The Instigator
innomen
Pro (for)
Winning
12 Points
The Contender
Sieben
Con (against)
Losing
8 Points

The best course for libertarianism

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 5 votes the winner is...
innomen
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 10/9/2010 Category: Politics
Updated: 6 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 2,876 times Debate No: 13323
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (11)
Votes (5)

 

innomen

Pro

Thank you to my opponent Sieben who has been helpful in showing me some alternative methods in which libertarianism might best emerge as a viable system for society. However in this discussion we have some fundamental disagreements in how best to achieve this goal.

Loosely speaking, i would propose a more conventional course of working within the current system of our society, and create an influence in our overall political make up. I would not hang hopes on a third party, but acknowledge the entrenched two party system that exists in the US and select the one that is most receptive to libertarian principles and work to establish a change within the party.

I would propose a steady course of persuasion and influence rather than confrontation and alienation. I would appeal to those in the Republican party who value freedom over equality, and the exceptional abilities of the individual. I would work to change the nature of the republican party.

I acknowledge that the result will most likely not be a purely libertarian society, but i am also not in favor of a pure libertarian society.

This method has proven effective at other times in history, and is a more realistic mode of effecting change. It is the most likely way to achieve success.

In my proceeding arguments i will provide sources and examples to support my claim.

I now invite Sieben to present his proposed course for libertarianism.
Sieben

Con

1) Goal of Libertarian Activism

To promote a stable environment for individual freedom and property rights

2) Political Means

A) Voters are Rationally Ignorant

The vote margin in this most recent election was just under 10 million [1]. Even in much smaller democracies, margins are still in the tens of thousands. The chance that an individual vote will make a difference are virtually zero.

Voting might be worthwhile if I could control how other people vote, but I do not. I could spend hours of my life researching the best policies and candidates and it will make no difference because everyone else is gonna do what they're gonna do. There is every reason for voters to stay uninformed, particularly since political bias feels pretty good. Bryan Caplan Explains:

"But why are there some areas — like politics and religion — where irrationality seems especially pronounced? My answer is that irrationality, like ignorance, is sensitive to price, and false beliefs about politics and religion are cheap. If you underestimate the costs of excessive drinking, you can ruin your life. In contrast, if you underestimate the benefits of immigration, or the evidence in favor of the theory of evolution, what happens to you? In all probability, the same thing that would have happened to you if you knew the whole truth.

Unfortunately, the social cost of irrationality can be high even though it is individually beneficial. If one person pollutes the air, we barely notice; but if millions of people pollute the air, life can be very unpleasant indeed. Similarly, if one person holds irrational views about immigration, we barely notice; but if millions of people share these irrational views, socially harmful policies prevail by popular demand." [2]

B) Libertarian Persuasion is Impractical

(There was supposed to be evidence on the topic of "Libertarian Personality", but I can find no links to a study. Hot air, most likely).

Whether we can persuade large numbers of people to become libertarians is unclear. My gut is that it will be nearly impossible because voters have no incentive to choose one of the most difficult ideologies to defend.

Even if a majority became convinced of some libertarian ideals, what then? The good intentions of a democratic majority were subverted with the flick of a wrist in this latest election [3]. We should expect this. Mass political action is not effective because the system is broken. See above.

David Nolan, the founder of the Libertarian Party, instead sees the LP as a social network for spreading the message of liberty rather than electing candidates to office. He writes:

"I believe it is time for a wide-open, no-holds-barred debate on the role of the LP within the U.S. political system. We can continue pretending that we are going to teach the horse to fly, and watch our membership dwindle as people get frustrated and burn out, or we can redefine our mission as building a strong network of libertarians." [4]

C) Libertarian Persuasion is Insufficient

Free markets are a public good. They benefit practically everyone, but their provision in a democracy must be collective and selfless. Even individuals who believe markets are the best way to organize society may still choose to vote in their own narrow self interest. For example, entrenched special interests benefit enormously from influencing politics [5] and gaining special privileges [6]. The groups who are "net tax consumers" will never join the free market movement. To do so would be against their class interest. For info, see libertarian class theory [7].

3) Re-open the frontier!

A) Market Based Activism is More Libertarian

Let's look at libertarian attitudes towards monopolies. If you tell a libertarian that there's a monopolistic firm in the market, what will they suggest? Will they try and agitate by protesting and try to change the company from within? Or will they suggest competition? The latter of course...

