Libertarian History/Philosophy

A Liberaltarian Reader


Greg Newburn gives a nice hat-tip to my contention that libertarians' true political goal remains making more libertarians, and then goes on to present a suggested list of libertarian writings that might help more standard liberals see they have more areas of potential agreement with libertarians than they might think.

It's a smart list, though not utterly comprehensive, and worth reading in full, featuring usual libertarian heroes such as Mises and Hayek, slightly more obscure ones such as Loren Lomasky and Roderick Long, and one two articles that originally appeared right here at Reason magazine.

Our August-September cover story on "Where Do Libertarians Belong?" that started the conversation.

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  1. For instance, on my Twitter page I’ve started to follow more feminist writers and activists than I have libertarians, because I already follow enough libertarians and I know what they’re going to say anyway. I can learn more from feminists

    *face palm*

    1. Well, if you can properly use logic, we are quite predictable. Devotion to freedom and all that. And, as Sugarfree has shown us, those batshit crazy feminists can be wildly entertaining.

      1. Yeah, you can “learn” that all men are out for NOTHING but pussy and a home-cooked meal after the football game.

        1. actually, just give us the pussy, and that’ll do.

          men aren’t that hard to figure out.

        2. Just the pussy. Keep the Hell out of my kitchen.

    2. I can learn more from feminists

      Translation: the more chicks I’m friends with, the more likely I’ll get laid.

  2. We will not be free of the communist threat until we abolish municipal garbage collection.

    1. Micky D’s has dollar meals.

  3. I think a book like this would be useful as a way to signal to liberals that we’re not monsters,

    Yeah get those liberals to read Hayek. Glen Beck recommends him, what better endorsement is that?

    The whole problem with “liberaltarianism” is- when you strip out the smears, strawmen, and hyperbole- what liberals really hate and fear most about conservatives is the ideology they share with libertarians.

    1. +1

      The argument is like … free markets are bad because … religion is stupid!!!

    2. “The whole problem with “liberaltarianism” is- when you strip out the smears, strawmen, and hyperbole- what liberals really hate and fear most about conservatives is the ideology they share with libertarians”


      Liberals are inherently authoritarian about the economic realm. They do not believe in private property rights or freedom of contract or freedom of association.

      And all those things have a far vaster real world impact on the lives of everyone than the social issues such as abortion or gay marriage that liberals are supposed to be more in sync with libertarians on than conservatives are.

    3. Notice how this trope is floated every election season in order for the cosmotarians feel better about their upcoming vote.

  4. Perhaps Gabriel Kolko?

  5. List some “liberaltarians”?

    Will Wilkinson
    Brink Lindsey
    Julian Sanchez
    Dave Weigel
    Kerry Howley
    Timothy Sandefur
    hit & run commenter shriek

    1. You forgot “libertarian Democrat” Terry Michael.

      1. The HIV Truther

        I am encouraging others to add to the list. I can offer some “elected liberaltarian politicians”:

        Bill Richardson
        Russ Feingold
        Barney Frank

        1. Russ Feingold?

          As in “McCain-Feingold”?

          1. AKA The Incumbent Politician Protection and First Amendment Evisceration Act. Yeah, ol’ Russ gots a LONG way to go to make up for that pile of shit he and McCranky cooked up.

            1. Eventually, you ungrateful bastards won’t be able to type all this seditious crap on the internet.

              1. And once I give the go-ahead to start rounding up all those dangerous Ron Paul supporters – on whom we kept tabs because we all know every one of them is a racist domestic insurgent – we can REALLY start enjoying liberty and freedom.

                1. Be silent, minions! Don’t give away our plans just yet!

                  What??? The hero is attempting to escape! SEIZE HIM!!!

                  1. It’s second amendment time!

                    (Unleashes the contents of two stolen Uzis, riddling Axelrod’s minions with bullets while leaping through a stained-glass window in his mountain villa).


                      Ernst, round up the stormtroopers! I wan’t the Judge’s head on a plate by supper. Oh, and bring me my nefarious militaristic outfit, I’m feeling unessecarily evil at the moment.

                    2. Y’wan’ I should break his fuckin’ legs, Dave?

        2. Barney Frank?




          In all seriousness – Mike Gravel is a genuine left-libertarian. Bill Richardson and a few others are fiscal conservative/social liberals. Other than that, there are precious few libertarian or libertarian-leaning individuals elected as members of the Democratic Party.

    2. Sandefur should not be on the list for his foreign policy views.

      1. None of these folks should be on this list. These folks are just liberals who stumble into the occasional libertarian position either by accident or as a means to an end.

        Scratch a liberaltarian, find a statist.

        1. Exactly. Even when liberals are right, they are right for the wrong reasons…stopped clock and all that.

          You’d think after a couple of years of Obama and his megastate that the term liberaltarian would have gone to the dustbin of history.

  6. In my socialist youth I found much in common with libertarian friends as far as social issues go and we’d all show up at Vancouver’s 420 day. We’d share the same scepticism of the state except of course “big business” and “corporations, maaaan” were worse so, yay regulation. I would venture to say a lot more socialists and liberals are more concerned about social conservatism than fiscal conservatism in theory. Ultimately what converted me is employing the same tired arguments in the face of clear evidence of free market prosperity and realizing that socialists have to play a lot more defence than capitalists probably for a reason. Basically, annoy the fuck out of your local socialists.
    Also, Wealth of Nations is still the best book for converting anyone.

    1. Yeah – Adam Smith hated corporations, and his love of laissez faire was based in the decentralization of capital and the ability for individuals to have more of a determination over their own economic outcome than under any other system.

      1. Free markets protect the interests of people who want to get rich. Governments protect the interests of people who are already rich.

        I over simplify. The interests of those who wish to become rich are best protected by institutions that limit the ability of governments to manipulate economic outcomes.

  7. YES! Thank you for posting this.

    This brings up a longstanding pet peeve of mine regarding both the modern libertarian movement and Reason’s coverage of it.

    There is nothing in libertarian philosophy which dictates that markets are the only way for society to self-organize. There is plenty of room for other sorts of voluntary arrangements. For example: co-ops, mutual aid societies, folks in a neighborhood working together to build a park, open-source software projects, scholarship funds, etc. All of those things are lefty community-fabric-style things (voluntary socialism, even) and all are entirely compatible with libertarian philosophy. Yet, all that most libertarians ever talk about is markets, markets, markets.

    Reason staff: Please, please, please. cover more stuff like this. We’re blowing a huge opportunity to interface with the left, by not discussing voluntary arrangements other than markets.

    1. That is a great point. I mentioned co-ops here once and I was laughed off the stage. Libertarianism should be the opposite of dogmatism, and worshiping anything resembling the market status quo–a quite authoritarian set-up–doesn’t have much to do with caring about liberty.

      1. Tony|7.28.10 @ 11:49PM|#
        “That is a great point. I mentioned co-ops here once and I was laughed off the stage.”
        For good reason.

        “Libertarianism should be the opposite of dogmatism,…”
        Ah, yes: Disagree with brain-deads and you’re “dogmatic”, right?
        Tony, your desire to use coercion to force everyone to do what *you’d* like has been obvious many times. Hiding behind some hoped-for fig leaf of ‘voluntarism’ makes you look like a worse fool than you seem to be.

        1. I’ll concede that the idea of citizenship being voluntary based on social contract theory is mostly pragmatic fiction. If you’re an ideological minority your chances of living the life you want in this world are slim. But nobody said you were entitled to a private island. You have neighbors. You won’t always agree, especially if you’re far outside of the consensus. Deal.

