Libertarianism


Libertarianism is Americanism!
Libertarianism provides an effective riposte to mushy, confiscatory, feel-good liberalism. Debate a liberal from a conservative point of view and your basic argument is "my statism is better than your statism."  Both ideologies work at the "Tyranny" end of the Liberty - Tyranny continuum.  Libertarianism is a scary area for many--inaccessible and filled with robot-like logicians and pot smoking, anti-war atheists.  This is an inaccurate stereotype.  Libertarianism accords with our founding principles much more so than Republicanism or Conservatism.

The down side.  The logical end of libertarian political philosophy is anarchy.  You will often see the term anarcho-libertarianism.  Back in the late 1800's and early 1900's, anarcho-syndicalists were all the rage; President McKinley was assassinated by one.  There are still adherents around today.    There is also the Nietzschean ubermench morality of Ayn Rand.  Her books have done much good in the world, but many Christian readers would be shocked and disoriented by a descent into her atheistic Objectivist Philosophy

There are many strains to libertarianism, just as there are to liberalism and conservatism, so don't let the more hardcore stuff scare you.  Simply put, libertarians believe we have the right to do whatever we want with our property (which includes our bodies) as long as we cause no harm to others.

Why conservatives don't like libertarianism:  Anti-war, but not in a "Bush is Hitler!" screamer way.  Rather in a "leave other people alone and don't waste taxpayer money on foreign adventures" kind of way.  Neutral on moral issues like abortion, homosexuality, prostitution, and drug use, to the point of advocating abolishing all "blue laws" that prohibit these activities by consenting adults.  Libertarians are not anti-God or anti-religion, they just believe these issues should be left to the churches and individuals and that they should not be pushed by the government.
See:  Conservatism vs. Libertarianism


Why liberals don't like libertarianism:  Libertarians advocate abolishing all social programs and leaving it up to private charity and personal choice (create your own retirement fund!).  They are very pro-free trade and adamantly opposed to protectionism.  No tariffs or import barriers.  Libertarians are for true free market capitalism.  No crony capitalism where the party in power pushes "green jobs," windmills and other such nonsense.  Schumpeter's creative destruction rules the day, regardless of how many people are thrown out of work.  Libertarians are for small government and a narrow reading of the constitution--no stretching clauses out of shape so progressive do-gooders can ply their social experiments on the public.


Libertarian Links
If you're new to libertarianism, start with the Reason Magazine link.



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11 comments:

Lista said...

Hi Silverfiddle,
I Remember now why I Chose your Other Blog Over this One, for this Appears to be a Daily Posting Sight and I have Trouble Keeping Up with Those.

I'm Involved in Several Cans of Worms at the Moment and therefore am Reluctant to Read Much More Until I can Get some of these Other Worms back in their Cans enough for me to Feel at Peace again about all that I Believe and have Said on the Blogosphere.

I wish that I could Find your Labels. I've Noticed that you have Categorized or Labeled your Posts and yet I can not Find your Labels. If I could, I would Probably have Read a Joke or Something and Responded to you there.

Eventually, I would Like to Tackle my Aversion to Libertarianism with you, yet there are just too many other Worms Right Now. I'm Glad that this Post is Connected to a Button at the Top of your Blog, though, because I will be Back Eventually. You have a Button that Links to the US Constitution too and that is Excellent.

Anyway, I'll be Back and Meanwhile, where are your Labels?

Silverfiddle said...

You mean like a label cloud or something like that? I guess I could see if there's a gadget that doesn't take up too much room. I'm as minimalist.

I understand your wanting to get those worms back in the can...

Anonymous said...

What a curious post from Lista! I have no idea what she (I presume) is talking about, do you? And why all that indiscriminate capitalization?

Oh well! My criticizing other posters is what so enraged a former friend who runs another blog -- a remarkable lady who believes in guiding and manipulating the tone and content of remarks through ceaseless compliments, questionings and criticisms of her own -- a privilege she accords no ine else, except her coterie of favorites.

This lady is in no way a libertarian, and apparently believes in suspending the First Amendment at her blog by doing everything in power to make those whose comments are by her lights unwelcome feel chagrined, censured, dismissed and if possible humiliated.

If those she doesn't want to hear from persist in sharing their thoughts in spite of her efforts to freeze them out, she privately encourages her thuggish allies to harass, insult, upbraid, persistently libel -- and even threaten those she doesn't like with grievous bodily harm.

If relentless harassment still fails to dislodge the unwanted commentator, she simply deletes their remarks and in some cases makes it electronically impossible for the "offending" poster to participate at all. By indulging more and more frequently in public fits of pique this ersatz champion of neo-conservatism has turned herself into a veritable Censorette. [Privately, I now think of her as "Madame de Lete" -- psychologically a first cousin to the more famous Madame de Farge made famous by Charles Dickens more than a century earlier in A Tale of Two Cities.]

