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'well, I can't do anything about it now, so I guess I'll just live as best I can in this irrational world and hope future generations fare better'. That's the same copout religions use.

Since people have a free will, they will always be able to choose to be evil. Like it or not, some evil is inevitably with us to stay. So the objective should never be to "make the world rational," as that is impossible. What can, and should, be done is to create a society filled with rational people, as the Founding Fathers did at their time. IOW, we should try and make a contiguous part of the world rational, and then live in that part of the world.

Why cannot 'millions' of Objectivists and students of Objectivism and rational 'admirers' of Objectivism insert themselves into the Libertarian Party and establish a sound rational platform ??? Drive the anarchist and moral relativist hijackers away

Because the anarchists and moral relativists are not the hijackers--they are the leaders of the Libertarian Party.

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I am utterly speechless at the fact that rhetorical, emotive trash can be espoused and stand unchallenged within a philosophy which claims to embrace reason over emotion.

I can only agree. It sounds an awful lot like the worst of bad propaganda.

.., the basic political political philosophy of libertarians is anarchism.

Why dont you actually study some of the libertarian litterature that exist out there. Anatole seems to be much more informed on the subject than you. Libertarianism is a position that is shared by many different people with different underlying philosophies on how to reach the points libertarianism advocates. Guess what, in the libertarian movement you will find people that advocates anarchism but you will also find minarchist and even aristotalian natural-rights people such as Objectivists. Why you chose to generalise that all libertarians are anarchist is beyond my grasp, as well as the fact that you try to build up huge walls against them, when in fact you probably have alot in common with them. And if there is some things that you disagree with them, why dont you discuss it with them, instead of trying to build false generalisations of them.

When you couple that with the fallacy that all government entails an initiation of force--as do libertarian ideologues--what you've got is anarchism.

And to you too. Why dont you read some libertarian litterature instead of just plotting scare-pictures of libertarians with your friends. You could start with Ludwig von Mises.

I saw an article about this subject that was published some days ago. Perhaps it can be useful:

Can the Ideas of Mises and Rand Be Reconciled?

http://www.solohq.com/Articles/Younkins/Ca...econciled.shtml

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Because the anarchists and moral relativists are not the hijackers--they are the leaders of the Libertarian Party.

Can you state some facts that back up this accusation, on the Libertarian Party website also please (www.lp.org). I have never seen that the Libertarian Party is pushing an anarchist agenda.

And besides your response to the prevous guy (kgvl I think) is even evading some obvious facts. Most parties elects there leaders (and I think the Libertarian Party do too), so there is nothing that says that an Objectivist can't be a leader of the Libertarian Party, quite the opposite in my opinion, an Objectivist has alot to offer the Libertarian Party. And besides its not like the leaders have unlimited power, you are talking about probably the most individualistic party on the american political scene.

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Guest kgvl

I should probably investigate a bit more before I make this statement, but I won't at the moment --- so I confess it is my 'belief' [more than opinion and less than a statement of fact !!] that the the Libertarian party was established to represent the libertarian view [philosophy] in politics ... and that the libertarian philosophy was deeply rooted in the classic liberal philosophy of our Founding Fathers --- the term liberalism since having been hijacked by social Democrats, leaving many classic liberals looking for a new 'label' to call themselves.

If this statement is correct, then the libertarian philosophy, and thus the Libertarian Party, were generally acceptant of the ethics and politics of America's Founding Fathers .. which included the establishment of both Federal and individual State governments to protect the rights enumerated in the Constitution. They didn't advocate anarchy or moral relativism.

If the libertarian philosophy and the Libertarian party [of the 60's] were not a direct implementation of classic liberalism, then I am mistaken and my arguments reside in a barrel with a rusted-out bottom.

Regardless, the politics of our Founding Fathers were not a total implementation of Objectivism .... but they had many aspects in common [i won't say idealized Objectivism, as I think we all agree Objectivism is what it is and anything different is not Objectivism]. They allowed for slavery ... though many opposed it in their personal ethics, they chose to compromise to at least form sufficient bonds to maintain a reasonably stable society. They allowed religious influence to shape many of the laws of the states over the ensuing years, as most of the influence was consistent with the prevailing Deist beliefs of the more rational leaders. Objectivists would not be tolerant of politics influenced by religion. Other specifics can probably be listed, but they fail to materialize in my brain at the moment [this is impromptu]. The point --- Objectivists probably cannot lay claim to the politics of the Founding Fathers as much as the Libertarians, assuming my equating libertarianism with classic liberals is valid [i don't know if I should be using big-L or little-L ]. The goal is to take a workable rational philosophy [preferably a closed philosophy ... I choose objectivism] and put it into practice in a culture -- i.e., politics.

