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Ask a Libertarian

Plutarch
Plutarch A Tribe Called FreshPhilly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNMembers Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
For a long ass while now, I have found myself defending and explaining libertarianism again and again. And even though I hate labels and categories, I think that it’s mostly safe to say that I’m a libertarian. Not the positive liberty, Chomsky kind or the anarchist kind. But rather the constitutionalist, fiscal “conservative,” small-government, socially liberal, classical republican and liberal (i.e., free markets) kind.

I’m convinced that this kind of libertarianism is the best, most moral, most liberating, most peaceful, most rational, most consistent (as opposed to the flip flopping of mainstream Democrats and Republicans), most profitable, and most “American” (most of the founding father were “libertarians”) political philosophy for the nation. The mainstream Democrats and the mainstream Republicans are the same, tired, authoritarian (i.e., the opposite of libertarianism), morally corrupt, and war-hungry conglomerate that is slowly but surely destroying what America used to be.

I would be interested in hearing the opinions of those who disagree as well as the questions of those who are skeptical. This is not so much a challenge to prove me wrong as it is a simple opportunity to open up a political debate for everyone, including me, to learn a thing or two. So if America is 🤬 up (and that much is clearly evident, no?), then what’s the political solution? I say libertarianism.
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Comments

  • Sicky Mouse
    Sicky Mouse Members Posts: 470 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNMembers Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    ^^^ Lol. I never got around to watching that show though.
  • Bazz-B
    Bazz-B Reaching For Success The Dirty SouthMembers Posts: 1,185 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    what book or video would recommend to somebody who is ignorant to libertarian policies?
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNMembers Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Hm, let me see if I can start something here.

    Let’s start with Obama and the mainstream Democrats. I still can’t seem to wrap my mind around the ironic fact that there are seemingly millions of (black) people who hate George Bush but love Barack Obama even though Obama is basically Bush 2.0. But never mind that.

    Probably the biggest thing that libertarians are criticized for and that Obama is praised (but also criticized) for is policy on government social and economic programs. Obama is praised for “caring” for poor people, and libertarians are criticized for being “heartless” Social Darwinists who believe that poor people should stop complaining, pull themselves up by their bootstraps, and claim their piece of the American pie.

    Even though that that’s a common way of thinking that I have personally encountered countless times, it’s mostly 🤬 imo. And if I do fail to spark up a discussion about this issue, I want to, at the very least, dispel that myth and explain that libertarians are far more genuine, sensible, and compassionate when it comes to helping (poor) people in need. In fact, many of us libertarians are in the same boat, struggling ourselves. So, some clarifications are in order.
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNMembers Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    1. Libertarians are against big government, but that does not mean that we’re against the well-intended goals that big government hopes to achieve. This is a very important point because many people make these common criticisms: libertarians want to get rid of the Department of Education, so libertarians are against education and public schools; libertarians want to get rid of the CIA, so libertarians are against intelligence gathering; libertarians want to get rid of universal healthcare/Obamacare, so libertarians are against healthcare. All of these criticisms are based on fallacious arguments: the Department of Education costs us billions(?), yet our public school system is atrocious; the CIA creates disastrous consequences that only threaten America’s security (think Iran and 1952); our healthcare and welfare and Social Security system is broke, corrupt, and mismanaged. It’s pretty pathetic that people seem to believe that good education, good intelligence gathering, and good healthcare can’t be achieved without the government. How can people feel so weak and lazy and then trust and depend on a government that time and time has proven to be unpopular, corrupt, incompetent, tyrannical, etc.? D.C. is run by the government, and you don’t even have to look at D.C.’s crime rate, poverty rate, poor education system, etc. to see how much the government sucks at running things. Instead of depending on and believing in the government, why can’t people depend on and believe in themselves and individual freedom?

