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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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9967 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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2013-06-05 10:55:27 AM  

Bucky Katt: RON PAUL is a religious nut.  He's ok with theocracy as long as its state governments that do it instead of the federal government.  Paul and his Christian Reconstructionist pals can all fark off.


Pretty much that; If Ron Paul ever runs for the Presidency again, I want Christie to debate him one-on-one.  Just for laughs.
 
2013-06-05 10:57:42 AM  

RanDomino: Hydra: Funny how as a linguist he fails even to define what "private tyrannies" are in the first place.

The internal structure of practically every corporation is essentially fascist.


Belgian Congo comes pretty close to "private tyranny" - and I'm sure there are 19th century examples that are literally so.

RanDomino: Hydra: 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

Not necessarily, but it can hold a gun to the heads of potential competitors and suggest they take up a new line of work.


Not even. A private firm CAN force people to buy their products, they just have to structure employment and end-user license-agreements the right way. Monsanto doesn't let farmers who bought their seeds grow the plants, harvest them, and plant the seeds they collect from them. They have to buy a new batch. In fact, SCOTUS just ruled this legal this week. Extrapolating from that isn't really all that hard to do.

RanDomino: Hydra: his ever-expanding government.

Chomsky is an Anarchist, so that's a hell of a claim.


He does lie a lot.

RanDomino: Hydra: Economic systems and governmental systems are not mutually exclusive of each other, nor do they exist in separate vacuums.

Is this where I get to tell you that capitalism has never existed without a powerful State acting as its enforcer?


Economic systems and governmental systems can be mutually exclusive. You can't have a socialist government and a lassaiz-faire free market economic system. I don't think it's fair to say that capitalism has never existed without a powerful state acting as its enforcer - more like capitalism has had trouble existing without a powerful state acting as its protector. Capitalism requires the state to step in and make sure trades are voluntary - this includes transparency and equal information. And if capitalism requires an enforcer, so does every other system - except the theoretical ones.

RanDomino: Hydra: Expanding this relatively accurate economic calculation to a large population of thousands - let alone millions - without some sort of coordination mechanism (read: money and prices) and achieving rational economic allocation of resources is impossible.

Syndicalism.


This is where he's right. The thing about prices is that they create efficiencies. During the Cold War, the East Germans tried selling cars to the West. But they couldn't figure out if they were making or losing money because the production system was socialized from raw materials to assembly, so they couldn't tell if their system was more or less efficient than the cars with which they were competing. Prices carry information. No prices, and you lose resolution, if not the information entirely.

RanDomino: Sadly, I know that because you said "rational" you probably meant "anyone who's rich automatically deserves it".


Unfortunately, too many people make moral assessments based on bottom-line. If there's one thing Jesus was right about, it's how hard it is to be a good person and be rich at the same time. And I'm even going to include people like the Gates' in that.

RanDomino: Hydra:the information problem

There is more than enough of everything for some inaccuracy to be acceptable.

Scarcity is a current condition of existence - there simply is not enough stuff available to satisfy every single person's wants and needs

Libertarians, and capitalists of all stripes for that matter, love to conflate wants and needs, but there is a definite difference between food, shelter, and medical care and solid-gold Ferraris, a yacht made out of space shuttles, a scale model of the beer volcano in Pastafarian heaven, etc.


And medical care (and food and shelter) is not so scarce we can't give everyone in the U.S. what they reasonably require.
 
2013-06-05 10:58:13 AM  

hinten: Meh, Libertarianism would work great if only everyone abided by the rules.


Libertarianism will never work because of human nature.  If Communism in the USSR never worked due to human nature, what makes Libertarians think they'll be able to pull it off?
 
2013-06-05 11:04:53 AM  

Gyrfalcon: vygramul: TheHighlandHowler: I think many democracies (and republics) are libertarian in their infancies, but as they mature, government grows.  This is partly due to demands from the populace, and politicians' lust for power.

It could be that they find out that libertarianism doesn't work.

Or it could be that communism works great, but that politicians' lust for power and the demands from the populace spoil those systems, too.

It's because libertarianism combines the most extreme aspects of personal self-interest and greed ("f*ck you, I got mine) and unrealistic idealism and faith in others ("people will change if it's in their best interests to change"). The idea that people should be allowed to do whatever they want so long as it doesn't hurt anyone else because their actions will be circumscribed by the reactions of other like-minded individuals is patently absurd. The error is obvious to anyone who realizes that people WILL act against their own interests out of pettiness or meanness or short-sightedness; and some people are unable to control their actions without strong social or temporal strictures such as religion or laws.


Libertarianism makes the same fundamental error about human nature that Communism does. It just does it regarding a different aspect of human psyche.

The other reason is one of definition. If a theme of libertarianism is that anyone may do what he pleases with minimal intrusion, so long as no one is harmed, then what exactly is harm? Who determines the degree of harm? If there is minimal regulation, what is the consequence of harm and who administers it? All this has to be defined and then implemented...and now you no longer have a fully libertarian society. It's got nothing to do with "lust for power," or "demands from the populace," except insofar as a desire for something besides anarchy and/or endless debate and argument about getting things done is "popular demand." There's a limit to how much can be accomplished by social consensus and social disapproval, and once a society grows beyond that point, a more restrictive government is inevitable and essential.

