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Old 08-09-2015, 06:49 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
3,801 posts, read 1,044,433 times
Reputation: 834

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Someone posted an article earlier and I said I'd reply to it, but the thread was closed for some reason. I thought I'd post my responses here in case someone wants to keep that conversation going.

The article: Studying human psychology turned me into a political liberal - Quartz

Ok here's the first part of my reply:

First, understand that libertarianism is a moral philosophy based on the non-aggression principle and the respect for property rights. There are Libertarians (like Ron Paul and those in the Libertarian Party) who are "minarchist" libertarians, believing that government is a necessary evil, but we need it for a few basic things like defense, courts, etc...and there are anarchist libertarians (I consider myself one) who don't accept ANY violation of those principles, and who believe the state is inherently immoral and destructive by its very nature. I mention this because some will say libertarians are not anarchists, but there are both types that fall under the libertarian philosophy...just depends on how consistent you are.

Now for the article, it's mostly consequentialist and ignores the moral side of things. The pure libertarian argument is that it's wrong to initiate violence and to steal, and this article is sort of a strawman because it doesn't address that. It just takes the approach of "this wouldn't work" or "this would work better". It's like you saying "you shouldn't point a gun at someone and take their wallet" and I respond with "well I think society would be better off if I steal wallets because ____. Now explain how your non-stealing idea would work better than mine." The thing is, you're simply arguing that it's wrong to do that. You're not saying "_____ would be solved by not stealing". Same thing for libertarians vs statists. The main idea is that it's wrong to violate people's natural rights. Every person owns themselves.

That said, I'll respond to the article directly in the next post...
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Old 08-09-2015, 06:50 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
3,801 posts, read 1,044,433 times
Reputation: 834
Quote:
The libertarian worldview assumes that each of us is a homo libertus, a creature that acts with its full mental capacity all the time, reasoning through every decision in terms of its complete implications for the individual’s values and well-being.
No it doesn't. It says it's wrong to initiate force and to steal.

Quote:
A perfect libertarian society wouldn’t need laws to protect the environment, for example, because each homo libertus would consider the impact on the environment of every decision that he or she makes. Society’s care for the environment would be reflected automatically in the choices of its citizens.
No. The idea is that if a healthy environment is desirable, people will naturally try to keep it healthy. If people don't think that's important, they won't do anything about it.

Quote:
One of social psychology’s most powerful insights is that humans are not homo liberti. Thinking about ourselves in this way is alluring, but also mistaken. We are not radical individuals; we are social creatures. We do not think logically at all times; we take shortcuts. We do not always consider the future. And even when we do, we are biased by the present context.
We are social creatures, obviously, and libertarians don't disagree with that. We believe in social cooperation rather than forcing our opinions on everyone else. The fallacy is people thinking "if you're against the government doing something, you don't want it done at all". That isn't even close to being true.

Quote:
Implicit biases, including ones that go against our overt beliefs, can sneak into life-and-death decisions. This knowledge convinced me that giving even the most well-intentioned people total liberty with guns leads to outcomes that violate equality and justice.
So the government isn't made up of those same people? If this were valid, NOBODY should be allowed to have guns. Gun control doesn't take guns out of the hands of criminals, and it doesn't take guns out of the hands of government agents like police and military. Are they somehow immune to these biases?

Quote:
Even when victims are equally identifiable, we tend to give less money when there are more of them. If a homo libertus cared enough to donate $X to one person, then he would donate at least that much to two people. The fact that real humans act in the opposite way made me realize that formalizing our support for those in need through foreign aid and similar policies is a logical way for people in our society to ensure that we act on our charitable intentions.
First, it's not charity if you have money stolen from you and given to someone else. Second, do you need someone pointing a gun at your head to give to people in need? And what makes the people holding the gun exempt from this phenomenon?

You have over half the country voting for a welfare state and foreign aid, plus many like me who believe in it but won't vote for the state to handle it, so why do we need a small group of people taking the money, filtering it through a bunch of bureaucrats who skim some off the top for salary and other costs, and then giving it to people who may or may not even need it? Just let people donate directly.

Quote:
But in this world, where we do not, the fact that some people are saddled with deficits whose seeds were sown before birth undermines the libertarian assumption that people are capable, autonomous decision-makers.
You're dealt the cards you're dealt at birth. There is no changing that fact, and it's nobody's fault. Nobody is owed anything because of it. However, I do believe in helping those people. I just don't believe it's ok to force someone else to help if they don't want to. They aren't obligated to, although we may think they're selfish. That doesn't give us the right to threaten them with violence.

Last edited by T0103E; 08-09-2015 at 07:02 PM..
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Old 08-09-2015, 07:08 PM
 
60,922 posts, read 24,067,276 times
Reputation: 11889
Quote:
Originally Posted by T0103E View Post
Someone posted an article earlier and I said I'd reply to it, but the thread was closed for some reason. I thought I'd post my responses here in case someone wants to keep that conversation going.

The article: Studying human psychology turned me into a political liberal - Quartz

Ok here's the first part of my reply:

First, understand that libertarianism is a moral philosophy based on the non-aggression principle and the respect for property rights. There are Libertarians (like Ron Paul and those in the Libertarian Party) who are "minarchist" libertarians, believing that government is a necessary evil, but we need it for a few basic things like defense, courts, etc...and there are anarchist libertarians (I consider myself one) who don't accept ANY violation of those principles, and who believe the state is inherently immoral and destructive by its very nature. I mention this because some will say libertarians are not anarchists, but there are both types that fall under the libertarian philosophy...just depends on how consistent you are.
So why do you feel the need to preface what you are by adding "libertarian"? Why not just go with Anarchist? (Who all don't believe the exact same thing either)

P.S. I think you somewhat explain this in the rest but I'll leave the question anyway.
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Old 08-09-2015, 07:39 PM
 
Location: Madison, WI
3,801 posts, read 1,044,433 times
Reputation: 834
Quote:
Originally Posted by pknopp View Post
So why do you feel the need to preface what you are by adding "libertarian"? Why not just go with Anarchist? (Who all don't believe the exact same thing either)

P.S. I think you somewhat explain this in the rest but I'll leave the question anyway.
What makes libertarianism libertarianism is those two fundamental principles. That's where the whole philosophy comes from, and in its purest, most consistent form, that means no state at all. The reason we still refer to minarchists as libertarians is because they also believe in those principles, but they still believe we need a state...just in its most minimal form.

I've actually heard it said that full-blown statists have more in common with minarchists than anarchist libertarians do, since the fundamental idea is that people own themselves. Anyone believing that one person has the right to rule over another loses the game altogether...from the anarchist perspective. That's another topic though.

I like to say anarchist libertarian because it's accurate, but also because there are the more well-known anarchists who are more socialist in nature and reject capitalism. Anarcho-communists vs. Anarcho-capitalists, basically. I don't want people to think I'm collectivist.
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Old 08-09-2015, 07:42 PM
 
60,922 posts, read 24,067,276 times
Reputation: 11889
Yeah, understood and this is a good rebuttal to the first thread. Few if any are book definition purists concerning any set of beliefs.

One can't argue against some clinical definition and think you accomplished anything and anyone who would claim to follow any belief would know they were not following a pure, clinical definition of that belief.
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