    2. One of two main reasons why libertarians are against government-run welfare is because government-run welfare is unconstitutional. It is unconstitutional because the Constitution does not give the government the power to run and manage such a welfare system. A story that I heard about Grover Cleveland is a good example that demonstrates this issue. When Cleveland was president, an organization of poor farmers asked the government for funding. Congress then passed a bill to fund the poor farmers. But Cleveland vetoed the bill and therefore denied the funding. Now, Cleveland didn’t do that to be a 🤬 . He did it to obey the Constitution because the government doesn’t have the power to fund any group whether it’s poor farmers, poor city folk, sick people, etc. In fact, Cleveland pulled out money from his own pocket to give (libertarians advocate volunteerism not force) to the poor farmers. So libertarians do not hate poor people. Their beef with government-run welfare is not personal. It’s based on principle.

    3. The second of the two main reasons why libertarians are against government-run welfare is because government-run welfare is un-American and unethical. This is true because America was founded on the principle of individual freedom, and individual freedom and ethics are violated when a government forcibly demands a portion of an individual’s income and divvies it up to certain groups, regardless of how needy those certain groups might be. How can Americans (particularly American Democrats) support social freedoms such as having the freedom to marry whomever they want but then at the same time be against economic freedoms such as having the freedom to do whatever you want with your money? Libertarians are consistent and apply individual freedom socially and economically. Chunks of my paycheck are taken out by the government because I don’t know any better and apparently need the government to save up my money for me? And the government needs to take my money in order to give it to the poor (even though I have my own student loans to pay off)? And the government also needs to take my money to fund the completely disastrous and unaffordable War on Terrorism and War on Drugs? None of that makes any sense. So again, libertarians’ beef is not with poor people or welfare itself. Our beef is with the government’s violation of individual freedom.

    4. It is also very important to note that many libertarians (including me) do not want get rid of government-run welfare immediately. Immediately getting rid of the welfare system would put a lot of dependent people out on the streets. Instead, we want to actually strengthen the welfare system generally for those who already dependent on it. What should follow simultaneously then is a transitional phasing out of that system. So no, libertarians are not trying to put poor people out on the streets to fend for themselves.
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNMembers Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    5.So then what is the answer for the libertarian if government isn’t the answer? Well, the answer is to get government out of the way. According to the Constitution, the government’s only “proactive” role generally is to uphold the law and protect rights and contracts. So the much more productive way to help those in need is to do what has been done just several decades ago before FDR: take out our dependence on the government and take in our independence and freedom. Instead of forcing people to help people through government programs, people should be able to freely volunteer to help others through local groups, non-profit/non-governmental organizations, family, friends, hospitals, schools, churches, humanitarians, philanthropists, patrons, charities, activists, and law-abiding corporations and businesses. This brings people together and strengthens communities and encourages people to care about each other. In contrast, forcible and controversial government programs only bitterly divide the nation. Peace never lasts long if individual freedom is violated and programs are forced on people. Forcing heavier taxes on rich people is only lazy and discriminatory (which is ironic in the case of historically discriminated groups who want the rich to pay more taxes just for being rich, never mind the fact that many rich people already donate millions to those in need). And forcing a minimum wage on businesses ironically only hurts both those businesses (especially small ones) and poor people (who are more unskilled and thus devalued). Again, libertarians do not have hard-ons for businesses like Walmart and rich people like Donald Trump (who, by the way, doesn’t like libertarians). It’s all based on the principle of freedom for everyone

    6. So for libertarians, big government only makes things worse. The government needs to get out of the way so that free-market capitalism, another principle that America was founded on, can thrive. What we have been doing is the opposite. So many people make the mistake of blaming America’s problems on capitalism. America is not capitalist. Instead, what we have in America is authoritarianism (the opposite of libertarianism) and socialism (the opposite of capitalism). The fact that America is authoritarian (like 🤬 Germany was) and socialist (like the Soviet Union was) is the reason why Obama is both called a fascist and a communist. Being a fascist and a communist is not necessarily a contradiction and only makes perfect sense when you consider the fact that fascists and communists are both authoritarians. What we have in America is not capitalism but instead corporatism because the government and the big corporations (and the media, etc.) lie in bed together and try to “control” the economy for self-profit. Remember the bailouts of the automotive industries? Well, Bush, Obama, Romney, and the mainstream Republicans and Democrats all supported them. But not the libertarians. Even Obamacare was originally a conservative mandate, and when it’s implemented, it will serve the interest of the big insurance companies because it forces (once again, libertarians are against government force and are for individual freedom) you to buy insurance. Likewise, the big pharmaceutical companies, Wallstreet, the big banks, etc., are all protected by the government. I wouldn’t be surprised if the NFL is protected by the government.

