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#111826 - 05/18/09 06:07 AM Re: Libertarianism Makes You Stupid [Re: Ardy]
NW Ponderer Offline
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Registered: 09/09/11
Posts: 17089
There is a continuum of political "philosophies" that proceeds from anarchism to totalitarianism. Libertarianism happens to be one step right of anarchism (albeit a very short step), but that does not make it any more realistic as a governing philosophy. Indeed, that phrase is an oxymoron - it is not a "governing" philosophy. I note that while Issodhos, as apparently the only defender/explicator of libertarian philosophy participating (my sympathies, friend), has written much, and answered a number of comments, he has not provided much substance to respond to - or had no one actually noticed that? I don't mean to pick on you, Issodhos, just no one else taking your position.

There are no specifics, just generalized "philosophical" leanings, e.g.
 Quote:
police-state entities like Homeland Security and other intrusive and suppressive policing actions meant to increase control over the citizenry would cease to exist under a libertarian-influenced society because there would be no government-caused need for it
I'm sorry, security is a "government-caused need"? or
 Quote:
If the system of social programs and other government actions were working, there would be less of a problem now.
Nice platitudes, but really no substance. And the "intelligence agencies" that are going to cooperate, where do they come from? Indeed, I have found nothing of practical utility in any of the responses (and a great deal of avoidance and misdirection - like responding to questions with questions). I do understand why, and it goes back to Phil's original posts.

There have been a number of references to "libertarian-influenced" positions: because that is all it can be, an "influence." Like conservatism, it is not so much a political philosophy or organizing principle, but a reaction against. Mostly against government. Mostly against anything that provides for collective solutions, other than notional "voluntary" organizations (as opposed to any real-world organizations). Take for example, the problem of roads that was posited earlier, or hospitals. If we rely on people to "voluntarily" give up property, road systems would become unusable, and economically unsustainable. They would meander thither-and-yon as easements became available at the lowest cost, and the later in the process requests were made, the higher the value demanded for such easements would become until they became unavailable... and the road just stops there. Hospitals would be sited not based upon community utility, but based upon the profit incentives of particular land-owners. Prisons would find few takers at all. Fire stations might abound, but who would man them?

Issodhos has suggested that subsidies for local communities and States would be eliminated - which of course would lead to the disintegration of those communities who do not have natural economic bases from which to draw resources. There would be a race to the bottom in terms of granting of favorable terms to entice corporations to site in the community - something we have already experienced. Local businesses would be supplanted and eliminated by larger conglomerates, not because of greater efficiency or merit, but based upon size and influence. There would be no one to stop it.

The problem, in short, with the libertarian approach, and what makes it ultimately a failure as such, is that it never provides the countervailing interest, and indeed strips the means of local autonomy away entirely in the interest of economic/social "purity." I cannot identify a single area of public life where "libertarianism" would be a net positive. Taxation cannot be voluntary. Eliminate the IRS? Sure, who would collect taxes? Who would support the court system to protect those "inalienable" rights and property interests? Who would guard against corrupt practices? Who would provide police protection? How could the military be supported sufficiently to protect either local or national interests? There are no real solutions, because that is not the point of the philosophy. It is not about real-world solutions. It's all pie-in-the-sky naivete, and even less coherent than communism, which at least has a governing principle.

The only level of applicability of libertarianism is in the formation of clubs. Really, that is what it boils down to - the formation of clubs with similar interests. Beyond the few dozens, or generously, thousands of people who participate in such an organization, it has no teeth. The best exemplars I can think of are the Elks, the Rotary, and the VFW. While these may be laudable organizations, they hardly represent practical examples for governing say a million, 5 million or 300 million people - just picking the numbers out of the air as examples. That is why libertarianism quickly devolves into irrelevancy when applied to the real world.
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#111837 - 05/18/09 12:21 PM Re: Libertarianism Makes You Stupid [Re: issodhos]
Schlack Offline
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Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 9718
Loc: Ireland
 Originally Posted By: issodhos
[quote=Schlack]
how would common problems be resolved?

You will have to be more specific as to what you mean by "common problems".

how would the free market be kept free from being distorted? Surely any structures or mechanisms created in this new society would dsitort the market.

Distortions of the market are those acts that cause a systemic misallocation of resources or an attempted abrogation of economic laws. Occasional or isolated distortions are going to happen in the imperfect world we live in. Let us not pretend that free markets would eliminate all bumps and dips in the economy, or that advocates of free markets claim it would.

how would say the route of a road or the location of a hospital be decided upon?

A hospital would negotiate with a landowner for a location it would like. We basically have roads to everywhere, today. If another road is wanted, its route could be purchased from willing sellers.

How would such a society protect itself?

Protect itself from what?

How would its laws (however few) be enforced? - in essence how would the violence of the state be managed.

