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First Paragraph[edit]

This is basically the same content as the main libertarian page. I think it could be summarized in a couple sentences. Gregsinclair 07:05, 29 May 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Political Criticisms[edit]

I have to wonder why criticism of libertarianism is given so much attention as opposed to giving equal views on other mainstream idealogies. Democratic and Republican platforms are certainly more worthy focuses than this.

Labeling these criticisms as conservative and liberal doesn't make much sense. Conservatives and liberals aren't of the same political persuasion depending on what country you're talking about. In some countries a liberal is a libertarian, for example Australian Democratic Liberal party. I think it would make sense to label these Right and Left criticisms. The Right are anti civil liberties, and the left are anti economic freedom and private property. RJII 20:22, 30 May 2005 (UTC)[reply]  I don't think it's fair of you to add scare quotes to my comment (on the right to universal health care).  I would have no problem with you simply adding a response argument to the social democratic criticism I posted.  Unless you make a strong argument for this, I will delete the scare quotes. - ss347

Notes and lead section[edit]

Where is the lead section? Also, notes are screwed and incomplete. - Ta bu shi da yu 05:02, 24 Jun 2005 (UTC)

This page was made by cut-and-pasting from the "criticism of libertarianism" section of the libertarianism article. The section was long enough to justify a subarticle, but no one did the work to make this a real article with a lead section etc. Partly my fault. Would you like to work together to make this decent? Dave (talk) 15:55, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)

Bibliography, etc[edit]

Yet another fascinating example of how virtually an entire bibliography cites Jewish authors. Yes, its true. 99.5% of the world's population either don't have an opinion on libertarianism, or are not capable of rationally criciizing it.

But, onwards. Libertarianism is based on several flawed assumptions:

  • The individual is more important than the state.
  • There is such a thing as "freedom" from "force"
  • Progress is inevitable and post-modernity is a sign of progress.
  • Inalienable rights exist

Why are these not discussed?

<sarcasm>My best guess is that they're not discussed because we're all part of some Jewish conspiracy to eliminate dissent about libertarianism by quoting Jewish authors criticizing libertarianism. Yeah, that must be it.</sarcasm>
The Rawls and Partridge arguments address the first issue.
The whole conservative criticism section addresses the second issue
The third claim isn't a claim libertarians make.
All the sections call inaliable rights into question. For example, "critics argue that a democracy can legitimately override the rights of its own constituents"
Dave (talk) 20:22, Jun 25, 2005 (UTC).

Responses to Criticisms[edit]

Should we make a section for responses to these criticisms, because most of these have been addressed.

For instance it says "Many primitive tribes around the entire world, historically, did not even believe that land could be owned. Therefore, libertarianism can be criticized as the result of Western European racial and cultural biases, and not applicable to all humanity."

libertarian response "Well, aside from some fragmentary thoughts attributed to the Chinese wise man Lao Tzu, almost all the formal ideas of liberty are Western: individual rights, secure private property, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom of trade, separation of powers, equality before the law, and so on. Similarly, all the protections for liberty, such as a written constitution, a bill of rights, an independent judiciary, privatization, and term limits, developed in the West." http://www.cato.org/pubs/policy_report/v22n5/liberty-flourished.pdf

"Our generation has forgotten that the system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom. It is only because the control of the means of production is divided among many people acting independently that we as individuals can decide what to do with ourselves. When all the means of production are vested in a single hand, whether it be nominally that of ‘society’ as a whole or that of a dictator, whoever exercises this control has complete power over us. In the hands of private individuals, what is called economic power can be an instrument of coercion, but it is never control over the whole life of a person. But when economic power is centralized as an instrument of political power it creates a degree of dependence scarcely distinguishable from slavery. It has been well said that, in a country where the sole employer is the state, opposition means death by slow starvation.

Many socialists have the tragic illusion that by depriving private individuals of the power they possess in an individualist system, and transferring this power to society, they thereby extinguish power. What they overlook is that by concentrating power so that it can be used in the service of a single plan, it is not merely transformed, but infinitely heightened. There is, in a competitive society, nobody who can exercise even a fraction of the power which a socialist planning board would posses. To decentralize power is to reduce the absolute amount of power, and the competitive system is the only system designed to minimize the power exercised by man over man. Who can seriously doubt that the power which a millionaire, who may be my employer, has over me is very much less than that which the smallest bureaucrat possesses who wields the coercive power of the state and on whose discretion it depends how I am allowed to live and work?" F hayek - http://www.iea.org.uk/files/upld-publication43pdf?.pdf

Or " They argue that advances in economics since Adam Smith show that people's actions are not always rational"

Answer read the link above to see why a planned economy always makes far far worse decisions

Or " The Road to Serfdom, claimed that monopolies are not a natural consequence of capitalism, but rather, the consequence of bribery on the part of corrupt businesses within governments.It does not occur to Hayek that bribery might be a more ingrained human behavior than free competition."

libertarian response It does occur to him. The fact that monopolies occur unfairly using government power is an argument against government power in the economic sector. The more power government has the more benificial bribery and cronyism becomes over competition to ensure long term survival. Hayek wrote "It is also argued that technological changes have made competition impossible in a constantly increasing number of fields and that our only choice is between control of production by private monopolies and direction by the government. The growth of monopoly, however, seems not so much a necessary consequence of the advance of technology as the result of the policies pursued in most countries. Anyone who has observed how aspiring monopolists regularly seek the assistance of the state to make their control effective can have little doubt that there is nothing inevitable about this development. In the United States a highly protectionist policy aided the growth of monopolies. In Germany the growth of cartels has since 1878 been systematically fostered by deliberate policy. It was here that, with the help of the state, the first great experiment in ‘scientific planning’ and ‘conscious organization of industry’ led to the creation of giant monopolies. The suppression of competition was a matter of deliberate policy in Germany, undertaken in the service of an ideal which we now call planning."


