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View Diary: Getting It: Interstate Commerce & the New Deal (290 comments)

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  •  This Is Simple (none)
    Different libertarians obviously believe different things, but this is a pretty good basic statement:

    We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.

    This is from the big-L Libertarian site. Go look here for more.

    Liberal Thinking

    Think, liberally.

    by Liberal Thinking on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 02:19:14 AM PST

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    •  What motivates Libertarian voters (none)
      I'm not talking theory here, rather what pushes people into identifying with the LP.

      At least for Wisconsin, most members are either self-employed, or run quite small businesses. While they resent having to pay taxes, what they really hate is the amount of time spent in dealing with paying taxes, documenting expenses, and documenting compliance with all the other regulations covering their business.

      •  Its' more than that (none)
        Ive talked to libertarians across the board. A very few are republicans in sheeps clothing. But thats true of the democratic party as well.

        The common thread i find among libertarians is distrust of government, of corporations, of americas ruling class. It is distrust of those who desire power over their lives. Some its over regulation as you said. Some it is the governments desire to stick its nose into every aspect of their lives. Some distrust an armed government that wants to disarm its citizenry. Some it is the fear of the foolishness and fear-based-legistlating mobs tend to create.

        The striking thing about democrats who dont understand libertarian thinkign is that libertarians were once , and recently, a large part of the core of the democratic party.

        The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

        by cdreid on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 03:43:44 AM PST

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    •  Roads (none)
      I don't get that philosophy at all.

      Let's say I like roads. I like it when the government builds and maintains roads.

      Joe down the street hates roads - or, more accurately, he hates paying taxes which support road building and repair.

      If I vote for a politician who plans to impose a road-building tax, I've just utilized my right to exercise "sole dominion" over my life, so I've permissibly followed the first part of that credo.

      But when that politician imposes a road-building tax, he is now "forcibly interfering" with Joe's right to live however he chooses. Thus, I have impermissibly violated the second part of that credo.

      My point is that no matter what I do or desire, it will necessarily conflict with at least one other person's desires. And if I vote into office people who carry out my desires, those elected officials will necessarily "forcibly interfere" with the desires of those other people.

      There's no way to win here.

      •  I'm With You Up to the Last Point (none)
        There are plenty of things you can do that won't conflict with anyone else's rights. It's true that in a modern society it's pretty hard to make that work. That's why you don't see people migrating to the LP in droves.

        LP voters seldom make up more than 5% of any election. But if the Democratic Party wants to attract more libertarian votes, I suggest we think of ways to achieve liberal goals that don't involve government coercion. At the same time, I think we need to emphasize the coercive power of corporations and ask the question: "Would you rather have the government coerce you or a corporation? At least with the government most of those affected get a vote."

        I'd also specifically address the "right to work" issue by saying: "If everyone has a right to associate with whomever they please, then that right applies to workers just like it applies to employers. If you have a majority of workers who only want to associate with union members, that's a strong argument to give them a union."

        Libertarians strongly believe in doing the right thing. We need to be very clear about what the right thing is.

        Liberal Thinking

        Think, liberally.

        by Liberal Thinking on Wed Dec 15, 2004 at 05:12:21 PM PST

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        •  Lib (none)
          There are plenty of things you can do that won't conflict with anyone else's rights.

          I'm really not sure what those might be. Someone will always be unhappy with something I like. And even if you can think of some things, a lot of even the most "basic" things do piss other people off - like the roads example, above.

          If the simplest things that many of us expect (eg, taxes to pay for roads) infringe other people's rights, then I don't find the libertarian philosophy especially helpful in determining what's appropriate.

          •  The Hard Cruel World (none)
            Apparently 90% of people agree with you.

            Libertarianism is a great philosophy for a world with lots of room. It's hard to imagine it working in a modern large city where you can hardly breath without violating someone's rights.

            But I hardly think that you fill your day violating other people's rights. You wouldn't get invited to the family gathering at the holidays if you did.

            The value I've found in libertarianism is a point of view for looking at proposed actions. It might not be possible to put in a road using strictly libertarian principles, but it might do to ask who's rights we're paving over and what we can do about it.

            Liberal Thinking

            Think, liberally.

            by Liberal Thinking on Thu Dec 16, 2004 at 05:18:53 PM PST

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            •  Once again (none)
              Please people try actually talking to libertarians or learning something about their philosophy or.. better yet.. your government.

              Even the most hardcore libertarians strongly support a standing national army and see that as one of the core jobs of the federal government. Now.. heres the kicker.

              The federal highway system was created and is Directly descended from the need of the US military to rapidly move across the nation. Nothing indirect or hidden. The highways you travel on are designed first around military needs.

              Please please stop setting up straw horses.

              The Democratic party needs to adopt its own moral and values principles (clawed) My other Drunken ravings

              by cdreid on Thu Dec 16, 2004 at 08:12:07 PM PST

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