There would still be a judiciary and there would still be a policing force. The two are not incompatible with libertarian political philosophy. Because the state is violence, anarchists advocate its complete elimination on the belief that its violence cannot be long restrained. Libertarians seek to put more shackles on it in the hope that its violence can be reduced from its current near totalitarian levels. One step for doing so is stripping the state of its monetary monopoly. Another is by decriminalizing most acts that do not apply to the violation of individual and property rights. Another is disbanding agencies such as the DEA, BATF, IRS, and greatly reducing what police forces can and cannot do.


On what basis would limited resources be distributed?

Be more specific.


How would the weak/defenceless/destitute people be catered for?

What do you mean by, "catered for"?

Im would also be very interested in how people who wish to have democratic involvement in the economy, in how decisions are made etc are to be reconciled with this new society without it being forced upon them.

What do you mean by "democratic involvement in the economy"? What specifically do you think would be forced on us?
Yours,
Issodhos


Thanks Issodhos, for attempting to come up with some asnwers.

I have a real word example that will cover some of your requests for clarification. and bear in mind i am no champion of current "solutions"

You will have to be more specific as to what you mean by "common problems".

On what basis would limited resources be distributed?

Be more specific.

How would the weak/defenceless/destitute people be catered for?

What do you mean by, "catered for"?.


Fish stocks in EU waters are rapidly depleting, its now a case of too many men chasing too few fish. Increased industrialisation of the process.

The depletion of fish stocks is a common problem as it threatens an important part of food supply.

There are those now who are being driven to destitution (and their families) with little hope of other local employment with the main asset (the boat and gear) now worthless. what is to become of them?

If no action is taken, in order to a) make profits or b) keep the head above water! fisherman, factory ships etc are going to keep fishing until the fish are gone.

the solution that is needed is a sustainable fish industry, that people can make a living from.

how is this c0mmon problem of limited resouces, and the consequences of inaction to be resolved through a libertarian framework.

(please note I am not codding you, I have no smart answers lying in wait to ambush you, and this is a though experiment so i wont carp on about your answers, I hope to be herring from you soon.)

 Quote:
A hospital would negotiate with a landowner for a location it would like. We basically have roads to everywhere, today. If another road is wanted, its route could be purchased from willing sellers.


aye and theres the rub, if a road is neccessary to connect pint A and point B through C, but C happens to be an unwilling seller. this could have the consequence of having (an even more) inefficient road system, cause more expense on the builders from rerouting, the planning process for the new route would delay further the building of the road. or if all sellers were unwilling no road at all.

(there are compulsory purchase orders here in Ireland - im not entirely in their favour)

 Quote:
Im would also be very interested in how people who wish to have democratic involvement in the economy, in how decisions are made etc are to be reconciled with this new society without it being forced upon them.

What do you mean by "democratic involvement in the economy"? What specifically do you think would be forced on us?


you answered this in another repsonse, with the incremental progression of libertarianism, but there will still be the unrepentant collectivists, one wonders how they will be dealt with.

 Quote:
Distortions of the market are those acts that cause a systemic misallocation of resources or an attempted abrogation of economic laws. Occasional or isolated distortions are going to happen in the imperfect world we live in. Let us not pretend that free markets would eliminate all bumps and dips in the economy, or that advocates of free markets claim it would.


this is the first time ive seen this said by you explicitly. I may have missed it, sorry if this is the case. so free market, not entirely free.
_________________________
"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words."
(Philip K.Dick)


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#111843 - 05/18/09 12:46 PM Re: Libertarianism Makes You Stupid [Re: issodhos]
Schlack Offline
veteran

Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 9718
Loc: Ireland
 Originally Posted By: issodhos
Your system has failed time and time again


hmmm, no successes?

public education, despite its problems, compared to what was in existence 150 years ago is not a success?

huge infratructural projects roads, dams (& the internets) are not successes?

public health systems, despite their problems, compared to what was in existence 150 years ago are not a success?

I must only assume that you are using an ideal as the yardstick rather than the past, to state that these are not successes.

it appears that collectivist solutions like the above, built on other peoples money as you say, only take the blame, and get no credit for their successes.

from what ive seen its policy itself is the problem, not poor policy or poorly executed policy.

well in fairness Ill take the problems created by policy that the problems taken by inaction.

yours collectively...
_________________________
"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words."
(Philip K.Dick)


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#111844 - 05/18/09 12:59 PM Re: Libertarianism Makes You Stupid [Re: issodhos]
2wins Offline
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Registered: 07/29/04
Posts: 7626
Loc: Barely above Sea Level
 Originally Posted By: issodhos
 Originally Posted By: 2wins
perhaps i should be more clear.
 Quote:
Individualist anarchism comprises several traditions[38] which hold that "individual conscience and the pursuit of self-interest should not be constrained by any collective body or public authority."[39] Individualist anarchism is supportive of property being held privately, unlike the social/socialist/collectivist/communitarian wing which advocates common ownership.[40] Individualist anarchism has been espoused by individuals such as Max Stirner, William Godwin,[41] Henry David Thoreau,[42] Josiah Warren and Murray Rothbard.[43][44][45]
what i refer to originates from this tradition. please show me where this is not associated with the position you are advocating.

