I just hate their freedom


The Libertarians have just assessed freedom in the 50 states…and guess who wins as the most free state in the union?

freeusa

North Dakota! The state that has just passed the most restrictive anti-abortion laws in the country!

To their credit, they are completely open about how they calculate “freedom” — it’s entirely about legal interference that limits positions they consider important. Reproductive freedom: not important — so unimportant it’s not even anywhere on their long list of measures. On the other hand, legalized prostitution is a criterion. That seems to be the only issue where women’s concerns come into play at all. Freedom to buy and sell guns: very important (conversely, freedom to not get shot: negligible importance). Education policy is important, but not in the way that you might think: mandatory standards for licensure of private school teachers is a detriment to freedom, as is mandatory schooling and imposing standards on home schooling.

There are a few spots where I’d agree with them. Gay marriage is a plus, and I think (it’s a bit unclear here) that they regard throwing people in jail for victimless crimes like drug use is a minus.

But in general, look at that map, and think about what it says. The Libertarian version of freedom is embraced in the empty, underpopulated states like the Dakotas; the antithesis of the Libertarian version of freedom is found in California and New York, where the most people live. And honestly, if you were given the choice to live in either California or North Dakota, what would most of you choose? (Yes, I know there are aspects of the Dakotas that make them very attractive places…but freedom and politics are not among them.)

I am not at all surprised that the Libertarian recipe for freedom is nearly identical to my recipe for oppressive hellhole.

Comments

  1. rq says

    Coincidentally, the Libertarians (previously known and unknown) in my circle of friends have been rearing their heads more lately. (Such as here.)
    And for all their talk of Freedom and Free Men, there is awfully little discussion of those who do not identify as such…

  2. carlie says

    I wonder what percentage of Libertarians are women, actually. I don’t think I’ve ever spotted one even on the internet.

  3. glodson says

    So, they don’t care about reproductive rights, love guns, and want no regulations for how private education or homeschooling is done?

    It is almost like they are attempting to appeal to the lowest common denominator. I’m sure their reasons behind putting a piority behind prostitution is less enlightened than we might hope.

  4. says

    … mandatory standards for licensure of private school teachers is a detriment to freedom, as is mandatory schooling and imposing standards on home schooling.

    Yeah, these people probably called their parents “Nazis” and “slave-drivers” whenever they tried to tell them to do their homework and help with household chores. That’s really the level most libertarians seem to function on.

    On the other hand, legalized prostitution is a criterion. That seems to be the only issue where women’s concerns come into play at all.

    Given their total disregard for women’s basic safety (let alone actual human rights), not to mention their mindless hatred of all gummint regs for any purpose, I’d say it’s the clients’ concerns that are in play here, not the workers’.

  5. blitzgal says

    In the words of Jim Ward, Libertarians are just Republicans who smoke dope.

  6. anteprepro says

    Tenessee and Oklahoma are paragons of freedom, fucking Texas, Alabama, Missouri and Alaska are in the top 15, Rhode Island and Hawaii are among the most Oppressive states. Who would’ve thought that a map of Libertaria is just a map of conservative states. Really. The only outliers are Wyoming, Missippi, West Virginia and Louisana (conservative but not Libertaria), and then New Mexico, Delaware and New Hampshire (slighly liberal but not anti-Libertaria). 7 out of 50 don’t fit the utterly predictable trend of Libertarians aligning “freedom” with conservative politics. They really don’t try very hard to hide the fact that they are just Republicans who like weed, do they?

  7. says

    So, I live in the one of the most repressive states in the union where I’m stuck with reproductive and educational choices. Good to know.

  8. hexidecima says

    This is why I consider the vast majority of Libertarians to be hypocrites of the highest order. They want freedom for *only* themselves.

  9. anteprepro says

    In the words of Jim Ward, Libertarians are just Republicans who smoke dope.

    Great minds. Great minds.

  10. piquedpig says

    Anyone else notice Oklahoma as being one of the most free states? Has anyone at that think-tank ever been to Oklahoma?

  11. says

    rq: the bogosity is strong with that link you cited. They’re lumping Noam Chomsky with Ron Paul? Seriously? Sounds like they’re trying to inject their BS into progressive discourse, just like they inject their BS into every other movement their paying clients want to neutralize and degrade.

  12. blitzgal says

    Also, they remind me of all the nerds* who assume that they’d be one of the survivors in a zombie apocalypse. 99% of humanity is dead but they’re so awesome and special that OBVIOUSLY they’d still be alive.

    Dudes, you’d be a zombie just like the rest of us. You are no John Galt. You are no Superman.

    *Full disclosure: I am a nerd.

  13. unbound says

    As blitzgal mentioned, this is a product of the Mercatus Center which is a think tank funded largely (perhaps solely) by the Koch brothers. It does highlight how bad the Virginia universities (Mercatus Center is part of George Mason University) have become.

    As a resident of Virginia, it is disgusting how the public universities of the state have become nothing more than businesses. You have a better shot / lesser requirements to get into most of the Virginia public universities if you are out of state so they can suck in that much more money. Residents that are not the top 10% of their class are expected to go to local community colleges and then go to the public universities (if you follow all the requirements correctly). The whole concept of serving the community is flying out of the window here in Virginia…

  14. says

    Has anyone at that think-tank ever been to Oklahoma?

    I certainly don’t see either of the Koch Brothers moving to North Dakota — doesn’t one of them live in New York?

  15. says

    You are no John Galt. You are no Superman.

    Those fake heroes aren’t even credible as fictional characters, let alone as role-models.

  16. badgersdaughter says

    I wonder what percentage of Libertarians are women, actually. I don’t think I’ve ever spotted one even on the internet.

    Sure you have, I used to be one years ago and got my head handed to me in this very forum. Since growing up politically, I’ve noticed that most of my country-Texas women friends buy heavily into the Tea Party mentality, and I’m not talking lace gloves and crumpets. My sister-in-law, who facetiously describes herself as a “wetback”, is an adherent as well. Go figure.

  17. says

    In the words of Jim Ward, Libertarians are just Republicans who smoke dope.

    More precisely, they’re Republicans who would sell anything for a profit, including dangerous addictive drugs like crack and heroin, because that’s more important to them than the human cost borne by those pesky resource-wasting little people.

  18. says

    As blitzgal mentioned, this is a product of the Mercatus Center which is a think tank funded largely (perhaps solely) by the Koch brothers. It does highlight how bad the Virginia universities (Mercatus Center is part of George Mason University) have become.

    Does this think tank represent The Libertarians?

  19. Snoof says

    Also, they remind me of all the nerds* who assume that they’d be one of the survivors in a zombie apocalypse. 99% of humanity is dead but they’re so awesome and special that OBVIOUSLY they’d still be alive.

    My favourite version of that is:

    “What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren’t Mad Max. You’re part of the skull pyramid in the background.”

  20. blitzgal says

    My favourite version of that is:

    “What you need to understand about the apocalypse is that you aren’t Mad Max. You’re part of the skull pyramid in the background.”

    Or, “If this were Deadwood, you think you’d be Swearingen, but you’re actually a hooplehead.”

  21. rq says

    Raging Bee @15
    But it’s progressive to be aware of your lack of Freedoms! And Noam Chomsky is completely the same as Ron Paul. Duh, old and white and male. [/snark]
    Yeah, that link is pretty terrible and I can’t be proud of all of my friends. About 15 minutes in I wanted to shut it off, but I’ve decided to slog, piecemeal, to the end, to see if any women are interviewed. They’ve got their PoC count with the Native American guy at the beginning. [/sarcasm]

  22. A Hermit says

    Funny how laws restricting union activity are considered a “plus” for liberty…while regulation of corporate collectivism is a negative.

    These self styled Libertarians often seem to be more concerned with the rights of those corporate collectives than they are with actual individuals. Couldn’t have anything to do with the wingnut welfare they receive, could it?

  23. says

    What, they didn’t interview the owner of the Bunny Ranch? After all her hard work endorsing Ron Paul? What a bunch of ingrates.

  24. erichoug says

    Has anyone at that think-tank ever been to Oklahoma?

    I’ve been to a lot of places. And everywhere I go, everyone thinks their little town is a po-dunk craphole in the middle of no-where. And, except for the people in Blackwell and Waynoka Oklahoma they are all wrong.

  25. Irmin says

    #12, hexidecima:

    This is why I consider the vast majority of Libertarians to be hypocrites of the highest order. They want freedom for *only* themselves.

    Indeed. It’s even inconsequential if you only look at the “negative” freedom Libertarians often mean when they talk about freedom in general, i.e. freedom from evil gun regulations (why not health regulations?) – in contrast to “positive” freedom, i.e. being free to do something because I’m provided with the basic necessities to do so (which I usually like better).

    If Libertarians were serious, they should stand for a complete “deregulation” of abortion.

  26. la tricoteuse says

    Statistically, though, someone gets to be Mad Max/a zombie apocalypse survivor.

    It won’t be me*, because I can’t run fast. But it’ll be someone. :D Or would, if it weren’t fiction.

    *It might have been me if I still lived in Rome. Fourth floor, really really sturdy, heavy-ass door with three different very tough locks (all of which involved big slabs of metal being inserted into the wall. That door ruled. (And I had awesome big badass shutters on the windows in case of climbing zombies, too.) But here in the UK I live on the first floor and have the flimsiest door ever, with only an old-fashioned key and a chain lock on the inside. And no window defence to speak of. I’m zombie toast ’til I move house. /geek

    On topic: The “Republicans who smoke weed” comparison is apt as all hell, yes, but it’s more than just the Republicans. So many otherwise liberal people have jumped on the Ron Paul bandwagon for that single issue. Like nothing else is important.

  27. pacal says

    Guys you have to understand where Libertarians come from. In their world the only source of oppression is government. Only government is evil. Coercion by private power is absolutely a-okay in their world. Thus the prevalence of theocratic views in a state like Oklahoma and influence of such views is absolutely no problem. For only government is evil.

    Thus years ago I remember readingf a piece which argued that Somalia was a Libertarian paradise, benefiting from a lack of that wicked thing called government. That large sections of Somalia were a theocratic state run by despotic clan centered organizations that ruled their members autocratically was of course irrelevant because they wern’t that evil thing called government.

    In their view regulation that keeps people from being able to screw other people is evil. However “private” theocracies are a-okay. For again only government is evil. Thus we get so many Libertarians defending corperations and writhing in extasy about how good and wonderful they are. Thus we get Penn’s Jillette’s breathless estatic defence of Walmart. Because you see only government is evil, only government coerces anyone. Or if something other than government coerces it doesn’t count.

  28. anteprepro says

    Also, they remind me of all the nerds* who assume that they’d be one of the survivors in a zombie apocalypse. 99% of humanity is dead but they’re so awesome and special that OBVIOUSLY they’d still be alive.
    Dudes, you’d be a zombie just like the rest of us. You are no John Galt. You are no Superman.

    It’s part of a general problem I’ve been complaining about for a while in fiction. Foils, red shirts, mooks, whatever you want to call people who aren’t the protagonist, die so very easily, but the protagonist, fully equipped in invisible plot armor, is able to succeed where normal people fail through sheer power of super special awesomeness. And they are able to do so over and over and over, never acknowledging that it isn’t so much reflective of godlike talent as much as inexplicable luck. But people are inundated in these stories, where the main character, the character that people are supposed to pay attention to and relate to, is able to outlive those lesser folks. The audience is supposed to assume that it just because these characters are that much smarter and stronger, but this is rarely ever illustrated at a magnitude that is necessary to explain how they can do so well so consistently. Really, most protagonists are just fucking lucky, but the people reading about them or watching them don’t quite pick up on that fact. They also tend not to pick up on the fact that this kind of fiction uses non-protagonists as stage props, letting a child or significant other or parent suffer some terrible fate and then subsequently focusing on just how that makes the super special awesome main character feel, instead of focusing on the effect it has on the actual person that suffers it. The other, lesser characters are there entirely for the benefit of the protagonist and anything that happens to those characters is simply a test of the protagonist, a trial for them to overcome. For a very old and very stark example, see the story of Job, where the lives of Job’s family is treated by God as similar to property: something that can be taken away entirely to see how it affects Job, without regard for the fact that the family members were independent people with their own thoughts and feelings and not just pawns to use in a game against a Super Important Person.

    Basically, this kind of problem is endemic. The fact that Libertarians think that they have real life plot armor and view people who aren’t themselves as just a statistic is just par for the course.

  29. anteprepro says

    On topic: The “Republicans who smoke weed” comparison is apt as all hell, yes, but it’s more than just the Republicans. So many otherwise liberal people have jumped on the Ron Paul bandwagon for that single issue. Like nothing else is important.

    You know, I’ve come across a handful of “liberals who went Libertarian because they thought Ron Paul sounded liberal”. But by far most libertarians and Ron Paul sound like Republicans haplessly trying to hide their multi-thousand dollar business suit and their golden cross necklace. And it is pathetic just how transparently conservative many of these alleged libertarians really are. Actually, it is pretty damn similar to all the Tea Partiers pretending they are a distinct group instead of being a group of the most inane, loudmouthed Republicans.

