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Liber Question Time - Ask a Libertarian

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    Shoot, [word removed]

    Edit: I'd like to point out the comma above. It does somewhat alter the sentiment of the statement.
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    *mows them all down* Wait, crap.

    Tell me a little more about Libertarianism. I'm a bit dim and don't really understand the position as I've not come across a big RL party called The Libertarians. Only when discussing David Hume. Which I think is slightly different. Otherwise I'd ask you why you're an incompatibilist.

    Thanking you.
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    Actually, there has been a new Libertarian party just started in the UK, though it is of course in its infancy and its ability to affect anything entirely negligible at the moment.

    The basic tenet of "One should be able to do as they wish, as long as it doesn't infringe upon the rights of others." is the key one in defining social (and, to be honest, when taken to its logical conclusion, economic) policy. Social is easy.

    Economically, it puts complete faith in the market. It is believed that the market will respond to and fill all niches of all desires (due basically to the fact that companies need customers as much as customers need companies), and in the very rare circumstances by which it cannot, and it is in the economic interests of the country to do so, then may the government fill the role - though even about this there is some debate. For example, water supplies. Due to the historic nature of the UK, its age and bizarre city planning (well, cities weren't planned for the most part, they just organically grew), plumbing work is night on impossible in most places to be run by anything other than a monopoly.

    Telephone/Broadband cables are far easier to install en masse and thus can more easily be installed into specific houses. For piping this is not true, so it's unfeasable to have a water company dig around under a house, install tons of piping from their water cleaning station, only to have the house customers then choose another company in a year and have THEM then do the same. It would be economically (and, in terms of road works and availability of labour, socially) impossible. Yet it is in the best interest of the country that everyone has access to water. The only options, then, are like now, whereby the government essentially chooses, or auctions off rights to supply a certain area to private companies, or it does it itself. The problem with the former is the lack of accountability, both to its customers and to its shareholders - the former because you cannot change even if you want to, and the latter because the government will always bail them out financially, no matter how red their cashbook gets. The difference with the government doing it, whilst no less monopolitic, is that they can be ousted every 4 years if their handling of water is that poor. You can't unelect a private company when there's no alternative.

    Other than situations like this, though, I think the market should provide, and I think it can, far more efficiently than the government can. Any advantages it might get via economies of scale are reduced into insignificance when contrasted with the sheer ammount of waste that will inevitably occur.

    Err, any specific questions and go ahead and ask.
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    The basic tenet of "One should be able to do as they wish, as long as it doesn't infringe upon the rights of others.
    How does one define the rights of others? The BNP believe it's their right to live in a society where every one's white. Where does that leave everyone else?
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    Why are no(or relatively few...i'm unaware of any in the UK at least) prominent libertarian politicians in the UK?

    Also, why are you calling me a coon, and would you care to explain what definition of the word you're referring to?
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    How does one define the rights of others? The BNP believe it's their right to live in a society where every one's white. Where does that leave everyone else?
    Libertarianism has Liberty at its core. If non-white people cannot live in a society then the actions of the BNP are impinging upon the rights of certain people to live as equals in a country.
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    It is their right to live in a society where everyone's white. But they'll have to find one first.
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    I've never come accross this before, forgive me if I'm being stupid!

    - What would policies be regarding things like pensions, unemployment benifit, child benifit, disabled support etc? How does this fit in with the free market bit?
    - Would things like looking after the environment come under stuff to be controlled by the government?
    - How far does the free market go? Would the government sell of everything they own, like schools, hospitals etc? or have I misunderstood?
    - How far does the 'do what you like without upsetting people' ethic go compaired to the free market? (haven't explained that well!) For example how would the new Heathrow runway be dealt with? would the free market - Airport- be allowed to upset the people who live in the villages they plan to build on? Thats not a great example of what I'm trying to say, but hopefully you'll understand!

    Edit: My brain seems to be having the day off!
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    (Original post by FoeGeddaBowDeet)
    Why are no(or relatively few...i'm unaware of any in the UK at least) prominent libertarian politicians in the UK?
    Weeelllllll mostly now because most eligible voters in the UK have lived their entire life in a country with an NHS, an extensive welfare system, state school system etc - The idea of taking all that back is pretty unelectable to people who have bills and rent to pay etc. Those with Liber leanings either have to join the Conservative party or the Lib-Dems if they want any chance of a successful political career, where their ideals get diluted with the rest of the party.

    Also, why are you calling me a coon, and would you care to explain what definition of the word you're referring to?
    Coon is a derogatory term for black people. And I'm using it for the bant.
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    Libertarians are a broad church (ho).

    I'm a left libertarian for example, in that I agree with all the social stuff but not the economic side of things (though less govt intervention is usually a good thing). There are right libertarians, which are mainly the ones who you'd find on the Thatcherite side of the Conservative party.
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    (Original post by Kittten)
    I've never come accross this before, forgive me if I'm being stupid!
    It's a fairly alien concept, it's all good toots.

