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LKL
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15 Oct 2013, 6:18 pm

People whose libertarianism is derived from a reading of Ayn Rand are particularly disdainful of mental and physical disabilities. They see anyone non-productive as a worthless leech on the more worthy members of society.



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15 Oct 2013, 8:52 pm

LKL wrote:
People whose libertarianism is derived from a reading of Ayn Rand are particularly disdainful of mental and physical disabilities. They see anyone non-productive as a worthless leech on the more worthy members of society.


Those who are merely "influenced by" Ayn Rand may of course mix in any contradictory notions they choose, but the actual philosophy of Objectivism contains nothing to sanction such an attitude. It's true that there are some, mostly young and lacking in life experience, who seem to think that the philosophy is a license to be a jerk, but I think that could be said of some adherents of every ideology. Every adult Objectivist I've known personally has been genuinely benevolent and kind.



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16 Oct 2013, 1:03 am

LKL wrote:
People whose libertarianism is derived from a reading of Ayn Rand are particularly disdainful of mental and physical disabilities. They see anyone non-productive as a worthless leech on the more worthy members of society.


While I'm no fan of the Randians, I don't really see them going after the disabled; when they talk about moochers and looters, they're talking about crony capitalists and corrupt politicians, not poor or disabled people. That's a common misconception about Rand and Atlas Shrugged, it wasn't about poor people dragging down her industrialists, it was about competitors using the power of the state to do what they couldn't through competition alone. I travel in libertarian circles, and I've never seen anything like what DD is describing.


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91
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16 Oct 2013, 1:49 am

http://beforeitsnews.com/libertarian/20 ... 77798.html

Well I read this article and was quite shocked, it was a clear case of ideology being placed before people. If libertarianism is about respecting the individual as a sovereign entity, then it follows that this person is valuable. However, making a blanket statement like 'anyone but the federal government' places the ideology before the person. Surely, a rational person when approaching the subject of the truly, desperately, needy should be required to be think beyond the restrictive framework of one idea? Libertarianism is the idea that the success of people is hard earned and should be respected, that they are valuable and ought to be free. Conceptually it is hard to disagree with that view, however it does not follow that Libertarianism should be applied as a wholesale idea, only some problems in our society can be alleviated by reducing government influence. That makes it a policy suggestion and not a maxim, an option to consider but no candidate for a commandment.


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16 Oct 2013, 3:48 am

91 wrote:
http://beforeitsnews.com/libertarian/2013/01/who-should-support-the-disabled-2477798.html

Well I read this article and was quite shocked, it was a clear case of ideology being placed before people. If libertarianism is about respecting the individual as a sovereign entity, then it follows that this person is valuable. However, making a blanket statement like 'anyone but the federal government' places the ideology before the person. Surely, a rational person when approaching the subject of the truly, desperately, needy should be required to be think beyond the restrictive framework of one idea? Libertarianism is the idea that the success of people is hard earned and should be respected, that they are valuable and ought to be free. Conceptually it is hard to disagree with that view, however it does not follow that Libertarianism should be applied as a wholesale idea, only some problems in our society can be alleviated by reducing government influence. That makes it a policy suggestion and not a maxim, an option to consider but no candidate for a commandment.


It is no different than any other ideology if you take it as an end all way of life it causes problems especially if you try to force that ideology on other people.



91
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16 Oct 2013, 7:59 am

redriverronin wrote:
It is no different than any other ideology if you take it as an end all way of life it causes problems especially if you try to force that ideology on other people.


While I agree with the sentiment if I were you, I would come up with another reason for rejecting libertarianism. Saying 'you shouldn't force it on other people' just does not make sense as a rebuttal in this instance.


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16 Oct 2013, 8:54 am

91 wrote:
If libertarianism is about respecting the individual as a sovereign entity, then it follows that this person is valuable.

Valuable to whom?

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Surely, a rational person when approaching the subject of the truly, desperately, needy should be required to be think beyond the restrictive framework of one idea?

As soon as you use a phrase like "should be required to think", you become an advocate of totalitarianism. This idea is completely in opposition to the core non-aggression principle of libertarians.