This logic is regularly applied to markets, but it applies with equal force against government. Competition is the answer to state monopolies. One example I will focus on is seasteading.

B) Seasteading Logistics

From the SSI FAQ [8]:

"Seasteading" is homesteading on the high seas. In other words, building permanent dwellings on the ocean. A seastead is a structure specifically designed for the purpose of long-term living in the marine environment."

"Our current price estimate for the base platform is $300/ft^2. Undeveloped land in San Francisco costs $200/ft^2. We believe we can provide office space on a Coaststead for comparable or slightly higher rates than in San Francisco. It's true that seasteading isn't cheap, but innovation is costly, and we expect the cost to drop rapidly as the movement scales."

C) Seasteading Appeal and Sustainability

"Seasteads are much more likely to happen if somebody can figure out how to make a buck with them. If floating cities are worth building, they're worth building at a profit. And if they can't be built profitably, it is far from clear that they are worth building."

"After a fair bit of thought, we've only come up with two unique features of seasteading which provide its competitive edge. The first is the freedom offered by sovereignty and the second is the unique ability of seasteads to provide some of the comfort and stability of land in remote marine locations. Hence any business must center around one of these features."

The SSI has proposed several rough business models that can be operated profitably on seasteads. But as technology gets cheaper, and governments continue to take fixed %'s of our income, seasteads may eventually become viable for practically all business models.
A reasonable example of an offshore business would be pharmaceuticals. The FDA holds back many drugs, and the revenue from their early sale is easily enough to cover the overhead of a seastead. Or another example:

"Take a used cruise ship, plant it in international waters three miles off the coast of El Segundo, near Los Angeles, people it with 600 of the brightest software engineers they can find around the world (both men and women), and run a 24-hour-a-day programming shop, thereby avoiding H-1B visa hassles while still exploiting offshore labor cost arbitrage and completing development projects in half the time they'd take onshore or offshore…"

D) Rendering Political Ideology Obsolete

Seasteading does not require a mass conversion to libertarianism. Continuing from the SSI FAQ:

"[Seasteading] opens the oceans as a new frontier for pioneering, a frontier with a fundamentally different quality - fluidity - that lets entire cities be rearranged and reshaped constantly. If you don't like your government, you can literally "Vote with your house" by detaching your seastead and sailing off to another city. In the long run, this will turn the oceans into a laboratory for innovation in social and political systems. No specific ideology is necessary: Seasteads will empower people with a wide variety of beliefs to self-govern and serve as examples (good and bad) for other societies. "

[1]http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2]http://www.cato-unbound.org...
[3]http://www.brightandearlyblog.com...
[4]http://www.reasontofreedom.com...
[5]http://www.opensecrets.org...
[6]http://online.wsj.com...
[7]http://mises.org...
[8]http://seasteading.org...
Debate Round No. 1
innomen

Pro

"1) Goal of Libertarian Activism: To promote a stable environment for individual freedom and property rights"
-Agreed.

"A) Voters are Rationally Ignorant" – Sieben.

A subjective statement that is wholly irrelevant to the debate. Because they may be irrational and ignorant by your perspective that doesn't mean they cannot be persuaded and nurtured toward a desired end. Furthermore by infiltrating an existing party with those who are skilled in the art of persuasion and politics, their malleability and appeal to fears, doubts, and insecurities can prove to be a powerful tool in the creation of a society that is headed toward libertarianism.

My option of using an existing party, namely the republican party as a vessel for the goal of libertarian activism is proven by other parties being infiltrated and controlled.

Examples of transformed parties by infiltration:
Democratic party and the KKK.
The Klu Klux Klan is mostly born from the democratic party, but it's influence was at it's peak during the early 1900's. During this time in US history the Klan controlled much of the democratic party. Their control was at a grass roots level at first and then it permeated the party from local to state to federal. They influenced public policy toward their agenda. "Our nation's top historians reveal that the Democratic Party gave us the Ku Klux Klan, Black Codes, Jim Crow Laws and other repressive legislation" [1][2]

The Democratic party further changed post WWII. During the 50's 60's and 70's the radical leftists chose the democratic party for it's home. They understood the futility of the communist party of the US and chose their leaders to influence those in the democrat party. Part of the Communist Party of America under the leadership of Charles Ruthenberg: the CPUSA pursued a policy of representing the Democratic Party as the lesser of two evils" [3]
Gus Hall remained the leader of the CPUSA as an admitted Stalinist operative [4], however due to intra party squabbles and an acknowledgement of the futility of any accomplishment they committed themselves to changing the democratic party.

The republican party also underwent some massive changes in ideological as it was founded by anti-slavery activists, but eventually became a party for industrialists who used the power for opposing trusts, and tariffs.[5]

More recently the religious right has made an impact on the direction of the republican party. "Some 15% of the electorate in the United States tell pollsters they align themselves with the Christian right, which serves as an important voting bloc within the U.S. Republican Party." [6]

It is clear that influence and control of a party is quite possible, and effective in changing the public policy of the US.

"Whether we can persuade large numbers of people to become libertarians is unclear. My gut is that it will be nearly impossible because voters have no incentive to choose one of the most difficult ideologies to defend." – Sieben's argument.

You honestly think that there is no broad base appeal toward "individual freedom and property rights"? In a climate where both are slipping away, these are fairly sacred values particularly to Americans. You really think that this is a difficult sell? Or do we just have poor salesmen? The truth is there have only been a very small number of persuasive speakers that could move more than a classroom full of acolytes. The usual proponent of libertarianism is a tediously academic type, incapable of touching the inner workings of the common man. It's tragic that such principles which ordinarily would stir the hearts of men lie dormant "without a soul"[7]

"Market based activism" – Sieben
I'm unsure of your purpose with this statement.

Seasteading, a portmanteau of sea and homesteading, is the concept of creating permanent dwellings at sea, called seasteads, outside the territories claimed by the governments of any standing nation. [8]

My opponent honestly believes this is a more viable alternative for the creation of a libertarian community.

Logistically the investment would be massive. The primary requirements would be a stable platform 200 miles away from land. Further requirements would be freshwater and food production to sustain the community. Due to the political ideals of the community it would need to be completely independent from
"What about cost? Alexia Aubault estimates that a typical seasteading structure might cost $100m for 400,000 sq ft of space. This works out to a price of over $250 per sq ft"
Now I can imagine that some day the engineering and investment obstacles might be overcome, but not for a long time. Wayne Gramlich, a software engineer who co-founded the Seasteading Institute admits that this is a venture in the far off future. G ramlich is the first to admit that the speed of development in seasteading will probably be a lot slower. "We are constrained by basic physics—our structures have to have a certain strength and mass, and concrete and steel cost money," he says.[9]

There are other external threats like pirates and hurricanes and a properly diverse society that will provide all people for all functions necessary in a society.[10]

Seasteading, specifically in your example of the used cruise ship: In this you are not creating a libertarian society or even attempting to work toward the goal of: "To promote a stable environment for individual freedom and property rights", but rather are desperately seeking to find a loophole in the existing regulatory and tax system that exists. There is no libertarian society in this cruise ship, but rather a floating corporate entity that would enjoy complete freedom. Although an interesting notion, it is devoid of the goal of libertarianism in the context of a society.

Although I generally applaud innovation, and wouldn't discourage such ventures, it is clear that such measures would be far less effective in reaching the goals of libertarianism than my proposed method.

http://realdemocrathistory.wordpress.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.wsws.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.allacademic.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.quebecoislibre.org...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.alternet.org...
Sieben

Con

== Pro Plan ==

His main strategy is infiltration. He offers some historical examples for consideration:

KKK – The successes of this movement were not a result of mass awareness and participation. Poll taxes and literacy laws effectively excluded poor blacks and whites at local levels. The "grass roots" campaigning was essentially a coup by the minority ownership class. The movement was marked by exclusion and violence. This is not a good example of persuasion, infiltration, and political action. [1]

Even if it were, there are also other fundamental reasons why this cannot be compared to libertarian activism. Any popularity of the KKK movement was based on special privilege and political inequality, something libertarians can never be a part of. We will never be able to buy votes with welfare. I don't think libertarians would have much luck persuading people dependent on welfare to end the welfare state.

New Democratic Party – The metamorphosis of the American left into the party of welfare and government spending is similar to the KKK in its reliance on special privileges and handouts. It was not characterized by mass awareness and grass roots persuasion. Indeed, the common philosophy of previous generations had been to simply let the market sort itself out [2]. The ideological source of government intervention came from the government itself, not the masses [3]. Again, this is not a good example of persuade, infiltrate, vote.

