why don't Democrats understand libertarians?

Discussion in 'Political Opinions & Beliefs' started by Troianii, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. Troianii

    Troianii Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Democrats and Republicans both respond to libertarians based on the prevalent view of them. In some Democrat circles, libertarians are just the hard core rightists who are nearly anarchists, and so are despised. In some Republican circles, libertarians are just another kind of hippy dippy liberal who wants gay love, abortions, etc.

    In the circles I usually find myself in, libertarians (or at least the idea of them) is generally liked by both parties. To a degree, people of both parties find libertarians refreshing - people who aren't a part of the hyper - partisan divide. The issue is that both think libertarians fit in THEIR party, which - aside from terms like "social libertarian" (which is closer to a liberal than a libertarian) - libertarians just will not fit in one of the parties.

    One of my Democrat ftiends, when I told him I was a libertarian, said, "so you're a Democrat, " to which I said, "he'll no!" He was confused. "But aren't you guys about individual liberty?" I nodded. "So you guys are for legalized weed, gay marriage, and pro choice."

    I shook my head. "For legalized weed, yes. Libertarians generally aren't for gay marriage, we're for getting rid of the government entanglement in marriage and allowing freedom of contract to rule in marriage. Abortion is different, because pro life v. Pro choice isn't a liberal v. Conservative difference it's a philosophical question of when life begins. Few people of any party will agree that it should be okay to kill innocent human beings."

    He said, "okay. So you sound like a Democrat on one of those, and a Republican on none. So why are you a Republican if you're for liberty?"

    This next one is what really throws him and other Democrats. I told him that libertarians are for smaller government: lower taxes and lower spending. He didn't get how that has anything to do with liberty, but I told him that those are the issues libertarians are generally most concerned about. A big government is a threat to individual liberty, and a big government necessarily infringes heavily upon individual liberty. I told him that in the Li con Douglass debates Lincoln decried slavery as immoral simply because it denied a man the fruits of his own labor. I told him, "to deny a man the fruits of his own labor, while you take them, is slavery." He nodded in agreement. "Do you think it's it's morally repressive to deny a man any of the product of his labor, but perfectly fine to take just 50%?"

    He seemed to actually think about it for a moment. He theno returned saying, "but if you're getting taxed 50% (PF note: were not talking about one tax, we're talking about taxes), then you already have more money than you need." I immediately jumped on the overused and misused word. "What does need have to do with it," I said. "Do you NEED to marry? Do you NEED to smoke weed?" He actually joking said yes to that last one.

    I find myself having to explain this many times to Liberals and Democrats, and I don't know why they don't get it. It's not that I expect them to agree, but to have a basic understanding of a differing view. Libertarians are often called social liberals and economic conservatives. What liberals and Democrats don't seem to be able to get is how economic conservativism is (or can be) a part of "liberty". Does anyone have a real answer as to why so few of the understand?
     
  2. Tram Law

    Tram Law Banned

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    I don't like libertarianism myself.

    Political ideologues only see with tunnel vision. They are completely incapable of seeing anything that is outside their political ideology and party loyalty.

    And a lot of those people are uneducated.
     
  3. Xavasia

    Xavasia New Member

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    People do not understand simply because they do not want to understand. In my opinion the basis is fear. Partisan people have become so ingrained in their particular belief structures that any outside the box thinking which would challenge their preconceived notions of reality frighten them. Fear is a powerful motivator for disliking and disparaging anything or anyone who contradicts their narrow minded views of the world.

    While I personally share a belief in some of the base tenets of Libertarian philosophy, I find that much of the belief structure is too extreme for me. However to each their own. As long as you can back up your beliefs with intelligence and rational logic, I can respect your views. However the moment you fall back on emotional rhetoric you've lost me. This is the reason I have so little faith in the Democrats or Republicans. They both pander to the emotional rather than the logical for the most part.
     
  4. Mr. Swedish Guy

    Mr. Swedish Guy New Member

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    Because they don't see how "economic liberalism" can lead to more freedom. To them, capitalism creates poverty and economic inequality. How can one be free if one is enchained by poverty? At the root of it, is that they actually have a different understanding of what freedom is. An example which illustrates the different views one can have is that of robinson crusoe. He's all alone on his island, but is he free? Some will say yes, because there's no one there to opress him, no one to take away any of his pre-existing alternatives. He's free to do whatever he wants, so he is free. But others -like democrats and liberals in this case- might say he is not free, because he lacks the means to fullfill his goals. The very situation of being stranded alone on an uninhabited island is in itself repressing. It's nature which limits his freedoms, because by the circumstances, he isn't free to do what he really wants. And similarly, democrats might argue that economic liberalism will create situations which opresses people in that they do not provide them with the means to do what they truly want to do. And that is why people on the left are in favour of an extensive welfare state, because it redistributes wealth in such a way as to give the poor better means to do what they actually want to do.
     
