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Laissez-faire capitalism promotes oligopolies?[edit]

This the author claims without citation. Rothbard, Von Mises, and others have addressed this, and it is a very bold claim to say the least. Especially since Oligopolies exist in very non-free markets simply because they've been able to lobby the state into creating barriers to entry, thus using the state as a tool to help eliminate competition. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

Obviously the State is ultimately responsible for most monopolies/oligopolies, but there are natural monopolies that rise within an unregulated capitalist economy when it is more efficient to have one supplier than several. It has also been argued that to maintain the freest market possible, businesses have to be stopped from getting too big and powerful so as to avoid exactly the sort of corruption that produces artificial oligarchies. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 03:59, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
Wow, does that WP article really repeat almost the entire intro in the next section? And this: "It may also depend on control of a particular natural resource. Companies that grow to take advantage of economies of scale..." is a lousy way to start a paragraph... who's been working on that POS? ħumanUser talk:Human 23:21, 3 June 2009 (UTC)
I think if Rothbard and Von Mises had anything useful to say in economics, their ideas would be well within the mainstream; the fact that mainstream economics largely rejects them gives them very little to no credibility. The simple fact is that without regulation, the sharks will eat all the minnows. Anyway, calling the state responsible for "most" monopolies or oligopolies depends on whether you're talking about enforced neglect (the neocon/libertarian way) or active promotion (the paleocon/fascist way). Sometimes, especially when regulatory corruption is involved, it's both. EVDebs 06:25, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
They were within the mainstream in their own time; von Mises was at one point chief economic advisor to the government of Austria. And except in the case of the natural monopolies, in the absence of corruption or State assistance the "sharks" are rarely found "eating the minnows." By the time the antitrust suit was filed against Standard Oil, for example, it had lost a very large portion of its market-share to independent oil suppliers. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 07:31, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
Phrenology and ether theory were mainstream at one time too. Neither one is of any significance now in psychology or physics respectively. EVDebs 16:53, 4 June 2009 (UTC)
That is true. However, your answer appeared to imply that they were outside the mainstream throughout their working lifetimes. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:17, 4 June 2009 (UTC)

Masters of Economics here. Did you seriously apply a Just-world fallacy to economics? Since christianity is so popular, it must be true? Sorry, you are being irrational here. Natural monopolies exist in very few markets, and are efficient to have in such markets. -- (talk) 05:02, 28 February 2011 (UTC)


The definition of Libertarianism given in this article is American political and social philosophy that advocates laissez-faire capitalism. Libertarinism is basically an ideology which is conservative on economic issues and liberal on cultural/moral issues. Conservatives also support laissez-faire capitalism, but they don't support liberal stance on cultural issues. The second point should be mentioned to distinguish libertarianism from conservatism. --Steve (talk) 06:48, 8 July 2009 (UTC)

That really is a gross simplification of Libertarianism, only really used by those online tests. Libertarianism is basically the restriction of government in all power, even if it is for a good reason. Also are economics and cultural/moral/social issues separate? Liberals would say that it is socially and morally responsible for government to implement a social health care system, whereas libertarians would oppose it as government interference. I find the whole liberal/conservative/libertarian/fill-in-your-hobby-horse ideologies get in the way of actual thinking. - π 07:04, 8 July 2009 (UTC)
Agree "Libertarinism is basically an ideology which is conservative on economic issues and liberal on cultural/moral issues" is gross oversimplification and wrong definition. Conservatives also do not support complete government deregulation. For example they will support strong government intervention to criminalize pornography, prostitution and most sexual freedom. In a libertarian POV, conservatism is also anti-capitalist as it does not want to grow the sex industry. So I agree that libertarianism is "conservatism on economic issues" is a mis-argument. But I disagree on the second part. Where the money of "social health care system" come from? It comes from looting those who have money. How you call it a free society where someone's hard-earned money is being snatched away by the government? Your argument is a collectivist argument to say one must have to sacrifice his/her personal property for the benefit of others. This is what communists did everywhere they came to power, forcefully snatched lands from landowners and distributed them among landless poor peasants, forcefully snatched factories and industries and made them property of the public. What communists did in an "extremist" way, socialists/modern American liberals do in a "moderate" way, but the basic purpose is same. In this way the "freedom" or "justice" is being given to someone is at the expense of the freedom of another person and it is injustice to the later. --Steve (talk) 14:37, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
On the "looting" question, instead of the "sacrifice of property" answer, how about this answer: Said money could only have gotten to said people through the active intervention of the State, and its services come at a price? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 15:06, 19 July 2009 (UTC)
Steve, "to criminalize pornography, prostitution and most sexual freedom", those are cultural/moral issues on which Libts are "liberal"... ħumanUser talk:Human 20:57, 19 July 2009 (UTC)

Reply: money could only have gotten to said people through the active intervention of the State, and its services come at a price - this point is at the center of debate on free market capitalism. No, money could not only "have gotten to said people through the active intervention of the State". The money is achieved by the individual's own merit, what is the credit of the state on it? And to answer the second point (i.e. "its services come at a price"), state is not employed by the citizens to provide service to them. State is a self-appointed institution claiming to be the guardian of the people. The issue of price for service comes only when the the service-holder is employed by someone. In that case the employer must have to give money to the employee for service. But the state is not the employee, the people are not the employers of the state. Then why the question "its services come at a price" is coming? Since the state is a self-appointed institution, the people do not have any obligation to pay to the state. And when the state forces its citizens to pay a sum of money, it becomes robbery. And what services do the state provide to the people? Police and judiciary. The state do not need that amount of money it is currently taking from the people for maintaining a police force and the judiciary. The people are capable for protecting themselves, they can hire private security guards for their protection. This is what anarcho-capitalists will generally say, while most libertarians support a minimal government the purpose of which is only to provide police security to its citizens.

