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smoovegeek

Libertarian Party

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In regards to anarchy, it's not the "Anarchists" one has to worry about. It's the statists and thugs who recognize that anarchy is the best opportunity they will ever have that are worrisome, as there is no sizeable organized opposition.

As far as the Libertarian Party (LP) is concerned, I too was lured to Objectivism partially through them(My mother is a libertarian). They, like all current parties, allow anyone in, regardless of political philosophy. I usually do not hear libertarians espousing anarchy. But, because they allow anyone in, their platform can be changed by any crackpot with enough pull. Personally, my biggest complaint LP platform is that they do not have a firm stance on abortion.

In Wisconsin, during the last gubernatorial election, the candidate for the LP was cozying up to organized labor. I have also had students of Objectivism warn me that, in some states, the LP supports pedophilia. I have yet to see any evidence to confirm this, but I have no reason yet to think untrustworthy the person who warned me, so I keep my eyes peeled.

Edited by FeatherFall

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I'd love to hear some thought on this idea, or perhaps other specific Objectivist criticisms of Libertarianism.

Read Peter Scwhartz's essay "Libertarianism: the Perversion of Liberty", reprinted in The Voice of Reason. It pretty much covers everything that you need to know.

Objectivists being (briefly) Libertarians is not so uncommon: you are certainly entitled to do whatever you like. However promotion of Libertarianism will not be tolerated on the forum.

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JMegan,

I've linked another essay I found while searching for Scwhartz's. After reading this, I'm not as inclined to read Peter Scwhartz's work. However, since to do so is my responsibility as an Objectivist, I will keep looking for it. Perhaps you might take a look at this one though, and see what you think. Mr. Feys presents many a good point just as well or better than I could, especially the idea that Libertarianism, like I mentioned (somewhat), is strictly a political philosophy and therefore not (as I understand the word to mean) an actual philosophy as such.

If you do decide to check it out, please do post your thoughts.

In regards to anarchy, it's not the "Anarchists" one has to worry about. It's the statists and thugs who recognize that anarchy is the best opportunity they will ever have that are worrisome, as there is no sizeable organized opposition.

Good call. This is what I meant about "true" anarchists.

< link deleted. We don't run those kinds of ads. - softwareNerd>

Edited by softwareNerd

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Open letter to posters in this thread...

It is "natural" and right that an Objectivist wants to do something to affect the politial process, instead of simply sitting around "debating ideas". It is also not surprising that new Objectivists would think the Libertarian party is worth voting for...after all what they say about freedom sounds similar to Capitalism.

Many new (and even some not some not-so-new) Objectivists may not realize that this issue has been discussed and debated at considerable length. The forum rules of our forum disallow libertarian propoganda. This does not mean that we wish anyone to make an uninformed decision about the issue.

So, here are some links:

The first three links are from the ARI site:

ARI: Q&A on Libertarianism

ARI: On Moral Sanctions

ARI: Fact and Value

Then, ofcourse, there are the 200 posts in this thread (see above).

After checking out the references listed above, if you still wish to debate the topic, you can check out the "Debate" sub-forum on our site. You may propose a topic, take one side of the debate, and request someone to take the other side. I strongly suggest not doing so until you read the references above. Indeed, those might let you hone your argument down to its essentials.

I also advise you to go through the Forum Rules (link).

Edited by softwareNerd

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softwareNerd,

Sorry, my bad. I shan't post any other links without first making sure they are kosher.

I'm not sure why, but I could only see the 200 posts the fourth or fifth time I looked at this thread. Weird.

All I can say is, it's a crying shame that there isn't an Objectivist party.

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I'm not sure why, but I could only see the 200 posts the fourth or fifth time I looked at this thread.  Weird.
Sorry about that. Rest assured, your eyes were not deceiving you :D . The thread you posted to was short. I then merged it with two other earlier threads. Hence the increased size.

All I can say is, it's a crying shame that there isn't an Objectivist party.
:D Nick for president!!

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I never understood why an Objectivist would be against Libertarianism since in the political field they seemed to match. However, after attending a local informal meeting regarding Libertarianism, I believe I see why Objectivism would disagree.

I asked the members what the principles of Libertarianism were, and they responded by saying, "Minimize government, maximize individual rights." But beyond these 'principles,' there was nothing--no foundation whatsoever.

At the meeting I was handed a Libertarian newspaper that was published once a month. I was dismayed when I found an article titled, "Was Jesus a Libertarianism?" At that moment I realized Libertarian's didn't care how their "principles" were reached, just so long as they were.

It didn't matter if you believed in God, or Budda, or witchcraft, just so long as you wanted to minimize government and maximize individual rights.

To completely lack principles and hope that your enacted ideas stay in place is futile. It appeared as though the Libertarians wanted their branch to stay alive without watering the roots--a party based solely on concept theft. Even if, by some improbable chance, the Libertarian party became the dominant force in the political realm, it could not last for long since there aren't any principles.

Believing in minimum government and maximum individual rights for the sake of both...and I thought it was so much more :(.

Consider any affiliation I had with the party permanently revoked. Amen.

