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A DEBATE ABOUT LIBERTARIANISM

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

(photo of Ludwig von Mises)

Eric Zuesse (against), “wootendw” (for)

One of Eric Zuesse’s articles against libertarianism focused upon the demonstrable effect that that philosophy has had, and is having, to increase the spread of covid-19 and its diseases and subsequent deaths. A libertarian reader (“wootendw”) disagreed and argued FOR libertarianism (not by contravening the factuality of the evidentiary allegations in the article but by contravening the article’s resulting conclusions against his philosophy, libertarianism). I (Eric) responded to that person’s objections against my case against libertarianism (since there was no case presented against the factuality of my article’s evidentiary allegations). Following here is that exchange. Reader-comments further pro and con regarding libertarianism are hereby invited in order to add to that debate.

https://theduran.com/the-only-way-to-deal-effectively-with-a-pandemic-is-socialistic/#comments

“The only way to deal effectively with a pandemic is socialistic.”

by Eric Zuesse (presenting the thesis against libertarianism, against which “wootendw” argued in his reader-comments, thus sparking from me responses to his responses)

December 13, 2021

COMMENTS:

wootendw

December 14, 2021

Libertarianism is based on individualism which, in the case of a pandemic, each person deals with in his own way.

Reply

Eric Zuesse

Author

Reply to

wootendw

December 14, 2021

Yes, and this means anarchy, but most people don’t want theft to be allowed, and rape to be allowed, and business-crimes such as marketing dangerous or toxic products to be allowed; and, therefore, most people do want there to be a government, with enforcement powers to punish “crimes.” Of course, the worst of all crimes is whatever harms public health, because that is a crime against everyone; and, in a pandemic, this is what anyone commits when spreading a contagious virus such as COVID-19, which is caused by a coronavirus called SARS-CoV-2. Therefore, punishing people who endanger public health is justified — because it is a crime against the public.

Reply

wootendw

Reply to

Eric Zuesse

December 14, 2021

“…this means anarchy, but most people don’t want theft to be allowed, and rape to be allowed, and business-crimes such as marketing dangerous or toxic products to be allowed; and, therefore, most people do want there to be a government, with enforcement powers to punish “crimes.””

No, liberty (from which ‘libertarianism’ is derived) means doing whatever you want as long as you don’t deprive others of life, liberty or property, property being that which the individual produces or trades for. A government that merely exists to stop such deprivations is all the government that need exist. That’s not anarchy; just limited government as the US once had.

Using a ‘pandemic’ to justify government tyranny will lead to more ‘pandemics’ to increase government tyranny. Even if covid were as deadly as governments claim, it is each individual’s choice on how to avoid it – or not avoid it. The property owner decides who can come on to his property, whether it be a pub or church, etc.

Covid is just a (likely man-made) corona virus like the common cold. Most of those dying from it are old or otherwise unhealthy. Having low vitamin D levels is unhealthy. I check mine. I also spend thousands on other supplements to keep me healthy and intelligent (nootropics). There is no reason why anyone should be compelled to take something that could kill them.

Reply

Eric Zuesse

Author

Reply to

wootendw

December 14, 2021

Re. your:

“No, liberty (from which ‘libertarianism’ is derived) means doing whatever you want as long as you don’t deprive others of life, liberty or property, property being that which the individual produces or trades for.”

All of those things necessarily must be embodied in laws in order for them to have any specific reference to specific cases that can then be adjudicated by a court of laws and then be enforced by an executive power, in order for them to be at all meaningful; and this means that there needs to be a government, a socialistic NOT any sort of libertarian entity; and that means that the REAL issue is WHAT SORT OF SOCIALISTIC ENTITY SHOULD BE RULING IN THAT LAND.

Libertarianism, in other words, is a philosophical fraud, an evasion, nothing more.

Reply

wootendw

Reply to

Eric Zuesse

December 14, 2021

“Libertarianism, in other words, is a philosophical fraud, an evasion, nothing more.”

You’re still claiming libertarianism is anarchy. That’s false, or at least it is not what I and other (Objectivist) libertarians are talking about – which does include the Constitution, permitted legislation, an executive, courts, etc, as long as government power is limited.

As you don’t accept liberty, you support absolute tyranny as the alternative. I’m very glad you don’t have political power. I’m not going to waste any more time with you.

