My Actual Libertarian Experience

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Re: My Actual Libertarian Experience

Post by Red » Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:18 am

Lay Vegan wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:53 am
I like to vet my sources. :D
I probably would've been able to guess that, I'm wondering how I didn't figure that out sooner.
Lay Vegan wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:53 am
I think I have an old thread on NAP being incompatible with consequentialist ethics.
I'd figure most Libertarian ideals are pretty incompatible with consequentialist ethics.
Lay Vegan wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:53 am
I don’t know what “pure libertarian” or “left libertarian” mean.
Well, I think I talked about this, but I'll expand on it a bit more.

If you're a left Libertarian, you support things such as Universal Healthcare, Social Programs, Scientific and Medical Advancement, infrastructure, etc., and are generally in support of big government, but believe the government should keep out of issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion, drug use, etc. A right libertarian is basically the opposite, along with supporting things like Wars and war on drugs and things like that. (Think the recent George Bush, a big government conservative)

'Pure' Libertarian is a term I made up, it basically just refers to any libertarian who is not aligned with the left or right in terms of their libertarianism. That is, a pure Libertarian doesn't support social programs, but also no war on drugs, etc. You know what I'm sayin' dawg?
Lay Vegan wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:53 am
What I do know is that the unquestioning assertion that free-market capitalism alone will ameliorate various social & economic problems like poverty, health care, and climate change is pure fantasy. There are no real-world examples of unfettered free market economies, and the few historical cases that do exist lead to economic collapse. Pre-Great Depression U.S. anyone? I know, not quite free-market, but free enough for banks and food processing plants etc. to monopolize their markets and actively violate consumer interests. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Deal
I don't think any rational person would deny that government intervention in situations like that is a necessity... unless you're a libertarian ideologue.

Adam Smith had interesting ideas for how a free-market would create a utopian-like society, but it just doesn't work, or it just doesn't work for the benefit of all.
Lay Vegan wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 2:53 am
I support capitalism because the evidence supports it. I will support free-market capitalism (anarcho-capitalism?) when I am provided good evidence it would work.
Anarcho-Capitalism can work in theory, though I don't suspect the consequences would be desirable. I mean, unless we are to breathe through air tanks, as some An-Caps say, about 50% of the world's population would die. ;)
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Post by Lay Vegan » Thu Apr 25, 2019 5:06 pm

Red wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:18 am
If you're a left Libertarian, you support things such as Universal Healthcare, Social Programs, Scientific and Medical Advancement, infrastructure, etc., and are generally in support of big government, but believe the government should keep out of issues such as same-sex marriage, abortion, drug use, etc. A right libertarian is basically the opposite, along with supporting things like Wars and war on drugs and things like that. (Think the recent George Bush, a big government conservative)
That sounds self-contradictory.

Libertarianism is a collection of social and political philosophies predicated on maximum freedom of the individual and minimum of authority of government. Whereas leftists typically support equality and oppose social hierarchies.

It only makes sense therefore, that left libertarianism would generally oppose state authority as the alleged originator of all social inequalities. Wouldn’t a left libertarian argue that the vast economic and health disparities found between populations are both caused and tolerated by tyrannical state authority? It’s virtually interchangeable with conventional libertarianism, but generally opposed to mainstream leftism (as left libertarians would argue that social inequity is both created and perpetuated by an unfree market).

To clarify: What would be a left-libertarian’s solution to climate change? Levying carbon taxes? Promote companies with lower than average carbon emissions (and let the market work its magic)?

Let’s assume that the former is true. It would certainly help to protect the well-being of marginalized groups, people living in developing countries, and the poor, but what of promoting state intervention within a philosophy that believes state regulations withhold our freedoms rather than protect them? Rather, if the former is true, then the entire libertarian framework crumbles fast, as such is proof that unfettered free markets restrict individual freedom as much as unfettered state authority does.

