Author Topic: Is it just me or is distaste for Libertarianism contradictory to discordianism?  (Read 46580 times)

LMNO

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ve when Government starts taking legislative interest on aspects of our daily lives (prohibition, energy use, tobacco use, personal health initiatives, judeo-christian morality, etc) that IS totalitarianism and it needs to be checked.
Considering the stress that tobacco and alcohol put on our healthcare system and ultimately society at large, why do you consider these personal choices?

Agree to disagree. I'm free to fuck myself up and I'm free to pay the price. I don't think "society at large" has any right or responsibility.


So, you don't think smoking has a social impact, or you don't think that impacts on society are important?

Bebek Sincap Ratatosk

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I'm gonna try to answer your questions Cain, but with the caveat that these would only work in a Libertarian society. IE were most citizens understood the philosophy of libertarianism.

What if a free society needed to draft its citizens in order to remain free?

The even wouldn't happen. Once it became clear that arms and armies were needed, a self reliant nation of people that accepted personal respobnisbility would be knocking down doors to volunteer. However, I would also argue that such events in a truly libertarian society would probably be rare.

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What if it needed to limit oil imports to protect the economic freedom of its citizens from unfriendly foreigners?

Same as before, if corporations/industry were libertarian in philosophy, instead of corporate pigs pretending to be capitalists while wielding any tool necessary to make a buck. That is, in a libertarian society, companies would be held responsible for their buying and selling, BY THE POPULACE. That is, if a company were told "Hey, you have to find another supplier because of these major international risks!" there would be no issue with that.

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What if it needed to force its citizens to become sufficiently educated to sustain a free society?

Again, force would be unnecessary. Educational training could be supplied at many local locations and attendance could be rewarded. There is no need to force your citizens to do what is best for them, if they understand that they are responsible for the success of themselves and the nation.

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What if it needed to deprive landowners of the freedom to refuse to sell their property as a precondition for giving everyone freedom of movement on highways?

Again, this isn't necessarily a problem. If there is a good reason that the Interstate must be built precisely at location X, or the whole world will plunge into the black abyss ... then I'm sure the land could be appropriated.

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What if it needed to deprive citizens of the freedom to import cheap foreign labor in order to keep out poor foreigners who would vote for economically unsound, massively socialistic wealth redistribution?

Overall, the problem with trying to nail any specific political philosophy boils down to what I kept repeating above. Either most of your citizens agree with and have some understanding of the political philosophy, or the political system will fail miserably. In a society where libertarian ideals were embraced my most of a society, government force over their citizens would be unnecessary... in all of the above examples, if the government treated itself and its citizens as equal negotiators, force wouldn't be an issue.

Let's look again:

Draft - Unnecessary in the US since Vietnam. If the general political philosophy held were Libertarian, everyone would be armed and know how to use their weapons. We would have standing militias and IF a major war began, there wouldn't be a need for the draft, simply a call to arms for the militias. See Also, US National Guard and Iraq (this shit already happens).

Imports from Unfriendly Governments - Interstate commerce is actually one of the areas many Libertarians think the government should be involved in. Further, if companies were run by libertarians, they would feel personally responsible for their decisions... thus working with bullshit regimes would be rare. In cases where such a thing became obvious, consumers with personal responsibility would cease to use their services/products.

Education doesn't need to be forced. Generally speaking humans don't have a problem with learning new things. If a libertarian government told its libertarian citizens that new education was necessary for reasons X Y and Z, they would feel personally responsible to get that education. If the government provided that education on a local level force would be unnecessary.

Imminent Domain - This is actually one of the worst things that happens in America in my opinion. Not simply because of the 'I own this land' stuff... but mostly because I have seen it abused many, many times particularly in small towns around where I grew up. Again and again I've seen people forced out for bad ideas that never materialize in any useful way. In other cases, they get far less than the land was appraised at before or they simply get no say. In my experience, most of the time Imminent Domain hasn't been a MUST, but more of a "It'll be a hell of a lot cheaper if we just cut through this guys property!". In a libertarian society, a libertarian government would enter negotiations with the land owner, if they couldn't come to terms, the road would have to go around. Considering that its his (and all of his friends) tax money, its not unreasonable to think that he might be influenced to be reasonable.

