Author Topic: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??  (Read 44091 times)

ThriftyD

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Hey all,

After reading Mr. Frugal Toque's recent guest post and the comments in the blog titled, "Mr. Frugal Toque on why Tax Freedom Day is Bullshit," I started struggling with whether the tenets of Mustachianism are aligned more with Libertarian thought or Progressive thought.  A lot of the comments below the blog made good points that argue for both ways.  However, as often happens in political-based articles/blogs, there were a lot of troll comments that were merely unproductive political rants and arguing.  I'd just like to get people's thoughts on whether they think Mustachianism agrees more with Libertarian thought, Progressive thought, or maybe a little of both?

Politically, I tend to favor free market, personal responsibility Libertarianism but I also hold some progressive values as well so I'm not entrenched completely in one camp.  However, I'm very leery and growing tired of the mainstream Democrat and Republican politics.  I am fiscally conservative but socially liberal (as I feel a lot of Mustachians are).  In short, I feel people can pursue happiness in whatever way they want so long as it doesn't infringe on someone else's pursuit of their happiness.

Throughout the blog, though MMM doesn't intend for it, I think Mustachianism is VERY Libertarian from a personal standpoint. 
-Just think, if everyone took care of themselves, lived wisely, preserved resources, saved money, and lived frugally like MMM does, we wouldn't need all these big government safety nets.  People would have their own safety nets for times of personal/family struggle, loss of job, health problems, etc. 

-We'd be so fit from riding bikes and doing physical labor that medical costs wouldn't be as big an issue as they are.  Big pharma wouldn't push out expensive drugs to people who desperately need them because people wouldn't need them as much. Demand would go down and thus prices would go down. 

-None of us would  be phased by corporate marketing/advertising so companies wouldn't grow so large that they're deemed "too big to fail."  Along with this, people would be healthier because they wouldn't know about or see McDonald's ads.  They'd drive and spend less on a nice used car because they wouldn't be caught up in ads for fancy uncessary SUVs or luxury sedans.   

-People wouldn't have to rely on banks for loans and they wouldn't overextend themselves on homes they can't afford and we would have avoided the housing bubble.

-People would read and educate themselves to form opinions on their own rather than passively agreeing with the Fox News/CNN pundits so they may start to understand the true costs of war and question our government on foreign policy instead of just walking to the beat of the "'Merica can do no wrong!!! USA ALL THE WAY!" drum. 

So many of the things Mustachianism lifestyles promote are very libertarian.  That said, there is a strong progressive sense of community, sharing, helping neighbors, being conscientious of the environment, recycling, etc.  And that's great too! 

But when able-bodied folks can take care of themselves and live frugally and wisely, they're better suited to help those friends, family, and neighbors who cannot care fothemselvs.  I.e. the disabled, the elderly, the sick, the poor, and the young. 

What are your thoughts on the issue? 

And whatever your political leanings, since you all are Mustachians or striving Mustachians, I agree with you all! :)

Schaefer Light

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #1 on: June 21, 2014, 09:06:16 AM »
I'm progressive in the sense that I believe in helping my neighbors and contributing to my church and community.  I just don't feel that it's the government's role to get involved in any of this.  I don't want the govt to take any of your hard-earned dollars to help me, and I don't want any of my hard-earned dollars going to causes I don't support.  All I really want from the govt is protection of my physical body and property.

Beridian

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #2 on: June 21, 2014, 09:08:32 AM »
To answer your question regarding whether Mustachianism agrees more with Libertarian thought, Progressive thought, or maybe a little of both; I think that the Mustachianism philosophy focuses more on how a person manages their finances and really is not a political philosophy at all.   When it comes to politics, from my reading of this forum I see people from all over the political spectrum.

When it comes to Libertarianism, I think it is a good goal to strive for and a good philosophy to teach your children, but it is not a realistic way for government to operate.  Here is the main problem; personal responsibility is great when you have people who are personally reasonable.   What about when people are not responsible?  The reality is that some people for various reasons will not get their act together and behave responsibly.  Yet they still make babies, live in our communities, drive on our roads, attend our schools, and have a tremendous impact on our communities.  So what is to be done?  Let them starve and live in tent cities by the side of the interstate?  Then we will have blight, crime, and hoards of feral children who will grow into a permanent poverty class and further perpetuate the problem (a trend that is already well underway).   Unchecked these trends will ultimately lead to things like civil strife, health problems, environmental problems, things that are bad for all of us (even the responsible folks).

I certainly am not saying such irresponsible people should be given a free ride on the government gravy train, we cannot however turn our collective backs on them and leave them to their folly.  We need to try to influence them towards the more desirable behaviors that benefit everyone.  A carrot is a much better motivating tool than a stick.  We particularly need to intervene in the lives of the children of poverty and dysfunctional families so that hopefully some of them will break the cycle and grow into responsible adults.   The ability of people to effectively manage their lives could be plotted on a bell curve graph.   Some people will be highly effective and highly productive, other people very much less so.  Unless you are proposing that the underachievers be taken out into the woods and shot, we as a society must cope with them as best we can, and this unfortunately is going to cost all of us a bit of money and effort.  Ignoring the plight of less capable people will only lead to social ruin.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 09:12:33 AM by Beridian »

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #3 on: June 21, 2014, 09:27:50 AM »
Philosophically yeah, I'm very much in line with the socially liberal-libertarian perspective, but practical enough to recognize that government is a necessary part of a functioning modern society, and that there are areas where government-run programs are more effective and/or more ethical than corporate alternatives.

