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Do Libertarian Converts Know What the Party Actually Stands For?


Do Libertarian Converts Know What the Party Actually Stands For?

Bill Lueders

Here’s Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party’s candidate for President, reflecting on his own supporters:

“You’re going to find really wonderful, well-meaning, well-spoken people, and then people who are just bat-shit crazy.”

It’s fitting that libertarians should run this gamut. The party is a mishmash of high principles and pure nuttiness.


"Mixed bag" is being awfully charitable. It is the typical Ayn Randite libertarian crap. Unfortunately, the majority of young former Bernie followers are inexplicably getting behind Johnson. They like that he is for legal pot and ignore all his other positions. So much for young USAns giving a flying you-know-what about the environment, wages and working conditions, healthcare...What a bunch of idiots USAns are - especially the young ones.


Do they pass out barf bags after sharing their party platforms?


19th century had nothing to do with Libertarianism. More of the same BS. Oligarchs buying governments is not Libertarian.


The basic underlying principle of libertarianism is that every person should be able to live his life as he chooses, so long as he harms no one else.

If you reject that, then you must believe that some people have the right to demand that others live their lives according to the demander's wishes.

Very few people argue with the principle of libertarianism. But they have a big problem with some of the logical consequences of that principle. Essentially, when they start hearing how people might choose to live their lives (gays marrying each other or the rich not giving to charity), they start saying "no, no, no, I don't want to allow people to live their lives that way."

People who accept the "live and let live" principle but reject the consequences of it need to seriously consider just what they truly believe.


You have no idea what you're talking about. You sound old. Not old in age but old in thought. Legal pot is a tiny piece.

Libertarians philosophy:
Do unto others as you would have them do to you. NO MORE AGGRESSIVE WARS.
Illegal to pollute someones property. If it happens even one day out of the year, the courts would have the power to shut down the company.


What about their platform is vomitous?


Let's say you're right and the company would be shut down. Who cleans up the pollution, assuming it's not so widespread that it can actually be rectified? Who monitors for pollution in the first place?

After the company is shut down, since there's no unemployment insurance, SNAP or even TANF, what do the unemployed do? If it was a large, Monsanto-size corporation, that's a fair number of newly unemployed people.

Since libertarians don't believe in public education (as per the party platform), do the children of those newly unemployed have to stop attending school, because they can no longer afford it? (Let's be honest, without public education, a genuine class society is created, with the poor unable to send their children to school, and without education, they remain poor, and their children won't go to school, on and on....permanent class society.)

If the land that was polluted is farmland, who checks the safety of the food without inspectors? Or maybe it was the water supply that was polluted. Who provides water then? Considering the anti-gov't stance, water would be privatized, so would we have to rely on self-reporting from the polluters AND the polluted to ensure water/food/air safety? Suddenly they'll just tell us, "Oh, by the way, we're just FILLING the air with dioxin. Our bad.?"

Doesn't seem too practical to me.


Libertarians support above all else unregulated Capitalism.
They want no government interference on how they make their profits.
Destroy the land? Perfectly fine as long as there is a profit to be made and they own the land. They're real big on private property rights.
Most Libertarians can cite the Posse Comitatus Law verbatim.
In short they do not recognize the legitimacy of government.
Calling them anarchists is an insult to the philosophy of anarchy.


Just as I thought, full of BS. I've been a libertarian for 20 years. My workers all make more money than me, because I want the best talent available and want to keep them. I'm in it for the potential of future gains or selling my company, which is why I make sacrifices and my employees dont have to.
Your hypothetical BS scare-mongering is what has given us this 'lesser of two evils' nonsense. You have no credibility.


Funny, but if you would read some history, you would know the robber-baron libertarian oligarchs did no government-buying, nor was there usually any government involvement in the oppressing and murdering or workers. In my neck of the woods, when the coal miners and steel workers rose up, they put them down with armed thugs purchased on the wonderful free market from the Pinkerton corporation and the Baldwin-Felts Corporation.


The trouble is, you libertarians seem to have an breathtakingly limited view of what constitutes "harm". Under the "libertarian" economic system, the great majority having to sell their bodies - competing against each other for the lowest price - to a minority that owns everything which, combined with the free-market "libertarian" allocation of the bare necessities of life - shelter, food, health care - results in tens of thousands - just here in the USA to "perish as they should" as your Greenspan gloated. that sure sounds like 'harm" to me.

You also have this weird notion of humans as the totally isolated atoms - dependent on no others, and owing nothing to others. "There is no society" as you beloved Margaret -Ayn-Rand-Thatcher said.

And, I'm really embarrassed to have to point this dead-obvious fact out, but the effect of this weird conception of "freedom" is that you will always isolate your harmful economic activity, as if you are the only one in the world doing it! Then you will claim any harm (like say, pollution emissions) of your personal business activity is so minuscule on a global scale as to be harmless (which if we are only considering one individual is correct) and that "big government" is violating your freedom if they restrict it! But, inexplicably, you oh-so conveniently forget about the many thousands of your fellow selfish entrepreneurial colleagues are all insisting on their freedom to emit "insignificant" amounts of pollution too. The result is a doomed human species.

Which leads to the obvious conclusion that the sick, USAn "philosophy" of "libertarianism" (a word that in most of the world, BTW, refers to a anarcho-sindicalism or other types of anarchism-informed socialism) arises from either the profound childish, puerile naivete of someone born in a position wealth and power (I've never met a "libertarian" who is not at least upper middle class), or the cynicism and manipulative behavior of of psyhopathic personality disorder.


