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This Politics related article has been awarded SILVER status for quality. We like it, and you should too! See RationalWiki:Article rating for more information.

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  • Often a vandal/troll target

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More quotes[edit]

"I have always found it quaint, and rather touching, that there is a movement in the US that thinks Americans are not yet selfish enough." — Christopher Hitchens

"Let's be clear: unless I have profoundly misunderstood its position, I pretty much despise American Libertarianism. Have these people seriously looked at the problems of the world and thought, 'Hmm, what we need here is a bit more selfishness'? . . . I beg to differ." — Iain Banks


Guys, I just stumbled upon rationalwiki and it's gold. Sadly, the page about libertarianism is really poor quality, when it comes to objections. I've read couple of good ones in my life, but this is somewhere between lack of understanding of the idea and having no imagination.

Let me comment on chosen few ones:

It is not a circular argument. Libertarians do not believe law is a set of rules defined by government or society. They believe basic rights can be logically understood from the nature of human and life. They simply do not view legal positivism as true. Actually legal positivism is closer to being circular argument. It can be debated, if it's a proper view, however it is not circular reasoning.

Aggression is defined in libertarianism as interfering with another persons body or property against their will. Since signing a contract based on a lie affects someone else's property, it is considered aggression. While your moral view might differ, it does not prove it's philosophical inconsistency, it just proves you have a different moral values.

I find it hard to understand, how is a person receiving free money at expense of others a victim. I understand, how calling them "parasite" might be appeal to emotion.

With regards to not being able to create income for oneself. There is no reason, why private charity wouldn't be able to support unlucky few who cannot rely on the help of the family. In fact, the freer the country, the more money is spent on charity. If we have economic capacity to support them now, we certainly would have even more through private matters.

With regards to the argument, that technological advancement will render people unemployed, it's a form of Luddite, which has proven to be false. Either there is more work in newly open areas, which couldn't be supported as work had to be allocated to areas now supported by increased productivity, or in ideal scenario, once everything is produced by machines, basically everything is free and the problem of scarcity is almost solved.

There are multiple market solutions to the problem of being an expert and private certification. Just kindly reminder from historical perspective, that before government control of food there were no significant issues with food quality or people getting poisoned.

With regards to healthcare or other services - yes, exactly the libertarian answer is, one does not have a "right" to it. There are possible mechanisms to ensure receiving proper care. It is a deep subject, so just few bullet points: - compulsory insurance drives costs up - voluntary insurance can allow you to adjust you risk-aversion to received medical aid - there is always room for charity, too, or mutual insurence

Libertarians have an answer to external costs - privatizing more land and water, so that it is not external cost, but actually someones cost. Hence, the property will be taken care of and potential damage are subject to litigation, creating incentive to avoid them.

there is no reason, why enforced standards would be better then voluntary ones. In fact, it is a true test of a standard - if it is useful and beneficial, it will be adopted voluntarily.

I kept my responses brief. Apologies for leaving it here halfway through, maybe can return one day to finish it off. — Unsigned, by: / talk

Significant rewrite needed[edit]

To be frank, this article is currently a mess. Different sections contradict themselves: see the Critical definition section (more or less correctly) citing the NAP as the moral basis for libertarianism, and later sections saying that the moral basis of libertarianism is utilitarianism. These two things can't both be true at the same time, since the NAP is not a utilitarian principle.

As another example, see the tone difference between the Tendency towards bigotry section and the rest of the article. The very first sentence of that section decries that libertarianism "does not denote an anti-government philosophy as much as a co-optation of left-wing anti-authoritarianism as a means of justifying (or simply denying) the social and economic hierarchies under capitalism under the guise of freedom.", which not only commits an ad hominem fallacy of appealing to motive (they only say these things in order to justify/deny hierarchies!), but also tacitly assumes that social and economic hierarchies under capitalism must be a morally bad thing and must be antithetical to freedom, which can hardly be trivially assumed. It also directly contradicts earlier parts of the article, which gave an overview of different sorts of libertarianism and stated that it was a big tent ideology united only by its distrust of government, and not some right-wing conspiracy to co-opt left-wing authoritarianism.

Probably the most hilarious self-contradiction is within a single sentence: the last sentence of the Inspiration sentence identifies argumentum ad cellarium as a fallacy, and then immediately goes on to endorse said fallacy by citing a lengthy comment comparing libertarians to basement-dwellers and commenting that, indeed, the concerns of libertarians do precisely mirror that of basement-dwelling teenagers.

As it stands, the article needs a significant rewrite to clear up inconsistencies like this, as well as reduce the obvious ideological bias of the authors seeping through some of the sections that can't be covered under SPOV in even the most charitable of interpretations. MistressOfTheMoon (talk) 04:51, 26 December 2020 (UTC)


Before trying to get it promoted, I thought I'd write a list of what needs improvement. Essentially, it has 44 references, way to little for an article of this length, leaving unsourced swaths. Please fix it. --Andrew5 (talk) 00:29, 11 January 2022 (UTC)

Yep, class struggle. Class struggle, Carl![edit]

It seems that RW is really turning into not just a leftist, but a Marxist garbage dump. The whole article is extremely moralizing and is written with hatred for the market and freedom. Well, where, WHERE do the Marxists get the fucking theses that capitalism purposefully oppresses some groups? Answer one simple question: if the capitalists tear their asses for profit, how do they pay women less? Here or - or! Your "welfare" whine to libertarians ignores the simple fact that your morality is not the only option. Libertarians simply have a different morality. They have no goal of caring for the "general welfare". For them, the state PRINCIPALLY should do nothing but protect the freedoms of the citizen, because the intervention of the state WILL VIOLATE, BITCH, FREEDOM, you fucking assholes! To the question "what about the work, they pay little everywhere" answer me the question: who pays your salary? "A person still has no choice, because he needs to eat and work" - the SAME PEOPLE, like you, give work! The capitalists are not saurians from Nibiru, they came from the same people as everyone else! How many years have we been hearing whining about "monopolization", back in 1917 Lenin proclaimed that the "concentration of capital" has ended, it can be nationalized. Why is this "monopolization" still not completed? Here's what I want to say: I'm from a post-Soviet country. The USSR was a POOR country in which they wiped themselves with newspapers, and a man with rolls of toilet paper on the street aroused admiration and envy. Everything that Hoppe writes about DDR, I saw with my own eyes. And trust me, you don't want to go there. The Bolsheviks littered the entire middle zone of Eastern Europe with hogweed. The largest environmental disasters have occurred in communist countries. There was a cellulose plant, which no one needed for a long time, but they could not close it, because people would have to be fired, so it littered the entire ecology with waste! Yes, there are many pictures where during the Great Depression milk was poured into pits, but in GD NOT A SINGLE person died of starvation, and under Stalin 2 million people were starved to death! You probably really believe that Fox News morons are spreading conspiracy theories about beautiful communism. Yes, Fox News is morons. But look with your own eyes at any Marxist regime, and if you are honest with yourself, you will become anti-communist. Nothing leftish works and will never work. I said everything. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs