11 votes

Please help me respond to a "well meaning" friend about libertarianism

UPDATE: I am adding responses below. Please keep the comments coming!

Dear Everyone! I have a political science student friend. I have been debating him for weeks, and need help responding to this letter:

George,

Although you may not know it, your Libertarians are advocating Plutocracy as a superior form of government than democratic state oversight. Even today, despite corporate-government collusion (i.e. the corporatocarcy) we can see evidence our own Canadian or USA pseudo-democratic states (polyarchies) demonstrating at least have some minimal checks and balances to stop monopolies in the form of anti-trust laws ... here is my proof:

http://mccarthy.ca/pubs/antitrus_overview.pdf

Without a state with at least some minimal kinds of laws, how would a Libertarian political system control cartels and oligopolies from tyrannizing the masses? They can't. They like free markets. They believe in that magical invisible hand that does good to everybody and not primarily powerful corporations. Unfortunately, Libertarians have no use for the state's already existing anti-trust (i.e. anti-monopoly) laws.

Your Libertarian utopia is in fact a demented Plutocracy or in other words a corporate tyranny whereby the wealthy have free reign to pay your mother less than minimum wage, make profits from people when they get sick. Your Libertarianism endorses private banking corporations who benefit from usury, and no health care for the poor and sees nothing wrong in paying exorbitant fees for water !!! Yes George, under your system the rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The first guy to the oil well owns all the oil!!! haha! It is so stupid and self-serving!

I keep repeating, that the Thrasymachus argument was already successfully proven wrong by Mr. Socrates 2500 years ago in his famous book Republic: Might does NOT make right!!! In other words, it is wrong to take advantage of weak people just because you can. Duh! Isn't that obvious?

Also, on gun control as in war, an eye for an eye and the whole world is blind. You really seem to be putting a lot of faith in the dummy average citizen's peaceful nature and kindness. Why would you put guns in the hands of stupid people? Ridiculous! And why put the power of society in the hands of the greedy and wealthy people? You really think they will give it away ;-) C'mon seriously? Your naive system tears apart society into brutal class warfare!

Eventually, after just a few years of Libertarianism, a very few select elite group of people (less than 1%) would control the economy. It would be the same as today, yet FAR WORSE, since the corporate tyranny would not provide any social assistance, benefits, medicare, NOTHING for the poor. It is really a very cruel and shortsighted world the Libertarians are envisioning. Kind of like a naive fantasy world if you ask me! It would be funny if it wasn't so cruel. Libertarianism is the worst nightmare for the Occupy movement. It is making society worse off, not better. The pendulum swings even further into the hands of the elites, and there is nothing you are anybody else can do to stop it. No state to complain to. But hey, you asked for it. And I know you would be the first to protest against such a Libertarian corporate tyranny once you could see (if you can't now foresee) the temendous damage it would do to human virtue, the classes, the economy and our collective social fabric.

Finally, Libertarian system would also pay for private police, who would obviously get paid to protect the rich before they would defend the poor. Just do the math!
;-)

Cheers

Any suggestions much appreciated... especially ones with some good scholarly links etc.

THANK YOU ALL, in advance!

-- my quick response 1:
Here is a short thought on another small thing I've mentioned, and now I will put in writing.

Whatever "utopia" you suggest... have it pass the test of it being INCLUSIVE. What I mean is... if your version of "utopia" allows for my version, then it is fine by me. If it does, and the reciprocal can be said of my version of "utopia" being inclusive of yours... well, then we can discuss whose is better in that they are MORE ENCOMPASSING ... thus greater in their "inclusiveness"

My libertarianism says that you can live as you please. You can form whatever associations you wish. Want to be a communist? Great, form a commune and go for it. Want to be a hermit? Have at it. Want to participate with others in a free and voluntary society? Welcome to the club. Why is voluntarism so scary to the statists?

Because they are afraid that left to their own choices, most people will reject their prescription for what ails us, and go back to taking care of themselves and their own communities.

--- his response:

Voluntarism is very scary to everyone because it means you can have voluntary tyrannical oppression, voluntary cruelty, voluntary wage slavery, voluntary class warfare, voluntary corruption, voluntary corporate tyranny, voluntary pollution of the environment, voluntary profiteering off the sick, voluntary private hegemony, etc.

You are wrong, multiple systems could never coexist. Under voluntarism you cannot have multiple systems, because the more powerful systems will subsume the weaker systems EVERY TIME, so that a commune or Kibutz would be slave under the outside forces of free market capitalist system. They would depend on the tyrannical Libertarian corporations hegemonic domination of the market and thereby be dependent on it for survival. For example, try to cross the US border without a passport or I.D. ... you CANNOT because no matter how much you believe in voluntarism you will not be allowed to cross the border. This is how naive voluntarism is in your model. Nobody could volunteer to do whatever they want because pre-existing Libertarian structures would always impede that progress. Under Libertarianism you get tyranny of the majority, as well as tyranny of the minority. Absolutely no checks and balances to filter the greed and cruelty or bad behaviour. If it were a society of angels, then Libertarianism would work. In a society of devils, which is ours, you need a social contract with progressive open minded socialism.