Also, as a non-religious, socially liberal (ie., pro-gay rights, etc.) person, I am rather irritated that so much of Libertarian politics seems to be put into practice as Tea Party evangelical Christian conservatism, so I hesitate to adopt the Libertarian label for myself. At this point, I'd say I'm primarily just anti-corporatocracy, which is what I believe the US government on both sides of the aisle is turning into. Government regulations for the corporate donors, by the corporate donors, of the corporate donors.

I do think much of the MMM philosophy is aligned with a libertarian self-care philosophy, but I rather doubt Mr. MM himself identifies as libertarian.

Khan

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2014, 09:32:01 AM »
I think Mustachianism tends towards sustainability, minimalism, and real world modelling(that is, it's not prosperity gospel, it's fact based).

The only specific political philosophy this is at odds with is Humvee based, "It's my freedom to burn the planet."

To attempt to derive any further from the individual simplicity and responsibility, and paint a broad brush on the rest of our political system is a fools errand.

There are libertarian mustachians who come at it from a "personal responsibility" angle. There are green progressives who come at it from a "sustainability" angle. The two aren't necessarily at odds with eachother, but this says nothing about the role of government in providing public goods, services, or anything else. This only speaks to a person's own economic sphere which they have a fairly large amount of control over.

warfreak2

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2014, 09:40:09 AM »
I vote for "Mustachianism isn't a political philosophy". Libertarians often say they are in favour of, e.g., equal treatment for minorities, but they don't necessarily want it to be enforced by the government. In a similar sort of way, Mustachians are in favour of taking personal responsibility but don't necessarily want "everyone has to fend for themselves" to be government policy.

You can go through the blog posts and find ideas which align with either philosophy, but you can't make a jump from "MMM thinks X is a good idea" to "MMM thinks the government should do X".

iris lily

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #6 on: June 21, 2014, 09:59:03 AM »
Really? No love for Conservatives as in "conserve?"

One of the labels I like best is "Crunchy conservative" or "Crunchy con" for short and I identify with that, although it's nearly impossible for me to find fault with libertarian ideals.

matchewed

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #7 on: June 21, 2014, 10:01:10 AM »
Mustachianism is a personal philosophy towards life and how you interact with your life. It is not a political philosophy on how to run all of society, just a framework on how to claim your own life independent of overarching political labels. If someone feels that is "Libertarian" then they are missing the fact that it doesn't say anything about government. If someone feels it is "Progressive" then they are missing the fact that it doesn't say anything about social classes.

In short apples and oranges.

Khan

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #8 on: June 21, 2014, 10:12:37 AM »
Really? No love for Conservatives as in "conserve?"

One of the labels I like best is "Crunchy conservative" or "Crunchy con" for short and I identify with that, although it's nearly impossible for me to find fault with libertarian ideals.

One of the "tenets" of "conservatives" in the US is religion. Many of us (on this website) are Atheist/Agnostic. Also, please don't take this as an attack, but many times when Christians use the word "Family", they mean it almost as an explicit attack on accepting homosexuality.

A quick google search shows that that is likely the case for Rod Dreher.

ThriftyD

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #9 on: June 21, 2014, 10:24:09 AM »
Great comments from all! 

And Beridian, I agree.  You're right, reality certainly doesn't match idealism.  There will always be irresponsible people and it would be an abomination to let them starve and live in tents, perpetuating crime, health problems, etc. The credo of "Pull yourself up by your own boostsraps" is preposterous and will lead to what you mentioned.  We can't shrug our shoulders and look the other way at the downtrodden in society.  I understand and realize that there are tons of people that cannot help themselves, either by choice or by forces beyond their control.  After all, a child doesn't choose to be born into a single-parent household or crime-ridden poor neighborhood with little opportunity.  To let these people just fend for themselves would be unimaginable.  And Erica, yes too much government and politics in this country are strongly influenced by corporate interests.

brewer12345

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #10 on: June 21, 2014, 10:36:40 AM »
I think it is all bullshit.

RootofGood

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #11 on: June 21, 2014, 10:49:24 AM »
I think mustachianism is half way between biking off into the sunset to Galt's Gulch and going buddhist and donating all one's assets to charity and living on alms. 

I lean a little more Galt's Gulch myself, but understand that there's enough surplus productivity among capital and labor today that there's no reason certain subsets of people can't be given government charity so they don't starve and die on the street with festering wounds.  At least in developed nations. 

climbingthemountain

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #12 on: June 21, 2014, 01:23:23 PM »
I think Mustachianism is more of a philosophy than a political leaning; I find it has a great deal in common with Stoicism. You cannot change everything around you, so focus on improving yourself and thriving as a human being, whatever circumstances you may find yourself in.

From Seneca's letters to Lucilius, "On Saving Time":
Quote
What is the state of things, then? It is this: I do not regard a man as poor, if the little which remains is enough for him. I advise you, however, to keep what is really yours; and you cannot begin too early. For, as our ancestors believed, it is too late to spare when you reach the dregs of the cask.

...you know, having finally registered, I may have to make that my signature.

MidWestLove

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #13 on: June 21, 2014, 03:13:14 PM »
it is what you want it to be , a question just as pointless as " Mustachianism as Christian or Buddist or a LIttle of Both".


for me personally it is libertarian in terms of taking responsibility for your own actions, happiness, financial state, and ultimately life. Live and let live philosophy which is very different from how I understand "Progressive" with its own fanatics , hate, and insecurities they try to hide behind various excuses 'for the greater good'

Annamal

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2014, 04:12:20 PM »
I would say mustachianism is a personal philosophy and not a political leaning but I would also say that a lot of mustachianism works a little better in places with good infrastructure, non-corrupt officials and well-maintained shared services like schools, libraries and parks.

