Loading ...
Sorry, an error occurred while loading the content.

Any REAL ex-Libertarians out there?

Expand Messages
  • fricamacation@yahoo.com
    Well, after reading through a bunch of recent messages on this list, all I can see are a bunch of Libertarian-bashers who have never actually been Libertarians
    Message 1 of 8 , Aug 2, 2001
    View Source
    • 0 Attachment
      Well, after reading through a bunch of recent messages on this list,
      all I can see are a bunch of Libertarian-bashers who have never
      actually been Libertarians arguing with a few Libertarian defenders
      over Libertarianism. That seems to be exactly what the group
      description says this group was NOT meant for.

      I don't have a problem with Libertarian-bashing per se, but I really
      don't care for all these messages saying that all Libertarians are
      dishonest, manipulative, stupid, etc. I don't think I'm any of those
      things now, and I don't think I was any of those things when I was a
      Libertarian. Mistaken, sure. Young and inexperienced with life,
      certainly. But there are a number of things about Libertarianism and
      (especially) Objectivism that make them very appealing to sincere,
      intelligent, decent people. Perhaps "seductive" would be a better
      word.

      Anyhow, the participants in this group have made the place pretty
      hostile toward the people it's supposed to be for: ex-Libertarians.
      Maybe the name of the group should be changed, or maybe some people
      should find a more suitable forum for grinding their axes. In
      particular, the "lightonliberty" guy needs to figure out that "ex-"
      and "anti-" have different meanings (and even if the LP did try to
      infiltrate your local Republican Party, at least THEY didn't rig an
      election in Florida!). Anyhow, as things are now, the name of the
      group is pretty misleading about the content.

      Signed,
      A REAL Ex-Libertarian
    • questionermb1@yahoo.com
      I might say I m relatively new to the group, but I am exactly an ex- libertarian. I just posted my first message about a week ago, and wondered the same thing,
      Message 2 of 8 , Aug 2, 2001
      View Source
      • 0 Attachment
        I might say I'm relatively new to the group, but I am exactly an ex-
        libertarian. I just posted my first message about a week ago, and
        wondered the same thing, that is why there were debates with
        libertarians since that was exactly what this was NOT supposed to be.
        I'd like to get more perspective on economic and social issues, so
        that's why I'm here. I don't think libs are evil or stupid, but they
        do (and I did) use some tactics which need to be exposed. Insular
        thinking is too common among the rank and file of the movement, and
        it's fairly apparent.
        Anyway, I await further responses.
        Mike
      • fricamacation@yahoo.com
        ... Hooray, I m glad to see that there s at least one other ex-libertarian here! Any others care to come out of the woodwork? I wonder if anyone would be
        Message 3 of 8 , Aug 2, 2001
        View Source
        • 0 Attachment
          --- In ex-Libertarian@y..., questionermb1@y... wrote:
          > I might say I'm relatively new to the group, but I am exactly an ex-
          > libertarian. I just posted my first message about a week ago, and
          > wondered the same thing, that is why there were debates with
          > libertarians since that was exactly what this was NOT supposed to
          > be.

          Hooray, I'm glad to see that there's at least one other ex-libertarian
          here! Any others care to come out of the woodwork?

          I wonder if anyone would be interested in writing about the things
          that caused them to have serious doubts about libertarianism. I've
          been thinking about writing a lengthy essay on my entire career in
          libertarianism and objectivism titled "I Was A Teenage Randroid" but I
          don't know if I'll ever get to it.

          For me, I think one of the biggest things was going into business for
          myself and having to deal with other business people on a daily
          basis. I discovered that none of these people were Hank Reardens or
          Dagny Taggarts. These people were greedy in the pettiest sense of the
          word. They had no desire for greatness. It wasn't even that they
          wanted to be rich. They just wanted to be on top of everyone else.

