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One Libertarian's Answers to 11 Questions about Libertarian Hypocrisy

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From http://www.flickr.com/photos/74564194@N00/8282984076/: shut-down-government
shut-down-government by KAZVorpal

This article is in response to "11 Questions You Should Ask Libertarians to See if They are Hypocrites" by Richard Eskow published in Oped News on 9/12/2013,

I started out writing a comment to the article but realized that any explanation that was aimed at communication rather than venting was going to be much too long for a comment. I saw too many comments I considered to be too snippy on both sides. But before I get to the questions themselves let me explain what I am NOT going to do. Many of the questions were prefaced by material which included unsubstantiated accusations, ad hominum attacks and attempts to imply guilt by association. I am choosing to ignore all that and take the questions at face value referring only to the background commentary when necessary to provide context for the answers. You should definitely read that article before this one. I have spent the time to do this because I believe that it is a waste of time for progressives and libertarians to be throwing stones at each other when there are so many important things we agree on and should be fighting for together. Let's unite where we can and put off the rest until after we win those battles.

So our first hypocrisy test question is:

"Are unions, political parties, elections, and social movements like Occupy examples of "spontaneous order" -- and if not, why not?"

Yes unions, political parties, and social movements are example of spontaneous order UNTIL someone tries to pass laws to control them. Libertarians support voluntary unionism and many were out there on the front lines of Occupy. Elections are a bit different as they have to be defined by law since they are part of government. This unfortunately also usually involves laws controlling political parties which are really just people of like mind trying to pool their efforts for greater effectiveness.

"Is a libertarian willing to admit that production is the result of many forces, each of which should be recognized and rewarded?"

Of course. The real issue here is who gets to decide what those rewards should be. Libertarians support allowing market forces and voluntary negotiations to make that determination. Progressives seem to prefer getting their people into positions of power where they can dictate their preferred terms to everyone.

"Is our libertarian willing to acknowledge that workers who bargain for their services, individually and collectively, are also employing market forces?"

Yes, as long as the terms of those negotiations are set by the negotiating parties not a third party such as government. Public sector unions are a special case because politicians need union support to keep getting elected and are therefor more willing than a private employer might be to meet their demands. Unlike the owner of a business, there is no personal cost to a politician in agreeing to terms which will cost taxpayers more money, so long as the expected positive votes from union members are greater than negative ones from outraged taxpayers. Since the benefit to an individual union member is likely to be higher than the penalty levied on an individual taxpayer to pay for it it, there is usually not enough concentrated taxpayer outrage to offset the union pressure. This is why there do need to be some legal controls on public sector unions. Otherwise libertarians support voluntary unionism and oppose mandated unionism. We thus oppose right to work laws as well as ones that outlaw unionization.

"Is our libertarian willing to admit that a "free market" needs regulation?"

No, a true free market does not need EXTERNAL regulation. The article posits the banking industry as an example of why regulation is needed in a market but the banking industry is hardly an example of a free market. Rather it is perfect example of how special interests seek and gain control of the coercive power of government to bypass market forces.

"Does our libertarian believe in democracy? If yes, explain what's wrong with governments that regulate."

Libertarians do not believe in unconstrained democracy which is nothing more than mob rule, or as I like to put it -- two wolves and a sheep deciding what to have for dinner. Libertarians support the concept of democratic process where the rights of the minority are protected from the predation of the majority by limiting the power of the majority to do certain things .That is why we have a Constitution which in theory at least says what the limits on government power are supposed to be when it acts in the name of the majority. Libertarians are most certainly opposed to any laws which say that the majority can do anything it wants to.

"Does our libertarian use wealth that wouldn't exist without government in order to preach against the role of government?"

I sense a tautology here. Since today the government sticks it's nose in just about everybody's business it's just about impossible for anyone to claim that their "wealth" isn't tainted by government intervention. Libertarians support the right of anyone to use their justly acquired wealth in any peaceful manner. Determining if someone's wealth is justly acquired is a separate issue and can be very difficult to ascertain sometimes.

