I wish Americans would stop equating libertarianism with republicanism

Cromulent

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 2, 2006
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The Land of Hope and Glory
First of all I consider myself a libertarian but that description can be placed on a wide political spectrum. Unfortunately the American media have corrupted the term libertarian to mean something completely different to what most in Europe would consider libertarianism. In its most basic form libertarianism is a derivative of both anarchism and socialism.

The most basic belief is the reduction of powers over the individual. Individual freedom is the most important element in any libertarian outlook and that means the abolition of both government and corporations both of which exert unacceptable controls on the populous at large. Trying to shoehorn libertarianism into a capitalist viewpoint is contradictory in my view.

Just remember that not all libertarians are the same and the label is essentially meaningless with some descriptive text describing the type of libertarian that one is. I'm firmly of the belief that (what I'll call) American style libertarianism is a corruption of the original viewpoint and it has taken it in the wrong direction. How is a society relying solely on corporations any better than one with a central government? Plus if you have a capitalist society you still have the issues associated with monetary and fiscal policy (who controls that in an American libertarian system?).
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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Good post. I agree and thanks a lot for writing this on here.
To solve the problem of fiscal and monetary policy I think decentralization and abolition of the states money monopoly sound good. How succesfull this could be was demonstrated by the Woergl Experiment.
 

hulugu

macrumors 68000
Aug 13, 2003
1,819
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quae tangit perit Trump
The problem stems from Libertarians who have nested themselves so deep within the Republican party that they're inseparable, Republicans who grab the mantle of Libertarianism to escape from their own party's brand, and the slippery ideological differences between Republicans who love bailouts and surveillance and Libertarians who hate surveillance and spending.

Hanging the blame on the media is the typical scapegoating, but the fact is, any Libertarian convention is mostly former Republicans, or folks who think marking Independent on a voting form makes them better than Republicans, even when they march in lockstep with the party.

It's a sure sign that the problem isn't the media when the current darling of Libertarians is Republican Sen. Rand Paul.
 

vrDrew

macrumors 65816
Jan 31, 2010
1,317
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Midlife, Midwest
You want to know where this problem came from?

It dates from 2008, when thanks to George G. Bush, two bungled wars, and the worst economic collapse in a generation, the "Republican" brand was dreadfully stained.

Despite that, a large fraction of the traditional Republican/Conservative electorate found themselves utterly aghast at the election of an African-American to the White House.

Since the label "racist idiot" was found not have much much marketing appeal, these people took up the term "Libertarian" because, as we know, who doesn't like Liberty?

Don't blame us for the misappropriation of the Libertarian label. Its the fat old white guy wearing the Tricorn hat and the "Don't Tread On Me" t-shirt.
 

Bug-Creator

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2011
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2,129
Germany
To solve the problem of fiscal and monetary policy I think decentralization and abolition of the states money monopoly sound good. How succesfull this could be was demonstrated by the Woergl Experiment.
Just as much as communism was prooven to be successfull when applied in small doses (like community farms).

And just like communisn on of state level allways leads to stalinism, libertarism on a state level would either lead to manchester-capitalism or Somalia.
 

Meister

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Just as much as communism was prooven to be successfull when applied in small doses (like community farms).
And just like communisn on of state level allways leads to stalinism, libertarism on a state level would either lead to manchester-capitalism or Somalia.
Thats where decentralization should be applied. Authoritarian regimes always consolidate power.
Thats a phenomenon that can be observed worldwide at the moment.
The EU, the US and obvious dictatorships like China transfer (slowly but steadily) power away from the communal and state level to centralized governments. This is justified with boguses excuses like safety and security.
 

Happybunny

macrumors 68000
Sep 9, 2010
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Thats where decentralization should be applied. Authoritarian regimes always consolidate power.
Thats a phenomenon that can be observed worldwide at the moment.
The EU, the US and obvious dictatorships like China transfer (slowly but steadily) power away from the communal and state level to centralized governments. This is justified with boguses excuses like safety and security.
Your trust and belief in human nature, is to say the least naive. History shows when there are major upheavals in society, it always leads to a period of instability, which it turn leads to a strongman taking power.
 

Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
4,353
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Atlanta, USA
Thats where decentralization should be applied
"Should" is wish-list language. If libertarians want to be taken seriously, they'll need to come up with more than "should". It won't win votes if it doesn't sound rigorously thought-through and tested from every angle.

Use what you've observed about how politics really works to predict how it would play out. Like it or not, we live amongst people who will always game any system. That's reality. How do you counter it?
 

Bug-Creator

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2011
549
2,129
Germany
Thats where decentralization should be applied.
To what end ??



"decentralization" just means that something perfectly legal in one state/county/city might be considered a major crime a few feet further in the next one....

What IS needed is a well informed population keeping a close look on goverment (and big buisness) without being easily swayed by fringe issues or smear campaigns.

If you don't have that, your local major will be just as corrupt&incompetent as a hypothetical global goverment.

If you do have that, it doesn't really matter wether the goverment is libertation or social-democratic :p
 

Arran

macrumors 601
Mar 7, 2008
4,353
2,725
Atlanta, USA
...corrupted the term libertarian to mean something completely different
Unfortunately that's how the game is played and won: Wrap all manner of sculduggery in noble-sounding words. Redefine, redefine, redefine. Deny, deny, deny.

