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Challenge to All Libertarians

progressivedem22
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2/1/2014 8:39:02 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
I'd like this to be as civil a discourse as possible. My intention is not to attack anyone, but rather to understand your positions and, with your help, gauge their efficacy and pragmatism in modern day politics.

To begin, I have a list of questions that I believe you must be able to defend in order to take on staunch libertarian stances. My thesis is that, in a lot of cases, your ideology decides your position for you a priori -- it precludes government intervention, and the issue is settled.

1. I believe that, as a Libertarian, you must either deny anthropogenic climate change, or vow never to do anything about it. Is this true? The only stance I hear is "private property rights" and allowing people to sue for damages. But how would this thesis stand up against an army of lawyers? How would it stand up to a court system that is limited in capacity? How about pollution on public lands, or that impacts interstate commerce? Does not the negative externality that pollution imposes on people undermine the "free market" you so desire, and therefore wouldn't a carbon tax bring us closer to a socially optimal level of pollution?

Moreover, what makes you so convinced that the market mechanism is capable of managing scarce natural resources efficiently? That, unquestionably, human action will reduce pollution such that climate change is no longer a threat?

2. Is "self-interest" (1) plausible and (2) ideal? First, I question whether it is fair to say that people are constantly, unquestionably acting rationally, because we know they don't--the 2008 meltdown was a good example of greed often precludes sensibility. Second--and I ask this genuinely--what would you do, in a Libertarian society, with poor people? You are presupposing either that the economy will be so great that they'll be able to procure jobs that will pay high enough wages to survive, or that charities will be able to take care of them (even though they are not doing so currently). Do we not have a moral responsibility to look after our fellow persons, and if we accept that government is the only way to do so adequately, so be it?

3. The argument I often hear from Libertarians is that government is a gun, and that taxes are theft. Let's, for the moment, accept those contentions. But let's consider another question: Is it more immoral to ask a billionaire to pay more in taxes to feed poor people, or to tell a poor person to starve on the streets? Many of you support the "FairTax," yet we know from comprehensive studies conducted under the Bush Administration that it's (1) really expensive and (2) raises taxes on people earning between $15,000 and $200,000. How is this framework more moral than the current system?

4. If you believe government is so inherently flawed--literally a gun--then why should it exist at all? If you want to shrink it so that it can be drowned in a bath tub, why should you bother funding it? To fund it, don't you need tax dollars? I guess the question is this: what is the distinction between your position, and the type of anarchy that Karl Marx called for?

5. What say you to the three decades following WWII, where tax rates where between 70 and 91%, markets were highly regulated, and government invested heavily in infrastructure, education, et al? These were some of the most prosperous decades in American history. In fact, the WWII military buildup is what got us out of the Great Depression. Is this not evidence that bears out the Keynesian case?

That's it for now, though I'm sure I'll come up with more as ti me goes on.

Looking forward to an interesting discussion.

~progressivedem22
Korashk
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2/1/2014 10:58:41 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/1/2014 8:39:02 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
I'd like this to be as civil a discourse as possible. My intention is not to attack anyone, but rather to understand your positions and, with your help, gauge their efficacy and pragmatism in modern day politics.

To begin, I have a list of questions that I believe you must be able to defend in order to take on staunch libertarian stances. My thesis is that, in a lot of cases, your ideology decides your position for you a priori -- it precludes government intervention, and the issue is settled.


1. I believe that, as a Libertarian, you must either deny anthropogenic climate change, or vow never to do anything about it. Is this true?

No.

The only stance I hear is "private property rights" and allowing people to sue for damages. But how would this thesis stand up against an army of lawyers? How would it stand up to a court system that is limited in capacity? How about pollution on public lands, or that impacts interstate commerce?

Who cares? Ideologies are just that. Ideals. They aren't meant to function inside the confines of the status quo.

Obviously in a libertarian society the legal system would be different than the one America currently has. Also, to a consistent libertarian there is no such thing as public land or interstate commerce.

Moreover, what makes you so convinced that the market mechanism is capable of managing scarce natural resources efficiently? That, unquestionably, human action will reduce pollution such that climate change is no longer a threat?

Libertarians don't claim that the market mechanism is capable of efficiently managing scarce resources. We claim that is most efficiently manages scarce resources.

Nothing about any ideology is unquestionable and it's disingenuous to claim it is so.

2. Is "self-interest" (1) plausible and (2) ideal? First, I question whether it is fair to say that people are constantly, unquestionably acting rationally, because we know they don't--the 2008 meltdown was a good example of greed often precludes sensibility.

