Libertarian History/Philosophy

Hey Look! A Blog for "Bleeding Heart Libertarians"!

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The pain. It is exquisite.

It's called Bleeding Heart Libertarians. The welcome-to post, by Matt Zwolinski, includes such words as "Nozickian" and "cognitive" and "insofar." Is it yet another tilt at the windmill of liberaltarianism? Tune in and find out.

Link via Andrew Sullivan, who calls the left-libertarian alliance "more important than ever."

Read about my hunting of the liberaltarian jackalope here, followed by two relevant Reason forums: Are Property Rights Enough?, and Where Do Libertarians Belong?

NEXT: "Suddenly, outraged liberals are sounding remarkably like libertarian advocates of laissez-faire capitalism"

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  1. Left-libertarian? More accurate would be statist-libertarian (or statistarian). Makes no sense, right?

    1. Of course not, but that won’t stop TEAM BLUE from trying, just like it doesn’t stop TEAM RED.

      1. We are your master! Acknowledge our dominance! Submit!

        1. Hitting your manic phase again, big guy?

          1. GRRR RANDROID SMASH!

              1. GRR RANDROID MAKE LOVE TO EPI. RANDROID WATCH EPI SLEEPING.

                1. Don’t hate me because I’m a narcissist.

    2. Yeah it has that Jumbo Shrimp conflicted terminology feel to it.

      But hey, if Andrew Sullivan thinks is important.

  2. Libertarians hold that justice requires that we respect property rights, period, even if that means a large percentage of people will starve, lead poor and desperate lives, or have no stake in their society.

    The only reason to be a libertarian would be to see starving people lead pointless, poor and desperate lives. Otherwise, why bother?

    1. Libertarians hold that justice requires that we respect property rights, period

      That’s certainly a start, but hardly an end. Period.

      1. I’m not even sure that first period is correct. There are so many conflicting libertarian opinions. Is property a natural right or a state-derived right (like juries by trial, which are not ‘natural’ in any way but certainly a very good idea)? Is intellectual property property? etc etc etc

        1. There are so many conflicting libertarian opinions.

          That’s why “libertarianism” is a joke. Its adherents can’t even get the Principle of Contradiction right.

          1. Because I’m sure conservatives can’t see the contradiction with their fiscal policy of “gov’t stay out of my wallet” and “BOMB THE FUCK OUT OF AFGHANISTAN!!@#$!”
            Just like progressives can’t see the contradiction of “taxation is just the price you pay to live in a civilized society, without it: ‘NO ROADZ!! SOMALIA1#$!#$'” yet don’t understand why a huge, bloated, power-drunk State could give a fuck less about Homosexual marriage and TRUE equal treatment.

            But FWIW, there’s many ‘contradicting’ thoughts and philosophies contained within libertarianism due to the fact that most people attracted to it are anti-collectivist. If you want herds of brainwashed sheeple, stick with the Republican/Conservative or Liberal/Democrat bullshit that draws collectivist supporters like moths to a flame.

            1. FWIW I agree with mr. unnamed, that “libertarianism” is a joke. And I consider myself a libertarian. Sadly the rest of the world is laughing at me, not with me.

            2. FWIW I agree with mr. unnamed, that “libertarianism” is a joke. And I consider myself a libertarian. Sadly the rest of the world is laughing at me, not with me.

    2. He’s presupposing the FEWER people will starve, lead desperate lives, and have no stake in society if we DON’T respect property rights.

      In other words, he’s presupposing that wealth redistribution efforts are necessarily sucessful at aleiving starvation, desparation, and giving people a stake in society.

      As opposed to being a source of corruption, dependency, and social dysfunction which ultimate defeats the purpose by undermining the essential principles necessary to a fair and just society.

      1. This is late to the conversation, and thus probably pissing in the wind, but you’ve misunderstood the positions of Brennan and Zwolinski. They believe in the basic libertarian principles (as I understand them) BECAUSE they are the best way to help the poor.

        Keep in mind these guys are super eggheads and are using what I consider everyday words in exact academic ways.

    3. You will pry my monocle and top hat from my cold, dead…

      1. The USPS can’t get anything done right. I still haven’t gotten my monocle and top hat in the mail…

        1. What kind of libertarian would use the USPS for a package delivery? Good science……

      2. monocle and top hat

        That’s funny every time!

  3. Link via Andrew Sullivan, who calls the left-libertarian alliance “more important than ever.”

    But not more important than confiscating and analyzing Trig Palin’s afterbirth, right?

    1. By, “more important than ever”, he means, “an imperceptible increase from a historical relationship of absolute zero; or, in fact, a change from negative number to a *less* negative number…”

      which would be MORE than its ever been. Mo’better still aint shit.

      I still like using the Hank Paulson, “Better is not Good” line whenever possible. It applies!

      Things should not be measured in relative but rather absolute terms. In relative terms, are liberals any closer to libertarians than they have been in the past? Perhaps. …(there may be a few areas of overlap like ending the drug war, police state, foreign intervention etc)… but in absolute terms? They still believe in Limitless State Power, Nanny State Mandates, no personal property, etc…

      Fuggedabout it. There might be coincidental areas of actual *policy* agreement, but the *principles* are still fundamentally different, and radicially opposed. Just because two people arrive at the same point by different paths doesnt necessarily mean that there’s some fundamental similarity…

      You find me some liberals who openly decry the idiotic progressives in their midst, and maybe we’ll have something to talk about. Right now all i see on the left is Demonization of the all-powerful Kochtopus, and widespread assumption that it was Bush’s “libertarian” financial regulation(??) that put the economy in the pooper, etc. All “libertarians” are to them are people who want to enslave the poor and live in some unfettered capitalist anarchy. They have the gall to accuse libertarians of being “naive and childish”… christ, don’t even get me started. They’re the ones who think you can spend your way out of debt, and they call *libertoids* childish…

      I can’t even find liberals who agree that the deficit is actually a problem, and that entitlements have enormous unfunded liabilities, etc.. If they’re living in an alternate reality where the facts simply dont apply, it’s kind of impossible to engage in any kind of dispassionate discussion that might result in some kind of political consensus.

      1. I think you said it all.

        Maybe the term has been around longer, but it seems like “Liberaltarianism” was just a ploy to get libertarians who were sick of the Iraq war and Republican Bible-thumping to vote Obama.

        1. Liberaltarianism was and is a faddish product of intellectually self-superior “smart cause they’re contrarian” douchebags like Will Wilkinson and Lindsey Brink. It is stupid and born of a need for vain cultural differentiation.

          1. come on, let’s admit that it’s true for libertarians, too. Doesn’t mean we’re not correct about the way things are.

            1. Sometimes, but the douchebag factor is SOOOO much higher for liberaltarians:

              http://www.thevolunteer.ca/201…../#comments

              This asshole previously wrote that he thought the TPers were racist and that’s why they are protesting Obama. For serials.

              1. I concede this point. One time I managed to corner Brink Lindsey and ask him why, instead of being all rhetoric, why liberaltarians didn’t advocate for voluntary actions that align with liberals (like conservationism, scientific research, education) and he totally didn’t answer my question and proceeded to bash so-cons instead.

  4. Libertarians hold that justice requires that we respect property rights, period, even if that means a large percentage of people will starve, lead poor and desperate lives, or have no stake in their society.

    Show one instance in which poeple starve when property rights are respected.

    My counter is North Korea where property rights are ignored and millions of poeple have starved and are routinely oppressed.

    The entire argument is based on a hypothetical that has no historic president while the counter argument has very real mass graves filled with human corpses.

    1. It’s all we got. Sorry.

      1. We now understand that mass poverty and premature death are features, not bugs.

        With its mass poverty and premature death features, Marxism assures a sustainable future for the working class without climate change or overpopulation.

        Marx and Engels were really ahead of their times.

        1. We showed the world what can be accomplished with famine — it is what made China great.

    2. The trick is to increase government slowly and once you start seeing mass-graves, pull back a half-step.

      1. The trick is to increase government slowly and once you start seeing mass-graves, pull back a half-step.

        Yeah, I wondered what metric the ObamaCare was going to use.

        Thanks for clearing that up.

      2. The trick is to increase government slowly and once you start seeing mass-graves, pull back a half-step.

        This is the American Progressive Paradise.

        There’s an APP for that.

      3. OK, I lol’ed at that

      4. Yeah, that’s like a torque specification of “Tighten it until it breaks, then back a quarter-turn”

        … Hobbit

        1. OK, I lol’ed at that, too

        2. I use this method. I usually insert a “fuck” just before I back off a quarter turn.

    3. Affirming the consequent, eh

      good times

    4. Show one instance in which poeple starve when property rights are respected.

      Are you kidding? Plenty of people starved in property-rights-respecting societies such as 19th century Britain and the US. It’s not an impossible occurrence.

      Obviously that doesn’t mean capitalism = starvation, but let’s not oversell the benefits of economic freedom. In a free market, there will be losers.

      1. When did people starve in America? In Britain?

        1. Before the mid 20th century it was not unheard of. Read some history.

          1. Right after I google it. For real though, got a link to prove your assertion. I’m a pretty serious history buff, and I know of no time past the establishment of a modicum of society in the New World that people starved to death. Maybe somewhere someone did, but widespread famine has never happened in the United States. The Dust Bowl might count, except the Okies didn’t starve, they left.

      2. In a free market, there will be losers.

        Thank you! It’s so hard to get some of you guys to admit to this fact, probably because of the horrific logical consequences.

        So the only decision we have to make is how much we should let the people lose (by their own mistakes and by random forces), and whether the calculation is just. Personally, I don’t think the crime of investing poorly in your 30s should condemn a retiree to starvation, but that’s me.

        1. So the only decision we have to make is how much we should let the people lose

          No – “the people” decide how much they lose. I have nothing to do with how much they lose. “We” don’t need to “decide” anything.

          I don’t think the “crime” of you investing poorly should condemn me to provide for your dumb ass. Unless I choose to, like through my church and other charities, which I do. But not through being forced to do so by the government.

          There – that was easy, wasn’t it?

        2. So, you’d rather have the people in power choose who the winners and losers are going to be. No way that could go wrong, eh Tony?

          1. It’s a hell of a lot better than nature deciding it, which is what civilization exists to correct for. If we can pick the people in power and require them to somewhat abide by our wishes, all the better.

            1. Wow, Tony. Just, wow. Does your mother know what a monster crawled out of her belly?

              1. I’m guessing he ate her.

            2. If we can pick the people in power and require them to somewhat abide by our wishes, all the better.

              HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!

            3. You act like society outside of government is the law of the jungle. Nature doesn’t decide who gets charity. People do. So why do the people have to be in the government for you to trust them? Why can’t they be private citizens who want to help their neighbors in times of need?

              1. Furthermore, I’d say resentment toward the needy is a wholly unnatural phenomenon that only exists thanks the current welfare-at-gunpoint system we live in today.

                I’d give an honest person in need the shirt of my back without a second’s thought. But if they steal it from me, well, I tend to have more mixed emotions.

            4. You’re stupid in a way that defies description.

            5. Ever notice that the US, the worlds icon of free-market capitalism (for what that’s worth) is also the country that donates the most to charity? How is that possible, law of the jungle and all?

