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Libertarianism has many things that are appealing to progressives and I wonder if that is what keeps the Republican party afloat as much as the evangelists now.  I think they pull in people who would otherwise support progressive leftist candidates. I think of it as the old west mentality where we just want to do what we want to do with as little government interference as possible. On the surface it's as appealing as sweets to a kid.

When a Libertarian first discussed their views with me I found myself agreeing with many of his points.  It left me searching for information on their views/opinions and I found myself leaning more and more towards Libertarian views/opinions. What really turned me from them as a party was environmentalism. I love the outdoors. I think what we are doing to our natural resources is a crime. (Well, I guess most of it is a crime, it is just not reported or punished like it should be.) ...

20 years later I look back and realize they really don't see a tree as much different than a human. They would just as quickly let a forest die as a community if the profit motive was there. They are social Darwinist's. Adapt or die.

Regulations and The New Deal are what keep me from ever going back to them. I hate regulations that are put in place to protect monopolies or special interests, which there are many, but there are so many regulations that keep us safe and protect us from those who would gladly profit at our expense. Saying market forces will keep corporations in line is a joke and only fools or the ignorant believe it. Just look how weak those forces are when it comes to banking or big energy.

I don't think the left contradicts the Libertarian worldview with effective tactics. It is like we have allowed them to dictate the points of reference that people use.  We need to focus on their disregard for the land, water and air as well as their disregard for the aged or handicapped. We cannot use the same talking points to contradict the Libertarian worldview that we currently use to contradict the right. We need to focus on what the lack of government controls over banking and industry have already done. And we need to focus on the fact that many of these problems are because the industry oversees itself and/or has a revolving door with government which is really how the Libertarians see things working. Industry should regulate itself and market forces will keep everyone in line.

Thanks for reading my first diary. I look forward to reading any response people may have.

Originally posted to Travelin Man on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 01:44 PM PDT.

Also republished by Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Libertarians are the John Birch Society in my (31+ / 0-)

    view.  That includes the Tea Party and the Patriot Groups.  The Koch brothers are libertarians.  If we want to combat their influence maybe we should start calling them what they really are.

    Its all there.  Hatred of the UN.  Hatred of "government schools", paranoia about mass government programs like flouride in water, bigotry, xenophobia, hatred of labor groups,  have to cart around gold, no currency allowed, stand your ground laws, enshrining selfishness, only government funding necessary is defense, no regulations so speculation can run rampant, no social programs, depress voting by anyone who disagrees with you, etc. etc.

    •  I think you're confusing libertarians (18+ / 0-)

      with Republicans, and also possibly the boogeyman.

        •  Citations, please. n/t (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy, Bob Duck
          •  General overview (7+ / 0-)

            There really is nothing to site. You can google everything that I spent weeks reading in magazines 20 or 25 years ago.  For the most part their view is the same thing at the individual level as it is at the corporate. Where social vices would be mostly legal, so would most things that are currently restricted due to industry regulations. I think you would have a hard time finding a Libertarian site that did not pretty much espouse those exact beliefs in general.

            The legs of the crane have become short in the summer rain. Buson

            by Travelin Man on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 02:37:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  That's a weak answer. (7+ / 0-)

              The charges of bigotry, xenophobia, and attacking the right to vote were asserted without evidence beyond reference to some unnamed web site. I asked for a link, which seems fairly reasonable considering we're on the internet.

              Let's be clear, nathanfl said he learned these things on web sites. If he's telling the truth, there is something to cite.

            •  I was a Libertarian for years, (10+ / 0-)

              back in the 70s and 80s.  I'm absolutely sure it must have changed direction many times since then, but a couple of thing I'm confident of:

              They aren't Birchers.  Birchers were always religious right, from the get-go.  On the contrary, atheism has always been very popular with libertarians.  Three big pop culture names in libertarian circles were Ayn Rand, Robert Heinlein, and Madalyn Murray O'Hair, all three of them not just atheists bout OUTSPOKEN atheists.

              (To be fair, O'Hair didn't describe herself as a libertarian, I think, but as an anarchist.)

              O'Hair is interesting for another reason: she was probably the one person other than Mao Tse Tung that Birchers hated most.  When O'Hair was murdered, there were a number of libertarian conspiracy theories about who did it and why.  It was probably a big disapointment when it was finally discovered to have been a result of a larcenous partner.

              The one thing I think they did share in common with the Birchers, though, and probably still do, is something common with all fringe or recent-fringey groups, and that is a fondness for conspiracy theories.  Like Area 51 shit.

            •  That's my experience, too. (6+ / 0-)

              They extrapolate from the freedom of the individual to shoot up heroin if he so wants and is that self-destructive, and the right of an individual dealer to sell him his heroin, to the unfettered rights of corporations to act in the same way.  They would try to make extended and tortured arguments, though, that such anti-social but profitable behaviour could NEVER REALLY happen if it weren't for the government propping up the really bad businesses by distorting the marketplace with... (drumroll...) regulations!

              •  Anti-Social..........that's the real kernel. (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                hooper, Cedwyn, alice kleeman

                They do not accept society.  They do not want to fit into anyone's notions (laws).  

                Our number one problem is that capitalism has crushed Democracy and sociopaths have absolute control over capitalism. Everything else is an illusion.

                Mental illness is society's real problem. Unregulated capitalism rewards and promotes sociopaths.

                Libertarian, Conservative, Republican, Corporate Chieftain...they hide behind lots of words. Charles Koch when asked what he wanted, said... "I want it all".

                It's about the sociopaths.

                "I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves" Harriet Tubman

                by BrianParker14 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 06:44:31 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No.... (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  fuzzyguy, Valar Morghulis, qofdisks

                  This doesn't educate anybody about anything:

                  They do not accept society.  They do not want to fit into anyone's notions (laws).  
                  •  in the sense of 'exception' (3+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Laconic Lib, kyril, Onomastic

                    I too had my brief affair with libertarian thought, thanks to Heinlein (remember  'rational anarchy' ?). What first began to bother me was the attitude that laws and regulation of personal behavior were abhorred for the universal reason that each person was so sure of their own righteousness and infallibility that any rules prohibiting dangerous behavior (driving drunk was a big one) were an onerous infringement on personal liberty. The most ardent of our little discussion group conceded the possibility of mishap, but insisted they would gladly pay for any harm they caused, clearly smug in the idea it would never happen.
                    That's when it sunk in that libertarianism is a more ephemeral fantasy than communism; it requires a standard of human behavior of which we are not capable, or it immediately descends into anarchy.
                    Anarchy has its short term advantages for a few, hence the re-re-resurgence of this claptrap.

                    Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

                    by kamarvt on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:33:18 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  I'm still totally fine with that part (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      PennsylvaniaProgressive

                      of libertarianism and see no real conflict between that and my position as a liberal.  If people want to do self-destructive things, it's demeaning for us to tell them not to unless we've got very, very good reasons.  

                      Bloomberg's ban on 32 ounce sodas, for instance.  I don't care about the loss of business for 7-11, but I can imagine quite well the resentment of somebody who is used to buying 32 ouncers having that decision taken away from them on the basis that the government knows best about something so minor as how much soda we choose to drink.

                      •  This (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Valar Morghulis, fuzzyguy

                        What business is it of the government if I buy a 100 oz soda?  (I don't drink soda by the way)

                        Why should the government FORCE me wear a seat belt or to wear a bike or motorcycle helmet?

                        Why should the government control my body by saying I can't shoot heroin?

                        Why can't an adult walk down the street drinking a beer in plain site?

                        •  seat belts are for the insurance co's (4+ / 0-)

                          benefit. Same for helmet laws. Yes, they  regulate common sense, and I can share the frustration with that. For me it's more because it is the result more of companies looking to cut injury payouts than a benevolent if intrusive government.
                          DUI is another story, as are unfettered gun rights and elimination of safety standards, and that's where I had to part ways with the whole 'me my mine' attitude; there was no bright line between self destructive behavior and more reckless public behavior. What most ardent libertarians seem to miss is that individuals behave differently than whole societies, and some curbs on things some one of us could do safely, from base jumping to driving blotto drunk, are necessary for the public good. That means private inconvenience. A 'me my mine' attitude is not ok with that sacrifice.
                          That said, Michael Bloomberg is a sanctimonious idiot.

                          Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

                          by kamarvt on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 12:12:36 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                          •  Government Can Use Force Though (3+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Valar Morghulis, kyril, fuzzyguy
                            seat belts are for the insurance co's benefit. Same for helmet laws. Yes, they  regulate common sense, and I can share the frustration with that. For me it's more because it is the result more of companies looking to cut injury payouts than a benevolent if intrusive government.
                            I'm fine with insurance companies charging people higher premiums for those who don't wear a seatbelt or a wear a motorcycle helmet.

                            The difference is that government can use FORCE.  They have the police to back them up along with laws like asset seizures and wage garnishments.  It's not like you can refuse to pair your $150 fine and not suffer consequences.

                          •  at whose behest? (0+ / 0-)

                            who wins when the government uses force on its people?
                            Why were the big banks working in unison with the government's iron fist dept during Occupy?
                             Asset seizures, wage garnishments; these are routinely done for private debt collection nowadays. And just lately we've learned banks can steal your stuff right out of your house!
                            I'm fine with higher premiums too, but the insurance co's weren't; so they lobbied state leg's all over the country and got a lot of states to enact the seatbelt laws. Even in NH, where there is no helmet law for motorcycles.

                            Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

                            by kamarvt on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 01:26:01 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No Seat Belt Law in NH for Adults (0+ / 0-)

                            If someone wants get into a wreck, fly through the windshield and impale themselves through a tree, that is their right as a citizen.

                          •  highway signs say otherwise (0+ / 0-)

                            Buckle up; State Law is on signs on NH interstates. Dunno if it's a bluff?

                            Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

                            by kamarvt on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 03:50:44 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Who pays for insurance? (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            Onomastic

                            I'm fine with insurance companies charging people higher premiums for those who don't wear a seatbelt or a wear a motorcycle helmet.

                            If someone is irresponsible enough to drive around without a seatbelt/helmet, then why do you think they'd be responsible enough to have insurance?

                            What'll happen is that they'll show up uninsured in the emergency room, and the hospital will lose money on them. That means that the hospital has to raise prices for everyone else to compensate. I don't mind paying for other peoples' health care, but I'd really rather not see a lot of my money wasted on preventable accidents.

                            Of course, in Libertarian World, if you show up at the emergency room, the hospital accountants figure out if you'll be ever be able to pay your bill, and tell the doctors if they should roll you back out to the curb. I'd really rather not live in a world like that. If it means living under a government that has the power to fine me for not wearing a seatbelt - well, that's a small price to pay.

                          •  Mightn't they be more likely to die? (0+ / 0-)

                            That's why I'm not sure about this argument.  Do they really cost the health system more than those who wear helmets?

                            -9.00, -3.69 "The purpose of a campaign is not to answer their attacks, but make them answer our attacks." - Paul Begala

                            by SlackerInc on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 07:18:04 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                        •  What about helmets and seat belts for children? (0+ / 0-)

                          Should those be legally required?

                          And what about charging "sin taxes" on soda and other junk food, as well as on heroin for that matter?

                          -9.00, -3.69 "The purpose of a campaign is not to answer their attacks, but make them answer our attacks." - Paul Begala

                          by SlackerInc on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 07:16:52 AM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

                      •  32 ounce sodas BANNED. (0+ / 0-)

                        Just another distraction, the billionaire controlled media , will use to make you angry at gobermint.

                        A perfect example of wasted time!

                        Can't think of a better example except for sharks, or bieber or balloon boy or etc.

                        Can't think of anything more significant to use as an example except for maybe republican (libertarian, conservative, tea party, bircher, white supremacist, dominionist, etc ) obstruction to everything common sense says America needs. It's not rocket science and it is JOBS!!!

                        When a few hundred billionaires take most of the productivity out of the economy and make in one second what an average worker (not household) makes in two and a half years, that shouts that free market capitalism is not conducive to life for anyone but the extreme few. Vote republican and they are bigots or delusional(w/the outcome of hurting themselves and others).

                        "I freed a thousand slaves, I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves" Harriet Tubman

                        by BrianParker14 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 06:22:46 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  The comment you're responding to (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        SlackerInc

                        is supporting prohibition of actions that harm others, not just oneself. (Drunk driving was the example cited.)

                        "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

                        by kyril on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 01:44:49 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                •  Michael Shermer and Penn Jillette aren't psycho (2+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  kyril, fuzzyguy

                  They're intelligent people who want evidence to back up what they believe. I agree with them on a whole lot of things and I think many people here to would as well.

                  I disagree with them on a lot of business and economic views, and on the overall role of government. I think they are a bit naive there though they accept a bit of a larger roll for government than most libertarians. But there are some who are also social libertarians, who on most 1st and 4th amendments rights, most people at Daily Kos would agree with them. I think a lot of Kossacks might qualify social libertarians in fact.

                  Don't paint all libertarians with the same brush. Admittedly, these guys are examples of rarer breed of libertarian. I would suggest that hold their worldview might change their minds somewhat if they could see a progressive version of America that we would like to produce.

                  •  Yep (0+ / 0-)

                    I'm a left-libertarian, social libertarian, or civil libertarian.

                    We're distinct from right-libertarians in that we believe that civil rights and individual liberties are fundamental and must be specifically protected even at the expense of property rights, while they believe that property rights are fundamental and that civil rights and individual liberties naturally arise from them. (The latter, of course, is obviously delusional, but it's what they believe.)

                    I actually don't think we're all that rare. Many of us may not identify ourselves as libertarians, and we certainly don't vote for Libertarians once we figure out what they stand for. But if you look at issue polls of under-30s, you'll find that the 'typical' young American leans left-libertarian.

                    "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

                    by kyril on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 02:05:31 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  How are you different from other liberals? (0+ / 0-)

                      From the classic 1970s or 1980s ACLU liberal?  I would have to hear a specific differentiation before I know whether I support your brand of "left-libertarianism".

                      -9.00, -3.69 "The purpose of a campaign is not to answer their attacks, but make them answer our attacks." - Paul Begala

                      by SlackerInc on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 07:21:26 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

              •  Using your example. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                socindemsclothing, Onomastic

                The problem with the heroin addicts "freedom to shoot up" is that it isn't an isolated incident.  We live in a society and everyone's actions have the potential to affect everyone else.  Heroin in society has health consequences (for the addict as well as anyone else they may do harm to - intentionally or accidentally), social consequences (addiction and poverty and crime all affect our society as well as property values, etc), legal consequences (crime, violence, etc).

                Libertarians fail to see these connections.  They want to believe we are all isolated and nothing we do affects anyone else.  That is the fallacy underlying their beliefs.  

                Extrapolate that to their ridiculous theories of business and free markets.  If you are supporting the freedom of drug dealers and addicts, then you are clearly making the case that people often act against their own self interests.  So how could they rationally make the claim, then, that people are extremely intelligent and well researched when it comes to every single product they buy or dollar they spend?  How can you believe that people are prone to stupid, self-destructive actions and then also believe people are always going to act in a manner that will bring the best social benefit?  It makes absolutely no sense.

                Ask any libertarian about their purchasing decisions and if they are aware of the ethical implications of any number of products they use.  No, they aren't.  So they themselves are proof that their own theories are BS.  ANd they are too clueless to see their hypocrisy.  But, you know...we should all listen to them because they are smart and have all the answers.

            •  Yes, spot on--as is your OP (0+ / 0-)

              Congrats on hitting the rec list with your first diary!  Well deserved.

              I think this absolutely should be our biggest concern as progressives in terms of winning the messaging war and gaining the "hearts and minds" of the generations that will make up the bulk of the electorate for decades to come.  We too often get caught up in what the Todd Akins or Pat Robertsons of the world say, forgetting that socially conservative extremists consistently turn off the electorate when they speak freely (at least since the GOP "culture war" convention of 1992) and are a steadily diminishing share of the population.

              Libertarianism, OTOH, is as you say superficially "as appealing as sweets to a kid" when young people start to tune in to politics (a crucial time when "brand loyalty" is formed).  Tech types tend to be especially prone to going down this path; and in pop culture I would point to the kind of devotion a movie like "V for Vendetta" inspired among the younger set.

              It doesn't help that Obamacare has teed things up for FreedomWorks et al to perfectly exploit this libertarian tendency among younger voters.  Those astroturf groups jump up and down and insist that if healthy young people want to serve their own interests, they should not sign up and just pay the small penalty (if it even gets charged, which is unclear).  The problem is, no one from our side can really counter this point.  The most sympathetic media reports dance around the issue, but still say things like this:

              FreedomWorks isn't the only conservative group aiming squarely at the young demographic considered so key to making the health law work, though. (Young people are necessary to ensure the exchanges aren't overloaded with older, sicker patients.)
              What young person with an IQ higher than room temperature is going to hear things like that and think Obamacare sounds like a good deal they should sign up for?  It's not a huge extrapolation to go from there to "this system will only work if young people pay in more than they get back out, so older people can get back more than they pay in".  Why on earth was it set up that way, rather than simply putting the wealthy on the hook to subsidise everyone else to varying degrees?

              Unlike some, I don't insist that the only way to do healthcare is single payer (my Canadian sister has had some sobering problems on that front) or a "public option".  But it's insane that they set up a system that would require the president's most loyal age demographic to semi-voluntarily take on a bad deal for themselves to keep his signature program afloat.  And when they try to sell it as a good deal for young people to "get coverage" despite the realities described above, it just provides an opening for libertarians to whisper in their ears and get them to distrust government.

              -9.00, -3.69 "The purpose of a campaign is not to answer their attacks, but make them answer our attacks." - Paul Begala

              by SlackerInc on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 07:13:45 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  Look for yourself (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            duhban, Chi, yorkiedoglover, earthling1

            There's not really any difference between republican and a libertarian.

            I can find that in my everyday life. Don't need the internet to find that out. I met a number of right wingers who just claim to be this and that.

            A republicans/libertarians are just cowards and full of crap. A libertarian is just a excuse to same hey I'm not republican or conservative nut.

            A libertarian is just a right wing republican nut. The teabaggers are just republicans.

            Chris Christe is a good example of a far right fascist republican, but desperately tries to claim "I'm one of you". LoL the repub is just as far right as Rand Paul.

            •  I'm curious. (4+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Sparhawk, ukit, fuzzyguy, qofdisks

              Is the reason that you expect me to accept unspecific, anecdotal evidence as proof of your claim because you tend to do the same yourself?

            •  They differ on drugs and the empire, among (7+ / 0-)

              other things, though talk is cheap.  But they're against almost all regulation of corporations and to me that's a dealbreaker.

              My fear though is that their uncompromising talk, anti-empire posturing, and legalization of pot stances do have real appeal to the (political newbie) young.  That could be demographically dangerous for the Dems...imo our only (though-remote) hope.

              •  This is the appeal. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Chi, PennsylvaniaProgressive

                They're against almost all regulation of individuals.

                •  They love Stand yer Ground laws (3+ / 0-)

                  ultimate expression of personal freedom dontcha know.

                  Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

                  by kamarvt on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:35:15 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                •  who says that's a good thing? (0+ / 0-)
                  This is the appeal.  They're against almost all regulation of individuals.
                  In principle I agree with the argument that rational people will behave civilly and productively, even if only out of self-interest.

                  However, I deny that people are rational and instead argue that by and large they're either morons or monsters who, if left to their own devices, are more likely to behave [self-]destructively out of ignorance, apathy, ideology, or above all the security of wealth and power.

