Author Topic: Come debate a libertarian!  (Read 5018 times)

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Offline Shine

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Come debate a libertarian!
« on: June 29, 2012, 10:24:09 PM »
If noticed a distinct liberal bias on this forum. I figure it's just do to a relatively small sample size, so I've decided to inject my own libertarian bias here! What better way to start than an open debate / Q&A thread? Ask me anything.

I started this thread past midnight my time, I won't have time to look at this in the morning before work, so I imagine I'll be able to respond no sooner than ~4 EST June 30, maybe later if anything pops up. Leave me some good questions!
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Offline rumborak

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #1 on: June 29, 2012, 10:31:10 PM »
Here's a question: Where do you see the libertarian movement going? Ron Paul is out of the picture, but he absorbed most of the existing interest during the primaries, leaving the actual Libertarian Party completely on the sidelines. Overall, do you think RP helped or hurt the movement?

BTW, for the record, I find most of the people you probably perceive as liberal to be pretty center. The only real lefty is scheavo.

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Offline antigoon

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #2 on: June 29, 2012, 11:08:43 PM »
Oh a libertarian? Never see you guys 'round these parts. :lol

Offline PowerSlave

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #3 on: June 29, 2012, 11:32:39 PM »
Oh a libertarian? Never see you guys 'round these parts. :lol

All joking aside, he does have a point sort of. You've got some moderates like myself and then it gets gradually more hard-core after that. Then, you've got a select few that go ape-shit with the ideology no matter what the situation is.

To answer Rumby's question (yeah, I know he didn't ask me...) I think that Ron has helped the libertarian movement by moving some of the younger conservatives in this country towards his side of things. It's not something that we'll see overnight but, I think that some of his views on monetary, foreign and drug policy will show up on the right in the future.
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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #4 on: June 30, 2012, 12:08:00 AM »
I can't say I approve of this thread. There are many different types of libertarians, so who are you to speak on behalf of all of them? I'm not trying to be rude. I just don't think a thread should be a mouthpiece for one person's opinions.

P.S. This thread could give way to a lot of micro-discussions. Just sayin'.

« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 01:47:33 AM by MondayMorningLunatic »

Offline Rathma

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #5 on: June 30, 2012, 01:30:03 AM »
Come debate a libertarian!

no thanx

Offline Rathma

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #6 on: June 30, 2012, 01:48:00 AM »
If noticed a distinct liberal bias on this forum.

For internet standards this forum is definitely more right-leaning. Compared with, say, the media in general, I agree, it would seem that this place is liberal. But this is the internet so comparison with other forums is only appropriate.

Offline GuineaPig

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #7 on: June 30, 2012, 06:43:25 AM »
Only in the United States (and I dunno... Turkey? Iran?) would this forum be considered left-leaning.
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Offline PlaysLikeMyung

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2012, 08:38:29 AM »
If noticed a distinct liberal bias on this forum.


[/quote]

You haven't been here long, have you?

Offline senecadawg2

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2012, 08:50:44 AM »
This should be fun

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Offline GuineaPig

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2012, 09:30:52 AM »
What's your thoughts on climate change/global warming? What measures would you support to combat it?
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 09:36:10 AM by GuineaPig »
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2012, 10:45:15 AM »
If noticed a distinct liberal bias on this forum.


You haven't been here long, have you?

Ya, I was gonna say, have all the libertarians really left?

« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 01:24:50 PM by Scheavo »

Offline Super Dude

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2012, 11:20:46 AM »
WW and Nigerius, at least as far as I can tell, haven't posted here in a good long time, so I can see why he'd say that.
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Offline TL

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2012, 02:31:53 PM »
Only in the United States (and I dunno... Turkey? Iran?) would this forum be considered left-leaning.
This. From a Canadian perspective, the overall average of this board would probably be center to center-right at least.

To the OP; What's your stance on health care?

Offline Shine

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2012, 02:44:48 PM »
To clarify what I mean by "distinct liberal bias": I haven't been here long. I normally post on various political subreddits at reddit.com, but I do visit this forum occasionally. Mostly for DT discussion. Very recently I noticed the Political/Religious board and decided to check it out, and from what I've seen there's a liberal bias. There are certainly a few dissenting voices here, but trust me it's much more liberal than you may believe, this coming from a relative outsider.

On that note, may as well start with questions!

