Why are there no mainstream libertarian parties?

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farson135:
Libertarianism covers a huge range of ideologies. Any political ideology outside of pure authoritarianism has elements of libertarianism.

Uh, you mean that any ideology outside of authoritarianism has elements of liberalism. Libertarism stands very specifically for far right laissez faire capitalism, nightwatch state, anti-secularism and a rather selective promotion of individual rights.

Liberalism is far more fundamental and wide ideology, with basic tenets about individual freedom and opposition to authoritarianism. Actually, liberalism and libertarism are quite mutually exclusive, as the religious tyranny libertarism just loves, is broadly resented in liberalism.

Danny Ocean:
I don't know when 'conservative' started to mean 'less government involvement in'. Everywhere, except the USA, it's meant 'more government involvement in'.

Well, even in the US, it seems to mean "less government involvement in Us, more involvement in Them, but we don't talk about Them".

I tend to find such labels full of enough inconsistencies as to render them more or less meaningless.

thaluikhain:
Well, even in the US, it seems to mean "less government involvement in Us, more involvement in Them, but we don't talk about Them".

Yah. I was about to say: Conservatives in the USA are very much for big government involvement, especially on issues of individual freedom and civil liberties. The only major aspect American Conservatives are against government involvement on is economics[1].

[1] And even that is arguable considering their actual stances on subsidies, defense spending, ear marks etc..

Blablahb:
Uh, you mean that any ideology outside of authoritarianism has elements of liberalism.

Actually both are true.

Libertarism stands very specifically for far right laissez faire capitalism, nightwatch state, anti-secularism and a rather selective promotion of individual rights.

Wrong. Ever heard of the Libertarian Socialists?

Liberalism is far more fundamental and wide ideology, with basic tenets about individual freedom and opposition to authoritarianism.

Libertarianism is much the same.

Actually, liberalism and libertarism are quite mutually exclusive, as the religious tyranny libertarism just loves, is broadly resented in liberalism.

Religion is so unaccepted by libertarians (we tend to be relatively secular) that an entire sub-group of libertarians known as Christian Libertarians had come into existence specifically for the non-secular amongst us.

Blablahb:
the religious tyranny libertarism just loves

Erm....what?

(I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm just not sure what you're referring to exactly)

Blablahb:
as the religious tyranny libertarism [sic] just loves

...

...

I'm going to kindly asked you to prove this. Because men like Penn Jillette, Teller, and Greg Gutfeld, who identify as libertarians, are atheists. And as farson points out, many are secular. Then again, I highly doubt you have proof of this

farson135:
Wrong. Ever heard of the Libertarian Socialists?

That's a contradiction. You can't both advocate not giving a damn about anyone but yourself, and at the same time advocate quite a lot of optional and compulsory care about others.

CM156:
I'm going to kindly asked you to prove this.

Yeah, I guess that's why extremist pro-theocratic groups like the Christian Coalition of America and fanatic pro-theocrats like Ron Paul are among the most prominent and influential libertarians. Or Jeff Flake in the house of representatives who's in favour of religious tyranny in the form of wanting to ban abortion and institutionalise hatred and discrimination against homosexuals. Exactly the same story of hatred and tyranny for another prominent elected libertarian Rand Paul.

A few excuse-artists won't change the nature of the movement.

Blablahb:

farson135:
Wrong. Ever heard of the Libertarian Socialists?

That's a contradiction. You can't both advocate not giving a damn about anyone but yourself, and at the same time advocate quite a lot of optional and compulsory care about others.

CM156:
I'm going to kindly asked you to prove this.

Yeah, I guess that's why extremist pro-theocratic groups like the Christian Coalition of America and fanatic pro-theocrats like Ron Paul are among the most prominent and influential libertarians. Or Jeff Flake in the house of representatives who's in favour of religious tyranny in the form of wanting to ban abortion and institutionalise hatred and discrimination against homosexuals. Exactly the same story of hatred and tyranny for another prominent elected libertarian Rand Paul.

A few excuse-artists won't change the nature of the movement.

