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Libertarian Party

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I agree with Oakes that the only time to vote for a candidate with no chance at election would be if that party is entierly consistent with your political philosophy.

Well, it's not that the non-electable third party must be entirely consistent with your philosophy, it's just that they are only worth voting for if there is absolutely no major party close to your ideals. If there is, it is smarter to vote for them now and strive to move them closer to your ideals later, than to deny them your vote.

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The GOP already generally believes in tax cuts and limited government, even if its leaders don't always live up to it. The GOP already generally believes in strong foreign policy, even if its leaders don't always live up to it. And plenty of GOP politicians, like Governor Aaaanold, take pro-liberty stances on social issues.

We don't need a new party, we just need the right leader to come along.

We have a Republican president.

We have a Republican majority in the Senate.

We have a Republican majority in the Congress.

Hmmm, and the last time I checked, statism is more prevalent than ever. The two things the Republican Party believes in are religion and holding on to power at any cost. This is no longer the party of Mr. Goldwater, and the possibility of converting it back is dubious at best. I feel it is best to pick a party that is not afraid to call themselves capitalists.

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Hmmm, and the last time I checked, statism is more prevalent than ever.

We all realize that statism has been on the rise; what else would you expect from a mixed economy? The relevent question is how best to reverse it. The GOP, despite its contributions to statism, is close enough to our ideals to provide the possibility of infiltration by Objectivist politicians.

The two things the Republican Party believes in are religion and holding on to power at any cost. This is no longer the party of Mr. Goldwater, and the possibility of converting it back is dubious at best.

While it may be true that the GOP is becoming more religiously radical, I think you are generalizing too much. Not all Republicans are overly religious, no matter what the media seems to reflect.

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While it may be true that the GOP is becoming more religiously radical, I think you are generalizing too much. Not all Republicans are overly religious, no matter what the media seems to reflect.

I did not say that that they were religiously radical or overly religious (though any inclination towards religion is overly religious!). What I said was that religion was one of their two predominant beliefs. Which, by the way, is going to make it rather difficult for objectivists to infiltrate the GOP.

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On this forum, I've seen Libertarianism attacked on various grounds (e.g. Libertarians lack a consistent moral base, Libertarians do not have good defense policies), but I'm still not convinced that there is nothing good about the party or even that voting Libertarian is not worthwhile. Consider the following statements from lp.org:

"We want a system which respects the individual and encourages us to discover the best within ourselves and develop our full potential."

Sounds familiar, eh?

"The Libertarian way is a logically consistent approach to politics based on the moral principle of self-ownership. Each individual has the right to control his or her own body, action, speech, and property. Government's only role is to help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud."

They have laid out their complete statement of principles at http://www.lp.org/issues/platform/platform_all.html. On individual bases, it might be better to support, say, a particular Democrat or Republican than a given Libertarian candidate, but, in general, I saw nothing in the statement of principles that would be contrary to Objectivism. If I am wrong about this, please point out any inconsistencies (between the platform and O'ism.) If not, then what is wrong with supporting the party that adheres to these principles?

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There are some problems with their positions, many of which suggest they didn't think the issue through carefully enough. One mistake is that they do not begin by stating what the purpose of government is; rather that start with complaints about bad things that governments do. This is horse-cart inversion.

Under Freedom and Responsibility in the summary, the say "Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make". This is bad wording: nobody denies people the freedom to accept responsibility for their actions, and they (inadvertently?) suggest that taking responsibility is optional.

Under Government Secrecy, they assert "We condemn the government's use of secret classifications to keep from the public information that it should have". This would be fine in an idyllic world where nobody violates people's rights, but the fact is that there are nasty people out there trying to blow up the US, and it is sometimes necessary to not reveal everything you know and how you came to know it, in order to stop these plots.

Their position on abortion is chicken. They say "Recognizing that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that people, including libertarians, can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept out of the question". If abortion is murder, government should absolutely prevent abortion; if abortion is not murder, then government should stay out. This good-faith nonsense is, well, nonsense. Their conclusion is sensible only if abortion isn't murder, and they have not make up their minds.

