-28 votes

Leaving Paul, (USA style) Libertarianism

Hey guys,

I'm hoping you'll let me get this off my chest. I was once a Ron Paul supporter (donated many times) and poster here on the dailypaul, but I quietly left after the newsletters came to light in early 2008. A couple years later I left (USA style) Libertarianism for good.

There were many reasons, but a few concepts and ideas really shook me:

1) Private land. If someone were to buy the Grand Canyon, I'd have to be okay with them doing whatever they want with their property - including filling it and turning into a parking lot.

2) Science. I come from a family of scientists and too much of Paul's beliefs fly in the face of hard data: Economics (Mises-style Austrian School is proudly anti-empiricism), Climatology, and any sort of empirical study done on the effects of welfare. Philosophy is great, but when it butts heads with science, I gotta go with science.

3) The first libertarian. I was drawn to the USA style of libertarianism because I saw it as the most anti-authoritarian political philosophy, and I'm nothing if not anti-authority. Then I learned that the first Libertarian (Joseph Déjacque) was also a Communist, and in most of the world the terms are interchangeable. That was my introduction to original Libertarianism (called left-libertarianism here), where all hierarchies are called into question: race, religion, gender, wealth, as well as the state. No authority was safe. My mind was blown.

I'm mostly writing this to myself 6 years ago: The word "freedom" doesn't have to include your boss spying on 80% of your waking life. The word "freedom" doesn't have to include someone shooting you for walking off the public trail. The word "freedom" doesn't have to leave anyone dying in the streets.

Thanks for letting me vent.
- FF

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Not sure why I am even

Not sure why I am even bothering to respond to this, but "I quietly left after the newsletters came to light in early 2008" Really? Really??

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...


This guy is not a libertarian or a liberal, he is a child. "I became a libertarian because it was against authority".

I'd suggest the oil film on a puddle might be more your depth than the grand canyon, but now I'm just taking cheap shots.

The govt already owns the Grand Canyon and they can do whatever they want with it. How is a criminal in Washington better than an individual?

The reason the govt should NOT control anything is that there is no law above the govt. They do not follow the law and as we seen from justice roberts, they recognize no limits.

So who should own property? Someone you can take to court if they violate your rights or someone who can do whatever they want with no fear of prosecution?

Start using that brain.

Cyril's picture

What brain?

What brain?

You mean... That personal thing we're supposed to use for ourselves, instead of regurgitating like a parrot whatever was once the fashioned opinions of those of the 19th century folks who insisted so hard on keeping their hands in everybody's pockets for our own good, our own safety, etc?

Oh yeah, THAT brain.

Maybe the OP can find it back.

Along with the 21st century.

You forgot to wish him good luck, though!

"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

Thanks for your interesting post.

It is measured, honest and polite.

While I disagree strongly with point three, and have no use for the left, I too am skeptical of the correctness of the propertarian fundamentalism or even its feasibility in reality. I am with you on that one person's desire to destroy the Grand Canyon or Stonehenge is trumped by a higher interest, and that when empirical reality contradicts an assumption of economic theory that theory must yield and adapt.

I neither downvoted nor upvoted, and am ashamed of some of the insults and name calling going on.

6 years and these are your

6 years and these are your conclusions. Wow, did you bother to read anything other than forum comments? Even the most basic elements from Rothbard grants you a facepalm.

Too dumb to be a libterarian anyway

1) Private land: No one may own more land than they can protect themselves. The ruling class owns the grand canyon and makes you pay to protect it. Meanwhile they will steal your land with eminent domain, simply regulating you out of it's use, zoning you out of it's use, or taxing it away from you and stealing it or forcing you to sell to their cronies. When you can't socialize the cost of protecting your property claims you won't be able to own more land than you can use. The same goes with intellectual property by the way.