Pro continues with other examples of parties that have changed. My intention has never been to argue that all parties are perpetually stagnant, but rather to attribute their changes to factors other than mass awareness. Parties may change cosmetically to fit better with voter culture (see Pro's example of Christians), but actual policy has largely been influenced by different special interest groups, sourced in R1.

==Con Analysis==

2)

A) Voters are Rationally Ignorant

Pro tries to write this off as just a subjective statement about how dumb everyone is. My core claim is that even if people are brilliant, there is no incentive for them to adopt or search for a correct ideology because the chance it will actually make an impact is very low. If they spend hours becoming a master of political science, or just sit on the couch watching TV, everyone else is going to vote more or less the same way.

B) Libertarian Persuasion is Impractical

Pro thinks that the libertarian platform has good appeal. It may be true that people identify positively with property rights and self ownership, but the left and right have long established equally persuasive myths that require intelligence and rhetoric to answer. "What about the poor?" and "National defense" may as well be the demopublican party slogans. There is a large statist mythos (mostly centered on WWII and the New Deal) supporting these ideologies. We have no well known mythology... We can never win the rhetoric game.

Libertarian appeals must be intellectual. In light of A), mass voter education is a practical impossibility.
Regardless, in this sub point, I state that: "Even if a majority became convinced of some libertarian ideals, what then? The good intentions of a democratic majority were subverted with the flick of a wrist in this latest election [3]. We should expect this. Mass political action is not effective because the system is broken. See above."

I went on to point out that even the founder of the Libertarian Party, who still runs for senate, thinks political action will never work.

C) Libertarian Persuasion is Insufficient

This sub point is simply reprinted:

"Free markets are a public good. They benefit practically everyone, but their provision in a democracy must be collective and selfless. Even individuals who believe markets are the best way to organize society may still choose to vote in their own narrow self interest. For example, entrenched special interests benefit enormously from influencing politics and gaining special privileges. The groups who are "net tax consumers" will never join the free market movement. To do so would be against their class interest. For info, see libertarian class theory."

3) Re-open the frontier!

A) Market Based Activism is More Libertarian

Libertarians would never whine about a monopolistic corporation. They'd try to compete with it. Market mechanisms are fundamentally libertarian, while collective action and coercive policy making is not. The whole point of libertarianism is that you SHOULDN'T decide things by voting.

B) Seasteading logistics

Cost - $250/sqft is pretty close to the cost of many land developments as cited in R1. Even if the initial cost of seasteads is prohibitive for some types of investments, it may not be for others. See examples about selling unapproved/prescription drugs and utilizing immigrant workers. Once the initiative is spearheaded, the size of the industry will draw down costs through production of scale.

Additionally, the speed at which seasteading takes off is dependent on how many people are involved with the movement. If the institute goes at its current pace, it will probably be 15 years before a fully operational seastead is successfully launched. In the meantime, they are pursuing incremental goals in order to prove that seasteading is a good idea in order to get more funding and more support [4].

Pro's critiques of the practicality seasteading aren't anything new. His arguments come from blogs of naysayers and people looking to laugh at the libertarian movement. Seasteaders already thought of all these problems and have answers [5]. I can't answer every "what if" pro can think up because there isn't enough space. The little nuts and bolts, like pirates, don't matter. If Seasteading is good in theory, the small things can be worked around.

Pro's last point is that seasteads aren't even libertarian societies. Well, they are based off consent (no one can force you onto a seastead). They are also a peaceful use of private property. Sounds very libertarian to me.

C) Seasteading Appeal and Sustainability

Essentially, if we can make seasteading profitable, it will happen. We don't need to convert anyone to libertarianism because we don't need mass action. Seasteaders don't even have to be libertarian in the first place. Seasteading is intrinsically libertarian because it presupposes individual consent and property rights.

