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Libertarian Party discussion
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SamuelBRoberts Offline
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Post: #226
RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-16-2017 09:21 PM)Jean Valjean Wrote:  I don't think that's what Perry was doing. I think he made a decision that if Sam crossed a line of offensiveness, he was going to immediately dissociate from him by hanging up, so he asked him the question to see on which side of that line he stood. It wouldn't surprise me if Perry has done that to many other people.

Well, without a mind-reading device, it's impossible to know which of us is right. I will say that if Perry's plan is to just cuss out and hang up on every person who thinks that you should pay your taxes, the libertarian party may as well spend all the money they bring in on pizzas, tequila, and hookers, 'cause they're never going to accomplish anything and may as well have some fun.
04-16-2017 09:31 PM
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RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-16-2017 08:28 PM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  This is a recurring problem with libertarians that dates all the way back to Buckley's review of Ayn Rand, with the famous quote, "“To a gas chamber — go!” They're so convinced of the obvious rightness of their dogma that anybody who doesn't immediately fall in line becomes a subject of ridicule and insults. By and large they're just unlikable, weird people, which is unfortunate because I think there's some value in the ideology. It's certainly preferable to the massive surveillance state we have now.

National Review published the review. The reviewer was Whittaker Chambers. It was for the novel Atlas Shrugged.

There is a lot of dogma among libertarians, and this even happens when libertarians argue positions or strategy.

Ayn Rand's influence among libertarians is actually waning a lot.
04-16-2017 09:49 PM
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SamuelBRoberts Offline
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RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-16-2017 09:49 PM)puckerman Wrote:  National Review published the review. The reviewer was Whittaker Chambers. It was for the novel Atlas Shrugged.

You are correct. It was Chambers, not Buckley. I knew that and screwed it up.

The dogma is fine. What's not fine is this weird, annoying attitude libertarians have. If back in 1950, Libertarians had forced every single candidate and supporter to take a Dave Carnegie course before they were allowed to speak to anyone, we would probably be living in an anarcho-capitalistic utopia right now.
04-16-2017 09:55 PM
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Jean Valjean Offline
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Post: #229
RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-16-2017 09:31 PM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  
(04-16-2017 09:21 PM)Jean Valjean Wrote:  I don't think that's what Perry was doing. I think he made a decision that if Sam crossed a line of offensiveness, he was going to immediately dissociate from him by hanging up, so he asked him the question to see on which side of that line he stood. It wouldn't surprise me if Perry has done that to many other people.

Well, without a mind-reading device, it's impossible to know which of us is right. I will say that if Perry's plan is to just cuss out and hang up on every person who thinks that you should pay your taxes, the libertarian party may as well spend all the money they bring in on pizzas, tequila, and hookers, 'cause they're never going to accomplish anything and may as well have some fun.

I wrote to Darryl asking for an explanation, so we'll see if he has anything to say about it.

Before he hung up, Darryl got his main point across, which is that we can't predict exactly how an anarcho-capitalist society would work, since it would be self-organizing. His job as a politician would be just to get the government out of the way so that market forces could determine the best way to adjudicate property disputes. We can make some educated guesses, but that's all.

One interesting point Rothbard raises, by the way, is that world government and anarcho-capitalism are the only two internally consistent systems. He writes, "But if such a right of secession is denied, then the national democrat must concede that the more numerous population of other countries should have a right to outvote his country; and so he must proceed upwards to a world government run by a world majority rule. In short, the democrat who favors national government is self-contradictory; he must favor a world government or none at all."

If Sam Seder doesn't want Darryl to be able to secede and establish the Free State of Darryl, then logically he should also support unifying the whole world under one government rather than letting the U.S. be a sovereign nation. After all, how does one adjudicate whether a country's borders are legitimate, without a world government to try the matter in its courts?

(Or if Mexico wants to argue that it has a rightful claim to Texas, is that a question to be decided by force, with the U.S. winning because it has the stronger military? That sounds pretty anarchic.)

That's the same kind of issue that's involved in deciding whether a person's property deed is valid.

There's also the question of whether we ever really get out of anarchy even when we have a government. Regardless of whether there's a government, the strong dominate the weak. No country is governed purely by the rule of law; and in those countries where the rule of law is relatively strong, the law still allows the powerful to have extra privileges.
(This post was last modified: 04-16-2017 10:12 PM by Jean Valjean.)
04-16-2017 10:02 PM
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SamuelBRoberts Offline
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Post: #230
RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-16-2017 10:02 PM)Jean Valjean Wrote:  One interesting point Rothbard raises, by the way, is that world government and anarcho-capitalism are the only two internally consistent systems. He writes, "But if such a right of secession is denied, then the national democrat must concede that the more numerous population of other countries should have a right to outvote his country; and so he must proceed upwards to a world government run by a world majority rule. In short, the democrat who favors national government is self-contradictory; he must favor a world government or none at all."

