Author Topic: Libertarians  (Read 137365 times)

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Offline Jokster

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Libertarians
« on: June 22, 2006, 23:25:21 »
www.libertarian.ca

Check out this political party and vote for them the next chance you get



P.S., why was my account messed with for my Smokers! thread. Lol. I wasn't meaning to troll.  :salute:


Offline recceguy

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2006, 01:25:55 »
The fact that you admit not wanting to, without being accused, goes a long way to proving you were and knew exactly what you were doing.

You've been warned. Consider yourself at the top of the ladder, on the edge of the ramp, at the end of your rope, looking down into the abyss, going, going....................

Go read the guidelines, savour what you garner there. You won't recieve another warning.
At the core of liberalism is the spoiled child – miserable, as all spoiled children are, unsatisfied, demanding, ill-disciplined, despotic and useless. Liberalism is a philosophy of sniveling brats.
-P.J. O’Rouke-


DISCLAIMER - my opinion may cause manginal irritation.

Offline The_Pipes

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2006, 01:40:08 »
http://www.libertarian.ca/english/positions-defence-foreign.html

Everything there seems a tad on the isolationist side  ::)

Quote
"Because we believe that every individual is entitled to keep the product of his or her labour, we oppose, as a violation of individual rights, all government activity which consists of the forcible collection of money or goods from citizens.

Specifically, we support the repeal of all taxation. Pending such repeal, we are opposed to the use of criminal sanctions against tax evaders, and support unconditional amnesty for all persons convicted of violating tax law.

We oppose, as involuntary servitude, any legal requirements forcing employers or business owners to serve as tax collectors for any government agency.

We support a system of fees for services rendered, and collection of voluntary donations, as methods for financing government services in a free society"


Oh my... that's hilarious!

Their government policies seem to be do nothing internationally... and equally nothing nationally. Anarchist party anyone? At least that kind of a party would be blatant about doing nothing for anybody.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2006, 01:52:31 by The_Pipes »

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2006, 13:23:51 »
Libertarianism is the political philosophy which allows the individual the most scope to work for their own benefit. As such, Libertarians are only in favor of such rules and government that protect their rights, and prevent other people from infringing on them. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian for more details

Libertarians do support a police and Armed Forces, but strictly for defensive purposes (i.e. prevent criminals from stealing their property or foreign nations from imposing their rules over a Libertarian population). A Libertarian nation might resemble Switzerland, in that every citizen has the means to defend himself and his community available in his/her own house.

As a practical matter, I adhere to "small l" Libertarianism, since voluntary associations of like minded people have real limitations when it comes to building large projects like infrastructure, or hunting criminals across jurisdictional boundaries.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline paracowboy

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2006, 13:36:19 »
As a practical matter, I adhere to "small l" Libertarianism, since voluntary associations of like minded people have real limitations when it comes to building large projects like infrastructure, or hunting criminals across jurisdictional boundaries.
as do I. Or perhaps I fall under Classical Liberalism, more.
...time to cull the herd.

Offline Hot Lips

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2006, 17:44:27 »
as do I. Or perhaps I fall under Classical Liberalism, more.
Classic(al)...yes yes that is a word I would use to define the cowboy  ;D

HL
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Offline Zip

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #6 on: July 14, 2006, 18:16:12 »
as do I. Or perhaps I fall under Classical Liberalism, more.

Agreed, classic liberalism is a preferable niche.  Before current day "Liberals" corrupted the word to refer to the nanny state, liberalism was that sweet spot where social liberty and fiscal conservatism met.
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #7 on: July 18, 2006, 01:06:49 »
Canadian Libertarians are a sometimes active bunch, although not in sufficient numbers to challenge the ruling orthadoxy (yet....)

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig5/cust3.html

Quote
Apathetic Libertarians in Canada
by Michael Cust

"All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." ~ Edmund Burke

Introduction

There is a growing subgroup of libertarians in the True North, Strong and Free that practice rigid apathy. They rarely so much as place a phone call, write a letter, or donate a dollar in the name of liberty. Their inertia is premised on their belief that the fight for liberty is hopeless. ‘No matter what any freedom fighter does,’ they argue, ‘the state continues to expand, so why bother doing anything.’ That is, activism has no effect, so why waste your life agitating for something that will never come about. Instead, they devote their energies wholly to non-political pursuits: career, hobbies, families, etc. I’ll grant them that the fight for liberty is steep, but it is not hopeless. In what follows, I examine two aspects of Canada’s apathetic libertarians: their development and their version of "activism." I argue that their thought is flawed and they should terminate their self-righteous indolence and fight for their freedom.

Development of apathy

The development of this anti-movement is rooted in the history of Canadian politics, especially the growth of free-market policies in three conservative political parties in the 1990s: 1) the Reform Party of Canada, a Western Canadian populist party that brought together populists, religious conservatives (what Canadians euphemistically term "social conservatives"), and libertarians, 2) the first two terms of Ralph Klein’s Progressive Conservatives in Alberta (APC), and 3) the two terms of Mike Harris’ Progressive Conservatives in Ontario (OPC).

Libertarians joined these three parties in the early 1990s. To understand why they did so, some Canadian political history must be considered. Canadian politics have taken a different course than either American or British politics. In American politics, the welfare state was born in the 1930s and it essentially went unchallenged until Ronald Reagan became President in the 1980s. Britain was similar: the welfare started somewhat earlier and went unquestioned until Margaret Thatcher’s election in 1979.