They have an incoherent view of law. They say "The common-law right of juries, to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law, should be recognized and encouraged". This is contrary to the principle that the rule of law should be objective, i.e. they support a whim-based view of justice where unjust laws are not overturned, they are sometimes ignored, if you want. This also contradicts the position set forth in the Executive Summary under Crime: "The appropriate way to suppress crime is through consistent and impartial enforcement of laws that protect individual rights" (emphasis added).

Their position on American Indian rights is off the mark: "American Indians should be free to determine their own system of governance and should have their property rights restored". The correct answer is that the government should obey its treat obligations, no more and no less. American Indians should not have the "right" to impose a fascist dictatorship on anyone.

The position on government debt -- "We support a constitutional amendment requiring government budgets be balanced by cutting expenditures and not by raising taxes" -- implicitly legitimizes coercive taxation. Their position on Social Security is badly worded: "Replace the fraudulent, bankrupt Social Security system with a private, voluntary system". The word "replace" says that it is the government's business to create such a system. The correct word is "eliminate", and the sentence can be shortened.

The position on secession is pretty problematic, as is: "We recognize the right to political secession by political entities, private groups, or individuals". This allows a dictatorship within the US to secede to immunize itself from corrective action by the US government.

The Negotiations policy, "The important principle in foreign policy should be the elimination of intervention by the United States government in the affairs of other nations" seems to have merit, except if you consider what "the affairs of other nations" might be. It asserts that the US has no right to protect the rights of US citizens present in foreign countries, and also says that we have no right to defend ourself until the bombs actually land here in the US. This isn't just an omission: the next section says "We call upon the United States government to adhere rigidly to the principle that all U.S. citizens travel, live, and own property abroad at their own risk".

Under Victimless Crimes, they say "Activities which do not affect anyone but the actor have been criminalized by government on the basis of encoding a particular morality into law". This totally obscures the point. Pot-smoking "affects" others, and so what. This bizarre standard "it doesn't affect you" is nonsense, and can only confuse people about the nature of rights, and what is a moral vs. immoral action.

Under their Conscription section they assert "We call for the immediate and unconditional exoneration of all who have been accused or convicted of draft evasion, desertion from the military in cases of conscription or fraud, and other acts of resistance to such transgressions as imperialistic wars and aggressive acts of the military. Members of the military should have the same right to quit their jobs as other persons". A contract is a contract, and when you enlist for 2 years, you enlist for 2 years. It would be a serious disaster if a platoon suddenly decided, in the middle of a military operation, that they quit.

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I'm still not convinced that there is nothing good about the party

Sure there is something good in the LP. There was something good in the Soviet Union too; for example, they put the first man into space. But the evil of Stalinism far outweighed everything positive that there happened to be in that dreary land, just like the evil of Libertarianism outweights everything positive in the LP.

"We want a system which respects the individual

...provided that the individual doesn't want to be defended from Al-Qaeda.

"The Libertarian way is a logically consistent approach

...based on arbitrary premises.

"Each individual has the right to control his or her own body, action, speech, and property

...and weapons of mass destruction. And the imperialistic U.S. government has no business meddling with him.

"Government's only role is to help individuals defend themselves from force and fraud

...but, since individuals need no help, we think there should be no government.

Don't be fooled by their glib talk about individual rights and limited government and what not. These people are diehard anarchists, and they are TOTALLY opposed to objective government.

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Don't be fooled by their glib talk about individual rights and limited government and what not. These people are diehard anarchists, and they are TOTALLY opposed to objective government.

Not all libertarians are. I'm sure there must be some good libertarians out there, too. The problem is that the Libertarian Party denies or ignores fundamental moral (to say nothing of epistemological) issues on principle. So they might not all be anarchists, but the party does nothing to separate itself from anarchism.

That said, it is true, in my experience, that a good chunk of libertarians are anarchists.

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"We want a system which respects the individual and encourages us to discover the best within ourselves and develop our full potential."

Sounds familiar, eh?

Doesn't sound like anything an Objectivist would say.

Does sound like the web-page from my local public school. I see liberal nods.

Does sound like something the local clergyman would agree with. I see conservative nods.

Yes, it sounds too familar. I call it a bromide.

