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dixon
04-17-2004, 02:56 PM
Libertarianism is a political philosophy which advocates individual rights and a limited government. Libertarians believe individuals should be free to do anything they want, so long as they do not infringe upon the equal rights of others. They further believe that the only legitimate use of force, whether public or private, is to protect those rights. For libertarians, there are no 'positive rights' (such as to food or shelter or health care), only 'negative rights' (such as to not be assaulted, abused, robbed or censored). On the Nolan Chart, libertarianism rests in the upper right quadrant, or that of high economic freedom and high personal freedom.

BTW Mods, I think this forum would be the best place over the politics forum as I'd like a sample of everyone, not just the heavily politically inclined.

SKorn
04-17-2004, 03:09 PM
My roomate in college was a Libertarian. It is the third largest political party, behind republicans and democrats.

dixon
04-17-2004, 03:18 PM
Many libertarians believe that libertarian constitution would be much freer than democracy. Some advocate democracy as being "a dictatorship by the masses" where a large mass of people controls another mass of peoples wishes. This can lead to negative efficiency over minority populations.

In a libertarian society, people who wanted health insurance, education, etc would pay for it with their own money instead of with other people's. Those who do not want these things could opt out, it would be anyone's choice! The added benefit is that the free-market system is so much more efficient than a government system in economics, so services could be provided for a lower average rate.

Person
04-17-2004, 03:26 PM
In many ways, Libertarians are the truest Conservatives (as opposed to Republicans).

dixon
04-17-2004, 03:34 PM
Originally posted by Person
In many ways, Libertarians are the truest Conservatives (as opposed to Republicans).

I tend to not associate myself with Republicrats (pun intended) or a conservative or liberal side. Generally, Democrats advocate the increase of personal freedoms and the decrease of economic freedoms. Republicans generally advocate the increase of economic freedom but decrease of individual freedom. Take into account Replican stances on gay marriage, ID cards, etc.

There are four corners to a political spectrum which can be outlined here


Libertarianism...................................C onservatism



...............................Centrist



Liberalism........................................ Authoritarianism



The farther you go left, the more individual rights. The farther you go right the less individual rights. The farther you go to the top the more economic rights. The father you go to the bottom the less economic rights.

JigaroKagan
04-17-2004, 03:36 PM
What exactly are the weaknesses of a libertarian system?

SKorn
04-17-2004, 03:37 PM
Originally posted by Person
In many ways, Libertarians are the truest Conservatives (as opposed to Republicans).

Yeah, they are to Republicans like the Green Party is to the Democrats.

However Libertarians dont view the political geography as a right and a left but as a diamond. Republicans and democrats are on opposite corners of the diamond, while libertarians and socialists occupy the other two corners.

Bad Words
04-17-2004, 03:37 PM
I would consider my political stances to be more libertarian than anything else. Thomas Jefferson is probably about the most famous libertarian. He didn't call himself one, as I'm almost certain the phrase wasn't coined until later. Most of the founders of the country were libertarian. Kennedy called himself a democrat, though he would be closer to republican by today's standards, but he would fall on the line of libertarian as well. Libertarians don't believe in anarchy, but they believe that the government is not necessary to regulate everything, merely to keep people from hurting and impeding on the liberties of others. They believe that people are capable of self-regulation through the marketplace.

"Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%"
~Thomas Jefferson

Bad Words
04-17-2004, 03:41 PM
Originally posted by JigaroKagan
What exactly are the weaknesses of a libertarian system?
The biggest problem with it is that it relies on people to do what is right. A major problem with our society now is it encourages people to fail with welfare and such. Libertarianism does not support welfare, but it also stays out of people's business as much as possible. Where this becomes a bad thing (arguably) is not in criminal matters, but in cases that are harder to define morals. Example: exploitation... Libertarians believe in free trade, that if people do not agree with the values of a company, they will cease to do business with that company. But then look at Wal-Mart. That's their biggest flaw. Also, it's not very supportive of socialism and therefore people may fall through the cracks easier than in a democracy, but on the other hand people will be less likely to fall on hard times in the first place because they will be more accountable for themselves.

weltall
04-17-2004, 03:42 PM
come on people hook them up with the home site

http://www.lp.org

Bad Words
04-17-2004, 03:44 PM
Originally posted by dixon
Many libertarians believe that libertarian constitution would be much freer than democracy.
The U.S. constitution is a libertarian one far more than a democratic one.

dixon
04-17-2004, 03:44 PM
Originally posted by JigaroKagan
What exactly are the weaknesses of a libertarian system?


The libertarian system is something that the American constitution was very closely founded by. Many of the American constitutional forefathers believed that taxing was unfair economics. Many people believe that taxing is similar to theft, in that it is enforced with guns and the money you see isn't directed back to you evenly.

Take this case, which gradually builds up:

"Suppose that one man takes your car from you at gunpoint. Is this right or wrong? Most people would say that the man who does this is a thief who is violating your property rights.

Okay, now let's suppose that it's a gang of FIVE men that forcibly takes your car from you. Still wrong? Still stealing? Yup.

Now suppose that it's ten men that stop you at gunpoint, and before anything else they take a vote. You vote *against* them taking your car, but the ten of them vote for it and you are outvoted, ten to one. They take the car. Still stealing?

Let's add specialization of labor. Suppose it's twenty men and one acts as negotiator for the group, one takes the vote, one oversees the vote, two hold the guns, one drives. Does that make it okay? Is it still stealing?

Suppose it's one hundred men and after forcibly taking your car they give you back a bicycle. That is, they do something nice for you. Is it still stealing?

Suppose the gang is two hundred strong and they not only give you back a bicycle but they buy a bicycle for a poor person as well. Is it still wrong? Is it still stealing?

How about if the gang has a thousand people? ten thousand? A million?

