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"Liberal" vs. "Libertarian"

Fabian_CH
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5/27/2011 6:39:55 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
My cousin asked me yesterday how I would define the difference between "liberal" and "libertarian". (Keep in mind that we're both Europeans, so "liberal" has its classical meaning, not the US one.)

The best answer I came up with was that "liberal" is a tendency, while "libertarian" is a position. I'd explain that this means that a liberal would look at any one political issue and consider how he could maximize freedom, liberty, as an end in itself. By contrast, a libertarian would analyze an issue in terms of principles he has developed, and choose the solution those principles suggest; that is, he defines "freedom", or "liberty" as that which is compliant with his principles (non-aggression, for the most part.)

What do you think? Does that make any sense? How would you have answered that question?
"What are we doing? Do we want to feed a starved humanity in order to let it live? Or do we want to strangle its life in order to feed it?"
- Andrei Taganov, We The Living (Ayn Rand)
Ore_Ele
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5/27/2011 9:48:17 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
There would be a big difference between the US and European on this.

In the US, most liberals are only interested in maximizing personal freedoms and equality. However, when it comes to "equality" they feel a need for government to get involved to enforce the "equality."
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Thaddeus
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5/27/2011 9:51:26 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 9:48:17 AM, OreEle wrote:
There would be a big difference between the US and European on this.

In the US, most liberals are only interested in maximizing personal freedoms and equality. However, when it comes to "equality" they feel a need for government to get involved to enforce the "equality."

Thus contradicting the first goal. I'm not saying they are retarded, but you do see a lot of them with their underwear on their heads.
Ore_Ele
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5/27/2011 9:52:25 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 9:51:26 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
At 5/27/2011 9:48:17 AM, OreEle wrote:
There would be a big difference between the US and European on this.

In the US, most liberals are only interested in maximizing personal freedoms and equality. However, when it comes to "equality" they feel a need for government to get involved to enforce the "equality."

Thus contradicting the first goal. I'm not saying they are retarded, but you do see a lot of them with their underwear on their heads.

That's because of the drugs they support.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
Thaddeus
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5/27/2011 9:56:22 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 9:52:25 AM, OreEle wrote:
At 5/27/2011 9:51:26 AM, Thaddeus wrote:
At 5/27/2011 9:48:17 AM, OreEle wrote:
There would be a big difference between the US and European on this.

In the US, most liberals are only interested in maximizing personal freedoms and equality. However, when it comes to "equality" they feel a need for government to get involved to enforce the "equality."

Thus contradicting the first goal. I'm not saying they are retarded, but you do see a lot of them with their underwear on their heads.

That's because of the drugs they support.

Its so they can deny that they are going commando.
Fabian_CH
Posts: 232
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5/27/2011 9:58:47 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 6:39:55 AM, Fabian_CH wrote:
(Keep in mind that we're both Europeans, so "liberal" has its classical meaning, not the US one.)
"What are we doing? Do we want to feed a starved humanity in order to let it live? Or do we want to strangle its life in order to feed it?"
- Andrei Taganov, We The Living (Ayn Rand)
Ore_Ele
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5/27/2011 10:15:10 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 9:58:47 AM, Fabian_CH wrote:
At 5/27/2011 6:39:55 AM, Fabian_CH wrote:
(Keep in mind that we're both Europeans, so "liberal" has its classical meaning, not the US one.)

Right, as I said, I can't argue about the European meaning of liberal because I'm not european, as most people on here are not.
"Wanting Red Rhino Pill to have gender"
belle
Posts: 4,113
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5/27/2011 12:41:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
thats weird, i always heard that "liberals" in other countries were a lot more left leaning than american liberals. if they are more like "classical liberals" though, they should be more right leaning... shouldn't they? totally confused!
evidently i only come to ddo to avoid doing homework...
brian_eggleston
Posts: 3,347
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5/27/2011 1:02:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 12:41:44 PM, belle wrote:
thats weird, i always heard that "liberals" in other countries were a lot more left leaning than american liberals. if they are more like "classical liberals" though, they should be more right leaning... shouldn't they? totally confused!

No, you are right. In practice a liberal (i.e. left-wing) European party would probably be described as "militant socialist" if they campaigned in America and their members would likely be labelled "anti-capitalist extremists."

