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Author Topic: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.  (Read 14528 times)

colovion

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I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« on: March 30, 2006, 10:11:30 pm »

I've been hearing about the FSP for some time now, and due to recent developments in my home state of Michigan I've been seriously contemplating a move to someplace, well, sane.  What do I mean?  Michigan has a lousy economy right now, and the usual suspects (the unions are pretty powerful around here) have been pushing for a minimum wage hike.  They were getting signatures to get an ammendment to the state constitution guaranteeing that the minimum wage would go up based on inflation every year... and since there was something like 70% approval for this in polls the Republican led legislature decided to head them off at the pass and raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to (eventually) $7.40.  The Democratic governor signed the bill, and thus a state that is in dire need of job development just chose to make in more expensive for employers to hire employees.  Call me crazy, but that's not exactly a recipe for success in my book!

Here's my situation:  I'm a 28 year old college grad (History degree, what was I thinking?) who currently works in law enforcement (lucky to have a job in this state!) with a pregnant wife and a fear of sweeping socialism wiping out any chances of gainful employment in the future.  I lean more Republican/Conservative in my political views, but mainly because I'm a hardcore Capitalist and can't stand Democrats/Liberals.  I love Libertarian economic ideas, but I'm not sold on the social aspects (such as legalizing drugs... freedom to rot your brain isn't the kind of thing that stokes my patriotic fires.)  I'm christian but not overly religious (I do believe in evolution for instance).  I'm a member of the NRA and various "outdoors" organizations (such as BASS) and love to read anything and everything I can get my hands on (Atlas Shrugged being my favorite book.)

FSP sounds great... but some of these messages make it seem like I'm not "freedom loving" enough, so to speak.  I'm not against the Iraq War, I'm a huge supporter of it.  I voted for Bush, and have very few regrets (not enough to change my vote if I had it to do over.)  I'm pro-law enforcement.  I don't have any fear of video cameras in public, RFID chips tracking my every move, LEIN, etc.  Does this make me incompatible with FSP?  On the surface it wouldn't appear so, I wouldn't push for cameras in public but rather wouldn't object to them for instance... but I'm still trying to feel this thing out.  Where can I get the real skinny on the FSP views on these issues (without having to try to read a billion messages on these boards)?
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David Wolfe

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Re: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2006, 10:41:31 pm »

You should leave Michigan.  Do you know why Ohio is so clean?  It's because Michigan sucks.  Seriously, I'm new to the FSP and in no way a spokesman or representative, but I believe you'd be comfortable in the organization.  It would be a mistake if we began rejecting people who weren't libertarian enough, and I have not heard of any official FSP positions on the issues you mentioned.  A lot of people in the organization would disagree with you on some issues, but most would agree that 20,000 libertarianish movers is better than 1,000 isolated true believers.  If you don't seek out arguments with those who disagree with you, you'll get along fine.  Besides, you can always visit Michigan.  Just go west until you smell it then north until you step in it.
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margomaps

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Re: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2006, 10:45:29 pm »

I can't speak for anyone else in the FSP, but I'll give you my honest assessment:

You support the Iraq war, the president's performance, and the use of cameras and RFID to surveil citizens.  I would guess that probably 9 out of 10 FSP members would have a visceral and negative reaction to your stances on these issues.  A sizable percentage of participants would probably characterize themselves as "liberal" (i.e. supportive of personal liberties, including the freedom to rot one's own brain if he so chooses) -- and you've already stated that you can't stand them.  On the other hand, there are certainly conservative-leaning FSP members with whom you might agree on many issues.

As far as getting the "real skinny" from the FSP, the members are the FSP -- hence your best bet is to read the billions of messages.
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Roycerson

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Re: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2006, 11:00:22 pm »

Who say's you have to join the FSP to move to a freer state?

Have you read the SOI (Statement of Intent)?

If you can agree with the SOI (doesn't sound like you do) then sign it and move.

If you don't agree then don't sign it and move.


P.S.  When you move make sure you send an LTE to the major newspapers in your area and tell them why you're leaving.
« Last Edit: March 30, 2006, 11:03:02 pm by Roycerson »
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He who is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom....Anton LaVey

JasonPSorens

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Re: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2006, 11:14:02 pm »

Welcome, colovion. The FSP isn't a lockstep movement, but there are certain core principles, expressed in the Statement of Intent. You might be interested in the organization Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), to learn more about the reasons we oppose drug/alcohol/tobacco prohibition:
http://www.leap.cc/ .
« Last Edit: March 31, 2006, 09:03:55 am by JasonPSorens »
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Re: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2006, 11:37:54 pm »

I can't speak for anyone else in the FSP, but I'll give you my honest assessment:

You support the Iraq war, the president's performance, and the use of cameras and RFID to surveil citizens.  I would guess that probably 9 out of 10 FSP members would have a visceral and negative reaction to your stances on these issues. 