How big does this gang have to be before it becomes okay for them to vote to forcibly take your property away without your consent? When, exactly, does the immorality of theft become the alleged morality of taxation?"

dixon
04-17-2004, 03:48 PM
Originally posted by Bad Words
The biggest problem with it is that it relies on people to do what is right. A major problem with our society now is it encourages people to fail with welfare and such. Libertarianism does not support welfare, but it also stays out of people's business as much as possible. Where this becomes a bad thing (arguably) is not in criminal matters, but in cases that are harder to define morals. Example: exploitation... Libertarians believe in free trade, that if people do not agree with the values of a company, they will cease to do business with that company. But then look at Wal-Mart. That's their biggest flaw. Also, it's not very supportive of socialism and therefore people may fall through the cracks easier than in a democracy, but on the other hand people will be less likely to fall on hard times in the first place because they will be more accountable for themselves.


A good thing about the welfare system (private charity) in a libertarian country would be that it is much more efficient, not to take into account that people would not be working from January to July just to pay taxes, so people would have more to donate. But the government monopoly of things does not cause it to be efficient when dealing with public welfare, as they collect taxes and this has to then be redistributed which costs money. As well, there is often a "backlash" of sorts when people are forced to give their paycheck to people who don't work. Many people who are on the welfare system can work.

JigaroKagan
04-17-2004, 03:52 PM
Why exactly does it fail to receive more publicity?

dixon
04-17-2004, 03:52 PM
Originally posted by Bad Words
The U.S. constitution is a libertarian one far more than a democratic one. I definitely agree! However the present day US is drastically different than the consitution it is founded on because of ammendments, for example the Patriot Acts of present day.

Bad Words
04-17-2004, 03:57 PM
Originally posted by dixon
A good thing about the welfare system (private charity) in a libertarian country would be that it is much more efficient, not to take into account that people would not be working from January to July just to pay taxes, so people would have more to donate. But the government monopoly of things does not cause it to be efficient when dealing with public welfare, as they collect taxes and this has to then be redistributed which costs money. As well, there is often a "backlash" of sorts when people are forced to give their paycheck to people who don't work. Many people who are on the welfare system can work.
As I stated earlier, I'm more libertarian than anything else. And this includes the welfare issue. I was just saying it doesn't work so well when someone falls behind by no fault of their own. Though I do admit it would work much better than welfare as we know it. Additionally, I think that people would help the fallen to their feet again without the government's help.

dixon
04-17-2004, 04:01 PM
Originally posted by Bad Words
As I stated earlier, I'm more libertarian than anything else. And this includes the welfare issue. I was just saying it doesn't work so well when someone falls behind by no fault of their own. Though I do admit it would work much better than welfare as we know it. Additionally, I think that people would help the fallen to their feet again without the government's help. I agree! People are worried about voting libertarian because they think the downtrodden will get left behind. If they are worried about the poor, and sickly, and willing to donate money to them, the option in libertarian society is private charity :) The good thing is that there will be alot less people relying on private charity because some people just go on welfare to get free rides. This means a dollar to a private charity will go twice as far as paying a dollar to welfare! Not to mention there are no or little wages to pay at charities, and that there is no efficiency lost on government taxation.

weltall
04-17-2004, 04:02 PM
Originally posted by JigaroKagan
Why exactly does it fail to receive more publicity?

Someone else answered this question in detail earlier, but it didn't really come off that way:

The reason no one really takes libertarians seriously is because no one, right now anyway, can take responsibility for themselves. We have become too reliant on government in so many ways. And I also think that the LP does not really market themselves in the best light.

Person
04-17-2004, 04:06 PM
Also, the US is really a 2 party system. Many Libertarians run as Republicans because their ideas are "too extreme" for most common people who don't know what certain policies would mean in the long run.

JigaroKagan
04-17-2004, 04:07 PM
Originally posted by weltall
Someone else answered this question in detail earlier, but it didn't really come off that way:

The reason no one really takes libertarians seriously is because no one, right now anyway, can take responsibility for themselves. We have become too reliant on government in so many ways. And I also think that the LP does not really market themselves in the best light.

Yet I would imagine most people would assume that they could and that they would perceive it as a great system. People often perceive themselves as being wholly independent whilst also shedding responsibility for others.

dixon
04-17-2004, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by Person
Also, the US is really a 2 party system. Many Libertarians run as Republicans because their ideas are "too extreme" for most common people who don't know what certain policies would mean in the long run.

I agree with this position! Libertarians are often found stuck in the middle between two parties, believing in two fundamental elements of each. Many believe that they can influence government more by not making their own party, but becoming parts of elected parties.

weltall
04-17-2004, 04:09 PM
Originally posted by JigaroKagan
Yet I would imagine most people would assume that they could and that they would perceive it as a great system.

On the outside or in groups there are lots of people, if not a very high majority, who contend that they can take of themselves. But on the inside and in private, I believe many people are not that ready for change and don't want to deal with taking care of themselves.

JigaroKagan
04-17-2004, 04:15 PM
Originally posted by weltall
On the outside or in groups there are lots of people, if not a very high majority, who contend that they can take of themselves. But on the inside and in private, I believe many people are not that ready for change and don't want to deal with taking care of themselves.

I concur; it's a rather grim reality that upholds the meek.

I'm beginning to like the libertarians.

irpker
04-17-2004, 04:19 PM
The problem with the constitution was that there were few and far election laws. Therefore, state legislatures and the congress have written their own laws as far as elections go.

Since 1860, the laws have favored a two party system. The Democrats and Republicans don't compete with any other parties, besides themselves, because they don't give others a chance to compete. They beat them to the ground using all the resources available.

