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    (Original post by sconzey)
    Oh really? You mean there's never been a Prime Minister who believed in minimal government interference? Nor a political party dedicated to lassaiz-faire economics?

    No. Definitely not. None of the American Founding Fathers advocated a limited government and great personal freedom either.

    Such concepts are silly, and have never been taken seriously.
    There has never been one true libertarian society.
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    (Original post by yeahm8justhavina****)
    You think people in power want to give up power? Thats pretty stupid.
    I didn't say that. I merely said that there were people in power at various points in time in history who have acted to relinquish power.

    In general, yes, I think people in power want to stay in power, but clearly there comes along the occasional chap who has gained power without forsaking his scruples and then acts to reverse this trend.
    (Original post by yeahm8justhavina****)
    There has never been one true libertarian society.
    Well... yes and no. There are never really true anything societies, but there are societies that are more or less of whatever you're looking for.

    The UK under the aforementioned prime ministers certainly had Libertarian-llike characteristics. The north american states around the tme of the declaration of independence exhibit libertarian-like characteristics too. Indeed, modern libertarians the world over hail the Bill of Rights as one of the most important early Libertarian manifestos.

    Scolars cite some historical societies as having the characteristics of market anarchism -- the most extreme of the Libertarian philosophies. Medieval Iceland, early Pennsylvania and the squatters associations of the Old West all exhibit very little or no centralised governance, and dispute resolution through pluralistic, for-profit arbitration.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Libertarianism (i.e. right-libertarianism) is an attempt to philosophically defend the advantages of the wealthy by objecting to any restraint on their liberties and by disingenuously presenting such defence as if promoting everyone's liberties.
    All Libertarians who aren't aristocrats are deluded fools, are they?
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    (Original post by Bagration)
    All Libertarians who aren't aristocrats are deluded fools, are they?
    Wealth isn't limited to the aristocracy and I'd expect plenty of libertarians aspire to future wealth and property anyway. Either way I very much think libertarianism to all effects is a defence of wealth and the liberties of those who can buy them, not a defence of wider liberty.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    Wealth isn't limited to the aristocracy and I'd expect plenty of libertarians aspire to future wealth and property anyway. Either way I very much think libertarianism to all effects is a defence of wealth and the liberties of those who can buy them, not a defence of wider liberty.
    I think Richard_A_Gardner pretty much annihilated you on this issue. Even if we accept your definition of 'liberty' to mean essentially 'property rights', it doesn't at all follow that an equal distribution of these 'liberties' is desireable. In fact, the whole purpose of libertarianism is as a system for deciding when their distribution is just, largely through how they are acquired. It seems to me that you don't like our answer but won't explain why or present a better system of your own preference.
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    (Original post by favh)
    I think Richard_A_Gardner pretty much annihilated you on this issue. Even if we accept your definition of 'liberty' to mean essentially 'property rights', it doesn't at all follow that an equal distribution of these 'liberties' is desireable. In fact, the whole purpose of libertarianism is as a system for deciding when their distribution is just, largely through how they are acquired. It seems to me that you don't like our answer but won't explain why or present a better system of your own preference.
    lol, If you investigate the origins of most land ownership today you'll find that there's been plenty of coercion. My points still stand as far as I'm concerned, there's no meaningful liberty if that means liberty to starve because others have appropriated all the land and use force to prevent you using it, as they do.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    lol, If you investigate the origins of most land ownership today you'll find that there's been plenty of coercion. My points still stand as far as I'm concerned, there's no meaningful liberty if that means liberty to starve because others have appropriated all the land and use force to prevent you using it, as they do.
    Lol this approach cracks me up. OK, so someone goes to you "here is 10 acres of arable land, you can farm it if you like, have fun with that" and... what, exactly? Congratulations, you now have land to farm, and if you're very lucky you might produce enough food to keep yourself from starving. The point is that the vast majority of things you'd need to survive are not simply raw natural resources like land, but rather things which have been produced by the labour of others, and which they therefore have rights over. Allowing people access to land is going to do precisely nothing to expand their options.