Added ref to Kanheman where someone said it was needed. Psw808 (talk) 13:09, 3 September 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Some of the criticism on this page is horribly pov with no sources. Some if it is even original research, and quoting Friedman from a 2002 Documentary on what von Mises said is HARDLY criticism as it was Milton Friedman telling the story as a JOKE!!!! This all needs to be seriously reworked. I had deleted the sections that were the weakest, most pov, and or original research while leaving citation requests for other areas which are legit...unfortunatly this has been reverted.

Lets discuss please.

The Methodological criticism section is a mess, I agree. Not doing any edits cause I want to discuss 'em first.
A few criticisms aren't particularly notable: the section you mention, and the section beginning "Others criticize that" (which is mostly redundant with other criticisms). Reduce each offending section to a sentence or two, don't remove it. Maybe "The divisions among libertarians about how society ought actually to deal with such things as public highways, electrical systems, and sanitation and sewage systems are sometimes used by critics to argue that libertarians are utopians with no real idea how society ought to work," appended to the earlier criticism of utopianism citing Goldberg. And "Libertarians are sometimes criticized for dogmatism; even Milton Friedman has joked about an incident in which Ludwig von Mises stormed out of a room full of libertarian economists yelling 'You're all a bunch of socialists!'".
A large number of criticisms are uncited. They aren't original research; I've heard 'em before, mostly. But they shouldn't be attributed to 'critics', they should be attributed to specific people or institutions. I don't have time to dig up sources; if you don't either, just put a {{Fact}} tag by them and leave them be.
The whole section seems to just be a clump of things that are widely disconnected. It should be divided by subsections. The stuff about a Western bias should be split off into an Alleged Western bias subsection. The stuff about deductive reasoning, the basis for rights, and the model of individuals acting in their own self-interests should be split off into a section Criticisms of deontological libertarian ethical arguments or something, because (1) they attack only a subset of libertarians who argue from natural rights or whatever rather than policy consequences, and (2) they attack premises, not methodology per se (presumably they're in the methodology section because of 1).
I'm willing to do all this once I get agreement except for searching out citations.Kalkin 01:01, 20 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

THe only reason why Von Mises made that statement is because the other economists were trying to figure out moral reasons for why the economy should be run as a free market. Before the socialists came along economics was scientific and as such amoral. Socialists introduced morality and emotions which is far easier and more appealing than mathamatics and logic and gained the populist momentum behind them. The purpose of the meeting was to figure out a way to reach the broader public to let them know how free markets will improve their lives etc. Von Mises didnt believe the economy existed to give people jobs or promote justice, he prefered the scientific amoral understanding. I dont think, when accounting for this, that his statement is much of a criticism. Furthermore, I've never heard anyone criticisze libertarians on this ground (also note von Mises was a liberal or classical liberal as libertarian wasnt a word when he made this statement).

some of the other statements really do appear as original research. I'll go find some real quick. (Gibby 03:15, 20 February 2006 (UTC))[reply]

The section starts off good, with legit complaints but then it trails off into a really bad and weak arguement for the remaining paragraphs:

Even if private property were a natural human right, it may be impossible to properly support such a philosophy because of the complexities of ownership and inability to determine who owns what. For example, Native Americans can make the argument that much, if not all, of the land in the Americas by right belongs to them; however, the implications of this recognition would tear apart modern society.{{originalresearch}}
Likewise, liberterianism does not take into account differing cultural views on the ideas of ownership. Many primitive tribes around the entire world, historically, did not even believe that land could be owned. Therefore, libertarianism can be criticized as the result of Western European racial and cultural biases, and not applicable to all humanity.{{originalresearch}}

Libertarians actually do address this, while these complaints have no citation, libertarianism under free markets do take into account cultural views, as a matter of fact they argue that they offer the only economic mechanism by which diverse people and diverse interests can live together.

Others criticize that there are certain problems and issues, such as National Defense and public defense, that a Libertarian society would be unable to handle. Many Libertarians favor maintaining a minimal form of government for such functions, but Libertarians tend to differ on what functions this government should have control over. Things such as public highways, electrical systems, sanitation and sewage systems, and other things either run by the state or run with a great deal of state assistance and overview, would be problematic to maintain in a Libertarian system. Some critics are of the position that things such as these show that Libertarians have a few ideas on how an economy should work and almost no ideas on how a real Libertarian society would work in practice.{{originalresearch}}

Differences between libertarians hardly seem to be a criticism. Most libertarians also believe a government has basic functions and services like running the military, printing currency, maintaining stable currency, at least city roadways, running courts, creating laws, protecting property rights...

