Debate and Discussion

Libertarians are Terrorists?
kyupol at 5:58PM, March 13, 2009
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Here it is:
http://www.news-leader.com/assets/pdf/DO131242323.PDF
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http://www.infowars.com/images/scan0023.jpg

Political Paraphernalia: Militia members most commonly associate with 3rd party groups. Its not uncommon for militia members to display Constitutional Party, Campaign for Liberty, or Libertarian material. These members are usually supporters of former Presidential Candidate: Ron Paul, Chuck Baldwin, and Bob Barr


What's wrong with being Libertarian?


Oh. I guess Big Brother doesnt like people who think this way:
http://www.cato.org/pub_display.php?pub_id=5758

Limited Government. To protect rights, individuals form governments. But government is a dangerous institution. Libertarians have a great antipathy to concentrated power, for as Lord Acton said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Thus they want to divide and limit power, and that means especially to limit government, generally through a written constitution enumerating and limiting the powers that the people delegate to government. Limited government is the basic political implication of libertarianism, and libertarians point to the historical fact that it was the dispersion of power in Europe – more than other parts of the world – that led to individual liberty and sustained economic growth.

But how can a libertarian be a terrorist if:

Peace. Libertarians have always battled the age-old scourge of war. They understood that war brought death and destruction on a grand scale, disrupted family and economic life, and put more power in the hands of the ruling class – which might explain why the rulers did not always share the popular sentiment for peace. Free men and women, of course, have often had to defend their own societies against foreign threats; but throughout history, war has usually been the common enemy of peaceful, productive people on all sides of the conflict.


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imshard at 12:47PM, March 15, 2009
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I'm afraid I don't understand the question?
Many minority parties feel as though they are being treated unfairly. In the past some parties really were treated as enemies of the state and prosecuted (like communists). Doesn't really apply to the libertarians though.

Not sure where the militia reference comes from either. The right to a militia is guaranteed regardless of its make-up. Members of militia are as varied as the general populace. A separate discussion on the role of state militias in modern society might be in order though.

I'm personally un-affiliated but would consider myself more a libertarian than anything else. Mostly because of their views on self-determination and personal choice taking precedence. They are very often considered a third party in the USA and host more members than the Green and Constitution parties. Given the number of candidates it got onto the ballot I wouldn't say libertarians are persecuted so much as they aren't given due consideration in comparison to the big two.

As far as libertarians being dangerous or active in anti-government plots? pppfffffttt. I would not take such a thing seriously and neither should you.
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last edited on July 14, 2011 12:58PM
bravo1102 at 3:16PM, March 15, 2009
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They forgot to show the Confederate Battle Flag. Some militia groups use that too.

These symbols could indicate that the person in question could be a political extremist who could believe in conspiracy theories, white supremacy, Christian fundamentalism, violent resistence to government law enforcement and should be approached with proper caution.

Just like when you see certain tatoos, bandannas and other gang related symbols.

It doesn't mean that everyone with a “Don't Tread on Me” flag is a crazed militiaman and that every Libertarian is espousing a violent resistance to the US government ala the Turner Diaries.

My local library has some good books on militias and the links to Christain Fundamentalism, white supremacy etc. And there's also Jim Marrs' latest.



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ipokino at 11:29AM, March 20, 2009
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As the 126th signatory to the ‘Covenant of Unanimous Consent’ I like to think I am Libertarian. I believe in the right to do as I please so long as it doesn't ‘Initiate’ a force against another human being. However, your (and My) rights end at the end of our noses. I may not do anything to initiate a force against another person. However…I have the implioed Right to respond with WHATEVER force I feel is necessary to prevent YOU from initiating a force against me.
It is this belief in the right to use force to prevent or forestall the initiation of force against oneself that puts Libertarians at odds with governments–who oddly…feel they have some sort of Manifest right to initiate a force against individuals as they see fit…so, that is where ‘terrorist’ gets into the picture.
In fact, ‘Libertarian’ is sort of a mis-nomer. The correct word is “Propertarian” because we believe that our Individual Rights are Property Rights–our Property, and cannot be taken from us or forced from us by any one or any group! Defending these beliefs is how we get the appellative ‘terrorist’ stuck on us.

Just a thought here…what aspect of your life, either religious, economic, sexual, familial–whatever!…do you feel a group of people has a right to get together and vote on to tell you whether or not you can do that thing? I'll bet the answer is–“Damn little!” So why isn't everyone a Propertarian? Beats me.

Also, for those of you who have ever uttered the hellish catachisym “There ought to be a law…” Just remember, every law made takes away some Right of yours–on some level–every time. I say lets repeal a law for every new law! Sounds like fun!