Reply to Human: Yes, I agree. Just saying it for the second time that a free market works where the market is free from state intervention. Since conservatives oppose pornography or prostitution, they become obstacle to the sex industry. This is why conservatism is also anti-capitalism in libertarian POV. --Steve (talk) 13:54, 20 July 2009 (UTC)

a free market works where the market is free from state intervention - that depends on what you mean by works. If you mean let's the rich become richer on the backs of the poor then I'll agree. If you mean enables the best quality of life for all citizens then that's a lot more debatable. Like all extreme forms of politics Libertarianism only works in cloud cuckoo land. Silver Sloth (talk) 14:30, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
As another point - if the money for socialised medicine is looted by evil governments why is it that in every country with socialised medicine the population votes en-mass for it's retention. You 'mercans have no idea just how popular the NHS is here in the UK, or it's equivalent in France, or anywhere else for that matter. Silver Sloth (talk) 14:37, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
The money is achieved by the individual's own merit — By what standard are they meritorious? The standard of being born into a family with a lot of spare change, perhaps, which is a common manner in which rich people become rich?
...what is the credit of the state on it? Especially in the case of the larger concentrations of wealth, if the State were not on hand to codify and enforce property rights, those people would not own nearly the amount of property they do. You seriously think that Bill Gates would ever have become the richest man in the world if he did not have the State enforcing copyrights for him?
...they can hire private security guards for their protection. A consolation, surely, to those who cannot hire enough security guards to fight off someone else's hired thugs.
...what services do the state provide to the people? Police and judiciary. The remark about "cloud cuckoo land" definitely applies here. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 14:46, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
What have the Romans (state) ever done for us? Silver Sloth (talk) 14:57, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
The Roman state came up with codified civil law, on which most law outside of the Anglosphere is based. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 15:16, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I think you missed my Life Of Brian reference. Silver Sloth (talk) 15:19, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I got it!--BobNot Jim 15:24, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
An interesting question might be, what does society provide in addition to what is provided by the state? There is an entire distribution network or roads, railways etc; an education system and an educated population; financial institutions; laws; moral frameworks; social institutions and much more. Anybody who is making money is heavily dependent on all these things and more. If they did not exist then making money would be impossible. Steve says: The money is achieved by the individual's own merit and there must be some truth in the fact that individual effort will make individuals richer - but they all clearly depend on the state and society to make such things possible.--BobNot Jim 15:30, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
This comparison does not gel: (1) it is individual people and companies (or the State) providing those services, rather than "society;" (2) this is more of an interdependent relationship than a dependent one. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 15:41, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I don't quite follow your point. What I'm saying that without both a society in which to operate and a state to, at some level, legislate that activity, the rugged individuals imagined by libertarianism have nowhere to operate.--BobNot Jim 15:51, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Again, the relationship is one of interdependence; while it is true that the rugged individuals would not be able to do very much without society, society would be able to do even less without the rugged individuals. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 17:55, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
While the first one is obviously true, the second is a supposition. Why are "rugged individuals" so necessary to society? Here in the west (and, as I understand it, particularly in the US) rugged individuality is cherished. And it may well be a good thing. But I don't see how it's so obviously a good thing. Not all societies welcome it.--BobNot Jim 18:20, 20 July 2009 (UTC)
Societies that do not welcome it do so to their detriment; these are the people who can figure out how to run things properly, perform innovations, and rock the boat when it needs rocking. Some examples are Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, and Thomas Paine. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 02:35, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
One was a Nazi symp; one was mostly a property rights thief, and third wasn't a businessman. Try again? PS, Ayn Rand was so wrong it's not even funny. These "rugged individuals" are not campers or hunters, they are predators, and they consume the wealth produced by their serfs in order to aggrandize themselves further. (OK, at least Ford figured out that he had to pay his serfs well enough that they could buy his cars. Brilliang.) Got better examples? ħumanUser talk:Human 03:06, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Wow; a Godwin's, a libel, and a non sequitur all in the same sentence! (Note the complete absence of any other variation on the word "business" in this thread.) As to Rand, she was incorrect in thinking the prime-movers could survive without the rest of us, but she was correct in thinking that the rest of us could not survive without the prime-movers. The result of the prime-movers departing is called a brain drain. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 04:08, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

