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Author Topic: Can someone explain to me the various flavors of Libertarianism?  (Read 4202 times)
niemivh
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June 27, 2012, 11:09:15 PM
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I've heard of so many different types of Libertarianism and Anarcho-_______ism and I'm trying to pin each one down to a certain set of beliefs.

Does anyone know how to rigorously define these belief systems?

I'll keep my politics out of your economics if you keep your economics out of my politics.

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June 28, 2012, 03:22:41 AM
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This might be a topic best for Politics section, but I would say that pretty much every version of Libertarianism follows the NAP (non-aggression principle). Where they all differ is in the interpretation of what qualifies as aggression. Some people think intellectual property laws are aggression. Some forms view land property laws as aggression. I've even heard an anarcho-syndicalist argue that state-enforcement of property itself is aggression. I don't know what to think anymore when someone says they are a libertarian, it's turning too much into a catch-all phrase, but I would venture to guess we all see the state and "too many laws" as the problem.

I tend to see myself as less concerned with the brands and more concerned with doing what Philip K. Howard suggests, and reboot the laws, and simply return some of the legal code back to state and local control. Thomas Jefferson even lamented that we go without a revolution every so many decades, and I think if we reset to the Constitution and started rewriting laws in our states we'd probably see a pretty prosperous time. There'd be problems for sure, but there are just so many proactive laws that we can't go a single day without breaking one of them (at least in the US). Not every libertarian believes in a weak federal government, but most of them tend to. I'm not sure we should have a legal system built for millions when our brains are built for societies of mere hundreds.

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June 28, 2012, 05:58:34 PM
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There are those who believe in a minimal amount of rules and rulers and there are those who believe in a minimal amount of rules and no rulers.


It's that simple.

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July 01, 2012, 04:09:48 PM
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Would increasing power of orginisations over goverment, due to way that Google for example can realise something like Google Maps, the log in system that websites can use to manege there users, Google Health etc... and make a difference immedeatly wheras the goverment can do very little because it's become impossible for them to be inovative. Would this be a path to Libertarianism, but wouldn't it result in a lot more laws in turms of orginisations individual policies and interactions between them?
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July 02, 2012, 06:58:06 PM
 #5

I've heard of so many different types of Libertarianism and Anarcho-_______ism and I'm trying to pin each one down to a certain set of beliefs.

Does anyone know how to rigorously define these belief systems?

Don't forget Libertarian Socialists, such as myself! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialist

In my own words, I define libertarian socialism as a voluntary community of democratic enterprises such as some of the co-operatives that exist today, where workers operate the society in a non-hierarchial fashion.

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July 02, 2012, 07:04:34 PM
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There are those who believe in a minimal amount of rules and rulers and there are those who believe in a minimal amount of rules and no rulers.


It's that simple.
Personally, I prefer my rulers 30cm, but also use a 15cm one as it is easy to carry around.
What I HATE are the 30cm foldy rulers, their middle is wonky and makes my straight lines slightly bendy.
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July 10, 2012, 11:46:16 AM
 #7

Basically, libertarianism is classical liberalism.

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July 11, 2012, 06:25:51 PM
 #8

To add an European point of view, in this case a German one: "liberal" (spelled exactly the same in German) still means libertarian over here. Most prominent party representing a less taxes, less laws and more civil liberties policy in such respect is the FDP (Freie Demokratische Partei). They are every second or so turn elected into government and mostly form a coalition with the CDU (Christlich Demokatische Union Deutschlands = 'Cristian Democratic Union of Germany'), representing the conservatives. They suffer from the 'caught in the middle' problem, as they have nothing really unique to offer, that would set them apart from the SPD (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands = the social democrats) or CDU and therefore live off the unpleased but still center of society voters, that are unsatisfied with both CDU and SPD, which at least in the past always formed coalitions either with one another or mostly, with FDP (+ CDU) or the greens (+ SPD). They are therefore always in the minority and often have to struggle to get into parliament at all, as we have a 5% hurdle in place, giving legitimicing only those partys for a seat in parliament, that hold at least 5% of the public votes. Because SPD and CDU each hold their own libertarian ideals, it doesnt feel like libertarian views are missing in German politics most of the time.

Please correct me if Im wrong.

Lately they have even been challenged, and lost, by another competitor in the political arena: The Pirates, that stand for civil liberties even more then the FDP does.
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July 12, 2012, 05:16:25 AM
 #9

2. Objectivist who tend to agree with Ayn Rand... calls themselves 'metropolitan'... surprisingly many of these have come out in support of various wars.

This should be completely unsurprising as modern Western civilization is completely unsustainable without a lot of wars.

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July 14, 2012, 01:51:38 PM
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Basically, libertarianism is classical liberalism.

