Monday, September 14, 2009

This is why Libertarians suck

Delawaredem, in the latest Sunday Around the Horn, gets his funny on with Tyler:

Tyler Nixon and Jason Scott (our own Jason330) will be filling in for Rick Jensen this week. The quality of the discussion has improved already 200%. Jason will reveal all of Delaware Liberal’s secrets and scandals, and Tyler will review why Libertarians suck. :)


I wish I could pretend he's (even whimsically) wrong, but a simple two-part proof shows why the Libertarian movement sucks.

Part one: here is one of the many, many reasons that the Patriot Act should offend not just libertarians but constitutionalists and American citizens of almost any party. From EPIC:

The implications for online privacy are considerable. For example, the Act increases the ability of law enforcement agencies to authorize installation of pen registers and trap and trace devices (a pen register collects the outgoing phone numbers placed from a specific telephone line; a trap and trace device captures the incoming numbers placed to a specific phone line -- a caller-id box is a trap and trace device), and to authorize the installation of such devices to record all computer routing, addressing, and signaling information. The Act also extends the government's ability to gain access to personal financial information and student information without any suspicion of wrongdoing, simply by certifying that the information likely to be obtained is relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation.


Part two: this, on the other hand, is what confused-neo-conservative-who-thinks-he's-a-libertarian Eric Dondero persists in declaiming to the world:

The correct Libertarian position is TO SUPPORT THE PATRIOT ACT.


Anonone and others suggest that I have my own, carefully parsed definition of libertarianism, and perhaps that's true. I do not, however, recall finding any serious libertarian thinker, philosopher, or candidate who thinks that the State's increased ability to gather personal information about people without any suspicion of wrongdoing is a good thing.

So, yes, DD, the movement I am loosely associated with will continue to suck as long as we don't disown the neo-con birthers in drag who are [wait for it] ... dragging us down.

A footnote: since Eric reads this blog, you can soon expect to be able to visit the comments section if you really yearn to read somebody calling me a defeatist pussy who supports terrorism. Enjoy.

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

Here is what I have found:

Libertarianism is whatever an individual Libertarian says that it is.

If one Libertarian disagrees with another Libertarian, than they will probably both agree individually that the other is not a "serious libertarian thinker, philosopher, or candidate."

If a non-Libertarian disagrees with whatever flavor-du-jour is being offered by a Libertarian, than the non-Libertarian has no understanding of Libertarian philosophy, by definition.

These 3 Libertarian principles are essential for anyone to understand when discussing Libertarian philosophy.

They also demonstrate that I have no understanding of Libertarian philosophy or principles.

Q.E.D.

anonone

Steve Newton said...

Hey, A1, while you are at it, cite for me three things that ALL progressives agree upon--and not cutesy lines like "bush sucked."

Libertarians generally agree on the following

1) Property rights are the basis of any functional/ethical society.

2) No one has the right to use force or fraud against anybody else without being directly threatened by them.

3) The protection of individual liberty is the main (perhaps the only) legitimate purpose of the State [those who want a stateless society are generally some form of anarcho-capitalist or syndicalist).

Eric fails on number two because he sees a legitimacy in the government snooping on people without any suspicion of wrongdoing.

You don't understand Libertarian philosophy, which you have proven quite often.

Interestingly enough, you have never proven you understand progressive ideology, either, nor have you ever claimed any specific ideological or philosophical bent, which is convenient for purposes of criticizing others from a position that cannot be assailed because it doesn't ever appear.

pandora said...

Seems to me that Eric is another Republican hiding in Libertarian clothing.

Three things Progressives agree on:

1. Government has a role. Granted, the degree of this role varies.

2. Our present health care system is broken.

3. Individual rights are the basis of any functional/ethical society.

Anonymous said...

I don't claim "any specific ideological or philosophical bent" because I don't have one that can be labeled conveniently, even by myself. That's a feature, not a bug.

Of course, by definition, I don't understand "Libertarian philosophy."

But then you're probably not a serious libertarian thinker or philosopher, by other Libertarians' standards.

Like the board game Monopoly, which also has "property rights" as its basis, Libertarianism is an easy and fun game to play!

Fortunately, Monopoly is much more popular, probably because it makes more sense.

anonone

Bowly said...

I don't claim "any specific ideological or philosophical bent" because I don't have one that can be labeled conveniently, even by myself. That's a feature, not a bug.

