Classical Liberalism: Why Should Liberals Like Libertarian Ideas? – Learn Liberty

Classical Liberalism: Why Should Liberals Like Libertarian Ideas? – Learn Liberty

I’m here to argue why it is that if you
are an American liberal, a social democrat as you would say in any other part of the
world, you should be a libertarian. If you’re a liberal, then you think that freedom is
important. You also think that human wellbeing is important. You favor getting rid of poverty.
You favor increasing the range of options and potential chances open to the population.
All of these are reasons why you should be a libertarian rather than someone who supports
an expansive or active role for government. Think about individual liberty. What is the
greatest threat, the greatest enemy, of individual liberty and human happiness on the evidence
of the last 200 years, certainly, arguably, several thousand years? The answer is concentrated
political power. It is government and the state that has killed more people, destroyed
more lives than any other force in human history. If you value these things, you must be opposed
to expansive government. You also want to have a better life for people.
You want people to have more options. You want people to have a wider range of chances
in their life to be able to do more things, to be able to fulfill themselves more. All
of the evidence suggests that a free market economy is by far the most effective way of
realizing these goals. It is the wealth created by a market economy that makes possible such
a huge range of options and life chances for people today as compared to people in the
past. It’s also this kind of economy, a society with limited government, which makes
possible pluralism, a world in which many different ideas of the good life can live
together peacefully without the people who hold them coming into conflict. So if you are concerned with issues like the
rights of sexual minorities, for example, or the rights of cultural minorities of one
kind or another, it’s a free market economy with a limited government which is by far
the best way of defending those rights and enabling the people who have views which maybe
don’t jive with those of the majority to realize those views and live the life in the
way that they want to. The common notion is that free markets disproportionately
benefit the wealthy and that they in fact may make the condition of the poor worse.
There are number of things you can say in response to this. The first is that, in fact,
the economic growth that is produced by a market economy actually raises the living
standards of the poorest people more effectively than anything else. In 1820, 80 percent of
the world’s population lived on less than a dollar a day in inflation-adjusted terms,
constant dollars. Now, after just after two centuries of capitalism, it’s less than
20 percent. So, still a high number, but a lot better than it was before. The evidence
from welfare states around the world is that, in fact, most welfare-transfer systems trap
people in poverty, destroy the cohesion of poor communities. It’s markets and the chance
to improve yourself through participating in market exchange, which is much more effective
in terms of raising the living standards of the poorest people. What about the idea that the rich are getting
an unfair advantage? To the extent that they get more than the poor, that doesn’t matter
so much if the poor are also better off. However, it’s also fair to say that in many cases
the unfair advantages which are gained by wealthy classes come about not because of
their position in the market, but because, rather, they are able to use their position
to manipulate the government to use the political process to bring benefits to themselves that
they would not get in a competitive market economy. And so that’s why if you are a
social democrat egalitarian, a liberal they call in America, you should also be a libertarian.

100 thoughts on “Classical Liberalism: Why Should Liberals Like Libertarian Ideas? – Learn Liberty

  1. I'm sure you know just as much as I do that individuals in free trade can lose, even if society benefits. Since we live in a democracy where it is important to have at least 51 percent of the country in favor of free trade, redistributive programs are important to ensure that the benefits from trade are shared to an extent. Back in the 1930s, the smoot-hawley tariff was enacted because not enough people benefited from trade. This is a real problem across the world, not just here.

  2. You didn't read my comment. The only way to prevent such devastating acts from happening again are to ensure that trade is equitably spread among the population. Reagan himself was anti-free trade when he enacted non-tariff barriers during his second administration. He was pressured by blue-collar supporters to do this legislation. Redistribution is necessary to create a pro free trade coalition of voters.

  3. Redistribution isn't supporting failing systems, it is minimizing risk for individuals with little capital to succeed. The flaw with libertarianism is that it doesn't understand sociology. Wealth is the product of free trade, which I support, however, that isn't a natural motivation for most people. The homo species for the past 1.2 million years lived in collectivist tribes, not individualistic large societies. The goal wasn't wealth, but substitence and status.

  4. Voters will always be against the libertarian philsophy for this reason. Fundamentally, humans are collectivist to a large extent, even though it might not make economic sense. It is important for us not to push an entirely free market approach which will alienate people. Redistribution within the confines of a free market society is the least alienable approach in public policy.

