Libertarian Policies

First of all, Democracy 2 is a great idependent game, I have to say. Really nice. :stuck_out_tongue:

As a libertarian from Germany I wonder why it’s not possible to develop your country to a free, volontary and stateless society (or at least a minimal state). Don’t tell me, that the game is called “Democracy” and that abolishing state would mean to abolish a democratic system too.

But what about a minarchist or minimal state? And where are the policies pushing market based / volotary solutions for problems in society?

Some few of this policies are implemented now (e.g. Recommendation of “Gated Communities”, (Re-)Legalize Protitution, alcohol and tobacco laws (you can set them to no regulation) etc), but they just don’t matter and don’t give a liberty oriented player the tools needed to get rid of government interference and let the market regulate itself.

Some ideas for libertarian policies in the various fields:

(“Name” – Desc. – Influcences/Effects)

“Private Charity” – Government encourages private charity instead of funding welfare state programs e.g. by information, advertising and awards for social entrepreneurs etc. – Influenced by average income (the higher the less charity is needed) and taxes, mainly by sales, income and corporation tax (the higher the taxes the less money is available for private welfare by organizations and individuals). Also influenced by governmental welfare programs (the more state funded welfare the less private charity available). / Socialists, state employees and poor don’t like it (at start, after some time positive), capitalists, wealthy, religous people (strenghens religous charity organisations) like it. Private Charity not that effective (compared to state-funded programs) at start, becoming more and more effective over time.

“Private Security Forces” – Government encourages private security forces instead of state-funded police. – Influenced by gun laws (the more restrictive gun laws the less effective private security), average income (the higher the a. income the more people can afford private security), (amount spent for) state-funded police / Socialists, Liberals, Religous, state emloyees, poor don’t like it, capitalists and wealthy like it, middle income like it, if middle income is relativly high.

“Open Borders” / “No Border Controls” (as an option for “Border Controls”) – Government is not controling immigration and emigration at all. – Increases immigration to a max (if high GDP) and emmigration (especially of skilled labour) to a max (if low GDP). Increases crime/violent crimeaccording to how strong labour market is regulated, especially if minimum wage exists and labour laws are “pro union”.

More to follow.

Just a quick idea:

Instead (or in addition) to the “manifesto” there should be an “ideology” choosen at start.

For example if the player takes “Libertarianism” he will lose respect (and support) throughout all groups of the electorate for increasing government regulation which will seen as betrayal of principles. And if one took “Socialism” and takes steps that lead to decreasing equality and rising poverty, he will lose respect. Just two examples …

You are right in that the game does concentrate too much on state provision of services. It’s a problem I’d like to go back and address with a patch when I have some free time to do so, especially regarding private health insurance and private schooling.

Maybe I can support you a little with that? I took a closer look on the game and how to modify it. It’s reallly quite easy. Thanks for that. So I’ll send you some policies I have done allready and the ones I’m currently working on as there are

“Anti-Immigration Measures” (done)
“Information Bureau (Propaganda)” (done)
“Private Charity” (80% done)
“Vigilance Committees” (70% done)
“Private Schools” (70% done)
“Militia” (50% done)
“Private Medical Systeme” (50% done)

Not all of them are “libertarian” of course, but I like even to give statist, government-loving players some more options. :wink:

I agree with you, the game doesn’t smile upon libertarian policies too kindly (I was assasinated for implementing them, in “capitalist heaven” no less, or maybe I’m just a crappy player).

Even though I’d welcome such modifications, I’d be sort of suspicious if an actual libertarian made them. A lot of so-called “libertarians” in th United States are crypto-Republicans, or seemingly right wing maniacs that only care for libertarian economics, and not libertarian social policy (they would NOT like your open borders suggestion).

Another point of contention would be some of the crazy (well, according to me) ideas that anarcho-capitalists have. And if an anarcho-capitalist made their own modifications, they’d make evrything end up as a utopia. Like privatized court systems, and privatized armies (not exactly militias, but equal chance for abuse).

Yeah, I listen to the libertarian U.S. talk radio show “Free Talk Live” and I’m reading the “Reason Magazine” so I’m familiar with the masked right-wingers. They cover this phenomenon. The US Libertarian Party is becoming more and more conservative-statist too.

I have to tell you that I would like to have open borders BUT I think therefore we have to get rid of the welfare state (which is quit excessive here in Germany --almost Socialism) in the first place and then just open the borders, let people travell and settle how and where they like. No problem with that then. And even no other “benefits” --paid by me with the barrel of a gun in da face-- for immigrants or just anybody.

It’s definitely true that the viability of an open borders policy depends hugely on the welfare state. The UK has pretty generous welfare and almost open borders and we are absolutely flooded with immigration from eastern Europe. When we joke that all the builders and plumbers are polish, it’s based in reality. The last builders that worked on my house were polish, and everyone has the same stories to tell on it.
I guess the effects should also be tied closely to the population density and existing infrastructure. Sadly, Democracy 2 does not allow for population changes, but maybe D3 should do (if and when…)

Dictatorship needs to be added too!

