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Wild-eyed Libertarians
www.blueoregon.com ^ | 1 12 05 | Pat Ryan

Posted on 01/14/2005 2:27:36 AM PST by freepatriot32

I’ve been challenged a few times on this blog to defend myself as a “libertarian”. Here’s a quick and incomplete statement of principles that I use to fit myself into that pigeonhole. As a “Jack Libertarian” I’m guessing that I’m in the minority of citizens of the state of Oregon, but I don’t really understand why. It’s probably the case that most people would rather let the experts (preachers, doctors, advertisers, talk show hosts, Ph.Ds, country music stars, gummint bureaucrats, etcetera) make their choices rather than listening to them and making our own choices. Small “L” libertarians are people that just wanted to be left alone to make decisions affecting their personal behavior without interference from government. My favorite definition of “libertarian” comes from the Online Dictionary and reads as follows: “One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.” Many of us include the following qualifier: “My rights extend only to the point where they infringe on your rights.” So, for example, your right to swing your fist ends just before you make contact with my nose. If you violate my nose rights, I’ll feel free to respond in kind. When I say that I’m “Pro-choice” on just about everything, I mean that everyone should have the right to decide how to live their lives. This includes, but is not limited to:

The right to keep and bear arms The right to absolute control of your own body The right to engage in risky behavior as long as I don’t put you at risk without your consent The right of consenting adults to engage in any kind of sexual behavior The right of citizens to protest, burn the flag, and advocate crackpot ideas, left and right The right of any citizen to respond to violence with violence The right to use or abuse any and all drugs, food, etcetera The right of you and your family to be healthy The right to commit suicide The right to buy, sell, and trade with other citizens The right to do what I want to do with my real estate as long as it doesn’t physically damage your real estate. The right to protect my personal property from theft or destruction The right to religious freedom

All of the above is limited to adults as science shows that minor children’s brains are in the development process all the way through the teen years. (Apologies to some extremely well developed intellects in the under 21 set). Also, and most importantly, you don’t have the right to impose your will or vision on someone else by use of force, intimidation, or threats of any kind. You don’t have the right to make me pray, salute, or show any kind of loyalty to any religion, political ideal, or belief system of any kind and you don’t have the right to take my stuff or hurt my friends and family. You don’t have the right, much less the duty, to protect me from myself. A world that actually ran this way, would require that you get informed as a matter of self preservation. You would need to know that alcohol, coffee, aspirin, water, heroin, and french fries can all kill you in the long run or the short run. You would learn moderation and tolerance or you would die sooner rather than later. You would spend some time researching the people that think they are qualified to lead us and pay attention to their actions instead of voting on the basis of whether they talk like a tough guy or whether they “look French”. You would make sure not to buy bread from the guy that uses broken glass as an ingredient. We would all have to tolerate things and people that we don’t like. In return, they would have to tolerate us.

Still, I’m forced to grudgingly accept that we do need a civil state to enforce these rights, and to step in when “individual rights” conflict with the interests of society. It is here that most civic debate takes place.

It really is that simple to me, and it really is that complicated. Follow the news from a lot of different viewpoints. Stay informed about everything that affects your life. It’s hard work in this complex world, but hey, it’s your life. Live it well. We’ll all be dead soon enough.


TOPICS: AMERICA - The Right Way!!; Business/Economy; Miscellaneous; Society
KEYWORDS: freedom; governing; libertarians; oregon; self; wildeyed

1 posted on 01/14/2005 2:27:36 AM PST by freepatriot32
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To: Baby Bear; BJClinton; BlackbirdSST; BroncosFan; Capitalism2003; duznshwrnkd; jmc813; ...
Libertarian ping.To be added or removed from my ping list freepmail me or post a message here.
2 posted on 01/14/2005 2:32:41 AM PST by freepatriot32 (http://chonlalonde.blogspot.com)
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To: freepatriot32

thanks for the ping ;)


3 posted on 01/14/2005 4:13:01 AM PST by Capitalism2003
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To: freepatriot32
That's a pretty good description of Libertarianism from a positive perspective that avoids the many negative implications. I did however disagree with him on a small popular libertarian point.

"My rights extend only to the point where they infringe on your rights." So, for example, your right to swing your fist ends just before you make contact with my nose. If you violate my nose rights, I'll feel free to respond in kind.

Speaking only to the given example, that is not good enough for me. Prudence, a much written about legal concept, would suggest otherwise. Of course I recognize that 'prudence' is not a libertarian concept, as it is impossible to objectively ascertain its exact limitations. That to me is the number one dilemma or flaw in the libertarian philosophy. There must be room for some prudence.