Canada, by contrast, was slower to develop its welfare state. During the Great Depression, Conservative Prime Minister R.B. Bennett attempted a Canadian version of Roosevelt’s New Deal, including a minimum wage, a maximum number of working hours per week, unemployment insurance, health insurance, an expanded pension programme, and grants to farmers. The provinces fought him legally on his changes arguing that welfare is a matter of property and civil rights and hence as per section 92 of the British North America Act – Canada’s constitution – provincial jurisdiction. The case made it to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in England, at the time Canada’s highest court. The court agreed with the province’s argument and struck down most of Bennett’s welfare programs. This is not to say that Canada did not have a welfare state, it did. There were a few welfare benefits, a monopoly wheat board, and several crown corporations (government-owned businesses). This welfare state was expanded upon in the 1940s and 1950s.

But radical change came in the 1960s when the then struggling Liberal Party of Canada decided to trade its (by then watered-down) classical liberal platform for a welfare statist agenda in hopes of gaining more votes. The change proved profitable. Further, in cases where their new, larger vote total was not enough to obtain a majority (i.e. control of Parliament), the social democratic New Democratic Party (NDP) was all too happy to use their balance of power – i.e. deciding number of votes – to push the Liberals further down the socialist road. This led to two decades – the 1960s and 1970s – of radical state expansion. Government developed unemployment insurance, student loans, government health insurance (including government-operated hospitals), significant gun controls that were heretofore non-existent (e.g. licensing of owners, a ban on automatic weapons, removal of self-defence as a legitimate reason for purchasing a weapon (all in the late 1970s)), a government-owned oil company, a minimum wage, a 40-hour workweek, a pension plan, and other socialist programs, businesses, and controls. In effect, Canada very quickly went from being perhaps the freest country in the English-speaking world to arguably taking the lead in the race to the bottom.

When the 1980s rolled around and Britain and the United States were voting to throw off 50 or more years of welfare statism, Canada only partly followed. With socialism being newer and its negative effects likely not as strongly felt, Canadians elected Brian Mulroney, a Progressive Conservative whose ideological opposition to the welfare state was significantly less potent. Though he privatised some crown corporations (e.g. Air Canada and Canada Post outlets), signed a "free-trade" agreement with the U.S., and ended cumbersome foreign investment restrictions, his knife never made Thatcher-esqe incisions into Leviathan.

In the late 80s and early 90s, the economic scat started to hit the fan, so to speak. Provincial governments and their federal counterpart struggled to pay for the costs of Canada’s opulent welfare state. In the provinces of Alberta and Ontario, Canada’s two foremost economic engines, voters elected two premiers, Ralph Klein (APC) and Mike Harris (OPC), that started privatising/closing, or reducing the funding of, a sizeable number of government programs. They also balanced budgets and began paying off provincial debts. Concurrently, Western alienation (i.e. discontent based on perceived indifference to Western Canada) and general unpopularity lead to the literal collapse of the Mulroney’s Progressive Conservatives. In response, the Reform Party was set up. It promised to sell off a great deal of government enterprises and reduce government involvement in the lives of Canadians. Mulroney’s Progressive Conservatives were replaced by a Liberal government, which, though still welfare liberal in ideology, began balancing their budgets, paying off the federal debt, and reducing government funding to various state departments.

Enter the libertarians. This petit free-market revolution was a pleasant surprise for them. Here the country seemed to be awaking from its welfare statist comma. Libertarians moved in large numbers to join all three parties (depending on their province of residence). In fact, the move to Reform, in particular, was so great that the federal Libertarian party collapsed after the 1993 federal election. Follow this link and scroll down.

But the lustre soon wore off. Alberta and Ontario’s Progressive Conservatives cutting created economic prosperity, which those provincial governments began spending (instead of further cutting taxes and returning the money to taxpayers). Concomitantly, the Reform Party wanted to break out of its Western electoral base so it began to moderate its platform. (The party eventually merged with what was left of Mulroney’s Progressive Conservatives to become the Conservative Party of Canada, which though more free-market and pro-gun than Mulroney’s party is still a far cry from the more radical Reform Party.) Finally, the political effects of September 11th seemed like a final nail in the coffin for many libertarians’ association with Canada’s political right. The Reform/Conservative party began to turn their attention to growing security/military state, leaving many of their free-market ideas behind. As a result, libertarians were left disheartened and feeling dejected. Sizeable numbers swore off politics entirely. The federal Libertarian party, now alive again, is a far cry from its pre-1993 levels.

Apathy’s effects on activism

But of course party politics are not the only measure of political involvement, nor does a libertarian have to join a political party to effect political change. A person can write letters to the local paper, compose academic papers, hold conferences or speaking events, or participate in political rallies.

However, the eclipse of Canada’s petit free-market revolution has seemed to affect participation in these activities as well. In Alberta, libertarian groups made up of mostly former federal Reformers and/or provincial Conservatives, used to hold first-rate libertarian speaking events. These well-attended speaking events would bring together famous libertarian activists, academics, and journalists to discuss a freedom-related topic for an evening. (Full disclosure: I attended many of them. And they were, in quality, on par with events one would attend at the Mises Institute or the Cato Institute. (Further full disclosure: I’ve interned at Cato and I have twice been a fellow at the Mises Institute.)) The most famous of these events was an annual 4th of July speaking event that celebrated not America, but the idea that inspired its founding: individual liberty. It usually brought together one high-profile American libertarian together with a well-known Canadian Austrian school journalist. People I knew used to mark if off on the event off on their calendars, then it disappeared.