Libertarianism doesn't presume rational action, just rational actors. Of which humans and a few other animals arguably qualify as.

Second--and I ask this genuinely--what would you do, in a Libertarian society, with poor people? You are presupposing either that the economy will be so great that they'll be able to procure jobs that will pay high enough wages to survive, or that charities will be able to take care of them (even though they are not doing so currently). Do we not have a moral responsibility to look after our fellow persons, and if we accept that government is the only way to do so adequately, so be it?

There are no obligations in libertarianism to care for those less fortunate than yourself.

3. The argument I often hear from Libertarians is that government is a gun, and that taxes are theft. Let's, for the moment, accept those contentions. But let's consider another question: Is it more immoral to ask a billionaire to pay more in taxes to feed poor people, or to tell a poor person to starve on the streets?

I think I covered this above.

Many of you support the "FairTax," yet we know from comprehensive studies conducted under the Bush Administration that it's (1) really expensive and (2) raises taxes on people earning between $15,000 and $200,000. How is this framework more moral than the current system?

I would call a libertarian that supports taxes someone that isn't a libertarian.

4. If you believe government is so inherently flawed--literally a gun--then why should it exist at all? If you want to shrink it so that it can be drowned in a bath tub, why should you bother funding it? To fund it, don't you need tax dollars? I guess the question is this: what is the distinction between your position, and the type of anarchy that Karl Marx called for?

This is ours: http://en.wikipedia.org...
This is Marx's: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Aside from the lack of a state they're completely different.

5. What say you to the three decades following WWII, where tax rates where between 70 and 91%, markets were highly regulated, and government invested heavily in infrastructure, education, et al? These were some of the most prosperous decades in American history. In fact, the WWII military buildup is what got us out of the Great Depression. Is this not evidence that bears out the Keynesian case?

There are many, many articles written by those more versed in libertarian philosophy than I that attack this very notion. Look them up.
When large numbers of otherwise-law abiding people break specific laws en masse, it's usually a fault that lies with the law. - Unknown
progressivedem22
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2/1/2014 11:23:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/1/2014 10:58:41 PM, Korashk wrote:
At 2/1/2014 8:39:02 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
I'd like this to be as civil a discourse as possible. My intention is not to attack anyone, but rather to understand your positions and, with your help, gauge their efficacy and pragmatism in modern day politics.

To begin, I have a list of questions that I believe you must be able to defend in order to take on staunch libertarian stances. My thesis is that, in a lot of cases, your ideology decides your position for you a priori -- it precludes government intervention, and the issue is settled.


1. I believe that, as a Libertarian, you must either deny anthropogenic climate change, or vow never to do anything about it. Is this true?

No.

Could you be more specific?

The only stance I hear is "private property rights" and allowing people to sue for damages. But how would this thesis stand up against an army of lawyers? How would it stand up to a court system that is limited in capacity? How about pollution on public lands, or that impacts interstate commerce?

Who cares? Ideologies are just that. Ideals. They aren't meant to function inside the confines of the status quo.

I care, because your ideology--upon which your positions are predicated--is of the utmost importance, and is, in my honest view, the single force driving a laissez-faire approach to such pivotal issues as climate changes.

Obviously in a libertarian society the legal system would be different than the one America currently has. Also, to a consistent libertarian there is no such thing as public land or interstate commerce.

You said "obviously," but this isn't obvious. Can you point out a "libertarian" society throughout history to clarify your position? I'm not convinced that it has ever be tried, or has ever worked.

Also, the idea that there wouldn't be a such thing as public land or interstate commerce--in light of the fact that, without public lands, you literally couldn't have a state capitol--is anarchism. It implies that there ought not be any government at all. That is not a consistent libertarian principle. From what I have seen, most libertarians are minarchists, not anarcho-capitalists.

Moreover, what makes you so convinced that the market mechanism is capable of managing scarce natural resources efficiently? That, unquestionably, human action will reduce pollution such that climate change is no longer a threat?

Libertarians don't claim that the market mechanism is capable of efficiently managing scarce resources. We claim that is most efficiently manages scarce resources.

That's a distinction without a difference. But, moving behind semantics, you haven't answered my challenge. The neoclassical case against environmental regulation has always been that scarcity is irrelevant because people will simply move to substitutes. That the price of a scarce commodity will rise in the short run, people will move to a close substitutes, and the price will drop -- basically, change the price, and thus change the allocation. Moving beyond how hopelessly idealistic that is, tell me what a substitute for say, the ozone later is; or water; or air.

Nothing about any ideology is unquestionable and it's disingenuous to claim it is so.

