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(by my judgement, it has been too long since my last reply for me to edit)

After reading the first 5 pages or so of this thread this is what I'm concluding about the libertarian/objectivism situation in metaphor form:

"There is a wonderful machine that can produce light to illuminate the world and all it is missing is the battery... But the battery refuses to enter the machine because the light is not on."

:)

"I just don't see how that could be. There is only one point of partial agreement on a small political point where Objectivism and libertarianism might have a bit of common ground: well, communists are dedicated atheists as are Objectivists, so isn't that analogously an argument that we could somehow convert communists? As a reformed libertarian, my advice is simple. Never talk to libertarians about politics. Talk about anything else, just not politics. If you can "convert" them, so much the better. Otherwise, they are no better than communists."

But libertarians in general have no other organized convictions outside politics. There is a general trend toward a cynic kind of nihilism but that applies to all philosophically bankrupt people, does it not?

My head hurts. I'm done thinking about this for today.

Edited by Apollo
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Apollo, I salute your desire for activism. I'd advise an exercise that might help. Instead of thinking about a huge goal like an Objectivist party consider a smaller goal. I'm not saying be unambitious. Just consider what it would take to achieve that smaller goal. Take the same problem on a smaller scale, as a thought exercise.

For instance, rather than a nationwide party winning the Presidency etc., consider a smaller issue and a smaller political unit. Suppose your objective is: to make a single state cut taxes and expenditure significantly. How would you go about it? Who has to be convinced? How?

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Apollo, I salute your desire for activism. I'd advise an exercise that might help. Instead of thinking about a huge goal like an Objectivist party consider a smaller goal. I'm not saying be unambitious. Just consider what it would take to achieve that smaller goal. Take the same problem on a smaller scale, as a thought exercise.

For instance, rather than a nationwide party winning the Presidency etc., consider a smaller issue and a smaller political unit. Suppose your objective is: to make a single state cut taxes and expenditure significantly. How would you go about it? Who has to be convinced? How?

How would you go about it?

Supporting the Libertarian party of that state. It's views on taxation and expendature, if they are not too radicaly anarchistic, will probably match mine. If there are no representatives who are not anarchists (improbable), then they first need to be convinced that government has a ligitimate purpose.

Who has to be convinced?

Most of the LP is already convinced of a reduction of government. If they are anarchists they must be convinced that anarchy is not the answer. After them (if they even require it) all there is to do is convince whoever is making the governmental descision (voters, commitee members, what-have-you)

How?

I will leave that up to the Libertarian polititians of whome I share an opinion.

(For the part about convincing the anarchists, an essay on the problems of so-and-so's policies in a libertarian publication or even a letter to the editor would be a start.)

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Supporting the Libertarian party of that state. It's views on taxation and expendature, if they are not too radicaly anarchistic, will probably match mine. If there are no representatives who are not anarchists (improbable), then they first need to be convinced that government has a ligitimate purpose.

Most of the LP is already convinced of a reduction of government. If they are anarchists they must be convinced that anarchy is not the answer.

Libertarians are not pro-liberty but anti-state. Law is anathema to libertarians. They are ethical hedonists who believe in doing whatever they feel like doing. It is futile to attempt to convince them otherwise. In fact, to engage them in polite debate would simply lend them the sanction of the victim. See Peter Schwartz, "Libertarianism: the Perversion of Liberty."

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Apollo, I should have been clearer about my question. When I said "How would you go about it? ", I ought to have said "How would one go about it?" Saying, "I'll leave it up to <fill in group or person name>" can be a perfectly fine personal answer. What I meant, then was, how would they go about it? If you or they cannot convince people who are Republican, Democrat and Independent today, what hope do you have of achieving political change?

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Libertarians are not pro-liberty but anti-state. Law is anathema to libertarians. They are ethical hedonists who believe in doing whatever they feel like doing. It is futile to attempt to convince them otherwise. In fact, to engage them in polite debate would simply lend them the sanction of the victim. See Peter Schwartz, "Libertarianism: the Perversion of Liberty."

Do you honestly think the common (i.e. non itellectual, as most people are, and as itellectuals often forget.) libertarian down the road wants to legalize marajuana not because of some principle they have (which they may not be able to explain.) not because they want to reduce the tax for prisons, not because they love liberty (even if they are unable to explain why) but because they want to "live in the now", start worshiping Dionysis, declair themselves succeeded from the nation, hold a Woodstock3 and then die of starvation? Even if they did would you care as long as they stayed the hell away from you? (and they would!). All of the negative philosophies that can go along with libertariansm (but don't have to.) are the kinds of philosophies an objectivist could say "if you believe that you deserve it." to. But an objectivist has nothing to fear from a libertarian with the worst kinds of outside-politics philosophies because they (the libertarians) don't believe in initiating force. What can a horrible philosophy in the hands of a libertarian do besides destroy the libertarian? <- Not a rhetoricle question, I'm really wondering.

