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Why libertarianism is closer to Stalinism than you think

Posted by livefree-NH 5 years, 5 months ago to Politics
48 comments | Share | Flag

Or the subtitle, "Rand Paul and the sordid purity of libertarianism". I don't know where to begin, that is, trying to find one thing correct in this rant.
SOURCE URL: http://blogs.reuters.com/great-debate/2015/06/15/rand-paul-and-the-sordid-purity-of-libertarianism/


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  • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 5 years, 5 months ago
    Wrong, wrong, wrong!
    Mudslinging claptrap. He has Rand wrong. He has libertarianism wrong. Libertarianism certainly did not grow from Objectivism. Rand in her time, relating to the libertarians of her time, had no interest in their ism. http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/libert...
    Of course he must slime that which he fears and denounce its practicality. Of course, since neither have truly been implemented before, he has no actual evidence.
    I think HIS ideology and intolerance is showing.
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  • Posted by jimslag 5 years, 5 months ago
    Just wait, the Establishment is going to have a heart attack when Rand Paul and Ted Cruz get into the debates. I love it as I am sick and tired of the establishment candidates, like McCain, Dole and Romney. We need new blood, in the like of Reagan to re-energize our Republic. Now Trump is talking, again, of joining the fray. With Bush declaring, the total now stands at 12 for the right wing of the Big Government Party. Sorry for the soliloquy but my dream ticket would be Paul and Cruz, doesn't matter what order or who is on top. It would drive both the left and right wings crazy and I would love it.
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  • Posted by $ allosaur 5 years, 5 months ago
    Alan Wolfe (wolf! wolf!) must have rabies.
    I had to stop laughing before quoting a question he asks--
    "But how, exactly, does one get government "interference" out of business when business wants it there most of the time?"
    Three cheers for all the businesses who want to waste time and money on government intrusion most of the time.
    Old dino has never been a businessman but he knows laughable crap when he reads it.
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    • Posted by WilliamCharlesCross 5 years, 5 months ago
      I think he was referring to when business (read: big corporations) benefit from the "interference" of the government--their lobbyists actually help create the wording of many new rules and regulations. But his whole article is purest mierda, and even in this instance he acts like it would be impossible to actually get the government to pull back.
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      • Posted by $ allosaur 5 years, 5 months ago
        I really don't think there's a whole lot of butt-kissing the Marxist One corrupt crony capitalist corporations out there.
        They are there but I think they amount to a minority.
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        • Posted by WilliamCharlesCross 5 years, 5 months ago
          As far as the number of corporations involved, they may well be few. But the power of a mega-billion dollar market capitalization is impressive. Every industry has its lobbyists, and I'm pretty sure they keep a close eye on any legislation that affects their business interests. Doesn't mean they always get their way.
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  • Posted by jdg 5 years, 5 months ago
    I mostly agree with this article up to the point where it slanders libertarian ideas as "impracticable". From there on it's just idiocy.
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    • Posted by CircuitGuy 5 years, 5 months ago
      Right before that it sets the stage by saying libertarianism is inherently "rigid", "authoritarian","intolerant of dissent", and allows "no room to maneuver". You could write this exact same article about extremist adherents of any idea: It's impractical because it's inflexible and radical.

      He's attacking a straw man.
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  • Posted by LibertyBelle 5 years, 5 months ago
    I despise when people misrepresent Ayn Rand,
    especially using such terms as "authoritarian". As
    a matter of fact, she repudiated the Libertarian Part-
    y, calling them "hippies-of-the-right [hyphens or not,
    I don't remember] who want to play at politics
    without philosophy..."
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  • Posted by jsw225 5 years, 5 months ago
    If I were king, no body would be allowed to graduate high school if they didn't first pass a class in logic. And if that were the case, Alan Wolfe would be a 73 year old High School senior.
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  • Posted by $ jlc 5 years, 5 months ago
    I was dismayed when two intelligent liberals I know summed up their opposition to Sarah Palin with the words, "She's crazy." (and were not able to tell me 'why'). This reminded me so much of the Equal Rights Amendment of the 1970's, which was brought down by the conservatives circulating the rumor, "That is not the whole Law."

    Now I am being reminded of both of those occurrences again. It does not matter how specious the argument is, just whether or not some telling phrase 'sticks'.

    Jan
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  • Posted by Herb7734 5 years, 5 months ago
    A typical ivory tower professor who reads the equivalent of Cliff Notes on Ayn Rand and thinks he's got her down. Libertarianism frightens these types because it straddles a few of their sacred cows, and as a result is looked upon by leftists as potentially more dangerous than conservatism.
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  • Posted by j_IR1776wg 5 years, 5 months ago
    Ayn Rand was an individual rights advocate and a Constitutionalist in that she agreed with America's founders on the need for a severely limited government. About as far from an "authoritarian" as one can get.

    One can write a book on what Wolfe got wrong in this article.
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  • Posted by freedomforall 5 years, 5 months ago
    It's Reuters. Last refuge of hacks (just after the AP.)
    Move along, nothing to see here.

    Sad thing is that so many voters don't realize just how irrational this is.
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  • Posted by MinorLiberator 5 years, 5 months ago
    This reminded me, very much so, of the original rant against Atlas by Whitaker Chambers' in his screed in the National Review in 1957, with the (in)famous line "To a gas chamber - go" he could hear on every page. (Unintentionally eponymous?)

    That was as jaw-droppingly as off-the-mark as this current piece of trash, including its claim that her ideas "inevitably lead to dictatorship".

