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Author Topic: Libertarian and not ashamed  (Read 16019 times)

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Offline XajowTopic starter

Libertarian and not ashamed
« on: April 03, 2011, 10:59:04 PM »
After looking through what appear to be some rather liberal leaning posts here in this forum, I'm wondering if there are any other libertarians out there in Elliquiy. Shout out if you're there.

Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #1 on: April 03, 2011, 11:16:29 PM »
I'm not quite a Libertarian (I believe that the state does have a bigger role to play than a classical libertarian would assign it) but I'm very much on that side of a spectrum. In my perfect utopia I'm actually an anarcho-capitalist but I'm pragmatic enough to realise that's a complete pipe dream.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #2 on: April 03, 2011, 11:26:09 PM »
Depends on social issues I'm very pro libertarian but this includes being opposed to abortion on most grounds since I feel the unborn has also the same right to live as the mother barring a life at physical risk consideration for the life that is here. I'm for gay marriage, adoption by gays, gays in military service, legalizing drugs under careful laws, legalizing sex work within some basic guidelines, a free and open internet and other things. I also think parents should be the ones to educate their children and should have far more say than the government does with the rights of the parents to choose some educational things based on their own morals.

On other things not like I enjoy the idea of a socialized health care system, a safety net so everyone who is here legally is taken care of minimally as needed, taxes high enough to pay for things and government having a down to top approach and the like.

So I'm sort of mixed.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2011, 11:31:55 PM »
I'm not quite a Libertarian (I believe that the state does have a bigger role to play than a classical libertarian would assign it) but I'm very much on that side of a spectrum. In my perfect utopia I'm actually an anarcho-capitalist but I'm pragmatic enough to realise that's a complete pipe dream.
I dunno. Pragmatism got us to a huge debt, politicians who think "wartime" means censorship is okay, a counter-productive "war on drugs", and a series of needlessly over-sized economic recessions. Pushing for more liberty got us the end of slavery, the Fourteenth Amendment, women's vote, the end of Jim Crow laws, the end of the draft, and recognition of the Second Amendment as protection of an individual right. I'm not sure pragmatism is all it's cracked up to be.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2011, 11:38:02 PM »
Depends on social issues I'm very pro libertarian but this includes being opposed to abortion on most grounds since I feel the unborn has also the same right to live as the mother barring a life at physical risk consideration for the life that is here. I'm for gay marriage, adoption by gays, gays in military service, legalizing drugs under careful laws, legalizing sex work within some basic guidelines, a free and open internet and other things. I also think parents should be the ones to educate their children and should have far more say than the government does with the rights of the parents to choose some educational things based on their own morals.

On other things not like I enjoy the idea of a socialized health care system, a safety net so everyone who is here legally is taken care of minimally as needed, taxes high enough to pay for things and government having a down to top approach and the like.
That last part doesn't sound libertarian at all, actually. Not that I'm a purist. Far from it. But what you described in that second part seems exactly contrary to libertarian thought. So I'm curious why you say you're "mixed" rather than, say, "liberal". No judgement either way. I'm just wondering.

Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2011, 11:45:43 PM »
"Pragmatism" also led to anti-discrimination laws, anti-fraud laws, anti misleading advertising/labelling of products, a fire service that you don't have to individually specifically pay for, a certain level of employment law, effective health care systems (and I personally support the Swiss and Singapore setups), mechanisms to control/monitor immigration, the whole "fire in a crowded theatre" limitations on free speech and countless other reforms.

It's worth noting that most of the thinkers held up as true "Libertarians" aren't; at least in how I define Libertarianism which is basically a very strict reading of Mill's harm principle.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2011, 12:58:40 AM »
There is at least one libertarian socialist here, do they count? >_>

There are a lot of libertarians here, of various tropes.

I'm a pro-nuclear, anti-gun control progressive, myself. Though I do think that having one overarching supergovernment is a problem and that it should be split up somehow (divide it into three or four superstates, each with their own tax revenues and expenditures, though individual laws of certain types and tax revenues could be set nationally).

I dunno. Pragmatism got us to a huge debt, politicians who think "wartime" means censorship is okay, a counter-productive "war on drugs", and a series of needlessly over-sized economic recessions. Pushing for more liberty got us the end of slavery, the Fourteenth Amendment, women's vote, the end of Jim Crow laws, the end of the draft, and recognition of the Second Amendment as protection of an individual right. I'm not sure pragmatism is all it's cracked up to be.

...what sort of definition of pragmatism are you working with?

Your statement simply does not follow. The War on Drugs is partly pushed by the support of the prison labor industry - it's slavery by another name. And subsidized slavery, at that. We pay to put people in jail so they can earn nothing while they provide labor for some private company. It's how America remains 'competitive' in some areas while respecting free trade. Censorship is a strictly authoritarian bent. It concerns itself with hiding facts - when it is actually facts. Not many people complain that we delete spam from the forums here >_>

The current liquidity crisis is caused by, if anything, an amazing lack of pragmatism - people have too much debt, people do not have money to spend, so people are not spending the money they don't have. And yet the people in power think that our problems are supply-sided. Give more money to the rich in the hopes that they will hire, rather than enabling the poor so that they can give reasons for the rich to hire.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2011, 08:52:07 AM »
That last part doesn't sound libertarian at all, actually. Not that I'm a purist. Far from it. But what you described in that second part seems exactly contrary to libertarian thought. So I'm curious why you say you're "mixed" rather than, say, "liberal". No judgement either way. I'm just wondering.

Because most liberals ,hating the label, have a habit of sticking their noses into matters that should be private. A good example and being disabled I can point this out the American With Disabilities Act on one hand I get it we want to help the disabled but they went to far crossing into the private sphere with its application it rightly should have affect and and all public domains and the government including granting of contracts. They had no right penalizing a private business for no complying that should have been left to tax incentives, consumer pressure and use the government to lead people to do what they wanted. I feel the same about many other laws.

There are cases though the government must act take health care everyone uses it, its clearly to me interstate and international in scope and fundamentally not something that should be able to grossly profit from the sick so I favor a good government run system and if not the government oversight with laws to get it done. I would prefer again local to county to state to Federal government doing this for the people in that order of priority but it is a duty of the government to me. Another area is trade I like the idea of a tariff system based on the treatment of other nations we import from to their workers to create a hopefully global package of benefits and fair pay over time. If you make Widgets in China they should have workers treated fairly with a living wage that is humane say $20 a day for an eight hour shift 40 hours a week, health care, a retirement plan of some sort that if adequete, environmental and worker protection, worker rights in other areas and such OR face a comparative quality of life tariff by the importing nations. And this should be a UN standard as in global enforceable on all nations.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2011, 11:47:08 AM »
"Pragmatism" also led to anti-discrimination laws, anti-fraud laws, anti misleading advertising/labelling of products, a fire service that you don't have to individually specifically pay for, a certain level of employment law, effective health care systems (and I personally support the Swiss and Singapore setups), mechanisms to control/monitor immigration, the whole "fire in a crowded theatre" limitations on free speech and countless other reforms.
Did it? I suppose that depends on how you define pragmatism.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #9 on: April 04, 2011, 12:09:20 PM »
...what sort of definition of pragmatism are you working with?
The one which goes along with the notion that libertarian ideas sound good but we can't use them because they aren't pragmatic. To be honest, as best I can determine, the libertarian ideas are the ones that are actually pragmatic because they allow individuals to find their own solutions rather than trying to force on them solutions from other folks who don't know the individuals or their situations or their preferences.

The War on Drugs is partly pushed by the support of the prison labor industry - it's slavery by another name. And subsidized slavery, at that. We pay to put people in jail so they can earn nothing while they provide labor for some private company.
Which private company makes extensive use of prisoners?

As best I can tell, the war on drugs is perpetuated by folks who believe it is pragmatic to try to control what people put in their own bodies.

It's how America remains 'competitive' in some areas while respecting free trade.
That implies we have free trade. We really do not.

Censorship is a strictly authoritarian bent. It concerns itself with hiding facts - when it is actually facts. Not many people complain that we delete spam from the forums here >_>
I won't complain about that either. But politicians who want to suggest that because we're at war (and yet without a declaration of war) the government should punish certain speech, that I will complain about.

The current liquidity crisis is caused by, if anything, an amazing lack of pragmatism - people have too much debt, people do not have money to spend, so people are not spending the money they don't have. And yet the people in power think that our problems are supply-sided. Give more money to the rich in the hopes that they will hire, rather than enabling the poor so that they can give reasons for the rich to hire.
Actually, we don't need politicians to do either one. What we need is for government to mostly (I said mostly, not entirely) get out of the way. Stop bailing out the wealthy, and stop standing in the way of the lower economic classes. But perhaps that is what you meant by enabling the poor.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #10 on: April 04, 2011, 12:29:29 PM »
There are cases though the government must act take health care everyone uses it, its clearly to me interstate and international in scope and fundamentally not something that should be able to grossly profit from the sick so I favor a good government run system and if not the government oversight with laws to get it done.
If I thought that would work, I might agree with you. But as best I can determine, it doesn't. Not to mention the fact that it opens the door to letting government tell you what you should eat, how much exercise you should be required to do, all sort of things to control health care costs for everyone. And please don't tell me it wouldn't happen. A government which mandates that everyone must buy health insurance and which promotes a "war on drugs" in the name of protecting people will most certainly end up doing those things if it gets control of the health care industry. I think it's a bad idea all around.

I would prefer again local to county to state to Federal government doing this for the people in that order of priority but it is a duty of the government to me. Another area is trade I like the idea of a tariff system based on the treatment of other nations we import from to their workers to create a hopefully global package of benefits and fair pay over time. If you make Widgets in China they should have workers treated fairly with a living wage that is humane say $20 a day for an eight hour shift 40 hours a week, health care, a retirement plan of some sort that if adequete, environmental and worker protection, worker rights in other areas and such OR face a comparative quality of life tariff by the importing nations. And this should be a UN standard as in global enforceable on all nations.
That sounds nice, but I doubt the ability of a top down plan to actually make that happen. And why should the UN be meddling in what sort of work contract is made between an individual and a business? Don't get me wrong. If you want to campaign against products from China and promote a boycott of Chinese products because of working conditions in China, I might support you in that effort. But tariffs and UN regulations seems like just more government people deciding they know what is best for everyone else. And that is not a plan for equality, imo.

Online Oniya

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #11 on: April 04, 2011, 01:08:44 PM »
Did it? I suppose that depends on how you define pragmatism.

Per Merriam-Webster:

Definition of PRAGMATISM
1: a practical approach to problems and affairs <tried to strike a balance between principles and pragmatism>
2: an American movement in philosophy founded by C. S. Peirce and William James and marked by the doctrines that the meaning of conceptions is to be sought in their practical bearings, that the function of thought is to guide action, and that truth is preeminently to be tested by the practical consequences of belief

Also:

Definition of PRAGMATIC
1:archaic a (1) : busy (2) : officious b : opinionated
2: relating to matters of fact or practical affairs often to the exclusion of intellectual or artistic matters : practical as opposed to idealistic <pragmatic men of power have had no time or inclination to deal with … social morality — K. B. Clark>
3: relating to or being in accordance with philosophical pragmatism(see pragmatism)

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #12 on: April 04, 2011, 01:35:32 PM »
The one which goes along with the notion that libertarian ideas sound good but we can't use them because they aren't pragmatic. To be honest, as best I can determine, the libertarian ideas are the ones that are actually pragmatic because they allow individuals to find their own solutions rather than trying to force on them solutions from other folks who don't know the individuals or their situations or their preferences.

Usually when people consider a libertarian position to be 'not serious', it involves the libertarian claiming that tolerating an externality should be done first and action should only be taken if that externality causes a provably bad effect. And if it does, the persons who died could then sue.

In the spirit of 'a stitch in time saves nine', market based solutions require an informed consumer base, active measures preventing fraud, and catching and correcting externalities. When libertarianism was first introduced to me, this was accounted for by making it very clear that fraud could not be tolerated. Most modern libertarians ignore that principle entirely or choose to impose consequences after the fact.

Ignoring fraud and externalities - or penalizing them after the fact - is not a serious solution. You can't sue after you're dead.

And market based solutions only really apply to traditional goods. Insurance, software (and other digital goods where cost of entry is being driven to zero), resource shortages, etc.

Quote
Which private company makes extensive use of prisoners?

http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_3440.shtml

Quote
Other companies which utilize prison labor, according to The Mandala Project’s 2001 web posting, “U.S. Prison Labor at Home and Abroad,” include: MicroJet, Nike, Lockhart Technologies, Inc., TWA, Dell Computers, Microsoft, Eddie Bauer, Planet Hollywood, Wilson Sporting Goods, J.C. Penney, Victoria’s Secret, Best Western Hotels, Honda, K-Mart, Target, McDonald’s, Burger King, “Prison Blues” jeans line, New York, New York Hotel/Casino, Imperial Palace Hotel/Casino, “No Fear” Clothing Line, C.M.T. Blues, Konica, Allstate, Merrill Lynch, Shearson Lehman, Louisiana Pacific, Parke-Davis and Upjohn.

If you're wondering what the tech companies are doing there, it's call centers: http://www.wired.com/techbiz/media/news/2004/02/62430

For violent offenders, I don't have much sympathy. For drug based offenses, though, it's ridiculous.

Quote
As best I can tell, the war on drugs is perpetuated by folks who believe it is pragmatic to try to control what people put in their own bodies.

You make a word apply to everything, you rob the word of its meaning.

There was also a racial targeting component to it. See, for example, Harry Anslinger.

Quote
That implies we have free trade. We really do not.

Well, globalization.

Quote
I won't complain about that either. But politicians who want to suggest that because we're at war (and yet without a declaration of war) the government should punish certain speech, that I will complain about.

There are things that I would say don't deserve protection under free speech. The locations of people - including troops - would be one of these.

It's just a very limited caveat to what you're saying, though, and it's easy to construct well-defined limits for it.

Quote
Actually, we don't need politicians to do either one. What we need is for government to mostly (I said mostly, not entirely) get out of the way. Stop bailing out the wealthy, and stop standing in the way of the lower economic classes. But perhaps that is what you meant by enabling the poor.

In a liquidity trap, you need a government to get involved with something like small business grants or a works progress administration - a private solution entails the private entity either becoming the government or being absorbed by it. The problem is people aren't being paid enough to have a significant disposable income - disposable income has been collapsing since the Reagan era. Without that, recovery will be anemic, and partially jobless. This is actually intentional on the part of policy makers - to quote Alan Greenspan, "there's a wonderful thing about debt. It's solved the labor problem."

Lack of disposable income has been linked to political instability, however. Eventually this will get fixed because people won't stand for it.


Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #13 on: April 04, 2011, 02:40:42 PM »
Usually when people consider a libertarian position to be 'not serious', it involves the libertarian claiming that tolerating an externality should be done first and action should only be taken if that externality causes a provably bad effect. And if it does, the persons who died could then sue.

In the spirit of 'a stitch in time saves nine', market based solutions require an informed consumer base, active measures preventing fraud, and catching and correcting externalities. When libertarianism was first introduced to me, this was accounted for by making it very clear that fraud could not be tolerated. Most modern libertarians ignore that principle entirely or choose to impose consequences after the fact.

Ignoring fraud and externalities - or penalizing them after the fact - is not a serious solution. You can't sue after you're dead.
Most modern libertarians... which is who? I'm not aware of libertarians generally preaching that fraud can be ignored. Unless they are hardcore anarcho-capitalists, most libertarians, so far as I know, would agree that laws against fraud are important.

And market based solutions only really apply to traditional goods. Insurance, software (and other digital goods where cost of entry is being driven to zero), resource shortages, etc.
Based on what?

http://www.finalcall.com/artman/publish/article_3440.shtml
I am highly skeptical of the source, but even if I accept it, I am not convinced that it means the war on drugs is perpetuated to provide cheap labor. I would need to see something more directly indicating cause and effect.

You make a word apply to everything, you rob the word of its meaning.
I agree. I'm not trying to make the word pragmatic apply to everything. I'm trying to point out when, in my opinion at least, the so-called pragmatic solution has turned out to not be a pragmatic solution.

There was also a racial targeting component to it. See, for example, Harry Anslinger.
Yes, there was when the war on drugs started. (And that racial component was considered by some at least to be pragmatic reasoning.) But I was not talking about why the war on drugs was started. I was talking about why it is perpetuated now.

In a liquidity trap, you need a government to get involved with something like small business grants or a works progress administration - a private solution entails the private entity either becoming the government or being absorbed by it.
I fail to see why those are the only two options.

The problem is people aren't being paid enough to have a significant disposable income
I disagree. I believe the problem is the erosion of buying power, which is to say, inflation. Which is caused by the government. The amount of money means less than what one can buy for that amount of money. Saying people need to be paid more ignores the fundamental problem, in my opinion.

Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2011, 04:46:26 PM »
Did it? I suppose that depends on how you define pragmatism.

All of the things I listed are deeply... and I do mean deeply... anti-libertarian. That's the "pragmatism" I mention...

If I thought that would work, I might agree with you. But as best I can determine, it doesn't. Not to mention the fact that it opens the door to letting government tell you what you should eat, how much exercise you should be required to do, all sort of things to control health care costs for everyone. And please don't tell me it wouldn't happen. A government which mandates that everyone must buy health insurance and which promotes a "war on drugs" in the name of protecting people will most certainly end up doing those things if it gets control of the health care industry. I think it's a bad idea all around.

Tell me more about Switzerland (a country that mandates health insurance) and how their government interferes with what their citizens should eat and how much exercise they should be required to do? That would be the same Switzerland that regularly either tops or comes near to the top of any "freedom" (political, social, economic) indexes out there.

