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Subject: Libertarianism rss

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Philip Thomas
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Libertarians believe in the liberty of each individual to do what they wish without the interference of government as long as they are not using physical force against another. They also believe that government has no right to take things from some people (by force) and give them to other people. The main concepts are that the government has no right to use force (nor does anyone else) to get what they want from a person who disagrees with the matter. The philosophy stems from the belief that you own your property, and have the right to do what you wish with it, and that no one else has any greater right than you in deciding what you do with it. Much of these values in the US stem from the founders of this country and its constitution.


From a geeklist discussion...

laughlaughlaugh

Such a hilarious concept! The idea that you or your property exist independent of the government..laugh

The governement provides healthcare, education, defence, transport infrastructure, and the legal system that makes what you call "your property" yours, to the people of your country. They are all public goods. Ultimately the whole system can only be sustained by force. So the government has every right to use force in individual cases, and indeed should do so if the circumstances warrant it.
 
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Jon
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one out of five, maybe.
 
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robin goblin
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Libertarianism is a sad joke masquerading as a political philosophy....

Now give me anarchism any day!

Robin
 
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Tim Thomas
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Libertarians do in fact believe that the government has a right to interfere if the circumstances warrant it. The core of this philosophy is that people should not be subject to the initiation of force. The government should enact and enforce laws that defend us from others using force against us. Those are the circumstances where a libertarian believes that government intervention is indeed warranted.
 
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J
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Philip Thomas wrote:
The governement provides healthcare


really?? not for me it doesn't.
 
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Jorge Montero
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I'll take Manhattan in a garbage bag. With Latin written on it that says "It's hard to give a shit these days"
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Phillip is from this fabled land called Europe, where people don't go bankrupt due to medical bills. When I first moved here, I was pretty surprised to hear that about 50% personal bankrupcies are caused by 5 digit hospital bills. Being used to $5 prescriptions and free surgery, I was quite shocked.

 
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Philip Thomas
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The government provides healthcare for the poor, which is a public good (because diseases are no respecters of persons, poor people getting ill is a problem for non-poor people too).

 
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robin goblin
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Oh no Phillip, you've misunderstood. In Libertarian fantasy world, there is a big bubble between the Libertarian Successful Loveydoveys and All Those Bad Poor People Who Are Justly Deserving of their Horrible Fate!
 
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pronoblem baalberith
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Koldfoot wrote:
No slight intended Philip, but discussing libertarianism with someone from a European nanny state is kind of like discussing the right to keep and bear arms with someone from Massachusetts.

The frame of reference just isn't there.


Thst is such a stupid thing to say... Why would you make such a prejudiced comment about Massachusetts?
 
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Dave Lartigue
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http://www.junker.org/~nickp/lib.html
 
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pronoblem baalberith
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Koldfoot wrote:
Good question. I might get defensive if I was from Massachusetts.


Not "defensive", just curious as to why... and pointing out the prejudice. I have met very few real liberals in Massacusetts. Democrats are not "liberals" in the classical sense.

Koldfoot wrote:
Mitt does not have 1/8 the name recognition of any of the folks I mentioned, nor is he much more than a tepid conservative, but by northeast liberal standards he is akin to Genghis Khan.


Why would they elect someone they would equate with Genghis Khan? That does not make sense.

I live in Massachusetts, and I am far more of a leftist than the majority of people that I meet here. As far as who we send to congress, the only one that can actually call a leftist is Kennedy.

...and as far as gun rights, the 2nd amendment:... " A well regulated militia" has nothing to do with having an FID or a permit to carry, etc. In the spirit of the 2nd Amendment we should be able to arm ourselves with grenades, machine guns, tanks, body armor etc. I personally would not stop at permits to carry and lifting assault weapons bans. I think we should be able to go to Wal-Mart and buy a six-pack of grenades and ammo for our pick-up truck mounted 50 cal machine guns along with our socks and underwear. For the 2nd Amendment to be meaningful in the sense that it was written we need to be able to protect ourselves, have a balance with a potential tyrannical rule & its military and potentially take arms up against that rule then we need to be better armed that what it currently provides.
 
