in which brute says things about libertarianism

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Clarice
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Clarice » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:51 pm

@BRUTE:
Ha-ha, along the same lines:

https://getyarn.io/yarn-clip/eb119e88-6 ... 6a233d7ac0

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Riggerjack
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Riggerjack » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:07 pm

@ BRUTE

My main issues with libertarian ideas, is that the ideology is difficult to communicate, and that it takes culture for granted. And therefore, it will not work.

What I mean is, market solutions are so obviously better than command solutions, it hardly seems to need to be discussed. Among those with the interest and attention span to compare them, that is. But most people don't/won't/can't do that.

This is why we talk about politics. Like who is in charge matters. It doesn't. The decisions that affect individuals are made at lower levels, by people who may or may not agree with the "leader" chosen by whatever system we use for choosing leaders. Most people make their decision based on tribe and promises, paying little if any attention to the difference between promises and results.

How do you educate someone about the superiority of a different system, when they compare the vague handwaving of "market decisions" (of which they are already aware of market failings) against the fantasy world of political promises? In my experience, it doesn't work.

Then there is the culture that libertarians just ignore. At the time most of this was written, the world was a very different place. Plenty of thriving small towns, the Federal government was smaller in its entirety, than our current large corporations. Corporations were more like our current crop of small caps. Much of the prosperity gains we made were used to expand our organizations in scale to the point that corporate inefficiencies are rivaling government inefficiencies. Libertarians haven't addressed this, and it further obscures their ideas.

Worse, they assume culture. That if we just fixed this dependency on command solutions, and develop some personal responsibility, accept individual freedom, that everything would be better for in aggregate, and thus for most. This is so naive, it's painful.

Just as I was a liberal, but abandoned them for their aversion to working solutions, I have abandoned libertarians for failing to find a way to fill in the gaps, or try to explain their solutions, in a way that is understandable to the majority of people.

It doesn't matter that it would be a great system, if it can't be sold to the common man. I was just hoping this thread would fill some of those blanks in.

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BRUTE
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:44 pm

Riggerjack wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:07 pm
My main issues with libertarian ideas, is that the ideology is difficult to communicate, and that it takes culture for granted. And therefore, it will not work.
seems to brute like Riggerjack has 3 main concerns with libertarianism:
1)it is difficult to communicate
2)it takes culture for granted
3)it will not work

briefly, brute thinks that:

1)it is difficult to communicate, and will therefore never reach a critical mass (~10%) of humans, just like any complicated idea. the only way to get 10%+ of the population to buy anything is with brainwashing.
2)brute would say it is more culture agnostic. there are right libertarians, conservative libertarians, left libertarians, progressive libertarians, anarchists of all types, aristocrats (wtf), hippies... libertarianism is agnostic to culture.
3)libertarianism as a political ideology will not work (because of 1) and 2). but libertarianism in practice works all the time - if Riggerjack just looks around, almost all the things that "work" work because they are (accidentally) libertarian.

therefore brute is confused about Riggerjack's discontent with libertarianism. of course there will never be a majority libertarian party or a libertarian president.

but libertarianism in practice is spreading and making humans happier and healthier and wealthier all the time.

brute has long abandoned the idea of being a libertarian political activist. the only ideas that work in politics are short, repeated often, and too simple to contain any real meaning.

but despite all that, brute is still at heart a libertarian.

Riggerjack's, of all humans', rejection of libertarianism because "it will never be popular" strikes brute as absurd. Riggerjack seems like a prototypical individual, uncaring if any of his opinions are popular. what's different about libertarianism that makes Riggerjack yearn for acceptance by the popular majority?

Mister Imperceptible
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:20 am

Riggerjack wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:07 pm
Worse, they assume culture. That if we just fixed this dependency on command solutions, and develop some personal responsibility, accept individual freedom, that everything would be better for in aggregate, and thus for most. This is so naive, it's painful.
The political flows from the cultural.