A religious libertarian spouting mystic BS in front of millions of citizens would be irritating but unlike a Republican a Libertarian would never require prayer in any school.

An altrusit libertarian telling business owners to think about society's needs would make me angry but unlike a Democrat a Libertarian would never create a welfare system that enslaves business owners.

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Apollo, If we assume what you say is true, it follows that Libertarians will already vote "with us" on any issue the comes to the polls. So, we really need to focus on converting the other 90% of the country. Or, are you saying the Libertarians will do this better than us?

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What can a horrible philosophy in the hands of a libertarian do besides destroy the libertarian? <- Not a rhetoricle question, I'm really wondering.
A horrible philosophy in the hands of a libertarian helps spread the notion that capitalism is based on a horrible philosophy.
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Someone better inform Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, Eugen von Bahm-Bawerk, Frederick Hayek, Murray Rothbard, and H. L. Mencken that they are "just punks".

Alon, do you really think Objectivists admire Murray Rothbard? I'd gladly call him a punk, but I don't want to insult punks.

Edited by Oakes
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Alon, do you really think Objectivists admire Murray Rothbard? I'd gladly call him a punk, but I don't want to insult punks.

Do you mind if I ask why you say that?

No, the proper political system of Objectivism is capitalism. Liberterianism does not equal capitalism.

How is a government chosen under a capitalist political system?

Exactly. But Libertarians would still be opposed to the "meddling" if it were done by the government. They ONLY support non-governmental action, even if the government is entirely private.

What does this say about Libertarians?

If the government is private, it isn't a government. Libertarians have no objection to voluntarily financed organizations that protect rights and uphold moral laws.

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How is a government chosen under a capitalist political system?
The way in which the government is chosen is not really a fundamental. Some form of election would appear to be the most practical means.

If the government is private, it isn't a government.
An Objectivist would agree.
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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.

and therein lies the flaw of libertarianism. Without a proper philosophical base, it is subject to the whims of the majority. Libertarians support free market capitalism. the next questions is, why do they support free market capitalism? that is where everything starts breaking apart. some say it's the greatest good for the greatest number. Some say god intended there to be Capitalism. Only Objectivists would say that capitalism is the only moral system, because only Objectivists have the Ethical and Metaphysical foundation to stand on that claim.

Libertarianism is properly based on the natural rights philosohpy of John Locke, which to my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong) is consistent with Ayn Rand's ideas. Some people commonly considered Libertarians (Milton Friedman, FA Hayek to some extent) use utilitarianism as their base. Utilitarianism is logically flawed and should not be a defense of any system, including Liberatarianism. If Libertarians are using these arguments, they're distorting the Libertarian basis. I do not know of any major Libertarian scholars who claim that capitalism is right because it is the will of God. A minority of Libertarians are religious (when I say that I mean intellectual Libertarians, not the masses that populate the local parties).

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Natural rights are not consistent with Objectivism, because rights are not self-evident primaries, they are derivitive. And John Locke, IIRC, advocated Utilitarianism in politics. (I could be wrong about that.)

An Objectivist trying to be a Libertarian is someone that's given into the mixed-economy mentality that you need a large® pressure group to get anything accomplished. You can't institutionalize or impose Objectivism on people, though, because it is directly opposed to the idea of institutionalizing ideas or imposing them! If you want to secure progress, you need to work for ideological change, not accept the current system as the given and try to work within its strictures.

Besides, associate with Libertarians, and you're associating yourself with the National Man-Boy Love Association. Yes. Pedophiles. Frankly, I'd rather have people thinking I'm aligned with the Religous Right. At least people understand that "Republicans" are not a homogenous group, and that some members of it may drastically disagree with other members.

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Natural rights are not consistent with Objectivism, because rights are not self-evident primaries, they are derivitive. And John Locke, IIRC, advocated Utilitarianism in politics. (I could be wrong about that.)

An Objectivist trying to be a Libertarian is someone that's given into the mixed-economy mentality that you need a large® pressure group to get anything accomplished. You can't institutionalize or impose Objectivism on people, though, because it is directly opposed to the idea of institutionalizing ideas or imposing them! If you want to secure progress, you need to work for ideological change, not accept the current system as the given and try to work within its strictures.

Besides, associate with Libertarians, and you're associating yourself with the National Man-Boy Love Association. Yes. Pedophiles. Frankly, I'd rather have people thinking I'm aligned with the Religous Right. At least people understand that "Republicans" are not a homogenous group, and that some members of it may drastically disagree with other members.

The self-evident premise of natural rights theory is the right of self-ownership. A person owns his own body and mind. From there, property rights and a support of the free market are derived. It's very much a priori.