    It was interesting that to verify my recollection of the quote, I Googled and found it in yet another anti-Rand piece (of crap) from 2014, on a Catholic web site whose tag line is: "Hosting the Conversation on Faith". How surprising. The author was not very original, as the piece was mostly lengthy quotes from Chambers' article, with his own approving filler around it.

    It has always puzzled me how seemingly intelligent people can get things so very, very wrong. Well, maybe not really.

    My "favorite" from personal experience was when I found my older brother (a doctoral candidate in psychology at the time) wrapping a Christmas present for his best friend, apparently to impart some enlightenment upon him. They were two books: Atlas and BF Skinner's "Beyond Freedom and Dignity". He had read Atlas on my recommendation, but apparently not Rand's scathing review of Skinner's book in her newsletter.

    Extreme jaw-drop and speechless moment for me. My brother explained he considered them as making similar points about "elitism", his own worldview. Huh?

    Yes, folks, fear and irrationality are in the air, be prepared. But then again, that's an unnecessary reminder to Gulchers.
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  • Posted by $ blarman 5 years, 5 months ago
    I can't think of anything about this piece other than they are trying to make Rand Paul look like a lunatic. There are so many falsehoods and blatant misrepresentations I stopped reading after the first few paragraphs. I had to force myself to finish the article. It wasn't even particularly well written: even if i had agreed with it!
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  • Posted by WilliamRThomas 5 years, 5 months ago
    There is no doubt that Ayn Rand was bossy in her circle. But to say she wanted a culture or politics that was authoritarian is to misunderstand her ideals.

    I would add Wolfe is right that libertarianism has trouble as a practical view in today's politics.

    But two things are needed to make liberty more popular:

    1) Gradualism.We need more liberty now, and pure liberty can come along down the road.

    2) Ideals. We need to teach people that capitalism is ideal.
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    • Posted by dansail 5 years, 5 months ago
      I would have to add that Ayn was bossy in her circle because it was her circle, her creation. Anyone with a creation should be in complete control of that creation or destroy it and create anew.

      Nevertheless, I don't see this control over her own creation in the slightest as even hinting of Stalinism.
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      • Posted by MinorLiberator 5 years, 5 months ago
        I had the pleasure of hearing her speak in Boston several times at the Ford Hall forum. During Q&A, she was usually very gracious, but if you asked her a stupid question, that she had probably had heard a million times, then she was hell-on-wheels. I never saw that as a flaw.

        As far as all of the "inner circle" and "personal" stuff, I was a few steps removed from it when I moved to NYC in 1976, but I saw a little. Some of it bothered a lot of people I knew, but compared to her work and eternal legacy, that didn't amount to anything to me, either.
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      • Posted by Herb7734 5 years, 5 months ago
        The problem with Rand is that while she could invent an ideal, she couldn't become one herself. She was, after all, human. However, it was a delight to hear her lecture and in a debate, especially with someone who thought they could cut her to ribbons. They would walk away bloody and battered hardly knowing what hit them.
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    • Posted by RonJohnson 5 years, 5 months ago
      It's true that libertarianism has a difficult time getting traction in today's political environment. Is that because libertarianism is impractical, or because our society is delusional?
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      • Posted by WilliamRThomas 5 years, 5 months ago
        The problem is 1) most libertarians are too doctrinaire: Ron Paul's statement that he would shut down the Fed is classic, in this respect;. and 2) the public doesn't understand the enormous costs and inefficiencies caused by government overstepping its bounds.

        After all, everyone thinks (incorrectly) that the market was completely to blame for the financial crisis, right? See my review of a (non-libertarian) book that surveys the causes, yet comes to the wrong conclusions: http://reasonpapers.com/wp-content/uploa...
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        • Posted by RonJohnson 5 years, 5 months ago
          Shutting down the Fed is a necessity, wouldn't you say? Libertarianism (Austrian economists in particular) have noted the root of the financial problem is the manipulation of money. Are libertarians wrong to name the evil, or is society wrong for believing in a false system?

          That is a good example of libertarianism being right and society being wrong...but it is libertarianism that is discarded. I conclude that society is delusional.
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          • Posted by WilliamRThomas 5 years, 5 months ago
            I think the first move toward freedom in the monetary arena would be making sure there is no legal prejudice against competing currencies.

            Just shutting down the Fed would cause a financial panic. And very few people understand why that would even be a good thing in the long run. Typical histories of the economy favorably compare the Fed era to the panics and instability of the 19th Century. I don't think that interpretation is fair, but it's standard and the rebuttal is not obvious.

            For what it's worth, I don't think government was wholly to blame for the financial crisis. There was private irrationality, too: http://atlassociety.org/commentary/comme...
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            • Posted by RonJohnson 5 years, 5 months ago
              In fairness to Ron Paul, he has called for competing currencies also.

              If we agree that the Fed is a key source of economic trouble and that, ideally, it would be disbanded, then we can talk about technique and timing. If, however, you believe the Fed is good for the economy, then I can understand you would be horrified by the thought of getting rid of it.

              First we must agree on the goal, then we can work on the incremental steps to reach that goal. Libertarianism is not all-or-nothing. Anything that moves the ball toward the freedom goal is a positive and will generate benefits for society. So while I'd like to see the IRS and the Income Tax repealed in its' entirety, I'll take a 10% reduction as a good first step. While I believe the Fed is a cancer on our economy and should be abolished as quickly as possible, I'll take revoking legal tender laws as a big step forward.
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