However, I still don't buy into the notion of a two party system. My reason being is that there's no law that says you MUST vote for a Democrat or a Republican. A secret ballot allows you to vote for whoever you want to vote for. There's nothing impeding the people's decision to vote for a Libertarian candidate, a Green Party Candidate, a Reform party candidate... etc.

dixon
04-17-2004, 04:20 PM
Where libertarians split hairs is where exactly should the government be brought down to? I personally, do not believe in the idea of anarcho-capitalism, which allows large companies to basically make their own police forces to fight other companies. It would just be economic wars.

Most libertarians agree on this reasoning:



The libertarian message can be summed up in three simple paragraphs:
That government is best which governs least.
People have the right to live their lives as they see fit, provided that they don't infringe on the equal right of others to do the same.
This means that people should be free to choose, and it also means that they -- and they alone -- should be held responsible for the consequences of their actions. This means liberty and responsibility.
Force should be used only to defend yourself, or others, or to deter threats of violence -- but never to achieve so called "social" purposes.
That excludes welfare and a host of other government programs. Why? Because they all rely on the power of a policeman's gun. (Don't believe it? Just try withholding your taxes and see what happens!)
Libertarians are working to reduce the role of government in society.

A government that was concerned only with protecting individual rights to life and property would no longer be initiating force to achieve the political or social goals of politicians and special interest groups.

Such a government would no longer be taxing one person to give to another -- or forcing their repugnant political views on you.

Does this mean libertarians are pacifists who don't believe in the right of self-defense? Of course not, in fact...

The key word is that we don't advocate the initiation of force. We believe all individuals have the right to use appropriate force to defend themselves, their families, and their country.

from Libertarian World.


I also believe that self defence from invading countries could be left to public militias. Of course they would not likely have the money to pay for a super fighter-jet, but they would likely be more efficient. All could train with efficiently manufactured rifles in ways of self-defence such as guerilla warfare, which would prevent a country from ever successfully completing an invasion. I'm also sure that if mass produced in private industry, personal helicopters or the like would be brought down to low prices, say 100,000 which a militia could purchase. The fighter jet that a government could buy may be 10x more effective, however 200x more choppers could be purchased. A country could also be taxed for a national military, however the libertarian goal is to reduce taxes as much as possible.

weltall
04-17-2004, 04:22 PM
Originally posted by JigaroKagan
I concur; it's a rather grim reality that upholds the meek.

I'm beginning to like the libertarians.

I'm glad you do, I used to be really serious about pushing the Libertarian agenda.

Until I realized that the libertarians are just like every other political party - they have their good reps, their moderates, their extremes, etc. Every political party, dare I say it even Democrats, have really intelligent and articulate figureheads. But they are really no different than any other party. On paper, superb. In reality, mediocre.

JigaroKagan
04-17-2004, 04:26 PM
Originally posted by weltall
I'm glad you do, I used to be really serious about pushing the Libertarian agenda.

Until I realized that the libertarians are just like every other political party - they have their good reps, their moderates, their extremes, etc. Every political party, dare I say it even Democrats, have really intelligent and articulate figureheads. But they are really no different than any other party. On paper, superb. In reality, mediocre.

What is your stance, then?

weltall
04-17-2004, 04:29 PM
Originally posted by JigaroKagan
What is your stance, then?

My stance on political values?

dixon
04-17-2004, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by weltall
I'm glad you do, I used to be really serious about pushing the Libertarian agenda.

Until I realized that the libertarians are just like every other political party - they have their good reps, their moderates, their extremes, etc. Every political party, dare I say it even Democrats, have really intelligent and articulate figureheads. But they are really no different than any other party. On paper, superb. In reality, mediocre.

I believe that those who are anarcho-capitalists are not really libertarian, they are anarcho-capitalist. Many are just hitching a ride with the libertarian party because they are both going the same way. I believe this is fine to do so. I also do not believe in calling those who want to invade foreign countries in offence as libertarian since it goes against the fundemental rules. This does not mean I do not support the war on Iraq in these situations, or that I do support them, as they are entirely different situations than in a libertarian society. It is likely that there would be much less threat from foreign countries if all you do is trade peacefully with them, while they rely on your economy. Borders would basically dissolve.

JigaroKagan
04-17-2004, 04:30 PM
Originally posted by weltall
My stance on political values?

Aye.

weltall
04-17-2004, 04:37 PM
I hate really confining myself to one specific type of party or ideology, BUT IF I had to call myself anything it would be a conservative libertarian.

I differ with each party accordingly:

I am pro choice, pro gay marriage, and the slight religious connotations in the Republican party give me some chills, but not much.

I differ with Libertarians over the "I hate everything the government does" - which is a very recurring theme I have noticed. I do however agree with libertarians with small government - something republicans also claim but is slowly becoming a blanket lie over both (dems, reps) parties.

I'm also very very hawkish when it comes to foreign affairs.

People tend to think that when you say you are this or that they label EVERYTHING that party has to offer on you. That's why I have trouble saying my "stances" - I really just go by situation by situation.

JigaroKagan
04-17-2004, 04:41 PM
Originally posted by weltall
I really just go by situation by situation.

Aye, so do I.

dixon
04-17-2004, 04:44 PM
One thing I don't understand is why there are so few libertarian voters when there are so many marijuana smokers :D Many people have been jailed for life for simply posession of marijuana. A man in Alabama has life for a single joint. Under libertarianism, if you're not hurting someone you have the right to decide what is healthy and unhealthy for you! It dosn't even matter if you think it is unhealthy, if it is in line with your personal life philosophy and dosn't hurt anyone else, then go for it.

weltall
04-17-2004, 04:49 PM
Yeah, I forgot to mention that I am for the legalization of drugs.

dixon
04-17-2004, 05:04 PM
Originally posted by weltall
Yeah, I forgot to mention that I am for the legalization of drugs. This is the Libertarian Party platform position:






Should We Re-Legalize Drugs?
Libertarians, like most Americans, demand to be safe at home and on the streets. Libertarians would like all Americans to be healthy and free of drug dependence. But drug laws don't help, they make things worse.

