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Fair enough question. Because the person you initiate force against also is the sole owner and arbitrator of his own body and property as are you yourself. Now, if he endangers you in anyway than you have the absolute right and even duty to protect yourself and your property with as much force as possible and by any means at your disposal.

Which of course, begs another question: why do you "own" yourself and no one else?

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Fair enough question. Because the person you initiate force against also is the sole owner and arbitrator of his own body and property as are you yourself. Now, if he endangers you in anyway than you have the absolute right and even duty to protect yourself and your property with as much force as possible and by any means at your disposal.

Why do you call yourself Libertarian? What part of Objectivism do you disagree with?
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Why do you call yourself Libertarian?  What part of Objectivism do you disagree with?

Hi AisA,

I don't disagree with the basic tenants and foundations of Objectivism. I may differ on foreign relations from Objectivists in my views, but I certainly understand, and can respect, the philosophy as it relates to foreign affairs. I happen to believe that our self-interests are better served through a policy of non-intervention (as opposed to the misconception that Libertarians advocate isolationism) in the internal affairs of other nations.

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QUOTE(edward j williamson @ Jan 21 2005, 01:48 PM)

Fair enough question. Because the person you initiate force against also is the sole owner and arbitrator of his own body and property as are you yourself. Now, if he endangers you in anyway than you have the absolute right and even duty to protect yourself and your property with as much force as possible and by any means at your disposal.

Which of course, begs another question: why do you "own" yourself and no one else?

You beat me to it, Tom Rexton... Why are we the sole owner and arbitrator of our own bodies, in Libertarian philosophy?

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Edward J Williamson, I have a question on Libertarian views of Objectivists. Here is one such view:

Have you ever been to the website http://forum.ObjectivismOnline.com/

Just don't say you are a Libertarian. They are real pieces of work, let me tell you. Snoop around over there, and read my thread in their Introductions forum. You'll quickly see why so many people snicker at them and call them cultists.

And in reply to this message

I have wandered through various Randian websites and left always shaking my head.  I think "cultist" is not an particularly unfair lablel for many of her more idolatrous followers.  A shame.
You wrote:

You are absolutely correct, Rick!

http://www.libertarianunderground.com/Foru...msg5709#msg5709

So, is it a common libertarian view to call Objectivists "cultists"?

And is it ever a wonder why Objectivists do not associate themselves with Libertarian organizations when probably many more attacks come from libertarians compared to the left.

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Hi AisA,

I don't disagree with the basic tenants and foundations of Objectivism. I may differ on foreign relations from Objectivists in my views, but I certainly understand, and can respect, the philosophy as it relates to foreign affairs. I happen to believe that our self-interests are better served through a policy of non-intervention (as opposed to the misconception that Libertarians advocate isolationism) in the internal affairs of other nations.

Thank you for the response, Edward. However, I still do not see why you endorse Libertarianism instead of Objectivism. Are you saying it is a matter of differences over foreign policy?

Libertarianism encompasses many different points of view, but most Libertarians hold politics to be divorced from ethics, on the grounds that all ethics are subjective and arbitrary. Is that your position as well?

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I didn't mind libertarians much (except their moral relativism) until 9/11. When they came out and blamed America, that was it.

Libertarians are an absolute threat to liberty. Their weak foreign policy would leave us vulnerable and defenseless to all foreign enemies.

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Edward J Williamson, I have a question on Libertarian views of Objectivists. Here is one such view:

You wrote:

http://www.libertarianunderground.com/Foru...msg5709#msg5709

So, is it a common libertarian view to call Objectivists "cultists"?

And is it ever a wonder why Objectivists do not associate themselves with Libertarian organizations when probably many more attacks come from libertarians compared to the left.

Hi ex-banana eater,

I see you get around the net a bit, LOL. I absolutely said all of that, and in the context of what those responses were given I stand by them. However, I was referring to the folks that I was in a heated argument with, in response to ad hominems thrown my way when I first showed up here, all over semantics. Now, I realize that I was just as guilty, in retrospect, and have apologized for it. Therefore I have no wish to perpetuate that particular issue. You all do not want flame threads, and I certainly don't want to see that. Too many boards have devolved into nothing but rancor, this board has too many logical, intelligent people with a message that needs to be heard for that to happen. As for cultists? I don't think of Objectivists as a whole as cultists at all, just some of them. Actually, I have a great deal of respect for Objectivism and Objectivists. My statement, "No wonder why some people call them cultists" does not mean I think that is true. In fact, it bothers me when I hear liberals or religious right fanatics (which are cultists) say this because it is not true, but some folks I have run into perpetuate that myth. And as Rick said, "That is a shame"! It certainly is.