All in all, I think your examples prove out why the Libertarian ideals exist. The government 'forcing' its citizens to do X, seems as much like slavery as the Plantation owner forcing his darkies to do X. If it is not acceptable for one man to force another, it is not acceptable for 100 or 1000 men to force another, even if they label themselves a government first.

If a society cannot survive without its government forcing its citizens to do what is best for themselves, it has no right to exist.
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Cain

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I'm gonna try to answer your questions Cain, but with the caveat that these would only work in a Libertarian society. IE were most citizens understood the philosophy of libertarianism.

But they don't.

Which pretty much undermines the entire point. 

To take another example, Libertarianism also has a big thing about rationality...which would be useful if people were actually rational.  But they're not.  So it falls apart.  Its an axiomatic philosophy, and its axioms are empirically wrong.

BabylonHoruv

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If you are using the word libertarian as a self description and are not using it in conjunction with the Libertarian party you should probably do a little bit of research into what the word actually means.

I know common usage defines a word, but the original usage of that particular word, and common usage everywhere except the USA, is Anarchist, a libertarian, in the little l, not affiliated with the party sense is every bit as eager to tear down the corporations and the wealthy as he is the government.
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LMNO

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1) Rat, i think the fact that you have to postulate an extremely radical shift in society to even begin to answer Cain's question more or less invalidates Libertarianism from the get-go.  It seems you could also say, "none of that would be a problem if we were all nice to each other."  [edit: Cain just said the same thing.]


2) Adam, when someone is diagnosed with cancer due to smoking, it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat.  The individual smoker doesn't pay that entire cost.  The rest of the public does.

Cain

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1) Rat, i think the fact that you have to postulate an extremely radical shift in society to even begin to answer Cain's question more or less invalidates Libertarianism from the get-go.  It seems you could also say, "none of that would be a problem if we were all nice to each other."  [edit: Cain just said the same thing.]

Yup.  Liberatarianism, like vulgar Marxism, works from a premise that is fundamentally incorrect, and basically asserts a view of humanity that doesn't stand up to scrutiny.  Its not that we have the wrong sort of political system, its that we have the wrong sort of people.

And of course, Marxism, when confronted with that fact, then proceeded to use tools like the Cheka to socially engineer Russia into a Happy Perfect Workers Paradise.  I wonder how much it would cost for someone to hire people like Blackwater to do the same job for a libertarian society?
« Last Edit: July 01, 2009, 04:11:42 pm by Cain »

Roaring Biscuit!

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1) Rat, i think the fact that you have to postulate an extremely radical shift in society to even begin to answer Cain's question more or less invalidates Libertarianism from the get-go.  It seems you could also say, "none of that would be a problem if we were all nice to each other."  [edit: Cain just said the same thing.]


2) Adam, when someone is diagnosed with cancer due to smoking, it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat.  The individual smoker doesn't pay that entire cost.  The rest of the public does.

depends on where you live, here in the UK the NHS actually profits from smoking, because the money made from taxes is greater than the money spent in treating the illnesses caused by smoking (obviously, 'cause thats what profit is...).  Or another way of looking at it, smokers are basically paying for their own treatment.

Cramulus

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I'm with you Navkat. I have yet to find a platform that doesn't sicken me in some way. If I had to put myself on the spectrum somewhere, I guess I'm in the middle leaning left, but whenever I'm in a group of passionate liberals I start to feel the bile coming up. Same with conservatives, but I live in new york, so it doesn't happen as frequently.

I really like the idea of libertarianism. I like the small government, individualist branding. It's too bad about those children, elderly, homeless, and handicapped people screw it up for the rest of us.

LMNO

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Adam, when someone is diagnosed with cancer due to smoking, it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat.  The individual smoker doesn't pay that entire cost.  The rest of the public does.

depends on where you live, here in the UK the NHS actually profits from smoking, because the money made from taxes is greater than the money spent in treating the illnesses caused by smoking (obviously, 'cause thats what profit is...).  Or another way of looking at it, smokers are basically paying for their own treatment.

:cn:

navkat

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Navkat, I think one aspect that needs to be looked at is the reality of the current political situation.

It's one thing to hold onto an ideology, but if that ideology starts with a complete change of game rules, a grand total of fuck all will get done.

So, you have to look at the current state and manner of government, and start there.  

For example, coal and energy companies are dumping tons of shit into the air, water, and ground.  Global warming arguments aside, there are visible and horrible consequences to that.  So, you might say it would be a good idea for them to cut it out.  But how?  

