How to Talk to Nonlibertarians

What libertarians have to explain to the politically disengaged and uninformed

If libertarians want to change how nonlibertarians think about government, they will need to understand how nonlibertarians think about government. By "nonlibertarians," I mean the majority of people who spend little if any time pondering political theory or what Murray Rothbard called political ethics. They may focus at times on particular government programs and actions, or on proposals for new programs, but rarely about government as an institution.

This is not hard to understand. We all come into a world full of national governments that present themselves as providers of a social safety net, guarantors of products and services, protectors of workers, defenders of the national borders, and dispensers of benefits to an assortment of deserving groups (farmers, exporters, too-big-to-fail banks, low-income people, and so on). This is all represented as indispensable to the general welfare.

So for most people, the welfare, or social-service, state is a natural, ever-present part of the landscape. This is reinforced through their "education" in government schools. Few ever question its necessity, much less wonder what life would be like without it. Some people may think the government goes too far (or not far enough) in this matter or that, but the social-service state itself never comes under examination. Its morality is implicitly assumed on the basis of how commonplace it is.

So how can libertarians speak to these people in a way they will understand? How do we get them to question deeply held beliefs that may never have been articulated? My basic advice is to start by trying to see government as they see it. This may be distasteful, but if you want to persuade people, what else are you going to do? Without this, you might as well be speaking in a foreign language.

It is self-defeating to seem to be condemning people for their reliance on or support of the various welfare-state programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Exhorting them to self-reliance will have little effect, especially since it exposes the libertarian to an apparent contradiction. After all, no libertarian would criticize people who buy insurance policies on their homes, cars, health or lives. Nor would we disparage members of the old mutual-aid societies, who drew cash benefits when sick, injured, or unemployed. Why not? Doesn't this show a lack of self-reliance, a rejection of "rugged individualism"?

"That's different," some will say. "Unlike insurance and mutual aid, government assistance is coercive."

Exactly! What I'm getting at is that people's attraction to government-provided social services is not the problem (they believe they pay for them through taxes), because similar services offered in the voluntary sector (for-profit or mutual) would be not only unobjectionable but salutary.

Since that's the case, the libertarian approach should focus on the flawed political method by which the services are provided, not the purported objects of the services themselves — security. We must demonstrate that people cooperating in freed markets (not to be confused with today's corporatist economy) would be better providers than the state.

This principle is applicable in a variety of other areas. The government regulates or inspects products and services, and licenses an increasing number of occupations, in the name of consumer protection. Since people's preference for consumer protection in itself is unassailable, the libertarian critique of government in this area shouldn't imply that those who want help in looking out for shoddy products and dishonest, incompetent providers are irrational. They are just unaware of a better, more moral alternative.

The same goes for workers who worry about their vulnerability to arbitrary dismissal or onerous demands. Again, libertarians do not look askance at individuals who sign contracts specifying the conditions, including the term, of employment. The quest for some certainty about such things seems reasonable in that context. Other things equal, most people would prefer not to be in a position in which they could lose their jobs without notice because the boss had a bad day. This is especially so when the government's central bank is in the habit of generating bubbles and consequent busts, which can bring long-term layoffs and permanent unemployment — something that could not happen in a freed market.

In all these cases, the problem, again, is with the means — provision through the state — not the ends. The world is inherently uncertain. No one can be sure what tomorrow will bring. So the wish to create islands of relative security in an insecure world — a safety net, if you will — is only rational. The libertarian job is to convince people that, on two counts, government provision is a bad way to secure a good end. First, it is morally wrong because it requires compulsion — the threat of physical violence — starting with taxation. And second, as a consequence of the first feature, state provision is inferior to private provision because it is outside the free and competitive market — a process that, unlike the political realm, ties rewards to customer service and stimulates entrepreneurial discovery, which makes products and services better and cheaper.

For example, market-based consumer protection would be superior to the government's ersatz version precisely because it would be market-based — that is, offered by competitors trying to prosper by demonstrating competence, establishing reputations, and winning the favor of customers. We see such organizations today — Underwriters Laboratories, Consumer Reports, and, thanks to the Internet, Angie's List and many others — but they would become even more widespread and more important with the removal of the government's illusion of protection. (That people use these services demonstrates that they have little faith in government protection.)

Consumers would also be better protected if producers had no shelter whatever from free competition (which all licensing, permits, and costly regulation provide to some extent) and no prospect of government subsidies, bailouts, or other privileges, such as limited liability for damages or immunity from lawsuits because minimum government standards were complied with.

Bureaucrats face perverse incentives compared with those faced by participants in freed markets. The officials who run government agencies have no money at risk, and the people (as taxpayers) have no choice but to put up with them. (What do you do if you think the head of one of the federal government's alphabet regulatory agencies is incompetent?) Moreover, government agencies are easily subject to regulatory capture, by which the well-connected among the regulated influence or control the regulators — leaving consumers out in the cold with only a false sense of security, which is worse than none at all. (Historically, big firms have favored government regulation over the unpredictable competition of the marketplace, which can make market share a fleeting thing.)

In other words, consumers would be safer without government protection. But that counterintuitive claim must be patiently demonstrated, not merely insisted on. (One disadvantage for libertarians is that most people are ignorant of economics.)

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  • Atanarjuat||

    First!

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    Finally. I was waiting for, like, twenty minutes.

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  • Claude Miller||

    First, if you're a libertarian, be sure to get your facts straight, for instance, not by saying something like this: "welfare-state programs, such as Social Security." If you've been paying into SS your whole life, it ain't no welfare program. Grossly mismanaged, yes, welfare, no.

  • some guy||

    The average SS benefit has been greater than the average SS taxes paid (plus interest). So most SS recipients are living at the expense of others (those who have not yet retired). It is a welfare program.

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    It's a redistribution program whose basis is age rather than income.

    It's a particularly perverse form of welfare that redistributes from relatively asset-poor young workers to relatively asset-rich retirees.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    "similar services offered in the voluntary sector (for-profit or mutual) would be not only unobjectionable but salutary."
    The issue of coercion is lost on people. They then say something like "but we voted for this!" No you did not. You voted for the Team Red or Blue progressive. This is not a choice. these two are but different parts of the same family; Mom's (Blue) or Dad's (Red) are both parts of the nanny-topia.

    That said ... Libertarian's are seldom adroit at dealing with the politically ignorant and retarded ... oops.

  • Taco||

    You say this as if Libertarianism is a set of non-progressive ideas. Certainly, team red and team blue might just as accurately be called moderate and radical new dealers, respectively, but just because you ascribe to an even older form of liberalism than either team red or team blue does not mean that your philosophy, at its core. Is not just another branch of progressivism.

  • Free Society||

    Actually it does since progressivism is an outgrowth of liberalism flirting with fascism. That sort of logically precludes classical liberalism as an off-shoot of progressivism.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    Classical liberalism came long before progressivism. The progressive movement began in the US after the civil war and at its roots rejects the constitution.

    The breeding ground for progressivism was American academia on the 1880's who embraced the German model of the living nation state. A hero worship of Hegel came along with it. The term Social Justice sprang up in the late 19th Century with the movement.

    The political fight in the 19th century was between Classical Liberalism and Progressivism. Locke, Burke, Montesquieu and Smith are Classical Liberals.

    Facism is a sister of Progressivism. Both are sister faiths of Socialism. All are statist. All are inimical to Classical Liberalism.

    Just saying.

  • Taco||

    Would we agree that every subsequent generation of progressives has agitated ever more leftward, always in the name of "progress"?

    If we wound that clock far enough backwards, we would find what today might be called "classical liberals" who believed in nothing more or less than "progress".

    Libertarianism today is essentially the ideology that progressives held from 1750 to 1850 or so. They have progressed beyond it, but libertarians today have not.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    Either you are trolling with great skill, or you have no idea what is the difference between the two groups - progressives and libertarians.

    Classical Liberals and Progressives are from opposite ends of the spectrum. Progressive came - as I wrote above - from a completely different philosophical stream of thinking.

  • Free Society||

    Well like I said, Progressivism was created by a bunch of liberals adopting certain fascist positions. Progressivism is indeed related to fascism, but they are not siblings. Basically liberalism and fascism banged and spawned progressivism.

    This taco guy is talking out his ass. His statements are so generalized and inaccurate you can tell he's throwing shit at the wall hoping something will stick and above all else, hoping people will take his shit at face value.

  • JewPenis||

    Huge hint: do not talk about fascism if you don't know what it is. A fascist government could easily be more libertarian than a democratically elected conservative, in fact, it's more likely, since people don't tend to vote for libertarianism. Similarly, fascism could also be far more communist than a democratically elected socialist government.

    What do you, in fact define fascism as?

  • RJ The Terrible||

    @Taco,
    Then I write sloppily. Libertarianism is _not_ anything outside of the Progressive world view. That said, in this country we are looking at a government in the clutches of the Progressive movement, which is why my focus is there. Both parties are progressive to differing degrees, both crap all over the bill of rights. Both love the current warped interpretation of the commerce clause.

    For what it is worth, I see my self as an classic 19th century liberal: I see Montesque's divided government is a means of shackling Leviathan; and I agree with Bastiate's view that if the law goes past, do not "kill me", "enslave me" or "take my property" then it is an unneeded law.

    Hope that is enough of a clarification. There is more, but I am too lazy to go further.

  • Taco||

    Classical liberalism is only classical to us. The original proponents of classical liberalism were merely liberals. Their intellectual heirs are known today as progressives.

    Outside of perhaps extreme an-cap, libertarianism or "classical liberalism" is just an older version of progressivism.

  • PaulW||

    Taco, are you high?

    Progressives simply hijacked the term liberal. To claim that there is some connect the dots relationship between progressivism and libertarianism is straight up retarded.

    Today's progressives are pretty close to on the opposite side of the Nolan chart from us. The thing is, they always have been. For you to try and convince any of us otherwise is a bit insulting and it makes me question either your intelligence or your honesty.

  • Taco||

    How to talk to non libertarians?

    Question their honesty and intelligence.

  • PaulW||

    Hey, I laid it out there. Get some thicker skin.

    Your theory is bogus and I'm pretty sure you know it. At this point, I question your ego.

  • ||

    Taco,

    There's absolutely ZERO connection between progs and libertarians.

    Suggesting this is peak silly. On no level can, say, Adam Smith or Bastiat be related to today's progressives.

  • Taco||

    Adam Smith, for his day, was very, ahem, progressive. Wouldn't you agree?

    Thats the thing with progress (at least in the mind of the true-believer progressive). 350 years ago progress was purging the church of england of catholic influence. 250 years ago progress was recognizing the governments derive their just authority from the consent of the governed. 150 years ago progress was freeing the slaves. 50 years ago progress was the great society. Today progress is gay marriage, taxpayer-funded-abortion-on-demand, and functional socialism. I have little doubt that 100 years from now progress will be state-enforced veganism and voluntary human extinction. Throughout the history of liberalism, liberals have pushed against the leftward edges of acceptable political thought, and tried to implement the most left-leaning agenda which could reasonably pass muster. (and they have been spectacularly successful, btw)

    Classical liberalism an attempt at a system restore to a save point in the past. If you are modern American "conservative", your preferred restore point is circa 1960. If you are libertarian, your preferred restore point is circa 1790. Its not like progressivism is the twin brother of libertarianism, but both philosophies share a common ancestor.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    Taco,
    You are discussing issues. The point of the article is about the difference between philosophies. The issue is not about a spectrum Classical Liberalism is not a point on a spectrum that it shares with Progressivism.

    As I wrote earlier, Progressivism came about as a rejection of Classical Liberalism. The crux of the argument is about the nature of the relationship of man v. the state. It is also about the nature of the state. Most importantly it is about the nature of a mans freedom to choose the course of his life.

    If you chose to ignore this, by all means, have at it.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    If a bit aggressive, PaulW is basically right. Progressivism isn't an extension of what we view as classical liberalism. It carries a fundamentally different notion of the relationships between man, society, and the state.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    I tried to tell taco this earlier "7.13.14 @ 6:28PM|#" his reply indicates one of the following:
    1. he is not reading past the first sentence
    2. he is being deliberately dense (trolling)
    3. he is genuinely stupid

    I do not know the guy, so if you can tell me ... I would appreciate it

  • Taco||

    obviously we are at loggerheads here, talking past each other, etc. We will have to agree to disagree.

    1. I read everything you wrote
    2. nope, not trolling
    3. well, I'm starting to think that a libertarian's definition of "genuinely stupid" is "refuses to agree with me" so by that definition, guilty as charged.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    OK. Then how can progressivism by a lineal descendant of the philosophical frame work it patently rejects?

    CL:
    1. rights are innate and negative
    2. the state is not to be trusted
    3. each man is responsible for his outcome

    Prog:
    1. rights are granted by the state
    2. the state will bring social justice
    3. if an outcome is not equal it is because the society is not just

    Now. Given those three basic differences, how are the two related?

  • Taco||

    As I've said, Classical Liberalism, before it was "classical" and was contemporary, represented the fringe of societal progress.

    In the 1700s, the idea that the government would create a "just" society through the redistribution of goods and the provision of positive rights, or that gay marriage should be openly celebrated, would have been absurd. The cutting edge of progress in the 1700s was classical liberalism.

    Flash forward to, say, the 1850s or so. Abraham Lincoln, by the standards of today, was a racist. If Abraham Lincoln was reanimated and dropped into the GOP right now, without changing any of his beliefs, he would be undeniably, explosively racist. Cartoonishly racist. So racist, that people would accuse him of being a Democrat plant, meant to discredit the Tea Party, or something. He would have no chance of winning a primary election for any office in any district in the United States. And yet, in the 1850s, he represented PROGRESS. See how progress works? It never stops. Someone who holds progressive views today (assuming their views don't "evolve" over time) is a conservative in 20 years and a regressive reactionary in 40.

    And the same is true of the classical liberals. There was no concept of positive rights, social justice, equality of outcome, etc., because political philosophy had not yet progressed that far.

