Five reasons I think Ron Paul style libertarianism is stupid

  1. They categorically hate nearly all our elected officials that serve our country, but generally don’t extend any criticism to the military, which is also part of the government. They might as well be consistent and bash the military too, because our elected officials are also serving our country. If they had their way I’m pretty sure we’d have a Pinochet style military-industrial dictatorship, even though they’d be calling it liberty the whole time.

Why do you think Ron/Rand Paul want to bring all our troops home? To play quidditch and knit crochet? To cover up the fact the military government’s interest is solely with the shareholders, I could see the military shooting up illegal immigrants crossing over from Mexico and the junta selling that as “defending the homeland” from “aggressors”.

  1. They bash unions and work regulations even though there’s hardly any left, and workers’ rights have all but disappeared after 70 years of McCarthyism. I don’t think Americans realize it, but even most third world workers have more rights than we do here. For example, even North Korea (!!!) has mandated maternal leave. The only countries aside from the US that don’t are Papua New Guinea and two African countries. We’re on par with a country that is literally stuck in the Stone Age on this issue.

If workers had more rights they would be paid more and the government wouldn’t have to re-distribute wealth as much as they do. This is why Sweden is both economically free and quite socialist.

  1. Even though they claim to support socially liberal policies like marijuana legalization and gay rights they will defend businesses that openly discriminate people by their race and sexual orientation, and fire people for using drugs. If you aren’t called “the government” apparently it’s OK to take away people’s rights. Even their political support for socially liberal policies is paper thin because given the choice they will almost always side with a Christian conservative over a socialist liberal.

Hell, most Christian conservatives are commies compared to Ron Paul.

  1. They think that small government would mean small businesses would thrive because corporations would no longer get subsidies. This is highly unlikely because under a Ron Paul type regime the corporations and military would pretty much be the government, and they could write their own rules. They wouldn’t be accountable for anything, they could even assassinate small business owners if they wanted to (probably by falsely accusing them of some BS “initial act” of aggression). If there was a libertarian counter-revolution the first thing the military would do is protect Apple, Google, Walmart, Chevron, etc and people would approve of this because corporations run so much of our infrastructure that not doing it would mean Mad Max.

  2. Cutting off all social programs would be extremely cruel to people with disabilities. I’ve noticed many Internet libertarians are very open about their ableism, but much more guarded about their racism. Being a disabled person myself I know for a fact that the general public still looks down upon people with disabilities,. It’s far more socially acceptable to hate the disabled than it is to hate ethnic minorities or gay people, we haven’t benefited from political correctness at all. In Ron Paul’s America far more disabled people would be homeless, in prison or dead from suicide. Families would end up poorer because they’d be forced to support their loved ones who can’t work. Those without families would have to beg and steal, and hope they weren’t shot for it by an overzealous gun nut. Programs like SSI and food stamps on the other hand actually help the economy.

Bill Moyers produced this just last week:

I haven’t studied libertarianism much. The article and your post helped. Thanks.

i particuarly agree with 3 and 5

It’s hard to really understand how you feel with all the hyperbole and generalizations.

Why is accusing someone of generalizing such a common “argument” on the Net? Of course I’m generalizing, it’s an ideology and not everyone interprets libertarianism the exact same way.

This amazing piece of work by Kimstu should be trotted out more often when discussing Libertarians. It really should be part of the “Best of the SDMB”, if there was one.

I am the very model of a modern Libertarian

I doubt seriously that most third world workers have more rights than Americans do. Governments of third-world countries might claim that their workers have certain rights, but their legal and social institutions simply aren’t up to the task of enforcing them.

Naming North Korea in particular makes the point nonsense. Whatever rights North Korea might claim its workers have, the reality is that they live in an oppressive totalitarian regime.

Perhaps, but America still has among the worst worker’s rights of any functional state.

  1. This is true of Republicans and Democrats as well. Some libertarians may be crypto-fascists, but many of them bleat on about the MIC more than libs do.

  2. Individual libertarians may or may not support this or that lib policy (many could be described as Republicans who just want to smoke weed), but the general gist is they want people to be left alone. That’s a two way street. So they might support something like gay marriage by accident, but they won’t make a store accept gay customers or make cakes for them either.

I think a libertarian POTUS could be a good idea. That’s the best position to put into practice the good ideas (less military interventionism) and a weak position to implement their goofy economic gold buggery and social policies. Just as long as there aren’t a bunch of “regulation is evil” Pubs in Congress to help him out.

The thing that bothers me most about Ron Paul style libertarianism is the pervasive belief that one becomes an expert on something by reading a few books. For example, Dr. Paul, a physician, is somehow regarded by his followers as an expert on economics on the basis that he read books by Hayek. I see this as no different than the also too-common belief that Jenny McCarthy is an expert on vaccines because she read some medical studies by Dr. Andrew Wakefield.

