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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Is Libertarianism Possible Without Democracy? (Read 1098 times)
burnsred
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Is Libertarianism Possible Without Democracy?
Sep 21st, 2017 at 9:00pm
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I don't mean to ask whether voting is the only way a libertarian government could come about. 

I mean if a government was libertarian in every way concerning rights of the individual but instead of regular elections, the head of government was an individual with complete executive control of the government including what we think of as the three branches?

Another way to ask the question:  Would a libertarian government be any less libertarian if it were headed by a hereditary monarch or a dictator chosen by lot upon the death of the previous dictator instead of headed by an elected executive?


  
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Jeff
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Re: Is Libertarianism Possible Without Democracy?
Reply #1 - Sep 22nd, 2017 at 10:20am
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burnsred wrote on Sep 21st, 2017 at 9:00pm:
I don't mean to ask whether voting is the only way a libertarian government could come about. 

I mean if a government was libertarian in every way concerning rights of the individual but instead of regular elections, the head of government was an individual with complete executive control of the government including what we think of as the three branches?

Another way to ask the question:  Would a libertarian government be any less libertarian if it were headed by a hereditary monarch or a dictator chosen by lot upon the death of the previous dictator instead of headed by an elected executive?


The idea of a Philosopher King is old and attractive. It's unfortunate that not many (if any) people could be trusted with the power. It's really just a foolish dream.

What's the sense in having a Congress if all they do is what the King tells them to do?

The problem with hereditary Monarchs in the past was essentially inbreeding... The result was that very bad and often completely incapable people inherited power.

Choosing a dictator at random would probably be dangerous.

The only practical way that's known for securing and protecting individual liberty is to strictly limit government, and the only known practical way of doing that is a plan like that of the U.S. Constitution where power is divided and competing interests have a check on each other's power. 
  
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ahhell
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Re: Is Libertarianism Possible Without Democracy?
Reply #2 - Sep 22nd, 2017 at 11:31am
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Yes, you could have a libertarian society with a dictator, but as Jeff notes, philosopher kings are rare and you almost never get two in a row.

Incidentally, this was Machiavelli's big idea(sort of)  He hoped he could convince a wise prince to adopt republican ideals.  A fool's errand of course.  Washington was as close to his ideal as possible.   Even the libertarian republic of the US only lasted a few generations before we started straying. 
  
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SkyChief
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Re: Is Libertarianism Possible Without Democracy?
Reply #3 - Sep 22nd, 2017 at 11:55am
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Jeff wrote on Sep 22nd, 2017 at 10:20am:
The problem with hereditary Monarchs in the past was essentially inbreeding... The result was that very bad and often completely incapable people inherited power.

You mean like Rocket Man, right?

ahhell wrote on Sep 22nd, 2017 at 11:31am:
   Even the libertarian republic of the US only lasted a few generations before we started straying. 

+1   Smiley
  
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Don_G
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Re: Is Libertarianism Possible Without Democracy?
Reply #4 - Sep 22nd, 2017 at 11:55am
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ahhell wrote on Sep 22nd, 2017 at 11:31am:
Yes, you could have a libertarian society with a dictator, but as Jeff notes, philosopher kings are rare and you almost never get two in a row.

Incidentally, this was Machiavelli's big idea(sort of)  He hoped he could convince a wise prince to adopt republican ideals.  A fool's errand of course.  Washington was as close to his ideal as possible.   Even the libertarian republic of the US only lasted a few generations before we started straying. 


You didn't say you were contemplating an emperor or a dictator, you only said, 'without democracy' so I'm wondering if you meant something else other than what Jeff has suggested?

Are there any other possibilities?

It may be worth considering that the US form of government has invited big government right from the start and it' the natural evolution that has taken place.

Have you ever considered the parliamentary system of government, which is still more indicative of a republic as opposed to a democracy? Do you know how the parliamentary system works?

Maybe there's direction in considering that for the purpose of this thread. I just can't imagine where else it could lead? But I'm certainly interested in hearing your ideas!

I've never heard any specific charges against 'socially responsible government', that would disqualify it as libertarian. At least the sort of libertarian that is supposedly being searched for on this board.

To condemn the words doesn't make any sense. Maybe it's time to promote a real discussion on the idea?
  
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ahhell
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Re: Is Libertarianism Possible Without Democracy?
Reply #5 - Sep 22nd, 2017 at 12:13pm
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Don_G wrote on Sep 22nd, 2017 at 11:55am:
You didn't say you were contemplating an emperor or a dictator, you only said, 'without democracy' so I'm wondering if you meant something else other than what Jeff has suggested?

Are there any other possibilities?
That's a relatively easy question to answer.  Sure; aristocracy, oligarchy, monarchy, theocracy, etc.  Any sort of government could institute policies that are essentially libertarian.  Free press, free trade, free assocation, minimal state interference into the economy and lives of the citizenry.

But any government will be tempted to expand into areas its best left out of. 
Don_G wrote on Sep 22nd, 2017 at 11:55am:
It may be worth considering that the US form of government has invited big government right from the start and it' the natural evolution that has taken place.
True of every form of government.  Those in power generally tend to want more power. 

