Factio Effrenata, Anarchic Entity (effrenata) wrote in applied_liberty,
Factio Effrenata, Anarchic Entity


I started this group for the discussion of how social issues can be handled from a Libertarian viewpoint. By "social issues", I mean the wide range of problems in society that are not directly part of the structure of goverment (although they are often promoted, exacerbated and perpetuated by governmental systems.) Examples are racism, sexism, homophobia, ethnocentrism and other "isms" or forms of prejudice, including intergroup strife and conflict; poverty and its cycle of perpetuation; globalization and the cultural changes it is creating in the world; the social and economic struggles of people in developing nations; corporate corruption and lack of transparency; and the environment.

Some Libertarians seem to be of the opinion that these problems don't exist -- that our current society (at least in the US) is already completely meritocratic. There is a great deal of evidence that this is not so; however, since many Libertarians focus on the disciplines of philosophy, economics and political science, they are unaware of research in the other social sciences. Too, the problem is made more severe by the current hegemony in the humanities and social sciences by institutionalized Leftism -- PC academica. To take back the universities for the Classic Liberal worldview -- and liberty of thought and speech -- we must take a serious stand in engaging these issues, not ignoring them. Simply mocking the Leftists' postmodern excesses does not answer the questions they pose, nor does it provide effective counterarguments.

Besides academia, there is the problem of Libertarianism's, and the LP's, relevance to the general community. Speaking of the US in particular, Libertarianism currently appeals mainly to white, middle-to-upper-class males. We will not win an election until we find a way to reach out to other demographics -- to make those who are not already advantaged feel welcome in our party, to let them know that their concerns are heard and we are prepared to offer real, workable solutions, not just vague hand-waving about how "the market will fix it all." We won't get a free market until people feel secure and confident trusting in their own voluntary actions, rather than government. And to win people's confidence, we must first listen to them, discover their needs and desires, and address them in a respectful and meaningful way.

Therefore, this community will also foster an appraisal of and dialogue with other points of view. It's time to stop sticking our idealistic heads in the sand and see what's out there. The next important step is to develop and promote voluntary, noncoercive solutions to social ills which free people to improve their own lives, instead of chaining them to the stifling care of government.

The subtitle I've chosen for this journal is "Social Solutions for Social Problems", in recognition of the Libertarian principle that the market and civil society should be free to act independently in their own arenas, unencumbered by government coercion. Exploring the area of civil society, or voluntary human action which does not necessarily involve economic exchange, is an important project that Libertarian scholars have, so far, touched only briefly. We must open this field to full investigation, if our political stand is to gain relevance and influence in today's world.

Since many of us are Americans, there will be some degree of US-centric focus, although I encourage the development of a global viewpoint.
  • Post a new comment


    default userpic
This should be interesting. I spent most of my college career trying to apply liberty to Islamic studies, gender issues and world film--can't say it worked out for me. And I went to George Mason! I look forward to thinking with you all!
Have you ever seen the movie Pi? The symbol pi is actually the name of the movie...
Of course. I'm a big pi nerd in general. Even have a pi tattoo.
When you say it didn't work out, do you mean you had trouble integrating the ideas conceptually, or that your views were rejected by your instructors?
A little of both. My professors were too caught up in guilt to possibly consider personal responsibility and choice. You've got to have an oppressed people for their style of teaching to work.

As for myself, I'm pretty young and I'm still deciding what I think of the world. (I phrased that as though I would someday be finished deciding--that's not true.) I'm from a pretty small conservative Southern town, and the first time I was introduced to off the wall liberalism was at school. It was also the same time that I was introduced to libertarianism. In a 3 year span, I'd like to think I've done a pretty good job of sorting it all out. But, like I said, it hit me all at once.

Wonder why I answered your questions in reverse order? Oops.
I just want to point out that the point of libertarianism isn't meant to be meritocratic. It allows for the business owner to decide rather than be coerced by the government. It merely takes government enforced reverse racism out of the picture.
Yes, that is the Libertarian political agenda -- noninterference in private decisions. However, I think most Libertarians would agree that nonmeritocratic practices are undesirable, whether for moral reasons or simply because, by being irrational, they lower the overall efficiency of the economy. What I'm interested in here is exploring non-governmental ways to encourage fair practices.
Uhm, easy. Same way environmental activists do it.
If it were "easy", it would have been done already.

The environment is an extremely complex system. So is society. We need to understand both of them much better before we can influence them wisely and effectively.
Not being an environmental activist (but a mere recycler), what do you mean? How do they do it?
Boycotting the business. Picketing.
Education. Not that they don't lobby the government as well, but their main focus seems to be on education.
I think this is a wonderful idea for a community and I'm excited to see what comes of it.

I'm a social sciences student at the University of Maryland. My Libertarian views are tolerated enough in the Dept of Government, but it's spooky how the events that have recently transpired in feminist have mirrored my own experiences - down to the letter - in the Dept of Women's Studies. (Subsequently, this is why I'm now a focused Government student with less emphasis on women's issues and issues of gender and more emphasis on civil rights.)

I look forward to the discussions here. :)
The 14th amendment has always been good enough for me. :)

Can someone give me a quick run down of what has come to pass in feminist, or at least point me in the direction of the posts everyone's talking about?
There's a pretty good thread about it on ifeminist; but, in case you're busy today and could use a v. quick rundown: They're race-baiting and going way off the deep end with warning and banning anyone who dares to dissent from the politically acceptable speech code they have set up.
This post by effrenata in ifeminist is a good starting point.

In a nutshell, the mods of feminist have ruled that only white people can be racist, only rich people can be classist and only men can be sexist, and if you say otherwise you're violating the posting rules of feminist.