An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Okay, after seeing some of the statements by people like Ron Paul, and listening to various libertarian elements, I have one question that I would like to ask – How many freedoms have you lost?

It’s not a difficult question.  The lack of the libertarians ability to answer the question does leave some questions.  I have talked to countless libertarians who are completely angry at our country over offenses that have not occured.  I like how Bill Maher put it, “people who think that the freedoms in this country are going away should be forced to watch the new Jackass movie.”  That is the absolute truth.  What exactly is the contention?

The only real loss of freedom that has happened in this country in a very long time was when The Patriot Act came into play.  Now that was when freedom was actually being hindered.  Of course, a very large part of the libertarian party was very silent.  Of course, there was Ron and Rand Paul who were vocally against it.  Of all the people who claim to be Libertarian, those two actually seem to stand by their message, although, like almost every single other libertarian, they seem to get a crucial definition of a concept that they claim to be against dead wrong.

Let’s clear up a critical misconception right now- the Founding Fathers were not against socialism.  In fact, they were very much in favor of it, but only for crucial functions.  Of course, like so many things that people who claim that the Constitution is completely correct about everything simply because something is in there, there were not a lot of crucial functions for government to serve, mostly because the technological and scientific knowledge wasn’t there.  We didn’t have a police force like we do today.  There was no fire department back in those days even remotely resembling the modern capacity.  We didn’t have medical help the way we do now.  These things just didn’t exist.  But the Founding Fathers were against public ownership of crucial services.

And that is another thing- socialism does not mean the government owns everything!  Socialism actually means quite the opposite.  It means that there is a collective public ownership of a service of business.  It means that the power is being taken away from the government and being given to the people.  This is critical to understand because groups like Fox News and conservative and libertarian groups continually and mercilessly misrepresent things.  The fact is that true socialism takes power away from the government, rather than giving it to them, as the common belief is on the Fox Network.  There is nothing wrong with disagreeing with a system, but if you are going to have a case to present, at least have your facts straight.

However, it does take away from the capitalist market.  However, this is another ugly misrepresentation.  The idea that the free market can take care of itself is a gross overstatement of things that have been proven by intellectual and economists to be false.  The free market taking care of itself has never been true.  If it had been, then there would never have been a recession during Reagan’s (the false conservative prophet of foolishness) time in the 80’s, and there certainly wouldn’t have been one as there is now.  The “trickle-down” model has NEVER worked, not once.  The Milton Friedman model has never worked.

The fact is that the only proven method of economic growth is a very precise mix of capitalism and socialism.  It is not an exact science, and it must be rigorously maintained.  That is the only way that it works.  And it is with that in mind that the statement can be made that free market capitalism is a farce.

Now, onto another topic.  Ron Paul recently said that it should be perfectly alright for a business to be able to tell a group of people that they are no allowed to shop there.  He is basically in favor of segregation.  His reasoning is because it is enfringing on the freedom of a business.  That may be true, but in what way?  They are not free to tell people that they don’t have a right to shop with them?  That’s interesting, because isn’t it infringing on the rights of people who are shopping by telling them that they can’t shop at your store?  Aren’t you getting in the way of capitalism by telling a group of peopel that they are not allowed to do business at your institution?  You are taking away from a person’s rights, and therefore, Ron Paul, your argument is taking away people’s liberties.  Interesting, isn’t it?

The fact is that the libertarian position is more childish than anything.  They don’t want to be taxed, they don’t want to be told no.  They tend to throw tantrums when people tell them what to do, because in so many of their minds’, it is wrong for anybody in power to tell them to do anything.

The Founding Fathers were against the government having too much power.  But they found this really cool away around that.  It is called “checks and balances.”  All three of the major areas of government have power over one-another, and therefore, the government is kept in check, or at least, it was supposed to be.  The fact is that the bulk of the libertarian movement came to focus during President Obama’s time.  Back when Bush was stripping away people’s right to privacy and their 4th Amendment rights, they were remarkably silent.  These people are not left or right of anything but helpful, and rather than try and fix the system, the choose to stand apart from it.  A lot of people would probably be on their side, were it not for the fact that they ignore the basic principles of different terms, and ignore evidence given by intelligent people about topics that are over their heads.

Government is made by people listening to the smart, not ignoring and saying no.

