Much like arguing with Religionists, Libertarians don't seem to need to have facts. Simple ideas and rhetoric is all that you need. I've hammered on the free capitalism arguments they make. If you take it to it's end, either you have too much government or two little and we never have the right mix to show where capitalism works. We are looking for friggin Goldilocks on all issues only we can't ever find the "just right" example of Libertarianism working. I have a Facebook friend whom I like. But he has 1800 FB friends and it's a Libertarian Hive Mind on his page. He posted a question today. There were 15 answers of bullshit. One of the persons had posted three times. I post the likely answer to his question, and the circle of denial starts all over again.
If you are a Libertarian, you should ask yourself this question. Am I arguing based on historical evidence, or wish thinking? If you are an Atheist you undoubtedly are choosing to live based on reality. The following has been altered to the relevant posts, but is an example of being dishonest with one's self. Consistently, this is what I run into with Libertarians. Facts... don't need those, I have ideology! It's as much a douche move as denying science and accepting religion.
We'd love to have a legit conversation with them. I think we're (or I'm) mainly annoyed with Ayn Randian followers and Libertarian fundamentalists, the label alone doesn't mean much, its a tendency but I just tend to disagree on an unresolvable level to those who thinking goes as so far to say that public education should be abolished or that there should be 0 social safety nets or that racial discrimination by businesses should be allowed. I'm all for being skeptical of authority and critically thinking but there's a huge difference between having a rational skepticism of government policy and an irrational dogmatic knee jerk reaction to anything to do with government regulation (I like my clean air thank you very much!)
I've come to this position after joining a libertarian group on FB. I'm all for smaller government. I voted for Bob Barr in the last election because we need more options. The current trend in libertarianism seems to be lost Republicans. HUGE military and everything else should be corporatist. Socialism on a local level is great, on a national level it's terrible. Why the difference? Pro-States rights (as if the Bill of Rights only applies depending on where your weather choice) and anti-people working together if it's not for profit. How about small military and socialism for necessities, capitalism for everything else with regulation where you can point to excessive greed (meaning where the system has failed us all once eg the existence of the SEC is needed, the scope of the FCC should be shrunk.)
They can come on over, but I know one guy who will be asking for real world examples.
I've had circular arguments with some Libertarian minded friends. Especially when it comes to building roads and other infrastructure. They always seem surprised to find themselves back to government as the solution after they so happily evicted it moments ago. Then, they opt to change the subject.
When you ask them how they would accomplish little things like that within communities with no government, they go on to describe solutions. But you may have to probe a little more, pointing out the obvious problems associated with individuals being tasked with community projects (i.e., lack of expertise, lack of funds, privatization of roads, etc.). They adjust for those issues and explain something that resembles government, only they dress it up a bit differently. After a pause, "Ah ha! You mean some sort of local government!". It really is a beautiful moment, watching realization dawn on them, then they stammer and try to retreat from it or attack current government. I highly recommend this tactic in face to face discussions. It is highly satisfying.
I always get the acceptance of local governments is ok, just not the national. My problem with that is then the Bil of Rights no longer matters. So what is America then if not meant to keep us all equal? I've heard arguments stating that Government controls caused the Gulf Disaster. I've heard arguments stating that businesses should be able to discriminate, and if you live in an area where you can't get groceries you should move to an area where you can. They adhere to freedoms to do things, but not for everyone to live fairly or equally.
Oh. You are swimming in the deep end of the irrational pool.
Yeah, it is frustrating when you can't get some people to understand or admit that the line they have drawn between acceptable and unacceptable is arbitrary and that there are no fundamental differences between the two.
Or that they insist that when the free market runs amok, that it was really, somehow, the government's fault for tainting the purity of Capitalism, despite all evidence to the contrary.
You should do a bit of research on Colorado Springs, CO. They've lowered taxes so much that the city is really suffering. They're cutting back on public transportation; they're not keeping the medians or landscaping/manicured (which can actually be dangerous b/c of snakes, etc); they've turned off two of every three street lights... the list goes on. Things that people have taken for granted are being taken away! They even had to sell two of their LifeFlight helicopters.
Colorado Spring is a perfect example of what happens when you cut taxes, force the govt to take a step back, and allow the market to decide. No one's going to spend their own money to make sure the street lights stay on because, individually, they can't afford it! But, in the meantime, people are actually being murdered where those lights are off. It's irritating that people don't see they're being taxed for their own good, and the good of the community!
Gaytor, I actually vomited a little in my mouth when I read your first post which seemed to be a knee-jerk reaction against libertarianism; However, I can't agree more with your above post. I think a lot of us come from an old American agrarian background. I truly just want people to leave me the hell alone; Live and let live; I thought I'd be a staunch libertarian till the day I died, however, the older I get the more my views change and new information is available to me. There really is a finite amount of resources in this country, and socialism for necessities is making more sense to me. Unfortunately, one's opportunities are sadly mostly limited by the status one is born into. As for the "history" lessons of free market, I would love to get some examples of a modern free market that has actually existed; I remember an old text book I used to have defined the Libertarian party in the US as an ideological party whereas the Republican and Democratic parties were parties of policy; I believe in small government and personal freedom. I detest the Patriot Act and governmental coercion of any form.