    7. Contrary to popular opinion, free-market capitalism can help everyone, especially the poor. And libertarians advocate free-market capitalism. In a free-market capitalist society, big business is not protected and is allowed to fail and is allowed to receive competition from small and alternative business. The government shouldn’t drive the market (but they do and drive costs of education and medicine up to unaffordable prices). Competition and entrepreneurship should drive the market. Prices should go down once there is competition as well as strong supply and demand. Lower prices mean a more healthy economy in which people buy and sell freely without government interference. Freedom lies in having many options and choices. Yet our current system gets rid of competition because the government encourages cronyism and monopolies. Imagine if each of the biggest companies in each business sector was like the NFL in which each was the only service available and therefore could jack up prices and do whatever it wanted because there was no other competition for consumers to turn to. It’s so hard for entrepreneurs and small businesses in America to do well because this current system prevents poor people from doing legitimate business and making livings for themselves. It’s so bad that American businessmen go to China to start their businesses because it’s easier over there. China (to whom the U.S. government owes trillions of dollars) is ironically more capitalist than America.

    8. Lastly, libertarians do not hate immigrants. I myself am an immigrant. No matter how sorry bleeding-heart liberals feel for immigrants, illegal immigration is still illegal and justifiably illegal. Bleeding-heart liberals, the liberal media, and Obama appeal to emotion when they support immigration reform and amnesty for illegal immigrants, but emotion isn’t logic. It’s not logical to reward criminals even if that means preventing the American children of illegal immigrants from reuniting with their deported parents in America. Regardless, those deported family members can still try to legally immigrate to America. And they still can call their American family, visit their American family through visas, contact their American family through the internet, etc. All that illegal immigration does is strain American resources such as hospitals, jobs, schools, etc. It also irresponsibly increases the population. And also might invite international criminals and crime. Most importantly, it’s a disservice to legal immigrants and potential legal immigrants who have been waiting to become citizens or immigrants. If illegal immigration is rewarded and potential legal immigrants are 🤬 on, then that just encourages those potential legal immigrants to resort to illegal immigration, which is a crime. Libertarians support legal immigration, just not illegal immigration.
  • LUClEN
    LUClEN Absence makes the heart grow fonder of someone else Members Posts: 20,559 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Is the United States' early years the only example of a Libertarian nation that has ever existed?
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNMembers Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    what book or video would recommend to somebody who is ignorant to libertarian policies?

    Man, there's so much out there, and to be honest, I might not be the best person to ask, but I'll give you some of my recommendations based on my limited knowledge. And I encourage anyone else to drop their recommendations if you have some. Here's mine:

    Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, George Washington, and other Founding Fathers of America. Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. It’s crazy yet unsurprising that the very documents that America was founded upon are so dismissed by our own government and politicians. However, libertarians stick to the principles of the Declaration and Constitution, and that is what separates them from others who have no political philosophy whatsoever and are just opportunistic and flip-flop to appease whomever. Most Americans have no idea how revolutionary and powerful America’s foundation was historically and still is today even though we’ve been moving backwards ever since the turn of the 20th century.

    Ron Paul. The Revolution: A Manifesto and Liberty Defined are most likely his best books, especially regarding the constitutional and economic philosophy of libertarianism. His website ronpaulforums.com can be helpful too.

    Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged is her most well-known novel and is famous/popular in its own right. It’s fiction, and I haven’t read it yet, but I’ve heard that it’s fascinating (but also somewhat controversial), and it’s based on core libertarian principles. Trivia: BioShock, one of the greatest videogames of all-time, is largely based on Atlas Shrugged.

    John Locke. Two Treatises of Government gives a good account of what a good government is and what a bad government is. A good one is based on contracts, property rights, and natural rights. A bad one is based on absolute monarchism, slavery, and force. Locke heavily influenced American’s founding fathers.

    Alexis de Tocqueville. Democracy in America explains the goodness and success of America’s democratic republic system. It can be argued that the founding fathers were classical liberals (which is not the same thing as the “American liberals” of today) and classical republicans (which is not the same thing as the “American Republicans” of today) and that these classical liberals and classical republicans eventually became what was and is known now as American libertarians. So democracy and republicanism are very important to libertarianism.

    Frederic Bastiat. The Law is an essay influence by John Locke and is a great introduction to core libertarian principles such as natural rights and individual freedom and limited government.

    Ludwig von Mises. Human Action seems to be a mandatory classic that explains and supports the goodness of free-market capitalism.
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNMembers Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    Writer Robert Taylor wrote this great article about recommended readings for understanding libertarianism, and each reading apparently has a link to its text (policymic.com/articles/9605/ron-paul-reading-list-the-secret-behind-libertarian-success-is-hidden-in-these-books):

    Libertarian philosophy rests on a major concept — self-ownership — that necessarily leads to other philosophies, like the non-aggression principle, property rights, and individual liberty. Thus, as long a person doesn’t murder, 🤬 , burglarize, defraud, trespass, steal, or inflict any other act of violence against another person’s life, liberty, or property, libertarians hold that the government should leave him alone. Fundamentally, the strength and power of libertarianism comes from this ethical, rather than empirical, defense of individual sovereignty. Libertarian philosophy attempts to come up with a framework that defends individual rights for their own sake, analyzes what the proper role of force is in society, and reasons that law and morality mean little if they are not universally applied to all individuals in society. Because of this, libertarians reject the state from a moral and philosophical position, and either aim to limit it to it a few specific functions or abolish it all together.

    And with that out of the way, here is a list of articles, short books, and long essays that I think provide a great summary of libertarianism.

    Libertarian Philosophy/Ethics:
    The Non-Aggression Axiom of Libertarianism, by Walter Block
    The Philosophy of Ownership, by Robert Levefre
    Rothbardian Ethics, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
    If Men Were Angels, by Robert Higgs
    Proving Libertarian Morality, by Stefan Molyneux
    The State, by Franz Oppenheimer
    No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority, by Lysander Spooner
    The Law, by Frederic Bastiat
    Ending Tyranny Without Violence, by Murray Rothbard
    How and Why the State Destroys Society, by Frank Chodorov

    Entwined intimately with libertarian philosophy is a defense of the market economy, again based not on practical reasons (though markets have shown to be the most effective way of decreasing poverty and increasing standards of living), but because it is a natural extension of individual liberty and property ownership. Libertarians embrace the market because it provides individuals the opportunity to maximize their interests by engaging in mutually-beneficial trade with another, provides order through the profit-and-loss/price signals, and reject state intervention because it tends to harm this unbelievably complex and decentralized coordination that markets create.

    Economics:
    Economics in One Lesson, by Henry Hazlitt
    Planned Chaos, Ludwig von Mises
    What Has Government Done to Our Money?, by Murray Rothbard
    An Introduction to Austrian Economics, by Thomas C. Taylor
    An Introduction to Economic Reasoning, by David Gordon
    Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics, by George Reisman
    No, the Free Market Did Not Cause the Financial Crisis, by Thomas Woods
    Recession and Recovery, by Robert Higgs

    There are, of course, many objections raised to libertarianism on issues of practicality. How would roads be provided without a state? Environmental protection? Money? Regulations? Welfare? Education? Healthcare? Law and order? Security?

