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recent "trend" of Libertarianism

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    iv noticed recently that a lot of people in my sixth form have started saying they are Libertarians, and a number of people on facebook are reading articles about Ron Paul and writing positive comments. however, whenever i ask them about it they show very little understanding of what Libertarianism actually is, and a lot of them focus on Ron Pauls foreign policy (which is great in my opinion) but show hardly any understanding of his social policies (not so great in my opinion). im not trying to criticism Libertarianism here, i just feel like its become the latest trendy political thing, and a lot of people are hopping on he bandwagon without actually learning what it is. it kind of reminds me of the 2010 election when loads of young people started saying they supported the Lib Dems and then didnt actually know anything about their policies.
    was wondering if anyone else has noticed this? or maybe if people have been doing this themselves haha
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    Ron Paul is a fake libertarian. He is a constitutionalist.

    Anyway.

    Libertarianism covers a HUGE, and i mean HUGE scope of different ideologies, its not just "social liberalism and economic liberalism" (economic liberalism, or capitalism, means economic conservativism in the US) does not mean libertarian at all.

    Sorry to be pretentious, but libertarianism, from far-right to far-left covers

    Anarcho-capitalism
    market anarchism
    Georgism
    Panarchy or "pacifist" anarchy
    Mutualism
    Individualist Anarchism
    Libertarian socialism
    Syndicalism
    post-prolatariat communism
    council communism
    Post-left Anarchy
    Anarcho Communism
    Anarcho-primitivism

    Then there are little nuances which include feminist, queer, ecologist, post-humanist libertarianism, and resource which cannot fit into a real time left-right economic scale.

    What you're friends think libertarianism is, is right-wing minarchy. Sorry for more terms, but you're friends are viewing libertarianism as right wing minarchy, essentially it is an unregulated capitalist economy based around the autrian school of economics, combined with no restrictions of social policy, like gay marriage, drugs, free speech, anti-war, the only thing the govt does is take care of the police, fire, protection and courts.
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    Your friends are late to the party. The trend started in late 07 or early 08 when Ron Paul got popular on the internet.
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    I know, horrible, isn't it? They'll grow out of believing in Ron Paul in a couple of years, just like they did with the tooth fairy and Father Christmas.
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    (Original post by prog2djent)
    What you're friends think libertarianism is, is right-wing minarchy. Sorry for more terms, but you're friends are viewing libertarianism as right wing minarchy, essentially it is an unregulated capitalist economy based around the autrian school of economics, combined with no restrictions of social policy, like gay marriage, drugs, free speech, anti-war, the only thing the govt does is take care of the police, fire, protection and courts.
    Sorry, but that's how everyone uses the term outside of political science. I'd love to know what criterion you think we can apply to judge the correct usage of language beyond convention.
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    (Original post by JacobW)
    Sorry, but that's how everyone uses the term outside of political science. I'd love to know what criterion you think we can apply to judge the correct usage of language beyond convention.
    The term "libertarian" has been bastardised by right wing people so that they can differentiate themselves from the populist right wing majority, i.e social and economic conservatives. Since most socially liberal people lean to the left/center, they/we needed to find and outlet, so libertarianism is the next place to go, despite the fact the original meaning of libertarian is just anti-authority, which means anti-capitalism aswell, hence the creation of the 4 axis political chart, since socially liberal right wing capitalists now identify as libertarians, left-and right, needed to be segregated into libertarian left-right, and authoritarian left-right. And left-right as a whole, as strangely taken over from individual names for ideology. For example, pre-60's, people didn't say "oh he's left wing", people would be called anarchists, socialists, anarcho-communists, libertarian socialists, fascists, liberals (now classical liberals) to mean capitalists who are socially liberal, in europe. Its propoganda that has propelled left-vs-right to take over individual terms, which origianally meant pro-monarhcy or anti-monarchy in revolutionary france.

