The Instigator
Heraclitus
Pro (for)
Winning
5 Points
The Contender
Voidness
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Right Libertarianism (Pro) vs Left Libertarianism (Con)

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
Heraclitus
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 4/8/2015 Category: Politics
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,061 times Debate No: 73141
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (9)
Votes (5)

 

Heraclitus

Pro

I have never understood how Libertarianism can left wing.
I will argue why Right Libertarianism is better but also how it is the only real form of Libertarianism. Also that the only true Anarchists are the Anarcho-Capitalists.
First definitions-

Left Wing Politics: Political positions that accept or support Egalitarianism.

Right Wing Politics: Political positions that view some sort of Economic Inequality or Social inequality as either inevitable, normal or natural. Views differ over whether the inequality stems from social differences or competitive markets.

Libertarianism: A political philosphy that upholds Liberty as is principle objective.

Egalitarianism; A political philosophy that advocates the removal of economic inequality.

Liberty: the state of being free from society from restrictions imposed by authority.
Voidness

Con

I accept.
Debate Round No. 1
Heraclitus

Pro

As I said Right wing politics are those that view inequality as inevitable. Therefore Capitalism is a right wing philosophy. And therefore Socialism is left wing with a Mixed Economy being a Centrist position (although the official 'left' in power are in fact in support of a Mixed Economy).
Capitalism is an economic system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners rather than the state.
Authority is a power or right to enforce obedience. Being free from authority is Liberty. The prime goal of Libertarianism. When the state controls the economy or a group of people (acting as a state) does, authority is enforced which goes against the very point of Libertarianism. In Socialism or even a watered down version this is exactly what happens- Authority is enforced. Therefore Egalitarianism and the Left Wing that represents it are in their very nature Authoritarian. Maybe not socially (they could support Euthanasia or Gay Marriage) but most definitely Economically.
There is something that Libertarians abide by called the Non-Aggression Principle (the N.A.P) which states that aggression on another person's life, liberty, privacy or justly acquired property is illegitimate (always). Socialism advocates the elimination of private property (justly acquired property) and therefore violates the N.A.P. And also who will eliminate your private property?- Authority.
Capitalism and the right wing that represents it do not necessarily impose restrictions by authority (they could- many Conservatives advocate for the death penalty or illegalisation of certain chemicals). Therefore Libertarianism can be Capitalist (Right Wing) but never Socialist (Left Wing) therefore it has to be Right wing.
There is the case of certain people who claim to be 'Libertarian Socialists' and 'Anarcho-Communists'. However Socialism advocates the means of production to be distributed equally amongst the citizens. Communism advocates that each works according to his ability and recieves according to his need. Who is going to do the redistributing, who is going to control and regulate that each does work according to his ability and control and regulate how much he needs and who is going to distribute that? Someone or a group of people who have the power to enforce obedience. In other words some sort of authority. But didn't we just say that the restrictions of authority are the very thing Libertarianism is against? Exactly my point. Furthermore what if an individual makes something and sells it to another individual. This is an industry and trade that is controlled privately and therefore Capitalism. People are selling and receiving things beyond their need. Who is there to regulate that. Communism and Socialism answer that the community will. But if the community are placing restrictions on what individuals can and cannot do, they are imposing authority.
Therefore left Libertarianism is a false Ideology and Libertarianism will always be right wing.
Voidness

Con


I will first consider the etymological history of the word “libertarian”, before refuting the arguments set out by Pro in the previous round, which were intended to show that libertarianism cannot be left-wing.


Etymological history of “libertarian”


Let’s quickly consider the etymological history of the word “libertarian”. Pro repeatedly claims, throughout his opening arguments, that libertarianism cannot be a left-wing ideology. However, such a claim completely ignores the entire etymological history of such a word. Firstly, it was an anarcho-communist, Joseph Dejaque – in a letter addressed to Proudhon – who first used the word, to describe his political views. [https://en.wikipedia.org...]


