Am I a LIB....

Discussion in 'Politics & Law' started by SmilinSilhouette, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. SmilinSilhouette

    SmilinSilhouette Registered Member

    ...ERTARIAN? :lol:

    After taking the test Pro linked to my result was Conservative leaning Libertarian. I have wondered for some time what sets the Libertarians apart from Reagan Conservatives. As many of you have identified yourselves as Libertarians I hope that you will enlighten me as to what you feel are the differences between the two.

  2. MenInTights

    MenInTights not a plastic bag

    To me, the difference is morality. Where libertarians seem to take a free to do as you please attitude in all matters, Reagan Conservatives hold more traditional moral issues on the grounds that it affects others.
    Libertarians that I know tend to divide from the Reagan Conservatives on the issues of abortion, legalized drugs and gay marriage. While I could easily be swayed libertarian on drugs and possibly on gay unions, I will always be pro-life.
    I think Reagan Conservatives are closer to the founders than libertarians.

    I think the issue becomes somewhat cloudy in today's world, but Calvin Coolidge (the original "Reagan Conservative") took a strong moral stand in his day. We can look back and see that was the right thing to do. Not comparing this to gay marriage or drugs, but just saying it wasn't easy in 1920's to be anti-Klan, pro-Indian and pro-Civil Rights. That took moral courage.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  3. MAgnum9987

    MAgnum9987 Do What Thou Wilt

    MiT summed up my understanding about what a Libertarian was. So, if you are open to open rights for everyone, and to do with their body as they please, then yes, I suppose that would make you a libertarian.

    Nice choice of title, btw. Got me thinking "Are you a liberal? WHAT THE......"
    Then I go, "Oh, Libertarian"
  4. MenInTights

    MenInTights not a plastic bag

    yeah, that's what I meant to say. Not that libertarians believe people are free to do as they please on all matters like I said earlier. There's a legal word that I'm looking for that describes such laws that separate the 2, but I can't remember.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  5. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    I think MiT explained it well.

    Just adding a few ideas: Libertarians are probably the strongest believers in individualism and individual freedom from government intervention, both on the field of the economy and social issues.

    A libertarian friend of mine used these words: Liberals believe in a "nanny state", a state that redistributes money to pamper people. Conservatives believe in the authoritarian "daddy state", a state that tells you how to behave, what to do with your body or in the bedroom, and a state that uses military force to coerce other peoples. Liberals want to use the state to create a social utopia and tell you how to use your money, conservatives want to use the state to legislate morals and demand obedience. Libertarians reject both "nanny state" and "daddy state" -- they believe in mature individuals who make their own decisions, not state or government that decides for them. Libertarians share the liberal idea of individual freedom on social issues, and conservative belief in a free market.

    On a side note: Libertarianism actually is classic liberalism as it existed in the late 18th and 19th century. In most parts of Europe, those who are called "liberals" would be classified as "libertarians" in the US. That is because the word "liberalism" has changed its meaning in the US with time and has finally become synonymous to "left-leaning" or "progressive". So Americans fond of classically liberal ideas have adopted the term "libertarianism" to avoid confusion. In Europe, on the other hand, this shift of meaning has never occured, so they still call themselves "liberals" -- and those in Europe Americans would call "liberal" are simply called "left" or "social democrats" here.
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2010
  6. CaptainObvious

    CaptainObvious Son of Liberty V.I.P.

    I think this sums it up pretty well. I've always considered myself more libertarian than conservative but I haven't taken Pro's quiz yet. Maybe I should.
  7. SmilinSilhouette

    SmilinSilhouette Registered Member

    Thanks for all the replies, I may be a libertarian. I also wonder how do these differences impact foreign relations?
  8. Sim

    Sim Registered Member

    From my impression, libertarians are often rather non-interventionist and/or isolationist and are not happy with too excessive use of military power (because the military is part of government and the ultimate tool for coercion against individuals). Also, the bigger government dependence on the military becomes, the higher are the chances for unfortunate monopolies forming, like a "military-industrial complex", which is an unholy love child of corrupt government and rent-seeking industries ditching out competition with government support.

    If you are interested in more on libertarianism, I recommend the page of this libertarian think thank:

    The Cato Institute
  9. Bananas

    Bananas Endangered Species

    When people say to be libertarians in a political sense, it is fairly inaccurate. It would be like saying your political stance is "conservationism". I know in the US it takes on a political party (and your use of capitalisation I'd assume that is what your referencing) but as in the above example there is a difference between being a conservationist and being a Green, just as there are between being a libertarian and being a Libertarian. The biggest difference between them is one is a political ideology the other is primarily a philosophical one that encompasses a broader range irrelevant of political leanings.

    I think it is important to understand that differences above to establish the differences between the Libertarians and Reagan Conservatives. Or similarily you could do a case study and establish the similarities between two very different people (eg.Ron Paul & Noam Chosky?).
    SmilinSilhouette likes this.
  10. MenInTights

    MenInTights not a plastic bag

    I read They do some great work on what real government downsizing is all about. Its easy to say smaller government, but what does that really look like? Where are the cuts? They also have some great reports on the 1920's, which I've become rather fond of lately.
    Sim likes this.

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