There will be compromises --- who among us is living life as a pure Objectivist ?? ... do we pay our taxes ?.... abide by the ridiculous laws intruding property rights ? ... We can be strict adherents to our philosophy within our own conscience, but to move it from theory into practice requires facing the realities of life and existence --- and Objectivsm, far more than any other philosophy -- acknowledges those realities ... the core one being 'not all people are rational !! ... and laws should be focused to protecting the rights of rational people from the irrational ones'. ... and you can count on the fact that you will have to constantly call upon government to enforce those laws and stand firm against bastardization of the underlying Constitutional principles. Socialists of all forms know the best way to win the battle against capitalism and freedom is to 'change the rules' that form the basis of our laws.

I can't live inside of a theory --- and Objectivist principles will never be instituted overnight or all-at-once by some wave of a magical wand. I would prefer the Deist-based politics of my country's Founding Fathers [complete with its 10 Commandments on the wall and references to God on Washington monuments] to the anarchism and moral relativism seeping into present culture. It won't change my underlying commitment to rational thought --- it will just make it safer to live and easier for me to achieve my personal goals.

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Why dont you read some libertarian litterature instead of just plotting scare-pictures of libertarians with your friends. You could start with Ludwig von Mises.

I saw an article about this subject that was published some days ago. Perhaps it can be useful:

Can the Ideas of Mises and Rand Be Reconciled?

http://www.solohq.com/Articles/Younkins/Ca...econciled.shtml

I think it's interesting that you assume that anyone who doesn't agree with you must not understand your position. (Seems kind of question-begging, and some of your statements could be construed as ad hominem.) What makes you think that no one on this board who does not support the Libertarian Party hasn't read any Mises or Rothbard? In fact, I would bet that many of them have, and that that is exactly why they oppose them--not because they are ignorant of the Libertarian position, but because they are fully aware of it and take it seriously.

Also, I don't think that most people here will deny that there are a lot of good things in Mises' economics, but it's mixed in with a lot of relativist crap that actually undercuts his position (and causes him to make a few errors) in economics. (And BTW, I have read the article that you linked to, and found it quite flawed. Rather than convincing me to somehow integrate the two views, it actually made me more inclined to think that Objectivism needn't and shouldn't be "mixed" with anything else.)

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I think it's interesting that you assume that anyone who doesn't agree with you must not understand your position. (Seems kind of question-begging, and some of your statements could be construed as ad hominem.) What makes you think that no one on this board who does not support the Libertarian Party hasn't read any Mises or Rothbard? In fact, I would bet that many of them have, and that that is exactly why they oppose them--not because they are ignorant of the Libertarian position, but because they are fully aware of it and take it seriously.

You are missreading me. The message in my post, including the one you quoted was not aimed at everyone on this board, but instead to the people, which I also quoted and named. That is: GreedyCapitalist and Capitalism Forever. If someone thought that I did a generalisation of everyone on this board, and got offended, Im sorry, that was not what I meant, infact part of my message was that these generalisations was dumb-downs of the subject their addressing, and therefor unfortunate on this discussion board.

I also did write "And to you too.", that you left out in your quoting of me, as to imply that I was answering to the persons.

It might be that these two people I adressed are well educated on the libertarian position, but I didnt get that impression from their posts:

Libertarians are simply punks without the communism.

.., the basic political political philosophy of libertarians is anarchism.

These arguments to me appeard as narrow-sighted and more as mocking then as rational arguments.

Also, I don't think that most people here will deny that there are a lot of good things in Mises' economics, but it's mixed in with a lot of relativist crap that actually undercuts his position (and causes him to make a few errors) in economics.  (And BTW, I have read the article that you linked to, and found it quite flawed.  Rather than convincing me to somehow integrate the two views, it actually made me more inclined to think that Objectivism needn't and shouldn't be "mixed" with anything else.)

Austrian economics is a moving target, as is all economic science more or less today. Still I belive that it is the school that best continues where Rand stopped on her political writings. For those who are interested in how a laissez-faire society would look and act, the writings in the libertarian movement has alot to offer.