Peace out,

Eli

PS – here’s an article that can say it better than I –

http://www.examiner.com/atheism-skepticism-in-new-york/why-government-is-important-and-libertarianism-is-bollocks

Advertisements

Comments on: "A Question to Ron Paul and To Libertarians" (20)

  1. francisco said:

    Positive rights (right to work, housing, health care, education services) generate obligations that would destroy the negative rights of others. For example, if an individual has the right to work or to health care, other individuals have the obligation to hire that individual and to pay the costs generated by their health care, which would mean the destruction of property rights and freedom of others (through taxation and regulations). The so-called positive rights would entail a right to enslave others, and there is no right to enslave.
    You’re right about the patriot act; it gives the executive branch of government too much power (in fact it puts it above the law and the constitution).
    You’re wrong about socialism, under socialism all property goes to the collective but who administrate it? Who is in charge of the economy? The people? No, the government has absolute control over the economy. That means, in fact you own nothing, you have no right to property, the government can give you food and clothing… if they wanted to.
    “Ron Paul recently said that it should be perfectly alright for a business to be able to tell a group of people that they are not allowed to shop there.” Ron Paul recognizes the right to property, you have the right to do whatever the hell you want with your property while you do not interfere with the rights of others (you don’t have the right to force someone to sell you stuff). If you don’t sell stuff to Justin Bieber fans it is ok, they can buy elsewhere.
    I’m not a member of the libertarian party, I’m not even a USA citizen, but libertarians have my sympathy (at least above socialist, monarchist, theocrats, etc.). I disagree with libertarians about the proper role of government, I think the proper role of governments is to protect individual rights (the right to not being harm or killed unwillingly a.k.a. the right to life, the right not to be robbed or being subject to fraud a.k.a. the right to property, the right not to be force to a life style a.k.a. the right to the pursue of happiness), from foreign invaders through the military, form local criminals through the police, and to provide a court system to deal with legitimate disputes. Some libertarians are anarchist and believe there should be no government at all, I disagree. Although I wouldn’t call it childish.
    What’s childish is to justify evil on the base that someone else has committed it too.

    • Well, I didn’t put it in here and I regret it now, but there are two kinds of socialism. There is the economic system, and the governmental system. I am against the government system of socialism, but the economic system, that is perfectly fine, and it has been a triumph in every area that it has been done under. There isn’t a single veteran in this country who would give up the VA. The government kind doesn’t work, but things like universal healthcare, have all been resounding successes in every country they have been brought into.

      And if you genuinely believe the only role of government is to keep people’s liberties, then you have a very small-minded view of things. Sorry, but it’s true. By the way, I wasn’t talking about justifying evil. I was talking about failed models that don’t work. Honestly, where did evil come into this?

    • US Citizen said:

      Economic Slavery. The US Government is raising Taxes against its Citizens to pay for Unconstitutional Programs, inclusive of but not limited to, Foreign Aid, the United Nations and studies on the effects of Alcohol on Chinese Prostitutes. Our Children and their Childrens Children, will have to carry the Bricks on their Backs that we allow Government to pile on. Out of control spending ruined Roman Empire and we see it is bringing America down as well.

      • Oh man are you dumb. The Roman Empire was brought down by a migration of their economic center to the Middle Eastern nations, bad leadership and political infighting, and then they were finally brought to their knees when Rome was destroyed, twice, by barbarians. As for economic slavery, you have been a slave to the corporations your whole life. Sorry man, but’s true.

  2. I don’t have time to debate this whole thing because I am at work now, but you are extremely misguided, misinformed, and ignorant on the things you are trying to write about… your statement on there being a difference between government and economic socialism proves that, especially when you say “The government kind doesn’t work, but things like universal healthcare, have all been resounding successes in every country they have been brought into.” because that simply is not true. You really need to go do your homework and learn a little history. The founding fathers were resoundly against socialism… that’s why the Federal Government has enumerated powers. You realllllly need to do your homework before you start spatting stuff like this.. you sound very, very silly.

  3. Thanks for the article.

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

    The LIO explicitly recognizes all voluntary economic systems, and LIO-supportive activists work regularly in coalition with progressive groups. While Libertarian supporters were at the forefront for raising alarms to opposition to the Patriot Act (A GOOGLE Search shows several million entries, including pre-Act coalition work with Librarians and ACLU), and while the many petty regulations are a nuisance, it is the view of LIO that on the whole democracy and rights are advancing as part of a larger cultural process: as one current example LIO supporters have been key in the dialogue on current Mid-east reforms; and LIO has begun a world initiative for Direct Democracy in all jusrisdictions.

    Libertarian fans may support different values from anarchism to religious conservatism, recent posts at the LIO Friends activist Facebook evidence enthusiasm for co-operatives and co-housing, but the applications are not the same as the method.

    Finally, some views such as those of Ron Paul are classified as Libertarian-oriented, but many are not Libertarian at all; his son has explicitly stated he is not a Libertarian in any way, and on Rachel Maddow that he had no idea what he was talking about in his comments on discrimation law. The US LP classifies its own work as mid-level Libertarian-direction.