          1. Under that logic, I guess you just loved the propositions banning gay marriage that have passed swimmingly under sweeping majorities.

            1. Never said anything about being for pure majoritarianism. I believe in constitutional democracy, which protects minority rights against minority whims.

              1. What does that mean to you, Tony? Which rights should be protected from the majoritarian tendency, and why?

                1. +1

                  Dude, you are killing Tonio. Please, give him a chance.

                2. He wants the rights he likes protected from the majoritarian tendency, and majority rule for the rights his ilk dislike and can muster up 50.1% for repeal of, and judicial activism to overturn the rights he dislikes and is in the minority for.

                  so, yeah, democracy, yay! =P

                3. Tony’s minority gets their rights, Tony’s majority gets their whims.

              2. What about majority whims? Say I can convince 50% of your town’s population (plus myself) to seize your home for our use. Is that ok?

                1. Tony must be asleep now, dreaming of the day when his party does all those things it promises to do.

                  Then he’ll wake up, and never be satisfied with what his party actually DOES do. Just like every day of the rest of his life.

                2. How about if 50.1% of us vote to enslave Tony halfway by taking half of his income and …

                  oh, wait. done that already.

                  1. Where did you people get the idea that it’s a basic civil right to keep every bit of money and property you get your hands on? Never has been.

                    1. Did anyone here actually SAY that, Tony?

                    2. TLG, it’s often heavily implied that taxation and wealth redistribution is morally equivalent to theft, authoritarianism, or even slavery. If you believe that, I understand why it’s a tough choice between liberalism and conservatism, but it’s a stupid thing to believe.

                    3. I choose “neither”, though I’ll cop to being fiscally conservative and socially hands-off unless someone else is getting hurt by inaction.

                      Why should I submit my life to social conservatives OR social liberals? Why should I choose to be treated like a toddler by either of these groups?

                    4. Hey Tony, how about you answer the question instead of deflecting with a non-sequitur.

                    5. Where did you people get the idea that it’s a basic civil right to keep every bit of money and property you get your hands on? Never has been.

                      Why shouldn’t it be, if I acquired it through a completely uncoerced transaction?

                      How do you reconcile ‘equal justice under law’ with taking some people’s property and money away merely because they have more of it?

                      Why should individuals be treated differently by the law based on the amount of property they own?

      2. Tony, if you want to starve in a co-op with some braindead hippies, knock yourself out: I give co-ops the official libertarian mark of approval. Happy, now?

        1. OK, let me just say that I am friends with actual hippies who live on actual communes. They eat and live quite well. They also smoke a lot of weed, but really, is that such a bad life? Weed, organic produce, and bonfire parties every night?

          1. Yeah, that’d be great, if it weren’t for all the Drug Warriors in both major parties wanting to round ’em all up…

            …and all the Regulators sending FDA goons to confiscate the raw milk and un-FDA-approved produce…

            …and all the Chicken Littles bitching about how the bonfires are contributing to global climate change…

            Pretty soon, any gathering of people is going to be hassled by The Man, and sometimes The Man isn’t a Republican.

          2. Same here. I live in AZ, and some of the co-ops sell amazing produce (the people are definitely out there, though). Knowing Tony, I’m certain that he’d join the suckiest co-op in the lot.

      3. In my view (and I assumed most others), the free market includes all of these types of voluntary associations. The recent Nobel prize winner (Eudora Welty??) talks about these sorts of voluntary co-ops and acts if they are not the free market but I don’t understand that viewpoint.

        1. I think of the free market – and anything involving “markets” – as being centered around financial transactions.

          As for the recent Nobel prize winner, do you mean Elinor Ostrom? Her stuff is fascinating to me.

        2. Of course a voluntary co-op/commune is part of the free market. If you and I decide to merge our families onto a single piece of property and our money into a single bank account because it provides a better life, then how is that not part of the free market? We would be merging labor and finances by choice.

          Unions are part of the free market. If I have my own business with 25 employees, a free market allows them to merge into a collective bargaining unit. A truly free market would also allow me to decide whether or not I want to negotiate with the collective or bypass them and hire new people off the street.

          1. I should have mentioned credit unions -vs- banks. CUs are voluntary co-ops that are all about financial transactions and in some areas they compete quite well with corporate banks.

      4. “I mentioned co-ops here once and I was laughed off the stage.”

        Try mentioning it to a liberal, you’ll be laughed off the stage and then mocked for a fool. From their point of view these associations are weak precisely because they are violuntary. The whole point is to group everyone together so the funding required seems too insignificant to argue over. If you allow people to opt out they have to defend their plans on teh merits, which they cannot do.

        They believe they can accomplish their goals eventually. Why would they ever accept a circumsntance which effectively eliminates any chance of reaching their goals?

    2. Flex Nasty B.I.G.|7.28.10 @ 11:37PM|#
      “There is nothing in libertarian philosophy which dictates that markets are the only way for society to self-organize. There is plenty of room for other sorts of voluntary arrangements….”

      True enough, but show me a brain-dead liberal who prefers “voluntary” as opposed to “coerced”. So far, I haven’t seen one

      1. I prefer co-ops because they seem to do better in a more equitable way than authoritarian companies do, which are essentially wealth-generating machines for a few (or one) rather than a prosperity-generating outfit for a larger group, the same way democracies are assumed to be superior to authoritarian regimes. Why do libertarians garrison the latter and mock the former?

        1. Because no one ever talks about shutting down or regulating co-ops “for the good of society”, Tony. In point of fact, about half of the crap justified under the big business = EEEEVULLL meme hurts co-ops and other independent producers in favor of those businesses, by increasing barriers to entry and other costs.

          1. Co-ops sound good, in theory, but would be so over-burdened by paperwork and regulations, that eventually they would have to turn into *gasp!* corporations to survive.

            1. You can be both a co-op and a corporation. Mondragon seems to work fine.

            2. I dunno – one of the grocery stores in my area is a co-op, and it’s very much thriving. The selection and quality of healthy food is second to none, although the prices are sort of high. “Members” get a discount in exchange for working x number of hours per month. It seems to work out pretty well.

              1. It depends on the level of commitment by the members. The Farm in Tennessee is still in existence after 30 years, and the Hutterites are still around (I don’t know if the Amish or the Mennonites exist communally).

                I agree with Flex’s main point – that economic freedom means people can organize however the hell they want. This will take the form of a market the vast majority of the time, but if we were to point out that economic freedom and freedom of association means that people can choose their own methods of existence (SLD), “liberaltarian” might not be such a joke.

      2. A liberal’s idea of “voluntary” is that because one chooses to live in this world, one has volunteered to submit oneself to their coercion.

        1. Y’all are being too hard on liberals. Yes, there are many who are downright authoritarian, but many others are just idealistic kids at heart, who haven’t considered the question of whether any of their policies are coercive. Instead of mocking them, a better thing to do is engage them in civil discussion and explain the coercion issue to them. I haven’t converted too many of them that way, but I have softened up quite a few.

          1. Oh, no! We’re not falling for that sweet talk! We turn our backs on you white woman-hating gay-bashing capitalist pig bastards, you’ll be making profits and not hiring enough trans-gendered half-Eskimo/half-aborigine Elvis impersonators!

            We’re gonna MAKE things equal and fair, if we have to enslave everyone and confiscate all their wealth to do it!

