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Libertarian Party

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I know this topic was dead and buried, but I felt the need to resurrect it.

I think the best strategy is get inside the Republican party and take over.  It's worked for others in the past.  The Socialist third parties never got anywhere.  It was the Socialists who infiltrated the Democrats and Republicans who got us where we are now.  If they can do it, WE can do it -- BETTER.

I agree with Betsy... in the long run. But the Socialist third parties did get somewhere. Through their growth and influence in elections, they became better enabled to infiltrate the Democratic Party, whose rising dominance led to the socialization of the Republicans.

I would never "support" or donate to any ideological/political group today other than ARI. I will, and recommend to others that they also, vote for the libertarian candidate. He is BY far the lesser of the three evils, and OPENLY supports restoring our government to its Constitutional limits. In the long run, the Republican party must be taken over... but the only way that can happen is if 1) Betsy's approach is taken, and Objectivist ideas continue to be spread and 2) The Republican party realizes it cannot be elected without remaining consistent to the right ideas and policies.

Nader knows what he is doing; he is just doing it for the wrong reasons (socialism). Voting for the GOP and keeping them in office will do NOTHING to change the party, no matter how many times Rush quotes Ayn Rand on the air. It is only when they see that they must advocate Capitalism and the Constitution in order to remain in office that they will begin to change, and voting for the leftist candidate only emboldens the GOP to move to the left.

Yes, the libertarian camp is filled with wackos. So are the other two parties; it is irrelevant. If you are voting for a party based on what percentage of its followers are wackos, the GOP is AT LEAST tied with the LP. Many LP voters read Atlas Shrugged every year; conversely, many Republicans will watch Passion of the Christ every Easter. The LP serves as a VERY useful political utility when it comes to VOTING, regardless of its lack of an ideological consensus.

A short analogy: The two most popular Operating Systems are Windows and Macintosh. It would be better for the world if everyone used Linux, and a small group of computer geeks knows it (go with it, I use Windows and Linux and have no ideological stake in the concretes of this analogy; it is just an example). In the long term, the ideal is a complete conversion to a Unix-based system. How can they best achieve this goal? By continuing to buy MAC systems and writing letters to Mac developers and publishing in Computer magazines articles that demonstrate the superiority of the Unix model? Yes, that would be very helpful. But as long as the Mac can keep or advance its share of the market by catering to Mac devotees, and those who use both Windows and Mac computers, it will continue to move towards the Windows and undecided computer buyers until it can see, in CLEAR, OBJECTIVE terms, that they could have better increased profits by catering to the Linux users. So while ideologically, the battle must be fought among the right computer geeks against the wrong computer geeks, and the long-term hope is to alter Macs into a Unix-based system by showing them that it would make their computers BETTER, in the short term the most powerful message can be sent by BUYING and USING Linux computers, i.e. by showing Mac producers that their is actually a BUYING demographic that WANTS and is willing to PAY FOR a Unix system. This analogy is only exacerbated by the nature of the United State’s winner-take-all electoral system. Like it or not, this is the nature of the nearly unbridled Democracy we live in.

As far as the "Badnarik is a pacifist!" argument, let us look at the whole context here. 1) Badnarik has no chance of winning 2) Yaron Brook is ABSOLUTELY correct in identifying that no candidate on the ballot will truly fight this war or keep America safe, or holds the moral principles to do so; therefore, this issue, as the basis for voting for a particular candidate, is forfeit 3) Nader is also pacifistic, and thus the message sent by a vote for Badnarik is one based on what differentiates Badnarik from Nader: his vocal advocacy of the Constitution.

If you are an advocate of Objectivism, there is absolutely NO JUSTIFIABLE REASON to vote for Kerry. I can see why a reasonable person such as Betsy could decide to vote for Bush, although I STRONGLY disagree, but voting for Kerry sends no message to either political party other than a VERY, VERY bad one. Voting for the LP's candidate sends the best message currently possible: we want a candidate that believes in the Constitution. The LP candidate’s SOLE distinction from the Republican, Democratic, and Green Party is his strong, vocal advocacy of the Constitution. His whole campaign is centered on it.

