Liberapedia article on Libertarianism

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This article is copied from Liberapedia as the author is uncomfortable about its future there. Liberapedia is part of Wikia which Jimbo Wales owns. Jimbo Wales has a reputation for pushing Libertarianism and limiting coverage of oposing views on Wikipedia which he also owns.

Libertarians are a group of people who hold left wing views on social matters, and right wing views on fiscal matters.

Some ultra-conservatives, such as talk radio host Neil Boortz, pretend they are libertarians so that they can trick liberals into listening to them for few minutes in hope of converting them to conservatism.


Contents

General Overview of Beliefs

Stereotyping the libertarians would be unwise. Different people who see themselves as libertarians disagree with each other as to which freedoms they feel should be allowed and which should be restricted. Libertarians in a general sense agree with the following concepts.

  • Support for Civil Liberties
  • Opposition to Coercive Force (defined their way)
  • Small Government
  • Low Taxes
  • Emphasis on Private Property
  • Isolationist Foreign Policy

Pitfalls of Libertarianism

Libertarians tend to be supporters of unchecked corporate power, depending on just how deep into it they are. That means bosses should be able to force whatever they like onto their workers and those who buy their products. If workers are too weak to fight back against a bullying boss that's just too bad.

It’s great for the 1% of the population that can get into the upper level jobs probably because mommy daddy were rich and paid them through school. Think of it as a lose-win situation where a few win and many lose.

Libertarians are opposed to Universal Health Care because it is more ethical to allow wealth to determine who lives or dies.

Libertarians are opposed to the Civil Rights Act because it’s unethical to prevent a privately owned business from discriminating against their customers on the basis of race. For Libertarians it's ethical to penalize people becvause of the color of their skins, well really? For them it’s ethical is for rich people to mistreat others if they like.

Libertarians are opposed to Accountable Institutions. They don’t want the government to hold media and corporations accountable. They should allow the industry to regulate themselves. After all, if you can't trust corporations and mass media, who can you trust?

Libertarians are opposed to people reaching their full potential. It would be unethical to provide other people in your society with same opportunities, instead you should allow class, gender, race, and income to decide whether or not you succeed.

Libertarians want to restrict or abolish government protection for those who are economically unsuccessful. This restricts freedom for the majority.

  1. Workers can become totally dependent on employers who can be corrupted by power and become tyrants.
  2. Alternatively family members become totally dependent on the economic provider/providers in the family. Those who are economically powerful in the family can become tyrants.

Libertarian Logic

Libertarianism is a logically consistent approach to politics based on the moral principle of self-ownership. Each individual has the right to control his or her own body, action, speech, and property. Government's only role is to help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud.

Libertarians are a kind of business worshiping cult, which churns out annoying flamers who resemble nothing so much as street-preachers that can be found in every internet forum trying to get new converts.

In order to understand how one gets from the "moral principles" above to the sort of fanatical proselytizing found in chat rooms and blogs everywhere, it is important understand how the ideology works from theory to practice.

Libertarianism is axiomatic. Note how the above quote touts its “logically consistent approach.” There's a set of rules to be applied to evaluate what is proper, and the outcome given is the answer that is correct in terms of the “moral principle” of the theory. Are the religious thinking connections starting to become evident? The rules are simple and tight enough to produce surprisingly uniform positions compared to common political philosophies.

Libertarians are for "individual rights", and against "force" and "fraud" - just as THEY define it. Their use of these words, however, when examined in detail, is not likely to accord with the common meanings of these terms. What person would proclaim themselves in favor of "force and fraud"? One of the little tricks Libertarians use in debate is to confuse the ordinary sense of these words with the meaning as "terms of art" in Libertarian axioms. They try to set up a situation where if you say you're against "force and fraud", then obviously you must agree with Libertarian ideology, since those are the definitions. If you are in favor of "force and fraud", well, isn't that highly immoral? So you're either one of them, or some sort of degenerate (note the cultist aspect again), one who doesn't think "force and fraud must be banished from human relationships".

Example 1

no person should initiate the use of force against another person.

Taxation is undesirable since the coercive force of the state backs it.

