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Referring to Libertarians as Right-Wing

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posted on Jun, 13 2009 @ 09:45 PM
There seems to be a bit of confusion about party politics in America right now, and indeed even here on ATS. I'll admit, it's easy to get confused by the propaganda.

I certainly won't say the liberty movement started with Ron Paul, but he did get more people interested in and informed about libertarian philosophy.

People from both traditional parties in the US were attracted to the movement, but Ron Paul is a "Republican". I think this is one factor which enabled the media to label libertarians as "right-wing".

Another recent development that I feel has been exploited by the media to revert us back to the party politics they're familiar with was the "tea parties".

While there were many libertarians involved initially, the "conservative" media like FoxNews gave it attention. More republicans got involved, because this came about after the election and it was turned into more of an anti-Obama protest.

Libertarians are not all "conservatives". In fact, libertarian is not even on the right-left spectrum.

There is more to political philosophy than "right" and "left". I don't think the media knows any other way to discuss politics without assigning ideas to one side or another. So, they are trying to push libertarians to the "conservative" end.

In reality, both "liberal" and "conservative" came from libertarianism (classical liberalism), which is simply the opposite of authoritarianism.

America was founded as a libertarian nation, therefore being on the "right" makes you a conservative libertarian and being on the "left" makes you a liberal libertarian. Unless of course, you are authoritarian, which both "left" and "right" can certainly be.

Here are a couple interesting articles regarding this issue, from the National Center for Policy Analysis.

What is Classical Liberalism?

Classical Liberalism vs Modern Liberalism and Modern Conservatism

If you are a Libertarian who is tired of being called a "Right-Wing Extremist" by the media and even here on ATS, please speak up. I know I'm not alone here!

posted on Jun, 13 2009 @ 10:41 PM
What a very well constructed post.

Being that I also support liberty and oppose authority, I am a bit of a libertarian/Constitutionalist myself

but just for good measure, I would seek to add a few other terms to that very nice picture you posted

1)Corporate controlled Republic (current USA govt)

a bit below "conservatism" but above "fascism"

2) Technocracy - government ran and decided by a super AI computer

the most authoritarian government ever devised (it goes way below fascism or communism)

3) Virtual Democracy - Democracy where everyone votes via computers

that is at the top near libertarian
(one of my favorite forms of govt)

4) Ecotopian - Government ran by "tree hugger nazis" where anyone who pollutes gets executed pronto

extremely authoritarian, but not quite as brutal as technocratic AI

5) Religious Fundamentalism

goes right along with fascism

well i guess these technically may not go on this list, except Technocracy it definitely needs to be put there because it does not fall under any of the other terms posted because it is a new idea with entirely new ramifications

however the other 5 would fit pretty nicely under some of these other terms, somewhat

ahhh, my post prolly looks terrible under your masterpiece OP

posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 02:09 AM
Thanks for laying that out, I've tried (and usually failed) to make that distinction within threads bashing Libertarians.

Your layout is visually descriptive, and of far better use than my 20 paragraphs saying the same thing

posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 02:24 AM
I almost feel like this should be mandatory reading before being able to post anything on ATS.

If we could get past this whole republican/democrat paradigm and focus on the true enemy of freedom, authoritarianism, then we could get a lot more accomplished as a nation.

Sadly, the authoritarians have brainwashed us with 'democrat' and 'republican' so that we no longer recognize threats to our civil liberties anymore. Republicans see democrats as authoritarian, and democrats see republicans as authoritarian. All the while the fascists grab up whatever positions of power we un-knowledgeably hand them.

Star and Flag.

[edit on 31-7-2009 by drwizardphd]

posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 04:07 PM
reply to post by midnightbrigade

Thanks, man! In the future, feel free to pimp my thread out whenever you think someone else around here needs to read it.

reply to post by drwizardphd


I think you're absolutely right. The idea is to get us all focused on right vs. left, so that we won't realize both sides are leading us into an authoritarian trap.

Turn us all against eachother and then we beg for them to put more constraints on us to oppress the opposing side. It just goes back and forth, with each administration restricting us more.

Society cannot progress toward freedom this way.

Thanks for your attention to my thread. I really appreciate it and it's nice to know that others agree. I'm willing to hear from those who disagree as well, opposing opinions help us balance (ideally).

[edit on 7/31/2009 by eMachine]

posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 04:39 PM
reply to post by eMachine

Yes, we're all aware of what the square chart says.

We're also aware of the positions constantly espoused by the actual "libertarians". And except for their opposition to war and prohibition, it's not only largely identical to the right wing, but it's often far more extreme. At least the right wing draws the line at private police forces.

In America, at least, "Libertarian" is just a way of saying "I support everything the republicans do, but i'm not as square as they are"

posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 05:06 PM

Originally posted by TheWalkingFox
In America, at least, "Libertarian" is just a way of saying "I support everything the republicans do, but i'm not as square as they are"

The Libertarian Party Platform has very little in common with the Republican Grand Old Party Platform. About the only item in common to both platforms is a staunch belief in the Right to Bear Arms.

And although I am somewhere between a Libertarian and a Constitutionalist (with Virtual Democracy tendencies), I would personally never make claim to being a Libertarian. I would rather call myself a Libertine and have people mistake the connotation of the title with the English Libertines who were devoid of any restraints, especially one who ignores or even spurns accepted morals, and forms of behavior sanctioned by the larger society, than be associated with with the Libertarian Party even though I agree wholeheartedly with almost every single point of their Party's Platform. Although the Libertarian Party has a sound foundation and many respectable members, the Party is filled with more nuts and flakes than a breakfast cereal.

(Again, I'm not bashing the Libertarian Party in any way as I do agree with most of what they stand for...but they have a lot of work to do on improving their image and the manner in which they attempt to present themselves to the American people.)

However, I think that the 2 Axes Political Model allows for much more freedom from the Bicameral Political System that currently dominates American Politics. The idea of Left vs. Right and those who fall somewhere in-between is not only too simplistic but it belittles and alienates those with far more complex convictions that do not fall in such a narrow spectrum. The 2 Axes system if far more natural and truly representative of the reality of modern day Politics.

Now, if only the Libertarian, Constitutional, Reform, Independent Parties could actually gain enough supporters to toss the Bicameral political dominance that is inherent in our system out the window, we could finally have a government by the people, of the people, and for the people, instead of it always coming down to "Us" vs. "Them".

posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 05:18 PM
reply to post by TheWalkingFox

Assuming you're talking about business, economic policy and whatnot, I think you're absolutely right. Generally, "republicans" are economically libertarian, but socially authoritarian, while the "democrats" are socially libertarian and economically authoritarian.

And yeah, "extreme libertarianism" would be anarchy.

I don't belong to the Libertarian Party, I'm just interested in the philosophy behind politics. Today it does seem like the official libertarians are like the "cool republicans" party.

Personally, I don't like big corporations, but I don't know what to do about our economic policy. The "Big Club" (as George Carlin put it) has made this sort of pseudo-capitalism, but I don't think a pseudo-socialism would change much as long as they're in control.

Anyway, I don't think any political ideology should "reign supreme", I think they're all useful to provide a balance. The problem (imho) is that we're a very intellectually/philsophically oppressed society.

Thanks for offering your perspective. Every thought counts.

posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 05:53 PM
reply to post by fraterormus

Thanks for gracing the thread with your perspective. Staunch support for the 2nd Amendment is probably another factor that ties libertarians to the "right-wingers" today, you're right.

People today seem to be influenced alot by the European libertine philosophy... look how far hedonism has come! There are some commonplace things in our society today that could probably make the Marquis de Sade blush.

I don't like labels much, but am more comfortable calling myself philosophically "libertarian" than anything else. If I weren't personally such a prude, "libertine" would work just as well for me.

You've illustrated my point exactly: more complex perspectives are belittled and ignored, because they can't be as easily put into one of our two favorite boxes. Thank you.

posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 05:58 PM
It's real hard to put up a transparent 3d globe to describe the structure of politics. The best I can do with some folks is "I'm so far Right, I'm Left". They can't get their mind around that either. Libertarianism deals with informed people who take responsibility for their actions in a responsible society. OOPS! WRONG COUNTRY. Well, if you can get the people to stand up, it could work.

posted on Jul, 31 2009 @ 07:03 PM

Originally posted by eMachine
People today seem to be influenced alot by the European libertine philosophy... look how far hedonism has come! There are some commonplace things in our society today that could probably make the Marquis de Sade blush. If I weren't personally such a prude, "libertine" would work just as well for me.