When you advocate for no rules it is free like the old wild west, where people would commonly kill each other because the sheriff was not around. If you think that people can be trusted for taking the laws into their own hands, then read Hobbes. .... or go back to caveman days when raping and stealing was allowed.

---my response:
you are trying to give an example of why voluntarism would not work, and give the US border (controlled by THE STATE) to prove your point.. you just proved my point that THE STATE is the tool for KILLING voluntarism.

I am totally open to see your point... but please give an example that proves it!

Give me an example of where voluntarism is actually "corrupt", "tyranical", and "hegemonic"... you list all these things, and give one "proof": the US border (?) wft.

Can't you see how you are completely WRONG?

Your whole line of thinking is confused, and circular and brings you back to what I am saying:

THE STATE is the thing that creates: " voluntary tyrannical oppression, voluntary cruelty, voluntary wage slavery, voluntary class warfare, voluntary corruption, voluntary corporate tyranny, voluntary pollution of the environment, voluntary profiteering "

oh, and of course, that is because there is absolutely NOTHING VOLUNTARY in your model!

======
Second. Your statement:

"When you advocate for no rules it is free like the old wild west, where people would commonly kill each other because the sheriff was not around."

This is a strawman argument... you are restating my statement falsely by saying "When you advocate for no rules..."

I gave a very, very short version of what I advocate.. and here it is again. I agree with Ron Paul where he says, the role of government is:

"to provide national defense, a court system for civil disputes, a criminal justice system for acts of force and fraud, and little else."

Do you see this to equal "no rules" ????

--- his response:

George,

Under Libertarianism there would be a huge rise in homelessness, disease, drug addiction, crime and overall suffering especially among the poor ... but a Libertarian does not give a flying f_ck about the poor. As long as they are free to carry their guns and make money they are fine. They want to build huge walls to keep the immigrants out of the US. Go figure, the white man is an immigrant himself. The entire country is founded on immigrants including the Europeans (who were not the first to claim North American soil, the primary tenet of Libertarians is the first people to grab the land own it ... except of course if you happen to be native ;-)

Ron Paul has some good ideas on the diagnosis of the problem of neoliberalism where he is very strong, and in particular on foreign policy, but his economic solution, whether he knows it or not, is corporate tyranny. He is a nightmare for social justice ethics. His solution for poverty is: Fuck you poor people, the corporations are going to screw you so bend over ... Especially silly is his health care solution where only the rich can afford to pay for health care, the others, well shut up an die !!!!

Talk about giving a break to big corporations at the expense of the poor, and weak. There are absolutely NO guarantees under Libertarianism that the price of health care will not skyrocket above the $3000 per year per American!!! The $3000 is already double what it should be because insurance companies need to make their profit. IF you get sick (and it is extremely naive to think you will not eventually) you could easily lose your bitcoin savings, your home, etc.

It is naive to think everybody will behave like you! Noblesse oblige is a dying phenomenon. I would not risk my health on hoping some nice people will take care of me. I would rather pay taxes on cigarettes, and alcohol. I would not want to risk my life hoping the moronic loser who just bought his first gun won't use it on me.

Libertarianism places individual freedom HIGH above the good of the community or even family. Trust me, everybody owning guns and the abolishment of welfare and the minimum wage is not a great recipe for crime reduction. Just check out ANY policy research on welfare and the prevention of crime and homelessness (only a moron would not recognize this connection).

As an analogy for the example of Ayn Rand selfishness that Libertarianism can breed, you as a Libertarian would have the freedom and right to ignore the poor, or abandon your mother at home for xmas because there are no laws stating that you have to be with her or help others. You are at "liberty" to do what you want, even at liberty to be a cruel asshole. You might be nice and behave otherwise, but others would not. There are no rules for kindness and decency in Libertarianism. If you start to make rules for kindness, then you begin to go down the socialism path, like having anti-trust laws, minimum wage, the police, a legal system, universal health care for all, and other progressive ideas. etc.

You might be safe with a gun, but others might try to shoot innocent people. While many people will not behave badly, many others will, and nothing can stop them. Is that the anarchy you really want? There worst danger is in the economic arena where survival of the fittest takes over ... a draconian and unsophisticated way of behaving. WHY ARE YOU A SUCKER FOR COMPETITION? Competition is uncivilized. Again, do you think eugenics is a good idea? All those cripples, elderly and mentally retarded people are really costing taxpayers money, maybe you should take care of them all George, and if you don't want to, who will?

Cheers

---Finally, my answer to the ORIGINAL Post based on comments here:
Before I respond to this email in more depth (and I WILL) please answer some of these questions I need to know your answers for:

1. You use the word "plutocracy," which is rule by the wealthy. Can you please define what you mean?

2. What are the Occupy Wall Street people protesting in your view?

3. Please define "libertarian", (there are more than one variety, what does it mean to you in general?)

4. Please define "free market"

5. We agree that now we have BIG gov't now, right? -- How is your vision of utopia attained with all the things that could happen not already happening right now -- with BIG government?

6. Please give me a specific example of where a monopoly has been established and sustained without collusion with government. The term corporation is a special class of business with special privileges granted by government.

7. Who gets to decide who is "too stupid" to own a gun?

8. "Tyrannical Corps" and Cartels Hate the Free Market, if they loved it why didn't any of them throw their support behind Ron Paul, and why did the Big Banks / cartels support Romney / Obama who want gov controlled markets...

9. What was the ratio of income, rich to poor, in 1900? What is it today, after a century of progressive taxation?

10. What is the history of corporations, as they did not seem to exist in 1830 the way they exist today? Why?

11. Does the concentration of power attract honest or corrupt men?

I need these definitions, and quick answers to better formulate a FULL ANSWER to your email! :)

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

In the grand scheme of things, your friend is right...sorta.

Without a belief in and adherence to God's Word, we will ultimately disintegrate as a nation. There will always be some sort of government, be it privatized or not. I thought this one through an awful lot when I first came to the liberty movement. For awhile I considered myself an anarchist. Anarchism will crumble and end up violent. It is based on "ME" being the center and ruler of the universe. Self-government on the other hand, will work, because God says love your neighbor as yourself and He is the ruler of the universe.

Christians should not be warmongers! http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance87.html

Mini Update

The fact that he is taking so much time to reply to the questions suggest to me that he is thinking about his ideas (perhaps even reshaping)

I have reminded him of my intention to discuss this topic further, but I need the answers.

He has already run through some answers in person, but they were so convoluted, and hard for me to follow, that I asked him to remember to keep to email-debate... so, I am still waiting. :)

This whole process is really exciting for me, I hope you guys are patient and will look back to this discussion occasionally.

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

the strangerr's picture

Did your political science student

friend agree to have his emails posted on this website?

No, but since it is "nameless", does it matter?

That is an interesting point... I didn't ask him, so I would try and keep our communication as personal or real as possible.

We have a lot of heated discussions on this topic, and we often involve and even alienate others. So I wanted to have his views as pure and unaltered by a perception of it being potentially scrutinized before he send them off to me.

I don't think I need his approval if he is not named. Without his personal information included, I believe his email is just "information" that states the views of someone in the forms of his ideas. Ideas are to be shared, and do not have automatic copyright in my view.

Or am I wrong?

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

Demonstrate to him that

Demonstrate to him that charity/private aid to the less fortunate is often more efficient than government-administered "relief." Take government failures during and after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy as examples.

He's making the mistake of assuming that the government, through force, can provide more aid to those who need it than individual people on a voluntary basis. Inform him that since 1968, when most of the current welfare programs were created, the poverty rate in America has remained the same it was 40+ years, whereas the poverty rate had seen a marked decrease over the century before that.

Simple Facts and Plain Arguments
A common sense take on politics and current events.

www.simplefactsplainarguments.com

Do you have a source for the

Do you have a source for the poverty rate in America?

I really wish to back some good points with links.

Thanks

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

I think you're doing pretty

I think you're doing pretty good George. Keep it up. Bravo to all the posters here who helped him out.

Thanks DebasedCurrency

Please stay tuned, I am still waiting for his response!

This is VERY UNUSUAL that it takes him so long to respond, I believe he is really having to think about what he is saying/meaning.

I know he has changed his views on things in the past (for example, Bitcoin) and so I wonder if he can do that in this case too :)

Although these "socialist" views he has are ROCK SOLID in his most deep inner being, stemming from his true kind heart, and love for the weak and deprived, oppressed. (like all of us here)

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

I didn't want to give a full discourse but... (please share)

Your friend's first stated concern is with the formation of ill-willed domination of the market by monopolies and oligopolies. These type of entities typically try to decrease supply and increase prices in efforts to maximize profits. This type of behavior can only be sustained by placing substantial barriers to entry for other firms; the barrier to entry, 99% of the time, is the use of government force to restrict the market. For instance, where a product is completely outlawed in the market, cartels form rather easily - like in the case of drug or alcohol prohibition. Another example is government sponsored enterprises (GSE) such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac which are given the ability to distort markets through government sanctioned malpractice. This type of interference was to blame for the housing crisis in 2008 - a foundational topic for OWS. Without the use of government force, ill-willed monopolies and oligopolies cannot be sustained for very long.

In a free market, sellers must charge the market price in order to maximize profit; any price above or below the market price will decrease profit. Apple has a monopoly on iPhones, but there is a price where people become unwilling to purchase them and profits begin to fall regardless of how high the price becomes. The only way to get people to pay an exorbitant fee faithfully is to hold a gun to their head - either figuratively or literally. Further, if Apple dropped the price of iPhones to near nothing, they would sell a hell of a lot of phones, but they wouldn't make much profit. Thus, mathematically there must exist a price at which Apple maximizes their profit with respect to the iPhone. In a free market, this price is determined by the consumer. This is unavoidable - unless force is used.

Note: The "proof" your friend gave about the "effectiveness" of antitrust laws is simply a text outlining Canadian antitrust laws and provides no specific examples - "proof" - that they are effective.

Moving on, your friend said next:

"Your Libertarian utopia is in fact a demented Plutocracy or in other words a corporate tyranny whereby the wealthy have free reign to pay your mother less than minimum wage, make profits from people when they get sick.

