In response to:

False Alarm: The Libertarian Revolution Has Not Begun

Arley2 Wrote: Apr 20, 2013 1:17 PM
"My job is to somehow figure out how we can shrink the federal government back to 3 percent of economic output. After that, the theoretical libertarians can figure out the thorny issues." Even shrinking the FEDS back to 10% would be a magic..............and do magic in the economy.
Dean197 Wrote: Apr 22, 2013 12:02 PM
The reason we'll never have an officially libertarian state is that a little economic libertarianism goes such a long way that people will quickly be too satisfied with the prosperity they've gained to want much more.
Vic156 Wrote: Apr 20, 2013 6:54 PM
kgrammer Wrote: Apr 20, 2013 2:50 PM
Troglodite Wrote: Apr 20, 2013 1:43 PM
The reference to "theoretical libertarians" inadvertently points to one of the biggest issues that conservatives have with libertarians: they are all too often guided by their own theories, rather than by historical experience. And because they are so intellectually principled, they think of themselves as having rigor and integrity, while others look and see pedantry and arrogance. It is worth recalling that the authors of the American constitution, who gave us history's most successful example of a long-surviving free republic, largely ignored theory in favor of historical experience. The theorists, on the other hand, were the ones who gave mankind the French Revolution and its legacy.
Stuart95 Wrote: Apr 20, 2013 2:15 PM
It's true that libertarians are guided by their theories, though some may argue that principles is a better word than theories. But history is a collection of societies that have collapsed because their government eventually ran amok in their attempts to perfect and control their citizens.

Thus it happens that history supports libertarians' theories of limited, unintrusive government. That is not a coincidence.
Fuzzy2 Wrote: Apr 20, 2013 2:19 PM
Oh you hedonist, Stuart!

Just kidding
Troglodite Wrote: Apr 20, 2013 2:25 PM

If historical experience supports a theory, then it is not just a theory. On the other hand, I do see some examples today of what strikes me as theorizing not only not based on experience, but counter to it. For example, at least some libertarians seem led by their theories ("principles") to oppose laws against incest or to favor gay marriage. I doubt that any society has had a government whose descent into tyranny, collecxtivism, and mass murder started with opposition to incest or gay marriage. No "theory" of government can be said to stand the test of experience if it does not assign the proper value to the "bourgeois virtues" and the means of their transmission.
Stuart95 Wrote: Apr 20, 2013 3:11 PM
Everyone seems to have their horror stories about libertarians, and indeed there may be as many weirdos in the libertarian ranks as in the Democrat Party.

But behind the small-l libertarianism is a tremendous amount of serious, scholarly work. You can start with just about any famous dead economist, not counting Keynes.

For beginners I recommend Milton Friedman's "Free to Choose".
Troglodite Wrote: Apr 20, 2013 3:44 PM
All true. The "fit" between libertarianism and economics is noteworthy.

I just saw a headline that made me think that libertarian fantasies somehow had turned into reality.

As you can see, 24 IRS employees were just arrested for stealing. But what about the other 105,976 bureaucrats at the Internal Revenue Service who seize our money under the implied threat of violence?

Shouldn’t they be arrested for stealing from us as well?

IRS Employees arrested

But then my bubble burst. The story has nothing to do with the injustice of the internal revenue code and the shakedown...