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Related Words, Beliefs, Background

Worldview Theme #50A: Libertarian   Worldview Theme #50B: Left Anarchist
Contrast Worldview Themes #50A and #49A --  these themes involve orientations, beliefs or behavior that are (more or less) diametrically opposed!            

Contrast Worldview Themes #50A and #49B --   these themes involve orientations, beliefs or behavior that are (more or less) diametrically opposed!           

Contrast Worldview Themes #50A and #20B --   these themes involve orientations, beliefs or behavior that are (more or less) diametrically opposed! 

Contrast Worldview Themes #50A and #42 --   these themes involve orientations, beliefs or behavior that are (more or less) diametrically opposed! 

common good, the--can be defined in various ways depending on one's perspective. Some define it narrowly as that which is good for every member of the community; others broaden the community here to include all human beings. While libertarians argue it is a meaningless concept, utilitarians equate it with "the greatest good for the greatest  number of individuals."  

corporate welfare--refers to government support--what critics might call "handouts"--provided to private corporations in the form of subsidies, tax breaks / credits, and laws / benefits / exemptions by which private sector businesses in some way use the public sector (taxpayer dollars, public land, etc.) to their advantage.

egoism -- the belief that individual self interest is the basis for all human behavior and that this is how it ought to be.

eminent domain, expropriation, etc.--refers to the right of a government to purchase or take private land for public use.  The right is sometimes invoked in building highways, utility distribution lines, etc.

government inefficiency–an umbrella term that refers to government failings to efficiently carry out its mission / social programs.  Waste of taxpayer money is a typical manifestation; fraud / corruption are extreme ones. 

gun rights--in the USA, advocates argue that the 2nd Amendment guarantees "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." Many argue that self defense is a basic right, and that guns deter crime. Some feel that even firearm registration requirements are an infringement of their rights (including privacy).

individualism -- a social philosophy and belief system that places individual interests and rights above those of society , and individual freedom and independence above any social contract obligations

laissez-faire -- refers to free market capitalism being left alone to operate without government interference

law: private vs. public--the former involves relationships between individuals (including corporations), the latter with issues involving the state and welfare of society (including penal law, and regulatory statutes, etc.)

libertarian --one who supports individual freedom and government policies which promote it, limiting the power of government so that individual liberty is maximized, having complete control over and accepting personal responsibility for how one's body or personal property is used, and the non-aggression principle. 

liberty principle -- from moral theory, a principle that states that seeking liberty for oneself with someone else’s freedom in mind takes moral precedence over seeking such liberty that leads to the loss of liberty or freedom for someone else.

market economy -- a private, free-enterprise system based on independent consumer agents, a price system, and economic forces of supply and demand

nationalization—when private property is transferred to the ownership of a national government, making it public property.  Such transfer can occur without coercion and be accompanied by full compensation, or the government can simply seize the property.  Nationalization is the opposite of privatization—where public property is sold and becomes private property.

non-aggression principle--the idea, as expressed by Ayn Rand, that coercive physical force or the threat of such use against person or property should never be used first, and that its only legitimate use is for defensive purposes by individuals or by governments to punish law-breakers.

objectivism and the virtue of selfishness -- as popularized in the 1950s and 60s by Ayn Rand, objectivism values rational selfishness and views altruism as contrary to human nature. It sees the central purpose of a rational person’s life as productive work, and trade (which it links with justice) as “the only rational ethical principle for all human relationships”. Not surprisingly, this philosophy embraces laissez faire capitalism. Socially, objectivist ethics places the highest value on an individual’s happiness, and denigrates his or her putting aside self interest and sacrificing for others -- singling out as mistaken the belief that one person’s happiness necessarily leads to others’ misery. Politically, its basic principle is “no man may initiate the use of physical force against others”. Rand’s philosophy is embraced by many libertarians and many who rail against “the social welfare state”, “the common good”, "progressive income tax structures", etc.

pornography and restricting creative expression -- pornography refers to anything that depicts erotic behavior in a way to cause sexual excitement. Many argue that pornography should be protected under laws guaranteeing free speech and creative expression. They rail against laws restricting it, characterizing what is being banned as either (at best) merely artistic expression or (at worse) merely a victimless crime. Others argue that display of pornography should be restricted -- in some cases banned entirely -- because it is harmful to society in the following ways: 1) it leads to increases in sex crimes, 2) it is degrading to women, and 3) it perverts the normal sexual development of children.

progressive taxation—a policy by which governments tax those with higher incomes at a greater percentage rate than those with lower incomes. Ideally, this policy taxes those who can afford to pay proportionally more, benefiting those who can least afford it. It is to be distinguished from a flat tax rate, when all pay the same rate regardless of income, and from regressive taxation, where those who can least afford it pay more or are hit harder by the tax.

private property, sanctity of -- the belief that individual possession of private property gives people rights that help guarantee their freedom, and that government challenging those private property rights is tantamount to government trampling on their freedom. Americans who put private property on such a pedestal typically oppose government restrictions on how they use their land, and government employees trespassing on their property -- perhaps citing the fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to bolster their legal standing.

