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Author Topic: Libertarianism  (Read 2473 times)

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Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Libertarianism
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2016, 09:22:18 AM »
I'm not sure I follow this.

For the sake of argument let's use the definition of socialism you supply (personally I'd be pedantic and stick to collective ownership, rather than governmental, of the means of production but it makes little difference in this case). Where are the examples of socialist countries being the originators (or even one of the main drivers) for the changes you mention? Who were the socialist politicians and thinkers who brought those changes through?

Simply arguing for more welfare, more protective labour laws or things of that nature within a system that allows the private ownership of capital doesn't make one a socialist any more than opposing the militarization of the police and the state's ability to spy on its own citizens makes one an anarchist or libertarian.

oh sorry, I got a little fire and brimstone there.
My basic point is that "socialism" applies to an entire spectrum of political theory and thought based on collective. The result of which has been the idea that a country has a duty to help take care of it's people, and reign in private abuse of the public.

Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarianism
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2016, 10:20:38 AM »
oh sorry, I got a little fire and brimstone there.
My basic point is that "socialism" applies to an entire spectrum of political theory and thought based on collective. The result of which has been the idea that a country has a duty to help take care of it's people, and reign in private abuse of the public.

See, I'd disagree with this.

(We're getting somewhat into the ever-enjoyable pedantic battle of defining exactly what political terms mean... but I think there is some purpose behind it.)

These days "socialism" may be used to described that, much as "liberal" has come to mean the mildly centre-left rather than what we'd now call a right-libertarian, but socialism had a distinct meaning and I don't think we've gained anything by moving away from that. Until relatively recently the distinction between socialism, communism was largely one of marketing and, somewhat ironically, class structure; Engels wrote about how members of polite society would call themselves socialists rather than communists simply because communism was associated with trade unions, the working class and direct action (remembering that at that point direct action often meant "propaganda of the deed" which in turn often meant assassinations). The members of polite society may agree with the communists but didn't want to be associated with them and so used the term socialist as a distinct (but meaningless) difference. After all, there's a reason the USSR was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, not Communist Republics.

The centre-left postion which often gets referred to as "socialism", is often associated with Europe (in particular Scandinavia) and largely consists of abandoning any pretext of the collective social ownership of the means of production and instead having the government use the proceeds of private ownership of capital in an attempt to improve society and lower inequality (in essence aiming for the same benefits as a socialist system but within a capitalist framework) I'd argue is more accurately called social democracy, a position that emerged in the mid-20th century on the back of Keynesian economics' popularity (and the divisions within socialism that had torn the First and Second Internationals apart, notably the reform or revolution dispute).

On this bit in particular:

Quote
The result of which has been the idea that a country has a duty to help take care of it's people, and reign in private abuse of the public.

I'd also disagree. To give an example from UK politics "one-nation conservatism" holds a very similar position; it is a paternalistic viewpoint that in essence holds that those who are the most privileged should help those who are less so by serving their country and is one of the main reasons that there was such a long history of public service in the British upper classes (be it in politics, the military or civil service). Hell, one could go back further to the feudal concept of noblesse oblige (that the nobility should be generous and honorable); both positions essentially boil down to the fact that privilege comes with responsibilities.

But neither position is socialist and neither directly requires the state to be the vehicle for improving the lot of others; while it may have led to public service through politics, the military or civil service it could also be achieved by private means. Perhaps the best example of that would be David Dale and his son-in-law Robert Owen's work in New Lanark (and it's actually an interesting contrast to compare the success of New Lanark to Owen's later New Harmony project, run on purely socialist principles as Owen's views changed, and it's rapid failure).

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Libertarianism
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2016, 01:34:58 PM »
Social Democracy. I like that term.
Thanks for giving me a better understanding by the way.

Offline consortium11

Re: Libertarianism
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2016, 02:10:29 PM »
Social Democracy. I like that term.
Thanks for giving me a better understanding by the way.

No worries. As I say, it's a bit pedantic, navel gazing and somewhat "nerdy" but I think there is some real value in having a unified understanding of what people mean when they talk about a political ideology. And from an intellectual/curiosity standpoint it can be really interesting looking into the history of different political movements.

Offline ArtVandelayTopic starter

Re: Libertarianism
« Reply #29 on: January 09, 2016, 12:49:28 PM »
I won't quote you, as it's clear you and I disagree on a level too fundamental to have argument.