  5. There is a reason for why it took humanity from 200,000 years ago until the 1700s to engage in complete free trade, wealth is not our ultimate incentive. These economists for all their scientific beliefs ignore this fact.

  6. except for fact that the homo species has been taking care of the sick and disabled for hundreds of thousands of years. this can be seen in ancient human bones which reveals disabled individuals who could not have possibled survived on their own without the altruistic support of the tribe. Humans are literally the most communalistic ape that has ever existed.

  7. Ultimately, we both agree that free trade is the best way to orient out economy. We disagree with redistribution, but that is really a small disagreement within the confines of a free trade society. It has been a good debate.

  8. Libertarianim is, idealogically speaking, is the descendant of classical liberalism, a political philosophy developed by John Stewart Mills, Jeremy Bentham and Adam Smith. Personally, I think we should take back the label 'Liberal'. Why have we allowed people on the hard left take away our political identity? I still call mysellf a liberal, even if I have to spend 5 or 10 minutes explaining what I mean by it.

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  10. The great fallacy of “Libertarianism” is its denial of the simple fact that ALL capitalism is crony capitalism. Concentrate wealth and you concentrate political power. Concentrate political power and everyone not in the ruling class is rendered a slave.

    Libertarians are quick to point to “human nature” as something that makes socialism unworkable but NEVER apply this test to capitalism. It will, invariably, degenerate into what the U.S. has become today.

  11. An absurd false dichotomy; cooperation and competition must be kept in balance. Capitalism denounces all cooperation and this leads to savagery. You need look no further back then the “Gilded Age” of the 19th century to see what kind of world “libertarians” want us to live in.

  12. Collaboration and cooperation aren’t quite the same thing. Crony capitalism is the inescapable outcome of “free market” capitalism. Concentrate wealth and you concentrate political power. Concentrate political power and those possessing it will, invariably, use it to skew the rules in their own favor.

  13. Government exists to protect the lesser off from the more powerful. It's sort of like a referee in a basketball game. Without a ref, the physically bigger team will foul the shit out of the smaller team every time they try to drive. Sure, the freedom to get ahead expanded for the more physically powerful team, but at the expense of the liberty of the smaller team. The rich and powerful, with no government regulation, will do the same to the poor and the lesser off.

  14. A false dichotomy. An economy made up of sole proprietorships, cooperatives businesses, and strictly disallowing usury or “virtual money” would not produce any extreme wealth and we have already seen that those insistent upon extreme wealth and folk we can all get by without.

  15. If anyone wants to know the truth about this disgusting, anti american piece of shit (again, apologies to shit for the comparison) who calls himself Prisonernumber9653, look up a video called the liberal lairs club. This anti white, anti american leftist commie bigot gets exposed for the filthy lying piece of shit that he is. Go have a look! Hi Prissy! Did you think you were going to get to slither away? I'm afraid NOT!

  16. When was the last time you saw a referee slam dunk in a players face and then call a defensive foul on him while giving his points to the other team?

  17. In a way you are right, but not in the way you think. There is no such thing as collective socialism, only free market capitalism or dictatorship, take your pick. What you call crony capitalism is just the free market giving us what we are asking for, which is welfare and big bureaucracy. If these big behemoth companies didn't want us having welfare, trust me it would stop tomorrow, the truth is they have a vested interest in it. They use the power we give them to keep us under control.

  18. That is a false dichotomy. All socialism means is that those producing the goods and services are the ones who control their production. There are thousands of very productive and profitable collective workplaces where people work 4 days a week then all meet on the 5th and decide how to run their company. As a bonus, they never ship each other’s jobs overseas or pollute the place they live and work. Socialism is just democracy in the workplace, nothing more or less.

  19. I have no problem with any democratic business if they can thrive and survive, that's fine… But I was referring to a political structure. You cannot force businesses to follow this practice either through the threat of violence and/or imprisonment.

  20. You can eliminate usury in all forms which will make large corporations impossible. Peer to peer and micro lending done at the community level can handle what is needed to start up new businesses–the rest is only a means for an elite class to control all monetary, and thus all political, power. To indulge in mass deregulation, while leaving the oligarchs in place, is just forging iron collars for ourselves.

  21. This video is total BS. Everything he said to describe a liberal could be said and used to describe a conservative. Except for the sexual minority crap. Only Liberals identify themselves by what they do in the bedroom. A true Libertarian says government should keep their hands off of marriage. Government shouldn't even recognize marriage.