If the culture is broken, it is ridiculous to spend time trying to build an optimal political framework around a broken culture. The culture must be fixed, first.
Riggerjack wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:07 pm
It doesn't matter that it would be a great system, if it can't be sold to the common man.
Au contraire. The (libertarian) system is superior because it does not waste time catering to the lowest common denominator. The culture must be transformed to either uplift the common man to a higher standard, or make him more subservient to the higher men. I greatly prefer the former. Make all men responsible.
BRUTE wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:44 pm
aristocrats (wtf)
hi
BRUTE wrote:
Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:44 pm
almost all the things that "work" work because they are (accidentally) libertarian.
Yes. An individual has a great innovation and it gets misattributed as a byproduct of the (non-libertarian) system.

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daylen
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by daylen » Sun Aug 12, 2018 7:37 am

I personally find it absurd to claim to be a libertarian or any agent of a political ideology. What is the purpose? It just signals a lack of flexability and leads to schismogenesis.

What does it even mean to be a libertarian? Are you a libertarian in every imaginable context? At every point in history? At every scale? What does a libertarian do differently?

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:36 am

Brute can probably defend libertarianism best, but for me:

-I don’t think speech should be as heavily regulated as it is in our society. It used to be conservatives who would do this (“Say you believe in Jesus or we will burn you at the stake/lynch you”) but lately, in metropolitan US, it is liberals who are doing this (“Praise the merits of intersectional feminist plurality and my right to use your bathroom or we will dox you and ostracize you from society”).

-I want the right to keep my private property. Both the Republicans and Democrats believe the government should be able to help itself to the private property of individuals. This is done via taxation, outright confiscation, and financial repression. The Republicans want to take your money and give it to rich people, and Democrats want to take your money and give it to poor people.

-I want the right to defend myself. For every analytical and non-threatening daylen, there are probably 10 or 100 people that want to burglarize my home and threaten my wife and children. This means having an AR-15 and a Benelli M4 at the ready, and legally being able to do so. It also means the the government is less likely to impose itself in a draconian manner on all citizens and is susceptible to overthrow if it goes to far, because it’s citizens are armed and imposing itself with too heavy a hand would be a political problem. Liberals are working on eroding my right to self-defense.

-I want my LGBTQ friends to engage in whatever sexual activities they desire, and have access to legally binding marriages with the associated benefits, without being harassed and discriminated against (as long as non-normal sexuality does not impose itself on those practicing normal sexual behavior). Conservatives fight endlessly to repress non-normal sexual activity and oppress those who practice it (and who are born biologically unable to be sexually normal).

The list goes on.

What usually defines the libertarian demands are “freedom from” rather than “freedom to.” Brute might argue that free speech is a “freedom to” rather than a “freedom from” but without the ability to speak freely, eventually all “freedom froms” are inevitably threatened as well. (If you want to see what a large country looks like without free speech, see China. Ask yourself if you would want to live there.)

You can be sure that if you never take a political opinion that others with political opinions will still want to help themselves to your private property, regulate your behavior, enslave you, and perhaps eventually kill you. However, as long as there are other people fighting those fights for you, you will still be free to inoffensively study analytical philosophy and keep at least a token amount of your personal property (what the government doesn’t steal from you and leaves left over).

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daylen
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by daylen » Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:47 am

I guess my point is that you can protect those values without signaling libertarianism. Whenever policy is negotiated, words that have vague or misrepresented meaning should be avoided at all cost.

Perhaps this is just stemming from my belief that policy talk should be avoided unless it is about a specific concern.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Aug 12, 2018 9:09 am

That would be true, if people fought fairly when negotiating policy. But they don’t. When I say I support gun rights, an opponent will often put me in the Republican box and say I am against LGBTQ rights. When I say I want to legalize marijuana, an opponent will put me in the Democrat box and say I am a supporter of a socialist redistribution of wealth.

It becomes necessary to define the ideology, when one realizes that others are not fighting fair, out of self-defense. (Bringing us back to free speech- without being free to speak, one is not even able to defend oneself against slander.) Yours is a noble suggestion, but it does not take into account others playing dirty.

And so I’ll make a comment too about my aristocratic bent. (Perhaps also in dialogue with brute.)

Like you, daylen, I have what I think is a noble desire to be honest and play fair. This is one of the best things about me.

But I see 90%+ people not holding themselves to that same noble standard and I start to feel contempt. An aristocracy sometimes seems justifiable in my mind because because I am overwhelmed with contempt and nausea for the 90%*. This is probably a character flaw.