(UI)Pointing out that Ford liked Hitler is a Godwin? Get over yourself, you claimed him as a hero. Edison was a patent whore, that's not libel, it's how he ran his business and if you don't know that, well, sorry. Non sequitur? Thomas Paine was what? A writer, not a "rugged individual" in the Randian sense (what other sense is there - other than me, I run a business, and am subjected to the vicissitudes of the market, and struggle to make my way). No, she was wrong - in her characterization of those "we cannot get along without", and her utterly lame writing, which is another issue. And her utterly lame "running" of her "movement", which is another issue. "Rugged individualists" are not giant millionaire capitalists, mostly they are punks like me inventing a way to earn a living out of the void. And if you think you understand what that is like, and want to use "us" as your "capitalist" heroes, you need to get another think going. ħumanUser talk:Human 05:14, 21 July 2009 (UTC)

It is a fact that Mr. Ford revolutionized industry with his innovations. It is not good to negate that achievement for political reasons. Stating that Mr. Edison was "mostly a property rights thief" is also negating that fellow's achievements, as he did quite a bit besides suing people for patent infringement — and a large proportion of his patent suits were over things he had actually invented, something not seen with our modern-day patent trolls. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:17, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
Getting back to Listener's: while it is true that the rugged individuals would not be able to do very much without society, society would be able to do even less without the rugged individuals.
To say that rugged individuals need society - and by extension laws and governments - is sufficiently obvious to be trite. These rugged individuals need the structure of a society in which to operate - but more than that they need the type of society which allows them to operate. Probably the most tolerant of such societies in the US at present. It is difficult to imagine them making much headway in non-capitalist, non-democratic countries. (Not that I am saying that I am saying that such societies are admirable.)
But the consequence is that these rugged individuals are not only dependent on the societies and their governments, but are additionally beholden to them. Whether they empower these societies as Listener seems to suggest or are parasitic on them as Human suggests is another question. But to suggest that "society would be able to do even less without the rugged individuals" seems to be pretty dubious.
I note a bit of ground-shifting from Listener though when he says "Societies that do not welcome it do so to their detriment", so maybe he's backing off from it a little. --BobNot Jim 11:08, 21 July 2009 (UTC)
Bob, Human, are you disputing the documented effects of brain drains? Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:17, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Point by point reply[edit]


  • Silver Sloth wrote As another point - if the money for socialised medicine is looted by evil governments why is it that in every country with socialised medicine the population votes en-mass for it's retention. You 'mercans have no idea just how popular the NHS is here in the UK, or it's equivalent in France, or anywhere else for that matter
reply why the person who is not ill will pay the money for treatment of another person? If he/she pays the money voluntarily, there will be no question, but why he/she will be forced to pay the money? Is not it looting in Robin Hood style? Secondly, "NHS is popular in the UK, or it's equivalent in France" is a gross oversimplification. Populism and freedom are not same. Keep in mind that Hitler was very popular in Germany before WW2. NHS is popular among whom? Popular among the working class and lower middle class. Have you ever tried to know the opinion of those who's money is looted by the government for this so called "socialized medicine"? This is a major drawback of democracy where the opinion of the working class prevails over the opinion of free market supporters which is why objectivists oppose democracy, but supports republicanism. How you are giving importance to the opinion of semi-educated majority while ignoring opinions of those having thorough knowledge on the economy?
I don't pay for the treatment of other persons - I pay to have a "free at the point of delivery" health service, one which costs far less to run than the US system while still producing superior outcomes. Bob Soles (talk) 13:11, 13 April 2012 (UTC)

Reward For Merit[edit]

  • ListenerX wrote: The money is achieved by the individual's own merit — By what standard are they meritorious? The standard of being born into a family with a lot of spare change, perhaps, which is a common manner in which rich people become rich?
Reply: Oh yes, off course the individual is meritorious. Ever heard the name of Harland Sanders? He once worked as insurance salesman and railroad fireman, and then he founded one of world's largest fast food company. It is off course Sanders' own merit.
For every self-made businessman there are a hundred heirs who inherited their fortunes. And you fail to provide arguments that it is any more meritorious to start a large chain of restaurants than it is to, for example, write a memorable book, of which wealth is often not the result. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:17, 28 July 2009 (UTC)


  • ListenerX wrote: what is the credit of the state on it? Especially in the case of the larger concentrations of wealth, if the State were not on hand to codify and enforce property rights, those people would not own nearly the amount of property they do. You seriously think that Bill Gates would ever have become the richest man in the world if he did not have the State enforcing copyrights for him?
Reply: No, but still he would have become one among the many riches. And libertarians are somehow divided on the copyright issue, some supports copyright, while others oppose copyright believing it is obstacle to free market. And also, state is not the institution to enforce copyright, such enforcements can also be done by privatization of judicial services. BTW, libertarians don't support Microsoft due to its collaboration with Chinese communists.
He would not have made any money at all; his software would have been copied willy-nilly, as now the manner is with Linux. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:17, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

Security guards[edit]

  • ListenerX wrote: they can hire private security guards for their protection. A consolation, surely, to those who cannot hire enough security guards to fight off someone else's hired thugs.
Reply: Calling private security guards "thugs" is a logical fallacy. And why those who can afford private security guards will have to pay the money for those who cannot hire? Is not it the same "social justice" type argument on which communism is based?
(1) I did not call the security guards thugs; (2) Calling them "thugs" may be incorrect, but it is not a logical fallacy; (3) I was merely pointing out that some people cannot hire security guards as you claimed. And a situation in which only some people can hire guards will evolve toward, roughly, the situation we have now. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:17, 28 July 2009 (UTC)
If one of these mythical thugs threatens you in a libertarian society, you have the right to defend yourself. Of course no thugs exist in society today and violent gangs have no influence at all. Now how do these gangs make their money? Drug prohibition. No prohibition, no black market for them to capitalize, no way to fund the violence. Hiring thugs isn't cheap. Information (talk) 07:21, 29 July 2012 (UTC)


