagine it would look like an asylum. 
Care to name a socialist country? (BTW - the Melbourne location in my profile refers to Australia, not Florida).

Australia has many socialist policies, but I doubt we actually even qualify as a social democratic country. We are certainly not moving closer to all production being owned by the people, rather wealth distribution inequality is increasing.

The Scandanavian countries probably go closest to being social democratic in practice - but that is still a fair way from actual socialism.

I conceed that (apart from parts of Somalia and the like, and no one would want that model), there are no countries that even look like functioning libertarian societies. Indeed, if there was such a thing as a functional libertarian society, the lives of the people should be very similar to a socialist society. The significant difference would be that individuals own the means of production (vs the government in a socialist one), and the government would be much smaller.

To reiterate my point from earlier - I don't think a Libertarian society is any more achievable than a socialist one. But I do think the philosophy is worthwhile, and shouldn't just be the screen that selfish rightwingers hide behind without understanding.

 

El Borracho

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So is it capitalism that enables private property, or socialism as you claimed earlier? I have long laboured under the misaprehension that property is only held through force, or the realistic threat of force.
Capitalism and socialism are not mutually exclusive. But all the wannabe libertarians I know reject the things that enable capitalism, like a relatively huge government.  Your dream “Let’s cut taxes”, when implemented, leads to things like the elderly and infirm dying in the streets, foreign countries grabbing land and resources, filth and waste everywhere, etc.

Its a crazy fantasy. Like the Garden of Eden and all that Christian crap. 

 

Se7en

Super Anarchist
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Capitalism and socialism are not mutually exclusive.
As philosophies they are actually. Socialism has production owned by everyone in common, capitalism by individuals.

But in reality we muddle along with some mix of many ideals.

Can I once again say that I dount that the wannabe libertarians that you know are any more real libertarians than some of the arts students I knew at uni were real communists. Both groups are just grabbing onto a cool sounding label.

Where I imply cutting taxes, that is only to enable a more efficient use of the resources. I do not in anyway mean that individuals should avoid funding the necessities of society.

Question - is a commune, or a kibbutz more an example of socialism or libertarianism? If the individuals are free to contribute the work and resources they wish to, rather than being compelled by a committee?

Both Libertarianism and Socialism are more realistic than Christian religions. On that I am in wholehearted agreement.

 

BeSafe

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Your dream “Let’s cut taxes”, when implemented, leads to things like the elderly and infirm dying in the streets, foreign countries grabbing land and resources, filth and waste everywhere, etc.
Personally, I want a national property tax and removal of most deductions (including the SALT deduction in its entirety).  Those changes would impact me negatively but I want my taxes to be broad and unavoidable at the lowest rate necessary to fund mutually agreed upon services.  We're all in this together.

To me, that's a pragmatic solution and ultimately, reduces the power of the 'enforcers'.  I find the 'some more equal than others' to be the root of much mischief.

 

Fah Kiew Tu

Curmudgeon, First Rank
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While socialism has arisen naturally many times and seems to be able to persist over long periods. Maybe failing when some group’s greed wins over, or more likely, takes over.
Care to name the successful and long-lived socialist countries? I'm willing to bet that there are none.

I expect that you're referring to the countries with relatively high taxation, decent universal medical/hospital systems, a strong safety net, strong environmental/workplace laws and the like, but that still have private ownership of land, machinery, factories, IP et al. They're not actually socialist, they're capitalist with very strong controls on the capitalist class.

FKT

 

El Borracho

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As philosophies they are actually. Socialism has production owned by everyone in common, capitalism by individuals.

But in reality we muddle along with some mix of many ideals.

Can I once again say that I dount that the wannabe libertarians that you know are any more real libertarians than some of the arts students I knew at uni were real communists. Both groups are just grabbing onto a cool sounding label.

Where I imply cutting taxes, that is only to enable a more efficient use of the resources. I do not in anyway mean that individuals should avoid funding the necessities of society.

Question - is a commune, or a kibbutz more an example of socialism or libertarianism? If the individuals are free to contribute the work and resources they wish to, rather than being compelled by a committee?