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My first response is to David Odden:

they (inadvertently?) suggest that taking responsibility is optional.
Ok, you're reading into this too much. What was implied in the statement was that individuals should be free to make their own choice for which they are personally responsible. Bad wording? Perhaps, but only someone with an overly-critical eye could interpret it as you did.

Under Government Secrecy, they assert "We condemn the government's use of secret classifications to keep from the public information that it should have". This would be fine in an idyllic world where nobody violates people's rights, but the fact is that there are nasty people out there trying to blow up the US, and it is sometimes necessary to not reveal everything you know and how you came to know it, in order to stop these plots.

You're dropping the context, Odden: you just read the outline, without considering how the LP determines what information the public "should" have. If you read on, where they elaborate on this, you'll find that they believe the government has a right to classify information if it will protect the lives of citizens:

"We favor substituting the present secrecy system with one in which no individual may be convicted for violating government secrecy classifications unless the government discharges its burden of proving that the publication...disclosed defensive military plans so as to materially impair the capabilities to respond to attack."

Their position on abortion is chicken. They say "Recognizing that abortion is a very sensitive issue and that people, including libertarians, can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept out of the question".
What they are doing here is allowing women to terminate any pregnancy, but stating it in an indirect manner so as not to offend those who don't like abortion. I, too, wish they would just simply say "we condemn any government intervention that would deny a woman the right to terminate a pregnancy" instead of beating around the bush (no pun intended :confused: ). But as it stands, if the government is "kept out of the question," then they cannot condemn a woman for having an abortion. The reason that they even MENTION the "other side" of the issue is that they condemn state-funded abortions, which force those taxpayers who don't agree with abortion to pay for it. Again, you would have realized this if you had read on.

They have an incoherent view of law. They say "The common-law right of juries, to judge not only the facts but also the justice of the law, should be recognized and encouraged". This is contrary to the principle that the rule of law should be objective, i.e. they support a whim-based view of justice where unjust laws are not overturned, they are sometimes ignored, if you want. This also contradicts the position set forth in the Executive Summary under Crime: "The appropriate way to suppress crime is through consistent and impartial enforcement of laws that protect individual rights" (emphasis added).

Ok, here I might be inclined to agree with you. On the one hand, I think all they're doing here is encouraging juries to question established laws if they think those laws are unjust. Note that they still adhere to the principle of Justice: it is established laws, not justice, that can be changed. They encourage juries to *think*.

On the other hand, this statement may be too general, leaving room for a "whim-based view of justice," as you put it. I would have preferred if they had said "We support a system of justice based on Objective laws." But trying to establish an "Objective law" seems like pretty tricky business. Out of curiosity, do you know of any Objectivist lawyers who have attempted this? I would like to see a sample of how an Objectivist attorney would state and apply such laws.

American Indians should not have the "right" to impose a fascist dictatorship on anyone.
Native Americans can determine their own form of government, but participation in it would be voluntary. They are still a people (or, various groups of peoples), who do not wish to have their way of life disrupted by outsiders.

The position on government debt -- "We support a constitutional amendment requiring government budgets be balanced by cutting expenditures and not by raising taxes" -- implicitly legitimizes coercive taxation.

Good point. If there is no surplus of government money, then I don't see how the national debt can be paid off unless by individuals. I'm not sure how they would answer this one.

Their position on Social Security is badly worded: "Replace the fraudulent, bankrupt Social Security system with a private, voluntary system". The word "replace" says that it is the government's business to create such a system. The correct word is "eliminate", and the sentence can be shortened.
God damn it, you're just trying to create a problem where none existed in the first place. Yes, the statement is redundant, as the "replacement" would be enacted automatically by individuals wishing to save for their retirement, but in no way does it imply the right of the government "to create such a system"--the words "private" and "voluntary" should have tipped you off to this.

The position on secession is pretty problematic, as is: "We recognize the right to political secession by political entities, private groups, or individuals". This allows a dictatorship within the US to secede to immunize itself from corrective action by the US government.

Once again, you need to read on to where they elaborate on this. Later in the document, you will find the statement: "Exercise of this right, like the exercise of all other rights, does not remove legal and moral obligations not to violate the rights of others." This explicitly precludes the creation and secession of a dictatorship within the US.