I would also say that libertarian charity often falls down quite badly in the same sort of way that conservation charity does, people naturally give to causes with pandas and baby seals and tend to give less to causes that involve making sure a wetland stays swampy and that eels continue to be able to get up a creek.

It's easy to get people to give to charities for cancer or children and much harder to get them involved in housing adult alcoholics (even though that housing saves  society a huge amount in healthcare costs over the long term).

warfreak2

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #15 on: June 21, 2014, 04:18:41 PM »
very different from how I understand "Progressive" with its own fanatics , hate, and insecurities they try to hide behind various excuses 'for the greater good'
If that is really what you think of progressivism, you might be getting all of your information about progressivism from conservatives.

Khan

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #16 on: June 21, 2014, 04:30:50 PM »
very different from how I understand "Progressive" with its own fanatics , hate, and insecurities they try to hide behind various excuses 'for the greater good'
If that is really what you think of progressivism, you might be getting all of your information about progressivism from conservatives.

Well to be fair, there is a way of looking at certain outgrowths/extreme progressives as... P.C. Nazi's? Fat acceptance, tumblr feminists/otherkin/tumblr users. The charge isn't 100% without warrant.

Just 90%.

warfreak2

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #17 on: June 21, 2014, 04:52:07 PM »
Well to be fair, there is a way of looking at certain outgrowths/extreme progressives as... P.C. Nazi's? Fat acceptance, tumblr feminists/otherkin/tumblr users. The charge isn't 100% without warrant.

Just 90%.
Well you can do the same with any political alignment, really. If you get all of your news from sources that agree with your own biases, when you go out into the world and meet seemingly intelligent, reasonable people who somehow don't have exactly the same beliefs as you, and your worldview is going to need to contain an explanation for how an intelligent, reasonable other person could possibly disagree with another intelligent, reasonable person such as yourself! The lazy explanation is that those other ideologies must appeal to people because of their character flaws - for example, if you only ever read Boing Boing, you might be left with the impression that conservatives and libertarians are greedy, selfish people who hate minorities and only care about the rich. If you go down that route then you are missing the positive characters and good ideas of people outside your own group.

Progressives are likely to report their motivations as things like altruism, fairness, equality, compassion, empathy, community. It turns out that intelligent, reasonable people disagree mainly because they value different things.

Wino

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #18 on: June 21, 2014, 05:11:40 PM »
I certainly am not saying such irresponsible people should be given a free ride on the government gravy train, we cannot however turn our collective backs on them and leave them to their folly.  We need to try to influence them towards the more desirable behaviors that benefit everyone.  A carrot is a much better motivating tool than a stick.  We particularly need to intervene in the lives of the children of poverty and dysfunctional families so that hopefully some of them will break the cycle and grow into responsible adults.   The ability of people to effectively manage their lives could be plotted on a bell curve graph.   Some people will be highly effective and highly productive, other people very much less so.  Unless you are proposing that the underachievers be taken out into the woods and shot, we as a society must cope with them as best we can, and this unfortunately is going to cost all of us a bit of money and effort.  Ignoring the plight of less capable people will only lead to social ruin.

I just keep wondering what the answer is, in the long run. Do you offer them a deal like Indira Gandhi's government did in India where the men get a life-long stipend in exchange for getting a vasectomy? They really loved that, in fact so much so that she was assassinated for it. In terms of their raw suitability to future forms of work, with the demands on human labor becoming ever more complex, what future possibly exists for these people? I realize this could devolve into Nazi-esque nonsense very quickly and don't wish to move things in that direction, but how do you somehow reverse generations upon generations of cultural programming, let alone whatever genetic component there is to intelligence? These days, no matter how much I recognize (and resent) the extent to which the Republicans cannot possibly be trusted with governing the country ever again, I can't possibly visualize the other side offering a viable alternative that doesn't involve the most productive members of society incentivizing the most unproductive members to reproduce at a rate several times higher. What's the endgame here, really? What can we all do to see to it that the Earth doesn't fulfill the "prophecy" of that horrible film Idiocracy?

Beridian

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #19 on: June 21, 2014, 06:56:57 PM »
I certainly am not saying such irresponsible people should be given a free ride on the government gravy train, we cannot however turn our collective backs on them and leave them to their folly.  We need to try to influence them towards the more desirable behaviors that benefit everyone.  A carrot is a much better motivating tool than a stick.  We particularly need to intervene in the lives of the children of poverty and dysfunctional families so that hopefully some of them will break the cycle and grow into responsible adults.   The ability of people to effectively manage their lives could be plotted on a bell curve graph.   Some people will be highly effective and highly productive, other people very much less so.  Unless you are proposing that the underachievers be taken out into the woods and shot, we as a society must cope with them as best we can, and this unfortunately is going to cost all of us a bit of money and effort.  Ignoring the plight of less capable people will only lead to social ruin.