D) Rendering Political Ideology Obsolete

Seasteading does not actually require anyone to be libertarian, so we don't have to persuade people of the whole ideology.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[2] http://www.firstprinciplesjournal.com...
[3] http://mises.org...
[4] http://seasteading.org...
[5] http://seasteading.org...
Debate Round No. 2
innomen

Pro

Let's look at our competing arguments:
"His main strategy is infiltration…." – Sieben

More accurately my plan would be to infiltrate an existing party, and by use of effective persuasion and marketing permeate both the party and political positions throughout the country at a local, state and federal level. I'm not going to candy coat this, but rather libertarians should bluntly use existing tools in our system; tools needed in order to attain libertarian goals within the confines of personal ethics and existing legal limitations.

I actually gave examples of how this has been done in the past, and done effectively. Sieben dismisses those examples, but not with legitimate objections. Sieben somehow believes that I am comparing libertarianism to those goals of the KKK?! Of course that's not my point, but rather there are examples of extremists who have taken control of a political system and party, and affected actual policy as a result. – I point to this as an example of what can be done as a matter of process, not content.

The current political system is not simply the result of an ever growing government without any encouragement, but rather a deliberate design to do such. My opponent believes that this is the result of special interest groups and the nature of government. Perhaps a little bit but a very comprehensive history of the current state of the New Democratic party and the total impact on government and society can be seen as not a result of "special interest groups" as my opponent explains, but rather exactly the path that I propose (sourced):[1]

Sieben's approach is to find a place. That seems to be the all that is needed to the plan and libertarianism will flourish. So the plan is to find a place on the ocean that will be independent of external forces that will detract from the ideals of libertarianism.

Within Sieben's plan he explains that the libertarian message must be an intellectual one, and the average person couldn't grasp the implications and nuanced ideals within such a political philosophy. I would argue that if kept solely at an intellectual level it will fail.

With Sieben's plan this floating island of libertarianism will be filled solely with those who have the intellectual capacity to understand the variances within competing economic systems, and could drone on and on about intellectual property rights, but who would fix your toilet? Although this is not a debate about the inherent flaws of pure libertarianism, a debate that I would welcome at a future time; it is imperative to put this component into the Sieben plan [2 ].

Sieben essentially believes that the masses are asses, but I don't hold such a dim view. Although they may not be intellectually at the standard that Sieben and his other brand of libertarian might like to have in his community, the voters are not fools, but do indeed follow certain party loyalty and predictable trends [3].

I believe that my friend who looks toward his libertarianism as an exclusive and wholly independent club afloat the ocean blue is grasping on a fantasy. - I honestly don't think that he understands the power of persuasion, marketing and a motivated citizenry. There is great power in the message of freedom, individual liberty and private property. This is an established ideal that goes to the heart of every voter until new information is brought into the mix. As an established base of principle and even value there is great advantage for those who wish to expand upon it [4]. It needn't be some overly intellectualized message, and it will prevail in any rhetorical contest if presented with the correct passion and effect that is currently lacking in my libertarian brethren. There are fundamentals of libertarianism that is not intellectual, but basic, and will appeal to all who value freedom. It is the messenger that you should be disappointed with not those hearing the message[5].

My strategy does depend upon a consistent and effective message, but what it also depends on the success of the ideology in practical application. If it does not provide the success that libertarianism promises those who live in the society will most likely abandon it, and if it is successful in providing both material and other more philosophical satisfaction then the society will wish to promote and protect what they have. In other words, in keeping with the ideals of libertarianism, it will only succeed if it earns its success and if it fails then libertarianism of this kind deserves to fail. – that is the libertarian way.

I ask the voters to consider the two paths libertarianism could take, and which would be the most realistic fruitful and effective. Also thanks to Sieben for a good debate.

http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.amconmag.com...
http://en.wikipedia.org...
http://www.rci.rutgers.edu...
http://www.reasontofreedom.com...
Sieben

Con

== Pro Plan ==

Pro continues to iterate his plan to persuade a large number of people to support libertarian goals.

Pro misunderstands my criticism of the KKK and New Deal examples. I don't think libertarians have anything in common with these groups (which is actually my other argument against persuasion). They simply haven't been grass roots motivated movements.

I pointed out that the KKK movement relied on excluding large sections of society from the political process. A farmer did not think of the New Deal and then persuade his community to go and vote for it. Again, "The ideological source of government intervention came from the government itself, not the masses".

Pro concedes that special interest groups might have a little to do with how our government is structured, but he still thinks that politics has always been driven in a bottom-up fashion. His source for this is the wikipedia article of a book, who's contents and bibliography we cannot access.

