Do Libertarians Still Exist?

El Borracho

Sam’s friend
6,347
2,385
Pacific Rim
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?
Thank you for clarifying. I am not a "fan" of anyone (ever since Jerry died). Seems like you are making a Straw Man argument.

 

kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
26,581
4,638
Kent Island!
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
You are running aground on the Semantic Rocks. To the average American, Canada, Europe, and Australia are totally socialist because health care is "free". Norway and that bunch are no different than 1930s Stalinist Russia  :rolleyes:

For the purposes of making sense across nationalities, I like the following definitions:

Democratic Socialism: This is most of the 1st world, where there is a mix of public and private enterprise with significant parts of the economy like retirement, health care, and education run by the government. One key feature is that governments are elected and "socialism" can be voted out if no one likes it anymore.

Communism: The old school commie hell-holes, almost none of which exist anymore. The government owns everything, everyone works for the government, and if you don't like it we have a wall and some guns for you. AKA socialism. IIRC this was supposed to be a stage between private property and pure communism where governments fade away and some kind of worker-communes run everything.

 

BeSafe

Super Anarchist
7,847
1,190
FWIW, this is a decent critique of Capitalism + Libertarianism run amok.  Understanding counter arguments is a good place to start when it comes to defending one's own ideas.

https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780190062842.001.0001/oso-9780190062842

Possessive individualism afflicts countries at the periphery of the rich metropole that are also trapped by economic isolation, dysfunctional governance, and social alienation. Households in these countries are precariously isolated relative to the political and economic power of international commerce. Managerial capitalism has rendered millions of these households as little more than residual suppliers of cheap labor. Why are these poor countries unable to offer compelling livelihoods to their citizens? Their colonial past is a part of the explanation, but contemporary capitalism continues to bear down on their economic prospects. In the absence of meaningful work, there can be no mystery why sectarian conflict emerges. And then such conflict both encourages the emergence of authoritarian leaders and reinforces it. The political climate in many countries of the isolated periphery is a minor variant of what is now occurring in parts of western Europe, Great Britain, and the United States.

I'm not sure I agree with his solution:

Possessive individualism undermines the realization of full personhood, and it enables the capitalist firm to shed any sense of obligation to those who must rent or sell their labor power in order that they might eat. The fundamental crisis of capitalism is that the self-absorbed individual and the self-dealing capitalist firm are locked in a perverse contest in which their mutual dependence is both acknowledged and resented. Re-creating historic ideas of obligations—civic duties—seems impossible to imagine. A more plausible transition is to be found in the idea of loyalty: loyalty to others with whom we work, with whom we share social spaces, and with the community at large. Loyalty from the capitalist firm toward its workers would be a start. Loyalty from the acquisitive selfish individual would be helpful in restoring a shared and necessary sense of personhood.

Personally, I suspect this really is the whole foundational basis of the 'metaverse'.  The key term is 'shared social spaces' - I think that's where Dr. Bromley's solution is going to be horribly corrupted.  I think belief is a core piece of human nature - and if you can't believe in the divine, you'll find something else.

 
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Steam Flyer

Super Anarchist
41,298
8,157
Eastern NC
FWIW, this is a decent critique of Capitalism + Libertarianism run amok.  Understanding counter arguments is a good place to start when it comes to defending one's own ideas.

https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780190062842.001.0001/oso-9780190062842

Possessive individualism afflicts countries at the periphery of the rich metropole that are also trapped by economic isolation, dysfunctional governance, and social alienation. Households in these countries are precariously isolated relative to the political and economic power of international commerce. Managerial capitalism has rendered millions of these households as little more than residual suppliers of cheap labor. Why are these poor countries unable to offer compelling livelihoods to their citizens? Their colonial past is a part of the explanation, but contemporary capitalism continues to bear down on their economic prospects. In the absence of meaningful work, there can be no mystery why sectarian conflict emerges. And then such conflict both encourages the emergence of authoritarian leaders and reinforces it. The political climate in many countries of the isolated periphery is a minor variant of what is now occurring in parts of western Europe, Great Britain, and the United States.