I just keep wondering what the answer is, in the long run. Do you offer them a deal like Indira Gandhi's government did in India where the men get a life-long stipend in exchange for getting a vasectomy? They really loved that, in fact so much so that she was assassinated for it. In terms of their raw suitability to future forms of work, with the demands on human labor becoming ever more complex, what future possibly exists for these people? I realize this could devolve into Nazi-esque nonsense very quickly and don't wish to move things in that direction, but how do you somehow reverse generations upon generations of cultural programming, let alone whatever genetic component there is to intelligence? These days, no matter how much I recognize (and resent) the extent to which the Republicans cannot possibly be trusted with governing the country ever again, I can't possibly visualize the other side offering a viable alternative that doesn't involve the most productive members of society incentivizing the most unproductive members to reproduce at a rate several times higher. What's the endgame here, really? What can we all do to see to it that the Earth doesn't fulfill the "prophecy" of that horrible film Idiocracy?

Unfortunately getting men to get a vasectomy does little to address the problem.  One single ambitious man without a vasectomy could impregnate thousands of women.  The answer lies with the young women.  You must give them a more attractive offer than their idealized and romanticized view of parenthood.  When asked about why they had a child at a young age and out of wedlock, many young women say they wanted a baby to love and to love them back.  I would suggest making them an offer like a free college education if they remain child free until after graduation. By that time most will be mature enough to make better decisions.  Many will still choose the wrong path, but a substantial amount of them will grasp the opportunity.  We need improvement not perfection.

I think for all of the poor we need to hire them directly into programs similar to the civilian conservation corps (CCC) from the great depression.  They can work to clean up cities, build infrastructure, assist at schools, help take care of the elderly, provide day care for working parents, there are hundreds of productive things we could have them do according to their abilities.  But in return we would have to pay them a semi respectable wage, and provide health care.

All people make choices.  They evaluate what they think is accessible and attainable, most will then they go for the option that is the most attractive and that they think they can reach with the least amount of effort (a repugnant thought to the self starters of the world, but none the less true of many people).   For many poor people the best option in their mind is drugs, gangs, pregnancy, and crime.  To persuade them otherwise we need to have attractive and attainable alternatives.   Many people may hate this idea but it addresses the reality of the situation.
« Last Edit: June 21, 2014, 07:03:35 PM by Beridian »

MidWestLove

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #20 on: June 21, 2014, 08:00:24 PM »
very different from how I understand "Progressive" with its own fanatics , hate, and insecurities they try to hide behind various excuses 'for the greater good'

If that is really what you think of progressivism, you might be getting all of your information about progressivism from conservatives.

... :)) sorry if that hurt your feelings - no , not everyone who disagrees with you is a closet "conservative" :).
My experiences are very different from yours, I am Russian who was born and grew up in Soviet Union- I know very well what socialistic progressive system does and how it works. if you want progressive thought taken to its logical conclusion , come live in North Korea where inequality is officially outlawed, medicine is free, and no man is oppressed by other man as guaranteed by its laws and constitution. but people starve to death by thousands, government wields supreme power, any deviation from 'norm' are the crime and most of all, people are disarmed and powerless against oppressive regime, they are not citizens, they are slaves. all for the 'greater good'.

"
Progressives are likely to report their motivations as things like altruism, fairness, equality, compassion, empathy, community. It turns out that intelligent, reasonable people disagree mainly because they value different things."

B.S. who the f$%k cares about their expressed motivations?! it is the reality that matters - these people come into _your_ life and telling you how to live it, the very opposite of live and let live, and letting people make their own choices , decisions and meet their own consequences. In the very UK that moved far on 'progressive' thoughts, people are more and more disabled (more and more slaves), very tightly controlled and watched over. Your phones are tapped (it is for you safety), your ability to access information is limited and monitored ('it is for the children' the most overused excuse ever) ,  your are disarmed (same, for your safety), and marched wholesale towards the disease we Russians had first hand experience in the last century. all with the same fairness, equality ,comparison, empathy ,justice, etc excuse.  At the end, socialism always fails, always runs out of other peoples money- and it is said to watch intelligent people marching like lemmings to their doom under  'progressive thought' umbrella.
for me personally , the state of the gun laws is the best indicator of the freedom people truly experience. someone said that you should fear government that fears its citizens, as such UK is not a good example of a state I would ever want to live in.


 

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both?
« Reply #21 on: June 21, 2014, 08:15:11 PM »
I think American politics is just so beyond weird that I can't care about, because I can't control it, nor can I drive myself nuts over it. I research during election seasons and vote. That's the limit of my influence, so that's the limit of my concern.

MidWestLove

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #22 on: June 21, 2014, 08:33:24 PM »
to Thegoblinchief - similar approach. I do not spend time worrying much about things I can not change (as long as they are things I can accept - from a variant of Serenity Prayer). I see close minded people on both sides of political spectrum , all with some pet peeve or issue (all originally coming out of valid concern) and _ALL_ wanted to use force/oppression (through law or criminal code) to get their way.

So MMM adherent is libertarian for me as long as he/she is leading through example, living his/her own life, and may be willingness to educate. The moment (God forbid) he switches to oppression/violence to get his way (outlaws cars first, marches car owners to re-education camps to solve the 'car clown problem' and 'save the environment', confiscates 'excess income that no one needs' to redistribute to others), he stops being libertarian and become a force of evil regardless of what were the original intents were. The end does not justify the means for me.

Annamal

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #23 on: June 21, 2014, 10:34:46 PM »


So MMM adherent is libertarian for me as long as he/she is leading through example, living his/her own life, and may be willingness to educate. The moment (God forbid) he switches to oppression/violence to get his way (outlaws cars first, marches car owners to re-education camps to solve the 'car clown problem' and 'save the environment', confiscates 'excess income that no one needs' to redistribute to others), he stops being libertarian and become a force of evil regardless of what were the original intents were. The end does not justify the means for me.