    Practical Problems and Solutions:
    Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution, by Murray Rothbard
    The Privatization of Roads and Highways, by Walter Block
    The Private Production of Defense, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
    Private Law Society, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
    Welfare Before the Welfare State, by Joshua Fulton
    Practical Anarchy, by Stefan Molyneux
    From Mutual Aid to Welfare State: Fraternal Societies and Social Services, 1890-1967, by David Beito
    The Not So Wild, Wild West, by Terry Anderson and P.J. Hill
    Education: Free and Compulsory, by Murray Rothbard
    Top Ten Objection to Libertarian Anarchism, by Roderick T. Long
    Arguments Against Anarchy, by Jarret B. Wollstein
    What Has Government Done to Our Money?, by Murray Rothbard
    A Four-Step Health-Care Solution, by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
    Who Will Regulate the Regulators?, by Thomas DiLorenzo

    And finally, the most important issue facing the U.S. and the libertarian movement in general: war and peace. As the great classical liberal Randolph Bourne said, "war is the health of the state." Not only does war 🤬 , injure, and displace human life and destroy wealth and property, but it diverts production from what the market and consumers want to what politicians, lobbyists, and generals want. War has traditionally been the number one contributor to the growth of state power, for it is during wartime that states justify the most amount of secrecy, expansion, and obedience. War, like any force or violence, is only justified in self-defense.

    War and Peace:
    War, Peace, and the State, by Murray Rothbard
    War is a Racket, by Major General Smedly Butler, USMC
    How the Swiss Opted Out of War, by Bill Walker
    Imagine an Occupied America, by Ron Paul
    Stopping the Next 🤬 , by Bill Walker
    🤬 of the Machine, by Isabel Paterson
    Why Libertarians Oppose War, by Jacob Huebert
    The War Prayer, by Mark Twain
    Robert Higgs and the 'Ratchet Effect', by Daivd Beito
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNMembers Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    There are also countless videos on libertarianism. Here are a few good ones though:



    The different and related kinds of libertarianism are explained. Good background and history.


    Libertarian Stefan Molyneux answers Jon Stewart’s “19 Tough Questions for Libertarians.” Good clarifying material.


    John Stossel interviews Ron Paul about generally all of his Paul’s main libertarian views. Both Stossel and Paul are libertarians. The political side of libertarianism is exclusively discussed.
  • jono
    jono Right fist = power, left fist = unity Members Posts: 30,280 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Elrawd wrote: »
    Is the United States' early years the only example of a Libertarian nation that has ever existed?

    Correction: a libertarian nation has NEVER existed. Most of the stuff he is discussing is a set of belief systems.

    People can believe whatever they want to.
  • LUClEN
    LUClEN Absence makes the heart grow fonder of someone else Members Posts: 20,559 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Well I wasn't referring specifically to Ron Paul's videos. I know some libertarians hold that period in high regard

    If libertarianism is so good why haven't there been any libertarian nations?
  • Soloman_The_Wise
    Soloman_The_Wise The Make It Happen Man... Puget SoundMembers Posts: 2,817 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Elrawd wrote: »
    Well I wasn't referring specifically to Ron Paul's videos. I know some libertarians hold that period in high regard

    If libertarianism is so good why haven't there been any libertarian nations?

    It is not good for those that like to hoard power and most governments are ran by individuals who harbor desires for power over others thus a true libertarian Government would limit those aspirations to much...
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNMembers Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    Elrawd wrote: »
    Is the United States' early years the only example of a Libertarian nation that has ever existed?

    First, wow at your sig.

    Second, that’s a good question. Even though early America wasn't "technically" libertarian (the term "libertarian" first became popular during about the '60s), it can be argued that it was libertarian since libertarianism is a continuation of classical liberalism (as well as generally classical republicanism), which was basically the political philosophy of the founding fathers.

    If I’m not mistaken, America was indeed the first republic that won its independence in the New World. Other nations around the world such as Haiti and France soon followed, but their sense of “libertarianism” failed miserably because of corruption and especially power struggle (more evidence of the inevitability of government corruption). So yes, America was pretty much the only truly libertarian nation that existed at that time.