There are many books that discuss how this can be implemented how market externalities can be avoided with simple policies like disclosure laws. There are two guys who are classified as libertarians in this article who are called libertarians...and they've won nobel prizes...I'd hardly consider that an example of how they knwo nothing of how an economy should run.

Some point out that the Libertarian assumption that smaller government is inherently superior to larger government may itself be a questionable assumption, as government on the state and local level can be just as prone to corruption and the abuse of rights as that of government on the federal level. Others would argue that the Libertarian ideal of state and local governments could actually lead to the opposite situation that Libertarians assume it would, as it would make government more subject to local ideas of morality and ethics than a larger, faceless federal system would. Some critics would argue that smaller government can result in even more interwoven corruption and crony style politics than federal government. Not all critics would go this far, but some would question the notion that smaller government is any more resistant to the excesses of government that Libertarians deplore.[citation needed]

they never said smaller government, they say limited government. They are talking about power not size, words have meanings. And empirical evidence has demonstrated that the more limited the government the more superior it is to more powerful government over many areas such as building wealth, reducing poverty, promoting liberty and freedom. Powerful governments do have their advantages....namely making war and big armies.

THe part about smaller government leading to cronyism is...original research.

Libertarians are often criticized for being inflexible in their views, arguments, and debating methods - one common characterization is that libertarians immediately resort to calling their opponents "communist" for any disagreement. This attitute is not limited to younger or ill-educated people - in a PBS interview in 2002, Milton Friedman related an incident that occurred at a meeting of the Mont Pelerin Society . During an argument, Ludwig von Mises stood up and stormed out of the room while yelling, "You're all a bunch of socialists," even though the audience including such economists as Friedman and Friedrich von Hayek. {{Not Important or notable}}

I already discussed this one. It is not important, notable, and hardly can be considered a criticism

Lastly, some people criticize the motives of libertarians, saying that they only support libertarian ideas because they serve as a means of justifying and maintaining what these critics perceive to be their position near the top of existing social hierarchies. While this may be true in some cases, this criticism can be considered an ad hominem logical fallacy. Also, the same argument could be made against any set of ideas (i.e., one could claim a poor person's motive for supporting Marxism is because the implications of this philosophy would benefit them personally).[citation needed]

This one is oringal research and or needs facts. Libertarians advocate a limited government with few powers, and no ability to pick winners and losers in society, hardly the kind of position you want to be in if you want to keep your job. Current American politics allows politicians to keep their jobs by securing special interest funding through the picking of winners and losers allowed by our level of economic interference.

Furthermore, this criticism is also applied to communism, socialism, and the third-way.

(Gibby 03:31, 20 February 2006 (UTC))[reply]

Most of your responses regarding the merit of criticisms are irrelevant. Wikipedia does not engage in debates, it documents their existence, see WP:NPOV. Also, I'm not sure what your opinion is with regard to my proposed changes above. Please clarify. Some specific comments:
You claim "Before the socialists came along economics was scientific and as such amoral." I'm not sure what relevance this has, but anyway it's just false. Have you read, say, Smith's Wealth of Nations? It's explicitly a defense of "commercial society." And people like Von Mises and Hayek were happy to make moral arguments about economics and liberty. The Road to Serfdom?
Hayek wrote this to explain how socialism leads to a degredation of freedom. von Mises comment is not a criticism and should not be treated as such. It is treated as such as original research.
Regarding libertarianism's alleged Eurocentrism, you say "as matter of fact they argue that they offer the only economic mechanism by which diverse people and diverse interests can live together." (1) this is a response the article could include, not a reason to remove the criticism. (2) it misses the point; the argument is that the libertarian view of property rights considers only western theories and allows only western practices. Whether or not this is a valid criticism, libertarianism's tolerance for diversity in other areas doesn't matter. Libertarianism clearly does have fixed views on property rights.
There was no citation for its "Eurocentrism" cite it or it will be deleted. This is original research criticism.
You say that "Differences between libertarians hardly seem to be a criticism." I agree, it's patently ridiculous, but it's a criticism that gets made and should be documented. The same thing is said about anarchists, Marxists, liberals, whoever the fuck... but it is in fact said. The existence of Nobel-prize-winner libertarians isn't a particularly relevant response, though.
Not relevent because you are not paying attention. I mentioned their awards because some of the original research claims that they don't know how to run an economy. This is not even true, because likely, the person writing the criticism here dosnt understand their ideological competitor.
Regarding size of government, several things. You say "They are talking about power not size, words have meanings." Ok, but many practical proposals from libertarians involve shrinking government, as well as or even more than placing direct limits on its power. Eg decentralization, tax & spending cuts, etc. You say "empirical evidence has demonstrated..."; ok so cite it as a counter-argument in the article. You say "THe part about smaller government leading to cronyism is...original research." No, it's not, I've read it elsewhere. It needs a citation, though. For now put [citation needed].
It does need citation. But this paragraph sounds so incredibly original research...whoever wrote the last few paragraphs did a bad job. They need fixing...bad.
You deny the importance of the tendency to call all non-libertarians socialists as a criticism. It's real, though - you've demonstrated it yourself to a degree with your discussion of economics above - and it's annoying. It's worth a sentence or two. See for example the deep ecology article, which under criticism includes a short section pointing out that the "deep"/"shallow" binary is arguably insulting to non-deep ecologists. Not very important, maybe, but worth noting.
Its not notable criticism...it sounds like a really stupid point.
Regarding the accusation that libertarianism is for rich college kids - its not original research, I'm sure you've heard the stereotype. You say, "libertarians advocate a limited government with few powers, and no ability to pick winners and losers in society, hardly the kind of position you want to be in if you want to keep your job" - but a good position if you've already got what you want independent of government and want to keep it. Anyway, a counter-argument rather than a reason to delete, again. You say, "Furthermore, this criticism is also applied to communism, socialism, and the third-way." Sure, but again, counter-argument, which is why it's already in the article. (Now for Marxism, say, that's really not a criticism, because Marxists would agree that there are working class and ruling class ideologies, and that Marxism is the former. This is irrelevant to the topic at hand, though.)
It is original research, I've never heard it before. It doesnt even have a citation. You also said that libertarians favor this position because they want to keep their position in society...that is also original research with no citation.
I'm going to go ahead and make a few of the changes on which we seem to agree. If I'm not misreading you, we only differ on how much should be removed.Kalkin 19:51, 20 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Alot should be removed and or cited. The last few paragraphs are terrible. (Gibby 22:51, 20 February 2006 (UTC))[reply]


This isn't an authoritativee source(its my blog), but may give you some ideas about what to add to the criticism of Libertarianism section:[1] Thanks!-Urthogie 10:36, 24 January 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Citations by the bucketful[edit]

I wish to bring to your attention the Critiques of libertarianism website. It's not exactly very user-friendly, but it contains well-sourced anti-libertarian arguments by the bucketful. It's the first place to look when you need to find an anti-libertarian citation. -- Nikodemos 05:17, 20 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Taxes and government services[edit]

According to the Libertarianism article, many Libertarians support certain elements of the govrenment, such as infrastructure, schools, courts and police. Many also believe is tax reduction or abolition. A glaring flaw in this premise is that infrastructure, schools, courts, police, and other government-sponsored areas like fire departments and hospitals are all funded through taxes. I have often read and heard criticisms as a result of this since there is no way for these services to be provided without taxation. Does anyone know of any articles which explain how Libertarians handle this issue? Unless there is a tangible plan to handle this apparent conflict, I would think it should be addressed in this article. --Waterspyder 20:17, 21 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

This probably ought to go in there; I don't see it addressed, really. I'm not sure where it would fit. Perhaps that and the section within "Methodological criticism" on "Decentralization or size reduction as..." could be split to a new section titled something like "Practical criticism" - though that's an absolutely terrible title - or whatever for criticisms that attack the possibility or results of implementing libertarian ideas with arguments that don't come from any particular ideological perspective. (Alternatively perspectives could be identified for these arguments... I don't know what they'd be though.) Kalkin 20:58, 21 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]
Last time I checked it's only extreme libertarians that are against all taxes.--Urthogie 21:24, 21 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Current state of Methodological Criticism section[edit]

Gibby what do you think? Kalkin 20:58, 21 February 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Reverted last major edit[edit]

I reverted the edit of http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Criticism_of_libertarianism&oldid=72284419 as much of it was not at all written in an encylopedic fashion. Some parts of the edit may have been worth keeping, or worth rewriting into something keepable, feel free to do so. --Xyzzyplugh 18:50, 8 September 2006 (UTC)[reply]

Original research tags on the talk page[edit]

To help unclutter and deal with the backlog of pages tagged as original research I am replacing the original reasearch tags copied to this talk page with {{originalresearch}}. It doesn't change the meaning of the message being edited but it helps a lot with dealing with the growing back log. The tag should be confined to the article itself. Thank you for your understanding. MartinDK 18:57, 12 November 2006 (UTC)[reply]

This criticism page seems a little odd in that the counterarguments to the criticism seem to take up more room than the criticism itself. -


what exactly is this article supposed to be about? it uses the word "libertarianism" to mean what i'd call vulgar libertarianism. in fact, the "libertarianism" it describes is so far to the right that it even contradicts rothbard's principles, for example the sentence "Others argue that current property owners obtained their property unfairly, justifying its redistribution" implies that libertarians would not be concerned about this, which is something rothbard explicitly attacked. i suggest this article either be moved to "criticism of right-libertarianism" or be rewritten to account for left-libertarianism. Bob A 09:00, 14 February 2007 (UTC)[reply]

Why is this a separate article[edit]

I have a better question: Why do we need an article on Criticisms of Libertarianism separate from the article on Libertarianism itself? There is nothing significant that holds it together, and it seems like all worthwhile content should be merged into the article on Libertarianism, the rest just ditched. Rexlunae 23:30, 16 May 2007 (UTC)[reply]

There's a lot to say. It can certainly be integrated in the main article but the length of the criticism section will likely become inappropriately large (which is why this article was created in the first place). Merging the two articles will also likely lead to even worse NPOV wars.