That said, this statement bothers me a little. In a truly free, Objective government, why would anyone want to secede in the first place? Perhaps this statement was included to please the anarchists :confused:

The Negotiations policy, "The important principle in foreign policy should be the elimination of intervention by the United States government in the affairs of other nations" seems to have merit, except if you consider what "the affairs of other nations" might be. It asserts that the US has no right to protect the rights of US citizens present in foreign countries, and also says that we have no right to defend ourself until the bombs actually land here in the US. This isn't just an omission: the next section says "We call upon the United States government to adhere rigidly to the principle that all U.S. citizens travel, live, and own property abroad at their own risk".
I agree with you here. Under some circumstances, Libertarian forgein policy turns laissez-faire into laziness.

Under Victimless Crimes, they say "Activities which do not affect anyone but the actor have been criminalized by government on the basis of encoding a particular morality into law". This totally obscures the point. Pot-smoking "affects" others, and so what. This bizarre standard "it doesn't affect you" is nonsense, and can only confuse people about the nature of rights, and what is a moral vs. immoral action.

I don't understand what you're trying to say here. The Libertarian (and, I hope, the Objectivist) stance on the War on Drugs is that children should be educated about the harm drugs can do in their lives, but once they become responsible adults, use of drugs becomes their decision. It is not the government's place to use force to prevent someone from making a bad decision, especially if he should have known better. I assume I am missing the point of what you were trying to say.

A contract is a contract, and when you enlist for 2 years, you enlist for 2 years. It would be a serious disaster if a platoon suddenly decided, in the middle of a military operation, that they quit.

On the one hand, it seems hard to imagine being a strong nation without having a loyal, committed military. On the other hand, if "enlisting for two years" means that for the next two years the government has the right to order you to use force regardless of the judgement of your own reason (i.e. your mind has no say in the actions you take), then I don't see why any Objectivist would sign such a contract that would surrender his mind.

It's probably more complicated than this, though, and I'm more inclined to agree with you.

Right now, the only reason I can see to not vote Libertarian would be for the sake of national defense. On moral grounds, you can complain all you want about the Libertarians' lack of a base, but their stance is infinitely preferable to the theocratic mysticism of the Bush administration. Unless you prefer to just not vote at all.

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Ok, you're reading into this too much.

Maybe. Their intentions could, deep down, be quite noble. The problem is that they don't go deep down, and until they do, the essential foundation for trusting them is lacking. Bad wording matters, especially if you're going to be in charge of a government which points guns at people's heads. I have your solemn word that despite their bad wording, we can trust them to act properly? Despite their constant bad wording -- their words don't have anything to do with their thinking? The order in which they present their position has no bearing on what they think is actually important? If you say so.

They want to protect a woman's right to abortion without admitting that they are pro-abortion? Or are they pro-abortion? Not much of a party of principle if they are afraid of offending some people by saying "Women have a right to abortion, and that right should be protected against religious nut-cases who bomb abortion clinics".

But trying to establish an "Objective law" seems like pretty tricky business.  Out of curiosity, do you know of any Objectivist lawyers who have attempted this?
Dew whut? (you have to read that with a Florida accent) There are a lot of components to it, such as "what is the law for" and "what does the law say". Literal interpretation and enforcement are essential in a free society governed by objective law, and even non-Objectivists get this. I know that there used to be a group of Objectivist lawyers who I suppose were working in the area of jurisprudence, but they seem to have fallen off the planet. Objective law isn't tricky, but it isn't trivial. Nullification of the law by an uninformed mob is a cheap and poor substitute for actually creating and living by just laws, and is dangerous because jury nullification can go both ways -- an innocent person who violated no rights can be convicted simply because they are, say, too successful in business. Sure, th LP doesn't want that to happen: but by calling for ad hoc "justice" at the whim of 12 angry men, they are opening the floodgates to unjust convictions just as much as to just exhonerations.

Native Americans can determine their own form of government, but participation in it would be voluntary.  They are still a people (or, various groups of peoples), who do not wish to have their way of life disrupted by outsiders.

