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Total posts: [41]
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Libertarianism in Europe:

Pretending to be human
With all this discussion on libertarianism and how much power the State should have recently, I was wondering what exactly are the common perceptions of libertarianism in European countries, since otherwise it's always either the US or Somalia.
My Sonic fanfic series.
 2 Delles, Sun, 29th May '11 10:14:08 AM from Madmen Pavillion
It pretty much depends on the country.

Over here, it's mostly center: people don't claim too much liberties, and doesn't want too many taxes either.

And it's socialism versus liberalism over here.
In war, courage. In peace, wisdom. In life, friendship.
In Poland we don't really have libertarian parties. We have libertarians that are very disorganized and either vote conservative-liberal 'third parties' (not really a good word as our Parliament has more than two parties, but the meaning is the same - those ones that don't get enough votes to be a part of it) or don't vote at all. The problem with Polish people is that they don't know that much about politics and vote those who sound good (that is those who sound modern and clever or those who sound traditional and patriotic or those who sound balanced) while forgetting that those parties have pretty similar programs and never do what they promise anyway - nowadays we have centrist goverment that promised to be liberal (as in classic liberalism, not like Democrats in the US) but actually raised taxes, made gambling and drugs law stricter and did nothing more.
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
Pro-Freedom Fanatic
As far as I could tell from Euros I know (and I know plenty) mostly all of them want more freedom, but neither of the major parties is willing to, say, liberalize drug laws, end bans on vice, or restore rights to effective self-defense.

Both right and left parties are technically paternalistic, authoritarian center-right in most EU countries. Although there IS a yearning for freedom, there's lots of demoralization.

(To be more precise, my European experiences are limited to Spain and the UK, but I have no reason to assume it's differently elsewhere.)

edited 29th May '11 10:40:54 AM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
In Poland there are also paternalistic authoritarian center-left parties, but it's not much better. Actually, it's just as bad
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
 6 Milos Stefanovic, Sun, 29th May '11 10:49:22 AM from White City, Ruritania
Decemberist
As a rough rule of thumb, libertarian in America = liberal in Europe; and liberal in America = socialist/social-democrat/social-liberal/labour in Europe.

Apart from some completely marginal, "a dozen idealistic college buddies" type political clubs, there is not a real libertarian party here in Serbia. The closest ones are probably G17+, a party focusing on technocracy and free enterprise, combined with individual freedoms (but for a few chosen individuals above others); and the Liberal-Democratic Party, which is ultra-progressive, but ultra-smug and somewhat Knight Templar-ish in their ideals (what else can you say about a party that associates itself with NG Os with names such as "Centre for Cultural Decontamination", and supports publishing blacklists of the "enemies of Serbian democracy"?).

edited 29th May '11 10:49:55 AM by MilosStefanovic

The sin of silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.
 7 lord Gacek, Sun, 29th May '11 2:17:58 PM from Kansas of Europe
KVLFON
To build on what nzm had said, the issue of libertarianism in Poland is a bit funnier even, as its lead proponent... well... to avoid angering someone (he's kinda big on the 'Net, thus my caution), let's just say he's quite a polarizing fellow. You know, quoted as claiming Democracy Is Bad, that women should be able to have a rich husband (what is generally decreed as misogynist), and so on.

It casts a bit of a shadow on libertarianism.

[edit]// [down] right, my bad. I, what's the word, conflated conservative liberalism with right-libertarianism. My mistake, but if you feel generous, we may assume that others may make this mistake too, and it is what gives the bad light.

edited 29th May '11 4:25:44 PM by lordGacek

"Atheism is the religion whose followers are easiest to troll"
[up]You mean the proponent in politics or the proponent on the internet? The one on the internet is a bit of a troll but generally not such bad when you learn to deal with... well, trolling. The politician, on the other hand, isn't really libertarian, more conservative liberal with shades of monarchism. He said a shitload of stupid things but also fell victim to Quote Mine more than once.
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
There isn't as much of a libertarian party in Britain, mainly because its seen to be a bit... out there in terms of appearing to be based around drug legalisation and gun owndership, two things which people tend to dislike.

I think Libertarianism isn't going to catch on in much of Western Europe because, for the most part, the state does a reasonable job of behaving semi decently and people are not too keen to see it dismantled as most American Libertarians appear to be.

I reccommend you reading some EU's legislature and then revising your statement. Basically, it's so complex that they are circumventing it themselves and searching for loopholes to do any thing. LOL snail is a fish
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
... The fuck was that?

No, I am sorry that post provides no data, no sources, no opinions, no information other than an attempt at communicating contempt that is so BAD at it that it actually appears to make no sense.

Lets look at that last line for a moment: "lol snail is a fish", to me this pretty much sums up why I am unlikely to take your points seriously. Its clearly attempting to convey your contempt for the idea of the EU and its law making, instead it makes you look like your pulling a non sequitor directly out of your arsehole in order to do so. It makes you look like an idiot and sound like you've thought nothing through.

Perhaps you should read up on basic civility and not acting like a dick before getting into discussions with people.

edited 29th May '11 3:09:40 PM by JosefBugman

 12 The Gloomer, Sun, 29th May '11 3:07:11 PM from Northern Ireland
Inadequate law student
There isn't as much of a libertarian party in Britain, mainly because its seen to be a bit... out there in terms of appearing to be based around drug legalisation and gun owndership, two things which people tend to dislike.

That's libertarianism from an American perspective. I don't think that the general concept of libertarianism as the counterpoint to authoritarianism requires gun ownership or liberalisation of drug laws, but I suppose that depends on how one interprets the position.

