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Why Aren’t You a Libertarian?


Castanza
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I am genuinely curious about this. If you read through the platform of the Libertarian party (see link below) it seems to encapsulate 95% of the opinions of individuals in this forum.

 

NAP

Prison System reform

End foreign wars

Legalize Drugs

Private property

Free markets (Adam Smith)

Lower taxes

Equality (gay marriage)

Individual liberties

Reformed Welfare system (Negative Income tax)

Healthcare (up for debate)

- Private healthcare is generally supported by the party

- But even Hayek thought that government funded healthcare was possible under a libertarian framework.

Abortion (not the governments business and should be left up the the individual)

 

https://www.lp.org/platform/

 

Do you not support the party because you feel it’s a wasted vote?

 

Do you not support it because you don’t like the candidates? Gary Johnson, Bill Weld, Jacob Hornberger

 

What about people like Thomas Sowell, Justin Amash, Ron Paul?

 

Do you have a skewed or uninformed view of what the libertarian party is?

 

Maybe you just don’t agree with it and the approach the party takes in regards to the role of government.

 

Yes we all have our strong opinions on issues, but the Libertarian party seems to bridge the gap on most core issues discussed here.

 

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To both of your points isn’t that the crux of the issue? Why not vote your conscious? If we bitch and moan about this two party system shouldn’t we be looking at our selves as individuals to make that change? It’s like everyone wants a third party to win yet nobody wants to make the first move themselves because they feel they are letting the “bad guys” win. I guess that’s just a flaw with our human tendencies and our soft spot for tribalism.

 

What about at the local or congressional level? And there isn’t always the option at these levels.

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Well, we could go on and on about the actual reasons: https://www.newyorker.com/humor/daily-shouts/l-p-d-libertarian-police-department

 

But that's a lot of effort and it's not necessary. The cringe factor is obvious from a mile away. It's a party consisting of the sons of well-off conservatives who didn't get laid in high school and never got over it.

 

I can understand some individuals position on police, fire department etc. But the fact is that wouldn't be anywhere near the forefront of a candidates policy. Seems like a small hurdle to cross when the majority of "tier 1" issues are so bipartisan.

 

Your second point is well ignorant and clearly bias with all types of presuppositions. Libertarian party is more diverse that what you believe it to be. And the diversity among the party is most likely more organic than the Rep or Dem party who simply try to buy votes..."reparation money, Obama money, Obama phone, blah blah blah". I'll take diversity found in the Libertarian party over some bought and paid for diversity.

 

https://www.cato.org/blog/libertarians-are-more-racially-diverse-people-realize

 

I'm not sure if there is anything more ironic in life than a Democrat trying to stand on a moral high ground of diversity  ;D

 

 

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Maybe they didn't accept to settle for the first dog that got in front of them like you LC?

Guess we found the high school virgin. Did the football guys beat you up? Poor guy  :'( :'(

 

Your second point is well ignorant and clearly bias with all types of presuppositions.

Castanza, it was a joke (which apparently hit too close to home for Cardboard) - but the point is that the party is represented by a lot of nutters (Randy and Ronny), contains a lot of nutters as members, and has such diverse views (bordering on insane) that it's difficult to take it seriously.

 

Plus there are just so many good memes showing how silly some libertarian crap is:

 

Mz7D1wa_HJ0JB4Vxq7LROfSnrN1vB1cMIBtDK6ocOZc.jpg?auto=webp&s=42a1da7bd30c268f9647432c0afb382170380b2b

 

w988degjxip21.jpg

 

LZv7H6s.jpg

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There's also the empirical argument: there are plenty of libertarian countries out there - they just have zero infrastructure and are ruled by mobster warlords. The libertarian haven of Somalia, for example - you can do all that you want but for some reason nobody wants to live there  ::) ::) ::)

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There's also the empirical argument: there are plenty of libertarian countries out there - they just have zero infrastructure and are ruled by mobster warlords. The libertarian haven of Somalia, for example - you can do all that you want but for some reason nobody wants to live there  ::) ::) ::)

 

You clearly don't know what you're talking about. There isn't much point in discussing if the depth of your research is to find a strawman argument (probably from some Reddit meme). A shallow argument from a shallow individual.  ::)

 

"It's better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt" Mark Twain

 

The point of this thread is to discuss the Libertarian Party platform (linked above) and the bipartisan similarities it draws on while ignoring the extreme points of contention from both the Republican and Democratic parties.