                  I believe absolutely in the necessity of policing individual behavior.  If the libertarians are correct, and "society" and the market are just the sum of all individuals' behaviors, then individual behavior is the only thing to police.  And if you want people to serve a system - be it church, state, tribe, or market - hell, if you believe that people ought to do anything at all, then you are inevitably led to the question of how to motivate the behaviors you judge to be desirable and how to thwart the behaviors you judge to be undesirable.  You can do that through soft power ("Don't you want to be happy?") or hard power ("Obey because I told you to or else!"), but you must do it.

                  •  Isn't it your right to be a moron? (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    Valar Morghulis
                    However, I deny that people are rational and instead argue that by and large they're either morons or monsters who, if left to their own devices, are more likely to behave [self-]destructively out of ignorance, apathy, ideology, or above all the security of wealth and power.
                    Isn't it your right to be a moron?

                    I think so.

                    •  libertarians would say no, it's not your right (0+ / 0-)

                      Their entire philosophy is based on the idea that no, you do not have a right to be a moron.  Instead, you and everyone else are morally obligated to behave in [what they declare to be] rational, "value maximizing" ways which boil down to making as much money as possible.

                      In libertarian land, the entire purpose of power is to force people to do things that they would not choose to do (or prevent them from doing things that they would choose to do), and the only possible reason why they would not choose to do them is because they are harmful ... therefore government is bad.

                      •  The Koch Bros do NOT define Libertarians (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        kyril

                        What about all those Libertarians that want:

                        Legal prostitution
                        Legal drugs
                        No Seatbelt Laws
                        No Bike or Motorcycle Helmet Laws
                        The government not to spy on us
                        Legalized Gambling
                        Legalized Sports Betting

                        I don't see someone supporting someone else's right to smoke dope while watching the ball game as "value maximizing" or "making as much money as possible".

                        •  cynical at the top, utopian at the bottom (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          SlackerInc

                          On the cynical side, you have the Koch types who don't want there to be anything that gets in the way of maximum profit.  It's irrational to choose to make less money and irrational to support regulations that will cause you to make less money.  Thus cars with no seatbelts or airbags, dumping industrial waste everywhere it'll fit, and reflexive opposition to any legislative solution to what is a problem only to those whom the Koch types see as irrational people who don't want cheap products and maximum profit which is self-evidently good for everyone because trickle down.

                          On the utopian side, you have people who (like the fundies) have a dream where ethics flat out replaces law.  There won't need to be laws against bad things because after we screw everyone's heads on straight people won't do those bad things anyway because they'll interfere with being employable and productive, therefore rich, and therefore happy ... which is insane.  People truly conscious of and interested in their welfare will toe the white bread line because it works, regardless of whether or not it's legal to do drugs and get AIDS from whores.

                  •  not only is this correct (3+ / 0-)

                    but if the market could regulate all of our behavior then the government wouldn't need to regulate anything.

                    if the market could stop discrimination then there would never have been a civil rights movement.

                    if the market could have prevented corporations from massively polluting the environment, then there would have been no need to have an EPA.

                    if the market could have prevented people from copyright violation such as downloading games, then the government wouldn't have to enforce copyrights.

                    why didn't the market make it's own interstate highway system?  hasn't it benefited from it massively?  how come the market didn't come up with computers, with networking, the internet, the WWW, or encryption?  

                    why hasn't the market stepped up to protect our animals from abuse?  why is the markets answer to agriculture monsanto?

                    the market cannot do any of that stuff otherwise it would have done so by now.

          •  no (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            enemy of the people

            you damn well know that i cannot give a citation that that sounds like every libertarian web site i've read.

            it should have taken you to the end of the sentence to figure out that that was a statement of my lived experiences, not a statement of fact.

          •  Here are a few, for those who are not allergic to (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            duhban, unfangus, socindemsclothing

            straw men 'n' stuff...

            http://www.spectacle.org/...

            http://www.debate.org/...

            http://econfaculty.gmu.edu/...

            http://ricochet.com/...

            And thousands more in response to googling "libertarian argument tactics."

            I happen to like a 6-parter that appears in Naked Capitalism, titled "Journey Into A Libertarian Future." Part 1, "The Vision," starts here:

            http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/...

            And of course it's been pointed out repeatedly that personification of anything that one would try to reify as "libertarianism" is pretty much impossible. Even the self-proclaimed Libs can't agree on what "it" is:

            http://leftycartoons.com/...

            Seems to me there are many parallels between various parts of "libertarianism" and various parts of Scientology.

            Though of course there are some parallels with Democrats too, especially the one who says "we don't win elections because we are too pure!"

            "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

            by jm214 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 06:19:21 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Do any of these links support the accusations (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              TheOpinionGuy, fuzzyguy, qofdisks

              of bigotry, xenophobia, and attacking the right to vote? B/c I clicked on them all and none of them seem to.

              Btw, it doesn't count if it's just another person attacking libertarianism without evidence and saying the same thing. That's not any more proof than saying it yourself.

              •  You clicked the links? Did you get to the ones (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                unfangus

                where libertarians were attacking libertarians? Or the ones that teach libertarians how to do the pnderous,, repetitious, debate-club logic-chopping and to use phrases like "straw man" and "ad hominem" and "hand-waving?"

                And of course that blog-magical incantation about how the criticized post does not hew precisely to the logical chain you want to wind around your opponent's neck?

                Who has the burden of proof and going forward?

                "Is that all there is?" Peggy Lee.

                by jm214 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 03:25:55 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  Libertarians are calling themselves... (4+ / 0-)

        ...Republicans and the tea Party these days, and they have enough political clout to yank "mainstream" Republicans into libertarianism.  It's hard to fit a slice of baloney between the two groups these days.

        The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

        by TheOrchid on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 02:43:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  What is the difference between libertarianism (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pdx kirk, socindemsclothing

        and feudalism?  I don't mean this as snark - seriously, what is the difference in your mind?  I'd really like to hear a libertarian tell me the difference.

        In Feudalism, you bow to the King. In Libertarianism, you bow to the King's wallet. They are so obviously totally different!

        by ban48 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 07:46:30 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I suppose it depends on how you define (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          qofdisks

          the terms. If you'd like to lay out your definition of feudalism, I'll be happy to tell whether it's different than what I think libertarianism is.

          You can also then decide whether you need to continue searching for your libertarian to answer the question.

          •  You are the one that appears to be pimping it. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            unfangus, socindemsclothing

            It seems that you should be able to tell me how it differs from feudalism in non-cosmetic ways.  Unless you don't understand what you are selling....  doh!

            In Feudalism, you bow to the King. In Libertarianism, you bow to the King's wallet. They are so obviously totally different!

            by ban48 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:00:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It's simple: "feudalism" is hereditary (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              pdx kirk

              Only those born into nobility, aristocracy and land ownership serve in the King's Council,  or collect rent from peasants.

              Libertarianism posits that everyone has an (almost)  equal chance of becoming,  if not "King" than at least "Squire",  and that those who don't bootstrap themselves to the Lesser Aristocracy,    DESERVE to be serfs and peasants, paying rent to their natural and oh-so-deserving overlords.

              Oh ... we don't call 21st Century rent-seekers "landlords" anymore.  They're ENTRE-PREN-EURES, donchaknow ?

              •  If libertarians place no constraints on the (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                nathanfl

                concentration of wealth or the amount that can be inherited, then you have a 'born into' class, and the only difference thus far is cosmetic.

                So, what else you (or anyone else) have...????

                In Feudalism, you bow to the King. In Libertarianism, you bow to the King's wallet. They are so obviously totally different!

                by ban48 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 09:36:47 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  No ... there IS social mobility in a laissez faire (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pdx kirk

                  capitalist system -- at least when compared to manorial feudalism.

                  The discovery and exploitation of the Americas, of course changed that ... starting a class struggle between a succession of upstarts, who by the Victorian age had displaced the hereditary aristocracy/nobility/squireocracy in terms of wealth and political influence.

                  This business of people favoring the fruits of their own loins over everyone else's ... (the "war of each against all" ) ... is awfully difficult to eradicate.  The Russian and Chinese communisms were carefully planned and structured to abolish inherited wealth ... but somehow the children of Party members and apparatchiks wound up as much ahead of their less well-born peers as the children of aristocrats under feudalism and  capitalists under capitalism. ]

                  MAY-be the advantage of being "well born" was almost totally eradicated on some of the smaller, stricter and more doctrinaire Israeli kibbutzim, but "I was there" and that's not exactly what I observed in practice.

                  The thing about Libertarianism is that it is for the most part simply a fairy tale for somewhat older children to enjoy.  It's a  "side" for undergraduates to take in late night Bull Sessions -- as "communism" had been during the 1920s and '30s.  "In theory" and "according to so and so" being the operative concepts in these arguments.

                  But, in reality neither Communism nor Libertarianism remains remotely "pure" once someone has to run an entire polity or economy under the Theory.

                  Arguably, there were Libertarian Paradises in the 18th and 19th centuries ...   weak and decadent aristocracies being run, not so much BY the upstart classes, but FOR their benefit and more or less electoral democracies which understood rights of Property to be the most essential and inalienable of all.

                  Both Charles Dickens and Karl Marx commented on what an ideal state of affairs THAT turned out to be.  

                  On the American Frontier, Libertarian paradises such as Dodge and Deadwood flourished briefly ... until their population called in State and Federal authorities to impose a little law and order on the mining, railroad and cattle interests who had previously established their OWN notions of Law and Order.

                  I would urge consideration of the world "purile" ... beyond the bare dictionary definition ...  as a concept with which to deconstruct both Rand-im and Libertarianism.  

                  "Peter Pan" is a celebration of the purile personality, as are the Super Hero comic books and the fairy tale hero tales that precede them.

                  "Boys" ... especially brave and enterprising boys ... have their virtues -- but "considering the well-being of others"   (except as  means to the end of demonstrating bravery and enterprise)   is rarely among them.

                  •  There is no social mobility for debt-slaves, which (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    pdx kirk, socindemsclothing

                    is how feudalism forms.  Laissez faire capitalism is unstable and self-destructs on a small scale every 10 years, and on a grand scale every 50 years or so (depends if glass-steagal and other evil gubmint dictates stand in its way to self-destruction).

                    Consider this:  there is $32T in off-shore wealth hidden in various Caribbean banks.  You could buy an entire state for about $250B.  Repeal all constraints and set up a libertarian paradise and see how long that lasts.  What you'd end up with is easy credit & payment at debtee's leisure - meaning anything you have can be taken away at any time 'as partial payment on debts owed'.  That is feudalism.

                    The entire basis of libertarianism is a fairy-tale no different than that of a medieval peasant dreaming of becoming knighted.  The most dangerous fairy tale is the pipe-dream that people with money will use it to create wealth and not to concentrate power.

                    In Feudalism, you bow to the King. In Libertarianism, you bow to the King's wallet. They are so obviously totally different!

                    by ban48 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 11:35:02 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  OK .. we've got different definitions of Feudalism (0+ / 0-)

                      You've come up with a pretty nasty dystopian vision there. (There are probably still some limits to actually "buying" States ... though in light of the goings on in Michigan and Wisconsin I could be wrong about that.)

                      If you want to call it "feudalism"  ... and it wins arguments with self styled Libertarians -- "go for it."My understanding is that actual Feudalism ... as opposed to any unequal propertarian system of which we don't like ... has been a system in which  "land" is the foundation of wealth and land tenancy  is awarded by a  sovereign to retainers in expectation of taxes and military service.

                      As to whether or not there is social mobility for "debt slaves ... "  it's not what it should be, I agree -- but the fact is large numbers of Americans take on debt in excess of their current ability to pay ... improve their ability to pay ... discharge the debt in time -- and occupy a better socioeconomic position than their parents did.

                      Where there is no access to credit, there is no debt slavery, but for the "bottom 50%" there's no escaping the circumstances of their birth, either.

                      I remember tight credit in the '60s and early 70s.  You COULD attend State and Community colleges on the money you could earn evenings and summers -- because the tuition was so low.  But if you wanted to attend a "named" school beyond your means to pay -- you probably couldn't.  

                       If what you wanted was to start a business of some kind from scratch -- you borrowed from family or friends, or you didn't do it.

                      I dunno.  One of the chief demands of the 1906 Progressives was an easier access to credit for working people.

                      •  Land was the foundation of wealth because (0+ / 0-)

                        they were still primarily agrarian economies.  But wealth is wealth and debt-servitude is debt-servitude.  Whether you work off you debt by tilling the fields or in an industrial sweat-shop, I don't think it matters much.

                        And why is it a nasty dystopia?  You have all of the features:  no guvmint regulation telling people what to do, the ability to pull yourself up by your bootstraps, job-creators putting everyone to work.  Sounds like a libertarian paradise to me.

                        These are legacies of evil government liberalism telling people what they cannot do:

                        ... some limits to actually "buying" States ...
                        Wouldn't the point be to get rid of these limits?

                        What you don't understand is that feudalism isn't a system, it is a state - meaning that an economic system arrives at a state where (inherited) wealth is concentrated in a few hands and the mass of the populous is in debt-servitude, and the only way out is the exception.  What Libertarians also describe is a state, a state within the same system that can very easily devolve into feudalism.

                        In Feudalism, you bow to the King. In Libertarianism, you bow to the King's wallet. They are so obviously totally different!

                        by ban48 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 01:26:42 PM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I don't really like the "cite your source" ploy, (0+ / 0-)

                          but, in this case I  have to ask:  do you have any source other than your own definition process that defines "feudalism"

                          a state - meaning that an economic system arrives at a state where (inherited) wealth is concentrated in a few hands and the mass of the populous is in debt-servitude, and the only way out is the exception.
                          The closest I can come up with is
                          Feudalism
                          1. A political and economic system of Europe from the 9th to about the 15th century, based on the holding of all land in fief or fee and the resulting relation of lord to vassal and characterized by homage, legal and military service of tenants, and forfeiture.
                          2. A political, economic, or social order resembling this medieval system.
                          Have a look at the Wiki-link:  smarter and better informed people that you and I have discussed this at length.  THEY seem to feel  there IS a "classical definition."  

                          Leaving only the question:  does it matter if words have fixed and generally accepted meanings ... or is it better if Humpy Dumpty is our role model?

                          When I use a word,' Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, 'it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.'

                          'The question is,' said Alice, 'whether you can make words mean so many different things.'

                          'The question is,' said Humpty Dumpty, 'which is to be master — that's all.'

                          •  What I meant by 'state' is that the medieval (0+ / 0-)

                            economy evolved into feudalism.  They didn't wake up one morning and all decide: "Hey, lets reorganize into this new system called feudalism where I get o be lord and you guys my peasants."  The citizenry was pushed into indebtedness by crooked roman policies and taxation and that indebtedness was cemented when the barbarians took over and became the new boss.

                            Imagine if you walked into a room and observed 6 people playing monopoly, but the game had just ended so all you see is the winner declaring himself king and the losers figuring out how they are going to live with the new relationship.  You could write all sorts of books on this system of feudalism and how dreary it is.

                            Now imagine walking into another room where the game has just started and everyone has assets and potential and vigorous trading and wheeling and dealing is going on.  You could write all sorts of books about this libertarian wonderland and how exciting and energetic it is.

                            And you could completely miss that the participants in both rooms are playing the same game.  That is the fantasy of libertarians, that they can set up this wild and crazy anything goes economics and it would play out like the first couple of rounds of monopoly, forever.....

                            In Feudalism, you bow to the King. In Libertarianism, you bow to the King's wallet. They are so obviously totally different!

                            by ban48 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 05:18:18 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  See: the thing is, people have ALREADY written (0+ / 0-)

                            books about the history and economics of the pre Roman, Romanesque, and post-Roman periods in Europe.

                            I have read a few of them.

                            You apparently prefer your own version of "what may have happened."  

                            Hey ... so did Cecil B. DeMille ... and he became richer than rich inventing historical stuff for the masses.

                            Enough!   I'm done.  There's no common ground here.

                            At least, neither of us will ever vote "Libertarian."

                          •  I answered your question, seems you could answer (0+ / 0-)

                            mine:
                                 What economic rules of feudalism don't apply to libertarianism?  I don't give a damn about titles, and dress-codes and agrarian versus industrial, I want to know what economic rules of feudualism don't apply to libertarianism.  This should be easy to answer given your vast field of reference... :)

                            In Feudalism, you bow to the King. In Libertarianism, you bow to the King's wallet. They are so obviously totally different!

                            by ban48 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 07:00:58 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  No, you DIDN'T " answer my question " (0+ / 0-)

                            You re stated your opinion and devised a thought experiment concerning two Monopoly(tm) games.

                            Then you posed a question which, to answer, I would have to know what you imagine the "economic rules of feudalism" to BE.

                          •  Use your own vast knowledge base. Disregard (0+ / 0-)

                            any of my comments.  Simply say: "This is how I understand feudalism works" and "these are the features not allowed in Libertarian wonderlands...".  If you can't define how a feudal society forms, how can you claim Libertarian ideals won't lead to a feudal society?  Disregard everything I said - you be the expert.  I have not shot down anything you have said.

                            Or, if you must have, one last time: Economic rules of feudalism:  There Are None.  No property tax, no inheritence tax, no sales tax, no rules, no regulations.  Just whatever you can negotiate:  If you want to eat (and since I own all the land), we can deal.  Don't like my rules, you can skate (to the next feudal fief next door).  But before you skate, you do have to pay up what you already owe me.

                            If that isn't good enough, substitute your own.  There is actually no shortage of feudal codes and laws, but they mostly dealt with punishments for crimes, murder and theft et.al..  The basic premise that "I am the lord and own all that you see" runs through it all, but you are always free to wheel & deal.

                            In Feudalism, you bow to the King. In Libertarianism, you bow to the King's wallet. They are so obviously totally different!

                            by ban48 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 10:35:42 AM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  You seem to be describing "anarchy" (0+ / 0-)

                            If you want to use the word "Feudalism" as a pejorative with which to slam Libertarians ... yeah, sure, it's true enough EMOTIONALLY   to make no never mind.

                            But, where Libertarianism leads is neither Anarchy  nor Feudalism.

                            Libertarians want their persons and property protected by "rule of law"  -- so no  Sons of Anarchy  in charge.

                            And Feudalism was what it was ...  and probably never will be again,  --  without the total collapse of money economy and the "nation state."

                            However, the Libertarians are not entirely wrong to say that the Founding Fathers subscribed to their Libertarian philosophy --  or vice versa.  

                            Thomas Jefferson,  although it is thought he once said something like "a Necessitous Man is not a Free Man"  was without a doubt a large-L Libertarian.

                            Scholars like Broadus Mitchell and Howard Zinn describe the American Revolution as a "bourgeois revolution" -- that is to say, the "middling sort of man" ... who, although untitled  might be a very substantial landowner (Like Jefferson) --  or merchant (like Hayam Soloman)  

                            True, we don't generally count Soloman as a Founding Father ... but  "shush: Jewish, you know!"

                            Anyway ... at about the same time, while they did not mount an armed rebellion, the British bourgeoisie also  began to replace  landed aristocracy for political and economic dominance.  Obviously, many of the aristos adopted the "y'can't lick 'm so join 'm" strategy and became merchants, financiers and industrialists, themselves.

                            What developed from this was a "Libertarian paradise,"   --  extensively commented on by both Karl Marx and Charles Dickens, even before Jack London, Upton Sinclair and the muckrakers.