              If you got the state out of the way charitable donations would absolutely explode.

              1. …and there’d be fewer needy people to donate to.

              2. “If you got the state out of the way charitable donations would absolutely explode.”

                The entire libertarian hypothesis hinges on this statement.

            6. Yezzz, ve shall improve on nature ? ve shall pick ze vinners and ze lozers

        3. Thank you! It’s so hard to get some of you guys to admit to this fact, probably because of the horrific logical consequences.

          People starved all over the world with all sorts of controlled markets 100 years ago Tony.

          Don’t over excite yourself.

          In a socialist economy there are more losers then in a free market…and when they lose in a socialist economy they tend to have a harder time getting back up. Being dead has effect on most people.

          Which has far more horrific logical consequences then what Tulpa wrote.

          The the distance between loser and winner in a free market is the distance from being richer then 80% of the planet and being richer then 70%.

          The distance between being a loser and a winner in socialist economy is the distance from being the lower 70% and being a corpse.

        4. @Tony
          In a free market, there will be losers.
          Thank you! It’s so hard to get some of you guys to admit to this fact, probably because of the horrific logical consequences.

          As opposed to a command economy where everyone loses.

          1. Not all of us lose.

            Some of us get to enjoy the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face ? forever.

          2. >As opposed to a command economy where everyone loses.

            come on. there will be some winners in a command economy. Those who get to command the economy, of course.

            1. Like teachers and janitors.

        5. You don’t decide and losing is not a complete loss. Failure in business is a learn experience next to none. The idea that failing in a business venture is somehow a total failure is absurd, and if the person sees it this way they shouldn’t be in business.

      3. Yes, but were people starving to death because of property rights or because people were poorer than we are now? And didn’t more people starve to death BEFORE capitalism? And don’t less people starve now because of technology primarily invented through the free market?

        1. Nah, no one in China or Russia starved to death during the 20th century. Thanks to the wisdom and munificence of the state.

          1. Rightist-capitalist propaganda.

        2. Yeah, it had nothing to do with the fact that inflation adjusted per capita GDP in 1900 was $4,000 and today it’s $50,000.

        3. …not to mention world poverty has plummeted over the past 30 years, thanks to widespread economic liberalization.

      4. 19th century Britain and the U.S. did not respect the property-rights of a massive amount of the population.

  5. Link via Andrew Sullivan, who calls the left-libertarian alliance “more important than ever.”

    Personally, I enjoyed the Bloggingheads segment where Jonah Goldberg referred to “liberaltarianism” as “a 90’s hot house flower”. Goldberg isn’t exactly my favorite pundit, but he got that one right. Liberaltarianism is about as relevant is a pair of tassel loafers. And about as likable.

    1. Is it any suprise that such wisdom flows from the mouth of the same man that was trying to entice libertarians onto the neocon bandwagon circa 2001-2002?

    2. Basically i think there are two strains to it.

      The first is simply a strategy to get the left thinking about this stuff in a positive light. part of that stratgay requires libertarians to reject conservatives that agree with us….there is no point in doing the later part…i think it is simply because Lindsey hates conservatives.

      The second strain is a white wash. Over the years libertarians have gotten a bad name for being money grubbing evil monsters. So the idea is if we emphasis the social good that libertarians offers we can get the left to like us….there is very little substance to this and there is no change in core ideology. Simply a new name and as the article shows, blogs and shit that talk about the good libertarianism can bring to the environment, the poor and minorities.

      Libertarianism could always do that….we just need to talk about it more or some shit.

      Neither strain is bad or entirely hopeless…though the bullshit about abandoning cooperation with conservatives on issues we agree on is idiotic and needs to go.

      1. Part of the liberal’s problem is that we support conservatives who we partially agree with, but do not behave the same towards liberals.

        For example, though they lied through his teeth about it, I doubt many libertarians supported democrats in 2006 even though a lot of them basically ran on a platform of ending the wars. However, many libertarians WILL vote for hardcore socons who also talk about lowering taxes. It seems like either 1) a double standard, or 2) we prioritize the economic platform over our social one (which if true, would basically just make us perpetually grumpy republicans).

        1. For example, though they lied through his teeth about it, I doubt many libertarians supported democrats in 2006 even though a lot of them basically ran on a platform of ending the wars. However, many libertarians WILL vote for hardcore socons who also talk about lowering taxes. It seems like either 1) a double standard, or 2) we prioritize the economic platform over our social one (which if true, would basically just make us perpetually grumpy republicans).

          I guess there was some of that going around under Bush. But i think most of what you saw was not libertarians doing it but conservatives abandoning what little libertarianism they had.

          If you were around here from say 2004 to 2008 there was plenty of Bush hate for the wars and for other things.

          Note: I am one of THOSE libertarians who should have been more pissed at Bush then i was. I made a mistake. My excuse is i was new to the whole libertarian thing and my libertarianism came from conservative roots….also i was by no means the majority here on hit and run.

          1. I wasn’t around here then, but I appreciate the insight. I come from the opposite side; I was a raging liberal all through college, then a few years of working in the real world caused me to start questioning the leftist dogma that I couldn’t believe wasn’t obvious to everyone who’s ever held a job. Coming from the liberal perspective, I probably see things somewhat differently than you, but what counts is that we’re all meeting “in the middle” now.

            1. You pretty much described my conversion to libertarianism Jim. I also started a a liberal but changed after a few years of being out of college.

              What really did it for me was the Democrats getting complete control of the government after ’08. I’m young so I really didn’t know what the Democrats were about. I just knew I didn’t like Republicans because of Bush.

          2. I guess there was some of that going around under Bush. But i think most of what you saw was not libertarians doing it but conservatives abandoning what little libertarianism they had.

            Not true,

            I voted for Bush in 2000 and became progressively more libertarian after 02. Mostly because of the wars and Roves’s ham handed so con games. In 04 I voted for Kerry and Bammy in 08. Entirely because of revulsion to big government republicans.

            1. I voted LP in 00, 04 and 08. I have a lot less blood on my hands than you do.

        2. Actually, libertarian voters did swing substantially towards Democrats in 2004 and 2006, with a substantial movement back towards their historical level of support for Republicans in 2008. Stats at http://www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa658.pdf

          Libertarians have historically favored Republicans, but what that means is open to interpretation. For example, one factor keeping Democrats and libertarians appart is the Democratic and libertarian versions of “social liberalism” often differ in the details, especially when goverment spending and regulations get pulled into the picture. For example, since the legality of birth control and abortion are pretty much off the table legislatively, the debate related to them turns on questions like public funding for abortion and laws requiring health insurance to include birth control are good examples – libertarians tend to oppose those measures, not because they’re anti-birth control or abortion but because they’re opposed to goverment healthcare spending and regulation of insurance. Thus, matters that are big-ticket social issues in the team red/team blue framework sometimes end up as primarily economic issues for libertarians.

          1. Exactly. The Democratic Party’s social liberalism is inextricable from their policy of giving away tax dollars for votes. Abortions must be paid for by the taxes of those who oppose them. That’s the rub for left-libertarianism. You cannot fund people’s lifestyle choices and remain libertarian. The Left is not for tolerance, they are for supporting the choices their team makes with the other teams money.

            1. In the same vein, conservatives force me to pay for prison upkeep for nonviolent drug offenders.

              1. So do “liberals.”

                Just like they force to you pay for the wars they pretend to oppose.

                1. And, like they force you to pay for the corporate welfare that they pretend to oppose.

        3. The problem is that the compatibility of libertarians and conservatives on economic issues is much more comprehensive than the compatibility with leftists on non-economic (often mislabeled “social”) issues. For instance, the left is all over the place on drug issues; many support the drug war as is (and this is nearly unanimous among liberals actually in power), while many more simply want to emphasize forced treatment instead of imprisonment for drug offenders. The majority do not take the libertarian position that people should be able to ingest whatever substances they want, so long as they don’t directly endanger others by doing so (ie, drunk driving). Frankly, it’s hard to find a single significant non-economic issue on which liberals and libertarians agree in a significant way, and easy to find those where the differences are quite stark (food regulations, smoking bans, gun rights).

          Also, liberals have shown plenty of affinity for stupid wars and nation-building in the past, and indeed were screaming mad about the lack of military intervention in the Sudan at the same time they were protesting the war in Iraq! Also, before things started going badly in Iraq (about 2004) the antiwar movement was quite fringe, even on the left; and after Obama’s inauguration it’s become even more fringe. It’s hard not to conclude that the antiwar position was, for most liberals, simply a convenient stick with which to beat Bush and conservatives in general.

          1. If you’re talking about liberals, we are totally with you on the drug war and foreign entanglements. Don’t lump conservaDems in with liberals. They would have been Republicans a generation ago.

            1. See, MNG already tried using this version of no true Scotsman on us before. If you restrict the term “liberal” to people who agree with libertarians on the drug war and foreign intervention, they’re nearly as insignificant a voting bloc as libertarians are.

            2. And seriously, many of the Drug Warrior liberals in power now were already in power a generation ago, and they sure as hell weren’t Republicans.

            3. If you’re talking about liberals, we are totally with you on the drug war and foreign entanglements.

              I can find you a conservative in congress that wants to cut the government’s size in half.

              Can you find me a “liberal” (not really liberal leftists is more accurate) in congress that wants to end the drug war?

              1. Dennis Kucinich?

                1. Yeah, there are a couple…but the fact that we can name them shows how few. And the GOP has the Pauls, so the Dems have to have than just a few opponents of the drug war to be significantly better on the issue.

                  1. I can name you a “libertarian GOP House member” who added the largest amount of pork-barrel earmarks of any Congressman in the entire Texas delegation!

                    Can you name him?

            4. If you’re talking about liberals, we are totally with you on the drug war and foreign entanglements

              Yeah,

              Except for the libs that actually have any power or authority or the libs that keep voting for them.

              Other than those two groups though, all liberals want to end the war on drugs.

              1. The vote total on prop 19 in CA would disagree with that assertion.

                1. And ‘Bingo’ was his name-o….

            5. Tony,

              A little light reading for you.

              Obama: Mexico’s Drug War is Our Fight as Well

              Or has Obama fallen prey to the Kochtopus as well?

          2. What a great series of points! Tulpa here strikes at the heart of why left-libertarianism never had a chance and softly eviscerates liberaltarianism. I think liberaltarianism is born of a cultural misconception by some libertarians who see leftists in a 60s-era socially liberal light. This is wrong. Most leftists are Fabian technocrats. They aren’t partial control freaks like the cons are. They want to control it all in ways different from cons.

            1. They aren’t partial control freaks like the cons are. They want to control it all in ways different from cons.

              That you still believe that cons don’t want to “control it all” underscores how deeply “Team Red” idiocy still scars the thinking centers of many libertarian brains.

              1. That you don’t see that most conservatives are alright on economic freedom and improving on drug policy shows how an obsession with ‘rising above’ TEAM RED/TEAM BLUE scars your mind.