That sounds nice, but I doubt the ability of a top down plan to actually make that happen. And why should the UN be meddling in what sort of work contract is made between an individual and a business? Don't get me wrong. If you want to campaign against products from China and promote a boycott of Chinese products because of working conditions in China, I might support you in that effort. But tariffs and UN regulations seems like just more government people deciding they know what is best for everyone else. And that is not a plan for equality, imo.

Do you believe anti-discrimination laws are wrong in principle?

Most modern libertarians... which is who? I'm not aware of libertarians generally preaching that fraud can be ignored. Unless they are hardcore anarcho-capitalists, most libertarians, so far as I know, would agree that laws against fraud are important.

If they believe that laws against fraud are important then they're not Libertarians... at least in the sense I've always seen libertarianism mentioned. As I've seen it Libertarianism is essentially a new name for classical liberalism once the turn liberal was corrupted and therefore takes most of its ques from there. The central ones of these is the harm principle: paraphrased, the only legitimate use of force is to prevent harm to others. Now, as it stands that phrase is so wide it's meaningless... I can use it justify anything from full on Libertarian values to the most overbearing government possible but Libertarianism generally has a very strict version of it: "harm" is purely physical and even then, interpreted tightly. That leaves fraud... an economic harm... firmly outside that spectrum.

Even if you disagree with the harm principle theory then the market based nature of Libertarianism rears its head. Another general principle of Libertarianism is that when the choice is between a market solution and a state one the market solution is not only normally more practical but also desirable in and of itself because it involves people freely doing business rather than being coerced. As fraud can be dealt with by the markets... because once someone has committed a fraud people would be highly unlikely to ever deal with them again... it leaves the question, why should the state interfere?

Offline Jude

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #15 on: April 04, 2011, 04:59:53 PM »
America already tried libertarianism during the industrial revolution.  And it worked OK until corporations became gigantic power-brokering entities that abused their influence on a massive scale.  It would work even worse today in our hyper technological society.

That isn't to say Libertarianism is necessarily a poor ideology, it has some valuable things to teach us, but strict adherence to any ideology is a recipe for failure.  No one philosophy is airtight, through the course of history they've all been shown to have problems, the only real way to have an effective government is to cycle valuable political philosophies so that we can employ the different toolsets that they possess to the varying challenges our country faces.

If you're facing a debt crisis (though I don't think we are now, but that's another story) you need a fiscal conservative.  If your country is drowning in antiquated practices you need a social progressive.  So on and so forth.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #16 on: April 04, 2011, 10:24:08 PM »
Libertarianism in the real world converts to plutocracy.  I know that's not what some Libertarians have in mind, and a few do follow versions of Libertarianism that might lead to something other than us all being rounded up and bar-coded concentration-camp style by the corporate elite.  But by and large, Libertarianism in practice would lead to us all being servants of the rich.  Some Libertarians (notably the Ayn Rand fanboys) would actually welcome corporate serfdom for the masses, though I know this lookout is far from universal amongst Libertarians.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #17 on: April 04, 2011, 10:46:24 PM »
All of the things I listed are deeply... and I do mean deeply... anti-libertarian. That's the "pragmatism" I mention...
All of them? I do not agree. Let's take a look.

"Pragmatism" also led to anti-discrimination laws, anti-fraud laws, anti misleading advertising/labelling of products, a fire service that you don't have to individually specifically pay for, a certain level of employment law, effective health care systems (and I personally support the Swiss and Singapore setups), mechanisms to control/monitor immigration, the whole "fire in a crowded theatre" limitations on free speech and countless other reforms.
I'm not convinced any of those are "deeply" anti-libertarian, but let's cover some obvious objections.

Effective health care systems... well, I suppose that depends on what you mean by effective health care systems. Libertarians are not against such, they just don't generally believe government run systems are effective.

Mechanisms to control/monitor immigration... I don't agree with him, but libertarian thinker Hans-Hermann Hoppe is, last I checked, very much in favor of controlling immigration. And I would venture to say many other libertarians are okay with a some immigration control, just not the level we currently have in the U.S.

The whole "fire in a crowded theater" limitations on free speech... Are there libertarians against that? I would be interested to see an argument from a libertarian against the not falsely yelling "fire" in a crowded theater limitation. I have certainly never seen one. Nor any against libel or slander or fraud limitations.

Tell me more about Switzerland (a country that mandates health insurance) and how their government interferes with what their citizens should eat and how much exercise they should be required to do? That would be the same Switzerland that regularly either tops or comes near to the top of any "freedom" (political, social, economic) indexes out there.
I'm not concerned with Switzerland. I don't live there. I live in the U.S. where politicians of various sorts are already trying to pass laws controlling things like salt and fat.

Do you believe anti-discrimination laws are wrong in principle?
Yes. And I also believe we wouldn't have needed them if we had not first had laws enforcing discrimination.

If they believe that laws against fraud are important then they're not Libertarians... at least in the sense I've always seen libertarianism mentioned.
I am still wondering who these fraud-tolerant libertarians are.

As I've seen it Libertarianism is essentially a new name for classical liberalism once the turn liberal was corrupted and therefore takes most of its ques from there. The central ones of these is the harm principle: paraphrased, the only legitimate use of force is to prevent harm to others. Now, as it stands that phrase is so wide it's meaningless... I can use it justify anything from full on Libertarian values to the most overbearing government possible but Libertarianism generally has a very strict version of it: "harm" is purely physical and even then, interpreted tightly. That leaves fraud... an economic harm... firmly outside that spectrum.
Again, I haver never seen any libertarian make the argument that fraud or economic harm is somehow acceptable. On the contrary, I have seen libertarians argue that fraud should indeed be illegal. (Of course, they argue that should apply to individuals, businesses and government.) Perhaps not all libertarians agree on that point, but your argument that it is unlibertarian simply does not accord with my libertarian philosophy, or in my experience with of that of libertarian thought in general.

Even if you disagree with the harm principle theory then the market based nature of Libertarianism rears its head. Another general principle of Libertarianism is that when the choice is between a market solution and a state one the market solution is not only normally more practical but also desirable in and of itself because it involves people freely doing business rather than being coerced. As fraud can be dealt with by the markets... because once someone has committed a fraud people would be highly unlikely to ever deal with them again... it leaves the question, why should the state interfere?
I have seen a similar argument made about many regulations, but never about fraud. Fraud is theft. If what you were saying were true, then libertarianism would be against anti-theft laws, and that is simply not the case. Some hardcore anarcho-capitalists might agree with the argument you presented, but the majority of libertarians, as best I can tell, are not hardcore or even moderate anarcho-capitalists. They support laws against theft and fraud because they believe in the protection of the right of property, which in turn means the government has a legitimate role in protecting that right, just as it does in protecting rights of life and speech and so on.

For a decent introduction on libertarian ideas try this: http://www.jonathangullible.com/mmedia/PoL.English.The.Philosophy.of.Liberty.swf

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #18 on: April 04, 2011, 10:51:36 PM »
America already tried libertarianism during the industrial revolution.
You got a source for that?

And it worked OK until corporations became gigantic power-brokering entities that abused their influence on a massive scale.
Something libertarians are generally against.

If you're facing a debt crisis (though I don't think we are now, but that's another story) you need a fiscal conservative.  If your country is drowning in antiquated practices you need a social progressive.  So on and so forth.
Why can't we have someone both fiscally conservative and socially liberal? That is, in simplistic terms, what a libertarian is.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #19 on: April 04, 2011, 11:01:24 PM »
You got a source for that?
Something libertarians are generally against.

Most Libertarians mean well, but just don't understand human nature.  If everyone has the right to accrete as much wealth as they wish, wealth distribution will inevitably skew out of control.  Those who get a little ahead will use their wealth to game the system to make sure they get more and more...and more.  The little guys will inevitably be locked out.

I can hear the objection now.  "But under a Libertarian system no one would be allowed to violate the rights of others, no matter how rich they were.  Everyone would have rights."  Yeah.  Kind of like that holy book that talks about "and the lion shall lie down with the lamb."  A wonderful idea...as long as you don't mind frequently replacing the lamb.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #20 on: April 04, 2011, 11:08:54 PM »
Libertarianism in the real world converts to plutocracy.
Pardon my German, but that's bullshit.

I know that's not what some Libertarians have in mind, and a few do follow versions of Libertarianism that might lead to something other than us all being rounded up and bar-coded concentration-camp style by the corporate elite.  But by and large, Libertarianism in practice would lead to us all being servants of the rich.
Nonsense. You seem to have confused libertarianism with crony capitalism. It is a common confusion. Libertarians were among the loudest voices decrying the corporate bailouts and are among the few who routinely condemn corporate welfare. The idea that libertarianism is some sort of pro-corporations-do-anything-they-want ideology is flat out wrong. The notion that libertarianism would necessarily lead to everyone but a wealthy few being serfs has no more basis in reality than the notion that ending the war on drugs would lead to the U.S. becoming a nation of lazy drug addicts. Which is to say, no basis in reality at all.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #21 on: April 04, 2011, 11:18:41 PM »
Most Libertarians mean well, but just don't understand human nature.
Oh boy. Here it comes.

If everyone has the right to accrete as much wealth as they wish, wealth distribution will inevitably skew out of control.  Those who get a little ahead will use their wealth to game the system to make sure they get more and more...and more.  The little guys will inevitably be locked out.

I can hear the objection now.  "But under a Libertarian system no one would be allowed to violate the rights of others, no matter how rich they were.  Everyone would have rights."  Yeah.  Kind of like that holy book that talks about "and the lion shall lie down with the lamb."  A wonderful idea...as long as you don't mind frequently replacing the lamb.
Seriously?

Those who get a little ahead will use their wealth to game the system and the little guys will inevitably be locked out... Yes, if everyone who gets a little ahead is a greedy, selfish bastard with the same philosophy. And you think libertarians don't understand human nature? Is that really your objection to libertarianism? I don't believe you've thought this through.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #22 on: April 04, 2011, 11:29:01 PM »
Oh boy. Here it comes.
Seriously?

Those who get a little ahead will use their wealth to game the system and the little guys will inevitably be locked out... Yes, if everyone who gets a little ahead is a greedy, selfish bastard with the same philosophy. And you think libertarians don't understand human nature? Is that really your objection to libertarianism? I don't believe you've thought this through.

Indeed I have thought it through...and have seen what happens in the real world when people are given unlimited ability to indulge their whims.  And I say again, this notion that some guy with $1,000,000,000 is going to hesitate to screw over someone with $1,000 is wishful thinking.  If there's a thread that runs through human history from Day One it's that the strong will take advantage of the weak the moment they have the opportunity to do so.

The irony here is that Libertarians make the same error that the Marxists kitty-cornered from them on that political versus economic freedom chart make: that human nature is basically benevolent.  Like the Libertarians teach that corporate overlords will conscientiously respect the rights of the common man, so the Marxist teaches that the dictatorship created during the revolution will good-naturedly devolve its absolute power to the people and the State shall wither away.  Good luck with that one, too.

Not to put too fine a point on it...people are assholes, and power corrupts.  Whether it's the power of the State, or the power of wealth in a society where wealth is allowed to buy whatever it pleases makes no difference.

Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #23 on: April 04, 2011, 11:38:42 PM »
All of them? I do not agree. Let's take a look.

Let's...

I'm not convinced any of those are "deeply" anti-libertarian, but let's cover some obvious objections.

Let's...

Effective health care systems... well, I suppose that depends on what you mean by effective health care systems. Libertarians are not against such, they just don't generally believe government run systems are effective.

1) Name the effective Libertarian systems that have existed. There have long been state's where libertarian health care has been implemented... how many were effective by the times standards?

2) List what makes the Swiss or Singaporean systems ineffective.

Mechanisms to control/monitor immigration... I don't agree with him, but libertarian thinker Hans-Hermann Hoppe is, last I checked, very much in favor of controlling immigration. And I would venture to say many other libertarians are okay with a some immigration control, just not the level we currently have in the U.S.

So the government can have near total control of who you can and can't hire? That's virtually the antithesis of libertarianism.

The whole "fire in a crowded theater" limitations on free speech... Are there libertarians against that?

Yes. If they're not then it's hard to argue they're libertarians.

I would be interested to see an argument from a libertarian against the not falsely yelling "fire" in a crowded theater limitation. I have certainly never seen one. Nor any against libel or slander or fraud limitations.

Here's a simple one: it's an unacceptable limitation on free speech. It is the state controlling what you are allowed to say because of the way others react. You are causing no direct harm to anyone yet will still commit a crime.

Let's look at where the example actually comes from; anti-war protesters handing out leaflets opposing the draft. According to the "fire in a crowded theatre" doctrine, a crime and therefore a situation where free speech should be curtailed. Is that a libertarian position?

I'm not concerned with Switzerland. I don't live there. I live in the U.S. where politicians of various sorts are already trying to pass laws controlling things like salt and fat.

So when you said "A government which mandates that everyone must buy health insurance and which promotes a "war on drugs" in the name of protecting people will most certainly end up doing those things if it gets control of the health care industry" you were saying what exactly?

Yes. And I also believe we wouldn't have needed them if we had not first had laws enforcing discrimination.

Please expand on this. I can somewhat see what I assume your logic is with regards to race, sex or gender but I struggle to see it for other areas covered by such legislation.

I am still wondering who these fraud-tolerant libertarians are.

Again, anyone who's a true Libertarian instead of just using the term because it sounds nice.

Again, I haver never seen any libertarian make the argument that fraud or economic harm is somehow acceptable.

Em... I think you'll struggle to find any Libertarian who argued that economic harm wasn't acceptable...

On the contrary, I have seen libertarians argue that fraud should indeed be illegal. (Of course, they argue that should apply to individuals, businesses and government.)

Once again, at that stage they stop being a true Libertarian and come far closer to what I am.

Perhaps not all libertarians agree on that point, but your argument that it is unlibertarian simply does not accord with my libertarian philosophy, or in my experience with of that of libertarian thought in general.

Which says more about so called libertarians...

I have seen a similar argument made about many regulations, but never about fraud.

As above.

Fraud is theft.

No, it isn't. Theft is a direct offence against property where as fraud is essentially a bad bargain with the inclusion of deliberate deceit. The entire reason fraud as a doctrine exists is because it is not theft.

If what you were saying were true, then libertarianism would be against anti-theft laws, and that is simply not the case.

Theft isn't fraud and fraud isn't theft. Outside of the fact both involve property there are little to no similarities.

Some hardcore anarcho-capitalists might agree with the argument you presented, but the majority of libertarians, as best I can tell, are not hardcore or even moderate anarcho-capitalists.

An anarcho-capitalist would be definition be against all fraud or theft laws created by the State. So it would not be "some" and it wouldn't require them to be "hardcore."

They support laws against theft and fraud because they believe in the protection of the right of property, which in turn means the government has a legitimate role in protecting that right, just as it does in protecting rights of life and speech and so on.

And as set out above and in previous posts fraud is simply bad bargain with deliberate deceit. Following libertarian theory the government should have no role in mitigating bad bargains and the market itself should be able to handle the deceit aspect... which leaves the state somewhat flapping in the wind when it comes to dealing with fraud.

For a decent introduction on libertarian ideas try this: http://www.jonathangullible.com/mmedia/PoL.English.The.Philosophy.of.Liberty.swf

Rather than a flash video I find it's generally best to go back to the original sources. Such as this, this or this.

Offline Jude

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2011, 12:02:51 AM »
You got a source for that?
I concede your point, we did not live in a libertarian society.  My point was that our approach to dealing with corporations was libertarian and it didn't work.
Something libertarians are generally against.
Libertarians are against gigantic corporations abusing their power, that's true, but irrelevant because they don't believe government should have the power to do anything about it.  They therefore put the responsibility on the masses and history has shown us time and again that when it's the public versus corporate, corporate wins unless government intervenes on behalf of the public.
Why can't we have someone both fiscally conservative and socially liberal? That is, in simplistic terms, what a libertarian is.
I didn't say we couldn't have someone who was that.  There are definitely times in America's history where having a libertarian president would've been the right move.  I was making a broader point on political philosophy that no philosophy is without its weaknesses and errors and all of them excel at dealing with certain issues.  My point was the futility of ascribing solidly to one philosophical stance as the end all be all.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2011, 12:44:07 AM »
I concede your point, we did not live in a libertarian society.  My point was that our approach to dealing with corporations was libertarian and it didn't work.  Libertarians are against gigantic corporations abusing their power, that's true, but irrelevant because they don't believe government should have the power to do anything about it.  They therefore put the responsibility on the masses and history has shown us time and again that when it's the public versus corporate, corporate wins unless government intervenes on behalf of the public.

This.

The Libertarians don't realize that, in the real world, the kind of system they advocate would result in plutocracy.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2011, 01:51:06 AM »
You shovel sixteen tons, and what do you get?
Another day older and deeper in debt.
I'm sorry Saint Peter, I can't go.
I owe my soul to the company store.

Most modern libertarians... which is who? I'm not aware of libertarians generally preaching that fraud can be ignored. Unless they are hardcore anarcho-capitalists, most libertarians, so far as I know, would agree that laws against fraud are important.

They are generally champions of deregulation, especially environmental and financial deregulation. And especially naive about what the purpose of protecting against fraud is - to ensure that both parties to a transaction are fully informed. This means knowing what's in the food you eat. Knowing the effects of the drug you are taking, and understanding their implications. This means people should not have to worry about the fine print, and that agreements they sign should be clearly written, understood and conscionable.

Quote
Based on what?