That's nothing to be proud of. All it shows is that you have no principled, rational, philosophical basis for your beliefs. You stick your metaphorical finger in the air and see which way the wind is blowing. It most certainly is a bug, and explains why your posts are frequently incoherent.

As far as terminology goes, when someone has a set of beliefs, they try to find a term that matches the set of beliefs. It doesn't work the other way around; if a person claims a description, then the description doesn't change to meet their beliefs. That's how both I and Eric Dondero can claim "libertarian" without believing a lot of the same things. For that matter, I could claim to be Martian, or an apple. Wouldn't mean anything.

You're right, though. Claiming of my mantle by jackasses like Dondero have forced me to refrain from using the term. I only use it when I'm sure my audience doesn't know what "anarcho-capitalist" means.

I think libertarian beliefs are simple. "Other people are not my property." If you can't make sense of that, it's your problem, not mine.

Seems to me that Eric is another Republican hiding in Libertarian clothing.

Unfortunately, we get a lot of those. Hell, I used to be one. My excuse is that I was younger than he is.

Miko said...

The saving grace is that a libertarian society is necessarily a decentralized one. Granted, done improperly, this leads to states-rights style tyrannies that use law to legitimize slavery. Done properly, we'll all be free to differ (to an extent) on the definition of liberty without undermining the principle.

"1) Property rights are the basis of any functional/ethical society."

True (in any society in which scarity is an economically meaningful term), but also the basis of any dysfunctional/unethical society. Monarchy is based on a system of property rights in which a regant owns (essentially) everything. The sort of libertarian (usually self-described anarcho-caps) who talk about the wonders of privatizing (seriously) the air, most typically with themselves owning it, scare me much more than any variety of statist.

"2) No one has the right to use force or fraud against anybody else without being directly threatened by them."

Also true, but unfortunately we can't all agree on what consitutes this. See again those who want to privatize the air and claim anyone who breathes without paying rent is aggressing against them.

Miko said...

But then you're probably not a serious libertarian thinker or philosopher, by other Libertarians' standards.

If I were to suggest a public face for libertarianism, I think Steve would be an excellent choice. I'm not sure if he's "serious" by other Libertarians' standards, but if he's not, that's probably a good thing.

Like the board game Monopoly, which also has "property rights" as its basis, Libertarianism is an easy and fun game to play!

Fortunately, Monopoly is much more popular, probably because it makes more sense.


Ooh! Perfect example of what I was talking about re: property rights in my previous comment. Monopoly is based on exploitation; libertarianism (under my definition) is the reverse.

(Monopoly is also terribly inaccurate, inasmuch as you get next to no rent for unimproved land and high rent for improvements on the land, which is the opposite of what really happens in a statist system.)

Anonymous said...

A 2002 article by Harry Browne simply titles "Why I am a Libertarian"

http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=28024



John Galt

d.eris said...

Steve's third point: "The protection of individual liberty is the main (perhaps the only) legitimate purpose of the State."

I was surprised to see this one on the list. Sounds like the fox guarding the hen house to me. The state is a clear and present danger to individual liberty, otherwise there would be no need for a bill of rights to protect liberty against the state. Isn't the classical formulation that the state's only legitimate purpose is to protect property rights?

Anonymous said...

Hi Miko,

Just to be clear, I have great respect for Steve's intellect, thoughtfulness, and seriousness.

I was just pointing out what my observations of the rules of libertarian discourse appear to be from my vantage as an outsider.

I might even say they are one of the reasons "why Libertarians suck."

It still seems to me that monopoly is very much representative of a libertarian economic model.

However, since you wrote "Monopoly is based on exploitation; libertarianism (under my definition) is the reverse," and that staement makes no sense to me, I must by definition concede that it must be because I "have no understanding of Libertarian philosophy."

Other Libertarians that disagree with you are also free to believe that you are not a "serious libertarian thinker or philosopher."

So it all works out.

anonone

Eric Dondero said...

Hey Newbie Newton, I've been a dues-paying member of the Libertarian Party for over 25 years. I was out in Western Nebraska in 20 degree weather petitioning for Libertarian Party ballot access in the mid-1980s when you had never even heard of the LP.

I've got 2 years as a Libertarian National Committee man under my belt, 2 years as a candidate for State House as a Libertarian in the State of Delaware!, 2 years as Personal Travel Aide to Libertarian Presidential candidate Ron Paul in 1987/88, two years as Florida Chairman of the Libertarian Republican Organizing Comm., Founder of the Republican Liberty Caucus, 5 years as personal aide to 1976 Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Roger MacBride, and most recently petitioned in 7 States in 2008 to get Libertarians Bob Barr and Wayne Root on the ballot, from New England to Illinois.

Don't you dare fucking ever, and I said EVER! CALL ME A PRETENT LIBERTARIAN.

I will literally take my mother-fucking pick-up truck up to Delaware - and having grown up there I know it like the back of my hand - and kick your fat ass all the way across the Maryland State Line.

Eric Dondero said...

You are judged on your libertarianism by how much you have done for the libertarian movement.

There are only two or three Libertarians out there who might have a claim to being more libertarian than me:

1. Paul Jacob
2. Scott Kohlhaas
3. Leon Drolet
4. Scott Tillman
5. Bill Redpath

Grab a clipboard and start petitioning for days on end, and then come to me and tell me who is and who is not a "real libertarian."

How fucking dare you.

Oh, and btw, stay the fuck off of my blog. Don't even come for a visit. I don't want shit-ass Lefty America-haters who pretend to be "Libertarians" stinking up the place.

Eric Dondero said...

Hey fuck face Newton...

How about the force and fraud that the Islamo-Fascists want to force on me through their Sharia Law? That doesn't count?

How about the force and fraud that the Islamo-Fascists forced upon those 3,000 Americans who died on 9/11 including more than a few Delawareans.

Or is it too politically incorrect to talk about foreigners killing Americans?

Eric Dondero said...

I believe in "snooping" from the government???

Damned straight I believe in snooping...

ON FUCKING RADICAL MUSLIM "STUDENTS" FROM SAUDI ARABIA, JORDAN, AND THE MIDDLE EAST WHO ARE OVERSTAYING THEIR VISAS AND LOOKING UP PLANS FOR DIRTY BOMBS ON TAXPAYER-SUBSIDIZED COMPUTERS AT TAXPAYER-SUBSIDIZED PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN NEWARK, SEAFORD, NEW CASTLE, ELSMERE, BEAR AND WILMINGTON.

Or, I guess it's perfectly fine from the Lefty Libertarian viewpoint to have the taxpayers subsidize such activities, cause after all, those Muslim Students want to kill Americans.

Kn@ppster said...

"If one Libertarian disagrees with another Libertarian, than they will probably both agree individually that the other is not a 'serious libertarian thinker, philosopher, or candidate.'"

Actually, I've found the opposite to be true. I've had extended, respectful debates with people who are generally acknowledged to be "serious libertarian thinkers, philosophers or candidates," I've treaded them as serious -- and they've generally treated me as serious even when there was an obvious gap between us in relative fame and credentials.

Dondero's "whoever does the most work" formula is interesting, but what he neglects to mention is that all his hard petitioning work for libertarian causes is counter-balanced by his hard petitioning work for anti-libertarian clauses (putting Joe Lieberman on the ballot in Connecticut and restoring marriage apartheid in Maine, to name two examples).

Another clue to Dondero's non-seriousness is that his definition of libertarianism turns on a dime any time his personal prejudices enter the picture. For example, he's publicly called for:

- An exception to the laws against assault if the victim is burning a flag and the assailant is a veteran.

- Outlawing the consumption as food of animals he thinks are cute and cuddly (specifically, dogs).

- Nullifying the First Amendment's freedom of religion and speech clauses if the worshipers or speakers are Muslims (specifically, he doesn't want Muslim mosques in Hamtramck, Michigan, to be able to audibly play their "call to prayer," but is fine with the nearby Christian churches ringing their bells for the same purpose).

There are certainly "serious" libertarians who envision exceptions to the general libertarian claim of unlimited freedom/limited or non-existent state. Their "seriousness" is indicated by the quality of their arguments. Dondero's argument is always "if don't like it, so you shouldn't be free to do it; and if I do like it, too bad if people have to be victimized or even killed for it to be done." That argument is neither "serious" nor "libertarian."

Newton, on the other hand, always bases his positions in the most logically rigorous arguments he can craft for those positions. I don't always agree that his arguments are correct, but there's no doubt that he's "serious."

Eric Dondero said...

