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Truthiness Inspector Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 12:57 AM
Original message
Anarchism vs. Libertarianism?
Sometimes the left/right bend so far they meet.
Is there any difference between anarchism and libertarianism?
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LoZoccolo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 12:58 AM
Response to Original message
1. Libertarians believe the law should enforce property rights. n/t
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greyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 01:06 AM
Response to Original message
2. Anarchism has much better music and art. ;) nt
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 05:24 AM
Response to Reply #2
11. they only seek Chaos to prey on the suffering..
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 01:08 AM
Response to Original message
3. Libertarians are confusing, anarchists are confused
The basic beliefs of both is that government should be powerless or nonexistant.
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GreenPartyVoter Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 11:01 AM
Response to Reply #3
29. LOL that's a funny way of putting it, but true.
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piedmont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 01:16 AM
Response to Original message
4. You use Libertarian and libertarian in your OP as though they are the same. They are not. nt
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 05:19 AM
Response to Reply #4
9. how so since they are both worse than each other.. both worse than NeoCons
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piedmont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 06:06 AM
Response to Reply #9
12. libertarians may be either left or right wing. Libertarians (i.e., the Libertarian Party) are...
strictly right-wing, and can be pretty repugnant. I think most DUers self-identified as left-leaning libertarian in a DU poll that linked to the the political compass website: http://www.politicalcompass.org/
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spindoctor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 06:48 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. Libertarian as opposed to Authoritarian, that's right.
And it doesn't surprise me that most DU'ers end up on the libertarian side.

Yes folks, we are a bunch of Montana based, right wing, gun toting, survival freaks. Don't piss us off!
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 04:50 PM
Response to Reply #12
35. That test makes me want to hit myself with a hammer
Edited on Fri Aug-10-07 04:57 PM by Chulanowa
Take a few of the questions:
"Those with the ability to pay should have the right to higher standards of medical care .
Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly Agree
"

The phrasing of the statement is very... peculiar. If you disagree, you're saying people with more money should be forced to endure low standards of medical care. If you agree, you're saying that access to medical care is a right, but only for those able to pay.

There is no question asking whether or not health care should be a right, even for those unable to pay on the test.

The one just above it:
"The rich are too highly taxed.
Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly Agree
"

By this statement, either the rich are unfairly overtaxed, or they are unfairly undertaxed - but the taxation, either way to take it, is unfair.

"The freer the market, the freer the people.
Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly Agree
"

Either way of answering this one makes you kinda dumb. A restricted and regulated market naturally restricts the freedom of those participating it... but so does an unrestricted and deregulated market. The question makes an issue of "freedom" while the actual concern would be prosperity. People prosper better with regulation and restriction on markets than without them.

"All people have their rights, but it is better for all of us that different sorts of people should keep to their own kind.
Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly Agree
"

Easy answer, right, "disagree" - you don't want to look like a bigot of some sort, even to yourself. But in context of this test, that means you are against freedom of association and in favor of ham-handed attempts at government political correctness.

"No broadcasting institution, however independent its content, should receive public funding.
Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly Agree
"

This question very clearly hinges on the participant believing that the airwaves are private property rather than public. It's a disingenuous question. Either you disagree with it (and thus support the idea if taxes going to biased broadcasters) or you agree with it (and thus support the idea that the airwaves are the private property of those same biased broadcasters)

"A significant advantage of a one-party state is that it avoids all the arguments that delay progress in a democratic political system.
Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly Agree
"

Technically the statement is true. But agreeing with the true statement puts you in defense of the idea of a single-party state. Disagreement states that either you do not believe that a single-party state has less partisan conflict agaisnt all logic, or that you do not believe that delayed progress is a bad thing in politics - again, not that logical.

"In a civilised society, one must always have people above to be obeyed and people below to be commanded.
Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly Agree
"

Like the previous one, this question frames an actual logical truth in an unpleasant manner. Human society is hierarchal. In all the attempts to create a "classless" society through human history, all of them have ended up with a handful of leaders and a large group of followers, because that's just the way we work as a species. We just don't work like say, schooling fish. Even though this is so, the question posed here uses "obeyed", "above and below", "commanded", etc, to create the impression that the only alternative to complete and pure self-determination is rampant abuse of power.

"Charity is better than social security as a means of helping the genuinely disadvantaged.
Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly Agree"

Again, you're given an either-or solution. Do you choose flawed method #1 (our current social security system) or flawed method #2 (charity)? There is no "improve the social safety net" option.

"it's fine for society to be open about sex, but these days it's going too far.
Strongly Disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly Agree
"

Are you agreeing or disagreeing with the first or second part of the question? If the second and you disagree, are you saying that it's not gone far enough?

No political outlook can be summed up in a handfull of "Agree / disagree" questions, because there are so many details that are omitted by the black-white dichotomy of them. Especially when using such disingenuous and murky questions. You may also want to note that the front page talks about Stalin, Pol Pot, Gandhi, and Mugabe... but makes no mention of Hitler, Pinochet, Goldwater, or Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi... This is also reflected in the FAQ
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piedmont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 05:01 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. Well, I won't stop you.
A couple of the questions on the test have flaws. It's just a jumping-off point for exploring what you believe and value. Your comments above on the questions have said quite a lot about you.
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. I'll bet they've just barely touched the tip of my personal iceberg
Primarily they say how dumb I think this test is.

What did you divine from my comments? :)
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 06:11 PM
Response to Reply #35
40. what utter nonsense
Have you untwisted yourself from what must have been a horribly painful pretzel shape yet?

If you disagree, you're saying people with more money should be forced to endure low standards of medical care. If you agree, you're saying that access to medical care is a right, but only for those able to pay.

No. The question deals with relative standards. Not being entitled to "higher" standards of medical care does NOT mean being forced to endure low standards of medical care. You've just made that up. It cannot in any way be inferred from the question. Canadians may not pay privately for "higher standards of medical care", and are NOT "forced to endure low standards of medical care".

On the other hand, of course, millions upon millions of people in the US are "forced to endure low standards of medical care" by circumstance. Circumstance can be a very powerful thing.

By this statement, either the rich are unfairly overtaxed, or they are unfairly undertaxed - but the taxation, either way to take it, is unfair.

What are you reading?? Plainly not the words you copied and pasted. "The rich are too highly taxed." If you agree, you are saying they are unfairly undertaxed. If you disagree, what are you saying that can possibly be interpreted as "they are unfairly overtaxed"? You disagree that they are unfairly undertaxed. You may well think they are taxed just right. If I disagree that the sky is red, have I just said that the sky is green? The false dichotomy is entirely in your own head.

Either way of answering this one makes you kinda dumb. A restricted and regulated market naturally restricts the freedom of those participating it... but so does an unrestricted and deregulated market. The question makes an issue of "freedom" while the actual concern would be prosperity. People prosper better with regulation and restriction on markets than without them.