There will NEVER be a Libertarian president. However, by costing the GOP the election, the LP can, over time, and with the help of a strong ideological movement such as the one Betsy describes, move the Republicans towards an advocacy of Capitalism.

Therefore, if you are one those that believe that "something is better than nothing" as far as the War on Terror goes, and will thus vote for Bush, I will simply disagree with you. For those of you who do not agree, the best possible message you can send is the one you send by voting for Badnarik.

http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2004/05/21/...ain619019.shtml

http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20...15705-2949r.htm

Ask yourself why Bill O'Reilly doesn't want Badnarik’s name even mentioned on his show, but brings up Nader himself: http://63.223.15.84/freemarketnews/09-21-04-badnarik.mp3

Vocally advocate the right ideas, and send a message to the GOP. Vote for the best and most consistent candidate, and send a message to the GOP.

As an aside, I too am a fan of Larry Elder, and he made the right move by publicly renouncing his registration as a Libertarian, but notice he NEVER calls himself a Conservative or a Republican. What DOES he call himself? A Republitarian. He also lists Atlas Shrugged on his list of "Must Reads", with only his own two books coming before it. The Fountainhead is also on the list. He has the right idea, and since Peikoff and Lewis have gotten off the air, he is the single best radio personality on the airwaves. Rush does not come close, and he is filled to the brim with dangerous rhetoric; I agree with all of the criticisms that the Hard-line Peikoff followers (in terms of who to vote for this year) have laid on Rush. To be frank, I think it is pretty clear that if Rush felt he could say whatever he wanted without having to worry about keeping his large audience, God would play an IMMENSE role in every single show. If Larry Elder felt he had the same freedom, I would bet my life that he would not play Bush's cheerleader, or be as uncritical of Bush's "War On Terror" as he has been. I, and many other callers to his show, have called him on this, and he immediately denounces the Republican Party as it stands when we do so. He has long been a rational, educated advocate for voting Libertarian; I think that changed, as far as his on air polemics, because of 9/11 and he figures that if he keeps asking people to vote for anti-war candidates, he will be cancelled. Just read Elder's books, then read Rush's books. They both show the shades of their true colors; Rush's are frightening, Elder's are heartening. In both of Elder's books, he strongly advocates votes for the LP, and for the right reasons. Ideologically, however, he recognizes that it is the Republican party that the fight must be taken to.

See: http://www.kabc.com/viewentry.asp?id=26439...d%20information

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The two things the Republican Party believes in are religion and holding on to power at any cost. 

There is a non-religous aspect to some of the GOPS FOLLOWERS, but very, very few of its leaders are not religous. Otherwise, the second part if the quote is ABSOLUTELY right. The only way the Republican party can change is if it realizes that it can only hold onto power by advocating Capitalism. Continually voting for candidates that are not the best advocates of Capitalism (until we can get a Republican candidate who is an advocate of Capitalism) is a SELF-DEFEATING proposition. Under the system we have now, your vote is your message, and if you believe in Capitalism, you are only throwing it away if you vote for its destroyers!

Just as you would not write a letter asking a store to stop selling horrible products and continue to buy from that store, hoping that the store will see your ideological point in its long-term self-interest, you cannot hope to change the GOP without changing your vote. Register as a Republican and try to get the best candidate to the front. Work with and donate to ARI, do what you can on your own, then vote Libertarian, until the GOP produces a candidate that sends the right message.

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Foreign Policy makes my choice and Bush is the only one even close on that. You can't have civilization without security.

At this point, my main interest in the debate about whom to choose for president of the U. S. is the methods people use. In that light, I have three questions:

1. Are you saying, above, that Western Civilization will have no security if Kerry, for example, is elected, even assuming a Republican majority in Congress?

2. If so, why do you believe that?

3. How much security did the U. S. have on September 11, 2001?

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At this point, my main interest in the debate about whom to choose for president of the U. S. is the methods people use. In that light, I have three questions:

1. Are you saying, above, that Western Civilization will have no security if Kerry, for example, is elected, even assuming a Republican majority in Congress?

