+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 ... LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 150

Thread: Libertarianism     submit to reddit submit to twitter

  1. #1
    Relic Shield
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,696
    BG Level
    6

    Libertarianism

    Quote Originally Posted by test123 View Post
    A Libertarian state treats everyone the same, regardless of race. Socialist and Authoritarian states discriminate on gender, race, class etc.

    "There is all the difference in the world between treating people equally and attempting to make them equal" - Hayek
    Quick philosophy lesson kids, you've probably heard this one. Say you're standing next to a train track shortly before a fork junction. On one side, 5 people lay tied up, and on the other side there's this fat guy. There's a switch in front of you that you can pull to flip the fork, sending the train to kill the fat guy while saving the other 5. What do you do?

    Well there was this guy called Kant who didn't precisely have an opinion on this question (it was devised later by dumber philosophers who write useless papers for a living, in between giving puerile lectures at diploma mills) but he did have this to say about it: every action you take should be in accordance with some universal law which is applicable in all situations. A set of such universal moral laws is called a deontology because it proscribes a set of duties. So if your deontology says something like, thou shalt not murder, then the particulars of the situation, i.e. the very contrived way in which the consequences are set up, don't really matter. You'd be killing a guy by pulling the lever, so you can't contradict yourself by doing so. There are further complications in this example but we aren't philosophers playing fucked up language games, so let's keep it simple.

    So who the fuck cares. Well we might, because deontologists like Kant are distinguished from consequentialists (utilitarians) by their view that it is motives and not consequences that define morality. A utilitarian might say, pull the lever, because five lives are more valuable than a single (fat) one. Kant says, if we allow that murder is permissable, we'd have a difficult time universalizing that maxim without logically contradicting ourselves. If, say, we can't obtain a self evident universal maxim that justifies pulling the lever, then we have to conclude that murder is not permissable maybe, and not pull the lever. What's important is that you act within a framework of universal law.

    Alright so then there's libertarians. Libertarians have a strong view of rights, naturally, because they're pretty preoccupied with liberty (hint: it's in the name). That gives us a pretty good idea about the libertarian deontology. The liberties and rights of individuals are inviolable, and liberty is the primary universal good, says the libertarian. This, they say, we take to be our self evident universal maxim. And we take that to it's logical end to get our ideal model of the state, namely minimal central authorities that only exist to protect private liberties, property, and national sovereignty, and so on.

    So you pose a thought experiment to a libertarian, that there's a minority demographic which seems to be systematically underperforming in economic and social terms. You offer the following dilemma. Option one is that you can institute various policy measures, special funding for various social programs and the like, aimed specifically to improve the econometrics of that demographic. Option two is do nothing.

    This is kind of like the train fork story. There are two consequences; the systemic disadvantages faced by the demographic in question, and the increased taxation, short term loss of utility, and inconvenience faced by the rest of society for accommodating the implementation of social programs and etc. In consequentialist terms, the former is the lesser of two evils, just like 1 life is less valuable than 5. But the first option is also a possible impingement upon individual liberties, so Libertarians get Kunty and say no, this is not the role of the state, and it isn't fair/moral to do, option two please.

    So why do libertarians think personal freedom is so important? Well they do, for a bunch of reasons. Read John Locke or Ayn Rand if you want to see why. The point is that they do and that's where they get their notions of fairness in society. But wait a second, what about all this free markets shit?

    Well there are really two ways to argue for libertarianism. The one we've been talking about is the argument from morality, or deontological libertarianism. That is, it's the argument that Libertarianism is a good policy because it is a just policy. Free market arguments for Libertarianism try to demonstrate that it is practical economic policy. The difference is is that the latter is a consequentialist view; it is concerned with the practical consequences of implementing a libertarian state.

    Q: Hey Cads, what the fuck. First Libertarians are fuzzy metaphysicians arguing from some abstract as fuck moral philosophy, now they're economists?

    Well yes, they're often both, but you'll notice the quote above is basically a normative statement (a statement about the way things should be), or a statement about fairness. The free markets shit can be decoupled from the fairness part, although you'll often find libertarians switching between the two aspects of their ideology in a fast and loose manner.

