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Author Topic: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements  (Read 2312 times)

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Online AndyZTopic starter

Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« on: January 18, 2012, 09:08:01 AM »
I do, however, feel this country needs a new Bill of Rights. Preferably one that both Libertarian and Progressive elements can get behind, because anything less would be vulnerable to attempts at division.

I want to see this attempted.  The two seem inherently different from my perspective, since in my understanding, progressives want to enlarge government while libertarians want to shrink it, but let's see.  Feel free to post another definition of progressivism. 

I'd like to keep the topic going for as long as it doesn't fall into blatant hypocrisy, as these threads so often do.

Offline Dizzied

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #1 on: January 18, 2012, 10:12:18 AM »
As a libertarian, and veteran of discussion with progressives, I'll just say that I'd rather talk to your average progressive than a conservative. A lot of the conservatives I know base their political beliefs off of religious ideas, and it makes discussion almost impossible. Obviously not all conservatives are this way, but the ones that are really remind me why democracy is imperfect. :(

Usually, once I go through the rather lengthy process of explaining why government intervention is the problem in the market, and not the solution, progressives are willing to listen to more libertarian ideas. They already believe in liberty and freedom, since they support individual liberties--its just a matter of the 'greater good' when it comes to economic liberties, and thats simply a matter of dispelling myths.

I'd say the current SOPA/PIPA protests are an example of libertarians and progressives working together. It's one instance where progressives are aware that regulation by politicians is quite harmful.

Offline DarklingAlice

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #2 on: January 18, 2012, 05:44:36 PM »
Which is why painting progressives as just wanting 'bigger government' is completely misleading. It is true that many of the things they want almost definitely require government intervention, but that is more the means than the end. So I don't think it is a proper characterization to say progressive = big government in the same way that libertarian = small government. As was pointed out a couple of months back it seems that progressives would actually like less government intervention than some conservatives. Progressives tend to go for widespread social welfare programs (e.g. libraries, arts endowments, medical care, food stamps etc.) while many American conservatives seek to bloat the military and tightly control the populace both at home and abroad (e.g. marriage/sexuality/family laws, special rules for the rich, policing the world, etc.). And opposition to the ideas of the more radical conservatives are exactly the sorts of things that get progressives and libertarians working on the same side.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2012, 07:26:15 PM »
I want to see this attempted.  The two seem inherently different from my perspective, since in my understanding, progressives want to enlarge government while libertarians want to shrink it, but let's see.  Feel free to post another definition of progressivism. 

I'd like to keep the topic going for as long as it doesn't fall into blatant hypocrisy, as these threads so often do.

Progressives, as a rule, hold to Keynesian economics while Libertarians hold to Austrian economics. There's also another branch, called Chicago or Freshwater economics, which takes a sort of middle-ground. While these don't, per se, apply to regulation of business directly, they do tend to take similar levels of positions regarding how much regulation there should be or where. Regardless, any serious progressive understands that there can be bad regulations, and and serious libertarian understands the concept of an externality. You can pick many individual issues, and narrow down on specifics, like "Should the government ensure care for tuberculosis?" and, once people understand all of the factors involved, get the same answer from both libertarians and progressives. Likewise, the same is true for "Should the government structure benefits such that these benefits drop off faster than their income rises?" This last is roundly mocked by both libertarians and progressives alike, and an easy common ground to start from between libertarians and progressives on social welfare.

In general, though, my desire for a New Bill of Rights usually covers things that Libertarians and Progressives will generally agree on:

1) Possession, whether on one's person, in or on one's vehicle, or on one's property should not be considered, alone, as evidence for a crime against such a person. Most such incidents involve non-violent crime that should not be illegal anyway (pot usage), are used to frame people, or hinder the reporting of actual crime (you can be convicted of trafficking in child pornography yourself by reporting child pornography to the police improperly). Anyone convicted solely on these grounds should have their sentences instantly pardoned.

2) It should not be possible for an executive to pardon an individual. Rather, they may pardon crimes, effectively declaring them null and void - another means of declaring a law unconstitutional, but from the Executive rather than Judicial branch. It may, at the federal and optionally at the state levels, require some additional support to 'check' its power, but this would remove pardons from what currently looks like a blatant favor exchange and instead give us another way to remove bad laws.