    I try stay clear of identifying someone as just being "left wing", like dailymailites do, and the same for guardianistas, who say "right wing" to everything. Someone like Nick Griffin is a fascist, plain and simple. Cameron is a neo-conservative, Nick Clegg is a liberal (classical), Gordon brown was a social democrat, Obama is a neo-liberal, the old-style green party was libertarian socialist, and so on, and so forth.
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    (Original post by JacobW)
    Sorry, but that's how everyone uses the term outside of political science. I'd love to know what criterion you think we can apply to judge the correct usage of language beyond convention.
    Have you read this? You'd love it.
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    Libertarianism is attractive but I find that it seems largely impractical. Unregulated capitalism surely cannot lead to any social progress?
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    It could be worse, at least they're not reading Das Capital and walking around in berets.
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    (Original post by Cheese_Monster)
    Libertarianism is attractive but I find that it seems largely impractical. Unregulated capitalism surely cannot lead to any social progress?
    What do you mean by 'social progress'?
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    (Original post by prog2djent)
    The term "libertarian" has been bastardised by right wing people so that they can differentiate themselves from the populist right wing majority, i.e social and economic conservatives. Since most socially liberal people lean to the left/center, they/we needed to find and outlet, so libertarianism is the next place to go, despite the fact the original meaning of libertarian is just anti-authority, which means anti-capitalism aswell, hence the creation of the 4 axis political chart, since socially liberal right wing capitalists now identify as libertarians, left-and right, needed to be segregated into libertarian left-right, and authoritarian left-right. And left-right as a whole, as strangely taken over from individual names for ideology. For example, pre-60's, people didn't say "oh he's left wing", people would be called anarchists, socialists, anarcho-communists, libertarian socialists, fascists, liberals (now classical liberals) to mean capitalists who are socially liberal, in europe. Its propoganda that has propelled left-vs-right to take over individual terms, which origianally meant pro-monarhcy or anti-monarchy in revolutionary france.

    I try stay clear of identifying someone as just being "left wing", like dailymailites do, and the same for guardianistas, who say "right wing" to everything. Someone like Nick Griffin is a fascist, plain and simple. Cameron is a neo-conservative, Nick Clegg is a liberal (classical), Gordon brown was a social democrat, Obama is a neo-liberal, the old-style green party was libertarian socialist, and so on, and so forth.
    Whatever the reasons for the change in the usage of the terms 'left' and 'right', I think it's just plain intellectual snobbery to claim that the conceptual scheme of political philosophy is somehow superior to that of ordinary discourse. Yes, in complex debate about the nuances of political theory, the subtle distinctions of the former will be more useful; the OP, however, was was using the term 'libertarian' in the sense in which it us used by ordinary people who are not political scientists, political philosophers, or politicians; i.e. a proponant of an ideology that advocates extensive individual liberty in both the social and economic spheres.

    I think the idea of public intellectuals telling us how to use language is partly Continental and wholly preposterous.
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    (Original post by chefdave)
    It could be worse, at least they're not reading Das Capital and walking around in berets.
    Das Kapital would be boring and far too uncool for young sixth formers to be seen with anyway
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    (Original post by Politricks)
    Das Kapital would be boring and far too uncool for young sixth formers to be seen with anyway
    Unlike a quote by a Russian dictator!
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    (Original post by beepbeeprichie)
    What do you mean by 'social progress'?
    As in equality of opportunity. Socio-economic divisions being less of an issue in moving up the ladder. Does libertarianism advocated anti-monopoly practices or offer any form of limited welfare?

    I would assume not because Nozick said that the state taking money from an individual was "theft"?
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    (Original post by Cheese_Monster)
    As in equality of opportunity. Socio-economic divisions being less of an issue in moving up the ladder. Does libertarianism advocated anti-monopoly practices or offer any form of limited welfare?
    Libertarians can subscribe to some form of equality of opportunity. That is, we believe that people shouldn't be stopped achieving things in ways which violate their (libertarian) rights such as by stealing them or threatening them. But we can't say no to things like family connections or what country you were born in.