I'm not sure I agree with his solution:

Possessive individualism undermines the realization of full personhood, and it enables the capitalist firm to shed any sense of obligation to those who must rent or sell their labor power in order that they might eat. The fundamental crisis of capitalism is that the self-absorbed individual and the self-dealing capitalist firm are locked in a perverse contest in which their mutual dependence is both acknowledged and resented. Re-creating historic ideas of obligations—civic duties—seems impossible to imagine. A more plausible transition is to be found in the idea of loyalty: loyalty to others with whom we work, with whom we share social spaces, and with the community at large. Loyalty from the capitalist firm toward its workers would be a start. Loyalty from the acquisitive selfish individual would be helpful in restoring a shared and necessary sense of personhood.

Personally, I suspect this really is the whole foundational basis of the 'metaverse'.  The key term is 'shared social spaces' - I think that's where Dr. Bromley's solution is going to be horribly corrupted.  I think belief is a core piece of human nature - and if you can't believe in the divine, you'll find something else.
This is pretty well written, and IMHO accurate, but it can be put more simply and directly and in capitalist terms.

The possessive individual, and the corporation, both have shed the whole concept of the market as a two-way transaction when it comes to labor. Yes the obligation of the employer to the employee, as human beings, has been discarded, and that's not goog.

The slum lord attitude has become predominant, and affects political attitudes. Extraction of maximum wealth for minimum value paid out, with zero regard for future conditions. It's one step away from outright robbery.

The problem is that in the context of an advanced and stable socio-economic system, it's unsustainable. When the market leaves all participants worse off than before (and the possessive individual and the corporation are indeed worse off, in every respect except the number of zeros on the right-hand side of their bank balance), this is a path we should ALL agree to avoid.

- DSK

 

jocal505

moderate, informed, ex-gunowner
14,221
284
near Seattle, Wa
FWIW, this is a decent critique of Capitalism + Libertarianism run amok. 
This is gold. You made my day.

I come here because I can find men who have sorted things better than myself, on any topic. The big picture is well-addressed by this writer, IMO. I dedicate my post (with thanks to BeSafe) to Tom Ray, @Lochnerian Tom... and to imagining liberty (and capitalism) much, much better.

  1. [SIZE=11.25pt]The Crisis of Capitalism[/SIZE], Daniel W. Bromley

Why are the richest and most advanced economies facing political turmoil? Why have so many poor countries in the agrarian periphery continued to languish under defective governance that yields livelihoods of despair and vulnerability? Possessive individualism—a joint phenomenon growing out of the Enlightenment and the emergence of contemporary economics as the civic religion of modern life—is at the core of the emerging world disorder. The evolutionary pathway of capitalism has undermined the idea of personhood and left the modern household dependent on a fickle world of managerial capitalism in which money managers exercise profound control over the life prospects of millions. Possessive individualism thrives in a world of ubiquitous assertions about individual rights. Meanwhile, notions of civic obligations are considered quaint and impertinent. This is the crisis of capitalism, and it offers clarity about the reasons for the current world disorder.

  1. [SIZE=11.25pt]Economics[/SIZE]

The Dubious Enabler

Possessive individualism has acquired a profound grip on contemporary political thought and action—on daily life—because it relies on a number of economic notions that now constitute our civic religion. Central concepts of that creed—efficiency, rational choice, market exchange as an arena of liberty and autonomy, consumer sovereignty, price as a measure of value, assertions of aggregate well-being—are accepted as irrefutable truths that insulate them from serious challenge. These core attributes of contemporary economics are misleading and generally false. Recent efforts to attribute civic virtues to markets are incoherent.

  1. [SIZE=11.25pt]Emergence of the Isolated Household[/SIZE]

We here explore the gradual emasculation of the household as the basic unit of provisioning during the four evolutionary phases of capitalism. This economic history reveals a gradual redefinition of the purpose of the household from the center of entrepreneurial initiative to a besieged and insecure provider of inconvenient and unwanted labor to managerial capitalism whose central imperative is to reduce labor costs in the service of greater net returns to owners of capital. This evolutionary pathway will reveal the household to be an increasingly precarious and politically vexing participant in global capitalism.

  1. [SIZE=11.25pt]The Cleaved Core[/SIZE]

The evolutionary trajectory of capitalism has now rendered the household precarious, economically disadvantaged, and vulnerable to the whims of firms under the authoritarian grip of the wrangler. Stagnant living standards for the vast majority of households in the metropolitan core is evidence that most households have been reduced to peripatetic hustlers in order to survive. Job loss haunts many areas within the core. Worker protections have been reduced to a minimum, and political alienation is on the rise. The Brexit decision in the United Kingdom, the election of an angry outsider to the presidency of the United States, and the rise of right-wing parties in Europe signal the extent to which households have become marginalized and angry.