Both Libertarianism and Socialism are more realistic than Christian religions. On that I am in wholehearted agreement.
Maybe you a wishing that Australia head in a more libertarian direction. That Australia be more like the USA? Or perhaps be like what the libertarian-leaning (greedy) people want the USA to be like. Not really libertarianism but getting all the irreconcilable  “freedoms” they want. That would be a horrendous error for Australia. How could anyone want that? The experiment has been run. The results are in.

Likewise, I have no desire for Marxist socialism or even a hint of communism. No ownership of the machinery by the state. But rather want the USA to make significant changes by adopting socialist programs and behaviors proven elsewhere.

Any move by the USA in a libertarian direction would be a disaster for humanity. 

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
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Care to name the successful and long-lived socialist countries? I'm willing to bet that there are none.

I expect that you're referring to the countries with relatively high taxation, decent universal medical/hospital systems, a strong safety net, strong environmental/workplace laws and the like, but that still have private ownership of land, machinery, factories, IP et al. They're not actually socialist, they're capitalist with very strong controls on the capitalist class.

FKT
AKA Democratic Socialism.

Most all of the successful developed nations are examples of it.

Even the USA. :eek:

 

Se7en

Super Anarchist
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Maybe you a wishing that Australia head in a more libertarian direction. That Australia be more like the USA? Or perhaps be like what the libertarian-leaning (greedy) people want the USA to be like. Not really libertarianism but getting all the irreconcilable  “freedoms” they want.
I'm really not sure how you have got this from anything I have expressed here? I've been advocating for responsible libertarianism and repeatedly said that the philosophy is nothing at all like the selfishness that most Americal self labeled libertarians espouse.

I've said repeatedly that the outcome desired (by us both I beleive) is that the needs of society are efficiently met. You pragmaticually want them met by a neccesarily inefficient big government, I'd like them met by responsible individuals choosing to contribute individually, but have conceeded from the beginning that while it is to be desired it's unlikely to happen.

I think I'm just repeating myself now, so will bow out. I think I provided a n=1 answer to the question "do libertarians still exist" - in philosophy, yes.

 

Se7en

Super Anarchist
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Neither - they are communism.

The Israeli Kibbutzim and the Orthodox Hutterite communities here are the closest examples of true communism there have ever been.
I'm respectfully curious about why you say this. If communism is defined as the state taking ownership of the means of production through force, then how are these communities communist? 

I'm not saying you are wrong, I'd just like to see the case in support.

Likewise, I'm not saying I'm right, but I would put forward the argument that these communities are built of individuals who have chosed to come together, and where each individual makes their own decision as to what to contribute in resources and effort to the community. Therefore they are actualy libertarian in nature.

 

Ishmael

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I'm respectfully curious about why you say this. If communism is defined as the state taking ownership of the means of production through force, then how are these communities communist? 

I'm not saying you are wrong, I'd just like to see the case in support.

Likewise, I'm not saying I'm right, but I would put forward the argument that these communities are built of individuals who have chosed to come together, and where each individual makes their own decision as to what to contribute in resources and effort to the community. Therefore they are actualy libertarian in nature.
The Hutterite communities are very much top-down authoritarian religious regimes. The men are in charge, and the women do what they are told. When I lived in Saskatchewan, the Hutterites would come into town, dump the women to sit in the malls (no going into stores at all), and go to the local bars to get shitfaced and pick fights with the First Nations who were also in those bars. My cousin was a mechanic for several of the communities, and they bought him a large-screen TV so they could come into town to drink beer and watch the TV. Not just authoritarian, but one of the most hypocritical groups of people I have ever known.

I know nothing about the kibbutzim, but I suspect they are a cut above the Hutterites.

 

ShortForBob

Super Anarchist
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Care to name a socialist country? (BTW - the Melbourne location in my profile refers to Australia, not Florida).

Australia has many socialist policies, but I doubt we actually even qualify as a social democratic country. We are certainly not moving closer to all production being owned by the people, rather wealth distribution inequality is increasing.

The Scandanavian countries probably go closest to being social democratic in practice - but that is still a fair way from actual socialism.

