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Libertarianism Won't Work?

Smirking Chimp commentary:

By comparison to the utter ineptitude and willful stupidity of the Bush Regime, "libertarianism" sounds smart and sexy, ruggedly individualistic and hardboiled. Famous libertarians include such hardboiled legumes as Ayn Rand, Grover Norquist and Pat Buchanan. "Famous" and "libertarian" don't live in the same sentence for good reasons. It is a philosophy meant for a fantasy world, a world with, say, 300,000 people in it, tops.

As a libertarian-leaning liberal, I agree than an Ayn Rand absolute libertarianism is not realistic in a world where people actually have to deal with one another. It's a celebration of greed masquerading as freedom. However libertarian principles, such as the belief that government is accountable to people rather than the other way around, are very good ideas. Too many of us are starting to think of Uncle Sam as DADDY Sam, depending on government for the things that free people should do themselves, if it's in their power. Stuff like public roads and utilities are still a good idea -- handling them on an individual basis makes no economic sense, but when the central authority starts chipping away at your freedom out of fear or their own convenience -- such as the PATRIOT Act -- then we have a dangerous reversal of where power is truly supposed to be.

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Comments (11)


That's why people shouldn't listen to chimps. He sums it up right here,

After all, libertarianism at its purest is a fairly radical philosophy.

Yeah, and the vast majority of people calling themselves libertarians do not subscribe to it in its purest form. The same goes for conservatives, liberals, etc. I can't really decide if I'm a liberal-leaning libertarian or a libertarian-leaning liberal, but either way, the main point is the embrace of liberty.

On a related note, Libertarians Are Terrorists, Says the State of Alabama.


P. Bunyan:

but when the central authority starts chipping away at your freedom ...such as the PATRIOT Act"

If the Patriot Act is chipping away at your freedom, then you are a terrorist.

And I'm glad that its chipping away at your freedom.


Don't take it personally mantis...it's Alabama after all.

By the way, I saw the note that two more Wizbang Blue contributors are being added, good choices too. What about you mantis, weren't you planning on doing some writing?

Paul Hamilton:

P. Bunyan: I demand to know everything about your bank account. If you don't want to tell me, you must be a terrorist.

If that makes sense to you, then I guess I can understand your support of the PATRIOT act, but there are some of us who still believe that, barring some pressing need, and with judicial permission, some things are simply none of the government's business.

Mantis: That's a very revealing article, isn't it. Those who want to keep government in it's place are suddenly "anti" government. Clearly there are a lot of folks in power who love power way too much.

P. Bunyan:

Are you an employee of a government agency Paul? Do you have reason to suspect that I am somehow involved in terrorism? If that's the case then you are welcome to my bank account, phone records, e-mails, library records, anything you want.

I am not a terrorist or any kind of criminal so I don't care.

P. Bunyan:

"It is a philosophy meant for a fantasy world, a world with, say, 300,000 people in it, tops"

This is 100%, without question true of communism-socialism-leftism-modernamericandemocratism, but libertarianism? Not so much.

Actually I agree with the core values of the libertarian party. It's when they get to the specifics that they loose me.

How anyone can call themselves a leftist-libertarian is beyond me. They are pretty much mutually exclusive. That's like being an atheist-christian.

Paul Hamilton:

P. Bunyan: Man, what has conservatism come to that it's become the political group that wants to let government do whatever it wants... I remember when it was the conservatives who used to complain about the nannystate liberals...

P. Bunyan:

If the government suspects someone is a terrorist then I believe that they should be looking into those things.

Now we all know how the Clintons abused the power of the office for personal reasons, and that is something evil to be feared, but hopefully that will not be the case here. If a Democrat is elected then, yes the Patriot act probably should be repealed.

I really don't think that government oversight of the government (e.g., judicial approval of search warrants) matters much. It's like using a slab of concrete as a safetly net.

P. Bunyan:

"Man, what has conservatism come to"

If you think my opinions are representative of what "conservatism" has come to, well, I think you're misleading yourself.

I often disagree with the far right, I just disagree with the far left a lot more.


Well, Bunion, since you're not so keen on our system of checks and balances, and you think the government should be given a free hand to do anything to its citizens as long as they are "suspected" of something, maybe the U.S. isn't for you. You sound like you'd be much more at home in a nice authoritarian dictatorship. I can recommend a few, if you like.

Cuba has a nice climate....


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