I therefore state that your right to swing your fist ends just before your movement would necessitate a prudent person from taking immediate action in self defense. A threat of imminent physical harm to the person of an individual (not property), is an initiation of force.

4 posted on 01/14/2005 5:28:31 AM PST by jackbob
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To: freepatriot32
Please add me to your list.

Libertarianism describes the political applications of the saying:

"Mind your own freakin' business!"
5 posted on 01/14/2005 5:45:52 AM PST by dAnconia (The government cannot grant rights,but it can protect them. Or violate them.)
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To: dAnconia

youve been added to my list thanks for your intrest in it


6 posted on 01/14/2005 6:24:13 AM PST by freepatriot32 (http://chonlalonde.blogspot.com)
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To: freepatriot32

Thanks!


7 posted on 01/14/2005 6:30:49 AM PST by dAnconia (The government cannot grant rights,but it can protect them. Or violate them.)
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To: freepatriot32
Small “L” libertarians are people that just wanted to be left alone to make decisions affecting their personal behavior without interference from government.

How does a small "L" libertarian differ from a large "L" libertarian?

8 posted on 01/14/2005 7:14:06 AM PST by secretagent
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To: jackbob

Juries can debate as to when violence responds, with prudence, to a threat, or itself initiates it.

At the international level, we have that debate over the invasion of Iraq.

A good premise to accept - "thou shall not initiate force". We can argue over who initiates force, but great if we at least accept the premise.


9 posted on 01/14/2005 7:23:17 AM PST by secretagent
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To: secretagent

A small "L" generally supports the principles and applications of limited government, not necessarily any specific political party. A large "L" is a member of the Libertarian Party.


10 posted on 01/14/2005 7:47:32 AM PST by Turbopilot (Viva la Reagan Revolucion!)
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To: freepatriot32

11 posted on 01/14/2005 7:48:33 AM PST by theFIRMbss
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To: Turbopilot

Thanks.


12 posted on 01/14/2005 8:01:05 AM PST by secretagent
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To: secretagent
How does a small "L" libertarian differ from a large "L" libertarian?

Small-l libertarianism is a philosiphy while a large-L Liertarian is a member of the Libertarian Party. I'm a small-l libertarian but I think the LP is whacked on several issues and therefore stick with the GOP.

13 posted on 01/14/2005 10:10:59 AM PST by jmc813 (J-E-T-S JETS JETS JETS)
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To: jmc813
Small-l libertarianism is a philosiphy

Thanks.

I like the libertarian principle of "non-initiation of force". I haven't checked out the party in a long time, so I don't know if that comes up a lot there.

14 posted on 01/14/2005 12:50:33 PM PST by secretagent
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To: freepatriot32

Please add me to your ping list. You have accurately and succinctly stated the majority of my political beliefs.


15 posted on 01/14/2005 12:55:41 PM PST by AntiBurr ("I have sworn on the altar of God eternal hostility against ...Tyranny over the mind of Man.)
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To: secretagent
I don't agree that defense against all threats should be solely left to juries to decide. The benefit of having laws regarding threats are as important as having laws against other crimes. People should know what their rights are, as well as the limits of those rights.
16 posted on 01/14/2005 3:30:33 PM PST by jackbob
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To: freepatriot32
You wrote:

" --- everyone should have the right to decide how to live their lives.
This includes, but is not limited to:

The right to keep and bear arms
The right to absolute control of your own body
The right to engage in risky behavior as long as I don't put you at risk without your consent
The right of consenting adults to engage in any kind of sexual behavior
The right of citizens to protest, burn the flag, and advocate crackpot ideas, left and right
The right of any citizen to respond to violence with violence

Within common law, 'reasonable' limits are put on violence in kind. We've delegated a lot of power to the State in this area.

The right to use or abuse any and all drugs, food, etcetera
The right of you and your family to be healthy
The right to commit suicide
The right to buy, sell, and trade with other citizens
The right to do what I want to do with my real estate as long as it doesn't physically damage your real estate.

Your acts can also do perceived financial damage to your neighbors estate.

The right to protect my personal property from theft or destruction
The right to religious freedom

Also, and most importantly, you don't have the right to impose your will or vision on someone else by use of force, intimidation, or threats of any kind.
You don't have the right to make me pray, salute, or show any kind of loyalty to any religion, political ideal, or belief system of any kind

You have the duty to obey the laws & ideals [the principles] of our US Constitution as a resident here. Read our Oath of Naturalization as a guideline to the obligations of citizenship.

and you don't have the right to take my stuff or hurt my friends and family.
You don't have the right, much less the duty, to protect me from myself.

______________________________________

Well done list.
Hope you don't mind my nitpicking asides on a few items.