OR Tag Added[edit]

I took a look at this article. There is a tonne of stuff that is not sourced at all. It really needs work. --Quirex 17:12, 14 March 2007 (UTC)[reply]

"Their philosophies solve immediate problems but do not address long-term problems. When pressed with this issue, many libertarians ask why they should care about the future of humanity, or at least past the point that they personally cease to exist."

lol? I am a Libertarian, so I did not edit this out myself (as I am clearly not an objective person here), but this a strawman. That whole section should be deleted or reworked, it completely ignores the dynamism aspect of libertarianism.

Short sightedness[edit]

I deleted the paragraph about libertarian short sightedness. It was very POV.Deathhatefear 22:11, 14 August 2007 (UTC)[reply]

'Free Market' Criticisms[edit]

Much of this page is occupied by notions not critical of Libertarianism per se, but of Laissez-faire in general; it seems to me like they're unnecessary here. You say, "Libertarians support the free market," and then the reader can read the free market article and decide if that's good or bad. Am I wrong?

By way of analogy, consider this: you wouldn't discuss the criticisms of communism in an article on the Soviet Union.

Your thoughts? --Xiaphias 09:12, 11 October 2007 (UTC)[reply]

The case of the Dutch republic[edit]

Libertarianism is almost exclusively discussed in term of 'what we think will happen if..'. What always amazes me is that neither libertarians nor their opponents seem to analyze the experiences we already have had with it. The Dutch republic is a good example, because the country already had a stock market since the early 1600. In fact it crashed in 1637. Its goverment -expecially on the federal level- was very weak already in the 17th century and became even weaker in the 18th. In fact power was almost exclusively in the hands of a handful of capitalist entrepreneurs. In the 17th century they were very innovative and became rich quickly, often through risky and ruthless colonial undertakings. But in the 18th their descendents, even though they controled politics even more than their gogetter forebares, were anything but innovative. In fact they stiffled any change and any progress. They were fat, rich and quite comfy. Change? Why?! John Adams even wrote back home about how not to be a republic like Holland I believe. Why must we go and repeat these mistakes exactly? nl:Gebruiker:Jcwf (talk) 02:49, 27 December 2007 (UTC)[reply]

You should also provide historical context for the economic and political realities of when these events occurred. During the 1600s, the Dutch Republic was almost terminally at war with Spain, England or France; a few times both England and France. They all warred against the Dutch due to Dutch Republics economic power. A lot of their economic strength was sapped by continuous warfare in the 18th century as well. It was not necessarily the fact that the government was weak and the merchants were strong, it was the fact that the Dutch were continuously at war with, to coin a modern term that fits those times as well, global superpowers (France, England, etc.). That could happen to any power, no matter what economic system they had, capitalist or not. Smarmos (talk) 18:09, 1 January 2008 (UTC)Smarmos[reply]

Confusing link[edit]

On the indented paragraph re: Chile, the little footnote thing 1) says the wrong number, 2) doesn't even take you to that wrong number —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:04, 21 June 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Church of Satan[edit]

One notable criticism of libertarianism has been to point out that the ideology of the Church of Satan, founded by Anton Szandor LaVey, is highly similar to libertarianism. This is maybe a value judgement, but it does strike a chord with some people who are already convinced of the evil nature of libertarianism, and of capitalism in general. ADM (talk) 06:57, 3 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Biased Sentence[edit]

Quote: "An important distinction made by Rawls is between freedom itself and the value of freedom, and libertarians wrongly seek to maximize freedom without consideration of the value of the resulting freedoms. This criticism is based on the notion of the incommensurability of values, where liberty is but one good that must compete with others, rather than all goods being reducible to one simple measure of utility. Libertarians simplistically consider liberty to trump all other goods, without consideration of the commensurability of different goods. Significantly, although Rawls argues for inviolable rights, these are restricted to situations where basic prosperity has been established, rather than being ideological maxims in the manner of libertarians' view of liberty."

The sentence I have marked out is biased against libertarians. Wikipedia should not be biased in this way. --Lordnecronus (talk) 16:45, 23 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Looks like much of that paragraph is just WP:original research, against wikipedia policy, and can be removed. Only criticism from a WP:reliable source that reflects the source can be used in an article. Even when people have a source it's good to check it (and even many book quotes can be verified through books.google.com) because they often misconstrue what the author actually is saying. CarolMooreDC (talk) 04:09, 24 August 2009 (UTC)[reply]

Removed longtime poor or unsourced WP:OR; why put it back?[edit]

Just because one thinks something is true doesn't mean one can just stick it in without a reference. Please read WP:V. For example the just reinserted: "Free trade has many critics, who argue that trade barriers are necessary for economic growth in some or all situations." I've seen a lot of different arguments, but Wikipedia editors aren't supposed to just throw in their favorites - or the only ones they know - but actually use expert opinon.

A lot of POV, WP:OR, redundant material has been up for a while with no references - despite tagging - and it's time for it to go unless someone thinks it's worth referencing. I'm sure far more reliable sources than some of those listed could be found for some of these criticisms.

Carson has a fan type article on wikipedia mostly ref'd by his own writings. He is written about by a few Wp:RS who don't seem to agree with him, but as long as the authoring sides views reflected, there is some hope. I'll give others a chance to decide what they think should be used as reference.

