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Why Are So Many "Nerds" Libertarians?

AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
edited September 2007 in Debate and/or Discourse
A recent /. post posits this question.

Personally, I think it's because the nature of the ideology, as well as it's presented, tends to make it attractive to people who feel both isolated from others and feels that they are somehow "superior". And I don't think that a lot of nerds are - just that the ones that are tend to not shut up ever. Also, the traditionally "nerdy" professions tend to be solitary, which causes people to tend to forget about how people are interconnected. Finally, the growth of "nerdom" occured during a period of relative stability in society, so the group as a whole never faced the sorts of persecution that other groups may have faced, and as such, never developed a true common identity.

But enough about what I think - what do you think?

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    fightinfilipinofightinfilipino Angry as Hell #BLMRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    because of an endearingly but annoyingly simplistic worldview that, for many "nerds" breaks down complex issues into the 0's and 1's they are used to in mathematics, engineering, computing, and other "nerd" fields?




    libertarianism seems to disregard the chaotic human element entirely. it's naive.

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    Irond WillIrond Will WARNING: NO HURTFUL COMMENTS, PLEASE!!!!! Cambridge. MAModerator mod
    edited September 2007
    Basically what Filipino said. Libertarianism supplies a simple, closed-form, elegant "solution" to all the problems of governance. It appeals to bright analytical people who want to have a good, complete "system" without having to devote too much time or mental energy to the thousands of idiosyncrasies and foibles of actual real-life politics and governance.

    That and also the contingent of people who fancy themselves as John Galts, held back by the poisonous jealous altruism of our compromised society.

    Irond Will on
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    QinguQingu Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Let's not be too mean to nerds. Libertarianism assumes (or works best when it assumes) that human beings are wholly rational actors who keep their interests in mind. Assuming that "nerds" tend to be very rational people, they may simply be self-projecting their own rationality onto others, which explains the appeal of libertarianism to them.

    Qingu on
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    nexuscrawlernexuscrawler Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    also young intellectuals of all sorts are the most resentful of censorship in all it's forms

    nexuscrawler on
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    SithDrummerSithDrummer Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Qingu wrote: »
    they may simply be self-projecting their own rationality onto others
    Ironically, this in and of itself is quite irrational!

    SithDrummer on
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    SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I'm not convinced that all that many nerds are libertarians. That slashdot post is just classic "All my friends like Ron Paul and the plural of anecdote is data right?" thinking.

    But insofar as there's any correlation between nerds and Libertarianism, I suspect a preference for neat and simple solutions, so popular in comp sci, math, and physics, coupled with a whole lot of sheltered naivety about the way the world really is.

    Senjutsu on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Heh, I always like watching libertarians talk about smoking. They never get how much they come off as hypocrites.

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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Why do I think slashdot has a large Libertarian group? Because most of them don't talk to people.

    And they are generally young, well-educated and intelligent. And thusly, because they require so little from anyone else to function, they see the Government more as a constraint than anything else.

    The nice thing about Libertarians is that generally they have shit to do (unlike Communists and Anarchists) and they'll mostly just leave you alone.

    Mithrandir86 on
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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2007
    Far as I can tell, most of them carry a secret belief that they're superior to other people (chiefly, the kind of people who don't use computers for anything more complex than myspace) and would be top of the heap in the inevitable neo-feudal system that would emerge from a lack of government. King-of-the-castle fantasy.

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    AlectharAlecthar Alan Shore We're not territorial about that sort of thing, are we?Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    You can also see this trend in Science Fiction and Fantasy writing. Publisher Baen Books is particularly guilty of this. I imagine that, in this specific case, part of the bias was the leanings of the late Jim Baen, but he managed to build an impressive stable of like-minded writers, and it sells well to the "nerds". Simplistic solutions that create amazing worlds make people feel good. It's a lot like reading Ayn Rand, only not as frigging boring, and with spaceships and lasers. Even the tendency to demonize the non-libertarian characters survives. It's honestly fairly pitiful, because it indicates a great deal about the simplicity of the author's mind.