Secondly, throughout a significant portion of history, the word “libertarian” was used to denote a left-wing, anarchist political ideology. An Anarchist FAQ, notes that “[the word libertarian] particularly outside America [it] has always been associated with anarchist ideas and movements.” [[http://www.infoshop.org...] ] Probably the most famous anarchist today, Noam Chomsky strongly agrees: “the term ‘libertarian’ means the opposite of what it means in history. ‘Libertarian throughout European history meant ‘socialist-anarchist’…’libertarian’ in Europe always meant ‘socialist’.” [https://archive.org...]


It was not until the 1940s, before the term became hijacked to denote the right-wing, Pro-private property political ideology. [https://en.wiktionary.org...] It was not even until the 1970s, 1 century after Dejacque first used the term, before the first prominent right-wing political parties (think America’s Libertarian Party) started to brand their ideology as being “libertarian”. It was not even until the 20th century, or the early 21st century, before the majority of right-libertarian parties were formed. Having provided context, let’s move onto Pro’s arguments.


Pro’s arguments


Even if it were the case that the word “libertarian” was first used to denote a left-wing political belief, and that it was historically used in such a manner, could it be the case that libertarianism is still nevertheless incompatible with left-wing political ideology? Pro attempts to show that this is the case. According to Pro, liberty is “being free from authority” and libertarianism is when liberty is met. Pro then attempts to show that left-wing ideology is authoritarian, and thus is incompatible with libertarianism. Let’s dissect his arguments.


First of all, Pro claims that in socialism “the state controls the economy or a group of people (acting as a state) does”. This is a highly dubious claim. In the case of mutualism - a system of self-employed workers and co-operatives honestly exchanging goods and services in a market without interest, rent, profit, landlords or capitalists - for instance, this is simply not the case. [https://en.wikipedia.org...(economic_theory)] Other political systems featuring decentralized economic planning, such as participatory economics, also do not rely on a central authority. [https://en.wikipedia.org...]


Moving on to Pro’s next argument, Pro firstly assumes that all libertarians (he is talking about right libertarians, of course) adhere to the NAP. This is untrue. Matt Zwolinski, well-known political philosopher, for instance, does not, and provides 6 reasons why libertarians ought to reject the NAP:[http://www.libertarianism.org...] More moderate libertarians often do not. Even if their views were to be discounted, Pro’s claim that libertarians abide by the NAP begs the question. Pro is trying to use the NAP to show that socialism (which of course includes “libertarian socialism”) is authoritarian. So-called “left-libertarians” usually do not adhere to the NAP, whilst “right-libertarians” often do. Therefore, by claiming that libertarians abide by the NAP, Pro is already assuming that left-libertarianism is not a valid form of libertarianism, thus rendering this argument to be fallacious. Even if this were not to be the case, Pro has not justified the statement that the private property that socialists wish to abolish was justly acquired. Finally, he barely asserts that authority would be responsible for the elimination of private property, without providing any justification whatsoever.


Regarding Pro’s next argument pertaining to the issue of restrictions by authority, not only are many on the radical left critical of authority, anarchists and left-libertarians would also be against the imposing of restrictions from authority, so I don’t see what the problem there is.


Pro then argues that authority is needed to achieve libertarian socialist and anarcho-communist goals. According to him, socialism advocates the means of production to be distributed equally amongst the citizens, and communism advocates that each works according to his ability and receives according to his need. Both of his statements are somewhat misrepresentative. The definition of socialism is misrepresentative because socialism concerns itself with the means of production being socially owned by the working class, rather than the distribution of the means of production amongst the citizens. The definition of communism is misrepresentative because the notion of “works according…his need” is a Marxist concept that communists do not necessarily have to accept, because not all communists are Marxists.


Finally, Pro brings up a hypothetical example of an individual making something, and selling to another individual, before claiming that this was a capitalistic enterprise, and asking the question of who would regulate such activity in a socialist society. He claims that socialists would say that the community will, and argues that this imposes authority, thus showing that libertarianism cannot be left wing.


There are several things wrong with this argument. Firstly, it assumes that it is theoretically possible for capitalistic activity to arise in a socialist society in a first place. From the perspective of anarchist theory, because private property is abolished, and capitalism is defined in terms of private property, it is not possible for capitalistic activity to arise in the first place. Furthermore, in the particular example given, the individual *sells* the product to another. However, many left-libertarian models – for instance gift economies – do not require the existence of money, Pro’s example does not fully represent the ideology he is trying to attack.