  5. creation

    creation New Member

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    Economic libertarianism has been tried before - it failed most Americans.
     
  6. thatkimjongilisanucklehed

    thatkimjongilisanucklehed New Member

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    Or people just refer to themselves as "libertarian" because it's much easier than outlining what they believe regarding every individual issue.
     
  7. logical1

    logical1 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    Leftwing democrats especially dont like libertarians because they want to control people. They have this brain damaged idea that they and they alone should dictate to all people how they should live their lives.
     
  8. thatkimjongilisanucklehed

    thatkimjongilisanucklehed New Member

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    There's an infinite amount of scenarios in which one could find themselves "unable to fulfill their goals," which is why I reject the notion that the inability to fulfill one's goals has anything to do with freedom all.

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    I disagree that "economic libertarianism" failed most Americans before.
     
  9. Mr. Swedish Guy

    Mr. Swedish Guy New Member

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    How, when?

    Yes, but I was talking in very abstract terms. But still, that's how the left half of the political spectrum views liberty. It's very important, or alteast useful, to understand that different understanding of the concept of liberty, when talking about it.
     
  10. creation

    creation New Member

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    Before the intro of the welfare state and progressive tax.

    America was a different land. Real poverty.

    - - - Updated - - -


    Theres nothing to suggest it works, no historical or present example.
     
  11. logical1

    logical1 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    creation

    Actually before income tax the United States was growing by leaps and bounds. The biggest progress was made in this country between 1880 and 1910.
     
  12. creation

    creation New Member

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    Oh really? in what terms ?

    Got any graphs or scholarly work ?
     
  13. Hoosier8

    Hoosier8 Well-Known Member Past Donor

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    It was called the Gilded Age for a reason.
     
  14. Tram Law

    Tram Law Banned

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    What makes you say that? What is that based on?
     
  15. thatkimjongilisanucklehed

    thatkimjongilisanucklehed New Member

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    During the 1870s and 1880s, the U.S. economy rose at the fastest rate in its history, with real wages, wealth, GDP, and capital formation all increasing rapidly.[12] For example, between 1865 and 1898, the output of wheat increased by 256%, corn by 222%, coal by 800% and miles of railway track by 567%.[13] Thick national networks for transportation and communication were created. The corporation became the dominant form of business organization, and a scientific management revolution transformed business operations. By the beginning of the 20th century, per capita income and industrial production in the United States led the world, with per capita incomes double that of Germany or France, and 50% higher than Britain.[14] The businessmen of the Second Industrial Revolution created industrial towns and cities in the Northeast with new factories, and hired an ethnically diverse industrial working class, many of them new immigrants from Europe.

    Wealthy industrialists and financiers such as John D. Rockefeller, Jay Gould, Henry Clay Frick, Andrew W. Mellon, Andrew Carnegie, Henry Flagler, Henry H. Rogers, J. P. Morgan, Leland Stanford, Charles Crocker, Cornelius Vanderbilt would sometimes be labeled "robber barons" by their critics,[15] who argue their fortunes were made at the expense of the working class.[16] Their supporters argued that they participated in great acts of philanthropy.[17] For instance, Andrew Carnegie donated over 90% of his wealth and said that philanthropy was their duty—the "Gospel of Wealth". Private money endowed thousands of colleges, hospitals, museums, academies, schools, opera houses, public libraries, and charities.[18] John D. Rockefeller donated over $500 million to various charities, slightly over half his entire net worth.

    This emerging industrial economy quickly expanded to meet the new market demands. From 1869 to 1879, the US economy grew at a rate of 6.8% for NNP (GDP minus capital depreciation) and 4.5% for NNP per capita. The economy repeated this period of growth in the 1880s, in which the wealth of the nation grew at an annual rate of 3.8%, while the GDP was also doubled.[19] Economist Milton Friedman states that for the 1880s, "The highest decadal rate [of growth of real reproducible, tangible wealth per head from 1805 to 1950] for periods of about ten years was apparently reached in the eighties with approximately 3.8 percent."[20]

    Real wages (adjusting for inflation) rose steadily. Economic historian Clarence D. Long estimates that (in terms of constant 1914 dollars), the average annual incomes of all American nonfarm employees rose from $375 in 1870 to $395 in 1880, $519 in 1890 and $573 in 1900, a gain of 53% in 30 years.[21] Australian historian Peter Shergold found that the standard of living for industrial workers was higher than in Europe. He compared wages and the standard of living in Pittsburgh with Birmingham, England, one of the richest industrial cities of Europe. After taking account of the cost of living (which was 65% higher in the U.S.), he found the standard of living of unskilled workers was about the same in the two cities, while skilled workers in Pittsburgh had about 50% to 100% higher standard of living as those in Birmingham, England. According to Shergold the American advantage grew over time from 1890 to 1914, and the perceived higher American wage led to a heavy steady flow of skilled workers from Britain to industrial America.[22]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gilded_Age#Economic_growth

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    Logic.
     