While this is potentially true, (I'm doing work inbetween posting and don't really have time to think about it) why is internal consistency of any interest to anyone in picking a government?
04-16-2017 10:12 PM
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Jean Valjean Offline
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Post: #231
RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-16-2017 10:12 PM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  While this is potentially true, (I'm doing work inbetween posting and don't really have time to think about it) why is internal consistency of any interest to anyone in picking a government?

Because otherwise people question you about the inconsistency, and ask why if the standard you're imposing on others is so great, you don't hold yourself to the same standard. It's like when the Pope criticized Trump for building a border wall, while living in a microstate that's surrounded by a border wall.

Of course, if you have enough power, you can just say, "Who cares about consistency; just obey or you'll be punished." E.g., the Pope can say, "You better believe in this religion, or you'll go to Hell." Or the government can tell Darryl Perry, "You better pay taxes, or you'll go to jail."

Perry probably feels mostly powerless, as an individual seeking freedom from the state. So he decided to exercise what little power he did have, and draw what boundary he could, by hanging up the phone. It probably felt good.
(This post was last modified: 04-16-2017 10:26 PM by Jean Valjean.)
04-16-2017 10:20 PM
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SamuelBRoberts Offline
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Post: #232
RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-16-2017 10:20 PM)Jean Valjean Wrote:  
(04-16-2017 10:12 PM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  While this is potentially true, (I'm doing work inbetween posting and don't really have time to think about it) why is internal consistency of any interest to anyone in picking a government?

Because otherwise people question you about the inconsistency, and ask why if the standard you're imposing on others is so great, you don't hold yourself to the same standard. It's like when the Pope criticized Trump for building a border wall, while living in a microstate that's surrounded by a border wall.

But what you're saying simply hasn't happened. Neither of the two "internally consistent" systems you propose have ever existed throughout history. There's been no mass questioning of the inherent contradictions of democratic government, and there's no movement to replace anything with an anarcho-capitalistic state.


Quote:Perry probably feels mostly powerless, as an individual seeking freedom from the state. So he decided to exercise what little power he did have, and draw what boundary he could, by hanging up the phone. It probably felt good.

I'm sure it felt great when he did it, though maybe not so good if he went back and rewatched it. But this goes back to my earlier point, which is that there's something wrong with libertarians if they're willing to put their temporary tantrums over winning converts.
04-16-2017 10:59 PM
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Post: #233
RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-16-2017 09:55 PM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  You are correct. It was Chambers, not Buckley. I knew that and screwed it up.

The dogma is fine. What's not fine is this weird, annoying attitude libertarians have. If back in 1950, Libertarians had forced every single candidate and supporter to take a Dave Carnegie course before they were allowed to speak to anyone, we would probably be living in an anarcho-capitalistic utopia right now.

The Libertarian Party was founded in 1971.
04-18-2017 01:34 AM
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Jean Valjean Offline
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Post: #234
RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-16-2017 10:59 PM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  But what you're saying simply hasn't happened. Neither of the two "internally consistent" systems you propose have ever existed throughout history. There's been no mass questioning of the inherent contradictions of democratic government, and there's no movement to replace anything with an anarcho-capitalistic state.

Could the Roman Empire be considered to have been similar to a world government, in that it encompassed the whole civilized world that the Romans knew of? In the U.S., dissidents are told, "If you don't like the laws, then leave." If all you're surrounded by are a bunch of barbarian tribes, though, then it's hard to give a dissident that advice.

(04-18-2017 01:34 AM)puckerman Wrote:  The Libertarian Party was founded in 1971.

Small-l libertarian campaigns, like Barry Goldwater's, existed prior to 1971, though. I think some writers consider the pre-1971 era to have been the golden age of the libertarian movement. Loompanics had a book about it, if I recall correctly. (Wish I'd saved some of their catalogs!)
04-18-2017 01:57 AM
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SamuelBRoberts Offline
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Post: #235
RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-18-2017 01:34 AM)puckerman Wrote:  The Libertarian Party was founded in 1971.

Atlas Shrugged was '57. If you prefer to replace 50s with 70s, however, feel free. The point stands just the same.


