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DrSeuss
Metal newbie

Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:23 pm
Posts: 261
Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Tue Oct 07, 2008 9:19 pm 
 

Diverging from the main political spectrum thread, I was wondering if anyone here is a Libertarian like myself or has opinions on this frame of political mind.

This label has some wide arrays of thought, including such extremes as Anarcho-Capitalism and even something called Libertarian Socialism. However, all Libertarians emphasize the individual liberties and freedoms, whatever they interpret that to be.

For those who are new to the subject: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism

I suppose I would be on the more right side of Libertarianism, with a tinge of classic liberalism, with my affinity for Laissez-Faire market. I always found myself dissatisfied with political thoughts in the United States, until I found Libertarianism and Objectivism.

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ebola_legion
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Joined: Fri Mar 23, 2007 1:00 am
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 5:07 am 
 

I would identify myself as Libertarian.


I believe the citizens of the United States should be free to do as they please, so long as they do not interfere with the civil Liberties of others. Just as you will find within the Libertarian sect, my views on certain aspects of the government tend to be erratic.


As far as economics are concerned, I think the procurement of raw materials should be handled by the government. After production, American business could take over to use the materials as needed. The government could surely make profit off of the production of these materials, but would need to adhere to strict parameters in the face of dishonest marketing. Thus said profits could be used to keep taxes relatively low and could serve to stabilize the market. In addition, I think massive tax breaks should be given to companies turning to technology and complete automation in production. With the production standards companies face in the United States as compared to other nations around the planet, American goods could be made efficiently and to the highest of standards, to be sold on the global market.


I have nothing to say on the social aspects of the government.
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UncleYaris
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:56 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 1:55 pm 
 

I really do not like libertarianism,


maybe its because I'm an authoritarian, but my main argument was always that since the economy is such a vital thing to the state, why should it be trusted to an entity not under the states control? It only makes sense that the government controls the economy since it is the government's responsibility to act as a steward of the state, and as such should be responsible for the single most important vital aspect of the economy.

i also think that it is the state's responsibility to set the parameters in society to ensure mankind will not destroy itself. i see man as an inherently evil creature by nature, and it is up to the government to ensure our greed and brutality are curbed to promote the a common good for all people. a small sacrifice in terms of excessive liberty benefits in the long run through order and stability.

just my opinion though. and no, i am not a communist. i'm generally against socialism as a rule, but there are exceptions.

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BardInTheForest
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Joined: Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:59 pm
Posts: 967
Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 3:03 pm 
 

I lean libertarian but I'm for government regulation (NOT CONTROL) and safety standards, etc. which seem to often be ignored and frowned upon by libertarians.

On a spectrum from left to right with Socialism on the far left and Libertarianism on the far right, I'm probably about 3/4 of the way to the right when talking about the federal government. On the state level, depending on the state, I may consider myself fairly liberal or conservative based on the interests and problems of those states. I just think the federal government can wield too much power if given too many responsibilities. It should also go without mentioning that the federal government is way too inefficient at dealing with any responsibilities it is given...

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hells_unicorn
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 6:51 pm 
 

I'm what you would call a Paleoconservative Libertarian with a few Anarchist and Local Direct Democracy traits. I like Mike Gravel's idea of a national initiative, which is essentially a little bit of a direct democracy wrinkle into a federal system, although I like the idea of breaking America up into a plethora of smaller, independent states a little better, hence I also have some anti-Federalist views as well.

I oppose Anarcho-Syndicalism and Libertarian Socialism, as well as more putrid forms of soft authoritarianism like Neo-Conservatism and Neo-Liberalism. I'm anti-war, anti-military interventionalism, pro-militia, anti-federalist, anti-corporatist, anti-central bank, anti-IRS, and oppose most other policies considered mainstream for the past 150 years in the USA, while I favor a lot of ideas more commonplace before that period.
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ThrashingMad
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Joined: Sun Sep 30, 2007 3:47 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:21 pm 
 

UncleYaris wrote:
I really do not like libertarianism,


maybe its because I'm an authoritarian, but my main argument was always that since the economy is such a vital thing to the state, why should it be trusted to an entity not under the states control? It only makes sense that the government controls the economy since it is the government's responsibility to act as a steward of the state, and as such should be responsible for the single most important vital aspect of the economy.

i also think that it is the state's responsibility to set the parameters in society to ensure mankind will not destroy itself. i see man as an inherently evil creature by nature, and it is up to the government to ensure our greed and brutality are curbed to promote the a common good for all people. a small sacrifice in terms of excessive liberty benefits in the long run through order and stability.

just my opinion though. and no, i am not a communist. i'm generally against socialism as a rule, but there are exceptions.


You speak of government as if it is not made up of men. If man is inherently evil, why, or rather how would his evil subside once he is in a position of government? Government figures, as well as common men are capable of both brutality and greed.

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Noobbot
Mors_Gloria + Thesaurus

Joined: Sun Mar 23, 2008 4:48 pm
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Location: United States of America
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:37 pm 
 

Individualist here, but it seems I'm one amongst a relative few. Even most 'metalheads' view anarchists as idiots through backwards strawmen and outright fallacies. But I have recently opened my mind to a partially mutualistic system, too, concerned foremost on automating industrial production and streamlining technology and science. If the current, dismal system is phased out gradually enough, and government is eventually eschewed, I would imagine most people would benefit - most except the top five or ten per cent elite. And yet most people resist this.

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PhantomOTO
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Joined: Fri Sep 26, 2003 8:19 am
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Location: United States
PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 7:46 pm 
 

TimeEnd wrote:
interesting stuff, i dont quite understand alot of it though. =P

socialism sounds good but then theres the 'no private property' aspect of
it.

i really dono which one i could be.