Let me know if I'm being too myopic in this discussion. Libertarianism seems to be far too convoluted and loosely defined for me at times.
Red wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:18 am
I don't think any rational person would deny that government intervention in situations like that is a necessity... unless you're a libertarian ideologue.
big government conservative)
Perhaps a new term would clarify things better. Or maybe just embrace capitalism? Or call yourself a liberal? :roll:
Red wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:18 am
Adam Smith had interesting ideas for how a free-market would create a utopian-like society, but it just doesn't work, or it just doesn't work for the benefit of all.
When economists reach a consensus on that, I'll be on board. :D

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Post by PhilRisk » Fri Apr 26, 2019 3:10 am

Red wrote:
Mon Apr 22, 2019 10:18 am

Adam Smith had interesting ideas for how a free-market would create a utopian-like society, but it just doesn't work, or it just doesn't work for the benefit of all.
Is Adam Smith regularly read as proclaiming, that free-market, leads to a utopia?
This interpretation seems to be not really adequate.

Adam Smith was not generally against government interventions and was very empathetic about basing decisions upon moral considerations. The simple libertarian image of him is simply misunderstanding or illiteracy. One reason might be that Smith was not successful in formulating a theory of justice and one might misunderstand his skepticism towards political intervention as being against the end of it. He was more skeptical about politicians being wiser than ordinary people in making moral decisions. But he emphasized on cultivating virtues.

What was groundbreaking was his analysis of ungoverned interactions leaving to greater wealth. However, not in some sort of necessity and utopian society. He was against, what one might call micro-management of economic transaction, because he noted that interventions have many unintended consequences.

See for a long article on his moral and political views:
"Smith did not favor as hands-off an approach as some of his self-proclaimed followers do today—he believed that states could and should re-distribute wealth to some degree, and defend the poor and disadvantaged against those who wield power over them in the private sector"
https://plato.stanford.edu/entries/smit ... political/

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Post by Red » Sun May 05, 2019 12:53 pm

@PhilRisk Well, I didn't mean utopia in the colloquial sense, I meant it more like in the 'things are as they should be sense.' I know we wasn't a *super* hardcore libertarian like some people are, but he almost definitely wanted minimal government as possible in regards to capitalism.

@Lay Vegan Z says your interpretation of left-libertarianism is wrong and mine is right so discuss with him.
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Post by Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz » Sun May 05, 2019 6:43 pm

Red wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 12:53 pm

@Lay Vegan Z says your interpretation of left-libertarianism is wrong and mine is right so discuss with him.
No I didn't. I said you were both correct.
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Post by PhilRisk » Mon May 06, 2019 12:34 pm

Red wrote:
Sun May 05, 2019 12:53 pm
@PhilRisk Well, I didn't mean utopia in the colloquial sense, I meant it more like in the 'things are as they should be sense.' I know we wasn't a *super* hardcore libertarian like some people are, but he almost definitely wanted minimal government as possible in regards to capitalism.
I think Smith was quite pragmatic about minimal government. He simply thought, that government is not competent in many regards, especially in teaching virtue, which is better seen as a general social task and needs the practice of decision making. The question of minimal government for Smith is a question of suitability and not one of freedom rights. "as possible" then means as adequate, which means the government is basically restricted to "defense and administration of justice". However, there might be problems not known or prevalent and that time, that this view is necessarily limited, which I would suppose not surprise Adam Smith (e. g. ecologic problems).
This resembles the reading you can find in the linked Stanford Encyclopedia Article.

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Post by Lay Vegan » Mon May 06, 2019 2:28 pm

@PhilRisk Thanks for sharing that article! Great read.

Smith’s views do seem to be in slight opposition with modern libertarians.
Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy wrote:But he does not say that the enforcement of justice is the sole job of government. The third of the tasks he gives to government in WN consists in “maintaining and erecting” a broad range of “publick works and … publick institutions” for the good of the whole society (WN 687–8). In TMS, the chapter often quoted as claiming that justice is the only virtue that may be enforced actually maintains only that “kindness or beneficence, … cannot, among equals, be extorted by force” (TMS 81)...Smith did not favor as hands-off an approach as some of his self-proclaimed followers do today—he believed that states could and should re-distribute wealth to some degree, and defend the poor and disadvantaged against those who wield power over them in the private sector (see Fleischacker 2004, § 57)—but he certainly wanted the state to end all policies, common in his mercantilist day, designed to favor industry over agriculture, or some industries over others.
Smith was clearly a staunch advocate of the private enterprise system, but he actively supported government intervention where necessary to protect public interests.
PhilRisk wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 12:34 pm
The question of minimal government for Smith is a question of suitability and not one of freedom rights.
Thank you, that's quite significant.