  22. No one is going to lend money without the hope of a return, you're being entirely too idealistic. Your ideas involve a world where there is no such thing as risk and growth would be severely limited. The rich have only gotten so powerful because they stole the tool that you hoped would help you from them, namely the government… Oligarchs thrive on regulation and government manipulation, its time to cut off their air supply.

  23. (2/2):
    This idea that if we just had no laws then everything would work out is childish in the extreme. If you eliminate government, the wealthy (who already control the resources) will take direct control and butcher anyone who doesn't do what they were told. Think of the pollution issues we would have if there were (like you suggest) no laws about it at all.

    You want to dump dioxin in your neighbor’s well? Sure, liberty baby! It’s like saying violence would end if we de-criminalized murder.

  24. (1/2):
    Small community lending organizations developed for small-scale lending thrived for a very long time before being devoured by the banking industry. Growth SHOULD be severely limited compared to the unsustainable growth that the current system requires to even exist as the world economy is essentially a big ponzi scheme. Reliance upon excessive growth is toxic in the long term.

  25. That video is a pack of lies from a known racist. I documented that EVERY WORD of it is lies, and the truth was deleted and I was blocked from responding by this coward.

    It's Ku Klux Klan BULLSHIT to claim I'm "anti-white," NOTHING I've said is remotely "anti-American," I'm not a "commie," you're not "exposing" anything but your own sick lies, bigotry, and obsession (this conversation was over a year ago)

    The sexist bullshit of calling me "prissy" also shows you're a childish lowlife.

  26. That word has ZERO effect on anyone anymore Prissy. Leftists cowards like you use it as a self defense mechanism. YOU are the bigot. YOU are lower than shit. YOU have been asked to provide one shred of evidence that that video has one single untruth in it and YOU continued to LIE until she blocked you. Even now you STILL continue to try to cover your tracks by LYING even more. FUCK YOU. PRISONERNUMBER9653 is a PROVEN ANTI WHITE BIGOT and member of the TAN KLAN. How VILE PRISSY!


  28. I am not an anarchist, I believe in government and laws, just fewer bureaucracies and departments of unelected federal officials with revolving door operations. Our government does not have to be as large as it is to be effective, it just needs to be back in control of local communities if its to ever work. Your not going to get that by giving corporations more tools to use against the people, if the EPA is run by corporate interests, what good are they anyways?

  29. Wealth and political power are one in the same. Until the savagery that is capitalism is dealt with (a political system trying to pass itself off as an economic one) then you are just making things worse. In a world of sole proprietorships and collective businesses, libertarian ideas would make sense. In one where wealth is already concentrated (like the one we actually live in) then eliminating all controls is just handing absolute power to those who already have too much.

  30. We could probably cut the government in half right now and that would completely devastate the 1%….We would have a budget surplus within a couple of years and things would be buzzing right along. The problem is people think we need all this excessive spending but in reality we don't. Most people in America weren't libertarians until we started running deficits of 1.5 trillion a year. Those kind of figures should turn even Krugman into a libertarian.

  31. "Libertarians" are already liberals in the classical sense. It's modern day "liberals" who are not liberal at all, but support expansive government. The problem is that we use words to name things incorrectly; that is why, when discussing politics or economics, I try to use the most appropriate word available. Mean what you say and say what you mean– that is my view.

  32. you mean facts about how blacks hold the highest crime and unemployment rate? but some how that will make you a racist. I don't care what anyone says im not a republican but its the democrats who put blacks in the position they are in holding this banner of self entitlement above their head its destroying this country and it needs to stop M.L.K didn't fight for blacks to be more equal he fought for equality in all forms he also knew that putting one race higher then the other destroys society.

  33. I never called you a racist, I was referring to the other comments that I have seen from so called libertarians. However you do come off as an ignorant bigot when you start generalizing about black people.
    There are millions of blacks who live comfortably and vote Democrat, there are also millions of whites who live poorly and vote Republican. Checking the box for the GOP is not the ticket to success.

  34. nooo im just saying in generalization of course i know that and im not generalizing the entire black community im speaking in the generalization of being called a racist on a daily bases and im not sure how many millions you can find that live comfortably but most blacks i know who live comfortably who are independent of government hand outs are usually right/conservative. i don't have a problem with black people i have a problem with how they are treated and what it results in.