The Socialist concept of private property seems to be something that is often misunderstood. The idea does not necessarily include commodities, i.e. a Socialist does not care if you have three shirts and I have two. Property is the "means of production". Socialists generally object to a person profiting from property that he does not actually labor upon, such as a factor owner who profits from the labor of the workers he has hired to operate machinery that he owns. This is considered inherently unfair, as the workers do not get a share of the profits equal to their labor, and the owner gets a large share of profit while contributing little actual labor, and he can abuse the workers quite arbitrarily since he owns the factory and they have little recourse against him. So, when a Socialist seeks to eliminate private property (and this may only be in a matter of degree), he/she is referring to property that can produce wealth, with the goal of allowing for equal access to and profit from that property (or a share of the profit in accordance with the labor contributed), not necessarily giving everyone an equal amount of consumer goods and enforcing limits on what commodities can be acquired. Of course, this is just a general overview of the concept and various Socialist thinkers and leaders have modified/abused it over time.

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UncleYaris
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Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2008 9:56 pm
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:41 pm 
 

ThrashingMad wrote:
UncleYaris wrote:
I really do not like libertarianism,


maybe its because I'm an authoritarian, but my main argument was always that since the economy is such a vital thing to the state, why should it be trusted to an entity not under the states control? It only makes sense that the government controls the economy since it is the government's responsibility to act as a steward of the state, and as such should be responsible for the single most important vital aspect of the economy.

i also think that it is the state's responsibility to set the parameters in society to ensure mankind will not destroy itself. i see man as an inherently evil creature by nature, and it is up to the government to ensure our greed and brutality are curbed to promote the a common good for all people. a small sacrifice in terms of excessive liberty benefits in the long run through order and stability.

just my opinion though. and no, i am not a communist. i'm generally against socialism as a rule, but there are exceptions.


You speak of government as if it is not made up of men. If man is inherently evil, why, or rather how would his evil subside once he is in a position of government? Government figures, as well as common men are capable of both brutality and greed.


thats where the philosopher-king comes into play. you need a system that inherently breed competent ruler. e.g. if i walk out of university with a political science degree, the university's job was to breed me into a competent ruler, in which case i would be in line to replace the current one.

Plato's system can work, given the right parameters.

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hells_unicorn
Metalhead

Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
Posts: 2241
Location: United States
PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:04 am 
 

UncleYaris wrote:
ThrashingMad wrote:
UncleYaris wrote:
I really do not like libertarianism,


maybe its because I'm an authoritarian, but my main argument was always that since the economy is such a vital thing to the state, why should it be trusted to an entity not under the states control? It only makes sense that the government controls the economy since it is the government's responsibility to act as a steward of the state, and as such should be responsible for the single most important vital aspect of the economy.

i also think that it is the state's responsibility to set the parameters in society to ensure mankind will not destroy itself. i see man as an inherently evil creature by nature, and it is up to the government to ensure our greed and brutality are curbed to promote the a common good for all people. a small sacrifice in terms of excessive liberty benefits in the long run through order and stability.

just my opinion though. and no, i am not a communist. i'm generally against socialism as a rule, but there are exceptions.


You speak of government as if it is not made up of men. If man is inherently evil, why, or rather how would his evil subside once he is in a position of government? Government figures, as well as common men are capable of both brutality and greed.


thats where the philosopher-king comes into play. you need a system that inherently breed competent ruler. e.g. if i walk out of university with a political science degree, the university's job was to breed me into a competent ruler, in which case i would be in line to replace the current one.

Plato's system can work, given the right parameters.


Plato was the architect of methodical tyranny and divinely sanctioned propaganda, so it is natural that a supporter of his would hate the concept of individual liberty. Speaking for myself, I would not want to be subject to a system devised by a man who spent many a day praising the God of Gods that he was born a Greek rather than another race and a man rather than a woman. Any person who would engage in such tomfoolery could never be trusted with political power, let alone suggesting what ought to be a political system by which all are subject to.
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Osmium
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Joined: Sat Nov 22, 2003 2:18 am
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 12:17 am 
 

UncleYaris wrote:
thats where the philosopher-king comes into play. you need a system that inherently breed competent ruler. e.g. if i walk out of university with a political science degree, the university's job was to breed me into a competent ruler, in which case i would be in line to replace the current one.

Plato's system can work, given the right parameters.


But what about people who are sociopaths, who could mimic all the traits one would want in a philosopher king, assume the position and then rule in a self-serving fashion? Also, what if your philosopher king develops a health disorder that affects his sense of reason, or just has a bad day? If his power is not checked by some other apparatus, he could very well go from a philosopher king to a regular tyrant within a short span of time.

Also, I don't know about where you got your bachelor's in polisci, but it's not a particularly rigorous field as far I'm aware.

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cinedracusio
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 2:32 am 
 

Let's say it clear, there will always be lows and highs and power games and dependences between various people. No matter if you are libertarian or not. I found out that Spinoza was right by saying that freedom has its conscience rooted in the nature of necessity. It's all within you. You can be a slave that feels free or a master that cannot break his chains. It can be seen from various angles.
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hells_unicorn
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Joined: Tue Feb 15, 2005 8:32 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 11:24 am 
 

cinedracusio wrote:
Let's say it clear, there will always be lows and highs and power games and dependences between various people. No matter if you are libertarian or not. I found out that Spinoza was right by saying that freedom has its conscience rooted in the nature of necessity. It's all within you. You can be a slave that feels free or a master that cannot break his chains. It can be seen from various angles.


Don't take this the wrong way, but I read Mein Kampf a while back and I took note of the fact that Hitler was a pretty big fan of Spinoza's philosophy. Do you have any background as to why that was? I do know that Spinoza had some commonalities with Pragmatism in some respects and that the Nazi ideology had it's fair share of Pragmatic implementations.