You've still failed to substantiate your claim, my friend. Let me say again, what you said is " as the religious tyranny libertarism [sic] just loves". You've given me a few examples of people, but failed to prove that libertarianism as a whole is like that. Often times, when I ask people to prove things, it's because they've made an absurd claim that they cannot prove.

Furthermore, several libertarians are pro-choice. While some are pro life, it appears as though the issue is not in any means solved amongst the group.

Then again, you called the constitution party "christo-fascists", so I'm considering what level of dialog you're working on.

You, my friend, are often an example of Poe's Law. This? This is one of those instances.

EDIT: Also, I had trouble finding information that the Christian Coalition of America were libertarins. They seem like orthodox religious conservatives (right wing), not so much with libertarian leanings.

CM156:
You've still failed to substantiate your claim, my friend.

Please reread my post. I showed you over half of the currently in elected office libertarians, who also happen to be the most prominent one, and a large theocratic movement that endorses the same ideology.

Your turn to show us all that supposed legislation that's pro-secular and pro-civil rights that came from libertarians. So far you've been arguing only theory because you *want* libertarianism to be that, while it's not.

Blablahb:
Please reread my post. I showed you over half of the currently in elected office libertarians, who also happen to be the most prominent one, and a large theocratic movement that endorses the same ideology.

So only half? That doesn't really help your cause much. Which means half are not. That's hardly proof of your claim.

Your turn to show us all that supposed legislation that's pro-secular and pro-civil rights that came from libertarians. So far you've been arguing only theory because you *want* libertarianism to be that, while it's not.

Burden of proof is on YOU if you're the one making these claims. Not me. He who proclaims, not he who denies.

Personally, I'm not here to defend the libertarian party. But if you're going to make claims that they love religious tyranny, I'm going to demand some proof.

There are two barriers in the US and a third barrier that applies worldwide:

US:
1) The political machine is controlled by the two dominant parties. That means there is little chance of a third party getting proper representation. We saw this all the way back with Nader's Green Party run, where he wasn't even allowed to appear at debates.

2) We are too interested in winning, and not interested enough in voting our consciences. Even if people do think that libertarianism is good, they'll swallow their sadness and vote for Romney because politics in America is a team sport.

Worldwide:
3) Because frankly, libertarianism isn't that appealing of a platform.

Blablahb:
That's a contradiction. You can't both advocate not giving a damn about anyone but yourself, and at the same time advocate quite a lot of optional and compulsory care about others.

First of all when you say "not giving a damn about anyone but yourself" you are not talking about libertarianism. I defy you to prove that that is the main argument of any major libertarian sub-group.

Second of all Libertarian socialism exists.

Yeah, I guess that's why extremist pro-theocratic groups like the Christian Coalition of America and fanatic pro-theocrats like Ron Paul are among the most prominent and influential libertarians.

You know, libertarianism may be a very open concept but labeling people like Ron Paul as "among the most prominent and influential libertarians" is rather misleading. Ron Paul is more of a constitutionalist than a libertarian and the Christian Coalition of America is not really libertarian either.

Or Jeff Flake in the house of representatives who's in favour of religious tyranny in the form of wanting to ban abortion and institutionalise hatred and discrimination against homosexuals.

Jeff Flake is one of only a handful of GOP to vote against Don't Ask Don't Tell.

Exactly the same story of hatred and tyranny for another prominent elected libertarian Rand Paul.

Why don't you prove that Rand Paul is not only a libertarian but also promotes hatred and tyranny.

A few excuse-artists won't change the nature of the movement.

A few alarmists and reactionaries will not change what the movement actually believes in. Sorry but you do not stand a chance.

farson135:

First of all when you say "not giving a damn about anyone but yourself" you are not talking about libertarianism. I defy you to prove that that is the main argument of any major libertarian sub-group.

Second of all Libertarian socialism exists.

I will not categorically deny the existance of it, but most libertarians I know are just using the word to justify being selfish and self-absorbed. People who believed that they don't owe nuthin' to no-one and should be free to take whatever the hell they damn well please, but the world owes them and nobody should dare take anything they have their own eyes on.

I would be inclined to believe that they're libertarians the same way DR Kongo is a democratic republic, but that's basically what all my contact with libertarianism was about, so I don't have reason to believe mainstream libertarianism is necesarily otherwise either.

pyrate:

Stagnant:

Zachary Tarlow:
What about Ron Paul?

