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Thread: Tomasky: Libertarianism is kookoo

  1. #1
    Trusted Member Britt Andrew Prowd's Avatar
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    Default Tomasky: Libertarianism is kookoo

    Some wierd freaks ill-informed brash opinion. I am interested in your response.

    Intellectual consistency can be overrated

    When we write about libertarianism, most liberals feel compelled to say something like, you know, I disagree with that viewpoint, but I respect that it's principled and intellectually consistent.

    I say balderdookey. Libertarianism is kookoo. There can be no such thing as a basically stateless society (except for national defense and barest administration of law, I think are the exceptions they typically allow for). It's just ridiculous. Civil society would collapse without the state.

    I've written this before, a few months ago. Conservatives, and libertarians, seem to think that we have regulations in this society because we have a bunch of underemployed pencil pushers sitting around dreaming up ways to make small business people's lives miserable.

    It's ridiculous. We have regulations because throughout history people in various pursuits did really sleazy and unethical things. They swindled investors, they dumped toxins into bodies of water, they made children work long hours for slave wages. Et cetera. And so laws were passed and regulations were written.

    And unfortunately such is man's endless capacity for sleaze and unethicality that this process will never end: as technology presents new ways to be sleazy, we'll always need to invent new ways to prevent sleaze from happening.

    Yes, fine. Some regulations are onerous. Liberals should always be sensitive to legitimate concerns along these lines.

    But you need a state. Time and history have proven no one else will perform these tasks.

    So there's nothing in the least inellectually respectable about libertarianism. Intellectually consistent? Great. So was Goebbels. That doesn't mean much to me.

    We all support a few libertarian-ish principles; we all agree that the state should have some limits. For example, I think it's perfectly fine for the state to make fast-food joints post nutrition information. But I would oppose the state having the right to ban the Quarter Pounder. So we all get that kind of thing.

    But big-L Libertarianism is vapid. I hope in the next few months it is properly exposed as such.

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    Ever since Rand Paul won the Republican primary for Senator in Kentucky, a lot of this has been coming out in the left wing press. Expect more until November.

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    Trusted Member g hall's Avatar
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    The state that we have at the moment takes away an individuals responsibilities and with that the individuals rights. It is not as draconian as it has been previously but sadly some hard won rights and responsibilities are now being taken back by an all consuming organisation which if it continues will consume itself and in the process destroy any notion of freedom and democracy.
    "That government is best which governs least."
    "This is a sharp Medicine, but it is a Physician for all diseases and miseries".
    "To be "matter of fact" about the world is to blunder into fantasy --and dull fantasy at that, as the real world is strange and wonderful."
    TANSTAAFL
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    And unfortunately such is man's endless capacity for sleaze and unethicality that this process will never end: as technology presents new ways to be sleazy, we'll always need to invent new ways to prevent sleaze from happening.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Britt Andrew Prowd View Post
    Some wierd freaks ill-informed brash opinion. I am interested in your response.
    I've trimmed down this tripe to the only genuine criticisms on libertarianism he provides. He is mistaken here, as I'll explain below. The 'conservatives seem to think....' line says more about the author than about libertarian philosophy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Britt Andrew Prowd View Post
    Intellectual consistency can be overrated
    It's ridiculous. We have regulations because throughout history people in various pursuits did really sleazy and unethical things. They swindled investors, they dumped toxins into bodies of water, they made children work long hours for slave wages. Et cetera. And so laws were passed and regulations were written.

    And unfortunately such is man's endless capacity for sleaze and unethicality that this process will never end: as technology presents new ways to be sleazy, we'll always need to invent new ways to prevent sleaze from happening.
    Libertarians believe in crminal laws against theft, violence and fraud. Swindling would not be tolerated by the authorities under a libertarian order.

    Dumping toxins into bodies of water may be a criminal offence if it causes harm to people or damage to property. There is also the probability of civil action against such people depending on the cirumstances.

    Children working long hours for slave wages, well this is for the parents to police, not the state. Besides, I don't recall any state intervention (nor should there have been!) with the paper round that I did years ago!

    As for technology increasing the number of opportunities for criminals, that is correct. However, this does not necessarily involve the drafting of new laws; the author himself provides no examples!
    Last edited by Bill of Attainder; 25-09-2011 at 10:53 AM.

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    Trusted Member Traditionalist's Avatar
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    Children working long hours for slave wages, well this is for the parents to police, not the state. Besides, I don't recall any state intervention (nor should there have been!) with the paper round that I did years ago!
    And if the parents are **** and dont mind children working 18 hours in coal mines?

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by Traditionalist View Post
    And if the parents are **** and dont mind children working 18 hours in coal mines?
    Then they should be treated with the contempt they deserve. What do you think should happen? Do you think the panacea for anything you dislike is state intervention?? That someone else should be forced to pay for someone else to 'sort it out'??? What if all parties(including the children) are happy with the arrangement????

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    Trusted Member Traditionalist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill of Attainder View Post
    Then they should be treated with the contempt they deserve. What do you think should happen? Do you think the panacea for anything you dislike is state intervention?? That someone else should be forced to pay for someone else to 'sort it out'??? What if all parties(including the children) are happy with the arrangement????
    Contempt will not get children out of mines.
    And yes I would take great delight in forcing taxes from people who would advocate this to stop it happening.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Britt Andrew Prowd View Post

    The state can be overrated



    And unfortunately such is man's endless capacity for sleaze and unethicality.
    this is the reason why the state fails in so many fundamental ways, because it is run by people who, although well-intentioned (on a charitable interpretation), are imperfect beings

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