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Why Are So Many "Nerds" Libertarians?

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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.

    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.)

    Much as you hate smoking, this isn't the killer example you wanted. There are plenty of non-libertarian arguments for allowing business owners to make that decision for themselves. Especially when smoking is banned in fucking tobacconist-shops.

    Edit: Time for a Lucky before class.

    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.)

    Much as you hate smoking, this isn't the killer example you wanted. There are plenty of non-libertarian arguments for allowing business owners to make that decision for themselves. Especially when smoking is banned in fucking tobacconist-shops.

    Edit: Time for a Lucky before class.

    Okay, now we're going OT. But, the point I'd make is that tobacco smoke is irritating, dangerous, and most of all, has the ability to render spaces unusable for others. More succintly, smokers, by their very action, can prevent me from going places. Of course, you can argue that the business owners should have the right to allow it, but when the end result is that people get cut off from whole sections of society - I sort of have a problem with that.

    AngelHedgie on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    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.

    Libertarianism just implies a government that is toothless against one of the greatest threats to individual liberty in the modern world: the consolidation of power among corporations and the wealthy.

    As for there being "a lot of Government offices" one could remove, with no perceivable change in the lives of the majority," that is very much a matter of debate.
    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.

    My primary problem with libertarianism is that the primary difference between libertarianism and simple liberalism is that libertarians believe that the government never has any right to interfere with the actions of individuals as long as those actions are engaged in consensually or only directly affect the individual, regardless of the possible economic or indirect side-effects of such actions on other people or the community at large. So while a liberal might say that motorcycle helmet laws are necessary because we don't want to have to pay the medical bills of a biker rushed to the ER due to severe brain injury, a libertarian would say that motorcycle helmet laws are bad because they interfere with the biker's right to make his own decisions and that a better approach to the problem would be to simply refuse public responsibility for his medical care. I can't help but to see that position as, essentially, saying that the right to not wear a helmet overrides the need to have affordable emergency medical care for people involved in motorcycle accidents.

    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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    mcdermottmcdermott 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.

    And possibly hyperbole. Maybe even a simile. ;-)

    The brand of libertarianism I'm talking about with this one is the "everybody's free to succeed or fail, based on their own decisions" school of economic thought. Basically that the person who is a fry cook with no medical insurance is there because they deserve to be, and access to medical care is a luxury they should just work harder for.

    This is generally coupled with a desire for a "hands-off" approach from the government when it comes to things like patents or IP. The idea that the government doesn't know what the hell they're doing in this regard (which actually I somewhat agree with) and should just stay the hell out.

    Of course, without copious levels of government protection for intellectual property, I think a lot of CS majors and engineers would find out just how much their labor is worth in this new economic Thunderdome. Which is just a smidge less than the fry cook's.

    I mean, social libertarianism I can get behind. It's when they start getting into economics that half the time my head wants to explode.
    My primary problem with libertarianism is that the primary difference between libertarianism and simple liberalism is that libertarians believe that the government never has any right to interfere with the actions of individuals as long as those actions are engaged in consensually or only directly affect the individual, regardless of the possible economic or indirect side-effects of such actions on other people or the community at large. So while a liberal might say that motorcycle helmet laws are necessary because we don't want to have to pay the medical bills of a biker rushed to the ER due to severe brain injury, a libertarian would say that motorcycle helmet laws are bad because they interfere with the biker's right to make his own decisions and that a better approach to the problem would be to simply refuse public responsibility for his medical care. I can't help but to see that position as, essentially, saying that the right to not wear a helmet overrides the need to have affordable emergency medical care for people involved in motorcycle accidents.

    I'd lime it, but with that much text it would be obnoxious. Hell, I feel bad just quoting it.

    EDIT: Oh, and the calls to "Darwinism Darwinism OLOL" that usually accompany such issues makes me think that perceived intellectual superiority has a bit to do with this. And again, I think a lot of more extreme libertarians (including nerds) would find out they're not as high up the food chain or as smart as they think.

    mcdermott on
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    Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo Registered 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.