And if the liberal Democrats in the US were to set up a political stall in Europe they would be considered as potentially dangerous pro-capitalism fundamentalists!
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askbob
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5/27/2011 1:52:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 9:48:17 AM, OreEle wrote:
There would be a big difference between the US and European on this.

In the US, most liberals are only interested in maximizing personal freedoms and equality. However, when it comes to "equality" they feel a need for government to get involved to enforce the "equality."

no one who feels they are above average wants to be treated as average so those who are below average can be treated as average.

Liberals in the US usually just fundamentally misunderstand the basics of economics, have so much money that they view taxes as charity and don't mind giving it, or are those who know they are below average and are seeking to rob others via the democratic system.
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Ore_Ele
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5/27/2011 2:00:32 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 1:52:09 PM, askbob wrote:
At 5/27/2011 9:48:17 AM, OreEle wrote:
There would be a big difference between the US and European on this.

In the US, most liberals are only interested in maximizing personal freedoms and equality. However, when it comes to "equality" they feel a need for government to get involved to enforce the "equality."

no one who feels they are above average wants to be treated as average so those who are below average can be treated as average.

No one really wants everyone to be 100% equal, just more equal than the world currently is. And many people actually don't mind paying higher taxes (thus making them less "above average") so that others can be helped (thus making others less "below average").


Liberals in the US usually just fundamentally misunderstand the basics of economics, have so much money that they view taxes as charity and don't mind giving it, or are those who know they are below average and are seeking to rob others via the democratic system.

When only considering economics, yes. But that really is only half the coin.
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charleslb
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5/27/2011 3:19:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 6:39:55 AM, Fabian_CH wrote:
My cousin asked me yesterday how I would define the difference between "liberal" and "libertarian". (Keep in mind that we're both Europeans, so "liberal" has its classical meaning, not the US one.)

The best answer I came up with was that "liberal" is a tendency, while "libertarian" is a position. I'd explain that this means that a liberal would look at any one political issue and consider how he could maximize freedom, liberty, as an end in itself. By contrast, a libertarian would analyze an issue in terms of principles he has developed, and choose the solution those principles suggest; that is, he defines "freedom", or "liberty" as that which is compliant with his principles (non-aggression, for the most part.)

What do you think? Does that make any sense? How would you have answered that question?

Well, you're certainly right that the minds of "libertarians" operate within the universe of their own philosophical frame of reference, that libertarians are doctrinaire devotees of a certain political belief system which they rationalistically (and often rationalizingly) seek to make reality jibe with, rather that allowing reality to condition their beliefs. "Liberals", on the other hand, are more apt to be political freethinkers, guided by certain values such as "liberté, égalité, fraternité", but not absolutist adherents of a rigidly structured ideology.

However, there are also other differences, differences in the "first principles" that "liberals" and "libertarians" recognize as valid and veridical ideals. For example, liberals are not one-dimensional believers in the value of freedom; rather, liberals, going back to the French Revolution and the era of classical liberalism, also believe in and support sociopolitical values such as equality and the dignity of man (and woman). Classical liberals also subscribed to ideas such as natural rights, which the nihilistic libertarians at this site reject and deride as romantic rubbish. And of course liberals believe in democracy. Whereas libertarians are anarchists-lite, with a dangerously romanticized idea capitalism, and advocate replacing democracy with a "free-market" system that would effectively open the door, even wider than it's already been swung, for alpha capitalists to seize the day and seize control of society.

Of course there are also some commonalities between liberals and libertarians. Contrary to what rabid rightists (for example, the ilk who delight in calling Obama a "Marxist") like to think, liberals are not socialists (as a socialist I always like to point out this little distinction to people who mistakenly call me a "liberal"), classical liberals were actually believers in the so-called "free market", i.e. they believed in extending the application of their principle of liberty to cover capitalist greed. This of course is something they very much have in common with modern conservatives and "libertarians". Of course libertarians have taken to a whole other level the theory that "liberalizing", aka deregulating the economy and giving capitalists carte blanche to do their self-interested thing will create a prosperous society in which the prosperity trickles down to us all like manna from heaven. Yes, libertarians have taken this quite naive-about-human-nature belief to the level of a dogmatic creed. And in a fashion inconsistent with the liberal-sounding label they've adopted for their political religion, libertarians insist that we all acknowledge the supreme rationality of their puristic belief in unfettered capitalism. That is, libertarians are not just ideologues, they're intellectually chauvinistic and intolerant ideologues. So much for their pretensions of being committed to freedom, unless they think that you can somehow have a free society without enshrining the value of tolerance in its makeup.

