-3 votes

5 Issues with Mainstream Libertarianism

I know that DP is not a strictly libertarian forum, but I am curious to hear people's opinion on a list I had in a discussion the other day. My acquaintance was kind enough to put it into words:


1. Libertarians fail to distinguish between problems in large scale versus small scale governments. Most people support their local government, at least to a greater degree than the federal government. When libertarians complain about what "government" does it may rub many people the wrong way, and rightly so.

2. Some libertarians proclaim support for the concept of anarchy. Some claim to be anarcho-capitalists. Even if this idea would be remotely possible (and maybe it is in a place like Somalia), it will likely lose rather than gain any public support.

3. Libertarians generally ignore the concept of democracy. If it is mentioned at all it is often put in a bad light (two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner). Switzerland has had democracy for about 700 years, and I don't think they are about to get rid of it any time soon. Libertarians would be better off looking into some better forms of democracy rather than ignoring or ridiculing the concept.

4. Libertarians seem to inevitably position themselves as anti-environmentalists. They tend to be global warming deniers, and tend to support fossil fuels and oppose any and all forms of renewable energy.

5. Libertarians are perceived to be selfish and uncaring people. They may be seen reading books with titles such as "The Virtue of Selfishness" or "Looking Out for Number One" Most people see selfishness as a negative trait.

If these patterns could be modified or corrected, I think the libertarian direction of our society could be greatly enhanced and we would all benefit thereby.


Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

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

Thank you guys

for your various opinions.

I am probably in the minority

I am probably in the minority here, but I am a libertarian who actually thinks its easier for local government to become massively corrupt than the federal government.


False on all premises. No offense, but there is a great deal of laziness to studying up on libertarianism before drawing such conclusions. I also don't feel like pouring our a lengthy response to each question(when they have all been thoroughly answered many times before on the internet) for the sake of watching facts get ignored.

Libertarians don't fail to

Libertarians don't fail to distinguish between scales. The problem is that magical thinkers think something mystical happens at large scales that isn't intrinsic. A typical magical thinking is Keynesian economics, eg spend more to get out of debt. Another is that while local politicians tend to be corrupt, the vast power in remote Federal government attracts good people, somehow. Or, alternately, my legislator is good, all the others are bad.

I'm an ancap, I'd still count it a win if we could recover the Rule of Law and the Constitution. I do however think, as many ancaps do, that all this will accomplish is buying time. Ultimately the seeds of violence are still there, and you can't grow a tree of liberty from violent seeds. So while I would like it, I think a free society will take time and education, and by it's nature a free society can't be forced on anyone.

And don't talk about Somalia unless you know about Somalia, you lose credibility.

Libertarians don't ignore the concept of democracy. We're painfully aware of this evil and pernicious concept.

Put better, we'd love to ignore democracy. The problem is, democracy won't ignore us.

There are numerous problems with democracy, but probably the greatest is that over time it fools people into thinking they are the state. Regardless the founders were well aware of the dangers of democracy which is why they created a republic. The federal govt was contrained to strict rules of the Consitution. This is known as the Rule of Law, where the government must obey the same rules. To a lesser extent the Consitution expressed respect for Natural Law. Part of that is that government may have no powers that the people did not have to delegate TO the government. The US basically has a full on democracy, which is always really just an oligarchy in practice.

Libertarianism is agnostic on non political issues. Political meaning systematic violence. The problem is environmentalism has been made political, hence we oppose that it is political. A global warming 'denier' however would just be an empricist who can read a thermometer. There's a profound difference between environmentalism and a warmist. I don't want crap in the water. I certainly don't want the government to indemnify from tort the corporations who put the crap there.

The reason globalists and collectivists love AGW is because it's a perfect excuse for global coercion.

The position of anyone who bothers to educate themselves on the matter is that yes there is climate change, there always is. Yes humans have an impact, everything does. But it's empirically small, and the natural feedback mechanisms are demonstrably dampening ones. The warmists depend on perturbative feedbacks which are measuably and laughably wrong.

Here is a short explaining the facts about climate change. www.youtube.com/watch?v=0gDErDwXqhc

I'm not familiar with those books, but assuming they are in fact libertarian in some way doesn't really tell you much. The fact is most of the sociopaths in the world are participating in democratic politics, the ruling classes. The reason is that's where the power to get your way by force exists. If a sociopath or lesser selfish personality claims to be libertarian I would say, "You're doing it wrong!":) You're never going to achieve your ends at the expense of other people with a libertarian attitude. You need to express "care for the people" like Jesse Jackson or Al Gore. That's where the power and cash is.

The fact is libertarians do tend to have different personalities. (google John Haidt) But we want real results and not expressions of motivations. On utilitarian grounds we're opposed to such things as the war on drugs, poverty, terror, etc not because we are pro drugs, terror, poverty, but because they produce the opposite of their STATED goal. In other words we have a clue about public choice theory. The ruling class involved in these projects must perpetuate these problems else find gainful employment. The stated goal is always opposite to the result, because it MUST be to continue the program.

The reason the libertarian opposes these things is not because we don't have hearts, it's because we do have brains. The reasons that collectivist rubes favor them, despite decades or centuries of making the situation worse, is because they have hearts, but their cognition has been truncated by the very system that needs them to never consider that the system makes things worse.

1) Small government and local

1) Small government and local government is just as easily corrupted as large government. My local government pushed through a public water bill even though the people have voted against it every time. Now the local government has forced the citizens to endure a $250million dollar project which nobody wanted and only helps the building contractor -a friend of several of the local government- who had land which would only support 3 houses. Now with public water the contractor was able to put 7 single homes and 15 townhomes on that plot of land -all selling, or so he thought, for $400k and up. This is corruption, and it is pervasive in any and all government.

2) The fact that you bring-up Somalia indicates that you have no idea what you are talking about and you should stop, lest you want to imply that you are ignorant of the actual claim of Anarcho-Capitalism/Voluntaryism. Though, bringing up Somalia does show something interesting. It shows that Government is so violent and hell-bent on retaining control that they wouldn't even allow a failed state to work itself out of the problem- especially when it was moving in the direction of non-government as the solution, and the bloodshed had been significantly decreased. The US and UK governments were so twisted that they started propping-up warlords and funded, armed, and gave food to Ethiopia to start a war with Somalia; just to keep it in constant chaos, so government throughout the world could say,"you see what would happen without government."

3) Maybe if you actually knew how the Switzerland government work, it would be helpful. Just throwing the name of a country out-there to use as a Democracy is idiotic, especially with the internet. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Politics_of_Switzerland

4) Have you ever heard of ClimateGate? Direct evidence from the -supposed- "climate" scientists indicating that they knew and know Climate Change -which was first Global Cooling, and then became Global Warming, and now is just called Climate Change- was and is BS. The scientists falsified their research so they could continue to get grant money. The scientist whose research Al Gore used, came out and showed the entirety of the research which indicated the complete opposite of what Al Gore claimed the research meant. Why would Al Gore lie? Because with the creation of the International Carbon Exchange he would have made Billions of dollars; do you think that is reason enough for him to lie?

5) The problem isn't selfishness per se, it is people who depend entirely on others for their very existence even after they are considered adults. If everybody worried more about themselves and their current situation and worried less about who is doing what with their money, or what someone is doing in their bedroom, or what someone is putting into their body, then the vast majority -if not all- of the problems would fixed themselves, leaving only really serious problems if any continued to exist.

I'm sorry but it is quite hard to modify facts and reality just because some people don't like hearing it.