Cliche red herrings against libertarianism

Discussion in 'Libertarian' started by Cherea, Jul 1, 2013.

  1. Cherea

    Cherea Senior Member

    1) the confusing libertarianism for anarchism red herring --- what would keep acts of violence from happening, Somalia, etc.

    2) the monopoly red herring --- as if competition brought about corporate monopolies rather than regulatory/subsidies/tax disincentives to competition! A complete stand on its head!

    3) the who would build the roads red herring --- Who would deliver the milk?? As if roads or any other service were any different from services not provided by the government (diners, for one);

    4) the regulation red herring --- what would keep a company from selling me piss for soft drinks? As if libertarianism wanted to do away with fraud laws. The victimless crimes regulations are not even worth my debunking them.

    5) the poor and elderly red herring --- as if handing your charity money to a bureaucrat first were more efficient than handing your charity money directly to the needy;

    6) the environment red herring --- as if public sidewalks and parks were any cleaner than shopping malls. Tragedy of the commons.


    How do you reply to those things as a libertarian? It's the attempt-to-take-down-libertarianism-without-reading-about-it 101. A little like being asked by Christians "But who created the stars?" when you say you're an atheist.
  2. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

  3. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Oh this has been gone through at length many times –to explain yet again -
    There are many forms of ‘libertarianism’ and one form is ‘Anarchism’ (note the capital A) another form is ‘right wing libertarianism’ and one branch of that is anarcho-capitalism. Here is a description of anarcho-capitalism that covers in some way the thought of many right wing libertarians.

    Anarcho-capitalists are against the State simply because they are capitalists first and foremost. Their critique of the State ultimately rests on a liberal interpretation of liberty as the inviolable rights to and of private property. They are not concerned with the social consequences of capitalism for the weak, powerless and ignorant. Their claim that all would benefit from a free exchange in the market is by no means certain; any unfettered market system would most likely sponsor a reversion to an unequal society with defence associations perpetuating exploitation and privilege. If anything, anarcho-capitalism is merely a free-for-all in which only the rich and cunning would benefit. It is tailor-made for 'rugged individualists' who do not care about the damage to others or to the environment which they leave in their wake. The forces of the market cannot provide genuine conditions for freedom any more than the powers of the State. The victims of both are equally enslaved, alienated and oppressed.
    Peter Marshall*

    Basically right wing libertarians want law, order, and defence in the sense that it protects property rights and those that have wealth from attack from those without.

    The charge is that It would mostly likely create a plutocracy, a charge its supporters do not seem able to address let alone refute.

    *Try reading Demanding the Impossible by Peter Marshall"]Demanding the Impossible: A History of Anarchism: Peter Marshall: Books
  4. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator


    But as pointed out many many, many, many, there never has been and never will be ‘free competition’ within a ‘free market’. Without regulation of some sort - to balance the power and influence of wealth the likely outcome of a right wing libertarian system is a plutocracy.

    [FONT=&quot]Free market = plutocratic tyranny[/FONT]

    As pointed out on numerous occasions this idea of ‘competition’ put forward by right wing libertarians seems based on the deeply flawed ideas of Social Darwinism.
  5. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator


    The flaw in this idea has been explained many times -

    The belief that if public money wasn’t used private money would have stepped up instead is just that a belief it cannot be proved, since it didn’t happen. Some things are built privately you could say oh but the government could have built that – maybe it could but it didn’t.
    – the problem is that many infrastructural works were built with public money and brought great benefits, sometimes they were built specifically to create benefits (or in the hope) and sometimes benefits were an unseen consequence (roads built for military purposes opening up areas to exploitation)

    “The prosperity of the US was in part built on easy access to previously untouched resources. I’m not saying that was the only factor but it was in my opinion the major factor and a lot of the problem in the early period was a lack of infrastructure by which it could be tapped. This was often realised by governance which often used public money or enacted ways of raising money to construct the roads bridges, canals and later railways that were needed to bring prosperity for example the Erie Canal that brought such economic benefits to New York and other cities on the eastern seaboard.