                            Ultimately, the reply to the Libertarian argument boils down to

                            " Been there.  Done that.  Even Teddy Roosevelt HATED it."

                          •  I'm not describing anarchy. Far from it, it is a (0+ / 0-)

                            very orderly society with a clear set of owners free to do whatever they want with that which they own.  And they own everything.  Those with nothing are 'equally free', in that they can strike any deal they want.  But if you have shiny gems and the lord has food, he can wait for you to starve and then take the gems from your dead body.  That is just how it works when wealth is concentrated.  Libertarianism will lead to this since its only guard against concentrated wealth is wishful thinking.

                            In Feudalism, you bow to the King. In Libertarianism, you bow to the King's wallet. They are so obviously totally different!

                            by ban48 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 04:12:06 PM PDT

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  OK ... that's your fantasy (0+ / 0-)

                            It's simple
                            It's satisfying
                            It's counter factual.  
                            It's YOURS ...

                            And, I guess that's what really matters.

            •  You are the one who brought up feudalism. (0+ / 0-)

              Perhaps you aren't aware, though I suspect you are, but there isn't an agreed upon definition of what feudalism actually is. That is why I asked for your definition of it.

              So, offer still stands. Give your definition of feudalism and I'll tell you whether I think it's the same as libertarianism.

              Surely you can still find a way for a "gotcha" on those terms, right?

              •  so there's an agreed upon definition of libertaria (0+ / 0-)

                nism? feudalism has been around a long time.....

                This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

                by certainot on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:35:01 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Of course not. But if you read closely, you'll (0+ / 0-)

                  notice that I said I would answer whether I think feudalism is different, which is what the question was ("in your mind"). It's based on my personal opinion of libertarianism, you see.

                  I suspect, though, that ban48 isn't actually going to answer the question. The "gotcha" factor goes away when the rubber yardstick is removed. By that I mean, the option of picking a definition of feudalism after I answer.

                  And yeah, feudalism has been around for a long time. What's your point? That doesn't mean there's an accepted definition of what it is. Because there most certainly isn't.

                  •  so you're waiting for an updated def of feudalism? (0+ / 0-)

                    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

                    by certainot on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:33:06 PM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Well I'm not (0+ / 0-)

                      really waiting on anything. If ban48 wants to continue the discussion I'd be happy to as well, but it seems like he/she stop responding.

                      •  I defined feudalism in the other thread: (0+ / 0-)

                        An economic system of concentrated wealth and debt-servitude.  All of the land, all of the resources, everything is owned by a 'lord', 'ceo', whatever.  And, from the moment you are born, every bite of food or piece of wood used for fuel or shelter becomes part of your debt (assuming you don't inherit the debts of your parents, no guarantees there) and the only way you can 'pay back' your debts is to work for the lord.  But you can never pay back, and anything you think you own can be taken away from you at any time as partial payment on your debts.  That is feudalism - it is an economic state, not a system.  It's "rules" are no different than the "rules" pimped by libertarians, it just looks different because what you see is the end-game.

                        In Feudalism, you bow to the King. In Libertarianism, you bow to the King's wallet. They are so obviously totally different!

                        by ban48 on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 06:40:25 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  i think you're just wasting time (0+ / 0-)

                        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

                        by certainot on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 10:40:37 AM PDT

                        [ Parent ]

        •  Ban48 there are connections between the two. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          qofdisks, Chi, MGross

          I posted above about the Freedom Class Seminar I attended in 1974. Among the topics discussed were the basic benefits of the feudal system. In the feudal system you were born to a class. Had a role in life. Had some basic respect for that role and within your class you had a greater amount of personal freedom than in other monarchical systems. It also has that wonderful Horatio Alger pull your self up from your bootstraps crap where you even have a chance to move up a class or two on occasion.  (unlike say the Hindu caste system).

          Robert LeFevre, professor to Fred and Charles Koch felt the feudal system was among the best on the planet prior to the American Revolution.

          .....it's on the table, under the watermelon she demurred. Thanks, I was planning on shaving anyway he replied.

          by pdx kirk on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 11:26:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  An Easy Thing to Do (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        wasatch

        As Valar Morghulis observes, it is easy to mistake Libertarianism and Republicanism, not least because Libertarians tend to vote Republican and become Republican politicians.

        And as the diarist notes, some portions of Libertarianism are in line with Liberalism, mostly in the social realm.

        I think many 17 year old boys (far fewer girls) who were inclined toward science fiction or who were bookish in general, explored Rand. With a very small number it stuck, but most grew out of it quickly or rejected it as they read (it's terrible writing so it requires some determination.)

        It's easy to mistake modern Libertarianism for Republicanism because they are both primarily, in practice at least, based on – some might say obsessed with – a personal desire for more money. "More Money For Me" could be their motto.

        The difference appears to be that Libertarians have a stronger belief in "little or no government" (depending on the issue) and individualism. Both of these ideas appeal to a wide swath of people, both Liberals and Conservatives, as the diarist pointed out.

        The best book on the subject is "Ayn Rand Nation" By Gary Weiss. It is fair, and therefore a book that Libertarians don't like very much. Folks don't like to have their favorite -ism weighed and found wanting.

        As with any belief system there will always be contradictions between the purists (see below) and the people who practice the -ism. "Ah, but that's not real ___"  or "It failed because because they didn't go far enough" or "That factor that's easy to criticize in Libertarianism isn't really Libertarianism" and so on.

        Some people are greedy. Some people believe if they operate in a vacuum they can become mighty. Some are egocentric. Some are forever adolescent. That has always the case and is the case today. Libertarianism is for them.

        A Southerner in Yankeeland

        To save your life read "Pity The Billionaire" by Thomas Frank, and "Winner-Take-All-Politics" by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson. Then read more books.

        by A Southerner in Yankeeland on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 09:36:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  No, there really are a lot of white supremacists (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        pdx kirk, socindemsclothing

        In the libertarian movement.  They try to disguise it, but it's quite obvious if you turn off the rhetoric and just look at the kinds of people who flock to the banner.

        If you don't see this and still associate yourself with this movement, take a step back.  Because lately, that is ALL I see when I see libertarianism, is a thinly-disguised white supremacist movement, with a "I'm better than ordinary SCUM" kind of lilt to it, which seems to be the basis of the John Galtism, the Ayn Randism, the whole  "I'm just too GOOD to be held back by these worthless plebians" notion.  It's couched in some tremulous howl of "personal liberty" but all I see are immature people chafing at the necessary politeness and civility required for large groups of people to get along.

        I'm not at all confused by the lofty rhetoric behind the vain and selfish ideology.

      •  I agree with you (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        kyril

        The trouble with labels is they are too broad.  The writer seems to conflate libertarianism with unbridled capitalism... there is a difference.

        The part of "libertarianism" that resonates with me is resisting the first impulse to legislate or initiate other government action when a problem is detected.

        For example:
        1) Syria - What is going on in Syria is a tragedy that brings sadness to any thinking soul.  For some (whether hawks on the right or empathetic people on the left), the first impulse is, "We should DO something." - As a veteran, I think committing blood and treasure to taking sides in a civil war is something that should be done as a last resort, and only after careful deliberation.  We have the capacity to level Syria and kill all combatants... having the ability to do so doesn't make it right.  Killing more people may not be the answer.

        2) Consumer protection/Tort Reform - I strongly believe that people/companies that manufacture and/or sell products that they know are dangerous or not suitable for their marketed purpose should be liable.  Does that mean that people too stupid to use a ladder should be able to sue ladder makers because there wasn't a sticker on the ladder in three languages warning people that falling from high places could be hazardous to your health?  I'm all for consumer protection, but not everything can be solved with a law (See Prop 65 label warnings in California... they are ubiquitous and therefore meaningless).

        3) Health Care - I would support a single payer system and can live with ACA, but we need to have a taboo discussion about limits to care or we have unlimited demand for a limited resource.  No, you can't have an MRI for your splinter.  No you can't get a fifth opinion about your back pain if the first four said get exercise and lose weight.  I think defining a basic level of care would be a good thing because health care is not a normal product/service... when you are bleeding or having a heart attack you can't shop.

        If you want to have a serious discussion about libertarianism, I strongly commend a book called, "The Road to Serfdom" by a guy name Hayek.  This was a smart guy and is considered a seminal economic thinker often cited by Libertarians, many of whom HAVE NEVER READ HIS WORK.  He was all for environmental protection so that "externalities" of the capitalists were not borne by society.  If your factory pollutes the local river so that you can save money, it is the business of government to regulate that.

        Please don't confuse the conservative babel for libertarianism... libertarian philosophy would likely favor:
        * Legalized drugs (not governments business)
        * Legalized Prostitution (not government's business)
        * Legalized Same sex marriage (not government's business)
        * Curtailing the drone program (war has not been declared)
        * Enforcement of fraud and environmental law (the proper role of government is establishing laws to protect the public and make sure contracts are enforceable).

        I may not buy the entire libertarian package, and like "liberalism" it has gradients of fervor, but don't discard the ideas behind the label because of extremists who are loud and wrong (See "Islam", "Christianity", "Patriotism", "Vegan").

        Peace.

        •  Thank you for this post. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, fuzzyguy
          * Legalized drugs (not governments business)
          * Legalized Prostitution (not government's business)
          * Legalized Same sex marriage (not government's business)
          * Curtailing the drone program (war has not been declared)
          * Enforcement of fraud and environmental law (the proper role of government is establishing laws to protect the public and make sure contracts are enforceable).
          I wholeheartedly support every item on this list. Perhaps that makes me a libertarian. If so, I'm okay with that.

          It's frustrating, because as you can see from many of these comments, if I happen to say that out loud, somehow that also makes me a racist and a bigot and means I want everyone to work in a sweatshop and die without healthcare.

          Why can't I agree with this list while also thinking it's a good idea to have workplace safety laws? Why is that so difficult for some people to comprehend?

          You've been around here much longer than I have, what's your advice?

      •  a lot of libertarians are republicans who are too (0+ / 0-)

        asshole to admit they were wrong and now want to hide behind a new label- but they still believe the same dishonest stupid lazy ass talk radio bullshit.

        and like someone said, republicans who like to smoke pot

        This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

        by certainot on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:13:08 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, there are the business apologist (11+ / 0-)

      libertarians. But the libertarians we need to worry about are in the mountain states and hate corporations just as much as progressives. If the Dems want to bring them into the fold they need to curtail all this spying and start cutting corporate welfare, to start with. Otherwise the libertarian isolationism and small government might start making inroads. Especially now that we see the violence of the police on a regular basis.

      If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

      by AoT on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 03:12:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think we can bring this thinking into (0+ / 0-)

        line with justice, compassion and true competence.  Do we think we can bring the Koch brothers around any more than we could have Joseph McCarthy?

      •  My theory is that if Dems cut out the spying and (10+ / 0-)

        corporate welfare, they would find an ally with libertarians.

        One problem will be convincing libertarians that spying, corporate welfare, abuse of authority, etc. are unrelated to the current size of the government.

        A bigger problem will be actually cutting out the spying and corporate welfare.

        •  Dems also tend to reflexively defend (13+ / 0-)

          "big government" - which is unfortunate IMO. In the wake of the NSA scandal, I've heard more than a few liberals defend the program by asking, aren't we the party that always stands up for government?

          Well, no, The original aim of liberalism was never simply to grow government for its own sake. Instead, it's the ability to provide freedom, basic protections and guarantees and quality of life that matters. And the original liberals were willing to go to radical ends - such as overthrowing governments - to achieve these aims.

          Unfortunately it's becoming increasingly clear that the policies pushed by the current Democratic party fail to adequately address these issues. Instead, they seem overwhelmingly focused on "offsetting" the problems of modern capitalism with welfare and taxation, rather than proposing bold reforms that attack the underlying inequality itself. And that is what will turn people away from the Democrats - the perception that they aren't a truly progressive party, but simply defenders of the status quo.

          •   focused on "offsetting" the problems (7+ / 0-)

            One of the problems is that the U.S. actually doesn't do this effectively. We don't use the tax system to transfer wealth downward, to nearly the extent that some other countries do (notably Western Europe and Scandinavia). We don't implement a "social wage" that supplements cash earnings with a robust and free/low cost healthcare system, childcare, family leave, generous unemployment benefits, etc., enabling low-wage and unemployed workers to still maintain themselves.

            If you are the socialist side of the left spectrum, the solution is to have government do more, not less.

            But it is perfectly true also, that we have a huge government budget that is partly in place not to serve broad social ends but to serve particular private ends, through corporate welfare and the expansion of the national security state (which is increasingly outsourced to private corporations). We can agree with libertarians that that's a bad thing, while disagreeing that government in general should be proscribed from meaningfully targeting inequality, poverty, and other social ills.

            •  hmmm... (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              qofdisks
              while disagreeing that government in general should be proscribed from meaningfully targeting inequality, poverty, and other social ills.
              I don't think you'd find as much disagreement as you anticipate.  There are the purists, yes, but most libertarians I know are strongly in favor of using government to address social ills - the disagreement centers on whether social problems should be attacked by the national government or the local government.  That's what they mean by "big" government.  It's not really the size of government, per se, it's the fact that the national government is so remote, and so unresponsive to local needs.  There are big arguments on both sides of that issue, but it is not the same issue as "no government."  

              "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

              by jlynne on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 10:23:47 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  I think most libertarians (2+ / 0-)

                are taking the line that voluntary charity should largely take the place of government aid to those in need. They tend to favor tax policies that reduce taxes and spending on government programs of all kinds, even those that aid the elderly, sick and disabled. What government aid there is should be just handed to local communities to use in whatever way they choose (aka "block grants"). One of several reasons the latter is a bad idea is a persistent history of neglecting minority communities in many places. And overall this set of policies would most likely make many vulnerable people worse off.

                •  My big problem with the "voluntary charity" (3+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  jlynne, pdx kirk, socindemsclothing

                  argument isn't so much that "it doesn't work because the rich won't give enough to pay the bills", it's that it puts the decision of who's "worthy" of aid in the hands of people who are not inclined to make that decision objectively.  When you see the well heeled attending each other's fundraisers, it's mainly to see and be seen.  But what actual good is done isn't done in the name of altruism, but in the name of power.  They have it, other people need it and this gives the Haves power over the Have Nots.  If the gummint comes along and tries to level the playing field, it dilutes that power, which the elite view as a Very Bad Thing.  After all, they didn't cut all those throats to get where they are just so the government could yank the rug out from under them, now did they?

                  I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

                  by mojo11 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:27:04 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

              •  Where do you find libertarians who are (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                socindemsclothing

                "strongly in favor of using government to address social ills"?? That is precisely the sort of thing no libertarian trusts government to do...in fact, libertarians are all about not trusting government to do much of anything, beyond maybe basic defense. Their attitude toward social problems tends to be that if government would just leave people alone, people would solve their own problems, or voluntary action (informal community groups or churches) would take care of things.

                "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                by Alice in Florida on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 11:20:28 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  Agreed. Not sure where the notion of lib altruism (0+ / 0-)

                  is coming from.  Ayn Rand, the libertarian goddess, was a rabid Social Darwinist.  And I've yet to meet a lib (except for the outlier in this thread) who posits a more complex solution to the problem of poverty other than "charity will take care of it".    

                  "I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils (of capitalism), namely through the establishment of a socialist economy..." -Albert Einstein

                  by socindemsclothing on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:22:31 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

      •  I resemble that remark (2+ / 0-)

        I consider myself first a civil libertarian - after that it gets a bit messy . . . but the Democrats are no closer to representing  me than the Republicans.

        "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

        by jlynne on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 10:07:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  The koch brothers are not liberarians (8+ / 0-)

      I have no idea if they claim to be but they bankroll hardcore religious conservatives... Very anti libertarian.

    •  Libertarians do have a Bircher connection. (8+ / 0-)

      I was a class trained Libertarian. It turned out to be a form of cult training. In 1974 my best friends father asked if we young long hairs who talked about wanting to make a better world (and get out of Viet Nam) wanted to go to an all expenses paid seminar in Wichita for a week. We were to learn about government and history and business and money and the truth of politics in America.
       We heard all expenses road trip and said sure!
      What unfolded was a week of 9 hour days in seminar with one Robert LeFevre. http://en.wikipedia.org/...
      Founder of the Freedom School and its travelling seminars.(To this day a staple of the Ludwig Von Mises Center.) We were treated to many chapters of learning that started with Individualism as based in Natural Law as the basis for all human understanding. It professes a pacifism based on the idea that 'if I am born an individual then no one has a right to coerce me, and therefore I have no right to coerce another.  It wove through many layers of early American history, monetary systems, praise for the Robber Barons and Monopolists. There were readings of Rose Wilder Lane, Thomas Payne and Milton Friedman. It wrapped up with his signature parable of "abstain from beans" which seeks to convince that not voting is the only moral choice as voting is a form of trying to impose your will on another.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

      I floated out of Wichita feeling an enlightenment that required me to evangelise.

      It took me a long time to see the flaws in his charismatic presentation. One was the assumption (carefully explained) that societal interactions were optional. Community was simply a choice we make. Not a natural essential need. Another was that the non human world had no inherent rights and was thus under our dominion. (which of course we were supposed to treat kindly)

      But I promised a Bircher connection.

      The seminar was paid for by the Koch Foundation.

      Fred Koch (founder of Koch industries) was a founding member of the John Birch society (which were both anti communist and segregationist). Charles Koch famously quit the society in 1968 ( http://archive.org/... ) after the society suffered popular setbacks due to the Civil Rights movement and LBJ. He went on to start the Cato Institute and the Heritage Foundation.

      Fred and Charles Koch are Notable graduates of Robert LeFevre's Freedom School and Rampart College.

      What passes for Libertarianism in America today is a carefully orchestrated and shadow built movement that is designed on purpose to appeal to the educated young who are pacifist and feel put upon by government. But it is in fact a giant rationalization intended to keep a very few very rich and very much in control.

      .....it's on the table, under the watermelon she demurred. Thanks, I was planning on shaving anyway he replied.

      by pdx kirk on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 11:12:42 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Lefties also.... (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      alain2112, MGross

      ....fear flouride in water as we saw recently in Portland.

      •  i wouldn't say that was a fear response (0+ / 0-)

        more of a "it costs how much!!???" and "what about all the microbreweries? it's one thing in water, but another matter entirely in every local beverage" kind of thing.  i bet Nestle et al were salivating over the prospect of brewhouses buying their distilled water, hey?

        following the money of who was pushing that shit is enlightening.

        http://www.usatoday.com/...

        Portland's drinking water already contains naturally occurring fluoride, though not at levels considered to be effective at fighting cavities.
        so from just where would the fluoride additive be procured?

        as for whatever science is to be had on the subject, sure, there have been studies.  but how many variables were really controlled for in said studies? how much did they account for people moving?  did they check the sample participants for having been bottle-fed, other lifestyle factors that totally affect oral health?  some people just have genetically crappy teeth.  some well water supplies are horrible for teeth.  etc.

        "I don't want chemicals in my water," Sarah Lazzaro said after voting Tuesday. "I know that there are really no known health risks with it, but there's a lot of things we find out later in life really do have health risks."
        hell to tha muthafuckin' yes.  and that's the bottom line.    

        Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

        by Cedwyn on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:07:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  clarification (0+ / 0-)

          i'm not dissing on bottle feeding per se.  what i meant was bottles full of juice at bedtime and the like.  they can warp the direction of baby tooth growth, which will, of course, impact the structure of the mouth for a lifetime.

          such things also affect the chemistry and flora of the mouth.

          etc.

          Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

          by Cedwyn on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:11:27 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Stripping away all the rhetoric (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril

          "I don't want chemicals in my water" is a fear response, an ignorance response. (for one thing, if you don't have "chemicals" in your water, you're liable to have nasty microbes in your water that are actually quite dangerous.) Flouride has a very long record of safety and effectiveness. Liberals who spout this sort of nonsense are just as foolish as Birchers.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 11:30:09 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  If you don't have chemicals in your water (0+ / 0-)

            then you don't actually have any water.

            "Let’s just move on, treat everybody with firmness, fairness, dignity, compassion and respect. Let’s be Marines." - Sgt. Maj Michael Barrett on DADT repeal

            by kyril on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 02:53:57 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Wasn't that a central theme in Dr. Strangelove? (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        spacecadet1, MGross, kyril

        That general that started the whole shooting war... didn't he have a thing about flouride?

        I'll believe corporations are people when one comes home from Afghanistan in a body bag.

        by mojo11 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:29:49 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good first diary. (27+ / 0-)

    Sometimes the left's biggest challenge is the left itself, and its propensity to seek internal wars rather than coalitions.  

    I wonder what the left is anymore.  Libertarrians sometimes were good on war and peace issues and some civil liberites, but horrendous on economc equality issues.  

    In the end, I see libertarians as pigs, but that's me.

    Hope you writye more diaries.

    Join us on the Black Kos front porch to review news and views written from a black pov—everyone is welcome.

    by TomP on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 02:07:09 PM PDT

    •  Thanks (5+ / 0-)

      I see them being as more isolationist than peaceful although it sort of brings us to the same place. I don't think we should spend as much money as we spend being the world's police but I am not an isolationist and I agree with their view on vices for the most part.

      The legs of the crane have become short in the summer rain. Buson

      by Travelin Man on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 02:30:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am sort of an isolationist in that I would (0+ / 0-)

        promote local economies to the degree practical as resources radiate from their sources.
        No value added goods should be shipped around the world, only raw materials so that people, on the local level, can produce finished products locally.  That would solve unemployment and be more efficient and sustainable.  

    •  In what universe are libertarians leftist? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tardis10, Alice in Florida

      Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit. --Edward R. Murrow

      by chuckvw on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:49:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        qofdisks, spacecadet1

        That's what real libertarians believe, and why they are natural allies of the liberals.

        The one sticking point is that libertarians believe that governments are so immensely corruptible (and corrupted) that they should be stripped of all powers. Otherwise, they just funnel opportunities and wealth to their political allies, and leave the rest of us in the cold.

        Sounds a lot like Occupy Wall Street to me....

        •  Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy, socindemsclothing

          Doesn't remotely describe my life as a leftist. There are other committed leftists on the site who are about much more than that. I would say that a lot of people on this site have no idea what a leftist is.

          As far as liberals and libertarians having such an affinity, I would need some evidence. At any rate, that would be different from the "left" having a problem with libertarians. This is just veiled kick the dfh diary/thread, IMO.

          Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit. --Edward R. Murrow

          by chuckvw on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 11:00:33 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  according to Bill Maher, (3+ / 0-)
          "Libertarians are republican who want to smoke pot and get laid"
          I don't think it's far off the mark.

          Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

          by kamarvt on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:40:54 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  Not just sex, drugs and rock and roll but, local (0+ / 0-)

          production and rule.
          I know many beleaguered organic farmers that advocate Libertarianism.  Why?  Big ag has co-opted government to pass ornery rules that make small business and producers shoulder all the risk, taxes and impossible regulation.  

        •  Actually Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          socindemsclothing

          are non-political. There is nothing inherent liberal about it...it's just a dividing line between the WWII generation and those who came after. A rocker can be far-left or far-right but most are radically indifferent.

          However, you're right that they're most likely libertarian, in the sense that libertarians are basically 13-year-olds at heart. It is a political philosophy for adolescents who resent any sort of authority and have no concept of the needs of others.

          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

          by Alice in Florida on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 11:37:35 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  Silicon Valley Universe. (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ukit, chuckvw, Chi

        Where political labels are virtually able to morph into meaning nearly anything at all. Also,when the POTUS' close friend and advisor,Cass Sunstein, describes his political brand as "libertarian paternalism" we are seeing the L-word stretched into respectability....in this,our current Bizarro World universe.

        "George RR Martin is not your bitch" ~~ Neil Gaiman

        by tardis10 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 08:37:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Marx was a left-libertarian in many ways. (7+ / 0-)

        Noam Chomsky today is a left-libertarian.

        Just as with "Christian evangelicals" which actually encompass lefties and righties, the term "libertarian" in America has been hijacked by the right. It would be far more accurate to call our version "propertarian" as its chief concern is the protection of private property, not human freedom or liberty.

        The left's version was and is all about emancipation, and that goes back to Marx and well before him. There is far more to emancipation than just liberation from government oppression, because oppression comes in so many forms. You also have to be liberated from private power as well.

        The right's version is lopsided and incredibly selective and limited, which is why it's the ideology of choice for billionaires. It boils down to "freedom and liberty" for the rich.

        The left wants to extend the franchise to everyone.

      •  In this universe (6+ / 0-)

        It doesn't take much more than a quick look at political history to see that libertarianism was originally a left-wing ideology.

        The right-wing variant is really only a few decades old. Murray Rothbard, who was a big influence on Ron Paul, referred to it this way in a column from the 70s:

        Recently, a bewildering and seemingly new phenomenon has burst upon the public consciousness, “right-wing libertarianism.”
    •  TomP rejoice!....I have ferreted out (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Chi, TomP

      the real Left.  It now abides with the  Progressive Democrats of America.  The group is financially lean, but strong in passion and some awesome national volunteers.   They support and work with the left end of the Congressional Progressive Caucus.  We send out more than 200 letters to our congressional reps each month urging them to take progressive positions, vote for great legislation, and thanking them when they do.   sometimes it even works.

      Dollarocracy is not Democracy

      by leema on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 09:22:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  What are you basing this on? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PhilK, Sparhawk, fuzzyguy, qofdisks
    the industry oversees itself and/or has a revolving door with government which is really how the Libertarians see things working
    Because that's pretty much the exact opposite of libertarian philosophy. If crony capitalism and governmental corruption are what you fear, libertarians aren't your enemy.
  •  i used to be a libertarian (11+ / 0-)

    but what finally got me out of that camp was finding out how many white supremacists are in the libertarian party.  really, its a political group founded, funded, and run by white power, white hate.

    and that's when i realized that just about every friggin' thing in this country revolves around racism.  we are steeped in it and the libertarian party uses it's pro-pot and pro-prostitution beliefs to lure people into the party and infect them with white hate.  that is exactly the reason many of my high school and college friends bought into the philosophy - the desire to get laid and smoke a joint in peace.

    when i was younger, i was smart but naive.  i'm ashamed to even think about some of the libertarian beliefs that i held mainly because i honestly thought that people, when left to their own devices, were good people.  the ugly racist reality of this country proves otherwise.

    •  When you say (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, qofdisks
      i honestly thought that people, when left to their own devices, were good people.
      You can expect the rebuttal to be "Yes, correct, which is precisely why empowering a small number of individuals with an incredible amount of authority is so dangerous."
    •  Koch brothers (6+ / 0-)

      IMO racism is used as a tool by the powerful just like religion has for centuries.  I don't think the Koch brothers  and their type care any more about poor white folks than poor minorities. The Koch brothers are really the poster children of Libertarianism right now. They are the big funders of those groups and writing the ALEC legislation washing through the states right now.

      The legs of the crane have become short in the summer rain. Buson

      by Travelin Man on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 03:48:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I participate in a few different forums (6+ / 0-)

        most of which welcome a mix of political ideologies.

        DKos is the only forum where I participate that has a specific political ideology, and it's the only one that views the Koch brothers as the poster children of libertarianism.

        Obviously it's a matter of opinion, but I do think it's interesting that libertarians seem to rarely view the Koch brothers as representative of themselves.

        IMO, which I have argued to no success, Democrats could find a friend in the libertarian cause based on shared beliefs about civil liberties.

        The problem is that, for a few liberals and Democrats, mere mention of the word "libertarian" invokes a strange reaction of incoherent ranting about bigotry and racism and evil plots to destroy the world.

        For some unknown reason, this is perceived as offensive and confusing by people who have taken a political position which is generally based on opposition to authoritarianism and governmental abuse.

        I'm starting to believe this may be a barrier to achieving progress through an alliance based on a common beliefs.

        •  This is getting into (3+ / 0-)

          "No True Scotsman" territory.

          If the Koch Brothers claim the mantle of libertarianism, who's to say they aren't?

          You may have the best of intentions, be we all know which road is paved with good intentions.

          Why would I want to remove the last few remaining checks on the Koch Brother's power?

          If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

          by Major Kong on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:50:09 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  They do more than claim the mantle- (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            AaronInSanDiego, pdx kirk

            they support the biggest media outlet for libertarianism, reason.com
            And reason.com returns the favor, often in a snarky manner like this:

            http://reason.com/...

            My nephew used to write for Reason. He thinks the Koch brothers are swell.

          •  Which checks are you referring to? (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            qofdisks

            And how would they be removed by cooling it with the accusations of racism and bigotry?

            •  Um, regulations (4+ / 0-)

              You know, the ones that the Koch's and other billionaires find so burdensome.

              Mind you they seem to have become billionaires anyways, so I guess they're not that burdensome.

              I don't think libertarians are necessarily racist, but there is an overlap with the "Why should the government be able to tell me I have to serve (pick a minority) at my business?" crowd.

              If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

              by Major Kong on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 06:44:23 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

          •  No its not (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            TheOpinionGuy, ukit, qofdisks

            "If the Koch Brothers claim the mantle of libertarianism, who's to say they aren't?" Reality.

            Simply put they do not support libertarian policies.

            Libertarianism can be contracted to "anti-government" The Koch brothers are not anti government. They are pro government that helps them and pro social government intervention. Two very anti libertarian policies.

            •  They are against (4+ / 0-)

              any government regulations that might impact their business plus any government protections of workers.

              They are fiercely anti union and actively pushing right-to-work legislation.

              Unless of course you're going to try to tell me that libertarians are pro-union and pro-regulation of business.

              Maybe the Kochs aren't focused on the libertarian principles that you happen to be focused on but nobody ever said they were 100% pure.

              If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

              by Major Kong on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 07:04:39 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  75% shit and 25% ham (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                ukit, qofdisks

                does not make a ham sandwich.

                FYI Libertarianism is not inherently anti union. Although most libertarians are.

                But yes you can be labeled something even if you are not pure.

                But social freedoms and anti big government  are the fundamental tenants of libertarianism and the Koch's completely break from that.  

              •  Koch Bros = Anarcho Capitalists (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                qofdisks

                Not libertarians....

                Libertarians believe that government is too corrupt so they want to remove all power vested in it.

                Koch Bros want to use government to enrich themselves, and take away all vehicles to impede corporate interests. That includes packing courts, and so forth.

                Very different beasts....

          •  There ARE NO remaining checks on the Koch's (0+ / 0-)

            power.

        •  maybe (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          artmartin, pdx kirk

          i just cannot get past the pervasive white power alignment of the intellectual force of libertarianism.  ron paul, long the poster boy of the libertarians (but definitely not all libertarians) is infamous for his racists newsletters and political support from stormfront, including donations, as well as various other neo-nazis, neo-confederates, skinheads, etc.

          and it is not simply libertarians opposing authoritarianism and government abuse, it is the fact that libertarianism wants to have a government whose only function is that of contract enforcement.  libertarians harp on how government derives power through violence but turn a blind eye to the massive abuses of corporations.  they espouse things like getting ride of the civil rights act because business who discriminate won't be tolerated by society and market forces will force them to change.  that's the biggest load of shit i've ever heard in my life - but every major libertarian figure supports this!

          how do you reconcile this kind of belief, that market forces will solve all human problems, to be compatible with Democratic or progressive beliefs?  I could not, and as I gained a little more experience (basically after graduating college) the whole facade just came crashing down.

          The godfather of the libertarian system, ludwig von mises, famously wrote a book called human action which has as a premise that every action is an economic action (requiring trade-offs and utilization of scarce resources).  that is the fundamental plank of libertarianism - without it, you arent a libertarian.

          i would like your opinion on how that squares with democratic or progressive beliefs.

          •  Sure. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            qofdisks

            I think those beliefs can be squared with those of Democrats and the like because they share a common goal of freedom and equality. The difference is their opinion on how to reach that end.

            Libertarians don't turn a blind eye to corporate abuse, they hate it as much or more than any Democrat. But, they differ on how to fix the problem. Democrats believe that the beast can be controlled as long as the right people are in office. Case in point: Obama admin scrambling to write rules for extrajudicial killing in the event that Romney won the election. Libertarians believe that power corrupts everyone.

            In re: racism and Ron Paul,

            To be honest, I haven't paid much attention to him, but let's assume he is absolutely a vile, despicable racist. Perhaps he truly is.

            Well, Democrats in the antebellum South were advocates of slavery. Not merely racists, they went to war for fucking slavery. Should you be castigated as a racist because someone else is or was who claimed to be a Democrat?

            If not, why do you believe it's fair to dismiss libertarians as racists merely because one person who assumed the label of libertarian was a racist?

            You say it's pervasive, but you only mention Ron Paul. Are there a bunch of racist libertarians that I just don't know about? If there are, I'd appreciate you educating me so I don't go on defending them.

            •  Yes there are (3+ / 0-)

              Many on the staff of lewrockwell.com - lew Rockwell is a major part of the libertarian party. There are of course others such as the Ron Paul and rand Paul's of the party. I had done quit a bit of data gathering on this very subject but trashed my links as I was disgusted with what I had found.

              The irony of mentioning the antebellum dems is that that political party is now the republican party and that statement ignores the very real transition from a party upholding slavery to one that includes President Obama.

              I'm sorry that I have been aggressive in some respects and not as gracious in dialog as you have been to me.   This is a very sore subject as I found myself unwittingly aligned with these guys because of the superficial appeal of their beliefs.

              •  That's not an answer. (0+ / 0-)

                "Many of the staff" doesn't tell me anything at all. Saying "the Ron Paul and rand Paul's of the party" doesn't either.

                Your words were "pervasive white power alignment." You need to either cite specific people or stop making this argument.

                •  what is this, wikipedia? (4+ / 0-)

                  you don't like the point he's making, so you tell him he has to stop making it unless he can provide sources to meet your specifications?

                  and PS, libertarians are racist. in fact, the very hatred of government that drives the movement comes from resentment of the federal government stepping in and forcing the southern states to treat African-americans as equals under the law in the 1950s and 60s. you're fooling yourself if you think this isn't so.

                  "Against the assault of laughter, nothing can stand." - Mark Twain

                  by GrimReefa on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 07:59:04 PM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  This is a reality based community. (2+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    fuzzyguy, MGross

                    We make decisions based on facts and the evidence, not fear mongering and unverifiable claims.

                    Of course he's free to keep making those arguments. Evading requests for evidence just means he won't have any credibility when doing so.

                    For example, when you say:

                    the very hatred of government that drives the movement comes from resentment of the federal government stepping in and forcing the southern states to treat African-americans as equals under the law in the 1950s and 60s.
                    My immediate reaction is, well what about all the libertarians who weren't alive during the 50s and 60s? That'd be an odd thing to resent, considering they weren't born yet when it happened.

                    What do you say to those drawn to the libertarian movement because they are weary of war, oppose mass incarceration and the war on drugs, and don't like mass scale domestic spying?

                    Are they driven by resentment of the feds stepping in during the 50s and 60s? Also, does your argument seem silly yet? Perhaps you'd like to cite something to support it.

                    •  So, why aren't they progressives? (1+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      socindemsclothing

                      ...if they have the exact some approach to issues? Maybe because progressives are so concerned with racial equality?

                      Racism has a way of being handed down in families...it fades over time but doesn't disappear. A lot of lower income "conservatives" are more resentful of racial equality than of economic inequality.

                      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                      by Alice in Florida on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 11:55:37 AM PDT

                      [ Parent ]

                      •  Are you serious? (1+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        fuzzyguy

                        Um, maybe because progressives are fucking TERRIBLE on those issues?

                        Have you been paying attention at all in the past 12 months?

                        •  When I say "progressive" (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:
                          socindemsclothing

                          I'm certainly not talking about Obama or mainstream politicians--is that who you think "progressives" are? The left started criticizing Obama in 2009. I'm not sure exactly what you mean about the last 12 months...what have progressives done that was terrible in the last months? (keeping in mind, of course, that Obama is not "progressive")

                          Progressives (mind you, I'm talking about minority of Democrats) have been opposing war since Vietnam, but never mustered sufficient numbers in Congress to do much about it. The support for cutting off NSA funding had slightly more Democratic than Republican votes, I believe...

                          "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

                          by Alice in Florida on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:22:37 PM PDT

                          [ Parent ]

              •  The racist aspect is a side bar to Libertarianism (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                MGross

                Communistic ideals where on the rise in the 20s and 30s. This was a threat to establishment. Individualist thinkers emerged. These ideas were useful to industrialists. The Kochs specifically shifted from using the tool of the John Birch society to combat communism while offering "separate but equal" as their answer to Black America, to promoting the Libertarian ideology. They dropped segregation and concentrated on fighting the broader tide towards Democratic Socialism. But class and racism are built in to the ideology because individualism sells the idea that if your good and work hard you will rise. Therefore if you don't rise you must not have been good. It ignores institutional suppression and blames the results of inequality on the victim. They have used Libertarianism as a weapon in what they view as a war. It has worked.

                Its a classic philosophical duality battle. Fate vs free will. Here vs there. Us vs them. In this case, the individual or the community. The Zen masters would point to the Yin Yang symbol and say, "it takes both to make a whole".

                The Right Wing Libertarian training I experienced in 1974 was in fact a grand rationalization based on variations of Aristotle's Natural Law philosophies that concludes that only individualism is inherent. Community is optional. This of course is not true. What is true is that we are individuals who need community to survive. But Community requires some responsibility of the individual to the group. That can be inconvenient to people who don't want to fulfil that responsibility, so they seek rationalizations to clear them of such duties. The philosophers and teachers such as Robert LeFevre of the Freedom School simply ripped the Yin Yang in half, threw one side away and said, "there we solved the problem".

                It took me time to see this flaw because the individual liberty and rights part of the Libertarian argument is sound and attractive. But that Liberty must be tempered by the Communities we engineer.

                Breaking free of Aristocracy is at the root of the American/French revolutions. The natural progression of seeking maximum Individual Rights in a Just Society leads imo towards some form of Democratic Socialism. Today's Aristocrats don't like that any more than King George did.  

                .....it's on the table, under the watermelon she demurred. Thanks, I was planning on shaving anyway he replied.

                by pdx kirk on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:33:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  i agree (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:
                  pdx kirk

                  i loved the individual freedom part, and this is the biggest overlap with the democratic party.  they do have a good message on civil liberties but they want to expand maximization of freedom to all aspects of the human experience.  i cannot get the desire to rid corporations and businesses of all regulations and this insistence the the free market will solve all problems.  it won't and it hasn't.

          •  "Human Action" by Von Mises (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pdx kirk

            Here is the book, available as a PDF for free:

            http://mises.org/...