Hilarious that Knapp would come in here and denigrate my petitioning work for Joe Lieberman, seeing that Lieberman is the one "Democrat" who has done the most to kill Obama's health care legislation.

But hey, in Knapp's twisted Lefty Libertarian world, maybe support for Socialized health care is something to be applauded?

Eric Dondero said...

Yup, Newton bases his arguments on "serious thought," read hit the snooze button.

Hint Knapp, just because something is boring-ass, doesn't make it right.

Drop the fuckin' philosophy book and pick up a mother-fuckin' clipboard or stack of brochures.

Joe the plumber said...

Hey Eric with all that experience why haven't you won an election?

Libertarian in Colorado said...

Wow. I think Eric just came in and proved Steve's point perfectly.

Townie 76 said...

Eric Dondero:

I have know Steve Newton since we were in graduate school in 1984, he has been a true libertarian since we first knew each other. You sir are not a libertarian, but rather a pathetic bully who must resort to foul language and demeaning attacks in order to make your point.

Based on your quote "ON FUCKING RADICAL MUSLIM "STUDENTS" FROM SAUDI ARABIA, JORDAN, AND THE MIDDLE EAST WHO ARE OVERSTAYING THEIR VISAS AND LOOKING UP PLANS FOR DIRTY BOMBS ON TAXPAYER-SUBSIDIZED COMPUTERS AT TAXPAYER-SUBSIDIZED PUBLIC LIBRARIES IN NEWARK, SEAFORD, NEW CASTLE, ELSMERE, BEAR AND WILMINGTON." I would say that you are also a anti-Semitic (as Arabs are Semitic People) as you equate any Muslim from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and now we throw in the Middle East as being radical. The problem is that you are no different that others who are statists, that the power of the state may be used against only those who you dislike.

Unfortunately that is cheap argument which has been used by socialists, communists, fascists, and any other type ists to justify their actions over the years.

Before you accuse Steve Newton of not being a true Libertarian, I would first look in the mirror. The difference between you and Steve is Steve questions his assumptions and admits when his personal positions are different that the core of Libertarian beliefs. You have yet to reach that level of maturity.

pandora said...

Oh my, Steve. You really hit a nerve with Eric. Such defensiveness is telling. It's also completely immature and embarrassing. Eric, you should be ashamed of yourself, but given the word vomit you just spewed, I'm not counting on it. Seriously, little, potty-mouth boy, grow the hell up.

IMO, Libertarianism isn't really a left or right thing - at least it shouldn't be. It is a set of principles that criss-cross R and D lines.

Anonymous said...

Eric,

You are da man! You totally proved that Steve is "a defeatist pussy who supports terrorism."

You'll totally dig our group: Libertarian-Totalitarians.com

We believe that the government should protect the civil liberties of everyone except those who believe that the government should not protect the civil liberties of everyone.

We believe that government spying and torture – whatever it takes – is OK as long as it is used to protect everyone against people who would use the government for spying and torture.

We believe in the golden rule on libertarianism – the person with the gold rules. Therefore, we also believe that the government should not take life or property from anyone except those think the government should be allowed to take life or property.

Finally, if you belong to a religious or political group that disagrees with any of the above, we believe it is our right to invade your country and bomb the crap out of you and your children.

And it goes without saying: anyone who disagrees with the above is not a serious libertarian thinker or philosopher.

Just you and me are, right?

anonone

Ayn R. Key said...

Dondeo, lots of libertarians know more about libertarianism than you. Lots of libertarians are more libertarian than you. That is because you ARE a pretend libertarian, a fake libertarian, a phony libertarian, a false libertarian. You are the type of libertarian neocon who holds anti-libertarian beliefs (such as government snooping) and calls himself a libertarian.

Yeah, once upon a time you stood in 20 degree weather. More recently you endorsed Benito Guiliani. What have you done for liberty lately except promise to destroy the LP?

Anonymous said...

Hey Eric,

Let's go ahead and expand government and the police state, all in the name of terrorism, right?

Let's wiretap everyone's house, invade everyone's home. In fact let's pass gun laws to make sure those evil muslims dont get their hands on weapons, right? And to make sure we still believe in limited government, we'll claim we're doing this all in the name of terrorism.

-3456

PlanetaryJim said...