3) A person should not be subject to prison or detainment, for any length of time, due to debt. 'Debtor's prisons' are already unconstitutional in many states, it should be implemented at the federal level.

4) A clear definition of usury is required, and constitutionally enforced by means of requiring that a debt be considered void and unenforceable if it ever exceeded this value. This is most commonly an issue because of preying on the ignorant through Payday Loans and ARMs, where people get tricked into paying ridiculously high interest rates. Picking a good definition of usury will be difficult, but could be tied to the inflation of a specific basket of goods, plus ~.05% per day (this would amounts to a maximum of 20% APR over the rate of inflation).

5) In order for someone to be legally recognized as having the right to collect on a debt, they must also recognize the right to bankruptcy, save for debts incurred SOLELY because of 1) Willful harm of another or 2) Willful destruction of property. In all other cases, all property would be ceded and auctioned, save for a select amount of property to ensure that they can get back on there feet. At a minimum, they should be allowed to be retain a reasonable means of transportation, reasonable means of communication and savings to pay for such, reasonable means of housing and savings to pay for such, and for self employed and those who own their own tools for their work, retain these to reasonable points. There must be no court or filing costs for individuals declaring bankruptcy - a person wishing to do so notifies the local sheriff, and has their excess goods noted, seized, and auctioned (for most debtors, this will be nothing).

Records of such bankruptcies may be recorded, as public knowledge, indefinitely.

This actually is less for protecting the people who would declare bankruptcy under such a scheme (at least, those who are aware of their current rights). Rather, it helps to force the bad-loan market to do more self policing.

6) There should be no such thing as software patents, business method patents, and their kin, and any and all rulings from Amazon's one-click patent on should be declared unlawful, with the judgments fully rendered void. Similarly, 'product patents' should be declared void as a class, as should patents which claim ownership of natural phenomenon such as the human genome.

7) Copyright should last 40 years, at most. 20 would be better. It may be prudent to recognize moral rights for longer, or even indefinitely - but copyrights do need a relatively quick expiry.



I could go on. Making a clear definition of the freedom of speech, clearly defining a right to privacy, clearly defining a right to say, not be targeted for assassination without trial, ensuring that habeas corpus only be suspended for something the public actually considers to be a full-blown war, and then only for clearly defined, time-limited purposes even for non-US citizens... When you break out these books, the rights progressives and libertarians agree on are many, varied, easily definable and would hold immense popular support.


Offline Zakharra

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2012, 10:49:49 PM »
 Are the politicians of New York state and New York City progressives and libertarians?

Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2012, 07:52:26 PM »
If you take the stereotypical positions that a libertarian and a progressive hold then with regards to a number of key issues the two are pretty similar. Civil rights/law and order is perhaps the big one; both are generally opposed to restrictions on free speech, drug laws, the death penalty, immigration, police powers etc etc. Even in areas where there's more disagreement such as the economy both oppose the sort of corporatist/crony capitalism that so infected the markets prior (and since) the latest crash. Iceland is generally seen as a pretty progressive nation... and yet both libertarians and progressives (especially those further to the left) applauded its refusal to bail out the banks.

The differences may be huge in consequence (especially with regards to the welfare state) but in number there are probably fewer than those they agree on.

To just pick up on on point Veks raises, I'd dispute whether progressives (even simply as a rule) hold to Keynesian economics. Obviously, progressive is one of those nebulous terms that covers a vast multitude of positions, but if we present progressives as being those on the left of the simplistic political spectrum then I think most would actually object to Keynes.

Simplified, Keynes theories involve the state taking money out of the economy in the good times so they can reassert it in the bad times. What that means in practice is that when the economy is on an upturn taxes would rise but state spending would also significantly fall; the welfare state would contract, infrastructure spending would drop... essentially anything the state can avoid paying it will... and in practice becomes the sort of state most libertarians dream of but with high(er) taxes.

It's only when a downturn comes that Keynesian theory starts to lead to a state that I suggest most progressives favour... as it pours money into the economy with infrastructure projects, government jobs, an increase in the welfare state etc... but even then it would be combined with large tax breaks for virtually everyone.

I think much of the love for Keynes on the left comes from people who simply weren't aware of his work earlier, heard someone talk about a Keynesian stimulus with regards to not cutting spending and found that it fitted into their existing political world view and so took the position on without really understanding or appreciating what it meant.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2012, 10:00:59 PM »
That is a good point. There are a number of other issues that Keynesians tend to disagree with typical Progressives on - minimum wages come to mind.

