Sign In

Socialism vs Libertarianism

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Since political topics are no longer confined to one thread, I thought I’d start this one since it seems to be the crux of many political disagreements.

How much government is too much?
What is your vision for an ideal government?
What are the weaknesses in capitalism which government must correct?
What are the weaknesses in government programs which the free market must correct?

My personal philosophy is that government programs can exist on a spectrum from extremely good (well-designed, ethically responsible, scientifically necessary) to extremely bad (corrupt incentives, cost disease, bureaucratic overload), whereas the free market forms a baseline of quality which is neither good nor bad, and trends to the median quality of what an average person will accept. All government programs should be measured against this metric, and if they are worse than the free-market solutions they should be abolished or revised.

Some services such as fire prevention and defense are particularly ill-suited to market solutions, and there are many aspects of current government functions which would be better if controlled by private companies.

DuracellEnergizer: “^He’s embraced the absurd. Don’t expect to gain any conventional understanding from his posts.”
A New Hope Technicolor Recreation (Released!)
The Force Awakens Restructured (V2 Released!) and The Starlight Project

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Personally, I would say that basic infrastructure should be government owned, rather than privatized, and in this day and age, we’re nearing a point where things like Phone and Internet could be considered basic infrastructure. Also maybe not have the prison system privately owned by for-profit companies (though my understanding is that this is a mainly USA thing).

The main problem with capitalism is that its edifice comes from exploitation, and I don’t know how far we can push into the rights and safety of the lower classes while still being Capitalist (Mind, I’m not sure how intertwined the free market and capitalism actually is, and if you can have a free market without capitalism.)

All that said, I’m hesitant to put myself in a political group label, as there’s still a lot of things where I’m not sure just what I want an ideal government to be, other than one that respects and protects human rights, of course.

Author
Time

NeverarGreat said:

How much government is too much?

Great question. As a person who spent his youth in a communist “paradise” I just want to be left alone. Optimally NO government would be the correct amount of government for me, but most people are unfortunately not willing and / or capable of taking care of themselves. Which means SOME government and country structure NEEDS to exist, but let’s say “as little as possible”?

What is your vision for an ideal government?

Smart people, following right wing economic principles mixed with responsible social programs for people who are not able to take care of themselves. But it should interfere with the lives of their citizens as little as possible, personal freedoms are essential for a healthy society.

What are the weaknesses in capitalism which government must correct?

There are no weaknesses in capitalism. There are people who would not be able to survive in a fully capitalist environment, but that’s not the fault of capitalism itself.

What are the weaknesses in government programs which the free market must correct?

Please define (or give examples of) “government programs”.

Some services such as fire prevention and defense are particularly ill-suited to market solutions, and there are many aspects of current government functions which would be better if controlled by private companies.

I would think that the state should control things like army, police, justice and basic levels of education and health systems, the rest could (or maybe even should) be taken care by private companies.`

Author
Time

Some things don’t lend themselves to free market. I believe this list includes some obvious things like police, fire prevention, etc., but also health care, education, and especially environmental protection.

"Close the blast doors!"
Puggo’s website | Rescuing Star Wars

Author
Time

pittrek said:

NeverarGreat said:

How much government is too much?

Great question. As a person who spent his youth in a communist “paradise” I just want to be left alone.

What was this “communist paradise”?

What are the weaknesses in capitalism which government must correct?

There are no weaknesses in capitalism. There are people who would not be able to survive in a fully capitalist environment, but that’s not the fault of capitalism itself.

The Drink in Question

Author
Time
 (Edited)

pittrek said:

NeverarGreat said:

What are the weaknesses in capitalism which government must correct?

There are no weaknesses in capitalism. There are people who would not be able to survive in a fully capitalist environment, but that’s not the fault of capitalism itself.

i’m sorry, but this is absurd. “there are no faults - except that some people will die.” so you think that people dying and starving to death are necessary? that’s actually not a weakness/fault, but a trait in a flawless regime? honestly i almost consider this idea insane.

Author
Time

I want my government to fix my roads, which is too much to ask lately.

“After a time, you may find that having, is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” - Spock

Author
Time

suspiciouscoffee said:

pittrek said:

NeverarGreat said:

How much government is too much?

Great question. As a person who spent his youth in a communist “paradise” I just want to be left alone.

What was this “communist paradise”?

Czechoslovakia

What are the weaknesses in capitalism which government must correct?

There are no weaknesses in capitalism. There are people who would not be able to survive in a fully capitalist environment, but that’s not the fault of capitalism itself.

I was hoping somebody made a gif of that scene 😃

Author
Time
 (Edited)

Collipso said:

pittrek said:

NeverarGreat said:

What are the weaknesses in capitalism which government must correct?

There are no weaknesses in capitalism. There are people who would not be able to survive in a fully capitalist environment, but that’s not the fault of capitalism itself.

i’m sorry, but this is absurd. “there are no faults - except that some people will die.” so you think that people dying and starving to death are necessary? that’s actually not a weakness/fault, but a trait in a flawless regime? honestly i almost consider this idea insane.

