Flaws in libertarianism

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Spartan_Warrior
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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Spartan_Warrior » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:03 am

@Brute: Out of curiosity, how can you believe in determinism and praxeology at the same time? To me it seems contradictory, unless I'm misunderstanding something. Praxeology requires "that humans engage in purposeful behavior, as opposed to reflexive behavior like sneezing and inanimate behavior." Meanwhile, determinism posits that there is no free will and all human actions are pre-determined, and IIRC you accept a strictly nihilistic implication from this that humans have no influence whatsoever over their own futures. That sounds a lot like "reflexive... inanimate behavior". How do you reconcile the two concepts?

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BRUTE
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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby BRUTE » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:06 am

Dragline wrote:Excuse my french, but you really don't know what the fuck you are talking about. Do some research, boy, and prove me wrong. Or admit you are wrong and simply ignorant.


brute has long given up arguing with humans that love to hear themselves talk. Dragline isn't even wrong on most of these issues, and brute has had these arguments too many times and doesn't care enough about humans any more.

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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Jean » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:17 am

ThisDinosaur wrote:
I think its better understood by its fundamental Aristotlan assumption, which is that "man is a rational animal".

And that humans have mainly "purposeful" behavior, as opposed to the reflexive, thoughtless behavior of *lower* organisms. I agree completely with you Dragline, that this is not a description of reality.

My assertion is that the OP's cognitive dissonance comes from using Libertarian principles as an explanation for reality, as opposed to a useful model like brute and Jacob are discussing. Jean dislikes violence, but thinks people have inalienable rights. This causes cognitive dissonance because "rights" are a subjective opinion that have to be enforced. Enforcement is force. Once you accept that "rights" are a useful model of society, and not an inherent component of the universe, its easy to understand how people can come to violently disagree about who owns what and on what authority.


To make it clear, my position before posting was that nobody has rights. I still believe so. To me, rights are mutually granted between entities, and it should be done only when this right granting is mutualy beneficial for both entities.

My question was more that libertarian principles are often presented to lead to no violence if respected by everyone, I used to believe so, I haven't for a long time because of the points I mentioned in the OP. So I asked if anyone had arguments concerning those issues, and everyone seems to have the same opinion has me on those subjects. That's enough for me to dismiss libertarianism as a miracle solution for every problem a society can have. It still seems to be the best approach for many of those.

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BRUTE
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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby BRUTE » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:21 am

Spartan_Warrior wrote:Praxeology requires "that humans engage in purposeful behavior, as opposed to reflexive behavior like sneezing and inanimate behavior."


brute thinks there's a subtle difference in how Mises uses "rational" in Human Action to define Praxeoloy. this is what trips up haters that don't read further than the word "rational", like Dragline, and they keep bringing up the Homo Economicus strawman ("HUMANS ARE NOT RATIONAL ZOMG").

if Spartan_Warrior reads Human Action, he'll discover that Mises uses a very pragmatic approach to define rational. it goes something like this:

- given a human in a certain situation, with X different ways of action, the human chooses exactly 1 type of action
- therefore, something about that action must have struck the human as preferable
- were someone to take that action away in the same situation, the human would have a next-best favorite, and so on
- therefore, for any given human in any given situation, it can be said that there's an "internal ordinal preference scale", i.e. favorite option is 1, second favorite is 2, ..
- Mises is big on this scale being inconvertible and incomparable between humans. it's not "Steak has 10 utils and pork has 5 utils", it's "steak first, then pork". and it's meaningless to say something like "brute likes steak better than Spartan_Warrior likes his grandmother". these things cannot be intrinsically compared, as they exist in different situations (brute doesn't have the option to like Spartan_Warrior's grandmother like a grandson).
- for Mises, money and free-market prices are therefore the only option to regulate how much humans want certain things. if brute is willing to pay $10 for the steak, but Spartan_Warrior is not, then brute "likes it more", in effect.

none of these observations ("humans seem to pick SOMETHING, so there has to be some kind of preference scale") break down in the face of determinism. in fact, even a thoroughly deterministic computer program could be said to have an ordinal internal scale, hard coded by its programmer. the only requirement for these observations to be valid is that the subject is somehow an "agent".