Basic market theory. Items like insurance, research, software, network effects (roads, phone systems, the Internet, and so on), etc. are not where infinite sellers + infinite buyers + fully informed populace produces the optimal solution.

In some cases it's because infinite sellers implies a massive duplication of effort (software and research). In some cases it's because infinite sellers (or an effectively large number to provide a reasonable market) is logistically infeasible - you can only lay so many fibers, so many pipes, pave so many roads.

In the event of insurance, you want as many people covered by a single pool as possible, to take the best advantage of statistics. Note that this only applies to things which everyone has a use for - it doesn't apply to auto insurance, for example, but does to things like health insurance and national defense.

Quote
I am highly skeptical of the source, but even if I accept it, I am not convinced that it means the war on drugs is perpetuated to provide cheap labor. I would need to see something more directly indicating cause and effect.

I'm not sure what you're skeptical of - you asked what private companies used prison labor. I gave you two sources. Or do you not believe in private prisons?

The private prison lobby is part of the force behind mandatory sentencing and three strikes laws. I'm not aware of any direct links to drug laws, but these laws have an effect on incarceration rates and their intentions are not exactly noble.

Quote
I agree. I'm not trying to make the word pragmatic apply to everything. I'm trying to point out when, in my opinion at least, the so-called pragmatic solution has turned out to not be a pragmatic solution.

That has little relevance to the overall discussion of fiscal libertarianism. You're not going to find many social conservatives getting very far here, in general.


Quote
I fail to see why those are the only two options.

I said 'like'. But it always requires a government solution, assuming government has control over currency. In a liquidity trap, you need to get money into the hands of people as a whole, and the trickle down approach - bank bailouts, massive payoffs to the rich - does not work.

Quote
I disagree. I believe the problem is the erosion of buying power, which is to say, inflation.

Only partially. People's wages have stagnated over the past 30 years, while productivity has increased. People making less than $100k per year have lost out to those making more than ~$300,000 per year - they have gained most of the benefits of said increased productivity. This wage stagnation has led to a decrease in buying power.

Most of the inflation is not, in fact, inflation of general consumer goods. Elizabeth Warren has done some excellent research into this (look up "The Coming Collapse of the Middle Class" - I've posted the video to this forum). Consumer spending on general goods has come down. What has gone up is health care costs, housing costs, and transportation costs. In addition, because the first tax dollar of a spouse is taxed after the last tax dollar of the head of household, the middle class is also taxed more.

Regardless, we've been actually suffering from near-deflation in general goods recently. If inflation was the only problem, we would be recovering faster.

Quote
Which is caused by the government.

No it isn't. Which is especially relevant considering that the government has actually been trying to cause moderate inflation, and failing, through increasing the monetary base. And now quantitative easing.

The government can more directly cause inflation - by handing it to people who will spend it - but the government isn't doing that. It's printing money and handing it to people who don't spend it.

Inflation can also be caused by genuine resource shortages. E.g. even if you moved to a non-inflationary currency policy (usually a bad idea) oil and land would still rise in price (the latter assuming rising population).

Quote
The amount of money means less than what one can buy for that amount of money. Saying people need to be paid more ignores the fundamental problem, in my opinion.

Your opinion is a drastic oversimplification of the facts. There is more to the economy - and even monetary policy - than inflation.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2011, 02:13:32 AM »
Don't be ashamed of your outlook on things but be willing to listen, consider and compromise! That is what i tell folks to do. In all honesty, I don't think one party or philosophy will help us but the synergy of my view points using discussion and compromise.

Sadly that practice is dying.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2011, 09:07:35 AM »
Here is what my ideal government would be in this country.

1. Libertarian in personal life concerns with the government neutral this means unless something hurts the community seriously it should be illegal and if not who cares. Most light drugs unless your in a profession like driving is really dangerous if adults do them in moderation and medical advice is used to mitigate harms. Gays and plural marriage like all marriage should be a simple legal contract not even given government status. I think most other crimes and such fall into this if you want to be a prostitute and your eighteen and not human trafficed you should be allowed to do that in your residence or in red light districts (adult zoned areas) its your body its no worst than a professiona fighter getting into a ring match for money.

2. Everywhere else the government should assure every citizen and legal resident a place to live, food, clothes, free education K-12 to include carreer training in High School over college and medical care and set-up strong laws to protect American industry while making this fair to workers in other nations so respective standards of living are the main concern. We can back this we are signees on many conventions we can argue supporting cheap goods made by slave labor is in violation so have to raise a large tariff to be fair when the workers get enough pay and benefits those will go away and we feel a person making shoes in a factory has to have a 40 hour workweek, a wage of $4 an hour, a retirement plan, health care and safety with the right to collective bargain. And enforce that for any goods even if from an American company contracting in China. I would also change the laws to make the duties of a company to be for profits AND an equal weight on community and national obligations with a ban on pouring rpofits into the company after say ten years requiring a dividend and a percentage fair to the company for operational growth. For example I would think 70% of profits must be in divdends and 30% kept for other things.

3. Taxes should pay for these things and cuts in areas not essential to the people of the nation. Like I militay is important but if its purely defensive with modest additions it could be far smaller. And people should be allowed to work as little or as much as they want I for one have no issue if someone just wanted to get by not work at all. Theymight opt to do volunteer work, better themselves in other ways or just sit around what is the big deal. Most people will want to work somewhat and they should and some might love working and do it alot. In the end things will balance out to most folks working for wants over needs like paying to go to college if they had a place to live and needs met for as long as needed as a right then they could afford to work just for going to school. And no one would have to slave away for all time just to make ends meet.

Shouldn't the ideal take into account the rights of people to be free to work less and do so without worrying about wants. Seems to me its all screwed up everyone should have a right to the basics in a society that can afford them then allow for people to do as they wish. I want people free from want and free to be who they wish to be as long as they are not hurting anyone.People will still work thy need money to spend unless really unable to a very high bar so most folks will work some even under my system. Just I might say I'm fine earning $400 a month, taxes are x% of that which covers all these things the government is providing for me so I have to work 80 hours a month that is fine.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2011, 11:38:05 AM »
Indeed I have thought it through...and have seen what happens in the real world when people are given unlimited ability to indulge their whims.  And I say again, this notion that some guy with $1,000,000,000 is going to hesitate to screw over someone with $1,000 is wishful thinking.  If there's a thread that runs through human history from Day One it's that the strong will take advantage of the weak the moment they have the opportunity to do so.
Which explains why we should not expect the government to protect us.

The irony here is that Libertarians make the same error that the Marxists kitty-cornered from them on that political versus economic freedom chart make: that human nature is basically benevolent.  Like the Libertarians teach that corporate overlords will conscientiously respect the rights of the common man, so the Marxist teaches that the dictatorship created during the revolution will good-naturedly devolve its absolute power to the people and the State shall wither away.  Good luck with that one, too.

Not to put too fine a point on it...people are assholes, and power corrupts.  Whether it's the power of the State, or the power of wealth in a society where wealth is allowed to buy whatever it pleases makes no difference.
I would really like to see this libertarian argument that "corporate overlords will conscientiously respect the rights of the common man." Once again, I am seeing someone tell me libertarians believe something without any proof that what I am being told comes from a libertarian source. And since I have never, ever seen a libertarian espouse such a thing, I have to question the idea.

No, libertarians do not believe all corporations or all people who run them will be benevolent. They do, however, recognize that partnering corporations with government in the name of controlling an industry or the economy or both, does not result in protections for the little guy. What happens is competition is stifled, inordinately large barrier to entering the market are established, and power is concentrated with a few corporations and the politicians who work with them.

And who the heck was talking about unlimited ability to indulge whims? Find me the libertarian who preaches that. I want to see it.

And $1,000,000,000 over $1,000 is not "a little ahead". You changed the terms of the argument.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #30 on: April 05, 2011, 11:40:51 AM »
Libertarians are against gigantic corporations abusing their power, that's true, but irrelevant because they don't believe government should have the power to do anything about it.
Prove it.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #31 on: April 05, 2011, 11:41:55 AM »
The Libertarians don't realize that, in the real world, the kind of system they advocate would result in plutocracy.
Again, bullshit.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #32 on: April 05, 2011, 01:16:51 PM »
1) Name the effective Libertarian systems that have existed.
That would be a pointless exercise until I can establish what your view of libertarianism is. Because it is clearly outside the libertarian philosophy I have and have seen espoused by others. So anything I might claim to be a libertarian system would likely be denied by you as not really libertarian.

2) List what makes the Swiss or Singaporean systems ineffective.
I'll consider answering that when I find time to study their health care systems.

So the government can have near total control of who you can and can't hire? That's virtually the antithesis of libertarianism.
I don't recall saying that. Let me check.... Nope, didn't say that. Maybe Hans-Hermann Hoppe would say that, but I don't speak for him so I don't know. If you want to have that conversation, have it with him.

The whole "fire in a crowded theater" limitations on free speech... Are there libertarians against that?
Yes. If they're not then it's hard to argue they're libertarians.
Sigh. How about some examples of libertarians making that argument? Got any? Or am I supposed to just take your word for it even though I have never, ever seen a libertarian say such a thing?

Here's a simple one: it's an unacceptable limitation on free speech. It is the state controlling what you are allowed to say because of the way others react. You are causing no direct harm to anyone yet will still commit a crime.
Says who?

Let's look at where the example actually comes from; anti-war protesters handing out leaflets opposing the draft. According to the "fire in a crowded theatre" doctrine, a crime and therefore a situation where free speech should be curtailed. Is that a libertarian position?
Whoa. Back up there. First of all, explain how handing out leaflets opposing the draft is like falsely yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. Second, I doubt most, if any, libertarians would accept that handing out anti-draft leaflets is or was like falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater. So you trying to use this as a means to prove something about libertarianism seems like you trying to define for libertarians what they believe.

So when you said "A government which mandates that everyone must buy health insurance and which promotes a "war on drugs" in the name of protecting people will most certainly end up doing those things if it gets control of the health care industry" you were saying what exactly?
I was saying it's going to happen here in the U.S. if the government gets control of the health care industry. I'll try not to be so esoteric next time.

Please expand on [anti-discrimination laws being wrong in principle]. I can somewhat see what I assume your logic is with regards to race, sex or gender but I struggle to see it for other areas covered by such legislation.
I should caution you against assuming. Anyway, anti-discrimination laws are about controlling choices people are allowed to make. But more than that, they explicitly say you as the employer do not have the authority to decide for yourself who you should hire or not hire. So, yes, they are wrong in principle.

I am still wondering who these fraud-tolerant libertarians are.
Again, anyone who's a true Libertarian instead of just using the term because it sounds nice.
Examples? That you keep saying "true" libertarians believe this does not make it so. And why are you determining for me who "true" libertarians are, exactly?

Em... I think you'll struggle to find any Libertarian who argued that economic harm wasn't acceptable...
Sigh. And I'm telling you I haven't. So perhaps you could provide some examples of libertarians saying fraud is acceptable.

Once again, at that stage they stop being a true Libertarian and come far closer to what I am.
In the words of Ronald Regan, there you go again. Why are you the arbiter of what is and is not a "true" libertarian?

Fraud is theft.
No, it isn't. Theft is a direct offence against property where as fraud is essentially a bad bargain with the inclusion of deliberate deceit. The entire reason fraud as a doctrine exists is because it is not theft. [...]Theft isn't fraud and fraud isn't theft. Outside of the fact both involve property there are little to no similarities.
Fraud is a different kind of theft than, say, picking your pocket or stealing valuables from your house or stealing your car. But it is theft. You might as well say robbery is not theft, or embezzlement is not theft. Of course they are theft. Fraud, in the terms we are talking about,  is also theft. Just because it involves deceit and not a firearm does not make fraud any less theft than robbery.

An anarcho-capitalist would be definition be against all fraud or theft laws created by the State. So it would not be "some" and it wouldn't require them to be "hardcore."
I'm not sure anarcho-capitalists would want you defining what they believe either, but accepting for the sake of argument you're correct on this, it still doesn't negate my point.

And as set out above and in previous posts fraud is simply bad bargain with deliberate deceit. Following libertarian theory the government should have no role in mitigating bad bargains and the market itself should be able to handle the deceit aspect... which leaves the state somewhat flapping in the wind when it comes to dealing with fraud.
That might be true if I allow that you're determineing what is and is not "true" libertarianism, and that your definition of fraud is correct. But I don't and it isn't.

Rather than a flash video I find it's generally best to go back to the original sources.
Oh golly yes. Heaven forbid you should look at a flash video so that we might have some common understanding of the terms being used. Your third link did not work. But okay, let's look at "original" sources. How about Frédéric Bastiat? He is pretty well thought of by the libertarians I know. The Mises Institute even sells a T-shirt with Bastiat's face on it. Let's look at what he said.
                         I do not, as is often done, use the word in any vague, uncertain, approximate, or metaphorical sense. I use it in its scientific acceptance—as expressing the idea opposite to that of property [wages, land, money, or whatever]. When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it—without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud—to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed.
I now await you telling me that Bastiat wasn't a "true" libertarian or "true" classical liberal or whatever. Or to tell me plunder isn't theft. Or some such thing that will let you keep defining all the terms as best suits this odd purity of libertarianism argument you seem to be making.

And just for good measure:

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #33 on: April 05, 2011, 01:52:23 PM »
[Libertarians] are generally champions of deregulation, especially environmental and financial deregulation.
Agreed.

And especially naive about what the purpose of protecting against fraud is - to ensure that both parties to a transaction are fully informed.
Not agreed. Examples please.

This means knowing what's in the food you eat. Knowing the effects of the drug you are taking, and understanding their implications. This means people should not have to worry about the fine print, and that agreements they sign should be clearly written, understood and conscionable.
I do not know of any libertarians who have spoken against these things.

And market based solutions only really apply to traditional goods. Insurance, software (and other digital goods where cost of entry is being driven to zero), resource shortages, etc.
Based on what?
Basic market theory. Items like insurance, research, software, network effects (roads, phone systems, the Internet, and so on), etc. are not where infinite sellers + infinite buyers + fully informed populace produces the optimal solution.

In some cases it's because infinite sellers implies a massive duplication of effort (software and research). In some cases it's because infinite sellers (or an effectively large number to provide a reasonable market) is logistically infeasible - you can only lay so many fibers, so many pipes, pave so many roads.

In the event of insurance, you want as many people covered by a single pool as possible, to take the best advantage of statistics. Note that this only applies to things which everyone has a use for - it doesn't apply to auto insurance, for example, but does to things like health insurance and national defense.
And this means market based solutions apply only to traditional good exactly how?

I'm not sure what you're skeptical of
Um, as I said, the source. Final Call is a website with an agenda. "It is the official communications organ of the Louis Farrakhan's Final Call Organization." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Final_Call

- you asked what private companies used prison labor. I gave you two sources.
Yes, and the Wired site is more trustworthy, but it did not indicate people were being put in prison for the sake of use as labor.

Or do you not believe in private prisons?

The private prison lobby is part of the force behind mandatory sentencing and three strikes laws. I'm not aware of any direct links to drug laws, but these laws have an effect on incarceration rates and their intentions are not exactly noble.
You'll not get much argument from me about that.

But it always requires a government solution, assuming government has control over currency.
Why?

In a liquidity trap, you need to get money into the hands of people as a whole, and the trickle down approach - bank bailouts, massive payoffs to the rich - does not work.
Yes. This is one of the reasons libertarians do not support such things.

As to inflation, yes, I know there is more to the economy and monetary policy than inflation. How you made a leap from me saying the problem we were discussing was inflation not the amount of money paid to assuming I meant that inflation is the one and only issue of the economy and monetary policy, I have no idea. Unless you were saying the one and only issue of the economy and monetary policy is people being paid enough money. And I doubt seriously that you were. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong on that point.

Anyway, yes, inflation, long-term inflation is generally caused by the government. Inflation caused by fluctuations in demand or supply are usually short lived and usually do not effect the overall buying power of the individual. Long term inflation, however, is caused by government increasing the supply of money faster than the rate of economic growth.

And while in my previous reply to you the brief explanation I gave for my opinion might be simplistic, don't assume that one brief set of sentences is the extent of my economic knowledge or opinion. I promise I won't assume your brief explanation is the extent of your economic knowledge and/or opinion.

Offline Will

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #34 on: April 05, 2011, 03:00:47 PM »
Again, bullshit.

Libertarians want deregulation.  This seems to me to be necessarily at odds with any concept of consumer protection.  If it isn't, could you possibly explain why?  Any time this point has been made, you've been very dismissive with no real explanation.

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Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #35 on: April 05, 2011, 03:12:21 PM »
Let's try and keep the discourse civil, ok? Things seem to be getting a little heated.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #36 on: April 05, 2011, 04:38:24 PM »
Libertarians want deregulation.  This seems to me to be necessarily at odds with any concept of consumer protection.  If it isn't, could you possibly explain why?  Any time this point has been made, you've been very dismissive with no real explanation.
I'm not sure the point has been made before this. Saying libertarianism would lead to nearly everyone being serfs of corporation overlords is not at all the same as saying deregulation seems to be at odds with consumer protection.

Anyway, I see a few problems with what you're saying. One is the apparent assumption that the only way to have consumer protection is government regulation. Another is the apparent assumption that government regulation equates to consumer protection. Both assumptions are, in my opinion, false.

Let me put this another way. You can now find foods labeled "organic" all over grocery stores now. Did anyone have to pass legislation to make organic food something food companies want to sell? No. Demand grew, food companies saw way to make money, and they began selling "organic" food. If you want to know whether a particular thing, say a car or an LCD television, is of a decent quality before you buy it, do you have to ask the government? No. You can check with Consumer Reports. Back in the 1930s (think) when the government was threatening to start making regulations about what could and could not be in films made by Hollywood, the film studios got together and made their own system of regulation. My point being that there are other ways than government regulations to inform consumers, promote healthy products and regulate industries.