Or else the society must fragment and revert to a more manageable size. You don't get the benefits of a large civilization and the freedom of a band-level society at the same time.


This is why Libertarians don't mix well with externalities. They don't want to recognize how much just about anything we do impacts the wallets of our neighbors. You should be able to shoot yourself in the head, right? Well, except I have to send the cops to do an investigation on my dime to make sure that you really DID shoot yourself, and not some serial killer. Anything that a libertarian would say in response is to try to wave-off the externality, or involves government regulation. Heck - even my decision as to what car I drive has an effect on my neighbor's property value!
 
2013-06-05 11:08:57 AM  
Monsanto's licensing scheme is anti-libertarian. Calling it "intellectual property" doesn't make it actual property.

It's just a state-sponsored special privilege against competition -- a monopoly -- which is what patents and copyrights were openly called, before the state's propaganda machine re-labeled them as "property" in order to give them the appearance of legitimacy.

Therefore, as an example of looming corporate oppression of the global food supply, the Monsanto seed patents are a problem originating with the State, not with property and free markets.
 
2013-06-05 11:09:16 AM  

RanDomino: Currently, people can't be subsistence farmers because they would still have to pay property taxes.
Without a State to artificially create property taxes, a gift economy based on collective agriculture and industry would be orders of magnitude more popular than a vestigial capitalist economy.


This is coming up on Ben Franklin's conclusion: you can only accumulate wealth thanks to society. Without society creating a government, anything above subsistence would be difficult to maintain, as you couldn't possibly be secure in storing wealth. As a result, anything above subsistence is really not entirely yours, because without society, you ain't got it.
 
2013-06-05 11:11:09 AM  

studs up: HighOnCraic: 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.

That's pretty much true.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jim_Crow_laws_by_State

This one probably made things difficult:

"printed, typewritten or written matter urging or presenting for public acceptance or general information, arguments or suggestions in favor of social equality or of inter
marriage between whites and Negroes, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to fine not exceeding five hundred (500.00) dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months or both."

/The Jim Crow South was the sort of society that should've horrified true libertarians. . .

So pro gay marriage libertarians would be the likely culprits in a racist legal structure? There is a lot of shoe-horning going on in this thread to make the "threat of libertarianism" fit some pre-established mold. I'm not saying that's ill informed, but, potato logic seems to work well here when the circle jerk of farkleftist rally round the old Red Flag. The rest of us think that maybe your arguments are only solid with other people who are already on your team.
TEAM!


Hydra: HighOnCraic: My main complaint about libertarianism is that conveniently provided excuses for maintaining segregation (which wasn't so great for my older relatives in Alabama).  It was a way of saying, "I don't believe in segregation at all, I just think that Federal laws or Supreme Court decisions outlawing segregation are much worse than segregation, and people who don't like segregation should just work things out at the local level."  That's a brief synopsis of the chapter on civil rights from "The Conscience of a Conservative."

The counter-argument is that Goldwater wasn't a "true Libertarian," since his foreign policy ideas would've needed a huge military and espionage network to wipe Communism off the face of the earth...

It should be obvious that Goldwater only speaks for himself and people who agree with him rather than ALL libertarians. Try telling a Friedmanite, a Randian, and a Rothbardian that "all libertarians think alike," and they'd each shoot you to shreds with the 3D gun they printed out (after they're done shooting up each other).

/Rand was a biatch



I already addressed your complaint that Goldwater doesn't speak for ALL libertarians, since his foreign policy involved massive interference in Soviet satellite nations, including tactical nuclear strikes (I wonder if Rand Paul, who made such a huge fuss over Obama's use of drone strikes that result in collateral damage, has ever read about Goldwater's advocacy of dropping nukes on Communist countries, and if so, if he realizes the scale of collateral damage that such attacks would cause).


From wiki:United States Senator Barry Goldwater's libertarian-oriented challenge to authority had a major impact on the libertarian movement, through his book The Conscience of a Conservative and his run for president in 1964.


So yeah, I agree that Goldwater doesn't speak for ALL libertarians, but it's silly to use the "No true Scotsman" defense to say that his opinions are meaningless in regards to how libertarians felt about civil rights.It's not like he was just some random dude posting anonymously on the internet.Is there any libertarian politician who had more political  than Goldwater?  Have any of them denounced Goldwater's views on civil rights?


I'm sticking with my disagreement with his libertarian argument against the Brown v. Board of Education decision, which was based on the libertarian concept that the Federal government should have no role in overturning local customs in the segregated South.The full text of The Conscience of a Conservative is available online, if you care to read it.Chapter Four (I think) covers his thoughts on civil rights.Basically he says that segregated schools are wrong, but using Federal power to integrate schools is even more wrong.