Your problem would be that "the freer the market, the freer the people" is a rather popular tenet in some quarters. It's not really like Political Compass made it up. And here I think we see one of your basic problems: you're for some reason expecting all of the statements on which opinions are solicited to be provable or disprovable. They aren't. They're opinions. They may be stupid, and they may make no sense, but they're commonly held opinions.

There are many people who believe (or, well, claim to believe) that free markets are the necessary condition for personal freedom. It sounds like a tautology, but it really kinda ain't. There can be a completely unregulated market in a state that imprisons people for engaging in disapproved sexual activities or disapproved speech. Doncha know?

But in context of this test, that means you are against freedom of association and in favor of ham-handed attempts at government political correctness.

That would be "the context of this test" as you are bent on making it appear. Not on anything that is actually there.

Perhaps you have, er, mistaken personal opinion for public policy advocacy. Not an uncommon, er, mistake hereabouts. For your assistance: agreement with the statement "it is better for all of us that different sorts of people should keep to their own kind" is NOT equivalent to agreement with the statement "the government should force us to associate with people we don't want to associate with". I don't actually think you needed this assistance, of course. I mean, I really hope not.

No broadcasting institution, however independent its content, should receive public funding.
This question very clearly hinges on the participant believing that the airwaves are private property rather than public. Either you disagree with it (and thus support the idea if taxes going to biased broadcasters) or you agree with it (and thus support the idea that the airwaves are the private property of those same biased broadcasters)

What??? This one is just beyond me. I believe the airwaves are public property, and I strongly support public broadcasters and public funding of public broadcasters, and for the life of me I have no clue why you would claim that this means that I believe the airwaves are private and support taxes going to biased private broadcasters. (In fact I do support funding of private broadcasters, and private braodcasters are funded in Canada, via funding for film and video production to boost domestic content, but that is very definitely not what you were talking about.)

Again, you're given an either-or solution. Do you choose flawed method #1 (our current social security system) or flawed method #2 (charity)? There is no "improve the social safety net" option.

NO. Again, you are asked to choose between two things -- with no implication whatsoever that they are the only two options. You know how when your optometrist says "which is better: this one, or this one?" Do you imagine that s/he might not be able to figure out whether you are myopic or presybopic by doing that? And by adding two others, as the quiz does, get an idea of the degree of your myopia or presbyopia? If I'm offered potatoes or carrots for dinner, I might well rather have mushrooms. That doesn't mean I can't express a preference for potatoes over carrots or vice versa.

In any event, the question doesn't ask your opinion of any flawed method or other. It says "social security". You're entirely free to imagine a utopian social security system if you like, and answer on that basis. Of course, you might also want to note that the quiz originates in the UK, and that the initial letters on "social security" are not capitalized: the reference is to a concept, not a system.

Like the previous one, this question frames an actual logical truth in an unpleasant manner. Human society is hierarchal. In all the attempts to create a "classless" society through human history, all of them have ended up with a handful of leaders and a large group of followers, because that's just the way we work as a species. We just don't work like say, schooling fish. Even though this is so, the question posed here uses "obeyed", "above and below", "commanded", etc, to create the impression that the only alternative to complete and pure self-determination is rampant abuse of power.

Yeah, yeah, sez you. Except, once again, you're wrong. As I think you know perfectly well.

I say that there should be people above to command and people below to decide who the people above are going to be. So, duh, I disagree with the statement proposed. I picked "mushrooms". How come you couldn't?

A significant advantage of a one-party state is that it avoids all the arguments that delay progress in a democratic political system.
Technically the statement is true.

Really? Where is that a significant advantage of a one-party state? If I actually thought it was a significant advantage of a one-party state, I might agree with the statement. Do YOU actually think it's a significant advantage of a one-party state? That strikes me a little like saying that a significant advantage of an air conditioner is that it keeps you warm in winter.

it's fine for society to be open about sex, but these days it's going too far.
Are you agreeing or disagreeing with the first or second part of the question? If the second and you disagree, are you saying that it's not gone far enough?

Now there's an interesting quibble. My own was different. It's fine for society to be open about sex, but does that mean I have to sit through endless hours of the exploitive display of women's bodies for profit when I watch television? That's going too far. But I don't think that's what the question was asking me.


You may also want to note that the front page talks about Stalin, Pol Pot, Gandhi, and Mugabe... but makes no mention of Hitler, Pinochet, Goldwater, or Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi... This is also reflected in the FAQ

Huh. You might want to actually read what you're critiquing before criticising.

http://www.politicalcompass.org/analysis2

You can also put Pinochet, who was prepared to sanction mass killing for the sake of the free market, on the far right as well as in a hardcore authoritarian position. On the non-socialist side you can distinguish someone like Milton Friedman, who is anti-state for fiscal rather than social reasons, from Hitler, who wanted to make the state stronger, even if he wiped out half of humanity in the process.

The chart also makes clear that, despite popular perceptions, the opposite of fascism is not communism but anarchism (ie liberal socialism), and that the opposite of communism (i.e. an entirely state-planned economy) is neo-liberalism (i.e. extreme deregulated economy)

... The usual understanding of anarchism as a left wing ideology does not take into account the neo-liberal "anarchism" championed by the likes of Ayn Rand, Milton Friedman and America's Libertarian Party, which couples law of the jungle right-wing economics with liberal positions on most social issues. Often their libertarian impulses stop short of opposition to strong law and order positions, and are more economic in substance (ie no taxes) so they are not as extremely libertarian as they are extremely right wing. On the other hand, the classical libertarian collectivism of anarcho-syndicalism ( libertarian socialism) belongs in the bottom left hand corner.

In our home page we demolished the myth that authoritarianism is necessarily "right wing", with the examples of Robert Mugabe, Pol Pot and Stalin. Similarly Hitler, on an economic scale, was not an extreme right-winger. His economic policies were broadly Keynesian, and to the left of some of today's Labour parties. If you could get Hitler and Stalin to sit down together and avoid economics, the two diehard authoritarians would find plenty of common ground.


So, you didn't like your scores? You could have a word with the organization that developed the quiz. They seem to have a pretty good idea what they're up to, but maybe they just haven't taken USAmerican sensibilities into sufficient account or some such thing.

I'll tell you where they do go seriously wrong, though. On that Lama person. The thought of being in the same quadrant as that vicious, hateful, totalitarian dirt turns my stomach.


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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 06:44 PM
Response to Reply #40
42. You seem to take this awfully personally
Certainly the barbs thrown at my cognitive ability seem to indicate that, at any rate. Exactly how much of your own political thought do you base exclusively on a game of twenty questions on the internet, that you feel the need to go into a foaming rant over the fact someone finds the system and phrasing it uses to be rather dumb? Are you perhaps one of the writers?