Libertarians in the Maritimes seem to have been affected by a similar activist apathy. But because the movement there is smaller, it is difficult for me to address the lack of activities without outing people. I’ll just say that some great political analysis and activist action has been lost.

There are strong exceptions to this lack of non-partisan activism, especially in British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec, that I will touch on later in not the next section, but the one following.

Anti-Activism Arguments

So what activism do apathetic libertarians (especially in Alberta and the Maritimes) engage in if they are not holding events, writing letters, or attending rallies? In short, they do nothing. But like any group with strong ethical convictions, they have a defence of their chosen course. It is made up of two arguments: one reason concerns partisan political involvement, the other activism.

Voting for the Libertarian Party: by participating in elections, one sanctions the state’s rights violations by participating in the process that legitimises its power. (Reply: the state receives its legitimacy from the vote totals of the major parties that support it, not the process per se. If the Libertarians received 30% of the vote, the legitimacy of the welfare-warfare state would be in question. But I’ll concede, with one caveat, that one does not have to vote or run for office to make a difference: if Ron Paul or another strong libertarian candidate is running for office, one should vote for them.)

Writing letters and organising speaking events: they affect no real change so why bother? (Reply: these activities may not produce large numbers of libertarians, but they do incline their audiences toward freedom and, further, they strengthen the stand of those who are pro-freedom on particular issues. In short, they do produce change, just not radical change. Don’t expect revolutionary change from non-revolutionary activity.)

As an alternative to activism, the positive programme of apathetic Canucks is to "live free." This entails living according to libertarian ethics until some imagined fateful day when the state comes to take them away. Murray Rothbard has addressed this type of pompous defeatism, which he labels "retreatism," in his essay "On Resisting Evil." He writes,

The rationale for retreatism always comes couched in High Moral as well as pseudo-psychological terms. These "purists," for example, claim that they, in contrast to us benighted fighters… are "living liberty" and living a "pure libertarian life," whereas we grubby souls are still living in the corrupt and contaminated real world. For years, I have been replying to these sets of retreatists that the real world, after all, is good; that we libertarians may be anti-State, but that we are emphatically not anti-society or opposed to the real world, however contaminated it might be. We propose to continue to fight to save the values and the principles and the people we hold dear, even though the battlefield may get muddy.

Theories of libertarianism assume that humans are by nature social animals and that their life as members of society is beneficial to them by their own estimation. Libertarianism is after all a theory of rules for society. If you care about liberty, your actions have to be directed towards improving social relations. If you wish to exist by ignoring society, you are defending something other than libertarianism.

Other apathetic types propose moving to a U.S. state that is more pro-freedom than any of the Canadian provinces. They propose a state that is without seat-belt laws (and other petty restrictions), that has low taxes, and few gun controls. But this, of course, is playing into the state’s divide-and-conquer strategy. Freedom causes are divided along left and right lines for a reason. When in power, the left destroys the freedoms praised by the right, while mildly increasing left freedoms. Vice versa when the right is in power. This enables government to grow while pitting those who most care about freedom into competing camps that care little for their particular cause.

In America, the right gains power more, while in Canada, the left. Sure freedom-friendly states are better on the issues of import to those who propose moving to them, but all of America, including those states, is worse in ways that Canada is not. The U.S. justice system, should one ever cross it, is far more right-usurping, cruel, and contemptuous of the rule of law than is Canada’s. The U.S. surveillance state is far more active. And then there is America’s drug war, likely the most anti-freedom domestic public policy in the Western world. Sure, given their lifestyle, these particular apathetic libertarians would have little to fear in America, but remember we must band together to protect all freedoms. If we pick and choose, we lose.

Many active libertarians in Canada

Based on what I’ve written, don’t get a dark picture of Canada as a land of indolent libertarians. There are many noble exceptions in Canada. In Quebec, there is Le Quebecois Libre, a weekly webzine in French and English that is the main libertarian publication of the French-speaking world. Le Quebecois Libre group also holds an annual liberty-oriented university similar to Mises University, but admittedly smaller. They also host regular speaking events.

Their activism, and that of other Quebec libertarians, has paid off. Recently, a Quebec doctor successfully argued in front of the Supreme Court of Canada that his province’s ban on private healthcare should be overturned – a decision that applies to the entire country. The doctor is sympathetic to libertarians and is no doubt influenced by Quebec’s amis de liberté.

In Ontario, my friend Peter Jaworski hosts one of the best libertarian events I have had the pleasure of attending: the Liberty Summer Seminar. It takes place on his estate outside of Toronto. Every year, he invites Canada’s top libertarian and pro-freedom academics, journalists, and activists to give talks during the day, while a pro-freedom band (and his mom!) rocks out in the evening. The event is annual and will be held next at the end of this month.

In British Columbia, the West Coast Libertarian Foundation regularly holds libertarian supper speaking events in Greater Vancouver. There is also libertarian cannabis activist Marc Emery who publishes Cannabis Culture magazine. He is still agitating for liberty even now as he fights his extradition to the United States.