I'm just saying that the libertarian argument against integration (i.e. it shouldn't be enforced by the Federal government as long as local governments in the South felt it was necessary, because racists should be free to segregate) was a bad argument.Pro-freedom libertarians should've worked against segregation, because it violated freedom, specifically in regards to the Mississippi law I referred to, which was a blatant violation of the First Amendment and a clear example of how the "free market" could never have ended segregation, since it was illegal to even publish material in favor of integration.It would be great if libertarians would just admit that when it came to segregation, the idea that local governments were inherently superior to the Federal government was not a rational position to hold at that time. Sure, they could argue that the use Federal power was absolutely wrong on any other domestic issue, as long as they admitted that when it came to overturning Jim Crow laws, Federal power was necessary.Hell, even William Buckley, who made a career out of opposing Federal intervention against segregation, admitted that he was wrong.Local governments were the source of tyranny that libertarians should have opposed back then.Google the Mississippi State Sovereignty Commission, which was basically the Patriot Act on steroids when it came to spying on integrationists and actively participated in the murders of civil rights activists (Cheney, Goodman, and Schwerner).The libertarian "team" ignored the fact that Jim Crow laws violated the principles they claimed to hold so dear to their hearts.That's why I remain skeptical of their belief system.I wouldn't have bothered reading Goldwater's book if I didn't believe in "studying it out."Having done so, I'm still not convinced that libertarians were honestly interested in "liberty for all." See also:Ron and Rand Paul's criticism of the 1964 Civil Rights Act.


Libertarians who are in favor of gay rights should probably study out Ron Paul's "We The People Act," which "forbids all Federal courts from hearing any cases on abortion, sexual practices, and establishment of religion, unless such a case were a challenge to the Constitutionality of federal law, and makes federal court decisions on those subject nonbinding as precedent in state courts, and forbids federal courts from spendin money to enforce their judgments."

But I guess Ron Paul isn't a "true libertarian."

I'm not arguing that libertarianism was designed intentionally as a defense of segregation. It was just a matter of bad timing; the idea of denouncing Federal power was appealing to Southerners whose racist customs were slowly being revoked by Federal power.  I just think contemporary libertarians should be more honest about the fact that their belief system was open to such exploitation in the past.
 
2013-06-05 11:11:38 AM  

asmodeus224: Asking why libertarians haven't been able to run an entire nation is a little premature, dontchathink?  Maybe focus on getting more than 1% of the general, or a single governorship, or a single senate seat, or a single congressional seat...hell, how about a single state senate or congressional seat?  Shooting for the moon when you can't even light your own fart is pretty, what can i call it, delusional, no?


You're probably right. Hence the Libertarian plan to try to get them to move to N.H. and try to take over the state government.
 
2013-06-05 11:14:25 AM  

Rwa2play: hinten: Meh, Libertarianism would work great if only everyone abided by the rules.

Libertarianism will never work because of human nature.  If Communism in the USSR never worked due to human nature, what makes Libertarians think they'll be able to pull it off?


Perhaps my jokes are to obtuse to land effectively.
 
2013-06-05 11:26:23 AM  

Dedmon: udhq: Dedmon: TheHighlandHowler: I think many democracies (and republics) are libertarian in their infancies, but as they mature, government grows.  This is partly due to demands from the populace, and politicians' lust for power.

Well damn, if there are many of them, it should be really easy to provide an example?

Ummm.....really?

The United States, remember?  It was called "The Articles of Confederation", and it did not work out well at all.....

How exactly were the confederates a libertarian system?


Lol, wut?
 
2013-06-05 11:36:41 AM  

Rwa2play: hinten: Meh, Libertarianism would work great if only everyone abided by the rules.

Libertarianism will never work because of human nature.  If Communism in the USSR never worked due to human nature, what makes Libertarians think they'll be able to pull it off?


Part of the reason Communism didn't work in the USSR was the fact that they had to deal with a major super-power spending billions of dollars to defeat Communism, particularly through proxy wars in the third world.  Sure, it might've collapsed on its own, but the Cold War certainly had an impact.
 
2013-06-05 11:40:14 AM  

Phinn: Monsanto's licensing scheme is anti-libertarian. Calling it "intellectual property" doesn't make it actual property.

It's just a state-sponsored special privilege against competition -- a monopoly -- which is what patents and copyrights were openly called, before the state's propaganda machine re-labeled them as "property" in order to give them the appearance of legitimacy.

Therefore, as an example of looming corporate oppression of the global food supply, the Monsanto seed patents are a problem originating with the State, not with property and free markets.


Most Libertarian luminaries disagree. Ayn Rand felt IP laws were necessary, and Reason.com and the CATO institute, along with others, copyright their works. Without IP protections, you won't get innovation except under the same conditions Communists claim you'll get them.

When it comes to IP, Libertarians are divided at worst. Subtract out the college-aged libertarians who just want to pirate entertainment products, and the field becomes pretty imbalanced in favor of IP.
 
2013-06-05 11:45:34 AM  

Phinn: Monsanto's licensing scheme is anti-libertarian. Calling it "intellectual property" doesn't make it actual property.

It's just a state-sponsored special privilege against competition -- a monopoly -- which is what patents and copyrights were openly called, before the state's propaganda machine re-labeled them as "property" in order to give them the appearance of legitimacy.

Therefore, as an example of looming corporate oppression of the global food supply, the Monsanto seed patents are a problem originating with the State, not with property and free markets.


The other problem with this claim is that now you're saying the State has to intervene in contract law to prevent Monsanto from being able to create the license for use. So, really, the State is the only thing PREVENTING corporate oppression.
 
2013-06-05 11:48:18 AM  

Dedmon: udhq: Dedmon: TheHighlandHowler: I think many democracies (and republics) are libertarian in their infancies, but as they mature, government grows.  This is partly due to demands from the populace, and politicians' lust for power.