One thing in particular that you said did catch my attention.

What??? This one is just beyond me. I believe the airwaves are public property, and I strongly support public broadcasters and public funding of public broadcasters, and for the life of me I have no clue why you would claim that this means that I believe the airwaves are private and support taxes going to biased private broadcasters. (In fact I do support funding of private broadcasters, and private braodcasters are funded in Canada, via funding for film and video production to boost domestic content, but that is very definitely not what you were talking about.)

No, no. If you support public funding of broadcasting institution, then you have no problem with your tax money going to Pat Robertson, Niel Cavuto, Fred "the savage" Weiner, and other heavily biased "broadcasters"
If you don't support public funding of these institutions, then they have to stay on the air through private funding... Whin in effect makes these airwaves privately owned.

It's a damned if you do, damned if you don't sort of question.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 07:21 PM
Response to Reply #42
45. get a fucking grip

I take assaults on truth and honesty personally.

The statement you purport to be distressed by being asked to agree or disagree with is:

No broadcasting institution, however independent its content,
should receive public funding.


Now, you are telling me:

If you support public funding of broadcasting institution, then you have no problem with your tax money going to Pat Robertson, Niel Cavuto, Fred "the savage" Weiner, and other heavily biased "broadcasters"

and given your repetition of this nonsense, it is looking less like nonsense and more like a deliberate attempt to mislead.

First, the statement doesn't ask whether I support public funding of any broadcaster in particular or of every broadcaster without exception. It asks whether I AGREE OR DISAGREE with the statement that NO broadcasting institution should receive public funding.

It does NOT ask me whether I agree or disagree that ALL broadcasting institutions should receive public funding.

If I DISAGREE with the statement that NO broadcasting institution should receive public funding, then I necessarily agree with the statement that SOME broadcasting institution should receive public funding.

But I DO NOT NECESSARILY AGREE with the statement that Pat Robertson's broadcasting institution should receive public funding.

And it continues to be completely beyond me to see how or why you would say that it does.

I'd like you to explain to me how MY statement: I believe that the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, a "Crown corporation" owned by but operating at arm's length from the federal government, should receive public funding

necessarily implies that either
(a) I believe that Pat Robertson's broadcasting institution should receive public funding
(b) I believe that the airwaves are private property

and how my statement is conceivably inconsistent with disagreement with the statement No broadcasting institution, however independent its content, should receive public funding.

What's interesting, though, is that you seem to have been forced to frame your own statement:

If you support public funding of broadcasting institution

as something that doesn't even make sense, in order to make your point. "Public funding of ..." a broadcasting institution? any broadcasting institution? broadcasting institutions? Pick one, would you, or suggest another, and explain how you find it necessary to infer it from my statement?

And I am even more competely gobsmacked that you continue to say:

If you don't support public funding of these institutions, then they have to stay on the air through private funding... Whin in effect makes these airwaves privately owned.

I really just can't believe that one.

If I have to purchase my own motor vehicle and pay a licence fee in order to drive it on the public highways, does this make the public highways privately owned??

Yes, airwaves are a finite commodity, where the public highways, in practice, are not. But the broadcaster operating on private funding is paying a licence fee for the use of the airwaves, and is subject to regulation governing how they may be used. The airwaves are rented for private use, not privately owned. Just like your campsite in the national park.

You seem to be pretending that none of these things actually happen -- that there are not broadcasters receiving public funding, even in the US, when in fact there are; and that there are not broadcasters operating on private funding, when in fact there are; and that despite both those things, the airwaves are not publicly owned, which they are (by possession, if nothing else).

I'm beginning to think that you may be hopelessly uncomprehending rather than intentionally misleading. It can be really hard to tell. In the latter case, you're sussed and you should give it up. In the former case, you should make a little more effort to see things as they are and not as you'd like them to be.

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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 07:57 PM
Response to Reply #45
46. So it's more of a logic puzzle than a political test. Gotcha.
Edited on Fri Aug-10-07 08:01 PM by Chulanowa
Don't misunderstand me. I do know exactly what YOU are saying - that disagreement with an absolute doesn't automatically mean agreement with the opposite absolute. That's fine.

What I am saying is that that is not the way this test is framed. The quiz is presented as a serious method of discovering which political model you fall under, rather than a "Which Smurf are you?" personality test. Your ability to agree or disagree with absolutes doesn't have much real bearing on your personal political beliefs. Well, at least not ideally, but in this day and age of soundbites and bumper stickers being the most meaningful method of discourse... But I digress.

"I do / don't agree that absolutely no broadcasting institution should receive public funding" is an entirely meaningless statement without reasoning and quantification.

Do you agree with the statement because you think taxes are theft, or do you agree with the statement because you don't want to see potential bias funded? If the first, you're likely to lean towards the right economically, and if the second, you're more likely to lean to the left.
Do you disagree because you believe that public airwaves are just that, public, and should be funded so, or do you disagree because you want those opinions that most agree with you to be the ones receiving funding? If the first, you're more social libertarian, while the latter is authoritarian.

So... What's the result from this question?

I'll grant you, it works as a kick-start to thinking about stuff... Were it presented in a medium other than four pages of HTML that you breeze through with no feedback or debate in under five minutes. Perhaps even if you were told after the quiz which questions resulted in what direction your results went in. "Do you believe marijuana should be legalized?" Absolutely - but does that move my result along the economic or social access? Some people want it legalized for social reasons - "personal freedom to do what I want to myself". Others purely economic - "We would save tax dollars".
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #46
47. I swear ... only in the USofA
Do you agree with the statement because you think taxes are theft, or do you agree with the statement because you don't want to see potential bias funded? If the first, you're likely to lean towards the right economically, and if the second, you're more likely to lean to the left.

The idea that someone on the left would object to public broadcasting ... only in 'Murika, I say.

Of course, I suspect thee and me are not agreeing on what "left" means, and that I'm the one operating in the real world.

Do you disagree because you believe that public airwaves are just that, public, and should be funded so, or do you disagree because you want those opinions that most agree with you to be the ones receiving funding? If the first, you're more social libertarian, while the latter is authoritarian.

I'm dreadfully sorry, but here you are still simply making no sense. Is there really someone in the world -- our world, this world, this decade -- who believes that the entire broadcasting spectrum should be occupied by wholly tax-funded programming -- in this world, in this decade? or that whatever portion of that element is not so occupied should be left vacant?

Are there really right-wingers who would disagree with that statement because they want the collected bedtime stories of Adolf Hitler broadcast at public expense?

Some people want it legalized for social reasons - "personal freedom to do what I want to myself". Others purely economic - "We would save tax dollars".

You think that an authoritarian would advocate legalizing a private behaviour that s/he thought others should not engage in because it would save tax dollars? I don't. So I think you're positing a virtually non-existent set.