*However, the 10% who are honest and play fair is not an overlap with the 10% who are the New American Aristocracy.

Riggerjack is trying to reconcile himself to the 90%, or something, and it seems somewhat ridiculous. Maybe he is just trying to tease brute out of what he sees as dogmatism.

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Bankai
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Bankai » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:29 am

Mister Imperceptible wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 8:36 am
-I want the right to defend myself. For every analytical and non-threatening daylen, there are probably 10 or 100 people that want to burglarize my home and threaten my wife and children. This means having an AR-15 and a Benelli M4 at the ready, and legally being able to do so. It also means the the government is less likely to impose itself in a draconian manner on all citizens and is susceptible to overthrow if it goes to far, because it’s citizens are armed and imposing itself with too heavy a hand would be a political problem. Liberals are working on eroding my right to self-defense.
I don't normally comment on political topics (because I don't usually read them), however, I do follow this one on and off (because I also used to think that libertarianism is the solution to everything). This will be an off topic, but this comment is a great illustration of differences in attitude and worldview among the general public in the US and Europe. I have never in my life read anywhere on the internet or heard from anyone IRL, that is, from any person living in Europe, that they need an automatic rifle for self-defence. It is my impression, and correct me if I'm wrong, that people in the US live in fear to a much greater extent than people in Europe. By this, I mean the constant obsession and discussion about defending oneself, both from other humans as well as from government, both on this forum and other places on the internet. The fear that at all times there's someone waiting for you to put your guard down to rob/kill/steal. As well as the everpresent threat of the government imposing its brutal will. And all this while living in the strongest and the most prosperous country in the world. The country that never experienced invading army on its mainland or despotic government (post-independence).

Europe, on the other hand, experienced brutal wars and authoritarian governments many times throughout its history. Yet, (almost) no one is obsessing about self-defence, the right to possess firearms (and where this is allowed, not that many people actually take advantage of it) or government brutality. Europeans are generally quite happy to outsource defence to authorities and don't worry too much about it besides locking the door when they leave for work. There's also less crime and much less violent crime.

People in Europe are also much less interested in politics. I rarely hear anyone at all talking about politics. People just go about their lives and maybe just follow the main events/participate in elections. Even here forumites from Europe rarely comment on any political topics at all and the topics that are general (i.e. not specific to US) quickly turn into US-specific ones. A recent example can be 'Should everyone be allowed to vote?' topic where over 90% of comments were from Americans.

So I guess my questions are:

1) Anyone else seeing it this way? Do people who lived in both Europe and the US have a similar experience?

2) If there is indeed 'culture of fear' in the US, what are the reasons?

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daylen
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by daylen » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:29 am

I can see your point to some extent. Perhaps this is a lingering effect from our wild west past when the law was impossible to enforce evenly.

In the aggregate, America is more or less as safe as Europe these days, but the distribution of crime across geographical area is still less homogeneous I think. If this is the case (I could be wrong), then the minority that experience higher risk would dominate the conversation and give the perception that every American thinks that way.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by jacob » Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:59 am

1) Yes and yes.

2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5M1Crar5akI Fear is covered between 2:30 and ~8:00.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:50 pm

@bankai

I haven’t lived in Europe (though I am European in ethnic and intellectual heritage and look forward to a “Grand Tour” one day) so I cannot answer your first question. Nor do I consider myself qualified to answer your second question on behalf of all Americans. I can only give you my reasons.

I was bullied as a child and adolescent for being a nerd. I was able to flip the script by actually fighting the bullies back, in an old-fashioned manner, with fisticuffs. It turns out, bullies want easy prey, and leave you alone when you fight back. The old way was to settle it with fisticuffs. The new way is to bring a gun to school and shoot everybody. I think the old way was healthier. I must be an atavism in that regard.

I once looked up to my elders, to higher institutions of education, and to government, as infallible. Go to college, assume debts, it will be worth it in the end.

Then, one day I woke up, 22 years old, with over $150,000 in student loan debt. I had neglected my personal responsibility, I had outsourced the plan for my future to the advice of elders and the designs of government and educational institutions. As a result, I found myself in a state of indentured servitude.

