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(Salon)   The question libertarians just can't answer   (salon.com) divider line 611
    More: Obvious, members of the United Nations, industrial society, advanced countries, political philosophy, infant mortality, open borders, Fraser Institute, economic freedom  
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9961 clicks; posted to Politics » on 04 Jun 2013 at 4:07 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-04 06:16:46 PM

palelizard: Didn't Emperor Norton have local restaurants and businesses accept his currency?

www.zpub.com
 
2013-06-04 06:17:12 PM
Well, I don't really think that the end can be assessed as of itself as being the end because what does the end feel like? It's like saying when you try to extrapolate the end of the universe, you say, if the universe is indeed infinite, then how - what does that mean? How far is all the way, and then if it stops, what's stopping it, and what's behind what's stopping it? So, what's the end, you know, is my question to you.
 
2013-06-04 06:18:05 PM
I don't get the bitcoin thing. What useful purpose is it supposed to serve?
 
2013-06-04 06:18:05 PM

palelizard: vygramul: Actually, it falls into "fiat currency" quite neatly. The term wasn't invented because GOVERNMENT said it was valuable. The government says its gold-backed currency was what's legal tender, too. The term was invented because the government said it was valuable DESPITE NO BACKING. Bitcoin is hardly a new category, conceptually. It's a variant of an old category.

And it's not the first non-government currency created, even in the States.  Usually, the Secret Service cracks down on those guys (possibly unconstitutionally so), but in a few cases where the organization isn't deemed a threat, they stick around for a bit.  Didn't Emperor Norton have local restaurants and businesses accept his currency?


Usually, currencies in the U.S. got cracked down on because they were doing other things illegally as well. But other currencies exist all over the place, even if they're not called currency. But take Disney Dollars, for example.
 
2013-06-04 06:18:44 PM

Mrtraveler01: I don't get the bitcoin thing. What useful purpose is it supposed to serve?


You can buy drugs and child porn without linking to a bank account.
 
2013-06-04 06:19:06 PM

HighOnCraic: Well, I don't really think that the end can be assessed as of itself as being the end because what does the end feel like? It's like saying when you try to extrapolate the end of the universe, you say, if the universe is indeed infinite, then how - what does that mean? How far is all the way, and then if it stops, what's stopping it, and what's behind what's stopping it? So, what's the end, you know, is my question to you.


it's like falling into a zen K-hole.
 
2013-06-04 06:19:49 PM

Hydra: The problem you describe is one of scarcity and trade-offs. A Wal-Mart employee chooses to be employed because he demands other goods and services he cannot provide for himself. Wal-Mart can "force" him to do something only to the extent that their employment contract allows them, and the employee is always free to leave and find new employment should he so choose. That might not be a wise decision for the employee since he demands food and other goods, but he is free to choose who employs him.

If food was as plentiful as air, no one would need to produce it, and that employee wouldn't have to work for it in the first place. Scarcity is a current condition of existence - there simply is not enough stuff available to satisfy every single person's wants and needs (this is what drives production in the first place). It is not something that Wal-Mart foists upon the employee as retribution for an act/failing to act in the manner in which it wants. The "force" that libertarians refer to is the only kind of force that humans can use against other humans; the fact that we all need to eat is part of our state of being human, and that's not something anyone can control


And this right here is part of why libertarianism lacks persuasive appeal, and has never and will never win a sustained majority of public support in any country ever. You harp on the semantics of "force" in such a way that reveals a total failure to grasp that the "free" market is highly coercive. You pretend that because nobody is pointing a gun at his head, that the Wal-Mart employee has "freedom." But workers everywhere know that freedom is illusory because they've inhabited the real world for more than five minutes. They do what the boss says because they have to.
 
2013-06-04 06:20:41 PM
The question should involve more fish and/or coconuts.

/You can't spell austrian economics without autism
 
2013-06-04 06:21:06 PM
Why is a raven like a writing desk?
 
2013-06-04 06:21:33 PM

palelizard: tirob:


Coerced slavery is always wrong, but if you could prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that a mentally fit adult wished to voluntarily submit to indentured servitude


Prove to whom?  There you go setting up a state.

palelizard:  in accordance with a carefully drawn out contract, I'd say "Fine, if they really want to", though you'd be hard pressed to prove their mental fitness and willingness to submit simultaneously.

Prove their mental fitness, etc., to whom?  The Libertarian Tribunal for the Parsing of Contracts Between Indentured Servants and Their Owners?
 