Well, that's the funny part about the term Libertine is that it means "Freeman" or "Free Thinker". To the French at the time of the Age of Enlightenment and the dawn of the French Revolution, a "Libertine" was originally one who extolled the thoughts of Liberty, Freedom, and unalienable Rights. At some point it became a derogatory term used by both the Catholics and Protestants for someone who did not respect established Religion, and was therefore without morals (because the French Revolution was not just about overthrowing the Monarchy and the Aristocracy, but all those who contributed to the financial ruin of France, including the Catholic Church and the Protestant Churches who were the Bankers) . After the term skipped the channel into England, it became synonymous with sexual depravity, most likely because the Marquis de Sade considered himself a Libertine along with the rest of the free thinkers of the French Revolution.

However, a Free Man who is a Free Thinker who extols Liberty, Freedom and unalienable Rights sums me up pretty well...even if most people associate the term with the more common use of the phrase in our modern language.

posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 12:30 AM
Really? Are libertarians different? Because there appears to be a constant habit of republicans and libertarians changing sides, often enough for me to wonder if this is just "rebranding"?

I know the difference between a libertarian and a conservative, in the stricted defintion.

The "conservative/republican" outright supported the Iraq war and made every effort to justify it.

The true libetarian outright opposed it. He is for a non-world police foreign policy. He knows we have no business there, he sees through the excuses.

The conservative and republican outright opposes gay marriage. Feels its a danger to the family structure of this nation. Feels that marriage by law is clear.

The libertarian doesnt give a damn about "your personal values". He believes people should be free to marry regardless of gender, they should have that right.

If anything the true libertarian is easy to distinguish. The issue is, there is a short supply of true libertarians, and a large group of posers who straddle the libertarian and conservative/ republican line on a daily bases. These individuals are full blown hypocrites and will switch positions whenever one is tainted.

Glenn beck, the "supposed" libertarian is an example. The hypocrite outright supported the war in Iraq, opposes gay marriage and was often a strong critic of libertarian protestors and Paulers.

Bob barr, another "libertarian" is such a clear example of one who switches goal posts. He was one of the hypocrites who asked for Clintons resignation of an affair. The true libertarian frowns upon those who mess around with commitment values, but at the same recognizes that we elect our officials to govern, and what they do in their private time is their business. Another example of a switcher.

So to be clear, so many "supposed" libertarians today were conservatives and bushies and republicans of yesterday, it is really hard to expect anybody to make any distinction. In anycase libertarians will always side with the conservative because ofcourse they sympathize interms of the economy, of taxes. That is understandable but this further shows the dilemma for libertarians yolking themselves up.

At the end of the day the best thing one can do is stand by their own individual beliefs, not those of an ideology. "Your" values and issues are so and so and so. At the end of the day the beliefs of the individual on a more personal level bridges the faults of an ideology as a whole.

posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 12:36 AM
I agree with most of what Southern said.

I'd like to add that, at least around here, Libertarians are just glorified, usually wealthy, and seemingly snobbish Republicans.

It's like the country club of Republicans.

No, it shouldn't be that way, and some ideas differ (around here many Libertarians will support Gay Marriage and are Pro-Choice, but not all. Maybe 30%.)

But those are the people who call themselves Libertarians. I think there may be many true Libertarians who don't label themselves as such, too, and instead may even call themselves Democrats or Independents.

But both Republicans and Libertarians don't seem to like big government very much at all.

[edit on 8/1/2009 by ravenshadow13]

posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 12:47 AM
Thank you for posting this OP. I'm a social libertarian. Self proclaimed libertarians have called me a socialist, and yet I'm very far from being a socialist. I believe that a government can exist that's primary goal is making sure all basic necessities are provided to all citizens, and that this can come with very little taxes. Outside of this very limited function of the role of government they should be focused on the citizens they serve and making sure safety and defense is protected so that free markets may work.

posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 12:58 AM
reply to post by Southern Guardian

I know what you mean. Thanks for sharing your perspective.