Which brings us to another difference between liberals and libertarians, modern liberals also tend to be socially liberal in regard to various issues. And their social liberalism tends to emanate from a place of humanism and ethical values in their worldview. Libertarians, on the other hand, have no philosophical truck with what they consider airy-fairy humanistic ideals. Libertarians coldly boil (no oxymoronic pun intended) everything down to the principle of "enlightened self-interest", in fact they start to sound downright chillingly social-Darwinian in this regard. Hardcore libertarians might advocate such socially liberal policies as the legalization of drugs, but in actuality they don't have a bit of humanistic and humanitarian social liberalism in their souls. They're just autistic aficionados of their own philosophical pet peeves and penchants. Which is to say that they live in their own insulated little thought world, and for all practical purposes their attitude is that the potential real-world implications and consequences of their beliefs can always be handily, or if need be convolutedly rationalized away. In contrast, liberals are a little more reality-grounded, shall we say.

Another thing that makes liberals and libertarians look starkly different in contrast, is that although classical and neo- liberals have been pro-capitalism, and although liberals don't go as far as socialists such as myself in their criticism of capitalism and advocacy of dismantling it, modern liberals have tended to move in a more leftward direction. For example, in the U.S. many liberals are great supporters of the social safety net. And in Europe liberal parties often work with socialist and social democratic parties. For example, in Holland in the 90s they had the Purple Coalition that integrated the liberals and social liberals with the socialists. And in the UK of course there are the Liberal Democrats, who believe in human rights and in preserving the "welfare state". Two things the libertarians most certainly and balkily disbelieve in.

The upshot is that although there are some similarities, and although the words "liberal" and "libertarian" are etymologically related, libertarians are most definitely not liberals. Libertarians are rather more like staunch American-style conservatives, but with a one-sided emphasis on actualizing the American conservative pipedream of the paradisaical "free market", and only a tangential interest in social issues, and little to no interest in the moralistic issues cherished by traditional conservatives, such as the villanizing and disenfranchising of homosexuals. "Liberals" and "libertarian" are like humans and primates, they share some common ancestors in their evolutionary line, and some common preceptual DNA, but they've significantly diverged and will never crossbreed into a single ideological species.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
charleslb
Posts: 4,740
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5/27/2011 3:24:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
A typo correction. The following sentence contains a typo: "Whereas libertarians are anarchists-lite, with a dangerously romanticized idea capitalism, and advocate replacing democracy with a "free-market" system that would effectively open the door, even wider than it's already been swung, for alpha capitalists to seize the day and seize control of society."

It should read: Whereas libertarians are anarchists-lite, with a dangerously romanticized idea of capitalism, and advocate replacing democracy with a "free-market" system that would effectively open the door, even wider than it's already been swung, for alpha capitalists to seize the day and seize control of society.
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Ragnar_Rahl
Posts: 19,297
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5/27/2011 3:38:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
typos are your least concern in that mess, Charles. "Modern liberals" with left wing economics are the American meaning of liberals, with nothing to do with this post. Any self-declared liberals in Europe who work with socialists are doing it because A. there is a party that scares them more or B. THEY ARE LYING WHEN THEY CALL THEMSELVES LIBERAL. :P

Enlightened self-interest IS humanist, unless you're declaring the self there is not a human. It's certainly not otherworldly.

If freethinker means an inconsistent sack of lip service to contradictory values, you can keep that label away from us :P.

The term laissez faire was an invention of the classical liberals, the only way libertarians differ is that we have the integrity to live up to it. By free market we MEAN free market.

"Intellectual chauvinism" is a meaningless criticism, as it is self-refuting, especially coming from you Charles.

If all the policies you espouse are in accord with social liberalism, that sounds to me like something that makes you socially liberal, regardless of motive.

