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Different types of libertarians?

Home Forums Research Law and Politics Different types of libertarians?

This topic contains 41 replies, has 10 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of Jeff-Chan Jeff-Chan 5 years ago.

Viewing 12 posts - 31 through 42 (of 42 total)
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  • #4578
    Avatar of Patri
    Patri
    Keymaster

    I just find it amusing that anarchists think that if the government was gone everything would be great.

    I do not think this is a fair characterization of the views of anarchists. I am sure there are some anarchists that stupid, but most of the ones I have met understand the importance of establishing anarchistic institutions and the problems of an orderly transition.

    It can be amusing to focus on the most foolish version of a theory, but it is an error to use such versions to judge the theory itself. One might even argue that the height of civil discourse and intellectual honesty is to always seek the strongest version of an opposing theory. I aspire to such heights myself, but am very far from reaching them :).

    #4588
    Avatar of idanthology
    idanthology
    Participant

    Eelco, can I ask, what other users are moderators representing TSI in the forums? Are they listed anywhere?

    #4590
    Avatar of Wayne-Gramlich
    Wayne-Gramlich
    Participant

    The board members are 1) Patri Friedman, 2) Wayne Gramlich, 3) Joe Londsdale, 4) Ajay Royan, and 5) Peter Thiel. The board members decide how money gets spent, so they have the ultimate authority about where TSI is going. The http://seasteading.org/learn-more/about-tsi (about TSI)web page provides a little more information. The only two board members who show up in the forums are Patri and myself (Wayne). I tend to focus on more technical subjects and Patri is willing to tackle the more political ones. My belief is that we are a long long way from having enough people living in a seastead community in international waters to start the political experiments. I personally have a hard time getting worked up over the politics right now.

    #4591
    Avatar of
    Anonymous

    And there are societies today, like Scandinavia, where socialism seems to work pretty well.

    Scandinavia does not work well because of socialism, but in spite of it. It would work better without.

    Whether explicit or implicit, voluntary or forced, socialism always means that success is punished and failure is rewarded. And the effects are predictable. New businesses and entrepreneurs are few and far between. Whenever someone achieves some level of success, they leave for a place with less socialism.

    Morally I don´t have anything against explicitly agreed upon socialism. That doesn´t mean it is the clever way to go.

    #4592
    Avatar of Jesrad
    Jesrad
    Participant

    Seconded, as an anarchist I characterize my viewpoint as not “let’s do away with every institution” but rather “for the sake of our institutions let’s do away with the extremely wasteful and immoral, mostly self-appointed, class of middle-men called ‘politicians’”.

    #4594
    Avatar of Jesrad
    Jesrad
    Participant

    Let’s remember that Somalia was, by the end of Siad Barre’s socialist regime, the second poorest country in the entire world (which it still is, in the absence of reliable figures, as far as the CIA factbook is concerned). And then it suffered through civil war. Anarchy, in the proper sense (no sovereignty monopoly) is not some magical spell that cures everything. Let’s remember, too, that it is occupied by armed forces from a hostile foreign power and that heavy mortar-bombing has ruined a large part of the capital city. I wouldn’t live there just as I wouldn’t live in Malawi even if it spontaneously turned firmly libertarian overnight.

    Somalia’s a very interesting study case. It has a common law called the Xeer which has striking jusnaturalist features (polycentrism, compensatory justice, insurance market for the execution of judiciary arbitrations). The Somalis themselves are unusually individualistic and entrepreneurial as an african people. These traits help explain how they could live in near-anarchy for years and develop faster than other african countries.

    #4593
    Avatar of idanthology
    idanthology
    Participant

    I threw culture in there to add to an issue that Vince mentioned, but I don’t really know that it should be a factor. There could be any number of factors, such as if you have a revolution (Somalia) it could be very different than if you gradually put an ideology into play (Scandinavia), as in evolution. A workable ideology should ideally carry you along regardless of who you are, grab you in an instinctive gut feeling, rather than you needing to grab it. It should play to human nature. Capitalism works on a certain type of love…looking out for self, the individual, things such as greed & personal power, no? Not a bad thing. You need a lot of resources in order to make things happen, to make your own thoughts a reality. Socialism works on another type of love…looking out for others, on cooperation, the collective power of the group, making sure your neighbor has a good life, too, and other altruistic notions. Looking out for yourself is almost always going to come before looking out for others (e.g. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs), but the 2 are by no means mutually exclusive…a lot of people tend to focus solely on one or the other, though. Is there a good term for an ideology that balances them?

    Also, on institutions, I came across this map from the World Bank that gives an interesting perspective. Unfortunately, it has a subjective percentile rank, rather than just giving you the objective rating for each industrial & developing country, but it covers various aspects and how they have changed in the last few years. http://info.worldbank.org/governance/wgi/worldmap.asp
    #4596
    Avatar of Eelco
    Eelco
    Participant

    Well, i wouldnt say im representing TSI: im mostly just removing spam.

    We have never explicitly discussed moderation policy before, but we are doing so at the moment. As I mentioned, but it might have emphasized more strongly: ive been trying to explain my personal vision of moderation, as i feel it best serves TSI. But it is not up to me to lay down the rules, and i might well stand corrected.

    Joep is also a moderator, and one or two others. Not sure where i can look it up.

    #4622
    Avatar of idanthology
    idanthology
    Participant
    #7433
    Avatar of Alan
    Alan
    Participant

    idanthology wrote:
    Can I ask you guys what you think in general of the idea of libertarian socialism (Noam Chomsky, etc.)?

    I once had occasion to exchange ideas with Noam Chomsky, and despite what he may say he is firmly opposed to freedom.

