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Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:09 PM

In Left-Right politics, where do libertarians fit?

Overall would they be considered more left-leaning, right-leaning, or centrist? It has been confusing to me because they seem to have stances from both sides. From the left side, libertarians claim to support personal freedom, non-interventionalist foreign policy, civil liberties and privacy, secularism, and oppose corporate welfare. And from the right, they support trickle-down, property rights, they oppose gun control, and they say they value individualism.

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Reply In Left-Right politics, where do libertarians fit? (Original post)
Jamaal510 Nov 2012 OP
Autumn Nov 2012 #1
JoeyT Nov 2012 #2
Savannahmann Nov 2012 #3
Lars39 Nov 2012 #4
LiberalArkie Nov 2012 #30
forestpath Nov 2012 #5
Vincardog Nov 2012 #28
Ganja Ninja Nov 2012 #6
nadinbrzezinski Nov 2012 #7
hifiguy Nov 2012 #8
we can do it Nov 2012 #18
PD Turk Nov 2012 #9
alcibiades_mystery Nov 2012 #10
quinnox Nov 2012 #11
HughBeaumont Nov 2012 #12
Uncle Joe Nov 2012 #13
hifiguy Nov 2012 #21
Uncle Joe Nov 2012 #24
Jamaal510 Nov 2012 #37
Comrade_McKenzie Nov 2012 #14
Zorra Nov 2012 #15
hifiguy Nov 2012 #22
devilgrrl Nov 2012 #16
Cleita Nov 2012 #23
union_maid Nov 2012 #17
pnwmom Nov 2012 #19
pnwmom Nov 2012 #20
hrmjustin Nov 2012 #25
NoPasaran Nov 2012 #26
gollygee Nov 2012 #27
davidn3600 Nov 2012 #33
backscatter712 Nov 2012 #29
NashvilleLefty Nov 2012 #31
davidn3600 Nov 2012 #32
ForgoTheConsequence Nov 2012 #34
tjwash Nov 2012 #35
Posteritatis Nov 2012 #36
TheKentuckian Nov 2012 #38
bluestate10 Nov 2012 #39

Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:33 PM

1. Middle of the road? All I know is they

confuse the hell out of me. Pick a side, any side.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:34 PM

2. In theory, they're socially left wing,

fiscally right wing. In practice most of them are straight up right wingers. It's mostly indifference to social issues (Other than weed or prostitution sometimes) and being hardline right wingers ranting and raving about fiscal ones.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:39 PM

3. Libertarian's and I share some views.

I support the expanded freedoms they espouse. The end of the drug war and legalization of all the drugs is but one area which I agree with them on. Their positions roughly come down to personal responsibility. For example, regarding the drugs, if you wish to take them, don't blame anyone else if you overdose, and don't expect anyone to hire you for a job in which you would be impaired by the taking of the drugs. I like their ideas of the military, a small military, based here in the United States, not tens of thousands of troops occupying "allied" countries. I disagree with them on the role of the Federal Government. They want a very small Federal Government, almost miniscule, and no Federal Social programs. Again, they feel you are directly responsible for yourself which is asinine, nobody can do it alone.

In the end, they're a fringe party, about the same standing as the Green's in politics. Yet, in some instances, they can be allies, and in others, opponents. They take personal liberty too far, there being an obvious need for some equalization.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:42 PM

4. The Libertarians I've met are selfish gits living in a fantasy world.

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Response to Lars39 (Reply #4)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:25 PM

30. Generally I have found that they do not want to pay any tax for anything that will not benefit them.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:44 PM

5. Libertarians are every bit as much as "I've got mine, screw you" as any Republican.

 

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Response to forestpath (Reply #5)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:03 PM

28. Bingo. Libertarians are RW wackos who want to smoke dope and get laid.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:45 PM

6. They almost always vote Republican.

I my opinion they are Republicans that want to pretend they aren't like the rest of the sheep.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 12:46 PM

7. They own the spectrum

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:04 PM

8. Libertarians are greedheads who want to smoke dope.

That is all.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #8)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:41 PM

18. I think you hit the nail on the head

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:04 PM

9. All over the place

I know quite a few people that identify themselves as libertarian or Libertarian. The ones I know that are the "big L" Libertarian party members claim to be for socially liberal ideals but that all generally gets thrown under the bus when it comes to fiscal issues,they are "my money" first and foremost.