Conclusion

Canada has one of the world’s most active libertarian communities. The political events of the 1990s and early 2000s seem to have deadened the movement’s enthusiasm, especially in Alberta and the Maritimes. However, the movement can regain its strength by renewing activism in these apathetic regions. By once again organising libertarian speaking-events, by writing letters, by producing academic papers, by attending the Liberty Summer Seminar in Ontario and Quebecois Libre University, and by realising that "living-free" is anti-social and ultimately useless, liberty can be defended with our best efforts once again. It is when history is not going our way that liberty is in greatest need of our defence. Let’s get on it.

July 17, 2006

Michael Cust [send him mail] is an M.A. student in political science at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario and a summer fellow at the Mises Institute.

Copyright © 2006 LewRockwell.com
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #8 on: July 18, 2006, 16:38:12 »
>Everything there seems a tad on the isolationist side

The purer the libertarianism, the more selfish it seems (and likely would be in practice).  But consider this: by what right would you assume power to direct the life of another person?  A pronouncement of your chosen religious doctrine?  A conclusion of a reasoned philosophical argument regarding the nature of the rights of individuals?  Tyranny of the one or the many?

Co-operation is admirable, and necessary for great undertakings, but conscription is not co-operation.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

Omnia praesidia vestra capta sunt nobis.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

"But injustice is a rule of the service, as you know very well; and since you have to have a good deal of undeserved abuse, you might just as well have it from your friends."  - The Ionian Mission, by Patrick O'Brian.

Offline Aden_Gatling

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #9 on: July 25, 2006, 17:07:09 »
Libertarian?!?  Objectivist!?!  What's that?     ;)

Libertairans come in as many varieties as Socialists and Conservatives (there are even those that /shudder/ call themselves "Socialist Libertarians").

Libertarianism is the political philosophy which allows the individual the most scope to work for their own benefit. As such, Libertarians are only in favor of such rules and government that protect their rights, and prevent other people from infringing on them. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian for more details
  Also, for topical primary source stuff I'd suggest:  http://www.samizdata.net/blog/
There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

Offline dapaterson

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #10 on: July 25, 2006, 21:29:52 »
Best Libertarian joke I've heard:

Quote
How many Libertarians does it take to stop a Panzer division?

None.  Obviously market forces will take care of it.


(Yes, yes, I know, that's more Randian than libertarian.)
This posting made in accordance with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, section 2(b):
Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms: freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression, including freedom of the press and other media of communication
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Offline Black Watch

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #11 on: July 25, 2006, 23:19:27 »
these guys sure will cut taxes  ::)
No, realy, this is the kind of political behevior that could not only rip apart the society, but also the economy, because if there's no jurisdiction to protect the workers here, all the jobs will go where manpower is cheap and we will starve because we won't have anny support from the gvt

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #12 on: July 26, 2006, 09:42:19 »
these guys sure will cut taxes  ::)
No, realy, this is the kind of political behevior that could not only rip apart the society, but also the economy, because if there's no jurisdiction to protect the workers here, all the jobs will go where manpower is cheap and we will starve because we won't have anny support from the gvt

This is a very narrow view of Libertarianism, and certainly what Socialists and Statists of all stripes would like you to believe. The canard about jobs being lost due to lack of government support is demonstrably false:

1. European nations with many rules and regulations protecting jobs have high levels of unemployment since employers decline to hire people rather than be saddled with an unsuitable worker they can't get rid of.

2. A similar situation obtains when looking at the United States. Jobs migrate from the "Rust Belt" (generally "Blue States" with powerful labour unions and lots of regulations) to the "Sun Belt" (generally "Red States" with "right to work" legislation).

3. During the 1980's, this mantra was also invoked in Canada and the United States to oppose NAFTA. (Remember the quote about the "great sucking sound" of jobs being lost to Mexico?). This has not happened since the regulatory environment and the supporting legal structures in Canada and the United States allow the free movement of capital and investment. Mexican workers are going to the United States, there is no flow of Arizona and Californians to Mexico to live and work.

Libertarianism is not about unlimited license, it is about the freedom to live and work in cooperation with others, and the protection from force, coercion and arbitrary regulation ("A nation ruled by laws, not men").

A further exploration of that topic is here:

http://thelondonfog.blogspot.com/

Quote
Wednesday, July 26, 2006
Equality is another one of those words…
…whose original meaning in a political context is almost irretrievably lost under an iterative barrage of progressive newspeak. From The Inequality of Equality by William Gairdner, via Jesse Gritter Online:

A decade ago, a group of maverick law students (moderately conservative, that is) at Queen's University, Kingston, invited me to debate Sheila McIntyre, one of Canada's front-line feminist law professors, who is openly dedicated to the destruction of our ordinary concept of the law. The sparks were flying before an overflow crowd.

She argued that the differences between people and groups in society are not natural, circumstantial, or deserved in any way, and that "systemic" oppression exists throughout society. Therefore, she wants the law to create true equality by treating people differentially; by handicapping those with power, and bestowing advantages on those without. She wants lawyers, judges, and Members of Parliament to be social engineers.

However, the normal concept of law in the West has always struggled against such activists to insist that all people, rich or poor, smart or stupid, strong or weak, without distinction, must submit equally to the same Rule of Law; that, by and large, and despite natural or circumstantial inequalities, this is more fair.