Do YOU know anything about survey construction? Are you imagining that the questions in this thing have not been tested and re-tested and validated and re-validated?

But it's important to realise that this isn't a survey, and these aren't questions. They're propositions - an altogether different proposition. To question the logic of individual ones that irritate you is to miss the point. Some propositions are extreme, and some are more moderate. That's how we can show you whether you lean towards extremism or moderation on the Compass.

Some of the propositions are intentionally vague. Their purpose is to trigger buzzwords in the mind of the user, measuring feelings and prejudices rather than detailed opinions on policy.

Incidentally, our test is not another internet personality classification tool. The essence of our site is the model for political analysis. The test is simply a demonstration of it.


Not much more to say, really. Basically, I'm pretty convinced that you fancy yourself the leftist of us all and don't think the quiz gives you sufficient props -- or enables all us not really left at all poseurs to pat ourselves for how left we are. Oh well. You be an outlier, and be happy.


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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 10:15 PM
Response to Reply #47
48. I'm not sure why you're having such difficulty...
Edited on Fri Aug-10-07 10:20 PM by Chulanowa
The test has two measurements - Economic which is Right vs. Left, and Social, which is Libertarian vs. Authoritarian.
Considering you're pushing this thing like a dealer pushes crack, I would have imagined you at least knew what it measured.

Here's a picture, I don't know if I can make it any fucking simpler


In the example we're hacking on, it is possible to go either direction on either scale, with each answer option.

A person who leans to the left economically may be against funding broadcasts with tax dollars, because there's really no way to guarantee "Fairness in media" - the concept is that tax dollars SHOULD be spent, but only such as they benefit society as a whole. Propaganda and lies - the main products of modern public media - thus do no deserve such funding

A person who leans to the right economically may be against public funding because they view taxation as theft, and spending outside of defense to be "Wasteful". Thus to their way of figuring, their government is stealing money from their pockets to provide welfare to people who's only contribution to society is to blather in a microphone.

A person who tends toward authoritarianism might very well favor public funding of broadcasts. That way the government can tightly regulate what is and isn't acceptable by withholding funding from that which is decided to be subversive or counter to national interest, while others who toe the party / state line don't have to dig into their own pockets to stay on the air.

A person who tends towards libertarianism might support public funding as well, with the argument that having the right to free speech is meaningless if you lack the options needed to engage in it. By broadcasting being paid for with tax dollars, there is no barricade up to bar anyone from stepping up and speaking out over the airwaves.

When faced with the statement "no broadcasting service, no matter how independent they may be, should receive public funding", right and left can both agree with it, and also, libertarian and authoritarian and both disagree with it. Or, the reverse might be true. You can also mix and match - the libertarian might agree with no public funding, while the right-leaner might disagree.

The point being, without the reasoning for whether you agree or disagreeing coming into the picture, there is no real way to divine your political leanings.

Here's one off the top of my head:
"Something must be done to halt illegal immigration into this country
Strongly disagree
Disagree
Agree
Strongly agree"

A lot of posters here at Democratic underground would chose "strongly agree". So would a lot of posters over at Freeperland. Are both groups checking it for the same reasons? Probably not. Odds are, the folks at DU choosing it are doing so out of concern for the immigrants themselves, who's undocumented status opens them up for all sorts of abuse, while the people at FR are going on about brown people "forcing me to speak mexican"

Both strongly agree. But for very different reasons. You are simply not able to tell much about the politics of either side by whether they agree / disagree. It's a useless measure.
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 06:34 AM
Response to Reply #4
15. Good point. "libertarian" with a lower-case "l" is just another term for "anarchist".
n/t.
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spindoctor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 06:55 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. I'm either missing the point or the joke. There's a difference? n/t
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 07:34 AM
Response to Reply #18
20. There is a difference
"libetarian" means anarchist in the European or early 20th century sense, with a focus on establishing a society based on voluntary organization and cooperation, and run, in the broad sense, for the good of all.

The Libertarian Party, as it exists in the U.S., is just for tax cuts for the rich, service cuts for the poor and some vaguely defined notion of "personal liberty". U.S. Libertarian Party members have no sense of social justice or solidarity with oppressed people. It's a politics for the self-absorbed, without ideals.
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spindoctor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 08:44 AM
Response to Reply #20
21. Ahhhh....IC.
Yea, I had my dealings with the Libertarian Party in ID.
Strange bunch and has little to do with the libertarian ideal.

See my point below about differences between libertarianism and anarchism ;)
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 02:25 PM
Response to Reply #4
31. I'm honestly getting a bit sick of this argument
Everything good and positive about libertarian thought is automatically "little l" libertarianism
Every flaw and failing of the philosophy is "big L" libertarianism. Either that, or you're an idiot for thinking there are any flaws to libertarian thought, since only an idiot would hate freedom!

It's the "Torquemada wasn't a Christian" argument.
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piedmont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 02:36 PM
Response to Reply #31
32. read post 12. nt
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 01:45 AM
Response to Original message
5. Anarchists are socialists; libertarians are capitalists
Sometimes anarchists call themselves libertarians and sometimes vicey-versey, because the word 'anarchist' comes with a large amount of semantic baggage.
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spindoctor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 05:02 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Wrong
There is for example a capitalist school of thought in anarchism called anarcho-capitalism http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarcho-capitalism

Libertarianism is capitalistic in nature but only because it rejects the excesses of socialism.
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sam sarrha Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 05:23 AM
Response to Reply #8
10. it rejects any socialism.. listen to Neil Bortz.. he is where all this Lib crap will gravitate
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spindoctor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 06:28 AM
Response to Reply #10
13. As with any political philosophy it is often misunderstood
Communism, fascism, they all have their merrits. It's the interpretation that falls short of the goal.

All things considered, the line of thought that touches closest to my personal believe system is libertarianism.
I don't know who Neil Bortz is but I know that there are many, let's say militia-type organizations, that call themselves libertarians.
Personally, I would label the UCLA as a typical libertarian organization.

Anyway, I for one am not likely to defend any philosophy as the one and only truth. I leave it to the Pope to declare Catholicism the one true church.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 09:41 AM
Response to Reply #13
23. UCLA?
As in the University of California at Los Angeles?
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spindoctor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 09:54 AM
Response to Reply #23
24. Oops...ACLU of course. lol n/t
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 06:33 AM
Response to Reply #10
14. Anarchists don't universally reject all forms of socialism
There are some who would see their roots(as Emma Goldman did)in the voluntary form of socialism pioneered by Robert Owen in the mid-Nineteenth Century. The anarchists who fought and died in Spain certainly weren't fighting for individual private property held for individual profit. They wanted a socialism that was worker-controlled rather than state-controlled. This is, perhaps, unachievable for an entire society but it has had a lot on influence, and this influence can be seen, for example, in Hugo Chavez' proposals(which will soon be implemented)for local direct democratic decision-making.