Actually, I remember seeing Ann Coulter (?) in an interview several months ago, probably just after the election, and she said something I could agree with, then she said something else I could agree with... and I asked myself "Have I gone crazy or is she trying to join the libertarians and give them a bad name?"...

Jeez, I wish I could remember who was interviewing her. She definitely seemed to be toning herself down a bit and coming from a more libertarian angle...

That really bothers me... are they trying to dress up the "right-wing" with a sort of libertarian facade for the next election, I wonder?

Anyway, I don't think there's anyone in politics that doesn't change their opinions. All people do that, it's natural, but politicians (and political media people) tend to have clear motives when they do. None of them seem to be always consistent in their philosophy.

People in general don't naturally fit into these different labeled boxes we've made. They're useless really except to limit free-thinking. People of all parties would be able to share the same perspective on some things if they didn't already predetermine what 'side' an idea is on simply by the political affiliation of the person who said it... if that makes any sense.

I didn't even want to call myself a "libertarian" until I read the 2 links I posted in my OP, but I probably don't agree with the Party on all the issues.

Thanks everyone for taking the time to contribute!

[edit on 8/1/2009 by eMachine]

posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 01:06 AM
reply to post by eMachine

Yes this is exactly what is occurring. The "right-wing" media are beginning to sound like libertarians; however, their agenda has not changed. They are about big money and control of the working class. The "left-wing" has switched to and are focused on corruption. However, they have not changed being just as corrupt. Both left and right have moved more authoritarian. We only have a choice now between socialism and facism. Neither of which is American.

posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 02:54 AM
reply to post by eMachine

But I think it is safer to say libertarians (myself as one) are more of the conservative nature, and can be more right than more left.

A few reasons being...

1) A fiscally conservative monetary policy bears major importance to keeping the government limited and therefore the individual in a more free state. Definitely a view shared by the "right."

2) The GOP (the right) was founded on state rights and keeping a sharp contrast to the federal government and its desire to take to much power away from the states. This again is in the advantage of the libertarian that wishes the government to remain out of the way.

While there are certainly differences in Republican views and Libertarian views I think it is safe to say they are closer to each other than Democratic (federalist) views and Libertarian views.

I would like to add the GOP has moved far from its original values and turned a sharp corner into what is this half neo-con half federalist version it is today. Evident by its approval of the bailout legislation, education spending, patriot act and all the other crap they have passed in the last 8 years...

posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 10:32 AM
if those who claim to be libertarians started acting 'differently' from the right-wing i would make a distinction, but generally they do not.

sadly, to me a libertarian is simply code for right-winger trying on a different suit.

yes, as SG stated a 'true' libertarian, who holds to the ideals and values of the movement would be easy to identify, however as raven said, that is rarely the case.

so i will continue, unashamed, to use the label 'right-wing libertarian fringe'.


posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 12:23 PM
reply to post by Southern Guardian

Glenn beck, the "supposed" libertarian is an example. The hypocrite outright supported the war in Iraq, opposes gay marriage and was often a strong critic of libertarian protestors and Paulers.

Absolutely right. He's still a neo-con at heart although he claims to be libertarian.

I do agree with you that some who claim to be Libertarians as well are not. I lean Libertarian...but even I know that government has to have some involvement in our lives...the goal is to keep it as low as possible.

I'm also against big business and multi-national corporations as well as they are a major destructive force to individual democracy and freedoms...just as big government can be.

Honestly, with all of the talk of socialism and libertarianism....

Those should be the "real" opposing parties...if they existed.

Ron Paul and Bernie Sanders are the most legit politicians in my book...and neither is bought by special interests and lobbyist.

A Libertarian and Socialist....strangely enough...are BOTH working hard to audit the fed and are forming a strong coalition to do it.

I don't agree with what Bernie Sanders believes in much of the time...but he's what a DEMOCRAT is supposed to be...and Ron Paul is what LIBERTARIAN is supposed to be...IMO.

posted on Aug, 1 2009 @ 12:25 PM
Ron Paul may be classified as a Republican and ran as a Republican for public office because third parties have an almost ZERO chance of gaining any kind of steam.

Ron Paul knows it and that's why he did it in the first place. Everyone knows where Ron Paul stands when it comes to individual liberty.

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