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Author Topic: Libertarian vs. Conservative  (Read 17783 times)

admin

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Libertarian vs. Conservative
« on: September 08, 2002, 08:58:55 am »

I was just glancing at the state data page.  One of the categories was something like "Most Votes for Conservative and Libertarian Candidates".  It's interesting to me that "conservative" is included.  While this makes sense to me personally, I have met a fair number of libertarians who came at it from the left, even making statements like "I would have voted for the LP, but I didn't want Bush to get elected".   I guess the FSP state selection group has determined that conservatives are more highly correlated with libertarians in general?  Or are "conservative" candidates hand picked for the stats, not to be confused with republicans in general?

Any comments?

Charles
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JasonPSorens

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Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
« Reply #1 on: September 08, 2002, 06:29:34 pm »

That stat simply adds together votes for Bush, Browne, and Phillips (Constitution Party) in 2000.  I'm aware that Bush
ain't exactly a libertarian by any stretch, but presumably states that are more inclined to vote for Republican presidential
candidates are somewhat better than states that voted for Gore from our perspective.  Most people are deluded
about what Republicans stand for and think they're voting for free-market policies when they vote Repub.
They're deluded of course, but at least theyre better than outright statists.
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"Educate your children, educate yourselves, in the love for the freedom of others, for only in this way will your own freedom not be a gratuitous gift from fate. You will be aware of its worth and will have the courage to defend it." --Joaquim Nabuco (1883), Abolitionism

libertyVSlibertine

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Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2002, 01:43:24 am »

Those who vote for Republicans aren't deluded.

They are practical.  They are voting to move in the direction of liberty and the ideals of the founders of this nation.  The Republican party is a long way from that, but it is the biggest movement that moves things back that direction and has a shorter-term probability of success.

Think of it as the "Free Party Project", influencing the policies of the party.  There are many of these people who would vote Libertarian, but for the lack of a coherent and consistent explanation by Libertarian candidates of where to draw the line between Liberty and Anarchy.

The big push for drug legalization is a good case in point.  This simply isn't a high priority for most Americans, and isn't going to make some vast improvement in the culture, but the same sort of 'give me' idea as those who desire handouts in the current welfare state.

Freedom isn't about complete liberty, but clearly and properly defining the limits.

The children in a schoolyard with a fence, though they can't run freely into the street, really have more freedom to play in the area that is in fact safe.
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Reaper

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Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2002, 10:36:30 am »

Those who vote for Republicans aren't deluded.

They are practical.  They are voting to move in the direction of liberty and the ideals of the founders of this nation.  The Republican party is a long way from that, but it is the biggest movement that moves things back that direction and has a shorter-term probability of success.

If you examine the record and not the rhetoric you will see that there is virtually no difference between the democrats and republicans.  Just look who all voted for the USA PATRIOT Act for example.  I'd say anyone who still believes republicans mean what they say about liberty and small government is deluded.  No, I've never voted for a democrat either.


Think of it as the "Free Party Project", influencing the policies of the party.  There are many of these people who would vote Libertarian, but for the lack of a coherent and consistent explanation by Libertarian candidates of where to draw the line between Liberty and Anarchy.

The big push for drug legalization is a good case in point.  This simply isn't a high priority for most Americans, and isn't going to make some vast improvement in the culture, but the same sort of 'give me' idea as those who desire handouts in the current welfare state.

Demanding the freedom to do as one wants with one's own body is not asking for a "hand out".

Freedom isn't about complete liberty, but clearly and properly defining the limits.

The children in a schoolyard with a fence, though they can't run freely into the street, really have more freedom to play in the area that is in fact safe.

So, we are all children who need to be fenced in by our Nanny government?

« Last Edit: November 03, 2002, 10:37:25 am by Reaper »
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Reaper
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Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2002, 12:10:46 pm »

If you are comparing libertarians with "old right" conservatives, then I would agree that these groups have more in common than not.  However, today's Republican Party is dominated by neo-conservatives who are virtually as statist as the Democrats and their biggest issue seems to be pushing their imperialistic foreign policy, something that is not at all compatible with libertarian philosophy.
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SandyPrice

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Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
« Reply #5 on: November 03, 2002, 02:26:52 pm »

I see a closer relationship between libertarians and fiscal conservatives.  I tend to take a second look at any candidate running with a conservative label.  In 1964 this meant a fiscal agenda where the federal government would be scaled down to the bones and only those subjects mentioned in the Constitution would be given attention.  