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Robert Washington
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Such a hilarious concept! The idea that you or your property exist independent of the government..laugh


Actually, your concept is even more hilarious - as if the United States Government voting to dissolve itself would literally lead to me and my property winking out of existence! laugh laugh laugh

Or perhaps you're suggesting we'd merely be forced to relocate? laugh laugh

I guess that's why all the Russians are moving - they have to, if they don't, they'll just disappear! laugh

 
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JEREMY PAQUETTE
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Massachusetts becomes significantly more rural and conservative the farther west you go... and pronoblem is dead-on correct about Massachusetts liberalism not necessarily being 'liberal'. While you'll find many social liberals in Boston, this isn't particularly unusual in any major city. Many older voters in Massachusetts vote Democratic due to still-strong allegiances towards unions in the state. Labor, while weakened, is still a strong pull for many. Many of these voters aren't what I would consider socially liberal. However the combined strength of the two groups in comparison to anti-labor/conservative Christian factions serves to make the state decidedly Democratic. Frankly I think the reputation of Massachusetts as being some kind of socialist haven and 'Taxachussetts' etc. is just a clever political marketing ploy that has played well outside of Massachusetts.
 
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Philip Thomas
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I am proud of being a European and having state-provided public goods, even if I raise an eyebrow at the term "nanny state"

If the governement didn't exist I would not have been born, or treated for my mental illness, or have benefited from a universtity education. Most of my aquaintances would not have been born nor educated at primary or secondary level, nor treated for illness. There would be no forces of law and order to protect the 'property rights' we hold so dear. Without mass education, healthcare and social security, the poor would pose significant threat to the wealthy, and as you have conveniently abolished the armed forces, there really isn't much you can do about it! So, yes if the government winked out of existence, you would have difficulty retaining your property, and if all the things affected by the government also dematerialised, there wouldn't be much property left.
 
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JEREMY PAQUETTE
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I stand corrected. Apparently there is a strong gun-culture in Massachusetts, my example was entirely in error.


Unfortunately considering the number of recent shootings in Boston all the guns have gotten into the hands of the entirely wrong group of people. So far this year no hunting accidents involving elected officials, though.

 
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Jon
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Koldfoot wrote:
jmilum wrote:
Philip Thomas wrote:
The governement provides healthcare


really?? not for me it doesn't.


You will note that Philip is from the UK.

No slight intended Philip, but discussing libertarianism with someone from a European nanny state is kind of like discussing the right to keep and bear arms with someone from Massachusetts.

The frame of reference just isn't there.




I'll bite.

Massachusetts is a perfect place for this talk, and I'm glad you chose it as your trolling-bait.

The right to keep and bear arms was put into the Constitution so that the common people could throw off a tyrannical government.

The US got its freedom by armed militias (in Massachusetts) fighting against their government.

The ability to do so again is what the 2nd amendment supports.

But we do not really have that. We-the-people don't have machine guns, tanks, mines, napalm, jets, smart missiles, tactical nukes, or any of the other "peacekeeping tools" that our government has, uses, and would put to use on us to squelch a rebellion.

The Second amendment is obsolete for the purpose it was intended. Now its main use is as something for people who like to have guns to point to in order to validate their personal choices, and to hide behind rather than rethink their own ideas.

Your dismissal of Philip (because he's European) as being incapable of understanding your point of view is shocking, since it is coming from you, an intelligent person. Your crap opinion is incorrect, and you may not want to defend it or rethink it, but it was a pity to see you cop out in such a bigoted way.
 
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Tim Franklin
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Koldfoot wrote:

I figured I would get jumped on for my comment about European nanny states.


