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Libertarianism in One Sentence

Discussion in 'House of Debates' started by Truth-Bringer, Apr 7, 2007.

  1. Truth-Bringer

    Truth-Bringer New Member

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    Libertarianism in One Sentence

    by Roderick Long

    David Bergland once offered "Libertarianism in One Lesson." I would like to offer libertarianism in one sentence.

    The most succinct formulation of libertarianism I can think of is this:

    Other people are not your property.


    In other words: They are not yours to boss around. Their lives are not yours to micromanage. The fruits of their labour are not yours to dispose of.

    It doesn’t matter how wise or marvelous or useful it would be for other people to do whatever it is you’d like them to do. It is none of your business whether they wear their seatbelts, worship the right god, have sex with the wrong people, or engage in market transactions that irritate you. Their choices are not yours to direct. They are human beings like yourself, your equals under Natural Law. You possess no legitimate authority over them. As long as they do not themselves step over the line and start treating other people as their property, you have no moral basis for initiating violence against them – nor for authorising anyone else to do so on your behalf.

    The basic principle of civilised social intercourse was stated in 1646 by Richard Overton:

    "To every individual in nature is given an individual property by nature not to be invaded or usurped by any. For every one, as he is himself, so he has a self-propriety, else could he not be himself; and of this no second may presume to deprive any of without manifest violation and affront to the very principles of nature and of the rules of equity and justice between man and man. .... No man has power over my rights and liberties, and I over no man’s. I may be but an individual, enjoy my self and my self-propriety and may write myself no more than my self, or presume any further; if I do, I am an encroacher and an invader upon another man’s right .... every man by nature being a king, priest and prophet in his own natural circuit and compass, whereof no second may partake but by deputation, commission, and free consent from him whose natural right and freedom it is."

    Nor is this requirement lifted merely because you happen to be a police officer, or an elected legislator, or a member of a majority of citizens casting their votes. As Voltairine de Cleyre pointed out in 1890:

    "[A] body of voters can not give into your charge any rights but their own; by no possible jugglery of logic can they delegate the exercise of any function which they themselves do not control. If any individual on earth has a right to delegate his powers to whomsoever he chooses, then every other individual has an equal right; and if each has an equal right, then none can choose an agent for another, without that other’s consent. Therefore, if the power of government resides in the whole people, and out of that whole all but one elected you as their agent, you would still have no authority whatever to act for the one. The individuals composing the minority who did not appoint you have just the same rights and powers as those composing the majority who did; and if they prefer not to delegate them at all, then neither you, nor any one, has any authority whatever to coerce them into accepting you, or any one, as their agent ...."

    I suggest that the phrase “Other people are not your property,” and variations thereon, might be a more useful tool of intellectual debate than some of the other slogans we more commonly use. Why not meet every new proposal to force people to do this or that with the protest “But you don’t own them,” “But they’re not your property”? At least this would reduce the issue to its essence.

    http://www.strike-the-root.com/4/long/long9.html
     
  2. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    "Other people are not your property" is also an old conservative principle.
     
  3. Truth-Bringer

    Truth-Bringer New Member

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    Unfortunately that knowledge was lost long ago by the Republican Party.
     
  4. Everylyric

    Everylyric New Member

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    Why do you say that?
     
  5. Truth-Bringer

    Truth-Bringer New Member

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    I can't believe you're asking that question. Please take the time to read the following and you will fully understand why I say that:

    http://www.buildfreedom.com/tl/rapecon.shtml
     
  6. USMC the Almighty

    USMC the Almighty New Member

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    Truth's right. Just look at their spending.
     
  7. n0spam4me

    n0spam4me Member

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    I may be a bit lacking in the history dept.
    However I recall a quote that is something like
    THE GOVERNMENT GOVERNS BEST WHEN IT GOVERNS LEAST.

    And I agree, however there is also the function of general consent, for things like laws governing trade & commerce and the misc. traffic regulations that at least try to keep our roads orderly and safe.

    Something that I object to about AMERICA today is that people are giving consent by their silence. I have had a chance to speak to a lot of people on BART and in the market and people in general are resistant to speaking up to their Senators and Congresspeople. OOPS!

    Any suggestions as to how to motovate more involvement?

    just call me 1 very frustrated Patriot.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    and as we all know
    the emperor is NAKED!
    .
     