    **** Post broken by character limit, continued below ****

  • Taco||

    **** continued ****

    By calling yourself a classical liberal, you identify the late 18th century as the point in time when everything had progressed juuuuuuuuust right. You want to go back to that progress setting, instead of the progress setting we currently have. Which I mean, yeah, would be far far superior to the situation we currently have. But the fact remains that classical liberalism was just an earlier stage of "progress" than the current stage with which we are now blessed.

  • Suellington||

    Hayek dedicated Road to "The Socialists of all Parties" for a reason.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    Got it. You are just talking past me, and refuse to answer question as posed. That is troll behavior.

    CL has NOTHING to do with the redistribution of wealth or Gay anything. The founding fathers are classical liberals.

    I am citing the writing of the actual classical liberal writers - Smith, Lock etc. Aside from pulling your view from out of thin air - which Philosopher I have cited has advocated any of the crap you are claiming?

  • RJ The Terrible||

    Taco,
    follow the link and read:
    http://www.philosophybasics.co.....html#Types

  • RJ The Terrible||

  • Ann N||

    don't be dense. taco sees them as the heirs as per their relationship to social acceptance.

    to him liberal means fighting status-quo of the spectre of establishment 50 years prior. in his mind its devoid of principle or philosophy. its a social construct.

    if all goes well with obama's vast reconstruction of american society, in 50 years racist christians will be defined as 'liberals'.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    I may be dense. I am also stubborn. Taco is seeing things in the atypical way you describe. I am trying to be patient. If this was a Tony situation I would have waxed scatologically poetic - if only as a form of recreation.

  • Jeremy Block||

    Call it a day fellas. You're both on the same side and we have bigger fish to fry

  • Warren's Strapon||

    RJ: Taco is using two different definitions of "progressive" as if they mean the same thing. It's kind of like what evolution deniers do with "theory".

  • Gene||

    How to Talk to Nonlibertarians

    Very slowly.

  • GregMax||

    . . . and without expectations.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    Would a sarc-ectomy help? Just wondering

  • Suicidy||

    Try to avoid rolling your eyes when non libertarians speak.

    It isn't easy.

  • Greendogo||

    I think the most important thing is to actually talk to people about it. It's hard to argue against government as an institution sometimes if you want to keep your friends.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    As a high school classmate used to say:

    Man doesn't need friends...needs enemies to keep him on his toes.

  • Jeremy Block||

    My goal in talking to non libertarians is to begin with common ground in our ideas Most liberals agree that abortion should be legal, gay marriage, smoking weed, drinking raw milk, prostitution, etc. Ask them why they believe in such issues and they are bound to tell you that these are issuws which are about freedom of choice Ah hah now we are getting somewhere. So the government should not intervene in the affairs of a rational person you ask. So why do you want government to dictate health care laws, minimum wage laws, discrimnation laws, etc. and the conversation begins......

  • Los Doyers||

    THOSE LAST THINGS ARE DIFFERENT....is usually then how it ends.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Meh. I made rel headway yesterday with a couple of folks on a CNN thread.

    IMHO, the trick is to force yourself to be respectful, no matter how badly you want to insult them. Once you go negative, you've lost.

    The second thing I try to do is to keep asking small easily digestible questions, designed to lead them down a path. If they think they came to it on their own, more the better.

    Down-side...takes a lot of time and patience.

  • David Wall||

    Yep. My experience as well. Keeping things as friendly and positive as possible is the only way to persuade. Its not as much about winning the argument as getting at the truth about a matter. Thing is you have reality on your side, and most people really do want to be on the side of truth.

  • PaulW||

    But, the best part is tearing apart their logic and using every opportunity to make them look stupid.

    Of course, this will never convince the person I'm speaking to at the time, but I'm sure it has convinced many a lurker.

  • Jeremy Block||

    No, this is exactly what you don't want to do. Acting superior and enlightened is not going to sway a mind. It will just cause resentment,

  • ||

    Most liberals agree that abortion should be legal, gay marriage, smoking weed, drinking raw milk, prostitution, etc.

    Abortion and gay marriage, yes. Smoking weed, by some but few in the political class are openly for it. As for raw milk and prostitution, I've met very few liberals that are for it being legal. And I have yet to meet liberals that don't think everything on your list except gay marriage and abortion to a lesser degree should not be heavily regulated...which means legal under circumstances the government will allow but not others.

    And they wholeheartedly believe the government should regulate (intervene) in the affairs of rational people because too many people are too stupid to manage their own affairs or business relationships and must be "protected" from predatory corporations that will act all corporationy in their corporation buildings.

    Talking to a modern liberal, read: progressive, is about as productive as trying to have a conversation about quantum physics with Terry Schiavo.

  • Akira||

    "the government should regulate (intervene) in the affairs of rational people because too many people are too stupid to manage their own affairs"

    I have heard those words almost verbatim from progressives I know.

    I like to ask how it is that the government supposedly weeds out all of these stupid people when they are hiring their servants and enforcers. Isn't that the worst thing of all? A stupid person holding the reins of government power?

  • Jon Lester||

    Yet there's no high-profile outrage over the terms that make Russell Simmons's Rush debit card one of the very worst in the market.

  • Harun||

    Yes. I think its more useful to talk to the reflexive progressive...the guy who just never thought about it and just says whatever he's heard from his peers. (or her.)

  • Jeremy Block||

    Even my parents agree with prostitution and weed and even drugs if you push them far enough. Obviously once liberals enter politics they have to adapt but I think the average liberal agrees with my litany of causes above.

  • Warren's Strapon||

    If you're not encountering resistance on prostitution, you must not talk to a lot of liberal feminists. To them, all prostitution is coerced and is therefore rape.

  • american socialist||

    Because I can make a simple distinction between personal liberty and regulation of the economy, for starters.

  • PaulW||

    No you can't. You're a totalitarian slaver. You simply play along with your masters when they try and gain a voting bloc.

    That is the gist of your morality, and why many people here think you're a piece of shit.

    (Man, I really need some work on this kind of thing, don't I?)

  • RJ The Terrible||

    read the book "How To Make Friends and Influence People"

    Or just pass out candy.

  • ||

    Bull shit. I've read your comments. You make no such distinction. Maybe your sock puppet does?

  • Harun||

    E.g. I would like to drink raw milk, as a matter of personal liberty.

    Then the state says that regulation of milk says I can't.

    Economics and personal liberty intersect a lot.

  • Ann N||

    no most liberals don't agree that 'drinking raw milk' should be legal. they want to crucify jenny mccarthy.

    they worship the god of science, and want his commandments enforced. that means round up and imprison christian scientists who deny their cancer-ridden children chemo.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Except the science of fetal development.

  • SusanM||

    OT: This has GOT to be originally from The Onion:

    Glenn Beck To Take Tractor-Trailers Full Of Food, Teddy Bears To The U.S.-Mexico Border

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/.....70926.html

  • unperson||

    better title for article: how to talk to adults.

    Cuz only kids are libertarian.

  • Pathogen||

    It's like the Grinch returning all those stolen presents ≤/prog≥

  • Sevo||

    unperson|7.13.14 @ 9:40AM|#
    "better title for article: how to talk to adults."

    Would that it were so. Instead we get ignoramuses like this guy.

  • Rev-Match||

    better title for article: how to talk to adults

    Hm. It seems to me that it is the non-libertarians of the prog guild that are the ones who act like children. They, after all, are the ones that want to be babied by the state from cradle to grave and have everything provided to them at the expense of others. In closing, fuck off.

  • Pathogen||

    How to Talk to Nonlibertarians

    "Well hello, how have you been... sorry to hear that... anyhow, it was good to see you again.. take care! Bye!.."

    Orrrr...

    "Fuck off slaver.. Die in a fire!"

    Either or, it's context sensitive, I guess.

  • -Umbriel-||

    Few ever question its necessity, much less wonder what life would be like without it. Some people may think the government goes too far (or not far enough) in this matter or that, but the social-service state itself never comes under examination. Its morality is implicitly assumed on the basis of how commonplace it is./i

    I find it productive to level with them on this point -- That even if they think that there are some services that should be provided by the government instead of the market, the trend has been so extremely and unquestioningly in that direction that it's seldom ever questioned. Whatever our dreams as Libertarians might be about rolling back the state, I'd be quite happy if Americans would just start talking seriously again about whether something should be regulated instead of jumping directly to how much.

  • sarcasmic||

    As an individualist, I do not oppose collective action. I oppose coerced collective action.

    Why is that so difficult for people to understand?

  • Virginian||

    Because the majority of the people in this country attended government run schools. Government run schools teach people statism. The science is statist, the history is statist, the literature is statist.

    When you're talking to a person about the role of the State, you're not talking to a neutral observer, you're talking to someone who has spent at least fourteen thousand hours inside a government run indoctrination center. If they continued onto college, that figure only gets larger.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    Ironically I'm not sure public schools are pushing a pro government narrative any more than other institutions. When people write and talk history, for example, the focus has long been on kings, presidents and government wars and programs rather than the long influence of voluntary associations or groundbreaking entrepreneurs

  • sarcasmic||

    Who is the biggest buyer of history books? Yeah. The government. So it's no surprise that that's what the books focus on.

  • Free Society||

    As an individualist, I do not oppose collective action. I oppose coerced collective action.

    This reminds me of a scene from Stranger Than Fiction where Will Farrell's character, an IRS auditor accuses Maggy Gyllenhal's character of attending anarchist meetings to which the dumb bitch wittily replied "Anarchists assemble? They form groups?" meanwhile I'm screaming at the TV "Yes we do form groups you fuckwit!"

  • Eggs Benedict Cumberbund||

    Shows like "Connections" while distributed on a Prog network, are important and interesting, cause they don't really focus on kings and presidents but on unexpected flow of ideas and dependencies between various parts of society.

    I would put books like "The Rational Optimist" and "1491" in that category.

  • Carnival||

    How the Hell can the science be statist? At no point, in any of my highschool science classes did we talk about the government at all. We focused on, you know, science: chemistry, physics, biology, etc.

  • robc||

    How the Hell can the science be statist?

    Real science cant be. But have you seen any global warming stuff?

    Have you seen how elementary school science is taught?

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    There was a video I watched in elementary school, on "bring your parent to school" day.

    It showed that people that left the tap running while brushing their teeth were draining the lakes and rivers of the world and killing wildlife.

    *sigh*

  • Virginian||

    We were shown Captain Planet in elementary school science class.

  • Hooha||

    Shit, I think I saw that same video!!

    A few semesters ago - at the community college I attend - in the middle of what had been, up to this point, a fairly rudimentary Biology 101 course, the professor handed out a worksheet/quiz/inquisition to the class during an activity transition with only a short preamble to herald its arrival.

    I looked down to see a sheet clearly probing to see whether we were drinking our 'climate change' koolaide. I was so stunned that I could only meekly pencil in the answers I knew they wanted, for fear of being discovered and earning myself nothing but a tougher climb to a degree for my trouble.

    Even now, the grander implications of that experience chill me to the core. I feel dirty, but I'm too fucking poor to do the right thing.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    I was lucky enough to have a biology professor more interested in biology than pushing a political agenda. He'd respond to some of the students trying to push environmentalism by indicating that their positions would have us all "plowing the turnip patch", rather than sitting in class. It was a private school.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    cuz they think that because the progtards in the congress did it, then it is not coercion, "WE voted for this." Yes. That is what I get as a response.

    Concept of the rights of the individual vs. the group.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    is unheard of by them

  • Eric||

    You probably lost them at "progtards"....just sayin.

  • RJ The Terrible||

    Good point. I guess if I used the term fuck-heads they would be able to track

  • wwhorton||

    Here's a quick summary of my Friday night a propos of a case study:

    Me: The Hobby Lobby ruling touches on a larger principle, namely that, at a minimum, the state shouldn't be permitted to force business owners to provide services which violate their particular religious beliefs.

    The Wife: That's ridiculous! It's a business relationship, therefore Hobby Lobby [I'm paraphrasing here] shouldn't have a say in the nature of the compensation they provide to their employees, since it's used outside of the workplace.

    Me: ...

    The Wife: Also, Plan B is expensive, and if it isn't, then people who work for Hobby Lobby both cannot [still paraphrasing] find alternative employment anywhere on Earth and are completely unable to acquire Plan B on their own, and shouldn't be expected to do so even if they could. And Hobby Lobby is a big company, and religion shouldn't have any impact on anything.

    Me: ...I'm gonna get a beer.

    That's what we're dealing with. It's not that non-libertarians aren't aware of alternatives, it's that Progressives are starting from the core principle that it's not only legitimate but preferable for the state to use force to compel citizens to behave in ways that Progressives find tasteful.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    It sounds more like your wife sees non-monetary compensation as the same as monetary, just as HL complaining about what employees do with their paycheck would sound odd to us she sees them complaining about what insurance options are exercised to be odd

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    It took me the better part of seven years to turn my wife into a libertarian.

    You have a long and difficult road ahead of you, my friend.

  • PaulW||

    My wife is slowly coming around.

    I simply show her our paychecks, what gets taken out in taxes, what we have to put into retirement because we can't depend on SS by the time we retire, what we pay for health insurance while millions are getting subsidized, and what we also pay in property taxes, gas taxes, tolls, etc.

    We see much less than half of our total income.

    Sadly, most people will not care until it hurts them personally, and that point for the majority of americans will probably not happen until the economy collapses almost completely.

  • sarcasmic||

    Sounds like me and the wife talking about the drug war. She's one of those who believes that legalizing drugs is the same as promoting them. Trying to explain that the cure (prohibition) is worse than the disease (drugs) is a lost cause.

  • seguin||

    So bizarre. Just had the same conversation with my proto-fiancee last night.

  • Carnival||

    Instead of paraphrasing your wife and putting words in her mouth, why didn't you tell us what she actually said?

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Because quoting someone that was making irrational emotional arguments while you tried as best you could to remind yourself that she's a good and loving person is sometimes difficult.

    I can remember the general idea of plenty of conversations. But the exact words? Not always easy.

  • Harvard||

    So she has great tits then? WTF were you searching for when you "found" the Mrs.?

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Don't be mean.

    Besides, I'm talking about HIS wife.

    My wife was just slow on the uptake. Frankly, so was I. I was indoctrinated to the dems by my school and the repubs by my father and grandfather. Getting over it and learning liberty wasn't easy. Neither was learning to teach it.