Well damn, if there are many of them, it should be really easy to provide an example?

Ummm.....really?

The United States, remember?  It was called "The Articles of Confederation", and it did not work out well at all.....

How exactly were the confederates a libertarian system?


Those are two different things.

Articles of Confederation:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articles_of_Confederation

Confederate States of America:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confederate_States_of_America

Study it out!
 
2013-06-05 11:50:11 AM  

RanDomino: Government is an institution, bureaucracy, agency, 'corporation'. Without professional decision-makers and enforcers, it's not a government.


An "institution" is a social structure, not a building. Any social structure or system of rules constitutes an institution. If you have a group of people agreeing to work together to make decisions, then that a form of institution too.

A bureaucracy occurs whenever you have designated certain people certain responsibilities. When tasks are divided up among several people you have created a form of bureaucracy.

If the decision of the group is to have any weight, it must be enforced. You have just invoked agency.

So if your "group of people making decisions" is to have any impact or effectiveness, it must have all the same qualities that you have just given to a government. If you don't have these things at least in some measure, then you don't have anything that could be rightfully called a society anymore; it's just everyone for themselves.
=Smidge=
 
2013-06-05 12:09:55 PM  

vygramul: HighOnCraic: 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.

That's pretty much true.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jim_Crow_laws_by_State

This one probably made things difficult:

"printed, typewritten or written matter urging or presenting for public acceptance or general information, arguments or suggestions in favor of social equality or of inter
marriage between whites and Negroes, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to fine not exceeding five hundred (500.00) dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months or both."

/The Jim Crow South was the sort of society that should've horrified true libertarians. . .

It's putting the cart before the horse to say the Jim Crow laws are why this happened.


I just cited a list of Jim Crow laws.  Specifically, the one in Georgia is applicable:  "All persons licensed to conduct a restaurant, shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room or serve the two races anywhere under the same license."
 
2013-06-05 12:17:25 PM  

HighOnCraic: vygramul: HighOnCraic: 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.

That's pretty much true.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jim_Crow_laws_by_State

This one probably made things difficult:

"printed, typewritten or written matter urging or presenting for public acceptance or general information, arguments or suggestions in favor of social equality or of inter
marriage between whites and Negroes, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to fine not exceeding five hundred (500.00) dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months or both."

/The Jim Crow South was the sort of society that should've horrified true libertarians. . .

It's putting the cart before the horse to say the Jim Crow laws are why this happened.

I just cited a list of Jim Crow laws.  Specifically, the one in Georgia is applicable:  "All persons licensed to conduct a restaurant, shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room or serve the two races anywhere under the same license."


Yes you did. It's still putting the cart before the horse to say the Jim Crow laws are why this happened. It's like saying the U.S. went to war with Japan because the U.S. Congress passed a Declaration of War against Japan.
 
2013-06-05 12:28:22 PM  

vygramul: HighOnCraic: vygramul: HighOnCraic: 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.

That's pretty much true.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Jim_Crow_laws_by_State

This one probably made things difficult:

"printed, typewritten or written matter urging or presenting for public acceptance or general information, arguments or suggestions in favor of social equality or of inter
marriage between whites and Negroes, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and subject to fine not exceeding five hundred (500.00) dollars or imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months or both."

/The Jim Crow South was the sort of society that should've horrified true libertarians. . .

It's putting the cart before the horse to say the Jim Crow laws are why this happened.

I just cited a list of Jim Crow laws.  Specifically, the one in Georgia is applicable:  "All persons licensed to conduct a restaurant, shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room or serve the two races anywhere under the same license."

Yes you did. It's still putting the cart before the horse to say the Jim Crow laws are why this happened. It's like saying the U.S. went to war with Japan because the U.S. Congress passed a Declaration of War against Japan.


I'm not sure where you're going with this.
 
2013-06-05 12:28:33 PM  

vygramul: I don't think it's fair to say that capitalism has never existed without a powerful state acting as its enforcer - more like capitalism has had trouble existing without a powerful state acting as its protector. Capitalism requires the state to step in and make sure trades are voluntary - this includes transparency and equal information. And if capitalism requires an enforcer, so does every other system - except the theoretical ones.


Capitalism has always existed, in every culture at every time. Capitalism occurs anytime Grog says that he will give Gorp two deer if Gorp makes Grog a better spear. This requires no government, and no enforcement. Capitalism occurs anytime one group of people decide to trade a portion of their grain harvest to another group of people for their meat, or when a group of people will trade some of their grain to people with boats so they can go sell grain for meat with another group. No government, no enforcement needed.

National capitalism, as all national enterprises of any kind requires a government and enforcement. Capitalism does not require an enforcer to work, rather, any sufficiently large enterprise or system requires it. Capitalism, Religion, Socialism, Transportation, etc. all exist independently of an enforcing agent, but once they achieve a sufficient 'size', an enforcing agency becomes necessary.

It is a requirement of scale, not of principle.
 
2013-06-05 12:31:25 PM  

vygramul: Yes you did. It's still putting the cart before the horse to say the Jim Crow laws are why this happened.


You're being rather disingenuous.