    For one, and some libertarians don't agree, I don't believe (financial) inequalities are a bad thing for most of the reasons Parfit pointed out. Namely that what is the point of equality when no-one (hypothetically) gets better off? Therefore equality is not an aim in itself.

    Libertarians don't believe in government regulation of the economy, even of monopolies. But most libertarians don't think they'd exist in a truely free market economy.

    Libertarians can't support forced welfare payments. But then we think people would almost certainly be better off under a free market economy.


    (Original post by Cheese_Monster)
    I would assume not because Nozick said that the state taking money from an individual was "theft"?

    I think the analogy you are referring to is that taxation is equivalent to forced labour. I'm not sure this is the case and some people think Nozick actually meant 'is wrong for the same reasons as'. But no, Nozick thought that maximum extent of a legitimate state extended to the bare bones of enforcing contracts and protection of liberty.
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    Indeed. Nozik pretty much embodies every non-copy cat Paulite "libertarian" (people that hold exactly the same positions as paul - because they are fans of him, and think they are libertarian), such as the Libertarian party of the US, the Canadian Libertarian party, and pretty much all european libertarian parties, since europe has adopted the US right wing version of libertarianism, in place of the socialist libertarianism of past.


    Infact, nozik is pretty much the poster boy classical liberal (since the term liberal has also changed meaning), to be pedantic, "right wing minarchist".
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    (Original post by beepbeeprichie)
    Libertarians can subscribe to some form of equality of opportunity. That is, we believe that people shouldn't be stopped achieving things in ways which violate their (libertarian) rights such as by stealing them or threatening them. But we can't say no to things like family connections or what country you were born in.
    You say 'libertarian' rights, what might they be?

    (Original post by beepbeeprichie)
    For one, and some libertarians don't agree, I don't believe (financial) inequalities are a bad thing for most of the reasons Parfit pointed out. Namely that what is the point of equality when no-one (hypothetically) gets better off? Therefore equality is not an aim in itself.
    Equality is a broad term, you say you don't believe inequalities are bad thing, I can subscribe to inequality of outcome being justified but an inequality of opportunity seems unjustifiable.

    (Original post by beepbeeprichie)
    Libertarians don't believe in government regulation of the economy, even of monopolies. But most libertarians don't think they'd exist in a truely free market economy.
    I don't believe in excessive government regulation, but I think that the complexity of the modern global economy means that the government needs to intervene to protect its citizens. The 'free market' seems purely rhetorical, there is no such thing as total 'freedom', there are always constraints. If the government left the market to its own devices, it will be monopolised.

    (Original post by beepbeeprichie)
    Libertarians can't support forced welfare payments. But then we think people would almost certainly be better off under a free market economy.
    'Forced welfare payments' operate on a similar system to taxation. Most libertarians see that some taxation is necessary for the upkeep of the minimal state, a minimal form of welfare (not the current system of benefits) can reasonably be advocated?

    (Original post by beepbeeprichie)
    I think the analogy you are referring to is that taxation is equivalent to forced labour. I'm not sure this is the case and some people think Nozick actually meant 'is wrong for the same reasons as'. But no, Nozick thought that maximum extent of a legitimate state extended to the bare bones of enforcing contracts and protection of liberty.
    Clears things up.
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    (Original post by Cheese_Monster)
    As in equality of opportunity. Socio-economic divisions being less of an issue in moving up the ladder. Does libertarianism advocated anti-monopoly practices or offer any form of limited welfare?

    I would assume not because Nozick said that the state taking money from an individual was "theft"?
    Would heavily reducing, and abolishing many taxes not be a better idea than enforcing equality? Since state-enforced equality usually ends up making everyone except the rich worse off, and the gap increases where the middle class is squeezed, the underclass gain through entitlements, the working class merge with the middle, and the rich rich stay the same.

