A good reason not to be Libertarian – Classical music

As a lover of classical music for decades, I have been dismayed by its gradual decline in our society. In most record stores today (at least in north Texas), it is increasingly difficult to find a section of the store dedicated to classical music, or even new age music for that matter. Instead, I find our culture swamped constantly by rock, country, and even rap music. Not that there is anything necessarily wrong with those genres, since I listen to plenty of rock and even some country myself  (indeed, I grew up only with country since that was all my parents would listen to). OK, I don’t like most rap. Want to call me elitist for that? Be my pest!

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Obama bashing, Libertarian style

Take a look at this op-ed piece by Wayne Allyn Root, who ran for Vice-President in 2008 under the Libertarian ticket. It might explain the Tea Party and its anti-Obama madness that has possessed so much of the American population. I will post parts of it and respond directly to it here (the numbers refer to my answers).

http://www.lvrj.com/opinion/obama-s-agenda–overwhelm-the-system-95716764.html

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Why Libertarians are wrong about economics

One of the founders of the Libertarian Party, David F. Nolan, is credited with creating the Nolan Chart, which has been used ever since as a guide to understanding various political positions. Here are two different versions of it:

The higher you are on the chart, the more freedom you beleive in. If you beleive in more economic freedom and less personal freedom, you will be on the right (Conservative) side of the chart. If you beleive in less economic freedom and more personal freedom, you will be on the left (Liberal) side of the chart. Libertarians beleive in more freedom for both and Statists beleive in less freedom for both, while centrists have a mix of all positions.

The real problem with the chart is that it is misleading. I beleive in maximum freedom for individuals, both in their personal dealings and as small business owners. Sole proprietorships and partnerships should be as free from government interference as possible, the only exception being that anyone wanting to start a small business should be able to apply for a loan from the government, which they can pay back five or ten years later with interest (thus enabling the government to make a profit from helping establish the businesses).

So I beleive that governments should be severely restricted in how they can treat individuals. But for some reason, Libertarians insist on corporations having the same rights of free speech and property rights as individuals. This is unacceptable to me, since I see corporations as being more like governments than individuals. Corporations can have an infinite lifespan and can acquire an infinite amount of property and money. In a “free market”, small businesses with individual owners cannot withstand competition with giant corporations;  it’s like a mouse trying to compete with an elephant. And when corporations become powerful enough, they are able to bribe or threaten the officials in the government to do their bidding by bailing them out when they face bankruptcy.

Bailouts and corporate mergers should be forbidden. Corporations, I beleive, should be treated the OPPOSITE of small business owners. They should be regulated and taxed heavily and never bailed out, but BOUGHT OUT by the government, which then may break up the corporation’s properties and sell to individuals who want to establish their own small businesses. Indeed, I would make it so that new corporations couldn’t even be established at all!

An industry with thousands of small business and no corporations would result in a far healthier economy than one dominated by a half dozen giant corporations, due to their being far more competition and less risk of massive economic damage from businesses failing. The thousands of small business owners would value their freedom and would translate that value into a classically liberal democratic government. But an economy dominated by giant corporations would consist mostly of people used to taking orders from a few powerful executives, the very essence of an authoritarian society.

And that is why Libertarianism is doomed to fail. It is absurd to put giant corporations and small businesses on the same playing field, for the corporations will inevitably crush them, just as giant empires tend to crush smaller nations. Quite simply, there is really no such things as a “free market”, nor will there ever be. The only true path to freedom and social justice is a Liberal or Centrist path. Not Libertarian. The very existence of giant corporations and their corrupting power makes Libertarianism a dream that will never become reality.

Can libertarians overthrow the Neo-Conservatives?

I first became interested in the Libertarian Party because of its strong anti-war stance. In my opinion, it’s the one thing that definitely makes libertarians better than the Republicans or even many Democrats:

http://www.lp.org/news/press-releases/time-to-cut-off-iraq

For Immediate Release
Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Time to Cut Off Iraq

Iraq should be footing their own bill 

“It is time for Iraq to take responsibility for the costs and burdens of rebuilding their country,” says Libertarian Party National Chairman William Redpath, following a new report from the Government Accountability Office stating that Iraq may have a budget surplus of up to $79 billion dollars. 

“Using US taxpayer money to pay for the rebuilding of the infrastructure of another nation is bad enough,” says Redpath, “but it is reprehensible and unforgivable when that nation is running a budget surplus while we have a substantial and growing federal budget deficit and a crumbling infrastructure.”

The Libertarian Party has been opposed to the U.S. invasion and occupation of Iraq from the beginning.  The Party, which stands adamantly opposed to the use of taxpayer money to support functions of the government not defined in the Constitution, has taken special exception to the use of tax revenues to pay for rebuilding foreign nations.

The Party calls for an end to the Iraq war and a withdrawal of U.S. troops in Iraq without undue delay. 

“It’s a case of tragic irony,” says Libertarian Party spokesperson Andrew Davis. “The American public was told reconstruction efforts in Iraq would be paid for by oil revenues from that country.  Now, more than five years later, Americans are shouldering the responsibility of rebuilding Iraq while facing decaying bridges and skyrocketing gas prices.”

“Something is very, very wrong with this picture,” says Davis. 

The Libertarian Party is America’s third largest political party, founded in 1971 as an alternative to the two main political parties.  You can find more information on the Libertarian Party by visiting www.LP.org. The Libertarian Party proudly stands for smaller government, lower taxes and more freedom.
 
For more information on this issue, or to arrange a media interview, please call Andrew Davis at (202) 731-0002.

But most of their positions against governmental intervention seem too extreme and unrealistic. If they would moderate their platform to support smaller government in general instead of taking any absolute positions, then they could gain a larger and more diverse membership and start winning elections at the federal level, which they never have before. Their reluctance to be more moderate is their first mistake. As the Nolan Chart shows, the Libertarian Party needs to be open to all those that would score as “Libertarians”, not just those purists who would be at the uppermost tip of the chart, and perhaps even Liberals, Centrists, and Conservatives well away from the lower (Statist) part of the chart.

nolan_chart

Their second mistake is to ally themselves with the Republicans against the Democrats. If the Republicans ever regain power, what’s to stop them from throwing the Libertarians under the bus later to persue power for themselves once more?

A group that is ideologically pure can never take power in a pluralistic democracy. It can only do so by force, which libertarianism does not allow. Therefore, the Libertarians may never take power, though they should. Fortunately, there are some who see this and are working to make the Libertarian Party a more diverse one:

http://www.reformthelp.org/

Assuming that they ultimately fail, however, there is another possibility. It would involve libertarians taking over the Republican Party and getting rid of the most hard-core Conservative elements in it. The best example of a libertarian who is also a Republican is Rep. Ron Paul of Texas, who ran for President last year.

http://www.rlc.org/

Either possibility will be fine with me. The status quo of a weak Libertarian Party, a stronger Republican Party still dominated by neo-Conservatism, and a Democratic Party with total power and no accountablity is not!