At the same time, government regulation isn't always the best protection, and sometimes it overprotects. In a number of areas in the country, there are, essentially, black markets in hair braiding. People who would prefer to openly operate a business for braiding hair have to operate in secret because to operate openly would require them to get a cosmetology license. That may not sound like a big deal to you, but getting a cosmetology license requires paying for schooling in things that have nothing to do with braiding hair. But the law protects us from rogue hair braiders. Whoopdeedo.

Regulations also kept people from brewing and selling their own beer up through the late 1970s. Jimmy Carter (yeah, I know, hard to believe) signed a bill which changed that. The result has been a blossoming of small breweries that has literally changed the beer market.

No one, except the anarcho-capitalists, is advocating that all regulations of any kind should be eliminated. Not all regulations are helpful and beneficial, however. Often the main effect of regulations is to keep prices high and inhibit competition from growing or entering the market. That isn't consumer protection. That's crony capitalism.

Which reminds me to make another point often lost in these discussions. Pro-business is not the same as pro-market. Don't assume that because libertarians advocate for deregulation that they advocate for businesses being allowed to do anything businesses want. Libertarianism is about individual liberty, not protecting corporations.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #37 on: April 05, 2011, 04:43:30 PM »
I am guessing from the way this thread is going, there are not actually any other libertarians out there in Elliquiy-dom. Even those who say they are libertarian in some area then explain they are completely not in some other way.

That's okay. I'm used to being the only one.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #38 on: April 05, 2011, 04:52:49 PM »
Again, bullshit.

So, you're going to tell me--with a straight face--that Joe CEO in charge of a multibillion dollar company isn't going to secretly dump his toxic waste into the river rather than pay the extra three cents per share profit to dispose of it properly (if no regulator is looking over his shoulder?).

You're going to seriously tell me that common workers making $30,000 are going to end up with the same rights as high rollers blowing that much on a hand of blackjack at Caesar's Palace? 

If you want a good look at what a libertarian society would look like, try Somalia or the Congo.  Oh, I know they're not libertarian now, but they began that way: societies with no functional government.  And so what happened?  The drug cartels, the warlords, the pirates, the mining companies, the gangs of fanatics--they all moved right into the vacuum.

Human nature is to have leaders and followers.  It's been like that from day one.  Love it or hate it, society-forming is hardwired into the human brain.  You're not going to change it, any more than Karl Marx or Mao or Jim Jones or anyone else who, for good or ill, has some notion of a "better way of life" has managed to change human nature.

There is no easy answer or system or religion or ideology that's going to fix this, Left, Right, Center, Up, Down, Sideways and Forwards, whatever.  There is an optimum way, imperfect as it is: we have government and corporations and labor and lodge and church and academy all holding power in their own spheres, competing with each other, so that none become too powerful.  And in the process, their wrestling with each other shakes down some goodies into the hands of the common man.

Is it Utopia?  Far from it.  It's the best we can do.  As George Carlin so eloquently put it, the public sucks.  This is the outcome.

Offline Will

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #39 on: April 05, 2011, 05:01:35 PM »
There are FDA regulations on what can be called "organic."  That's not really a very good example.

Consumer Reports can't cover every conceivable product everywhere.  That's not a practical solution.

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Anyway, I see a few problems with what you're saying. One is the apparent assumption that the only way to have consumer protection is government regulation. Another is the apparent assumption that government regulation equates to consumer protection. Both assumptions are, in my opinion, false.

I understand that you disagree with that premise.  Government intervention isn't your thing.  But if you don't agree with the methodology, an alternative is necessary.

Just like any political philosophy, Libertarianism comes with own weaknesses, holes, problems, etc.  Getting rid of government causes issues; government fills necessary roles in our society (whether you think they do it well is another matter; I think it's clear we agree that consumer protection is necessary), and if it ceases to do so, then something has to fill that void.  I don't see any practical suggestions on that front.

I am guessing from the way this thread is going, there are not actually any other libertarians out there in Elliquiy-dom. Even those who say they are libertarian in some area then explain they are completely not in some other way.

That's okay. I'm used to being the only one.

There's no rule against double dipping on party platforms, is there?  Shouldn't we be fostering a variation in viewpoints, as opposed to toeing a line of uncompromising idealism?  As I said, every philosophy has its problems; following one and only one is a surefire way to drive the country into the ground.  And then deeper.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #40 on: April 05, 2011, 06:21:12 PM »
So, you're going to tell me--with a straight face--that Joe CEO in charge of a multibillion dollar company isn't going to secretly dump his toxic waste into the river rather than pay the extra three cents per share profit to dispose of it properly (if no regulator is looking over his shoulder?).
You're seriously going to tell me that every CEO in charge of a multibillion dollar company is an unethical, callous bastard while every politician and government bureaucrat is a highly ethical overflowing with entirely selfless concern for his fellow humans? See, I can play that game too. Unfortunately, it doesn't accomplish anything useful or make your case substantive.

You're going to seriously tell me that common workers making $30,000 are going to end up with the same rights as high rollers blowing that much on a hand of blackjack at Caesar's Palace?
No. I'm going to tell you they already have the same rights. Rights are not privileges, even though some people treat them that way.

If you want a good look at what a libertarian society would look like, try Somalia or the Congo.  Oh, I know they're not libertarian now, but they began that way: societies with no functional government.  And so what happened?  The drug cartels, the warlords, the pirates, the mining companies, the gangs of fanatics--they all moved right into the vacuum.
Oh good grief. The stupid old "libertarians want anarchy and chaos" nonsense rears its ugly, ignorant head. Even anarcho-capitalists have a plan for order in society. There was and is nothing libertarian about Somalia or the Congo. And only someone ignorant about libertarianism would say otherwise.

Human nature is to have leaders and followers.  It's been like that from day one.  Love it or hate it, society-forming is hardwired into the human brain.  You're not going to change it, any more than Karl Marx or Mao or Jim Jones or anyone else who, for good or ill, has some notion of a "better way of life" has managed to change human nature.
Here's a clue: libertarians are not trying to change that.

There is no easy answer or system or religion or ideology that's going to fix this, Left, Right, Center, Up, Down, Sideways and Forwards, whatever.  There is an optimum way, imperfect as it is: we have government and corporations and labor and lodge and church and academy all holding power in their own spheres, competing with each other, so that none become too powerful.  And in the process, their wrestling with each other shakes down some goodies into the hands of the common man.

Is it Utopia?  Far from it.  It's the best we can do.  As George Carlin so eloquently put it, the public sucks.  This is the outcome.
The best we can do? I'm glad other people don't think so. I'm really glad we don't live in a feudal society.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #41 on: April 05, 2011, 06:31:02 PM »
There are FDA regulations on what can be called "organic."  That's not really a very good example.
Regulations that are rather ridiculous as I understand it. But you seem to have missed the point.

Consumer Reports can't cover every conceivable product everywhere.  That's not a practical solution.
It's not practical because one company cannot do it all. Well, duh. I did not say Consumer Reports had to cover every good made every where. Stop thinking so small.

I understand that you disagree with that premise.  Government intervention isn't your thing.  But if you don't agree with the methodology, an alternative is necessary.
You're assuming that I need to have a whole plan worked out in detail. The beauty of the market is, no I don't.

There's no rule against double dipping on party platforms, is there?  Shouldn't we be fostering a variation in viewpoints, as opposed to toeing a line of uncompromising idealism?  As I said, every philosophy has its problems; following one and only one is a surefire way to drive the country into the ground.  And then deeper.
Well, let me put it this way, saying one is libertarian on issue A, but not on issues B, C and D, really doesn't mean one is a libertarian.

Online Oniya

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #42 on: April 05, 2011, 07:31:03 PM »
No. I'm going to tell you they already have the same rights. Rights are not privileges, even though some people treat them that way.

We all have the right to a fair trial by a jury of our peers, and a zealous defense.  Tell me that the person who can afford a 'dream team' gets the same treatment as the person who can only get a public defender.

Offline Jude

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #43 on: April 05, 2011, 07:53:54 PM »
Prove it.
I'd like to have a civil discussion with you because we both could probably benefit from it, but you seem very hostile.  If I am mistaken about this, we can chalk it up to an effect of the imperfect medium of innanetz.

If you find my point to be disagreeable, it would help if you presented some sort of explanation or educated me on your specific formulation of libertarianism.  I can only judge your political philosophy by what other adherents of it support unless you give your own stance, then we can discuss in more specifics what you believe and what I see to be the imperfections of it.

For the record, I like libertarianism.  I love Penn Jilette and the show Bullshit.  I just don't think it's an ironclad political philosophy.  It makes some valid points, but I have a hard time being ideological about pragmatic matters.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 08:23:15 PM by Jude »

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #44 on: April 05, 2011, 08:02:50 PM »
I was going to jump in on some of the current day events that came as a direct result of the rampant deregulation going on but the sheer hostile attitude that Xajow is putting out makes me refrain from doing so.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #45 on: April 05, 2011, 08:13:56 PM »
Agreed.

Not agreed. Examples please.

You just did. The purpose of regulations - smart regulations - is to eliminate externalities and to prevent fraud. By supporting full deregulation, you, by definition, support externalizing and fraud.

As a supporter of deregulation, you support fraud.

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I do not know of any libertarians who have spoken against these things.

You just did. You support deregulation, you support the right of corporations to put whatever they want in our food. Like say, sawdust.

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And this means market based solutions apply only to traditional good exactly how?

I just gave examples, and reasons why. If you want to dispute individual items, or all of them, address the arguments in detail, but this is just dodging on your part.

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Um, as I said, the source. Final Call is a website with an agenda. "It is the official communications organ of the Louis Farrakhan's Final Call Organization." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Final_Call

That's not the source of the company list, however. It's difficult to find sources in the prison labor debate that don't have an agenda, because corporate media tends to gloss over it and more liberated media tends to be agenda-centric. The Economist has an article on it too, though they don't name people.

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Yes, and the Wired site is more trustworthy, but it did not indicate people were being put in prison for the sake of use as labor.

You might also wonder what the purpose of 'tough on crime' legislation is, as opposed to when merely ten years ago we were complaining about overcrowded prisons.

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Why?

A liquidity crisis occurs when you have a surplus of labor and a shortage of currency - people have goods and services to offer (their labor, genuine products, etc) - but they don't have currency to conduct trades with, and we are so far removed from barter systems and have so little support for alternative currencies that it is difficult to impossible to trade otherwise.

Essentially, in order for the economy to be kickstarted again, you have to get a form of currency into these people's hands, that they will all use. It's very difficult to separate this notion from government - if you magic into being a new currency that everyone is compelled (socially or otherwise) to use, you are the de facto head of government, because you have a lock on nearly all trade.

This sort of thing is why libertarians and progressives together want more transparency from the Fed, for example.

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As to inflation, yes, I know there is more to the economy and monetary policy than inflation. How you made a leap from me saying the problem we were discussing was inflation not the amount of money paid to assuming I meant that inflation is the one and only issue of the economy and monetary policy, I have no idea. Unless you were saying the one and only issue of the economy and monetary policy is people being paid enough money. And I doubt seriously that you were. Feel free to correct me if I am wrong on that point.


You claimed that the decrease in buying power was due solely to inflation. Specifically, government-caused inflation.

This is not happening.

Inflation, as a whole, has rendered the overall buying power of the average American stagnant, despite the average American being 50% more productive relative to inflation - i.e., the average person, if they were paid based on their productivity, would be getting paid 50% more.

What has caused the reduction in discretionary income is what I listed above - the massive rise in health care costs (a portion of which - medicare underpayment - is due to government, but not all), the massive rise in housing costs (partially due to financial deregulation and other forms of outright fraud, but government is not the direct cause here), increased taxation of married couples (certainly due to government), and increases in transportation costs (not due to government - people choosing to buy multiple vehicles, and increases in oil costs).

When discretionary income went negative several years ago, the economy collapsed.

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Anyway, yes, inflation, long-term inflation is generally caused by the government. Inflation caused by fluctuations in demand or supply are usually short lived and usually do not effect the overall buying power of the individual. Long term inflation, however, is caused by government increasing the supply of money faster than the rate of economic growth.

Again, goods where there are genuine shortages (they ain't making any more land), or genuine increases in demand (food) are neither short-lived nor government-caused. Same with oil.

And government increasing of the money supply only drives inflation if there isn't a liquidity crisis - underutilized resources put to use (labor in general) do not reduce the overall wealth of the nation.

Whereas letting that labor atrophy does.

It's also possible for inflation to be caused if money is circulated (genuinely i.e. exchanged for goods and services) faster - because this is a raw increase in the overall size of the economy by increasing the cash flow multiplier. Most people would consider this a good thing, however.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #46 on: April 05, 2011, 09:03:26 PM »
We all have the right to a fair trial by a jury of our peers, and a zealous defense.  Tell me that the person who can afford a 'dream team' gets the same treatment as the person who can only get a public defender.
I did not say everyone gets the same treatment or that there were no inequalities in the current system. I said everyone has the same rights.

Online Oniya

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #47 on: April 05, 2011, 09:13:08 PM »
I did not say everyone gets the same treatment or that there were no inequalities in the current system. I said everyone has the same rights.

Alright - then tell me how a system in which the person with more money (not even as excessively unbalanced as OSG put forward) gets better treatment than the person who has less money does not evolve into a plutocracy?

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #48 on: April 05, 2011, 09:28:17 PM »
And how is deregulating helped us as a country?

It opened the country to RAMPANT exploitation. I was in California when the state thought it would be a BRILLIANT idea to deregulate the power industry. Almost overnight, power rates spiked upwards (which the folks selling the idea said it wouldn't), brown outs were rampant. There were charges of price fixing and purposely dropping power loads so 'rivals' would have to sell power to them. It was so bad I knew senior navy enlisted who had to sell their homes and move back into base housing. They literally couldn't afford to keep paying the power bills.

That is why I'm very wary of Gov. Walker selling off public utlities in closed bids..Not only am I sure that whoever buys them will get an AWESOME deal, we're almost certain they will do every thing to squeeze every dime they can out of the consumer.

Deregualition of the Airlines in the 70s/80s lead to the destruction of several American Airlines (In fact, I think it's fair to say of the 'Big 5' none of them exist except as a name bought to curry traditional brand recogniton). The lack of control of men like John Lorenzo in the airline industry led to a feeding frenzy where their bottom line was the only thing that mattered.

I think that careful consideration should be given before you throttle back the regulation of an industury. It would be a boon to reduce government oversight BUT you have to ask if the people you're removing oversight from truly have the public's best interest in mind?

Look at the mortgage industry of the last few years. I've hear a LOT of outright horror stories. And a LOT of them were things that had their been a bit more regulation and oversight could have been prevented. How many BILLIONS were lost because we didn't watch them carefully enough or have a structure in place to slow things down?


Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #49 on: April 05, 2011, 09:42:56 PM »
I'd like to have a civil discussion with you because we both could probably benefit from it, but you seem very hostile.  If I am mistaken about this, we can chalk it up to an effect of the imperfect medium of innanetz.
I do not intend to be hostile. I admit sometimes I can be aggressive in my manner, and it tends to occur when people talk down to me like I don't know what I'm talking about. You did not do that, and if I seemed hostile to you directly, I apologize.

If you find my point to be disagreeable, it would help if you presented some sort of explanation or educated me on your specific formulation of libertarianism.  I can only judge your political philosophy by what other adherents of it support unless you give your own stance, then we can discuss in more specifics what you believe and what I see to be the imperfections of it.
I would be pleased to have that discussion with you. Thank you for asking me.

Basically, libertarianism is about liberty for the individual. Which means libertarians tend be fiscally conservative and socially liberal. At least politically. Personally, I believe that the greater good of society is best served by ensuring liberty for individuals to make their own choices. I believe that Thoreau and others are correct to say "that government governs best which governs least." And I do think Thoreau was correct to say that when men are ready for it, they will have a government "which governs not at all." But I know that time is not now, and unlikely to come in my lifetime. (Unless someone solves the aging problem in the next 20 years.) So contrary to what you may have heard, I am not someone who promotes utopian ideas that have no practical application.

Also contrary to what you may have heard (or read), I am fully aware that in human nature some people lead and some follow. There is nothing about that which is contrary to libertarian philosophy. Some may say it is, but I have yet to see that demonstrated or supported in any substantive way.

Before I get too far along, I should define some things, just so you know what I mean when I talk about certain things. Rights are not privileges. Rights are inherent to each human being. They cannot be given us or taken away from us. Which is not to say that liberty cannot be given or taken away. But liberty and rights are not the same thing. A government may interfere with your liberty to exercise free speech, but it cannot take away your right to free speech. In my opinion, and in my political philosophy, this is fundamental. If, for example again, free speech is a privilege to be granted or removed by government, then it is a privilege, not a right, and people who are not allowed that liberty have no grounds to demand the liberty from their government. I believe it is a right, and not a privilege.

Since I'm using free speech as my example, I will mention the falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater scenario. Yes, doing that is wrong. Why? Because it puts people's lives in danger. The liberty of the individual is bounded by the liberty of every other individual. This is why libertarianism is not a license, as some would claim, to do anything one desires. Some people confuse libertarian with libertine. The two are not the same.

Nor are all libertarians the same. I personally believe we need a much more open immigration policy. Hans-Hermann Hoppe, an influential libertarian thinker and teacher, says libertarians should by necessity support strict control of immigration. Some libertarians are in favor of legal abortion, some are not. It depends, usually, on whether the libertarian individual believes a fetus is a human being. Some libertarians are strictly against all use of force. Some, like me, have no problem with use of force in self-defense. A few might say that could include a nation engaging in a preemptive strike, but I think most would not.