2. If so,  why do you believe that?

3. How much security did the U. S. have on September 11, 2001?

Very good questions. I think the (correct) answers aptly demonstrate the lack of a real choice in this election.

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I do not associate with Republicans simply because I view it as a compromise between good and evil, and in any compromise between the two, evil always triumphs.

Oddly enough, I find it rather funny that Objectivists don't like Libertarians because they view Libertarianism as Anarcho-capitalism (the rule of gangsters) and Libertarians don't like Objectivists because they view objectivism as anarcho-capitalism.

I am voting libertarian for a number of reasons; mainly because I view Corporate Welfare as damaging to a nation as social welfare, I think that gay marriage, Cloning, Stem-cell research, and Abortion should be legal, and lastly, I think the war in Iraq was a sham, an example of military adventurism strumming the same altruistic tone as Vietnam.

If Bush was that concerned about WMDs, then he should have gone after North Korea, since they have been far more upfront about possessing Nuclear Weapons, and presents a far greater threat then Saddam's backwater little country ever did.

If Bush was that concerned about Civil Liberties and human rights, then he should be pursuing a military campaign against China, since the Chinese dictatorship is the most bloody Regime in the history of the world, not to mention the countless tyrannical regimes of Africa where tens of thousands starve while the governments gather foreign aid packets for themselves, or the Saudi Arabian Government which continues to be a gross detractor of civil liberties towards it's citizens.

9/11 was a criminal act, not an act of war, because "terrorists" are not their own political entity, they are packs of thugs. We need to be pursuing Osama Bin Laden, not Saddam Hussein. And once we find and punish those responsible for that event, we need to stop sticking our noses and troops in the middle east and their dictatorships. If they do not wish to fight their oppressors and would rather opt to live in poverty, that's their business, not ours. Ayn Rand specifically wrote that it is the moral duty of a nation's citizens to oppose it's own oppressors.

And the Democrat Parties are no worse or better then the Republicans. Anyone remember the Crisis in the Balkans when Republicans were demoaning Clinton as a Warmongerer and a military adventurist?

A vote to the Republicans is a vote in support of the Orren Boyles and Jim Taggarts of America. A vote for the Democrats is a vote for the Bertram Scudders, the Simon Prichetts, and the Cuffy Meigs of America.

I will vote Libertarian for these reasons

-Badnarik wishes to disband the Federal Reserve. I think Alan Greenspan is a sellout and that the institution itself is entirely immoral.

-Badnarik will end social "safety net" programs like minimum wage and social security.

-he will end government subsidaries and corporate Welfare. Remember that Enron, one of the greatest perversions to Capitalism that has ever occured, gave both political parties hundreds of thousands of dollars to each party. a company's success should be measured by the free market, not by it's ability to pander to politicians.

-He is opposed to any attempts to limit privacy. The man doesn't even have a drivers liscense because he feels that a social security number is an invasion of privacy. I'd much rather have someone like that then that fascist John Ashcroft telling me that not supporting the Patriot act is un-american.

-He is a strong advocate of states rights, and wishes to return the federal government to the powers it was delegated in the constitution, article 1 section 8. The United States was founded as a voluntary union of independent, sovereign states, bound by a limited federal government for the purposes of commercial freedom, united currency, and a unified defense network, in place for the purposes of self-defense only, not political adventurism.

- ...he's a real down to Earth guy. Talking to him feels like talking to a regular human being, not like John Kerry, whom I'm surprised can decide what he wants for breakfast in the morning, or George Bush, who wears his religion on his sleeve.

The main objection I see for certain Objectivists to have against the Libertarians is that they do not like the fact that they favor Capitalism as the superior system based on empirical data, whereas an objectivist views it's philosophical and moral necessity superior. But in the end, I acknoledge that they are politicans, and simple, no nonsense answers appeal to the unwashed masses, and once we can get them to accept that capitalism is superior, then we can start educating them on why capitalism is superior, philosophically. Until then, I feel that the collectivist philosophies of Republicanism and democratism is empty, shallow, and eventually will result in our degredation to socialism and communism. So it is our duty to fight these philosophies rather then fighting the enemy of our enemy.

