Third Party & Independents Archives

The Pragmatic Libertarian

Libertarians are not the pot-smokin’, gun-totin’, tax-evadin’, government-hatin’, anarchists y’all would make us out to be… Ok, so many of us are… but hey, like every family, there are those within the party I prefer to hide when company comes over… ya know? I mean, doesn’t every family have an Uncle Burt? And besides, anarchy is not what libertarianism, true libertarianism, is about.

Just the opposite... unlike anarchy, which requires no responsibility to anyone but oneself, libertarianism is a movement that requires great responsibility to others. I know this seems counter-intuitive, especially for those of us that have read many articles and comments on this great website that do nothing but blast libertarians as a bunch of do-whatever-we-want-and-screw-the-rest hooligans, but that is not true libertarianism. The first tenant of libertariansim is to respect the rights of others, which means we can do what we want, sure, but only after we have respected the rights of others, and this is an important distinction. To be an anarchist means do whatever you want, to be libertarian means do what you want while respecting the lives of others.

A true libertarian recognizes that government is a necessary evil. As great as it would be to live without it, humans are simply not capable of living peacefully without the rule of law. We live in a society, and a society must have rules, and a libertarian, a pragmatic one especially, recognizes that. The main function of government is to protect its citizens. We need laws and regulations protecting us from criminals, both private and in the form of corporations (I am NOT saying corporations are criminal by nature... but there are some out there that would do us harm for profit). These laws and regulations need to end where the protection of private citizens is met, and they need to respect the Constitution and the protections provided in its ammendments.

So... where am I going with this? I don't know... I haven't gotten there yet...

The view from my perch as The Pragmatic Libertarian is one of a society that has swung too far to the right on social issues, too far to the left on economic ones, and too authoritarian on regulatory ones. As an extreme moderate... a devout centrist... a pragmatic libertarian... let me weigh in on a few things and re-introduce myself to y'all...

1. I don't get it... why is this even an issue? Who the hel... uh... I mean heck... who the heck cares what the gays do? I am so freaking sick of hearing how allowing gays to marry will undermine the traditional marriage... uummm... aren't we hetero's doing a good enough job of that already? Why is Rudy against it? Is Mr. Mayor afraid the gays will have a lower divorce rate than he? Heck... he alone probably accounts for much of the state of New York's statistics on the subject. And we're worried the gays will make a farce of marriage... I find this fascinating.

Marriage, from the state's perspective, needs to be recorded for tax and census purposes only. The state has no business intruding into the household of consenting adults and telling them what they can and cannot do in regards to behavoir that affects no one outside of that household. If churches want to ban gay marriage, well... more power to them. Churches are private organizations and have the right to recognize them or not... it is, after all, pretty clear in the Old Testament of the Bible that homosexuality is frowned upon by the Big Guy... but as far as the state is concerned... the big guy shouldn't give a dam... I mean darn... shouldn't give a darn.

*Author's note... insert things like "flag burning", "pot-smoking", "the language people speak", or "gambling" in place of gay marriages for things the government shouldn't give a gosh-darn about.

2. Hey... you want a nice, light bed-time read? Let me recommend to you this little publication... I haven't been able to get through it myself, but I trust those good guys and gals in Washington are taking care of us... I can trust them, can't I? Can't we all?

Why are our tax laws so complex? Do we really need a special section for the "gain or loss in the case of timber, coal, or domestic iron ore"? Or what about "terminal railroad corporations and their shareholders"? Or even "withdrawal of previously excluded subpart F income from qualified investment"? Uuhhh... what?

We need a simpler... a much simpler tax code. I understand there need to be taxes collected for government to perform its proper functions... and this is unacceptable. Can someone get to work on this? Ok... those 535 volunteers raising your hands from over there in Washington... not you. Let's get someone else.

3. I can't give blood. I used to look forward to my every-six-weeks-or-so blood letting if for no other reason than the free juice and cookies... the fact that it helped save lives was a bonus. But since I lived in Europe for more than six months at a time when I may have eaten mad-cow desease-tainted meat, the FDA has determined that I am too much of a risk, even though, in the last 15-plus years of not living over there, I have shown no visible symptoms... well, other than the occasional bout of dementia and the fact that I tend to seemingly endlessly ramble on subjects like this... but other than that, I am pretty confident that I am fine.

I get it... I do... after the whole HIV fiasco in the 80's, the FDA is doing its best to protect the American blood supply, and their intentions are good. But I can't give blood because I lived in Europe for a few years while serving my country... there is something inherently wrong about that... and our blood supply is dwindling... over-regulation.

Wow... just re-read everything... I do go on, eh? The thing is, I could go on forever (and very well may in a future post... but I do have to work tomorrow). My point is this... No where in here do I advocate a society free from the rule of law... just one where we have laws and regulations that make sense and that protect our individual liberties... most of which upon the moderate mainstream would agree.

We need to remember that the political spectrum is not a one dimensional line splitting left from right... it is much more complex than that. I had an instructor in college that pointed out that the extremes of left and right, which culminated with the gentlemen's agreement between Stalin and Hitler to not invade each other, were "only a hand shake away." He may have been quoting someone like Roosevelt or Churchhill... I don't right remember as I was likely either high, hungover, or staring at that brunnette in the corner with the light blue eyes... but the point is that as extremely "left" and "right" as communism and fascism are, they are not really that different... politics do not inhabit the one dimensional line of which we normally think. Pragmatic libertarianism, the extreme moderate point-of-view, is somewhere above and beyond that one dimensional line.

Posted by Doug Langworthy at September 7, 2007 2:21 AM
Comments
Comment #232084

Doug,

Pragmatic Libertarianism is a redundant. Libertarianism does not believe in anarchy, those are Anarchist Capatilists that have ‘grabbed ahold’ of the Libertarian movement without understanding what that means.

In order for us to live in a society that enforces and protects the rights of the individual, the government must play the role that they are best suited for. To protect the rights of the minority and individual. The majorities rights need not be ‘protected’ since they are the majority, they get their way through the laws the pass.

So without the rule of law and the government to enforce those laws, we end up with a mob rule society that ensures that the minority and individual are swept aside.

Any libertarian that tells you differently is simply not a libertarian at all, but an anarchist in disguise. (Yes, Ian on Free Talk Live, I’m directing that at you!)

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 3:20 AM
Comment #232087

Doug wrote: “The first tenant of libertarianism is to respect the rights of others, which means we can do what we want, sure, but only after we have respected the rights of others”

So, do American citizen’s have a right to medical care when it is needed? Do American’s have a right to declare bankruptcy as corporations do? Do American’s have a right to fair and equal competition for jobs, housing, and education? Do Americans have a right to living wage for employment? Do Americans have a right to fair and equal taxation compared to other classes of Americans? Do Americans have a right to privacy in an environment where government officials feel the need to know what everyone is doing as during a time of war or espionage? Do Americans have a right to collective bargaining to defend their interests in the marketplace of production?

Doug, there are some policy issues on which I agree with Libertarians. But, Libertarian philosophy leads to many policy positions that the public just won’t accept, and rightly so. If ever there was a party that needed in a desperate way to read Adam Smith’s Theory of Moral Sentiments, it is the Libertarian Party.

Doug wrote: “A true libertarian recognizes that government is a necessary evil. “

There is a self-fulfilling prophecy in that quote. If one expects and accepts that government is evil, how can a government run by such believers ever govern without evil consequences. Needless to say, if that is the belief of true Libertarians, I will never, ever vote for a Libertarian. That would be self-defeating as I expect and demand that my government act from and for the good of the nation and its people.

Is there any doubt that the Republicans in office these last 10 years have at least this philosophy in common with Libertarians? Perhaps this is why the GOP garners so many Libertarian votes at election time. I have seen many a libertarian argue the GOP is the lesser of the two evil parties. See how neatly that self-fulfilling prophecy works?

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 4:12 AM
Comment #232090
So, do American citizen’s have a right to medical care when it is needed?

They have a right to seek it out. They do not have a right to have it provided to them. Meaning, no one should be able to refuse an individual for medical care based on sex, race or sexual orientation. However, you can’t have a right that violates another’s rights, and by forcing someone to perform a medical procedure on you violates that individual’s rights.

I know you don’t like it, you want to create a right that does not exist, but in doing so you MUST violate another right. How do you get around that without telling everyone that none of their rights are valid anymore?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 4:23 AM
Comment #232091

BTW, before you go on a tanaget, David, remember that I am saying that it is not a right. That doesn’t mean that the government can’t provide a service, only that it is not an individual’s right.

For example we don’t have a right to have our house saved from fire, but we still provide a fire department to attempt to provide that service. But if we said it was a right, then we would have to force people to become firemen if not enough were joining up.

And we could start taking your view of ‘a planned society’ too far…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 4:38 AM
Comment #232092

Rhinehold said: “Meaning, no one should be able to refuse an individual for medical care based on sex, race or sexual orientation.”

But, its OK to refuse them with life threatening injuries if they don’t have an insurance card or mastercard? Man, no wonder Libertarians are called heartless, and there is so little space between Republicans and Libertarians. If I were Bill Gates or Donald Trump, this kind of thinking might not even raise an eyebrow. But, as a middle class person, I can’t afford to vote for a Republican or Libertarian.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 4:39 AM
Comment #232093
I have seen many a libertarian argue the GOP is the lesser of the two evil parties.

LoL, perfect example of an anarchist capitalist then… The individual rights violations of the Republican party are horrendous. They get that the right to private property is an important one, to a point, but it doesn’t excuse the other numerous violations that they support as well…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 4:40 AM
Comment #232096

Rhinehold, and if the majority of people elect representatives to create a national health care insurance plan that collects taxes from all to pay for it, and insures that every tax payer receives needed health care according to their means, you, as a libertarian would oppose it, right?

