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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem
    #3153148 - 09/19/04 02:04 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

link

Libertarianism, of the kind that believes free markets and property rights are at least as important as free speech (and in fact self ownership means the two are inseparable), can get a raw deal perception-wise. Let?s face it, too many of us free market libertarians get mistaken for Republicans at first glance; and as everyone knows, Republicanism is the party of the old, white, but not necessarily dead, male. In a recent email conversation with a liberal arts-major friend of mine, it was said that libertarians tend to be white because white people are used to being left alone, whereas minorities need the power of the government to set things straight. Judging from the crowd that attended the Freedom Fest last May in Las Vegas , the idea that libertarianism is a ?white thing? seems largely true. Aside from simply the complexion aspect, in most economic discussions in which you have limited time to make a few key points, much of a libertarian?s argument is indistinguishable from that of a Republican. Do you support A.C.O.R.N.?s initiative to increase the minimum wage? No? It?s over for you then ? you?re on their side.

From my vantage point here in Democrat/Republican-controlled Sacramento , California , there are, roughly, two perspectives from which libertarianism falls short: the multicultural, and the metrosexual. The second term is very new, but let us use it as a euphemism for those who watch ?Will and Grace,? occasionally go clubbing, perhaps work for a law firm, and generally have disposable income. From the first point of view, libertarianism lacks credibility for its resistance to the political process, a process that has seemed necessary and beneficial to many minorities and simply axiomatic for newly arrived immigrants (recite the Pledge of Allegiance, gain your citizenship). From the second point of view, libertarianism is nothing more than an especially reckless form of conservatism favoring economic liberties over ?civil? ones, indigenous folk over immigrants, and misogyny over women?s rights (see Arnold below). In fact, a libertarian can be easily mistaken for a disgruntled, ?I?ve had it with the powers-that-be? Republican.

As many may know, Sacramento is not only infamous for being the capital of the nation?s premier socialist state (and world?s fifth largest economy), but also the home of the Republican Party?s new trophy piece of glitterati ? Arnold Schwarzenegger. There is something else that is important to my thesis: Sacramento , according to TIME magazine, is the country?s most ?integrated? city. This means we are the most ?diverse? city ethnically and racially. My alma mater ? Florin High School - can attest to this (I still have the newsletters containing a pie chart showing the racial makeup of the school). All of this poses a problem to a city full of state workers, the new urban elite, and a very diverse population hardly empathetic to what is in fact an obscure, white-ish movement.

To many of my fellow Sacramentans, libertarianism that is at least as much free market as it is free speech, still smacks of a reactionary ?government get off my back? attitude that is all too similar, at least in rhetoric, to the crap we heard at the Republican National Convention. After all, even Sean Hannity, that beacon of common-sense nationalism pitted against the placid Alan Colmes every week on Fox, is apparently unhappy with recent moves by the FCC to suppress raunchier forms of free speech. To the politically correct establishment at the heart of Sacramento ?s city government, support for Howard Stern, for instance, is not at all comparable to the A.C.L.U.?s proud history of the defense of free speech. Thus, the image problem again. Demanding free speech for all, low brow sexist or not, is still just too damn similar to the mythological Republican in the minds of many here in northern California.

There is another world, apart from the typical dichotomy of ?liberal? and ?conservative,? that too many people can?t or won?t comprehend. My public school upbringing taught me to reflexively respect figures like Cesar Chavez and Abraham Lincoln. The American Indians, it was rightfully taught, were wronged by an imperialistic, land-hungry Anglo-Saxon government; in addition to all this, I was taught that respect for the ?environment? was a loftier-than-thou virtue.

Now, what if I was to think that Cesar Chavez was responsible for making the plight of the Mexican American worse, yet by no means be anti-Mexican? What if I was to question the legitimacy of the Civil War, yet be disgusted by the idea of slavery? What if I was to find a contradiction between the rights of modern day native Americans and the environmentalist agenda? ? so well uncovered by Diana White Horse Capp, a victim of the encroachment of the federal government onto sovereign Indian territory .

On the ?progressive? west coast, you are either with the zeitgeist or against it. There has been a slew of left-wing documentaries lately, all proudly playing in the local independent movie theatre. From ?Super Size Me? to ?The Hunting of the President? (a boo-hoo fest for our former commander in chief). How many directors of the ?in-crowd? are interested in exposing the crimes of the government in Waco , Texas ? How about the plight of Virginia Walden Ford and other potential rivals to the government?s monopoly on schooling? To bring these things up is the ultimate in un-cool. It isn?t so much government power that bothers many people who deride the Bush administration as it is his archaic conservatism. Keeping your guns, teaching your children from home or placing them in a non-public school is just too rural, too white, and too crazy.