  1. [SIZE=11.25pt]Escaping Possessive Individualism[/SIZE]

Contemporary economics stands implicated in the triumph of possessive individualism. In viewing the individual as nothing but a utility-maximizing consumer, economic theory offers apologetics for the self-interested tendencies that imperil personhood. Managerial capitalism reifies the acquisitive urges embedded in contemporary economics. As the defects of managerial capitalism become apparent, escape seems impossible. This mental barrier persists because economics is not an evolutionary science. An economy is always in the process of becoming, and yet economic theory denies this “becoming” to consumers whose tastes and preferences are assumed to be unchanging—and none of our business. The escape requires an evolutionary economics that recognizes the individual as constantly engaged in a process of experiencing life and necessarily adapting to it. In that dynamic process, individuals are also crafting their own future. An evolutionary economics can help light the way as societies seek escape from the grip of possessive individualism.

  1. [SIZE=11.25pt]The Isolated Periphery[/SIZE]

Possessive individualism afflicts countries at the periphery of the rich metropole that are also trapped by economic isolation, dysfunctional governance, and social alienation. Households in these countries are precariously isolated relative to the political and economic power of international commerce. Managerial capitalism has rendered millions of these households as little more than residual suppliers of cheap labor. Why are these poor countries unable to offer compelling livelihoods to their citizens? Their colonial past is a part of the explanation, but contemporary capitalism continues to bear down on their economic prospects. In the absence of meaningful work, there can be no mystery why sectarian conflict emerges. And then such conflict both encourages the emergence of authoritarian leaders and reinforces it. The political climate in many countries of the isolated periphery is a minor variant of what is now occurring in parts of western Europe, Great Britain, and the United States.

  1. [SIZE=11.25pt]Reimagining the Private Firm[/SIZE]

Escape from possessive individualism requires that the terms of engagement between households and firms be rebalanced. Rarely is the firm seen as the essential component in the economic well-being of households. And when it is seen in this light, contestation over wages and work conditions arises. The post-revolutionary regimes in China and the Soviet Union then tried to situate that obligation on the government. We know how that turned out. A better solution—economically and politically—is to bring capitalist firms into a joint obligation with the government in this essential task. The persistence of union-busting, desultory pay and fringe benefits, layoffs, plant closings, automation, and out-sourced jobs to foreign countries ought to remind politicians—and capitalists—that radical solutions are always available if hope is too long delayed. We now concentrate on the difficult realm of ideas. For here lurks the greatest barrier to necessary institutional change—defective imagination.

  1. [SIZE=11.25pt]Reimagining the Individual[/SIZE]

Beginning in the 1980s, inequality of incomes in the metropolitan core began to increase. This great divergence was most pronounced in the Anglophone world—Great Britain, the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. This divergence suggests that there is nothing inherent—structurally determinative—in capitalism as it operates in the rich metropole that brings about this unwelcome trend. Rather, inequality is willful—intended. Ironically, inequality is enabled by the prevalence of possessive individualism that reveals the acquisitive individualist to be the source of his or her own unwanted economic marginalization. The individualist’s embrace of a livelihood strategy based on the celebration of rights and the illusion of freedom—being free to choose—has placed him or her at the mercy of the capitalist firm equally committed to possessive individualism. The capitalist firm must be transformed into a public trust. However, this will not be sufficient. Improved livelihoods will also require that the possessive individual be reimagined.

  1. [SIZE=11.25pt]Recovering Personhood[/SIZE]

Possessive individualism undermines the realization of full personhood, and it enables the capitalist firm to shed any sense of obligation to those who must rent or sell their labor power in order that they might eat. The fundamental crisis of capitalism is that the self-absorbed individual and the self-dealing capitalist firm are locked in a perverse contest in which their mutual dependence is both acknowledged and resented. Re-creating historic ideas of obligations—civic duties—seems impossible to imagine.

A more plausible transition is to be found in the idea of loyalty: loyalty to others with whom we work, with whom we share social spaces, and with the community at large. Loyalty from the capitalist firm toward its workers would be a start. Loyalty from the acquisitive selfish individual would be helpful in restoring a shared and necessary sense of personhood.

From <https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780190062842.001.0001/oso-9780190062842-chapter-9>

 
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Olsonist

Disgusting Liberal Elitist
28,143
3,517
New Oak City
"Issues" are notably lacking in this thread, so let's pick one on which I know we'll disagree.