Holy crap, that’s a winner!

I’m actually starting to think the government are the good guys. I mean who just defended net neutrality? It wasn’t the corporations or the free market that libertarians cherish so much, it was Congress. You’re right though, right-wing anti government sentiment has even infected the Left in recent years.

If they have a right to refuse a gay couple a cake, should restaurants have the right to racially segregate their customers, or hang up signs saying “No Irish, Jews or Dogs”? Personally I don’t see any difference at all.

I see where you’re coming from, I guess my main problem with that is having a libertarian president would give the entire ideology way too much credibility. Even if Congress kept it at bay for the time being, it’s pretty likely they’d eventually take over the country in the future. I’m against military interventionism too, but that’s coming from a pacifist standpoint.

#1. The military isn’t elected. The only elected part of the military command structure is the POTUS who is elected and those civilian appointees who are picked by the POTUS and confirmed by other elected officials. Therefore I think your lumping elected officials and uniformed military members is wrong.

#2. North Korea? Really? What they have in their laws and what it practiced are different matters.

#3 You make some good points here.

#4. The military does NOT write it’s own rules. It’s under civilian control.

#5 Cutting back on social benefits doesn’t mean that the truly disabled or needy. However our current welfare program enslaves segments of the population. Recently in our local newspaper there was an article about a woman who refused a raise from $12 to $18 per hour. She would have lost about $42K in benefits had she taken the raise. Crazy!

That’s not so much my point. The idea is that libertarians love the armed forces because they are serving our country, but you can say the same about politicians and even cops. There are a few libertarians that extend their anti-government sentiment all the way to the armed forces, but they’re very rare.

Serving in the army of the bully of the world is completely contrary to the concept of freedom and non-aggression. They know exactly what they’re getting into and who they’re supporting when they sign up. I don’t hate the troops, I’m not a judgmental person but let’s be real this idea that all the soldiers are heroes and great compassionate people needs to stop. Some soldiers are incredibly bigoted and hateful, I mean look at the American sniper guy. Racist as hell and a compulsive liar to boot.

I do respect most of the world’s armies since they do more rescue missions and foreign aid than war, but I don’t feel warm and fuzzy about my own country’s military. I’m pretty sure if Ron Paul brought the troops home they’d be used to police and oppress me just like they do to people abroad now.

You do have a point there. I have no idea how well it’s enforced. I do know that it’s legal to smoke pot in North Korea, which would be one other way they’re more free than America. I guess even a stopped clock is right twice a day right?

I understand that. I just think joining the army now when we’re fighting dumb wars is a stupid idea and not honourable at all.

Yeah, the way it’s set up is pretty bad. I don’t think they should cut your benefits if you make money working, but unfortunately they do. But I think trying to weed out the “truly” disabled hurts the people who need it more than it hurts potential freeloaders. I’m sure thousands of disabled people unwillingly forfeit their benefits just because they intentionally make the paperwork so tedious and complicated. A non-disabled person who wanted to cheat the system could still work around it if they tried hard enough.

I don’t believe it. Maybe there was an article and maybe someone said that but I don’t believe benefits are that generous. I’d like to see the data.

In the phrase, “I think Ron Paul style libertarianism is stupid” has three redundant words. Delete “Ron Paul style” and it is more succinct and 100% true.

The country is too big for Bubba to see the Federal Gubment doing anything. Other than wave a big stick at foreigners. Thus, libertarianism. Thus Ron Paul gang.

The reason I say “Ron Paul style” is because Chomsky is actually a libertarian too. A true libertarian. The original libertarians were anarchists and much closer to anti-authoritarian communists than to what passes for libertarian today.

Where do you get the idea that Ron Paul is “pro-military”? He has opposed practically EVERY US military action for decades.

Unions are a model of Libertarianism.

But Ron Paul doesnt. He is anti- gay rights and anti- abortion: "“an unshakable foe of abortion”.

in 1999, Paul voted for an amendment to HR 2587, the District Of Columbia Appropriations Act, which would have banned adoption by same-sex couples and other couples who lacked a marital or familial relationship in Washington, D.C

'Well, I believe marriage is between one man and one woman."

*Paul has been a critic of the Supreme Court’s Lawrence v. Texas decision, in which sodomy laws were ruled unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment. *

He’s not a Libertarian at all, just another Conservative with some whacko economic ideas.

You don’t have to “bring the troops home” from abroad to do that. There are plenty of American troops at home on U.S. bases in the 50 states. It’s not like bringing troops back from Afghanistan will make the crucial difference.