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Libertarian Party

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Who founded the Libertarian Party, and what is your evidence that they are left-leaning?

My evidence that they are left leaning is my personal experience with them. Consider for a moment that the ultimate goal of Communism is to do away with government and as I have discovered, it is the ultimate goal of many Libertarians. Many people in both of these groups feel that the ends justify the means. If you wish to read what Ayn Rand felt about this party, you may wish to visit the following website and read an interview of her regarding the party:

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pag...us_libertarians

Also consider the famous words of Ben Franklin:

"Benjamin Franklin said democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote..."

http://www.cortezjournal.com/archives/edit391.htm

In other words, liberty cannot exist without a government protecting the rights of the minority.

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My evidence that they are left leaning is my personal experience with them.  Consider for a moment that the ultimate goal of Communism is to do away with government and as I have discovered, it is the ultimate goal of many Libertarians.  Many people in both of these groups feel that the ends justify the means.

Then you should have claimed "the Libertarian Party is populated by a bunch of left-leaning hippies". There is no significance at all to the fact that Marx made nonsense claims about the state withering away: eliminating the state has nothing to do with Communism. The LP is blatantly pro-capitalist, which is definitionally a non-leftist position. The important thing in criticizing the LP is to speak truthfully.

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Then you should have claimed "the Libertarian Party is populated by a bunch of left-leaning hippies". There is no significance at all to the fact that Marx made nonsense claims about the state withering away: eliminating the state has nothing to do with Communism. The LP is blatantly pro-capitalist, which is definitionally a non-leftist position. The important thing in criticizing the LP is to speak truthfully.

If you think that the LP is blatantly pro-capitalist, you need to dig further. Go to the Ayn Rand bookstore and by the book "Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty." Additionaly, if you read the article I linked, you would also discover that the party was founded by and continues to accept people from all walks of life, including left wing radicals.

I was a very big supporter of the party, until I started speaking with the party's leadership a few months ago and dug further because of it. Objectivism an Libertarianism are not compatible.

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You mentioned medieval, anarcho-capitalist Iceland several times. I have questions about that.

(1) How much competition among agencies was there in each Icelandic settlement, typically?

Basically, each individual had the right to pick the agent (chieftain) of his choice in enforcing his property claims.

(2) If Icelandic anarcho-capitalism was so successful, why did it come to an end? Did the "customers" change their minds? Foreign invasion and imposition of a government?

A combination of monopoly-formation by formerly competing chieftains and intervention by the King of Norway, brought Iceland's system of competing defense agencies to an end. In any event, the system lasted over 300 years, longer than our own experiment in "limited" government has endured.

(3) More generally, why does there seem to be -- based on the examples of anarcho-capitalist societies you have mentioned in the past weeks -- an inverse correlation between technological development and anarcho-capitalism? Or have I misunderstood? Was medieval Iceland actually a fountainhead of technological and other cultural progress?

Since the U.S. of 1787 was predominantly agrarian and pre-industrial while today it is the most technologically advanced nation on earth, should we conclude there is an inverse correlation between technological development and limited government? My own guess is that technology over the past 300 years favored large nation states up to a point. However, the technology that was developed in the last half of the 20th century is now making the large nation state a difficult arrangement to maintain.

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Basically, each individual had the right to pick the agent (chieftain) of his choice in enforcing his property claims.

How were differences between the chieftains resolved?

Fred Weiss

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You're revealing that you don't understand the problem. The laws of a geographically defined nation are knowable. They are public, and you know that you are subject to US law when you are in the US.
Fine. Before you enter the front gate of my property, you will have the opportunity to inquire about the rules of conduct that are enforced therein. Just as a visitor from Amsterdam to Charleston, SC can discover prior to his journey whether he will be permitted to smoke hashish there, so Professor Odden can inquire of landlady Corday as to whether he will be allowed to play his bagpipes at 2 a.m.

This is why ignorance of the law is no excuse. But if I interact in any way with a second party (under your agencyy-relative system of "law"), I am subject to the laws dictated by the other guy's defense agency, and I have no way of knowing what his defense agency is, or what their laws are (insert the expression "proprietary information" in an appropriate place).

Then you’ll have to take time to know thy vendor and know thy customer. For example, before you take your family camping in the forest I own, you’ll just have to do a little research to determine whether it’s permissible to play bagpipes past midnight.

Furthermore, there is no reason to expect that a person can only hire a single agency to "protect" them, so simply by hiring three separate agencies, I could be subjecting people to interact with me to three contradictory sets of laws, making ratoinal interaction between people impossible. In a system of uniform publically known law, the burden on the citizen is minimized, and you can safely interact with any citizen without fear of hidden legal repercussions.