The forms of anarchism you list are systems where all governmental functions are replaced by private entities. That would include courts, police, firefighters, roads, etc. The libertarian philosophy I am strongly influenced by sees the proper function of government as securing and protecting the rights of the individual -- and that most definitely includes his property rights. This requires courts, police, and a military. This is where libertarianism in general parts way with various form of anarchistic philosophy. That does not mean that libertarian thought does not recognize the inherent threat of government. Will I have to continue to repeat this, 2wins?
Yours,
Issodhos
[/quote]no, you won't have to repeat, iss, because this is the first time i have read a succinct, pointed summary of what you are attempting to get across. of course, there may have been other posts, but i missed those. now have a better idea of your core political belief, without all of the rhetoric you so enjoy. thank you.
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sure, you can talk to god, but if you don't listen then what's the use? so, onward through the fog!

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#111857 - 05/18/09 03:40 PM Re: Libertarianism Makes You Stupid [Re: issodhos]
Phil Hoskins Offline
Administrator
Bionic Scribe

Registered: 06/07/04
Posts: 21134
Loc: West Hollywood, CA
Oh my, so this is "my system" now is it? And you just landed on the planet this morning? So we all know there are problems with the current system.

But the current system has brought great advances for most people until the past 15 years, when that started to reverse. But there is a vastly better safety net than existed 50 years ago, and none of that would have existed under a libertarian system.

For all the wonderful scenarios you posit, issodhos, it is clear that either you have a very cold heart or live inside illusions that can never come about. No matter how gradual the shift, it will never do more than kill and impoverish millions of people.
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#111859 - 05/18/09 03:47 PM Re: Libertarianism Makes You Stupid [Re: Phil Hoskins]
olyve Offline
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Registered: 08/02/06
Posts: 7504
Loc: Athens, Ga.
Thank you, Phil for that post (above) and for the one a couple of pages back that includes this quote...
 Originally Posted By: Phil Hoskins

The people who can most afford to give things of value to those who have too little to survive or survive with dignity do not always share their wealth, do they? And if we take away the tax incentive, we might suspect that they would not be as voluntary as you predict.

Furthermore, charities discriminate.


Nods to NWP last post and Schlack's specifics he lists too.

As far as my mention of the problems being too huge now, several things have happened to make it that way.
Out of control medical costs and gutting and regulation come to mind.
It's not because we have government relief agencies in place now.
_________________________

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#111860 - 05/18/09 03:49 PM Re: Libertarianism Makes You Stupid [Re: Phil Hoskins]
Schlack Offline
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Registered: 07/22/04
Posts: 9718
Loc: Ireland
telling isnt it that two responses in this thread (me & mr(s?) wins) point to the fact that for the first time some clarity has been given on various points - unless of course we missed it.

Its a very welcome departure and much more conducive to debate. and kudos to Issodhos for continuing to be a lone individual voice in the collectivist wilderness!

no matter how poorly this thread started, it could have some value if it continues.
_________________________
"The basic tool for the manipulation of reality is the manipulation of words. If you can control the meaning of words, you can control the people who must use the words."
(Philip K.Dick)


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#111872 - 05/18/09 06:11 PM Re: Libertarianism Makes You Stupid [Re: ]
numan Offline
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Registered: 08/06/08
Posts: 10853
Loc: What! Me Worry?
 Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer

The problem, in short, with the libertarian approach, and what makes it ultimately a failure as such, is that it never provides the countervailing interest....
There are no real solutions, because that is not the point of the philosophy.....

It is not about real-world solutions. It's all pie-in-the-sky naivete....



Very nicely argued, NWP.


Edited by numan (05/18/09 06:13 PM)
_________________________
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#111922 - 05/19/09 02:54 AM Re: Libertarianism Makes You Stupid [Re: ]
issodhos Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 12581
 Originally Posted By: NW Ponderer
Indeed, that phrase is an oxymoron - it is not a "governing" philosophy. I note that while Issodhos, as apparently the only defender/explicator of libertarian philosophy participating (my sympathies, friend), has written much, and answered a number of comments, he has not provided much substance to respond to - or had no one actually noticed that?

There are no specifics, just generalized "philosophical" leanings, e.g.


First, perhaps you need to get together with Phil and come to a decision as to whether you want specifics or general answers. Phil said he wanted no specifics, you claim I provide none. When you and Phil decide which way you want me to respond, let me know. I will then decide how I choose to answer.