All of this makes me wonder how many of today's self-styled "conservatives," many of whom fancy themselves "serious Christians," have any true knowledge of The Spirit of '76 -- the brand of enlightened, revolutionary, liberating thought that motivated our Founding Fathers -- the first -- and maybe the only -- true libertarians to do what they did?

Would "The Christian Right" -- whom I tend to regard as neither right nor Christian -- understand and appreciate the meaning of the following quotation?

"If there is any principle of the Constitution that more imperatively calls for attachment than any other it is the principle of free thought – not free thought for those that agree with us, but freedom for the thought that we hate."

~ Oliver W. Holmes (1841-1935)

Somehow, I don't believe they would. I agree with Jefferson who said, "I am unalterably opposed to any form of tyranny over the mind of Man."

I differ with Jefferson in only one regard. I do NOT believe we have any God-given right to stalk, bully, harass, badger, insult, intimidate, and threaten one another in hopes of ridding any gathering of unwelcome opinion. Neither do I believe that heckling or otherwise attempting to interrupt and derail public commentary should be tolerated either.

If we are to have a truly free society, the ONLY thing we can never afford to tolerate is INTOLERANCE, itself -- especially in ourselves.


~ FreeThinke

Lista said...

FreeThinke,
Huh? I Guess I Checked the "Send Follow-Up Comments to..." Box and then Forgot about this Blog for awhile. Since I don't Multi-Task well, I sort of get Caught Up in Certain Blogs at Times to the Exclusion of a lot of the Others and I have Trouble Keeping Up with Daily Bloggers.

The Can of Worms that I was Talking about earlier was a Liberal Blog that I went to in which I was Highly Out Numbered by what Felt Like a Pack of Wolfs, Gaining up on me, and yet I was Trying to Talk Sense into them anyway. I'm not Libertarian, yet I'm most Definitely not Liberal either.

Right Now, I'm Interacting with some People on a Evolution vs. Creationism Site.

My Capitalizing is just a Habit and it's been sort of hard to break, so I just don't worry about it.

Though I do not Agree with Manipulation, Every Blog Author has the Right to "Censure", if you want to Call it that, who ever he or she needs to in Order to Manage his or her Own Stress and Maintain Peace of Mind.

Blogging is a Hobby and not a Job and therefore, it is Unrealistic to Require a Person to Continually Read and Listen to that which Causes Stress. Disagreement should not be the Criteria Used for Censorship, yet I Found myself Adding Rules that I had not Initially Included, such as "No Repetitious Arguments that just go Over and Over Again what has already been Discussed, without Adding anything New and No More than 4 Long Comments in a Row."

I do not Feel that Enforcing Rules is the Same as Censorship and Blocking Someone from One's Blog is sometimes the Only Way to Find Peace of Mind. Since Everyone is Allowed to Set Up their Own Blog with their Own Rules, Freedom of Speech is Not Impeded by the Rules on any One Blog.

Lista said...

Though not always, Sometimes People who Get Blocked from Blogs may have had some Kind of a Negative History with the Blog Author and well, though it is Nice to Understand the Reasons Why, No One is Required to Continue being Friends with Anyone. So Far, I have not Blocked anyone from my Blog and Hope that I do not Ever have to.

If the Person you are Describing is Truly Like Madame de Farge, then Perhaps it would be more Peaceful and also Safer for you to Stop Interacting with her.

I Believe in Balance, rather than Extremes and those who Think Primarily in Black and White Terms do not Understand what I have to say.

I Agree with both of the Things that you Quoted, and also believe that People should have the Right to Say anything at all in a Public Place. A Blog, though, is not a Public Place, but the Private Property of the Blog Owner and is, therefore, Subject to the Whims of Blog Author.

It is not Possible to "Stalk" someone on their Own Blog and the Reason why is because they have the Right to Ignore, Delete or Even Block such a Person if they Want to. If they Choose not to, then they have Agreed to Allowing the Harassment. It is Up to the Blog Author to Set Rules and Enforce them and I do not Consider this Censorship.

The Words Tolerance and Intolerance are Good Words if not Taken to Extremes. For Example, when "Hate Speech" is Called Intolerance and then Forbidden, it is Freedom of Speech that is Under Attack. Unfortunately, Love and Hate can not be Legislated. We can Punish those who Murder, yet we can not Punish those who Speak in Ways that some might Interpret as being Intolerant.

Whether I Agree or Disagree with the Tolerance Idea Depends on how such is Defined. I do Agree with the Idea when the Definition is Reasonable.

Lista said...

