Judge Gray: Toward A Functional Libertarian World

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September 19. 2013

I am happy to say that the Functional Libertarian approach is beginning to attract more and more people both in our country and around the world. But what does that mean? What would a Functional Libertarian world really look like?

Generally speaking, Functional Libertarians strive for a government in which people would happily pay their taxes because they see that the money is being responsibly and effectively spent for their general safety, welfare and quality of life. Obviously we will never attain that result, but we can strive for it.

So, to an appreciable degree, this is what that world would look like:

We would have strong police and military forces to protect us from foreigners and from each other. But, with only a few exceptions, we would just use our military forces to counteract threats to our safety, security and national interests. We cannot be – and should not be – the world’s policeman.

We would have a strong judiciary to hold people accountable for their actions, safeguard our liberties and freedoms, and enforce our contracts, warranties and other laws.

Since the largest security threat to our country is a weak economy, we would reduce government spending. Government does not produce wealth. But one thing that big government is really good at is increasing the size, power and cost of big government. And in many regards, this has been harmful for virtually everyone. For example, anyone who believes that relying upon the government for their support promotes a better life should simply ask the Native Americans.

As another example, there is simply no reason for governments to own bulldozers, earth movers or dump trucks. Instead the government should contract with private companies to do the necessary work, and its role should be restricted to monitoring the timeliness and quality of the results, and paying for them.

Government regulations and intrusions into our lives would be greatly reduced and simplified. As the old saying goes, “fish swim, birds fly and regulators regulate.” Thus today, under our present system, regulators continually justify their existence by finding ever more things that they can oversee. Yes, we certainly need regulations in those areas in which private property rights would be hard to administer, such as the pollution of oceans and the atmosphere and the regulation of banks, but others would be vastly reduced.

We would also get the federal government more out of the business of owning real property. Now don’t get excited, the National Park system would continue, as would, for the most part, the national forests. But approximately 87 percent of the real property in Nevada is overseen by the Bureau of Land Management. That type of property would be sold at auction to the private sector. This would, in turn, directly result in the land being better protected and used than is happening today. If you are not persuaded by that statement, simply ask yourself this easy question: who takes better care of a house, an owner or a renter? And, of course, this would also produce many property taxes for the local governments that today are being lost.

Today’s system of “crony capitalism” that is so rampant would be curtailed as promptly as possible. That means that the government would no longer pay companies to drill for oil, raise or not raise crops, etc.

Adults would also be able to live in their chosen lifestyle without interference or discrimination from the government, as long as their choices didn’t wrongly hinder other adults from doing the same thing. That means that we would be living in a more socially accepting world.

We would have a strong educational system. This would be assured by allowing the students’ parents to dictate where the governmental education dollars for their children’s education would be spent. Only then would the parents at all levels of society be able to demand – and receive – excellence in their children’s schooling!

The tax system would be enormously simplified, so that everyone would not only understand what they were paying, but they would also see that other people were actually paying their required amounts as well. People could then make business and personal decisions for business and personal reasons, instead of for tax reasons. Nothing would spur the economy as much as this change.

As a matter of First Amendment Freedom of Speech, individual people could make unlimited contributions to political campaigns, as long as they were disclosed immediately on the Internet. Big contributors always figure out a way to get their contributions to the candidates anyway, so this would just formalize the process. But non-human beings, such as corporations and labor unions, would not be able to make any political contributions whatsoever.

Undocumented workers would be able to apply for and receive work visas routinely, after being screened to determine if they had a criminal or mental health background that might cause problems here. Then if they could support themselves, they could live and work here legally. And if they could show they could support their families, they could bring them here as well. None of them would be eligible for welfare, but, since they would be here legally, they could cross our borders with ease, and also get drivers’ licenses. This would directly result in millions of good people who are today being harmed by our immigration system being able to live normal lives.

The so-called War on Drugs would be hastily ended. That would result in the Criminal Justice System being used in its intended manner, which would be to hold adults accountable for their actions, instead of what they put into their bodies. And, along the way, we would take away hundreds of billions of dollars each year away from Mexican drug cartels, juvenile street gangs and lots of other thugs, and instead use the tax money from the sales of drugs to pay our teachers and fire fighters, and fix our roads (by private contract with the government). It would also revitalize the industrial hemp market.