Do you think Smith would likely disagree with modern libertarians’ axiom of natural rights? I wonder if Smith would accept the non-aggression principle?

This is where I believe modern libertarians are wrong. They understand freedom almost exclusively in terms of freedom from government, not recognizing that unfettered capitalism -- their beloved free market economy -- can be just as great a threat to freedom as government intervention. Laissez-faire capitalism both propagates and tolerates monopolies, which only constrains consumer behavior. It also forbids the government from mitigating the harms of profit incentives.

Am I truly free in a world where food processing plants may avoid health codes and and refuse to sanitize equipment? Surely illness and death act as a restriction to my freedom as well?

@PsYcHo You still around? What are your thoughts?
PhilRisk wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 12:34 pm
"as possible" then means as adequate, which means the government is basically restricted to "defense and administration of justice”.
Right, which Smith clearly didn’t promote.

I definitely subscribe to libertarianism in the classical sense, but I cannot call myself a libertarian in the modern sense because I reject utopianism, the NAP, and I'm not convinced of natural rights.

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Post by PhilRisk » Tue May 07, 2019 12:01 pm

Lay Vegan wrote:
Mon May 06, 2019 2:28 pm

Do you think Smith would likely disagree with modern libertarians’ axiom of natural rights? I wonder if Smith would accept the non-aggression principle?

This is where I believe modern libertarians are wrong. They understand freedom almost exclusively in terms of freedom from government, not recognizing that unfettered capitalism -- their beloved free market economy -- can be just as great a threat to freedom as government intervention. Laissez-faire capitalism both propagates and tolerates monopolies, which only constrains consumer behavior. It also forbids the government from mitigating the harms of profit incentives.
Smith actually formulated something which somehow resembles a no-harm-principle and differentiates positive harm from beneficence. (TMS, p.78)
Actions of a hurtful tendency, which proceed from improper motives, seem alone to deserve punishment; because such alone are the approved objects of resentment, or excite the sympathetic resentment of the spectator.
Beneficence is always free, it cannot be extorted by force, the mere want of it exposes to no punishment; because the mere want of beneficence tends to do no real positive evil. [...] The man who does not recompense his benefactor, when he has it in his power and when his benefactor needs his assistance, is, no doubt, guilty of the blackest ingratitude. He is the object of hatred [...] not of resentment [...].
One should also note that "hurtful tendency" can be read broad or narrow. One can for example say, that having a fire in my backyard is of hurtful tendency, even if only a little amount of smoke reaches my neighbors house. Or one can read it more narrow, that the harm needs to be quite direct. Same goes for economic activity. Smith relates these judgements to his concept of an impartial spectator. What would someone make out of it, who is not involved. This is build upon his theory, that humans have a faculty of moral sentiment, which is the basis of moral judgement. This is especially important, if the harm is a product of collective action, like economic activity.

Justice which Smith differentiates from beneficence is for Smith the foundation of positive law. But this might be, because he thinks that law is not effective in promoting beneficence. The philosophy of law is not completely established in Smith philosophy, therefore it is somewhat hopeless, to state this more defined.

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Post by Red » Tue May 07, 2019 7:00 pm

Hey guys the debate was finally uploaded to Youtube:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wBDR-5 ... e=youtu.be

If you want to listen to just the audio:
https://soundcloud.com/user-195520424/i ... ey-bennett
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Post by Red » Mon May 13, 2019 6:55 pm

I'm at the debate about meat eating that I said I wouldn't go to. I am ready to strangle someone.
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