    That's pretty funny, considering the myopic views of "ZOMG DEMOCRAT" and "ZOMG REPUBLICAN" people could not be any more binary. I've found that libertarian thinking lends itself to all sorts of shades of gray, since it allows people to do or be pretty much whatever they want to, provided it doesn't encroach the freedoms of others. Now if you want to talk about the Libertarian party (the actual organization, with a capital L) then I'll defer, because I'm not really too interested in them.

    Fatty McBeardo on
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    FCDFCD Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Another problem that I see, at least in the States, is that Libertarianism is often used as a self-identifying label by people who are much closer to being Anarchists. This is likely why Libertarians are thought of less as "small government and socialy liberal" and more as "kill the government and let corporations do whatever they want" here.

    FCD on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    FCD wrote: »
    Another problem that I see, at least in the States, is that Libertarianism is often used as a self-identifying label by people who are much closer to being Anarchists. This is likely why Libertarians are thought of less as "small government and socialy liberal" and more as "kill the government and let corporations do whatever they want" here.

    Well, just to be clear, when I talk about "economic" libertarians (rather than social, which I consider myself to be) I'm talking about the "the government has no right to take money from me for the benefit of others, pretty much ever" type. The kind who are maybe willing to accept police/fire/military spending, and perhaps some roads.

    The idea that taking one dollar of my taxes to help the aforementioned fry cook buy bread infringes on my right to buy a flat-screen TV...or some such.

    mcdermott on
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    Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo 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.)

    One of the main functions of a civilized government is to protect minorities from oppressive majorities. Civil Rights Movement, for example.

    Fatty McBeardo on
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    FCDFCD Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    FCD wrote: »
    Another problem that I see, at least in the States, is that Libertarianism is often used as a self-identifying label by people who are much closer to being Anarchists. This is likely why Libertarians are thought of less as "small government and socialy liberal" and more as "kill the government and let corporations do whatever they want" here.

    Well, just to be clear, when I talk about "economic" libertarians (rather than social, which I consider myself to be) I'm talking about the "the government has no right to take money from me for the benefit of others, pretty much ever" type. The kind who are maybe willing to accept police/fire/military spending, and perhaps some roads.

    The idea that taking one dollar of my taxes to help the aforementioned fry cook buy bread infringes on my right to buy a flat-screen TV...or some such.

    Yeah, I have no problem with the social form of libertarianism, which has to do with the rights and freedoms of people, things that I'm definately for. It's the economic aspect, which often is quite like the Social Darwinism of old, that I don't agree with. People who are deep into that element of libertarianism don't seem to understand what a collective action problem is.

    FCD on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie 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.)

    One of the main functions of a civilized government is to protect minorities from oppressive majorities. Civil Rights Movement, for example.

    Yes, because telling smokers "you're not allowed to pollute common areas" is oppression. Do you realize how stupid that sounds?

    AngelHedgie on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    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?

    I think your thread is basically a character attack on libertarians.

    "Why are so many sissies Liberals?"

    Shinto on
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    SenjutsuSenjutsu thot enthusiast Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    mcdermott wrote: »
    FCD wrote: »
    Another problem that I see, at least in the States, is that Libertarianism is often used as a self-identifying label by people who are much closer to being Anarchists. This is likely why Libertarians are thought of less as "small government and socialy liberal" and more as "kill the government and let corporations do whatever they want" here.

    Well, just to be clear, when I talk about "economic" libertarians (rather than social, which I consider myself to be) I'm talking about the "the government has no right to take money from me for the benefit of others, pretty much ever" type. The kind who are maybe willing to accept police/fire/military spending, and perhaps some roads.

    Hell, the average slashdot/digg libertarian, which I gather is what this thread is supposed to be about, will blithely argue that the government has no business building roads or running domestic police and fire departments, either.

