Free Capitalist Network - Community Archive
Mises Community Archive
An online community for fans of Austrian economics and libertarianism, featuring forums, user blogs, and more.

Breaking down the major schools and divisions within libertarianism

rated by 0 users
This post has 18 Replies | 4 Followers

Top 500 Contributor
Male
Posts 233
Points 4,440
Cortes Posted: Wed, Oct 10 2012 2:33 PM

I've come to realize that libertarianism is a pretty huge tent and that there are several profound disagreements among philosophical, ethical and economic lines. 

To comfortably define some hypothetical 'vanilla' libertarianism creates an abstraction that I think is pretty unrepresentative and misleading. 

In terms of ethics, I see deontological (Rothbard, Hoppe, de Jasay) and consequentialist (Mises, David Friedman) types. 

Minarchy vs anarchy is another divide.

Then we have issues like abortion and immigration.

Economics presents us with debates on IP and what could properly be called free banking (fractional reserve vs full reserve vs hybrid).

There is clearly no general consensus on what could be considered 'plumb line' libertarianism.

How would you classify the various lines of thought?

  • | Post Points: 50
Top 150 Contributor
Male
Posts 630
Points 9,425

libertarianism is defined i think in one word as individualism with individualism vs collectivism being one of the primary ideological dichotomies. Libertarianism can also be classified as a respect or like for liberty and and a respect or like for property rights. Someone who claims to be a libertarian but has strange views about property, would most likely fall in to another classification.

Recently I heard a great definition of libertarianism in a video but I do not remember who it was.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 200 Contributor
Male
Posts 444
Points 6,230

Cortes:
I've come to realize that libertarianism is a pretty huge tent and that there are several profound disagreements among philosophical, ethical and economic lines.

There is a book called Libertarianism Today which tries to cover just this topic:

https://mises.org/store/Product2.aspx?ProductId=10394

Here is Walter Block's review of the book:

https://mises.org/daily/4561

Which reminds me of this debate (hosted by Mises Canada) between Walter Block and Paul Geddes over "Was Milton Friedman A Libertarian?"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yeaVDR-QRKQ&feature=plcp

Edit: Also, here is Stephan Kinsella's take on the subject in his article "What Libertarianism Is":

https://mises.org/daily/3660

My long term project to get every PDF into EPUB: Mises Books

EPUB requests/News: (Semi-)Official Mises.org EPUB Release Topic

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,439
Points 44,650
Neodoxy replied on Wed, Oct 10 2012 5:13 PM

Here are the various categories and subcategories which I would say fall under the term "libertarianism". I might go into more detail later.

Moderates

  • Moderate conservatives. That is to say the "socially liberal, fiscally conservatives" umbrella
  • Constitutionalists, slightly more moderate to as extreme as Ron Paul is in rhetoric
  • Classical liberals. Rare but still around occasionally.
  • Hayekians
  • Barry Goldwater "Old right" types

Minarchists

  • Libertarian party member
  • "Normal" Minarchists (slightly more radical)
  • Misesian minarchists
  • Objectivists (two groups: Classical objectivists and post objectivists)
  • Radical Classical Liberals

Anarchists

  • Rothbardian Anarcho-capitalists
  • "Emgerentists" (my phrase)/voluntarists
  • Radical objectivists
  • Utilitarian voluntarists
  • Mutualists/left libertarians

I think that pretty much sums up the major camps. I'll add more if I can think of them

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
  • | Post Points: 35
Top 75 Contributor
Posts 1,288
Points 22,350

"Emgerentists" (my phrase)/voluntarists

Clarify meaning? (Should I assume it's a typo for "Emergentists"?)  Depending on the definition of that word, I might just be left out of your classification.

Also, what are "utilitarian voluntarists"?  David Friedman ancaps?

The Voluntaryist Reader: http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/ Libertarian forums that actually work: http://voluntaryism.freeforums.org/index.php
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 2,679
Points 45,110
gotlucky replied on Wed, Oct 10 2012 6:37 PM

Aristippus:

Also, what are "utilitarian voluntarist"? David Friedman ancaps?

Friedman for sure, but I'm sure you are familiar with Nielsio - he's a utilitarian voluntaryist.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,493
Points 39,355
Malachi replied on Wed, Oct 10 2012 6:50 PM
I am a disutilitarian voluntaryist.
Keep the faith, Strannix. -Casey Ryback, Under Siege (Steven Seagal)
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 1,711
Points 29,285

@ Neodoxy

You forgot about the Agorists.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,439
Points 44,650
Neodoxy replied on Wed, Oct 10 2012 7:04 PM

@Aristippus

1. Yes. That's what it would be in a world where I could spel gud

2. By "Emergentist" I mean the school of thought that feels that society and law is emergent and the state interferes with the system of emergent (not necessarily natural) law of what is demanded in society. They usually believe this would lead to a libertarian/anarcho-capitalist system, although there are usually some exceptions, but these exceptions usually depend upon the needs of the population itself.