  • Bob M wrote: There is an entire distribution network or roads, railways etc; an education system and an educated population; financial institutions; laws; moral frameworks; social institutions and much more. Anybody who is making money is heavily dependent on all these things and more. If they did not exist then making money would be impossible.
Reply: Your argument is basically begging the question. There is already proposal to privatize roads, railways, education, financial institution etc. All these things can be managed by private enterprises. There is no need of government here.
Read what begging the question means, if you please. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:17, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

And finally...[edit]

Finally I want to say whenever you talk about society, you are supporting collectivism where the society's will prevails over the individual's will and is a violation of individual freedom. In countries like Saudi Arabia, society views homosexuality as perversion, but why an individual homosexual person will suffer only because the society has a wrong belief on homosexuality? Talking about "society" is a collectivist argument. Steve (talk) 03:58, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Steve, your fairly high level of incoherence does your cause no good... ħumanUser talk:Human 05:11, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Methinks that Steve is not a native English speaker. He should get on with ListenerX like a house on fire, though. This message brought to you by: Toastrespondand honey 05:26, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Yeah, you're probably right. Which in itself is an interesting insight... considering the Britlish Umpire has been the greatest overall promoter of "free trade" and various forms of libertarianism over the ages. Perhaps our friend Steve lives in some godless commie socialist state? ħumanUser talk:Human 05:40, 27 July 2009 (UTC)
Toast, I have done nothing but argue against Steve's points on this page, which is more than can be said for you. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:17, 28 July 2009 (UTC)

An intereresting critique of Libertarianism[edit]

I thought I'd share this with you guy's. — Unsigned, by: Ryantherebel / talk / contribs

Left-libertarianism ignored[edit]

The libertarian left, once again, gets the short end of the stick. The whole page is a critique of pro-corporate Tea Party vulgar libertarianism, without acknowledging basic divisions of libertarian ideology. The section on "left libertarians" actually refers to social anarchists, and not the (quite unmistakeable) Movement of the Libertarian Left. For information on what I'm talking about, check the following URLs:

Another problem with the article is the assumption that a free market would hurt entry by small business, when in fact the opposite is true, but that's a whole 'nother story for a whole 'nother day. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs Oct 10 2010

Orly? So monopolies and oligarchies help small businesses? Try starting your own small oil company. Blue Talk 05:06, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
Monopolies and oligarchies do not usually occur without government intervention. Monopolies are usually propped up by governments. Corporate power stems in a large part from coercion, which consistent libertarians oppose whether private or public sector. Also, you are making the false assumption that we currently live in a free market society. We don't. We live in a corporate capitalist society. I'm a free-market socialist and anarchist, not a corporate apologist. Don't speak so loudly about economics if you aren't acquainted with the subject.
Uh, no. What happens is that companies form oligopolies without someone breathing down their necks to keep them honest. You fail economics. EVDebs (talk) 02:28, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
I don't think you realize that I'm advocating an actual free market, not a bullshit right-wing free market. I am an individualist anarchist, not a capitalist... there would be no money monopoly, land monopoly, tariffs, or patents in the system I advocate. Most corporate power, in fact, stems from government intervention against the working class, and for capital. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs
Also, even in the case of non-monopolies, big-box retailers can in theory draw on cash reserves to run the local competition out of business by strategically selling items below cost. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:12, 10 October 2010 (UTC)
@ Lx, also their sheer volume buying power keeps their cost of goods substantially lower. Sheer volume reduces their costs at every stage of the process. @ unsigned, the golden age of free markets was crowned in the 19th century by the big "trusts". It took the government to bust them up. Ma Bell was a huge vertically-integrated monopoly, it took the govt to break them up (and telephone service is still far cheaper than it was 30 years ago). ħumanUser talk:Human 02:34, 15 October 2010 (UTC)
I'm not talking about 19th century robber baron capitalism. I'm talking about a stateless, non-capitalist, non-corporate left-libertarian society. In the 19th century, corporations and the state both coerced working people, and the state subsidized major corporations. Intellectual property and taxes both existed. This is not what I advocate. I highly recommend you read Kevin Carson's essay "The Iron Fist Behind The Invisible Hand: Corporate Capitalism as a State-Sponsored Guarantee of Privilege", since it deals with a lot of the exact same issues you brought up. — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

NotSuper's edits[edit]

NotSuper seems to have decided to take a chunk out of the article. Thoughts? Comments? Screams of blind rage? - π 11:47, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Revert 'em. Whilst one of the chunks he removed was a bit crap, you can't just pitch up and delete stuff without first discussing it. DeltaStarSenior SysopSpeciationspeed! 12:17, 5 December 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect Information[edit]

'More left-leaning people consider this to be synonymous with oligarchic corporate rule after the fashion of the American Gilded Age, while the reality-based community tends to realize that one cannot just yank economic theories out of the air and magically expect them to work.'