I conceed that (apart from parts of Somalia and the like, and no one would want that model), there are no countries that even look like functioning libertarian societies. Indeed, if there was such a thing as a functional libertarian society, the lives of the people should be very similar to a socialist society. The significant difference would be that individuals own the means of production (vs the government in a socialist one), and the government would be much smaller.

To reiterate my point from earlier - I don't think a Libertarian society is any more achievable than a socialist one. But I do think the philosophy is worthwhile, and shouldn't just be the screen that selfish rightwingers hide behind without understanding.
Hmm. Most communist countries do not advocate that all production be owned by the state, let alone socialist countries.

One upon a time but not so long ago, things like water, telecomunications, gas, electricity, public transport were state controlled in Victoria or federally. Were we a socialist state?

I can't say that the privatisation of any those services have at all benefitted the people.

 

Fah Kiew Tu

Curmudgeon, First Rank
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Hmm. Most communist countries do not advocate that all production be owned by the state, let alone socialist countries.

One upon a time but not so long ago, things like water, telecomunications, gas, electricity, public transport were state controlled in Victoria or federally. Were we a socialist state?

I can't say that the privatisation of any those services have at all benefitted the people.
True. Natural monopolies need to be either under State control or very, very heavily regulated so as to stop exploitation of a monopolistic position IMO.

Power transmission is a monopoly because nobody is going to duplicate the grid. Power generation, OTOH, is not. But you either have to stop the generators owning the transmission lines or vice versa else they WILL block competition.

Australia is a mixed economy. Mainly capitalist but with restrictions on some of the worst excesses. Only US right wing nutcases would call us socialist.

FKT

 

Pertinacious Tom

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don't hate Amash but I do completely disagree with him. He's no libertarian on the issues
"Issues" are notably lacking in this thread, so let's pick one on which I know we'll disagree.

Rand Paul and Justin Amash have both introduced bills to end drug war looting, or, as supporters call it, civil asset forfeiture. Joe Biden wrote those laws. Koch-$pon$ored nutjobs represented noted heroin kingpin Tyson Timbs at the Supreme Court.

So that one's a pretty clear difference on issues, and Amash is actually on the libertarian side.

As a Biden/drug war looting supporter, can you explain to me why cops need to seize property from people who are not charged with a crime, then force those people to prove the property innocent? Also why the seizing agencies should get to keep the loo... oops... assets.

Any move by the USA in a libertarian direction would be a disaster for humanity. 
You can help out. What disaster will ensue if we go the libertarian way on that issue?

 

El Borracho

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You can help out. What disaster will ensue if we go the libertarian way on that issue?
Which issue is "that issue?"

I offer this regarding the USA moving in the direction of glorious Libertarianism: Wealth Unchained sounds like a disaster movie. And the prequel KKK Unchained, as well.

Could not parse your rant about the 4th Amendment and renters. Maybe later.

 

Pertinacious Tom

Importunate Member
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Punta Gorda FL
"Issues" are notably lacking in this thread, so let's pick one on which I know we'll disagree.

Rand Paul and Justin Amash have both introduced bills to end drug war looting, or, as supporters call it, civil asset forfeiture. Joe Biden wrote those laws. Koch-$pon$ored nutjobs represented noted heroin kingpin Tyson Timbs at the Supreme Court.

So that one's a pretty clear difference on issues, and Amash is actually on the libertarian side.

You can help out. What disaster will ensue if we go the libertarian way on that issue?
Which issue is "that issue?"
You really can't figure it out? Was my post about more than one issue?

OK, I'll spoon feed you. The issue is drug war looting, also know as civil asset forfeiture. Are you a Biden fan or a libertarian fan on that one?

 

BeSafe

Super Anarchist
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Its kinda cool how people will cling to the categorical rather than just go with the 'stopped clock right twice a day' argument.  Probably because most clocks don't read anything when they're stopped now ;)   The metaphor is aging out.

The only justification for the US version of Civil Asset Forfeiture is a back door utilitarian argument that begs to the most cynical authoritarian leanings.  "They were probably criminals and deserved it anyway."  That's the argument by some in favor of capital punishment so it does work... but daymn.

 
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