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One Libertarian's Answers to 11 Questions about Libertarian Hypocrisy

By       Message June Genis     Permalink
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"Does our libertarian reject any and all government protection for his intellectual property?"

Actually there are differences of opinion among libertarians on this one. Some say that such protections are necessary to encourage innovation. Other, including myself, tend to think that there is no philosophical justification for their existence. The compromise I guess would be to make any such protections extremely time limited so that the innovators can reap a reasonable profit on their innovation before others can jump in.

"Why isn't a democratically elected government the ultimate demonstration of "spontaneous order"?   Does our libertarian recognize that democracy is a form of marketplace?"

Libertarians do not believe that individuals can cede powers to government that they do not possess as individuals and therefore oppose any "spontaneous order" that attempts to do so. If I do not have the right to steal from you I can not authorize my government to steal from you. But this is exactly the way government works. Government should not be able to force you to contribute to something just because the majority thinks its a good idea. If I come to your door and ask you to contribute $10 to the local little league you clearly have a right to say no. If I point a gun at you while making the request it does not legitimate the demand. So why is it that it suddenly can become legitimate if I run down to the city council and get them to pass a $10 parcel tax to support the local little league? Now if you still refuse to fork over that $10 the government can use force to collect it. The key word here is "force". If force, or the threat of force, is required to accomplish a goal you do not have a free market.

"Does our libertarian recognize that large corporations are a threat to our freedoms?"

Only when they can gain control of the coercive power of government which is pretty much the situation today. In fact they are unlikely to become oppressively large without help from government. Without government collusion any business, large or small, survives by providing consumers with a product or service at a price the consumer is willing to pay. By colluding with government corporations today can prevent cheaper competition from entering the marketplace through high cost start up regulations. That is, by creating regulations that are a drop in the financial bucket of an existing large company but a major percentage of costs for a start-up. They can also use government to force taxpayers to pay costs that investors are unwilling to assume, usually with good reason. Remember Solyndra anyone? For libertarians the solution is to limit the power that is there to be captured not to get "the right people" in control of that power.

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"Does he [our libertarian] think that Rand was off the mark on this one, or does he agree that historical figures like King and Gandhi were "parasites"?"

Well, I certainly don't think they were parasites, but more importantly I don't think Rand did either. Can you produce a direct quote where she accuses either of them of being "parasites"? Rand probably did have some negative things to say about both of them because they were religious leaders and Rand was a rather militant atheist but I seriously doubt she ever called them parasites. Rand used words in a very precise and consistent way but not always the conventional way which is why when she is quoted out of context it is easy to misinterpret what she is saying. Unfortunately trying explain what she really means by a parasite is too big a topic to get into here.

"If you believe in the free market, why weren't you willing to accept as final the judgment against libertarianism rendered decades ago in the free and unfettered marketplace of ideas?"

I am not willing because I do not see that such a judgment has been rendered. I see two primary reasons for the failure of libertarian ideas to gain traction in the past. One is simply inadequate exposure. How many of you were exposed to libertarian philosophy or the works of economists favored by libertarians when you were in high school, or even as an undergraduate? I'm a boomer and I know that I wasn't. The other reason is simply that its easier to accomplish any goal by using force rather than voluntary cooperation and the easier path is always a temptation. If I want you to do something I have two options: I can try and persuade you to do it or I can point a gun at you and say "do it or else". Government is a gun. If you don't do what it wants it can deprive you of your property, your liberty or even your life if you fail to comply.

As to the current acceptance of libertarian ideas, aren't all these anti-libertarian articles popping up on OpedNews lately happening because libertarian ideas are gaining ground in the market place of ideas?

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I have been an active member of the Libertarian Party for over 35 yeas and have run for several offices in California as a Libertarian.

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