OK, I may regret this, but I'll bite devil

As far as I can make out, you guys still pay taxes. In fact, to add insult to injury, your government makes you do all the hard work of assessing your own taxes. (In the UK, and to the best of my knowledge most of Europe, standard income tax is calculated by the employer and deducted at source. Individuals only fill out tax returns if they are self-employed, own their own business, or have significant sources of income (major share-holder etc) outside of their primary wage / salary. None of this frantic receipt hoarding / calulator pushing / form filling.)

However derogatory you want to make "nanny state" sound, at least we get something back for it beyond the right to be better at invading liberating random foreign countries...

Personally, I don't think "nanny state" is rightly applied to taxing everyone to make sure that basic facilities are available to all. (Not saying they're necessarily always provided correctly in the UK, but we're trying to provide the right things.) If those who earn more want to pay for a better standard (private healthcare, private pensions, drive a car instead of using public transport, buy books instead of using public libraries), that's great - and being able to do some of those things is an encouragement to try and better yourself - but asking everyone to contribute to make sure there's a safety net for the poorest in society seems like basic human decency to me, not nannying.


 
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Philip Thomas
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Do libertarians support the "right to bear arms"? Seems to be against their principles about force...

Anyway, pelican, I think the US does actually have extensive state-funded welfare programmes in place, just not quite as universal as ours. I haven't done any studies on it though. Of course, you are right, it is awfully decent of us to provide them, but it is also in our direct personal interest, that being the nature of a public good.meeple
 
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Jon
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Do libertarians support the "right to bear arms"? Seems to be against their principles about force...



yeah, they think it's a crime deterrent!


no, they're only against people using force against them.
and if you try, they will shoot you.
 
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Robert Washington
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Philip Thomas wrote:
If the governement didn't exist I would not have been born, or treated for my mental illness, or have benefited from a universtity education.


Okay for you, though I have to wonder what your mother thinks about that little pronouncement...

I'm quite certain I would have been born regardless of whether or not my government existed, but hey, you needed a Government instead of, yknow, sperm in order to germinate, whatever, not that there's anything wrong with that, alternatives to regular sex are cool with me...as far as the rest, if you genuinely believe you required a government in order to be born, I have to say I for one am not seeing any evidence the latter 2 have actually been, how shall we say, "properly executed if at all". laugh

Philip Thomas wrote:

Most of my aquaintances would not have been born nor educated at primary or secondary level, nor treated for illness.


Again, the idea they wouldn't have been born at all strikes me as ludicrous, and if your friends agree with you on this whole "I need a government in order to be born" thing, again, I have strong doubts towards the idea their educational and/or psychological needs have been properly met, as it were.

Philip Thomas wrote:

There would be no forces of law and order to protect the 'property rights' we hold so dear.


And here's another area where your argument shows itself as ludicrous - the idea that law and order wouldn't exist in no way prevent said rights and property from existing, nor the individuals.

Philip Thomas wrote:

Without mass education, healthcare and social security, the poor would pose significant threat to the wealthy,


...frankly, the idea that's not the situation right now is...laugh laugh ...well, let's just say you're beginning to become paradoxical: The "deeper" we get into your reasoning, the shallower it becomes...laugh laugh

Philip Thomas wrote:

and as you have conveniently abolished the armed forces, there really isn't much you can do about it!


Actually, I never abolished anything, and besides, who the heck would want to call the ARMY up when someone steals your CAR?

Sgt. Steelguts: "We got 'em, we got 'em...Call in an AIRSTRIKE!
YOU: "Hey! I just want my car back!"
Sgt. Steelguts: "THIS IS WAR, son...ya can't expect us to take out an omelet without chopping some scallions!"

Philip Thomas wrote:

So, yes if the government winked out of existence, you would have difficulty retaining your property,


But that's not what you said, your intimation was it "wouldn't exist". Also, I spoke of the government voting itself out of existence, something that in theory might happen, - it's your model demanding the government somehow "disappear"

Philip Thomas wrote:
and if all the things affected by the government also dematerialised, there wouldn't be much property left.


laugh Well yes, but that's "begging the question" - you have yet to establish that anything's actually going to disappear, that's the issue.