    - What would policies be regarding things like pensions, unemployment benifit, child benifit, disabled support etc? How does this fit in with the free market bit?
    Typically a safety net. This has two key side-effects, other than drastically smaller taxes. One is that it encourages people to work where they can, as the benefits they are given is just enough to survive. The other is that it'll sway people off a state-dependency.

    - Would things like looking after the environment come under stuff to be controlled by the government?
    Depends what you mean by looking after the environment. If you mean conserving a rare, near extinct species of some-or-other, then no. That's have to be up to private charities or philanthropists. If you mean emissions and global warming and the like, it follows the 'do what you want as long as it doesn't harm anyone else' thing. If evidence was found (and I'm not a skeptic, I'm just not wholly convinced, and that's a scientific issue anyway, not a political one) that emissions from factories or whatever were damaging health, then where it's a specific thing (such as a factory), it would be charged damages. I can't get into specifics, as it depends on the case and the science behind it, but if something were shown to be particularly damaging, then it could be "banned", in the same way a man running round with a knife stabbing people is dangerous and causes damage and is "banned."

    - How far does the free market go? Would the government sell of everything they own, like schools, hospitals etc? or have I misunderstood?
    Hospitals, yes. Schools, not exactly. They'd run under what's called a Voucher system, though read more here if you're interested. Hospitals would be privatised. People would need health insurance, and because taxes would be so much lower, they'd have that much more to pay it. Also, prices for insurance would go down (or rather, diversify) due to everyone in the country wanting it, just like any other product.

    - How far does the 'do what you like without upsetting people' ethic go compaired to the free market? (haven't explained that well!) For example how would the new Heathrow runway be dealt with? would the free market - Airport- be allowed to upset the people who live in the villages they plan to build on? Thats not a great example of what I'm trying to say, but hopefully you'll understand!
    I know what you mean. Well it'd be up to the courts to decide if the people in the nearby village's lives are being adversely affected (or would be, before it was built), and whether Heathrow would be able to compensate them for that.
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    (Original post by Democracy)
    How does one define the rights of others? The BNP believe it's their right to live in a society where every one's white. Where does that leave everyone else?
    Well that affects the rights of others, by expelling them. However, if they want to buy some property and ban ethnic minorities on going there (and this includes shops, pubs, parks, anything), they should be entirely entitled to, because no one have a right to access the property of another.
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    I'm sorry, Dan Grover, did you say 'shoot black people' i.e., shoot coons?

    I'm very confused.
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    My question: Libertarianism would revoke laws against discrimination I assume? How can this be fair?

    It would revoke laws for a minimum wage? Can this honestly be productive for society?

    EDIT: Liber seems to give power to companies and less powers to those who do not already enjoy such benefits (i.e., financial power). Liber seems to be an attitude where the rich become richer, and the poor must accept their lot.
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    Coons?
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    (Original post by Jason Sparks)
    My question: Libertarianism would revoke laws against discrimination I assume? How can this be fair?

    It would revoke laws for a minimum wage? Can this honestly be productive for society?

    EDIT: Liber seems to give power to companies and less powers to those who do not already enjoy suh benefits. Liber seems to be an attitude where the rich become richer, and the poor must accept their lot.
    Having done a little research I have some qualms about it too. I think I'd rather pay lots of tax and have a fairer society tbh. I guess (hope) it's unlikely to ever become mainstream because of the ethical issues.

    I don't really see how it would be an improvement for, say, disabled people to only get enough money from the government to survive off of. There are many people who cannot contribute to the free market, that doesn't mean they should be swept to the side to struggle.
    I believe an individuals ability to contribute to society is largly influenced by their wealth as a child, and hence the oppertunities they are provided with. This means to me it seems very unfair that the rich should be allowed not to use their wealth to help those less fortunate than themselves.
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    people who are asking about 'coons' you apparantly haven't seen many of dan's posts. get over it.
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    Which do your consider more important? Economic freedom or social freedom? (Incidentally, this isn't meant at all combatively, I'm just curious)
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    Lolz @ the people with the aversion to Dan's use of coons.

    And I'd like to refer back to this post. in which I believe Dan only answered half the question. I agree that the BNP are impinging on the rights of say... the coons.

    But can you give an answer as to how you'd define the rights of people? It seems fairly broad to me, especially as people will have conflicting views. For example, the rights of people to take drugs. Is this a human right? Could it be said not to affect others? Or would you have to recategorise a lot of drugs?
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    (Original post by DanGrover)
    Weeelllllll mostly now because most eligible voters in the UK have lived their entire life in a country with an NHS, an extensive welfare system, state school system etc - The idea of taking all that back is pretty unelectable to people who have bills and rent to pay etc.
    QFT. So, why are you a liber again?


    Coon is a derogatory term for black people. And I'm using it for the bant.
    Why is the right wing of the TSR HOC committing electoral suicide today?

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