"And here is the difference between the Libertarians and the Authoritarians: the latter have no confidence in liberty; they believe in compelling people to be good, assuming that people are totally depraved; the former believe in letting people be good, and maintain that humanity grows better and better as it gains more and more liberty. If Libertarians were merely to ask that liberty be tried in any one of the other fields of human expression they would meet the same opposition as their pioneer predecessors; but such is their confidence in the advantages of liberty that they demand, not that it be tried in one more instance only, but that it be universally adopted."
by:
Charles T. Sprading
(1871-1959) Libertarian activist, writer
Source:
Charles T. Sprading's Introduction to Liberty and the Great Libertarians; An Anthology On Liberty; A Hand-book Of Freedom (Los Angeles: The Libertarian Publishing Company, 1913)
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I choose Libertarian over the Authoritarian rule of LBJ in the 60's.
 -- cal, lewisville, tx     
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    Republicans always talk about lowering taxes and spending cuts, but never seem to get around to doing it. Truth be told, Repubs and Dems are two sides of the same coin. That is just one of the reasons I am a Libertarian.
     -- jim k, Austin, Tx     
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    I was along for the ride on this one until the ole progressive / neocon 'demand' raised its ugly head - just another hold over from the agent provocateur's handbook. Most of the rest is pretty accurate. To put a title to, or label on the pure libertarian, I would say that patience and long suffering would substitute 'demand'.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I can see Mike's point , but is there nothing a Libertarian can 'demand' without losing Liberty in the process? And since Libertarians assert that their 'rights' are inherent and inalienable, may they not 'demand' that their rights be respected and to 'demand' justice when they are violated? I think it is high time that we DEMAND justice. Patience and long-suffering is more a Christian tenet in that it is believed that one day, the Lord will save us -- for Libertarians, I do not think we can wait that long -- it is a defeatist attitude to believe that man is depraved and corrupted and that there can be no liberty in this world -- this is not the belief of Libertarians. Liberty may be an ideal, but I am not waiting for it to happen -- we must take a stand, individually and collectively -- we cannot demand others join us, but we do not have to acquiesce and suffer quietly while we are consumed. Live Free or Die! (is that a demand?) ;-)
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Archer, you're absolutely right, thank you for help expanding and clarifying what I was saying; there is a time and place for 'DEMAND' - jury nullification, and the individual sovereign knowledgeable in how to present himself in court (straw-man, asserting complete rights, correct procedure, etc.) comes to mind. Also, DEMANDING our inferiors represent 'We The People' as sovereign superior individuals instead of genuflecting to the occupying statist theocracy infesting this land. An extreme / pro-active approach with a, your rights end at my nose attitude, is sorely needed to reclaim a semblance of freedom and liberty. It seemed the 'demand' here was crossing the line into just another call to tyranny.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    Indoctrinations of socialism, and the mystery of iniquity in the Christian community. Doubt is the tool of tyranny. Regardless of the pulpit it is preached from. Herein lies the need for the separation of church and state, regarding liberty and freedom of the individual. 
    " The substance and essence of Christianity, as I understand it, is eternal and unchangeable, and will bear examination forever.
    Extraneous ingredients, which I think will not bear examination, and they ought to be separated." John Adams. 
     -- Ronw13, OR     
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    The common theme of socialists and religionists is 'assuming that people are totally depraved.'  Fallen man, never to raise himself up is the con of popes and monarchs, they making themselves the wardens of a depraved populace by divine 'right.'  Similar to the victim-consciousness used to rally the socialists.  All in need of 'saving.'  This is a corruption of the truth that has kept humankind under the thumb for centuries.  The shackles of the mind are the hardest to unlock.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Another twist to the here focused statement is a libertarian would act within self-control / personal-responsibility at natural law while the demented control freaks would reek control through depravity and destruction of the specie - instead of simply allowing "good" or anything but their "now" debauchery dogma(s) (as is the current condition). The current vogue is to mandate evil as good / good as evil, darkness for light / light for darkness, and bitter for sweet / sweet for bitter! Its not just that the here said "Authoritarians" don't have confidence in, they loathe individual sovereignty, inalienable rights, liberty, "the laws of nature and of nature's God" (Declaration of Independence), prosperity for the many, peace, charity and truth.
     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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    I think the choice of "Authoritarian" is a bit of negative word play.  I would prefer if he had compared "Citizen" to "Libertarian".
    But let us look at his exaggerated idea that Authoritarians want to compel everyone to good behavior.  Does this come from a philosophical idea, or from the real world?  If we simply ASK everyone in our society to "do the right thing", do they?  Has an entire society EVERY done so?