Or, various people. You seem to cling to a collectivist view of Native Americans. Notice that they don't say "African-Americans are a people who have the historical right to self-determination etc. etc. and their rights should be respected", nor do they say "Norwegian-Americans are a people who have the historical right to self-determination etc. etc. and their rights should be respected", not to mention Polish Americans or Polisho-Norwegio-Lithicranian Americans. Explain the asymmetry, okay?

I don't understand what you're trying to say here. The Libertarian (and, I hope, the Objectivist) stance on the War on Drugs is that children should be educated about the harm drugs can do in their lives, but once they become responsible adults, use of drugs becomes their decision.  It is not the government's place to use force to prevent someone from making a bad decision, especially if he should have known better.  I assume I am missing the point of what you were trying to say.

Why should smoking dope or drinking beer not be outlawed? According to them (at least apparently) because they fall into the category of "Activities which do not affect anyone but the actor". Right there, you have the entire moral justification for liberty, and if you can destroy that premise, then the entire LP program is ruined and we will be thrown back to statism. The premise that taking drugs "does not affect anyone else" is false, false, untrue, and not so. It would seriously affect my friends and family if I became a heroin addict. And the premise that rights come from this fictitious non-effect property of drug-taking is false, a lie, untrue, and not so. Fortunately, two wrongs self-cancel so the conclusion that you have the right to take drugs is preserved. Why does it matter that we reduce rights to coherent general principles rather than being an ad-hoc list of shalls and shan'ts? Because one of the principles of (proper) objective law is that the interpretation of the law to new instances is conducted in terms of the purpose of the law. And if you do not have a clear, correct statement of that purpose, yer scrod.

I'm bitching about bad wording again. Tell me your opinion of the Welfare clause and the Commerce clause of The Constitution. Why does bad wording matter?

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Good point.  If there is no surplus of government money, then I don't see how the national debt can be paid off unless by individuals.  I'm not sure how they would answer this one.

According to Harry Browne, the government has huge mega-quantities of real estate, both land and buildings, plus other stuff. And according to Harry Browne, if most of this was auctioned off to the private sector, it would generate mega-quantities of money. Enough to pay off the national debt and other things with money left over. :confused:

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What do people who believe that reality is real have in common with solipsists; rational men have in common with rationalists and mystics; egoists have in common with hedonists, pragmatists, and altruists?

"Libertarianism."

It can "work" only if you accept that political systems have nothing to do with more fundamental ideas, such as those in the fields of morality, epistemology, and metaphysics.

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The best argument against the Libertarian Party is they lack consensus.

Here's proof of that- from their own website!

Below are specific issues and topics that are often important to libertarians. Keep in mind that no two people ever see things exactly the same.When it comes to specifics, there is a large amount of debate among libertarians. Or to paraphrase a familiar saying: "Talk to three libertarians and you get four opinions."

Ayn Rand was right!

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From what I've seen, and that's very little, the LP is just a bunch of anarcho-pragmatists, who scoff at the notion of any definite principles in politics just as the other major parties do.

Libertarianism, on the other hand, is so broad a term that it has nearly become meaningless, as has already been pointed out. It becomes all the more necessary, in such cases, not to paint with a broad brush, but to examine the particular virtues and vices in each case. There are some very good people who describe themselves as "libertarian," and to fail to distinguish the good from the bad and the right from the wrong in this issue is just as bad as anywhere else. As an example, I have more respect for John Stossel than for anyone else in the national media, and while he certainly isn't an Objectivist, he does openly admire Rand's work. He often gets vilified as conservative, but he's quick to point out that his views are better described as libertarian, though he's far from being an anarchist. If anyone has read David Boaz's book, "Libertarianism: A Primer," they'll know that he approaches political issues from a natural rights perspective, not a utilitarian or pragmatist perspective as many libertarians do. The book offers an excellent history of the philosophy behind natural rights up to the American Revolution, an explanation of how libertarianism relates to the traditional "left-right" political spectrum, an account of the growth of government to its present bloated state, and a number of concrete examples of limited-government solutions to problems created by unlimited government. Again, it wouldn't be mistaken for Objectivist literature, but it does an excellent job of "selling" limited government to the average reader. These are just two examples, but I'm sure there are others.