I'm not being disingenuous, though -- I'm responding to the libertarian purist mold that says that, to support any government intervention is wrong because government is a gun. To me, it is devoid of any nuance. Again, provide me with an example of government intervention you would support.

2. Is "self-interest" (1) plausible and (2) ideal? First, I question whether it is fair to say that people are constantly, unquestionably acting rationally, because we know they don't--the 2008 meltdown was a good example of greed often precludes sensibility.

Libertarianism doesn't presume rational action, just rational actors. Of which humans and a few other animals arguably qualify as.

Again, that's a distinction without a difference, so far as I am concerned, because you're presupposing that people are rational and have the capacity to act as such. This is clearly not the case -- and, for the record, the neoclassical case against scarcity that I've delineated does presume rational action. In fact, the "rational act" case is a chief argument against fiscal stimulus.


Second--and I ask this genuinely--what would you do, in a Libertarian society, with poor people? You are presupposing either that the economy will be so great that they'll be able to procure jobs that will pay high enough wages to survive, or that charities will be able to take care of them (even though they are not doing so currently). Do we not have a moral responsibility to look after our fellow persons, and if we accept that government is the only way to do so adequately, so be it?

There are no obligations in libertarianism to care for those less fortunate than yourself.

So, that's a notion consistent with Ayn Rand's philosophy. I'm not going to respond to this by asserting that it's immoral, even though I think it is. I just want to point out that many, many libertarians disagree with you on this, and assert that the market mechanism is capable of providing for the poor. Would you disagree with them?

3. The argument I often hear from Libertarians is that government is a gun, and that taxes are theft. Let's, for the moment, accept those contentions. But let's consider another question: Is it more immoral to ask a billionaire to pay more in taxes to feed poor people, or to tell a poor person to starve on the streets?

I think I covered this above.

You didn't, actually.

Many of you support the "FairTax," yet we know from comprehensive studies conducted under the Bush Administration that it's (1) really expensive and (2) raises taxes on people earning between $15,000 and $200,000. How is this framework more moral than the current system?

I would call a libertarian that supports taxes someone that isn't a libertarian.

So, no taxes must imply no government. And, again, you're imposing a purity test, while claiming at the same time that it is disingenuous for me to claim that you're clinging to ideology rather than facts. Do you see the flaws in your own logic?

4. If you believe government is so inherently flawed--literally a gun--then why should it exist at all? If you want to shrink it so that it can be drowned in a bath tub, why should you bother funding it? To fund it, don't you need tax dollars? I guess the question is this: what is the distinction between your position, and the type of anarchy that Karl Marx called for?

This is ours: http://en.wikipedia.org...
This is Marx's: http://en.wikipedia.org...

Aside from the lack of a state they're completely different.

First of all, wikipedia is not a credible source. Second, I'm well-versed in these issues.

You can't pass that off as the only similarity as if it's irrelevant. The absence of a state was a core tenet of the Marxian worldview -- the notion that people should live together harmoniously in a classless society. That's just as utopian and idealistic as the anarchist view that, without a government, the market mechanism will allocate resources such that everyone who is willing to work attains some piece of the pie.

5. What say you to the three decades following WWII, where tax rates where between 70 and 91%, markets were highly regulated, and government invested heavily in infrastructure, education, et al? These were some of the most prosperous decades in American history. In fact, the WWII military buildup is what got us out of the Great Depression. Is this not evidence that bears out the Keynesian case?

There are many, many articles written by those more versed in libertarian philosophy th
progressivedem22
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2/1/2014 11:28:35 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
As for the last comment of yours which I couldn't respond to because I ran out of characters: You clearly punted on that last question. I'm not asking those people to answer my question. I'm asking you, or anyone on DDO for that matter who self-identifies as a libertarian and wants to defend their ideology. You haven't addressed the question of pragmatism at all.

And I think that, beyond all else, is what irks me about libertarianism--and, by extension, libertarians. It isn't rooted in objective academic work, but in hypotheticals, assumptions, and emotions. I'll ask you again: prove to me that your ideology isn't a massive farce.
Korashk
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2/2/2014 4:18:13 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/1/2014 11:23:19 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
Could you be more specific?

A libertarian society could deal with climate change in any way that is consistent with the non-aggression principle. You listed the most common responses in your initial post.

I care, because your ideology--upon which your positions are predicated--is of the utmost importance, and is, in my honest view, the single force driving a laissez-faire approach to such pivotal issues as climate changes.

I don't think you got what that response meant. "Who cares" was just flair to illustrate that it doesn't matter how a libertarian's solutions would function in today's American society because the ideology isn't meant to be implemented in today's American society. In today's American society the libertarian solution wouldn't work, but that's not a valid criticism of libertarianism.