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Guest cherzeca

well ordered liberty that doesnt require governmental coercion (libertarianism) does require a civilized and well intentioned populace.  hence, can't happen in USA.

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The point of this thread is to discuss the Libertarian Party platform (linked above) and the bipartisan similarities it draws on while ignoring the extreme points of contention from both the Republican and Democratic parties.

The title of this thread is "Why Aren’t You a Libertarian?"

And your inclusion is reason enough to answer that question!

 

Is Somalia not libertarian? There is literally no rule of law - just whoever seizes power in the free market. Which is exactly what a libertarian society devolves into.

 

Not coincidentally, this is why libertarians are the penultimate hypocrites (only exceeded by the anarchists) and why the libertarian party is never taken seriously.

 

Also, it's pretty transparent that you are arguing a weak position when your refutations are: "You don't know what you're talking about!" and calling me a shallow individual.

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The point of this thread is to discuss the Libertarian Party platform (linked above) and the bipartisan similarities it draws on while ignoring the extreme points of contention from both the Republican and Democratic parties.

The title of this thread is "Why Aren’t You a Libertarian?"

And your inclusion is reason enough to answer that question!

 

Is Somalia not libertarian? There is literally no rule of law - just whoever seizes power in the free market. Which is exactly what a libertarian society devolves into.

 

Not coincidentally, this is why libertarians are the penultimate hypocrites (only exceeded by the anarchists) and why the libertarian party is never taken seriously.

 

Also, it's pretty transparent that you are arguing a weak position when your refutations are: "You don't know what you're talking about!" and calling me a shallow individual.

 

To my point exactly. If you would have done any research at you wouldn't be using Somalia as an example of Libertarianism. A surface scraping of the situation, governance, and history almost immediately contradict Libertarianism.

 

- Somalia is a failed state. Its an example of multiple authoritarian failures. It's not an enlightened country and the "how" a country arrived at its current state is almost more important than the current environment itself. That's precisely why the Somalia argument is a strawman. It's using a current environment (which isn't accurately  described) as a basis for argument. In reality its history doesn't show a nation that adopted libertarian free market principles and then built a framework on top of those values. It is a war torn nation left for dead that has plenty of governing currently and has been ravaged in the past...

- It has massive implications of foreign interventionism intertwined with resulting civil unrest

- Vastly ignored the NAP principle on about every front possible

 

 

Also you conflate anarchism and Libertarianism. The idea that you said "no rule of law" and equated it to libertarianism shows you didn't even read the link I posted nor have an understanding of what a libertarian state would look like. Government has a function in society and that's clearly outlined in the framework of the libertarian party. L is more about how government should be structured and not about whether it should or shouldn't exist.

 

A better example of the benefits a libertarian (and capitalistic) framework can provide is Botswana. Compare this country to its struggling neighbor Zimbabwe who shares an almost identical historical context. Hong Kong is also a decent example of what free market .

 

I and most libertarians don't argue for some non-government state. I think most people look to the Constitution as a good starting point. The principles enshrined there are generally something most people agree upon. Yet the methodology and adherence to the Constitution is something both Rep and Dem have pretty much left by the way side.

 

You have agreed in other posts that you generally agree with the Constitution, but have also said that this adherence doesn't and most likely wont ever exist. And this gets to my original question of "why aren't you?". The simplest explanation is that we choose not to elect individuals who will back these values. Again....why? If people are able to look past Trumps antics and cross party lines to avoid someone like Sanders you think they would be able to do the same with the Libertarian party. I guess it comes down to marketing and the "effectiveness" you feel your individual vote carries.

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I am not a Libertarian, but I am a libertarian. By this definition: Who is a libertarian?

 

"A libertarian is a person who believes that no one has the right, under any circumstances, to initiate force against another human being for any reason whatever; nor will a libertarian advocate the initiation of force, or delegate it to anyone else. Those who act consistently with this principle are libertarians, whether they realize it or not. Those who fail to act consistently with it are not libertarians, regardless of what they may claim."

 

The reason I am not a Libertarian is that in my experience with the Libertarian Party it is inhabited by few libertarians.  Bob Barr FFS!