2013-06-04 06:22:25 PM

skullkrusher: SpiderQueenDemon: DjangoStonereaver: The fact that it was created by Robert Heinlein for STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND, and was never meant
to be taken seriously as an actual political system?

This.

I mean, my political belief system was made up by some white guys in wigs, some muckrakers, some suffragettes and a few safety experts and engineers who said 'let's try paying people a wage that'll let them buy the product and, y'know, not kill them,' but at least it's been play-tested.

/progressive
//used to be liberal, but we seem to need progressives more
///2013 just seems too much like the Gilded Age on repeat

I have never understood how SIASL was a novel about libertarianism as a political or economic system


I think perhaps I should have said THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS instead, but the idea that private enterprise
and individualism gets things done where government collectivism is a hindrance to progress runs as a thread through
much of Heinlein's work.
 
2013-06-04 06:23:14 PM
I misread this, and wondered why a thread about Librarians was on the politics tab
and was hoping for hot librarians
 
2013-06-04 06:28:55 PM
24.media.tumblr.com
The world may never know.
 
2013-06-04 06:29:15 PM

skullkrusher: Garble: skullkrusher: I have never understood how SIASL was a novel about libertarianism as a political or economic system

I was about to ask this... I don't see how a church that offers orgies and telekinetic powers is somehow a model of libertarianism.

It's not. I am pretty sure someone somewhere said that Stranger in a Strange Land is a libertarian book and that's just been repeated since by people who haven't read it.
It certainly talks of breaking the taboos against sexual freedom and hedonism but there's really nothing there about any libertarian politics or philosophy as we understand it and are discussing it here. Hell, Martian Mike was an anarcho-socialist if anything


The Moon is a Harsh Mistress is the libertarian (they called it "rational anarchist") one.  Pretty much anything after he married Ginny is going to be somewhat libertarian (with plenty of speeches/propaganda infodumps), but MiaHM is the biggie that is libertarian.

From memory Stranger in a strange land was all about breaking any taboo Heinlein could think of.  Mike/martians/Church of all Worlds were for: wild sexual abandon (and only "luck" prevented Mike from contacting the ghey, although he did try a devil's threesome in the uncut work), cannibalism, non-traditional marriage (I think they had about 10 wives and 10 husbands, although a few remained officially "married" and no attempt to balance the number of each), certain hints of incest and underage sex (I don't think there was anything beyond a hint in the uncut edition either), extreme humanism (no god but yourself: try arguing that in any red state and many blue areas), a certain hippy contempt for money (with a carnie's view of the marks).  I'm sure there are more sacred cows that Heinlein came up with and gave a good kicking, It's been awhile since I read it.
 
2013-06-04 06:38:21 PM

Mrtraveler01: ManRay: In general, people are assholes, especially to people they don't know. There have been libertarian societies, but they were small groups of people that interacted with each other regularly. The self regulation comes in to play when you know people personally. It's hard to screw over someone you know, easy to do to a faceless crowd. Past a certain point in population and some person or group will always arise to exert power over everyone else.

This is basically why Libertarianism doesn't work in a modern society. The honor system has never been proven to work on a large scale.

It only works if everyone plays by the rules and if 1 or more people decide to be an asshole, the whole system goes into disarray.


The problem isn't just people.  You've noticed how corporations act like psychopaths?  Now give them unlimited power.  Enjoy your new world.
 
2013-06-04 06:39:15 PM

yet_another_wumpus: Mrtraveler01: ManRay: In general, people are assholes, especially to people they don't know. There have been libertarian societies, but they were small groups of people that interacted with each other regularly. The self regulation comes in to play when you know people personally. It's hard to screw over someone you know, easy to do to a faceless crowd. Past a certain point in population and some person or group will always arise to exert power over everyone else.

This is basically why Libertarianism doesn't work in a modern society. The honor system has never been proven to work on a large scale.

It only works if everyone plays by the rules and if 1 or more people decide to be an asshole, the whole system goes into disarray.

The problem isn't just people.  You've noticed how corporations act like psychopaths?  Now give them unlimited power.  Enjoy your new world.


www.commonblog.com
 
2013-06-04 06:40:57 PM
SOCIAL CONTRACT, noobs. Society is better off with it. Deal. move on.
 