            1. As hilarious as this is – and it is quite hilarious – it’s a caricature that only applies to the most extreme 15% of lefties. Most are just otherwise normal people who also happen to be really, really stupid about the coercion thing. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to go forth and educate them.

              1. If you’re right, and only 15% fall in that category… why do so many of them adopt the “tax cuts for the wealthy” and other bullshit talking-points of that 15%?

                And on the human-rights end, why do (many) liberals whine and bitch about states’ rights re: Obamacare, yet want states to have the “right” to determine gay marriage and drug policy?

                Obviously, neither that 15% of liberals, nor their analogues on the far-right, need to be setting policy in this country… but they do anyway, or at least try to do so. And the “otherwise normal people” lap it up, one way or another. Oh, sure, some Republicans want states to be able to set their own medical-pot policies, or don’t care about gay marriage all that much… and some Democrats might not want to go back to 90% tax rates, and aren’t all that keen about smoking bans in private businesses or banning trans-fats or soda machines in public schools… but they vote for one of two parties who ARE in favor of more power and more control, all in the supposed name of The Public Good.

                There ain’t a centrifuge big enough to separate THAT shit.

                1. “And on the human-rights end, why do (many) liberals whine and bitch about states’ rights re: Obamacare, yet want states to have the “right” to determine gay marriage and drug policy?”

                  Their philosophy is entirely utilitarian. Whatever works in the moment to advance that particular portion of the liberal agenda is on the table. They do not care if it is philosophically inconsistant.

                  1. Thanks for the reminder, MJ. Sometimes, I wind up slipping into the act of hoping they WILL be consistent.

              2. I hear ya, and I’m generally a pretty nice, non-dogmatic guy in political conversation. Living in Tucson has definitely opened my eyes to just how authoritarian leftists truly are, even in areas where they’re typically thought of as more non-interventionist (personal lives, foreign policy, etc). I’ve talked to many who don’t see what would be wrong with taking adults and conscripting them into ~2 years in a government feel-good project. Yes, some are confused, idealistic kids, but the grown-up leftists are truly terrifying.

    3. You’re describing the free market at work, son.

      And you’re characterizing non-coerced social organization as “lefty community-fabric-style things”? Please. Yeah, living on a hippie commune is “lefty,” but there are plenty of conservative social organizations that accomplish the same thing. Conservatives have pride in their communities and churches, after all…

      1. You’re describing the free market at work, son.

        As I mention above, my (and most peoples’?) perception of markets is that they involve financial transactions. If the free market does include voluntary arrangements other than economic ones, it’s not clear to me or most other people.

        Also, don’t call me “son.”

        there are plenty of conservative social organizations that accomplish the same thing. Conservatives have pride in their communities and churches, after all…

        Point taken. You’re absolutely correct.

        1. Not speaking for Pete, but I don’t think “son” was meant as an insult.

        2. If the free market does include voluntary arrangements other than economic ones, it’s not clear to me or most other people.

          You should read more Mises.

          1. Mises sees economic calculation as the most fundamental problem in economics. The economic problem to Mises is that of action. Man acts to dispel feelings of uneasiness, but can only succeed in acting if he comprehends causal connections between the ends that he wants to satisfy, and available means. The fact that man resides in a world of causality means that he faces definite choices as to how he satisfies his ends. Human action is an application of human reason to select the best means of satisfying ends. The reasoning mind evaluates and grades different options. This is economic calculation.

            That is from wikipedia’s synposis of Human Action. You will note that it covers a lot more than financial decisions. All of the stuff you discussed falls into economic calculation.

    4. Most liberals truly don’t recognize a distinction between coerced solutions and voluntary ones, if they achieve the same result. If they do, they typically proceed to explain to you in patronizing fashion that coercion isn’t their favored policy, but that it is the only thing that will do X (X being their favored social or economic change).

    5. Unless it’s enforced by the government, everything you listed would be part of the market.

    6. Are you saying those things aren’t part of market?

      I say they are.

      Can you explain how they are not?

  8. Standard pragmatic premise for a minority political movement: join Democrats or Republicans. It’s not a good system that one of only two parties can win, but it’s the one we have .Your job is then to influence that party from within. You’re not gonna agree with either party 100%, so it’s a matter of priorities.

    From this I extrapolate that, given the binary nature of American politics, no matter what action you take as a movement you benefit one party or the other, be it supporting one outright, supporting a third party, or abstaining from the process. The former is the only one that allows you to have policy influence.

    So do you stick with the GOP on the basis of (stated) fiscal policy or the Dems on the basis of civil rights? If only you didn’t have to make the choice, and learned to stop obsessing over money and started thinking of people as people.

    1. “So do you stick with the GOP on the basis of (stated) fiscal policy or the Dems on the basis of (stated) civil rights?”


      1. Been there, been a Democrat, been a Republican. Fuck going back to either shithole to “influence them from within”. Neither gang of thieves and crooks has anything to offer me.

        Plain enough for you, Tony?

        1. Okay so you opt for sitting it out. As I said, that still benefits one of the two. It’s a choice. And it benefits whichever is less aligned with your views.

          1. No, it doesn’t. My vote goes to NEITHER Brand X Party. I don’t buy the “you’re only helping the other team by voting third party” argument.

            Why should I join either Team Red OR Team Blue? Why should I choose between two factions who only view me as a 47-year-old toddler in need of constant parenting? Fuck that, I can dress myself.

            1. What you’re not quite seeing, Tony, is that neither “side” IS aligned with my views. What few Republicans even come close, are far and in-between… even less so for Democrats.

              I want a government that is sensible, doesn’t blow untold billions on pipe dream programs OR unnecessary wars, and leaves me the fuck alone *unless* I harm or defraud another person or their property.

              Why is that not understandable to Rs or Ds? Why does that just fly over their fucking heads like a midget going through a turnstile?

              1. You can disagree with me that no matter what action you take you’re benefiting one party or the other. In reality you don’t matter hardly at all. But you have to realize that if you hold beliefs that are shared only by a tiny minority, they are not gonna be imposed on the rest of us any time soon without your own brand of authoritarianism, so deal with reality how about?

                1. I’m not about imposing my beliefs, which by their very nature are not about imposing beliefs on others.

                  You can no more say that about your belief system, than the far-right can about theirs. Both are all about imposing on others.

                  But how does my not voting R or D, benefit either? It’s a half-vote neither party receives, not one vote by default for one or the other.

                  1. I’d also like to know if the basic premise of “leave me alone, unless I harm or defraud anyone else”, is only held by a tiny minority, as you suggest…

                    1. That basic premise gets complicated fast the moment you step outside of your front door and interact with anyone. If you form a contract with someone, do you really want government to leave you alone? Or do you want it to be there just in case it needs to be enforced, should the honor system fail?

                    2. You know what my basic premise means, Tony. Stick to that for the moment, and stop trying to complicate the conversation.

                    3. I’m saying I agree with your basic premise, I just think it takes a lot of bureaucracy to make it a reality.

                    4. And where do you think a good chunk of said bureaucracy came from, Tony?

                      At least half of it, came from YOUR party. Hintity hint hint.

                2. But you have to realize that if you hold beliefs that are shared only by a tiny minority, they are not gonna be imposed on the rest of us any time soon without your own brand of authoritarianism

                  Evidence of cluelessness.

                  1. True that, Sam. Anyone who equates libertarianism with authoritarianism, is lacking some thinking capacity.

    2. And what if I just vote against anyone who states ways that they want to limit freedom?

      Hells… I live in Kucinich’s congressional district… and I was happy with him for about a month. He was voting the right way for the wrong reasons… but for fucks sake, he was making the right decisions… for a short while at least.