Quote:
But what about people who are sociopaths, who could mimic all the traits one would want in a philosopher king, assume the position and then rule in a self-serving fashion? Also, what if your philosopher king develops a health disorder that affects his sense of reason, or just has a bad day? If his power is not checked by some other apparatus, he could very well go from a philosopher king to a regular tyrant within a short span of time.


This is actually a good assessment of the current power structure set into America's government. Most of the higher ranking politicians recieved their education and most likely their ideological training from Ivy League schools, so in essence they were meant to be the leader types outlined in Plato's model, and have all turned out to be tyrannical in several respects, although the Constitution limited their destructive abilites until just very recently.
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Expedience
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Joined: Wed Aug 27, 2008 4:22 am
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 4:07 pm 
 

UncleYaris wrote:
I really do not like libertarianism,


maybe its because I'm an authoritarian, but my main argument was always that since the economy is such a vital thing to the state, why should it be trusted to an entity not under the states control? It only makes sense that the government controls the economy since it is the government's responsibility to act as a steward of the state, and as such should be responsible for the single most important vital aspect of the economy.


Yep. This is the reason a lot of western economies are collapsing around us. John Gray has being saying what you just said for decades, you should read some of his stuff if you haven't.

Quote:
i also think that it is the state's responsibility to set the parameters in society to ensure mankind will not destroy itself. i see man as an inherently evil creature by nature, and it is up to the government to ensure our greed and brutality are curbed to promote the a common good for all people. a small sacrifice in terms of excessive liberty benefits in the long run through order and stability.


Depends on what the state sees as good. In libertarian states a good citizen is someone who doesn't break the law, otherwise everyone can pretty much do whatever they want. With increasing diversity in libertarian states it's hard for the state to keep everyone under control. Religion did that in the past without needing a criminal code, and still does it in most middle-eastern and asian countries. Replacing religious, moral and social common ground with more and more laws is not good. It's inevitable to end up with a police state where no one is free in any real sense. Libertarian might work in a place where everyone is inherently equal and similar to each other (pre-20th C England, early North America), but is doomed to fail when diversity comes into play. Look at the US, the incarceration rate is massive and it's mainly the minorities who are in jail.

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DrSeuss
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2007 2:23 pm
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 09, 2008 7:26 pm 
 

Expedience wrote:
UncleYaris wrote:
I really do not like libertarianism,


maybe its because I'm an authoritarian, but my main argument was always that since the economy is such a vital thing to the state, why should it be trusted to an entity not under the states control? It only makes sense that the government controls the economy since it is the government's responsibility to act as a steward of the state, and as such should be responsible for the single most important vital aspect of the economy.


Yep. This is the reason a lot of western economies are collapsing around us. John Gray has being saying what you just said for decades, you should read some of his stuff if you haven't.

Quote:
i also think that it is the state's responsibility to set the parameters in society to ensure mankind will not destroy itself. i see man as an inherently evil creature by nature, and it is up to the government to ensure our greed and brutality are curbed to promote the a common good for all people. a small sacrifice in terms of excessive liberty benefits in the long run through order and stability.


Depends on what the state sees as good. In libertarian states a good citizen is someone who doesn't break the law, otherwise everyone can pretty much do whatever they want. With increasing diversity in libertarian states it's hard for the state to keep everyone under control. Religion did that in the past without needing a criminal code, and still does it in most middle-eastern and asian countries. Replacing religious, moral and social common ground with more and more laws is not good. It's inevitable to end up with a police state where no one is free in any real sense. Libertarian might work in a place where everyone is inherently equal and similar to each other (pre-20th C England, early North America), but is doomed to fail when diversity comes into play. Look at the US, the incarceration rate is massive and it's mainly the minorities who are in jail.


Fair argument, but you seem to throw all of humanity under the same bus. Apparently atheists and agnostics are immoral, unjust, and unruly. Simply not the case, seeing as the most docile members of American and Western society as a whole seem to be non religious, and if I'm not mistaken some of the most non religious countries in the world have some of the highest standards of living and low crime rates (ie; Norway). Another generalization, but there has been more killing in a Deity's name than in nothing.

When you say minorities are the ones filling prisons across the country, this is true when statistics are shown, but some of the most religious people I've met are minorities of black and Hispanic descent. Also, in case you haven't noticed, select countries in the Middle East and many far eastern Asian countries for the latter half of the twentieth century have been in turmoil.

Any form of collectivism is bad, whether it be on racial grounds or religious grounds, they end with the same results. Religion doesn't stop anyone from killing anyone else, in fact, it harbors it in most cases. Education is the key to ending crime for the most part, not some fairy tale backwater morals.

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Lumikuuro
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 10, 2008 8:55 pm 
 

I'm pretty much a standard libertarian, although I don't like the US Libertarian party's view on deregulated borders. I can agree with UncleYaris a bit though. I kind of seem to be "Authoritarian in theory, Libertarian in practice."

In a perfect world we'd elect, literally, the best person for the job and give them absolute power to get things done. Although since that will probably never happen Libertarianism is the way to go, in my mind at least.

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Scorpio
Healthy Dose of Reality

Joined: Fri Apr 11, 2003 3:30 pm
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 12:45 am 
 

UncleYaris wrote:
thats where the philosopher-king comes into play. you need a system that inherently breed competent ruler. e.g. if i walk out of university with a political science degree, the university's job was to breed me into a competent ruler, in which case i would be in line to replace the current one.

Plato's system can work, given the right parameters.