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*** Merged with an earlier thread - sN ***

So what is it exactly that Objectivists have against Libertarianism?

I'm assuming that by "Libertarianism", we're talking about a political party that strives for essentially a government that recognizes individual rights and reduces the government only to its most basic functions. This is what I see the Libertarian Party doing...am I wrong? From what I can tell, they aren't pushing for anarchism.

It seems that the problem Rand had with Libertarians is that they (from what I can tell) (1)--Plagiarize her ideas badly, with no credit given, (2)--Steal valuable votes from the Republicans and (3)--Are mostly anarchists

Now I'm 19 years old, and so based on this information I'm inclined to believe that the libertarian party has undergone some serious changes since the seventies. (3)--If Ron Paul is the most accurate representation of Libertarianism, they are no longer anarchists, they are pure capitalists! (2)--And if the Reps keep nominating socialists like McCain, why shouldn't us capitalists forget them and support the third party? (1)--Maybe some of their supporters/philosophers/executives have horrible philosophical ideas, maybe they stole a largefraction of them from AR, but why should that affect voting for capitalism? Rand wanted to vote for Goldwater, even though he had a shakey (i.e., church-related) philosophy. Why should we care about the underlying premises of the candidate, when all we need him to do is decontrol and remove the bureaucratic hands from our lives? If any libertarian politician asserts an Objectivist political philosophy, why should we concern ourselves (politically) over how he came to the conclusion?

Someone please answer these questions for me. I'm not a libertarian, because I'm very confused over the animosity between objectivists on this issue.

Edited by softwareNerd
Added "merged topic" notice

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Libertarianism isn't just a political party, but the philosophy that we can and should organize together soley on the principle that our political goals are the same. Differences between the Objectivist political philosophy and the current platform of the libertarian party aside, that is a big, irreconcilable difference that is completely intolerable in Objectivism.

Edited by TuringAI

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Libertarianism isn't just a political party, but the philosophy that we can and should organize together soley on the principle that our political goals are the same. Differences between the Objectivist political philosophy and the current platform of the libertarian party aside, that is a big, irreconcilable difference that is completely intolerable in Objectivism.

But shouldn't we organize politically? I'm not suggesting making philosophical terms with "libertarian" principles, whatever they are. I'm suggesting the possibility of uniting politically, based on certain political principles. Why is it any better to vote Republican? If Republicans are church goers or pragmatists, but they advocate capitalism, it's right to vote for them, correct? What if another party has other philosophical issues (maybe even less so) but they advocate purer capitalism? Isn't it better to join with the latter political party?

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Libertarianism isn't just a political party, but the philosophy that we can and should organize together soley on the principle that our political goals are the same. Differences between the Objectivist political philosophy and the current platform of the libertarian party aside, that is a big, irreconcilable difference that is completely intolerable in Objectivism.

All parties work on Platforms not Philosophies when organising support, how are Libertarians any different?

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I agree completely. I would, however, hear an argument that Libertarian platforms divert from objectivism, but I haven't heard that put forth yet, in my lifetime. Reduced to just domestic issues, Paul is an absolute God-send as a candidate, and I take this to be the most accurate representation of the libertarian party as of today. But maybe I'm wrong on that premise...but you tell me, which of these premises am I wrong on? (Foreign Policy notwithstanding)

Edited by Rbilkie

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I hate bringing this constantly repititive argument back once again, but I've looked through the viewpoints on both sides and see Libertarianism as a compatible political party for Objectivists.

Here is the 2008 plaform for the Libertarian party. Yes, I know, the abortion clause is too vague and not founded on the right principle. But if you look through the rest of the paper you should notice there is a clear, consistent principle that binds all their viewpoints together: the sole function of the gov't is to protect individual rights. This is repeated all throughout the paper and is always used for the reason for their ideas.

Despite the common argument from Objectivists, I see the ideas represented in that platform to be formed on a proper basis of mentality: personal responsibility. That isn't a complete philosophy, but it sums up the correct effect of a limited gov't. Individual philosophies accepted among Libertarians will be different, but in terms of setting up the proper political structure, that won't matter. The only fundamental ideas that need to be agreed upon is in the realm of politics: protection of individual rights and therefore personal responsibility. That is what institutes freedom and will allow each person to choose his own values.

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I hate bringing this constantly repititive argument back once again, but I've looked through the viewpoints on both sides and see Libertarianism as a compatible political party for Objectivists.

Here is the 2008 plaform for the Libertarian party. Yes, I know, the abortion clause is too vague and not founded on the right principle. But if you look through the rest of the paper you should notice there is a clear, consistent principle that binds all their viewpoints together: the sole function of the gov't is to protect individual rights. This is repeated all throughout the paper and is always used for the reason for their ideas.

Despite the common argument from Objectivists, I see the ideas represented in that platform to be formed on a proper basis of mentality: personal responsibility. That isn't a complete philosophy, but it sums up the correct effect of a limited gov't. Individual philosophies accepted among Libertarians will be different, but in terms of setting up the proper political structure, that won't matter. The only fundamental ideas that need to be agreed upon is in the realm of politics: protection of individual rights and therefore personal responsibility. That is what institutes freedom and will allow each person to choose his own values.