2013-06-04 06:47:03 PM

DjangoStonereaver: I think perhaps I should have said THE MOON IS A HARSH MISTRESS instead, but the idea that private enterpriseand individualism gets things done where government collectivism is a hindrance to progress runs as a thread throughmuch of Heinlein's work.


and in cases it's true, and in other cases is isn't, life is more complicated then the political theories of man
 
2013-06-04 06:58:26 PM

bugontherug: Snarfangel: There are many questions you can ask of libertarians. "Why are there no libertarian countries?" is a rather uninteresting one, the kind you would see on page three of a Fark thread.

But I'm sure this time, the author has put an exciting and novel spin on it.

*reads article*
Or not. Not is good, too.

Okay. Then let's try this:

Why is it in every country on the planet where people have been free to choose, they've all picked to some greater or lesser degree a government charged with economic regulation and provision of assorted social services, including redistribution of wealth to assist the poor?

Surely it's not because laissez-faire has so little persuasive appeal that it has been unable to win a sustained majority anywhere in history.


I am saying that the question asked by the author is boring because it assumes that every idea that has been tried is superior to every idea that has not been tried. Surely you can think of at least one counter-example.
 
2013-06-04 06:58:44 PM

Mrtraveler01: This is basically why Libertarianism doesn't work in a modern society. The honor system has never been proven to work on a large scale.

It only works if everyone plays by the rules and if 1 or more people decide to be an asshole, the whole system goes into disarray.


It's funny to me that libertarian's philosophy generally depends on people doing the right thing, yet they have the reputation of being greedy pricks. Statis built their philosophy on people generally doing the wrong thing (hence the need for government correction ), yet have reputation for being compassionate. That always seemed backwards to me.
 
2013-06-04 07:02:10 PM

ManRay: It's funny to me that libertarian's philosophy generally depends on people doing the right thing, yet they have the reputation of being greedy pricks.


It shakes out when you realize that right-libertarianism is snake oil and you realize that most libertarians just want to be first in line to hit the "Betray" button as hard and as fast as they can.
 
2013-06-04 07:03:16 PM

udhq: wildcardjack: I use Somalia as an endpoint in an anti-Libertarian slippery slope argument.

1: Weak policing leads to provision of security by strong men
2: Strong men become local potentates
3: Strong men become kings
4: Feudalism.

It's a stretch, but it's how Europe went from the Roman empire to Feudal europe after the empire fell apart.

Would it happen that way here? Maybe. I'd bet on corporate overlords instead of feudal lords. Corporations with armies and nuclear weapons.

/Proctor & Gamble presents The Tide wars.

You're assuming something similar isn't already in place.

I know several people who are forced to stay employed by major corporations because if they switched jobs, they would be denied health insurance and would die as a result.


Hmm, but a) the corporations aren't engaging more citizens in thier ranks b) obamacare ditches preexisting conditions and the ADA protects disabilities.

Although that would explain the Republicorp vitriol for the ACA.
 
2013-06-04 07:09:54 PM

Philip Francis Queeg: ManRay: A question liberals have problems with:

Is there anything that you think is a good idea that the government should not be involved in?

I think a me having a night of hot, steamy sex with Salma Hayek is a very good idea, but I don't see any role for the governmentb in it.


I'm all for a night of hot, steamy sex with Salma Hayek myself.  Unfortunately I don't think it's going to happen without some sort of goverment intervention.
 
2013-06-04 07:11:23 PM

palelizard: Most of the Jim Crow Laws passed after Reconstruction, once the invading Northerners had finished trying to demolish Confederate culture, and been gone long enough they weren't coming back quickly. In Lies My Teacher Told Me (if I'm remembering the correct book) the South was pretty integrated and relatively equal opportunity (officially) up through the late 1880s to early 20th century, depending on the locale.


That sounds like the "Confederate myth of Reconstruction" that Loewen excoriates in that book.

Maybe I'm not reading your post correctly.
 
2013-06-04 07:11:31 PM
Is that question: how did you make yourself totally immune to reason?

Libertarianism works as well in practice as communism. They are opposite extremes yet both fail for the same reason which is people are selfish. People don't want to share, be it their accumulated wealth or their labor.
 
2013-06-04 07:12:13 PM

A Dark Evil Omen: It shakes out when you realize that right-libertarianism is snake oil and you realize that most libertarians just want to be first in line to hit the "Betray" button as hard and as fast as they can.


I guess that means the leftists are the only ones being honest about their opinions of their fellow man?
 