:confused:

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I do not associate with Republicans simply because I view it as a compromise between good and evil, and in any compromise between the two, evil always triumphs.

You should listen to "The Morality of War," with Yaron Brook. It presents a fairly up to date Objectivist position about the war on terror. Search that here, there is a link.

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TorturedOne,

That was an excellent response, and I believe wholeheartedly in your assessment. Being a registered LP member myself, you articulated well the reasons I am politically a libertarian. I can never justify the reason for objectivists and libertarians to be so contrary to one another, they share many similar values. Hell, the founders of the LP based some of their fundamental doctrines on the writings of Ayn Rand, and you will find that the vast majority of libertarians hold Atlas Shrugged as one of their favorite books. Libertarianism is more of a political school of thought whereas objectivism is philosophical in nature. I consider myself a student of objectivism, and as such, I find the LP and libertarianism compatible with my political beliefs.

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I think the war in Iraq was  a sham, an example of military adventurism strumming the same altruistic tone as Vietnam.

But you do think that the Iraq War was morally legitimate and are in support of it, just not the way it is being carried out, correct?

9/11 was a criminal act, not an act of war, because "terrorists" are not their own political entity, they are packs of thugs. We need to be pursuing Osama Bin Laden, not Saddam Hussein. And once we find and punish those responsible for that event, we need to stop sticking our noses and troops in the middle east and their dictatorships. If they do not wish to fight their oppressors and would rather opt to live in poverty, that's their business, not ours. Ayn Rand specifically wrote that it is the moral duty of a nation's citizens to oppose it's own oppressors.

For what reasons do you believe that America has no right to defend itself from the countries that supported the terrorist groups who attacked us?

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^^There does not seem to be any evidence that Saddam supported al Queda. The whole idea that Iraq was a threat to the US seems very tenous. Certainly there are bigger threats that should have been a higher priority, like NK and Iran.

edward and tortured: I suggest you read this thread, especially the references posted by Bowzer near the end: http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/index.p...wtopic=1848&hl=

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But you do think that the Iraq War was morally legitimate and are in support of it, just not the way it is being carried out, correct?

For what reasons do you believe that America has no right to defend itself from the countries that supported the terrorist groups who attacked us?

I do not think that the Iraq war was moral. I understand that when you have overwhelming evidence that they are harboring terrorists, like Afganistan had, then it is acceptable. The Taliban clearly had close ties to Al Qaeda. But Iraq, of all the choices to pick, was probably the weakest choice for the war on terrorism. The premise for the Iraq war is the same as Vietnam. Ostensibly Vietnam was in the interests of the United States; they were preventing the spread of Communism. Though if the politicians were really that worried about communism, why didn't they attack the source? Same deal with Iraq. Ostensibly it is to fight terrorism and stem the threat of WMDs. Though of all the countries that harbor terrorists, Iraq was one of the weaker choices. As for WMDs, I am far more worried about Pakistan and North Korea then I ever was about Iraq. And yet Bush is nearly silent about those countries.

Something I never liked about the war on terrorism is that it is another one of those perpetual wars against a word with no clearly defined goal. When does the war on drugs end, when not a single person in the U.S does illegal drugs? Does the war on Poverty end when there isn't a single poor person left? Does the war on terrorism end when we kill every single young Arabian who would strap a bomb to his chest?

Don't misunderstand me, I am not one of those Michael Moore "rich white American men are the most evil people in the world" types. But it would be a rejection of reason to assume that we, in our 60 year history of meddling with the middle east, has never made a single mistake, and the only reason that every single terrorist hates us is not because of our foreign policy its because we are prosperous. I am very much in favor of George Washington's final address "friendly relations with all, entangling alliances with none."