As far as Libertarians having a mixed economy mentality, I'm sure some do. Many do not. There is a faction of Libertarians that is highly ideological and uncompromising. They are the proper Libertarians.

As far as pedophilia, Libertarianism abhors it. Any Libertarian argument supporting the right to molest children is a vile distortion, is not logically consisted with Libertarian ideology and is opposed by the vast majority of Libertarians.

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The self-evident premise of natural rights theory is the right of self-ownership. A person owns his own body and mind. From there, property rights and a support of the free market are derived. It's very much a priori.
But why is it self-evident that one has a right of self-ownership? Many claim it is self-evident that God, society, the state, your neighbor, or mother nature own your life. Beginning with metaphysics and proceeding through epistemology and ethics, Ayn Rand set forth the logical derrivation of the right of self-ownership. Most Libertarians with whom I have had contact lack this essential philosophical foundation. This results in some Libertarians advocating things like anarchy.
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Libertarianism is properly based on the natural rights philosophy of John Locke, which to my knowledge (correct me if I'm wrong) is consistent with Ayn Rand's ideas.

Natural rights are not consistent with Objectivism, because rights are not self-evident primaries, they are derivative.

The mere fact that natural law is derivative does not imply that it is inconsistent with Objectivism. E.g. suppose we define natural law as I did in another thread -- "Natural law consists of that part of the Objectivist ethics which deals with issues relating to the use of force in a social context.".

Alternatively, one could define it as the unique "objective standard by which to judge the use of force.". (My thanks to AisA for this phrase.)

Natural law is fixed by reality. It may be discovered, but not created.

As far as pedophilia, Libertarianism abhors it. Any Libertarian argument supporting the right to molest children is a vile distortion, is not logically consisted with Libertarian ideology and is opposed by the vast majority of Libertarians.

You seem to be saying that natural rights can be understood independent of any particular philosophical basis. Is that correct?

If so, then please demonstrate how you would justify your claim that pedophilia violates the natural rights of children without using any deeper philosophical premises such as Objectivism or Utilitarianism.

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The mere fact that natural law is derivative does not imply that it is inconsistent with Objectivism. E.g. suppose we define natural law as I did in another thread -- "Natural law consists of that part of the Objectivist ethics which deals with issues relating to the use of force in a social context.".

Alternatively, one could define it as the unique "objective standard by which to judge the use of force.". (My thanks to AisA for this phrase.)

Natural law is fixed by reality. It may be discovered, but not created.

You seem to be saying that natural rights can be understood independent of any particular philosophical basis. Is that correct?

If so, then please demonstrate how you would justify your claim that pedophilia violates the natural rights of children without using any deeper philosophical premises such as Objectivism or Utilitarianism.

I take self-ownership as a premise. To be honest, I don't remember how Ayn Rand derived self-ownership from the Cartesian premise of existence, but if someone would care to refresh me, I'd be grateful. Assuming I agree with the derivation, then there's really nothing to argue about except the conclusions.

With specific regard to pedophilia, Libertarians would see it as a violation of the child's self-ownership. If a pedophile argues consentuality, a Libertarian (along with most other people) would counter that the child's mind is not competent to make the decision. As such, the ignorant decision of consent is in fact an act of force against the fully developed person that the child will become, because the future adult is the only one with the right to decide how to use its body. As the adult does not yet exist, the child is left in the care of a guardian who has the right to care for the child and protect, but not to infringe on its rights or do it violence. I use similar premises to defend a pro-life stance, though most Libertarians are pro-choice.

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As far as pedophilia, Libertarianism abhors it. Any Libertarian argument supporting the right to molest children is a vile distortion, is not logically consisted with Libertarian ideology and is opposed by the vast majority of Libertarians.

You know, they said about Stalin "That's not the REAL Communism. He perverted it."

If the LP has become associated with NAMBLA, it is because of their ideological default, and that this is the natural consequence of their ideas. Something like 80% of the Republican party doesn't support the "Religious Right" . . . and look how much influence they have!

The mere fact that natural law is derivative does not imply that it is inconsistent with Objectivism. E.g. suppose we define natural law as I did in another thread -- "Natural law consists of that part of the Objectivist ethics which deals with issues relating to the use of force in a social context.".

You are correct, but the idea that natural law is a self-evident primary is inconsistent with Objectivism, and in a big way.

To be honest, I don't remember how Ayn Rand derived self-ownership from the Cartesian premise of existence, but if someone would care to refresh me, I'd be grateful. Assuming I agree with the derivation, then there's really nothing to argue about except the conclusions.

Ayn Rand didn't derive her theories from a Cartesian anything: I highly suggest you go and read Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff before you make statements such as this. Descartes "cogito ergo sum" takes consciousness as primary and then attempts to derive existence from it, a fallacy known as the "primacy of consciousness", which ends in the swamps of subjectivism.