    And women ALWAYS make irrational emotional arguments about shit. It's what they do. You'd have to remove every hormone producing organ in their body to prevent it.

  • Harvard||

    My mistake.

    I learned at my father's knee, and his father's. Blue dog Democrat once, my grandfather could not say Franklin Delano Rooosevelt without turning his head and spitting. My favorite quote of his was "the worst day for the Republic came when they allowed the income tax. The second worst day came when they mandated weekly paycheck theft rather than owing them until the end of the year."

    I was a very careful dater. Not that I wasn't impressed with great tits mind you, but empty headed liberalism made me soft, every time.

  • ||

    Omg hahaha!! Thank you for this and pretty much all of the post up thread! Way to completely validate every stereotype I've ever had about dumbass dudebro libertarians. Oh, and since "women ALWAYS make irrational emotional arguments about shit" I suppose you'll finally put the Ayn Rand down?

  • Virginian||

    Harvard isn't really a libertarian, for the record. See, we're not a fucking moderated echo chamber. We have all kinds: conservatives, anarchists, retarded progs, even a genuine national socialist loon who keeps getting banned.

  • PaulW||

    I always thought the stereotype was nerds talking about "obscure" Austrian economists.

    I guess we're dudebros now?

  • RenaD||

    And women ALWAYS make irrational emotional arguments about shit. It's what they do. You'd have to remove every hormone producing organ in their body to prevent it.

    Um. Then there wouldn't be any women libertarians, now would there? Furthermore, no one had to convert me, convince me, or otherwise cajole me into my libertarianism. Baby, I was born this way. And there are plenty like me.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    I didn't say all the time, or about every subject, thank you all the same.

    Every woman I've ever met, every woman I've ever spoken to in depth, every article written that explores the emotional side of women, they all are quite clear: Women think emotionally before they think rationally.

    Like any stereotype, this obviously doesn't mean ALL women do this ALL of the time. It also doesn't exclude men. I've had my share of emotionally irrational arguments.

    Doesn't stop the average woman (my wife included, just ask her) from thinking with their emotions more often than with logic.

  • ||

    Ya... you take that blatant sexism and just double down on it man. You'll show those silly, emotional vaginas!

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    You know, mister John Bltz, I actually got a bit upset when you decided that I was a raging sexist.

    So I called my wife and discussed this entire conversation with her.

    She agrees with me. And you know why? Because being honest about the differences between men and women is the best way to get ahead in gender equality. The more we pretend that everybody is the same, the more we regress.

    I tend to take people as they come, as individuals with their own qualities and personalities. But general statements still sometimes fit the bill, expecially when they are describing my own personal experiences.

    So fuck off.

  • PaulW||

    Honestly, how shit must it be to be a woman today?

    Every moment of your life you are convinced by the left that the things that have been traditionally important to women (and are probably ingrained in their dna) are not so important, and you must do exactly as a man does just to prove you can do it.

    Can you imagine if the opposite were true to the extent that it is to women? I mean, we get it too, as men, but not nearly as badly.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    and are probably ingrained in their dna

    That seems about right. A species that features those that need to take the lead in child rearing (sorry, ladies, but men can't nurse) having more emotional inclinations and those that need to take the lead in hunting have a more analytic bent are probably going to have an evolutionary advantage over those that don't. That's not to say women are incapable of analytical thought and men are incapable of emotion. Simply that having the sexes have a stronger inclination one way or the other is going to make sense.

  • ||

    And do you have any evidence for your armchair anthropology? Or are you just talking out your ass?

  • Hooha||

    "And there are plenty like me"

    Hi, Mrs. Shit, is Bull home? ...yes, I'll hold.

  • Francisco d'Anconia||

    Progressives are starting from the core principle that it's not only legitimate but preferable for the state to use force to compel citizens to behave in ways that Progressives find tasteful.

    Then start there. What is the role of government?

    No offense, but if your replay is accurate, you simply rolled over.

  • Scarecrow Repair||

    I always try the competitive angle, because government's need to avoid competition is what leads to its compulsive nature; if people could call on any cops they wanted, all cops would be much more polite and effective. If parties to a dispute, whether voluntary like a contract or involuntary like burglary, had to hire a court, courts would be much less arrogant and capricious.

    So I start by talking about their work, and they have to compete in one way or another, yes even government bureaucrats who compete with each other and against their stupid bosses. I've never met anyone yet who is willing to say that competition is bad, and that naturally leads to the question of why government must shield its programs from competition. Why must cities have health departments when Consumer Reports could do a much better job?

    Of course it never ends well, but I always hope I've planted some doubts, and maybe got them to think that libertarians actually have a consistent ideology and aren't just a bunch of anarchists.

  • SQRLSY One||

    One of the most impactful ways that I have found to talk to government-worshippers is simply to ask, “As a customer, where do you find yourself most sincerely catered to, and served? At the grocery store and at the car lot, which are mostly non-government run? At the emergency room, which is about ¾ government run by now? Or at the DMV, where you stand in line to get your permission to drive that car? Where is the wait-time longest, and where do they actually give a hoot about serving you?” … I have never gotten any serious response, not even angry responses, from that one, just some blank (maybe even thoughtful?) stares…

  • advancedatheist||

    He could reply that he places a higher value on equity and equal access than on a selfish regard for "good service" biased in favor of people with money over those without.

  • OneOut||

    So if he breathes, he has rights to all goods and services regardless of any productive effort on his behalf to warrant a share of resources ?

  • Free Society||

    He could reply that he places a higher value on equity and equal access than on a selfish regard for "good service" biased in favor of people with money over those without.

    A selfish regard for good service? Here I thought as a transaction where both parties are mutually consenting would benefit both parties involved, as opposed to a transaction where one party is forced to interact with the other.

    A world where scarce resources are distributed based on "equal access" is a world where there is little to no production at all.

  • Jeremy Block||

    Thats a good one

  • GILMORE||

    I find myself constantly quoting Sheldon Richman!

    The nurses say I've been a good boy too, and they're going to reduce the voltage this week.

  • Bo Cara Esq.||

    With liberals I try to appeal to a latent respect for pacifism many acknowledge ( do you really want people with guns to lock up a man for offering a job to someone below a declared minimum wage?). With conservatives I just try to get them to take their existing small government rhetoric seriously and consistently.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    I was talking with a friend of mine last night about the Hobby Lobby decision. She seems to think that the court should have sided with the Fed-gov.

    When pressed and pressed and called on her bullshit, she finally just came out and said (in a totally bullshit way) that if businesses are going to be fucked by Obama-care, they should all be fucked equally, because it's the law.

    This comes after plying out of her that the law is evil, abhorrent, and unconstitutional. What the fuck?

    How can you be against the law and for making everyone equally abused by it at the same time?

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Statists get off on power and violence.

  • Tommy_Grand||

    Easy: she hates pro-lifers much more than she hates Obama. she wants her friends to win and her "enemies" to lose.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Except that she IS pro-life. It's just. . .hypocritical to the extreme.

    In fact, she's not talking to me right now because I explained to her that trust has to flow both ways between a husband and wife, and she was holding a deep DEEP double standard and treating my best friend like a miserable lying fuck.

    She ran out of the room after screaming that she wouldn't have this conversation any more. I don't think I'm gonna see my friend for a few days.

  • ||

    Given that you're the same guy who commented earlier that, "women ALWAYS make irrational emotional arguments about shit," I'd guess you were being a sexist prick and got exactly what you deserve :-D lololololol

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    I like to act sexist around my friends sometimes, but only because when I say something sexist, it gets me slapped by my wife. :)

    I'm not a sexist. There are fundamental differences between men and women. I treat them the same way, regardless.

    I have never in my life been able to have a rational conversation with a woman without having to dig through a layer of emotional context to get to the reasoning behind what they actually think. Doesn't make them bad. Doesn't make it wrong. It just is what it is.

    And every single time it happens, I bring it up. And every single time the woman admits it. It's normal. When I speak with men that are emoting rather than thinking, I do the same thing. Just come across it much less.

  • Hooha||

    Hot DAMN it's validating to see someone I don't know say it out loud.

    +1 would have a beer w/

  • ||

    I know, right?!?! Whenever me and my dudebros try to talk to women their stupid tits and vaginas make them all emotional and it takes forever to get to the REAL reason they dared to disagree with us. Man I'm so happy I have a penis that lets me think clearly and rationally like ALL THE TIME.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Yeah, that's what I said.

    Well done.

  • LauraG||

    Their "stupid tits and vaginas" are what brought your emotionally irrational self into this world. Your mother abandon you or not breastfeed you? You show a strong lack of "rational" emotional attachment and should seek professional help to "rationalize" your disrespect towards women.

    I have no idea what it like to be a man and respect what an intelligent man, who is well-spoken and rational can bring to the table, you come across as none of these things according to your posts. Women hating does not make you superior, it makes you look inferior. There is nothing wrong with the way a man or a woman thinks when thoughts rational or emotionally rational are laid out in a way that provokes thought and change. There is much to learn from each sex, otherwise there would be no difference in the way each sex was engineered.

    Take note, each of us has something to offer and each sex has emotional miscommunications and irrational follow through, you and I are no different. Your "irrational" rage against women is a sign of your inept view of "all" women. Please be kind and learn that we all have something to offer one another if we just take ourselves off the pedestal we have built for ourselves.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    I guess your sarcasm meter must be broken.

    Just recently, thank you, I was discussing an article of reason with my wife. I flipped the laptop and showed her the story of the mother being arrested for leaving her daughter at the park alone.

    Her first reaction, straight out of the gate, was "That's horrible, she SHOULD be in jail."

    Now, keep in mind that this is coming from a libertarian woman, who believes just as strongly as I do in personal freedom. First thing she had, instantly, without a moment of thought on the matter, was an emotional knee-jerk reaction to a headline.

    I didn't. I stopped to read the article before making any kind of assumption at all. And this is what I'm talking about. She and I are different. You and I are different. We function differently, always have and always will.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    I didn't say this makes you bad, or me good. I don't judge based on those criteria. I also explained that this isn't 100% exact across both genders. But women and men both who think everybody is exactly the same are people who fall into the "you can grow up to be anything little Timmy!" school of thought.

    We're all different. African Americans are more prone to getting sickle cell anemia. Does this make them different from me? Yes! Because I'm NOT as prone to sickle cell anemia. Does this make them stupid or evil or intelligent or kind? NO! And being less prone doesn't mean anything about me, either.

    So women are different. More emotional. Who fucking cares? That's just how it is most of the time, but not always. Why are you so dismayed by this that you have to try and equalize everyone everywhere into the same generalized category?

  • ||

    "First thing she had, instantly, without a moment of thought on the matter, was an emotional knee-jerk reaction to a headline."

    (A) Whether her response was emotional and whether yours was inherently not is debatable. When you see a headline about liberty being curtailed does it upset you in any way? Does it make you angry? Annoy you? Because those are all emotional reactions. (B) That your wife, one time or even many, had a supposedly emotional reaction does not mean that all women have their reason clouded by emotion. Hell just the idea the emotion is somehow negatively effects reason is debatable.

  • ||

    "I didn't say this makes you bad, or me good. I don't judge based on those criteria."

    I call bullshit. You clearly think that emotion gets in the way of good reasoning. Thus if you believe that most women are emotional you are making a negative value judgement about the average woman's reasoning abilities.

    I mean think about it, this exact same reasoning could be used by someone claiming that people of certain races are just genetically wired to be less intelligent. They'd claim (and some have, google The Bell Curve) that they're not being racist, that they don't think that it makes one race better than the other, just different. They could even, as you do below, point out that it is commonly accepted that African Americans have higher rates of sickle cell anemia, but no one calls that racist. The reality of course is that it is unquestionably racist to claim that certain ethnic groups are genetically prone to lower IQs and it is equally unquestionable that claiming that one gender is genetically or biologically predisposed to be "overly emotional" when reasoning is sexist.

  • ||

    "We're all different. African Americans are more prone to getting sickle cell anemia. Does this make them different from me? Yes! Because I'm NOT as prone to sickle cell anemia. Does this make them stupid or evil or intelligent or kind? NO! And being less prone doesn't mean anything about me, either."

    Comparing sickle cell anemia rates to rates of 'being emotional', whatever the hell that even means, is specious at best. There's a reason that virtually every class on human evolution teaches about sickle cell, it's because it is literally one of the only human traits that varies among discrete population groups which is also incredibly simple to understand. The sickle cell trait is caused by a single point mutation that follows simple Mendelian inheritance. You could literally model its history in a population using the Punnett squares you learned in high school biology. How our brains are wired and how that effects whether we rely more on "reason" or "emotion" on the other hand is wildly complicated and no where near being understood. For one we don't even have any solid understanding of how brain activity works or effects our behavior. Secondly how our genes effect the structure and functioning of our brain is also incredibly complex and not well understood. I mean jesus, even left and right handedness aren't fully understood from a genetic/evolutionary perspective. So please don't claim that your prejudices are really just science, because they're not.

  • ||

    Putting all that aside, I'd challenge this reason vs emotions dualism itself. What exactly do you mean by "being reasonable" and "being emotional"? Is reason a type of thinking that is completely emotionless? Can any human just turn off their emotions? Is it possible that both you and your wife are influenced by your emotions when you discuss politics and that you've simply privileged your way of reasoning over hers (and other women's) by labeling it "emotional"?

    "Why are you so dismayed by this that you have to try and equalize everyone everywhere into the same generalized category?"

    I'm not the one trying to lump large groups of people into some generalized category. I believe that all people, whether men, women or somewhere in between, are incredibly diverse and complicated. You're the one trying to make generalization about a category of people.

  • entropy_factor||

    *WHITE KNIGHT ALERT*

    SURRENDER YOUR TESTICLES AND NEVER SAY THINGS THAT JOHNBLTZ DOESN'T AGREE WITH, YOU PLEBS

  • ||

    You got me man! I like to trick other people into thinking that I'm just engaging issues I care about on internet forums, but you figured it out. The REAL reason I'm here is to be a "white knight" and steal all of your testicles! And Id've gotten away with it to, if it weren't for you meddling kids!

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    He needs those testicles. He doesn't have any of his own.