                1. Driving through nebraska (red-state flyover country) I was listening to conservative AM radio where essentially everyone argued that at the very least federal drug war ought to be ended and that marijuana probably ought to be legal, and definitely for medical purposes.

                  1. Thank you. My day is perceptibly better.

        4. Part of the problem there is that I can’t remember any liberal Democratic insurgency in my lifetime like the Republicans have had with the Tea Parties or under Clinton, that would give me hope of the “tarian” side of liberaltarian gaining any traction.

          Don’t get me wrong, leftists have gotten power, and taken bold action — but for establishing further government control over healthcare or things like that, not rolling back the Patriot Act (voting against when you know it won’t matter doesn’t count) or ending the Drug War. And who exactly is the left wing Ron or Rand Paul, the black sheep that pisses off his party with several libertarian views on commercial freedom?

          1. John Mackey is a non-politician example.

            Andrew Cuomo has shown he gets the fiscal crisis at least.

          2. Of course, the GOP turned to the Tea Party after it was electorally routed in 2006-08…perhaps a similar routing could make the Dem leadership more receptive to more economically libertarian Dems.

            Of course, there are a shitload more entrenched interests in their party than there were in the GOP.

            1. I don’t think the Democrats will ever go more libertarian friendly on the economic issues. The legacy of FDR and Kennedy is just too fundamental to the psyche of the party.

              What seems likely to me is that the libertarians will push the the socons out of the Republican party. In the future, I think the Democrats and Republicans will be divided along big versus small government instead of social issues.

              My generation isn’t divided by social issues like the Boomers are. It’s not like people my age fight about whether our fathers/grand-fathers fought in Vietnam.

            2. Ok. But still, where is the big civil libertarian streak in the Dems that actually rolls back government control of our lives a bit?

              By “our”, I mean the people, broadly. They do ok in ensuring that society’s underdogs catch up in terms of civil liberties (gay rights, black rights, women’s rights, worker’s rights), but I think that’s more accurately termed civil egalitarianism.

              1. not even anymore, their policies are aimed at keeping society’s underdogs down so that they can ensure that they get their vote by blaming it on the team red bogeyman.

          3. any liberal Democratic insurgency in my lifetime like the Republicans have had with the Tea Parties or under Clinton

            Yes, the Republican revolution sure ensured that deficits went down after Clinton and into eight years of GOP control, didn’t it?

            And the Tea Party is sure resulting in some more libertarian government today — especially vis-a-vis spending and the economy!

            (Sorry, I cannot type any more, all the laughing is getting in my way).

            1. Uh…Christie sure is improving NJ. And deadlock is helping bring us to government shutdown.

              Concern troll is concerned.

  6. Libertarians Leftists hold that social justice requires that we respect violate property rights, period, even if though history teaches that means a large percentage of people will starve, lead poor and desperate lives, or have no stake in their society.

  7. ProL, concern about poverty and distributive parity isn’t the exclusive province of statist redistributionists.

    But because libertarian intellectuals and journalists spend so much effort demonstrating how the government hurts people, the libertarian arguments for how a free market can cause all boats to rise hasn’t developed much beyond vague handwaving about bootstraps and private charities, which the lefties rightly mock us for.

    While I’m skeptical of the claims that economic inequality is inherently bad or undesirable, I think that the case can be made, and libertarian solutions can be found to address it.

    1. I see what you mean. I’m all for working to mitigate the harm caused by poverty and other social ills, but I don’t think that government should have a direct role in that process, nor do I think it’s any good at it.

      I fear that statism is so ingrained into the modern progressive movement as to make any talk of a left-libertarian alliance meaningless. And only of interest to the left when they’re out of power.

      1. Maybe. But Republicans went from Barry Goldwater to Dubya in 40 years, so I don’t think change is impossible.

        Call me naive, but I think that making the principled case for libertarian approaches to economic opportunity and anti-poverty can win some converts over time.

        Even Darth Vader wasn’t totally beyond redemption.

        1. I guess my thinking is that they need to come to us, not the other way around. We’re the best hope for the future for everyone–poor, rich, indifferent.

        2. Ummm, Republicans went from Goldwater to Nixon in 4 years.

        3. It would be nice to hope so, but the left’s recent response to the Koch brothers’ donations to the ACLU delivers a supersonic nut-punch to such hopes.

          They’re simply not listening to anything that doesn’t support their preconceptions.

      2. > I don’t think that government should have a direct role in that process, nor do I think it’s any good at it.

        Everyone on this blog should stop and think: How much time or money have they given to charitable causes in the past year?

        Maybe we should really think about harnessing some social energy to making libertarian social organizations. I can imagine some nice conservation programs, poverty action, medical charity, scientific research, that could use some funds. The only ‘mark of libertarianism’ that would be necessary would be to say, we don’t accept gov’t funds. That would help to not alienate libs.

    2. libertarian intellectuals

      Is it April 1st?

      1. Good point! Most libertarians are insufficiently pompous.

        1. There’s also the shortage of berets to consider.

  8. I swear to god if it’s yet another liberaltarian that tries to prove their seriousity bona fides by crapping on libertarianism on every fucking important point, I’ll, I’ll, I’ll – not read it.

  9. As somebody who was raised in a conservative household and self-identified as conservative until the middle of college, I generally feel that I didn’t so much “become” a libertarian as much as I discovered that libertarianism better fit my beliefs than does traditional conservatism or liberalism. But oddly enough, if there’s one area where libertarianism has changed my worldview, it’s issues of crime and punishment (as I used to be a pro-death penalty, pro-tough-cop law-and-order kind of guy). Maybe it’s because I’m thinking of criminal justice issues while Zwolinski is addressing “social or distributive justice” (whatever the fuck that is), but I see libertarians as more “bleeding heart” than the Left ever was. Who else defends polygamists, drug users and registered sex offenders?

    1. Who else defends polygamists, drug users and registered sex offenders?

      Lawyers.

      1. and other polygamists, drug users and registered sex offenders

        1. So true, rather.

      2. Who else defends polygamists, drug users and registered sex offenders?

        Any random Kennedy.

    2. That’s really the heart of it, though. Libertarians defend these people because they actually have principles. The left and the right want power. Whatever principles they say they have get jettisoned the instant they become inconvenient. Maybe libertarians would do that too if they ever got power; who knows. Power corrupts, after all. But that’s why libertarians don’t want anybody to get too much power.

      1. Libertarians defend these people because they actually have principles

        What ‘principles’ does a sex offender have?

        1. First of all, I think “they” referred to libertarians, not sex offenders. That being said, you need to keep in mind that a “sex offender” may be an 18-year-old who had consensual sex with a 17-yea-old, or somebody who was arrested for urinating in a back alley, or a college kid who flashed the wrong person during spring break.

          1. defend these people

            I know that the list has ridiculous entries but fucking a four year old isn’t one of them

            1. Maybe. But releasing a person from prison and then placing them under constraints that make life unlivable is disingenuous. If they can’t ever safely be released into and reintegrated into society, then they should receive a life sentence, not get kicked out to live under an overpass.

              “Sex offenders” in context I believe means the people that end up on lists (many of whom did things that don’t really merit a lifetime of second class citizenship).

              1. If they can’t ever safely be released into and reintegrated into society, then they should receive a life sentence, not get kicked out to live under an overpass.

                +

          2. First of all, I think “they” referred to libertarians, not sex offenders. That being said, you need to keep in mind that a “sex offender” may be an 18-year-old who had consensual sex with a 17-yea-old, or somebody who was arrested for urinating in a back alley, or a college kid who flashed the wrong person during spring break.

            Or a sex offender could be a violent rapist who did his 20 or 30 years hard time in prison and should be free rather then followed around and hounded by the government prevented from getting a home and prevented from getting a job and prevented from driving a car.

            yes there are repeat offender…but should we punish the single offender because of what other offenders did or might do?

        2. You are so fucking stupid that it has to be painful.

          Fucking reading comprehension, how does it work?

          1. don’t you need to take a hit of something?

            1. He needs to take a swing at you.

      2. If I ever sought political office, it would be to have the power to free people, not the power to make them do things.

      3. Can someone help me read the big words?

      4. Libertarians defend these people because they actually have principles

        Principles? Hahahahaha! Floating abstractions, maybe…

        Anarchy is not a “principle.” But whatever. Have another line.

        1. RANDROID SMASH!

          1. SomalianAnarchistRoadAndChildHater.

            1. You forgot sheep fucker.

          2. Poor Heller. Destined to haunt H&R, playing Whack-A-Mole? with all his imaginary foes. Ineffectual, delusional, narcissistic.

            1. GRR RANDROID NEED TAKE LOOK IN MIRROR!

              1. Don’t hate me because I’m a narcissist.

    3. Ugh! I fucking hate polygamists.

      1. Fuck you, you low life junkie!!

        1. If you guys are going to fight I’ll be happy to watch your kids.

        2. If you guys are going to fight I’m more than happy to watch your kids.

          1. This is why I love H&R.

  10. I’ve created this blog as a forum for academic philosophers who are attracted both to libertarianism and to ideals of social or distributive justice.
    Dude, you have no fucking idea what libertarianism is if you believe in this shit.

    1. also:
      fucking cognitive dissonance, how does it work?

    2. Admittedly, I haven’t read the blog so I may be wrong on this. But, I can see a point in which the ideas of pure libertarianism intersect with a desire to see social/distributive justice when one believes that a purely libertarian society, through no coercive means, would actually result in broader distribution of resources than the current statist oligopolistic model.

      1. Money goes in; justice comes out.

        You can’t explain that!

        1. I mean to reply to Nipplemancer’s post, but my reply shows up under Sudden’s comment.

          Explain that, pinhead!

        2. Fucking money and justice man, how does that work?

      2. desire to see social/distributive justice

        Every time someone adds some modifier to “justice” it convinces me they have no clue what the fucking word means.

      3. when one believes that a purely libertarian society, through no coercive means, would actually result in broader distribution of resources than the current statist oligopolistic model.

        Isn’t this essentially a given? Without tariffs, regulations, subsidies and intellectual property laws, competition would explode and the average business would get a lot smaller. That means less market power tied up in state-protected corporations.

        Copping to this fact should be common sense for libertarians. It doesn’t make one a leftist.

        1. I really don’t like this idea of no IP. I spent 2 full days of R&D just to design a good set of workholding equipment and toolpaths to mass produce a custom badge, so I can’t even imagine the labor cost for R&D of something novel…why shouldn’t that work be protected? Not saying that current IP law isn’t screwy, but throwing the baby out with the bathwater seems like an awful idea.

          1. Agreed. I got ripped apart by quite a few people I tend do agree with over IP on a thread a week or so ago.

            I guess it goes to show that we are more diverse than team red or blue wants to give us credit for. That (IP) and abortion tend to split libertarians into opposing camps…oh, and real pizza vs deep dish, but that’s for another day.

            1. “real pizza vs deep dish”

              I believe this is known as ‘stealing a base’.

            2. “real pizza vs deep dish”

              I believe this is known as ‘stealing a base’.

            3. I wonder if you were to identify a person’s libertarianism (anarcho-capitalist, anarcho-socialist, liberaltarian, minarchist, Randian, conservative fusionist) whether you’d be able to see a pattern.