    Senjutsu on
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    Premier kakosPremier kakos Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2007
    Libertarianism is quite possibly the most idiotic ideal ever. It completely fails to address and, in fact, embraces one of the greatest pit falls built into the human psyche: the social trap. The social trap is when a group of people all try to obtain short-term gains for themselves which ultimately results in a long-term loss for everyone. Libertarianism embraces the selfish seeking of short-term gains under the assumption that it will all work out just nicely in the end; it doesn't and it has been shown that social traps are dangerous and numerous. Libertarianism is an ideal for incredibly short-sighted and self-centred people.

    Premier kakos on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited September 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    I think your thread is basically a character attack on libertarians.

    "Why are so many sissies Liberals?"

    What? Do you really think that "nerd" constitutes a character attack?

    Jacobkosh on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Shinto wrote: »
    I think your thread is basically a character attack on libertarians.

    "Why are so many sissies Liberals?"

    I think your post basically disparages nerds.
    Or, put less glibly, I don't think "nerd" is a personal insult anymore as it is a relatively neutral term for a particular subculture.

    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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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Libertarianism is quite possibly the most idiotic ideal ever.

    Yep, it managed to usurp communism for that dubious honor.
    (I kid! I kid! I <3 you, kakos!)

    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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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    Libertarianism just implies a government that is toothless against one of the greatest threats to individual liberty in the modern world: the consolidation of power among corporations and the wealthy.

    I see this in a lot of your posts, and I think where we usually tend to butt heads.

    I'm not really worried about this at present, because even the largest corporations are completely dwarfed by the Government. If they all banded together they come close, but still, the Government has all the guns. I'm not saying that the corporations can't hire their own guns, but mercenaries tend not to fight to the death.

    Corporations generally have to please the majority of people, otherwise they have citizens showing up at their doors with AK47s. Governments tend to have armies that shoot back.

    That having been said, the most distressing thing, I find, is when corporations and Governments get along.
    As for there being "a lot of Government offices" one could remove, with no perceivable change in the lives of the majority," that is very much a matter of debate.

    Department of Homeland Security. Gone. Department of Agriculture. Gone. Department of Labor. Gone. Department of the Interior. Gone. Department of Energy. Gone.

    Mithrandir86 on
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    Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo 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.)

    One of the main functions of a civilized government is to protect minorities from oppressive majorities. Civil Rights Movement, for example.

    Yes, because telling smokers "you're not allowed to pollute common areas" is oppression. Do you realize how stupid that sounds?

    Where did I argue about smokers? I was just pointing out your generalization about minorities vs. majorities wasn't valid. The smoking issue is a public health concern, the same as vaccinations and clean water.

    I could give a shit about public smoking bans, secondhand smoke and all.

    Fatty McBeardo on
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    FCDFCD Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Honestly, I tend to think of economic, "kill the government!" libertarianism as just Reverse Communism. Both seem to have an intrinsic naivete and lack of understanding of basic human nature.

    FCD on
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    Fatty McBeardoFatty McBeardo Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Objectivism (which seems to be what a lot of people here are calling libertarianism) is reverse Communism. They're both cult frameworks invented by charismatic idealogues that are flights of whimsy right up there with Candyland.

    Yeah, I went there.

    Fatty McBeardo on
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    Shinto wrote: »
    I think your thread is basically a character attack on libertarians.

    "Why are so many sissies Liberals?"

    I think your post basically disparages nerds.
    Or, put less glibly, I don't think "nerd" is a personal insult anymore as it is a relatively neutral term for a particular subculture.

    I think it pretty much primes the pump for some condescending generalizations about why people believe what they believe.

    Shinto on
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    OboroOboro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    I'm not really worried about this at present, because even the largest corporations are completely dwarfed by the Government. If they all banded together they come close, but still, the Government has all the guns. I'm not saying that the corporations can't hire their own guns, but mercenaries tend not to fight to the death.