2a) Science: If you like science what the hell are you doing worshipping warmism? Science is the scientific method. No scientific method, no science. You are engaged in religion. You are no better than a creationist or regular theist spinning non falsifiable theories and thinking that means they are true. Not a fan of Popper but in the case of science he's spot on. Warmism is a non falsifiable theory like the existence of god. The difference between warmists and other theists is they at least have enough sense to know they are engaged in religion.

2b) Economics: On the other hand, speaking of Popper, non falsifiability does not apply to logic, or a priori claims. AGW is an empirical claim as such is subject to falsifiability. Humans act is an analytical claim. Bachelors are unmarried. Logically derived theorems are true if the premises are true. Pi is the circumference of a circle divided by the radius. They are simply true because of reality and the symbols and language we use. You don't need to prove Pi is the circumference divided by the radius and you don't need to prove humans act. They do so by definition. And any statements derived from such statements are also true. If this is not the case then science itself is invalidated because the truth value of empirical claims of science depends on the a priori assumption that theories derived using the scientific method are provisionally true pending falsification. The claim that science is valid is itself unscientific but it is logical. Same thing with economics.

(The odds of you understanding that epistemological explanation is almost zero)

2c) Policy: Empirical evidence plainly shows that poverty was steadily decreasing until the state started the war on poverty. Poverty was steadily decreasing until the government tried to 'help'. Poverty must never end because millions of jobs depend on the poor remaining poor and ignorant forever. That would not be the case in a free market, because no one benefits from other peoples poverty. Poor people don't buy your goods and services. Government can't solve problems. Government must perpetuate problems or else have no claim on resources. In a free society no one pays for failure. The state must fail or it cannot expand. Who will pay more taxes to a government agency that solved the problem?

3a) Nomenclature: Yeah when fascists started calling themselves progressives and socialists started calling themselves progressives we liberals started calling ourselves libertarians. When communists started calling Interestingly we are now stealing back the word anarchy, which was originally individualist and peaceful in nature, from communists. It doesn't make any difference. We believe in liberty and the NAP. The word isn't who we are.

3b) Hierarchy: No hierarchy is safe from the market. The state is the engine of hierarchy. The market is the entropy of hierarchy. But you'd need to understand economics and logic to understand that. So go build hierarchy which is all you do when you support the state.

evidence > words

1) That's not addressing the issue. What I'm getting at is that externalities exist, and libertarianism isn't suited to deal with them.

2a) Sorry, global warming is science, despite your political ideology's bias.

2b) Thanks for trying to talk over my head, I'm sure it impresses Ayn Rand fans, but I've also trudged through Mises and his spaghetti prose.

The problem with praxaeology isn't that it's logical, it's that it's based on a troubled axiom. And if the axiom is off, it doesn't matter how good your logic is. "Human beings act" - so does a ferris wheel.

Enjoy your words and axioms, but I'll take numbers, history, and evidence with my economics.

Ban Everything

Externalities exist. There

Externalities exist. There are negative and positive externalities.

Government is the mother of negative externalities. When you want to use government for anything you negatively impact the freedom, property, and happiness of everyone else. Don't tell me about externalities of the market when we have a war on terror that creates terror, a war on poverty that creates poverty and a war on drugs that subsidizes organized crime. Even if we believe these are 'unintended consequences' and they aren't they are certainly negative externalities of your lust to use guns to control your fellow man.

AGW: Sorry global warming is religion. For it to be science it would have to follow the scientific method. It does not. It is the most superstitious of woo. Look up the scientific method. It's sort of an important feature to science.

Epistemology: I wasn't talking to you at all. I was talking to the intelligent people who can grasp epistemology, and using you as a foil to do so. I said you wouldn't understand it. You didn't disappoint.

Praxeology: Humans do act. Ferris wheels do not act. The axiom isn't flawed. If you can show that your empirical evidence establishes a modus tollens for the fact that humans act, which is an analytical truth, then you have a problem.

Just as if your sociological study showed that some bachelors are married.