              I suspect the anarchists would argue against IP, the liberaltarians would argue for reduced IP protections in some form or another, minarchists would argue the same, the fusionists — I’m not sure about them — they’d probably be reasonably okay with the current system, and the Randians would almost assuredly be fine with the current system.

              Because I looked it up, and I think Rand was arguing for life plus seventy for copyright before that was even the law.

              Then again, people just might dig content for free, so who knows?

              Personally, I think — especially in copyright, and also in trademarked phrases like Bart Scott’s recent “Can’t wait!” — there needs to be a lot less exclusive time granted (for the copyright holders) and a lot more deference to fair use of the actual content in both doctrines.

          2. you don’t have to publically disclose everything you made. there is something called a trade secret, you know. What’s so special about your labor that it needs ‘protection’?

            “I can’t even imagine the labor cost for R&D of something novel”

            This is the part that is hard to accept: maybe that labor is overvalued. Maybe you’re not so damn special that you’re the only person who can come up with something and execute it.

            Here:

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W7pLQ8-_l54

          3. If you’re open to having your mind changed, I’d recommend the Boldrin/Levine book.

            It makes some pretty powerful arguments against IP from a consequentialist standpoint. The authors aren’t anarchists and there’s no appeals to libertarian ethics in it. It’s quite reasonable.

    3. Dude, you have no fucking idea what libertarianism is

      None of us does!

    4. Dude, you have no fucking idea what libertarianism is if you believe in this shit.

      Are you so sure that libertarianism is incompatible with distributive justice?

      how many ipods could the poor buy 200 years ago? How hard was it for the poor to communicate to poeple on the other side of the planet?

      Has mass production increased the the wealth of the rich in relation to the poor? No? So it has increased the wealth relative to the rich.

      How hard was it for a commoner to own land 400 years ago? How hard is it now?

      Is it cheaper to buy and own a car today then it was to buy and own a horse 200 years ago?

      The simple fact is that free markets by their very nature equalize wealth.

      Do the rich people still get to keep a bunch of money? Yes. But the relative power that money represents is forever shrinking.

      Rich poeple can own 10,000 ipods but they get no more benefit from them then the poor guy who only owns one.

      This is how libertarianism redistributes wealth.

  11. how do you spot libertarian intellectuals?

      1. Fuck me in my sour cunt, little boy.

            1. do you want me to choke on my vomit in my sleep?

              1. That’s a fantasy of mine.

                1. Then engage in your fantasy and joke to death

  12. You know its nice when the liberals remember to include the reach around. Makes me feel special.

  13. Who is Andrew Sullivan anyways???

  14. To me, the only logical liberaltarian position is that the welfare state does not necessarily equal government domination of the economy. If the government simply raised 20% of GDP in taxes, and mailed checks to the poor, with no regulations, no social engineering schemes, no public indoctrination factories, no gargantuan military-industrial complex, and no corporatism, that would definitely be an improvement over today’s world. And it would probably do a lot more for the poor than our current system.

    As a temporary stage on the way to a truly free society, I’d be willing to except a purely redistributionist government.

    1. Sounds good, but there is just this one other thing we would like to do . . . really, it so small you wont even notice it . . .

    2. So is being a welfare state elected official require you to suck at your job?

      It really does not seem all that hard to run a welfare state efficiently and sustainably….you could actually increase individual liberties and do a better job then the US is doing right now.

      But for some reason they always fuck it the hell up.

      Is it the fact the state is inherently incompetent? It is the fact that statists are inherently incompetent?

      What is the x-factor here?

      1. So is being a welfare state elected official require you to suck at your job?

        joshua, you are confused with the search for interns post 😉

      2. Oops I made a poopy in my pants.

        1. Poor baby, you obviously never had anal.

          Does the wife still say hurry up, I’ve finished counting to ten?

          1. I’m not a lesbian you fat cunt. God, these spoofers are so dumb.

            1. I agree, one cannot easily be a lesbian when one is an infantile male teenager like you.

              1. Fuck you, all men are the same: little boys with little dicks.

                Not like my daddy.

                1. little baby doesn’t like to be called-out 🙁

                  Tell that bully to leave you alone-lol

                  1. What a little boy, all spoofers are teenage boys. I called myself out and she couldn’t handle it. I sit in my own poo now.

      3. Is it the fact the state is inherently incompetent? It is the fact that statists are inherently incompetent?

        It’s almost like control, not welfare, is their real goal.

    3. no question that is better than what we have now, while not ideal still better.

  15. So that site’s been up for, what, forty-five minutes? and it’s already sprouted its first YOUR ALL DUM NOT OPEN distancing outburst at libertarians who reject leftist “commitment” as the “ideal” from which all that’s just and true derives (pretty much).

    No one could have predicted this. No one!

    1. “…and it’s already sprouted its first YOUR ALL DUM NOT OPEN distancing outburst at libertarians who reject leftist “commitment” as the “ideal” from which all that’s just and true derives (pretty much).”
      I tried running this through Babel Fish — nothing. Can anyone help with a translation?

      1. “NOT OPEN” meaning “You heathens don’t agree with ME! How DARE youuuuuu????”

          1. I love your sour cunt, rather.

            1. Holy shit, how many fake blogs do you have time to keep up. Email me the login info and I will make an entry.

              Don’t ever say I never offered to help 😉

              rctlfy@hotmail.com

              1. Help me? No, help you!

                1. Don’t hate me because I’m a narcissist.

    2. Actually i am sort of offended by the site.

      It implies that it is inventing something new that was already not inherent in the limited government mind set.

      Libertarians have already internalized the fact that free markets and free minds improve outcomes and produce real social equality.

      I don’t mind their choice to emphasize this aspect. I do mind them acting like they fucking invented the whole idea.

      1. free markets and free minds…

        …is a slogan, not a philosophy. And nobody has a monopoly on ideas. You’re “offended” by the site? Really? Please tell us what else offends you on the internet. You could be the hit of the party.

        Shy? OK, I’ll go first. Lady Gaga. She’s everywhere! And that act…I am offended! It’s like she invented the whole fucking idea of glam-androgynous-meat-wearing performance art, when it was already inherent in the glam-androgynous-meat-wearing performance art culture.

  16. Are people still beating that dead horse?

    The so-called “liberals” are statists dedicated to expanding government and subsuming everything within its control.

    Full stop.

    What part of libertarianism accords with that?

    1. Ask the liberal FA Hayek and Ayn Rand who both hated conservatives (as I do).

      Conservatism will be a dark corner of history 100 years from now.

      1. It’s a dark corner now.

      2. You will be forgotten by the time I’m finished typing!

      3. Hayek and Rand hated conservatives for far different reasons than you do.

        E.g., they didn’t fight socialism aggressively enough.

        1. And they (Conservatives) are mystics, e.g. they derive their moral code from their god, not from the very nature of man as a volitional creature who must think and act according to his rational self interest, or perish.

          1. As long as they espouse Free Will, it’s a distinction without a difference.

            1. Determinism is not free will.

          2. And they (Conservatives) are mystics, e.g. they derive their moral code from their god, not from the very nature of man as a volitional creature who must think and act according to his rational self interest,

            LOL

            rational self interest is every bit as mythical as the sky god.

    1. I don’t think that guy ever read Nozick – he just pulled that one out of his ass like rather pulls pickles out of her cunt.

      1. Hey!

        They come out naturally! That’s how I know they’re done.

  17. You know Andrew Sullivan has Aids dementia. Seriously, the guy is nuts.
    I read the guy when he first came out. He was clear, susinct, lucid, logical, and reasonable.
    Then about two years in, he started weaving off the rails before going off completely in about March, 2004.
    Matt don’t ever connect to him again.
    He is a very, very diseased individual.

    1. it’s true. Eventually the hypermutation prone reverse transcriptase in the HIV virus changes the targetting of the bastard from immune cells to neurons.

  18. Libertarians hold that justice requires that we respect property rights, period, even if that means a large percentage of people will starve, lead poor and desperate lives, or have no stake in their society. If that’s libertarianism, count me out.

    *le fucking sigh*

    1. lol, it’s like everybody would just sit there and watch their neighbors starve. In reality, the poor would organize, with assistance from those with more money, into the organizations that existed before the government got involved.

  19. Ima check it out for grins. And cause I like to do my own research. Thanks for the link, Matt.

    But this while “liberal/libertarian”, “conservative/libertarian”, “pseudo-Survivor-Alliance” bullshit is old. Like….old. As generally understood today in the US, Team Blue/Red/Left/Right/Conservative/Liberal all = STATIST FUCK. Which emphatically does NOT = “libertarian” in any way, shape or form.

    So I don’t have much hope. But I’ll check it out.

    1. Well, that didn’t take long!

      Suppose you think government’s one and only job is to promote good art.

      Really? That’s your best swing at a hypothetical to set up your thesis?

      Weak sauce, lefty pussies…enjoy your hipster haircuts and cocktail parties.

  20. Better alt-text:

    If obsession is a sin, let me be guilty!

    1. +[Calvin Klein’s Bank Account Number]

  21. Oh and the “social justice” trope? liberty and freedom of contract are social justice, as are property rights, the much maligned-by-liberals first amendment, an end to the war on drugs etc., etc.

  22. Oh boy! More great “Liberals aiming to appeal to Liberals who like to pretend their not Liberals” taste. Sullivan and Brooks make a good living through it, and more and more people want in I guess.

    Somebody come get me when they can explain how mutually exclusive philosophies of very limited government involvement and heavy government involvement somehow fit together. Until then I’ll take my Liberaltarian jackalope in Tyler Cowen flavor, who at least has the good sense to bury the reader in eclectic academic minutia so as to avoid this reality as long as possible.

  23. Evolutionists hold that natural selection requires that better-adapted organisms win out, period, even if that means a large percentage of species will starve, lead poor and desperate lives, or have no stake in their biota. If that’s evolutionism, count me out.

  24. Physicists hold that gravity requires that massive objects are strongly attracted to earth, period, even if that means a large percentage of people will fall to their deaths, lead hydrogen- and helium-free lives, or have no ability to explore outer space. If that’s physics, count me out.

  25. Just those first couple of posts are more thought provoking than most of the liberal bashing drivel that passes for column writing here.

    1. Did they mention “externalities”, is that it?

      1. They inhabit the factual world, unlike this place, which is firmly entrenched in right-wing mythos.

        1. Is that better or worse than the Cthulhu Mythos?

          1. It’s better on the civil liberties, but worse on screaming blood-soaked mind-shattering madness.

            1. “Plus: SNAUSAGES!!!”

    2. Yes, in the same sense that watching a retarded kid attempt to tie his shoes is thought-provoking.

  26. Thermodynamicists hold that the second law requires that entropy increases, period, even if that means a large percentage of systems will reach thermal equilibrium, contain homogeneous and disordered gases, or have no available energy to perform useful work. If that’s thermodynamics, count me out.

    1. Thermodynamicists hold that the second law requires that entropy increases, period.

      So natural selection or evolution is the opponent to entropy?

      1. In a loose sense, but the biota isn’t a closed system, with the Sun and inner Earth constantly pumping all that energy into it.