Plato's idea of the philosopher king is intimately connected to Platonist metaphysics. Note that Plato says the the PK should undergo extensive mathematical training (10 years, IIRC). Why is this? It does not appear that one need be a mathematician to govern. Well, the reason is that for Plato, mathematics involves intuiting mathematical forms. I.e., turning away from the realm of sensibilia to the realm of abstracta. Learning math is a necessary step towards being able to apprehend the form of the good. The Plato of the Republic would be horrified at the interpretation that the Philosopher King is one who merely understands the brute mechanics of governance, for obvious reasons. Viz., unless one has access to the moral forms, one can use knowledge of governance and politics to wicked ends. Morality is even more important than knowledge of politics. If one does not agree with Plato's metaphysics, the proposal falls apart since I might learn everything there is to know about statehood but without moral sense, I may use my power to aggrandize myself at the expense of the citizenry.
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Scorpio
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 2:26 am 
 

Quote:
Don't take this the wrong way, but I read Mein Kampf a while back and I took note of the fact that Hitler was a pretty big fan of Spinoza's philosophy.


Interesting. I was not aware of that and google isn't being helpful. Are you sure you're not thinking of Schopenhauer?
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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 1:59 pm 
 

Scorpio wrote:
Quote:
Don't take this the wrong way, but I read Mein Kampf a while back and I took note of the fact that Hitler was a pretty big fan of Spinoza's philosophy.


Interesting. I was not aware of that and google isn't being helpful. Are you sure you're not thinking of Schopenhauer?


I do remember Schopenhauer being heavily present in there, but I could have sworn I saw a good deal of stuff referring to Spinoza's philosophy. I borrowed a copy of Mein Kampf a while back and don't have my own copy so I may have to pick one up.

With the way things have been going nowadays, I wouldn't be surprised if I get an angry letter from the Anti-Defamation League or some other fascist group for purchasing the book. Then again, I didn't get one when I purchased a compilation containing Martin Luther's "On The Jews and their Lies" so maybe I'll be okay. :lol:
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DrSeuss
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 6:50 pm 
 

BardInTheForest wrote:
I lean libertarian but I'm for government regulation (NOT CONTROL) and safety standards, etc. which seem to often be ignored and frowned upon by libertarians.

On a spectrum from left to right with Socialism on the far left and Libertarianism on the far right, I'm probably about 3/4 of the way to the right when talking about the federal government. On the state level, depending on the state, I may consider myself fairly liberal or conservative based on the interests and problems of those states. I just think the federal government can wield too much power if given too many responsibilities. It should also go without mentioning that the federal government is way too inefficient at dealing with any responsibilities it is given...


...Basically a typical American liberal?

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Dechripastocide
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 11, 2008 10:41 pm 
 

DrSeuss wrote:
BardInTheForest wrote:
I lean libertarian but I'm for government regulation (NOT CONTROL) and safety standards, etc. which seem to often be ignored and frowned upon by libertarians.

On a spectrum from left to right with Socialism on the far left and Libertarianism on the far right, I'm probably about 3/4 of the way to the right when talking about the federal government. On the state level, depending on the state, I may consider myself fairly liberal or conservative based on the interests and problems of those states. I just think the federal government can wield too much power if given too many responsibilities. It should also go without mentioning that the federal government is way too inefficient at dealing with any responsibilities it is given...


...Basically a typical American liberal?

I think he was trying to balance each initial statement by giving a follow-up statement, and it came off as inarticulate and contradictory to say the least. Which is not unlike most politicians you see on the mainstream news attempting to explain the goals of their campaign(s).

Interesting topic here, I'll continue to read your posts and google names I'm not familiar with.

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ReigningChaos
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 12, 2008 3:11 pm 
 

hells_unicorn wrote:
I'm what you would call a Paleoconservative Libertarian with a few Anarchist and Local Direct Democracy traits. I like Mike Gravel's idea of a national initiative, which is essentially a little bit of a direct democracy wrinkle into a federal system, although I like the idea of breaking America up into a plethora of smaller, independent states a little better, hence I also have some anti-Federalist views as well.

I oppose Anarcho-Syndicalism and Libertarian Socialism, as well as more putrid forms of soft authoritarianism like Neo-Conservatism and Neo-Liberalism. I'm anti-war, anti-military interventionalism, pro-militia, anti-federalist, anti-corporatist, anti-central bank, anti-IRS, and oppose most other policies considered mainstream for the past 150 years in the USA, while I favor a lot of ideas more commonplace before that period.


We seem to have a lot in common. I am an anarcho-capitalist / minarchist. I think that society, when left to its down devices, will be able to correct most of the problems that come its way without the government. Especially in this day and age, when technology puts more power and resources into the hands of individuals than ever before.
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CheezburgerBlues
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 11:26 am 
 

I wouldn't positively say I'm a libertarian. I can see merit in both modern liberal and libertarian philosophies. Really, I tend not to have strong views about anything. Make of that what you will.

But anyway, in the past I was friendlier with libertarianism, classical liberalism, and liberal conservatism. I had read some John Locke and I loved his style. I also skimmed through a Thomas Sowell book when I was maybe 13 or so, and that made a lasting impression on me. Then I one day I was sitting down, trying to figure out why I was a libertarian, and I could not come up with a good answer, as one might infer from the above.

I would say that libertarianism works better than more "collectivistic" philosophies given a natural rights-based approach to politics. When we look at, say, the U.S. Democratic party campaigning for a universal "right" to health insurance, it's pretty plain that they can't be talking about an inherent "natural right." No sane person would have argued that health insurance was a "right" in, say, 14th-century Europe. Yet 14th-century Europeans presumably had the same set of natural rights that we do.