So the statement that "anarchism rejects ANY socialism" is wrong.

It just rejects state coercion.
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Lilith Velkor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 12:33 PM
Response to Reply #8
30. Not wrong, you kinda just agreed with me
Some libertarians call themselves anarcho-capitalists.

Some anarchists call themselves libertarian-socialists.

It really comes down to whether you are around people who get freaked out by the A-word or not, or the degree of freaked-outness present.
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Unvanguard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 10:32 PM
Response to Reply #8
50. Yes, yes, it "calls itself" anarcho-capitalism.
But in truth, it does not abolish the state. It only privatizes it.

Under anarcho-capitalism, if I could somehow gain ownership of a large piece of territory, I could rule over its inhabitants as I saw fit... but this would not be a "state" because they like manipulating definitions.
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SoCalDem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-11-07 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #8
53. If I had to choose.. I would pick anarchism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism_and_society


* Anarchists generally agree that any sort of production in an anarchist society must be done ecologically, and sustainably. Anarcho-primitivists contend that large scale industrial production is largely environmentally destructive, and must be abolished. Likewise, anarcho-syndicalists state that industrial production is abusive on workers, leads to massive alienation, and only helps to create massive amounts of products to feed markets. To counter this, anarchists generally propose community based production and self-management over industries in order to cut down on surplus production, and also create better distribution. Anarcho-primitivists however, state that agriculture and domestication of plants and animals leads to the creation of private property, (largely over the earth), earth destruction, and propose systems of permaculture, and returning to pre-industrial sustenance.

* Anarchists propose that with the destruction of the state, violence from statist forces will generally come from counter-revolutionaries, or those that want a return to hierarchal structures. Marxist-Leninists are critical of anarchists on this issue, and argue without a strong centralized group, or vanguard, a revolutionary society will not be able to defend itself. Although some anarchists are pacifists, many anarchists propose self-defense against counter-revolutionary forces through the construction of popular militias. Such examples of such militias can be found larger during the anarchist revolutions and movements in the Spanish and Russian Revolution.

Anarchist social organization

Anarchists generally want society to continue to be organized around various communities. However, unlike capitalist or state-socialist communities which are organized by the government or by business, anarchists want society to be organized and managed by and for the people who live within them.

Schools, social centers, parks, fire-stations, etc. are all seen as things that are needed to be turned over and run by the people through systems of direct democracy and self-management. Anarchists point to the fact that many areas of our lives are already communal and anarchistic; a barn raising, community building, sharing recipes, group childcare, city parks, etc.

The roads are hardly anarchist because the USA's "Intervention" to "Spread of Democracy" and "Open New Markets" subsidizes oil to create a car based, sprawling civilization. The traffic laws are obviously government created. But they are self enforcing: it is dangerous to violate the government's laws not only because of police action, but also because of traffic accidents. When traffic laws are disregarded, they are disregarded by the consensus of everyone breaking the law at once, continuously, the police are largely powerless and the police accept and try to manage the effectively anarchist traffic laws so created. The speed limit on the highway is decided by the ordinary motorists themselves, essentially without any formal structures, or any anomie not inherent to cars.

Many of these places are areas that we set aside within our communities in which land and things are held in common by those within the communities. Anarchists simply want to expand this communal space, and complete community self-management towards all walks of public life. Anarchists also want to expand the communal space which exists within our cities and public areas, not only to remove capitalist institutions that are not needed, but also to allow for public spaces to have more opportunities for sustainability. Such aims of community self-sustainability is not that hard to grasp. In the 1940s during the II World War, victory gardens spread across the United States, and in some areas like San Francisco, the city became 40% sustained by its own production. With removal of unwanted capitalist infrastructure, anarchists contend that urban spaces and community can under go organic recreations into self-sustaining centers for better human development.

Green anarchists, and primitivists take these ideas even further, and contend that groups of hundreds make up the desired group size, and communities of people can begin to build and live directly off the land without having to cultivate or domesticate plants and animals. They contend that this style of community will lead to more leisure time and less work, and will allow for increased freedom of movement and pursuit of enjoyment, such as seen in various indigenous communities. See also primitive communism.

Social services that are needed in societies that are specialized, (such as teaching and medicine), would be carried out by those interested in those set "jobs". Anarchists also propose that with production, (anarchist economics), being shared, rotated, and self-managed, people will have more time and access to engage in working in more complicated tasks and jobs that would benefit themselves and their communities directly. Indeed, if the modern medical field was treated like the free software movement, more people would have access to work on cures for diseases, and other problems that threaten society.

Like production and community affairs, anarchists often point out the success of the postal system, which despite being hierarchically organized with a boss, has no central postal leader, simply various autonomous postal outposts. Federations and networks of doctors, schools, and other community institutions could follow this method as well, and apply anarchist principles to its organizational structure. An example of this in action is the 19th century Modern School movement, which was an anarchist-run school for working-class children (author Jack London taught there). The 'Modern' Modern School movement is alive and well, with Free Schools popping up across the globe offering free classes based upon anarchist principles.

As stated before, anarchists see assemblies and councils of neighborhoods coming together as the possible anarchist organs for community organization. These councils would decide day to day issues, resolve problems, begin work on roads and projects, and work to further advance the community. Anarchists point to the success of the community council system in Chiapas Mexico, under the Zapatista autonomous communities. Further examples of the neighborhood council system can be seen in the ongoing popular uprising in Argentina, where neighborhood councils meet weekly, and then in larger councils with other groups to discuss various issues.

In regards to solving issues of crime and settling disputes, anarchists generally are in favor of councils, courts, and assemblies of community mediation and discourse. In a society lacking private property, anarchists assume that social crimes will be the problems to focus on, (i.e. rape, murder, etc). Anarchists are generally skeptical of the prison system, which they see as simply authoritarian, and not working to fix problems within society, and only manifesting new ones.
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AntiFascist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 06:45 AM
Response to Reply #5
16. You might also look at it from the point of view of human rights....
Edited on Fri Aug-10-07 06:57 AM by AntiFascist
I once debated with some far right libertarians the idea that man is endowed with basic rights at birth. They were arguing that an individual has no inherent rights, and is only granted what is given by G-d: in other words these are usually the "rights" he is able to obtain through wealth that has been accumulated, through circumstance, from family, or through friends and contacts in the right places. The BFEE may subscribe to this.

Anarchists might be considered at the opposite end of the spectrum, where the individual has full use of rights at his disposal against any form of oppressive authority.
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AnotherGreenWorld Donating Member (958 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 07:22 AM
Response to Reply #5
19. Yeah, anarchists like Noam Chomsky, sometimes
call themselves libertarian socialists.