You said "obviously," but this isn't obvious.

It should be if you know anything at all about libertarianism.

Can you point out a "libertarian" society throughout history to clarify your position? I'm not convinced that it has ever be tried, or has ever worked.

The only one I've heard of is Celtic Ireland. I did a quick google and found a kinda sketchy list (http://anarchei.me...), but I wouldn't exactly say that a libertarian society has ever been "tried".

However, in an ideal libertarian society law and order would be governed by contracts and the non-aggression principle and would consist almost entirely of common law, not statutory and administrative.

Also, the idea that there wouldn't be a such thing as public land or interstate commerce--in light of the fact that, without public lands, you literally couldn't have a state capitol--is anarchism. It implies that there ought not be any government at all.

That's correct.

That is not a consistent libertarian principle. From what I have seen, most libertarians are minarchists, not anarcho-capitalists.

On the contrary; anarchism is the only way a libertarian can be consistent in their ideology.

That's a distinction without a difference. But, moving behind semantics, you haven't answered my challenge.

It's actually a distinction with a huge difference, but that's beside the point. I think I have answered. Just because you don't like my answers doesn't mean I didn't answer your questions. Libertarian principles would basically consider polluting the environment in all cases an act of aggression for which the polluter would be liable.

If pollution is messing you us then it is your prerogative to remedy that harm. If nobody wants to, then oh well.

I'm not being disingenuous, though -- I'm responding to the libertarian purist mold that says that, to support any government intervention is wrong because government is a gun. To me, it is devoid of any nuance. Again, provide me with an example of government intervention you would support.

There is no government intervention I would support because government in the sense you refer to it is violent, coercive, and shouldn't exist.

Again, that's a distinction without a difference, so far as I am concerned, because you're presupposing that people are rational and have the capacity to act as such.

Is that really such a hard thing to accept? Humans, some apes, maybe dolphins and ravens are the only animals that exhibit higher brain function. to put it bluntly, those listed animals are the only ones capable of using reason. This is not really a fact you can dispute.

This is clearly not the case -- and, for the record, the neoclassical case against scarcity that I've delineated does presume rational action. In fact, the "rational act" case is a chief argument against fiscal stimulus.

I don't think you're using the term rational in the same way that economists do which basically just means doing what is best for you using the information available to you. You keep mentioning neoclassical economics as if the concept is completely consistent with libertarian ideology when really libertarianism is Austrian.

So, that's a notion consistent with Ayn Rand's philosophy.

I wouldn't know, I'm not an objectivist.

I'm not going to respond to this by asserting that it's immoral, even though I think it is. I just want to point out that many, many libertarians disagree with you on this, and assert that the market mechanism is capable of providing for the poor. Would you disagree with them?

...What are you trying to say here?

I don't disagree that market mechanisms would better care for the poor than the government currently does. Nowhere in my response did I even imply that the poor should go fvck themselves. My response simply stated that people are under no moral obligation to help one another, not that helping people is immoral.

You didn't, actually.

Yes. Asking a billionaire to pay more taxes is immoral for any reason and I do not see any libertarian counter to that statement.

So, no taxes must imply no government. And, again, you're imposing a purity test, while claiming at the same time that it is disingenuous for me to claim that you're clinging to ideology rather than facts. Do you see the flaws in your own logic?

Let me explain it another way. Libertarian principles are clear, but what constitutes a violation of those principles can be up for debate. If you can show me how to tax people without committing an act of aggression then I'll concede my view on this particular issue.

First of all, wikipedia is not a credible source.

Yes it is. Get over yourself. This is an internet forum.

Second, I'm well-versed in these issues.

Then why did you ask the question? The OP sounded like you wanted an informative discussion (which is how I geared my answers), not to get into an argument.

That's just as utopian and idealistic as the anarchist view that, without a government, the market mechanism will allocate resources such that everyone who is willing to work attains some piece of the pie.

That's not the anarcho-capitalist view. The anarcho-capitalist view is for society to function on a voluntary basis and respond accordingly when it doesn't.

At 2/1/2014 11:28:35 PM, progressivedem22 wrote:
As for the last comment of yours which I couldn't respond to because I ran out of characters:

Hit the backspace key, it isn't hard. I responded to the pertinent portions of both your posts in this one with hundreds of characters to spare.

You clearly punted on that last question. I'm not asking those people to answer my question. I'm asking you, or anyone on DDO for that matter who self-identifies as a libertarian and wants to defend their ideology.