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 4:58 AM
Comment #232097

David,

It would depend upon the plan. I have seen very few that I would agree with and any that start off with ‘Health care is a right’ is going to probably not work for me, no. However, I do think there are plans that I would support provided they were not managed by the government as much as possible, simply for the fact that I don’t think our healthcare is something that we should let politics get involved in. I really really don’t like the idea of another person telling me what is ‘approved’ and what isn’t, based on politics instead of what is best for my health.

For example, right now a person dying of AIDS cannot try experimental medicine because of POLITICS.

So, to answer your simple question with a simple answer, that answer is ‘it depends’. But you’re going to have to convince me that an individual’s rights will not be violated during that implementation. Saying that, I think France’s system is the only one I’ve seen that makes any sense at all, and it is starting to go bankrupt for the precise reasons that most of us who are leery of national healthcare plans provide.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 5:06 AM
Comment #232099

Rhinehold, all insurance plans state what will be and what will not be covered, without your input.

All insurance companies determine a priori what is approved and what is not. Why should a government be any different? Politics is the relationship between the people and governors. In this regard, it is no different than a corporation which seeks profits without losing public credibility and loyalty. Insurance companies play politics with what is covered and not, all the time, in examining how much they can exclude from coverage before losing faith with the people they call customers.


Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 5:24 AM
Comment #232100

I find it amusing that the only government insurance plan you respect is one that bankrupts.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 5:25 AM
Comment #232101
Rhinehold, all insurance plans state what will be and what will not be covered, without your input. Why should a government be any different?

Because with private insurance you have a choice. With the government, you do not.

And I don’t want Republicans to gain control over my healthcare. Neither do I want the Democrats to have control over my healthcare.

Any person who doesn’t fear that prospect is not thinking through what having our politicians involved (even more than they are now which is too much) in our healthcare decisions.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 5:35 AM
Comment #232102

David,

I never said anything about respecting the plan, I only stated that it made the most sense (out of the ones I’ve seen). Copied as a whole to the US it would end up doing the same thing they are seeing… Let’s try not to suggest I’m saying something I did not say, k?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 5:37 AM
Comment #232103

And, they all bankrupt, it’s the nature of the beast. England has started allowing private hospitals/healthcare facilities to ease the financial burden and wait times, to the effect that the rich are the ones with good healthcare, moreso than France. Canada is plagued with similar issues, and their courts have held that they have to allow private insurance and doctors to exist, which ends up doing pretty much the same thing. In fact, the only real problem we have in the US with healthcare is the per capita cost which is CAUSED a badly devised middleman system, requring tons of paperwork because of a combination of overreaching government regulation and a letigious society.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 5:42 AM
Comment #232107

Rhinehold,

France healthcare system is currently going to bankrupt *only* because our government since last 10 years is stealing from it huge money to cover its public deficit.

And meanwhile, like many developed countries, our population average age is getting higher each year since. The peak in France should be around 2020. After that most babyboomers healthcare costs will drop drastically.

Should we close our so far pretty efficient but bankrupting system right now or sustain it as much as we can the next 13 years coming? Aka should we manage such system with short term or longer term vision? Usually when you know you don’t have the money to face short term costs, but that middle term - demographic effect latency - costs will drop, you lease money and keep costs rate under control as much as possible. You don’t just drop the ball, yelling loud “Bankrupt! It’s over”.

That’s what France is, errr, correction, *was* doing until we got a neo-capitalist president who want to privatize all the french healthcare system. And, ironically, to continue meanwhile to fund its newest tax cut policy by stealing the current national healthcare money.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 7, 2007 7:18 AM
Comment #232113

Doug,

There’s also a combination of #1 and #3 that really drives me nuts. If I had experimented 20 years ago and gotten a single blow job from another man, then I would not be allowed to give blood today, even if I had taken a negative AIDS test every days since. In contrast, I could have had anal sex on a daily basis for 20 years with a woman, and both of us would have no problem giving blood.

The argument the government gives is that gay sex=anal sex=dangerous sex, and it’s just not true (as the examples above demonstrate).

Of course, the traveling abroad thing is also a problem. I travel to Europe a lot and occasionally to Asia, and I’m not getting to the point that I want to have spent enough time abroad that I’m ineligible because they are making the process of donating so difficult.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 7, 2007 9:00 AM
Comment #232115

I forgot to add that the examples I gave would still be true if I had used a condom with the man, but never with the woman.

Posted by: LawnBoy at September 7, 2007 9:17 AM
Comment #232116

LawnBoy,

The argument the government gives is that gay sex=anal sex=dangerous sex, and it’s just not true (as the examples above demonstrate).

Hum, even simpler, I guess the argument the government gives is that sex = dangerous, aka playing the always politically winning puritan card no?

Except that their members don’t actually believe it one bit (as their usual behavior demonstrate).

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 7, 2007 9:27 AM
Comment #232118

I am saying this with my tongue planted firmly in my cheek, but has anyone ever noticed that Libertarians are always against things, moral or immoral, that would cause the government to tax them more? Legalize pot and such, but don’t you dare give poor people insurance!

Just an observation. ;^)

Posted by: leatherankh at September 7, 2007 9:36 AM
Comment #232121

I’m with you about not caring what goes on in other people’s bedrooms, and I don’t care who marries who, but… You want to be able to give blood even though you know there’s a chance your blood could infect people? You have a screw loose.

If we made having health insurance mandatory, we would all pay less money in taxes starting tomorrow. This is also common sense.

Posted by: Max at September 7, 2007 10:24 AM
Comment #232123

Geez leather, thats probably because the Liberatarians believe in the freedom to live ones own life as they wish and to be able to believe as they choose.
The more the people allow the govt to tax them, the more control govt has over them.

I love how the left whines about the right pushing their religious morals onto everybody, but they have no problem pushing their own morals onto all of us.

Here’s another “observation:”
You are free to “give poor people insurance.” Its just wrong for you to want govt to force others at gun point to believe as you in order to support your belief in doing so.

Posted by: kctim at September 7, 2007 10:33 AM
Comment #232126

leatherankh… with my tongue planted just as firmly…

And your point is…?

But seriously folks… much like Rhinehold above, I am not necessarily opposed to providing some sort of healthcare system… I just have not yet seen one that I like. Maybe some kind of two-tiered system? The subject of another article, I think…

Left-wingers see a difference between things like legalizing pot and legalizing keeping your own money… both are individual rights issues. Of course right wingers see a difference between rights to private property and rights to gay marriage on that same private property… which I find just as baffling.

David… I know just as many Dem-leaning libs as I do Rep-leaning. Your over-generalization is amusing. It depends on what is more important to that particular libertarian. Go to a party meeting and you will see just as many citizens wanting nothing more than the freedom to smoke pot as you will die-hard NRA members. It’s quite the gathering of non-traditional allies, I must say… and it can be rather amusing.

By lumping libertarians with the republicans en masse, you completely miss point number one above.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 7, 2007 10:39 AM
Comment #232127

Max… the risk, in my case, is extremely minimal. There is not a person on earth that does not carry SOME risk of having tainted blood, you included. I do not have a screw loose, thank you… there is a big difference between dis-allowing an IV-drug user to give blood and someone who may have eaten bad beef 20 years ago… a BIG difference.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 7, 2007 10:43 AM
Comment #232129

kctim,

The more the people allow the govt to tax them, the more control govt has over them.

First, you seem to have a very low trust in your democracy, this silly idea that people control their government (not the reverse) by freely electing their representatives, you know…

Second, the more you run on someone else money, the more he own you usually, as he could stop to pay you. In business, the more you own, the more you weight at the board of directors. I fail to see how this pattern works in reverse with a nation…

Last, imagine a self-funded private government. If not for the democracy, how the people could have any control on such govt!?!
BTW, I’ve to put here a mandatory disclaimer: any resemblance to real governments, current or past, is purely coincidental.
;-)

Doug,

… much like Rhinehold above, I am not necessarily opposed to providing some sort of healthcare system… I just have not yet seen one that I like. Maybe some kind of two-tiered system?

The french one is a two-tiered system. Don’t believe me, give it a(nother) look yourself.

PS: if you happens to find another two-tiered healthcare system that is not labeled as “currently bankrupting”, please share with us! Thanks.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 7, 2007 11:03 AM
Comment #232132

Philippe
You are correct. I do not believe that the majority should rule, so I do not trust democracy.’
We the People, no longer control our govt, special interests do. Sure, we are free to vote for whom we wish, but, because we have allowed ourselves to become dependent on govt, we now vote for what govt says it will do for us, rather than what it will do for our country.

“Second, the more you run on someone else money, the more he own you usually,”

That is what I said. Govt runs on our money and now, since our govt runs our personal lives rather than just govt, it owns us.

“as he could stop to pay you.”

That is true with individuals, but not with govts. Govts need its people to be dependent on them, so rather than quit paying them, they offer them more “freebies” in order to keep them dependent on govt.
The downfall of our Constitutional Republic began when the people stopped caring for themselves and others, and started expecting govt to do it for them.

Its not about a “self-funded” govt. Its about a limited Constitutional govt. which runs govt and allows the people to run their own lives.

Posted by: kctim at September 7, 2007 11:25 AM
Comment #232137

Kctim,

you say you don’t trust the majority, and with good reason. The current majority is uneducated. Would you trust an educated majority that was represented demographically in all fields?

Posted by: Alastor at September 7, 2007 12:00 PM
Comment #232141

Alastor
I would trust a govt, which was elected by the majority, IF, it only ran govt.

Neither an uneducated or educated majority has the right to dictate how others live or how they should believe, unless it violates the rights of others.

Posted by: kctim at September 7, 2007 12:36 PM
Comment #232145

kctim,

You are correct. I do not believe that the majority should rule, so I do not trust democracy.

