Author Topic: Who else here is a libertarian?  (Read 19061 times)

badbear

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #150 on: September 21, 2016, 09:36:37 PM »
Why are we entertaining a straw-man argument that real free market supporters support slavery? This isn't true for libertarians or any other modern free-market advocates.

All a free market means is that the prices are set by supply and demand, and absent of price fixing, monopolies, and artificial barriers to entry into the market (all things that government tends to put in place). You can have free markets AND laws against slavery or anything else that harms others or infringes on their rights. In this case you simply don't have a legal market in owning people. This may create a black market for owning people, but if the society as a whole considers it morally reprehensible to own people, and there are serious punishments for doing so, then this market will be small to nonexistent. Isn't it great that we have a market for labor instead!? A free market doesn't mean we don't have laws!

As it turns out a free market is a really good way to exchange goods and services in the most efficient way that we've figured out so far. It's a shame that government meddles in the markets so much, making markets less efficient, less competitive, and products more expensive. Or worse, they try to pick winners and losers in the market, and in doing so flush a bunch of your tax dollars down the toilet (or into their buddy's pockets).

Jrr85

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #151 on: September 21, 2016, 09:46:24 PM »
I can see how somebody without access to a library or the internet, if forced to make a guess as to what happened in the slave trade might guess that it didn't involve market transactions or abduction of people.  I really don't get why somebody would go with that guess when it would literally take less than a minute, even with a bad internet connection, to figure out that's exactly actually happened.

If a free market proponent is against slavery, they are for restrictions on the free market.  As we just covered, that would mean it's no longer a free market.  Most "free market" proponents just quibble about which restrictions to place, not the obvious need for restrictions on the market.
You seem to be incapable of imaging that free market can mean something other than your assumption as to what 'free' means as a modifier to 'market'. Free market does not mean that you are  against a restriction against threatening people at gunpoint.

arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #152 on: September 21, 2016, 09:51:12 PM »
Why are we entertaining a straw-man argument that real free market supporters support slavery? This isn't true for libertarians or any other modern free-market advocates.

I don't think GuitarStv is trying to make up a strawman, rather I think that he disagrees with this:
Quote
You can have free markets AND laws against slavery or anything else that harms others or infringes on their rights.

Once you put restrictions on what is/isn't allowed, it's no longer completely a free market.

If you are against slavery (as all libertarians should be, since the freedom/autonomy of an individual is primary), then you are for a restricted market, not a completely free market.  As he said:
Quote
If a free market proponent is against slavery, they are for restrictions on the free market.  As we just covered, that would mean it's no longer a free market.  Most "free market" proponents just quibble about which restrictions to place, not the obvious need for restrictions on the market.

And once you admit that it's no longer a completely free market (which would be anarchy), then we're just haggling over how restricted (not free) we want the market to be.

See classic quote/joke most commonly attributed to Winston Churchill (Google churchill haggling if you're not familiar with it).
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arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #153 on: September 21, 2016, 09:52:47 PM »
I can see how somebody without access to a library or the internet, if forced to make a guess as to what happened in the slave trade might guess that it didn't involve market transactions or abduction of people.  I really don't get why somebody would go with that guess when it would literally take less than a minute, even with a bad internet connection, to figure out that's exactly actually happened.

If a free market proponent is against slavery, they are for restrictions on the free market.  As we just covered, that would mean it's no longer a free market.  Most "free market" proponents just quibble about which restrictions to place, not the obvious need for restrictions on the market.
You seem to be incapable of imaging that free market can mean something other than your assumption as to what 'free' means as a modifier to 'market'. Free market does not mean that you are  against a restriction against threatening people at gunpoint.

It really actually does.  That's what a totally free market would be--anything goes, anarchy.

That's the definition of free: no restrictions.  If you make a law that I can't take your goods by giving you one penny and waiving a gun at you, the market is no longer completely free.

We put restrictions onto ALL markets.  For good reason.  There is no golden "free market" that exists, or has ever existed.  Just ones with various levels of restrictions.

Free-er markets are what we'd like, but no one wants a completely free market (anarchists aside, perhaps).
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Jrr85

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #154 on: September 21, 2016, 09:59:43 PM »
I can see how somebody without access to a library or the internet, if forced to make a guess as to what happened in the slave trade might guess that it didn't involve market transactions or abduction of people.  I really don't get why somebody would go with that guess when it would literally take less than a minute, even with a bad internet connection, to figure out that's exactly actually happened.

If a free market proponent is against slavery, they are for restrictions on the free market.  As we just covered, that would mean it's no longer a free market.  Most "free market" proponents just quibble about which restrictions to place, not the obvious need for restrictions on the market.
You seem to be incapable of imaging that free market can mean something other than your assumption as to what 'free' means as a modifier to 'market'. Free market does not mean that you are  against a restriction against threatening people at gunpoint.

It really actually does.  That's what a totally free market would be--anything goes, anarchy.

That's the definition of free: no restrictions.  If you make a law that I can't take your goods by giving you one penny and waiving a gun at you, the market is no longer completely free.

We put restrictions onto ALL markets.  For good reason.  There is no golden "free market" that exists, or has ever existed.  Just ones with various levels of restrictions.

Free-er markets are what we'd like, but no one wants a completely free market (anarchists aside, perhaps).
No. It doesn't. Sometimes phrases mean something beyond the combination of the dictionary definitions of the words in the phrase. Free market does not mean murder for hire is ok. That's pretty much never been the definition intended by anyone that's used the phrase other then people trying to establish a straw an to attack.

badbear

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #155 on: September 21, 2016, 10:17:59 PM »
Well said, Jrr85.

There are a lot of different definitions of a free market. For example, Adam Smith argued that completely unrestricted markets were prone to the development of monopolies and so were not "free" in that sense. This one where free markets = anarchy seems pretty unusual and is definitely not the typical libertarian/classical liberal definition.

To me one of the fundamental parts of exchange in a free market is that prices are arrived at willingly by the market participants based on what they believe the good or service is worth. If it's arrived at by threat or coercion, like in your example Arebelspy, well, that's theft. Essentially all modern societies have made that illegal (barring some things like civil asset forfeiture), but that doesn't necessarily mean that those societies don't have free markets. At least not by any reasonable definition of free market I have ever heard outside of this thread.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2016, 10:31:16 PM by badbear »

sol

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #156 on: September 21, 2016, 10:37:19 PM »
All of your rights are necessarily abridged, even the so-called fundamental ones.  This is the nature of human civilization. 