But Marxists, and radicals like McIntyre joke that a free society under this merely "formal law" concept just means the rich and the poor alike are allowed to sleep under park benches. Formal law, they argue, can produce only "formal equality", as distinct from "substantive," or concrete equality, under which everyone would have the same material advantages. They are quite willing to surrender their freedom to a massive egalitarian state to gain this extreme sort of equality.

Freedom-lovers rebut that if the law is anything besides formal, then it is not law at all. It has been transformed into politics. They believe freedom is more important than equality, and the best kind of law is therefore prohibitive: law that simply tells you what you cannot do, but which otherwise leaves you alone and free.

There is real danger, however, in switching from formal to substantive law, because throughout history, whenever the law gets seized by social activists (who may themselves have good, if misguided motives) it soon thereafter gets captured by much stronger political activists who quickly shove the softer McIntyre types aside. Then in the absence of formal safeguards, anyone may quickly become its victims – as may the ideologues themselves.

Many egalitarian revolutions that rely on substantive laws to achieve their extreme political purposes, soon devour their intellectual founders, who are seen to lack the stomach for real blood. That's how such as Robespierre, the radical egalitarian theorist of the French Revolution, the "prophet of virtue" who had ordered thousands of his own citizens guillotined, got killed in the name of liberty: there was no formal law, or procedure, left to protect him.

By then, the laws are primarily imperative; that is, laws that orders you around and make you live a certain way, or do certain specific things to fulfill utopian ideals, creating advantages for some, and penalties for others in a feverish quest for equality. Most Western so-called liberal democracies are now awash in such "equalization" laws.

There was some pleasure to be had in reminding Professor McIntyre that it was she who had an $80,000 per year job as a tenured professor, and could not be fired. It was she who was the former president of a radical feminist group supported by massive government grants that has already radicalized our society through just such changes in the law as she proposes. And it is she who gets her turgid articles published in state-subsidized journals. So, in fact, she is herself a power-broker and stakeholder, and exerts her own brand of influence over those who prefer a free society to a tyrannical one.

Just following this debate, writer Rob Martin published an article in Ontario’s Lawyers Weekly, citing Dean of the Queen’s University Law School, Donald McCrae, who said "The idea of equity is that everyone should get the same advantage." How humourous! It has apparently never occurred to the good Dean that at such a point the whole concept of advantage has no meaning.

edit to add link and discussion
« Last Edit: July 26, 2006, 12:24:00 by a_majoor »
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Brad Sallows

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #13 on: July 26, 2006, 16:14:29 »
>because if there's no jurisdiction to protect the workers here, all the jobs will go where manpower is cheap and we will starve because we won't have anny support from the gvt

If all the jobs go elsewhere, we won't be buying anything from them anyways, and they won't have jobs either.  Back in the days before governments conceived of worker protection, there were jobs, so you shouldn't expect all the jobs to go away.  Nor is it possible for all jobs to go away, in any event.  You can't offshore your doctor, your plumber, or the staff at the local restaurants.
That which does not kill me has made a grave tactical error.

Omnia praesidia vestra capta sunt nobis.

"It is a damned heavy blow; but whining don't help."

"But injustice is a rule of the service, as you know very well; and since you have to have a good deal of undeserved abuse, you might just as well have it from your friends."  - The Ionian Mission, by Patrick O'Brian.

Offline Black Watch

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #14 on: July 27, 2006, 00:28:55 »
I was mistaken between libertarians and economic liberals. Please accept my apologies

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #15 on: July 27, 2006, 10:51:21 »
No need to applogize, political language has been twisted in order to obscure points. Consider that a member of today's Conservative Party would have correctly been called a Liberal in Edmond Burke's time, "progressive" taxation punishes initiative and hard work and National Socialism is always describes as "Right Wing" (in the media) despite the second word in the title.

Libertarianism is not Utopianism, and things are always worth discussing to firm up ideas and clarify things.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Signalman150

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #16 on: July 31, 2006, 14:21:36 »
A-Majoor

I was vy interested to read the quote by Edmund Burke at the top of the article.

When I first heard it 30 years ago it was by that famous author "Anon" and was "All that is needed for the Forces of Evil to take over the world is for enough good men to do nothing".

That axiom has been part of my personal morality ever since.  I remember getting into a two hour discussion (over copious quantities of fermented, distilled and brewed substances) with a girl fm college about this belief.  Although she was not a declared Libertarian, she espoused the ideals of the Libertarian web site.  I wish to hell I'd had the article (the one you posted) then.
Morality is our agreement with ourselves to abide by our own rules

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #17 on: December 13, 2006, 23:30:37 »
An update on Libertarianism in the US. It is interesting that people would think Libertarians would defect to the Democrats(!), although Big Government Republicans are equally repugnant to a Libertarian.

http://jaworski.blogspot.com/2006/12/liberaltarians_13.html

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Liberaltarians

About a week ago I mentioned Lind's article about the death of libertarianism. Since then, I have come across many articles that claim just the opposite. That libertarianism is not dead, but is finding a new home... on the left.

I'll explain in a second. I should also point out that Lind's article may have misdiagnosed the problem. It is not that libertarianism is dead, but that the conservatism of Republicans, as it used to be, is dead.