The sort of American conservative who speaks of a "Free market" and doesn't speak about religion is the ideological descendant of the classical liberals in America, before the Progressives corrupted the term. "Modern conservative" and "Neoclassical liberal" are approximate synonyms in describing political theory in America today. Hence, comparing libertarians to that sort of conservative does not serve to make the gap between libertarians and classical liberals any larger. To be sure, like most classical liberals, modern conservatives significantly fail to live up to their pronounced ideals.
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darkkermit
Posts: 11,204
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5/27/2011 8:28:06 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 1:52:09 PM, askbob wrote:

Liberals in the US usually just fundamentally misunderstand the basics of economics, have so much money that they view taxes as charity and don't mind giving it, or are those who know they are below average and are seeking to rob others via the democratic system.

I would say that the majority of liberals don't understand economics. There have been studies to confirm this. However, Paul Krugman is quite liberal for a nobel prize winning economist.
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mongoose
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5/27/2011 8:36:49 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 8:28:06 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 5/27/2011 1:52:09 PM, askbob wrote:

Liberals in the US usually just fundamentally misunderstand the basics of economics, have so much money that they view taxes as charity and don't mind giving it, or are those who know they are below average and are seeking to rob others via the democratic system.

I would say that the majority of liberals don't understand economics. There have been studies to confirm this. However, Paul Krugman is quite liberal for a nobel prize winning economist.

Are you really using Krugman as an example of understanding economics?
It is odd when one's capacity for compassion is measured not in what he is willing to do by his own time, effort, and property, but what he will force others to do with their own property instead.
darkkermit
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5/27/2011 8:51:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 8:36:49 PM, mongoose wrote:
At 5/27/2011 8:28:06 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 5/27/2011 1:52:09 PM, askbob wrote:

Liberals in the US usually just fundamentally misunderstand the basics of economics, have so much money that they view taxes as charity and don't mind giving it, or are those who know they are below average and are seeking to rob others via the democratic system.

I would say that the majority of liberals don't understand economics. There have been studies to confirm this. However, Paul Krugman is quite liberal for a nobel prize winning economist.

Are you really using Krugman as an example of understanding economics?

Come on, give him some credit. He has a PhD and nobel prize in economics.
Open borders debate:
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mongoose
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5/27/2011 8:55:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 8:51:41 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 5/27/2011 8:36:49 PM, mongoose wrote:
At 5/27/2011 8:28:06 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 5/27/2011 1:52:09 PM, askbob wrote:

Liberals in the US usually just fundamentally misunderstand the basics of economics, have so much money that they view taxes as charity and don't mind giving it, or are those who know they are below average and are seeking to rob others via the democratic system.

I would say that the majority of liberals don't understand economics. There have been studies to confirm this. However, Paul Krugman is quite liberal for a nobel prize winning economist.

Are you really using Krugman as an example of understanding economics?

Come on, give him some credit. He has a PhD and nobel prize in economics.

Congratulations, he has a piece of paper and a gold medal.
It is odd when one's capacity for compassion is measured not in what he is willing to do by his own time, effort, and property, but what he will force others to do with their own property instead.
Greyparrot
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5/27/2011 8:57:09 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 8:51:41 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 5/27/2011 8:36:49 PM, mongoose wrote:
At 5/27/2011 8:28:06 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 5/27/2011 1:52:09 PM, askbob wrote:

Liberals in the US usually just fundamentally misunderstand the basics of economics, have so much money that they view taxes as charity and don't mind giving it, or are those who know they are below average and are seeking to rob others via the democratic system.

I would say that the majority of liberals don't understand economics. There have been studies to confirm this. However, Paul Krugman is quite liberal for a nobel prize winning economist.

Are you really using Krugman as an example of understanding economics?

Come on, give him some credit. He has a PhD and nobel prize in economics.

Nobel committee is a standard? since when?
comoncents
Posts: 5,647
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5/27/2011 9:21:48 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 6:39:55 AM, Fabian_CH wrote:
My cousin asked me yesterday how I would define the difference between "liberal" and "libertarian". (Keep in mind that we're both Europeans, so "liberal" has its classical meaning, not the US one.)