  30. says

    You can’t call this one think-tank representative of True Libertarians, ’cause True Libertarians are such a diverse bunch!

    The fact that Libertarians think that they have real life plot armor and view people who aren’t themselves as just a statistic is just par for the course.

    …especially for a movement whose main manifesto is a work of pure and undisguised fiction.

  31. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    According to libertarians you are most free with two broken legs and internal bleeding at the bottom of a well provided you got a gun and a joint

  32. rq says

    anteprepro @37
    That was an awesome explanation of the libertarian mindset. They are all James Bond.

  33. says

    anteprepro: another problem I have with all those “__________ Apocalypse” stories, is that they show a small but plucky band of surviving humans bravely fighting for their lives on a barren, blasted post-apocalyptic landscape — but give absolutely no indication of where their food comes from!

    I mean, I loved the “Matrix” trilogy, but where’s the fertile farmland that keeps those Zionites alive and healthy enough to have wild celebratory dance-orgies every time Morpheus makes a speech?

  34. says

    Admittedly I did not know that North Dakota has the only socialist bank in the U.S. until last week, but one would expect that libertarians – who like to make a big show of how intellectual they are – would bother to do a little research before coming out with this silly rating.

    As usual, they show a very narrow and simplistic view of what constitutes “freedom” which does a face-plant when it has to deal with the underlying realities of how the world actually works.

    I’ve written this before and I’ll write it again just for fun:

    “The law, in its majestic wisdom, punished the rich and the poor equally for the crime of sleeping under a bridge.” — Anatole France

  35. anteprepro says

    …especially for a movement whose main manifesto is a work of pure and undisguised fiction.

    B-b-but it was philosophy! Philosophy relying on a fictional world built on assumptions that made it a poor representation of reality! Philosophy that is so simplistic that you’d wonder if it was dreamed up by a particularly vicious third grader! Philosophy!

    another problem I have with all those “__________ Apocalypse” stories, is that they show a small but plucky band of surviving humans bravely fighting for their lives on a barren, blasted post-apocalyptic landscape — but give absolutely no indication of where their food comes from!

    I guess plot armor is edible!

  36. blitzgal says

    Statistically, though, someone gets to be Mad Max/a zombie apocalypse survivor.

    Well, of course. It’s just an illustration of your average Libertarian’s inability to see beyond themselves. Of course they assume that they are the center of an Epic Tale.

  37. rq says

    Raging Bee @42
    You must join the Pharyngula Commune! We plan on surviving any apocalypse, but not individually – as a group. :) (You don’t need any special skills to join, random skills also accepted.)

  38. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Obviously they eat dead red shirts

  39. rq says

    Raging Bee @42
    You need to join the Pharyngula Commune! We plan on surviving any apocalypse, but not individually – as a group! :) (You do not need to have useful skills to join; random skills also accepted.)

  40. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Hey if a human meat battery can somehow generate net energy you totally can sustain a society just eating their ccorpses and waste

  41. glodson says

    The fact that Libertarians think that they have real life plot armor and view people who aren’t themselves as just a statistic is just par for the course.

    This sounds like every libertarian that I’ve ever come across. The other thing I commonly experience with libertarians is the pseudo-rationalism. It is a bit of an illusion they pull on those who don’t always understand logic, reason, and evidence.

  42. says

    Hey if a human meat battery can somehow generate net energy you totally can sustain a society just eating their ccorpses and waste

    Yes, but where would you get the additional energy to generate that shiny Randian MMORPG world to make everyone think they’re rich and free?

  43. says

    The other thing I commonly experience with libertarians is the pseudo-rationalism. It is a bit of an illusion they pull on those who don’t always understand logic, reason, and evidence.

    The same illusion that was pulled on them. Manipulation is a learned behavior.

  44. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Simple we grind up everyone killed by Galt and co’s industrial sabatogue and use them as fuel

  45. glodson says

    The same illusion that was pulled on them. Manipulation is a learned behavior.

    Yes. It is. And they all learn to put themselves at the center. Like many point out, often, they see themselves as Galt. And like Galt, they often won’t shut up.

  46. erichoug says

    Frankly, I have a hard time taking seriously anyone who reads Ayn Rand as anything other than Science Fiction.

    An excellent litmus test for anyone wanting to go into government service: Ask them to read Ayn Rand and then see if they consider it a treatise on Political Philosophy or low rent Sci-Fi. IF the later, they get shipped back to the fryer at Burger King. Hey what is Paul Ryan doing these days?

  47. freemage says

    I will admit to flirting with libertarianism in my misspent youth. It’s enticing, because the adherents are usually able to figure which of the polyglot positions they take will appeal to the person they’re talking to, and they’ll push that aspect alone. So if you’re a liberal, they’ll spin the End of the War on Drugs; if you’re a conservative, they’ll chat about No Taxes Ever (which is, of course, where their party actually focuses most of its direct efforts).

    And of course, the alleged core principle–limited government intrusion into personal liberty–is a good one. But it’s like a shiny, perfect apple that’s been thrust deep into a barrel full of toxic sludge.

  48. frankb says

    For several years our campus newspaper had an editorialist who was pure libertarian. A drunk redneck with a shotgun was the savior of the oppressed but a properly trained police officer was a dangerous bully by definition. If you were hired to be the city hall janitor you were immediately suspected of plotting to take our freedoms away. The man was a lunatic during all phases of the moon.

    At the same time we had a liberal editorialist who went after corporations as he should have but being a smoker he totally ignored the shenanigans of the tobacco industry. He loved to point at car pollution so that he could claim that cigarette smoke wasn’t so bad. It’s good for editorials to stimulate discussion but that discussion should be more than about the sanity of the editorialists.

  49. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @frank

    I disagree. Editorials are the bullshit precurser to you tube comments. Faux authorities using the reputation of reliability of journalism to broadcast opinions.

  50. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Oddly I’ve never know a libertarian Wal-Mart lover who worked for them

  51. thumper1990 says

    I freely admit to being what is apparently called a “Social Libertarian”, i.e. I apply libertarianism to social policies but not to fiscal policies. My beliefs on social politics can essentially be summed up as “If you’re not hurting or presenting a significant danger to anyone other than yourself, then you crack the fuck on”. I like the whole less laws/less Government interference side… what I do not like is apparently called “Fiscal Libertarianism”, by which I mean the idea that no one should pay any taxes, everything should be privatised and deregulated, and there should be no benefits or welfare system of any kind. The fiscal Libertarianism is the “I’ve got mine, fuck the rest of you” side of it. And I hate that. I don’t know who said it, but “Any society can be judged by how it treats it’s weakest members”. That is, in my opinion, completely true; and fiscal Libertarianism treats societys weakest members like shit. It is an inherently selfish ideology followed by those who are so chock-full of privilege they cannot ever imagine a time when they may be in need of the benefit system.

  52. Snoof says

    @anteprepro

    Foils, red shirts, mooks, whatever you want to call people who aren’t the protagonist, die so very easily, but the protagonist, fully equipped in invisible plot armor, is able to succeed where normal people fail through sheer power of super special awesomeness.

    One of my favourite looks at “disposable” characters in fiction is Grant Morrison’s Invisibles. In one of the first few issues, there’s a rescue scene where one of the protagonists kills a number of the antagonist’s minions (guards wearing body armour and face-concealing helmets).

    A later issue is spent detailing the entire life story of one of those nameless, faceless minions from childhood, following the train of decisions and events that led to their eventual death at the hands of the protagonist. It’s a fascinating way of recontextualising the entire scene, and since reading it, I find it a lot harder to dismiss minor characters as just “redshirts” or “minions” unworthy of attention.

  53. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @thumper

    We usually call you some brand of liberal in US. it really isn’t a dirty word. would you kindly stop giving tacit support for libertarianism

  54. doublereed says

    Quick google search. According to a Cato Institute Paper (which has all sorts of hilarious BS in it) and it’s source of the Pew Research Center, Libertarians are about 2/3s male, 1/3 female (I was expecting much fewer women). I couldn’t find the Pew Research Center source, so I just assume they didn’t screw with the stats.

    They are heavily white dominated, about even with liberals in terms of wealth, and less religious than conservatives. I have no idea what a “populist” means in their context, so that could throw off some of the comparisons though.

    http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/pubs/pdf/pa580.pdf.

  55. glodson says

    I have no idea what a “populist” means in their context, so that could throw off some of the comparisons though.

    I believe that they are referencing the Nolan Chart.

    This simplistic take puts everything on a plane, with the axes being Personal Freedom and Economic Freedom. The Libertarian is supposedly for ultimate Personal and Economic Freedom. The Populist is their polar opposite.

  56. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Yeah cause personal and economic freedom is compleatly seperated and never over laps.

  57. thumper1990 says

    @Ing

    Actually, I identify as Liberal and the only people who think it is a dirty word are a bunch of morons who’ve never bothered to look it up in a Dictionary.

    Moving on before I start ranting; according to a friend who has a degree in Politics and Economics, the fact that I agree with the premise that less laws = more freedom makes me a Social Libertarian. From what he said the goals are the same, but Liberalism attempts to preserve freedom through the introduction of new laws, while Social Libertarianism attempts to preserve freedom through the abolishment of unnecessary or overly restrictive laws. Social Libertarianism is distinct from Fiscal Libertarianism. The fact they usually come as a package does not mean that they are impossible to separate, and if it turns out that the label “Social Libertarianism” can fairly be applied to my beliefs then I’m perfectly happy for it to be so.

    If you read my #61, I think it’s perfectly obvious I’m not providing tacit support; merely acknowledging that I agree with what I know of the social side of Libertarianism. That doesn’t mean I’m going to go out and vote for a Libertarian on the strength of their social policies while ignoring their horrible fiscal policies. Your problem is that you’re equating the two and assuming support for one necessarily equals support for the other. It doesn’t.

  58. says

    My beliefs on social politics can essentially be summed up as “If you’re not hurting or presenting a significant danger to anyone other than yourself, then you crack the fuck on”. I like the whole less laws/less Government interference side…

    Trouble is, there’s huge numbers of people who want to take away your basic freedoms, for various reasons; and government is necessary to keep them from doing that. And when libertarians complain about laws and government interference, 99% of the time it’s that enforcement of your rights they’re complaining about.

    Ing is right: you’re a liberal, not a libertarian. And the minute you want government to protect your right to do harmless things like eat out while black, or have sex with someone who’s the same sex as you, the libertarians will join with the authoritarians and call you a commie.

  59. doublereed says

    Yea, but no one’s going to admit that they’re a Totalitarian, so clearly that’s screwing up their stats somehow. Do people call themselves “populists”?

    “Economic Freedom” is such a weird term, btw. You gain economic freedom from *having money*, not from *lack of taxes* or deregulation. Rich people are more economically free because they have the capital to spend money on whatever they want. That’s freedom. Not this ideological libertarian stuff.

    That’s what I really feel is the difference between liberals and libertarians. It’s Pragmatism vs Ideology.

  60. says

    … the fact that I agree with the premise that less laws = more freedom makes me a Social Libertarian.

    It also makes you WRONG. That premise has been proven false by at least a century of US history. Every major increase in human freedom (civil rights, women’s rights, collective bargaining, to name just a quick few) was accomplished ONLY by the creation and enforcement of new laws, or by more vigorous enforcement of rights already in the Constitution.

  61. says

    Are there any women Libertarians?

    Ayn Rand defines the movement, which brings me to my complaint:

    Can we stop calling these Randian cultists “Libertarians”, please? Because they are not Libertarians. Yes, I’m engaging in a “no true Scotsman” fallacy, because in this case it isn’t a fallacy; it’s true.

    I am a Libertarian; specifically, a Social(ist) Libertarian.

    I believe in the fundamental right of each person to do whatever they want as long as they do not violate the right of somebody else to do whatever they want. For example: I do think the War on Drugs should end with the legalization of the softer drugs (natural psychedelics and LSD) and the decriminalization of harder drugs (insofar as being caught with them doesn’t land you in jail, but puts you in a position of getting help to get off the addiction).

    I do NOT however, believe that “corporations are people”, so that right does not apply to corporations/Wall Street. So no, there is no “invisible hand of the market” and yes, the market should be heavily regulated (and corporate money banned from politics altogether). In other words, it should be “seller beware”, not “buyer beware”.

    I also believe in welfare, and affirmative action, and universal healthcare, because people are at their freest when they are at their healthiest, both physically and mentally, and a truly free state ensures the overall health of its people.

    That also goes for environmental protection policies, because a healthy environment contributes to the overall health of the people.

    That also goes for gun regulations, because the easier it is to get guns, the harder it is to maintain the health of a people. Personally, I’d like to see the total banning of guns, but sadly that may not be possible in the US… at least now.

    I support us switching to the Finnish model of education, as well, because a highly-educated people are a healthy people.

    And while I do think the current tax system could be better, how in the hell is this country supposed to be run without taxes? I don’t believe that taxation is slavery. I also don’t believe in taxation without representation, but we largely beat that in 1783 when we won the revolution (and when I see these Randian cultists screaming “no taxation without representation”, it makes me want to strangle them).

    This is a decent primer on actual Libertarianism.

    So can we please call these Rand-worshiping cultists what they are; Randeists? That distinction would be highly welcome, because they simply are not Libertarians.

  62. doublereed says

    NateHevens, you seem confused.

    They ARE libertarians.

    YOU are a liberal.

    YOU are not a true scotsman.

  63. Scr... Archivist says

    The term “libertarian” as it is being used in this thread (and the U.S. generally) is a euphemism for “propertarian”. These folks are not interested in liberty, but in property and what it can get them. They certainly wouldn’t want their businesses to be owned and managed by all the employees, or by society in general. Who would they get to boss if that happened?

    More than a century ago, the term “libertarian” was a synonym for “anarchist”, as in someone opposed to hierarchies. But propertarians want to maintain economic hierarchies, and suppress any competition such as democratic self-government.

    Ron Paul doesn’t really fit in with the U.S. Libertarian Party, but they’re a bigger outfit than the Constitution Party is. He’s more of a paleo-conservative — a John Birch, right-wing populist type, the kind who will help the (white) little guy in his struggle against the International Bankers (wink, wink). Unfortunately, Paul’s desire to reduce Federal power and allow massive state-government intrusion into our personal lives is interpreted by some liberals and libertarians as a good thing. But try justifying that to the women of North Dakota.

  64. glodson says

    Yea, but no one’s going to admit that they’re a Totalitarian, so clearly that’s screwing up their stats somehow. Do people call themselves “populists”?

    I have no idea. I skimmed the article to figure out if they were referring to what I first suspected. Maybe they asked a few questions and pigeonholed people based on the response. I didn’t check up on their methodology. So, who knows.

    “Economic Freedom” is such a weird term, btw. You gain economic freedom from *having money*, not from *lack of taxes* or deregulation. Rich people are more economically free because they have the capital to spend money on whatever they want. That’s freedom. Not this ideological libertarian stuff.

    Yes. There’s a reason why the Koch brothers do this whole libertarian thing. And they sell the ideology to others, with the idea that taxes are theft, and other lines of nonsense.

  65. says

    Sorry, NateHevens, but you’re not a libertarian. The positions you describe are those of a progressive; they are not the policies espoused by any libertarian group or organization. The Randists are. That’s all.

  66. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    200 years ago democrats where the party of racism and jim crow

    Times change, lables change meaning. adapt

  67. says

    Scr…Archivist

    He’s more of a paleo-conservative — a John Birch, right-wing populist type, the kind who will help the (white) little guy in his struggle against the International Bankers (wink, wink).

    Practically speaking, this is indistinguishable from what libertarians advocate, in that the outcome of the proposed policies will be the same.

  68. thumper1990 says

    @Raging Bee

    Yeah, I identify as Liberal; merely relating second-hand information from a friend more learned in these matters than me. When he brought it up my first reaction was to deny it. When he asked me why I didn’t want to be called a Libertarian, I listed all the stuff I don’t like and he said “Oh! Everyting you just listed is Fiscal Libertarianism!” and then went on to explain the difference. From the definition he gave, it sounded like a fair assessment of my beliefs.

    *shrug* at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what label you slap on political beliefs; just what effect they have. No benefit system, no regulation whatsoever of private companies? Horrible beliefs. Decriminalisation of marijuana, abortion, and sexuality? Good beliefs.

  69. says

    I have a couple of female libertarian friends, and given their strong presence in the media (McArdle, Mangu-Ward and others mentioned here). I don’t think the movement is as male-only as people say, but there is a bit of a split when it comes to roles (male libertarians are the thinkers and writers, females libertarians are the cheerleaders and commentators).

    The whole “libertarians are just republicans trying to be hip” is also not very accurate. Libertarians are big on legal pot and ending the War on Drugs, yes, but they are also usually on board with gay rights and very much anti-war, though I’ll grant that they are usually far less mobilized on such issues. Then again, as a socialist, I dearly wish a democrat or liberal with actual office stole the crown of ‘openly and forcefully arguing against foreign intervention and war on drugs’ from anyone with the last name Paul. I wonder if some of our fristration at libertarianism stems from being represented by opportunist weasels who rarely share our ideals.

    On the other hand, libertarian earnestness can be a detriment. More so than republicans, libertarians I have spoken with would gleefully tear down any semblance of the welfare state with great zest and speed. Medicaid, Medicare, the Interstates, public schools, the UN, food stamps. I’ve seen republicans defend some of those, or at least agree to leave them alone because people like them, but libertarians (honorable exceptions duly made) can’t wait to get rid of all that, and if the cost in lives and quality of life for millions is severe, well, it’s the cost of moving toward utopia. They would end it all and not lose a wink of sleep over it.

    Which is Leninist as hell and would be funny if it wasn’t scary.

  70. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Yes it does matter because it gives tacit support. Imagine calling your progressive philosophy national socialism. No association with Nazis. ..but still.

    Hell socialists are still hammered for the Hitler connection. If it didn’t matter why would operators like Rove continue to beat that drum?

  71. iknklast says

    Oklahoma?!? I lived in Oklahoma for 36 years. If that’s what they call freedom, count me out. Free to be an idiot. Free to hate everyone that’s different from you. Free to love OU football. Free to worship the one and only true creator god, Yahweh, as long as you aren’t Catholic (because in Oklahoma, Catholics aren’t Christians). Most of all, free to engage in cock-fighting, even though the people of the state voted against it by a bare margin (55%); an activist judge* decided the will of the people should not prevail, because those people were mostly in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, or some such nonsense (yeah, that’s where most of the people live; but if the rural areas don’t vote for something, why should the majority of the people have their say?). Free to bow down to the almighty military, but not free to speak up against it. Free to teach biology, as llong as you don’t mention evolution or human reproduction (in some schools, anyway. I’m sure there are teachers who get away with it until a student complains). Oklahoma – among the five most free states. We are truly living in an Orwellian world. (Just try exercising your First Amendment right not to believe in rural Oklahoma, and see how free you really are).

    *activist judge conservative style

  72. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Also libertarianism thrives because of the bullshit ambiguity.

  73. thumper1990 says

    @Dallillama

    Sorry, NateHevens, but you’re not a libertarian. The positions you describe are those of a progressive; they are not the policies espoused by any libertarian group or organization. The Randists are. That’s all.

    The fact they call themselves Libertarians does not make it so, any more than a country slapping “Democratic” in front of their name makes it so. They may have appropriated the term in everyday useage, but that does not mean they conform to the definition of the word.

    /nitpicking

  74. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Ffs no true libertarianism.

  75. bryanfeir says

    @snoof:
    One of my favourite takes on that sort of thing was from Peter David while he was doing the Star Trek comic book. He did an entire issue built around Kirk having to write a eulogy for a security ‘red shirt’ who had just died in the line of duty saving Kirk’s life from a group of what were pretty much pirates. And discovering in the process that nobody really knew much about the fellow. It became a commentary on how inured people can get to the things that can happen to the ‘little people’ around them…

  76. DLC says

    Not that it really matters, but the “official” libertarian party platform stipulates that abortion should be up to the individual. http://www.lp.org/platform , scroll down to 1.4.

    While I support fully the widest possible civil liberties commensurate with the public safety, I think the LP in general, and Randian Libertarianism specifically to be sophomoric, silly, and morally bankrupt.

  77. thumper1990 says

    @Ing

    Yes it does matter because it gives tacit support. Imagine calling your progressive philosophy national socialism. No association with Nazis. ..but still.

    Hell socialists are still hammered for the Hitler connection. If it didn’t matter why would operators like Rove continue to beat that drum?

    No. Saying “Yeah, the Nazis had some decent economic policies, but that doesn’t detract from the racism” is not tacit support of the racism. Equally saying “Social Libertariansim is good but Fiscal Libertarianism is bad” doesn’t lend tacit support to Fiscal Libertarian policies.

    And Conservatives still bang on about that because they are fucking idiots who do not understand the definition of “Socialism”, “Nationalism” or “National Socialism”. Ask anyone who tries to compare Socialism to National Socialism to define the ideologies and I can almost guarantee you they will be completely incapable of doing so.

    This whole thread is evidence of why I had a problem when my friend first defined my beliefs as such; I didn’t want to be called a “Social Libertarian” because people generally don’t make that distinction, even if people studying politics at an academic level do. However, whether I like or not doesn’t really make any difference as to whether or not it’s a fair description.

  78. says

    *shrug* at the end of the day, it doesn’t really matter what label you slap on political beliefs…

    Ye, it DOES matter, especially when the labels are used for purposes of deception and manipulation — which right-wing authoritarians and corporatists have been doing at least since 1978. Notice how you’re making arguments based entirely on labels, and ignoring the substantive policy points? That’s part of the Reoublican/libertarian/corporatist/reich-wing authoritarian con-game, and you’re letting yourself get suckered.

    Words have meaning, because that’s how we communicate.

  79. says

    … libertarians I have spoken with would gleefully tear down any semblance of the welfare state with great zest and speed. Medicaid, Medicare, the Interstates, public schools, the UN, food stamps.

    …and the Internet too! Right?

  80. anteprepro says

    When he asked me why I didn’t want to be called a Libertarian, I listed all the stuff I don’t like and he said “Oh! Everyting you just listed is Fiscal Libertarianism!” and then went on to explain the difference.

    Classic. At least using American political language, Libertarianism is when you are fiscally conservative and socially liberal. If you are a “Social Libertarian” it is because you don’t fit the fiscal dimension of libertarianism: i.e. you are both socially and fiscally liberal. You know another name for that? Liberal. “Social Libertarian” isn’t Libertarian.

    The fact they call themselves Libertarians does not make it so, any more than a country slapping “Democratic” in front of their name makes it so. They may have appropriated the term in everyday useage, but that does not mean they conform to the definition of the word.

    Randians are in the same ideological ballpark as those libertarians who are not explicitly Randian. And they do in fact fit the definition of being socially liberal (or at least give it lip service and are moreso than a full conservative) and fiscally conservative. So…citation needed?

  81. frog says

    Wait–you mean that when lots of people are living in close proximity to one another, they create more laws to regulate the interactions between them? Because otherwise, as history has shown for 10,000 years, they descend into anarchy and warlordism?

    Holy poop on a stick, but Libertarians are idiots. I really, really, really want them to have their own little corner of the world where they can all live together and leave the rest of us alone. It will need a big wall, though, to keep their Lord of the Flies crapsack world from leaking onto the rest of us.

  82. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    Look, labels mean a lot, a HELL of a lot.

    In Weimar Germany in the 1920’s, the Communist Party was becoming extremely popular. Commies, right? So what did Hitler and his buddies call their party, which diametrically opposed the Communists?

    The National Socialist German Worker’s Party.

    How much more left-wing could you (seemingly) get?

    It was a great advertising move, part of what allowed them (the Nazis) to become popular and gain power.

  83. thumper1990 says

    @Raging Bee

    “Letting [myself] get suckered” how? I don’t support Libertarianism. I recounted a story about how I agree with Libertarian social policy, for the most part, and a learned friend said that made me a “Social Libertarian”, and how I don’t mind being called that but I hate Libertarian fiscal policy.

    To be clear: I’m not a Libertarian. I’ve said several times I identify as Liberal.

  84. kemist, Dark Lord of the Sith says

    In their view regulation that keeps people from being able to screw other people is evil. However “private” theocracies are a-okay. For again only government is evil. Thus we get so many Libertarians defending corperations and writhing in extasy about how good and wonderful they are. Thus we get Penn’s Jillette’s breathless estatic defence of Walmart. Because you see only government is evil, only government coerces anyone. Or if something other than government coerces it doesn’t count.

    The thing they don’t get is that all the entities that enforce rules are a form of government.

    Whether it’s a city, state, country, corporation, church or a warlord, that’s still someone who forces you to do some things, and it’s completely unavoidable unless you mean to live all alone, by your own ressources on your own island or planet.

    The only government libertarians seem to want to do away with is governement that is decided by vote, ie democracy.

  85. moarscienceplz says

    I am one of the benighted downtrodden human flotsam that must live out my miserable existence in the hell-hole that is California. I drive on roads past non-existent toll booths because they are maintained with taxes cruelly wrested from me when I buy gasoline. I am coddled like a baby by airbags and seat harnesses mandated by freedom-hating government toadies. I breathe air that is deficient in the monoxides and nitrous compounds that gasoline engines naturally produce because our overlords required all of us to buy cars equipped with catalytic converters. And I work at a job that I am qualified for because I was imprisoned in a series of government-funded “schools” for most of my childhood.
    Is there no one who can free me from this yoke of tyranny?

  86. alwayscurious says

    Pollution is my favorite example of why we can’t have unbridled Libertarianism. If I am truly free from regulation, I should be able to pollute the air, water, and earth in MY land if I am so inclined. But that choice negatively impacts everyone around me who a right to the clean air & clean water I ruined. So how to balance the right to pollute the streams vs. the right to have clean water? I know, how about an agency with greater authority than any individual (cough cough, government) capable of regulating these kinds of interactions! What an idea!! It’s been around centuries.

  87. thumper1990 says

    @moarscienceplz

    *wipes tears from eyes*

    As a token of our/my esteem, please accept this sniny internets.

