From Politicus USA “Real Liberal Politics” http://www.politicususa.com/seriously-libertarians-wtf.html
WHY CAN’T LIBERTARIANS EXPLAIN THEIR IDEOLOGY?
There is a reason that the term ‘libertarian’ cannot be explained, the same way social democrats cannot explain marxist theory (which is extremely elaborate. Like leftism, Libertarianism can refer to a sentiment (the preference for liberty above all other moral ambitions). It can refer to a moral conviction that liberty produces ‘goods’. It can refer to a political preference – which is the minimization or elimination of bureaucracy because all bureaucracy becomes self serving. It can refer to an economic model that suggests liberty will provide the most competitive and wealthiest economy for all. It can refer to a political model, such as Classical Liberalism, Private government or Anarcho Capitalism. It can refer to a specific and rigid philosophical doctrine that states that all exchanges must be voluntary and devoid of fraud theft or violence. And in the classical liberal model, additionally, that transactions may not cause externalities (external involuntary transfers), and that norms and the commons are forms of property we must pay for through forgone opportunities for self gratification. But whether anarchic or classical liberal, or anything in between, the guiding principle is that all rights can be reduced to property rights, and the only ‘rights’ we can possess are those that are reducible to property rights. Libertarianism is, aside from marxism, the most analytically rigorous political theory that exists.
So a person who refers to himself as a libertarian, may be correct in that he prefers less government and more personal liberty, for anything from a sentimental desire, to a fully and rationally articulated philosophical, economic and political model.
So if someone doesn’t know how to explain what ‘libertarianism is” that’s because you’re talking to people with sentimental attraction rather than something more rationally chosen.
Of course, the right answer, is that it’s easy to advocate for a moral preference, about which you hold a genetic, habituated, and reinforced position. It’s much harder to objectively articulate every perspective on the political spectrum and compare those choices.
Explaining the libertarian perspective.
Libertarians are not idealists about human nature.
1) they believe that weapons should be in their hands in case the government overreaches. The cost of government abuse is higher in the aggregate than even war. There is no higher ‘good’ that preserving liberty.
2) They believe that the data shows that disarming people increases crime.
3) They believe that the only way to protect children is to either arm teachers or put armed guards, armed parents, or armed policemen in the schools.
1) The woman who complained was a conservative not a libertarian.
1) The west developed the high trust society out of indo european aristocratic egalitarianism. (evolving to aristocratic manorialism). I won’t bore you with the full set of historical details. Conservatives are the remnants of this manorial system and the reason that we have the high trust society that the rest of the world can only marvel at. Necessary components of the high trust society are forced outbreeding (forbidding cousin-marriage) and property rights. This breaks normal familial and tribal bonds and fools humans into acting as if all people in a society are family members. (Something that only westerners think.)
Libertarians in the founding fathers sense, are a product of the rise of anglo commercial society during the enlightenment. They are STILL ARISTOCRATIC, in that they are both meritocratic, and fully embrace universalism. HOwever they havec dropped the militarism since it’s unprofitable under trade, even though it was highly profitable under manorialism, and the only source of profit under indo european pastoralism.
In more practical terms, just as liberals are the thought leadership for social democrats, libertarians are the thought leadership for the conservatives. Conservatives speak in metaphorical and allegorical and historical language. Classical Liberal Libertarians speak in philosophical language, and Anarchic Libertarians and Private Government libertarians speak in economic language and use analytical philosophy.
PS: I found this post through google alerts that I have set up for any blog that posts about libertarianism.
WHAT IS MY ROLE IN THIS NONSENSE?
Thank you for the kind words. I try very hard. The truth is that in the past, I intentionally tried the antagonistic approach for a year (because it draws a lot of attention) and realized that it was’t helping me understand anyone, or any one understand me, and it was drawing negative attention. So I changed my approach, and have tried to be objectively informative. The work by Jonathan Haidt helped me understand the progressive and liberal perspective and supplied enough quantitative data to support all perspectives, that I ceased attributing negative intent to most political argument regardless of spectrum.
As for my work in Libertarian and conservative theory, I’m one of the only active post-analytic libertarian philosophers. My original intent was to assist conservatives in speaking in rational language rather than metaphorical language. My thoughts on that have changed over the past few years. Now my work is an attempt to find a solution to post-democratic government, and the problem of conflict in large polities under majority rule.
Rorty has put forth that the metaphysical program has been a failure and that ‘truth’ is effectively consent. “whatever people agree upon”. This is what separates analytic from post analytic philosophy: that we abandon the program of justifying philosophy as a science, and that we fully incorporate science, and attempt to interpret, understand and incorporate it.
Rothbard reduced all rights to property rights and voluntary exchange – effectively making the same argument as Rorty. (Although that’s a difficult statement for some to swallow.)
Rothbard attempted to create an anarchic system, but like most reformists he failed because his ethical program was insufficiently complete to satisfy the moral and reproductive requirements of other than a narrow minority.