You do not have any absolute rights, if you live as part of human society.  Sorry.

GuitarStv

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #157 on: September 22, 2016, 06:15:47 AM »
Sometimes phrases mean something beyond the combination of the dictionary definitions of the words in the phrase. Free market does not mean murder for hire is ok. That's pretty much never been the definition intended by anyone that's used the phrase other then people trying to establish a straw an to attack.

I absolutely agree that sometimes phrases mean something beyond the combination of dictionary definitions of the words of the phrase.  I've noticed that it's not uncommon for a large number of people to incorrectly use a phrase.  That's why I've already provided a dictionary definition of the whole phrase 'Free Market' so there can be no confusion.  I can even provide a few more if you would like:

Free Market - an economic system in which prices and wages are determined by unrestricted competition between businesses, without government regulation or fear of monopolies. (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/free-market?s=t)

Restricting slavery is restricting competition in the market place.


Free Market - an economy operating by free competition  (http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/free%20market)

Restricting slavery means that there is no free competition when selling slaves.


Free Market - an economic system with only a small amount of government control, in which prices and earnings are decided by the level of demand for, and production of goods and services (http://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/free-market)

There is demand for slaves (see: the many places around the world where people are still commonly used as slaves - North Korea, Qatar, India, etc.) and production of slaves is available.  Most governments exert a huge amount of control over this area of the market to prevent any slavery transactions from taking place though.  Certainly not a free market.


Free Market - An economic system in which prices are determined by unrestricted competition between privately owned businesses.  (https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/free_market)

Restricting the sale of slaves restricts competition in the market.



If you check closely, not a single definition of the phrase 'Free Market' prohibits selling people into slavery.  It is inconsistent to yell 'Free Market GOOD' and then argue for limiting slave trade by the government and against limiting the sale of say handguns by the government.  In both cases a 'Free Market' is being denied to the people.  You appear to want a limited market, limited to things that you personally feel should be allowed.

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #158 on: September 22, 2016, 06:24:33 AM »
I am, but I'm no longer interested in debating it much on the Internet, because it devolves into ridiculous arguments like this one. I'll debate individual policies but not philosophy.

Libertea

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #159 on: September 22, 2016, 06:31:37 AM »
I am, but I'm no longer interested in debating it much on the Internet, because it devolves into ridiculous arguments like this one. I'll debate individual policies but not philosophy.
That seems like a reasonable tactic to take.  Welcome to my thread. :-)

arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #160 on: September 22, 2016, 06:43:12 AM »
I am, but I'm no longer interested in debating it much on the Internet, because it devolves into ridiculous arguments like this one. I'll debate individual policies but not philosophy.

The thing I don't understand is why there has to be any ridiculous argument.

Why not just agree that no one wants a truly free market, but that we want as free of a market as possible within certain constraints?  And then we can discuss what constraints we agree on, or don't agree on (which may involve protecting certain people's liberties by outlawing slavery in our market, or may involve protecting the environment, or not, etc.)?

Why is the phrase "free market" such a holy grail that it must be defended and insisted upon at all costs, rather than saying "a market with less regulation (i.e. free-er) is better than a  more regulated one, in general (a less free), and here's the regulations I think are reasonable, or not"?  Rather than insisting "No!  I must have the phrase 'free market,' but these restrictions I want by law don't make it not a free market!'?
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GuitarStv

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #161 on: September 22, 2016, 06:55:59 AM »
The thing I don't understand is why there has to be any ridiculous argument.

Agreed.  When someone shows me that I've been using a phrase incorrectly, I tend to just stop using the phrase incorrectly . . . not try to argue that the rest of the world should change their definition.

Jrr85

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #162 on: September 22, 2016, 07:27:19 AM »
I am, but I'm no longer interested in debating it much on the Internet, because it devolves into ridiculous arguments like this one. I'll debate individual policies but not philosophy.

The thing I don't understand is why there has to be any ridiculous argument.

Why not just agree that no one wants a truly free market, but that we want as free of a market as possible within certain constraints?  And then we can discuss what constraints we agree on, or don't agree on (which may involve protecting certain people's liberties by outlawing slavery in our market, or may involve protecting the environment, or not, etc.)?

Why is the phrase "free market" such a holy grail that it must be defended and insisted upon at all costs, rather than saying "a market with less regulation (i.e. free-er) is better than a  more regulated one, in general (a less free), and here's the regulations I think are reasonable, or not"?  Rather than insisting "No!  I must have the phrase 'free market,' but these restrictions I want by law don't make it not a free market!'?

It's not that the phrase "free market" is a holy grail, it just has a meaning, and it does not mean no criminal code and/or anarchy.  The rule of law and free market are not just not inconsistent, they functionally go hand in hand.  Why are some people so committed to misapplying a definition?  It makes it hard to have a discussion when one party to the discussion is ignoring commonly accepted meanings of words and phrases. 
 

GuitarStv

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #163 on: September 22, 2016, 07:31:54 AM »
I am, but I'm no longer interested in debating it much on the Internet, because it devolves into ridiculous arguments like this one. I'll debate individual policies but not philosophy.

The thing I don't understand is why there has to be any ridiculous argument.

Why not just agree that no one wants a truly free market, but that we want as free of a market as possible within certain constraints?  And then we can discuss what constraints we agree on, or don't agree on (which may involve protecting certain people's liberties by outlawing slavery in our market, or may involve protecting the environment, or not, etc.)?

Why is the phrase "free market" such a holy grail that it must be defended and insisted upon at all costs, rather than saying "a market with less regulation (i.e. free-er) is better than a  more regulated one, in general (a less free), and here's the regulations I think are reasonable, or not"?  Rather than insisting "No!  I must have the phrase 'free market,' but these restrictions I want by law don't make it not a free market!'?

It's not that the phrase "free market" is a holy grail, it just has a meaning, and it does not mean no criminal code and/or anarchy.  The rule of law and free market are not just not inconsistent, they functionally go hand in hand.  Why are some people so committed to misapplying a definition?  It makes it hard to have a discussion when one party to the discussion is ignoring commonly accepted meanings of words and phrases.