The war on terror needs a clearly defined goal; to bring to justice the perpetrators of 9/11, swiftly and mercilessly. Badnarik is by no means a pacifist, and he has gone to legnths to say he isn't in favor of pacifism. He believes that we need to focus our energy on Al Qaeda. A withdrawl of the U.S presence from middle eastern countries that do not wish it, coupled with a swift and decisive retribution towards any leads to Al Qaeda, IMO would convince the haters of U.S foreign policies that America will not be in the business of nation building any more, and the swift bringing of justice to Al Qaeda will deter the truly radical capitalist haters that America will not tolerate attacks against's soil. That to me would be more effective then Bush's "let's bring democracy to the middle east" position or Kerry's "let's wage a sensitive war on terrorism" position.

I happen to be a registered independent. I vote for who most accuratly reflects my beliefs. At the moment it's Michael Badnarik, though I am not so blindly devoted to the libertarian party that I wouldn't vote Republican if another Barry Goldwater was running. Call it Benedict Arnoldism, I call it principle. I have already come to the conclusion that, if I died on the way to the voting booth, then the outcome of the Presidential race probably won't be different. So I vote on principle.

"Why are you voting Libertarian, you know they aren't going to win"

I usually retort with

"If all your friends were jumping off a bridge, would you?"

or (if I know the person is an intellectual)

"would you do something you percieve to be wrong, simply on the basis that your peers are doing it?"

More often then not, the person says no, and I reply

"ok then, I do not make decisions based on what the popular consensus is. Neither should you."

My final decision to vote Libertarian is the economist in me speaking. I have been reading economic reports, and quite frankly, they scare me. Our economy is falling further and further into dept. President Bush has spent more money then Clinton did, and thats not including the war on terror. Kerry continues to harp about how every one has a right to Health care even though it accounts for a significant portion of our spending. Regardless of what happens, If someone doesn't stop spending like the 14 year old socialite daughter of an oil tycoon, sooner or later we are going to be forced to default on our depts, or print more money and hyper inflate the dollar, or raise taxes to the point where the economy can not sustain itself. We are facing an economic bubble which has Wesley Mouch (err, excuse me, I mean Alan Greenspan) scared silly. Interest rates are statistically significantly way below what economists predicted they should be. Neither Bush nor Kerry have addressed this issue.

Foreign security is important, thats certainly true. But at our current rate we are going the way of Russia, a bloated socialistic plutocracy, which can not even quell the ragtag Chechnyan rebels. Putin continues to seize property and quell civil liberties in the name of Russia itself, while driving his country more and more into economic ruin. Right now Russia has the luxury of an American crutch, though I shudder to think of what chaos will ensure when the world policeman suddenly doesn't even have the resources to protect themselves

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If someone doesn't stop spending like the 14 year old socialite daughter of an oil tycoon, sooner or later we are going to be forced to default on our depts, or print more money and hyper inflate the dollar, or raise taxes to the point where the economy can not sustain itself. We are facing an economic bubble which has Wesley Mouch (err, excuse me, I mean Alan Greenspan) scared silly.

You are absolutely right. This is exactly what would happen. Politicians just aren't very smart. They equate making money with printing it. They have no concept that wealth is created in the private sector through turning raw goods into finished products, i.e. manufacturing. This is what we get by letting government weave their nefarious fingers into the free market. Damn, just damn!

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It's my perception that Objectivists (including Ayn Rand herself) hold Libertarians in contempt. On the other hand, many Libertarians virtually worship Rand and the ground she walked on, and in fact work to put Objectivist principles into practice in their political lives. So, why the difference?

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Peter Schwartz has written directly to this topic in

Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty

At its foundation, Libertarianism is intrinsicist. They start with the premise "everyone has a right to liberty". Why? <Blank out>. To them, everyone has the freedom to do whatever they want -- including: rational men, communists, socialists, nazis, etc.

Unless you know -why- men have the right to freedom, and you can back it up, you aren't going to be able to support it with any consistency, which will lead to failure. Subsequently, the opponents of liberty will say "see! it doesn't work. We need a dictatorship/statist regime/military regime/etc".