    Anyway, I have to actually leave work on time for once so I’m off. G’nite all.

  88. says

    alwayscurious @ #98:

    If you believe in the idea that you have the right to do whatever you want as long as you do not violate another person’s right to do whatever they want, then no, you should not be free to pollute because your polluting directly, physically, and negatively affects (or is it effects? Fuck I hate these words!) others. They have a right to clean air and water, and you don’t have the right to take that away from them.

    Also… for the thread as a whole:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_libertarianism and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism

    Just for informational purposes…

  89. says

    Yeah, because dictionary definitions of words matter more than actual policies advocated or enacted. We learned that in the “harassment” debate, didn’t we? Oh wait…

  90. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    So how do you protect people’s right to clean resources by removing laws oh wise social libertarians?

  91. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Also as skeptics have taught me there is no bad pollution, global warming is a myth and AL Gore is fat in a jet, and smoking is good for you

  92. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Also cripples want to be treated as equals which means letting them crawl up stairs

  93. says

    Thumper1990

    No. Saying “Yeah, the Nazis had some decent economic policies, but that doesn’t detract from the racism” is not tacit support of the racism.

    Well, except for the fact that they didn’t have decent economic policies, but that’s a detail, right?

    Equally saying “Social Libertarianim is good but Fiscal Libertarianism is bad” doesn’t lend tacit support to Fiscal Libertarian policies.

    Your friend appeaser to have made up this meaning of social libertarianism; Civil libertarians are people who are concerned with civil liberties, but they mostly don’t call themselves that anymore because it associates them with, well, libertarians. Social libertarianism is generally used as a synonym of left-libertarianism, which has a lot more to it than just opposing blue laws of various types; it also includes ideals of collective ownership of the means of production and elimination of hierarchies. It is in many ways similar to Marxism (NOT Leninism, Stalinism, or Maoism, mind), but with many of the bugs worked out of it. I agree almost entirely with left-libertarianism, in fact, but I don’t call myself a libertarian, because it lends support to the entitled jackasses who make up the vast majority of people who call themselves libertarian.

    Kemist

    The only government libertarians seem to want to do away with is governement that is decided by vote, ie democracy.

    I have actually had libertarians tell me, in so many words, “Freedom is better than democracy.” They’re completely incapable of explaining this in a coherent fashion, though.

  94. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @Nathan
    That’s not very libertarianian at all

    We had the key difference explained adding laws is liberal removing is libertarian

    Libertarian freedom is a huge Wal-Mart with no handicap parking

  95. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @nate

    Hey don’t disagree with BUllshit.

    *eats roasted eagle*

  96. says

    Libertarian freedom is a huge Wal-Mart with no handicap parking

    I’m sorry, but it isn’t. Libertarianism is not corporate freedom; it’s person freedom. If you really think that “corporations are people” and/or you believe in “state’s rights”, then I would not consider you a libertarian. You are a Randiest; that is, a worshiper of the market.

  97. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    It would improve clarity so much if we could just refer to it as “narcisso-capitalism.”

  98. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @Nate

    Yeah and why don’t those soix kick the Europeans off their land.

    Oh excuse me…I hear a general is about to cross the Rubicon and totally want to be part of that battle!

  99. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @nate

    This canister is inflammable

    What do I mean by that?

  100. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @114

    Ffs Nate wake up.

    You have perfectly fine terms to describe yourself. I’m sorry you’re stupidly married to that one.

  101. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    The whole concept of serving the community is flying out of the window here in Virginia…

    On the contrary. They’re devoted to serving the community. Tastefully prepared, with a nice side dish.

  102. says

    Natehevens

    so we should stop using the word “libertarian” all together?

    Except as a description for libertarians, yeah.

    Or why not fight to take it back from the Randeists?

    Why? What’s so special about the word that we should fight for it? We’ve got perfectly good words like progressive, mutualist, socialist, etc.

  103. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @nathan

    The root term inflammable means it is capable of igniting.

    Too many people got confused and thought it meant unable to do so

    Safty tags now read flammable which is nonsense but understood. because it was more important to communicate and accept the definiton drift than fight it

  104. anteprepro says

    calling Randeists “libertarians” is bullshit.

    As you have asserted, without evidence, over and over. The only thing resembling an argument that you have presented to that effect is presenting your own political beliefs, which you specifically labeled Socialist Libertarianism. How does the existence of a subset of Libertarianism that is different from the Randian kind of Libertarianism prove that Randianism does not also fit under the umbrella of Libertarianism? Show your fucking work.

  105. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Dalillama… so we should stop using the word “libertarian” all together? Or why not fight to take it back from the Randeists?

    Why bother with the word. Liberal/progressive says the same thing, without the asinine economic baggage.

  106. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Both Rand and Paul listed by Wikipedia. So shuddup Nate

  107. w00dview says

    If you believe in the idea that you have the right to do whatever you want as long as you do not violate another person’s right to do whatever they want, then no, you should not be free to pollute because your polluting directly, physically, and negatively affects (or is it effects? Fuck I hate these words!) others. They have a right to clean air and water, and you don’t have the right to take that away from them..

    The “freedom” I have seen libertarians defend:

    The freedom of corporations to pay their workers barely liveable wages in sweat shop conditions in the third world.
    The freedom of corporations to dismantle unions.
    The freedom of businesses to not have wheelchair ramps for disabled customers to access their store.
    The freedom of businesses to not serve those awful colored folk.
    The freedom of corporations to pollute the environment and produce as much carbon emissions as possible.
    The freedom of people to have access to as many firearms as needed.
    The freedom of the rich to never have to contribute to society via taxation.

    Apparently they never seem to consider the freedom of workers to safe working conditions and a fair wage, the freedom for disabled people to participate in society as much as the abled, the freedom for minorities to associate with wider society without discrimination, the freedom of growing up healthy and happy in a clean environment, the freedom not to be shot by any old yahoo with an assault rifle and the freedom to be able to not face starvation because you have a social safety net for when times get tough.

    Penn Jillette, Reason magazine, the Cato Institute and many other individual libertarians and organisations remain oddly quiet on those liberties. Apparently the right to exploit others is the only one worth considering. NateHevens, stop calling yourself a libertarian. The word has been tainted by these sociopathic bootlickers to the 1% beyond repair. Just say you are a liberal. It is accurate and does not give legitimacy to these anti human scumbags.

  108. Esteleth, stupid fucking starchild Tolkien worshiping douche says

    Libertarianism, as usually applied, boils down to the following definition: “the freedom for all people* to achieve as much wealth, power, and influence as they want and are capable of.”

    That asterisk is relevant. Because there are people, and then there are the peons, who exist to serve the people.

  109. M, Supreme Anarch of the Queer Illuminati says

    Nate —

    I can sympathize with your frustration, since I’m also in the libertarian socialist “We were using the word first, dammit!” camp. I’m adjusting (though under protest) to the idea that this is another case where the meaning of words drift in popular usage, and that ultimately popular usage is what determines the reasonable uses of a word. I sometimes specify “small-‘L’ libertarian” or just stick to “libertarian socialist”, and have been known to constantly grumble about a bunch of authoritarian capitalists hijacking what had been a perfectly good descriptive term, but so it goes.

  110. unclefrogy says

    speaking of post apocalyptic movies I have only seen one that even remotely tries to come close to reality is “The Road” a real nightmare it is no Water World story of overcoming anything but a struggle against despair
    now back to reading the rest of the thread.
    uncle frogy

  111. says

    calling Randeists “libertarians” is bullshit.

    Tell that to the Randeists who call themselves “libertarian.”

    And if we’re going to fight to “reclaim” a word, why not fight to reclaim the word “liberal” from the relentless demonization the libertarians have heaped upon it since the ’70s? “Liberal” is a good word, associated with many policies that have been proven to work. FDR was a liberal, and people who supported the policies we call “libertarian” today HATED him for it — even after he led the campaign to crush the Nazis. I’d rather be associated with FDR than with Herbert Hoover, Ayn Rand or Ron Paul.

  112. says

    M, Supreme Anarch of the Queer Illuminati @ #129

    Nate –

    I can sympathize with your frustration, since I’m also in the libertarian socialist “We were using the word first, dammit!” camp. I’m adjusting (though under protest) to the idea that this is another case where the meaning of words drift in popular usage, and that ultimately popular usage is what determines the reasonable uses of a word. I sometimes specify “small-’L’ libertarian” or just stick to “libertarian socialist”, and have been known to constantly grumble about a bunch of authoritarian capitalists hijacking what had been a perfectly good descriptive term, but so it goes.

    That is what I’m doing, isn’t it? That’s why I’m going to take Ing’s advice at this point and shut up about it. Sometimes I love popular usage; other times, popular usage can go to fucking hell (the word “atheist” and the word “libertarian” are examples of when I hate “popular usage” with an unmatched passion; atheist means “not a theist”, not “the doctrine that gods do not exist”… *spits*).

    raging bee @ #131

    Tell that to the Randeists who call themselves “libertarian.”

    I have. To their face. In meatspace.

    And if we’re going to fight to “reclaim” a word, why not fight to reclaim the word “liberal” from the relentless demonization the libertarians have heaped upon it since the ’70s? “Liberal” is a good word, associated with many policies that have been proven to work. FDR was a liberal, and people who supported the policies we call “libertarian” today HATED him for it — even after he led the campaign to crush the Nazis. I’d rather be associated with FDR than with Herbert Hoover, Ayn Rand or Ron Paul.

    Good point. Except that… well… I often feel like the US is the only country in the world where “liberal” is synonymous with “progressive” and “libertarian” is synonymous with fucking Ayn Rand.

    A great example of what I mean:
    What does it mean to be a ‘liberal’?

    What’s happening here?

    I had always understood that the US’s political spectrum was skewed so far to the right that most USians wouldn’t know what left-wing was if it bit us in the ass, at least as compared to most of the rest of the first world.

    Whenever I hear talk of “liberals” from anyone who isn’t a citizen of the US, it’s like they’re talking about conservatives (that is, they would be talking about conservatives if they lived in the US). A few years back, when I still posted on the Tim Minchin fan forum Angry Feet (I only don’t post there now because of time more than anything… it’s a great forum, IMO… because Tim is a kick-ass comedian, musician, and actor and has awesome fans :D), I experienced this confusion quite abruptly. I had to be careful if I posted about “liberals” and “conservatives”, because a lot of the posters seemed to have an understanding exactly the opposite of my understanding.

    Am I wrong in that regard?

  113. stevem says

    re

    Ayn Rand defines the movement, which brings me to my complaint:

    Which brings me to my complaint. Ayn Rand disowned Libertarianism on whole, as a complete misunderstanding of her “Objectivism” philosophy. She objected vociferously to being the “idol” of the Libertarians. I have to come out and admit I read her books and essays and I suppose am a “fan”, but think most totally misinterpret her as a speaker of “I’ve got mine, so fuck you”. She is very hard to read because she is difficult to understand. It’s easy to lift just a phrase or two as the whole of the philosophy. She wrote “deeply” but not “clearly”. It takes time, and THOUGHT, to understand her philosophy. I can go on and on trying to defend her as NOT a Libertarian, but that will bore everyone and I’ll probably be just as incoherent. “Randeians”, I am not one at all, I do not know any, but sound just as delusional as Jebusfans.
    Conservatives seem to have great fun defining words completely different from common usage, such as “skeptic”. A “true skeptic” (“true Scotsman”??) is one who doubts himself as well as everything he’s told, until he is given a rational argument. A “true skeptic” is not someone who doubts everything he is told just because “he knows the truth, so you must be wrong”. But that latter seems to have become THE DEFINITION of skeptic, why is that? To me, a skeptic is someone who always asks “Well, why is that?” when told something. He isn’t the one who always responds with “That can’t be right, you gotta be wrong.”
    … but …. I think I’m just ranting, so moving along, carry on…

  114. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    And in the story linked to above, I bring to you this quote:

    “I don’t think there should be federal definition of marriage,” Amash explained. “So I think the federal government should just stay out of this. Really, marriage should be a private contract that has nothing to do with government.”

    But when it came to abortion, the Michigan Republican said that he wanted to see the government take a major role in forcing women to go through with unwanted pregnancies.(my emphasis)

    Now that’s honest journalism — blunt and truthful!

  115. lostintime says

    I’m pretty sure “civil libertarian” is an oxymoron. I’ve been reading about the libertarian interest groups that have taken over conservation services around the world, and how their influence stretches all the way to international bodies like the IWC. It’s basically putting the worst people imaginable in charge, people who relentlessly campaign to hand over the remaining wild places to the free market and who are mostly climate change denialists. “Freedom” amongst right-wingers and libertarians has become a dog whistle for sociopathic selfishness and I don’t know why anyone would want to align themselves with these assholes. If you’re interested in promoting freedom then use the correct term to describe yourself: not “libertarian”, but “progressive” or “liberal”.

  116. Ichthyic says

    Am I wrong in that regard?

    having had the same issues of understanding confronting me living in NZ these past few years, no, I’d say your observations about how the term liberal is used are in agreement with mine as well.

    liberal does NOT mean the same thing here as it does in the US.