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qdemn7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 05:00 PM
Response to Reply #19
36. Chomaksy and his libertarian socialism
Has always seemed like a contradiction in terms.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 06:22 PM
Response to Reply #36
41. "... Has always seemed like a contradiction in terms."
to the utterly uninformed who haven't even bothered to read the posts in the thread they're posting in, and plainly know nothing about political thought if it wasn't thunk before 1789 ...

http://www.politicalcompass.org /

A small step toward wising up.

You could have a look here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_Socialism

although I find it overstates the case a tad, and you'll probably find that, in practice, libertarian socialists often hang out here:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_socialism

Though there are many types of socialism that fit the above description with many different methods for socializing the economy. There are some ideas that many of them have in common.

* Economic planning: an economy that uses planning by elected representatives, geared for consumption rather than profit.
* A state: a centralised government is supported by some, although anarchists and *some* Marxists and libertarian socialists favor decentralized communes and other forms of non-statist social organisation.
* Workers' councils: considered by many to be the basis of the dictatorship of the proletariat and as such the ideal organ of rule.
* Recallable delegates: the ability to quickly impeach any elected representative is supported as a safety measure against totalitarianism and bureaucratic corruption.
* Workplace democracy: the application of democracy to the workplace is naturally supported by those that call themselves democratic socialists.

-- at least if they live somewhere that isn't still mired in the 18th century.

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qdemn7 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-11-07 10:24 AM
Response to Reply #41
51. Oh, I've read the entire thread,
BEFORE I posted, and I've even read the Wiki. What I SHOULD have said is I don't consider it libertarian in nature since it advocates the abolition of private property and it does not appear to differentiate the private property of capital and the private property of the individual.

In the United States, the movement most commonly called libertarianism follows a capitalist philosophy; the term libertarian socialism therefore strikes many Americans as inconsistent. However, the association of socialism to libertarianism actually predates that of capitalism, and many anti-authoritarians still decry what they see as a mistaken association of capitalism to libertarianism in the United States. As Noam Chomsky put it, a consistent libertarian must oppose private ownership of the means of production and the wage slavery which is a component of this system, as incompatible with the principle that labor must be freely undertaken and under the control of the producer.


If you don't own the land you live on, then what is to prevent the community from coming along and throwing you out of your won house that you have built on said land?

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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-11-07 07:04 PM
Response to Reply #51
52. Your own excerpt clearly states the opposite.
"a consistent libertarian must oppose private ownership of the means of production and the wage slavery which is a component of this system"

Chomsky is not talking about your house, he is talking about the 'means of production'. That private property.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-11-07 07:31 PM
Response to Reply #51
54. maybe libertarians don't all think they have to adopt your paradigm
I don't consider it libertarian in nature since it advocates the abolition of private property and it does not appear to differentiate the private property of capital and the private property of the individual.

Where did this "private property of the individual" come from? It's just a concept. One invented by, oh, some people.

There were a lot of people who thought that other people were the private property of individuals once, too. Turns out they were wrong. No, no, I jest. They were neither right nor wrong. We just don't go along with their ideas any more.

Why would it be any more necessary to go along with the ideas of whoever came up with that "private property" notion? It's just a concept, as it happens one of the fundamental organizing concepts of the societies we live in -- but not of all societies.

The indigenous peoples of most territories colonized by Europeans did not apply the concept of "private property" to land, for instance. Ownership of land was collective, although in many cases they simply didn't apply the concept of "ownership" to land at all. The land was itself, and it was just where they lived.

Of course, it does become an issue when a right to occupy land (which is one of the rights of ownership) is disputed.

http://www.stanford.edu/class/e297c/The%20Rights%20of%2...
-the%20First%20Nations,%20the%20Maori,%20and%20the%20MayansM.doc
- Word doc
http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:6XA_qR1HfuwJ:www.st... /
The%2520Rights%2520of%2520Indigenous%2520Peoples%2520-the%2520First%2520Nations,
%2520the%2520Maori,%2520and%2520the%2520MayansM.doc
+%22first+nations%22+%22collective+ownership%22&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=7&gl=ca
- cached html version
You'll have to copy and paste

The British, like other settlers, had difficulty with the belief of collective ownership by the indigenous peoples, including the Maori. This belief often prevented the Maori from claiming ownership of the land soon after the Treaty was first signed. Yet in the early 1990s, New Zealand passed legislation that assisted the Maori in maintaining land ownership while preserving their beliefs. The first piece of legislation to the Resources Management Act, passed in 1991. This Act recognized the Maoris traditional relationship with the land and the sea. Then the Maori Land Act was passed in 1993. This Act recognized the Maoris belief of collective ownership.

(That concept of ownership did not likely include the ability/right to sell the land, or even the concept of doing so, at the time the Maori occupied it before colonization.)

On a quick google for that 9/10 of the law thing:

http://www.spr-consilio.com/art10.htm

(This is your history, remember, not some foreign Brit-ish thing.)

I want to start by taking a look at the first saying, probably as familiar to non-lawyers as to lawyers, that Possession is nine-tenths of the law ... .

In early feudal times, there was really no concept of ownership of land as we understand it today. Contrary to what is still found in some text books, even the King was not thought of as the owner of all land in the country.

... You would not be saying that you owned your house because you had bought it through the local estate agents, with the conveyancing being done by Bloggs the solicitors; and that since you had bought, it had gone up x in market value, making it not just somewhere to live, but a valuable, marketable, economic asset.

What you had, in your house and land, was possession, possession which depended on the tenurial relationship with your feudal lord. ("Tenurial" comes from the French "tenir", meaning to hold; interestingly, the word for "ownership" in French is "proprit" -- roughly, something of one's own; huh, interesting: "one's own".)

Gradually, as feudalism disintegrated, that possession and your right to possession became divorced from any tie to a feudal lord - it became free-standing as it were. And as a market in land developed, it became possible for you to sell your right to possession. The basis of your right to possession, what a purchaser would need to be assured of, was not a grant from your feudal lord, but the fact that you could trace your possession back, unchallenged, for a long time, perhaps for centuries, generally through your own family. This was the only assurance available. ...

Again -- before the disintegration of feudalism, under which the lord controlled the use of the land, there was no ownership; land was not bought and sold. The concept is one that arose after feudalism, alongside capitalism, in a particular set of human societies.


If you don't own the land you live on, then what is to prevent the community from coming along and throwing you out of your won house that you have built on said land?

Nothing. What's to stop it from doing that now? The courts? What if they're corrupt?

All human groups ultimately operate on the basis of some degree of fundamental trust/confidence in the other members of the group.

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pnorman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 04:10 AM
Response to Original message
6. Not directly responsive to this question,
but here's an ironic poem by an American anarchist, in the late 19th century:

"Already I can see our golden future
when the state will be crowned;
Socialist policemen will crowd every corner
From the president on his throne
To the sheriff tightening his rope
-All will be socialists
What do you say to such a happy prospect?"