    So say now that we're consequentialist libertarians who talk a lot about economics and free markets and shit. Then given the dilemma with the minority demographic blah blah, we'd again choose option two but not out of some allegiance to liberty as an abstract universal greatest good, but because we think that instituting social programs can only result in a net loss in welfare for everybody. So it's not like the train dilemma at all, it's as if we could do nothing and let five people die, or pull the lever and kill twenty more. Why do they think this? Bunch of reasons, read John Locke or Ayn Rand or Friedrich Hayek I guess. This free market pandering sort of economics is usually based at least in part on the theoretical framework of what is called Austrian economics, which is radically different from mainstream Keynesian economics. Wikipedia that shit.

    Q: First we based libertarianism on metaphysical moral grounds and saw that it was maybe a little too silly to run a country with, and then we talked about an economic reasoning which got rid of the silly part. It seems like Libertarians say that their ideas are fair except when they're not fair in which case it's the magic of economics that makes it practical which makes it fair. Isn't the economics side of the argument just contrived to make the moral side of it less stupid?

    Usually.

    Q: One more question faggot. If the demographic minority in your example are some ethnic minority like blacks or hispanics, what do the libertarians have to say about that?

    A bunch of things. At any rate they believe that any policy that amounts to affirmative action is unjust and shouldn't be implemented, and anything that causes undue taxation is definitely bad anyway. Some believe that the whole problem of racial discrimination is something that will sort itself out if the the government would ever stop meddling, or at least that it's something that the government can't make any better. Others believe that, given the same rights and freedoms, any two groups have the same potential for prosperity in a free market, so that any difference in incomes is concluded to be a result of a difference in aptitude among those two groups. That is, to defend free markets as equitable, it might be necessary to argue for racism (or racialism or race realism or whatever the fuck ever).

    Q: That's pretty fucking convenient for anyone arguing against libertarianism. Just play the race card and you're done! Isn't that kind of lame?

    It can be pretty lame, but racism is consistent with libertarianism, even if it isn't a mainstream view. It can't be the case that free markets secure the best social and economic outcomes for the population if some are systemically discriminated against for no economic reason. For the vast majority of libertarians who aren't (overtly) racist, they have to address the problem of differences in income across different ethnicities and demographics, which can't be explained economically if there is no heritable difference in aptitude between say, blacks and whites. If you're a racist, then you have a tidy explanation for that income disparity and hence, you don't have a problem here.

    That's all dumbasses, hope it was educational. Know what you're arguing for or against.

  2. #2
    listen!
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    7,236
    BG Level
    8
    FFXI Server
    Sylph

    You'd be killing a guy by pulling the lever
    And by not pulling it, you kill 5 people.

    they have to address the problem of differences in income across different ethnicities and demographics, which can't be explained economically if there is no heritable difference in aptitude between say,
    Why would they need to explain that?

  3. #3
    Relic Shield
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,696
    BG Level
    6

    Quote Originally Posted by hey
    And by not pulling it, you kill 5 people.
    Yes, that's one view. If that's the case then you can't have a deontology which says murder is never permissable because there are situations in which you can't not murder someone. But this is complicated and not something I wanted to discuss.

    Quote Originally Posted by hey
    Why would they need to explain that?
    Quote Originally Posted by Cads
    It can't be the case that free markets secure the best social and economic outcomes for the population if some are systemically discriminated against for no economic reason.
    To expand, the idea that there are social realities that undercut market logic can be antithetical to free market (libertarian) ideology. Libertarians either say that these social forces, which are studied by sociologists, group psychologists and anthropologists, and furthermore touted by civil rights advocates, feminists, and so on, either don't exist or that they are negligible at the macroeconomic level, or even that free markets somehow address these problems. That is, they do one of these, or they blame the victim.

  4. #4
    The Shitlord
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    11,250
    BG Level
    9
    FFXIV Character
    Kharo Hadakkus
    FFXIV Server
    Hyperion
    FFXI Server
    Sylph
    WoW Realm
    Rivendare

    The point is that murder is murder, whether it's one or five. Either way, you're committing murder, so to say "Murder is always bad" and pick the fat guy, you accuse yourself of murder. The point isn't that one is better than the other, just that they're both still murder.