This game is a great idea and you know, these types of games are REALLY popular nowadays. This game has a lot of potential and it can become something huge the more advanced and complex and better it becomes.

The more you can decide, more like sandbox… more free play… more decisions, more putting time.

It will be great.

libertianionism makes me laugh…

P. S. I call my self a “democratic leninist” or a “moderate tortskyist”

It’s spelled libert-AR-i-A-nism, and why does it make you laugh?! I’d probably be a libertarian if the ones here (in the US) actually stuck to their principles.

moderate trotskyist??
:unamused: awww, “I’m a communist, but don’t like the way it turned out in the real world”

ps It’s spelled t-RO-tskyist

cause its bullshit, its basicly anarcho-capitalism

It did work, very well… untill stalin got power

No it isn’t, there’s a GIANT gap between NO gov’t and small gov’t.

and didn’t Lenin leave behind the means for Stalin to exploit things? And lets say that Stalin did corrupt communism in the Soviet Union, why haven’t other people been able to achieve communism anywhere else? (without the bad consequences usually assocciated with it)

but not between EXTREMLY [size=50]tiny[/size] govemrent and no ogverment

first, that wasnt communism it was socialism. yes he did, but thats only because he cfailed, instead lets ifnd hte error and fix it. because its based on the satalinst dicitorship(exept for nepel which MAY workout)

Some academics suggest that communism is not really viable within a single country, because of external pressures. with the USSR, it was under HUGE pressure to compete in a global arms race with the USA, a competition that all but starved the country and wrecked it’s economy. This was especially bad because the Russians, having been betrayed by and invaded by Hitler, were not about to trust any foreign power to leave them alone.

I think the most likely route to communism is the one espoused by the sci-fi writer Iain Banks, or alluded to in Star trek. When robots and nanotech can make pretty much any amount of anything, the whole principle of a market economy collapses and makes no sense. Tragically, I don’t think I’ll quite live to see that :slight_smile:

:unamused: when the stage of communism is reachewd most of the resourches under capitalism(and some unser socialism) ownt be needed because socity no longer lives on profit, and rather on need.

wow, that’s interesting. The waste of capitalism, coupled with the equality of communism. I always thought “well, at least communists are less wasteful” but you’ve managed to make communism seem even worse! (Or maybe then people will realize just how useless it was to want yachts and expensive furniture.)

But seriously, I don’t think we’ll ever reach that (in that way). I think that by the time we get there (robots and nano tech.) that robots will be able to think, and humans will be sort of obsolete.

I think there are serious concept representation issues involved in bringing libertarian politics into a game about political action.

Charity is fundamentally a situation, not a policy. It’s a response of civic society to the government not acting. Now, governments can and do try to do things to encourage charity to start up and be stronger. Charitable tax exemptions for instance, as well as the current efforts of the US government to do, what was it, “faith-based initiatives”? These things, and other policies of similar type, are efforts to encourage the situation of charity responses to poverty. But they’re not highly effective policies unless they do trigger the charity situation.

Libertarians often make the point that if the government backed out of providing resources to the poor, not all the resources would vanish. As government dollars trailed off, private dollars would flow in. Few serious libertarians claim that more money would come in by private efforts than currently does by public ones, but there’s the assertion that charities are significantly more efficient than the government. The retort is that charities are reactive while governments can be proactive; that charities will start up only when the problem already exists but the government can prevent it from arising. As evidence, countries like Sweden are pointed to - low poverty managed effectively so it’ll stay that way. Yet libertarians can easily point to all the instances of government agencies seemingly content to manage problems for decades, agencies that claim effectiveness when the situation fundamentally doesn’t change, or worse, seem to advocate always for expansions of their staff and budgets regardless of the situation.

To go back to the first statement though, what we have is a high inertia situation, rather than a policy one could implement. If it was very clear that the welfare programs would not be replaced, and the riots and violence which would be risked by sharp resultant increases in poverty were kept under control, you would see charity arising to drop poverty. It would be a situation, not a policy. And regardless the extent of the effect, the rise would be gradual, not sudden.

It’s rather controversial how effective it would be. There are some things governments could do to encourage it to happen faster and more strongly, but it’s uncertain how effective those would be.

Many other libertarian policy prescriptions would lead to situations, rather than policy. The libertarian ideal of government is a resolutely simple one with the ironheartedness to tell people that they’d need to find their own path. It’s a government effective in its limited domains - strong enough to sustain itself, but with the wisdom to back away, and the willpower to stay away. Such a government may, at most, try to educate people about civics, to encourage them, to disseminate ideas about how to continue. But it won’t intervene in the most dramatic ways.