Most ironic (actually hypocritical) that Johnson supports TPP, which is an example of governments enabling corporations to function as governments that the libertarians say they are against.

When I was a libertarian during the sixties and the Party was driven by Robert LeFevre's Rampart College and Pine Tree magazine, a document like TPP would have never gotten past the discussion phase. I left the Party when OSHA and the EPA were launched since the Party had no idea how to deal with environment. health and safety.


I watched part of the Libertarian Party convention on TV and Johnson almost lost the nomination because he is considered to be too moderate. He ran against several other people who were far more extreme. Their views are reflected in the platform. Most of the Libertarians didn't even seem to consider Weld to be a Libertarian since he is even more moderate than Johnson.


I suspect that in a libertarian world, we'd return to "company towns" in which workers paid rent for company housing and used chits in the company store, making workeres completely dependent and therefore completely powerless.


The Libertarian Party needs to recognize that liberty and freedom are sacrificed to extreme concentration of wealth and power. That a free people should be able to decide by popular referendum how much wealth and power should be vested in citizens before he or she gains the ability to dominate others.


The article is a reasonable summary of what Libertarians and Johnson are about as i understand it.

Re. the carbon tax, though, it appears to have missed Johnson's recent evolution (conversion? pandering?).

[[ HARWOOD: We're sitting in one of the most beautiful areas of the country. What would you do about climate?

JOHNSON: I do think that climate change is occurring, that it is man-caused. One of the proposals that I think is a very libertarian proposal, and I'm just open to this, is taxing carbon emission that may have the result of being self-regulating.

HARWOOD: So you agree with the people who say the answer is to put a price on carbon and then the market will take care of it.

JOHNSON: The market will take care of it. I mean, when you look at it from the standpoint of better results, and actually less money to achieve those results, that's what is being professed by a carbon tax.

HARWOOD: You would like that better than, say, the Obama clean power plan?

JOHNSON: Well yes. My understanding of carbon tax is that it can accomplish all these things in a very free market way. Coal is a great free market example right now. You and I do not want carbon emission. We don't want it. right now. Natural gas costs less than coal. So there are no new coal plants that are going to be built, given the price of natural gas. And that's something that you and I desire. So it's happening. I'm afraid that coal, from a free market standpoint, has been done in. ]]



Instead of using philosophical talking points and party programs, I want to share my personal experience.

My best friend, the only person I fully trust in this world, is a libertarian and the most intelligent, well-read person I know. As you can imagine, we have some huge differences in beliefs. When we first met, I decided to become at least factually conversant on the political and economic principles of the Libertarian Party in the U.S. It took three attempts over a 2-day period to get through the Libertarian Party Platform because it made me nauseated.

The areas of the Libertarian platform that caused me the most discomfort (philosophically, physically, and mentally) are the areas that advocate an individualist point of view ... politically and economically. Interestingly, individualist anarchism causes the same level of distaste even though I attempt to give the philosophy equal representation on my websites. To me, the individualist philosophy shouts the importance of "me, me, me!" over any need or obligation to society ... the absolute opposite of my own beliefs.

We were in a group discussion several weeks ago and my friend made some of the most venomous comments I've ever heard (including those of anarchists and socialists) against the current state of vulture capitalism that is ruling and controlling the world today. While he honestly believes in capitalism, he also believes that what we are experiencing today under the name of capitalism is a totally bastardized version that has no other option than to fail.

As an individual, I have personally witnessed his willful and charitable nature that I didn't realize could exist in a libertarian in the U.S.

We understand and respect each others beliefs. I disavow right-wing libertarianism and anarcho-capitalism as heresy and clearly make this clear on my websites. He totally disagrees with any form of socialism ... including anarcho-socialism/communism. That being said, the issues of being anti-war, anti-state, anti-authority and vulture capitalism provide us with enough mutual talking points to completely fill our conversations.

He realizes he cannot change or alter my beliefs. I realize I cannot change or alter his. That's OK, as neither one of us is interested in "recruiting" the other anyway. We want to spend our time on being a friend ... a friend that always has the others back covered against all incoming foe.

Finally, there is a very important belief that we share in common: The worst day under capitalism will be better than the best day under centralized socialism.

I Have Never Stood Up for the National Anthem—and Never Will

Libertarians are Republicans who want to smoke pot & get laid.


Yunzer, some people can chop down a tree better than other people. Who should be the tree-choppers? People who are good at it, or people who are bad at it? And maybe the people who are bad at it are good at something else. Doesn't it make sense for them to do that other thing?

That's what competition is: finding the best person for a job. Any economic system that doesn't do that is ... well ... just dumb. Now you can do it through central planning, where a small group of people command every person's job - and you'd better hope those people are benevolent, omniscient and incorruptible (i.e. you're in for a big disappointment). Or you can let each individual seek out his best job while each employer seeks out his best employees. I don't see any other alternatives. Do you?

And YOU have this weird notion that libertarians think of humans as isolated atoms. No, we don't. Humans are social creatures and it's great when they form clubs, social groups, churches, even labor unions (yes, labor unions are a legitimate part of a free market) and communes. People are 100% free to form groups in a libertarian society. But they're not allowed to force people to join their group or to stay in their group.

Now let's talk about pollution. Early in the industrial revolution, factories started belching out vast quantities of it. People sued, but they lost because the government ruled that no one owned the air and therefore anyone could pollute it. Yes, they nationalized the air. So you can't blame pollution on property rights.

Decades later, they formed the EPA. But the EPA is a glass half full/half empty thing. Sure, they limit how much you can pollute. But as long as you stay within those limits, you can pollute with impunity. So is it protecting the people or protecting the polluters? It can be argued either way.