The Pardu

The Pardu
Watchful eyes and ears feed the brain, thus nourishing the brain cells.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Libertarianism...Be Careful A Launch Point For Plutocracy

I from time to time, hear people (always a white male) self-identify as " libertarian."  They use the word and ideology with a great deal of affinity while expressing disdain and contempt for the GOP.  Some  even express they are not conservative.

Of course, you and I both know libertarians are as far from the original construct. I believe I took a liberty there that my friends who claim libertarianism might find not to their liking: the original construct. While, early theorist may have coined the phrase around an ideology with a core nucleus of freedom to do as one wishes, modern day libertarianism is nothing more than a metastasized conservative movement with denizens who are predominantly younger white males. 

The movement has also attracted segments of the population that are far from tolerant of others, and segments who have taken individual freedom to the level of elitist individualism. Moreover, the movement has two uber wealthy plutocrats (Charles and David Koch) who have openly espoused selfish-degraded levels of anti-federal government views, while advancing state's rights as a core principle.  

Is there any wonder Clive Bundy, the Nevada farmer, has been reported to have received support from the Koch's Americans for Prosperity? Chris Hayes, MSNBC ALL In and Eric Boehlert, Media Matters, discuss the classic example of libertarian state's rights. It is truly unfortunate the movement also attracts an element of white supremacy and white nationalists. Let's be honest, Ron Paul, noted celebrity Libertarian,  not only placed his name on his 1990's (racist) newsletters, he has been captured in close cohort with the Ku Klux Klan, and other supremacist groups. In that context, the following definition of Libertarian does not seem to apply to all Americans.

What is Libertarian?

The libertarian or "classical liberal" perspective is that individual well-being, prosperity, and social harmony are fostered by "as much liberty as possible" and "as little government as necessary."

These ideas lead to new questions: What's possible? What's necessary? What are the practical implications and the unsolved problems?

Below are a number of different takes on the libertarian political perspective from which you can deepen your understanding; also be sure to check out the videos in the sidebar.

According to The Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Open Court Publishing Company, 1973.
The central idea of libertarianism is that people should be permitted to run their own lives as they wish. 
According to Libertarianism: A Primer by David Boaz, Free Press, 1997. 
Libertarianism is the view that each person has the right to live his life in any way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others. Libertarians defend each person's right to life, liberty, and property-rights that people have naturally, before governments are created. In the libertarian view, all human relationships should be voluntary; the only actions that should be forbidden by law are those that involve the initiation of force against those who have not themselves used force-actions like murder, rape, robbery, kidnapping, and fraud.
According to Funk and Wagnall's Dictionary
lib-er-tar-i-an, n. 1. a person who advocates liberty, esp. with regard to thought or conduct.... advocating liberty or conforming to principles of liberty.
According to American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition, 2000.
NOUN: 1. One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.
The Challenge of Democracy (6th edition), by Kenneth Janda, Jeffrey Berry, and Jerry Goldman
Liberals favor government action to promote equality, whereas conservatives favor government action to promote order. Libertarians favor freedom and oppose government action to promote either equality or order.

I have referred to the following study in the past. I will re-post key components of the study and link the full report (via pdf and via Scribed) for you perusal. The Public Religions Research Institute shows the movement is outside the realm of a main-stream society and has not developed with inclusivity for all as a underlying reality. 

Public Religions Research Institute The 2013 American Values Survey: In Search of Libertarianism in America 

Libertarians By the Numbers: A Demographic, Religious and Political Profile

By:  | 
110613.Libertarians1 320x207 Libertarians By the Numbers: A Demographic, Religious and Political Profile
Larger Version

The recently released American Values Survey found that consistent libertarians make up seven percent of the American public, while an additional 15 percent have libertarian leanings. The Graphic of the Week explores the unique profile of this increasingly important political constituency. 
Compared to Americans overall, libertarians are composed of a much larger portion of men than women. More than two-thirds (68 percent) of libertarians are men, while 32 percent are women. They are also racially homogeneous, with nearly all (94 percent) libertarians identifying as non-Hispanic whites. They also skew significantly younger. More than 6-in-10 (62 percent) libertarians are under the age of 50, including one-quarter (25 percent) who are under the age of 30. 
Libertarians have a distinct religious profile as well. A majority of libertarians identify as white mainline Protestants (27 percent) or religiously unaffiliated (27 percent). Roughly one-quarter (23 percent) of libertarians identify as white evangelical Protestant, while only about 1-in-10 (11 percent) identify as Catholic.
Although libertarian political beliefs—supportive of marijuana legalization while opposed to minimum wage hikes—make them somewhat unique, their political behavior closely resembles that of other conservative constituencies. In the 2012 presidential election, fully 8-in-10 (80 percent) libertarian voters say they supported Mitt Romney, while only 5 percent say they supported Barack Obama. Notably, however, 14 percent of libertarian voters report that they supported a third-party candidate. Close to half (45 percent) of libertarians identify as Republican, compared to only five percent who identify as Democrat.
Taken together, the demographic, religious and political characteristics make libertarians unique in American politics today. To learn more about this constituency and for other findings from the 2013 American Values Survey: In Search of Libertarians in America, please check out the full report (pdf.).
Or you can view the report via Scrid (below)

Report graphic highlights

Awesome Screenshot Capture and Annotate report pages. We will comment below in compliance with Public Religions Research Institute guidelines and policy.

Read More after the break below

Report via Scribd

I posit there is little to no difference in modern-day libertarianism and Far-right conservatism. In fact, as the ideology exist today, I find libertarianism shares GOP demographics and in many cases espouses ideology further Right then the GOP.  If you read the 1980 libertarian party platform (from which David Koch ran as a VP candidate), you will quickly see the GOP of today ...follows the money.

As to the graphics above, on second thought, I will not comment farther. 

When a political movement exist almost exclusively with one racial demographic, it attracts elements of society that can and will take society to its lowest denominator.

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