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Thank you for the response, Edward.  However, I still do not see why you endorse Libertarianism instead of Objectivism.  Are you saying it is a matter of differences over foreign policy?

Libertarianism encompasses many different points of view, but most Libertarians hold politics to be divorced from ethics, on the grounds that all ethics are subjective and arbitrary.  Is that your position as well?

Again, another good question, AisA. I'll try to give a response that is worthy, or one that sheds some light on the subject.

You have to remember that Libertarianism is more of a political school of thought. It deals more with the political arena than does Objectivism. As such it is more attuned to the political arena.

As to the gentleman than mentioned that Libertarian foreign policy is too weak and that we would be in danger of losing our sovereignty, that is not the case at all. In fact, Libertarians endorse a strong defense, and we were amongst the first to endorse NMD (national missle defense) as proposed by the Reagan Administration and arming our ports and harbors. In addition, Libertarians and the LP are staunch supporters and advocates of the 2nd Ammendment and the call for the repeal of all gun control laws. We believe a well armed, observant populace is the best defense that we can have, both against foreign, domestic, and criminal enemies.

Objectivists do not believe in preemptive war, btw. Now, I understand the Objectivist support for the War on Terror, because you believe it is done in the self-interest of the United States, and the US has a moral obligation to protect its interests. Fair enough, and in that sense I agree. Libertarians believe in military and political non-intervention and that foreign policy should be based on free trade. By observing our lifestyle and the freedoms we enjoy should be the impetus for other societies to take the necessary initiative to free themselves from the bonds of dictators and totalitarianism. Until the people of any particular nation or society are willing to sacrifice, to educate themselves, and to take responsibility for their own futures - as we did back in the 1770's - 1780's, no amount of meddling by our government or military will make them free.

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[...] Libertarians endorse a strong defense, and we were amongst the first to endorse NMD (national missle defense) as proposed by the Reagan Administration and arming our ports and harbors. [...]

Does the Libertarian Party platform exclude anarchists and pacifists?

[...]Libertarians believe in military and political non-intervention and that foreign policy should be based on free trade.[...]

Would you consider the nuclear attack on Japan in WWII to be "intervention" and therefore wrong?

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I certainly understand, and can respect, the philosophy as it relates to foreign affairs.

I think it's obvious that your "respect" for Objectivism is merely words aimed at gaining enough airtime to continue spreading your Libertarian views on this BBS. You're fooling no one.

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A huge flaw that I have noticed is a lack of Egoism advocated with Capitalism. Watching the 3rd party presidential debates. Badnarik did nothing but Cowtow to David Cobb, a disgusting socialist. I'll give it to him that he was able to keep his head while Cobb went off on a blubbering tangent everytime he was asked a question. What is Capitalism without Egoism? It's a bunch of people sitting around feeling sorry for themselves while they live on handouts. Egoism's role in Capitalism is essential, and the Libertarian's failure to stress ethical Egoism is one of the reasons I distanced myself from them.

I remember when I used to cringe when Badnarik used to refer to Americans as Altruistic as if that were some kind of compliment.

You have to remember that Libertarianism is more of a political school of thought.

I think I understand what he is trying to say (but I also understand it's flaw as well) Because Libertarianism falls philosophically under the same Pseudo-Kantian philosophy that permeates the majority. So they must prove that Capitalism is the best choice within the philosophy. That means they can only go by empirical evidence and observed market patterns.

Utilitarianism is a popular philosophy among Libertarians, which is the principle of the greatest good for the greatest number. Now if one was to prove that more people would benefit under capitalism than under Keynsiansim or socialism while retaining identical philosophical axioms, the only way is by using empirical evidence.

I find that's why Libertarians use the terms free marketeerism than Capitalism.

Objectivism is far more deeper than that.

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tortured one,

As I did not see that debate I don't think I can really make any commentary on it. I have no respect for David Cobb. As to Badnarik - I supported his candidacy, but he certainly is no Harry Browne.

I think it's obvious that your "respect" for Objectivism is merely words aimed at gaining enough airtime to continue spreading your Libertarian views on this BBS. You're fooling no one.

