Libertarianism in One Lesson : LUSENET : TimeBomb 2000 (Y2000) : One Thread


No, this isn't David Bergland's evangelistic text. This is an outsider's view of the precepts of libertarianism. I hope you can laugh at how close this is to real libertarianism!


One of the most attractive features of libertarianism is that it is basically a very simple ideology. Maybe even simpler than Marxism, since you don't have to learn foreign words like "proletariat".

This brief outline will give you most of the tools you need to hit the ground running as a freshly indoctrinated libertarian ideologue. Go forth and proselytize!


In the beginning, man dwelt in a state of Nature, until the serpent Government tempted man into Initial Coercion.
Government is the Great Satan. All Evil comes from Government, and all Good from the Market, according to the Ayatollah Rand.
We must worship the Horatio Alger fantasy that the meritorious few will just happen to have the lucky breaks that make them rich.
Libertarians happen to be the meritorious few by ideological correctness. The rest can go hang.
Government cannot own things because only individuals can own things.
Except for corporations, partnerships, joint ownership, marriage, and anything else we except but government.
Parrot these arguments, and you too will be a singular, creative, reasoning individualist.
Parents cannot choose a government for their children any more than they can choose language, residence, school, or religion.
Taxation is theft because we have a right to squat in the US and benefit from defense, infrastructure, police, courts, etc. without obligation.
Magic incantations can overturn society and bring about libertopia.
Sovereign citizenry! The 16th Amendment is invalid! States rights!
Objectivist/Neo-Tech Advantage #69i : The true measure of fully integrated honesty is whether the sucker has opened his wallet. Thus sayeth the Profit Wallace. Zonpower Rules Nerdspace!
The great Zen riddle of libertarianism: minimal government is necessary and unnecessary. The answer is only to be found by individuals.


Libertarians invented outrage over government waste, bureaucracy, injustice, etc. Nobody else thinks they are bad, knows they exist, or works to stop them.
Enlightenment comes only through repetition of the sacred mantra "Government does not work" according to Guru Browne.
Only government is force, no matter how many Indians were killed by settlers to acquire their property, no matter how many blacks were enslaved and sold by private companies, no matter how many heads of union members are broken by private police.
Money that government touches spontaneously combusts, destroying the economy. Money retained by individuals grows the economy, even if literally burnt.
Private education works, public education doesn't. The publicly educated masses that have grown the modern economies of the past 150 years are an illusion.
Market failures, trusts, and oligopolies are lies spread by the evil economists serving the government as described in the "Protocols of the Elders of Statism".
Central planning cannot work. Which is why all businesses internally are run like little markets, with no centralized leadership.
Paternalism is the worst thing that can be inflicted upon people, as everyone knows that fathers are the most hated and reviled figures in the world.
Government is like fire, a dangerous servant and a fearsome master. Therefore, we should avoid it entirely, as we do all forms of combustion.


The FDA is solely responsible for any death or sickness where it might have prevented treatment by the latest unproven fad.
Children, criminals, death cultists, and you all have the same inalienable right to own any weaponry: conventional, chemical, biological, or nuclear.
All food, drugs, and medical treatments should be entirely unregulated: every industry should be able to kill 300,000 per year in the US like the tobacco industry.
If you don't have a gun, you are not a libertarian. If you do have a gun, why don't you have even more powerful armament?
Better to abolish all regulations, consider everything as property, and solve all controversy by civil lawsuit over damages. The US doesn't have enough lawyers, and people who can't afford to invest many thousands of dollars in lawsuits should shut up.

Libertarian Party

The Libertarian Party is well on its way to dominating the political landscape, judging from its power base of 100+ elected dogcatchers and other important officials after 25 years of effort.
The "Party of Oxymoron": "Individualists unite!"
Flip answers are more powerful than the best reasoned arguments, which is why so many libertarians are in important government positions.
It's time the new pro-freedom libertarian platform was implemented; child labor, orphanages, sweatshops, poorhouses, debtor's prisons, company towns, monopolies, trusts, cartels, blacklists, private goons, slumlords, etc.
Libertarianism "rules" Internet political debate the same way US Communism "ruled" pamphleteering.
No compromise from the "Party of Principle". Justice, happiness, liberty, guns, and other good stuff come only from rigidly adhering to inflexible dogmas.
Minimal government is whatever we say it is, and we don't agree.
Government is "moving steadily in a libertarian direction" with every change libertarians approve of; no matter if it takes one step forward and two steps backwards.
Yes, the symbol of the Libertarian Party is a Big Government Statue. It's not supposed to be funny or ironic!