    Alecthar on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Far as I can tell, most of them carry a secret belief that they're superior to other people (chiefly, the kind of people who don't use computers for anything more complex than myspace) and would be top of the heap in the inevitable neo-feudal system that would emerge from a lack of government. King-of-the-castle fantasy.

    Yeah, I'd have to agree with that. And they get REALLY pissy when people who they feel "don't get technology" tell them what to do. What makes it better is, as others have pointed out, they tend to be insulated from the vagaries of reality. The monoculture aspect is another problem - I love how /. goes all frothy when people point out how few women are in OSS and that might be a problem.

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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    The Cat wrote: »
    Far as I can tell, most of them carry a secret belief that they're superior to other people (chiefly, the kind of people who don't use computers for anything more complex than myspace) and would be top of the heap in the inevitable neo-feudal system that would emerge from a lack of government. King-of-the-castle fantasy.

    Yes. This.

    When in reality in the economic (and actual, depending how extreme their libertarian views) Thunderdome they so desperately want to bring about they'd be lucky to even end up somebody's bitch.

    mcdermott on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    And here's a great anon quote:
    Anyone who thinks that taxing people for the purpose of, say, running hospitals, equals "widescale political terror" is someone who should not be taken seriously. And they aren't. Funny how that works.

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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I think that a many of you are confusing Anarcho-capitalism with Libertarianism. Which is similar to confusing Progressives with Communists.

    And not all Libertarians are Objectivists (although many view Ayn Rand's work favorably).

    I think that a lot of the Government hating is due to perception of the various rational things that you are forbidden to do and the multitude of silly things that you are forced to do. To use an analogy that the slashdot community might like, the current state of Government is like the state of a Windows machine that you let your 13-year-old sister use for 2 years. The only way to save the machine is to format the HD and start over. [/geekout]

    Mithrandir86 on
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    GenoForPrezGenoForPrez Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    I'm not convinced that all that many nerds are libertarians. That slashdot post is just classic "All my friends like Ron Paul and the plural of anecdote is data right?" thinking.

    But insofar as there's any correlation between nerds and Libertarianism, I suspect a preference for neat and simple solutions, so popular in comp sci, math, and physics, coupled with a whole lot of sheltered naivety about the way the world really is.


    I'm also not convinced that "most nerds are libertarians".

    How do you define a nerd? If you already have a preconceived notion of what constitutes "a nerd", and that preconceived notion includes a libertarian sentiment, then the answer to your question is this:

    They are libertarians because they are libertarians.

    GenoForPrez on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I'm also not convinced that "most nerds are libertarians".

    How do you define a nerd? If you already have a preconceived notion of what constitutes "a nerd", and that preconceived notion includes a libertarian sentiment, then the answer to your question is this:

    They are libertarians because they are libertarians.

    I'm not convinced either, but I don't think your reasoning is correct. I define "nerd" in ways that have nothing to do with libertarianism, yet I've noticed at least some correlation between "nerdiness" and a higher-than-usual rate of libertarianism (to varying degrees)...both at school, here, and on other forums.

    I just think "most" is a pretty extreme exaggeration. "Many," or maybe "more than usual."

    mcdermott on
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    Original RufusOriginal Rufus Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    It isn't helpful that not many people, even those who call themselves libertarians, seem to agree on a definition of what exactly a libertarian is.

    Most people who bash them just see them as extra elitist republicans, while most people who don the title, in my experience, would just as soon call themselves independents. Whatever.

    Original Rufus on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    I'd be willing to bet that, among nerds (for any reasonable definition of "nerd") there will be a rate of libertarianism higher than that of the population. This does not mean that most libertarians are nerds, or that most nerds are libertarians.
    I think that a many of you are confusing Anarcho-capitalism with Libertarianism. Which is similar to confusing Progressives with Communists.

    I see nothing in the thread to suggest this.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    KaputaKaputa Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Heh, I always like watching libertarians talk about smoking. They never get how much they come off as hypocrites.
    This is just me being ignorant, but can you elaborate on this?

