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Wed Jun 12, 2013, 06:54 AM

Why Libertarians Are Basically Cult Members

http://www.alternet.org/economy/libertarians-are-cult-members

My previous Salon essay, in which I asked why there are not any libertarian countries, if libertarianism is a sound political philosophy, has infuriated members of the tiny but noisy libertarian sect, as criticisms of cults by outsiders usually do. The weak logic and bad scholarship that suffuse libertarian responses to my article tend to reinforce me in my view that, if they were not paid so well to churn out anti-government propaganda by plutocrats like the Koch brothers and various self-interested corporations, libertarians would play no greater role in public debate than do the followers of Lyndon LaRouche or L. Ron Hubbard.

An unscientific survey of the blogosphere turns up a number of libertarians claiming in response to my essay that, because libertarianism is anti-statist, to ask for an example of a real-world libertarian state shows a failure to understand libertarianism. But if the libertarian ideal is a stateless society, then libertarianism is merely a different name for utopian anarchism and deserves to be similarly ignored.

Another response to my essay has been to claim that a libertarian country really did exist once in the real world, in the form of the United States between Reconstruction and the New Deal. Robert Tracinski writes that I am “astonishingly ignorant of history” for failing to note that the “libertarian utopia, or the closest we’ve come to it, is America itself, up to about 100 years ago. It was a country with no income tax and no central bank. (It was on the gold standard, for crying out loud. You can’t get more libertarian than that.) It had few economic regulations and was still in the Lochner era, when such regulations were routinely struck down by the Supreme Court. There was no federal welfare state, no Social Security, no Medicare.”

It is Tracinski who is astonishingly ignorant of history. To begin with, the majority of the countries that adopted the “libertarian” gold standard were authoritarian monarchies or military dictatorships. With the exception of Imperial Britain, an authoritarian government outside of the home islands, where most Britons were denied the vote for most of this period, most of the independent countries of the pre-World War I gold standard epoch, including the U.S., Germany, France, Russia and many Latin American republics, rejected free trade in favor of varying degrees of economic protectionism.

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Reply Why Libertarians Are Basically Cult Members (Original post)
xchrom Jun 2013 OP
HiPointDem Jun 2013 #1
xchrom Jun 2013 #2
graham4anything Jun 2013 #3
abelenkpe Jun 2013 #4
HughBeaumont Jun 2013 #5

Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 06:58 AM

1. both britain and the us were protectionist until they became hegemons, then they turned to

 

'free trade'.

free trade historically had no value for developing countries, and it has no value for *any* country when imposed by the global 1%.

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Response to HiPointDem (Reply #1)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 07:05 AM

2. +1

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 07:07 AM

3. Actually, there is no basically, is just is. Ron Paul is the leader (and he don't even believe what

 

he says, but he has become a millionaire doing so.

Wish I had his money.

BTW, do people know Texas is one of the top states for the prosecution of ANY and ALL pot charges?
And Kentucky is right in the top 10 too.

Shows that Rand and Ron Paul are not even interested in their own states, that the only reason they say they are
is to cull young naïve voters to join their crusade

imho

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 08:55 AM

4. K&R nt

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Response to xchrom (Original post)

Wed Jun 12, 2013, 09:11 AM

5. The Gilded Age was a Libertarian utopia?

Sheeeeeeesh. And if you weren't white and well monied?

Libertarians fail because one man's rugged individualist is another man's firer, oppressor, assassin or slumlord.

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