Libertarianism, as long as it is seen by most to be a fringe offshoot of the corrupt and statist Republican Party, will suffer a serious image problem. Right-libertarianism needs to show that the state has in fact been harmful more often that not in its treatment of minorities. The massive regulatory state is an awful imposition to small business owners of any color, and the destructive and ineffective public school system is failing the large majority of inner-city school children. The issues most important to the relatively young and free spirited ? like gay marriage, the job market and Social Security ? can best be tackled by showing the state?s incompetence toward every one of them. In the end, substance will overcome style, and we can share at least one dream of Karl Marx?s ? that the state will indeed wither away.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: silversoul7]
    #3153983 - 09/19/04 10:50 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Very good article.

The libertarian viewpoint is not widely understood by the general
public. When somebody tries to espouse it they are usually
viewed as a riled up, reactionary, and renegade Republican(lots of
"R" words there!).

As far as the lack of black participation in the libertarian cause
goes, I agree that it is probably non-existent. I think the
black community's effort, political ideas, and hopes have been
subverted by the extreme Left. All of the major black political
organizations are so dogmatically Left-ish that libertarianism will
probably immediately be reviled by the black community. As long
as black leaders scream "victimhood" and encourage dependency on
the state to "make things right", political movements that
encourage self-sufficiency and responsibility will be met with
suspicion and derision.

And lastly, it is weird how political viewpoints(no matter how
varied and original) are automatically lumped into "one side
or the other" by people. I have surprised people in political
conversations when I say that I am against welfare but for drug
legalisation. It's like their brain can't comprehend that a person
could step out of ideological boundaries like that.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3153997 - 09/19/04 10:54 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Ya. I have this one class called "Sociology of the Third World," which is full of socialists, and I bet most of them probably think I'm a Republican due to the fact that I stand up for capitalism, which is seen as a dirty word by most people in that class. Meanwhile, in my religion class, I seem to come off as some liberal hippy.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: silversoul7]
    #3154040 - 09/19/04 11:02 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Capitalism? Ugh.. eat some mushrooms and open your mind.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: Zahid]
    #3154047 - 09/19/04 11:03 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Advocating terrorism isn't what I'd consider to be the sign of someone who's expanded their mind.


--------------------


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: silversoul7]
    #3154153 - 09/19/04 11:24 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

I don't advocate terrorism. Why is it everyone who condones military action against the United States is labelled as someone who has sympathy for terrorists?


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Anonymous

Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: Zahid]
    #3154411 - 09/20/04 12:25 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Capitalism? Ugh.. eat some mushrooms and open your mind.

hah!

you advocate the murder of those who blaspheme your god, and it is those who advocate economic freedom who must open their minds?


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OfflineDigitalDuality
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Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: silversoul7]
    #3154502 - 09/20/04 12:45 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Very good article, as i think this relates quite well to the thread i posted earlier. Many of the things mentioned in this article are the face value problems that has made me really stand-offish from libertarianism.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3154839 - 09/20/04 02:33 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

The libertarian viewpoint is not widely understood by the general

What I tend to find most disagreeable is this american abberation of libertarianism which means little more than extreme capitalism trying to hijack ideas of "freedom" and "equality" from genuine extreme left libertarian history.

In an extreme capitalist society your freedom would extend to "Do what I say or die".


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: ]
    #3154953 - 09/20/04 03:15 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

mushmaster said:
Capitalism? Ugh.. eat some mushrooms and open your mind.

hah!

you advocate the murder of those who blaspheme your god, and it is those who advocate economic freedom who must open their minds?




I don't advocate shit. I'm just a scape goat for all you damn Muslim haters.


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Invisiblesilversoul7
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Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: Xlea321]
    #3155036 - 09/20/04 11:03 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

Alex123 said:
The libertarian viewpoint is not widely understood by the general

What I tend to find most disagreeable is this american abberation of libertarianism which means little more than extreme capitalism trying to hijack ideas of "freedom" and "equality" from genuine extreme left libertarian history.

In an extreme capitalist society your freedom would extend to "Do what I say or die".



