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Libertarianism seems to be a self-defeating policy

Hoplite

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This is something I cant help but come back to time and time again.

I cant seem to shake the feeling that Libertarianism is a self-defeating policy. On it's surface, it seems a very self-deterministic, self-driven, self-reliant kind of ideology; Websters defines it as "a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action." And that's an interesting belief that I think most of us can get behind, but when I see Libertarianism being used as a political identifier I get a little...antsy.

A repeating facet of Libertarianism is a shrinkage of government to disperse what Libertarians see as a government with too much power and control. Another repeated line is that the government's function is to preserve liberty and protect the rights of individuals. The problem is these are conflicting positions.

If you want someone to protect you, you need to give them the power and authority to do so otherwise they'll be able to do nothing for you. Wanting to have the government in the sort of policeman role is fine, but if you try to take it's ability to enforce the rules and consequences then you'll have an impotent government.

If I'm missing something, let me know. But it seems to me that Libertarianism is a self-defeating policy.
 

spud_meister

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I believe that they want the government to protect their liberties, but not tell them how to use them, so keep the police, and the army etc. but get rid of stupid laws that regulate daily life, and keep only the laws that prevent a person harming another. I think that's what it is.
 

Hoplite

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You still need a concentration of power to ensure and protect your rights.
 

spud_meister

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They don't advocate a removal of centralised power, they just don't want it to exceed the minimum needed to ensure their rights remain inviolate.
 

Hoplite

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They don't advocate a removal of centralised power, they just don't want it to exceed the minimum needed to ensure their rights remain inviolate.
Who gets to draw that line and where does it get drawn?
 

spud_meister

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Who gets to draw that line and where does it get drawn?
Well, I presume it would be drawn where the laws go from protecting rights to infringing them, to say that they restrict what an individual can do to, or by themselves. To go with the recent libertarian automobile thread, a libertarian government would make it that your brakes have to be in working order, which if they're not is a risk to other people, but not that you have to wear a seatbelt, which is a personal risk.
 

Hoplite

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Well, I presume it would be drawn where the laws go from protecting rights to infringing them, to say that they restrict what an individual can do to, or by themselves. To go with the recent libertarian automobile thread, a libertarian government would make it that your brakes have to be in working order, which if they're not is a risk to other people, but not that you have to wear a seatbelt, which is a personal risk.
But where does it stop? Do you have the right to clean water? If so, you need regulation and oversight to ensure that. Do you have the right to know what is in your food? Again, you need regulation and oversight to enforce that. With all this comes government and if the government doesnt have the authority or power to enforce the rules, the rules will be broken.
 

spud_meister

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But where does it stop? Do you have the right to clean water? If so, you need regulation and oversight to ensure that. Do you have the right to know what is in your food? Again, you need regulation and oversight to enforce that. With all this comes government and if the government doesnt have the authority or power to enforce the rules, the rules will be broken.
For that, you'll have to ask an actual libertarian, I'm not sure where they stand on things like that.
 

FederalRepublic

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This is something I cant help but come back to time and time again.

I cant seem to shake the feeling that Libertarianism is a self-defeating policy. On it's surface, it seems a very self-deterministic, self-driven, self-reliant kind of ideology; Websters defines it as "a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action." And that's an interesting belief that I think most of us can get behind, but when I see Libertarianism being used as a political identifier I get a little...antsy.

A repeating facet of Libertarianism is a shrinkage of government to disperse what Libertarians see as a government with too much power and control. Another repeated line is that the government's function is to preserve liberty and protect the rights of individuals. The problem is these are conflicting positions.

If you want someone to protect you, you need to give them the power and authority to do so otherwise they'll be able to do nothing for you. Wanting to have the government in the sort of policeman role is fine, but if you try to take it's ability to enforce the rules and consequences then you'll have an impotent government.

If I'm missing something, let me know. But it seems to me that Libertarianism is a self-defeating policy.
Oxygen is necessary for life, but too much of it is toxic. Similarly, rules are necessary for personal liberty to exist, but too much is toxic.
 

Hoplite

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Oxygen is necessary for life, but too much of it is toxic. Similarly, rules are necessary for personal liberty to exist, but too much is toxic.
That's a nice slogan, but it doesnt actually answer anything.
 

PeteEU

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I believe that they want the government to protect their liberties, but not tell them how to use them, so keep the police, and the army etc. but get rid of stupid laws that regulate daily life, and keep only the laws that prevent a person harming another. I think that's what it is.
In other words they want to live in Somalia?
 

PeteEU

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'cause the Somali government is insuring peoples rights aren't violated. :roll:
Who said anything about rights?

You said

I believe that they want the government to protect their liberties, but not tell them how to use them, so keep the police, and the army etc. but get rid of stupid laws that regulate daily life, and keep only the laws that prevent a person harming another. I think that's what it is.
Somalia has police/army/militias/pirates that protect the population (for a price of course) and people are pretty much left to themselves. There are no stupid laws, because there is no legislative branch to make or even enforce any laws. There is defacto laws preventing a person harming others.. a gun to the head.

So.. somalia must be paradise no?