      In short… at this point in my life, I’m voting against the incumbent unless they fit my beliefs at 75% or greater.

      1. At this point in my life, I’m voting against the incumbent.

    3. no matter what action you take as a movement you benefit one party or the other, be it supporting one outright, supporting a third party, or abstaining from the process. The former is the only one that allows you to have policy influence.

      So do you stick with the GOP on the basis of (stated) fiscal policy or the Dems on the basis of (stated) civil rights?

      Bad civil rights policies rarely impact the entire population while bad fiscal policies always impact the entire population. Now if only I actually bought into the thought that supporting a party allows policy influence, maybe I’d go R.

      And then never be able to sleep at night again.

      1. +1. Excellent synopsis, CJ.

        But you’ll rarely find a modern liberal who will ever denounce their own economic policies. To them, it is Written on Pages of Gold.

      2. Bad civil rights policies also have other limits placed on them. I suppose it’s possible there’s a significant bloc of Republicans who want to enforce Christian morals on everyone. But they have no chance of getting it. They don’t even have the full support of their own party, while the opposition is 100% united against this. Further the courts would prevent much of any overrreach.

        Compare that to the fiscal goals of Democrats. Clearly there is no limit to what Democrats believe the government should control / approve. That’s clear not only from healthcare but also from cap & trade and their EPA regulating carbon scheme. Democratic sceptics voted for the bills unanimously. And there are a handful of Reps who seem to be falling over themselves to find ways to support the Democratic initiatives.

        When you evaluate the liklihood of accomplishing their goals the Democratic Party is far and away more dangerous.

  9. Nice effort, and points for effort, but I don’t think that progressives share the same philosophical premises and concerns, as libertarians. Ultimately, the desire to promote positive liberties, and the allure of government to meet those ends, ensures that progressives will only be so susceptible to libertarian ideas. Even on issues where we might theoretically agree, it is rarely for the same reasons: the argument for banning adult incest is very similar to those banning homosexuality, yet progressives are likely to support such a ban, where they don’t in the case of gay marriage. Or in the case of the Iraq War, there was little in the way of non-interventionist foreign policy (see: Somalia, the Balkans), and we all know how much progressives love having us make choices on cigarettes, drug use, alcohol, salt, and transfats. Their desire for personal liberty expresses itself only as validation for politically-correct forms of expression. Few libertarians would seek to use public schools to indoctrinate children in the “correct” behaviors and thoughts concerning alternate lifestyles, for instance. Conservatives, as fellow classical liberals, largely share our premises (which makes their non-adherence to liberty in the cases of social conservatism and foreign policy all the more infuriating). Note how conservatives have moved in a more libertarian direction on drugs and gay marriage, and how they did so in other issues where the left is still hung up (conscription, volunteer armed forces, spending and regulation, etc). The movement’s come a long way since Nixon (even if they did eff it up in a major way during Bush II).

    That said, there are many confused libertarians who find themselves more at home among progressives than conservatives or libertarians. Those generally accept our premises already, even if they don’t realize it yet. The hardcore Marxist or social democrat, on the other hand, is rarely convertible.

  10. Because what lefties need is more libertarian-sounding arguments (and marginally or quasi-libertarian citations) to deploy dishonestly against team red type stuff they actually de facto support.


    Barney Frank

    You forgot Francisco Franco. He decolonized Morocco. Because he was libertarian like that.

    1. Barney’s “liberaltarian cred” is secure in Reason-land. His opposition to internet gambling bans,mj legalization-leanings and support of commercialized male prostitution makes up for all that statist shit.

    2. “Liberaltarians” don’t actually believe in reducing the size of government or giving anyone a net increase in liberty. They just adopt the language and labels of libertarianism to advance statist ends.

      They’ll adopt libertarian anti-war language when it’s helpful to get Bush out of office and get a statist in. But did a single soi-disant liberaltarian oppose TARP? The stimulus? Cap & Trade? The health insurance boondoggle? Don’t make me laugh. All that libertarian language went right out the window as soon as liberals saw that they could get stuff on their wish list.

  11. “So do you stick with the GOP on the basis of (stated) fiscal policy or the Dems on the basis of (stated) civil rights?”


    1. Fucking Threaded Comments!

    2. Fuck Threaded Comments!

    3. Well I wasn’t going to challenge you guys with the task of consulting actual history, because we so often disagree on that no matter how empirical the question. But for shits and giggles can you name one good thing Republicans have done for the country in, say, a generation?

      1. I can’t, nor can I name any good things Democrats have done in, say, a generation.

        But I’m pretty picky when it comes to those who would call themselves my public servants. Usually, they view that role the other way around.

        Egalitarianism is not obtainable just because politicians want to MAKE it happen, anymore than we can be legislated by the far-right back into an Ozzie & Harriet existence. Both wings of the RepubliCrat Party fail to learn those lessons, yet they keep trying to legislate morality from the right while the left keeps trying to legislate economic equality. Neither can be done by the stroke of a pen, or the stroke of a trillion one-dollar pens.

        Tell me where I’m wrong, Tony. Step out of your Team Blue box for a minute, and really think about this grandiose dream your side has of trying to make things “fair” via legislation. Hasn’t worked in the past, has it? We’ve spent trillions of dollars on New Deal/Great Society programs, and we STILL have squalor and the mindset that goes with it. We could have just given ten, twenty grand to every poor person, every year, cash money, instead of dribbling it out in EBT cards and other subsistence spoonfuls.

        We could also use the IRS to confiscate all that largesse from the the evil wealthy people, and hand it out in exactly equal portions… same result.

        Human rights? Maybe some progress here and there, we’re a long way from the fire hoses and segregated water fountains, but until the real racists on ALL sides stop squabbling and harboring decades or even centuries of resentment, we’ll never get anywhere on racial relations.

        If more people said “If you leave me the fuck alone, I’ll leave YOU the fuck alone, and let’s not try to micromanage each others’ lives, ‘kay?”, maybe we’d finally start making some fucking progress.

        Jesus, fucking stupid humans.

        1. Jesus, fucking stupid humans.

          That’s right – that’s why they need me and my boys to tell them what to do.

          1. If *I* had won, I’d be showin’ you fucking punks how a REAL President runs your goddaamned lives!

      2. Notice that I left your (stated) in the quote, since I wasn’t defending the GOP i’ll refrain from answering your strawman argument. Now would you please show me an example of the Dems sacrificing any political capital for civil rights recently.

      3. Pat Robertson and Pat Bucahanon were prevented from being the nominee for President, see that was easy!

        1. And John Edwards lost the nomination, and Kerry didn’t win… I see where this is going.

          Unfortunately, Kerry losing = Bush winning, though there was no good way for that shit-storm to subside.

          1. Unfortunately, Kerry losing = Bush winning, though there was no good way for that shit-storm to subside.

            There never is. Storm season is always present in November.

            1. Until more Americans STOP VOTING FOR REPUBLICANS AND DEMOCRATS, yeah, you’re right… the shit continues to fall every two years, first week in November.

              1. The only good thing about Obama’s victory, really, was that McCain lost.

                Unfortunately, the bad thing about McCain’s loss on election day, was that Obama won.

                And so it will go, ever thus, every four years. Turd Sandwich/Giant Douche, lather, rinse, repeat. The masses will continue to choose between these “options”, while we sensible voters hoist our middle fingers at Team Red’s Best Bluenose and Team Blue’s Warrior for the Downtrodden.

                And where IS that girl with the sandwiches? I’m famished.

      4. All-volunteer army? Civil rights, in general? Return to normalcy post-WWI (and WWII)? Welfare reform?

        Now for Democrats: JFK’s Keynesian tax cuts. Truman’s desegregation of the Armed Forces. Carter’s deregulation.

        And for the bipartisan win: Clinton’s balanced budget! It wouldn’t have been possible without the hysterics of both sides.

        1. Those few good things, I’ll concede… but at what cost, overall?

          1. Oh, I’m not arguing with you, just debunking Tony’s fraudulent post. A solitary Firefly DVD amidst a pile of Two and a Half Men is still a crap DVD collection, to use a metaphor.

            1. Gotcha. Kind of like getting a few decently-cooked french fries as a side order for the turd sandwich.

        2. “Civil rights, in general?”

          …achieved by giving the Federal government more power, including the power to tell restaurant owners that they have to do business with people whose business they don’t want.

          And if that’s the kind of thing you support, good luck arguing that the Federal government doesn’t have the power to force you to buy health insurance.

          1. I was referencing desegregation of government in general and removal of racialist legislation in the South and federal government, actually. (Though yes, there’s some of what you note mixed in there, unfortunately.)

            1. Fair enough, but the peanut-to-turd ratio is still unacceptably low.

              1. We’ll have to take this back to the lab to accurately measure the alleged peanut/turd content.

        3. Clinton’s balanced budget was accomplished by raiding the Social Security trust fund.

      5. Reduced taxes

      6. Well now:

        Winning the Cold War
        lowering taxes
        welfare reform
        Winning the Cold War
        Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito
        blocking Cap and Trade
        Winning the Cold War
        blocking “card check”
        getting Saddam out of Kuwait
        balancing the budget in the 90’s (yes, it was Gingrich, not Clinton)
        getting rid of the Federal speed limits

        oh, yeah, and winning the Cold War

        1. Wow, Republicans “won the Cold war” is ridiculously revisionist and simplistic, the president at the time of the inevitable collapse of Communism happened to be Republican. Gorbachev, etc. had a lot more to do with it than the fucking “tear down this wall” speech. I like how you’ll give Reagan credit for Communism consuming itself but not Clinton credit for balancing the budgets.

          “Scalia, Thomas, Roberts, Alito”
          I take their judgements against the establishment clause and abortion and for sodomy laws and the death penalty with the same discomfort I have for the liberals.
          I’ll give you cap and trade and tax cuts.

          1. Claiming the communist collapse was inevitable is the revisionist and simplistic position.

            1. Yeah, but claiming it wasn’t implies communism worked.

          2. At the time, Republicans were the party that believed that Communism would inevitably collapse and acted on that belief. Democrats tended toward accommodationist policies.

        2. If you have to resort to that much flimsy dishonesty then I think my point is made.

        3. getting rid of the Federal speed limits

          Oh, sure, the Republicans gave us hundreds of thousands dead in Iraq, but man, this makes it all worth it.

  12. There is no commonality between libertarians and either conservatives or liberals/progressives. The reason for this is that both cons and libs are perfectly happy to use the power of the state to force people to behave the way they want.

    Just because they have different behavior they wish to enforce doesn’t change the fact that they are both the same: they are statists and coercion is in their blood. Their fierce hatred of each other merely indicates how similar they really are.

    And the fact that they see the world in black and white terms–TEAM RED TEAM BLUE–and automatically place anyone who disagrees with them on the other team, shows that they are not open to libertarian arguments. They’re far to wedded to their little sides, and they have too much identity caught up in it.

    Don’t be fooled by either side trying to woo libertarians; they have no desire to come to libertarian views, but merely to get more votes for their side and hopefully take them away from the other side.

    Fuck ’em all.

  13. Tony,
    Nobody is stoppping liberals from forming co-ops.

    The main reason co-ops havn’t suceeded is because libeals can’t get over their pathological fear of turning as profit.

    1. “Profit” might as well be “I’m kicking a puppy in front of a bus full of nuns and pre-schoolers while getting a blowjob and a sandwich from this cute li’l cupcake I picked up at the truck stop”.

      1. Well profits are all derived from extracting surplus value from workers, and hence are inherently evil.
        Profit is theft in Marxist ideology, which the liberal left is heavily influenced by.

        1. You’re close, TLG, but you’re not quite getting the true meaning…

    2. Some co-ops are suceeding. Mondragon for example.

    3. I’m pretty sure Best Western turns a profit.

      1. Nope, it’s a nonprofit. 🙂

        Publix, however, is employee-owner and turns a profit.

        1. As a native Floridian, transplanted to the North, I miss Publix SOOO much. Best supermarket chain on Earth. Super de Boer in The Netherlands & Fairway in NYC come close but Publix is always clean, has a great bakery, great deli, and the bag boys who bring your groceries to your car are not allowed to accept tips.

          1. I used to buy sandwiches from their deli every week. The bread and veggies were fresh and the meat (choice of Publix brand or Boar’s Head) was always good.

            That was the grocery store I usually went to — I rarely couldn’t find things there.

        2. Each Best Western franchine turns a profit.

          I’ve never heard of Publix.

          But if a co-op can turn a profit and survive in a free market, more power to them.

          Personnally, I stand in complete non-judgement with regards to any form of economic organization, so long as it doesn’t involve coercing people to participate in it.

  14. Vote for me! I’ll fix ALL your problems!

  15. No! Don’t listen to that liar! Only *I* can fix all your problems! Vote for ME!

    1. Hey, where’s my sandwich and my blowjob?

      1. Why do I have to give the blowjobs, and why do I have to make the sandwiches?

        If I have to do all that shit, I want union pay.

        1. Don’t do it, sister! Join us, and you can give US oral pleasures!

          Oh, and we like Miracle Whip on our sandwiches.

          1. If you’re taking requests, I like Miracle Whip on my blowjobs too.

            1. Blowjobs are degrading and are sexual assault, even if we DO give full consent.

  16. Liberaltarianism – sorry I prefer “free progressive” – is mostly about debunking the myth that equality and liberty are contradictory values. A state of true laissez-faire (which by nature would lack corporations) decentralizes economic power and removes management and control of the economy from the hands of politicians, typically the economic elites.

    1. My boss, technically, is a corporation. He’s the CEO, CFO, and… well, he’s all of the corporate officers, because he’s it. And I’m the employee.

      But is *he* REALLY a corporation, and if so, is he evil?

      1. Yes, because he has limited liability. Well, only if he actually uses it, but that’s the difference between a liberal and a rothbardian – rothbardians know that the potential to be evil doesn’t make evil in the individual.

        1. Well, in the package-delivery business, it made sense to file as [whatever variation of corporation he filed under; I really don’t know off the top of my head].

          My previous gig, in a carpet-cleaning business, didn’t require limited liability, so he’s never filed as any kind of corporation.

      2. Corporations are not inherently evil because they are corporations. I work for a corporation and they treat me very well. The problem is that the legal structure is an artificial government creation and it leads to individual owner/managers being unable to be held fully accountable for violating the rights of others. In a truly free market, every business would be a proprietorship or partnership that purchases liability insurance. This insurance gets naturally more expensive as the corporation gets bigger, their practices get more dangerous or unethical, etc. Thus the biggest and worst corporations would pay the most for the expensive legal protections they recieve for the small cost of incorporation today.

    2. Sure, but there’s always going to be that nettlesome natural meritocracy thing that Jefferson talked about, that progressives tend to dislike. In addition, positive liberties (their cornerstone) are essentially boundless: an idea expressed by Tony’s occasional assertion that more “rights” (read: entitlements) are a good thing. This limitless view of societal objectives (which transfers to their view of government) means that their acceptance of libertarian thought is directly proportionate to the amount of things that they feel government should do (which, let’s face it, is a pretty long list).

      I am not kidding when I say this: it would be far easier to theologically make a case for a libertarian God to Christian conservatives using sola scriptura, than it would be to make the case to a progressive that every societal problem of importance to them, in the absence of government control, will be resolved by the free market and non-coercive action in a manner, time, and to the extent that they find satisfactory. Anything short of that will be a failure for them, and thus, the rapid wilting of the liberaltarian.

      (There are some instinctual libertarians, particularly in the South, who self-identify as progressive. I’m not talking about those people.)

      1. I would say that the primary goal of TRUE progressives is to improve the wellbeing of the poor. The question is: does government actually do this or does it turn the poor into slaves? In fact, can a government run by the economic elite almost always bribes the proletariat as a power grab to maintain the voter base to continue to vote themselves more money. If you can show that localized, voluntary collectivism can accomplish most of the same ends far better than the government can, you have immediately opened a door for the Left, many of whom somehow seem to know that the government is or can be a tool for oppression yet they continue to vote for politicians who pledge to defend insolvent programs, self-defeating economics and authoritarian powers to the death.

        1. Leftists, by and large, don’t want to hear that. Almost everyone I know who has that as their overriding concern, and not as a fashion statement, has either gone GOP under Bush and his “compassionate conservatism”, or has otherwise gone neo-conservative. The few remaining in the progressive movement dedicated to the eradication of poverty have largely concentrated on foreign aid. In my experience in liberal Tucson, those who adopt the mantle of anti-poverty crusaders do so largely as a fashion statement; getting those people to get off their butts to do something about the problem is an art that I, and many others who volunteer at womens’ shelters and rescue missions, have apparently not mastered. Honestly, I’d rather have an Objectivist miser tell me where the poor can shove their need, than a bleeding heart calling for more funding who can’t be bothered to descend to the level of the rest of the hoi polloi helping to feed illegals a couple of hours a week, most of whom are scarily conservative churchgoers. There’s also a lot of “false consciousness” drivel among liberals, which boils down to that the individual doesn’t know what he wants, and the well-meaning progressive does.

    3. Well, it’s true that if money follows power, then spreading power is better for income equality than concentrating it in the hands of government.

      Equality and liberty may or may not be greatly at odds, but an outcome-based philosophy of equality will always be odds with any other notion of fairness or justice, particularly those based on merit or ethics, since people’s abilities and choice are strikingly unequal.

      1. True, and my big sticking point with the Left’s vision of “equality” is that it is based on equality of outcome and class warfare instead of equality of opportunity and meritocracy.

  17. We were going to try to make a book about liberalism in a form that was understandable by libertarians, but it’s hard to capture the nuanced, subtle aspects of progressive thought in a comic book.

    1. Why don’t you try again with hobbits or orcs or something?

  18. Read “Head Over Tail”, my autobiography.

    1. #22 on the bestseller list with a rising dick.

  19. Forget reading. Liberals don’t read. You have to get them with online videos. The best touches on a topic wholly missed: The environment.

    Of course liberaltarians aren’t really part of the “end the fed” crowd, so damn.

  20. Although if you must have them reading Sikha Dalmia’s value vs merit is totally important.

  21. One thing libertarians need to create are the sort of people that can thrive in a libertarian society. Political ideas aren’t enough.

    People that are scared and don’t have any confidence in themselves or their own choices are happy to give government the right to protect, provide for, or to choose for everyone, even those that don’t share their fear.

    Libertarian society depends on cultural values — not just freedom itself, but the values that keep freedom from turning into a disaster for many people: personal responsibility, stable families, social institutions like charities, and so on. Libertarians must focus on establishing the cultural foundation for freedom, not just the freedom itself.

    As a movement with a disproportionate number of nerds, libertarians should also put a lot of effort, gratis if need be, into creating, popularizing, and distributing liberating technologies — technologies that enhance or protect speech, hold the powerful accountable (e.g. sousveillance), help people make informed decisions (makes consumer-protection regulation more bane than boon), help people be mindful and in control of their actions (don’t need nannies to swat them on the behind when they eat too much cake), help people find self-employment and remain fiscally disciplined (don’t need welfare or “job creation”), and help people remain aware not only of how horribly out-of-touch the political class is, but what they can do about it.

  22. I think most of the brain dead commmentary on here by people who say that liberals love authoritarianism is by fake libertarians. Liberals have consistently fought for many rights and freedoms–such as the right to counsel, equality on civil rights, the rights of defendants, etc. So many people on here are really Republicans trying to justify their positions by citing libertarian philosophy–just look at the tortured logic so many employ to oppose gay marriage. If you think that libertarianism can be boiled down to the core belief that everybody should be left alone to mind their own business, then you can’t oppose gay marriage.

    1. Dude/ette, come on… you *don’t* see authoritarianism in this administration?

      As for gay marriage… I’ve said this several times, but gays should focus solely on domestic-partnership reforms, as a marriage certificate is just a permission slip granted by a governmental authority office to have the ability to say “We’re married, this piece of paper says we can use that term”. And nothing more.

      THEN, gays could go have a ceremony, buy rings, hold a reception, yadda yadda, and just *call* themselves married. It’s all symbolism, anyway.

      But I really don’t give a shit about marriage, gay or straight. That’s just me, I’m kind of jaded on the whole concept. But those same reforms I mentioned earlier, would also benefit straight non-married couples, so it’s a big win-win in the equality department – if only gays would focus more on the aspect of partnership law changes instead of going on about that damned piece of paper.

      1. The only thing that concerns advocates of equal marriage rights are equal marriage rights. I don’t know what you’re on about with this piece of paper, but if there are two separate institutions with two separate sets of rights and benefits, then it’s not equality under the law, is it?

        1. Tony, you’re focusing on the marriage part. I’m focusing on the legal aspects under the umbrella of domestic-partnership reforms.

          I would have thought you’d get that, but apparently you and R2 don’t.

          1. I don’t care what it’s called. I don’t even care about marriage. I have no intention of ever being married. I think it’s a rather quaint and kitschy heterosexual tradition and frankly I’d rather not share my finances with anyone thank you very much.

            You’re just not making sense. I guess we could try to have separate but truly equal institutions at the federal level, but wouldn’t it be easier just to open the extant rights of marriage to any two consenting adults?

            1. I agree. Ideally, we would rebrand government sanctioned marriage as “civil unions”, and let any persons who qualify (homosexuals, heterosexuals, roommates, etc) take advantage of the institution.

              1. THERE you go. Tony, R2… read Eric’s duplicated post above.

            2. I agree. Ideally, we would rebrand government sanctioned marriage as “civil unions”, and let any persons who qualify (homosexuals, heterosexuals, roommates, etc) take advantage of the institution.

            3. That’s what I’ve been saying all along, Tony… you’re just either being obtuse, or obstinate. Or both.

      2. “The libertarian guy” uses tortured logic just as I said. He knows that marriage will never be eliminated as a state function, so he argues for the impossible as a way of blocking gays from achieving a reasonable level of equality.