  •  I have an old acquiantance (10+ / 0-)

    with whom I reconnected via social media.  When we were in college in the 80s, he was a liberal.  Then he "grew up," as he put it, and realized that his parents were right about everything and he became a conservative.  Was trying to get to to read Thomas Sowell and Tammy Bruce.  

    In the last couple of years he has abandoned the Republicans and gone full on Libertarian.  We have discussions where, with a complete lack of self-awareness, he exhibits the most amazing selfishness and dearth of empathy while at the same time filling his page with all of his self-important orthodox church elder pictures.

    Ugh.  

    Anyway - that's my proximity-to-a-Libertarian story.

    Here in Oregon, we have our fair share.  Here, I think, they steal more support from the Republicans.  It's the Greens and Anarchists that cost the Dems more around here.

    Please, keep writing!  :- )

    Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

    by CJB on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 02:23:21 PM PDT

    •  And, by the way, (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      arizonablue, TomP, Travelin Man, annieli

      that last pronouncement is merely personal observation.  

      Hmh.  Maybe I'll dig up some stats and line them up in a diary.

      Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

      by CJB on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 02:26:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I believe the real threat caused by the (9+ / 0-)

      Libertarians is the appeal they have to college-aged students. What I'm hearing from the California campuses is that the younger voters are very disillusioned with Obama and the Democratic Party.

      They hate the Republicans...they rarely mention the Green Party, but they find common ground with the Libertarians (even though, they have very little knowledge about their platform).

      I honestly think the biggest mistake Democrats could make during the 2016 campaign is to nominate Hillary Clinton...she will be viewed as an extension of Obama's policies, which will alienate younger voters (18-35).

      •  I think 2016 will be the most (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Valar Morghulis, praenomen, pdx kirk

        interesting election of my lifetime.  (I'm 52.)  Who embraces whom and who rejects what will be  - what? - is there a game that combines pinball and tug-of-war with Axis and Allies?  (I'm sure there's a more apt baseball analogy, but after the past 24 hours, I'm fresh out.)

        Hillary will energize a lot of Dems, but with the demographic you mention, you and the diarist speak a loud truth.

        Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

        by CJB on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:12:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Actually, let's be honest. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Valar Morghulis

        what you say will be true for a nu,ber of people outside that demographic, as well.

        Me?  I'll toe the line.  Will I blame those who don't?  Too soon to tell.  Too soon...

        Can you call yourself a real liberal if you aren't reading driftglass?

        by CJB on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:17:42 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  This election will be different for me. (5+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ukit, fuzzyguy, CJB, burlydee, pdx kirk

          It could very well be my last, so I am only fighting for the benefit of my children and grandchildren.

          I wish I could feel optimistic about the Democratic Party, but I don't. Sunday, Glenn Greenwald made a statement in which he referred to "...the rotted soul that has become the Democratic Party..." I think he was spot on.

          The Republicans are barbaric...they have no soul, but Glenn is correct, the soul of the Democratic Party is rotted...it has been absconded by corporatists and sycophants. The members who are still humane, and understand there has been too much suffering under this administration are being shouted down by the people who are destroying our party...

          I can't blame the college students for being disillusioned...they have every right to feel that way.

          •  Maybe the souls of the American people (0+ / 0-)

            are rotted as well--the corrosive cynicism regarding public service that allows corporate interests free reign. Don't forget, Obama and the Republicans all won elections by bombarding voters with TV ads, and voters mostly elected whoever presented the best 10-second spots, i.e., the best marketing.

            "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

            by Alice in Florida on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 12:03:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  praenomen -- i work with younger voters & i can (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        praenomen, fuzzyguy, artmartin

        tell you for a fact that they will refuse to vote for hillary if she's the d's nominee. no way. no how.

        •  That's what I'm hearing...from a lot of people (0+ / 0-)
          •  I hear it from... (0+ / 0-)

            I hear the same lack of support for Hillary Clinton from young Tea Partiers, young Republicans, young Klan members, young inmates in insane asylums and young Libertarians.

            True, she's no Liberal, but they hate her because she isn't a Conservative either. And because her name is Clinton.

            She's another in a long line of "Not a Liberal but hugely better than the Republicans." Obama, Bill Clinton, Carter and most popular Democratic politicians fit this mold.

            Bush II showed the country how close we could come to total economic destruction and totalitarianism under a Republican president and Republican congress. So I'll support Hillary Clinton full-bore, as I would virtually any Democratic candidate. She's too Republican for me, but the horror that awaits us if we elect a Republican is highly motivating.

            A Southerner in Yankeeland

            To save your life read "Pity The Billionaire" by Thomas Frank, and "Winner-Take-All-Politics" by Jacob S. Hacker and Paul Pierson. Then read more books.

            by A Southerner in Yankeeland on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:27:05 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Ron Paul couldn't even break 5% (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        enemy of the people

        At his peak of popularity, Ron Paul had no broad support. In the end, Americans will not go for someone who wants to retrench internationally and abolish half the government.

    •  Thanks (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TomP, CJB, Alice in Florida

      Because the tea party has pretty much taken over the modern Libertarian party and the Republicans get lots of tea party candidates, I see them as one and the same now. I don't think the majority of Repub's are Libertarians or the other way around but I think they are working toward a common cause now.

      The legs of the crane have become short in the summer rain. Buson

      by Travelin Man on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 02:44:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Libertarians are often a subset (9+ / 0-)

    Everyone is a libertarian to a point.  Everyone is also to some degree an authoritarian.

    It is easy to forget that the political spectrum in the United States is much narrower than it is globally.

    If you are an American, you are must likely a liberal libertarian.  Both the Democratic and Republican Party fit into this spectrum.

    Both parties believe in free or at least mostly free markets.  The only real debate is at the corner cases.  You can believe investment banks and consumer banks should be kept separate, but still believe both should exist.

    Both parties also believe the rights of the individual are greater than the rights of the state.  Things like the NSA wiretapping are again a small corner case.

    As progressives we believe that the corner case of the most vulnerable should be the charge of government activism.  Conservatives tend to believe the same thing should be done through market solutions instead.

    The debate is about the most effective way of going about things.

    •  This is definitely true (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Dr Teeth
      It is easy to forget that the political spectrum in the United States is much narrower than it is globally.
      Although I would describe the dominant ideology of Americans as more neoliberal than libertarian.
    •  In a perfect world (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      TheOpinionGuy

      I think both parties are similar because for the most part they are bought by the same type of people. I think you have to get to the fringe of the democrat party to find people who represent the bottom 90%. imo 99% of congress are there to represent the 1%. We really do not have a party that represents the 90%. It's just which group of the 1% you want represented.
      [Here is how I see our presidents since I started to vote:
      Carter- Represented big agriculture and the farm conglomerates took off under him.
      Reagan - Represented big military and the military conglomerates took off under him.
      Bush I - Big Pharmacy - same as above
      Clinton - Big Health Care and industrial animal farms - same as above.
      Bush II - Oil - Same as above
      Obama - Big banks - same as above
      Which top 1% do you want represented? I know they all had other pet industries, but those seemed to be the biggies to me.]

      Unfortunately things like fracking and GMO foods get a pass on all regulations so it is almost impossible to let the market forces work. There is no way to boycott gas. One of the main refiners who provides the gas for our region uses fracked oil.  GMO is not labelled so it is almost impossible to limit your input of GMO food unless you cook everything from scratch. And even then it would be challenging.

      Everything is grey area and nothing is black and white.

      The legs of the crane have become short in the summer rain. Buson

      by Travelin Man on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 03:19:41 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think we should add anarchism to the list. (11+ / 0-)

    I know they will protest, but Libertarianism and Anarchism are more alike than they are different. I believe both lead to Social Darwinism.

    The Left, including here at DK, seems to either welcome anarchists or not notice them. We cheer them on when they show up to protest or complain without ever questioning whether or not they are agitating for the same goals. I think they are part of the reason Occupy was not able to go even further than it has.

    Libertarians will at least allow some government institutions to stand-just barely. While the Anarchists do not want any government at all. The rhetoric of both sounds almost the same, but is different.

    The challenge is distinguishing those who believe in good government and democracy and those that do not.

    The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

    by sebastianguy99 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 02:28:48 PM PDT

    •  Libertarians are essentially anarchists. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sebastianguy99, duhban

      I think the only difference is that Libertarians say they want a strong military, and anarchists undoubtedly would not want that.

      Libertarians are kind of like cancer cells: they multiply without restraint, they feed off the efforts of others, they don't know their place in the overall scheme of things, they don't follow any plan other than their own, and they eventually end up killing the host.

      The road to Hell is paved with pragmatism.

      by TheOrchid on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 02:47:44 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  My view on Anarchists (3+ / 0-)

      For the most part I see Anarchists as groups like anonymous who want to remove all control in a specific area. A true anarchist makes no sense to me what so ever. Structure is not a concept created by or only effecting humans. It's like trying to dismantle an ecosystem.

      The legs of the crane have become short in the summer rain. Buson

      by Travelin Man on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 03:28:57 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You're completely misinformed about this (5+ / 0-)

        See my post elsewhere in this thread:

        http://www.dailykos.com/...

        Anarchists are not opposed to organization and social structure. They advocate egalitarian horizontal and bottom up organization, rather than hierarchical, vertical, top down authoritarianism.

        "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

        by ZhenRen on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 03:51:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Anarchists don't want to remove structure (5+ / 0-)

        Control yes, but not structure. They believe in self-governance and naturally occurring structure rather than hierarchy.

        To expand on the ecosystem analogy, a group of birds flying in a flock would be an example of anarchy.

        There are "leaders" in a flock at any given moment that the rest of the birds base their movements on, but the leaders constantly change. If the flock changes direction, a new bird who happens to be in front will take over as the "leader."

        Another example would be a website based on user-contributed content like Reddit, Wikipedia, or even Daily Kos. Yes, there is a staff someone running the technical side of things, but in a practical sense, these sites are mostly self-governed by the users. Anyone can sign up and submit content, there is no "hierarchy" so to speak of. The users decide what content gets pushed to the top through collective action.

        How this gets translated into modern politics is up for debate, but hopefully you can see that the basic idea behind anarchy is not crazy or threatening.

        •  The problem though is that hierarchy is natural (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          sebastianguy99, duhban

          Humans naturally form hierarchical social structures.  It is in our DNA to do so.  What isn't natural is rigid and distinctly organized hierarchies.  You bring up a flock of birds as an example but humans aren't birds.  A troop of chimps would be a better example and those are hierarchical but loosely.  Or perhaps a pack of wolves would be a better example since our hierarchies tend to be more rigid than that of chimps.

          Of course, I'm also someone who strongly believes the delineation between natural and artificial is a bunch of anthropocentric rubbish so take my opinion for what it is worth.

          "It was believed afterward that the man was a lunatic, because there was no sense in what he said." "The War Prayer" by Mark Twain

          by Quanta on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 07:37:42 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Both are natural (4+ / 0-)

            You'll find plenty of examples of both in the "natural world," although I would argue that anarchy almost certainly predominates when you step back and look at the bigger picture. I strongly agree with your second point though - it's silly to create an artificial distinction between the natural and "unnatural," or to assume that we can only learn from what has happened in the past.

            Probably the only generalization that can really be made is that in some circumstances, hierarchy is useful, while in many others it isn't, and anarchic structures may be more useful, innovative and efficient. And maybe that's the context in which the idea of anarchy should be explored - how is this idea useful and beneficial in the context of a modern society?

          •  Quite a few early hunter gatherer (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            fuzzyguy

            societies were egalitarian and anarchic.

            Anthropologists observe that humans are capable of organizing in a variety of ways, among them anarchic forms of living arrangements.

            But deliberately organizing hierarchically according to decree  simply accentuates mutual warfare and competition (one of the most destructive traits) rather than cooperation. Countless examples of spontaneous, voluntary horizontal organizing around the principle of equality and mutual aid can be observed in human history and interrelationships.

            It is better to accentuate the more productive and beneficial human traits. Other human traits won't completely disappear with this approach, but at least the conflicts will be minimized, rather than institutionalized as part of human society, which makes no logical sense at all.

            Not all social scientists are in agreement about human nature.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 09:06:42 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

    •  Actually, you're misinformed (12+ / 0-)

      Right wing "libertarianism" does not equal anarchism. True anarchism means "without authority" and is anti-capitalist and left wing. It is free socialism, or non-authoritarian socialism. It is quite the opposite of social Darwinism. It is a major part of anti-capitalist history and tradition. Marxists and anarchists organizationally split in the mid 1800s over disagreements over the authoritarian centrism of Marxism.

      Leave it to the US to completely misunderstand history and come up with Orwellian usages of these terms.

      Authentic anarchists prefer to use the term "propertarians" to describe the self styled right wing "Libertarians" (a term originally used by left wing anarchists well over over a hundred years ago). Real anarchists (who are the original libertarians, a much misunderstood philosophy) believe that private property (used in the means of production) is founded on the baseless authority of the wealthy class (dating back to monarchs, lords, and feudalism), and used to enslave the working class (anyone who works for a boss), by the act of stealing the surplus profit produced by workers.

      Thus, such propertarians really don't care if most people are slaves to the ruling class, and thus they don't really support liberty.

      In true anarchism, which is completely anti-capitalist, people effectively organize around principles of egalitarianism and direct democracy, with community assemblies and worker syndicates which have a system of giving each person an equal voice. The community uses methods of self-management without the oppressive control of leaders. It is not chaos, but rather highly organized to serve the needs of the community. But there are no individuals given authority that cannot be immediately revoked by the general assemblies. These anarchist communities, in turn, form federations on local, regional, and national levels. Delegates are sent to form the federations, and the delegates are mandated to enact the decisions and goals of the general assemblies. Delegates are immediately recallable if they try to aggregate power to themselves. It is free socialism.

      Anarchist regions of Spain during the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939) adopted this system for almost three years, which gave the population of nearly 8 million universal health care, fully paid retirement after age 50, with collectivized, worker-managed industry and agriculture.

      This is an example of the original meaning and application of the term anarchist. And thus, the right wing self-styled adoption of the terms "libertarian" and so-called "anarcho-capitalism" are viewed as completely illogical misunderstandings of these terms.

      The right wing never understood libertarianism and anarchism, and their attempt to usurp these terms, and the resulting misunderstanding of them which has rippled through the US (but not Europe, which still uses these terms as they have always been used in the original meaning) have muddled the waters and confused people.

      I agree, though, that right wing so-called "Libertarians" could care less about real freedom, since they still support private ownership of the means of production and the resulting wage slavery. And they do want authority to exist to support the ruling class domination of property.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 03:48:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Thanks (6+ / 0-)

        I will do some research on it now. I never realized how ignorant I was regarding their goals and views.

        The legs of the crane have become short in the summer rain. Buson

        by Travelin Man on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:25:36 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  There's your problem (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sebastianguy99, duhban, alain2112
        Authentic anarchists
        In true anarchism
        The Westboro Baptist Church is neither an authentic nor true Baptist church.

        What do the authentic and true anarchists do or say about kids dressed in black and callling themselves anarachists, who randomly break windows or set cars on fire?

        “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

        by Catte Nappe on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:18:39 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Hmmm (4+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ZhenRen, fuzzyguy, duhban, burlydee

          Perhaps they should post thoughtful, eloquently written responses to misperceptions of their beliefs for the purpose of educating the misinformed...

          Um, lol...

          •  Anarchists are leftists and as such (4+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            ukit, ZhenRen, fuzzyguy, duhban

            you can be sure that every single window broken is accompanied by at least one manifesto, theory paper, or communique. Certainly not all eloquent, but definitely written. To the point that it's a running joke in some circles.

            If debt were a moral issue then, lacking morals, corporations could never be in debt.

            by AoT on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:53:05 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Not many kids dressed in black (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy, burlydee, JosephK74

          randomly do property damage as you suggest. In Portland various groups wear all black, and are peaceful. Black bloc is a tactic, not a group.

          So it depends on who you are specifically referring to.

          And, a few broken windows is hardly significant when compared to the massive violence committed by leaders of the Democratic party, which includes invasions of States based on false charges, drone terrorism, and recent war crimes, all of which are horrible acts of violence on a large scale, and supported by Democrats on dkos.

          So, when put in that context, a few broken bank windows by a few well-meaning kids is hardly comparable. If the State weren't letting the banks off without punishment for crimes against the people, the tiny number of kids breaking bank windows wouldn't need to rebel.

          The word anarchist was first used by Proudhon, back in the mid 1800s. There is an anarchist tradition that dates back to that time involving the usage of the term. And it is that which I call true anarchism, based on the logic inherent in the term.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:54:24 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  I'm amazed at some who recced this comment (9+ / 0-)

      Many are people whom I thought were more informed. TomP, really? Anarchists are the same as the right wing?

      So, Emma Goldman, Gandhi, Thoreau, Chomsky, Zinn, Tolstoy, Orwell,  Lucy Parsons, Voltairine de Cleyre, Virginia Bolten, Oscar Wilde, Zapata, Dorothy Day, and many, many activists in the early labor movement, are closer to the right wing?

      The activists who fought for an 8 hour day, fair wages, and worker's rights were right wing? Really?

      People need to become better informed than this. My god.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:16:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  You have to understand, there is a current meme (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ZhenRen, Valar Morghulis, kyril, fuzzyguy

        around DKos that the place has been affected by libertarians and anarchists.  Really, anyone who deviates from the current Democratic orthodoxy, and is not a batshit crazy Republican, is lumped together.  The term is used to stigmatize critics and criticism of the president as somehow not coming from a true progressive place. To qualify as a libertarian or anarchist at DKos, for some, one need only criticize a government program Obama supports too harshly.    

        Its the equivalent of Republicans calling Obama a socialist.  

    •  some are just (4+ / 0-)

      asshats calling themselves anarchists much like the vandals trolling OWS actions claiming to be anti-authoritarian but act like preternatural street thugs

      Warning - some snark may be above‽ (-9.50; -7.03)‽ eState4Column5©2013 "I’m not the strapping young Muslim socialist that I used to be" - Barack Obama 04/27/2013

      by annieli on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 04:43:59 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Anarchism, as an approach to social organization (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, fuzzyguy

      is far more Democratic than the "representational democracy" of the United States, which is dominated by the wealthy class and provides extremely limited access to ordinary citizens.

      The challenge is distinguishing those who believe in good government and democracy and those that do not.

      "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

      by ZhenRen on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 06:11:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  No it is not. It is social darwinism. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        duhban

        That is why it has never worked and anarchists are left to pretend that people are stupid or misinformed.

        We here believe in good government and believe the structure of government is right but the people we keep electing are wrong. We do not begrudge wealth, only ill-gotten wealth and unfairness.

        History is replete with the names of despots who told people that they had a more just way and that they could end corruption and peace. None have ever delivered.

        Perhaps Anarchists and Libertarians would be better off on their own respective islands free to demonstrate how well their ideas work in practice?

        **If you do leave, can you please take the conservatives Republicans with you? Pretty please?

        The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

        by sebastianguy99 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 08:51:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your comment (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy

          is more of a rant than a reasoned remark, and thus it really doesn't warrant a reply.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 09:13:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Of course, that is per usual for you folks. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            duhban

            When it comes down to it, you are every bit as judgmental and authoritarian as the wingnuts. How people handle honest disagreement will tell you all you need to know about whether or not they are truly different, or the same ol same ol' in different packaging.

            It is hard to hide power-seeking behavior which is what you really want when all is said and done. So thank you for not trying to sell bs as "reason".

            Now back to helping the Democratic Party.