Nor am I trying to, and I apologize if that is how it was perceived. This board deals with serious subjects I have no intention of playing games. Actually I have a great deal of respect for Objectivism. "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead" are two of my favorite books. As for gaining airtime? I am an Administrator on another very active 1000+ members boardand a moderator at another. Believe me, I have more airtime then I know what to do with. B) I was just responding honestly to some questions posed in this thread, nothing more.

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http://www.c-span.org/Search/basic.asp?Res...t=badnarik+cobb

here is the link if you care to watch it.

If you want a good laugh, pay attention to the second link, and watch Walt Brown of the socialist party. Talk about someone who does nothing but ramble. I mean, seriously none of the other candidates were as doddering as this old man.

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http://www.c-span.org/Search/basic.asp?Res...t=badnarik+cobb

here is the link if you care to watch it.

If you want a good laugh, pay attention to the second link, and watch Walt Brown of the socialist party. Talk about someone who does nothing but ramble. I mean, seriously none of the other candidates were as doddering as this old man.

Thanks for the link, the tortured one. I'll take a look at it.

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One thing about the Libertarian Party that I believe critics tend to miss: It's not a static party. Peter Schwartz argues that, because the Libertarian Party accepts the Objectivist politics without accepting the underlying premises, that the implementation of libertarian ideas would necessarily lead to nihilism because of the lack of understanding of the premises upon which the politics is based. For some reason, though, he does not hold the same attitude toward either the Republicans or the Democrats whom are both leading us down this same path.

I contend that the Libertarian Party of today will not, and cannot be, the Libertarian Party of tomorrow, if people start joining it, supporting it, and voting for it. In other words, if the Libertarian Party ever did acquire power, it would only be after a large segment of the American populace supported it. At such a time, it will have grown significantly, and then be composed of a much larger segment of the American population. The politics will have moderated quite a bit, but the theme, the underlying premise would still be 'Liberty', and the policies it adopts would be the policies supported by a majority of its members at that time. Those members will be a very different group than the members of today.

Craig

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Actually I have a great deal of respect for Objectivism. "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead" are two of my favorite books. As for gaining airtime? I am an Administrator on another very active 1000+ members boardand a moderator at another. Believe me, I have more airtime then I know what to do with.  :)  I was just responding honestly to some questions posed in this thread, nothing more.

I still do not understand what part of Objectivism you disagree with.
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One thing about the Libertarian Party that I believe critics tend to miss: It's not a static party. Peter Schwartz argues that, because the Libertarian Party accepts the Objectivist politics without accepting the underlying premises, that the implementation of libertarian ideas would necessarily lead to nihilism because of the lack of understanding of the premises upon which the politics is based. For some reason, though, he does not hold the same attitude toward either the Republicans or the Democrats whom are both leading us down this same path.

I contend that the Libertarian Party of today will not, and cannot be, the Libertarian Party of tomorrow, if people start joining it, supporting it, and voting for it. In other words, if the Libertarian Party ever did acquire power, it would only be after a large segment of the American populace supported it. At such a time, it will have grown significantly, and then be composed of a much larger segment of the American population. The politics will have moderated quite a bit, but the theme, the underlying premise would still be 'Liberty', and the policies it adopts would be the policies supported by a majority of its members at that time. Those members will be a very different group than the members of today.

Craig

good points, but again, I disagree. I say that as long as the Libertarian party refuses to back itself with philosophy and remains a party of toleration, it is far more suseptible to corruption than Objectivism. 200 years from now, you can be sure that Objectivism will still stand for Laizze-faire Capitalism, as Capitalism is as much a part of Objectivist philosophy as is egoism and reason. There is no garuntee that the Libertarian party will be the party of free markets in that amount of time. Political parties tend to change over time, just like how the term liberal used to mean one who favors more social liberty and fiscal conservatism. For as long as it remains in it's current state, it will always be plagued by "small l" Libertarians who would love to turn the Libertarian party into the next Democrat party.

Besides, I find that libertarians tend to be the harshest critics of Ayn Rand. I doubt that the party will accept Objectivism (which they have dubbed "Randian politics) when they only cite Ayn Rand when it suits their interest.

To say the libertarian party is not static is a good thing smacks of the Liberal BS that the constitution aught to be a living document. It's yuppy-ish. My rights should not be at the mercy of the whims of a politician or the majority of the people.

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Why do you call yourself Libertarian?  What part of Objectivism do you disagree with?