 

Also I think that politics is downstream from culture.  You can't fight politics with politics, but if you change the culture politics will take care of itself.  I fully believe that if a Libertarian Party candidate were ever elected president he would be just as horrible as the presidents that have preceded him and it would set the libertarian movement back a generation or more.  The system will not allow a president to change it.  Look at the last 3 presidents.  Bush campaigned on a "humble foreign policy" and against regime change, and just look what he did.  Obama campaigned on ending Bush's wars, then turned out to be twice the war criminal that Bush was.  Trump campaigned on ending the war in Afghanistan, that hasn't happened.  A Libertarian will be no different.  The system is what it is.  You can't change it from within.

 

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So we can argue what a libertarian state "looks like". Personally I see libertarian principles devolving into hypocrisy. Libertarians want limited government until it clashes with other libertarian principles such as freedom of individuals and free markets and all that. It makes this lovely damn assumption that nobody would ever monopolize a market in a society with limited government intervention, right? How quaint!

 

But to answer what I think is the key question:

 

You have agreed in other posts that you generally agree with the Constitution, but have also said that this adherence doesn't and most likely wont ever exist. And this gets to my original question of "why aren't you?". The simplest explanation is that we choose not to elect individuals who will back these values. Again....why? If people are able to look past Trumps antics and cross party lines to avoid someone like Sanders you think they would be able to do the same with the Libertarian party. I guess it comes down to marketing and the "effectiveness" you feel your individual vote carries.

 

I agree with some of the principles. Individual freedoms, generally free markets, peaceful foreign policy, effective government, etc etc etc. The part I disagree STRONGLY is in the implementation of these principles into a real life society. When you get a power vacuum, big interest suck it up and monopolize it. This has been the story of almost every human society I am aware of. I'd rather that interest be a democratic government rather than anything else.

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  • 2 weeks later...

So we can argue what a libertarian state "looks like". Personally I see libertarian principles devolving into hypocrisy. Libertarians want limited government until it clashes with other libertarian principles such as freedom of individuals and free markets and all that. It makes this lovely damn assumption that nobody would ever monopolize a market in a society with limited government intervention, right? How quaint!

 

But to answer what I think is the key question:

 

You have agreed in other posts that you generally agree with the Constitution, but have also said that this adherence doesn't and most likely wont ever exist. And this gets to my original question of "why aren't you?". The simplest explanation is that we choose not to elect individuals who will back these values. Again....why? If people are able to look past Trumps antics and cross party lines to avoid someone like Sanders you think they would be able to do the same with the Libertarian party. I guess it comes down to marketing and the "effectiveness" you feel your individual vote carries.

 

I agree with some of the principles. Individual freedoms, generally free markets, peaceful foreign policy, effective government, etc etc etc. The part I disagree STRONGLY is in the implementation of these principles into a real life society. When you get a power vacuum, big interest suck it up and monopolize it. This has been the story of almost every human society I am aware of. I'd rather that interest be a democratic government rather than anything else.

 

Why are we arguing over what a libertarian state would look like? All modern libertarians in the US were essentially inspired by 19th century America. 99% of what they want is basically identical to 19th century America and most of their arguments reference it. I've heard people use slavery as an argument against it...but the answer to that is to just exclude the South than or the era before the civil war...either way its pretty clear that a society with a very small government is feasible. The real question is whether 19th century America style governance could work today. My view is that it mostly could but you lose a lot...storm drainage, interstate highway system, FDA, consumer protection standards etc...whether these could be replaced by private sector equivalents is a good question. My view is that for certain things like storm drainage its very difficult. On the other hand the interstate highway system given what is possible now with electronic toll roads would be easy and vastly more effective since traffic would cease to exist e.g. 407 toll road.

 

As for market monopolies...I think its a really bad argument against libertarianism. There are no market monopolies that lasted. At the beginning of the 19th century you can examine who the big rich people are....you look at the end of the century and none of these people had that power. And the nineteenth century had no regulations to prevent monopolies . YOu can do the same for the 20th century. On the other hand the Ghandi's (original Nehrus) have had a near monopoly in political power in India for over 50 years.