Sorry, no, I meant that it is not the fault of capitalism as a system, not that it’s OK. In other words, capitalism is great, but it’s not a system for everybody. Or in even another words - the theory is great, the practical implementation has a fatal flaw. Hope it makes a bit more sense.

Jedit: that’s what I mean when I wrote

Smart people, following right wing economic principles mixed with responsible social programs for people who are not able to take care of themselves

Author
Time

the theory is great, the practical implementation has a fatal flaw.

I’ve heard the exact same thing about communism.

“After a time, you may find that having, is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” - Spock

Author
Time

Handman said:

the theory is great, the practical implementation has a fatal flaw.

I’ve heard the exact same thing about communism.

I can’t agree with that. I listen to things like that for many years, usually from older people who are getting nostalgic about the previous regime. But that’s just wrong. Communism could work only if 100% of citizens, meaning absolutely every single person in the country is a communist. In the case that just one person dares to show any “unwanted thoughts”, (s)he must be brutally punished. Which again cause more people to object, which forces the governemnt to be more brutal.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

One could apply that to a capitalist society as well. Enough people may think a change is in order, and those that benefit the most from capitalism then make it harder and harder for others to gain power. The very power they would need to enact changes. I believe we’re seeing that now with the consolidation of all these huge mega-corporations.

It’s not outright brutality, but it suppresses the people in much the same way.

“After a time, you may find that having, is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” - Spock

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I’ve met a few female Libertarians. But you are correct that there tends to be more men than women who adopt that ideology. If you would allow me to make an observation based on classical knowledge, it may be due to the fact that women have generally in the past been nurturers, not providers. Libertarianism does not seek to nurture anyone.

I’m probably going to get destroyed for saying that.

“After a time, you may find that having, is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” - Spock

Author
Time
 (Edited)

The state should own and operate everything short of small businesses/organizations, homes, and IPs (intellectual properties). Megacorporations/conglomerates should not exist. Everyone should receive free health care, basic incomes, and adequate housing by right of being human. There should be complete separation of church and state, and complete freedom of religion (so definitely no state religion/atheism).

SilverWook said:

Some people aren’t happy unless they are miserable, or are making others miserable.

Author
Time
 (Edited)

I’m fundamentally a capitalist/libertarian with some conflicting socialist leanings. I believe people should be free to build wealth and enjoy a higher quality of life if they’re willing to work for it, but the core benefit of civilized, organized society is providing a framework to minimize human suffering and elevate the people, so there should be social programs to protect those who experience unexpected events like health issues, job loss, etc.

I’m willing to contribute financially to a system of government that provides military defense, essential services, and a social safety net, and in exchange I want to be left the hell alone to do what I want as long it doesn’t harm anyone else. Drug use, gun ownership, abortion, religion…these are choices to be made by the individual.

DuracellEnergizer said:

The state should own and operate everything short of small businesses/organizations, homes, and IPs (intellectual properties). Megacorporations/conglomerates should not exist. Everyone should receive free health care, basic incomes, and adequate housing by right of being human. There should be complete separation of church and state, and complete freedom of religion (so definitely no state religion/atheism).

I’m not sold on the basic income idea yet. Part of me thinks it would encourage too many people not to work, but the other part of me thinks those who would choose not to work (by conscious choice, not disability) in exchange for basic income are probably the least productive members of the workforce and only hold the rest of us back anyway. Perhaps many highly creative people are wasting their talents in jobs they hate rather than producing something meaningful, and relieving them of work responsibilities would result in an explosion of human thought advancement and entrepreneurship. What could a starving artist achieve without the starving? Maybe much more, maybe much less (starvation can be motivation for some). Also, if you provide a basic income, that means typically low-paying jobs that nobody wants would have to pay much more in order to get people to do them.

Basic income could transform our economy in profound ways.

originaltrilogy.com Administrator

The things you pwn end up pwning you.

Author
Time

What do you think of the opioid epidemic, Jay?

“After a time, you may find that having, is not so pleasing a thing after all, as wanting. It is not logical, but it is often true.” - Spock

Author
Time

DuracellEnergizer said:

The state should own and operate everything short of small businesses/organizations, homes, and IPs (intellectual properties). Megacorporations/conglomerates should not exist. Everyone should receive free health care, basic incomes, and adequate housing by right of being human. There should be complete separation of church and state, and complete freedom of religion (so definitely no state religion/atheism).

so, almost-socialism? i’d be in. unfortunately humans are too corrupt to be the head(s) of the state you described without turning it into a machine in order for the person in charge to maintain and keep their power.

i think we should start by trying to do what you described though, and slowly move towards a point where the state stops being necessary and eventually ceases to exist.