Offline adeleturner

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #7 on: February 06, 2012, 07:53:44 PM »
Ease the immigration process, end the war on drugs, cut our ridiculous defense spending, stop warrantless wiretapping, bring back habeus corpus, keep the government out of our bedrooms, etc.  There are plenty of things for libertarians and progressives to agree on.  The issues I have with progs are normally economic ones (well, that and I like my guns) and normally those differences result in constructive conversations.

Some of them give me the whole "you are everything that is wrong with America" and "a vote for a third party is a vote for the Republicans" spiel when I tell them I don't plan on voting for Obama (I plan on voting for Johnson), but every side has people like that.

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Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #8 on: February 06, 2012, 08:07:15 PM »
So - who's this Johnson person?

Offline adeleturner

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #9 on: February 06, 2012, 08:20:15 PM »
Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, though my support for him is still tentative.  I've liked what I've seen so far, but I still need to learn more about him.  The ACLU report cards have given him a higher ranking than any othe the other candidates.

I realize he has no hope of winning, but I don't vote based on that.  Republicans are going to take my state, period.  No matter who I vote for, I know who's getting my state's electoral votes.  So, I don't vote to change elections, I vote just as an exercise of my free speech.  As a bare minimum, any candidate I vote for has to support habeus corpus.  So that pretty much leaves Johnson and Paul : (

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Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #10 on: February 06, 2012, 08:23:40 PM »
I'm not counting anyone out this time 'round.  Strange as it sounds, if there was ever a year where a third-party had a chance, this is probably it. 

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2012, 11:37:40 PM »
Totally forgot I made this thread.  Sorry folks.

Dizzied, good to hear.  I could say that if you talk progressives around into libertarian arguments, it's not really mixing the two unless you convert the entire party, but it's semantics.

DarklingAlice, thank you for clarifying your definition of progressive.

Vekseid, the government doesn't even listen to the current Bill of Rights, which are supposed to block them from doing various things that they do anyway.  I understand where you're coming from, but I consider it a waste of time until the government starts actually following the Constitution.

Zakharra, I've heard that New York City is extremely liberal, but haven't been there in over ten years so can't say for sure.  A lot of the bans that they set up, though, seem to support that.

Adeleturner, I actually have respect for you for not simply blindly jumping into the political party bandwagon like so many do.  I hope to get you in my thread about the voting system, changing things so that we're not trapped with perpetual Republicans and Democrats.


Offline Zakharra

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #12 on: February 17, 2012, 10:03:42 AM »
  I brought up New York state and city because they are also very high tax places. It seems like there is a tax on just about everything there, rules and regulations for just about everything too. I believe NYC and NY state are hemorrhaging citizens, so it seems like they are shooting themselves in the foot with tax and regulations they enact.

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #13 on: February 17, 2012, 10:43:09 AM »
Yeah, these are progressive tactics.  Obama is attempting to do the same thing, and you'll notice that the results are the same.  It's just harder to leave the United States entirely, so instead people wait to actually invest their money.

Due to the very nature of the income tax, it only gets taxed when you're making money as income (obviously).  So the rich just pull their money out of the system, which halts growth.

The government lies about it by claiming that there's a recovery when there isn't.  They change the way unemployment is calculated by removing people who haven't looked in the last four weeks, as if people who aren't constantly actively searching while there's nothing don't count as unemployed.  Do a search on U3 vs. U5 in https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unemployment if you aren't already familiar with this.

That change was made in 1994, though, so it's not a Bush or Obama thing.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #14 on: February 18, 2012, 09:22:11 AM »
Vekseid, the government doesn't even listen to the current Bill of Rights, which are supposed to block them from doing various things that they do anyway.  I understand where you're coming from, but I consider it a waste of time until the government starts actually following the Constitution.

Name one instance where Congress or the Executive branch made a law against the letter of the Constitution that was not overturned by the Supreme Court.

Even the NDAA doesn't violate the constitution directly - habeas corpus is only suspended until 'the cessation of hostilities'.

Nor is the government's respect necessary for many reforms. There's a slow push to return copyright law to its original intent - censorship. Reforming intellectual property law in this regard is simply a matter of instructing civil courts what to do. The same is true for debt slavery. The legal process itself can also be looked at in a similar fashion, though I don't think that solution will be so 'simple'.