So . . . just to confirm.  If the sale of guns in the US was banned by law, you would argue that a free market exists in the US?

arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #164 on: September 22, 2016, 07:35:36 AM »
I am, but I'm no longer interested in debating it much on the Internet, because it devolves into ridiculous arguments like this one. I'll debate individual policies but not philosophy.

The thing I don't understand is why there has to be any ridiculous argument.

Why not just agree that no one wants a truly free market, but that we want as free of a market as possible within certain constraints?  And then we can discuss what constraints we agree on, or don't agree on (which may involve protecting certain people's liberties by outlawing slavery in our market, or may involve protecting the environment, or not, etc.)?

Why is the phrase "free market" such a holy grail that it must be defended and insisted upon at all costs, rather than saying "a market with less regulation (i.e. free-er) is better than a  more regulated one, in general (a less free), and here's the regulations I think are reasonable, or not"?  Rather than insisting "No!  I must have the phrase 'free market,' but these restrictions I want by law don't make it not a free market!'?

It's not that the phrase "free market" is a holy grail, it just has a meaning, and it does not mean no criminal code and/or anarchy.  The rule of law and free market are not just not inconsistent, they functionally go hand in hand.  Why are some people so committed to misapplying a definition?  It makes it hard to have a discussion when one party to the discussion is ignoring commonly accepted meanings of words and phrases.

GuitarStv has provided multiple definitions that all fit with what he says: A free market would allow slavery.  If you want to outlaw slavery, you're necessarily limiting the market with that law.

You say "The rule of law and free market are not just not inconsistent, they functionally go hand in hand." but that's meaningless, because they don't necessarily go hand-in-hand, they can be at-odds with each other.  What if a society had a law that only the state-sponsored company could sell oil, but everything else (all other goods) was unregulated.  Would you call that a free market?  I would not.  The law is restricting it.  By saying "oh, the market is free, except for what the law restricts, but that's still a free market!" you're tossing out what free market actually means.

If laws restrict a market, it's no longer a free market.  Whether that's the government sponsoring a monopoly, or outlawing slavery.

If you disagree, please give what definition you are using for free market.  As I said, GuitarStv provided several, all compatible with his argument.

What are you using, where "free market"=="anything is allowed, except if it's illegal, but it's still free anyways"?
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ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #165 on: September 22, 2016, 07:37:46 AM »
I am, but I'm no longer interested in debating it much on the Internet, because it devolves into ridiculous arguments like this one. I'll debate individual policies but not philosophy.

The thing I don't understand is why there has to be any ridiculous argument.

Why not just agree that no one wants a truly free market, but that we want as free of a market as possible within certain constraints?  And then we can discuss what constraints we agree on, or don't agree on (which may involve protecting certain people's liberties by outlawing slavery in our market, or may involve protecting the environment, or not, etc.)?

Why is the phrase "free market" such a holy grail that it must be defended and insisted upon at all costs, rather than saying "a market with less regulation (i.e. free-er) is better than a  more regulated one, in general (a less free), and here's the regulations I think are reasonable, or not"?  Rather than insisting "No!  I must have the phrase 'free market,' but these restrictions I want by law don't make it not a free market!'?

It's hard to have a debate without somebody deciding to expand the scope and try to win by proving that well actually, everybody on the other side supports slavery. The most hilarious example of this I have ever heard is the MsScribe incident. TLDR: the argument over which characters should bang in Harry Potter fanfiction was resolved by framing supporters of one side as irredeemable racists. But seriously, read it, because it's awesome.

arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #166 on: September 22, 2016, 07:41:40 AM »
It's hard to have a debate without somebody deciding to expand the scope and try to win by proving that well actually, everybody on the other side supports slavery.

I think GuitarStv's point isn't that libertarians support slavery.  Of course that's stupid.

His point is that because you don't support slavery, you don't support a fully free market.  And, given that, let's now discuss what should be restricted in our market, and why.  Slavery seems like a good one (supporting people's right to liberty).  Should we support restrictions around pollution, why or why not?

Starting with the agreement that all markets are restricted in various ways (unless you want a truly free market, which I don't think anyone does) lets us start with a common ground to then discuss how we want them restricted based on our philosophies.

Property rights, for example, may lead to certain restrictions (you can't dump your nuclear waste on my property).

He's not actually saying the people in this thread who support a free market are secretly racists who want slavery back, rather than they don't actually support a fully free market.
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GuitarStv

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #167 on: September 22, 2016, 07:47:37 AM »
That's about right.  Thanks ARS.

The original reason that I mentioned that free markets don't really exist was to attempt to show that there is common ground (that restrictions to markets must occur) between libertarian beliefs and other political leanings . . . the argument should focus on what particular areas the restrictions should take place. 

ShoulderThingThatGoesUp

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #168 on: September 22, 2016, 07:51:59 AM »
It's hard to have a debate without somebody deciding to expand the scope and try to win by proving that well actually, everybody on the other side supports slavery.

I think GuitarStv's point isn't that libertarians support slavery.  Of course that's stupid.

His point is that because you don't support slavery, you don't support a fully free market.  And, given that, let's now discuss what should be restricted in our market, and why.  Slavery seems like a good one (supporting people's right to liberty).  Should we support restrictions around pollution, why or why not?

Starting with the agreement that all markets are restricted in various ways (unless you want a truly free market, which I don't think anyone does) lets us start with a common ground to then discuss how we want them restricted based on our philosophies.

Property rights, for example, may lead to certain restrictions (you can't dump your nuclear waste on my property).

He's not actually saying the people in this thread who support a free market are secretly racists who want slavery back, rather than they don't actually support a fully free market.

I came up with a bunch of reasons to write about how it's a stupid and useless argument, but let's not recreate the argument by arguing about the argument.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #169 on: September 22, 2016, 08:01:09 AM »
You all are wrong. It is possible for a market to be fully a "free market" without allowing slavery.

You all keep focusing on the "free" part, but that's wrong. Here's what you're missing: a free market must first be a market. There is no "market" for slaves because "markets" depend on people freely choosing to participate in the transaction, and slaves aren't free to choose to participate in the transaction!

A free market, by definition, is free of any form of violence or coercion -- by government, or in this case, the market participants themselves -- but violence is (again, by definition) an inherent feature of slavery. Therefore, slavery and the free market are fundamentally incompatible.

GuitarStv

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #170 on: September 22, 2016, 08:29:34 AM »
You all are wrong. It is possible for a market to be fully a "free market" without allowing slavery.