Sure, the law was enacted because racism already existed.  But the law codified racism, and prevented the opening of integrated businesses, and penalized those who dared open them.

It didn't engender racism, but it sure as hell enshrined it.  And it legislated resistance to change.  Are you seriously trying to argue that that did not affect subsequent behavior?
 
m00
2013-06-05 12:32:35 PM  
There sure is a lot of effort from the media going into writing opinion pieces to discredit Libertarianism. And here I thought it was irrelevant!

What a sad state of affairs we are in when simply saying "I believe that personal liberty and freedom is a paramount value of an enlightened culture" causes so much hatred, scorn, derision and insults towards the speaker.
 
2013-06-05 12:33:34 PM  

hinten: Rwa2play: hinten: Meh, Libertarianism would work great if only everyone abided by the rules.

Libertarianism will never work because of human nature.  If Communism in the USSR never worked due to human nature, what makes Libertarians think they'll be able to pull it off?

Perhaps my jokes are to obtuse to land effectively.


Possibly; I was being serious however, no offense.
 
2013-06-05 12:34:26 PM  

HighOnCraic: Basically he says that segregated schools are wrong, but using Federal power to integrate schools is even more wrong...I'm just saying that the libertarian argument against integration (i.e. it shouldn't be enforced by the Federal government as long as local governments in the South felt it was necessary, because racists should be free to segregate) was a bad argument.Pro-freedom libertarians should've worked against segregation, because it violated freedom, specifically in regards to the Mississippi law I referred to, which was a blatant violation of the First Amendment and a clear example of how the "free market" could never have ended segregation, since it was illegal to even publish material in favor of integration.


A libertarian would, logically, oppose BOTH the Federal intervention AND the censorship laws (as well as free association limits) . But a small government libertarian would also believe that it is up to the local constituency to correct their local governance problems.
 
2013-06-05 12:35:58 PM  

BojanglesPaladin: vygramul: I don't think it's fair to say that capitalism has never existed without a powerful state acting as its enforcer - more like capitalism has had trouble existing without a powerful state acting as its protector. Capitalism requires the state to step in and make sure trades are voluntary - this includes transparency and equal information. And if capitalism requires an enforcer, so does every other system - except the theoretical ones.

Capitalism has always existed, in every culture at every time. Capitalism occurs anytime Grog says that he will give Gorp two deer if Gorp makes Grog a better spear. This requires no government, and no enforcement. Capitalism occurs anytime one group of people decide to trade a portion of their grain harvest to another group of people for their meat, or when a group of people will trade some of their grain to people with boats so they can go sell grain for meat with another group. No government, no enforcement needed.

National capitalism, as all national enterprises of any kind requires a government and enforcement. Capitalism does not require an enforcer to work, rather, any sufficiently large enterprise or system requires it. Capitalism, Religion, Socialism, Transportation, etc. all exist independently of an enforcing agent, but once they achieve a sufficient 'size', an enforcing agency becomes necessary.

It is a requirement of scale, not of principle.


And yet when Gorp takes the spear he just made, and holds it at Grog's neck and demands a third deer, you need authority to step in and enforce the contract. I can give you an example of two people having communism work in the stone-age, too. That doesn't mean the example is actually meaningful.
 
m00
2013-06-05 12:37:45 PM  

HighOnCraic: But I guess Ron Paul isn't a "true libertarian."


I think these sorts of characterizations which tie all the principles or traits of a person to a given movement is unfair. It's as unfair as saying "Nixon was a dishonest liar, therefore dishonesty is necessarily a tenant of conservatism" or "Carter was incompetent, therefore all liberals are incompetent." Of course, we do have people making these arguments but I think this is what's generally wrong with political discourse.
 
2013-06-05 12:38:32 PM  
vygramul
They have to buy a new batch.

Not necessarily. They could choose to go out of business. Or heed our warnings about buying from a patently evil corporation.

He does lie a lot.

Whatever

Capitalism requires the state to step in and make sure trades are voluntary - this includes transparency and equal information.

Moreover, protection of the integrity of property titles.

And if capitalism requires an enforcer, so does every other system - except the theoretical ones.

More generally, a system of enforcement.

During the Cold War, the East Germans tried selling cars to the West. But they couldn't figure out if they were making or losing money because the production system was socialized from raw materials to assembly, so they couldn't tell if their system was more or less efficient than the cars with which they were competing. Prices carry information. No prices, and you lose resolution, if not the information entirely.

Apples to oranges. Of course a method that doesn't play by a system's rules doesn't work when applied to that system. Were they able to manufacture and distribute cars internally?

This is coming up on Ben Franklin's conclusion: you can only accumulate wealth thanks to society. Without society creating a government, anything above subsistence would be difficult to maintain, as you couldn't possibly be secure in storing wealth. As a result, anything above subsistence is really not entirely yours, because without society, you ain't got it.

"society" and security != "government"


Smidge204
An "institution" is a social structure, not a building. Any social structure or system of rules constitutes an institution. If you have a group of people agreeing to work together to make decisions, then that a form of institution too.

A government exists to perpetuate itself rather than to fulfill any legitimate goal.

A bureaucracy occurs whenever you have designated certain people certain responsibilities. When tasks are divided up among several people you have created a form of bureaucracy.

A bureaucracy is a specialist class which makes those decisions its exclusive domain.