  • ||

    It's true. I lost them in a horrible mowing accident :-(

    But it's okay! I've collected like a dozen pairs from misogynists and rapists so far. My sack is like grotesquely huge now, it's awesome!

  • Jensen||

    Simple. Equality. Some people have a fundamentally fucked up notion that even something that fundamentally doesn't work it has to be applied 'equally' regardless.

  • Jeremy Block||

    My goal in talking to non libertarians is to begin with common ground in our ideas Most liberals agree that abortion should be legal, gay marriage, smoking weed, drinking raw milk, prostitution, etc. Ask them why they believe in such issues and they are bound to tell you that these are issuws which are about freedom of choice Ah hah now we are getting somewhere. So the government should not intervene in the affairs of a rational person you ask. So why do you want government to dictate health care laws, minimum wage laws, discrimnation laws, etc. and the conversation begins......

  • BakedPenguin||

    Hmm. This sounds familiar.

  • Mint Berry Crunch||

    Delayed double post?

  • Jeremy Block||

    What do u mean?

  • BakedPenguin||

    Scroll up.

  • Free Society||

    If libertarians want to change how nonlibertarians think about government, they will need to understand how nonlibertarians think about government.

    I think tat's easy for a lot of libertarians. Most of us can remember a time when we never gave politics and philosophy much genuine thought and most of us can recollect the dumb shit we believed in those pre-libertarian days. That aside, bad ideas are easier to have than good ideas. Bad ideas spread easier and resonate with people easier. It takes very little brain power, knowledge or discipline to come up with stupid fucking ideas. That's the empathetic principle we should take with us going into these discussions. The people unwilling to question their poorly reasoned beliefs are a waste of time.

  • sarcasmic||

    Those bad ideas feel right, and most people never really think about them.
    I know. I once felt as they do. Now I think.

  • Eric Bana||

    I was your regular George W. Bush Republican until I started hearing Ron Paul at the debates (Federal Reserve?--what???). Then I found the Mises Institute and read there for about four years almost religiously. I ended up gradually stopping for some reason--I don't really know why. Maybe the people writing for the Mises Daily changed and weren't quite as good. I don't know. In any case, all that radically changed how I thought about things.

  • Free Society||

    I use Mises pretty just to get my economics fix, they've got a wonderful library.

  • Hooha||

    Hey, me too! Although, my path to intellectual consistency didn't start with RP, but instead by arguing with liberals after about 2006. This is when every single discussion with even the slightest hint of a political undertone started to result in BOOOOOOSH, and I ultimately found myself less and less able to defend his administration the more I actually considered things like context, precedent, universal human rights, government responsibility, etc. I would argue that reconciling the hypocrisy in Republican mores leads one almost automatically to Libertarianism, so the rest is history.

    The only pitfall to be avoided is not making a knee-jerk overcompensation like a jackass and jumping to the opposite Team just because you realize yours kinda sucks.

  • robc||

    Fuck Utilitarianism.

    Private programs may or may not be better, but they are guanteed to be freer.

  • ||

    Someone: "Hey Suthen, how do you stand on X?"

    Me: "I am not qualified to tell someone else what do with their own body ( or property, depending on what issue we are talking about) that they own and I don't. To be honest, I don't want that responsibility. I have my hands full taking care of this." *points at self*

    After that they generally don't want to talk much because they know or sense if they proceed much further they are going to have to admit that they are claiming other people as their property. They usually get quiet and I can practically hear them begin to question some of their basic assumptions. I figure if I can't convert them outright I can at least nudge them in the right direction.

  • ||

    Also, keep in mind that sanity is the exception.

  • sarcasmic||

    Depends on the person. Take John for example. He tells me that because I have a generally low opinion of humanity, that I must believe that people need to be controlled. No matter how much I tell him that that generally low opinion of humanity means that I don't believe anyone can be trusted to control anyone else, he insists that I want people to be controlled. Then again, he is an asshole who believes everyone needs to be controlled and fancies himself as a controller. So it's projection all the way around.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    That IS rather odd.

    I tend to get into arguments with people because I feel a particular way about something, but act in a different way.

    Like abortion. I don't like abortion. But I'm fine with other people getting abortions because it's none of my fucking business.

    People can't figure out the disconnect between disagreeing with something and not regulating it. If they see it as wrong, there should be a law.

    It's frustrating, to say the least.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Yeah, killing innocents is none of my fucking business.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    No, it's not. Unless it's you or yours.
    And innocents only jives if you believe or define a child at a certain point of growth as alive, either physically or spiritually.

    No matter how you look at it, you don't have any business forcing your beliefs on another person.

    And this is exactly what I was talking about. I'll bet you think I'm pro abortion because I won't stick my nose in another persons right to have an abortion.

    I fucking hate people like you.

  • robc||

    I sent my parable of fractional slavery to a prog friend.

    He didnt disagree with any of it, he just decided to fuck off.

    I think he is happy being an ignorant slaver.

  • ||

    About changing minds. Good luck with that.

    And the answer for why is revealed right off the bat.

    "By "nonlibertarians," I mean the majority of people who spend little if any time pondering political theory..."

    You can't engage people who are ignorant or show little interest in informing themselves. It's much easier to derp it up and talk out of their asses. Hence hopelessly zero-sum slogans like , 'Koch!' and 'minimum wage! and 'pay your fair share!' and 'who needs a big house?' and so on.

  • ||

    The zero-sum premise is very common. It seems counter intuitive to me.

  • sarcasmic||

    That's because most people equate money with wealth.

    It took me a while to understand that wealth is real and something that is created, while money is just a promise for future wealth.

  • fuck you tulpa||

    The only success I've ever had with this was with the "well, criminals don't obey ANY laws" line of argument about gun control.

    The woman involved actually realized one more stupid regulation isn't going to make someone stop buying a gun to murder someone.

  • sarcasmic||

    I've tried that argument on gun control, and that's when I finally get them to say the truth which is that they want no guns in the hands of anyone except government.

  • fuck you tulpa||

    At which point I say who cares what you want criminals are criminals, they don't obey laws.

  • fuck you tulpa||

    Or rather, I say "I want a 12 inch dick and a pony" and wait until they appear. When they don't I then follow up with "criminals

  • fuck you tulpa||

    The fuck? half my post vanished.

  • Ted S.||

    Or rather, I say "I want a 12 inch dick and a pony"

    I wouldn't want to cut my dick in half.

  • sarcasmic||

    They would rather die with a phone in their hand, waiting for the cops, than live with a gun in their hand. Tell it to them that way and they'll say that criminals should have guns, preventing such a situation from happening. I will point out how well that has worked with drugs, and they just don't care. They want everyone to be disarmed except the government.

  • fuck you tulpa||

    at which point i use my well known victim status of a robbery where I was beaten for 15 minutes and had my head crushed with a paving stone while on the phone with 911.

  • Suicidy||

    I stopped debating progtards. There is no point. They will never stop unless you stop them. This is why I advocate the use of any action necessary, including attrition of the progtards, to stop them.

    You can't bargain with incrementalists scum like them. Anything you give up in a compromise is a new starting point for next time. And promises mean nothing to them.

  • Suicidy||

    Anti gun zealots should all be the victims of horrible beatings and rapes.

  • ||

    This past week I went to a BBQ and met a guy from Nigeria. He married a Montrealer but owns a rental car company in Atlanta. We got to talking about business, economics and politics. Turns out the dude has a rabid hatred for 'social-progressivism' which he views as a destroyer of civilization. He was explaining all the bull shit cronyism he has to go through and how progressives don't speak for him or his business. Imagine that. For a brief moment in time I felt there was hope for us all. But the majority of people listening in it was more a curiosity than anything. The conversation didn't expand beyond two 'libertarian extremists' discussing their quaint views.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    My experiences with African immigrants concurs this. A lot of "what the fuck is with all these taxes and regulations?"

  • Ken Shultz||

    To me, communicating to non-libertarians comes down to making a qualitative pitch. Do you want to be free to make qualitative choices for yourself about your own life--or would you rather those choices were made for you by politicians and bureaucrats?

    To people who do not already possess a healthy disgust for coercion, this a) helps foster a healthy disgust for coercion and b) shows why freedom is qualitatively better than the other options.

    No, I don't want bureaucrats and politicians making qualitative choices for me about my healthcare, and that's why I oppose ObamaCare.

    No, I don't want bureaucrats and politicians making qualitative choices for me about my favorite form of intoxication, bailing out the UAW with my future paychecks, who I can or can't marry, whether I use a taxicab or a rideshare service, etc., etc...

    Do you want those choices made for you by politicians and bureaucrats? If you'd rather make qualitative choices about your own life for yourself, then for goodness' sake, learn more about libertarianism.

  • sarcasmic||

    The common retort to that is "Well if the government doesn't make those decisions, then the evil corporate profitists who put profits before people will make those decisions! We need government to make those decisions because we are government and government is us, and government puts people before profits!"
    *Slam* Right into a brick wall.

  • Ken Shultz||

    There are people out there would not rather make choices for themselves. They'd much rather the government made their choices for them--and they like it when the government forces their own preferred choices on other people.

    But if that were clearly where the fault line were in American politics--across the board? Oh what a wonderful world that would be.

    Hell, there are millions of people out there who vote for progressives because they think that if the Republicans take control of the government, they'll take away their freedom to make choices for themselves. And it's the same thing on the other side--if the Democrats had their way, they'd take away my guns, my CO2 producing car, etc., etc.

    If we want to redraw the political map, that's where the fault lines need to be, and if we want people to understand liberty better, then I think that's the pitch we need to make. They may not take the bait. We can't make 'em drink, but we can show them where the water is. And it's where people are free to make choices for themselves--instead of having their choices made for them by the government.

  • TheSpiteHouse||

    Well said.

  • Suicidy||

    Conservatives want to control a heel of a lot less of,your life than the progtards do. And most can be reasoned with and will keep promises. This does not include the current RINO GOP elite types like Speaker Boner.

  • Ken Shultz||

    The point is that the people who want to take away your choices on various things are split, however unevenly, among the two parties--and if we could get them all on the same side against the government control freaks, we'd live in a much more libertarian world.

    Instead we've got a world where the people who don't want the government telling them who to marry and the people who want to be free to make healthcare choices for themselves are effectively fighting each other for control.

    When that stops, we libertarians win.

  • Ken Shultz||

    Believe it or not, there are people on the right who think that before I choose to hire someone to babysit my kids or mow my lawn, I should have to check with the government first to see if my choice is okay with their favorite politicians and bureaucrats.

  • Bill Dalasio||

    Because, in the long run, you can't accept conservative premises without eventually having to accept that the libertarian position is right. The same doesn't apply to progressives. They fundamentally disagree with libertarianism's premises. When you argue with a conservative, the debate ultimately comes down to implementation or they start either parroting the progressive argument or go somewhere creepy.

  • Azathoth!!||

    ^This^

    This right here. In spades.

    Conservatism, with the statist dross refined out IS libertarianism. Both have the same endgame--ultimate individual liberty.

    Conservatism is just contaminated with more--and slightly different statist dross than libertarianism.

  • Ted S.||

    What's been going on at the VA shows that the government doesn't put people before its own interests. And no amount of money is ever going to change that.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Change comes from within. Intellectually curious people will come to the intellectually honest conclusions on their own.

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    Ehi passiko. Sadhu! Sadhu! Sadhu!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Yep.

  • Marshall Gill||

    One of the biggest problems I see with Libertarians talking to other people is their habit of often playing "two wrongs make a right". If someone steals from me, stealing from others and imagining that I "paid in" or am "getting some back" is not a moral argument. "I will stop taking stolen money when I am no longer robbed" is also not a moral argument. "You first" shouldn't convince anyone.

    What difference does it make if wealth transfers are immoral if no one cares that it is immoral? Is there even an argument to be made that they are immoral, if no one, including libertarians, act as if they are?

    Words are cheap, cheap, cheap. If a libertarian wishes to change the world, he must start with himself and lead by example.

  • robc||

    ???

  • BakedPenguin||

    Pretty sure he meant that some libertarians accept certain payments by government entities, and that this is viewed as hypocritical, by him and by others.

  • KPres||

    Stop with the assumption that people are reasonable. Some people CAN be reasonable, but those types will research the issue on their own and make their own decision. For everybody else, politics is about signaling. The way to convert them is by mocking the opposition.

  • Rich||

    most other people ... see government as a vast mutual-aid society ...: You pay your dues (taxes) and you draw benefits when you qualify under the various programs.

    I have a friend, well-educated and intelligent, in this camp. He claims people should pay more taxes so that the government can provide more services. Indeed, he's a proponent for the 95%-income-tax-for-cradle-to-grave-care paradigm. When I point out the, um, inefficiencies inherent in such a coerced monopoly, his response is "of course -- that's part of the tradeoff". It seems, to pick up on Richman's (no relation) discussion of insurance, that my friend considers government waste and abuse as taking the place of company profits.

  • halmonkey||

    Good points in this article. The Zero Aggression Project talks about similar things: Consumer-controlled governments. http://bit.ly/1riIvrF

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    "By "nonlibertarians," I mean the majority of people who spend little if any time pondering political theory..."

    I don't think that is a very helpful criteria. There are scads of people who spend little time thinking about political theory that are ardent TEAM foot soldiers and useful idiots. In my experience they generally are motivated by some combination of envy and fear and have decided to assuage those emotions by picking up a rhetorical spear and hoping that they are on the winning side. Progs, Drug Warriors, pick an interest group, any argument that is based on the rejection of the use of coercive violence is going to be a non-starter because they are lost to their particular emotional hobgoblin. Violence is their only perceived way out.

    Much more fertile ground is the casual news or political consumer. Someone that is at least minimally aware of what is happening but not subject to an intense emotional response to perceived or propagandized threats to themselves or Teh Children. Here a well articulated case for limiting the scope a strength of the government has born fruit in the past through a variety of arguments.

    I think the key is a lower than typical level of general fear or anxiety (about one's ability to make one's way) and/or a real sense of self-possession (true self-respect, a desire not to be dominated or controlled, particularly by fools) which, to me, are the basic character traits that are most commonly shared among libertarians.