Plutocracy - a government or state in which the wealthy class rules

A plutocracy is pretty close to what we have now. Corporations pay more to lobbyists on K Street than they pay in taxes. This should be telling. Through financial persuasion, the votes of elected officials are for sale. Further, it is difficult to even be nominated as a candidate for Senate or President unless one is willing to sell out to powerful financial interests. Libertarians seek to sever the ties between government and special interests - the root of many of this nation's problems. Libertarians seek to end the plutocracy that has already been established. No particular group has the right to loot another through the force of government.

In addition, unless your mother is a slave, she can quit her job if they don't pay her enough in her estimation. People that value their own time and labor do it all the time. If an employer begins cutting wages, the first to leave tend to be the most skilled laborers. As a result, service or product quality begins to decline leading to less consumption and a decrease in profits. If the price is raised (on the crappier product or service) as an attempt to compensate for this phenomenon, consumption drops even more sharply and will eventually result in the firm failing (and opening the door for other producers to enter the market).

I'm not sure what your friend is getting at with respect to the statement - "make profits from people when they get sick." When people get sick, production decreases while the market price remains stable in the short run which leads to less profits for the producer.

"...under your system the rich get rich, and the poor get poorer."

What is happening under the current system? Answer: Firms or entities that acquire special government privileges get rewarded for inefficient, less productive practices while the more productive are forced to finance the actions of the less productive. Over time, the poor get poorer (or remain poor) while the rich that make a living through government privilege get richer. This a situation where the old saying rings true - "You get what you pay for." Behavior that is rewarded (unproductive) is increased in frequency while behavior that is punished (productive) is decreased in frequency - see the work of B.F. Skinner.

On gun control, your friend quotes Ghandi:

"An eye for an eye will leave everyone blind."

~ M.K. Ghandi

So, I will quote Ghandi as well:

"Among the many misdeeds of the British rule in India, history will look upon the Act depriving a whole nation of arms as the blackest."

~ M.K. Ghandi

Enough said on that.

As for the second to last paragraph of the first email sent by your friend, I have already shown it to be fallacious in the above arguments. As for the last paragraph:

"Libertarian system would also pay for private police, who would obviously get paid to protect the rich before they would defend the poor."

Ask someone that lives in a poor neighborhood how long it takes the police to respond under the current system, and then ask the same question to someone living in a wealthy neighborhood. Besides that, police do not exist for primary lines of protection. Police respond to crimes, typically, after they have already been committed. In any system of government, it is each individual's responsibility to protect themselves as a first line of defense - hence the existence of justifiable homicide and the 2nd Amendment of the Constitution.

Now moving on to the second email, it begins:

"Voluntarism is very scary to everyone because it means you can have voluntary tyrannical oppression, voluntary cruelty, voluntary wage slavery, voluntary class warfare, voluntary corruption, voluntary corporate tyranny, voluntary pollution of the environment, voluntary profiteering off the sick, voluntary private hegemony, etc."

None of the actions listed are "voluntary." There is no definition for voluntary tyrannical oppression (corporate or otherwise), voluntary cruelty, voluntary wage slavery, voluntary class warfare, or voluntary private hegemony. All of these actions require submissive subjects without means of self-defense. "Voluntary corruption" exists in every system. The question is - what is the system that most limits corruption? The answer is - a system where government action is strictly limited.

Pollution infringes on the property rights of another. Your friend has mistaken libertarianism for passivism. These matters can be handled through a fair court system. When the government has the final say - rather than a judge and a jury - polluters often just get a slap on the wrist (such as BP) or face no punishment altogether (such as others involved in the gulf oil spill). Hell, as of right now, the government has been releasing unknown chemicals into the atmosphere above my residence - so much for government agencies controlling pollution. Court precedents and inflation adjusted penalties, imo, would be much more effective in this area.

Next:

"try to cross the US border without a passport or I.D. ... you CANNOT because no matter how much you believe in voluntarism you will not be allowed to cross the border."

This argument is bunk to say the least. How can the use of government force - refusing passage across a border - be used as an argument against libertarian philosophy? Libertarian philosophy mandates that no entity is able to use force except in cases of self-defense. Free passage and immigration would be welcome under a true libertarian system. The only barrier preventing the institution of an open (libertarian) immigration policy is the availability of the welfare state and the ineffectiveness of the tax system to distribute the burden to undocumented immigrants. Otherwise, free immigration would increase the productivity of our economy.

Moving on to the third and final email, it first states:

"Under Libertarianism there would be a huge rise in homelessness, disease, drug addiction, crime and overall suffering especially among the poor..."

In the case of homelessness, the evidence provided over the last decade shows just the opposite, namely - government interference in the housing market leads to increased levels of homelessness. The statements on disease, crime, and suffering were likely based on the other false premises stated and need to be qualified to merit a response. I don't see a connection.

As for drug addiction, the history of Coca-Cola would say otherwise. Early on, people began to stop drinking it complaining that drinking Coca-Cola would make one a "cocaine head." Under public pressure, the soft drink manufacturer began extracting the alkaloids before using the leaf extract in the recipe leaving only trace amounts of cocaine in the final product. Then, when extraction techniques improved, the alkaloid was completely extracted (~1930). Coca-Cola still remains the only company in the U.S. that is allowed to import coca leaves. However, legislation had nothing to do with removing cocaine from Coca-Cola.

