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Found 5 results

  1. This will be a chat to discuss the idea of what a politcal party with people of all different backgrounds could make. Please bring your ideas forward but no shutting down ohers right's to speak.
  2. Hi, guys! First of all, I do realize how this subject is marginally related to the forums here, but nevertheless it's something that has profound political implications, as it regards economy in general –I know this sounds extremely vague, but keep reading and you'll get what I mean. As the development of a free social network for e-commerce isn't strictly linked to what this forum is about (even though it's a related issue, on a broader spectrum), I apologize if I'm crossing any lines. Still, like I've said, I think you guys will like what I'm trying to put forward. Think of it this way: what if the fundamental idea behind Wikipedia was applied to an amalgam of Amazon and Facebook, in order to create a complete free marketplace where people could sell online, to every corner of the world, without ever having to pay a single cent for it? I'm developing the first 100% free social network for e-commerce (not even a % is charged over the users' sales) and would like to hear some suggestions. Depending on the idea and the cost to implement, I might add it after the open beta phase. I'm also interested in hearing what you guys think regarding the social and economical implications of it on a larger scale, and here I'd like to mention the fact that the bottom line of the site, in legal terms, is: if the product/service being sold is legal in the vendor’s country, the customer’s country, and by international laws, then you're good to go. This alone would immensely facilitade trade for small businesses, giving them a far broader reach, considering the service I'll provide is always 100% free. The site is mostly intended to help small businesses grow (even though anyone can register and use it, it doesn't matter if you're just a single person, small or big company). It's exactly what the description says: a free social network for e-commerce, so people can advertise and sell their products or services without ever having to pay for it, while connecting with customers and vendors from all over the world, social network style. I'm perfectly aware this might look like spam, but for all the reasons mentioned above, that's not the case, as I'm actively trying to engage political groups all across the internet to get their take on this, because one of the main reasons I've started this whole thing was the intention to create a truly free market online, as free of bureaucracy as possible, which is, fundamentally, an ideological and political concept. Thanks for reading and I look forward to hear your ideas!
  3. Hello! My name is Galen Ross, a 17-year-old Libertarian. I agree with Liberals on many social issues, but I have HUGE problems with their economic ideas. I believe that: -The minimum wage is one of the worst laws we have -Taxing the rich is morally wrong -Bernie Sanders would be a TERRIBLE president -The government shouldn't pay for schools, health care, social security, or even ROADS! -Obama is a terrible president -We need LESS gun regulations -The less government we have, the better! If you are a Liberal and would like to debate me, please email me at galenross3@gmail.com. Please let me know your name, topic of debate, and Skype username (Debates are held over Skype). Also, here's a link to my Youtube channel, for those interested: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtZ8jquEcTcTDu0--sNo77Q I hope that we can discuss these important issues, soon! -Galen
  4. https://markvopat.wordpress.com/2011/03/21/libertarian-christian/ The link is for those who wish to view the full text of this article, I will post a condensed version here: After the 2008 presidential election there emerged a political movement of disgruntled conservatives and independents. Popularly referred to as the Tea Party, these semi-autonomous groups clustered around the idea of limited or small government, a literal reading of the Constitution, and a return to traditional American values. As a political movement, the Tea Party would not be particularly interesting were it not for the the apparent contradiction between what the movement advocates and the religious convictions of its members. According to a Family Research Council study, 81% of all Tea Party members surveyed self-identified as Christian, with 57% considering themselves part of the Christian conservative movement. The religious make-up of the Tea Party members would not be particularly interesting were it not for the concurrently held philosophical view of its members, namely, the libertarian leanings of the movement as a whole. The juxtaposition of Christianity and libertarianism immediately raises a number of issues, not least of which is whether these two views are philosophically or logically compatible. John Locke Libertarianism traces its roots back to John Lockes Second Treatise of Civil Government and his account of the origin of property rights. Although Locke holds that God gave the world to all in common, he still contends that private property is possible. Private property is created when an individual mixes his or her labor with things found in the state of nature. This mixing of labor and nature takes a thing out of the state of nature so that it ceases to be owned by all. According to Locke, our ability to transform things into property stems from our self-ownership coupled with the ownership of our labor. The argument runs as follows: We own ourselves (i.e., our bodies and how they are used). We own our labor as our labor extends from our body. When we mix our labor with an un-owned aspect of nature that thing ceases to be un-owned it has then become part of us. Therefore, we own the thing with which we have mixed our labor. The ability to remove things from the state of nature does not entail that an individual may acquire every un-owned thing. There are limits to the amount that one may acquire. Individuals may only acquire as much as they can make use of before it spoils. So I may acquire as much land, or as many apples from the trees as I please provided I can put these things to good use. If my acquisitions end up wasted because I cannot eat all the apples I pick or cultivate all the land I claim to be my own, then I cannot be properly said to own these things. Thus, the rule of property acquisition has the following stipulation attached to it, that every man should have as much as he could make use of, would hold still in the world, without straitening [to bring into difficulty or distress] any body. To be a libertarian is to embrace a set of fundamental principles or ideas. Each of these principles is a necessary component of libertarianism, that is, removing any one of them would fundamentally change our understanding of what it means to be a libertarian. To be a libertarian requires that one endorse the following: 1. Individuals are self-owners, that is, no one has any claim on ones person or the fruits of ones labor. 