  8. Truth-Bringer

    Truth-Bringer New Member

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    Yes, you are correct. That would be a quote from Mr. Thomas Paine, one of our founding Libertarians. Here are a few more of his quotes that were never mentioned in the public fool system:

    "If, from the more wretched parts of the old world, we look at those which are in an advanced stage of improvement, we still find the greedy hand of government thrusting itself into every corner and crevice of industry, and grasping the spoil of the multitude. Invention is continually exercised, to furnish new pretenses for revenues and taxation. It watches prosperity as its prey and permits none to escape without tribute." - Thomas Paine

    "What at first was called plunder assumed the softer name of tax revenue." - Thomas Paine

    "To say that any people are not fit for freedom, is to make poverty their choice, and to say they had rather be loaded with taxes than not." - Thomas Paine

    "War involves in its progress such a train of unforeseen and unsupposed circumstances that no human wisdom can calculate the end. It has but one thing certain, and that is to increase taxes." - Thomas Paine

    "Government at its best is a necessary evil, and at its worst, an intolerant one." – Thomas Paine

    "There are two distinct classes of men... those who pay taxes and those who receive and live upon taxes." - Thomas Paine

    "An Avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he a establishes a precedent that will reach to himself." – Thomas Paine

    "When the government fears the people, it is liberty. When the people fear the government, it is tyranny." – Thomas Paine


    A lot of people have misconceptions about such things, such as police protection, for example. Most people are unaware that the police are under no legal obligation whatsoever to protect the public.

    The police are used to enforce the laws and punish criminals after the fact, they do not exist to protect citizens as the Supreme Court once affirmed:

    'Castle Rock v. Gonzales - the Supreme Court found that Jessica Gonzales did not have a constitutional right to police protection, even in the presence of a restraining order.

    By a vote of 7-to-2, the Supreme Court ruled that Gonzales has no right to sue her local police department for failing to protect her and her children from her estranged husband."

    http://www.allsafedefense.com/news/CopsDontProtect.htm

    South v. Maryland - found that law enforcement officers had no affirmative duty to provide protection to private individuals (1856)

    Bowers v. DeVito - the Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit held, "...there is no Constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen." (1982)


    Who will protect the poor? Ultimately the poor are responsible for protecting the poor. As we are all ultimately responsible for our own self-defense.

    Yes, it's pretty pathetic. That reminds me of another quote:

    "If men, through fear, fraud, or mistake, should in terms renounce or give up any natural right, the eternal law of reason and the grand end of society would absolutely vacate such renunciation. The right to freedom being the gift of God, it is not in the power of man to alienate this gift and voluntarily become a slave." - Samuel Adams

    Which reminded me of another:

    "If you love wealth more than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, depart from us in peace. We ask not your counsel nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you. May your chains rest lightly upon you and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

    For starters you have to stop wasting your vote, your time and your money on Democrats and Republicans. We clearly know now where that will lead us...to ruin. There is no quick fix, but if everyone who was as genuinely frustrated as you are, started donating money, volunteering time, and giving their vote to the Libertarian Party, you would see change in short order. There are groups of Libertarians right now moving into New Hampshire and Wyoming to specifically try and build a voting block there. You can read more here:
    http://www.freestateproject.org
    http://www.freestatewyoming.org

    Get involved with those projects - join the Libertarian Party - join other freedom oriented groups with an annual membership fee. These groups need money to grow and the more people that pay a simple $25 a year membership fee, the sooner we will build into a real force. 10 million people = $250 million dollars. That will turn some heads in Washington. We don't need a majority to really win this. Remember, the American revolution was only supported by about one third of Americans. All we have to do is show the "undecideds" that we're a real force in this game.
     
  9. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    One of the fundamental flaws within libertarian philosophy is the very real possibility for both voluntary and involuntary slavery to become common practice.
     
  10. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    I agree with palerider...unless Truth can convince me that there is a plausible and feasible way for Libertarians to hold accountable those who violate their principle tenet, "Other people are not your property."

    And to what level does this extend? The employer/employee relationship can be expressed as a form of ownership (as an employee, a person's time is owned by the employer, who then compensates his employee for services rendered. The business transaction can be seen as time for money). Without any legal possibility of employment, how does capitalism work?
     