Even in the event of 'what the government ignores', the government still has to go through the court system and the court system is still quite capable of blocking prosecution against obviously unconstitutional cases.

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #15 on: February 18, 2012, 04:22:14 PM »
By the letter, I don't think I can, unless you consider it common sense that if Congress creates an organization, that organization should be bound by all the restrictions that Congress is as well.  Will you agree to that?

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #16 on: February 18, 2012, 04:39:15 PM »
That really depends on what you're referring to, but go ahead.

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #17 on: February 18, 2012, 04:52:28 PM »
Let's start off with the first amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There's all kinds of stuff attacking religion and its free exercise.  Part of that is because most people misunderstand the separation of church and state, believing that the state is supposed to be protected from the church, but the church is actually supposed to be protected from the state, as shown here.

I could go on about the Second Amendment, but I'd rather jump to the sixth.

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

American citizens being detained indefinitely are, by definition, not enjoying the right to a speedy and public trial.  Also, not sure about this, if they're never going to trial, will the court system be able to step up and say something, or do they have to wait until the trial which never happens?

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2012, 03:40:06 AM »
Let's start off with the first amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There's all kinds of stuff attacking religion and its free exercise.  Part of that is because most people misunderstand the separation of church and state, believing that the state is supposed to be protected from the church, but the church is actually supposed to be protected from the state, as shown here.

As shown where?

The founding fathers weren't just influenced by their experience with Church of England, but also by the 30 Years War, where religion taking control of the state led to decades of bloodshed in what is now Germany. France and Spain both provide similar examples.

Quote
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.

American citizens being detained indefinitely are, by definition, not enjoying the right to a speedy and public trial.  Also, not sure about this, if they're never going to trial, will the court system be able to step up and say something, or do they have to wait until the trial which never happens?

Article One, Section 9, clause 2
"The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."

Basically, their argument is that the War on Terror justifies it, as I mentioned above. They end-run the Constitution by not actually engaging in prosecution, and declaring an eternal war.

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #19 on: February 19, 2012, 04:01:42 AM »
As shown where?

The founding fathers weren't just influenced by their experience with Church of England, but also by the 30 Years War, where religion taking control of the state led to decades of bloodshed in what is now Germany. France and Spain both provide similar examples.


As shown that the amendment reads that Congress shall pass no law against Religion, not the other way around.  If they wanted to block religion from affecting the country, wouldn't that stop our official national motto from being In God We Trust?

Oh, and the French Revolutionary Wars came after the Constitution had already been written.  Constitution was 1787.  French Revolutionary Wars were 1792-1802.

Quote
Article One, Section 9, clause 2
"The privilege of the writ of habeas corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in cases of rebellion or invasion the public safety may require it."

Basically, their argument is that the War on Terror justifies it, as I mentioned above. They end-run the Constitution by not actually engaging in prosecution, and declaring an eternal war.

We agree, then, that they "end-run" the Constitution to suit their needs.

Quote
end-run (ndrn)
tr.v. end-ran (-rn), end-runĚning, end-runs
Informal To bypass (an impediment) often by deceit or trickery: "The plan to end-run the ... Senate committee ran into instant resistance" (Peter Goldman).

It amuses me that even http://www.thefreedictionary.com uses Congress as an example.

Nevertheless, when they simply bypass the Constitution with deceit and trickery, it's meaningless to attempt to change the object which they're bypassing.  They'll just work around whatever changes that are made.

Offline vtboy

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #20 on: February 19, 2012, 05:53:12 AM »
Let's start off with the first amendment.

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

There's all kinds of stuff attacking religion and its free exercise.  Part of that is because most people misunderstand the separation of church and state, believing that the state is supposed to be protected from the church, but the church is actually supposed to be protected from the state, as shown here.

I'm not sure to what attacks on religion and its free exercise you are referring. In any pluralistic society which has not crushed free thought and speech, there will be those who vigorously question and even oppose religious teaching and the doings of the faithful. The Establishment Clause, however, restricts only government action, not private pursuits. To my knowledge, wanting as our government may be in many ways, it has done precious little in recent memory to restrain its citizens in the free exercise of religion.