    Would you not rather, that everyone was better off, EVEN if it meant the gap from the poorest to richest was higher, which is what would happen if taxes were over-hauled.

    To put it simply

    Improvements in enforcing equality - Rich stay same, middle is squeezed, underclass rise, working merge with middle.

    Total equality - Rich poorer and poor poorer

    Abolished/Much lower taxes - Everyone richer, but the gap from poor to rich increases, despite the bottom having more money.

    And libertarianism is not anti-monopoly in the statist defintion, i/e, more regulation. We aren't anti-monopoly, but we aren't pro-monopoly either, our policies would see the destruction of many monopolies, as the state, in most cases, basically creates them or through massive corporate welfare and crony capitalism, helps them along the way. A freer market with less crony government policies helping big corporations, would crush them. And for the argument that natural monopolies would still occur, no natural monopoly that has existed ... exists today, they can't, and never will, all to do with economies of scale and compeition really. When a monopoly gets so big, it acts like a mini-state, and dies, then only reason a real state (government) doesn't die is because it has its own laws to say that everyone should prop it up, despite its inefficiency and failure (which would cause its collapse in a free market), which ironically, is how most current monopolies are sustained, they have all these corporate welfare schemes, bailouts, patents, copyrights, corporate and Public limited responsibilities (created by the state) that mean it basically gets covered for its costs by the state (through public taxation). Hence the phrase "private profits and socialised loses".

    Damn, sound like a Rothbardian again.
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    (Original post by prog2djent)
    Would heavily reducing, and abolishing many taxes not be a better idea than enforcing equality? Since state-enforced equality usually ends up making everyone except the rich worse off, and the gap increases where the middle class is squeezed, the underclass gain through entitlements, the working class merge with the middle, and the rich rich stay the same.

    Would you not rather, that everyone was better off, EVEN if it meant the gap from the poorest to richest was higher, which is what would happen if taxes were over-hauled.

    To put it simply

    Improvements in enforcing equality - Rich stay same, middle is squeezed, underclass rise, working merge with middle.

    Total equality - Rich poorer and poor poorer

    Abolished/Much lower taxes - Everyone richer, but the gap from poor to rich increases, despite the bottom having more money.

    And libertarianism is not anti-monopoly in the statist defintion, i/e, more regulation. We aren't anti-monopoly, but we aren't pro-monopoly either, our policies would see the destruction of many monopolies, as the state, in most cases, basically creates them or through massive corporate welfare and crony capitalism, helps them along the way. A freer market with less crony government policies helping big corporations, would crush them. And for the argument that natural monopolies would still occur, no natural monopoly that has existed ... exists today, they can't, and never will, all to do with economies of scale and compeition really. When a monopoly gets so big, it acts like a mini-state, and dies, then only reason a real state (government) doesn't die is because it has its own laws to say that everyone should prop it up, despite its inefficiency and failure (which would cause its collapse in a free market), which ironically, is how most current monopolies are sustained, they have all these corporate welfare schemes, bailouts, patents, copyrights, corporate and Public limited responsibilities (created by the state) that mean it basically gets covered for its costs by the state (through public taxation).

    Damn, sound like a Rothbardian again.
    This political philosophy sounds more and more utopian as people educate me about it. 'Abolishing taxes' is an absurd suggestion, how on Earth will essential emergency services/contracts/defence be enforced without public funding? Taxes essentially transfer the money necessitated for health care/general maintenance directly, if you took away taxes, the individual would still have to put this money into the same systems.

    Admittedly, i'm not an economist and the 'natural monopoly' is an assumption. I don't believe the state is in any way a moral authority but is a necessary evil. A form of minor regulation is necessary, libertarianism might have worked in a different time context, but it seems to be lacking something for me.

    I'm in no way anti-libertarian, It just seems impractical.
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    I miss being Libertarian. Everything seemed so much simpler back then. Leave me alone, I'll leave you alone, the market will resolve the rest. Great times.

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