Well we aren't philosophers. Everyone here (including you) relies on the works of others to form their ideology.

You haven't addressed the question of pragmatism at all.

Nope. I didn't.

And I think that, beyond all else, is what irks me about libertarianism--and, by extension, libertarians. It isn't rooted in objective academic work, but in hypotheticals, assumptions, and emotions. I'll ask you again: prove to me that your ideology isn't a massive farce.

Maybe be straight and next time I will. Your OP clearly states you wanted to be informed of libertarian positions. Not that you wanted us to rigorously defend them against your veiled criticisms.
When large numbers of otherwise-law abiding people break specific laws en masse, it's usually a fault that lies with the law. - Unknown
progressivedem22
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2/2/2014 8:44:27 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
"A libertarian society could deal with climate change in any way that is consistent with the non-aggression principle. You listed the most common responses in your initial post."

And my response was that this model is highly naive and doesn't account for the fact that (1) human action isn't rational and (2) the market mechanism does not guarantee a sustainable allocation.

"I don't think you got what that response meant. "Who cares" was just flair to illustrate that it doesn't matter how a libertarian's solutions would function in today's American society because the ideology isn't meant to be implemented in today's American society. In today's American society the libertarian solution wouldn't work, but that's not a valid criticism of libertarianism."

I wanted to discuss libertarianism as it pertains to American society because there are people who want to implement it, though their positions are not as anarchist as yours.

"It should be if you know anything at all about libertarianism."

No, this is wrong. The reason it isn't obvious is because you haven't been able to prove that your model works. Anecdotes and hypotheticals are in good fun, but you need to show me how and where it has worked.

The only one I've heard of is Celtic Ireland. I did a quick google and found a kinda sketchy list (http://anarchei.me...), but I wouldn't exactly say that a libertarian society has ever been "tried"

If you don't think it's ever been tried, why support it? A genuine question for you: my model has worked -- why would anyone want to take a risk with yours?

"However, in an ideal libertarian society law and order would be governed by contracts and the non-aggression principle and would consist almost entirely of common law, not statutory and administrative."

Again, this presumes human rationality, and that money and influence won't lead to corrupt legal practices that subvert justice. Moreover, justice would be highly subjective under the system you advocate.

" On the contrary; anarchism is the only way a libertarian can be consistent in their ideology."

Again, do you deny that this is a purity test?

"If pollution is messing you us then it is your prerogative to remedy that harm. If nobody wants to, then oh well."

So, once again, in order to address a looming problem--e.g., climate change--we must assume that people will collectively come together in a free market and choose either not to pollute, to look toward sustainable alternatives, etc. But self-interest would lead people, at least in the short run, away from the collective well-being, and toward their own bottom lines (e.g., energy costs). You must assume that, if sustainable energy is preferable, the invisible hand of the market will prove it so. But you fail to factor in market share and economies of scale. I would sharply disagree with the idea--which I'm sure you endorse--that the only reason monopolies and cartels exist is because of government.

"There is no government intervention I would support because government in the sense you refer to it is violent, coercive, and shouldn't exist."

Again, how is this not a purity test?

"Is that really such a hard thing to accept? Humans, some apes, maybe dolphins and ravens are the only animals that exhibit higher brain function. to put it bluntly, those listed animals are the only ones capable of using reason. This is not really a fact you can dispute."

The fact that I'm disputing is that people are not, collectively, unquestionable rational -- and some people are of a lower mental aptitude than others. In fact, that's the nature of the bell curve.

I don't think you're using the term rational in the same way that economists do which basically just means doing what is best for you using the information available to you. You keep mentioning neoclassical economics as if the concept is completely consistent with libertarian ideology when really libertarianism is Austrian.

Austrian economics is largely predicated on the same assumptions that form the foundation of neoclassical economics. As for the definition of rationality: as an academic myself, who actually writes about this stuff, I can tell you that the textbook definition of rationality is acting according to an established model and exhibiting predictive behavior. Self-interest is another issue entirely.

"I don't disagree that market mechanisms would better care for the poor than the government currently does. Nowhere in my response did I even imply that the poor should go fvck themselves. My response simply stated that people are under no moral obligation to help one another, not that helping people is immoral."

Do you not see though how saying that "people are under no moral obligation to help one another" is the equivalent of telling the poor to go [bleep] themselves?

"Yes. Asking a billionaire to pay more taxes is immoral for any reason and I do not see any libertarian counter to that statement."

Fair enough.

"If you can show me how to tax people without committing an act of aggression then I'll concede my view on this particular issue."