(04-18-2017 01:57 AM)Jean Valjean Wrote:  Could the Roman Empire be considered to have been similar to a world government, in that it encompassed the whole civilized world that the Romans knew of? In the U.S., dissidents are told, "If you don't like the laws, then leave." If all you're surrounded by are a bunch of barbarian tribes, though, then it's hard to give a dissident that advice.

Probably not, but let's say for the sake of the argument that it was a world government. Its supposed "internal consistency" didn't help it a bit, did it?
04-18-2017 02:28 AM
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Post: #236
RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-18-2017 01:57 AM)Jean Valjean Wrote:  Could the Roman Empire be considered to have been similar to a world government, in that it encompassed the whole civilized world that the Romans knew of?

That's a Hollywood idea. The Romans were well aware there were other civilised nations beyond their borders, particularly to the south and east. One needn't look to the occasional evidence of a Chinese trader arriving in Rome to ply his wares, Strabo, writing around the birth of Christ, describes 120 ships per year arriving from India. Indian ships would sail through the Arabian Sea, up the Red Sea, and unload cargo at the Egyptian isthmus (since the Suez Canal didn't exist at the time). Then it would be a short hop overland about 40 miles, and at the other end, Roman ships would load the cargo on the Mediterranean side, and deliver it all across the Roman Empire. This trade lasted many centuries, and there were lots of Indian traders living in Rome, and lots of Romans in India.

We actually have manifests of such ships (listing a cargo of spices, ivory, mahogany, indigo). If those loads were typical the trade amounted to hundreds of millions of sesterces per year. Pliny the Elder (same guy who recorded, to his death, the eruption of Vesuvius near Pompeii and Herculaneum) mentions that Rome's trade with India was around 100 million sesterces per year. These are huge amounts.

This trade continued until Rome fell in 476 AD or thereabouts, but to a smaller extent continued with the Eastern empire until the late 7th century ... when the Muslims took Egypt. After that, direct contact between India and the former Roman world was lost, and Arabs became the intermediaries of the Indo-European trade.

In passing: it was Europeans' annoyance with paying the Arab tax on their Indian trade that was the main impetus for the great voyages of exploration in the late middle ages. They wanted to find a sea route to India without having to go through Muslim lands and therefore pay Muslim taxes.

Columbus had the neat idea of going around the world and approaching India from the east instead of the west. He ended up in the Americas. Vasco da Gama took the better understood route, hugging the coast of Africa, going all the way around its southern tip, adding 15,000 miles to his journey just to avoid the Arab tax.

The Muslims created their great Satan, in other words, because they wanted to behave like German river barons.

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04-18-2017 03:44 AM
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SamuelBRoberts Offline
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Post: #237
RE: Libertarian Party discussion
As evidence for what I was saying earlier (That libertarians often have severe communications problems, as well as an "I'm right and you're an idiot if you can't see that!" attitude that makes it hard for people to give their ideas a fair hearing) I was having an email chat with a libertarian last week. He was upset with something I'd said, I explained my reasoning, we agreed to disagree and I left the conversation with an overall good feeling and a promise to communicate in the future. I happily went to bed that night, thinking I'd write to him to get answers on some recurring questions I'd had about libertarianism. (How it deals with armed aggression from outsiders, for instance, or handles the free-rider or "race to the bottom" problems) I've never gotten good answers to these, but I've never really formulated and asked the questions properly, so this seemed like a good chance.

Less than 12 hours later, with no communication on my part to him, he was sending me angry and profane messages before I'd even had a chance to write him back. Real X-Rated stuff, accusing me all kinds of anatomically disgusting things.

So there went my chance to find out how libertarianism handles the free-rider problem.

I don't know what makes this such a recurring theme with members of that party, but it happens all the damn time.
04-22-2017 06:08 PM
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Jean Valjean Offline
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Post: #238
RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-22-2017 06:08 PM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  So there went my chance to find out how libertarianism handles the free-rider problem.

From Radicals for Capitalism: "Rothbard’s most direct attack on the free rider problem can be found in Rothbard, Logic of Action One, 251: 'A and B decide to pay for the building of a dam for their uses; C benefits though he did not pay. A and B educate themselves at their expense and C benefits by being able to deal with educated people, and so on. This is the problem of the Free Rider. Yet it is difficult to understand what the hullabaloo is all about. Am I to be specially taxed because I enjoy the sight of my neighbor’s garden without paying for it? A's and B's purchase of a good reveals that they are willing to pay for it; if it indirectly benefits C as well, no one is the loser. If C feels that he would be deprived of the benefit if only A and B paid, then he is free to contribute too. In any case, all the individuals consult their own preferences in the matter. In fact, we are all free riders on the investment, and the technological development, of our ancestors. Must we wear sackcloth and ashes, or submit ourselves to State dictation, because of this happy fact?"