    Edit: not to mention the shift from 'liberty' to 'meaningful liberty.' What you think of as 'meaningful liberty' is really resources, which other people have to produce with their labour. And if everyone has 'meaningful liberty,' i.e. resources, given to them, then a lot of people don't have real liberty, because in order to give resources to some you have to force others to produce them in the first place.
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    (Original post by Oswy)
    lol, If you investigate the origins of most land ownership today you'll find that there's been plenty of coercion. My points still stand as far as I'm concerned, there's no meaningful liberty if that means liberty to starve because others have appropriated all the land and use force to prevent you using it, as they do.
    Suppose we abolished all present land holdings and redistributed them 'equally' (I'm not sure this is actually meaningful - how much desert is worth an acre of steppe? - but whatever). We come back in fifty years, do you think they'll still be equal? I think it's fairly obvious that they won't, but, as your initial justification for redistributing the land was unjust acquisition in the past, that no longer holds, so you surely have to accept this new inequality?

    Personally I do accept that much land was probably stolen. I do however think that the regular burden of proof would have to be observed in returning any such land. That said, I don't think it's nearly as big a problem as you do. As DH says, the vast majority of wealth produced today does not derive from pure land holdings.
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    (Original post by favh)
    Suppose we abolished all present land holdings and redistributed them 'equally' (I'm not sure this is actually meaningful - how much desert is worth an acre of steppe? - but whatever). We come back in fifty years, do you think they'll still be equal? I think it's fairly obvious that they won't, but, as your initial justification for redistributing the land was unjust acquisition in the past, that no longer holds, so you surely have to accept this new inequality?
    Surely this is a question of Social mobility as I assume you are using 'land' to mean material wealth in a modern context. Just because someone has (or even accumulated) more wealth than another person it does not follow that they deserve it. Capitalism is far from an infallible system of measuring someone's worth in this world.
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    I would actually agree with the starting quotation of this thread. Those who believe in the absolute freedom from moral duties and the natures of things, must believe in some form of "might makes right".

    But while I do think that this criticism could be applied to some of the Libertarians that I have met and debated with, it most certainly cannot apply to Classical Liberals such as John Locke who were strong believers in both equality before the law (whcih anarchists don't believe in) and equality under God (which many also don't believe in).
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    I would actually agree with the starting quotation of this thread. Those who believe in the absolute freedom from moral duties and the natures of things, must believe in some form of "might makes right".
    Which puts them about half a step above a Neanderthal.
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    (Original post by Communist Daughter)
    Which puts them about half a step above a Neanderthal.
    Not really. Nihilists can be very intelligent and so on.
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    Everyone knows that free enterprise has created vast amounts of wealth and a general rise in the standard of living for all.

    However, I really don't understand libertarians sometimes. If the market is left unregulated and if there is no redistributive taxation to help those most in need, I think you're going to plunge us into a brutal 19th Century world. Imagine what would happen to all those people made unemployed (especially in recessions) and all the families dependant on them? It's just blind to assert that they will be fine with private charity and if they are 'responsible' they will have saved etc.

    The UKLP website says that they want to remove state pensions and encourage people to save for themselves. FFS, don't they realise that plenty of people in minimum wage jobs can scarcely afford to provide for their families from day to day, let alone save for pensions?

    What about lone parents who can't get a job and look after their children at the same time? What about the disabled who simply cannot work?