How is letting people do whatever they want(barring the initiation of force) the same as telling them "Do what I say or die"? Freedom means being free to do as you please. Please explain how libertarianism(and by that I mean classic liberalism) goes against such an idea.


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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."--Voltaire


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InvisibleRandalFlagg
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Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: Xlea321]
    #3155056 - 09/20/04 11:13 AM (12 years, 5 months ago)


What I tend to find most disagreeable is this american abberation of
libertarianism which means little more than extreme capitalism trying
to hijack ideas of "freedom" and "equality" from genuine extreme left
libertarian history.


I believe deeply that free market economies, while causing
disparity, also bring about the best material standard of
living for the populace as a whole.

However, I do disagree with extreme libertarian's view that there
should be absolutely no regulation on economic behavior. If there
were no worker safety laws or environmental laws, bad things could and
would happen. A free market with controls instituted and regulated
by a democratic government is the most preferrable economic system in
my opinion.

But, I think in America we have become too regulated and too heavily
taxed. Things need to go a little more laissez faire for me to be
content with the economic situation here.


Edited by RandalFlagg (09/20/04 11:16 AM)


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InvisibleXlea321
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Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: RandalFlagg]
    #3155290 - 09/20/04 12:52 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

I believe deeply that free market economies

I'm not convinced. Certainly the period under Thatcher and her interpretation of "free market" meant a steady 3 million unemployed, rioting in the streets, the destruction of workers rights. The number of millionaires has exploded tho - as I guess it would if you can demolish workers rights and pay them less.


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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Anonymous

Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: Zahid]
    #3155396 - 09/20/04 01:27 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

I don't advocate shit.

are you not an advocate of shariah law?

under shariah, is not the penalty for blaspheming allah death?


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Invisibleretread
-=HasH=-
Registered: 07/14/04
Posts: 851
Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: silversoul7]
    #3155558 - 09/20/04 02:17 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Hah, asking Alex a direct question about his assinine comments and ridiculous beliefs? Better off with a Ouija board.


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InvisibleXlea321
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Posts: 9,134
Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: retread]
    #3155832 - 09/20/04 03:19 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Hah, asking Alex a direct question about his assinine comments and ridiculous beliefs? Better off with a Ouija board.

:yawn:

Will you be threatening us with "the shroomery will see what a marine and his Ouija board can do" the next time you get banned?


--------------------
Don't worry, B. Caapi


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: ]
    #3156744 - 09/20/04 06:24 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

mushmaster said:
I don't advocate shit.

are you not an advocate of shariah law?

under shariah, is not the penalty for blaspheming allah death?




People killed under Islamic Law are rightly done so. And here even former British aging hipster Cat Stevens agrees.

If you're dumb enough to mock the Holy Prophet and Allah in a Shariat state you deserve to die. The gene pool has too many imbeciles as it is.

It's kind of like luvdemshrooms' stance on protesters who stand in front of bulldozers.


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InvisibleEvolving
Resident Cynic

Registered: 10/01/02
Posts: 5,385
Loc: Apt #6, The Village
Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: Zahid]
    #3156825 - 09/20/04 06:44 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Ah, 'The Religion of Peace,' a 'loving god'... more like a crock of shit eaten up by morons. How can you follow such an obviously hateful and barbaric religion?


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To call humans 'rational beings' does injustice to the term, 'rational.'  Humans are capable of rational thought, but it is not their essence.  Humans are animals, beasts with complex brains.  Humans, more often than not, utilize their cerebrum to rationalize what their primal instincts, their preconceived notions, and their emotional desires have presented as goals - humans are rationalizing beings.


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Invisibleluvdemshrooms
Two inch dick..but it spins!?


Registered: 11/29/01
Posts: 34,011
Loc: Lost In Space
Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: Evolving]
    #3156844 - 09/20/04 06:47 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Quote:

How can you follow such an obviously hateful and barbaric religion?



Lack of character.


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You cannot legislate the poor into prosperity by legislating the wealthy out of prosperity. What one person receives without working for another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for that my dear friend is the beginning of the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it. ~ Adrian Rogers


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OfflineZahid
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Re: Right-Libertarianism's Image Problem [Re: Evolving]
    #3156846 - 09/20/04 06:48 PM (12 years, 5 months ago)

Hateful?

Sometimes I wonder why all these dumb Americans after 9-11 and an insurgency against their soldiers don't just pick up a book and read about Islam for themselves. It won't kill you.  :tongue2:


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