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It's my perception that Objectivists (including Ayn Rand herself) hold Libertarians in contempt.  On the other hand, many Libertarians virtually worship Rand and the ground she walked on, and in fact work to put Objectivist principles into practice in their political lives.  So, why the difference?

Here is a lengthy thread dealing with this topic:

why the condemnation of Libertarianism?

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Peter Schwartz has written directly to this topic in

Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty

I've googled for the e-text, but it appears it is only available hardcopy. No surprise - I respect that Schwartz, as a good Objectivist, wants to defend his IP vigorously. It's not the money (at 6 bucks for 64 pages it's cheaper than it would cost to xerox the thing) but if Schwartz wants to be included in the discussion, he is welcome to present his views in an open forum. Until then I won't comment on his book, or critiques of it.

This reminds me of a humorous incident I had while arguing with a Socialist at Speaker's Corner in Hyde Park. I was thumbing through a pamphlet he had printed called "Why men create gods in their image" (or something like that). As an atheist I found the title intriguing. But when I asked if I could have a copy, he told me it would cost me five pounds. I found that funny, so I decided to tweak him and asked "isn't your credo 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need'? Well, I need this, and if there's no such thing as private ownership, you should just give it to me!" His response was "Well, one has got to make a living..." I couldn't stop laughing.

At its foundation, Libertarianism is intrinsicist.  They start with the premise "everyone has a right to liberty".  Why?  <Blank out>.  To them, everyone has the freedom to do whatever they want -- including: rational men, communists, socialists, nazis, etc.

I think there's a fundamental misunderstanding here of what Libertarianism is all about. No Libertarian I know believes what you've said we believe. It's more along the lines of "My freedom to swing my fist leaves off where your nose begins". Liberty doesn't mean license to tromp all over another individual's property or cause him physical harm. Libertarians recognize the need for police, courts, and a strong standing military, to protect the lives and property of individuals from force and coercion. As near as I can tell, Rand's beef was with Anarchism, not Libertarianism. It would be nice if people would ask Libertarians what a Libertarian is.

I've done a little more research on my own since my post. The Left calls us dishonest right wing racists. The Right calls us irresponsible feel-gooders. Ayn Rand calls us a "a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people" who plagiarize her ideas - collectivist hippies. Aside from the uncalled-for ad hominem nature of that assault, it hurts, because as far as I know we've *always* credited Rand for her ideas. I know I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't read Rand's works, and I'm grateful to her for opening my eyes.

Unless you know -why- men have the right to freedom, and you can back it up, you aren't going to be able to support it with any consistency, which will lead to failure.  Subsequently, the opponents of liberty will say "see! it doesn't work.  We need a dictatorship/statist regime/military regime/etc".

Exactly. Libertarianism isn't a philosophy. That's why we need Objectivism. We agree that the way to change people is by education and enlightenment, not by enforcing our politics on others.

We're just trying to put our beliefs into practice in the best way we know how. I could, as many Libertarians and Objectivists do, dance with the Devil and throw my vote in with Republicans or Democrats as being more "effective". But I couldn't live with that. Both parties have been co-opted by authoritarian Statists who have strayed from the parties' original lofty principles. I may never see a good president elected, but at least I sleep well at night.

"Say you're in prison, and you've got a 50% chance of death by lethal injection, a 45% chance of the electric chair, and a 5% chance of escape. Would you vote for Lethal Injection simply because that is the most likely outcome?" - Michael Badnarik

"If you tell yourself 'I guess I'll vote for the lesser of two Evils', no matter who wins you still end up with Evil." - Michael Badnarik

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I've googled for the e-text, but it appears it is only available hardcopy.  No surprise - I respect that Schwartz, as a good Objectivist, wants to defend his IP vigorously.  It's not the money (at 6 bucks for 64 pages it's cheaper than it would cost to xerox the thing) but if Schwartz wants to be included in the discussion, he is welcome to present his views in an open forum.  Until then I won't comment on his book, or critiques of it.