    Corporations generally have to please the majority of people, otherwise they have citizens showing up at their doors with AK47s. Governments tend to have armies that shoot back.

    That having been said, the most distressing thing, I find, is when corporations and Governments get along.
    I'm not the person with the facts to properly attack these points, but as far as I understand it, they all just register incredibly false. I mean, first off, can you clarify why you talk about firearms so much here?

    Oboro on
    words
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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    Libertarianism is quite possibly the most idiotic ideal ever.

    Yep, it managed to usurp communism for that dubious honor.
    (I kid! I kid! I <3 you, kakos!)

    Libertarianism has yet to kill millions of people, have its apologists deny this until shown the data, then afterwards claim that the Libertarianism that they thought was going on wasn't Libertarianism, and that it hasn't been tried, and that we should give it another shot.

    Mithrandir86 on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    Libertarianism just implies a government that is toothless against one of the greatest threats to individual liberty in the modern world: the consolidation of power among corporations and the wealthy.

    I see this in a lot of your posts, and I think where we usually tend to butt heads.

    I'm not really worried about this at present, because even the largest corporations are completely dwarfed by the Government. If they all banded together they come close, but still, the Government has all the guns.

    I'm just gonna go ahead and quote myself.
    Feral wrote: »
    Those with power tend to act in ways to consolidate and expand their power. The difference between a libertarian and a non-libertarian is that the libertarian believes that this only an issue if the agency seeking power does so with the threat of physical force. It's a throwback to the days when, if you didn't want to work for somebody, you could buy some cheap farm implements, go find a plot of arable land somewhere, and extract your own livelihood straight from the soil. (It's no surprise that libertarians love to quote John Locke and the founding fathers, who all lived during a time period where frontier life was possible.)

    Today, there are no frontiers. All the arable, buildable land is owned. All the natural resources are spoken for. At some point, (unless you're lucky enough to inherit a small fortune) forging your own destiny requires that you submit to the terms of a vested interest - whether that interest is the university from which you get your education, or the bank from which you get a small business loan, or even a landlord. These interests may not have guns, but they still have power over you. Libertarians refuse to recognize that this power is real, or even worthy of discussion - if a handful of corporations and churches own everything, forcing you to grovel before them and sign over your life, your blood, and your first born for a job and an apartment and a shot at making it... well, "que cera cera" the libertarians say. The threat of force is the ultimate evil but the threat of starvation? Not even worth a mention.

    See, in order to have anything even remotely resembling a decent life, you have to at some point curry the favor of somebody with more money than you: a bank, a landlord, a university, an employer. These people might not have a gun pointed at you, but they have control over your life.

    What could stop an employer from firing you after you've worked for them for 13 days and withhold your last paycheck from you for "overhead"? Labor laws. What could stop a landlord from evicting you while you're on vacation and deciding that because you didn't come back immediately to claim your stuff that you've obviously forfeited it? Tenant laws. What stops banks from holding your payroll checks for 14 days whenever they goddamn feel like it just to fuck you out of overdraft charges? The law.
    Corporations generally have to please the majority of people, otherwise they have citizens showing up at their doors with AK47s.

    What?

    The libertarian ideal is that the use of force is only necessarily to prevent further violence, theft, or fraud. If a corporation operating in Libertariatopia swindles its employees out of their 401k using fine print in their retirement plan agreements and creative bookkeeping, and those employees show up with AK-47s, it's the employees who are going to jail, not the corporate leadership.

    Feral wrote: »
    As for there being "a lot of Government offices" one could remove, with no perceivable change in the lives of the majority," that is very much a matter of debate.
    Department of Homeland Security. Gone. Department of Agriculture. Gone. Department of Labor. Gone. Department of the Interior. Gone. Department of Energy. Gone.

    I think each and every one of these could fill up a thread on their own. I'll just focus on one. How the hell can you justify getting rid of the Department of Labor?