 

Market monopolies are also extremely limited in terms of power. Bill Gates at his height had the power to do what exactly?! If Bill Gates had a personal vendetta against me what exactly would or could he do? Nothing. If the democratically elected politician Hitler had a vendetta against you what could he do...send you to a gas chamber, have you assassinated etc.  The current Prime Minister of India has presided over the slaughtering of women and children and HE STILL GOT ELECTED. Political power has caused more deaths in the 20th century than almost anything I can think of. Giving more power to politicians because you fear economic monopolists is equivalent to having a convicted pedophile babysit your kids. It makes zero sense. Political power is vastly more dangerous than economic power and the death toll of politicians claiming political power precisely to rein in economic power is staggering. Some examples:

 

1) Sri Lankan civil war was fought to rein in economic power of Tamils

2) Hitler asked for political power to reign in the economic power of the Jews

3) Stalin, Mao, all the communist dictators I don't have to explain

4) Uganda expelled Indians to reign in their economic power. They were one percent and controlled 90% of wealth

5) Malaysia has riots against Chinese because the Chinese are rich

6) Numerous pogroms against Jews had economic reasons as strong instigators

7) Hutus against Tutsis was largely because of this

 

And on and on it goes. Many communities were very peaceful before democracy started up. Sri Lanka is a good example. When it gained independence there was no strife between the Sinhalese and the Tamils. It was S. W. R. D. Bandaranaike who instigate strife to advance his political career and most of his arguments were about reigning in economic power.

 

There also tonnes of unintended consequences that on one really tallies up when they look at how politicians use their power. For instance, the legacy of segregation is largely a result of federal loan guarantees. Somehow any time a lefty uses their political power to cause these type of problems its not talked about as if it has nothing to do with progressive politics. BUT IT DOES. Racial strife, war, segration, death and poverty have regularly been the outcomes of progressive politics and economic populism.

 

 

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I always wonder why the libertarians have such a hard-on for a century where blacks, women, non-christians, homosexuals, immigrants, etc. were all 2nd class citizens. An era of manifest destiny (killing indians and mexicans for their land), prohibition, political machines, and a freaking civil war. This is the free utopia? 

 

It's sad to say but it really is no surprise that the libertarian party is stereotyped as basement-dwelling white men. They were the only group benefiting during the 1800s!

 

The rest of your post is one giant assumption that political power and corruption could never occur in a pure, free libertarian society. According to you, economic monopolies would exist, but this would never translate into a political faction.  ::)

 

I do find it hilarious that you can trace the origins of segregation to federal loan guarantees and not the centuries of slavery preceding it. That is some next-level mental gymnastics.

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I always wonder why the libertarians have such a hard-on for a century where blacks, women, non-christians, homosexuals, immigrants, etc. were all 2nd class citizens. An era of manifest destiny (killing indians and mexicans for their land), prohibition, political machines, and a freaking civil war. This is the free utopia? 

It's sad to say but it really is no surprise that the libertarian party is stereotyped as basement-dwelling white men. They were the only group benefiting during the 1800s!

 

That's a great argument against a lot of things...socialism (designed by extremely racist anti-semetic white people like Bakunin, Proudhon, Marx), science (designed by white Europeans in a time of slavery, war and violence), Yoga/Meditation (designed by an insanely oppressive priestly class) etc. In fact you would be left with very little of value in any society if our by was whether the ideas or proposals came from people who lived in eras where bad things happened or where things were great for one particular group at the expense of someone else. This of course includes progressive politics and the regulatory welfare state model since this was designed by white people and explicitly for them at a time when things were great for them.

 

I also fine the argument very odd if you examine it closely. If I try to extract the implicit assumptions of your argument...there are two:

1) We should be suspicious of any system or idea if it came from an era where things were good for one particular group at the expense of another

2) We should judge the merits of ideas by who is predominantly advocating for them at a particular time. In particular if the people are disfavored identity groups (whites, men, etc) we should view it as a bad thing and if they are favored (gays, women, immigrants) its a good thing.

 

Your argument is pretty much is arguing for judging ideas based on identity politics. Here is the problem with that...take Yoga for example. Yoga was designed by male Brahmin priests at a time when things were horrible for women and really great for male Brahmin priests (maybe 1% of the population). So we should be suspicious of Yoga because of that fact. And yet the majority of Yoga practitioners in the West today are women. So since women are a favored identity group in your system, Yoga is a good thing. So which is it...is yoga good or bad. Are vegetarianism bad because Hitler advocated it? Is the scout movement bad because of its associations with anti-semetic racist German pedophiles?