You all keep focusing on the "free" part, but that's wrong. Here's what you're missing: a free market must first be a market. There is no "market" for slaves because "markets" depend on people freely choosing to participate in the transaction, and slaves aren't free to choose to participate in the transaction!

A free market, by definition, is free of any form of violence or coercion -- by government, or in this case, the market participants themselves -- but violence is (again, by definition) an inherent feature of slavery. Therefore, slavery and the free market are fundamentally incompatible.

When heads of cattle or pigs are sold for slaughter there's plenty of violence too.  The cattle and pigs don't agree to participate in the transaction.  Nobody cares because those animals are the commodity.

Slaves are the commodity in the slave trade.  The buyer and seller in a slave market can participate freely in the transaction, so it meets the conditions of being a market.

bacchi

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #171 on: September 22, 2016, 08:30:56 AM »
A free market, by definition, is free of any form of violence or coercion -- by government, or in this case, the market participants themselves -- but violence is (again, by definition) an inherent feature of slavery. Therefore, slavery and the free market are fundamentally incompatible.

It doesn't have to be slavery. It can be a market for C4 plastique in a handy suitcase in Times Square, where the next shop over sells cell phones and detonators (surely I can buy explosives to blow up a hill on my property?).

Murray Rothbard, a von Mises follower and friend of Ron Paul*, advocated for the selling of children. Because, ya know, otherwise it was coercion of the parents to force them to care for their kids. (The parents could also refuse to feed the kids and the government couldn't do anything about it.) So it's not out of the realm of possibility that a Libertarian would take the "free market" position to an absurd level and support slavery.

It does appear that few are truly for a complete "free market" and instead, as ARS suggested, we're quibbling about what restrictions the market has.


*https://mises.org/library/man-economy-and-liberty-essays-honor-murray-n-rothbard

arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #172 on: September 22, 2016, 08:40:03 AM »
It does appear that few are truly for a complete "free market" and instead, as ARS suggested, we're quibbling about what restrictions the market has.

I wouldn't use the word "quibbling" though.

I actually think that's where the discussion gets interesting, if everyone can be respectful and go "Oh, that's where you'd draw the line?  Interesting.  Here's why I disagree, and would draw it over here, and the reasoning for doing so."

It would appear to be quibbling to some, but that's fine--I like philosophical discussions like that, which others may view as quibbling.  :)
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Jrr85

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #173 on: September 22, 2016, 08:45:54 AM »
I am, but I'm no longer interested in debating it much on the Internet, because it devolves into ridiculous arguments like this one. I'll debate individual policies but not philosophy.

The thing I don't understand is why there has to be any ridiculous argument.

Why not just agree that no one wants a truly free market, but that we want as free of a market as possible within certain constraints?  And then we can discuss what constraints we agree on, or don't agree on (which may involve protecting certain people's liberties by outlawing slavery in our market, or may involve protecting the environment, or not, etc.)?

Why is the phrase "free market" such a holy grail that it must be defended and insisted upon at all costs, rather than saying "a market with less regulation (i.e. free-er) is better than a  more regulated one, in general (a less free), and here's the regulations I think are reasonable, or not"?  Rather than insisting "No!  I must have the phrase 'free market,' but these restrictions I want by law don't make it not a free market!'?

It's not that the phrase "free market" is a holy grail, it just has a meaning, and it does not mean no criminal code and/or anarchy.  The rule of law and free market are not just not inconsistent, they functionally go hand in hand.  Why are some people so committed to misapplying a definition?  It makes it hard to have a discussion when one party to the discussion is ignoring commonly accepted meanings of words and phrases.

So . . . just to confirm.  If the sale of guns in the US was banned by law, you would argue that a free market exists in the US?

There are multiple markets and yes, not having a free market in guns does not mean you can't have free markets in other areas or free markets in general.  You obviously have negative impacts on other freedom issues, but an exercise of police power does not mean you don't have a free market, although in some instances, the line could get blurry between criminal law and actually interfering with the competition (e.g., outlawing switchblades may have negative impacts on freedom and may be antifreedom, but it's not really anti-free market if it's driven by safety concerns and done pursuant to police power; but if it's lobbied for by the manufacturers of fixed blade knifes (or whatever would be competition), that starts to look like an anti-free market action.  And if it's justified as a regulation of commerce done in order to protect native manufacturers of fixed blades from competition from primarily foreign switch blade manufacturers, then it's clear you no longer have free competition in that market.   

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #174 on: September 22, 2016, 08:51:43 AM »
You all are wrong. It is possible for a market to be fully a "free market" without allowing slavery.

You all keep focusing on the "free" part, but that's wrong. Here's what you're missing: a free market must first be a market. There is no "market" for slaves because "markets" depend on people freely choosing to participate in the transaction, and slaves aren't free to choose to participate in the transaction!

A free market, by definition, is free of any form of violence or coercion -- by government, or in this case, the market participants themselves -- but violence is (again, by definition) an inherent feature of slavery. Therefore, slavery and the free market are fundamentally incompatible.

When heads of cattle or pigs are sold for slaughter there's plenty of violence too.  The cattle and pigs don't agree to participate in the transaction.  Nobody cares because those animals are the commodity.

Slaves are the commodity in the slave trade.  The buyer and seller in a slave market can participate freely in the transaction, so it meets the conditions of being a market.

FYI, slaves are people, and people have a natural right to agency and ownership over themselves.

So, either you're arguing that people don't have that natural right (in other words, you're the one arguing in favor of slavery), or you're arguing that cows and pigs are people. Which is it?

It doesn't have to be slavery. It can be a market for C4 plastique in a handy suitcase in Times Square, where the next shop over sells cell phones and detonators (surely I can buy explosives to blow up a hill on my property?).

Or the same shop could sell both the explosive and detonators. So what?

Now, clearly you're insinuating that some lunatic would buy the explosives and blow up Times Square. But it's using the explosives to harm others that's the problem, not merely buying them. So fix the real problem!

So it's not out of the realm of possibility that a Libertarian would take the "free market" position to an absurd level and support slavery.