  35. also i never said they need to vote GOP lol. im just stating that most blacks vote strictly democrat no matter what the case is the areas with the highest crime rates or the worst cities are usually cities with blacks/Hispanics its a fact and its a screwed up one there is no reason why this should be but its the way we diversify based on race and racial entitlement that puts these horrific facts into play.

  36. Modern American Liberals are anything but Liberal, just as neoconservatives don't have much to do with conservatism. It's how statist manage to become a significant problem every generation when their previous movement fails, they relaunch it under new name and use controversial social topics to further the ruse that they are pro liberty.

  37. "redistribution, but that is really a small disagreement within the confines of a free trade society." how?
    you cannot have a "free trade society" and "redistribution" at the same time. A "free trade society" is your cake, "redistribution" is the process of eating it.

  38. I agree with the libertarian side of getting rid of crony capitalism, more freedom, etc. But i don't necessarily like the libertarian economic side such as getting rid of the IRS, lowering taxes, and etc. (I heard most of that stuff from my libertarian friend so correct me if I'm wrong).

  39. Actually, they do. When a country passes tariffs, retaliatory tariffs might hurt for a couple of months, but it benefits by building its industries more efficiently. The US economy, which was protectionist until the 1970's, thrived off of protectionism.

  40. Slick production but it's all lies. The only people these ideas benefit are the rich. The arguments are packaged to sound appealing but do you really think the rich want you to have a piece of their pie? I bet this guy is funded by the Koch Brothers. Follow the money.

  41. Benefiting the rich =/= hurting the poor

    hurting the rich =/= benefitting the poor

    benefitting the poor =/= hurting the rich

    hurting the poor =/= benefiting the rich

    Of course, ad hominem is classic liberal logic. Whenever I argue with a liberal, I have to repeatedly remind them to stay on arguing the principle instead of the person. I'm not trying to argue with my own personal attacks, I'm trying the discount yours.

  42. You're trying to discount mine by turning it into a straw man.

    How does cutting every social program benefit the poor?

    And for the record, yes this oil slick is funded by Charles G. Koch. You have to ask yourself, why would someone want hide their name and the source of funding if they strongly believe in these ideas? Answer: the Koch brothers don't want you to know they're oil barons. Look it up.

  43. why don't you follow the money, evidently they have virtually no budget, and libertarianism is strongly anti corporatism. its the liberal government that helps the corporations.

  44. It is correct. But why wouldn't you like it? Government doesn't have the right to extort the money that I make. And anyway, crony capitalism is basically caused by the revenue of government being too big. Gives an incentive to big business to get in bed with the government

  45. Or it could be a result of corporations being too big, but that can go either way. I read an article recently asking why there were no libertarian countries in the modern world. We actually had one in the 1800's but after the great depression, we needed a strong government to get us out of that mess. I think most countries are turning more to democratic socialism (not the marxist socialism) where workers have more of a say in there company rather than one greedy person.

  46. Have you actually listened to the drivel that comes out of right wing media? These people hypocritically demonize SNAP recipients while billions go to corporations via federal programs, and you expect us to take conservatives seriously?

    I have yet to see a conservative articulate a thoughtful platform, because it doesn't exist. Why? Because conservatism is not an ideology. It's a way of thinking. Especially since many "conservatives" live in a liberal paradigm.

  47. But you see, Fox News doesn't want you to know about those billions because THEY'RE A HUGE CORPORATION. NEWS CORPORATION IS THE SECOND LARGEST MEDIA CONGLOMERATE IN THE WORLD. And they own Fox, and the Wall Street Journal, and tons of other stuff. So it's not the conservatives, it's the media. The Republican Party is a joke, I'll grant you that, but not all conservatives agree with them. In fact, I wouldn't even consider Republicans to be conservative.

  48. You are honestly the most deluded person i have ever seen. People like you need to stop seeing the government as some babysitter, because it's not. Government starts wars. Government encroaches on your natural rights and property, and government steals from your pockets. Not to mention arrests and murders people who exercise their Liberties, and choose to live as free individuals. Open your eyes, an Armed revolution is coming.

  49. Liberals are not standing by the definition, Neo-Cons either……….. therefore everyone should vote Libertarian!

  50. My opinion is an Individual can do whatever they please, however if your actions cause harm to anyone you should be punished for it, so I am for "individual rights", however a corporation cannot do as they please, and I will give an example.In Cleveland, Ohio improper waste disposal led to a fire on the Cuyahoga River. 13 times that river has caught on fire, the last occurrence in 1969.Corporations are not sentient beings with empathy, or compassion.