Sure Austrian economics was originaly based on Kant subjectivism (Mises), but despite this it comes to the same conclusions as Objectivism. The main things Im thinking of are the three no-no's in libertarianism, that is non-initiation of force. These are:

- No physical aggression towards another (including property).

- No threat of force towards another.

- No fraud towards another.

These are the core of libertarianism, and that core can be provided by Objectivism.

I think some Objectivist has a tendency to throw out the whole concept to hastly when they see some little detail that opposes Objectivism instead of applying the wisdom they have got from Rands philosophy. I have found that Objectivism has a great ability to answer these quirks. So I dont recommend Objectivist to ignore libertarianism because that is to ignore alot of useful work by alot of people.

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Here is a little background on my experience with libertarianism.

I was initially exposed to free-market ideas by the president of my school's libertarian club, and with the aid of several books written by Austrian economists, I quickly converted to libertarianism. In the next two years, I became deeply involved with the libertarian movement, as well as the Libertarian Party. I attended several state conventions and servred as the president of my school's libertarian club. I designed and assisted with several prominent “libertarian” websites, and met a number of Libertarian Party leaders, including the current national chair. I was never attracted to anarchism, but early on, I remarked that “it's too bad that all the best libertarians are anarchists.” In fact, virtually the entire intellectual leadership of the “libertarian movement” (not to be confused with the LP) is anarchist, including Murray Rothbard, the founder of both the LP, and the libertarian movement.

In my experience, people that label themselves “libertarians” generally fall into two groups. So called “civil libertarians” marginally associate with the libertarian movement and share the sole trait that they support some version of “civil rights”, and are more accurately described as ether “classical liberals” or “liberals” -- depending on which definition of “rights” they uphold. More common, and much more prominent in the libertarian movement, are the actual “libertarians,” who are uniformly anarchists. They share a number of ideas which clearly indicate just how far removed from being capitalists they really are: they oppose intellectual property, corporations, the whole notion of objective law, and the existence of a military. Many of them are pacifists who entertain the ridiculous notion that no one will attack an anarchist state because “there is no one to conquer.” I say all this based on personal experience with the current and future leaders of the libertarian movement – something which I doubt many of their supporters on this thread have had.

Personally, I struggled to reconcile my discovery of Objectivism with libertarianism for some time, but the breaking point came when I saw my libertarian friends join the leftists in anti-war protests. The entire libertarian movement was united in opposing the war on terrorism and blaming 9/11 on “American imperialism.” At that point, I renounced all ties with the libertarian movement and haven't looked back since. I think many capitalists who held illusions about libertarianism did likewise.

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In my experience, people that label themselves “libertarians” generally fall into two groups.  So called “civil libertarians”  marginally associate with the libertarian movement and share the sole trait that they support some version of “civil rights”, and are more accurately described as ether “classical liberals” or “liberals” -- depending on which definition of “rights” they uphold.  More common, and much more prominent in the libertarian movement, are the actual “libertarians,” who are uniformly anarchists.  They share a number of ideas which clearly indicate just how far removed from being capitalists they really are: they oppose intellectual property, corporations, the whole notion of objective law, and the existence of a military.  Many of them are pacifists who entertain the ridiculous notion that no one will attack an anarchist state because “there is no one to conquer.”  I say all this based on personal experience with the current and future leaders of the libertarian movement – something which I doubt many of their supporters on this thread have had.

Im impressed with your history in the movement, and you out performe me on that part.

But our views on what the word libertarian means differs, and there lies our dissagrement :) Its not hard to understand that this can happen, since the term libertarian is a pretty broad term. However the impression I've got from my studies is that libertarianism is not used to mainly refer to anarchists, but more to people who advocates a limited state (minarchism). Thus the term anarcho-capitalist, market-anarchist and such was created to differ the two appart. But anarcho-capitalists and libertarians are very closely related, and it wouldnt surprice me that anarcho-capitalists is involved in libertarianism since they are practicly the same with different views on the state. I think the schism between them is the same as the one in the Objectivism movement.

I did some searches on libertarianism:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian

this site states that libertarianism has an history of being a synonym for anarchism but in the '"Libertarian" as "classical liberal"' section this can be found:

However, in the US since the 1950s, the word libertarian has been massively used by classical liberals, only a few of them being anarcho-capitalists.

on the same site is also a reference to the Cato institute which is refered to as libertarian. Although Cato says that they see problems with all kinds of labeling there mission states:

The Cato Institute seeks to broaden the parameters of public policy debate to allow consideration of the traditional American principles of limited government, individual liberty, free markets and peace.