Sure, in the same way that it's not out of the realm of possibility that any random dumbass would take any random position to an absurd level. If we judged every political party on the dumbass positions of its lunatic fringe, no reasoned discourse would be possible (see also: the vast majority of political discussions on the Internet) and you might as well ask arebelspy to lock the thread.

arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #175 on: September 22, 2016, 08:52:58 AM »
I am, but I'm no longer interested in debating it much on the Internet, because it devolves into ridiculous arguments like this one. I'll debate individual policies but not philosophy.

The thing I don't understand is why there has to be any ridiculous argument.

Why not just agree that no one wants a truly free market, but that we want as free of a market as possible within certain constraints?  And then we can discuss what constraints we agree on, or don't agree on (which may involve protecting certain people's liberties by outlawing slavery in our market, or may involve protecting the environment, or not, etc.)?

Why is the phrase "free market" such a holy grail that it must be defended and insisted upon at all costs, rather than saying "a market with less regulation (i.e. free-er) is better than a  more regulated one, in general (a less free), and here's the regulations I think are reasonable, or not"?  Rather than insisting "No!  I must have the phrase 'free market,' but these restrictions I want by law don't make it not a free market!'?

It's not that the phrase "free market" is a holy grail, it just has a meaning, and it does not mean no criminal code and/or anarchy.  The rule of law and free market are not just not inconsistent, they functionally go hand in hand.  Why are some people so committed to misapplying a definition?  It makes it hard to have a discussion when one party to the discussion is ignoring commonly accepted meanings of words and phrases.

So . . . just to confirm.  If the sale of guns in the US was banned by law, you would argue that a free market exists in the US?

There are multiple markets and yes, not having a free market in guns does not mean you can't have free markets in other areas or free markets in general.  You obviously have negative impacts on other freedom issues, but an exercise of police power does not mean you don't have a free market, although in some instances, the line could get blurry between criminal law and actually interfering with the competition (e.g., outlawing switchblades may have negative impacts on freedom and may be antifreedom, but it's not really anti-free market if it's driven by safety concerns and done pursuant to police power; but if it's lobbied for by the manufacturers of fixed blade knifes (or whatever would be competition), that starts to look like an anti-free market action.  And if it's justified as a regulation of commerce done in order to protect native manufacturers of fixed blades from competition from primarily foreign switch blade manufacturers, then it's clear you no longer have free competition in that market.   

I can agree that a market restricted tangentially by laws created for certain purposes (safety, in your example) is better than a market restricted for other purposes (lobbying by interested parties, in your example).

The question we're getting at is: what are these restrictions that fall under the former categories that we are okay with, based on our personal philosophies?
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GuitarStv

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #176 on: September 22, 2016, 08:58:57 AM »
I am, but I'm no longer interested in debating it much on the Internet, because it devolves into ridiculous arguments like this one. I'll debate individual policies but not philosophy.

The thing I don't understand is why there has to be any ridiculous argument.

Why not just agree that no one wants a truly free market, but that we want as free of a market as possible within certain constraints?  And then we can discuss what constraints we agree on, or don't agree on (which may involve protecting certain people's liberties by outlawing slavery in our market, or may involve protecting the environment, or not, etc.)?

Why is the phrase "free market" such a holy grail that it must be defended and insisted upon at all costs, rather than saying "a market with less regulation (i.e. free-er) is better than a  more regulated one, in general (a less free), and here's the regulations I think are reasonable, or not"?  Rather than insisting "No!  I must have the phrase 'free market,' but these restrictions I want by law don't make it not a free market!'?

It's not that the phrase "free market" is a holy grail, it just has a meaning, and it does not mean no criminal code and/or anarchy.  The rule of law and free market are not just not inconsistent, they functionally go hand in hand.  Why are some people so committed to misapplying a definition?  It makes it hard to have a discussion when one party to the discussion is ignoring commonly accepted meanings of words and phrases.

So . . . just to confirm.  If the sale of guns in the US was banned by law, you would argue that a free market exists in the US?

There are multiple markets and yes, not having a free market in guns does not mean you can't have free markets in other areas or free markets in general.  You obviously have negative impacts on other freedom issues, but an exercise of police power does not mean you don't have a free market, although in some instances, the line could get blurry between criminal law and actually interfering with the competition (e.g., outlawing switchblades may have negative impacts on freedom and may be antifreedom, but it's not really anti-free market if it's driven by safety concerns and done pursuant to police power; but if it's lobbied for by the manufacturers of fixed blade knifes (or whatever would be competition), that starts to look like an anti-free market action.  And if it's justified as a regulation of commerce done in order to protect native manufacturers of fixed blades from competition from primarily foreign switch blade manufacturers, then it's clear you no longer have free competition in that market.   

I'm not sure it's as easy to separate markets the way you appear to be attempting to do.

If I banned all guns, that's going to have an impact on gun manufacturers obviously.  But it's also going to have an impact on ammunition sales, the mining of the various metals used to build the guns/bullets, the jobs of the chemists who mix the chemical ingredients for producing gunpowder, the brass workers who create the shells of the ammunition, the forestry workers who cut the trees for the wood that goes into the butt of the gun, the people who run gun ranges, the pulp and paper mill who create the paper used for targets on gun ranges, etc.

Slavery effected many more markets than that.  Things are quite interrelated.  How many markets need to be affected by restrictions before you declare a system is no longer be a free market?

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #177 on: September 22, 2016, 09:37:37 AM »
FYI, slaves are people, and people have a natural right to agency and ownership over themselves.

What law of the universe gives people "a natural right to agency and ownership over themselves", but not the same to cows and pigs, or for that matter, to potatoes and onions? I understand that I'm delving into the absurd towards the end of that thought, but the point is that a line must be drawn somewhere, and to draw the line between humans and "all other living things" seems somewhat arbitrary to me. Do chimpanzees and bonobos have a natural right to agency and ownership over themselves? If not, at which point along the evolutionary line did this right get conferred to humankind? Homo habilis? Homo erectus? Did Homo neanderthalensis or H. floresiensis have the same natural rights as modern humans?

I'm honestly curious, because I don't believe that people have a "natural" right to anything - only the rights that we've chosen to give one another and collectively enforced. Which of course leads to the conclusion that we have restricted the "market" by choosing to acknowledge and regulate the idea of personal rights.
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #178 on: September 22, 2016, 09:41:04 AM »
FYI, slaves are people, and people have a natural right to agency and ownership over themselves.