The best answer I came up with was that "liberal" is a tendency, while "libertarian" is a position. I'd explain that this means that a liberal would look at any one political issue and consider how he could maximize freedom, liberty, as an end in itself. By contrast, a libertarian would analyze an issue in terms of principles he has developed, and choose the solution those principles suggest; that is, he defines "freedom", or "liberty" as that which is compliant with his principles (non-aggression, for the most part.)

What do you think? Does that make any sense? How would you have answered that question?

I like it!

You did leave out that Libertarianism would never work, and most would hate it; but you did good.
Grape
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5/27/2011 10:15:41 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 8:51:41 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 5/27/2011 8:36:49 PM, mongoose wrote:
At 5/27/2011 8:28:06 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 5/27/2011 1:52:09 PM, askbob wrote:

Liberals in the US usually just fundamentally misunderstand the basics of economics, have so much money that they view taxes as charity and don't mind giving it, or are those who know they are below average and are seeking to rob others via the democratic system.

I would say that the majority of liberals don't understand economics. There have been studies to confirm this. However, Paul Krugman is quite liberal for a nobel prize winning economist.

Are you really using Krugman as an example of understanding economics?

Come on, give him some credit. He has a PhD and nobel prize in economics.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com...

Derp!
Grape
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5/27/2011 10:16:44 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 9:21:48 PM, comoncents wrote:
I like it!

You did leave out that Libertarianism would never work, and most would hate it; but you did good.

That does not express anything meaningful.
Grape
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5/27/2011 10:25:53 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 3:19:09 PM, charleslb wrote:
Well, you're certainly right that the minds of "libertarians" operate within the universe of their own philosophical frame of reference,

As opposed to those who operate in other people's frames of reference or magical neutral ones.

that libertarians are doctrinaire devotees of a certain political belief system which they rationalistically (and often rationalizingly) seek to make reality jibe with, rather that allowing reality to condition their beliefs.

You have no argument for why empiricism is better than apriorism. You can't make arguments by using words that mean certain things if there is no reason to belief your descriptions are accurate. The only reason to call people "doctrinaire devotees" is to distract from the issue with personal accusations that you do not rationally support. I can just say, "No, libertarians are perfectly rational people. Communists have an average IQ of 73 and eat paint." It says absolutely nothing and is just an appeal to opinions.

"Liberals", on the other hand, are more apt to be political freethinkers, guided by certain values such as "liberté, égalité, fraternité", but not absolutist adherents of a rigidly structured ideology.


See above. Characterization is meaningless. Using French words doesn't make your writing more profound.

However, there are also other differences, differences in the "first principles" that "liberals" and "libertarians" recognize as valid and veridical ideals. For example, liberals are not one-dimensional believers in the value of freedom; rather, liberals, going back to the French Revolution and the era of classical liberalism,
also believe in and support sociopolitical values such as equality and the dignity of man (and woman). Classical liberals also subscribed to ideas such as natural rights, which the nihilistic libertarians at this site reject and deride as romantic rubbish. And of course liberals believe in democracy. Whereas libertarians are anarchists-lite, with a dangerously romanticized idea capitalism, and advocate replacing democracy with a "free-market" system that would effectively open the door, even wider than it's already been swung, for alpha capitalists to seize the day and seize control of society.


Meaningless characterization. Vague historical references. Works that don't affect reality just because they mean what they mean. No real ideas expressed.

Of course there are also some commonalities between liberals and libertarians. Contrary to what rabid rightists (for example, the ilk who delight in calling Obama a "Marxist") like to think, liberals are not socialists (as a socialist I always like to point out this little distinction to people who mistakenly call me a "liberal"), classical liberals were actually believers in the so-called "free market", i.e. they believed in extending the application of their principle of liberty to cover capitalist greed. This of course is something they very much have in common with modern conservatives and "libertarians". Of course libertarians have taken to a whole other level the theory that "liberalizing", aka deregulating the economy and giving capitalists carte blanche to do their self-interested thing will create a prosperous society in which the prosperity trickles down to us all like manna from heaven. Yes, libertarians have taken this quite naive-about-human-nature belief to the level of a dogmatic creed. And in a fashion inconsistent with the liberal-sounding label they've adopted for their political religion, libertarians insist that we all acknowledge the supreme rationality of their puristic belief in unfettered capitalism. That is, libertarians are not just ideologues, they're intellectually chauvinistic and intolerant ideologues. So much for their pretensions of being committed to freedom, unless they think that you can somehow have a free society without enshrining the value of tolerance in its makeup.