What about Ron Paul? He's a constitutionalist, not a libertarian.

WHOOOAAAAHHH whats this, someone on the internet aware of the real Ron Paul. More people need to know that Ron Paul is a psuedo-libertarian. I for one am sick of the pot smoking hippies declaring him as god because he wants to legalize pot....when he does not actually want to legalize pot.

This.
Now Pat Robertson. That guy wants to legalize pot. We really need to listen to that guy once in a while :P

easy question. there are no mainstream libertarian parties because it is not a mainsteam idea. sure a lot of people have libertarian leanings but only on a few issues, that is why we have conservative libertarians and democratic libertarians. being a libertarian on enough issues to actually call yourself a libertarian libertarian is simply another extreme on the political scale that very few people actually meet it.

Vegosiux:
I will not categorically deny the existance of it, but most libertarians I know are just using the word to justify being selfish and self-absorbed.

Then that would mean they are not libertarians and are just using their own conceived notions about the party to justify their actions and beliefs.

People who believed that they don't owe nuthin' to no-one and should be free to take whatever the hell they damn well please, but the world owes them and nobody should dare take anything they have their own eyes on.

Pure individualism is not libertarianism. Alexis de Tocqueville (man, I am talking about him a lot lately) talked about the dangers of individualism and we libertarians tend to take his words to heart.

I would be inclined to believe that they're libertarians the same way DR Kongo is a democratic republic, but that's basically what all my contact with libertarianism was about, so I don't have reason to believe mainstream libertarianism is necesarily otherwise either.

You are talking to a libertarian (and Libertarian) now and I am telling you that they do not know what they are talking about.

Blablahb:
That's a contradiction. You can't both advocate not giving a damn about anyone but yourself, and at the same time advocate quite a lot of optional and compulsory care about others.

Libertarianism is an ideology of individualism. Socialism is an ideology against private property. Therefore, socialist libertarianism (frequently termed Anarchism) is an anti-hierarchical, individualist society with little or no private property rights. It's been around a long time, and has sometimes been a significant political force, such as 1920-30s Spain and post-Russian Revolution Ukraine.

No contradiction there.

Agema:

Blablahb:
That's a contradiction. You can't both advocate not giving a damn about anyone but yourself, and at the same time advocate quite a lot of optional and compulsory care about others.

Libertarianism is an ideology of individualism. Socialism is an ideology against private property. Therefore, socialist libertarianism (frequently termed Anarchism) is an anti-hierarchical, individualist society with little or no private property rights. It's been around a long time, and has sometimes been a significant political force, such as 1920-30s Spain and post-Russian Revolution Ukraine.

No contradiction there.

It does not exactly work though because generally speaking many Socialist policies conflict with Libertarian policy. Socialism generally supports the people as a whole, you give everyone healthcare, everyone education, everyone work. These types of policy though conflict with Libertarian ideology.

Essentially Socialist Libertarianism is a balance between the two that just ends up as a giant mess because no one can agree where the boundary is.

pyrate:
It does not exactly work though because generally speaking many Socialist policies conflict with Libertarian policy. Socialism generally supports the people as a whole, you give everyone healthcare, everyone education, everyone work. These types of policy though conflict with Libertarian ideology.

Essentially Socialist Libertarianism is a balance between the two that just ends up as a giant mess because no one can agree where the boundary is.

Socialist libertarianism is an ideal wherein individuals voluntarily share property for the good of society. No contradiction, but it's not a likely thing to ever occur.

Because people are corrupt and don't want to give up any power.

I wouldn't go for the "corrupt" answer so soon. The answer could also easily be that they're suspicious of the motives of others, which is natural and even understandable.

pyrate:

It does not exactly work though because generally speaking many Socialist policies conflict with Libertarian policy. Socialism generally supports the people as a whole, you give everyone healthcare, everyone education, everyone work. These types of policy though conflict with Libertarian ideology.

Essentially Socialist Libertarianism is a balance between the two that just ends up as a giant mess because no one can agree where the boundary is.