If the decision of the group is to have any weight, it must be enforced. You have just invoked agency.

I meant "agency" in the sense of "institution". An entity in itself which provides a veil to the individuals and their actions.

So if your "group of people making decisions" is to have any impact or effectiveness, it must have all the same qualities that you have just given to a government.

Then there is a difference between "the government" and "government" but the word must still be different to avoid confusion. I still doubt that you will find many people who would agree that direct democracy and/or collective decision-making and direct action, with federation-style coordination, is a "government".
 
2013-06-05 12:39:19 PM  

Deucednuisance: vygramul: Yes you did. It's still putting the cart before the horse to say the Jim Crow laws are why this happened.

You're being rather disingenuous.

Sure, the law was enacted because racism already existed.  But the law codified racism, and prevented the opening of integrated businesses, and penalized those who dared open them.

It didn't engender racism, but it sure as hell enshrined it.  And it legislated resistance to change.  Are you seriously trying to argue that that did not affect subsequent behavior?


I'm saying that the Free Market failed to end it, and that's why the federal government had to step in. Rand Paul (and many libertarians) say that the CRA of 1964 was wrong not because racism is ok, but because the free market should end it and not the feds. To then argue that the free market COULDN'T fix it because of Jim Crow Laws while MAINTAINING THE SAME POSITION is far more disingenuous than anything I could possibly have pinned on me.
 
2013-06-05 12:41:15 PM  

RanDomino: Apples to oranges. Of course a method that doesn't play by a system's rules doesn't work when applied to that system. Were they able to manufacture and distribute cars internally?


For a little while. Then their economy collapsed because they simply couldn't manage resources as well as prices could.
 
2013-06-05 12:42:31 PM  

BojanglesPaladin: HighOnCraic: Basically he says that segregated schools are wrong, but using Federal power to integrate schools is even more wrong...I'm just saying that the libertarian argument against integration (i.e. it shouldn't be enforced by the Federal government as long as local governments in the South felt it was necessary, because racists should be free to segregate) was a bad argument.Pro-freedom libertarians should've worked against segregation, because it violated freedom, specifically in regards to the Mississippi law I referred to, which was a blatant violation of the First Amendment and a clear example of how the "free market" could never have ended segregation, since it was illegal to even publish material in favor of integration.

A libertarian would, logically, oppose BOTH the Federal intervention AND the censorship laws (as well as free association limits) . But a small government libertarian would also believe that it is up to the local constituency to correct their local governance problems.


How were locals supposed to change things when it was illegal, according to local laws, to print material that advocated change?  Never mind the fact that most of the people who wanted to change things were prohibited from voting, and outsiders who tried to help change things were murdered by local law enforcement.

How could you change the local censorship law without Federal intervention?

Even Bill Buckley admitted that he was wrong on that issue.

Asked by Time in 2004 whether he regretted any positions he had taken in the past, Buckley said simply, "Yes. I once believed we could evolve our way up from Jim Crow. I was wrong: federal intervention was necessary."
 http://www.claremont.org/publications/crb/id.1543/article_detail.as p
 
2013-06-05 12:45:05 PM  
BojanglesPaladin
Capitalism has always existed, in every culture at every time. Capitalism occurs anytime Grog says that he will give Gorp two deer if Gorp makes Grog a better spear. This requires no government, and no enforcement. Capitalism occurs anytime one group of people decide to trade a portion of their grain harvest to another group of people for their meat, or when a group of people will trade some of their grain to people with boats so they can go sell grain for meat with another group. No government, no enforcement needed.

Although barter leads to capitalism, they are not synonymous. "Capitalism" refers specifically to investment capital. Without investment, it's not capitalism. But that requires interaction with other people and protection of capital goods, which means some kind of organization to protect commodity stockpiles from looting. Which means either government or mercenaries (which leads to government).


m00
There sure is a lot of effort from the media going into writing opinion pieces to discredit Libertarianism. And here I thought it was irrelevant!

What a sad state of affairs we are in when simply saying "I believe that personal liberty and freedom is a paramount value of an enlightened culture" causes so much hatred, scorn, derision and insults towards the speaker.


Libertarianism is used as ideological cover to push an agenda of dismantling civil society and forking over public assets to private corporations, giving them blatantly unfair favors, lowering their taxes while raising fees and effectively raising fees and lowering services for poor people, annihilating environmental protections and gutting unions, etc.
 
2013-06-05 12:47:02 PM  

m00: HighOnCraic: But I guess Ron Paul isn't a "true libertarian."

I think these sorts of characterizations which tie all the principles or traits of a person to a given movement is unfair. It's as unfair as saying "Nixon was a dishonest liar, therefore dishonesty is necessarily a tenant of conservatism" or "Carter was incompetent, therefore all liberals are incompetent." Of course, we do have people making these arguments but I think this is what's generally wrong with political discourse.


Surely you can provide an example of a libertarian who has argued that Federal power was necessary to end segregation in the South. . .

I thought RON PAUL was the most popular libertarian ever.  It turns out he doesn't like haggis. . .
 
m00
2013-06-05 12:49:13 PM  

vygramul: I'm saying that the Free Market failed to end it, and that's why the federal government had to step in. Rand Paul (and many libertarians) say that the CRA of 1964 was wrong not because racism is ok, but because the free market should end it and not the feds. To then argue that the free market COULDN'T fix it because of Jim Crow Laws while MAINTAINING THE SAME POSITION is far more disingenuous than anything I could possibly have pinned on me.