And on the site:

http://www.disinfopedia.org/wiki.phtml?title=Libertarian

can also this be found:

Synonyms: Free-marketer, objectivist, classical liberal, strict constructionist, laissez-faire, Lockean.

which implies a relationship with classical liberalism which is not considered anarchism as far as I know.

I wouldnt be surpriced if you can find sites that says the opposite, but I have tried to pick some famous ones as to get my point across.

Enough writing for today! :D

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When you couple that with the fallacy that all government entails an initiation of force--as do libertarian ideologues--what you've got is anarchism.

I have yet to meet a self-described libertarian who espouses the abolition of the state. Perhaps I've just had a run of good luck, but I'm more inclined to believe that you're grossly exaggerating the problem.

At any rate, what I was referring to by that Ayn Rand quote is that it directly refutes the main point that Schwartz made in his essay. Schwartz concedes that some libertarians have rational bases for their beliefs (as opposed to subjectivism/nihilism) but that by associating themselves with people who do not, they are in fact advocating the position that libertarianism does not require a philosophical base. This is utterly ridiculous, intrinsicist, and inconsistent with Ayn Rand's (correct, im my opinion) view on judging political candidates. I know several self-described Objectivists who voted Bush in the last election. Am I to conclude that they are endorsing the unification of church and state, or the "right to life" of an embryo?

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Guest The One and Only...

There are some libertarians who want to abolish the state: they are called anarcho-capitalists. Murray Rothbard, an Austrian economist, revived the stance by making a moral argument against any form of the state. Some contemporary writers like David Friedman (Miltion Friedman's son) have made a case for anarcho-capitalism on the basis of utilitarian ethics.

Most libertarians, however, believe in a state. I think it would be disingenuous to say that most even want to limit the state to the minimal level - a lot of them would still like to see public funding of education in some degree...

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That's the thing... Libertarianism is sort of an amorphous blob. I'm not convinced that it's so much anarchism that's essential to libertarianism -- it's more a general anti-government attitude. (I too was interested in libertarianism for a while, so this is from personal experience.) I realized that the libertarians were a problem when I realized that the problem wasn't government per se, but misuse of government. Reading Objectivist literature convinced me that government does have proper functions; but beyond that, that there's nothing inherently bad about government.

Even when libertarians are "minarchists", they're usually reluctant ones, precisely because of that anti-government attitude. They think that government is a necessary evil at best, and that's the difference between the libertarian minarchists and the Objectivist position: Objectivists see government as a necessary good, provided that it performs only its proper functions.

Anyway, that's as good a generalization as I can make. Like others have pointed out, Libertarianism was conceived as a widely-inclusive "tent" movement, so it's almost impossible to say anything about libertarians which will apply to all of them. Like I said -- amorphous blob.

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They think that government is a necessary evil at best, and that's the difference between the libertarian minarchists and the Objectivist position: Objectivists see government as a necessary good, provided that it performs only its proper functions.

Excellent summary!

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Guest kgvl

MattBalin ...

I agree with Capitalism Forever --- very well put summary ... kudos !!

You should copyright that !!

I'm off to my first Libertarian Convention in a couple hours. I'll listen to what they have to say. It seems that if their premises for a 'good' [rational] society are non-initiation of force, non-intitiation of theft, and non-inititiation of fraud and they accept a limited government to the extent necessary to deal with offenders of the premises [even if they regard that limited government as evil], then the argument really comes down to the size and structure of what that limited gov't will be. I suspect much of the vocalization is from people who have decided first that 'government is always bad' is a premise, and they have constructed their philosophy around that premise. Afterall, from experience it is not hard to see that all governments in history have ended up 'evil' to one extent or another, even our own here in the US. The question becomes one of whether it is at all possible to establish a government that is good. Locke, and Rand [through her works] show us that since government is an establishment made up of men, not an entity to itself ... it can be 'good' as long as the sovereign power resides in the hands of rational men --- it is constrained by inalienable objective premises. When those premises are violated the perpetrators are punished --- and that includes anyone in the government !!! The government doesn't violate anyone's rights --- people in the government act individually to uphold or transcend other people's rights ... such felons cannot be permitted to hide behind any shield of 'government'. Such a shield cannot be allowed to exist. I submit that everyone failed gov't in history [ours is failing too] has erected such a shield to protect men in government from being held accountable for transgressions of individual rights.