Pollution from cars kills a not insignificant number of people every year, are car owners evil for forcing those who have to live and work in cities to endure an unsafe environment?

warfreak2

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #24 on: June 22, 2014, 04:51:58 AM »
[...]
I am glad I don't live in the world that you think exists. Let's leave it at that.

drunken buddha

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #25 on: June 22, 2014, 06:37:49 AM »
Sometimes you feel like a nut, sometimes you don't.
Good day for a hike!

Tetsuya Hondo

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #26 on: June 22, 2014, 07:10:32 AM »
Interesting question and great comments. ThriftyD, MMM has often come across as being fairly liberal, so I've never been conscious of the more libertarian components to the actual practices of Mustacianism. However, this makes me more aware of my own libertarian tendencies, even though I identify more as a liberal. It's complicated.

Anyway, this reminds me of a recent article in the Atlantic entitled "The Left-Right Political Spectrum is Bogus" that fits into this discussion well and I think that many of you will appreciate:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/06/the-left-right-political-spectrum-is-bogus/373139/

Oldguy

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #27 on: June 22, 2014, 07:46:27 AM »
Interesting question and great comments. ThriftyD, MMM has often come across as being fairly liberal, so I've never been conscious of the more libertarian components to the actual practices of Mustacianism. However, this makes me more aware of my own libertarian tendencies, even though I identify more as a liberal. It's complicated.

Anyway, this reminds me of a recent article in the Atlantic entitled "The Left-Right Political Spectrum is Bogus" that fits into this discussion well and I think that many of you will appreciate:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/06/the-left-right-political-spectrum-is-bogus/373139/

Good read. Thanks.
I think MMM is the financial education, start a business, you can't throw money to solve problems guy.
It may be a big part of the solution is enabling people to solve their own problems:
http://www.bauer.uh.edu/microfinance/

Daley

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #28 on: June 22, 2014, 08:13:49 AM »
Anyway, this reminds me of a recent article in the Atlantic entitled "The Left-Right Political Spectrum is Bogus" that fits into this discussion well and I think that many of you will appreciate

Good article, but Sartwell doesn't quite dig deep enough as his focus is solely on modern, mainstream politics and the obviously artificial divide there-in with the espoused philosophies.

I've found the Political Compass method a far richer and more coherent method of describing and grouping political positions than the standard left-right argument does, as it's divided into two axes: financial policy and social control. Go into it (and especially the test) with an open mind, and be honest. The results may surprise you, especially in relation to where you sit against the official political lines... not to mention (especially in the US) how far apart the two official ends of the political spectrum really are, and how certain political movements have perversely redefined certain buzzwords to mean the exact opposite of what the ideology has come to represent in policy and execution.

swiper

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #29 on: June 22, 2014, 08:14:44 AM »
Mustachianism  attracts all sorts. Libertarian or Progressive? Most of the disagreements boil down to how we prioritize values.

I stumbled on an insightful article trying to understand why some poor people vote conservative (which seemed to me to be against their self-interest). The article explains some research around basic moral values which underpin most of our disagreements. http://www.theguardian.com/society/2012/jun/05/why-working-class-people-vote-conservative

The author (Jonathan Haidt) of the study defines the following basic moral "tastes" or values
1) Harm/care
2) Fairness/reciprocity
3) Ingroup/loyalty
4) Authority/respect
5) Purity/sanctity

On TED: http://www.ted.com/talks/jonathan_haidt_on_the_moral_mind

You can take the quiz (and add to the data here): http://www.yourmorals.org/ )

He believes that we need to step outside of this us(right) them(wrong) mindset and instead understand the values which underpin the other side. He advocates a balance between these values.

ThriftyD

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #30 on: June 22, 2014, 08:43:40 PM »
Interesting question and great comments. ThriftyD, MMM has often come across as being fairly liberal, so I've never been conscious of the more libertarian components to the actual practices of Mustacianism. However, this makes me more aware of my own libertarian tendencies, even though I identify more as a liberal. It's complicated.

Anyway, this reminds me of a recent article in the Atlantic entitled "The Left-Right Political Spectrum is Bogus" that fits into this discussion well and I think that many of you will appreciate:

http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/06/the-left-right-political-spectrum-is-bogus/373139/

Thanks for sharing Tetsuya Hondo.  Yep, it is very complicated and I think it's good for people to question their beliefs and also weigh the beliefs/values of others, even if they don't agree with them.  As I mentioned, politically I lean Libertarian but I also share a lot of values with progressives on community, the environment, helping those that truly cannot help themselves, etc.  I usually take the approach of, "I don't necessarily agree with your views/beliefs, but I can see where you're coming from and respect our differences and I respect your position." It doesn't mean I'm folding on my beliefs but it allows me to at least have a respectful conversation or debate with someone and come away from it still being cordial and not angry with the other person.

And yes, I've read some articles and information on the "false left-right paradigm" that is touched on in the article you shared.  I think crony politicians and pundits love riling up and dividing people instead of working to bring people together.  In recent years, I'm finding it more and more difficult to identify the true differences between the mainstream Democratic party and the Republican party here in the US.  But that topic is skewing in a direction I don't feel like going in this thread.  Maybe in another thread and at a different time for me!  :).   