Libertarian philosophy doesn't maintain that there is no proper place for government. For example, you're always going to need a governing body to enforce laws and contracts. If I own a piece of land, and a corporation is dumping industrial waste on that land, they would be violating my property rights. In a world without government, that corporation might raise a private army (or higher Blackwater) to take my land from me. Protecting rights is why a government needs to exist in some form. But there is a world of difference between "securing freedoms for the individual" and the billion other things governments currently do which secure special advantages for special groups who happen to have the money to influence the very elections which select that government.

Honestly, there are legitimate issues with the procedural aspects of CRA -- no legislation is without flaws. I think it just so happens that some prominent Libertarians (prominent because the media pays attention to them) use these procedural complaints to pander to some less-enlightened segments of the population.
 
2013-06-05 12:49:45 PM  

vygramul: I'm saying that the Free Market failed to end [racism]


You mean the "free market" that did not exist because the markets for restaurants and transportation were prevented by legislation and police enforcement from being free?  That one?
 
2013-06-05 12:51:06 PM  

m00: What a sad state of affairs we are in when simply saying "I believe that personal liberty and freedom is a paramount value of an enlightened culture" causes so much hatred, scorn, derision and insults towards the speaker.


You are seeing a societal shift away from the historical perspective that has driven the last thousand years of civilization.

In decline is the notion that the individual, and his accomplishments constitute the primary and central value in a society.
In ascendancy is the notion that the society itself (or state), rather than fungible individual units, is the primary and central value in a society.

Those who feel that civilization is advanced by "converging socio-economic trends" rather than the actions of specific individuals, and that the state has is a superior claim on the decisions, welfare and prosperity of its citizens than the individuals themselves, tend to bristle when they hear talk of "personal responsibility", "individual liberty", "self-reliance" and the like because that runs counter to the worldview that all people are effectively units and interchangeable, and can't be trusted to determine their own fate.

So, usually, they heap scorn and mock these ideas, or insist that they mean something other than they do to dissuade the gullible from noticing that they are submitting to the authority of an over-body and becoming less free by inches.
 
2013-06-05 12:52:02 PM  
vygramul
For a little while. Then their economy collapsed because they simply couldn't manage resources as well as prices could.

Conjecture. The USSR had an oil crash in the early 1980s and was less adept at using mass media manipulation to disrupt civil society than the US. If it was solely a matter of pricing then it could have fallen apart any time in the previous 30 or 70 years. Anyway, the US economy is currently collapsing so the comparison is null.
 
m00
2013-06-05 12:53:09 PM  

RanDomino: Libertarianism is used as ideological cover to push an agenda of dismantling civil society and forking over public assets to private corporations, giving them blatantly unfair favors, lowering their taxes while raising fees and effectively raising fees and lowering services for poor people, annihilating environmental protections and gutting unions, etc.


You mean unlike Conservatism, Liberalism, Socialism...
 
2013-06-05 12:54:38 PM  

Phinn: vygramul: I'm saying that the Free Market failed to end [racism]

You mean the "free market" that did not exist because the markets for restaurants and transportation were prevented by legislation and police enforcement from being free?  That one?


You're absolutely correct that the "free market" in the South wasn't remotely free.  But the argument presented by many libertarians (Goldwater, Ron and Rand Paul) was that the Federal government had no right to get involved, and that this "free market" that only exists in their minds would've solved everything.
 
2013-06-05 12:55:59 PM  
m00
you're always going to need a governing body to enforce laws and contracts.

and I'm sure it won't be corrupted by bribery, kickbacks, a revolving door, nepotism...

If I own a piece of land, and a corporation is dumping industrial waste on that land, they would be violating my property rights. In a world without government, that corporation might raise a private army (or higher Blackwater) to take my land from me. Protecting rights is why a government needs to exist in some form.

So get together with your neighbors and form a militia. If it's not strong enough, appeal to the regional federation for mutual aid. You did organize a regional federation, right?


BojanglesPaladin
So, usually, they heap scorn and mock these ideas

No, we're scorning and mocking you.
 
2013-06-05 12:56:34 PM  

m00: RanDomino: Libertarianism is used as ideological cover to push an agenda of dismantling civil society and forking over public assets to private corporations, giving them blatantly unfair favors, lowering their taxes while raising fees and effectively raising fees and lowering services for poor people, annihilating environmental protections and gutting unions, etc.

You mean unlike Conservatism, Liberalism, Socialism...


All sides are bad!  Voter Libertarian!
 
2013-06-05 12:57:28 PM  

HighOnCraic: m00: RanDomino: Libertarianism is used as ideological cover to push an agenda of dismantling civil society and forking over public assets to private corporations, giving them blatantly unfair favors, lowering their taxes while raising fees and effectively raising fees and lowering services for poor people, annihilating environmental protections and gutting unions, etc.

You mean unlike Conservatism, Liberalism, Socialism...

All sides are bad!  Voter Libertarian!


D'oh!
 
2013-06-05 12:57:29 PM  
m00
You mean unlike Conservatism, Liberalism, Socialism...