You don’t trust majority ruled democracy. As I do.
But not all forms of democracy are majority ruled. I’m fully myself for a far more representative democracy, with a more proportional election voting system, like range voting for example (one round, not limited to the usual binary yes/no vote).

But that doesn’t mean democracy is screwed. It means that our representative system are. And they are more and more, as the special interests do whatever they could for that.

After a few centuries, and with the current technology available today, I’m still amazing that our democracies are still locked in such primitive yes or no voting system! And then one wonders why the left/right mis-representing duality in quite every majority ruled democracies. People are rarely all leaning to left or to right. But these level of details in their opinion is not represented at all in our outdated and simplistic election system, and this is very sad.

Posted by: Philippe Houdoin at September 7, 2007 12:43 PM
Comment #232146

kctim, got to the heart of the issue regarding Libertarians in general. Thank you kctim, for your candor.

Libertarians don’t believe in the public funding government, and they don’t believe in democracy where majority rule is considered an evil. Again, this is why far, far more Libertarians will vote for the Republican candidate in 2008 than the Democratic one. The Unitary Executive theory of government, i.e. authoritarian president which Republicans support in GW Bush, is also anti-democratic and Unconstitutional.

The Libertarians and Republicans are so much closer than they appear on the surface. It is no accident Ron Paul is a Republican representative. Of course, if our democracy fails, some form of authoritarian government, as Karl Marx predicted, will supercede it. It would be illogical for the people to try to resurrect a failed democracy, and leaders following a failed democracy would seize the opportunity for a more authoritarian government.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 12:48 PM
Comment #232152

David… you just wrote a great article about the domestic spying program (the piece above this one on the Watchblog home page) and how it undermines our civil liberties… I don’t know a single libertarian that would disagree with you, but I can think of many republicans that would.

Make no mistake, civil liberties are a large part, if not the largest part, of the libertarian philosophy. I simply fail to understand your assertion that reps and libs are more alike than not. We are no more like the reps than we are the dems. So Ron Paul runs as a Republican… big stinking whoop! He’s from Texas (as are you, I believe) and needs that (R) next to his name to win. Go down his platform, issue by issue (opposition to Iraq War, civil liberties protections, tolerance of gay marriages), and I am pretty sure you will find just as many dem-leaning stances as you do rep-leaning. You assertion is simply not valid.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 7, 2007 1:04 PM
Comment #232154

Good article Doug. As far as I can tell, most Americans — as individuals — run libertarian to some degree. It’s part of who we are.

The problem with Libertarians as a political party is that no one trusts them to perform all the mundane duties of government, like collecting garbage and keeping order. In fact, it’s unclear whether the Libertarian Party believes government should be responsible for keeping order or whether we are all responsible for policing ourselves.

Posted by: American Pundit at September 7, 2007 1:11 PM
Comment #232155

David
I would guess that Doug and Rhinehold consider me some whacko and not a libertarian.

AP
As long as Libertarians believe in more personal responsibility and less govt handouts, they will not be trusted by the voters.
Its about what govt can do for me, not what it can do for our country, for most people in todays US.

Posted by: kctim at September 7, 2007 1:26 PM
Comment #232157

kctim… you’re as whacko as uncle burt… ;-)

uummm… joking…

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 7, 2007 1:43 PM
Comment #232158

It is the government’s job to keep order, as chaos is not in the best interests of a nation… it falls under that whole “government’s main job is to protect its citizens” clause…

As for garbage collection, well… let’s let the free market pick that one up… government does not need to be in the garbage collection business (insert jokes about the similarities of ‘garbage’ and ‘government’ here).

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 7, 2007 1:47 PM
Comment #232165

Doug, first I never said or implied Republican=Libertarian or vice versa. I continue to assert they have much in common. Ron Paul backs the national sales tax, the UN-Fair Tax, as do most Republicans, for example.

I am aware of the differences, and acknowledge they exist. But, there is no denying that Republican candidates run on Libertarian themes, smaller government, lowest taxes, trickle down economics, etc. My assertion that Libertarians are far far closer to Republicans than Democrats is a true and verifiable assertion, Ron Paul being a Republican and Libertarian voters voting for Republican candidates being just some of that evidence.

Ron Paul is also an incredibly destructive purist. His insistence on returning to a commodity based currency would absolutely plunge America into bankruptcy. A clear case of taking ideology to destructive extremes.

This is why my faith is in Independents who subscribe to success oriented pragmatism within the confines of the law, as opposed to ideology which mandates utterly destructive extremes with no regard for reality and real effects.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 2:21 PM
Comment #232166
It is no accident Ron Paul is a Republican representative

Of course he is running as a Republican, because he *IS* a Republican, David. He likes to label himself as a Libertarian but he just isn’t. You can’t be a Libertarian and support the Republican party. I know you *WANT* Libertarians and Republicans to be a lot a like, but it just isn’t the case when you look at what Libertarianism is, not what Republicans who want less government than the current Republican representatives support, but still want to tell people what to do with their lives (Ie, war on drugs, anti-gay marriage, anti-choice, anti-science, anti-stem cell research, etc…)

Also remember that Libertarians are ‘Classic Liberals’ and actually have more in common eith what the Democratic Party used to be before the progressives got control of it several decades ago.

And to be honest, that you think that really tells people, especially me, that you don’t have a clue what a Libertarians stands for really. Yes, we think that taxing income is abhorrent. Yes we understand that protecting the rights of the minority, not enforcing the will of the majority is the main purpose of our government, one that is being userped by people voting for self-interest (whether large business self-interest or personal self-interest) instead of what is proper within the bounds of a limited government.

The single thing that a government can do that a private organization of individuals can’t do is use compulsion. IF the majority of people want to fund welfare, why not set up an organization for that purpose, like say the United Way, and then agree to have a percentage of their taxes taken out of their paychecks each month, voluntarily, to pay out to those individuals? The answer is, people can’t stand the fact that they might pay for something that someone else will choose not to. So they use the government to force their moral choice (the right one IMO) onto someone else. Instead, now, we have forced charity that causes people who would rather choose who gets the money they provide to charity and not have it directed by the political machine of today become resentful and class warfare ends up being implemented by the political parties for political gain, in other words, how to spend our tax dollars (over half of the people currently employed in washington DC do only that, attempt to manipulate our current tax code). What a great solution too, because while this is going on, charity becomes ‘institutionalized’ and we no longer feel a need to actually HELP anyone since we know that we are paying our tax dollars, obviously people are getting help, right? Wrong, very few people who need assistance need monitary assistance, they need to learn to live their lives better, get through emotional problems, they need people to talk to and mentor them…

But I digress, you would rather label what YOU think Libertarians are, selfish greedy bastards, onto anyone with the title without even considering for a second that there are people who are actually principled Libertarians who are very charitable and caring, they just don’t believe that forcing others to be charitable will ever work OR is the right thing to be using our limited ability to use compulsion for.

Which is why you say that you agree with several of the Libertarian ideals but could never vote ‘Libertarian’ because you think that the only reason someone is one is because they are greedy. Which not only misses the point but just furthers our government on this authoritarian path you say you are against, not by using guns on us but by using ‘caring’. We are trying to Rule The World With Love (with a not to Barenaked Ladies).

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 2:27 PM
Comment #232167

Doug, as for garbage collection, WMI began our once per week garbage collection 15 years ago at $32 per month. 10 years later, the bill was over $70 per month, and they missed pickup as often as twice per month. What changed? The county got out of the contracting for garbage pickup, leaving WMI to its own devices, which included screwing the customer. They accomplished this by making competition in most of the county unprofitable for other concerns, to the point that WMI now operates a monopoly in most of the county. The goal of all private industry is achieve a monopoly, or at least a cooperative oligopoly with one or a couple competitors who agree to boundary lines and to not compete with each other for mutual monopolistic advantages.

This is where Libertarian policies lead, very akin to Republican policies which favor privatizing government when and wherever possible.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 2:30 PM
Comment #232168

Err, with a *nod* to Barenaked Ladies rather…

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 2:32 PM
Comment #232169

Rhinehold, you can point out differences all you like. Doesn’t erase the commonalities between Libertarians and Republicans and their political proximity which allows Republicans to borrow Libertarian rhetoric and Libertarian voters to vote Republican.

Reality, Rhinehold. You can’t dismiss it and expect it to go away. You argue for what should be, I am arguing what is.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 2:34 PM
Comment #232170

Rhinehold said: “But I digress, you would rather label what YOU think Libertarians are, selfish greedy bastards,”

When my debating opponent is compelled to insert words into my mouth, I know I have won the debate. Thanks.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 2:35 PM
Comment #232171
The goal of all private industry is achieve a monopoly, or at least a cooperative oligopoly with one or a couple competitors who agree to boundary lines and to not compete with each other for mutual monopolistic advantages.

This is where Libertarian policies lead, very akin to Republican policies which favor privatizing government when and wherever possible.

David, this is completely wrong. Libertarians believe that Monopolies should be illegal, just as Jefferson did. If there are monopolies in any sector of the free-enterprise system, it is no longer free enterprise and cannot function. A Libertarians would never support or allow a monopoly to exist, as they do today in many of our ‘governmental’ services.

Perhaps this is the point you miss? I’m not sure, but to think that Libertarians support monopolies… It’s like saying that Christians don’t believe that Jesus existed. It’s one of the core requirements for Libertarians, that people have a CHOICE in how they spend their money.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 2:36 PM
Comment #232172
When my debating opponent is compelled to insert words into my mouth, I know I have won the debate. Thanks.

Right, except you start of stating what Libertarianism is and debating against it and ignoring what Libertarians tell you it is, so how did you win anything?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 2:37 PM
Comment #232173
Reality, Rhinehold. You can’t dismiss it and expect it to go away. You argue for what should be, I am arguing what is.