  117. unclefrogy says

    one of the most sacred things for in the libertarian world is the contract if I am not mistaken . I am puzzled by that. If a contract is so highly thought of then why do they seem to dislike the rights of people to join into organizations for the purpose on making contracts for those that they designate to negotiate for them? How is that even different to what people do when they join to form a representative government?
    if there are no laws then there are no courts so how are disputes going to be reconciled? How do you enforce contracts?
    if we have those things now we have already decided to agree we have made the contract then it really sounds like they want to pretend that we have never done any of the agreements by the long process of history and can start at the beginning without any of that and do it all over again to start from the isolated individual in the abstract as if the isolated individual ever existed in the first place.

    I admit that I did not read A Rand but struggled to watch a movie made from her book and do not understand how the hero could have “won” in the court case where he was charged of destroying the buildings that he did not have any connection other than the design. He did not own the land or the material nor pay for the labor but was exonerated for blowing it up. It could only happen in fiction any where else he would at least be bankrupt from the judgements alone if not in prison.\
    libertarianism just bizarre.
    uncle frogy

  118. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    Here in Canada:

    Conservatives: Widely distrusted by the majority of the electorate. The equivalent of leftish Republicans and rightish Democrats.

    Liberals: The default party of federal power for many years. The equivalent of the most radical left-wing Democrats.

    New Democratic Party: Avowed socialists. Currently the official opposition. No effective equivalent (ie. a political party having some actual power) in the US.

  119. says

    Hey, blitzgal! I haven’t seen you in ages. Glad to see you’re still awesome. Also, still making me happy with the Chie avatar. too many of the folks I deal with lately are terrible people who hate her. Granted, I’ve really come to appreciate Yukiko more after tA and tG, but still, I do adore Chie. Also, in the unlikely event you’ve been hearing bad things about me, I assure you most of them are untrue XD

    Dalillama… so we should stop using the word “libertarian” all together? Or why not fight to take it back from the Randeists?

    Because you already lost, and the battle requires fighting people you allegedly support, over something that should be meaningless like semantics. Seriously, not worth it.

  120. says

    Interesting. The darkest states are where my husband has the greatest job opportunities. The dark green/blue, I wouldn’t mind living. The lighter blues have some nice locations for vacation but I’m pretty sure I don’t want to live there and, other than Nashville for a visit, can’t say I have any desire to set foot in the orange states.

  121. says

    I have to come out and admit I read her books and essays and I suppose am a “fan”, but think most totally misinterpret her as a speaker of “I’ve got mine, so fuck you”.

    That is a misinterpretation: She spent too much time trumpeting her own awesomeness, and those of Proper Humans who weren’t leeches, to merely say “I’ve got mine,”. It’d be more like “I got mine because I’m awesome and speshul and got it without any meaningful help, so fuck you”.

    She is very hard to read because she is difficult to understand.

    She’s hard to read because she’s a terrible writer. This is independent of being a terrible human being – she is bad at the actual mechanics of writing. It’s like Tolkien writ large, here. Tolkien’s a great setting maker, but he’s a terrible writer. Ayn Rand is allegedly a good philosopher (she isn’t, but that’s separate), but she is a horrible writer.

    It’s easy to lift just a phrase or two as the whole of the philosophy. She wrote “deeply” but not “clearly”. It takes time, and THOUGHT, to understand her philosophy.

    No, it really doesn’t. It’s not that hard to understand someone locked into the immature teenager phase because she was scarred by communism.

  122. says

    Libertarians will point to freedom as the solution for many problems. Don’t like being paid 2 bucks an hour in a sweatshop? Why, you have the freedom to go look for better wages and conditions elsewhere! Of course the little problem that you live is someplace where there’s nothing but crap jobs, and that your 2 buck an hour helljob didn’t leave you any money to travel to some other location with better jobs doesn’t quite register. Joe Blow’s carbuncle factory polluting your well water? Why, you have the freedom to sue him for violating your property rights! Of course the fact Joe Blow has the money to hire the best litigation lawyers in the country, while you’re stuck trying to find that one lawyer good enough to win, and willing to take the risk of working for peanuts if he loses, doesn’t quite register either. (Not to mention the methods needed for getting money if you win might fall under their definition of “initiation of force,” something they’re not big on.)

  123. says

    It’s good for editorials to stimulate discussion but that discussion should be more than about the sanity of the editorialists.

    Fuck you.

    It’s a fascinating way of recontextualising the entire scene, and since reading it, I find it a lot harder to dismiss minor characters as just “redshirts” or “minions” unworthy of attention.

    *cough*

    Why? What’s so special about the word that we should fight for it? We’ve got perfectly good words like progressive, mutualist, socialist, etc.

    …anarchist…

    North Dakota!

    :finally stops choking on her tea: Fuck of a way to wake up, this.

    Iknorite?

    I often feel like the US is the only country in the world where “liberal” is synonymous with “progressive” and “libertarian” is synonymous with fucking Ayn Rand.

    “liberal” isn’t really synonymous with progressive in the US either; that’s an artifact of the two-party system. Compared globally, “liberal” European parties are actually quite similar to the “liberal” American party; it’s just that the other one is so much worse, progressives end up in the “liberal” camp.

    As for libertarians… they’re basically for individual freedom, but with zero consciousness of the kyriarchy, so they end up reinforcing it; anarchists at least have class consciousness, and are therefore a better term for people who support people’s positive and negative social, legal, and economic freedoms. And with the added benefit that no one is going to confuse you for a right-winger

  124. Muz says

    I thought everyone knew this by now. Because the US systematically destroyed its Left a long time ago the definitions of Libertarian and Liberal used in the US are pretty much unique to the US (or perhaps North America).
    Pretty much everywhere else they can mean wildly different things that are at the same time in no way out of step with their traditional definitions (and arguably less so that the US variants. eg, in Australia the Liberal Party is the Conservative/traditionalist party. This is apt because they aim to conserve Classical Liberal principles they see as inherent in the nation’s foundation)

  125. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Ffs Rand detested libertarianism because it was the generic brand of her product

  126. roro80 says

    This comments section certainly has an interesting arc to it.

    The word “libertarian” has a specific meaning that’s not inconsistant with those saying that they support “Social Libertarianism”. Here in the US, it’s kind of lost that meaning, and has become a standard short hand for wealthy white male d-bags who jerk off to Dagney Taggart and could give 3 fucks about anyone else. Sometimes they take umbrage with Rand’s godlessness. They claim meritocracy, but in practice only want it when it supports the current power structure of white male d-bags like themselves.

    It’s important for people in the US to remember that it doesn’t mean that in other places. It’s also important for people from other places to remember it does mean that in the US, particularly if you want to claim that title while interacting with (mostly) people from the US.

    Also: that map is a fucking riot, man. If you’re measuring “freedom” and Tennessee wins, you need to look at your methodology. Modelling does not match reality.

  127. roro80 says

    Oh! Also, regardless of how you feel about libertarianism, there’s something pretty fucked up about hearing someone say “I identify as _____” and countering with “No, no you don’t”. That’s not really how self-identification works.

  128. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Also neoliberalism is close to libertarianism so meh

    _____________________________________________

    Ok nate what I’m about to say is going to sound jerky but its not personal

    This is what just happened for those who missed it

    Person a: randites can’t be libertarians because libertarianism is good and they’re jerks
    Person b: randites can’t be libertarians because libertarianism is bad and we’re not jerks!

  129. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @roro

    Ok. I’m a Nazi and want you to join my Humanist Nazi Party. we meet every Thursday at the resteraunt on main, The Bunker

  130. says

    Ing:

    Rand detested libertarianism because it was the generic brand of her product

    *blink*

    That’s about as concise and apt a summation as I’ve ever seen. Nice.

  131. says

    I thought everyone knew this by now. Because the US systematically destroyed its Left a long time ago the definitions of Libertarian and Liberal used in the US are pretty much unique to the US (or perhaps North America).

    Which is why I’ve been railing so hard against the Randeist appropriation of the word libertarian. Having identified myself as a Social(ist) Libertarian for about a year now, it really grates when Randeists are referred to as libertarians, because these are people in favor of state and corporate freedoms, not individual freedoms. Seems to me like the exact opposite of libertarianism.

    Oh yeah… and they want to smoke pot.

    But Rutee’s right:

    Because you already lost, and the battle requires fighting people you allegedly support, over something that should be meaningless like semantics. Seriously, not worth it.

    I really shouldn’t be battling with progressives over semantics, because it’s meaningless, and the battle for true freedom, a progressive world, is more important.

    So I’m sorry for going where I did.

  132. Muz says

    “roro80 @ #153
    @Ing

    Uh, buh?”

    I think he’s saying there’s definitely a few situations one could concoct where self identification does defy all sense and meaning.

  133. glodson says

    How do I sign up?

    Just show up. Pretty much worked for me. I just kinda showed up one day and started yelling.

  134. says

    Stevem

    Which brings me to my complaint. Ayn Rand disowned Libertarianism on whole, as a complete misunderstanding of her “Objectivism” philosophy. She objected vociferously to being the “idol” of the Libertarians.

    Tough shit for her, then. The differences between Randism and Libertarianism are as significant as the differences between the catholic and orthodox churches: They hate each other and argue endlessly about minor points of doctrine that no one else cares about, and their actual actions in the world are functionally indistinguishable.

    I have to come out and admit I read her books and essays and I suppose am a “fan”, but think most totally misinterpret her as a speaker of “I’ve got mine, so fuck you”. She is very hard to read because she is difficult to understand.

    As noted above, she’s hard to understand because she’s a terrible writer.

    It’s easy to lift just a phrase or two as the whole of the philosophy. She wrote “deeply” but not “clearly”. It takes time, and THOUGHT, to understand her philosophy.

    It really, really doesn’t. Her premises regarding human nature, the nature of society, economics, and pretty much everything else are absurd and contrafactual, making arguments based on them invalid from the start.

    I can go on and on trying to defend her as NOT a Libertarian, but that will bore everyone and I’ll probably be just as incoherent. “Randeians”, I am not one at all, I do not know any, but sound just as delusional as Jebusfans.

    Yes, they are. So was she.

  135. roro80 says

    @Muz #157

    Of course one could do that. Those people here who are using the original non-US meaning of the word “libertarian” are not doing anything of the sort. Because it’s really obvious that that’s not what they’re doing, I figured that the meaning of Ing’s post must mean something else. But no, I fear you’re correct — reductio ad absurdum strawman because I called what he did fucked up, I guess.

  136. says

    How do I sign up?

    Sometime when I have the spoons, I’ll put you on the wiki list as a musician ans social engineer. That isn’t a requirement to join, but it’s as close as we come to an ‘official’ process.

  137. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    It’s not a strawman. nothing was attributed to you. it was a reducto though and the point stands. people can and do self identify inanely or erroneously.

    They can self identify all they want, I’m not going to play along

  138. Xaivius says

    Chris Clarke@154

    That’s about as concise and apt a summation as I’ve ever seen. Nice.

    Indeed! Wish I had this for when I was in the Uni Philosophy club. Would have been lovely to throw at the rich white d-bag that was always espousing the glory of objectivism.

    On labels: I’m just a socialist. More welfare and taxes for everyone *shrugs*. Oh, and fuckoff with that corporate bailout bullshit. Corporations don’t get personhood. (This apparently makes me not a socialist)

  139. Xaivius says

    Opening the can of worms, Ing:Intellectual Terrorist “Starting Tonight, People will Whine”@163

    It’s not a strawman. nothing was attributed to you. it was a reducto though and the point stands. people can and do self identify inanely or erroneously.

    They can self identify all they want, I’m not going to play along

    On groups and identification: Would this be (somewhat) comparable to someone saying “I’m a republican, but in the pre-civil war sense”? Those areas where you have a group label that is different in different areas or has evolved and changed over time?

  140. roro80 says

    @Ing

    They can self identify all they want, I’m not going to play along

    Super, go on with your bad self. I’m going to continue to say that’s fucked up, and in this particular case, quite US-centric. Freedom is neat.

  141. says

    roro85
    Here’s a list of libertarian parties around the world. Go ahead and find your country on there, notice that the party are composed of right-libertarians in the exact sense we’ve been discussing here, and then shut the fuck up.

  142. roro80 says

    #165

    Would this be (somewhat) comparable to someone saying “I’m a republican, but in the pre-civil war sense”?

    Sure, if you’re only talking about the US. If a British person were to say “I’m a Republican”, where republicanism means that you want to replace the constitutional monarchy with a republic, it’s pretty dumb to say “Nu-UH! Republicans are anti-choice pro-God conservatives, not whatever stupid meaning you want to use! Because Nazi is a word too.”

  143. Alex the Pretty Good says

    So, feedback from a self-identified Continental Western European liberal re: “liberals are the right-wing” outside of the US. Sample size of 1.
    – Liberals are for personal freedoms and fiscal responsibility.
    – Socialists are for personal freedoms but are fiscally irresponsible
    – Christian Democrats are conservative on personal rights and may waver between fiscal responsible and fiscal irresponsibility depending on the local wind that blows.
    – Greens are Socialists who decided they didn’t like the colour Red anymore
    – Nationalists are typically conservative all over the board (they claim that when we invited the “guest-workers”, they were guests. And if they go back home or we otherwise “restrict free access” to the wellfare state, this will free up enough jobs for all “naturally born nationals” that we don’t need to spend so much on the wellfare state (i.e. do away with it))
    – Populists can be anything … mostly just shouting along with last week’s “hot topic” issue. They’re like the Reddit of politics.
    – Leftists are against personal freedom and pro “tax everybody who has more than I do”

    I agree that the above is a little over-simplified … but just a little.