I wasn't suggesting anything other than you're buying a copy and reading it. If you're honestly interested in the Objectivist "disagreement" with Libertarians, well ... there it is, in black & white.

I think there's a fundamental misunderstanding here of what Libertarianism is all about.  No Libertarian I know believes what you've said we believe.  It's more along the lines of "My freedom to swing my fist leaves off where your nose begins".  Liberty doesn't mean license to tromp all over another individual's property or cause him physical harm.  Libertarians recognize the need for police, courts, and a strong standing military, to protect the lives and property of individuals from force and coercion.  As near as I can tell, Rand's beef was with Anarchism, not Libertarianism.  It would be nice if people would ask Libertarians what a Libertarian is.
I think there a fundmental misunderstanding here by Libertarians, such as yourself, as to the meaning of the word "fundamental". You've only restated exactly what I said, but left out the part where you give the same rights of freedom to those who would oppress it. Tell me if Libertarians would or would not allow nazis, communists, etc the freedom to do as they please?

Libertarianism isn't a philosophy.  That's why we need Objectivism.  We agree that the way to change people is by education and enlightenment, not by enforcing our politics on others.

The hell it isn't. You just don't recognize it as such. There is an implicit metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics at work behind the political premises of Libertarianism. The problem is that Libertarians evade them as "unimportant" or "non-existant" and thereby claim that politics is fundamental, and freedom axiomatic -- neither of which are true.

But I couldn't live with that.  Both parties have been co-opted by authoritarian Statists who have strayed from the parties' original lofty principles.  I may never see a good president elected, but at least I sleep well at night.
That's your problem. I sleep just fine knowing that I voted for Bush. If you want to change the political landscape of a nation, you must first change its culture. There is a philosophy upon which society operates, and our society is operating under an altruistic philosophy. If you try to reverse that from the top down, you're going to fail and generate hatred of proper politics. You have to change it from the bottom up -- and that is the Ayn Rand Institute's explicitly stated mission and goal.

If you want to change the world, forget the seduction of the Libertarian shortcut and support ARI instead.

"Say you're in prison, and you've got a 50% chance of death by lethal injection, a 45% chance of the electric chair, and a 5% chance of escape.  Would you vote for Lethal Injection simply because that is the most likely outcome?" - Michael Badnarik

"If you tell yourself 'I guess I'll vote for the lesser of two Evils', no matter who wins you still end up with Evil." - Michael Badnarik

Holy context dropping, Batman. Voting in our current political system is not a moral sanction of the candidates voted for.

Edited by TomL

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Ayn Rand calls us a "a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people" who plagiarize her ideas

I considered this particular attack especially ludicrous when Rand first made it, 30-plus years ago. Libertarianism, the campaign book by John Hospers (the LP's first presidential candidate in 1972), quoted Rand's works extensively, but every single reference was footnoted. I remember trying to count the Rand-related footnotes once, and I lost count when it got over a hundred. I don't think I was halfway through the book yet.

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I considered this particular attack especially ludicrous when Rand first made it, 30-plus years ago.

How many other things has Miss Rand said that you find ludicrous? I can't think of any. If you find this statement so ludicrous but not others, maybe you should check your premises.

From The Objectivist:

In summing up this publication's record, I shall say that I am not primarily an advocate of capitalism, but of egoism; and I am not primarily an advocate of egoism, but of reason. If one recognizes the supremacy of reason and applies it consistently, all the rest follows.

Libertarians hijacked her ideas about capitalism (didn't even call it capitalism) and left the egoism and (especially) the reason behind. It’s like pouring a bowl of Lucky Charms cereal and adding the milk, then proceeding to eat only the tasty marshmallows. You could say you ate breakfast, but really all you ate was a bunch of sugar and horse bones.

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You've only restated exactly what I said, but left out the part where you give the same rights of freedom to those who would oppress it. Tell me if Libertarians would or would not allow nazis, communists, etc the freedom to do as they please?