No, you are arguing what you think it is. Tell me, most people think Libertarians are Libertarians because they want to smoke pot. Now, would THOSE Libertarians support the Republican party?

You’re ‘logic’ as usual fails because you think it infallable and your mind set, but presented with alternative facts you dismiss them or completely ignore them and then ‘claim victory’.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 2:40 PM
Comment #232175

Rhinehold, again, you put words in my mouth and ignore what I ACTUALLY said. I said Libertarian policies would lead to monopolism and or oligopolism, by virtue of their support for free enterprise with little to no government regulation. I did NOT say Libertarians believe in monopoly. Republicans don’t believe in monopoly or oligopoly either, but, their policies become tolerant of their existence.

If you want to debate me, quote my words you wish to debate. If you keep arguing words I never spoke, you are debating yourself, not me.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 3:08 PM
Comment #232176
I said Libertarian policies would lead to monopolism and or oligopolism, by virtue of their support for free enterprise with little to no government regulation.

And again, Libertarians do NOT believe in ‘little to no government regulation’ as you claim. You can’t support little to no government regulation and then be highly vigilant against the creation of monopolies, can you?

So if you want to continue debating what you THINK Libertarianism is and not what it actually is, continue away, but don’t get upset if I point it out.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 3:11 PM
Comment #232178

Rhinehold, your argument that people who call themselves libertarians but, don’t agree with you, are not real libertarians, makes you the authority on what libertarian is. I cannot and will not accept your authority.

I gave real life evidence of what I assert. The only Libertarian candidate for President today is a Republican. Your retort, Libertarian is what you say it is, and those who call themselves Libertarian but don’t agree with you, are not Libertarians. A rather authoritarian position, I dare say.

From the Libertarian Party web site: “Libertarians strongly oppose any government interfering in their personal, family and business decisions.”

Makes my argument about Libertarian opposition to government intervention and regulation. Since the goal of business is profits, and since maximum profits are only attainable in a monopoly, or oligopoly in an anti-monopolistic legal environment, it is logically true that Libertarians policies will lead to monopolism or ologopolism.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 3:20 PM
Comment #232179

Rhinehold said: “And again, Libertarians do NOT believe in ‘little to no government regulation’ as you claim.”

Your comments are pure fantasy invention, Rhinehold. Again, from the Libertarian Party’s OWN website:

“For example, Libertarians advocate freedom in economic matters, so we’re in favor of lowering taxes, slashing bureaucratic regulation of business…”

It is you who doesn’t know what the Libertarian Party stands for as made evident by your comment. Your comments are ignorant of what the Libertarian Party says of itself, hence, it is pointless to debate with you about Libertarian philosophy since you make it up as you go.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 3:24 PM
Comment #232187
The only Libertarian candidate for President today is a Republican.

I suppose the only Green candidate is a Democrat too? What sense does that make? If Paul was a Libertarian, he would be running as one. Anyone can call themselves what they want, but based on what he stands for he is not a Libertarian, no matter how much he wants to call himself one.


“Libertarians strongly oppose any government interfering in their personal, family and business decisions.”

Makes my argument about Libertarian opposition to government intervention and regulation. Since the goal of business is profits, and since maximum profits are only attainable in a monopoly, or oligopoly in an anti-monopolistic legal environment, it is logically true that Libertarians policies will lead to monopolism or ologopolism.

Wow. Opposing governmental involvement in our business affairs and being opposed to government regulation are two different things.

It is you who doesn’t know what the Libertarian Party stands for as made evident by your comment. Your comments are ignorant of what the Libertarian Party says of itself, hence, it is pointless to debate with you about Libertarian philosophy since you make it up as you go.

Well, as opposed to Paul, I’ve actually ran as a Libertarian on a ballot and have had the backing of the Libertarian party while doing so. I suppose he would be a better representative of what a Libertarian thinks I suppose, since it fits your views.

David, you are reading one thing and attributing another. Libertarians don’t want the government telling them who they can do business with. However, in order for any business transaction to work and ANY free market system to work, there has to be governmental regulation of some kind. What Libertarians are opposed to are unnecessary bureaucratic regulations based on politics.

If you sign a contract you are expected to uphold it. Enforcing that contract is a business regulation, is it not? Monopolies destroy a free market system so they must be prevented. That is governmental regulation is it not? These things are necessary and as supported under Libertarian views. It is the other regulations that should be removed, the regulations that seek to tell a business how to operate, how to do it’s business.

And yes, it is pointless to debate it with you because you have your views already set and instead of trying to ‘discuss’ the topic you are wanting to ‘debate’ the topic. Instead of trying to learn what we are talking about you want to tear down anything stated. If you would phrase the statement as ‘how does your statement square with xxxx that I found on the Libertarian website’, you take the statement, read into it what you think it means, and then attempt to use it to discredit not just that one thing I said but in inferrence my entire ability to talk on the matter.

It’s why it is to painful to attempt to try and educate you on something you clearly don’t understand, David, you just don’t want to hear it. You’ve made up your mind and hell be damned if anything anyone says will ever change it.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 4:47 PM
Comment #232188

And I don’t make it up as I go, David. I’ve been very consistent in the years that I’ve been here writing. I am also consistent with what Jefferson (whose views we model Libertarianism after) stated.

By a declaration of rights, I mean one which shall stipulate freedom of religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce against monopolies, trial by juries in all cases, no suspensions of the habeas corpus, no standing armies. These are fetters against doing evil which no honest government should decline.”
Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 4:54 PM
Comment #232193

Rhinehold said: “I suppose the only Green candidate is a Democrat too? What sense does that make? If Paul was a Libertarian, he would be running as one.”

Then WHY is the Libertarian Party asking its membership on its party WebSite: › Did you feel Ron Paul was intentionally mistreated in last night’s debate simply because of his libertarian views? - Cast your vote!”

You are NOT the Libertarian Party, the Libertarian Party has a website and they think Ron Paul is a Libertarian running as Republican for President.

Your comments are just full of it, Rhinehold. I continue to direct you back to the official Lib. Party website as evidence of my arguments, and you continue to invent information which is contradicted by the Lib. Party, in the same breath that you say you speaking for them.

But, you go right ahead and speak as if you know the Libertarian Party as you contradict it. In America you have the freedom to misrepresent yourself and others politically - just don’t expect folks with a lick of objectivity to take your comments seriously.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 5:43 PM
Comment #232194

*sigh*

Again, David, there is a difference between having and expressing libertarian views and being a Libertarian.

But nevermind. I pointed out how the Libertarian Party stance and what I said are not exclusive from each other, trying to give you some context and understanind of the nuance that is not evident in a single party statement (something neither a democrat, republican or green would stand for), yet you, as usual, ignore it. You’ve made up your mind and treat discussions on here as advisarial, not a way to come to an understanding, so it with your usual demeanor that you belittle and ridicule in an attempt to ‘win’ your debate.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 5:58 PM
Comment #232196

Rhinehold, one last supporting evidence of my claim that Libertarians run in opposition to most Americans on health care and democracy in general.

This is from the Preamble of The Libertarian Party:

“As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.”

So, by these words, if Person X says they refuse to pay taxes to insure others without resources or means, can still get health care when needed, Person X’s “right” to not be forced by a government health plan, should trump the will of the majority who support a government health care plan.

The Libertarian Party is quite clear on this in the preamble to their Party Platform. They oppose democracy where the will of the people would force individuals to participate in funding that government.

If Democracy, in any form, by definition has the power to force all to subsidize its government decisions and policies, then the Libertarian Party opposes democracy. It just doesn’t get any clearer. Again, I am using what the official Libertarian Party says.

Their principle’s have meaning and consequences. To oppose government forcing an individual to pay taxes for something they feel is their Libertarian Right not to, is to oppose democracy in all its forms, for the concept of rule of law is force, and a democracy built on rule of law shall force individuals to comply with the majority’s decisions.

Perhaps the official Libertarian Party is not the party you seek, since, you seem to argue in opposition to much of what they officially say on their web site.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 6:11 PM
Comment #232198

David,

What an unmitigated load of crap.

Yes, the Libertarian party is against ‘mob rule’. There are rights that individuals and the minority have that the majority CANNOT take away. Which is what you are advocating.

Do you not accept there is a right to private property? Does that right only exist as long as the majority allow it to exist or does it exist ESPECIALLY when the majority attempt to circumvent it?

If the majority of people want to state that black men are property, should they be allowed to? By your definition yes, the minority, in this case the black man, must enter into slavery if the majority say it is so.

So yeah, I oppose your definition of democracy and thank gawd we don’t have that here in the US. What we believe here is that the MAIN PURPOSE of the government in a democracy is precisely to protect the minority and the invidual’s rights against the whims of the majority.

something they feel is their Libertarian Right not to

No, not Libertarian rights. Human rights. Consittutionally guaranteed rights. Sorry that you don’t see a need for those to be protected, but some of us do.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 6:23 PM
Comment #232199

Rhinehold said: “so it with your usual demeanor that you belittle and ridicule in an attempt to ‘win’ your debate.”

I feel it is my American citizen duty to “belittle and ridicule”, to use your words, comments and ideas which are inaccurate, deceptive, or, outright false to further an agenda.

Exposing beliefs which portend degradation, suffering, and privation should they achieve access to power, should be every American’s duty. That was the great lesson of WWII, was it not? That too few spoke out against Hitler, and those that did felt they could only do so after leaving Germany? Hitler’s speeches were full of great sounding beliefs and ideas and principles. But they only sounded great. When applied with power, they led to horror, suffering, and privation on the level of crimes against humanity.

Some Libertarian principles, like the one quoted above, if combined with power, would lead to tragic consequences, as I have just pointed out. Leaving people to die in order to preserve other individuals so called “right” to not pay taxes spent to help those people without means to get health care, would be a tragic consequence and inhumane.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 6:23 PM
Comment #232201
I feel it is my American citizen duty to “belittle and ridicule”, to use your words, comments and ideas which are inaccurate, deceptive, or, outright false to further an agenda.