If the premises of society can be established and affirmed as inalienable prohibitions against the initiation of force, theft, and fraud, then reality will impose itself on determining the size of the government. Those foolish enough to believe that everyone will simply adhere to the premises for the 'good of society' will be quickly disappointed. In the end, if the premises are enforced with conviction and defended as 'inalienable', the size and scope of the government will form itself around the premises. I 'feel' certain [ feel: my mind projects events to a future time based on the previous assertions and concludes it is logically rational that ...] it will be larger in extent than many libertarians presently desire it to be, but let them be 'violated' enough and most of them will probably cry out for 'someone' to please 'do something'. [What's the expression --- a Democrat is just a Republican who's never been mugged !!}

Reality will prove rational philosophies viable, and irrationable philosophies as destructive. Visualize where our country would be today had our government ... the men in our government ... been held strictly accountable to the inalienable nature of the objective rights it already has as a basis. The lesson to be learned is straight from Jefferson --- "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." Americans became apatthetic, and have lost the fruits of the 'enlightenment'. We had it once ... we can reclaim it.

for more great quotes on freedom, goto

http://free.freespeech.org/unlimitedfreedom/quotes.html

... good discussion from everyone

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Guest kgvl

I saw a representation of the conflict over libertarian identity last night. If any of ya'll watched O'reilly, he had on Kurt Russell. Russell enthusiatically identified himself as a libertarian ... then O'reilly stated to him: "I suppose that must mean you're opposed to the Patriot Act then". I was surprised when Russell answered back just the opposite --- that he was supportive of the Patriot Act because our government needed it right now to deal with current terrorist threats. He stated it could always be repealed at some future time when it was no longer needed.

Fact --- yes, it could be repealed.

Question --- what is the probability that it will be repealed, esp. the longer time it exists as law.

Problem --- Russell, despite his proclaimed libertarian view, violates objective reality by morally sanctioning the 'rights transgressions' embodied in the Patriot Act for a "higher cause" -- the "good of society". .. some libertarian he is !!!

A good friend of mine locally 'used to be' very active in the local Libertarian Party --- he even ran for office. He bolted the Libertarian Party after 9/11 to the Constitution Party --- a rather stunning move for me to comprehend. He would rather back a party with moral standards that he can live by than no moral standards at all. A desperate move, by my judgment, but he is not alone. Bertrand Russell had a good comment on the cyclic nature of societies --- I'll look for it this weekend.

I think I'm beginning to see the problem with libertarians --- its the same with any other party, or group of people who look for something to believe in, but have never taken the time for self-introspection to figure out just what it is they really believe in. If you say to people who are anarchists and moral relativists [even if though don't understand the terms enough to define themselves as such] "Hey ... here's a party that advocates repeal of the drug laws, and abortion, and getting the government out of morality issues, and no draft, and no wars overseas, and no taxes" --- are you not going to attract people who have no established moral code within themselves [parasites/second-handers] along with those whom you are initially marketing to [i.e., those who support non-initiation of force, non-intitiation of theft, and non-inititiation of fraud]. If the philosophy [little-l] and the party [big-L] don't reject those who advocate crossing the inalienable line-in-the-sand , then they continue to flood into the party and lay claim to the philosophy as their own --- bastardizing it from its original thesis. Its no different than a dominant political party passing some law to appease a race [hispanic, black, asian, white] to get votes. Its pandering !

To wit --- I will defend the purity of Objectivism .... and I will make at least a reasonable try to reclaim the soundness of the Libertarian platform.

"It is not the critic who counts, not the one who points out how the strong man stumbled or the doer of deeds might have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred with sweat and dust and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiams, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who, if he wins, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat."

T. Roosevelt

Confucius say: "To see what is right, and not to do it, is want of courage or of principle." --

..... Objectivists have principles, so does inaction imply a lack of courage ??

--- war is hell, but so is living oppressed !!

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Guest kgvl

My weekend at the Florida Libertarian Party State Convention was interesting. When I introduced myself to people, both individually and when I stood to ask questions of the presidential candidates, I made it clear that I was there to investigate the rift between Libertarians and Objectivists … specifically, just what is the underlying libertarian philosophy and how consistent is it ?

