Libertarian

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Libertarian

Post by dalehileman » Mon May 12, 2008 4:14 pm

Thanks to hs for opening the thread Right versus Left. In this connection Libertarian was supposed to represent a kind of amalgam leaning to the left on social matters and the right on fiscal (wondering, however, if there isn't implied a hidden conflict). But this term may be undergoing a semantic shift that is diluting its original meaning

For instance our local Fourth Estate, the Victorville, CA Daily Press represents itself as Libertarian although its "social" leanings seem to me strongly middle-of-the-road if not inclined slightly rightward, probably to avoid provoking its rural Red-leaning readers. Tell 'em what they want to hear

("Red" having also undergone a semantic shift completely reversing its historical connotation but that's another thread)

Nonetheless I am intrigued by the concept of Libertarianism in its original meaning, and for what it's worth, which not might be a whole lot, vastly prefer the concept over the usual partisan viewpoints
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Re: Libertarian

Post by PhilHunt » Mon May 12, 2008 4:57 pm

Personally I hate thread about politics on non-political boards.
I hate the atmosphere. One minute you're all getting along swimmingly and the next people are at each others throats about concepts of state management.
I think it's sad when someone who you may previously have got on really well with suddenly goes cold on you because they discover that you are not of their political, religious or sexual belief, and I'm just as guilty as the next man. I find it very hard to like someone when they tell me that they wished Mussolini or Hitler were still in power, and I've come across quite a few of them here in Italy. It's reminds me of the film the body snatcher (which was a comment on the Maccarthy Communist witch hunts) with a few words your view of someone is altered forever and they become a different person over night.

As to pure Libertarianism, similar to Communism, it looks good on paper until you put humans into the equation. Basically, political systems are not natural and as such they are prone to abuse by the natural desires of humankind. IMHO
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Re: Libertarian

Post by gdwdwrkr » Mon May 12, 2008 5:07 pm

Doesn't it come down to the individual modelling his opinions through actions, one-on-one?
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Re: Libertarian

Post by PhilHunt » Mon May 12, 2008 5:14 pm

From what I understand it is the concept of 'minimal' government so as to allow individuals the right to freedom of expression. But where do you draw the line at minimal government? How minimal? And freedom of expression only makes sense in cultures which have some restrictions on expression, otherwise there is nothing to compare free to.

I remember an anarchist friend of mine described his view of a 'state of anarchy'. They (the anarchists) would destroy all the institutions and allow people to act freely. I then asked him what they would do when outright chaos ensued to which he replied that they would have to set up some kind of force to keep the peace. I then asked about the facilities such as water and sanitation and he told me that people would be designated to carry out these tasks. I kept on asking question in this way until we ended up with a state run in a very similar way as to the one they wanted to overthrow. Seemed illogical to me.
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Re: Libertarian

Post by gdwdwrkr » Mon May 12, 2008 5:17 pm

Maybe your questioning helped him grow up a little.
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Re: Libertarian

Post by PhilHunt » Mon May 12, 2008 5:31 pm

This from Wiki.
There are, broadly speaking, two types of libertarian: rights theorists (also called libertarian moralists[1]) and libertarian consequentialists.[2] Rights theorists, which include noted deontologists, assert that all persons are the absolute owners of their lives, and should be free to do whatever they wish with their own bodies or property, provided they do not infringe on the rights of another to engage in that same freedom. They maintain that the initiation of force, defined by physical violence against another or non-physical acts such as fraud or threat, is a violation of that central principle; however, they hold that protective violence, such as self defense, does not constitute an initiation of force since they hold that such actions necessarily reflect an individual's reaction to a danger initiated by another individual. Many philosophers proclaiming this theory recognize the necessity of a limited role of government to protect individuals from any violation of their rights, and to prosecute those who initiate force against others. Some other rights theorists claim to oppose the existence of government altogether, perceiving taxation, among some other usual basic government actions, to be initiation of force (these include anarcho-capitalists).

Consequentialist libertarians, on the other hand, do not speak against "initiation of force," but instead highlight the notion of a society that allows individuals to enjoy political and economic liberty. They believe these cornerstones set the foundation for human happiness and prosperity. Therefore, instead of adhering to the Right Theorist viewpoint, Consequentialists rather focus primarily on the belief that liberty is conducive to good consequences rather than being concerned whether provision of liberty includes or requires initiation of force. This particular branch is associated with Milton Friedman, Ludwig von Mises, Friedrich Hayek, and James M. Buchanan.
If you think about the idea in bold and try to imagine some scenarios involving this logic you will see how easily the concept can break down.

A man burning his house down is demonstrating his right to freedom to do what he wishes with his own property, however, logically we know that an act of this type will have consequences outside of the immediate action. Risk to neighbouring houses, lowering of property prices, unneccesary strain on public services which indirectly impacts every tax payer, not to mention emotional impact on the neighbourhood. This is an extreme example of course.
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Re: Libertarian

Post by PhilHunt » Mon May 12, 2008 5:34 pm

gdwdwrkr wrote:Maybe your questioning helped him grow up a little.
Anarchism, like many -isms is an angry-young-man philosophy. I expect he grew out of it with time but I imagine it had to come from him. That's one of the wonderful (and scary) things about youth.
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Re: Libertarian

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Mon May 12, 2008 11:18 pm

A Libertarian is someone who declares an amnesty on overdue books.
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Re: Libertarian

Post by PhilHunt » Tue May 13, 2008 10:08 am

:) LOL
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End of topic.
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