Yet you do it yourself all of the time.

So, since it is fair in your mind to do it to me, I’ll make sure to remember to return the favor.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 6:28 PM
Comment #232202

BTW, comparing the Libertarian party to Nazi Germany? Classy

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 6:29 PM
Comment #232204

Rhinehold said: “Yes, the Libertarian party is against ‘mob rule’. There are rights that individuals and the minority have that the majority CANNOT take away. Which is what you are advocating.”

Completely false. I joined the ACLU to preserve and defend the Bill of Rights. I also served 3.5 years in the US Army to help protect and defend those Bill of Rights. In case you haven’t read them in awhile, nowhere in them does it say one has a right to keep all their money to themselves while enjoying the rewards and benefits of a democratic republic form of government.

There are rights of individuals, and our Constitution spells them out in the first 10 amendments. And I stand firmly behind them. And nothing I have written contradicts or runs counter to them. Your comment claims I am attempting to take rights away. Please point to one of the Bill of Rights my words attempt to deprive anyone of.

Try it. Your effort will fail. If you are going to talk about rights, talk about Bill of Rights. Or, talk about rights you believe should be in place but, aren’t yet. But, don’t imply they are the same. They are not.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 6:33 PM
Comment #232205

Reread the 9th and 10th amendments then because you constantly support views and programs that are in opposition to them.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 6:34 PM
Comment #232207

Rhinehold, what is this reading deficit I see. “BTW, comparing the Libertarian party to Nazi Germany? Classy”

Please quote where I compared the Libertarian Party to the Nazi Party. I didn’t. I drew a comparison of how great sounding ideas can lead to tragic results.

It sounds great what the Libertarian Party says in their preamble. But, if those words are married to power, the consequences would be needless human suffering in deference to some individuals who don’t want to submit or be part of democratic processes or will.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 6:38 PM
Comment #232208
nowhere in them does it say one has a right to keep all their money to themselves while enjoying the rewards and benefits of a democratic republic form of government.

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

So tell me, what just compensation do I get for having my wealth taken from me and given to someone who doesn’t have as much, as you have stated you are for?

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 6:39 PM
Comment #232209

Rhinehold said: “Reread the 9th and 10th amendments then because you constantly support views and programs that are in opposition to them.”

Back up this accusation, Rhinehold. Provide quotes, and demonstrate how those quotes contradict 9th and 10th amendments. You aren’t debating now. You are just making unsupported accusations.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 6:40 PM
Comment #232210

Rhinehold, you are entitled to the same services afforded others if your circumstance becomes like theirs. It is called insurance. The Soc. Sec. plan and Medicare would assist you if your circumstances warrant, hence, you receive the same benefit of the insurance against poverty as all others.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 6:42 PM
Comment #232211
It sounds great what the Libertarian Party says in their preamble. But, if those words are married to power, the consequences would be needless human suffering in deference to some individuals who don’t want to submit or be part of democratic processes or will.

Again, this is a complete manufactured load of bull. Keep repeating the mantra all you want, it doesn’t hold up. All that governmentally forced charity does is ensure that those who choose not to help someone else, for whatever personal reason, are forced to do so based on the whims of the majority.

We shouldn’t be forcing people to be compassionate, that will never work in the long run, as we see now happening. Keep your eyes closed to the class hatred and warfare that is the result, ignore how much charity this country gives freely ON TOP OF all of the chairity we are forced to pay. And ignore that if the majority feel that these things are good to pay they would continue to pay them.

Your ill thought out disaster scenario that you portray just doesn’t hold up to objective logic and ignores the good people we have in this country, instead depending upon the citizens of the US being selfish by nature, an assertion that just doesn’t hold up to reality.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 6:45 PM
Comment #232212

Uh… If I may… and I am certainly speaking only for myself and not anyone else… this is exactly why I wrote what I did.

The very reason the Libertarian party doesn’t do well at the polls is a lot of the stuff David is talking about. Our website and other publications talk WAY too much about all these grand idealistic things… of course we shouldn’t be forced at gun point to pay for other peoples’ health care (or garbage pickup), but it is just not pragmatic for any Libertarian candidate, in the society in which we live, to hop up on the stump and try to sell to the public that they will abolish all taxes… these are the Uncle Burt’s that, quite frankly, frustrate me to no end. They are good people with rock solid principles, and they are just not that realistic. This kind of speech, while pleasing the extremes in the Libertarian party, turn voters off en masse and continue to relegate us to being a minor third party without any real say in the public debate. Other than getting together over some beer and complaining about the government, it does us no good.

I (and I am guessing Rhinehold, too) am advocating pragmatic libertarianism. I’ll be the first to say I am not in 100% alignment with the core of the party itself. We need to change and work within the system. Even if we were to wake up tomorrow with 535 libertarians in congress, a libertarian president, 50 libertarian governors and state legislatures, and a libertarian-leaning judicial branch, there is no way we could, overnight, implement all the changes the “party” talks about on its website… our economy would absolutely collapse. No… it needs to be a long, gradual shift.

We have a great system of government, we are free to come and go as we please, say what we want, and, for the most part, spend our money as we want… and it could be so much better… and pragmatic libertarian ideas can help us get there…

The Department of Education is a farce, and the No Child Left Behind Act is leaving many children behind… FEMA did nothing but embarrass itself two years ago in New Orleans… We are fighting wars for the wrong reasons… And these are all things into which our money is being funneled at alarming rates.

Am I advocating, like the Party, to end all taxes? Absolutely not… it is impossible to run a functioning society that way… am I advocating a MUCH more efficient use of our tax dollars? Thereby significantly lowering them to rates not seen in years? Youbetcha!

I’ll be the first to admit that my definition of libertarianism differs from the Party on many levels, but the core principles are still there, and really, that’s what is so much more important.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 7, 2007 6:46 PM
Comment #232213
No… it needs to be a long, gradual shift.

Actually, the Libertarian Party Platform states all of this, it is just ignored by people like David who want to point to small easily manipulated statements to win debate points, not actually discuss an issue.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 6:52 PM
Comment #232218

Rhinehold, your entire diatribe is anti-democracy. When the people vote representatives on an agenda, that agenda more often than not prevails. The American people have had many decades to throw out Soc Sec and Medicare via their politicians. But, that is in fact, not been the will of the people.

Ergo, you deny the will of the people and decry your wages being stolen from you despite the more than 40 million neighboring and fellow Americans helped immensely by those taxes. Your comments reek of let them suffer and die, they are taking up my taxes.

So be it. But, as Doug, said, your arguments hurt your Party.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 7:37 PM
Comment #232219

Doug, eloquent argument and I agree with you. It is this fundamental distaste for democracy by the Libertarian Party’s platform implications that I have a huge problem with. This at the same time they use the democratic system to make inroads to elected office at local levels, in predominantly conservative Republican districts.

If the Libertarian Party embraced democracy outside the, or their, basic Bill of Rights, and acknowledge that they have compassion and remedies for Americans suffering, their rewards at the ballot box might be significantly greater.

But, I am not advocating the LP simply hide their real distrust of democracy and deceive voters on lending a helping hand. I think the Party Leaders to need to make a fundamental philosophical shift that acknowledges the massive social problems our nation faces, and offers credible and effective solutions to them. That in the end is what will win voters over.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 7, 2007 7:43 PM
Comment #232224

David,

What a joke. The Libertarian Party supports Democracy, as long as what the majority votes for does not violate an individual’s rights.

You will also find that we are not saying that SS and Medicare are unconstitutional, do you? No, you are seeing libertarians say that we shouldn’t have them run by the government and are working WITHIN the democracy to point out to people that they would be better served by not using the power of government as enforced charity. In fact, it is the Constitution that gives that ability to tax us. I would like to change that back, but that would take, again, democracy to do so.

No where, ever, in any LP platform or stance is it suggested that democracy should be overriden, except when it violates the rights of the minority and individual. As a member of the ACLU like you claim (and I am as well) you SUPPORT that ‘diatribe’.

So either you are not making very clear sense or you just don’t understand what the LP is advocating. I suspect the latter, as demonstrated by your assertion that the LP supports anarchy in any way.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 9:01 PM
Comment #232226

“the core principles are still there, and really, that’s what is so much more important.”

Doug Langworthy,

And those core principles are?

Here’s a copy of the 2004 Libertarian Party Platform:

http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig7/platform.html

I’ll grant you that the 2006 platform employed many less words, IMO a simple matter of “toning down” the rhetoric, but the principles remained the same. Among my favorites are:

#1. “We advocate an end to the spending of tax money for any program of psychiatric, psychological, or behavioral research or treatment. We favor an end to the acceptance of criminal defenses based on “insanity” or “diminished capacity” which absolve the guilty of their responsibility.”

#2. ” We call for the abolition of the Federal Reserve System, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the National Banking System, and all similar national and state interventions affecting banking and credit. Our opposition encompasses all controls on the rate of interest. We also call for the abolition of the Federal Home Loan Bank System, the Resolution Trust Corporation, the National Credit Union Administration, the National Credit Union Central Liquidity Facility, and all similar national and state interventions affecting savings and loan associations, credit unions, and other depository institutions.”

#3. “We seek the elimination of occupational licensure, which prevents human beings from working in whatever trade they wish. We call for the abolition of all federal, state and local government agencies that restrict entry into any profession, such as education and law, or regulate its practice. We oppose all government welfare, relief projects and “aid to the poor” programs.”

******** excuse me while I say SHEEESH! *********

My absolute FAVORITE:

” We support the right of political entities, private groups and individuals to renounce their affiliation with any government, and to be exempt from the obligations imposed by those governments, while in turn accepting no support from the government from which they seceded.”