The conservative position seems to say that cleaner plants would make more money in the long run, and killing the consumer is counter-productive, so eventually the invisible hand will make the companies fall in line.  This isn't happening.

The progressive position seems to say that we should regulate the living fuck out of the companies, forcing them to reduce their emissions or face fines or closure.  This would force many smaller energy companies out of business, causing prices to skyrocket... Not to mention that the lobbyists would never allow it.

So, the solution that sucks the least for everyone seems to be cap-and-trade.  The conservatives are pissed because the companies regulated and it will cost them money if they go over the limit, and the progressives are pissed because it means the more powerful companies will just buy more credits and keep fucking up the environment.  But at least there is a limit, and at least there are economic incentives to cut down emissions.

Government is fucked up in general; but human greed is just as fucked up.  In today's society, it seems like the two are in some sort of death match... But we can't let either one win.

The problem is: it's not going to cost the corporations a goddamned thing. WE are the ones who will start seeing $30 "emissions license acquisition" fees on our energy bills and it will be business as usual for the corporate world. And that's best case scenario (I believe). All this does is FURTHER the separation of US society into a two-class system.

And what of the scenario where foreign countries pick up the slack? What'll we do then? Once C&T is in place and government starts relying on the income, it'll be damned-near impossible to abolish so the only choice left over is to add some sort of cap on foreign trade as well, no? Government rationing on everything? Treating all trade practices as physical commodities?

There seems to be a growing trend (not saying that that's where YOU stand) of extreme-left Progressives who seem to be okay with handing over more and more of the responsibility for taking care of their daily needs over to Government, and who are willing to pay more and more of their paychecks for the luxury of not having to worry about these things themselves.

What frightens me (and you can group me with the Alex Jones nuts if you want, but I'm being for serious here) is a future world where we do just that: we cough up 75% of our pay to The Government and we are given our nutritionally-sound foodstamps, medicine, homes (not PROPERTY, but living spaces that will be re-assigned when we die since property-ownership is unfair), energy rations, etc. None of us will be destitute or have need for the basic necessities in life, but none of us will be truly FREE. The other 25% of your income can be used to buy whatever you wish- as long as those things are clothes, art, vacations and other decorations for your BIP.

Where will the spirit of human ingenuity and entrepreneurship be then? Not abolished but certainly suppressed.

Maybe that sounds a little outrageous and extreme, but if we continue to buy into the "everyone must do the Right Thing, even if it's by force and why would anyone NOT want to anyway?" concept, then why the hell not just go there? I mean, that's the sum of that equation, isn't it?

Do I have it wrong?

And Cain: don't want to ignore you because you raise really great points. You're right: I don't have the answers. Where's the dividing line between fairness and oppression? I don't claim to have all the answers. I just want more people who are willing to ask those questions without being so fucking quick cram "because this is the right way" into the blanks. I also tend to take an attitude where "liberty" is the default until a realistic solution can be reached.

Cain

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Adam, when someone is diagnosed with cancer due to smoking, it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat.  The individual smoker doesn't pay that entire cost.  The rest of the public does.

depends on where you live, here in the UK the NHS actually profits from smoking, because the money made from taxes is greater than the money spent in treating the illnesses caused by smoking (obviously, 'cause thats what profit is...).  Or another way of looking at it, smokers are basically paying for their own treatment.

:cn:

http://newsforums.bbc.co.uk/nol/thread.jspa?forumID=6564&start=855&edition=1&ttl=20090701161229

However, for other problems, like pollution, the point still stands.

Roaring Biscuit!

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Adam, when someone is diagnosed with cancer due to smoking, it costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to treat.  The individual smoker doesn't pay that entire cost.  The rest of the public does.

depends on where you live, here in the UK the NHS actually profits from smoking, because the money made from taxes is greater than the money spent in treating the illnesses caused by smoking (obviously, 'cause thats what profit is...).  Or another way of looking at it, smokers are basically paying for their own treatment.

:cn:

yeh im not sure why the fuck i thought that was true either.  I've heard it from people working for the NHS though...


Cain

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This Is London is a shitty source, btw.

Just wanted to point out you get exactly what you pay for, with that particular rag.

Roaring Biscuit!

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This Is London is a shitty source, btw.

Just wanted to point out you get exactly what you pay for, with that particular rag.

i just googled it :/

also, quickly!  everybody back on topic!