Quote
Where do you see the libertarian movement going? Ron Paul is out of the picture, but he absorbed most of the existing interest during the primaries, leaving the actual Libertarian Party completely on the sidelines. Overall, do you think RP helped or hurt the movement?

The libertarian movement is growing, I don't think there's any doubt about that. The internet has proven to be a very powerful tool in linking like-minded people and allowing organization that would not be possible 20 years ago. I think the bigger the internet becomes, and the less people rely on older media, the more libertarianism (and other political schools of thought) will grow. Ron Paul absolutely helped the liberty movement, having a consistent messenger who's been doing the same thing for 30 years has provided libertarianism a powerful "base" to jump off of. Now he's not the perfect libertarian, he's more a Constitutionalist, but what makes him likable to us is his ability to say he personally believes one thing, but at the same time recognizes that the federal government should not be the instrument to implement his beliefs. I think that if there's one thing that he's done to hurt the movement, is he's got it in some peoples head that he is the movement. Hopefully after Tampa he'll explicitly tell some of his more ardent followers that the movement doesn't end with him, which I sadly think a few of them believe.

Going forward, I hope we're able to find more than just one standard-bearer for the movement. The tea party movement has yielded a few good Representatives and Senators as Republicans. Justin Amash is my favorite, he hasn't missed a vote, and he explains every vote he makes on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. He's exactly the kind of Representative everyone of his colleagues should strive to be. Rand Paul is also pretty popular among libertarians. No doubt he's not his father. He's much more willing to "play politics" than Ron, but I think it's exactly that which will yield him real results (compared to Ron's rather dismal record at actually passing legislation).

Unfortunately, as the tea party has grown, the Republican establishment has seen its potential and, at least I believe, has tried to take it over. It started as a purely fiscal movement, aiming to reduce the size of the federal governments budget and spending, but it's slowly but surely become more and more about social conservatism, which I think will be the death of it.

As far as the Libertarian party, I think it's doomed to fail just as all third parties have since the turn of the 20th century. It's currently the largest and fastest growing party in the US, but unless they can get legislation changed to be more accepting of third parties (alternate vote system, percentage based representation rather than winner-take-all) and get their candidate in the debates (you have to be polling at 15% to get in the national debates, which his clearly a move by the Republicans and Democrats to keep third parties out) they won't see any major success. What they need to do is start from the bottom and work their way up, getting members in local positions, then get them in State Legislatures, and then finally move towards National positions. Anything other than that will result in failure, in my eyes.

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Offline Shine

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2012, 02:51:08 PM »
I can't say I approve of this thread. There are many different types of libertarians, so who are you to speak on behalf of all of them? I'm not trying to be rude. I just don't think a thread should be a mouthpiece for one person's opinions.

P.S. This thread could give way to a lot of micro-discussions. Just sayin'.

Fair enough, "libertarian" is pretty general. I myself am a pragmatic Voluntaryst. I believe that ideally we wouldn't have government at all, but I also understand that getting rid of it tomorrow would result in absolute chaos. I argue for reductions in the size of government where ever possible. Some might describe "libertarians" as "republicans on money issues, and democrats on social issues" but I would disagree with that. Republicans have become soft on fiscal issues, and democrats over extend themselves on social issues, going from oppression, past freedom, all the way to oppression on the other side of the aisle, so to speak. For example on discrimination. A democrat and I would agree that the Jim Crow laws were wrong. However, I would simply argue for the abolishment of those laws and public discrimination but allow private entities to discriminate. I don't believe the government has a right to tell anyone what to believe or how to act, so long as that person is not aggressing anyone else.
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Offline Shine

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #16 on: June 30, 2012, 03:06:22 PM »
What's your thoughts on climate change/global warming? What measures would you support to combat it?

I think there is climate change happening. Humans are adding to the problem, but I don't think we'll face any cataclysmic events as a result. The temperature of the Earth would be rising even if we didn't exist, and people generally overestimate the actual size of human impact on the Earth.  The Earth is fucking huge. Furthermore, I think of the damage actually being done, the various governments around the world overwhelmingly are the ones to blame. People like "going green". It's a great marketing tool. But the government pushing technologies like solar and wind (which I think are good, on a small scale. Put a solar panel on your roof, that'd be great. Own a lot of land? Put up a wind generator or two, it'll keep your electricity costs down.) with huge subsidies is a mistake. Huge subsidies are what got us into this culture of oil and coal in the first place. What the government needs to do is admit it fucked shit up, and end all energy subsidies, across the board. I personally think nuclear power is the future, and I'm glad there were recently a few approved to be built. But I won't get into what I think the market should do, I'll just leave it to the consumer to decide. If a combination of nuclear for widespread power and solar/wind for supplemental energy, who am I to argue?