I could bolster my claim that special interests really do control the majority of American politics, but to introduce new evidence in the last round is be abusive (in my mind, at least). I simply ask the judges to disregard his source, and instead look to my citation of US Political dependence on corporate contributions.

So Pro's case is largely a historical one. As far as I can see, mass persuasion is not supported by any of his examples.

== Con Analysis ==

2)

A) Voters are Rationally Ignorant

Pro continues to iterate that I am claiming voters are stupid. That's not the point at all. Even if voters have amazing reasoning capacity, there is no incentive for them to become educated or try to figure out what the correct ideology is. The chance their vote will make a difference is very very small, so they calculate that their time would be better spent doing something else, and rationally choose to pay little serious attention to politics.

Those of us who do pay attention do politics as a hobby. We do not expect our endeavors to remotely influence the next election.

B) Libertarian Persuasion is Impractical

So even if you don't accept that voters don't have a reason to think seriously about politics, there is still the intellectual question. Pro thinks that libertarianism can be spread through the same tactics as mainstream politics – slogans and images. I already pointed out that the left and right both have extensive mythologies to back up their platform. Libertarians don't, because we don't control public education. It will take actual intellectual rigor to overcome the appeal of both ideologies.

Pro also ignored my point that the wishes of voters are essentially ignored. I'll re-requote: "The good intentions of a democratic majority were subverted with the flick of a wrist in this latest election [3]. We should expect this. Mass political action is not effective because the system is broken. See above."

And, to extend, the founder of the Libertarian party actually disagrees with Pro on the effectiveness of political action.

C) Libertarian Persuasion is Insufficient

I won't requote myself again... but free markets are a "public good". They do not benefit individuals, they benefit society. If voters are self interested, they won't ever vote for free markets even if they think capitalism is the best thing for society. They'll still vote for special privileges and welfare for themselves.

I recently drew a really offensive (by mainstream standards) comic where the final panel is a white hand shaking a black hand with a welfare check in the middle. No amount of persuasion would ever convince someone to turn down free money.

3) Re-open the frontier!

A) Market Based Activism is More Libertarian

Don't agitate! Voting is for collectivists! Libertarians are individualists. Each man can make his own way.

B) Seasteading

Pro doesn't really delve into the seasteading logistics. I addressed all his peripheral concerns about pirates above. His argument distills into "floating cities? U mad.". Its true that this is unprecedented. If there were a bunch of free territory sitting out there waiting to be homesteaded I wouldn't even suggest it. I'd be urging us to go try out now societies in New-America.

But we can't do that. The only unclaimed parts of this earth are on the oceans. Luckily, seasteading is ONLY an engineering problem. It will get cheaper as technology becomes better and governments become more oppressive. Our income grows exponentially, and therefore our taxes grow exponentially. Soon, taxes and regulations will outweigh the decreasing cost of Seasteading. In many industries, such as pharmaceuticals, they probably already do.

C/D) Seasteading Appeal and Sustainability/Rendering Political Ideology Obsolete

Pro thinks that seasteads will only be filled with those intellectually elite enough to understand true libertarianism. This is not what I'm saying at all. I'm actually downplaying the importance of armchair philosophy by pointing out that it won't work on the masses and it doesn't need to work for seasteads.

You don't have to convince a group of investors that libertarianism is THE ideology. You just have to convince them that your idea will make money, which is the whole spearhead initiative behind seasteads.

Even if the majority of seasteaders are state-communists, they will be supporting the libertarian movement because seasteading is intrinsically libertarian because it is voluntary and based on homesteading rights.

So the advantage of seasteading is that we don't have to rely on persuading a bunch of people that we're right about free markets and libertarianism. We can just go see what works (and laugh at the communists for unwittingly creating a capitalist paradise).

In closing, I thank Inno for this debate. I believe the tactics and outlook of libertarians are very important. We can proceed with more hope if we believe success is possible. Thankfully, there are many paths to liberty.
Debate Round No. 3
11 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 10 records.
Posted by FREEDO 6 years ago
FREEDO
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
"I misunderstood the comparison? I pointed out how a movement could use a democracy to shape a government - their good or bad was irrelevant to a logistical point."

But the private versus public goods distinction IS relevant to logistics.

"The KKK and the socialist movements were not a top to bottom deal, but started in small towns or in the streets. Then they permeated the government with a plan. My whole point. If you think that they were not grass roots, you would need to prove that."