I'm kinda tired. How's that for a start anyway? Feel free to ask questions. I'll do my best to answer any I can. I promise to try to be nice.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #50 on: April 05, 2011, 09:49:04 PM »
I was going to jump in on some of the current day events that came as a direct result of the rampant deregulation going on but the sheer hostile attitude that Xajow is putting out makes me refrain from doing so.
Tell you what, when you have people telling you your philosophy would basically result in the collapse of society, defining for you in negative terms what you supposedly believe and then attacking your philosophy according what they say is what it really means, and basically not asking you what you believe but telling you how horrible and mean and stupid it is, in other words treating your philosophy with hostility, and you don't respond with some hostility in return, I'll apologize to you. But not before.

Offline Jude

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #51 on: April 05, 2011, 09:57:51 PM »
I'm glad we managed to reset the discussion.  Thank you, I probably could've been nicer my wording too.  I'll try and be as polite as possible.

I agree with a lot of what you said.  I generally like to optimize liberty and minimize government, I just think that there are some situations where governmental intervention is necessary.

Example:  global warming.  Individuals will optimize their own interests and it's not in their interest to try and stop global warming because most individuals alive today will be dead before it has any disastrous consequences for humanity.  Yet we have a responsibility as a nation and a species not to destroy out planet through reckless industrialism because it effectively truncates the future of our species.  I think that only large-scale efforts spearheaded by government mandates can impact the situation for positive change because I just don't see everyone magically behaving on an individual level against their interests when there is no clear and present victim of their actions.

I think libertarianism and general fiscal conservatism is built on the notion that if everyone competes the best will win out and it will be good for everyone.  And while I think that's generally true, there are situations where if we all compete and are out for our own interests we will all lose.  Cooperation is a foundation of society and unfortunately it isn't always easy to secure willingly.

Thankfully, you don't seem like a liberty above all type.  You recognize that there are times for compromise, so I have to say that you take a lot more of a pragmatic stance than many fundamental libertarians do.

Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #52 on: April 05, 2011, 10:12:13 PM »
That would be a pointless exercise until I can establish what your view of libertarianism is. Because it is clearly outside the libertarian philosophy I have and have seen espoused by others. So anything I might claim to be a libertarian system would likely be denied by you as not really libertarian.

Libertarian health care: no interference by the state in any way shape or form (outside of state employees being allowed to use their wages to buy healthcare)

Pre=National Insurance Act 1911 UK would be a solid starting point.

I'll consider answering that when I find time to study their health care systems.

If you're going to suggest that government run/controlled systems are inefficient it may be worth studying two of the most widely cited government health care systems... especially as the Swiss systems has several similarities to Obamacare.

I don't recall saying that. Let me check.... Nope, didn't say that. Maybe Hans-Hermann Hoppe would say that, but I don't speak for him so I don't know. If you want to have that conversation, have it with him.

You class him as a Libertarian thinker... yet he would allow the government that control. That seems a very warped form of libertarianism.

I'm also not quite sure how you wish to extend the debate if you simply wish to cite people without defending or debating their positions.

Sigh. How about some examples of libertarians making that argument? Got any? Or am I supposed to just take your word for it even though I have never, ever seen a libertarian say such a thing?

Well, the US Libertarian Party say: We defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right of individuals to dissent from government itself.

Sean Gabb, one of the leading UK libertarians says there should be no restrictions on freedom of speech in this podcast.

Jefferson infamously stated "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." While Jefferson may not have been a libertarian by modern standards (he kept slaves for example) there's not doubt that his theories form the basis of much modern Libertarian discussion.

Says who?

As above.

Whoa. Back up there. First of all, explain how handing out leaflets opposing the draft is like falsely yelling "fire" in a crowded theater. Second, I doubt most, if any, libertarians would accept that handing out anti-draft leaflets is or was like falsely yelling fire in a crowded theater. So you trying to use this as a means to prove something about libertarianism seems like you trying to define for libertarians what they believe.

Em... the entire "fire in a crowded theatre" doctrine arises from handing out anti-draft leaflets. The very basic principle of the doctrine is about handing out anti-draft leaflets. The doctrine doesn't exist without people handing out anti-draft pamphlets.

I was saying it's going to happen here in the U.S. if the government gets control of the health care industry. I'll try not to be so esoteric next time.

It may be better not to use a slippery slope argument at all... especially when other states have reached the same catalyst position without going down the slope...

I should caution you against assuming. Anyway, anti-discrimination laws are about controlling choices people are allowed to make. But more than that, they explicitly say you as the employer do not have the authority to decide for yourself who you should hire or not hire. So, yes, they are wrong in principle.

Oh, I understand that aspect of the point... and somewhat agree with it. It was the second part, saying that "we wouldn't have needed them if we did not first have laws enforcing discrimination.". While I can somewhat see a point with regards to certain traits commonly associated with discrimination, which I may or may not be the same as your point, I fail to see it for other aspects of discrimination and would be grateful if you could expand on this aspect further.

Examples? That you keep saying "true" libertarians believe this does not make it so. And why are you determining for me who "true" libertarians are, exactly?

Sigh. And I'm telling you I haven't. So perhaps you could provide some examples of libertarians saying fraud is acceptable.

It's hard to class Benjamin Franklin as a libertarian but perhaps his most well known quote: "those who sacrifice liberty for a little security deserve neither" is deeply libertarian.

P.J. O'Rourke, a self described libertarian states "There is only one basic human right, the right do do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences."

Ayn Rand... who despite calling herself an objectivist is almost always included in the Libertarian camp has countless ones... such as "do not ever say that the desire to "do good" by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust or stupidity are good motives".

And let's get down to the really grit of the matter; you suggest that libertarians believe economic harm is wrong. Yet if I set up a successful business and drive my competitor out of the market, causing his own business to fail, I have no doubt committed an economic harm against him. If I am a more successful saleperson than my colleague who thus loses market share and gets less commission I have likewise harmed him economically. Is it really necessary for me to pull up quotes to say that that isn't a libertarian position?

In the words of Ronald Regan, there you go again. Why are you the arbiter of what is and is not a "true" libertarian?

In the 1960's Congo first used the name "Democratic Republic of Congo". It was clearly not democratic or really a republic and it was up to individual critical thinkers to examine the systems and beliefs that drove it. Likewise with North Korea and it's official title the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" and Laos and it's official name of "the Lao People's Democratic Republic". Labelling or calling yourself something is not enough to be it...

Fraud is a different kind of theft than, say, picking your pocket or stealing valuables from your house or stealing your car. But it is theft. You might as well say robbery is not theft, or embezzlement is not theft. Of course they are theft. Fraud, in the terms we are talking about,  is also theft. Just because it involves deceit and not a firearm does not make fraud any less theft than robbery.

Fraud is, using UK common law, essentially the offence of dishonestly making a false representation, and intendsing by making the representation to make a gain for yourself or another, or to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss (with additional provisions to relate to specific situations such as abuse of position or failure to disclose). In contrast, theft is dishonestly appropriating property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it. Other then the fact that both involve dishonesty and property they are not the same. Colloquially trying to tie the two together may be useful for unsophisticated readers but has little truth to it.

Obviously , fraud legislation differs between jurisdictions... but for example, the New York Business Law Statute holds: "Deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any business, trade or commerce or in the furnishing of any service in this state are hereby declared unlawful", which is essentially fraud... and again, is very different to theft.

I'm not sure anarcho-capitalists would want you defining what they believe either, but accepting for the sake of argument you're correct on this, it still doesn't negate my point.

An anarcho-capitalist (I've highlighted the "anarcho" part) is by very definition going to be against the State doing anything... or even existing. Otherwise they're no longer an anarcho-anything.

That might be true if I allow that you're determineing what is and is not "true" libertarianism, and that your definition of fraud is correct. But I don't and it isn't.

Expand.

Oh golly yes. Heaven forbid you should look at a flash video so that we might have some common understanding of the terms being used. Your third link did not work. But okay, let's look at "original" sources. How about Frédéric Bastiat? He is pretty well thought of by the libertarians I know. The Mises Institute even sells a T-shirt with Bastiat's face on it. Let's look at what he said.
                         I do not, as is often done, use the word in any vague, uncertain, approximate, or metaphorical sense. I use it in its scientific acceptance—as expressing the idea opposite to that of property [wages, land, money, or whatever]. When a portion of wealth is transferred from the person who owns it—without his consent and without compensation, and whether by force or by fraud—to anyone who does not own it, then I say that property is violated; that an act of plunder is committed.

I now await you telling me that Bastiat wasn't a "true" libertarian or "true" classical liberal or whatever. Or to tell me plunder isn't theft. Or some such thing that will let you keep defining all the terms as best suits this odd purity of libertarianism argument you seem to be making.

No, Bastiat was a great libertarian, one of the most successful pamphleteers in history and did much great work in changing the very tone of the debate. He was also a pamphleteer which is why most of his theories, especially those regarding economics, are generally ignored. Hayek himself puts that forward. Debating and discussing the intricacies of libertarian thought while using his works as a basis is the equivalent of using the ad campaigns in a modern Western election to discuss the positions each party holds and the consequences of such.

And just for good measure:

As above. "Simplifying" anything... be it legislation, political theory or even the attributes of a sports star to make it easily digestible by an unsophisticated audience causes it to lose the nuance required.

To pick up on a comment in a later reply:

Quote
Since I'm using free speech as my example, I will mention the falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater scenario. Yes, doing that is wrong. Why? Because it puts people's lives in danger. The liberty of the individual is bounded by the liberty of every other individual.

That is an exceptionally wide restriction on free speech. Any dishonest speech that puts someone's life (is it only life is mere harm sufficient) should be restricted? Are there any qualifiers, any causation restrictions?
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 12:39:08 AM by consortium11 »

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #53 on: April 05, 2011, 10:20:48 PM »
You just did. The purpose of regulations - smart regulations - is to eliminate externalities and to prevent fraud. By supporting full deregulation, you, by definition, support externalizing and fraud.

As a supporter of deregulation, you support fraud.
Whoa there, genius. Please show me where I said I support full deregulation. And please provide these definitions you're using because they appear to be leading to some amazingly ridiculous (and that's putting it nicely) leaps of illogic about what I believe.

You just did. You support deregulation, you support the right of corporations to put whatever they want in our food. Like say, sawdust.
Really? So you're just going to make up things you don't like and tell me I support them? That is your argument as to libertarians being against people knowing what is in their food and medicine? Really? Do you expect me not simply call your argument nonsense? Because that is exactly what it is.

I just gave examples, and reasons why. If you want to dispute individual items, or all of them, address the arguments in detail, but this is just dodging on your part.
Um, no. That you provided an inadequate explanation is not my fault.

You might also wonder what the purpose of 'tough on crime' legislation is, as opposed to when merely ten years ago we were complaining about overcrowded prisons.
Tough on crime legislation is about what it is always about. Getting votes. If you want me to buy this putting people in prison for the sake of cheap labor theory, you'll have to do a much better job of supporting it.

A liquidity crisis occurs when you have a surplus of labor and a shortage of currency - people have goods and services to offer (their labor, genuine products, etc) - but they don't have currency to conduct trades with, and we are so far removed from barter systems and have so little support for alternative currencies that it is difficult to impossible to trade otherwise.

Essentially, in order for the economy to be kickstarted again, you have to get a form of currency into these people's hands, that they will all use. It's very difficult to separate this notion from government - if you magic into being a new currency that everyone is compelled (socially or otherwise) to use, you are the de facto head of government, because you have a lock on nearly all trade.

This sort of thing is why libertarians and progressives together want more transparency from the Fed, for example.
I am not really in agreement with you on this, but I am not an economist and I am tired, so I'm going to let this go for the most part. And the inflation thing too. I'll argue the economics with you another time.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #54 on: April 05, 2011, 10:23:53 PM »
Alright - then tell me how a system in which the person with more money (not even as excessively unbalanced as OSG put forward) gets better treatment than the person who has less money does not evolve into a plutocracy?
That depends. Are we talking about a society where people care about that, or some weird "you crazy libertarians" society where apparently no one ever cares about anything but money?

Offline Valerian

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #55 on: April 05, 2011, 10:29:24 PM »
Since it seems to have been forgotten already, let me reiterate: Please make sure that this discussion stays civil.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #56 on: April 05, 2011, 10:37:44 PM »
Example:  global warming.  Individuals will optimize their own interests and it's not in their interest to try and stop global warming because most individuals alive today will be dead before it has any disastrous consequences for humanity.  Yet we have a responsibility as a nation and a species not to destroy out planet through reckless industrialism because it effectively truncates the future of our species.  I think that only large-scale efforts spearheaded by government mandates can impact the situation for positive change because I just don't see everyone magically behaving on an individual level against their interests when there is no clear and present victim of their actions.
Everyone doesn't have to magically behave on an individual level against their interests. Many people are concerned about climate change. Top-down, large scale efforts run by government may effect some change, but I have yet to see that occur. Personally, I think bottom-up pressure and campaigns would be much more effective in changing how things are done and what corporations in particular do about how they effect the environment.

I think libertarianism and general fiscal conservatism is built on the notion that if everyone competes the best will win out and it will be good for everyone.  And while I think that's generally true, there are situations where if we all compete and are out for our own interests we will all lose.  Cooperation is a foundation of society and unfortunately it isn't always easy to secure willingly.
I would say libertarianism is built on the notion that individual liberty allows people to find their own good outcomes. It is also based on the notion of voluntary cooperation being better than coerced cooperation. Important here is what you are defining as being "out for our own interests". Sometimes that means competition. Sometimes that means cooperation. And not all competition is strictly win/lose.

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #57 on: April 05, 2011, 10:49:26 PM »
Tell you what, when you have people telling you your philosophy would basically result in the collapse of society, defining for you in negative terms what you supposedly believe and then attacking your philosophy according what they say is what it really means, and basically not asking you what you believe but telling you how horrible and mean and stupid it is, in other words treating your philosophy with hostility, and you don't respond with some hostility in return, I'll apologize to you. But not before.

I have.. repeatedly.. In person.

I was called a pinko and bleeding heart liberal for opposing the Patriot Act.
I got mocked for quoting Franklin and verbally warned for qouting Jefferson and others.
I have been called a turn coat and traitor for not falling in lockstep with my party. (Which is why I'm not longer a registered member of either party).


Online Oniya

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #58 on: April 05, 2011, 10:57:03 PM »
That depends. Are we talking about a society where people care about that, or some weird "you crazy libertarians" society where apparently no one ever cares about anything but money?

I am speaking of the current, American society, nothing more esoteric than that.

Offline Doomsday

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #59 on: April 05, 2011, 11:49:31 PM »
What is OP's opinion on capital punishment and the death penalty?

Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #60 on: April 06, 2011, 12:48:56 AM »
Tell you what, when you have people telling you your philosophy would basically result in the collapse of society, defining for you in negative terms what you supposedly believe and then attacking your philosophy according what they say is what it really means, and basically not asking you what you believe but telling you how horrible and mean and stupid it is, in other words treating your philosophy with hostility, and you don't respond with some hostility in return, I'll apologize to you. But not before.

I assume this is at least partly directed at me...

Let's remember I'm firmly on the libertarian side of the spectrum... in many ways my positions don't differ significantly from theirs... as set out in my original post. I'm firmly in support of deregulation, limited government and negative freedom as the basis for virtually everything. I temper that idealism with certain pragmatic restrictions but the fact that I object to certain aspects of the libertarian "manifesto" certainly doesn't make me hostile to it... I'm far more appreciative of it than I am virtually any other of the mainstream political positions. Nestor Makhno's opposition to both mainstream Russian communism and most prevailing Anarchist thought at the time didn't make him hostile to either anarchism or communism... or the anarcho-communism he himself stood for...

Not so very long ago on this very sub-forum I was defending Rand...

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #61 on: April 06, 2011, 01:01:46 AM »
Libertarian health care: no interference by the state in any way shape or form (outside of state employees being allowed to use their wages to buy healthcare)
Nope.

You class him as a Libertarian thinker... yet he would allow the government that control. That seems a very warped form of libertarianism.
Yep. As previously stated, not all libertarians agree on everything.

I'm also not quite sure how you wish to extend the debate if you simply wish to cite people without defending or debating their positions.
I'm usually not going to defend a position I do not hold. If you want to debate his position as to being libertarian or not, I would say it does not seem so to me either. But that isn't much of a debate.

Well, the US Libertarian Party say: [ur=http://www.lp.org/issues/freedom-of-speechl]We defend the rights of individuals to unrestricted freedom of speech, freedom of the press and the right of individuals to dissent from government itself.[/url]
Which comes under a heading of "Against Censorship". Context matters.

Sean Gabb, one of the leading UK libertarians says there should be no restrictions on freedom of speech in this podcast.
The website for his organization says "For us, freedom of speech is the right to say anything about public affairs, whether political, scientific, historical or otherwise." No limits on free speech in the context of government limiting political speech is a different argument than limits on free speech regarding fraud.

Jefferson infamously stated "I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it." While Jefferson may not have been a libertarian by modern standards (he kept slaves for example) there's not doubt that his theories form the basis of much modern Libertarian discussion.
I fail to see how that means libertarians would be okay with fraud.

Em... the entire "fire in a crowded theatre" doctrine arises from handing out anti-draft leaflets. The very basic principle of the doctrine is about handing out anti-draft leaflets. The doctrine doesn't exist without people handing out anti-draft pamphlets.
Sigh. So basically your argument is that because Oliver Wendell Holmes said it it must be true? Really? Again, I doubt most libertarians would equate handing out anti-draft leaflets with falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. Why you insist that they must, I cannot seem to get from you. Which leaves me no way to argue the point with you.