    Do you have the "right" because you are a Libertarian to blow off fireworks, ride loud dirtbikes?  Do the Authoritarians crush you if they pass laws against these?  Well, where are the rights of your neighbors to have peace and quiet?  Ride a dirtbike whose sound does not cross my property line, and we can talk.  Blow fireworks whose noise and light do not come into my yard, my house, and we'll discuss "Libertarianism".
    "Citizen" reflects a person who understands that people living around each other MUST agree upon laws, and, the more that individuals impose upon others, the more laws seem to be needed.
    When the very last person ever will have died from a gunshot, then we can talk about having no restrictions, no laws, and about freedom to possess a gun.  When the last person, ever, violates public decency, imposes themselves on their fellows, takes advantage of other people, THEN we can review your absolute Freedoms.

     -- Dingley Dell, Boone, IA     
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    Uh........... you tell us that a 'socialist' is the same as a pope or monarch?  That they share philosophy?  I think you don't understand the word, or the concept, of 'socialist'.  (Which makes most of your essay invalid.)  Stop getting your vocabulary from Fox News and the Right-wingers, learn the reality of opposing views, then lecture us.

    I'm amused by those of you who have been 'under the thumb' ---- please, can you identify when a lack of government, a lack of order, a lack of structure has EVER worked?  Yes, you can tout a Utopia, but when has unfettered personal freedom EVER succeeded?

    You are missing the difference between "all mankind, every single person is corrupt" and "every barrel has some bad apples".  You like to think laws are the result of a depressed philosophy in which everyone is viewed as innately evil by the law makers (including themselves) and must be controlled.  Well, life isn't black or white, left or right.  You cannot view every living human as incorrupt, unselfish, and good, either.

    Structure, whether as government or religion or any variation, is needed because of the mix of good and bad people and good and bad behavior.

     -- Dingley Dell, Boone, IA     
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    Huh?  Wha???????   LBJ? Not the legislators, the courts, and especially the citizens, parents, neighbors, townfolk who judged each other's behavior?  You think LBJ himself was a Ruler of some sort?
    Ha, ha, ha.  Haven't had a laugh like that since, well, Nixon took office.

     -- Dingley Dell, Boone, IA     
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    'Socialist' is 'statist.'  Other than a republican form of government founded upon the natural born rights of man, all other governments are 'statist' which is the supremacy of the state, the people subjects to the dictates of the ruling class.

    As for 'lack of order' or 'lack of structure,' where does the authority come from to impose order on others?  You don't understand the American republican government, obviously.  The people are FREE.  They determine the order of their lives.  The government is tasked with administering justice and protecting the individual rights of the people.  

    Socialism, communism, fascism, monarchies, the Catholic Church are all statist forms of government playing the role of forever-parent to which all are to be beholden.

    As far as how to deal with 'bad' people, it is first the responsibility for the individual to be able to defend oneself from such evil or else perish.  When we form a collective defense of our rights, we form a government, and that government is subject to strict rules and jurisdiction.  

    It's quite simple.  In America, the people are sovereign and the government their subject.  In statist governments, the rulers are supreme and the individual a subject of the state.

    The US government is very, very powerful now, and there is a never-ending battle from within and without to seize that power.  We have lost a lot of ground in Liberty over the last 100 years, and the US has become more increasingly statist by way of the Commerce Clause which gives the government the power to control corporate fictions.  The government does NOT have the power to control the citizens.  The tactic has become then to expand the jurisdiction of the government by making the people de facto employees of the government and thus subject to their rules.  As well, people are now treated as corporations and corporations are being treated as people.  The end result has been the literal dissolution of the Common Law jurisdiction  there is only one Common Law Court left that I know of, in DC.

    So the corruption of the American republican form of government continues to the point that people like Dingley Bell have no idea what America truly is and thus demand from government what they are to provide for themselves.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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    Spoken like a true authoritarian, ignorant of his arrogance and sense of superiority.  Libertarians are 'responsibilitarians'  they are responsible for their own actions and the consequences of those actions.  If I am not violating another's rights, then there is no violation. 

    Look, an authoritarian is someone who wants to use the power of the state to impose their restrictions on others rather than come to a mutual agreement.  They are 'rule-makers'  "New Rule" is their common creed.  And Libertarians ignore those arbitrary rules with no authority to dictate behavior.

    Again, an authoritarian is someone who withholds permission for others to do what they have a right to do until they can prove that they can be trusted with such power. ;-)

    Dingley, you are an authoritarian.
     -- E Archer, NYC     
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         Dingley Dell, you obviously have no clue what terms such inalienable rights, liberty or “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” (Declaration of Independence) mean - either at philosophy or at real life.

         The broad nomenclature “law”, divides into multiple political philosophies – temporally rendering many mental images, understandings and exercises. Subsequent applications to said philosophies, are consistent with or, referenced to relative sources or called upon authority (philosophy, real life, individual, collective, authoritarian, etc.) – By example:

    1) The jurisprudence of the de jure States united is; “the laws of nature and of nature’s God” (Declaration of Independence). Said law is a limited specific specie of natural law. Natural law nomenclature animates an umbrella of that which is eternal and absolute in nature. Natural law is infinite and unwavering rules of nature, categorically understood through assessable proficiencies such as gravity, physics, math, economics, life, liberty and property (an Iroquois Federation measure, the constitutional law of the land).

    2) Legal Positivism; Legal Positivism is arbitrary, “An arbitrary law is one made by the legislator simply because he wills it, and is not founded in the nature of things;” (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary) – Legal Positivism is most often “used in opposition to natural law” (Bouvier’s Law Dictionary). "Arbitrary power is most easily established on the ruins of Liberty abused to licentiousness.” (George Washington)

    3) Legal Realism; Legal Realism is arbitrary and habitually time/situation fleeting, instituted by any source, at any time regardless of natural law or legal positivism (executive, judicial, personal, etc.).

    4) etc. All current court nomenclature draws from legal positivism or legal realism (especially when rationalized by stare decisis / court precedence).

         In the de jure States united, each individual was to be personally sovereign, uniting with other sovereigns to hire subordinates to enhance and protect rights and liberty at natural law. “The public good is in nothing more essentially interested, than in the protection of every individual's private rights.” (Sir William Blackstone – third most quoted individual in creation of the U.S. Constitution - in a most Montesquieu flavor)

    A fundamental legal premise in a “republican form of government” is nemo dat quod non haben = You cannot give what you do not have: an individual sovereign can’t restrict the actions of a non-offending other (in person, property or commerce) nor, can he give such authority or ability to his servants (If you can’t do it, neither can the person / entity that is representing your rights and liberty at natural law). “Since when have we Americans been expected to bow submissively to authority and speak with awe and reverence to those who represent us?” (Justice William O. Douglas).

         I have defined often inalienable rights and liberty often on this blog. Such exists at natural law. Authoritarianism exists within Legal Positivism and Legal Realism here described above.


     -- Mike, Norwalk     
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