So what about cars? Again I think the government is to blame and a free market would steer us in the right direction. Energy efficiency sells. Two cars, one gets 35 mpg, and one gets 20, assuming you aren't shopping for a powerhouse of a truck or a toy sports car, you're gonna get the one with better mileage. The problem is the government has put obscene standards on emissions that prevent carmakers from producing cars which get >50 mpg, and trust me they want to make those cars. They would sell like hotcakes.

edit: fixed some grammar, might still have missed some =P
« Last Edit: June 30, 2012, 05:31:29 PM by Shine »
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Offline Super Dude

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #17 on: June 30, 2012, 03:57:24 PM »
I'm surprised. No offense to all others of the Libertarian persuasion, but this is the most sensible answer to that particular question I've ever heard from a Libertarian. Not that I don't have objections, but it's certainly refreshing.
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Offline j

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #18 on: June 30, 2012, 04:34:55 PM »
WW and Nigerius, at least as far as I can tell, haven't posted here in a good long time, so I can see why he'd say that.

Remember Jobe?  I think he was my favorite Libertarian.

As for this forum, I think we are pretty moderate as a collective.  Decent representation from a variety of viewpoints.

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Offline Super Dude

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #19 on: June 30, 2012, 04:36:22 PM »
Actually, I don't. What was his deal?
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Offline Scheavo

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #20 on: June 30, 2012, 04:45:24 PM »
Huge subsidies are what got us into this culture of oil and coal in the first place. [/quote[

Doesn't the nature of green energy sorta of... prevent this? It seems the difference between giving a man a fish, and teaching a man to fish. Solar power and green energy, properly used, is teaching a man to fish. Beyond that, subsidies can be one-time, or limited. Yes, when they become institutions, they can be come corrupt, and therefor bad. But if the subsidies are a huge one time investment to upgrade governmental buildings, and some one-time low-income help, would be a huge boost to the market, and help the green movement along.

Quote
The temperature of the Earth would be rising even if we didn't exist, and people generally overestimate the actual size of human impact on the Earth.  The Earth is fucking huge.

It's huge, but it's also all one inter-connected system. An ecosystem. Also, I just have to ask, why is it humans cant' do what bacteria can do? Cyanobacteria nearly snowballed the earth 250 millions years ago, just by producing a lot of oxygen.

Quote
trust me they want to make those cars. They would sell like hotcakes.

I don't completely disagree, but they want to make cars that sell more than anything, and what people like in cars isn't always necessarily the mileage. It's one factor, and for many it's the only factor, but for others, they want the fancy GPS device, with climate control, fancy buttons, and a whole bunch of other electronic shit that only reduces fuel efficiency.


Offline Rathma

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #21 on: June 30, 2012, 08:14:40 PM »
There are certainly a few dissenting voices here, but trust me it's much more liberal than you may believe, this coming from a relative outsider.

Liberal compared to what? RON PAUL 2012 sub-reddit? This forum is more right-leaning than any of the other forums I post on, none of them being political primarily. If anything this place is a nesting ground for lolertarians.

Offline Rathma

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #22 on: June 30, 2012, 08:38:20 PM »
As far as the Libertarian party, I think it's doomed to fail just as all third parties have since the turn of the 20th century. It's currently the largest and fastest growing party in the US, but unless they can get legislation changed to be more accepting of third parties (alternate vote system, percentage based representation rather than winner-take-all) and get their candidate in the debates (you have to be polling at 15% to get in the national debates, which his clearly a move by the Republicans and Democrats to keep third parties out) they won't see any major success. What they need to do is start from the bottom and work their way up, getting members in local positions, then get them in State Legislatures, and then finally move towards National positions. Anything other than that will result in failure, in my eyes.

This entire paragraph makes no sense. You start out by saying the Libertarian Party is doomed and than list a number of items on how it's been improving. You didn't mention that they're going to be on the ballots of all 50 states. I'll tell you what the party needs to do. They need to slip a little note to Ron Paul containing a check for a few million dollars so that he'll finally up and endorse Gary Johnson. Because we all know that's how democracy works anyways.