    People who criticise libertarianism are not necessarily communists. But there is a balance to be struck in any humane society. Allowing some people to starve 'free' in the street while others are buying their fifth Mercedes is not a respectable position to take.
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    (Original post by Don_Scott)
    I would actually agree with the starting quotation of this thread. Those who believe in the absolute freedom from moral duties and the natures of things, must believe in some form of "might makes right".
    What? Libertarians don't necessarily believe that, they just don't believe in Gleischaltung-style state intervention in civil society.
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    (Original post by Gremlins)
    What? Libertarians don't necessarily believe that, they just don't believe in Gleischaltung-style state intervention in civil society.
    I never said that they did. But I have met many libertarians (and many non-libertarians) who did believe such things.
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    (Original post by DrunkHamster)
    Lol this approach cracks me up. OK, so someone goes to you "here is 10 acres of arable land, you can farm it if you like, have fun with that" and... what, exactly? Congratulations, you now have land to farm, and if you're very lucky you might produce enough food to keep yourself from starving. The point is that the vast majority of things you'd need to survive are not simply raw natural resources like land, but rather things which have been produced by the labour of others, and which they therefore have rights over. Allowing people access to land is going to do precisely nothing to expand their options.
    So.... would that make you a consequentialist libertarian, or at least non-deontological?
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    So.... would that make you a consequentialist libertarian, or at least non-deontological?
    No, he isn't. That's the line of argument that the secular "libertarians" such as Rothbard or Nozick use to ground their belief in natural rights.
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    (Original post by Captain Crash)
    So.... would that make you a consequentialist libertarian, or at least non-deontological?
    No, what makes you think that? There is a long tradition in deontological libertarianism (from Locke onwards) that doesn't consider just any old appropriation of land to be justified.
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    (Original post by HappinessHappening)
    Everyone knows that free enterprise has created vast amounts of wealth and a general rise in the standard of living for all.

    However, I really don't understand libertarians sometimes. If the market is left unregulated and if there is no redistributive taxation to help those most in need, I think you're going to plunge us into a brutal 19th Century world.
    Why? Productivity has increased since then, meaning that workers are more productive and so are better able to demand more in exchange for their labour.

    Imagine what would happen to all those people made unemployed (especially in recessions) and all the families dependant on them? It's just blind to assert that they will be fine with private charity and if they are 'responsible' they will have saved etc.
    This is just an assertion.

    The UKLP website says that they want to remove state pensions and encourage people to save for themselves. FFS, don't they realise that plenty of people in minimum wage jobs can scarcely afford to provide for their families from day to day, let alone save for pensions?
    Minimum wage is £5.81. A forty hour a week job at that level is £232.40 a week. Assuming one main bread winner at this level, and one at part time (say, half), that's £348.60 a week, or £18,126.20 a year. Rent is £450 a month for a house. Thats £5400 a year, leaving £12,726. Say its a household of four. That would be about £60 a week on food, or £3120 a month. That leaves £9606. That's £800 a month left over after food and shelter.

    What about lone parents who can't get a job and look after their children at the same time?
    Day care. Creches.

    What about the disabled who simply cannot work?
    How disabled? I have seen paraplegics making souvenirs in charity built communities in Africa.

    People who criticise libertarianism are not necessarily communists. But there is a balance to be struck in any humane society. Allowing some people to starve 'free' in the street while others are buying their fifth Mercedes is not a respectable position to take.
    So don't do it.
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    (Original post by Communist Daughter)
    Surely this is a question of Social mobility as I assume you are using 'land' to mean material wealth in a modern context. Just because someone has (or even accumulated) more wealth than another person it does not follow that they deserve it. Capitalism is far from an infallible system of measuring someone's worth in this world.
    No, I mean land. Stuff people have actually made is the result of labour, so Oswy deliberately didn't include it because he knows he can't really justify seizing the product of peoples' labour and continuing to make sense of his Marxism.

    Anyway, I'm not interested in using wealth as a way of 'measuring peoples' worth in the world'. Any such comparisons are totally arbitrary, and if you think you have a right to make them then you are an aspiring tyrant. I think that people own themselves, and so from that it follows that they own whatever they produce (to argue otherwise is to say that someone is self-owning, but can also be subject to slavery, which is absurd). It follows from that that people should be able to freely trade these goods that they own. It will almost certainly result in material inequality, but that doesn't bother me.
 
 
 
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