Prior to going through the front door, I had visited the Libertarian Party website and read the Libertarian viewpoint [issue 1, Volume 1 -- http://www.lp.org/services/libviewpoint.html] and the current Libertarian Party Platform [http://www.lp.org/issues/platform/platform_print.html]. Past versions of the platform are available back to 1972 [lapsing from 1972 to 1990 during which period I can only assume the 1972 document prevailed] at http://www.lp.org/organization/history/platform/ for review. I haven’t read thru the past platforms yet, but will be doing that this week to see how stable or fluid the party has been over the years.

As I read thru the Viewpoint newsletter, I highlighted those statements which clearly reflected the principles and actions the current Libertarian Party is espousing, at least in their newsletter. The same goes for the Platform, which of course should be explicitly representative of the views of the majority that voted for it. I found nothing that I could classify as objectionable in the Viewpoint. The current [2002] Platform is also pretty much agreeable to me, with the exception of the items on American Indians and Secession. Personally, I think its time for the American Indians to accept what has happened and integrate with the rest of us … I respect them, I feel sorry for the history that their ancestors were involved in, but it can’t, and won’t be undone. All of us must move on from the present. I would love to sit down with rational members of their race before committing to such a decision though. Regarding the secession, the LP Platform obviously leaves the door open for anyone [political entity, private group, or individual] to secede. Although the topic is under the heading of Diplomatic Policy in regard to Foreign Affairs, it is clear that the policy would apply universally, including within America. This is the clear retention of an anarchist policy. The Executive Summary containing the description of the policy is incomplete as compared to the actual policy in the body of the Platform, so first reading of the summary leaves one with the impression that anarchy is fully condoned:

Executive Summary: Secession

We recognize the right to political secession by political entities, private groups, or individuals.

In Full Body of Platform: Secession

We recognize the right to political secession. This includes the right to secession by political entities, private groups, or individuals. Exercise of this right, like the exercise of all other rights, does not remove legal and moral obligations not to violate the rights of others.

The full reading however contains a logical contradiction to that conclusion, inasmuch as the last sentence leaves open the legal right to address violation of the rights of others … thus there is still a government entity remaining above the seceded political entity, group, or individual to hold it/him/her accountable.

Aside from an occasional use of the term ‘human rights’ in place of ‘individual rights’ there seems to be little objectionable in terms of Objectivist philosophy.

I would really like to hear analysis of the LP Platform by members of this forum.

This doesn’t mean I came away from the LP State Convention thinking things are all hunky-dory … my comments in this post are about my readings of the printed newsletter and party platform only. My impressions of the meeting itself, and of people I met at the meeting were more varied, and I will post comments on that later. As a prelude to my comments, in my attempt to unravel the history of the Libertarian Party, and the libertarian philosophy, I came across a very interesting pamphlet at their booksale entitled “New Libertarian Manifesto” by Samual Edward Konkin III. From it I have been able to extract a lot of info about the origination, history, and turmoil of the libertarian philosophy [Konkin views the very existence of the Libertarian Party as traitorous to the libertarian cause]. After reading Konkin’s book and looking up groups and references in the footnotes, I clearly understand why Ayn Rand hated the ‘hippy’ libertarians !! A luncheon with Harry Brown as the speaker also gave me lots of insight into their present internal waves.

…. Anyway, as this thread is on the discussion of libertarianism and its relationship to Objectivism, I would greatly appreciate a dialogue on the current variation of libertarian philosophy as presented in the LP Party Platform. Most everyone in the convention claimed to have received their original inspiration from Ayn Rand.

What are ya'll's opinions of the platform ??

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I'd still like an answer from the Schwartz defenders about why a vote for Libertarianism necessitates endorsement of it's supposed "nihilist" base but a vote for the Republicans doesn't necessitate endorsement of their obvious religious base.

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For one thing a vote for the Libertarians is nothing but an ideological statement, since (fortunately) the Libertarians have no chance of winning, nor do they have any chance of becoming large enough to exert a real political influence for a long long time. A vote for a party that has a real chance at winning can be a vote for the lesser of two evils, and needn't imply any endorsement.

There is no shortcut to political improvement. Some people said they were interested in the Libertarian Party because they wanted to effect political change now. But you can't effect the kinds of change you want *now*. Your option is to squander your time pretending to have a political party with a bunch of disaffected nuts, or to do something productive with your life, and work over time for the type of political and cultural change that is possible and would be beneficial. This type of change requires advocating reason and egoism. And it requires clearly differentiating a proper capitalist government based on the recognition of individual rights from libertarian anti-concepts like "anarcho-capitalism" and "minarchism".