Reply

Eric Zuesse

Author

Reply to

wootendw

December 14, 2021

I did not say that libertarianism is anarchy, but that it is a fraud, because it is arguing over how “much” government, instead of over how “good” or “bad” the government is and why. It EVADES the REAL issues of governmental policymaking, and it does so by means of AVOIDING those issues, and ESPECIALLY by avoiding to deal with the DISTRIBUTION OF WEALTH and the FACT that REGARDLESS of whether a government even EXISTS, wealth is power (largely because it is the ability to hire agents) and therefore the distribution of wealth is a large or even the main determinant of the distribution of power, including the distribution of power OVER THE GOVERNMENT. To be a libertarian is to advocate for dictatorship. One of the truthful allegations in the libertarian https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hans-Hermann_Hoppe Hans-Hermann Hoppe’s writings is that democracy and libertarianism are incompatible with one-another; libertarianism is INTRINSICALLY dictatorial. Other libertarians are far more vague about what they support, because what they ACTUALLY are supporting is either so stupid or else so outright evil that they don’t even WANT to understand what libertarianism REALLY is.

wootendw

Reply to

Eric Zuesse

 December 15, 2021

Government, by its nature, has a monopoly on the legal initiation of force. That force is needed for things like arresting suspected criminals so they can be brought to trial and punished if found guilty. But the power to arrest and punish criminals must be limited by such things as requiring ‘due process’.

That’s why the Founders of the US wrote a Constitution that divided powers first among three branches of government and again between national and state governments. The powers of the national government (legislature) were few and defined. The Bill of Rights further limited government power. While a citizen can do whatever he wants except what is legally forbidden (9th amendment), the government can do nothing except what is Constitutionally permitted (10th amendment). E.g., a police officer must follow due process while on the job. But when he ‘takes his badge off’ he is just a citizen.

Wealth is not ‘distributed’; it is produced. Trade is not ‘distribution’ nor redistribution (theft).

There are some wealthy individuals and businesses who use their wealth to lobby the government to enact trade barriers and restrictions that benefit them. That occurred primarily through protective tariffs in the 19th century and later through regulatory agencies such as the FDA, CDC, etc. These regulatory agencies were set up to protect people from businessmen but are now used to protect the politically-connected from non-politically connected competition. This has nothing to do with libertarians.

Most people are libertarians in their everyday lives. Most people don’t steal, kidnap, enslave, murder others, etc. during their everyday lives. It is when the get in the voting booth that they delegate these things to politicians. Yes, democracy and libertarianism are incompatible unless a ‘democracy’ is a republic with limited powers. As Benjamin Franklin said, “democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner”.

Socialism does not recognize property rights which is not only wrong but it removes or diminishes the creation/production of property by removing the incentive to do so. Self-interest is part of man’s essential nature, manifested via man’s intelligence, via an animal’s instinct for self-preservation.

—————

Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author of  They’re Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of  CHRIST’S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity.

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The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of this site. This site does not give financial, investment or medical advice.

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Bob Valdez
Bob Valdez
December 15, 2021

‘Reply Eric Zuesse Author Reply to wootendw December 14, 2021 Yes, and this means anarchy, but most people don’t want theft to be allowed, and rape to be allowed, and business-crimes such as marketing dangerous or toxic products to be allowed; and, therefore, most people do want there to be a government, with enforcement powers to punish “crimes.” ‘ ‘Reply Eric Zuesse Author Reply to wootendw December 14, 2021 I did not say that libertarianism is anarchy, but that it is a fraud, because it is arguing over how “much” government, instead of over how “good” or “bad” the government… Read more »

Last edited 5 months ago by Bob Valdez
Bob Valdez
Bob Valdez
Reply to  Eric Zuesse
December 15, 2021

You wrote it, Eric, I included your EXACT words in my reply. Do you deny you wrote it, even though your posts CLEARLY show it?
Talk about hypocracy.

John T. Pullen
John T. Pullen
December 15, 2021
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What a mess. Without going back and picking apart the article it didn’t sound like much of a debate. It consisted of one person trying to steamroll the other into believing government was the arbitration of Right.

Olivia Kroth
December 15, 2021
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Olivia Kroth
December 15, 2021
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In Russia THE INDEPENDENT ASSOCIATION OF DOCTORS is suing the Health Ministry: In Russia THE INDEPENDENT ASSOCIATION OF DOCTORS is suing the Health Ministry! The Association of Physicians and OSVR have sued the Ministry of Health for vaccines. Join the claim! 06/01/2021 Representatives of the Independent Association of Physicians, together with the National Union of the Renaissance of Russia (OSVR), filed an administrative claim against the Ministry of Health in the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow. … Experts demand to declare illegal the decisions of the Ministry of Health of the Russian Federation on the registration of vaccines for the… Read more »

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