    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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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Oboro wrote: »
    I'm not really worried about this at present, because even the largest corporations are completely dwarfed by the Government. If they all banded together they come close, but still, the Government has all the guns. I'm not saying that the corporations can't hire their own guns, but mercenaries tend not to fight to the death.

    Corporations generally have to please the majority of people, otherwise they have citizens showing up at their doors with AK47s. Governments tend to have armies that shoot back.

    That having been said, the most distressing thing, I find, is when corporations and Governments get along.
    I'm not the person with the facts to properly attack these points, but as far as I understand it, they all just register incredibly false. I mean, first off, can you clarify why you talk about firearms so much here?

    Because force, or the threat of force, is the most basic and primitive of human interaction.

    Nationalization of corporate assets in the West is rare, so mostly I'm thinking about the recent events in Bolivia. The assets of numerous foreign companies were seized on the bequest of the Government. Now, although these corporations have more money than the Bolivian Government, they were completely powerless to stop them. They just had to take the deal that was given to them.

    Mithrandir86 on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    Libertarianism is quite possibly the most idiotic ideal ever.

    Yep, it managed to usurp communism for that dubious honor.
    (I kid! I kid! I <3 you, kakos!)

    Libertarianism has yet to kill millions of people, have its apologists deny this until shown the data, then afterwards claim that the Libertarianism that they thought was going on wasn't Libertarianism, and that it hasn't been tried, and that we should give it another shot.

    Then what the fuck was the Gilded Age?

    AngelHedgie on
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    OboroOboro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    Sorry, but I just can't parse how this enters into a discussion of United States economic policy. Can we move away from this stuff about hostile takeover and into more practical arenas? Go reply to Feral's post above yours. :P

    Oboro on
    words
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    SavantSavant Simply Barbaric Registered User 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.

    See, I think there is a fair amount of irrational or visceral hatred for libertarianism here, and this is a good example. The ideal libertarian world isn't some sort of feudal or 'mad max' system, and libertarians don't fantasize about being the head of Thunderdome. Rather, much like communism or anarchism, the ideal libertarian world is simply unrealistic.

    I can see a couple reasons why nerds might lean towards libertarianism. First of all, they may be irritated about having stupid or irrational people getting in their way or wasting their time/resources/whatever, and libertarianism is all about self-determination and self-ownership. Also, in the economic sense, in a competitive market stupidity and wastefulness are punished. Libertarianism promotes the free market, which is often confused with competitive markets. Free markets have had more tendency to be competitive than those with strong government influence historically, but overstating this tendency, possibly to the point to believe there are no natural monopolies, is one of the fundamental naiveties common with libertarians.

    There may be some antisocial aspects to it, as nerds often carry a stigma from mainstream society, and libertarianism could be an outlet for them to say they can do as they want and to hell with what everyone else thinks. There is also the "pot-smoking Republicans" angle, although I don't see how that would lead nerds towards libertarianism moreso than the general population.

    Savant on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    Libertarianism is quite possibly the most idiotic ideal ever.

    Yep, it managed to usurp communism for that dubious honor.
    (I kid! I kid! I <3 you, kakos!)

    Libertarianism has yet to kill millions of people, have its apologists deny this until shown the data, then afterwards claim that the Libertarianism that they thought was going on wasn't Libertarianism, and that it hasn't been tried, and that we should give it another shot.

    That's because libertarianism is so batshit insane that anybody with even half a shred of sense can see it should not be tried...at least not on a national scale in the modern world. At least communism has the idea of people working together for the common good going for it; it sounds like it might work on paper, and its "heart is in the right place." But libertarianism? Yeah, let's base our entire society off of self-interest, and see where that takes us. Right.

    EDIT: Oh. Shit. Yeah, gilded age. Though even then there was some government regulation, so I'm not sure that counts.

    mcdermott on
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    AngelHedgieAngelHedgie Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    As for there being "a lot of Government offices" one could remove, with no perceivable change in the lives of the majority," that is very much a matter of debate.
    Department of Homeland Security. Gone. Department of Agriculture. Gone. Department of Labor. Gone. Department of the Interior. Gone. Department of Energy. Gone.

