The Instigator
LittleGnomeChomsky
Pro (for)
Tied
0 Points
The Contender
briantheponderer
Con (against)
Tied
0 Points

A Libertarian Society is not capable of producing positive outcomes for the majority of its citizens

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/17/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 399 times Debate No: 70223
Debate Rounds (5)
Comments (4)
Votes (0)

 

LittleGnomeChomsky

Pro

First round is just to accept, no arguments.

Libertarianism is a broad movement. I wouldn't want to bring someone into the debate and have all my opening arguments end up being straw-men or force someone to argue a type of libertarianism they don't support. I therefore invite the opposition to define libertarianism in the first round. Please be try to be thorough and perhaps link to relevant libertarian thinkers so we don't have to alter or expand the definition after the debate starts.

Cheers!

edit: by majority I mean for example:

An argument that a libertarian society would increase average incomes is not itself relevant because averages don't measure variability. Any increase in income could theoretically be funnelled to a small number of people while for the majority incomes stagnate or decrease. If an argument demonstrated that median income were to rise then that would be very relevant as it would show that incomes have increased for at least half the population.

This is not a debate about the morality of policies that are designed to benefit the majority at the expense of a minority. The argument, 'taxes are theft' would not necessarily be relevant. The argument 'taxes are theft and this theft causes demonstrable harm to the majority of the population' would certainly be.

I haven't formulated my first round post yet but potential outcomes I have in mind: public health, public safety, freedom of speech/expression, freedom of movement, social cohesiveness, distribution of wealth, functional infrastructure and institutions (such as: national highway system/utilities/justice system/regulatory infrastructure). I will try to narrow down the list to limit the scope of the debate to something more manageable.

Feel free to comment on these in the first round if you think any of them are unreasonable or would like to suggest some. Of course you could also wait until making your argument/rebuttal before introducing/critiquing any of them. Anything said in the first round or comments I will not refer to during the debate.
briantheponderer

Con

Excellent topic! Should be fun.

I consider myself to be a libertarian, however, I am not convinced of the viability of anarchism, as some libertarians are. Also, I support libertarian-oriented policy positions for utilitarian reasons, not moralistic reasons as many libertarians do. Therefore, I would like to debate as a utilitarian-minarchist (minimal state) libertarian.

By minimal state, I mean a government whose functions are largely restricted to domestic policing, maintaining a court and legal system, and protecting the country against foreign invaders using a purely defensive military.

There are a few other things that I would want the minimal state to do. The first would be to provide a modest, in-kind "social safety net", with the sole purpose of preventing materially destitute people with no other recourse from "dying in the streets", as our leftist friends like to put it.

The second would be to be able to use eminent domain powers in a limited and restricted way, with generous compensation always given to the dispossessed land-owner given, if doing so is necessary in order to facilitate a major infrastructure project that requires complicated land assembly, such as a private railroad, highway, etc"

This minimal government"s annual spending should never be allowed to exceed 10% of the national income each year, and it should be prohibited from running deficits and borrowing money.

I am currently interpreting the phrase "producing positive outcomes" as meaning "making people more materially prosperous than they otherwise would be if that same society were less libertarian". I don"t believe that any quantitative measure can really capture this phenomenon, because any comparison of median incomes would have to compare median real incomes, not median nominal incomes, in order to be meaningful, and whether someone"s real income is increasing or not is to a certain extent a subjective, personalized phenomenon. In any case, I think that qualitative arguments should do just fine for our purposes.

As for topics, I will let you lead on that one to start, and then maybe I will introduce some of my own later on if we haven"t gotten to them yet.

I hope I have been sufficiently clear in this introduction. I look forward to the debate!
Debate Round No. 1
LittleGnomeChomsky

Pro

LittleGnomeChomsky forfeited this round.
briantheponderer

Con

Need some more time? That's okay. Looking forward to your first response.
Debate Round No. 2
LittleGnomeChomsky

Pro

LittleGnomeChomsky forfeited this round.
briantheponderer

Con

briantheponderer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
LittleGnomeChomsky

Pro

LittleGnomeChomsky forfeited this round.
briantheponderer

Con

Hmm, pity, wonder what happened to him?
Debate Round No. 4
LittleGnomeChomsky

Pro

LittleGnomeChomsky forfeited this round.
briantheponderer

Con

briantheponderer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 5
4 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Posted by LittleGnomeChomsky 2 years ago
LittleGnomeChomsky
What motivated me to create this debate was observing that most critiques of libertarianism I've read are concerned that a libertarian society would be a generally unpleasant place to live for the average man.

I will not be putting forward an alternative to libertarianism since that would too greatly increase the scope of the debate. It would be unfair to compare libertarianism to a utopian society so I don't think best possible outcome would be a fair standard. I'll try to find some nonpartisan policy directives that exist today to use as a starting point. I don't want to get bogged down in a discussion about morality because those often bring the debate to a grinding halt. It's also impossible to predict quantitative qualities of a hypothetical society so I'll hopefully try to steer things towards more generalized critique of your reasoning and vice versa. So I'm thinking each outcome will be defined by one or more generally accepted normative statements. For example if the outcome is public health, some statement might be 'a successful healthcare system is accessible to the majority of people', 'healthcare workers should have a base level of competency and should be accountable in case of malpractice', 'people should not be allowed to die from easily preventable or treatable illnesses'. That's just a rough idea of what I had in mind, more to follow.
Posted by debate_power 2 years ago
debate_power
By "positive outcome", do you mean "best possible outcome"?
Posted by LittleGnomeChomsky 2 years ago
LittleGnomeChomsky
Yup so frustrating to write something up then have it totally dismissed on a technicality. I read that terrible debate you had on global warming. Kudos for keeping your cool, the resolution was just a dumb trick and the definitions were idiosyncratic and later got ignored.

Debating is about the method of formulating an argument not the subject. It isn't really a format well suited to determining truth. I don't know why someone would go to debate without good faith. If you just want to score hit and run points go do it on a forum.
Posted by gannon260 2 years ago
gannon260
Bro i hate it when debates get bigger and bigger as the arguments go on since the definition wasn't set forth.
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