Today, being a Conservative Candidate means a prohibition of many sins by the federal government.  These sins start with the big A Abortion and then Pornography, Prostitution, and a dozen other items to be added at a later time.

I don't practice any of these sins but to put the federal government in charge of listing these things as federal crimes would be opposed to our desire for individual freedoms.  

I live in a state where gambling is legal if done on Indian reservations.  We have a lot of Indians in Arizona and many gambling parlors.  The religious right can't stand it!  People will gamble their money away is what we hear day and night and I, like Atlas, shrug!  We have 3 initiatives on our ballot Tuesday and I will approve of all of them.  Who am I to tell the fellow next door not to play a little poker?

No matter what is considered sin, it is up to the parents to set the laws and see that their children follow them.  I'm tired of playing nursemaid to millions of Americans who seem to feel the government is the ultimate authority on everything.

For this reason I would be very interested in the FSP but at my old age, will need a warm climate.  Goose pimples make me bitchy!
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craft_6

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Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
« Reply #6 on: November 04, 2002, 10:37:04 am »

F. A. Hayek, writing in "The Constitution of Liberty," made the case that those who love liberty would do better trying to make inroads with progressives, rather than conservatives.  

Conservatives, by definition, are tied to the traditional and resistant to new ideas.  Conservatives in the U.S. tend to support smaller government because the U.S. has historically been a libertarian nation, not because they truly want people to be free to make their own decisions in life.  Conservatives look to the past for guidance.

Progressives, on the other hand, look to the future.  Although many have been deluded into supporting government programs as a way to improve society, their motivations (at least of the idealists, not the opportunists) are to seek the betterment of mankind.  They are willing to try new ideas, and might be susceptible to a utilitarian argument showing the benefits of liberty.

That being said, the Republican Party is still a likely source of many libertarian voters, since many who value smaller government, free markets, and individual freedom have chosen it over the big government Democratic Party.  Many of those natural libertarians call themselves fiscal conservatives, and are growing increasingly disenchanted with a Republican Party that continues to increase the size and power of government, despite all the talk about keeping the Democrats from doing the same.  
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Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
« Reply #7 on: November 04, 2002, 06:35:32 pm »

F. A. Hayek, writing in "The Constitution of Liberty," made the case that those who love liberty would do better trying to make inroads with progressives, rather than conservatives.  

Conservatives, by definition, are tied to the traditional and resistant to new ideas.  Conservatives in the U.S. tend to support smaller government because the U.S. has historically been a libertarian nation, not because they truly want people to be free to make their own decisions in life.  Conservatives look to the past for guidance.

I think most of us libertarians would agree that America's past, particularly that of the early years (minus the slavery), is the form of government to which we aspire.  Anyone who looks upon this past for guidance is wiser than the idealists who refuse to acknowledge the abject failure that socialism has already proven itself to be.
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craft_6

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Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2002, 11:56:59 am »

I'm not knocking conservatives, by any means.  They are of course much closer to understanding the libertarian ideals of small government and individual responsibility than big-government liberals are.

I'm just suggesting that libertarians shouldn't write off liberals as a lost cause.  If they support big government because they believe it improves society in some way, they may be persuaded to give free market solutions a try, if they can be shown to produce superior results.

If liberals can be converted to libertarians, the upside may even be greater than with conservatives, since some conservatives will never abandon their traditional stance on moral and social issues.
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Mark Alexander

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Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
« Reply #9 on: November 05, 2002, 04:20:35 pm »

I'm just suggesting that libertarians shouldn't write off liberals as a lost cause.
I certainly agree, having gradually moved to libertarianism after becoming disenchanted with liberalism, at least as it's currently practiced in this country.  One issue that can bring in other liberals is the failed Drug War; William F. Buckley writes very persuasively on this subject.