    I think each and every one of these could fill up a thread on their own. I'll just focus on one. How the hell can you justify getting rid of the Department of Labor?
    Because it stops him from fucking over his employees?

    AngelHedgie on
    XBL: Nox Aeternum / PSN: NoxAeternum / NN:NoxAeternum / Steam: noxaeternum
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    ShintoShinto __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    I wouldn't miss the Department of labor.

    I mean, what has government regulation of employment discrimination, workplace safety, provision of training programs, benefits and procurement of overall labor data ever done for me?

    Shinto on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Free markets have had more tendency to be competitive than those with strong government influence historically, but overstating this tendency, possibly to the point to believe there are no natural monopolies, is one of the fundamental naiveties common with libertarians.

    Yeah, I consider myself lucky that my school's economic curriculum puts a lot of the failures of the market up in the first couple of "intro" classes. So that I can get at least some general grasp of economics from the two semesters I took without falling victim to the "olol market will fix everything" phenomenon.
    I wouldn't miss the Department of labor.

    I mean, what has government regulation of employment discrimination, workplace safety, provision of training programs, benefits and procurement of overall labor data ever done for me?

    Are you white? Male? Do you not work in a mine or meatpacking plant? Probably nothing. Fuck 'em.

    mcdermott on
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    SavantSavant Simply Barbaric 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.)

    One of the main functions of a civilized government is to protect minorities from oppressive majorities. Civil Rights Movement, for example.

    Yes, because telling smokers "you're not allowed to pollute common areas" is oppression. Do you realize how stupid that sounds?

    The argument is that private establishments aren't common areas. It's the restaurant or bar owner's place that smokers would be polluting, and they would get to decide whether or not they are cool with that. Whether or not they were cool with that would depend upon how it would affect their business, as they would be cautious about cutting out their nonsmoking clientele.

    Of course, banning smoking in truly public areas (if they still exist) would be wholly consistent with libertarianism.

    Savant on
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    JacobkoshJacobkosh Gamble a stamp. I can show you how to be a real man!Moderator mod
    edited September 2007
    Miners are such goddamn prima donnas.

    Jacobkosh on
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    mcdermottmcdermott Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Savant wrote: »
    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.)

    One of the main functions of a civilized government is to protect minorities from oppressive majorities. Civil Rights Movement, for example.

    Yes, because telling smokers "you're not allowed to pollute common areas" is oppression. Do you realize how stupid that sounds?

    The argument is that private establishments aren't common areas. It's the restaurant or bar owner's place that smokers would be polluting, and they would get to decide whether or not they are cool with that. Whether or not they were cool with that would depend upon how it would affect their business, as they would be cautious about cutting out their nonsmoking clientele.

    Of course, banning smoking in truly public areas (if they still exist) would be wholly consistent with libertarianism.

    And of course, the employees of this bar could simply choose whether or not they want to be exposed to 40+ hours a week of concentrated second-hand smoke. If they don't like it, they can just work somewhere else. If they can't find other suitable work, they can simply deal with the associated health issues or starve, because that's what libertarianism is all about.

    mcdermott on
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    Mithrandir86Mithrandir86 Registered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Feral wrote: »
    Feral wrote: »
    Libertarianism just implies a government that is toothless against one of the greatest threats to individual liberty in the modern world: the consolidation of power among corporations and the wealthy.

    I see this in a lot of your posts, and I think where we usually tend to butt heads.

    I'm not really worried about this at present, because even the largest corporations are completely dwarfed by the Government. If they all banded together they come close, but still, the Government has all the guns.

    See, in order to have anything even remotely resembling a decent life, you have to at some point curry the favor of somebody with more money than you: a bank, a landlord, a university, an employer. These people might not have a gun pointed at you, but they have control over your life.