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Libertarianism is the idea that the success of people is hard earned and should be respected, that they are valuable and ought to be free.

This is not a valid description of libertarianism. Libertarianism has nothing to do with assigning value.

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Conceptually it is hard to disagree with that view, however it does not follow that Libertarianism should be applied as a wholesale idea, only some problems in our society can be alleviated by reducing government influence. That makes it a policy suggestion and not a maxim, an option to consider but no candidate for a commandment.

Libertarianism revolves around the simple principle of non-aggression. Do you disagree with this fundamental philosophy? Is it unreasonable to make the claim that the principle of non-aggression should be applied as a wholesale idea? If so, what ends justify aggression? What outcome makes it acceptable for a person to hurt or steal from another?



The_Walrus
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16 Oct 2013, 9:13 am

lost561 wrote:
LKL wrote:
Yes, and this is even worse now thanks to the very libertarian 'Citizens United' decision by SCOTUS.


I'm willing to entertain that idea. Please provide sources that can convince me, otherwise this is just another opinion.

LKL wrote:
How can you be an economics major and think that this is true? Do you really think that all, or even a majority, of lobbying is done over simple taxation?


I never said all lobbying is done over taxation. But our tax code is thousands of pages long. There are too many loopholes in favor of people that have connections to people in office. Do you not agree?

Lobbying is done over many reasons but tell me how a flat tax would hurt this country? Remember, there are tax returns. Poor people get most of their taxes back. Rich people don't.

Lobbying is done for anybody who has their own agenda, whether it's good or bad is for you to be the judge. But a flat tax would not hurt this country.

By "tax returns", do you mean rebates and credits?

Either you have a low flat tax (in which case tax takings are not high enough to fund vital services- the USA is already running a massive surplus because Bush cut taxes and didn't cut spending, and Obama increased spending without increasing taxes) or you have a high flat tax and give rebates and tax credits to the poor, which is just unnecessary red tape. Easier, surely, to simply run a straightforward progressive PAYE tax?



91
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16 Oct 2013, 9:42 am

@ABD

I really dislike responding to individual sentences, can you please respond in paragraph form? Your post raises the question of whom the individual is valuable to? My view would be that, on libertarianism, the individual is sovereign, both to themselves and to the community. Even a social contact built upon an absolute respect for individual autonomy is still a social contract so it follows from that, that the individual has value to the group.

You accuse me of being an advocate of totalitarianism. I in turn accuse you of significant overreaction. My point was that treating the individual as the chief social entity, as an absolute entity leads to logical contradiction. The fact that you find my point at odds with your conception of how libertarianism should operate lends itself to the idea that I have at least partially made my point to you. My position was that refusing to do something, on the grounds of its incompatibility with your position, even when the action is a good itself, shows the position to be overly restrictive. If we accept that the individual is valuable and that we are required to respect that person's life and autonomy, then we have a social contract. One cannot at the same time be respected enough by a community to be trusted utterly with their own autonomy and at the same time have no responsibility to anyone else.

It is my view that any social contract that leads you to accept a barbaric position, like 'I have no responsibility to protect or care for the disabled in my community', then you have a legitimate contradiction on your hands. A person cannot be valuable in full and valueless to others, its a social contract that can never be affirmed outside of the imagination. Its a problem that inevitably follows from attempting to prescribe political ideology onto situation. Libertarianism might be a good idea, it might even be a great one but it is not a fundamental one.

For myself, I do not support any political ideology that puts ideas ahead of people. Having been within an actual totalitarian state, I can assure you that doing so leads to the suppression of people rather than their liberation because people become cogs in an end and are not treaded as ends in themselves.

As to your concept of libertarianism as non-aggression, I would tend to differ on that, instead preferring a definition that emphases the supremacy of individual autonomy. Such a definition adds a great deal more nuance to the position. Saying that you oppose 'aggression' essentially acts as a rhetorical device that imparts no consideration of what constitutes aggression or what constitutes social contract. A definition of aggression could vary considerably, from someone who opposes killing Kulaks and taking their money to someone who thinks that any social contract is, by its nature, aggressive. So using that term is not particularly useful unless you illustrate how it relates to the individual and their place in society. Everyone is against aggression, just like everyone is in favour of happiness.