The only problem I see with the Libertarian Party is not the ideas it's founded on, but the politicians who represent Libertarianism. They have a lack of integrity to those ideas, which causes disagreements and inconsistencies throughout the party and their own ideas. The principle of gov't noted throughout the platform is actually in line with Objectivist politics, and although some of the Libertarian politicians who have differing ideas are accepted into their group, I think the party does have great potential. Fix the abortion clause and only allow politicians who have strict integrity to the principle of gov't stated in the platform to represent the party, and you essentially have an Objectivist party.

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The only problem I see with the Libertarian Party is not the ideas it's founded on, but the politicians who represent Libertarianism. They have a lack of integrity to those ideas, which causes disagreements and inconsistencies throughout the party and their own ideas. The principle of gov't noted throughout the platform is actually in line with Objectivist politics, and although some of the Libertarian politicians who have differing ideas are accepted into their group, I think the party does have great potential. Fix the abortion clause and only allow politicians who have strict integrity to the principle of gov't stated in the platform to represent the party, and you essentially have an Objectivist party.

Name three politicians with integrity that consistently adhere to their own ideals. :P

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Well I'm really pretty new to this Objectivism philosophy, I've just started reading Atlas Shrugged. But it seems to me that Libertarianism is essencially the political application for Objectivism, the two are very similar say what you will but thats fact. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but Objectivism is the philosophy of reason, yet Rand argues that small government is necessesary. However isnt that a contradiction? I mean if people simply follow their reason there should be no place for government right?

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Well I'm really pretty new to this Objectivism philosophy, I've just started reading Atlas Shrugged. But it seems to me that Libertarianism is essencially the political application for Objectivism, the two are very similar say what you will but thats fact. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but Objectivism is the philosophy of reason, yet Rand argues that small government is necessesary. However isnt that a contradiction? I mean if people simply follow their reason there should be no place for government right?

Libertarianism is not the political application of Objectivism. Objectivism is a philosophy that starts with metaphysics and goes all the way to politics, and holds Capitalism as its political philosophy. Libertarianism does not have such a fully integrated philisophical base, and is no different from liberalism and conservatism in its epistemology, psychological subjectivism, as well as what many libertarians hold as their ethics. There are many essays written by Objectivists that explain the gulf between the two such as "Anarchism is Evil" by Leonard Peikioff, "Libertarianism: The Perversion of Liberty" by Peter Schwartz, and "Anarchism Vs. Objectivism" by Harry Biswanger, and "Selfishness Without A Self" from Philosophy: Who Needs it.

You are right when you say that if all human beings were to universally follow their reason and hence behave morally there should be no government: if men were angels there would be no need for government, and if angels were to government, neither external nor internal controls on government would be necessary. Objectivism's political branch does not seek to achieve some magical utopian transformation of human consciousness that causes everyone to stop being irrational or immoral, but rather it institutes a moral social system for dealing with people who choose to initiate force, and bars the government from doing so.

"If physical force is to be barred from social relationships, men need an institution charged with the task of protecting their rights under an objective code of rules.

This is the task of a government—of a proper government—its basic task, its only moral justification and the reason why men do need a government."

The Nature of Government

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

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Well I'm really pretty new to this Objectivism philosophy, I've just started reading Atlas Shrugged. But it seems to me that Libertarianism is essencially the political application for Objectivism, the two are very similar say what you will but thats fact. Now correct me if I'm wrong, but Objectivism is the philosophy of reason, yet Rand argues that small government is necessesary. However isnt that a contradiction? I mean if people simply follow their reason there should be no place for government right?

Government has to exist to provide, at the bare minimum, a system of objective laws within which those with rational complaints to make towards their neighbors concerning their property can be addressed. Simply because you are following reason does not mean you are omniscient, and any serious mistake or failure in regards to the law must have a place to be addressed. Also, the guarantee of contracts, the enforcement of them, the recognition of them, is also served by the government, as a form of protection and validation of them.

However, this is in a society where everyone does use their reason. Simply because people should use their reason, does not mean they do. Government must also provide a protection for the rational against the irrational (in regards to the practice of property rights; i.e., those who attempt to put into practice the idea of theft). The military and police are meant to be supporters and enforcers of these laws. And that covers all purposes of an Objectivist government.

See: Judge Naragansett

It's great to see more people getting into Objectivism. My suggestion is to read Atlas Shrugged, The Fountainhead, and then Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand (or, if you lack the stamina, finish AS and jump to OPAR). To get a full, complete, and total picture and understanding of the ideas, I've found that OPAR is completely necessary.

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Now correct me if I'm wrong, but Objectivism is the philosophy of reason, yet Rand argues that small government is necessesary. However isnt that a contradiction? I mean if people simply follow their reason there should be no place for government right?
What that means is that men should live by reason -- that doesn't mean than men always do. If by magic all men followed reason and did not use force, and if we could be certain that men would always do so, then government would not be necessary. Objectivism is the philosophy of reality, which is wny it holds that government is necessary.

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