Why are the tales of libertarianism's death exaggerated? One reason to think this is because libertarians have shifted gears. Instead of aiming their arguments at economic liberty, they have begun to target social conservatism, and begun taking social libertarianism more seriously. If this is so, many writers, like Lind, may be confusing libertarians for liberals. When someone writes in defence of ending the war on drugs, they may be libertarians, but Lind may falsely believe that it is a liberal writing. So he's not counting enough libertarians.

Libertarianism is a political philosophy that can be described as both left and right, as both liberal and conservative, in different respects. It is left and liberal on social issues (drugs, sex, and rock and roll); it is right and conservative on economic issues (anti-tax, and pro-free market ). It is for small government and liberty through-and-through. Conservatives are in favour of small government with respect to economics ("mind your own business"--where "business" means economic enterprise), but in favour of big government when it comes to social issues and the military. Social democrats (as they are called in Europe) and liberals (as they are, alas, alas, called in Anglo-America--but not in Australia! In Australia, "liberals" are still pro-liberty on both social and economic issues. Would that the rest of us were as wise about words as Australians... but I digress...) are in favour of small government with respect to social issues ("mind your own business"--where "business" means affairs), but in favour of big government when it comes to economic issues.

Libertarians are in favour of people minding their own business in both of the above senses of "business." Mind your own affairs, and mind your own economic enterprises. Just in case this is interpreted as thorough-going interpersonal isolationism, the libertarian claim is that what shouldn't mind my or your business is the government. You and I can take an interest in one another's businesses. We can try to persuade others that they should do one thing, rather than another. The claim is importantly restricted to the activities of governments, and not of churches, persons, charities, other institutions and so on. Libertarians can be busybodies. They can run around telling other people how they should run their lives, and how they should run their businesses. Libertarians just take very seriously the prohibition on doing so by making use of the government.

Sometimes they believe this because they believe that people shouldn't be coerced or forced to do things against their will. Some libertarians believe in what they call the "axiom of non-aggression," or something like a total prohibition on initiating force (Murray Rothbard comes to mind). I do not agree with these libertarians. In principle, I see nothing particularly wrong with forcing people to do what is right. By "in principle" I mean something like this. Suppose we had an oracle that could tell us everything, and knew everything. If we had such an oracle, there would be nothing wrong with coercing people to do what the oracle says. The problem is that we don't have this oracle. So we may be opposed to paternalism, coercion, and the use of force for practical reasons. We may believe that, for instance, giving someone the power to coerce us when we all agree that it is the right thing to do will not keep them from coercing us when we think it is the wrong thing to do. We may believe that, in practice, while some institution manages to get it right a lot of the times, they can get it wrong, sometimes horribly, terribly wrong. We may believe that the benefit of allowing coercion in cases where they will get it right is outweighed by the cost of those times when they get it wrong. This is what I believe. But this is another digression.

Conservatives found appeal in libertarianism when libertarianism expressed its economic arguments. Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek, James Buchanan, and so on, were all popular figures in the '60s, '70s, and '80s. Most everybody knew their names, and was familiar with a handful of their arguments. Libertarians, at the time, probably sharpened their pens and got busy writing about economics because the biggest threat was to economic liberty. Communism comes to mind, as does socialism. These were real threats to liberty, real reasons to focus on economics. Communism is no longer a "real" threat, "real" in the sense of being politically feasible. Socialism is also no longer a "real" threat. (This is my perception, I'm guessing many others share this perception). Since this is so, many may have turned, or are now beginning to turn, to social liberty issues. Drugs, gays, and a culture of liberty.

This makes it natural for libertarians to begin abandoning conservatism, especially since modern-day conservatism in the Republican Party means supporting somewhat different big government programs from the Democratic Party's big government programs. This abandonment appears to be happening. The most significant of these articles is Brink Lidsay's article entitled "Liberaltarians" in the New Republic. I could not get past the first paragraph (firewall), but then found the article on Cato's website, where Lindsay works. In this article, Lindsay is pleading with libertarians to dump the elephants in favour of the donkeys. He is also arguing that liberals and libertarians in America have more in common, when you consider everything, than libertarians and conservatives do. Good for him. I agree. Read the article.

Today, meanwhile, the Economist chimes in with an article that argues the Republicans should target their guns at the Libertarian Party. This is a short article, but it expresses what I take to be a fact. In many cases, many libertarians are shifting their vote to Democrats, and the Libertarian Party, as a way of venting their anger with Republicans. Good for them. I support this move. Read the article.

Is libertarianism dead? Hardly. It's just shifting gears.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Zip

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #18 on: December 15, 2006, 08:24:05 »
A-Majoor

I was vy interested to read the quote by Edmund Burke at the top of the article.

When I first heard it 30 years ago it was by that famous author "Anon" and was "All that is needed for the Forces of Evil to take over the world is for enough good men to do nothing".

That axiom has been part of my personal morality ever since.  I remember getting into a two hour discussion (over copious quantities of fermented, distilled and brewed substances) with a girl fm college about this belief.  Although she was not a declared Libertarian, she espoused the ideals of the Libertarian web site.  I wish to hell I'd had the article (the one you posted) then.

My favorite Libertarian (or more rightly classic liberal) quote is from JS Mill
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'A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of men better than himself."

Unfortunately this seems to be forgotten by most if not all Libertarians.
"I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man; nor ask another man to live for mine."
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #19 on: February 15, 2007, 21:09:41 »
Some more reading about Libertarianism

http://www.bloggingtories.ca/btFrameset.php?URL=http://diogenesborealis.blogspot.com/2007/02/radicals-for-capitalism.html&title=

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"Radicals for Capitalism"
The Wall Street Journal has a review of a new book - "Radicals for Capitalism" by Brian Doherty. Here's a sample:

    With "Radicals for Capitalism," Brian Doherty finally gives libertarianism its due. He tracks the movement's progress over the past century by focusing on five of its key leaders--Ludwig von Mises, F.A. Hayek, Ayn Rand, Murray Rothbard and Milton Friedman. The emphasis is on their ideas, but Mr. Doherty also takes into account their personal struggles--not least their feuds with other thinkers and their relation to an intellectual establishment that for most of their lives thought they were either crazy or irrelevant or both.

    Libertarian ideas have enjoyed a surge of respect lately, helped by the collapse of Soviet central planning, the success of lower tax rates and the appeals of various figures in popular culture (e.g., Drew Carey, John Stossel and Clint Eastwood) who want government out of both their bedroom and wallet. Even so, libertarianism is often not the people's choice. Part of the problem is the inertia of the status quo. "In a world where government has its hand in almost everything," Mr. Doherty writes, "it requires a certain leap of imagination to see how things might work if it didn't." Many people couldn't make that leap when, for example, economists proposed channeling some Social Security payroll taxes into private accounts.

    (h/t:Instapundit)
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2007, 19:14:20 »
More on Libertarianism. Buck up fellow travellers; all is not lost!

http://volokh.com/archives/archive_2007_03_11-2007_03_17.shtml#1174182832

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Two Fallacies that Cause (Excessive) Libertarian Despair:

Tyler Cowen's counsel of libertarian despair (discussed in my previous post), and other similar works by fearful libertarians (e.g. - this slightly less pessimistic contribution to the same symposium by Brink Lindsey) are, in my view heavily influenced by two important fallacies that lead many libertarians to be more pessimistic than is warranted.

I. The All or Nothing Fallacy.

One is the "all or nothing" fallacy, which leads many to conclude that because libertarians can't completely eliminate excessive government, that means that we can't achieve anything worthwhile by trying to cut it back incrementally. For example, as I argued in my previous post, Tyler provides good reasons for believing that complete victory is impossible, but almost no argument against the possibility of partial success. Of course, the inability to achieve complete success is not unique to libertarianism. Our liberal, conservative, and socialist rivals have the same problem. Liberals are far from achieving their goal of creating a European-size welfare state in the US, and have little prospect of succeeding in the near future; social conservatives are probably even farther away from fully imposing "traditional values" on society and that goal keeps on slipping even further away. Some liberals and conservatives have given up because of all or nothing thinking, but most recognize that partial success is still worth striving for. We should do likewise.

The all or nothing fallacy is not unique to libertarians. You see it also in the views of those 1960s radicals who believed that nothing short of complete social revolution was worth striving for. But for reasons that I can't fully explain, I think that libertarian activists are, on average, more susceptible to this error than liberals or conservatives.

II. Overstating the Importance of Recent Events.

The second fallacy is overstating the importance of the most recent events. Psychologists call this the "availability heuristic." We overvalue the significance of recent data because they tend to be uppermost in our minds and of course get more coverage in the media. Thus, many libertarians despair because Bush's "big government" conservatism has enlarged the state, while the Democrats have turned away from Bill Clinton's moderate, partly libertarian agenda. However, it is possible to point to equally bleak short periods in the past that were even worse, yet proved not to be a harbinger of the future. Between 1965 and 1975, for example, we saw 1) the rise of the Great Society, 2) government's mishandling of the Vietnam War, 3) Nixon's big government conservatism (even more thoroughgoing than Bush's, complete with price controls and a proposal for nationalized health care), 4) the growing popularity of socialist and communist ideology in much of the world, and 5) the beginning of the oil crisis, with its accompanying perverse government interventions. Yet libertarians would have been wrong to give up in 1975 merely because the most recent trends were against them. Indeed, the next twenty years saw substantial movement in a libertarian direction both in the US, and in many other parts of the world. And we would be equally wrong to give up because of today's less extreme adverse trends. Because of our successes in the 1980s and 90s, we - unlike the libertarians of 1975 - have grown used to the idea that we are destined to win, and thereby more likely to be deeply disappointed when we suffer setbacks. This reaction is understandable, but wrongheaded.

That is not to say that libertarianism does not face serious challenges or that libertarians haven't sometimes shot themselves in the foot, as with the waste of time and resources poured into the Libertarian Party. It does not even prove that we have not entered a period where the libertarian cause has, for some reason, become hopeless. However, we are not justified in despairing merely because we have failed to win a complete victory or because we have suffered several years of political setbacks. Those who counsel despair need much stronger evidence than that to prove their point.

Related Posts (on one page):

   1. Two Fallacies that Cause (Excessive) Libertarian Despair:
   2. Does Libertarian Success Just Produce More Government, and Should We Give Up Trying to Shrink It?

The one thing that *can* help the Libertarian cause is the "sniff test". People who brag about how government programs have "helped" need to be challenged to prove their assertations with real numbers. One thing I like doing is to divide any government program by $50,000, which is the loosley accepted figure for the amoount of private investment needed to create a full time job. This gives a figure of merit: how many full time jobs this program cost the economy. I have yet to see a job creation program or any other program that creates more jobs than the private sector could have for the same amount.

Once enough people learn how to smell government BS using tools like this, they will finally be able to ake action rather than submit to the general sense of dispair.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Aden_Gatling

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2007, 19:48:42 »
It has occurred to me on more than one occasion how much better off we would be if before voting, people took a few minutes to read a little of Bastiat (let alone Rand, Friedman or Hayek), or hell, even just watch and try to understand an episode of South Park!
There's a fine line between fishing and just standing on the shore like an idiot.

Offline edgar

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2007, 11:05:45 »
Best Libertarian joke I've heard:


(Yes, yes, I know, that's more Randian than libertarian.)


Let me rephrase that for you.

How many Libertarians does it take to stop a Soviet division?

None.  Obviously market forces took care of it.



My heavy metal will settle the puppets like Gepetto

Offline Thucydides

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #23 on: March 24, 2007, 08:37:57 »
One of many Libertarian prescriptions for policy:

http://angryroughneck.blogspot.com/2007/03/intellectual-means

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Intellectual means

Alright it seems my last post warranted a death threat in response. How do I follow that up. Christ there are lots of crazies. I came home wanting to talk about the Negative income tax. Oh well. The show must go on. I have already done posts on the evils of its opposite-- the graduated or progressive tax model (see earlier post)

The easiest way to increase the amount of money available to welfare programs is by changing the means in which they are administered, first, simplify the program to protect them from being exploited from loophole abuse, and secondly, reduce the size of the ever growing bureaucracy that does the administering. Current regulations are complicated with deductions, credits, differing allowance rates, and property considerations, which allows them to be easily exploited by individuals, and even worse than that, a massive bureaucracy is required to monitor and administer the complex program, a bureaucracy also equally vulnerable to abuse and unnecessary waste. Fixing both of these problems can be specifically achieved through the introduction of a negative income tax - subsidy program to replace the current, overly complicated, and mottled legislation of the positive income tax system, which drains our welfare revenue base at an ever increasing rate.

The positive income tax system allows people to receive a certain level of income exempted from taxes. The exempt amount is based on rates, which are deemed as a minimal for subsistence. This level is superficially low so that the government can begin taxing income as soon as possible. Any income earned over this level is subject to being taxed. The problem lies in the fact that if the marginal earner makes under this exempt allowance level nothing happens. The unused allowances simply put, goes unused and wasted, plus he is ineligible for welfare benefits, as he is considered employed. This system punishes the low wage earner as he is unable to recover these unused benefits, and this in effect begins to transfer the incentive from working to not working, as welfare, monetarily speaking, is comparable to the artificially low level of exempt allowances.

A negative income tax system would allow for some portion of the unused allowances to be recovered up to the specified exemption level at a set subsidy rate. Milton Friedman, the system creator recommends a rate of 50%. This rewards the low income earner versus the non-worker, instead of punishing him with essentially 100% tax rates, as all earning are essentially deducted from welfare payments in a positive income tax system. A negative tax system with an exemption level of $20,000 for a family of four with subsidy rate of 50% qualifies a family of four with no income to be eligible for $10,000. Any income made on top of this initial amount reduces the subsidy by 50%. If the family of four earned $12,000 in a single year, the subsidy would be reduced by $6000, giving the family an overall income of $16,000, at an expense of $4000 to the taxpayer. Where as with a positive income-tax systems, the family of four would be left with the decision of taking their earned amount of $12,000 or being completely unemployed and still earning $11,500 from the government, with no incentive to earn the $12,000 as it would be only a $500 improvement over not working at all.

Positive income tax guidelines are designed to benefit only those who are completely unemployed. Unused credits from those that are marginally employed are not refunded, which shifts incentive from working to not working for the low-income earner.

Lack of skills is the biggest problem facing recipients. Keeping recipients in the workforce is of optimal importance as it is the only way to build the worker’s skills, and prevent already present skills from further atrophy. Welfare handouts have no way of passing on the virtues of the employed to the unemployed.

Welfare mother’s are penalized, instead of rewarded when they earn extra money, through such pursuits as babysitting or working one day a week in a restaurant, men turn down the opportunity to drive a cab once a week, because it is essentially deducted 100% from their welfare payments. When the tax rate for low wager earners is essentially 100%, there is little incentive to work.

The primary goal of the state whenever dealing with the unemployed should be to keep them working. A penalty of 100% on extra initiative should be reconsidered.

The strength of a country lies in its citizens and their productivity. A government’s role is to nurture this productivity and not to destroy it with insecure legislation.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline Zip

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Re: Libertarians
« Reply #24 on: March 26, 2007, 13:04:21 »
Libertarianism as a pure ideology is just as utopian and just as dangerous as communism.  That said, there are fantastic ideas in it, it's just that these ideas must be separated from the rabid selfishness that permeates so much of the libertarian message.

Give me a rational mix of classic liberal and modern liberal ideals, throw in a pinch of Nationalism and a dash of conservative suspicion and I'd be happy.
"I swear, by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man; nor ask another man to live for mine."
UNCOMMON SENSE