    Chomsky should probably stick to linguistics, which he knows quite well. He is proof of the notion that a person can be quite capable in one field and quite hopeless in another. Without doubt he is intelligent, but he imbibed so much socialist propaganda as a youth that he cannot see beyond it – cannot even see that many – or any – of his beliefs are based on false premises. He is, in a word, deluded.

    He deserves commendation for his love of humanity and his willingness to speak out on behalf of the victims of some kinds of oppression, and deserves condemnation for condoning other types of oppression which he believes to be beneficial to its victims. I wish him the best personally, but certainly hope his ill-guided attempts to control others (for their own good, of course) fail.

    So whatever can be said in favor of libertarian socialism, I certainly would not associate Chomsky with any genuinely freedom-loving movement.

    That said, please remember that many libertarians are not devotees of Ayn Rand. Traditional American values are quite libertarian, but still value community service and self-sacrifice. However, these were seen as largely voluntary activities. As one example, overseas charitable giving from Americans is at least as great, as a percentage of income, as overseas charitable giving from Scandinavian countries – but most of the money from Americans comes in the form of private donations, whereas most of the money from Scandinavia is taken from taxes.

    For libertarians of this stripe, Robert Heinlein is far more important than Ayn Rand. His characters embodied self-sacrifice and commitment to their communities – even to communities that encompassed the whole world and beyond, without regard to ethnicity or nationality, or even species. All the same, they strongly resisted any attempt to forcibly enlist them in moral crusades.

    If Libertarian Socialism means something like what Heinlein wrote about, I would wholeheartedly advocate it. This was, in fact, the spirit that once made America great. But that sort of social service had to be firmly in the hands of those making the sacrifices – it was their personal involvement that allowed them to tell the difference between genuine need and genuine greed – and the difference between voluntary and mandatory contributions to a cause is the difference between being a patron and being a slave. Anyone who presumes that the chief difference is scientific management and efficiency is utterly ignorant of what it means to be human, and is very dangerous indeed.

    #7754
    Avatar of Jeff-Chan
    Jeff-Chan
    Participant

    Alan wrote:
    If Libertarian Socialism means something like what Heinlein wrote about, I would wholeheartedly advocate it. This was, in fact, the spirit that once made America great. But that sort of social service had to be firmly in the hands of those making the sacrifices – it was their personal involvement that allowed them to tell the difference between genuine need and genuine greed – and the difference between voluntary and mandatory contributions to a cause is the difference between being a patron and being a slave. Anyone who presumes that the chief difference is scientific management and efficiency is utterly ignorant of what it means to be human, and is very dangerous indeed.

    Really what the latter boils down to is arrogance. Many people who seek political power and to exert that power over others do so becauae they think they are superior to you and know what’s best for you better than you do. They want to tell you what to do because they are superior. That’s arrogance.

    I find a big difference in European mindsets, where all of the European nations descend from monarchies, so in general people there defer to and expect to be subjects of the state/king. People who go into government service (bureaucrats) in Europe tend to be competent and well-meaning. In the U.S., government was originally meant to intervene in people’s lives only when they committed an obvious (common law) crime so the basis of attittude towards government is very different, and the bureaucrats who seem to go into it seem to have very different perspectives form their European counterparts. They are also perceeievd differently by their subjects. (American government has expanded so far beond the original notion of limited government that it’s functionally not very different from top-down, European style nations.)

    Regarding Rand and Heinlein, they both have something interesting to add to the conversation about freedom. Rand’s notion of rational self-interest is to me an experssion of Thomas Jefferson’s Pursuit of Freedom. That is, human potential is maximized when individuals are most free to pursue their dreams.

    Heinlein is absolutely libertarian. I think he would find much to agree with in anarcho-capitalism. Heinlein may have been influenced by his time in the Navy. He does believe in service to the community, and I agree with your earlier comments that Americans are personally generous with their time and money. They were much moreso and better able to make donations before the income tax, when the government decided it knew better how to improve things than your private charity and turned charity into force.

    Like Heinlein, I agree individuals should be responsible for the defense of themselves, their families and their community. Ultimately it boils down to self-defense. If you don’t defend your community then that community can and probably will be destroyed. So defense of community is also a selfish interest in defense of self.

    #7755
    Avatar of Jeff-Chan
    Jeff-Chan
    Participant

    Jesrad wrote:
    Let’s remember that Somalia was, by the end of Siad Barre’s socialist regime, the second poorest country in the entire world (which it still is, in the absence of reliable figures, as far as the CIA factbook is concerned). And then it suffered through civil war. Anarchy, in the proper sense (no sovereignty monopoly) is not some magical spell that cures everything. Let’s remember, too, that it is occupied by armed forces from a hostile foreign power and that heavy mortar-bombing has ruined a large part of the capital city. I wouldn’t live there just as I wouldn’t live in Malawi even if it spontaneously turned firmly libertarian overnight.

    Somalia’s a very interesting study case. It has a common law called the Xeer which has striking jusnaturalist features (polycentrism, compensatory justice, insurance market for the execution of judiciary arbitrations). The Somalis themselves are unusually individualistic and entrepreneurial as an african people. These traits help explain how they could live in near-anarchy for years and develop faster than other african countries.

    Keep in mind also that the civil war in Somalia was in essence warlords jockeying for power before the expected foreign imposition of a national government. In a sense the external internationalist powers created the power vacuum that the warlards rushed to fill and competed to control. Lots of innocent people caught in the middle died as a result of that rush to government. Add them to the 25 million or so murdered by their governments in the 20th century.

    Ordinary Somali tribal members had centuries of stateless self-rule that had a family-based system of justice, free trade, stability, etc., all without a central government. They had freedom and well-functioning anarcho-capitalism which the central government and its external backers sought to eliminate. Externally-impopsed government is and was the problem there, not the solution. But then the external nations know what’s best for the Somalis, right?

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