    • So, if there is no concise belief between the lot of you, how are you a system? “Libertarian fans may support different values from anarchism to religious conservatism.” Food for thought.

  4. Marcello Mazzilli said:

    I am italian and we don’t have the same constitution..but.. libertarians exists here too.. So let’s take out US constitution from the discussion. I also see that all the focus of your article is on economic growth…. I don’t think..as a libertarian… that freedom necessarly brings growth..sometimes it does sometimes not (on average probably much more than socialism).
    A libertarian world.. as Rothbard had it in mind.. would probably be more slow in inventing technologies that involve big corporations or big government.. like spaceships or internet. But.. then what ? When we use words like rich, poor, productivity, growth.. we are using words that have a RELATIVE value (to a neghtbour country, to a neightbour down the road, to a collegue, etc…). A free world is not necessarly more productive in the common meaning of the word…. but is happier

    • What I don’t get about the Libertarian position is – how have freedoms been lost? Really, people can do whatever they please, within the bounds of the law. Ron Paul says that people should be allowed to discriminate as they please. That was a contention he made. When I hear that, then I realize the truth – that government sometimes is required to make people be better than what they are. Sometimes it has to do the right thing.

      And my position on what economics work – a mixed economy. The only tried and tried form of economic system that works is mixed. That’s the fact. It’s the only way it can work. The free market idea…well, take a look at the crash of 2008. Pure socialism doesn’t work either. We have to be open to discussion and the Libertarian party doesn’t seem to be. They have blinders to their one idea, and people who take the road are destined to be manipulated. That’s a fact. History has shown this.

      Be open to thinking – that’s the point. As to a free world being a happier world – Somalia has a Libertarian-class free market and totally free government. How happy do you think they are?

  5. Francisco said:

    “When I hear that, then I realize the truth – that government sometimes is required to make people be better than what they are.” That statement holds the whole of your ideas.
    That’s exactly what I’m against; you claim that a group of people has a right to force individuals to behave in a certain manner. What I defend is that the proper role of the law and the government is to protect minorities (from which the absolute minority is the individual) from a majority who tries to force them to act as they will.

    The fact that liberty leads to a higher standard of living is irrefutable (that doesn’t mean it’s instantaneous). The whole 20th century is there to prove it, you just have to look. The economic growth of mixed economies has decline, the growth of China and that sort of places has been because they’ve opened their markets to some liberty.

    Somalia doesn’t have a working government but Singapore does, and Hong Kong, South Korea, Taiwan…

    • Liverty leads to a higher standard? Anarchy doesn’t work, man, sorry. It has never worked. Nature abhors a vacuum, and with human nature, that is a power vacuum. This is my problem with Libertarianism – it’s childish, and stupid. People being given free reign do not make things better. Now riddle me something – what liberties have you lost? What ones don’t you have? The liberty to build your home as shitty as you want it? God forbid somebody wants to look out for your safety. The liberty to tell a black guy to get out of your store? God forbid somebody wants you to have human decency.

      I want to know, what liberties you have lost. I want to know this. Bush took away habeus corpus, and I didn’t hear you all bitching back then. This has become a very recent phenomenon, and you have no liberties lost. Sometimes, the people do need to be told what to do. And guess what, people want to be told what to do. Human nature leads people to find power to get behind. If you truly believe otherwise, take a look at anarchist states. Not a single one of them is doing very well.

      • I have two questions for everybody who comments further on this post – what is liberty to you, and how have you lost some of it?

      • Liberties lost? Are we allowed to choose what we put into our bodies with out government approval? Are we allowed to freely arm ourselves for defense? Are we allowed to opt out of Social Security? Has the Patriot act been signed? We have lost many , many liberties that were very real. I don’t need another person to regulate my morality, or my decisions, as long as they I do no harm to others.

        As far as telling a black guy he can’t shop in my store, I would suffer more than he would, from loss of an entire sector of the consumer base, and probably fail in my business endeavor in the end, as people who are morally upstanding are not going to patronize a place like that, whether they are black or white. And in case you forgot, the Jim Crow laws were enacted by government, not private businesses.

        “god forbid somebody wants you to have human decency”
        to this I can only say, you are assuming that one man, or group of men, can decide what is decent for all people. In that line of thinking, the government has the right to outlaw gays people, black people, long hair or anything else the so called moral majority would deem wrong. How can this be a good thing? It leads to censorship, discrimination , and inevitably violence.
        Libertarians are not anarchists, they just prefer private business to government monopolies on services , and share similar views on civil liberties in many cases. We believe people have a right to live as they choose, and that the rights of an individual are inalienable. We don’t condone the use of force to impose a perceived morality on people. And tw, there is no such thing and never has been an “anarchist state” it is impossible, since anarchy is by definition a stateless society.