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I think it's worth expanding a bit on the term "minarchism." A lot of Libertarians like to call themeselves "minarchists", and they like to call Objectivists minarchists. I can see two ways to take the term (based on what I've learned from experience w/Libertarians), both of which are no good.

1. Calling oneself a minarchist might mean that one buys the slogan "less government is the best government." This is a pretty obviously anarchistic slogan; it's anti-government, without regard to the propriety of one function as against another. The logical end of "less government is the best government" is "no government is the best government." This is a bad idea, and even worse if people are trying to fit Rand into this category.

2. The "minarchist" might be trying to say that they think the government has proper functions, and the performance of these functions is necessary, but given that restriction the goal is a minimal government. This isn't as obviously bad, but it's a useless concept. On that description, somebody could say "I'm a socialist minarchist; I think the government ought to own the means of distribution, but given that, it ought to be as small as possible." Minarchism, even on this best way of looking at it, is premised on the idea that the basic attitude one ought to have toward government is negative. You should regard certain functions as a necessary evil, but you should still try to eliminate them as much as possible.

So a minarchist on the second description would, for instance, be likely to support the general Libertarian line about "military force only in cases of immediate and direct threats." Contrast that to the Objectivist view, in which it is morally proper (though not always required) for a nation to invade any tyranny, provided that it is in the nation's best interest to do so.

When a Libertarian trys to call Rand a minarchist, he's trying to set the terms of the debate with a package deal. He's trying to say "Look, we're in the same camp, we just have little differences of opinion." It's easy to fall for, because he can bring up a lot of concretes on which Objectivists do agree with Libertarians. But if you approach the issue in terms of essentials, you'll see that there is a fundamental difference between the two. Objectivists are pro-government, provided that it's the right one; Libertarians are basically anti-government, even if it's the best one possible.

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Since I used the term minarchy in another thread I felt that MinorityOfOne's post was indirectly adressed to me.

A lot of Libertarians like to call themeselves "minarchists", and they like to call Objectivists minarchists.

I see that you use the term big-L-libertarian. One usually uses small or big L depending on the meaning of libertarian one is adressing.

libertarian = the movement

Libertarian = the party

See libertarian on wiki for more info.

1. Calling oneself a minarchist might mean that one buys the slogan "less government is the best government."

Yes, many libertarians views the government as a neccesary evil. Why do you think they do it? This is important to know if we should judge if they are wrong or not. I belive they think that the enforced-monopoly issue contradicts individual rights.

..,but given that restriction the goal is a minimal government.  This isn't as obviously bad, but it's a useless concept.

Thats why one might want to emphasize on the synonym "night-watchman" if one belives that "minimal" is to fussy. Night-watchman: (courts, police, prisons, defence forces), this is what Rand advocated is a governments proper function. See minarchy on wiki.

So a minarchist on the second description would, for instance, be likely to support the general Libertarian line about "military force only in cases of immediate and direct threats."  Contrast that to the Objectivist view, in which it is morally proper (though not always required) for a nation to invade any tyranny, provided that it is in the nation's best interest to do so.

I've seen disputes about this in the Objectivist movement too. The libertarian position is that a government doesn't have any other rights then those of its citizens. So the relationship between governments works the same as between individuals. A government acts as an agent for an individual who has delegated his right to it, thus it can retaliate for this person. So if a person in another country delegates his rights to this government then it could also take action for him, even if this would mean a conflict with another government. It is the same relation as between individuals if one cryes for help because hes being attacked.

Morality is however a thing that could differ a libertarian government from an Objectivist one. This is because libertarianism doesn't subscribe to a specific moral system, but an Objective moral system and libertarianism is compatible so this difference doesn't have to exist.

Although it is questionable whatever a government would declare war on another one on a moral basis. If a person does something that is moraly wrong we dont usually punish him, it is when he brakes a law that actions will be taken. Moral is something that cant be enforced because it has to be a choice.

Finally any government that starts to talk in collectivist terms such as "in the nation's best interest" should be treated very suspectibly. A Government must never step on any of its (or others) individuals rights and must therefor take every individual into account instead of society as a whole.

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I could make a try to define minarchism in a way that people will understand what is meant with minimal:

Why one belives in minarchism is because one belives that voluntary actions between people is a good thing and should be encouraged. However the minarchist belives that there are some areas where voluntary relationship just cant work (market failures), laws is the most common one but others might belive that roads and pollution-controls are impossible aswell. Thus its because one see some voluntary relations between people as (unfortunatly) impossible that one calls himself an minarchist.

