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What’s the Matter with Libertarianism?


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#1 AnBr

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 12:22 AM

https://www.psycholo...-libertarianism

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Who can object to the libertarian principles of individual freedom, personal responsibility, and the right to hold property - at least in the abstract? The problem is that the real world is never "abstract." All philosophies must ultimately confront reality, and the more radical versions of libertarianism (there are many, from extreme anarchism to limited government "minarchism") rely on terminally deficient models of human nature and society. Let's (very briefly) take a look at the problem.

The libertarian model of individual psychology is grounded in the utilitarian, neo-classical economics model of "Homo economicus" (economic man). Our motivations can be reduced to the single-minded pursuit of our (mostly material) self-interests. Accordingly, mainstream economists seem to consider it their mission in life to help us do so more "efficiently." The Nobel economist Amartya Sen many years ago scathingly characterized this simplistic model as "rational fools who are decked out in their one, all-purpose preference function."

"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#2 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 07:59 AM

Libertarianism, like any religious cult, never lets reality interfere with theory.
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#3 AnBr

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 10:28 AM

That is why any belief system fails if it is not tempered with a healthy dose of pragmatism.
"Science is more than a body of knowledge; it is a way of thinking. I have a foreboding of an America in my children's or grandchildren's time - when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers arc in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what's true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.

— Carl Sagan
The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark
1995


“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart's desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.”

— H.L. Mencken
On Politics: A Carnival of Buncombe


“The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little.”

— Franklin Delano Roosevelt
Second inaugural address January, 1937

#4 LFC

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 11:06 AM

I worked with a guy who believed all of it. Not the bend towards more individualism brand of libertarianism but the full blown tear government down to the bare bones and if a corporation harms you then just take them to court. For somebody who was generally pretty bright he had an incredibly childish understanding of human behavior.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#5 LFC

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 11:08 AM

View PostAnBr, on 12 February 2018 - 10:28 AM, said:

That is why any belief system fails if it is not tempered with a healthy dose of pragmatism.

Unfortunately "BE PRAGMATIC!" just isn't a great rallying cry for the ignorant and easily manipulated. It was, however, the slogan I had in my head when I voted for Barack Obama both times. Too many people vote with their emotions.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#6 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 11:35 AM

View PostLFC, on 12 February 2018 - 11:06 AM, said:

I worked with a guy who believed all of it. Not the bend towards more individualism brand of libertarianism but the full blown tear government down to the bare bones and if a corporation harms you then just take them to court. For somebody who was generally pretty bright he had an incredibly childish understanding of human behavior.

Who does he think runs the court? Tribal elders?

Trump delenda est.
GOP delenda est.
Resist!

#7 andydp

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 11:46 AM

View PostAnBr, on 12 February 2018 - 10:28 AM, said:

That is why any belief system fails if it is not tempered with a healthy dose of pragmatism.
I had a debate on a friend's page. It started with the fact in WW I while all the other armies were issued condoms, the US Army did not. (Because you know who were out there). Anyway, he started harping about how it wasn't the government's duty to issue condoms, etc etc. I kept saying it stops the spread of a disease and you're not going to get every Soldier to remain pure until they get home. Again he kept harping on the "personal responsibility".

As my closing statement I said "isn't it better to pay .05 cents for a condom than to pay for VD treatments ?" I did not respond to anything he said afterwards because it was like talking to a brick.

MY BIL is in this boat also. He once made a comment about how it was stupid to put the engine interlock on cars to keep them from moving when you start them. I just said I bet the companies thought it would be cheaper to install a .50 cent part than pay millions in court costs. (That seemed to work)
Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.

Rev Martin Luther King Jr.


Obamacare took my guns away and put me in a FEMA reeducation camp.

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#8 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 11:58 AM

View Postandydp, on 12 February 2018 - 11:46 AM, said:


I had a debate on a friend's page. It started with the fact in WW I while all the other armies were issued condoms, the US Army did not. (Because you know who were out there). Anyway, he started harping about how it wasn't the government's duty to issue condoms, etc etc. I kept saying it stops the spread of a disease and you're not going to get every Soldier to remain pure until they get home. Again he kept harping on the "personal responsibility".

As my closing statement I said "isn't it better to pay .05 cents for a condom than to pay for VD treatments ?" I did not respond to anything he said afterwards because it was like talking to a brick.

MY BIL is in this boat also. He once made a comment about how it was stupid to put the engine interlock on cars to keep them from moving when you start them. I just said I bet the companies thought it would be cheaper to install a .50 cent part than pay millions in court costs. (That seemed to work)

Does your friend think there are drugstores open on the front line? Why should the army feed troops; they are paid so why not just run to McDonalds?
Trump delenda est.
GOP delenda est.
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#9 LFC

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 12:18 PM

View Postandydp, on 12 February 2018 - 11:46 AM, said:

Again he kept harping on the "personal responsibility".