Next:

"They want to build huge walls to keep the immigrants out of the US."

This is a patently false statement. Your friend is mixing neo-conservatism with libertarianism without warrant.

Next:

"Especially silly is [Ron Paul's] health care solution where only the rich can afford to pay for health care, the others, well shut up an[d] die!!!!"

Before heavy government involvement in healthcare (pre-1965), prices largely were dictated by the free market and were much cheaper. Since governments distortion of the market, costs have very little influence from consumer feedback. How many people ask - "how much is this test going to cost?" As a result, people are often given unnecessary treatments and tests that cannot be afforded which leads to the rest of the market having to absorb those costs and drives up prices for everyone. While I agree that healthcare costs are high, free market solutions will be the only remedy to drive costs back down to market levels. More government interference will just continue to make it seem as if these services are free and, in turn, make prices higher. Nothing is free.

Next:

"As an analogy for the example of Ayn Rand selfishness that Libertarianism can breed, you as a Libertarian would have the freedom and right to ignore the poor, or abandon your mother at home for xmas because there are no laws stating that you have to be with her or help others."

There is no law stating that I must go to my mother's house on Christmas. I'm likely one of the most rationally selfish people around, and I did go to my mother's house for Christmas. That example is rather silly and bogus.

Next:

"You are at 'liberty' to do what you want, even at liberty to be a cruel asshole. You might be nice and behave otherwise, but others would not. There are no rules for kindness and decency in Libertarianism."

The non-aggression principle (NAP) - the foundation of libertarian philosophy - states that no force can be initiated against another individual except in the case of self-defense. As a result, "being a cruel asshole" would not be tolerated in a libertarian system; a person would have the right defend themselves during an act of cruelty or through a fair justice system after the fact. NAP naturally leads to the Golden Rule as a guide to action. Your friend's statement is fallacious.

Next:

"You might be safe with a gun, but others might try to shoot innocent people. While many people will not behave badly, many others will, and nothing can stop them."

Not even gun laws can stop them. Look at Chicago which registered the highest amount of gun deaths in their history this year. Chicago has the most strict gun control among U.S. cities - proof that "nothing can stop them." However, deaths can be limited by allowing law abiding citizens to arm themselves for purposes of self-defense (or otherwise).

Next:

"There worst danger is in the economic arena where survival of the fittest takes over ... a draconian and unsophisticated way of behaving. WHY ARE YOU A SUCKER FOR COMPETITION? Competition is uncivilized.

What is the alternative to competition? Answer: The use of government force to mandate particular behaviors and forbid others - a method that is much much much more draconian than free market competition. Government mandates are the most draconian of all measures. Free market competition through the institution of limited government is much newer and led to the wealth possessed by the U.S. that is currently being pillaged through socialism.

Next:

"...do you think eugenics is a good idea?"

It's ironic that the most deadly case of the practice of eugenics was by a National Socialist - Adolf Hitler - 1938 Times Man of the Year.

Next:

"All those cripples, elderly and mentally retarded people are really costing taxpayers money, maybe you should take care of them all George, and if you don't want to, who will?"

It is undeniable that government intervention in these matters has resulted in a decline in private charity. St. Judes hospital is a good example how these matters can be dealt with by private individuals.

To your friend: I have provided specific examples to support my arguments where yours are lacking. If you wish to continue this conversation, please refrain from labeling people with such terms as moronic (which is a symptom of a weak argument) and provide real life examples of where the policies you endorse have worked. Thanks.

WOW! I can hardly wait to BLAST him with your points!

Dear dwalters, thanks so much! Thanks to EVERYBODY here! I will keep this thread going until we see the final end to this whole "debate"

Oh, and yes, it is in e-mail form to keep our air clean. Not so much because we have a problem arguing, but because the people around us think we are fighting.

Anyway, emails are much more civilized. Interesting that you pointed out that he keeps resorting to name calling etc... I know this is not due to a lack of "love" or "friendship" it is quite likely, as you stated, because of his "weak argument".

My friend's statement about libertarians wanting to "make profits from people when they get sick." is a reference to the non-social (free) healthcare system like the one in Canada. He is 100% in support of socialized healthcare! Honestly, I have a very hard time debating him there. I have searched for Dr. Paul's arguments against socialized medicine, and honestly, I haven't, yet, found a strong explanation as to how free market healthcare would take care of everyone... as the socialized (free) healthcare takes care of everyone in Canada.

Basically, he is totally in love with Michael Moore's movie: Sicko

Hmmmm... I know this will come up soon, so if you have any really good explanations for that, beyond what you have already said, please let me (us) know.

Honestly, I liked the little suggestion that Ross Perot said [paraphrased]: When it comes to healthcare, the solution is easy, just find the best system in the world and COPY IT!

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

Try hitting him with a MORAL argument

First, tell him that you think he should be free to pursue any medical care that he chooses. You would not want to FORCE him to do it your way.

Second, ask him if he will give you the same respect.

Then, STFU! WAIT for him to agree that he will offer you the same respect. If he refuses to answer that way, he is telling you he does not really care about you. SOME people will try to avoid answering question #2, but most will agree.

Third, ask him if you do not agree with his social medicine idea, then he should not try to FORCE you to go along with his ideas.

This might make him start to think, as it makes him confront his own conflict (that he just said he would not force you, but his idea actually DOES force you).

But, he might not realize the conflict just yet. So, if he says he would not force you to go along with his idea, then ...

Fourth, ask him if his social medicine idea would in fact FORCE you to pay for HIS preference AND not allow you to puruse YOUR OWN private preference for medical care.

He SHOULD see that he is advocating the use of FORCE against you. If he STILL does not get it, then ...

Fifth, ask him how the social medicine program he advocates is paid for. He will say taxes. Ask him what if you don't want to pay for his program. At some point, he will have to admit that you do have to pay. And then ask him what happens if you still don't. At some point, *** IF AND ONLY IF *** he is intellectually honest (most statists are NOT honest) ... then he will eventually have to admit that a man with a gun will KILL YOU, if necessary, if you do not pay the taxes to support the medical system he advocates but claims you don't have to agree.

Ask him how he can advocate a system in which someone will KILL you if you don't agree with him.

If he has any intellectual integrity AT ALL, it will make him think. It MIGHT even make him come around. But if he STILL won't, then guess what?

HE IS NOT YOUR FRIEND.

If you go down this road, you have to get HIM to either see his own intellectual conflict, OR admit he does't care if someone kills you to support his ideas ... OR he will try to weasel out of it.

Most people try to weasel out of it, but that does NOT mean they are bad people. They are intellectually dishonest, but then they have probably never had anyone ever confront their own immoral views before.

People like him THINK their views are moral, and they do not realize their ideas are really immoral. They have bought into lies that are promoted by people who ARE immoral and want to deceive others --- people like Barry and Nancy.

The MORAL argument is where you find out what a person REALLY believes.

And it is where you can change SOME people.

If you notice, the left is ALWAYS using a moral argument. It's just that their view of morality is false because they buy into collectivism as a moral good (when in fact, it is the moral evil).

*** NOTE: When you do this, you MUST take one step at a time, and WAIT for a REAL response (no weasel non-answers), and don't throw it all out there at once. It should be question -> answer -> question -> answer -> question -> weasel -> ask the question again until you get an answer ... etc.

Wow. I read some more of your

Wow. I read some more of your friend's responses....

.... We would leave our mom alone on x-mas if there wasn't a law that forced us to go home for the holidays? Who came up with that one, and when did it pass? If we go to the wife's folk's for x-mas, does the invisible hand b!tch slap me?

"I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."

LOL!

You are totally right... this one is really funny! :)

btw. I did go see my mom! :) I AM SCARED OF THAT INVISIBLE HAND! :)

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

Just send your friend an

Just send your friend an economics book..... and a history book, Jesus!!!

"Libertarianism is stupid cuz the most powerful will form a oppressive government. That's why we should, instead, have an oppressive government." <--- You just can't think like that and still claim to be using reason. *shakes head*

The foundation of gov't is fear, which is an emotion. We know this is true simply because a society that would tyrannize the "poor" without a gov't would NEVER vote in a democracy to help the "poor". The idea is so ridiculous that the believers can't be swayed with reason and logic.

"I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."

..... and there are lots of

..... and there are lots of free PDFs on Mises.org

You may have to download and email them, instead of just sending a link to avoid him ad hominiem-ing the crap out of the source, though.

"I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."

I am certainly no scholar on this topic...

but I would argue that the FIRST problem with your friend is that he is studying political science in a PUBLIC SCHOOL!!! He is being conditioned into believing what "they" want him to believe. As he is an engineer, I understand how his brain is wired...his thought/reasoning process. He only understands absolutes...for instance, if you were to teach him how to hit a golf ball an instructed him to "turn your wrist a little more to the left"..he would have absolutely NO CLUE what you want!! But, tell him to "turn your left wrist 4 degrees anti-clockwise" and he'll get it right away. Engineers and CPAs have a similar thought process...they don't really "get" critical thinking or objective questioning...they follow the rules set out in a text book. As an educator of over 25 years, I have had multitudes of students who are from a variety of backgrounds and education levels...it was my job to figure out how to communicate with them and get the "lightbulb" on is short-order...this is how I came to see the patterns of thought and learning in folks of various professions.
Now, to address your friend's obvious short-falls I would agree with several others here that he is mearly regurgitating the language of FOX et al. He needs to get the hell away from public education and study for himself. Kinda like studying history: if you read a modern history book on a topic you know well, you'll find that Winston Smith has been busy in the editing room! If you want to learn REAL history, find a book in an antique store that was published in the 1890s to find out more about, say...the War of Northern Agression, slavery, Lincoln, greenbacks, etc. You will find the facts quite different than something the kids read today.

------------------
BC
Silence isn't always golden....sometimes it's yellow.

"The liberties of a people never were, nor ever will be, secure, when the transactions of their rulers may be concealed from them." - Patrick Henry

Any other "lightbulb" turning ideas?