My point isn't even that taxation isn't aggression. Sure, we can call it theft, as it is theft in the conventional sense of the word. The social contract, after all, is only implicit. My point is that, though no one likes paying taxes, the aggression or the "wrong" they constitute is nevertheless morally superior to allowing poor people to starve in the streets. Basically, the case is that "taxes are the price we pay for civilization," as Oliver Wendell Holmes put it.

"Yes it is. Get over yourself. This is an internet forum."

Yes, it's an internet forum where the intention is to have an intellectual debate. You can't do that by simply linking to Wikipedia. I don't care what some random person wrote on wikipedia--I want you to back up your own claims.

"Then why did you ask the question? The OP sounded like you wanted an informative discussion (which is how I geared my answers), not to get into an argument."

Is there much of a distinction between an informative discussion and an argument? Of course I'm going to challenge your claims. That's the intention.

"That's not the anarcho-capitalist view. The anarcho-capitalist view is for society to function on a voluntary basis and respond accordingly when it doesn't."

I suppose I see no distinction there. How would society respond accordingly when collective action itself is restrained by a call for self-interest? Moreover, how could a problem--say, pollution--be rectified without a government-run court system to use "force" to tell a polluter to stop polluting on someone else's land?

"Maybe be straight and next time I will. Your OP clearly states you wanted to be informed of libertarian positions. Not that you wanted us to rigorously defend them against your veiled criticisms."

I'm being as straight as I possibly can be, and my criticisms are not veiled. My core thesis in my first post was very clear. That you didn't expect me to challenge your claims--but instead allow you to make these claims as if they ought to be assumed to be true, unchallenged--is troubling to me. I don't want to merely be informed about your positions; I've been listening to libertarians for quite some time. I want to see how they could actually be effective or pragmatic. In essence, the thread was directed at a minarchist, who I think would be more inclined to suggest that these policies could be implemented in the modern day.

Again, I don't know why you're being so hostile toward someone who took the time to challenge it. Could it be that your position is so devoid of nuance that, in order to feel comfortable with your own ideology, you must associate only with those who confirm your core beliefs? That wasn't intended to be an attack -- I'm genuinely curious.
Korashk
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2/2/2014 11:26:07 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
This is going to be my last reply to you because we aren't communicating effectively. You aren't comprehending things I'm saying and I'm not comprehending things that you're saying and its both our faults.

At 2/2/2014 8:44:27 AM, progressivedem22 wrote:
And my response was that this model is highly naive and doesn't account for the fact that (1) human action isn't rational and (2) the market mechanism does not guarantee a sustainable allocation.

You're the one making ridiculous assumptions here by claiming that humans don't act rationally. Libertarianism doesn't claim that humans always behave rationally, but it's quite evident that we often do.

To your second point, so what? Nobody is making that claim but you in your constant strawman of libertarian beliefs.

No, this is wrong. The reason it isn't obvious is because you haven't been able to prove that your model works.

One can look at libertarian principles and reason that the legal system would be different. It's not hard.

Anecdotes and hypotheticals are in good fun, but you need to show me how and where it has worked.

Not to answer the question you've been asking here.

If you don't think it's ever been tried, why support it?

I can't even think of a response to a question this stupid.

So, once again, in order to address a looming problem--e.g., climate change--we must assume that people will collectively come together in a free market and choose either not to pollute, to look toward sustainable alternatives, etc.

You don't have to assume it if you don't want to. That's what we assume would happen, but it it doesn't then oh well.

Again, do you deny that this is a purity test?
Again, how is this not a purity test?

I don't even know what you're asking here. Literally no idea.

The fact that I'm disputing is that people are not, collectively, unquestionable rational

Nobody but you has even come remotely close to claiming that. You're arguing against a strawman.

I can tell you that the textbook definition of rationality is acting according to an established model and exhibiting predictive behavior.

So you admit that you're using a different definition. I believe the fallacy here is equivocation.

Do you not see though how saying that "people are under no moral obligation to help one another" is the equivalent of telling the poor to go [bleep] themselves?

I don't see how it's the same because it isn't the same. It's not my fault you stubbornly claim to think the two phrases have the same meaning even though they clearly don't.

Yes, it's an internet forum where the intention is to have an intellectual debate. You can't do that by simply linking to Wikipedia. I don't care what some random person wrote on wikipedia--I want you to back up your own claims.

I didn't make a claim in the initial response.

Is there much of a distinction between an informative discussion and an argument?

Yes. I'm sorry you don't think so.

I suppose I see no distinction there.

From our brief conversation here I think you have a really hard time realizing that similar things are in fact different.

How would society respond accordingly when collective action itself is restrained by a call for self-interest?