There is some beauty in that last “principle”. I actually wish that the USA would let just one state, at their own electorates request of course, “secede” from those federal programs they decide are “intrusive” or otherwise “taking their money at the end of a gun” just as an experiment to end all experiments. I suspect that state would very soon be begging to be a part of the “nanny state” again very, very soon.

Something that always puzzles me: are we or are we not the worlds greatest “super-power”, both financially and militarily? If we are we got there while sustaining a social safety net for our poor and elderly, etc. since the advent of the “New Deal” didn’t we? This all confuses me ……. is the argument that we could be even a greater super-power if we ignored our poor and elderly, or if we provided fewer safeguards for the worker and the consumer?

Last question: can you name a truly libertarian historical entity that has survived and thrived as the USA has?


Posted by: KansasDem at September 7, 2007 9:12 PM
Comment #232228

“small easily manipulated statements”

?

Posted by: KansasDem at September 7, 2007 9:14 PM
Comment #232232


The individual could renounce his citizenship and claim that his property is no longer a part of the United States? The United States could build a 100 foot wall completely around the individuals home, no border crossing?

Posted by: jlw at September 7, 2007 9:51 PM
Comment #232233

Jlw,

You do realize that currently, if you renounce your citizenship, you still have to pay taxes for 10 years after the fact, correct?

It helps if people, instead of just making assumptions and thinking they know what something means by applying their own preconceived notions and simply ask someone who might be able to shed some light on the subjectd.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 9:58 PM
Comment #232235

KansasDem,

You might want to check out New Hampshire and the Free State Project.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 7, 2007 10:06 PM
Comment #232244


Rhinehold: I made assumptions by applying my preconceived notions and I did ask.

Posted by: jlw at September 7, 2007 11:07 PM
Comment #232245

David,

Thanks for the compliment of ‘eloquence’… you don’t hand out compliments often here and I do appreciate it. A couple of other things…

Rhinehold is a big boy (assuming ‘boy’!) and can take care of himself, and that said… I never said to him that his arguments hurt our party… Namely because I do not believe they do… funny, you are always the first to say something like “please quote where I compared…” (see above) or “I never said such-n-such…” and yet you are doing me the same disservice by saying “as Doug says…” I never said or implied any such thing.

This anti-democracy of Rhinehold’s of which you speak is somewhat, in my view, hypocritical. You say you support the ACLU, an organization that goes against the very grain of democracy, according to your definition. The ACLU has (thankfully) made a living of getting unjust laws, enacted through the democratic process, struck down in the name of protecting minority’s rights… in fact I can recall a specific article I wrote defending a painting of Christ hanging on the wall of a church in Arkansas (I think it was) and you wrote that, even though the vast majority of local residents were christians who approved of the painting, that it was wrong because a minority of people might be opposed to this artwork (?) hanging in a public building…

So, just so I am straight, you defend the absolute-majority-rule argument when it suits your arguent, but when it doesn’t, you scream ‘foul’? Please explain this inconsistency…

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 7, 2007 11:09 PM
Comment #232248

KansasDem… I was wondering if you would chime in and I am glad you did…

The title of this article is “Pragmatic Libertarianism”, not “Idealistic Libertarianism” or “I-Shall-Conform-100%-to-the-Party-Platform Libertarianism”… so… you pointing out the party platform in the manner which you did holds no water here… heck, I even said the Party and I disagree on many things… Since your screen name in here is KansasDem, I shall assume you are a Democrat, so… should I go to the Democratic Party’s website and find every cockeyed thing in the official platform and make fun of you for it? Sheesh! indeed!

You ask what core principles to which I am referring? That’s easy… the idea that every citizen has the right to live their life as they choose so long as they do not interfere with the rights of others… you know, that basic little tenant upon which our country was founded… freedom. Does that mean that I necessarily care about the National Credit Union Administration? Not really…

Oh… and the other core principle we share is that our government centers around the Constitution. The federal government has WAY overstepped its bounds and has basically trampled on our central governing document.

Other than those minor details, there’s not much I have in common with the party… ;-)

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 7, 2007 11:25 PM
Comment #232256

Doug,

I’d wanted to ‘chime in’ badly in David’s article about the UN-fair tax, but I’d bitten my tongue badly during a seizure and I use Dragon to communicate.

http://www.nuance.com/naturallyspeaking/

Every time I bite my tongue my voice changes and dragon has to relearn my voice. And i have to go back and correct mistakes like “boice” instead of “voice”. But that’s beside the point.

You’re saying that you support the Libertarian party because of a few positions, but you’re overlooking the actual party agenda which is quite simply, “you’re on your own buddy”!

My average monthly medical expenses total about $25,000.00. (Actual dollars after Medicare trims the fat) How many Americans can afford that over a prolonged period of time?

Should we become a truly “caste” society where my children are bound to carry the burden of my healthcare? I should also mention that my youngest son suffered a severe brain injury many years ago so when I could no longer work it was a two-fer deal.

The Libertarian/Conservative plan is “you’re on your own”, whereas the Democratic/Progressive plan is “we’re all in this together”.

You decide. Should we all care for each other or not.

Posted by: KansasDem at September 8, 2007 1:22 AM
Comment #232261

Doug said: “You say you support the ACLU, an organization that goes against the very grain of democracy, according to your definition.”

I support the ACLU because it fights to protect and defend the Bill of Rights. There are many positions the ACLU has taken that I don’t agree with, but, they are the premier organization to take abusers of the Bill of Rights all the way to the Supreme Courts. The Bill of Rights are an inherent part of our Constitutional Democracy. There is not conundrum in championing our democratic republic based on the Constitution and no hypocrisy either.

My reference to ‘as Doug points out’, or whatever my words were, may not have been chosen carefully. I was referring to what you said about the LP failing to grasp the endearment of the majority of voters by some of the hardcore principles which put people off; the kind which Kansas Dem recites in his comment above. I didn’t mean you had said his comments hurt the party, though the way I phrased it was not precise. My apology.

Doug said: “So, just so I am straight, you defend the absolute-majority-rule argument when it suits your arguent, but when it doesn’t, you scream ‘foul’? Please explain this inconsistency…”

I have never defended absolute majority rule, that would mean doing away with the Bill of Rights to be absolute. It is not a matter of my argument. It is a matter of my acceptance of the democracy in out republic, and the Constitutional basis for rule of law which includes the Bill of Rights, and the equal protection and application of the law.

Your reference to the painting is way, way out of context. Your memory seems to fail to acknowledge that my argument was based on equal protection and application of the law. If the courts allow ANY religious representations at tax payer expense, it must allow ALL representations at tax payer expense, including Scientology and Wiccan, and others. Since, our society is predominantly Christian, forcing public buildings to spend tax dollars in establishing icons of ALL religions would not be acceptable. Therefore, the law must preclude ANY religious icons in public tax supported buildings and offices.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 8, 2007 4:49 AM
Comment #232262

Kansas Dem, you may be wasting your time. Libertarians want to be elected and a major player which means they don’t want to appear to be heartless. But their core principles as you outlined from their party platform requires them to advocate for the “you are on your own”, and your misfortunes must be aided by charitable giving if its available, otherwise die suckka, because government is wrong to allow its representatives to provide aid to their constituents in return for tax dollars, whose fortunes are made or broken on the back of government’s decisions and other misfortunes that may befall one.

Libertarians have this very much in common with Republicans whose philosophy inevitably leads to a return to the Eelymosenary system of charity that existed prior to the Great Depression, and which was completely and utterly incapable of rescuing the millions in need.

Winning debates with Libertarians is easy, just pull out their party platform. It is an embarassment to Libertarian debaters in public forums, because they want to be liked and respected causing them to try to soften their platform’s positions into something gentler and kinder like Rhinehold’s laughable argument that he has some affinity with the French system which is going bankrupt. But, the party philosophy and platform clearly state the French socialized system is antithetical to the Libertarian Party.

It puts Libertarian debates in a Catch-22 everytime. My uncle and a friend of mine from college are Libertarians and I’ve had many enjoyable and confounding debates with them. I pulled quotes out of the 2004 platform, and my Friend tried to tell me that is not what the LP stands for. Sound familiar? I pulled it up on his PC screen to read, and he apologized. He hadn’t read the platform - but, he is still a Libertarian today. Go figure.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 8, 2007 5:05 AM
Comment #232263

Doug said: “The title of this article is “Pragmatic Libertarianism”, not “Idealistic Libertarianism” or “I-Shall-Conform-100%-to-the-Party-Platform Libertarianism””

What is this game you are playing Doug? Are you saying there should be ANOTHER Libertarian Party that is pragmatic and the one that exists now isn’t? Or, are you trying to distance yourself from criticism of what the LP really stands for as evidenced by it Party Platform while retaining membership and adherence to the Party?

There is only one Libertarian Party. If you can’t support its ideology, why call yourself a Libertarian? Or is this like the Republican Party’s fundamentalist evangelical religious wing, ultra conservative wing, neo-con wing, and moderate wing? Seems to me the Libertarian Party is awfully small to have such Big Tent factions if it hopes to grow. Or, perhaps it remains small precisely because of such factions within it.

I am not knocking it. I am glad there is a Libertarian Party, and I have voted for Libertarian candidates in Texas. I would like to see a 20% representation of Libertarians in the U.S. House, and 10% representation in the Senate. It would be good for some of what ails America to have them in the debate, pulling it toward fiscal responsibility, and oversight of spending waste, fraud, and abuse.