It may be better not to use a slippery slope argument at all... especially when other states have reached the same catalyst position without going down the slope...
So I don't need to worry about politicians trying to regulate things like salt and fat and Four Loko? Wow. What a relief. If only you could convince the politicians.

Oh, I understand that aspect of the point... and somewhat agree with it. It was the second part, saying that "we wouldn't have needed them if we did not first have laws enforcing discrimination.". While I can somewhat see a point with regards to certain traits commonly associated with discrimination, which I may or may not be the same as your point, I fail to see it for other aspects of discrimination and would be grateful if you could expand on this aspect further.
Perhaps if you were more clear on which aspects of discrimination you're talking about, I would have a better idea of how to address your request.

It's hard to class Benjamin Franklin as a libertarian but perhaps his most well known quote: "those who sacrifice liberty for a little security deserve neither" is deeply libertarian.
And that means libertarians think fraud is okay because...? So far your argument on this point seems to be that libertarians think fraud is okay because they promote liberty. If one were to apply this sort of thinking to other folks, I suppose one would say that Martin Luther King, Jr., was okay with fraud. Or the abolitionists. Or the suffragettes. But that would be ridiculous. But then, saying libertarians are okay with fraud is also ridiculous.

P.J. O'Rourke, a self described libertarian states "There is only one basic human right, the right do do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences."
He also said, "The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the party that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." He doesn't seem to be okay with fraud.

Ayn Rand... who despite calling herself an objectivist is almost always included in the Libertarian camp has countless ones... such as "do not ever say that the desire to "do good" by force is a good motive. Neither power-lust or stupidity are good motives".
That seems a perfectly reasonable thing to say. It does not, however, appear to have anything to do with the "libertarians think fraud is okay" notion.

And let's get down to the really grit of the matter; you suggest that libertarians believe economic harm is wrong. Yet if I set up a successful business and drive my competitor out of the market, causing his own business to fail, I have no doubt committed an economic harm against him. If I am a more successful saleperson than my colleague who thus loses market share and gets less commission I have likewise harmed him economically. Is it really necessary for me to pull up quotes to say that that isn't a libertarian position?
Wow. We've moved from fraud to putting people out of business. So person A being successful in business means if person B fails in business then person A caused economic harm. No doubt, you say. But your example seems highly simplistic and, ahem, lacking in necessary nuance. Not to mention the fact that you seem to have suddenly enlarged the definition of economic harm from things like fraud to basically anything that has a consequence that might be perceived to be negative. Perhaps that was your thinking all along. But arguing that libertarians are not against a business being more successful than another does not in any way mean they are okay with fraud. To assume that it does seems to me to be highly illogical.

In the words of Ronald Regan, there you go again. Why are you the arbiter of what is and is not a "true" libertarian?
In the 1960's Congo first used the name "Democratic Republic of Congo". It was clearly not democratic or really a republic and it was up to individual critical thinkers to examine the systems and beliefs that drove it. Likewise with North Korea and it's official title the "Democratic People's Republic of Korea" and Laos and it's official name of "the Lao People's Democratic Republic". Labelling or calling yourself something is not enough to be it...
No part of that addresses why you have set yourself up as an arbiter of what is and is not "true" libertarianism. And given that you seem to not understand libertarianism at a basic level, I am of the opinion you are not qualified to be such an arbiter.

Fraud is, using UK common law, essentially the offence of dishonestly making a false representation, and intendsing by making the representation to make a gain for yourself or another, or to cause loss to another or to expose another to a risk of loss (with additional provisions to relate to specific situations such as abuse of position or failure to disclose). In contrast, theft is dishonestly appropriating property belonging to another with the intention of permanently depriving the other of it. Other then the fact that both involve dishonesty and property they are not the same. Colloquially trying to tie the two together may be useful for unsophisticated readers but has little truth to it.
Unsophisticated readers. Uh-huh. And I was worried I might come across as arrogant. Okay. This weird semantic game where deceptively acquiring the property of others and dishonestly acquiring the property of others are some how not both theft is, I am sure, very "sophisticated". It's also ridiculous. Yes, the singular act of deceiving someone is not in itself theft. Deceiving someone to gain their property and being successful, however, is theft. Because a lie is used and not a gun or a lockpick does not make it any less theft. Your "sophisticated" explanation is weak at best. That you can make something sound complicated does not mean that it is.

Obviously , fraud legislation differs between jurisdictions... but for example, the New York Business Law Statute holds: "Deceptive acts or practices in the conduct of any business, trade or commerce or in the furnishing of any service in this state are hereby declared unlawful", which is essentially fraud... and again, is very different to theft.
Sigh. Yes, there are other kinds of fraud that do not necessarily result in the exchange of property. But in the context of what we were discussing, fraud is theft. Again, if I were to use your methods, robbery and embezzlement are not theft either. And yet, they actually are.

An anarcho-capitalist (I've highlighted the "anarcho" part is by very definition going to be against the State doing anything... or even existing. Otherwise they're no longer an anarcho-anything.
Against the existence of the state is not against the existence of order.

Expand.
I didn't believe what I said was difficult to understand. I don't accept your definitions of libertarianism or your "it's not theft" explanation of fraud so I reject your notion that libertarian theory "leaves the state somewhat flapping in the wind when it comes to dealing with fraud."

No, Bastiat was a great libertarian, one of the most successful pamphleteers in history and did much great work in changing the very tone of the debate. He was also a pamphleteer which is why most of his theories, especially those regarding economics, are generally ignored. Hayek himself puts that forward. Debating and discussing the intricacies of libertarian thought while using his works as a basis is the equivalent of using the ad campaigns in a modern Western election to discuss the positions each party holds and the consequences of such.
Somehow I knew you would dismiss him.  He was a pamphleteer. Oh, well then what he said must be useless. Except that it isn't. Bastiat's works like The Law and Economic Harmonies are hardly the equivalent of 30 seconds of sound-bites. Notably, rather than address what he said, you simply dismiss the man.

As above. "Simplifying" anything... be it legislation, political theory or even the attributes of a sports star to make it easily digestible by an unsophisticated audience causes it to lose the nuance required.
Ah yes. The old "dismiss anything that contradicts you" bit.

That is an exceptionally wide restriction on free speech. Any dishonest speech that puts someone's life (is it only life is mere harm sufficient) should be restricted? Are there any qualifiers, any causation restrictions?
Deliberately using deception to put other people's lives in danger seems to you an exceptionally wide restriction on free speech. I must really be tired (even though I cannot sleep) because you're making less and less sense to me. Are you now going to defend falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater?

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #62 on: April 06, 2011, 01:06:31 AM »
I have.. repeatedly.. In person.

I was called a pinko and bleeding heart liberal for opposing the Patriot Act.
I got mocked for quoting Franklin and verbally warned for qouting Jefferson and others.
I have been called a turn coat and traitor for not falling in lockstep with my party. (Which is why I'm not longer a registered member of either party).
Not quite on the same level as what's been going on here, but fair enough. I apologize to you for appearing to be hostile. I tend to be hostile back to people who seem treat what I say with hostility. Not an excuse, it just is. I certainly meant no hostility toward you.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #63 on: April 06, 2011, 01:07:28 AM »
Alright - then tell me how a system in which the person with more money (not even as excessively unbalanced as OSG put forward) gets better treatment than the person who has less money does not evolve into a plutocracy?
Do we have a plutocracy now?

Online Callie Del Noire

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #64 on: April 06, 2011, 01:12:55 AM »
Not quite on the same level as what's been going on here, but fair enough. I apologize to you for appearing to be hostile. I tend to be hostile back to people who seem treat what I say with hostility. Not an excuse, it just is. I certainly meant no hostility toward you.

I had a man I work for.. ACTIVELY try and pull my clearance. Because I disagreed with him.

So when I debate politics.. and beliefs, I try to keep it polite.

I agree with the concept of small government, unfortunately it doesn't work in the environment of the United States Business. Here it's the bottom line and how much profit I can squeeze out of THIS quarter or two quarters down the line.

Immediate profit without regard to the consequences has been a factor of American Business for a long time. It took the foundation of groups like the Food and Drug Adminstation, the passing of laws like the Anti-trust Act, and a butt load of Clean Air/Water legislation to get business to be responsible.

Business Ethics in the US is a joke. Has been for decades.

That has to change for the Government to stop being the 'minder' of big business. Figure out how to get Gordon Gecko out of Big Business planning and you can get the small government you want.. otherwise be VERY careful what you eat, drive and fly in.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #65 on: April 06, 2011, 01:21:33 AM »
Let's remember I'm firmly on the libertarian side of the spectrum... in many ways my positions don't differ significantly from theirs... as set out in my original post. I'm firmly in support of deregulation, limited government and negative freedom as the basis for virtually everything. I temper that idealism with certain pragmatic restrictions but the fact that I object to certain aspects of the libertarian "manifesto" certainly doesn't make me hostile to it... I'm far more appreciative of it than I am virtually any other of the mainstream political positions. Nestor Makhno's opposition to both mainstream Russian communism and most prevailing Anarchist thought at the time didn't make him hostile to either anarchism or communism... or the anarcho-communism he himself stood for...

Not so very long ago on this very sub-forum I was defending Rand...
Having not been to this area of the site until a day or so ago and not encountered you elsewhere, I know nothing about you. I don't know what you said to others. Only what you said to me. If you would prefer I not consider your arguments hostile, perhaps you should reconsider your approach. I've nothing against a debate of libertarian ideas. I don't claim you have to agree with me to be libertarian. Telling me libertarians are okay with fraud, however, and basically telling me they are because you say they are, and implying I don't know what I'm talking about because I don't agree, that is not what I would call a friendly debate. I'm a nice guy but not meek. When pushed, I tend to push back. If that's a problem, then don't push.

Online Oniya

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #66 on: April 06, 2011, 01:24:50 AM »
Do we have a plutocracy now?

Despite an economy that’s twice as large as it was thirty years ago, the bottom 90 percent of earners have had less than a 1 percent gain in their earnings over the same time (adjusted for inflation).  In the same amount of time, the top 1 percent’s share of national income has doubled (from 10 percent in 1981 to well over 20 percent now), and they pay less percentage-wise in taxes than they did then.  I'm pretty sure the bottom 90% didn't lobby for those tax cuts.

Do we have a plutocracy?  *shrug*

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #67 on: April 06, 2011, 01:43:16 AM »
Despite an economy that’s twice as large as it was thirty years ago, the bottom 90 percent of earners have had less than a 1 percent gain in their earnings over the same time (adjusted for inflation).  In the same amount of time, the top 1 percent’s share of national income has doubled (from 10 percent in 1981 to well over 20 percent now), and they pay less percentage-wise in taxes than they did then.  I'm pretty sure the bottom 90% didn't lobby for those tax cuts.
So corporations and governments working together plays no part in any of this? Has there been no upward mobility amongst that bottom 90%?

I know a lot of people talk about the rich this and the rich that, and the government has to protect us. From what I've seen, the government is just as guilty for the state of things as whatever unscrupulous wealthy folks you want to name. And the government has done some pretty horrible things over the years. So why should I trust the the government is going to protect me from corporations and/or the wealthy? Corporations make huge mistakes, and what does the government do about it? They take taxpayer money and give it to the corporations. Shoveling money to corporate fat cats who have way more money than I will likely ever have doesn't seem like protection from a plutocracy to me.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2011, 01:44:23 AM by Xajow »

Online Oniya

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #68 on: April 06, 2011, 01:48:48 AM »
Isn't the very definition of a plutocracy 'government by the wealthy'?  Unless I misread you, that's what you're describing. 

To return to my original question, is there a way for a system where the person with more money gets better treatment than the person who has less money not to evolve into a plutocracy?

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #69 on: April 06, 2011, 02:06:07 AM »
Isn't the very definition of a plutocracy 'government by the wealthy'?  Unless I misread you, that's what you're describing.
I'm much tired. What I described... in my reply to you? Perhaps, but again, how is a government that is part of the problem going to protect us?

To return to my original question, is there a way for a system where the person with more money gets better treatment than the person who has less money not to evolve into a plutocracy?
Sure. People who care about it have to do something about it. Start a charity for legal cases. Start a campaign to have lawyers to do more pro bono work. There are probably a number of ways to help poorer people get better legal defense.

Is there a way for a system where government always and increasingly meddles in business to not evolve into a plutocracy?

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #70 on: April 06, 2011, 02:27:21 AM »
Sean Gabb, one of the leading UK libertarians says there should be no restrictions on freedom of speech in this podcast.
After finally listening to the whole audio file, (Mr. Gabb does not show up until 9 minutes in) I feel the need to report that what Mr. Gabb actually said was "People should be at liberty to say anything they like about matters of public interest." This is decidedly not an advocacy for fraud being okay. So, again, your argument lacks support.

Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #71 on: April 06, 2011, 03:54:14 AM »
Nope.

Then we appear to be at an impasse. Do you wish to define a libertarian health system and we can debate the merits and negatives of that leaving aside any discussion as to whether it it libertarian or not?

Yep. As previously stated, not all libertarians agree on everything.

No they do not and I would not expect them to. But in the same way that an "anarchist" arguing for the existence of the state would no longer be an anarchist regardless of their other positions, someone arguing that the State should have that degree of control over who a business can and can not hire seems to me to be deeply anti-libertarian.

I'm usually not going to defend a position I do not hold. If you want to debate his position as to being libertarian or not, I would say it does not seem so to me either. But that isn't much of a debate.

Which does bring up the question of why you raised it... I believe it to be non-libertarian, you agree...

Which comes under a heading of "Against Censorship". Context matters.

We'll take note of this for later...

The website for his organization says "For us, freedom of speech is the right to say anything about public affairs, whether political, scientific, historical or otherwise." No limits on free speech in the context of government limiting political speech is a different argument than limits on free speech regarding fraud.

And as above, context matters. In the podcast he clearly argues for no restrictions on freedom of speech, even outside of political speech.

To expand on your later contribution, transcribing.

Host: And I would hope that you are a complete upholder of freedom of speech?

Sean Gabb: Got it in one.

No qualifiers used.

In the same piece he later goes on to mention the case of an Oxford student being prosecuted for noting that a mounted policeman's horse looked gay and is clearly negative about this: saying a horse looks gay is certainly not a comment on a matter of public interest.

Where he does mention public interest is in relation to the incitement laws that follow on from the "fire in the crowded theatre" doctrine... something he opposes.

I fail to see how that means libertarians would be okay with fraud.

Fraud no longer being a crime but instead being punished by the markets is an "inconvenience" due to too much liberty...

Sigh. So basically your argument is that because Oliver Wendell Holmes said it it must be true? Really? Again, I doubt most libertarians would equate handing out anti-draft leaflets with falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater. Why you insist that they must, I cannot seem to get from you. Which leaves me no way to argue the point with you.

From my very first post on the topic I have clearly been discussing the doctrine of "fire in a crowded theatre" as opposed to a specific example... I'm not even aware if there have been any specific examples although I'm sure there must have been some. If you wish to discuss individual cases then I'm amiable to that... but it is the doctrine itself that I was presenting... and presenting as non-libertarian. From what you've said above, I suggest you agree with me.
 
So I don't need to worry about politicians trying to regulate things like salt and fat and Four Loko? Wow. What a relief. If only you could convince the politicians.

No, you of course do have to worry about such things... and oppose them if you wish to. What you suggested was that once the government controlled healthcare it would "most certainly" start mandating what people could and couldn't eat and how much exercise they would be forced to do.

Perhaps if you were more clear on which aspects of discrimination you're talking about, I would have a better idea of how to address your request.

For example, many modern equality/anti-discrimination acts contain provisions against discrimination on the basis of philosophical (as opposed to religious) beliefs or the lack of such beliefs. I am unaware... although happy to be corrected... of any previous laws which held that Kantian theorists or proposers of natural law were prevented from getting jobs.

And that means libertarians think fraud is okay because...?

The liberty to make deceitful statements against the security of not being subjected to fraud.

So far your argument on this point seems to be that libertarians think fraud is okay because they promote liberty. If one were to apply this sort of thinking to other folks, I suppose one would say that Martin Luther King, Jr., was okay with fraud. Or the abolitionists. Or the suffragettes. But that would be ridiculous. But then, saying libertarians are okay with fraud is also ridiculous.

Well, considering Martin Luther King Jr's academic career it wouldn't be too much of a stretch to say he was unconcerned by fraud but that's an aside.

My point is more this: if libertarians are against government interference in the marketplace then it seems strange for them to then argue that the government has a role in preventing deceitful bad bargains. From my original post onwards I've ventured that one of the key ways of defining a libertarian is using Mill's Harm principle on a strict basis (although it is worth pointing out that Mill himself was a utilitarian, a position that can find itself opposed to libertarianism) and a strict reading of the Harm principle would not include fraud.

He also said, "The one pervading evil of democracy is the tyranny of the party that succeeds, by force or fraud, in carrying elections." He doesn't seem to be okay with fraud.

He's using fraud in the colloquial sense. I'm using it in the criminal.

That seems a perfectly reasonable thing to say. It does not, however, appear to have anything to do with the "libertarians think fraud is okay" notion.

Fraud legislation isn't motivated by a desire to do good? And it isn't backed with force?

Wow. We've moved from fraud to putting people out of business. So person A being successful in business means if person B fails in business then person A caused economic harm. No doubt, you say. But your example seems highly simplistic and, ahem, lacking in necessary nuance.