You can help out. What disaster will ensue if we go the libertarian way on that issue?
Amash opposes abortion rights. The Libertarian Partay opposes publicly financed sewerage.

 

learningJ24

Super Anarchist
4,344
390
"Anyhow, The US Constitution allows for them and specifically the domain of the states. They, as a force, cannot be coopted into the National Guard our becoming under the authority of POTUS."

Where in the Constitution?

 

Ishmael

Granfallooner
49,672
10,376
Fuctifino
"Anyhow, The US Constitution allows for them and specifically the domain of the states. They, as a force, cannot be coopted into the National Guard our becoming under the authority of POTUS."

Where in the Constitution?
It's in the "Florida Fuckwit" Addendum.

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
66,024
10,994
Great Wet North
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.
You probably have a lot more experience with them than I do - I've only seen them in operation in Alberta.

A friend in the rock crushing business deals with them - his mother spoke the obsolete German dialect they speak which gave him an in with them.  Everything I've seen and he has described sounds very communist. Large dining halls where the entire community eats. All the land owned by the community - that causes friction with the "regular" farmers around them apparently because they can outbid everyone.

All the operations like the gravel plant John provides equipment for is owned by the community and so forth and so-on. Essentially no private property.

Since it's a "religious" order I'm sure the men vastly outrank the women but on the economic level everything certainly looked like pretty pure communism.

 

Steam Flyer

Super Anarchist
41,298
8,157
Eastern NC
quod umbra said:
Shame that.
Our education system has failed us in dramatic fashion.
Well, it certainly failed you. Many of us came out of it much better though.

If the public education system were abolished, who do you suppose would be available to work in high tech jobs... or even ones that required basic readin' writing' and arithmetic, in 10 or 20 or 50 years?

- DSK

 

SloopJonB

Super Anarchist
66,024
10,994
Great Wet North
Well, it certainly failed you. Many of us came out of it much better though.

If the public education system were abolished, who do you suppose would be available to work in high tech jobs... or even ones that required basic readin' writing' and arithmetic, in 10 or 20 or 50 years?

- DSK
Rich kids of course.

The Deserving Ones.

 

Pertinacious Tom

Importunate Member
61,295
1,680
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.

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.
Amash opposes abortion rights. The Libertarian Partay opposes publicly financed sewerage.
It's true that Amash goes against the LP party line on abortion. If your characterization of the LP position on sewerage is right (for the first time ever), then I disagree and would be happy to discuss it in the WOTUS thread.

But none of that has to do with the issue I asked about.

Rand Paul and Amash are on one side and Biden is on the other when the issue is drug war looting. So, without any distractions this time, 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.

 

Pertinacious Tom

Importunate Member
61,295
1,680
Punta Gorda FL
Thank you for clarifying. I am not a "fan" of anyone (ever since Jerry died). Seems like you are making a Straw Man argument.
Sorry for using the wrong word.

Do you support or oppose civil asset forfeiture? Opposition to it is the most libertarian thing I can think of about Rand Paul and Justin Amash has also opposed it. Biden helped write the laws those nutjobs are trying to overturn, and the nutjobs at IJ won a unanimous victory representing noted heroin kingpin Tyson Timbs at SCOTUS.

What tenet of libertarianism causes the dreamers to foist their crazy on others? 
If that's not an example of dreamers foisting their crazy on others, I don't know what is. So where do you stand on that issue?

 

Pertinacious Tom

Importunate Member
61,295
1,680
Punta Gorda FL
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.
An early example of libertarians attempting to use the tyranny of property rights to undermine beneficial government was the Kelo v New London case. The forces of good and Pfizer prevailed in that case, but somehow some of that ugly libertarian thought has intruded into the mind of California Gov Newsom.

Bruce’s Beach can return to descendants of Black family in landmark move signed by Newsom
 

In a history-making move celebrated by reparations advocates and social justice leaders across California, Gov. Gavin Newsom has authorized the return of property known as Bruce’s Beach to the descendants of a Black couple that had been run out of Manhattan Beach almost a century ago.

Senate Bill 796, signed into law Thursday by Newsom before an excited crowd that had gathered on the property, confirms that the city’s buyback of this shorefront land — on which the Bruces ran a thriving resort for Black beachgoers — was racially motivated and done under false and unlawful pretenses.

