The Phileas Club 111 – Special: Libertarianism


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  1. As a fellow Libertarian, this was a great interview to listen to!

  2. Michael K Pate says:

    That was such a great discussion. Brian does a great job of presenting the Libertarian position. I still consider myself mostly a Conservative but with Libertarian leanings.

    The diamond of political views that Brian described is the Political Compass. Anyone can see where they fall by going here:

    I tend to move around a but always fall somewhere in the lower right quadrant.

    And just to point out, no one is completely anything. “People should let the Government build something if it is for the greater good; no one should stand in the way of Progress.” Many people who would be perfectly willing to allow the Government to tear down a house were the same people who went out and protested the Keystone XL Pipeline because they felt Native American Heritage was more important. It all depends on the situation. We all have to compromise now and then.

    Also, I found Patrick’s argument that Government isn’t about Force (and Guns) to a European fascinating.

    • patrick says:

      Indeed, we certainly view the government as a provider of very needed coordination and services, and as an educator and protector of the citizens. Of course they don’t always manage to fulfill that role, but the ideal certainly is in that vein…

  3. Jim Wisinski says:

    I found it very interesting that Brian came right out and said that there’s no need to worry about the results of some of these libertarian ideals because they’ll never get implemented anyway.

    That’s an issue I (and probably lots of other people) have with hardcore Libertarianism. So often it involves a lot of hand-waving away of the potential drawbacks or consequences because of the unflappable belief that a truly free market or societal pressure will solve it all in some undetermined way.

    Also while he did mention taxes while talking about smoking he didn’t say anything about all the government regulations aimed at the sale and marketing of tobacco products, particularly towards minors.

    • patrick says:

      I thought of mentioning the government’s involvement in making smoking uncool, but I figured the idea was it could have happened without it as well…

    • Bill Burd says:

      Patrick, you were certainly correct when you said Brian was the most optimistic person you’d ever spoken to. Proponents of every “ism” (communism, libertarianism, plus many religions) all seem to believe that people will all get along great, and the world will be a more wonderful place, when enough people adopt the view under discussion. In a libertarian world, we’ll all be equal citizens, respectful of each other’s rights and opinions.

      In reality, that is not assured. You seldom hear about libertarians fighting for the rights of LGBT people, for example, or supporting the repeal of silly drug laws. Their energy seems to be entirely devoted to lowering their taxes, reducing the size and influence of government, and cutting public expenditures for education, welfare, health, etc.. That is why libertarians are widely thought of as part of the right wing, and not something separate.

      The most famous libertarians in the US are Charles and David Koch. David ran for the vice-presidency on the Libertarian Party ticket in 1980. Charles was one of the founders of the libertarian Cato institute in 1977. Together with their network of like-minded billionaires, they contribute tens of millions of dollars (over $100 million in some years) to candidates for office in the US.

      I don’t know of any instance where the Kochs withheld support for a conservative candidate because of his theocratic views (yes, that’s a thing over here. Look up “Dominionists”). I also don’t know of any instance where the Kochs supported a candidate with libertarian social views coupled with a belief in government regulation of markets (or anything else).

      If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, don’t bet against it being a duck.

  4. I think the idea given of libertarianism was too extreme.
    Usually, it is accepted that the government must step up for things “vital” for the country (health care, education, infrastructure). Even the welfare state is an idea coming libertarians:

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