 

A system for making these judgements based on identity politics is incoherent and has no merit.

 

The rest of your post is one giant assumption that political power and corruption could never occur in a pure, free libertarian society. According to you, economic monopolies would exist, but this would never translate into a political faction.  ::)

 

I didn't assume anything....I made an argument against your original argument (laizzez-faire leads to monopolies) and gave historical facts to support it. You did assume your own original argument was obviously true while presenting zero evidence for it and when confronted with the history have switched to a totally different argument (economic power leads to political power)...and your support for your new argument is what exactly? Historical facts? Examples....nope...your argument is an eye roll emoji. Your previous argument was:

 

It makes this lovely damn assumption that nobody would ever monopolize a market in a society with limited government intervention, right? How quaint!

 

So lets see two arguments with the massive and irrefutable factual evidence of ,the word "damn", "How quaint" and an eye-roll emoji. Here is my factual refutation of that:  ???,  :o. 

 

As for your second argument, I don't think I ever made an assumption that political corruption could never occur in a libertarian state. In fact, I would concede that political corruption in many areas was much much greater in the 19th century than today but I would say its mostly due to the spoils system and an excess of democracy (the government BY the people part). I can go into the spoils system at length and how it caused political corruption but that's a long discussion. The main advantage of libertarianism is it limits the damage of corruption since it limits what government can do. A corrupt government that only spends 5% of GDP has much less opportunity to be corrupt than one which spend 40% of GDP. It also limits the temptation to be corrupt since the gains are much smaller and the power much less...it doesn't make much sense to go into politics to be corrupt if there is little power you have in the first place you can use to your advantage.

 

But I really wonder at your logic...your basically saying that to prevent politicians from being corrupt we should give them more power. So you think more power leads to less corruption and that also would imply that less power would lead to more corruption. I would cite examples to contradict you but there are way too many...most of history (Stalin, Hitler), literature, pop-culture, fantasy (LOTR), culture, most of what has happened to this point to humanity argues in the opposite direction...that more power leads to more corruption.

 

I do find it hilarious that you can trace the origins of segregation to federal loan guarantees and not the centuries of slavery preceding it. That is some next-level mental gymnastics.

 

You can invoke slavery to explain racial segregation in the South but the North didn't have that history and yet Northern cities are also racially segregated. The other problem is the history....many areas were actually less racially segregated in 30's than they are today. If your going to invoke slavery that racial segregation should go down as the proximity to it both spacially and temporally increases but that is not what happened. It got worse over time not better. Anyways its not libertarian minded people making the argument that government mortgage policies lead to racial segregation....its liberals arguing for reparations and against racial-redlining. See this article:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/how-federal-government-intentionally-racially-segregated-american-cities-180963494/

 

A quote from the article:

In Langston Hughes’ autobiography, he describes how he lived in an integrated neighborhood in Cleveland. His best friend in high school was Polish. He dated a Jewish girl. That neighborhood in Cleveland was razed by the WPA, which built two segregated [ones], one for African-Americans, one for whites. The Depression gave the stimulus for the first civilian public housing to be built. Were it not for that policy, many of these cities might have developed with a different residential pattern.

 

I would also point out that free market economics works against segregation and discrimination very strongly since both are economically costly and need to be enforced. This explains why one of the first cases against segregation laws was supported by a business:

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plessy_v._Ferguson

On June 7, 1892, Plessy bought a first-class ticket at the Press Street Depot and boarded a "Whites Only" car of the East Louisiana Railroad in New Orleans, Louisiana, bound for Covington, Louisiana.[11] The railroad company, which had opposed the law on the grounds that it would require the purchase of more railcars, had been previously informed of Plessy's racial lineage, and the intent to challenge the law

 

Now you have to think about what was going on here. The company was the East Louisana Railroad company. It obviously must have been run by southerns who were very racist. But profits came before group identity and so they were fighting against their own social and cultural inclinations because they wanted to make a buck. Not because they valued justice, fairness and equality. Just for the love of the all-mighty dollar. This isn't an anomaly...most large businesses essentially made the same argument again and again..."sure we support segregation and we are all for it obviously but we don't think its fair that we should have to bare the costs for it."