So many things wrong with this I am not sure where to start...

Ignoring incorrect use of terminology even...

First of all use of "reality based community" whatever that means, then "tend to REALIZE" as if what is being state is fact.

Thirdly, what is the economic theory being "yanked out of thin air" that is "magically" expected to work? You may have a POV here, but that isn't an opinion, it's just wrong. -- (talk) 04:18, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

No it isn't It is completely correct. DogP (talk) 06:32, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Libertarian economic theory is based mostly on the Austrian school or the Chicago school (who themselves were influenced by the Austrians). Austrian economics might as well be called "faith-based economics" considering that its based on praxeology, which is derived from "self-evident axioms" that are not subject to the whims of the real world, which its top minds readily admit. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 07:01, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Ok.... My edit shows that is what THEY believe, it does not assert that it is true or not. And you obviously agree with me, so what's the problem.
Secondly, how are self-evident axioms not "subject to the whims of the real world?" They are empirically observable and logically provable. And which top minds admit that it is not based in reality? Are you being serious or just taking the piss? I am reverting until we can get a real adult dialogue going here, I tore this down way too easily, sorry -- (talk) 07:46, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I am going to insert an oily coca-cola bottle into your rectum. Ace of Spades 07:48, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
BON, please address Ace's proposition before editing this article further. Ace has made an excellent and accommodative proposal, and I think you ought to consider it wise to accept. It won't hurt too much, and you will learn much about the nature of Libertarianism from the perspective of the working classes from the experience. DogP (talk) 15:38, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

So, wanting to fuck people with an oily coke bottle is the reason for protecting a wrong page from helpful edits? --Lets be rational (talk) 18:32, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

So far all I see from you is half of an "is not / is so" kerfuffle. If you want to get respect, provide more substance, perhaps taking a cue from Nebuchadnezzar there. Can you see how just saying "So many things wrong" doesn't really advance your case?
BTW, where I come from, axioms are by definition unprovable. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 18:47, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Yes, you really need to say. "X is wrong because ..." and then suggest a better wording. This article has a history of attracting a particular type of editor who simply wants to blank the page and start again, and this tends to make people a little wary of such edits. Please also read this from our new users guide which will give you some ideas about what to do if you strongly disagree with article content.--BobSpring is sprung! 19:34, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
" And which top minds admit that it is not based in reality?" Uhh...try for starters. In the words of Mises himself, "its statements and propositions are not derived from experience... They are not subject to verification or falsification on the ground of experience and facts." Since you referred to axioms and human action, I assume you're talking about the Misesian (and Hayekian to a lesser extent) tradition of the Austrian school, which, as I said, is hostile to the very idea of empiricism. Furthermore, not all libertarians base their political philosophy on the praxeological axioms. The Chicago schoolers, for example, while greatly influenced by the Austrians, make their arguments on utilitarian grounds and use mathematical models rather than verbal deduction, making them in many ways the opposite of the Austrians. IOW, maybe actually knowing something about libertarian economic theory might help. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 19:51, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Whether what libertarians believe is ultimately wrong isn't relevant... right before the line I added there is the "leftists believe that this is actually just wanting corporate oligarchs to rule everything" which is at least equally retarded and POV as what I put it. I countered with what the subjects of the article generally subscribe to. This wiki obviously has a fashionable american liberal sympathy, but let's be rational here. This is what libertarians believe, and it is more important than what the previously mentioned "left-leaning people" believe. I WILL call out your disingenuous bullshit, it is sort of my self made meaning here. Also, mises and hayek never referred to reality as not working, that's obviously fucking retarded. They pointed at that specifically that mathematics cannot predict or model human behavior in a chaotic system (an economy). They never asserted anything utilitarian or otherwise. I have a Masters of Economics, so don't try to pull disingenuous obscurantist bullshit with me, you will be called out and made to look like a total dumbass. Why does the article necessarily have to be anti-libertarian in lieu of rationality?-- (talk) 20:14, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
I see words being twisted, ad hominem ranting, an appeal to the authority of your (uncited) degree, chest-thumping about how you will lay your enemies low, and a final question consistent with the rhetoric of a concern troll.
"its statements and propositions are not derived from experience..." :::is a far cry from "reality ... not working".
That counts as twisting words in my book. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 20:30, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Guess they don't require reading comp classes for econ degrees anymore. 1. Not all libertarians subscribe to an "empirically verifiable" "axiom" (which is an oxymoron in itself) of human action, so what you claim libertarians believe is not even what all libertarians believe, only those that follow the Misesian tradition. 2. I explicitly stated that it was the Chicago school that made its arguments on utilitarian grounds? Have you never heard of the Chicago school? I know the Austrians are mostly confined to econ history, but the Chicagoans have been a major force in econ over the past 40 or so years. My credentials aren't even related to the field of econ, so you're the one making yourself look like a total dumbass here. Though I'm probably the dumbass for debating someone who can't differentiate between "not subject to the whims of reality" and "reality not working." Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 20:54, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Plus, if you can't even get beyond the first paragraph of this article before you disagree with what is clearly a somewhat amusing statement of opinion and perfectly clearly written, you're wasting not just our time but plenty of your own. You will not find much sympathy for this school of thought here on RW, so perhaps you might choose a larger windmill in the article at which to tilt? Otherwise I can recommend you visit another of our articles you'll probably hate, Ayn Rand. Plenty to fight about there, I imagine! DogP (talk) 20:59, 28 February 2011 (UTC)
Maybe we haven't made this clear enough: This is not Wikipedia. We are not obliged to be even-handed to anyone. The intention of this page is to make fun of a economic/political movement that lends itself to mockery, something which falls well within both the mission of the site and its guidelines.
I'd also like to add that, if you want to rewrite a section of the article that you feel is inaccurate, it might help if you stop demonstrating its accuracy by yanking things right out of thin air. Neb has supported all of his assertions; you haven't. 江斯顿What is it now? 21:27, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