Objectivists that really do understand Objectivism don't make statements like this, so it's not surprising that they reject the Libertarian Party.

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An Objectivist who is critical of the Libertarian Party because it's principles are not derived from the same philosophic premises as Objectivism is fully justified in that criticism. Objectivists who decide to ally themselves with the Libertarian Party which they see as the best means to realize a more free and capitalistic society are also justified in doing so, in the same way as those who support the Republican, Democratic, or other parties.

Since the subject of this thread is "Libertarians" it should not be surprising that the majority of the comments in an Objectivist forum would be of a critical nature. I would also, however, expect that those who have been so vocal here against Libertarians would be just as vocal and critical of Democrats and Republicans if there were similar threads devoted to those parties, which, using the same standard of judgement, are similarly incompatible with Objectivist philosophic premises.

Objectivists may argue with each other about which parties best serve ideal Objectivist ends, and wether or not an Objectivist should even support any of today's political parties, but the height of hippocracy would be a case where an Objectivist who is an active member of one of today's current political parties questions another Objectivist's party affiliation using the phiosophic premise argument I have witnessed here. One may argue it justifiably so long as one does not vote for any party candidates in elections. Doing so makes one a hippocrite.

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An Objectivist who is critical of the Libertarian Party because it's principles are not derived from the same philosophic premises as Objectivism is fully justified in that criticism.
I am not critical of the Libertarian Party "because it's principles are not derived from Objectivism"; I am critical of the LP because it promotes the notion that no such derivation is possible or necessary. That is worse than anything the Democrats or Republicans have done.
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I am not critical of the Libertarian Party "because it's principles are not derived from Objectivism"; I am critical of the LP because it promotes the notion that no such derivation is possible or necessary. That is worse than anything the Democrats or Republicans have done.

Well, since nearly every terrible thing that has occured since this country's founding is the result of policies of both Democrats and Republicans, and since so many have either lost money, property, freedom, or their lives, I believe that perhaps a few of them, if they were still alive, would question your use of the term "worse" as well as your sense of proportion. I certainly do. But at least you are not a hippocrite.

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It is clear that the philosophies of the Democratic and Republican parties are very different from Objectivist philosophy.

It is true, but not clear, that the philosophy of the Libertarian party is just as different from Objectivist philosophy as the philosophies of the Democratic and Republican parties are. It is not clear: because the philosophy of the Libertarian party claims to be and superficially is similar to Objectivist philosophy in certain respects. It is true: because the philosophy of the Libertarian part has a foundation that is very different from the foundation of Objectivist philosophy.

The philosophy of the Libertarian Party is more dangerous than the philosophies of the Democratic and Republican parties to Objectivist philosophy specifically because, whereas the philosophies of the other parties are but lies, the philosophy of the Libertarian Party is a lie intended to be confused with Objectivist philosophy.

Neither kind of philosophy is less true or more dangerous to the world. But the philosophy of the Libertarian Party is more dangerous to Objectivist philosophy. That's why the Libertarian Party in particular is of concern to many Objectivists.

Edited by y_feldblum
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You know, they said about Stalin "That's not the REAL Communism. He perverted it."

False analogy. Real Communism is impossible. Real Libertarianism is not impossible. The conclusions of Libertarianism and Objectivism are the same, I don't think that's being disputed here. What some O'ists here have a problem with is the metaphysical defense Libertarians use (or don't use).

If the LP has become associated with NAMBLA, it is because of their ideological default, and that this is the natural consequence of their ideas. Something like 80% of the Republican party doesn't support the "Religious Right" . . . and look how much influence they have!
First of all, what is NAMBLA. Second of all, can you quote a source saying they are associated with an organization bearing that acronym? I've looked through the Libertarian website and can't find any references to it. If NAMBLA is some pedophilia proponent, I will reiterate that any such association is against Libertarian philosophy and a blatant distortion of Libertarian ideas.

You are correct, but the idea that natural law is a self-evident primary is inconsistent with Objectivism, and in a big way.

Ayn Rand didn't derive her theories from a Cartesian anything: I highly suggest you go and read Objectivism: The Philosophy of Ayn Rand by Leonard Peikoff before you make statements such as this. Descartes "cogito ergo sum" takes consciousness as primary and then attempts to derive existence from it, a fallacy known as the "primacy of consciousness", which ends in the swamps of subjectivism.

There's nothing fallacious about it, consciousness does imply existence. It does not imply subjectivism, in fact DesCartes said it didn't. Maybe Ayn Rand didn't use the same construction, I don't know. If not, I'd be interested to see why she thinks existence is self-evident.

Objectivists that really do understand Objectivism don't make statements like this, so it's not surprising that they reject the Libertarian Party.

What exactly does DesCartes' existence premise have to do with rejecting the Libertarian Party?

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