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.