  51. cont… If your sole motivation is profit you will do whatever you can to increase profit while cutting cost. including dumping toxic chemicals into the water table, just cause you don't care,you my not agree, and think "the free market" will fix everything, but without some regulation nothing would stop them from polluting. a group could sue, but unless they have the same access to an army of attorneys that the corporations do nothing will come out of it.

  52. Legislated regulations are prone to come under the influence of large corporations one way or another and may also create an avenue for excessive state intervention. Even well implemented regulations tend to disproportionally favor big business for the reason you just mentioned (ie. greater access to legal resources). I'd say the best way to address issues like pollution would be to either treat such disputes as criminal cases or, if otherwise considered a civil case, embark on legal reform.

  53. how do we ensure that people who grow powerful and have powerful corporations don't impose corporate tyranny.Is it ok to have a governmental mechanism to ensure rule of law and push back against fraud? i'm not looking for an argument ,just some honest questions.I have mixed views,i'm liberal only on one or two issues,given that we have the freedom to have any view we want,is there room for someone like me in libertarianism?

  54. Many libertarian class analyses essentially say that the only way for individuals or groups to gain significant and meaningful economic power over others is through political means. A system of voluntary exchanges (markets) will tend towards equality as such exchanges will be mutually beneficial. Only when one party has the power of the state on its side do significant imbalances occur.

  55. What about the powerful businesses that get big in the market and kick the door shut behind them?this doesn't just happen through the political means.Individuals aren't always noble in the market,like anything else the market can be abused.What element is big enough to stop individuals and groups from using political means?

  56. It's incredibly difficult to become very powerful in a truly free market without political means. The only way to actually become very successful is to constantly be innovating and satisfying consumer demand more than any other competitor. Truly, the best answer is to greatly limit the power and influence of government over the economy. This way, the massive corporations will have no self-benefiting regulations, subsidies, or bailouts for which to lobby in the first place.

  57. So being a liberal means being a "social democrat" I'm confused already. Why not be called a liberal in all parts of the world? Sorry new to the subject.

  58. you are aware that almost any organization/channel with the words "america, freedom, liberty, patriot, heritage" and such are usually right wing propaganda outlets right? it's a pretty well known fact. and quite frankly mainstream libertarianism is simply a rehash of republican economic policies used to deregulate our society to give those with money more influence, when all that stands between them and the individual is the govt(which i understand has been corrupted by those with money)

  59. ok, i just watched the whole video, and i gotta say he offers completely overly simplified examples of a woefully overly complicated reality. in fact, socialist "welfare" economies have failed many times, but have also been very successful in many cases(see northern europe). not only that but he fails to point out any reasons why we, as liberals, should be wary of a libertarian government. sounds to me like he's trying to sell me something, which is a very business(i.e. republican) thing to do

  60. If you are referring to Scandinavia i must object. As a Norwegian I know how this country works. Our government is social democratic and not socialist. If you mean successful as in a system that works for the majority that might be true. It is a generalizing system in most aspects. Clever students don't get the challenge they need in school. Health care here is free but how does that help when many people die waiting for their "free" treatment. We also pay around 70% tax which is a lot.

  61. The government also likes to make things illegal to solve problems and thus we don't have the freedom we deserve. Only North-korea, Cuba and Norway has banned boxing. Jet skis are essentially illegal and poker is (even your own home) We have huge amounts of bureaucracy which makes this a slow and very expensive system fueled by our oil.
    It might seem fine today but how it's like in a few decades is a different story.

  62. Part of the problem is that most Americans get their political science from T.V instead of an actual educational environment. When you ask someone to explain their preferred political ideology they give you the deer in headlights stare.

  63. The social democratic system is designed to protect the rights and decent living standards of the entire population. I have no doubt that the economic growth and BNP would both be greater with a libertarian system, but don't act surprised when the hospitals fill up with worn out workers and the streets with homeless.

  64. I agree with everything to do with libertarianism except in three issues – corporate regulation, healthcare and environmental protection. in terms of regulation, corporations have and will exploit people as much as they can get away with when unregulated. in terms of the other two, greed and shortsightedness on the part of the market leads to serious long-term ramifications and these need federal control

  65. Government doesn't regulate business; they just pass laws that lobbyists and campaign contributors want. If you haven't already realized, the politicians that get the most financial backing from large corporations are the ones who support regulations and bailouts. If deregulation and libertarianism were so profitable and insured their control over people for these corporations, they would flock to the sides of the libertarian crowd.