What law of the universe gives people "a natural right to agency and ownership over themselves", but not the same to cows and pigs, or for that matter, to potatoes and onions? I understand that I'm delving into the absurd towards the end of that thought, but the point is that a line must be drawn somewhere, and to draw the line between humans and "all other living things" seems somewhat arbitrary to me. Do chimpanzees and bonobos have a natural right to agency and ownership over themselves? If not, at which point along the evolutionary line did this right get conferred to humankind? Homo habilis? Homo erectus? Did Homo neanderthalensis or H. floresiensis have the same natural rights as modern humans?

I'm honestly curious, because I don't believe that people have a "natural" right to anything - only the rights that we've chosen to give one another and collectively enforced. Which of course leads to the conclusion that we have restricted the "market" by choosing to acknowledge and regulate the idea of personal rights.

Often times people will point to the ability to reason as the distinguishing thing to draw the line on.  The problem with that is that there are people with disabilities who have mental capacity below that of a smart cocker spaniel . . . if you draw the line there, you could enslave these folks.  Then we get into the stuff recently being learned about animal reasoning and the waters get even more murky.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #179 on: September 22, 2016, 09:54:59 AM »
Often times people will point to the ability to reason as the distinguishing thing to draw the line on.  The problem with that is that there are people with disabilities who have mental capacity below that of a smart cocker spaniel . . . if you draw the line there, you could enslave these folks.  Then we get into the stuff recently being learned about animal reasoning and the waters get even more murky.

But the human species, as a whole, reasons at a much higher level than Fido. People with the most severe mental disabilities usually don't have full autonomy over their lives and may have guardianship over them like children. It doesn't mean that they can be enslaved or mistreated any more than children can be. Also note that it is illegal to abuse dogs and a number of other animals. Some animals are more equal than others, I suppose, but I agree that it's a hard line to draw.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #180 on: September 22, 2016, 10:23:25 AM »
It doesn't have to be slavery. It can be a market for C4 plastique in a handy suitcase in Times Square, where the next shop over sells cell phones and detonators (surely I can buy explosives to blow up a hill on my property?).

Or the same shop could sell both the explosive and detonators. So what?

Now, clearly you're insinuating that some lunatic would buy the explosives and blow up Times Square. But it's using the explosives to harm others that's the problem, not merely buying them. So fix the real problem!

Of course the real problem is the actual violence. So you wouldn't restrict my right to buy C4? What about a mortar and mortar shells?

You commented out the part about selling children. Why can't a parent sell his/her children? Are you going to coerce a parent to take care of their child? Why and why not? Can the state punish a parent for not feeding their child? But "such obligations would entail positive acts coerced upon the parent and depriving the parent of his rights."*

Let's be realistic. (L)ibertarians and (l)ibertarians have restrictions on the market. They may want fewer restrictions than others but they have restrictions.


* https://mises.org/library/children-and-rights

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #181 on: September 22, 2016, 10:26:00 AM »
I'm honestly curious, because I don't believe that people have a "natural" right to anything - only the rights that we've chosen to give one another and collectively enforced.

In that case, how would it be any less valid to organize society by having one strongman impose his dictatorial will on everyone else?

(Hint: If your answer resembles anything like "because people deserve to be able to choose," you're arguing for natural rights.)



As far as the "do animals have natural rights?" (or "which animals have natural rights?") question goes, I'm undecided on that myself. If y'all want to argue that the free market should not include sales of animals for the same reason it does not include slavery, I'm not going to object. Instead, I'd simply congratulate you for having an internally-consistent ideology and move on.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #182 on: September 22, 2016, 10:32:36 AM »
What about a mortar and mortar shells?

What about it? It's still just an inanimate object.

You commented out the part about selling children. Why can't a parent sell his/her children?

For the same reason he can't sell an adult.

Are you going to coerce a parent to take care of their child? Why and why not? Can the state punish a parent for not feeding their child? But "such obligations would entail positive acts coerced upon the parent and depriving the parent of his rights."*

Perhaps the decision to create a child indicates acceptance of an implied contract to care for that child until adulthood. Then the state could legitimately punish a parent for failing to uphold that contractual obligation.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #183 on: September 22, 2016, 10:36:26 AM »
Are you going to coerce a parent to take care of their child? Why and why not? Can the state punish a parent for not feeding their child? But "such obligations would entail positive acts coerced upon the parent and depriving the parent of his rights."*

Perhaps the decision to create a child indicates acceptance of an implied contract to care for that child until adulthood. Then the state could legitimately punish a parent for failing to uphold that contractual obligation.

So is that a sort of...social contract? ;)


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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #184 on: September 22, 2016, 10:41:24 AM »
There are currently some ways in which children are legally sold, more or less. Adoptions and surrogacy come to mind.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #185 on: September 22, 2016, 10:47:06 AM »
This thread has devolved into ridiculous semantic arguments.

From an economic point of view a free market ("an economic market or system in which prices are based on competition among private businesses and not controlled by a government") is generally the most efficient and scalable way to organize an economy, though there are exception to this (natural monopolies as one example). However efficient, free markets are amoral and unconcerned with ethical or moral outcomes. This is why we have regulation and government intervention in the market. As a society we've decided that it's wrong for people to trade certain goods, or to engage in certain behaviors. It's important to note that government itself is not necessarily ethical or moral - some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century were instigated by governments - including democratically elected ones (e.g. Japanese internment camps, the Tuskegee study).

I'm not interested in debates about ideological purity, and I don't accept the view that libertarianism is the same as unfettered laissez faire capitalism, which is analogous to saying that all forms of socialism are the same as communism (I think the Bernie supporters can understand this).

We need a mix of both. The substantive debate is not at the ideological extremes, is the nuance in the middle. As a libertarian, my view is that free markets work well in most cases and regulation/intervention should be relatively rare, yet today the regulatory burden is extremely high and we've gone too far to the side of intervention. In turn this is harming our economy. I live in California, which is even worse. Regulations like CEQA and overly restrictive zoning have been used for decades to greatly reduce the amount of housing built in the SF Bay Area and along the California coast. This has caused real estate prices to explode thereby further enriching already wealthy home owners while triggered a housing crisis at the lower end of the income scale. Now communities are starting to propose rent control as a "solution" even though we know this does not work and will make things worse. This is happening in areas that are already urban but with low density, mostly single family homes. With less (one could argue better) regulation free market forces would supply higher density housing which would eventually bring prices down (things are so bad now, estimates are that it would take 10 years or more of development to see results). Allowing this to happen would be good for those with middle and lower incomes, and it would good for the environment by reducing urban sprawl.