FreeThinke,
I Wonder what you would Consider a Form of Freedom a Speech that the "Christian Right" would not allow. From my Perspective, it is the Christians Freedom of Speech that is the Most Under Attack. Some Examples are Privately Sponsored Nativity Scenes in Public Places and "Hate Speech" Spoken from the Pulpit of a Private Church. Neither of these Things are Sponsored by the Government and yet these are Examples of Christian Freedom of Speech that has been Challenged.

So what would you Consider a Form of Freedom of Speech that "The Christian Right" does not Understand?

Anonymous said...

Good heavens, Lista!

I never expected to generate such a large response, but I'm glad you bothered to write it. I'm afraid I was using this topic as an excuse to blow off steam after having been abused and then excommunicated by someone with whom I'd had long years of personal correspondence where much was shared very amiably many confidences were exchanged. We had even gone so far as to exchange pictures of our homes, our pets, and our real life friends and families on many different occasions. We also exchanged street addresses, sent packages to each other, and introduced our spouses, etc. A high level of trust and confidence had built up between us, so it was -- and remains -- a terrible shock to me to see a hostile, paranoid and censorious mentality emerge in my friend once she established her blog.

She literally became a different person almost overnight -- either that or a big part of her was kept hidden during our six year correspondence. If she had been just another blogger -- someone with whom I hadn't troubled to build a relationship --my feelings about what occurred would have been quite different.

However, everything you said about the privileges of blog ownership and administration are perfectly true, and as several have suggested to me, if I don't like the way someone administers his or her blog, I should just go away and start a blog of my own.

YES -- and NO. I see there what-I-regard-as a disturbing trend. The internet and all the technological gadgets of the age have made it too easy to live in a state of virtual ISOLATION.

If all of us withdraw to the safety and security of our own blogs where we are in control as in no place else on earth, and can, therefore, say whatever we like, we may lose the ability to relate to others with any degree of intimacy.

By constantly either banishing what we find unpalatable, or taking our marbles out of the game, stalking off in a huff, and going home when the game doesn't go our way, we are in danger of losing touch with reality. We then lose our ability to practice the arts of compromise and diplomacy, and ultimately our ability to establish meaningful communication with one another entirely.

If everyone tries to live in his own little world, the big world -- the one of which we are an integral part, whether we like to think so or not -- falls apart and can no longer sustain us.

I'm not just talking about the blogosphere, but about life in general. (I have an irritating habit of trying to think on the macro level, and tend to brush little specific details aside).

If you've read this far, Lista, please tell me what you don't like about libertarianism. Is it the concept, itself, or the way it tends to be interpreted today?

And what do you think about loud, aggressive, overly-persistent personalities who frequently insult others with personal remarks that have no bearing on the issue at hand? Should they be permitted to carry on like that, or should they be censored?

Thanks.

~ FreeThinke

Lista said...

I was Blowing Off Steam too in Relation to People who have at Times Tired to Tell me How to Run my Blog. What I'm Upset about and what you're Upset about are not Likely to be in any way Related.

I Know what you are Talking about in Relation to someone you Trust Changing Over Night, though. Especially in the Blogosphere. I Swear. Blogging Brings out the Very Worst in People and they are even more Cruel on Line than in Person. I May not Understand your Whole Story, but this Paragraph Explains what I do Understand and what I'm Describing has not been Fun.

Another Problem is Lack of Verbal Feed Back. I wonder to this Day what the Friend who Hurt me would be Like in Person. Would I be Able to Perceive Better what he will not Say? Would he be more Kind if he Actually saw the Hurt Expressions on my Face. I'll Never Know, because I'm not going to ever Meet with him in Person.

Your Reluctance to Let Go, though, is Similar to me as well and for a lot of Similar Reasons.

I See Libertarianism as an Extreme View, in which there is not Much Compromise. I am a Moderate because I do Believe in Compromise, but Libertarianism is not a Moderate Position and does not Lend well to Compromise. That is it in a Nut Shell.

If you Come by my Blog, FreeThinke, you Might be Interested in Clicking on the Relationship Label. I've Been Talking Lately about Evolution vs. Creationism, yet there is a lot more to my Blog besides that. Labels such as Balancing two Extremes, Black and White Thinking, Compromise and Libertarianism might more Strike your Interest and I am in no way Opposed to Comments on Older Posts.

I have Comment Moderation on and my Commenters are Mostly Quite Polite. I Think that a Lot of Highly Rude Insulters are too Impatient for a Blog that has Comment Moderation on. I Really don't Get that too Often.

My Approach, though, is to Warn and Confront First, and then Censor Only if it Persists.

Bd said...

So...why wont conservatives comprise on raising the taxes of billionaire? (actually, stopping their tax breaks). Because they rely on the,m to get them re-elected. They've sold our Democracy

Ducky's here said...

I got a 6 on the Libertarian test

Silverfiddle said...

Ducky: Why does that not surprise me?