Mises only writes about humans in Human Action (maybe his sequel, Animal Action, would've been a huge hit!). but brute doesn't see a reason not to apply these concepts to animals or robots or AI, if they seem to fit.

for brute, reading Human Action was a similar revelation to reading ERE (only it came before ERE for him). suddenly, a veil was lifted, and brute understood humans much better. so much better, indeed, that it was not merely a quantitative difference, but a qualitative one. brute could now see humans (and animals) as preference-resource-matching-automatons. and not in a derogatory way, but in a loving way. ever since then, brute has much better empathy for humans and their actions: no matter what action a human takes, at that moment, it seemed like the best option. by definition, as otherwise, he'd have taken a different action.

edit:

for clarification maybe, a counter example. brute doesn't remember if Mises actually gives this in Human Action, but that might be where brute got it from.

for Mises, "rational" means that given a human desires X, and believes that action A will lead him to X, the human will take action A. this is not an assumption, it's a derivation - if the human picked another action B that led to Y, then the human obviously either wanted Y more than X, or was misinformed about the result of actions A and B.

what would it mean to be irrational, then? it would mean that a human desires X, and knows action A would take him to X, but decides to take action B that leads him away from X. say, a human desires chocolate, and has the option to buy a chocolate bar or a fruit bar. knowing that chocolate bars contain chocolate and fruit bars contain fruit, the human then chooses the fruit bar. this doesn't mean the human is acting irrationally, it means the original description of the setup was incorrect. obviously, the human desired fruit more than chocolate.

there is also no Descartes' Error (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descartes%27_Error) here: Mises doesn't say that the human "really" wanted chocolate but saner heads prevailed and he decided to go for what he believed was the healthy option. Mises treats the human as a black box. if the human picked fruit, the human wanted fruit.

it is therefore by definition impossible for humans to be irrational as described by Mises, because he defines it differently than most humans think about it. this is because most humans make Descartes' Error, or have some kind of thinking/emotions duality in their theories of mind, where "rational" means thinking in numbers and liking money, whereas going with the flow and taking a year off and eating chocolate are "irrational".

brute strongly sides with Mises on this.
Last edited by BRUTE on Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

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BRUTE
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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby BRUTE » Sat Mar 18, 2017 9:32 am

Jean wrote:To make it clear, my position before posting was that nobody has rights. I still believe so. To me, rights are mutually granted between entities, and it should be done only when this right granting is mutualy beneficial for both entities.


depends a lot on the definition of "should" and "beneficial". for example, the agreement between black colored humans and white colored humans in the US to not hold each other as slaves could be seen as mainly benefiting the black colored humans, historically, and might therefore not be "mutually beneficial". still, brute would argue it's a "should". maybe "beneficial" here means that brute prefers to live in a world without slavery, even if he has to give up the option of having slaves.

brute still believes it's very important to explicitly remind humans that rights don't come out of a magic lamp, but are granted by entities to each other. they are a luxury that civilized humans have the option of granting each other, just like indoor plumbing and sous-vide. when humans fall on hard times, rights go right out the window.

Jean wrote:My question was more that libertarian principles are often presented to lead to no violence if respected by everyone, I used to believe so, I haven't for a long time because of the points I mentioned in the OP. So I asked if anyone had arguments concerning those issues, and everyone seems to have the same opinion has me on those subjects. That's enough for me to dismiss libertarianism as a miracle solution for every problem a society can have. It still seems to be the best approach for many of those.


many libertarians seem to make this mental journey, brute included. it went like this for brute:

1.zomg libertarianism, if all humans believed this there would be world peace and prosperity and Ron Paul!
2.zomg these guys have logical, natural, rational, whatever reasons why libertarian rights are "true"
3.zomg all these reasons are bullshit, therefore libertarianism is bullshit
4.maybe libertarianism still has a lot of pragmatic answers to a lot of problems, even if it isn't the divine word of jesus himself, and some of the rationalizing is absurd (<--- brute is here)

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Riggerjack
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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Riggerjack » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:45 am

4.maybe libertarianism still has a lot of pragmatic answers to a lot of problems, even if it isn't the divine word of jesus himself, and some of the rationalizing is absurd (<--- brute is here)


Riggerjack is here too. Lots of good ideas, and not bad for a default starting point, but there are better solutions in some cases.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Riggerjack » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:17 pm

This assertion is ill-informed and wrong. In fact, companies seek to monopolize old drugs that are not popular to increase profits. (See Valeant business model).

I have this problem which colchicine, a medication for gout which is one of the oldest ever created. It used to cost cents a pill. Now it costs dollars, because control has been monopolized. And the old drug is being taken off my insurance. I may just start growing the damn plant myself.

Excuse my french, but you really don't know what the fuck you are talking about. Do some research, boy, and prove me wrong. Or admit you are wrong and simply ignorant.