I'm a libertarian today because I think we've gone too far with regulation. My views would likely have been considered progressive 100+ years ago when there were too few regulations.


 

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #186 on: September 22, 2016, 10:48:40 AM »
I'm honestly curious, because I don't believe that people have a "natural" right to anything - only the rights that we've chosen to give one another and collectively enforced.

In that case, how would it be any less valid to organize society by having one strongman impose his dictatorial will on everyone else?

Maybe I just don't know what you mean by "valid," but I don't think a democracy is more "valid" a government than a dictatorship.

I think it's almost always the one that leads to more overall happiness (some dictatorships might lead to more happiness, but more often than not, they won't, and I don't think they have, historically).  There's no natural rights needed in that argument, if this is what you're trying to maximize.
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arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #187 on: September 22, 2016, 10:51:00 AM »
This thread has devolved into ridiculous semantic arguments.

I don't think it has.

Quote
From an economic point of view a free market ("an economic market or system in which prices are based on competition among private businesses and not controlled by a government") is generally the most efficient and scalable way to organize an economy, though there are exception to this (natural monopolies as one example). However efficient, free markets are amoral and unconcerned with ethical or moral outcomes. This is why we have regulation and government intervention in the market.

Right.  We're in 100% agreement.  Now let's discuss what government intervention and regulation we should have in the market (ala your final sentence I quoted) which makes it no longer 100% free, but for good reason.

Like, you say now you're in favor of less regulation, 100 years ago you'd have been in favor of more.

What do you want regulated less?  Why?

EDIT:  Rather than just ask questions, I'll give an example of where I see government overreach in regulation.

I think the interstate commerce clause, and how it's been used to regulate pretty much everything, is *, and I think Wickard v. Filburn is one of the worst Supreme Court decisions ever (tl;dr: Guy was growing his own crops to feed his own pigs, and was fined, and US Supreme Court ruled that yes, the government can regulate him because he was affecting commerce by NOT buying someone else's crops), which led to terrible government overexpansion.

I don't think this is just semantics, but segues into important discussion topics.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 10:54:04 AM by arebelspy »
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #188 on: September 22, 2016, 11:07:48 AM »
I'm honestly curious, because I don't believe that people have a "natural" right to anything - only the rights that we've chosen to give one another and collectively enforced.

In that case, how would it be any less valid to organize society by having one strongman impose his dictatorial will on everyone else?

Maybe I just don't know what you mean by "valid," but I don't think a democracy is more "valid" a government than a dictatorship.

I think it's almost always the one that leads to more overall happiness (some dictatorships might lead to more happiness, but more often than not, they won't, and I don't think they have, historically).  There's no natural rights needed in that argument, if this is what you're trying to maximize.

One could argue that a benevolent dictatorship is far better (and more valid) for the people and that democracy should be feared because the worst and basest parts of society get equal weighting as the greatest and most selfless.  Plato certainly made that case in The Republic.

arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #189 on: September 22, 2016, 11:22:49 AM »
I'm honestly curious, because I don't believe that people have a "natural" right to anything - only the rights that we've chosen to give one another and collectively enforced.

In that case, how would it be any less valid to organize society by having one strongman impose his dictatorial will on everyone else?

Maybe I just don't know what you mean by "valid," but I don't think a democracy is more "valid" a government than a dictatorship.

I think it's almost always the one that leads to more overall happiness (some dictatorships might lead to more happiness, but more often than not, they won't, and I don't think they have, historically).  There's no natural rights needed in that argument, if this is what you're trying to maximize.

One could argue that a benevolent dictatorship is far better (and more valid) for the people and that democracy should be feared because the worst and basest parts of society get equal weighting as the greatest and most selfless.  Plato certainly made that case in The Republic.

Yes, and I said there are exceptions where some dictatorships may lead to more happiness, but I think most times, this won't be the case.
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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #190 on: September 22, 2016, 11:24:21 AM »
FYI, slaves are people, and people have a natural right to agency and ownership over themselves.

What law of the universe gives people "a natural right to agency and ownership over themselves", but not the same to cows and pigs, or for that matter, to potatoes and onions? I understand that I'm delving into the absurd towards the end of that thought, but the point is that a line must be drawn somewhere, and to draw the line between humans and "all other living things" seems somewhat arbitrary to me. Do chimpanzees and bonobos have a natural right to agency and ownership over themselves? If not, at which point along the evolutionary line did this right get conferred to humankind? Homo habilis? Homo erectus? Did Homo neanderthalensis or H. floresiensis have the same natural rights as modern humans?

I'm honestly curious, because I don't believe that people have a "natural" right to anything - only the rights that we've chosen to give one another and collectively enforced. Which of course leads to the conclusion that we have restricted the "market" by choosing to acknowledge and regulate the idea of personal rights.

If you don't believe in natural rights, then the whole thing is just arbitrary.  You can pick something you'd like to maximize and hope that it appeals to enough people that you have the might to make it right.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #191 on: September 22, 2016, 11:25:51 AM »
I'm honestly curious, because I don't believe that people have a "natural" right to anything - only the rights that we've chosen to give one another and collectively enforced.

In that case, how would it be any less valid to organize society by having one strongman impose his dictatorial will on everyone else?

Maybe I just don't know what you mean by "valid," but I don't think a democracy is more "valid" a government than a dictatorship.

I think it's almost always the one that leads to more overall happiness (some dictatorships might lead to more happiness, but more often than not, they won't, and I don't think they have, historically).  There's no natural rights needed in that argument, if this is what you're trying to maximize.

One could argue that a benevolent dictatorship is far better (and more valid) for the people and that democracy should be feared because the worst and basest parts of society get equal weighting as the greatest and most selfless.  Plato certainly made that case in The Republic.

So who gets to decide that maximizing happiness is the correct goal? And whose opinion of what constitutes happiness wins when there is disagreement? Is it ethical to use violent force to impose happiness on others? If I believed that murdering everyone else would make me so happy that the overall happiness would be maximized, do you think I would be wrong to act on that belief?

How is this philosophy any different from "might makes right?"

[To the others who believe either mainstream candidate is a great choice to lead our country - please send me the recipe for what you're drinking!  (Or is it me that needs to get with the program?)

