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  1. #11
    ^He pronks, too! Magic Poriferan's Avatar
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    Libertarianism is a minarchic philosophy. It is heavily attached to the notion of certain inalienable rights, and professes that a government's main purpose is to enforce those rights, and should be no larger than is necessary to maintain those rights in practice. As such, libertarianism is not often welcoming of government's rule in providing public goods, or regulation of commerce, because these are seen as overextensions. Like all political philosophies, there is no set point for being libertarian, rather there is just a sort of libertarian compass for figuring out if one is more or less libertarian (and this can be done on a given subject). This allows room for differences withint the category, such as some libertarian's wanting privatized roads and others wanting publics roads, or some wanting fixed currency and some not.

    If you take a libertarian set of beliefs, and remove the government altogether, you essentially have anarcho-capitalism. Where the line begins and ends is not definitive, but my opinion is that when someone says police should be privatized, they are anarcho-capitalists.

    That's my understanding of the subject, in a nutshell.

    EDIT: I realize this can be somewhat vague because I never stated what those inaliable rights are. Well, they aren't always the same, but for a general idea, just think Negative liberty - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
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  2. #12
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    It's actually the exact opposite of "Fuck you, I'm gonna get mine." The libertarian attitude is "Let's work together: I'll freely give you something I have in exchange for something I want, and you do the same." No should be fucking over others. Everyone should respect the rules and boundaries and do what they can with what they have.

    As to libertarian optimism, that is a natural trait. We can be alarmist and picayune, but the whole philosophy is predicated upon the belief that regular people can and do improve their lot through hard work, participating in markets, forming social organizations, etc. Some libertarians (especially Objectivists) celebrate rational egoism or selfishness as an ideal, but most do not. We acknowledge the fact that humans have limited resources but unlimited wants, and we believe that voluntary exchange is the best way to achieve what we can.

    For my personal situation, I am pretty broke right now. However, I do not receive any food stamps or government assistance. I knowingly entered into a very competitive job market in a city which has been hit hard by the recession. However, given the large amount of support of my family and friends, my natural talents, and my own work ethic in school and professional pursuits, I should be able to make a very good living. Many people do not have the advantages I do (even those from wealthier backgrounds), and I encourage them to continue shooting for the stars. I would be very pleased to give opportunities to the underprivileged later in life. I've volunteered at a transitional living facility in the past, and I plan on becoming a Big Brother once I am out of school, have a place of my own, and am economically self-sufficient. I hope to mentor many people in my life.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  3. #13
    No Cigar Litvyak's Avatar
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    Because of my strong pessimism regarding the abilities of individuals and self-organising communities, I'm not a huge fan of libertarianism. It's an interesting concept though, and I find it increasingly disturbing that such thoughts never take a root in post-communist countries like mine. I think libertarians are generally hard-working, resourceful and responsible individuals, whom society must respect and support. It's just that I think less capable individuals will never cooperate because of their selfish desires and interests in a semi - 'laissez faire' environment.

  4. #14
    Order Now! pure_mercury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Litvyak View Post
    Because of my strong pessimism regarding the abilities of individuals and self-organising communities, I'm not a huge fan of libertarianism. It's an interesting concept though, and I find it increasingly disturbing that such thoughts never take a root in post-communist countries like mine. I think libertarians are generally hard-working, resourceful and responsible individuals, whom society must respect and support. It's just that I think less capable individuals will never cooperate because of their selfish desires and interests in a semi - 'laissez faire' environment.

    Estonia has been ranked one of the most libertarian countries in the world the past few years. The Czech Republic does pretty well, too.
    Who wants to try a bottle of merc's "Extroversion Olive Oil?"

  5. #15
    Senior Member Fiver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    It's actually the exact opposite of "Fuck you, I'm gonna get mine." The libertarian attitude is "Let's work together: I'll freely give you something I have in exchange for something I want, and you do the same." No should be fucking over others. Everyone should respect the rules and boundaries and do what they can with what they have.

    As to libertarian optimism, that is a natural trait. We can be alarmist and picayune, but the whole philosophy is predicated upon the belief that regular people can and do improve their lot through hard work, participating in markets, forming social organizations, etc. Some libertarians (especially Objectivists) celebrate rational egoism or selfishness as an ideal, but most do not. We acknowledge the fact that humans have limited resources but unlimited wants, and we believe that voluntary exchange is the best way to achieve what we can.

    For my personal situation, I am pretty broke right now. However, I do not receive any food stamps or government assistance. I knowingly entered into a very competitive job market in a city which has been hit hard by the recession. However, given the large amount of support of my family and friends, my natural talents, and my own work ethic in school and professional pursuits, I should be able to make a very good living. Many people do not have the advantages I do (even those from wealthier backgrounds), and I encourage them to continue shooting for the stars. I would be very pleased to give opportunities to the underprivileged later in life. I've volunteered at a transitional living facility in the past, and I plan on becoming a Big Brother once I am out of school, have a place of my own, and am economically self-sufficient. I hope to mentor many people in my life.
    This is why you are one cool blue dude in my book.
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    Fiver is correct, it is freeing to not have to impress someone, to be accepted for who you really are.

  6. #16
    No Cigar Litvyak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pure_mercury View Post
    Estonia has been ranked one of the most libertarian countries in the world the past few years. The Czech Republic does pretty well, too.
    Oh, wow. That means I'll just speak for ourselves
    Thanks for the correction.

  7. #17
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    I don't think libertarianism is always about Fuck You, I'm Going To Get Mine, though I do see a lot of that on the Internet, especially from Objectivists.

    I know libertarians who think of themselves as giving, generous people and in some cases really are. Some libertarians are really caring hippie-types who suffer from the delusion that every one else is just going to play along once the government is disbanded.

    My take on it is that it's generally more delusional and idealistic than truly "mean spirited." But I've encountered those, too.

  8. #18
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    My take on it is that it's generally more delusional and idealistic than truly "mean spirited." But I've encountered those, too.
    I think that any ideology is idealistic. That's kind of the point.

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by jenocyde View Post
    I think that any ideology is idealistic. That's kind of the point.
    There has to be a balance between practical application and idealism. I feel that libertarianism lacks that balance.

    For example, Marxism as proposed by Marx in the Communist Manifesto is too idealistic, too. Democratic socialism as it's practiced in Western Europe on the other hand seems to be working out pretty well for some countries.

    The only country that I've seen show the results of any sort of libertarian government was New Zealand, and the results were absolutely dismal.

  10. #20
    half mystic, half skeksis jenocyde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marmalade.sunrise View Post
    There has to be a balance between practical application and idealism. I feel that libertarianism lacks that balance.

    For example, Marxism as proposed by Marx in the Communist Manifesto is too idealistic, too. Democratic socialism as it's practiced in Western Europe on the other hand seems to be working out pretty well for some countries.

    The only country that I've seen show the results of any sort of libertarian government was New Zealand, and the results were absolutely dismal.
    Your statement, democratic socialism as it's practiced... is the point. There is not one true ideology that is practiced as it's believed or written. Concessions are always made. Always. Like I said, every ideology is idealistic. It's just fashionable to libertarian bash these days. But the dems, greens and reps have had their fair share, so I won't complain.

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