However, "natural rights" are in a tenuous position in my own rather naturalistic worldview. Ignore the word "natural;" how could any natural process result in the creation of "natural rights?" I don't see how. Historically, many "natural rights" philosophers believed that the rights came from God. Libertarianism isn't doomed, as a libertarian government could be justified on utilitarian grounds ("when we do this, virtually everybody benefits, so it's good"). But I'm afraid that I just don't see how rights-libertarianism can hold water. Thus, the type of naiive libertarianism characterized by statements such as "they have no right to take my stuff to feed some government project!" tends to annoy me. "Why don't they?" I would ask.

Hope that was interesting to read :)

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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 2:13 pm 
 

CheezburgerBlues wrote:
I wouldn't positively say I'm a libertarian. I can see merit in both modern liberal and libertarian philosophies. Really, I tend not to have strong views about anything. Make of that what you will.

But anyway, in the past I was friendlier with libertarianism, classical liberalism, and liberal conservatism. I had read some John Locke and I loved his style. I also skimmed through a Thomas Sowell book when I was maybe 13 or so, and that made a lasting impression on me. Then I one day I was sitting down, trying to figure out why I was a libertarian, and I could not come up with a good answer, as one might infer from the above.

I would say that libertarianism works better than more "collectivistic" philosophies given a natural rights-based approach to politics. When we look at, say, the U.S. Democratic party campaigning for a universal "right" to health insurance, it's pretty plain that they can't be talking about an inherent "natural right." No sane person would have argued that health insurance was a "right" in, say, 14th-century Europe. Yet 14th-century Europeans presumably had the same set of natural rights that we do.

However, "natural rights" are in a tenuous position in my own rather naturalistic worldview. Ignore the word "natural;" how could any natural process result in the creation of "natural rights?" I don't see how. Historically, many "natural rights" philosophers believed that the rights came from God. Libertarianism isn't doomed, as a libertarian government could be justified on utilitarian grounds ("when we do this, virtually everybody benefits, so it's good"). But I'm afraid that I just don't see how rights-libertarianism can hold water. Thus, the type of naiive libertarianism characterized by statements such as "they have no right to take my stuff to feed some government project!" tends to annoy me. "Why don't they?" I would ask.

Hope that was interesting to read :)


Personally I don't believe in Natural Rights because I'm not a Naturalist. John Locke is an important figure historically for Agnostic/Empiricist minded Libertarians who aren't particularly keen on the idea of speculative metaphysics. Rights are derived from a logical inquiry, which is derived from human reason. Being of a classical theistic and platonic persuasion with some slight Aristotelian leanings, I'd argue that human reason in term derives from the Logos, or the universal reason inherent in all reality.

Specifically as it pertains to the quote "They don't have the right issue", in their own minds, the government do have the right to do as they please, because they have the force of arms to do anything they can imagine, and also the ability to sway public opinion specifically through the use of programs like those to buy support. This is the essence of mob rule and it is what Plato decried when he denounced Athenian democracy.

Apply this viewpoint of morality consistently, and you could say that the government has the right to do as it pleases without answering to the objections of individual citizens who possess the faculty to believe in the concept of individual rights. But by the same token, that individual has equal right to use force to knock off a few government officials as pay back via assassination, or go on a shooting spree in some government project area to collect his fee for the money that was taxed from him to pay for their free housing, although in the end said person would ultimately forfeit his own freedom or life in the process due to the superior firepower of his adversary.

Government is, by its very nature, forced conformity without question, especially in the United States at present, which is one of the reasons I've found anarchist views a little more sympathetic than I used to. You can formulate any form of fictional morality to excuse it, but when you apply critical thinking to the end results of the welfare/warfare state, the Libertarian viewpoint on natural rights is preferrable to the guns and butter way of doing things that many utilitarian and naturalist thinkers have grown to support in the past century.
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CheezburgerBlues
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 6:18 pm 
 

hells_unicorn--

Thank you for an insightful post. You wrote that

hells_unicorn wrote:
Personally I don't believe in Natural Rights because I'm not a Naturalist.


I'm not sure what you mean. As far as I know, naturalism doesn't follow from natural rights, so non-naturalism doesn't imply the non-existence of natural rights. The "natural" in the phrase "natural rights" refers to the fact that humans have them "by their very nature" or "in the state of nature." However, these rights may nonetheless be God-given, such that if God didn't exist, the rights wouldn't exist either. Do you agree?

Locke, for example, is considered a definitive natural rights theorist, and he believed that the rights were given by God. Based on what you have written, it sounds to me like you do believe in "natural rights," based on how I have previously understood that term.

hells_unicorn wrote:
Specifically as it pertains to the quote "They don't have the right issue", in their own minds, the government do have the right to do as they please, because they have the force of arms to do anything they can imagine, and also the ability to sway public opinion specifically through the use of programs like those to buy support. This is the essence of mob rule and it is what Plato decried when he denounced Athenian democracy.

Apply this viewpoint of morality consistently, and you could say that the government has the right to do as it pleases without answering to the objections of individual citizens who possess the faculty to believe in the concept of individual rights.


What does "this viewpoint of morality," in the second paragraph, refer to? It's obviously true that from the fact that something happens, it is not thereby right or good. But what are you setting that up against?

For my part, my annoyance at the people I was calling "naiive libertarians" stems from the fact that they seem to think that whatever is "theirs" (by common law) must also be rightfully "theirs" (in an ultimate ethical sense), and they don't even realize the leap that they are making. Obviously no one will admit to being a "naiive libertarian," but I do think it would be better if everyone took some time to ponder why it would be that moral rights to property must be absolute.

hells_unicorn wrote:
Government is, by its very nature, forced conformity without question, especially in the United States at present, which is one of the reasons I've found anarchist views a little more sympathetic than I used to. You can formulate any form of fictional morality to excuse it, but when you apply critical thinking to the end results of the welfare/warfare state, the Libertarian viewpoint on natural rights is preferrable to the guns and butter way of doing things that many utilitarian and naturalist thinkers have grown to support in the past century.