Very well. If a colleague from another part of the country pays you a visit, just tell him the agencies that you’ve hired to provide defense do and do not offer protection against theft; do and do not offer protection against rape; do and do not offer protection against murder. Of course, once you do establish contradictory laws over your property, don’t be surprised if you find very few who are willing to engage in “rational interaction” with you.

The agency-relative version of copyright law would be worse, since an "interaction" does not even have to involve a physical encounter between me an another person. I would have to know what person holds the copyright, and what agency's laws I have to obey to lawfully acquire or disseminate a work. Worse, I would have to know whether about his current agency and any past agencies, since it is not just possible but probable that a contract between a person and an agency to protect a piece of IP would extend for some period beyond the end of the contract.

Bear in mind that there are some very large countries today that do not provide protect of patents and copyrights. How does our monopoly government protect us against them? It seems that the only way to guarantee absolute universal adherence to one IP standard is a Union of World Republics.

It's so strange that you can't see why these problems arise -- because there is not a monopoly on what the law is (in the Mary Jane case). Because in Oregon, there are two conflicting laws, one by the state and one by the federal government. There is no monopoly!

Therefore, the correct position for those who favor individual rights is to favor the present quasi-lack of monopoly. For surely if the central government imposes its tyrannical anti-drug law uniformly and without exception, there will be no protection at all for the heroic users and distributors of medical marijuana.

A prime argument against competing laws, if there ever were one.
Reducing individual freedom is never a valid argument against competing laws.

As for the gay marriage question, I think you're just confused about the facts. There is no US law prohibiting same-sex marriage; and it's not a principle of monopoly law that one jursidiction has the right to impose its laws on an autonomous jurisdiction.

I did not say there was a U.S. law prohibiting same-sex marriage. I was referring to the lack of uniformity between state and local laws in California.

Your whole argument boils down to saying that since it's possible to have bad laws, then it doesn't matter that the rule of whim would result in bad laws.
If I thought that having a single, immutable set of laws over a large territory were the best way to advance individual liberty, then I would be all for world government. However, experience has shown that centralized authority does not reduce bad laws or the influence of whim in governance. Indeed, as the territory of the U.S. expanded, so did the malignant authority of the central government over the lives and property of its citizens.

You're engaging in the fallacy of perfection -- since no system is guaranteed to be perfect, it doesn't matter what system you use.

Strawman. No such argument was advanced by me.

My point is that even though monopoly law is not perfect, it is superior to a system of random and unknown laws, as you advocate (and won't even recognize that this is what you advocate).
If that is the case, then Soviet Russia under Mass Murderer Stalin is to be preferred over the Mississippi Valley during the time of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Individually-determined law has all of the problems that monopoly law has, and nobody has denied that fact: but individually-determined law has additional problems, fatal problems, that monopoly law does not have.

Perhaps you’ll let us know just what those problems are.

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Before I do that, show me how it is necessary under individually determined law that the law imposed by a defense agency be known and that I am guaranteed of knowing which agency's law I am subject to. Geography does not tell you anything, as it does with monopoly law.

Under market anarchism it is conceivable that for a certain property, the law may not codified in a clear, non-contradictory fashion. Accordingly, people seeking to minimize risk would always have the option of not visiting that location or dealing with its owners/residents. What is clear is that if there is a demand for a certain commodity (legal certainly, for example), it is more likely to be provided by capitalist institutions than by coercive monopolies.

What is this nonsense about society being better served?
Okay, let’s reduce it to the minority of one: me. Where is the argument showing that I am better served by a monopoly in defense and criminal justice services than a 100% free market?

The goal is not the greatest common good, it is protection of rights and especially having a system where reason can be used as your means of survival. Reason cannot tell you what arbitrary restrictions a randomly selected protection agency will impose on me, in case I encounter one of their customers. Reason will not tell me what agency I need to be afraid of, when I encounter some guy on the street.

Does not reason tell you what arbitrary restrictions a coercive monopoly will impose on you? Does not reason tell you which politician, which bureaucrat, which government thug you need to be afraid of?

Since you haven't actually articulated a definite position and keep evading the issues, I'm reduced to guessing what your system really is.
Since you haven’t shown exactly what agency within a government has the power to keep that government limited, I’m forced to conclude that you really haven’t thought through the whole matter of “limited” government.

Whether that's a female thing, I wouldn't care to conjecture.

Argumentum ad hominem.

Since you're familiar with that case, then you should know that the Missouri convenant was signed on February 16, 1911. What you may not know is that the Fourteenth Amendment was ratified on July 28, 1868; so the May 3, 1948 SCOTUS decision actually postdates the existing law by only a few days less that 80 years. This is not a case of post-hoc invalidation of a contract.
1) Since a private contract is not a statute, the 14th Amendment would have no relevance in the case. 2) Since the 14th Amendment was ratified under duress, its authority is null and void under the terms of Article V.