        1. In what ways is this administration departing from past administrations in terms of being coercive? Is it the individual mandate–the same mandate that a top Republican candidate, Mitt Romney, created in Massachusetts?

          1. Yeah…Mitt Romney, the great Libertarian who pushed for liberty and peace and…wait he didn’t do fuckall in the direction of anything Libertarians give a shit about. Don’t trot out that smiling husk of a soulless mannequin like he’s our god or something. Far from it.

            And yes, you are right, this administration has not separated itself from its predecessor, thus being just as coercive and untrustworthy. Just because the previous assholes fucked everything up, it does not mean that the current assholes get a free pass. What happened to Iraq and Afghanistan? Why don’t you people cry about that shit anymore? Is it because Obama is full of shit and couldn’t make good any of his damn pony promises? And don’t wave this healthcare boondoggle around like it is something to be proud of. It’s the worst amalgamation of horseshit that could be crammed up our asses, Romney’s Massachusetts being a monument to that. We’d be better off if the current administration just openly enslaved healthcare providers and shot dissenters. At least then, the left (and right) would not have to pretend like they actually give a crap about fuck and they could stop wasting time paying lip service to the idea of freedom. Moreover, it would expose them as the lecherous tools they are. Fuck, where’s my whiskey.

        2. It’s not impossible. Without those reforms, gay marriage won’t work anyway.

          1. “Libertarian Guy”–marriage is not going anywhere, so your ideas are not politically possible. Supporting the impossible is just a way to avoid the best possible outcome.

            1. I see what you’re trying to do… you’re trying to make me out to be some kind of anti-gay bigot.

              Well, fuck off. I don’t care what gay folks do. Try another tactic.

              1. Besides, I’m offering a way for gays to do an end-run around marriage. If they had every legal right granted to straight married people, why go for the symbolism of the piece of paper/permission slip?

                You really need to read the posts, R2. You’re going on autopilot with your replies.

                1. My point is that advocating the impossible, if even for good motives, tends to block the possible.

                  1. No, I don’t think you’re a bigot. I just don’t think that you’re realistic.

                  2. But it’s NOT impossible. Were civil-rights reforms impossible back in the 50s and 60s?

                    Marriage is just symbolism backed up with some legal crap. That’s my whole point.

                    1. That legal crap is thousands of federal, state, and local benefits and responsibilities. I think you’re hung up on the word marriage, not us.

                    2. No, I can’t understand why ANYONE is hung up on the word “marriage”, Tony.

                      Fix the legal crap, and you don’t NEED the symbolic piece of paper slash permission slip.

                      You, yourself, say marriage isn’t that big a deal – that anyone can use the word – yet here you are, acting like it is the Holy Grail. Which is it?

                    3. “it’s NOT impossible”–show me the broad movement to eliminate marriage as a state sanctioned institution. Find one major (Governor or Senator) politician supporting that idea.

                    4. I’d like to see such a movement, R2, but the gays insist on the symbolism instead of working on getting all the legal rights of people who HAVE gone the permission-slip route.

                2. Why should gays have to do an end-run to get equality? For someone marrying a foreign national, marriage is far from being just symbolic.

    2. Those are old liberals, people we now call libertarians. New liberals haven’t done any of those things. They spend their time discovering new ways of infringing on free speach and taking your money.

  23. I think most of the brain dead commmentary on here by people who say that liberals love authoritarianism is by fake libertarians.

    Err, drink?

    Liberals have consistently fought for many rights and freedoms–such as the right to counsel, equality on civil rights, the rights of defendants, etc.

    Well, you mention rights of defendants, twice, and I’ll give you that – soi-disant liberals aren’t quite as authoritarian on issue of criminal justice.

    On civil rights, though, liberals have left the equality of opportunity/equality before the law position far, far behind, and are deep into the weeds of dictating outcomes, interfering with voluntary association, and micromanaging private transactions. No points, there.

    I reiterate my view on this (shared by others upthread):

    The modern-day ‘liberal’ sees the state as the default solution for all things the liberal doesn’t like. When liberals are in power and wielding the hammer, society is just full of nails. The occasional isolated exception is philosophically incoherent and serves only to highlight their overweening lust for power and control over others.

    1. R C Dean all you have to realize is that government is not the only source of oppression in the world, then you’ll be one tiny step closer to understanding what liberals actually believe.

      Liberalism, at least the form I believe in, is about maximizing individual liberty and equality under the law. Peace and justice, that’s all. Government is necessary to secure some of these things. Government can be abusive of its power, no doubt, that’s why the first task of liberals is to ensure it doesn’t. That’s not the same thing as making it impotent. It still has to deal with all those other forces that work against individual liberty and equality. That should be its job, in fact. I truly believe that liberals are for more freedom than libertarians, because the only type of freedom you’re for is freedom from government.

      1. As a minarchist, Tony, I’m for the existence of *some* government, and *some* level of means to pay for it.

        What you, and Team Red want on the other side, are shitloads of expensive, nosy, and abusive government.

        I can’t boil it down any further, sorry.

        1. That’s fine (though I don’t want a government like you describe). And I’m saying that your minimal government is not conducive to maximizing liberty. The huge abusive evil statist government we have today can’t even deal with pollution properly, so I doubt your minarchist one will be able to handle all the actual harm and fraud in society.

          1. I am so sick of this argument. If I had a dime for every “minarchism is no better than anarchism”, I’d have a shitload of dimes.

            I bet you’d be surprised how often I hear the bigger-is-always-better argument from the local Republicans, though.

            1. Minarchism is no better than anarchism, though; it’s a little worse.

      2. Tony, we understand what liberals believe. In fact, I’ll leave off the snark and tell you what you, broadly, believe to be true:

        1) The market, left alone, will tend towards monopoly, oligopoly, consumer and labor rights and standards diminishing, and environmental damage.

        2) This is an outcome that government should attempt to prevent.

        3) Much of the reason for this flaw in markets is the asymmetry of power inherent in an untrammeled free market (examples include the relationship between laborer and employer, the wealthy and the poor, the laborer and the consumer, and so on).

        4) Moreover, legal and political institutions tend to be co-opted by the aforementioned powerful, leading to even more of a power asymmetry.

        5)Even more damning, oftentimes the individual can get in the way of his own desires (false consciousness). Corporate advertising, the power dynamic inherent to the system, and substances and experiences available to the individual through the free market (illegal drugs, prostitution) all contribute to this chaining of the supposedly free man.

        6) All of these imply that the individual is not as free as a classical liberal may initially hold to be true.

        6) Therefore, just as government is required to step in to protect the nation from invaders or violent criminals using its coercive power, so too should it step in in situations where power asymmetry exists.

        7) These asymmetries manifest themselves in many forms, and government should be empowered to deal with them.

        There’s your philosophy, all wrapped up with a nice little bow. If you would kindly stop pretending that we don’t know about your oh-so-superior system and answer questions directly, I think we can get somewhere.

        1. 1) The market, left alone, will tend towards monopoly, oligopoly, consumer and labor rights and standards diminishing, and environmental damage.

          Point 1 goes directly back to Marx and is demonstably false.

          1. I was stating his beliefs, not mine.

            1. I know. Just pointing out that one of the fundamental unstated assumptions of most progeressive is retarded.

        2. You mean I’m not an authoritarian who wants to control every aspect of everyone’s lives? That’s news to most of the libertarians here. What was the question?

