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What is the Libertarian Philosophy?

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posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 01:20 PM
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I started to research this thread because I see the term “libertarian” tossed around quite a bit in the US society, and tried to nail down what exactly it means.

Essentially, I opened a can of worms both large and small. It seems that the meaning, and the political and economic baggage that goes along with, are immense over time.

My initial thinking, as inferred from folks who espoused “libertarian view,” was that it was a belief in limited government and maximized freedom from interference. In part that is true, but that little “elevator” synopsis is very deceptive, and requires close inspection, some research, and some really deep introspection.

So I am posting this thread to explore the historical, political and economic aspect of libertarian philosophy. I am ask ATS members to help me out here, add their perspectives, and maybe have a laugh or two.

As always, I would appreciate everyone considering if their posts are in scope and on topic. And that we try to be polite, despite that inevitable reality that this topic could cause some folks to bump heads in a personal way.

Definitions:

I am paraphrasing from a bunch of source here. Libertarianism is a collection of political philosophies and movements that uphold liberty as a core principle. The philosophy seeks to gain political freedom, reject overreaching state authority, and may call for dissolving all forms of the state.

Discussion:

Now this is interesting.

Traditionally, "libertarianism" was a term for a form of left-wing politics—such left-libertarian ideologies seek to abolish capitalism and private ownership of the means of production, or else to restrict their purview or effects, in favor of common or cooperative ownership and management, viewing private property as a barrier to freedom and liberty (1)

No private property? No personal ownership? What the heck is this?

The philosophical thinking here is that the state (government) is the entity that enforces private ownership, deeds, contracts, etc. and that enforcement is required whether an individual agrees with it or not. We are born into a society, and cannot readily opt out of preexisting laws, rules, forms of government. In this sense, we are not “born free,” but a shacked with the history that predated our birth, and are not often able to relinquish the society we were born into. The argument goes that even if we were born to wealth, that wealth is only recognized and accessible because of the state (which privileges our private ownership, enforces our holding of currency through monetary standards, and denies others access to our holding through coercion and threats of violence).
This is pretty far out stuff. Reminds me of hippy communes, but taken to the ultimate extreme.

OK, most of us are familiar with the concept of “The Social Contract,” where we agree to give up some liberty to live in a community. People thought about that for a long time. Then came John Stuart Mill, who disregarded social contract in favor of a theory that used his moral imperatives as its basis. His theory serves as the alternative to this hippy thinking, and led to the next phase of libertarianism, when the movement co-opted the term in the mid-20th century to instead advocate laissez-faire capitalism and strong private property rights such as in land, infrastructure and natural resources.

Wow! Complete Turn around!

So now we have right and left libertarians .Both share advocacy for social freedom, but the right value the social institutions that enforce conditions of capitalism, while rejecting institutions that function in opposition to capitalism on the basis of economic freedom.

Then there is a group called the Anarcho-capitalists who want the complete elimination of the state in favor of privately funded security services while and some who defend "night-watchman states", which maintain only those functions of government necessary to maintain conditions of capitalism and personal security.

Pretty wide range of folks in this group of so called “libertarians.”

I am going to stop at this point because you folks can look up aspects of libertarian philosophy as you are inclined. I have listed a WIKI source below that gives a good and somewhat detailed background on all things libertarian.

I look forward to a fine discussion, and learning from my fellow ATS'ers on their take on libertanianism, and how it appies to them.

As we can see, it means different things to different people at different times.

What does it mean to you?

Wiki

edit on 10-1-2019 by FilthyUSMonkey because: (no reason given)




posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 01:25 PM
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Libertarianism, to me at least, means a gay bigamist married family unit driving drunk to the corner druggist to buy a pound of coke and a bazooka while smoking that jazz cabbage.

Freedom.



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 01:26 PM
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originally posted by: dashen
Libertarianism, to me at least, means a gay bigamist married family unit driving drunk to the corner druggist to buy a pound of coke and a bazooka while smoking that jazz cabbage.

Freedom.


I want Libertarianism now.



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 01:36 PM
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originally posted by: dashen
Libertarianism, to me at least, means a gay bigamist married family unit driving drunk to the corner druggist to buy a pound of coke and a bazooka while smoking that jazz cabbage.