Governments are currently the most popular means by which we define and enforce our rights and protect our property, but the idea the existence of our rights, our property, or ourselves are in any way dependent on the Government is as simpleminded as the idea we can get along without it, which of course is the definition of anarchy.

I appreciate that whether or not you have it within yourself to come to grips with it, some portion of the difference of opinion may indeed be cultural - here in the States, we're quite big on the idea rights like property are intrinsic; that is, they exist as such whether or not a Government chooses to recognize and/or enforce them, and whether or not a Government exists to protect or enforce them at all. Thus we're not as big on the idea we "owe" any Government, our own or anyone else's, for granting us that which is ours by default.

Without the individuals to respect and grant it authority, governments are as helpless as any individual wihtout one; in fact even more so, since an individual with no government does have some ability to create and enforce their own rights but a government with no one to subscribe to it is...well, pretty much where anarchy is now - just an amusing speculation.

So no, if there was no UK Government, you'd exist and so would all your friends and so would all our stuff. You might not be as well-educated or as mentally fit, but like I said, based solely on what you've offered here so far, it's hard not to speculate you might have been better off with no government at all on both points...
 
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Robert Washington
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Philip Thomas wrote:
Do libertarians support the "right to bear arms"? Seems to be against their principles about force...

Anyway, pelican, I think the US does actually have extensive state-funded welfare programmes in place, just not quite as universal as ours.


"Extensive" would be an pretty significant overstatement, given that

- while medical costs and a meager food stipend are offered to the working poor and seniors, income limits keep anyone making anything somewhat better than minumum wage from receiving anything

- actual money, rent and utility stipends are currently limited to a total maximum of 2 years time, less in some states

- attendence in employment education programs and job search assistence in mandatory, and all benefits are cut off the instant you acheive any form of employment whatsoever...

"Welfare" to most people here refers to some state where people get sit around collecting money until they decide to get a job, and nowadays, if you can't literally prove you're out there every daytrying to get work, you don't eat...
 
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pronoblem baalberith
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Koldfoot wrote:
I stand corrected. Apparently there is a strong gun-culture in Massachusetts, my example was entirely in error. I also note that John Kerry, Michael Dukakis, Barney Frank, and Tip O'Neal are not liberal, they are merely Democrats. Middle of the road Democrats at that.


That's OK. I figured you made the comment out of ignorance, not being from Mass yourself, and listening to the media to base your opinion. As far your list of characters, you should exclude Michael Dukakis and and Tip O'Neal as its been a while since those cats had anything to do with politics. As far as Kerry, his voting record has him very middle of the road. You might want to add centrist Repubs that win sentate and gov seats in the state like Conti & Weld in the past and Romney our current gov.
 
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Robert Washington
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tim-pelican wrote:

OK, I may regret this, but I'll bite devil

As far as I can make out, you guys still pay taxes. In fact, to add insult to injury, your government makes you do all the hard work of assessing your own taxes. (In the UK, and to the best of my knowledge most of Europe, standard income tax is calculated by the employer and deducted at source. Individuals only fill out tax returns if they are self-employed, own their own business, or have significant sources of income (major share-holder etc) outside of their primary wage / salary. None of this frantic receipt hoarding / calulator pushing / form filling.)


Actually, that's exactly the way it works here in the States - the people you refer to do what they do in order to prove their expenses are higher than the Government estimates of same and thus pay less; we're required to turn in a form, but a simple one-off form where one essentially agrees the government's estimates of your income and expenses are correct is always available. So all the agony you refer to is entirely voluntary in nature, thanks much.

tim-pelican wrote:

However derogatory you want to make "nanny state" sound, at least we get something back for it beyond the right to be better at invading liberating random foreign countries...


We have highways, mail, and libraries here in the U.S. too, so don't get all smug about it...

 
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Philip Thomas
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There was of course an element of hyberbole in my statement.