I can comfortably vote Libertarian because, I know with their platform as it is, they could never become a majority party in government. That is one of the safeguards of our democratic republic, based on the concept of the electorate voting in their self-interest, hopefully enlightened self-interest as Adam Smith called for, someday.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 8, 2007 5:18 AM
Comment #232264

Rhinehold, I offer evidence from the LP web site, and you ignore it. You don’t even try to explain them as they read. Your defensive hyperbolic comment warrants no reply other than this. If you wish to debate the LP, use the LP platform words and philosophy on their web site to defend your point of view. Otherwise, your arguments amount to no more than your opinion which, ignores the Party you say you represent.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 8, 2007 5:24 AM
Comment #232265

Here is a glaring example of Libertarian consequence taken directly from the LP’s web site. I love this one:

All publicly owned infrastructures including dams and parks shall be returned to private ownership and all taxing authority for such public improvements shall sunset. Property related services shall be supplied by private markets and paid for by user fees,

All interstate highways and state highways shall be sold to private entities and maintenance of such roads shall be funded through converting those highways to toll roads. Now, that one will go over real big with American voters. There is one helluva battle taking place in Austin, Tx. right now over this very issue, where the Gov. is proposing to convert public highways already bought and paid for into toll roads and the user fees in the form of tolls shall fund the private companies who will collect the tolls and maintain the roads, and if there is something left over, well that will be shared as profits to the private firms and revenues to the state.

Libertarianism in action. And Texans are hopping mad, Democrats, Republicans, and dare I say it, even Libertarians living on those proposed routes lying between their homes and places of work and business and schools.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 8, 2007 5:41 AM
Comment #232272
All interstate highways and state highways shall be sold to private entities and maintenance of such roads shall be funded through converting those highways to toll roads. Now, that one will go over real big with American voters.

Typical David. Cuts a bit, tells you that this would be an added ‘fee’ to pay for these roads and isn’t that a stupid idea? You notice he does not include the entire passage from the platform either.

David, you do realize that this change you claim is being alled for would require that the gasoline tax be removed, right? We would be paying… about 1.45 a gallon for gas and paying a small toll to drive on the interstates, something done on a large scale by large corporations… And I 100% certain that the roads would be taken better care of. How do I know? Well, we have done this with the toll road we already have in Indiana. The management of that road was given to a private firm, the roads are better, the toll is low and by golly the state of Indiana was able to cut millions out of the amount of money we were taxing the citizens.

Which is why I can tell you that the AUSTIN plan is not a libertarian one. It calls for DOUBLE taxation, without the call for elminiating the taxes already paid for by the citizens to the maintenance of those roads. It is more like a moneygrab to me.

But you’ll never accept that statement because it doesn’t fit in with what YOU think a libertarian is…

So, let’s look at the beginning of that platform you left off, shall we?

All public lands and resources, as well as claims thereto, except as explicitly allowed by the Constitution, shall be returned to private ownership, with the proceeds of sale going to retire public liabilities.

Woah, wait a second… there’s a clause there right at front that you didn’t mention! Why, it doesn’t say *ALL* public lands and resources… It says “all public lands and resources, as well as claims thereto, except as explicitly allowed by the Constitution, shall be returned to private ownership, with the proceeds of sale going to retire public liabilities”.

So, those lands and resources that we are not constitutionally allowed to own would be SOLD, not handed over as you suggest, to private industry, with the proceeds going to pay off our national debt, no other purpose could be used by that money. AND you fail to mention that the constitution DOES allow for a gasoline tax to be collected to pay for the public highway system. NO where does it state in the platform that this is what the Libertarians are wanting.

However, in a, typical for you, attempt to attribute what you want the Libertarians to stand for and what they actually stand for, you tell people something that isn’t true and then use that statement to tell everyone how bad the Libertarians are.

In fact, you can see exactly what they mean by reading even further to the “Tranistional Action”, which are the actual, specific, things that the Libertarians are calling for in this party platform.

Transitional Action: Rescind all taxation of real property. Property, resources and rights taken from their legitimate owners by government or by government supported private action, shall be restored to the rightful owners. Reverse the Supreme Court decision regarding eminent domain - Kelo v City of New London. Repeal all legislation that transfers property rights to the state, including those enacted in the name of aesthetic values, risk, moral standards, cost-benefit estimates, the promotion or restriction of economic growth, health or national security claims. Sunset all federal agencies that own, regulate or administer property, as well as agencies at the local level which exercise control over private property and resources. Rescind and oppose all international treaties that exercise government control over unowned resources.

Now, if you want to argue any of these, fine. But argue what is actually stated in the platform, not what you want it to say.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 8, 2007 11:28 AM
Comment #232274
You’re on your own

Ah, the typical and frankly most moronic of arguments against the Libertarian party that always crops up by people that want you to believe that forcing you to pay for a charitable cause is ‘caring’.

The single and ONLY difference between our welfare system and private contributions through paycheck reduction to the United Way is…?

Compulsion

You have no choice. It doesn’t matter if you want to, or can, help out those charities, you are forced to. No, even better, not only are YOU forced to, but you can accept that because you know EVERYONE ELSE will be force to pay as well!

The system in place now means that it doesn’t matter what issue, condition or catastrophe comes up in your own personal life, you still have to keep paying. You can’t choose to ‘not pay this week’ while you deal with a leaky roof. OR an unforseen medical bill. You still have to keep on paying.

But remember, and I’ll say it again. The ONLY difference between our current system and an organization such as the United Way, is compulsion

So, by advocating for keeping our current system, you are saying “I support the police force going to someone’s house and taking, arresting if not given and killing if resisting that arrest, in order to ensure that they will give up some of their wealth to pay for the need of someone else”.

Keep saying it, because that is what you are supporting. There are people in jail now because of it. There are people who have died because if it. It is not a ‘theory’, it is a fact. I, for one, think THIS is the most selfish of acts, to use compulsion to make it a crime for someone to be a greedy git.

And along with this, you are also uncaringly supporting the eventual resentment that goes along with it. The resentment that people who would otherwise have given gladly to help people in need (in actual need, not just because they choose not to earn enough to support themselves) now feel towards the very people we are trying to give a hand up to. A hand up, not a hand out…

In fact, in my charitable work (which there is a lot, btw, strange being a greedy libertarian, huh?), I find that most people don’t really need money. It helps with the initial issue but what they REALLY need are mentors or psychological help. But we don’t give that do we? No, we just hand them a check and tell them that they can’t make it on their own. They’re not capable of doing it. So sorry, here’s your check! Now quit bothering me so I can get through my life without having to actually THINK about what is going on with you…

There is no reason, none, that in today’s society (quit trying to equate 2007 with 1907, it’s one of the most pathetic arguments I hear), with the amount of personal wealth that we, in this country enjoy, can’t take care of our needy through organizations like World Hunger Year, the United Way and the Red Cross. The only difference being that we would have to acknowledge that some people wouldn’t pay. Which is a fair price, IMO, to not criminalize that behavior. There is NO need to institutionalize it.

And, as a result, our current system is causing those in the US with wealth, the 1%ers as we say, to leave the country and take their wealth with them. Don’t think it’s a problem? Then why was a law enacted in 1996 to tax that wealth of a person who renounces citizenship for 10 years after they leave? Hundreds of thousands of wealthy individuals are leaving this country because of the increasing desire to ‘make the rich pay’ and taking all of their wealth with them because of this law, we are starting to see a ‘wealth drain’. If we don’t change the way we look at our society, we are going to be without the very people we depend upon. Because we’ve sure made sure that people in this society are unable to depend upon themselves.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 8, 2007 11:50 AM
Comment #232289

Rhinehold, the Constitution does not allow for an interstate Highway system. Your argument is BUSTED!

Who made you the interpreter of the LP platform. What does the LP mean when they say “except as explicitly allowed in the Constitution”? That has only one meaning by the words used. If the U.S. Constitution doesn’t explicity call for it, the LP is for selling it.

Well, Rhinehold, our national parks, and our interstate highway system are not EXPLICITLY called for in the U.S. Constituiton. Ergo, by the LP’s own words, they are to be sold off to private interests.

Again, your entire argument fails for a lack of reading comprehension and logic applied.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 8, 2007 4:55 PM
Comment #232290

Rhinehold, please quote where I said the Austin plan was a Libertarian Plan. Texas is a Republican state, and those behind the Austin plan are Republicans. They have similarities though, don’t they?

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 8, 2007 4:57 PM
Comment #232291

See, folks. By Rhinehold’s reasoning, it takes but one person to refuse the will of the people, to defeat the will of the people. For Rhinehold argues that in a democracy, if the majority decides to fund policies of benefit to all the people through enforced taxation, it takes only one person to yell COMPULSION, to defeat the will of the people.

Thankfully, Libertarians like Rhinehold will never have power as long as America remains a democratic republic. For Rhinehold to have his way, the democracy would have to end.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 8, 2007 5:02 PM
Comment #232297
See, folks. By Rhinehold’s reasoning, it takes but one person to refuse the will of the people,

Then the ACLU should be disbanded, because that one person who doesn’t want to have the government spying on them is refusing the will of the people! Supporting gay marriage is against the will of the people. Keeping the 10 commandments out of public buildings is against the will of the people.

David, you are, IMO, treading on character assassination in your diatribe. I’m trying to keep calm about it but no where ever does the LP or I suggest or even logically support anti-democratic principles.

Who made you the interpreter of the LP platform

Who made you? You are saying that I can’t interpret the platform but you can look at it and say it is ‘anti-democratic’ (when it is patently not) and that’s ok with you?

Rhinehold, please quote where I said the Austin plan was a Libertarian Plan.

What did you mean, then, when you said the plan was “Libertarianism in action.”?

David, your ‘debating’ these past few weeks have been very questionable and I’ve been trying hard not to get upset, but to be honest I’m getting very close to walking away from Watchblog if this is the type of ‘debating’ I’m going to be subjected to from here going forward. You can say and think that you are just arguing hard, but to be honest, if you look back that the types of outrageous and mean-spirited things you have been saying about me and my views, had they been aimed at you I don’t think you would think the same.