Thanks for the comment, if you have any other ideas that you were able to use to "turn on the lightbulbs" please do share...

Just asking him to read books from old antique shops is a bit too much to ask of him. He is quite busy and I don't have the cash for antiques at the moment ;)

Do you have any good, solid sources to disprove his viewpoints?

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

in a free market, monopolies and cartels do not last

There are many examples from the 19th century that demonstrate that monopolies and cartels do not last in a free market. This is because there is no barrier for new participants to enter the market. The main purpose of government business regulation, which is usually written by the existing market participants, is to prevent new players from entering the market by significantly raising the cost of entry. Additionally, with cartels, there is the temptation for the cartel members to perform secret price cutting to increase their revenue, which eventually leads to the collapse of the cartel.

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

Do you have any links to those examples?

Dear Ed Ucation (love the name!) :)

I am not a student of history, and would have a hard time finding definite "examples from the 19th century"

Do you have any specific examples at the tip of your fingers that you could share, including links/sources?

It would be much appreciated! Thanks.

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

try this

http://mises.org/media/3686/Why-do-cartels-fall-apart

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62rI8OYFzGg

This is also very interesting:

http://mises.org/community/forums/p/27030/445550.aspx

“With laws shall our land be built up, but with lawlessness laid waste.”
-Njal Thorgeirsson

Plato had a straw man and his name was Thrasymachus!

Your friend, when he had thus spoken, having, like a bathman, deluged our ears with his words, had a mind to go away.

But the company would not let him; they insisted that he should remain and defend his position; and I myself add my own humble request that he would not leave us.

Your friend, I say to him, excellent man, how suggestive are your remarks! And are you going to run away before you have fairly taught or learned whether they are true or not?

Socrates - Thrasymachus adapted from "The Republic" - by Plato [not Socrates].

Your friend appears to be adept at imitating the sophistry of Thrasymachus, yet he projects this unfortunate title upon you.

Without a clear example of a truly free market monopoly...

"The only viable definition of monopoly is a grant of privilege from the government.[1]
It therefore becomes quite clear that it is impossible for the government to decrease monopoly by passing punitive laws. The only way for the government to decrease monopoly, if that is the desideratum, is to remove its own monopoly grants. The antitrust laws, therefore, do not in the least "diminish monopoly." What they do accomplish is to impose a continual, capricious harassment of efficient business enterprise."

~Abolish Antitrust Laws
http://mises.org/daily/4397

So far your friend has projected all the (growing) ills of our current society upon our heads. Apparently we hate the poor, we trample our children underfoot, we are greedy, mean and dishonor our mothers (even at Christmas).

All of this - in the mind of your friend - is due to our philosophy of non aggression. You see, unless we can be forced by an all knowing and ever loving "State" to feed our children it simply would not be done.

As we adhere to the non aggression principle we would "abandon [our] mother at home for xmas because there are no laws stating that [we] have to be with her"

Would such a "benevolent and thoughtful" law - that protects all mothers throughout the land from the cruelty of their evil fledglings - apply only to me, or would it also apply to my wife and our child?

Would my child be forced to stay with my wife, who in turn would be forced to stay with my wife's mother who lives many miles away from my mother (where I would be forced to stay)?

Has he thought his cruel and dictatorial tendency through?

And yet, all the fatal tendencies visible in his fellow man fall away upon the gaining of office within the state. those outside the office of state (who would be cruel to their mothers without a law to force them otherwise) will be sure to lose these fatal tendencies too.

Does your friend feel that the "State" should treat all people equally, despite the fact they are very unequal or does he recommend that the "State" should treat different people differently in order to place them in the same position?

Should we champion different laws for different classes of people?

Or should we call for the law to treat everybody in the same way?

"Socialism, like the ancient ideas from which it springs, confuses the distinction between government and society. As a result of this, every time we object to a thing being done by government, the socialists conclude that we object to its being done at all.

We disapprove of state education. Then the socialists say that we are opposed to any education. We object to a state religion. Then the socialists say that we want no religion at all. We object to a state-enforced equality. Then they say that we are against equality. And so on, and so on. It is as if the socialists were to accuse us of not wanting persons to eat because we do not want the state to raise grain."

The Law
by Frédéric Bastiat

Very interesting ideas... Thanks

Swifty, you sure gave me a handful of great objections, and counter "thoughts" for my friend's ideas.

Thank you! I really appreciate them... as I am sure other who stumble here may as well! :)

Could you please explain a little bit more what Thrasymachus meant, or what he was representing as a character?

I don't really understand, I read your quotes, and they do make sense, but was my friend wrong in stating the Thrasymachus proved that "might is not right" and all that?

Where is he wrong? (I know the problem here is that I do not know anything about Plato's Republic, but could you please just sum it up, and pin-point the error in his argument (if he has one)

I keep repeating, that the Thrasymachus argument was already successfully proven wrong by Mr. Socrates 2500 years ago in his famous book Republic: Might does NOT make right!!! In other words, it is wrong to take advantage of weak people just because you can. Duh! Isn't that obvious?

--- it is/was "Plato's" right? Socrates is a character in it or is it actually the real person?

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

For ideas.....

Just want to know "how you are debating?"

email, phone, I 2 I?