        1. Best thing I ever saw on an Intelligent Design defense thread: “In order for evolution to exist there would have to be a giant energy source dumping energy on the Earth for billions of years!”

          Something like a giant, unlicensed fusion reactor…

      2. Actually, you’re in good company making that connection. Erwin Schrodinger defined life as a system which continually decreases its entropy by putting itself in contact with objects of low entropy.

  27. @Tulpa – fucking science – how does it work?

    also, lol!

  28. I cannot think of a single “problem” in society – large or small, trivial or serious – that liberals don’t believe that the state should solve or mitigate. Legislation enacted and/or funds spent.

    Not a single one.

    I can think of problems that conservatives think that the private sector should solve and the state should stay out of.

    Not enough to be sure. But some.

    The libertarian/liberal alliance dies on the battlefield not of ideas but of problems.

  29. The problem with liberals are methodological collectivism and central planning. They’ve opted for Social Justice, because they believe that Justice will not suffice for their aims.

    I wish one day they (and libertarians) would pick up on the libertarian tradition of Jefferson and Paine that set intellectual and natural resource property rights outside the boundaries of natural rights in property.

    I’ve taken to calling myself a Thomas Paine libertarian, because Agrarian Justice provides a convenient reference for my differences from propertarian libertarians.

    1. You know you are writing gibberish right?

  30. Or you could check out http://www.granitesentry.com, where conservatism flows from a coherent set of political ideals rather than being cobbled together from what you WANT to believe, what you think you SHOULD believe, and what you know you MUST believe (or your friends will raise their eyebrows and look away when you leave the room).

    1. I am intrigued by your ideas, please sign me up for your newsletter.

  31. Here’s why Libertarians will always mix better with the Right than the Left:

    The central issue uniting the Republican coalition (Libertarians, Christians, and Neo-cons) is free markets. The central issue uniting the Democratic coalition (Redistributionists, Labor and Minorities) and is class envy. The former is libertarian, the latter has nothing to do with liberty.

    So while Neo-Cons and Christian Crusaders can irk the living shit out of me, I’ve also accepted the reality of the political environment, and so I’m more inclined to look the other way when it comes to them, at least on the smaller stuff. I have to draw the line at invading countries that aren’t threatening us and locking up pot dealers for 20 years, though.

    1. The central issue uniting the Republican coalition (Libertarians, Christians, and Neo-cons) is free markets.

      One look back at the George W. Bush era should be enough to disabuse anyone of this notion.

      1. Yeah, the neocons have never been much for economic liberty. They’re basically ex-Democrats who switched parties because Democrats were insufficiently hawkish.

        And as for the Christian right, their champion Mike Huckabee is borderline socialist on economic issues.

        1. “They’re basically ex-Democrats who switched parties because Democrats were insufficiently hawkish.”

          And I got accused of ‘no true Scotsman’ upthread? Sheesh.

          1. how is this a ‘no true scotsman’? It’s just a statement of history. You clearly don’t understand what the ‘no true scotsman’ rhetorical fallacy is.

            Here, maybe this will help:
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_true_Scotsman

        2. ex-Democrats

          You misspelled Trotskyites. And I dont think they are ex.

  32. Is rather the Bizarro Suki or something?

    1. I think Suki is just bizarro Suki, but generally lucid, whereas rectal is Suki’s batshit-crazy cousin, with a dollop of “extra bizzaro” thrown in, who is, consequently, generally incomprehensible.

      Or, possibly, they’re dopplegangers.

      I mostly try not to think about it.

      1. suki is real, and a friend of a friend.

    2. Or something…….

  33. This guy. His tears have tears.

    This guy’s heart. This guy’s heart bleeds bleeding hearts.

    This guy. This guy’s soul is regenerative. For all the trauma, it’s still full.

    This guy wrote a great song once. It’s called “If You Go Down Tonight, You’ll Go Down As Innocent.” Fifteen year-old girls scream it in unison at concerts, if only there were concert halls to hear it.

    There are no concert halls. Because we’ve crumbled. We’ve crumbled this post-apocalyptic aesthetic into pre-fabricated rubble. This gentrification will not stand. I moved here last year. Where did last year go?

    Where. is. last. year?

    *Emo-screams*

    Out.

    1. Tear joke not mine.

    2. To the fourth, that is

  34. Fucking consequentialists

  35. Also, Jedediah Bila is on Red Eye, wearing the shortest skirt ever. Despite having a man’s first name, if she were a train, I’d ride her off into the sunset.

    God bless Red Eye for the eye candy…

  36. The social democratic societies of Europe are better than the U.S. or the fully socialists at provided goods and services in a way that is equitable. They have the best combination of market forces and government forces anywhere in the world. No one is prevented from doing business, from making a profit (though admittedly it’s harder to make as high a profits as are made in the U.S.) but because the social safety net is stronger, many fewer people go hungry or go without housing or are refused medical care. And btw, Hayek didn’t reject the idea of government providing some of this social safety net either.

    1. You’re right. And Adam Smith and de Tocqueville both warned against the possibilities of a dehumanizing specialization of labor. Friedman argued for the Negative Income Tax. I remember when I was in thrall to Hayek back in college, and he specifically discussed the indigent, and a quick Google search confirms.

      Caveat: These were not arguments from efficiency, nor morality, but the admission of these programs were viewed as a necessary evil so that, as Tulpa pointed out, people didn’t starve in the street.

      Neither Hayek nor Friedman would agree with you about the efficiency or morality of social democracies. They loathed regulation and planning. They loathed decision-making in a central authority’s hands, and they also loathed capital subject to stipulation and coercion by governments.

    2. Except for the minor point that those economies you are praising are currently imploding. Before you accuse me of being a redneck, I am in Europe. Those economies, including the German one (because the others are currently being conveniently ignored) has problems far worse that the US economy is facing. The German export model, like the Chinese one, is basically being lead by the Euro distortions of the other member countries, which now means Germany has to bail out the failing economies, every single one perfectly fitting the social democracy definition. Germany can no longer bail out more failed economies.

      1. Also I would like to question your claim that there were/are more starving people in America than social democratic ones. Can you list one single example where there were more starving people in America as opposed to social democratic countries.

        1. In my experience, the beggars in Western Europe look more pathetic than they do in the US. Their numbers are comparable as well.

        2. Check out the data here for a comparison, under “food security”:

          http://flowingdata.com/2011/02…..verything/

          1. I wonder how respondents interpreted the question. Does it mean that they were not able to get the food they wanted and so had to settle for ramen noodles or did it mean they had absolutely nothing to eat?

            1. Who cares? The same question was asked in all the surveyed countries, right?

            2. Who cares? The same question was asked in all the surveyed countries, right?

              1. And we don’t know that it was done in survey format.

      2. Currently imploding? Unlike the U.S., right?

        1. I would imagine the countries that give people three years paid maturnity leave, covers everyone’s health care from cradle to grave and gives people retirement benefits starting in their 50’s are going to have much more problems than the country that gives 6 months unpaid maturnity leave, covers health care for seniors, the poor and the military and gives people retirement benefits starting in their 60’s.

    3. “many fewer people go hungry or go without housing or are refused medical care”

      But see, the problem you will run into talking to libertarians is, those things, while perhaps fine things, are not justification for the coercion used to achieve them. For libertarians once you allow for coercions, even if it gets you “many fewer people go hungry or go without housing or are refused medical care” you have sacrificed the only permissible means for ends they seem less than enthusiastic for and you get utilitarianism and then Stalin and Hitler and so on.

      1. Speaking for myself, I’m against programs that supposedly lead to many fewer people going hungry or going without housing or being refused medical care or whatever else you want to throw out there because these programs don’t work in the long term.

        In the long-term they actually exacerbate the very social problems we all want to solve. People are incentivized to not work or take responsibility for themselves. People turn away from their families and communities and instead depend on some remote beurocrats in D.C.

        Over time, the entire economy suffers because a large number of able body people do not contribute to the economy. This causes society as a whole to be poorer as resources become more scarce. Scarcity creates even worse poverty and the cycle continues until the entire system can no longer sustain itself and falls apart.

        The poor in the western world live better than the kings and queens of several centuries past. This occurred not through government fiat but because of the free exchange of goods and ideas that arose out of the Enlightenment. Prosperity comes from abundance and the best way to promote abundance is productivity.

        1. Yes, the logic is impeccable. The only problem is that the data just doesn’t bear this out. Many European countries have done better on a number of these features for a long time. In some areas there has even been improvement and a reversal compared to the U.S. Remember when one area – unemployment – was supposed to be the libertarian trump card? “Yeah, but they have double-digit unemployment.” Now, our unemployment figures are worse than theirs, in some cases, almost double theirs. When is the implosion supposed to happen? Is it kind of like Peak Oil?
          Europe’s economy will go through peaks and valleys, just like ours. You can call the valleys implosion or just the natural cycle of an economy.
          A certain amount of dynamism is of course important – and in some cases, I’d admit, some European countries could do with more. But it’s important, if societal stability and equity and compassion are concerns, not to trade off too much social safety net in the process. The sweet spot is probably somewhere in the middle between what the U.S. spends and what Europe spends.

          1. come again? Have you seen the banlieues of paris?

            1. “Hey, look out the window. I see a mugger. Man, this country has the worst problem with mugging anywhere in the world.”

              1. too much aggregation ignores human action and motivation

      2. many fewer people go hungry or go without housing or are refused medical care

        I live in the city of Philadelphia today.

        We have lots of hungry, homeless people without medical care — more than when the city had a larger population and social spending at a state, federal and local level was far lower.

        We have an even larger population of people with inadequate incomes who are often hungry, live in sub-par housing, and who lack quality medical care — far more than when the city had a larger population, lower taxes, and less social spending.

        In the past ten years, as social spending increased, regulations exploded, and new government housing popped up across the city, the population increased by 11,000 people but the number of jobs plummeted by 47,000. Homelessness went up, the proportion of people below the poverty line went up.

        With all this expanding spending despite a population that is 25% smaller than it was 50 years ago, with soaring taxes and numerous new government programs, shouldn’t Philadelphia be a prosperous, equal society with loads of housing, great health care for all, and a harmonious social dynamic?

        Shouldn’t North and West Philadelphia be bastions of community, with thriving populations of government welfare recipients living side-by-side in harmony with their working neighbors, everyone happy to live in a society with housing, health care and income guarantees?

        Yet it’s not that way. So when does “social democracy” kick in and create the magical society I keep hearing about? It’s been half a century, and things are still getting worse outside of the central business district.

        1. southeast DC is the same way. I used to volunteer there while I was living in the area.

          > So when does “social democracy” kick in and create the magical society I keep hearing about?

          You need to spend just a little bit more. And get rid of the republicans.

    4. The social democratic societies of Europe are better than the U.S. or the fully socialists at provided goods and services in a way that is equitable. They have the best combination of market forces and government forces anywhere in the world.

      I lived in one of those “social democracies” for many years, and each of them had net outmigration of productive people and SERIOUS problems with integrating new immigrants.

