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View Diary: Hey You Libertarians! Get Off My Blog. (302 comments)

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  •  The problem is the golden rule (2+ / 0-)
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    Philoguy, VA Classical Liberal

    He who has the gold, makes the rules.  While you might hope that:

    In reality, many segments of society are given very few  choices and government is needed to help them have more choices.

    Inevitably, the powerful get access to the reins of government to direct them to further their goals.  Regulation gets perverted to preserving the status quo.  Tax money gets handed out to rich corporations, corporate farms etc.

    While corporations can leave you with few choices, only the government has access to actual force.  By encouraging that access, you give the powerful access to it as well.  Microsoft cannot make you buy Windows, you can run Lynix, but you must buy car insurance in many states or the government will take your car away.

    •  If you create Levers of Power (1+ / 0-)
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      Someone will put their hands on them.  So limit the number of levers there are.

      BTW, it's Linux and I agree with manditory car insurance.  Manditory car insurance to use a public resource is OK.  It's enforcing the Non-aggression Principle (now there's a bit of liber jargon) by making sure you have the recsources to take responsiblilty for your actions.

      Results count for more than intentions do.

      by VA Classical Liberal on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 05:21:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  OTOH, if We the People don't grab those levers (1+ / 0-)
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        ...of power, then we leave them free for the superclass to control -- or even to create. The principle of subsidiarity is great in theory, but in a world with enormous transnational corporations, we've seen what happens from too few populist demands on the central government. It creates a power vacuum that leads to the neo-feudalism of unfettered private power, and worse, to the crony capitalism of corporate welfare.

        I also believe we must impeach Antonin Scalia for protection from his inhumanity.

        by SciVo on Sat Jul 26, 2008 at 05:55:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Excellent comment... (1+ / 0-)
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      VA Classical Liberal

      although I'm sympathetic to libertarianism in that I think the goal of any politics should be the realization of freedom, it seems to me that libertarians are often misguided in who they target where questions of regulation are concerned.  Rather than targeting large businesses and corporations, they instead target little folk struggling to regulate these things...  To regulate the working day, working conditions, wages, benefits, environmental standards, health care, amount of vacation time, child care (something not even on the table despite our divorce rates and the fact that we now have an equal number of men and women working), etc., etc.  Libertarians consistently side with the corporate interests in these cases over the interest of the rest of us who labor within these entities.  What they seem to miss is that these extremely powerful entities use government to their advantage, setting up all sorts of loopholes and regulations in their interests and to the detriment of the vast majority of people.  

      At the end of the day, libertarianism seems to be based on a sort of Malthusian fantasy that is very common in America:  That if we only work really hard we'll become fabulously wealthy.  The problem is that in their focus on isolated and abstract individuals, the libertarian ignores social structures and systems and misses the way in which the system is rigged from the beginning to insure that privilege continues among a certain segment of the population while the vast majority of the population is left out.  Sure, there are exceptions.  We'll always have stories of Dave Thomas or Colonel Sanders.  But they are the exception, not the rule and it makes little political sense for the rest of us to struggle to treat the exception as the rule.  Libertarianism is an elegant political theory that is logically consistent, but it is also one that ignore a whole body of sociological truths about how the social world works and about the nature of why certain economic patterns repeat themselves.  Third world countries don't exist in situations of horrific poverty because they haven't heeded the market enough...  Rather they are direct products of the market.

      That said, I've never understood arguments that reject libertarianism on the grounds that it's selfish.  I am a progressive precisely because I'm selfish and following my self-interest.  I understand that following my self-interest involves forming collectives that can leverage pressure on extremely wealthy entities that have more access than myself.

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