Political Debate Strategy

Count only the benefits of libertarianism, count only the costs of government.
Five of a factoid beats a full argument.
All historical examples are tainted by statism, except when they favor libertarian claims.
Spiritually baptize the deceased as libertarians because they cannot protest the anachronism: Locke, Smith, Paine, Jefferson, Spooner, etc.
The most heavily armed libertarian has the biggest dick and thus the best argument.
The best multi-party democratic republics should be equated to the worst dictatorships for the purposes of denouncing statism. It's only a matter of degree.
Inviolate private property is the only true measure of freedom. Those without property have the freedom to try to acquire it. If they can't, let them find somebody else's property to complain on.
Private ownership is the cure for all problems, despite the historical record of privately owned states such as Nazi Germany, Czarist and Stalinist Russia, and Maoist China.
Require perfection as the only applicable standard to judge government: libertarianism, being imaginary, cannot be fairly judged to have flaws.
Only libertarian economists' Nobel Prizes count: the other economists and Nobel Prize Committee are mistaken.
Any exceptional case of private production proves that government ought not to be involved.

-- y2k dave (, October 24, 1999


That one has a hook in it... no thanks. :-)

-- Michael Erskine (, October 24, 1999.

Thank you for your insight Karl Marx.

-- INVAR (, October 24, 1999.

What's up with this? Feeling a little threatened by the third party movement?

I'm a Libertarian, because they offer, IMHO, the best view of how I would like to see things. But they do not have a newly elected Governor (100+ elected dogcatchers???), so I may change my position.

I just don't ever see myself making the A or B choice again. I'ld have to see something really interesting, like flying pigs, to ever go back there again.

What is Libertarianism?

Libertarians and their ideas are often misunderstood. Libertarian.Org is here to offer an overview of the libertarian philosophy and the libertarian movement. It is designed to be an introduction to the breadth and depth of libertarianism, for the long-time libertarian and the curious newcomer.

While libertarians are a diverse group of people with many philosophical starting points, they share a defining belief: that everyone should be free to do as they choose, so long as they don't infringe upon the equal freedom of others.

Human interaction should be voluntary, not coerced. The only time physical force is acceptable is when it is used to defend against force. Many libertarians frame this in terms of the non-aggression principle: no individual or group of individuals shall initiate force against the person or property of any other individual.

This might not seem very radical. After all, your parents probably taught you not to cheat, steal or pick fights -- in other words, not to use force against others. What sets libertarians apart is that they don't make any exceptions to this principle -- not even for governments.

In the libertarian view, governments should be held to the same standards of right and wrong as individuals. As a result, libertarians believe that governments should not interfere with the interactions and exchanges of peaceful people.

At this point, a few questions might come to mind. For example, why do libertarians believe so strongly in individual rights? What about other social values such as equality and security? Or you may be wondering about the historical origins of the libertarian philosophy and movement -- where does libertarianism come from? Who are its leading thinkers? And how do libertarians apply their principles to contemporary public policy issues? Libertarian.Org is here to help answer those questions, so read on.

-- Sysman (, October 24, 1999.

"Radical libertarianism in one lesson" would have been a far better choice of title, since that is apparently the target you are aiming for, Dave. In any movement, there are invariably elements that take on an extreme position. This is no reason to denigrate an entire school of thought, unless you have strong prejudices against it in its entirety. Perhaps I'm reading more into this than I should, but I get the distinct impression that you are not greatly in favor of less government intrusion into our lives, and feel that personal responsibility should only be exercised within relatively narrow limits set by the state. Please correct me if I'm mistaken.

-- PKM (.@...), October 24, 1999.


I'm not sure what you agenda is here, but your post has some obvious factual errors and lapses of logic. I would note just a few:

Germany, Russia and China are /were all Socialist states and are hardly examples of how capitalism works.