If you dont like Somalia, then take any other 3rd world country with next to no government and where people can do anything they want.
 

spud_meister

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Somalia has police/army/militias/pirates that protect the population (for a price of course) and people are pretty much left to themselves. There are no stupid laws, because there is no legislative branch to make or even enforce any laws. There is defacto laws preventing a person harming others.. a gun to the head.

So.. somalia must be paradise no?

If you dont like Somalia, then take any other 3rd world country with next to no government and where people can do anything they want.
No, like you said, de facto laws, not legislation and no legislative branch, the situation in Somalia is an ineffective government, and armed rebellion, a libertarian society would be an effective government that stays within pre-defined limits, and a peaceful population that isn't in armed rebellion.
 

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No, like you said, de facto laws, not legislation and no legislative branch, the situation in Somalia is an ineffective government, and armed rebellion, a libertarian society would be an effective government that stays within pre-defined limits, and a peaceful population that isn't in armed rebellion.
Okay what are those "pre-defined limits"? The US constitution? Natural law? Or a new set of laws?

And what about issues like abortion, homosexuals and so on? What is the stance of a libertarian society on such issues?

So far the only thing I have seen from Libertarianism is a huge amount of lack of humanity and egotistical behaviour .. a ME ME ME political ideology basically.
 

American

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Okay what are those "pre-defined limits"? The US constitution? Natural law? Or a new set of laws?

And what about issues like abortion, homosexuals and so on? What is the stance of a libertarian society on such issues?

So far the only thing I have seen from Libertarianism is a huge amount of lack of humanity and egotistical behaviour .. a ME ME ME political ideology basically.
That's hilarious.
 
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spud_meister

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Okay what are those "pre-defined limits"? The US constitution? Natural law? Or a new set of laws?

And what about issues like abortion, homosexuals and so on? What is the stance of a libertarian society on such issues?

So far the only thing I have seen from Libertarianism is a huge amount of lack of humanity and egotistical behaviour .. a ME ME ME political ideology basically.
Well, if we're talking about libertarians in America, one would presume it would be the constitution, and a new set of laws to have minimal impact on a persons life.

For that, you'd have to ask a libertarian, though I presume the philosophy for gays would be 'live and let live' or something to that effect.

Some libertarians do have an a-moral idea of society, but I also like some of the ideas.
 

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If I'm missing something, let me know. But it seems to me that Libertarianism is a self-defeating policy.
You are missing something in that you appear to be equating liberarianism to anarchism; which is incorrect. We do not say "no government", we say "small, responsible government". Thus there is still government in existence and you can have police and courts which are dedicated to the preservation of freedom and liberty.
 
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MKULTRABOY

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Is it just me or is this libertarian crap as naive as marxism.

That's hilarious.
How you seem to the rest of the planet as a libertarian is hilarious. But then after a while it gets very sad.
 

ReverendHellh0und

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This is something I cant help but come back to time and time again.

I cant seem to shake the feeling that Libertarianism is a self-defeating policy. On it's surface, it seems a very self-deterministic, self-driven, self-reliant kind of ideology; Websters defines it as "a person who upholds the principles of individual liberty especially of thought and action." And that's an interesting belief that I think most of us can get behind, but when I see Libertarianism being used as a political identifier I get a little...antsy.

A repeating facet of Libertarianism is a shrinkage of government to disperse what Libertarians see as a government with too much power and control. Another repeated line is that the government's function is to preserve liberty and protect the rights of individuals. The problem is these are conflicting positions.

If you want someone to protect you, you need to give them the power and authority to do so otherwise they'll be able to do nothing for you. Wanting to have the government in the sort of policeman role is fine, but if you try to take it's ability to enforce the rules and consequences then you'll have an impotent government.

If I'm missing something, let me know. But it seems to me that Libertarianism is a self-defeating policy.



No thank you, I am more than capable of protecting myself. Thanks!



Your premise fails on it's outset.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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In other words they want to live in Somalia?
Somalia is a quasi religious state, where the legal and religious system are sometimes intertwined.
Not only that but they are suffered from the fallout of a dictatorship and war with a neighboring country, equating that with libertarianism, is at best dishonest.
 

Harry Guerrilla

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Is it just me or is this libertarian crap as naive as marxism.



How you seem to the rest of the planet as a libertarian is hilarious. But then after a while it gets very sad.
Not really, because in many places, it does and has existed.
The same can't be said for a true Marxist country.
 

MKULTRABOY

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Not really, because in many places, it does and has existed.
The same can't be said for a true Marxist country.
Did rev thank your post cause he admits that there has never been a true marxist country and all such labeled countries are non-democratic deformed mutations of it?

Also... I didnt mean to say 'crap' in my previous post. Srry. Ima try to re-spekt mo'
 

Hoplite

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You are missing something in that you appear to be equating liberarianism to anarchism; which is incorrect. We do not say "no government", we say "small, responsible government". Thus there is still government in existence and you can have police and courts which are dedicated to the preservation of freedom and liberty.
Once you reach a certain size of government though, isnt a small government effectively the same thing as no government?

Take the US before we were the US, when we were still basically a loose confederation and power was spread out among state governments. It was a disaster because the federal government could not wield the power it needed to do it's job and the states had so much power they refused to cooperate.
 
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