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Here is my initial disclosure: I am a dues-paying member of the Campaign for Liberty. Bob Barr was my top choice for president in 2008. I once attended a tea party. I am a libertarian.

I have come at the behest of my evil masters to mislead and ensnare you innocent progressives. Follow me as I lure you into my trap...

So now that you are reading, I want to point a few things out. I have been posting here since the beginning of summer I think, I can't really remember. I know I wrote my first diary in July. I don't consider myself a troll here.

I came here for a couple reasons. First, I had been lurking for awhile and found the discourse quite compelling. Sure, I think government is inherently coercive like any other good libertarian. However I feel compelled then to address the question of how much government is allowed. Libertarians provide one alternative, but I hate reading only one source. Neo-conservatives, seem to me to provide arguments that don't seem very compelling. And social conservatism, when imposed at the barrel of a government gun, seems quite unsatisfactory for one who values freedom.

Thus I began to look beyond the narrow constraints of Ron Paul Forums and the Mises Institute to get another perspective.

That is when I came to Daily Kos, which I was already lurking for the great political discussion and to discuss foreign war and civil liberties. I was already friendly enough because I also watch third party newsites like Independent Political Report, and love the interactions with Greens.

So I can see the liberal egalitarian side to arguments. And I feel the interaction is a two-way street. One great example is the Audit the Fed movement. Today, it was successfully inserted as an amendment into President Obama's financial overhaul legislation. In addition, efforts continue to push for an independent vote on the legislation on the floor of the house and Senate. However, we must look at something. Of course, I think Alan Grayson and other liberals were critical in ensuring the passage of HR 1207 in its original form (as opposed to how Mel Watts wanted to corrupt it). However, I don't think Grayson could have swayed every single member of the Republican house delegation to co-sponsor, or the numbers of Republicans who have cosponsored in the Senate like Jim Demint. Instead, that could be attributed to the grassroots work of libertarians and Paulistas with the Campaign for Liberty, who lit up the phonelines of their congress-critters for weeks. In this case, Audit the Fed passed because two sides found common ground. Grayson without Paul or Paul without Grayson could not have gotten it to fly through the house.

But the alliance has another effect. When we work with another side, you are forced to see the human side of those we interact with. Sure, Grover Norquist could have a dark side to his work. Newt Gingrich is probably not the most savoury chap. However, that does not mean that every member of their organization has similar problems. When you work with an organization, you are working with the members as much as the leaders. Yet all too often we see only a figurehead or see one person who embodies the "evil" person.

For example, Nancy Pelosi is not my favorite congresswoman by any stretch of the mind, but I know all Democrats are not like that. Similarly, Mitch McConnell is a pretty horrible Senator, but he doesn't represent every single Repbulican. Instead, we must recognize individuals, whether they are a progressive, moderate, tea partier, or libertarian, have ideas and that it is the individual you must sway.

However, we can never sway these individuals by staying trapped within an echo chamber, whether the echo chamber is as large as the Democratic Party or the progressive movement or as small as Ron Paul Forums. And I have been encouraged. Even with myself, I am much more open to certain reforms than I would have been if I never came here. Today, I acknowledge that certain forms of welfare must be maintained, a far stretch from the man who once almost became an anarcho-capitalist.

Yet it was because I came here first to make contact and talk about civil liberties and foreign war that I was exposed to another viewpoint like this. I can say I feel more enriched for coming to the DKos community than had I remained in a tiny libertarian echo chamber.

So I'll end on this note. I may be an evil libertarian, but some of my favorite Senators are Russ Feingold and Bernie Sanders. I respect Alan Grayson for much of what he has done. One of my biggest choices in 2010 is which Democrat to vote for in the Texas Ag Commissioner's race. I may be a libertarian but I'm willing to work with progressives on crucial issues facing our world.

Originally posted to Imperial on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 02:52 PM PST.

Poll

Am I evil because I am a libertarian?