OK, let's talk about colchicine. I was recently diagnosed with gout, so I looked into this. From Wikipedia:
As a drug antedating the FDA, colchicine was sold in the United States for many years without having been reviewed by the FDA for safety and efficacy. The FDA reviewed approved colchicine for gout flares, awarding Colcrys a three-year term of market exclusivity, prohibiting generic sales, and increasing the price of the drug from $0.09 to $4.85 per tablet.


The FDA gave URL Corp a patent on colchicine in exchange for URL doing the research for it to be proven to the FDA. So, your drug is more expensive, because a Federal agency gave a sweetheart deal to a corporation, granting them a government enforced monopoly. And yet you link this somehow to libertarianism, and free markets. Dragline, we have danced this dance many times, and I often thought you were having problems with separating cause from effect, but this just seems like you are failing to even understand the cause.

From a practical standpoint, colchicine is not an ideal long term treatment for gout. Talk to your doctor about allopurinol. If you want colchicine, currently, you can pay too much for it. In a few years, that exclusive marketing deal will expire, and the price will drop again. In the meantime, you can grow your own crocus. Be aware that it is toxic, and can be harmful to the kidneys.

For clarity, I'll address Valeant in another post.

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BRUTE
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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby BRUTE » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:47 pm

for what it's worth, brute has heard many humans in the keto community say that their gout got much better or went away after cutting out carbs. something with fructose and chronic insulin and inflammation of the joints. maybe worth a try for the old timers here.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Riggerjack » Sat Mar 18, 2017 4:52 pm

If you Google Valeant business model, you will get lots of results like http://www.businessinsider.com/valeant-business-model-2014-6

Disapproving authors complaining about a corporation buying up small Pharma Corps, slashing their R&D budgets, and just treating them like cash cows. Then there is the criticism that this isn't sustainable. Then the projection that if this continues, drug R&D will stop completely.

Hogwash. The investors who paid for the R&D at those small corporations just got cashed out. Small startups do the reseach and product development. Then big corporations buy out the little guys. This model is similar to the startup model in software. And we all know how silicon valley has killed software innovation.

If there's a lesson to be learned here, it is how little journalists at business insider know about business.

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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Ego » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:03 pm

Riggerjack wrote:From a practical standpoint, colchicine is not an ideal long term treatment for gout. Talk to your doctor about allopurinol.


A libertarian would say that you have the right to do with your body as you wish, but from a practical standpoint, neither colchicine nor allopurinol are ideal long term treatments for gout. Listen to this doctor about the ideal treatment. He mentions both drugs specifically in this short video.

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/prevent ... with-diet/

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Riggerjack
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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Riggerjack » Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:06 pm

for what it's worth, brute has heard many humans in the keto community say that their gout got much better or went away after cutting out carbs. something with fructose and chronic insulin and inflammation of the joints. maybe worth a try for the old timers here.


I'm still taking allopurinol, daily. But I found cutting my overall protien intake has helped. Not targeting purines specifically, but just reduced meat intake. My theory is that uric acid is building up, because the kidneys aren't filtering it out. Looking at diets for kidney problems means cutting protien intake. So, that's what I did. But then my meat consumption was higher than American average.

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Riggerjack
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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Riggerjack » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:00 am

As I suspected, RJ Rummel is the source of your figures. His numbers are shaky to say the least. More on that, and an attempt at comparing capitalism to communism using a similar methodology here: http://www.petersaysstuff.com/2014/05/a ... eath-toll/

(I do see you replied before me to note he may not be the most reliable source.)


I read through the second link, read the same line in the first, (When one progressive blogger plagiarizes another, is that research?) clicked the link to the first source it goes to here: https://books.google.si/books?id=kewLQwngUSkC&q=passed+through&redir_esc=y&hl=sl#v=onepage&q=%22some%2018%20million%20people%20passed%20through%20the%20prisons%20and%20camps%22&f=false as a back up of his criticism of someone else' research. A study of the Gulag, seems like an excellent, source, I would expect their number to be close to the truth, or at least justifiable. It came up with 18M in the Stalin years. So, when he says this:

We can ignore the fact his "most probable estimate" of deaths the responsibility of the Soviet Union presupposes 40 million deaths in the gulag, which happens to be twice the number of people who passed through the camps.