Socialism does not say everyone must have healthcare, education and work (although they are usually considered desirable). It says the industry of healthcare, education and everything else should belong to the workers, or the whole community.

Libertarianism says industry should not be in the hands of the state.

Therefore, socialist libertarianism says that the means of industry should be the collective, direct property of the workers or whole community.

Of course, a socialist libertarian community may not feel like having a formal healthcare or education system. If that's what they want, no-one should tell them otherwise.

Agema:
Libertarianism is an ideology of individualism. Socialism is an ideology against private property. Therefore, socialist libertarianism (frequently termed Anarchism) is an anti-hierarchical, individualist society with little or no private property rights.

But that's contradictory and the examples untrue. Anarchism knows very strict property rights, namely anything which you can defend or claim as yours through violence is yours, and nobody with less power would question it for the risk of violence and death.

Neither does the concept of anarchism fit libertarianism; It's impossible to force religion onto people or selectively defend the rights of the libertarians while stomping on the rights of others in an anarchy; chances are the others who are oppressed by the libertarians are likely to be more powerfull on many occasions, and this stops most of libertarian ideas from happening during an anarchy.

Another pointer at this is how libertarians (ab)use existing power systems to try and force their religious morals onto other people. If they didn't care about power structures, why would they take part in the democratic process to try and get their ideas enforced?


If we lived in an anarchy and a guy like Ron Paul walked up and went 'ahmygawd, your wife has been raped and is pregnant and wants an abortion, she's a dirty slut and needs punishment!', we'd quite simply strangle him for being obnoxious (and cooling some righteous anger in the process) and be done with it.

Regard it as fortunate or unfortunate, but we are not at a level of anarchy where one can respond to libertarian oppression like that.

Blablahb:
snip

Anarchism is a detailed political philosophy. Develops in the 18th century with the birth of socialism, and the opposition of Mikhail Bakunin and others to the "authoritarian socialism" that they viewed Marx as expounding. These days, Noam Chomsky is probably the most famous living anarchist.

The 'libertarians' you are talking about are mostly not really libertarians - they are US ultraconservatives. At the edges there's surely ideological overlap. They are often associated with the US libertarian movement via the Tea Party, and are the most prominent and noisy reference point so it's an easy assumption to make that they represent libertarianism.

However, libertarianism is a broad school which encompasses a range of views way beyond. Classical liberals, many of whom now define as libertarians. Novickian libertarians. Objectivists. Socialist libertarians (see above). And so on.

Champthrax:
I am not even talking about any country in particular, but in the west in general.

The only libertarians I know in the US tend to be either young and stupid or rich and greedy. The young and stupid remain "libertarians" until they need government help with something, and then suddenly they're out for every handout they can grab - even Ayn Rand was on Medicare when she died, a little fact I find absolutely hilarious.

The rich and greedy (think Rand Paul) just honestly act out of pure self interest and since that is so difficult for most people to wrap their minds around (it's ultimately the most childish philosophy I've ever encountered: objectivism) --- bottom line, I don't think the party will ever gain any real power.

On the other hand, I do like having a small libertarian group in the house and/or senate - Rand Paul prevented a law from passing that would make several new psychedelic drug substances illegal, he basically said no - that is ridiculous - the government shouldn't ban substances; leave it available for research and let adults make their own decisions about what to ingest. I could go get an 8-Ball of cocaine right now if I felt like it but, ya know... I have no desire to do hard drugs. I don't think most people do.

Agema:
Anarchism is a detailed political philosophy. Develops in the 18th century with the birth of socialism, and the opposition of Mikhail Bakunin and others to the "authoritarian socialism" that they viewed Marx as expounding. These days, Noam Chomsky is probably the most famous living anarchist.

I prefer the actual, realistic definition of anarchy over a paper construct which can never happen. The latter is pretty much irrelevant when talking about the real world after all, so bringing those paper philosophies in ussually just muddies the discussion.

Agema:
The 'libertarians' you are talking about are mostly not really libertarians - they are US ultraconservatives.

So basically the "Bin Laden is not a Muslim" defense? That's what it sounds like to me anyway.