One last thought on this issue. The real issue here is “Freedom vs. Security” You cannot have both together. Freedom means you are free–but not safe, Safety means you are safely locked in your safe little dungeon cubicle of a life–but you are not free. Its a balancing act–keeping this nickle on its edge. Personally, I'd rather err on the side of freedom–every time!

For a read of the Covenant go to…
http://www.lneilsmith.org/new-cov.html

Also, L. Neil Smith is a good friend of mine, and his first novel, The Probability Broach has been made into a free web comic–check it out some time.
http://www.bigheadpress.com/tpbtgn
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ozoneocean at 2:34AM, March 24, 2009
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bravo1102
“Don't Tread on Me” flag
I always wondered what that was meant to be for. It's on a lot of the American warships that come here. But it's really badly painted and the “snake” looks like a talking turd. -in which case you'd be wise to take its advice.
kyupol
Peace. Libertarians have always battled the age-old scourge of war.

Peace, peace, peace…
Yeah, you know Osama Bin Laden says stuff like that too sometimes. ;)

It's **cking nonsense. Political systems depend of the people governed and the nature of events and the prevailing culture for their tone. Not the structure… Which is why communism in the Soviet Union wasn't really a worker paradise and why democracy in the U.S. is dominated by a wealthy elite. It's why Iran isn't the nice intellectual, tolerant, enlightened example to the modern Muslim world that it was supposed to be.

It could've been different in all those cases, and it was supposed to have been, but because of the people involved and the events that occurred that's what you ended up with.

Besides, in the proposed structure of libitarianisim, if you try and see how it would apply on a large scale on a practical day to day basis (many libitarian communities), you see the seeds of feudalism. ;)

The terrorist association is pretty obvious: One of the problems with the followers of that movement is that they tend to be pretty naive. Rather than just promoting the idea, they imagine that they can live by its tenants- You can't realistically do that INSIDE a country like the U.S. because you come into direct conflict with the laws of the society in which you live.
I'm being kind, they're morons really- I'm talking about the people who use the idea as justification not to obey the law, not to pay taxes etc. etc.
 
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bravo1102 at 4:00AM, March 24, 2009
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ozoneocean
bravo1102
“Don't Tread on Me” flag
I always wondered what that was meant to be for. It's on a lot of the American warships that come here. But it's really badly painted and the “snake” looks like a talking turd. -in which case you'd be wise to take its advice.

It has that long history on US Naval vessels. More importantly though the regular Gasden Flag was used by the Sons of Liberty and was supposedly the flag that the Patriots fought under at Bunker Hill.

It originally meant that whole “oppressive government leave me alone.” or “don't tread on my rights as an Englishman.” Liberty. The origins of the American War of Independence makes for some interesting reading and it's quite understandable how Libertarians and militias have adapted and perverted it.

When quoting those who wrote leading up to the AWI it usually helps to read the rest of the paragraph. :)
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kyupol at 4:48PM, March 24, 2009
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I could imagine a government that is Libertarian in nature.

What could it be like to live under such a government?
- Very low taxes. Only enough to maintain a decent-size police force and military only enough to deal with internal and external threats.
Its not gonna be too many cops out there writing tickets and harrassing you. No more extra bureaucracies to regulate each and every aspect of your life. No more cameras everywhere that violate your privacy.

- Any crime that has no victim is not a crime. You can smoke pot, you can CHOOSE not wear seatbelts.

- Because of very low taxes, people have more money to spend. Therefore boosting the economy. Its a cycle. As people spend more, profits go up therefore more money to expand and hire people therefore generating employment.

- Very low poverty rate due to very low taxes. Its taxes that create poverty.

- Very low crime rate due to the average citizen being allowed to carry firearms. Burglars, rapists, serial killers, gang members, etc. would have to think twice. Or else they risk getting KILLED. Same thing applies to foreign invaders. Any foreign aggressor will have to deal with an armed population in a guerilla conflict. It doesnt matter if you have space alien technology. An armed population is an armed population.

- The government would be so small that any control freak (or group of control freaks) cannot do anything. A government that can redistribute wealth can also take everything away.

- Most of the population would be self-sufficient.

- A very prosperous society will follow as ideas will be free to flow. No censorship. Nothing to imprison the minds of the people.