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A vote for a party that has a real chance at winning can be a vote for the lesser of two evils, and needn't imply any endorsement.

Some people said they were interested in the Libertarian Party because they wanted to effect political change now. But you can't effect the kinds of change you want *now*. Your option is to squander your time pretending to have a political party with a bunch of disaffected nuts, or to do something productive with your life.

I disagree with GCS's views ... and the 'disaffected nuts' statement is inappropriate.

My dilemma: should I vote in the November Presidential elections this fall or not ?? … if I do vote, for whom should I vote ??

A pure Objectivist would leave this culture and go live in Galt’s Gulch. How many pure Objectivists are out there ? I suppose if they have already left, we don’t know of them. John Galt didn’t stick around and play the practical pragmatist. He would not give his moral sanction to anyone or any group that stood in opposition to Objectivism, in any way shape or form. That leaves all of us non-pure Objectivists: those who swear allegiance to a rational philosophy, but stick around and live the best we can in an irrational society. We’re the Dagny Taggart’s and Hank Reardons of the world. Piekoff is still here, paying taxes, following the rules ---- as is Binswanger, and everyone else. Even Rand herself stayed … and gave us the essay on ‘How to live rationally in an irrational world’.

The reality is, we are pretty much all pragmatists to some extent in the non-fictional world. Though we may despise the word, and the concept --- we do fit the definition. We compromise to one extent or another, choosing the least of the evils available to us in those cases where the option of ‘no evil at all’ is not available.

So, what are the options available to me to improve the government of my country … to increase my own personal freedoms ?? Armed revolution is out [not ‘practical’] --- even Galt and the Galt’s Gulch gang didn’t revolt violently --- they just left. They didn’t strike violently against the government until the kidnapping of Galt occurred.

Replacement of government officials by voting is the only best-option available. So I can vote, or not vote. If I don’t vote I am taking no action to improve my condition … that’s a copout.

So it is decided I will vote … for whom ?? The options will be the usual: a Republican, a Democrat, a Socialist, a Green, an Independent of some variation, and a Libertarian.

I can vote for that person/party most consistent with my principles … or I can vote for another party, all of which disagree even more sharply with my principles. If my party loses the election, allowing the political situation in my country to remain the same [or possibly worsen], at least I took positive action and no one can claim I gave moral sanction to the destructive policies of the Republicans or the Democrats: I can do what is essential to my ego --- hold my head up high, instead of bowing in shame !!.

Since it is far more consistent with Objectivism than any party’s platform, why should I not vote for the Libertarian candidate this fall ?? It seems to not do so, or to not vote at all, are both irrational actions which work against my own self-interest, despite the ARI’s stance on the Libertarian Party. Voting for a Libertarian candidate, based on their current platform, is the most rational option available to me short of leaving this culture completely (an option which is available to me in a very real sense !). To vote Republican [or Democrat, or anyone else] is providing moral sanction to their party’s platform. Voting Libertarian will not disqualify me as an Objectivist as long as I adhere consistently to Objectivist philosophy as my goal. Our Founding Fathers would not have made the advances they did had they not compromised over 200 years ago. We have a chance to take a couple more significant steps beyond where they were.

Don't infer that I am trying to find a way to compromise Objectivism ... I am not !! I am trying to find a way to move from the theoretical realm of the philosophy into the real world we live in each day ... I don't like stepping backwards !!

... and GCS despite my turmoil over finding a path to move philosophy into politics, I have been very, very productive -- and creative -- in my life. It is possible for humans to multi-task.

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kqvl:

What makes you think that a "pure objectivist" would leave this society, or that *any* sanction whatsoever is involved in staying and voting for the best available candidate? Atlas Shrugged takes place in a nation on the verge of dictatorship. America today is not such a nation, there's no need to shrug, and it would be positively irrational to do so.

If you decide to vote you have two options: Republican or Democrat. Those are the only two parties that have any chance of winning, so it you're trying to have some short-term effect on the course of national policy, those are the only two votes that have any effect.

If you are not satisfied with either of those parties (and you shouldn't be) you can work towards longer-term change. But you accomplish absolutely nothing by voting for some joke of a fringe party. And, if you’re an Objectivist, you're certainly not upholding your principles by doing so. Because they divorce liberty from its philosophical foundations and advocate it as a floating abstraction, the Libertarians are far more inimical to freedom than any of the major parties.

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