I don't disagree with any Objectivist premises as far as I have known in my 3 years of studying Objectivism. However, to answer your question. I think Libertarians are different from Objectivist, because in our current political system I welcome all those who don't agree with me on everything. There is no way you will win an election without allowing Christians to vote for you, or other groups of similar nature. If you see where I am coming from...I do not associate Libertarianism with Objectivism because they are not one and the same. I support any reduction of unnecessary government, and I support the libertarian party because of it.

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the tortured one,

To say the libertarian party is not static is a good thing smacks of the Liberal BS that the constitution aught to be a living document.

Actually, Libertarianism adheres to the doctrine of literal interpretation of the Constitution. We believe that the the Constitution is just as applicable in its original form and language today as it was in 1787. It is not a 'living document' as leftist liberals and socialist try to say. Rather it is a visionary document, written by some of the wisest minds ever in the history of this earth, and is meant to stand the tests of time - without change. The beauty of the Constitution is that it is just as applicable today, in its original form, as it was in the past and as it will be 200 years from now. I have heard Libertarians being criticized for being too literal, but certainly not of the 'living document' creed. We tend to hold that the Bill of Rights, the first 10 Ammendments are all that is really needed, and really all that the Founding Fathers deemed necessary for a society that values liberty, justice, and individual achievement and initiative.

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I am aware of the fact that Libertarians are all about the constitution in it's original state, particularly the powers granted to the government by Art.1 sec.8. Michale Badnarik himself is a Constitution expert, after all. For the longest time, I was a libertarian. I know what they're about.

but the point I was trying to make is that someone said the Libertarian's aren't static. I said because unless it does become static, and grounds itself in firm philosophical roots, it will be suseptible to corruption, just like what happened to the Democrat party (remember, at one point in time, the Democratic party was Jefferson's party)

And I think that is going to be a danger the Libertarians will always face. pretty much every libertarian forum I go to has this "indie-crats" which are left leaning liberals who have gone to the Libertarian party because they do not want to stand by the Democrat party. These "small l" libertarians are always fighting to turn the Libertarians into the Democratic party II, and without the social stigmata that comes with being associated with leftists, such as the term "liberal", which Republicans have turned into a 4 letter word.

I knew one in particular who actually had in his sig "Saving the libertarian party from the radicals." Which is funny because Libertarianism has it's roots in Anarcho-Capitalism, which is what the Lp party was about when Ayn Rand knew about it. There are still a few of those radicals around (Lew Rockwell comes to mind) but I find that in 30 years the libertarian party has already moved away from that notion.

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...

but the point I was trying to make is that someone said the Libertarian's aren't static. I said because unless it does become static, and grounds itself in  firm philosophical roots, it will be suseptible to corruption, just like what happened to the Democrat party (remember, at one point in time, the Democratic party was Jefferson's party)

And I think that is going to be a danger the Libertarians will always face. pretty much every libertarian forum I go to has this "indie-crats" which are left leaning liberals who have gone to the Libertarian party because they do not want to stand by the Democrat party.

...

Let's not forget the drug addicts, violent anti-American government militants, and transhumanists, all finding a home under the libertarian umbrella.

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I don't disagree with any Objectivist premises as far as I have known in my 3 years of studying Objectivism. However, to answer your question. I think Libertarians are different from Objectivist, because in our current political system I welcome all those who don't agree with me on everything. There is no way you will win an election without allowing Christians to vote for you, or other groups of similar nature. If you see where I am coming from...I do not associate Libertarianism with Objectivism because they are not one and the same. I support any reduction of unnecessary government, and I support the libertarian party because of it.

The Christians and other groups "of a similar nature" all hold ideas that are incompatible with capitalism. These are the people responsible for much of the "unnecessary government" that you seek to reduce.

The Republican's have succeeded in creating the impression that Capitalism can only be justified on the basis of religion. The Libertarians -- who generally refuse to take any stand on ethics -- are essentially saying the capitalism cannot be justified on any ethical basis.

Do you believe that surrendering the entire field of ethics to capitalism’s enemies will result in a smaller government?

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  • 3 weeks later...

What most of you (Mr. Williamson is a notable exception) seem to be overlooking is that libertarianism is strictly a political philosophy. It doesn't pretend to be a fully integrated philosophical system like Objectivism is. Quite a few libertarians derive their political beliefs from Objectivist ethics; many others arrive at them some other way.

IF you look strictly at political positions on political issues, without regard to how either camp justifies its opinions, there isn't a dime's worth of difference between libertarians and Objectivists.

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