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #31 on: June 22, 2014, 09:57:06 PM »
I started out staunchly Republican.   I was in the military and we were taught to believe that our every breath was granted to us by the Republican party.   Well I'm glad to say I broke those chains in 2000.  I didn't trust Bush and never voted for him.  I voted for Nader in 2000 and Kerry in 2004.  in 2008 I voted for Ron Paul and 2012 Gary Johnson.
After growing up on the right I've settled into the Libertarian sector.

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RetiredAt63

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #33 on: June 23, 2014, 05:41:46 AM »
Interesting discussion, and relevant to all of us, not just those in the U.S.  I did the Moral Compass and ended up near the Dalai Lama, just about opposite my Prime Minister.  I knew we had different views on things! 

The labels political parties put on themselves do not always seem to agree with what their policies are - the Conservatives here are getting very controlling.  Plus public perception of a political party's platform does not always agree with the actual platform - last federal election I read all the party platforms, and the most fiscally conservative and responsible was  . . . . . . . . NOT the Conservatives!  It was the Green Party.  Since they present themselves as conservers of our planet, I should not have been surprised, they see finances as a resource and don't want to waste money.  What a radical concept when most parties seem to be trying to buy voters with goodies as part of their platforms.

I do not buy in to government as "them" - we vote them in and we vote them out - and we tell them what we value. Maybe we can feel this more in Canada, since we typically have three main parties plus lots of others, so it is definitely not a binary choice. Of course we have differences - one of the ones I am feeling is the urban-rural split much more than liberal-conservative.  Why should a provincial government ignore rural areas?  I am not saying they should not look after urban areas, but when I can live 100 km away from Ottawa and be considered hinterland, with poor services, it is weird.  And putting dumps and power plants in ecologically sensitive areas, just because they are "out in the boonies" - well, not good.  But our numbers are low, so we can be safely ignored.

Sorry, that turned into a rant - but it shows that there are a lot more views in politics than traditional labels would suggest.

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #34 on: June 23, 2014, 05:57:27 AM »
When I first started reading this blog, I was very attracted to the overall positive message and the progressive stance that it took.  Over the course of reading many articles, my conclusion is that there really isn't a political "agenda" to the blog.  MMM is Canadian, and grew up in a country where government is not viewed as an antagonist, or a necessary evil, but as a positive force for the common good.  Sure, it isn't always efficient, but I think it is viewed more as an extension of the people, not an "other" who must be kept in check at all times. 

Most self-styled libertarians that I have seen on these boards, and real life, are overwhelmingly angry and negative in tone and outlook compared to the tone of this blog.  "Leave me alone, don't bother me, don't force me to do anything or compel me to do anything I don't want to do.  Oh, and make sure no one else gets any help either, unless it is the kind of help I think is okay." MMM does not fit this model at all in my view.  In fact, if the republicans/libertarians want to be more successful in reframing their message, I think the philosophy of MMM is a step in the right direction - teach personal responsibility not as suffering, but as a positive step towards personal growth and happiness. 

It really comes down to "circles of control" I think.  The idea is not to concentrate on what your neighbor is doing, or what a certain segment of the population is doing.  It doesn't matter and you really can't effectively do anything about it.  You can't force people to act the way you think they should act.  You just need to work on yourself and let everyone else figure out their own path. 

ThriftyD

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #35 on: June 23, 2014, 07:24:45 AM »
I started out staunchly Republican.   I was in the military and we were taught to believe that our every breath was granted to us by the Republican party.   Well I'm glad to say I broke those chains in 2000.  I didn't trust Bush and never voted for him.  I voted for Nader in 2000 and Kerry in 2004.  in 2008 I voted for Ron Paul and 2012 Gary Johnson.
After growing up on the right I've settled into the Libertarian sector.

I can relate, Bateauxdriver.  However, I came from the opposite direction.  I was in high school during Bush's first term and I grew up in a Liberal household so I came to detest Bush, the war in Iraq, and the Republican party in general.  I always was "conservative" with my money but I was liberal on my social beliefs.  I voted for Kerry in '04 and admittedly Obama in '08.  I always thought of the Democratic party as the party of the "little guy" and the party of foreign diplomacy instead of aggression.  However, the bailouts, the continued drone strikes, the continued and growing war efforts in Afghanistan and the interventionist approaches in Libya, Egypt, etc turned me off to the Democratic party too.  In 2012 I voted for Ron Paul in the Republican primaries and for Gary Johnson in the general election.  I'm certainly not exclusively "Libertarian," I just feel that their platform, at least in principle, agrees most with my views of free market capitalism, fiscal conservatism, but social liberalism and equality.  The Green Party and Jill Stein also appeal to me as well so I'm not just a staunch party-line follower.  However, I've just been so turned off by the Democratic and Republican parties here in the US in the last 8+ years.     

ThriftyD

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #36 on: June 23, 2014, 07:37:28 AM »
Most self-styled libertarians that I have seen on these boards, and real life, are overwhelmingly angry and negative in tone and outlook compared to the tone of this blog.  "Leave me alone, don't bother me, don't force me to do anything or compel me to do anything I don't want to do.  Oh, and make sure no one else gets any help either, unless it is the kind of help I think is okay." MMM does not fit this model at all in my view.  In fact, if the republicans/libertarians want to be more successful in reframing their message, I think the philosophy of MMM is a step in the right direction - teach personal responsibility not as suffering, but as a positive step towards personal growth and happiness. 

golden1, take a listen to Ron Paul or Gary Johnson.  Their messages aren't ones of anger or negative, unless it's directed toward the policies and attitudes of the two mainstream parties.  Quite the opposite.  They always talk about social equality and peaceful dialogue and non-aggression in international affairs.  Don't lump peace loving, equality loving, free market loving, non-interventionist true Libertarians with the angry average fundamentalist tea party folks or the likes of Ted Cruz or Rand Paul.  Those folks aren't true Libertarians.  I feel that the tea party as we know it is mainly comprised of fundamentalist mainstream Republicans who just happen to carry around signs that say "Don't Tread on Me."   