    I'd flip the switch to the fat guy, then go hulk mode and save him. Because in no-win situations, I have super-powers, thus eliminating no-win situations. I'm a regular Kirk.

  5. #5
    Banned.

    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    6,675
    BG Level
    8
    FFXI Server
    Phoenix

    10/10 would read again.

    Also, inb4 the entire thread is derailed to the trolley car problem.

  6. #6
    The Optimistic Asshole
    Sweaty Dick Punching Enthusiast

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    24,548
    BG Level
    10
    FFXIV Character
    Tyche Six
    FFXIV Server
    Tonberry

    Strangely relevant to the irrelevant derail (pun intended).


  7. #7
    listen!
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Posts
    7,236
    BG Level
    8
    FFXI Server
    Sylph

    Quote Originally Posted by BaneTheBrawler View Post
    The point is that murder is murder, whether it's one or five. Either way, you're committing murder, so to say "Murder is always bad" and pick the fat guy, you accuse yourself of murder. The point isn't that one is better than the other, just that they're both still murder.
    Murder is the wrong word here. Killing is pretty obviously not always bad.

    If that's the case then you can't have a deontology which says murder is never permissable because there are situations in which you can't not murder someone.
    Assuming you mean kill, then yeah, that would be pretty dumb.

  8. #8

    I thought the thread itself was a trolley car

  9. #9

    I had a professor pose a similar question as the trolley car:

    There is a "[insert disaster here]" in which you're left with a situation where you have the option of guarantying the life of 50% of the people but the other 50% die, or you could choose the situation where you have a 50% chance of saving everyone and a 50% chance of losing everyone.


    The professor was a little biased in what he expected people to choose, but nobody chose the 50% chance to save everyone. I'm not really shy of sharing my opinion, so after her finished explaining that the expected outcome of each situation is the same (not really, since it's not a reoccurring game, but that's another point) but because the first situation is phrased more positively that it is the one people are more likely to choose, I expressed my opinion. To me the point of the game wasn't that some people could survive and that other people could die, it was that in one situation people MUST die, and that in the other situation, they MIGHT die, and that it was not my place to automatically condemn 50% of the people, so I would choose the 50% chance for everyone to live or everyone to die.

    I don't know for certain if I was the only person with this mindset because of the professor's bias being imposed on everyone, but I did find it strange that I may have been the only one in the class with this opinion, because I was certainly the only one arguing it. I can see how guarantying the life of some of the people would be appealing, but I just don't see how you can justify that to the people you must condemn to die because of that decision. Yes, you may lose everyone with the 2nd situation, but at least everyone had the same chance.

  10. #10

    It's really the only interesting part

  11. #11
    If you stopped to actually learn something you might not post these uninformed posts.
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,497
    BG Level
    6

    Quote Originally Posted by Cadsuane View Post
    So you pose a thought experiment to a libertarian, that there's a minority demographic which seems to be systematically underperforming in economic and social terms. You offer the following dilemma. Option one is that you can institute various policy measures, special funding for various social programs and the like, aimed specifically to improve the econometrics of that demographic. Option two is do nothing.
    Option two does not exclude the possibly of charity. I believe people do good and help people when they feel generous. I recall to have given $100 on a whim to people begging on the street on several occasions, but later to doubt my decisions because over 50% of my income is taxed anyway. If I had no income tax I would be much more charitable.

    Before medicare and medicaid, nobody was turned away if they showed up to a hospital in need of help. The notion that people will die on the streets if there is no state to take care of them is nonsense.

  12. #12
    Graduate of the BG School of FFXI
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,379
    BG Level
    7
    FFXIV Character
    Misses Beansman
    FFXIV Server
    Adamantoise
    FFXI Server
    Quetzalcoatl

    Quote Originally Posted by test123 View Post
    Option two does not exclude the possibly of charity. I believe people do good and help people when they feel generous. I recall to have given $100 on a whim to people begging on the street on several occasions, but later to doubt my decisions because over 50% of my income is taxed anyway. If I had no income tax I would be much more charitable.