      Further, they ALL have structural deficits and the spreads on their government debt are exploding as it is clear that the ratio of “consumer” to “producer” is shifting unfavorably — leading to likely debt default.

  37. I think it is silly to talk about a grand ‘liberal/libertarian alliance’ and for that matter a conservative/libertarian alliance. The dominating principle behind libertarianism seems to be a deontological objection to coercion (as defined by libertarians to mean force except in defense of things libertarians think force is ok). Coercion is ultimately and always wrong and disallowed.

    Interestingly a great deal of liberal thought finds coercion to be abhorrent, though only one of several abhorrent things, and an abhorrent thing that can be outweighed in some circumstances by the others therefore justifying it as the lesser of evils. I’m not sure conservatism finds coercion to be abhorrent at all (a commonly found thread in conservative thought is the idea of ‘ordered liberty’ and an abhorrence of ‘license’). Coercion can be used to conserve historical institutions, no problem. So ironically I think libertarianism is closer to liberalism (hence the sharing of the root in their names), but the differences are fatal either way…

    Having said that what does make sense is 1. liberals and libertarians working together on issues where they would both be happy to see the same result and 2. working within liberalism to get more liberals to think about more libertarian ways to achieve liberal goals. The NRA is doing better than the AFL-CIO or religious right at this time because the former worked to gain support in both parties and ideological camps while the latter put all their eggs in one basket. In a two party system that’s silly.

    1. Conservatism is based on traditionalism, liberalism on egalitarianism, and libertarianism on propertarianism. Those three ethical bases are almost completely incompatible with one another.

      I don’t think libertarians could form a coalition with liberals or conservatives in even a realpolitik sense. Libertarians want government out of abortion, liberals want the government to fund it. Libertarians want total economic freedom, conservatives want farm subsidies and the military-industrial complex. So far as I can tell, both liberals and conservatives support immigration protectionism, the former out of a fear that immigrants will overrun the welfare system and the latter out of neanderthal nativism.

      I really don’t understand some libertarian’s fetish for being accepted by the Left. They want to use us as an electioneering tool and nothing more. The supposed similarities that we share with them, when examined more closely, are shown to be nonexistent. They are the advocates of rabid human equality and voodoo economics; the children of Romanticism. We are the sons and daughters of the Age of Reason.

    2. I’d settle for “alliances of convenience” on “selected issues,” but we don’t even have that.

      Too many libertarians are willing to excuse conservative statist concepts like “states’ rights” out of a sense of loyalty to conservative statists like Ron Paul who have some libertarian tendencies on war.

      Many of them will happily support statist policies like anti-gay laws or immigration restrictions based on a fabricated faux-libertarian argument. For example “if we let the gays marry, they can collect social security” (yet these faux-libs aren’t advocating for an end to the taxation of gay folks forced to pay for those programs they cannot access. How about “immigrants might claim welfare if we allow them in” — ignoring the fact that most immigrants are net “payers” into those systems, and that theft isn’t any less thieving based on what piece of ground one was born on?

      Most others are unwilling to engage in ANY practical advancement towards libertarianism — even on an incremental basis — because it’s not 100% all-in, right now.

      And a scary third column of “libertarians,” like the Barr-Root libertarians in what’s left of the LP, actively campaign for statist goals like banning construction of mosques on private property.

      1. Ron Paul is a conservative statist?

  38. I wouldn’t object to criticism of a libertarian-liberal fusionism if it didn’t follow up with knee-jerk defense of libertarian-conservative fusionism.

    “Fusionism” with conservatism or liberalism automatically requires some sort of material support of statism.

    Conservative-leaning fusionists say that isn’t so bad because they’re not gay or hispanic or Iraqi and thus don’t feel the negative effects of conservative statism.

    Left-leaning fusionists say that isn’t so bad because they don’t own a business, earn a significant salary, or have assets they’ve managed to save up through their own hard work/sacrifice, and thus don’t feel the ill effects of progressive statism.

    “True” libertarians aren’t willing to sacrifice individual liberties for political expediency — alas, they’re derided by both conservative and lefty fusionists as “unrealistic.”

    However, it’s rather easy to piss off a lefty fusionist — just ask him how our “liberal allies on social issues” voted on DOMA, the USA PATRIOT Act, the Iraq War and BSA funds.

    And ask a conservative fusionist how our “conservative allies on economic issues” voted on bailouts, every budget since 1965, deficit spending in the Bush years, and free trade.

  39. The whole Left vs. Right alliance argument is an entirely false dichotomy. First off, the politicians in power are almost entirely statist regardless of their Party, so any attempted examples of left-libertarian politics are only theoretical.

    Second, the political landscape isn’t accurately divided by conservative, liberal, or even libertarian ideals, but rather by the parties which are only loosely based around those similarities.

    That said, among normal voting individuals I don’t see any reason for building walls between libertarians and the other two main political theories. There are plenty of conservatives and liberals who are against state coercion. There are plenty of conservatives who are mainly concerned with economic engineering by the government, and plenty of liberals who are mainly concerned by violations of civil liberties.

    A two party system could just as reasonably be divided along a statist-libertarian axis rather than a conservative-liberal axis. I’m sure we’d all like that given that it would pose an actual opposition to statism, where as currently both parties are under its umbrella and libertarians remain without any stable power-base. For such a shift in the political landscape to happen, however, some efforts at diplomacy towards civil-libertarian liberals is necessary.

  40. MNG: But see, the problem you will run into talking to libertarians is, those things, while perhaps fine things, are not justification for the coercion used to achieve them. For libertarians once you allow for coercions, even if it gets you “many fewer people go hungry or go without housing or are refused medical care” you have sacrificed the only permissible means for ends they seem less than enthusiastic for and you get utilitarianism and then Stalin and Hitler and so on.

    This is where MNG has a failure of logic, and an inability to see the facts all around him: “once you allow for coercions, even if it gets you”

    Coercion does NOT create less of these bad things, it creates more. Coercion gets you the misery created, for example, by Hawaii’s overwhelmingly liberal-run legislature (about 90% D currently) pissing and moaning and proposing more and more coercions to “solve” the homelessness problem they created by, for example, prohibiting the sale and use of mobile homes. By taxing food and clothing and shelter, which are incredibly regressive taxes on the poor. By (insert bad coercive idea here) …

    It is counterintuitive, MNG, but if you get rid of ALL these initiations of force and just leave people to sort out their problems on their own, and allow private charity to flourish, you get less misery.

    You don’t get the END of misery, because that is not on the menu under any social arrangement, because any degree of freedom means the freedom to fuck up your life.

    1. There is a bigger social safety net in Europe (hence more coercion) and yet this has obviously not created more misery by any measure. Of course, not all state proposals are good ones – the ones you mentioned in Hawaii for example are notoriously bad. But that just means that it needs to be done in a different way – ways that have proven statistically to work, as in Norway, Sweden, and Denmark.

      1. yet this has obviously not created more misery by any measure

        Those countries have a lower standard of living than the U.S., which is what I would characterize as a “measure” of a form of “misery”.

        Those countries are moving closer to the U.S. model in recent years, which would seem to indicate some dissatisfaction among the electorate of the consequences of this expansive social safety net.

        The differences between those countries isn’t all that drastic compared to the U.S.

        North Korea has a MUCH bigger “safety net” as you call it, in that the government runs just about everything, and I would hardly characterize that hellhole as a paradise.

        1. “Those countries have a lower standard of living than the U.S.,”

          Iirc Norway has a higher gdp per capita than the US…

          “Those countries are moving closer to the U.S. model in recent years”

          That’s interesting cuz all I hear from libertarians is how socialist the US has become recently…

          “North Korea has a MUCH bigger “safety net” as you call it, in that the government runs just about everything, and I would hardly characterize that hellhole as a paradise”

          And Somalia has a much smaller one…

          1. “Iirc Norway has a higher gdp per capita than the US…”

            Which is entirely offset by high taxation. And GDP per capita is just as asinine as national GDP.

            “That’s interesting cuz all I hear from libertarians is how socialist the US has become recently…”

            Your reading comprehension skills are astoundingly bad. Prolefeed clearly meant the old U.S. model, the “Reagan” or “Coolidge” model, if you will; a restrictionist monetary policy, low taxation, low regulation, free trade, and a small social safety net. The success of right-wing parties across Europe, from the United Kingdom to Sweden (which is jumping headlong into capitalism, by the way) is evident of this trend.

            It’s also important to note that countries like Germany are contemplating the abolishment of universal health care altogether and just replacing it with a Medicaid-esq system for the poor. I can dredge up the interview with Germany’s Minister of Finance if you’re interested.

            “And Somalia has a much smaller one…”

            And Somalia has experienced economic growth despite an ongoing civil war and a government. North Korea has seen its standard of living fall ever since Russia stopped subsidizing their command economy.

            1. And as a side note, you’re comparing apples to oranges with Norway and the United States. If you take into account the size of the United States and its population, America has the highest standard of living when compared to any other country on this planet.

              1. not to mention the fact that those european countries are subsidized because we pay for their defense.

            2. “It’s also important to note that countries like Germany are contemplating the abolishment of universal health care altogether and just replacing it with a Medicaid-esq system for the poor. ”

              I must call a big Bullshit on this. First of all we don’t have “universal healthcare” over here it’s a mixed system. Second of all the comparison with Medicaid fails. It’s very different compared to that.

        2. Standard of living can be measured by a number of different factors, some of which I linked to above. Food security, level of democracy, life expectancy, unemployment, and well-being (perhaps the most important one) were mentioned in that chart and the U.S. did not measure as high as a number of countries. Ease of access to affordable health care is another important feature of a high standard of living, which the U.S. compares unfavorably to most advanced industrialized countries and even some lower tier countries such as Thailand (which has one of best hospitals in the world in Bangkok).

          GDP is mentioned – while offset by high taxation, this high taxation is off-set by a wealth of services – given that the ‘well-being’ measure is higher in these countries it would seem that the other amenities available empirically suggest that this is a very welcome trade, again suggesting the standard of living is lower in the U.S.

          As for North Korea, that’s a very weak straw man. No where have I explicitly or implicitly made the claim that the greater the amount of state control the greater the standard of living or social well-being. In fact, I have made it clear, that the issue is finding the right balance between allowing the dynamism of the market to do what it does best and allowing the state to provide equity and security (health, basic income) when the market falls short of that goal. I even suggested that the right balance might be between what the U.S. offers and what Europe offers.

          But if or when these European countries’ social safety net shrinks to the U.S. level or below, I’ll withdraw my argument.

          P.S. I bring forth these arguments because I seem to be alone on this thread in arguing that yes indeed there is a liberaltarian alternative. This alternative would be an argument for robust social liberties, as outlined by libertarians, with a role for the state to play when basic needs of the people – health care, pollution reduction, minimal income etc. – are not met very well by market forces.

          1. “Food security, level of democracy, life expectancy, unemployment, and well-being ”

            How does one go about measuring any of those things, except for unemployment? All of those factors are highly subjective, leaving quite a bit of room for bias to swing the test results this way or that way.