Finally, the biggest problem with this hypothetical example is that it is not an example of capitalism, or capitalistic activity. Capitalism is often defined in terms of private property, wage labour, and landlordism. Defining capitalism in terms of trade or markets is unsatisfactory, because market socialism, mutualism, and left-wing market anarchism (in general) requires both. Pro’s hypothetical example makes no connection with private property, wage labour, or landlordism, and thus cannot be considered an example of capitalism, or capitalistic economy.


Conclusion


In this round, it has been shown that the word “libertarian” has historically been used to denote a left-wing belief. It has also been shown that Pro’s arguments for libertarianism being a right-wing political ideology fall flat. The resolution has been negated.


Debate Round No. 2
Heraclitus

Pro

Con's arguments

First of all to back yourself up about Socialism not being inherently Authoritarian, you give the example of Mutualism. But Mutualism is simply not Socialism. According to Wikipedia the definition of Mutualism (economic theory) is 'an economic theory and anarchist school of thought that advocates a society where each person might possess a means of production, either individually or collectively, with trade representing equivalent amounts of labour in a free market.' [http://en.m.wikipedia.org...(economic_theory)]. Basically it means that people sell their labour and receive 'goods or services' that embodies their labour in a free market. However someone selling their labour and receiving services for it is not an example of Socialism but an example of Capitalism because Capitalism involves the voluntary exchange of services between a given number of individuals privately which is exactly what is going on in Mutualism.
Furthermore you say in your first argument that Libertarianism was first thought up by Socialists and Anarcho-Communists. The whole point of this debate is proving them wrong.

And then when trying to disprove me you claimed that some 'Libertarians' reject the NAP. If they reject the non-aggression principle than they are saying that it is alright to steal, murder, rape, vandalise and do more to an innocent individual and his justly acquired property. In other words it is alright that some people impose authority on other people. As I repeatedly said in my previous argument authority is the opposite of Liberty which is the prime goal of Libertarianism. Then you say I did not justify 'the statement that the private property that Socialists wish to abolish was justly acquired.' Well if it was not justly acquired it must have violated the NAP. You also say that I 'barely (assert) that authority would be responsible for the elimination of private property, without providing any justification whatsoever'. Once again you have missed the point. The action of eliminating private property in itself is an action of authority because according to the Oxford Dictionary Authority is the 'power or right to....enforce obedience.' By stealing someone's private property you are enforcing obedience.

You then say that 'not all communists [SIC] are Marxists.' Perhaps not but according to the Oxford Dictionary Communism is 'a theory... In which all property is owned by the community and each person contributes and receives according to their ability and needs.' According to you the definition 'from each according to his ability to each according to his need' is 'misrepresentative.' That is a very bold claim to argue that the dictionary's definition of Communism is 'misrepresentative.'

You carry on making bold claims about how the dictionary is wrong by saying 'defining capitalism [SIC] in terms of trade or markets is unsatisfactory.' Let us turn again to the Oxford Dictionary which says that Capitalism is 'an economic and political system in which a country's trade and industry are controlled by private owners for profit, rather than by the state.'

Anarchism

Throughout your argument you have talked about Anarchism and 'the perspective of anarchist theory' and used these terms synonymously with Left-Libertarianism. But now I will prove you wrong.
First of all we need to define Anarchism and according to the Oxford Dictionary the definition is 'belief in the abolition of all government and the organization of society on a voluntary basis without recourse to force or compulsion.'
There are several people who claim to be 'Anarcho-Communists', 'Anarcho-Syndicalists', 'SocioAnarchists' and several more contradictory terms. Why are they contradictory? Because they claim to be in favour of authority being abolished and at the same time in favour of imposing authority on people who voluntary exchange services (regarding that as 'wage slavery') or people who have justly acquired property by working for it.
These so called 'Anarchists are in favour of abolishing private property. However let us properly define private property.
Property is 'thing or things owned by someone' while private means that it is owned by an individual. To say that property should be owned collectively by the community as Communists do you are saying that everything that you own including your own body belongs to everyone else just as much as it belongs to you so everyone else has a say in what happens to your body just as much as you do. In other words you are enslaved by this 'collective' which is really just another term for a government. However Libertarianism and Anarchism advocate self-ownership which is the very thing Communism and Socialism are against.
The only true Anarchists are the Anarcho-Capitalists because they are the on,y ones to realise that Capitalism is the opposite of government intervention and that Capitalism is the economic aspect of freedom.