This part of your post also confuses me because you said, "apply critical thinking to the end results of the welfare/warfare state." (emphasis added). You seem to be basing the conclusion "Statism is bad" on the premise that "it has bad consequences," which would be a utilitarian line of thinking.

I hope you find the above post as interesting as I found yours.

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hells_unicorn
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 13, 2008 9:41 pm 
 

Quote:
I'm not sure what you mean. As far as I know, naturalism doesn't follow from natural rights, so non-naturalism doesn't imply the non-existence of natural rights. The "natural" in the phrase "natural rights" refers to the fact that humans have them "by their very nature" or "in the state of nature." However, these rights may nonetheless be God-given, such that if God didn't exist, the rights wouldn't exist either. Do you agree?


Naturalism is not synonymous with the concept of natural rights, as you've rightly pointed out Locke was a proponent of natural rights, whereas other naturalists like David Hume and Jeremy Bentham rejected the concept of natural rights.

What I was getting at is that I'm not an Empiricist, hence the epistemological viewpoint that is common to all philosophical naturalists is rejected by me, so I don't approach morality/ethics (which derive from both metaphysics and epistemology) in the same way as any philosophical naturalist would from the get go.

You could argue that I believe in Natural Rights in the essence that as a theist I believe that nature derives from a universal supernatural essence. The problem is that John Locke rejects the concept of supernatural existence, as do proponents of Utilitarianism, hence any belief in God is in contradiction with their views on metaphysics.

Quote:
What does "this viewpoint of morality," in the second paragraph, refer to? It's obviously true that from the fact that something happens, it is not thereby right or good. But what are you setting that up against?


The viewpoint that "an is does not imply an ought" is what I'm criticizing here, as it seems to function as a gateway to the concept of might (both in strength of arms and in force of numbers at the ballot box) makes right, which is what usually replaces a rationalist viewpoint on ethics. If you look at the way political movements that follow the model of Enligtenment and post-Enlightenment thought, they often degenerate into quasi-Statist models, even amongst Libertarians.

One thing you have to understand about where I'm coming from is that I reject about 90% of Enlightenment and 19th century philosophy, so applying Humist or another form of non-rationalist view to my take on ethics would lead you to a misunderstanding in my intentions.

Quote:
For my part, my annoyance at the people I was calling "naiive libertarians" stems from the fact that they seem to think that whatever is "theirs" (by common law) must also be rightfully "theirs" (in an ultimate ethical sense), and they don't even realize the leap that they are making. Obviously no one will admit to being a "naiive libertarian," but I do think it would be better if everyone took some time to ponder why it would be that moral rights to property must be absolute.


Well, I have a somewhat similar view to this as your's in one respect. The concept of ownership is based upon a voluntary contract agreement between other individuals, the magistrate and the community in its practical application, hence the concept of property defaulting to the community authority if no heir is named, and later grants being given to people willing to put this leftover capital to practical use.

In other words, from a theistic viewpoint, all potential for ownership is equally distributed between all living people, but the practical implementation of the practical use of said capital is dependent upon individual ownership. Ultimately an ideal system would be one where no contradiction existed between individual interests and community interests.

In my view, the way to realize this and maintain the voluntary nature of it would be to drastically reduce the size and scope of all nation/states and allow people to reorganize localities and disassociate with others politically in order to develop a better ordered society. This would involve eradicating the entire concept of collectivism in a global sense (ergo goodbye United Nations, NATO, World Bank, WTO, and multi-national corporations, all of which are corrupt bodies in need of being erased from human history) and replaced with a more symbiotic relationship between man the individual and mankind. Efforts to unify mankind under one ideology and one political order have yielded one result, genocide, and I for one am annoyed at people who think that we all need to be united.

Quote:
This part of your post also confuses me because you said, "apply critical thinking to the end results of the welfare/warfare state." (emphasis added). You seem to be basing the conclusion "Statism is bad" on the premise that "it has bad consequences," which would be a utilitarian line of thinking.


It is only Utilitarian to you because you have focused on the point that you yourself have emphasized. Utilitarianism is not the only method of inquiry that uses deductive reasoning based on results, but it is one of many that asserts that we can only know things through experience, hence that is their only way of obtaining knowledge.

As a critical thinker, one thing I like to do is check my own premises on what others argue before I assert that they are engaging in a specific mode of thought. Believing in knowledge being attainable A Posteriori does not necessarily mean that knowledge doesn't exist A Priori, although I personally am not sure that knowledge is actually possible by A Posteriori means without an A Priori basis. You might assume that this mode of explanation would put me in Immanuel Kant's camp, however, you fail to understand that Kant distinguishes himself from theists by believing in a wall between truth and human understanding that I reject.

One way of explaining this is by an analogy. I have 2 eyes and see, Jeremy Bentham had 2 eyes and could see, but this does not necessarily imply that I am a Utilitarian because Bentham was and we both use our eyes to observe the entities which denote our understanding of metaphysics.
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CheezburgerBlues
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 11:57 am 
 

hells_unicorn--

Thank you once again for your continued discussion. I am beginning to understand why you said that you did not believe in natural rights.

This part of your post interested me:

Quote:
The viewpoint that "an is does not imply an ought" is what I'm criticizing here, as it seems to function as a gateway to the concept of might (both in strength of arms and in force of numbers at the ballot box) makes right, which is what usually replaces a rationalist viewpoint on ethics. If you look at the way political movements that follow the model of Enligtenment and post-Enlightenment thought, they often degenerate into quasi-Statist models, even amongst Libertarians.