That was by David Edelstadt, an immigrant from Russia. He was one of the early editors of the anarchist newspaper: "Freie Arbeiter Stimme, The Free Voice of Labor". Tragically, he died at an early age, of "The Tailor's Disease" (TB). Anarchists may not be the most "practical" persons around (you wouldn't want one as an investment counselor), but they generally have a clearer vision of things to come. Edelstadt foresaw very early, what Orwell wrote about after the fact. And Orwell is considered to have been a "libertarian socialist" (aka: "anarchist").

pnorman
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spindoctor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 04:54 AM
Response to Original message
7. There are vast differences
Edited on Fri Aug-10-07 04:57 AM by spindoctor
I call myself a libertarian at some occasions and I know that for instance Bill Maher does too. Neither of us can be accused of being particularly right-wing.

Personally I think that the role of the federal government should be limited to guarding over my safety.
That includes:
- Fire fighting
- Police services
- An army to defend our _national_ borders (on edit: or rather our system. What's the purpose of a guarded border with Canada?)
- Health care
- Environmental issues

For practical reasons (and this makes me a bad libertarian), I think the federal government should also be tasked with things like:
- Education
- Infrastructure

What the government should definitely stay out of:
- With who or how I practice sex
- What I build on my own property
- When I decide to end my life
- If I choose to wear a seatbelt or helmet
- Which countries I visit
- In general things I do that do not cause harm to other people

Libertarians believe that the role of the government should be limited to essentials and people should otherwise not be restricted in their pursuit of happiness.

Anarchists believe that any form of government is evil (and they have a point there).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarianism
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anarchism
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 09:39 AM
Response to Reply #7
22. Minor nits
Fire fighting and police services are, with some exceptions, best provided by local governments rather than the federal government. The federal government should generally defend our borders and our trade routes.

Environmental protection and health care are clearly areas where left anarchists would diverge from right anarchists. I of course support democratic socialists programs that regulate economic activity for the public good and provide healthcare, old age pensions, education, and food/clothing/shelter assistance as a basic entitlement, and would view a transition to a purely voluntary society that did not need a formal government for such programs as a long term goal rather than a mandatory requirement.

Infrastructure is really the crux of the matter. There is local, regional, and national infrastructure, and it is that infrastructure and its development and maintenance that requires government, taxes, etc. I view education healthcare environment etc as just as much a part of the infrastructure as roads and bridges. The argument really becomes: what is infrastructure and which infrastructure is local, regional, national, or global.
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spindoctor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 10:21 AM
Response to Reply #22
25. major pickin
I resent having different levels of government on top of having the necessity for one.
The only exception there is that communities should be able to apply a more specific set of rules to their habitat and therefore there should be an additional council at a town level. This institution would probably be best suited to supervise things like firehouses and police stations.

Infrastructure.
All infrastructure is national. I can drive down I80, walk on the pavement in Des Moines and call my cousin in Nantucket. Much like the internet does not "belong" to anyone, roads, phone, electricity, etc. should simply be something we all chip in for.
People in Maine don't like the idea of paying for a streetlight in New Mexico, but of course everyone will get as much out of it as they put in.

I don't see how health care and education could be considered infrastructure but I already admitted that these are best paid for through the government. This would also contribute to having a homogeneous quality of education throughout the districts.

In general, simple is better and less is more. A fully libertarian society would not function just like a fully capitalist, fully communist or fully majoritarian society is doomed to fail.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 03:19 PM
Response to Reply #25
33. Your view of infrastructure is limited.
"I don't see how health care and education could be considered infrastructure".

I see the structure of society as more complex than roads and bridges and it is that structure that I view as 'the infrastructure'. From that view, there is no essential difference between building a mass transit system and building a public healthcare system. For example: starting in the 60s the established public health care system that dealt with communicable diseases such as TB was allowed to deteriorate for a variety of reasons. By the late 70s we here in the US developed resistant strains of TB as a direct consequence of our ill thought out and not honestly debated decision to let that infrastructure fall apart. Since then treatment resistent TB has spread across the planet and is on its way to re-establishing itself as a major human health threat. Why on earth should we not consider the healthcare system part of the public infrastructure?

We have seen the effects of raising ill informed poorly educated citizens: take a look around. How many of your fellow americans have even a modest understanding of the great issues of the day? of our rich cultural heritage in music arts and sciences? of world history? of modern technology? Instead we are a nation of poorly educated

The roads in my town are not 'national infrastructure', nor are the schools. Social regulation to control catastrophic climate change cannot be done within the context of a nation, it has to be done within the context of a global human civilization. There most certainly are scopes of public infrastructure that range from local to global and require different organizational structures to deal with them in a democratic and non-oppressive manner.
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divinecommands Donating Member (68 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 10:41 AM
Response to Original message
26. Taxonomy of libertarianism
I've been involved with many libertarians. This will probably duplicate other posts, but oh well.

Big-L Libertarianism always refers to the doctrine of a particular political party, like the American Libertarian party.

But there is also left-wing and right-wing libertarian political philosophies, which are much broader in scope. Both kinds of libertarians claim to highly value liberty, but have a different idea about what the meaning of liberty is.

On the right:
Small l-libertarians are either minarchists or anarcho-capitalists. I've heard both groups identify themselves with the label libertarian, like my old professor, Jan Narveson. He's an anarcho-capitalist, but he wrote a book entitled "The Libertarian Idea."

Minarchists believe the state has some legitimate role to play, usually for national defense, enforcement of contracts, and protection of private property (the classic nightwatchman state, in other words.)

Anarcho-capitalists think the state is wholly illegitimate, usually because they think the market can fulfill the aforementioned functions as well as or better than the state.

On the left:
I'm not as familiar with left-wing libertarianism, but I think the substantial philosophical divide is something like this: right-wing libertarians believe that the formal protection of one's right not to be harmed/coerced/whatever is enough to guarantee a person's liberty.

Right-wing libertarians, I believe, fail to distinguish between rights and options. One can have a full array of legal rights, but little or no options. The destitute worker is in a position like this, or the person from an ethnic minority who cannot find housing because no one is willing to sell to him.

_IF_ he had property, the libertarian state would protect his right to it. _IF_ he had opportunities to pursue, the libertarian state would protect him as he pursued them.

