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.
4) The gilded age is an excellent example of how working people were shitstomped until they said enough and our work is worth more. It was an absolutely horrible time in which government agents acted on behalf of corporations to undermine unions out of fear of communist revolution. It is a perfect example of fascistic capitalism taking hold until things got so bad that they could not stand behind companies any longer at the risk of losing their own necks. Objectivism states that people need to be in constant negotiation for what their work is worth and fight for it.
5) This has the potential to get really narrow. It was my understanding that Alexander Hamilton and the Federalists were more of the libertarian perspective- arguing that powers of government are limited to what the constitution says, and the Democratic-Republicans led by Jefferson were of the mindset that government can and should do things that the constitution does not specifically forbid. We should probably hash this out in dialogue.
Consider the following proposition on a voluntary tax- every transaction that occurs offers an 8 cents on the dollar court binding charge, every contract some sort of higher rate to be determined, that allows your purchase or your contract to be contestable in public court. Who would not pay for such a service to have an enforcable contract? With the tens of billions of transactions that occur daily... even ten percent of people choosing to purchase the protection adds up to a sizable tax quickly. That's just one way. Perhaps we also use a sliding scale of tax to make sure the rich pay more, so the more expensive the item purchased, the more expensive the protectable contract tax.
6. Re-read my proposition. I say save your wife.
7. It does not argue that. It argues to never live your life for another's sake, nor ask another to live their life for the sake of yours. To be a thug and take from another person is irrational and wrong.
Again, it reconciles, because I say save your wife.
Hey, you are all about saving my wife. I can't not like you.
Okay, the Gilded Age. We can argue the specifics and maybe get a lot of it wrong, but my main point is that good governance is proactive and not reactive. Now, most of what we see is what any rational person would call reactive, but compared to the law of the jungle it is practically clairvoyant. If we let the market decide safety factors, the market would likely decide to hide safety violations rather than expose and correct them. The argument that people would stop working at an unsafe plant or stop eating deadly food is terrible for two reasons. The first is that you require a sufficient body count to enact change. The second is that cover ups are more likely than change or exposure.
The Federalists were advocates of a strong National government. Jefferson, Monroe, and Madison were all "Jeffersonians" and they were all about States' rights and something more akin (but not exactly like) Libertarianism. But even Madison and other Republicans sometimes defied Jeffersonian principles, as even Jefferson did. For example, Jefferson had an idea that with each generation the country should start anew. All debts, allegiances, land holdings, Constitutions, et cetera wiped clean and a new fight for order where the cream could rise. Even his disciples begged him off that route, not that it stood a chance.
Voluntary tax. Still not seeing it. Most people would opt out and take their chances. And they would be right to do so. It is not much different than the Best Buy cashier trying to sell you a warranty on everything you buy from that store. You are better off not buying any warranties and paying out of pocket for the oddball item that turns out to be defective.
6 & 7) Yes, I re-read and I am sorry that I misread the first time. I had it ass backwards.
Gilded age- I agree, let's table that for now, but something of interest caught my eye. A sufficient body count is needed to enact change. How is that any different than now? Also, in what I would call an ideal society, I think that is what unions are there for. To stick up for people who would otherwise be in horrible working conditions. I also want to re-iterate that I do not advocate a complete de-regulation to jungle law to happen over a short period of time. There's nowhere in particular to start, and we tried that. Media merging, subprime loans, need I say more? Sometimes libertarians think that 260 years of history can be completely re-done in one president's term or fixed with one bill. It's not realistic.
I guess I have to go over my American history again.
The voluntary tax is something that is nowhere near ready to be introduced at this point in time, and I have conceeded as such. Part of the reform that needs to happen is about attitudes towards taxes in our modern world.
Body counts? I agree. That is why I said it may not seem different. But consider this. It only takes a few babies to wind up throttled dead in a crib for a national recall to be issued. If we had no government watchdog, it might take thousands of dead babies before word spread sufficiently enough to effect change in the market. Consumer advocacy groups do not have the power of business or government to keep tabs, cover up, or enact change.
American history is awesome! I read a lot of biographies this year and they all focused on that time period. It has made me appreciate American history more, that is for sure.
Voluntary tax. Well, that much we agree on. But I don't think it is a political philosophy that hinders such a thing. It is a human trait. People are just the way they are and they have to be pressured at times to be socially responsible. Jefferson thought that people could have some innate sense of governance, but he was wrong. Maybe one day people will evolve so that he is right, but we have to deal with the here and now.
The CPSC is a really great invention, and a facet of government that should always be retained, along with the FDA. I think this can be fairly easily reconciled within a libertarian mindframe, and is one of the aspects of government that I think are important, much like the police force, fire department, and postal service.
And this is exactly what I'm talking about with updating Objectivism with the times. The CPSC was created in 1972 on the Consumer Product Safety Act. The Virtue of Selfishness was published in 1964, in which Ayn talks about how we need certain government inventions to protect a person from the use of force by another. Atlas Shrugged was written in 1957. I would absolutely argue that neglect of a toxic product or drug is a use of force against another person from which a government needs to protect its people.
By the way, when the Tea Partiers hold up Atlas Shrugged, please note, quite comically I might add, to yourself that they know as much about Ayn Rand as they do about the Bible.
I know some Libertarians and not all agree on everything. But, one who I asked to explain it to me preferred to point me towards Atlas Shrugged in order to best understand the philosophy.
You know... I went back over this thread, because honestly, I really care about articulating this philosophy correctly so that people don't look at me like I have two heads when I say I'm an Objectivist or Libertarian, (which I rarely do because I hate labels, but that's besides the point) and that really pisses me off that people are doing that. It's a fiction story. It's a fucking parable (pardon my language). That's like me saying, read Animal Farm to best understand Trotskyism. If you encounter this, please call people out on it. It's a damn good book, one of my favorites, and a great read, but it's still fiction.
So again... if you are actually interested in understanding Rand's philosphy pick up one of these books, which are really just a collection of essays, which is good, because it's like a magazine and you can read a little at a time to digest and contemplate:
1) Introduction to Objectivism
2) Virtue of Selfishness
3) The Romantic Manifesto
Out of these Virtue of Selfishness is my favorite and can easily be read first.
"The Virtue of Selfishness" is my favorite of Rand's works. I am as i oft repeat amazed at the number of people who claim to be libertarian yet when you argue social issues take a neo-conservative stance.
Here's what Wikipedia has to say about secession (under: Self-determination) and U.S. Law . . .
"In the United States Abraham Lincoln acknowledged that secession might be possible through amending the United States Constitution. The Supreme Court in Texas v White, held secession could occur 'through revolution, or through consent of the States.''"
. . . and under Secession, we have:
"The United States Supreme Court ruled in Texas v. White, 74 U.S. 700 (1869) that unilateral secession was unconstitutional while commenting that revolution or consent of the states could lead to a successful secession."
So it appears that secession requires consent . . . or revolution or a constitutional amendment. And is, indeed, unconstitutional when unilateral.
Well, Jefferson was all about secession. it seems. He loved revolutions, whether American or French. He approved of them even as they became uncomfortable, as the French revolution and its violence did. But the funny thing about revolution and America is that not all revolutions are equal, even if they are. Shay's Rebellion, for example, was led by a revolutionary that was fighting against taxation and debt, same as the heroes we revere like Washington and Franklin. In fact, Shay's Rebellion sparked this nugget from Jefferson; "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is its natural manure."