  11. Truth-Bringer

    Truth-Bringer New Member

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    We've got partial slavery under you conservatives and liberals right now. The percentage of money or property taken from us by threat of force or force is over 50% a year if you include all taxes, money lost to the inflation of fiat currency/central banking and the cost of regulations. And let's not forget plain ole government ineptitude, waste and fraud:


    "According to some estimates, we cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions." - Donald Rumsfeld, 2002


    Trillions of dollars are missing from the US government. What's going on? Where is the money? How could this happen? Where are the checks and balances? How much more has gone missing? What would happen if a corporation failed to pass an audit like this? Or a taxpayer? Who is responsible for this? Would your banks continue to handle your bank account if you behaved like this? Would your investors continue to buy your securities if you behaved like this? Learn more in the articles below.

    http://www.solari.com/learn/articles_missingmoney.htm

    http://www.wanttoknow.info/corruptiongovernmentmilitary

    For numerous listings of government waste on a state by state basis, check out:

    http://www.apatheticvoter.com/FederalStateWaste.htm

    And let's not forget fraud - in which the people we pay to enforce the law are either too lazy or too corrupt to enforce it, costing us billions in losses. This is from just one county:

    County fraud explodes

    $2 billion annual tab for worker, public abuse

    BY TROY ANDERSON, Staff Writer
    01/06/2007

    After downplaying the scope for years, Los Angeles County officials have started to quietly acknowledge that scams by county employees and recipients of county services may be costing taxpayers nearly $2billion a year.

    While there are no exact figures, the county Grand Jury last summer estimated welfare recipients are defrauding taxpayers of $500million a year. Prosecutors have estimated fraud in the food stamp, in-home care and health care programs costs more than $200million.

    "It's as though in all the public assistance programs - be it welfare, food stamps, child care or Section8 housing - someone put a pot of gold in the middle of the street and walked away from it with very little integrity controls," said James Cosper, head deputy in the District Attorney's Office Welfare Fraud Division.

    "It's bad throughout the entire county. ... We do two or three major sweeps a year where we go out and arrest people. In case after case, they are driving Beemers, Lexus and Mercedes automobiles, or we have evidence they are taking expensive vacations, going on very nice cruises or living in expensive homes."

    And it's not just service recipients who are defrauding the county.

    Rest of article at:

    http://www.dailynews.com/ci_4965025

    And of course we have the wonderful national debt of over $8.5 trillion (and growing) that you wonderful Democrats and Republicans have left us with. Such a blessing for future generations of Americans...

    Hey, pale rider, let me give you some advice, people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.
     
  12. Truth-Bringer

    Truth-Bringer New Member

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    The employer/employee relationship is VOLUNTARY. You don't have to work for someone if you don't want to. You don't have to work for anyone. You can start your own business. We Libertarians won't tax you, so you can keep all you earn.

    People usually choose employment because it's easier than hunting and gathering or starting your own farm. But a job is not an entitlement. Your only "entitlement" is liberty.

    As long as your actions are peaceful, honest and voluntary, you have the freedom to live your life as you choose. Government only becomes involved if you use violence, fraud or coercion against other people to violate their rights.
     
  13. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    I am talking about actual slavery, not your flawed definition of slavery.

    I will simply skip answering the rest of that drivel because it does not have a thing to do with the fact that within the libertarian philosophy, there is the very real possibility of actual slavery thus putting the lie to your libertarianism in one sentence theory.

    The fact is, that within the philosophy of libertarianism is the very real possibility of literally owning other human beings.
     
  14. vyo476

    vyo476 Active Member

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    But doesn't the idea of ownership of any kind of a person or a person's time fly in the face of your ideology? And by the same token, your argument just proved palerider correct: just as the employer/employee relationship can be voluntary, a slave system of one kind or another could just as easily be portrayed that way as well.

    But that is an extreme point of view and aside from the issue I'd much rather hear you discuss. How would the government hold accountable those who violate its laws? Without a tax system the government would be starved for money, and unless you plan on slashing up the national defense budget along with the social programs I'm sure you detest, I'm not seeing how a tariff or duties would bring in enough money to keep the government afloat and doing its job (however you define "its job," of course).
     
  15. palerider

    palerider Well-Known Member

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    The concept of ownership of a human body, even self ownership creates within the philosophy of libertarianism an irreconcilable paradox that leaves the entire philosophy unworthy of being taken seriously.

    Libertarians want prostitution and drugs made legal, and they don't want to pay taxes. That is the depth of the political movement. Libertarianism is a young persons philosophy. The paradox of human ownership within the philosophy is such that no mature thinking person would ever take it seriously and as such, anyone beyond the age of 30 who remains a libertarian is intellectually suspect.

    Government would not hold accountable those who violate its laws. In order to be a libertarian, you have to believe in a universal spirit of good will among human beings. As such, like thinking individuals would form private syndicates to protect their rights and security against others. If a universal spirit of good will existed among human beings, this would be a fine and dandy solution to individual security. The fact is, however, that no such universal spirit of good will exists, and as a result, the private syndicates formed by like thinking libertarian groups would quickly come to resembel crime families such as the mafia and yakuza. Those with the most funding would quickly assimilate less wealthy groups and their resources with them. A further form of slavery that reinforces the paradox.
     
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