Meaningless characterization.

Which brings us to another difference between liberals and libertarians, modern liberals also tend to be socially liberal in regard to various issues. And their social liberalism tends to emanate from a place of humanism and ethical values in their worldview. Libertarians, on the other hand, have no philosophical truck with what they consider airy-fairy humanistic ideals. Libertarians coldly boil (no oxymoronic pun intended) everything down to the principle of "enlightened self-interest", in fact they start to sound downright chillingly social-Darwinian in this regard. Hardcore libertarians might advocate such socially liberal policies as the legalization of drugs, but in actuality they don't have a bit of humanistic and humanitarian social liberalism in their souls. They're just autistic aficionados of their own philosophical pet peeves and penchants. Which is to say that they live in their own insulated little thought world, and for all practical purposes their attitude is that the potential real-world implications and consequences of their beliefs can always be handily, or if need be convolutedly rationalized away. In contrast, liberals are a little more reality-grounded, shall we say.


Meaningless characterization.

Another thing that makes liberals and libertarians look starkly different in contrast, is that although classical and neo- liberals have been pro-capitalism, and although liberals don't go as far as socialists such as myself in their criticism of capitalism and advocacy of dismantling it, modern liberals have tended to move in a more leftward direction. For example, in the U.S. many liberals are great supporters of the social safety net. And in Europe liberal parties often work with socialist and social democratic parties. For example, in Holland in the 90s they had the Purple Coalition that integrated the liberals and social liberals with the socialists. And in the UK of course there are the Liberal Democrats, who believe in human rights and in preserving the "welfare state". Two things the libertarians most certainly and balkily disbelieve in.


Meaningless characterization with vague, vacuous references to politics.

The upshot is that although there are some similarities, and although the words "liberal" and "libertarian" are etymologically related, libertarians are most definitely not liberals. Libertarians are rather more like staunch American-style conservatives, but with a one-sided emphasis on actualizing the American conservative pipedream of the paradisaical "free market", and only a tangential interest in social issues, and little to no interest in the moralistic issues cherished by traditional conservatives, such as the villanizing and disenfranchising of homosexuals. "Liberals" and "libertarian" are like humans and primates, they share some common ancestors in their evolutionary line, and some common preceptual DNA, but they've significantly diverged and will never crossbreed into a single ideological species.

Meaningless characterization.
Fabian_CH
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5/28/2011 5:16:03 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 8:28:06 PM, darkkermit wrote:
At 5/27/2011 1:52:09 PM, askbob wrote:

Liberals in the US usually just fundamentally misunderstand the basics of economics, have so much money that they view taxes as charity and don't mind giving it, or are those who know they are below average and are seeking to rob others via the democratic system.

I would say that the majority of liberals don't understand economics. There have been studies to confirm this. However, Paul Krugman is quite liberal for a nobel prize winning economist.
And there is the difference between being an economist, and understanding economics.
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PARADIGM_L0ST
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5/28/2011 8:21:41 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
I would say that the majority of liberals don't understand economics. There have been studies to confirm this. However, Paul Krugman is quite liberal for a nobel prize winning economist.

Are you really using Krugman as an example of understanding economics?

Come on, give him some credit. He has a PhD and nobel prize in economics.:

Ha!!! And Obama is a Nobel "peace" laureate who 2 days in to office bombs Pakistan, increases troops in the Afghan war, and invades Pakistan to send a voert team of Navy SEAL's to assassinate (not capture) bin Laden.... Oh, they gave one if those to Al Gore too because he made a movie about fearmongering.

That says more about the circle jerk who hands out the awards than it does the accomplishments of the recipients.
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feverish
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5/28/2011 8:28:51 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
Within the context of European terms, I don't think the distinction is a very significant one. From what I've seen of US terms, it could be summarised as liberals advocating positive freedoms and libertarians advocating negative ones.
lewis20
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5/28/2011 12:45:47 PM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 2:00:32 PM, OreEle wrote:

No one really wants everyone to be 100% equal, just more equal than the world currently is. And many people actually don't mind paying higher taxes (thus making them less "above average") so that others can be helped (thus making others less "below average").

many people don't mind forcing others to do the same.
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charleslb
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5/29/2011 12:38:21 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/27/2011 1:52:09 PM, askbob wrote:
Liberals in the US usually just fundamentally misunderstand the basics of economics
I would say that the majority of liberals don't understand economics. There have been studies to confirm this.