For Rhinehold to have his way, the democracy would have to end.

This is a bullshit statement and really just more of the same idiotic moronic hate-filled crap you’ve been spewing for weeks.

So yeah, I think I’m done.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 8, 2007 7:19 PM
Comment #232298

BTW, yeah I think the national parks would be better taken care of in the hands of a private organization like the Nature Conservancy or The Sierra Club. At least politics would be removed from how they are taken care of, and people who know how to manage land would be able to do so.

But trying to convince people to do this is ‘anti-democratic’? What a fucking joke.

Posted by: Rhinehold at September 8, 2007 7:22 PM
Comment #232301

Rhinehold said: “Then the ACLU should be disbanded, because that one person who doesn’t want to have the government spying on them is refusing the will of the people!”

That made no sense. You are the one arguing one person should deny the will of the people. Not I. And what has this to do with the ACLU’s existence as defender of the Bill of Rights?

Supporting gay marriage is against the will of the people. Keeping the 10 commandments out of public buildings is against the will of the people.

Tsk, tsk, tsk, can you not tell the difference between legislation on issues NOT itemized as rights in the Bill of Rights. Read the Constitution and show me where the Constitution addresses marriage at all.

The Constitution DOES cover the federal government acting to establish a national religion, which using tax dollars to sponsor religious preferences in government buildings arguably does.

I fail see anything cogent in your comment.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 8, 2007 7:58 PM
Comment #232305

Rhinehold said: “David, your ‘debating’ these past few weeks have been very questionable and I’ve been trying hard not to get upset, but to be honest I’m getting very close to walking away from Watchblog if this is the type of ‘debating’ I’m going to be subjected to”

This is a political debate site. I enjoy debate. If you don’t, well, that is for you to decide. I back my argument with quotes directly from the LP site. This apparently bothers you as a debating tactic? I demonstrate the flaws in your logic, and this causes you to consider walking away? Is walking away from something one does not enjoy supposed to be a threat? I would consider that logical.

And, to assist you, I might point out that walking away from debating with me is an option, less drastic than walking away from WatchBlog which, your longevity here seems to indicate you have enjoyed. But, that’s just my point of view.

I am sorry my arguments against the Libertarian Party and your defense and interpretations of it, bother you so much personally. But, whether my arguments bother you, or not, is not my responsibility. That is yours. There have been a few at WB that I do not enjoy debating with, and so I don’t. I ignore them. Perhaps that too would work for you?

The LP’s stance on selling national assets is clearly stated as I quoted. What Republicans are doing in Austin is very, very similar in many ways.

The outcome, selling or converting interstate highway assets which the PUBLIC has already paid for once in taxes to construct and develop, to profit oriented private interests who will buy these assets and recoup the sales cost all over again from the public, which already paid for it once, is, in fact, Libertarianism in action as the LP party clearly states is their intent to do.

The logic is inescapable. And my reference to the outcome of such actions to sell public assets to private interests is, ipso facto, Libertarianism in action as defined by the LP’s own party platform, regardless of the fact that it is Republicans responsible for this in Austin. And as I have said before, in many ways, the Republicans and Libertarians have much common ground shared. What is taking place in Austin is but one piece of evidence to support that assertion.


Posted by: David R. Remer at September 8, 2007 8:17 PM
Comment #232592

Well, for what it’s worth, I found Rhinehold’s, David’s and Doug’s post all very informative and revealing of the actual debate amongst the three parties.

I like Ron Paul, but David is dead-on when he says some of his libertarian ideals seem drastically unrealistic. They may have been suited to Jefferson and a Rural America with an expanding frontier, but many of the ideas simply fall short in a largely urban and 300 million person America.

And Yes, Rhinehold, I’m fully aware he is a Republican, but he has run as a Libertarian before, and espouses their ideals.

Personal responsibility in and of itself is a great notion, it works in a small town, but sometimes in a complex and crowded urban environment, people and their individual rights simply get squashed in the free-for-all atmosphere of libertarianism. They aren’t anarchists, but the real effect can be the same.

It may get heated, but it is appreciated. Rhinehold, I hope you choose to stay.

Posted by: alien from the planet zorg at September 11, 2007 7:31 PM
Comment #232635

alien… thanks for the post… of course it would take an alien from another planet to lend some decent, objective thoughts to our own! ;-)

You are correct, to a point. Some of the basic ideals of libertarianism were better suited to Jefferson and rural America, but that does not change the fact that the principles of libertarianism can still be applied today.

I’ll be the first to admit, the Libertarian party needs to adapt to the 21st century, and that can be accomplished without changing its core principles. Jefferson’s America was not a superpower on the world stage… we are and we have to deal with that. Jefferson’s America did not have the environmental concerns of today… we do and we have to deal with that. Jefferson’s America had not yet grossly overstepped the bounds of the US Constitution… we have and we have to deal with that. We can deal with these things in a pragmatic way without losing the core principles of respecting individuals’ rights and responsibilities.

Does, in my humble opinion, the LP platform need to be updated? That’s a big 10-4, good buddy! Can we do that and be true to our principles? Yepper… Is the only true libertarianism, as some on this site would suggest, a strict interpretation of a party platform? Of course not… And finally, do intelligent libertarians all talk nice-like into the microphone while secretly harboring evil, discompassionate, undemocratic thoughts of how things should really be, as some on this site would suggest? Well… some opinions may never be changed… but the answer is ‘no’.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 12, 2007 11:42 AM
Comment #232645

Doug, I would agree with you that it is not Libertarians intention to hide evil intentions. But, it is obvious that following some LP platform prescriptions lead to undemocratic and negative consequences for the public at large.

I choose to exemplify this by the Austin attempt to convert highways already paid for by taxpayers into toll roads forcing taxpayer users to repurchase these highways all over again through privatization of these highways. The proponents are a very small group of investors, developers, company owners, and contractors, who have successfully elected to the positions necessary to push this plan. The overwhelming outcry by the public at large is insufficient to halt this process going forward, because the proponents were elected to key positions to enable it. This group is now demanding 700 million dollars legislated for public roads, now be diverted to development of the toll roads.

This is not democratic. This is not going to produce results that the travelers of these toll roads, the tax and toll payers wanted. Since the LP advocates for this very agenda regarding public assets, it is not a stretch to apply the un-democratic and negative consequences criticism to Libertarians who support that party platform.

Where I have strong Libertarian leanings is on personal responsibility, though I differ on some areas of expectation. Responsibility is taught. It is not innate in a culture as complicated as ours. I like seeing Libertarians elected to school boards, because they can have a positive influence on teaching fiscal and personal financial discipline and the concept of assuming consequences for one’s decisions, and the concept that responsibility means responding appropriately for oneself and others affected by one’s decision.

I strongly oppose Libertarians belief that reversion to private charity is the answer to insuring the unfortunate are cared for while removing government from delivery of assistance. Charity has an intrinsic economics that channels scarce dollars to groups of unfortunates, leaving individuals in need, through no fault of their own, unaided. Private charity should be encouraged, and government spending should no overlap where private charity is capable of handling the needs of unfortunate persons.

But, government’s decisions often create misfortune for its citizens, like NAFTA for example, and government has a responsibility to alleviate the the negative consequences upon individuals lives resulting from government decisions. Libertarian philosophy fundamentally disagrees with this concept of government intervention and rescue in personal lives, preferring instead to insure the the fortunate retain maximum fortune.

Posted by: David R. Remer at September 12, 2007 2:58 PM
Comment #232649

David… thank you for your measured comments.

I honestly do not know much (read: anything) about the Austin plan of which you speak, and can therefore not comment on it.

I understand the LP platform calls for government to get out of the managing of public assets altogether, and I do not necessarily agree with that wholly. A nation needs an infrastructure, and roads are the biggest part of that. Heck… it could be argued that roads help to provide the “protection of its citizens” clause of the LP platform where the party says that the main function of government is to protect its citizenzs… without roads, how could this be the case? Maintained roads are necessary for troop movement (for the national defense of our country) and police movement (for the domestic defense of our citizens). Anyway… my point is this… there is usually more than one way to think about a problem.

So… can I count on you to campaign for a libertarian for your local school board this November? ;-)

NAFTA is not a Libertarian ideal, I don’t really know if you meant to infer that or not, but I did want to be clear about it… Although not altogether bad, NAFTA favors one portion of the world (Canada and Mexico) over others and sets different rules for different players. This is in no way in alignment with global libertarian philosophy.

One other thing I would like to point out that may seem mere semantics but gives people the wrong impression… you say that libertarian philosophy prefers “to insure the fortunate retain maximum fortune”. Libertarian philosophy has no such preference, as it is much more objective than that wholly subjective statement.

Posted by: Doug Langworthy at September 12, 2007 3:46 PM
Comment #235009

!st, let me say I’m not as eloquent as most of you, that said, Ithink I am more pragmatic than some!
I believe that we have to admit that as advocates of alternatives to the present power groups(i.e. dems-repubs) we prate on about trifles! Had our forefathers done the same, we would still be bowing to the king/queen! Enough about petty differences.
What IS needed is to slide over our own petty little differnces, consolidate and unify all Independants and boot out the present power thugs.
NUFF sed?

Posted by: Coy Keller at October 2, 2007 12:28 PM
Comment #235911

Re; My post #235009:
What happened?
Did my post dampen all the debating ferver?
Sorry if I did that, or is the usual debating going on somewhere else.
All I meant was….
If we really and truly wanna get rid of the present frailures in Washington, we need to unify and consolidate ALL the Independant Party followers and sent the Repugnants and the Democrooks packing. Correct me if I’m wrong. Thanks for hearing me, Coy Keller @ klikkj@yahoo.com

Posted by: Coy Keller at October 11, 2007 11:39 PM
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