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  • colin_s

    (Apologies if this should go in "Politics" but it's more about discussing a concept than any ongoing event.)

    I'm pretty sure more than a couple of you would identify as a libertarian, and I'm curious as to how you'd define that. As far as I can tell it's the one current 'alternative' political mindset that lacks any sort of doctrine or conceptual base that isn't "white people being scared of losing their money and guns."

    There's Marxism and capitalism but even under capitalism the idea of governance is necessary; a public sector, even if it (in the eyes of Reagan) is only good for wealth transference to the rich. Libertarianism seems to just want to keep their money and say fuck everyone else, but I was just wondering if there's some actual reading on the subject (a la The Communist Manifesto) rooted in theory not just, "we got rich off the backs of generations of enslavement and don't believe we owe anyone anything for it."

    And I'm also genuinely interested in why people believe this, but I'm more interested in if there's any root doctrine that isn't just selfish excuses.

  • monNom0

    I think a lot of stuff gets lumped into the libertarian label. Some people are concerned with perceived lawlessness (not following the constitution, different laws for different people ), some are concerned with the size of government and thereby it's tendency to abuse it's power and be less accountable to the populace. Some are concerned with a lack of soundness in the nations money, and excessive debt. Some are concerned over the special interests that have grown so powerful in the nations capitol. And a whole slew of other issues than tend to set people apart for the status-quo political parties.

    A couple of principles I've heard associated to libertarians are an adherence to the rule of law, and the immorality of using force to coerce someone else to do something (ie: the government's implied threat of jail if you don't give it tax money). I think the self organizing principle and the wisdom of the market are pretty universally considered as solutions to all life's problems for libertarians.

    It's a bit similar to anarchism, but with a more conservative world view. More like old west cowboy anarchism. You don't bother me, I wont bother you.

    Ayn rand is a heavily cited author - Atlas shrugged, the fountainhead. "Austrian school" economists seem to hold the key to their philosophy on money and markets. They dislike Keynes. Hate communism / fascism /oligarchies or any form of authoritarianism, (going back to that abuse of power thing).

    Personally, I think it's a bit of a romantic notion that a nation of millions of people could self-organize to govern itself in a just in time manner, but they certainly seem to have a point about corruption.

    • I don't identify as libertarian BTW.monNom
    • That old west anarchy was brutal to natives, though (at least in the US); actual anarchism relates to accepted moral standards of livingcolin_s
    • Which that last line you said, to me, is ideal, but I also call that anarchism; statelessness guided by principled individuals, a society that works big&smallcolin_s
    • Yep. They want basically that same ideal. Though I think it remains to be seen if that works at scale. Actual anarchies (failed states) are pretty nasty.monNom
  • shellie0

    I registered as a Libertarian when I first voted at age 18 but changed parties after my first election. I can't say my political leanings were fully formed then but i knew other libertarians I agreed with. I identity as Democrat now but I've been told by more than a few that my thinking aligns more with libertarians. I don't really know what that means.

    I grew up with guns and I'm a pretty ace archer, so I grew up around people involved in that community. I can be kind of conservative at times. I've never used gov assistance for ANYTHING including unemployment. I think the gov should stay out of my business if my choices don't effect anyone else. And, if I created a community that decided to use silver marbles instead of dollars, I don't see what the problem is. I have a hard time trusting the dollar not backed by gold but I don't have a choice. Does that count?

    I have experienced some Libertarians being quite racist and I've never met a black libertarian which I think is mainly a diversity problem that may work itself out eventually. For that reason I don't feel like I belong in that community as it is now. But I definately would switch it up if it wasn't such a minor party and had more diverse spread of people who subscribe to that ideology. I'm not going to lie, it's hard being the only black person in the room and it isn't that way with Democrats.

    • A lot of this is totally valid; it seems to me these are responsible social concepts but are self-designed. Not that it's a bad thing. Just wonderingcolin_s
    • Non-state currency is an interesting idea in terms of what legitimacy a state has outside of equivocating value, thoughcolin_s
    • if you find some good reading please share.shellie
  • garbage0

    Comprehensive list of what constitutes a libertarian:

    - Closeted Republican that likes to smoke weed


    oh wait, that's pretty much it.

  • yuekit0

    This might sound kind of dumb or obvious but the Wikipedia page on libertarianism is actually a good overview:…

    In the modern day U.S. it tends to get associated with people like Ron Paul and the Libertarian Party and therefore gets pigeon holed as a right-wing viewpoint but historically it's actually a broad umbrella that covers a long list of different variations both left and right.

    Classical liberalism, anarchism, minarchism, anarcho-capitalism, anarcho-communism, left wing market libertarianism, etc. The common thread being the emphasis on freedom and desire to limit or destroy "the state."

    Also I wouldn't say it lacks conceptual base at all...if anything it's almost all doctrine and concepts with people arguing endlessly over definitions and what is the real libertarianism. But there are also real world implementations such as Bitcoin to pick out an obvious example.