But he does not have these things. He has no options, only formal, legal rights. And options, not just rights, make a person free.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 04:45 PM
Response to Reply #26
34. left-wing libertarianism
eliminates or minimizes government and private property replacing both with free associations of people organized around community or trade. The organizational units of left anarchism are trade unions, local and regional workers councils and local town and municipal governments, all organized around principals of equality and direct participatory democracy.

http://flag.blackened.net/liberty/libsoc.html
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piedmont Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 05:08 PM
Response to Reply #34
39. That "minimizing government and eliminating private property" bit sticks in my craw.
I see that definition as the same as authoritarian socialism, but with scaled-down governments. If you don't have private property, it would really limit self-determination. And on that note, what "private property" would be eliminated? Real estate? Financial assets? Objects? All of it? Having to get permission from neighbors and colleagues to excercise one's rights sounds like hell on earth.
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Warren Stupidity Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #39
43. Yes indeed a valid criticism.
So in a post industrial world, this really means socializing the means of production and operating them for the benefit of the community rather than for the benefit of a small ruling class. Absent actual scarcity of food clothing and shelter there is no reason why you and I cannot have our own stuff. But there are all degrees of libertarian socialism - ranging from outright revolutionary 1900's style radicalism to decentralized highly participatory democratic socialism that encourages individual initiative, allows for a mixed economy and engages in a long term process to create voluntary cooperative institutions to replace the fascist corporatism that has become the modern world. Government needs to be minimized and corporations need to be broken up. Isn't that the obvious truth of the situation we find ourselves in?
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Chulanowa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 07:13 PM
Response to Reply #39
44. Define "property"
Edited on Fri Aug-10-07 07:16 PM by Chulanowa
Let's look at the Louisiana Purchase:


That's a pretty hefty chunk of land. The United States purchased it from France in 1803 for the paltry sum of $15 million dollars. Old-ass history book stuff, covered in most grade schools still, amazingly enough. The United States engaged in a business transaction for the purchase of land from its trade partner and more-or-less Ally, France, an exchange of monetary property for material property.

So... Who did the French buy that land from?

Most legal codes regard the purchase of stolen property to be a criminal act, and the recipient of stolen property is not considered its owner. Even the laws of the day held this to be true. The Louisiana territories were only France's to sell, because France said they were. This is comparable to me deciding your car is mine, and selling it to the guy across the street - it's theft. One thief recognized the right of another thief to steal and legitimatized the action by purchasing the stolen property.

"Property" is a concept that relies entirely upon one's ability to kick the ass of anyone else who would want it. The land you live on isn't the property of the people who originally lived there, because Manifest Destiny methods chased them off, or perhaps killed them off, then you paid money for that land. The geegaws in your home aren't the property of Chinese slave workers who made them with no recompense, they're yours because your their government is stronger than they are, and your government is stronger than their government.
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
27. unidimensional political thought in the US
Edited on Fri Aug-10-07 10:51 AM by iverglas
The big problem here is that people disregard the two aspects of most systems of political thought, and of most people's own political thinking.

One aspect relates to choices widely regarded as "personal", that are made for inherently personal reasons and that affect individuals' own lives.

The other aspect relates to choices that are "social", including economic.

The thing is that in most places in the world, you will find that people who are "left" on the social-economic scale are also "liberal" or "libertarian" on a personal scale. In the US, there is a lot more of the "socially liberal / economically conservative" stuff. And people get confused.

I, for instance, am pretty "libertarian" when it comes to personal choice issues: reproductive rights, religious freedom, marriage. But that has nothing to do with what I think the role of government is in the public sphere.

I am "left" when it comes to social-economic issues: health care, education, labour rights, non-discrimination. I have absolutely nothing in common with people who call themselves "libertarian" in this respect, and bang on about limited government blah blah. Their positions are simply right wing, economically.

In the US, someone can call him/herself "a liberal" and no one really has any clue what is meant, without considerable further inquiry.

And ditto with "libertarian". It can mean someone who is ultra-liberal on social-economic issues, in the classical/historical sense of economic liberalism: opposed to government involvement in delivery of services, opposed to government regulation of the private sector, etc. Or it can mean someone who thinks no speech should ever be prohibited, all drugs should be legally available and people should be able to marry as many spouses as they like.

The only solution is to use adjectives. "Socially liberal" is understandable. "Economically conservative" is too, even though the actual economic theory in question is known as liberalism to many of us. So "economically liberal" describes someone who believes in govt-funded social programs and all that. And "socially conservative" works for people who oppose same-sex marriage and abortion rights.

I find that "social democrat" works well to describe myself. For someone opposite -- "socially conservative" and "economically conservative" -- I can think of a number of terms.

I always highly recommend http://www.politicalcompass.org for looking at the issues in two dimensions rather than trying to cram them onto a single line.

The two dimensions roughly reflect what are sometimes called the first two generations of rights: libert and galit. The "negative" rights, freedom of speech etc., and equality rights, the effort to create a more level playing field. The third generation, fraternit, is the subject of much discussion these days, mainly outside the US. It incorporates the concept of "human security", and addresses things like environmental rights.

For demonstration purposes, Political Compass graphs the US primaries candidates on the two axes:




Note that even Ron Paul is in the "authoritarian" half of the graph, as well as being way right.

And for comparison, Canadian political parties:




typo fixed
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iverglas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #27
28. and a little more from Political Compass
This is a particularly helpful summary. It relates to UK political parties, but is generalizable.

http://www.politicalcompass.org/extremeright

Firstly, though, a few words about popular political terms.

Once you accept that left and right are merely measures of economic position, the "extreme right" refers to extremely liberal economics that may be practised by social authoritarians or social libertarians.

Similarly, the "extreme left" identifies a strong degree of state economic control, which may also be accompanied by liberal or authoritarian social policies.

It's muddled thinking to simply describe the likes of the British National Party as "extreme right". The truth is that on issues like health, transport, housing, protectionism and globalisation, their economics are left of Labour, let alone the Conservatives. It's in areas like police power, military power, school discipline, law and order, race and nationalism that the BNP's real extremism - as authoritarians - is clear.

... In the United States, the voices of dissent over unfettered market forces (ie extreme right economics) are heard from social authoritarians like Pat Buchanan as well as social liberals like Ralph Nader.

... In 2006, we're hearing more than ever from politiicians that 'right' and 'left' are no longer meaningful terms. To the contary, they're as meaningful as ever, providing that it's understood that they're simply defining economic positions. However, with all the main parties embracing to a greater or lesser extent the prevailing neoliberal economic orthodoxy, it's increasingly - and embarrassingly - difficult for them to define their economic differences. No wonder they're anxious to scrap this measure!

Voter turnout is highest when ideological differences are most significant. This helps explain why the voter turnout is lower in the US than in all other western democracies, most of which have a multiplicity of parties and proportional representation. ...


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Unvanguard Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-10-07 10:27 PM
Response to Original message
49. Um... yes.
Anarchists support the abolition of capitalism and the state and their replacement by radically democratic, egalitarian free associations of individuals.

Libertarians support a state, but think it should limit its role to protecting life, liberty, and property--including the capitalist systems of property anarchists oppose.
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stimbox Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-11-07 07:37 PM
Response to Original message
55. LOL
Punks v.s. Fratboys.
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