In addition, let me remind you that you said "Our own government regularly tosses out venerable contracts...", and while this may seem like a nit to pick, the Missouri covenant is not a contract (note that it binds non-signatories, thus it has the forcer of a statute, not a contract), and the petitioners had no knowledge of the covenant (to be bound by a contract, you must agree to the contract, which was not the case here). Similarly, in the Detroit case, the purchasers did not agree to the covenant, and therefore there was no contract.

Covenants are no different than any other limitation in a deed. For example, in some states I can sell the surface of a land parcel to one party and the mineral rights underneath to another. If the Court may overturn one form of deed limitation, then it could just as well overturn any other. Copyright law itself is based on the idea of an author selling his work except the right to resell it. You may as well argue that when I buy a literary work from a book re-seller, I have the right to print a million copies of that work and sell them, inasmuch as I, a non-signatory to the original sale, am not bound by the terms of the original sale.

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Corday

Am I supposed to intuitively grasp whom you are responding to, or do I have to go looking for the original posts myself?

My apologies, Thoyd Loki. For some reason, I'm having trouble getting statements made by others to appear in the quote boxes. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

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Who is the arbitrator, and who will enforce the results of that arbitration if one or both of the chieftains decides he doesn't like the result and tells the arbitrator to take a flying leap?

It could be another chieftain or a group of chieftains. Under standard arbitration, both parties agree in advance to abide by the judgment rendered by the arbitrator. It is true, that one of the parties could renege on his prior agreement. But it is no less true that someone in a civil case in our current systems could refuse to abide by the judgment of a court.

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It could be another chieftain or a group of chieftains.  Under standard arbitration, both parties agree in advance to abide by the judgment rendered by the arbitrator.  It is true, that one of the parties could renege on his prior agreement.  But it is no less true that someone in a civil case in our current systems could refuse to abide by the judgment of a court.

There are established procedures for the enforcement of judgments by the courts, attaching sources of income, putting liens on property, findings of contempt of court and its consequences, etc. If chieftain A says that no one can attach the income or property of people he was hired to protect where does the injured person turn?

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There are established procedures for the enforcement of judgments by the courts, attaching sources of income, putting liens on property, findings of contempt of court and its consequences, etc. If chieftain A says that no one can attach the income or property of people he was hired to protect where does the injured person turn?

It is conceivable that some agency could assert that it will defend all of its clients against any and all claims regardless of the merits of the case. National governments can do the very same thing today. The downside is that agencies/governments taking such a position will lose the ability to argue for its clients/citizens when they themselves are the aggrieved party. In the case of Iceland, parties that refused to submit to arbitration were placed outside the law and could not lodge claims against other members of the community in the future. This puts one in the unenviable position of being unable to engage in trade with any party outside one’s own immediate agency or nation. In other words, subsistence survival.

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Corday

Am I supposed to intuitively grasp whom you are responding to, or do I have to go looking for the original posts myself?

She's responding to me. I conclude, however, that she doesn't actually understand what I've been saying, so you could read any random post that you want and get pretty much the same cause and effect relationship. :)

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In the case of Iceland, parties that refused to submit to arbitration were placed outside the law and could not lodge claims against other members of the community in the future.  This puts one in the unenviable position of being unable to engage in trade with any party outside one’s own immediate agency or nation.  In other words, subsistence survival.

When you say they "were placed outside the law", who enforced it and how was it enforced?

What you are in effect saying is that someone who was in violation of the law lost the right of retaliation, i.e. no longer had recourse to the law.

What happened to your vaunted "right to secede"? And the purported right to not have to abide by the decisions of those who had a monopoly on the use of force? (So, in this case in Iceland, it was apparently the equivalent of some kind of oligarchy of "chieftains" who wielded the power, but power they wielded such that they could in effect ostracize those who refused to abide by their decisions. If I recall correctly, Leif Erickson's father was forced into exile, which led propitiously to the colonization of Greenland).

And further, you are acknowledging that there was a body of law. It wasn't deuces wild with each "chieftain" making it up as he went along, one "competing" with another to see which one could appeal to the largest number of "customers".

Fred Weiss

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When you say they "were placed outside the law", who enforced it and how was it enforced?

What you are in effect saying is that someone who was in violation of the law lost the right of retaliation, i.e. no longer had recourse to the law.

What happened to your vaunted "right to secede"? And the purported right to not have to abide by the decisions of those who had a monopoly on the use of force? (So, in this case in Iceland, it was apparently the equivalent of some kind of oligarchy of "chieftains" who wielded the power, but power they wielded such that they could in effect ostracize those who refused to abide by their decisions. If I recall correctly, Leif Erickson's father was forced into exile, which led propitiously to the colonization of Greenland).

And further, you are acknowledging that there was a body of law. It wasn't deuces wild with each "chieftain" making it up as he went along, one "competing" with another to see which one could appeal to the largest number of "customers".