    What could stop an employer from firing you after you've worked for them for 13 days and withhold your last paycheck from you for "overhead"? Labor laws. What could stop a landlord from evicting you while you're on vacation and deciding that because you didn't come back immediately to claim your stuff that you've obviously forfeited it? Tenant laws. What stops banks from holding your payroll checks for 14 days whenever they goddamn feel like it just to fuck you out of overdraft charges? The law.

    Yes, the law protects us, but it also constrains us. I think it is here that most libertarians argue that the constraints hurt us more than the protection helps us.

    Also, the threat of starvation for non-compliance is more a problem with the totalitarian/socialist ideal, for the libertarian ideal implies disparate centers of authority and autonomy. Whether this actually occurs in practice is debatable (I personally think the general trend is consolidation and corruption. Libertarians assume that people having competing, individualistic instincts rather than colluding tribal ones.)
    Corporations generally have to please the majority of people, otherwise they have citizens showing up at their doors with AK47s.

    What?

    The libertarian ideal is that the use of force is only necessarily to prevent further violence, theft, or fraud. If a corporation operating in Libertariatopia swindles its employees out of their 401k using fine print in their retirement plan agreements and creative bookkeeping, and those employees show up with AK-47s, it's the employees who are going to jail, not the corporate leadership.

    Well, if we're assuming the company is corrupt then we can't also assume that these people have guns at home? This is Libertariatopia, after all. :lol:

    However, you raise a valid point. One of the fundamentals problems with Libertarian theory. Namely, that a non-coerced transaction between two parties only occurs when both benefit. Of course, as you point out in a loose way, there is a considerable problem when one of the parties is demonstratively more knowledgeable than the other party.

    Also, there is a problem with externalities.

    Both imply the need for Government interference.
    I think each and every one of these could fill up a thread on their own. I'll just focus on one. How the hell can you justify getting rid of the Department of Labor?

    That's the easiest one. States have their own laws regarding labor.

    Mithrandir86 on
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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Savant wrote: »
    Libertarianism promotes the free market, which is often confused with competitive markets. Free markets have had more tendency to be competitive than those with strong government influence historically, but overstating this tendency, possibly to the point to believe there are no natural monopolies, is one of the fundamental naiveties common with libertarians.

    This is a great point, and deserves to be isolated and emphasized.

    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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    FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited September 2007
    Of course, as you point out in a loose way, there is a considerable problem when one of the parties is demonstratively more knowledgeable than the other party.

    Also, there is a problem with externalities.

    Both imply the need for Government interference.

    Okay, then we fundamentally agree.
    Feral wrote:
    I think each and every one of these could fill up a thread on their own. I'll just focus on one. How the hell can you justify getting rid of the Department of Labor?
    That's the easiest one. States have their own laws regarding labor.

    That's not a libertarian position, that's a federalist position (in the sense that modern federalists support states' rights).

    The libertarian position would be that a department of labor would be just as inefficient and constraining at the state level as it would be at the federal level.

    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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    OboroOboro __BANNED USERS regular
    edited September 2007
    So wait, libertarians are fine with defaulting to a more localized, but even more constrained government, in favor of a larger, looser one?

    I'm just asking for clarification-- is it really in line with libertarian principles to tear down all of this government constraint and interference just to default to state-level law instead of federal? I understand the pragmatism there, but it seems out of line with the libertarian ideal, and just introduces new conflicts.

    EDIT: beat'd by Feral, as usual. :wink:

    Oboro on
    words
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    The CatThe Cat Registered User, ClubPA regular
    edited September 2007
    Oboro wrote: »
    I'm not really worried about this at present, because even the largest corporations are completely dwarfed by the Government.

    ahahahahhahaha

    there's a large number of corporations with turnovers larger than good-size countries, and they definitely have the political clout to get 90% of what they want whenever they want.

    The Cat on
    tmsig.jpg
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