- In short, this place is heaven.
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ozoneocean at 12:21AM, March 25, 2009
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bravo1102
It has that long history on US Naval vessels..
etc
Ah ha! Sounds interesting. The versions of the flag I saw were usually terrible. Terrible, terrible, terrible.
They were am embarrassment to the sentiment behind it and the “snake” as it was depicted did nothing but deface the U.S. flag in a disgraceful fashion. -_-

But I have seen some better versions. It's just a shame that while those idiot militia hijack the meaning (like British skinheads and the St George cross), bad designers have hijacked its production.

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kyupol
- In short, this place is heaven.
lol!

Oh yeah Kyupol, it's the same amazingly over optimistic fairytale wishful thinking the early Russian communists had. Sorry man, but in practise, that would NOT happen. If you want to see how a system like this would work, try and think of the possible bad sides as well to give yourself a balanced image. Then think about how willing people would be to follow it (all different types of people AND business), and how easy (or not) it would be to replace the current political system with this one- and what would happen when you did because of what you started with and how you started it.
 
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megan_rose at 12:30AM, March 25, 2009
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No system of government will ever live up to it's ideal potential because people are corrupt, especially those who want power. It's a no-win situation. So we just have to try and do the best we can, and hope that a few good people make it into office.
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DAJB at 2:30AM, March 25, 2009
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A Libertarian Government would, as soon as it became a government and not just a group of unaffiliated idealists, be as repressive as any other.

As soon as any group of individuals started to disagree with them or abuse their freedoms, the government would have to take action against them in order to protect the principles they believe everyone else should live by.

Those are just the facts of human nature as translated into politics.
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kyupol at 6:39AM, March 25, 2009
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Oh yeah Kyupol, it's the same amazingly over optimistic fairytale wishful thinking the early Russian communists had. Sorry man, but in practise, that would NOT happen. If you want to see how a system like this would work, try and think of the possible bad sides as well to give yourself a balanced image. Then think about how willing people would be to follow it (all different types of people AND business), and how easy (or not) it would be to replace the current political system with this one- and what would happen when you did because of what you started with and how you started it.

Communism sounds like a good idea. Everyone is equal.

However, the mistake of communism is the extremely large size of government. A government big enough to redistribute wealth is a government that is big enough to take it all from you.

If you look at stories of North Korean escapees who have lived in the South as well as the USA, they still say that the North Korea of Kim Il Sung is still better than the South and the USA. Maybe Kim Il Sung was good? It could be true but the size of his government is what made his son and a few other control freaks get total power.

The principle of libertarianism is to shrink government so much that any control freak (or group of) will not be able to project power.

As far as this idea is concerned, it wont just happen until a majority of people are aware of it and would want it. Because government and big business interests are working hard to take away your freedoms in the quest of power, motivated by greed.


A Libertarian Government would, as soon as it became a government and not just a group of unaffiliated idealists, be as repressive as any other.

As soon as any group of individuals started to disagree with them or abuse their freedoms, the government would have to take action against them in order to protect the principles they believe everyone else should live by.

So far, the only crime in a libertarian society is a crime that infringes upon the rights of others. You know, things such as murder, rape, robbery, assault, calling for PHYSICAL VIOLENCE against a target group, etc.

Therefore things like drug use and seatbelt use will not be touched on by the government. As well as the right of people to criticize other groups – You have the right to criticize ANYONE (Blacks, Whites, Asians, Jews, Catholics, Muslims, Scientologists, gays, etc) as long as there's no calls for violence on the target group. No such thing as “anti-hate legislation” that sets precedent on telling you what you can and cannot say.

The only purpose of the government would be to protect the freedom of the people. And being small in size, even if it were to become repressive, it won't be as effective at oppressing the people as much as a big government.

Because tying down the hands of government is the key, the people SHOULD BE educated in the tactics that governments use in order to get an excuse to expand itself.

Things like these should be taught in schools otherwise its not a true Libertarian government:
- Problem-Reaction-Solution / inside job / staged terror attacks
- Playing up on fears. (Oh its the drunk drivers, oh its the gang members, oh its the poverty, omg we must do something!!! Quick!!! Give me more power so I can fix it!!! We need more cops!!! More soldiers!!! More cameras on the street!!! To keep you safe!!! OMG!!! We need to regulate what people can eat and what cars they should drive!!! In the name of the most holy Global Warming!!! We need to stop people from saying discriminatory comments!!! Because we need to protect the blacks, jews, minorities, gays, etc!!! BECAUSE WE LOVE THEM!!! We need to absolutely ban guns and pepper sprays and certain knives!!! Omg the shootings the shootings the shootings and the assaults and the stabbings!!! Its to keep you safe dammit!!! TRUST THE GOVERNMENT!!! CUZ WE LOVE YOU!!! PAY US MORE TAXES TO MAKE US BIGGER BECAUSE ITS FOR YOUR OWN GOOD AND TO KEEP YOU SAFE!!! :) )
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DAJB at 7:13AM, March 25, 2009
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kyupol
DAJB
A Libertarian Government would, as soon as it became a government and not just a group of unaffiliated idealists, be as repressive as any other.