The professional politicians scramble to make names for themselves as tough anti-drug warriors, while the experts agree that the "war on drugs" has been lost, and could never be won. The tragic victims of that war are your personal liberty and its companion, responsibility. It's time to consider the re-legalization of drugs.

The Lessons of Prohibition
In the 1920's, alcohol was made illegal by Prohibition. The result: Organized Crime. Criminals jumped at the chance to supply the demand for liquor. The streets became battlegrounds. The criminals bought off law enforcement and judges. Adulterated booze blinded and killed people. Civil rights were trampled in the hopeless attempt to keep people from drinking.

When the American people saw what Prohibition was doing to them, they supported its repeal. When they succeeded, most states legalized liquor and the criminal gangs were out of the liquor business.

Today's war on drugs is a re-run of Prohibition. Approximately 40 million Americans are occasional, peaceful users of some illegal drug who are no threat to anyone. They are not going to stop. The laws don't, and can't, stop drug use.

Organized Crime Profits
Whenever there is a great demand for a product and government makes it illegal, a black market always appears to supply the demand. The price of the product rises dramatically and the opportunity for huge profits is obvious. The criminal gangs love the situation, making millions. They kill other drug dealers, along with innocent people caught in the crossfire, to protect their territory. They corrupt police and courts. Pushers sell adulterated dope and experimental drugs, causing injury and death. And because drugs are illegal, their victims have no recourse.

Crime Increases
Half the cost of law enforcement and prisons is squandered on drug related crime. Of all drug users, a relative few are addicts who commit crimes daily to supply artificially expensive habits. They are the robbers, car thieves and burglars who make our homes and streets unsafe.

An American Police State
Civil liberties suffer. We are all "suspects", subject to random urine tests, highway check points and spying into our personal finances. Your property can be seized without trial, if the police merely claim you got it with drug profits. Doing business with cash makes you a suspect. America is becoming a police state because of the war on drugs.

America Can Handle Legal Drugs
Today's illegal drugs were legal before 1914. Cocaine was even found in the original Coca-Cola recipe. Americans had few problems with cocaine, opium, heroin or marijuana. Drugs were inexpensive; crime was low. Most users handled their drug of choice and lived normal, productive lives. Addicts out of control were a tiny minority.

The first laws prohibiting drugs were racist in origin -- to prevent Chinese laborers from using opium and to prevent blacks and Hispanics from using cocaine and marijuana. That was unjust and unfair, just as it is unjust and unfair to make criminals of peaceful drug users today.

Some Americans will always use alcohol, tobacco, marijuana or other drugs. Most are not addicts, they are social drinkers or occasional users. Legal drugs would be inexpensive, so even addicts could support their habits with honest work, rather than by crime. Organized crime would be deprived of its profits. The police could return to protecting us from real criminals; and there would be room enough in existing prisons for them.

Try Personal Responsibility
It's time to re-legalize drugs and let people take responsibility for themselves. Drug abuse is a tragedy and a sickness. Criminal laws only drive the problem underground and put money in the pockets of the criminal class. With drugs legal, compassionate people could do more to educate and rehabilitate drug users who seek help. Drugs should be legal. Individuals have the right to decide for themselves what to put in their bodies, so long as they take responsibility for their actions.

From the Mayor of Baltimore, Kurt Schmoke, to conservative writer and TV personality, William F. Buckley, Jr., leading Americans are now calling for repeal of America's repressive and ineffective drug laws. The Libertarian Party urges you to join in this effort to make our streets safer and our liberties more secure.

weltall
04-17-2004, 05:09 PM
I was aware of the libertarians stance on drugs well before this thread ;)

dixon
04-17-2004, 05:15 PM
Originally posted by weltall
I was aware of the libertarians stance on drugs well before this thread ;)

I know, but I like quoting relevant threads that are prior to mine that explain to everyone why I am posting it. I did not post it to teach you.

Now I will be quoting you, and showing the Libertarian Party position on Freedom of Speach



Against
Censorship


"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. ...

We oppose any abridgment of the freedom of speech through government censorship, regulation or control of communications media, including, but not limited to, laws concerning:


Obscenity, including "pornography", as we hold this to be an abridgment of liberty of expression despite claims that it instigates rape or assault, or demeans and slanders women; ...


Electronic bulletin boards, communications networks, and other interactive electronic media as we hold them to be the functional equivalent of speaking halls and printing presses in the age of electronic communications, and as such deserving of full freedom;


Electronic newspapers, electronic "Yellow Pages", and other new information media, as these deserve full freedom. ... "

From the Libertarian Party Platform plank:
Freedom of Communication

A Principled Stand Against Censorship

The Libertarian Party is the only political party in the United States with an explicit stand against censorship of computer communications in its platform. The Libertarian Party also opposes restrictions on the development and use of cryptography.

As a political party, the LP is the only anti-censorship organization that gives you a chance to vote for freedom of speech on Election Day -- by voting for Libertarian candidates for public office.

LordNeon
04-17-2004, 05:57 PM
I don't have time to get into why I'm not a libertarian right now, but this site does make some good points against the standard libertarian arguments:

http://world.std.com/~mhuben/faq.html

dixon
04-17-2004, 06:07 PM
Originally posted by LordNeon
I don't have time to get into why I'm not a libertarian right now, but this site does make some good points against the standard libertarian arguments:

http://world.std.com/~mhuben/faq.html Not really, I went to this site when I was first confronted with libertarianism to argue against it. Now most of the points are invalid, or mainly just unrelated. Most of it claims social contract is the reason why we pay taxes. So? Being born is hardly signing a contract, but if it is, that is why libertarians are creating a political party to CHANGE this unjust contract.