I disagree, I think you can definitley add libertarian type stuff to the game. After all, the game mirrors real government. What I think you disagree with is charity itself, and how effective it can be in society (especially in the context of the game). I sort of lean towards Libertarianism, so I know where you are coming from. All that charity stuff libertarians bring up, seems like a half-assed attempt to answer critics that say that poverty and other things that government is (theoretically) able to combat, wouldn’t be funded. I guess a better answer to that would be that “businesses would be so profitable with less regulations, that there would be less poverty because of all the jobs created” (although I myself somewhat fear what completely unregulated businesses would do).

I thought the faith based initiatives was a pathetic attempt (and ironically, bigger government, because of the OFBCI) and practicaly the institutionalization of religion in government. Another point in which I disagree with libertarians is education. Public education (in the US anyway) may be bad compared to private schools, but even horrible public shcools are preferable to none. For example: US universities. People say “oh, the world’s best universities are in the US” while that may be true, free public universities are better in the long run. The US may have better universities than China, but there are ten times more engineers graduating from Chinese universities than US universities (I just happen to know about engineers, I assume more students in general also).

And the great champion of American libertarians, Thomas Jefferson, also felt that way about education (why do they pick and choose what they want? :laughing: ) “Jefferson believed that education should be under the control of the government, free from religious biases, and available to all people irrespective of their status in society.”

Another problem with libertarianism (though it can’t possibly be addressed in the game) is where government ends, and where business begins. Such as buying votes (from literally giving money in exchange for votes to extensive media campaigns that practically buy them). Also lobbying for legislature, and where the limits of buying politicians are. Corporate prisons (and them lobbying for harsher sentencing laws, something I just heard of last weekend, on PBS), mercenary armies/militias like Blackwater, private police forces, and so on. Things that were traditionally part of the government and it’s (theoretical) monopoly on the use of force.

I’m saying that libertarian theory is founded on the fundamental assumption that civil society has negative feedback mechanisms. One of these negative feedback mechanisms is charity. When poverty gets too high, the negative feedback system kicks in. In this view, welfare is held to damage the natural societal mechanism and hinder charitable responses.

I would note to you that the faith based initiatives are not supported by libertarians. Not at all. They’re supported by many who otherwise work with libertarians though, and these people have tried to use libertarian rhetoric and aims. They’ve tried to express that it fits in with the concept of natural feedback mechanisms (or at least doesn’t damage them), but as far as I can see, the bait has not generally been taken.

I don’t know where you bring in education from. It’s a complete non sequitur from the point of faith-based initiatives. However, since you seem smart enough to understand, I’ll take the bait. Bad public schools are worse than no schooling at all. I went through a good public school. I went through a great public school, in fact. It was horrendous. I probably benefitted from the experience in terms of pure literacy, but I was also deeply scarred by it. If my school was great (and with its consistently high test scores, low dropout rate, small class sizes, generally interested and qualified teachers, it can’t be called anything else), then it must be even worse for others who don’t grow up in the “right” area and get the advantages I had in my school.

There are a lot of problems with your assertion that China has more engineers. Firstly, it has a much higher population, which means it’ll have more graduates in general, even before I get any farther. It has much higher poverty, which means it’ll have more people taking money-centric courses. It has a government hostile to the arts, which makes following artistic courses harder. It has a government that’s terrible about revisionistic history and propoganda, which makes many traditional scholarly courses harder to find. All of these add up to a very strong incentive to learn very practical trades - and engineering is one of the most strictly practical degrees around. Your assertion ignores important data, or at best, doesn’t account for it sufficiently. (Also, companies doing outsourcing are finding out that Chinese engineers are an extremely mixed bag. Some of them are the best in the world; some are the worst. China is just too darned big to generalize effectively about.)

As a final note on the initial issue (poverty and libertarianism), and an attempt to return to the topic at hand more directly, if you disagree that charity would be an effective negative feedback system but think that a better mechanism is that higher profitability and greater entrepreneurship would fight poverty, then perhaps a higher GDP should depress poverty in the game. I don’t believe it currently has such an effect. Maybe it shouldn’t depress poverty directly, but rather link unemployment to poverty. (GDP is already linked to unemployment.)

Libertarians hate vote buying more than any group I’ve ever seen and are the only group which I’ve ever seen propose an effective solution. Take power away from politicians so that giving them money won’t matter. When the incentive to buy them evaporates, so will the flow of money towards them. Anything else is either a stopgap measure or a cynical partisan effort to hinder everyone else’s donors without upsetting one’s own. Yes, if you look into it, most campaign finance legislation is written like that. It’s no accident.

To address the rest of your last paragraph, you’ve gone beyond nearly all libertarians and into the terrain of the anarchocapitalists. I’m not one of them and not familiar with their theories, so I can’t address your questions. I will at least say that Blackwater isn’t a militia, and request that you not insult militias by tying the two together. A militia is defined as a group of citizens organized for defensive purposes and typically represent only an emergency measure. Once the motivation becomes money rather than defense, they’re not a militia but mercenaries. It’s an important distinction.