But what about healthcare? Actually, most people in our country are financially able to take care of their own medical needs. So get the government and all of its dictates out of the way, and let them take care of themselves. Just like during the 1950s and early 1960s, this would result in the quality of healthcare going up, and its costs going back down.

For those people who are not financially able to take care of themselves, Functional Libertarians would create a medical safety net. I was in the Peace Corps – I care about people – and so do most Functional Libertarians. One way would be to have a system of government-sponsored health clinics and hospitals, just like we now have for our military personnel. It would be expensive, but hugely less so than what is being contemplated today. Why? Because we would be paying money for doctors, nurses, medicines and hospitals, instead of for bureaucracy, administration and fraud.

All of these approaches make Functional Libertarians archetypal conservatives, because we strongly promote responsibility at all levels of society, including personal, corporate and governmental. But they also make us archetypal liberals, because we really do want the government to get out of our lives as much as possible. That means that, for example, unless the government had a judicial warrant, it would not be surveilling us with drones, snooping on our telephone calls, or gaining access to our bank records or our bedrooms.

So the Functional Libertarian philosophy combines honest principles with practical effectiveness. Thus anyone who believes in both financial responsibility and social acceptance is probably a Libertarian at heart. In other words, Libertarian principles work – for everybody.

There are many good books discussing the Libertarian philosophy and approaches. Two of the best are “Libertarianism in One Lesson” by David Bergland (Orpheus Publications, 8th edition, 2000), and “Libertarianism: A Primer” by David Boaz (The Free Press, 1997). Give our approach some thought, and then join us. Because together we Functional Libertarians can bring back the United States of America that we love!

James P. Gray is a retired judge of the Orange County Superior Court, the author of “A Voter’s Handbook: Effective Solutions to America’s Problems” (The Forum Press, 2010), and the 2012 Libertarian candidate for Vice President, along with Governor Gary Johnson as the candidate for President. Judge Gray can be contacted at JimPGray@sbcglobal.net.

84 thoughts on “Judge Gray: Toward A Functional Libertarian World

  1. Matt Cholko

    I do not appreciate Judge Gray’s perversion of the word libertarian.

    I see a place for this kind of presentation, and I don’t dislike the judge. But, it bothers me that he’s giving people an incorrect impression of libertarianism.

  2. Michael H. Wilson

    Matt the problem is not what Judge Gray writes about. The problem is that the LP has failed to get specific and is vague as to how these services should be provided.

    I can’t hold Judge Gray responsible for the LP’s failures.

  3. Matt Cholko

    Unfortunately, it is impossible to support free markets, and simultaneously claim to know how anything should be provided. Only the market can determine this.

    I agree, it does present a problem, in that people expect politicians to tell them these things. Is there a solution?

  4. NewFederalist

    “Judge Gray disappointingly continues to peddle Country Club Moderate Republican stuff as “libertarianism.”

    He’s damaging the brand.”

    I doubt there is enough “brand” recognition in the public consciousness to actually damage it.

  5. Matt Cholko

    He’s doing the equivalent of filling up Coke cans with store brand cola, and selling it as Coke. Someone who isn’t familiar with these sodas may believe they’re tasting Coke, decide that it sucks, and never buy Coke again.

  6. Thomas L. Knapp

    NewFed,

    You write:

    “I doubt there is enough ‘brand’ recognition in the public consciousness to actually damage it.”

    That makes it worse, not better.

    To grab Matt’s Coke analogy, if someone filled Coke cans with Faygo Cola, most people would take a sip, spit it out and accuse him of not selling real Coke.

    If libertarianism’s brand recognition doesn’t have that kind of penetration, then putting Country Club Moderate Republican rhetoric in libertarian cans means that people will drink it, think it tastes bad … and assume that it’s the real thing, and that they therefore don’t like the real thing.

  7. NewFederalist

    “NewFed,

    You write:

    “I doubt there is enough ‘brand’ recognition in the public consciousness to actually damage it.”

    That makes it worse, not better.”

    True. The LP has done the worst job possible at “branding” itself. That is why it has been such a colossal failure.

  8. Steve M

    if you start with the assumption that some diseases are communicable and that people without healthcare can spread diseases to people with health care what are libertarians to do?

  9. Robert Capozzi

    9 tk: To grab Matt’s Coke analogy, if someone filled Coke cans with Faygo Cola, most people would take a sip, spit it out and accuse him of not selling real Coke.

    me: My feedback is that the analogy is poor. Coca-Cola Corp. sets the formulas and branding for Coke and its other brands.

    L-ism doesn’t have a monopoly patent holder. (Nor do other political philosophies.)

    Private nukers, bestiality legalization advocates, or Donderoans may be disappointed that other Ls don’t share all their personal views. Bummer for them, I guess.

  10. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 14,

    Your private nuke whining isn’t applicable here. It’s not that Gray’s stuff isn’t radically libertarian, it’s that it’s just not very libertarian at all.

  11. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Eric @ 13: To my great surprise, a couple men were talking on the LP PA Faceook page about how Wayne was purged, but that he might be talked into coming
    back to the LP if he was asked nicely. I was highly amused.

  12. David Colborne

    I get where the Judge is trying to go with this. He’s basically trying to sketch out what the world between our current political environment and a Libertarian political environment might look like (e.g. a “small l libertarian” world). It’s not ideal, but the odds of anywhere in the world making a sudden leap towards a minarch/AnCap existence is pretty slim, especially as a peaceful transition. For better or worse, politics moves slowly. There are many entrenched interests, many NIMBYs, and lots and lots of inertia. Consequently, uprooting the entire bureaucratic state in one grand gesture is highly unlikely, even if the LP actually wins a high profile race or two. I don’t know if a “libertarian-leaning” political environment would resemble what he wrote down, but it probably wouldn’t be too far off, at least at first.

    At the very least, I like the Judge’s approach far more than WAR’s. He’s at least willing to take a stand on the Drug War (note that he didn’t see “legalize marijuana” – it was a flat out “end the Drug War” stance), invasions of foreign countries, and the BLM, which is the largest federal landowning agency. It’s not a conclusion, but I could think of worse starts.

    Following the ongoing soda metaphor thread, think of him like Diet Coke. It’s not quite Coke, but it’s as close to Coke as some people are comfortable with, and that’s okay (for now) too.

  13. David Colborne

    Now, having said that, I personally think the medical safety net, at least as envisioned in his article, just keeps the problems with our health care system entrenched but in a slightly different direction than they are now. We need actual transparent price discovery from medical providers so we know how much we’re paying for and what we’re getting for that price. If the government must do anything (and I’m skeptical of that), I’d like to see it treat the medical establishment more like mechanics and general contractors, meaning that its focus would be on preventing fraud, standardizing quoting practices, ensuring price transparency and knowledgeable consent, and things of that nature. I don’t think the government is the ideal entity to handle that, but it’d certainly be a more useful project for the government to take on than anything it’s done in the health care industry up to this point. Once that project was implemented, I think we’d find the private sector would do just fine in terms of providing affordable health care for everyone, just as it ensures there’s plenty of (but not unlimited) automotive care and housing maintenance for the world.

    Again, though, I appreciate the effort. There are quite a few people that are reliant on government intervention to receive their health care, and few of them rely on it because their situation is just that outstanding. Putting our Ayn Rand hats on, tipping our noses in the air, and snorting, “Leeches!”, will not get us any closer to really helping these people break the chains of government dependency. Actually acknowledging their concerns and their situations, then pondering solutions that move them into a more libertarian-leaning direction might.

  14. Kris McKinster

    *Puts on his Ayn Rand hat, tips his nose in the air, and snorts “Leeches!”* 😉

    People rely on government intervention for their health care because government intervention made health care unaffordable.

  15. Robert Capozzi

    15tk: It’s not that Gray’s stuff isn’t radically libertarian, it’s that it’s just not very libertarian at all.

    me: According to you! According the Judge Gray, he’s saying otherwise.

    You, Brother Knapp, have an authority problem here. Since there is no widely accepted def. of “libertarian,” you can’t say WITH AUTHORITY who or what is L.

    You can STATE AN OPINION, just as I can. But, if you do have the metric by which X is L and Y is not, then — by all means — habeas corpus.

    16 mc: So, RC, are you saying its more like taking a generic cola can and filling it with orange soda?

    me: No. I’m saying the formulas for Coke, generic cola and orange soda have not been patented, by way of analogy. I suspect that if a company selling what you and I might agree is “orange” soda as “cola,” they are likely to do poorly in the market place.

    I’d also say that if there was a way to test it, Judge Gray’s L approach is likely to gain more support than TK’s in the market place.

    To be clear, I’m not suggesting the Gray is “right” and Knapp “wrong,” but I am suggesting that more measured, moderates generally appeal to more people than constructivistic firebrands.

  16. Thomas L. Knapp

    RC @ 23,

    “I’d also say that if there was a way to test it, Judge Gray’s L approach is likely to gain more support than TK’s in the market place.”

    I don’t offer my product in the same marketplace as Gray does.

    In the marketplace he sells in, his “L” approach got a million votes or so and no electoral votes last November.

    The approach he’s been offering in these columns got 60.7 million votes and 206 electoral votes.

  17. Robert Capozzi

    24 tk: The approach [Gray]’s been offering in these columns got 60.7 million votes and 206 electoral votes.

    me: News to me. I’m taking that’s Romney’s numbers.

    If so, that’s interesting. I musta missed Romney saying this: “We cannot be – and should not be – the world’s policeman.”

    or this: “Adults would also be able to live in their chosen lifestyle without interference or discrimination from the government, as long as their choices didn’t wrongly hinder other adults from doing the same thing. That means that we would be living in a more socially accepting world.”

    Or this: “The so-called War on Drugs would be hastily ended.”

    Did I miss Mitt saying such things?

    Clear the lens….

  18. Concerned Libertarian Citizen

    I’m keeping my eyes open. Ross Perot, Jr. is a functional libertarian. Barry Goldwater, Jr. is a functional libertarian. Clint Eastwood is a functional libertarian. Warren Redlich and Phil Davison are possibly functional candidates.

  19. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    Do any of those men identify as Libertarians? At least half of those people are registered Republicans.

  20. robert capozzi

    es 26, ya know, you may be onto something there. In fact, if you play that out to its conclusion, you MIGHT be up for a Nobel Peace Prize. Surely you recognize that there’s a massive coordination problem there…getting not only ONE nation-state to shrug its nukes, but all of them. Based, it seems, on one incidence of mishandling them.

    It’s quite the selling job.

    It’s a wonder that all the nuclear club members don’t turn over their nukes to “mad scientists” right now.

    Any theories on why they don’t?

    My one critique is that nuke possession is not “responsible” in my book. Possessing them seems deeply insane to me. OTOH, the legacy of having them might create another decision matrix that your atomistic point seems to miss.

    For ex., were I prez, even though I think nukes are lunacy, I’m not sure I’d give them up unilaterally.

    Would you?

  21. David Colborne

    @21: I don’t drink the stuff. But it’s less poisonous than some stuff that people voluntarily put in their bodies, so to each their own.

    @22: Oh, I agree, and in my opinion, that problem’s only going to get worse. That’s an increasingly common point of view even among more Progressive circles as ObamaCare begins its giant transfer payment from young Americans to the insurance industry. But there are still more than a few people “reliant” on the government for their health care (or at least they think they are), so we need to provide a more hopeful response to those people than, “Screw off, leech.” That’s where a “functional libertarian” approach might help.

  22. NewFederalist

    “Jill Pyeatt // Sep 21, 2013 at 4:14 pm

    So, who isn’t a “hobo” or “loser” to you, CLC?

    31 Concerned Libertarian Citizen // Sep 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    I’m keeping my eyes open.”

    I suspect you are getting a fantastic view of your colon!

  23. Warren Redlich

    @31 & 32, while I am a registered Republican I identify myself as libertarian (small L), mostly minarchist but Sundwall is gradually pulling me to AnCap.

    However, I’ve never been accused of being functional.

    The LP has a longstanding infection evidenced by Root, Barr, Johnson and Gray. There is more hope for libertarians in the GOP via winners like the Paul’s and Amash.

    But despite that I don’t have much faith in the GOP and I still have a little hope left for the LP.

  24. David Colborne

    @37: If the LP is going to actually win a major election or two, it needs to find a way to tailor its message in a way that both GOPers and Dems find compelling. Obviously this doesn’t mean diluting the message entirely, or taking boilerplate conservative or liberal thought and calling it “Libertarian” – this was Root’s problem – but it does mean being a little pragmatic and having answers to common objections. The only way we’re going to get answers is if we’re willing to ask what common objections we might run into, then have enough humility and respect for our fellow citizens to come up with an answer beyond, “Well, you’re just too stupid to understand, you miserable leech.”

    I don’t necessarily agree with Judge Gray’s answers, but I do respect his willingness to try. Let’s just do better and get that message out instead.

  25. Andy

    Warren Redlich said: “There is more hope for libertarians in the GOP via winners like the Paul’s and Amash.”

    The majority of the Republican Party is hostile to individual liberty. Also, look at the horrible way that Ron Paul was treated in the Republican primaries. Libertarians running as Republicans is a tactic to use sometimes, but it is not a magic bullet.

  26. Robert Capozzi

    41 A, yes, WR used the term “more hope,” not “magic bullet.”

    L Trutherism isn’t a magic bullet, either. Nor is NAPsolutist/cult of the omnipotent state rhetoric.

  27. Kris McKinster

    @35 I find the term “Functional Libertarian” offensive because it implies that the alternative is dysfunctional libertarian. Dysfunctional libertarian is an oxymoron.

    Saying “screw you leech” to someone who sends the IRS to your house if you don’t pay their medical bills is a proper response to violence being initiated against you. It is fully within the rights of any fully conscious, functioning individual.

    Ron Paul and Harry Browne set excellent examples on how to sell the libertarian message to anyone, democrat or republican, without watering it down. Mr. Gray should have followed their lead rather than pushing an inferior product.

  28. Robert Capozzi

    43 KM, please elaborate on why you think “dysfunctional L” is an oxymoronic. It strikes me highly descriptive, since L-ism has been on little to no consequence since its inception in the 70s.

    If Paul and Browne were so good at selling L ideas, why then does government continue to grow?

  29. Kris McKinster

    44 RC, I was referring to lowercase-l libertarian, as was Gray’s article (where it is only capitalized because it is part of the title “Functional Libertarian.)

    “Dysfunctional libertarian” is an oxymoron because to be libertarian is functional, and to be otherwise (not libertarian) is dysfunctional.

    Government continues to grow because selling l ideas in the best way isn’t enough to put a stop to it. It takes, as Victor Hugo put it, “… an idea whose time has come.”

  30. robert capozzi

    45 km, I believe your use of the word “functional” is non-standard. It may well work for an individual to have ideas that seem irrelevant in the public square, but unless ideas lead to positive change, they do not work in any meaningful sense, at least not in time and space.

    It’s true that sometimes ideas need to incubate, but if they don’t show progress and they seem unlikely to be of any consequence in a reasonable time horizon, they beg the question:why expend energy advocating for them?

  31. Kris McKinster

    46 RC:

    Why expend energy advocating for the truth, even if it doesn’t show progress and seems unlikely to be of any consequence in a reasonable time horizon?

    Because it’s the truth.

  32. George Phillies - Good News

    @37 The infection is continuing. Note the LP press releases, two on the Republican ‘defund Obamacare’ scheme, a rather weak one on Syria that starts with ‘is it Constitutional’ rather than our party platform, and a press release on NSA Spying that talks about shrinking the NSA, as though a smaller NSA that still read this message was any better than a larger NSA. These are all Republican attack lines, not Libertarian attack lines.

  33. robert capozzi

    47 km…even assuming that you have THE TRUTH…I know of no obligation to share your truth widely, especially if your truth alienates the m ultitudes. Why not just go about your life keeping your truth to yourself.

    I would share that while I often agreed with Paul and Browne, their is not mine. It’s those of sanctimony vs persuasion that is one of the reasons that Ls remain asterisks.

  34. Antirevolutionary

    CLC, don’t insult NF. He is one of the best and most interesting long-term commenters here. Do you think Ross Perot Jr would talk like that?

  35. Robert Capozzi

    50 km, near as I can tell, all of human history has been one of “universal deceit.” I certainly agree that the truth shall set you free, kind of as a matter of faith, kind of because I can’t think of an alternative.

    Do you believe you, Paul, and Browne had/have THE TRUTH?

    If you do, I am ALL EARS. What is it and how do you know it’s TRUE?

  36. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    CLC @ 52: NF is usually a gentleman. He must have felt quite strongly about your behavior to make such a comment.

  37. Robert Capozzi

    48 gp: as though a smaller NSA that still read this message was any better than a larger NSA.

    me: Sounds like progress. What am I missing?

  38. Michael Gilson-De Lemos (MG)

    Glad to see IPR is still at work. Would like to see even more about the Green parties. Perhaps a blog is needed just on LP debates!

    Libertarian-friendly DEMOCRACY–>
    Federalism including Libertarian variations–>
    Pure Libertarian eco-communities ( or those based on the general idea).

    Think of them as the High School, BA and PhD versions suitable for those levels of familiarity.

    That’s what we set out to do in Libertarian civics in a nutshell. The LP is one part.

    Judge Gray advocates the broadest and first level form of civic Libertarianism, a more ‘small is beautiful’ libertarian-oriented rights-attentive federal democracy suitable to average persons.

    He does not address the second and last levels, namely a choice of societies including a non-governmental approach therein, nor the legalization of ideal Libertarian eco-community meant for the more demanding of choice and capable of ideal society therein respectively. He apparently has some misconceptions, but the LP is a libertarian-direction group for and to grow both libertarians and Libertarian advocates of the pledge, plus supportive voters; and he’s consistent with its present focus. Someone who wishes to alert the public to additional more voluntary forms is also consistent.

    As far as more narrow forms the Judge refers those interested to appropriate books, and has done important work on many issues, so I have no quarrel with him. I wish more people would do that: I wish more people would end their articles with a link or reference to such works.

    The most important thing to do in any discussion is refer people to additional information such as the Quiz ( as often requested by David Nolan) or appropriate websites or literature. This is the presentation philosophy of the Dallas Accord: Let people get familiar with the various forms and decide what is best for them. The Judge did that.

    I would urge people here to be careful with the ‘small government’ meme. When we started the LP this was meant as a shorthand, not a philosophical principle. A voluntary Libertarian ‘government’ would likely be quite enormous depending on the desires of the users. Libertarianism focuses on rights and the voluntary in public administration. The LP in contrast focuses on the small as one acceptable directional form, many non-LP libertarians on choice in public administration. Greens were designed to focus on libertarian eco-socialism. The predecessor Liberal and Democratic parties are still battling in many countries to get people to democracy worldwide.

    In 1973 people confused Libertarians with librarians. Now they debate which form of Libertarianism is best and who best represents it. I just watched something on MSNBC that (accurately) identified Libertarianism as recognizing that abuses in school and home lead to many people being incarcerated, then (less accurately) Rand Paul as a Libertarian spokesperson on the subject but ( accurately) praised him for focusing on how minorities suffered.

    So I’m sure in a few years we’ll see more accuracy and improvements. Just keep linking, as the Judge does, to good books so people can get familiar and choose for themselves. Some will be delighted at a small improvement, some will become dedicated to something more comprehensive. All will be better off.

    Finally, beyond linking to the Quiz and your favorite Lib books, please consider joining folks like me in getting into public office starting with non-partisan appointive such as a neighborhood or local advisory board and, if interested, local elective office. The USLP has many resources for free. (Many have gone on to work quietly in the GOP and Democratic organizations in contact with e.g. Libertarian International Organization. Libertarians are getting elected in Russia. A libertarian Senator got elected in Australia where they call themselves the Liberal Democrats. So do what works for you.)

    Thanks.

    >> http://www.libertarianbookclub.org

    >>http://www.liberal-international.org/editorial.asp?ia_id=1117

    >>http://www.lp.org/campaign-resources

  39. Robert Capozzi

    58GP: It’s smaller, but thanks to automation *it does all the same things*.

    me: Oh, I see. So if the NSA budget goes from $1B to $1, it will keep doing the same things.

    It tells me that even abolition of the NSA is futile, since the damage it does is not resource dependent.

  40. NewFederalist

    Golly gee Batman… who knew that CLC was so thin skinned? Could it be that he (or she) knows that the vast majority of his political heroes are NOT libertarians? Could it be that he stands alone in actually believing Newt Gingrich to be a libertarian? Could it be he has never looked at the Nolan chart? Could it be that he actually thinks calling someone a “hobo” is NOT derogatory? Could it be that his totally condescending attitude towards libertarians on this site is not really designed to confuse readers into believing that fiscal conservatism and libertarianism are the same thing? I believe I am entitled to my opinion about this poster whether one thinks the analogy I made was witty and clever or disgusting and vile. CLC has his right to post whatever he thinks about whatever he likes. He just needs to know he will get called out on his misguided notions when the BS meter finally maxes out.

  41. Concerned Libertarian Citizen

    1. You’ve offered no proof that my heroes are not libertarians.
    2. 2008 presidential nominee Bob Barr called Newt Gingrich a libertarian. I am not the only one.
    3. Nolan chart is not policy.
    4. “Hobo” is supposed to be derogatory. It is an unqualified “candidate” who travels around and begs for money/support.
    5. Are libertarians not also fiscal conservatives? I thought libertarians believed in cutting spending and the size of government.
    6. You’ve made no substantive arguments against my views. Don’t claim to be witty. You are witless.

  42. Kris McKinster

    @53 RC

    Truth is something we share with eachother. The source of truth is Jesus Christ, the origin of the statement you said you certainly agree with, “the truth shall set you free.” (John 8:32)

    Browne, an agnostic, and Paul, a Christian, both share more than their share of truth with us. When asked on All Things Considered on NPR in 2007, “As a doctor, is it meaningful to you when someone says that healthcare is a right, or that people have a right to good medical care?” Paul answered:

    That’s incorrect, because you don’t have a right to the fruits of somebody else’s labor. You don’t have a right to a house, you don’t have a right to a job, you don’t have a right to medical care. You have a right to your life, you have your right to your liberty, you have a right to keep what your earn. And that’s what produces prosperity. So you want equal justice. And this is not hard for me to argue, because if you really are compassionate and you care about people, the freer the society the more prosperous it is, and more likely that you are going to have medical care… When you turn it over to central economic planning, they’re bound to make mistakes. The bureaucrats and the special interests and the Halliburtons are gonna make the money. Whether it’s war, or Katrina, these noncompetitive contracts, the bureaucrats make a lot of money and you end up with inefficiency.

    Browne accurately predicted Obamacare, among other things, in his book, “Why Government Doesn’t Work” published in 1995:

    We will have a single-payer (meaning government) insurance system, just as
    the Canadians and British do.
    And just like the Canadians, when a personal medical crisis hits, you may
    have to go south of the border to get immediate care. Those Tijuana clinics are
    going to be very, very busy.

  43. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    CLC @ 62: Newt doesn’t claim to be libertarian, however, does he? He identifies as a Republican, and even if some of his views might be toward the libertarian spectrum, I wouldn’t call him libertarian if he doesn’t call himself that.

    It seems to me it’s up to you to prove he is, rather than us haveing to prove he isn’t.

  44. robert capozzi

    65 km, yes, I completely agree that the truth shall set you free. But it begs the question: What is truth? Even if you think you know the truth, how can you KNOW that it’s in fact true?

    Answer me that!

    And, yes, Browne and Paul have said many things that I agree with. I’ve so stipulated. What is NOT clear is whether their approaches are optimal ones for advancing liberty.

    There are other approaches, and I’d suggest that one approach is no “better” or “worse” than another, but some might be more effective than others.

    Based on results, neither was particularly effective. Unsurprisingly so. It’s cool that YOU like what and how they said what they said, but you seem uninterested in telling us why the “shouting from the fringes” approach is the way to go.

    I’d note that both did calibrate their messages somewhat, offering to the general public less extreme rhetoric than they might use with different audiences, which tells me that even they believed in some rhetorical calibration.

  45. NewFederalist

    ” 2008 presidential nominee Bob Barr called Newt Gingrich a libertarian. I am not the only one.”

    And we all know how well that candidacy work out for the LP. The Veep was even worse (if that is possible!).

  46. Concerned Libertarian Citizen

    You are wrong. As I wrote in part one of my treatise:

    “In 2008, despite the excitement over Senator Barack Obama, Congressman Bob Barr, a functional candidate, won 0.40 percent of the total, even though he appeared on only 45 state ballots.”

  47. Concerned Libertarian Citizen

    Compare 2008 with 2004:

    “Despite ballot access in 48 states plus DC, the party nominated a computer programmer named Michael Badnarik. It didn’t matter what he said. He was not functional, and so was not a credible candidate for voters. As a result, he won only 0.32 percent of the vote in an environment ideal for Libertarians.”