I'm friends with a couple who describes themselves as "libertarian" (small l) and they both voted a straight Dem ticket in '08 and this time around too. The wife was frightened to death of what she called the "christian right womb police". She said "if it comes down to money or personal freedom, take the damn money just leave my personal life alone".

All of them though, seem to be rather naive about how an economy of the scale we have in a nation of 300 million+ people needs to work. It's all some magic fairy dust thing to them that somehow should work itself out if it were just left alone.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:06 PM

10. They go in the playpen with the other children

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:14 PM

11. I think they *are* confusing to many people, because they can't be easily pigeon-holed

 

Just as you basically spelled it out in the OP. They are a mixture of both left and right politics. Here is what I found on the Cato Institute, a well known libertarian organization, after doing a quick search. This is how they describe themselves:

How to Label Cato

Today, those who subscribe to the principles of the American Revolution individual liberty, limited government, the free market, and the rule of law call themselves by a variety of terms, including conservative, libertarian, classical liberal, and liberal. We see problems with all of those terms. "Conservative" smacks of an unwillingness to change, of a desire to preserve the status quo. Only in America do people seem to refer to free-market capitalism the most progressive, dynamic, and ever-changing system the world has ever known as conservative. Additionally, many contemporary American conservatives favor state intervention in some areas, most notably in trade and into our private lives.

"Classical liberal" is a bit closer to the mark, but the word "classical" fails to capture the contemporary vibrancy of the ideas of freedom.

"Liberal" may well be the perfect word in most of the world the liberals in societies from China to Iran to South Africa to Argentina tend to be supporters of human rights and free markets but its meaning has clearly been altered in the contemporary United States.

The Jeffersonian philosophy that animates Cato's work has increasingly come to be called "libertarianism" or "market liberalism." It combines an appreciation for entrepreneurship, the market process, and lower taxes with strict respect for civil liberties and skepticism about the benefits of both the welfare state and foreign military adventurism.

This vision brings the wisdom of the American Founders to bear on the problems of today. As did the Founders, it looks to the future with optimism and excitement, eager to discover what great things women and men will do in the coming century. Market liberals appreciate the complexity of a great society, recognizing that socialism and government planning are just too clumsy for the modern world. It is or used to be the conventional wisdom that a more complex society needs more government, but the truth is just the opposite. The simpler the society, the less damage government planning does. Planning is cumbersome in an agricultural society, costly in an industrial economy, and impossible in the information age. Today collectivism and planning are outmoded and backward, a drag on social progress.

Libertarians have a cosmopolitan, inclusive vision for society. We applaud the progressive extension of the promises of the Declaration of Independence to more people, especially to women, African-Americans, religious minorities, and gay and lesbian people. Our greatest challenge today is to continue to extend the promise of political freedom and economic opportunity to those who are still denied it, in our own country and around the world.

http://www.cato.org/about-mission.html


So it is hard to classify them it seems to me, and so there are a lot of easy reflex reactions to them, because they are a weird duck, basically.

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Response to quinnox (Reply #11)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 01:36 PM

12. How to label Cato?

A bunch of laissez-fail, disaster corporatist, free-market fellating wingnuts, that's how. Ever hear any of them talk on CNBC? There isn't a hypercapitalist policy they won't trip over themselves to defend.

And their definition of "liberal" seems to be far more, shall we say, "fringe" than what I'm used to hearing. I don't recall any "liberal" championing the steamrolling of the elderly, students, organized labor and the benefits they rely on and pay into to continue "Winner Kill All" Capitalism.

These regressives AREN'T our allies by any means.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:29 PM

13. Politics isn't just left - right it has an up (authoritarian) - down (libertarian) dimension

as well, so libertarians or anti-authoritarianism can be all along the scale.



I have also seen libertarians listed at the top of some graphs with authoritarians listed at the bottom of others, but the point being politics has at least 4 dimensions, and maybe 5 as in the graph below.




I believe the corporate media would prefer for the American People to think of politics as having just 2 dimensions primarily because corporations in general are authoritarian by nature thus it's easier for the corporate media to demonize liberalism or (one opposing dimension) and keep corporate friendly authoritarians in power versus covering/facing a more accurate and multi-dimensional political world.

In short it becomes easier for the corporate media to use their propaganda to manipulate a dumbed down populace; that only thinks of the political world as being left/right.

Thanks for the thread, Jamaal.

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Response to Uncle Joe (Reply #13)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:11 PM

21. I've always been strongly libertarian on personal issues

such as drug legalization (especially marijuana), what consenting adults do or read or view in private, restraining the police and guaranteeing the rights of press, speech and assembly to name but a few big issues.