Fred Weiss

Exactly, what she is describing is a local/state (chieftains) and national/federal government (council of chieftains) governed by a body of commonly accepted practices (law). That is a government. But it is not a limited government. It could conceivably usurp any power a majority of the chieftains wanted.

I fail to see how this is any better or any less prone to abuse than a constitutionally limited government. That is, the government we were supposed to have and should be working toward.

I understand the need to fight against the current statist trend in society, even the statist trend that is common among some Objectivists who don't fully understand Objectivist principles applied to politics. But this isn't the answer.

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I just want to start off by saying that I understand the qualms objectivism has with the libertarian party . . .

Last night I helped host a speech given by Michael Badnarik (the libertarian candidate) at the university i attend. We had a table set up outside for the objectivist club that I started last year. Badnarik saw me at the table and came up to me and shook my hand as soon as he arrived. It turns out that he is a big supporter of objectivism, and actually ran a objectivism discussion group in california for 4 years, personally coaching several of his peers through the philosophy from start to finish. He truly understands the importance of philosophy and rights in politics.

I would encourage everyone on this forum to reevaluate Michael Badnarik and focus on him, and not the libertarian party (which i know has its faults)

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I just want to start off by saying that I understand the qualms objectivism has with the libertarian party . . .

We had a table set up outside for the objectivist club that I started last year.  Badnarik saw me at the table and came up to me and shook my hand as soon as he arrived.  It turns out that he is a big supporter of objectivism, and actually ran a objectivism discussion group in california for 4 years, personally coaching several of his peers through the philosophy from start to finish....

I know what Objectivism is (the philosophy Ayn Rand created).

But, I don't know what "objectivism" is.

Could you explain the difference?

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When you say they "were placed outside the law", who enforced it and how was it enforced?

What you are in effect saying is that someone who was in violation of the law lost the right of retaliation, i.e. no longer had recourse to the law.

Apologies for my delayed response. I was on a business trip. The best way to respond is by analogy. If you take out a loan from a bank and do not pay it back, not only will your banker refuse to lend you any more money, but other bankers will also refuse to let you borrow from them. Now what is it that guarantees that bad risks will be denied loans in the future? Do we need an almighty government to lay down the law to lenders? Not at all. Bankers will refuse loans to bad risks not out of a sense of civic duty, but rather because it in the self-interest of the banker to do so. Similarly, insurance agencies and defense protection agencies would not find it in their self-interest to renew a contract with a person who has shown an unwillingness to honor past contracts. In Iceland, a chieftain would not continue to defend a person who had broken the terms of an arbitration because 1) such a client was demonstrably untrustworthy, and 2) the chieftain could not negotiate arbitration in good faith in the future with other chieftains if he stood by a lawbreaker.

What happened to your vaunted "right to secede"? And the purported right to not have to abide by the decisions of those who had a monopoly on the use of force? (So, in this case in Iceland, it was apparently the equivalent of some kind of oligarchy of "chieftains" who wielded the power, but power they wielded such that they could in effect ostracize those who refused to abide by their decisions. If I recall correctly, Leif Erickson's father was forced into exile, which led propitiously to the colonization of Greenland).

As far as I’m concerned, the right to secede is still very much intact. (And I have never claimed a “right to not have to abide by the decisions of those who had a monopoly on the use of force.” Obviously, if someone has stolen a car, he may morally be forced to return it, regardless of whether those doing the forcing work for the government or private industry.) Let me return to a statement I’ve made repeatedly in this thread: secession does not immunize one from the repercussions of initiating force. If a Canadian steals your Lexus and drives it back to his home in Montreal, you have not lost your right to recover your car, nor should we assume that the Canadian Mounted Police are going to resist attempts by you or a New York police department from recovering the stolen vehicle. Now, you may want to ask, what is to stop the car thief from declaring his house, his garage, his yard an independent nation? Under my theory of secession, there is nothing that morally prohibits him from doing so. Yet, political sovereignty does not absolve him from retribution. As the owner of the stolen car, you and your agents still have every right to cross his “national” borders and take back what is rightfully yours.

And further, you are acknowledging that there was a body of law. It wasn't deuces wild with each "chieftain" making it up as he went along, one "competing" with another to see which one could appeal to the largest number of "customers".

Perhaps you have not been paying attention. I have never argued that there should be no body of law under market anarchism. In fact, if you will review my posts in this thread, you’ll see that all along my thesis has been that objective law can exist independently of the state.

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^^ right; Icelend did effectively have government. In fact, they set up what was probably the world's first parliament in the 900s.

Iceland did have an assembly, but no executive branch -- no king, no president, no prime minister. Thus, enforcement of property rights was the responsibility of each individual, his family and his chieftain.

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