    The railways opened up the Midwest and allowed goods and materials access to the Pacific and Atlantic and the roads carried that on, I mean Eisenhower’s Federal Aid Highway act of 1956 has been called the "Greatest Public Works Project in History".

    Then there is the thing we are talking on - the internet and the World Wide Web.

    Also public works are about spreading the benefits of prosperity, infrastructure does not just help businesses but also families and individuals. For example sewage system have done a great deal to improve the lives of people in 1950’s America (some 50% in rural areas) had no plumbing or flushing toilets while today only a few go without those things. “
  6. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Again this has been gone through at length a number of times.

    One problem is that there are several differing views of right wing libertarian thought with some differing ideas as to the point at which the regulatory framework gets removed.

    It seems to me that often right wing libertarian though thinks in terms of punishment as a deterrent rather than prevention as a way of lessening harm.

    So it’s more about prosecuting the perpetrator afterwards for fraud or negligence rather than having the mechanisms in place to check and see if fraud or negligence is taking place.

    So the ‘market’ is deregulated but if people act ‘fraudulently’ then they get prosecuted but if there is no regulation something that is detrimental to society may take place but which isn’t actually against the law.

    And let us say a factory has no appropriate means of fighting a fire and the management has locked the exists (to prevent let’s say unauthorised breaks) and a fire happens and over a hundred people die.

    Many right wing libertarians seemed to have the idea that the management would be severally punished to deter other owners from doing the same.
    Of course in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory case where 146 workers died the owners got off.
  7. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator


    Ok again how do you know who to give it to?

    You may be able to give money directly locally but -

    localism is fine up to a point but only up to a point, for example someone – say X – lives in a prosperous area with high employment, they might ‘evaluate’ and find little reason to give since there are few disadvantaged. But only a few miles away their could be a town with high unemployment with many people in hardship but since X doesn’t live there, doesn’t go there and so cannot ‘evaluate’ that towns needs they have to suffer hardship.

    If you have a national scheme with the duty, time, and knowledge to ‘evaluate’ things nationally if can move resources to those places where it is most needed.

    But if often then that you get self serving arguments or ones based in prejudice and bias.

    - Why should I give money to people I haven’t personally evaluated I mean they are most likely feckless, scroungers.

    - The people around here don’t need so much help probably because they work harder than those feckless scroungers.
  8. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator


    I’m not even sure what you mean by that? There have been a number of threads on the environment and right wing libertarianism but this idea of private mall and public park is a bit weird, please explain your thinking?
  9. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Well once more it’s a disappointing no show from a right wing libertarian, not surprising but disappointing and it once more begs the question – why do they hold onto views they are unable to defend from criticism?
  10. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator


    Thank you for the link:

    I hadn't seen that. I had been thinking of starting some political FAQs but the definitions of all the factions are so confusing that I've been unable to come up with a simple explanation for the differing views.

    That link explains the basic idea of Libertarianism very well, especially in the U.S. Unfortunately it is rather long and requires attention to the points being made. I fear that few will take the time to read it and attempt to understand or refute it. Too much like work.

    It makes a number of points, one that I liked very well, is an explanation of the differences between Classical Liberalism and Libertarinaism. Some argue that they are the same, my reading and understanding of the two shows them to be different in the concern for the welfare of the public. It would be interesting to discuss these points but I fear we would get nowhere.

    In addressing the 6 points of this thread, you brought up many of my concerns, and did it very well. Now I don't have to take the time to address them at all.

    It will be interesting to see if there are any responses!!!
  11. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    That brings up something that I’ve often found amusing – many of those same people that sing the virtues of hard work, claim that hard work is the only way to success and imply that people in hardship are only there because they haven’t worked hard enough seem to be the same people that can’t be bother to read long posts, articles or reports because its ‘too much like hard work’
  12. MeAgain

    MeAgain Dazed and Confused Staff Member Super Moderator

    Same for many of the privileged around the world.
  13. Mr.Writer

    Mr.Writer Senior Member

    No rebuttals from anyone? Nothing? If nothing is posted in the next 2 weeks to intelligently and concretely uphold these "red herrings" then we can all as a community say that Libertarianism had it's day and we can leave this annoying political anomaly, which is based mostly on selfishness and fear, to bed.