Until recently, I had dismissed the bullying episodes of my childhood as just a part of growing up, and that such things were not a concern in the adult world in America. However, I have found that, as I am considered offensive in the workplace and in social circles for refusing to parrot the liberal dogmas, that bullying will go on, forever, and in particular for me because I stand out from the crowd. My “peers” are not only not my friends, but take it upon themselves to attack me directly, try and get me fired from my job, and spread misinformation about me to sully my reputation. I harbor no ill will against these people, and yet they have taken it upon themselves to make themselves hostile parties, merely because I reject their ideology. Given that the workplace is now overtly hostile, I am merely taking precautions should hostile parties take the fight to my home. I’ve had my tires slashed with my car parked in my driveway at home. They need only cross one more boundary to physically be in my home.

So given my personal experience, it seems obvious that I cannot trust peers, elders, the government, educational or financial institutions. As Riggerjack said elsewhere, I do not know how one acknowledges the existence of violence, and decides the best course of action is to hide under one’s bedsheet. I’m taking measures.

Is it being considered that America has not had totalitarian governments because Americans are paranoid? Where is the statistic for deterrence? Alternatively, how many governments have <insert European country> had since 1776? Or even since 1945? In all that time, the United States has had one, count em, one government, and one Constitution.

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BRUTE
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by BRUTE » Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:56 pm

Bankai wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:29 am
AR-15 and a Benelli M4

...

automatic rifle
@Bankai

yes, the "paranoid" and heavily armed US has had far fewer wars, invasions, and government despotism. coincidence? brute thinks not. the price of freedom is constant vigilance.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by fell-like-rain » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:06 pm

daylen wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 11:29 am
I can see your point to some extent. Perhaps this is a lingering effect from our wild west past when the law was impossible to enforce evenly.

In the aggregate, America is more or less as safe as Europe these days, but the distribution of crime across geographical area is still less homogeneous I think. If this is the case (I could be wrong), then the minority that experience higher risk would dominate the conversation and give the perception that every American thinks that way.
Just to bring in some stats, there's about 100 burglary homicides in the U.S. each year- a.k.a. people killed during a 'home invasion'. Compare that to over 21,000 gun suicides, 700 domestic violence murders, 500 accidental deaths... What's the greater risk here?

Also, re: being as safe as Europe, rates of property crime and 'minor' violent crimes are pretty similar between the U.S. and Europe, and the major difference is that the U.S. murder rate is much higher. Most of which are committed with guns.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:14 pm

@fell-like-rain

I think a lot of those statistics, sans the accidental deaths, put the onus on the guns, and not the individual wielding it. People can still commit suicide with pills, or kill a domestic partner with a knife, baseball bat, or poison.

A lot of this might be covered in the “Guns in America” thread.

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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Mister Imperceptible » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:15 pm

A reminder to everyone that I haven’t lost my sense of humor.

“If you want to get something done, do it yourself!”

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=lbDoZTs3NoY

lol

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Bankai
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Bankai » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:18 pm

BRUTE wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 1:56 pm
coincidence? brute thinks not
Well, I can make a claim that it's due to for example geopolitical location. Weak neighbour to the north, weak neighbour to the south. Ocean to the east, ocean to the west. There really isn't anyone capable of invading, even assuming moderately capable military. Regardless of all the weapons in public hands.

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Bankai
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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by Bankai » Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:37 pm

@Mister Imperceptible

I don't want to diminish your experiences, but I just don't see how buying rifles is an appropriate response to people at work not liking you.

Re cutting tires, a friend of mine had his tires cut 3 or 4 times. He is Polish living in the UK, and since no one else from that block of flats had the tires cut, the assumption is that it happened because of his nationality. His response was to move away from that neighbourhood.


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Re: in which brute says things about libertarianism

Post by 7Wannabe5 » Sun Aug 12, 2018 3:22 pm

@daylen:

Well, I would say that a good part of my purpose for declaring myself to be a Green Libertarian is to combat schismogenesis. IOW, it allows me to have pleasant dinner conversation over free Thai food* whether I am dating a Republican OR a Democrat OR both!!

*Also why I declare myself to be an omnivorous scavenger.

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