          Now, I am well aware that objectivist types will claim that this is to
          be expected in our "irrational, second-hander culture" or whatever.
          But what really got me was that being like this seems to be the only
          way to be truly successful in business. If you are a money and power
          grubbing little shit, you are destined to go far. If you are a great
          visionary, then you are a threat and the little shits will gang up on
          you and destroy you. So we wind up with an economic system that
          promotes incompetence and suppresses greatness. Look at Microsoft.
          It's like the Le Tigre song, "Mediocrity Rules".

          _Atlas Shrugged_ does not portray the business culture as it is or
          ever will be. What really opened my eyes was reading Sinclair Lewis's
          _Babbitt_ (Rand actually mentioned _Babbitt_ as an example of
          Naturalism at its best in _The Romantic Manifesto_, which is part of
          the reason I read it). It didn't show me anything new, it just hit me
          with an incredibly accurate description of the whole business culture
          and mindset, one that gelled with my own experience.

          Another thing was a friend, an incredibly talented artist who was
          raised by a single welfare mother with a totally debilitating disease
          (either MD or MS, I can't remember which). There was no way that
          woman would ever be able to have a job that would cover her medical
          expenses and still be able to raise her daughter. And I wondered,
          what price can be put on this person's survival? How can we not value
          this person's contribution to the world, raising an intelligent,
          talented child? And how can we let the market decide a person's
          worth, when the market is totally unaware of all the good things
          someone might be doing for others?

          It's really a type of cowardice, to blame the market for poverty level
          wages and tell people to just learn new skills or market themselves
          better, instead of all of us taking some responsibility for our
          society. I think many people are drawn to libertarianism because, to
          them (and at the time), it represents a bold, positive vision of the
          future. It's a lot harder to see problems like this when you're
          staring into those bright lights.

          > I'd like to get more perspective on economic and social issues, so
          > that's why I'm here. I don't think libs are evil or stupid, but they
          > do (and I did) use some tactics which need to be exposed. Insular
          > thinking is too common among the rank and file of the movement, and
          > it's fairly apparent.

          I think that's very true. I guess there are at least two types of
          libertarians. You have the young idealists who are excited about the
          possibilities and are not experienced enough with life to know the
          pitfalls, and then you have the Republicans who want to smoke pot and
          buy porn. That's a bit of an overgeneralization, but I can't think of
          anyone I ever met in the LP who didn't fall into one of those
          categories. If other people have had different experiences, I'd love
          to hear about it.
        • qad@ureach.com
          *chuckle* (Just came in, read a few messages. For official note, I am *not* a Libertarian, or an *ex-Libertarian*.) I see lightonliberty has been busy
          Message 4 of 8 , Aug 3, 2001
          View Source
          • 0 Attachment
            *chuckle*

            (Just came in, read a few messages. For official note, I am *not* a
            Libertarian, or an *ex-Libertarian*.)

            I see "lightonliberty" has been busy elsewhere besides hounding Troy
            and the political_discussion list. And that you've got a few other
            Internet trolls posting the usual articles....

            Seems like that's the way things are all over these mailing lists...
            still, some interesting things here, in terms of messages.

            So what's the topic then?
          • Mike Huben
            Now here s a subject I can sink my teeth into. I am NOT an ex libertarian: I ve always been a liberal. That s why I don t post much to this group, though I
            Message 5 of 8 , Aug 3, 2001
            View Source
            • 0 Attachment
              Now here's a subject I can sink my teeth into. I am NOT an ex libertarian:
              I've always been a liberal. That's why I don't post much to this group,
              though I do follow it.

              fricamacation@... wrote:
              I don't have a problem with Libertarian-bashing per se, but I really
              don't care for all these messages saying that all Libertarians are
              dishonest, manipulative, stupid, etc. I don't think I'm any of those
              things now, and I don't think I was any of those things when I was a
              Libertarian. Mistaken, sure. Young and inexperienced with life,
              certainly. But there are a number of things about Libertarianism and
              (especially) Objectivism that make them very appealing to sincere,
              intelligent, decent people. Perhaps "seductive" would be a better
              word.