    Cool. :)

    Hey, look at me, I don't trust anyone except an unregulated banker, but I'll be safe with my bazooka. Am I doing it right?
  14. deviate

    deviate Senior Member

    I will reply to this in detail when I have the time to sit and focus. Unlike Balbus, who must not work, as it seems he has all the time and focus in the world to sit here and promote his agendas.. I do work and very hard at that.

    So when I find the time to argue with a bunch of European socialists on the internet, I will. And if that is not within 2 weeks, I can assure you that Libertarianism will not be put to bed.
  15. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator

    Any ideas yet?
    Oh I work but I also play – to me the politics forums is fun, a hobby, I like politics and I like to learn. Why are you here if it’s no fun for you?

    In my life I’ve had time to study and contemplate many things but if you have not been able to do that at all why come here and promote ideas (or attack others) that you have given little or no thought to?

    I mean how do you know if the ideas are any good or can stand up to scrutiny if you’ve given them so little thought?

    It seems to me that it needs to get out of bed and do a bit of research and give its ideas a bit of thought but maybe that is the problem because if it actually did that it would likely find out its ideas do not stand up to scrutiny and would stop being libertarian.:)
  16. Zzap

    Zzap Member

    no form of government or lack of it will prevent violence. Common people typically have little to nothing to gain by war, in fact they have everything to lose, like their life. Those in control of states make war.


    further i do not see a connection between a sanctioned party of government to non-government antithesis philosophies or is that your point?
    by definition libertarian is a political subjunct and all political partys carry a government franchise by their very nature.

    Political corporations are actually natural gatherings by commonality. Its natural for people who have the same general opinion to tend to hand out together, like attracts like and repels dislike.

    In so far as commercial corporations that the invention and devise of the kings. It started with ousting the church from government and replacing it with himself, by creating a corporation state. Himself as the sole "head" with charter corporations below. They are called corporations because they are a large number with one voice. Commercially (and otherwise) it creates leverage that the individual does not have. Individuals compete and so do groups of individuals under a corporate title.

    What sets up monopolies is "privilege". One group is favored over another or allowed to disproportionately prosper compared to others despite regulation. There is no such thing as equal protection under the law or equal anything for that matter when referencing government with any label. Especially government claiming some kind of sovereign authority over the people who created it. Hence tipping the scales in their favor and prejudicing all others from its conception forward.

    The creation of the corporation in and of itself prejudices the individual and the further creation of the dysfunctional police state controlled by a sovereign entity serves to prejudice the individual even worse, reducing anyone on an individual scale to mere slavery.

    People with the individual mindset come to realize this quite quickly when they attempt to assert their rights and the government sovereign literally cuts them off at the ankles.

    Roads are not provided by government however they are paid for and provided by the people within the community under the control of government.

    This is the problem however with government, again that sovereign aspect placing themselves with a higher standing in law than the people it presumably serves.

    No community can function without some form identifiable form of government, however the era of rule by prerogative decree and the interests that form created is and has been grossly outdated for well over a century. It would be wise to simply give it up and move on but I do not see that happening.