  66. believe me, i'm fully aware of this and i wish it weren't the case. The fact that there has been no government regulation is part of the reason we've had the financial crash. I think there should be more govt control, as well as a ban or at least a restriction on campaign donations. Corps don't like libertarianism cos it's even better how they have it now – big government that is on their side. They'd rather that to libertarianism, and libtnism over real regulations.

  67. "less able" sounds like a transfer of power from a few people on the national scale to a few people on a state scale. You can't prove that smaller government less corruptible so you will never be able to prove that smaller government is incorruptible.

  68. it's not a matter of how corruptible a smaller govt is – if anything it'll be more corruptible since there are fewer people to bribe. My point is that those with the money perpetrating the corruption will be able to wield less power since although the government is under their thumb it is a less powerful govt, so the power of the corrupters over the general populus will be diminished.

  69. So your argument isn't that smaller govt is incorruptible, it's that it's less corruptible. You state that "those with the money perpetrating the corruption will be able to wield less power". 1. power does not exist in a vacuum. If there is power available, it will be seized by someone. That that someone will likely NOT be an ally. The notion that those who corrupt will lose access is negated by the fact that those who lose access will be replaced by others, in a smaller govt.

  70. On the contrary, the major trigger for the financial collapse was banks over-lending to the sub-prime mortgage market. This behavior was encouraged because the banks could offload these loans to Fannie and Freddie Mac (both of which are government organizations) and the risk was transferred to the taxpayers while they still made their profit.

    Without the subsidies and bailouts corporations would be much more cautious in their business activities because they would bear the risk.

  71. I HATE the fact that liberal means social-democrat in the U.S., and the worst thing is that many americans don't see what's wrong with this… :/

    if liberals were understood as liberals, the "libertarian" term wouldn't be necessary..

  72. Lily whites ruined america they should call themselves ignorant racist blacks and Hispanics instead since they enable those votes of the mongrel class to stick by adding a larger number to the uninformed racist Votes

  73. asking some one who make A million dollars A year to part with some of there money to feed people living in tralier parks is not unreasonable… 

    if you say it is what you'r saying is the rich person right to be selfish is more important the the poor person right to eat drink an live… 

    that why i'm not A libertarian. 

  74. I don't understand why concentrations of economic power are good and concentrations of political power are bad. It's an absurd assertion. About the only leverage ordinary people have to curb the excesses of corporate power is through political power and legislation. It's no surprise then that there is a massive backlash against government dressed up as a pro-liberty movement.

  75. Sure libertarian ideas may harmonize with liberal.views on the social spectrum, however irreconcilable on the fiscal spectrum. Social Democracies have well regulated, progressively taxed energy markets that are efficient and have low pollution; quite unlike libertarian free market ideas.

  76. This is what I was thinking about recently. This guy describes me perfectly, I recently transformed from a "liberal" into a libertarian for the simple reason that I like liberty and morality in same time, what I was missing was more information and reasoning; I also happen to not mind crunching new information and philosophy. A liberal stays liberal mainly as a result of ignorance, not bad intentions.

  77. It doesn't matter the socio-economic organization: capitalism, socialism, feudalism, monarchy.  The most ambitious and talented will fight their way into power under the prevailing rules.  That's just a paraphrase of a Schumpeter idea.

    Of course, it seems that it doesn't even matter the political system:  there are amoral opportunists who will find a way (almost unconsciously) to corrupt that system, and will consign a number of people to destitution in order to enrich and empower themselves.  I think the best political system is that which is least corruptible and doesn't accept poverty, but actually seeks to raise EVERYONE up. 

    I don't know if that political system exists, and I will tell you truly that the more my ideals die the more I become libertarian.  It's the same way I became atheist.  My learning and experience kept pushing out beliefs that couldn't be grounded in facts.  Politiics and religion really aren't that different.   

  78. Most liberals I know don't just know what's best for themselves, they know what's best for others, and they know who to apply force to in order to achieve that outcome (this is perfectly embodied in the case liberals make for the minimum wage or the fight against Uber). This makes libertarianism the complete contrary of these people. I'm not saying there aren't liberals that this works for. I'm just saying those that I know (IOW, in my experience).