I wouldn't have been born because my parents wouldn't have met, because they wouldn't have gone to (state-funded) university. Although it is also true that my father would not have survived his (very premature) birth had his parents only had access to such healthcare as they could personally afford.

More generally, many births these days take place within (State-funded) hospitals, and as a result the infant mortality rate is much lower than a hundred years ago. Even outside of hospital, midwifes (who have been trained by the state) assist in births, and there is all sorts of (state-funded) help available to pregnant women.

Your rights to your property are defined by law and have meaning within a complex society which is partially dependent upon the state. Without the state, force is the only legitimising weapon available.

Yes, the poor do pose that threat, right now. But the state protects us from it.

You would need the armed forces to protect against revolution, which is the threat I was tallking about.

Hmm, what I meant to intimate was that we owe most our current situation to the government. Obviously if the government were to somehow abolish itself, we wouldn't cease to be. It would just get much more difficult from then on.

Property rights are not intrinsic: there is no way to tell who has rights to what property from first principles. The existence of the state makes possible a complex society in which 'property rights' can have some meaning.

Government is indeed completely dependent on individuals: it is a symbiotic relationship.







 
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Robert Washington
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Philip Thomas wrote:
There was of course an element of hyberbole in my statement.


If you mean the way "potatoes' are in element in "chips", perhaps...

Philip Thomas wrote:

I wouldn't have been born because my parents wouldn't have met, because they wouldn't have gone to (state-funded) university. Although it is also true that my father would not have survived his (very premature) birth had his parents only had access to such healthcare as they could personally afford.


Still pretty speculative on both counts - so maybe they'd have met at a non-state-funded university they went to on a private scholarship, but it's a bit thick to say it just couldn't have been. And don't sell private healthcare short - plenty of preemies are born here in the states where the healthcare we personally can afford is all we have, and our birth rates are comparable to yours.

So again, I have to reject the notion Government intervention is somehow critical to your situation or anyone else's as far as birth or anything else - if you had no state sponsored healthcare, you'd get by on the healthcare you can purchase via collective effort, the way we do here.

Philip Thomas wrote:

Your rights to your property are defined by law and have meaning within a complex society which is partially dependent upon the state. Without the state, force is the only legitimising weapon available.


I believe you began by intimating force is the primary legitimizing weapon within the state, so there's not much difference here.

Philip Thomas wrote:

Yes, the poor do pose that threat, right now. But the state protects us from it.


But you just admitted in the absence of the state we'd still have force, which you also began by inferring is all the state uses to enforce itself - not much reason not to cut out the middleman and just do for yourself here.

Philip Thomas wrote:

You would need the armed forces to protect against revolution, which is the threat I was tallking about.


But if there's no government anymore, by definition there could be no revolution, which brings us back to the "who needs an army" part. Also, you're on dicey ground with the idea revolution is something we need "protection" from on this side of the pond - keep in mind we actually have portions of our Founding Structural Documents that specifically insure our ability to revolt should we the people see a need for same.

Philip Thomas wrote:

Hmm, what I meant to intimate was that we owe most our current situation to the government. Obviously if the government were to somehow abolish itself, we wouldn't cease to be. It would just get much more difficult from then on.


Now you're getting somewhere.

Philip Thomas wrote:

Property rights are not intrinsic: there is no way to tell who has rights to what property from first principles. The existence of the state makes possible a complex society in which 'property rights' can have some meaning.


I believe you need to look over your definitions, sirrah; anything labeled a "right" is indeed intrinsic. That which only exists as a benefit of the state is called privilege.

Philip Thomas wrote:

Government is indeed completely dependent on individuals: it is a symbiotic relationship.


Yes, but again, if you believe rights are intrinsic, then the idea you "owe" the state anything for recognizing them is unacceptable.

IOW, I need a government for a lot of things, including the enforcement of my rights, but I have never have needed them to "let me have them", rather it's government's task to do a decent enough job in defining and enforcing my rights to my satisfaction lest I and my fellows decide to revolt.



 
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