            The politicians may be bought, and the system corrupt, but it is our duty to fix these things.

            by sebastianguy99 on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 09:29:10 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Well, this is something I do agree with: (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              fuzzyguy, burlydee
              How people handle honest disagreement will tell you all you need to know about whether or not they are truly different, or the same ol same ol' in different packaging.
              And this seems to contradict your recommended form of behavior:
              When it comes down to it, you are every bit as judgmental and authoritarian as the wingnuts.
              But as I recall, you've responded to me in similar fashion before, but may be mistaken. Not sure why you're so hostile.

              "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

              by ZhenRen on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 09:39:03 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

        •  History (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          fuzzyguy, ZhenRen
          History is replete with the names of despots who told people that they had a more just way and that they could end corruption and peace. None have ever delivered.
          Are you implying that there is only one form of government that works, and that it's been the same throughout history?

          Or that our current form of government is the ultimate end product of human evolution, and that nothing can be improved?

          Remember that liberalism itself is an extremely recent phenomenon - a blink of an eye when you look at the entirety of human history.

          •  The person you're replying to... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            kyril, fuzzyguy

            is willfully misunderstanding. I've been down this road with him/her before, it seems. Not much fertile ground for real discussion.

            "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

            by ZhenRen on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:36:35 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  It may be more democratic but (0+ / 0-)

        not workable in a large, complex society. The "general assemblies" of the various Occupy groups, which I recall reading about here, gave a vivid demonstration of the difficulties/impossibilities of running even a temporary community of like-minded people numbering more than a few hundred. The notion that major cities numbering in the millions could be governed that way, an idea that pops up from time to time, is sadly mistaken. We need complex structures to govern a complex society. The anarchist vision is appealing but just not practical.

        "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

        by Alice in Florida on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 12:15:13 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          kyril, fuzzyguy
          It may be more democratic but (0+ / 0-)

          not workable in a large, complex society.

          A good historical example is anarchist Spain during the Spanish Civil War, in which up to 8 million people were involved in the anarchist collectives.

          And the results were successful, despite the enormous difficulties of collectivizing during war time.

          Thus, statements that it is "not workable in a large complex society" are simply not true, but rather "just so" statements that people make with no facts to back it up.

          The "general assemblies" of the various Occupy groups, which I recall reading about here, gave a vivid demonstration of the difficulties/impossibilities of running even a temporary community of like-minded people numbering more than a few hundred.
          I was part of the one of the largest Occupy gatherings in the US in Portland, Oregon, which by some reports had camps as large or larger than New York .  The general assemblies were done using consensus. According to David Graeber (an anarchist and one of the founders of the Occupy movement) in his book about Occupy (The Democracy Project), no one had ever tried to use the consensus model in such a large group before, and so, this should be regarded as an experiment. As I understand it, most of the Occupy groups switched or were intending  to switch to the spokes-council model, but by then people were being kicked out of the camps.

          In Portland, we switched to the spokes-council model (still a horizontal, non-hierarchical approach) in which the larger group is divided into more manageable smaller groups, who send delegates to the spokes-council which makes decisions. But the delegates are mandated and recallable, and serve only the will of the groups who choose them. The smaller groups were present at the council meetins so that the delegates could periodically return to their respective groups to consult and receive instructions. In my opinion this worked very well, and was a very positive experience for me. This makes the process much easier.

          Many older stalwart activists couldn't tolerate this level of egalitarian, horizontal, non hierarchical relationships, and it seems apparent that some of these individuals simply were used to having leadership positions, and they weren't satisfied with having less authority. They simply were unwilling to adapt to the unfamiliar approach, which is sad, because it was successful. Many of these individuals have expressed their dissatisfaction here on dkos, and rather than admit they were unwilling to adjust and allow others to adjust, they simply walked away in a huff. It takes time to acculturate people to new ways, and some simply couldn't do it.

          As for me, it was an exhilarating experience. It was refreshing and liberating to not have a cadre of elites lecturing us, while most of us sit as a dutiful audience to a group of egos. Anyone could be a leader, in a sense, but no one could dominate. I am in my 50s, and I watched young people come alive in a way I have not seen since the late 60s. They were on fire.

          It is the older, more experienced and established people who simply refused to adapt. And many of these have made remarks here on dkos where they are more likely to find agreement with other more mainstream liberals.

          The notion that major cities numbering in the millions could be governed that way, an idea that pops up from time to time, is sadly mistaken.
          Anarchist Spain used a similar approach in factories, farms, and communities, forming worker assemblies and local general assemblies. The smaller participatory communities and worker's groups form federations with the other groups, sending mandated and recallable delegates. Millions were involved, and it worked very well. There were hundreds of these groups, and dozens of interwoven federations, going from local, to regional, to national.
          We need complex structures to govern a complex society.
          Yes, indeed, and anarchist Spain created a very complex social structure based on anarchist principles of equality and democracy. It worked, as exhibited by all that has been reported from those involved in Spain. Consumption increased due to increased production (some were starving before), innovation increased, industries kept on producing (for example, they built airplane engines for the war effort), everyone received universal health care, people retired at age 50, people were fed and provided housing regardless of their circumstances, schools were set up based on modern anarchist educational concepts, hundreds of periodicals and publications sprouted up, worker safety was improved, better work environments were created, new businesses were formed, hundreds of modern bakeries were founded with new modern ovens (under capitalism the bakeries, the major source of bread, a staple food, were more often than not filthy, rat infested basements), and even the shoeshine workers, and hairstylists were collectivized and given modern, attractive workplaces.
          The anarchist vision is appealing but just not practical.
          In light of the history, this is an unsupportable statement that capitalists and statist socialists make that are simply confirming their biases. It is becoming increasingly obvious that what isn't workable or practical is capitalism. Just look around at the social and economic ills, the exploitation of workers, the disparities of wealth, and the sick planet, all mostly being created by capitalism.

          There are other approaches. Time to try something new, and to stop serving the 1%.

          "In times of universal deceit, telling the truth will be a revolutionary act." -George Orwell

          by ZhenRen on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 09:07:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  you have Two Cows (10+ / 0-)

    Cows, Geopolitics, and Big Business
    Confused about the difference between socialism, Communism, and the politics of huge corporations? This basic “dictionary” may help.

    Feudalism: You have two cows. The lord of the manor takes some of the milk. And all the cream.

    Pure Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. You have to take care of all the cows. The government gives you as much milk as you need.

    Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes one of your cows and gives it to your neighbor. You're both forced to join a cooperative where you have to teach your neighbor how to take care of his cow.

    Bureaucratic Socialism: You have two cows. The government takes them and puts them in a barn with everyone else's cows. They are cared for by ex-chicken farmers. You have to take care of the chickens the government took from the chicken farmers. The government gives you as much milk and as many eggs as its regulations say you should need.

    Fascism: You have two cows. The government takes both, hires you to take care of them, and sells you the milk.

    Pure Communism: You have two cows. Your neighbors help you take care of them, and you all share the milk.

    Russian Communism: You have two cows. You have to take care of them, but the government takes all the milk.

    Communism: You have two cows. The government seizes both and provides you with milk. You wait in line for you share of the milk, but it's so long that the milk is sour by the time you get it.

    Dictatorship: You have two cows. The government takes both and shoots you.

    Militarism: You have two cows. The government takes both and drafts you.

    Pure Democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbors decide who gets the milk.

    Representative Democracy: You have two cows. Your neighbors pick someone to tell you who gets the milk.

    American Democracy: The government promises to give you two cows if you vote for it. After the election, the president is impeached for speculating in cow futures. The press dubs the affair "Cowgate." The cows are set free.

    Democracy, Democrat-style: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You feel guilty for being so successful. You vote politicians into office who tax your cows, which forces you to sell one to pay the tax. The politicians use the tax money to buy a cow for your neighbor. You feel good. Barbra Streisand sings for you.

    Democracy, Republican-style: You have two cows. Your neighbor has none. You move to a better neighborhood.

    Indian Democracy: You have two cows. You worship them.

    British Democracy: You have two cows. You feed them sheep brains and they go mad. The government gives you compensation for your diseased cows, compensation for your lost income, and a grant not to use your fields for anything else. And tells the public not to worry.

    Bureaucracy: You have two cows. At first the government regulates what you can feed them and when you can milk them. Then it pays you not to milk them. After that it takes both, shoots one, milks the other, and pours the milk down the drain. Then it requires you to fill out forms accounting for the missing cows.

    Anarchy: You have two cows. Either you sell the milk at a fair price or your neighbors try to kill you and take the cows.

    Capitalism: You have two cows. You lay one off, and force the other to produce the milk of four cows. You are surprised when she drops dead.

    Singaporean Democracy: You have two cows. The government fines you for keeping two unlicensed farm animals in an apartment.

    Hong Kong Capitalism (alias Enron Capitalism):
          You have two cows.
          You sell three of them to your publicly-listed company, using letters of credit opened by your brother-in-law at the bank, then execute an debt/equity swap with associated general offer so that you get all four cows back, with a tax deduction for keeping five cows.
          The milk rights of six cows are transferred via a Panamanian intermediary to a Cayman Isands company secretly owned by the majority shareholder, who sells the rights to all seven cows' milk back to the listed company.
          The annual report says that the company owns eight cows, with an option on one more.
          Meanwhile, you kill the two cows because the Feng Shui is bad.

    Environmentalism: You have two cows. The government bans you from milking or killing them.

    Totalitarianism: You have two cows. The government takes them and denies they ever existed. Milk is banned.

    Foreign Policy, American-Style: You have two cows. The government taxes them and uses the money to buy a cow for a poor farmer a country ruled by a dictator. The farmer has no hay to feed the cow and his religion forbids him from eating it. The cow dies. The man dies. The dictator confiscates the dead man's farm and sells it, using the money to purchase US military equipment. The President declares the program a success and announces closer ties with our new ally.

    Bureaucracy, American-Style: You have two cows but you have to kill one of them because the government will only give you a license for one of them. The license requires you to sell all your milk to the government, which uses it to make cheese. The government pays lots of money to store the cheese in refrigerated warehouses. When the cheese spoils, the government distributes it to the poor. The poor get sick from the cheese, go to the emergency room, and are turned away because they have no health insurance. The President declares the program a success and reminds us that we have the finest health care system in the world.

    American Corporation: You have two cows. You sell one to a subsidiary company and lease it back to yourself so you can declare it as a tax loss. Your bosses give you a huge bonus. You inject the cows with drugs and they produce four times the normal amount of milk. Your bosses give you a huge bonus. When the drugs cause one of the cows to drop dead you announce to the press that you have down-sized, reducing expenses by 50 percent. The company stock goes up and your bosses give you a huge bonus. You lay off all your workers and move your production facilities to Mexico. You get a huge bonus. You contribute some of your profit to the President's re-election campaign. The President announces tax cuts for corporations in order to stimulate the economy.

    Japanese Corporation: You have two cows. You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk. You teach the cows to travel on unbelievably crowded trains. Your cows always get higher test scores than cows in the U.S. or Europe, but they drink a lot of sake.

    German Corporation: You have two cows. You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent milk, and run a hundred miles an hour. Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year and are very expensive to repair.

    Russian Corporation: You have two cows. You have some vodka. You count your cows and discover you really have five cows! You have more vodka. You count them again and discover you have 42 cows! You stop counting cows and have some more vodka. The Russian Mafia arrives and takes over all your cows. You have more vodka.

    Italian Corporation: You have two cows but you can't find them. While searching for them you meet a beautiful woman, take her out to lunch and then make love to her. Life is good.

    French Corporation: You have two cows. You go on strike because you want another cow, more vacation and shorter work weeks. The French government announces that it will never agree to your demands. You go to lunch and eat fabulous food and drink wonderful wine. While you are at lunch, the airline pilots and flight controllers join your strike, shutting down all air traffic. The truckers block all the roads and the dock workers block all the ports. By dinner time the French government announces it agrees with all your demands. Life is good.

    Political Correctness: You are associated with (the concept of "ownership" is an outdated symbol of your decadent, warmongering, intolerant past) two differently-aged (but no less valuable to society) bovines of non-specified gender. They get married and adopt a calf.

    Counterculturalism: Wow, dude, there's like . . . these two cows, man. You have got to have some of this milk.

    Surrealism: You have two giraffes. The government requires you to take harmonica lessons.

    We have no desire to offend you -- unless you are a twit!

    by ScrewySquirrel on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 02:49:59 PM PDT

  •  I Agree With Your Diary (3+ / 0-)

    I also used to think I had a lot in common with Libertarians.  I don't think that way much anymore.  For many of the same reasons you explained for yourself.  I could never be in a party who believes that we should do away with social security or Medicare and who believes that charity institutions should take care of the poor and government to do nothing.  That is just insane.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 03:22:13 PM PDT

  •  Keeps them afloat. Like a life raft from a sinking (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Travelin Man

    ship.

    The fact of the matter is in about 20 years, most of the hardcore Jesus humpers and the 50's style racists/sexists are all going to be dead.

    If they want to grow their party, they are going to have to basically become a libertarian party. Failing that, I can't see any other way than an actual split into a new party.

    Religion is in decline among young people, and only the most uneducated and idiotic of them will subscribe to that and the racism and sexism.

    The Republican Party's worst enemy is the dynamic duo of Father Time and the Grim Reaper.

  •  This quote says everything about Libertarianism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Major Kong, Alice in Florida

    "Capitalism is the astounding belief that the most wickedest of men will do the most wickedest of things for the greatest good of everyone."

    -John Maynard Keynes

    •  Everything? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sparhawk, burlydee

      What does it say about mass incarceration, domestic spying, indefinite detention, or extrajudicial killing of American citizens abroad?

      I'll just say my point: There is more to libertarianism than you apparently know or are willing acknowledge. Democrats and liberals share many common beliefs with libertarians and could benefit from leveraging that.

      Or, Democrats can attack libertarians and miss the wave of growing interest in the movement and then suffer the consequences accordingly.

      •  Because if the libertarians take over (4+ / 0-)

        We'll all be too busy working 16 hour shifts in Bangladesh style sweatshops for pennies an hour to worry about mass incarceration, domestic spying, indefinite detention or extrajudicial killing.

        And somehow on my pennies an hour salary I'll be able to support my aging parents after Social Security and Medicare have been eliminated because "free markets" or something.

        If the pilot's good, see, I mean if he's reeeally sharp, he can barrel that baby in so low... oh you oughta see it sometime. It's a sight. A big plane like a '52... varrrooom! Its jet exhaust... frying chickens in the barnyard!

        by Major Kong on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 06:53:14 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I don't think it has to be an "all or nothing" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Valar Morghulis, jlynne

    approach. As the similarity in the names suggest, liberalism and libertarianism have always been closely intertwined.

    Both came out of enlightenment thinking, and both were originally radical left-wing philosophies. "Right wing libertarianism" is actually an extremely recent phenomenon, dating from the same period as "neoconservatism."

    Since there is that cross-over element that you referenced, and since many Americans seem naturally drawn to the idea of personal freedom, I think that rather than focus on the differences, it would greatly benefit liberals to focus on the similarities.

    For instance, it doesn't do liberals any favors to embrace big-government approaches when it comes to civil liberties, the drug war, or over-enforcing copyright law. And liberals have always stood for personal freedom in terms of social issues.

    Rather than letting issues like taxes and of deregulation define libertarianism (the frame the right has imposed on it), maybe we should start thinking about the issue of freedom more broadly.

    •  Actually, 19th Century liberalism (0+ / 0-)

      is pretty much what the GOP advocates now...be careful of putting too much stock in word roots. Basically "liberal" and "libertarian" share a root that means "freedom"...which, as you may have noticed, can mean just about anything.

      One way to make things clearer may be the use of additional terms to clarify--I think we can all agree with calling ourselves "civil libertarians"...maybe even "copyright libertarians." But the problem with just plan "libertarian" as the term is used nowadays is that it does not recognize the fact that civil liberties depend not just on government noninterference but also government protection. We cannot afford to be taken in by the fantasy that we can all take care of ourselves if only we could be free of government.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 12:32:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Critical response to libertarianism (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AoT, potatohead, Alice in Florida

    There needs to be, IMHO, a concerted critical analysis and response to libertarianism on the part of the left. Corey Robin has begun doing that recently, if you've read any of his work.

    Procrastination: Hard work often pays off after time, but laziness always pays off now.

    by Linnaeus on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 05:42:12 PM PDT

  •  I've always wondered why, if (2+ / 0-)

    deregulation is such a panacea, they don't apply it to something important like sports.  Let's take the umpires and referees out and watch the games improve ... not.

    •  There are some stubborn but wrong reasons for that (3+ / 0-)

      going back to the 19th century.  Marx responded to Darwin with the idea of economic evolution (one of the big premises of Das Kapital), from amoeba to man, from barter to communism

      So too people like Spencer and Kropotkin were arguing that government prevented a more natural social evolution.  That almost every institution of life would be replaced by some more efficient non-governmental institution if the government left a vacuum there to be filled.

      And when I was involved in libertarianism, there were all kinds of extended loopy arguments to try to support that.  Like, for instance road-building, because that's one of the HARDEST cases you can possibly make: If the government doesn't build roads, where will they come from?  Many libertarians of the Heinlein stripe would argue that it was the GOVERNMENT that was keeping private industry from trying to make a profit building super-duper levitating happy sexytime roads.  You can see all kinds of obvious problems with that right away, certainly, and they had a blast (I did too, I guess) trying to think of clever ways around them.

      In a way, they have been successful in selling this kind of anti-government "free enterprise is the solution to all problems" approach.  I argue with DarkSyde quite frequently on here about firms like SpaceX that are trying to privatize space, one of Heinlein's great loves (read: The Man Who Sold the Moon).  Libertarianism, back when I was in it, had a huge following with SFcon people, and I guess some of them grew up to want to strangle NASA and replace it with private ventures like SpaceX.  I oppose that.

    •  Now I see why (0+ / 0-)

      no one has tried to pursue this line of argument.

      No rational dialogue is possible.

      How's the weather in that disinformation bubble fellas?

  •  Much Am Lbrtrn'sm's Based On A Fraud-Gimmick-Libel (0+ / 0-)

    Perfect Info And Perfect
    Ease Of Market Entry Turns
    Everyone Into Locusts Chasing
    Each Other--No One Makes
    A Profit Cause Definitionally
    S/D Meet At -0-.

    That is to say, perfect information/perfect
    ease of entry, an economic absolute
    libertarian necessarily presume is valid,
    implies a mathematical absurdity:
    supply and demand always meeting at 0.

    The Opposite Is Total State
    Or Monopoly Control.

    There's No Need To Jump Off
    A Terrace.  

    Many libertarians are acting out
    of the ever-repeated libel of
    Adam Smith, who said very little
    recognizable based on what the
    founders of American libertarianism
    would have you believe.

    http://www.opednews.com/...

    Related:

    I Think This

    http://pages.citebite.com/...

     Answers This

    http://www.techdirt.com/...

    http://english.people.com.cn/...

    If Another Society's On A
    Faster Track Toward Prioritizing
    Health, Happiness And Equal
    Opportunity, Including Valuing
    Universal High Quality Education,
    Then They Will Add Prosperity
    Faster.  
    But They'll Need Their Own
    Additional Goods And Services
    Commensurately With That.
    When A Depressed Community
    On One Side Of The Railroad
    Tracks Is Bootstrapped, They
    Need Their Own Pizzerias; And In
    Other Goods And Services Different
     Niches In Different Locations Get
     Served Cross-Directionally.
    I Think The Person Who Thinks
    "Someone's Out To Eat Their Lunch"
    Has In Mind Control.
    Where's The Limit Of That Control
    Supposed To Be.   Who's Supposed
    To Draw It?