Author
Time

Collipso said:

DuracellEnergizer said:

The state should own and operate everything short of small businesses/organizations, homes, and IPs (intellectual properties). Megacorporations/conglomerates should not exist. Everyone should receive free health care, basic incomes, and adequate housing by right of being human. There should be complete separation of church and state, and complete freedom of religion (so definitely no state religion/atheism).

so, almost-socialism? i’d be in. unfortunately humans are too corrupt to be the head(s) of the state you described without turning it into a machine in order for the person in charge to maintain and keep their power.

i think we should start by trying to do what you described though, and slowly move towards a point where the state stops being necessary and eventually ceases to exist.

Indeed. The state’s a necessary evil for the moment. With time, humanity will hopefully evolve beyond it.

SilverWook said:

Some people aren’t happy unless they are miserable, or are making others miserable.

Author
Time

Jay said:

I’m fundamentally a capitalist/libertarian with some conflicting socialist leanings. I believe people should be free to build wealth and enjoy a higher quality of life if they’re willing to work for it, but the core benefit of civilized, organized society is providing a framework to minimize human suffering and elevate the people, so there should be social programs to protect those who experience unexpected events like health issues, job loss, etc.

I’m willing to contribute financially to a system of government that provides military defense, essential services, and a social safety net, and in exchange I want to be left the hell alone to do what I want as long it doesn’t harm anyone else. Drug use, gun ownership, abortion, religion…these are choices to be made by the individual.

I agree for the most part, however I don’t trust anyone to own a gun.

Episode I: The Ridiculous Menace / Episode II: Attack Of The Ridiculousness / Episode III: Revenge of the Ridiculousness

Author
Time

Handman said:

What do you think of the opioid epidemic, Jay?

I’m probably not the right one to ask. I smoked pot a bit back in college and drank a lot, but after I graduated that stopped almost entirely. I’m pretty straight-edge these days and can’t remember the last time I had a drink. I was given morphine in the ER after a car accident (July 2000) and didn’t see what the big deal was. They fed me Percoset like it was candy after my first surgery and I had no desire to continue using it when my prescription ran out. There’s this perception that using certain drugs once results in instantaneous addiction, or that occasional use simply isn’t possible, and that’s just not supported by science. Certainly not for everyone.

Dealing with chronic pain is an entirely different issue though, and it doesn’t surprise me that people being prescribed opioids would become dependent on them over time and turn to street drugs when their supply dries up.

You can take any freedom to its extreme and make it harmful, and I don’t necessarily think that another person’s addiction should limit my own freedoms. I don’t believe that if all drugs were legalized tomorrow that half the population would run out and become drug addicts. I suspect there would be a spike in usage and we’d suffer some short-term negative effects, but choices have consequences. Over time, the novelty would disappear and usage would probably taper off.

originaltrilogy.com Administrator

The things you pwn end up pwning you.

Author
Time

One of the reasons I’ve seen countries experiment with Basic Income (or at least Finland’s reason, if the article I read was correct) is because of the way their benefits system worked. In effect, the old/current system more or less had you risk losing more by looking for work than to try to seek employment. The experiment was to see if UBI would actually provide a better safety net that wouldn’t make finding gainful employment detrimental to those relying on its benefits, and thus improve unemployment rates.

Author
Time

TV’s Frink said:

Jay said:

I’m fundamentally a capitalist/libertarian with some conflicting socialist leanings. I believe people should be free to build wealth and enjoy a higher quality of life if they’re willing to work for it, but the core benefit of civilized, organized society is providing a framework to minimize human suffering and elevate the people, so there should be social programs to protect those who experience unexpected events like health issues, job loss, etc.

I’m willing to contribute financially to a system of government that provides military defense, essential services, and a social safety net, and in exchange I want to be left the hell alone to do what I want as long it doesn’t harm anyone else. Drug use, gun ownership, abortion, religion…these are choices to be made by the individual.

I agree for the most part, however I don’t trust anyone to own a gun.

I get it. A close friend and I were in a near-fatal car accident many years ago because somebody else lacked basic driving skills, so I no longer trust other drivers to know what they’re doing.

I’m not sure if driving tests have changed much since I first got my license, but having a parent teach you how to drive and then doing a K-turn in a closed-off testing facility isn’t adequate in my opinion. I think requiring professional training for both driving licenses and gun licenses would be ideal.

originaltrilogy.com Administrator

The things you pwn end up pwning you.

Author
Time

flametitan said:

One of the reasons I’ve seen countries experiment with Basic Income (or at least Finland’s reason, if the article I read was correct) is because of the way their benefits system worked. In effect, the old/current system more or less had you risk losing more by looking for work than to try to seek employment. The experiment was to see if UBI would actually provide a better safety net that wouldn’t make finding gainful employment detrimental to those relying on its benefits, and thus improve unemployment rates.

I, for one, would be strongly encouraged to seek out employment if I knew I had such a safety net in place. Right now, I receive disability, but that’s due to social anxiety, nothing physical. I could muster up the courage to get off my can and look for work, perhaps even land a job in spite of my woeful lack of experience. But then what happens? I lose my disability, and if I get laid off/fired later on, I have to return to the tedious wringer that is the welfare system.

SilverWook said:

Some people aren’t happy unless they are miserable, or are making others miserable.