14%22 votes
52%77 votes
32%48 votes

| 147 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I don't believe in Libertarians. (25+ / 0-)

    Mostly just a group of anarchists in suits.  As long as government isn't "in my life" but somehow magically all of society continues to function as if it was still up and running, everything will turn out okay.

    As much faith as I have in human beings (call me Mike the Humanist), I don't have that much faith in businessmen.

  •  Welcome (7+ / 0-)

    Always nice to see another libertarian around these parts.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:01:01 PM PST

  •  welcome (19+ / 0-)

    ignore those boorish comments by the above dickheads, whose mothers never taught them any manners.

    I may not share your philosophy myself, but anyone finding common cause with progressives is a friend of mine.

  •  Libertarianism = Marxism of the Right (12+ / 0-)

    And all the attempts to contort it into something ultimately palatable to progressives at a policy level have failed.

    Sure it has all sorts of clever slogans and axioms... but at the end of the day, "organized" self-identified Libertarians have never administered anything larger than a frat party.

    I find the compulsion to identify as a libertarian as empty as the subjectivity with which they apply their quaint notions of what people want.

    On the whole, I'd rather identify (politically at least) with a party that actually tries to represent my values at an appropriate level of government.

    But hey, enjoy DailyKos. There are sorts of people here. :)

  •  I don't think libertarians are evil (12+ / 0-)

    I just think their political philosophy has more than a few fatal flaws and ignores reality. I don't think republicans are inherently evil, either, I just think they elect the most batshit people they can find to represent them.

    That said, I not only think the above people aren't inherently evil, I'm also completely uninterested in one's party affiliation. I really don't think any of them can say enough about an individual to make much of a difference about who they are.

    I know theft is illegal, but look at all the cool stuff I got!

    by BoiseBlue on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:08:36 PM PST

  •  I'm not sure what a libertarian is (24+ / 0-)

    Long ago I thought I might be one, but then I discovered the Cato Institute, and a more intellectually dishonest, contemptible group of corporate whores cannot be imagined.

    I'm a big fan of individual liberty, and a big fan of civilization, and the strong, healthy, public institutions needed to sustain it. There is nothing intrinsically bad about government; we have plenty of well-run public programs that prove it. It only becomes a problem when it is corrupted by money and other perversions -- unfortunately we have plenty of examples of that as well.

    The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

    by Positronicus on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:13:59 PM PST

    •  take a look (2+ / 0-)

      at this

      you might find it interesting.

      "When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race." ~H.G. Wells

      by ridemybike on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:18:58 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I really like this position: (5+ / 0-)

      I'm a big fan of individual liberty, and a big fan of civilization, and the strong, healthy, public institutions needed to sustain it.

      I like my privacy. I hate it when I visit a family member in the hospital and the hospital has to scan my driver's license before allowing me to enter the hospital.

      My mother's eye doctor also demands to scan her driver's license, supposedly because they say it's a federal law that they are required to.

      I hate it when I make a doctor's appointment and along with being informed that I have to bring my healthcare insurance card -- that's okay, of course -- that I must bring a picture ID.

      I love it when a group of people, which happen to be people who work the government, make rules and regulations about almost every product or service I use... I have a better chance of not getting harmed.

      "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange...including a public option." President Obama, 7-18-09

      by gooderservice on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:29:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  What the fuck do you care if someone asks (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        phenry

        to see your ID?  That's what I don't get: the pathological aversion to petty shit like government ID.  

        Revolutionary Road was an awful, awful film.

        by burrow owl on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:44:06 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Won't work, nowdays. (3+ / 0-)

        When you visit a fam in the hospital, you know that young guy in the next bed in the room? The guy who shot him might want to finish the job. The hospital needs to know who comes in and out. Drug security also depends on this. Who's comin' in? What do they have their hands on? Why do they belong here?

        The eye doctor has to show he makes some suitable effort to see that the person she is treating, is the person whose name is on that insurance card. If you can pass your insurance card to all your fam and friends, how long do you suppose your insurer will stay in business? How will they make up the losses?
        That's right. Skin out of our respective asses.