CerealKiller
04-17-2004, 06:38 PM
I'm an independent but I agree quite emphatically with several libertarian positions. Some I hold in suspicion.

Since I consider American conservatism to be a menace to America -- I am happy the Libertarians are alive and kicking. I wish them continued success.

Fundamentals
04-17-2004, 10:34 PM
i think the liberatarian is a nice idea and all but what if some people can't afford certain things that the government provides them? In a liberatarian government then i guess they would be screwed?

Please explain this

weltall
04-17-2004, 10:36 PM
Originally posted by Fundamentals
i think the liberatarian is a nice idea and all but what if some people can't afford certain things that the government provides them? In a liberatarian government then i guess they would be screwed?

Please explain this

The libertarian response would be that we shouldn't have become this dependent upon government to where "we are screwed" if large, mainly useless, portions of government goes away.

dixon
04-17-2004, 11:15 PM
Originally posted by Fundamentals
i think the liberatarian is a nice idea and all but what if some people can't afford certain things that the government provides them? In a liberatarian government then i guess they would be screwed?

Please explain this

A Vision of a Free Society, Part 1
by Jacob G. Hornberger, February 1997

If we abolish public schooling, then how will the poor be educated? If drug laws are repealed, won't everyone go on drugs? If Social Security is abolished, won't old people starve to death? If we don't have Medicare and Medicaid, how would anyone afford decent medical care? If we don't have licensing, won't quacks be performing heart surgery? If we don't have a Food and Drug Administration, won't Safeway sell rotten food?

What would happen if all of the government operations that take money from one person and give it to another and that regulate peaceful behavior were abolished? What would a such a society look like?

This series of essays — "A Vision of a Free Society" — will be devoted to presenting the positive case for freedom. It will examine the workings of an unhampered market economy — one in which individuals are free to accumulate unlimited amounts of wealth; free to live their lives any way they want, so long as they do so peacefully; and free to dispose of their money any way they see fit.

Would there be chaos or harmony in such a society? Would there be prosperity or poverty? Would such a society be moral or immoral? Caring or selfish? How would it all work if government officials were not directing and restricting people's lives and fortunes?

But before beginning this project, it is instructive to analyze the depth to which Americans are dependent on the modern-day, socialistic welfare state. The thought of abolishing, rather than simply reforming, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schooling, and the like sends shivers down the spines of our fellow citizens. The mind-set of dependency on welfare-state programs is as pervasive as it is among the citizens of Cuba and North Korea, perhaps even more so, since Americans view these programs as "capitalism," while the people in communist countries view them for what they really are — socialism.

Part of the problem is that most Americans living today have never seen a truly unhampered market economy. There are not many Americans alive today who lived before 1913 — before income taxation, a central bank, Social Security, economic regulations, Medicare, Medicaid, and so forth. When a person has grown up under a certain set of conditions — especially ones that have been described as "freedom" — the thought of abolishing those conditions is quite frightening.

It is not surprising that, given a choice, the average North Korean would never give up his Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and public schooling. It is also not surprising to me that the average American of today would not do so either.

The status quo appears safe and secure. Freedom appears risky and unpredictable, and this frightens people. They honestly feel more secure in the knowledge that government is there and "doing something" than in the vicissitudes of the market economy.

Let's take a hypothetical example. Suppose during the New Deal that national, state, and local governments had begun extensive regulation of all restaurants in the country and that this regulation had continued through the present. It is not difficult to imagine the difficult task a libertarian would face in persuading his fellow Americans to repeal all of the restaurant legislation.

Average American : Are you joking? Are you honestly saying that the law requiring tipping should be repealed?

Libertarian : That's exactly what I'm saying.

Average American : Why that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. How would waiters and waitresses live if the law didn't require people to leave at least 10 percent of the bill as a tip?

Libertarian : I believe that you could depend on most people to do the right thing — to leave a tip when the service warranted it.

Average American : You libertarians are utopians! People would never leave tips if they weren't forced to. And certainly out-of-town tourists would have no incentive to do so. Why, under your idealistic system, there would no longer be waiters and waitresses because they'd all starve to death.

Libertarian : Well, how about repealing licensing of cooks?

Average American : You can't really be serious. You would let just anyone be a cook in a public restaurant? Oh, great! Under your system, any mass murderer in the country could just walk into any restaurant, become the cook, and drop arsenic in everybody's food.

Libertarian : I believe you could count on the market process to ferret this out. Restaurant owners would have an incentive to hire good chefs in order to attract more customers to their restaurants. The hiring of a bad chef would certainly not be in their interest. You really don't need government to certify whether a person is a good cook or not.

Average American : Under your system of anarchy, no one in his right mind would ever walk into any restaurant whose cook had not been licensed by the government. Restaurants would simply go out of business.

Libertarian : How would you feel about abolishing government-owned restaurants for the poor?

Average American : What exactly do you have against the poor? Do you hate the poor? If you abolished government restaurants, where would the poor eat? You libertarians ought to be ashamed of yourselves.

Libertarian : Don't you feel that the market process would generate restaurants for poor people?

Average American : Stop being so idealistic. If government didn't own and operate restaurants for the indigent, people would be starving in the streets.

Libertarian : Would you at least agree that the national government's Department of Restaurants should be abolished?

Average America : Look, I'm in favor of getting rid of the waste, fraud, and abuse in the Department of Restaurants. But there is no way I'd ever support abolishing the entire department.

Libertarian : Why?

Average American : Because there would be chaos if the government weren't overseeing the operation of restaurants in America. How could we be certain that each restaurant would have the right types and amounts of food if the government weren't directing how food was to be distributed to each restaurant? Some restaurants would end up with all of the bad food or the wrong food or, worst of all, no food at all. Moreover, imagine what would happen if the government weren't directing where restaurants could be built. Why you'd probably have four different hamburger places competing at the same intersection. What a waste of resources that would be! The free market is fine — and I'm the biggest free-enterpriser you'd ever find — but you can't leave the restaurant business to the laws of supply and demand.