              I agree about the individuals being mostly good people. But they have
              been seduced into a highly manipulative SYSTEM that, like market organization,
              is a spontaneous order.

              I think lightonliberty does us a service by exposing the fact that there are
              quite a few cynical, manipulative, and scheming libertarians out there trying
              to be politically active. We need to be able to accept that there is
              diversity among libertarians: some are benign, others harmful (according to
              our subjective views.)

              I wonder if anyone would be interested in writing about the things
              that caused them to have serious doubts about libertarianism. I've
              been thinking about writing a lengthy essay on my entire career in
              libertarianism and objectivism titled "I Was A Teenage Randroid" but I
              don't know if I'll ever get to it.

              I have a section of my web site titled "Testimonials by former libertarians
              and objectivists" for exactly that purpose. Six entries so far. I'd
              welcome new ones: please do write your own and share.

              And I wondered,
              what price can be put on this person's survival? How can we not value
              this person's contribution to the world, raising an intelligent,
              talented child? And how can we let the market decide a person's
              worth, when the market is totally unaware of all the good things
              someone might be doing for others?

              You've put your fingers on one of the key failings of libertarianism:
              the premise that if it cannot be private property and placed in the market,
              it has no importance that should be recognized politically. This an incredible
              myopia.

              It's really a type of cowardice, to blame the market for poverty level
              wages and tell people to just learn new skills or market themselves
              better, instead of all of us taking some responsibility for our
              society.

              Quite right. They want to disavow any moral responsibility for harms that
              might be committed by the social system they prefer. These two quotes make
              it rather clear:

              "Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property,
              is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or
              of those who have some property against those who have none at all."
              Adam Smith

              "The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in
              moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification
              for selfishness."
              James K. Galbraith

              I think many people are drawn to libertarianism because, to
              them (and at the time), it represents a bold, positive vision of the
              future. It's a lot harder to see problems like this when you're
              staring into those bright lights.

              I agree. 100 years ago until recently, Marxism and Communism also had
              similar draws. But in addition, libertarianism has one virtue which is
              real and relevant to many youths: the benefit of individual effort to
              better oneself. That's about the only good thing in all that Randroid crap.
              The drawback is that it is a blinkered emphasis, which directs all effort
              into markets. The government and NGO sectors are also extremely important
              in improving the quality of life.

              I don't post much here: much of what I want to say is at my web site.
              I'd much rather respond to requests from ex-libertarians than try to
              feed them what I might think they ought to know.

              But if any of you have questions that I can answer, feel free to ask here
              or email me privately. I can respond here or privately: let me know which
              you want.

              Mike Huben mhuben@... http://world.std.com/~mhuben/

              For rebuttals to libertarian arguments, check out:
              Critiques of Libertarianism http://world.std.com/~mhuben/libindex.html
              Liberalism Resurgent http://home.att.net/~Resurgence/tenets.htm

              The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so
              certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts.
              Bertrand Russell
            • artsankey@hotmail.com
              Wow, things have really gotten better on this list lately. ... libertarian ... I was for few minutes while reading Forbes mag, though I also spent much of my
              Message 6 of 8 , Aug 3, 2001
              View Source
              • 0 Attachment
                Wow, things have really gotten better on this list lately.

                > Hooray, I'm glad to see that there's at least one other ex-
                libertarian
                > here! Any others care to come out of the woodwork?

                I was for few minutes while reading Forbes mag, though I also spent
                much of my high school days as an "angry white male" which I write
                about in http://www.geocities.com/arthursank/ranteriffic.html

                > I wonder if anyone would be interested in writing about the things
                > that caused them to have serious doubts about libertarianism.

