What Is Libertarianism?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Kevin_Kennedy, May 18, 2010.

  1. Kevin_Kennedy
    Offline

    Kevin_Kennedy Defend Liberty

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2008
    Messages:
    17,590
    Thanks Received:
    1,581
    Trophy Points:
    205
    Location:
    Ohio
    Ratings:
    +2,027
    There seem to be many misconceptions about what libertarianism is on USMB, so as a libertarian I’ve decided to try to clear some of this up. If I miss something then hopefully the other board libertarians will jump in and add to this.

    The Philosophy:
    The core of libertarianism as an ideology is the nonaggression axiom, which states that no one may aggress against another. No one may aggress against the property rights, or personal rights of another person. Libertarians make no distinction between private individuals and the state in this regard.

    The Libertarian Party:
    The Libertarian Party does not represent every libertarian. The Libertarian Party started off in the 1970’s as a radical libertarian political party under the watchful eye of “Mr. Libertarian” Murray N. Rothbard. In recent years, however, the Libertarian Party has tried to make itself more appealing to the masses by toning down its radical platform and moving more towards conservatism, in the opinion of many libertarians including myself. While we may vote for Libertarian Party candidates, we don’t necessarily think the LP is the best representation of libertarianism.

    Minarchism vs. Anarchism:
    Yes, there are anarchists who are also libertarians. They are anarcho-capitalists, who believe that a government is unnecessary because the free market can supply anything that the government can for less money, more efficiently, and without aggressing against the rights of the citizens.

    However, not all libertarians are anarchists, and I don’t believe any of the libertarians present on this board are anarchists. We’re minarchists, or believers in strictly-limited government.

    Individualism:
    Libertarianism focuses on individualism, or individual rights of every person. Now I’ve seen posts from opponents of libertarianism that try to imply that we think every individual should be forced to do everything for themselves, or drop out of society, or some other nonsensical idea. Libertarians have no problem with individuals acting along with other individuals in a society, or dropping out of society all together if that’s what they choose to do. What we don’t support is the ridiculous notion of collective rights outweighing the rights of the individual. We would not support any action that aggresses against the rights of an individual for some claim that “it’s for the greater good.” Society as a whole benefits when we respect the rights of each individual, not when we aggress against a minority for the “benefit” of the majority.

    Ayn Rand:
    Ayn Rand, author of Atlas Shrugged, was not a libertarian. Ayn Rand had her own philosophy called “Objectivism,” and despised libertarians. Here are her thoughts on libertarians:

    “I’ve read nothing by a Libertarian (when I read them, in the early years) that wasn’t my ideas badly mishandled—i.e., had the teeth pulled out of them—with no credit given. I didn’t know whether I should be glad that no credit was given, or disgusted. I felt both. They are perhaps the worst political group today, because they can do the most harm to capitalism, by making it disreputable.”

    You can find more at this link:

    The Ayn Rand Institute: Ayn Rand's Q & A on Libertarianism

    So these are where some of the common misconceptions about libertarianism arise, and I hope that this is cleared up some of them.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 2
  2. Oddball
    Offline

    Oddball BANNED Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2009
    Messages:
    41,428
    Thanks Received:
    8,397
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Drinking wine, eating cheese, catching rays
    Ratings:
    +8,409
    You'll never clear up the "minds" of the do-gooder or authoritarian thug.

    To them, freedom is the enemy.
     
  3. Big Black Dog
    Offline

    Big Black Dog Gold Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 20, 2009
    Messages:
    22,917
    Thanks Received:
    5,110
    Trophy Points:
    260
    Ratings:
    +5,720
    I thought that Libertarianism was a disease that caused your growth to be stunted if you believed in too much Liberty. I skipped Civics class a lot in high school.
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  4. JBeukema
    Offline

    JBeukema BANNED

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    25,613
    Thanks Received:
    1,703
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    everywhere and nowhere
    Ratings:
    +1,705
    Such is the first agreement in all social contracts. You have said nothing meaningful.
    same as Liberalism and many forms of socialism

    And if those individuals choose to hold something in common- such as books in a library or a public road?
    Then should the Libertarian, instead of decrying society, simply become a hermit or form a commune with like-minded persons?
     
  5. Quantum Windbag
    Offline

    Quantum Windbag Gold Member

    Joined:
    May 9, 2010
    Messages:
    58,308
    Thanks Received:
    5,014
    Trophy Points:
    245
    Ratings:
    +5,221
    Responsibility is freedom.


     
  6. Tom Clancy
    Offline

    Tom Clancy Clancy for Ron Paul

    Joined:
    May 23, 2009
    Messages:
    3,222
    Thanks Received:
    585
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Location:
    North Carolina.
    Ratings:
    +585
    Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty. -TJ
     
    • Thank You! Thank You! x 1
  7. Modbert
    Offline

    Modbert Daydream Believer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    33,178
    Thanks Received:
    2,957
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Ratings:
    +2,962
    Ayn Rand had her own cult and everything. I still don't know why certain Libertarians love her. I'm pretty sure Ron Paul and his son does, I could be wrong though. I know Ryan does, he passes her books out to his entire staff.
     
  8. Dante
    Offline

    Dante On leave Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    52,463
    Thanks Received:
    3,324
    Trophy Points:
    1,825
    Location:
    On leave
    Ratings:
    +6,054
    What Is Libertarianism?

    Principles without a real world perspective?
     
  9. Dante
    Offline

    Dante On leave Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
    Messages:
    52,463
    Thanks Received:
    3,324
    Trophy Points:
    1,825
    Location:
    On leave
    Ratings:
    +6,054
    You forgot about the the fascist libertine and the principled philistine.

    Reasonable and rational people subscribe to no ideological dogma or litmus test on principles.
     
  10. JBeukema
    Offline

    JBeukema BANNED

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    25,613
    Thanks Received:
    1,703
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    everywhere and nowhere
    Ratings:
    +1,705
    No, it's not.

    Check your definitions.
     

Share This Page