Libertarian : Well, Republicans and Democrats are now talking about ending restaurant regulation and welfare as we know it . They want to return the whole thing to the state and local governments.

Average American : Well, I might be willing to support that. The state and local restaurant boards are closer to the people. And the citizenry gets to elect the local restaurant-board trustees. It's really good to see that Democrats and Republicans are finally moving in a free-enterprise direction.

Libertarian : But wouldn't a truly free-market approach entail abolishing all of the departments, agencies, and laws — national, state, and local?

Average American : The trouble with you libertarians is that you always want to throw the baby out with the bath water. There's nothing wrong with government overseeing the restaurant business. We just have to work together — get better people in public office — elect Christians — restore morality and responsibility to America — and we'll finally make the various departments of restaurants do a much better job in the future. Stop criticizing and start making it happen! We Americans are a can-do people. We can make anything work, even government ownership or control over the means of production, especially when we call it "free enterprise."

Libertarian : Well, it seems like I'm having a tough time convincing you of the merits of libertarianism.

Average American : It's just that you libertarians are so cold, cruel, and heartless. Forget your idealism and be practical. Look, why don't you start with something easy — like ending public schools. It's foolish to begin with something as important as food!

The problem we libertarians face in America, then, is multifaceted. It's an economic problem because the regulated economy is so destructive to the economic well-being of society. It is political because the modern-day, socialistic welfare state and government-controlled economy cannot be repealed without the support of the majority of the citizenry. It is moral because of the political stealing that underlies the welfare state and the interference with free will that underlies the regulated society.

And it is psychological. While the proponents of central planning and control may debate endlessly about the merits of such socialist schemes as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, public schooling, income taxation, and the like, there is one truth that is irrefutable: The American people are hooked on this junk and cannot let it go. And at the core of the addiction to this political heroin is a lack of faith in themselves and in each other.

dixon
04-17-2004, 11:17 PM
Look at the faith that Americans have in bureaucrats and government agencies. They honestly believe that their food is safe because of government. That their planes are safe because of government. That lawyers and doctors are competent because of government. That their children are educated because of government. That the elderly are taken care of because of government. Their faith in the state — in bureaucrats and bureaucracies — is total and unwavering.

Yet ask them about abolishing the FDA, the FAA, licensing laws, public schooling, Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid. Their lack of faith in themselves, their friends, and their neighbors becomes immediately manifest. "Private people are malicious, selfish, and self-centered. They'll let people starve the death — and especially their own parents. They'll inject drugs into their children and certainly won't get them educated. They'll let quacks perform open-heart surgery. No, you can't trust private people because they're just not like our bureaucrats — they think only of themselves and hate everyone else."

Ultimately, the American people must come to grips with their own internal doubts about themselves, their friends and neighbors, and their heritage of an unhampered market economy. As their faith in the state continues to wane in the face of increasing government failures, we can hope that Americans will begin to look inward in an attempt to resolve the doubts they have about themselves. As they raise their self-esteem, individuals will also begin to believe more in others, for when one thinks more highly of himself, he thinks more highly of others, as well.

As this process continues to unfold — and as our fellow Americans begin discovering their libertarian heritage — they will begin asking the questions that we libertarians have asked ourselves for decades. What would a free society look like? How would it work? How would the market process function? Who would benefit? Would the poor be left out? Can the free market really succeed?

The following series of essays will attempt to provide answers to these questions.

Mr. Hornberger is founder and president of The Future of Freedom Foundation.

http://www.fff.org/freedom/0297a.asp

Fundamentals
04-17-2004, 11:24 PM
true.

The Kurgan
04-18-2004, 10:04 AM
I keep finding Adam Smith's name being connected to Liberatarianism. It's a disgrace- just because he was for Laissez-Faire goverement and Free Market economy does not make him a liberatarian. I heard one person describe liberatarianism as "Anarchism for the rich" which I like.

Debaser
04-18-2004, 02:29 PM
What's are their views on taxes?

JigaroKagan
04-18-2004, 02:30 PM
Originally posted by Debaser
What's are their views on taxes?

Is this a joke? :(

dixon
04-18-2004, 04:13 PM
http://www.freestateproject.org/index.jsp


This is a project to create the first free state. I thought Id get the publicity out.

dixon
04-18-2004, 04:20 PM
New Hampshire named most-livable state for 2004

CONCORD New Hampshire has been named the most-livable state for 2004, finally dethroning Minnesota, which had held the honor for the past seven years.
"Were thrilled that the rest of the country now knows what Granite State citizens have known for years that New Hampshire is the absolute best place to live, work and raise a family," state Department of Resources and Economic Development Commissioner George Bald said.

"Our quality of life is unparalleled, the scenic beauty of our rivers and mountains is breathtaking and our economy is entrepreneurial and innovative. New Hampshire has a lot to be proud of and were going to have to work even harder this year to remain number one," Bald said.

New Hampshire was named the "2004 Most Livable State" by Morgan Quitno Press for its entrepreneurial economy, low crime rate and high quality of life.

For 14 years Morgan Quitno Press has issued its "Most Livable State Award." The 2004 award is based on 44 factors ranging from median household income to crime rate, sunny days to infant mortality rate. For this years award, two factors were dropped: a state cost of living index that is no longer published and the divorce rate. Another three factors were added personal bankruptcy rate, rate of public libraries and percentage of female-headed families with children living in poverty.

Debaser
04-18-2004, 04:32 PM
Originally posted by JigaroKagan
Is this a joke? :(

No, it's not. I am a little conflicted on their personal views. Do libertarians think that there shouldn't be any taxes or just very few?