I don't think most reasonable-minded Libertarians want to just strip away every government program and leave people to fend for themselves.  And of course many of us think there should be reasonable laws in place to prevent corporate corruption and pollution. Heck, though I identify myself as a Libertarian, I'd love to see the US government implement a Roosevelt New Deal type public works program again.  People who are unable or unwilling to find work can earn a living doing public works fixing and rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure.  And of course we should have safety nets for those who are disabled, elderly, or otherwise unable to care for themselves.  However, I feel that both educated progressives and educated Libertarians alike can agree that it is unacceptable for people to just milk unemployment or welfare and not seek gainful employment if and when they are otherwise perfectly capable and healthy enough to do so.
 

Erica/NWEdible

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #37 on: June 23, 2014, 08:03:17 AM »
I've found the Political Compass method a far richer and more coherent method of describing and grouping political positions than the standard left-right argument does, as it's divided into two axes: financial policy and social control. Go into it (and especially the test) with an open mind, and be honest. The results may surprise you, especially in relation to where you sit against the official political lines... not to mention (especially in the US) how far apart the two official ends of the political spectrum really are, and how certain political movements have perversely redefined certain buzzwords to mean the exact opposite of what the ideology has come to represent in policy and execution.

I won't say that I was shocked by my results, but that was fun.

CBnCO

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #38 on: June 23, 2014, 08:20:50 AM »
I think this is quite an interesting thread.  Given that the central idea of mustachianism is to be frugal, save money and to become self sufficient, there is an inherent tie to politics and societal administration because successful mustachians become holders of wealth in a society.  And, in a society where the governmental systems have been architected to take wealth from those who have it and to give it to others, mustachians and mustachianism will be effected whether they like it or not. 

That said, I think there is a large degree of misconception on what the competing ideas really are when it comes to libertarianism and progressivism.  First, even after reading through the Wikipedia definition, I'm still not entirely clear what "progressivism" is??  But, I am familiar with libertarianism and its fundamental tenants of non-intervention and personal/property rights.  True libertarianism means that a person keeps the fruits of his or her labor and then is free to dispense as little or as much of it as they wish to whatever cause they see fit.  The notion that I see frequently insinuating that libertarians are inherently greedy and selfish is simply not founded in the doctrines of the philosophy.  Sure, people are free to act selfishly; but, history dictates that this type of behavior ultimately leads to uprising and revolution and with the greedy, rich people's heads in nooses.  I think that smart people (I'm going to include all of us in this group!) in a society recognize the need to spread prosperity to as many as possible in order to achieve long term success for said society.  Thus, what we really are arguing about here is the mechanics of how we accomplish this.  One side argues that only the government via a system of voting, forced taxation, and government programs can do this (is this progressivism?) and the other suggests that this can be done more efficiently through voluntaryism and private charity.   Despite acknowledging the great challenge of dealing with poverty in a society , my personal conclusion is that we ought to lean toward the latter, more libertarian approach.  A system of voluntary giving, where personal political gain and systemic waste are removed, sounds like a better ideal to strive for.  But, that's only my opinion....

TropicNebraska

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #39 on: June 23, 2014, 09:38:02 AM »
I am a registered Libertarian and I fall into line that mustachianism and libertarian philosophy holds plenty of parallels. Right of self ownership allows one to pursue their own self happiness, from running a business, taking up a hobby, traveling, or volunteering their time for their causes. Private property rights ensure my home and land is my own. And free market capitalism gives one the opportunity for investment and asset building to earn the passive income needed to achieve mustachianism. Whenever government intervenes for progressive's "greater good", it puts the collective over the individual pursuits of happiness and ability for their assets to support that happiness to grow.

Chuck

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #40 on: June 23, 2014, 10:17:35 AM »
Mustachianism is an interesting thing, politically, for the following reason:

It's enabled by Republican and Libertarian economic policy, but socially is very attractive to liberals.

It's important for the more liberal leaning (in a fiscally restrictive sense) to remember that ER is much more difficult in Europe for a reason.

KayakMom

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #41 on: June 23, 2014, 10:58:38 AM »
I started out staunchly Republican.   I was in the military and we were taught to believe that our every breath was granted to us by the Republican party.   Well I'm glad to say I broke those chains in 2000.  I didn't trust Bush and never voted for him.  I voted for Nader in 2000 and Kerry in 2004.  in 2008 I voted for Ron Paul and 2012 Gary Johnson.
After growing up on the right I've settled into the Libertarian sector.