  48. Jill Pyeatt Post author

    So, CLC @ 71 and 72: In the real world, was there really much difference between .40 of the vote (Barr in 2008) or .32 (Badnarik in 2004)? I think not. We should stick with true Libertarians **ducks head, since she knows she’ll be blasted for saying “real Libertarian”*.

  49. Robert Capozzi

    JP makes a great point…all dust results. To be expected when all involved challenging a non-existent cult.

  50. Kris McKinster

    @69

    “But it begs the question: What is truth?”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Truth

    “Even if you think you know the truth, how can you KNOW that it’s in fact true?”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Epistemology

    “And, yes, Browne and Paul have said many things that I agree with. I’ve so stipulated. What is NOT clear is whether their approaches are optimal ones for advancing liberty.”

    What is clear is that their approaches are more optimal than the one demonstrated on this article by Judge Gray. For one, I don’t recall Browne or Paul contradicting themselves from one paragraph to the next. Contradiction cannot be truth.

    “There are other approaches, and I’d suggest that one approach is no “better” or “worse” than another, but some might be more effective than others.”

    It depends on what the goal is. If the goal is political power, then the establishment approach is very successful at that. If the goal is prosperity for everyone, then honesty is the best policy.

    “There are other approaches, and I’d suggest that one approach is no “better” or “worse” than another, but some might be more effective than others.”

    All you have to do is show people, if they are ready, how they are being deceived.

    “Based on results, neither was particularly effective. Unsurprisingly so. It’s cool that YOU like what and how they said what they said, but you seem uninterested in telling us why the “shouting from the fringes” approach is the way to go.”

    Well you said yourself that as near as you can tell, all of human history has been one of “universal deceit.” If that is the case, then we have to be on the fringe in order to revolt against it.

    “I’d note that both did calibrate their messages somewhat, offering to the general public less extreme rhetoric than they might use with different audiences, which tells me that even they believed in some rhetorical calibration.”

    Yes they did. Calibration WITHOUT straying from the message. That is a better approach than calibration WITH straying from the message. Many folks in the LP would do well to realize that.

  51. robert capozzi

    KM 77, sending us to third parties feels like a deflection to me. If you “know” the “truth,” it strikes me you should be able to tell us what it is and how you know.

    Seems kinda, sorta basic to me.

    Is Paul’s position on gold “truth”? Is his position on abortion “truth”?

    I’d say no, they are opinions. On those two, I don’t happen to agree with him, but I don’t kid myself to say that my opinion is truth…it’s just my opinion.

    Paul contradicted himself over time over NewsletterGate, but, then, i can’t say I’ve met the person who doesn’t contradict him or herself now and again. This should be no surprise, since humans possess limited perception and cognitive faculties.

    Consistency is a nice default position, but Emerson’s take on “foolish consistency” rings true (enough) for me.

    I’m sure different people have different goals for worldly outcomes. Politically, I’d like to see a world of maximal peace and freedom, and I’d like to see officeholders. I’ve never understood why “radical” Ls have a problem with being elected, as for to pass or repeal dysfunctional laws require legislative action.

    I’m sorry, I simply don’t see your imperative of being on the fringe as being “necessary.” Please expand.

  52. Robert Capozzi

    that is…officeholders who advocate and enact positive change in the direction of enhanced peace and freedom.

  53. Kris McKinster

    RC,

    Somehow I feel this is one of those cases where you and I actually agree, but somethings got lost in translation. That or you are just way better at this and I should be the one asking YOU the questions 😉

    Frankly, I’m in over my head, and I’m exhausted. So until next time… 🙂

  54. Robert Capozzi

    KM, yes, we are ALL over our heads…that’s the point!

    I’m in recovery from deontological absolutistic L-ism, but when I see it, I’d like to think that I understand it, and why it doesn’t work.

    Rand was right about one thing: check your premises. I suspect that the deontologists would let that thought system go if someone helped them by challenging its sandy foundation.

  55. paulie

    Read most of the thread, got bored and quit somewhere along. I don’t believe Judge Gray is CLC (comment one). I do believe that if CLC returns with another rash of comments such as the ones in this thread, CLC should be confined to a dedicated thread (AKA time out corner) in the future.

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