Offline Shine

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #23 on: June 30, 2012, 09:00:51 PM »
 >:(
As far as the Libertarian party, I think it's doomed to fail just as all third parties have since the turn of the 20th century. It's currently the largest and fastest growing party in the US, but unless they can get legislation changed to be more accepting of third parties (alternate vote system, percentage based representation rather than winner-take-all) and get their candidate in the debates (you have to be polling at 15% to get in the national debates, which his clearly a move by the Republicans and Democrats to keep third parties out) they won't see any major success. What they need to do is start from the bottom and work their way up, getting members in local positions, then get them in State Legislatures, and then finally move towards National positions. Anything other than that will result in failure, in my eyes.

This entire paragraph makes no sense. You start out by saying the Libertarian Party is doomed and than list a number of items on how it's been improving. You didn't mention that they're going to be on the ballots of all 50 states. I'll tell you what the party needs to do. They need to slip a little note to Ron Paul containing a check for a few million dollars so that he'll finally up and endorse Gary Johnson. Because we all know that's how democracy works anyways.

The Libertarian party's on the upswing currently, but without significant reform or a change of tactics nothing will come of it. I think ultimately if libertarianism is going to grow in the US it will be through the Republican party. The Republican party was "overtaken" by the evangelicals a few decades ago, and I think something similar is currently happening but now the libertarian wing is the one making the Republican party change direction. We'll see if they're successful, give it 10 years for some of the older establishment representatives to leave the House and I think we'll see some serious change in the Republican party. Hopefully some social tolerance will sneak in their as well.
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Offline theseoafs

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #24 on: June 30, 2012, 09:19:44 PM »
I'm really not here to debate the economic side of things (at this point in my life, I'm pretty ambivalent about the big gov vs. small gov issue, though that'll probably change once I finish college and start being a real adult :lol ), but I felt I could chime in on the climate change issue.

As for this:
The temperature of the Earth would be rising even if we didn't exist, and people generally overestimate the actual size of human impact on the Earth.  The Earth is fucking huge.

Now, I am not a humorless person, and I understand you were being a bit facetious here, but at the same time I feel like this argument is wildly inappropriate. Scheavo's response to this statement was apt; yes, the earth is big, but size does not lend itself to immutability. We're small compared to the earth, but since all of the earth's systems are so intrinsically connected, we can in fact negatively impact it, in the same way that a virus can negatively impact you in spite of your relative "fucking hugeness".

A second point (tldr at bottom):
So what about cars? Again I think the government is to blame and a free market would steer us in the right direction. Energy efficiency sells. Two cars, one gets 35 mpg, and one gets 20, assuming you aren't shopping for a powerhouse of a truck or a toy sports car, you're gonna get the one with better mileage. The problem is the government has put obscene standards on emissions that prevent carmakers from producing cars which get >50 mpg, and trust me they want to make those cars. They would sell like hotcakes.

This, however, is a hopelessly idealistic argument. It is first of all not true that "energy efficiency sells". Yes, all other things being equal, we will choose the more efficient car because it saves us money, but it is never true that all other things are equal. Men want cool-looking sports cars and giant trucks. Women want vans to take kids to soccer practice. Honestly, I'm confused why anybody would even argue that more efficient cars will always be chosen, given that the American public has overwhelmingly chosen kickass gas guzzlers over wimpy electric vehicles. If a free market would eventually lead to efficiency, we would have seen some of that efficiency by now, wouldn't we?

At this point, we have to ask ourselves why the American public is this way. A fetish for bigass cars has been ingrained in our society; who put it there?

You can point to a number of things - the "American dream" might encourage living inefficiently, perhaps. Eventually, we have to recognize that the American car companies are somewhat, if not entirely, at fault here. The reasoning should be obvious: people in America have to buy cars, and because car companies can't really encourage people to buy more cars than they need, they're obviously going to push larger, and therefore more expensive, automobiles. As long as they have a choice, car companies will prefer that their patrons buy gas guzzlers. This is why we have an overwhelming amount of advertisements which fetishize their cars' sizes and equate size with power and durability and convenience and manliness.

There's a fine little documentary called "Who Killed the Electric Car?" which I'd recommend to anyone wanting to learn more about the issue.

tl;dr: Actually, no. Many Americans want to buy inefficient cars and car companies overwhelmingly want to sell inefficient cars.