    Kaputa on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited September 2007
    I don't know if anyone's saying most nerds are libertarians - just that you tend to find a higher than normal percentage of libertarians among nerds. The popularity, as mentioned above, of libertarian sci-fi, and libertarian newsgroups, mailing lists, websites, etc.
    Simplistic solutions that create amazing worlds make people feel good. It's a lot like reading Ayn Rand, only not as frigging boring, and with spaceships and lasers. Even the tendency to demonize the non-libertarian characters survives. It's honestly fairly pitiful, because it indicates a great deal about the simplicity of the author's mind.

    Warren Ellis once defined this as "get rid of taxes today and everyone gets a spaceship tomorrow!" Which is, I think, sadly close to the truth.

    Jacobkosh on
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    SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Oh, and self-flattery, which everybody loves to indulge in.

    "The solution is so simple, and yet these lesser being do not perceive it. Oh the cleverness that is me."

    It's a safe and cozy version of it too, because they're never likely to have their ideas seriously tested in practice.

    Senjutsu on
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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    I'd be willing to bet that, among nerds (for any reasonable definition of "nerd") there will be a rate of libertarianism higher than that of the population. This does not mean that most libertarians are nerds, or that most nerds are libertarians.
    I think that a many of you are confusing Anarcho-capitalism with Libertarianism. Which is similar to confusing Progressives with Communists.

    I see nothing in the thread to suggest this.
    mcdermott wrote: »

    When in reality in the economic (and actual, depending how extreme their libertarian views) Thunderdome they so desperately want to bring about they'd be lucky to even end up somebody's bitch.

    The ideal Libertarian future doesn't look like Mad Max, and (if its done right) doesn't change the perceivable world at all nor does it rely on changing human nature.

    Edit: I'm pretty moderate, however.

    Mithrandir86 on
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    GenoForPrezGenoForPrez Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    I'm also not convinced that "most nerds are libertarians".

    How do you define a nerd? If you already have a preconceived notion of what constitutes "a nerd", and that preconceived notion includes a libertarian sentiment, then the answer to your question is this:

    They are libertarians because they are libertarians.

    I'm not convinced either, but I don't think your reasoning is correct. I define "nerd" in ways that have nothing to do with libertarianism, yet I've noticed at least some correlation between "nerdiness" and a higher-than-usual rate of libertarianism (to varying degrees)...both at school, here, and on other forums.

    I just think "most" is a pretty extreme exaggeration. "Many," or maybe "more than usual."


    I see nothing wrong with my reasoning. It was a perfectly valid statement. You simply failed to realize that it's a conditional statement.

    If you already have a preconceived notion of what constitutes "a nerd", and that preconceived notion includes a libertarian sentiment, then the answer to your question is this...."


    "If" is a very important word. Especially in this case where it apparently means that this doesn't apply to you.

    I wasn't saying that everyone has it wrong. I simply said that if this (see my quote above) is how people are coming to this conclusion, then it's just circular reasoning.

    I'm still not convinced though. I've known nerds that were libertarian and I've known nerds that weren't. Until I see some statistics or some other solid evidence other than "most of the nerds I have met seemed to be libertarians", then I'll continue to suspend judgment on the matter.

    GenoForPrez on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    When in reality in the economic (and actual, depending how extreme their libertarian views) Thunderdome they so desperately want to bring about they'd be lucky to even end up somebody's bitch.

    The ideal Libertarian future doesn't look like Mad Max, and (if its done right) doesn't change the perceivable world at all nor does it rely on changing human nature.

    I think "Thunderdome" was meant as a metaphor.

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.

    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
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    Original RufusOriginal Rufus Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    I'd be willing to bet that, among nerds (for any reasonable definition of "nerd") there will be a rate of libertarianism higher than that of the population. This does not mean that most libertarians are nerds, or that most nerds are libertarians.
    I think that a many of you are confusing Anarcho-capitalism with Libertarianism. Which is similar to confusing Progressives with Communists.

    I see nothing in the thread to suggest this.
    mcdermott wrote: »

    When in reality in the economic (and actual, depending how extreme their libertarian views) Thunderdome they so desperately want to bring about they'd be lucky to even end up somebody's bitch.

    The ideal Libertarian future doesn't look like Mad Max, and (if its done right) doesn't change the perceivable world at all nor does it rely on changing human nature.

    Edit: I'm pretty moderate, however.

    Would you agree if I said that a moderate Libertarian just believes in a small, mostly fiscally conservative government with socially liberal practices?

    Original Rufus on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited September 2007
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    "The solution is so simple, and yet these lesser being do not perceive it. Oh the cleverness that is me."

    Yes. And I think this explains the popularity of simplistic right-wing economics among CS majors who take a semester of Intro to Econ. "It's just like physics - only with money! They've got graphs and everything, it must be true!"

    Jacobkosh on
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    SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    "The solution is so simple, and yet these lesser being do not perceive it. Oh the cleverness that is me."

    Yes. And I think this explains the popularity of simplistic right-wing economics among CS majors who take a semester of Intro to Econ. "It's just like physics - only with money! They've got graphs and everything, it must be true!"

    Intro to Microeconomics is the ultimate proof that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    Senjutsu on
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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    mcdermott wrote: »
    When in reality in the economic (and actual, depending how extreme their libertarian views) Thunderdome they so desperately want to bring about they'd be lucky to even end up somebody's bitch.

    The ideal Libertarian future doesn't look like Mad Max, and (if its done right) doesn't change the perceivable world at all nor does it rely on changing human nature.

    I think "Thunderdome" was meant as a metaphor.

    I know. I don't like the metaphor. The complete absence of Government implies anarchism, not libertarianism. There are lot of Government offices one could remove, with no perceivable change in the lives of the majority, before one starts messing around with social protections.

    Mithrandir86 on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    The Cat wrote: »
    Far as I can tell, most of them carry a secret belief that they're superior to other people (chiefly, the kind of people who don't use computers for anything more complex than myspace) and would be top of the heap in the inevitable neo-feudal system that would emerge from a lack of government. King-of-the-castle fantasy.

    Yes. This.

    When in reality in the economic (and actual, depending how extreme their libertarian views) Thunderdome they so desperately want to bring about they'd be lucky to even end up somebody's bitch.

    I hang out with a lot of engineers, and this seems to be where a large portion of their fascination with libertarianism is rooted. They think "oh hey, look how the world we live in couldn't even exist without us, and how the average person can't even change out bad RAM, clearly they need us" and assume that this means they'll be placed in a position of power and priviledge rather than a small cage with a desk and a computer running AutoCAD watched over by a fanatic with a cattle-prod, earning special priviledges like "pants" or "a bucket in the corner" to figure out a way to route most of the nearest water-supply to the village they're in and away from neighboring villages.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    I'd be willing to bet that, among nerds (for any reasonable definition of "nerd") there will be a rate of libertarianism higher than that of the population. This does not mean that most libertarians are nerds, or that most nerds are libertarians.
    I think that a many of you are confusing Anarcho-capitalism with Libertarianism. Which is similar to confusing Progressives with Communists.

    I see nothing in the thread to suggest this.
    mcdermott wrote: »

    When in reality in the economic (and actual, depending how extreme their libertarian views) Thunderdome they so desperately want to bring about they'd be lucky to even end up somebody's bitch.

    The ideal Libertarian future doesn't look like Mad Max, and (if its done right) doesn't change the perceivable world at all nor does it rely on changing human nature.

    Edit: I'm pretty moderate, however.

    Would you agree if I said that a moderate Libertarian just believes in a small, mostly fiscally conservative government with socially liberal practices?

    My idea of heaven.

    Mithrandir86 on
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    ThaumaturgistThaumaturgist Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Senjutsu wrote: »
    I'm not convinced that all that many nerds are libertarians. That slashdot post is just classic "All my friends like Ron Paul and the plural of anecdote is data right?" thinking.

    But insofar as there's any correlation between nerds and Libertarianism, I suspect a preference for neat and simple solutions, so popular in comp sci, math, and physics, coupled with a whole lot of sheltered naivety about the way the world really is.


    I'm also not convinced that "most nerds are libertarians".

    How do you define a nerd? If you already have a preconceived notion of what constitutes "a nerd", and that preconceived notion includes a libertarian sentiment, then the answer to your question is this:

    They are libertarians because they are libertarians.

    Yeah, I hear a lot of anecdotal evidence, but I have yet to see anything convincing. All Indians walk in single file, or at least the one I saw did.
    mcdermott wrote:
    I'm not convinced either, but I don't think your reasoning is correct. I define "nerd" in ways that have nothing to do with libertarianism, yet I've noticed at least some correlation between "nerdiness" and a higher-than-usual rate of libertarianism (to varying degrees)...both at school, here, and on other forums.
    .
    Noticing a correlation isn't the same as there actually being a clear correlation (r > .5).

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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited September 2007
    I know. I don't like the metaphor. The complete absence of Government implies anarchism, not libertarianism. There are lot of Government offices one could remove, with no perceivable change in the lives of the majority, before one starts messing around with social protections.

    Thunderdome had a government, sort of. I think rather than assuming that people here "just don't get" libertarianism - and thus need it re-explained for them - you might find it more useful to figure that Feral, et al know perfectly well what it is and don't care for it.

    Jacobkosh on
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    Original RufusOriginal Rufus Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    I'd be willing to bet that, among nerds (for any reasonable definition of "nerd") there will be a rate of libertarianism higher than that of the population. This does not mean that most libertarians are nerds, or that most nerds are libertarians.
    I think that a many of you are confusing Anarcho-capitalism with Libertarianism. Which is similar to confusing Progressives with Communists.

    I see nothing in the thread to suggest this.
    mcdermott wrote: »

    When in reality in the economic (and actual, depending how extreme their libertarian views) Thunderdome they so desperately want to bring about they'd be lucky to even end up somebody's bitch.

    The ideal Libertarian future doesn't look like Mad Max, and (if its done right) doesn't change the perceivable world at all nor does it rely on changing human nature.

    Edit: I'm pretty moderate, however.

    Would you agree if I said that a moderate Libertarian just believes in a small, mostly fiscally conservative government with socially liberal practices?

    My idea of heaven.

    See, this is what I'm trying to get my head around. What I've described is essentially how I've always seen Libertarianism: an apparently moderate take on politics, which is why I always listen very carefully when I hear detractors speak.

    Superficially, that description is a perfectly reasonable philosophy, so I suppose I'd like to know where the other shoe tends to drop with these people who apparently make it seem so ignorant.

    Original Rufus on
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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    I know. I don't like the metaphor. The complete absence of Government implies anarchism, not libertarianism. There are lot of Government offices one could remove, with no perceivable change in the lives of the majority, before one starts messing around with social protections.

    Thunderdome had a government, sort of. I think rather than assuming that people here "just don't get" libertarianism - and thus need it re-explained for them - you might find it more useful to figure that Feral, et al know perfectly well what it is and don't care for it.

    I'm just trying to make sure that Feral (who I don't agree with sometimes, but who I respect a great deal) does not prop-up the Anarcho-capitalism strawman, rename it Libertarianism, then rip it to shreds.

    There is a significant difference between limited Government, and no Government. Obviously, society needs a Government of some sort, though how much is definitely up for debate.

    Mithrandir86 on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Heh, I always like watching libertarians talk about smoking. They never get how much they come off as hypocrites.
    This is just me being ignorant, but can you elaborate on this?

    Supposedly, one of the tenets of libertarianism is "your right to swing your fist ends at my nose" - that is, your right to action is free until it affects me. Smoking, as anyone dealing with someone who smokes knows, is incredibly invasive and irritating. One would think that this would fall under that, and libertarians would be very strongly against smokers who think nothing of lighting up around other people.

    Yet, they adamantly defend the rights of smokers to smoke wherever they damn well please. They say that other people who don't like the smoke can just leave. They seem to not comprehend how this basically goes against their tenets.

    AngelHedgie on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    jacobkosh wrote: »
    I know. I don't like the metaphor. The complete absence of Government implies anarchism, not libertarianism. There are lot of Government offices one could remove, with no perceivable change in the lives of the majority, before one starts messing around with social protections.

    Thunderdome had a government, sort of. I think rather than assuming that people here "just don't get" libertarianism - and thus need it re-explained for them - you might find it more useful to figure that Feral, et al know perfectly well what it is and don't care for it.

    I'm just trying to make sure that Feral (who I don't agree with sometimes, but who I respect a great deal) does not prop-up the Anarcho-capitalism strawman, rename it Libertarianism, then rip it to shreds.

    There is a significant difference between limited Government, and no Government. Obviously, society needs a Government of some sort, though how much is definitely up for debate.

    The problem is in how much. I hear "just enough to make roads and keep enemy tanks off of them" way more often than I'm comfortable with.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2007
    My favourite response from the slashdot thread:

    "Or it could be that most geeks are incredibly self-centered, self-aggrandising jerks?"

    Premier kakos on
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    ViolentChemistryViolentChemistry __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Heh, I always like watching libertarians talk about smoking. They never get how much they come off as hypocrites.
    This is just me being ignorant, but can you elaborate on this?

    Supposedly, one of the tenets of libertarianism is "your right to swing your fist ends at my nose" - that is, your right to action is free until it affects me. Smoking, as anyone dealing with someone who smokes knows, is incredibly invasive and irritating. One would think that this would fall under that, and libertarians would be very strongly against smokers who think nothing of lighting up around other people.

    Yet, they adamantly defend the rights of smokers to smoke wherever they damn well please. They say that other people who don't like the smoke can just leave. They seem to not comprehend how this basically goes against their tenets.

    Actually it doesn't. They're generally not concerned with the rights of smokers here, they're concerned with the rights of business-owners. Specifically the right of a business owner to allow his patrons to partake of an otherwise legal activity in his business. Since the "hands off, my body my decision" aspect allows people to smoke in general, so should it allow those who operate businesses to allow that activity on their property. Afterall, it's their property, not the government's. If you don't want to go into a smoke-filled bar, you are free to avoid bars that allow smoking. Now, if someone were to claim that a business-owner is not allowed to make this decision and is forced to allow others to smoke on their property, that would conflict with their tenets.

    ViolentChemistry on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Kaputa wrote: »
    Heh, I always like watching libertarians talk about smoking. They never get how much they come off as hypocrites.
    This is just me being ignorant, but can you elaborate on this?

    Supposedly, one of the tenets of libertarianism is "your right to swing your fist ends at my nose" - that is, your right to action is free until it affects me. Smoking, as anyone dealing with someone who smokes knows, is incredibly invasive and irritating. One would think that this would fall under that, and libertarians would be very strongly against smokers who think nothing of lighting up around other people.

    Yet, they adamantly defend the rights of smokers to smoke wherever they damn well please. They say that other people who don't like the smoke can just leave. They seem to not comprehend how this basically goes against their tenets.

    Actually it doesn't. They're generally not concerned with the rights of smokers here, they're concerned with the rights of business-owners. Specifically the right of a business owner to allow his patrons to partake of an otherwise legal activity in his business. Since the "hands off, my body my decision" aspect allows people to smoke in general, so should it allow those who operate businesses to allow that activity on their property. Afterall, it's their property, not the government's. If you don't want to go into a smoke-filled bar, you are free to avoid bars that allow smoking. Now, if someone were to claim that a business-owner is not allowed to make this decision and is forced to allow others to smoke on their property, that would conflict with their tenets.

    In which case, it becomes Yet Another Example Of Why Libertarianism Is Fucked Up. (Here's a hint - when the conduct of a minority is allowed to regulate the actions of the majority, well...you have problems.)

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007

    In which case, it becomes Yet Another Example Of Why Libertarianism Is Fucked Up. (Here's a hint - when the conduct of a minority is allowed to regulate the actions of the majority, well...you have problems.)

    Wait, wait.. what?

    Mithrandir86 on
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