First and foremost, like I said, Hayek and Mises had an economic structure predicated on personal liberty. This is the political-economic structure of which I am a fan (and, you guessed it, not a fan of Chomsky either.) Now, on transitions, of course they would advocate radical action to change over to an Austrian Economy: they were radically in favor of one, to the point at which they were blind to the value of conservative change (not conservative in scope, but in method).

Secondarily, you should note that my country (the U.S.) is not a democracy; the fact that we have a constitution and checks and balances on a federal level means that it's much more of a republic. The idea of republicanism, with a lowercase r, means that people have supreme power over legislation. Constitutionalism dictates what is legislation and what is foundational (and rarely modifiable) legistation. Hayek in particular advocated for an end to fractional reserve banking, floating exchange rates, and especially the manipulating of central bank interest rates which (along with fiscal policy) to him made "free money" which caused bubbles in the future. Thus, he was not exactly keen on the very changeable nature of democratic economic policy. For that matter, I am too- it is sad to me that many of what I consider integral conventions of economic and political liberties are being curbed for the sake of free stuff from candidates.

On the privatization of roads, I would argue that this is technically not restriction of movement because of a beautiful thing: sidewalks. Now, you may laugh, but the country is technically walkable. More important, however, is that it is foreseeable that some might not be able to travel if one believes that daily passage tolls on a section of road would be dollar per mile more expensive than taxes for roads; however, roads are not "public goods" in the economic sense that they are neither non-competitive nor non-excludable. Further, one will see that roads are diseconomies of scale, and thus are better off under small companies anyhow.


Secondly, I don't care that you've been here for a long time, but at least treating me with some respect would be nice; I'm not attacking you or anyone, I promise. I'm just seeing what people are curious about.

Online Vekseid

Re: Libertarianism
« Reply #30 on: January 09, 2016, 04:50:05 PM »
If you want your opinion to be respected, then don't make patronizing statements acting like you are the sole source of insight on your ideology. "Please, stick to questions asking me about x" is disrespectful of everyone reading it.

Offline Ironwolf85

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Re: Libertarianism
« Reply #31 on: January 10, 2016, 03:56:08 PM »
I won't quote you, as it's clear you and I disagree on a level too fundamental to have argument.

First and foremost, like I said, Hayek and Mises had an economic structure predicated on personal liberty. This is the political-economic structure of which I am a fan (and, you guessed it, not a fan of Chomsky either.) Now, on transitions, of course they would advocate radical action to change over to an Austrian Economy: they were radically in favor of one, to the point at which they were blind to the value of conservative change (not conservative in scope, but in method).

Secondarily, you should note that my country (the U.S.) is not a democracy; the fact that we have a constitution and checks and balances on a federal level means that it's much more of a republic. The idea of republicanism, with a lowercase r, means that people have supreme power over legislation. Constitutionalism dictates what is legislation and what is foundational (and rarely modifiable) legistation. Hayek in particular advocated for an end to fractional reserve banking, floating exchange rates, and especially the manipulating of central bank interest rates which (along with fiscal policy) to him made "free money" which caused bubbles in the future. Thus, he was not exactly keen on the very changeable nature of democratic economic policy. For that matter, I am too- it is sad to me that many of what I consider integral conventions of economic and political liberties are being curbed for the sake of free stuff from candidates.

On the privatization of roads, I would argue that this is technically not restriction of movement because of a beautiful thing: sidewalks. Now, you may laugh, but the country is technically walkable. More important, however, is that it is foreseeable that some might not be able to travel if one believes that daily passage tolls on a section of road would be dollar per mile more expensive than taxes for roads; however, roads are not "public goods" in the economic sense that they are neither non-competitive nor non-excludable. Further, one will see that roads are diseconomies of scale, and thus are better off under small companies anyhow.


Secondly, I don't care that you've been here for a long time, but at least treating me with some respect would be nice; I'm not attacking you or anyone, I promise. I'm just seeing what people are curious about.
Interesting.

Have you seen how private roads and bridges have been handled here as well as in other countries. For example the Ambassador Bridge, a vital artery linking trade between the US and Canada. It's owner Manuel Moroun bought 60% of shares and has repeatedly used it to try squeeze concessions from Detroit and Ontario by denying service to trucks, he has raised rates, left the bridge in a state of complete disrepair, refused to add anything to the bridge to ease the congestion.
He has also sued and outright BOUGHT protesters to stop the Gateway Project intended to improve trade along the northeast corridor because it would harm his toll business.