    • < I have Libertarian leftist sympathies. It's not a single point of view. Just means you prefer the individual to have freedoms to use their own judgment.monoboy
    • Right-wing libertarians just want freedom from the responsibilities of society to carry on monopolising their privilege in a big fuck you to the feckless. imo.monoboy
    • Either way, a true libertarian society can't be a civilised one because people need guidance and government intervention to stop them doing really dumb shit.monoboy
    • Just look at what America has done with their freedoms.monoboy
    • "I have gained this from philosophy: that I do without being commanded what others do only from fear of the law." true civility is not defined in lawdeathboy
  • formed0

    Funny, the libertarians I know don't smoke weed. They look at govt as a bloated waste and half the nation sucking money from everyone else. Personally, I think it's partially correct, but their extremism lacks any compassion is largely divorced from reality.

    As with most things political, I believe that 80% of the people will agree on 80% of the topics. If we could get past the hot-button items (we won't, given media's need for 'clicks') items we could get a lot done.

    • cosigned. and the libertarians i know also don't smoke weed. but i imagine younger ones would.shellie
    • As soon as it's legal, it's "ok". I know some hardcore conservatives that swear by THC products (oils, etc.), now that it's legal in COformed
  • deathboy0

    I probably identify more as a libertarian but i prefer non partisan because the term seems to draw some nut bags. I find most party based libertarians who don't see the condradictions in collective terminology as funny. And more than likely the red headed step child of any party. I was surprised to see some of the the types gary johnson had to go against for the vote. Thinking wow these guys call themselves libertarians they're more dumb anarchist shit bags. But to me its not about party its about philosophy. About individualism vs collectivism. The failed logic in thinking there are things as collective rights or that the ends justifies the means.

    "The principle that the end justifies the means is in individualist ethics regarded as the denial of all morals. In collectivist ethics it becomes necessarily the supreme rule; there is literally nothing which the consistent collectivist must be prepared to do if it serves "the good of the whole," because the "good raison of the whole" is to him only criterion of what oughto be done."

    Seeing the world through an individualist point of view. Real individual rights. Not healthcare or ones that are false and exist as a condition of bending others. See FDRs proposed rights to see the exact opposite. So you have rule of law to protect the basic most individual rights, and than you have free trade and open commerce to protect the individual. Every dollar spent has always been a vote and vastly superior to any democratic process. Historically capitalism, and that being voluntary free trade has never really failed man. You find its always more gov rules and central banks policy which seems to cause the issues calling more more central banking policy and gov control of private industry. 2 big ones is higher education and healthcare. those have both skyrocketed not because of a failure of capitalism but a failure of gov policy. Guaranteed loans create predatory loaning. Tax rules making employer responsible for insurance takes the customer out of the equation denying there economic vote. To sum it up quickly.

    Current political parties are hardly different. They want collectivist policy that grows gov and grows their interests or product. You find, especially now, that collectivist majorities do little when the individualist begin to think about reelection and personal gains, all the while trying to sell you the majority BS. A cognitive dissoance when thinking of oneself in society and how it works if you are winning. A basic tribalism survival instinct we fall back on in hardship and keeps us from truely progressing.

    But for me personally it really can be summed up in pure binary fashion the individualist vs the collectivist. One idea rooted in reality, the other in aspiration.

  • deathboy0


    "And I'm also genuinely interested in why people believe this, but I'm more interested in if there's any root doctrine that isn't just selfish excuses."

    The selfish excuses bothers me. You seem to state it as selfish is a bad thing. That looking out for oneself and not his brother is a sin. That collectivist shit is derived in almost every religion, and so funny democrats or state parties use it against "religious" parties. Reminds me of this

    And the idea of these selfless people looking out for the greater good.

    Don't think of selfish as a bad thing. If you do you have already kind of fallen into the original sin trap. Its a good trap its lasted for centuries, and has been adopted by political socialist types for its effectiveness. Why I find there is little difference between right and left. Both believe in an omnipotent deity that can plan for everyone, one calls him god the other the state.

  • inteliboy1

    There's some good and bad ideas in all the "isms".

    Unfortunately humans like to categorise things and chose teams, instead of cherry picking good and proven ideas.

    • why its best to be non party, but ppl choose identity vs policy. than go along with majority of chosen identity. its hard to stand alone and yet so easy in grupdeathboy
    • its our basic tribalism nature. choosing a group increased survival rates over individualism. Hence the nature of all socialists who knwo what they are sellingdeathboy
    • man needs to work together like ants for greater good vs individualist needs, but than slavery is good, or a race is bad is justified.deathboy
    • too many ppl trying to have their cake and eat it too embracing individualism in their favor and the same with collectivism and rebeling when notdeathboy
    • A person should not believe in an ism, he should believe in himselfyuekit