  • Rich||

    true self-respect, a desire not to be dominated or controlled, particularly by fools

    This. Perhaps libertarians can make more converts by couching the philosophy in "anti-bullying" terminology.

  • Dances-with-Trolls||

    That said, even a lot of these normals will have at least one hang up (drug war seems to me to be the most common) or be subject the the flawed Public Goods Game in which we are all incubated.

    I have found it most useful to outflank these reactions by reinforcing libertarian ideas in the areas that are not subject to knee-jerkism as a stepping stone to addressing the main resistance.

    The point being that most people, for a variety or reasons, lack the ideological language of liberty. It's not one that people grow up speaking. By finding common "hey, that's fucked up" ground and then sharing a new way of expressing why it's fucked up one can equip their interlocutor with the knowledge sufficient to apply the concept of liberty to other situations.

    After a while you might be able to help them over the final hurdle where they will embrace the idea of real liberty and one day be fit to join us in the camps.

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    Damn man. That sounds lke it might work more than none of the time.

    Better than anything I've tried, for sure.

  • Eric Bana||

    To me it's shocking to have students recite the Pledge of Allegiance every day at the beginning of school like I did in 1st grade through high school. Isn't that indoctrination? Is that a nation-wide thing?

  • Emmerson Biggins||

    We don't do it in our homeschool.

  • Eric Bana||

    That's good to know.

  • Jensen||

  • Libertarian||

    When I was in my 20s, I tried to win arguments with others, and I don't think I changed many, or any, minds. But I have changed minds since then, by putting my reasoning out there, or pointing to real world consequences. People get defensive when you're arguing. When you put up ideas (such as Ron Paul did, over and over) people don't get quite as defensive. They hear what you say and maybe a week later, while reading a news article, they'll remember what you said and how it applies, and maybe start thinking about that seed of an idea you planted.

  • TheSpiteHouse||

    Also very well said.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    My biggest "victory" has come as a result of Obamacare. In the beginning, everyone I know was in favor of it and I was a heartless child killer, but pretty much every bad thing I predicted about it came true, and so I've been vindicated in the minds of a couple of truely hardcore lefties.

    So thank you Obama, for making more Liberals open to questioning statism than any other President in my lifetime.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Please keep this in mind.

  • SusanM||

    I almost wasn't going to say this but if this were an article on Think Progress about how to convince skeptics of global warming the tenor of the comments would pretty much sound the same: "They're crazy and evil and we're objective and logical".

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    "But we're right!"

  • Redmanfms||

    If that's what you came away with, you didn't read the comments in this thread.

  • SusanM||

    Okay, what was I supposed to come away with?

    I'm not trying to critique libertarianism as much as I'm trying to point out that there's no apparent interest in sincere engagement on either side of any given issue - a disinterest that goes beyond ideology. If someone agrees then they're right-thinking, rational people. If they don't they're brainwashed - either by a semi-popular cable news channel or a government that can't put together a decent website yet is capable of indelibly indoctrinating millions - or they're dupes of some elite or another or they're in on the grand conspiracy.

  • Redmanfms||

    Well fuck, notawoman, you could have actually read the comments in the thread.

    I know it's your wont to post incredibly inane ridiculous horseshit (like the racist screed that you eventually scrubbed from your blog), but shit, at least read the comments before stating unequivocally that the comments thread is only a circle-jerk of, "Us Good, Them Bad" grunting.

    Libertarian, Dances-with-Trolls, Ken Schultz, Suthenboy, Jeremy Block, and Scarecrow Repair all made substantive posts, hell even Bo-Bo posted something substantial. Even the many of the "Us Good, Them Bad" grunts had useful information on how to approach conversations with the intent to modify opinions favorably.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Redmanfms,

    You're not wrong that Susan could have given some of the replies (greater?) scrutiny. However, given also that the point of this post was how to better engage people, do you think you could have not included an insult to her sexual identity in the first line? It serves no purpose.

  • Redmanfms||

    Sure, I could have, but concern trolling on his part is pretty common and it is nearly always the same "the comments here are identical to (insert lefty/righty website here)" bullshit predicated on willfully ignoring half the thread.

    He's a dumber, racist version of Stormy Dragon and I honestly don't care to "engage" with people who engage in outright mendacity so damned frequently because it is fucking pointless.

  • RenaD||

    Susan has a point. Some folks don't hold liberty as their highest value, so any "rational" argument about the government being inefficient or a bully or whatever is not going stick. Even if libertarians point out that, okay, our goals are the same, we just disagree about the means, and that liberty is the overarching value, with fairness, kindness, peace naturally evolving out of that umbrella value, they won't get it. They simply cannot conceive of a world in which their values of fairness, kindness, parity etc. are not A. Primary above all else, and B. Tethered to/guaranteed by a government institution. It won't compute.

  • Redmanfms||

    You need to re-read the SusanM's posts, because that is not at all what he is saying.

  • fuck you tulpa||

    Sometimes it's true though.

  • RishJoMo||

    Sounds like a pretty brisk business to me dude.

    www.AnonToolz.tk

  • ||

    How to Talk to Nonlibertarians

    The first thing that comes,to mind is "don't lock eyes with 'em."

  • ||

    Especially the ones googly eyes of which there are plenty.

  • ULOST||

    Far too many, especially progs, believe that regulation is necessary for legitimacy and honesty and anything short of that means the wild west.

  • Gozer the Gozerian||

    Ah, the delicious irony of political medievals fearing the Wild West...

  • XM||

    "Hey you, stop liking big government"

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    What do you say to the person, who in response to hearing that you're a libertarian, says, "Oh, so you think everybody but the rich should just die."

  • Derpetologist||

    Face palm slowly. Sigh softly. Then, very carefully, say:

    "Straw man argument; look it up."

  • Derpetologist||

    I like pithy quotes like "more laws, less justice" or "power corrupts". Giving a quick overview of a specific example like Wickard v. Fillburn can be useful against "law & order" types.

    The problem, I think, is that people become libertarians through self study. You have to be curious about other ideas to do that. Most people are not curious about other ideas. They go with the flow because it's easier.

    I think the best approach is the Socratic method. Asking questions like "are politicians wise and honest?" or "how many laws should there be?" can lead to furrowed brows.

    Now, drink the salty ham tears of proggy terrorist huggers:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vO1OcTttOp0

  • Mike Harris||

    This would be a great article if the author had actually made a real attempt to understand the viewpoint of nonlibertarians, rather than just write a bunch of BS about what he believes nonlibertarians think in an effort to make himself appear intellectually superior. Maybe the real title of this article should be, “The world is black and white. The private sector is always good. Government is always bad. Anyone who disagrees is dumb.” This reasoning is why most of you disagree with climate change, even though an actual investigation of ALL the facts, instead of the political blogs you read proves otherwise. And this is why you are against “government schools”, whereas if you actually looked at the facts you would see that the majority of charter schools (run by “for profit” companies) are an embarrassment and continually take tax dollars before failing, closing, and opening again under a new name. And the pressure of anti-public education reformers such as yourselves has led to billions of dollars in failed policies such as No Child Left Behind and all other polices.

    Perhaps instead of making a fake attempt to understand why many people disagree with you, you should consider actually listening. Because from the perspective of a non-liberarian, your assumptions about how I view government are insulting, and you completely come across as the ones who are uneducated and misinformed about the world around you.

  • Redmanfms||

    This would be a great article if the author had actually made a real attempt to understand the viewpoint of nonlibertarians,

    And then:

    This reasoning is why most of you disagree with climate change, even though an actual investigation of ALL the facts, instead of the political blogs you read proves otherwise.

    And:

    And this is why you are against “government schools”, whereas if you actually looked at the facts you would see that the majority of charter schools (run by “for profit” companies) are an embarrassment and continually take tax dollars before failing, closing, and opening again under a new name.
    Perhaps instead of making a fake attempt to understand why many people disagree with you, you should consider actually listening.

    Physician, HEAL THYSELF.

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Derpetologist|7.13.14 @ 2:15PM|#

    Face palm slowly. Sigh softly. Then, very carefully, say:

    "Straw man argument; look it up."
    reply to this

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    So, where do you teach at?

  • Derpetologist||

    I am the chair of the Derp Studies dept at Windowlicker University.

  • craiginmass||

    "What libertarians have to explain to the politically disengaged and uninformed"

    This is simple and already expressed in the quote. They simply have to explain that they know better and that the Randian way is better...even if it calls religion weak, says it's OK to have snuffed out all the native Americans, etc.

    It just IS. Libertarians just know. You others don't. Simple.

  • Virginian||

  • JPyrate||

    Eat a bag of Dicks.

  • JPyrate||

    Eat a bag of Dicks.

  • Tony||

    [Government's] morality is implicitly assumed on the basis of how commonplace it is.

    And the lack of demonstrated alternatives that are shithole war zones.

  • Derpetologist||

    Every shit hole war zone on earth today has some kind of govt. That holds true for just about all of history.

  • Tony||

    Fine, the lack of real alternatives, period. If libertarianism is so good, wouldn't it have been successfully tried at least once? Tried at all? If there is something about human nature or reality that prevents it from ever coming in to being, what is the point of talking about it?

  • Derpetologist||

    It has. You are living in a country founded on mostly libertarian principles, that is limited govt.

    These principles made the US the prosperous and innovative nation in all of history.

  • Tony||

    What made the US the most prosperous and innovative nation was history's greatest government spending project known as WWII and the succeeding country and global-scale public works projects. Massive deficit spending is what made this country what it is.

    Argue if you must that the founding principles that built the country that preceded this ascendence were libertarian (they were not), but it was only possible on the hells of a genocide and wholesale theft of a continent, so it's hard to say it was really ever tried in good faith.

  • Derpetologist||

    Oh, really?

    Would care to explain why millions of immigrants came in the late 19th and early 20th century if not for economic opportunity? Keep in mind the federal govt spent about 1/20 as much per capita then than it does now.

    Free speech isn't libertarian? Protection from cruel and unusual punishment isn't libertarian? Checks & balances isn't libertarian?

    The decline of the tribes was mostly the result of an accidental smallpox epidemic. That doesn't excuse the other crimes by the US govt.

    Why don't you denounce the US govt for its crimes against the tribes?

  • craiginmass||

    Randism says it's OK to wipe out "the tribes" or anyone else who doesn't measure up to the western way of civilizations. Based on her opinions, the Germans were 100% Randian taking over Poland because, frankly, they were civilized and the Polish peasants were not.

  • JPyrate||

    Eat a bag of Dicks.

  • ||

    "What made the US the most prosperous and innovative nation was history's greatest government spending project known as WWII and the succeeding country and global-scale public works projects. Massive deficit spending is what made this country what it is."

    That process began long before 'big government.' That is, in the 19th century.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    What made the US the most prosperous and innovative nation was history's greatest government spending project known as WWII

    Wow. So we owe prosperity and innovation to the most widespread war in history, which cost the lives of 75 million people, most of which were civilians?

    Gee, who are the idiots thinking of an alternative to that system?

  • OneOut||

    Tony|7.13.14 @ 3:56PM|

    Blah blah blah! Derp Derp Derp ad nauseum.

    Tony how old were you when your Father abandoned you/your family ?

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    f libertarianism is so good, wouldn't it have been successfully tried at least once? Tried at all? If there is something about human nature or reality that prevents it from ever coming in to being, what is the point of talking about it?

    If you'd do the slightest bit of open minded research, you'd find that this question has been answered, multiple times.

    This is probably my favorite version, from which I'll quote:

    Let’s reword the question slightly, in order to draw out the answer. You’ll note that when stated correctly, the question contains an implicit non sequitur.

    (1) “If your approach is so great, why doesn’t local law enforcement want to give up the money, supplies, and authority that come from the drug war?”

    ...

    (8) “Special interests win special benefits for themselves because those benefits are concentrated and significant. The costs, dispersed among the general public, are so insignificant to any particular person, that the general public has no vested interest in organizing against it. An extra 25 cents per gallon of orange juice is hardly worth devoting one’s life to opposing, but an extra $100 million per year in profits for the companies involved sure is worth the time to lobby for.

    “If your approach is so great, why does this happen?”

    The answer is public choice theory.

  • Blueman||

    Libertarians are not anarchists. ANARCHISTS are anarchists. Favoring restraints on the government is not the same as abolishing government. Will that ever sink in, or will you ask the same question tomorrow?

  • Tony||

    But the restraints you favor are arbitrary and lead to bad outcomes, and are coupled with an absolutist ethical premise about government coercion.

  • entropy_factor||

    source?

  • Brian||

    himself.

  • Virginian||

    There isn't a single place on earth that lacks a coercive state. Not one. Your argument is invalid.

  • Tony||

    That was my argument.

  • Virginian||

    Then it doesn't prove your point.

    There's never been a society without rape. Doesn't mean rape is a good thing.

  • Tony||

    But there isn't a political movement premised on the belief that a society without rape is possible.

  • Virginian||

    But there isn't a political movement premised on the belief that a society without rape is possible.

    There isn't?

  • Derpetologist||

    And it's retarded because your original argument was that without strong, central govt, we would descend into barbarism.

  • Brian||

    That's a stupid argument.

    Tony, you're an atheist. Atheists are about 2% of the world population. Every nation is composed primarily of religious people, and this has been true throughout history.

    So, when are you going to give up your silly, immature atheism? After all, history (apparently) shows us that people value religion as an organizing principle. And, where they're given religious freedom from the state, instead of adopting atheism, they establish and practice religions.

    Sure, there are those crazy outliers who think we don't need religion, or just don't like religion for themselves. But they never form their own society. And, practically all governments and laws trace their moral and ethical principles to religious foundations.

    So, when are you going to give up your childish, extremist atheism?

    Oh, wait. I forgot: we use completely different standards.

  • Tony||

    I'm an atheist because I believe in proportioning my beliefs to evidence. You're a libertarian because you don't.

  • Brian||

    What I'd love to see is how you'd come out with your atheism if you lived in the past.

    Would you embrace the same evidence and be an atheist?

    Or would you fall back to your fallacious appeals to history and culture?