    How the libertarians are taken for a ride:

    Michigan

    http://therealnews.com/...

     Leads Nation in Massive
    Corporate Tax Breaks
    (The Untold Story of Detroit's Decline)

    http://www.goodjobsfirst.org/...

    How Privatization
    Increases Prices
    (Listen Past Precisely How
    It Is People Get The Wrong
    Impression That Government,
    In Contracting The Privatizer,
    Is The Culprit--

    Pre-Set To 14m0s)

    http://www.youtube.com/...

    ...privatization's profit boxes
    and transfers yield $456,000
    per Michigan job

    http://therealnews.com/...

    So, In The Scheme:
    Privatize The Profits, Socialize
    The Costs.
    Marry To Monopoly For Maximum
     Effect.
    Cost Brake With  Simpson-Bowles.
    Use The Adversity As A Profit Center.
    Where Sufficiently Severe,
    Use To Privatize.

    That's Analogous To:

    The Latest
    On "Medicare Advantage."

    http://www.pnhp.org/...

    Here's The Administration's Yet
    Newer Act As To Medicare.

    http://www.pnhp.org/...

    Michigan's Emergency Managers Are
    Thus Essentially Equivalent To Gordon
    Gekko's Man At Blue Star Airlines.

    Privatize The Profits, Socialize
    The Costs.
    Marry To Monopoly For Maximum
     Effect.
    Cost Brake With  Simpson-Bowles.
    Use The Adversity As A Profit Center.
    Where Sufficiently Severe,
    Use To Privatize.
      And...

    And Why Plutocrats Like Charter Schools

    http://www.schoolsmatter.info/...

    And So Then That "Harvesting" Dovetails
    Into:
    "Study Links High Stakes Testing
    to Higher Incarceration Rates,"

    http://therealnews.com/...

    Which, What A Deal For The Plutocrats,
    Leads To The Spectacularly Profitable
    Prison For Profit Business.

    http://www.theguardian.com/...

    For Placating Her Bullies (By
    Wearing Perfume.)

    https://duckduckgo.com/...

  •  We need Libertarians... (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tork, PennsylvaniaProgressive

    (Dumbo begins with a controversial statement as his hook.  Why, pray tell?)

    Politics makes for strange bedfellows.  We've heard SoooOOOooOOO many times over the past few years about the need to be moderate and reach across the aisles, and how the Republicans are such shit-for-brains because they are too stubborn to do what Obama is willing to do, etc., etc., etc.

    The libertarian-ish part of the Republican Party is also the least disciplined part and the least establishment part.  We can find common cause with them on some issues that we agree on WITHOUT having to agree with them on everything.

    The Amash Amendment provides a great example.  Here's how the vote broke down.  Notice how it's not all shit-head Republicans on one side and angelic Democrats on the other:

    The grouping of the dots on the graph was made by yougov.org based on some weird algorithm that groups congressmen by ideology.  The clumping isn't all that obvious.  We in fact see almost as many votes for Amash as there were against, most of the FOR votes coming from Democrats.  And a great many coming from Republicans.  Why did those particular Republicans break ranks?

    We can hate them for their reasons, mock them for the rightwinginess of their reasons, but if we on the left want to fight the kudzu-like growth of the NSA, we're going to have to get along with some of the nutjobs.  Those are the nutjobs we want.

    We need to keep them, AND increase our own numbers among Democrats beyond what they already are.  

    Even then, we may need enough votes to overcome a veto from the pro-NSA-spying president.  Who just happens to be a Democrat.  See?  There's no clear Republican-Dem divide on this.  This is about coalition building, despite how much we dislike each other.  That's how politics has always worked.

    Hate them, but be ready to reach out to them.

  •  Its important (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    duhban, PennsylvaniaProgressive

    to separate economic vs social Libertarianism.

    My social Libertarianism is a part of why I am a registered democrat.

    My economic anti-libertarianism is also a part of why I am a registered democrat.  (I am a nationalist economically)

    The best democratic pitch to people who identify as libertarian is that republicans are the LEAST libertarian as they do truly seek to control your personal lives.  Which is the greatest infringement of rights possible.

    There are various issues which democrats should be winning these voters over on. Abortion rights, equality for gays, weed laws, and privacy concerns.

    There are also are several issues which democrats will have to compromise on in order to gain libertarian support. Gun rights, affirmative action.

    There can be middle ground found on environmental issues but the arguments require an educated libertarian for them to actually have an impact.

    •  Even on the economic front, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Odysseus, jlynne

      I wish the left would challenge the right more on whether their policies actually lead to a "free market."

      A free market in principle isn't a bad thing at all - in fact, given true competition, free markets should lead to greater equality.

      But the question I would pose is whether deregulation actually leads to greater competition and free markets.

      It seems to me that in actually-existing capitalist countries, the U.S. being a prime example, the opposite is often true. The deregulatory policies championed by the right lead to less free, less competitive markets where a handful of ultra-wealthy are able to consolidate power. Just look at the rampant growth of inequality since the Reagan years.

      While, on the other hand, smart regulation (such as highly progressive taxation, support for small business, or checks against oligopoly) may be the best friend of the free market there is.

      •  not in this life (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        duhban, Alice in Florida

        "A free market in principle isn't a bad thing at all - in fact, given true competition, free markets should lead to greater equality."

        In a perfect word yes. But in reality no that is not guaranteed to be true at all.. There are a list of around 10 things needed for a perfect market. Each of those rules are broken by reality.

        This is semi close to your argument but I just wanted to reiterate that none of the fundamental requirements for a perfectly efficient market are, nor can they ever be in reality.

        My view of the efficiency of free markets is something along the lines of water being non conductive.

        In theory water can does conduct electricity (well), but in every day life nothing is farther from the truth.

        •  I was referring to "freer markets" (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          enemy of the people, potatohead

          as opposed to some hypothetical perfectly free market. Take the example of the broadband industry. In the U.S., it is dominated by a handful of giant mega-corporations like Comcast. As a result, we see stagnating quality, inferior service and higher prices than in countries such as South Korea where there is a freer, more competitive market.

          Government policy directly affects this situation, but neither party really addresses it at all. Republicans advocate rhetorically for the "free market" while pushing policies that actually help the oligarchs build and maintain power. Democrats unfortunately don't really have a solution for this either, other than a rhetorical commitment to equality that again, leaves the existing system in place.

          •  Indeed (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            potatohead

            but I mean to take it a step further. Ofc there is corruption and we can make things better. IE have a more competitive telecommunications industry.

            But there are things we simply can never get rid of or make happen.

            IE Perfect information and zero entry or exit barriers.

            There is simply no way to make these happen no matter how pure and great our society becomes. The free marketer's dreams are just impossible.  

            To me on a few occasions this argument has been able to work with relatively well with smart  libertarians. It can get them to admit that some regulation is realistically necessary  

            •  Actually, though, even if you could (0+ / 0-)

              set up a reasonably "free" market, what would happen as things moved forward would be that some players would be more successful than others, they would use that success to build greater market share, and before you know it they'd be monopolies erecting barriers and extracting tribute and whatnot...that's why, in the 19th Century, anti-trust law was invented.

              There ain't no free lunch, and there ain't no free market, either.

              "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

              by Alice in Florida on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 12:47:14 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  Why does it have to lead to a free market? (0+ / 0-)

        A fair one makes a lot of sense, but that is very different from free.

        Business operates under license, and the rules by which they operate have a lot of influence as to whether business serves us or we end up serving it.

        Free markets essentially invert that, leaving us where exactly?

        You really are talking about fair markets, not free ones.  This is an important distinction to make because both major parties talk a lot about free markets.

        When the GOP talks about them, they aren't aligned with what you are saying.

        Worse, there are way too many Democrats who are happy to also talk about free markets GOP style, leaving us fractured economically where the GOP has a very high degree of economic unity.

        This is why we get so damn many shitty Republican economic policies that passed "with just a few Democrats"

        ***Be Excellent To One Another***
        IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

        by potatohead on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 11:18:44 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  What is a fair market? (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          potatohead

          When I say free market, I'm talking about an economy that is not dominated by a handful of extremely powerful corporations, but where power is decentralized and there are many participants.

          •  Well, that's fair isn't it? (0+ / 0-)

            At least more fair.

            We want the same thing clearly.  But, that's not free in the sense we hear the term used all the time, and I think that's what I was trying to get at.

            A really free market is one where those big players carve it up into fiefdoms and the rest of us deal.  Economic freedom.

            In a general sense, their freedom comes at the cost of ours, be it as laborers looking for wages that fund reasonable lives, or small business owners, startups, whatever.

            And that's not fair.

            However, with government setting market rules and actually enforcing them, big players get broken up, and there is enough room for many to play, which does something very important:

            In the economic freedom sense the GOP talks about, they really do want fiefdoms where competition is tepid within the same niche and the competition they like is across niches, not within the same niche.

            When they get what they want for a free market, we end up single sourced on a lot of things, or left with choices that aren't reasonable rendering them almost non-choices really.

            We pay top dollar for the least value possible.  Look at your cable bill for an example of that going on.  And there is cable, sat tv and over the air.  OTA isn't much entertainment, and it's free.  The real money is in cable vs satellite and they offer about the same thing, same packages, etc...  

            When we get what we want, things are more fair and people can make choices.

            In that scenario we pay low dollar for high value.

            The difference being what drives innovation.  In our scenario, there must be innovation to check the price pressure of competition.  Lots of new things happen, we get stuff, they get profit and we build a society.

            In their scenario, "innovation" often comes down to litigation to remove competitors or figure out new ways to derive revenue from the same value, and technology advances are well managed, deployed for very high value or not at all, because the status quo pays very well, etc...

            Going their way means our future is mapped out in the board room.  Going our way means that future is what the smart ones among us make it to be, and to some degree that boardroom is still there, but it's influence isn't as absolute as it is in their scenario.

            I really don't know the quick term for that, but it's something the left needs to position against "free markets" which we hear about constantly and most folks have no idea what that really means for them, or if they do, they find it hard to talk about as we do here right now.

            ***Be Excellent To One Another***
            IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

            by potatohead on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:25:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  regulation is required (0+ / 0-)

        both to force the market to internalize all costs and to prevent monopolization, which kills competition.

        Within these constraints, the free market more or less works.

        "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

        by jlynne on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 01:14:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Who, exactly, do you mean? (6+ / 0-)

    I find myself, respectfully, frustrated to address your concerns because they are based on a cohesion and unity of vision I don't see reflected in the world and the nation that I see.

    If you put a thousand libertarians in a room, you don't get an army, you get a really, really loud argument. Usually fueled by the quest to determine who are the "real" or "true" libertarians in the room.

    I've never met two self-described libertarians who agree on anything once you get beyond sweeping generalizations, generic platitudes, and unrealistic notions posited as public policy options that are viable nowhere.

    I mean no offense or insult, but I simply cannot talk about libertarians or libertarianism for that matter as if we are talking about a movement or a party. I've seen four self-described libertarians (they had been gathering signatures for a Marijuana-focused petition to tweak the Medical pot laws in Nevada at the local Henderson library back in 2008) stop in mid-conversation and start screaming at each other over minor disagreements over how to talk about their idea. A single stroll through the pages of any "Reason" magazine is enough to convince me that a thousand libertarians trying to form a political party would produce a thousand one-man political parties.

    I think, and again, I don't offer this up with any malice or insult your premise, I did sit and think for quite a while before I posted this because I was trying to find a way to address the issue you raised because I believe you truly are concerned about this.

    But I couldn't help but notice that you, yourself, are not specific at all beyond using the term libertarians in a way that implies a quantifiable and definable foe of means and numbers. Somebody or some group of somebodies organized into a non-Movement Conservative but still hostile to liberal and moderate policy and politicians force to be fought. Who? I feel like I have been handed a scary pencil sketch rather than a photo of an actual opposition to be confronted ideologically and politically with a custom-made argument tailored to them.

    No names, just 'libertarians'.

    A generic and non-specific enemy who is yet corrosive and hardscrabble like fire ants. It is hard to isolate and attack a legend or an idea of a foe, because we don't fight generic hypothetical abstractions.

    Another difficulty I had in crafting an answer for your concerns was this:

    Most people, in my experience, who call themselves libertarians are straight-ticket GOP voters who are embarrassed and ashamed to admit it.

    In then end, I think we, as non-Movement Conservatives, would be far better served to focus our fire and our ire at Movement Conservatism and Movement Conservative policy, always being willing to tweak those arguments and attacks on the fly towards any libertarian outliers who stray from the typical Movement Conservative ideologue.

    I am a Loco-Foco. I am from the Elizabeth Warren wing of the Democratic Party.

    by LeftHandedMan on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 08:07:33 PM PDT

  •  Arguing ineffectively isn't the whole problem. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    PennsylvaniaProgressive

    How many young Obama voters are going to start voting for Libertarians because they feel that their values were betrayed by the administration (not to mention the Senate)?

    Democrats say one thing and do another.  They're leftists until they get elected, and the moment they have an opportunity to affect real economic change, they veer to the right, without fail.  Frankly, I'd like to elect a Democrat who will stand up and fight, but that person apparently doesn't exist.

    Ron Paul wasn't perfectly consistent with his stated ideology, but he was pretty close, and he tended to say what he really felt, rather than calculating and making heavily edited press releases.  I believe that if Ron Paul were elected president, he would have done (for better or for worse) pretty much exactly what people would expect of him.  

    What Libertarian voters tend not to understand is the fact that their economic policies, if enacted, would be disastrous.  Libertarian politicians are reliable, but unfortunately they would reliably put us into economic free fall.  Given the choice, I'd rather vote for a Democrat, who I could count on to stab me in the back on most of their campaign promises, but still not make quite as big of an economic mess as a libertarian would.

    The trouble is, a liberal who feels betrayed by the Democrats will probably go to the Libertarians first, because at least the Libertarians are honest to their constituents, and that honesty is incredibly refreshing for someone who has been shafted repeatedly by Democrats who claim to be leftist but end up being basically Republicans when push comes to shove.

    If we want to win these people, it's not about making an argument, it's about electing people who won't stab us in the back after we put them in office.

    •  We need class consciousness not libertarianism (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      chuckvw, tardis10

      Libertarianism is a rich man's philosophy.
      Poor people who need help are not libertarians

      All these kids think they are going to be millionaires but
      that CAN'T happen. We need to expose the dream of libertarianism.

      Also, recognizing the rights of minorities is not libertarianism it is communitarianism, it's logical opposite.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/...

    •  They veer to the right because: (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Scott Martin

      We've got a basic split in the Democratic Party.

      Two major factions.  One is Progressive, and it's a minority faction, but popular with the people.  Nice to run on.

      The other major faction is "Third Way" or what I like to call, "Coin Operated" Democrats, who actually align fairly well with most of the GOP on basic economic issues.  They differ in how they see government participating.

      The GOP wants to eliminate government where it can.  Those "third way" Democrats simply involve business in the working of government.

      And everybody, except us the people, end up fairly happy about it.

      Here in Oregon, during the ACA debate time, this dynamic was made crystal clear.  At the time, the GOP was holding it's ground with a solid "NO" to any of it, forcing the Democrats to reveal who they really are.

      Wyden(D) and Smith(R) here in Oregon played this game for years.  Wyden could advocate progressive economic ideas and Smith could nullify them with the conservative economic ideas, sometimes regressive ones.  Set piece.  Each had something to run on that was safe, and each could pass niche pet legislation in their "turf" to look good, and they had a few things they could agree on.

      Net result of that was deference to the economic majority in Washington that isn't progressive at all.  It's right leaning economics straight up, and the Democratic party has a majority of members who align with this, due to money in politics.  They are not progressive at all.

      So Smith loses, got caught using illegal labor.  At least he's consistent!  He lands a cush job as the President of the NRB, and we get a fairly progressive replacement Merkley(D).

      Perfect right?

      Wrong.  The very first thing Wyden did was make several statements on various issues to the effect of, "My top priority is bi-partisan legislation" and that meant he was going to have to tack right in order to continue to play the game with new partners.

      That was code for "Don't worry, we are pro business" and he's done that ever since, sometimes reaching over to the GOP for "new ideas" and such, other times staying within the conservative economic wing, "third way" of the Democratic party, leaving his peer Merkley in Oregon to go Progressive and it's notably quiet on that front now.

      This is why they tack right.

      Dems have high unity on social issues, and they share that with some moderate Republicans.  The nation tacks left on social issues, but there is currently a lot of push back regression going on.  The GOP wants that to end badly, and they are all out on it right now, probably because the gays really are gonna marry, or something.

      Republicans have a high unity on economic issues and they share that with way too many Democrats and the nation tacks right on economics and has for a long time now.

      The ACA was notable, but framed to the right as much as possible and still have something that does something progressive, if seriously expensive and diluted.

      That's how bad it is!

      We need to fix this.  Ever wonder how come Howard Dean got moved off the stage quick?  I think his 50 State Strategy would have actually diluted that conservative "third way" voting bloc in the Democratic party, and there are way too many powerful, wealthy people who don't want that to happen at all.  My personal theory anyway.

      So they play this game and they can make all kinds of excuses that the media reports nicely enough with nobody I've ever seen bothering to do the basic analysis on why it happens the way it happens.

      The only reason I saw it at all was due to heavy involvement with the ACA, phone banking, visiting State capital, etc... and the GOP highlighted it by standing firm as a party, clarifying who the Democrats really are.

      A lot of them are great, but too many of them really are to the right on economics, and this is why Progressives get next to nothing.

      ***Be Excellent To One Another***
      IF THEY ARE GOING TO SCREW THE PEOPLE, MAKE THEM OWN IT.

      by potatohead on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 11:33:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Democrats are not leftists until (0+ / 0-)

      they're elected--most of them work pretty hard at making it clear they're not leftists at all, because that's what most of the electorate (ignorantly) demands.

      "All governments lie, but disaster lies in wait for countries whose officials smoke the same hashish they give out." --I.F. Stone

      by Alice in Florida on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 12:50:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Libertarianism and Libertarians (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alice in Florida

    I really like libertarianism, but the libertarians that I've talked to care only about three things: guns, taxes, and property rights.

      It's a mistake to confuse the two.

    None are so hopelessly enslaved, as those who falsely believe they are free. The truth has been kept from the depth of their minds by masters who rule them with lies. -Johann von Goethe

    by gjohnsit on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 08:35:59 PM PDT

  •  The problem with Libertarianism is (3+ / 0-)

    that economically it leads to the same place as conservatism of all stripes which is control of the political process in the hands of the corporations.

    Join the War on Thinking. Watch Fox News- John Lucas

    by Jlukes on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 08:57:36 PM PDT

  •  Libertarians often find themselves in partnership (0+ / 0-)

    with Progressives  to attain certain goals (Bernie Sanders & Ron Paul for instance; ending war; legalizing marijuana)  But I think the pathways to these goals are very different for each group.   But because some of the goals do agree and because we have been taught to believe that we are all self made and strong individuals those who are not exactly  high-info-voters can be pulled in.  In addition it is often offered as a simple solution...just do away with government...and they don't realize that what fills that vacuum as we are seeing more each day...are the global cartels.