Libertarianism only restrains collective action in the sense that you refer. Nothing stops people from working together in groups.

Moreover, how could a problem--say, pollution--be rectified without a government-run court system to use "force" to tell a polluter to stop polluting on someone else's land?

It would use a privately funded court and police system to do so.

Again, I don't know why you're being so hostile toward someone who took the time to challenge it.

Because you didn't challenge it until your second response. My problem is with how you chose to attack libertarianism, not that you did.
When large numbers of otherwise-law abiding people break specific laws en masse, it's usually a fault that lies with the law. - Unknown
progressivedem22
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2/2/2014 11:58:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
"You're the one making ridiculous assumptions here by claiming that humans don't act rationally. Libertarianism doesn't claim that humans always behave rationally, but it's quite evident that we often do."

I never claimed that. I said it's an assumption to say that humans, by design, act rationally. Often isn't enough to justify the model.

"To your second point, so what? Nobody is making that claim but you in your constant strawman of libertarian beliefs."

It wasn't a strawman. I'm responding directly to libertarian convictions.

"One can look at libertarian principles and reason that the legal system would be different. It's not hard."

I'm fully aware that your principles would theoretically culminate in a different legal system than we currently have. The key word is "theoretically."

"I can't even think of a response to a question this stupid."

Call it stupid all you'd like, but I think it's perfectly valid. Does that make me stupid? I'm looking at your contentions and wondering whether they could ever work because I tend to base my views on reality and factual evidence, not fairy tales

"You don't have to assume it if you don't want to. That's what we assume would happen, but it it doesn't then oh well."

And there's my initial point: You either have to deny climate change, or care not for addressing it. If you believed it's a genuine threat to the human race, your response would be a bit more than "oh well."

"I don't even know what you're asking here. Literally no idea."

You said that, in order to be a libertarian, you cannot support the institution of a state. That's a purity test--minarchists, by your definition, are not as pure as you.

"Nobody but you has even come remotely close to claiming that. You're arguing against a strawman."

You said that, as a general rule, people are rational. That's what I'm disputing, and your model hinges on it being true.

"So you admit that you're using a different definition. I believe the fallacy here is equivocation."

Well, I think the definition is fairly cut-and-dry, but ok.

"I don't see how it's the same because it isn't the same. It's not my fault you stubbornly claim to think the two phrases have the same meaning even though they clearly don't."

I don't see it as stubborn when your response to calamities--such as climate change and poverty--is "oh well." You're proving my point, actually.

"Yes. I'm sorry you don't think so."

The key distinction, if I accept that there is one, is that, in the case of an informed discussion, I'm not going to argue against your position, but instead challenge your contentions and ask you to clarify where necessary. I'm sorry if you see that as an argument.

"From our brief conversation here I think you have a really hard time realizing that similar things are in fact different."

Ad hominem, and quite uncalled for.

"Libertarianism only restrains collective action in the sense that you refer. Nothing stops people from working together in groups."

There is no evidence whatsoever that a genuine--and I'd like to put emphasis on that word--free market predated a government. Hunter-gather societies or tribes would hardly qualify. So I'm unconvinced that, without a government, the type of collective action toward some end would prevail, and that power would be available to those who worked hard and earned, rather than those who acquired it by birthright.

"It would use a privately funded court and police system to do so."

Which brings me back to the question: "Has this ever been tried?" Again, I want to work with reality, not with fairy tales. What binding power would a private court even have? What ability to use force--yes, that evil word--would a private police force have?

"Because you didn't challenge it until your second response. My problem is with how you chose to attack libertarianism, not that you did."

This entire topic was intended as a challenge to libertarianism. I sorry you didn't see that, and expected me not to press you on your bizarre claims.
wrichcirw
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2/4/2014 3:41:21 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
No offense to either party here... I reported the following personal attacks:

Get over yourself.

I can't even think of a response to a question this stupid.

These originally made me reticent about participating in this thread.

---

From my sig:

"My understanding is that moderation here is becoming more pro-active in enforcing the TOS, which for me is a welcome development. As of 2/4/2014, I've decided to cease reciprocal exchanges of uncivil behavior, and to instead report violations immediately."
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
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2/4/2014 3:58:47 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
@ the OP

I largely agree that what currently constitutes libertarianism is rooted in "hypotheticals, assumptions, and emotions" as opposed to valid argumentation, which is a shame because I do think that the underlying philosophy (classical liberalism) is quite sound.