    But there have been historical semi-precedents such as the Roman Republic (which also failed miserably) and the Greek city states. At the time of America’s independence, there were other nations that were also “semi-libertarian.” For instance, England itself had a king since it was a monarchy, but England was a constitutional monarchy with a parliament that was supposed to give its people (but apparently not the people of its colonies) representation.
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNMembers Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Still, at the time, America was truly one of a kind, which explains why America was so revolutionary and liberal (in the classical sense, not the American sense). Imo, humans, for various reasons, tend to be communal and collective, and if they do happen to lean towards individualism, they’ll do so only as it concerns themselves – in other words, “I have my individual freedom, but you shouldn’t have yours.” Humans are obsessed with telling other humans how to live their lives (e.g., you can’t have sex with her; you can’t marry him; you can’t smoke that; you can’t watch this tv program or listen to that music; you can’t pray to that 🤬 ; etc.) because they dread the possibility that someone might do something that they disapprove of, even if that something is not immoral and has nothing to do with them.

    But that’s the double-edge sword of individual freedom, and many people can’t handle that. So throughout history, the norm has been and still is the opposite of libertarianism – monarchism, feudalism/serfdom, institutional slavery, theocracy via sharia, empires, authoritarianism, totalitarianism, fascism, communism, colonialism, statism, etc. This is why libertarianism has been generally unpopular and not common. People need a big government to establish “order” and tell everybody what they should and shouldn’t do. The problem is that big government is full of people in power, but people are very corruptible and power always tends to corrupt and people in power do everything to keep and increase their power, so the big government that people want will be inevitably 🤬 them over.

    Even though there have been experiments with “libertarian islands,” there are no official libertarian nations. However, there are relatively many nations that are based on libertarian principles such as individual liberty, non-aggression, and limited government. Switzerland could be the greatest example. That nation hasn’t had a war in centuries and is all around pretty liberal (again, liberal in a classical sense not American sense). There’s also Hong Kong. Ironically, like I said before, Hong Kong is much much much more free market-friendly than America. There’s also Iceland. Them dudes are tough. Unlike America, Iceland actually arrests its corrupt bankers, businessmen, and politicians and makes them pay for their crimes. I’ve heard that Estonia, New Zealand, and the Netherlands are also fairly libertarian. Nevertheless, like I said, the vast majority of the world (nearly all of Africa and Asia) leans to authoritarianism if their state is not currently an anarchic warzone.
  • LUClEN
    LUClEN Absence makes the heart grow fonder of someone else Members Posts: 20,559 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 2013
    Can one be a libertarian but still support social welfare?
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNMembers Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Elrawd wrote: »
    Well I wasn't referring specifically to Ron Paul's videos. I know some libertarians hold that period in high regard

    If libertarianism is so good why haven't there been any libertarian nations?

    Yes, this would be one of about five of the biggest questions (or criticisms) regarding libertarianism. Jono is correct when he says that, technically speaking, no libertarian nation has ever existed. And I've touched upon the reasons for this in previous posts and why this fact does not discredit libertarianism at all but may even credit it imo. But this video does a great job of explaining this apparent conundrum:

  • Plutarch
    Plutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNMembers Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Elrawd wrote: »
    Can one be a libertarian but still support social welfare?

    Yes. But that may depend on what you mean by "libertarian" and "social welfare."

    I assume that you're talking about "most" libertarians, and I assume that you're generally talking about programs that support people in need whether that need is related to income, poverty, health, college, children, etc. Then yes, libertarians can certainly still support social welfare. I know that I do. Libertarianism and philanthropy or humanitarianism are not mutually exclusive.

    Now if you're talking about government-run social welfare, then things get complicated because most, if not all, libertarians believe in limited government, and government-run welfare = big government. It's not that most libertarians have beef with government-run welfare itself or that most libertarians have beef with people in need (which critics like to fallaciously say). It's more so that most libertarians have beef with government forcing its citizens to contribute to government-run welfare. Forcing citizens to participate in a welfare system that redistributes wealth for people in need is basically socialist and authoritarian. And it creates so many pracitical, moral, and constitutional problems for everyone.