We have the best educational system in the world, but only in the private sector. Consider Harvard, Yale, Stanford, etc., where matriculations come from all around the world. International students are not exactly breaking down the doors to our public universities. On a pre-college level, our private schools are much superior to our puiblic schools.

Taxation is theft, by definition, since we have no say in how our money is spent.

Rand didn't hold that capitalism had all the answers. There are problems in every society but the private sector seems to handle them more efficiently than gov't. Once you get past defense, what does gov't do well? We don't even do defense very well, but we have been better at it than the Socialist countries we have faced in wars.

I would also ask who has done more to advance the comfort and standard of living of the inhabitants of our world: Bill Gates or Bill Clinton?

-- mike (, October 24, 1999.

Well I think it's high time that the King of Spain posts the platform of the Libertine Party.

-- flora (***@__._), October 24, 1999.

Had to work the drive-thru today and let me tell you, my butt is a dragging. I got whoppered to death, hold the pickles, extra mustard, Pro do this, Pro do that, I thought I was back home livin with my mommy.

-- Y2K Pro (, October 24, 1999.

One of the most attractive features of libertarianism is that it is basically a very simple ideology.

True. However, no ideology is simple enough that a moron or lunatic can't misunderstand it, as "y2k dave" has amply demonstrated.

P.S. If you want to understand what libertarianism is actually about, I suggest "The Probability Broach", by L. Neil Smith. Another good source is "The Lysander Spooner Reader", which demonstrates the failure of the attempt made in the U.S. Constitution to guarantee individual rights against state depradations.

-- Steve Heller (, October 24, 1999.


I have to say "your ass is showing".

-- R. Wright (, October 25, 1999.


I once adhered to the premise your stated above: Human interaction should be voluntary, not coerced. The only time physical force is acceptable is when it is used to defend against force. Many libertarians frame this in terms of the non-aggression principle: no individual or group of individuals shall initiate force against the person or property of any other individual. But I date to say that most of the posting on this site forget these words and instead use this forum as a springboard to attack the left vs what I see is the problem in and that is the BUREAUCRATIC system of government is the true enemy of the people. The bureaucrats that run the government could care less about your politics as long they are in power. I don't know of any political party that is ready to do anything about that but pay it lip service. Neither the right or the left is ready or willing to dismantle the huge bureaucratic machine that consumes our taxes and wastes it.

INvar, your words of wisdom are just beyond comment.

Mike, contrary to the brainwashing you have endured, Germany, Russia and China were not all socialist countries. Care to guess which one was supported by USA capitolists prior,during and after WWII???

PKM, see my arguement above as to the big question of big governemt..

R Wright, my ass has shown many times here and other places so I try to keep it in shape by jogging alot...

-- y2k dave (, October 25, 1999.

Lysander Spooner

No Treason: The Constitution of No Authority by Lysander Spooner

-- -- (--@--.--), October 25, 1999.

Y2K Dave,

Like most rants, your post provides a few chuckles, but manages to overstate the case. However, this:

Better to abolish all regulations, consider everything as property, and solve all controversy by civil lawsuit over damages. The US doesn't have enough lawyers, and people who can't afford to invest many thousands of dollars in lawsuits should shut up.

does provide the one overwhelming objection I have to Libertarianism, despite the nobility of some of it's aims.

In a "Libertopia" power would rest in the hands of the lawyers, and those who can afford them. Government by lawyers? The concept makes me shiver. If there's anything wrong with what we have now, it's that there are too damn many lawyers in charge already. I'm not a rabid lawyer-hater, but the fact is, no one is better schooled at twisting language to make an abridgement of your freedoms sound like a "good" thing, than a lawyer. NO! NO! NO! I DO NOT want a situation where lawyers have even more power than they now have.

-- --,

I haven't yet read the entire Lysander Spooner essay, but from reading approximately the first half of it, it brings up two important points.

First, the constitution as originally written IS an agreement between and among people who were living at the time. I think it is safe to say that all participants are quite dead now (and I don't feel a need to provide a link to prove it). Like any contract, it can be abridged, changed, discarded, etc. at any time, by agreement of the parties involved. Saying that something is illegal or wrong, simply becase it differs from the perceived intent of the original framers is poppycock. All that matters is if the current participants feel it reflects their desires and needs and/or if they felt they were sufficiently included in the process of change.