    The important point, though, is that the liberals are generally considered to be fiscally right-of-center (but still centrist to leftist by US standards) so they do tend to get a large percentage of the vote from the people with money. But that doesn’t mean that the liberals are mostly pro big money. Yes, the liberals were one of the groups supporting the privatisation of several public services. But so were the Christian Democrats and many Socialists.

    And yes, Liberals will often continue the longest to look for alternatives to taxation, so when the going gets tough they’re often accused of “wanting to cut all benifits” which is a gross exaggeration.
    All Liberals I know agree with consumer and worker protection laws; all different branches of social security, etc. They will, however, call for stricter controls and limitations so the help (and money) goes to the people who really need it.
    Though if you believe the socialists, this means that liberals want everybody to be unable to pay the rent as soon as they”ve been out of a job for longer than a month. If it were up to the socialists, “I don’t wanna work for only 100€/month more than my wellfare check” would be a viable strategy. Seriously, if I hear one more of them claiming that “the strongest shoulders need to carry the heaviest burdens.”, I’m gonna scream.

    Anyway, as I said, that’s just one European Liberal’s view. Results May Vary.

    But all things considered, I don’t think that my views (or those of most liberals I know) differ that much from the definition of liberal that has been used in this discussion.

    That said … how would this “institute” rate europe on their “freedom scale”? I mean, in the Netherlands and Belgium, you can gay marry, carry pot for personal use and prostitution is legal … so I guess that should count for something, right?

  144. roro80 says

    #167

    Did you forget to read your own list? Because it doesn’t actually say what you think it says. Kindly shut the fuck up until you do so. Please. *kisses*

  145. John Morales says

    thumper1990:

    … according to a friend who has a degree in Politics and Economics, the fact that I agree with the premise that less laws = more freedom makes me a Social Libertarian.

    I don’t know if it “makes” you a Social Libertarian, but the fact that you seem unfamiliar with the concept that laws can increase freedom shows you as either ignorant or thoughtless

    (You seriously think if (say) kidnapping were not unlawful, society would be freer thereby?)

  146. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @roro

    Do take your own advice and fuck off

  147. roro80 says

    Where did I give such advice, Ing? Do you generally find this bulldog routine works when faced with criticism? I do adore bulldogs.

  148. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Obnoxious troll is obnoxious

  149. w00dview says

    That said … how would this “institute” rate europe on their “freedom scale”? I mean, in the Netherlands and Belgium, you can gay marry, carry pot for personal use and prostitution is legal … so I guess that should count for something, right?

    True but they also have high tax rates and decent public services so that would make them a totalitarian hellhole to these “lovers of liberty”. Gay marriage and pot are neat little extras to libertarians. Cool to have but not really necessary. Laissez faire capitalism is the only true indicator of freedom in their eyes.

  150. says

    Laissez faire capitalism is the only true indicator of freedom in their eyes.

    Yes, libertarians are capitalism’s “useful idiots”…

  151. wondering says

    @169 – Alex The Pretty Good

    - Greens are Socialists who decided they didn’t like the colour Red anymore

    Damn, I wish Canadian Greens could be described this way. Instead we’ve got conservatives in green clothing. With the NDP recently working at dropping “socialist” from their constitution in a drive to become Liberal Lite, I’m rapidly becoming disenfranchised.

    Social Democrat all the way, here.

    Is there any way you Americans could clone Bernie Sanders? He seems like a decent politician.

  152. vaiyt says

    The political compass test tells me I’m a left-libertarian, a creature I’ve never seen in the real world. Libertarians like to talk at length about economic vs. social libertarianism, but when economic and social “liberty” clash, they always choose the economic side.

  153. says

    vaiyt;

    The political compass test tells me I’m a left-libertarian, a creature I’ve never seen in the real world.

    Nice to meet you. I’m Chris.

  154. says

    Vaiyt
    So you completely missed the discussion earlier in the thread where NateHevens and I both identified as such?

    Jadehawk
    Because technically I’m not; in order for a modern society to function, a large amount of infrastructure is absolutely necessary, and as such there must be an organized body which collects the funds to build and maintain it, as well as to adjudicate disputes etc., and such a body is a government, pretty much by definition.

  155. says

    anarchism = anti-hierarchy; plenty of anarchists are ok with self government by cooperatives, for example; or unions, if you’re an anarcho-syndicalist. OTOH, a number of left-libertarian ideas are also anti-statist, so I fail to see the distinction

  156. says

    I suppose that it’s another one of those confusions of terminology. IME the anti-statist left libertarians generally also describe their position as anarchism, but they don’t offer a tenable plan to insure the existence of roads, railroads, the electrical grid, fiber, etc, etc, etc, in sufficient quantity and quality to maintain and improve a technological civilization. I am anarchist in the technical sense of anti-hierarchicalism, though.

  157. says

    I’m not against government, either, Jadehawk. Indeed… I think the biggest problem with our government is Wall Street. So, if anything, I’m against Wall Street.

    I also wouldn’t mind seeing a new voting process.

    But government is kinda necessary. There needs to be a body keeping up infrastructure and ensuring such, and, since I support things like welfare, and minimum wage, and seller beware, and so on, who’s gonna ensure the smooth running of these things without government?

    I also like the idea, on paper, at least, of the “US Experiment”. Government by the people, for the people, and all that. In practice, maybe it’s time to tweak it or, as Bill Maher said about the Constitution “it needs a page one rewrite”, but it was a good idea and I like where it comes from.

    So, really, I can’t be an anarchist, because I think government’s necessary.

  158. says

    Again: anarchists aren’t against governance; they’re against hierarchies. A form of governance that prevents undue accumulation of power to one group of people is not hierarchcal; a form of governance where a person has a voice in proportion to how much the decision will affect them is not hierarchical. and yet, they’re all forms of governance, and consequently could accomplish all that government is needed for.

  159. says

    Jadehawk @ #188:

    Again: anarchists aren’t against governance; they’re against hierarchies. A form of governance that prevents undue accumulation of power to one group of people is not hierarchcal; a form of governance where a person has a voice in proportion to how much the decision will affect them is not hierarchical. and yet, they’re all forms of governance, and consequently could accomplish all that government is needed for.

    Oh…

    And now I feel stupid…

    So not much of a change from normal for me…

    Thanks for educating me, though! ;) I always like learning things. So thank you for that.

    And is there any way to say that I’m not being sarcastic without it seeming sarcastic? Because seriously… I’m not being sarcastic. I really do like learning new things and I learned something new from you, so, seriously, thank you.

  160. says

    I was going to link to some examples of what, theoreticall, anarchist polities might look like, and was amused by the fact that the Participatory Economics article describes the whole complex of participatory structures (economy, politics, culture, etc.) in the context of anarchism, while the Participatory Politics one describes the same complex in terms of libertarian socialism; the terms really are largely interchangeable

  161. says

    lol. I’m getting pretty good at reading sarcasm in text, so you’re good. But I think some things are very difficult to make look non-sarcastic, especially o a cynical and sarcastic crowd :-p

  162. says

    Jadehawk @ #192:

    lol. I’m getting pretty good at reading sarcasm in text, so you’re good.

    *sigh of relief*

    Whew! Good… :D

    But I think some things are very difficult to make look non-sarcastic, especially o a cynical and sarcastic crowd :-p

    I was gonna say “I know, right?” in that sarcastic way, but then remember I’m one cynical and sarcastic people, so I really have no room to complain… I’m in good company.

  163. says

    and for the record, I finally gave up the self-denial and admitted to myself that I’m an idiosyncratic anarchist; not so much because I want to see “government” abolished, but because it finally dawned on me that you can’t really do intersectionality on any other basis. It has to be anarchic in exactly this sense: people should have the right to participate in the rule-making and decision-making process in proportion to how much these rules and decisions will affect them. We see that need in social movements so much, when subgroups become disproportionately involved in decision-making relative to how much oppression they’re actually facing, and everyone else gets told to shush and not be divisive.

  164. Nathaniel R says

    Chris Clarke @182

    vaiyt;

    The political compass test tells me I’m a left-libertarian, a creature I’ve never seen in the real world.

    Nice to meet you. I’m Chris.

    Hi, I’m Nathaniel.

    Jadehawk @183

    why can’t all you “left-libertarians” just admit you’re anarchists? even wikipedia sez so! :-p

    I’m happy calling myself either one. I realized several years ago that in principle I’m an anarchist. The problem I have is that I still haven’t figured out what that means in practical terms. Any suggestions for reading?

  165. says

    Sorry about that, Jadehawk. I’ve spent too much time lately arguing with right-libertarian anti-statists who call themselves anarchists and not enough time with right proper anarchists, and it’s warped my linguistic reflexes.
    Also, I was going to say something along the lines of this;

    It has to be anarchic in exactly this sense: people should have the right to participate in the rule-making and decision-making process in proportion to how much these rules and decisions will affect them.

    but you did it way better and more completely.

  166. says

    Jadehawk at #195:

    and for the record, I finally gave up the self-denial and admitted to myself that I’m an idiosyncratic anarchist; not so much because I want to see “government” abolished, but because it finally dawned on me that you can’t really do intersectionality on any other basis. It has to be anarchic in exactly this sense: people should have the right to participate in the rule-making and decision-making process in proportion to how much these rules and decisions will affect them. We see that need in social movements so much, when subgroups become disproportionately involved in decision-making relative to how much oppression they’re actually facing, and everyone else gets told to shush and not be divisive.

    emphasis mine

    Wow.

    Just…

    Damn.

    I never thought of it like that at all. That’s an incredible point…

  167. thumper1990 says

    @John Morales

    (You seriously think if (say) kidnapping were not unlawful, society would be freer thereby?)

    No. That is a quite blatant reductio ad absurdum. I mean don’t make things illegal that don’t hurt anyone else. Drugs should not be illegal, for example, because the voluntary personal use of drugs hurts no one other than the user. And if you wish to do damage to yourself then you have every right to do that.

    I think everyone here will probably be able to think of several laws their respective country has that it just doesn’t need, and/or whose presence is actively harmful. Get rid of them. That’s my opinion.

    @Vaiyt #181

    The political compass test tells me I’m a left-libertarian, a creature I’ve never seen in the real world.

    Me too, I’m just below the centre of the bottom left quadrant. And that’s because the PC makes the distinction I made above; between social and economic politics. “Libertarianism” on the PC referrs to Social Libertarianism; what I called “Fiscal Libertarianism” above is referred to as “right”.

    I don’t know when they changed it, either. The first incarnation of the PC had the Y axis labelled as “Authoritarian” at the top and “Liberal” at the bottom. Although I suppose that if Authoritarinaism is a single leader imposing their will, then the current labelling is more accurate.

  168. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    Libertarianism sucks. The rest of this is OT. Because.
    ________

    flammable which is nonsense but understood

    What, Ing? Prescriptivist.

    And it’s a sensible mistake, the in- (into, upon, on, in) part of inflammable could potentially have meant either that it’s capable or incapable of setting on fire in Latin. It’s essentially a corrupt form in English, probably acquired from French and spelled to conform with Latin after the fact, thereby leading to confusion with the in- (not) form in English.

    The form in- (not) in English probably predates that particular use, since English had (still has) a native form, un- (not). The spelling likely changed for conformity, again, to Latin. Because, you know, there was a time when Latin was a magical god-language, the bestest and most perfect language ever.

    So, yeah, flammable isn’t nonsense and the in- prefix is confusing.

  169. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    @thomathy

    You missed my point which was that language is descriptive

    Also in is not a pefix its part of the root word. inflamable, inflate, inflamation. not a pefix. flam isn’t the root word. flamable itself is a shortening/corruption of inflamable not a dropped prefix.

    Also you’re wrong by latin the meaning is unambiguous

  170. Ing:Intellectual Terrorist "Starting Tonight, People will Whine" says

    Inflame, inflate, incite, insight, intersect, interest, intellect

    Not prefixes.

  171. chigau (not my real name) says

    Inflame, inflate, incite, insight, intersect, interest, intellect
    Not prefixes.

    hmm
    Maybe they should be:
    flate, tersect, terest, tellect
    *never mind*

  172. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    And if you wish to do damage to yourself then you have every right to do that

    Boo. Societies have more responsibility to the people in them than that. It’s something that’s demonstrated daily.

    But, sure, drug use should be legal. It should also be regulated. Heavily regulated. Standards should be enforced. The development (either by chemo-synthesis or by growing and purifying), the distribution, the sale and the consumption should all be heavily regulated too.

    And there should be ways for people to seek help for addiction problems. Not everyone can use a drug and not get addicted. There should be programmes for healthy use, if such use is even possible. And there should then be …

    And don’t even get started on the drug trade yet. That makes it fairly obvious that there’s more than a personal effect to drug use and making drug use not illegal won’t help that very much at all.