In any case, I wouldn't say that it's impossible for Britain. As much as we seem to grumble but knuckle down and make the best of it (though I may well be misrepresenting the general consciousness; I don't get out much), I think there's a growing interest in individual sovereignty thanks to the proliferation of new media technologies.

Of course, there's no such thing as a universally good or perfect system, so it doesn't really matter that much.

 13 Caissas Death Angel, Sun, 29th May '11 3:08:46 PM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
As a rough rule of thumb, libertarian in America = liberal in Europe;

This is utterly false. Liberals in Europe want cooperation with the state, not for the state to fuck off completely. Hence, things like tax-paid healthcare.

In Britain, libertarianism (in the American sense) is seen as being a bit too close to anarchism for comfort. Obviously there's no constitutionalism as a basis for it, since ours is unwritten too, and suggestions of a written constitution for Britain tend to go down in flames (though there's always someone who is suggesting it at most times).

edited 29th May '11 3:09:34 PM by CaissasDeathAngel

My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
[up][up][up]The best example was the one often riddiculed in Poland: the rules about taxations and dotations for farmers and fishermen didn't allow snail farmers in France to get refunds. The solution they came up with? Snail should be defined as a fish. Sounds a lot like this trope abou rabbits and smeerps, doesn't it?
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
For someone who is in favour of simplifying laws, you appear to be really bad at making yourself understood.

Maybe because I am not a native speaker and might sometimes get confused in a complex sentences involving political and legal terminology
"Take your (...) hippy dream world, I'll take reality and earning my happiness with my own efforts" - Barkey
In which case from previous conversational observations: 1. Don't act like everyone knows your in jokes/jokes from your country. 2. Don't get pouty when people ask you to explain things.

edited 29th May '11 4:02:00 PM by JosefBugman

 18 The Gloomer, Sun, 29th May '11 4:13:25 PM from Northern Ireland
Inadequate law student
In Britain, libertarianism (in the American sense) is seen as being a bit too close to anarchism for comfort. Obviously there's no constitutionalism as a basis for it, since ours is unwritten too, and suggestions of a written constitution for Britain tend to go down in flames (though there's always someone who is suggesting it at most times).

Technically, it's not unwritten so much as uncodified. Whereas the Americans or the Irish have their constitution all in one place, ours' is spread across the statute law and the case law.

 19 Caissas Death Angel, Sun, 29th May '11 5:41:51 PM from Dumfries, SW Scotland Relationship Status: Pining for the fjords
House Lewis: Sanity is Relative
Knew someone was gonna call me on that. Yes, you're technically correct on that. Common Law has a lot of our constitutional ideas. Either way, we get to act on the spirit and not just the letter of the law, without a whole load of rules lawyering getting in the way of common sense.
My name is Addy. Please call me that instead of my username.
 20 Qeise, Mon, 30th May '11 2:09:11 AM from sqrt(-inf)/0 Relationship Status: Waiting for you *wink*
Professional Smartass
In Finland the parliamentary party furthest on the Right (Kokoomus) is about as Leftist as the Democrats in the US.

Here people are more WELFARE STATE! And less FREEDOOOOM!
Laws are made to be broken. You're next, thermodynamics.
 21 Enkufka, Mon, 30th May '11 2:16:40 AM from Bay of White fish
Wandering Student ಠ_ಠ
To clarify for the European tropers: Democrats aren't a single group. Its very much a coalition of three distinct groups. Here's a link to the Pew Research center, which does polls on these kinds of things.
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"That's not knowledge, that's a crapshoot!" -Al Murray

"Welcome to QI" -Stephen Fry
 22 The Gloomer, Mon, 30th May '11 2:41:41 AM from Northern Ireland
Inadequate law student
Knew someone was gonna call me on that. Yes, you're technically correct on that. Common Law has a lot of our constitutional ideas. Either way, we get to act on the spirit and not just the letter of the law, without a whole load of rules lawyering getting in the way of common sense.

Sorry about that. sad

As far as I could tell from Euros I know (and I know plenty) mostly all of them want more freedom, but neither of the major parties is willing to, say, liberalize drug laws, end bans on vice, or restore rights to effective self-defense.

Not all Europeans think like you, you know.
Currently taking a break from the site. See my user page for more information.
I also don't understand why he thinks "Europe" has two big parties.

Pro-Freedom Fanatic
[up][up] I speak from what I've heard from people I know.

I'm aware that Europe is a buncha countries instead of a single one, and that some of those countries don't have a two-party system.

Most European countries have a so-called center-left and a so-called center right party that are much bigger than the others... Enough to guarantee that one of them will always win the election. TYPICALLY, neither of those parties has a noticeably liberalizing stance on social issues, and the so-called left wing parties do little to nothing to drive the purchasing power of the working class up.

I'm generally led to assume that the main parties in most EU countries, just like in the US, represent roughly the same sets of policies with a different face and sales pitch. (those sets of policies vary slightly by country, but you could bet three to one that both social democrats and conservatives will keep criminalizing the counterculture and degrading working conditions, job security and pay.)

Granted, I mostly know young Euros (between 20 and 35) so their stances on drug policy and similar social issues might differ from those of the general population. Anyway, lots of them (young Euros, esp. Spanish) feel thoroughly disfranchised by their political systems.

edited 30th May '11 1:37:22 PM by SavageHeathen

You exist because we allow it and you will end because we demand it.
Total posts: 41
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