Just to point out I believe you introduced the concept of economic harm while I originally restricted my discussion to fraud. That may have been a slip of the tongue/keyboard by you... economic harm is an incredibly wide area and I'm not sure you really are arguing on that basis.

Not to mention the fact that you seem to have suddenly enlarged the definition of economic harm from things like fraud to basically anything that has a consequence that might be perceived to be negative.

It appears we're using economic harm in different contexts. I use it in the way it's used in the legal, business and philosophical world to describe anything that cause harm economically to an entity; there is extensive discussion on the topic with regards to tort law (with the leading case being Spartan Steel) for example. You appear to be using it in a far more specific sense to refer only to criminal(?) acts that involve economic loss. Is that so and, if that is the case, shall we bypass that aspect of the discussion as it doesn't appear to add anything to the topic that is not covered by our discussion on fraud?

Perhaps that was your thinking all along. But arguing that libertarians are not against a business being more successful than another does not in any way mean they are okay with fraud. To assume that it does seems to me to be highly illogical.

As above. As I've been using it Economic Harm is not limited to the likes of fraud, insider trading etc etc.

No part of that addresses why you have set yourself up as an arbiter of what is and is not "true" libertarianism. And given that you seem to not understand libertarianism at a basic level, I am of the opinion you are not qualified to be such an arbiter.

From your own definition/explanation of libertarianism in response to another post you held that it was concerned with individual liberty and is based around individual rights (as opposed to privileges). I understand and pretty much accept that. The issue is this: can you frame the right that means that fraud legislation is a valid act (in the moral sense to avoid the legal positivism angle) by the State? A right to not be deceived? A right to not be deceived if it leads to economic loss? A right to not be deceived if it directly leads to economic loss?

Unsophisticated readers. Uh-huh. And I was worried I might come across as arrogant.

"Sophisticated" and "unsophisticated" are terms widely used in the business and legal world (as well as probably others) to describe people who are not familiar with the terms and processes involved with no negative connotations. If a derivatives lawyer is buying property then he will understand many of the terms and situations a real estate lawyer will use even if not an expert much like if a commodity trader uses a wealth management fund. It means you can use the more technical and precise jargon without having to explain or simplify it.

Okay. This weird semantic game where deceptively acquiring the property of others and dishonestly acquiring the property of others are some how not both theft is, I am sure, very "sophisticated". It's also ridiculous. Yes, the singular act of deceiving someone is not in itself theft. Deceiving someone to gain their property and being successful, however, is theft.

As I set out, using the relevant statute laws, that simply isn't the case. Colloquially it may be... but in colloquial terms people describe both abortion and capital punishment as murder, neither of which is true. If fraud was theft why would there be the need for separate fraud legislation?

Because a lie is used and not a gun or a lockpick does not make it any less theft. Your "sophisticated" explanation is weak at best. That you can make something sound complicated does not mean that it is.

I hope I'm not presenting it as complicated as it simply isn't. Fraud is a separate offence that shares certain similarities (dishonesty and property) to theft... but certain similarities are not enough to make two things identical.

Sigh. Yes, there are other kinds of fraud that do not necessarily result in the exchange of property. But in the context of what we were discussing, fraud is theft. Again, if I were to use your methods, robbery and embezzlement are not theft either. And yet, they actually are.

Embezzlement is regarded as merely a type of fraud by most jurisdictions so the reasoning set out above applies. Robbery, at least at common law, actually requires a theft to occur so while they are technically different offences I fully accept that they are in many ways the same. Fraud has no such requirement.

Against the existence of the state is not against the existence of order.

Oh, I agree entirely. Which is why I was very careful to include the qualifier "created by the State" during that aspect of the discussion. I was slightly lax earlier in the discussion by just using the term "law", for which I apologise but that usage appeared to pass off without incident.

I didn't believe what I said was difficult to understand. I don't accept your definitions of libertarianism or your "it's not theft" explanation of fraud so I reject your notion that libertarian theory "leaves the state somewhat flapping in the wind when it comes to dealing with fraud."

Should the government be involved in bad bargains?

Is fraud a bad bargain caused by deceit?

Is there a market solution to this issue?

Why is the state option preferable to a possible market solution?

Does there being deceit give the state the right to intefere?

Somehow I knew you would dismiss him.  He was a pamphleteer. Oh, well then what he said must be useless. Except that it isn't. Bastiat's works like The Law and Economic Harmonies are hardly the equivalent of 30 seconds of sound-bites. Notably, rather than address what he said, you simply dismiss the man.

As I set out previously he was a great writer and did huge amounts to influence the general public discourse on liberty as a topic. But there was a reason Schumpter infamously said that he was a brilliant economic journalist, but no economic theorist and that Hayek... while introducing his Bastiats own work... criticises his attempts to deal with economics. I don't dislike Bastiat... I rather like him in fact... but that doesn't mean I gloss over his (sometimes severe) limitations.

Ah yes. The old "dismiss anything that contradicts you" bit.

They're clearly colloquialising fraud to make it easier to understand for people not sophisticated in the legal terminology. In the same way certain derivatives are often described as "a type of insurance" when describing them to people not familiar with them or their operation.

Deliberately using deception to put other people's lives in danger seems to you an exceptionally wide restriction on free speech. I must really be tired (even though I cannot sleep) because you're making less and less sense to me. Are you now going to defend falsely shouting "fire" in a crowded theater?

This construction is already better as it indicates that the intention behind the deceit has to be to put lives in danger as opposed to being strict liability. My issues still remain however: are there any causation requirements? Is mere physical harm enough or is (subjectively? Objectively?) lives being in danger the requirement?

Having not been to this area of the site until a day or so ago and not encountered you elsewhere, I know nothing about you. I don't know what you said to others. Only what you said to me. If you would prefer I not consider your arguments hostile, perhaps you should reconsider your approach. I've nothing against a debate of libertarian ideas. I don't claim you have to agree with me to be libertarian. Telling me libertarians are okay with fraud, however, and basically telling me they are because you say they are, and implying I don't know what I'm talking about because I don't agree, that is not what I would call a friendly debate. I'm a nice guy but not meek. When pushed, I tend to push back. If that's a problem, then don't push.

I certainly don't think you don't know what you're talking about (although there have been a few cases of loose language... but then I've done likewise) but putting forward an argument as to why logically a libertarian in name and deed should oppose fraud legislation is not a "hostile" argument, especially from someone who in their very first post on the topic noted how he admired anarcho-capitalism (where fraud would be a genuine and real concern... and one of the major arguments against it). Likewise someone, who from their very first post on the topic noted how they are firmly on the libertarian side of the spectrum and only "not quite" a libertarian, pointing out some of the fairly innocuous flaws in general libertarian thinking doesn't seem to me to be hostile. I've even avoided some of the more contentious issues such as the tension between the widely held libertarian/classical liberal views on meritocracy/equality of opportunity and inheritance.

Debating someone's political or philosophical position is not an attack on them... most of my own positions in relation to many things contain several logical gaps which I'm well aware of and would fully expect someone to point out during any debate. I would defend them to the best of my ability but I wouldn't hint at a tone argument and I would engage with the criticism.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #72 on: April 06, 2011, 07:57:16 AM »
Whoa there, genius. Please show me where I said I support full deregulation. And please provide these definitions you're using because they appear to be leading to some amazingly ridiculous (and that's putting it nicely) leaps of illogic about what I believe.

Really? So you're just going to make up things you don't like and tell me I support them? That is your argument as to libertarians being against people knowing what is in their food and medicine? Really? Do you expect me not simply call your argument nonsense? Because that is exactly what it is.

I am specifically discussing regulations that prevent fraud and externalities. If you're for these - great - but it's not like progressives are going to argue for removing malregulation.

Here's an example - do you support or oppose the Clean Water Act?

Or another - do you support or oppose Glass-Steagall?

Or another - do you support or oppose Network Neutrality?

Do you support or oppose nuclear regulations?

Do you support or oppose antitrust regulations? This is a big one.

Do you support or oppose campaign finance regulations?

...I can go on.

I know most libertarians are all for transparency regulations - that's quite good - but transparency is not the end of the story. "This food contains sawdust" versus "this food contains cellulose pulp" versus banning sawdust in food. That singular element is just a microcosm, however - thousands of new chemicals are created each year. How do you handle that without a solid regulatory framework?

Yeah, my statement was an exaggeration and I apologize - but not as much of one as you want to think. The above regulations are what most progressives actually fight for. It's not like progressives actually support the idiotic power regulations that brought down California.

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Um, no. That you provided an inadequate explanation is not my fault.

Wrong. You can describe how you find it inadequate, so a response can be formulated, or concede the point that the Market is not the magic solution to everything.

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I am not really in agreement with you on this, but I am not an economist and I am tired, so I'm going to let this go for the most part. And the inflation thing too. I'll argue the economics with you another time.

So, I see this a lot.

"I am not an economist" - from people arguing economic theory.

Why is that?

I don't necessarily mean in the concept of a formal education.

In order to build a fully functioning, serious economic system, you need to ensure that it is, ultimately, stable. This, ultimately, means that some positions are in fact untenable - they won't work, for one reason or another. You can choose to evolve your philosophy when faced with such a situation - but if you don't, your position will not be treated seriously. I've never seen libertarian thought actually address the problem posed by a monopoly, for example.




Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #73 on: April 06, 2011, 08:35:43 AM »
In order to build a fully functioning, serious economic system, you need to ensure that it is, ultimately, stable. This, ultimately, means that some positions are in fact untenable - they won't work, for one reason or another. You can choose to evolve your philosophy when faced with such a situation - but if you don't, your position will not be treated seriously. I've never seen libertarian thought actually address the problem posed by a monopoly, for example.

I'm sure you must have seen this position argued before but I'll present it regardless...

A monopoly is not a particular issue. To form the entity which has the monopoly must have driven their competitors out of the market and thus will be the company the consumers prefer... be it for quality, price, combination of the two etc etc which means as a starting point the entity with the monopoly will be at least somewhat consumer friendly. As time goes by the monopoly status means that there is no pressure on the entity and as such they can lower quality and/or raise prices. At that time there becomes a hole in the market for a competitor to exploit and thus capital will move in to profit from that gap, thus meaning that a monopoly no longer exists. If I remember correctly an anti-monopoly case was being considered against Toys R Us in the US because of their seeming domination of the toy market... but then other groups (notably Walmart) made a large push into the sector and the issue was essentially resolved.

You may well have seen it but there's a fairly extensive discussion on the topic in the context of Microsoft here. The author (François-René Rideau) follows a very legalistic definition of libertarianism but goes through the argument set out above in some detail.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #74 on: April 06, 2011, 09:39:16 AM »
For a second I thought you were going to present Mises' argument >_>

It's interesting that he focuses on Microsoft, but doesn't actually address what Microsoft actually did to BeOS, and how Microsoft prevented computer manufacturers from dual-booting. He doesn't address what it means to own an API, either, except in a roundabout sense.

In the former case - Microsoft's abuse of contract law - would Libertarians actually support the idea that that sort of contract should be illegal? In the latter case, would Libertarians support the idea that an API needs to be open?

This is to say nothing of the rather fragile nature of Microsoft's monopoly, as has been demonstrated by Google, Apple, and Linux.

Compare that to the situation posed by a coal company town at the dawn of the 20th century:

- Only employer in the region
- Workers are not paid in cash, but in company scrip
- Which is only redeemable at the company store
- Which is never enough to cover actual needs, driving the worker into debt.

I didn't quote the Sixteen Tons song on a lark. Wage slavery has been a real problem, and unions exist for a reason.

Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #75 on: April 06, 2011, 10:17:32 AM »
For a second I thought you were going to present Mises' argument >_>

Mises and many other leading Neoclassical and Austrian monopoly theories actually get criticised a fair amount by other Libertarians.

It's interesting that he focuses on Microsoft, but doesn't actually address what Microsoft actually did to BeOS, and how Microsoft prevented computer manufacturers from dual-booting. He doesn't address what it means to own an API, either, except in a roundabout sense.

In the former case - Microsoft's abuse of contract law - would Libertarians actually support the idea that that sort of contract should be illegal? In the latter case, would Libertarians support the idea that an API needs to be open?

I can't claim to be an expert on the case: my limited understanding is that Microsoft merely encouraged other parties not to work with BeOS... which I cannot see a Libertarian thinking should be restricted by the State. Likewise with a contract that specified manufacturers would not allow dual booting.

As for API being open I cannot say. There are many libertarians who are very much into the open source scene and I know there's quite a lot of pressure against all forms of IP type laws or restrictions in general... but it appears to be much more a personal than political issue and both types seem to fit within most libertarian theories. With my own strict reading of the harm principle as a libertarian I'd be against all forms of IP laws... but as I've said earlier, I normally temper my rampant libertarianism.

This is to say nothing of the rather fragile nature of Microsoft's monopoly, as has been demonstrated by Google, Apple, and Linux.

At the time of the article 2000-2003 Microsoft's monopoly appeared far stronger if I recall correctly. To the general public Google was still just a search engine, Mac's were still for artists and people being "different" and Linux was for tech geeks. Firefox hadn't even broken into the public concious. It's perhaps a good example of why rushing to criticise something as a monopoly can be a mistake... if Microsoft, arguably one of if the the most powerful company in the world, can have its seemingly iron grip broken relatively quickly then there's hope for almost everyone.

Compare that to the situation posed by a coal company town at the dawn of the 20th century:

- Only employer in the region
- Workers are not paid in cash, but in company scrip
- Which is only redeemable at the company store
- Which is never enough to cover actual needs, driving the worker into debt.

I didn't quote the Sixteen Tons song on a lark. Wage slavery has been a real problem, and unions exist for a reason.

Mises himself noted that natural resources such as this were one of the areas where a monopoly could appear regardless of government involvement.

I'd also note that libertarianism doesn't oppose unions in and of themselves, just the legislative protection they receive. If a group of individuals freely decide to negotiate as one with an employer to gain a better settlement they are perfectly entitled to do so with the threat of withdrawing their labour as the stick to complement the carrot of their skills. The plot basis of Atlas Shrugged is at least partly reliant on this.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #76 on: April 06, 2011, 11:00:11 AM »
Mises and many other leading Neoclassical and Austrian monopoly theories actually get criticised a fair amount by other Libertarians.

I wouldn't know that from trying to deal with the bitcoin folk : /

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I can't claim to be an expert on the case: my limited understanding is that Microsoft merely encouraged other parties not to work with BeOS... which I cannot see a Libertarian thinking should be restricted by the State. Likewise with a contract that specified manufacturers would not allow dual booting.

Well in terms of the case, Be was not allowed to join in, for some obscene reason. Be had a legitimate complaint, Netscape didn't. Their programmers really did suck. Be had a lot of innovative technology in its package that got lost.

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As for API being open I cannot say. There are many libertarians who are very much into the open source scene and I know there's quite a lot of pressure against all forms of IP type laws or restrictions in general... but it appears to be much more a personal than political issue and both types seem to fit within most libertarian theories. With my own strict reading of the harm principle as a libertarian I'd be against all forms of IP laws... but as I've said earlier, I normally temper my rampant libertarianism.

Well here's the issue - the guy makes a big deal about Microsoft's monopoly being IP given. It's important to note that, a key factor of Microsoft's early dominance over its competitors was in fact its lax enforcement over its own intellectual property. This was the most blatant with Windows 3.1.

Let's take it for granted that Windows would still have arisen in these cases (Microsoft certainly would have as originally the OS was basically considered a part of the physical machine).

Microsoft charges more for its support contracts to compensate. Its software still ends up dominating, because anyone trying to compete has an even bigger hurdle to leap - Microsoft's software is actually free. You just have to pay for support.

Yet Microsoft still controls the source code. Microsoft's grip is just as tight - if not tighter - than it was with IP laws. With IP laws you can at least own a competing product. Microsoft, on the other hand, has nothing preventing it from selling the next version that includes a license server which phones home do download critical update code, perform occasional critical tasks, and so on.

Microsoft still has the monopoly, even without IP laws. As a microcosm example, I'll point to Apache's dominance, which basically was the Microsoft of the webserver world (until nginx's rise) except that you can make use of their source code and patents so long as you don't stick their name on your product.

But the API for webservers is open. Source code is publicly available that does everything that needs to be done. This is not the case for Microsoft Windows.

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At the time of the article 2000-2003 Microsoft's monopoly appeared far stronger if I recall correctly. To the general public Google was still just a search engine, Mac's were still for artists and people being "different" and Linux was for tech geeks. Firefox hadn't even broken into the public concious. It's perhaps a good example of why rushing to criticise something as a monopoly can be a mistake... if Microsoft, arguably one of if the the most powerful company in the world, can have its seemingly iron grip broken relatively quickly then there's hope for almost everyone.

It doesn't absolve it of criticism - Microsoft did do some very unethical things. I think it's more a reflection of - as Warren Buffet says, you always see the future through a fog, and 'this too shall pass'. You can look back and make a lot of sense out of how IBM fell, how Microsoft fell, how the Soviet Union fell, etc. Hindsight is 20/20, and only that bad if you're a fool.

In a way, I think it's important to consider things like Microsoft as problems to be challenged if everyone was complacent about it would anything be done?

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Mises himself noted that natural resources such as this were one of the areas where a monopoly could appear regardless of government involvement.

Actually, I was referring to an employer having a monopoly on employment itself, driving effective wages to zero, though that's an example too.

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I'd also note that libertarianism doesn't oppose unions in and of themselves, just the legislative protection they receive. If a group of individuals freely decide to negotiate as one with an employer to gain a better settlement they are perfectly entitled to do so with the threat of withdrawing their labour as the stick to complement the carrot of their skills. The plot basis of Atlas Shrugged is at least partly reliant on this.