I wrote: "Poll taxes and literacy laws effectively excluded poor blacks and whites at local levels. The "grass roots" campaigning was essentially a coup by the minority ownership class. The movement was marked by exclusion and violence. This is not a good example of persuasion, infiltration, and political action. [1]"

And similarly for FDR:"It was not characterized by mass awareness and grass roots persuasion. Indeed, the common philosophy of previous generations had been to simply let the market sort itself out [2]. The ideological source of government intervention came from the government itself, not the masses [3]. Again, this is not a good example of persuade, infiltrate, vote."

So I did point out out, and even if I'm wrong, you gave no rebuttal.

"Long term profitability =/= stability. Finding a place to put your libertarianism =/= fruitful libertarianism. As Roy said, a floating area of deep thinking libertarians =/= profitability."

Why not? And Roy is looking at it backwards. Its not that libertarianism will automatically be profitable, its that profitable seasteading is automatically libertarian.

"Again, who would fix your toilet in your world?"

The same people who fix toilets of ships...
Posted by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
I misunderstood the comparison? I pointed out how a movement could use a democracy to shape a government - their good or bad was irrelevant to a logistical point. The KKK and the socialist movements were not a top to bottom deal, but started in small towns or in the streets. Then they permeated the government with a plan. My whole point. If you think that they were not grass roots, you would need to prove that.

Long term profitability =/= stability. Finding a place to put your libertarianism =/= fruitful libertarianism. As Roy said, a floating area of deep thinking libertarians =/= profitability. Again, who would fix your toilet in your world?
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
You want to use democracy, the status quo, as a means to libertarianism. If democracy won't work, then you lose.

You gave me no Re on the myth of the rational voter. You accused me of saying the "masses are asses", which is not the argument at all. You also completely misunderstood the KKK/FDR comparisons. Libertariansim is a public good. Those are examples of PRIVATE goods, and they AREN'T examples of grass roots, bottom-up change.

Your only Re on Seasteading is that its a "fantasy" or unrealistic, but as I pointed out, its the ONLY alternative left. All the land has been claimed by governments. Now you say it is "shortsighted", despite the economic analysis showing long term profitability (and therefore stability)...
Posted by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
Sieben, how did i straw man you? Democracy is part of my plan, so i successfully provided examples of how it could be used. If you are looking for a debate on your problems with democracy, then you should have a different debate on that. The resolution was on the best course of libertarianism, and my course utilizes the existing system, and i explain the usefulness of what you believe to be its flaws. Your entire argument seems to rely on finding a place. If you can only find a place then it will work. That's a very short sighted plan.
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
So did you vote based on your opinion of the resolution or how the debaters argued it? Because I got no Re on my attack of democracy. He straw manned me the whole time.
Posted by RoyLatham 6 years ago
RoyLatham
How has socialism been integrated into American society? It has been done incrementally. Each new regulation is sold as a benefit. Each new entitlement is sold as a good thing. Looking back over the past hundred years, the net effect is stunning. the whole socialist package could never have been sold in one gulp, but here we are.

Libertarianism ought to be sold the same way. Libertarians ought to target incremental goals that have good chances. For example, replacing the government air traffic control system with a private one would lower ticket costs to passengers by allowing direct routing, and would much decrease the administrative costs. In California, some countries are contracting out police and fire services, saving taxpayers a lot of money. End corn subsidies, replace consumer protection agencies with things like Underwriters Labs. These things could be sold to he public.

Instead of going for reasonable steps, libertarians tend to stick to pushing an isolationist foreign policy and legalizing heroin. This strategy guarantees failure.

If some libertarians want to float at sea and think deep thoughts, that's fine with me. It will not advance the cause of freedom. The Shakers formed a community of idealists who practiced chastity to an extreme. It worked, they community died out. Point is, idealists can sustain interesting experimental communities, but they don't impact the world at large. I wonder how seasteaders will save off drug cartels and pirates. The whole point is to escape the protection of government.

This was an interesting and stimulating debate. Well argued by both sides.
Posted by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
The debate didn't seem to attract much attention.
Posted by Sieben 6 years ago
Sieben
poker face :I
Posted by innomen 6 years ago
innomen
No hurry, there's lots of time.
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Vote Placed by RoyLatham 6 years ago
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