“The land in the City of Manhattan Beach, which was wrongfully boughtback from Willa and Charles Bruce, should be returned to their living descendants,” the legislation declares, “and it is in the public interest of the State of California, the County of Los Angeles, the City of Manhattan Beach, and the People of the State of California to do so.”

...
As Justice Thomas pointed out, "negro removal" has undeniable tax base benefits. The majority concluded that those tax base benefits are the overriding public purpose implied by the fifth amendment. Private property that interferes with that public purpose can be boughtback.

Good enough to defeat the nutjobs at the time, but it seems to me Newsom now sees a tiny problem with the whole thing. The same one Justice Thomas identified.

So what do you think of that one? Was the Supreme Court right to rule against the nutjobs?

 
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kent_island_sailor

Super Anarchist
26,581
4,638
Kent Island!
Here is my big issue that overrides the smaller ones: Politics should not be a religion! No one "ism" has all the answers. I like to view communism, socialism, libertarianism, capitalism, democracy-ism, monarchism, elitism, populism, mercantilism, anarchism, and anything else you can throw in there as tools. You need the right tool for the job. Also as philosophies, each one can inform you about how to deal with a situation or perhaps serve as an example of what NOT to do.

None of these things work well when they run unchecked.

To be fair to libertarians and their ism, IMHO they are 100% correct in campaigning for pot to be legal and they are 100% correct in fighting against civil forfeiture. They go off the rails when they want heroin and meth to be legal as well.

Communism works well on a very small basis, like a family unit. Should 3 year-olds have to earn their keep or starve? Of course not, they get what they need and contribute what they can, probably finger-paint pictures to put on the fridge. This scheme runs off the rails if you try and run a country that way, as has been amply demonstrated.

 
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Saorsa

Super Anarchist
36,779
422
FWIW, this is a decent critique of Capitalism + Libertarianism run amok.  Understanding counter arguments is a good place to start when it comes to defending one's own ideas.

https://oxford.universitypressscholarship.com/view/10.1093/oso/9780190062842.001.0001/oso-9780190062842

Possessive individualism afflicts countries at the periphery of the rich metropole that are also trapped by economic isolation, dysfunctional governance, and social alienation. Households in these countries are precariously isolated relative to the political and economic power of international commerce. Managerial capitalism has rendered millions of these households as little more than residual suppliers of cheap labor. Why are these poor countries unable to offer compelling livelihoods to their citizens? Their colonial past is a part of the explanation, but contemporary capitalism continues to bear down on their economic prospects. In the absence of meaningful work, there can be no mystery why sectarian conflict emerges. And then such conflict both encourages the emergence of authoritarian leaders and reinforces it. The political climate in many countries of the isolated periphery is a minor variant of what is now occurring in parts of western Europe, Great Britain, and the United States.

I'm not sure I agree with his solution:

Possessive individualism undermines the realization of full personhood, and it enables the capitalist firm to shed any sense of obligation to those who must rent or sell their labor power in order that they might eat. The fundamental crisis of capitalism is that the self-absorbed individual and the self-dealing capitalist firm are locked in a perverse contest in which their mutual dependence is both acknowledged and resented. Re-creating historic ideas of obligations—civic duties—seems impossible to imagine. A more plausible transition is to be found in the idea of loyalty: loyalty to others with whom we work, with whom we share social spaces, and with the community at large. Loyalty from the capitalist firm toward its workers would be a start. Loyalty from the acquisitive selfish individual would be helpful in restoring a shared and necessary sense of personhood.

Personally, I suspect this really is the whole foundational basis of the 'metaverse'.  The key term is 'shared social spaces' - I think that's where Dr. Bromley's solution is going to be horribly corrupted.  I think belief is a core piece of human nature - and if you can't believe in the divine, you'll find something else.
All "social spaces" are shared or they are not a social space.  The problem comes about when the politics do not rise from the society but, once having risen in the normal course of events, they become so powerful that the partisans of either side believe that they have the right  to define the society.

Some of the most frightening words I hear are from those who come to power and then begin to say "This is/is not who we are".  Who we are cannot be defined by an outside force without using a lot of force.  It is an essential attack on individual liberty; it is slavery.

When the government fails in its responsibility to protect individuals and property it will fall.  So far, in America, there is a belief that changing the House of Representatives every two years will accomplish something.  Evidence in the last decade shows that this is not the case.  Alternate domination is not a good state of affairs.  It merely acerbates the conflict.

 
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