JigaroKagan
04-18-2004, 04:38 PM
Originally posted by Debaser
No, it's not. I am a little conflicted on their personal views. Do libertarians think that there shouldn't be any taxes or just very few?

Ah, so I see. It's merely that taxes are such a big issue to them that I would think everyone knew how they felt so I thought you were ****ing around.

I'm uncertain, let's ask Dixon; Dixon, few or no taxes? :D

dixon
04-18-2004, 05:26 PM
Originally posted by JigaroKagan
Ah, so I see. It's merely that taxes are such a big issue to them that I would think everyone knew how they felt so I thought you were ****ing around.

I'm uncertain, let's ask Dixon; Dixon, few or no taxes? :D Ultimately it would be most fair for none, or some type of judicial system that produces fines of criminals to pay for itself. However, most libertarians believe in reducing taxes to a level of 1-2%, while this is technically still unfair it is alot less unfair than what goes on now. As well, it helps maintain some efficiency. I think a combination of criminal fines and a 0.25% tax could probably bay for a judicial system, or a 1.75% tax to pay for a judicial system including police.

dixon
04-18-2004, 05:38 PM
The philosophy of liberty multimedia presentation

http://www.lpnh.org/liberty1.htm

Starsky
04-18-2004, 05:40 PM
Yes, Libertarians are right. Republicans are becoming government expansion-lite, while Democrats are continuing the age old Crusade for expanded government and against individual rights.

Debaser
04-18-2004, 07:34 PM
Originally posted by dixon
Ultimately it would be most fair for none, or some type of judicial system that produces fines of criminals to pay for itself. However, most libertarians believe in reducing taxes to a level of 1-2%, while this is technically still unfair it is alot less unfair than what goes on now. As well, it helps maintain some efficiency. I think a combination of criminal fines and a 0.25% tax could probably bay for a judicial system, or a 1.75% tax to pay for a judicial system including police.

What about schools, roads, hospitals, etc.? How might these be paid for? Do you expect each person to moderate themselves and give money to fund these programs?

Debaser
04-18-2004, 07:36 PM
Originally posted by Starsky
Yes, Libertarians are right. Republicans are becoming government expansion-lite, while Democrats are continuing the age old Crusade for expanded government and against individual rights.

I think most Republicans are a bit more against individual rights than Democrats. I am sure plenty people would agree with me on this statement.

dixon
04-18-2004, 09:56 PM
Originally posted by Debaser
I think most Republicans are a bit more against individual rights than Democrats. I am sure plenty people would agree with me on this statement. Yes, I converted from being a liberal-type person to being a libertarian. Most of the liberal, left-wing are more relaxed on personal rights than republicans, however they are much more restrictive on economic rights. Take for example the Patriot Acts, and not supporting gay marriage as Republican personal rights restrictions. However, I'd have to say other than libertarians, the green party is the most relaxed on individual rights.

dixon
04-18-2004, 10:06 PM
Originally posted by Debaser
What about schools, roads, hospitals, etc.? How might these be paid for? Do you expect each person to moderate themselves and give money to fund these programs? Check out the libertarian party platforms

Starsky
04-18-2004, 10:10 PM
Originally posted by Debaser
I think most Republicans are a bit more against individual rights than Democrats. I am sure plenty people would agree with me on this statement.


If your talking about a definition of "rights"..as in an entitlement to decent healthcare, food, housing, a decent job, along with prescription drugs, and tax money if your a gay couple then yes your correct.


But if your talking about undeniable rights to keep your own money, own your own property, the right to keep and bear, the right to live your own life with as little government interference as possible. Your wrong. Individual rights, economic freedom, keeping government under control are all facets of Libertarianism, not modern Democrats.


Both parties are guilty of Statism, but the Democrats take it to a whole new level.

dixon
04-18-2004, 10:18 PM
If your talking about a definition of "rights"..as in an entitlement to decent healthcare, food, housing, a decent job, along with prescription drugs, and tax money if your a gay couple then yes your correct.

*****First of all, you lump in individual rights with economic restriction here.


But if your talking about undeniable rights to keep your own money, own your own property, the right to keep and bear, the right to live your own life with as little government interference as possible. Your wrong. Individual rights, economic freedom, keeping government under control are all facets of Libertarianism, not modern Democrats.

*********He is noting that Democrats leave more individual rights and less economic rights. Things like the war on drugs, etc is intensified under the republicans, which is under individual restrictions. However the republicans are less restrictive economically, as you've already touted.

Both parties are guilty of Statism, but the Democrats take it to a whole new level.

****Hehe, thats why many libertarians refer to both as Republicrats.

Debaser
04-19-2004, 12:17 AM
Originally posted by Starsky
If your talking about a definition of "rights"..as in an entitlement to decent healthcare, food, housing, a decent job, along with prescription drugs, and tax money if your a gay couple then yes your correct.


But if your talking about undeniable rights to keep your own money, own your own property, the right to keep and bear, the right to live your own life with as little government interference as possible. Your wrong. Individual rights, economic freedom, keeping government under control are all facets of Libertarianism, not modern Democrats.


Both parties are guilty of Statism, but the Democrats take it to a whole new level.

Yes, it does depend on the definition of rights. Yours seem to be more economically driven.

axiombiological
04-19-2004, 01:18 AM
Originally posted by The Kurgan
I keep finding Adam Smith's name being connected to Liberatarianism. It's a disgrace- just because he was for Laissez-Faire goverement and Free Market economy does not make him a liberatarian.

They do not claim that Smith was a Libertarian, but that his ideas support some of the Libertarian viewpoints.


I heard one person describe liberatarianism as "Anarchism for the rich" which I like.

While it may have been described this way, is this truly accurate? What evidence supports this description?

axiombiological
04-19-2004, 01:26 AM
Originally posted by Debaser
What about schools, roads, hospitals, etc.? How might these be paid for? Do you expect each person to moderate themselves and give money to fund these programs?