To my knowledge I don't think the founders advocated for anarchy...they only advocated for representative government, which they saw as a necessary evil. Key word here is necessary.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Korashk
Posts: 4,597
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2/4/2014 4:49:23 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/4/2014 3:41:21 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
No offense to either party here... I reported the following personal attacks:

Get over yourself.

I can't even think of a response to a question this stupid.


These originally made me reticent about participating in this thread.

---

From my sig:

"My understanding is that moderation here is becoming more pro-active in enforcing the TOS, which for me is a welcome development. As of 2/4/2014, I've decided to cease reciprocal exchanges of uncivil behavior, and to instead report violations immediately."

Okay. I don't see why you felt the need to point it out instead of reporting it and moving on.

Also neither of those are personal attacks. One is me being flippant because of his dismissal of Wikipedia and the other is a condescending response to what I consider an incredibly foolish question.
When large numbers of otherwise-law abiding people break specific laws en masse, it's usually a fault that lies with the law. - Unknown
Korashk
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2/4/2014 4:50:32 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
Also, if you're going to quote me; actually quote me.
When large numbers of otherwise-law abiding people break specific laws en masse, it's usually a fault that lies with the law. - Unknown
wrichcirw
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2/4/2014 4:53:18 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/4/2014 4:49:23 AM, Korashk wrote:
At 2/4/2014 3:41:21 AM, wrichcirw wrote:

Okay. I don't see why you felt the need to point it out instead of reporting it and moving on.

I don't want to derail this thread any further, so if you have any protests about my comments, you're more than welcome to post them here:

http://www.debate.org...

As it is, I think pointing them out in public, especially when they are already public, is proper.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
wrichcirw
Posts: 11,196
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2/4/2014 5:00:27 AM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/4/2014 4:50:32 AM, Korashk wrote:
Also, if you're going to quote me; actually quote me.

I did not want to point you out directly, but if you insist...


At 2/2/2014 4:18:13 AM, Korashk wrote:
Get over yourself.

At 2/2/2014 11:26:07 PM, Korashk wrote:
I can't even think of a response to a question this stupid.
At 8/9/2013 9:41:24 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
If you are civil with me, I will be civil to you. If you decide to bring unreasonable animosity to bear in a reasonable discussion, then what would you expect other than to get flustered?
Fox-McCloud
Posts: 158
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2/4/2014 12:35:44 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
Libertarians are generally unable to follow their ideology to its logical consequences.
Abortion Is Generally Morally Reprehensible: http://www.debate.org...

The instant we feel anger we have already ceased striving for the truth, and have begun striving for ourselves - Archibald Alison

Bliss was it in that dawn to be alive, but to be young was very heaven! - William Wordsworth
Wocambs
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2/4/2014 4:16:19 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/4/2014 3:58:47 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
@ the OP

I largely agree that what currently constitutes libertarianism is rooted in "hypotheticals, assumptions, and emotions" as opposed to valid argumentation, which is a shame because I do think that the underlying philosophy (classical liberalism) is quite sound.

To my knowledge I don't think the founders advocated for anarchy...they only advocated for representative government, which they saw as a necessary evil. Key word here is necessary.

Ironic that 'liberals' would have such a desire to be dominated.
progressivedem22
Posts: 1,304
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2/4/2014 4:44:03 PM
Posted: 2 years ago
At 2/4/2014 4:49:23 AM, Korashk wrote:
At 2/4/2014 3:41:21 AM, wrichcirw wrote:
No offense to either party here... I reported the following personal attacks:

Get over yourself.

I can't even think of a response to a question this stupid.


These originally made me reticent about participating in this thread.

---

From my sig:

"My understanding is that moderation here is becoming more pro-active in enforcing the TOS, which for me is a welcome development. As of 2/4/2014, I've decided to cease reciprocal exchanges of uncivil behavior, and to instead report violations immediately."

Okay. I don't see why you felt the need to point it out instead of reporting it and moving on.

Also neither of those are personal attacks. One is me being flippant because of his dismissal of Wikipedia and the other is a condescending response to what I consider an incredibly foolish question.

I dismissed Wikipedia because I'm an academic -- I've been taught to eschew utter nonsense. In fact, I've been strenuously planning out my next debate because, in the last several I've been involved in, my opponents would use nonsensical sources: pro-life Christian websites to justify their anti-abortion views, the Mises Institutes to justify tax cuts, et al.

You can consider the question stupid all you'd like. Frankly, I don't think you have any right to condescend to me, or to anyone. I wanted to work within the framework of reality -- for goodness' sake, my first post has the word "pragmatism" -- and you gave me tired platitudes and fairy tales. Then, you were incensed that I even dared to question you. Perhaps my point about "living in a bubble" carried some weight.