    That’s not a very Libertarian list there. Certainly, the idea of a society responsible to individuals is a foreign concept to Libertarianism.

    What you have suggested isn’t legal drug use, it’s the absence of illegal drug use. There is a different and it’s a very important one.

  173. Esteleth, stupid fucking starchild Tolkien worshiping douche says

    Um.

    …[T]he voluntary personal use of drugs hurts no one other than the user.

    Untrue. Hugely untrue.

    So long that there are addicts who do things like spending their last $20 to score a fix rather than spending that exact same money on food for their dependents, voluntary personal use of drugs hurts people other than the users.

    And that is in addition to the emotional harm of loving an addict. Which is not nothing.

  174. Esteleth, stupid fucking starchild Tolkien worshiping douche says

    In other news, this is why I would be in favor of maintaining the criminal status of the addictive ones like opiates, meth, and coke. Oh, and making it easier for addicts to get help, and improving social services so that the harm endured by those dependent on addicts is lessened.

    The idea that a drug user is inured in a little bubble where they are harming no one is bullshit, though, from beginning to end. I’m willing to tolerate the assertion that someone using a non-addictive drug (pot, for example) can be so defined, but that’s it.

  175. thumper1990 says

    @Esteleth

    Sorry, I should have been more careful to make that distinction, which of course is one that has to be acknowledged. I am certainly in favour of full legalisation of marijuana, and of LSD and Ecstasy. The “harder” stuff is where the argument gets tricky, because while those drugs can and do cause demonstrable harm, do you really have the right to tell another person that they are not allowed to use them? I don’t think you do. I think that if a grown adult makes the free and uncoerced choice to use cocaine, for example, no one has any right to tell them they can’t.

    We can, and should even if they’re not legal, provide education and rehabilitation programmes, and we can, and certainly should if they are made legal, ensure a certain standard of purity, level of active ingredient, safe additives etc. etc. and generally make it as safe as we are able; but I firmly believe that no one has any right to tell anyone else what they can and can not do to their own body.

    The bit about making it as safe as we are able, by the way, is why I favour full legalisation and not simply decriminalisation. If made legal they should have to meet safety standards the same as pharmaceutical drugs do, and the Government can not effectively enforce those standards if they do not have some control over manufacture and distribution.

    @Thomathy

    Yes, I agree with literally all of that. All we’re advocating is society where you have the right to do what you wish to yourself, but can still expect to be treated as a human being if you make some bad choices. But no, assuming by “not illegal” you mean decriminalised, then I mean legal, as explained above.

  176. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    You missed my point which was that language is descriptive

    No, I got that. I’m in the descriptivist camp. I’m also a historian of language. Etymology is something I study carefully.

    Also in is not a pefix its part of the root word.

    No. in- is a prefix. It has two meanings. You’re wrong.

    inflamable, inflate, inflamation. not a pefix. flam isn’t the root word.

    That’s correct! The root word is flamma in Latin (and inflate isn’t related to the other two words you wrote and spelled incorrectly). Inflammable is taken into English from French from Latin (inflammare. In English, flame would be the root, but historically that’s not quite right, though the importance of that historical distinction doesn’t so much matter in Modern English (descriptivism and all that).

    The word flammable in English can be understood to be constructed by ‘in- (into) + flame + -able’ (inclined to), but, like ‘atheist’, flammable was taken whole into the language so that’s a bit a-historical, even if grammatically accurate.

    flamable itself is a shortening/corruption of inflamable not a dropped prefix.

    So, we get here. Since English has incorporated two Latin prefixes through French that both take the form in- (though depending on the initial consonant may take the form ir-, im-, etc.) and because Modern English uses both, there is confusion, even though the word was brought into English whole.

    That’s exactly because in Modern English many words are derived by agglutination. So, flammable is derived in English as ‘flame + -able’ and isn’t best described as a corruption of inflammable. In modern usage ‘flammable’ makes a shit-tonne more sense than inflammable, because English doesn’t have the syntax of Latin to make the distinction between the two prefixes clear.

    Of course, inflammable would have been understood properly by anyone who had studied Latin. It’s not surprising that the word stuck around because of the fetishisation of Latin by academia for several centuries and a ridiculous affectation to conform to some imagined Latin ideal of spelling despite obvious conflicts with extant English forms (like the perfectly useful un- prefix).

    Um, so, yeah.

  177. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    All we’re advocating is society where you have the right to do what you wish to yourself

    That would be a monstrous society in which I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be a part of. Just think of the implications. It’s also against basic human nature as demonstrated obviously every day. A society where anyone can do anything they want to themselves just isn’t a society. It’s not in the working of humans.

  178. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    Minor correction to #208.

    The word inflammable in English can be understood to be constructed by ‘in- (into) + flame + -able’ (inclined to) […]

  179. Esteleth, stupid fucking starchild Tolkien worshiping douche says

    All we’re advocating is society where you have the right to do what you wish to yourself

    So, you want a society where we are more or less unbeholden to each other?

    That is my idea of hell. Seriously.

    To paraphrase JS Mill, your right to shoot (unadulterated) heroin (with a clean needle in a safe space) ends the second you pay for said heroin with the money needed to buy me the care I need (when I cannot get said care for myself), or you hurt (either by action or failure to act) me because you are high or seeking a high, you steal from me to pay for your heroin, whatever.

    The use of addictive substances affects more people than just the user. Want to be a user of an addictive drug? Fine. Be disposable to society. Have no dependents. Have no friends, no one who loves you, no one who looks out for you, who would miss you if you were gone. Have a job that could be picked up with minimal effort by another.

    Say that you’re “affecting no one but yourself” when that is true.

  180. says

    Esteleth:

    Want to be a user of an addictive drug? Fine. Be disposable to society. Have no dependents. Have no friends, no one who loves you, no one who looks out for you, who would miss you if you were gone. Have a job that could be picked up with minimal effort by another.

    *Checks off list*

    Whew!

    *Heads out to get more coffee*

  181. says

    She is very hard to read because she is difficult to understand.

    That’s probably because she was an incoherent writer. And that, in turn, is probably because she really didn’t know what the hell she was talking about, and substituted quantity for quality just to baffle everyone with bullshit.

    It’s easy to lift just a phrase or two as the whole of the philosophy. She wrote “deeply” but not “clearly”. It takes time, and THOUGHT, to understand her philosophy.

    That’s what Christians say about the Bible. The fact that NONE of those who praise her have EVER managed to really summarize and explain what she wrote about, or why it was so great or wise or whatever, strongly implies that either her fans don’t understand what they read (if they read it at all), or the book was crap and her fans are all trying to maintain an illusion.

  182. says

    The classic example of the Randeist in action is when they gush about a fictional character’s 65-page speech!!!1111ELEVENTY!1!ONE!!11, without saying ANYTHING about what the guy actually said in that speech.

  183. Esteleth, stupid fucking starchild Tolkien worshiping douche says

    Here’s what I support:
    (1) Use a non-addictive drug that just makes you sleepy/hungry (e.g. pot) and pay for it with your spare cash? Fine. No problem. Have fun.
    (2) Use a non-addictive drug that makes you (potentially) violent (e.g. acid) and pay with it with your spare cash? Remove yourself from anyone/anything that could suffer if you do have a bad trip. Otherwise, have fun.
    (3) Use an addictive drug? Go to rehab. Now. Rehab will be fucking gold-plated, have every practical therapy available. No criminal charges, no social stigma once you’re clean. But the goal is a society where no one uses that shit.
    (4) Manufacture, transport, or sell non-addictive drugs? Better be clean, free of adulterants, etc. You’d better have a license.
    (5) Manufacture, transport, or sell addictive drugs? Nope. Go to jail.

    Coupled with:
    (1) Heavy-duty social programs designed to help those connected to addicts: making sure they’re nourished, clothed, housed, etc. Getting them the support they need in dealing with the addict.
    (2) Heavy-duty social programs designed to help those at risk for becoming addicts from getting there in in the first place. That means addressing seriously poverty, chronic illness and disability (remember, painkillers are addictive), social inequality, etc.
    (3) Heavy-duty social programs designed to help those who would turn to making/dealing addictive drugs for lack of better options get said better options. This means improving schools, helping people get into and complete college, helping people get good jobs, etc.
    (4) Dropping the heavy end of the hammer on the organized crime (etc) that profits from the trade of addictive drugs and the despair of the communities damaged by said drugs.

  184. Esteleth, stupid fucking starchild Tolkien worshiping douche says

    coffee

    Whups. Yes, you’re right. There needs to be a graduation of “how bad does [addictive stuff] make you act”? So caffeine is at one end, then (for example) booze. Heroin, meth, etc are at the other end.

    Basically, my goal is a society where the harms that result from the use of the nasty addictive stuff are gone.

  185. ChasCPeterson says

    Use a non-addictive drug that makes you (potentially) violent (e.g. acid)

    wut

    you mean maybe PCP?

  186. Esteleth, stupid fucking starchild Tolkien worshiping douche says

    you mean maybe PCP?

    PCP is worse about that than acid, yes. But acid can also do things like make you think that you can fly. I’d categorize “jumping off a building” as a violent act, if for no other reason than the risk of you landing on someone.

  187. says

    if physically addictive substances that can make you violent should be outlawed, the first thing on the list would be alcohol.
    Seems to me it would make much more sense to deal with the specifically harmful behaviors and the addiction, rather than a blanket ban on the drug itself.

  188. Esteleth, stupid fucking starchild Tolkien worshiping douche says

    There’s also the question of “how easy is it to get addicted?” Also, the question of “what is the difference between the slightly buzzed and the violent dose?” By both metrics, alcohol is less-bad that heroin. Of course, alcohol should be tightly regulated. But it is possible to drink responsibly in a way that it is not possible to do meth responsibly.

  189. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    But it is possible to drink responsibly in a way that it is not possible to do meth responsibly.

    I’m not entirely sure that’s true, but it’s wildly unethical to find out in a controlled setting. The thing is, there really isn’t any one particular drug which is 100% addictive and which has the same dose response and level of effect in every person every time. Some people don’t get addicted to meth and some people don’t behave terribly irresponsibly on meth.

    What is more pertinent in regulated drug use, I think, is proper socialisation, a culture without stigma, resources for health and wellness, safe spaces and control over dosing and purity, rather than banning drugs that, in present conditions, are usually terribly addictive and dangerous.

    Of course, there are some things that should be controlled to the extent that they are criminal. I’m thinking things like krokodil. Umm …warning for potentially disturbing content on drug effects.

  190. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    Actually, don’t read any articles on that drug unless you’re really prepared. I seem to think that it’s been discussed here once-upon-a-time. It’s horrific. That’s all.

  191. says

    Trigger warning for discussion of drug use and bodily autonomy…

    thumper1990 @ #199:

    the voluntary personal use of drugs hurts no one other than the user.

    One of the benefits of being a member of the Pharyngula Horde is that I’ve learned the power of emotional/psychological harm; not because I’m emotionally harmed by being here (I love this place), but because of others who know quite a bit about it.

    And having learned that, I can say that your statement here simply isn’t true. The physical damage is sometimes localized strictly to the user, depending on the circumstance, but what if the addict is a parent, or a spouse, or otherwise sharing a place with other people? There is social and emotional damage that can be done to other people.

    Yes, I believe you have the right to do whatever you want as long as you do not violate somebody else’s right to do whatever they want, but that violation is not limited to physical violations. If you’re an addict who’s supposed to be raising two kids, for example, and they’re starving because you blew your budget on cocaine instead of food, well, you’ve violated their rights. Now you are affecting others.

    Thomathy @ #204:

    Boo. Societies have more responsibility to the people in them than that. It’s something that’s demonstrated daily.

    Careful. This is a dangerous sentiment. Not necessarily because it’s wrong, but because it can be so easily abused… easier than most other sentiments, in fact. Societies do have a tendency to overstep their bounds. I would argue that the paparazzi are a great, albeit extreme, example of what I mean, here. Why do we assume that someone who’s famous no longer has any rights to privacy just because they’re famous?

    (I should be careful, but the whole paparazzi profession is something I think either needs to be reformed or outright banned.)

    So note; I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m just saying there has to be a line where society rights end and individual rights begin, and I, personally, would place more emphasis on individual rights.

    But, sure, drug use should be legal. It should also be regulated. Heavily regulated. Standards should be enforced. The development (either by chemo-synthesis or by growing and purifying), the distribution, the sale and the consumption should all be heavily regulated too.

    I agree, for the most part. The only caveat I’d make is the naturally-occurring drugs, especially marijuana. The thing we need to be careful of with regulation is that marijuana’s not put in the hands of tobacco companies. Seeing what they did with cigarettes (all the shit added to those things beyond the tobacco), I’m legitimately afraid they’ll do the same with marijuana, and I don’t think that’s an unreasonable fear. Mainly, I think they’ll add dangerous substances to make marijuana physically addictive.

