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Author Topic: How Libertarian are you?
flydye45
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Libertarianism seems in the air on the posts.

Here's a list of libertarian ideas. Which ones do you hold? Rate them one to ten (with ten being the most restrictive) I will also post my ideas. Please note that this also includes a hands off approach to "rescuing" the actors from their behaviours.

No Sexual regulation 4 (mostly teens and clubs out of sight)
No regulation of drug use 5
No regulation of driving and entertainment behaviour (parachuting off bridges, bull fighting). 6
No gun control laws. 3-4
No behaviour laws in general (i.e. public nudity, screaming in people's faces, mimes in parks) 2

What am I missing? Perhaps it would be better to pick one and go on at length if you prefer.

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Zyne
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What do driving and parachuting off bridges have to do with each other? Or driving and bull fighting?
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Zyne
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I'll go ahead and bite on the rest:

Sex regulation: 1
Drug use: 3
Gun control: 2
Public behavior: 1

Plus the standard caveat: I am addressing the things that fall into these categories that do not, per se, cause harm to another person or their property. So I am not, for example, addressing the "what if" of being so rude to a Bushie that I "make" them hit me, or the "what if" of him having sex with her while HIV positive without telling her and without protection, etc. The drug use and gun control scores aren't 1 for me because there is capacity in both to do great harm through ordinary negligence, and drug use gets an additional point because of the sometimes altered state use produces, making rational choices harder in some circumstances. Also, I separate drug use from drug addiction, so treating addiction without criminalizing use are consistent positions.

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DonaldD
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What about commercial/economic issues?
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WarrsawPact
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I don't know what exactly I could put into this post that I haven't put into others, and a ratings system like that seems dangerous to me. A bit oversimplified.

Determinism/Might makes right, TANSTAAFL, YRTSYFEAMN.
In that order.

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flydye45
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Excuse me Zyne. I should define drivng. Operating a vehicle without the standard safety equipment (seat belts, helmets etc). Some nanny staters think it immoral to drive this way. I could care less, but with the caveat that they should be stupid on their own dime.

Warsaw, I agree. For example, when it comes to consenting adults, I am close to a one (with the caveat that it isn't in a park at noon). When it comes to children, I am closer to an 8 or 9. But it's the starting point of a conversation.

For example, I never would have guessed Zyne would be so free with gun laws.

I originally put in economic issue as well, but I thougt a) they weren't as "juicy" a topic, and b) I really didn't know enough about the issue to be fair to it.

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FIJC
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You forget to acknowledge the Libertarian's economic philosophy (Ludwig von Mises, Milton Friedman, etc.), which is crucial.
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Dave at Work
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quote:
I originally put in economic issue as well, but I thougt a) they weren't as "juicy" a topic, and b) I really didn't know enough about the issue to be fair to it.
Perhaps, but remember that libertarian philosophy is based on economics. All the Libertarian party's other positions supposedly follow from those economic underpinnings. I am still reading up on it and couldn't do the arguments justice, so I won't try to argue the points right now. Suffice it to say that when discussing the merits of libertarians you should spend some time learning about the central theme of their philosophy and not brushing it off because it isn't "juciy enough".
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flydye45
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I suppose I am instead focusing on the economic aspects of "personal morality". Instead of talking about the criminality of the tax code or such loopy ideas of the wholesale sell off of federal land to finance the government, teen pregnancy and it's economic effects was more debatable. I started the thread, I get to make the intial comment.

If you would like to discuss or display the Libertarian Economic Agenda, I would be happy to hear it. Or are you just here to snipe?