I can relate, Bateauxdriver.  However, I came from the opposite direction.  I was in high school during Bush's first term and I grew up in a Liberal household so I came to detest Bush, the war in Iraq, and the Republican party in general.  I always was "conservative" with my money but I was liberal on my social beliefs.  I voted for Kerry in '04 and admittedly Obama in '08.  I always thought of the Democratic party as the party of the "little guy" and the party of foreign diplomacy instead of aggression.  However, the bailouts, the continued drone strikes, the continued and growing war efforts in Afghanistan and the interventionist approaches in Libya, Egypt, etc turned me off to the Democratic party too.  In 2012 I voted for Ron Paul in the Republican primaries and for Gary Johnson in the general election.  I'm certainly not exclusively "Libertarian," I just feel that their platform, at least in principle, agrees most with my views of free market capitalism, fiscal conservatism, but social liberalism and equality.  The Green Party and Jill Stein also appeal to me as well so I'm not just a staunch party-line follower.  However, I've just been so turned off by the Democratic and Republican parties here in the US in the last 8+ years.     

my favorite "libertarians" are the ones that started off as liberal!  There are too many libertarians that claim government has no right to tell anyone what to do, but don't really mean it when it's something they don't agree with (drugs, gay marriage, etc.) 
I consider myself a political atheist.  (I just don't believe in any of the democrats or republicans)

I would think the MMM community would be made up of mostly those with libertarian leanings as it's all about making smart choices in ones own life and being fiscally responsible.

Eric

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #42 on: June 23, 2014, 11:44:13 AM »
I would think the MMM community would be made up of mostly those with libertarian leanings as it's all about making smart choices in ones own life and being fiscally responsible.

I think every political party in existence, ever, has made this claim.  They're ALL in favor of fiscally responsibility and smart choices.

bacchi

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #43 on: June 23, 2014, 11:53:40 AM »
It's enabled by Republican and Libertarian economic policy, but socially is very attractive to liberals.

Republicans are happy to spend as much as Democrats but in different ways. Note that we're talking about Republicans in office and not the unicorn fiscally conservative Republican that is rarely seen (but often blogged about). Since we haven't had a Libertarian government, we don't know if it too would bow to the real politik of running a nation (i.e., a household budget isn't the same as a government budget with reserve currency).

MMM has a green ethos combined with its fiscally conservative approach. It also has a "personal responsibility" aspect, which agrees with the libertarian view (and also with off-the-grid hippie communes and co-ops).

In other words, given that it combines many of the desired traits claimed by various parties ("We're the party of Personal Responsibility/Environmentalism!"), it transcends politics.

gobius

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #44 on: June 23, 2014, 01:27:58 PM »
I would think the MMM community would be made up of mostly those with libertarian leanings as it's all about making smart choices in ones own life and being fiscally responsible.

I think every political party in existence, ever, has made this claim.  They're ALL in favor of fiscally responsibility and smart choices.

+1

OSUBearCub

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #45 on: June 23, 2014, 01:57:17 PM »
For whatever it's worth, I consider myself to be a progressive Democrat.  I don't fear taxes - I see them as a tool that keeps certain unnecessary suffering at bay and allows for the funding of the government that provides for my basic safety needs.  HOWEVER I also demand that my representatives in government are not total ass-hats with those funds.  I'm for tax reform in the sense that we should more responsibly use the funds collected each year.

As for the social implications of Mustachianism - I try to live by the "live simply that others might simply live" trope that gets put on bumper stickers.  I don't need a McMansion and luckily not having one helps with my personal finance goals.  I'm also not hogging up resources that are needed by the other members of my community...except toilet paper, couponers (which I'm not afraid to call myself) will hoard the hell out of some TP.  Mustachianism also allows me discretionary funds to throw at social causes I believe in - LGBT equality (my peeps), world peace, and environmentalism.

I think the most important idea coming out of this discussion is that Mustachianism holds a great deal of validity because it isn't tied to one politic or another.  It's more fundamental than that.  It's a tool that allows for easier self-actualization as a person, regardless of the philosophical basis of that actualization.

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #46 on: June 23, 2014, 02:16:27 PM »
Thank you I. P. Daley for your link to the political compass. I wasn't surprised to find myself in the company of:

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Nelson Mandela

“A good friend who points out mistakes and imperfections and rebukes (with curses and verbal face punches) evil is to be respected as if he reveals the secret of some hidden treasure.” the Dalai Lama

Labeling things can alienate people. I agree it's fundamental.

ThriftyD

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #47 on: June 23, 2014, 02:25:52 PM »
Spot on OSUBearCub.  Well said!  Though I take a Libertarian position politically, I agree with your statements.  I especially agree with your HOWEVER comment regarding taxes.  Though I lean Libertarian, I don't mind reasonable taxes for reasonable goods/services the government provides.  I recognize the benefit of having streets plowed in the winter.  I like that my trash gets picked up.  I like that people with kids don't HAVE to pay for expensive private schools if they can't afford them and kids can get a decent public education.  I'm happy to have reasonable environmental regulations in place so that companies can't just freely dump waste into our waterways without repercussion.  HOWEVER, like you said, I demand that my represenatives aren't total ass hats with those funds...or I hope they aren't ass-hats in general.  Ass-hattery leads to crony capitalism where coroporations use lobbyists and pay off politicians to push their agendas or give them favorable deals.

"[Mustachianism is] a tool that allows for easier self-actualization as a person, regardless of the philosophical basis of that actualization."  ~ Excellent quote!

OSUBearCub

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #48 on: June 23, 2014, 03:33:02 PM »
Thanks ThriftyD! :-)

tipster350

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Re: Mustachianism as Libertarian or Progressive OR a Little of both??
« Reply #49 on: June 23, 2014, 06:14:57 PM »
I'm amused by the assumption that libertarians believe in taking personal responsibility for their own lives and choices, but liberals do not. Huh?