And that's all nice and good, but we're still faced with the fact that pretty much all (the ones I could find anyway) libertarian politicians can be summed up like I did earlier (and I think Gnome King above had a point too). If libertarians exist that disagree with that, don't vote for those people and let democracy do the rest. I don't think I'm wrong going with the real situation over those theories however.

The Gnome King:

The only libertarians I know in the US tend to be either young and stupid or rich and greedy. The young and stupid remain "libertarians" until they need government help with something, and then suddenly they're out for every handout they can grab - even Ayn Rand was on Medicare when she died, a little fact I find absolutely hilarious.

The really funny ones are the 'Libertarians' who get on the government dole, and KEEP ON ranting about the Evils of Taxation.

The usual Objectivist defense is that Any Rand paid INTO Medicare when she was younger, so she DESERVED that money back.

arbane:

The usual Objectivist defense is that Any Rand paid INTO Medicare when she was younger, so she DESERVED that money back.

So by that logic everyone who has put a dime into Medicare deserves all the benefits Ayn Rand got. We DESERVE it. Even if what we pay in doesn't equal anything near what we take out. And her end of life medical expenses were, from all accounts, quite substantial. What a tax burden the little Objectivist queen put on all of us, yes?

Blablahb:
I prefer the actual, realistic definition of anarchy over a paper construct which can never happen. The latter is pretty much irrelevant when talking about the real world after all, so bringing those paper philosophies in ussually just muddies the discussion.

...

So basically the "Bin Laden is not a Muslim" defense? That's what it sounds like to me anyway.

And that's all nice and good, but we're still faced with the fact that pretty much all (the ones I could find anyway) libertarian politicians can be summed up like I did earlier (and I think Gnome King above had a point too). If libertarians exist that disagree with that, don't vote for those people and let democracy do the rest. I don't think I'm wrong going with the real situation over those theories however.

One cannot discuss the political ideologies of anarchism and libertarianism with no reference to what the political ideologies of anarchism and libertarianism are. The 'real world' after all dictates that what is not anarchism is not anarchism, and what is not libertarianism is not libertarianism.

If you want to run a parallel conversation about violent political chaos versus US social conservatism, you should start an appropriate thread.

* * *

And for what's it's worth, anarchism has been put into (short-lived) effect. Anarchists ran a large chunk of civil war Spain and post-Revolutionary Ukraine, before being eventually overrun by Franco's nationalists and the Bolsheviks respectively.

arbane:
The really funny ones are the 'Libertarians' who get on the government dole, and KEEP ON ranting about the Evils of Taxation.

The Gnome King:
So by that logic everyone who has put a dime into Medicare deserves all the benefits Ayn Rand got. We DESERVE it. Even if what we pay in doesn't equal anything near what we take out. And her end of life medical expenses were, from all accounts, quite substantial. What a tax burden the little Objectivist queen put on all of us, yes?

You take my money in the name of a service. I do not want the service but you still took my money. You expect me to just say you took my money and I am not going to take it back from you? It is not hypocritical for the simple reason that we believe you shouldn't have taken my money to begin with. Now you simply giving some of the money I am owed back.

Naheal:
Socialist libertarianism is an ideal wherein individuals voluntarily share property for the good of society. No contradiction, but it's not a likely thing to ever occur.

It does happen on the small scale (most often). Hell, I live right down the road from a commune (its Austin what do you expect).

Libertarianism is right on but it's oppressed at the end of the overton window

Skeleon:

keiskay:
i guess people are forgetting that the green party over took the libertarian party in popularity.

Yay. The Libertarian party isn't quite as irrelevant as most other third parties. Let's open a beer...!

EDIT: Seriously, though, I think the USA have a real problem considering their (in practice) two-party system.

Still, if the Weimar Republic has taught us anything, it's that a multiple party system has its issues too.

I'd have to say that the reason that there are no mainstream libertarian parties is that libertarian ideology doesn't have mainstream appeal to voters.

theonewhois3:
Still, if the Weimar Republic has taught us anything, it's that a multiple party system has its issues too.

But what it taught us has nothing to do with the system having multiple parties or not. What it taught us is that a democracy needs protections against anti-democratic takeover.

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