Do you agree, or do you disagree, that it is always wrong for one person to initiate force against another? If you disagree, then you disagree with the fundamental concept of libertarianism.

On the other hand, if you agree with the proposition, yet you still don't like the conclusions that libertarians draw from it, then we can refocus our attention on the chain of logic that leads to those conclusions and find where you feel the weak link is.

From looking at the example above you could say it's an "agree or disagree" where "initiate force" is implied to be the Libertarian definition. And it's justified by the axioms (chain of logic).

The idea that Libertarians don't believe in the initiation of force is pure propaganda. They believe in using force as much as anyone else, if they think the application is “morally correct.” “Initiation of force" is Libertarian term meaning essentially "do something improper according to Libertarian ideology". It isn't even connected much to the actions we normally think of as "force". The question being asked above was really agree or disagree, that it is always wrong for one person to do something improper according to the libertarian ideology. Liberals approve of some of the above but vehemently oppose other aspects.


Example 2

While you might be told Libertarianism is about individual rights and freedom, fundamentally, it's about business. The words "individual rights", in the context of the libertarian ideology means business.

Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals.

The whole idea of a contract is that government enforces relations among individuals. The above sentence doesn’t make sense, it's conceptually that they oppose all interference by government in the areas of government enforcing relations among individuals.

The key to understanding this, and to understanding Libertarianism itself, is to realize that their concept of individual freedom is the right to have the state protect the business. Literally freedom is slavery; the state should protect the business instead of the state protecting the person.

Personal liberty

Liberatarians claim they are for freedom. In practice this means freedom for the strong to oppress the weak. For example labor protection legislation protects ordinary workers against exploitation and arbitrary dismissal. Ordinary people have more freedom when the government protects them against richer and stronger people. Real Liberals aim to give freedom to the majority, not just to a rich minority. hypocritically libertarians pretend their philosophy is, "If I want to do something it's okay, as long as I don't harm you." In reality their philosophy is about rich people being free to exploit and harm ordinary people.

Libertarianism and Conservatism compared

Libertarians are radical in some ways and Conservative in other respects. Libertarianism is about protecting those who are already rich and powerful as is Conservatism.

Similarities

  1. Libertarians and Conservatives support each other over trying to reduce taxation for rich people who can afford to pay.
  2. Libertarians and Conservatives try and deny protection to the poor, weak and powerless as this article has shown.
  3. Libertarians and Conservatives want to prevent sick people getting proper medical care from the state if they can't afford to pay for it.
  4. Libertarians and Conservatives both try and prevent the state protecting those who have been unfortunate for reasons like economic depression and unemployment.

There have been attempts to combine Libertarianism and Social Conservatism. Llewellyn H. Rockwell argued that Libertarians should drop their wish for freedoms that are conventionally restricted and join the conservatives. Notably he opposed artistic epression that is conventionally restricted. Basically he was saying, "Become like us and join us." See Paleolibertarianism

Differences

Libertarians value freedom. All too often that means freedom for the strong to oppress the weak. Libertarians value some real freedoms as well. Many Liberatarians support the "freedom" of individals to do some things which Christian Conservatives believe are contrary to God's law. Christian Conservatives can't easily accept that.

  1. Christian Conservatives want to restrict the sexual freedom individuals have. The only acceptable sexual outlet for them is heterosexual intercourse between married couples. Libertarians want to give individuals far more freedom to determine what they do to their own bodies or what they allow other people to do to their bodies. This applies to sex and other areas. Extreme Libertarians want people to have complete control over their own bodies even if they do silly or destructive things.
  2. Christian Conservatives want to restrict access to intoxicants like alcohol, cannabis etc. Libertarians want to give individuals far more freedom to do destructive things to themselves and may overlook the harm intoxicants do, for example to other people. Strict libertarian philosophy allows individual freedom to be restricted when individuals harm others.

Conclusion

Libertarians are cultist flamers who worship business under the false pretense of loving freedom. Some who call themsleves Libertarians are nothing but conservatives who are too embarrassed to say that they're conservative because it sounds old fashioned. Others support radical ideas which Conservatives oppose. The philosophy of libertarianism might be summarized by "If I want to do something it's okay, but if you want to do it, it's not."

See also

External links

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