Just as if your measurements show that 2 eggs plus 2 eggs equals 5 eggs. If your empirical metrics show that in some circumstance 2+2=5 then your data is flawed.

If your econometrics show that people don't act then your data is flawed. Of course in the case of Keynesians it's not so much flawed as completely specious.

Occasionally Austrians make claims that they haven't supported sufficiently. But that is a different issue.

I'm not wed to empricism or a priorism, deontology not consequentialism. Unlike you I understand the difference and know when are appropriate to use.

You falsify logical claims by showing the logic was flawed or negating premises.

You falsify empirical claims by showing the facts are contrary to the prediction.

Like the fact that there hasn't been any warming despite the predictions claimed there would be:) How deliciously ironic of you to appeal to empiricism:)

See how that works? AGW is an empirical claim. The evidence doesn't support the claim.

It doesn't mean AGW is impossible.

It doesn't even mean it's not true. It could be.

It means merely two things:

1) It means it hasn't been demonstrated as true.
2) It means that people who believe it anyway are engaging in an act of religion.

Ferris Wheel

That's really neat man, I'm glad you're so sure because the axiom "humans act" is rock-solid and all truth derives from that.

Here's when I realized the Austrian School was nutters, (a realization strongly confirmed with Rothbard's "free market babies")

"Its statements and propositions are not derived from experience... They are not subject to verification or falsification on the ground of experience and facts." - Ludwig Von Mises

It's a good idea you're safe from "experience" and "facts", because Paul and Schiff were shouting "inflation! inflation!" as the monetary base tripled after 2008. The result? 1% inflation. 1%. After it tripled.

But again, you have "humans act" - and that is rock solid. No holes there. Keep on.

Ban Everything

Wow man they did a number on you didn't they?

Fine so I guess you reject analytical truths?

So you honestly think that if you measured the circumference and radius of a circle and came up with a value of Pi that was not the circumference divided by the radius that this would invalidate Pi?

Or you think that if your study showed some bachelors were married, that this wouldn't be a problem with your study?

If you found a study that showed humans were inert and didn't act, you would seriously think that humans are inanimate?

IDK maybe, but you'd be insane.

So yes Mises is correct, for some sorts of truths : "They are not subject to verification or falsification on the ground of experience and facts".

As for Schiff and inflation if you think inflation is only 1% you are drinking some industrial strength Kool aid. You are aware they keep changing the way they measure inflation right? Never heard of shadowstats?

In any case let me give you a quick economic lesson. The reason they don't allow counterfeiting is because it would drive up prices. If it didn't then why have it illegal? So even central bankers know that inflation is the act of printing money, price increases are merely the result.

But if I counterfeit 10 trillion dollars, and keep them in my basement, how much will prices rise?

Answer: Zero. Because they aren't circulating.

The reason prices do not reflect the increase in the money supply is because it is being held in banks as reserves. As Obama likes to complain, banks aren't lending.

Inflation does accurately reflect the amount of the printed money that has been circulated, and it affects first the areas where it is circulating. IE the stock market right now, but certainly staples also.

Einstein's Theory...

Einstein's Theory of Special Relativity was just as "anti-empirical" as Austrian Economics.

The fact is neither is anti-empirical, but simply not needing empirical evidence to deduce. It makes no less scientific.

If a=b and b=c, then you need no emperical evidence to know that a=c.

"Tu ne cede malis, sed contra audentior ito."

Exactly, and not only that

Exactly, and not only that the claim that theories produced by the scientific method are provisionally true while not falsified is itself not an empirical claim.

But I'm pretty sure he's too stupid to grasp that;)

Cyril's picture

Okay, could we know what you really have against Ron Paul, now?

Okay, could we know what you really have on shelves against Ron Paul, now?

For, I failed to see it thus far.


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

6 years here and the first post I've seen you make is this

You are a person who sits on the sidelines and watch other people be the doers, movers and shakers. In other words, you are just a bump on a log.