Don_G wrote on Sep 22nd, 2017 at 11:55am:
Have you ever considered the parliamentary system of government, which is still more indicative of a republic as opposed to a democracy? Do you know how the parliamentary system works?

There are various parliamentary systems but I assume you mean the Westminster system.  They do have the advantage of not investing too much power and prestige in the chief executive.  This is usually the result of separating the executive from the head of state.  They are better at accommodating 3rd parties but this can also result in less stable government.  Getting rid of the first past the post voting system in the US might also accomplish this goal. 
Don_G wrote on Sep 22nd, 2017 at 11:55am:
Maybe there's direction in considering that for the purpose of this thread. I just can't imagine where else it could lead? But I'm certainly interested in hearing your ideas!

I've never heard any specific charges against 'socially responsible government', that would disqualify it as libertarian. At least the sort of libertarian that is supposedly being searched for on this board.

To condemn the words doesn't make any sense. Maybe it's time to promote a real discussion on the idea?

I have yet to really figure out what you mean by "social responsible government"  Word combinations like that typically mean authoritarian government acting in ways the elites think to be in the best interest of the riff raff. 
  
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SkyChief
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Re: Is Libertarianism Possible Without Democracy?
Reply #6 - Sep 22nd, 2017 at 12:32pm
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ahhell wrote on Sep 22nd, 2017 at 12:13pm:
I have yet to really figure out what you mean by "social responsible government"  Word combinations like that typically mean authoritarian government acting in ways the elites think to be in the best interest of the riff raff. 

Any time Don_G uses the term "socially responsible" [insert noun], simply substitute those words with the term socialist.  The message becomes much clearer - trust me.
  
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Don_G
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Re: Is Libertarianism Possible Without Democracy?
Reply #7 - Sep 22nd, 2017 at 12:50pm
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ahhell wrote on Sep 22nd, 2017 at 12:13pm:
That's a relatively easy question to answer.  Sure; aristocracy, oligarchy, monarchy, theocracy, etc.  Any sort of government could institute policies that are essentially libertarian.  Free press, free trade, free assocation, minimal state interference into the economy and lives of the citizenry.

But any government will be tempted to expand into areas its best left out of. 
True of every form of government.  Those in power generally tend to want more power. 

There are various parliamentary systems but I assume you mean the Westminster system.  They do have the advantage of not investing too much power and prestige in the chief executive.  This is usually the result of separating the executive from the head of state.  They are better at accommodating 3rd parties but this can also result in less stable government.  Getting rid of the first past the post voting system in the US might also accomplish this goal. 
I have yet to really figure out what you mean by "social responsible government"  Word combinations like that typically mean authoritarian government acting in ways the elites think to be in the best interest of the riff raff. 


Thank you for your answer. I may pursue it further if you show an interest but I am afraid that you are going to have to choose between a dictatorship or not. Do you think so?

O.k. then let's take a look at the words you're not understanding. "Socially  responsible capitalism".
It's not a trick of some sort, it simply means what you read!

Socially- You must know what the word 'social' means

Responsible- You must know what that word means!

Capitalism- I think we are all capitalists, regardless of the libertarian leanings we all supposedly possess. The Chief for instance is likely much more 'capitalist' leaning than any of us if he was able to score so high on his quiz. That was very revealing on what a libertarian 'really' is, and it's not a pretty picture judging from some of those questions.

Why not start by giving me your definition of 'socially responsible capitalist'. There's nothing to fear for any of us in those three words.

I obviously left out the dictionary definition of 'social' and 'responsible' because you don't need them. However, if you can add a new twist to them then go ahead.

And fwiw, you can't help seeing the great fear the Chief has for the words when he jumps on it so quickly and so irrationally.
  
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ahhell
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Re: Is Libertarianism Possible Without Democracy?
Reply #8 - Sep 22nd, 2017 at 2:22pm
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Don_G wrote on Sep 22nd, 2017 at 12:50pm:
Why not start by giving me your definition of 'socially responsible capitalist'. There's nothing to fear for any of us in those three words.
You still haven't given me yours.  I see no need to define a phrase I never use except in context of "what does social responsible capitalism" mean?

What they hell, if I were to use the phrase, it would basically mean "capitalism".
  
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Don_G
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Re: Is Libertarianism Possible Without Democracy?
Reply #9 - Sep 22nd, 2017 at 3:08pm
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ahhell wrote on Sep 22nd, 2017 at 2:22pm:
You still haven't given me yours.  I see no need to define a phrase I never use except in context of "what does social responsible capitalism" mean?

What they hell, if I were to use the phrase, it would basically mean "capitalism".


I'll start by giving you a definition of what happens in a socially responsible capitalst country, then you tell me what you visualize it to be.

1. It's a system in which the 1% or 2% are allowed to rig government in order to beneifit them, at the expense of the poor and middle class.

That doesn't have to be your country that is guility of abusing that ideal, it could be any. But based on the fact that not a single person on this board is happy with your system of government, why shouldn't it be?

Your turn now!

Oh, and be sure to visit the Chief's Liberland by using google earth. Zero in close enough to see that all the libertarians are wearing green hats and clothes so you're not fooled by the appearance of them being trees!
  
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