The advertising industry is more honest! :)
 

Peterkro

macrumors 68020
Aug 17, 2004
2,143
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Communard de Londres,Tiocfaidh ár lá
The use of "Libertarianism" to denote pro property/capitalist right wingers only dates to the sixties and only specifically in the U.S.
The wikipedia.fr page (or a translation) will give a reasonably good grounding in the origins and history of libertarianism,the English/U.S. page has been mired in controversy,lies and UScentricism for years.

As a past US president said "the trouble with the French is they don't have a word for entrepreneur", he might as well also have said they don't have a word for libertarianism (he was certainly dumb enough).
I consider myself to be a libertarian communist although to be honest I don't have many disagreements with nearly all others in the wider anarchist movement.
I have nothing at all in common with those going by labels such as "Libertarian" "anarcho-capitalist" or other right wing tosh dressed up as individual freedom,which in all such cases boils down to "individual freedom to exploit others" and that is no freedom or indeed liberty at all.
 

Meister

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Oct 10, 2013
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To what end ??
"decentralization" just means that something perfectly legal in one state/county/city might be considered a major crime a few feet further in the next one....
Yes. and that is desirable. Laws and ordinances should not be the same everywhere because people have different needs and wishes.
 

Meister

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Business will love that.
It sure will :) .

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Your trust and belief in human nature, is to say the least naive. History shows when there are major upheavals in society, it always leads to a period of instability, which it turn leads to a strongman taking power.
I have a deep distrust of humanity. The strong inevatibly come out on top. Thats why decentralization and keeping the government out of peoples privat lifes ins necessary as a form of checks and balances at separates power.
I dont know what libeartarianism has to do with upheavals?
 

samiwas

macrumors 68000
Aug 26, 2006
1,575
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Atlanta, GA
Yes. and that is desirable. Laws and ordinances should not be the same everywhere because people have different needs and wishes.
Within the country, where one can freely travel, basic laws need to be the same. If you want to have differing laws about speed limits in certain areas, or building codes, that's one thing. But to have differing laws as to what constitutes a crime, or what's considered a marriage, or environmental laws for business or things like that…this whole states' rights thing can shove it.

It seems like most of the libertarian movement rests on the idea that if you remove all laws and government, people will just do things right and everyone will live in merry harmony.
 

Happybunny

macrumors 68000
Sep 9, 2010
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It sure will :) .

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I have a deep distrust of humanity. The strong inevatibly come out on top. Thats why decentralization and keeping the government out of peoples privat lifes ins necessary as a form of checks and balances at separates power.
I dont know what libeartarianism has to do with upheavals?


With this question, I have the idea that you are either very young or really don’t have that much experience in the real world.

To impose your style of government ie Libeartarianism on any society would require the destruction of the old. People generally stick to what they know, and so long as the money, and means of controlling the flow of money remains with the state, people will not freely embrace Libeartarianism.

You act as if everybody will just give up all that they have ever known, and just follow a completely untried system of government. There is a very good reason why Libeartarianism has never been tried, it doesn’t work in the real world.
 

Meister

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With this question, I have the idea that you are either very young or really don’t have that much experience in the real world.
To impose your style of government ie Libeartarianism on any society would require the destruction of the old. People generally stick to what they know, and so long as the money, and means of controlling the flow of money remains with the state, people will not freely embrace Libeartarianism.
You act as if everybody will just give up all that they have eve
r known, and just follow a completely untried system of government. There is a very good reason why Libeartarianism has never been tried, it doesn’t work in the real world.
The most important point is that the state does not enforce a monopoly on currency. The United States were largely founded upon liberatarian principles and until 1913 the government did not enforce currency control. Also states had different laws and juristictions until Hoover and the advent of the FBI.

I am not that naive as to think that things could be changed over night. That would indeed cause chaos. I am more advocating to stop pouring more oil into the fire by introducing more government control and nanny state because it will make matters worse.

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Libeartarianism is as wacky as the Tea Party.
Calling ideas and people wacky always spices up things.
 

citizenzen

macrumors 65816
Mar 22, 2010
1,433
11,628
Yeah, I agree, it's not fair on the Republicans.
Lol.

It's really an indication of how low the Republican Party has sunk.

So few people want to be affiliated with it.

But a conservative is still a conservative.

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I am more advocating to stop pouring more oil into the fire by introducing more government control and nanny state because it will make matters worse.
Make what worse?

Please be specific.
 

Bug-Creator

macrumors 6502a
May 30, 2011
549
2,129
Germany
The most important point is that the state does not enforce a monopoly on currency. The United States were largely founded upon liberatarian principles and until 1913 the government did not enforce currency control. Also states had different laws and juristictions until Hoover and the advent of the FBI.

Well we're still waiting for you (and other libertarians) to explain how that time was any better than today.... especially when it comes to the personell freedom of the average american.
 

zioxide

macrumors 603
Dec 11, 2006
5,725
3,711
Libertarianism is a pipedream fantasy that will never practically work in the real world. A modern society cannot function without structure. It's impossible.

I'll never understand why people get caught up in the extremes for their economic/political ideology. Pure socialism doesn't work, pure libertarianism doesn't work, and pure capitalism doesn't work either. You need to be somewhere in the middle. Find a healthy balance. The free market is great, but it needs some regulation to ensure it remains fair. Freedom is great, but there needs to be some structure, law, and government for society to function.

The most important point is that the state does not enforce a monopoly on currency. The United States were largely founded upon liberatarian principles and until 1913 the government did not enforce currency control. Also states had different laws and juristictions until Hoover and the advent of the FBI.
It's not 1913 anymore. Society and the world has changed.