I am also a democratic socialist on economic issues. Economic "freedom" does not include the "freedom" to subjugate your fellow human beings and the planet itself. I suspect I am not alone here on DU.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #21)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:55 PM

24. I feel the same way, hifiguy

and I also suspect we're not alone.

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Response to hifiguy (Reply #21)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 07:35 PM

37. You know what I never understood about people who supposedly favor "economic freedom"?

They pretty much only talk about paying less taxes and for upper income earners to have more "take-home pay". I have never heard them discuss what I personally refer to as spending freedom. Fiscal conservatives generally oppose Social Security and welfare, right? Yet these are programs that put more money in the pockets of working class Americans. As a result of them, working class Americans are "free" to buy more things. Maybe my logic is twisted, but that's just something I noticed.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:31 PM

14. The shell of a polished turd put forth by billionaires...

 

To make their shitty economic policies taste less shitty.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:39 PM

15. Definitely on the right. Generally, around 70% percent of Libertarians vote republican.

Like Thom Hartmann says ~

"Libertarians are republicans who want to smoke dope and get laid"

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Response to Zorra (Reply #15)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:12 PM

22. That is the quote I was trying to remember

upthread. Perfect!

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)


Response to devilgrrl (Reply #16)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:15 PM

23. I agree. Some call them conservatives who like to

smoke pot and have sex.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:41 PM

17. It's just libertarianism

Their social views will more often align with the left, except probably on issues like gun control. Their fiscal views would be way to the right. Basically it's all about more freedom, but less protection for the vulnerable. Most of us are vulnerable in some way or other.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:43 PM

19. Economics is at the core. They're right wingers who want to smoke pot and have sex. nt

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 02:46 PM

20. Right wing economic philosophy comes in two flavors: pro-pot and sex; anti-pot and sex.

The 1% doesn't care which flavor you choose, as long as you're on their side of the economic divide.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:56 PM

25. Fiscal issues they are on the right. Social issues they tend to be more moderate.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:58 PM

26. I think they are ranked on the Noisy Crackpot Scale

Pretty much zero points of intersection with the Plane of Reality.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 04:58 PM

27. They're almost always in cahoots with the GOP on economics

they like the radical free market capitalism of neo-liberalism. It's ugly stuff and hurts everyone but the very rich.

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Response to gollygee (Reply #27)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:56 PM

33. They agree with the GOP on economics, and agree with the Dems on social issues

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:10 PM

29. In the Pacman tunnel. n/t

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:33 PM

31. See this site:

www.politicalcompass.org/

They do a good job of explaining that in terms of why they use a graph instead of a straight line.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:33 PM

32. You need to think of the political spectrum as more than just a straight line

Think of it more in quadrants.

Imagine a vertical line. On the left side is liberal, and on the right side is conservative. Now make a horizontal line that splits the vertical line in half. On the top half you have authoritarian. And the bottom half you have libertarian.

Here is a chart like this from http://www.politicalcompass.org :

You can take a test on their website that pinpoints where you are on this graph...

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:57 PM

34. The term has been hijacked.

I know lots of neo-con dumbfucks who call themselves libertarians. I consider myself a left libertarian.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 05:57 PM

35. People that made a little bit of money and don't want to pay any taxes

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 06:01 PM

36. There's not just one simple left-right continuum anyway

The two-axis one that gets bandied about a lot makes a lot more sense.

That said, most libertarians I know are very militarist..

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 08:54 PM

38. Big L/Paulittes are extreme Reich Wingers and come to their social and military positions

by ideological accident, they just don't want a Federal government of a scope capable of enforcing drug laws, meddling in bedrooms, or engaging in military adventures. They are typically fine if some corporation does the exact same things like they might oppose a US attack on Iran but would be fine with a gaggle of companies hiring mercenaries to do the same thing.

Little "l" is more anti-authoritarian, regardless of the power is held by government, corporations, or individuals.

It isn't a simple answer since one can be a civil libertarian (focused on individual rights and protections), a social libertarian will be into individual freedoms and self determination, or they may fall into the fiscal libertarian arena which I consider right wing putting the individual profit motive and desires over societal needs, essentially that the needs or even wants of the one outweigh the needs of the many and each person is an island.

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Response to Jamaal510 (Original post)

Tue Nov 27, 2012, 09:57 PM

39. Based upon what I see, far right. nt

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