Most level-headed Libertarians view acceptable taxation as what was enumerated in the Constitution, which denies the possibility of an income tax. Most Libertarians accept consumption taxes, since sales taxes are essentially voluntary, if one does not wish to pay the tax, then they have the right to not purchase the item (obviously there will be some prioritization and certain items will be bought, thus paying the taxes, such as in the cases of food, clothes, etc.). State income taxes are evils to be accepted, since the Constitution granted the states all of the powers not granted to Congress. But the idea of republicanism allowed for the greater control over local government, thus reducing the potential of abuse at the state and local levels.

Nearly all Libertarians are against the Federal Income tax, due to the inherently immoral nature of it and its contribution to expanding the power of the Federal government.

Ruhanv
04-19-2004, 06:31 AM
Libertarianism is a great ideal and is indeed what served to be the bedrock of the constitution. One has to remember though that it was written in a different time and climate.

The major problem with a modern country that uses a liberatarian system, is that you do not live in an international vacuum. There is a principle that when you have a group of nations, the stronger ones will always seek to dominate, and/or exploit the weaker ones. In a perfect world this would not be the case but we don't live in a perfect world.

A true libertarian state espouses self-protection as the only form of law enforcement as well as national security. As such a true libertarian state will eventually become dominated by another nation. The only way a libertarian state could work would be if all other states started using the same system at the same time which is obviously unrealistic.

Having said that, there are still many libertarian principles that can be employed in a modern constitution that are definetely worth while.

The Kurgan
04-19-2004, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by axiombiological
While it may have been described this way, is this truly accurate? What evidence supports this description?

Well, Anarchism's main feature is an anti-govermental stance. To Anarchists, less is more when it comes to goverment. This also seems to be true to Libertarian's, who see goverment as a money-sapping force that interfers with their business. However, Libertarianism does not require it's adherents to accept views such as Commune's, elimination of property etc. etc. Libertarianism offers people the chance to get rich, without the goverment interfering.

You'll never meet a rich Anarchist (unless they live with their parents at 19 and rarely see sunlight) because Anarchism, like Biblical Christianity, has a spirit of financial equality. The only people who want everyone to be equal are those who aren't well off now, and who feel they could be better off if they were equal with everyone else.

I think. But I could be wrong, I'm cynical of every ideal because it requires me to compromise my intellectual honesty, but I'm pretty sure the above is more or less correct.

Bad Words
04-19-2004, 11:47 AM
Originally posted by Ruhanv
The major problem with a modern country that uses a liberatarian system, is that you do not live in an international vacuum. There is a principle that when you have a group of nations, the stronger ones will always seek to dominate, and/or exploit the weaker ones. In a perfect world this would not be the case but we don't live in a perfect world.

A true libertarian state espouses self-protection as the only form of law enforcement as well as national security. As such a true libertarian state will eventually become dominated by another nation. The only way a libertarian state could work would be if all other states started using the same system at the same time which is obviously unrealistic.
A citizen militia would be a stronger defense than all of our militaries. The prominence of weapons among citizens is the reason mainland U.S. was not struck by Japan during WWII, and is what also protected Sweden then and until now. With guns in about half of all U.S. households, I don't think we're going to be dominated anytime soon, and it's not because of our military.

axiombiological
04-19-2004, 04:21 PM
Originally posted by Ruhanv
Libertarianism is a great ideal and is indeed what served to be the bedrock of the constitution. One has to remember though that it was written in a different time and climate.

The major problem with a modern country that uses a liberatarian system, is that you do not live in an international vacuum. There is a principle that when you have a group of nations, the stronger ones will always seek to dominate, and/or exploit the weaker ones. In a perfect world this would not be the case but we don't live in a perfect world.

A true libertarian state espouses self-protection as the only form of law enforcement as well as national security. As such a true libertarian state will eventually become dominated by another nation. The only way a libertarian state could work would be if all other states started using the same system at the same time which is obviously unrealistic.

Having said that, there are still many libertarian principles that can be employed in a modern constitution that are definetely worth while.

As Bad Word has mentioned, Sweden with its non-existent military, has not been dominated by any other nation. There is no necessity for a Libertarian nation to discard all military spending, since our system allows for spending for national defense. We could still design weapons, have voluntary military service, but maintain neutrality in regards to world affairs. Such a stance would more than likely prevent us from being targets of other nations. The middle east despises us mainly for our constant intervention in this region, I don't see Al Quada attacking Australia; stay out of this area and we have less problem with attack.

Maintain a military for homeland defense and protect the individual's right to own weapons. Man will fight when his home is attacked, he has reason to be mobilized, Afghanistan proved this during the Soviet invasion of their country.

Debaser
04-19-2004, 09:53 PM
Originally posted by axiombiological
Man will fight when his home is attacked, he has reason to be mobilized, Afghanistan proved this during the Soviet invasion of their country.

Afghanistan got help from the US. This isn't really a prime example.

irpker
04-19-2004, 10:18 PM
Let's say there's a miracle, and for two-four years, there's a Libertarian controlled Congress and executive branch, and no interference from the Supreme Court, I can see some goals being achieved.

1) I'm 100% sure that the war on drugs will end, felons who were convicted on a drug-related crime will be pardoned, and the DEA will be done away with.

2) Another definite is the end of the federal education department. Education is a state's choice, not the federal government. They contribute very little in funds, yet demand a universal standard as if a student in one state is similar to a student in another, due to their "central planning" skills.

3) Corporate Income tax will be abolished and Corporate tax subsidies will also be done away with as well.

4) Severe changes in foreign policy. I can envision the closure of military bases domestic and foreign, and a small contraction of the military. Also, foreign aid will be done away with, completely.

5) Severe reduction in Income tax.

There are many other changes the LP would make, but these are probably the most important to them.