I think the problem with putting the government in charge of solving the free rider problem, is that then the government says, "Hey, we need you to chip in some tax money, to pay for this War on Drugs and this Iraq War that will benefit everyone."

I might respond, "But I don't believe that's a good use of money. Why don't YOU pay for those wars, and leave me alone," and they might reply, "Yeah right, you just want to FREELOAD! Pay up or go to jail."

No, I legitimately think those aren't good uses of money, and in fact the majority of Americans at this point are against the war on pot, but people are still getting busted for it.

So even if we accept that there are some public goods that wouldn't be provided without the government paying for them, the question still arises, do the advantages of giving the government that power outweigh the disadvantages, given how much money they waste?

Another way of looking at it, though, is that the free rider "problem" is a feature rather than a bug. It's like FreeTaxUSA, which I use to do my taxes. They do your federal taxes for free, but you have to pay if you want them to do your state taxes. I could freeload, if I wanted, by doing my federal taxes for free through them, and then doing my state taxes myself, by hand. But why would I do that, unless I'm so poor or so cheap that I don't feel like paying a few bucks for computerized tax preparation?

However, for those who are that poor, or that cheap, the option exists. Maybe those people SHOULDN'T pay, if it's such a big deal to them. Either way, their not paying isn't going to hurt the company that much. They will continue to use the free federal tax preparation service as a loss leader, year after year.

Churches and rich people have been giving handouts to the poor for a long time, without worrying too much, "Wait, doesn't this create a free rider problem?" If you're a billionaire, you pretty much have to give away most of your money, because you can't spend it all; and what better use to make of it, than to help out a bunch of free riders.
(This post was last modified: 04-22-2017 07:43 PM by Jean Valjean.)
04-22-2017 07:25 PM
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Post: #239
RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-22-2017 06:08 PM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  Less than 12 hours later, with no communication on my part to him, he was sending me angry and profane messages before I'd even had a chance to write him back. Real X-Rated stuff, accusing me all kinds of anatomically disgusting things.

I wish this kind of immature baloney was unusual, but it's not. I have often asked libertarians to explain their position on an issue, and they tend to get defensive. It's almost as if they expect rejection.

I was at an LP event some years ago. There was discussion over one state proposing to restructure its elections. The current way was a primary election and a general election. The proposal was to have one big primary election with all the candidates and then to have a runoff with the just off with the just top two candidates remaining. I think it was California, and I believe it was a referendum.

Anyway, I asked several libertarian activists why they opposed the top-two law. They responded with things like, "way to support the cause," or other things. They would even question whether or not I was a libertarian. I spoke to several activists. Then I finally found one who explained to me what the results had been in another state.

I naturally reasoned that with the top-two law the Libertarians could actually make an effort to get into the top two. But this wasn't on their minds. They just wanted to make sure they were on the ballot in the general election. They didn't seem to be interested in actually trying to win the election.
04-23-2017 01:03 AM
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Post: #240
RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-23-2017 01:03 AM)puckerman Wrote:  
(04-22-2017 06:08 PM)SamuelBRoberts Wrote:  Less than 12 hours later, with no communication on my part to him, he was sending me angry and profane messages before I'd even had a chance to write him back. Real X-Rated stuff, accusing me all kinds of anatomically disgusting things.

I wish this kind of immature baloney was unusual, but it's not. I have often asked libertarians to explain their position on an issue, and they tend to get defensive. It's almost as if they expect rejection.

I was at an LP event some years ago. There was discussion over one state proposing to restructure its elections. The current way was a primary election and a general election. The proposal was to have one big primary election with all the candidates and then to have a runoff with the just off with the just top two candidates remaining. I think it was California, and I believe it was a referendum.

Anyway, I asked several libertarian activists why they opposed the top-two law. They responded with things like, "way to support the cause," or other things. They would even question whether or not I was a libertarian. I spoke to several activists. Then I finally found one who explained to me what the results had been in another state.

I naturally reasoned that with the top-two law the Libertarians could actually make an effort to get into the top two. But this wasn't on their minds. They just wanted to make sure they were on the ballot in the general election. They didn't seem to be interested in actually trying to win the election.