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Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
« Reply #10 on: November 05, 2002, 08:00:45 pm »

I used to call myself a conservative, but don't be confused - I haven't seen a politician that was a conservative get elected in a couple decades !!!!! what used to be "conservative" is now the radical right... what used to be liberal is now called conservative... and the socialists that used to be spurned by society are now "moderates" in the senate... and what used to be KGB tactics is now "anti-terrorist training that every police officer in America needs."
I just call myself a Constitutionalist now... but I'm sure some despicable batch of freedom hating scum will jump on that title before long - and I'll just call myself outdated !!! lol
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Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
« Reply #11 on: November 06, 2002, 06:22:58 pm »

Today, being a Conservative Candidate means a prohibition of many sins by the federal government.  These sins start with the big A Abortion and then Pornography, Prostitution, and a dozen other items to be added at a later time.

That combined with outright purchasing of candidates by corporations is why I've never voted for a republican candidate and likely never will. Most convservatives have no regard for others beliefs, no tolerance of differences,  and are generally not concerned with the betterment of mankind.

While most modern liberals have gone too far in thinking government is the solution. My best friend would be called a socialist by most, but he's reading up on the FSP and is very interested. As mentioned in another thread, many socialists would be happy to live in a free state where they could set up their own commune/city/community. It is a much better option to them than our current system.

Mark
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Elizabeth

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Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
« Reply #12 on: November 06, 2002, 07:13:35 pm »

Ummm.... MB?  The origin of rights is one of the most fundamental tenets of *any* philosophy.

Here's what libertarian.org has to say about lib philosophical underpinnings:


Why do libertarians feel so strongly about freedom? Where are they coming from, fundamentally? Are they idealists with a utopian vision of humanity living harmoniously and enjoying total personal freedom? Are they spiritualists committed to the morality of freedom? Are they materialists, utilitarians who studied economics and concluded that freedom is the best way to build wealth? Or are they just skeptics who worry that people cannot be trusted with power?

The truth is, libertarians may fit any or all of the descriptions above. Trying to neatly categorize libertarian individuals and organizations is like trying to herd cats.

|  Philosophy  |

The philosophical roots of libertarianism are many and varied. Some libertarians believe that freedom is simply God's order, or more generally, that there is a natural order in the universe, and human beings have natural rights. Many classical liberals (including the American founders, of course) thought that the rights to "Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" were "self-evident."

More secular or skeptical libertarians sometimes subscribe to a rational egoism influenced by thinkers like Friedrich Nietzsche or Max Stirner; others see the foundations of their ideas in utilitarianism, Epicureanism, or even existentialism.

|  for more information  |

Freedom Network directory of resources on Philosophy

Freedom Network directory of resources on Skepticism and Free Thought

Freedom Network directory of resources on Religion and Liberty

Freedom Network spotlight on Religion and Liberty: The Christian connection"


You might want to check out the links provided on the site itself.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2002, 07:15:49 pm by Elizabeth »
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Elizabeth

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Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
« Reply #13 on: November 06, 2002, 07:24:23 pm »

You should also definitely read:

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/068484768X/
 
Libertarianism: A Primer
by David Boaz

For an understanding of the variety of theories on origins of rights and the philosophical basis for libertarianism.
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Jeffersonian Democrat

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Re:Libertarian vs. Conservative
« Reply #14 on: November 06, 2002, 07:46:30 pm »


 
Conservatives, therefore can and have been,  as much a danger to liberty as the left is.  Since religious conservatives on the far right believe that the rights of man come only from divine investiture, it only makes sense to them that some liberty must be regularly sacrificed on the altar in the name of god in order for society to be worthy to continue to find favor from deity in the gift of freedom.


I don't think your surmise is all that accurate.  Just like our founding fathers wrote in the D of I, most conservatives recognize that our natural rights are God given rights.  Conservatives are much less dangerous to our rights then our latter day liberals.  Liberals believe in big government or government TO the people while conservatives are more willing to accept government BY the people.  Liberal are even more dangerous in that they consider themselves to be above the law as witnessed by the recent actions in NJ, which wasn't an isolated example only the most blatant and egregious.

I'm curious though, if you don't subscribe to the beliefs of our founding fathers that our basic rights are God given rights then from whence are they derived?
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