3. Yea, utilitarian anarchism is pretty straightforward. Anarchists who are anarchists because they believe that this will bring about general happiness and prosperity. Friedman would be classified under this category for sure. I would actually classify myself under a combination of this and a form I of anarchism I didn't even bother putting down because it's pretty nonexistent.

Malachi,

I mean isn't that what all of us capitalists are? I a mean really when you get right down to it, don't we all just want the poor to starve and die while we nibble on caviar?

EDIT

Skeptic,

Agorism is a way of achieving anarcho-capitalism, not a method in and of itself. I find people often making this mistake and classifying it as its own ideology.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
  • | Post Points: 35
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 1,711
Points 29,285

Really? I think you'll find that Agorism has some qualities on it's own...

The relationship between anarcho-capitalism and agorism has always reminded me of the relationship between socialism (anarcho-capitalism in this case) and communism (agorism)

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,439
Points 44,650
Neodoxy replied on Wed, Oct 10 2012 7:14 PM

Could you point to me where in the article he talks about anything other than the differences in the method of creation of the anarchist society?

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 1,711
Points 29,285

Through his arguments, you can see that what he describes also determines how an Agorist society would be a little different than an anarcho-capitalist one. Agorism is much more in favor of non-violent revolution if something in the society goes wrong.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 75 Contributor
Male
Posts 1,018
Points 17,760

There is only 1 kind of libertarianism.

That is, anarchists.

Minarchists are statists in libertarian clothing.

“Since people are concerned that ‘X’ will not be provided, ‘X’ will naturally be provided by those who are concerned by its absence."
"The sweetest of minds can harbor the harshest of men.”

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.org

  • | Post Points: 35
Top 50 Contributor
Posts 1,711
Points 29,285

Anarchism is a branch of libertarianism. Libertarianism comprises many beliefs that are all related due to their anti-state stance.

  • | Post Points: 5
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,439
Points 44,650
Neodoxy replied on Wed, Oct 10 2012 11:52 PM

"There is only 1 kind of libertarianism."

Why?

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 200 Contributor
Posts 452
Points 7,620

I consider myself, technically, an individualist. The state, or whatever system, is the servant, not the master. Of course, the state has become a dangerous servant that can shoot you and/or throw you in jail. Heh. I'm still mostly new to libertarianism, and it's interesting to see the many subdivisions and degrees.

http://thephoenixsaga.com/
  • | Post Points: 5
Top 75 Contributor
Posts 1,288
Points 22,350
Aristippus replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 12:22 AM

I would put myself in the 'Emergent' camp rather than under the Rothbardian ancap banner (btw, fringeelements has already been using 'Emergent' the way you are).  This is both for utilitarian and 'empirical natural rights' reasons.

The Voluntaryist Reader: http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com/ Libertarian forums that actually work: http://voluntaryism.freeforums.org/index.php
  • | Post Points: 20
Top 50 Contributor
Male
Posts 2,551
Points 46,635
AJ replied on Thu, Oct 11 2012 4:21 AM

I guess I'd be classed as an "Emergentist."

I've boiled down my anti-statist argument to the simple suggestion that maybe humans are not evolutionarily adapted to large tribe sizes. This maladaptation leads to us revering "tribal elders" and other paternal figures even if they wish to govern hundred of millions of people. If we simply had a limit on how large of a group of people we could see as "our tribe," states could never grow beyond a few tens - maybe a few hundreds - of people. If this maladaptation were fixed, we'd suddenly have pervasive micro-secession and millions of tiny, nearly powerless governments would bloom, probably complete with trans-territorial private defense and court systems. 

Hence in the absence of this maladaptation that makes us revere tribes of unlimited size, a natural order would likely emerge that would be much like the AnCap conceptions envisioned by Rothbard, Murphy, David Friedman, and others, without holding fetishistically to them.

  • | Post Points: 20
Top 100 Contributor
Male
Posts 814
Points 14,875
Moderator

As an extra component with ethics I'd include the Virtue theorists, those in the Aristotilean tradition such as Long. Along with this I'd include where the deontological, virtue and consequentialists base their morality- in the structure of the external world, the indvidual, society or in a deity.

The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.

Yours sincerely,

Physiocrat

  • | Post Points: 5
Page 1 of 1 (19 items) | RSS