    I think you'd come down on believing that the atheism and the separation of church and state are arbitrary and inherently bad. You'd make your false equivalency appeal about coercion, and claim that anyone who wants freedom from religion must want state coercion in other areas of their lives, rendering the distinction arbitrary. If taxes are good, why not state religion? We'd have to argue it out on the merits, but we're not allowed to say that forcing people to be in a religion is morally reprehensible, because we're not anarchists, or some bullshit like that.

    Then, you'd appeal to history, note that all European nations had strong state-sponsored Christianity, how all the alternatives were heathen barbarians or failed states, note that European happiness is just the best happiness of all (because, really, who else has a better idea), and conclude that state-sponsored mandatory Catholicism sounds like a great idea.

    And, then you'd watch history roll forward and completely contradict your "scientific" argument.

    Scientism isn't science.

  • Tony||

    As Dawkins said, "Although atheism might have been logically tenable before Darwin, Darwin made it possible to be an intellectually fulfilled atheist."

    Thank goodness for modern science. It is what allows us to appreciate an evidence-based outlook in the first place. Unfortunately for dogmatists of all stripes, and that definitely includes libertarians, the modern scientific outlook has made alternatives uncompelling.

  • Brian||

    It only became possible to be intellectually fulfilled after Darwin? So, apparently, atheism only became intellectually fulfilling after the argument from ignorance (i.e., I can't explain how life began) had a better answer than pointing out its fallaciousness?

    How enlightened. What a lazy way to ignore the complete disconnect between evidence based reasoning and your own appeals to history and culture. How amazingly devoid of self-reflection and coherence.

    As if Darwin would have excused you from being completely wrong in the past. How brilliantly idiotic.

  • Tony||

    I have no idea what you're talking about. I hate to have to spell out Dawkins's elegant point. The science Darwin is responsible for is about the way nature can produce the wonders of creation all by itself. That's why atheism becomes intellectually fulfilling, even if before it still might have been soundly logical.

  • Brian||

    The additional fulfillment you gain from your atheism as a result or Darwin is completely irrelevant.

    Therefore, I have no idea what you're talking about.

    Additionally, does it decrease your atheist fulfillment to not understand what caused the big bang?

    And, what that has to do with the clearly demonstrated fact that science has frequently shown just how fallacious and unscientific appeals to history and culture are, I have no idea.

    Sounded fun to say, though, I guess.

  • ||

    This is patently false. There are plenty of places in the word in which there is no state or the state holds so little power as to be meaningless. the Bororo, the Baining, the Onondaga, the Wintu, the Ema, the Tallensi, the Vezo, and arguably the Zapatistas in Mexico. To buy into the idea that The State has absolute control of every part of globe is to buy into the mythology on which statism is built.

  • Derpetologist||

    Compare the number of people living under governments to the number who aren't. Note the relative size of the two numbers.

    Practically speaking, almost everyone on earth lives under the authority of some government or on the territory claimed by some government. This is the reason why maps are so colorful.

  • ||

    Maps are so colorful because various states CLAIM control over pretty much the entire globe. That doesn't necessarily mean that they actual have much, or any, control over peoples' day to day lives. Hell even in the USA there are places were the state has basically failed to control the population (i.e. the Appalachians).

    Now don't get me wrong, you're unfortunately right that the majority of the world lives under significant state control. I just like to remind people that there are places where the state has ceased to exist (or never really existed at all) in any meaningful way and the people living in those places have gone on doing their thing just fine.

  • OneOut||

    The powers of coercion in those areas are defacto government.

  • ||

    First of all it depends on what you mean by state. Secondly several of those cultures are actually relatively egalitarian and democratic.

  • entropy_factor||

    Zapatistas were socialist to the max, brah.

  • ||

    Yup. You are aware that libertarian and socialist aren't mutually exclusive, right? To quote Wikipedia...

    "The ideology of the Zapatista movement, Zapatismo, synthesizes traditional Mayan practices with elements of libertarian socialism, anarchism, and Marxism."

    http://bit.ly/1rbDLqg

  • entropy_factor||

    Zapatistas were not libertarian in any way, shape, or form. It was basically an native land-rights movement influenced by hardcore Marxist socialism. And it was crushed lol I'm really surprised you didn't drop the Somalia-bomb in your original comment....

    oh, and libertarian socialism is a fundamentally incoherent ideology. Cheers.

  • ||

    You're right, libertarian socialism is fundamentally incoherent. That's why virtually everyone who called themselves a libertarian up until the 1960s was a far left, anti-state socialist.

    Jesus Christ people. If you're going to appropriate the term libertarian for yourselves, you could at least take to 10 minutes of googling required to know the words history.

    http://bit.ly/U5oysf

    PS For having been crushed, the EZLN seems rather active... http://bit.ly/1rcaOKK

  • entropy_factor||

    a little fresher .

    And dude, socialism is bullshit, se we reject it. Sorry, libertarianism evolved and left Chomsky et al out in the cold. That's where you are today, an outsider. You are a pretentious, contrarian fuck who merely wants to complain.

  • ||

    Um I don't call having maintained liberated space, no matter the size, and still being, and I quote from the video, "as relevant as ever", being crushed lol.

    "And dude, socialism is bullshit, se we reject it."

    We? It's funny how someone who claims to be all about individualism would speak for every single person who calls themselves a libertarian. As for it being bullshit, well you'll have to try to make an argument for that which goes beyond weird, gross references to molestation, calling others retarded and repeatedly responding with nothing but "derp".

    "Sorry, libertarianism evolved and left Chomsky et al out in the cold."

    The reality, whether you like it or not, is that outside of the US libertarianism is a form of anti-state socialism/communism.

    "That's where you are today, an outsider."

    Right... tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, participated in the decidedly anarchist Occupy protests. All the while you dipshits can barely get more then a few percentage of less than half the population to vote for your presidential candidates. But it's the left libertarians who are outsiders. LOLOL! And FYI, even if I was an outsider, I wouldn't give a shit. In the wider scheme of things, all anti-statists are outsiders, whether on the right or left. That doesn't somehow make the anti-statist position invalid.

    "You are a pretentious, contrarian fuck who merely wants to complain."

    That's a nice ad hominem you've got there. Good job!

  • Tony||

    aren't*

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Go Fuck Yourself.

  • Jim Walsh||

    First and foremost, it's generally a bad idea to start every statement with, "as it says in 'Atlas Shrugged'"...

  • Redmanfms||

    Straw man down.

    Most of us aren't Randians. Jesus.

  • Tony||

    Look, this stuff about how the market sorts things out optimally and is superior to governments because governments don't run by market incentives is both untrue and an insult to centuries of ethical philosophy. You have a fetish for the market mechanism. It piqued your interest as something pretty cool one day, and ever since then it has been the solution to all life's problems. But it is not controversial that markets fail to produce optimal outcomes regularly, sometimes spectacularly.

    In terms of ethics, you are abandoning any semblance of egalitarianism or democracy (founding principles of the modern quasi-peaceful world we live in). It's not like there aren't power relationships in the private sector. What kind of caricatures of people do you have in your head who only commit wrongs when government is there to soil their temperaments? We would never have had to invent government if people were angels in private transactions all the time. While it would be nice if people less stereotypically robber baron-esque underwrote this little worldview, it's not surprising. In the best society government acts to protect the interests of the weak against those who are strong and would be even stronger in its absence. Doesn't always happen--the strong can capture government too. But you pretend that they wouldn't impose their will on other people regardless. That is incomprehensible nonsense.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    In terms of ethics, you are abandoning any semblance of egalitarianism or democracy (founding principles of the modern quasi-peaceful world we live in).

    Democracy isn't a form of ethics, or an ethic. It's not a principle. It's a way of making decisions.

    If you don't know what things are, or want to pretend they're something they're not, then everything you say is pointless.

    The whole point of trying to pretend that democracy and egalitarianism is some well-understood, implemented form of ethics is so that you can go around using the strong language of ethical "right" and "wrong", while you simultaneously declare the concepts meaningless for any debate.

    As soon as someone wants to actually have a discussion about ethics, you quickly hand wave them away with "government enforcement is all that matters". Of course, that goes out the window as soon we we start agreeing on how "wrong" the drug war is, the military industrial complex is, etc. Somehow "of course we need a drug war. Otherwise, why would we have it?" argument is never made. So, I assume libertarians are all crazy, except for when they're exactly right.

    So, let's not go pretending we have some well-formed ethical foundation here.

    What exactly does the ethical theory of democracy say about slavery, murder, and rape? Oh, yeah: nothing.

  • brobbs||

    And Tony goes silent.

    (Well, not really. He just relocated to other threads where he finds the prospect of being debunked and humiliated less likely.)

  • Tony||

    Then there's my usual complaint, the pesky inconvenient reality that you very much support government coercion for certain activities, and they, unlike all those programs that benefit the weak, sick, and poor, are justified by . . . hey look over there!

  • Harvard||

    [If libertarianism is so good, wouldn't it have been successfully tried at least once? ]

    The default position on government, for lack of a better word, is tyranny to one degree or another. Might is right and in every society one must bend the knee to.....someone.

    Before the Constitution was inked all were ruled my a monarch, and rulers rarely give up power willingly and not fond of trying new forms of government. The democracy idea was for all of us to "rule" by way of a republic, in enumerated LIMITED circumstances, however "pesky and inconvenient" you find that concept.

  • Tony||

    It's only inconvenient for people who claim as their foundational ethical premise that collective coercion is always a bad thing. To me, and to smarter political thinkers than I, that premise necessitates anarchy, and thus libertarianism is fundamentally incoherent.

    If collective coercion is good for some things who are you to say it can't be good for others? At the very least we can experiment. And we have, and found that protecting you from having your stuff stolen isn't the only thing it's good for.

    There is one way it's coherent: it protects the rich and ignores the poor. It's coherently plutocratic in the most transparently evil way.

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Go Fuck Yourself.

    And yes, I'm emoting.

  • ||

    Man you really sound like you're letting your emotions get in the way of good, sound reasoning. Oh shit! You didn't recently grow a vagina did you?

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    If I did, and I'm not saying I didn't, it wouldn't make me a bad person.

    Crap. Do they have a M/F option for your drivers license?

  • ||

    You know what, you're right. It wouldn't. It also probably wouldn't effect your ability to reason or come to perfectly logical conclusions about politics and society all on you lonesome. Nor would it mean that anyone debating you would need to "dig through a layer of emotional context to get to the reasoning behind what [you] actually think." It'd just mean that you have a vagina.

  • PaulW||

    I'm always amazed at how fucking retarded you are.

    Then I'm even more amazed at how good you must feel about yourself for constantly knocking down the strawmen you build.

  • entropy_factor||

    man, your dad leaving you/you mom must've really made you miss being bossed around. You practically cry out for a firm-handed parent. Govt ain't it, for most normal, well-adjusted adults.

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    Then there's my usual complaint, the pesky inconvenient reality that you very much support government coercion for certain activities, and they, unlike all those programs that benefit the weak, sick, and poor, are justified by . . . hey look over there!

    As opposed to Tony, who ...very much supports government coercion for certain activities that he likes, and frowns upon those he does not.

    In other words, the best your argument can do with its false equivalency, is be taken as equivalency.

    Unless your point is that libertarian thought is just as valid as your own, I have no idea where you go with this.

    You seem to think it's the greatest thought ever, gauged by how frequently you repeat it.

  • Tony||

    supports government coercion for certain activities that he likes, and frowns upon those he does not.

    Well yeah. I'm not pretending otherwise like you.

    Unless your point is that libertarian thought is just as valid as your own, I have no idea where you go with this.

    I think your proposals ought to be considered and tested on their merits, not on the premise that "government=bad" because that shuts down conversation and you don't apply it consistently anyway.

  • Brian||

    Tony, the only people who say that "government=bad" are anarchists, who you dismiss without argument, declaring it ridiculous.

    This leaves any remaining libertarians firmly in the group who do not, in fact, claim that "government=bad". However, when any of these people think there is some area that might be best left to freedom, you twist their statement into some general "government=bad" bullshit strawmen, and then start whining about how they're contradicting their anarchical views.

    The whole reason you do that is because you'd rather argue while pretending that the ethics of government coercion can be hand-waved away and ignored, which is blatantly psychotic. If you think taxing people to own the courts is really just as ethical as drafting people to go fight in a war they don't care about, and we really just have to debate the merits (which, somehow, exclude all ethical considerations about the application of force and violence against peaceful people), then you win the psychotic award.

  • Tony||

    You're welcome to say the draft is always immoral. You're welcome to say welfare is always immoral. But you can't say they are immoral because and only because they entail government coercion. They are immoral or not in their own specific ways. Agreed?

  • Brian||

    Agreed. Can you stop complaining that no libertarian understands that coercion could be good for some things, and bad for others?

    For example, lets use government coercion and keep gays from getting married, just because we like it. Somehow, pointing out how wrong it is to prevent two people who want to get married from getting married seems like an obvious ethical statement of fact. It would be ridiculous to reply with, "You can't say that, because you like taxes for courts." Agreed?

  • Derpetologist||

    Tony, do you think it's a coincidence that the freest, richest, most tolerant, and best educated society in history is the most libertarian country ever?

    Look at the parade of tyranny that makes up the bulk of history. Compare their beliefs to American beliefs. Do you see any differences?

  • ||

    So the crux of your argument is... 'Merica!!! then? This nation was founded on the twin genocides of slavery and Native America eradication, spent much of its history treating everyone except landowning men as property and continues to perpetuate horrific violence all over the world in order to insure that the cozy consumer lifestyle of its citizens is never threatened. But yeah, its a paragon of freedom all right.

    It's fascinating how easily right-wing libertarians can ridicule the indoctrination of state run schools in one breath and then with the next one they try to use the ridiculous, romanticized version of U.S. history taught in those indoctrination camps to bolster their world view. The cognitive dissonance on display there is just dizzying.

  • Redmanfms||

    You need to re-read what he posted.

    The comparison was not made to the ideal, but to historical competition, and in the respect he is absolutely correct and "'Murica" comes off looking very good.

  • Derpetologist||

    If the US is such an awful place, why did so many immigrants come here? Why have so many countries imitated American ideas?

    The answer is because they work better that most of the other systems that have been tried.

    The US govt has blood on its hands. So what? Compared to other countries in history, it is exceptionally enlightened, prosperous, and free.