  79. Utterly, FUNDAMENTALLY, WRONG! A key assumption made by Dr Davies is that the past two hundred years have been the triumph of capitalism. That just strikes me as, in fact, the opposite of a correct observation. The progress of the past 200 years has been the social progress thru the legal and constitutional authority provided by government and by the protections provided by regulation and govt oversight of the free market.

    Only the arena of international trade and the end of mercantilism has brought us some benefit by way of enhancing market forces, but even that has troubling consequences that have not yet been addressed.

    And fundamental to the social progress of the past 200 years has been the labor movement and adoption of labor's goals and standards by the law. This imposes fundamentally necessary regulation and control over markets and capital. Social equality, civil rights – all the progress we have made toward equality for all has been an outgrowth or extension of the goals and vision of labor. Even those who dislike today's unions must recognize what the worldwide labour movement originating in Europe in the 19th century has accomplished. And LABOR is the foundation of modern Liberalism.

  80. HOW IS ANYBODY PERSUADED BY THE ARGUMENT PRESENTED? All kinds of dubious assumptions are made and nothing compelling is presented to support the supposed virtues of Libertarianism.

    As usual LIBERTARIAN FANTASIES NEVER ADDRESS THE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES of minimal government. Why do so many otherwise intelligent people maintain this delusional viewpoint?

  81. "The answer is concentrated political power." like that of the rich individuals and corporations? That's where your libertarianism and my classical liberalism split.

  82. Ok, I gave it a shot, but I don't agree with a lot of what's said.

    I think freedom and human well-being are important. I think the best way to protect those is a government (ideally accountable to the people) capable of restraining corporations from exploiting workers and anyone else within their reach. We've seen how big business operates without restraint in the past, and I'm not keen on losing regulations on child labor, work safety, toxic waste dumping, etc. I'll certainly grant you that in the past 200 years government has been responsible for huge amounts of loss of life and liberty. Has that pattern continued in the past 50? Perhaps, but not nearly on the same scale. Work kills more people than war these days, and there are more democratic governments now than ever before.

    The idea that big business eliminates poverty is absurd (wage stagnation and overseas outsourcing are just two examples off the top of my head where it does the opposite.) Henry Ford said "make the best quality goods possible at the lowest cost possible, paying the highest wages possible." That was a good model for the free market. Now it's become the lowest quality that can be gotten away with, at the highest profit margin possible, paying the lowest wages possible. Not the kind of market I want to trust my liberty and well-being to.

    Business has certainly done lots of good things for quality of life over the years, all while regulated to varying degrees. But if you're going to use the word 'evidence', please cite your sources. And the free market didn't bring about desegregation, voting rights for minorities and women, etc. Government did.

    A free market doesn't provide for those who can't provide for themselves. A free market, as discussed earlier, pays the lowest wages it can get away with. A free market takes advantage of the poor more effectively than anything else (see also: Walmart and other such employers who pay so little that they systematically direct their employees to government aid so that they can feed themselves and their families.)

    Finally, I certainly agree that the wealthy manipulate government to gain advantage (Thanks, Citizens United), but I'm afraid we must part ways at the idea that this is a good reason to have less government, or that a more free market will result in less taking advantage rather than more.

  83. Free market ideologies destroyed the economies in the poorest areas of the UK and concentrated power to a wealthy few in London. How on earth can you call something that destroys the working people's only strong voice in the UK (trade unions) a path to equality and freedom

  84. That last part 'The unfair advantages of the wealthy classes come about not because of their position, but rather using their position to manipulate the government to bring benefits to themselves that they wouldn't get in the competitive market.'

    Sounds exactly like the problem we are having in the US right now. The 'trickle down' system has hardly worked to lift up the less fortunate

  85. [American] Liberals:  "I want the freedom to be whatever gender species fluid I want to be whenever I feel like it!"

    Libertarians:  "Go for it.  I think you're insane, but I won't stop you.  In fact, why not join us? Advocate for individual liberty and you can do just that.  You can be who you want, keep the money you earn and advocate for people to leave you alone.  Great, eh?"

    [American] Liberals:  "No!  You should not have the freedom to disagree with me and must be required by law to treat me as I dictate to you and I demand you pay for all my social needs!"

    Libertarians:  "I can see we're not going to get very far…"

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