An Axiom being empirically observable makes perfect sense. Is this a wiki dedicate to a rationalist POV, or a fashioncore bourgeois socialist POV? Trust me, they are not at all compatible. How does libertarianism lend itself to mockery? How is it "pulling" systems out of "thin air"? If it is not the system I mentioned (Austrianesque free market) what is it? Are you creating an indefensibly vague straw libertarian view? I joined this wiki because I am a rationalist person who bases his worldview on rationalism, I am an atheist and a libertarian and a rationalist. I am disheartened to find that this is in fact a soap box for absurd and inconsistent faux-rebellious ranting and thinly veiled american liberal orthodoxy. Please address all of what I said, I a genuinely interested in your explanations (read: I know it's bullshit) If you don't think I have degrees in economics, fine, but I will correct your bullshit concerning it, because I know more about it than you. And I won't be polite about calling out bullshit as you can probably tell. If you are not legitimately dedicated to a rationalist POV, feel free to just admit this is the liberal version of conservapeda. Also I don't give a shit about Ayn Rand, much of what she said is as irrational as marxism as stated int he article (she believes people "deserve" something for their work, a la patents) --Lets be rational (talk) 04:56, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

"Liberal orthodoxy," is it? Tack a "neo" on the front of that and you have a squawking-point currently in vogue among the pinko set. This goes to highlight an error common to libertarians and communists, viz., the idea that economic theories spun out from first principles are a close match for reality. We have seen the bloodshed when reality refused thus to conform. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:14, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
So you literally ignored my entire message to desperately make noise about me using the term liberal to describe this wiki's POV? Is the "rational" name here like, ironic? like "war is peace freedom is slavery" etc? I'm genuinely curious, please tell me — Unsigned, by: Lets be rational / talk / contribs
Had you bothered to read more than the first four words of my post, you would have seen that (1) I was not actually denying that descriptor for our POV; (2) I was replying to one of your questions, the one about pulling systems out of thin air. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 06:05, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
"Pulled out of thin air" doesn't make any sense, because like all economic theory (regardless of truth value) it is 'reality-based' whatever that means. There is nothing magic or thin air about it; wealth is created through free transaction, because it efficiently allocates it to those who value it the most and make the most productive value from it. This is fact, it is an axiom just like "the animals who can survive and reproduce the most effectively will be the ones the pass their genes on" or "the sum of two numbers is the value of both numbers added together". It is an axiom, and the concept of trying to justify it with something else doesn't actually make sense. "Animals don't evolve" makes no sense because you can't disprove natural selection, it happens and can only happen. Just like people freely transacting will only happen if both parties A. voluntarily choose to and B. subjectively value what they receive more than what they give. This is why the free market creates wealth (one of the ways) and there is simply no disproving it. It is rational and it is fact whether you like it or not, and whether it's fashionable or not. What is unrealistic is that policy or organs of the state can replace or outperform free market functions. --Lets be rational (talk) 07:43, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
As Nebuchadnezzar has pointed out, libertarian economics is based on oversimplified a priori judgments such as the one you have just made. Leaving aside for a minute any challenge to your statement about wealth creation, the laws of economics, unlike the laws of mathematics, have an empirical basis, so such a priori judgments are questionable at best. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 08:13, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
How is it oversimplified? What about it is questionable and why? For example?— Unsigned, by: Lets be rational / talk / contribs
Also, why is this "wealth" you seem so concerned about any kind of correct, sustainable goal for individuals or society at all? Sheesh Libertarians are so blinkered - profit before everything. DogP (talk) 21:27, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
How is it oversimplified? It uses a model for an actor in the economy that is sometimes called homo economicus — an ideal selfish individual. It also gives short shrift to the questions of externalities and of anti-competitive practices, both of which drive a wedge between reality and the ideal free-market model.
Also, the free market does not create the wealth. It simply provides a framework — in my opinion, a very good framework — for that creation. There has also been success in that area with other economic models, albeit limited. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:07, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
What? The definition of a sum is in no way comparable to natural selection. One is an axiom because we define it to be true. The other is an empirical observation. So natural selection can only happen? Nothing could ever disprove it? Well, let's just tack Origin of Species on to the end of the Bible and call it a day. Your "axiom" leaves a lot to be desired in the way of solid definitions, much like Mises' praxeological formulations, and all your arguments so far have just been a regurgitation of praxeology and related theories like subjective value, more or less. So let's stop dicking around -- do you even know anything about Austrian economics? Because it sounds like you just read Rothbard's Praxeology five minutes ago and are making half-assed restatements of his arguments. Not to be an ass, but it's hard not to when someone swoops in, accuses people of "obscurantist bullshit," and then reveals that not only does he not have the slightest clue about the subject he's talking about (his own political philosophy, no less), but he doesn't even have a basic grasp of logical systems or the scientific method. Get your shit straight before flinging accusations around. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 22:04, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Goodpost.gif Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:07, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

