General Question

Drewseph's avatar

What are the pros and cons of the Libertarian Party?

Asked by Drewseph (533points) October 25th, 2010 from iPhone

I’m thinking about joining it when I’m old enough, but what kind of reputation does it have, and good or bad?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

18 Answers

filmfann's avatar

Hopefully, one day a 3rd party can exist seperate from the Dems and Reps, and still have a chance of winning elections, but the Libertarians are just a novelty act, and while they may pick up a few seats here and there, have no chance of taking real power.

Rarebear's avatar

You can be Libertarian but not in the Libertarian party. I’m mostly Libertarian and I’m a Democrat.

Katexyz's avatar

Pros: Libertarians believe in a very high amount of personal and economic freedom. They are perhaps the party which allows the widest range of acceptable and legal actions by individuals and businesses. In theory the high amount of economic freedom ensures that all individuals are free to pursue whatever route to economic success they desire. Business thrives in Libertarian free market society, and wealth is unparalleled. In theory the system would provide everyone the opportunity for a job, as the Libertarian believes all freedom stems from economic freedom. Taxes would be minimal. Personal freedoms, however, don’t suffer as in strongly conservative societies. Essentially the “most Libertarian” perspective would be “all action which causes no harm to others is permitted.” They believe strongly in noninterventionist international policies, or essentially, worry about what we have the right, and ability, to fix, our country, and allow other countries to do as they please as long as they do not directly threaten us (or our interests).

Cons: This unbridled economic freedom means that individuals who are less able to succeed, won’t. There will be an equal amount of extreme poverty as extreme wealth, as no social programs will exist as a backstop or means of assistance. Unemployment would likely be high, as business would be more free to fire at will any employee they feel does not adequately benefit their profit, and lack of government programs would mean getting back to work may be difficult to impossible. The old, and the sick would be left just as that, old and sick, and on their own. Though the claim is that private charity now supersedes government assistance, this would not continue in a Libertarian state where there are no governmental incentives for private charities. Along with our noninterventionist policy would be less “soft” or negotiating power internationally, less chances to make alliances, and more poverty and starvation outside of the United States. Libertarians are almost considered a fringe political group and their goals and objectives are never taken seriously, and less often met.

I could continue, but I think this would be a good starting point, and should probably be sufficient for what you were asking. Good luck!! ^_^

Also @Rarebear, there is an official Libertarian party, they just don’t have primaries, and aren’t considered as serious candidates in elections.

jrpowell's avatar

@Katexyz pretty much nailed it. If you want to live in Somalia vote Libertarian.

Katexyz's avatar

@johnpowell Why thank you! There is of course a lot more to it (as you alluded to with the Somalia example), like essentially wealth controlling law even more so, corruption, and on and on, but I figured this is enough to introduce the topic.

Rarebear's avatar

@Katexyz I know there is an official libertarian party. I was making the point that you can belong to other parties and still hold some libertarian beliefs.

Katexyz's avatar

@Rarebear ahh, sorry, I completely misunderstood that.

Rarebear's avatar

@Katexyz No prob.
I’d like to ask the OP, @Drewseph what specifically attracts him/her to Libertarianism. I’m not a true and blue libertarian as I think that as you pointed out, in an unbridled, unregulated economy, the system breaks down. But philosophically, I agree with many of the beliefs.

Katexyz's avatar

@Rarebear that is an interesting question. I too wonder what attracts OP to this group in particular. And I agree with you, large parts of Libertarianism are very interesting and full of good ideas, but like nearly everything, taking it to an extreme is a bad idea.

crisw's avatar

My personal experience is that some philosophical aspects of libertarianism are acceptable and some are not (for all the reasons mentioned) but that few people that I have met who claim to be libertarians have thought deeply about the philosophy. They are usually either totally focused on legalizing drugs or obsessed with guns, with sometimes an Ayn Randite thrown in the mix.

My biggest problem with libertarianism? I have asked many libertarians this question and never gotten a satisfactory answer. How, under a purely libertarian philosophy, can we account for duties to endangered species and habitats?

Rarebear's avatar

@crisw Which is one of the reasons I don’t stand up and wave the libertarian banner. I agree that there are some things that the government must do, and this is where I disagree with some of my more classic libertarian friends.

weeveeship's avatar

A lot of academicians (i.e. professors) are libertarians. Basically, libertarians are fiscally conservatives and socially moderate or liberal.

There are many flavors of libertarians, though. A free market libertarians, for instance, might not agree with an borderline-anarchist libertarian.

Drewseph's avatar

Well, I was trying to find a political party that was against the ban on violent video games, and I came across the LP. Almost every other party either supported the ban, or I just didn’t agree with their beliefs…

Also, what is an OP? LOL, I assume it means the asker but what does it stand for?

crisw's avatar


“Original poster.”

And please don’t choose a political party based on its stand on video games alone. There are more important issues in the Universe :>D

josie's avatar

Pro- personal freedom
Con-Limits defense and security to response only. No pre-emptive action, even if justified by threat.

Rarebear's avatar

Boy, I couldn’t agree with @crisw more on this point.

Rarebear's avatar

My libertarian bents come directly from my skeptic philosophy. I’m a libertarian on the line of Penn, Teller, or Michael Shermer—not Glenn Beck.

I’m a “show me the evidence” kind of person. Show me the evidence that a state or federal intervention makes a difference, and that there are no viable alternatives, then sign me up. For example on @crisw issue, I think that it is absolutely clear that Federal protection of wildlife and species is absolutely critical.

Paradox's avatar

There are liberal and conservative Libertarians. In general Libertarians are far-right on fiscal issues, far-left on most social issues and generally are noninterventionists when it comes to using the military but at the same time they are not isolationists, especially when it comes to the economy. The Tea Party are not Libertarians.

It would be nice to see a viable alternative to the Democrats such as the Green Party, viable alternative to the Republicans as in the Libertarian Party and a viable centrist party such as the Centrists or Whigs.

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