Re: the L-word again
Mon, 23 Nov 1998 11:20:50 -0700

"Eliezer S. Yudkowsky" <> writes:

> What's my point? In my opinion, the majority of libertarians whose
writing on
> the subject I have read have also lost their objectivity, to the point of
> being unable to perceive that libertarianism has flaws. It's not good
>to be the best system; they insist the system is perfect. They have
become a
> political cause, rather than a rational choice. One cannot have both.

I haven't read or talked to _anyone_ who thinks that libertarianism is "perfect" - and my readings on the subject are wide and copious. This is an unsupported straw man. Nor do most consider it a "system" (see below).

> I still think much less government would produce better results by almost
> moral standard. But I no longer believe in libertarianism.

I don't "believe in" libertarianism either - as if it were a religion or some monolithic body of doctrine, or a specifiable "system". Libertarianism is nothing more or less than an across-the-board commitment to individual freedom, generally summed up as a desire to prohibit physical coercion. Ideologies abound, but ideology isn't the essence; libertarians differ (sometimes bitterly) on just about everything except the fundamental commitment to liberty. It's a movement, not an ideology.

What moved me to engage the original poster a bit impatiently was my weariness of the ignorant stereotypes parroted by those who rely on the mass media for their "information", and obviously don't know any libertarians personally: lack of compassion, insensitivity, money-grubbing, hardheartedness, ad nauseum. How about making an honest attempt to learn how libertarians actually think and feel?