 

Incidentally the argument that this is how capitalism ends up working is the themes of Adam Smith. He made the point that feudal landlords did many things for short-term monetary gain but had the unintended consequence of hugely undermining their long term social position by fueling the rise of a competing class of merchants. His point was that in pursuing their own advantage people often caused beneficial social changes that they never intended and that we could count on this motive more than we could altrustic feelings to provide societal benefit.

 

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Oh boy. I will say, there is value in brevity.

 

Your argument is pretty much is arguing for judging ideas based on identity politics

You're going in circles.

 

These are your words:

 

Why are we arguing over what a libertarian state would look like? All modern libertarians in the US were essentially inspired by 19th century America. 99% of what they want is basically identical to 19th century America and most of their arguments reference it.

 

If you're going to point to the 19th century as what a libertarian state would look like, then criticism of the 19th century is fair game.

 

But I really wonder at your logic...your basically saying that to prevent politicians from being corrupt we should give them more power

 

No, my argument is that we ring-fence them into a set of laws so there is only so much potential damage. Term limits, "trust-busting". Things to prevent monopolized industry.

 

The libertarian argument to limit corruption is to privatize it.

 

If your going to invoke slavery that racial segregation should go down as the proximity to it both spacially and temporally increases but that is not what happened

And I did no such thing. I said decades of slavery contributed more to segregation in the South than federal loans.

 

It obviously must have been run by southerns who were very racist. But profits came before group identity and so they were fighting against their own social and cultural inclinations because they wanted to make a buck. Not because they valued justice, fairness and equality.

 

They objected on moral grounds:

 

Railroad officials proved surprisingly cooperative. The first one approached, however, confesses that his road "did not enforce the law." It provided the Jim Crow car and posted the sign required by law, but told its conductors to molest no one who ignored instructions. Officers of two other railroads "said the law was a bad and mean one; they would like to get rid of it," and asked for time to consult counsel. "The want to help us," said Martinet [a young lawyer/physician/editor who helped organize the resistance to Jim Crow in New Orleans], "but dread public opinion."

 

But I agree there is a danger that government succumbs to private bias. However as you can see, this type of discrimination is now illegal and it was federal law which made it so. Currently it is the private institutions trying to bring it back (Colorado bakeries for example).

 

free market economics works against segregation and discrimination very strongly since both are economically costly and need to be enforced

I agree discrimination is costly. The question is who pays the cost. Monopolies, oligopolies, can extract this cost from the customer. The question here is, what is the best way to keep markets competitive. That it seems is where we disagree.

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If you're going to point to the 19th century as what a libertarian state would look like, then criticism of the 19th century is fair game.

 

Your not arguing about the state or its achievements. You argued that the libertarian state is suspect because it existed at a time when white people were doing well and because the libertarian party is filled with white people. Do you even believe the stuff you write?

 

I always wonder why the libertarians have such a hard-on for a century where blacks, women, non-christians, homosexuals, immigrants, etc. were all 2nd class citizens...It's sad to say but it really is no surprise that the libertarian party is stereotyped as basement-dwelling white men. They were the only group benefiting during the 1800s!

 

If you want to look at the record of the 19th century (not its state at one point in time) be my guest but its record is actually pretty good: right to vote for blacks, women, huge economic, technological and social progress and few people benefited more than immigrants (Irish, Polish, Italians, Jews etc).

 

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At the risk of appearing even more abrasive, I feel like you're all over the map. Should we be looking at the 19th century as an example of the libertarian ideal, or not?

 

At first it was, "Yes, if we exclude the bad stuff"

 

Then it was, "No, that's identity politics"

 

And now it's back to, "Yes, actually the 19th century was pretty great for everyone"

 

Well which is it? Because I've got real problems with calling the 1800s the ideal society.

 

And if this isn't it, then my initial question stands: What do we think a libertarian society would look like? Because I do think it devolves into privatized corruption.

 

But if the underlying question here is, "how do we improve society" I will say I agree with rk here when he said, "You can't fight politics with politics, but if you change the culture politics will take care of itself"

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"The worst part is that Rand *KNEW* he'd been directly exposed weeks ago at a Speed Museum event where multiple prominent people tested positive. It's been all over KY media for weeks. He refused to self-quarantine."

 

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