It makes me think nobody has ever checked his work, and just he assumes his pontification is truth. The relevant line from Rummel (who did research):
Camp/Transit 1917 to 1987 Low:15919000 Mid: 39464 High: 82280500

18M in 25 years (Stalin's reign) is 780k/per year, at a general high point. Call it half that, on average. that's an additional 27M or 45M total, going off my half azzed guess. But 45M going thru doesn't equal 40M dead. So a quick look at wikipedia:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulag
Brief history[edit]
About 14 million people were imprisoned in the Gulag labor camps from 1929 to 1953 (the estimates for the period 1918–1929 are even more difficult to calculate). A further 6–7 million were deported and exiled to remote areas of the USSR, and 4–5 million passed through labor colonies, plus 3.5 million who were already in, or who had been sent to, labor settlements


So your guy's estimate is based on 25 years out of 70, in 1 system out of four. No wonder his estimate is low. I found this with a quick google search. I didn't do research. But then neither did your bloggers.
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BRUTE
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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby BRUTE » Sun Mar 19, 2017 10:46 am

Riggerjack wrote:18M in 25 years (Stalin's reign) is 780/per year


brute doesn't follow this math

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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby 7Wannabe5 » Sun Mar 19, 2017 1:32 pm

I tend towards more than a bit of "rebel without a clue" functioning myself, but it seems to me that the essential flaw with Libertarianism is due to being "born from the head of Zeus" -like. For simple instance, it does not seem to be inclusive of any humans who are 3 years old and inclined towards behavior such as running into traffic to retrieve a ball. The philosophy follows the same rule-of-thumb followed by writers of bodice-ripping-romance-novels which is "First kill the parents." The Libertarian "individual" seemingly pops into existence as fully-formed and informed human at late adolescent dispersal phase of life, like some alien transported to earth in an egg-ship from other unknown dimension of being.

Human beings are large mammalian, omnivorous, resource-hungry out-breeders with huge brains. They require a good deal of energy for survival and a good deal more for reproduction. The process of being weaned from breast-milk and/or being served other-funded food in the cafeteria of the dorm of your university, requires the acquisition of skills towards providing for your own energy needs. Thus, territoriality and property concepts which may be expressed as "MY COOKIE!!!" (consequent with bashing peer over head with educational toy cast from petroleum derived polymer) or something more like
"blah, blah, blah..tort actions dealing with direct interferences with persons, their chattels, and their land stem from the writs of trespass vi et armis, de bonis asportatis, and quare clausum fregit. Although these now commonly are referred to as the intentional torts, in Canada this reference is inaccurate. The writ of trespass was developed in the thirteenth century in order to assist those who were the victims of direct and forcible interferences. There was no requirement that the interference be intended by the defendant, nor that the conduct otherwise be wrongfully motivated...blah, blah, blah..."

Anyways, it is my current take that there are some levels of resource or territory dominance (dwell and roam)that feel like liberty to most humans. Members of the Chippewa tribes would come together in large bands during the resource lush summer season and break up into small family units during the resource deplete winter. There is currently free camping (if you move every two weeks) and more deer available in the former domain of the Chippewa than there was in 1875. In 1840, land in my neck of the woods went for $80/acre and was considered a great bargain. It is now available for approximately $2400/acre, which isn't all that different given rate of inflation. Seems like there are fewer "individuals" wanting to take on work of wrestling living from the land while fretting about possible violent behavior of members of other "tribes" located in region these-a-days.

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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Spartan_Warrior » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:41 am

@Riggerjack: Again, I'm definitely not interested in arguing about specific statistics. Nor am I surprised that you discovered errors and leaps of logic in the blog posts I linked. Mind you, those are not the only folks to have pointed out flaws in RJ Rummel and "Black Book of Communism" stats--but that's not the point. The "death toll" numbers for capitalism don't need to be right to support my argument. Again, my position is that such statistics are mostly rubbish on both sides.

The facts are simply these: Rummel's statistics include the Holodomor famine, a piece of Nazi-era propaganda; on that note, they also conflate Nazism with leftist Socialism/Communism, a claim certainly not everyone would agree with (I do not, and rather recognize it as a familiar political tactic of the American right); and the statistics have been disputed as both politically biased and sensationalized (a man's gotta sell books).

Furthermore, it is clearly ahistorical to claim that "capitalism" hasn't also "killed" unconscionable amounts of people, especially using similar (silly) metrics. Again, you and Rummel are still talking about gulags as if that's a necessary condition of socialism or at all entailed in what anyone means by the word today. By the same reasoning, it would be disingenuous not to consider slavery (waged or otherwise), private prisons, and systemic poverty as "symptoms" of capitalism.

I'm not interested in quibbling over the inaccurate and sensationalized numbers. I'm merely pointing out what they are.

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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Jean » Mon Mar 20, 2017 8:45 am

@SW
This topic isn't about the history of the europeans totalitarian regimes of the last century.
Even if communism killed no one, I wouldn't enjoy living under such a system.
I'm not a moderator, but I think that the question I asked have been answered, and I predict, that in less than two pages, someone will start to deny some part of the history that are protected by laws.
So I would like this topic to be closed. Because both sides of the argument already showed enough to let anyone make his opinion anyway.