The original arguer here seems to be spouting a lot of the same rhetoric as the creationists here... "You call this rational wiki, but disagree with me?" --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 04:16, 2 March 2011 (UTC)

That is just trolling, of course; one must ignore it. If "Lets be rational" were actually interested in making this a more rational Wiki, he would be offering rational arguments instead of rudely insisting that his arguments are rational. Mjollnir.svgListenerXTalkerX 05:07, 2 March 2011 (UTC)


Suppose the libertarians have all their dreams come true. Surely that means bye-bye antitrust laws, competition laws, restrictions on merger & acquisitions activity. What then is to stop endless mergers & acquisitions activity producing ever bigger super-megacorps. If companies A, B, C, and D control 20% each of the market, what is to stop them merging to control 80%? Government regulation won't. Good idea for management -- I'm sure they'll profit handsomely from the merger deal. Good idea for the owners -- surely 80% market share gives you better ROI than 20% market share. With no laws to prevent collusive contracts, etc., shouldn't be hard to convert your 80% into 98%. Just insist your suppliers & big customers sign exclusivity arrangements -- with 80% market share, surely you can find a way to convince them. And offer the operators in the remaining 20% of the market offers they can't refuse. The 2% left over are probably harmless. If any of them show signs of growth, buy them out or force them out of business.

Anarcho-capitalism, well that's even sillier. Suppose SuperMegaCorp decides to go on an expansion drive, and they buy absolutely everything. They build (or buy) whole cities in which they own all the real estate, and have total control over who lives and works there. Competitotrs aren't allowed to open shop. The independent 'court' or 'police' companies -- well, we'll buy all of those. And as your new landlord, we don't allow any other 'court' or 'police' companies to operate on our property (which is the whole city). Now we own the courts, we'll make sure they rule favourably to us. So eventually SuperMegaCorp owns everything in a given land area, except those entities which they permit to exist by their sufferance. How is SuperMegaCorp any different from a government -- except that, rather than being a democracy, its maybe a timocracy of shareholders? Actually, I'm sure they'll abolish the rule against perpetuities and any rules against the dead hand of the testator as an interference with private property. So some eternal family trust will end up owning a controlling stake in SuperMegaCorp, more an aristocracy or monarchy than timocracy.

But how is that different from what we've already got? How is having governments different from "anarcho-capitalism" with a megacorp calling the shots. I'm from Australia, a federation of corporations all called "the crown in right of something or other", all owned by Elizabeth Windsor. We already have anarcho-capitalism here! Thankfully for me, our anarcho-capitalist corporate masters are oh so kind, they let us mere tenants/contractors elect 'advisers' to 'advise' the representatives of the owner on what to do with these corporations she owns. I kinda doubt, if the "anarcho-capitalists" had their way, things would be as they are. --Maratrean (talk) 13:47, 1 March 2011 (UTC)

  • The theoretical difference is that a government isn't beholden to stockholders to make a profit at all costs. Corporate control in the manner you describe is more or less a form of feudalism, at least in practice, and lacks accountability to its people. A properly run government is less of an all-encompassing megacorp and more of a nonprofit co-op providing services that the private sector can't make a buck off of. EVDebs (talk) 17:28, 1 March 2011 (UTC)
Monopolies are inefficient, corporations would only be as big as makes sense in a market. So there *would* be corporations large enough to fund trans-continental highways and railways, but such a magically retardedly large megacorp has no market reason to exist. Monopolies operate inefficiently.
Faith in the competition fairy is boundless. They're called barriers to entry, look it up. And monopolistic practices are just one problem with lifting all regulations. Maratrean, what you describe is basically the premise of Jennifer Government. And the US during the late 18th, early 19th C. Wanna work? Gotta live in the company town. Okay here's your paycheck. By the way it's in company scrip so it's only good at our store. Don't bother goin' on strike either, we've got men to deal with that. And don't think about any kind of funny business -- we've got ways to keep our eyes on you. Oh, whoops, machine cut off your arm? Well, better luck in some other line of work that a cripple like you can do. Yep, those were the days, all right. Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 00:48, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Although I am a strong socialist, I suspect that you might be making a fallacy of appeal to consequences... Just because libertarianism seems to have bad consequences that doesn't mean that it is not the best economic policy. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 04:18, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
On the other hand, if circumspectly applied, an argument from adverse consequences may be more valid than fallacious in a context like this. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 04:33, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Ow, I think my head just asploded. How can you talk about policy without talking about the consequences?? "But if we just repeal laws against theft, more people will steal stuff!" "Ha, you're just making an argument from adverse consequences!" Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 04:44, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
I'm not sure, but based on Eira's userboxen, i'm pretty sure that was a joke... EVDebs (talk) 04:49, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
It's why I said "I suspect"... I realized that it might be reasonable to evaluate consequences here rather than being fallacious. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 04:54, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Oh, just a bit confuzzled, I think. :| Nebuchadnezzar (talk) 05:17, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
It's perfectly fine... my argument was weak... kind of intentionally so... it was only preliminary. --Eira OMTG! The Goat be Praised. 05:24, 2 March 2011 (UTC)
Consequences are important but they are not the only factor to consider. As an example I used bellow: If the government passed a legistlation that forced people to exercise 5 days a week or else they would be executed. The consequence would be a much healthier population, but I doubt any of you would think it's a good policy. (talk) 11:47, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
It's the degree to which the consequences follow combined with how important they are which matters. Governments do, and should, encourage healthy lifestyles and I have no problem with them using laws to regulate dangerous drugs such as heroine, nicotine and alcohol. What is wrong with your example is the proportionality, not the basic tenet. Bob Soles (talk) 12:04, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Then the argument is not who is the better consequentialist since you will also be against a policy that intends to have positive consequences. Libertarians argue that no individual or group of people has the claim to force other people into doing or not doing certain things with their body and their lives.