Well, libertarians fundamentally and dangerously misunderstand the meaning of liberty and the ability of their credal chimera, the "free market", to guarantee the liberty and rights of man (and woman). A "free-market" society would promptly become one based upon the "golden rule", i.e. those who have the most gold make the rules. And the rules they would make would override free-marketarian ideals and principles, would altogether do away with the "free market", and return us to a system run by a capitalist elite. Anyone who can't grasp this extremely likely possibility is almost invariably a right-leaning dogmatist of some sort. (Believe it or not, I'm not trying to be insulting by saying such a thing, I'm merely objectively stating an impolite fact.)
Yo, all of my subliterate conservative criticasters who find perusing and processing the sesquipedalian verbiage of my posts to be such a bothersome brain-taxing chore, I have a new nickname for you. Henceforth you shall be known as Pooh Bears. No, not for the obvious apt reasons, i.e., not because you're full of pooh, and not because of your ursine irritability. Rather, you put me in mind of an A.A. Milne quote, "I am a Bear of Very Little Brain, and long words bother me". Love ya, Pooh Bears.
Cody_Franklin
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5/29/2011 1:16:26 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/29/2011 12:38:21 AM, charleslb wrote:
At 5/27/2011 1:52:09 PM, askbob wrote:
Liberals in the US usually just fundamentally misunderstand the basics of economics
I would say that the majority of liberals don't understand economics. There have been studies to confirm this.

Well, libertarians fundamentally and dangerously misunderstand the meaning of liberty and the ability of their credal chimera, the "free market", to guarantee the liberty and rights of man (and woman). A "free-market" society would promptly become one based upon the "golden rule", i.e. those who have the most gold make the rules. And the rules they would make would override free-marketarian ideals and principles, would altogether do away with the "free market", and return us to a system run by a capitalist elite.

Can you prove that this is the inevitable result of a free-market society? You seem to assert this is the case, but offer no logical or empirical warrant which suggests the truth of your conclusion.

Anyone who can't grasp this extremely likely possibility is almost invariably a right-leaning dogmatist of some sort. (Believe it or not, I'm not trying to be insulting by saying such a thing, I'm merely objectively stating an impolite fact.)

Even if it's true that the economic right disagrees with you, this does not imply that they are "dogmatic", or that they are incorrect in their disagreement. From my perspective, the disagreement stems from your failure to present a compelling case against capitalism which does not boil down to a bias against free markets. Rather than making broad ideological claims, I think it would be prudent for you to either make arguments against capitalist principles--in other words, principles that free-market capitalists actually defend, rather than principles you attribute to them due to ideological prejudice--or economic arguments against the free market as the best economic system, rather than arguments against the status quo, which I think you falsely believe to be an example of capitalism.
darkkermit
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5/29/2011 1:38:07 AM
Posted: 5 years ago
At 5/28/2011 8:21:41 AM, PARADIGM_L0ST wrote:
I would say that the majority of liberals don't understand economics. There have been studies to confirm this. However, Paul Krugman is quite liberal for a nobel prize winning economist.

Are you really using Krugman as an example of understanding economics?

Come on, give him some credit. He has a PhD and nobel prize in economics.:

Ha!!! And Obama is a Nobel "peace" laureate who 2 days in to office bombs Pakistan, increases troops in the Afghan war, and invades Pakistan to send a voert team of Navy SEAL's to assassinate (not capture) bin Laden.... Oh, they gave one if those to Al Gore too because he made a movie about fearmongering.

That says more about the circle jerk who hands out the awards than it does the accomplishments of the recipients.

I'll admit that the peace prize is quite bias. How does one even measure how much "peace" a person has brought to the world.

However, the economic nobel prize is different. A good way to measure the importance of a scientist's work, in this case an economist, is see how many others in the field cite his or her work. Paul Krugman's work has been cited by thousands of professions in his field. While he might be wrong on some issues, and many free-market oriented people dislike him, one cannot simply ignore his contributions to economics.
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