Some debates just work better I 2 I, in other instances email?

Because: Some animals are more equal than other animals. -Animal Farm-

What the? > http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6MTIwY3_-ks

Email

Usually we debate in person, but it gets so heated, and I have so few "facts" to pull out of my a$$ it gets boring fast, especially for the people around us...so we moved our discussion to emailing.

This is where YOU COME IN! and the rest of this wonderful DP community!

I figure it is not easy to de-educate many many years of media and public school "education"... so having an army of liberty minded, and well educated helpers will make our emailing much more interesting, and at the same time provide some help to those who are in my shoes (I believe I am not alone! :) )

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

maybe you should ask him why

it is, if Libertarianism will empower the rich to rule over the poor in such a way, do none of the large corporations & monopolies line up to support Libertarian ideas? Why,If it would be to such great benefit for their position of power and control, do they continue to put their money behind Dems and Repubs (who pursue the same basic policies)? If Libertarian style government would help the "evil"corporations to their goal, why do they not support it?

as far as the "utopian" argument...eh, old argument, that is a way of deflecting...Libertarians are prepared to just accept that some bad things will happen, Libertarians accept these shortcomings with the idea that freedom is a greater asset...on the flipside of that, those who push big government are the real Utopians, as they think that the right set of laws forced on a population at the end of a gun will fix society. As a side note: isnt it interesting that so many who are anti-gun, have no problem voting for the State to use them against others?

I'd rather have a bottle in front o' me than a frontal lobotomy
www.tattoosbypaul.com
www.bijoustudio-atx.com

For Regulations, Have Him Watch Rothbard

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62rI8OYFzGg

For everything else, have him read Economics In One Lesson. It is the most important book to clear up misunderstandings about the free market.

As someone here pointed out, economic freedom is just another civil liberty like freedom of speech. If two parties want to engage in a contract, it is not the government's place to jump in and say no no no in this instance we don't allow two willing parties to engage with one another.

___________________________________________________________________________
"Bipartisan: both parties acting in concert to put both of their hands in your pocket."-Rothbard

Start with Definitions !!!

Your friend is using a lot of terms that he himself probably has not defined clearly.

I would NOT go further in the discussion until DEFINITIONS are agreed upon.

He uses "plutocracy," which is rule by the wealthy. Get him to define what he means.

Then, ask him what the Occupy Wall Street people have been protesting. Don't give your opinion, just ask him what he thinks they were protesting.

Of course, they were protesting the very thing that he says would happend in a libertarian society (or in a free market). Then ask him, if the wealthy are ruling things NOW, then why isn't he opposed to the CURRENT system, rather than his hypothetical liberarian one.

That is where he will try to claim we have a free market now. So, then get him -- AGAIN -- back to definitions.

Get him to define "libertarian." Make sure he understands there is more than one variety of libertarian, but that in general libertarians are in favor of small government because of the non-initiation principle.

Get him to define "free market," and make sure he understands that a free market can only exist when the government is NOT involved in picking sides, whereas a plutocracy occurs where government DOES choose sides, favoring the wealthy.

But try to do it like a trial lawyer does it. Only ask questions, as much as possible, getting him to first define his terms, then asking him how his vision of all the bad things that could happen are not already happening right now -- with BIG government.

At some point, he may claim it would be even worse with small government. That's where you have to get him to admit that the United States government today is the biggest it has ever been and things are getting WORSE. Ask him to justify HIS position in light of that.

That's how I would go about it -- get HIM to define his terms and the defend HIS position, while showing him that he's full of s**t because he is opposed to the very things that are happening right now, while supporting the very system that allows it to happen.

Great advice!

Thanks TommyPaine! I like every piece of advice you gave... just one correction I would like to make is that he is VERY MUCH aware of the problems Ron Paul and his supporters see as the "problem" right now.

We agree with my friend that there is a HUGE problem with the MIC (military industrial complex), crony capitalism, banking... and even the voting system.

about 90% of the problems we agree on. Our differences are in the "solution"

He puts importance on "love" and thus the absolute need of society to take care of the poor, and disabled, or simply the "less fortunate"

While I understand Ron Paul (libertarians) to be centered on LIBERTY and freedom to choose the allocation of your hard won/earned resource/money/capital.

THANK YOU AGAIN for your comments!

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]

Ask your friend to provide a specific example...

where a monopoly has been established and sustained without collusion with government. Oligopolies and monopolies, even if established, soon fail under the pressure of the free market. Also point out that the term corporation is a special class of business with special privileges granted by government.

In addition, ask your friend who gets to decide who is "too stupid" to own a gun because it's pretty easy just to label the people you disagree with as "stupid."

Your friend is one of those people that think - "If only we could get the right men to plan society, everything would be grand." The Germans thought Hitler was that man, and Times even named him Man of the Year in 1938. Have your friend read The Road to Serfdom which can be found found for free and is a very short read.

Thanks for your comments

I will pass on your suggestions in my response! :)

Do you think the cartoon version of The Road to Serfdom is good too?

http://mises.org/books/TRTS/

Just plain 'Happy'about the direction the world is taking! Especially if we live to reach LEV [Longevity Escape Velocity]