I know of a Facebook friend of a Facebook friend who trumpets the same mantra. I happen to know he was a deadbeat dad that had to be dragged into court several times and who never fully made up the money he was supposed to pay for the support of his own child. I'm sure he doesn't see the irony. Similarly we saw lots of anecdotes about people who were anti-ACA and pro "personal responsibility" ... until they ended up with something they couldn't pay for. I remember two or three who were really pissed that Obamacare had an open enrollment period so they couldn't just get it the instant they needed it rather than actually paying all along. The words "personal responsibility" are cheap.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#10 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 01:05 PM

View PostLFC, on 12 February 2018 - 12:18 PM, said:



I know of a Facebook friend of a Facebook friend who trumpets the same mantra. I happen to know he was a deadbeat dad that had to be dragged into court several times and who never fully made up the money he was supposed to pay for the support of his own child. I'm sure he doesn't see the irony. Similarly we saw lots of anecdotes about people who were anti-ACA and pro "personal responsibility" ... until they ended up with something they couldn't pay for. I remember two or three who were really pissed that Obamacare had an open enrollment period so they couldn't just get it the instant they needed it rather than actually paying all along. The words "personal responsibility" are cheap.

I love when they turn to “GoFundMe”. Asking strangers for money is the height of personal responsibility.
Trump delenda est.
GOP delenda est.
Resist!

#11 Bact PhD

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 01:31 PM

View PostLFC, on 12 February 2018 - 12:18 PM, said:



I know of a Facebook friend of a Facebook friend who trumpets the same mantra. I happen to know he was a deadbeat dad that had to be dragged into court several times and who never fully made up the money he was supposed to pay for the support of his own child. I'm sure he doesn't see the irony. Similarly we saw lots of anecdotes about people who were anti-ACA and pro "personal responsibility" ... until they ended up with something they couldn't pay for. I remember two or three who were really pissed that Obamacare had an open enrollment period so they couldn't just get it the instant they needed it rather than actually paying all along. The words "personal responsibility" are cheap.

Don’tcha know, “personal responsibility” applies to EVERYONE ELSE!!
Politics these days is show business. Elections are Dancing with the Stars with consequences. ~Rue Bella

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#12 golden_valley

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 02:45 PM

View PostProgressive whisperer, on 12 February 2018 - 01:05 PM, said:

I love when they turn to “GoFundMe”. Asking strangers for money is the height of personal responsibility.

Apparently that sort of community based help is ok because it's not coerced by the government. Of course, the GoFundMe may not raise enough money but at least you're free to do without whatever it is that you need help with.

#13 LFC

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 02:48 PM

View Postgolden_valley, on 12 February 2018 - 02:45 PM, said:

Apparently that sort of community based help is ok because it's not coerced by the government. Of course, the GoFundMe may not raise enough money but at least you're free to do without whatever it is that you need help with.

So raising money through taxes for the greater good is bad but begging for help is noble. Ooooookay.
" 'Individual conscience' means that women only get contraceptives if their employers, their physicians, their pharmacists, their husbands and/or fathers, pastors, and possibly their mayors, Governors, State Secretaries of Health, Congressmen, Senators, and President all agree that in that particular case they're justifiable." --D.C. Sessions

"That's the problem with being implacable foes - no one has any incentive to treat you as anything more than an obstacle to be overcome."

"The 'Road to Serfdom' is really all right turns." --Progressive Whisperer

""The GOP ... where every accusation is also a confession." --Progressive Whisperer

#14 golden_valley

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 03:03 PM

View PostLFC, on 12 February 2018 - 02:48 PM, said:

So raising money through taxes for the greater good is bad but begging for help is noble. Ooooookay.

And freedom! Don't forget Freedom!

#15 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 03:13 PM

View PostLFC, on 12 February 2018 - 02:48 PM, said:



So raising money through taxes for the greater good is bad but begging for help is noble. Ooooookay.

Yep, and it workers better when youv’e already made a name for yourself by railing loudly against the programs that would have helped you...

I think the key point is getting to decide who is “worthy” of your help.
Trump delenda est.
GOP delenda est.
Resist!

#16 D. C. Sessions

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 03:18 PM

"Personal responsibility" is great until someone with empty pockets harms you. What? Go ahead, sue -- they haven't got anything so you're just making lawyers richer. The corporations you deal with all have fine-print mandatory arbitration clauses (with arbiters of their choice, natch) and besides the near certainty that you'll lose the arbitration there's the simple gambler's ruin -- at best, you break even. Better to just budget for getting the shaft.
"Robots aren't the problem. Capitalism is." -- Last words of Stephen Hawking.
These days, "libertarian" is just a euphemism for a Nazi who's afraid to commit.
"If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." -- Heather Heyer
"I'd rather have my child, but by golly, if I gotta give her up, we're gonna make it count." -- Her mother
"Your purpose, then, plainly stated, is that you will destroy the Government, unless you be allowed to construe and enforce the Constitution as you please, on all points in dispute between you and us. You will rule or ruin in all events." -- some RINO

#17 Progressive whisperer

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Posted 12 February 2018 - 03:28 PM

View PostD. C. Sessions, on 12 February 2018 - 03:18 PM, said:

"Personal responsibility" is great until someone with empty pockets harms you. What? Go ahead, sue -- they haven't got anything so you're just making lawyers richer. The corporations you deal with all have fine-print mandatory arbitration clauses (with arbiters of their choice, natch) and besides the near certainty that you'll lose the arbitration there's the simple gambler's ruin -- at best, you break even. Better to just budget for getting the shaft.

In libertarian fantasy land there are no giant corporations, just brave entrepreneurs.

Trump delenda est.
GOP delenda est.
Resist!





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