So, what's wrong with Libertarianism?

Discussion in 'Off-Topic' started by Tahuti, Jul 7, 2013.

  1. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    While I do not intend to compare Libertarianism morally to Fascism, even though some will undoubtedly, it is a spin-off thread of the said thread.

    I think everyone on CFC would be curious to know an answer to that question, so, here we go.
     
  2. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    The same thing that is wrong with Communism: It's incompatible with human nature. People will do whatever they can get away with to increase their own wealth and power, and under a Llibertarian system they can get away with too much.
     
  3. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    The biggest problem with it is that the people who are advocating it really don't know what it is that they are advocating, or why. But a major related problem is that some of them really do know what they are after, and why, and those things are really bad for the rest of us.

    Liberty is about maximizing the freedom of each person to make as many choices, and as broad of a range of choices, that effect their own lives as possible. Consistent with those people not harming other people or taking away the liberty of others. Liberty does not mean there is no government. Because the reality is that without government, there is no liberty for the overwhelming majority of people. There is a reason Somalia is so frequently brought up in discussions of libertarianism. You have a land without, to all intents and purposes, a government. You also have a hellhole where it is kill or be killed, be predator or be prey. There is no liberty to be had there, outside the "liberty" to beat, kill, rob, and rape, others.

    There is no liberty to be left alone to do your thing and run your business and raise your family in Somalia. Instead, they have no government.

    If you consider the Harm Principle and the Non-aggression principle as starting points, legitimate behavior for liberty excludes those behaviors that bring harm to others. But how do you enforce that? Some people simply make the, ridiculous, argument that that without government people won't act in ways that bring harm to others.

    Which brings us back to Somalia.

    In the real world people act in ways that harm, or at least risk harm, to others all the damned time. And this is particularly true in economic dealings. Without a government to keep a lid on those behaviors, those people who are the victims of others have no liberty. So without government instead of getting the liberty of all, you only have the liberty of the few, and that specifically at the cost of the loss of liberty of the many.
     
  4. Smellincoffee

    Smellincoffee Trekkie At Large

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    As a left-libertarian, my greatest reserves about identifying with the libertarian movement in the United States, which is not of the left, is the power of monopolies. I'm also concerned about environmental degradation. Both stem from my healthy respect for the abusive force of economic power, a concern right-libertarians don't seem to share. I'm sold on the untenability of planned economies and the principle of non-coercion, but unbridled economic power is a danger.
     
  5. kramerfan86

    kramerfan86 Deity

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    For me I think its a bit naive. I agree with it on some issues, but the really strong libertarians who think that you can just remove regulations and the free market will control things are being far too big of idealists for my tastes. The early 20th century shows businesses will get straightup horrifying to make a dollar if allowed to run unopposed.
     
  6. Cheezy the Wiz

    Cheezy the Wiz Socialist In A Hurry

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    And what do you know about human nature?
     
  7. Eukaryote

    Eukaryote Deity

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    This.

    (I'm assuming we're talking about hardcore libertarianism)

    Also, hardcore libertarianism is scope insensitive (http://lesswrong.com/lw/hw/scope_insensitivity/). The battlecry of the hardcore libertarian is to say "we shouldn't raise taxes on one millionaire in order to lower taxes on 1,000 middle class people, because that would be unfair to the millionaire." Unfair? Who cares if it's unfair? The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.
     
  8. MilesGregarius

    MilesGregarius Half-baked Renegade

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    This.

    I find it amusing how some will rant incessantly about the oppression of government bureaucracy, but refuse to admit/understand that corporate bureaucracies can be as or, more likely, more oppressive if untethered from all regulation.
     
  9. Patroklos

    Patroklos Deity

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    No government is not a tenant of libertarianism. Input and recompute.
     
  10. Perfection

    Perfection The Great Head.

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    Libertarianism would be cool except that it's full of libertarians.
     
  11. Quintillus

    Quintillus Archiving Civ3 Content Supporter

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    That's one of the main problems I have with libertarianism (as it's often practiced in the U.S., at least). It's not pragmatic/realistic enough. The taxes-on-millionaires example is a good one, although that applies to the Tea Party as well.

    Different, but still along the go-all-the-way-even-if-it's-impractical line, is the War on Drugs. Libertarians often advocate legalizing all drugs, saying that will be better and it will get rid of the shadiest drugs (i.e. of unknown potency). While for some drugs legalization and taxation may actually work out better than being outlawed, a lot of libertarians seem to think it's a good idea to legalized cocaine, heroin, and similar drugs as well. Which kind of relates to Cutlass's argument - I don't think that, given human nature, legalizing cocaine, heroin, et. al. will result in a decrease of violence.

    Give me a libertarian party that is moderate on drugs and taxation, and I might find it quite compelling. I already like the civil liberties and most of the social liberty aspects of the Libertarians.
     
  12. Tahuti

    Tahuti Writing Deity

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    Well, that's because Libertarians (at least the ones I've encountered) will believe that large harmful corporations are the result of the government regulations, which - considering corporations are a legal entity granted by government - is not a completely unjustified line of reasoning.
     
  13. Lone Wolf

    Lone Wolf Deity

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    What is libertarianism, anyway? Is it conservatism - interventionism + pot? Or is there something else about its approach?
     
  14. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    "Human nature" seems to be a sufficient argument against everything.

    "Communism?" "Ah, but human nature..."
    "Libertarianism?" "Ah, but human nature..."
    "Putting some pants on?" "Ah, but human nature..."
     
  15. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Creator

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    Well, to be fair, the prehistoric development of clothes probably happened essentially due to weather-based needs. Considering that isolated tribes in warm areas of other continents still used very little in terms of clothing when the Europeans reached them, it is quite plausible :)
     
  16. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    I am human and so are most of my friends.

    I use it mostly as a term for selfishness + shortsightedness. Even if 90% of all people behaved in a responsible and altruistic way, the remaining 10% would be enough to cause serious damage.
     
  17. Traitorfish

    Traitorfish The Tighnahulish Kid

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    Paraphrasing Edward Abbey, if so few people are fit to rule even themselves, what leads you to believe that they are fit to rule others?
     
  18. GoodSarmatian

    GoodSarmatian Jokerfied Western Male

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    It's not like the people who 'rule' can do as they please in our modern states. They too are -in theory- bound by the same laws as the citizenry. Checks and balances and all that. It's not a perfect and the reality doesn't always live up to the theory, but it's preferable to the alternative.
     
  19. Kyriakos

    Kyriakos Creator

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    In theory they are, but in reality they seem to largely not be bound by law. It already was so in ancient times, with the famous proverb that while the larger animals easily break through the spider's web, the smaller ones get trapped there indefinitely.
     
  20. Cutlass

    Cutlass The Man Who Wasn't There.

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    The absence of government does not imply the absence of corporations. They make too much economic sense to just spontaneously vanish.




    With inclusive groups the extremes tend to be moderated by averaging them out.
     

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