  16. Tram Law

    Tram Law Banned

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    Any logic without facts to back it up is faulty and not logic.
     
  17. thatkimjongilisanucklehed

    thatkimjongilisanucklehed New Member

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    What fact is in dispute? The fact that "libertarians" typically agree on the majority of issues should not be a fact that is in dispute. The fact that it is easier to refer to one's self as a "libertarian" is a much simpler way to convey one's basic political ideology than outlining their beliefs regarding issues individually should not be in dispute. Which one of these assertions are you disputing and why?
     
  18. Tram Law

    Tram Law Banned

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    This one:
    I don't fully understand how you've come to this conclusion. I don't understand how you've come to be skeptical about people claiming to be a libertarian when the party itself is such a small party and is not one of the two big ones.
     
  19. Casper

    Casper Banned at Members Request Past Donor

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    The fly in your soup is that the GOP is not for smaller government, true they want to kill off some regulations, but the problem is they would add more of their own to push their own agenda, No Republican President has reduced the size of the government and that all one needs to know. I would also say that the Republican Party is not really against taxes, they love them just like the Dems do. If the Repubs wanted less taxes for all they would not always defined and want more tax cuts for the rich will throwing a few crumbs to the Middle-class. Heck if they really cared they would abolish the current tax system and go to a flat or consumption tax that would be fair for all and guess what bring in even more revenue that the current system, guess why they do not, no loopholes for the rich is the obvious answer. Libertarians have some good ideas, and they have some I believe would either weaken the USA or would never be feasible to implement at this point. Once again I ask the simple question, there is a Party called the Libertarian Party, why is it so many Libertarians run as Republicans instead of running as what they are, is that not dishonest to the voters and to their own Party? Me thinks it is dishonest, stand by your principles and Party ideals or get out of politics.
     
  20. thatkimjongilisanucklehed

    thatkimjongilisanucklehed New Member

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    Libertarianism is an ideology synonymous to classical liberalism, not just a political party. In fact, many of those who ideologically define themselves as "libertarians" don't ascribe to a political party at all.
     
  21. Tram Law

    Tram Law Banned

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    Could you be more specific and compare those beliefs you say libertarians have that are the same as classical liberalism? I don't really know what classical liberalism is so I'd like to know more.
     
  22. thatkimjongilisanucklehed

    thatkimjongilisanucklehed New Member

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    "Classical liberalism is a political philosophy and ideology belonging to liberalism in which primary emphasis is placed on securing the freedom of the individual by limiting the power of the government."
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Classical_liberalism

    "Libertarianism (Latin: liber, free) is a classification of political philosophies that uphold liberty as their principal objective. Libertarians seek to maximize autonomy and freedom of choice, emphasizing political freedom, voluntary association and the primacy of individual judgment."

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

    Like I said, they're essentially just different names for the same political ideology.
     
    Tram Law and (deleted member) like this.
  23. pol meister

    pol meister Well-Known Member

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    I was watching Stossel last nite, and he, like many libertarians are FOR gay marriage. Yet, he also espoused, like you, how he thinks the government shouldn't really be in the marrying business at all. And if that is so, he is at odds with himself, because with one hand he is trying to get government out of marriage, and with the other hand he is trying to get government into marrying homosexuals as well.

    So on that issue, Stossel, and all the other libertarians like him lose track of what liberty is.

    A similar thing exists with abortion. Many libertarians are "pro-choice", as though that somehow sounds libertarian. Until one realizes that killing another innocent human life is not exactly a choice that we possess, and it doesn't say much for the liberty of the human life being destroyed.

    To me, most libertarians sound like fiscal conservatives who lost part of their moral compass, and smoked too much pot in college. Other than that though, I agree with them on most things, including staying out of most of these foreign entanglements that we always get ourselves into.
     
  24. Tram Law

    Tram Law Banned

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    Hey, thanks for that link. In reading the article about classical liberalism I just found out that a lot of my beliefs do fall within classical liberalism.

    So how about that.

    Heh, you learn something new everyday.

    Those ideals are completely alien to the liberals of today.
     
  25. Mr. Swedish Guy

    Mr. Swedish Guy New Member

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    You're looking at it wrong. Capitalism didn't create poverty, for poverty was already there and it is the default of human nature. Instead, look at the huge progress which has been made under capitalism instead. There's plenty of historical and present examples of how capitalism has worked. The british empire, the US, hong kong, botswana. Capitalism, quite frankly, is what creates the wealth needed to even have a welfare state.

    Classical liberals are those which believe in liberty first and foremost, and would like to see more of it. Quite simple.
     

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