Asking me if if I disagree with a principle of non-aggression is just too loaded, because it assumes that you have a monopoly over that term's definition. I can't imagine why I should think that you do.


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16 Oct 2013, 10:34 am

Cyanide wrote:
Libertarians don't believe in freedom; they believe in the state. Even "Anarcho-Capitalists" want the state, except they want it privatized.


Correction. Libertarians advocate a minimal political state that has these functions.

1. Keeping peace domestically --- police and law courts.
2. Maintaining an armed force to protect the body politic: -- army, navy and airforce.

Period!! !! !

Your government should beat the bounds to keep out the lawless and the scoundrels and maintain a constabulary to deal with ruffians, thieves, killers and defrauders. Also it should see to it that the night times are kept quiet so people can get their sleep.

Your government should NOT redistribute incomes nor set up a privileged class such as the current crew in Washington that does nothing but live off tax revenue and the Corporate Cronies that have bribed the government to give them unrightful privileges.

ruveyn



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16 Oct 2013, 10:48 am

@91

I don't accept the premise that a person is inherently valuable. Value is not objective outside of the scientific definition (a numerical quantity that is assigned or determined by calculation or measurement). Value, in the context we are using it, is the relative assignment of utility of a good or service.

You used totalitarian terminology. It's not an overreaction to call you out on it. If you don't want me to call you totalitarian, then don't suggest that anyone should be required to think a certain way.

There is a significant difference between saying "I have no responsibility to protect or care for the disabled in my community" and saying "I should not be forced to have responsibility to protect or care for the disabled in my community." I agree that the former is barbaric. I also think it's barbaric to force social contracts on others. Libertarians, for the most part, are not sociopaths. We just don't like the idea that social contracts should be forced on people.

You don't get to redefine libertarianism because you don't like what it means. Even the wikipedia article on the non-aggression principle states that it's the foundation for modern libertarian philosophies.



91
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16 Oct 2013, 11:53 am

adb wrote:
@91

I don't accept the premise that a person is inherently valuable. Value is not objective outside of the scientific definition (a numerical quantity that is assigned or determined by calculation or measurement). Value, in the context we are using it, is the relative assignment of utility of a good or service.


If a person is not inherently valuable, then it follows that autonomy of the individual is not particularly valuable. The position you have taken, I would suggest, is not shared by the majority of libertarianism. It seems a high price to pay for your position if you think that you have to then embrace the worthlessness of the individual. It seems like that fundamentally undermines the position and is superfluous to need; rather akin to blowing off your foot because someone grabbed your ankle.

adb wrote:
You used totalitarian terminology. It's not an overreaction to call you out on it. If you don't want me to call you totalitarian, then don't suggest that anyone should be required to think a certain way.


The only absolute value I placed was in logic. My position was that if you hold to a and then to b and that a and b are connected then you might be compelled to accept c (if it is linked to a and b). It is not totalitarian to insist that premises follow from arguments but it is an absurd rhetorical device to employ when you have no legitimate counter.

adb wrote:
There is a significant difference between saying "I have no responsibility to protect or care for the disabled in my community" and saying "I should not be forced to have responsibility to protect or care for the disabled in my community." I agree that the former is barbaric. I also think it's barbaric to force social contracts on others. Libertarians, for the most part, are not sociopaths. We just don't like the idea that social contracts should be forced on people.


Perhaps, that sounds fine in principle but cannot be sustained when tested. If a collective action is more efficient at something and that thing is good, the principle should not stand in the way of the result. I have an issue with people putting ideas ahead of people. As I said in my last post, libertarianism could be a good idea, it could be a great idea but I don't see it as a viable fundamental principle. If you have issue with that please detail an argument against it because so far you have not.

adb wrote:
You don't get to redefine libertarianism because you don't like what it means. Even the wikipedia article on the non-aggression principle states that it's the foundation for modern libertarian philosophies.


"The basis of the ... Idea is that man is the master of all things and the decisive factor in everything."