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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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I have spent the time to write this article becau... by June Genis on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 3:02:13 PM
I've been without an internet connection for the p... by June Genis on Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 12:28:17 PM
To date, I have yet to see any Libertarian taking ... by Judy Swindler on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 3:05:31 PM
First, please don't cite Rand Paul as a libertaria... by Kai Molan on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 3:46:42 PM
How many hundreds of years were 'businesses' aroun... by Judy Swindler on Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 8:10:50 AM
And let them, it's called freedom of association w... by Kai Molan on Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 10:58:13 AM
The Libertarian Party (and all libertarians) are o... by June Genis on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 4:02:55 PM
As far as denying others entry into a public busin... by Judy Swindler on Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 8:53:44 AM
Actually, it was the govt that was behind segregat... by Darren Wolfe on Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 10:18:06 AM
Judy, We did not let "business decide for themselv... by June Genis on Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 1:05:36 PM
We can't blame discrimination simply on the govern... by Judy Swindler on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 9:45:00 AM
Reply to Judy (part 1) You are correct that discr... by June Genis on Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 2:55:05 PM
Reply to Judy (part 2) Boycotts have always been ... by June Genis on Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 3:09:37 PM
An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to ... by Darren Wolfe on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 6:47:56 PM
We should email this to 'libertarian' evangelical ... by Judy Swindler on Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 8:55:43 AM
In regard to the moral aspects of birth control, t... by Darren Wolfe on Tuesday, Sep 17, 2013 at 6:53:23 PM
Re: Libertarians   Maybe the real Libertari... by Judy Swindler on Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 8:59:03 AM
Fascinating that you can follow a logical train of... by Jim Arnold on Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 10:36:07 AM
Jim,A corporation or anyone else can not seize con... by June Genis on Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 1:12:25 PM
Just look at the street markets of late 19th centu... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 7:01:12 AM
Well now, Jim, crime flourishes where the govt mak... by Darren Wolfe on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 10:08:14 AM
Actually, public sector unions need to be gotten r... by Darren Wolfe on Wednesday, Sep 18, 2013 at 7:47:54 PM
You can stop laughing -- I didn't claim that we ha... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 7:09:01 AM
Ha ha, but you did claim that there can be such a ... by Darren Wolfe on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 9:14:30 AM
'I've explained why a "free" market will inevitabl... by Darren Wolfe on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 10:00:06 AM
Smoke causes fire. Regulation causes sweatshops wi... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 10:51:18 AM
If the best reply you can come up with is to put n... by Darren Wolfe on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 11:17:53 AM
As-if. Bye bye.... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 6:01:41 PM
There are tens of millions of Americans who couldn... by Stephen Unger on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 8:49:54 AM
Stephen, thank you for asking this. Under the pres... by Darren Wolfe on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 9:37:23 AM
How many people, particularly among relatively poo... by Stephen Unger on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 3:02:29 PM
As you know well, Stephen, in other industrialized... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 6:16:09 PM
What planet is this country where education is fre... by Darren Wolfe on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 7:49:18 PM
Education is free when a curious child from the po... by Jim Arnold on Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 5:10:07 AM
Thank you Jim for posting your reply above. It is ... by Darren Wolfe on Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 6:30:23 AM
You've spiked my coffee with irony. I prefer it bl... by Jim Arnold on Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 11:11:58 AM
I have a hard time believing that you really can't... by Darren Wolfe on Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 4:25:28 PM
Darren, bear down.I've tried to explain how "free ... by Jim Arnold on Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 9:28:51 PM
There is compulsory  (forced) education for c... by Darren Wolfe on Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 6:08:18 AM
Because, as you acknowledge, a child can't be expe... by Jim Arnold on Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 11:38:00 AM
Humans are born hardwired to learn useful skills a... by terrilian on Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 3:02:58 PM
One hardly knows where to begin with your reply. Y... by Darren Wolfe on Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 6:04:56 PM
Isn't the argument that "poor people who themselve... by Darren Wolfe on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 8:46:33 PM
The fact that, particularly in recent years, many ... by Stephen Unger on Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 9:05:21 PM
I disagree. Govts get their funding by force. That... by Darren Wolfe on Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 9:37:00 PM
Shake hands on a deal in a "free market", grab tha... by Jim Arnold on Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 1:07:24 AM
This discussion is going to the dogs! :-)... by Darren Wolfe on Saturday, Sep 21, 2013 at 6:09:51 AM
According to Darren Wolfe, "Govts get their fundin... by Stephen Unger on Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013 at 10:35:14 AM
"That is a very novel interpretation of what a bal... by Darren Wolfe on Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013 at 8:17:26 PM
Ms Genis, Mr Wolfe,For every gov't in the world yo... by Jim Arnold on Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 at 12:41:33 AM
Then point away, Mr. A. Because there are no unres... by Darren Wolfe on Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 at 3:32:56 AM
How many people, particularly among relatively poo... by terrilian on Monday, Sep 23, 2013 at 3:47:29 PM
I gave real, specific examples of existing excelle... by Stephen Unger on Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013 at 10:56:39 AM
Stephen - Have you actually read much about the hi... by June Genis on Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013 at 2:32:55 PM
I don't need to read books about US schools. Apart... by Stephen Unger on Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013 at 7:57:57 PM
"I agree that schools, both public and private, ar... by Darren Wolfe on Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 at 3:38:23 AM
Educated, creative and peaceful adults are the mar... by terrilian on Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013 at 5:26:44 PM
Doris: Abner?Abner: Wut.Doris: Abner. Ever since y... by Jim Arnold on Thursday, Sep 19, 2013 at 6:46:30 PM
However it turns out with the US being close to $1... by Michael Dewey on Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 1:35:14 PM
Public vs. government schoolsSince there has alrea... by June Genis on Friday, Sep 20, 2013 at 2:18:43 PM
Speaking of the problems inherent in govt educatio... by Darren Wolfe on Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013 at 4:20:30 AM
I fully agree with what you say here, and share yo... by Stephen Unger on Tuesday, Sep 24, 2013 at 1:50:27 PM
"Or you can indoctrinate them into compliance from... by terrilian on Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 at 2:09:43 AM
Thanks, I appreciate your comments too. Perhaps be... by Darren Wolfe on Wednesday, Sep 25, 2013 at 3:46:41 AM