Libertarianism is used as one more ideological cover to push an agenda of...
 
2013-06-05 12:58:00 PM  

RanDomino: Although barter leads to capitalism, they are not synonymous.


I highly recommend a book called Debt: The First 5,000 Years.

The author is a bit of a crank when it comes to politics, but his anthropological study of the history of economics is very enlightening, and as far as I can tell, accurate.

One of his several surprising findings is that barter did not precede money.  Credit did.  People in more primitive economies only used money with strangers and enemies (and armies).  Currency was used for situations involving hostility.

In villages and such, where there was long-term cooperation and commerce among peaceful people, trades were made with abstractions -- mutual debts -- not barter and not coins.  The town would then have an annual reckoning festival, and the various obligations could all be evened out, and if someone had given more than he got that year, then someone would give him a pig, and it would all be even again.

Barter only tends to arise where there is first money (in the form of coinage), but due to some crisis, it is suddenly removed from them, like in prisons, or when a region is conquered and all its coinage is seized by the invader.
 
m00
2013-06-05 12:58:16 PM  

HighOnCraic: Surely you can provide an example of a libertarian who has argued that Federal power was necessary to end segregation in the South. . .


I'm a libertarian, and I'm arguing it might not have been technically necessary, but the concept of ending segregation is an example of Federal Government exerting it's powers to protect individual liberty -- the liberty of a business to conduct commercial transactions with members of both races simultaneously, and the liberty of an individual to patronize a business where members of the opposite race also happen to be. This is one of the few things government ought to be doing.
 
2013-06-05 12:58:31 PM  

vygramul: And yet when Gorp takes the spear he just made, and holds it at Grog's neck and demands a third deer, you need authority to step in and enforce the contract. I can give you an example of two people having communism work in the stone-age, too. That doesn't mean the example is actually meaningful.


The threat to get another deer can happen with or without any pre-existing agreement. That's just "might makes right" and exists in all times and places. If you are arguing for "rule of law" needing an enforcing agent, then you are correct. But Capitalism doesn't NEED "rule of law" to exist.

(Also, you need more than two people to have communism.  Communism actually does require an enforcement agency, because it requires involuntary compliance. But Socialism, you definitely could have with a couple cave men. Very probably DID have.)
 
m00
2013-06-05 12:59:54 PM  

RanDomino: So get together with your neighbors and form a militia. If it's not strong enough, appeal to the regional federation for mutual aid. You did organize a regional federation, right?


You're honestly arguing against a self-identified libertarian using a parody/strawman of what you think libertarians believe as a counter-example?
 
m00
2013-06-05 01:02:47 PM  

HighOnCraic: m00: RanDomino: Libertarianism is used as ideological cover to push an agenda of dismantling civil society and forking over public assets to private corporations, giving them blatantly unfair favors, lowering their taxes while raising fees and effectively raising fees and lowering services for poor people, annihilating environmental protections and gutting unions, etc.

You mean unlike Conservatism, Liberalism, Socialism...

All sides are bad!  Voter Libertarian!


I'm not trying to tell you who to vote for. I'm just saying I have my ideas on what a decent government should look like, and you have yours. The fact that politicians use every ideology as a cover for doing the opposite of what that ideology espouses is not an indictment of its tenants. It's an indictment of politicians, and political parties in general.

Don't vote for career politicians who place their party/financial interests above decency.
 
2013-06-05 01:02:56 PM  

m00: HighOnCraic: Surely you can provide an example of a libertarian who has argued that Federal power was necessary to end segregation in the South. . .

I'm a libertarian, and I'm arguing it might not have been technically necessary, but the concept of ending segregation is an example of Federal Government exerting it's powers to protect individual liberty -- the liberty of a business to conduct commercial transactions with members of both races simultaneously, and the liberty of an individual to patronize a business where members of the opposite race also happen to be. This is one of the few things government ought to be doing.


Why do you think Federal power wasn't technically necessary?  Southerners believed that segregation was ordained by God Himself, and that integration was part of Communist plot to destroy America.  Do you think they would've changed their minds without outside influence?

I respect your position as a random person posting on the internet.  Have any prominent libertarians publicly supported civil rights legislation?
 
2013-06-05 01:03:22 PM  

m00: You're honestly arguing against a self-identified libertarian using a parody/strawman of what you think libertarians believe as a counter-example?


RanDomino really only argues with absurdist strawmen. First time seeing him in action?
 
m00
2013-06-05 01:03:22 PM  
Going to the gym, I'll be on later :)
 
2013-06-05 01:04:01 PM  

m00: I'm a libertarian, and I'm arguing it might not have been technically necessary, but the concept of ending segregation is an example of Federal Government exerting it's powers to protect individual liberty -- the liberty of a business to conduct commercial transactions with members of both races simultaneously, and the liberty of an individual to patronize a business where members of the opposite race also happen to be. This is one of the few things government ought to be doing.



It's a nice idea, but just not historically accurate.  Government MANDATED racial segregation right before it MANDATED (certain forms of) racial integration.

There has never been a substantial period of time when government actually respected the rights of property and free association, and left people alone to their voluntary interactions.

This is true as to race, but as to all other modes of free association and uses of property, to varying degrees.
 
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