If you feel that a particular amendment does not reflect what you want, or that there was insufficient inclusion of the people in passing that amendment, then that is a reasonable enough cause for you to raise your voice, that the amendment be looked at afresh. It is not sufficient reason, in my mind to say that the totality of what we have is worthless and should be overthrown, or otherwise abolished.

The second point is made by the fact that this essay was written in 1886. The implication is frequently made that monkeying about with the constitution is some recent abomination, brought about by the "statist/socialist" gov't we have had, since the FDR years.

Road apples!

The process of tinkering with the original Constitution began before the ink was even fully dry. Lest we forget, the first big battle over Constitutional interpretation started in 1860 in a little skirmish called the Civil War. I'm reasonably sure that FDR wasn't even born yet.

-- Bokonon (, October 25, 1999.

BTW, Y2K Dave, if this really is your swan song, as stated in your previous thread, I for one, will miss your posts.

Even though I've felt that much of what you've brought to this forum is way over the top, it has provided some needed balance for the posts from the opposite extreme.

Adios, and be well.

-- Bokonon (, October 25, 1999.

Considering the hideous killing-spree that statists have been on in the last century, and the government's increasing claims on our property, our privacy, and our persons, it seems to me that Libertarianism offers some much-needed BALANCE. Lets remember that approximately 50 MILLION MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN IN THIS CENTURY HAVE BEEN KILLED BY THEIR OWN GOVERNMENTS. And consider that our government now claims the right to seize all our property on suspicion of a crime, even if we're not charged with one (just to pick one example).

Dave does frame the most extreme libertarian position; none of the libertarians I know would check every box on that laundry-list. But libertarian ideals and principles are at the heart of the American system of government: we are not a "collective." We are free individuals, governing ourselves in voluntary cooperation. To the extent that we depart from this, we are edging closer to another government sponsored mass-murder.

Government is hazardous to our health, and needs to be limited strictly, with that in mind. The founders knew this; let's never forget it.


-- Liberty (, October 25, 1999.


And how many were killed by other governments? 100 million? How many Americans have died for the causes that we now forget in this country?

-- y2k dave (, October 25, 1999.


Explain why your yammering about governments killing eachother's citizens, or citizens dying in "just causes" has anything to do with my observation:

That Government, when it is not accountable to it's people, typically conducts mass-killings of it's own citizens. In every case that this has occurred, the population was first subject to confiscation of firearms, or didn't have arms in the first place.

If government owns us, it can kill us. If we own the government, we can take it apart and remake it if it becomes corrupt. The powers that use our government for their personal enrichment know that this state of affairs is an essentially adversarial relationship; we should too.


-- Liberty (, October 25, 1999.


I really don't want to get into politics here. I spend far too much time on Y2K!

Let's just say that I'm not happy with current events. We do need a change. I'm not into violence. The best way that I can see any change happening, is via a third party. And just about any one, that has a chance, and agrees with even my basic point of view, has my vote. Even A or B, if they ever get their shit together. <:)=

-- Sysman (, October 25, 1999.

A hodge-podge of fallacies in one lesson.


-- Jerry B (, October 25, 1999.

Whoaaa, Dave, Liberty, both of ya back up a second! Those are some big numbers you're tossing around. 50 million? 100 million? How about a clue as to what incidents either of you are referring to? I'm not into quibbling about exact numbers, so you don't have to provide a mountain of data - just some sort of vague reference will do.

-- Bokonon (, October 25, 1999.


Are you, or are you not introducing a socratic method that will lead to a conclusion of anarchy as logical?

-- R. Wright (, October 26, 1999.


It is impossible to count to the life, but I'm confining my estimate to those men women and children killed by the regimes of Hitler, Stalin and Mao. All of these were official, and perfectly legal, mass-murders of citizens by their own governments. Stalin killed more than Hitler; Mao killed more than Stalin. I can dig up a source on this if you press it, but I don't think a few million here or there diminishes my argument: Statism kills.

This is simply what happens when people become property of government, rather than government remaining the property of the people.


-- Liberty (, October 26, 1999.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