Yep. I also started calling myself "libertarian" instead of "liberal" ever since people have re-defined the latter as its own opposite.

Few rules, but stick to them. Don't try to force things onto others unless it's really necessary. For example, one can argue there's a point in breaking up a monopoly that otherwise dead-locks a whole market. But actions like subsidizing an arbitrary part of the economy with tax money because some people think "it deserves it more" is too much.
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July 14, 2012, 01:56:18 PM
 #11

There are those who believe in a minimal amount of rules and rulers and there are those who believe in a minimal amount of rules and no rulers.


It's that simple.
Personally, I prefer my rulers 30cm, but also use a 15cm one as it is easy to carry around.
What I HATE are the 30cm foldy rulers, their middle is wonky and makes my straight lines slightly bendy.


Bendy rulers make an awesome "wonga wonga wonga" sound when you flick them off the side of a desk though. To me that makes the horrors of the bendy line bearable.

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July 15, 2012, 02:11:02 PM
 #12

To add an European point of view, in this case a German one: "liberal" (spelled exactly the same in German) still means libertarian over here. Most prominent party representing a less taxes, less laws and more civil liberties policy in such respect is the FDP (Freie Demokratische Partei). They are every second or so turn elected into government and mostly form a coalition with the CDU (Christlich Demokatische Union Deutschlands = 'Cristian Democratic Union of Germany'), representing the conservatives. They suffer from the 'caught in the middle' problem, as they have nothing really unique to offer, that would set them apart from the SPD (Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands = the social democrats) or CDU and therefore live off the unpleased but still center of society voters, that are unsatisfied with both CDU and SPD, which at least in the past always formed coalitions either with one another or mostly, with FDP (+ CDU) or the greens (+ SPD). They are therefore always in the minority and often have to struggle to get into parliament at all, as we have a 5% hurdle in place, giving legitimicing only those partys for a seat in parliament, that hold at least 5% of the public votes. Because SPD and CDU each hold their own libertarian ideals, it doesnt feel like libertarian views are missing in German politics most of the time.

Please correct me if Im wrong.

Lately they have even been challenged, and lost, by another competitor in the political arena: The Pirates, that stand for civil liberties even more then the FDP does.

the fdp has always been liberal in name only. they never tried to develop long term unique positions and represent the modern politician like no other party: slick, opportunistic and completely free of any actual opinions or ideals.
the pirates are the complete opposite: inexperienced and often ackward or naive and full of ideals and visions, many of them convenient targets for ridicule.
they are much more like the green party in its early days. question is if they too fail to keep their ideals when they start to become more established and experienced.

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July 15, 2012, 02:47:42 PM
 #13

Lately they have even been challenged, and lost, by another competitor in the political arena: The Pirates, that stand for civil liberties even more then the FDP does.

I would not call the german pirate party a "libertarian" party. Many of them support the idea of an unconditional basic income, which in my opinion is rather socialist.
I don't think that real "libertarian" parties do exist in germany, at least not to the extent described in this thread.

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July 15, 2012, 04:06:28 PM
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[...]
I would not call the german pirate party a "libertarian" party. Many of them support the idea of an unconditional basic income, which in my opinion is rather socialist.
I don't think that real "libertarian" parties do exist in germany, at least not to the extent described in this thread.

The pirate party does have some "real libertarian" members, but most of them are leftists.

"Real libertarianism" is an extreme minority view in Europe, and that's why they will never have their own party.

The word "libertarian" doesn't even exist in the German vocabulary. There is only "liberal", which is used by moderate pro-market parties, and "freiheitlich" (literally: freedomist), a term which used to mean something like libertarian, but has now been hijacked by nationalist/populist parties on the authoritarian end of the spectrum.

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July 15, 2012, 05:04:07 PM
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I like how everyone ignored my post  Roll Eyes

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July 19, 2012, 10:47:20 PM
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I like how everyone ignored my post  Roll Eyes

Spectrum

libertarian-------------------------------------------------------------------socialist

Libertarian socialist...ive never heard that one before
grantbdev
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July 19, 2012, 11:03:57 PM
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I like how everyone ignored my post  Roll Eyes

Spectrum

libertarian-------------------------------------------------------------------socialist

Libertarian socialist...ive never heard that one before

That spectrum is completely flawed, mostly because you are assuming an incorrect definition of socialism. Socialism is very broadly defined is the means of production in the public domain. What many consider to be socialist systems (the Soviet Union) were not technically socialist under the traditional definition.