He is but one example, of many.

I find the economic model of "can't afford my roads? just walk!" I imagine the roadmap would look wierd if every company started laying their own cheap roads to avoid paying each other, and I know there are many private companies that would do exactly that.

The purpose of For Profit is to Profit, and ever since the 80's that means money. Simply put people dislike private institutions like these because they have been expensive and have managed in many respects to provide even poorer service than the US Government.

Maybe I should get started on the effect of Insurance Companies, or the Medical Sector, and how they screw over hospital and patent alike because collective bargaining is illegal and there was no regulation of their market until the AHCA?
Maybe the broken patent system?
Or the lack of regulation enforcement of any kind that lead to the crash of 2008?

Offline Skynet

Re: Libertarianism
« Reply #32 on: January 10, 2016, 05:23:41 PM »
Secondarily, you should note that my country (the U.S.) is not a democracy; the fact that we have a constitution and checks and balances on a federal level means that it's much more of a republic. The idea of republicanism, with a lowercase r, means that people have supreme power over legislation. Constitutionalism dictates what is legislation and what is foundational (and rarely modifiable) legistation. Hayek in particular advocated for an end to fractional reserve banking, floating exchange rates, and especially the manipulating of central bank interest rates which (along with fiscal policy) to him made "free money" which caused bubbles in the future. Thus, he was not exactly keen on the very changeable nature of democratic economic policy. For that matter, I am too- it is sad to me that many of what I consider integral conventions of economic and political liberties are being curbed for the sake of free stuff from candidates.

This is relatively semantics, and there is argument to be made over whether or not the general public has a genuine voice in the appointment of leaders with corporations, media bias, and other powerful groups influencing the funding and coverage of candidates.  But the United States is very much intended to be a democracy.  A representative democracy, to be exact.  The general public isn't going to be savvy on the intricacies of financial management, foreign policy, etc, so the idea is to appoint leaders experienced in such things as opposed to putting up a majority vote for every single decision under the sun.  The republicanism you describe is also known as direct democracy, which uses a majority vote for legislation.

Sorry to detract, but this is a thing I see when people say "democracy, not republic," in that most of them time it's leveraged by right-wingers to try and distance American ideals from Democrats (democracy) and make it seem like Republicans are closer to it (as in the association with the word "republic").  I don't think you're right-wing in the conservative sense, at least not mostly, but it's a thing I see crop up a lot.

Quote
On the privatization of roads, I would argue that this is technically not restriction of movement because of a beautiful thing: sidewalks. Now, you may laugh, but the country is technically walkable. More important, however, is that it is foreseeable that some might not be able to travel if one believes that daily passage tolls on a section of road would be dollar per mile more expensive than taxes for roads; however, roads are not "public goods" in the economic sense that they are neither non-competitive nor non-excludable. Further, one will see that roads are diseconomies of scale, and thus are better off under small companies anyhow.

You can't drive on sidewalks.  In the 1950s, the federal government made a major highway program to link the country's roads.  This was instrumental not just for land-bound trade and communication, but a great boon for the public as it made it easier for people to go to more States and thus easier to move elsewhere.  Before then a cross-country road trip would involve weeks if not months of driving through back roads, unagreeable terrain such as mud and mountain passes, and the like.

Going back, seeing the argument of privatization of roads, security, and other public services by Libertarians is a hard sell in that while some are inefficient and can be done better, they do result in good things on a wide social scale.  Many Scandinavians are perfectly fine with high taxes because said taxes are used to fund quality healthcare and education which would be harder to get otherwise.  Privatizing roads be a hard sale for a guy like me, in that it would be more work to see if private companies are restricting access or charging higher rates, when as it is now I can just drive my car to work without having to worry about contract negotiation with some corporation to use their roads.

Quote
Secondly, I don't care that you've been here for a long time, but at least treating me with some respect would be nice; I'm not attacking you or anyone, I promise. I'm just seeing what people are curious about.

I have yet to peruse the whole thread, but I think the thing is that Elliquiy, has a large liberal or left userbase, and even 'mainstream' Libertarian ideas and their proposals are extreme.  In spite of the many wrongs the federal (and even state and local) governments have done, they do provide many important services to many people every day.  Gutting them on a large scale will have drastic negative effects on many people, and there are many public services which can't be effectively privatized without prices shooting through the roof because it's very hard to make a profit off of things like mail or waste management.