                I have been thinking about imagining a "kills" system, like the way
                fighter pilots count how many enemies they have shot down. I credit
                my "kill" to Susan George and her book "How the other half dies"
                which was the next thing I read after the Forbes.

                "I've
                > been thinking about writing a lengthy essay on my entire career in
                > libertarianism and objectivism titled "I Was A Teenage Randroid"
                but I
                > don't know if I'll ever get to it.

                Well, just write us a little testemonial, maybe if others do the same
                we could combine them into a bigger essay.

                >If other people have had different experiences, I'd love
                > to hear about it.

                Your generalization really sums it all up. The thing that really
                makes me mad is the target market of this thing - liberals. "One
                Market Under God" goes into this, how they invent a phony "class war"
                that consists of "new money" versus "old money".

                Maybe right now we should make a complete list of the similarities
                between libertarianism (I call it "neoism" in my faq -
                http://www.geocities.com/arthursank/faq.html) and marxist-leninism.
              • lightonliberty@aol.com
                In a message dated 03 Aug 2001 qad@ureach.com writes; ... Chuckle!!! Yah, I am waiting to see what Troy has to say about my calling him out on posting that
                Message 7 of 8 , Aug 3, 2001
                View Source
                • 0 Attachment
                  In a message dated 03 Aug 2001 qad@... writes;
                  > Subject:
                  >
                  > *chuckle*
                  >
                  > (Just came in, read a few messages. For official note, I am *not* a
                  > Libertarian, or an *ex-Libertarian*.)
                  >
                  > I see "lightonliberty" has been busy elsewhere besides hounding Troy
                  > and the political_discussion list.

                  Chuckle!!! Yah, I am waiting to see what Troy has to say about my calling
                  him out on posting that document that was not the LP Platform and his calling
                  it the Platform. If the response is printable that is.

                  Troy is just something I use to keep my debunking skills up. While Troy is
                  all to easy to counter he is unfortunately represntavie of the level of skill
                  of most Libertarian Party Evangelists.

                  Kevin

                  >And that you've got a few other
                  > Internet trolls posting the usual articles....
                  >
                  > Seems like that's the way things are all over these mailing lists...
                  > still, some interesting things here, in terms of messages.
                  >
                  > So what's the topic then?
                  >
                • Qad
                  ... hounding Troy ... about my ... and his ... You know he s going to dodge it, of course, and complain that you re just hounding him. Either that or try to
                  Message 8 of 8 , Aug 3, 2001
                  View Source
                  • 0 Attachment
                    > > I see "lightonliberty" has been busy elsewhere besides
                    hounding Troy
                    > > and the political_discussion list.
                    >
                    > Chuckle!!! Yah, I am waiting to see what Troy has to say
                    about my
                    > calling
                    > him out on posting that document that was not the LP Platform
                    and his
                    > calling
                    > it the Platform. If the response is printable that is.

                    You know he's going to dodge it, of course, and complain that
                    you're just hounding him. Either that or try to ignore it ever
                    come up. I was rather surprised he posted a non-LP platform and
                    claimed it was LP, especially since the platform is easily
                    obtained from the web site. It seriously undermines his
                    credibility...

                    His response hasn't arrived yet. I'd know....

                    > Troy is just something I use to keep my debunking skills up.
                    While Troy
                    > is
                    > all to easy to counter he is unfortunately represntavie of
                    the level of
                    > skill
                    > of most Libertarian Party Evangelists.

                    I'd like to see what some of the better sort say. Troy's not
                    very hard to "debunk" most of the time. I also wonder what he's
                    trying to achieve - using his current strategy of smoke and
                    confusion seems more to undermine his own words with everyone.
                    I mean, if he really believes in his ideas, he's actually
                    helping to work things in the opposite direction...

                    ________________________________________________
                    Get your own "800" number
                    Voicemail, fax, email, and a lot more
                    http://www.ureach.com/reg/tag
                  Your message has been successfully submitted and would be delivered to recipients shortly.