            “Ease of access to affordable health care is another important feature of a high standard of living, which the U.S. compares unfavorably to most advanced industrialized countries”

            Old Mexican has talked about this before. Those tests are incredibly biased against countries which don’t have socialized medicine. It’s the same thing with reports that measure standard of living but take into account “income equality”, so more socialist countries like Norway or Denmark will beat out the United States.

            “GDP is mentioned – while offset by high taxation, this high taxation is off-set by a wealth of services – given that the ‘well-being’ measure is higher in these countries it would seem that the other amenities available empirically suggest that this is a very welcome trade, again suggesting the standard of living is lower in the U.S.”

            Gross domestic product does not matter. It is the estimated market value of all of a countries goods, services, and factors of production if they were to all be sold at once. This tells us nothing and communicates nothing.

            I have a hard time believing that it’s offset by better social services. Medical rationing, waiting lines, and bureaucracy are commonplace in both Canada and Europe.

            “In fact, I have made it clear, that the issue is finding the right balance between allowing the dynamism of the market to do what it does best and allowing the state to provide equity and security (health, basic income) when the market falls short of that goal. I even suggested that the right balance might be between what the U.S. offers and what Europe offers.”

            We haven’t had a free market in health care since the 1920s. The first health care crisis in this country was doctors protesting because medical care was too cheap, prompting the creation of the American Medical Association to artificially restrict the supply of doctors and thus raise their wages. Your ignorance of history is typical of any Leftist.

            “But if or when these European countries’ social safety net shrinks to the U.S. level or below, I’ll withdraw my argument.”

            The United Kingdom has gotten rid of national health care; now it’s up to each individual country to provide health insurance. Will you withdraw your terrible argument now?

            “P.S. I bring forth these arguments because I seem to be alone on this thread in arguing that yes indeed there is a liberaltarian alternative. This alternative would be an argument for robust social liberties, as outlined by libertarians, with a role for the state to play when basic needs of the people – health care, pollution reduction, minimal income etc. – are not met very well by market forces.”

            You are nothing more than a concern troll libertarian. All of those things you’ve mentioned can be handled by the market. Your ignorance of economics is no excuse.

            Social welfare requires forced taxation. Forced taxation is unprovoked aggression, which violates one of the libertarian first principles, the Non-Aggression Principle. You’re not a libertarian at all; at best, you’re just less statist than most liberals or progressives.

            1. Pollution control is not a social handout, it’s everyone paying to clean up the mess everyone created. How would the market take care of it? Is there even a theoretical explanation for this claim?

              1. “How would the market take care of it? Is there even a theoretical explanation for this claim?”

                Externalities is a tragedy of the commons. If all land and water was owned by private individuals, you could simply work out a deal with polluting companies or sue them if they violated your property rights by damaging your land (or water) with run-off waste.

                1. *Externalities “are”

                2. You forgot the atmosphere. How do we divide that up?

                  Seems like a lot of trouble (not to mention a lot of extra government [courts]) to do something that sensible regulations could do in the first place.

                3. Yes, you can sue people after the fact for a pollution violation. But little good that does a group of people already heavily damaged, some with lung cancer or other serious diseases. But hey, that’s okay. Better to make sure we keep our principles water-tight, with no exceptions, no matter the damaging consequences. Otherwise, uh oh, we could be…..Statists!

    2. Well, if your thing is you think that liberty tends to make people more well off than coercion then I actually agree with you. You could also just think that it does so more than I do, or most liberals do, and then we are having an empirical argument. What I’m getting at is libertarians who think that even if the coercion led to good results it is still not to be done, and to a lesser degree folks who argue that liberty will always and everywhere lead to better results.

      1. “…liberty will always and everywhere lead to better results.”

        Liberty always leads to better economic and social results than statism, as people on this blog have demonstrated to you over and over again.

      2. What I’m getting at is libertarians who think that even if the coercion led to good results it is still not to be done

        That is one hell of an IF. Sure, by coercing a bunch of people you can give the money to a special interest, and the members of that special interest can, sometimes, be better off, but then you create a host of other problems due to the coercion that creates even greater levels of misery elsewhere.

        You can’t create greater systemwide happiness by robbing people. Liberals are people who haven’t had that epiphany, or worse yet, even haven’t had the epiphany that robbery is occurring.

        Try it on a personal level, MNG: would you, personally, take a gun and go door to door in your neighborhood robbing at gunpoint to ostensibly help someone else? Even if you could prevent retaliation, do you think that would turn out well overall? And even if you think that that would turn out well once, do you really think that if you did it over and over, perverse incentives would set in among those being robbed that would wipe out the alleged good you think you are performing?

        It doesn’t work any better when you delegate that violence to people you call government agents.

        1. Next to last sentence should read “perverse incentives would NOT set in …”

  41. “You don’t get the END of misery, because that is not on the menu under any social arrangement, because any degree of freedom means the freedom to fuck up your life.”

    Very true. In a free society, there is a certain degree of unexpectedness that goes along with everything. A statist society does have that one thing going for it, though; consistency. You are consistently poor, consistently oppressed, consistently micromanaged, and consistently miserable.

  42. On a lark, I went to the site, did my due diligence and read the articles, and then engaged the author. Complete waste of time.

    It’s nothing more than an academic thought experiment for him, and he’s completely lost in a “perfect world” is/ought dichotomy.

  43. Your comments are *starred.

    “Food security, level of democracy, life expectancy, unemployment, and well-being ”

    *”How does one go about measuring any of those things, except for unemployment? All of those factors are highly subjective, leaving quite a bit of room for bias to swing the test results this way or that way.”

    Life expectancy is not that hard to measure objectively. Those other features, could be subject to bias possibly. But it’s a typical response when data doesn’t go one’s way to yell bias.

    “Ease of access to affordable health care is another important feature of a high standard of living, which the U.S. compares unfavorably to most advanced industrialized countries”

    *”Old Mexican has talked about this before. Those tests are incredibly biased against countries which don’t have socialized medicine. It’s the same thing with reports that measure standard of living but take into account “income equality”, so more socialist countries like Norway or Denmark will beat out the United States.”

    Interesting but an impossible point to argue. Obviously your own theory cannot be falsified. Whenever the data doesn’t go your way, just say that it is biased.

    *”Gross domestic product does not matter. It is the estimated market value of all of a countries goods, services, and factors of production if they were to all be sold at once. This tells us nothing and communicates nothing.”

    Okay, but you missed my point entirely, which was that high taxation can be off-set by better and more access to other services and amenities – education, health care, longer vacation times, longer maternity and paternity leave, greater unemployment welfare, etc. etc.

    *”I have a hard time believing that it’s offset by better social services. Medical rationing, waiting lines, and bureaucracy are commonplace in both Canada and Europe.”

    Yet polling would indicate that most Europeans, Australians, Canadians, etc. are highly satisfied with their health services. And medical rationing and wait lists are a feature of the U.S. as well.

    “In fact, I have made it clear, that the issue is finding the right balance between allowing the dynamism of the market to do what it does best and allowing the state to provide equity and security (health, basic income) when the market falls short of that goal. I even suggested that the right balance might be between what the U.S. offers and what Europe offers.”

    *”We haven’t had a free market in health care since the 1920s. The first health care crisis in this country was doctors protesting because medical care was too cheap, prompting the creation of the American Medical Association to artificially restrict the supply of doctors and thus raise their wages. Your ignorance of history is typical of any Leftist.”

    I didn’t claim that the U.S. health care system was a totally free market system. I would only claim that it is not a completely government run system, where patients must pay through insurance or out of pocket – because of the high cost, many don’t have any insurance.

    “But if or when these European countries’ social safety net shrinks to the U.S. level or below, I’ll withdraw my argument.”

    *”The United Kingdom has gotten rid of national health care; now it’s up to each individual country to provide health insurance. Will you withdraw your terrible argument now?”

    It’s true they are privatizing some of it, but this just developed. Let’s wait and see how far it goes. Secondly, this is only one country and only one part of the social safety net. So, I still need better and more evidence than this.

    “P.S. I bring forth these arguments because I seem to be alone on this thread in arguing that yes indeed there is a liberaltarian alternative. This alternative would be an argument for robust social liberties, as outlined by libertarians, with a role for the state to play when basic needs of the people – health care, pollution reduction, minimal income etc. – are not met very well by market forces.”

    *”You are nothing more than a concern troll libertarian. All of those things you’ve mentioned can be handled by the market. Your ignorance of economics is no excuse.
    Social welfare requires forced taxation. Forced taxation is unprovoked aggression, which violates one of the libertarian first principles, the Non-Aggression Principle. You’re not a libertarian at all; at best, you’re just less statist than most liberals or progressives.”

    Is it difficult typing with all that straw on your computer while fighting the enemies in your head? Never claimed I was a libertarian. I said that the liberaltarian label had appeal for me in that it wedded a robust appreciation for social liberties to a strong social safety net. Secondly, a troll is defined as someone who comments off topic and utilizes remarks like the insults that litter your comments to provoke an emotional response. This thread is about liberaltarianism and I have tried, up to this paragraph, to argue my points relevant to that, without attacking anyone, only the reasoning or ‘facts’ of their comments. Thus, it is you, who obviously fits the definition of troll here. Finally, if you were able to do more than just ‘doubt’ any stat you didn’t like or repeat libertarian cliches about the non-aggression principle, you might be someone I would be interested in arguing with. But you’ve demonstrated a lack of ability to think outside a mantra, to do much more than label anything pejoratively that doesn’t fit your rigid worldview, and to engage with any sort of civility. I’m done here.

    1. “Life expectancy is not that hard to measure objectively. Those other features, could be subject to bias possibly. But it’s a typical response when data doesn’t go one’s way to yell bias.”

      When those tests are based on a faulty methodology (in this case, claiming you can objectively measure well being), yes, I will call them out on that.

      “Interesting but an impossible point to argue.”

      Your hand-waving has been noted.

      “Obviously your own theory cannot be falsified. Whenever the data doesn’t go your way, just say that it is biased.”

      Tests that use a faulty or biased methodology should be discredited. A test which took into account “salaries of corporate executives” when calculating standard of living would obviously be biased in favor of corporatist countries like Russia or the United States. I don’t see how this is hard to understand.

      “Okay, but you missed my point entirely, which was that high taxation can be off-set by better and more access to other services and amenities – education, health care, longer vacation times, longer maternity and paternity leave, greater unemployment welfare, etc. etc.”

      This is where the debate becomes tricky. You can’t argue objectively whether a service provided by the government provides more utility to people than a service from the private sector. I would argue that the unintended consequences of government interferences in the economy, whether it be reducing the opportunity cost of unemployment through unemployment insurance, the dead weight loss of taxation, and the misalignment of resources in regards to consumer demand which is inherent in government spending outweighs the “services” provided by government, and you would argue otherwise.

      “Yet polling would indicate that most Europeans, Australians, Canadians, etc. are highly satisfied with their health services.”

      The success of right-wing parties in Europe, Canada, and Australia seems to discredit those polls, but I’ll concede for a moment that the peoples of those countries are satisfied with socialized medicine. I imagine this has to do with the costs being hidden from them, i.e., socialized.