Offline Robert dElla

Re: Libertarianism
« Reply #33 on: February 25, 2016, 02:08:32 PM »
I am a right libertarian, a strong believer in free markets. On a good day, I'm perhaps a Hayekian Minarchist. I think that social institutions should be privatized, and ideally public education only extant as local libraries and state systems (in the U.S.). The police, if a governmental institution, should be governed democratically with their own constitution, and perhaps even privatization would be better. I think the military, diplomacy, legislation, courts, and emergency services.

And on the inevitable roads question; Privatize!

As a libertarian myself I am in favor of unrestricted secret manipulation of the securities markets by insiders: stocks, bonds, futures, options, stuff that hasn't been invented yet).  Regulation by the SEC and state blue sky laws should end immediately.  The 13th Amendment (outlawing slavery) and 14th amendment (extending constitutional rights to the states) are outrageous affronts to the free market and personal rights to contract and should be repealed.  Horizontal, vertical, diagonal monopolies: very cool.  Unfair trade practices - we need these now.  The mafia and drug cartels are a workable and admirable business models that governments should not interfere with.  General police powers guaranteed to states under the federal constitution are even worse impediments to profit and must be removed and in fact all state law abolished, especially tort laws and zoning regulations because every residential neighborhood needs a dynamite factory, brothel and privatized prison. 

As I see it, we liberta .. libertes.. libertines .. libertarians come in two stripes.  First, people like me and my clients who will run down everyone and everything because we can for any reason we want to, but mainly for profit;  and, second, doctrinaire guys who imagine they'll be happy free men on their two acre mud farms (with private roads) when the rest of the world retaliates against the US.

No idea who this Hayekian Minarchist dude is but I bet he's a commie who never worked a day in his life.

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Re: Libertarianism
« Reply #34 on: February 25, 2016, 09:52:02 PM »
As a libertarian myself I am in favor of unrestricted secret manipulation of the securities markets by insiders: stocks, bonds, futures, options, stuff that hasn't been invented yet).  Regulation by the SEC and state blue sky laws should end immediately.  The 13th Amendment (outlawing slavery) and 14th amendment (extending constitutional rights to the states) are outrageous affronts to the free market and personal rights to contract and should be repealed.  Horizontal, vertical, diagonal monopolies: very cool.  Unfair trade practices - we need these now.  The mafia and drug cartels are a workable and admirable business models that governments should not interfere with.  General police powers guaranteed to states under the federal constitution are even worse impediments to profit and must be removed and in fact all state law abolished, especially tort laws and zoning regulations because every residential neighborhood needs a dynamite factory, brothel and privatized prison. 

As I see it, we liberta .. libertes.. libertines .. libertarians come in two stripes.  First, people like me and my clients who will run down everyone and everything because we can for any reason we want to, but mainly for profit;  and, second, doctrinaire guys who imagine they'll be happy free men on their two acre mud farms (with private roads) when the rest of the world retaliates against the US.

No idea who this Hayekian Minarchist dude is but I bet he's a commie who never worked a day in his life.

I...I am confused by all of this...It sounds like this si meant to be ironic but I think I may be misreading this.

As for my own feelings...well this clip describes it well I think.
Spoiler: Click to Show/Hide

The social contract between people and their governments, as well as each other, is what keeps this society together. What keeps up from going back to those days of living in caves and tribes and butchering each other like animals.

Though I will be the first to admit that governments tend to take advantage of the people, a lot. But despite that id still pick it over having total anarchy and no sense of order.

Edit: might be best just to ignore me since I  have so little context of what is going on.
« Last Edit: February 25, 2016, 09:57:23 PM by Lustful Bride »

Offline Skynet

Re: Libertarianism
« Reply #35 on: February 25, 2016, 11:31:37 PM »
Just saying, but although I don't think it breaks any rules, it's kind of unfair to make fun of a guy's ideology especially when they can't reply anymore due to being Denied.

Offline Blythe

Re: Libertarianism
« Reply #36 on: February 25, 2016, 11:58:27 PM »
Since the OP is Denied and unable to reply to his thread, am going ahead and locking this.

For anyone that would like to continue to discuss libertarianism, though, feel free to make a new thread.  :-)
« Last Edit: February 26, 2016, 12:02:59 AM by Blythe »