I don't see any evidence Paul Kienitz is anyone of note and Mike Huben's homepage is hardly a WP:RS. That should go immediately as it is clearly not wp:rs. Or do I really have to take it to WP:RSN?? CarolMooreDC (talk) 07:40, 9 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

  • Above quote, "For example the just reinserted: "Free trade has many critics, who argue that trade barriers are necessary for economic growth in some or all situations.""
Are you challenging the assertion that there are many critics of (absolute) free trade who argue that trade barriers are conducive to growth? BigK HeX (talk) 08:12, 9 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]
As for one of the other reinsertions .... your comments stated text was uncited. I believe I found there was a citation for parts, and since that portion of the text did not seem to fall into the reason that was listed for its deletion, I reinserted it. BigK HeX (talk) 08:19, 9 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]
A bottom line Wikipedia principles is expressed in first line of WP:Verifiability: The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—what counts is whether readers can verify that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source (see below), not whether editors think it is true. Not to mention Wikipedia:PROVEIT#cite_note-1: When there is dispute about whether a piece of text is fully supported by a given source, direct quotes and other relevant details from the source should be provided to other editors as a courtesy. So it may be true that "Many" critics say that, but can you prove that with a reference? The issue of whether it is the most important or widely used criticism of course goes to WP:Original research in you or someone asserting so. CarolMooreDC (talk) 13:59, 9 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Ummm ... the question was pretty simple. Are YOU seriously challenging the assertion that "there exist many critics of free trade ..etc.etc" as being dubious? BigK HeX (talk) 14:16, 9 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]
It doesn't matter what your or I think, but what policy says. Obviously I think there may be other criticisms, perhaps more important ones. But I'm not putting what I think first, I'm putting what experts think first. Please review Wikipedia:Policies and guidelines. Please also see Wikipedia:Template_messages/Sources_of_articles which gives you and idea how important this issue is. CarolMooreDC (talk) 14:35, 9 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Your selective wikilawyering -- while amusing -- is not productive. If you refuse to declare your actual stance on the material you seem to have problem with, there's not much to discuss. If useless wikilawyering is the extent of your willingness to discuss the free trade criticism matter, I will consider your fact-tag to be addressed. BigK HeX (talk) 20:02, 9 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]
Don't forget about WP:IAR. This might be one of those cases where strictly following the rules only removes useful, uncontroversial content. I agree that the passage needs to be referenced, but really just because it would aid in research. It's not really very controversial that there are critics of free trade, and that those critics argue that trade barriers promote growth. I don't think that, in this case, it should be deleted just because it isn't cited. I'd be fine with just leaving a tag on it. You know it's true, let someone find a source for it. I mean, in the time Carol, Hex, and even I have spent arguing this, a source could have easily been found on Google. MutantPlatypus (talk) 20:06, 9 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]
I agree if someone needs to make a point, source it properly. The current source is the main page of some barely wp:rs publication. I'm sure its easy to find lots of hardcore WP:RS anti-free traders who can give you a laundry list of reasons they are against free trade. It just seemed like one more case of someone lazily sharing their own POV without bothering to source it. Not a "sky is blue" uncontroversial statement but more like a "sky is blue because that's the way the rods in our eyes work." Well, I don't know if that is true and would like to see a ref. CarolMooreDC (talk) 20:37, 9 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]
WP:IAR may not even be needed, as WP:ASF is pretty clear that generally uncontroversial statements can simply be asserted. So, as mentioned, I find that someone repeatedly invoking WP:PROVEIT, whilst ignoring WP:ASF is a bit selective on the Wikilawyering, and not as helpful. Personally, I think it's fine without a citation, but at worst, it could be tagged, not deleted outright. BigK HeX (talk) 01:10, 10 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

<backdent>Actually this is the first time I've heard of WP:ASF and will add it to my list for times when I do in fact have SKY IS BLUE statements to defend. I struck this because this paragraph (A simple forumation) means obvious facts don't need to site a source but opinions do. It says at end. "A careful selection of reliable sources is also critical for producing articles with a neutral point of view." I will go to the page and explain that at least one person mis-understood it as meaning no source is necessary so that can be corrected.

I could quickly find a ref, obviously, but then I might be accused of coming up with a one from a low quality WP:RS which is really just an excerpt from an article by a more notable writer in the higher quality WP:RS - i.e., William Greider in The Nation, here. That's what happens when you let others find your sources. ;-) CarolMooreDC (talk) 02:18, 10 March 2010 (UTC)[reply]

More criticism from the right please.[edit]

Anybody else tired that the word conservative has been "hijacked" by libertarians? (talk) 18:43, 6 November 2010 (UTC)[reply]

Ideologues on the run[edit]