      And I don’t mean ER waiting lines in the United States, I mean things like the fact that a dog can get a hip replacement in Canada in two weeks, while for a human it can take months. Death panels are an inherent feature of socialized medicine.

      “It’s true they are privatizing some of it, but this just developed. Let’s wait and see how far it goes. Secondly, this is only one country and only one part of the social safety net. So, I still need better and more evidence than this.”

      I have a feeling that no amount of evidence will satisfy you. But regardless, austerity cuts in Greece, France, the United Kingdom, Sweden, and so on are clear indicators that the massive European welfare state that has existed since World War II is, in some sense, coming to an end.

      “Never claimed I was a libertarian.”

      My apologies. You are, however, still a statist.

      “said that the liberaltarian label had appeal for me in that it wedded a robust appreciation for social liberties to a strong social safety net.”

      My point about the NAP was to show how asinine the idea of liberaltarianism is to begin with. You can’t have liberty or property rights with the government stealing from you.

      “like the insults that litter your comments to provoke an emotional response.”

      Ad hominems do not discredit an argument. You are ignorant of economics and history, as evident by your arguments. You also are a statist. If those accusations make you so mad that you decide to pick up your marbles and go home, then fine.

      “Finally, if you were able to do more than just ‘doubt’ any stat ”

      You never even linked to a single statistic to begin with. And if they used the methodology that you described, then yes, I wouldn’t give them any credence.

      “you’ve demonstrated a lack of ability to think outside a mantra, to do much more than label anything pejoratively that doesn’t fit your rigid worldview, and to engage with any sort of civility.”

      Your hurt feelings are none of my concern. Want me to stop calling you ignorant of economics and history? Then educate yourself on those topics. Want me to stop accusing you of being a statist? Then change your political philosophy. I’m not going to coddle your feelings on the Internet.

      “I’m done here.”

      You leaving is your own choice, and obviously you can always come back to Reason.

      1. You can’t have liberty or property rights with the government stealing from you.

        You can’t have them without it taxing you either.

        Your slogans do not outweigh the entirety of political theory. Simplicity is never a good feature of a philosophy of how human being should live.

        1. “You can’t have them without it taxing you either.”

          Yes, you can. It’s called voluntaryism, or as it’s known in some circles, individual anarchism or anarcho-capitalism. I told you to go read “The Machinery of Freedom” chapter about dispute arbitration in an anarchist society; obviously you haven’t.

          “Your slogans do not outweigh the entirety of political theory.”

          You’re very right, my arguments do.

          And ‘the entirety of political theory’ is blatant hyperbole. There are many ideologies which believe that the state is legitimate but deny it the ability to establish forced taxation. Objectivism, minarchism, and egoism come to mind.

          “Simplicity is never a good feature of a philosophy of how human being should live.”

          It’s clearly not a simple political philosophy since people like you have such a hard time digesting it.

      2. “ignorance of history and economics.” I’ve seen this claim by a certain sector of libertarians before (and to be fair, it’s something you might hear from a leftist as well, at least the history part). But a lot of these libertarians I meet read only polemical histories (just like a lot of leftists only get their news from the Nation). Want to know exactly what happened in the civil war, just read Thomas Dilorenza and stop there. Or on the other side, Howard Zinn is all you need to read.

        It’s also an obnoxious tactic on this site to label anyone who argues outside the echo chamber a “troll.” The people who need to resort to ad hominens are the real trolls, as obviously they suffer from some form of insecurity and feel the need to foist their 12 year old, anti-social bevavior onto the rest of us.

        Personally, I see little hope for liberaltarianism. Too little willingness or ability to actually listen to different point of view, as witnessed by the above dialogue. On one side, you have a fellow who throws out the “non-aggression” principle as though it need not be defined or as though no tensions within the principle exists (if you think there are no tensions here, you’ve never lived in country that has trouble getting a landfill started as no one is willing to move. You could pay them to move but that would entail government. And what of genocide? The libertarian answer to this is, “well, if you care so much, you can go and fight.” The problem with this is that by the time you got a ragtag army of people together – that wouldn’t mean squat – or organized something more effective, legions of genocides could occur). On the other side, you have someone not too willing to concede a point.

        1. > And what of genocide?

          By the time you get a bunch of blue hats to go in, they’re raping young children under the cover of multinationalism.

          Hell, even the US was too late to stop the slaughter of 6M + in Nazi germany and never lifted a finger against Soviet Russia.

          Name a genocide that was stopped by an external army.

          The only real solution governments offer genocide is immigration and political asylum.

          1. Intervention in Bosnia prevented a wider scale ethnic cleansing there. Intervention in Iraq prevented Saddam from further slaughtering the Kurds and Shias. Hitler’s plans would have led to a much worse genocide than occurred, if not stopped. It was on the books. Milosovic’s plans were on the books.
            But your sociopathy is noted.

        2. “I’ve seen this claim by a certain sector of libertarians before (and to be fair, it’s something you might hear from a leftist as well, at least the history part). But a lot of these libertarians I meet read only polemical histories (just like a lot of leftists only get their news from the Nation). Want to know exactly what happened in the civil war, just read Thomas Dilorenza and stop there. Or on the other side, Howard Zinn is all you need to read.”

          Maybe I should have been more specific. I meant Fred was ignorant of the history of health care in the United States, as evident by the fact that he wasn’t aware what the first “crisis” in the industry was. I have no idea how much he knows about other subjects in history; for all I know, he could have a PhD in Cold War History. On a side note, I haven’t read anything by Thomas DiLorenza.

          But based on some of his comments, I still believe that he is woefully ignorant of economics. To claim that the market is fine in handling things vital to the survival of humanity, such as food and housing, but is incapable of managing health care is flatly wrong.

          “It’s also an obnoxious tactic on this site to label anyone who argues outside the echo chamber a ‘troll.'”

          A ‘concern troll’ is someone who claims to support a groups goals while at the same time working against those goals. I admit that I incorrectly assumed that he was a libertarian, so clearly I was also incorrect in calling him a concern troll. The term isn’t nearly as blasphemous as you make it out to be; faux-libertarian is synonymous with it.

          “The people who need to resort to ad hominens are the real trolls, as obviously they suffer from some form of insecurity and feel the need to foist their 12 year old, anti-social bevavior onto the rest of us.”

          I labeled him as a statist and said that he was ignorant of economics and history, both of which I can back up and justify. I wasn’t insulting his mother.

          “‘non-aggression’ principle as though it need not be defined or as though no tensions within the principle exists ”

          Is there a reason that non-aggression is in scare quotes? Nonetheless, the NAP is typically defined as follows: it shall be legal for anyone to do anything he wants, provided only that he not initiate (or threaten) violence against the person or legitimately owned property of another [Walter Block].

          The NAP is a libertarian first principle whether you like it or not.

          “(if you think there are no tensions here, you’ve never lived in country that has trouble getting a landfill started as no one is willing to move. You could pay them to move but that would entail government.”

          Privately-owned landfills.

          “And what of genocide?”

          As you stated, in Libertopia you’d be allowed to fund or personally assist those being targeted in the genocide. What you could not do is force me or others to fight in a war to end the genocide.

  44. There is this characterization of libertarians and libertarian philosophy as self serving and greedy and indifferent to the needs of others and, unfortunately, I continue to see this perpetrated even by some libertarians. The fact that libertarians do not believe that the power of the state should be used to extract wealth from some to give to others has nothing to do with the altruistic inclinations of libertarians. I think most libertarians feel like most people, that those with much should share with those with little, but that doesn’t mean that the state should be used to enforce those sentiments.

    There is a very great distinction between being personally generous and advocating wealth redistribution by the state. Certainly there are many things people “should” do which should remain always beyond the purview of government. The “bleeding heart” thing is a completely misnomer. There is utterly nothing wrong with being a “bleeding heart”, compassionate and generous, but it has nothing to do with the belief that the power of the state should be used to extract money from some people to give to others. There is nothing generous about that.

    1. Those bastards on the blogs are not bleeding hearts. I refuse to believe them until I see pictures of them ladling food at homeless shelters or packing cans at food banks, or the like. I spent two years in regular volunteer positions. It’s not really that hard (I’m currently underpaid hourly and not-so-explicitly encouraged to come in weekends or else I’d be volunteering now – hah, fuck the california labor laws).

  45. There is a very great distinction between being personally generous and advocating wealth redistribution by the state.

    There is no such beast as public generosity. Stealing from some and giving some of the loot to others to buy their votes is not charity or generosity.

  46. “Are property rights enough?”
    Of course they are silly. Just read the comments on this thread. There are only statists and non-statists, the latter who favor police, courts, and defense departments. No need to examine any philosophical loopholes or gray areas (‘there are no gray areas’!). All you need to do is just chant “non-aggression” principle and tap your heels three times and you’ll be in Libertopia.

    1. “There are only statists and non-statists, the latter who favor police, courts, and defense departments. ”

      Well, of course. You either want to use the coercive apparatus of the state to achieve political goals, or you don’t.

      And I think you need to use the “Preview” button before you post; I’m pretty sure that non-statist don’t like defense departments.

      “No need to examine any philosophical loopholes or gray areas (‘there are no gray areas’!)”

      You could always point out those gray areas.

      “All you need to do is just chant ‘non-aggression’ principle and tap your heels three times and you’ll be in Libertopia.”

      Not true. You also need to have a monocle, top hat, and $10,000 in gold bullions.

  47. These dilutions and caveats to the libertarian philosophy is only done for PR purposes – to appear a squish, to appear “to care.” After all, would any libertarian deny the immense utilitarian benefits of libertarian policies? Why, then the “bleeding-heart” label? Only to distinguish from those meanie heartless regular libertarians who don’t CARE. But you see we CARE, thats why we are “bleeding-heart libertarians.”
    What, pray are the policy differences?

  48. So police and the courts are okay? Statist!

    But no need for a military for defense? Cool. We can all keep our tanks, bazookas, and nuclear weapons in the garage.

    Gray areas? Oh, okay. Dealing with air and water pollution, when all the sources of those pollutants cannot be determined. I think landfills were mentioned above. Your nonsense, non-real world answer was “private landfills.” And if people won’t move so you can build it? Please, real world answer. I lived in Thailand years ago when just such a controversy came up. Not only could you not get anyone to move, there were no private investors interested in starting up such an enterprise. So the garbage just piled up, causing a serious health problem.
    Or how about this: your neighbor is abusing his daughter right in front of you. I guess you could just say, “oh, but he didn’t agress against me, so that’s it, no need to do anything.” You could call the police…oh wait, there are no police. Or maybe just private ones? So, you call the police you’ve hired to protect you. But how would that work, since your private police are just there for you. What would your complaint be because you can’t call it ‘aggresson.’ Or, how about if a neighbor has a really bright porchlight, so bright, it shines into your property and possibly keeps you awake (but that’s your problem…maybe you’re just a light sleeper). Or maybe they like to sing karaoke at odd hours. Are these cases of ‘aggression’? How? Well, we don’t know because you didn’t define it. Thievery is wrong, but then it’s not necessarily aggression either – again, we don’t know as you didn’t define it. Yep, you’re right, no possible tensions can exist in Libertopia when you’ve got the NAP in your holster.

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