    Before medicare and medicaid, nobody was turned away if they showed up to a hospital in need of help. The notion that people will die on the streets if there is no state to take care of them is nonsense.
    So is the notion that the free market is infallible and can do no wrong.

  13. #13
    If you stopped to actually learn something you might not post these uninformed posts.
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,497
    BG Level
    6

    Give me an example where a Libertarian free market has "done any wrong".

  14. #14
    A. Body
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    4,060
    BG Level
    7
    FFXI Server
    Gilgamesh

    Quote Originally Posted by test123 View Post
    Give me an example where a Libertarian free market has "done any wrong".
    you're massively retarded, right?

  15. #15
    If you stopped to actually learn something you might not post these uninformed posts.
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,497
    BG Level
    6

    Quote Originally Posted by Moridam View Post
    you're massively retarded, right?
    Do you always open with that question when entering a debate? Geez, why is it so hard for you to come up with a good argument?

  16. #16
    Alarial
    Guest

    @Test123
    I'm curious. If we're to rely on the free market system and people's independent morality/charity to provide for all of the disadvantaged, then why do we currently have disadvantaged and people dying from illness? Your postulate was that people are unable to provide that charity because they are taxed. However your premise seems to be based around the assumption that everyone would use all of their previously taxed income to help their bretheren. This seems to be a conclusion that goes against everything we've seen in all of history and mankind, hence comments like Moridam which questions your intelligence. Either you're trolling, mentally ill, or are beyond brilliant and am just seeing something we all don't. It also appears to have been addressed in the OP's monologue rather trivially.

  17. #17
    If you stopped to actually learn something you might not post these uninformed posts.
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,497
    BG Level
    6

    Quote Originally Posted by Alarial View Post
    @Test123
    why do we currently have disadvantaged and people dying from illness?
    First, we do not have a Libertarian free market in the US or Europe. So the people you are referring to is at peril under today's socialist-corporatocracy. In Europe we pay up to and over 70% of our earnings in various taxes, politicians vow to end poverty, still they can't do it.

    Second, people will always be dying of illnesses, we may discover cures in the future.

    Third, just because someone is disadvantaged does not mean they can not live fulfilling lives. A meat packer who can do 3 packs a minute vs another who can pack 5 a minute will in some cases have a lower salary. This will only reduce his purchasing power slightly, and in America that means only 1 Ipad instead of two.....

  18. #18
    Graduate of the BG School of FFXI
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,379
    BG Level
    7
    FFXIV Character
    Misses Beansman
    FFXIV Server
    Adamantoise
    FFXI Server
    Quetzalcoatl

    Quote Originally Posted by test123 View Post
    Third, just because someone is disadvantaged does not mean they can live fulfilling lives. A meat packer who can do 3 packs a minute vs another who can pack 5 a minute will in some cases have a lower salary. This will only reduce his purchasing power slightly, and in America that means only 1 Ipad instead of two.....
    A hedge fund manager might have his taxes increased slightly but this will only reduce his purchasing power slightly, and in America that means only 1 Ipad instead of two.

  19. #19
    If you stopped to actually learn something you might not post these uninformed posts.
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    1,497
    BG Level
    6

    Quote Originally Posted by Coolbeans View Post
    A hedge fund manager might have his taxes increased slightly but this will only reduce his purchasing power slightly, and in America that means only 1 Ipad instead of two.
    You can't be comparing a disadvantaged meat packer to a successful hedge fund manager. Besides the lower 50% of the entire US population only pays about 1.85% of the total federal income tax.

  20. #20
    Graduate of the BG School of FFXI
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    Posts
    2,379
    BG Level
    7
    FFXIV Character
    Misses Beansman
    FFXIV Server
    Adamantoise
    FFXI Server
    Quetzalcoatl

    Quote Originally Posted by test123 View Post
    Besides the lower 50% of the entire US population only pays about 1.85% of the total federal income tax.
    You say that like its a bad thing. That 50% number you like throwing around means a lot more to the middle class then it does to the rich which should be the whole point of them paying higher taxes.

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 8 1 2 3 ... LastLast