        It's not even an imposition to show the I.D. I had to drive to the doctor, I have it with me.

        There is a part of libertarianism which isn't a philosophy, it's an attitude. Yeah, in an idealist's world, we don't need impositions like I.D. Or clothes.
        But in the practical, complex world, most people find it better to be a bit more secure amongst the complexities, than to pretend this is the ideal world.

        I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

        by labradog on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:47:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I've been in hospitals a lot (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          gooderservice

          visiting folks, and I've never been asked to show id, much less picture id.  Nor when I've gone in with someone.

          Paranoid hospital you've got there.

          Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

          by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 06:09:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  There are a lot of hospitals in Philly (0+ / 0-)

            that don't require it, nor do they even ask you to sign in anywhere.  This hospital I'm talking about is Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia.

            In fact, the first time they asked to see my driver's license and then scanned it into their computer, I asked if I could get my personal information purged from their system once I had no need to be in their hospital anymore.  The old and cranky man yelled at me:  "No."

            What do they do with that information?  Are there laws that require them to not share it with anyone?  I'm not a patient, so HIPAA doesn't apply to me here.

            I do know that I'm getting more and more junk mail sent to me.  

            "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange...including a public option." President Obama, 7-18-09

            by gooderservice on Fri Dec 25, 2009 at 09:06:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  To show it is one thing; for them to retain it is (0+ / 0-)

          another.

          It's not even an imposition to show the I.D. I had to drive to the doctor, I have it with me.

          I have no problem showing my driver's license in certain situations to prove I am who I say I am, my address comports with their information.  That's fine.

          But for them, whoever it is, to now have another piece of my personal identity is not necessary.
          Every one of my doctors already has my name, address, phone number, medical ID number, place of employment, and most personal of all:  My social security number.    They don't need another piece of my personal information, my driver's license number.

          "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange...including a public option." President Obama, 7-18-09

          by gooderservice on Fri Dec 25, 2009 at 09:10:30 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  As of right now, my healthcare insurance company (0+ / 0-)

          does not have a picture of me.  So... there is no way that any staff member working in a doctor's office can verify who I am by my picture.

          Again, if they want to look at something that has my face on it and includes my address, fine, but they don't need to retain the information.

          "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange...including a public option." President Obama, 7-18-09

          by gooderservice on Fri Dec 25, 2009 at 09:12:49 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  And scanning my driver's license will stop the (0+ / 0-)

          shooting how?

          When you visit a fam in the hospital, you know that young guy in the next bed in the room? The guy who shot him might want to finish the job.

          If we only had some sort of, I don't know, security apparatus in our government to protect and serve us.  For instance, if a patient is a shooting victim, do you seriously think that law enforcement won't be protecting him?   Scanning my driving license won't help him, I assure you.

          "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange...including a public option." President Obama, 7-18-09

          by gooderservice on Fri Dec 25, 2009 at 09:15:14 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  I think Cato is pretty honest, actually. (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Samulayo, Jay Elias, Gatordiet

      Do you have examples of their dishonesty?

      Revolutionary Road was an awful, awful film.

      by burrow owl on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:43:08 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  ""Lies, Damned Lies, & 400,000 ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        HPrefugee

        ... Smoking-Related Deaths". here.

        I'm sorry to have to cite such an old document, but any institution that publishes anything this bad, even once, gets turned off forever. And this is what I saw, long ago, when I first discovered Cato Institute.

        A rebuttal, from the American Council on Science and Health, begins like this:

        In the Fall 1998 issue of Regulation ("The Cato Review of Business and Government"), the Cato Institute*** published an article by Robert Levy and Rosalind Marimont titled "Lies, Damned Lies, & 400,000 Smoking-Related Deaths." In their article, Levy and Marimont contend that the U.S. government's estimate of approximately 400,000 annual premature deaths due to cigarette smoking is scientifically unsound and substantially inflated. The authors assert that "the war on smoking...has grown into a monster of deceit and greed, eroding the credibility of government and subverting the rule of law."

        In this report, scientists at the American Council on Science and Health refute Levy and Marimont's key arguments (presented below) as unscientific and inflammatory. ACSH's critique concludes that the estimate of 400,000 annual deaths due to cigarette smoking is indeed reliable and may even be an underestimate.

        It is clear that Cato hired two grossly underqualified people to attack the scientifically indisputable link between smoking and disease. They  were trying something on behalf of their tobacco industry sponsors, and they lost, badly.

        Cato lost me immediately and permanently. After I saw that, I knew I couldn't trust anything they did.

        The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

        by Positronicus on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 06:42:37 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  More criticisms of Cato (0+ / 0-)

        I see the "Lies, damned lies" scandal is listed first at the link.

        Criticisms of the Cato Institute

        A "libertarian" quasi-academic think-tank which acts as a mouthpiece for the globalism, corporatism, and neoliberalism of its corporate and conservative funders. Cato is an astroturf organization: there is no significant participation by the tiny libertarian minority. They do not fund it or affect its goals. It is a creature of corporations and foundations.

        The major purpose of the Cato Institute is to provide propaganda and soundbites for conservative and libertarian politicians and journalists that is conveniently free of reference to funders such as tobacco, fossil fuel, investment, media, medical, and other regulated industries.

        The invasion of Iraq was a war crime, a crime against humanity, and a crime against civilization. Prosecute the crime.

        by Positronicus on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 06:54:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  There are many varieties of libertarians (7+ / 0-)

    I've met everything from Libertarians of the John and Jane sitting in a nice middle class neighborhood and enjoying the intellectual tease of declaring themselves  Libertarian variety to the rich guys who love the idea of no taxes (on them) and fewer rights for everyone (but them) variety to the out-to-lunch NWO (aka Jewish bankers) are behind it all they're building concentration camps for us OMG BETTER BUY MORE BAZOOKAS! variety of libertarian.

    And everything in-between.

    About the only consistent strand I've seen is they like individual rights a lot more than the rights and wellbeing of the whole. Oh, and they're not crazy about taxes either.

    FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

    by indubitably on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:22:16 PM PST

    •  What is a Jewish banker? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      indubitably, sturunner

      out-to-lunch NWO (aka Jewish bankers

      "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange...including a public option." President Obama, 7-18-09

      by gooderservice on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:30:11 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hoo boy (6+ / 0-)

        There is a subculture of people, some of whom id themselves as Libertarians, who believe there is a mass conspiracy of - well, of Jewish bankers - and that they're responsible for all the ails of - oh, whatever. Iraq. 9/11. You name it.

        For a while, some of them believed that anyone who was white and Christian was being targeted, and that the "camps" supposedly being built were to detain Christians.

        They also believed NAIS was being implemented because the next step was to chip them.

        It goes downhill from there.

        I can't even tell you how bizarre they are.

        FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

        by indubitably on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:40:10 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oy. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          indubitably

          Thanks.  I didn't know any of that.  (Nor am I happy I know that know, but it is important to know)

          "Any plan I sign must include an insurance exchange...including a public option." President Obama, 7-18-09

          by gooderservice on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:42:53 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It is important to know about them (4+ / 0-)

            I started running into it in the 1990's. The runup to Iraq was especially enlightening. And there's a lot more of them than you might imagine.

            Them's some scary people out there. Truly, I blame our horrid educational system, horrible preventative healthcare (a lot of them grew up in homes where getting smacked around was the norm, meaning some I suspect have head injuries) (not to mention, some are the children of druggie parents), etc.

            FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

            by indubitably on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:45:43 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Feminism, immigration, the U.N.... (4+ / 0-)

            and global warming are some of the other tools of the NWO, according to the black helicopter crowd.

            •  Newspapers, the NEA, scissors, (3+ / 0-)

              skirts shorter than ankle length, broccoli, pretty much everything can and has fallen beneath their NWO umbrella.

              Except ... except Satanic abuse. That's the province of the Masons! Who are sometimes intermingled with NWO, although - oh lord, it's just a maze of conspiracies.

              FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

              by indubitably on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 04:08:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Ankle-length skirts?!!! (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                DaleA, gooderservice, indubitably

                We are not amused.  In the grand old days, hems trailed on the ground and you couldn't breathe for the dust they raised.  Heaven forfend that these modern hussies and trollops with their ankle-length skirts (just think -- a slight bounce or flounce could reveal their ankles!!!) should ever start a fashion.

                Madame stares at you disapprovingly through her lorgnette.

                •  lol! (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  WIds, gooderservice, Gatordiet

                  That's a sub-sub-sub-set of the sub-culture, but they're out there.

                  Google, I think, modest dress or modest clothing? Mind you, the wimmenfolk keep their yaps shut, while the menfolk take care of all the important stuff, like stocking up on arms to protect the little lady and all 20 kids (google quiverful - yoikes!!!!!!) when the goons of the NWO come to chip 'em or haul 'em off to the detention camps.

                  For. Real.

                  Then there's the meth head sub-sub-sub-set, which sometimes coincides with the modest dress and quiverfuls, but that's a whole other conversation.

                  Someday i might even tell you about the Masons and their satanic abuse of young white Christian children!

                  FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

                  by indubitably on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 04:49:53 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                •  What libertarians favor ankle length skirts? (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Prachar

                  Dress codes were Bill Clinton's thing.





                  Resisting Dumb wars since 1968

                  by ben masel on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 04:57:38 PM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  I'm sorry you're unhappy (0+ / 0-)

                    ... that the theory of libertarianism doesn't pan out in real life the way you want it to.

                    But I won't say anymore, in part because it would be telling too much, but also because I just spent an hour de-icing my porch so my dogs could potty, and I want to get in bed now and eat popcorn.

                    Now, although my inclinations are communitarian, I'm just libertarian enough to say if calling yourself a libertarian makes you happy, then go for it.

                    However, I can promise you that, if you spent much time in the rural West or South, you would change your mind very quickly. It's not pretty.

                    And they lo-o-o-ove Grover there.

                    FDL = The Teabagger wing of the Democratic Party

                    by indubitably on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 05:19:13 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

        •  Some Libertarians (Big L).. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          burrow owl, indubitably

          I've met are (except for environmentalism, Guns, and that pesky General welfare line in the Constitution) OK, and Some are even nice folks,

          That said, there were 2-3 of them..

          And let me preface this by saying  I'd love to be involved with Renaissance Fests.

          These folks brought up Skull & Bones SO MANY TIMES I thought they had their schooner tied up in the parking lot instead of their car..

           

  •  aaaaaaauuuuggggggggggggggghhhhhhhh! (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Norbrook, indubitably, sturunner

    <<<Running away and shooting behind me as fast as I can!>>>

    Seriously: thanks for the hilarious headline, and the civil discourse, here in what is often a humor- and civility-free zone.

    Best wishes.

  •  Libertarians by dogma are selfish. (0+ / 0-)

    Maybe thinking of youself first and being selfish is ok. Ayn Rand sure thought so. But I don't.

    •  I'm a liberal because I don't think of others. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pollbuster, indubitably

      Fuck 'em.  The best way to secure the happiness of me and mine from behind the veil of ignorance is liberalism.

      Revolutionary Road was an awful, awful film.

      by burrow owl on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:49:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't buy that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bnasley, Prachar

      Unless our definition of selfish has been rendered intellectually useless. I don't see it as thinking of yourself first as much as preventing an exterior entity from violating you first. Difference being that you THEN are free to choose to be selfish or altruistic.

      Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral laws are written on the table of eternity. -Lord Acton

      by Imperial on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 04:13:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  That sounds a little...creepy. (0+ / 0-)

        I don't see it as thinking of yourself first as much as preventing an exterior entity from violating you first

        I'm not a huge fan of psychoanalyzing political positions unless it calls out for it, but you're making a case for psychoanalysis here.

        Revolutionary Road was an awful, awful film.

        by burrow owl on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 05:04:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Why? I thought it was fairly clear (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Prachar

          Go ahead. I was just pointing out that the emphasis is more on preventing someone else from usurping your decision-making than making decisions that only benefit yourself, in a bit more elaborate language.

          Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral laws are written on the table of eternity. -Lord Acton

          by Imperial on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 08:50:34 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  "You guys" are full of fundamental contradictions (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl

    That is my problem with "you", I mean when "you" say "we" are many libertarians, that is basically incoherent.

  •  As long as you understand... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    sja, pollbuster, satanicpanic, caduceus4

    ...that we welcome you here to help elect more and better Democrats, pull up a chair!

    I'm the plowman in the valley - with my face full of mud

    by labradog on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:29:58 PM PST

  •  I have toyed with libertarianism, but it doesn't (4+ / 0-)

    work for me. Unlike most people here, I don't believe that government is inherently a force for good, or at least neutral and suitable of being used to do good. I think all institutions are inherently self-serving, self-perpetuating, and power-grabbing. My beef with libertarians is that corporations are of course institutions too, and unless one is blinded by ideology, it seems very hard to me to dispute that in this country, far more evil is done by corporations currently than by the government. And libertarianism has no answer to this problem.

    What I want to know is why the Democrats in Congress aren't standing up for us ... in providing health insurance for every man, woman and child in America.

    by brainwave on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:30:49 PM PST

  •  I'm a big fan of engaging in dialogue (6+ / 0-)

    with all kinds of people, from across the political spectrum. I think most progressives do have a strong libertarian component to their thinking. Obviously, in the social arena, progressives don't want government in the bedroom, in the doctor's office, etc.

    In the economic area, obviously not so much, but I think it's just because the corporations are so powerful, without a powerful government, there's no way for individuals to really exercise any degree of meaningful personal liberty. We're at the mercy of these corporations in so many areas of our lives, and it's only the government that can provide a bit of a counterbalance.

    That said, the latest moves by the government to prop up and even enhance the power of mega-corps on Wall Street, in Detroit and in the health care industry makes me rethink whether a powerful government really will provide much of a counter-balance, or will it just further enhance the power of the corporations.

    •  I think a lot of libertarians (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burrow owl, HPrefugee

      conveniently forget that slavery, bigotry, non unified and free labor and the subjugation of women that was legislated by government to favor rich white men who owned property is what grew the government in the first place. The notion of self preservation and personal property growth above the equality and personal happiness of everyone is what fucked it up for libertarians centuries ago. You cant have that small government you want when certain people are vulnerable. Its narcissistic and dangerous to not realize that more than half the people are vulnerable and would not benefit from a small state. Then, more government has to be implemented to correct the inequalities that were making a mockery of the Constitution. Amendments, Bill of Rights etc were all necessary to protect certain people from tyranny. These inequalities are still in the process of being repaired by progressives to this day. Gays are still not allowed the financial and emotional benefits or legal access to the partner they've taken care of for years.

      Its an obtuse and almost charming political philosophy but I dont think libertarianism has a snowball's chance in hell of ending in anything but a plutocracy similar to what we have now. With the unequal and inhumane beginning the United States had, adopting libertarianism would just declare open season on women, gays, Latinos, blacks, Jews, Muslims etc--worse than it is now.

      •  I'm not sure I totally agree with all of that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Prachar, Imperial

        It was only through the power of strong central governments that people got subjugated by rich white men in the first place. North America would still be ruled by native Americans if it were not for first the powerful central governments of Europe and then the U.S. federal government actively fighting wars and engaging in colonial activities to clear them from the land. Individual white men are powerless without a strong central government behind them.

        Now, it's true that having first established the United States, then it also took a strong central government to reverse some of the inequalities that existed under it. But that's not always been the case. The federal government, for example, initiated the prohibition on marijuana and other drugs that has resulted in millions of black men being locked up, and to this day it's the feds that are thwarting state and local efforts to stop that particular atrocity.