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Dave at Work
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I'm not trying to snipe. I didn't intend to give that impression either. I have been reading up on Classic Liberalism on my off time at work and this has included a few forays into libertarianism. All of my research links are on my computer at work and I am currently on vacation. I will be happy to dig them up and send them to you when I get back after New Years. My point however, is that from what I have read of libertarianism, just about all of their beliefs rely on arguments of free market economics. Note that their strongest belief is in personal liberty, though from what I have read of this they derive it from free market economics. Note also that there is a difference between libertarians and Libertarians in that libertarian refers to those who believe in a libertarian philosophy while Libertarian referes to members of the Libertarian party which claims to hold to libertarian values.
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Zyne
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But how is driving a car similar to bull fighting or parachuting off a bridge? I suppose if you're a fire jumper the parachuting might have utility, but ... bull fighting?

Sadly, driving in public is one I would score a 4 or perhaps higher--higher than drug use and much higher than guns. There is great potential for harm with a car; it's a massive, fast-moving killing machine. And I don't care a bit about who pays for what or who gets what for free for what meal or what the invisible hand is doing (tho I suspect it's giving us all the bird). I care whether the roads are clear and I can get where I want to go in a timely fashion. So I'm all for funding the scraping up of the bodies that have become highway road kill.

flydye, whose children? Are you saying that government should restrict and, relatively speaking, heavily regulate what you can and can't do with regard to your own children? Or are you talking about what you can and can't do wrt: strangers' children, without their parents' (or even parent's) consent?

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JLMyers
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Sex regulation Adults: 1

Sex regulation Adults with regard to children not their own: 10

Sex regulation, with regard to what I teach my own children: 1
(but I support sex ed in school)

Drug use: 2
(treatment and education)

Gun control: 5
(no atuomatic weapons, child locks, and safety features mandatory)

Public behavior: 1

Driving: 5

Risky behavior (that hurts nobody else): 1

KE

[ December 28, 2004, 11:11 PM: Message edited by: JLMyers ]

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flydye45
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Zyne, the issue is how much control should the government have over personal decisions. Bullfighting or driving without a seat belt are both choices one makes in life. Both are dangerous. While driving has a lower risk, you do it more often, so the issue stays the same. It is the same with any activity.

Or to put it another way, think of seat belt and helmet laws as property right issues. You pay for the car, you should use it as you see fit provided you don't damage other people's property. Yet some advocate forbidding smokers from being able to smoke in their own homes (because of the children...)

Which leads to the kids. Child protection laws are needed to guard them against predators and extremely negligent parents. So laws protecting sixteen year old girls and boys are necessary. And by the same token, "decency" laws are also important. Should two people in the middle of Balboa Park be able to "get it on" next to a family picniking? I say no. This may be "free expression" but you are also wantonly interfering in other peoples right to raise their kids and even grossing other people out. Which is where I draw the line as far as indecency.

Does that explain the "bullfigting vs. driving" issue?

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TomDavidson
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quote:

This may be "free expression" but you are also wantonly interfering in other peoples right to raise their kids and even grossing other people out.

Who gets to decide how kids should be raised, what they should be exposed to, and what qualifies as "gross?"
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Storm Saxon
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quote:

My point however, is that from what I have read of libertarianism, just about all of their beliefs rely on arguments of free market economics.

Also, I think their beliefs rely pretty heavily on the idea that private property is, you know, private.
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Danzig
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No sexual regulation between those able to give consent*: 1
No regulation of drug use: 2 (antibiotics should be regulated)
No regulation of driving: 5 Yes, driving impaired is bad. It is never going to go away, and taking steps to minimize its effects that are realistic rather than feel-good should be a goal, especially if taxation is not voluntary.
No gun control laws: 1 There is a fundamental right to self-defense.
Public behavior: 1 Tell your children that the man drinking the beer on the street will go to hell, but he paid for the beer with his own money.

*Voluntary intoxication does not negate consent. I am still up in the air about involuntary intoxication, and I think the answer depends on how much prior experience the victim has.

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FiredrakeRAGE
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Danzig -

I assume I'm misreading your 'involuntary intoxication' subscript. Involuntary intoxication as in date-rape drug & etc.?