    Marijuana is not physically addictive. It is possible to grow a mental/emotional dependence on it (I know as I’ve done this before), but what keeps marijuana from being actually/physically addictive is the fact that our brains are actually kind of hard-wired to handle THC. We have THC receptors in our brain. Granted, that’s probably because our brains naturally produce a tiny amount, and smomking marijuana causes a severe flood of THC, but even then, our brains are well-enough equipped to handle, at least in moderation. Plus, getting off marijuana doesn’t come with any physical withdrawal symptoms (again… I know, because I’ve actually been through this… yes I use now, but before I started again six months ago, I had not touched it for over three years… I use very sporadically now because I’m an insomniac and it helps me sleep when I don’t have Sleepy Time or some kind of an allergic reaction that requires benadryl [which knocks me out like a light, but which I’ll only take if I need it to stop itching and sneezing because I overdosed on it about 8 years ago and I’m still scared of what will happen if I do that again, even 8 years later]).

    That’s not to say marijuana is perfectly healthy. A long-term study showed potential for brain damage, but the people they studied started when they were young (some of them were either 12 or 13, if I’m not mistaken), ingested it every single day, way more than once a day (so, basically, spent more of their days stoned as opposed to sober), and the study lasted something like 15 or 20 years. So yes… if you way overdo marijuana to a point like that, chances are you’ll end up with a lot of dead braincells.

    But it is actually improbable to overdose on marijuana; you would have to ingest 3-4 times your own bodyweight all at once in order to overdose. That is… I’m currently 177 lbs. I would have ingest, all at once, between 531 and 708 POUNDS of marijuana in order to contract THC poisoning and overdose… it’s easier to overdose on caffeine.

    But regulation of marijuana has to be cognizant of so many things: people are going to want to grow it. It has potential and actual medical benefits (actual: depending on the strain, it can be a great pain-killer [I know a couple people who get seriously severe migraines who use pot to deal with those migraines], a great help in getting past insomnia to sleep, a great way to eat if you otherwise can’t, it can help if you’re nauseous or otherwise having upset stomach issues, and so on; potential: studies have shown that a cannabinoid known as CBD, mixed with a very tiny bit of THC, can target and kill certain kinds of cancer cells in petri dishes and rats; IMO, it’s time they started putting that to the test in humans, and, in fact, I think Israel is finally starting on this… obviously it might have no affect in humans, but that doesn’t make it not worth trying). Cigarette companies, if given control over the distribution of marijuana, will very likely do to their mass-produced joints what they did to tobacco for cigarettes. And so on…

    Then there’s LSD. LSD was originally discovered as a Psychiatric wonder drug. In controlled doses, it got patients to really open up. It also seemed, in controlled doses, to ease up the symptoms of numerous different mental… what’s the proper word here, again? There was some indication that it might be, in controlled doses, what the mental health industry had been looking for. I don’t want LSD completely legalized for recreational use, but I would like to see it rescheduled so that Psychiatrists can go back to testing it. I’ve read things where people with ADHD were more focused, people who were bi-polar were much calmer and less prone to mood swings, people with schizophrenia stopped hearing voices… LSD, again in controlled doses, does appear to have interesting, positive effects on mental health… which can only be confirmed (or disproven) with scientific, double-blind clinical trials. Not as a cure, mind you… these affects only seem to last while the patients were under the influence of LSD; once it wore off, the positive affects were gone… but as a perhaps better alternative to controlling symptoms.

    Then, of course, there’s the whole forbidden fruit thing. I’ve never publically ranted on the legal age limit because, despite my gripes with it, I actually understand it and don’t actually want it changed. But if you create an impression of fear and mystery surrounding something, you run the risk of turning it into a forbidden fruit, which means underage use doesn’t go down, but up. This is precisely why abstinence-only education in schools is such an abject failure: they’re making sex into a forbidden fruit. And we humans, especially when we’re young, have a tendency to want, and generally get, that forbidden fruit. My response to this is not to abolish the legal age limit, but to find a way to have an age limit while avoiding that mystery.

    So any drug regulations (which I would support), have to be able to take into account a plethora of complexities surrounding the issues, including medical, the Forbidden Fruit, usage, and so on.

    And there should be ways for people to seek help for addiction problems. Not everyone can use a drug and not get addicted. There should be programmes for healthy use, if such use is even possible.

    I think healthy use is very much possible, at least for certain drugs. Again, marijuana and LSD seem to have the potential of being healthy under controlled dosages; pending further scientific inquiry, of course.

    And don’t even get started on the drug trade yet. That makes it fairly obvious that there’s more than a personal effect to drug use and making drug use not illegal won’t help that very much at all.

    Yes, but that’s mainly because of the black market created by the War on Drugs; perhaps the only “war” we’re “fighting” that I’d say is an even bigger mistake than going into the Middle East.

    Esteleth @ #206:

    In other news, this is why I would be in favor of maintaining the criminal status of the addictive ones like opiates, meth, and coke. Oh, and making it easier for addicts to get help, and improving social services so that the harm endured by those dependent on addicts is lessened.

    I understand where you’re coming from, but they cannot remain illegal so long as the law-enforcement response is to throw these addicts in jail for decades at a time. I’d much prefer if, at worst, punishment meant a mandatory sentencing in a state-of-the-art addiction clinic, and not prison. The act of getting high itself is a victimless crime, and thus really shouldn’t be a crime at all. It’s that drive to get high (and then do stupid shit while high, like driving, or playing with weapons/fire) that can involve victims, and that’s what regulation should focus on. We need to stop wasting money on throwing addicts in jail and instead spend that money on getting the addicts the help they need.

    Thomathy @ #209

    That would be a monstrous society in which I can’t imagine anyone wanting to be a part of. Just think of the implications. It’s also against basic human nature as demonstrated obviously every day. A society where anyone can do anything they want to themselves just isn’t a society. It’s not in the working of humans.

    I’m sorry, but any society that tells me that my right to bodily autonomy is limited is a society I’d rather not be a part of. Bodily autonomy is probably the only human right that should be set in stone to never be changed. Bodily autonomy is way too important to be sacrificed for… what, exactly?

    Again:

    I believe quite strongly in the principle that you have the right to do whatever you want as long as you do not violate the right of somebody else to do whatever they want.

    In other words, you can’t victimize yourself (or it would otherwise be incredibly hard), so as long as there are no victims (unwilling participants… and this includes physical victims and emotional victims, as I’ve noted above), then no one has the right to tell you to stop. And just in case: by “victims”, I’m not just referring to physical victims, but children/significant others of addicts and such who would be emotionally (and, yes, physically) impacted (against their will) by the addicts habits.

    That right (bodily autonomy) is why I’m pro-choice, why I support assisted suicide, why I’m against the War on Drugs in total, and so on. I don’t take kindly to my bodily autonomy being limited or sacrificed, especially by the law, and I’d be willing to bet that, when it comes down to it, even you would resent your bodily autonomy being limited or even sacrificed by the law.

    Of course, by my terms laid out above, you could argue that avoiding victims, if you include emotional victims, would be impossible. I would argue that such only becomes an issue when you go from being a casual/social user of recreational drugs (including alcohol and tobacco, obviously) to an addict. If your use is not addictive (that is, if it’s social… you do it with friends and not enough to completely lose control and not often enough to be considered an addict), then you really aren’t hurting anybody else. It’s when you become addicted, and that next fix is the only thing you care about, that the impact becomes a problem.

    Esteleth @ #215:

    Use a non-addictive drug that makes you (potentially) violent (e.g. acid)

    I take it you’re experience with LSD was absent a trustworthy trip-sitter?

    LSD is a social psychedelic. You don’t take that alone. It’s one of those things that requires a trustworthy trip-sitter and positive surroundings.

    I’ve never been on a trip myself, but I did trip-sit for a friend. I’ll never forget it, because he saw the Burning Bush, and I pretended to be God and told him to take me to Taco Bell. He did, and spent a good $30 on the both of us (more for him than me, but he did get me a $5 box meal). The next day I felt guilty as hell and told him what happened and offered to pay him back for what he bought me. He laughed and told me not to worry about it because he thought it was absolutely hilarious.

    Of course, absent all that, LSD has potential (subject to double-blind, scientific clinical trials, of course) uses in Psychiatry, as well.

    Esteleth @ #218:

    PCP is worse about that than acid, yes. But acid can also do things like make you think that you can fly. I’d categorize “jumping off a building” as a violent act, if for no other reason than the risk of you landing on someone.

    Is this based on personal experience? I ask because from what I’ve heard (note that I could absolutely be wrong), this is more a stereotype based on Hollywood movies than on reality. That is to say… it happens in reality, but not anywhere near as often as people think. Again… I could very easily be wrong, and yes, even just one instance is one too many.

    And you are absolutely right this is a violent act.

    But there’s also… um…

    I’m no longer the fan of Bill Hicks I once was, but he does have a good point about this: most actual flying animals take off from the ground. They’re not “lined up to catch elevators to fly south for the winter”. That guy I talked about above? For about an hour he was convinced that he could fly, but insisted on taking off from the ground. Someone else asked him “why not just jump off of something?” His response (while tripping) was “you don’t jump off shit to fly. That’s just stupid. You have to run and flap your wings. The air under your wings will lift you off the ground.”

    Esteleth @ #221:

    There’s also the question of “how easy is it to get addicted?” Also, the question of “what is the difference between the slightly buzzed and the violent dose?” By both metrics, alcohol is less-bad that heroin. Of course, alcohol should be tightly regulated. But it is possible to drink responsibly in a way that it is not possible to do meth responsibly.

    This is absolutely, 100% true. Agreed completely.

  192. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    Hey, NateHevens, re-read for comprehension.

    I would argue that the paparazzi are a great, albeit extreme, example of what I mean, here.

    Where does a parasitic and privacy invading industry fit into: (thomathy wrote)

    Societies have more responsibility to the people in them than that.

    I don’t even know how to respond except to say: non-sequitur.

    I’m just saying there has to be a line where society rights end and individual rights begin, and I, personally, would place more emphasis on individual rights.

    Yeah, non-sequitur. We are not talking about the same thing.

    Yes, but that’s mainly because of the black market created by the War on Drugs; perhaps the only “war” we’re “fighting” that I’d say is an even bigger mistake than going into the Middle East.

    I’m not fighting any such war. You’re assumptions are showing; I’m not American. Of course, my Government is to some extent complicit in the American war on drugs.

    I’m sorry, but any society that tells me that my right to bodily autonomy is limited is a society I’d rather not be a part of. Bodily autonomy is probably the only human right that should be set in stone to never be changed. Bodily autonomy is way too important to be sacrificed for… what, exactly?

    Don’t be sorry, we’re not on the same page at all. I don’t want to do anything to your bodily autonomy. You’re thinking about this backwards. I can imagine many ways for a society to prevent someone from doing something self-harmful that doesn’t require violating their bodily autonomy. You’re viewpoint and lack of imagination are saddening.

  193. Thomathy, Gay Where it Counts says

    Also, NateHevens, there are circumstances in which people necessarily loose some aspects of their autonomy, bodily and otherwise. There are some seemingly extreme interventions required to treat certain kinds of mental illness, for instance, when the person is incapable of being responsible for themselves, cognizant of their actions and the effects of those actions.

    Reality is way more complex than you have acknowledged. Sure, we’re not necessarily talking about such extreme examples, but if you’re going to lay down a maxim about the supremacy of bodily autonomy, you’re going to have to face the reality of what that means and it’s not going to be a good thing.

    The simple point is that society is complex and people do not live in isolation from it. A poorly conceived notion of bodily autonomy as maximally important to the exclusion of specific and important and necessary exceptions is not a good basis for a ‘society’ and you’re ideal sure as hell isn’t ethical. A society that doesn’t strive toward an equilibrium between individual and societal rights is going to be some kind of awful. Are you certain that a balance isn’t more optimal?

  194. says

    Yeah, I just love them freedoms to be poisoned and killed my my neighbors.

    Oh wait I don’t. Which is one reason I live in California.

  195. John Morales says

    thumper1990:

    @John Morales

    (You seriously think if (say) kidnapping were not unlawful, society would be freer thereby?)

    No. That is a quite blatant reductio ad absurdum.

    Interesting that you utterly ignore the actual point I make, and focus on the parenthetical part. Anyway, you might consider that since reductio ad absurdum is a technique to show a contention is absurd and your contention is susceptible to it, your contention is absurd.

    I mean don’t make things illegal that don’t hurt anyone else.

    What you wrote to which I responded was “I agree with the premise that less laws = more freedom”.

    I think everyone here will probably be able to think of several laws their respective country has that it just doesn’t need, and/or whose presence is actively harmful. Get rid of them.

    I don’t think that anyone disputes having less bad laws is a worthwhile goal, but (as I noted) your original claim was purely about the number of laws, without any qualification.

  196. John Morales says

    [meta + OT]

    The pedant in me impels me to note that it should be either “less law” or “fewer laws” above.

    (mass vs. count nouns)

  197. says

    Thanks for the article.

    This was not a Libertarian think tank. No Libertarian thinker I know thinks this way. Libertarian e-groups have posts making fun of this study.

    Libertarians are leading the charge in ND on abortion rights right now.

    For info on more people using actual voluntary Libertarian tools on similar and other issues worldwide, please see the non-partisan Libertarian International Organization @ http://www.Libertarian-International.org ….