    If socialist ideas were best, socialist countries would not be shit holes.

  • Tony||

    Like Denmark? Canada? Shitholes like that?

  • RussianPrimeMinister||

    Go Fuck Yourself.

  • ||

    Denmark and Canada are nice and all but have little impact on the course of Western civilization. America is driving our civilization.

    Tony Derp.

  • Derpetologist||

    Are those countries anywhere close to being socialist the way Cuba and North Korea are?

    No? Oh. Well, in that case, it appears your point is bullshit.

    As usual.

  • Brian||

    Then there's my usual complaint, the pesky inconvenient reality that you very much support government coercion for certain activities, and they, unlike all those programs that benefit the weak, sick, and poor, are justified by . . . hey look over there!

    See, you don't get it.

    When we look for examples of socialism, we take Denmark and Canada. You know, despite their protection of property rights, free market economies, etc.

    When we consider examples of libertarianism, we can only use Somalia.

    See, an example of socialism can still include those portions of libertarianism that socialists want to adopt for themselves: you know, the like the main driver of the economy, upon which all of their social programs depend on. I mean, we don't want to become Venezuela, now, do we?

    However, libertarians are forced to own the collapse of a scientific socialist islamic dictatorship.

    Why? Because they say so.

  • Tony||

    Somalia stands in because any society with a government as small in scope as you want it would be a violent, chaotic shithole.

    But you know what, you don't really want a small government. You want government doing all those things that involve the actual large-scale deployment of force. You just don't want it administering a social safety net. Government should be restricted to only those duties that involve actual coercion in force.

    But government should be highly limited because government coercion and force are bad, mkay.

  • Brian||

    You think you're really clever because you've found the inherent contradiction in libertarianism. Does it somewhat bother you that the contradiction you've found is blatantly obvious to anyone who accepts your premises?

    1. Libertarians like minimal government.
    2. Libertarians say government = bad.
    3. But 2 contradicts 1! Aha! I have them now! They never thought of that, did they?

    Hmmm. This implies that libertarians are either anarchists (rejecting 1), or minarchists (rejecting 2).

    Who insists that libertarians must endorse both simultaneously?

    Oh, that's right, Tony does. Because he loves giving himself so much credit for finding this glaring contradiction, that he can't bring himself to see how much of a strawman it is.

    And, libertarians can give him examples of themselves as counter-examples all day long, and he doesn't care. Because he can't have an honest discussion about it. So, he'll just keep repeating it like a broken record until he dies, feeling really good about the strawmen he's knocking down in his head the entire time.

  • Tony||

    I am not thrilled to have to repeat the same simple argument, but it is not original to me, and libertarians don't seem to have an adequate response to it.

    You're for minimal government. Fine. So that means we're just arguing about what programs are OK. We're not saying one side is fundamentally immoral because it uses government force.

    So let's move on, finally. Why is a social safety net bad policy?

  • Brian||

    Tony:

    OK. We're not saying one side is fundamentally immoral because it uses government force.

    Right. This leaves is right back to where we started: well within the realm of when the application of force is good, and when is it bad. But, it's not inherently bad, all the time. For example, self-defense, like the Non-Aggression Principle.

    OK, so now the Non-Aggression Principle is still completely fair game.

    Where did this argument go again? Oh yeah: nowhere.

    Take us on another trip again soon, Tony.

  • ||

    "Somalia stands in because any society with a government as small in scope as you want it would be a violent, chaotic shithole."

    Nope. I listed off several essentially stateless societies in a post above, and that's just what I could list off the top of my head. Talk to any anthropologist and I guarantee they could give you a dozen more existing both today and in the past.

    "But you know what, you don't really want a small government. You want government doing all those things that involve the actual large-scale deployment of force. You just don't want it administering a social safety net. Government should be restricted to only those duties that involve actual coercion in force."

    I don't think that's entirely fair. I dislike right-wing libertarianism as much as you, but I gotta give it to libertarians for generally being anti-imperialist and anti-militarist. Obviously this doesn't apply to all of them, but it does apply to most of them that I've ever met.

  • ||

    "Are those countries anywhere close to being socialist the way Cuba and North Korea are?

    No? Oh. Well, in that case, it appears your point is bullshit.

    As usual."

    In his defense ya'll do the same thing. Whenever socialism or communism comes up you jump to the USSR or North Korea and accuse anyone calling themselves a socialist/communist of supporting these regimes. All the while right-wing libertarians ignore the fact that the very label they take for their political philosophy originally referred to a sect of anti-statist communists.

    So I have an idea. Maybe if you refrain from implying that all socialists and communists are Stalinists, those on the left will refrain from implying that right-wing libertarianism inextricably leads to Somalia-like circumstances.

  • ||

    "If the US is such an awful place, why did so many immigrants come here?"

    I'm gonna go with... a shitload of complicated, intersecting forces. Just off the top of my head I'd point to the Irish potato famine and note that those Irish migrants who came to America weren't in search of some utopia, but were rather fleeing economic hardship in their homeland. Then there are the millions of Latin American migrants here today that were fleeing violence, the root cause of which is, at least in large part, this nation's god awful War on Drugs. Point being that simplifying the reasons for migration patters to, 'cause 'murica is the bestest!' is kind of asinine.

    "Why have so many countries imitated American ideas?"

    You do get that America didn't 'invent' modern democracy or capitalism, right? I mean I'm pretty sure the rest of the western world had a pretty big part in that too. Also, lets not forget how many of those countries who are 'imitating' the US were forced to do so. You don't get to use your overwhelming military and economic power to punish anyone who strays from your economic ideology and then use the fact that your ideology is so 'popular' as evidence of how great it is.

  • Sevo||

    "This nation was founded on the twin genocides of slavery and Native America eradication,"
    Bullshit.
    ------------
    "spent much of its history treating everyone except landowning men as property"
    Bullshit.
    ------------
    "and continues to perpetuate horrific violence all over the world in order to insure that the cozy consumer lifestyle of its citizens is never threatened."
    No kidding? Please draw the line between violence and consumer lifestyle.

  • ||

    "Bullshit."

    Hmm... that's a compelling argument you've got there. I'm gonna have to take a while to mull that one over.

    "No kidding? Please draw the line between violence and consumer lifestyle."

    Okay. A consumer lifestyle is, well... a lifestyle. And violence is violence. Does that clear things up?

  • Brian||

    johnbitz:

    This nation was founded on the twin genocides of slavery and Native America eradication, spent much of its history treating everyone except landowning men as property and continues to perpetuate horrific violence all over the world in order to insure that the cozy consumer lifestyle of its citizens is never threatened. But yeah, its a paragon of freedom all right.

    So, government is just great, when it's not committing genocide, violating people's property rights and rights to self ownership, and perpetuating violence all over the world.

    Other than that, though, libertarianism is just crazy.

  • ||

    Um... I'm an anarchist... so no.

    P.S. Pro-tip, it helps to actually know what someones political beliefs are before you try attacking them.

  • Tony||

    I do not accept the premise. This country owes its prosperity at least as much to "socialist" schemes as it does to a philosophy of individualism.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|7.13.14 @ 6:05PM|#
    "I do not accept the premise."

    You're stupidity is not my problem.

  • ||

    I disagree.

    Socialist schemes help to hasten the fall of any nation as people become more and more dependent on it. By socialist schemes we don't just mean taxes and health. It's a mind set that leads to all sorts of ideas and policies that suppress liberty.

    The paternalism of Bloomberg, for example, is more socialist than it is anything else.

    Don't know why it's so hard to see the pattern of failed progressiveism/socialism and once upon a time in the late 19th century and early 20th century liberals, has been destructive.

    Fine. People went for the bait and got their social-democatic welfare state. They feel it has enhanced the West.

    Personally, I think it has ravaged it.

  • PaulW||

    No, Tony, this country owes its lack of relative prosperity as compared to what might have been to socialist schemes.

    Does anyone have the link of the study that showed the purchasing power of the average American would be around 330k of todays dollars if not for our regulatory state?

    Think about that for a minute, dipshit.

  • Derpetologist||

    What made the US the most prosperous and innovative nation was history's greatest government spending project known as WWII and the succeeding country and global-scale public works projects. Massive deficit spending is what made this country what it is.

    Tony says New Deal & WW2 spending made the US prosperous.

    That's right. He believes that spending money makes you rich. And he wonders why we laugh at him.

    Tony- how do you think the govt got the money to spend on that stuff?

  • ||

    "That's right. He believes that spending money makes you rich. And he wonders why we laugh at him."

    For someone who adheres to a political philosophy that fetishizes Capitalism you seem to have a very shallow understanding of it...

  • Redmanfms||

    For someone who adheres to a political philosophy that fetishizes Capitalism you seem to have a very shallow understanding of it...

    Herp-a-derp-a-diddly-doo.

  • ||

    Da-doopidy-dippidy-derp!

    Hey look, I can do it too!

  • Derpetologist||

    Recognizing that markets and private ownership work better than central planning and public ownership is not making a fetish of capitalism.

    Recognizing that money works better than barter is not making a fetish of money.

    Recognizing that Arabic numerals work better than Roman numerals is not making a fetish of Arabic numerals.

    Recognizing that X is better than Y is not making a fetish of X.

    Is that clear enough?

  • Tony||

    Too clear. Too black and white, one might say. All anyone advocates is a mixture of government and capitalism. You included. Some people have more realistic and tested mixtures than others.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|7.13.14 @ 6:07PM|#
    ..."Some people have more realistic and tested mixtures than others."

    Yes, moral cripples really do need constant government direction.

  • PaulW||

    No, I think you got it right with the "too clear" part.

    You're a moron who thinks complicating things means you have some sort of control over the outcome.

    “Simplicity is a great virtue but it requires hard work to achieve it and education to appreciate it. And to make matters worse: complexity sells better.”
    ― Edsger Wybe Dijkstra

  • Uncle Jay||

    Great quote Derptologists. May I use it?

  • Derpetologist||

    Be my guest.

  • ||

    "For someone who adheres to a political philosophy that fetishizes Capitalism"

    What the heck does that mean?

  • Derpetologist||

    It means something like:

    "Me smart cuz me use big BIG words! You dumdum moneylover. Derp!"

    Keep in mind this is a loose translation.

  • ||

    Yup! You got it!

    What it definitely DOESN'T mean is that right-wing libertarians tend to see capitalistic free markets as the answer to literally every problem ever and refuse to acknowledge either the massive market failures that they've generated or the ways in which they produce and rely on the very coercion that that right-wing libertarians claim to despise.

    Or put more simply, it simply couldn't possibly mean that I believe that right wing libertarians imbue capitalism with a sort of supernatural power to fix the world. Which is, you know, the definition of fetishism*.

    In the future, when engaging with those who hold opposing viewpoints you might consider actually tackling the substance of their criticisms rather than employing anti-intellectual bullshit and ad hominems.

    *http://bit.ly/1sfFhrI

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    It is self-defeating to seem to be condemning people for their reliance on or support of the various welfare-state programs, such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.

    When I'm dealing with well-meaning liberals rather than the sloganeering types afflicted by a bad case of moral superiority, I begin discussions of welfare programs by noting that I'm all for giving money or healthcare to the elderly or the poor. It's the way in which these programs are funded that I oppose.

    It's such an obvious, childish strategy that it never fails to work with people who aren't battle-scarred assholes.

  • Brochettaward||

    [i]I almost wasn't going to say this but if this were an article on Think Progress about how to convince skeptics of global warming the tenor of the comments would pretty much sound the same: "They're crazy and evil and we're objective and logical".[/i]

    This is human nature, realistically.

    The difference comes from the fact that libertarians (mostly), unlike most progressives I've met, are far more open to an open and honest exchange of ideas. They may not end up agreeing, but they can have a real debate. They are willing to do it. Libertarians are argumentative assholes in general. It's part of the problem with spreading the ideas, and why it's hard to organize us. It's like herding cats.

    Try that with most progressives. Silencing their critics and demonizing them is their first priority. There's a lot more repetitive regurgitation of talking points even when they are willing to engage.

  • brobbs||

    "Try that with most progressives. Silencing their critics and demonizing them is their first priority."

    That is fundamentally true of bureaucrats and other attention-seeking elitists, such as many Hollwood celebrities. It even applies to self-styled conservative elitists as well (Karl Rove comes to mind, e.g.).

    I do not agree it is equally pervasive among the grass roots. They want a free and prosperous society like we do; they are just misinformed, often on multiple fronts. Our goal above all else should be to inform them. If we fail to do so, we need to own that failure as the result of a weak strategy of persuasion, adjust, and keep trying until we learn to get through to them.

    Otherwise, we are just sitting on our high horse, satisfying only ourselves and convincing no one else. What is the point of that?

  • Brochettaward||

    [i]In terms of ethics, you are abandoning any semblance of egalitarianism or democracy (founding principles of the modern quasi-peaceful world we live in). It's not like there aren't power relationships in the private sector. What kind of caricatures of people do you have in your head who only commit wrongs when government is there to soil their temperaments? We would never have had to invent government if people were angels in private transactions all the time.[/i]

    As a libertarian, I am not pro-business, pro-corporation or anything of the sort. I don't put the private sector on any pedestal. The difference that you fail to comprehend is that when the private sector is wrong, it doesn't have the weight of force behind it as government does. A private company doesn't have the moral authority in the mind's of most people, or the slavish devotion of its customers (nationalism).

    The government can have a really bad idea, and it can then force everyone to go along with that idea. A company or business can have a bad idea, and I have the freedom to tell them to fuck off. Unless they are some sort of government contractor or something of that sort. Then I'm fucked again.

    A good deal of what people blame on 'free markets' was only possible because it was supported by government force. Unions are a perfect example to demonstrate this point.

  • Brochettaward||

    As a libertarian, I have no objection to collective bargaining of workers. I do, however, object to government forcing people to participate in unions in certain fields, the government regulating unions, the government involving themselves in disputes in the name of vague public interests etc. Government involvement has bred corruption of the highest order on top of gross inefficiency.

    The relationship between Dems and unions developed, and is protected under the guise of a false narrative. It's nominally to protect the downtrodden employees who companies would prevent from unionizing. The issue is that, historically, this was only an issue because the government initially sided with business interests in disputes. It used its force wrongly to suppress worker movements, or neglected the core reason it exists - to prevent people from using force on one another as a means of coercion.