--Firedrake

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Danzig
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Probably not... unless you are physically unable to resist, I still say you keep some level of control. You might not be able to tell exactly what you are on, but you are always able to tell you are altered, and take appropriate actions.
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stroll
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I regard spiking someone as criminal, and every action taken towards the involuntarily intoxicated person after that, whether they reportedly consent or not. Consider that most people are not used to the effects of Rohypnol et al, and wouldn't know how to react to the onsetting effects.
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LoverOfJoy
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Involuntary and consent just don't go together.
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Danzig
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Well obviously they did not consent to the drug... but altered state of mind or not, you consent to intercourse. Spiking is wrong, that has nothing to do with consenting to sexual intercourse.

Not that anyone who spikes another's drink is not pond scum, of course. Unless it is my drink; I like free drugs.

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TomDavidson
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I would argue, Danzig, that our legal system already takes mental and physical impairment into consideration when determining whether "consent" is possible.

By your logic, a woman in a coma "consents" to intercourse with an orderly; her "consent," after all, is predicated on the fact that her condition, which she did not choose, prevents her from objecting to the act.

When someone deliberately impairs themselves and then commits an outrageous or criminal act, we hold them responsible for not only the impairment but the actions they took while impaired. However, when someone becomes impaired through no decision of their own, we generally do not assume that they were capable of consenting to actions and/or engaging in voluntary behavior; this is reflected in many elements of sentencing and legal presumption of guilt.

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Zyne
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If someone spikes my drink with alcohol to the point I am too messed up to drive legally, and I drive, I think I'm still accountable for violating the law.

I agree that involuntary intoxication does not nesc. make one unable to consent.

flydye--I don't think driving is something that can ordinarily be avoided today. Bullfighting can.

What is "getting it on," anyway? If I'm kissing a partner in the park, and a family sets up shop near me, would I have to stop "getting it on"

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Danzig
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Tom, how could someone in a coma say yes? For me, consent takes more than not refusing, it takes active acceptance. Now depending on the drug used, one might not be able to remember saying yes, but they are quite capable of saying it, and meaning it at the time.

I do not accept the laws of America or any other country as valids methods of determining the morality of an action.

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JLMyers
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quote:
but altered state of mind or not, you consent to intercourse.
Bull****! It's a medical fact that alcohol and other drugs lower inhibitions and impair judgement. Someone drugged and then raped is not at fault at all. And the scum that do this should be thrown in jail for life.

KE

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Danzig
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Bull**** yourself. It is a medical fact that all the altered judgement in the world does not displace certain core priorities. If you decide you will not voluntarily sleep with someone you just met, then you will not. If you are able to utter no, it is not rape. You are able to tell when you are no longer sober, even if you are not certain what chemical is responsible for it.
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FiredrakeRAGE
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Tom Davidson - There are two people, person A and person B. Person A is drunk, Person B is sober. If person B has sex with person A, and person B realizes the intoxicated state of person A, person B can be charged with rape.

Danzig -

It is a medical fact? Link? As for the 'altered judgment', if a person is drugged without their consent, their rights have already been infringed upon. In my opinion (and that of the State), if a person is intoxicated against their will and then another person has sex with them, it is rape.

--Firedrake

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flydye45
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quote:
flydye--I don't think driving is something that can ordinarily be avoided today. Bullfighting can.

What is "getting it on," anyway? If I'm kissing a partner in the park, and a family sets up shop near me, would I have to stop "getting it on"

SEATBELTS ZYNE! SEATBELTS! DO YOU DRIVE WITHOUT SEATBELTS! This is my third (probably futile) attempt to explain this concept.

I will repeat myself again. Driving without a seatbelt is semi criminalized now, and more so as NannyStaters work to criminalize anything that smacks of extra risk (which, of course, includes bullfighting).

Driving may be something one cannot avoid. Driving without a seatbelt CAN be avoided.