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I have your solemn word that despite their bad wording, we can trust them to act properly?
No, I am not trying to defend Libertarians at all costs. All I seek to do in this thread is for Objectivists to judge the LP not on the basis of individual examples or bromides, but on the basis of the statement of principles.

So far many of the responses I have received to my original inquiry have made me look closer at the LP platform, and I am viewing the party with increasing skepticism. But I haven't made up my mind yet.

They want to protect a woman's right to abortion without admitting that they are pro-abortion? Or are they pro-abortion?

Their stance, plain and simple, is pro-CHOICE. Choice is essential to liberty.

"Women have a right to abortion, and that right should be protected against religious nut-cases who bomb abortion clinics".
You're right, they need to include an explicit condemnation of religious fanatics who bomb abortion clinics. On this, they are guilty of chickenshit.

by calling for ad hoc "justice" at the whim of 12 angry men, they are opening the floodgates to unjust convictions just as much as to just exhonerations....I know that there used to be a group of Objectivist lawyers who I suppose were working in the area of jurisprudence, but they seem to have fallen off the planet.

That's too bad. I think that attacking the LP stance on law and juries is a just form of critism. It is mainly for this reason that I am becoming more skeptical of them. However, if I were to address, say, a group of Libertarians and tell them that there can be no room for whim-worshipping juries in a system of objective law, they would probably laugh at me (at those last two words), saying that there is always room for "re-interpretation," and I would be hard-pressed to defend myself, as much as I believe in it. That is why I am very interested in reading the works of Objectivist lawyers: I wish to see how they would go about establishing such a system.

You seem to cling to a collectivist view of Native Americans. ...Explain the asymmetry, okay?
I assumed that the Native American clause was included because they were not only oppressed by the "new" Americans (as were the Africans), but their land was also taken from them. I actually don't know what oppression they still face today, if any. If there is none, then they should probably be told to "just get over it," as the real oppression and broken treaties occurred so long ago that no one today is accountable. (Kind of like the "slavery was two centuries ago, get over it!" argument.)

Why should smoking dope or drinking beer not be outlawed?

My god, I can't believe what you're trying to argue here. If we go into this one too deeply, we should probably start another thread, but I'll continue the argument for now:

It would seriously affect my friends and family if I became a heroin addict.
You owe no obligation to your friends. They cannot dictate what you do for recreation. As far as family goes, if becoming an addict causes you to become a negligent father, then your proper indictment would be on charges of NEGLIGENCE, as that would be the particular crime that harmed another to whom you were responsible.

How would you propose to fight the war on drugs anyway, save through education? I assume you already know the argument from economics against trying to reduce the supply, which is how the war is currently conducted, but if not, I would be happy to explain it to you.

The premise that taking drugs "does not affect anyone else" is false, false, untrue, and not so....And the premise that rights come from this fictitious non-effect property of drug-taking is false, a lie, untrue, and not so. Fortunately, two wrongs self-cancel so the conclusion that you have the right to take drugs is preserved.

I still can't understand how this argument of yours works, or even what it is that you wish to argue. Please state it more simply, or give an example or something. And the triple negative "false-false-un" combination seems a bit redundant ;)

Why does bad wording matter?

I'll keep this in mind as I continue to judge the merits and weaknesses of the LP. As for the mentioned clauses in the Constitution, I'll have to check up on this later, as I'm pretty busy right now.

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However, if I were to address, say, a group of Libertarians and tell them that there can be no room for whim-worshipping juries in a system of objective law, they would probably laugh at me (at those last two words), saying that there is always room for "re-interpretation," and I would be hard-pressed to defend myself, as much as I believe in it.

There are plenty of rooms and whole office towers going half-filled, so a shortage of rooms is not an issue. What matters is having a just basis for laws. The basic failing of the US Constitution (not that I think they could have forseen the problem, or that the authors all would have wanted to forsee it) is that it is non-hierarchical, and does not have a clear and enforceable central purpose. A system of objective laws would contain essential statements such as what the purpose of government is -- and all laws must be judged according to how they satisfy that purpose. All laws must be explicitly justified by reference to that purpose. And I would go so far as say that principles of legal interpretation and procedure must be part of the Constitution itself (and of course must themselveves be justified). Examples are the two witness rule, the rule of lenity, and the last antecedent rule: I don't necessarily agree with the latter, but it's just an example]. In fact, Supreme Court justices, who know a hell of a lot about law, can't get it together on some of these rules, so it's really insane to ask a juror to understand and apply these principles.