        So, I think it's true that a strong central government has acted to extend rights at times, but it's also gone the other way as well . . .  

  •  Since it looks like Obama (4+ / 0-)

    is just going to be a one term disappointment I am open to anything new that will rattle the status quo.

    I like most of what Scott Horton at antiwar.com has to say, great in depth interviews, however I don't think if government was totally gone things would get better. The corporations would rule the day.

    Not happy with Obama and his willingness to continue with the worst of Bush's policies.

    I for one am all ears and ready for CHANGE even if it means something other than a democrat in office.

    All ears.

  •  Being a small "l" libertarian myself, (7+ / 0-)

    i.e., I strongly believe government has no role in regulating the private lives of citizens (and "residents"), I am nonetheless what Europeans would call "Social Democrat".
    For example, any business so large, or important to the community, think electric, water, and sewage utilities, should be "socialized", not operated for the benefit of private ownership but the public good as determined by the public at the ballot box.
    The examples of small time "socialism" abound throughout the United States. A true "Libertarian" would urge that, for example, smalltown water supplies should be owned by private interests, who might find greater profits from shipping the water to far away places where cost plus shipping are outweighed by profit. The folks in town, whose taps have gone dry, might not exactly agree. But business is business.
    Their is much in Libertarian ideology to admire, doing away with drug laws, for example, but like so many good things, it can be carried too far. And I'm afraid that much of what calls itself "libertarian" is no more or less than shilling for the very corporatism which would not only take away liberties but do it without whatever little redress we have at the ballot box.

    Trust everybody, but always cut the cards. Mr.Dooley

    by DaNang65 on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 03:47:34 PM PST

  •  Today's Libertarians = Corporate Butt Monkeys (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Birdman, Eric K, Zotz, caduceus4

    Whenever a Trojan horse is needed to conceal unfettered corporate power, you can find a "Libertarian."

  •  Libertarians are like anybody else. Some are (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mahakali overdrive, Gatordiet

    gems, and some are pains in the arse.

    But don't expect me to hang around with them.
    I'll just wave at you from across the street. :)

  •  I usually ignore Libertarians. (3+ / 0-)

    They were 0.40% of the voters last prez election.

    16 times as many people watch Spongebob Squarepants.

    Gnats buzzing about...

  •  The government plows the streets (5+ / 0-)

    After a heavy snowfall.

    Not the libertarians.

    There are plenty of other examples I could cite, but after the recent snowstorms, that's the one that seems most relevant.

    I don't think it's coincidental that the right-wing has most of its support from southern, non-urban areas.  Anybody who lives in a big northern city knows that libertarianism just isn't up to the task of managing a gathering of millions of people who need police, fire, traffic, sanitation, school, and yes, snow removal services year in and year out.

    How do you expect people who think that anyone who benefits from such services is a 'leech' to manage such institutions effectively -- if at all?

  •  Merry Xmas and Happy Holidays, (0+ / 0-)

    Libertarian.

  •  Color me leery of government (3+ / 0-)

    Goverment can cause a whole bunch of bad, and Krugman's idea that we just need to spend for the sake of spending is an incredibly bad idea.

    But smart government can do a whole lot of good.

    It is too bad we appear to have a rather stupid government, rotten and corrupt to the core.

  •  I'm sorry, I can't bring myself to (0+ / 0-)

    rec this, but thanks for contributing.  I imagine there are some things we could agree on.

  •  There is a broad spectrum of libertarian thought (3+ / 0-)

    Since it's currently a fringe party, most party members are the extremists, as if the 5% most conservative people made up the whole Republican party and the 5% most liberal people made up the whole Democratic party.

    As a moderate libertain, I accept the need for common services and a government to provide it.  But like fire, government is a dangerous tool and must be carefully controlled.

    The biggest problem I see with government power is that it is inevitably controlled by people who already have power.  Government has the monopoly on the use of force. While corporations can limit your choices by buying up competition, they cannot directly force you to purchase their goods and services unless they get the government to do it for them.

