Saturday, December 28, 2013

Edwin Lyngar — Why I fled libertarianism — and became a liberal

I was a Ron Paul delegate back in 2008 -- now I'm a Democrat. Here's my personal tale of disgust and self-discovery….
Libertarianism is unnatural, and the size of the federal government is almost irrelevant. The real question is: what does society need and how do we pay for it?
Why I fled libertarianism — and became a liberal
Edwin Lyngar
(h/t Charles Hayden on FB)

I sent him a tweet:

Nice Salon post. How to pay for it? See Warren Mosler 7 Deadly Innocent Frauds.


Anonymous said...

That question, "What does society need?" is the one most libertarians don't ask and don't care about. For them, society is just what happens as individuals pursue individual needs. Given that the author even asked the question, it's not surprising that he drifted away from libertarianism.

Unknown said...

Libertarians ask the question of what society needs all the time. It's essentially the basis for the philosophy.

Furthermore, even with government restrictions, when does an individual not act in his own self-interest?

Ryan Harris said...

The middle and upper classes in any society always take care of themselves. They always have safe, prosperous places to live away from the riff-raff of poor or libetarians or anyone not normal, they always keep themselves and their families safe, employed, fed. Go to the failed cities like Chicago or Detroit and the suburbs! Oh the suburbs are beautiful. The shopping centers gleam, the police are strong, the streets are clean. In the political landscape the Democrats always try to marginalize those who are perceived as a threat to their way of life they are the smart suburbs that exclude that ugly part.

It is easy to dismiss the libertarians as crazy people off hand. The disaffected may not be articulate and follow social norms but usually they've become obsessed with one or two problems and have gone a bit overboard but often have their core issue correct. Stuff the government does, like the NSA, or the outright corruption of various regulatory and review processes are so completely over the top crazy, that main stream parties a few years ago called people that complained crazy. The crazies were proved correct. Dems would do well to listen. If Dems had paid attention and pushed back against corruption, mafia and heavy handed tactics in unions which libs had complained about, Unions would not have fallen out of favor with the workers they represented.
To me, the libertarians keep dems from indulging in their worst traits of corruption, self serving rhetoric and heavy handed government that abuses power to fill their own pockets.

I don't buy into this dichotomy, where democrats try to draw the line. That you can either be a good democrat or you can be a libertarian but not both. You can't support limited government powers, respect for certain freedoms and have a powerful government. Government is the only thing that can protect the individual and her liberties and most often the government is the one that tramples liberties. Remaining vigilant either direction is the primary challenge facing libertarians and democrats and like it or not, that is the common struggle that the two share. It should be a nice game of tug-of-war.