You might think "Well, this would all go away if only we didn't have bad laws like those outlawing prostitution", but the problem of objective interpretation is at the heart of contract disputes, where these basic principles are still relevant. Having a snorting, dismissing attitude and saying that there's always room for reinterpretation basically says "Problems of jurisprudence are trivial and will be swept away after the revolution".

I still can't understand how this argument of yours works, or even what it is that you wish to argue.  Please state it more simply, or give an example or something.

Okay, let me repeat. They say "Activities which do not affect anyone but the actor have been criminalized by government on the basis of encoding a particular morality into law". I assume they they mean things like prostitution, drinking, smoking, drugs, porn, and reading Kant. I agree that the government should not make it a crime to drink, hire a whore, smoke tobacco or weed, or even read Kant. But the reason is not that "these acts do not affect anyone else". It is important to not base your decisions about rights on a broken foundation, and this is a broken foundation. Given this "foundation", you might suddenly (i.e. instantly) run into someone pointing out quite correctly that if I were to smoke a lot of weed, like 5 ofr 6 joints a day, it might have an effect on a number of people. I'd probably become a real drooling slacker and I wouldn't teach my classes and I'd get fired, and then I'd have no income, and not only would that affect me but it would affect my wife, and it might have an effect on my son. Plus the effect on my employer, and the students in my classes. So you see, it really did ave an effect, and now you have to back peddle and say "Well, we didn't really mean that but what we meant was" and people are bored because you really didn't have anything new to offer people in terms of government. Excuses, excuses: no clearly worked out understanding of rights, and no system of objective law. It's just "you do your thing, I do my thing, and god help us if there's a disagreement about rights because I'm guessing that the biggest shotgun wins.

Furthermore, their objection based on the fact that the no-whoring laws encode a particular morality virtually directly asserts that no morality should have the force of law, and therefore no moral judgement, i.e. jurdgement of the properness of an action, is justified. The oft-held objection to murdering people is the encoding of a particular morality, and it is a proper morality. Their failure here is clear -- they fail to distinguish between the wrong morality, and any morality. A society without any morality has no basis for protecting the rights of individuals.

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The way I see it is this. I am a connesuier of ice cream[objectivist] who wants vanilla with color sprinkles and caramel toppings[objectivist style of living], I go into the ice cream shop[voting booth] and the vendor[punch card] has given me several options; rat poison flavored ice cream[republican party], rattlesnake venom flavored ice cream [democrat party], cyanide flavored ice cream [green party] and vanilla with chocolate sprinkles and chocolate syrup[Libertarian party]. Now I really had my sights set on color sprinkles and caramel toppings, but given the alternatives, I'd say chocolate sprinkles and syrup will have to do.

I don't agree with everything every Libertarian said (especially when flakies like Howard Stern has run under the Libertarian ballot) but come on, is there any other political party that wants to reduce government meddling in our lives? For Bush it's rule by theocratic tyranny, and for Kerry it's a socialist (dys)utopia. Nader goes without saying.

my second favorite Libertarian remains Gary Nolan. I've met him, he's a fantastic guy who was delighted when I told him about my being an objectivist and understanding the moral necessity of capitalism.

favorite? the WWE wrestler who goes by the name "Val Venis" has voiced his approval for libertarian policies. That's just funny when a man who pretends to be a male stripper on television starts rattling off fairly erudite political philosophies (especially when compared to the leftist dominated Hollywood)

"Why should smoking dope or drinking beer not be outlawed? "

Doesn't having the right to your own body include the right to destroy it? I mean sure if a mother of 5 is smoking crack she is inherintly harming her children, but if a single man living alone wants to ruin his life, what business of the state is it to say he can't?

the legalization of drugs does not mean being lawless about it. IF it is harming someone then by all means they need to be punished, but if it is not harming anyone but the user then the state does not need to enact the prohibition.

remember, the rate of death directly caused by Marijuana is zero.

