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Thread: Libertarianism and the balance between individual rights and anti-interventionism

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    Hall of Famer B-Fly's Avatar
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    Libertarianism and the balance between individual rights and anti-interventionism

    I wanted to explore some ideas from the recent discussion in the Trump thread but it doesn't belong in a Trump thread so here's a new one.

    Libertarian principles strongly promote individual/civil/human rights, including the right to be free from government coercion, the right to free expression, to privacy, to sexual freedom, to abortion, freedom from the death penalty, etc.

    But then when it comes to international affairs, it's basically: "We condemn the governments and non-governmental political groups (e.g., ISIS) that are oppressing y'all. We feel your pain. But we're strongly committed to doing absolutely nothing about it."

    3.3 International Affairs

    American foreign policy should seek an America at peace with the world. Our foreign policy should emphasize defense against attack from abroad and enhance the likelihood of peace by avoiding foreign entanglements. We would end the current U.S. government policy of foreign intervention, including military and economic aid. We recognize the right of all people to resist tyranny and defend themselves and their rights. We condemn the use of force, and especially the use of terrorism, against the innocent, regardless of whether such acts are committed by governments or by political or revolutionary groups.
    https://www.lp.org/platform/

    So that's where I struggle a lot. How can one morally embrace the core principles of libertarianism and simultaneously commit to isolationism even in the face of genocide or other instances of rampant and draconian abuses of human/individual rights around the world. Is Libertarianism really so beholden to national borders when it's core principals are so anti-statist?

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    All Star DMT's Avatar
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    Humanitarian interventionism is the liberal equivalent of neo-conservatism. But replace "spreading democracy" with "preventing suffering".
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    Big Leaguer The Feral Slasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B-Fly View Post

    So that's where I struggle a lot. How can one morally embrace the core principles of libertarianism and simultaneously commit to isolationism even in the face of genocide or other instances of rampant and draconian abuses of human/individual rights around the world. Is Libertarianism really so beholden to national borders when it's core principals are so anti-statist?
    I think your criticism of isolationism would carry a lot more weight with me if our interventions weren't all incredible failures in nearly every regard. Are Libya and Syria better off because of our involvement ? Do you have any examples of successes ?

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    All Star DMT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Feral Slasher View Post
    I think your criticism of isolationism would carry a lot more weight with me if our interventions weren't all incredible failures in nearly every regard. Are Libya and Syria better off because of our involvement ? Do you have any examples of successes ?
    Don't forget Iraq and most of Central America. Oh, and the former Yugoslavia. Oh, and Vietnam. I'm probably forgetting a few.
    If DMT didn't exist we would have to invent it. There has to be a weirdest thing. Once we have the concept weird, there has to be a weirdest thing. And DMT is simply it.
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  5. #5
    Here is the question - why is it so much easier to send resources overseas to take care of problems that we cant see, rather than using those resources to clean up the messes in our own backyard? Homeless vets, starving children, drug addicted parents.... all in our neighborhoods - and we keep spending millions helping various 3rd world countries.

    Its a similar conversation regarding the difference between "foreign" missions vs "home" missions. "Foreign" missions is such a more "glamorous" thing because you are helping the poor indigent children in a poor 3rd world country.... "Home" missions just isnt glamorous at all - your just dealing with the lazy, the weak, the poor yadda yadda yadda.

    Our country and its strength, wealth, defense and health - whether this makes me an ass or not - are much more important to me than what is happening in a random 3rd world country. Why? Because what happens to the people in this country more directly affects my life.

    So while some may say - Libertarians dont want to do anything about the issues abroad - I say that we would prefer to ensure that our own backyard and all of the people in it are living lives where they are able to sleep in a bed, eat 3 meals, and live lives that are productive and meaningful to our society and lastly safely protected by our government.

    I also agree that we should not be "spreading freedom" at the point of a gun. Freedom is a funny thing - when you have it you tend to take it for granted. It is not something that can be "given" to other countries. It is something that countries need to gain for themselves. We have tried to install "freedom" and "democracy" in other countries - and has been pointed out, not with much success.
    It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years and we must stop it.
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    All Star DMT's Avatar
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    That's an interesting take on libertarianism because they're for lower taxes and less social programs. Compassionate libertarianism is an oxymoron.
    If DMT didn't exist we would have to invent it. There has to be a weirdest thing. Once we have the concept weird, there has to be a weirdest thing. And DMT is simply it.
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  7. #7
    I dont believe in lots of social programs. I do believe that we "the community" should be taking care of those less fortunate from our own abilities - not the governments. So we should lower taxes and let people use their money how they best see it spent or used.
    It is wrong and ultimately self-defeating for a nation of immigrants to permit the kind of abuse of our immigration laws we have seen in recent years and we must stop it.
    Bill Clinton 1995, State of the Union Address


    "When they go low - we go High" great motto - too bad it was a sack of bullshit. DNC election mantra

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    All Star DMT's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by baldgriff View Post
    I dont believe in lots of social programs. I do believe that we "the community" should be taking care of those less fortunate from our own abilities - not the governments. So we should lower taxes and let people use their money how they best see it spent or used.
    We're the richest country in the world yet 40 million Americans, including 12 million children are "food insecure,* meaning they are often forced to skip meals, eat less at meals, buy cheap non-nutritious food and/or feed their children but not themselves." Yea sounds like our community is taking care of their own. If you think that number would decrease by cutting social programs, then you're just delusional.

    https://whyhunger.org/just-the-facts/
    If DMT didn't exist we would have to invent it. There has to be a weirdest thing. Once we have the concept weird, there has to be a weirdest thing. And DMT is simply it.
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    Big Leaguer TranaGreg's Avatar
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    But what happens to those people when the community doesn't take care of those who need help???

    We have a women's drop-in shelter close to us. We've donated a fair bit of stuff to them over the years. Every time I walk by or go in to donate, I encounter volunteers - my observation is that they tend to be the bleeding heart liberal types ... I don't see a lot of libertarians or right-wingers there. They're always overflowing - there is simply way more need than resources to help.
    The price good men pay for indifference to public affairs, is to be ruled by evil men. - Plato
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  10. #10
    Big Leaguer The Feral Slasher's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Feral Slasher View Post
    I think your criticism of isolationism would carry a lot more weight with me if our interventions weren't all incredible failures in nearly every regard. Are Libya and Syria better off because of our involvement ? Do you have any examples of successes ?
    if you are around, I'd enjoy hearing a response

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