So "what" are you now? (How do you define yourself

politically?) More reliant upon the state, or less?

It is true that people use the state to protect their property. And the state always protects the state.

The question is: is it moral?

Big Fat Troll

May your chains sit lightly upon you, ignoramus. Buh bye!

When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him by this sign: that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. ~J. Swift

The free market will dictate

if the Grand Canyon gets filled and becomes a parking lot, that is what the free market is. It would be a waste of time to make the Grand Canyon a parking lot and a hell of a waste of money for if it was worth it surely someone would have filled it by now and done such. If the free market was actually working correctly noone would be able to afford to buy the Grand Canyon and certainly noone would fill it. We haven't really ever seen the free market actually work on this planet, there has always been rich elitists controlling the money supply. I would definitely like to see it in full swing.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must. like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.-Thomas Paine

The R3volution requires action, not observation!!!!

oh and as far as climate is concerned

the earth will be happy to kill us off and start over. I lean more to a religious context on things and believe it will all end when Jesus comes back, but if I were to be wrong, which I dont in my heart believe I will be, that the earth will cook us off if we overdo it, and one volcano spews more CO on the earth than all the cars running could do in about 500,000 years if I remember correctly. I recycle everything that is recyclable in order not to be lazy and to do my part, but I am surely not sold on climate change, it is 0 degrees where I live right now. I recycle because I know trash can be treasure and it is reusable, and I refuse to be lazy and throw it in a landfill.

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must. like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it.-Thomas Paine

The R3volution requires action, not observation!!!!


First, Climatology- the "science" here is shady for the most part. There are legitimate scientists on both sides of the issue. The world's climate has been changing since it was created, we just have gotten better recently at tracking it which makes us think we know everything and can manipulate it.
That being said, we all should do our best to take care of the earth we have been given but this should be done through informing and educating not penalizing and taxing.

"The word freedom doesn't have to leave anyone dying on the streets".- Ok so maybe you should look into ways that you yourself can be a part of the solution there instead of taxing all working people because you believe this is a cause they should all be involved in. How many people "died on the streets" in America last year?

"Once you become knowledgeable, you have an obligation to do something about it."- Ron Paul

Not really

There aren't legitimate scientists on both sides of the issue.

It's like cigarettes causing cancer or leaded gasoline harming the nation's health, the idea of a "raging debate" among scientists was created by corporate propaganda, the debate doesn't actually exist.

Ban Everything

Close minded

Really. Lots of these guys exist http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_scientists_opposing_the...

Never stop learning and use a variety of sources.

"Once you become knowledgeable, you have an obligation to do something about it."- Ron Paul

Look deeper.

Right, and the majority of those are from interviews, or are from CATO or other think-tanks.

How many of those sources are from peer-reviewed scientific journals?

I chose one at random, William Gray out of University of Colorado, who doesn't appear to be paid off by think tank money. Here's what I found:

An *interview* with the Denver Post. Not peer-reviewed science.

Here's what he said,
"And humans might have caused a very slight amount of this warming. Very slight. But this warming trend is not going to keep on going. My belief is that three, four years from now, the globe will start to cool again"

That was in 2006. It's been 8 years and the globe is still warming. 2013 was one of the hottest years in recorded history.

Be honest: Do you believe that ~1% of scientists are correct based on their science and work, or are you biased against global warming because of your political ideals?

Ban Everything

I don't believe in it

because of evidence.

Go to all the continents. Did all of them have record highs this year?
I live in VA and the hottest it got here this year was 97 for about 2 days. That isn't a high.

The other part of this...recorded history. How do you know what temp the earth was in 1300?

"Once you become knowledgeable, you have an obligation to do something about it."- Ron Paul


Means the temperature was recorded.

Ban Everything

The Scientific Method...

exists. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method I would highly recommend taking a look. If you don't believe in what you read, the scientific method is what you need!

