Thursday, December 9

For Kathryn

Please let me know what you think of this.

On Becoming a Libertarian


Blogger Kathryn said...

It's an interesting article. I dropped religion and embraced politics as a 12-year old, so I think I have a bit of a head start on her, as far as figuring out my positions goes.

Obviously there are Libertarian positions I agree with, but I think that the same could be said for most liberals (note to the author of the article: you can't capitalize liberal unless you mean the political party, which is a very differnt thing than the liberal ideology). This is especially true on civil liberty issues like free speech and freedom of religion.

My problem ultimately with Libertarianism, especially hard core Libertarianism, is that is boils down to this: I've got mine, and I've got my gun to keep it, screw you! Simplistic yes, but Libertarianism has almost no room for compassion or an undertanding of the structure of life on earth a completely interdependent system.

One quick example. I think that arguably you could be a Libertarian who supports universal healthcare. If you really are concerned with making your own life as good as possible and not giving up your "property" without "compensation", then you could see universal healthcare as an investment on your part in the health of the system, which therefore gives you a better ability to keep and increase your property. On a practical level, no Libertarian would ever support universal healthcare, because it doesn't fit in with the short term reasoning most Libertarians subscribe to (the "screw you" mentality).

What I am trying to say here is that the reason I am not a Libertarian is not that I have insufficient knowledge about Libertarianism. The author of the article seems to be saying just that. I really have thought through my positions, I even read Anthem and Atlas Shrugged :), and Libertarianism is not for me.

11:54 AM, December 13, 2004  
Blogger Living_on_the_Edge said...

First of all, libertarianism and Ayn Rand's Objectivist philosophy are two different things.

Just as some liberals are actually Marxists, not all are, it is the same with Libertarians and Objectivism.

There are those that embrace Objectivism, and there are those that do not. I personally agree with parts of Objectivist philosophy and discount other parts, but to say that all Libertarians are Objectivists is dead wrong.

As for your views on libertarianism, let me first change a couple words in your comment.

"Liberalism, especially hard core Liberalism that is, boils down to this: I don't have want I want to have or believe is best and you do or you have the means of providing it, so I'm going to use government force against you to get it, so screw you!

Simplistic yes, but Liberalism has almost no room for disagreement in personal goals, cultural traditions or differences of opinion."

Anything missing in that? I find that rework of your words much more close to that truth than your original.

In a libertarian based political system you, and everyone else, would be free to keep your property, money, and use it how you best see fit, and if that means you want join with like minded people to create a universal healthcare system on your own so be it.

It seems to me that you do not trust anyone except yourself to do what is right.

I give a much higher percentage of my personal income to support charities I agree with than any of my so-called "liberal" acquaintances.

They all talk a good game, but they all want it to be done with OPM, Other Peoples Money, the money of the ignorant, unwashed masses as they see it. The people that they deem, socially backwards, greedy, get the picture, but the funny thing is that they seem to all earn low to mid six figure incomes, live in $400K+ homes and drive cars that cost more than my first two houses combined.

They want a factory worker who earns less than 1/2 or 1/4 the income they do to pay for their social programs, but they will spent 100s or 1000s at their CPA making sure that they don't pay a penny more than they have to.

There is a word for people like this, I like to call them Hippocrates to their faces. They tend not to like that, but I am a WYSIWYG kind of guy.

Not that you fall into that group, but if you feel strongly about an issue such as healthcare, then support it with your own money and labor.

In a libertarian society you would not be forced to send you tax dollars to support religion based organizations, endless war, or any other cause you did not believe in.

Without the government using your money to finance other peoples causes, you will have plenty to support anything you wish

I see now that your real fear is that others will only act in a self serving fashion. What amazes me is that you do not see that government is the main bad actor in this regard.

The creation of the entire US welfare system is a direct result of the government attempting to take over the economy of the country and put it in the hands of your feared robber barons..

Go back and read up on the history of Tammany Hall and Boss Tweed in the 1800s, then look closely at what FDR did during the 1930s. It was all put in place to hold a political grip on citizens, to make them dependant on the Party.

Like I said before, if you advocate one group in power taking another's property for their own purposes, then you have no say when the tides change and you are the one being robbed for programs you do not agree with such as with the War in Iraq, since you really do advocate using force to make others pay for your programs.

Tyrants are Tyrants no matter how noble their stated intentions.

Take Care

1:13 PM, December 13, 2004  

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