I haven't heard of this view before. In my experience, the maxim "is does not imply ought" is usually invoked to refute "might makes right." Suppose someone rips you off, you can't get back at them, and you tell them that what they did was wrong. They respond, "Pffft! Survival of the fittest!" They seem to be saying that since it happened in accordance with physical laws, they should have done it. This argument, of course, makes no sense, because "is does not imply ought."

But you seem to think that "is does not imply ought" actually leads to "might makes right." I'm not clear on why you think that. What philosophers have influenced your thought? Maybe I can understand if I read them.

Quote:
It is only Utilitarian to you because you have focused on the point that you yourself have emphasized. Utilitarianism is not the only method of inquiry that uses deductive reasoning based on results, but it is one of many that asserts that we can only know things through experience, hence that is their only way of obtaining knowledge.

As a critical thinker, one thing I like to do is check my own premises on what others argue before I assert that they are engaging in a specific mode of thought. Believing in knowledge being attainable A Posteriori does not necessarily mean that knowledge doesn't exist A Priori, although I personally am not sure that knowledge is actually possible by A Posteriori means without an A Priori basis. You might assume that this mode of explanation would put me in Immanuel Kant's camp, however, you fail to understand that Kant distinguishes himself from theists by believing in a wall between truth and human understanding that I reject.

One way of explaining this is by an analogy. I have 2 eyes and see, Jeremy Bentham had 2 eyes and could see, but this does not necessarily imply that I am a Utilitarian because Bentham was and we both use our eyes to observe the entities which denote our understanding of metaphysics.


So you're saying that we could know that the welfare state is wrong by examining its consequences, even if we don't think that ethics is ultimately based on absolute principles? I think I can see what you're talking about. I should apologize if you found condescending the comment about "You seem to be basing the conclusion 'Statism is bad' on the premise that 'it has bad consequences,' which would be a utilitarian line of thinking."

So, anyway, thanks for your thought-food :)

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Trevor
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 14, 2008 3:57 pm 
 

Expedience wrote:
Libertarian might work in a place where everyone is inherently equal and similar to each other (pre-20th C England, early North America), but is doomed to fail when diversity comes into play.


and what's so foolish about libertarianism is that it intrapolates everything back to the individual with a capital I leaving aside the real and serious differences between groups or classes that will undermine social cohesion and therefore the basis of libertarianism. Too much libertarianism kills libertarianism. The standard libertardian stance on immigration and national borders is a good example

I understand the appeal of individualism at a personal level but at a social level it's a fallacy because no man is an island. The actions of the individual have consequences beyond that person and so is the lack of action when action is needed. It is a self-destructive social prescription: a group of individualists who don't band together to keep the non-individualists out of their area, who refuse to use force to protect their individualist collectivity from non-individualists invaders will disappear and be replaced by groups of people who don't give a shit about individualism. To be a true principled individualist is to be a loser in the game of life.

Universalism and individualism cannot compete against discrimination and collectivism. If you don't understand this reality you don't understand shit about life.
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2Eagle333
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 6:55 am 
 

DrSeuss wrote:
This label has some wide arrays of thought, including such extremes as Anarcho-Capitalism and even something called Libertarian Socialism.

Libertarian socialism is another term for anarchism, though way more accurate than calling laissez-faire capitalism 'libertarian' (libertarianism is the antonym of 'authoritarian'). It's basically taking a dig at orthodox 'authoritarian socialism', such as Blanquists and such (I take Rubel's view of Marx as a libertarian), and Stalin's authoritarianism took place largely because the Leninists had to play the part of capitalists in order to develop Russia into a modern nation, as otherwise they were far behind the US, whereas Marx believed in revolution taking place in an advanced capitalist society.
De Leonism is influenced largely by anarcho-syndicalism, so much so that Lennies like to diss it as being overly 'anarchist!!!!' Unfortunately for them, I see that as a compliment.


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UncleYaris
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:07 pm 
 

Osmium wrote:
Also, I don't know about where you got your bachelor's in polisci, but it's not a particularly rigorous field as far I'm aware.


i dont have a BA, Poli Sci is currently my undergrad :P

Osmium wrote:
But what about people who are sociopaths, who could mimic all the traits one would want in a philosopher king, assume the position and then rule in a self-serving fashion? Also, what if your philosopher king develops a health disorder that affects his sense of reason, or just has a bad day? If his power is not checked by some other apparatus, he could very well go from a philosopher king to a regular tyrant within a short span of time.


I'm not disagreeing with you, no one is perfect. but you can't deny that there are say some people more fit to rule than others. its these people that we need to be the rulers of said nation. yes they are suseptable (sp) to disease and other misfortunes, theyre not gods. i never said Plato's system was perfect, yes there have to be regulations and checks, but its a step up in my opinion.


hells_unicorn wrote:
Plato was the architect of methodical tyranny and divinely sanctioned propaganda,


so tyranny was non existent before Plato? Nevermind the fact that dictatorship was seen as a positive thing in ancient Greece and Rome and to be concidered a "dictator" and not a "tyrant" was an honour. look up Aristotle's model of "good" and "bad" governments and see where each lie, before you tell me that they are the same thing. also, what propaganda? what are you talking about?

hells_unicorn wrote:
so it is natural that a supporter of his would hate the concept of individual liberty.