"What light is to the eyes - what air is to the lungs - what love is to the heart, liberty is to the soul of man."
-Robert Green Ingersoll

This poster is anti-empirical

You don't seem to have experienced much.

The libertarian movement is fueled by empirical studies of government failure, beginning with Martin Anderson's "The Federal Bulldozer" or Jane Jacobs' "The life and death of great American cities."

Austrian economics argues that reality can't be modeled only mathematically. That isn't anti empiricism . It's the opposite.

Austrian economics isn't the only economics discipline in the libertarian movement. There are many others, lime public choice theory, which may actually be more radical. Ron Paul simply doesn't name it though he uses it's concepts.

Bruce Majors, Libertarian for Mayor


one question

Anti-empiricism is the crux of liberal thinking, which underpins all philosophy.

Anti-empiricism, incidentally, prompts most of science's empirical findings.

It's a hard one to tether, but science and freedom are only words--the intangible marriage between the two is what substantiates libertarian philosophy.

(And, I understand what you mean about private land. It's the "Woody Guthrie" argument.)

There will always be people who reject freedom.

There is only one political spectrum. On one end is total freedom and the other end is totalitarianism (complete subjugation). Neither extreme is achievable, but all societies fall somewhere between the two extremes.

During most of history men have lived in hierarchical societies falling toward the complete subjugation end of the spectrum, and we are fast moving away from freedom, closer and closer to this totalitarian extreme with the massive growth of government which subjects us to its laws, leaving us less and less free to peacefully live our own lives and keep what we produce.

The political division we have in the US today is between those who want to live as free men instead of subjects on the one hand, and those on the other hand who want rulers to subject us to their rule. Those who want power over others and collective decisions may say they want the public good, but they always bring us a distribution of wealth that resembles one big slave plantation, and considerable human suffering as the incompetency and insanity of collectivism destroys prosperity.

I think people who reject freedom do so for varying reasons ranging from fear, to ignorance, to confusion, to psychopathic motivation for power and wealth.

What offends me most about your post is that you seem to believe you have some moral superiority in rejecting freedom, when the reality is that you reveal yourself as fearful, ignorant, confused, and needy. Cloak yourself in your collectivist delusions because that is about all you are going to have as the ravages of this socialist / fascists society you choose brings us financial, economic, governmental, and societal collapse.

"Bend over and grab your ankles" should be etched in stone at the entrance to every government building and every government office.


Libertarians chant "freedom" over and over, but it's like 1984, "slavery is freedom". Almost literally, since they believe one can contract one's life away for next to nothing.

I can't imagine a more rigid, hierarchical society than one ruled by property. One where your landlord can spy on you in your bedroom, your boss can lock you in your office fire-hazard or not, and setting foot anywhere (since there are no public lands) could be trespassing. Not my idea of freedom any longer.

Ban Everything

If I exchange my time and energy in order to acquire property,

how is it that you think you are entitled to use or take away my property instead of exchanging your time and energy to acquire your own property? It sounds to me like you simply resent others for their success because of your own failures and what you seem to be describing as a miserable life. Your solution to your misery is to enslave others for your purposes.

It is true that the distribution of wealth has become more skewed in favor of the few, at the expense of the many, but this is a result of governments creating systems of fascism or socialism which interfere with the free market. This interference gives favor to those in power using government laws and edicts to direct wealth to those favored by those laws, and this is exactly what those of us who believe in freedom oppose.

I say you are your own worst enemy because you really don't understand freedom and out of your own narcissism you demand destruction of what freedom remains in a misguided effort to compensate for your own shortcomings.

It strikes me as strange that someone such as yourself, who resents the authority of his boss and landlord and feels oppressed would opt for an oppressive political system instead of freedom. I suppose you prefer NAS spying on you or your meager earnings being taxed a government that has power over you.

"Bend over and grab your ankles" should be etched in stone at the entrance to every government building and every government office.