As for libertarian socialism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism

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July 19, 2012, 11:37:43 PM
 #18

I like how everyone ignored my post  Roll Eyes

Spectrum

libertarian-------------------------------------------------------------------socialist

Libertarian socialist...ive never heard that one before

That spectrum is completely flawed, mostly because you are assuming an incorrect definition of socialism. Socialism is very broadly defined is the means of production in the public domain. What many consider to be socialist systems (the Soviet Union) were not technically socialist under the traditional definition.

As for libertarian socialism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism


Well, yes, it IS perfectly acceptable to have a completely voluntary (read: non-aggressive, i.e. libertarian) form of socialism.

I doubt it would work, but there's nothing inherently coercive about multiple people holding their assets in common and voluntarily agreeing to a distribution method.

The kids will need to opt-in when they get old enough though....

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July 20, 2012, 04:51:10 PM
 #19

To be socialist and truly libertarian, you can't just vote or legislate the socialism into place. That's not libertarian, and anyone thinking it is is only fooling himself.

Now, you could start your own libertarian socialist community if you like. Churches in the distant past have been organized like that, and I believe the pilgrims in Jamestown started with that setup (which failed miserably, prompting them to change it.) Again, I doubt it'll last long.

Alternatively, you could try to convince everyone in society to throw their property into the communal pot, but let's be honest, that's never going to happen, so really, turning an existing society into a libertarian socialist one isn't a realistic option.

That said...

One thing I find people miss about the NAP in particular (regardless of how closely any particular "flavor" of libertarianism adheres to it) is that it's more of a moral principle for people to impose on their political views than it is a political system. IOW, whether anyone else "likes" the NAP, or thinks it will work, or wants to try to implement it in their life or their society is pretty irrelevant. Those who DO believe it to be a moral principle worth following intend to follow it, period. They will refuse to intrude upon the liberty of others, and that's that. All the debates in the world about the political workings of it isn't going to convince them to start voting for anything that, in their minds, is aggression.

So I find myself wondering why people who think the NAP is bad/doesn't work/is silly/etc. even bother debating it or whatever... it's not like those who follow it are going to try to try to intrude on those who don't. It's a little like wasting time denouncing a group of people who believe in the golden rule. You may think it's naive, but it's not as if by following it those people are possibly going to hurt you, so why waste the time? "You're dumb for believing people ought to be left alone! You need to start believing that aggression of innocents is OK!" It's not exactly an argument that is in one's own self interest. Roll Eyes

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July 20, 2012, 04:56:44 PM
 #20

So, various companies and other organisations are supposed to voluntarily donate themselves to some "Crown-like" minimalist government entity (but without the global conquest/colonies and stuff)? Not gonna happen. But what if there were a referendum, and a clear majority of a population wanted such a system? Maybe they could implement some laws to enforce the change?.. Oh wait... Oops...

Similarly:
Quote
Adherents of libertarian socialism assert that a society based on freedom and equality can be achieved through abolishing authoritarian institutions that control certain means of production and subordinate the majority to an owning class or political and economic elite.

Yes, let's abolish all the bad stuff by shouting at it!

Then again, maybe I'm looking at it all wrong? With a suitable education system as a backbone, an intelligent population ought to be able to have some civilised debate regarding the direction they want to go in. Maybe laws and coercion aren't required if people analyse an idea (e.g.: abolishment of privately owned industry), and collectively decide that it's a great idea? The problem is that there are 2 things missing:
1) The concept has to be compelling. (Abolishment of private industry seems like the perfect example of a piecemeal "change for the sake of change", where there's no clear connection to a problem it's trying to fix, nor is it clear what they're trying to achieve as a result of the change.)
2) Society has to be already sufficiently smart and civilised to undertake such discussions. So, where does one get the advanced education system from?

My other gripe is that even if a certain ideology sounds really appealing, and I can't pick in any holes in it, it's as though nobody wants to consider the 500-or-so steps required to actually get there without causing some kind of accidental apocalypse along the way.

There is not any government that 'owns' the properties. It's essentially a community of democratically-run and worker-controlled co-operatives. This can be implemented is several ways. Growing and starting co-operatives and credit unions today  (check! the co-op economy has been on the rise, especially since the economic crisis). Labor unions inside capitalist insitutions could also use their leverage in converting private production towards public production. Really the hardest part is chaning to a culture needed to sustain voluntary socialism.

I disagree that it is a "change for the sake of change." The result of the change is the creation a real classless society that supports liberty. The economy would be much more efficient because the incentives for production are placed where they count (labor) and then there is a real democracy because all economic decisions of production are shared. I think most people have decided that dictatorships, monarchies, and oligarchies are a bad thing. Then why do we still accept these (unnecessary) structures in the very institutions that are supposed to give us prosperity? I don't see this as pointless at all, everyone would be better off as the result of new shared prosperity that is derived from justice in the workplace.

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