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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Riggerjack » Mon Mar 20, 2017 9:24 am

Yeah, if I were a socialist, I'd want to separate myself from Nazis too. Oh and the Soviets, Chinese, Koreans, Cambodians... Yeah, which were there good examples, again? You know, those successful, peaceful socialist solutions.

Now Europe has had lots of success with socialist influence, and confederation. But a successful socialist state, which would you like to visit?

Back to Nazis, if I understand the current definition, the economic difference between fascism and socialism is that fascists only nationalized some of the economy (500 key companies in Germany, 3/4 of the economy in Italy.) So I guess that makes fascism kinda like socialism-lite. Plus lots of ideological differences in who we are empowering, vs who we are demonizing. But for practical purposes, it seems like a distinction without a difference.

Looking at the Wikipedia page for fascism shows that in every case, they splintered off of a socialist movement, and we all know how fractious that always goes.

In any case, this is a thread about libertarianism, and however you define it, statist/socialist/fascist, it is all diametrically opposed to libertarianism.

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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Riggerjack » Mon Mar 20, 2017 11:39 am

To be fair, if America's prison deaths were counted the same way, I'm sure the number would be horrendous. Just because we have such an insanely high prison population. I would like to point out that most of the insane part of that number is because of drug crimes. And again, no drug crimes in libertarianism.

The pattern I see among detractors of libertarianism is that they think the state has their interests at heart. This is a reasonable position. When I was young, and educated by the state, then employed by the state, I thought so as well.

I think America functions fairly well, and we have a lot of leeway to swing either way, toward individual freedom or toward expanded nannyism, without dire consequences. So as much as this argument gets bitter, I think there is much we all can agree on.

I think people are fairly good at knowing what they want from society and government. But also no good at all in mapping how to make that happen. And thus us where isms get thrown into the arguments.

For what it's worth, I was a liberal, back when progressives were called liberals. Then I was a libertarian. Now I think I have found the failings in libertarianism, but still default to freedom and responsibility as my "go to" political opinions. Anything that compromises freedom or responsibility will hagh a high bar to hurdle.

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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby BRUTE » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:09 pm

in brute's opinion, most who oppose libertarianism think libertarians are too optimistic - that libertarian would only work with "perfect humans". brute thinks the opposite is true. libertarians are pessimists; they seek a system that would work with the worst of humans.

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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby BRUTE » Mon Mar 20, 2017 12:09 pm

Riggerjack wrote:Yeah, if I were a socialist, I'd want to separate myself from Nazis too. Oh and the Soviets, Chinese, Koreans, Cambodians... Yeah, which were there good examples, again? You know, those successful, peaceful socialist solutions.


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freetown_Christiania

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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Jean » Mon Mar 20, 2017 5:37 pm

Sometimes I think that the same peoples will get the same outcome, without regard to the system they use.

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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Riggerjack » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:12 pm

Christiania is a commune. A great example of a commune, both good and bad. Population 850, after 40+ years seems likely to be a record. And it shows great tolerance from the Danes. They went 24 years without paying for utilities, or taxes, and 35 years before they were even willing to provide parking for 10% of their cars! :lol:

Seriously, I like communes, but the ones that don't fail from internal squabbles generally fail because they make such abusive neighbors. I live down the road from one, and Larry and his croud haven't been a problem for me. Though some of his closer nieghbors complain some. And it was nieghbors complaining that shut down the Love-Isreal commune. Too bad, the garlic festival was a lot of fun.

I think communes are fine, because they don't require my cooperation or compliance. And if they fail, they haven't cost me anything. Part of libertarianism is allowing others the freedom to try making their own path, and the freedom to fail, if that's going to happen.

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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby Riggerjack » Mon Mar 20, 2017 7:21 pm

Sometimes I think that the same peoples will get the same outcome, without regard to the system they use.


There's a lot to be said for this, but of course, some systems are more forgiving of people choosing their own way than others.

The measurement of governance that matters is how it works for those who disagree.

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fiby41
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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby fiby41 » Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:54 am

@Spartan Warrior,

Pretty sure that National Socialism was the de facto official ideology of the Nazi party. In fact it's German name translates to National Socialist German Workers' Party.

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Re: Flaws in libertarianism

Postby ThisDinosaur » Thu Mar 23, 2017 12:14 pm

The measurement of governance that matters is how it works for those who disagree.

Is this a quote from somewhere? If not, you should copyright that, Riggerjack.


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