Freedom.


So is that Anarcho-capitalists , left leaning, right leaning, I am confused.

Are you for no state at all?



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 01:48 PM
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a reply to: FilthyUSMonkey

the state can build roads for commerce and make tolls.
otherwise they should stay the hell away from me



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 01:52 PM
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originally posted by: dashen
a reply to: FilthyUSMonkey

the state can build roads for commerce and make tolls.
otherwise they should stay the hell away from me


State run military, police, education, electrification projects, trips to outer space, vaccines, research into cancer, et al?

No interested in any of that?



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 01:54 PM
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a reply to: FilthyUSMonkey

Here's how the police department would work.

It's about a 5 minute read and should clear a lot of things up for you.



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 01:57 PM
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This former libertarian saw long ago how every pervert tried to justify his/her "thing" with Libertarian Philosophy. I called it quits then.



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 01:58 PM
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a reply to: FilthyUSMonkey

all private, all oversight to be done by angry mobs with pitchforks.

Just as G-d intended



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 02:00 PM
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a reply to: CriticalStinker




It's about a 5 minute read and should clear a lot of things up for you.


This didn't clear up anything for me. In the article it said

Don’t you all understand that the protection of private property is the foundation of all personal liberty?
Funny piece by the way.

So, which side of libertarian thinking does this fall onto if the state is deeply involved in enforcing a concept of private property through coercion, threats of violence and loss of liberty (imprisonment)?

I guess you really don't want to discuss the topic in the OP. That's fine. Have a laugh, and enjoy.



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 02:06 PM
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a reply to: FilthyUSMonkey

Haha, sorry, that was satire.

Like anything, everything has it's extremes. If we were talking about the left or right, we could present extreme examples of both. Sometimes people will present themselves as extreme to compromise somewhere closer to the middle.

American Libertarianism is a fight for more liberty for the individuals, and a reduction in the federal government in lieu of more controllable local governments by the citizens.



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 02:08 PM
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a reply to: CriticalStinker




a reduction in the federal government in lieu of more controllable local governments by the citizens.



So, a movement towards the articles of confederation? Less power by the Federal government and more state and local control?

edit on 10-1-2019 by FilthyUSMonkey because: sp



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 02:15 PM
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originally posted by: FilthyUSMonkey
a reply to: CriticalStinker




a reduction in the federal government in lieu of more controllable local governments by the citizens.



So, a movement towards the articles of confederation? Less power by the Federal government and more state a local control?


Those would be the prioritized items on the agenda.



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 02:20 PM
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a reply to: CriticalStinker
Interesting.

How would you enforces private ownership, deeds, contracts, etc. across state lines, or between states? Commerce? A federated military?



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 02:25 PM
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My thoughts on being Libertarian would be: Do whatever you want in life just dont impede on the life and liberty of another person.



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 02:27 PM
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originally posted by: FilthyUSMonkey
a reply to: CriticalStinker
Interesting.

How would you enforces private ownership, deeds, contracts, etc. across state lines, or between states? Commerce? A federated military?


Same way we enforce it now, just meet the guidelines.

As far as the military, you could look at Ron Paul's old platform.... Greatly reduce foreign projection and focus on a isolationist defense stance.

Most libertarians are moderates, like any ideology... The extremists just make more noise.



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 02:33 PM
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originally posted by: PraetorianAZ
My thoughts on being Libertarian would be: Do whatever you want in life just dont impede on the life and liberty of another person.


That is the core, and similar to what the pagans say: Do as you wish, but harm none.



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 02:49 PM
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a reply to: CriticalStinker




Same way we enforce it now, just meet the guidelines.


The way we settle conflicts between the states is through the Federal Government. This is true for commerce and other issues.

For instance, if Ohio is burning coal that deposits mercury in Pennsylvania streams and lakes, the EPA gets involved. Is that an overreach?



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 02:55 PM
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a reply to: FilthyUSMonkey

Hence why I ended with most libertarians are moderates.

Don't focus on the extreme points that can be found on the platform, the moderates just want a power shift back to individual liberties and local governments more than larger ones.



posted on Jan, 10 2019 @ 02:56 PM
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a reply to: CriticalStinker

Fair enough!






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