17 posted on 01/14/2005 4:43:20 PM PST by jonestown ( Tolerance for intolerance is not tolerance at all.)
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To: jackbob
freepatriot32 wrote:

"My rights extend only to the point where they infringe on your rights.

So, for example, your right to swing your fist ends just before you make contact with my nose. If you violate my nose rights, I'll feel free to respond in kind."





Speaking only to the given example, that is not good enough for me.
Prudence, a much written about legal concept, would suggest otherwise.

Of course I recognize that 'prudence' is not a libertarian concept, as it is impossible to objectively ascertain its exact limitations. That to me is the number one dilemma or flaw in the libertarian philosophy. There must be room for some prudence.

I therefore state that your right to swing your fist ends just before your movement would necessitate a prudent person from taking immediate action in self defense.

A threat of imminent physical harm to the person of an individual (not property), is an initiation of force.
4 jackbob





Yes indeed, threats can be an initiation of force.

But that is not a dilemma or flaw in libertarian philosophy.
Constitutional law limits libertarian philosophy just as it limits conservative philosophy.

There is room for 'prudence' in both.
18 posted on 01/14/2005 5:01:38 PM PST by jonestown ( Tolerance for intolerance is not tolerance at all.)
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To: jonestown
Constitutional law limits libertarian philosophy...

Absolutely not. The Constitution has no authority what so ever over libertarian philosophy and is totally incapable of limiting it in the slightest.

There is room for 'prudence' in both.

"Room for," - yes. But their is a very well argued concept among libertarians that "your right to swing your fist ends just before you make contact with my nose." To repeat the concept using a different example, "your right on your property to point your loaded rifle at me on my property ends when you pull the trigger." In both cases, I say that such rights ended at an earlier point.

The flaw or dilemma, is that this is not a settled matter on purely libertarian grounds.

19 posted on 01/14/2005 7:21:41 PM PST by jackbob
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To: jackbob
You wrote:

I recognize that 'prudence' is not a libertarian concept, as it is impossible to objectively ascertain its exact limitations.
That to me is the number one dilemma or flaw in the libertarian philosophy. There must be room for some prudence.
I therefore state that your right to swing your fist ends just before your movement would necessitate a prudent person from taking immediate action in self defense.
A threat of imminent physical harm to the person of an individual (not property), is an initiation of force.

Yes indeed, threats can be an initiation of force.
But that is not a dilemma or flaw in libertarian philosophy.

Constitutional law limits libertarian philosophy just as it limits conservative philosophy.
There is room for 'prudence' in both.

Absolutely not. The Constitution has no authority what so ever over libertarian philosophy and is totally incapable of limiting it in the slightest.

All of us, conservatives, libertarians, whatever, -- who live in the USA are bound to support our Constitution as the supreme Law of the Land. If your philosophy leads you to take action that violates Constitutional principles, you will pay the price.

There is room for 'prudence' in both philosophies.

"Room for," - yes. But their is a very well argued concept among libertarians that "your right to swing your fist ends just before you make contact with my nose." To repeat the concept using a different example, "your right on your property to point your loaded rifle at me on my property ends when you pull the trigger." In both cases, I say that such rights ended at an earlier point.

So am I.. Why don't you try reading & understanding what I've written?

The flaw or dilemma, is that this is not a settled matter on purely libertarian grounds.

?? -- Who said it was? -- I agreed, threats can be an initiation of force.

But that is not a dilemma or flaw in libertarian philosophy. You simply have a flaw in your understanding of american libertarianism. We honor our US Constitution.

20 posted on 01/14/2005 7:58:50 PM PST by jonestown ( Tolerance for intolerance is not tolerance at all.)
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To: jonestown
Why don't you try reading & understanding what I've written?

That was almost the exact words I wrote to you for my last reply. But I decided to be polite, and scrapped it.

Its clear that we are talking past each other for the most part. But since I am the one responding, as you initiated the exchange, I feel obligated to respond in kind.

You simply have a flaw in your understanding of american libertarianism. We honor our US Constitution.

Here you are absolutely off base. American Libertarianism as a whole has nothing to say about the U.S. Constitution. The fact the application of a calculated strategy has led to a recent fad among some libertarians to present libertarianism as a pro-constitutionalist philosophy, does not change what libertarianism is (American or otherwise). Nor does this fact, that many libertarians view a constitutional government as the best way to maintain liberty, properly define them as constitutionalists. There are many libertarian supporters of our constitution who would consider being called "constitutionalist" as an insult. And none of this includes the many anti-constitution libertarians.

No, I'd say it is you who does not know the slightest about what "american libertarianism" is, or you are one of them that are trying to trick conservatives about what it is. I suspect the former.