    If government-run welfare existed but was optional, then there would be no problem for most libertarians because that would support the fundamentally libertarian idea of volunteerism and individual freedom and choice.

    I touched on this a bit before, but the idea that welfare is not possible without government force is a fallacy. Welfare succeeded in America without socialism well before FDR. Instead of government, local [suppor groups, non-profit/non-governmental organizations, family, friends, hospitals, schools, churches, humanitarians, philanthropists, patrons, charities, activists, and law-abiding corporations and businesses can all help people in need without the use of force. Public-run welfare and private-run welfare are not perfect, but they're much better than government-run welfare.

    There's the argument that government-run welfare has failed miserably. The United States is broke and in debt. The dollar is losing value badly. The government has mismanaged funds badly because of unaffordable wars and corruption. The government can't be trusted to manage welfare. Time has proven this to be true countless times.

    There's also the argument that individuals should be free to save, donate, and handle the money that they have earned themselves. An individual is entitled to his or her own earned money just as he or she is entitled to his or her own property or body. So an individual is free to legally do whatever he or she wants with his or her money just as he or she is free to legally do whatever he or she wants with his or her property (eg., from having whatever kind of sex to praying to whatever kind of 🤬 in his or her bedroom) or body (e.g., from consuming whatever foods/drugs into to getting whatever tattoos onto his or her body). Individual freedom exists across the board, not just either socially or economically.
  • aladdin1978
    aladdin1978 Poo Poo Jenkins- pronounced Pow POW West coastin'Members Posts: 4,609 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I consider myself one also, though I ignore the many donation requests they send me constantly.
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNMembers Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ^^^ cool. and you have the right to do that. i ignore mine most of the time too, but I donate when I think that it matters the most.
  • Plutarch
    Plutarch A Tribe Called Fresh Philly, PA, by way of Ca$hville, TNMembers Posts: 3,239 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I know damn well that I'm not preaching to the choir here as I explain libertarianism and present it as America's best and perhaps only viable political option. And I hate saying 🤬 without anyone disagreeing or challenging what I say (which is why I couldn't stand shows like Oprah's). So where are all my people who disagree with libertarianism or make fun of libertarianism? Where are all my mainstream Republicans and Democrats, neocons, and Obama supporters? If any of what I have been saying is wrong (which is entirely possible), then holla at me.
  • gns
    gns Bleeding 24/7 Members Posts: 21,285 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Johnny Depp
    Was cool in the libertine
  • Soloman_The_Wise
    Soloman_The_Wise The Make It Happen Man... Puget SoundMembers Posts: 2,817 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited December 2013
    Plutarch wrote: »
    I know damn well that I'm not preaching to the choir here as I explain libertarianism and present it as America's best and perhaps only viable political option. And I hate saying 🤬 without anyone disagreeing or challenging what I say (which is why I couldn't stand shows like Oprah's). So where are all my people who disagree with libertarianism or make fun of libertarianism? Where are all my mainstream Republicans and Democrats, neocons, and Obama supporters? If any of what I have been saying is wrong (which is entirely possible), then holla at me.
    Arguing what you laid out only makes a person sound like a tool and most here even though they subscribe to Ideologies/Parties that go against their best interests only flex when they do not run risk of exposure. Very well said piece on Libertarianism you summed up the ideologies and benefits to perfection in my opinion...
  • jono
    jono Right fist = power, left fist = unity Members Posts: 30,280 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I won't go on and on about this stuff because it's an ever moving goal post and most of it has all the trappings of a religion.

    I have no beef with libertarians personally, there are issues we agree on but their ideology is based on romanticized history and a fantasy America and not the real thing at all.

    First I will speak on the crown jewel of libertarianism: "free markets". Basically they don't exist and never existed. In fact. I dare say they can't exist. The argument that America was meant to be "free market" also isn't true.