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isn't supply-side economics that the Republicans embrace as equally immoral as the theft from the democrat party? I mean i'd be hardpressed to find an objectivist who supports social security, but how is that any more moral then giving stolen wealth to big corporations?

I find republicanism just as dangerous as socialism. Which is why i have no intention of voting for Bush. however, democratic stifling of progress is socialism, just sugarcoated as "compassion for the little guy" or other nonesense.

before i post, i want to bring to attention something that is bothering me. As a southerner I find the modern perception of the confederacy disgusting, just another effort by statist government to cover it's tracks. The Southern Rebellion had nothing to do with Slavery, though you might not know that given the incredible bias of historical textbooks. It was about State's rights, and Northern condescending. They did not go to war because of "dem yanks is tryin' to take our N----r's away!" Slavery wasn't even an issue in the war until the emancipation proclaimation, when the north claimed the moral high ground. The only port in America still importing slaves was in the North, even Charleston did not import slaves anymore. Only the very richest plantation owners owned slaves, and slavery as an institution had been declining since the country's inception. It was the free market, not the underground railroad who was aiding in this decline. Everyone has seen Glory and knows of the black regiments who fought for the north. Ever heard of the numerous black southern regiments who fought the North because they honestly felt their rights were being infringed upon, or the black plantation owners who lost everything when Sherman's army marched through the South wantonly burning and looting like a pack of thugs? And finally, the Southern sessation was a peaceful withdrawl, they threw up their hands and said "we're out", the battle of Fort Sumter occured when the union started reinforcing their position in the fort after we had asked them to leave. The first shots of the war were fired by Citadel cadets firing on the supply runner "Star of the West." The union had been supplying arms to the fort, the Star was transporting large stocks of food for intended long term commitment. No one was killed, either in the firing on the Star or in the actual battle.

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The way I see it is this. I am a connesuier of ice cream[objectivist] who wants vanilla with color sprinkles and caramel toppings[objectivist style of living], I go into the ice cream shop[voting booth] and the vendor[punch card] has given me several options; rat poison flavored ice cream[republican party], rattlesnake venom flavored ice cream [democrat party], cyanide flavored ice cream [green party] and vanilla with chocolate sprinkles and chocolate syrup[Libertarian party]. Now I really had my sights set on color sprinkles and caramel toppings, but given the alternatives, I'd say chocolate sprinkles and syrup will have to do.

How about we say you go into the local ice cream shop and take part in a contest involving the nationwide chain. You can vote for chocolate, vanilla, rocky road, rasberry swirl, or fill in your own flavor. Everyone who took part, at the end, gets whatever the majority decided on. Furthermore, you are only sure that chocolate and vanilla are on all the survey forms...different stores decided which flavors to include for the last two flavors. You like cookie dough best, but it's not on a single contest form. Rasberry swirl is your favorite among the listed ones, but you prefer chocolate to the others. You would be stupid to vote for rasberry swirl, when chocolate and vanilla are the only real possible outcomes.

And that all even assumes that rasberry swirl isn't evil, which is a premise that shouldn't even be granted in this case ;)

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I don't agree with everything every Libertarian said (especially when flakies like Howard Stern has run under the Libertarian ballot) but come on, is there any other political party that wants to reduce government meddling in our lives?

If wishes were horses, beggars would ride. I don't care a tenth of an iota what their hopes and desires are, I only care about what is and how it pertains to me. So while I find myself in agreement with the putative intent of the vast majority of the LP platform, putative intent doesn't cut it. I used to find myself in agreement with the Republican Party (many moons ago), but it turned out that they were systematically untrustworthy. I never met a Republican who had a clue about answering the question "What are man's rights? Where do they come from?" Well, maybe one, but she was a politically homeless Objectivist.

I don't care if they talk the best talk in town: they all talk trash.

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I take it you didn't understand the argument.

You mean the arguement which would have the government violate individual rights? Yah, I understood it.

Good luck with prohibition. BTW, you might want to read Rand's views on it. Oh, and since you want to illegalize things that "might" "potentially" lead to another person hurting you, be sure to cover violent video games, R rated movies, guns, large dogs, and being angry in public.

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