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Thread: Liberalism and Libertarianism, what's the difference?2059 days old

  1. #21
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    Default Liber do not promote the freedom of individuals and are selective in which groups

    Quote Originally Posted by Unome View Post
    The primary similarity is the valuation of freedom. Both liberals and libertarians promote the freedom of individuals and social groups. Therefore both groups would be anti-slavery. This is associated with the Civil Rights movement and laws in US history. Liberals want to see themselves as responsible for "freeing black people", and everybody else. Extreme liberals and neo-liberals want to "free everybody from everything", including liberals who supposedly tolerate Islam.

    The primary difference is the method of justifying this freedom. Libertarians are anti-authoritarian and anti-government, leaning more toward leftism and anarchism.However, groups are truly free because big government is incompatible with freedom. Libertarians demand a small government or decentralized government (anti-federalism). While liberals don't care about the size of government. In fact neo-liberals support a central government; because they believe a strong government will "free" or "liberate" more people. Liberals believe that freedom is accessed through the government; therefore they believe the government is necessary. Libertarians believe freedom is possible, and more probable, without a government/authoritarian system.

    Democracy is another big difference. Liberals and Libertarians have different views on freedom of individuals, compared to freedom of social groups.

    The freedom of an individual (single wo/man) is different than the freedom of a society (population).
    Actually, liberals do not promote freedom of individuals and they try to inhibit the freedom of some groups in particular while trying to enhance the freedom of others groups relatively speaking. So groups aren't really free under liberalism either. Liberals are for big government and big government is incompatible with freedom. I'm glad we are trying to differentiate between liberals and libertarians rather than liberals and conservatives. Many people fall for the liberal-conservative dichotomy. It is false and misleading, and is easily used by tyrants to restrict freedom. For example, our 'conservative' tyrants have given us a 'war on drugs' which has eviscerated many of our rights; while our liberal tyrants have given us 'civil rights' which have eviscerated even more rights. The point is that the only real political divide is between small government (whose harm is limited) and Big Government (whose harm seems to be unlimited) -- a divide which really translates into the question of how much taxes should the government be allowed to impose on us and right now taxes are definitely too high.

    The biggest most important difference between liberals and libertarians is that liberals are for big monstrous meddling government and libertarians are for a government so small that it cannot restrict freedom of the individual to a significant degree.

    I don't think there is a difference between the freedom of the individual and the freedom of a society (population) if libertarianism is properly understood.

    The other real difference between liberals and libertarians is that liberals are socialist and libertarians are for laisse-faire free market capitalism using the 'invisible hand' of Adam Smith to guide the economy. Libertarians are also for the gold standard where liberals are for fiat money.


    Another difference between libertarianism and liberalism is that liberalism is the religion of the modern world and is illogical and self-contradictory. Where as libertarianism is not a religion and it is logically consistent even if it means applying its principles to situations where most people would disagree with it in that specific sense.
    Last edited by Angevin; 2014-03-11 at 17:25.
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    First of all one should be aware of the fact that "liberalism" is far from being a monolithic ideology, and indeed has undergone a significant schism. This has created 2 strands- " classical liberalism" and " modern liberalism", whilst they differ quite a lot of certain topics ( which I will elaborate on) they are both centered on what is termed the "mechanistic theory" which stipulates the supremacy of the individual over the state. Expounding on this "classical" liberals subscribe to negative freedoms which hinder the state from intervening in the lives of its citizens unless to prevent harm being inflicted upon any of them. Therefore, in that regard "classical" liberalism pretty much ensures maximum personal autonomy. Contrastingly, on the issue of freedom "modern" liberals believe in positive freedoms, wherein whilst they acknowledge that humans should be given as much freedom as is possible to fulfill their potential they also realise that sometimes people are inhibited by factors that are out of their control, such as illiteracy engendered by poor education. Therefore, to alleviate them of these problems the modern liberal is willing to utilise the state in a limited fashion to ensure the provisions that will help citizens become independent. The issue of freedom is the most significant area of difference between the two variants of liberalism.

    Libertarianism is sometimes deemed to be anarcho-capitalism which as the term suggests entails a complete absence of government intervention in matters of the market, which is an expansion of Adam Smith's " invisible hand " motif but even he thought such an approach was unfeasible given the occasional irregularities in the market. Simply put the main difference between the two ideologies is that classical liberalism is a somewhat diluted version of economic libertarianism, but has identical components with regards to social issues( leaving the individual be).

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    Is not it because what Europeans call socialists Americans call liberals and European liberals are in USA libertarians?

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    ps I think libertarians are uthopists, like marxists. Liberalism a pointed is a wide stream of ideologies (liberalism according to european definition) and libertarianism is the most extreme one. Libertarians believe that nominal freedom gives real freedom while everything seems to prove that its exactly the other way.
    (examples: most third world countries: no government, basically no law, 'wild west', no regulation about anything and the result: a lot of violence, oppression and slavery- something libertarians oppose).
    Am I right or am I wrong?

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