I didn't leave anything out. I don't give oppressors the "right to oppress" - there is no such thing. It was you, not me, who originally said "To <Libertarians>, everyone has the freedom to do whatever they want". That's not true, and you should stop trying to define Libertarians if you aren't one yourself. Of course Nazis, communists, racists, islamic fascists, etc can't do as they please, if that means murdering Jews, Blacks, homosexuals, infidels, confiscating their property, bombing innocent people. That is not freedom, but force, coercion, and oppression.

But... do I think Nazis, communists, racists, and yes even islamic fascists have the right to say/think what they want? to live however they want to? I hate those ideologies with every fiber of my being, but if they don't hurt other people then I must reluctantly say Yes. The tough part about the whole "freedom" concept is that it has to apply equally to people and ideas you don't necessarily like, otherwise it's an empty phrase.

Is freedom axiomatic? Maybe not, but the authors of our Declaration of Independence thought it was, and I can live with that.

I have no desire to hurt you, kill you, or steal your property. I'm just trying to figure out if Objectivists, given the opportunity, would restrict my freedom. If so, you're merely substituting one form of authoritarianism for another.

Voting in our current political system is not a moral sanction of the candidates voted for.

For me it is. Sorry you feel otherwise. Vote for Bush. Vote however you want to. I'm sure you'll get the kind of government you deserve.

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How many other things has Miss Rand said that you find ludicrous?  I can't think of any.  If you find this statement so ludicrous but not others, maybe you should check your premises.

Huh? What do you mean? Rand was a great writer and thinker. I agree with everything I ever read in any of her books (I haven't read them all, but I only missed one or two), and nearly everything she wrote or said anywhere else. But if you think that means she was incapable of error, that's a premise you need to check.

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It's my perception that Objectivists (including Ayn Rand herself) hold Libertarians in contempt.  On the other hand, many Libertarians virtually worship Rand and the ground she walked on, and in fact work to put Objectivist principles into practice in their political lives.  So, why the difference?

I think that unless you're intending to be inflammatory and cause commotion on a forum you know is against libertarianism, you should use the search function and read the pages of threads on this topic. Also, there are forums rules about spreading ideas contradictory to Objectivism.

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Why is liberty a good thing?

Objectivism answers that question. Libertarianism's fatal flaw is that it does not. It evades the question either by asserting that it just is a good thing and there is no why (intrinsicism) or by feeling it to be a good thing (subjectivism). But Objectivism explains exactly why liberty is a good thing all the way down to the axiom that existence exists.

Until libertarianism can answer that question, it has no reason to prefer liberty to slavery.

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[...] That's not true, and you should stop trying to define Libertarians if you aren't one yourself. [...]

1. So the only people who can define X are the people who are X? This is evidence of subjectivism, specifically polylogism.

2. In reference to the position that voting for a particular candidate is not a sanction of that candidate's ideas, you said:

For me it is.  Sorry you feel otherwise.

Why would it be sanction for some individuals, but not for other individuals? This is more evidence of subjectivism.

Thank you for providing the evidence. It confirms what I personally encountered 20 and more years ago as a member of the local, state, and national Libertarian Party. I met libertarian haters of Ayn Rand, pedophiles, Christian pacifists, drug abusers, and anarchists.

Such individuals could exist anywhere, but, in the LP, they found open sanction of their beliefs. All that matters, I was told again and again, is the "axiom" of the non-aggression principle. What is the philosophical foundation underlying that "principle"? It doesn't matter. It is modular. Insert whichever philosophy or religion you prefer.

I left the Party and the libertarian movement. I have never had any regret.

Edited by BurgessLau

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Is freedom axiomatic?  Maybe not, but the authors of our Declaration of Independence thought it was, and I can live with that.
They held that establishing separate nations was an entitlement given by Nature's God, and that our Creator endowed us with certain unalienable rights. They submitted their appeal to the Supreme Judge of the world, avowing a firm reliance on the protection of divine providence. The problem is that since there is no god (and with a name like that, you should know), their basis for asserting the need for liberty is seriously eroded. Liberty is far from axiomatic -- witness the number of regimes throughout history persisting to the modern era which take subservience to the state to be axiomatic.

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