Hoppe, following Rothbard, extended propertarian reasoning and solved the problem of a monopolistic bureaucracy with competing insurance companies. Which is largely (at least in terms of budgetary activity) what the US Government and most western governments do today. Very little is spent on what we supposedly justify government with : infrastructure. This solution satisfies the needs for small homogenous polities. Partly because small homogenous polities are highly redistributive because they function as an extended family. And in turn, this is because increasing diversity does incrase status signal rewards for people at the bottom of society for a time, but it has the consequence of eroding trust and exchange.
The problem is, that small homogenous polities a) have less ability to insure, b) have less ability to negotiate import export terms. And so large polities are more economically competitive, but have much higher internal friction and resistance to redistribution. I am trying to solve this problem. I think I have. But time will tell.
ARE LIBERTARIANS INFORMED OR NOT?
Actually, every piece of data that we have confirms that libertarians are both the best informed and the most economically knowledgeable. (And almost entirely male.)
Economic conservatives who state they are libertarian are not incorrect, since libertarianism is simply a commercial offshoot of conservatism (aristocratic egalitarianism.)
Social conservatives do not generally state that they are libertarian, because they place higher emphasis on norms, and are, most of teh time, representing the middle, lower middle, and upper proletarian classes. Upper middle class conservatives tend to self identify either as classical liberal libertarians. And that pure ‘geeks’ as libertarians entirely. This difference has to do with the perceived value of the opinions of others, and roughly maps to 15points of periodicity in the IQ curve, and therefore to social class. This is because ‘others’ are an advantage to more average people because they provide information and ideas, and less of an informed source to more intellectually and financially independent people. There is no mystery to this. It isn’t the 19th century. We have a lot of polling data that goes back to the second world war now. And we have fair economic data back into the 1700’s.
Political preferences generally are a) genetic in origin and b) reflect our different reproductive strategies – at least in the aggregate. That is why people’s preferences don’t change, other than that they tend to become more conservative as they age, and gain a deeper understanding of human nature.
This is just how it is. Political argument is specious because no one is ever convinced of anything. They just reinforce their existing opinions because their existing opinions are necessary for their reproductive strategy. Liberals for example (less than 20% of the population) are not breeding. Conservatives are breeding. And immigrants are outbreeding them both. The only material shift in the polity has come from the increases in single mothers, who would have swung conservative but as single mothers swing left to gain support from the state that they cannot get from a husband and family. And the constant shift of white nuclear family voters to the republican party, which is, at present, becoming the ‘white’ party, at least numerically.
Parties are arbitrary devices. They don’t mean much other than that the party structure in different countries causes more or less diversity of interest, while power still consists of coalitions built ether in the populace directly as here in the states, or in the government’s multi-party system as in much of Europe.
This, in turn, is caused by the use of majority rule as a deciding factor in political action. Versus the multiple-winners and losers in markets.
CONSERVATIVE SUPPORT OF THE BANKING AND FINANCE SECTOR
QUOTE: The currently popular teabagger version of Libertarianism is “carpetbagger Libertarianism,” at best. A hyper-wealthy elite (think Koch brothers) pump out the accepted memes through their wholly-owned consortium of “advocacy groups”
ANSWER: Actually, conservatives made an intentional decision to abandon the popular press as a vehicle, because the combination of left bias in the media, and in the school system required an alternative means of advocacy.
This led to a focus on think tanks, magazines, inexpensive AM radio, and governorships.
These think tanks have produced a series of strategies and ideologies.
One of them was that we ally with the capitalists (big money) to compete with the state, that was dependent upon these companies for revenue to support their left leaning programs.
Another strategy was to try to drive the government into bankruptcy before it could bankrupt and corporatize the private sector, and therefore illustrate the failure of the Keynesian debt model and inter-temporal redistribution that the social democratic state’s ponzi-financing was built upon. And then return to a savings and interest state that was less fragile. This strategy is what you see being played out in washington today. Forcing the government into insolvency in order to undermine the state’s legitimacy.
THe problem was, that while conservatives were able to understand that the left would use immigration and the destruction of the nuclear family to win a majority, they believed that they could morally appeal to the majority of the american public that leans conservative. And it worked. They changed the debate.
What they did not count on was the rapidity of immigration from the third world, the drop in reproductive rates, and the loss of american economic advantage once the rest of the world adopted capitalism. The general conservative thinking was that we could outlast the communist movement worldwide, and protect our empire inherited from the British empire. They did not count on the attempt of the muslim world to organize and undermine the world system of oil production that the USA used to finance it’s military operations by selling petrodollars, then inflating them away. THis is how we pay for the 1/3 of our budget that we cannot pay for out of tax production. It is also how Europe affords its services: they don’t pay for the stabilization of oil prices either with policy or military expenditure like we do.
I know this history because I was there. I was a bit player. But I have been involved in this thinking since high school. What changed my mind is the realization that the constitution failed to protect our individual rights. And that by introducing women into the voting pool, we forever changed the classical liberal and aristocratic models, because women have a genetic interest that is the polar opposite of that of men.
So some of us are trying to figure out what we do next.