Dondero is Eric Dondero Rittberg. He is into the free love "lifestyle" while being aggressively anti-gay in his politics. He used to frequent whorehouses in places we've both been (e.g., Djibouti) back when he was in the Navy. He told me rather proudly about how he would tell the prostitute to stop talking and get her clothes off or he wouldn't pay, as if his arrogance were a virtue.

I don't like Dondero. He isn't a libertarian, he's a neo-conservative war mongering Republican. He loves the idea of slaughtering children in foreign countries judging by the results of the policies he advocates.

And, of course, he believes in as many spy agencies doing as much spying as possible. Not to mention unwarranted breaking and entering, preventive detention, torture, murder, and rape. If it wears a uniform or has federal ID, it can do no wrong in Dondero's own words.

A libertarian is anyone who does not believe that any person has the right to initiate force nor advocate its initiation. People who act consistently with this one principle are libertarians, no matter what they call themselves. People who do not act consistently with this principle are not libertarians, no matter how much they protest they have done "for the party." Libertarianism is mostly about individual choice taking behavior, especially in search of market clearing prices. It is mostly not about politics.

I wouldn't piss on Dondero if he were on fire and dying.

Eric Dondero said...

This so-called "Potty-mouth" is a Veteran of the United States Navy. I served my country for 6 long years, joined up in Delaware as a matter of fact.

So, I can speak any goddamned way I please. I earned that right.

Have you?

Eric Dondero said...

Show of hands...

How many Veterans are here on Stevie's blog?

Or, are you all just a bunch of yellow-bellied cowards who never served a day in your life in the Military, and at the same time spit on those of us who have?

Eric Dondero said...

To Joe the Plumber...

I actually did win an election once: 1994 - Tallahassee, Florida, County Board of Supervisors, Conservation Board, 28,105 votes.

Only Republican elected in the County that year.

Had to resign two years later to move to Texas to run Ron Paul's Campaign for Congress, which he won.

Eric Dondero said...

What's his fuckface's name, says I'm a "NeoConservative."

Yupper, every NeoCon I've ever met in my life is Pro-Choice on abortion, wants to legalize drugs, supports Swinger's Rights, ending Seat Belt laws, legalizing Prostitution and Gambling, repealing Smoking Bans, against regulations of Tittie Bars, ect...

You know, those NeoCons like Bill Kristol, Bill Bennett, Krauthammer, Gary Baur, et.al are real social libertines.

Ayn R. Key said...

You want veterans? Right here.

By what you just wrote that means I have every right to call you a neocon traitor to libertarianism.

Ayn R. Key said...

And neocons really don't care that much about pro-life versus pro-choice. They care about pro-war and pro-war.

But then, Dondero thinks Obama is pro-life. I guess that's why he thinks Obama isn't a Democrat Libertarian.

Steve Newton said...

Let's see, Eric: I served 21 years and retired as an E-8.

Townie 76 served nearly 30 years and retired as an 0-6.

Last I checked, spitting on troops and veterans was a cute straw man you concocted to avoid dealing with the views and opinions of people who have spent considerably longer in the service than you ever did.

Plenty of vets visit here; some to agree with me, some to argue with me.

All of them with, the exception of you, recognize that in a free society with an all-volunteer military (a very libertarian idea, if you think about it), such service is not a requirement for having political opinions.

As for your my-penis-is-bigger-than-your-penis bravado:

I will literally take my mother-fucking pick-up truck up to Delaware - and having grown up there I know it like the back of my hand - and kick your fat ass all the way across the Maryland State Line.

Let me know when you've had enough of whatever you're drinking to work up the courage, and I'll provide you with the address. My thirteen-year-old son will deal with your visit: he handles the light work.

townie 76 said...

Steve,

May I offer one small correction, it was 33 years in the United States Army.

Brad said...

"A libertarian is anyone who does not believe that any person has the right to initiate force nor advocate its initiation." A concise way to describe a libertarian, PlanetaryJim. The moment we start straying away from this principle, we lose our credibility, and are harming the cause of freedom. Regardless of how many elections one has won or how many campaigns one has worked on, supporting increased government power to access personal information without any suspicious of wrongdoing is anti-libertarian.

X Stryker said...

WIN: THE MIGHTY NEWTON (via massive KO)
MEGAFAIL: RAGEMASTER ERIC (total douche)

You're going to have to try those fists of yours, Eric, because your dimwitted words are impotent against the mighty Newton.