2013-06-04 07:16:00 PM

gimmegimme: [3.bp.blogspot.com image 400x300]

Libertarian fire department on the job.

Bitcoin miner
 
2013-06-04 07:19:00 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: BunkoSquad: That's almost word-for-word why I'm for single-payer health care.

Because anything other than total government control of the process is anarchy.


which single payer isn't AT ALL.

Such a liar.
 
2013-06-04 07:24:19 PM
Unfortunately, the majority of people can't understand why something is bad until they have a real-world example of it; that's why almost no one is currently advocating communism. We should give the libertarians a bit of the nation to make their utopian society and let them fail in spectacular fashion. Then maybe the idiocy that is libertarianism will finally die off.
 
2013-06-04 07:24:30 PM

tirob: Prove their mental fitness, etc., to whom?  The Libertarian Tribunal for the Parsing of Contracts Between Indentured Servants and Their Owners?


Only an anarchist denies the benefits or need for a state.  The rest of the world just disagrees as to the scope (in terms of how much the government touches) and to the degree (in terms of how much it controls what it touches).  My particular brand of libertarianism leans towards limited scope with high degree, but among that scope is enforcing and regulating contract law.

tallguywithglasseson: That sounds like the "Confederate myth of Reconstruction" that Loewen excoriates in that book.

Maybe I'm not reading your post correctly.


My point, somewhat rambling and sarcastically made, was Jim Crow laws were created after Reconstruction.  During Reconstruction when the South was under basically military occupation, things were more equal by military enforcement.   The previous poster had asked when Jim Crow laws were enacted.  And as to why, it's because the South, despite being defeated, didn't want to lose graciously.
 
2013-06-04 07:24:59 PM
There IS a Libertarian country!! It's the same place that all true Scotsmen live!!!
 
2013-06-04 07:27:50 PM
Why doesn't glue stick to the inside of the bottle?
 
2013-06-04 07:28:08 PM

Befuddled: Unfortunately, the majority of people can't understand why something is bad until they have a real-world example of it; that's why almost no one is currently advocating communism. We should give the libertarians a bit of the nation to make their utopian society and let them fail in spectacular fashion. Then maybe the idiocy that is libertarianism will finally die off.


No because it would fail and they would then say "Well it failed therefore it wasn't a true libertarian society". They already do that with countries now that massively fail using libertarian principals. They go "Well they only did this one principal, that's why it failed they need to do all of it to work". Which makes no sense because if it is so fragile that you must have it 100% in effect just right for it to work the system is flawed. This could be said about communism too.
 
2013-06-04 07:28:39 PM

Dancin_In_Anson: I can see by reading through this thread that public education has done it's job and done it...well.


Public schooling didn't teach me how awesome libertarians are, but it did teach me the difference between possessives and contractions.
 
2013-06-04 07:29:19 PM

schrodinger: skullkrusher: vygramul: Hydra: STATE-ENFORCED Jim Crow laws, etc.

Really? You're blaming Jim Crow Laws for FORCING restaurants to have whites-only counters?

Seriously?

Wow.

you realize that that's what many of them did? They specifically forbade non-segregated businesses and public places.

I keep hearing this one, but I never see any citation.


The GOVERNMENT just did it on it's own.  No sir, not a single person in the South supported this, but the GOVERNMENT did it DOWN their THROATS.
 
2013-06-04 07:30:25 PM
"Name another amendment from the Constitution other than freedom of speech and right to bear arms?"
 
2013-06-04 07:31:31 PM

Ned Stark: Baryogenesis: Hydra: The defining characteristic between "public" and "private" is the ability for a given entity to have legal, legitimate use of force. A private firm CANNOT force anyone to buy its products since it does not procure its own private military and holds guns to everyone's head (Wal-Mart doesn't have its own army).

This is one of the big failures of libertarians.  They don't understand that "force" extends beyond physical force.  There are other ways of controlling people that don't involve literally putting a gun to someone's head or using the threat of such.  Economic force is one of them.  Walmart doesn't need a gun to force an employee who is less than a week's pay away from not being able to pay rent to do what they want.  No one can make a rational choice when 1 of the options leaves them and their family homeless.

And how exactly would anything wal-mart did render them homeless? Will they send an angry letter and just wait for the kids to shuffle out into the rain?

Wait no, the police will go their with guns and remove the family and drag them off to a dungeon or kill them if they resist.


The point is Wal-Mart isn't literally forcing them out of their home, but they still have power over their workers. Do X, Y, Z or you're fired is a type on control especially when the choice is between rent, food and Wal-Mart's demands.
 
2013-06-04 07:33:53 PM

Baryogenesis: The point is Wal-Mart isn't literally forcing them out of their home, but they still have power over their workers. Do X, Y, Z or you're fired is a type on control especially when the choice is between rent, food and Wal-Mart's demands.


A libertarian does not understand this point.

Every last time someone makes this point, you are guaranteed to get a response that implies the person should find another job, move to where a better job is available, or deal with it.
 
2013-06-04 07:34:20 PM

Darth_Lukecash: Two things that stand out: that skepticism of government, yet groups of people making decisions are some how better. And somehow libertarians are closer to their communities.


"Groups of people making decisions" is exactly what government is...
=Smidge=
 
2013-06-04 07:34:49 PM
I thought that after the CIA overthrew the lawfully elected government in Chile and installed Pinochet, the neo-con lunatics convinced Pinochet to enact many libertarian policies and those policies failed miserably, so much so that Pinochet had to enact basically socialist economic policies to fix things. So libertarianism has been tried and it failed.
 
2013-06-04 07:34:59 PM
Who is John Galt?
 
2013-06-04 07:35:20 PM

gameshowhost: [i47.tinypic.com image 500x282] 

libertarian surgeon general


I see Doctor Lizardo got a cushy government job.
 
2013-06-04 07:35:31 PM

palelizard: My point, somewhat rambling and sarcastically made, was Jim Crow laws were created after Reconstruction. During Reconstruction when the South was under basically military occupation, things were more equal by military enforcement. The previous poster had asked when Jim Crow laws were enacted. And as to why, it's because the South, despite being defeated, didn't want to lose graciously.


Phew. Sounded like it had to be sarcasm, but you know, Poe's law and all that.

But yeah, if not for the Federal government, the local (i.e., better) government wouldn't have had those nasty Jim Crow laws.
And if not for said laws, the good white citizens of the South would have Free Marketed their way to equality much faster. As evidenced by all the lynchings of blacks by whites.
 
2013-06-04 07:36:10 PM
How did I miss this thread?
 
2013-06-04 07:39:35 PM

OhioUGrad: "Name another amendment from the Constitution other than freedom of speech and right to bear arms?"


Libertarians are very big on the 4th Amendment. And the 10th for that matter.
 
2013-06-04 07:39:37 PM
In D_I_A's defense, I'll bet public education really does suck in Texas.
 
2013-06-04 07:43:52 PM

bulldg4life: A libertarian does not understand this point.

Every last time someone makes this point, you are guaranteed to get a response that implies the person should find another job, move to where a better job is available, start their own company or deal with it


You forgot a choice.
 
2013-06-04 07:45:34 PM
"Why do you ignore the parts of history where unregulated commerce got us used meat stores and piles of chalk and lye masquerading as butter?"

"Why should we trust people to not break the rules in an unregulated market when we can't trust them to do so now? Is your position really that if there were no authorities to bribe, everyone would behave?"

"Why is it that practically every historical example of libertarian concepts at work- such as privatized fire departments -has had to be replaced with organized, well-regulated efforts for the safety of everyone involved?"

"Would you willingly live in an area without a police force?"

"Do you think it's significant that the most famous works championing versions of libertarianism are works of fiction and not philosophical/economic treatises?"

"You do know Ron Paul is full of shiat, right?"

Sorry, had too much straw for just one strawman.
 
2013-06-04 07:48:38 PM

Anonymous Bosch: "Why do you ignore the parts of history where unregulated commerce got us used meat stores and piles of chalk and lye masquerading as butter?"

"Why should we trust people to not break the rules in an unregulated market when we can't trust them to do so now? Is your position really that if there were no authorities to bribe, everyone would behave?"

"Why is it that practically every historical example of libertarian concepts at work- such as privatized fire departments -has had to be replaced with organized, well-regulated efforts for the safety of everyone involved?"

"Would you willingly live in an area without a police force?"

"Do you think it's significant that the most famous works championing versions of libertarianism are works of fiction and not philosophical/economic treatises?"

"You do know Ron Paul is full of shiat, right?"

Sorry, had too much straw for just one strawman.


Then by all means tell us where libertarianism has worked.
 
2013-06-04 07:55:54 PM
upload.wikimedia.org

I think this is the only time Frank Chu has ever made sense.
 
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