rationalism -- a philosophical orientation that links finding ultimate truth to employing reasoning

social contract--its most important meaning refers to an agreement between the people and their rulers in which the  duties and rights of each are defined and constrained.  While rulers would say it serves to maintain order, the people point to it as establishing the principle that rulers have legitimacy only if they have the consent of those they govern

Social Darwinism -- the application of Darwinian principles (natural selection, survival of the fittest, etc) to social practices as a natural defense of entrepreneurial capitalism

victimless crimes -- certain behaviors that most societies frown on, and many have restricted or made illegal, but nonetheless seemingly involve only consenting adults and have no immediately obvious victims. Examples include gambling and prostitution.

welfare assistance—government provided monetary or other assistance designed to provide an economic or social safety net for those disadvantaged members of society who are unable to support themselves.  Eligibility is determined by income below the poverty level and other “means tests.” Recipients are typically required to demonstrate that they are seeking employment or have enrolled in job training.    

wise use movement -- a movement led by people who feel that the government has no right dictating what private landowners can and can not do with their land. The movement, linked to the “Sagebrush Rebellion” in the western U.S. -- which also involves public land management concerns, grew out of increasing frustration with laws containing environmental restrictions, protecting endangered species, limiting development, etc. “Wise use” refers to a philosophy about how land should be developed, a philosophy supposedly based on common sense.

  Contrast Worldview Themes #50B and #19 --  these themes involve orientations, beliefs or behavior that are (more or less) diametrically opposed!           

Contrast Worldview Themes #50B and #20B -- these themes involve orientations, beliefs or behavior that are (more or less) diametrically opposed! 

Contrast Worldview Themes #50B and #43 --  these themes involve orientations, beliefs or behavior that are (more or less) diametrically opposed! 

collective -- a typically democratic and egalitarian-minded  group of people, brought together by a common issue, interest, project or goal,  often after realizing that their political, social, or economic clout greatly increases after joining together.  Cooperatives represent a type of collective, one generally formed around some economic endeavor, with perceived economic benefit in mind.

collectivist anarchism -- a type of left anarchism in which the means of production would be collectively owned, controlled and managed by the producers themselves. Workers would be paid based the length of their productive labor (rather than the Marxist ideal of "to each according to his need").

cooperatives principles -- These were formulated in the 1840s by a co-operative of weavers in Rochdale, Lancashire, England: 1) voluntary and open membership; 2) democratic member control; 3) members economic participation; 4) autonomy and independence; 5) provide education, training, and information 6) cooperate and work with other cooperatives; 7) concern for the community

corporate state -- a term used by those who believe that government and large corporations are run by the same people and are so intermeshed that corporate goals and policy and government goals and policy are essentially the same

egalitarianism -- the belief that all human beings should have the same rights, opportunities and privileges.

left anarchism -- a brand of anarchism that opposes private ownership of the means of production.  Some think of this as a "libertarian socialism"--much different than the libertarian philosophy of Ayn Rand and others that preaches the sanctity of private property.  In recent years the term "post-left anarchism" has been used to distant this brand of anarchism from authoritarian leftism (whose legitimacy died, they feel, with the collapse of the Soviet Union.) 

Marxism -- a 19th century dispassionate analysis of the inherent flaws in a pure capitalist economic system which later served as the basis for 20th century socialist and communist states. The analysis considers an economic struggle between capitalist owners and workers, identifies the origin of the capitalist’s profit in the form of “surplus value” created by worker labor that is not paid for, models business cycles of boom and bust (falling profits, layoffs, crash), with small businesses absorbed by the growth of larger firms. According to Robert Heilbroner, “...the Marxist model of how capitalism worked was extraordinarily prophetic”. Marx felt that capitalism was inherently unstable and that it would be socially impossible for governments in such societies to right wrongs -- for that would require the powerful upper class to act in something other than its own economic self interest. He felt that eventually capitalism would be replaced by a classless society in which production would become centralized in the machinery of the state -- which itself might eventually “wither away”.  Modern economic history -- in particular western economies building social justice into their systems, moving away from pure capitalism and toward social welfare states -- suggests that Marx failed to appreciate the social adaptability of capitalism.

mutualism -- an economic theory popular among some anarchists. Its chief belief is the idea that a market without government interference would not involve profit because firms would then compete for workers just as workers compete for firms. Without government protection of monopolies, its proponents claim, each worker would receive fair and full compensation -- since no deduction for profit to the employer would be removed. 

nation state, argument for its existence -- Both national governments and huge multinational corporations are necessary, Heilbroner and Thurow argue, because “they seem to be the only ways in which we can organize mankind to perform the arduous and sustained labor without which humanity itself would rapidly perish”.

rebel -- According to Albert Camus, a rebel is someone who says no and yes simultaneously. He says “No, I’m not going to take it anymore -- this has gone on long enough!”. But in doing that, he says yes to working in solidarity with others to rectify whatever situation he finds intolerable. And, as Camus, puts it, “Rebellion cannot exist without the feeling that, somehow and someway, one is right”

vigilantism--a sort of mob justice that results when people take the law into their own hands. This can result if there is a perceived gap between crime and punishment. 


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