I'm not aware of them having much legislative protection as a whole, though individual unions sometimes do.

Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #77 on: May 13, 2011, 05:49:12 PM »
I bet you thought I'd run away. (Well, I'd bet someone did, were I a betting man.) Nope. I just ended up with a lot of work, and I needed to focus on that more than I wanted to be denigra... er, more than I wanted to discuss libertarian ideas here.

Let's see if I can get back to some occasional libertarian discussion by addressing some of the points made from before my absence.

to Consortium11:
1) While Hans-Hermann Hoppe's position on immigration may not seem libertarian to you and me, that is a single issue and hardly precludes him from being libertarian. And as I recall, the point in mentioning him in the first place was not to debate his immigration ideas, but merely to illustrate that libertarians are not all of a single group ideology. If you want to debate whether Hoppe is libertarian or not, that would be a completely different conversation.

2) On the free-speech issue, you seem to be trying to claim that any expression of support for protecting freedom of speech means opposition to laws against fraud. Your support for this assertion does not, imo, hold up under scrutiny. You bring up the falsely shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater bit, and say libertarians are against restricting that sort of speech. I ask who has said so, and your best examples never even mention the scenario, much less express some notion that libertarians oppose laws against fraud. Your argument seems to amount to little more than you saying so-and-so claim(s) to support free speech, so therefore they are opposed to laws against falsely yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater and/or fraud. Which is basically argument by assertion.

3) Your dismissal of Bastiat as merely a pamphleteer I do not understand. You couldn't handle viewing a flash presentation of ideas so we would have some common frame of reference. You wanted "original sources". So I used a quote from Bastiat. Rather than discuss the merit of what Bastiat said, you dismissed him. Frankly, I am not sure how to have a discussion with someone who for all intents and purposes seems only interested in telling me what all libertarians must believe and dismisses anything and everything that contradicts such assertion. I am beginning to understand how Mormons must feel when the try to discuss Mormonism with misinformed Protestants.

4) You said, "putting forward an argument as to why logically a libertarian in name and deed should oppose fraud legislation is not a 'hostile' argument." Perhaps. However, putting forth an argument that says libertarians are okay with fraud, which you basically did, is a hostile argument. It's sort of like the argument I saw made on another forum for another site that claimed "Republicans want women to get cancer" because some people opposed mandatory cervical cancer vaccination. Granted your language was a bit more polite than that, but no less hostile. For you to be surprised that someone would perceive it as hostile seems a bit disingenuous.

to Vekseid:
1) You said, "I am specifically discussing regulations that prevent fraud and externalities. If you're for these - great - but it's not like progressives are going to argue for removing malregulation." If I use your logic, you must be in favor of fraud and externalities because you've just said you're okay with removing some regulations. But I know you're not. And accusing you of such would be ridiculous. Pretty much like accusing me of being in favor of fraud and externalities is ridiculous. I may support getting rid of more regulations than you, but that is not a good reason to ascribe to me support for things like fraud.

2) "do you support or oppose the Clean Water Act?" In principle and/or at least as I understand it, I don't have much opposition to it (though I think it would be largely uncessary if we had better property rights protection). As it was implemented, I oppose it a lot.

"do you support or oppose Glass-Steagall?" Oppose.

"do you support or oppose Network Neutrality?" Oppose.

"Do you support or oppose nuclear regulations?" That's rather broad. I would probably support some and oppose others.

"Do you support or oppose antitrust regulations? This is a big one." In general, I find I oppose them because they end up being used to do things like try to prosecute large businesses (often at the urging of other large businesses) for, essentially, being successful, rather than provide any meaningful protection for consumers.

"Do you support or oppose campaign finance regulations?" Mostly oppose. The government should not be involved in telling people how much money they can give to people they support. Nor should it ban anonymous contributions any more than it should ban anonymous speech.

3) "'This food contains sawdust' versus 'this food contains cellulose pulp' versus banning sawdust in food." Wasn't that long ago I read an article about cellulose being used in foods more frequently now. Improves fiber content and texture, as I recall. Anyway, I am guessing you're trying to talking, in part, about misleading people about what is in food. I don't know what cholecalciferol is, but I ingest it probably every day. Same goes for cyanocobalamin, sodium hexametaphosphate, and several other ingredients of the Muscle Milk brand of protein drinks. Then again, I can go find out what they are without much trouble. Let's see now... load Wikipedia... look up cholecalciferol and find it is... (drum roll please) a form of vitamin D. Never bothered to look it up before. I would guess most people don't look these things up, if they are even bothering to read the ingredients on the labels of the food they buy. But let's talk about bans for a moment too. Do we really need to be locking up Mennonites for selling raw milk to people who want buy raw milk? Mind you, not passing off raw milk as pasteurized, but raw milk as raw milk. Do we really need that? A ban on raw milk may have had a good purpose once, but any more, I doubt it does. Just because government can pass and enforce bans in the name of protecting people doesn't mean it should or that the results are always a benefit.

4) "So, I see this a lot. 'I am not an economist' - from people arguing economic theory. Why is that?" Because some people aren't economists? Look, I have some economic knowledge in broad strokes and a minor amount of detail, but I am self-educated on this. I know enough to disagree with you, but I know I don't know enough to substantially counter all the economic points you were making. My failing. So sue me.

5) "In order to build a fully functioning, serious economic system, you need to ensure that it is, ultimately, stable." I do, however, know that to even being discussing that requires, at the very least, definitions for what you mean by "serious" and "stable."

6) "This, ultimately, means that some positions are in fact untenable - they won't work, for one reason or another. You can choose to evolve your philosophy when faced with such a situation - but if you don't, your position will not be treated seriously." Indeed. This is a reason I keep wondering why some people think government laws and regulations are going to fix everything.

7) "I've never seen libertarian thought actually address the problem posed by a monopoly, for example." Then perhaps you're not looking hard enough. For one, there is plenty of writing by libertarians about monopolies. (http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=libertarianism+monopoly) For another, libertarianism is all about addressing the problems posed by the greatest monopoly of them all: the government.

Offline BCdan

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #78 on: May 26, 2011, 02:12:47 PM »
o_o 

To answer the original question because I really don't want to read through four pages of big walls o'text...

Hi!  I consider myself to be a libertarian.  I tend to stay out of the politics sub-forum most of the time because politics can get my blood boiling and Elliquiy is my fuzzy warm happy place to be on the internet. 

On some specific issues:

-I would replace the welfare state with a night watchmen state funded by a flat and fair tax system. 
-A strongly believe in property rights both for practical and philosophical reasons.
-I feel that capitalism and free markets are highly ethical and moral systems economics. 
-I believe in the Non-Aggression Principle. 
-Its not that I am against democracy, so much as I don't think other people should have a say in many personal decisions.  For example, I don't think people should even have the option to vote away other peoples rights to marry whom they choose.   Marriage shouldn't be regulated in any way shape or form and should legally be treated as a contract between two or more consenting adults. 
-I think the education industry should be managed more like the food industry.  Schools privately owned with an 'FDA' putting down some general guidelines and vouchers for the poor. Maybe not purely libertarian, but much more libertarian than the current system.   

Ask me anything about my beliefs.  Theres some things I don't have well developed opinions on.  Other things I may have a philosophical view on, but not a well developed practical view on. 


Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #79 on: May 26, 2011, 02:47:44 PM »
I missed this.

2) "do you support or oppose the Clean Water Act?" In principle and/or at least as I understand it, I don't have much opposition to it (though I think it would be largely uncessary if we had better property rights protection). As it was implemented, I oppose it a lot.

Alright.

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"do you support or oppose Glass-Steagall?" Oppose.

Taking in account the part I snipped, what about the transparency and disclosure regulations it entailed?

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"do you support or oppose Network Neutrality?" Oppose.

On a similar vein, we have a certain expectation, today, that if a company offers 'Internet' access, they actually are providing access to the entire Internet. In slightly more technical terms, this means that they have all the necessary peering arrangements, to, the overwhelmingly vast majority of the time, connect a customer to any other portion of the Internet at a good fraction of the respective bandwidths that each have purchased, notwithstanding any load limitations that either are facing of their own volition.

The crux of the network neutrality argument is - if a provider refuses to do that, they are not actually offering Internet access by the publicly accepted definition. Would you support or oppose a regulation to that effect?

I'm saying this because some whackjobs have significantly misinterpreted the problem and would like to cut around that.

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"Do you support or oppose nuclear regulations?" That's rather broad. I would probably support some and oppose others.

As an example, I live in Minnesota. Say I went out, bought some land, dug up a bunch of dirt in a uranium-rich area, and bought some high-quality centrifuges. Would it be right for government spooks to drop by and ask me what the fuck I was up to?

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"Do you support or oppose antitrust regulations? This is a big one." In general, I find I oppose them because they end up being used to do things like try to prosecute large businesses (often at the urging of other large businesses) for, essentially, being successful, rather than provide any meaningful protection for consumers.

That's the case with Google and Microsoft now, but that also makes Google's case weaker.

An example of monopolistic abuse would be, Microsoft's 'agreement' with OEMs that they could not install another operating system alongside Windows for dual-booting. This was vastly more illegal than Netscape's argument (part of their problem was they really did suck). Be, Inc. on the other hand effectively was forced out of business by this agreement that essentially shut them out of the OS business. Because OEMs could either honor sell Windows, or sell BeOS. But not both.

Is a regulation against something like that alright, or is it wrong?

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"Do you support or oppose campaign finance regulations?" Mostly oppose. The government should not be involved in telling people how much money they can give to people they support. Nor should it ban anonymous contributions any more than it should ban anonymous speech.

This is a money=speech argument. It's rather dangerous, in my opinion - if you allow people to buy laws, how do you prevent them from dismantling your ideal government?

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3) "'This food contains sawdust' versus 'this food contains cellulose pulp' versus banning sawdust in food." Wasn't that long ago I read an article about cellulose being used in foods more frequently now. Improves fiber content and texture, as I recall. Anyway, I am guessing you're trying to talking, in part, about misleading people about what is in food. I don't know what cholecalciferol is, but I ingest it probably every day. Same goes for cyanocobalamin, sodium hexametaphosphate, and several other ingredients of the Muscle Milk brand of protein drinks. Then again, I can go find out what they are without much trouble. Let's see now... load Wikipedia... look up cholecalciferol and find it is... (drum roll please) a form of vitamin D. Never bothered to look it up before. I would guess most people don't look these things up, if they are even bothering to read the ingredients on the labels of the food they buy. But let's talk about bans for a moment too. Do we really need to be locking up Mennonites for selling raw milk to people who want buy raw milk? Mind you, not passing off raw milk as pasteurized, but raw milk as raw milk. Do we really need that? A ban on raw milk may have had a good purpose once, but any more, I doubt it does. Just because government can pass and enforce bans in the name of protecting people doesn't mean it should or that the results are always a benefit.

No? But do we really need people having mercury in their food?

And as you yourself mentioned, the ingredients list is usually legally mandated - is that a problem?

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4) "So, I see this a lot. 'I am not an economist' - from people arguing economic theory. Why is that?" Because some people aren't economists? Look, I have some economic knowledge in broad strokes and a minor amount of detail, but I am self-educated on this. I know enough to disagree with you, but I know I don't know enough to substantially counter all the economic points you were making. My failing. So sue me.

5) "In order to build a fully functioning, serious economic system, you need to ensure that it is, ultimately, stable." I do, however, know that to even being discussing that requires, at the very least, definitions for what you mean by "serious" and "stable."

Take your position on campaign finance laws, for example. How do you propose the system avoid corruption without removing the allocation of resources from the equation?

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7) "I've never seen libertarian thought actually address the problem posed by a monopoly, for example." Then perhaps you're not looking hard enough. For one, there is plenty of writing by libertarians about monopolies. (http://www.google.com/search?aq=f&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8&q=libertarianism+monopoly) For another, libertarianism is all about addressing the problems posed by the greatest monopoly of them all: the government.

I mean in a sense that isn't based on some delusion that the government 'created' Standard Oil or US Steel. They say government creates monopolies, but outside of those instruments where it has actually genuinely made this so (utilities and intellectual property) the argument is pretty tenuous. Ologopolies tend to form naturally - do you think the price of an SMS message is the genuine free market rate? It takes a special sort of idiot to think that the SMS situation is anything but price fixing.


Offline XajowTopic starter

Re: Libertarian and not ashamed
« Reply #80 on: May 31, 2011, 02:02:22 PM »
Taking in account the part I snipped, what about the transparency and disclosure regulations [Glass-Steagall] entailed?
To be honest, I have not found much information about transparency and disclosure regulations in Glass-Steagall. What I can find is mostly like this: http://www.investopedia.com/articles/03/071603.asp. I do not oppose transparency and disclosure rules, so long as we're talking about transparency to the customer. Regulations that would, for example require banks to disclose a customer's private information to the government, I do not support.

On a similar vein, we have a certain expectation, today, that if a company offers 'Internet' access, they actually are providing access to the entire Internet. In slightly more technical terms, this means that they have all the necessary peering arrangements, to, the overwhelmingly vast majority of the time, connect a customer to any other portion of the Internet at a good fraction of the respective bandwidths that each have purchased, notwithstanding any load limitations that either are facing of their own volition.

The crux of the network neutrality argument is - if a provider refuses to do that, they are not actually offering Internet access by the publicly accepted definition. Would you support or oppose a regulation to that effect?
I would support a regulation that says the ISP has to disclose to the customer exactly what the customer would get for his money. I would not support regulations forcing ISPs to always provide full internet access.

As an example, I live in Minnesota. Say I went out, bought some land, dug up a bunch of dirt in a uranium-rich area, and bought some high-quality centrifuges. Would it be right for government spooks to drop by and ask me what the fuck I was up to?
Yes. Because what you're doing in that instance has high potential to damage other people's property.

An example of monopolistic abuse would be, Microsoft's 'agreement' with OEMs that they could not install another operating system alongside Windows for dual-booting. This was vastly more illegal than Netscape's argument (part of their problem was they really did suck). Be, Inc. on the other hand effectively was forced out of business by this agreement that essentially shut them out of the OS business. Because OEMs could either honor sell Windows, or sell BeOS. But not both.

Is a regulation against something like that alright, or is it wrong?
Regulation against two parties voluntarily entering into an agreement about software on computers. This seems like asking if there should be a regulation against Coca-Cola and Pepsi making restaurants agree to sell soda product provided by only one of the two companies. That Be, Inc. was unable to compete with Microsoft is not Microsoft's fault. If Be had been more aggressive in making its own deals, they might have been able to compete. So no, I do not believe there should be a regulation against that.

This is a money=speech argument. It's rather dangerous, in my opinion - if you allow people to buy laws, how do you prevent them from dismantling your ideal government?
You're equating contributing to a candidate with buying laws. But given that we are no where near my ideal government right now, I don't see that current restrictions do any good. If anything they help keep most of the media declared "front-runners" protected from folks like, say, Ron Paul. Which leaves pretty much the very wealthy who can buy the name recognition and raise more money as the only people who can afford to be candidates. Until someone like Ross Perot, which is to say someone with massive amounts of wealth who is willing to buy sufficient air time to make a dent in the nation's political attention, pops up again we're likely to not see a "viable" third party candidate again. That doesn't seem like a good system if we're concerned about using the democratic process to find the best candidate for the job. If, on the other hand, all we want is to keep largely interchangeable Depublocrats and Remolicans (see Obama's continuation of pretty much every Bush policy nearly unchanged and Mitt "I'm seriously viable" Romney opposing but not really Obamacare) as the only two viable parties, then we're good.

No? But do we really need people having mercury in their food?

And as you yourself mentioned, the ingredients list is usually legally mandated - is that a problem?
Mercury, probably not. I could be wrong, but as I recall, mercury in food starts as a pollution problem, for which again I think we need stronger property protections. Mandated ingredient lists? No, I don't really have a problem with that.

Take your position on campaign finance laws, for example. How do you propose the system avoid corruption without removing the allocation of resources from the equation?
Well, I am going to guess that by corruption you mean something like your earlier comment of buying laws. If we start getting government pared back, there will be less laws to buy. I know a lot of people are concerned about big corporations buying influence. When government has little influence over other business to "sell" there won't be much for corporations to "buy". On the other hand, in the current situation, corporations "buy" influence all the time and the corporate fatcats were able to get the government hand over billions of dollars that did not belong to them. Why this is more desirable, I have yet to determine.

I mean in a sense that isn't based on some delusion that the government 'created' Standard Oil or US Steel. They say government creates monopolies, but outside of those instruments where it has actually genuinely made this so (utilities and intellectual property) the argument is pretty tenuous. Ologopolies tend to form naturally - do you think the price of an SMS message is the genuine free market rate? It takes a special sort of idiot to think that the SMS situation is anything but price fixing.
"Genuine free market rate" assumes we have a free market, and we don't. Anyway, the oligopolies we see today are often in part a result of a few companies making deals with government to create regulations that either prevent or severely inhibit competition from smaller companies. We did not have only two (now one) satellite radio companies because people only wanted two or because only two companies tried to get into that business. We had only two, as I understand it, because broadcast radio companies demanded the FCC keep the number allowed to two, and the FCC complied. (Satellite radio is in financial trouble right now, as I understand it, mostly because of the intertubes, and because people can now load up their car with multiple CDs each packed with MP3 files and/or plug their MP3 player directly into their car stereos.) Obviously corporations look for ways to strengthen their position and weaken that of their competitors. Letting corporations partner with government to do so seems extremely counterproductive if preventing monopolies and oligopolies is what we want.