          1. Not you, perhaps, Tony, but your party definitely falls in the soft-tyranny category, and is thus no better than the Republicans.

          2. Authoritarianism isn’t your objective, just the inevitable consequence of your decrepit ideology. What makes you a worthless asshole is that you steadfastly refuse to acknowledge this.

          3. Yes, Tony, you are an authoritarian fucktard in practice, as are most leftists, because of the sheer scope of what you want government to do under those premises, and the apologetics you engage in for any government policy ostensibly dedicated to that laundry list, no matter how riven by rent-seeking, how impractical, or how minor the annoyance being regulated out of existence truly is. BTW, it’s also enormously hypocritical for you to make an issue of conservatives when they use those same premises to attempt to regulate, tax, or imprison the gay out of people “for society/the children”, unless your opposition is based sheerly on utilitarianism/pragmatism. Your philosophy is bunk for the reason that it requires an expansive state that either collapses in on itself, dying-star style, after having robbed the successful to artificially create a facsimile of symmetrical relations between individuals (which, in practice, tends towards asymmetry of a different sort, anyways), or in a handful of cases, gets even worse, and ends up creating the conditions for truly fucked-up government (see revolutionary France, fascism in general, every one-party socialist state ever, and nearly every example of western totalitarianism). In short, your naive beliefs on the benevolence and ability of government and its representatives is lubricant for the government ass-fucking that results. The unintended but completely foreseeable result of philosophy that agitates for boundless rights and that only ever sees cowed humanity is, and will always be, boundless government.

            This rant segways quite nicely into the question, which I asked a while back: “What does that mean to you, Tony? Which rights should be protected from the majoritarian tendency, and why?”

          4. Actually, number 5 is the part where where you go toward authoritarian, since once you start assuming that people’s ability to choose is compromised under certain circumstances, you open the floodgates toward “protecting” them from their own “flawed” decisions. Taken to the extreme, it’s indistinguishable from totalitarianism.

            Since people usually identify “compromised consent” by their inability to understand or empathize with the decision, rather than some procedural assessment of the circumstances under which it ways made, it almost always boils down to an arrogant bastard imposing his own value system on other people that often don’t share it.

      3. Liberalism, at least the form I believe in, is about maximizing individual liberty and equality under the law.

        So then why should a guy selling GMOs and a guy selling “organic” fruit be regulated differently under the law ?

        Why should any industry have a completely unique regulatory regime?

        You could have a single uniform rule that treats everyone equally – liability. But liberals instead prefer to micromanage every single industry down to the finest level of detail, to trhe point that there is no equality before the law. You success depends on your luck or influence in avoiding stepping on a regulators toes.

        Likewise, laws like the ADA don’t treat everyone equally before the law. They force some individuals to make completely unique accomodations for disabled people trhat others do not have to make, based on arbitrary factors like (say) the configuration of the building they work in.

        liberals empnhatically do NOT care about equality before the law. They care about equal outcomes and social equality, and they are MORE THAN WILLING to bend the laws to treat individuals differently so as to ensure equal outcomes.

    2. Civil rights equality came out of the liberal, not libertarian movements. So the most libertarian changes in the last 100 years–the rights of women and minorities to be equal are the result of liberal action. Clearly, those statist liberals are awful.
      As to the rights of defendants–is there anything more coercive by the state than putting someone in jail? You would really put regulating private transactions on the same level as that? That is clearly what you’re implying. It’s funny how often I see comments about how authoritarian liberals are on here while the statist nature of modern conservatism passes by with hardly a whisper.

      1. You clearly werent on here two years ago.

        1. Don’t talk about the good old days.

      2. “As to the rights of defendants–is there anything more coercive by the state than putting someone in jail? You would really put regulating private transactions on the same level as that?”

        How bizarre to compare the results of breaking the law to a private financial transaction, but I suppose it explains quite a bit that liberals don’t see them as meriting different approaches.

        1. Just to be clear to you, as putting someone in jail is referring to the rights of defendants. Fine, let me clarify for you, putting an innocent person in jail is worse that regulating private financial transactions.

          1. Why do you see it as an either or? No other group does.

      3. Civil rights equality came out of the liberal, not libertarian movements.

        You know, there were liberals before the 1960s. And they were in bed with Southern segregationists and Jim Crow supporters who hated Northern classical liberalism (represented by the Republicans of the time).

        I’m sure you’d be amazed to find out that the South was solid Democratic territory until the 60s.

        1. Tulpa, liberal does not equal Democrat throughout history. Segregation and Jim Crow are definitely not in the liberal tradition.

          1. And neither federally- or state-sanctioned segregation, nor “Jim Crow”, will EVER be the law of the land again, Tony. Good riddance to their corpses.

            Get over it.

          2. Neither is modern progressivism, which is wildly illiberal in most respects.

      4. Civil rights equality came out of the liberal, not libertarian movements

        Which is why we still don’t have it. The sham of civil rights we have today is why the ghetto continues to grow while conditions within it worsen.

  24. R C Dean all you have to realize is that government is not the only source of oppression in the world, then you’ll be one tiny step closer to understanding what liberals actually believe.

    All liberals need is a sense of perspective, to realize that governments are the source of more than 90% of the oppression in the world, and they will understand what liberatarians actually believe.

    Civil rights equality came out of the liberal, not libertarian movements.

    We’re not talking about what the “liberals” of 40 years ago accomplished. We’re talking about what the liberals we have right now are all about.

    1. RC–nice of you not to address your idea that regulating private transactions is equal to the rights of defendants.

      1. What about the rights of defendants in cases like property forfeiture, tort law, liability, eminent domain seizures, patents, etc.?

        Does only criminal law count? Isn’t having your home or business taken unjustly important? Or being sued on a pseudo-scientific basis in from of a scientifically ignorant jury?

        If your business is ruined because some retarded coalition of greenpeace activists accuses you of giving people cancer, and concocts some statistical data just bullshitty enough to convince a bunch of ignorant jurors, that’s not an injustice?

        1. Or, say, getting sued for patent infringement by a larger business, to shut you down.

          Progressives don’t give a fuck about your rights if those rights have anything to do with allowing you to make a profit.

  25. while the statist nature of modern conservatism passes by with hardly a whisper.

    You’re kidding, right?

  26. RC–nice of you not to address your idea that regulating private transactions is equal to the rights of defendants.

    Look, I conceded that liberals have a slightly better record on the rights of defendants.

    I wouldn’t get too high and mighty on the civil liberties front, though – the liberals currently in charge supported the Patriot Act and have kept it in place, and are currently pushing expanding federal access to your email and internet activities.

    The state control of private association and consensual, non-fraudulent transactions promoted by liberals makes an awful lot of people defendants in that justice system you are otherwise so wary of, R2. Marginally better due process is nice. Vastly expanded laws subjecting people to that process, not so much.

    1. Obama’s “indefinite detention” policy doesn’t count as hampering the rights of defendants, because by definition a defendant is someone who’s standing trial. And those folks don’t get a trial, so they’re not defendants.

    2. Progressives are terrible on defendants’ rights when the subjects of corporate law, parental rights, and hate crime come up. They are generally better than conservatives on the topic, but let’s not ascribe to them anything more than that.

      1. If you are accused of making money, progressive have no interest in your rights as a defendant.

    3. Exactly. How many more minorities and poor people are now jailed after all the due process reforms of the 60s compared to before? Haven’t drugs laws screwed over exponentially more than coerced confessions ever did?

  27. ok, that’s would be right TYF220GDH

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