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04-25-2017 07:10 AM
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Jean Valjean Offline
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RE: Libertarian Party discussion
(04-23-2017 01:03 AM)puckerman Wrote:  I naturally reasoned that with the top-two law the Libertarians could actually make an effort to get into the top two. But this wasn't on their minds. They just wanted to make sure they were on the ballot in the general election. They didn't seem to be interested in actually trying to win the election.

I don't know why they responded that way, but here's how I would've responded.

The main point of Libertarian campaigns isn't to get elected (since the system tends to be rigged to prevent that from ever happening; if the major parties wanted to give Libertarians a chance to get elected, they would have put in place proportional representation), but rather to raise awareness of libertarian ideas.

The endgame might be to elect Libertarians at some point in the future, or influence the major parties in a libertarian direction, or involve the people in civil disobedience or armed revolution that would overthrow the government. But we're not at the endgame yet.

(We don't necessarily have to use elections as an educational venue, by the way. Many libertarians don't; some prefer to become economics professors, for instance, since they figure they can reach more young people that way. Civil disobedience can be another method of outreach, although I personally haven't had a lot of success with it yet, despite devoting 46 months of my life to it.)

One might argue, "There actually are a lot of libertarians out there, but they vote for the two major parties because they don't want to waste their votes." The spoiler effect is more noticeable under a plurality system, but it would still exist in a top-two system.

Let's suppose your first preference is Johnson and your second preference is Trump. In the first round of voting, you might vote for Johnson if you figure he's only going to get a few percent. After all, in the second round, Johnson will be eliminated and then you can switch your vote to Trump. You will have registered your support for Johnson without "throwing away" your vote.

What happens, though, if Johnson and Hillary are the two top voter-getters? If Hillary defeats Johnson in the second round, then you're actually worse off than if Trump had made it to the second round and defeated Hillary. So the problem of Johnson being a spoiler still potentially exists.

Proportional representation would give minor parties more influence, but then the problem might arise that they get TOO much influence. The Communists or Greens, for instance, could tell the other parties, "You better accede to our demands or we won't form a coalition with you."

Arrow's impossibility theorem says that there actually is no good electoral system. Or at least, there's no perfect electoral system.

Top-two might not be such a bad system, if people actually paid attention to the primaries. We're lucky if they even pay attention to the general election, though.
(This post was last modified: 04-25-2017 11:20 PM by Jean Valjean.)
04-25-2017 11:06 PM
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RE: Libertarian Party discussion
https://www.thedailybeast.com/the-insidi...t-pipeline

Daily Beast Wrote:The Insidious Libertarian-to-Alt-Right Pipeline

Libertarianism has an alt-right problem. Many prominent leaders of the alt-right have, at some point, identified as libertarian. I am curious as to… why?

Milo Yiannopoulos has billed himself (and has been billed by others) as libertarian. About a year ago, he came clean about that. According to Business Insider, the alt-right troll Tim Gionet (aka “Baked Alaska”) formerly “identified as a carefree, easygoing libertarian” who “supported Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s bid for the White House, firmly opposed the war on drugs, and championed the cause of Black Lives Matter…”

Gavin McInnes bills himself as a libertarian, but he founded the Proud Boys―a men’s rights group that is considered part of the alt-right. Augustus Invictus, a Florida attorney who literally drank goat’s blood as part of an animal sacrifice, ran for senate in the 2016 Libertarian Party primary and spoke at Liberty Fest. Recently popular among college libertarians, Stefan Molyneux evolved into a pro-Trump alt-righter. And Richard Spencer was thrown out of the International Students for Liberty conference this year after crashing the event.

It is also true that many of today’s alt-righters are disaffected conservatives. However, there are many more conservatives in this country than there are libertarians, which suggests a disproportionate number of today’s prominent alt-righters began as libertarians.

“It’s ironic that some of these people start off calling themselves libertarian, but they are the antithesis of everything that the libertarian project stands for—which is cosmopolitanism versus parochialism, individualism vs. group identity, and libertarianism or autonomy versus authoritarianism,” Nick Gillespie, editor in chief of Reason.com tells me.

Granted, there are a few similarities between the two groups. For example, paleoconservatives (think populist nationalists like Pat Buchanan) and libertarians both tend to be anti-interventionist in foreign policy. But there are also multiple contradictions. Jeffrey A. Tucker, content director for the libertarian Foundation for Economic Education (FEE), lists five differences between the alt-right and libertarians. And yet, it seems observably true that libertarianism is disproportionately a gateway drug to the alt-right. Again, the question is… why?
...

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11-25-2017 07:29 PM
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RE: Libertarian Party discussion
I'm not hating, but I thought some of the guys would get a laugh out of this...

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11-25-2017 07:37 PM
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