Nomination for Silver[edit]

I think this is silver-quality. ТyTalk 22:07, 18 June 2011 (UTC)

No, libertarians actually like to sell gold due to the fall of the dollar, not silver.--George (talk) 22:18, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I am referring to the article rating system, and have changed the header to reflect that. Тysic semper 22:21, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Rating system? Oh, sorry.--George (talk) 22:24, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
It is okay, I am one of only 3 or so people who even remembers the rating system exists. ТyNo 22:25, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
But you put bronze, not silver.--George (talk) 22:27, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
Silver requires a nomination process. Gold requires at least a major argument in addition to the nomination process. Тyrannis 22:28, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
I see. But, it's not going to happen if no one cares anymore.--George (talk) 22:30, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
You'd be surprised what can happen here, over the most trivial of things. ТyComplaints 22:32, 18 June 2011 (UTC)
ain't that the truth.Civic Cat (talk) 17:49, 22 June 2011 (UTC)
As it has been ~1 month, and no objections... ТySerious Business Guy 05:40, 18 July 2011 (UTC)


It makes me sad that in a Wiki dedicated to rational thought, the subject in question is treated with strawman arguments, misinformation, and intense bias. The article seems like a joke, in fact. It pains me that this article gets by on a site bent on clear thinking.

-- A disgruntled (non-Libertarian) atheist — Unsigned, by: / talk / contribs

If you were specific in your accusations we might address them. Personally I'm happy with the article. If I had written it it would look much more like this Jack Hughes (talk) 14:07, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Aye, show us you are not a concern troll and provide particulars, please. Also, you use the words "clear thinking." I think they do not mean what you think they mean. Sprocket J Cogswell (talk) 14:16, 23 June 2011 (UTC)
Also, shouldn't everybody take a drink following "I thought this was a rational wiki"?--BobSpring is sprung! 15:38, 23 June 2011 (UTC)

Oh wow, my thoughts exactly. I thought I was the only one thinking this. Guys, I'd love to specifically address this article point by point but judging by the extreme amount of ignorance people have already unsuccessfully argued against above me, I highly doubt it would accomplish anything.

Here's a short book that highlights some of the easy myths surrounding the free market if you're not content with "LOL FREE MARKETS ARE WHERE THE RICH DO WHATEVER THEY WANT SLAVES CRIME POVERTY LOLLLL"

I really hope some of you read it because this is truly a disgrace.— Unsigned, by: PrimeCut / talk / contribs

No, really, rather than point us to some unreadable drivel, please provide a side by side why libertarianism is the best way forward. I'd love to see a side by side of this.
Please avoid the usual
  • The reason libertarianism has always failed is because it has never been given a real chance. It has had just as much chance as any other.
  • The reason that libertarian principles make no sense in the real world (guns for children, anyone?) is because libertarians don't really mean that their principles should be taken literally.
Jack Hughes (talk) 11:42, 6 July 2011 (UTC)
Is 'unreadable' really the adjective you were looking for there? It's a pretty easy read. Would outdated (or something along the lines thereof) not be more appropriate? --Danfly (talk) 13:09, 6 July 2011 (UTC)

No true Libertarian[edit]

Needs something about arguing with libertarians, and particularly their amazingly reliable tendency, when another libertarian says or does something really obviously embarrassing or fucked up, to immediately say the embarrassing person must not be a real libertarian. Disproportionately to other annoying Internet persons. Or perhaps it's just the ones I know. Anyone else seen this? And any other Libertarian arguing tropes that spring to mind? - David Gerard (talk) 16:29, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

The No True Scotsman fallacy is very popular. --Wackyvorlon (talk) 06:56, 17 March 2012 (UTC)

Athens ca. 500BC[edit]

It seems that the ideal society for libertarians is Athens circa 500BC. Even criminal justice was privatized. If there's interest, I'll rummage through my notes and put together a paragraph for the article. --Wackyvorlon (talk) 06:55, 17 March 2012 (UTC)