The main purpose of the First Amendment was actually to protect chrurches from other churches. Keen students of history, the Amendment's sponsors were well aware of the nearly ubiquitous propensity of churches to grasp and employ the levers of temporal power to drive competitors from the spiritual marketplace. Among the most ardent supporters of the Amendment were evangelists who, having only recently emerged on the fringes of religious scene, feared one of the established Christian sects would parlay its influence to become an offical or state-sponsored religion, and then exploit the state's coercive powers to oppress them. It is thus paradoxical that so many of today's evangelists recoil at the notion that our government was founded on secular principles, and seek to exploit the same machinery of the state to impose their doctrines on others, whether by reingroducing prayer in public schools, teaching "intelligent design" as a scientific alternative to evolution, or proscribing abortion, contraception, homosexuality, drug use, prostitution, etc.   

You are correct, however, that it is not really the state that requires protection from religion. What requires protection is the historically rare and highly vulnerable principle behind the First Amendment that our state should serve temporal rather than spiritual ends.

Offline Vekseid

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #21 on: February 19, 2012, 06:03:46 AM »
As shown that the amendment reads that Congress shall pass no law against Religion, not the other way around.  If they wanted to block religion from affecting the country, wouldn't that stop our official national motto from being In God We Trust?

Oh, and the French Revolutionary Wars came after the Constitution had already been written.  Constitution was 1787.  French Revolutionary Wars were 1792-1802.

No law respecting the establishment of religion. Not 'against', not 'for', no law at all. I'm not sure what you think 'other way around is'. While I believe 'In God We Trust' is a violation, whether it violates the letter rather than the intent is debatable.

And I wasn't referring to the French Revolution. If you don't know what the Reformation did to France, Germany, and hell, Europe in general, then you should probably study that before trying to wade into this argument.

Quote
We agree, then, that they "end-run" the Constitution to suit their needs.

It amuses me that even http://www.thefreedictionary.com uses Congress as an example.

Nevertheless, when they simply bypass the Constitution with deceit and trickery, it's meaningless to attempt to change the object which they're bypassing.  They'll just work around whatever changes that are made.

No they won't. The only thing an amendment can't do without unanimous ratification is to remove a state's senatorial representation - that is, its right to have two senators in the Senate. Force-unelecting Senators for some specific violation of constitutional principles is perfectly viable. It would certainly send a message to those who came in after.

Regardless, clarifying and tightening language will go a long way to getting rid of this sort of bullshit.

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #22 on: February 21, 2012, 04:01:29 PM »
If you know that the government evades the Constitution but believe that changing it will cause them to respect it, about all I can say is that I respectfully disagree and hope that you're right.

Offline WildCat

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #23 on: February 26, 2012, 04:11:28 PM »
It seems to me, and maybe I'm wrong, that almost nobody would actually characterize their position as "wanting big government".

I did read a description which rang true to me a while back--that conservatives and progressives both believe in freedom but that progressives are more likely to prioritize freedom for individuals over freedom for groups (churches, corporations, etc) and more willing to bring the government to bear to protect the freedom of the former from the latter. It's not a perfect picture of affairs, but I find it instructive.

But yes, speaking as a self-identified progressive I find a lot appealing about libertarian priorities as I understand them. It's not a co-incidence that you sometimes find Ron Paul on the same page with Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders.

Online AndyZTopic starter

Re: Libertarian/Progressive Agreements
« Reply #24 on: March 02, 2012, 04:43:29 PM »
It seems to me, and maybe I'm wrong, that almost nobody would actually characterize their position as "wanting big government".

I did read a description which rang true to me a while back--that conservatives and progressives both believe in freedom but that progressives are more likely to prioritize freedom for individuals over freedom for groups (churches, corporations, etc) and more willing to bring the government to bear to protect the freedom of the former from the latter. It's not a perfect picture of affairs, but I find it instructive.

But yes, speaking as a self-identified progressive I find a lot appealing about libertarian priorities as I understand them. It's not a co-incidence that you sometimes find Ron Paul on the same page with Dennis Kucinich and Bernie Sanders.

Not really sure if I agree with that characterization.  There's all kinds of things which Democrats attempt to push through regarding unions which gives preference to the union over the individual.  If the individual was given protection from the group, then I'd be allowed to not join a union if I don't want to, and they wouldn't be able to force me to pay dues even if I'm not a member.

I would say that Republicans and Democrats simply favor different groups.