The Importance of the Non-Aggression Principle

The NAP merely states that the initiation of force or fraud on another individual's life, liberty, privacy and justly acquired property is immoral.
Therefore if you reject the NAP you believe that it is not immoral to murder, rape, spy on, enslave, vandalise, steal from and harm another individual and his property.
However Left-Libertarians reject the NAP particularly the immorality of force onto another person's justly acquired property because they believe that it is alright to steal. Because stealing is what forcefully taking another person's property is and that is an example of the initiation of authority and the denial of Liberty.
That is why Right Libertarianism is better and more moral than Left Libertarianism.
In fact as I have proven Right-Libertarianism is not just the best form of Libertarianism but the only form.
Voidness

Con

Voidness forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
9 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 9 records.
Posted by Heraclitus 1 year ago
Heraclitus
I agree
Posted by themightyindividual 1 year ago
themightyindividual
If you support socialist policies, you are saying that people should live for the state (or some form of collective). If you support libertarian policies, you are saying that people should for the sake of their own life. A leftist libertarian is a contradiction in terms.
Posted by Voidness 1 year ago
Voidness
Nope.
Posted by Heraclitus 1 year ago
Heraclitus
Authority is inherent on the left but not neccessarily on the right because Egalitarianism always requires authority whereas Capitalism does not.
Posted by FreedomBeforeEquality 1 year ago
FreedomBeforeEquality
I think he's right that you didn't (and couldnt) solely relate capitalism to one or the other. Not by only using blanket terms like authority and the NAP concept. Those are really inherent to both sides.

I have to say, I think your theory of how NAP is applied by left leaning and right leaning is a bit flawed and thats what caused the problem here. There is authority on both sides of the spectrum. Left and right just decide where that authority lays its focus. Left leaning still invoke authority over others through mob rule. They do not believe in freedom just as the radical right does not (by your definition).
Posted by Voidness 1 year ago
Voidness
If you'd like to redebate, shoot me a PM, and hopefully we could arrange a time where both of us are fully available.
Posted by Voidness 1 year ago
Voidness
Forfeited because of a lack of access to Internet, but w/e lol
Posted by CyberConor 1 year ago
CyberConor
I am a libertarian and I agree with the pro.
Posted by tejretics 1 year ago
tejretics
Cool debate.
5 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 5 records.
Vote Placed by WillRiley 1 year ago
WillRiley
HeraclitusVoidnessTied
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Reasons for voting decision: ff
Vote Placed by FreedomBeforeEquality 1 year ago
FreedomBeforeEquality
HeraclitusVoidnessTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Pro - Your statements were all valid. I do agree with Con though that you talked yourself full circle of the political spectrum all the way back to Libertarians supporting NAP, after just having made the claim that Right leaning thought were the ones who supported some form of authority overlife, liberty, and property. I can't say that I agree with those labels you put for left and right leaning, though. Con - Also talked full circle. You did suceed in proving Pro's argument to be flawed, but you did not in any way argue how Left Libertarianism is better as the opening question asked. In fact neither of you explained one to be better than the other. Really pro only vaguely did this by trying to prove left libertarianism as being a logical contradiction in itself. I suppose thats enough to say that he truly thinks the Right leaning Libertarianism is a real thing and is more valid in some way ... but he doesnt actually state that conclusion.
Vote Placed by leojm 1 year ago
leojm
HeraclitusVoidnessTied
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Reasons for voting decision: FF. its only fair that if a contender FF its an automatic loss. unless something came up like a death or a tragedy then that's excused but other than that no.
Vote Placed by Russia_The_almighty 1 year ago
Russia_The_almighty
HeraclitusVoidnessTied
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit.
Vote Placed by tajshar2k 1 year ago
tajshar2k
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Reasons for voting decision: Forfeit