I don't think ethyl alcohol is capable of that. My guess is they've switched to psychedelic drugs instead.

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #192 on: September 22, 2016, 11:28:22 AM »
I'm honestly curious, because I don't believe that people have a "natural" right to anything - only the rights that we've chosen to give one another and collectively enforced.

In that case, how would it be any less valid to organize society by having one strongman impose his dictatorial will on everyone else?

Maybe I just don't know what you mean by "valid," but I don't think a democracy is more "valid" a government than a dictatorship.

I think it's almost always the one that leads to more overall happiness (some dictatorships might lead to more happiness, but more often than not, they won't, and I don't think they have, historically).  There's no natural rights needed in that argument, if this is what you're trying to maximize.

Democracy is a relative newcomer in the realm of cultural arrangements aimed at creating and maintaining an orderly society. I don't view it as more "valid" than a kingdom/empire/dictatorship, but I do think that it has some laudable benefits as compared to alternative arrangements. The increased peacefulness and cooperation of large groups of people, resulting in the recognition, codification, and enforcement of human rights is one of the benefits that I value the most. Human rights are derived from the collective agreement of an advanced human society. With no society, there are no human rights.

I don't think that democracy is a panacea. In regions that lack cultural traits that would allow them to peaceably govern themselves (the Middle East?), I think a dictatorship might be a better option for stabilizing society and increasing happiness/reducing suffering. But that's just an offhand conclusion based on our recent ham-handed de-stabilization of that region.
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arebelspy

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #193 on: September 22, 2016, 11:30:40 AM »
So who gets to decide that maximizing happiness is the correct goal?

I can't tell if you're serious.

I do, of course.

Though I'm not saying that is the correct goal.

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If I believed that murdering everyone else would make me so happy that the overall happiness would be maximized, do you think I would be wrong to act on that belief?

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #194 on: September 22, 2016, 11:32:27 AM »
If you don't believe in natural rights, then the whole thing is just arbitrary.  You can pick something you'd like to maximize and hope that it appeals to enough people that you have the might to make it right.

I'm unaware of a compelling argument that natural rights are a thing, any more than Zeus or the tooth fairy or unicorns. Does believing in them make them exist? Perhaps, depending on your definition of existence. I just like to think we're doing pretty well for a self-organizing collection of carbon-based molecules.
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GuitarStv

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #195 on: September 22, 2016, 11:33:06 AM »
I'm honestly curious, because I don't believe that people have a "natural" right to anything - only the rights that we've chosen to give one another and collectively enforced.

In that case, how would it be any less valid to organize society by having one strongman impose his dictatorial will on everyone else?

Maybe I just don't know what you mean by "valid," but I don't think a democracy is more "valid" a government than a dictatorship.

I think it's almost always the one that leads to more overall happiness (some dictatorships might lead to more happiness, but more often than not, they won't, and I don't think they have, historically).  There's no natural rights needed in that argument, if this is what you're trying to maximize.

One could argue that a benevolent dictatorship is far better (and more valid) for the people and that democracy should be feared because the worst and basest parts of society get equal weighting as the greatest and most selfless.  Plato certainly made that case in The Republic.

So who gets to decide that maximizing happiness is the correct goal? And whose opinion of what constitutes happiness wins when there is disagreement? Is it ethical to use violent force to impose happiness on others? If I believed that murdering everyone else would make me so happy that the overall happiness would be maximized, do you think I would be wrong to act on that belief?

How is this philosophy any different from "might makes right?"

I suspect that someone who decided to base his or her framework around happiness would argue that murdering someone prevents that person from ever experiencing happiness again - the balance of a lifetime of happiness would probably outweigh any momentary joy that the murderer might gain from the act.

Any philosophy needs to first create a moral framework and then attempt to convince others of the correctness of this framework.  There's no reason this made up framework can't be based around happiness rather than your own made up frame work of 'Natural Rights'.  There is a big problem though with assuming that your framework is necessarily the right one, or shared by others.

robartsd

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #196 on: September 22, 2016, 11:53:31 AM »
Philosophically, libertarian-ism is very appealing to me. I don't see any issues reconciling protection of the environment with libertarian philosophy - just tax people based on damage they do to the environment and justify the tax as compensation for the external harm they are choosing to do. No need to set limits or prohibitions, just increase taxes until the market fixes the problem. Social assistance for education and healthcare are probably the biggest challenges for me to fully embrace libertarian philosophy. I do think that non-profits might be more efficient (from a value per dollar spent perspective) than government agencies at meeting the actual needs, but I do understand concerns that universal access under a fully private model could be an issue. Also, I think state governments could provide these without federal involvement under a fully libertarian federal government.

GuitarStv

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #197 on: September 22, 2016, 12:02:42 PM »
Philosophically, libertarian-ism is very appealing to me. I don't see any issues reconciling protection of the environment with libertarian philosophy - just tax people based on damage they do to the environment and justify the tax as compensation for the external harm they are choosing to do. No need to set limits or prohibitions, just increase taxes until the market fixes the problem.

This sounds great in theory . . . but the issue is in determining the amount to tax people.  What's the value of keeping a species of moth, bird, or turtle from extinction?  What if the company wiping out these species decides that this price is acceptable?  Are we OK with giving a very deep pocketed company the legal right to destroy our world for a price?


Look at the huge pollution costs associated with tailings ponds that were last used for mining gold more than a hundred years ago.  Nobody foresaw these issues being so problematic when the mining was going on, and now it's too late to make the people responsible for the issue to pay for it (they're all dead).

Sometimes the market doesn't react quickly enough.  Who pays to fix the problem when this occurs?
« Last Edit: September 22, 2016, 12:10:21 PM by GuitarStv »

Northwestie

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #198 on: September 22, 2016, 12:36:44 PM »
I prefer the current model where we try to PREVENT damage.  Putting the broken puzzle back together just doesn't work very well

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Re: Who else here is a libertarian?
« Reply #199 on: September 22, 2016, 01:16:01 PM »
I prefer the current model where we try to PREVENT damage.  Putting the broken puzzle back together just doesn't work very well

I think prevention in the case where it's very difficult to undo the damage is sensible. That's why Gary Johnson would keep the EPA, while perhaps reining in some of its most ridiculous abuses of power, like defining puddles as wetlands to prevent people from doing what they like with their own land.