This article needs to do more to expose the angry Paultards/Rothbardtards who mine the Internet 25 hours a day for dissenters against their pseudo-philosophy for what the overwhelming majority of them really are: arrogant hypocrites who search without end for some kind of high moral justification for personal greed by hiding behind the doctrine of "non-coercion", and only aiming to create an even worse environment in the end where a small, ultra-rich elite essentially takes over the role of the state in the absence of its coercive presence; in much the same fashion as an ultra-powerful, centralized and dictatorial government controlling every single aspect of the lives of its citizenry, a completely "laissez-faire" society, run by ever-powerful corporate interests, would not hesitate, under the pretext of operating under the "free market", to do the exact same thing for the sake of power, greed and selfishness. In the extreme minimalization or outright absence of virtually any form of government coercion, corporate interests would eventually gain total control of every aspect of society, including land ownership, and thus every "lesser" human being would be invisibly coerced to do exactly as they say and act exclusively in such corporate interests, or otherwise be denied any "natural" rights or opportunities because contrary interests would only serve to reduce profits, and are thus "evil". And if there is no real government to establish standards for private interests of such a size, or to tell them what to do, and if they simply bought out and owned nearly everything over time, who would ever be able to stop them? It's just another reason why libertarianism, along with Marxism, is just plain incompatible with philosophy or common sense in general. Consider this a partisan response to your equally partisan attack on the criticisms thrown against your movement. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:20, 18 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]

  • If you can find the critiques in a reliable source, hopefully one from an academic, scholar or acknowledge expert, preferably publishing in an academic context, please add it. Fifelfoo (talk) 02:38, 19 May 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Well I would consider that a partisan response. (talk) 05:59, 22 April 2012 (UTC)[reply]

This article's name needs to be changed[edit]

It should be "Criticisms of libertarianism" not "Criticism of libertarianism". One- this makes more sense. Two- we've got "criticisms" articles instead of "criticism" for Marxism, socialism, anarchism, and anarcho-capitalism. Shouldn't this page conform? byelf2007 (talk) 18 July 2011

Also, "libertarianism" isn't something you capitalize (the exception would be if you make a wikipedia article about "libertarianism" or "libertarianism X". byelf2007 (talk) 31 July 2011

Added editorial commentary[edit]

This edit adds unsourced material to the article and thus violates Wikipdia's WP:OR and WP:V policies. It should be reverted. There is no Wikipedia policy that I am aware of which allows Wikipedia editors to provide their own personal editorial commentary on published research, which is exactly what the added text does. — goethean 14:35, 30 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

The study is correlation and not causation, so it's necessary to have this in (no citation is needed)--if we don't have it, the implication is that the study's conclusion is fact. byelf2007 (talk) 30 August 2011
Please cite the Wikipedia policy which overrides WP:V and which dictates that no citation is needed in this case. Thank you. — goethean 19:40, 31 August 2011 (UTC)[reply]

Russell Kirk[edit]

Russell Kirk wrote a famous essay on libertarianism. Should be include a section on it? ELH76345 (talk) 04:54, 21 September 2011 (UTC)[reply]

General Welfare Clause of the US constitution[edit]

I think someone should add information about the Constitution's "General Welfare Clause" and mention that many critical interpreters and exegetes of the constitution agree that the provision of the general welfare to the people through taxation is clearly a critique of libertarianism in itself. The text reads as follows: "The Congress shall have Power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common Defence and "general Welfare" of the United States; but all Duties, Imposts and Excises shall be uniform throughout the United States";Nashhinton (talk) 11:28, 15 October 2012 (UTC)[reply]

Why, exactly, is the US Constitution of any relevance here? This article is about criticisms of a political/economic/moral philosophy that is not confined to any particular country so the fact that a random country's constitution articulates goals at odds with it is not worthy of inclusionMetacrias (talk) 08:00, 2 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Pragmatic Concerns: Libertarianism in the context of the existing global economy[edit]

It's been awhile since I've read up on libertarianism and the many, many critiques of it so I don't have the sources needed to properly reference some critiques that I believe need added - hopefully someone else does. Overall, this article is woefully underdeveloped and poorly written - libertarianism is one of the most heavily criticized and derided economic philosophies still adhered to by some today and this article only touches on a couple basic critiques. One important issue that is missing is how libertarian philosophies could be reconciled with the actual global political and economic system. Metacrias (talk) 08:05, 2 March 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Many of these are still poorly cited, non NPOV, and written as statements of fact[edit]


"Most other economic and political theories (from neoliberalism to social democracy) suggest that market failures justify government intervention in the economy; that non-intervention can lead to monopolies, monopsonies, oligopolies, cartels, collusion and stifle innovation; that unregulated markets are economically unstable; that a lack of government involvement in the economy will result in certain socially desirable goods being undersupplied or not supplied at all (for example, medical research seeking cures to tropical diseases such as malaria that largely affect extremely poor populations that couldn't afford) among other things. Social democrats criticize libertarianism with arguments holding that even when markets do produce economically efficient outcomes these outcomes aren't necessarily the most desirable as values other than efficiency (for example, equality) may be more important and that redistribution of wealth can improve economic health and the overall level of human development in a given society. Furthermore, advances in economics since Adam Smith have shown that basic assumptions underlying libertarian economic theories (rationality, complete information) do not accurately reflect the real world and thus outcomes of libertarian economic approaches based on these assumptions will not have the theorized effects. Also, virtually all other modern economic philosophies recognize the existence of externalities which libertarian economic theories deny exist."

This "summary" of criticisms should have each individual claim cited as per WP:INCITE. Merely sticking a tag at the end of a large paragraph is not a sufficient citation for a block of claims and makes it harder to verify each individual claim. Then there are claims like "also, virtually all other modern economic philosophies recognize the existence of externalities which libertarian economic theories deny exist", which is an non-NPOV opinion; it should either cite an "indisputable and commonly accepted reference text" or "multiple prominent" libertarian theories denying the existence of externalities given the weight of the statement made (as per WP:WEIGHT) and (for good measue) contrast this by citing contrasting theories arguing for the existence of externalities, as befitting a statement of fact... or attribute it correctly as an opinion from a particular, named critic about what he or she thinks libertarians do or don't deny as compared to what economists say, as per WP:YESPOV "Avoid stating opinions as facts". I will be adding the appropriate tags to the article soon, but would just like to remind all who might read this page of these important requirements for a good article. (talk) 17:27, 7 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]

And on further review it looks like the sources cited in this paragraph aren't even relevant to the claims made. Funny. (talk) 20:31, 7 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]
Pursuant to my earlier post I have now added tags to the paragraphs in question. Remember, when you claim that people say things, you should at least be able to provide a quote of a particular person saying a particular thing. Avoid "factual statements" and attribute opinions to specific, named critics. Libertarianism is not so old that any criticism that happens to pop into anybodies head warrants a statement of fact; it may be a deliberate strawman, it may be misinformed, it may be addressed by a prominent libertarian, it may be addressed by one branch of libertarianism but not another, et cetera. If Libertarians deny the existence of externalities, for example, you should be able to cite a few prominent libertarians actually denying the existence of externalities. (talk) 20:51, 24 June 2013 (UTC)[reply]

This article only criticizes right-libertarianism and excludes criticism of left-libertarianism[edit]

Again: This article only criticizes right-libertarianism and excludes criticism of left-libertarianism Nashhinton (talk) 03:24, 18 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Until this is resolved, I've added "criticism of left-libertarianism" to the template notifying users about missing information. -- MisterDub (talk | contribs) 16:36, 18 November 2013 (UTC)[reply]

Delete article?[edit]

I'm wondering how other editors feel about deleting this article. Presenting criticisms in a dedicated article "is generally discouraged, but it is sometimes used for politics, religion and philosophy topics to avoid confusion that may result if negative viewpoints were interwoven with the description of the primary viewpoint." WP:CRIT also states that "[c]reating separate articles with the sole purpose of grouping the criticisms or to elaborate individual points of criticism on a certain topic is generally considered a POV fork. Wikipedia:Content forking states that 'Wikipedia articles should not be split into multiple articles solely so each can advocate a different stance on the subject.'" Because of these facts, and due to the lack of comprehensive content in this article, I think it would be best to take what little content we have here, move it into the parent Libertarianism article, and delete this one. Is anyone opposed to this course of action? — MisterDub (talk | contribs) 20:25, 13 November 2014 (UTC)[reply]

Zero Marginal Cost Society[edit]

I'm reading the book Zero Marginal Cost Society. Jeremy Rifkin tates that "The federal government got into the business of producing electricity in the first place because private utilities were not interested in extending transmission lines into rural areas, arguing that the households were too few, too spread out, and without sufficient purchasing power to afford the service." The electrification of the area by hydropower through the Tennesee Valley Authority did not require an outpowering of tax dollar, but was financed by small loans to rural electricity cooperatives, virtually all of which were paid back. The electrification of the area dramatically increased farm productivity and enabled a 20% increase in the appliances market during the worst years of the depression.

Section 4.2: in regards to the lack of Libertarian presence in government.[edit]

Section 4.2 states:

Michael Lind has observed that, of the 195 countries in the world today, none have fully actualized a libertarian society: "If libertarianism was a good idea, wouldn't at least one country have tried it? Wouldn't there be at least one country, out of nearly two hundred, with minimal government, free trade, open borders, decriminalized drugs, no welfare state and no public education system?[10]"

The subsection has two main issues.

Firstly, the question is a fallacy. By simple reasoning, one must understand that early on in human history there existed no form of government whatsoever. By this reasoning, any form of government would have been a terrible idea, because it had not been attempted before. The same would be true of medicine, inventions, and even clothing. To counter the argument above, one may note that countries under the Schengen zone have open borders with each other, and generally countries in trade pacts have some degree of free trade, and that though a libertarian state may not exist in a pure unadulterated form, to say that it cannot would ignore the births of every form of government that has ever come to being in its own unique fashion.

Secondly, the section uses a citation by the left-bent website Salon. As this is an article on the critiques of an ideology, I can understand having more leniency to citation sources, as a biased source may at times be needed to explain the opinions of the opposition. However, it seems poor to use such a website for a Wikipedia article.

Due to the nature of this subsection, I propose that it be removed or on a whole replaced. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:28, 13 January 2017 (UTC)[reply]

I'd tend to agree, but the legitimacy of the statement is based on the authority of Michael Lind. Though not preferable, there's nothing specifically against using articles. Sometimes an article is the only source for some information.FourLights (talk) 23:29, 14 January 2017 (UTC)[reply]

Rename to "Criticism of right-libertarianism"[edit]

It's been seen that left-libertarianism is mostly lambasted on anarchist grounds. Hence, I propose this article be made specifically for right-libertarianism's qualms. ManOfDirt (talk) 01:43, 28 May 2024 (UTC)[reply]