Although I am in the Army and against the War in Iraq because Bush promised in 2000 that it would not happen and because it is unconstitutional, I don't care what his opinion in it is because it is not a state or local issue.  The FSP is not about national issues like war and Bush.  Also, I don't care about RFIDs, either.  I have more important things to worry about than private companies tracking me down.

I think colovion will become more pro-freedom if he moves to NH.  It takes time, you know.

I highly suggest that colovion joins as a Friend of the FSP and sign-up for the newsletter.  Think about the SOI and in a month or so, if you are still excited about the FSP, join as a member.
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anticorp

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Re: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« Reply #6 on: March 31, 2006, 01:14:19 am »

Yes, Colovion, there is a price to pay for a consistant philosophy!  I'm sure everyone on these boards has SOME  disagreements on specific issues, but to my understanding that's not what this is about.  NH bound makes a good point that it takes time to get used to the idea of freedom ... we've all been so conditioned for so long to believe in democracy -- that the majority rules.  Democracy runs amuck when it over-rides the REAL spirit of the American revolution, which is Constitutionally guaranteed liberties to all ... especially those whose ways don't enjoy majority support!  Libertarianism is a mouthful in many ways, but it comes closest to the American Dream I was promised as a child (back in the 50's) ... that this is a land of liberty.  It's a bit much to swallow, the idea that having liberty means allowing liberty, and in deed, defending liberty ... as in, "I may not agree with what You say, but I will fight to defend Your right to say it!"  This is the cost of living in the land I want to live in, where freedom is the rule ... and not the exception!
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colovion

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Re: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« Reply #7 on: March 31, 2006, 09:20:14 am »

It isn't that I disagree with the SOI, but "liberty" is an abstract term.  For example, one should be free to conduct one's business in public with a reasonable expectation that if a crime happens to them the police will investigate it.  The best case scenario would be for there to be a police officer happening by to see the crime happen, it would be an open and shut case and justice would be essentially assured.  However, cops can't be everywhere.   There is no fundamental difference between having a cop sitting there patrolling the area physically or having a cops camera system watch the area, at least in my view.  Hence the reason I don't object to cameras... you really don't have an expectation of privacy while you're out "in public."

As I said, I wouldn't be pushing for cameras, but I don't find them to be inconsistent with anything in the SOI, indeed I'd say they bolster the "protection of life" since they can be a deterrent.

As for drug prohibition... it's a complicated subject.  I agree that if you're in your own home, what you drink, smoke, inject, etc. is your business, not the governments.  But, as I said before, I'm not crazy about the idea of fighting for someone's right to rot their brains out... it certainly isn't a priority.  It really would be consistent with liberty to allow this, of course... but I'd kick my son's keister if he became a druggie, I wouldn't condone it for a second.  See what I mean?  Either I'm a hypocrite because I think drugs should be prohibited for the people I care about and am responsible for, or I'm a hypocrite because I know full well the government should have no say in the matter but want them to prohibit it to make my life easier.  But the drug war isn't being won, so perhaps that's the deciding factor.

I'm really just sick and tired of people expecting the government to take care of their needs, essentially enslaving themselves to the government, and saying I'm a greedy jerk for expecting people to take care of themselves and not leach off others.  I'm sick of the gun control crowd trying to disarm law abiding people out of a misguided concern that the law abiding people are the one's that should be feared.  I'm sick of politicians who don't know jack about economics wrtting horrible laws and telling the citizens (who by and large are just as economically ignorant) that these laws are good for them.  I'm sick of schools graduating students who hate western civilization, can't read and can't find the United States on a globe.  But I really can't do anything about it while I'm in Michigan, I'm outnumbered and outvoted for the most part.
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sandm000

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Re: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« Reply #8 on: March 31, 2006, 09:49:32 am »

THe problem you are going to see with advocating the use of those cameras is twofold, firstly who is responsible for purchasing the cameras, and secondly who is going to monitor them for you. THen where does the money for these items and come from? the taxpayers?  And when the FSPers refuse to pay their taxes (as in RK & KD refusing to pay property taxes) how do you get the money? Do you go in and seize their house?  Because then sir, you have initiated the use of force for a social program.

Now, I don't think that privately owned survaillence cameras would have any of those objections. The owner of a parcel of property (be it their driveway, backyard, place of business etc) has everyright to monitor what's going on there.  And if he wants to pay someone to watch the video for him, there would be no problem.

