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04/30/2006 - 1:58am

Non-Libertarian FAQ Critique - Part 1


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I haven't forgotten about this. Several months ago, I posted that I would be countering arguments made on Mike Huben's site "Critiques of Libertarianism." One of the first things I noticed on his site was a Non-Libertarian FAQ. It's a list of questions or statements supposedly made by Libertarians, and refutes to them.

In countering these arguments, I will first list the statements on that page which are actually not consistent with Libertarian beliefs. While it may be true that someone calling themselves a Libertarian has made these statements at some point (and I don't doubt that), it does not make them Libertarian beliefs; anymore than someone calling himself a carpenter would mean that anything he says is the universal carpenters' belief.

The following arguments are not consistent with or related to Libertarian beliefs:

The original intent of the founders has been perverted.

While this statement may or may not be true, it's irrelevent. Libertarian beliefs and principles are explicitly spelled out on the Libertarian Party's website, and whether the founding fathers believed these or not changes nothing.

The US Government ignores the plain meaning of the constitution.

While this is not a Libertian argument, there is possibly some truth in it. The US Government has passed many laws (like the US Patriot Act) that it does not have the power to enact. Their bounds have been overstepped more than once.

The Declaration Of Independence says...

Libertarians don't care what the Declaration of Independence says when it relates to our philosophy. We believe what we believe for other reasons (stated elsewhere on this site), not because someone wrote out a declaration 200+ years ago.

Now after making it only this far, I realize that it is going to be extremely lengthy to go after each argument as not being an actual Libertarian-based argument. Suffice it to say, many of the irrelevent claims on that page, such as the string of questions relating to the social contract, focus on people making claims that the current system is unjust or is being enforced unjustly. This seems to be missing the point altogether.

The current system is not in question, but that seems to be the focus of the critique on the Non-Libertarian FAQ page.

I may state "Libertarians believe in being able to exercise individual freedoms, such as recreational drug use, so long as no others are harmed by those actions," and I would be stating a Libertarian belief; because it's actually a Libertarian belief.

However, if I, as a Libertarian, stated "The founding fathers were gods among men," that does not make that statement a Libertarian belief solely by virtue of it being spoken by a Libertarian.



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