That aside, your concern over libertarian thought not being a “governing” philosophy compared to the current master/slave system you currently support, NWP, could be clouding your objectivity. But, it would also be fair to say that a libertarian-oriented system, rather than being the reactionary top-down authoritarian type of governance we are currently immersed in, leaves much to the individual in the way of self-governance. This is a result of the expanded freedom and liberty an individual would enjoy as the old system is altered by libertarian principle.

As to a government-caused need for the Department of Homeland Security, actions have consequences. When we play in other people’s back yard, they sometimes decide to come over and play in our back yard. Actions do have consequences. A libertarian-based foreign policy would be focused on cultural exchange and trade in line with a policy of not initiating aggression against others. It is an adult way to interact with the world.

Also, I am using the terms, “libertarian-influenced” and “libertarian-oriented” in the hope that it will finally convey to you and others that I am not advocating a utopia. When I say the human critter is a sloppy critter, I mean it. He will not be perfection. He will not be identical in thought or capability. He has many vices. I am also using it to reinforce the idea that any move toward libertarian-influenced action must be incremental. I am not aware of any vanguard mentality within libertarian circles such as informs various collectivist theories.

As to the piffle about police, military, courts and such – I have written before and have now written several times in this single thread that we are not discussing and I am not advocating anarcho-capitalism, which advocates the complete elimination of government, so lets not go there again.
Yours,
Issodhos


Edited by issodhos (05/19/09 02:56 AM)
Edit Reason: removed duplicate quote
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#111928 - 05/19/09 04:37 AM Re: Libertarianism Makes You Stupid [Re: Schlack]
issodhos Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 09/29/05
Posts: 12581
 Originally Posted By: Schlack
Fish stocks in EU waters are rapidly depleting, its now a case of too many men chasing too few fish. Increased industrialisation of the process.

The depletion of fish stocks is a common problem as it threatens an important part of food supply.

There are those now who are being driven to destitution (and their families) with little hope of other local employment with the main asset (the boat and gear) now worthless. what is to become of them?

If no action is taken, in order to a) make profits or b) keep the head above water! fisherman, factory ships etc are going to keep fishing until the fish are gone.

the solution that is needed is a sustainable fish industry, that people can make a living from.

how is this c0mmon problem of limited resouces, and the consequences of inaction to be resolved through a libertarian framework.


First, let me say that I enjoyed the pun (intended or not) “I hope to be herring from you soon.:-)
A libertarian solution would be based on property rights. The fishing area within the EU waters would be divided into specific sections and the commercial fishing rights to those sections would be auctioned at market price to fishermen. Using the inverse of Ardy’s commons analogy, if a fisherman knows that his and his family’s livelihood depends on not over-fishing his section and treating it in an environmentally safe manner, he will regulate his harvest so that reproducing stock are left for the next season. He may even compete with other fishermen to make his section more hospitable and attractive to the fish, especially if the fish he is after is a migrating species. Just as a farmer seeks to leave a family farm to his son in better condition than it was when his father left it to him (yeah, I know, most farmers are guys), so too would the owner of the right to fish a specific piece of the EU waters want to leave it to his son or daughter better than when he purchased it (yes it would be inheritable private property).

 Quote:
aye and theres the rub, if a road is neccessary to connect pint A and point B through C, but C happens to be an unwilling seller. this could have the consequence of having (an even more) inefficient road system, cause more expense on the builders from rerouting, the planning process for the new route would delay further the building of the road. or if all sellers were unwilling no road at all.

I suspect we have more roads than we need, but, if someone wishes to have a road built to connect to a commercial, social, or other development site he will have to decide how much the road is worth and make his offer accordingly. If someone along the way does not want to sell her property at what he is offering, she will probably sell at a higher price. If not, or if her price is too steep his choice is to go around her or cancel the project. One less piece of the environment not paved over.:-)

If by “unrepentant collectivists”, you mean individuals who wish to live or engage in voluntary association, there is nothing to stop them from doing so. They would still be subject to the law of the land, but as long as they are not violating the rights of others, there is no problem. If you are referring to political collectivists who would wish to continue to subordinate the rights of others to the will of the state, they will just have to get over it and enjoy exercising their own liberty.

 Quote:
Distortions of the market are those acts that cause a systemic misallocation of resources or an attempted abrogation of economic laws. Occasional or isolated distortions are going to happen in the imperfect world we live in. Let us not pretend that free markets would eliminate all bumps and dips in the economy, or that advocates of free markets claim it would.


this is the first time ive seen this said by you explicitly. I may have missed it, sorry if this is the case. so free market, not entirely free.

That would be mistaking a free market for a perfect market, Schlack.
Yours,
Issodhos
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"When all has been said that can be said, and all has been done that can be done, there will be poetry";-) -- Issodhos

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