The same arguments can be made for any social program currently in existence, as well as fire and police departments.
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Roycerson

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Re: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« Reply #9 on: March 31, 2006, 10:15:21 am »



I tend to agree with you on the cameras.  It's no different than a cop watching personally and many here do believe law enforcement to be a legitimate function of government.  As far as the drugs go.  Arguing for legalization (decriminalization) doesn't make you a hypocrite.  I don't think toddlers should carry around their own bag of potato chips but not wanting that to be illegal doesn't mean I endorse it.  Neither to I encourage people to play the lottery but wouldn't arrest someone for it.  So it turns out you are as libertarian as a great many in this organization.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2006, 10:17:07 am by Roycerson »
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He who is slow to believe anything and everything is of great understanding, for belief in one false principle is the beginning of all unwisdom....Anton LaVey

mvpel

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Re: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2006, 11:36:18 am »

The great thing about New Hampshire is that we're all living within arguing distance of one another.

We're by no means a lockstep, monolithic group - there's a lively free market of ideas here, and that's what's been so exciting and productive about it.  Some people want to abolish government entirely, others want to minimize its role in society, some believe that we can free ourselves from Federal interference, others think that's idle fantasy, some are ardent advocates of the right to armed self-defense, others work on the RFID issue, etc.

There's a whole spectrum of freedom-lovers here, peppered all over the upper half of the Political Quiz.

You'd fit right in out here.  I look forward to you arrival!

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I love Libertarian economic ideas, but I'm not sold on the social aspects (such as legalizing drugs... freedom to rot your brain isn't the kind of thing that stokes my patriotic fires.

It doesn't have to stoke your patriotic fires, just as the gun rights issue, one of my pets, doesn't stoke the fires of a number of my friends and acquaintences.

The basic question on the drug legalization issue is whether you believe that the government should have the power to use its coercive force to dictate to its citizens what they may and may not eat, inhale, or inject, and punish them if they make "unacceptable" choices.  Is it a crime to sprinkle Drano on your breakfast cereal?  Why not?  It's certainly an uncomfortable subject, particularly for someone in law enforcement, but I'll second the recommendation to read the LEAP materials.

I grew up in Ann Arbor, and my folks still live there.  Thanks for the news about the minwage change - incredible how stupid union-leashed politicians can be, isn't it?
« Last Edit: March 31, 2006, 11:41:38 am by mvpel »
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Morey

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Re: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2006, 12:38:29 pm »

I would add that that libertarians are proponents of negative rights, and not postive rights.  That may be a help in deciding if we are a good match for you.

I'm sorry to be the curmudgeon here, but I share your doubts that you can agree to the SoI.  We are not the chamber of commerce or a front for the NH real estate industry, and we are not here to get 20k people who agree with some liberties but eschew others.  Nearly everyone, including current residents, can fit into such a large tent.  It doesn't help us to get just anyone to move.

If you are overall happy with the Bush administration, then I would suggest that you look to the solidly red states as places where you would fit in better.

colovion

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Re: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2006, 01:15:45 pm »



I tend to agree with you on the cameras.  It's no different than a cop watching personally and many here do believe law enforcement to be a legitimate function of government.  As far as the drugs go.  Arguing for legalization (decriminalization) doesn't make you a hypocrite.  I don't think toddlers should carry around their own bag of potato chips but not wanting that to be illegal doesn't mean I endorse it.  Neither to I encourage people to play the lottery but wouldn't arrest someone for it.  So it turns out you are as libertarian as a great many in this organization.

Hmmm... interesting analogy.  I can't disagree with that line of thought, I must say.  I guess it's really just a matter of letting people be free to fail if they want to, which I've always believed is part of freedom.  Provided they aren't stealing from me to get their drugs, or coming after me while on drugs (and those two things would be illegal regardless of the motivations) then my rights aren't being violated.

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David Wolfe

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Re: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« Reply #13 on: March 31, 2006, 01:30:22 pm »

Morey's a bigger player in the FSP than I am and I don't want to be seen as telling him what the FSP is about, but there is a difference between having a tent big enough to include colovion and having a tent big enough to include nearly everyone.  To argue that if we welcome someone who disagrees with libertarian orthodoxy on drugs and the war then we'll eventually be welcoming nearly everyone is almost a "slippery slope" argument which libertarians usually don't buy into.  If we want to reach 20,000 we're going to need people like colovion.  If we'd rather be pure than effective we don't.
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Morey

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Re: I like the idea, but I'm not quite sold.
« Reply #14 on: March 31, 2006, 01:37:03 pm »

After re-reading the thread, my last message was probably a little too harsh.  There is nothing wrong with prioritizing your "pet" issues over ones you feel are less important.  You sound as though you are starting to think through what you envision as the proper role of government, and after a bit more introspect, you might be able to sign in good conscience.

As others have pointed out, being 100% consistent (a "purist", if you like) is not required.

Please note that while I am an active volunteer for the group, my opinion is in no way the official position of the FSP.
« Last Edit: March 31, 2006, 01:44:07 pm by Morey »
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