    I could continue on how twisted the relationship became over time as result of government neglecting its responsibilities. How corrupt, demagogic politicians co-opted the movement to get votes in exchange for favors. It no longer serves the interests of workers directly.

    You did nothing but create a strawman of libertarianism that is closer to Republican cronyism. But that's typical of your posts around here.

  • Uncle Jay||

    I start out talking to non-libertarians as if they were adults. However, after listening to these mental midgets (republicans, democrats, socialists, etc.) I have to bring out their crayons and use hand puppets to communicate my ideas to these mental midgets.
    What other methods do my fellow libertarians use to transmit our beliefs to those still living in the political dark ages?

  • triclops||

    When I'm about to engage a non libertarian in discussion, I try to remind myself of how smart I thought I was when saying the 2003 Iraq invasion was a good idea, and that Affirmative Action was a good idea.

  • brobbs||

    +1. Acknowledging our own past ignorance keeps us humble and wise.

    Folks on the other hand who drift off into self-indulgent arrogance, even libertarians, are likely to repel more potential newbs than they will attract.

  • Robert||

    OK, but doesn't go far enough. I tend not to make issues be about gov't at all. The issue is about...whatever it's about, re people & what they do, and the way things ought to be. When gov't gets in the way, that's a bad thing that should be changed, but it's not where I start out talking, it's just something that comes up as part of the discussion.

    For example, people should get to keep more of their money, so taxes should be lower, not because it's a good thing per se to deprive gov't of funds, but because it's good to have more of your own money at your disposal.

  • Robert||

    Oh, yeah, and the one biggest condition is accepting the reality that the other person might be right, and you wrong. You've got to accept the possibility that they may convince you rather than vice versa. So you must take their ideas seriously, or the whole discussion isn't serious.

  • RoninX||

    While I agree 100% with the article, as far as it goes, there's a much more fundamental reason why libertarians and left-liberals can't communicate.

    Libertarians say, "It's wrong to initiative the use of force."

    Left-liberals say, "It's wrong for some people to be homeless while others are rich."

    These are simply two completely incompatible worldviews. You'll never get a liberal to believe it's wrong to force a billionaire to pay for health care for homeless people.

    At best, what you can do is discuss the pragmatic benefits of free market solutions vs. government solutions. Most liberals will agree that forcing businesses to cover health care is the wrong way to go, but they'll argue for single payer instead. Given that neither side can win a complete victory, both might agree that allowing individuals to deduct the cost of their health care from their taxes and buy their own insurance policies is preferable to the current status quo.

  • RoninX||

    initiative -- initiate

  • RJ The Terrible||

    You are talking to the lost. Try someone who at least is fiscally conservative and try to get the weened off the war on drugs. Or the war on everyone else. At that point you are getting to the 80% solution.

  • RoninX||

    I agree that we need to convince fiscal conservatives to abandon the failed War on Drugs. At the same time, as long as a majority of voters are going to support someone like Obama, we need to engage them as well.

  • Tony||

    Libertarians say it's wrong to initiate the use of force except when it comes to protecting rich people's stuff from poor people. And the poor should pony up some taxes for the service, too.

  • jmomls||

    *Libertarians say it's wrong to initiate the use of force except when it comes to protecting rich people's stuff from poor people*

    If you mean that the government should be in the business of punishing theft, rather than engaging in it, then yes, you would be correct.

  • Tony||

    And it should punish theft while using no resources? Or do I have to pay taxes for that service?

  • brobbs||

    Excellent article. If libertarians want to influence the system, we have to engage with our fellow citizens, not lecture at them. Explaining in specifics an approach's flaws and our alternative's superiority, with common goals in mind, will be more persuasive than stubbornly regurgitating philosophical dogma that our debate opponents do not fundamentally understand.

    In my observation, most grassroots progressives are well meaning, but misinformed. Our goal should be to persuade them, not conquer them. Libertarians need to spend more time denouncing big business than we do currently. The difference is that we will correctly identify big business as a symptom of the problem and government the cause, unlike progressives who think big business per se (and by extension the free market) is the cause. Likewise with racism, the anti-gay church state, and so on.

  • Uconndoug||

    I generally side with those in these posts who believe that trying to persuade non-libertarians is futile. One either believes in the importance of freedom or one doesn't. The best I can do is explain that I believe in individual freedom, as long as no harm is done, and hope they at least understand from where I'm coming. If a non-libertarian tried to persuade me that individual freedom is not an important attribute of life it would be just as futile, so why should I expect to be able to convince someone who doesn't hold my exalted view of freedom? It's possible that someone might cherish freedom, but hasn't done enough thinking about it to realize it without a discussion, but I have yet to come across such a person, at least as adults. I think people gravitate toward their world views subconsciously. Whether they're born that way or it is a product of their experiences, or both, those world views seem to be pretty much set by adulthood.

  • brobbs||

    I could not disagree more.

    I used to be a weakly informed Republican who indulged in all the same groupthink, confirmation bias, and echo chamber reinforcement mechanisms that any other unwitting progressive commie does. If I can be convinced and converted, others can too.

    I mean you no offense, but your comment reflects the reason libertarians are not more prolific: we are a self-selected group of elitists, who tend to view others as mentally inferior to ourselves. In that regard, we are making a character judgment on our fellow citizens, rather than trying to formulate an intelligent, effective strategy to persuade them to get on board with what we know in our hearts is the only morally defensible political philosophy.

    Saying "they can't be convinced" is the same as saying "I give up--I'm not smart enough to figure this out." Again, this is not intended as a personal attack on you; I see it in many libertarians, including myself often. But we are too smart for that kind of cop-out and we need to keep trying until we figure out how to get through to these silly, ignorant commies--of which I used to be one.

  • Tony||

    You're not as smart as you think you are, and that is the whole problem. There are far more coherently ethical political philosophies on the left. I presume you've read Rawls? Libertarianism, to someone who has read other things, comes across as the political philosophy equivalent of psychopathy. If not, you tell me whether its ethical system is not basically this: government to protect the luxuries of the rich; no government to address the basic needs of the poor.

  • entropy_factor||

    oh tony, you simple fuck haha. Such rage, such anger. You really hate seeing people who are not as needy and dependent as you, huh? Like a crab in a bucket, pulling everyone else down. I feel for you, man, I do. I'm sorry your dad left when you were a child.

  • Tony||

    Yep, the most sophisticated political philosophy and adherents ever.

  • Brian||

    No, that award goes to the Salon comments.

  • entropy_factor||

    did your daddy touch you before he left? Do you crave that touch? Stay up all night, yearning for it? I bet you do.

  • ||

    That's some creepy, wildly uncalled for bullshit. You know that real people really experience sexual abuse, right? I mean, Jesus, are you TRYING to be the most disgusting human being you possibly can. For fucks sake, there are ways to disagree with people, even mock them if you must, that don't involve grossly insulting those who've experienced sexual abuse.

    Fuck you. Fuck you a hundred times over.

  • entropy_factor||

    it's from historical conversations/troll-a-thons with Tony, you fucking concern troll. Mid your business. Are you new here?

  • ||

    I don't give a shit what your reason is. If your implying that other conversations you've had with him indicate that he WAS sexually abused, and that makes your "joke" okay, then you're deeply fucked up. Is it that fucking hard to simply not use the experiences of those who've survived sexual abuse as a gods damned punch line? Jesus.

  • entropy_factor||

    are you going to cry, Mr. Concern Troll? Do I anger you? Does my speech need to be stifled?

  • ||

    You think someone calling out your creepy, gross bullshit on a public forum is "stifling" and yet I'm the sensitive one? Whatever dude. You're clearly a terrible human being, enjoy your status as literal human excrement!

  • jmomls||

    *government to protect the luxuries of the rich; no government to address the basic needs of the poor.*

    Government should protect my right to own property, a rich person's right to own property and a poor person's right to own property.

    It should not steal property from one group and bestow it upon another.

    This is pretty simple stuff, really. It's a shame you can't grasp it.

  • Tony||

    It's pretty blatantly self-contradictory stuff. I have to pay to protect a rich person's yacht from molestation (or to rectify such), but paying to put food in the mouth of a poor child is too much government?

  • brobbs||

    Hi, Tony. Thanks for your mature and objective assessment of my intelligence. You presume incorrectly: I have not read Rawls. Even if I had, my political opinions are not dependent on the edicts of popular authors.

    As for government protecting the luxuries of the rich, both the Democrats and the Republicans are doing a fantastic job of that, mainly by protecting already rich business owners from the competitive destruction of capitalism. Potential entrepreneurs and consumers suffer as a result.

    Whether you believe it or not, I care about poor people just as much as you do. But I favor a system that will be effective in giving them opportunity, instead of a system that reinforces corrupton and promotes runaway inflation, which hurts the poor worse than anyone. In my observation, people who think they can eradicate poverty with lots of big government policy don't understand economic realities (nor government's inability to overcome them), or are succumbing to wishful thinking, or both.

  • Tony||

    How does your system give them opportunity? I doubt it gives them more money, education, or direct interest in them having more opportunity. You're just saying [some policies, probably tax cuts for rich people mostly] will give them more opportunity. But that should mean something concrete. In my view, government actually paying attention to whether they're starving or being poisoned is to look out for their freedom of opportunity. I also don't know how else you combat corruption except to have a stronger government doing so. Where capitalism is being manipulated to protect the interests of the few, that's happening only because government is letting it. Government is responsible: it's not doing its job.

  • brobbs||

    Your retort is full of straw men. It's probably hard to keep up with who has said what, since you are clearly making yourself exceedingly busy in this large comment section, trying to debunk everyone you disagree with.

    I would cut regulation before the taxes. What you believe in theory is a set of logical and well enforced rules to keep greed and corruption at bay, I understand in practice functions as a barrier to competition by potential entrepreneurs. Guess what that does...it makes the rich richer, and the poor poorer.

    As for fighting societal corruption, you willfully ignore any possibility that government is a part of the problem. I on the other hand understand that it takes a complicit government to give favors to business...favors they could not get on their own. Making government bigger in hope that somehow the larger size will negate the undeniable corruption it has been guilty of constitutes wishful thinking, and is like throwing gasoline onto the fire.

  • Marktaylor||

    I tried to explain why the free market worked and I got was told the government is the only reason there's no arsenic in my food and my plane doesn't crash.

  • Rascal_Face||

    Question for further reflection: What is to prevent the same regulatory capture of these private regulatory bodies from the companies they try to regulate?

    For example Yelp was caught shaking-down small businesses asking them to pay for a 'premium' account, which would let them delete negative reviews, take them off the front page, etc. In some cases the reviews themselves were created by fake accounts.

    http://www.eastbayexpress.com/.....id=1176635

    While Yelp now claims they've cleaned up their act, the market has not punished them by elevating another peer-review site to a first in market position.

    Additionally, private enterprise is frequently shielded from even disclosing what toxic chemicals they might be using. See Fracking & North Carolina:

    http://thinkprogress.org/clima.....isclosure/

    How would a private court rule any differently? Especially since the companies doing the fracking have much more financial resources to win in court against local jurisdictions.

  • Knarf Yenrab!||

    While Yelp now claims they've cleaned up their act, the market has not punished them by elevating another peer-review site to a first in market position.

    Which indicates that consumers prefer Yelp, warts, misdeeds and all, over the alternatives. Markets are not utopias.

    Additionally, private enterprise is frequently shielded from even disclosing what toxic chemicals they might be using.

    Why should they disclose their chemical cocktails (calling them toxic is begging the question, as you don't even know what's in them, nor do you have any evidence that using these chemicals on bedrock far, far below aquifers has any detrimental effects)? That's a trade secret frackers spent millions of dollars perfecting. Big Brother shaking down a businessman for his trade secrets isn't exactly a free society, is it?

    How would a private court rule any differently? Especially since the companies doing the fracking have much more financial resources to win in court against local jurisdictions.

    Private courts have to compete against other private courts for business (meaning they have to be agreed upon by the plaintiff's agent as well as the defendant's). They have a very strong incentive to be fair, fast, and efficient, which is why private arbitration is used as often as possible today--right now--as compared to federal and state courts.

  • ||

    "calling them toxic is begging the question, as you don't even know what's in them"

    Oh really? Wanna drink some?

    "nor do you have any evidence that using these chemicals on bedrock far, far below aquifers has any detrimental effects"

    You sure about that? http://usat.ly/1lIVNZv

    And how would one prove, beyond a reasonable doubt, that fracking chemicals polluted their water without knowing what those chemicals are? It's kinda a neat trick you pull there, allow energy businesses to hide what chemicals they're shooting into the earth at high pressure and then cast doubt on those who claim the chemicals are polluting their water since they can't prove it without knowing what chemicals were being used.

    "Private courts have to compete against other private courts for business"

    And if your competing for business in a market in which the vast majority of wealth is in the hands of a few large businesses, whose interests do you think you're going to be more interested in serving?

  • Rascal_Face||

    consumers prefer Yelp

    Or consumers are ignorant. Remember that symmetry of information between parties leads to a more efficient market. If the market administrator is building a distortion into their business model than other business suffer, perhaps unknowingly.

    Private courts have to compete against other private courts for business

    When was the last time you were reading your iTunes terms of service update and were able to select your own arbitration court over Apple's? Has anyone ever rejected a job offer because of an arbitration clause? Arbitration courts are just a way for your bank/employer/car manufacturer to pre-pay for a favorable outcome.

    Yes I know that at bottom these are contracts between two parties blah blah blah but has anyone single individual been able to negotiate their own arbitration court into these routine purchase / user agreements? You just don't have the leverage as a single person.

    you don't even know what's in them....detrimental effects

    WRONG: http://www.scientificamerican......ing-sites/

    Where is the freedom blossoming when your town's cancer rate spikes? What great principle of liberty is upheld when a 3rd party can screw you over with near impunity? Why is it only the wealthy established interests who's freedoms matter?

    What part of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is that?

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Jurisdiction. Always question it. The statist will always assume it, and we public school graduates will accept it. The Sovereign Citizen knows his standing in society.

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