Is this something the government should be involved in? This is a libertarian idea both based on personal liberty and property rights (which is mostly the same thing).

So, to reiterate, driving without "proper restraints and safety equipment" is frowned upon by insurance companies and their subsidiary the government, and even semi-criminalized. This is similar to many other forms of entertainment which have an inherent personal risk. Does the libertarian aspects of your personal philosophy feel that this is something the government should be involved in, or is it an intrusive assault upon the personal right of everyone to be as stupid as they want to be (known as the pursuit of happiness).

Did anyone else have severe problems making this connection?


Tom,

quote:
Who gets to decide how kids should be raised, what they should be exposed to, and what qualifies as "gross?"
Simple, unless you want your children raised in government creches, with federal regulations on standards and policys of children (the raising of to post-adolescence Vol. 1-53), you depend on the parents. And I don't think there is much difficulty in finding a rational consensus, particularly with the concept of "neighborhoods".

So, Irma and Joe-Bob don't get to complain about gay pride marches in San Fran, and Neil and Bob, barring being activist twits trying to create a cause, shouldn't complain when they are penalized for trying to "get it on" (interpret as you will Zyne) in Iowa in public.

But even exluding such extremes, I think we could agree that a twit in a minivan in traffic watching porn in his vehicle in plain sight of others, is also infringing on others. Additionally, we shouldn't wish people of any mix of genders coupulating, fornicating, "knowing one another in a lewd manner", inserting tab A in slot B, engaging in sexual congress, doing the nasty, or just plain having SEX in public. Seven definitions. Is that enough? (And no, this isn't directed at you, Tom)

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ATW
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I'm libertarian on a national scale because the national government is not supposed to constitutionally be involved in many things. But I have no problem with local governments setting local standards for things not addressed in the constitution.

No Sexual regulation 1 federal 3 local (no problem with zoning regs. legalize prostitution is OK)

No regulation of drug use: 1 federal 3 local (take any drugs you want but the state can regulate what you do while stoned like prohibiting driving. And employers can choose not to hire drug users.)


No regulation of driving and entertainment behaviour 4 federal 4 local (roads don't belong to you alone so your choices aren't the only ones that matter. Dangerous entertainment is mostly self-regulating because they'll get sued out of business if unsafe.)


No gun control laws: I have no idea what number to give this. I don't think laws prohibiting or suppressing gun ownership are constitutional. I'd support a constitutional amendment for registration plus prohibiting ownership of handguns and automatic weapons but no one has proposed one. Libertarians in general want the country run according to the constitution but I don't know how they feel about amending the constitution on controversial issues.

No behaviour laws in general 1 federal 5 local (sex acts should occur in the back seat on a deserted stretch of road not on the hood of the car in the Wal-Mart parking lot)

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TomDavidson
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"But even exluding such extremes, I think we could agree that a twit in a minivan in traffic watching porn in his vehicle in plain sight of others, is also infringing on others."

Nope.
If you're going to go this far, you're pretty much falling back on only banning outright those things which cause demonstrable harm -- which sex in public (or porn in public) does not.

So sex in public, graphic porn, and the like, like gay pride parades or prostitution, are just more things that, in theory, communities should be able to decide whether to ban or not. If you live in an area where sex in public is seen as a beautiful form of family entertainment, why should the federal government tell you it's illegal?

[ December 30, 2004, 11:21 AM: Message edited by: TomDavidson ]

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ATW
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quote:


So sex in public, graphic porn, and the like, like gay pride parades or prostitution, are just more things that, in theory, communities should be able to decide whether to ban or not. If you live in an area where sex in public is seen as a beautiful form of family entertainment, why should the federal government tell you it's illegal? [/QB]

Well said.
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Storm Saxon
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quote:

I'm libertarian on a national scale because the national government is not supposed to constitutionally be involved in many things. But I have no problem with local governments setting local standards for things not addressed in the constitution.