As soon as any group of individuals started to disagree with them or abuse their freedoms, the government would have to take action against them in order to protect the principles they believe everyone else should live by.
So far, the only crime in a libertarian society is a crime that infringes upon the rights of others.
Sure, but so far they aren't in power, so they can keep their principles vague. When it comes to actually passing laws, interpretation is everything and that is, by definition, very subjective. Who's to say what constitutes an infringement of the rights of another? I'm sure every government would argue that its laws are only there to protect the rights of others.

Does drug use affect others? You seem to be arguing that it doesn't. What about the victims of drug-related crime? Should a society just wait until after someone has been attacked or robbed and then rely on the law to deal with that crime? I suspect the majority of people would actually prefer a law which is designed to prevent the crime happening in the first place.

As for seat-belt use, even that can be argued to have its victims. A person thrown through the windscreen of a car, rather than being injured, obviously has no possibility of bringing that car under control, thereby probably causing the death and/or injury of others - passengers, pedestrians and other motorists.

It's very easy to say that the only laws should be those which are designed to protect others. In practice, everyone will have a different opinion on what laws actually meet that criteria. So, how do you decide? Do you set up committees? Well, that's fine, but that's pretty much the system we have now. And you'd still have to deal with the problem of those who disagree with the committee's interpretation and believe they should be allowed to do what they want anyway.


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bravo1102 at 7:43AM, March 25, 2009
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Any government needs to make unpopular decisions and have to deal with the lawless. It's when government tries to take care of people as opposed to people taking care of themselves that the libertarians want to change.

The libertarian model is early 19th Century America. Thomas Jefferson's democracy and Andrew Jackson's self-reliance. But that was a pre-industrial mostly rural world with horrible urban conditions and parts of cities were ruled by gangs. Everyone had guns and enforced the laws among themselves, but that doesn't always work as the population grows and groups more ruthlessly exploit others. You want true liberetarianism? Get rid of money. Someone is only worth as much as they can produce and exchange with others. True village communism. (Historical Irony that the Soviet Communists had to destroy the true communism of the Russian village to press their version of communism)

As for seatbelts: let the idiots who won't wear them die. Present their next of kin with Darwin Awards. I only survived my last two car accidents because of wearing a seatbelt. You don't want to wear one? If you choose not to wear a seat belt medical care will be withheld as you brought it on yourself. Personal responsibility.

You want true libertariansim? Personal responsibility. You mess up, it's all upon you.
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imshard at 10:37AM, March 25, 2009
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bravo1102
You want true libertariansim? Personal responsibility. You mess up, it's all upon you.

I would love it if people would accept their own liability. Truthfully its a legal precedent for a logical conclusion. To me you are ultimately responsible for your own conduct. Coercion and extenuating circumstances are cute diversions to the point but it still stands.

Really the Bill of rights and significant portions of the constitution are devoted to Libertarian ideals of personal choice and self determination. True libertarianism holds that you should have complete control over all aspects of your life within your personal domain, and your rights only stop where they would impinge on the rights of another.

Realistically there well and should be limits to that kind of unrestricted lateral thinking. Even so, as far as basic principles of government go elevating personal freedom isn't too bad.

Libertarians don't aim to overthrow or replace the government. They just have a different idea of how to run the one we have. Namely in a way that guarantees your civil liberties, and balances it against government stability. Its an ideology and political view to be understood and respected the same as those of the majority parties.
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ozoneocean at 11:30PM, March 25, 2009
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imshard
Libertarians don't aim to overthrow or replace the government. They just have a different idea of how to run the one we have. Namely in a way that guarantees your civil liberties, and balances it against government stability. Its an ideology and political view to be understood and respected the same as those of the majority parties.
Practically that can't work though with the system and the bureaucratic structures (at ALL levels) that are currently in place.
The political idealist is a fool…

But there are grades. It's fair enough just to prefer judges to lean to a more libertarian way of thinking when making a judgement, and for politicians to do the same when drafting new laws and policy- Not to change things to BE more libertarian, which would be destructive, but to have a libertarian outlook. (It's not the same thing, BTW, the difference is not subtle).
In that it's the same as when people prefer governments and judges to be a little more socialist: they don't want to change it to a socialist system, they just want people to bring a socialist perspective to bear on the same sorts of decisions.
 