I never said I hated individual liberty, i think its wonderful used in the right peramiters. the problem is that people in the western world have too much liberty, which is inevidably leading to the majority of the economic and social problems or w/e you wanna call them today. when people have too much freedom, they begin to abuse it, and tap into their own greed and brutality. (yes, that was a reference to Hobbes). I believe in a restriction, not an outright ban

hells_unicorn wrote:
Speaking for myself, I would not want to be subject to a system devised by a man who spent many a day praising the God of Gods that he was born a Greek rather than another race and a man rather than a woman. Any person who would engage in such tomfoolery could never be trusted with political power, let alone suggesting what ought to be a political system by which all are subject to.

you can not possibly base your critiques on the Republic on mainstream Greek ideology. not to mention, its not any different from any other patriotic thinking. "God bless my country and no one else." So what if he was thankful that he was Greek...are you not thankful that you're whatever you are? (I think American because my browser is being retarded and I cant scroll down to your name) That being said, if you say yes, why should we then listen to your ideology? Since it was you who criticized a man who was proud of his heritage saying that we shouldn't trust his political ideals.

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CheezburgerBlues
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:35 pm 
 

Uncle Yaris wrote:
Nevermind the fact that dictatorship was seen as a positive thing in ancient Greece and Rome and to be concidered a "dictator" and not a "tyrant" was an honour.


Really? Even in Athens?

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UncleYaris
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 15, 2008 4:42 pm 
 

CheezburgerBlues wrote:
Uncle Yaris wrote:
Nevermind the fact that dictatorship was seen as a positive thing in ancient Greece and Rome and to be concidered a "dictator" and not a "tyrant" was an honour.


Really? Even in Athens?


Hippias was a tyrant, and because he was so unpopular Athens didn't buckle to authoritarianism very often. Pericles, despite the fact that he was voted in, remained unchallenged for power most of his career.

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Scorpio
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 17, 2008 3:09 am 
 

I don't understand why people focus so much on the political aspects of The Republic. It's a great dialogue, indeed, but IMO the most important points are ethical, not political. The Laws is much more realistic.
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Benedelos
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 01, 2008 10:23 pm 
 

hells_unicorn wrote:
I oppose Anarcho-Syndicalism and Libertarian Socialism, as well as more putrid forms of soft authoritarianism like Neo-Conservatism and Neo-Liberalism. I'm anti-war, anti-military interventionalism, pro-militia, anti-federalist, anti-corporatist, anti-central bank, anti-IRS, and oppose most other policies considered mainstream for the past 150 years in the USA, while I favor a lot of ideas more commonplace before that period.


Looks like we're spot on with each other.

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awm
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 8:56 am 
 

How can Libertarian Socialism emphasize individual liberties? Socialism is the opposite of individualism.

By the way, I adhere to standard, Thomas Jefferson, John Locke, Waco Libertarianism.

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Agathocles
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:39 pm 
 

I'm against Laissez-faire attitudes and Libertarianism. It's interesting that so many don't want government and state "interference" in the market, over corporations, yet, would we ever say anything about this when it came to education, or in issues of crime/justice?

If someone robs you, or steals your car, or burns your house, well, I'm sure you'll take care of it. Maybe you'll burn their house down, or steal their car. Who knows, but I'm sure it'll "work itself out".

Or, are you too poor to go to school? Well, you don't need an education really. Nor do you need government help to go to school. Their are plenty of other jobs you can do. So it sucks that you were born to a poor family and others were born to a rich one, and they can afford an education but you can't. It's okay. You just serve a lesser but still "vital" part of the market.

Yeah, you're black and you didn't get hired for that job, but hey, that's their compnay, and that's what they want to do. If "people" have enough problem about it, the company will change its ways, and I"m sure it will happen, I mean, racism and sexism went away because companies and people, not the government or laws or anything, made it illegal to do these things right??

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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:46 pm 
 

Agathocles wrote:
I'm against Laissez-faire attitudes and Libertarianism. It's interesting that so many don't want government and state "interference" in the market, over corporations, yet, would we ever say anything about this when it came to education, or in issues of crime/justice?

Wait, so just because you can come up with ridiculous examples in other fields, the same applies to the economy? Right.
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Agathocles
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 3:55 pm 
 

failsafeman wrote:
Agathocles wrote:
I'm against Laissez-faire attitudes and Libertarianism. It's interesting that so many don't want government and state "interference" in the market, over corporations, yet, would we ever say anything about this when it came to education, or in issues of crime/justice?

Wait, so just because you can come up with ridiculous examples in other fields, the same applies to the economy? Right.


They aren't ridiculous examples genius, they are exactly what has happened in our past in regards to education and discrimination, or what would happen if there were no laws/punishment for crimes.

Essentially, if corporations are not being regulated, are allowed to do more and more things, the people who benefit are the guys in charge of those corporations, not the citizens. We've already had these problems in the 19th C, in particular with the rail-road companies. Monopolies begin to arise, and, if there is no regulation or accountability being had, the common people are the ones getting screwed. Similar things have always been happening since then too, and because of that it is crucial that government stays involved.

The real problems are more about corporations influences on government, not that government should be downsized. Public school systems, crime/justice services, and individual rights are all needs for a society that must be met a by state and federal governments. Environmental regulation is another crucial issue.

Corporate/market regulation is NO exception.

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failsafeman
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:14 pm 
 

Who the hell is saying there shouldn't be laws or punishment for crimes? Only the most extreme hardcore libertarians think that, and like most political fringe groups, they're nuts and make easy targets. Also, many people who favor laissez-faire economic policies also support trust-busting to prevent monopolies.
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awm
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PostPosted: Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:34 pm 
 

Agathocles wrote:
I'm against Laissez-faire attitudes and Libertarianism. It's interesting that so many don't want government and state "interference" in the market, over corporations, yet, would we ever say anything about this when it came to education, or in issues of crime/justice?


I would say that about both.

To an extent government has a role in crime and justice but it is to prevent individuals from infringing upon each-others' rights. However, it does not have any business regulating any personal or consensual behavior...i.e. victimless crimes, drug use, gambling, etc.

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