      • You apparently don’t get how democracy works. The people are supposed to have control. It’s all a show now. The big corporate interests and the banks own this government. This is what I love about you Libertarians. You talk about how the market is the answer, but you all fail to understand that the interests of the corporations control this govenrment. Business IS the government. They OWN the government. If you don’t understand that, then naivety is a lost art to this country.

        It’s a waste of time trying to talk to people who won’t accept reality.

  6. First…we live in a republic not a democracy. True democracy equals mob rule. You seem to have everything backwards and I’m not really that surprised. It seems that a vast number of people seem to advocate altruism (this is especially true of the christian right) these days. You would probably say (based on your previous comments) that universal healthcare is a basic human right. Or that this group and that group has rights. And you seem to think that more government regulations on corporations are good. Well let’s define a few words so we all know what we are taking about. Liberty is (in a very rudimentary way) the right to live your life as you choose without government control as long as you don’t trample on someone else’s rights in the process. However you do not have the right not to be offended by someone else saying or doing something dumb or rude or even hateful. Some examples of liberties lost are: taxes (do you really believe that our founding fathers believed in taxing people close to 50% or that if you make more you should pay more? That is one of the most immoral things our government has done across the board.), educating our children (what did we do without the dept of education before the 70’s. Oh that’s right actually teach our children something. No child left behind my ass.), universal health care (you stated that not a single vet would give up VA…are you insane? I’m a vet and it is horrible. No choices. Long waits. Horrible doctors. We have coverage through Tricare for “free” but we pay through my wife’s work so we can actually get an appt within a month.), can you say TSA (WTF), you mentioned it earlier…the patriot act (anything named so auspiciously should raise eyebrows), incandescent lightbulbs (I soon won’t even be able to choose what lightbulb to use), how about government permits to work on my own home/property, and just a funny but sad one…you can sell lemonade without a permit in DC. There are so many that it is just to numerous to write. One that seems to be getting attention is same sex marriage. I’m with Ron Paul on this one…why the hell should I have to have a marriage certificate from the government anyway? I don’t think straight people or gay people should have to get marriage licenses but then you would actually have to fix the horrible tax code.

  7. Next altruism is that man has no right to exist for his own sake, that service to others is the only justification of his existence, and that self-sacrifice is his highest moral duty, virtue and value. This is a quote from Ayn Rand (I’m just guessing you hate her) concerning altruism: “Do not hide behind such superficialities as whether you should or should not give a dime to a beggar. That is not the issue. The issue is whether you do or do not have the right to exist without giving him that dime. The issue is whether you must keep buying your life, dime by dime, from any beggar who might choose to approach you. The issue is whether the need of others is the first mortgage on your life and the moral purpose of your existence. The issue is whether man is to be regarded as a sacrificial animal. Any man of self-esteem will answer: “No.” Altruism says: “Yes.”” Altruism is a basic function of socialism. You can not possibly have liberty in a socialistic society. Oh there may seem to be a few things that you have control over but you are not free…because it’s mob rule. 51% of the people want to take these 49% property…well okay because it’s in the better good for society. Now capitalism…first read Mises…no really go read Mises. You are correct in a way to state that corporations control the government. Both the right and left have been more than happy to facilitate this. If it’s a “green” company than left jumps all over it and they get all kinds of subsides and tax breaks and government regulations that make an unfair playing field. I mean really if we all wanted a damn prius we would buy one. The right does the same thing with defense contracts and much more. Problem is that is not capitalism. It’s corporate welfare at the least. If we would have a true free market without all this keynesian economics (bush and obama) bullshit we would eventually pull ourselves out of this mess but it will be messy. Better now than later. The more “stimulus” we put in the economy the longer and harder the recovery will be. Okay gotta go for now. Thanks for the post. I find your points of view interesting and even if I disagree with some of them I still respect them. I must go…it’s either late or early…

    • Considering that Ayn Rand was a joke the philosophical community, yeah, I don’t like here. You hold this incredible view of the world and the people who are in it. Your views are childish and naive. Ironically enough, you respect my views, I don’t respect yours. And I am sure for your socialist liberty ideas, the first thing you are going to do is point to Nazi Germany. Nice, pathos-based.

      But I really am tired of arguing with you people. I can scream about how your views are wrong. I can cite article after article showing you your faults. It’s a waste of my time. It always was. Who knows, maybe my stupid-ass altruism and my will to do good are misplaced. I should pick up some of your greed-oriented mentality.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: