Who are the Libertarians?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Carcano, May 18, 2008.

  1. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    Just found out that one of my favorite (and funniest) candidates is now running for the Libertarian party...Mike Gravel!


    As I see it, libertarian values are best described as upholding optimal personal liberty under the law.

    1. The right to die...by legal assisted suicide.

    2. The right to destroy your health...as with drugs, as long as they are sold by the government and properly labeled with medical warnings.

    3. The right to be uneducated, or to seek one's own education outside of government systems without being taxed for such.

    4. The right to a full accounting of taxation...meaning that no spending initiative can be passed by any level of government without congressional approval.

    5. The right to abstain from military service in wars fought for anything other than the defense of domestic borders.

    6. The right to consensual sexual relations from puberty.

    Any other libertarians here? List your commandments!
    Last edited: May 18, 2008
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  3. The Devil Inside Banned Banned

    i am a libertarian.
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  5. otheadp Banned Banned

    I like librarians.
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    That doesn't quite get it right. A key part of libertarianism is the way we feel about laws. We frequently quote Thomas Jefferson: "That government governs best which governs least."

    To that end, the Constitution of the United States seems like a pretty good set of laws. The problem as we see it is that since the Roosevelt administration the government has been saturating the country with laws that violate the Constitution. The government only has those powers explicity granted to it by the Constitution and by now about 95% of our laws express powers that it simply has not been granted. It has almost totally nationalized the charity and education industries, and has gone a long way in health care, energy, finance and transportation.

    Congress enacts these laws, the President signs them, and if they're ever challenged by a citizen the Supreme Court rubber-stamps them. There is no more separation of powers and the Constitution is nothing but toilet paper.

    So we most definitely do not feel that "optimal personal liberty under the law" is even achievable when our laws in the Rooseveltian Era foster creeping socialism and runaway authoritarianism. Fifteen million Americans--nearly ten percent of the workforce--are employees or contractors of various levels of government. Taxes in all their insidious guises confiscate about 20% of the country's GDP, and most of that money is spent on the salaries of thirteen layers of bureaucrats who do almost nothing but "administer" each other. While in their defense it must be said that many of them are--or at least once were--motivated and competent, they are unaccountable and poorly directed.

    American government has become a gigantic organism of its own. And as organisms become larger they move more slowly, change little, respond less to external stimuli, and become focused on their own internal metabolism. An apt metaphor.

    A true Libertarian administration would:
    • Give every law an expiration date.
    • Repeal all taxes except those required to prosecute a declared war.
    • Charge user fees for services such as security ("police") and arbitration ("courts").
    • Cease all military operations not directly supporting self defense.
    • Repeal all laws regulating consensual adult behavior.
    • Reduce disincentives for individuals to do business.
    • Resolve disputes using venerable legal theories such as torts and commons, e.g. pollution of the common air and water.
    This list can go on for pages, but this sample illustrates the libertarian philosophy.
    People must have complete control over their own bodies. They should have living wills directing their treatment and fate if their capacity diminishes.
    The government should not be in the business of selling consumer goods. If people are not coddled with incessant government warnings they will become more responsible consumers and do their own product research. Trusted private institutions will spring up like Consumers Union to test and evaluate products for us at a fraction of the cost of bureacracies like the FDA. As an aside, the most "health-destroying" drugs are alcohol and tobacco, both of which are marketed with the government's blessing and the farmers of the latter even receive government subsidies. And The Consumers Union Report on Licit and Illict Drugs remains the definitive work on the subject after 30 years.
    The government should not be in the education business. That was one of the planks in the 1929 American Communist Party platform, and by the end of the Eisenhower Administration both branches of the Republocrat Party had adopted the entire platform.
    Libertarian scholars have described quite viable systems of services that are supported by user fees. Some of it requires redefining our notion of "service," which is long overdue since many traditional government institutions do not really work any more.
    Conscription is slavery and should be illegal. If the citizens of a country don't want to serve in its defense force then it must be a pretty shitty country or else its government has manipulated them into a war over issues that could have been resolved peacefully. (I.e. it may be a nice enough country but it's got a pretty shitty government.)
    Libertarians recognize the distinction between adults and children and accept the reality that the rights of adults are gradually conferred to children as their bodies, judgment and emotions mature. Most of us agree that thirteen-year-olds do not have the maturity to decide whether to use drugs, and the same applies to sexual activity. Nonetheless we believe it is their parents who should bear the primary responsibility for raising them, not the government. All children do not mature at the same rate and this is a microcosm of the major problem with overarching laws. Laws are not socks and one size does NOT fit all.
    In sound bites, libertarians are usually defined as "socially liberal and economically conservative." This doesn't say enough about WHY we are that way. I'm a rare libertarian who was once registered with the Peace and Freedom Party and has always believed strongly in individual rights. Most of them are former conservatives who would like to see an America with slower changes and more traditional values, but recognize the failure of Big Government to deliver that America and grudgingly accept the fact that they have to allow everyone to find their own way even if it's a way they don't approve of.

    The usual statement of the libertarian philosophy is "Consenting adults must have the right to do anything they want, so long as it causes no direct harm to others." But the creation and maintenance of a society built upon this philosophy is not straightforward.
  8. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    Interesting list...but what about the service fee issue?

    Does this mean citizens would be charged a service fee for a police investigation of a break in.

    Or service fees for critical medical expenses after a car accident?
  9. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Not all libertarians regard government as the sole source of tyranny.

    There are also left libertarians, who concentrate their attention on the impositions of tyrannical economic institutions and private centers of power, and collective, representative government as a necessary enabler of any liberty people are to have from them.
  10. Michael 歌舞伎 Valued Senior Member

    I'm worried about the schooling. I want equal and uniformed education for all segments of the US population. AT least up to age 16. Perhaps 17-18 can be different.

    Also, I'm unclear as to the roles of fire departments and police? What about the NIH and research? Can we do good research and be in the pocket of big business? Heck, it's already getting pretty bad out there. Lastly, what of TV? Whether we admit it or not TV and propaganda are VERY persuasive. Just lQQk at Faux news pre-Iraq war. I'm not sure I want someone like Murdock able to manipulate public opinion even more than he does.
  11. superstring01 Moderator

    True libertarians want public corporations abolished as well. if you removed the number of corporations that can invest the money of unsuspecting consumers in god-knows-what, you'd have a lot more smaller, local companies, run by families.

  12. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    Run by families, I can well believe. Smaller and more local ? Hmmm. The Saudis fit this model - that whole country is a collection of small, local, family business, with dealings involving other such companies like Bechtel - to no particular gain in liberty that I can see.

    Public corporations are a fairly recent development. Tyranny, including by economic interests, is not.
  13. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    One can already see from the posts that libertarianism divides neatly in half right down the middle.

    On one side is a vision of super capitalism, with almost all economic activity in the hands of unelected private corporations, responsible to no one except a few shareholders.

    On the other, an ideal of personal liberty, with government still being entrusted with the most important infrastructures...water, energy, communications, defense...either by direct ownership or through strict regulation. Wasteful perhaps...but far more accountable.
  14. John99 Banned Banned

    They are Republicans who want to call themselves by a different name.

    That is pretty stupid.

    Edit: The whole list looks to be a bunch of bull shit.
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  15. ashura the Old Right Registered Senior Member

    I can get why you'd say such a thing for the post-puberty-right-to-sex bit, but can you explain why you say that for the rest of the list?

    EDIT: And I agree with your first sentence. I think non-RP libertarians would be better off abandoning the LP, or whatever third party they happen to be in, and joining the RP en masse. They'd be more influential and get a lot more done.
    Last edited: May 19, 2008
  16. John99 Banned Banned

    It says "The right to consensual sexual relations from puberty." people should not have sex until minimum 18yo. That would be the smart thing to do but it is going to happen anyway so the idea is to let "them" do it anyway. Just like drugs "legalize it" because "they" are going to do it anyway. Everything is fine as long as it is someone else doing it or someone else's kid. AFA i can tell that is basically the sentiment of the "ME" party. Me firs, my family first...the rest of you can kill yourselves with drugs and get pregnant at 13 as long as my taxes dont have to pay for it then have fun.
  17. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    Maybe John thinks God was wrong to make humans sexually mature at 13-14.

    Or maybe he thinks nature was wrong.

    Its really only in the last century that we started treating adolescents like babies.
  18. John99 Banned Banned

    Perhaps God gave us brains to think with and figure out how to survive without destroying the planet by overpopulation.
  19. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    That was already built in to the system.

    When God had it all to himself (without human intervention) most humans died before their first birthday.
  20. ashura the Old Right Registered Senior Member

    The alternative being to not let them? And when they do it anyway, lock them up? I don't think kids should be encouraged to have sex, but at the same time I find it very disturbing that a 19 year old can get arrested for having sex with his/her 16 year old boy/girlfriend.

    That actually isn't the libertarian reason to legalize drugs. And if a libertarian tells you something like this, he's a moron. Drugs should be legalized because criminalizing them hasn't worked. It's as simple as that. And no amount of enforcement is going to change that. All the current drug laws have led to are business for gangs, overcrowding of taxpayer funded prisons for nonviolent drug crimes, the destruction of low income families and neighborhoods... and at the very end of that list: a more dangerous drug on the streets. Were drugs legalized, you could at least have industry standards and legitimate business, instead of shady violent gangs. Prohibition has shown us the foolishness of such a policy.

    If anything, legalizing drugs would make it safer for everyone, instead of making it harder for certain groups of people like our current drug laws do.
  21. John99 Banned Banned

    Guess you dont see a problem? The system cannot work, if we just let nature take its course it collapses.
  22. Carcano Valued Senior Member

    Agreed...I'm not in favour of either God or nature taking their course.

    A more perfect harmony is what we seek.
  23. John99 Banned Banned

    And you think that legalizing them will work? It will work if you think that creating more addicts is the goal. The only people who really want to legalize drugs are those who do not care about addicts and see them as a waste of life, time and resources (money-tax dollars\health care) and pot heads. They see things differently when their own kid is hooked though.

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