    I direct you to James Madison (Federalist #10): "a landed interest. A manufacturing interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views. The regulation of these various and interfering interests forms the principal task of modern legislation and involves the spirit of party and faction in necessary and ordinary operations of the government"

    And if that doesn't away you i direct you to the constitution itself, in regards to the powers of Congress Section 8-2:
    "To regulate Commerce with foreign Nations, and among the several States, and with the Indian Tribes".

    Again no free markets. They are to be regulated by Congress. Nowhere in the Constitution does it say anything about "free markets". They do not exist.

    Now let's discuss the idea of "individual freedom/liberty".

    In theory this is great and looking at words on pages it's excellent but they didn't really believe this. Most of them were slaveowners. Slavery is the antithesis of freedom, this is hypocritical at least, intellectually dishonest is more like it. But that was the order of the day.

    See these people, the Jeffersons, Hamiltons, Madisons etc were mostly lawyers and politicians, no different than the lawyers and politicians of today...they are liars and charlatans. Over half of them enjoyed privileges under English rule. They held office in colonial government, amassed land & slaves, the wealth of the day.

    The English made them wealthy, poor whites found their way to the colonies and were kept as indentured servants and as slaves themselves. Of course the Africans kept coming and the elites of the colonies kept buying and indeed built an entire society based on the slave trade.

    It wasn't until they faced uprising from the poor and the natives did they decide to point the finger at England. They needed a scapegoat (by no means was England a good guy or anything however) and the King made a good one. They really just didnt want to pay taxes, that's all it boils down to, they got rich and decided they wanted to be in power. They expected England to help them fight the natives and quell the rebellions of the poor and they didn't (it's in the declaration) so they decided to usurp the power for themselves.

    This had nothing to do with patriotism or individual liberties, it was all about the elites protecting their position...same as it is today. If King George had done his part an protected the greedy 🤬 who wanted to take all the land of the colonies for themselves the United States wouldn't exist. They would have been perfectly happy under England because they already lived quite well.

    So the Declaration of Independence was mostly propaganda, true, but propaganda nonetheless. They figured by blaming all of the woes of the poor on the King they could absolve themselves and it worked fanatically, we don't even discuss all the rebellions in the colonies we tend to believe it was all roses and bubbles, that the people lived in harmony and that is not so.

    The libertarian dreamworld never existed, it was the same then as it was now. Rampant nepotism and favoritism, is it a coincidence that the a few of the writers of the constitution & Declaration of Independence and the man considered the richest in the country at the time (Washington) all ended up being president? If so that's one hell of a coincidence.
  • jono
    jono Right fist = power, left fist = unity Members Posts: 30,280 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Now let's discuss the government's role in helping the indigent, which libertarians claim there isnt one but what's the alternative? Nonprofits and private charity..okay fine..until we reach the Great Depression and find that when things go awry on a large enough scale then these organizations flounder.

    But it's not just that let's go to the constitution again;
    "We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America."

    Welp...i wonder what in the hell that meant. Crashing markets inevitably bring anything attached to it down, we saw this a few years ago right? This obviously disrupts the "domestic tranquility" an the government does indeed have power to help citizens to "promote the general welfare", the keyword isn't "welfare", it's "general" there isn't any limitation there.

    Let's touch on two more topics though: the right of congress to tax (section 8-1):
    "1: The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and general Welfare of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States"

    There goes that word again. No limitations on what they cannot do with taxes in this power. Which means they can build an Air Force (which exist at that time) and a federal police force (which also did not exist) as they fall under "common defence", the various welfare and social security programs fall under "general welfare" as they are for indigent and/or otherwise handicapped citizens.

    What about education? Welp, lets look at Congressional powers again:
    "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries"

    "To promote the progress of science" allows NASA to exist but that also applies to education in general as schools promote useful arts AND sciences. Biology, mathematics, and the like but this also falls under "general welfare" because our intellectual infrastructure is found primarily in schools and without that where are we?