    There is a little book put out by Praxis Peace called: "Uncivil Liberties" that attempts to deconstruct libertarianism and offers alternative solutions to run away capitalism that actually have a proven track record.  Two of its authors will actually be speaking at our next PDA program in Marin County...Aug. 13th.

    Dollarocracy is not Democracy

    by leema on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 09:14:01 PM PDT

  •  Your premise is off. There are left and right (5+ / 0-)

    libertarians and the left side of the aisle goes back further into history.

    Noam Chomsky, for instance, is a left libertarian. Marx was in most respects as well. And, ultimately, he wanted to go much further than any right-libertarian, because he wanted us to evolve into a classless society, without capitalism. So we wouldn't even need the massive government bureaucracy required to hold capitalism together.

    In fact, a right-libertarian, by embracing and sometimes deifying capitalism actually undermines their own desire for limited government. Capitalism requires massive public infrastructure to keep it afloat, from roads and bridges to currency supports, trade agreements, courts, police, the military to keep the shipping lanes open, etc. etc. Take away capitalism and you actually have a chance to radically "limit" government. Keep it in place, and you can't.

    Not only because it requires watching and eternal checks on its power, but the vast infrastructure, worldwide, is overwhelming. Private actors aren't going to and can't afford to pay for all of that. They rely on we the people to foot the bill and do the heavy lifting for them.

    Right-libertarianism is actually a nest of contradictions in keeping with capitalism's.

  •  Look, here's the lowdown on Libertarianism (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CrazyHorse, Alice in Florida

    It's an ad-hoc 'philosophy' consisting of incoherent slogans strung together to propitiate whatever agenda corporate America is trying to push on us wee-folk now.  Sure it makes sense here and there.  So do the frothy ramblings of an incurable lush.

    Read "Anti-Libertarianism" by Alan Howarth.  This compact volume was published nearly two decades ago, and after reading it, trust me, you'll see Libertarianism clearly for the sham that it is.

  •  T&R (0+ / 0-)

    not because I agree, but because you have raised some important points and sparked a good discussion.  Thank you.

    "None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free." - Goethe

    by jlynne on Tue Aug 06, 2013 at 10:35:04 PM PDT

  •  Attracted individuals vs. their exploiters (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CrazyHorse, Alice in Florida

    Useful to bifurcate discussion of Libertarianism
    (in connection with electoral politics and also policy-making)
    into two very different groups:

    1.    Voters (& non-voting individuals) who are attracted by particular libertarian-ish ideas,

    in contrast with:

    2.    Exploiters of that attraction.

    The same might be true of most or all political concepts, but

    might be even more true for Libertarianism, perhaps because a particularly attractive Libertarian-ish idea is to be allowed to opt-out of complicated group-oriented activities like politics.

  •  The inability of the government to enforce (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    CrazyHorse

    Constitutional rights on private property is one of the main goals of libertarianism. That's not even remotely close to being progressive. Imagine what living in the United States would really be like if that goal came true...a maze of micro-secessions from the Constitution everywhere you went.

    Anyone who actually believes libertarians are defenders of Constitutional rights just isn't paying close enough attention to what they're really saying.

  •  In My Experience (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    leema, wigwam

    Libertarianism is a very naive form of liberalism.  (Not progressivism.  Don't get me started on whatever that's supposed to mean. I don't apply the word to myself.)  

    I mean traditional classical liberalism - a belief that individuals are better at deciding things than institutions, and that democracy is a check on institutional authority not the servant of it.

    Where I find libertarians to be lacking is that they're basically ignorant of the facts of how the world works.  I have a lot of them that I converse with and they'll post long philosophical screeds laced with ideas of fairness, personaly responsibility, freedom, etc without any evidence that any of that stuff is reflected in the real world.  They've created a fake, idealistic Platonic form of the libertarian paradise and they offer that as their evidence for the efficacy of their philosophy.  

    "The business cycle will regulate business."

    Yeah, but it doesn't.  They never can explain the "yeah, but it doesn't."  

    I'm a liberal, frankly, because it works.  It's a philosophy based on adaptive response.  

    We know, for example, that if you give poor people money they'll spend it and it'll heat up the economy and we'll have greater prosperity.  The objective evidence shows that - it doesn't even matter how you give it to them.  You could just take a trillion dollars in cash, put it in bags, and set it on street corners.  BOOM!  There'd suddenly be a trillion new bucks flowing into the business cycle.  Poor people spend their money, rich people hord it up.  Period, simple, and there's 10,000 academic papers that show that is an iron law of economic reality in the USA.  

    However, a libertarian will spend a week explaining to me how that's not true and that if we just free the corporations from the shackles of government regulation they'll spend their bucks and insure prosperity.  It doesn't matter that we have that climate RIGHT NOW and it's not working.  

    Again, libertarians want the same thing that we libs want, but they've substituted reality-based thinking for a fanatical quasi-religious philosophy that's not based on anything but wishful thinking.  

    No one can terrorize a whole nation, unless we are all his accomplices. - Edward R. Murrow

    by CrazyHorse on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 07:31:11 AM PDT

  •  A little something for everyone (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alice in Florida

    That's what attracted a lot of members to the Libertarian party in it's beginnings. The party was a strange mix of liberal social issues, extremist positions on personal responsibility vs. governmental control, and conservative fiscal policy.
    It all sounded good while the country was chugging along, D.C. was doing it's business, more or less, and there were lots of small angry one-issue groups.

    But where does a conservative have to go to these days, now that the Republican party has fallen apart? When the GOP base is at war with it's leadership?

    The Libertarians, of course. It's political silly putty. The party can stretch, pick up print from the guys who did all the hard work, like thinking and writing, is bouncy as all get-outs, and can be shaped anyway a member wants.

    Conservatives can make it anything they define it to be, especially now that pot is becoming legalized. That one issue was the one that pulled a lot of liberals in. With pot out of the way, they have taken the liberal out of Libertarian.

    No wonder. It's a much more acceptable tag than Tea Party, or John Birch Society, or all those other right-wing organizations that have become infamous and/or unfavorable to the disinterested public.

    Right many are called, and damn few are chosen.

    by Idaho07 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 08:07:39 AM PDT

  •  I just have two observations (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Alice in Florida

    1) I think the theory of positive and negative liberty is of interest on this.

    2) I have seen dozens of libertarians, but never to my knowledge an African American one.  That seriously bothers me.

    I'm not liberal. I'm actually just anti-evil, OK? - Elon James White

    by Satya1 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 08:39:51 AM PDT

  •  And the "liberty" part doesn't include women. (2+ / 0-)

    Libertarianism is the philosophy of spoiled white teen boys who think everyone's grown up with all their privileges and entitlements. It's "I don't need ANYBODY ELSE - now do my laundry and make my dinner, Mommy, and give me my allowance, Dad!" writ in big words to make these overgrown 15-year-olds feel smart.

    "Racism has never affected ME, so there's no reason for the Civil Rights Act."

    "I'VE never needed an abortion, so I get to tell women what medical procedures they can have."

    "My idea of hardship is waiting two whole days for my trust fund check to show up so I could get the new iPhone, therefore any government assistance to the poor is robbery of ME."

    Thank God, the Bob Fosse Kid is here! - Colin Mochrie

    by gardnerhill on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 08:41:38 AM PDT

  •  Libertarian Creed (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Front Toward Enemy, AdamSelene

    "I demand the liberty
    to impose my authority
    on you

    (without government interference in my actions, but with government enforcement of your compliance with my demands.)

    You're welcome.

    And I deny everything."

    Blogging as Ché Pasa since 2007.

    by felix19 on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 09:00:07 AM PDT

  •  For months, I though antiwar.com was leftist. (5+ / 0-)

    It was almost a year before I realized that Justin Raimondo and a majority of his contributors were libertarians.

    Since then, I've noticed that libertarians are quicker than leftists to condemn many violations of civil liberties that many/most Democrats will only condemn when a Republican is in the White House, e.g., torture, domestic spying, and execution of U.S. citizens w/o "due process of law."

    Where libertarians depart from sanity is their unholy faith in justice and optimality of unregulated markets.  It's as though they've never played Monopoly and noticed the inevitable outcome.

  •  Libertarians have a blind spot (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wigwam, bobtmn, Alice in Florida

    They do not see corporations and limited liability as creatures of the state.  Nor do they acknowledge the implied suspension of civil liberties the moment you walk onto "private' property.

    As long as they hold on to those failings, they are not a challenge for the left (whatever that might mean).  They continue to be as corporatist as any "conservative" Repubican or New Democrat.

    And they will continue to blather about "getting government out of my Medicare".

    50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

    by TarheelDem on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 10:09:29 AM PDT

    •  You Mean Like It Is Now? (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fuzzyguy
      Nor do they acknowledge the implied suspension of civil liberties the moment you walk onto "private' property.
      If you are on private property, the owner can throw you off it for any reason at all.  Even if you are black, brown, white, an immigrant, gay, bi, transgender, whatever and he can even say that it is strictly because he is a racist or whatever.

      He can even legally spy on you with cameras and stuff, because it is his property.

      •  Depends how you define "private" ... (0+ / 0-)

        Yes ... anyone can throw you out of their backyard or their doublewide at any time for any reason ...  "However humble, a man's home is his castle.  The wind may enter ... but the King cannot.

        BUT ... once that property, "private" in the sense that someone owns it, becomes a "public accommodation" ... in that it admits SOME people without prior arrangement, or it provides food, lodging, or some service or benefit -- then it must admit ALL people on the same terms.

        That people are allowed to "spy" on what others are up to on property that isn't theirs ...

        I dunno

        Wanna outlaw windows ?

      •  There you go.... (0+ / 0-)

        with "corporations are people too, my friends."

        That is the exactly the conflation that the corporatists want you to make.

        And even public property is being treated as private property in assertions that the government owns the property and can do whatever the governing authorities want to do--suspending free speech, freedom of assemby, and so on.

        Which leads directly to Scott Walker shutting down the Solidary Singers in the rotunda of the Wisconsin state capitol.

        And no libertarian is outraged unless they banned conceal carry for the building as well.

        50 states, 210 media market, 435 Congressional Districts, 3080 counties, 192,480 precincts

        by TarheelDem on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 01:47:40 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  "Real Challenge?" (0+ / 0-)

    Only if the "left" likes easy, pointless victories.

    When's the last time the Libertarian's won anything?  When's the last time they even came close?

  •  The big flaw (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AdamSelene

    The big flaw in Libertarian belief is that if you shrink government to some very  bare essentials, then some other group of powerful people will take control.

    In the absence of government rules to limit behavior, somebody much more sinister will take on the job, and the sacred Individual will have no defense.

    Religion gives men the strength to do what should not be done.

    by bobtmn on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 11:41:20 AM PDT

  •  Modern Sane Libertarians (0+ / 0-)

    The modern sane Libertarians are:

    Gary Johnson
    John Stossel
    Judge Andrew Napolitano

    The type who don't identify with the racist Lew Rockwell stuff.

  •  I've noticed that Libertarianism (0+ / 0-)

    is one of the most amorphous and misused terms in politics.  It's an extremely popular buzzword, so everyone tries to appropriate it for their own use - despite the fact that most that claim the label aren't anywhere close to the actual meaning.  I consider myself a progressive socialist, yet there are a number of libertarian "ideals" that I support - but there's a lot that I think would destroy the economy and the planet...especially in the teabagger pseudo-libertarian flavor.

    Republican threats amount to destroying the present if we don't allow them to destroy the future too. -MinistryOfTruth, 1/1/2013

    by sleipner on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 12:21:01 PM PDT

    •  Different Types of Libertarians (0+ / 0-)

      The first is that Lew Rockwell racists wingnuts.

      The second is a bunch of Republicans who were too embarrassed to be called Republicans after the Bush Administration so they decided to steal the Libertarian label.

      The third are the REAL and SANE Libertarians:

      The type who don't foam at the mouth, but talk about the unintended consequences of laws, etc.

      Gary Johnson
      John Stossel
      Judge Andrew Napolitano

      •  Sadly the third type (0+ / 0-)

        is perhaps about 1/100th of the people claiming to be libertarians.

        Republican threats amount to destroying the present if we don't allow them to destroy the future too. -MinistryOfTruth, 1/1/2013

        by sleipner on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 03:28:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This (0+ / 0-)
    I don't think the left contradicts the Libertarian worldview with effective tactics.
    is exactly right.  That so many on the "left" have never taken the time to figure out how to explain their positions, or perhaps even to quite understand their own positions, is why we're in the sad shape we're in.  

    The "invisible hand" doesn't regulate the market - it wanks it. -- SantaFeMarie

    by Dinclusin on Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 02:09:35 PM PDT

  •  Libertarians are hipster conservatives. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SlackerInc

    Here are my problems with conservatives.  First, they are horrible when it comes to their religion of the free market.  They worship the free market unicorn like nobody else and refuse to ever accept that the free market won't work out the way they believe it should.

    I call this belied in the free market "unicorn economics".  Because they believe all our problems would be solved if only there was a free market, and we'd be living in a utopia of perfect balance...yet a free market has never existed in the history of human civilization.  So they may as well be advocating life would be perfect if only we could catch a unicorn.  The ONLY evidence we have related to free markets is the fact that any time governments deregulate, customers/public are generally harmed in some way.

    Why?  Because our modern corporate economy is founded on another myth.  The myth of infinite profits.  There is no magical well of infinite profits.  Those profits come from people/society/etc.  And the only way to keep increasing profits is to keep sucking it out of the pockets of people.  When that no longer happens naturally, corporations seek out ways to do so that are harmful to society/people/customers/LIFE/etc.

    Corporations exist to serve, not people or anyone's well being, but to make as much money as possible in as short a time as possible.  This can not possibly happen without doing harm.  

    Libertarians views are insane.  It is a view that the only way to have the best possible society that works in everyone's best interests is for everyone to be as selfish, uncaring and as big of assholes as possible.  THis makes no sense.  You can't have a positive society built on negative sentiment.  You can't have a philosophy of "screw you" and expect to live in a society of "isn't everything great!?"   And to argue selfishness will self regulate is insane because, much like corporations, it keeps building up power and wealth into fewer and fewer hands.  Those with the most to start with, have the most to gain from selfishness.  Someone with millions in income, can afford to be as selfish as they want.  Those of us busting our asses each day just to get by don't have the luxury of that same selfishness.  For us it is the old addage of cutting off our nose to spite our faces.

    So in short, libertarians believe themselves to be so smart and yet believe in unicorns and the goodness of a world filled with assholes, but wonder why nobody takes them seriously.

  •  Libertarianism (0+ / 0-)

    I think of it as a selfish fantasy that sounds oh so wonderful in debate and on paper, but cannot work in the real world. I agree with their view of civil liberties and after that the appeal goes south when the consequences of the ideology become apparent.
    How can they believe people should be free to do as they please on their own property (for example) when it's only a matter of time before some simple minded asshat disposes of dangerous chemicals on his property that contaminates everyone's water supply? Or without government regulations how do we keep our pharmaceuticals safe, keep corporations from preying on us with unscrupulous practices (hell, they do that now!), and all the other safeguards we rely on? These are probably just a few of the reasons why there are no successful Libertarian governments (at least that I have heard of).

    •  I'm not sure you're as familiar with (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      fuzzyguy

      libertarianism as you think. For example, this:

      disposes of dangerous chemicals on his property that contaminates everyone's water supply?
      Where did you hear that libertarians believe it's okay to infringe upon the rights of others with impunity?

      I mean, your example is basically the exact opposite of libertarianism.

      keep corporations from preying on us with unscrupulous practices (hell, they do that now!)
      Don't forget about being preyed on by the government (see, e.g., Aaron Swartz). At least with libertarians, it's only the corporations you need to live in fear of.
      These are probably just a few of the reasons why there are no successful Libertarian governments
      I suspect the reason is that when people attain power, they tend to not want to give it up.
      •  OK, never mind poisoning others' water (0+ / 0-)

        What if someone owns huge swaths of forest and wants to clear cut it?  Let's say for the sake of argument there is no effect on anyone else's land.  But there are ecosystems (all contained within the property) that will be wiped out.  Is that no one else's business but the property owner's?  In your ideal world, people could attempt to persuade the owner to do otherwise or offer to buy the land, but not really stop him or her if they were dead set on doing it?

        -9.00, -3.69 "The purpose of a campaign is not to answer their attacks, but make them answer our attacks." - Paul Begala

        by SlackerInc on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 07:28:25 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  It's perfectly reasonable (0+ / 0-)

        If you  are my neighbor, and you have unlimited ability to treat "your" property the way you see fit, what happens when the things you do to your property start to damage my property?

        I assume you would use the legal system, right?  If you use the legal system, what laws would it be based on?  

        In order to use the legal system to solve the problem, a law has to exist.  With a libertarian system, there is no law that can be made to do things like protect community resources like water or air.  

        Those things don't fit within the context of the most rational libertarian thinking.  

        Taking up an argument against a stupid claim that libertarians are racist is pretty easy.  

        Defining a system that results from libertarian thinking is hard.  Especially when the issue is how to prevent individuals from damaging the commons while using their own property.  Remember, you have to be able to write laws that will cause someone to not use their own property in a way that damages shared resources.  

        So if you have mining rights on one place, then you can't dredge up the river and block it for others, and so on.  

        Streichholzschächtelchen

        by otto on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 09:21:36 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Life experience, more than framing . . . (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SlackerInc

    is really the only antidote.

    Most of the libertarians that I know tend to be more of the socially liberal, slightly utopian variety.  All come from fairly comfortable, upper-middle class backgrounds.  Some of these people are still true believers into their 30s, but these still represent more of a marginal group.  They aren't really comfortable with the GOP, and tend to be more disaffected independents.

    There's another group of libertarians who are really just socially conservative Republicans.  The label is just another in a line of re-branding exercises that the GOP has undertaken in recent years -- the fit works pretty well in the context of GOP economic policy however.

    I agree with the idea that it helps to spell out the implications of the political philosophy -- bad for the environment, bad for social mobility, bad for freedom and liberty (e.g. disengaged government tends to reward established powers and family wealth, more than fair play and economic opportunity).  

    When a person's life experience has sheltered them in a number of ways, however, it is difficult to get a person to understand the bigger picture as it relates to those who don't come from relatively privileged backgrounds.

    •  There's a strain of this in the GLBT movement too (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      NotGeorgeWill

      Unfortunately, there are those, especially gay white men from affluent backgrounds, who (rightly) loathe the Todd Akins of the GOP but really would have no problem with a government run on conservative economic (and even racial) terms, as long as it was socially libertarian.

      -9.00, -3.69 "The purpose of a campaign is not to answer their attacks, but make them answer our attacks." - Paul Begala

      by SlackerInc on Thu Aug 08, 2013 at 07:24:45 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ever encountered a Libertarian (0+ / 0-)

    who was not a FANATIC? Or have you encountered a Libertarian who was not mildly to extremely eccentric in his or her views? Their eccentricity might go a long way toward explaining why the ideology has such a focus on liberty; a liberty that sometimes goes so far as to heartily embrace anarchism. I mean when you are going to go against all human knowledge & wisdom in various beliefs, you are going to need a lot of freedom. Eccentricity would also explain the magical thinking that is their take on economics. Even after that economics has destroyed all human community and every sort of ecosystem it still wont work but they cling to it with a Randian passion.

    These people are fracking dangerous to themselves and society. Sure it might be nice to burn a blunt with them in a jurisdiction where that would be legal but neither they nor their wacky ideas should ever be allowed anywhere near power.

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