    The insurance companies just got the government to force you to buy insurance.

  •  libertarianism in moderation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    I agree with libertarians on a lot of social issues.  And I can see the value of the libertarian economic position in promoting individual responsibility and a marketplace that rewards innovation.

    That said, corporations answer only to their shareholders.  "Innovation" can mean profitable things like recissions by insurance companies just as surely as it can mean new ipods from Apple.  A corporation doesn't have, and can't really be expected to have, a conscience.  So it's appropriate for the citizenry to institute a government with the power to regulate a wide range of economic transactions.  The government is at least theoretically responsible to the voters, though there's always a struggle by money and special interests to influence it.

    I've heard libertarians take extreme positions like, "We should abolish the FDA.  If a company sells a bad drug that ends up killing people, they'll be punished in the marketplace."  Sorry, that just doesn't work.  Such arguments ignore the huge information costs and the asymmetry of power.  Each individual doesn't have the time to thoroughly research the history of every person or corporation with whom he might wish to do business, nor does he have the power to compel all those entities to release information.

    And as for "individual responsibility", I think a balance has to be struck between rewarding hard work, creativity, and the production of things that are of value to others, and the moral obligation to ensure a decent existence for the poorest among us -- an obligation that's better met collectively through gov't services rather than strictly relying on philanthopy.  And I think that it's appropriate to ask those who've profited most handsomely from our social/economic/legal system to pay the largest share of the system's costs.

    So, I think there's a lot of value in having libertarian voices in the debate, and sometimes we'll need to move some amount in that direction.  Just recognize that "pure" forms of libertarianism, like pure forms of any ideology, don't work so well in practice.

    peace,
    lilnev

    I'm special. Everyone is.

    by lilnev on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 05:29:07 PM PST

  •  Read Heinlen (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    HPrefugee

    Most of his work involves some libertarian society, which to me is usually quite comic and unintentionally satiric. Like Marx, he assumed a general human decency.

    But underneath there is always a nasty inhuman side. No  laws, and no c rime because offenders would be bumped off by vigilantes (Moon is a Harsh Mistress). No taxes, of course, infrastructure will be created by donation.

    Rather childish, really. Civilization moves forward collectively. A big country like America needs a big government. Confronted with today's realities, our Founders would have built as much government as needed to get the job done.

    Libertarianism is just wishful, childish thinking. It is not evil.

    Is it not written "There's a lot goes on we don't get told."? (Lu Tze)

    by MakeChessNotWar on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 05:35:14 PM PST

  •  But the goal of most elected libertarians (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, Jay Elias

    isn't to audit the Fed because they believe in transparency. Ron Paul's goal is to audit the Fed and push to get it shut down entirely...so we can go back to the gold standard. It's a ridiculous conspiracy theory.

    And I finished this letter with unshakable faith that the dream will be fulfilled for this generation, and preserved and enlarged for generations to come.

    by Elise on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 05:35:34 PM PST

    •  That is only part of the truth (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Prachar

      They are pushing for transparency with the end goal of shutting down the fed, but that is because they think an audit will expose a house of cards to the American people to prove their point. Obviously they know they have to win over enough people to shut down the fed, which they can't do without a clear indictment.

      I don't see how it is a conspiracy theory when Ron Paul is very open with his goal.

      (and this is a libertarian who isn't a fan of the gold standard!)

      Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral laws are written on the table of eternity. -Lord Acton

      by Imperial on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 08:59:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Are you like Nascar Drivers? (0+ / 0-)

    Do you have to keep the logos of your corporate masters on your overalls and ball caps? ;)

    Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 05:50:13 PM PST

    •  Shhh!!! (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Prachar

      We are supposed to not tell people what they mean. Only let the peasants get used to what corporate servitude feels like and constantly getting acclimated to the logos...

      Opinions alter, manners change, creeds rise and fall, but the moral laws are written on the table of eternity. -Lord Acton

      by Imperial on Thu Dec 24, 2009 at 09:00:16 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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