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bravo1102 at 5:23AM, March 26, 2009
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In the US judical history it's kind of easy to sum it up quickly: John Marshall as opposed to Thurgood Marshall. The differences between the two are good examples of what ozone is talking about.

I'd love a strict constructionist court that supports states' rights and declares half of the current federal government unconstitutional. But that's as likely as my idea for revolution with fitting a guillotine in the back of a pick-up truck, driving around and beheading everybody who needs it. :)
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StaceyMontgomery at 8:00AM, March 26, 2009
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It seems to me that most people are libertarian minded, until we get to specifics. But we all have different specifics that matter to us. I mean, say “lets keep the government out of our hair” and that sounds good to me. But one of my concerns is pollution. Everything is cheaper and easier without pollution controls. It's always cheaper to dump waste than to process it. So I want real controls on pollution, and I want government agencies to monitor and enforce those laws. So my pollution ideas aren't all that Libertarian.

Or, i know a guy who is very libertarian, except that he's a big US military supporter. He wants the US military to continue to be huge and powerful - and that means expensive. So he's a libertarian except he wants us all to be taxed for a really strong defense, and he wants the military and the FBI to be able to “ignore” any civil liberties that get in their way.

It just seems to me that most of the Libertarians I meet eventually confess to wanting something big and expensive and intrusive that only government can do. And once we put together all of our exceptions, we have the modern world.

So it seems to me that what we need is something more than just a philosophy that says “less government,” we need smart new ways to balance out the difference desires/needs that we all have in a libertarian way.

Because I don't want to live in a Soviet style system where the government does everything badly - but neither do I want to live in Somalia, where people are free from the problem of government all together.
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ipokino at 9:29AM, March 27, 2009
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Again, I repeat–Freedom vs. Security. It is a balancing act. Kyupol–I love ya though! Your head is in the right place.
As much as I wish we had a Libertarian Society–I don't see the general population ready to accept the responsibility to achieve it…and truthfully…that has to be the first step.
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ozoneocean at 8:57PM, March 27, 2009
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ipokino
As much as I wish we had a Libertarian Society–I don't see the general population ready to accept the responsibility to achieve it…and truthfully…that has to be the first step.
So how would you prevent another libertarian community from invading and taking over YOUR particular little libertarian community?
-That's if we go the whole hog- you couldn't have an executive government regulating all with its police etc. In fact while all the small communities might have a shared army to deal with outside threats, a police force for internal issues would be an anathema!
 
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bravo1102 at 7:50AM, March 28, 2009
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The closest model again is colonial to mid 19th century America especially the frontier. A county sheriff who would deputize as necessary even doing so long distance. Minor infractions are taken care of at the community level (a lot closer than many realize)

And that universal militia as set up by various state/colony militia laws and now whose wraithlike shadow remains in the Second Amendment. It worked after a fashion in colonial America but every time there was trouble man, did they ever whine to get “regular” troops! But accept the taxation and quartering that goes with regular troops? NO! But, but the British regular just won the war you started and we have to pay for it… NO TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION! (The accepted thesis for the origins of that American War of Independence, but we Americans tried to create and keep that libertarian republic, but we couldn't keep it just as Franklin predicted)

A libertarian society did exist. But could it exist in today's enviornment and can people be weaned off of the government teat?

I wholeheartedly support kyupol's scheme, but I also accept that it can only be a scheme. :( Unless we can replace the American of 2009 with the one from 1809. (The one that really existed, not the cloud cuckoo Hollywood icon most Conservative types hold on to.)
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CDarklock at 11:46AM, April 2, 2009
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It just seems to me that most of the Libertarians I meet eventually confess to wanting something big and expensive and intrusive that only government can do. And once we put together all of our exceptions, we have the modern world.

The big problem I've always had with Libertarians is the lack of real-world solutions. They seem to think you can yank out a “non-functioning” part of the government, nothing else will collapse as a result, and the free market will provide a superior private-sector replacement almost immediately.

It never seems to occur to them that they may not entirely understand the function of that part of the government, that other important things may be unable to operate without it, that the free market may only provide a comparable or even inferior replacement, or that the replacement may not appear for a very long time. When you suggest this, they handwave it as a lack of faith.

I've always liked the idea of a systematic privatisation initiative. One by one, take all the various government agencies, and slowly spin them out into private for-profit ventures susceptible to competition. When we did this with the postal service, the postal service got a lot better AND we got a nice selection of alternate mail carriers from the private sector. Nothing collapsed, and things got better. I think that model can be repeated with other agencies.
last edited on July 14, 2011 11:39AM

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