Offline rumborak

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #25 on: June 30, 2012, 09:19:57 PM »
One thing the libertarian worldview always ignores (I find) is that you can't just see the US in isolation. A country's standard of living is heavily dependent on how it can influence global markets, and that is directly dependent on the combined negotiating power of that country. In the end, how Europe used to be is kinda the libertarian ideal: Almost completely separate local entities with a small supra-government on top. The problem was, despite its massive population size and overall GDP output, it had a fraction of influence on global markets. That fact was one of the major reasons for the EU's expansion because it wanted to pull up to the level of negotiation power that the US, Russia, China etc. are at.

So, there is an arm's race of entity size going on globally. If the US actually went to the state Libertarians wanted it in, it would be the powerless entity Europe used to be.

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Offline Super Dude

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #26 on: June 30, 2012, 09:24:08 PM »
At this point, we have to ask ourselves why the American public is this way. A fetish for bigass cars has been ingrained in our society; who put it there?

You can point to a number of things - the "American dream" might encourage living inefficiently, perhaps. Eventually, we have to recognize that the American car companies are somewhat, if not entirely, at fault here. The reasoning should be obvious: people in America have to buy cars, and because car companies can't really encourage people to buy more cars than they need, they're obviously going to push larger, and therefore more expensive, automobiles. As long as they have a choice, car companies will prefer that their patrons buy gas guzzlers. This is why we have an overwhelming amount of advertisements which fetishize their cars' sizes and equate size with power and durability and convenience and manliness.

I think you'd find this marginally related article about the American Dream interesting: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/18/the-american-dream-phase-ii/?ref=opinion&gwh=1D54EC94183384BA22C2B1CDAAC98967
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Offline theseoafs

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #27 on: June 30, 2012, 09:34:24 PM »
I think you'd find this marginally related article about the American Dream interesting: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/18/the-american-dream-phase-ii/?ref=opinion&gwh=1D54EC94183384BA22C2B1CDAAC98967

Thanks, this was a great article. :tup  The idea of the American Dream has always fascinated me from a social-scientific standpoint, and coming from one of these very suburbs myself, it hit especially close to home.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #28 on: June 30, 2012, 09:41:05 PM »
Yep, same here (to the suburbanite bit), I'm so glad I decided to keep a bookmark of that. :lol
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Offline Siberian Khatru

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #29 on: July 01, 2012, 10:01:16 AM »
Why haven't the legions of Ron Paul fans gone over to support Gary Johnson, the only libertarian still in the race?

Offline Shine

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #30 on: July 01, 2012, 10:54:03 AM »
Why haven't the legions of Ron Paul fans gone over to support Gary Johnson, the only libertarian still in the race?

There are various reasons, the most prevalent being that a lot of Paul fans got caught up in the "No One but Paul" mindset from the primaries, and they think that extends to the general election. What they don't seem to recognize is that writing in his name on the ballot in November will get nothing accomplished. Most States don't count write in votes until well after the day of the vote, and a few don't even count them at all. What's sad is that I think Gary Johnson is a better candidate than Paul. He's got business experience, he's got executive experience, and he doesn't have any of the baggage that Paul has. Hopefully the diehard Paul supporters will move over to support Johnson after Tampa passes, but only time will tell.
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Offline jsem

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #31 on: July 02, 2012, 04:48:03 AM »
Why haven't the legions of Ron Paul fans gone over to support Gary Johnson, the only libertarian still in the race?
That's a good question. They all should move to him, but Gary is not Ron. Gary is more a Reason-esque libertarian and Ron is more of a classical liberal. They don't feel he's libertarian enough, and this is true - but he does however have a more broad appeal because of it.

WW and Nigerius, at least as far as I can tell, haven't posted here in a good long time, so I can see why he'd say that.
True. I miss WW. I don't post here that frequently anymore either.

Offline Rathma

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #32 on: July 02, 2012, 06:31:07 AM »
I'm not even a lolertarian and I'm voting for GJ. I personally don't see anything positive coming from a slightly more libertarian Republican Party. Rand Paul would be an excellent pawn for the GOP to scoop in libertarian votes similar to how Obama drew progressive votes. And when he starts his presidency nothing will change but the libertarians will be calm because they got their man in the office - same story as Obama. DON'T DO IT LIBERTARIANS. VOTE GARY JOHNSON.

Offline Super Dude

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #33 on: July 02, 2012, 06:36:31 AM »
What positive merits does GJ have? No seriously, I wanna know.
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Offline Rathma

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Re: Come debate a libertarian!
« Reply #34 on: July 02, 2012, 06:38:12 AM »