"This means holding fast to an independent position, rejecting dependence on others, using one’s own brains, believing in one’s own strength, displaying the spirit of self-reliance, and thus solving one’s own problems for oneself on one’s own responsibility under all circumstances."

Take these quotes as a good example of my point. The non-aggression principle is, exactly that, a principle, I don't want to know what you stand for something I want to know how you intend to let it play out. My criticism of the libertarian position is that it is not capable of working as a fundamental axiom. Non-agression sounds great, so do most utopias but they only exist in the mind as axioms its how they are applied that matters. Those quotes are from Kim Il-Sung describing his Juche (Self Reliance) philosophy by the way. Platitude and high ideals where the ends justify the means is how totalitarianism talks. I have been to North Korea, they talk about freedom a great deal there, they talk about self-reliance even more and peace above all; mostly to disguise that they are trying to avoid saying the outright horrible. Direct and honest speech, especially about the result of applying an axiom to reality is the basis of resistance to totalitarian ideology, not the source of it.


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LKL
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16 Oct 2013, 4:49 pm

A liberal responds to libertarian responses of his critique of libertarianism:
http://www.salon.com/2013/10/16/hey_lib ... y_partern/



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16 Oct 2013, 5:05 pm

91 wrote:
If a person is not inherently valuable, then it follows that autonomy of the individual is not particularly valuable. The position you have taken, I would suggest, is not shared by the majority of libertarianism. It seems a high price to pay for your position if you think that you have to then embrace the worthlessness of the individual. It seems like that fundamentally undermines the position and is superfluous to need; rather akin to blowing off your foot because someone grabbed your ankle.

The individual and his or her autonomy is valuable to the individual and those who care about the individual. You are trying to make this value objective when it's not. My life is less important to you than it is to me. Value exists only in the context of individual perspective. Since society is an aggregate of individuals, value to society is an aggregate of individual valuation.

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The only absolute value I placed was in logic. My position was that if you hold to a and then to b and that a and b are connected then you might be compelled to accept c (if it is linked to a and b). It is not totalitarian to insist that premises follow from arguments but it is an absurd rhetorical device to employ when you have no legitimate counter.

What are you talking about? This has nothing to do with anything I said.

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adb wrote:
We just don't like the idea that social contracts should be forced on people.

Perhaps, that sounds fine in principle but cannot be sustained when tested. If a collective action is more efficient at something and that thing is good, the principle should not stand in the way of the result. I have an issue with people putting ideas ahead of people. As I said in my last post, libertarianism could be a good idea, it could be a great idea but I don't see it as a viable fundamental principle. If you have issue with that please detail an argument against it because so far you have not.

This seems inconsistent. You say that you have an issue with putting ideas ahead of people, but you reject the only philosophy that prioritizes the individual over the ideas of others.

If I suggest a principle that it's important not to kill people, are you going to say that this shouldn't stand in the way of us improving our economy by killing off all the unproductive people?

Quote:
The non-aggression principle is, exactly that, a principle, I don't want to know what you stand for something I want to know how you intend to let it play out. My criticism of the libertarian position is that it is not capable of working as a fundamental axiom. Non-agression sounds great, so do most utopias but they only exist in the mind as axioms its how they are applied that matters.

Explain to me how the non-aggression principle fails as a fundamental axiom.



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16 Oct 2013, 5:23 pm

LKL wrote:
A liberal responds to libertarian responses of his critique of libertarianism:
http://www.salon.com/2013/10/16/hey_lib ... y_partern/

Thank you for posting this. I remember his first article.

He makes some claims from history that I would contest, but that's a discussion for another time.



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16 Oct 2013, 5:31 pm

adb wrote:
donnie_darko wrote:
A lot of libertarians I debate with on the Internet express hatred for people with Aspergers/Autism and those with mental disabilities...

Would you clarify this bit of anecdotal evidence, perhaps with some examples? I can't think of a single person I've met who has expressed hatred for people who are mentally disabled. I've met plenty who have made fun of them, but not who have expressed hatred. How have you seen this hatred manifested?


Well, I am in this facebook politics group and many of the libertarians there have expressed hatred for the disabled. Not just one or two of them, it's a pattern I've noticed.