I do not get why so many communitarians call themselves 'libertarian'. Let me point out that in the libertarian scheme of things, there is no such thing as public property short of land used for national defense. (edit: You have land that can be owned by many different private individuals for whatever purpose, and they are free to set standards for that land as they wish. ) This ideal applies to local/state/national governments. This is kind of what I was getting at with my line about private property.

So, while you are certainly free to declare that you think the federal government shouldn't regulate certain activities, but local governments should, I wouldn't say that this is a libertarian mindset, since private property is private regardless of whether you're talking about national or local state.

[ December 30, 2004, 01:03 PM: Message edited by: Storm Saxon ]

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ATW
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Having hung out with libertarians, voted for libertarians, considered running for office as a libertarian, and defended libertarian points of view on many occassions, some libertarians are willing to cut me some slack if someone else refers to me as a libertarian.


"Let me point out that in the libertarian scheme of things, there is no such thing as public property short of land used for national defense."

No capitol building? No White House? No District of Columbia? I've even heard some libertarians advocate settling disagreements between individuals in courts which use a court building. The libertarians I've known haven't been against public property used to run the basic functions of government.

[ December 30, 2004, 01:30 PM: Message edited by: ATW ]

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Storm Saxon
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I have this urge to say 'It's easy, if you try.'

O.K. Perhaps I was a bit overbroad in saying 'no public land', but I think the general point still stands, which is, by the way, that it's not regulation per se that libertarians seem to be against, but state regulation. For instance, since there are no public tax funded highways, the owners of the highways define what is acceptable use of those highways.

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velcro
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Would 19th century England be considered libertarian? If not, what is the closest historical model?
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ATW
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Sure, that's how I've understood the libertarian position.

I didn't try to pass myself off as a total libertarian. I'm more of a constitutionalist. The constitution sets forth a libertarian form of national government then reserves other rights to the states and individuals.

I don't mind if state governments want to use those rights. Historically, if the states abuse those rights, people will either vote to make things right or vote with their feet and leave.

Much tougher to leave the country than it is to leave a state.

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flydye45
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quote:
Nope.
If you're going to go this far, you're pretty much falling back on only banning outright those things which cause demonstrable harm -- which sex in public (or porn in public) does not.

So sex in public, graphic porn, and the like, like gay pride parades or prostitution, are just more things that, in theory, communities should be able to decide whether to ban or not. If you live in an area where sex in public is seen as a beautiful form of family entertainment, why should the federal government tell you it's illegal?

Hmm, I thought I said that exact same thing in my nod to federalism on the post...which by the way also strikes against a federal mandate legalizing abortion nation wide. But hypotheticals are one thing. Do you know of any town which allows such displays? Do you support such displays? Would such displays not infringe on the free enjoyment of others of public places? And no, I am not advocating the "spinster aunt church lady" doctrine which the ACLU uses to war against religion, where ONE offended person is too many. I think some broad rules are possible.

Just so I can be clear, you, Tom Davidson, have no problem with public displays of sex in your neighborhood? You would feel comfortable with such displays standing next to your daughter or niece? Think about that closely. Philisophical principles are all well and good, but you have to live with the impact. And I don't think a bit of caution is out of place.

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WarrsawPact
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velcro - There is no acceptable libertarian model in history. You want to see who is most free today, check out The Index of Economic Freedom and then cross that list with countries with high political freedoms.
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velcro
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What comes closest, in your view, and what in that society is most non-libertarian? If nothing like it has ever been tried, how do you know it will work?
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TomDavidson
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"Just so I can be clear, you, Tom Davidson, have no problem with public displays of sex in your neighborhood?"

So you're going to assert the necessity of a legal restriction based on a cultural taboo?

Do you also support federal bans on smoking?

(As a side note: to be perfectly honest, I'm not sure how I'd react to public displays of sex. I think it would depend on the quality of the sex and the performers involved, frankly.)

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