Monday, August 27, 2012

Wikipedia: What is libertarainism?

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines libertarianism as the moral view that agents initially fully own themselves and have certain moral powers to acquire property rights . . .

According to the U.S. Libertarian Party, libertarianism is the advocacy of a government that is funded voluntarily and limited to protecting individuals from coercion and violence.

Libertarian schools of thought differ over the degree to which the state should be reduced. 

Anarchistic schools advocate complete elimination of the state.

Minarchist schools advocate a minimal state which is limited to protecting its citizens from aggression, theft, breach of contract, and fraud. 

Some schools are supportive of private property rights in the ownership of unappropriated land and natural resources while others reject such private ownership and often support common ownership instead.

Those on the right support a capitalist economy; on the left a socialist economic system.

Political scholars such as Noam Chomsky assert that in most countries the terms "libertarian" and "libertarianism" are synonymous with left anarchism.

Rightardia suggests there are two groups of the anarchists and minarchists in the US: those on the left personified by the Occupy Movement and those on the right led by the two Pauls: Ron and Rand. it is unlikely the two groups have much in common or could ever work together. 

Ayn Rand who wrote the Fountainhead and Atlas shrugged if often looked as the Americans author/philosopher who started the Libertarian movement . 

Rand advocated reason as the only means of acquiring knowledge and rejected all forms of faith and religion. She supported rational and ethical egoism, and rejected ethical altruism

Rand opposed all forms of collectivism and statism, but supported laissez-faire capitalism. She believed capitalism was the only social system that protected individual rights

Rand's fiction was poorly received by many literary critics, and not embraced by academia. 

The Objectivist movement attempted to spread her ideas, both to the public and in academic settings.

While working in Hollywood, Rand was involved with free-market and anti-communist activism. She joined the Motion Picture Alliance for the Preservation of American Ideals, a Hollywood anti-Communist group, and wrote articles on the group's behalf. 

She also joined the anti-Communist American Writers Association.

In 1947, during the Second Red Scare, Rand testified as a "friendly witness" before the United States House Un-American Activities Committee. Rand had been born in Russia. 

When asked about the effectiveness of the McCarthy investigations after the hearings, Rand described the process as "futile".

Rand called her philosophy "Objectivism", describing its essence as "the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

The main protagonist in  novels was John Galt, an individualistic architect, who didn't want his artistic vision tempered by corporate committees. 

Rand supported philosophical realism, and opposed anything she regarded as mysticism or supernaturalism, including all forms of religion.

The Major read both of Rand's books in the 1950s and promptly forgot about them. The idea that a society can function without government is naive. 

Leninism had the notion of a vanguard party to lead the proletarian revolution and to secure all political power after the revolution for the working class. 
Marxism suggested as communism went to a higher stage in which class differences were eliminated, the state would wither away and no longer be needed. 

This end appears to be the same in libertarianism--no government. 


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