2. Individuals are sovereign, self-governing beings. 3. Individuals have no natural positive duties to others. 4. All transfers of legitimately created or obtained property must be voluntary (unless the transfer is to rectify a previously unjust transfer). Given these fundamental commitments of libertarianism, can one hold these principles while simultaneously claiming to be a Christian? Before answering this question, I will explore the Christian conceptions of property, obligations to others, and obligations to the state. View of Property Although the New Testament does not contain the rigorous law-like statements about property, it is clear that Jesus and his followers were heavily influenced by the spirit of the Old Testament teachings. For example, in Matthew it is clear that Jesus followers should not spend there time focussing on the acquisition of property: "Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." This idea that we should not be overly concerned with material possessions translated into a communal conception of property. In the early church, there was a general attitude that ones property was best viewed as a way of helping the community, rather than as a means of self-enrichment. As Luke states in Acts: "All believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of his possessions were his own, but they shared everything they had. For from time to time those who owned houses or lands sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles feet, and it was distributed to anyone as he had need." Obligations to The State While there is much in the scriptures to indicate that Jesus was critical of the governing authorities, both he and the later teachings of his disciples do not reject all obligations to the state. There is for example the response Jesus gives to the Pharisees question regarding the paying of taxes: "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not? But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax. And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, Whose head is this, and whose title? They answered, The emperors. Then he said to them, Give therefore to caesar the things that are caesar's, and to God the things that are Gods." Here then is an example of Jesus explicitly recognizing that there are things caesar is entitled indicates that taxes, in and of themselves, are not contrary to following the message of Christ. Rather, it seems that Christians do have an obligation to the state, and that it is religiously based. Obligations to Others While the ideas regarding property suggest obligations to others, there are numerous examples of statements that directly instruct Jesus followers to help others. For instance, Jesus tells the young rich man that asks him what he must do to have eternal life: "Jesus said to him, If you with to be perfect, go, sell your possessions , and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasures in heaven; then come, follow me. When the young man heard this word, he went away grieving, for he had many possessions." Naturally, we can view this individual instance as one in which Jesus was making a broader point about valuing ones property over the needs of others. But, the fact that he chose to instruct the young man to give his all money to the poor indicates the premium Jesus placed on helping those in need. There are additional passages that instruct those with the means to give to others, and always it seems, without conditions. While we can infer from other passages that individuals should not waste what they are given (including their talents) it is also that case that Jesus followers were expected to be extremely generous to those in need as when he instructs them to Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you. It appears obvious that there is a conflict between the libertarian and Christian views. The question is whether the libertarian can defend their view in light of what appear to be Christian obligations. One possible way of dealing with the apparent conflict is to distinguish between two interpretations of libertarianism. The first interpretation holds that libertarianism is a moral commitment with a strong conception of self-ownership, coupled with a lack of positive obligations to others. The second view holds that libertarianism is a political commitment which holds that there are no state-enforceable obligations to others. Moral Libertarianism The moral libertarian holds that we have no positive duties to others. Self-owning individuals have a right to his or her body and the things that derive from its use. This self-ownership also implies the ownership of ones labor, which entails that the product of our labor is also ours. Forcing the moral libertarian to give her goods to others is a violation of her fundamental rights. As such, the state is not justified in redistributing her legitimately acquired property to others. This moral libertarianism is clearly at odds with Christian obligations. While some argument may be given that supporting the state only entails supporting a minimalist state, it is clearly the case that we have Christian obligations to aid others. And while private property is not forbidden by Christian teachings, it is not something that should be the focus of ones life. Property is a means to an end, something that when necessary, should be sacrificed for the good of others. In order to embrace a moral form of libertarianism, one would have to reject Christianitys positive obligations to others. Political Libertarianism While the moral libertarian is forced to choose between her Christian beliefs and her libertarian principles, the political libertarian attempts to circumvent the problem of obligations to others. Rather than viewing libertarianism as a comprehensive moral doctrine, he views it as a theory of enforceable political obligations. Although one may or may not (the political libertarian is somewhat silent on this point) have obligations to others, there are no enforceable political obligations to others. The state is not justified in redistributing legitimately acquired resources from one individual to help others. As a Christian, I may have obligations to help others, but it doesnt follow from my having an obligation to help others that the state is justified in forcing me to help others. The political libertarian position is a strong one, and appears to reconcile Christianity with libertarianism. It allows that an individual may have obligations to others, while also arguing that the government is not justified in enforcing those obligations. Although this approach appears promising, it fails is two important respects. First, it assumes an ontology of the state in which individuals are not constitutive members. Secondly, it implies a strange conception of Christian obligation, one that I suspect very few Christians would endorse. Ontology of the State The idea that the state is not justified in enforcing obligations to others presupposes that the state is an entity separate from the individuals that comprise it. This conception of the state may carry some conceptual weight in non-democratic societies where individuals have little or no say in how the state is constituted. But, in democratic societies, this division is at best tenuous. As a member of a democratic society, the nature of the state is in part determined by each individuals actions. Who I vote for (or dont vote for), which ballot issues I endorse and which representatives I elect based upon his or her platform, determines the characteristics of the state. I am not the passive recipient of government commands, but an active participant in the creation of those commands or laws. As such, I cannot fully divorce what I believe to be the morally correct course of action from the actions of the state. As Gabriel Palmer-Fernandez writes: "Government policies in a democracy are joint ventures. They are never the result of any one individual, but of many acting in concert for a common purpose. In such ventures, individuals play a necessary role by endorsing, contributing, or participating in them. By playing a necessary role in any one of those ways, each individual shares responsibility for the venture." If we cannot separate our individual actions from those of the state, then it would seem that the libertarian-Christian would be forced to take an oddand morally problematicstance on the issue of state enforcement of obligations to others. Take for example the health care debate. The libertarian would clearly take the stance that health care or health insurance is something that individuals should be free to purchase or not purchase, that is, the market should regulate its distribution. But, the libertarian-Christian would be faced with a more complex decision. On the one hand, given that they are under an obligation to help those who are sick, they may reason that they should give money to a clinic (or perhaps to someone directly) but that the state should not redistribute their wealth. On the other hand, if the obligation is to truly help, and not just attempt to help, then the libertarian-Christian would also have to recognize that individual giving has not solved the problem of the uninsured and underinsured. If collective action is the only way to help those in need, and the libertarian-Christian still wants to maintain that the state cant compel them to give, then they would have to embrace a position akin to I know that my support of this distribution will help millions of people, and I further recognize that I am obligated to help those in need, but I will not help those in need because the state of which I am a constitutive member is not justified in enforcing that obligation. The strangeness of this statement stems from the conflict between what Christianity demands and the view of non-enforceable duties. The libertarian-Christian wants to say that the state should not compel me or others to help, but that people should help. In the absence of enough people contributing to a solution, the libertarian-Christian must take the position that it is unfortunate that people are suffering, and that I could support state intervention that may alleviate much of that suffering, but I cant because it would be wrong to enforce the alleviating of suffering. In a conflict between libertarian political theory and Christian obligations, the libertarian-Christian would be forced to give a lexical priority to his or her political theory over that of his or her religious convictions. Christian Obligations A second response to the libertarian-Christian hinges on the odd conception of duty that one would have to endorse to hold both views. Throughout the presentation of Christian duty the word obligation, should, or must is absent. In Getzs presentation of Christian property, he is quick to emphasize the voluntary nature of Jesus teachings. While he acknowledges that the acts mentioned are encouraged, he also points out that Jesus disciples taught that one should want to help others. This notion of voluntariness resonates with the libertarian approach. If obligations to others are to be taken on voluntarily, then perhaps Christianity is not at odds with a political libertarianism. There are a couple of ways of interpreting the concept of voluntariness that the libertarian is invoking, only one of which is also compatible with what I take to be voluntariness in a Christian sense. To say that an act is voluntary may mean that the act was not coerced. In other words, when I performed the act I was free to do otherwise. If someone approaches me on the street and asks for money, I am free to either help them or not help them. On a Kantian view, I may have some duty to help those in need, but such an imperfect duty may be fulfilled by giving money to a homeless shelter. I have not done anything morally wrong if I choose to deny the individual some money. But, the same cannot be said of a Christians duty to help others. A Christian idea of a duty to others is not an imperfect, but a perfect duty. To say that one has a Christian duty to others does not mean one is morally free to choose to help or not help. I cannot say on the one hand that I have a duty to give to everyone that begs from you; and if anyone takes away your goods, do not ask for them again and still hold that I am morally free not to help them, that is, that I am free to ignore the obligation to aid others. While I may in a strict sense be free not to help, that is, I am not physically barred from walking away from one in need, I cannot claim that I am morally free to do so. It seems clear that libertarianism and Christianity are fundamentally at odds with one another. To be a libertarian requires that the Christian to either deny any positive duties to others, or embrace a political perspective that allows suffering in order to maintain a dubious notion of Christian voluntariness. While there may be situations in which Christian duty and libertarian political theory are compatible, it seems clear that there are also cases where the suffering of others can only be addressed by coordinated social action. In such instances, one can either be a Christian or a libertarian, but not both.
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