21 posted on 01/14/2005 10:07:30 PM PST by jackbob
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To: AntiBurr

youve been added tot he list


22 posted on 01/15/2005 12:43:09 AM PST by freepatriot32 (http://chonlalonde.blogspot.com)
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To: jackbob
All of us, conservatives, libertarians, whatever, -- who live in the USA are bound to support our Constitution as the supreme Law of the Land. If your philosophy leads you to take action that violates Constitutional principles, you will pay the price.
There is room for 'prudence' in both philosophies. Why don't you try reading & understanding what I've written?

That was almost the exact words I wrote to you for my last reply. But I decided to be polite, and scrapped it. Its clear that we are talking past each other for the most part. But since I am the one responding, as you initiated the exchange, I feel obligated to respond in kind.

I initiated the exchange to protest your overgeneralized slur on libertarians.
You simply have a flaw in your understanding of american libertarianism. We honor our US Constitution.

Here you are absolutely off base. American Libertarianism as a whole has nothing to say about the U.S. Constitution.

BS. Go to most any libertarian orientated think tank or web site, and try to find any anti-constitutional material. It simply doesn't exist, except on the anarchist fringes.

The fact the application of a calculated strategy has led to a recent fad among some libertarians to present libertarianism as a pro-constitutionalist philosophy, does not change what libertarianism is (American or otherwise).

What "IS" it then, in your mind? Why do you see it as anti-constitutionalist?

Nor does this fact, that many libertarians view a constitutional government as the best way to maintain liberty, properly define them as constitutionalists.

Weird sentence. - You admit that fact, then illogically reverse yourself.

There are many libertarian supporters of our constitution who would consider being called "constitutionalist" as an insult.

You are contradicting yourself, making no sense.. Words have meaning.

And none of this includes the many anti-constitution libertarians.

Sure, there are anarchists who call themselves libertarians. Any nut that wants to can call himself libertarian, and many do. -- But when questioned as to their real philosophy, they fail the real test of american libertarianism. They do not support & defend the US Constitution.

No, I'd say it is you who does not know the slightest about what "american libertarianism" is, or you are one of them that are trying to trick conservatives about what it is. I suspect the former.

Very well, what is mainstream american libertarianism in -your- view? Try to spare me the nonsense from the fringes, I've seen it all.

Give me your critique of the Cato Institute, for instance. I consider them as the best in the business.

The Cato Institute: Public Policy Analysis, Limited Government, Free Markets Address:http://www.cato.org/

23 posted on 01/15/2005 8:00:43 AM PST by jonestown ( Tolerance for intolerance is not tolerance at all.)
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To: jonestown
Wow, you packed an awful lot into that reply. A bit redundant of your prior reply. You wrongly claim that I have:

1. not read or understood what you have written,

2. initiating an overgeneralized slur on libertarianism,

3. a flaw in understanding american libertarianism.

I accuse you equally of all three. I also accuse you of quoting me out of context, followed immediately by ignoring the quote, then answering that which I did not say. Thereby directly implying words to me that I did not say.

You also mix anarchist and unspecified nuts together, who call themselves libertarians. Which I do not object to. But you then further state that "they" with out specificity, "fail the real test of american libertarianism." But you do not clearly set out what that test is. Instead you follow the sentence with an additional charge that "they do not support & defend the US Constitution. Leaving me to think that you mean it to be the test. Which I of course have already stated is not a test for american libertarianism. You of course offer on proof that it is. You also accused me of three more errors, that::

a. I admit a fact, then illogically reverse myself.

b. I contradicted myself, making no sense.

c. I don't know the meaning of words.

You were not specific in one of these accusations as to what you were talking about. You are so busy accusing, that you fail to know how to raise a proper question. With all the errors mentioned above, I am not going to try to guess at what you mean for all of them in one single post.

One error I highly suspect from your words, is that you may have read to much into my reply. You might wrongfully assume that I was suggesting that a majority of libertarians reject the U.S. Constitution. I never said that. Or possibly you might be confusing constitutional government, with the current U.S. Constitution. But even that is guessing on part as to what you are saying. Maybe you can't handle specificity. People who generally use ad homonym arguments, can't handle it. Well so be it.

I of course am ready to explain any two items you raise, if you are capable to raising them as as questions or in statement form. But I'm not going to sift through a bunch of wild accusations to pick out the best two.

Oh, and by the way I think Cato is one of the best in the business. But not the best. There are many that are right up there with cato, to include: heartland, isil, fee, reason, advocates for self government, to name a few.

24 posted on 01/15/2005 1:29:22 PM PST by jackbob
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To: jackbob

Whatever.


25 posted on 01/15/2005 2:25:53 PM PST by jonestown ( Tolerance for intolerance is not tolerance at all. It's appeasement)
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