    Well see thats a problem.
    Combining government with judicial decisions (the type made in family affairs not commercial which are mostly fraud on their face), is in itself a red herring.
    Anarchism is not without law, it is without archons or rulers or leaders by whatever title you wish to place upon them.
    By law I do not mean police state law, or statutes which likewise prejudice the those within the declared jurisdiction. I am talking about strictly a compilation of court decisions made strictly by nongovernment connected randomy chosen jurys, no statutes, "jury" stare decis and precedent only, as the only form of law and the only avenue of relief, politicians and government judges and their statist prerogative commercialized statutes sovereign bs crapola not included.
    So now you got a foundation for order however the only real problem with anarchism is that you need some sort of minimalist government to enforce the decisions of those courts.
    If someone sold you piss you would simply sue them and the jury would put them out of business or exact some other punishment and the next person will look at the decision of the jury and without any government overlord by their own desire to stay in business, they wont sell you piss.
    Presto no government needed just a "body" of law by the people and a jury of the people of a voluntary primarily anarchist society.

    Its the commercialist government that has been set up by the aristocracies that promotes the insatiable greed in society.
    The us government and western society as a whole brought to you by the old monied aristocracies is designed around commerce and not only the promotion of commerce but by enforcement of their pyramid scam.
    the building of their gargantuan infrastructure that demands the slaves work within the commercial government system to maintain it for their masters so they too become infected with greed and focus on money.

    favored status has it perks for some and if you are not part of the club to bad so sad, the story would go

    Well I see the conventional definition of libertarian to be somewhat of a misnomer like any other party. Its still government sanctioned rather than people sanctioned so just another narrow slot that can only see the world through their portion of the pipe.

    done as fast as I could type and without strict review before posting so expect some errors both typos and in structure that I will straighten out as we go.
  17. Balbus

    Balbus Super Moderator Staff Member Super Moderator


    Any ideas yet?
  18. Mountain Valley Wolf

    Mountain Valley Wolf Senior Member

    Ok----here is a rebuttal:

    First of all...

    (...Just a minute, the Koch Brothers were going to tell me what to say, but they are still finishing up a round of golf...(That means they are laying off full time workers to replace them with lower paid part timers because it is cheaper and something about lower healthcare costs---I don't understand any of that stuff----but they tell me that Obamacare is bad, so I believe that...) Oh here, they're done now... )

    First of all... want me to dump--er, release what in the river? Isn't that illegal? Won't people get sick????

    (...just a minute, they are still playing golf (That does not mean that they are poisoning the environment. Oh wait, did I write that other stuff out loud?). Ok, here they are...)

    First of all... ...Take this check to who? I thought you already paid to have that written into law. Well----how many payments does it take to make a law? ...That many??? Boy those congressmen are greedy!

    (...Sorry they are still playing golf. But man those guys in Washington are greedy. (Not like big business, or the wealthier Americans of course) ...Ok here it is)

    First of all... ...What? you want me to deliver this new expose' to Fox? Wow!! Obama's birth certificate is not only a fake, it was manufactured by the KGB, and he was specially trained by the Kremlin! Wow, who could question that? We need to take down the government...

    (...Sorry still playing golf... ...ok finally)

    First of all, most Americans are lazy good for nothing welfare bums, and they are only leeching off of the State. Only an unfettered business environment free of government controls would allow them the freedom to get off of their butts and make business so that they could be free... ...Wait, that doesn't really rebut...

    ...What?!! Obama is taking our guns? Hey everybody, I just learned that Obama is taking our guns!! Oh no! He is taking our guns away!! I heard it straight from the Koch Brothers, and they would never lie. Our Guns...!!!!
  19. fraggle_rock

    fraggle_rock Member

    I've never been able to understand how someone could possibly think that deregulating everything would break up the corporate monopoly. How is putting people at the mercy of the rich a good idea? It's shitty that the government has been infiltrated and corrupted, but how could an even weaker government possibly ensure that competition would thrive?

    The corporations wouldn't even need to pretend that they're not in bed together.
  20. StpLSD25

    StpLSD25 Senior Member

    Liberals have no understanding of economics, or the problems facing this country. You knock on Libertarianism because you don't understand it, and you'd rather punish anyone who made something of themselves indiscriminately.

    It's like Cherea said, we're not abolishing fraud or bribery laws, and corporations would be less powerful than they are now, because they wont be able to change the laws in their favor and initiate force.

    Also, Liberals don't see the problem because they're part of it...

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